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United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 21, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

I rise in strong support of this final omnibus package that includes critical legislation from the Energy and Commerce Committee.

First, this agreement includes $69 billion to crush the coronavirus by supporting the rapid and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as critical testing and contact tracing.

Second, this package finally ends surprise medical bills for American consumers. These surprise bills have burdened millions of patients with crushing medical debts. It saves money, which pays for a 3-year extension to fund community health centers and other vital healthcare programs.

Third, the bill phases down HFCs. This is a big win in the fight against climate change, along with the reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Act, which reduces methane leaks.

And, fourth, we provide major assistance for struggling families to better afford their internet service.

These are just a few of the key provisions from the Energy and Commerce Committee.

But I want to end by thanking the chair, Nita Lowey. As she mentioned, she and Eliot Engel, myself, and Rich Neal are the last in our class. I hate to say it that way. She has been an outstanding legislator and a great friend. My only regret is that she is going to just leave Richie Neal and myself to carry on here. So I really wish she would not leave, but I know she wants to, and I wish her the best. I love you, Nita.

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