Hoyer: It's Time to Move Forward on Spending Compromise

For Immediate Release:

March 11, 2011

Contact:

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the need for Democrats and Republicans to come together to cut and compromise with Majority Leader Eric Cantor today on the House Floor. Below are excerpts and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

Some highlights:

"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 that 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.”

"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 percent 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 percent 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, it 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 each of us sticking to our 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.”

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