Congressman Jim McGovern Delivers Weekly Democratic Address
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Rules Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congressman urged Leader McConnell call the Senate back into session and take up House-passed, commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation that will save lives following the deadly shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. Congressman McGovern also highlighted Democrats’ efforts to protect affordable health care and lower the costs of prescription drugs For The People. Video and audio of the Weekly Democratic Address can be downloaded here.
Below is a full transcript of the address:
"Hi, I’m Congressman Jim McGovern and I’m grateful to represent the people of Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District in Congress.
"Our country is still reeling from mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Our hearts break for the victims, for their families, and everyone who has been impacted by this violence.
"We’ll learn more about these horrific acts in the days and weeks to come. But here’s what we already know: thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s time for action.
"America is the only developed country in the world where massacres like these happen on a regular basis.
"It seems like any time a family member leaves home, we’re left to wonder if we’ll ever see them again.
"Whether it’s at a movie theater, a concert, their elementary school, their church, or their synagogue. No place seems safe. It has to stop. Now.
"President Trump and Republicans can blame video games or mental illness all they want. Other countries play video games and deal with mental illness, but only here, in America, have mass shootings become the new normal. I wish they would just tell the truth: this is about guns.
"You know, in many states, it’s easier to get a gun than it is to register to vote. And weapons of war can be bought in virtually the blink of an eye – without a background check.
"This isn’t by accident. The gun lobby has spent millions bankrolling their allies in Congress so they can slash any kind of sensible gun safety laws.
"Look, I wish this issue wasn’t political – that Democrats and Republicans in Congress could all agree with the overwhelming majority of Americans that want tougher gun laws. But you deserve to know the truth.
"It has been five months since the Democratic House passed a pair of commonsense bills that would simply close a loophole and ensure comprehensive background checks on gun sales and transfers. Five Months!
"And what has the Republican Senate done under Mitch McConnell? No hearings. No debates. No votes. Nothing.
"Mitch McConnell ought to call the Senate back into session right now and pass the Gun Safety bills which have been sitting on his desk for five months. But instead, he’d rather keep taking the NRA’s blood money in exchange for his silence.
"All the while, Republicans wait for another tweet from the President to distract the American people and change the topic.
"Well, I’ve got news for Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate: the American people have been down this road before. What’s different now is that this House Majority is not bought and paid for by the gun lobby.
"Mitch McConnell may take pride in the Senate being called a legislative graveyard. But mothers are burying their kids. And babies are growing up without their parents. And the days of inaction are over.
"While Republicans refuse to do any work at all to end gun violence, they seem to be working overtime to undermine and sabotage the Affordable Care Act.
"Right now, a lawsuit filed by the Trump Administration is working its way through the courts. If it’s successful, the entire Affordable Care Act could be struck down.
"Think about that. If President Trump gets his way, 2.3 million young people would be kicked off their parents’ plans, insurance companies would be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and asthma, and insurance CEOs would be able to use your premiums to pay for their bonuses instead of your health care. It would be catastrophic.
"That’s why on day 1 of our new majority, we voted to throw the full legal weight of the House of Representatives against this lawsuit.
"House Democrats have also passed and sent to the Senate strong bills to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions even further.
"And we’ve passed five bills that confront big pharma’s unfair practices that keep drug prices high and prevent lower-cost generic versions of drugs from getting to the market.
"You know, for most people, this is just common-sense stuff. I’ve held over a dozen town halls over the last year, and I hear the same stories over and over again.
"Seniors who can’t afford their medications, so they split pills or skip a dose altogether. Doctors and nurses who are worried about what will happen if they can’t provide their patients the care they need. People with pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure who have no idea what they would do if they were denied or dropped by their insurance when they need it the most.
"As Members of Congress, we weren’t elected just to hear people’s problems – we were sent here to solve them.
"While Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate continue to sit on their hands, I am proud that House Democrats are taking action on behalf of the American people.
"From combating gun violence, to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, to lowering the cost of prescription drugs, we will continue working For The People to deliver a safer, healthier future for all Americans."