Hoyer: Republicans Need To Allow a Vote on a Clean Government Funding Bill

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Transcript: 

“I thank the Gentleman for yielding. There is not a Member of this House who does not respect and support the veterans of this country. The Gentleman who just spoke talked about preventing pain. What we want to do is prevent pain not only to veterans, but to children, to families, to teachers, to medical professionals, to farmers, to all those who every day rely on the federal government to be in operation. Not piecemeal, not choosing between this and that, between the winners and the losers.

“Why are we at this place? Why is the Gentlelady, the Ranking Member of this Committee said that we are in a place where we are presenting a bill that cuts $6 billion from the [Veterans Affairs Appropriations] bill you talked about and I voted for and you voted for. Mr. Speaker, I speak of the Chairman.

“Mr. Speaker, we are here because the pain that has been visited not by the Senate – the Senate passed the only C.R. that didn't have a poison pill. In the C.R. - we talk in this jargon, keeping government operating for the American people - the only body that's passed a bill that will do that, that didn't include a poison pill that you knew the other side could not take and would not take and the President said he would not sign.

“You continue to not come to grips with the loss of the election. You need to compromise. You would not go to conference – you talked about going to conference at five minutes of 12:00 last night. You had six months to go to conference, six months, Mr. Speaker. The Republicans have had the opportunity of going to conference.

“Mr. Van Hollen, I’m sure, will talk about that. Six months and no action. That's why we have this gridlock, because you have refused to go, as you talk about the regular order, to work out an agreement between the Senate and the House. So we find ourselves where we need more time. And so we have tried to provide for six weeks between now and the 15th of November to try to work together to get to compromise and pass appropriation bills.

“Not in this piecemeal - I don't know that I have seen an appropriations bill on a suspension before. Mr. Speaker, this is the wrong process. It's the wrong time. We ought to pass a C.R. and keep government operating for the American people.”