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On the Senate floor, Senator Murray highlights stories from Washingtonians about how their health care and rights would be jeopardized if Judge Barrett is confirmed 

Murray: “I am sharing their stories on the Senate floor… so that Republicans have no choice but to hear them. And when we vote, Republicans will have no excuse to pretend they don’t know exactly what is at stake.” 

Murray called out Republicans for downplaying the threat of their health care lawsuit while rushing to confirm another anti-health care Justice 

Murray: “For Republican Senators to stand here and tell families not to worry is kind of like the captain of the Titanic passing out umbrellas, and telling passengers that’s all they need. With one key difference: Republicans have been clear from the start that hitting the iceberg isn’t an accident, it’s the plan.”

Murray: “Know the consequences of this vote will be felt long after this President is gone from office—regardless of the outcome of this election. People across the country will not forget. And neither will your Democratic colleagues.”

***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), spoke on the Senate floor opposing the nomination of far-right Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

In her remarks, Senator Murray highlighted the stories of Washingtonians who have shared what is at stake for them if Republicans carry out their brazenly hypocritical and rushed scheme to stack the Supreme Court with another hard-right jurist hand-picked by President Trump, who will help overturn affordable health care, eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, criminalize abortions, and undermine other vital rights.

From Senator Murray’s remarks:

“If you don’t believe me, ask Mays, from SeaTac, Washington, who lives with sleep apnea, asthma, pre-diabetes, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and hypothyroidism. If Republicans succeed in their lawsuit, she would lose her Medicaid expansion coverage and access to care,  meaning her conditions could deteriorate, increasing her risk of diabetes, of a coma, or of dying in her sleep.

“If you don’t believe Mays—then, ask Rhiannon, from Arlington, Washington, who has type 1 diabetes and could get kicked off her parents’ insurance plan if Republicans win at the Supreme Court. As she wrote to me: ‘Right now the ACA is the only hope I have of living past 26.’

“If you don’t believe Rhiannon, ask Madeline, who has a medical condition which makes pregnancy fatal. For Madeline, affordable health coverage—coverage that includes access to birth control—is absolutely essential. As is the right to an abortion...

“…And if Republicans don’t believe my constituents, I invite them to ask their own. I encourage them to listen. Because I guarantee people across the country know what Republicans have been saying, know exactly what Republicans are voting for, and are speaking up about it.”

Senator Murray went on to warn Senate Republicans that people across the country, and Democrats in the Senate, will not forget the rushed, partisan, and callous effort to jam this nomination through just days before an election.

“And to those who choose to put this President, and the profoundly lost Republican Party, above anything else, to those Republicans who are capping these brutal last four years off with such a staggering show of fealty, partisanship, and callousness: Know the consequences of this vote will be felt long after this President is gone from office—regardless of the outcome of this election. People across the country will not forget. And neither will your Democratic colleagues,” said Senator Murray.

Since the passing of Justice Ginsburg, Senator Murray has been vocal that Senate Republicans should let Washingtonians and all Americans make their voices heard in the upcoming election and allow the next President to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. She has spoken out repeatedly against President Trump’s far-right nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett and has launched a “Share your Story” campaign to gather and lift up Washingtonians’ stories about living with a pre-existing condition, how the Affordable Care Act impacted them, and the importance of protecting the right to safe, legal abortion. 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks below and video of Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

“Thank you M. President.

“Justice Ginsburg was the first Supreme Court Justice I ever voted for, and a North Star for me and so many others whose futures were irrefutably made possible in part by her life and work.

“I pledged I would do everything in my power to honor her last wish—that the next President fill her vacancy—not just because Justice Ginsburg was a legal giant who can never be replaced, but because I understand—like she did—that making such a momentous decision, so close to an election, could exacerbate our republic’s challenges and spin our democracy into chaos.

“That’s why I’ve been fighting so hard to push my colleagues to stop this charade, and to just wait a few weeks.

“We should not be voting on this lifetime appointment while the American people themselves are in the middle of voting—of telling us how they want this country’s future to look.

“And this is all made even worse by the fact that in the middle of a pandemic, instead of working with Democrats to pass serious relief communities are calling out for, Republicans are refusing to do anything but jam this anti-health care judge on to the Supreme Court. 

“Over the last three years, I have seen Republicans rubberstamp hard-right judicial nominees like it’s all they came here to do. But watching them ignore the clear wishes of the American people, explicitly reject attempts to help families and communities get through this pandemic, and press on with this grotesque power grab—is a new low for this body, for our country, and for the people we serve.

“As I’ve made clear, I will be voting against Judge Barrett’s confirmation. Just like I voted against her confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, against Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, and against so many other Trump-nominated judges who—whether they admit it or not—are part of a Republican strategy to roll back our hard-won progress.

“Judge Barrett clearly fits the same mold as the more than 200 partisan judges Senate Republicans have fast-tracked onto the federal bench—who are anti-health care and anti-abortion, but pro-big business and pro-wealthy special interests.

“And this was all reinforced during the sham nomination process as Senate Republicans and Judge Barrett tried to downplay their own litmus tests.

“Judge Barrett was asked to affirm the constitutionality of the law that protects health care for hundreds of millions of Americans—she refused.

“She was asked to affirm the long-standing ruling of Roe w. Wade as a ‘super-precedent.’ Not surprisingly—given her record includes a statement calling Roe ‘barbaric’—she refused.

“She was asked to affirm the constitutionality of the ruling that allowed same-sex marriages, and opened up a new chapter of equality for LGBTQIA+ couples—she refused.

“She was asked to affirm that climate change is causing air and water pollution—yet even on this matter of scientific fact, Judge Barrett refused to answer.

“And that was apparently exactly what Senate Republicans hoped she would do.

“The lack of transparency from Judge Barrett and Senate Republicans is concerning. Not because we don’t know where they stand—we do. But because they are so comfortable obfuscating cold facts about Judge Barrett’s record and judicial philosophy—as well as their own previous statements—as if they’re not real.

“For example, in 2016 they were adamant that when the Supreme Court loses a justice in an election year, the people’s voices should be heard before the vacancy is filled.

“For eight months, they refused to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

“But now, even as the American people are voting, Republicans are trying to ignore their voices.

“Well M. President, not on my watch.

“I recently asked people in Washington state to share their personal stories about what’s at stake for their families.

“The response has been overwhelming, and the stories have been alarming. I’ve heard from people whose stories show how different life was before and after Roe v. Wade, and how much would be lost if reproductive rights are rolled back.

“I’ve heard from people who fear their right to marry, adopt a child, and start a family could be lost.

“And I’ve heard from people who are worried they will die if Republicans get their way at the Supreme Court, and take away the health care and protections they rely on.

“Republicans may want to pretend the stakes are not this high. But they don’t have to take my word for it they can listen to their own constituents, and look at their own records.

“For Republican Senators to stand here and tell families not to worry is kind of like the captain of the Titanic passing out umbrellas, and telling passengers that’s all they need.

“With one key difference: Republicans have been clear from the start that hitting the iceberg isn’t an accident, it’s the plan. 

“Despite the fact that climate change is an existential threat—something the vast majority of the public understands—Republicans continue to cower to a President and special interests who insist it’s a hoax.

“Despite the hard-fought progress for LGBTQIA+ rights, they’ve stood by as this President undermines them at every turn.

“Despite the fundamental importance of the right to vote, they’ve blocked our efforts to restore and secure these rights, and protect our democracy.

“And despite what they would have you believe, Republicans have tried time and time again to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and upend health care in this country.

“If the failed Trumpcare vote from a few years ago is too painful or too distant a memory for Republicans to revisit—they are, at this very moment, championing a lawsuit that would do all the harm of that bill and then some.

“And who will hear that lawsuit?

“The deciding vote could be a Justice picked by a President who vowed he would only choose nominees who will rule against protections for pre-existing conditions. Who thinks that would be a ‘big win.’ Who said just last week, he hopes that happens.

“It’s no mystery why President Trump nominated, and Republicans are rushing to confirm, a judge with a record of hostility to the Affordable Care Act.

“And it’s no secret that a victory for them would be a disaster for families across the country.

“If you don’t believe me, ask Mays, from SeaTac, Washington, who lives with sleep apnea, asthma, pre-diabetes, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and hypothyroidism.

“If Republicans succeed in their lawsuit, she would lose her Medicaid expansion coverage and access to care,  meaning her conditions could deteriorate, increasing her risk of diabetes, of a coma, or of dying in her sleep.

“If you don’t believe Mays—then, ask Rhiannon, from Arlington, Washington, who has type 1 diabetes and could get kicked off her parents’ insurance plan if Republicans win at the Supreme Court.

“As she wrote to me: ‘Right now the ACA is the only hope I have of living past 26.’

“If you don’t believe Rhiannon, ask Madeline, who has a medical condition which makes pregnancy fatal. For Madeline, affordable health coverage—coverage that includes access to birth control—is absolutely essential. As is the right to an abortion.

“If Republicans get their way, insurance companies would no longer have to cover birth control—even though a pregnancy for Madeline would be life-threatening…

“And things get even worse for her if Republicans overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Last year, when Madeline learned that—despite being diligent about her birth control—she was pregnant, she knew what she had to do. She got an abortion. It was safe. It was legal. It was totally her decision. And it was lifesaving.

“But if Judge Barrett were Justice Barrett, if the right to abortion were a thing of the past, Madeline’s pregnancy could have been a death sentence.

“As she puts it, ‘This isn’t a right vs. left issue for a lot of us, it’s life or death—and knowing [that] is at stake… is terrifying.’

“Madeline isn’t the only person who is terrified.

“If Republicans win their lawsuit, over 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, like Madeline, could be charged more for health insurance, have benefits excluded, or be denied coverage entirely.

“Over 20 million people, like Mays and Rhiannon, could lose coverage from Medicaid expansion, the exchanges, or their parents’ plans.

“Insurance companies could exclude essential health benefits countless other patients rely on, like prescription drugs, maternity care, therapy, wheelchairs, and more.

“Half the country could be charged more for health insurance just because they are women.

“Seniors could face thousands more in health care costs with the return of the age tax, and the Medicare donut hole.

“People with disabilities’ lives could be upended if they lose access to home and community based services that help them live independent lives, or if insurance providers can discriminate on the basis of disability by denying coverage or charging more.

“And people with expensive health care needs—a cancer diagnosis, a medically-complicated pregnancy, a fight with COVID-19—could be left with an enormous bill, since insurance companies won’t have to cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs, but will be able to place annual and lifetime limits on their benefits.

“And we can’t forget that communities of color—who already face worse outcomes due to systemic racism in our health care system—would be hit hardest by so much of the damage of Republicans’ health care lawsuit.

“And health care isn’t all that’s at stake for families—far from it.

“Fundamental rights, protections, and opportunities for workers are on the line.

“The fate of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers—families and DREAMers who came to our nation in search of a better life and brighter future—are on the line.

“And hard fought victories for the LGBTQIA+ community are on the line.

“Matthew, in my home state of Washington, and his husband were able to marry, able to adopt, and fortunate to be able to form a loving family.

“But that might not be possible for LGBTQIA+ couples like them in the future, if the highest court in the land turns back the clock, and refuses to see them as equal under the law. 

“M. President, the bottom line is that this Supreme Court fight isn’t about politics—it’s about the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

“And if Republicans don’t believe my constituents, I invite them to ask their own. I encourage them to listen.

“Because I guarantee people across the country know what Republicans have been saying, know exactly what Republicans are voting for, and are speaking up about it.

“I am sharing their stories on the Senate floor, and Democrats brought their stories to the Committee room, so that Republicans have no choice but to hear them. And when we vote, Republicans will have no excuse to pretend they don’t know exactly what is at stake.

“Instead, every one of them will have a simple choice. Will you listen to the families who are speaking up? The people who are saying to you in no uncertain terms, that if you put this judge on the court, if you win this partisan lawsuit, it could kill me.

“Or will you ignore them?

“If Republicans truly want to reassure their constituents, want to show they are listening—the choice is simple: vote “NO” on this nomination.

“And to those who choose to put this President, and the profoundly lost Republican Party, above anything else, to those Republicans who are capping these brutal last four years off with such a staggering show of fealty, partisanship, and callousness: Know the consequences of this vote will be felt long after this President is gone from office—regardless of the outcome of this election. People across the country will not forget. And neither will your Democratic colleagues.

“Thank you.”