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WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement regarding the House Floor schedule for the rest of the week:
"Today, the House will continue to move forward with the people’s business, with the new Democratic Majority building upon its impressive record over the last seven months. Just in the last two weeks, we have passed legislation enacting historic lobbying reform, providing health insurance to 11 million children, ensuring fair pay in the workplace, and reauthorizing the farm bill, as well as several appropriations bills.
"Now, we will move forward with legislation extending immediate assistance to the State of Minnesota and those who have been affected by the tragic collapse of the I35 bridge over the Mississippi River; a remedial fix to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. In addition, we expect to consider a comprehensive energy reform bill that will move our nation toward energy independence.
"It is clear to even casual observers of the House Floor that the Republican Minority is intent on obstructing our progress on these bills and determined to play politics before we break for the August District Work Period. Their tactics are designed solely to slow the Democratic Majority’s progress rather than engaging on substance.
"The language offered in the Republican motion to recommit – prohibiting benefits to illegal immigrants - was redundant and superfluous. The very same language is stated both in current law and the underlying bill.
"There is no doubt that the motion to recommit on the Agriculture Appropriations Bill was defeated last night, despite Republican claims otherwise. The presiding officer during this vote acknowledged on the House Floor this morning that he had prematurely reported the vote, when several Members on both sides of the aisle were in the process of changing their votes, as is permitted. But when all Members had voted, the motion to recommit failed 212 to 216. However, to ensure clarity I, as Majority Leader, moved for a re-vote.
"As a gesture of goodwill to the Minority, I even introduced a resolution this morning that would have called on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to examine last night’s vote, not because the outcome was in doubt, but so that Members may have confidence that the rules of the House were followed. However, the Republican Minority objected to this Resolution, which I withdrew after the Republican Leader, John Boehner, asked that we instead convene a select committee to look into the matter. We are currently discussing such a committee.
"Now we will move forward with the people’s business."