Weekly Democratic Address
July 6, 2018
Hi, I’m Senator Patty Murray from Washington state.
If you’re listening, I don’t have to tell you how much is at stake as President Trump nominates his next Supreme Court justice. You are already thinking about what this could mean for our future, for voting rights, for our environment, for workers, for LGBTQ equality. You know just as well as I do that in particular, a Trump nominee could gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and take away constitutional protections for women’s reproductive rights under Roe v. Wade.
In a moment as pivotal as this, it can feel like there’s no way to make a difference. But nothing is further from the truth. In fact, it is essential that President Trump and Republicans hear from people like you nationwide who do not want to go backward.
Today, I want to talk with you about what we all can do to make it clear just how unacceptable an extreme, ideological Supreme Court nominee would be – and push Senate Republicans to join Democrats in rejecting this kind of selection from President Trump. We need to stay focused on what’s at stake – and not let the extreme right wing distract us for a minute. Republicans are already trying to downplay the reality that this pick could undermine women’s reproductive rights or protections for pre-existing conditions.
Let’s be clear: President Trump has broken a whole lot of campaign promises, but he has never wavered in attacking Obamacare and undermining women’s access to health care. There is no question he is hoping to put a justice on the bench who would deny women health care rights and patients’ access to affordable care. We need to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. Because despite what some Republicans claim, the truth is that these rights do hang in the balance. But I also believe that if we stay focused – we have reasons to be hopeful about the fight ahead.
We’ve seen before just how much impact individual voices can have. I’ve been so inspired by the people nationwide who stood up and rejected attempts by President Trump and Republicans to take affordable health care away. Your voices and stories can have just as much impact in this fight, too. I know, because I got my start in public service when someone told me my voice didn’t matter.
Back when my kids were little, I learned the state legislature wanted to shut down their preschool program. So I bundled my kids in the car, drove 100 miles to the state capitol to explain why this program was important. But as I was making my case to a state Senator, he told me I was ‘just a mom in tennis shoes’ and couldn’t make a difference. I was so mad – I drove straight home and called all the other parents. They called more parents. And together, we saved the preschool.
Look, those who want to go back to the days when insurers could deny patients coverage because of a pre-existing condition – or when women had to seek out back-alley abortions – want you to feel powerless now, because that’s how they win. We can’t let them. So please, tell anyone who isn’t fired up yet what’s at stake. Tweet – post – march – call and write [to] your elected officials. The more you make your voice heard, the harder it will be for Senate Republicans to support a justice who will take our country backward.
And I know that I and Democrats will be making the case and fighting alongside you every step of the way. Thank you, let’s get to work.