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Steny H.
Democrat MD 5

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  • Providing for Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83, Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Development

    by Representative Steny H. Hoyer

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    HOYER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. I thank her for her leadership on the Rules Committee. I thank Mr. Cole for his remarks.

    Madam Speaker, I want to rise and support Mr. Cole. This is not the way to do it. It is what he said. The good news is we have time to not do it this way. We have time to return to the Rules Committee, pass out a rule which strikes these two provisions and pass the bill. In my opinion, if that is done, then an overwhelming number of Democrats will vote to support the bill. It will go to the Senate, and I predict without any doubt that the Senate will pass that bill.

    It is clear that there is disagreement on both sides of the aisle about this bill, but it is also clear there could be a significant bipartisan majority to do what is a basic responsibility of this Congress to do, and that is fund government.

    Now, very frankly, neither side did its job. We did seven-twelfths of our job, and the Senate did zero-twelfths of their job, and we can point fingers at one another which would not be very useful. What would be useful is if we give to the American people and to our economy the confidence that we can act together in a bipartisan way to pass legislation. I tell my friend, Mr. Cole, for whom I have great respect, Madam Speaker, that we can do that.

    The two provisions which he has heard discussed are of great concern to my side of the aisle, there are things of great concern to his side of the aisle, and in the next 2 years, we are going to have to work together to try to accommodate, in hopefully a bipartisan fashion, having the majority in this body do reasonable things.

    The gentleman is a member of the Appropriations Committee. I had the honor of serving on the Appropriations Committee for 23 years before I became the leader. The fact is that that committee has a responsibility that must be accomplished, and that is fund government enterprises, fund the dollars that we, through programs that this Congress and previous Congresses have adopted, fund those objectives we think are important for this country.

    I would urge my friend, Mr. Cole, who I think is a very responsible Member of this body, to urge his side because we have agreement we think on 99.9 percent of this. These two provisions are very small provisions, but I will tell my friend they put this bill at risk.

    I would urge him, therefore, to urge his side to strike these two provisions, and I will tell him in return that I am confident that the overwhelming majority of my side of the aisle will join with I think the overwhelming majority of his side of the aisle and pass this legislation which is so important.

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