WASHINGTON, DC - Majority Leader-Elect Steny H. Hoyer (MD), made the following remarks today at a press conference with Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Congressman David Obey (D-WI), Chairman-elect of the Appropriations Committee:
"Good morning. Anyone who has attended one of my weekly pen and pad briefings during the last year has probably heard me criticize what I have called the 'Do-Less-Than-Do-Nothing Congress.'
"On paper, there is no dispute that this is true. The fact is that we have not addressed the needs of the American people through legislative action.
"It is only appropriate that the 'Do-Less-Than-Do-Nothing Congress' ends by doing nothing. No minimum wage increase. No immigration reform. No legislation expanding access to health care. We failed to enact the 9/11 commission recommendations. We failed to enact a budget, and Congressional Republicans will boot the remaining nine spending bills into the new year with a continuing resolution.
"The American people sent a message on November 7th. We heard it. And, in the next Congress we are prepared to lead, govern effectively and get results. That is what our 'Six for '06' agenda is all about - and that is what the American people have every right to expect.
"First and foremost, we will change the way things are done in Washington. We will restore civility and integrity to our legislative process, and transparency and accountability to our government. We also will reach across the aisle and seek bipartisan consensus whenever possible. Second, we will work with the president and our Republican colleagues to forge a new direction in Iraq because our strategy is not working. And third, we will address the concerns and issues that affect the lives of working families.
"We are very aware that we have a duty to produce results for the American people. And, we intend to heed the words of John F. Kennedy, who said: 'Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.' We are ready, willing, and committed to do just that."