Whip Hoyer Urges House Republicans To Act On Immigration Reform, the Debt Limit, and Unemployment Insurance During Colloquy

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Transcript: 

“As you know, Mr. Leader, very well - as we all know - beginning tomorrow the Treasury Department will have to start using extraordinary measures because the authorization for the debt limit to be extended will end on the 7th. Secretary Lew has written to all of us and warned us that on Monday, stating that, ‘time is short, and inaction could cause harm to our economy, rattle financial markets and hurt taxpayers.’ I know that my friend has made similar comments, as I have made similar comments. We agree on this proposition. But I am concerned that we only have seven legislative days scheduled for the rest of the month. Does the Gentleman expect that we will take [an] up or down vote on the clean debt limit extension next week or before the end of this month, and I yield to my friend?”

“Mr. Leader, I was encouraged to see last week at your retreat that the House Republicans put forward a set of principles for immigration reform and have now expressed a readiness to discuss how to fix our broken immigration system. I'm sure that you've seen the response on my side of the aisle, not only from the President but from myself and Leader Pelosi, has been positive. We see the steps that have been taken as positive steps. We do look forward to working together on these principles. We were just somewhat disappointed, however, that one of your members, Raul Labrador of Idaho, was quoted yesterday as saying there was overwhelming support for the idea of doing nothing this year. It's a mistake to have an internal battle this year about immigration. I would hope that Mr. Labrador's remarks do not lead us to a place where we will either not proceed or to pass immigration reform on this Floor. The Majority Leader has indicated in some of our colloquies that he believes the immigration system is broken. Again, we share that view and I think almost all Members share the view that the immigration system is not working as intended.”

“[This is] a question of what is morally right to do. To fix a broken system that is breaking apart families, undermining our economy, and abandoning what so many say is the right thing to do. So with all due respect to this, frankly, trying to distract us on this trust issue, this is not a trust issue. This is an issue of law and the Administration's performance both on border security and on enforcing the law in this respect, a bad law, a law that ought to be changed, a law that's causing families to be torn apart.”

“One of the real tragedies is particularly with those folks who are 45 or 50 and above. Once they've lost the job, they have a terrible time in this economy finding a job. There are three people looking for every one job that's available. And a lot of those people, as the gentleman observed, don't have the skills. So the issue is not just about giving them skills, it is in the interim, do we let them and their families fall through the cracks, fall through a safety net, fall out of the insurance that they paid into, their employer paid into in the event they lost a job they would not lose the ability to support themselves and put some food on their table? That's why we're so adamant that unemployment insurance be extended. And Mr. Speaker, as I said, it's been extended under every Administration when the facts were as they are today - Republican administration, Democratic administration - for the reasons that the Majority Leader pointed out. We care about those people. We're worried about those people. So I would hope that that would be on the Floor.”