Statement ● *Government Shutdown
For Immediate Release: 
September 20, 2013
Contact Info: 

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in opposition to H.J.Res. 59, House Republicans' partisan continuing resolution that defunds the Affordable Care Act, lays the groundwork for defaulting on our debt, and continues the damaging sequester.  Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

“Madam Speaker, today we are considering a measure to fund government only if the Democratic Senate and the Democratic President will agree to dismantle the health care reform law that will help millions of Americans access quality, affordable care. That isn’t going to happen, and it is a blatant act of hostage-taking.

“This Republican C.R. also lays the groundwork for a default on our debt – an unthinkable act – by instituting a ‘pay China first’ provision. And it fully embraces the dangerous and irrational policy of sequester.

“This bill enshrines and confirms the descent into an economy-destroying, national-security undermining, and ineffective-rendering of the government that our country and our people need. The Majority party, with its destructive obsession with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its unrestrained hostility towards government, has offered this bill, notwithstanding Republicans’ hollow claims of the irrationality of the sequester policy their party adopts. The Majority does so notwithstanding their Chairman’s accurate description of their policy of sequester - and I quote the distinguished Chairman, Mr. Rogers - as ‘unrealistic and ill-conceived.' His words, not mine. A policy which Chairman Rogers himself says - and I quote again - ‘must be brought to an end.’ His words, not mine.

“Chairman Rogers’ vote today and the votes of his colleagues will, I expect, do just the opposite. They will vote to continue a policy that will inevitably lead to an American decline and retreat.

“I will not be a party to the disinvestment in America’s greatness.

“Today’s bill undermines the education of our children; the security of our seniors; the present and future health of our people; the strength, training, and readiness of our armed forces; the growth of our economy and the creation of jobs; the quality and viability of our infrastructure; the health of our environment; the proper compensation and respect for those who labor in the public sector; and, most certainly, the honoring of America’s debts and obligations. Today’s bill undermines all those priorities and more. I will not support it and I urge my colleagues to oppose it. And it continues us on the path so aptly described by Chairman Rogers -again, his words, not mine - as ‘this lurching path from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis.’ I urge my colleagues, with wisdom and courage on your side of the aisle, to oppose this bill.

“Madam Speaker, I am for a comprehensive, balanced, and responsible policy that will put this nation on a fiscally sustainable, stable path. I have been – and continue to be – willing to work with all of my colleagues to adopt such a bill. I take nothing off the table. I believe it will take both reason and political courage to achieve such an objective.

“Americans are hoping and yes, praying that we have such wisdom and such courage. I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and commit themselves to adopting a bipartisan and effective alternative to this destructive and irrational path.”