WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to comments made by the President this morning:
“As the second term of his failed presidency winds to an end, President Bush has little left on the agenda but finger-pointing. With gas prices skyrocketing and with Americans losing their homes to foreclosure at record rates, the president can do little but blame, criticize, and pass the buck.
“The President claims to sympathize over high gas prices, but offers next-to-nothing in the way of solutions. From Day One of his presidency he has insisted on drilling in ANWR, a plan aimed more at boosting oil company profits than at helping American families. Democrats have immediate solutions that could help lower gas prices now: cracking down on market manipulation; holding OPEC accountable for price manipulation; fighting price gouging; and repealing taxpayer subsidies to oil companies making record profits. And for the long term, Democrats have taken steps to break America’s addiction to foreign oil, passing a fuel efficiency bill that will eventually save Americans $22 billion per year at the pump.
“President Bush has been equally hands-off in the face of a housing crisis unseen since the Great Depression. With more than 2 million Americans facing foreclosure, the Democratic Congress is preparing to pass landmark legislation that will enable hundreds of thousands of homeowners—and possibly up to 1 million—to refinance and keep their homes. Once again, the President has little to add but carping and criticism, pledging to veto a bill that he says 'rewards speculators and lenders.' Nothing could be further from the truth. Our housing rescue bill, which has attracted bipartisan support, specifically excludes speculators, investors, and second homes, and requires lenders to take losses. Democrats have a plan to stabilize the housing market and the economy as a whole; President Bush has a plan to sit on his hands for nine more months.
“Meanwhile, household incomes are down, poverty is up, and the numbers of uninsured and unemployed continue to increase. In the face of all that, Americans saw today an Administration out of leadership, and a President out of ideas.”