Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke in support of the Bipartisan Budget Control Act, a long-term compromise to pay our bills and reduce the deficit, today on the House Floor. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
"Our neighbors, our friends sent us here to be responsible and to come to the aid of our country at a time of crisis. Our country is at such a time now. Our people confront uncertainty and fear and they're looking to us for the courage to compromise and act to prevent default and gridlock and irresponsibility.
"Yesterday we learned that investors in American stocks lost more than $400 billion over the past week, since Speaker Boehner said he could not compromise with President Obama. Republicans have not moved a single centimeter towards compromise with our side of the aisle--not a single centimeter. But the people aren't looking to us for what we can stop. They're looking to us for what we can do--what we can do to make our country healed at this point in time.
"Yet Republicans have introduced this bill, guaranteed to fail. This is the second time Republicans have put a bill on the floor to extend the debt limit, guaranteed to fail. It is a pattern. But what Senator Reid has done is present a bill based on the view of Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor that we need a long-term solution. He has compromised, notwithstanding the fact that all of us on this side believe that the wealthiest among us should help take us out of this crisis and not rely on the most vulnerable among us. So there is no revenue in Senator Reid's bill, notwithstanding the overwhelming numbers of us on this side of the aisle believe a balanced solution is good policy--a position I know some Republicans share, as well.
"Senator Reid has also set up a process so that we can continue to look at what we know we need to look at: bringing our deficit and debt down, deficit and debt for which we are all responsible, my friends.
"So we confront this moment of responsibility. I believe my side of the aisle will overwhelmingly say yes, not because they like this bill, but because they believe it is a compromise that can work, because it includes so many of the demands that Republicans have made. But I tell my friends: if you came to Congress expecting perfection, if you came to Congress expecting only that you do it your way and no other way, you will be disappointed, as all of us are disappointed--because it cannot happen that way. Our founding fathers brought us from many places, with many perspectives, to try to heal our country and provide for the general welfare. let us avoid default. Let us set ourselves on a path of compromise.
"My friends on the Republican side of the aisle: we, for the most part, are going to vote for this bill. We do not believe it's perfect. But we believe it's possible. America expects us to do that. The summer soldiers and sunshine patriots will retreat at this time of crisis. Do not do that."