Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference with Little Lobbyists Calling for Republicans to Oppose Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare

Sep 26, 2017
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C.  – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Raul Ruiz and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester were joined by Little Lobbyists for a press conference calling on Republicans to oppose the monstrous Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare bill.  Little Lobbyists are health care advocates representing children with complex medical conditions who would be severely impacted by loss of coverage for pre-existing conditions.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi.  This is a special day in the Capitol, when our VIPs join us: our very important people: our children, our future.  The Little Lobbyists have been a force for a while now in protecting our care.  Care for all Americans, starting with our Little Lobbyists.  They have been on the lawn; Charlie and I have been out there with her mom on the lawn, on the phone, all the rest.

One of the Little Lobbyists told me that despite – well not despite – because he had some pre-existing conditions that he was going to be President of the United States.  He wanted me to show him where Lincoln sat when he was in Congress.   He might take this path.

So with all of the enthusiasm they have as children, with all the eloquence their statement makes about a pre-existing condition for a child and that they’re willing to join every patient group, all of the health care providers, every Medicaid director in all of the 50 states.  All of them coming out opposed to Graham-Cassidy.  That’s what brings us here today, this is not over.  

Graham-Cassidy is devastating for children and families with preexisting conditions.  Families like Austin’s and Elena’s, who you’ll hear from, would suffer unimaginable costs.  Those beautiful children would be burdened with higher costs for the rest of their lives.

Opposition to Trumpcare is growing in the Senate but the fight is not over.  Republicans must abandon Trumpcare and join us for constructive, bipartisan talks to improve and update the Affordable Care Act.

Armed with these stories, we will finally put a stake in the heart of this monstrous bill.  But again, these families and families like them have been with us from the start.  They helped us push open the gate when there was an obstacle to passing the Affordable Care Act.  Here now, again to protect our care.

And again, in the battle to protect our care, nothing is more eloquent than the stories of the families who would suffer from the cruelty of Trumpcare.  We’re here with the Little Lobbyists to amplify their stories and answer the question, what would Trumpcare mean to the innocent families of America?

Here to tell those stories, we’re very happy to be here with Austin Carrigg, who’s here with her daughter Melanie, and Elena Hung, mother of Xiomara and then so many other friends I said. 

So many other friends.  As I said, Charlie is a regular, right Charlie?  Give us a wave.  


We are honored to have two members of Congress who have had affordable care as a part of their life’s work.  [Representative] Lisa Blunt Rochester was a Deputy Secretary of Health and Social Services in the state of Delaware before she came to the Congress.  She is here as a freshman; we look forward to hearing from her.  

First we will hear, though, from Dr. Raul Ruiz, also Representative Raul Ruiz from California, who has served in public health.  In terms of public health, he knows about the policy, he knows about the delivery of service, he knows about the impact on people’s lives.  He has been a champion.  He has gathered us on the lawn with so many health care providers to tell their stories and most of those people told their stories and said most of their patients have pre-existing medical conditions.  

So, with that and for many reasons, I acknowledge his public service, both as a physician and his public service as a policymaker, to protect our care.  I am pleased to yield to the distinguished gentleman from California: Congressman, Dr. Raul Ruiz. 

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Well, you’ve convinced the Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell because he said there will be no vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill. 


That is good news for the moment.  One thing is for sure: while we praise our Little Lobbyists and how persuasive they are, and how they tear at our heartstrings when we hear their stories or we hear them or see them smile, it is also a statement to be made about our country that the parents of these Little Lobbyists are the real fighters for protecting our care and our country.

I would just say, having traveled the country and seeing the Little Lobbyists and the moms advocating on Capitol Hill to the Senate and the House, you do not want to stand in between one of these moms and the good health care of her child.  Dads too.  We have a dad here too.  The dads and the moms both.  All of them have been so wonderful and when they communicate to the Members of Congress from their own area, no voice is more eloquent, no passion deeper, no knowledge more profound.  No determination stronger. 

So I want to thank the Little Lobbyists and their moms and their dads for the success we’ve had today.  I hope they don’t think they’ll start this up in the House, but if they do, we’ll be ready for them.  Won’t we moms, dads, and children?  So I thank them.  They and other advocates out there telling their stories have made all the difference in the world.  They have acted in a way that has been a matter of life and death.  Protecting a good healthy life and sustaining that life. 

So I thank all of them and we thank you for joining us.  So, when we have our call at 4:30 today with the advocacy groups, we’ll talk about how we go from here to a bipartisan path to improve and update the Affordable Care Act.  In doing so, we’ll have two great leaders in the Congress: Congresswoman Blunt Rochester who spoke to us earlier, and Congressman, a physician, Raul Ruiz.  Let us thank them also for their leadership. 

Okay.  Charlie is a seasoned advocate.  She knows the names of all the people out on the lawn.  Right, Charlie? And when I told her I knew some of those people, she thought I was important.  

Is that right, Charlie?  Thank you all very much.

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