(202) 225 - 3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference today with the House Democratic Leadership and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey to mark the beginning of Floor consideration for appropriations bills that invest in America's priorities. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Over the last six years, President Bush and the rubberstamp Republican Congress shortchanged America's priorities and neglected our country's most pressing needs. Even as federal spending increased - Republicans failed to fully invest in America's future.
"Democrats are building on the change we have brought to Washington over the last five months by bringing the first of 12 bills that will fund all government programs to the House Floor today.
"This week we will move America forward on two issues that are absolutely critical to our future economic, environmental and national security - investing $3 billion to foster American energy independence and combat global warming through the Energy and Water bill alone.
"Democrats will increase investments in the research and development of biofuels.
"We will increase investments aimed at improving vehicle fuel efficiency.
"We will increase investments in energy efficient buildings and industrial conservation technologies that will reduce demand.
"We will make significantly greater investments in making solar energy more viable and affordable.
"We will increase the federal investment in Weatherization Grants and other cost-effective measures that will enhance conservation.
"And we will increase investments in alternative energy sources - like hydropower and geothermal - that have the potential to break our addiction to foreign oil and transform the global energy market forever.
"After six years of inattention and inaction on these crucial objectives, Democrats will provide the American public with the lasting results they demand. And we will do it in a fiscally-responsible manner - taking the first steps towards balanced budgets by 2012, and reducing earmarks and making more them transparent.
"The President has said he will once again defy the will of the American people and veto these measures over an amount equal to what we spend in just two months in Iraq. Democrats believe that investing in America's priorities deserve his support."