Durbin: Senate Republicans Are Continuing Their Assault On The ACA Admist A Public Health Crisis

Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Was The Second Hearing Held Since The Senate Reconvened To Consider Judicial Nominees Who Are Hostile To The Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON – During today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) called out Senate Republicans for pushing forward judicial nominees with records of strident opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the midst of a public health pandemic.  Two of the three hearings the Senate Judiciary Committee has held since the Senate reconvened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic have been to consider judicial nominees who are hostile to the ACA. 

“I find it ironic that in the midst of this public health crisis, the Republicans have brought us two nominees for the second highest level of federal courts in a matter of three weeks, who have such disdain for the Affordable Care Act, which provides protection to millions of Americans,” Durbin said.  

Judge Wilson, before he was appointed to the state court last year, was a state representative and a frequent column-writer in a local newspaper.  Numerous times, Judge Wilson has spoken, written, and tweeted criticisms of the Affordable Care Act.  In one of his columns, Judge Wilson wrote, “for the sake of the Constitution, I hope the Court strikes down the law and reinvigorates some semblance of the limited government the Founders intended.”  In another column, he described the ACA as “big, intrusive government” and as “perverse” and “illegitimate.”  Judge Wilson has tweeted negatively about the ACA more than 30 times. 

Durbin also pressed Judge Wilson to explain his attacks on Senate hearings on voting rights that Durbin held, but Judge Wilson refused to answer.

Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

Two weeks ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit Court, who also has a record of stridently opposing the Affordable Care Act.

Since the first day of the Trump Administration, the President and Republicans have acted to raise families’ health costs, take away their coverage, eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and lower the quality of health care coverage.  Republicans are:

  • Supporting a partisan lawsuit that would raise health care costs and take health insurance and protections away from tens of millions of people;
  • Refusing to stop President Trump’s “junk” insurance plans, which increase costs and don’t protect patients with pre-existing conditions;
  • Opposing steps that would lower the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, like Medicare negotiation;
  • Defending President Trump’s budget proposals that would cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid, jeopardizing care for vulnerable seniors, children, and people with disabilities; and,
  • Standing with President Trump as he implements a “gag rule” on medical providers in Title X-funded clinics across the country, jeopardizing reproductive care for millions of patients.
  • Rubber-stamping the confirmation of Trump judicial nominees who have publicly criticized the Affordable Care Act and who would not commit to recuse themselves from cases involving that law.