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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following remarks today at a press conference with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair James Clyburn (SC), Assistant to the Democratic Leader John Spratt (SC) and Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Rahm Emanuel (IL), to highlight five months of overreaching and abuses of power by Washington Republicans.
“The game is up. The mask is off. The secret’s out. Washington Republicans do not share the priorities of the American people.
“Over the last five months, the American people have repeatedly seen just how out of touch and overreaching the Republican Party in Washington really is.
“Republicans are no more than the handmaidens of the far right-wing – the same people who call a bipartisan compromise in the Senate ‘disgusting,’ the same people who say federal judges are a greater threat to our nation than terrorists.
“Last week, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll showed that, by a margin of 65 to 17 percent, voters said this Republican Congress does not share their priorities.
“Yesterday, a CBS News Poll showed virtually the same thing. It also showed that 60 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.
“Is it any wonder?
“So far this year, the Republicans have tried to rewrite the House Ethics rules at the very time serious allegations were leveled against their Majority Leader.
“We still don’t have a functioning Ethics Committee – even today!
“They stifle debate in the House, hold votes open to thwart the will of the majority, and even try to rewrite Democratic Amendments to mischaracterize them.
“As Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution recently said: “What we have seen in the last couple of years is that the Republican majority and the House plays partisan hardball even when they don’t have to.”
“The Washington Republicans have ignored the will of the American people on Social Security privatization.
“They’ve ignored the will of the American people in the tragic case of Terri Schiavo.
“They continue to ignore the will of the American people on embryonic stem cell research.
“And, for a time, they even ignored the will of the Pentagon and military officials on limiting women's opportunities in the armed services.
“At the very same time, this Republican Congress has utterly failed to fulfill its constitutional role on oversight – oversight on the alleged abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib, on alleged human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay, on the fact that this Administration cannot account for the loss of $9 billion in Iraq.
“Meanwhile, they’ve failed to enact an energy bill; they’ve failed to enact a transportation bill; they’ve failed to create the jobs they promised; they’ve failed to address skyrocketing health care costs; they’ve failed to raise the minimum wage for working Americans; and they’ve failed to articulate a success strategy in Iraq.
“All the while, Washington Republicans are pursuing the most fiscally irresponsible policies in the history of our nation – annual deficits of more than half a trillion dollars and a growing national debt of more than $8 trillion.
“The American people have every right and every reason to be deeply concerned about the out-of-touch and overreaching policies being pursued by Washington Republicans today.
“Democrats believe we can, and must, take a different course – and we believe the American people are asking for that opportunity.”