MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
On Monday I gave a speech, hosted by Third Way, on the need to continue to work to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path. I talked about several items Congress can take action on this year to make progress toward this goal; you can find a full video of my speech here.
On Thursday, the House passed a short-term fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors, but I believe Congress should take action on a responsible, bipartisan, permanent fix. Additionally, the House voted on Thursday on a bill that demonstrates our strong support for Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity and to penalize Russia’s aggressive actions.
While I’m pleased the House acted in support of the people of Ukraine, there are several important pieces of legislation that Congress should address immediately, including comprehensive immigration reform. This week, I was proud to join with more than 170 of my Democratic colleagues in signing a petition that would force a vote on H.R. 15, a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill that would reduce the deficit by $900 billion over the next two decades. Acting on comprehensive immigration reform is not only the morally right thing to do; it also benefits our economy. I hope House Republicans will join Democrats in signing the petition so this important issue can be brought to the House Floor for a vote immediately.
Yesterday, we learned that more than 6 million Americans have now signed up for private health insurance through the federal and state marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act is already benefitting millions due to its patient protections and benefits, including ensuring Americans cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition and eliminating lifetime limits on coverage. The open enrollment period closes this Monday, March 31, and I encourage you to go to www.healthcare.gov today to find quality, affordable health care options for you and your family.
STENY H. HOYER
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DEMOCRATIC NEWS UPDATE