WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today:
“The President, once again, reiterated his demand for a blank check for the war in Iraq – a blank check that the American people and Democrats in Congress oppose.
“The fact is, the House has passed legislation providing $50 billion to fund our troops in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. We believe it is absolutely imperative that they receive the resources they need and deserve. However, the President and his allies in Congress continue to obstruct this legislation because it includes a goal to redeploy our troops by December 15, 2008, prohibits torture and demands that our troops be fully trained and equipped. These are reasonable, responsible measures. The President should work with Congress on this legislation, rather than continuing to issue demands that are not supported by the American people.
“Furthermore, the President today seemed out of touch with the economic insecurity that is afflicting literally millions of Americans from coast to coast, and the important role of the government in addressing critical economic issues and priorities. The concerns of the American people are real. Over the last seven years, the poverty rate has gone up, while household income has gone down. The number of uninsured Americans has increased by 7 million, while the economy has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs. Foreclosure filings have nearly doubled over the last year. Gas prices have doubled. College costs are exploding. Health care costs are skyrocketing. And, the deficit and debt, under this Administration, have exploded.
“Democrats are very focused on pocketbook economic issues, and later this week we will meet with a cross-section of economic experts to assess our economy and to discuss possible responses that will build on previous legislation. Already this year, Democrats have passed – and the President has signed – an increase in the minimum wage, a boost in college aid, and an increase in our economic competitiveness. We also are working on important legislation to address the subprime lending crisis, as well as historic energy legislation.
“There is much more work to do. Democrats recognize that our economy is not working well for all of our citizens, and, unlike the President, we intend to meet our challenges with pro-active, creative responses.”