Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
February 26, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke this evening at a press conference with House Democrats to discuss the importance of passing the American Rescue Plan. Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“Thank you very much Mr. Chairman [John Yarmuth]. I know you guys have done a lot of work, and I hate to disagree with the Chairman. He says this started 28 days ago. Mr. Chairman you mean literally in terms of the work on the budget resolution, I get that. But it is important for us to remember this started almost a year ago. And a year ago we saw a crisis confronting the American people – individually, children, families, grandmas, grandfathers, businesses, our economy generally. And so, we have responded five successful times, two on our own that unfortunately died in the Senate. Which, if they had passed in the Senate we may not have needed this bill. And five times we passed legislation to respond to this crisis overwhelmingly in a bipartisan fashion. And we will see shortly whether some are going to stay the course in responding to the crisis confronting our people and our economy.

“More than half a million of our fellow Americans have now died from this disease. Hard to contemplate anybody thinking that somebody would attack us and kill 500,000 of our people, but that’s what COVID-19 has done. Ten million more Americans are out of work than at this point last year. Today’s vote is a crucial step in our fight to defeat COVID-19 and build our economy back better. I hope to see the Senate-passed version return to the House for final action in the next two weeks. We need to pass this bill prior to March 14 so that some millions of people are not falling through the cracks. We are determined to send the American Rescue Plan to President Biden’s desk before March 14 so that we can begin providing American workers, businesses, schools, communities, men, women, children, with the assistance they so crucially need.

Economists agree that we need a bold plan, not just another temporary measure. Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics, said that another relief package is needed ‘to get to the other side of the package.’

“A joint analysis of the American Rescue Plan by the Hamilton Project and Brookings estimated that it would boost economic activity by four percent this year, that’s the kind of shot in the arm the economy needs, Madam Speaker.
[The report says] real GDP would remain below the pre-pandemic level for the next several years,’ [without action] however.

So delay is not an option. Failure is not an option. Retreating from the support of the American people that the five bills we passed in a bipartisan fashion reflected is not an option. In a poll of economists conducted by Reuters, over 90 percent said the American rescue plan would ‘boost the economy significantly.’

“We must, we must enact a bill that reflects the urgent needs of our country and meets the crisis we confront. That is a moral imperative as well as a legislative imperative. And I now yield to Mr. [Jim] Clyburn.”