Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke issued the following statement calling on the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to focus on preventing another shutdown of the federal government and restoring unemployment benefits to people who cannot find jobs, rather than deny health insurance to millions of Americans by undermining the Affordable Care Act.
On December 28, 2013, unemployment benefits for more than 1.3 million Americans expired, and these benefits will expire for another 1.6 million people by July 1, 2014. As a result, millions of families will lack the resources to obtain event basic necessities, such as food and housing.
There have already been several dozen votes in the House of Representatives to repeal or otherwise undermine the Affordable Care Act –referred to as Obamacare – none of which have ultimately succeeded, because by a majority of the Senate and President Obama oppose the repeal of the health care law.
In addition, Congress has not yet enacted any of the appropriation bills, which are needed to complete the process required to keep the federal government in operation after January 15, 2014. In the most recent shutdown of the government, many federal agencies could not function properly. Our national parks and monuments were closed, pending immigration cases were delayed, and thousands of children lost access to early childhood education under Head Start.
“We need to focus on the priorities of the American people – building a foundation for our economy to continue to recover, creating jobs, reducing income inequality, and providing our young women and men with the opportunity to achieve their potential as full participants in our civil society,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “We cannot develop as a nation if we allow ourselves to become distracted by another attempt – which even Republicans believe will not succeed – to eliminate access to health insurance for millions of Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act.”
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.