For Immediate Release: 
October 1, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning on the work House Democrats have done throughout the 116th Congress for the American people, while Republicans have failed the people by blocking progress on critical issues. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Click here to watch the video. 
“Madam Speaker, since the beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have fought for the people. From lowering health care costs, to raising wages by rebuilding America, to cleaning up corruption and strengthening democracy, House Democrats have passed major legislation and shown the American people what our priorities are.  At the same time, Republicans have also made clear what their priorities are – priorities the American people do not share.

“For example: on health care.  For years, President Trump and Republicans have been telling the American people that they have a plan that is better than the Affordable Care Act, which will cover more Americans and at lower cost. But, after years with no plan being put forward, it is clear exactly what their plan really is: eliminate the Affordable Care Act and offer nothing in return. They continue to tell the American people: ‘you’re on your own.’ They tried to repeal or undermine it more than sixty-five times in Congress and failed. Now they are trying to overturn the law in court – and they are attempting to ram a Supreme Court nominee through in order to do what they failed to do through the legislative process. The fight over this nominee is very much about the ability of Americans to access quality, affordable health care.

“When Democrats came into the Majority, we took immediate action to defend the Affordable Care Act in court and stand up for its protections of more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. What can we expect if Republicans succeed in ending the Affordable Care Act? Free preventive screenings and services: gone. The guarantee of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions without higher premiums: gone. The ability to get covered under your parents’ plans if you are younger than twenty-six: gone. The ban on lifetime and annual limits on coverage: gone. That is what we are defending for the people – and what we will continue to protect.

“We also took real action to lower prescription drug costs with the passage of H.R. 3 and other legislation. Not a gimmick like President Trump’s meaningless executive orders or his illegal coupon cards that endanger the future of Medicare. But real action to benefit those who need more affordable prescription drugs. And when an unprecedented, deadly pandemic swept across the globe and onto our shores, House Democrats led the way with swift action, enacting four bipartisan laws, and passing a fifth bill – the Heroes Act. President Trump and the Republican Senate, however, have blocked the Heroes Act. Where Democrats have said ‘we are in this together,’ President Trump has said: ‘it is what it is.’ Let me say to the American people: ‘what it is’ does not have to be. House Democrats have shown that there is a better way to lead and a more responsible way to govern in this crisis.

“Democrats have also been fighting to make our economy work ‘For The People,’ while Republicans fight to make our economy work for the wealthy. In 2017, President Trump and Republicans enacted an unpaid-for, $1.5 trillion tax cut where 83% of the benefits went to the top 1% of wealthiest Americans. It also raised taxes on 86 million middle-class households. In contrast, House Democrats have used our majority to benefit working families and grow our economy. We voted to raise the minimum wage and ensure equal pay for equal work for women. We invested in new infrastructure and in clean energy innovation that drives the growth of new, high-paying, American jobs.

“And House Democrats have been working to make government more transparent and accountable ‘For the People.’ Our majority moved swiftly to pass the strongest and most comprehensive government reform legislation in decades, the ‘For The People Act.’ It will hold government officials more accountable, increase transparency and ethical standards, and increase voter protections while instituting national redistricting reforms. Senate Republicans, unsurprisingly, have ignored it. While this President and Republicans continue to make it harder for Americans to vote and sow confusion and uncertainty about balloting, House Democrats passed H.R. 4 to restore the protections of the voting rights act and honor the legacy of our friend John Lewis.  

“That is one of the 340 bipartisan bills that are languishing on Senator McConnell’s desk. He will not call them up before the Senate for a vote. That’s 340 important bipartisan bills blocked, stalled, and ignored. Let’s not forget that we began our Majority in the middle of a damaging and irresponsible government shutdown. We moved swiftly to end that shutdown and prioritized the passage of funding bills last year and this year before the end of July in order to prevent another shutdown of our government. We have shown what it means to govern ‘For The People.’

“Over the next few weeks, Americans will have a chance to choose the direction our country follows in the years ahead. They know that Republicans have failed them through their inaction and irresponsibility. And they know that Democrats have offered a serious agenda of leadership, have demonstrated the capacity to govern responsibly, and have shown ourselves to be always ‘For The People.’”