Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Representing the 8th District of New York

Jeffries Blasts GOP Vote To Repeal Obamacare As Futile Legislative Fantasy

May 16, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON- Today, in remarks made on the House Floor, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) criticized House Republicans for forcing a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 37th time since the landmark legislation was signed into law.  

The Affordable Care Act, passed in March 2010, was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in June 2012.

Rep. Jeffries noted that the repeal efforts have cost the American people more than 50 million dollars, with no chance of success.  Meanwhile, important issues such as replacement of the sequester, a Jobs bill designed to put Americans back to work and negotiation of a budget between the House and Senate languish due to GOP inaction.

Video of Rep. Jeffries’ floor statement can be viewed by clicking here: Rep. Jeffries Criticizes House GOP On 37th Attempt To Repeal The Affordable Care Act.  His remarks are below:

“Thank you, Madam Speaker.  Later on this afternoon the house will vote for the 37th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives has already been on record saying that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.  It’s just not clear to me why we are wasting the time and the treasure of the American people on another futile legislative fantasy.  In fact, a legislative fantasy has cost the American people more than $50 million.  And if in fact the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed, it would do even more damage as independent economists have estimated that repeal would add to the federal deficit by more than $100 billion.  Now, it's often been said that the classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, but somehow expecting a different result.  Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.  The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010.  The Supreme Court, with the Chief Justice voting in the majority, upheld that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional in 2012.  And a few months later, President Barack Obama was re-elected in an Electoral College landslide.  Yet later on this afternoon we are voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 37th time.  Over and over and over again.  It’s the classic definition of legislative insanity.  As if the 37th vote is going to be any different, yield any different results than the previous 36 where we’ve wasted the taxpayer dollars of the American people.  The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that's a good thing.  It’s a good thing because over the next decade more than 30 million Americans who otherwise would not have had health care insurance would be insured.  It seems to me that is a good thing.  The Affordable Care Act makes sure that insurance companies cannot deny medical coverage for pre-existing conditions.  It seems to me that that's a good thing. The Affordable Care Act provides small businesses with a 35% tax credit, which will enable these small businesses to continue to grow and flourish.  It seems to me that that's a good thing.  The Affordable Care Act allows young Americans who are just starting out to remain on the insurance plan of their parents until the age of 26, giving them a real chance to get themselves started in their pursuit of the American Dream.  I’m new, but it seems to me that that's a good thing. Later on this afternoon, for the 37th time, we are engaging in another futile legislative fantasy.  There are a couple other things we could be doing.  We could be dealing with the sequester, $85 billion in random cuts.  That are costing the economy more than 500,000 jobs, but we're not.  We could be debating the American Jobs Act, trying to put the people of this great country back to work and simulate the economy.  But we're not.  We could be trying to get a budget, go to conference, and create some certainty for industry and the American people.  But we're not.  Madam Speaker, I’m hopeful that after this vote is taken we can finally come to the reality that the affordable care act is the law of the land, it's good for the American people, and we should get back to doing things that will advance prosperity in this great country.  I yield back the balance of my time.”

 

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