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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference with House Democratic leaders and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-7) at the beginning of House Democrats’ "United for Opportunity" Issues Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“I think Mr. Cummings said it all: who we are fighting for and what we are fighting for. Hopefully, we can come together in the Congress, not just united as a party, but united on behalf of people. United on behalf of ideas. United on behalf of our country. That’s what this conference is about. Elijah Cummings said that there are too many efforts made to drive people apart rather than bring them together. My own view is that the stark difference between the two parties is our underlying premise that we are in this together.
“For that young man and young woman in your city -- and frankly in the rural areas as Mr. Clyburn points out so well -- it's not just the cities. And it is whites as well as blacks as well as Hispanics as well as Native Americans as well as others. We believe that we are in this together. Our Republican colleagues believe that each of us is on our own: no minimum wage, no healthcare, no rules to protect consumers. The issues that we join at this conference and in the Congress are critically important.
“I noted that Mr. Flores, who heads up the Republican Study Committee, urged Speaker Ryan to put bills on the Floor. But I also noted and I think it’s probably accurate a story that appeared just today. Lindsey McPherson (Roll Call) wrote this - and what she wrote was Speaker Ryan wants Republicans to go on offense on ideas. But he is only committed to drafting the playbook, not running the plays. Because running the plays would include showing the American people what the alternative to healthcare is, what the alternative is to comprehensive immigration reform, what the alternative would be to making sure that every American has the right to vote.
“The issues this year and in this election are extraordinarily important. We are coming here to Baltimore, one of the great cities of our country. We have a lot of great cities represented here. And different ideas as to which one is number one. But they are all great cities and a great country, from east to west to north to south. And we believe we are in this together. And we believe that if we are going to be honest with the American people, we are going to put on the Floor our ideas to show that their lives can be better. They can have the ability to make it in America, they can have a secure country, a secure neighborhood.
“Xavier Becerra, our Chairman, and Joe Crowley, our Vice Chairman are leading us one more time so we can be more effective advocates for our people. Next is my dear friend who has brought so much clarity and focus to the fact that there are people all over this country, not just in the cities, not just in the suburbs, but in the rural areas as well, that we need to embrace to make sure that they can make it in America: Jim Clyburn.”