The upcoming retirement of 30 House Democrats who are not seeking reelection, as well as congressional redistricting following the 2020 Census, have made it difficult for Democrats to maintain their narrow majority in Congress in November’s midterm elections. Republicans are optimistic that they will recapture the House, and they also expect to flip the Senate, which is now split 50-50. Nonetheless, Texas Democrat Congressman Colin Allred believes it is too early for his party to quit up.
“I recognize that the national kind of, you know, talking point is that the House is going to be lost and that’s why so many people are retiring,” Allred, who represents Texas’ 32nd Congressional District, told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. “I tend to disagree that that fight is over.”
Despite the significant turnover among Democrats even before a vote is cast, he believes that the measures approved to help suffering Americans — the American Rescue Plan, which issued $1,400 checks to individuals, and the bipartisan infrastructure plan — will matter when voters go to the polls later this year.
Allred is well aware of President Biden’s dismal approval ratings, the devastation inflicted by the Omicron version, and record-high inflation.
“I know folks are frustrated that we’re still in this pandemic, that we are still not back to full in normal life and we have to talk about inflation and what people are dealing with,” Allred said. “You know, I was raised by a single mother, was a public school teacher. I know every single penny is being counted, you know, at around kitchen tables. We should talk about that. We should talk about how our plans are better to address that than the alternative.”
The former NFL linebacker-turned-Congressman claims the Republican Party isn’t giving actual answers to America’s issues, instead focused on “revenge-based” ideas like impeaching President Biden, repealing mask and vaccination regulations, and promoting “wokeism” in America.
“I think this wokeism thing is going to backfire. We’re an increasingly diverse country. Every election is the most diverse electorate we’ve ever had in this country,” Allred said. “If the Republicans want to run down this lane of just pursuing a shrinking portion of the electorate and talking about what they’re afraid of instead of what they’re for, I don’t think that’s a long-term winning strategy.”
Allred also addressed escalating tensions along the Ukraine-Russia border, with over 150,000 Russian troops stationed near Ukraine and the United States fearing a Russian attack.
“Our intelligence assessments are that we think the Russians have decided to go in, and we’re hoping to dissuade them still, but that decision has been reached and it is only a question of when,” Allred said. He added that he believes Russians are “miscalculating” the international response, should Russian President Vladimir Putin choose to invade, and that Putin is “surrounded by a group of yes men who are not telling him the truth.”