WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after attending the final bicameral, bipartisan lunch with President Bush:
“Today, along with leaders from both parties in Congress, I attended a farewell lunch at the White House for President George W. Bush. I gave my best wishes to President Bush and his entire family and staff.
“President Bush and I have disagreed profoundly over the years. But I understand that, like every President and every Member of Congress, he sought what he felt was best for our country. Our visions for America have rarely aligned—but those differences make us opponents, not enemies. What Abraham Lincoln said a century and a half ago is true today of every man and woman in public life: ‘We are not enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds.’
“In my years in politics, nothing has moved me more than watching a President solemnly and peacefully hand over such great power. The fact that it has happened so regularly in our history does not make it any less remarkable. Eight years ago, in a divided nation, George W. Bush played his part in that rite. Next week, in a nation hopefully a little more united, he will play a different part, and I know that he will do so with honor.”