WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of a bipartisan economic stimulus package. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, for several years, the American people were told our economy was roaring.
“This was not, in fact, true. And it now is abundantly clear that millions of hard-working American families are struggling and that the American economy needs a strong shot in the arm.
“The median household income is down. The number of Americans living in poverty and the number of uninsured is up by five million and seven million, respectively. Job growth has been unimpressive. Foreclosures have hit record levels. And, Americans all across this country are struggling with exploding gasoline prices, higher grocery bills, and increasing college and health care costs.
“Thus, I am very pleased that members on both sides of the aisle – and the White House – have come together, in the spirit of bipartisanship and good faith, to produce this economic stimulus package.
“In particular, the Speaker, the Minority Leader, Mr. Boehner, and Treasury Secretary Paulson deserve great credit for their efforts.
“In short, this stimulus will put money in the hands of hard-working Americans to give them the help they need, and, at the same time, stimulate the economy.
“Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told the New York Times last Friday: ‘It [this stimulus package] is a much-needed and very constructive step. It will provide some confidence. But policy-making will need to be on standby, because more may be needed.’
“I am pleased that this stimulus package adhered to the principles that Democrats have stressed for weeks – that an economic stimulus be timely, targeted and temporary. It is critical that we not enact a stimulus plan that further erodes our nation’s long-term fiscal condition.
“Democrats are particularly pleased that, under this package, 35 million working families who would not otherwise have been helped will receive tax relief, and that 117 million families in all will receive a stimulus check.
“This economic package also will expand financing opportunities for Americans in danger of losing their homes because of the mortgage crisis, and promote small business investment in equipment, which will spur job creation here at home.
“It is my hope and expectation that we will pass this legislation today with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.
“And, I urge the Senate to act to produce a streamlined and focused stimulus package that is not loaded down with provisions that will either slow or undermine its passage and implementation.”