Rep. John Lewis Speaks Against Republican Repeal Bill
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) speaks against the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the floor of the House of Representatives
March 24, 2017
"Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend for yielding. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this bill.
"As elected representatives, we have a mission, an obligation, and a mandate to fight for each and every American. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, who will stand for the American people? Who will speak up for those who have been left out and left behind?
"Mr. Speaker, I have said it time and time again -- health care is a right. It is not a privilege reserved for a wealthy few. For what does it profit this body to pass this bill and lose our soul? This bill is a shame. It is a disgrace.
"Mr. Speaker, today my heart breaks for the disabled, for women, for seniors, and working families. My heart aches for those who are living paycheck-to-paycheck. My heart mourns for innocent, little children whose very life depends on if their families can pay the bills. This is the right and wrong of it. This is the heart and soul of the matter. We cannot abandon our principles. Mr. Speaker, we cannot forget our values.
"I have fought too hard and too long to back down now. I will fight any bill that turns the clock back to a darker time. I will fight every single attempt to turn a deaf ear, a blind eye, and a cold shoulder to the sick, to our seniors, and to working families. Mr. Speaker, I will fight every day, every hour, every minute, and every second. I will oppose this bill with every breath and every bone in my body.
"We must not give up. We cannot – I will not -- give in. Not today, not tomorrow, and never ever. On this bill, there is only one option – and that option is to vote NO. You can do better. Mr. Speaker, you must do better. Vote no on this bill!"