Majority Leader Hoyer: The President and Republicans Are a “Roadblock to Progress, Holding Our Nation Back”

For Immediate Release:

December 20, 2007

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in response to comments by President Bush at a press conference this morning:

           
“Our nation is without doubt in a better place than it was one year ago because the American people elected a Democratic Congress in November 2006.  However, due to Republican intransigence, we still are not in the place that the American people want us to be.
           
“Just this week, we enacted an historic energy bill that will begin to wean our nation from its dependence on foreign sources of oil, and completed our work on spending bills after rejecting the President’s misguided priorities.  This year, we also took concrete action to make our nation safer by enacting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; to restore the American Dream by increasing the minimum wage and reducing the cost of college; and restoring accountability and fiscal responsibility to our government.
           
“To hear the President complain today about Congress not completing its appropriations work on time would be laughable were the issue not so serious.  The delay in completing these critical funding bills is attributable to one thing – the President’s politically-motivated veto threats on bills providing vital funding for education, health care, medical research and veterans.  Furthermore, the President’s complaints require situational amnesia.  Does he forget that Democrats were forced to complete nine appropriations bills in February that the former Republican majorities left unfinished?
           
“On issue after issue, the President and Congressional Republicans have chosen to throw up roadblocks to progress and to hold our nation back against the wishes of the American people.  Democrats have fought – and continue to fight – for a new direction in Iraq.  But the President and rubberstamp Republicans have blocked us.  Democrats – and some Republicans – have fought to extend health insurance to 10 million low-income American children.  But the President and rubberstamp Republicans have blocked us.  Democrats – and some Republicans – have fought to expand potentially life-saving stem cell research.  But the President and rubberstamp Republicans have blocked us.  Democrats fought to pay for the one-year patch to the alternative minimum tax.  But Republicans refused, tacking another $50B on to the national debt.
           
“The measure of Republicans success is not the policies they propose but the obstruction they are able to impose.  Their agenda is obstruction, plain and simple.  In the year ahead, Democrats will continue to fight for the priorities of the American people, and we will make crystal clear: Their agenda is our agenda.  The Republicans’ agenda seems to be nothing more than to throw up roadblocks to real progress.”
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