WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 987 Strengthening Healthcare and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs. Below are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Today, I stand for the American people and the constituents of South Carolina’s sixth congressional district, who spoke loud and clear last November and demanded Congress defend and uphold their right to have access to affordable, quality health care.

“Voters rejected the efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that has been led by my Republican colleagues and this Administration.  We will not stop our efforts to hold this Administration and my Republican colleagues accountable as they continue misrepresenting and undermining the Affordable Care Act.  The work of this body, a co-equal branch of government, to conduct legitimate and lawful oversight in order to protect Americans’ access to health care, will not be deterred.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege.  The American people believe – as I do – that the Affordable Care Act is the Civil Rights Act for the 21st Century.

“Today this House is voting on a package of seven bills that will halt the Administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, improve the Act’s implementation, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.

“This legislative package, entitled the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, prevents the substitution of junk policies that take advantage of unsuspecting citizens and protects against discrimination for pre-existing conditions.

“This legislation takes meaningful steps to control prescription drug costs by expanding access to generic drugs, so patients don’t have to choose between their life-saving medications or other necessities like rent or food.

“This legislation restores funding that has been cut by this Administration to educate Americans on how the ACA’s health care provisions impact their day to day healthcare choices and have in person assistance to help people navigate how to sign up for insurance coverage.

“Democrats are addressing critical health care needs by passing common-sense legislation that lowers consumers’ costs and expands access.  I urge all members of this body who support the health and well-being of our country and its citizens to vote yes on the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act.”