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August 2, 2013

Velázquez on Republican Health Care Repeal Bill

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) delivered the following remarks during debate on Republican legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the bill before us today.  Sadly, we find ourselves in another redundant and unproductive debate over the Affordable Care Act.  The estimated cost of today’s vote is over $1 million – paid by hardworking taxpayers.  But instead of focusing on jobs and economic growth, we are wasting time and money on denying health coverage to small businesses and their employees. 

“Not even half of the appropriations bills have been passed and yet Republicans continue their attempts to undermine health reform.  This obsession must end.  It is time to move on and start tackling the challenges the American people care about – like the budget and jobs.  

“Blocking the IRS from implementing provisions of the ACA does nothing to help our nation’s small business owners.  Rather, today’s bill would keep small employers from taking advantage of the small business health care tax credit – which has already helped 360,000 small employers and 2 million workers.  This bill prevents these businesses from utilizing the 50% tax credit in the new SHOP exchanges next year. 

“That’s why today’s vote is irresponsible and out of touch with American firms.  We must continue to ensure quality health coverage is available and utilized by the businesses that are the cornerstone of the economy. 

“I urge Members to vote no.   I yield back the balance of my time.”