The Republican-Controlled House of Representatives’ Harmful Agenda:
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for a bill that would repeal Obamacare. Under this bill, 23 million fewer Americans could access quality, affordable health coverage. This attempt to repeal Obamacare punishes people for getting sick, for getting older, for having less income, for being female—all to hand a massive tax cut to the rich. It slashes Medicaid by nearly $1 trillion, guts protections for pre-existing conditions, and would cause premiums to skyrocket. Medical experts, health care providers, and leading health organizations all agree that this bill would be damaging for millions of Americans.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for a bill that would increase women’s health risks by making it more difficult to access a safe reproductive services. Taxpayer dollars already cannot fund abortions, but this would make it more likely that abortions would not be covered by Medicaid or private health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act, even if recommended by a doctor. This undermines a woman’s ability to make personal health care decisions and threatens her health and safety, particularly for low-income women and women of color.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for a bill that undermines womens’ rights to make their own health care decisions, restricts access to safe, legal health services, and is unconstitutional. The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and criminalize procedures performed after that benchmark. Nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks, but when they are needed later in pregnancy, it’s often because of very complex circumstances. This bill is a misguided attempt to interfere with a personal and complicated decision that should be made between a woman and her doctor.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to undermine the rights of people with disabilities and to make it harder to sue for discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides critical protections for people with disabilities and guarantees equal access to public accommodations. This bill would hinder a person’s right to file a lawsuit for violations of access to public places like restaurants and hotels. It would establish a waiting period for filing violations—violators would have 60 days to acknowledge written complaints and another 120 days to take action before the disabled person could file a suit. Currently, businesses have a legal obligation to make themselves accessible, but this waiting period would weaken incentives for businesses to comply with ADA requirements.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to cut taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations at the expense of the middle class. The final bill changes many deductions that middle-class families depend on, including the state and local tax deduction—an important provision for many suburban residents that used to effectively prevent double taxation. Instead of ensuring that the wealthy pay their fair share, this bill cuts the corporate tax rate permanently from 35 percent to 21 percent at a cost of nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years, and lines the pockets of hedge fund CEOs and real estate tycoons. By adding to the deficit, the legislation also puts middle-class priorities such as Medicare, Medicaid, education, and infrastructure at risk. Additionally, 13 million fewer Americans will have health coverage under this bill and premiums will skyrocket.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for a bill that would weaken the rights of hard-working Americans to earn overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week. It would allow employers to exchange overtime pay for a later promise of time off, but no guarantee that it could be taken when it’s needed. This gives a new right to employers to dictate compensation, with no new benefit for workers. The bill is disguised as a way to provide more flexibility for workers, when in reality it is an attack on their time, pay, and flexibility.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to allow internet providers to invade the privacy of every American and sell their information without consent. This removes privacy protections and allows providers to collect, share, and sell customer information to marketing companies, enabling big internet corporations to profit off of the private lives of Americans. It also removes requirements enforcing providers to ask internet users if they would like to share their browsing history on the web.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal common-sense standards requiring U.S. energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. These standards deter corrupt business practices and increase transparency for resource extraction companies operating overseas. Rolling back these standards makes it easier for companies to bribe foreign governments and harder to fight fraud, corruption, and abuse. Transparency is a fundamental part of democracy, and this repeal undermines a standard to expose corrupt businesses.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to remove consumer protections that protect against bank fraud and scams. H.J. Res. 111 would allow financial institutions to add fine print to contracts that prevent consumers from being able to bring forward class action lawsuits against them when they break the law—institutions like banks, credit card companies, and predatory lenders. These “ripoff clauses” force consumers to submit all disputes to an arbitrator paid by the company instead of getting their day in court. The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) passed standards to protect consumers against this language because these lawsuits can uncover larger systemic issues and provide compensation for affected consumers, ensuring that companies don’t repeat bad behavior. Voting to dismantle the consumer protections passed by the CFPB, is voting for big banks at the expense of hard-working Americans.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to prevent states from setting their own limits on payday-lender interest rates. This bill would make it easier for payday lenders and other nonbanks to ignore state interest rate caps and make high-rate loans. This could lead to more predatory behavior by lenders, and unaffordable loans, and damaging financial consequences for borrowers. These bad lenders trap borrowers in a cycle of unaffordable loan payments and debt that can take years to pay off with interest rates of 300 percent or higher. The impact is devastating for consumers and disproportionately impacts communities of color.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for “concealed carry reciprocity,” which weakens our gun laws and makes us less safe. Right now, states have the right to choose which other states’ concealed carry permits they recognize, which is important because the requirements vary drastically from state to state. But this bill forces each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state no matter how lenient their permitting standards are, forcing states with strong gun laws to comply with weak laws from other states. If this bill becomes law, dangerous people including convicted stalkers, violent criminals and people with no training or experience firing a gun could walk around with hidden guns in states where those people could not otherwise legally purchase them.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal a standard designed to keep guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental illness or who might pose a danger to themselves or others. Some social security recipients are incapacitated to the extent that they have someone else designated to receive their benefits on their behalf. This process strengthened our background check system by including these individuals—preventing them from buying guns. This is a step backward that rolls back a common-sense solution to keep communities safe.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to expand this administration’s deportation force by weakening hiring standards at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The bill eliminates polygraph tests for certain applicants—despite ongoing problems with abuse and corruption at CBP. In the past, these polygraphs have uncovered hundreds of admissions of criminal activity including drug smuggling, violent crime, and sexual abuse.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for an anti-immigrant bill that punishes cities with community trust policies and boosts the administration’s indiscriminate mass deportation plans. Stripping resources from local law enforcement endangers public safety and encourages racial profiling. It also deters victims or witnesses of crimes from coming forward and violates the rights of migrants, allowing detention without probable cause or basic due process protections.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for an anti-immigrant bill that would make it easier to indiscriminately deport immigrants, including those fleeing gang violence. The bill creates a new sweeping definition of the term “criminal gang” and would allow the administration to classify immigrants as gang members with little or no proof—subjecting them to harsh penalties or deportation and creating due process concerns
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to take a clear stand against this administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Paris represented the first time nearly every country in the world came together to make a commitment to combat climate change. This administration’s decision to withdraw from the agreement is a refusal to accept science, a renunciation of America’s global leadership, and a prioritization of extreme ideology over national and global interest.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to delay implementation of key air pollution standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act. Ground-level ozone—commonly known as smog—is a dangerous air pollutant that increases preventable health risks, especially for children, the elderly, and people with heart and lung disease. This will lead to more frequent asthma attacks, increased emergency rooms visits, and premature deaths. The Clean Air Act is responsible for cleaner air and healthier communities, and delaying standards and doubling the time between updating them from five to ten years is irresponsible.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal a standard designed to prevent companies from dumping mine waste into waterways. These practices destroy mountain streams, increase pollution and pose public health risks for thousands Americans living downstream from mining sites.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal standards requiring energy companies to limit waste and pollution. Efforts to increase detection and repair of leaks of methane and other dangerous air pollution from oil and gas wells, pipelines, and other infrastructure are common-sense, and these standards benefit the economy, the climate, and public health. If repealed, oil and gas companies would continue generating tons of avoidable pollution.