Statement ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
June 22, 2004
Contact Info: 
Rep. Steny Hoyer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement criticizing the hypocritical back door manner in which House Republicans voted today to raise the debt limit:

“Mr. Speaker, 11 years ago, the Majority Leader (Mr. DeLay) stood on this House floor, and this is what he said:

‘Here we are being asked this week to raise the debt ceiling so that this government can go on borrowing money to take care of its spending habits, and I think that is outrageous.  I hope members of this House will vote against raising the debt ceiling, and I hope the American people will contact the members of this house, Mr. Speaker, and urge them to vote against raising the debt ceiling.’

“Well, my friends in the Republican leadership, is that your position today?  Are you urging members to vote against raising the debt ceiling for the third time in three years under your watch? Or have you flip-flopped now that the Republican Party’s reckless fiscal policies have exploded the budget deficit and pushed the national debt to the brink of eclipsing the $7.4 trillion debt limit?  We know the answer.

“The fact is, this majority is using one of the most bipartisan bills that we will consider as a subterfuge for its own fiscal recklessness and mismanagement.  The majority tried to increase the debt limit by $690 billion (to $8.1 trillion) in the budget conference report without ever having to take a vote on it – under the ‘Hastert rule.’

“But a bipartisan majority of the other body has no intention of adopting a budget conference report that refuses to apply pay-as-you-go rules to both spending and taxes.  So, that is why the majority is trying to sneak this increase in the debt ceiling into this bill.

“Today, we are spending more time today naming post office buildings and congratulating sports teams than we are increasing the national debt by nearly $700 billion.  That is simply irresponsible.  And there is no excuse for it.”