Whip Hoyer Discussing the Debt Limit Deal on MSNBC

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with me now, the democrat's number two in the house, steny Hoyer. congressman Hoyer, how do we get from yesterday and last night, how does this deal get through the house? what is the coalition of democrats and republicans going to look like when the 216 happens and will it happen?
chuck, first of all, let me say that you said that the president gets the debt limit extended. very frankly, that wasn't a give to the president. that was a give to america's credit worthiness and image around the world. but the way we're going to get there is nobody that is responsible in the house of representatives or the united states senate believes that default is an option. given that, it was necessary and is necessary for us to come together and to reach an agreement. i think we missed an extraordinary opportunity to have a balanced, long-term grand design, if you will, deal which would have brought the deficit and debt down over the long term and would have been balanced. we didn't get there. but we did get some stability for the markets. we did, on our side, protect medicare and social security from cuts to the most vulnerable in our society. no cuts to social security and the only cuts that might be in this on medicare is to providers and capped at 2%. so that we have moved forward, we do have a committee option. whether or not that committee will be able to work in a positive fashion, i think, is doubtful. but what we're going to do is we're going to have a caucus at 12:00 to meet with our members to get their views. all of them believe that default is not an option. they're disappointed that this deal wasn't as balanced as they hoped it would be. and we'll see how they -- how they react, but many of the members i've talked to, again, upper most in their mind is default is not an option. we have to protect america's credit worthiness and the ability to grow jobs in our society and protect the american public.

do you think the president is a good negotiator?

i think that the president was confronted with very, frankly, a u.s. senate that was unprepared to move forward at all. senator mcconnell made it very clear he was going to lock up his people and did successfully lock up his people. right up until the 11th hour when default was staring us in the eye. and i think the president is a responsible party in this negotiation. and i think he was upper most in his mind was the welfare of our economy and the welfare of the people. from that standpoint, i think he made what he thought was the best possible resolution.

in the last couple of weeks, i get that. in the last six months, if you could change one thing the president did, what would you have done in.

i think the president may well have from my view offered the bowles simpson alternative much earlier. i think the bowles simpson or the gang of six are balanced approaches, would be more effective in the long-term and would create a fair balance so the wealthiest and best off in america would help, that we wouldn't be giving big tax breaks to big oil and other taxpayers making extraordinary sums of money as we see the disparity between the middle class and the wealthiest in america continue to grow. so if i could look back and say, look, let's focus on bowles simpson more than we did.

and let me ask you this, how many votes do republicans in your mind need to provide for this deal in the house?

i certainly think that republicans need to provide certainly 150 plus range for this deal. this obviously gets them a lot of what they wanted. i think that the leadership is going to be tested to see whether or not they can deliver. they haven't been very good at it on the house side. delivering for what they believe was the best way forward. the speaker had to walk away from two deals he had with the president and the republicans walked away from him in the final analysis on thursday night.

so your floor, i just did the math, your floor is you're promising a minimum of 66 votes. how many more can you promise?

chuck, i'm not promising anything until our caucus -- but thank you very much.

fair enough. congressman steny Hoyer who has quite the heavy lift in front of him over the next 48 hours. thank you very much.

thank you.