For Immediate Release: 
September 21, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this evening in support of the continuing resolution to fund government through December 3 and announced that he would bring legislation to fund the Iron Dome missile defense system to the Floor this week. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.

“I thank the gentlelady for yielding. I want to congratulate her for the job she has done, not only in passing nine of the 12 appropriation bills that are over in the Senate, unfortunately have not been considered, and the other three bills, I know she's working very hard on, which would obviate a need for a CR. We have not done that so we must pass this bill.

“Mister Speaker, there is no job more critical for Congress to perform each year than to fund the government. I want to thank Chairwoman DeLauro, the Ranking Member, and the Members and Staff of the Appropriations Committee for their work earlier this year to ensure that the House passed nine out of the twelve appropriation bills. As we continue to work with the Senate to finish that work, it is imperative that we adopt this continuing resolution to keep the government open and serving the American people during this challenging time.

“This continuing resolution also includes much-needed emergency funding for disaster relief. Communities along the Gulf Coast were hard-hit by Hurricane Ida, and Western states are continuing to deal with devastating wildfires. At the same time, Mister Speaker, this legislation also includes additional funding to facilitate the resettlement of our Afghan allies and their families.

“It is also essential that we suspend the debt limit to prevent a default that would trigger an economic catastrophe not only here but around the world, and this continuing resolution includes such a suspension.

“In my career, over the forty years I have spent here, Republican and Democratic Secretaries of the Treasury and administrations have urged us not to allow the credit and faith of the United States of America to fail. In years past, Democrats and Republicans came together to address the debt limit because we all know how dangerous it would be for America not to pay the bills it has already incurred.

“Let me remind everyone what we are talking about: this is not new spending. This is for what we have already spent, either by spending on objectives or cutting revenues. Let me remind everyone what we’re talking about: this is about paying for what we’ve already bought.

“A family can’t just decide not to pay its credit card bill for purchases already made. Their credit would suffer, rightfully so, making them a risky bet for lenders who would be justified in charging higher payments.

“Now we played chicken with the debt some years ago. It was in the early 2010's, and the credit of the United States for the first time in 100 years was put down a notch. The credit of the United States of America.

“During the previous administration, every time the president asked Congress to take this same vote, Democrats did the right thing and joined with Senator McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and other Republicans to suspend the debt limit. We did it three times under the previous president.

“There is a Democratic President. And not withstanding Senator McConnell’s observation that it would be unwise not to extend the credit of the United States. there apparently is a commitment on the other side of the Capitol not to vote for a debt limit extension.

“I hope Republicans will be consistent and will do as they did before: vote to prevent a default and spare the American people from yet another damaging economic crisis right as we are coming out of the pandemic.

“Therefore, I urge all Members, Republican and Democratic – this is not a Republican or Democratic debt, but a debt of the United States of America. We don't welch on our debts. We pay our debts. That's all this bill does. The debt limit is an absolutely phony issue. There are very few, less than a handful, of countries that have a debt limit and none who have come to a crisis of not paying their debt or extending that debt. So I urge all my colleagues to join me in voting for this continuing resolution to keep government open, probably our primary responsibility and prevent an economic disaster.

“Now, I heard the remarks of the gentlelady and she’ll be happy to hear that it’s my intention to bring to this Floor a suspension bill before the end of this week that will fund fully Iron Dome. I was for that, I’m still for it, we ought to do it. I talked to the [Israeli] Foreign Minister, Mr. Lapid, just two hours ago and assured him that this bill was going to pass the House. I hope my colleagues on that side of the aisle will join with me. I want to thank Chair DeLauro, with whom we just talked. She indicated that she wanted it to be done, I intend to bring it to the Floor, and it will be done. It is absolutely essential.

“There were 4400 rockets in 10 days that rained down on Israel, one of our closest allies and friends. Luckily -- no, not luckily, because they had Iron Dome, very few lives were lost and very little property was lost. Too much, but nevertheless, Iron Dome saved lives and propert and held Israel secure. The President wants this bill passed, Mr. Schumer wants this bill passed, the Speaker wants this bill passed, the Chair of the Appropriations Committee wants this bill passed, I want it passed,  and I believe scores on both sides of the aisle want to make sure that Israel is secure and that she can replenish the assets of Iron Dome which are defensive only, not offensive, so that if someone sends rockets towards either people or places in Israel, they will be able to intercept that rocket and save lives and save property.

“I thank the Chair for her leadership. I want to thank the Members of this body who are going to stand up, in my view, and are going to vote not only to keep government funded but to ensure that the United States of America does not fail to pay its debts. I yield back the balance of my time.”