Statement ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
December 20, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today on House Republicans’ decision to pander to President Trump on his costly, ineffective border wall and risk a government shutdown. Below is a link to the video and transcript of his remarks:
 

Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“What a sad day. Mr. Chairman [Rodney Frelinghuysen], I feel badly that you're leaving on this note. I know it is not your wish. I know that if you were in charge, we would have reached agreement. I know under your leadership we [came to agreement on] six bills [that] were forged in a bipartisan way – not our bills, your bills.  

“Ladies and gentlemen, the seventh bill is also agreed to – save for one item – so that approximately 96% of the legislation has been agreed to by both sides. And the United States Senate has passed a Continuing Resolution based upon those bills by voice vote. Yet, here we are twisting in the wind at 7:00 p.m. on the day before the government shuts down.

“What a sad performance. What a regrettable lack of responsibility. How we have undermined the faith of our people; treated the federal employee terribly; and given cause for the rest of the world to think: ‘what are they doing?’

“There is not one person on the Republican side of the aisle that believes if they pass this bill that it will be accepted by the Senate. Not one of you believes that, and so we are playing political games here to pander to the President of the United States who sadly rejected a compromise that was reached by all of us.

“The Majority Leader of your party and the Speaker were for this compromise. Democrats for this compromise and the Senate was for this compromise. One person [opposed it]. Why are we here?

“‘I will shut down the government, absolutely. I am proud to shut down the government.’ That is what the President of the United States said just a few days ago.

“And today, he put the entire Congress a tizzy. How sad it is that the Republican
leadership of this Congress and the last Congress have consistently been unable to meet their fiscal responsibilities.

“[Former Speaker of the House] John Boehner brought a bill to open up the government — and sadly, only 78 Republicans would follow their leadership. Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor, and Mr. McCarthy [supported that bill]. Only 78 [voted for it]. And the rest, including the present Director of OMB voted to keep government shut down.

“So I’m not surprised that we're here, but it is sad that we are here acting so irresponsibly.

“If we have one duty as we come here, it is to have our government function effectively for our people; and we are failing tonight; and this is a pretense. This bill is going nowhere. The Senate won't accept it. Now, perhaps the Senate will send it back, amended, perhaps.

“But, ladies and gentlemen, we are, we think, adults. Let's act responsibly. Defeat this bill.”