A picture of Representative Steny H. Hoyer
Steny H.
Democrat MD 5

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013

    by Representative Steny H. Hoyer

    Posted on 2014-01-09

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    HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    I appreciate this opportunity to comment not only upon this rule which provides, of course, for mostly closed rules--no amendments, no ability to change or modify, particularly two bills that had no hearings, went to no committees, and were reported out doing stuff that we did for 2013 almost without exception--but what I really rise to say is that I want to urge every Member to vote against the previous question.

    Mr. Speaker, I know the American public will hear ``previous question.'' What does that mean? The previous question, if defeated, will give us the opportunity to put on this floor what the overwhelming majority of the American people want on this floor, which I understand the gentleman from Michigan, as I just was walking in, I think was talking about. That is to deal with the most pressing issue confronting this country right now today. That is that we have 1.3 million Americans who have simply been dropped through whatever safety net we thought we had constructed.

    So, Mr. Speaker, the American public understands, the previous question will give us the opportunity, if it is defeated, to put that legislation on the floor now, to extend for those 1.3 million people the help of the American people who want to do it. In every poll they say, no, we ought to have this help.

    When George W. Bush was President of the United States, five times we extended unemployment insurance for long-term unemployed--five times-- without paying for it.

    And make no mistake about it; the vote on the previous question is whether or not you want to give long-term unemployed who have lost their insurance and are having trouble putting food on their tables, if you want to give [[Page H94]] them help, you will vote ``no'' on the previous question. Don't hide behind a procedural issue. This is a substantive issue. This is an issue of whether we are going to give help now.

    The American public that is for this ought to be looking at it. And every Member who votes ``yes'' on the previous question is voting not-- not--to give help to those folks, 1.3 million of them, 20,000 veterans who can't find a job. And there is only one job available for every three people that are looking for a job.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

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