Hoyer Discusses GOP's Year-End Extenders Package on MSNBC

For Immediate Release:

December 13, 2011

Contact:

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the GOP's year-end extenders package on MSNBC's The Last Word. See below for excerpts of the interview and a link to the video.

Click here to watch the video.

“This was not a real bill, Lawrence, in the sense that the President indicated he would veto it. The leader in the Senate, the Majority Leader said it couldn’t pass and wouldn’t pass the Senate. We have 72 hours to go before the government shuts down. We have 18 days, approximately, left to go until the end of the year. We need to stop playing politics and pretense and get down to doing things that both parties can pass.”

“Frankly, what we did today is one of the reasons this has been the least productive Congress in which I’ve served in 30 years…The fact is that we voted against it because we need to get to the business on a bill that can, in fact, pass, can make sure that the people don’t lose their unemployment insurance, make sure taxes don’t go up for working Americans on their payroll tax, and make sure that doctors are compensated to make sure they’re available for seniors getting their medical services. All those are critically important for us to pass by the end of the year. The Republicans know that. But they chose to, in effect, stick their fingers in the eye of the President of the United States and put extraneous items in this bill that have nothing to do with any of the three items I’ve just mentioned, but have to do with items that they know the President has said he’s not for and would veto. That’s not the way to get business done. That’s not the way to come to agreement. It’s simply the way to make political points.”

“The Democrats in the Senate have continuously offered a small percentage surtax on those with a net income of a million dollars or more. We could easily pay for what is needed here with a small percentage, less than three percent, or in that neighborhood, surtax on the wealthiest in our nation. The Republicans have consistently opposed that contribution to this effort by our wealthiest citizens.”

“I am sure that we can arrive and pay for the bills if we come together and sit down. Lawrence, as you know, with respect to the first two Continuing Resolutions to keep government going, with respect to the debt limit extension to keep our country able to pay its bills, and with respect to the last appropriation bill that we did, which we called a minibus, Republicans called me and said, ‘Hey, can you give us some votes? We can’t get there without votes from the Democratic side.’ And we gave them those votes. We talked. We came to compromise… This time, they didn’t call me. This time, they weren’t interested in compromise. They were interested in simply making their political point.”

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