Press Release ● Shutdown
For Immediate Release: 
January 9, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” this evening to discuss the Trump shutdown and the White House meeting between President Trump and Congressional leadership. Below are excerpts from the interview and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the full video.

“[Democrats] have been saying all along is look, Mr. President, there's a policy difference here, and we're prepared to discuss that policy because we want to have secure borders, and therefore we're prepared to talk about that, including additional sums to assure the border security. But what we're not prepared to agree to is a wall that Chairman [Michael] McCaul, who used to be the Republican Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said was neither the most efficient nor most effective way to effect border security. Our position is: Mr. President, don't shut down the government over this issue. Let's negotiate it. Let's talk about it. We want border security; you want border security. Let's talk about the best way to get there, and yes, let's talk to the experts. Let's talk about how much money we need, so that our position is [President Trump] is, in effect, holding hostage not only the 800,000 federal employees, but also the millions and millions of people who need housing assistance, who need food stamps, who need to go to our national parks, who need to get their tax refunds. Don't hold them hostage, Mr. President, while we discuss this.”

“…[T]he real issue here is if you have a policy difference, you don't take hostages... making 800,000 people, 440,000 of which who are working and not getting paid. Ironically, many of those people are on the border. What do you think they think when they're not getting paid and their services aren't being valued? Shutting down the government — Mitch McConnell called [it] 'a failed policy,' and he said he was the opener of government... I hope he would take our bills, pass them to the President. We're a co-equal branch of government. We're not subservient to the President's desire. We're the policy makers."

“[President Trump] says if you don't do it my way, the government's going to stay shut down and people are not going to get their services. Employees are not going to get their salaries. It is, in my opinion, a very, very bad policy bordering on, I would even say, an immoral policy to take people hostage for the ends you want to get to.”