Hoyer Remarks at Press Conference on Republicans' Partisan Continuing Resolution

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I am pleased to join Senator Reid, Senator Durbin, and Senator Schumer in urging our Republican colleagues to reach compromise.

We had a debate on the House floor. Republicans and Democrats rose – some very compelling statement from a Republican from Pennsylvania and a Republican from Mississippi talking about how people have been ravaged by floods and tornadoes in particular.

There are people ravaged by hurricanes and fire and drought as well. The stories were renting, and the debate was that we need to help and we need to help now. We suggested last night that what the House was going to pass would not enjoy majority support in the United States Senate. We were correct. Notwithstanding that, we waited for the House to send that bill, knowing full well it would not enjoy majority support. I want to read two statements made by Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor within the last 12 days. "We know the parties will not agree on everything, but the American people want us to find common ground, and I will be looking for it," said Mr. Boehner on September 8, 2011, just a few days ago. The same day, Mr. Cantor, Majority Leader, said: "We have to focus on areas of commonality and try to transcended differences."

Today, Leader Reid offered unanimous consent that adopted the agreement we made it over the debt limit and a number of operations, and an agreement that emergencies like natural disasters needed additional headroom. There was an agreement that we would have additional spending if we were faced with a disaster. In the House debate, clearly everyone understood that we were faced with the disasters.

I would urge our Republican friends in the Senate and Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor to do exactly what they suggested 12 days ago, what we all ought to do: seek common ground. In our view, we want a higher level of funding which the Administration and FEMA says is necessary. But because Republicans do not agree on that figure, we have come to their figure in Leader Reid’s proposal, and we suggest we move forward on a number we agreed to to fund government. Everybody said yes yesterday on the House floor and Senate floor that we do not want to shut down the government. At a time of crisis in our economy, shutting down the government would be a job destroyer.

I want to commend Senator Reid, Senator Durbin, and Senator Schumer for their leadership and urge our Republican colleagues on the House side, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor: yes, you said you wanted to reach common ground, this is common ground. Let's do it so that the people are confident the government is there when a disaster puts them at risk. I thank the senators for allowing us to join them in this important statement.