Category Archives: Music

Saturday … “S” is for special … 🎵

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pics: R.T.

Soup!

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Text and recipe by Chef Joey

As this wacky weather tries to confuse us, one thing is certain on a cold raw day … soup. Soup is good food, inexpensive and nutritious. All you need are a few veggies and the basis of most soups – ONION!

For centuries humans have had some sort of soup – hence the word to “SUP” or SUPPER – it means soup.

Onion Soup

Here is a quick onion soup recipe that is easy to make, and the first few steps are the basis to many soups – like lentil, barley, minestrone – you just keep adding to it.

If you ever make a soup with pasta or rice – cook those items separately and add them to the soup last minute. What you don’t eat can be frozen separately. When you add these items to a soup, they continue to swell and take over the broth!

Basic Onion Soup – serves 6

3 Large onions, peeled cut in half then sliced

3 cloves of garlic chopped fine

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💗💗💗💗💗🎵

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp sugar

8 cups water

Beef Bouillon

3 tablespoons flour (cornstarch for gluten free)

If using cornstarch, mix with cold water then add to soup to prevent lumps.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic.

Stir to make them sweat, then add ¼ cup water and cover.

Simmer until soft.

This is the base for most soups.

For French onion, add the sugar and stir constantly. As the water evaporates the onions will start to brown. As they get nice and caramelized, add the flour mix by sprinkling a spoonful at a time and stirring. Once incorporated (or thickened with cornstarch), add the rest of the water and your beef base (follow the instructions on the container). I like the Knorr MSG free individual containers.

Basically, that’s it. Stir and let simmer for a ½ hour.

Salt and pepper to taste – if it seems too watery add some more base.

For other soups: add your veggies or lentils or barley or mix them – they are 70 cents a bag and can feed 8 people and the protein is amazing.

Cube up a couple of potatoes and carrots. Add celery tomatoes and corn – and you have a minestrone!

Enjoy!

Mark your calendars for an REC Special day:

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The Stripes!

Stephen!

Cake🎂🎵🎂🎵🎵 – yum yum!🌺 and a song for Gigi!🐰

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Chef Joey made all the great cakes, below!

CAKES AND FROSTING!

Pics, text and recipes by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey made a Smiley Cake last Sunday for Gigi! Go, little girl, go!!

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A Smiley cake made easy – and WITH LOVE – by Chef Joey!

Basic Vanilla Cake:

The base for homemade cakes is so simple – keep this recipe for life!!

2 ½ cups sifted flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups HOT water

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the flour, sugar and oil until well mixed like a thick paste.

Sprinkle with the baking soda and powder and pour the hot water on it. It will start foaming.

Mix BY HAND with a wooden spoon.

Add the vanilla extract.

Pour into your pre-dusted cake pan and bake 20-25 mins for 2 rounds and about 35 for a rectangle cake at 350 degrees.

For Chocolate cake, add 6 tbsp of powdered cocoa to the flour before you sift it.

For Orange cake, add the zest of one orange and substitute ½ cup water for juice.

For Citrus cake, add the zests of lemons and limes and 1 tsp lemon or lime juice during the final mix.

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Chef Joey at work!

Sooo Easy Frosting:

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 ½ 1teaspoons vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.

Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Add your yellow food coloring* if making a Smiley Cake.

Or make an ALL NATURAL YELLOW COLOR:

You can make natural food coloring by taking a small saucepan … add ¼ cup water, bring to a boil.

Add ½ tsp of turmeric for 3 to 5 minutes.

Allow to fully cool.

Add 1 tsp to your icing.

You can store this for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container …

… Or add it to chic peas with some oil, salt and lemon juice for a refreshing snack! Turmeric stains so be extra careful.

Back to the frosting: Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.

If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.

If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.

You can frost a 13- x 9-inch or fill and frost an 8-inch two-layer cake. Make another ½ cup for a 9 inch cake.

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Music 🎵🇺🇸 to our ears!

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Congressman Jim McGovern

From Jim’s office:

McGovern: Republican EPA Bill is a Giveaway to Corporate Polluters

McGovern Slams GOP for Putting Profits Ahead of Public Health

Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern led debate for House Democrats on the House floor against the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, a bill from House Republicans that limits the participation of scientific experts at the EPA, and would lead to a disproportionate representation of big business and corporate special interests.

Below are excerpts of today’s remarks:

HOUSE GOP IGNORES REAL ISSUES

“Today we are considering a piece of legislation that seeks to prevent the EPA from protecting public health and the environment. This bill was brought [up] in an emergency meeting last night. I think the American people have a pretty good idea of what is and what isn’t an emergency.

“We have no shortage of actual emergencies that we should be dealing with – a devastating opioid epidemic, crumbling roads and bridges, mounting evidence of Russian meddling in our election, and people being killed every day due to gun violence, not to mention Flint, Michigan is still dealing with the residual health effects of toxically-polluted water. These are just a few examples of actual emergencies that Congress is doing nothing to address.”

“As we learned last week, the American people are paying attention to what we do here. They are smart enough to know what an emergency is. And this bill isn’t addressing an emergency. it’s creating one!”

GOP BILL ATTACKS SCIENCE, HELPS POLLUTERS

“The Science Advisory Board at the EPA provides a way for the agency to use sound, independent, and objective scientific data to help make their decisions. “This bill limits the participation of scientific experts at the EPA, leading to a disproportionate representation of big business and corporate special interests. Are these really the people we want making decisions about the health of our kids and the policies that should be protecting our environment?

“There’s nothing scientific about corruption and that’s exactly what this bill will open the door to.

“This bill is about allowing the Republicans’ big corporate cronies a direct route to the decision-makers at the EPA. It’s about disrupting the EPA’s ability to fairly enforce the rules, hold corporate polluters accountable, and protect our health. It’s about undermining scientific fact with political cronyism.

“Americans can’t afford to have the EPA run by people who live in a fantasy land where facts and science don’t matter. Our environment and the health of our families is too important. This bill defies logic, it defies reason. It will hurt the people who sent us here and it will help polluters. Republicans are putting corporate greed ahead of public health and the American people will be the ones who will suffer. Americans deserve better. We should be fighting for them.”

FIRST GRADE SCIENCE LESSON FOR GOP

“Let me tell my Republican friends what I tell first graders that I visit back in my district in Massachusetts. Science is important. It’s a big deal.

“Scientists tell us things that are really important, like climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, something my Republican friends continually deny. They tell us that polluted air can give children asthma. They tell us that lead in children’s drinking water causes learning problems. They tell us pesticide exposure can cause cancer. These are important things.

“You know, the first graders I speak to, they get it. They understand the importance of science. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues in this chamber do not. I would bet that those first graders understand the importance that it is scientists that sit on scientific advisory boards and not corporate cronies.”

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Floor Speech:

“ I rise in strong opposition to this rule and the underlying legislation. This is the 23rd closed rule of this short new Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans have been denied the opportunity to amend nearly 60 percent of the legislation that has been brought to the Floor through the Rules Committee. This effort by Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership to halt a fair and open debate in the People’s House is outrageous. We’re supposed to be a deliberative body – where both parties get to deliberate. These Putin-esque rules – that shut down all debate – need to stop. This isn’t the Kremlin.

“I think Representative Rooney – a Republican – said it best last week. Quote, “I’ve been in this job eight years, and I’m wracking my brain to think of one thing our party has done that’s been something positive, that’s been something other than stopping something else from happening,’

“Well, today we are considering a piece of legislation that seeks to prevent the EPA from protecting public health and the environment. Not exactly positive. This bill was brought to the Rules Committee in an emergency meeting last night. Let me emphasize that – an emergency meeting.

“I think the American people have a pretty good idea of what is and what isn’t an emergency. A tree falls on your house? That’s an emergency. Your rose bush needs pruning? Not an emergency. Timmy fell down a well? That’s an emergency. Timmy might stub his toe? Not an emergency. On April 28th, the government will run out of money. That’s an emergency, even if it is self-inflicted by the Republicans.

“And we have no shortage of other ACTUAL emergencies that we should be dealing with – a devastating opioid epidemic, crumbling roads and bridges, mounting evidence of Russian meddling in our election, and people being killed every day due to gun violence, not to mention Flint, Michigan is still dealing with the residual health effects of toxically-polluted water. These are just a few examples of actual emergencies that Congress is doing NOTHING to address.

“Instead, the underlying bill — the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act — was brought to the Rules Committee and to the House floor as emergency legislation. As we learned last week, the American people are paying attention to what we do here. They are smart enough to know what an emergency is. And this bill isn’t addressing an emergency. it’s creating one!

“The Science Advisory Board at the EPA provides a way for the agency to use sound, independent, and objective scientific data to help make their decisions. Science, you may have heard of it. It’s kind of a big deal.

“But this bill won’t help the EPA to include more scientists in their decisions – it will force them to include people with potential financial conflicts of interest on the Science Advisory Board, so long as they disclose them. Do we really want people on our advisory boards if they could profit from a decision they are about to make? There’s nothing scientific about corruption and that’s exactly what this bill will open the door to.

“This bill also limits the participation of scientific experts at the EPA, leading to a disproportionate representation of big business and corporate special interests. Are these really the people we want making decisions about the health of our kids and the policies that should be protecting our environment? Is that what we want?

“So what is this bill really about? It’s about allowing the Republican’s big corporate cronies a direct route to the decision-makers at the EPA. It’s about disrupting the EPA’s ability to fairly enforce the rules, hold corporate polluters accountable, and protect our health. It’s about undermining scientific fact with political cronyism. Maybe things have changed lately – it’s been a while since my last science class – but I’m pretty sure there’s no step in the scientific method that says “consult corporate cronies.”

“The truth is that this Republican majority wants the EPA to base their decisions on fiction, not fact. Americans can’t afford to have the EPA run by people who live in a fantasy land where facts and science don’t matter. Our environment and the health of our families is too important. This law is going to have real life consequences. It will undermine science, hurt the environment, and help polluters.

“We need to allow the EPA to make decisions based on fact. We need to ensure the EPA is always free from financial conflicts – not making decisions based on panels filled with industry insiders like the ones this bill would create.

“This bill defies logic, it defies reason, and it defies sanity. It will hurt the people who sent us here and it will help polluters. Republicans are putting corporate greed ahead of public health and the American people will be the ones who will suffer. Americans deserve better. We should be fighting for them.

“Let me tell my Republican friends what I tell first graders that I visit back in my district in Massachusetts when I go to visit their schools. I usually begin by telling them that science is important. It’s a big deal. And it’s such a big deal that all our schools teach it. And if you do your homework, and you study hard, and you pay attention, you might grow up someday to become a scientist.

“Scientists are people who dedicate their lives to protect the health and well-being of all over the world. And they dedicate their lives to protect our planet. Scientists tell us things that are really important, like climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, something my Republican friends continually deny. They tell us that polluted air can give children asthma. They tell us that lead in children’s drinking water causes learning problems. They tell us pesticide exposure can cause cancer. These are important things.

“And we all learned in school, thanks to science, that the Earth orbits around the sun. That gravity causes this pen to fall when I drop it. That plants turn sunshine into energy. That dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago.

“You know, the first graders I speak to, they get it. They understand the importance of science. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues in this chamber do not. I would bet that those first graders understand the importance that it is scientists that sit on scientific advisory boards and not corporate cronies.”

*******

More 🎵🎹🇺🇸 to our ears – thanks, Jim!💚

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Go, Congressman McGovern, go!

From Jim McGovern’s office:

Congressman McGovern: GOP Health Bill a Reverse Robin Hood! – Stealing from Working Class to give tax cut to Billionaires!

Today Congressman Jim McGovern led floor debate for House Democrats as Republicans began the process for consideration of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Congressman McGovern – who was the top Democrat at the more than 12-hour markup of the bill last night – called out Republicans for rushing the bill to a vote without any hearings or input from experts.

Congressman McGovern also called out Republicans for refusing to even tell members of Congress what is in the bill, which has constantly been changing as President Trump and Republican leadership have scrambled to get their members to support the bill.

Congressman McGovern’s Floor Speech – Excerpts Below:

“Republican Leadership and the White House are huddled behind closed doors as we speak, making deals that will have very real, very serious, very dangerous consequences for millions and millions of Americans.

“According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis – and this is truly incredible – this bill would actually result in more people being uninsured than if the Affordable Care Act were simply repealed. Let that sink in for a minute.

“In fact, Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. This bill is an age tax, plain and simple. And Republicans are cutting $880 billion from Medicaid! That’s a 25 percent cut in funding.

“This ‘reverse Robin Hood’ will steal from the working class and give to the wealthy. Under the Republican plan, 2.8 Billion dollars – that’s billion with a B – in tax breaks will go the 400 richest families in America each year.

“Now my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to be rushing this through in hopes that no one will figure out that it’s a tax break for the rich masquerading as a healthcare bill.

“Let me just remind my colleagues again that we’re talking about people’s lives here. I’m pretty sure the middle-class Americans who Republicans claim to be helping would be okay with delaying this reckless bill for a little while to give us a chance to find out what the impacts will be!

“Don’t jam a disastrous bill through the House with patched-up fixes. Wait for a revised CBO score. Listen to what members of your own conference are saying. Or better yet, don’t do this at all. Let’s go back to the drawing board. It’s clear Republicans never really had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Don’t pretend you did and then make our most vulnerable pay the consequences.”

******

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

“We aren’t here to debate the Republican health care repeal plan. We aren’t here to debate that, because Republican Leadership and the White House are huddled behind closed doors as we speak, making deals that will have very real, very serious, very dangerous consequences for millions and millions of Americans. Instead, we’re here to debate a martial law rule that will allow Republicans to rush their bill with its brand-new backroom deals to the floor today without any proper deliberation.

“As a matter of fact, it would let them rush any bill to the floor today – or any day through Monday.

“It’s a blanket martial law rule that lasts past the weekend – not specific to their health care bill, and not even specific to the topic of health care! What other bills could they be contemplating considering? We saw the Buffalo Bribe is already in the manager’s amendment, but this rule lets them bring up any other bill before the public has a chance to know what it is. Something on the Russia investigation, perhaps? I’ve seen a lot on that in the news lately. Or maybe we’ll give President Trump’s friend Putin a Congressional Gold Medal. It’s the least the Republicans could do after his help with the election!

“But let’s talk about what we have learned so far in the press. We first learned from news reports last night that Republicans were considering changes to the bill that would kill the Essential Health Benefits in current law.

“Let me say that again. Essential – as in “absolutely necessary; extremely important” as defined by the dictionary.

“And sure enough, we reported out this martial law rule in the dark of night, which will allow Republicans to bring the new and unimproved version of the bill – again, now with even more backroom deals – to the Rules Committee later today, or in the dead of night, and take it straight to the House Floor.

“Apparently, there’s no time for it to even sit for one day so members can read it, let alone get analysis from the non-partisan experts at CBO.

“Are they hoping that if they move quickly enough, no one will figure out what they’re up to?

“Well let me lay it out for everyone: essential health benefits require insurance plans to cover basic, essential benefits such as: emergency services, maternity care, mental health care and substance abuse treatment, pediatric services, and prescription drugs.

“The New York Times this morning pointed out that this late-breaking Republican proposal could lead to plans that cover aromatherapy, but not chemotherapy. Really? Are Republicans seriously contemplating making a change this massive without hearings? Without a markup? No CBO estimate of the impact? No chance to read the bill??? I’ve seen a lot in my years here, but this is truly unbelievable. You guys take my breath away.

“And that’s not even considering the already-dangerous bill we were supposed to be down here considering right now. Let me just make clear what that bill actually is.

“First, it is a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, paid for by taking health insurance away from 24 million people. Period.

“Anyone who takes five minutes to look at any unbiased analysis of the bill knows that this is true. Massive tax cuts for the well-off, at the expense of 24 million people. Let me paint a picture of how big that number is: 24 million people is basically the entire population of the country of Australia. It is more people than live in the states of Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia – combined.

“You know how I know the bill is a tax giveaway for the wealthy, and not a health care bill?

“Because according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis – and this is truly incredible – it would actually result in more people being uninsured than if the Affordable Care Act were simply repealed. Let that sink in for a minute.

“Second, their bill will cause people to pay more out of pocket dollars, for lower quality health insurance. That’s right, Republicans are asking people to pay more for less coverage. In particular, lower-income and older Americans will see their costs skyrocket – those people who can least afford to pay more.

“Third point, and this is a big one: the bill guts Medicaid and Medicare.

“Don’t take it from me: the AARP said, and I quote, ‘This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64, and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits.’

“In fact, Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. This bill is an age tax, plain and simple. And Republicans are cutting $880 billion from Medicaid! That’s a 25 percent cut in funding.

“All this, to give tax cuts to the rich and to corporations. The bill must look like a cruel joke to the most vulnerable among us.

“Representative Mo Brooks, a member of the Republican Conference, said just the other night, and I quote, ‘Quite frankly, I’m persuaded that this republican healthcare bill, long term, is a detriment to the future of the United States of America.’

“Finally, even before imposing martial law last night, this process was horrendous. The Republican majority rushed their bill through the committee process without any hearings. None. Zero. Just holding marathon markups where no Democratic amendments were accepted. None. Not one. They didn’t even wait for a CBO score!

“Then, when a score finally came, it showed that the bill would kick 24 million people off their insurance. Did they stop then? No! Of course Not!

“Yesterday, in the Rules Committee, we rushed ahead with a cobbled-together managers amendment – I’m sorry, four cobbled-together managers amendments, since the originals had errors – and again, no CBO score on the updated bill. Didn’t my colleagues learn their lesson from last week?

“And even worse – the main manager’s amendment, which we received just 36 hours before our meeting, is so full of backroom deals like the Buffalo Bribe, a cynical and likely unconstitutional agreement with wavering New York Republicans who know the republican healthcare plan would devastate New York.

“And now, they’re saying ‘Don’t Worry. If you don’t like this bill, it’s just step one of three. You’ll get another chance to vote on Healthcare during step three.’ Never mind that they can’t give us the full slate of bills that are part of this mysterious step three.

“Or maybe I should just take Republican Senator Cotton’s word for it. He said, and I quote, ‘There is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin.’

“Republican Senator Ted Cruz, from my colleague’s state of Texas, called the third prong of this three-bucket strategy, and I quote “the sucker’s bucket.” That’s your own member calling you a sucker if you vote for this!

“We heard testimony all day yesterday, and well into the night, about how disastrous this bill would be for hard working Americans. We heard about how countless major health organizations oppose this plan from the American Medical Association, to American Hospital Association, to the National Rural Health Association, to the AARP, to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, to the National Alliance on Mental Illness – and I could go on and on and on.

“This ‘reverse Robin Hood’ will steal from the working class and give to the wealthy. Under the Republican plan, 2.8 Billion dollars – that’s billion with a B – in tax breaks will go the 400 richest families in America each year.

“Now my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to be rushing this through in hopes that no one will figure out that it’s a tax break for the rich masquerading as a healthcare bill. And now, we find ourselves on the floor debating a martial-law rule that will take this reckless process from ‘light-speed’ to ‘warp-speed.’

“Let me just remind my colleagues again that we’re talking about people’s lives here. I’m pretty sure the middle-class Americans who Republicans claim to be helping would be okay with delaying this reckless bill for a little while to give us a chance to find out what the impacts will be!

“This process is beyond the pale. I’m honestly still stunned that we’re even here debating a martial law rule on legislation of this magnitude when changes to people’s basic essential health benefits are being contemplated without so much as a single hearing, let alone a CBO score. And again – we have no real clue what Republicans will be bringing to the floor later today.

“Now – I’m just going off of what I read in the news, since we haven’t gotten any actual updates from the other side of the aisle.

“This rule would allow them to bring anything to the floor today. Or tomorrow. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Monday. Literally anything.

“Will there be a new bill? Who knows! Will it even be on health care? Beats me!

“What mystery changes are they contemplating that are so broad they can’t even narrow their martial law authority down to the topic of healthcare?

“Please, I would ask my colleagues to slow down! Be thoughtful – this is not a game. You don’t get extra points for being fast. This health care repeal affects millions upon millions of Americans.

“Don’t jam a disastrous bill through the House with patched-up fixes. Wait for a revised CBO score. Listen to what members of your own conference are saying. Or better yet, don’t do this at all. Let’s go back to the drawing board. It’s clear Republicans never really had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Don’t pretend you did and then make our most vulnerable pay the consequences.

“This is a sad day. This is a sad day for this institution, but it is an even sadder day for the American people.”

🎵🎵🎵🎹🇺🇸 to our ears! … Congressman McGovern Leads House Democrats in Opposing GOP Health Bill at Final Committee Markup Before Vote

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Go, Jim, go!

From Jim’s office:

McGovern Slams GOP Move to Rush Health Bill Vote Without CBO Score

Congressman Jim McGovern, the top Democrat at today’s House Rules Committee markup of the American Health Care Act, criticized Republicans for rushing the bill to the House floor for a vote tomorrow without any analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the costs of the new version of the bill.

The CBO estimated that the first version of the bill would result in 24 million Americans losing healthcare.

Joining Congressman McGovern at today’s hearing was fellow Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), who is the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Both McGovern and Neal spoke about how Massachusetts has been a leader in healthcare reform and how the Republican bill would threaten healthcare access for Massachusetts families.

Below are excerpts from Congressman McGovern’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

TAX CUT FOR WEALTHY, MILLIONS LOSE COVERAGE

“You know how I know this bill is a tax giveaway for the wealthy, and not a health care bill? Because according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis – and this is truly incredible – it would actually result in more people being uninsured than if the Affordable Care Act were simply repealed. Let that sink in for a minute.

“Second, this bill will cause people to pay more out of pocket dollars, for lower quality health insurance. You’re asking people to pay more for less coverage. In particular, lower-income and older Americans will see their costs skyrocket – those people who can least afford to pay more.

“This bill guts Medicaid and Medicare. Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. This bill is an age tax, plain and simple. And you’re cutting $880 billion from Medicaid! That’s a 25 percent cut in funding. All this, to give tax cuts to the rich and to corporations? The bill must look like a cruel joke to the most vulnerable among us.”

GOP STEAMROLLING VOTE ON TRUMPCARE

“The Republican Majority rushed their bill through the committee process without any hearings, just holding marathon markups where no Democratic amendments were accepted. They didn’t even wait for a CBO score. Then when the score finally came, it showed the bill would kick 24 million people off their insurance. Did they stop then? No, of course not.

“We’re still full steam ahead, only now we have a cobbled-together manager’s amendment – I’m sorry, four cobbled-together manager’s amendments, since the originals had errors – and again no CBO score. Didn’t you learn your lesson last week? And even worse, this manager’s amendment, which we received just 36 hours ago, is full of backroom deals like the Buffalo Bribe, a cynical agreement with wavering New York Republicans who know the Republican healthcare plan would devastate New York.

“And now they’re saying, ‘don’t worry if you don’t like this bill, it’s just step one of three – you’ll get another chance to vote on health care during step three,’ never mind that they can’t give us the full slate of bills that are part of this mysterious ‘step three.’ Or maybe I should just take Senator Cotton’s word for it – he said, quote, ‘there is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin,’ end quote. Ted Cruz called the third prong of this ‘three-bucket’ strategy quote, ‘the sucker’s bucket,” end quote. The sucker’s bucket.

“Please, slow down! Think about what you’re doing. Don’t jam this disastrous bill through the House with patched-up fixes. Wait for a revised CBO score. Listen to what members of your own conference are saying. Or better yet, don’t do this at all. It’s clear you never really had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Don’t pretend you did and then make our most vulnerable pay the consequences.”

*****

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Opening Statement:

“First, let me just lay out what the bill actually is. It is a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, paid for by taking health insurance away from 24 million people. Period.

“Anyone who takes five minutes to look at any unbiased analysis of the bill knows that this is true. Massive tax cuts for the well-off, at the expense of 24 million people. Let me paint a picture of how big that number is: 24 million people is basically the entire population of the country of Australia. It is more people than live in the states of Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia – combined.

“You know how I know this bill is a tax giveaway for the wealthy, and not a health care bill? Because according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis – and this is truly incredible – it would actually result in more people being uninsured than if the Affordable Care Act were simply repealed. Let that sink in for a minute.

“Second, this bill will cause people to pay more out of pocket dollars, for lower quality health insurance. You’re asking people to pay more for less coverage. In particular, lower-income and older Americans will see their costs skyrocket – those people who can least afford to pay more.

“Third point, and this is a big one: this bill guts Medicaid and Medicare. Don’t take it from me: the AARP said, and I quote, “This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64, and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits.”

“In fact, Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are. This bill is an age tax, plain and simple. And you’re cutting $880 billion from Medicaid! That’s a 25 percent cut in funding. All this, to give tax cuts to the rich and to corporations? The bill must look like a cruel joke to the most vulnerable among us.

“Representative Mo Brooks, a member of the Republican Conference, said just last night, quote, “Quite frankly, I’m persuaded that this Republican healthcare bill…long-term, is a detriment to the future of the United States of America.”

“Finally, this process is horrendous. The Republican Majority rushed their bill through the committee process without any hearings, just holding marathon markups where no Democratic amendments were accepted. They didn’t even wait for a CBO score. Then when the score finally came, it showed the bill would kick 24 million people off their insurance. Did they stop then? No, of course not.

“We’re still full steam ahead, only now we have a cobbled-together manager’s amendment – I’m sorry, four cobbled-together manager’s amendments, since the originals had errors – and again no CBO score. Didn’t you learn your lesson last week? And even worse, this manager’s amendment, which we received just 36 hours ago, is full of backroom deals like the Buffalo Bribe, a cynical agreement with wavering New York Republicans who know the Republican healthcare plan would devastate New York.

“And now they’re saying, “don’t worry if you don’t like this bill, it’s just step one of three – you’ll get another chance to vote on health care during step three,” never mind that they can’t give us the full slate of bills that are part of this mysterious “step three.” Or maybe I should just take Senator Cotton’s word for it – he said, quote, “there is no three-step plan. That is just political talk. It’s just politicians engaging in spin,” end quote. Ted Cruz called the third prong of this “three-bucket” strategy quote, “the sucker’s bucket,” end quote. The sucker’s bucket.

“Please, slow down! Think about what you’re doing. Don’t jam this disastrous bill through the House with patched-up fixes. Wait for a revised CBO score. Listen to what members of your own conference are saying. Or better yet, don’t do this at all. It’s clear you never really had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Don’t pretend you did and then make our most vulnerable pay the consequences.”

Go, Jim, go!🎼💐

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Jim joins Meals on Wheels in Webster to help deliver nutritious meals to local elderly folks!💙

From Jim’s office:

Congressman Jim McGovern Joins Meals on Wheels to Help Deliver Nutritious Meals to Central Mass. Seniors!

Today U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a leading anti-hunger champion, joined local Meals on Wheels volunteers in Webster to help deliver meals to Central Massachusetts seniors in need.

The local chapter of Meals on Wheels serves nearly 500 seniors in 13 different communities in Central Massachusetts.

Today’s meal delivery to seniors with Congressman McGovern is part of his continued effort to raise awareness about the difference the program makes and fight back against the proposed funding cuts in President Trump’s budget that would hurt Meals on Wheels.

“America is the richest country in the world, but every year nearly 6 million seniors struggle with hunger. Thanks to Meals on Wheels and local organizations like Tri-Valley Inc., we’re helping to change that,” Congressman McGovern said. “Senior hunger is a problem we can solve, but not without these great organizations. President Trump’s budget would recklessly cut $3 billion from community development block grants that help fund Meals on Wheels.”

He continued: “We need strong investments to help fight senior hunger. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also cost effective, because keeping seniors in their homes with access to nutritious food is less expensive than providing nursing-home care.”

McGovern concluded: “We need to ensure that seniors aren’t falling through the cracks and that they aren’t going hungry. I am grateful to our local leaders and volunteers with Meals on Wheels and proud to support the work they do to help seniors in need.”

Joining Congressman McGovern for today’s Meals on Wheels delivery were members of Tri-Valley Inc., a non-profit serving seniors in Central Massachusetts, and local volunteers.

“Helping our Central Massachusetts seniors stay independent and get the nutritious meals they need is one of Tri-Valley’s top priorities. We are proud to work with Congressman McGovern and Meals on Wheels to serve our local communities and help to stop senior hunger,” Tri-Valley Inc. Executive Director and CEO Marilyn L. Travinski said.

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.