Statement ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
December 21, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today on Republicans’ failure to responsibly fund the government and address our nation’s priorities. Below is a video and a transcript of his remarks: 

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“Thank you very much, Mrs. Lowey. Here we are again, Mr. Speaker. Two weeks ago the Republican Majority asked for another two weeks to write an appropriations package to fund the government. Yet, now they're asking to kick the can down the road one more time. We all knew that those two weeks were a pretense for getting the votes to pass their tax bill. We didn't make any progress on a bipartisan appropriations bill. Before that, Republicans asked for an additional 12 weeks in September. We all voted to give that 12 weeks.

“All of us know exactly why the can keeps being kicked farther and farther down the road. It's because the Majority cannot muster the majority of their own Members to support bipartisan funding bills. It’s because the governing party, which controls the House, Senate, and White House, has not been able to govern. Senate Republican John Cornyn said on Sunday, ‘the can always seemed to be kicked down the road,’ and here we are again with Republicans doing exactly that.

“Mr. Speaker, let's call this CR for what it is: a chaotic retreat from rational regular order and fiscal responsibility. We have alongside it a supplemental funding bill that provides some emergency disaster relief to those affected by our natural disasters, but it ought to do more, in my opinion, to help those in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It's been three months since Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Harvey visited so much water on Houston. Many still do not have electricity in Puerto Rico or running water. These are our fellow Americans. We owe it to them and to ourselves to help them in their time of need.

“Congress, Mr. Speaker, can do better. It should do better. We should act in a bipartisan way. I was on the Appropriations Committee as an active member for 23 years. I was a member of the Labor-Health Committee, and I told people that you could take the 13 of us – we were eight Democrats and five Republicans – you could have taken the 13 of us, thrown us up in the air, we would have come down in random seats, and had a markup, and you would have been hard pressed to identify the Democrat or the Republican. Because we believed our responsibility was to fund the priorities of this country. I know that we passed 12 bills.

“I thank the Speaker and I thank the gentlelady from New York. The Appropriations Committee used to be an extraordinarily bipartisan committee where we worked together, not on a partisan basis, but on a basis of trying to determine which priorities were important for our country, what funds were needed so that agencies could operate in an effective way. That, unfortunately, is not happening the way it did.

“So Mr. Speaker, I urge my Republican friends who control this House and all the levers of government to work with Democrats on making sure that all those who need emergency disaster relief as well as those who need funds to operate their government agencies in a way that serves America best. I urge us to work together toward that end, and I urge us because nobody believes these CRs are good policy, but they unfortunately are becoming regular, if not regular order. I yield back the balance of my time.”