A freshman congressman for all of a month, Rep. Ro Khanna has wasted little time in scolding his new colleagues—on both sides of the aisle. In a series of tweets lamenting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ failed amendment to allow cheaper prescriptions to be imported from Canada, Khanna also took square aim at 13 fellow Democrats who voted against it.
3/4 -- It’s appalling that 13 Senate Democrats voted against it.
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 13, 2017
A little more than a week later he grilled Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, in a House Budget Committee meeting after she refused to disclose her organization’s financial ties while testifying against the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). After eight terms of Mike Honda, who was well liked but more a trusted vote than a thought leader, Silicon Valley and East Bay constituents might just be in for some spirited leadership out of District 17. Despite not having the standing Honda held as a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, as well as having a crappier office—Khanna drew the 44th pick out of a lottery for 50 offices given to new House members—the new congressman is apparently working on a bipartisan bill to create term limits for the House and the Senate. Meanwhile, he has criticized President Donald Trump’s economic initiatives, which, Khanna says, will only serve to “help the elite.” But the nuance in how he intends to challenge Trump on executive orders—such as the toxic anti-immigration directive signed at the end of last week—is admittedly a challenge.
“Trump’s whole insight is the truth doesn't matter as much as perception in a soundbite culture,” Khanna told Fly. For this reason, Khanna explained, he has decided to avoid fights over Trump’s tax returns, familial conflicts of interest and other disputes that make for good press but little policy. “While we need to be loud, I think the Democrats win when we focus on economics,” Khanna said. “When we make it about policies, the American people are with us.”