WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following statement today during the debate on the rule on the Conference Report for the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007:
“Mr. Speaker, I have every intention of voting for the underlying appropriations bill, which will fund the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2007.
“However, I have noticed – as I’m sure all members have – that the Republican leadership has chosen to insert the must-pass continuing resolution in this important legislation, rather than allow a separate debate and vote on that continuing resolution.
“Let no one be mistaken: The Republican leadership – by tucking this “CR” in the Defense Appropriations Bill – is embarrassed by its own incompetence and ineffectiveness.
“Just look at the facts. This do-less-than-Do-Nothing Republican Congress is projected to be in session just 93 days in 2006. That is 17 fewer days in session than the Do-Nothing Congress of 1948, which was famously derided by President Truman.
“Yet, despite this light work schedule, this Republican Majority has failed to enact a budget for Fiscal 2007; it has failed to enact even one appropriations conference report – which necessitates this continuing resolution.
“Furthermore, this Republican-controlled Congress has failed to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission; failed to enact a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage; failed to enact real immigration reform; failed to address the fact that 46 million Americans are uninsured today; and failed to enact legislation that moves us toward energy independence.
“And the record of this Republican Congress on fiscal issues is simply abysmal. In six years, this Republican Congress and the Bush Administration have turned a projected 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion into a projected 10-year deficit of $4 trillion.
“The Republicans’ failed fiscal polices have created record budget deficits and forced this Congress to increase the debt limit four times in five years.
“Mr. Speaker, this continuing resolution – tucked as it is in this Defense Appropriations Bill – is an admission of failure by this Republican Congress.
“As our colleague, Republican Congressman Kingston of Georgia, said yesterday: “It is disappointing where we are, and I think Republicans need to be upfront about this. We have not accomplished what we need to accomplish.”
“Mr. Speaker, it is time for a new direction in America.”