WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) joined MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" this morning to discuss the need to end the Trump shutdown and Democrats’ priorities in the 116th Congress. Below are excerpts from the interview and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the full video.
On the Trump Shutdown and Need to Reopen Government:
“…I hope we will open up government. I mean, that's really what our objective ought to be. We provided a process through which we can fully fund six of the bills that were passed by Republicans. They are Republican bills. They talk about compromise. We have voted to pass Republican bills that were passed out of Committees and passed the United States Senate almost unanimously. I’m hopeful that the President will say, ‘okay, we will open up government.’ We have provided in a [continuing resolution] for the Homeland Security Department 30 days in which to negotiate a resolution to the impasse that we have seen. And for Vice President [Mike] Pence to say they're going to keep the government shut down no matter what, I think is irresponsible and is hurting the economy, is hurting the confidence of the American people, and frankly, of the international community. We ought to open up government. We have provided a way to do that.”
“…We took all Republican bills; not one of these is a Democratic bill. We took the Republican bills and said, 'shutting down government is a bad policy. You guys have passed these laws. Okay, we'll vote for them. We'll send them to you. Open up the government.' Then we gave four weeks to negotiate on how we make sure the objective that we all support – that is keeping the borders secured – can be accomplished best.”
“I said in the meeting yesterday, I said Mr. President, I represent 750,000 constituents. You represent those same constituents, and you represent millions more across the country. Their government serves them on a daily basis, and we ought not to as a strategy, as a tactic, take hostage the government of the United States in order to accomplish our objectives.”
On What Democrats Hope to Accomplish in the 116th Congress:
“…The House, and Senate, and the Congress accomplished its work on time. It brought stability to the Affordable Care Act. It brought drug prices down. It provided for retraining of our citizens to take 21st century jobs. It addressed climate change. It addressed the universal registration oversight of gun owners when they purchased guns… We fixed DACA… We did a number of other things, I think, to make the lives of Americans better, and their Congress worked on time, responsibly, and reached compromises that were in the best interests of our country. That's what I hope two years from now that’s what people will be saying."