Press Release ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
September 29, 2008
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the Senate's failure to pass paid-for tax extenders package:
“We  have worked long and hard to compromise with the Senate on this tax extenders bill. We have sent the Senate version after version.
“But today, Senate Republicans are holding essential bills hostage rather than pass tax extenders responsibly.
“The House, on the other hand, has been doing its work. We passed those bills months ago, and we have done everything we could to accommodate the Senate without compromising our core principle.
“We first passed an energy tax package on February 27th.
“We passed the Renewable Energy and Jobs Creation Act, which includes an energy tax package and extenders, on May 21st. On September 26th, we once again passed legislation providing energy tax breaks and extenders in a different form.
“We sent the Senate a mental health parity bill, which was fully offset, on March 5.
“The Senate could take that bill up and send it to the President today.
“We passed secure rural schools on June 5th. The Senate is holding that hostage, too.
“But the Senate did not send us a bill on any of those topics until 10:30 this morning with a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.
“I have talked at length with my Senate colleagues about different options to move this extenders bill forward.   And I intend to continue that conversation.
“But right now, they have given us a strategy that puts essential bills for the American people at risk.
“Yesterday, in fact, Senator Hatch said so blatantly: “They do not like our [extenders] bill, but I think they have to take it.”
“That is legislating by blunt force—and it is not how you get things done in the United States Congress.
“So why are we so adamant about paying for this bill?
“Because we cannot continue whipping out the national credit card, piling tax cuts atop our massive debt, and sticking our children and grandchildren with the bill.
“We have been willing to compromise on everything but fiscal sanity.
“That is why we ask Senate Democrats to stand up to the Republican minority putting loopholes for hedge fund managers above responsibility.
“That is why we ask Senate Democrats to stand firm against the Republicans insisting on the principle that we must finance tax cuts with debt.
“I am ready to do whatever is necessary to get this legislation done. I look forward to working with the Senate to enacting fiscally responsible legislation.”