Hoyer: House Republicans' Hypocritical, Partisan Lawsuit is Meant to Distract from the Pressing Issues of the Day

For Immediate Release:

July 30, 2014

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in opposition to House Republicans' political lawsuit against the President. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

“I thank the Gentlelady [Rep. Slaughter] for yielding, and I rise in opposition to the bill that is before us. It is somewhat ironic that the Republicans want to sue the President for not enforcing a law that they want to repeal. How ironic. But it is frankly a demonstration of their frustration that they had been unable politically to attain the objective that they seek. And they therefore repair to the wasting of time by this Congress and the wasting of the taxpayers’ money on a hypocritical and partisan attack against the President – one that is meant to distract from the pressing issues of the day, like fixing our broken immigration system, raising the minimum wage, or restoring emergency unemployment insurance for those seeking jobs.

“While the majority of Americans oppose this lawsuit gimmick, House Republicans continue to move ahead with it instead of acting on those policies and other critical legislation, which the majority of the American public do support: Make It In America jobs bills, Export-Import Bank reauthorization, Terrorism Risk Insurance [Act], Voting Rights Act amendments, continuing resolutions, and appropriations bills.  All of these bills the American people want to see us do, but in polls they show they don't want us to be doing this. They think it's frivolous. They think it is without merit. They think it should not be done. All the bills that I referenced they think ought to be done. How sad it is that we come here and do things the American public thinks are a waste of time while not doing things Americans think are very important.

“I tell my friend from Texas, and he is my friend: none other than Justice Antonin Scalia has made the point that the judiciary traditionally does not hear cases of political disagreement between the other two branches. In fact, he [rejected], in United States vs. Windsor, and I quote: a ‘system in which Congress and the executive pop immediately into court, in their institutional capacity, whenever the President …implements a law in a manner that is not to Congress’s liking.’ Scalia felt that was not justified. We believe this legislation is not justified. We further believe that the American people do not believe this legislation is justified.

“We do believe that the base of the Republican Party that tried to defeat President Obama in 2012, voted against him in 2008, and disagreed with him on the issues think this is what is available to them. It is wrong. It is a waste of time. It is a waste of money. It is a distraction from the important issues so important to our people. This lawsuit is nothing more than a partisan bill to rally the Republican base and, for some, it doesn't go far enough.

“Under President Clinton, Republicans’ playbook was shut down, then impeach. Under President Obama, Republicans said that if the Affordable Care Act were not repealed – not that they wouldn't sue him – they said they would shut down the government if they didn't get their way. They didn't get their way, and they shut down the government. They threatened to shut down the government, and they shut down the government, and the American people said that is not what we want done.

“Again, they come to this Floor because they cannot achieve through their political process the ends they seek. They have voted over fifty times to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. They do not want it implemented. Now they want to sue the President because he's not implementing it fully, and now they are suing and refusing to say that impeachment is off the table. In fact, their newly elected Whip, [Rep.] Scalise, declined the opportunity to rule out impeachment on four separate occasions last weekend.

“My friends, instead of wasting time and money on the lawsuit and what might follow, Congress ought to do what our constituents sent us here to do: create jobs, grow the middle class, invest in an economy where all of our people can work hard and make it in America. Reject this waste of time. Vote no on this unjustified, impractical, losing proposition to sue the President of the United States.”

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