Press Releases

Currently showing only: Human and Civil Rights
July 26, 2011
Twenty-one years ago today, the first President Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was proud to help write this important law and work for its passage through Congress. The ADA made our nation a world leader in the inclusion of people with disabilities, and it came about because Republicans and Democrats, disability advocates and business leaders, all realized that we gain as a nation when we help all of our people live up to their potential.
July 7, 2011
Last year, Congress voted to repeal the counterproductive and unjust policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ But despite overwhelming evidence that repeal will strengthen our military, despite strong support for repeal among our troops and the American people, despite support for repeal from military leaders like the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and despite a federal court order that the government stop enforcing DADT immediately, Republicans are still pushing to keep this shameful policy in place.
June 17, 2011
Nearly three years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger arrived at the city of Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to deliver news that the nation’s slaves were free. The announcement set off celebrations in the streets as freed slaves rejoiced. At last, the furthest reaches of the slaveholding states were feeling the effects of the abolition of slavery; and today, we celebrate that day of liberation as Juneteenth. Each year, we have the opportunity to reflect on the centuries-long struggle to achieve freedom, honor the legacy of civil rights activists who have pursued justice for all Americans, and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Americans throughout history. Let us pay tribute to the work and sacrifice of these Americans and recommit ourselves to ensuring freedom, equality, and opportunity for all.  
April 12, 2011
On Equal Pay Day we recognize the extra amount of time a woman must work – from January 1, 2010 to April 12, 2011 – for her wages to equal what a man could earn during 2010 alone. Today, women earn just 75% of what men earn, and the wage gap is even greater for minority women and older women. With women making a growing share of family income, this inequity is felt by families throughout the country. It is past time for this injustice to come to an end.
March 31, 2011
Today, America honors the pioneering labor leader César Chávez on what would have been his 84th birthday. Chávez spent his life fighting for the rights and dignity of Latino farmworkers and the underprivileged. He is rightly remembered as one of the greatest civil rights leaders of the 20th century. We can honor his legacy by carrying forward the principles for which he worked so hard: workers’ right to organize, fair and safe labor conditions, freedom from racial discrimination, and opportunity for all Americans.
March 24, 2011
As a lead co-sponsor of the ADA Amendments Act, I am pleased that the EEOC has issued final regulations today that will ensure all Americans with disabilities will be able to invoke the full protections provided under the ADA,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer. “The ADA Amendments Act restored the intent of the original ADA law to protect anyone with a disability, even if they take steps to mitigate their condition. The regulations issued today uphold the law and open the doors of opportunity to everyone."
March 9, 2011
Today, I attended a meeting of the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which voted to intervene in litigation pertaining to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. I voted against this decision. I believe that the Administration is correct in concluding that DOMA is unconstitutional and discriminatory. There is ample precedent for the Justice Department’s decision not to defend this statute: since 1979, both Democratic and Republican Administrations have declined to defend acts of Congress on more than 50 occasions. In fact, it is rare for the House to intervene in defense of statutes that the Justice Department has declined to defend. I am disappointed in Republicans’ decision today.
March 4, 2011
The Speaker has indicated he is going to convene the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to decide whether to intervene in cases concerning the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe the Administration has correctly concluded that the statute is discriminatory and unconstitutional. I therefore will oppose intervening in cases regarding this Act.  
March 1, 2011
This month marks Women’s History Month, an opportunity to remember and celebrate generations of women who have made indelible contributions to our nation. Across all areas of society, women have made a real and lasting impact, which serves as an inspiration to all those that follow.
November 19, 2010
I am pleased that the Senate passed legislation today that would provide funding for settlement of both the Pigford and Cobell class action lawsuits – an important step toward finally correcting these blights on our Nation’s history...
October 28, 2010
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement today in recognition of President Obama signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law one year ago:
October 12, 2010
“Today's ruling is another step toward equality for gays and lesbians in the military who serve our nation with great honor.  The ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy has already caused the dismissal of 13,500 servicemen and women, many with important skills and experiences that are needed to keep our military strong and our country safe..
October 8, 2010
“The promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act was to open the doors of opportunity in a country that prides itself on being the land of opportunity. Twenty years after the passage of the ADA, major advancements in technology now provide opportunities for greater accessibility – and pose new challenges - for individuals with hearing or visual impairments...
June 7, 2010
Each June, we commemorate the birth of the modern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights movement which began in June of 1969, as patrons of New York City’s Stonewall Inn courageously stood up to police harassment.
June 2, 2010
As we wait for all the facts to emerge about Monday’s events, several things are already clear.
April 20, 2010
Each year on Equal Pay Day, we recognize the work that has been done and the work that remains to end the unfair pay discrimination that women face in America’s workplace.
March 20, 2010
Today's protests against health insurance reform saw a rash of despicable, inflammatory behavior, much of it directed at minority Members of Congress.
February 23, 2010
Twenty years ago, the first President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which made our nation a world leader on one of the most pressing human rights challenges of our time: the inclusion of people with disabilities.
September 9, 2009
As President Obama made clear tonight, America cannot put up for much longer with the skyrocketing cost of health care that is hurting our families, our businesses and our country.
May 20, 2009
I want to thank the Members here today, Representatives Langevin, and Wasserman-Schultz, as well as Representatives Sensenbrenner and Upton, for their commitment to making the house a safer and more accessible place for all citizens.
April 28, 2009
Today on Equal Pay Day, we recognize the damaging impact that pay discrimination has on every woman in every workplace in America.
April 24, 2009
Today, we recognize the genocide that took the lives of 1.5 million Armenian children, women, and men in their ancestral homeland.
March 31, 2009
Today, the House passed the Senator Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will create outlets for service so people of all ages can contribute to our nation’s recovery.
March 10, 2009
Today, Chairman Miller and Senators Kennedy and Harkin introduced legislation to give hard-working Americans the tools they need to secure fair wages and treatment at their jobs.
February 2, 2009
Throughout the month of February, Americans come together to celebrate Black History Month.