Rep. Soto Calls for Senate Action on Key House-Passed Bills and Highlights Some Key Bipartisan Achievements for the Year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) celebrated the more than 400 bills, including more than 275 bipartisan bills still awaiting action in the GOP-controlled Senate, passed by the Democratic House Majority over the past year.
“In 2018, the American people elected a Democratic House Majority committed to delivering results that make a difference in the lives of Florida families and all Americans,” said Rep. Soto. “For more than 300 days, Democrats have honored our promises and have passed key initiatives in our For The People agenda. Yet, instead of listening to the will of the American people, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring more than 275 bipartisan bills to the Senate floor. As we close out 2019, I will continue to call on the Senate to bring these critical initiatives up for a vote.”
Many key initiatives remain on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk, including such bills as:
- H.R. 1, For The People Act, to restore confidence in our democracy, including by cracking down on dark money in campaigns;
- H.R. 3, Lower Drug Costs Now Act, sweeping legislation to dramatically reduce drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies; making lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries; and stopping drug companies from ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs;
- H.R. 4, Voting Rights Advancement Act, to finally restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act after the disastrous 2013 Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision;
- H.R. 5, Equality Act, to finally and fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans;
- H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act, to provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence (and eventual citizenship) to those who have lived most of their lives in this country, including Dreamers and TPS and DED holders;
- H.R. 7, Paycheck Fairness Act, to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work;
- H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a commonsense measure to require background checks for all gun sales, closing the gun show and online loopholes;
- H.R. 9, Climate Action Now Act, to ensure that the U.S. honors our commitments on climate action detailed in the Paris Agreement;
- H.R. 987, Protecting People With Pre-Existing Conditions/Lowering Drug Costs, an omnibus bill that includes several provisions to strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions, end ACA sabotage, and bring down drug costs;
- H.R. 582, Raise The Wage Act, to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, raising the wages of up to 33 million hard-working Americans;
- H.R. 5430, U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement Implementing Legislation
- H.R. 397, Rehabilitation For Multiemployer Pensions Act (The Butch Lewis Act)
- H.R. 1585, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a strong improvement and long-term reauthorization of VAWA;
- H.R. 1644, Save The Internet Act, to protect the free and open internet for all;
- H.R. 2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, to strengthen our election defenses against foreign attack;
- H.R. 1112, Enhanced Background Checks; to close the Charleston loophole;
- H.R. 5038, Farm Workforce Modernization Act, to honor workers’ dignity and support the farm economy;
- H.R. 2534, Insider Trading Prohibition
- H.R. 205, 1146, 1941 – Banning Offshore Drilling
- H.R. 1423, Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal
- H.R. 840, Veterans’ Access to Childcare
These key bills have the support of strong majorities of the American people. For example:
- 93 percent of Americans support universal background checks.
- 88 percent of Americans support giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices with drug companies.
- 75 percent of Americans support bills strengthening the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
- 67 percent of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $15.
- 66 percent of Americans support legislation to combat climate change.
- 87 percent of Americans support protecting Dreamers from deportation.
Despite the key initiatives currently being blocked in the Senate, there have been some important bipartisan achievements this year that have been signed into law or are expected to be signed into law soon, including Rep. Soto’s Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health Act and bills such as:
- H.R. 1327, Never Forget the 9/11 Heroes Act
- H.R. 1994, SECURE/Gold Star Family Tax Relief
- S. 151, Pallone-Thune TRACER Act, (Cracking Down on Robocalls)
- H.R. 748, Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal
- S. 1790, National Defense Authorization Act
- Includes 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal workers
- S. 1838, Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy
- S. 47, Conservation, Management, & Recreation Act
- H.R. 2157, Response to Hurricanes/Floods/ Wildfires
- H.R. 3151, Taxpayer First Act, Making the IRS More Consumer-Friendly
- H.R. 2336, Family Farmer Relief Act
- H.R. 299, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
- H.R. 2486, FUTURE Act to fund HBCUs, MSIs & TCUs & simplify the student aid process
- Bipartisan Appropriations Bills:
- Invests in health care, education, infrastructure, election security, rural communities and the environment
- Funds research on gun safety
- Raises the tobacco age to 21
“Despite a divided government, I’m proud that the Democratic-led House, working with the GOP-led Senate and the Republican White House, has been successful in achieving some major bipartisan legislation – such as my own bill the Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health Act, the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, bipartisan appropriations measures that included 37 of my provisions, a permanent reauthorization of the Victim Compensation Fund for 9/11 heroes, providing critical tax relief to Gold Star families and a bill cracking down on robocalls,” continued Rep. Soto. “As we enter a new decade, I hope we can have many more bipartisan achievements on the issues that matter in the lives of the American people.”