April 19, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congresswoman highlighted the incredible progress Democrats have made on the For The People Agenda in the first 100 days of the 116th Congress, including the passage of legislation addressing issues of democracy reform, domestic violence, background checks, equal pay, land conservation and more. Video and audio of the Weekly Democratic Address can be downloaded here.
Below is a full transcript of the address:
“Hello, I’m Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from the 12th District of Michigan – home of the auto industry and the University of Michigan – Go Blue!
“This week, the Administration released the Mueller Report. Congress’ oversight responsibilities matter, but while the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees continue their investigations, Democrats in the House are still focused on our work to deliver For The People.
“Our agenda – to lower prescription drug prices, to create sixteen million good-paying jobs through a real infrastructure plan and to make sure that our government is working – is what Americans expect from this Congress and it’s what they deserve.
“Every day, we have stayed focused on the issues that matter to working men and women, and are working hard to improve lives across this country.
“Democrats know that America is strongest when everyone has quality, affordable health care.
“I have spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices in the last year. Every time I go, I hear the very personal challenges faced by many. A mother terrified for her daughter if protections for pre-existing conditions are stripped away. Women who don’t get mammograms because they can’t afford the treatment if they are diagnosed. Seniors who are splitting pills in half and rationing their insulin. We have been working to help them.
“Democrats have done everything in our power to protect life-saving access to affordable health care coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions, our seniors and our most vulnerable.
“Families and seniors have also steadily seen the rise in prices of prescription drugs. First it was EpiPens, then insulin and now we are seeing increased costs for inhalers. One of the most common inhalers costs almost $700, and copays range from $80 to $400, with some having to pay the total price out-of-pocket. Imagine a family struggling to get by, with a child who must have that inhaler.
“We will keep working to make health care and prescription drugs cheaper and bring stability to our health care system with lower out-of-pocket costs.
“America is prosperous when everyone has an equal shot at success and the playing field is level.
“Government that works for everyone, not just those with the largest checkbooks, is the strongest democracy in the world.
“In the first 100 days, Democrats passed a once-in-a-generation democracy reform bill designed to return our government to hard-working Americans and ensure they have an equal voice at the table.
“We supported survivors of domestic abuse.
“We took common-sense actions to strengthen and expand background checks, so people with a violent history aren’t able to purchase dangerous weapons.
“We passed a bill to put more money in the pockets of working American families by ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work.
“We finished decades of work by passing a landmark package to protect public lands and permanently safeguarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“And this is just in our first 100 days. We’re just getting started.
“Democrats will put forward an infrastructure plan that will provide millions of good-paying jobs for hard-working people by fixing our roads and bridges.
“We will also aggressively address the dangers posed by climate change and protect promises made to the Dreamers.
“As we move forward with this critical work, it is my hope that Republicans in the House and Senate will work with us. I want you to know that we will work with the Administration whenever possible, though we cannot ignore our responsibility for oversight.
“This weekend is a holy weekend for people of many faiths. Our Jewish neighbors begin the celebration of Passover. Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week for Christians who will celebrate Easter. Shortly, our Muslim friends will begin Ramadan. It’s a time to remember that we all have shared values and those values are what make our democracy enduring.
“These first 100 days have been difficult ones for me. I lost the man I loved, and this is my first holiday in nearly four decades without him.
“John Dingell was a wise man who loved this country. He frequently observed on the need for all of us to come together for the common good, regardless of partisan ideology or personality, and that together we can preserve, protect and defend our beloved Constitution.
“That’s exactly what I – and all my Democratic colleagues – are going to do.
“We will continue fighting for and listening to everyone.
“We will keep working to build a safer, stronger and secure America together.