WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference today with the House Democratic leadership on the accomplishments Democrats have made for the American people in the first three months of the 110th Congress. Hoyer also discussed the next items on the Democratic agenda. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Almost five months ago, the American people emphatically voted for change and a new direction in our nation. They want a Congress that works hard for them; that addresses the critical issues facing our great nation; and that - yes - works together, whenever possible.
"In the first three months of this new 110th Congress, House Democrats have delivered in all three areas. We are changing the direction of our nation.
"At the close of business tomorrow, we will have worked 48 days in the first three months of this year - one-third more than any of the previous three Congresses. We will have passed nearly twice as many bills as the previous three Congresses during the first quarter of the year. And, our "100 hours" agenda passed with an average of 62 Republican votes - demonstrating the bipartisan appeal of our efforts.
"Now, as proud as we are of this strong record, we all recognize that our work has just begun.
"Thus, in the weeks ahead, we will defend our country, working on an Iraq supplemental and taking up the defense authorization bill, so that we may change our failing policy in Iraq and succeed in the war on terror.
"We will grow our economy - working to permanently fix the alternative minimum tax, ensure that we are prepared to compete in the innovation economy, and eliminate incentives to out-source American jobs.
"We will protect our children and strengthen families - reauthorizing the most important national program for uninsured children (SCHIP), Head Start, and No Child Left Behind; and working to address internet and community safety.
"We will preserve our planet - considering legislation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address global warming.
"And, we will ensure that our government is accountable and efficient - by passing lobbying reform and continuing to perform the effective oversight that was absent in the last six years.
"Finally, let me say that we have an aggressive Democratic agenda that also includes legislation on voting rights for the citizens of the District of Columbia, immigration reform and election reform. And, we intend to pass all of our appropriations bills on time.
"This is an ambitious agenda - but one that meets the needs of the American people.
"In addition to the members of this leadership team, I want to extend a special thanks to the chairmen and chairwomen of our committees who have worked so hard over the first three months. I will continue to work closely with them in the weeks ahead to ensure that we can move this pro-active, positive agenda forward."