Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) engaged in a colloquy with Majority Leader Eric Cantor on the House Floor today. Whip Hoyer offered a unanimous consent agreement to pass a clean Continuing Resolution that would keep the government open, which Republicans rejected. See below for excerpts of his remarks and a link to the video:
“I thank the Majority Leader for yielding. I share his view we ought to keep the government running, not only the sake of our economy but for the sake of all those that rely on the federal government. My friend has made the observation in the past that shutting down the government, and I believe the Speaker made the same observation, was not a national policy for us to pursue. I ask the gentleman because I believe that the resolution that we will be considering will not either pass the Senate nor be signed by the President. In light of that, and in light of the fact that the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker have both indicated that negotiations are ongoing, would the gentleman agree to a unanimous consent that we, as we have done so often in the past, when the majority Democrats were in control of the House and the Senate, disagreed with President Bush, that we would have a “hold in place” unanimous consent Continuing Resolution, not changing the status on either side of the negotiations, for seven days, which would give the parties the opportunity to come to an agreement? My understanding from the Leader of the Senate is that we have agreed to some $70 billion in cuts, which is a substantial way toward what you wanted and a show that we share the view that we need to have fiscal restraint. So I ask my friend if I made a unanimous consent request that we continue the government authority to stay running until next Friday without changing the status quo so that neither party would be disadvantaged and that our government would in fact, as the gentleman observes is his objective, be able to stay in service to the American people.”
“We agreed with the premise you have stated and the premise the Speaker has stated that shutting down the government was not a process that was useful for our economy, for jobs, for our people, or for the services that are expected of us. What is useful is for us to rationally provide a context in which negotiations, which quite obviously have not yet been completed, are completed."