Fighting Back

Fighting Back: “Democrats will continue to protect your access to affordable health care.”

 
 

Last week House Democrats unveiled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, #ForThePeople legislation to build on the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs. It will be brought to a vote on Monday.

(House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with freshmen and veteran lawmakers, unveiled a new proposal to lower the cost of health care. The speaker intends to put the bill on the House floor, arguing the legislation is a priority during the coronavirus pandemic. She also criticized Republicans and the White House for filing legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to put an end to the Affordable Care Act. “It was wrong any time. Now, it’s beyond stupid. Beyond stupid.” )

Speaker Pelosi:

“I always like to quote Mr. Clyburn, who always likes to quote Martin Luther King, who said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane because it also often results in physical death.’ Well, that is true, generally speaking. It is also true at the center of this pandemic, where there is a disproportionate number of deaths in communities of color because of inequality of access to health care. So, that is what we are here to talk about.

From our Freshman Class we have here Lauren Underwood, Colin Allred, Andy Kim, Angie Craig, who, from day one have taken the lead on this and in terms of asserting Congress’s right to fight in court against the President*’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, repeal of the pre-existing benefits condition, the repeal of [health care opportunities] for people.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that the halls of Congress should reflect our highest ideals as Americans.”

 
 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of portraits of the former House Speakers who were members of the Confederacy stating “there is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”

There is room in the halls of Congress for celebrating #BlackJoy, brought to you by Senator Kamala Harris of California in her Juneteenth tweet:

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Speaker Pelosi’s letter:

Dear Madam Clerk,

Tomorrow, Americans will mark Juneteenth, a beautiful and proud celebration of freedom for African Americans. Very sadly, this day comes during a moment of extraordinary national anguish, as we grieve for the hundreds of Black Americans killed by racial injustice and police brutality, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others.

To appropriately observe Juneteenth this year, I write today to request the immediate removal of the portraits in the U.S. Capitol of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy: Robert Hunter of Virginia (1839-1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).

As I have said before, the halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy. We cannot honor men such as James Orr, who swore on the House Floor to “preserve and perpetuate” slavery in order to “enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,” or Robert Hunter, who served at nearly every level of the Confederacy, including in the Confederate Provincial Congress, as Confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the Confederate Army. The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry.

Our Congressional community has the sacred opportunity and obligation to make meaningful change to ensure that the halls of Congress reflect our highest ideals as Americans. Let us lead by example.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.

best regards,
NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House

CC: The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, Chairperson, Committee on House Administration

You can watch the removal here.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address is below the fold.

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Fighting Back: “We have an opportunity to reimagine public safety so that it is just and equitable for all Americans.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Karen Bass of California, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, discussing the Justice in Policing Act which seeks to reimagine public safety.

(In this week’s address, Chair Karen Bass of the Congressional Black Caucus discussed Congressional Democrats’ newly unveiled legislation, the Justice in Policing Act, which advances key steps to achieve transformational, structural change to end police brutality in America.)

“When society does not invest in communities, police officers are left to pick up the pieces. Police officers are the first to say it is unfair, that they are not trained to be social workers or health providers.

“Homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse are health and economic problems. The Justice in Policing Act reinvests in our communities and empowers them to shape the future of public safety through grants to community-based organizations to develop innovative solutions.

“We all want to be safe in our communities. We all want the police to come to our rescue when we are in trouble. We all want to support the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us. And, when we interact with police, we all want and expect to be treated with respect, not suspicion – and we should not be in fear of our life when interacting with officers.

“We are here to answer the calls of thousands who are marching.

“Today is an opportunity. An opportunity to reimagine public safety so that it is just and equitable for all Americans.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “We must reform the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Doug Jones of Alabama weighing in on the need for change to achieve social justice.

(As Americans peacefully protest across our nation against racial injustice, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address. Senator Jones begins by connecting today’s protests to the protests in Alabama nearly 60 years ago that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. Senator Jones closes by asking Americans to join him in listening and learning so that we can become a stronger and more just society.)

“I spoke Sunday afternoon at a rally for justice at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham – where 57 years ago, in the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Police turned fire hoses and vicious dogs on peaceful demonstrators – many of them schoolchildren – who were making a stand for equal rights and importantly a stand for dignity. The scenes from Birmingham at that time – and around the world – made it clear that the inequity in our society could no longer be ignored. Sadly, the legislative changes that came from that movement have been eroded over the years in far too many ways.

“There is a clear and direct path from the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls died in a bomb blast to the death of George Floyd, just a week or so ago – and centuries of injustice that preceded both. […]

“The test we all face today is not only in changing our laws. We must commit ourselves to personal and systemic change. Can we see the dignity and the humanity of those who in some way are not like us? Can we have hope for others and work for their success? We must pass this test together. And we must maintain as a sense of urgency at reforming the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “Democrats want to SAFELY reopen the economy using science and data.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey talking about the failures of the Trump “Administration” and the need for testing and tracing to allow for safely reopening the economy in the midst of this pandemic.

(Chairman Frank Pallone of the Energy and Commerce Committee discussed the Trump Administration’s continued coronavirus testing failures and the strong testing strategy in The Heroes Act. )

“This national emergency requires every aspect of government to work together. We must reduce the spread of the virus so we can confidently begin to reopen our economy and get more than 40 million Americans, who’ve lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic, back to work.

“And the only way we can do that is through a coordinated national strategy: a strategy that significantly boosts testing and invests resources into contact tracing, surveillance and containment. We simply cannot fight this pandemic if we don’t know who has it and where it is being spread. And that requires a national strategy and response.

“Unfortunately, President Trump and his Administration have failed to provide the consistent and stable leadership that is necessary to guard our nation through this public health and economic crisis. Instead of showing leadership, competence and vision, the Trump Administration is shirking all responsibility and is instead forcing states to find their own way out of this pandemic. […]

“This cannot continue. With more than 100,000 Americans dead, we must collectively find solutions, like The Heroes Act, that will help us finally stop the spread of this virus. It is the only way we will be able to protect the American people, and safely and confidently reopen our communities.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “Democrats will continue fighting for families, workers and small businesses.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) discussing the Heroes Act and the need to help local governments including tribal governments who are particularly hard hit by the disastrous incompetence of the Trump Administration.

(Congresswoman Deb Haaland of New Mexico delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congresswoman discussed H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, urgently-needed legislation to address the unprecedented coronavirus health and economic crisis.)

The Trump Administration’s failed response to this coronavirus emergency has caused heartbreak and economic stress for families across our country and have laid bare the disparities that already exist in so many communities.

In particular, Indian Country has been hit very hard by this pandemic. Imagine getting sick and having to drive three hours just to see a doctor or to get to a phone. Imagine not having running water or electricity or public transportation.[…]

The Heroes Act provides economic stability, so we can begin the long road to economic recovery: $1,200 direct payments; hazard pay for essential workers; investments in broadband to help close the homework gap for kids; small business loans and grants that will reach underserved communities; and funds for testing, tracing and treatment of this virus.

We know state and local governments are stretched thin. That’s why we worked hard to include flexible funding so firefighters can stay on the job, police officers won’t get furloughed and the services that cities provide will remain intact. […]

The Heroes Act will also help address many of the disparities in Indian Country by providing $20 billion for Tribal governments, addressing Tribal business concerns on the Paycheck Protection Program loans and boosting funds for many Indian Health Service programs, including Urban Indian Health Centers.

When I vote for The Heroes Act, I will vote for all of our families and all our essential workers.

Note: The Heroes Act passed on Friday, May 15th in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will be sent to Senator Mitch McConnell, the self-identified “Grim Reaper”, where he will do what he does best – set the bill aside and ignore the needs of the American people in service to his donors and his sociopathic president.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “We must connect all Americans to affordable broadband internet.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina discussing the digital divide and Democratic plans to connect all Americans to affordable broadband internet.

(In this week’s address, the House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Chair of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis and Chair of the House Democratic Rural Broadband Task Force discussed the urgent need, in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, to connect all Americans to affordable broadband internet.)

“Just as the Great Depression made clear to many that electricity was the ‘next greatest thing’ in the 20th century, the coronavirus pandemic is making clear to all that broadband is the ‘next greatest thing’ for many in the 21st century.

We call for investing $80 billion to deploy a secure and resilient broadband infrastructure to expand access for communities nationwide, connecting unserved and underserved rural, suburban and urban areas across the country, while prioritizing persistent poverty communities.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “Democrats will continue to use truth as our guide.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) reminding everyone that Democrats rely on science and data to guide our policies.

(Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, discussed the urgent need for widespread testing, data on impact in communities of color and equipment for health care workers and first responders.)

“Before we move forward, we must get to the truth. The truth is that the response to this pandemic has not been as stellar as the President keeps repeating. The truth is there is much more we need to fix now to get it right.

“If we are to succeed in this crisis and work together, we must use the truth as our guide. While we have hard days ahead, we must rely on science and data and follow the directions of the health experts and doctors.

“What we do in the coming weeks will be key to our recovery. You can be sure that House Democrats will continue to use the truth, as we put workers and families first.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “Democrats are working to make sure that the CARES Act provides help for all businesses, not just the well-connected.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland discussing plans to insure that under-served people and communities have access to the CARES small business loans.

(“In order for our small businesses to survive, Congress must find a way to work in a bipartisan fashion to enact solutions that serve everyone, especially those most in need due to this public health crisis we are facing.”)

Congress will have to provide additional funding in the future, there are other vital SBA relief programs that have ALREADY exhausted their funding, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and the EIDL grant program.

Adding money only to the Paycheck Protection Program, as the Trump administration requested, will not help those still waiting to apply for urgently needed economic disaster loans and grants. Senate Democrats are working to add funds to those programs now, as well as the Paycheck Protection Program.

Our proposal would reserve $60 billion for financial institutions with strong relationships in under-served and rural communities, including community banks, credit unions and microlenders, to ensure that small businesses in every community have an opportunity to secure the economic relief they need.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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Fighting Back: “House Democrats will lead the way by putting Workers and Families First.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York discussing additional help needed for workers and families during the pandemic.

(Chairwoman Nita Lowey of the Appropriations Committee discussed House Democrats’ efforts to support our frontline health care providers and invest in struggling workers and families, in addition to progress on new legislation to foster a strong recovery for every American community in response to the coronavirus.)

As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I helped shepherd three coronavirus response bills through Congress.

While these efforts have made funds available to address the health crisis and helped cushion the economic blow, they are not enough.

Right now, House Democrats are writing legislation to further support workers and foster a strong recovery. We must help states and cities on the front lines of the crisis to provide essential services, including education, even as tax revenue dries up. And we can build a more resilient economy with robust investments in smart, safe infrastructure, including bringing clean water and the promise of high-speed broadband to every American community.

House Democrats will lead the way by putting Workers and Families First.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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