Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the negative impacts of the Republican government shutdown on MSNBC's "Martin Bashir" this afternoon, and called for a vote on the clean Senate bill to reopen the government. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“I don't think there's any doubt that the Republicans are wasting time, and not opening up the government for all the people of our country. And these [selective funding] bills take little snippets, as you point out, Martin, that they think may be politically controversial, and deal with them while at the same time leaving women, infants and children unable to access nutritional programs, closing down Head Start classrooms, laying off 70% of the people at CIA, so important for our national security and safety. What we ought to be doing is pass the bill that the United States Senate passed that opens up the government. … Republicans have said the level that they have been willing to fund government at is $986 billion. We said we will take your number. And they won't take yes for an answer. If, in fact, the Speaker would put that bill on the Floor, it would pass. There is little doubt in my mind that it would pass. And we're seeing Republican after Republican say in the press this is lunacy, this makes no sense, we need to open the government, and I'm hopeful pretty soon that the Speaker will see the wisdom and come to, frankly, the sense of putting this bill on the Floor that will open up government.”
“[Republicans’ strategy] is all about optics and spin, not about substance, not about keeping the people's government open, not about serving the American people. Whether they be children, whether they be adults, whether they be veterans, whether they be people on Social Security. Yes, the checks will go out, but there is nobody to service the checks. And it shouldn't be just a little slice of this and a little slice of that. … Nobody intends to shut down government – that's what [Republicans] say. The effect of their actions has been exactly the opposite - to shut down government. That's what USA Today called ‘The Shutdown Party.’ I believe that's accurate. If we both agree we don't want to shut down government, there is a bill that we will both agree on that will do exactly that. It will open up government, but all they're doing is politics of what they think will resonate with the American people. The American people, by 72% think this is a dumb policy.”