Hoyer Discussing Budget Negotiations with Cantor During Weekly Colloquy

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mr. Hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding. let me make a point here, mr. speaker. as i understand it, the gentleman continues to take the position until we get to $100 billion there is no credible counteroffer. $2 billion a week. let me say that the gentleman serves with a very con-- served with a very conservative member, also a great member of this congress, joe scarborough. let me give a quote from joe scarborough. there are elements of the g.o.p. spending plan that causes me great concern. the belief of some on the right that america can balance the budget by cutting education, infrastructure, the corporation for public broadcasting and home heating assistance to the poor is tanned mount to budgetary witchcraft. that's not a republican -- i mean, that's not a democrat. that's joe scarborough, conservative member from northern florida with whom i serve. now most people see him on "morning joe" every day. the fact is that's what he said. now, we're looking for a counteroffer because we don't agree with some of h.r. 1 as you well know. as a matter of fact, every conservative democrat, every liberal democrat and everybody in between voted no on h.r. 1, as did three of your republicans over there and susan collins, who voted for it, said she didn't like the elements in it. so what i am saying to my friend very sincerely is he can preach all he wants is we need to cut spending. we agree with that. and the issue is where do you cut it from, what impact does it have, does it sustain the economy or does it deflate the economy? does it create jobs or does it lose jobs? does it help people who need help or does it abandon people who need help? that's the issue, and what i'm saying to my friend with all due respect is we have made an offer. the gentleman wants to talk about the president. article 1 of the constitution says we need to do this. this is our responsibility. the people elected us to do it, and the people elected us to reach agreement. and how do you reach agreement? this is what i want. this is what you want. but if what you said we have come up, we have moved pretty substantially. we think it was appropriate to move. now we are asking you, are you prepared to move from the position you have taken consistently at your figure which a lot of your folks thinks has problem in some parts. i am asking and you are apparently not going to make a counteroffer as to, we took $100 billion. couldn't pass it. couldn't pass the senate. what i mean by you, the senate didn't pass it. the gentleman is absolutely correct. but we democrats have made the offer here and there of the $51 billion. the president's indicated he could sign that. he said that publicly. now, that's our offer sitting on the table. my suspicion is you've rejected that offer.

 

mr. Hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as i understand what the gentleman's saying, if the senate can't get 60 votes, which we have seen the gridlock for a long period of time where the senate can't get 60 votes, we are not going to go anywhere from the offer that he's made to pass something that can in fact garner 60 votes in the senate. i regret that the senate, frankly, didn't get 60 votes for our offer. and he is correct that he got a few more votes for h.r. 1 than was gotten for the senate majority leader's counteroffer. but the fact of the matter is this is really an issue between the republicans and the democrats. senator mcconnell has said, as i know the majority leader says, we'll pass what the house passes. that's what he said. now, if that's the case, then we need to pass something that can garner 60 votes over there. we know that h.r. 1 couldn't get 60 votes. we know that senator reid's proposal couldn't get 60 votes. if we are going to move this government forward and not fund it on two-week cycles and senator mccain has said that funding defense department on two-week, or three-week cycles is undermining our national security, so there is no disagreement that doing things two weeks at a time does not make sense. if the gentleman's view is simply you will not make some offer that we think, and we can have a discussion about, trying to come to agreement on that, that we can get 60 votes for in the senate and we are going to fund it on two-week cycles, i say to my friend that's going to be damaging to the economy, create great uncertainty, and undermine our national security. i would hope that the gentleman would see fit to determine where we can meet somewhere in the middle. we think we have got 51% of the way towards your 100. you keep talking about 60. that was not your pledge. your pledge was 100. the way you got to 100 is count to 41. we have done that. we have done another 10. so we have come. we think 51% of the way. you don't count it that way. we understand that. but whatever way we come, we need to move on. you won the majority, god bless you. i'm sorry about that, but i live with it and there it is. you have the majority. and with the majority you have the responsibility to see if we can move this country forward. that's what newt gingrich said anti-can't be the perfectionist caucus as he referred to of sticking just at a number that doesn't have the votes in the united states senate. if we are going to be on this two-week cycle, i will tell my friend you may keep passing this two weeks at a time, none of us want to shut down government, but i will tell you while i and my colleagues, some of my colleagues may vote to do this one more time, for me it's the last time. we need to have a plan to fund this government for the balance of the fiscal year to september 30. it is irresponsible for us not to have that. and just each of us sticking to our number and you sticking to your number and just pointing fingers at one another saying the senate can't get 60 votes for anything we propose will not serve our country or our people. unless the gentleman wants to say something further, i'm going to yield back the balance of my time. i yield back the balance of my time.