Press Release ● Coronavirus
For Immediate Release: 
March 9, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference today ahead of House passage on the American Rescue Plan. Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“So yes, [Congressional Republicans] will be at the ribbon cuttings. They'll be there saying the schools are open, kids are in school, and that's great. Yes, it is great. $130 billion later in this bill and [Republicans] voted against it. People have jobs, small businesses are open, vaccines are getting in arms. And they'll say, isn't that great? They’ll be at the vaccine delivery points. But they won’t have voted for this bill. Let there be no mistake: this is not an unusual performance for our Republican colleagues….

“This bill is – I agree with the Speaker, we all worked on the Affordable Health Care bill, and the Affordable Care Act was an extraordinary piece of legislation. It took a long time for the American people to understand how much value it was to them and their families, but they've done that now. They certainly didn't take the time on this bill, however, where we have over 70% of the American people think this bill ought to be passed, and a majority of the Republican Party thinks this bill ought to be passed. I don't know who our Republican colleagues are listening to, but let me say – and my job is sort of focusing on the economy, the economic need for this bill – this big and bold legislation fills an urgent need for our economy.

“Nearly 10 million Americans are out of work compared to last March, 10 million Americans. More than 163,000 small businesses shut their doors between March and September of last year – this will help rescue a number of them. Maybe not all, but a large number. That's 800 businesses a day closing and laying off workers. The Senate's now taken action, the House will pass this bill tomorrow, and send it to the President's desk.

“Economists and public health experts agree that we need substantial relief. This is not a controversy in the economic community. They know that we need this, not just another temporary relief measure, like the ones enacted under the Trump Administration, which by the way, five bills passed in a bipartisan fashion. What was the difference? One difference: a Republican President, Democratic President.  A Republican President, we got a significant number of Republicans, not the majority….

“Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said that we need a plan to 'get to the other side of this crisis.’ This not only gets us to the other side of the crisis, it really starts healing the wounds that have been caused by this crisis. A joint analysis conducted by Brookings and the Hamilton Project showed that the American Rescue Plan would bring a 4% growth in GDP growth – that’s growth! Many years we haven't had 4% of the GDP, this is growth in the GDP. Without this bill, real GDP would, ‘remain below the free pandemic level for the next several years.’

“That’s why the American people are for this bill. They may not know the specifics of it, but their guts tell them America needs this bill. That's why – this bill provides families and small businesses the relief they need to stay afloat until we defeat this pandemic. Once this bill is passed, as it will be tomorrow, and sent to the President – we will send it to President Biden to be signed into law so that the Administration can get these resources out to communities to help businesses reopen safely, and help Americans until they get back to work, and kids back in school, and shots in the arms. This bill is an extraordinary piece of legislation that will make an extraordinary difference in the health and wellbeing of Americans and America.

“It's now my privilege to yield to somebody who has been a fighter all his life for little people, for people who need a voice, for people who needed a strong person to stand up and say ‘look at them and help them have a better life,’ in pursuit of happiness. My friend Jim Clyburn from South Carolina.”