Press Release ● Shutdown
For Immediate Release: 
January 11, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined CNBC's “Squawk Box” and CNN’s “New Day” this morning to discuss the Trump shutdown and its negative impact on 800,000 federal employees who are furloughed or working without pay. Below are excerpts from the interviews and links to the videos:
Click here to watch the full interview.
Click here to watch the full interview.

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

"Our position is [Republicans] have got to stop using the shutting down of the people's government as a strategy to attain our objectives… We've really had three of these [Republican government shutdowns]. One was under [former Speaker of the House Newt] Gingrich, and he disagreed with the President's wanting to keep education spending pretty high. Then, we had [Senator] Ted Cruz and the House Freedom Caucus who wanted President Obama to repeal the Affordable Care Act or they weren't going to keep government open. And now, we have President Trump who's going to keep the government shut until we have an agreement on the wall. Now, the problem with using government as a lever, as a tool, and taking hostages, it’s not only the 800,000 federal employees, but taking all the millions and millions of people who are served by government every day hostage is very, very debilitating to our country. Essentially, taking our country hostage. So, what we're saying is, ‘Mr. President, we need to negotiate. It can be hard, you could veto some of our bills, but don't shut down government in the process.’ So this is a bigger issue than just the wall, or the education, or Affordable Care Act, it's an issue of whether or not we're going to use as a continuing policy shutting down the government of the United States and undermining the confidence of our employees, the confidence of people who deal with the government, and the confidence of, very frankly, the international community looking to see whether the United States of America can act in a rational, responsible way.”

"This is a policy to take hostage the government of the United States in order to force your view on others. I said at the White House to the President, I said, ‘Mr. President, what's to guarantee that you're not going to shut down the government a month from now, or two months from now, if you have something that you say [you] want and we think is bad policy? Maybe we think it's bad policy in a bipartisan basis. There are a lot of Republicans who believe the wall that he's suggesting is a waste of money and ineffective. Really, what's at issue here… is [whether] this a proper policy to pursue in shutting down the people's government. I think it is not.”
On CNN’s “New Day”

“The first thing we need to do is get the government open. We have 800,000 people who are either locked out of their work or working without pay. That's not a moral pursuit, not the proper pursuit to treat our federal employees and hundreds of millions of people served by the government who are out in the cold today because their government is shut down. That's the first thing we need to do.”

"We don't think [a border wall] works. There are better ways to secure the border. As do many, many Republicans and experts think that. But the main issue here is this President is using a device, shutting down the government, which should never be pursued. No President ought to run on the basis that I'll shut down your government. No President ought to put 800,000 people at risk. No President should put the people who use the services of government at risk of being unable to settle on their home, pay their mortgage, get their farm payment.”

"[Shutting down government] is a policy Senator McConnell said was a ‘failed policy.’ We have been passing Republican bills... We can open up government. The only person stopping the opening of government is Donald Trump. Senator McConnell said he'll put bills on the Floor if Trump says it is okay. That's not the co-equal branch of government that the Congress is. We don't have to ask the President, ‘by your leave can we send you legislation?’ We send legislation we think is good policy. If he chooses to veto it, we either have the votes to override or we don't, but shutting down government isn't a policy that ought to be pursued. And the Republicans have done it now three times.”

"We ought to stop putting such doubt and angst in the heads of our [federal] employees and the heads of those who rely on them.”