Press Releases

December 27, 2012
“We could be considering [the Senate] bill today and passing it so every working American and indeed every American would know that their taxes would not increase on the first $200,000 [for] individuals, or $250,000 as families. One hundred percent of Americans would not get a tax increase on that income. We could be working on that and passing it today.”
December 21, 2012
“I thank the Leader for her comments, I certainly agree with her. Last night’s vote showed us that resolving the challenge that confronts us with the fiscal cliff cannot and will not be done with a partisan vote. It showed us that we must work together in a bipartisan way and that we must preclude going over the fiscal cliff by a balanced agreement that Republicans can support, that Democrats can support, that the President of the United States will sign, and that can pass the United States Senate. It is absolutely incumbent upon us to do that.
December 21, 2012
John Kerry has served his country throughout his life, from Vietnam to the United States Senate, and now as our next Secretary of State.  He will bring his experience and knowledge from his time as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to his new role, and I look forward to his swift confirmation. 
December 21, 2012
“I think President Obama has made it very clear that he has been willing to move. He has moved both on revenues and on cuts and spending. But he has not met with any kind of positive response to this point in time. I think Speaker [John] Boehner wants to get a deal. Whatever happened last night it did not eliminate the risk that the cliff causes our economy, and our people. It's incumbent upon us, therefore, to continue to work towards a solution and to reach a solution prior to the end of the year.”
December 21, 2012
“We still need to focus on not going over the cliff. Not going over the cliff is I think a priority for us. That's not good for the country, not good for the economy, not good for the confidence of the American people.”
December 20, 2012
It is now time to get back to work on negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff. We cannot allow the fiscal cliff to hit, risking damage to our economy and middle class families, and another downgrade of our credit worthiness. I urge Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders to rise above the politics of the moment and re-engage in the process of reaching a big and balanced plan.  I believe we can and must take action before the end of the year to prevent the fiscal cliff, and Democrats are ready to work with Republicans to do so.
December 20, 2012
“Clearly, the Republicans know that what they are doing today is simply a waste of time… What we’re doing today is wasting time pretending, making political points but not moving the ball forward to get to a compromise that will be necessary if we're going to avoid the sequester that nobody wants, not go over the cliff, and take very positive steps toward getting this country on a fiscally sound path.”
December 19, 2012
Today’s announcement by the President of an interagency task force to address mass-casualty gun violence is an important step as our nation continues to mourn the victims of last week’s horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  Vice President Biden has been a staunch advocate for sensible measures to reduce violent crimes, and he will bring to the task force a depth of experience and the direct link to the Oval Office that this issue deserves.  
December 18, 2012
"I continue to be encouraged by positive signs of negotiation between the President and the Speaker.  However, Speaker Boehner’s decision today to schedule a partisan vote on a ‘plan B’ is not helpful.  America needs a big and balanced plan to reduce our debt, not more hollow political votes.  While it is a good sign that talks continue, we need to keep the focus on negotiations to move the country forward. 
December 17, 2012
By passing this resolution tonight, Congress sends a message to the people of Newtown:  you are not alone. The American people are mourning with you; we are standing beside you in this darkest of hours. And, in the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will begin the healing process with you. We remember the twenty children whose lives were tragically cut far too short. We honor the heroes at Sandy Hook Elementary who acted to save students' lives; and we recognize the first responders who reacted so swiftly.
December 17, 2012
“Today, the United States lost a great statesman and decorated war hero.  As a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Daniel K. Inouye gave his right arm in service to his country during World War II in an action that earned him the Medal of Honor.  He then continued to give America every measure of his energy, his wisdom, and his devotion through public service. 
December 14, 2012
I was deeply saddened to hear about today’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.   What occurred there is every parent’s worst nightmare – a senseless tragedy, leaving us to wonder what could motivate someone to commit such a horrible act against innocent children and those who serve as their educators.  My thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers and families affected by today’s shooting.  There can be no consolation other than to know that they have the heartfelt prayers and support of an entire nation.
December 13, 2012
It think it's a positive sign once again that the President and [Speaker] John Boehner are sitting down. I've talked to both of them. They both want to get to an agreement. ... Nobody's walking away from the table. The stakes are very high here, the hopes of America are keen on us getting to success, and failure is going to have real consequences, so I'm very hopeful that [Speaker] John Boehner and President Obama … are talking [about] a way to get us to an agreement that Congress can consider and hopefully pass so that America will have the confidence that we have placed ourselves on a fiscally-sustainable, credible path for the long-term. I think that's what America wants.
December 12, 2012
“Everything's on the table. That doesn't mean we're for what's going to be on the table, but we need to have a full consideration of the whole gamut of things that are creating this issue and that can solve this issue. We need to not go over the fiscal cliff. We need to come to an agreement, and the President, I think, is working hard to get there.”
December 11, 2012
I am deeply disappointed that Republican legislators in Michigan today passed two so-called ‘right-to-work’ bills that erode the hard-won right of unions to organize workers for better wages and conditions.  President Obama was right yesterday when he characterized this move as having nothing to do with economics and everything to do with politics.  These bills represent the type of class warfare that puts profits before the needs of hard-working Americans; they will not grow our middle class or help families who have struggled throughout the economic downturn.  By weakening the bargaining strength of labor unions, these bills undermine the relationships forged over many years in Michigan between labor and management, and in the past Governor Rick Snyder has called ‘right-to-work’ legislation divisive and inappropriate.  I urge him to reconsider his stated intention to sign these bills into law.
December 7, 2012
The history of America is the history of advancing civil rights, and this is the next step in that journey. By hearing these cases, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to ensure that every family is treated equally under the law. I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule that discrimination has no place in this nation, and will further the cause of civil rights for years to come.
December 7, 2012
For residents of areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, additional assistance to continue recovery efforts cannot come soon enough. The emergency aid package requested today by the Obama Administration will help communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and neighboring states get back on their feet.
December 7, 2012
In a sign of continuing progress in our recovery, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released this morning shows that our economy added 147,000 private sector jobs in November, causing the unemployment rate to drop to 7.7%.  With thirty-three consecutive months of private sector job growth, more Americans are getting back to work.  However, despite this month's strong gains, too many remain unemployed, and we have work left to do to solidify our economic recovery. 
December 6, 2012
Today, the Senate ensured that U.S. companies will have better access to the Russian market when it passed H.R. 6156 by a strong, bipartisan vote of 92-4.  By granting Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia, Congress has provided the President the tools needed to ensure Russia follows World Trade Organization rules and the market access commitments it has made.  This will help create a level playing field for American businesses and workers seeking to export to the growing Russian market.  In addition, this bill provides for tougher sanctions against those officials responsible for violating human rights and basic freedoms, including those involved in the tragic death of Sergei Magnitsky.  I look forward to seeing President Obama sign this bill into law and take the steps it makes available to enforce fair trade rules that benefit American businesses and the jobs they create.
December 6, 2012
Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) traveled with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-6) to visit Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York, which experienced significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. During the tour, Col. Kent Savre, Commander of the North Atlantic Division of the Corps of Engineers, and Col. Trey Jordan, head of the Corps’ New York Recovery Field Office and Commander of the Baltimore District, briefed Whip Hoyer and Congressman Meeks on the extent of damage and recovery efforts.
December 6, 2012
The executive order, signed today by President Obama, creating an Interagency Task Force on Commercial Advocacy will help American businesses compete more effectively overseas.  This is an important step in the ongoing effort by this Administration to ensure a level playing field for American companies seeking to do business abroad and export their goods. 
December 5, 2012
When I say everything needs to be on the table… I want everybody to put their cards on the table and tell me what they’re going to do. … Now there’s some things we are absolutely not going to do… we’re not going to voucherize Medicare, we are not going to privatize Social Security. We believe very strongly that we need additional revenues if we’re going to get our country on a fiscally sound basis.
December 5, 2012
“All I said yesterday was … we need a balanced package and we need to all come to the table honestly, realizing we have differences of opinion, but also realizing this is a math problem. It shouldn't be a philosophical problem or ideological or partisan problem, it's a math problem. We have to get America on a fiscally sustainable path and in order to do that, we’re going to have to have a balanced package. We’re going to have to look at additional revenues.”
December 4, 2012
Today, I signed the discharge petition filed by Rep. Tim Walz that would bring to the Floor an extension of tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses.  These middle class tax cuts were extended by the Senate in July, and the House ought to take action immediately to provide certainty to families and small businesses that their taxes won’t go up on January 1.