Press Releases

Currently showing only: Human and Civil Rights
March 6, 2013
Today, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will reintroduce the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act. The legislation, which passed the House in 2010 with broad bipartisan support and will be reintroduced later today, honors the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and supports people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act would reauthorize the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act and authorize the Department of Education to make grants to the Best Buddies organization to support the expansion and development of mentoring programs for people with intellectual disabilities.
March 1, 2013
Today, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer joined 212 House and Senate Democrats in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Edith Schlain Windsor, which challenges Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
March 1, 2013
"I am proud to join in marking Women’s History Month 2013, when we recall the courage and determination of those who have fought for women’s equality and celebrate the many critical contributions women have made to our nation.  This year, we observe the centennial of the 1913 National Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, which saw 5,000 women raise their voices to demand their equal right to vote.
February 27, 2013
Today’s dedication of a statue in the U.S. Capitol honoring Rosa Parks reaffirms that America’s democracy belongs to all its people.
February 26, 2013
"Thank you very much, Madam Leader. Violence against women. We take an oath to protect the Constitution, but in effect we take an oath to protect all of our people. All of our people, not some of our people. America has a history of not protecting all of our people all of the time. We are trying, continuously, to overcome the exclusion of some.
February 26, 2013
Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) announced the creation of the new Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, and that he has appointed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) to serve as its chair. The Task Force will work to raise the awareness of Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing crisis of poverty, as well as the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty and remove barriers to opportunity that prevent low-income Americans from reaching the middle class.
February 22, 2013
"Today, House Republicans have again chosen partisanship over working together by refusing to take up the bipartisan, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
February 13, 2013
“Thank you very much Madam Leader. I am pleased to be here with all of you. 
February 12, 2013
"Today, the Senate once again passed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act with a strong bipartisan vote of 78-22, and it is now up to the House to follow suit. 
February 11, 2013
“Today’s announcement by the Department of Defense that certain benefits are being extended to same-sex partners of military personnel is an important step in the right direction.
February 7, 2013
"I was pleased to stand with my colleagues today in support of common-sense, comprehensive policy recommendations that will help reduce gun violence while respecting the Constitutional rights of responsible gun-owners.
February 5, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, led a bipartisan coalition of congressional champions of immigration reform and civil rights in re-introducing the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
February 1, 2013
“Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to reflect on the countless contributions African-Americans have made in making the promise of America the practice of America. Having recently marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we recalled the struggle of those who worked to bring freedom to millions suffering the injustices of slavery.  We also remembered the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who fifty years ago shared a vision of brotherhood that caused the walls raised by a century of Jim Crow to crumble. 
January 23, 2013
Thank you very much Leader Pelosi and thank you for your leadership. I am very pleased to join Gwen Moore and one of the few males that is standing here with all these wonderful Members of Congress who are women – Chairman Conyers. I am proud to join in reintroducing the Violence Against Women Act in the 113th Congress.
January 16, 2013
“Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden outlined a series of steps to make our communities and children safer from gun violence.  From a universal background check to a new ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, from new resources for law enforcement to new initiatives that help those with mental illness access the help they need, the President’s plan is a major step forward to address the epidemic of gun violence that has plagued our country in recent years. 
January 1, 2013
"On this day, 150 years ago, our nation took a major step forward toward ending the evils of slavery and achieving the new birth of freedom which President Abraham Lincoln promised. When the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on New Year's Day in 1863, it ushered in a new American era that brought the country closer to the ideals of its founders. I join in celebrating this important anniversary and all that we have achieved as a nation - through struggle and sacrifice - to build on that proclamation by making our union more perfect through greater equality, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all our people."
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 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 4, 2012
I am extremely disappointed that Senate Republicans blocked ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today. Its ratification would enable the United States to play a leading role in helping other nations set policies that expand opportunities for their own citizens with disabilities. Modeled after the bipartisan Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities represents a major step forward for individuals throughout the world living with disabilities and hoping for increased accessibility, equal opportunity, and greater independence. I was proud to have worked with former Rep. Tony Coelho and others, including former Republican Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole, to pass the original Americans with Disabilities Act, and I strongly urge Senate Republicans to reconsider today’s vote and allow this treaty’s ratification.
November 28, 2012
Today, the full Senate is considering the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a landmark treaty that will strengthen the rights and freedoms of individuals with disabilities throughout the world – and which was reported favorably by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July.  The Disabilities Convention draws heavily on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Congress passed in 1990 with broad bipartisan support, and the Convention has already been championed by an array of leaders from both parties.  Its ratification will send a strong message that the United States is committed to the human rights, equal opportunity, and full inclusion of all who live with disabilities in our country and every other.  I was proud to have helped lead the effort, along with former Rep. Tony Coelho and others, to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, and I join in calling on the Senate to agree to the Convention’s swift ratification.
October 16, 2012
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Committee on House Administration issued a report detailing the nearly $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded legal bills accumulated over the past 15 months to pay an outside law firm to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
September 19, 2012
“I join in marking the one-year anniversary of the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and the beginning of a new era of strength through inclusion for our military.  I was proud to help lead the successful repeal effort that finally ended that discriminatory policy.  Doing so opened doors for LGBT Americans wishing to join our armed forces and ended the fearful prospect of discharge for those who were already serving.
July 26, 2012
“I join in marking the twenty-second anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990.  I was incredibly proud to lead the effort in Congress to pass this landmark legislation and see it signed into law.  Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has enabled more than 50 million people with disabilities to participate more fully and more equally in our society. 
June 22, 2012
“Forty years ago tomorrow, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was enacted to remove barriers to equal opportunity in education and school athletics.  This was a milestone that enabled the achievements of the tens of millions of American women who have since participated in the full range of educational and athletic opportunities this country has to offer.