Press Release ● Coronavirus
For Immediate Release: 
July 28, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined CNN’s “New Day” this morning to discuss the life and legacy of his dear friend Rep. John Lewis, the urgent need to provide coronavirus relief to the American people, and the insufficient GOP proposal that was released yesterday. Below are excerpts from his interview and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

On John Lewis

“…The day after his death, I said there was a hole in the heart of America. A sense of great loss of a leader who brought to us a vision of love and togetherness and a beloved community; who brought every day of his life a positive attitude to make America better and have it live out its ideals of equality, and justice, and fairness to all. And we’ve experienced a great loss and yes, you're correct. Yesterday's ceremony was short at John's request. He was a humble human being. He was a great presence, a great person, as I say, Christ-like in so many ways. But very humble, self-effacing. [He was] not necessarily wanting the attention on him, but on the vision that he had for a beloved community and a commitment to making America live out its ideals.”
“We have sustained a great loss in America, a great loss in the Congress of the United States. He was called the ‘conscience of the Congress.’ He was the conscience of the country. At 23 speaking to all of America in…1963 about coming together and treating people, not based upon the color of their skin, as Martin Luther King said, but on their character, and on their conduct. John Lewis was a great, great, great American and a great human being.”
“I took my granddaughters and I took a great-granddaughter with me on the Faith and Politics [Institute] pilgrimage to Montgomery, to Birmingham, and to Selma on an annual basis. We went to Mississippi as well. I traveled with John Lewis to South Africa, and was in Nelson Mandela’s jail cell on Robins Island with John Lewis. What an extraordinary moment that was. Two extraordinary human beings, Nelson Mandela and John Lewis, leaders on behalf of the best that is within us.” 

On Senate Republican’s COVID-19 Bill

“It is typical of the Republican response to the American people in saying: ‘you're on your own.’ Obviously to have a draconian $400 cut immediately is going to make it very, very difficult for American families to meet their rent, to pay for food, to pay their living expenses. It is not acceptable that two-and-a-half months after we passed the Heroes Act, the Republicans would still be dissembling, still not able to reach an agreement, still not coming forward with sufficient assistance to meet this extraordinary pandemic and crisis that America, and the American people, are confronting. It mirrors, of course, Trump's failure to respond in an effective way to this pandemic. A failure to apply the resources that are necessary to get us back to health, and get us back to business, and get us back to school.”
“The incredible mismanagement of this pandemic and the incredible negligence of the United States Senate and the Republican Party to respond in a timely fashion is mirrored in this proposal. It is insufficient, it will let down the American people, and it will damage the economy.”
“…It is incomprehensible that the states, and local governments, and cities, and tribal governments, and territories that have been hemorrhaging revenue, hemorrhaging revenue because of the pandemic are left out totally in the cold. They hire our firefighters. They hire our police. They hire our sanitation workers. They hire our teachers. And all they are going to be left with is an option to lay off people who are critically important to the American people in responding to this pandemic. It's inadequate.”
“We’re prepared to discuss this, but we are also not prepared, however, to let down the American people, the states, the cities, the local governments who hire people who are meeting this pandemic’s crisis, including health personnel. We’re not willing to walk away from the American people.”

On President Trump Pushing States to Reopen

“I think it's typical of President Trump's responses: A) shifting responsibility; B) evidencing no plan, no concept of how we can defeat this pandemic, no ability to lead this country. It is tragic that at the time of great crisis we have a president who has no plan; who has no sense of what the right thing is to do; and [who] is dividing America, rather than bringing it together to confront this virus.”