HOYER: REPUBLICANS’ FIXATION WITH THE PAST DEMONSTRATES THE NEED FOR DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP TODAY

For Immediate Release:

September 22, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding House Republicans’ commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the “Contract with America”; their legislative failures in the 108th Congress; and Democrats’ commitment to aggressively address the problems facing America today:

“It’s stunning that House Republicans would waste one minute patting themselves on the back and prattling on about a 10-year-old public relations document rather than dealing with the problems that their policies have created – record budget deficits, exploding debt, the loss of 1.7 million private sector jobs, and five million more Americans without health insurance and four million more pushed into poverty.

“These are the real problems that America is facing today, and these are the problems that this House Majority is consciously ignoring.

“The legislative record of the current House Majority is a litany of failures.  They’ve failed to pass a budget this year.  They’ve failed to pass a transportation bill that would create thousands of jobs.  They’ve failed to pass comprehensive energy reform.  They’ve even failed to enact 12 of the 13 spending bills that fund government operations, including the bill that funds our homeland security efforts.

“The current Republican record of failure affects people’s day-to-day lives, from the quality of their kids’ education, to the health care they can afford, to the roads they drive on.  This is what the American people worry about – they aren’t interested in yesterday’s news.

“With a record of failure like that, it’s no wonder that House Republicans would rather gaze into the rear-view mirror and wax nostalgic about Newt Gingrich and a document that no one remembers or cares about.  These broken promises had about as much staying power as Tonya Harding, Melrose Place and other 1994 one-hit wonders.

“The American people need and deserve better.  House Democrats laid out today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol six core values – national security, prosperity, fairness, opportunity, community and accountability – which will guide us as we pro-actively and aggressively lead the middle class to a better tomorrow in a New Partnership for America’s Future.”

###