MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
Instead of taking action on critical issues, including renewing emergency unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, or passing comprehensive immigration reform, House Republicans chose to pursue partisanship over bipartisan solutions. Republicans’ obsession with repealing and or undermining the Affordable Care Act turned a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to permanently fix the Medicare physician payment formula into a partisan issue by attaching a poison pill provision that would undermine the Affordable Care Act. This bill will not advance in the Senate or reach the President’s desk and wasted time instead of seriously addressing this issue.
This week I joined over 190 Democrats in signing a petition that would force a vote in the House of Representatives on legislation to restore emergency unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans still searching for work. Every week that Congress fails to take action, an additional 72,000 Americans lose access to this critical program. I am pleased that this week, a bipartisan group of Senators reached an agreement yesterday to renew unemployment insurance for five months. I urge quick action on this issue in the Senate and the House so that we can help Americans struggling to find work as our economy continues to improve.
We learned this week that 4.2 million Americans have now enrolled in private health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces, and 943,000 people signed up for coverage in February alone. Open enrollment continues until March 31. The Affordable Care Act is helping millions of Americans: lifetime limits have been eliminated, no longer can Americans be denied care or dropped because of a pre-existing condition, and young people can be covered on their parents’ plan until age 26. It’s time for Republicans to drop their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act and work with Democrats to strengthen this law. When Congress returns at the end of March, I hope Republicans will pursue bipartisan solutions on the critical issues awaiting Congressional action instead of continued partisan messaging.
STENY H. HOYER
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