Heading Into District Work Period, Republicans Miss Debt Ceiling Deadline, Continue To Stall On Budget And Fail to Replace the Sequester

For Immediate Release:

May 24, 2013

MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP

This week, the Republican-led House officially missed the deadline to act on the debt ceiling, which had been suspended through May 18th and again took effect on the 19th. Congress has a responsibility to achieve a big, balanced, and bipartisan solution to our deficits instead of playing games with the creditworthiness of the United States. We need to give our economy, American businesses, and financial markets the certainty they deserve. 

We also need to complete our work on a budget that replaces the irrational sequester. Despite many calls to resume regular order and complete our work on the budget from House Democrats and Republican Senators alike, House Republicans continue to stall on the budget process. It has been 64 days since the House passed their budget, more than ample time to complete our work on a budget that replaces the irrational sequester providing certainty for our economy and American families. Earlier this week, as the sequester's adverse effects continued to mount, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen reintroduced a bill to replace the sequester and I've strongly urged House Republicans to bring it to the Floor for a vote immediately.  

Instead of working on the serious fiscal challenges that face our nation, Republicans continue to focus on messaging bills.  This week, Republicans passed a bill that will make college more expensive for students.  While I believe that the House must take action to keep student loan interest rates low before the July 1st deadline, we must do so in a smart way that does not create more obstacles for students pursuing higher education. Additionally, House Republicans passed a bill that would allow for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without completing critical permits and reviews currently required under law.

On Thursday, I joined with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, to introduce the “Half-in-Ten” Act. This bill would establish the Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty to develop and implement a national strategy to reduce poverty by half in ten years, as well as provide regular reports on their progress to Congress. I am committed to working toward solutions that help all Americans, especially those struggling and most in need, and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation.

When Congress returns from the Memorial Day district work period, it is my hope that we can focus on the great fiscal challenges that confront us in a balanced and bipartisan way.

Sincerely yours, 

STENY H. HOYER

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