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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following statement today at a press conference with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), and Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (IL). The Democratic Leadership was joined by House and Senate Democrats and representatives from groups and organizations working on key issues to highlight the corrupt Republican Congress.
As prepared for delivery.
“As Leader Pelosi has noted, the Republican Party in Washington has been mired by corruption charges for the entire year, and – as a result – they are failing the American people on key issues.
“The protection of our homeland, the defeat of terrorism and the maintenance of our defenses is our most important responsibility. And yet, the Republican record is one of gross miscalculation, incompetence, and political exploitation.
“This Republican Congress has abdicated its responsibility to oversee the war in Iraq and improvements in our efforts to prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks at home. The President has failed to create or seek political consensus and he has handled the war as a partisan effort to this day. Republicans play games with war – putting the second ‘gotcha’ Iraq War Resolution in a month on the floor today.
“Rather than try to unite our nation, they deliberately try to divide us for political advantage. In contrast, Democrats offered a resolution that would bring America together. It congratulates the Iraqi people on their three national elections in 2005, expresses our support for Iraq to achieve a democratic society, and expresses our thanks and admiration for our brave men and women in uniform, as well as our coalition partners and the Iraqi security forces. But the Majority, proving again that it would rather score political points than bring the American people together, refused to allow a vote on this unifying resolution.
“The Republican Party also is failing our nation at home. Just last week, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission issued a disturbing report card to the President and Congressional Republicans for failing to take the steps necessary to prepare and protect the nation. Five ‘D’s’ and twelve ‘F’s’ is not just a report of failure – it is a recipe for disaster. Democrats have continued to offer substantive proposals to carry out the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Those efforts have been rejected. We believe it is our responsibility to work together to immediately address these serious shortcomings.
“The Republican Party has done absolutely nothing on another key security issue – energy independence. Energy independence is both a security and a pocketbook issue. Americans have been hit hard by high gas prices and now face a cold winter with record home heating bills. And what has this Republican Party done?
“At a time of record profits for the oil companies, it has doled out billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded giveaways to them. Democrats have put forward common sense approaches to guide our nation toward energy independence, protect consumers from gouging at the pump and help Americans stay warm this winter.
“On our nation’s security and energy policy the Republican record is one of misguided priorities, incompetence, cover-up and even corruption. Democrats believe that together, America can do better.”