Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the need to reach a balanced agreement to prevent the fiscal cliff on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" this evening. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
“When I say everything needs to be on the table… I want everybody to put their cards on the table and tell me what they’re going to do. … Now there’s some things we are absolutely not going to do… we’re not going to voucherize Medicare, we are not going to privatize Social Security. We believe very strongly that we need additional revenues if we’re going to get our country on a fiscally sound basis.”
“Certainly, I think we need to make sure that the guarantee of Social Security and Medicare is secure. And one litmus test I will have … is the vulnerable in America, those who are least able to participate in helping to get us out of this debt, should not be asked to pay anything. Very frankly, the most able among us ought to be asked to pay a greater contribution so we can get our country on a sound footing.”
“In my opinion, the debt ceiling should not come into this conversation. The debt ceiling is a phony vote, very frankly... The fact is, the debt limit is simply a recognition of what we have already spent, what we have already decided to do, and it's irresponsible for us to say that the most credit-worthy nation is not going to pay its bills. So I would hope Speaker Boehner would take this off the table.”
“I said on the Floor today, the President of the United States has put a long list of specifics on the table - has put it on his budget, has put it on other proposals that he's made. The Republicans, on the other hand, sent a letter to the President with five items, conclusions only, no specifics - no specifics in terms of how you raise revenue, no specifics in terms of cutting funding. And very frankly, I think they made a political judgment, they would much prefer to have the President choose those alternatives. That's not a way to negotiate. They ought to come up with their alternatives; the President has comes up with his alternatives. Put them on the table - that's my point, put everything on the table – and then let's get to a place where the math works. This ought not to be an ideological problem. This is a math problem, as to whether or not we can get our country on a sound fiscal footing."