200 Days of Progress – For the People
Over the last 200 days, the House Democratic Majority has moved swiftly and purposefully to improve the health, prosperity and well-being of all Americans.
Leading with our For the People agenda, we’ve introduced and passed key bills that deliver on a host of top priorities, including legislation to clean up corruption in Washington, lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and increase paychecks for hardworking families. At the same time, our House investigative committees have spearheaded critical oversight work, pinning down the Trump Administration across many fronts, finding the facts and holding the President accountable to the people.
As our first order of business, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a historic and transformational bill that I was privileged to author in my capacity as Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. The bill will crack down on Washington corruption, fight back against big money in politics, improve ethics across all three branches of government, ensure the right to vote, fix partisan gerrymandering and protect our elections from foreign interference. By leading with H.R. 1, House Democrats made a clear commitment to put the public’s interests ahead of special interests and restore trust, transparency and integrity in Washington.
Building on the promise of H.R. 1 – to repair our political system and take action on the issues that Americans care most about – we have made significant progress. Here’s a quick rundown of our work so far.
- H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act and H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act – Helps to protect families from predatory junk insurance plans that do not offer comprehensive health care coverage, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, and helps rein in the soaring costs of health care and prescription drugs.
- H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act – Gun safety legislation that requires background checks for gun sales and transfers to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and bad actors.
- H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act – Requires the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement, a global effort to combat climate change.
- H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act – Provides a path to lawful permanent resident status, and eventual citizenship, for DREAMers and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
- H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act – Closes loopholes in existing law, including the 1963 Equal Pay Act, to help ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
- H.R. 528, the Raise the Wage Act – Boosts paychecks for more than 33 million Americans by steadily increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
- H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act – Restores net neutrality protections and ensures that the internet remains free and open for all Americans.
- H.R. 5, the Equality Act – Ensures that all Americans – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans – would be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service.
- H.R. 2740 and H.R. 3055 – Appropriations bills that would deliver millions of federal dollars for key Maryland priorities and support important programs in our state.
- H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act – Strengthens election security and protects our democracy ahead of the 2020 election. This bill responds to the alarming election system vulnerabilities outlined by the Mueller Report and acknowledges recent threat assessments by our intelligence community, which conclude that Russia and other hostile foreign actors plan to interfere in the upcoming 2020 election. The bill breaks out, into standalone legislation, key ballot box security provisions contained in H.R. 1.
All of these bills have been sent to the United States Senate, where they await action. Democrats will continue to call upon the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, to bring these measures to the floor. He too must deliver on the priorities of the American people.
Congressman John Sarbanes
Maryland’s Third Congressional District