In the News: Hoyer Speech on America's Fiscal Future and Deficit Reduction

For Immediate Release:

May 23, 2011

Wanted to make sure you saw some of today's news stories highlighting Whip Hoyer's speech this morning at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on America’s fiscal future and the steps we must take to get our debt under control. See excerpts below:

National Journal: Hoyer Sets the Budget Table

“But though Hoyer called for compromise, he minced no words calling out Republicans for their refusal to support using increases in tax revenue, achieved by tax reform, to help close the deficit gap. He suggested that Republicans still believe that tax cuts are ‘a fiscal and economic cure-all,’ despite the economic growth experienced under higher tax rates during the Clinton administration and the assertions of economists that the Bush administration’s tax policy is a major driver of the national debt.”

“All fiscal tools need to be put on the table, he said, from defense spending cuts to entitlement reform; a debt failsafe along the lines of that proposed by Obama would enforce fiscal discipline.”

“…Hoyer said that the Republican's budget proposal puts too much burden on seniors, the poor, and the middle class. ‘It’s incredible, in my opinion, to suggest that our choice is between that plan and nothing,’ he said. ‘In fact, we’ve seen a number of serious plans that are not based on widely disproven economics and would do a much better job of protecting the middle class and bringing our budget into balance.’”

Reuters: Top Democrat calls for June deadline in debt talks

“Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, said negotiators should avoid the brinkmanship that has marked other budget disputes this year as they try to forge a deal that would give lawmakers political cover to back an increase in the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt limit.”

“‘If we're going to have to do it, my view is doing it sooner rather than later roils the markets less,’ Hoyer said in a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank.”

TPM: Hoyer Reads GOP The Riot Act For Creating Enormous U.S. Debt

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) offered an unusually blunt assessment of the sources of U.S. debt in a Monday speech before an audience of Republican and Democratic elder-statesmen -- calling Republicans on the carpet for creating systemic deficits, then holding U.S. creditworthiness as hostage to a highly contentious right-wing ideological agenda.”

“In a Monday speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Hoyer said both parties are responsible for addressing the country's unsustainable fiscal trajectory. But he insisted on reminding Republicans that they did far more than Democrats to create the debt…”

“‘It is not tenable for us to hold ransom the creditworthiness of the United States,’ Hoyer said, adding that the GOP's negotiating posture ‘ignores that some of their own policies helped get us where we are today.’”

“Hoyer's particular prescription for reducing the debt in the long term includes a mix of cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending, statutory pay-as-you-go budgeting, entitlement reforms that preserve the basic structure of existing programs like Medicare and Social Security, and higher revenues achieved largely by eliminating tax loopholes."

The Hill: Hoyer lays out debt principles

“He said he believes Social Security should be made permanently solvent but that Social Security reform should be on a ‘parallel track’ to other discussions on the deficit.”

“Hoyer also said healthcare costs have to be reined in, in order to make Medicare and Medicaid sustainable. He said the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation put in place by the Obama healthcare law will help address that.”

“Hoyer said other proposals for reforming Medicare should be examined, but he attacked the House-passed budget for increasing costs and ending the guaranteed benefits program.”

“Hoyer said in addition to entitlement reform, the solution should also include tax code simplification that lowers rates and uses some revenue to reduce the deficit.”