With two weeks left before Election Day and millions of Americans already casting their ballots, President Donald Trump still has not indicated what his policy agenda would be for a second term. He has ping-ponged from one message to another, from disingenuous pleas to "suburban women" to questioning the advice of health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci -- and, more troublingly, from crisis to crisis, chief among them, a resurgent pandemic.
Democrats, on the other hand, are offering a stark contrast to the American people. Our closing argument is clear: we will build back better for the people. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has already offered a broad preview of what Americans could expect with Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats in charge of the House and Senate.
In a little under two years since winning control of the House, Democrats have advanced a clear and comprehensive policy agenda for the people, focused on health care, the economy, cleaning up corruption, and strengthening our democracy.
Unfortunately, over the same period, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have obstructed the enactment of this agenda by opposing legislation, many broadly supported by large majorities of Americans. Hundreds of bipartisan bills passed by the House are now stalled in the Republican-led Senate. Our policies reflect our commitment to confronting the crises we now face and addressing challenges too long ignored.
For example, the Democratic-led House worked quickly and effectively to protect Americans from Covid-19 and take steps to re-open our economy safely. While President Trump lied to the American people and downplayed the seriousness of this pandemic, and Congressional Republicans abetted his irresponsible actions, Democrats took this crisis seriously from the very start.
The House took action by passing four major pieces of legislation to ensure free testing and treatment for Covid-19, deliver direct payments to Americans, support small businesses and their employees through the Paycheck Protection Program and provide an extra $600 a week for those needing unemployment insurance during this pandemic.
Thankfully, Republicans joined us in enacting those first four Covid-19 relief bills. However, after House Democrats took further action in May and again in October to provide additional relief through the Heroes Act, Republicans in the Senate blocked it and continue to do so.
Even as we confront the Covid-19 pandemic, the Democratic-led House has made lowering health care costs a priority, passing over 10 pieces of legislation to do just that.
Under a Democratic government, the federal government would no longer sabotage access to affordable health care or seek to end protections for those with pre-existing conditions -- as President Trump and Republicans have done in the middle of a deadly pandemic. A Biden administration, in partnership with a Democratic House and Senate, would defend and strengthen the Affordable Care Act while taking further action to lower prescription drug costs. Democrats continue to seek partners across the aisle who are ready to work with us to achieve these goals, which are so critical to millions of American families.
Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress will restore the promise that anyone who works hard and takes responsibility can make it in America. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, too many Americans were struggling. President Trump and Republicans have ignored the plight of those working families; instead, the focus of his first term was cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
In contrast, the Democratic House passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ensure equal pay for equal work, protect workers' right to organize for better pay and benefits, and make long-overdue investments in rebuilding our nation's infrastructure that would create well-paying jobs.
Under the stewardship of a President Biden and a Democratic Congress, the integrity of our democratic institutions and those who serve in office would be restored and protected after four years of the Trump administration's rampant corruption. Within the first 10 weeks of our majority, House Democrats passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to end the influence of dark money in our politics, restore voting rights, engage in national redistricting reform, and clean up corruption in Washington.
Since then, we have taken additional steps to make our elections more secure, prevent foreign interference, and protect our postal system so Americans can safely vote by mail. With a President Biden and Democratic Senate, we can finally make these reforms a reality.
In so many other areas, Americans know exactly what electing Joe Biden as president, expanding the Democratic majority in the House, and sending a Democratic majority to the Senate will mean for them and their families -- while all they know from President Trump is chaos and uncertainty. Democrats will confront climate change head-on in a way that creates jobs and makes the United States the world's leader -- even as too many Republicans have denied it exists.
Democrats will work to end gun violence by enacting reforms that the overwhelming majority of Americans support -- even as Republicans have largely looked the other way. Democrats will advance measures that ensure the equality of every American -- even as Republicans have voted against legislation in the House aimed at protecting equal rights and opportunity for women, LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and minority groups facing discrimination.
The policy agenda that House Democrats advanced over the past two years has been driven by a determination to respond to the most pressing concerns of the American people. It is a blueprint for leadership -- one that will not only help us build back better from this pandemic but build ladders of opportunity for those who have long been struggling to make it in America.