Maureen Beach, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference urging House Republicans to take up the bipartisan Senate highway bill. Below are his remarks:
"The American people say to every member of the House and Senate: when are you guys going to get together? When are you going to work together on behalf of the welfare of the country? On behalf of us? Not your politics in Washington, DC, but on behalf of us?
"The U.S. Senate did exactly that. They got together, they brought a wide range of ideologies together for a common purpose. The fact of the matter is, Senator Boxer and Senator Inhofe, representing a broad spectrum of ideological thought, came together for the good of the people, for building jobs, for growing our economy, for making sure our infrastructure is in place to encourage commerce, as John Boehner says it will do, and send a bill to the House of Representatives, three quarters of the Senate – half of the Republicans – voting for that bill.
"So I say to the American people, we have a bill. We are prepared in the House on the Democratic side, as Leader Pelosi pointed out, to back that bill – supported by half the Republicans in the United States Senate. Is it a perfect bill? It’s not. We’re not looking for perfection – we’re looking for action. And we’re looking for progress, and that’s what this bill reflects.
"I want to thank Congressman Bishop of New York. Congressman Bishop has taken affirmative action to take that bill, to introduce it in conjunction with the Ranking Member to move forward on this bill. It is ready to pass right now. Today. On our side of the aisle, we will give unanimous consent to take that bill from the desk, to put it on the Floor, and to pass it, and to send it to the President of the United States. And to give confidence to Americans that their Congress can work – that bipartisanship is possible when America is facing the opportunity to grow the economy, three million jobs at risk or created. That’s what this issue is about.
"Every member of the Democratic Caucus is prepared, I think, to vote for that bill. Again, we understand it’s a bipartisan bill, and Mr. Rahall and Mr. DeFazio may have some tweaks they want to make to it. But they know that it is time to act.
"We are calling on Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor to bring the Bishop bill to the Floor. The Bishop Bill is the Senate Bill. We will have agreement – that’s what America wants. They want to see action for them, not politics for us. That’s what the Senate did. Let’s act now."