Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) held a press conference today with Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters and Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) about the harmful impact of the extreme Republican budget on manufacturing, and the need to take action to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act and the Export-Import Bank. Below is a link to the video and a transcript of his remarks:
Click here to watch the video.
“Thank you very much for being here. I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues, the Ranking Member of the Science and Technology Committee, the Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, and Mr. Heck, who is a representative of the freshman class, but who himself was a very high ranking leader in the legislature in Washington state, a very successful business man, who knows a lot about what we’re talking about, and we’re pleased to have him here as well.
“The Republican Ryan budget on the Floor this week would be a disaster for our country and our economy in many ways. Among them because it disinvests in manufacturing job growth and private sector competitiveness.
“As Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen will share with you in a few moments, the Ryan budget slashes $173 billion from infrastructure funding important to getting America’s goods to market, it cuts job training programs that would benefit 3.5 million people who are currently out of work or seeking to advance their careers, and halves federal spending and support for groundbreaking research that fuels innovation. It would reduce our long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure by 18 percent over the next 10 years, compared to the budget that was offered by the President.
“The Republican budget’s spending reductions starve the very programs that create the opportunities our people need to ‘make it’ in America. You’ve heard us talk a lot about making it in America. Making it of course means manufacturing, growing products in America, and selling them here and around the world, and creating the kind of good paying jobs with opportunities that people need.
“Since this agenda was launched 4 years ago, the Make It In America plan for jobs and competitiveness has prompted Members of Congress to turn a wide range of ideas to boost manufacturing into concrete, and, in many cases, bipartisan legislation. Last Congress, Democrats worked across the aisle to pass some Make It In America bills, but this Congress, most of the bills on our list have yet to be considered. That’s a shame. Especially because the majority of Americans are deeply concerned about job creation and recognize that investing in manufacturing and innovation are the keys to growing the number of high-skill, high-wage jobs that we need.
“I did a colloquy with Mr. Cantor last week and the week before and the week before that and talked about bringing unemployment insurance to the Floor. His response was what they really wanted to bring to the Floor was legislation that expanded job opportunities and created jobs for those people who couldn’t find them. We’re for that. And we think we ought to take care of the short term – people who are in real distress, and families in real distress now, and pass the unemployment insurance bill that overwhelmingly passed the United States Senate. But yes, we ought to be passing Make It In America bills as well, to create job opportunities in the future.
“Today, I am pleased to announce we are adding two important legislative items to the Make It In America agenda. First, under the category of promoting U.S. exports, we are calling on Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before its current authorization expires on September 30.
“Ranking Member Waters held a very, very important meeting and hearing and forum just this week on Export-Import Bank, and she’ll be speaking to that. The Ex-Im bank boosts exports, supports jobs and reduces the deficit. We want to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the reauthorization can have the broadest possible bipartisan support. As I said, Ms. Waters will be talking about that.
“The second item we are adding to the list is the America Competes Reauthorization Act, a comprehensive approach to the reauthorizing of the America COMPETES Act, which was adopted under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership and Chairman Bart Gordon’s leadership. When Democrats held the majority we passed the COMPETES Act in 2007 and reauthorized it in 2010 in order to make a strong investment in innovation and basic research, including initiatives to promote science, technology, engineering and math, or as you know, the STEM, agenda. As our recovery continues, we look for ways to ensure the long-term competitiveness of our economy. We need to make sure that the COMPETES Act can continue to make these investments and expand on them. The Ranking Member of the Science and Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, will be discussing the COMPETES Act.
“Businesses, labor organizations, and economists strongly support investments in innovation and this is an area where we know Democrats and Republicans can work together successfully because we have already done so. Committee on Science and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, as I said, will be discussing the current status of the COMPETES Act, and the initiatives that she wants to make that we support her making to have a COMPETES Act that is worthy of its name.
“So at this point in time, let me now yield to Mr. Van Hollen, the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, to discuss the budget implications regarding Make It In America.”
Click here to find a list of provisions that should be included in a comprehensive America COMPETES Act reauthorization.