Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this evening in opposition to House Republicans' bills that continue the shutdown, and urged House Republicans to put the Senate’s clean government funding bill on the Floor for a vote to end the Republican government shutdown. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“My friends on this side say they want to keep the government open. We say we want to keep the government open. My friends on this side sent a bill over to the Senate that had $986 billion in funding. We agreed to $986 billion in funding. What's the problem?
“We need to open all of the government, as the Gentleman from Virginia [Rep. Jim Moran] said. We have a responsibility to reopen all of our government, not just a little here and a little there.
“House Republicans shut the government down, and now they're worried about having to answer for it. These piecemeal bills are on this Floor because Republicans are realizing that, yes, there are real world consequences to a shutdown. Now they are engaged in a gimmick to fund only those pieces of government that the media or their constituents notice immediately. But by picking winners and losers, Republicans are ignoring critical agencies and functions across our nation.
“We need a full reopening of government in order to provide Head Start for our children. Are Head Start children less important than somebody visiting our parks? Perhaps those are your priorities. Nutrition assistance to women and families. Training for law enforcement agents who keep us safe – there are 70% of the CIA that are on furlough today now, right now. And we need to put people back to work to ensure our food is safe and small businesses can get the loans they need.
“Mr. Speaker, put the Senate's clean, compromise bill that gets our government open, the government of the people of the United States, and then let's go to conference on the budget – as Democrats have long called for – to resolve our differences and achieve a long-term solution.
“A shutdown is not a political strategy. It is a failure for our country. We need a government that is open and that works for all of our people. Let us have a vote on the Senate's bill to reopen our government at the number you put in your bill, that you sent to the Senate, on which we will now agree, and I yield back.”