Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Votes against Republican Rules Designed to Destroy Consumer Protections & Infrastructure while Adding $5 Trillion to Deficit

January 5, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), a Democratic Assistant Whip, today voted against a House Republican rules package that sets the stage for the GOP to destroy consumer protections in the Patient’s Bill of Rights, add $5 trillion dollars to the deficit, and eliminate tens of billions of dollars in desperately needed funding for highways and mass transit.

Congressman Garamendi, California’s Insurance Commissioner for eight years, said:

"House Republicans today clearly signaled their out-of-touch priorities, proposing a rule that will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and drive up our deficit by $5 trillion. The American people have made it clear that they want jobs. Where are the jobs in this plan?

"House Republicans propose eliminating the consumer protections found in the Patient’s Bill of Rights – adding more than a trillion dollars to the deficit while putting our health care back in the hands of the insurance CEOs. House Republicans propose eliminating the Democratic pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) policy and replacing it with the fantasy that when it comes to tax giveaways for the rich, we don’t need to worry about the deficit. House Republicans propose eliminating tens of billions of dollars from the transportation infrastructure projects needed to put Americans back to work.

"This jobs-killing, deficit-exploding package – returning us to business as usual under President Bush – does nothing to create jobs or put America on a path to recovery."

Under the rule changes proposed by House Republicans:

  • Health Care: The Affordable Care Act would be subject to repeal without offsetting its more than a trillion in savings over 20 years, removing consumer protections while taking money out of the pockets of American taxpayers. Protections already law that would be subject to spiking repeal include:
    • The ban on discrimination by health insurers based on pre-existing conditions;
    • The ban that prohibits health insurance companies from rescind coverage when you get sick;
    • Tax credits for small businesses and American families;
    • Policies that lower costs and expand services for seniors;
    • Policies that let young adults stay on their parents’ health care plans; and
    • The ban on annual and lifetime limits on covered benefits.
       
  • Deficits: Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirements – imposed by House Democrats to balance the budget – would be replaced with the same deficit-spiking policies that existed under House GOP rule during the Bush era. Under proposed rules, all tax cuts will be exempted from revenue neutral requirements, allowing tax cuts for big business and the rich to drive up the deficit. The GOP rule is expected to add $5 trillion to the deficit.
     
  • Transportation: Tens of billions of dollars could be slashed from highway and mass transit federal accounts, including the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFET-LU) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (T-21), depriving local communities of essential transportation infrastructure projects that create jobs. Infrastructure investments, unlike tax cuts for the rich, are effective at creating jobs, pumping $1.57 into the economy for every dollar invested. Many organizations oppose this rules change, including:
    • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
    • Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit)
    • Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority
    • East Contra Costa Transit Authority (Tri-Delta)
    • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
    • American Concrete Pavement Association
    • American Council of Engineering Companies
    • American Highway Users Alliance
    • American Moving and Storage Association
    • American Public Transportation Association
    • American Road and Transportation Builders Association
    • American Society of Civil Engineers
    • American Traffic Safety Services Association
    • American Trucking Associations
    • Associated Equipment Distributors
    • Associated General Contractors of America
    • Association of Equipment Manufacturers
    • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
    • International Union of Operating Engineers
    • Laborer-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust
    • Laborers International Union of North America
    • National Asphalt Pavement Association
    • National Ready Mix Concrete Association
    • National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce