Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor tonight, calling on House Republicans to reconsider their decision to adjourn the 112th Congress without considering the Hurricane Sandy supplemental legislation. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“I have just been informed that we will be having perhaps no further votes in this Congress. I am deeply disappointed at that information. We have millions of our fellow citizens who have been badly damaged by a storm called Sandy.
“Overwhelmingly the United States Senate passed some relief. I can't remember a time when we had a very serious storm, tornado, fire, flood where we did not act. This Congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency. There's not one of us, not one of us in this Congress that could not be in the same position.
“I live in a coastal state, but whether you live in the Midwest or the Far West, whether you live in the South, or the East, or the North or the West, you could be, and your citizens could be, and your neighbors could be confronted by a natural disaster or, for that matter, a man-made disaster – and our fellow citizens would expect us to respond as the United States Senate has responded.
“It was my belief and assurance was given to me – not 100%, and the gentleman who gave it to me did not make this decision – but I’m deeply disappointed, Mr. Speaker, and the people who have been damaged by Sandy, including Governor Christie, a Republican, and Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, should be deeply disappointed and yes angry that this Congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens.
“I have been to New York. I have walked the beaches. I have seen their homes that have been destroyed with my colleague, [Congressman] Greg Meeks. I have talked to members of Congress - Congressman Crowley, Congressman Pallone, Congressman Rothman - all who have had their citizens deeply damaged by the ravages of the, perhaps, storm of historical proportions that struck the Northeast. None of us is immune – not from a tornado, or a flood, or a fire. I deeply regret this. I can't change this opinion, but it's not what we ought to be doing.
“There are Republicans who are deeply grieved by this action and there are Democrats on this Floor who are deeply grieved by this action. This is not the right thing to do. I would hope it would be reconsidered. We have asked our members to stay here – every one of them - knowing full well they wanted to go home, just for a day to see their families.
“Mr. Speaker, I would hope this decision would be reconsidered. I would hope that we would say to those citizens: we're here for you, one country, one nation. I yield back the balance of my time.”