Statement ● Shutdown
For Immediate Release: 
January 17, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the Floor in support of a continuing resolution to reopen government through February 28 – the ninth vote in the House to end the Trump shutdown. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:
 

Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“We are paying a high price, Mr. Speaker, for shutting down this government. Not only the 800,000 hostages that have been taken by the President of the United States with the complicity of his Republican supporters in the House and in the Senate. Eight hundred thousand people – 440,000 of them forced to work without getting paid; 360,000 of them sitting home saying, how am I going to pay my mortgage? How am I going to pay my car payment?  They don't know.”

"Mr. Speaker, I don't get it.  We were sent here by our people to make their government run more efficiently and effectively for them and for our country.  And what have we done? [Republicans] have said if the President won't agree to opening up the government, we won't, either.  Yes, we have tried every kind of alternative.  Open it up in seven days, open it up for fourteen days, where we can negotiate.  Now we are saying, open it up for a month, put people back to work, and give them a paycheck.  What does the President's Council of Economic Advisors say just the other day?  We're hurting the economy of the United States, which hurts everybody, and the international community.  I don't get it.”

“I can't think that the American people will get it – that their Congress sits supine and says we will only pass something if the President says it's okay.  Have we come to this state where the Article I branch of government, given the power by the people to make policy, says to the person in the second Article, given the responsibility of executing policy, tells us: you guys who make policy, don't do it unless I tell you you can.  How sad.  How lacking in respect for own responsibility and duties to sit idly by while not only 800,000 people are held hostage but millions and millions and millions of others who are served daily by those 800,000 people.”

“I plead with my colleagues: stand up.  Reject this policy of shutting down government, whoever does it, whichever side does it.  And we don't do it.  We don't believe in it.  Mitch McConnell doesn't believe in it.  He said it just a few years ago, it's a ‘failed policy,’ and he, Senator McConnell, was the guy that ‘opened up government.’  That's what he said, and he's now abandoned that, unfortunately, to the detriment of our country – not just to the detriment of our federal employees, to the detriment of the country.”

“We're better than this.  The Congress ought to be better than this… Pass this bill.  Send it to the Senate.  Let's open this government.  It's the right thing to do.”