This is the transcript of the speech given on Dec. 18, 2019 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer prior to the impeachment vote.
Madam Speaker, I have had the honor of serving in this house for over 38 years. I’ve served during six presidencies.
I’ve been here through moments of tremendous progress and terrible tragedy. I have seen periods of rank partisanship and patriotic bipartisanship. I’ve seen our two-party system work. And I’ve seen it break down. Never in all my years of serving in this great institution that I love and the people of my district did I ever expect to encounter such an obvious wrongdoing by a president of the United States.
Nor did I expect to witness such a craven rationalization of presidential actions that should put our national security at risk, undermine the integrity of our elections, and defied the constitutional authority of the Congress to conduct oversight.
We’ve heard from Republicans that this impeachment really has to do with policy differences though on how we feel personally about the president, about his temperament or that we simply dislike him. Throughout the Trump presidency, Democrats have resisted pursuing impeachment even as we watched with dismay and disgust at a pattern of wrongdoing.
That pattern included ordering federal agencies to lie to the public firing the FBI director for refusing to end investigations of his campaign. Siding with Vladimir Putin against our intelligence agencies. Taking funding away from the military to put towards an ineffective border wall. And setting policies that have led to the separation of families and caging of children.