Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this evening urging House Republicans to put a clean continuing resolution on the Floor for a vote to prevent a government shutdown. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“I thank the Speaker. Tonight is about the continuing, destructive obsession that our Republican friends have and their refusal to recognize there was an election just some months ago. And you made the argument to the American people, and they rejected that argument and re-elected President Obama. And you have not gotten over that to this minute. And as a result, you are about to shut down the government.
“You can get up here and say over and over and over and over again: ‘we don't want to shut down the government.’ But, Mr. Speaker, their actions belie their words.
“Mr. Speaker, Democrats, as will surprise no one, are against shutting down this government. It's bad for our people, it's bad for our security, it's bad for our economy, it's bad for jobs, and you all know that. And you don't have the votes, because the people elected Democrats as the Majority in the Senate and the President of the United States. And they don't agree with you. And Newt Gingrich said when that was the case, you had to compromise.
“And what compromise are we talking about? We're taking your number – your number. And you will not take yes for an answer. How sad. What a shameful day this is in the history of the House of Representatives.
“A shutdown would be harmful to our economy, our national security, and the creation of jobs, as I just said. That's why we have compromised and said, we'll take your number to keep government open while we negotiate over the next six weeks.
“Nobody in your party rationally believes that you were going to succeed in your objective. Nobody. It's a political ploy. It's a message, Mr. Speaker, to their most radical contingent. We are willing to take the next six weeks to discuss how we get from where we are to where we need to be. We could do that, Mr. Speaker, if only Republicans would take yes for an answer.
“Their Tea Party faction has made it clear where it stands. They don't like the Affordable Care Act. I don't think anybody doubts that. But the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court and remains the law of our land.
“Mr. Speaker, the Senate has now voted twice to send us a clean C.R. Now it's time for the Speaker and the Majority Leader to put the Senate's clean, compromise C.R. on this Floor and, in their words, let the House work its will. Have the courage, Mr. Speaker, to have the Majority party put on this Floor a bill which will keep the government open and which the Senate will pass.
“Mr. Speaker, have the Republican party have the courage of its rhetoric and let the House work its will. I dare you to do that. Let democracy work. Don't be dictating to America that they are going to shut down the government. Let's vote on it. Put a clean C.R. on this Floor.”