Congressman Bill Flores Discusses This Week in Washington
by Bill Flores on May 20, 2019 at 10:37 AM
I issued the following statements regarding H.R. 5, the Equality Act; H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act; and the discharge petition to force a House vote on H.R. 336, the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act:
H.R. 5, the Equality Act
Once again, the House Democrat Majority is pushing its far-reaching radical agenda with a toxic bill that discriminates against women and threatens the religious freedom of all Americans as well as our faith-based institutions. While this bill attempts to expand the scope of the Civil Rights Act by adding sexual orientation and gender identity language, in reality, it goes dangerously beyond. The ‘Equality Act’ would offer federally protected status by inserting an overly subjective definition of gender provided by radical activists. As a result, the bill would dangerously infringe upon women’s and girls’ safety and privacy rights, while ultimately eroding their opportunities to be competitive in female sports. The bill would also force pro-life hospitals, doctors and nurses to participate in abortion activities that conflict with their faith. Additionally, the ‘Equality Act’ takes away a parent’s right to oversee the medical and psychological well-being of their children by requiring the medical community to perform a minor’s sex-change operation or hormone therapy without their parent’s consent.
I firmly believe that we are all created equal and that discrimination should never be tolerated. That said, I voted against the ‘Equality Act’ because this profoundly flawed bill is an attack on our Texas values under the guise of civil rights. This political messaging bill removes Moms and Dads from their roles as parents, ends our religious liberty protections and hurts opportunities for women and girls.
Fortunately, numerous organizations also made noteworthy efforts to expose the flaws of this damaging legislation. I am grateful for the efforts of these organizations which include: Concerned Women for America, the Women’s Liberation Front, the American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs, the Independent Women's Voice, American Heritage Girls, Save Women’s Sports, the Catholic Women’s Forum, and the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition for Women. Because of their efforts to shine a bright light on this bill, the contacts our office received were overwhelmingly against its passage.
H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act
Just like H.R. 5 discussed above, the Democrat-controlled House continued to spend its time this week pushing their far-left messaging agenda rather than working in a bipartisan effort to solve the important issues facing our nation. The falsely named ‘Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act’ is just another example of the Democrat’s tactics of placing their radical priorities over the needs of the American people.
Earlier this year, House Energy and Commerce Committee members and I worked in a bipartisan manner to move three innovative bills that would lower prescription drug prices for hardworking American families and our seniors. Rather than holding a vote on these bipartisan bills on the House floor, Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat leadership combined them with a package of flawed bills to attempt to bail out the failures of Obamacare. H.R. 987 includes the three bipartisan drug cost lowering bills, however, it also includes poison pills, including $4 billion in taxpayer dollars to fund Obamacare failures.
Combining bipartisan bills to lower drug costs with toxic partisan bills to bail out Obamacare is simply a political gimmick at the expense of the American people. Media outlets have also exposed the Majority’s cheap tactics including the Washington Post referring to the stunt as ‘Democrats putting a political pothole in the way of bipartisan drug pricing bills’ and STAT stating that ‘In Washington, a partisan approach to lowering drug costs leaves Democrats doubting their own party leadership.’ To see the full extent of this political overreach, I encourage you to read the articles.
While I continue to support bipartisan efforts to lower drug costs, I did not vote in support of Speaker Pelosi’s attempts to score cheap political points through this fraudulently titled legislation. Hardworking Texas families deserve solutions, not being used as political pawns in the left’s attempt to bail out Obamacare.
H.R. 336, the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act
While Israel remains a key catalyst to regional geopolitical stability and our strongest and most important ally in the Middle East, there has been a disturbing rise of anti-Semitism and continued threats to Israel, including hostile, anti-Semitic statements made by Democrat members of the United States Congress. Earlier this year, the Senate took a stand against anti-Semitism with the strong bipartisan passage of the ‘Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act.’ Unfortunately, House Democrat leadership has refused to address this issue and will not bring the bill up for a vote. This inaction has allowed the issue to fester as fringe members of the Democrat caucus continue to promote anti-Semitic behavior.
In order to force a vote on this important legislation, I signed a discharge petition that will compel the House to hold a vote on this legislation. H.R. 336 takes a stand against the dangerous Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which actively works to delegitimize and isolate Israel through economic warfare. Congress must act swiftly to unequivocally and unapologetically support our staunchest ally in the Middle East. This discharge petition will show the American people which members of Congress have the courage to stand up for the Jewish state of Israel and against anti-Semitism.