Statement ● *Sequestration
For Immediate Release: 
March 6, 2013
Contact Info: 

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to H.R. 933, House Republicans’ Continuing Resolution. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

"I agree with the Gentlelady who has just spoken. But I want to say to my friend, Mr. McKeon, this is neither regular order nor rational policy. It ought to be rejected.

"This CR does nothing to address the irrational cuts to defense and non-defense that the sequester will require. It could be very harmful to our economy and to our national security and place the most vulnerable in America at great risk. We should not allow, my colleagues, our government to shut down. But we cannot do business this way, lurching from one manufactured crisis to the next.

"When we make agreements, we ought to stick to them. And the agreement was -- as the Chairman has tried to put forward, and I want to congratulate him for that -- that we would spend on the discretionary side of the budget at about $1.043 trillion. That is not what this bill does. It breaks the deal. Nobody expected sequester to take place, and we ought to obviate it, because it will hurt defense, our national security, and our domestic security.

"Mr. Speaker, we made an agreement. We ought to keep it. That's not what we have in this CR.

"While the defense funding in this package is something I would like to vote for, and the procedures incorporated in the bill I would like to vote for -- let me say, as an aside, that is regular order, because when we usually pass CRs, we do it for House-passed bill levels, Senate-passed bill levels, conference levels, but not at a level a year ago. The reason they've amended defense and veterans and Mil-Con is because it is irrational, and they recognize its irrationality as it relates to the national security. You ought to recognize the irrationality for the rest of the budget.

"While defense funding in this package is something as I said I would like to vote for -- it would continue support for critical national security programs, important in my district, but more important than that, important in our country -- if Congress continues to face every manner of manufactured crisis every other month, we cannot govern rationally, and it will hurt our people, our economy, and our security.

"When dysfunction rusts the wheels of Congress, it is the American people who suffer. And our defense community and the industries that support it will also suffer greatly from the uncertainty that results.

"I want to vote for appropriations bills that keep the promise we made to each other. I want to vote for appropriations bills that enable us to limit the negative impact of sequestration on our defense community and the most vulnerable in our society, but this CR does not do that. This vote will do nothing to lessen the effects of the sequester, whose impact is already being felt in my district and throughout the country. That is what compels me to vote no on this CR.

"I represent 62,000 federal employees. I do not want this government to shut down. That is a more irrational policy even than sequester. The honoring of our agreement demands we vote no on this and pass a CR that obviates sequester.

"I urge my colleagues to defeat this CR so we can send a message to those who control this chamber that we have a responsibility to our country and to our people to adopt a balanced fiscal plan to reduce our debt and deficit, invest in the growth of the economy. That is not what this bill does. I urge its defeat."