Congresswoman-elect Abigail Spanberger on healthcare, impeachment, and her future in congress

Posted at 9:38 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 19:07:26-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Congresswoman-elect Abigail Spanberger has had a memorable week.

On Tuesday, Spanberger beat out incumbent Republican Dave Brat in the race for Virginia's 7th district congressional seat. The victory was just one example of the so-called "blue wave" that swept the country as Democrats flipped house seats previously held by Republicans.

On Friday, Spanberger came to the CBS 6 studio for an exclusive interview about what comes next as she joins Congress in January.

Spanberger, who previously said thatshe would not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in January, says that the leader of the House should be someone who is able to help Congress members serve their jurisdictions.

"I think that really the priority needs to be selecting someone who can be the leader of the full House and really try to make progress for the American people," Spanberger said. "We're all going to Washington with the mandate to serve the people of our districts, so ideally we can select someone who's going to best lead congress towards meeting that objective."

On the topic of pursuing the impeachment of President Trump, Spanberger says that Democrats should not appear to be too partisan and that she is primarily focused on serving the needs of her district and being accountable and accessible to constituents.

"In addition, the role of any member of Congress is to serve as a check and balance in our government,  so I think it's incredibly important that Congress do our job of oversight," Spanberger said, "But I certainly think that it's not helpful to go to Washington with anyone's eyes set on taking any particular action."

"My real desire is to focus on legislative issues, policy issues, and constituent services that can positively impact the people of this district."

When asked if she thinks its possible to gain traction on health care and keeping Obamacare fully funded despite the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Senate, Spanberger says that conversations should revolve around health care issues that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can relate to.

"I think in looking at the broader health care discussion there's a significant issue with the cost of prescription drug prices, and I think that might be the best place to start that conversation," Spanberger said. "On the healthcare front, that's a place where no matter what your political party is you can't deny that it's really just so difficult for American families. So I think that's a good place where we could start that conversation and remain committed to saying 'how is it that we can strengthen  our health care system, how is it that we can work towards expanding coverage to additional people and recognizing that there are costs to that."



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