House Democrats mark first 100 days with wins, stumbles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly elected Rep. Sharice Davids is most proud of setting up a congressional office in part of her Kansas district she said hadn’t seen one for years. For Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, her biggest victory was passing the gun background checks legislation she advocated for after her son’s shooting death. And for New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, her top achievement was the introduction of the landmark Green New Deal.

As the Democratic freshmen lawmakers round the first 100 days of their new majority in the House, they’re taking stock of their accomplishments, noting the stumbles and marking their place as a frontline of resistance to President Donald Trump.

“When I came here, I said the days of business as usual in the Congress are done, and I think that’s what we’ve seen,” said Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., a nurse and former Obama administration official, who took over a GOP-held seat in the Chicago suburbs.

The first 100 days is often a milestone for a new Congress — an automatic, if arbitrary, moment to assess the workings of the legislative branch. This year, it’s even more noteworthy because of the historic nature of the freshmen class. It is two-thirds Democrat, with more women than men on that side of the aisle. It’s also the most diverse ever, with many newbies swept into office in a blue wave that followed two years of Trump.

House Democrats set out an ambitious agenda with legislation on the kitchen table priorities that helped them win the majority — protecting the Affordable Care Act, imposing new ethics rules — while engaging in aggressive oversight of the Trump administration. Their investigations extend well beyond special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election as they dig into the president’s business dealings and push for Trump’s tax returns.

But with the spotlight comes high-profile setbacks. Democrats splintered over Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change proposal and exposed party divisions over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. One new lawmaker, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, stunned some when, on Day One, she told supporters — using an expletive — that the new majority would impeach Trump.