Statement ● 2019 Budget
For Immediate Release: 
June 7, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to Republicans' minibus legislation that includes Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and MilCon-VA appropriations bills. Below is a link to the video and transcript of his remarks:
 

Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
"I thank the Ranking Member, Mrs. Lowey, for yielding. I rise twice today in sadness. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, albeit on leave, I have great respect for this Committee, but I rise to express my concern with this minibus legislation.

“Republicans brought it to the Floor on a closed process and without agreement on funding levels. Doing so, of course, shuts down debate, limits opportunity for Members to amend an appropriations bill, and sets the House up once again to short-change important domestic priorities like health care and education.

“This minibus – and let me say to my friends on the [Majority] side who regularly and strongly and somewhat sanctimoniously attacked putting bills together, not considering them one at a time, have now repaired to this ‘bus’ system. And they're putting America under the bus; and they're putting regular order under the bus; and they're putting the ability to consider bills under the bus.

“This minibus includes problematic cuts to funding for renewable energy programs, changes to gun safety rules, and weakening of environmental protections. So if you're for [Military Construction-VA appropriations bill], and you're for the [Legislative Branch appropriations bill], you ought to vote for the stuff you don't like [in the Energy & Water appropriations bills]. That's what this process does to all of us.

“I'm also particularly concerned with the title funding the legislative bill. And most people won't talk about this. But, yes, I’m known as a person of this institution, and I’m proud of it. I'm also proud that I have fought for Members for over two decades as a leader.

“As many of my colleagues are aware, but few Americans might be, the people's Representatives have been asked to do more and more each year with fewer and fewer resources. The Members' Representational Allowance exists in order to ensure that Members and their staff can serve their districts and constituents in the most effective and responsible way possible. For example, my office and all of yours use its resources to help veterans navigate the VA system; help seniors collect their Social Security benefits; and to advocate for our district’s critical military and civilian installations.

“Sadly, Mr. Speaker, the MRA is often considered the low-hanging fruit of discretionary cuts; a political messaging freebie that has no constituency to advocate on its behalf. As a result, the MRA today has shrunk to 85% of what it was eight years ago. Meanwhile, the population of the United States has grown by 19 million people. Less service for our people. That's why I wrote the Appropriations Committee and asked the MRA be funded at least at 2010 levels, eight years ago. I'm disappointed that was not done.

“At the same time, and Members, hear this, because most of you won't say it, because you're afraid that somehow your constituents will make you pay the price. We have once again frozen the cost of living adjustment, as the costs go up in Washington, DC. I don't ask for a raise for Members, but I do ask that they be kept at the same level. We ought to stop all this hair-shirting in this body and treat Members with the respect that they deserve.

“Mr. Speaker, I will vote against this bill. I will vote against this bill because it is bad process and bad product and lets the American people down. And I yield back the balance of my time.”