WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released the following statement today after the House appointed conferees on the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill:
“This week, Democrats will move forward a package of bills that invest in the nation’s top priorities. This ‘priorities package’ will bolster our nation’s defense, keep our promises to our veterans, and invest in our country’s education, health and economy. And, it will not increase the debt.
“This will be the most fiscally responsible funding bill that the President will have the opportunity to sign after six years in office. Previous Republican Congresses repeatedly sent to the White House irresponsible appropriations bills that racked up record levels of deficit and debt – and the President signed them all.
“In this package, almost 90 percent of the increases over last year’s levels will go to veterans’ health care and national defense, which the President has said he will support. The President is only rejecting the small, targeted increase in key investments here at home, including health care, education and medical research. This $7 billion increase is only slightly above the rate of inflation, and is dwarfed by the almost $200 billion that the President is demanding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The worst kept secret in Washington is that President Bush has threatened to veto this package only to score points with his political base. Instead, he is simply showing once again that his priorities are completely out-of-step with the country.”