On CNBC's Squawk Box Discussing Last Night's State of the Union Address

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... >> north americans think their taxes are high enough. with all the other pressures in their finances, american families should not have to worry about the federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. there's only one way to eliminate this uncertain, make the tax relief permanent. >> later today, the house is expected to vote on a plan to spend up to $150 worth of tax rebates ranging from $6 hundred for individuals and $1,200 for couples, tenney hoyer is the house majority leader and he's giving us his take this morning. thank you for being with us this morning. >> good morning, becky. >> your own thoughts on what we should be doing in terms of an economic stimulus package. how is that different what the president laid out? >> democrats and republicans agreed on a program. there were differences at the start, obviously. we wanted to pump up the unemployment insurance and food stamps which economists say gets the money into the economy quickest, but the president wasn't for that. and the republicans in the house weren't for that so we did was we agreed 0en a plan which would give 35 million additional families to the president's proposal assistance immediately, put money in their hands for themselves and their children. we think this will be helping those who need it most in this recession or in this slowdown. and also having money in the hands of people who will spend it to stimulate the economy. in addition, we agreed on some business incentives as well to grow businesses and have them invest. so in the house, and the president, we have agreement. the senate now considering that bill, they have their own view, obviously. hopefully they will pass something quickly, we will review it and be able to come to agreement dwent senate, the house and president. >> how quickly do you think can get on boornd a this plan can be passed. >> certainly i think we'll do that by mid-february. so the next three weeks, we ought to have an agreement. certainly that is the hope, that is the objective, if we're going to stimulate the economy, it's important not only that we act quickly but that we be perceived to be united in our effort to give competent to the economy and people. >> what's the biggest potential stumbling block? >> well the senate wants to expand very substantially some of the items that would be included in the bill. and the president has indicated disagreement with that clearly he's got to sign a bill if it's going to become law. so that will have to be negotiated. but i'm hopeful that the partisan agreement that was reached between ourselves and the white house, i know in speaking to senator reid and mcconnell, they, too, want to see something move forward quickly and with an agreement that the president can sign the bill. so i'm very hospitalistic that will happen. >> we're trying to do a lot to help the economy. we had some commentators on earlier who said the chances are basically zero that this congress would extend the bush tax cuts. how do you make the case whether you call it a tax increase or whatever you want to call it, how do you make the case that's the right thing do to do when we're facing a slowdown? >> first of all, nothing going to change with respect to tax this year or next. that's a 2010 issue for the next congress. we certainly will not be considering it in this congress. whoever made that observation is accurate. i don't think we're going to deal with that issue. i don't think the president thinks we're going to deal with that issue this year, either. one of the things that mr. bernanke, the head of the federal reserve, indicated to me in a long telephone conversation was, one of the things we don't want to do is to make the budget deficit and the debt even deeper than we've made it over the last six or seven years. he said that would not be helpful. so i think there's general agreement that the debt and the deficit are very important issues that need to be considered as well in the longer term. in the short term, we weren't to give you a stimulus to get this economy going again, get people employed, get wages raising and to bring unemployment down. >> what do you think chairman baucus is up to, congressman? and how serious? i mean could that blossom into a real problem given the urgency there is to get these checks into people's pockets? >> i talked to chairman baucus last night on the floor prior to the president's address. it was clear to me that senator baucus and although i haven't talked to senator grassley his implication was that both want to get something done, they want to get something done the president can sign. they want to move forward. obviously the senate has its own ideas. that's not unusual. that's why we have two houses. but in the final analysis, i think in the next few week, we will in fact be able to send something to the president that he'll be able to sign. >> congressman, i want to thank you very much for joining us today. >> thank you. >> again, majority leader steny hoyer. >>> and in just a few minutes a little more politics. ...