WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the opening of the new Congress:
“Today, Members of Congress swear our oath of office, fully aware of the difficult work ahead of us. This session of Congress begins at a trying moment in our history, and when it is over, I believe that it will be recognized as one of the most challenging and pivotal in memory. But we are also full of confidence and hope for a new year – that we will work together in a bipartisan manner to meet the challenges we face.
“The most pressing issue on our agenda is a response to the economic crisis that has led to such severe job losses for American workers. With those losses in mind, we will work with President-elect Obama and our Republican colleagues to build a recovery package aimed at strengthening our economy and creating or saving 3 million jobs. Economic recovery legislation will include middle-class tax relief, job-creating projects to renew our national infrastructure, aid to hard-hit states to protect vital services, and assistance for the neediest families. While we will focus immediately on the economic recovery package, Democrats are committed to long-term fiscal responsibility to return our budget to balance and undo the damage caused by President Bush’s record deficits and debts.
“Democratic priorities are the same ones voters supported so strongly at the polls in November: healthcare reform, investments in new energy technology, and good jobs for hardworking Americans. As we raise our right hands today, we promise to work diligently in this new Congress—to confront the challenge, and seize the opportunity, of this moment in history.”