For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2019
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Sunday marked 200 days of a Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives, and in that time, Democrats have made significant progress on behalf of the American people. Democrats have spent the past 200 days advancing our For the People agenda: taking action to lower health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, raise wages, and clean up corruption. Take a look at how Democrats have made progress For the People:
LOWERING HEALTH CARE COSTS AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICESSince day one of the Majority, House Democrats have taken action to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug prices, and fight against Republican efforts to undermine our health care systems.
On the first day of the 116th Congress, Democrats voted to authorize the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. In April, the House voted on a resolution to condemn the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the ACA.
In addition, the House has sent to the Senate 10 bills to protect and expand access to coverage and address the cost of prescription drugs:
- H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act: This bill protects coverage for 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions by revoking the Trump Administration’s guidance on Section 1332 of the ACA, which encourages states to allow junk insurance plans that do not provide Americans with the coverage they need
- H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act: This legislation packaged seven bills together. Four of the bills protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and provide funding for outreach and enrollment efforts to encourage Americans to sign up for health coverage. The remaining three bills aim to lower prescription drug prices by bringing generic drugs to market more quickly.
- H.R. 1520, the Purple Book Continuity Act, and H.R. 1503, the Orange Book Transparency Act: These two bills will help to lower prescription drug prices by amending what information must be included in the Orange and Purple Books at the FDA, which generics and biosimilars manufacturers use when they are considering where to invest their research and development dollars.
Earlier this month, House Democrats passed the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that will gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the legislation will provide up to 33 million workers a pay raise. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the bill will lift 1.3 million of American out of poverty, including 600,000 children, and provide over 23 million women with a raise.
In March, House Democrats passed the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the gender wage gap and ensure equal pay for equal work. On average, women in America still only make 80 cents for every dollar earned by her white male equivalent, and that wage gap is even worse for women of color. The Paycheck Fairness Act aims to end gender-based wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that closing the wage gap would halve the poverty rates for working women and single mothers.
In addition, legislation passed by House Democrats to fund the government will help rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, creating good jobs that pay well. Although the President walked away from negotiations on a robust infrastructure package, House Democrats also remain committed to investing in new roads, bridges, mass transit, ports, airports, schools, water systems, energy grids and broadband. Multiple committees have held hearings on the need to invest in building a 21st century infrastructure, including Transportation and Infrastructure, Ways and Means, Small Business, and Energy and Commerce.
House committees have held other hearings focused on expanding economy opportunity, including hearings that have examined:
- How middle-class families are faring in today’s economy;
- Workforce development and apprenticeships;
- The GOP tax law and who it left behind;
- Retirement security;
- Workers’ rights and protections;
- Affordable housing;
- Consumer financial protections;
- Higher education and college affordability;
- Rural economies;
- Advanced manufacturing;
- Paid family leave; and
CLEANING UP CORRUPTIONHouse Democrats are committed to cleaning up corruption in Washington and safeguarding our democracy. One of the first major pieces of legislation passed by House Democrats was H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which is comprehensive government reform legislation to restore the American people’s faith in our democracy.
- Makes it easier for Americans to exercise their right to vote;
- Reforms our campaign finance system, ensuring complete transparency and putting in place reasonable limits;
- Puts in place national redistricting reform; and
- Strengthens government ethics to ensure public officials are accountable and put the public first.
House committees continue to work on additional legislation to strengthen election security and stop continued efforts by foreign entities to subvert our democracy.
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