Hoyer Remarks at Press Conference on GOP Spending Bill

For Immediate Release:

February 18, 2011

Contact:

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference detailing how the Republican Spending Bill threatens economic growth and job creation:

"We have, as the Speaker indicated, been here for two months. We've been here for two months and we have not taken a single action to create jobs in America. In fact, we've done two major things that will undermine, in my view, jobs in America.

"First of all, we adopted a Rules package. What did that Rules package provide for? An additional $5 trillion in deficits. You hear a lot about cutting spending, but the Rules package provides for the cutting of revenues by $5 trillion without any way to pay for it. Therefore, even if the Republicans accomplished what they say they want to accomplish, a $100 billion cut in spending—and we believe there needs to be a cut in spending, and not only that, the President of the United States has offered a budget which cuts over a trillion dollars over the next ten years in spending—the fact is that the Republicans have now offered a continuing resolution which puts us in a hole. We've said we want to out-educate, out-innovate, and out-invest out-build our competitors in the global marketplace.

"In terms of educating, the Republicans have offered a substantial cut in education. They've made it tougher for young people to go to college, for families to be able to afford for their kids to go to college, for 200,000 teachers to be kept on, teaching our children in America. They have cut 20,000 researchers from the National Science Foundation, undermined our ability to innovate and compete in the global marketplace. And as Tom Donohue, the President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, has observed, they have cut investment in infrastructure, which would have created tens of thousands of jobs.

"So that unlike the Democrats who came into office to stabilize and to build and to create jobs, the Republicans, who went through the same election we did and heard America's cry for jobs and growth in the economy, their response has been simply political. We should not be surprised.

"I want all of you to ask yourselves what was the long term impact of the Contract with America? I think you will be hard pressed to say that the bills that were focused on in 1995 made a difference in America. And very frankly in this first  months, I think you would be hard pressed to say that we have made a difference for America. That's unfortunate. We want to work with our Republican colleagues, and I mean that sincerely.

"I've had the opportunity during these first two months to sit down for a significant periods of time with Mr. Cantor, the Majority Leader, with Mr. McCarthy the Republican Whip, with Mr. Camp, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. And I've had an opportunity also to have a brief discussion with Mr. Hensarling, the Chairman of their Conference, and I've told all of them we want to work together. We want to reach across to create common cause for solutions to America's challenges. I'm hopeful that we can do that.

"One way that America told us very loudly in 1995 is not the way to do it is to shut down government. And I'm going to work very hard, as the Leader said, with all of my Democratic colleagues and hopefully my Republican colleagues to make sure that we do not shut down our government. We don't want to do that. We hope our Republican colleagues don't want to do that. But if the posture that they take is, 'no way, our way or no way,' then it is possible that will happen, but it will not happen if we work together, which is what we want to do.

"We saw the negative consequences of that in 1995. Our Republican colleagues thought it would be politically advantageous. Hopefully, they do not repeat that mistake again."

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