Whip Hoyer on the Do-Less-Than-Do-Nothing Congress

i thank the gentlelady. this is about politics not policy. the policy i'm going to support. this is about politics. it's about the election of one member in a very hotly contested race in new york. i hope the american public are tuned in. TimeCode: 12:48:47.7 with all the pressing critical issues that confront our nation, what is the one issue in the one -- 1/15th of the session we have left that we are recording our time to? the horse slaughter prevention TimeCode: 12:49:03.3 act. this is an important issue, it ought to be considered. i do not mean to make light of the legislation. but is this the issue that the american people expect their elected representatives to be considering at this moment? on monday we commemorate the TimeCode: 12:49:19.2 fifth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history. 9/11 is a i -- day of remembrance and resolve and also a time to recognize we are not as safe as we should be. apparently horses aren't, either. TimeCode: 12:49:33.8 but people aren't as safe as they should be. just today the former republican speaker of the house, newt gingrich wrote, i quote, five years have passed since the horrific attack on our homeland and still there is one serious, undeniable fact we have yet to confront. TimeCode: 12:49:53.0 we are today, said the former speaker, newt gingrich, not where we wanted to be and nowhere near where we need to be. yet 1/15 of the time we have left before the election is spent on horses. TimeCode: 12:50:10.0 osama bin laden is still on the loose. this congress has failed to nact the 9/11 commission's recommendations. the nuclear threat from north korea and iran has increased. afghanistan is backsliding and TimeCode: 12:50:25.0 iraq simmers in a low grade civil war. and yet we are focused on this act. last week i join more than 20 of my democratic colleagues in visiting new orleans and the TimeCode: 12:50:40.9 gulf coast. areas devastated by hurricane katrina one year ago. we observed incredible courage and optimism on the part of the citizens there, but we also saw an area that is still a shell of its former self. TimeCode: 12:50:56.3 in new orleans nearly 60% of homes and businesses do not have electricity. much of new orleans lacks dependable supply of water and only $$44 billioned of $110 billion appropriated has been spent. TimeCode: 12:51:12.5 yet what are we doing today? focusing on horses. this bill was defeated 33 -- 37-3 in committee. the patients bill of rights, co-sponsored by mr. dingell, was supported by the majority of this house and the majority TimeCode: 12:51:29.4 of the senate and it died in conference. for political reasons. this bill here is for political reasons. while this body considers this legislation today, the republican leadership refuses to allow an up or down vote on providing a long overdue TimeCode: 12:51:45.7 increase. may i have 30 additional seconds? the chairman: the gentleman's time has expired. how much time does the gentleman yield? TimeCode: 12:51:59.8 mr. peterson: one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend the chairman of the committee. mr. goodlatte, i apologize for that. the republican leadership refuses to allow an up or down vote on the minimum wage. that's not about horses. TimeCode: 12:52:16.1 it's about 6.6 million americans working every day and living in poverty. i have concern about these horses but i have much, much more concern about 6.6 million americans who are living in TimeCode: 12:52:30.6 poverty while working 40-hour weeks. we have still not passed legislation that moves our nation towards energy independence. yet we focus on horses. reforms are broken immigration system, yet we focus on horses, addresses the fact that 46 million americans do not have TimeCode: 12:52:46.5 health insurance. yet we focus on horses. fixes the republican's flawed prescription drug program and reforms our convoluted tax system, yet we focus on horses. i'm concerned about horses but i am much, much more concerned about the american people. TimeCode: 12:53:03.9 that's what we ought to be focused on. that's what we ought to be paying attention. that's why i call this the do less than the do-nothing congress of 1948 . and i yield back the balance of TimeCode: 12:53:15.3 my time.