PALLONE DENOUNCES COMMITTEE REPUBLICANS FOR OBSTRUCTING CHAMP ACT MARKUP
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, denounced the tactics of the Committee Republicans that prevented a markup of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act from moving forward.
Over the last two days, Committee Republicans demanded the reading of the Act and a Republican alternative. Despite countless pleas by Democrats to dispense with the reading, Republicans objected, allowing the obstruction to continue for hours on end. Finally, Chairman Dingell adjourned the Committee without any action on the bill.
Chairman Pallone issued the following statement this evening.
"Over the past two days, the Energy and Commerce Committee has tried to mark up the CHAMP Act---a comprehensive bill that ensures millions of vulnerable children have access to health insurance through CHIP.
"Democrats are proud of this legislation because it allows us to cover almost every child now eligible for the program.
"Since it was created a decade ago, CHIP has received strong bipartisan support here in Washington. However, that all changed yesterday, when Committee Republicans used every tactic available to them to stall us from moving forward with this legislation.
"It's sad that Republicans refused to engage in a substantive discussion on the future of CHIP. If Republicans were serious about strengthening this important children's health program, they would have stopped playing games and allowed a constructive debate to occur. Republican obstructionism showed that they have no interest in ensuring our children have access to quality health care.
"The record is clear. Democrats want to cover kids. Republicans don't."