WASHINGTON D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) spoke on the floor today in response to the shameful Republican attempt to stonewall immediate tax relief for working Americans. The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, this is one of the most cynical, arrogant displays of power that I have ever witnessed in this House.
“The GOP’s intransigence is on full display with the self-executing rule on this legislation to allow low-income American families to benefit from the increase in the child tax credit.Let there be no mistake: with this rule, the GOP leadership wants to send this legislation into a conference committee where it hopes to tie the bill up and watch it die a slow death.
“Two days ago, when the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee (Mr. Thomas) unveiled the House GOP’S fiscally irresponsible version of this bill, he had the audacity to say:
‘We’re not in the business of politics but rather of policy.’
“Well, I ask you, is the United States Senate playing politics with this issue?
“That body passed a responsible, bipartisan bill to accelerate the child tax credit for working families and 12 million children by a vote of 94 to 2. Its version would cost $10 billion and is fully paid for.
“I ask you, is the President of United States playing politics with this issue?
“When asked what the President would say to House Republicans who disagree with the Senate version, the White House press secretary responded:
“His [the President’s] advice to the House Republicans is to pass it, to send it to him, so he can sign it.”
“So, we all know who’s really playing politics on this issue. And it’s not Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, House Democrats and President Bush – who support of the immediate passage of the Senate’s fair and fiscally responsible bill.
“It’s the House Republicans, who have proposed an irresponsible $82 billion bill that is not paid for, that would drive us even deeper into debt, and that promises to delay – and possibly prevent – low-income, working families from receiving this benefit.
“Vote no on the previous question, and allow this body to take up the Senate-passed bill. And if the previous question is not defeated, vote no on this unfair rule.”