Fighting Back: “We’re at our best as a nation when we look out for each other”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Colin Allred of Texas highlighting the passage of H. Res. 271, a resolution condemning the Trump Administration’s assault on people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care.

(Congressman Colin Allred of Texas delivered the Weekly Democratic Address condemning the Trump Administration’s assault on people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care in the courts, as well as, Democrats’ continued efforts to fight for lower health care costs.)

We’re at our best when we look out for each other, just like the community in North Texas looked out for me.

“That’s why this week, I was proud to lead a bipartisan resolution that puts the U.S. House of Representatives on the side of the people and protecting our health care.

“In an attempt to fulfill an empty partisan promise, the Trump Administration has decided to work to invalidate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act in federal court.

“This is unacceptable. We can’t go back to the bad old days when people were denied care because they had a pre-existing condition.

“I was elected as part of this new Congress to put an end to the sabotage of Americans’ health care, and we are working together to do just that.[…]

“North Texans don’t think this is a partisan issue, which is why I’ll work with anyone to protect the progress we’ve made, fight to lower costs and increase coverage. They want to know if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have good health care, that’s affordable.[…]

A Congress that works For The People works to make health care more affordable, not to take it away.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congressman Colin Allred Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hey everybody, I’m Congressman Colin Allred. I represent the 32nd district of Texas where I was born and raised.

“My story could only happen in America.

“I was raised by a single Mom who was a Dallas public school teacher, with the help of my teachers, coaches and mentors at the Town North YMCA who gave me the support I needed to chase my version of the American dream. Whether that was to play college football and then play in the NFL. Or to become a civil rights attorney and work in the Obama Administration.

“That is who we are as a nation. We’re at our best when we look out for each other, just like the community in North Texas looked out for me.

“That’s why this week, I was proud to lead a bipartisan resolution that puts the U.S. House of Representatives on the side of the people and protecting our health care.

“In an attempt to fulfill an empty partisan promise, the Trump Administration has decided to work to invalidate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act in federal court.

“This is unacceptable. We can’t go back to the bad old days when people were denied care because they had a pre-existing condition.

“I was elected as part of this new Congress to put an end to the sabotage of Americans’ health care, and we are working together to do just that.

“Like many Americans, health care is personal for me. My mom is a breast cancer survivor. My wife Aly and I just had a baby. Both of those can count as pre-existing conditions.

“My home state of Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country. One in five people in my home of Dallas County don’t have health care.

“North Texans don’t think this is a partisan issue, which is why I’ll work with anyone to protect the progress we’ve made, fight to lower costs and increase coverage. They want to know if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have good health care, that’s affordable.

“That brings me to Natalie.

“Natalie had a good job as a lawyer, and a beautiful family. She had two kids, Hugo and Mia, and was married to Nathan, a law professor at SMU.

“I met Natalie on the same day the House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I learned she had stage 4 cancer and that she had come to our event from chemotherapy. Natalie explained to me that her goal was to fight her cancer as long as possible so that her children, Hugo and Mia, would know her.

“Natalie was worried about future moms like her who would lose their care if the Affordable Care Act was repealed.

“She was concerned about a return to days with lifetime caps and discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

“Sadly, Natalie died last year, but her fight goes on.

“A fight to protect health care, that I am honored to carry forward with my colleagues on behalf of North Texans and millions of Americans like Natalie.

“The American people are counting on us to get things done. I encourage my colleagues across the aisle to put aside politics, and join us in an effort to fix our health care system so it works better for everyone.

“That’s why Democrats are advancing bold new legislation to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices – and why we’re working to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions even further. A Congress that works For The People works to make health care more affordable, not to take it away.

“Thank you.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference from Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Speaker Pelosi. Good morning, everyone.

May I sadly convey condolences to our friends at The Hill and all of you and the family of Vicki Needham. What a sad thing to learn of her passing. I know she’s your colleague on The Hill. I know her family needs our prayers, and I just wanted to extend my condolences.

Yesterday, we had a big day on the Hill, to observe the 70th anniversary of NATO with a Joint Session to hear from the Secretary General Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO. He talked about how successful NATO had been. It gave us a chance to say thank you to him for his leadership and to NATO for being the force for peace that it has continued to be.

I was very pleased that we had strong bipartisan invitation and support for his visit. This is a continuation of that demonstration of support for our trans-Atlantic relationship. As he said yesterday, ‘The Atlantic Ocean does not separate us, it unifies us.’

Just a month ago, many of us were in Munich for the Munich Security Conference. Over 50, 51 House and Senate Democrats and Republicans went to that meeting to demonstrate our support for the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Following that, we went to Brussels, where even more bipartisanship was demonstrated at the NATO inter-Parliamentary meeting in Brussels. Again, strong bipartisan support for NATO and for the trans-Atlantic relationship.

As he said at the end of his speech, he addressed the Vice President and he said, ‘It is good to have friends,’ and that friendship is what we saluted yesterday. I was very proud of the occasion to join Leader Mitch McConnell and other leaders to invite the Secretary to commemorate the 70th anniversary.

Last night, Representative [Henry] Cuellar and Representative Veronica Escobar introduced a resolution condemning the President’s reckless threat to shut down the border. He likes shutting down things. Shut down government, shut down the border. Shutting down the border would threaten good-paying American jobs, hurt our economy, violate our values and gravely hurt our country.

You should read the resolution because it talks about the concern that we have for our jobs in the United States, shortages of fruits, vegetables, fresh food, how harmful it would be to the auto and manufacturing plants, risking furlough of American workers, shutdown of American production lines.

It also says that the President should not stop the assistance to the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. If we, in fact, want people to stay home, we have to address some of the challenges they have at home.

And we do quote the U.S. Southern Command, Commander – former Southern Commander [James] Stavridis, in saying, ‘The best thing we could do to reduce the flow of refugees from Central America is help improve conditions there. Suddenly stopping all foreign aid will only increase the driving forces creating the caravans over time.’ It goes on. You can reference it. And then it also is sad about what it means to our values.

We passed legislation in a bipartisan way – the President signed – for humanitarian relief at the southern border for medical professionals, for food, for even diapers and the rest.

So, the President should use the tools that are at his disposal to address the humanitarian needs at the border, should stop engaging in activities that are harmful to the subject in terms of stopping assistance that we’ve already voted, the money is there for Central America, and recognize the closure’s impact on our economy.

We also affirm asylum seeking individuals have a right to due process. And the President wants – the Administration wants to shut down the number of judges, which we funded in order to facilitate those cases one way or another.

So, I’m very, very proud of the work of Representatives Cuellar and Escobar, and many other Members will be joining them as well.

This week, as you know, we focused on our – again, continue to focus on – our For The People agenda. You saw us in front of the Supreme Court in opposition to the President’s wanting to overturn 100 percent of the Affordable Care Act while he pretends and the Republicans pretend that they care about protecting the benefit of pre-existing conditions, of lifetime limits and the rest, removing those lifetime limits and the rest.

So, we continue down that path as part of our For The People agenda, to lower the cost of health care, to increase paychecks by building the infrastructure of our country, to have cleaner government, advancing H.R. 1.

On the health care front, we are fighting the President and saying, this is the law of the land. It is the responsibility of the Justice Department to uphold the law of the land, and now he’s reversing that.

At the same time, we’re hard at work to lower health care costs and strengthen health protections. Last night, Energy and Commerce, they were [working] all day, but up until last night, reported out 12 bills to lower health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, expand access to care and protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Many of these were bipartisan. One of them came out 51 to nothing, the CREATES Act. And all of them would deliver results, positive results in the lives of the American people.

This week, Education and Labor advanced Democratic efforts to lower health care costs by holding a key hearing on protecting Americans from surprise billings.

And yesterday, in sharp contrast to what you hear them say, 185 Republicans voted against Representative Colin Allred’s resolution to call on the Administration to end their brutal Texas v. U.S. lawsuit to destroy the ACA and its lifesaving protections.

I come back to where I began on this earlier in the week in front of the Supreme Court: protections against pre-existing conditions, bans on lifetime limits and annual limits, the Medicaid expansion, savings for seniors on their prescription drugs, vital premium assistance that makes health coverage affordable to millions of Americans.

It’s not just, however, important, and that would be reason enough to expand access to health care to 20 million more Americans, but what it did also for more like 150 million families was to take us on a path of lowering costs, increased benefits, some of which I named.

And we will fight this fight and we will fight it in court. Our Republican colleagues keep saying they support these things and yet every time they have a chance, they vote against them.

As you know, today on the Floor, happily, we are bringing another initiative to help end violence in our country. House Democrats continue our work to deliver results with the passage of the strong, bipartisan, long-term reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

The bill preserves the vital progress we made in 2013. I was even here in the ’90s when we first passed the bill, actually, a pretty exciting time for us. And we had the most recent reauthorization in 2013 under President Obama.

This bill, again, protects LGBTQ, Native American, and immigrant women, and every woman, everyplace. And this is for women and for men, end violence against women and families and men as well.

I’m very proud of the work that we have done. Pretty soon, and we’ll be observing it, our 100 days in office will be coming up.

You have to remember, in the first few weeks of that, we were in the midst of a government shutdown. Even with that, I’m very proud of the record that we have had For The People on the initiatives that we said we were going to work on that we have done. We’ve either introduced, launched – launched, introduced, had hearings, written up bills in committee, passed some on the Floor and the beat goes on.

But that’s another few days. Who knows what we’ll do between now and then.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

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Pelosi Floor Speech in Support of the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

I want to recognize and acknowledge the work of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee over the years in terms of ending violence against women.

We thank all of the survivors, victims and advocates who have shown generosity of spirit to tell their stories. Nothing is more eloquent or effective than the stories that show this is not a legislative fight or issues fight, it’s a personal fight about America’s families.

Again, we take an oath to protect the American people. Nearly 25 years ago, Congress honored that oath when we enacted the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act – united our communities and our country in a fight against domestic violence in America.

Today, we honor that oath once more, passing strong, bipartisan, long-term VAWA reauthorization that will save lives.

With this bill we’re reinforcing what we did 25 years ago, what we did in 2013. We’re making it stronger with the legislation today with lifesaving updates that reflect the voices of victims and survivors and the input of experts.

With this bill, we’re empowering law enforcement and making new investments in prevention. We’re improving lifesaving services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. We’re supporting survivors with protection against discrimination in the workplace and supporting their financial security. We’re closing dangerous loopholes in our laws that, right now, allow those who have been convicted of stalking or dating violence to obtain firearms.

These are commonsense reforms that will save lives and that no one should object to.

We’re strengthening protections for Native American women because every woman, everywhere has the right to live free from abuse. We thank the Indian country and Native American women for their input on this.

This bill has historically been bipartisan. We urge all Members to join us in a strong bipartisan vote for this bill, which honors our oath and upholds our values and saves lives.

More at the link.

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Pelosi Statement on Filing of House Lawsuit to Block the President’s Transfer of Funds for His Ineffective, Wasteful Wall

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the House filed a lawsuit challenging the President’s decision to transfer funds from appropriated accounts for his border wall, in violation of Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 – the Appropriations Clause – of the Constitution:

“Today, the House is taking action once more to uphold the Constitution from the President’s brazen assault, and to defend our Democracy.

“The President’s decision to contravene the will of the bipartisan, bicameral Congress after being denied the funds he demanded for his sham emergency stands in stark, unequivocal violation of the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause. The Constitution’s express statement of Congress’s ‘exclusive power over the federal purse,’ according to the courts, is both ‘a bulwark of the Constitution’s separation of powers among the three branches of the National Government,’ and ‘particularly important as a restraint on Executive Branch officers.’ As the complaint notes, ‘Even the monarchs of England long ago lost the power to raise and spend money without the approval of Parliament.’

“The Congress has a solemn responsibility to defend its exclusive constitutional responsibilities, and protect our system of checks and balances. The very integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. We will not let the President trample over the Constitution.”

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  5 comments for “Fighting Back: “We’re at our best as a nation when we look out for each other”

  1. JanF
    April 6, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Speaker Pelosi’s comment on Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal asking the IRS for Donald J. Trump’s tax returns:

    Q: On the President’s tax returns, Chairman Neal has said that this is a matter of policy, not politics.

    Speaker Pelosi. That’s right.

    Q: What is the legislative purpose to having the President’s tax returns? What law could you pass that you can’t act on now?

    Speaker Pelosi. The law is very clear. The law says, and I’ll read it to you, the law says that, ‘Upon written request from the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means or the Chairman of the Finance or the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation’ that would be either one of those other two, but anyway – ‘the Secretary shall furnish’ – ‘shall,’ not may, should, could – ‘shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.’ And that is what he’s talking about.

    Now, he takes it further. He has been very thoughtful in this. And yesterday, when he informed me that he was making – that it was going to imminently be in the press – this is a policy matter.

    The President and the Vice President are audited. That’s what happens, that audit. Congress has an oversight responsibility to see that that is happening, if it has happened and how it has happened, and that’s the policy aspect of this. […]

    Q: Is there any reason – do you genuinely think that you guys will eventually get the tax returns of the President?

    Speaker Pelosi. Well, let me say a couple of things about this. The U.S. Tax Code, Section 6103 – remember those numbers, 6103 – provides Congress the legal authority to get the tax returns. The IRS manual requires – the IRS manual requires – requires – an audit of the President, and Congress has the duty to ensure that it has been done and done properly. We also need to determine whether Congress should require, by statute, the IRS to do such an audit and the scope of any audit.

    Ways and Means requests under Section 6103 – Ways and Means requests under 6103 have never been denied. Have never been denied. Ways and Means has invoked the authority in the normal course of its oversight of tax administration many times before.

    Go get ’em, House Democrats!

    • April 7, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Thank you for the inspiring “Fighting Back” post, Jan! That young man from Texas is impressive. And Pelosi—well, what can I say but that I wish Trumpence would fall so we could have President Pelosi? It has a nice ring to it.

  2. JanF
    April 6, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Our 2020s were at the National Action Network convention in New York yesterday:

    Kamala Harris:

    Elizabeth Warren:

  3. JanF
    April 6, 2019 at 7:13 pm

  4. JanF
    April 8, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Nancy Pelosi to receive prestigious award:

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