United States Senate, Democratic Party JUST IN: Democratic Senator: Seating Amy Coney Barrett a "craven abuse of power"
Instead, what’s happening in the senate is an obscene power grab by my republican colleagues to bypass democracy and force the least popular most extreme views of their party onto the american people, with no regard for the life and death consequences of their actions. To my friends in the majority you had a decade to create an alternative to the affordable care act. You still have no viable plan and after refueling failing to repeal it in 2017 and suffering an unprecedented electoral rebuke in 2018 you’re relying on the supreme court to do your dirty work, oral arguments in california versus texas. The legal challenge bought by republican led states with the trump administration’s support are on the court’s docket november 10th. You know full well that a six to three conservative majority in the supreme court is likely to overturn it or maybe just got the aca so deeply. It will effectively be dead as if that’s, somehow any better. At least 20 million people are at risk of losing their health care coverage and 135 million may lose protections for pre existing conditions. The fact that you are even willing to roll the dice with their health care in the middle of a global pandemic that has already affected more than 8 million americans and killed over 224 thousand of your countrymen is reckless and cruel. Don’T. You see you’re playing with fire and you don’t seem to care that hundreds of millions of americans, americans you represent, are going to get burned it’s, not as if you are in hearing from people in your states who fear a future without access to health care.
It’S that you’re not listening yesterday, i spent some time with new jerseyans for whom the affordable care act. In their words, not mine, is a matter of life or death for several of them, going without quality health care coverage is, in their words, a death sentence. I wonder how many of you would have the courage to listen to their stories. Look them in the eye and tell them you have no plan to protect their care. I suspect not many so i’m going to share just a few of their stories. Stephanie vagario is a 31 year old, essential worker, a pharma, a pharmacy technician from newark new jersey who caught covet 19.. She spent two months two months fighting for her life in a hospital including 30 35 days on a ventilator by the grace of god. She survived for her. Life may never be the same, even after all, the intensive rehabilitation she went through she’s still working on her recovery, and there are hundreds of thousands of covet 19 survivors like her grappling with the long term health consequences of a disease we don’t. Yet fully understand organ tissue damage, weakness and fatigue, chronic shortness of breath. These americans now have a pre existing condition and without the affordable care act, health insurance companies could once again begin pricing them out of coverage or denying it all together. I also had the privilege of speaking with scott chesney verona, new jersey, scott is a married father of two who, at the tender age of 15, was paralyzed from the waist down.
He faces a lifetime of expensive medical needs. To quote him aging with a disability, a pre existing condition is tough. Your body breaks down. Thankfully, my wife has health insurance, because if i don’t get the medications and therapy i need i don’t live, but without the affordable care act, scott would likely face annual caps and lifetime limits on his health care. Paying out of pocket for his care would likely lead to medical bankruptcy and that burden weighs heavily on him every day, as he thinks of his wife and children’s future, as well as his own. Finally, i want to share the story of daria caldwell of flemington new jersey, because her situation really speaks to the challenges that so many of our constituents across the nation are going through right now, daria lost her job and her health insurance as a result of the Economic fallout of this pandemic – and this happened at the very time she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable type of blood. Cancer. Daria is 62 years old, she’s, not old enough to enroll the medicare she’s paying for cobra right now, but it will soon run out and she will need to find new coverage before the affordable care act. Someone like daria with expensive pre existing conditions would basically be blacklisted from the individual health insurance market. An insurer would take one look at her medical history and the fact that some of her cancer drugs, like revlimid, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, and they would simply turn her away.
She said quote: dissolving the affordable care act would cost me my life. That sounds dramatic. She said because it is, i don’t want to die, but i feel like a price tag has been put in my head and the constant threat is beyond anything. I thought i would ever have to endure it’s nearly as devastating as the diagnosis itself. She said now i’m, not telling this body these stories just to pull your heartstrings, though, believe me listening to these men and women, as i did yesterday, moved me beyond tears. I’M. Sharing their stories, their incredibly personal struggles, to remind my colleagues on both sides of the outlet to the american people. This is not ideological. This is not abstract, it is personal. These are matters of life and death. Of course, the affordable care act isn’t. The only issue at stake here, the very reason we are here considering a supreme court nominee in the final days of a presidential election, is, i believe, because my republican colleagues fear the will of the american people. The number of americans who support the most far right positions of the republican party is shrinking and so stacking. The supreme court is their only path to advancing their unpopular agenda and they know it. They know that most americans – nearly 80 percent according to the last decade of gallup polling, oppose criminalizing abortion. The overwhelming majority believe in the right of a woman to decide when she has children – and they know it is none of the government’s damn business.
They know that most americans support action on climate change and limits on how much poisonous pollutants companies can pump into the air. They know that most americans, including responsible gun owners, support life, saving background checks and tougher gun safety laws, and they know that most americans believe that their lgbtq sons and daughters and friends and neighbors should be able to marry the people they love and live their lives. Free of discrimination, my colleagues seem to have forgotten that as elected representatives of the american people, they are supposed to reflect the will of the american people and guess what the will of the people changes. This isn’t the 1950s anymore, but rather than adjust your sales to the winds of change, rather than meet the american people where they are on issues of life and death, you would instead prefer to sink the whole ship. Now. Those are my colleagues who know me know. I try to see the best of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. I really do i pride myself on my working relationships with so many of you and some of you, i even consider, dear friends, but i was stunned just stunned by the hypocrisy. Where are your principles when you blocked mary godlin’s nomination, you didn’t say it was because president obama was a democrat and the senate was held by republicans. You said very clearly at the time it was because a supreme court vacancy should not not be filled during a presidential election year.
You said the american people should have a voice now it’s. Clearly you don’t even believe the words you were saying at that time. You were determined to deprive a democratically elected two term, president of his constitutional prerogative, in order to fundamentally alter the make up of the supreme court. You did it in order to tip the scales of justice against women workers, voters, lgbtq, americans, patients, consumers and immigrants for generations to come and judge. Barrett is the culmination of a 30 year fever dreamed up and cooked up by the federalist society and its corporate benefactors. Now they’ll finally have enough justices to do their bidding, and the american people are the ones who will have to deal with the real world consequences of the shameless hypocrisy. We have to remember what this is all about. This is about the right of an lgbtq american to be by the bedside of their loved one as they take their last breath. This is about the ability of a rape or incest survivor to terminate an unwanted pregnancy without government intrusion. This is about the ability of a cancer patient to afford her treatment and a baby with a heart defect to get treated without hitting a lifetime limit within weeks of being born so i’m, urging you no i’m pleading with you to think long and hard about the Consequences of your actions for both the american future and for the future comedy of this body. You have twisted and distorted every rule and broken every norm to get your way just because you currently have the power to do so.
That does not make it right. You’Re poisoning the well of the senate and flooding our nation with bad blood and you’ve revealed yourselves to be so fearful of the democratic will of the american people that you confirm a justice to the supreme court, whose views are far outside the mainstream. Just days before the conclusion of the presidential election, i urge you not to go through with this vote. This is a craven abuse of power that will ultimately inflict great harm on the american people. History, history is not going to forget it and i think, someday, probably sooner than you would think you’re likely to regret it that.