WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) made the following remarks today at a press conference with the bicameral Congressional Democratic Leadership (as prepared for delivery):
"America is in a better place than we were one year ago today, and the fact that Democrats control the Congress is part of the reason.
"We are safer than we were because of the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
"We are helping millions have an equal shot at the American Dream by increasing the minimum wage and reducing the cost of college.
"And we have restored accountability and fiscal responsibility to our government by enacting the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate and adhering to the pay-as-you-go principles that helped usher in budget surpluses in the 1990s.
"All of this was achieved despite a determined Republican political strategy to block progress at any price to the American people.
"While the American people made clear in the last election that they wanted a new direction, Republicans apparently did not get the message.
"President Bush, who vetoed only one bill in six years, now acts like a Grinch by vetoing health care for low-income children – twice – and adequate funding for education, medical research, and our veterans.
"The Do-Nothing Republican Party spent the year blocking bipartisan policies broadly supported by the American people, and looking to charge more debt on the nation's credit card rather than pay for what we buy.
"The action on the Floor this week illustrates this point – Republicans tied up critical legislation until they successfully charged to our grandchildren another $50 billion for the Alternative Minimum Tax and $70 billion for Iraq, while blocking responsible, targeted investment in key priorities here at home.
"Let’s be clear: Democrats are fighting for the priorities of the American people – while the measure of Republican success is not the policies they propose, but their ability to obstruct progress for the American people.
"Democrats will continue to fight for the American people’s priorities in 2008 – and in the spirit of the season we remain hopeful that Republicans will join us in our efforts."