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Hoyer: We Need to See an America That Does Not Have More Mass Killings Than Any Other Nation

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered brief remarks yesterday on the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas prior to his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch Leader Hoyer’s remarks.


“Mr. Chairman, first, I very much appreciate your allowing me to participate in this hearing. But as I was reading my testimony this morning in my office, I wanted to make a statement because it's the first public hearing I've been to since the tragedy in Uvalde. Sandy Hook, 20 children lost their lives and six adults. In Parkland, multiple teens lost their lives as well as teachers. Uvalde, 19 children and two adults.

“[Senator] Chris Murphy, Mr. Chairman, on the Senate Floor yesterday, pleaded with his colleagues to work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely. We all know we can't pass laws to make it impossible or never happen again.

“But certainly, we have a responsibility to the people of this country, to our constituents, the children of parents, whether they lose their lives in a grocery store in the state of New York or in a small town, not too far from San Antonio. They deserve our attention and response to try, to the extent we can, prevent things happening like this.

“How many more times will our Senate Republican colleagues express outrage at horrific shootings like the one today in Uvalde, Texas, and then sadly blocked meaningful Bipartisan Background Check legislation supported by nine out of 10 Americans. Most responsible gun owners support that legislation as well.

“How many more times, how many senseless, tragic deaths must occur until we abandon moments of silence and substitute life-saving action? How many children when we lose to high-capacity guns and hate and evil mass killers before we act?

“Mr. Chairman, we need to be the agents of God to answer the prayers of the grieving. Prayers are important. I believe in prayer. But I also believe that God's work here on Earth, as John Kennedy said, must be our own. Because God works through us. We who have been given great responsibility and authority by our neighbors. I've been elected to Congress. I must respond, as I said, to those grieving now in Texas, and who grieved in New York, who grieved in Parkland, who grieved in Sandy Hook, and who have grieved in too many countless incidents, like the one we have sadly seen yesterday. We need to see an America that does not have more mass killings than any other nation.

“Mr. Chairman, I wanted to say that because we wanted to not allow anybody to think that we have not forgotten and focused on these tragedies, and that we will respond. And then as Chris Murphy, Senator Murphy, who represents [Newtown], pleaded, he was not actually on bended knee but he said he would be on bended knee, plead for responsible action.

“Prayers and [a] moment of silence are appropriate. But they are not enough.”