WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement and an accompanying chart on Democratic unity in the 108th Congress today:
“In the first seven months of 2003, Democrats have taken a crucial step in regaining the House Majority. On issue after issue – the budget, tax cuts, prescription drugs and education – we have demonstrated incredible unity, which is helping us deliver our pro-active, positive message and to draw contrasts with Republican policies that fail to meet the American people’s needs.
“It’s a tribute to our Members that the first question they are asking is not, ‘How will this vote affect me?’ but ‘How will my vote help the American people? How will it affect the Democratic Caucus? How will it affect our ability to regain the Majority?’ They are being tremendously open-minded, and in many instances quite courageous.
“All year long, I’ve urged my Democratic colleagues to embrace what I have called the ‘psychology of consensus.’ Clearly our approach is working. For example, on the Democratic Budget Alternative, our unity was almost 95 percent. And on every other major issue in this Congress, our unity rate has been above 95 percent, and on two major issues – the Budget Conference Report and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill – Democrats were 100 percent united.
“As we head into the August District Work Period, we are encouraging our Members to take that message home to their constituents. When we return in September, House Democrats are going to continue to stress Party unity, because in unity, there is strength. In unity, we lay the solid foundation for winning and regaining the Majority in November 2004.”