Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer joined CHIP recipient Graeme Frost, LIHEAP recipient Charles Johnson and Medicare recipient Patricia Holland at a press conference today to discuss continued Republican obstruction of legislation to lower the high costs of living and to help Americans struggling to make ends meet. Only with a new President and more Senators and Representatives committed to change can we strengthen the economy and reverse the reckless and irresponsible Bush-McCain policies that created this mess.
“We’ve given Bush-McCain Republicans every opportunity to address the biggest challenges Americans face, but they have squandered every opportunity,” Reid said. “Think of all the good we could have done if not for the President’s stubbornness and Republican obstruction: We could have addressed the foreclosure crisis before it trickled up to this week’s Wall Street meltdown. We could have lowered gas prices before they hit $4 a gallon nationwide. We could have redeployed from Iraq in order to fight a more effective war on terror. Congressional Democrats took over in 2007 ready to legislate and will continue to do so in 2009. But it’s become clear that only with a Democratic President and more Senators committed to change will we be able to accomplish the American people’s agenda.”
Said Hoyer: “For the past two years, Democrats have fought to reverse the Republican record of failure, overcome Republican obstruction and bring help to the millions of families struggling under the Bush economy. We have made real progress – but it is clear that real change will only come with a new President and more Democrats in Congress."
“How can you say no to four million children, when one of them is telling you, right now: this is a matter of children’s health, our nation’s future, and sometimes life or death?” Frost said.
Said Johnson: “Low-income families are suffering during these hard economic times. Congress needs to come together, both Democrats and Republicans, to pass increased funding for LIHEAP, in order to counteract the rising costs of heating and cooling one’s home. Choosing between heating your home and paying for food, medicine or clothing is no decision any American should have to make.”
“I got one of the shocks of my life after I qualified for Medicare and signed up for Medicare Part D,” Holland said. “I planned for my retirement, but I never planned for anything like the ‘doughnut hole.’”