Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke with Bill Press on "The Bill Press Show" this morning. Below are excerpts or click here to listen to his interview.
On the Budget
“[N]otwithstanding the fact that Republicans have been talking about regular order for years and years and years, notwithstanding the fact that they demanded that the Senate pass a budget, which of course the Senate has done… they have refused in both the Senate and the House to go to conference.”
“I think the reason they don't want to go to conference – and, frankly, I'm convinced of it – is they do not want to debate the substance of their proposal and the draconian cuts that their budget would require.”
On the Sequester
“[Sequester] is a mindless, common-sense defying policy, which says that you cut the highest priority expenditures and the lowest priority expenditures the same amount. No family would do that. No American business would do that and stay in business.”
“[Budget Committee Ranking Member] Chris Van Hollen … has offered four times an amendment [to the sequester] which [had] the same savings, same deficit-reduction, but did so in a way that every bipartisan group has recommended – through a combination of cuts and additional revenues getting to the same deficit reduction. But the Republicans have refused – not only voted against it, they didn't allow us to vote for it. They refused to allow that to even be considered on the Floor of the House. They are committed and wedded to this sequester, which I said is irrational and it is cutting highest priorities and lowest priorities.”
On the Debt Ceiling
“The wealthiest country on the face the Earth pays its bills, maintains its creditworthiness. But the Republicans took us to the brink of default in August of 2011, and as a result, for the first in history, we were downgraded …. But rating agencies have now said that if we continue on the path the Republicans are pursuing that we are at risk of being downgraded again, and what that will mean, of course, is it will slow the economy, undermine the creation of jobs, and, ultimately, cost every American more in interest rates and loss of value of retirement funds. So this is a reckless policy that the Republicans are pursuing. We have urged them take the debt limit off the political screen. Don't demagogue about the debt limit. Let's deal with that, and then, yes, let's deal in a conference on the budget with an agreement that gets us to the deficit reduction that we need to pursue while maintaining investments and growing our economy."