March 4, 2023
Over the past two years, congressional Democrats have worked alongside the Biden administration to deliver bold action that addresses the concerns of working families and seniors across our nation. We’ve delivered more than $1 trillion to fix our crumbling infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, brought high-tech manufacturing back to our shores with the CHIPS and Science Act, and delivered critical climate investments and lowered prescription drug prices through the Inflation Reduction Act.
This week, I joined my colleagues at the House Democrats’ 2023 Issues Conference to discuss how we can continue to move forward on our agenda to lower costs, expand opportunity, and protect hard-earned benefits for individuals and families nationwide. At the conference, we heard from President Biden, Cabinet officials, and other key stakeholders about how the administration is working to implement the significant accomplishments of the 117th Congress, and about how we can continue to make progress over the next two years. But while Democrats remain united in their focus on bettering the lives of seniors and working families, Republicans are already attempting to cut benefits and raise taxes on the middle class, all while playing dangerous political games with our economy.
Protecting hard-earned benefits for seniors
Democrats have always been committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare so Americans can retire with dignity. These programs form the bedrock of our nation’s promise to our seniors, ensuring that their decades of hard work and contributions allow them to retire with comfort and financial security. But now, Republicans are threatening to push our economy into a catastrophic default to force devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.
These radical, reckless GOP plans would either strip millions of Americans of the benefits they’ve earned or trigger a debt default that could plunge the entire global economy into a deep recession. President Biden and congressional Democrats have made it clear: Congress must raise the debt ceiling without conditions to allow our nation to pay its bills and avoid economic disaster. I’ll continue to work alongside my Democratic colleagues to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States and to make certain that critical programs like Medicare and Social Security are never on the chopping block.
Reducing costs for American families
Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act — opposed by every Republican in Congress — contained key provisions that slashed prescription drug prices for seniors and brought lower health insurance premiums for millions more Americans. If the IRA’s drug pricing provisions had been in full effect in 2020, Medicare beneficiaries in our district alone could have saved $55 million in prescription drug costs in a single year, as well as $17 million more in savings on premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The IRA also capped monthly copayments for insulin at $35, bringing significant savings for the estimated 10,200 Medicare beneficiaries receiving insulin in our Capital Region.
Our efforts to set an example are already achieving results. Just this week, Eli Lilly — the largest manufacturer of insulin in the United States — followed suit, announcing a price reduction that caps monthly insulin copayments at $35 for all consumers, not just Medicare beneficiaries. Lowering the cost of insulin for all Americans will make a huge difference for working families, and I urge other manufacturers to follow. But while Democrats are getting results in our efforts to lower costs for Americans, the GOP is pursuing plans that would raise taxes and increase costs across the board for everyday Americans, all to benefit their billionaire backers.
In addition to seeking the elimination of federal safety nets, House Republicans are pushing the so-called “Fair Tax Act,” a bill to impose a 23% national sales tax on everything from groceries to gasoline. Experts from across the political spectrum agree that this bill would cut taxes for the wealthy while dramatically raising them for the middle class. Under this plan, seniors, families with children, and low-income workers would be faced with devastating price hikes of up to 30% on their basic needs, while millionaires and billionaires would see six-figure tax cuts.
While Republicans have made it their top priority to help the wealthy and well-connected line their pockets, Democrats will continue to put American seniors and working families before billionaires and giant corporations. I’m committed to doing everything in my power to build on our accomplishments, lower costs for everyday Americans, and deliver the key federal investments and good-paying jobs that our communities need to thrive.
As always, thank you for reading.
DID YOU KNOW?
My office and I are working to make sure you remain informed with the latest updates and recommendations from federal agencies. With that in mind, here is some information that may be of interest to you:
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) are launching the Job Quality Academy, a unique opportunity to help the workforce system focus on enhancing good jobs and opportunities for workers.
- The Academy will provide selected teams with the knowledge and expertise to help their communities take immediate action to design and implement strategic plans that prioritize job quality.
- Last month, DOL hosted a webinar for prospective applicants to learn more about the program and its application requirements.
- You can view a recording of the webinar HERE.
- Applications for the Job Quality Academy are due no later than 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, March 14th.
- Applications can be submitted via the online portal HERE.
- For more information, you can visit the program’s website or access a list of frequently asked questions HERE.