Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and House Democrats calling for House Republicans to pass the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you very much Madam Leader. I am pleased to be here with all of you. There are mostly women on this platform. This is not a womens' issue. This is an everybody issue. Every father. Every husband. Every brother. This is an issue about everybody.
“Yesterday, the Senate once again passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act – 78 to 22. All of the Democrats voted for it. A majority of the Republicans voted for it. And every woman member of the Senate, Republican or Democrat, voted for it.
“When I cosponsored the original Act in 1994 we had strong bipartisan support in both Houses of Congress. There is no reason – and the Senate is a perfect demonstration of this – why that shouldn’t be the case today.
“Majority Leader Cantor said during my colloquy on the Floor last week that he cares deeply about women who are victims of violence, at risk and I quote: ‘We need to get them the relief’ – them being the women of our country – ‘the relief that this bill has to offer. … That’s our priority. We must move and act on this bill.’
“I agree with Mr. Cantor. And the House ought to act swiftly, ASAP, to pass the Senate’s version which is supported by law enforcement, civil rights groups, and those who care for victims of domestic violence.
“I strongly urge the Majority Leader, Mr. Cantor, and Mr. Boehner to put this bill on the Floor right away. One of the things the President said last night, with which I hope everybody agreed - the American people deserve a vote. They sent us here to act. Some will vote no, some will vote aye. But the American people deserve the right to have us vote.
“I am now pleased to yield to somebody who was my cosponsor- or I was a cosponsor of his, I should say it the right way, Mr. Chairman – I was a cosponsor of his on the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. John Conyers, the once and future chair of the Judiciary Committee.”