Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) voted against the latest House Republican attempt to repeal part of the landmark Affordable Care Act.  The latest marked the 40th attempt by the House Republican Majority to repeal the law since they claimed the majority in 2011. 

Rep. Engel said, “Once again, we are wasting the American people’s time by voting on yet another attempt to deny quality, affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans.  This would be comical if it wasn’t pathetic.  A few months ago, during another repeal vote, I listed several other items that I would like to go back and vote on over and over again.  DOMA, Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, war with Nazi Germany and the repeal of the Compromise of 1850 were on the list.  Now with another vote – that calls for a new list.

“The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 led to the creation of our interstate highway system and enabled communities around the country to build up their infrastructure.  Parts of my district in Westchester County would not be the thriving communities they are today without highways.  I say, we vote on this again, or at least vote to pass an updated Transportation Bill to secure our infrastructure and put thousands of Americans to work. 

“This week we celebrated the 48th anniversary of the creation of Medicare.  Millions of seniors depend on Medicare to give them peace of mind and access to doctors and hospitals.  I would love the opportunity to vote to create this popular and important program again, and fix the payment schedules for doctors while we are at it.

“The 19th Amendment in 1920 allowed women the right to vote - it is amazing to me that in less than 100 years American women have gone from being disenfranchised to having such leaders as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice and Sonya Sotomayor.  I would like to vote again to grant the right to vote to half of the people in our country – and give them the right to equal pay this time around.

“Lastly, instead of voting on something for the 40th time, I call on House Leadership to allow us to vote on something for the first time.  The Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform is something long overdue for our country.  Our immigration system is broken, and the lives of millions hang in the balance.  Instead of wasting our time with 40 votes to repeal healthcare coverage, how about one vote to provide for millions to become Americans?

“I would like to believe that we won’t be voting on this again in two months, but past behavior from the Republican Majority tells me otherwise.  I would certainly prefer to be proven wrong, and I call on my colleagues to turn over a new leaf and make this the 40th time the last time we go through this side show.”

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, and a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act.