Hoyer Statement on Republicans' Legislative Agenda This Week That Ignores Critical Issues

For Immediate Release:

February 5, 2014

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on House Republicans' legislative agenda this week, which is focused on partisan bills instead of critical issues including ensuring America can pay its bills, renewing unemployment insurance, and raising the minimum wage:

“The challenges facing our nation are great, but House Republicans’ legislative agenda this week does not rise to meet them.  House Republicans are acting as though the clock is not running out on paying our nation’s bills, and they have not taken action to restore emergency unemployment insurance for 1.7 million Americans or to raise the minimum wage so that millions can secure a place in our middle class.  Instead of addressing these pressing issues that will impact our economy and the well-being of our people for years to come, Republicans are wasting time on partisan legislation.

“The natural resources bills on the Floor this week are largely Republican proposals repackaged together in a way that breaks from how we have worked together on this issue in the past.  One of the three bills – a complex change to California water law – has not even been reviewed by its committee of jurisdiction.  This is not how Congress ought to work.  Let’s set these partisan bills aside and turn to the pressing matters at hand:  extending emergency unemployment insurance for those who desperately need it, giving American workers the raise they deserve, and making sure our nation meets its obligations by responsibly paying its bills. 

“Every week Congress fails to restore emergency unemployment insurance, another 72,000 Americans who are seeking work, on average, will be dropped from this assistance.  As long as Congress continues to ignore the minimum wage issue, which is critically important to the 28 million employees who would see their incomes rise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 an hour, hard-working Americans will struggle on the edge of poverty in spite of working full time.  And the current suspension of the debt limit will end this Friday, requiring the Treasury Department to employ extraordinary measures once again in order to delay a catastrophic default. 

“Democrats are ready to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way to achieve all three of these goals without delay.”  

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