Friday, July 31, 2015

US House Republicans Leave Town for August Recess While Leaving A Lot of Work Undone

 Office of the Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer
This Wednesday marked the last day of session before the House left town for the August District Work Period. Unfortunately, when House Republicans left town, they also left a lot of important work undone. 
In addition to refusing to pursue bipartisan budget negotiations to replace the sequester, enact comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system, or pass a long-term surface transportation bill, House Republican leaders also  did not allow a vote to reopen the Export-Import Bank. Despite strong bipartisan support for the Bank in both the House and Senate, Speaker Boehner has ignored the calls from the business community, economic experts, and Members of his own party who are urging him to reopen the Bank. Republicans' failure to reopen the Bank hurts job growth and puts American businesses at a significant disadvantage in the global market. When Republicans return to their districts this week, they will need to explain to their constituents why they chose to risk our country’s long-term economic competiveness for the sake of partisan ideology. While Republicans continue to obstruct, Democrats are working to update our Make It In America jobs plan so that more hardworking families can achieve the American Dream. Earlier this month, I hosted the first “Make It In America: What’s Next?” hearing, where over thirty House Democrats shared their thoughts on how we can best address the new economic challenges and opportunities we face in 2015. This Tuesday, we held a second hearing featuring outside experts in the fields of entrepreneurship, information technology, workforce development, and other areas. They addressed the issues Members brought up and shared their own innovative ideas on new economic sectors and the changing economic landscape. Forty-seven House Democrats were present to hear from these experts. As the August District Work Period begins, House Democrats are going back to our districts to hear directly from our constituents about what families and businesses need to Make It In America today.

Next week, we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which was signed into law by President Johnson on August 6, 1965. Fifty years later, we must continue our work to protect equal access to the ballot box. In light of the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court case in 2013 that struck down a key provision of the VRA, Democrats will continue to urge our Republican colleagues to work with us to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. We have a moral obligation to take action to prevent states and counties from restricting ballot access or weakening the voting rights of eligible Americans.
Sincerely yours,