House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference with Democratic Leadership on the need for immediate House action on bipartisan Senate-passed legislation to prevent the fiscal cliff. Below is video and a transcript of his remarks:
"Thank you very much, Madam Leader. The 112th Congress has about 46 hours left to go. This Congress unfortunately has been most known for an unwillingness to compromise, an unwillingness to come together to act on behalf of the American people.
"Today is January 1st. Taxes will be going up on everybody in America if we don't act. Those who are relying on unemployment insurance - millions of Americans relying on unemployment insurance to make sure they can support themselves and families - if we don't act will be at risk.
"Vice President Biden has worked very hard to come to a compromise. By definition, a compromise has elements in it that each party does not like. But by definition, it has things in it that each party should like.
"The Speaker said that if the Senate passed a bill he would put it on the Floor for a vote. The Leader [Pelosi] has pointed out that we expect that to happen. We think that's the best interest of the American people. We hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle can reach compromise. Our members are reviewing the specifics of the compromise that has been reached to determine whether they can support that compromise.
"I'm hopeful that this Congress will, as one of its last acts, act not only on this compromise, but I'm also very hopeful and would expect that we would provide the emergency assistance needed for the victims of [Hurricane] Sandy, one of the country's worst storms in history that damaged the Northeast so badly. So, I'm hopeful we will be able to move on both of these issues. ...[W]e will have members on both sides who perhaps will not agree, but hopefully we will have members on both sides who will agree and we can act as the American people expect us to do so."