Statement ● Republican Government Shut Down
For Immediate Release: 
January 20, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today to call for unanimous consent to bring H.R. 4872 to the Floor to end the Trump shutdown. Below is a video and transcript of his remarks:
Click here to watch the full remarks.
“Let me say at the outset, we ought to both put sanctimony aside. Both sides are accusing one another of voting to close down the government. Mr. Speaker, you voted to close down the government and then you voted against opening it up. Both sides have accused the other of doing what they have done.

“Now the fact of the matter is, ladies and gentlemen, we are here because we have not succeeded in passing appropriations bills and sending them to the President. That is why you need a Continuing Resolution. My Republican friends are in charge of the House, and my Republican friends are in charge of the Senate, and they are in charge of the White House. We have not passed a single appropriations bill. My view is, we have not done so because we have been unwilling to compromise. That's what this is about. It's about Republicans, frankly, being unwilling, in our opinion, to work together to get to agreement.

“We don't want this shutdown. Our Republican friends are saying they don't want the shutdown, and we have said from the beginning is we are willing to work across the aisle to prevent it. Republicans have had four opportunities. One hundred percent of Democrats voted for a 90-day CR to give us time to get to agreement on appropriations bills and a level of funding.

“Mr. Speaker, you know that. We have been talking about that for some time. We have not come to agreement and, therefore, we find ourselves [here] -- notwithstanding the fact that we agree on a lot.

“We have asked to adhere to parity, Mr. Speaker, as you know. It is the process that you agreed with Senator Murray that we have followed for the last four years. All we're asking is let's follow it again. That is why we're here. Because we have not been able to get such an agreement.

“We have also asked that we be able to protect, at the request of the President of the United States, DREAMers. Put something on the Floor, as he said, and he would sign it.

“We want to reauthorize the CHIP program and Community Health Centers and other health programs. We agree on that.

“The American public has got to be so distressed that they see this going on on this Floor of the House. We want to provide disaster relief to those in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands and, yes, those who have been subjected to fires in the West.

“I urge my Republican colleagues who are in the Majority and control the legislative process: end this shutdown. Use the authority you are asking for under this Rule to bring to the Floor the items on which we agree. 

“Mr. Speaker, you have said you would do that: take the tough issues head-on one at a time. I admired that statement. I will tell my friend, the Speaker, I will admire even more, the performance. Speaker Ryan said, ‘We will not duck the tough issues. We will not kick the can down the road. We will lead. We will not blame others.’

“Mr. Speaker, I ask you to do just that. Stop ignoring responsibility as the Majority party to keep the government open and serving the American people.

“Now, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 4872, the End Of Shutdown Act of 2018, a Continuing Resolution through Tuesday that would immediately reopen the government while negotiations continue on a budget agreement that adheres to parity, reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, and other critical health care programs, addressing the issue of DREAMers as was requested by the President of the United States, and providing assistance to Americans impacted by natural disasters.”