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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in opposition to House Republicans' partisan border supplemental bill. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“I thank the Gentlelady for yielding. I was going to ask my friend from Pennsylvania [Rep. Dent] whether he had talked to the Senate and thinks this has any chance of moving this week, and the answer I think I would give is no, it does not. So I agree with him it would be tragic not to act. It's tragic that we're acting in a partisan fashion, which almost ensures inaction on this the last day we're going to be here. We should be acting in a bipartisan fashion, as I’ve urged the Majority Leader to do.
“What is a bipartisan fashion? A) Considering the emergency need today and funding the resources necessary to respond to that. B) Taking under consideration the substantive legislative changes that can be affected that will help this issue, will send the message that the Gentleman wants to send. He's my dear friend and a good Member of this body. But I will tell you, this bill has had no hearings, no Committee consideration – yes, there was a partisan task force, but this has had no consideration in this legislative process.
“The Majority Leader last week told me that there would be no bill that did not get 72 hours' notice. The Gentleman knows you have a bill on the Floor, which is contingent on the passage of this, which has had a few hours’ notice at best. Last night, I think, at 10:00 the Rules Committee met on DACA so I will tell my friend that, had we acted in a bipartisan fashion, (A) at whatever level of funding we could agree, pass a bill to meet the immediate crisis, (B) have hearings on the ramifications of the law that passed with only two votes in opposition. Over 405 Members voted for the 2008 legislation. We are changing that without a hearing, either in Subcommittee, Committee, or full Committee. That's not the way we ought to be working. That's not good for our country. It's not good for this institution. It's not fair.
“So I would urge my colleagues to defeat this legislation. I believe once again we find the Republican Party divided, and because they're divided they're trying to cobble together some of their hardest-line members so that they can get them to vote for this supplemental. They put on a bill which has had no notice to the American people or to Members of Congress. It's ironic that people are supporting this who demanded that we ‘read the bills.’ There was no bill to read until this morning. How sad for the American people.
“We have a humanitarian crisis that must be addressed without delay, and the way to address it without delay is to give the resources necessary and then pursue the legislative process. Not together, it will slow it down and, I predict, will not pass the Senate. I think the Gentlemen and Ladies on [the Republican] side of the aisle know the Senate won't pass the bill so if you really think we ought to act now, do so in a bipartisan fashion, and then let us debate the legislation before us.
“[Rep. Michael] McCaul just said, ‘This is a real crisis.’ He just said it, just minutes ago, Mr. McCaul, the Chairman of the [Homeland Security] Committee: this is a real crisis which demands action.
“The recommendation that has been made to us will undermine action by this body in the face of crisis. We should not pass this legislation. We ought to pass a very simple resource to the crisis now and legislation later. I urge my colleagues to vote ‘no.’”