Press Releases: 2012

April 26, 2012
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:
April 26, 2012
As someone who was proud to cosponsor the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994, I commend the Senate for taking action to reauthorize this landmark legislation.  The Senate bill, which contains provisions strongly supported by law enforcement and advocates for victims of domestic violence, passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 68-31, while a substitute amendment that would have imposed barriers to services for certain groups of victims failed.  It is now up to the House to act on this bipartisan bill. 
April 26, 2012
“People want to see Congress work. They have seen gridlock. They have seen the fact that the Republicans are a deeply divided party within themselves. They can't pass a highway bill that Speaker Boehner made his principle priority over the last two months. So I think when the Speaker is saying one-in-three [chance of losing the House], you can bet that he's trying to low ball that. He knows he has a big challenge. He does have a big challenge. We have some 64 districts in which we have very, very good challengers. Many of those they have outraised incumbent Republicans. They are doing well in the polls. I think we're going to take back the House. I think the American people are going to want to see change from gridlock.”
April 26, 2012
House Republicans are reversing course after clearly feeling pressure to take action to maintain student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. However, I believe there are ways we could do so without eliminating important public health funding, such as ending unnecessary subsidies for big oil companies making record profits.
April 25, 2012
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer discussed politics and the need for a balanced deficit reduction plan on Politico Live today.
April 25, 2012
Sixty four years ago, the State of Israel was born from the hope of generations and from the ashes of the greatest tragedy to befall the Jewish people.  Today, Israel has achieved a thriving economy, a strong national defense, and an important role as a member of the community of nations.  Its existence itself is a powerful symbol of the Jewish people’s resolve never again to allow the persecution of its sons and daughters.  
April 25, 2012
After months of pursuing a partisan highway bill that went nowhere, I am pleased my Republican colleagues have finally moved to go to conference on a highway bill. The bipartisan Senate compromise bill passed with a vote of 74-22 over a month ago and ought to serve as the basis for any bill reported out by the conferees. We must come together quickly and pass a final bill in order to create economic opportunities and prevent the loss of thousands of construction jobs at a time when that industry has been hit hard by the recession.  I continue to urge Republicans to embrace the compromise Senate bill so we can make real progress toward advancing our recovery and investing in our long-term competitiveness.
April 23, 2012
Today’s report by the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees demonstrates that both programs will continue to serve seniors and disabled Americans who rely on them well into the next decade. Because of the Affordable Care Act, which took significant steps to strengthen Medicare through cost savings and reforms that will improve quality and efficiency, the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund was extended by eight years. Further, as evidenced by a report released this morning by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act has also translated into savings and lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers that will total $200 billion in savings through 2016. However, Congress must do more, and it has an obligation to protect Social Security and Medicare to ensure they remain strong for generations to come.
April 20, 2012
Once a year, we pause to commemorate Earth Day and reflect on the importance of protecting of our environment and preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations. Earth Day has inspired in us a greater conscientiousness of how our actions affect the planet, from the cars we drive to the benefits of recycling. Working together with the Obama Administration, Democrats in Congress have enacted the toughest fuel economy standards in history and have taken significant steps to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. We have also worked to reduce pollution, protect our air and water, and serve as responsible stewards of all of our America’s natural wonders, from the sparkling Chesapeake Bay to California’s majestic Redwoods.
April 19, 2012
For over six decades, people throughout the world have paused on this day to reflect and remember the tragedy of the Holocaust.  More than any other day, Yom HaShoah compels each of us to consider the nature of evil so that we may strive toward goodness. 
April 18, 2012
Last month, the Senate passed a long-term transportation bill with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 74-22.  Instead of following their lead and getting serious about compromise, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have been unable to coalesce around a long-term plan of their own, potentially placing 2 million jobs at risk.
April 17, 2012
In announcing new steps today to crack down on price manipulation and to increase oversight of the oil market, President Obama is continuing his pursuit of an all-of-the-above strategy to combat rising gasoline prices.  Among the steps laid out by the President this morning is ensuring that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has all the resources it needs to prevent illegal market manipulation.  Doing so will contribute to our long-term energy security and help reduce costs to consumers.  Yet, House Republicans passed a budget that slashes funding for the CFTC.
April 17, 2012
Today, on Equal Pay Day, we pause to consider that to earn the same wages as a man in 2011, a woman would have had to work from January 1, 2011 until April 17, 2012.  It should be unacceptable in America today that women still earn only 77 cents to the dollar of a man’s wages for the same job.  This is why Democrats enacted the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 – the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama – and it’s why we continue to push for measures that will close the gender gap in wages and bring greater economic opportunities for women.  It’s also why I am proud to be a co-sponsor, along with 177 other Democratic Members of Congress, of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
April 6, 2012
Today’s monthly jobs report confirms that our economy is recovering and that job opportunities are returning.  In March our unemployment rate dropped again and is now at 8.2% after the addition of 121,000 private sector jobs - the twenty-fifth straight month of private sector job growth. This is a further sign that the policies implemented over the past three years by President Obama and Congressional Democrats are working.  However, as long as millions of Americans are still looking for jobs, we will not stop in our push for Congress to pass further job-creating measures. 
April 4, 2012
“Today’s hearing was an opportunity for Members of Congress to hear from experts on the problem of rising gas prices that has affected so many middle-class families across the country.  I commend the Steering and Policy Committee for drawing attention to the role of  that excessive oil speculation plays in driving prices up for consumers.  President Obama and Democrats in Congress will continue to pursue an all-of-the-above strategy to achieve energy savings and ensure affordable energy for future generations.  I hope Republicans will join with us in this effort instead of continuing to insist on a drill-only approach that won’t lead to real solutions to the energy challenges we must meet in the months and years to come.” 
March 30, 2012
Today the President determined that sanctions can be brought against foreign financial institutions conducting business with Iran’s petroleum sector, which will increase the pressure on Iran’s leaders to abandon their nuclear weapons program.  As the President stated earlier this month, we do not have a containment policy with regard to Iran; rather, our aim is prevention, and every option remains on the table.  I agree with this principle, and I applaud the President for his continued leadership as he works closely with our allies to prevent a nuclear Iran.  The violent rhetoric against Israel by its leaders, the continued suppression of its people’s basic freedoms, and the support it provides for terrorist groups around the world and at Israel’s doorstep make it unacceptable for Iran to be allowed to reach such a capability.
March 30, 2012
Today I join in celebrating the life and legacy of César Chávez, whose co-founding and leadership of the United Farm Workers helped raise the voices of millions of Latino agricultural workers.  He fought for their rights and stood up for the dignity of their work.  Over the course of his journey, Chávez marched, fasted, wrote, and spoke truth to power to win safe and fair working conditions, better pay, freedom from discrimination, and wider opportunities for all workers to achieve the American Dream.  As one of our civil rights giants, he continues to be a role model for young Latinos and all Americans who, when faced with adversity and wanting to improve their communities, draw strength from his example and legacy.
March 29, 2012
The Democratic Whip’s office has created the following online quiz to show how the Republican budget will impact seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable by refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute.
March 28, 2012
In order to achieve a big and balanced deficit reduction package, we must build a broad consensus. The budget substitute offered tonight by Reps. Jim Cooper and Steve LaTourette came to the Floor before that broad consensus could be achieved, which is why I voted against it. However, we must continue working to achieve a big and balanced deficit reduction solution in order to set our country back on a sustainable fiscal path.  I continue to believe that the Bowles-Simpson model should be a basis for ongoing discussions in the effort to create the needed consensus.
March 28, 2012
Today’s introduction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act is an important step forward in our continuing effort to prevent domestic violence and protect victims.  I was proud to cosponsor the original Violence Against Women Act we passed in 1994, and I commend Rep. Gwen Moore for introducing this measure to reauthorize and expand upon that landmark legislation.  Her bill will improve counseling and legal services for victims, provide additional tools to law enforcement to investigate domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and extend additional health and safety resources to more of those affected. A similar measure has bipartisan support in the Senate.  This comes at a critical time when many of the freedoms and legal protections for women have been under attack.  As a nation, we must recommit ourselves to reducing – and eventually stamping out – violence against women and to improving the way we help its victims heal, seek justice, and move forward.
March 28, 2012
They have offered a budget that is somewhat a reprise of last year's. It savages Medicare, turns the guarantee into a higher cost, problematic benefit. We don't think that's what the American people want. Secondly, it makes again the tax disparities between our people even greater. It shifts resources from the middle class and poor to the wealthiest in America. It gives $150,000 additional tax cut to millionaires and doesn't say how you're going to pay for that, $10 trillion in additional tax cuts, which clearly means you're going to explode the deficit even more. They pretend they will cut out preference items. They also in that process severely undermine investments in our future, investments in education, investments in research, investments in growing jobs, investments in infrastructure. Clearly, with the result of diminishing the quality of our society in the long run, and don't get to balance.
March 26, 2012
After seeing the disastrous Republican budget put forward last week, which would end the Medicare guarantee and increase costs for seniors, destroy jobs, and cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, Americans want a budget that works for all of us. The Democratic budget proposal does just that by preserving the Medicare guarantee, investing in a strong economy, taking a balanced approach to setting us on a sustainable fiscal path, and asking everyone to pitch in toward investing in America's future. It is the right budget to meet the challenges we face.
March 23, 2012
Today marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, a law that is already delivering greater access to high quality care, stronger patient protections, and more predictable health care costs to American families and businesses – all while reducing the deficit.  Today, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions – a protection that will extend to all Americans by 2014.  They can no longer impose arbitrary caps on coverage, charge women higher premiums than men for the exact same policies, or drop people from their plans when they get sick.  Medicare beneficiaries now pay less for their drugs and nothing for their preventive care, and their premiums have either held steady or outright declined.
March 23, 2012
Two years ago today, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was a major step forward in our efforts to provide access to affordable health care to more Americans. Today, millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits.