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Edwards' First Votes

Anne Bartlett

Within moments of her swearing in last week, Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) was casting her first vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Edwards defeated Republican Peter James in a special election in parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties June 17 and was sworn into Congress two days later. In February, Edwards ousted incumbent Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the Democratic primary.

The special election was held to fill the remainder of Wynn's term after his unexpected resignation in May. Edwards will face James again in the November general election.

On the day she was sworn in, Edwards popped directly from a photo op with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the floor to vote on a bill that would extend parental leave benefits for federal workers. Shortly afterward, she went to a reception hosted in her honor in the basement of the U.S. Capitol.

On her second day, Edwards got an opportunity to weigh in on a particularly thorny issue, voting to oppose a bipartisan bill that would extend the government's eavesdropping capabilities.

The bill also would effectively block lawsuits against telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration's warrantless-wiretapping program.

During her campaigns, Edwards had pledged to oppose immunity for phone companies participating in the program. She had accused Wynn of being too cozy with the industry, which had heavily supported his campaigns. The eavesdropping measure passed the House by a 293 to 129 vote. Supporters included Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)

"No one denies the importance of combating terrorism and ensuring the protection of the United States and its citizens, but we cannot sacrifice fundamental, constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism," Edwards said later in a statement.

By Anne Bartlett  |  June 26, 2008; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Elections , Rosalind Helderman , Slots  
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Comments

We need more democrats like Donna elected. I am proud of her.

Posted by: silver springlr | June 26, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I am proud of her efforts to protect terrorists with constitutional rights and fight corporations who cooperate with the government to make us safe. More democrats like her will provide a short lived Democratic Congress.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 26, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Above # 2 commenter wrote: "(Edwards will) protect terrorists and fight corporations who...make us safe..." The commenter sees not that terrorists win if we Americans out our civil liberties and privacy. What else distinguishes a democracy from Taliban?

Alright for the phone company to tap our calls without warrant? Then the commenter likely thinks that Abu Ghraibn Guantanamo and Americans being known as torturers is helping us.

The commenter plays too many war games, in which might makes right. If he knew anything about war, he'd know it is as much about hearts and minds.

We can fight terrorism and uphold our sacred core values. We've squandered our good name around the world, and that weakens us greatly. Even moderates and potential friendlies and neutrals are turning away from us.

Go back to your XBox 360 and leave the real world to reasonable people.

Posted by: Towards Light | June 26, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Donna Edwards, please look into the High School Assessment exams which is a graduation requirment for the Class of 2009. There are 1,700 kids in PG & Montgomery Counties that have not passed this exit exam. No diploma, the crime rate will increase in June 2009. We need to push this back until the process and problems are fixed.

Posted by: Concern Parent | June 26, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

It has been a shot across the bow of corporate interests and Democratic appeasists.

The votes Congresswoman Edwards has cast should not be characterized as courageous or extraordinary. They are exactly how she said she would vote. She is a woman of her word and voters can trust she will work to her public convictions.

No more backroom deals with lobbyists, no more hiding from constituents, no more glossy, but false press releases.

It's a new day and the voters of the 4th Congressional District have shown America how easy it is to make a change - elect a true public servant, elect someone like Congresswoman Edwards.

Posted by: PG'er | June 26, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Donna's votes were courageous and extraordinary when contrasted with those of many other House Democrats and most of the Senate Democrats. She also voted against continued funding of the war.

Posted by: Art Brodsky | June 26, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Edwards' district is lucky to finally have her as a better Democrat who will not cower or dissemble when the tough votes come up, but rather, will vote as she promised her constituents she would.

Posted by: CallMeSkeptical | June 26, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Voter turnout for the special election was abysmally small. I was a registered write-in candidate, and spent much of the day greeting voters at my precinct and asking folks to sign petition to get new party -- Maryland
Independent Party -- on the ballot in November. Thanks to the folks who worked at the polls and all who voted, and special thanks to those who voted for me as a write-in (and that includes 9% of the votes at my precinct, where 101 of the 1,800-plus registered voters voted). I want to talk to more folks before November, and maybe then our 4th District will show America an election worthy of We the People.

Posted by: Steve Schulin | June 27, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Donna supports Barack. Donna opposes FISA telecom immunity, Barack has flip flopped and now supports telecom immunity.
Politics is fun.

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