For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2020
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning to discuss the multitude of ways President Trump and Republicans have failed the American people. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery.
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“Madam Speaker, this week, Democrats are coming to the Floor to highlight the work we have been doing over the past two years governing for the people – in sharp contrast with the way President Trump and Republicans have failed the people.
“First and foremost, they have failed our country in responding inadequately to the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, President Trump told the American people that the virus ‘like a miracle, would disappear.’ He called criticism of his response to the virus a ‘hoax.’ More than 200,000 Americans have now died from this virus. There has been no miracle. Criticism of that failure is no hoax.
“Other nations’ governments have figured out how to slow the spread of the virus – yet, this Administration keeps failing. Based on our population, if we had the same fatality rate for COVID-19 as Australia, fewer than 11,000 Americans would have died from it. And if we had the same rate as Japan, fewer than 5,000 Americans would have lost their lives.
“The Democratic-led House passed the Heroes Act in May. More than 110,000 Americans died of COVID-19 during the four months that President Trump and Republicans blocked the Heroes Act from helping us defeat this pandemic. In that same period, President Trump left the White House to play golf as many as thirty times. That’s eight times per month, on average, during this pandemic. What did President Trump say when asked in August about the rising fatalities? ‘It is what it is.’ How recklessly irresponsible. How callous and dismissive of people’s pain. How indicative of a lack of decency and leadership.
“At the same time, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have been working hard to eliminate access to affordable health care for millions of Americans – and remove protections for more than 133 million people with pre-existing conditions. Their lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act comes amid a deadly pandemic worsened by their own failures.
“For four years, President Trump and Republicans have been promising to unveil a secret plan that they say covers everybody and at lower costs than the Affordable Care Act – yet we have seen no such plan. That’s because there is no Republican health care plan. There is only the unyielding drive to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and tell tens of millions of Americans: you’re on your own.
“As a result of President Trump and Republicans hitting ‘pause’ on responding to the pandemic, tens of millions are out of work, critical support in the form of expanded unemployment insurance was allowed to expire in July, and the unemployment rate has jumped from 4.7% to 8.4%. The federal deficit has also skyrocketed as a result of the Trump-Republican failures. During President Obama’s last full year in office, it was $585 billion. Now, it is $3.3 trillion.
“Our health and our economy are not the only things that are under threat from President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. Our democracy is under threat as well. Even before he was sworn into office, this President has shattered the democratic norms that have made America strong and stable. As a candidate, he solicited campaign help from Russia and while in office was impeached for soliciting help from Ukraine for his re-election.
“Numerous Trump Administration appointees and campaign officials have been convicted of crimes relating to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. He has refused to divest himself of his businesses and created massive conflicts of interest. Since 2015, more than $16 million of taxpayer funds have been spent at President Trump’s own properties.
“This is a President for whom the law appears to mean little, for whom democratic norms appear to mean nothing, and for whom personal power and enrichment appear always to come first. Not ‘America first,’ as he likes to say. Not ‘for the people.’ ‘Trump first.’ Himself above others and above the law. And Republicans in Congress have been his willing accomplices in advancing that agenda.
“Democrats are working every day for the people. President Trump and Republicans, egregiously, continue to fail the people.”