I must say, in Washington today it feels like it is 2004 all over again. With dizzying speed, the Republican Party is already abandoning all campaign promises to the American public, and is once again serving the interests of their corporate donors.
I just left the House Floor, where the Republican majority has voted against a Democratic effort to require Representatives to reveal if they are accepting health insurance as a Member of Congress.
In the coming days, the Republican majority will vote to take valuable healthcare protections from millions of Americans and add $1.2 trillion to our nation’s deficit.
In asking Americans to sacrifice health care benefits, the Republican majority surely will not go without sacrifice themselves. Yet today’s vote ensures they can. By voting down the proposed amendment to House Resolution 5, they will be free to accept health care while taking benefits from you, and they won’t have to tell you if they do.
While they receive full and comprehensive health care benefits, the Republicans will be repealing the Affordable Care Act to return us to a world like this:
• Over 1.2 million young adults under the age of 26 lack access to health insurance through their parents’ health plans.
• More than 165 million residents face lifetime limits on their healthcare insurance.
• Insurance companies are allowed cut off someone’s coverage unexpectedly because of a simple mistake on an application.
• Insurance companies are free to spend unlimited premium dollars on CEO salaries, bonuses, and corporate profits.
• Instead of receiving free preventative services, seniors who have Medicare coverage or new insurance plans are forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
• Healthcare costs continue to bankrupt America. Without the Affordable Care Act, an additional $1.2 trillion is added to our nation’s deficit over the next 20 years.
Their broken promises don’t end with healthcare. It seems that Republicans can’t keep any promise they make to the American people.
• In this fall’s Pledge to America, Republican leaders promised to “roll back government spending” by “at least $100 billion in the first year alone”. Yesterday, the Republican majority said their promise to cut $100 billion was “hypothetical”.
• As part of the Republican majority’s pledge to give more power and accountability to committees, the Republicans promised to post committee attendance online. Yesterday, they decided not to do so.
• Finally, the Republican majority has been particularly proud of their pledge to provide 72 hours to read all bills before there is a vote. They are so committed to this process that they have exempted all bills presented to the Rules Committee. As a former Chairwoman, and current Ranking Member of the Rules Committee, I will tell you that vital legislation comes before the committee every year. To exempt the Rules Committee is to render their promise moot. (Read more about the new Republican rules here).
These hypocritical, underhanded and dangerous tactics of the Republican Party will come for the next two years. Let the Republican majority be on notice- we will not be quiet. We will fight tooth and nail to protect the rights and protections we have provided to the American people over the last 4 years.