WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference today with House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller and other Democratic House Members of the Education and Labor Committee on the Employee Free Choice Act . Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"I want to thank Chairman Miller - one of the strongest advocates for working men and women in the Congress - for his leadership on this important bipartisan legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act.
"The Democratic Party has always been an ally of the men and women who have made this country great - and today our commitment to them is as strong as ever. A simple principle that has inspired generations continues to guide us: In the United States of America - the land of hope and opportunity - if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.
"Today, however, hard-working families are increasingly squeezed by stagnant incomes and the rising costs of education, health care, transportation, food and housing. Working Americans are tired of hearing the Administration and others talk about rapid economic growth - while they continue to struggle to make ends meet. And, working Americans are tired of hearing the Administration and others express outright contempt for their fundamental right to organize and collectively bargain for better pay, benefits and work conditions.
"We simply cannot ignore the economic disparity that exists in our nation between workers and top executives. That disparity is not only growing, but also, in many instances, grotesque. It's well past time that the Congress took seriously its responsibility to examine and address the rampant economic anxiety that is being experienced in millions of households across this nation.
"The Democratic leadership in the House is committed to growing our nation's middle-class - and ensuring fairness in the American workplace. That's why a bipartisan majority in the House passed the first minimum wage increase in more than 10 years as one of our first acts - and that's why a bipartisan majority is going to pass the "Employee Free Choice Act" tomorrow. American workers deserve to be fairly compensated for the dedication, loyalty and skill that they bring to their jobs - and this legislation will help restore fairness to the workplace.
"The new Democratic Majority is focused on extending the reach of hope, opportunity and economic fairness to all Americans - because we believe, in our heads and in our hearts, that if you do work hard and play by the rules, you can - and should - get ahead in this great country."