Long week, Steny? Outgoing Dem leader repeatedly gets days confused during omnibus speech

Steny Hoyer
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., comments as House Democrats and their new leadership meet to choose ranking member positions for committees as they assume the minority in the new Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Long week, Steny? Outgoing Dem leader repeatedly gets days confused during omnibus speech

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At the tail-end of a long week of delayed legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) got his days mixed up during a floor speech Friday morning that promoted the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill.

When talking about the $45 billion of aid to Ukraine, Hoyer referenced the speech Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave “last night” that actually took place on Wednesday. It signals Hoyer’s prepared remarks were written with the understanding that the House would start voting on the omnibus Thursday instead of Friday. It was announced late on Thursday the vote would be taking place on Friday.

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“This legislation includes nearly $45 billion in additional aid to help the Ukrainians in that critical, important, world-saving effort. In his remarks last night, President Zelensky said that he needed our help, that he needed our support, that needed weapons with which to respond to Russia’s criminal activities,” Hoyer said, and later, “As President Zelensky made clear to us last night his country will need our continued support to bring an end to this war, which must come by way of a strategic defeat for Vladimir Putin, one of the great war criminals in the history of the world.”

It’s perhaps an understandable slip as delay after delay affected congressional priorities this week. The Senate didn’t pass the omnibus until Thursday evening, and the final version didn’t make it to the House until Friday morning despite hopes that a late series of votes might be able to finish the deal the night before. The final bill was supposed to be approved by Friday at midnight to avoid a government shutdown, but the Senate passed a stopgap measure to extend funding at current levels until Dec. 30. The House also needs to approve this measure, but it will likely pass and place the omnibus legislation’s final step of receiving President Joe Biden‘s signature at some point next week.

The funding deadline was extended multiple times past the proper Sept. 30 budget cutoff — at first until Dec. 16, then Friday, and now Dec. 30.

Another major focus of this week, the Jan. 6 committee’s final report, was likewise delayed. It was supposed to be released Wednesday but wasn’t published until late Thursday night.

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) railed against the delays in a floor speech opposing the omnibus, accusing Democrats of manipulating the timing of the budget to strong-arm their priorities.

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“They pass the continuing resolution for the people so government wouldn’t shut down. What date did they pick? Well, let’s think of right before Christmas so members won’t be here. They will not read the bill. They’ll vote by proxy,” he said.

McCarthy and other conservative lawmakers were pushing for another stopgap funding measure that would push the fight over spending until after Republicans take the majority in the House on Jan. 3, 2023.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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