By Susan A. Davis
It’s been just over 200 days since a new and diverse majority stormed Washington and began passing a bold agenda for the people.
This new majority came with a mandate from the people. The overwhelming message we heard from them?
Lower health care costs.
Clean up corruption in Washington.
We listened and have taken action. Since January, the House has passed dozens of bills to uphold the promises made to the American people.
On day one, the House of Representatives voted to throw its full legal weight against President Trump’s lawsuit to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
I hear from so many constituents who fear losing their health insurance.
My constituent Abel Beltran says the Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved his life. As a cancer survivor, he doesn’t know what he would do if the ACA was repealed.
As one of the 130 million Americans living with a pre-existing condition, Abel could also lose his health insurance if the Trump administration is successful at allowing health insurance providers to issue junk plans that don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
The House has passed strong bills to crack down on junk health insurance plans that are not required to cover pre-existing conditions or provide essential health benefits. The plans could result in higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
The high cost of prescription drugs is also a major concern for Americans.
We passed a package of five bills that confront the pharmaceutical industry’s unfair practices of keeping drug prices high and preventing lower-cost generic versions of drugs from getting to market.
While the House is working to bring down health care costs, we are also fighting to give the American people a raise.
It’s been over a decade since the federal minimum wage was raised — the longest stretch of time between increases.
With the recent passage of the Raise the Wage Act, 33 million Americans will get a raise as the federal minimum wage is gradually increased to $15 an hour.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, this increase will lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children.
Giving nearly 20 million working women a raise will also help secure fairness and equality for women.
While women still only earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man, raising the federal minimum wage will narrow the gender pay gap that disproportionately impacts women of color.
The Paycheck Fairness Act will build on the Raise the Wage Act to further close the gender pay gap. Because of loopholes, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has not provided the tools to truly combat unequal pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act modernizes the Equal Pay Act and closes those loopholes.
While kitchen table concerns like health care and wages are a top priority for the American people, so is restoring faith in our government and democracy.
People feel their voices are not being heard and that special interests have too much influence in Washington.
With the passage of the For the People Act, the House voted to end the dominance of big money in our politics. This transformative bill brings more transparency to our campaign finance system to prevent big-moneyed interests from continuing to hide their political spending.
It ensures that our public servants serve the public, not themselves. Conflict of interest laws and divestment requirements are strengthened and the revolving door is slowed by preventing members of Congress from serving on corporate boards.
While the House passed these bills — and many others — to improve the lives of the American people, we are still waiting and demanding that the Senate act on them.
But the House is not going to let Senate dereliction deter us from doing the people’s work. There is much more to do and we’re just getting started.
— Congresswoman Davis represents central San Diego, including the communities of Old Town, Kensington, Mission Hills, University Heights, Hillcrest Bankers Hill, North Park, South Park, Talmadge, Normal Heights, as well as La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista.