By Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville)
This week, I joined President Obama, Members of Congress, and national health care leaders for a summit to discuss reforms to our nations costly and inefficient health care system, which is an enormous burden on American families, businesses and the economy. Together with the Obama Administration, we will take the appropriate steps to enact health care reform legislation this year to improve the quality of care and reduce costs for all Americans. As we continue to work towards an economic recovery, reforming health care is necessary to strengthen American competitiveness and ensure the long-term prosperity of our country.
On Thursday, the House passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. This legislation implements some of the most important provisions included in President Obamas Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, including key incentives to encourage lenders to negotiate affordable mortgages for responsible homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Stabilizing the housing market is essential to restoring the economy, and I hope that this bill is sent quickly to the Presidents desk.
This week, we faced some challenges on the D.C. House Voting Rights Act to give the 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia what every other American citizen has voting representation in the U.S. Congress. It is unconscionable that of all the worlds democracies, ours is the only one where the citizens living in the national capital are denied full voting rights. I remain committed to working with the Democratic leadership, Congresswoman Norton, President Obama and all other supporters of D.C. voting rights to pass this historic legislation, and hope to consider the measure next week.
Next week, we will also consider the Water Quality Investment Act, which makes critical investments in our clean water and environmental infrastructure. In addition, I hope the Senate will complete consideration on the Omnibus Appropriations bill funding government operations for the rest of the fiscal year, so that we can send it the President for his signature.