Friday, January 7, 2011

Serrano Denounces Vote Stripping of Territories, D.C. by House Republicans

Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the Sixteenth District of New York

January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011 –Washington, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano today announced his strong disapproval of the decision by House Republicans to take away the territorial and D.C. delegates’ right to vote on the House floor. Along with the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico, delegates from D.C., Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands will not be allowed to vote in the Committee of the Whole, a right the Democrats gave them four years ago.

“This is a shameful step backwards that House Republicans took today, and it is a slap in the face of the millions of citizens and people living under the U.S. flag in these territories. They have had the ability to have their voices heard in the U.S. House of Representatives for only four short years, and there is no excuse for taking that right away from these duly elected leaders.

“I have spent much of my career here in Washington seeking equality for those living in the territories. Had my parents not left Puerto Rico, I would certainly have been in the situation that these people find themselves in through no choice or fault of their own. I have worked to give them dignity and a say in matters that affect them. House Republicans have taken away civil liberties through their decision and I find it outrageous.

“On behalf of the millions living under the American flag in D.C. and the territories, I call on Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans to reconsider this terrible decision and restore their voice in the House of Representatives.”

Serrano Condemns Republican Efforts to Repeal Health Care Reform Bill

January 7, 2011 –Washington, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano today voted against the first step the House Republicans have taken toward repealing the historic health care reform bill that passed last year. “I did this for New York, and for our children,” said Serrano about the vote.

“The Republicans are trying to take away the hard-won and much-needed reforms to our broken health care system, and I will not stand for it,” said Serrano. “They may have the numbers in the House, but the numbers and facts on the health care reform bill are not with them. The American people have been crying out for decades for real reforms to our system that would help control costs and protect them from insurers eager to profit by dropping their coverage when they need it most.

The statistics for New York alone are shocking. If the Republican repeal were successful the following would come true:

77,800 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans;

734,000 people in New York would be at risk of losing their insurance because of pre-existing conditions;

2.9 million seniors in New York who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services.

“I sincerely do not believe that people want these outcomes. I will vote against any effort to repeal the historic reforms that our nation needed so badly. Today was the first of those votes, but it seems the Republicans will not allow it to be the last.”

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