Chairman Crowley Pushes for Health Care Protections, Immigrant Rights in Government Funding Bill

(Washington, D.C.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) introduced a series of amendments to the government funding bill that would defend middle class families against Republican attempts to undermine vital health care and immigration priorities. The Crowley amendments would, among other provisions, secure critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act and prohibit government funds from being spent on efforts to deport individuals eligible for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) or the expanded Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) programs.

As part of the government funding process, members of Congress are able to submit amendments to ensure federal funds are allocated in commonsense manners that protect constituents. Crowley introduced or co-sponsored eight amendments – all aimed at improving the lives of individuals living in Queens, the Bronx, and across the country, such as ensuring they continue to have access to quality health care and do not see their tax dollars wasted on President Trump’s detestable immigration policies.

“It’s unconscionable that federal dollars would be used to advance the political agenda of congressional Republicans and President Trump. They didn’t think we’d pay attention but we are, and I won’t stand for it,” said Crowley. “Unable to push forward their disastrous Trumpcare plan to strip millions of access to health care, Republicans are trying to sneak a repeal past the American people.  House Republicans are also giving President Trump a blank check for his despicable mass deportation efforts.”

House Republicans blocked from consideration seven of Crowley’s amendments, listed below:

  • A provision to restore the ability to use funds for the ACA navigator program, which assists individuals in enrolling in the health insurance exchanges and choosing a plan.
  • A provision to restore IRS’s ability to enforce the ACA’s individual mandate.
  • A provision to prohibit funds from being used to deport anyone who would be covered by DAPA or the expanded DACA established under President Obama.
  • A provision to prohibit funds from being used to deport an active service member or veteran, or a member of a service member’s or veteran’s immediate family.
  • Two amendments to reinstate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which provides international family planning and women's health services.
  • A provision restoring funding for the Title X program, the only dedicated domestic program that supports public and independent clinics providing family planning and preventive health services.

One of Crowley’s amendments, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), was passed by voice vote. It pressures the U.S. Department of State to ensure that Jakiw Palij, a guard for the Nazis during World War II who lives in Crowley’s district in Queens, is no longer allowed to live in the United States. Crowley has pushed the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Tillerson, to deport Palij, who served as a guard at a Nazi prison camp in Poland during the Holocaust.