Press Release ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
March 19, 2003
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen
(202) 225-3130

   WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to criticism by Republican leaders of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle:

“I am absolutely stunned that Republicans leaders have the gall to criticize Senate Minority Leader Daschle for commenting on President Bush’s handling of our diplomatic efforts and our policy toward Iraq

Four years ago, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay labeled our successful air campaign to kick Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo ‘Clinton’s War,’ and stated: ‘Doing good on a worldwide scale appeals to peace hawks, who are motivated by altruism, not patriotism.’  He even lobbied Republican members on the House Floor to vote against a resolution supporting our air campaign, and it was defeated on a 213-213 vote.  If that was not raw partisanship designed solely to embarrass President Clinton, then I don’t know what is.

Tom Daschle, on the other hand, simply stated what millions of Americans, even many who support using force to disarm Hussein, think: That this Administration’s diplomatic efforts have been ham-handed. 

When it comes to criticism, this Administration and Congressional Republicans repeatedly have demonstrated that their skin is incredibly thin, and that anyone who has the audacity to challenge them will be attacked. 

Tom Daschle deserves better.  He served this nation in the Air Force, as well as the U.S. House and Senate, and his patriotism is beyond question.  As far as I’m concerned, those who have attacked his patriotism owe him an apology.  This is not a time for embarrassing displays of partisanship.  It’s a time for somber reflection on what lies ahead for our nation and our brave armed forces, who are risking their lives for freedom and liberty.”