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On the Floor
Democrats are committed to living within our means, while investing in the future and cutting the deficit, continuing to aggressively attack waste, fraud and abuse. The GOP spending bill (H.R. 1) on the floor this week fails to meet these goals, and cuts spending on the backs of middle class families. According to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, the GOP bill will cost more than 800,000 private and public jobs.
Americans' top priority is job creation but Republicans have offered no jobs plan and are threatening jobs and investments in rebuilding America. House Democrats, led by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), introduced the Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act (HR 11) to spur job creation here at home. The bill reinstates Build America Bonds, which TIME magazine called 'one of the economic recovery efforts biggest successes' and the Wall Street Journal called a 'Success Story.' Congressional Republicans allowed this successful bond financing program to expire at the end of 2010.
Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, the Republican leadership is pushing a bill this week (H.R. 359) to place control of our elections more squarely into the hands of secret corporate donors.
Because of patients' rights protections, Americans are free from discrimination and can get the benefits they deserve. The GOP Patients' Rights Repeal bill (H.R. 2) will put insurance companies back in charge.
House Democrats are committed to creating prosperity through science and innovation, reasserting our economic and technological leadership throughout the world in the decades to come, and giving future generations greater opportunity to achieve the American Dream. On December 21, 2010 the House passed the Senate amendment to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5116) by a vote of 228-130 and the President signed the bill into law on January 4, 2011.
In the 111th Congress, Democrats worked to move America forward, create jobs, and end the Bush recession - the worst economy in 60 years. We have fought for Americans in the face of relentless opposition by Wall Street, Big Oil, and the health insurance industry, led in Congress by Republicans. Despite GOP opposition, we produced landmark achievements for the middle class in job creation, small business tax cuts, health care, Wall Street reform, veterans' health care, and child nutrition. We are proud of our record.
Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now ill as a result and need our help. These include firefighters, rescue workers, responders, police officers and EMTs, construction workers, cleanup workers, residents, area workers, and school children, among others. Their illnesses include a range of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and mental health conditions.
On December 21st, the House passed the Senate-passed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (HR 2751) by a vote of 215 to 144.
On December 16, 2010, the House passed the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act (S.3447) to strengthen the New GI Bill for the 21st Century, which will provide a four-year college education for nearly 300,000 veterans enrolled in college this fall.
On December 15, 2010, the House passed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act (H.R. 2965) by a vote of 250-175.