Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to Republicans' partisan Continuing Resolution. Below are his remarks and a link to the video.
"This is a legislative arena, not a coliseum to attack one another. It is a legislative arena to try to come together and do what the American public expect us to do.
"There are at least two crises confronting the American people and perhaps three. First of all, they are concerned about the fiscal posture of this country. They’re right. We need to address that. Secondly, they're concerned about jobs, and immediately as the gentleman from Mississippi just pointed out and the gentleman from Pennsylvania who spoke earlier, they are concerned about the disasters that have put them at risk. And I suggest to you the people in your district and in my district who don't have a job, who aren't sure how they are going to pay their mortgage or buy food tomorrow, believe that they, too, have been confronted with a disaster. They want us to deal with all three of those items and, yes, perhaps more.
"Many of you have stood on this floor and said we need to act now to help these people who have been the victims of hurricanes, of quakes, of fires, of floods. Now if you want to act now, what you bring to this Floor is a bill that is not controversial, so it does not get mired in this bickering back and forth, because we care deeply about responding now. This bill has never enjoyed bipartisan support from my perspective and I told your Whip that on Tuesday. There was no surprise. We believe strongly that the provision that you have put in this bill is detrimental to working people and the expansion of our economy.
"You perhaps do not agree on that. Perhaps we have a legitimate item of disagreement, and so if you were really concerned about those flood victims, about those hurricane victims, you would have taken that out and met that issue another day. But you chose not to do that. You chose to continue the partisan path of placing at risk the continuing funding of government through November 18, which you have all expressed the desire to do and jobs – not that Democrats say are advantaged by the provisions you want to strike but the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. They say it puts jobs at risk. Your folks in Pennsylvania, I tell my friend, will not be helped if this bill continues to be mired in partisan differences, and you knew there was a partisan difference and, notwithstanding that, you brought it back to this floor.
"I understand that some of you were concerned that this was $1.043 trillion rather than $1.019 trillion. That’s been changed for you, and I’m sure all your Tea Party friends are going to be enthusiastic that, for 4/10 of a percent, you have changed your vote. My, my, my, 4/10 of a percent, that's the difference in this bill.
"My friends, Americans need our help. They don't need Republican or Democratic help, they need all of our help. They need it now. They need it not mired in partisan bickering, as my friends from Arkansas said. They need us to come together on that which we can agree, giving our folks help when they need it. Now. And I will tell you that the Senate determined that there was twice the need, indeed three times the need that you have determined.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let's defeat this bill and let's bring tonight or tomorrow morning, a bill that I guarantee you will pass overwhelmingly in this House."