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Congresswoman McCollum Gaveled Down During House Pro Forma Session; GOP Continues to Burden America’s Middle Class

October 19, 2012
Press Release

For Immediate Release:  October 19, 2012                                        
Contact:  Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

Washington, DC – This week, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) returned to Capitol Hill to stand up to House GOP leadership’s destructive legislative agenda, which protects America’s wealthiest 1 percent.  Throughout the 112th Congress, House Speaker John Boehner and Congressional Republicans have failed to get the job done. 

“I just got shelved like a binder,” said Congresswoman McCollum, after failing to be recognized to speak on the House floor.  She was going to encourage Congress to return to work and address critical issues, including reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

In the 112th Congress, the House GOP has spearheaded legislation undermining the rights and health care of women, seniors, and children.  These include:

  • Allowing employers and insurance companies to deny women contraceptives and other health care coverage on the basis of a vague “moral conviction.”  (H.R. 1179)
  • Voting to eliminate funding for Title X Family Planning.  (H.R. 1, 2011 Vote #147, 2/19/11)     
  • Voting to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, while threatening to shut down the entire government.  (Pence Amendment to H.R 1, 2011 Vote #93, 2/18/11, H.Con.Res. 36, Vote #271, 4/14/11)
  • Voting to deny hundreds of thousands of women critical cancer screenings.  (H.R. 4628, 2012 Vote #195, 4/27/12; H.R. 5652, 2012 Vote #247, 5/10/12)
  • Voting multiple times to once again allow insurance companies to treat being a woman as a pre-existing condition.  (H.R. 2, 2011 Vote #14, 1/19/11; H.R. 6079, 2012 Vote #460, 7/11/12)
  • Voting to roll back Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protections for domestic violence victims.  (H.R. 4970, 2012 Vote #258, 5/16/12)
  • Voting to block consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act.  (2012 Vote #297, 5/31/12, PQ vote)
  • Voting six times to end the Medicare guarantee, which would disproportionately hurt older women.  (2011 Vote #277, 2011 Vote #382, 2011 Vote #606, 2012 Vote #151, 2012 Vote #156, 2012 Vote #200)
  • Voting in 2011 and 2012 to slash Medicaid by one-third over 10 years, which would be a devastating blow to the health care needs of millions of women and their children.  (H.Con.Res. 34, 2011 Vote #277, 4/15/11; H.Con.Res. 112, 2012 Vote #151, 3/29/12)
  • Voting to slash critical nutrition initiatives for pregnant women and their children.  (H.R. 1, 2011 Vote #147, 2/19/11)
  • Voting to remove women’s access to full range of health care services and allow hospitals to refuse emergency care to women in certain situations.  (H.R. 358, 2011 Vote #789, 10/13/11)
  • Voting to deny tax credits for health coverage as a way to restrict women’s access to full range of health care services.  (H.R. 3, 2011 Vote #292, 5/4/11)
  • Voting to deny the women in the District of Columbia their constitutional rights jeopardizing their health.  (H.R. 3803, 2012 Vote #539, 7/31/12)

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Participates in House GOP’s Destructive Agenda

During the 111th Congress, Congressman Ryan votes against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Only three Republicans supported the bill.

During the 112th Congress, Congressman Ryan is an original cosponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3), which initially redefined rape as “forcible rape”.

House GOP Leadership Continues to Do Nothing

House Republican leadership has already left Capitol Hill – the earliest adjournment date in a generation – without addressing our nation’s most pressing issues, including:

  • A Jobs Agenda: Republicans have been in control of the House for over 600 days and still don’t have a plan to get Americans back to work. They’ve consistently ignored efforts by the President and Democrats in Congress – like the American Jobs Act – that would create jobs and help grow the economy for everyone. Instead, they’ve focused on an extreme partisan agenda, voting to weaken laws that protect the environment and American families from abusive business practices, and fighting to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and companies that ship U.S. jobs overseas.
  • Middle Class Tax Cut: House Republicans continue to hold tax cuts for middle class Americans hostage as a bargaining chip so that the very wealthiest Americans don’t have to pay their fair share.
  • Deficit Reduction / Sequestration: Each day that Congress is not in session, our economy moves closer to the fiscal cliff. If Republicans were serious about deficit reduction, they would join us to pass a bipartisan balanced deficit reduction package, instead of walking away from the table time and time again.
  • Farm Bill: In June, Senate Republicans and Democrats joined to pass a bipartisan long-term farm bill. Since then, the bill has languished as Republican Leadership in the House has held it hostage for their partisan agenda. With the country still struggling under the largest draught in 50 years, it’s long past time for Congress to provide farmers with the certainty and relief they need.
  • Medicare Payments for Doctors: If Congress doesn’t act soon to prevent a steep cut in Medicare payments to doctors, seniors across the country could see their options for quality healthcare decrease.
  • Violence Against Women Act: While the Senate passed a bipartisan extension of the successful Violence Against Women Act, House Republicans have tried to gut the protection in the law, refusing to put the Senate bill up for a vote.
  • Post Office Reform: By refusing to address the postal reforms necessary to keep our postal system operating smoothly, Republican inaction contributed to the first U.S. Post Office default in history.
  • Relief for Underwater Homeowners: The GOP continues to be more concerned about giving Big Banks and Wall Street free reign to engage in the types of practices that got us into this mess than it does in helping underwater homeowners on Main St.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations
and Budget Committees.