Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to the Republican Budgetless Resolution. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"After borrowing trillions of dollars to finance tax cuts, a new entitlement, and two wars, Republicans tell us that they are now taking the deficit seriously. And if they meant it; if they were interested in the deficit as anything other than a political cudgel; if they actually used their House majority to back up their words with action—then no one would be happier than the Democratic Party. Our deficit is too big for partisan politics: it cripples our children’s opportunities; it makes it harder for them to pay for a college education, buy a home, start a business, or plan a future.
"I want Republicans to take the deficit seriously—to join President Obama and Democrats in making the hard choices it will take to get out of debt. But so far, with the opportunity to finally back up their words, they’ve given our country a record of disappointment.
"A rules package that paves the way to add nearly $5 trillion to the deficit.
"A vote to repeal health care reform, which would add $230 billion to the deficit.
"A pledge to cut spending by $100 billion, which it has taken them less than a month to break.
"And today, a one-page resolution with no numbers and no specifics.
"I think Colin Powell got it exactly right when he said on Sunday: 'Don’t tell me you're going to freeze to a level. That usually is a very inefficient way of doing it. Tell me what you're going to cut.'
"We’re still waiting for that answer. At a time when getting out of debt, growing the economy, and creating jobs are our country’s defining, bipartisan challenges, we need hard choices, not more political theater. Mr. Speaker, deficit theater is easy—deficit action is hard. I urge my colleagues to vote down this resolution. And I hope that Republicans will turn from empty symbolism to the real action needed to restore fiscal balance and protect the future of our middle class: keeping our entitlements solvent, scrutinizing defense spending, and pursuing tax reform that reduces the deficit."