Hoyer Press Staff Blog

Blog posts from the press staff of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

December 19, 2011

On Saturday, Speaker Boehner supported the Senate’s bipartisan bill to extend middle class tax cuts, calling it a “good deal”:

December 16, 2011

With less than two weeks until a slew of critical provisions expire—including the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and the Medicare physician payment rate compromise---Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on the floor a few minutes ago; “it is difficult to predict…if or when we may need to return.”

But it is not difficult to predict what would happen if Republican leaders refused to call their members back to finish their work. There would be a middle class tax increase, millions of American would start to lose unemployment benefits just days after Christmas and seniors could lose access to their doctors.

Congress cannot leave for the year without concluding its work on these critical issues.

December 15, 2011

In case you missed it yesterday in all the back and forth over year-end business, we here in the Democratic Whip Press Shop wanted to highlight a critical number: 2.5 million.

December 14, 2011

Today, at an event sponsored by Politico, Speaker Boehner said:

“The American people expect us to find common ground and move the ball down the field. That’s exactly what we have in this package.”

While Democrats agree that we must find common ground, the GOP’s year end extension package is not a serious attempt at finding common ground – the President has said he will veto this bill and Senator Reid said the package is dead in the Senate. The package is nothing but a political exercise. Now that it’s over, it’s time to work together and compromise on a plan to extend middle class tax cuts, assist the unemployed, and ensure seniors have access to their doctors.

 

December 14, 2011

While Republicans are playing politics instead of getting work done for the American people, they did manage to earn one big distinction – though it’s not the big prize Speaker Boehner was hoping for: a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released yesterday shows that 42% of Americans think this Congress is “one of the worst” in history. A further 33% rated it “below average.” We’d rate it as “forgettable.”

Check out our Year in Review for more on how this do-nothing Congress stacks up.

 

December 12, 2011

Yesterday on “Fox News Sunday,” Senator McConnell claimed that attaching an unrelated, controversial items like the Keystone pipeline to a year-end tax package was worth it because it was ready to go and would create thousands of jobs.

December 12, 2011

Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor’s least favorite quote of the weekend, from Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) on NBC’s Meet the Press.

December 12, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this article in today’s Politico highlighting how Republicans are struggling to live up to their Pledge by packaging unrelated and controversial items to a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday, extend unemployment insurance, and fix the Medicare physician payment rate. Democrats remain willing to work with Republicans, but attaching unrelated, controversial provisions in order to satisfy their conservative base is not the way to address these must-pass items.

December 9, 2011

Wanted to make sure you all saw this NPR article debunking the GOP claim that the millionaires surtax would place an undue burden on job creators. So who exactly is doing the debunking? The very millionaires the GOP is currently trying to protect at all costs.

Key Points: “Ever since the idea of the surtax was introduced weeks ago, Republicans in Congress have railed against it, arguing that it is a direct hit on small-business owners and other job creators…We wanted to talk to business owners who would be affected. So, NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.”

“So we went to the business groups that have been lobbying against the surtax. Again, three days after putting in a request, none of them was able to find someone for us to talk to.”

“…So next we put a query on Facebook. And several business owners who said they would be affected by the ‘millionaires surtax’ responded.”

"It's not in the top 20 things that we think about when we're making a business hire," said Ian Yankwitt, who owns Tortoise Investment Management.”

Read the full article here.

December 9, 2011

In the House Republicans’ weekly meeting yesterday, Speaker John Boehner reportedly told his members: “The big prize is 2012.”

That’s truly disappointing, since Democrats believe the big prize is getting millions of Americans back to work and finding agreement on the three outstanding issues we need to address before Congress adjourns for the year: extending the payroll tax holiday for middle class families, extending unemployment benefits, fixing the Medicare physician payment rate. All three expire at the end of the year, and time is running out. It’s time for Republicans to stop focusing on politics and start focusing on helping the middle class.

December 7, 2011

A look at this morning’s headlines shows Republicans are divided over whether Congress should extend the payroll tax holiday. And to think, all this time we thought they were the Party of tax cuts. While they have no problem uniting around tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, they’re struggling to find support for putting more money back in the pockets of middle class families and boosting our economy.

December 2, 2011

Today, during colloquy, Leader Cantor said:

“The bar is pretty low when it comes to fixing big problems… Let's look to see how we can come together in an incremental way.”

While economists, business leaders and a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate are urging Congress to work together on a big, balanced deal to reduce the deficit, it’s unfortunate Leader Cantor is writing off the idea of going big.

December 1, 2011

According to NBC’s First Read, Speaker Boehner ducked on the issue of extending unemployment benefits before they expire at his weekly press conference this afternoon.

December 1, 2011

As Republicans continue their drive to protect tax breaks for the wealthy at all costs, they are firm in their conviction that said tax breaks will actually create jobs.

November 30, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this Washington Post article on GOP efforts to add burdensome new hurdles to the regulatory process and undermine consumer protections. And contrary to Republican claims, there’s no evidence that rolling back these protections will grow our economy or help put more Americans back to work:

“…economists who have studied the impact of regulations have concluded that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Only 0.3 percent of layoffs were caused by government regulations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“’In CBO’s judgment, the economic effects of the specific changes in regulatory policies . . . probably would be too small or would occur too slowly to significantly alter overall output or employment in the next two years,’ Elmendorf said in his testimony.”

November 30, 2011

Wanted to flag this

quote

for you as you all work on your year-end legislative business stories. Even Rep. Jack Kingston acknowledges the leverage House Democrats have in keeping controversial policy riders out of remaining appropriations bills:

November 30, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this article in today’s Politico on GOP “heartburn” and division over their jobs message. It’s not hard to see why they’re having so much trouble with their message – after eleven months in the House majority, they still haven’t put forward an actual jobs plan.

November 22, 2011

Before you head home (or to your Thanksgiving destination) tonight, we’ll leave you with this Politico story about CBO’s report that the Recovery Act added up to 3.3 million jobs in the third quarter of 2011.

Some highlights:

“The economy would have been in much worse shape without the 2009 stimulus—-which increased employment in the third quarter of this year by as many as 3.3 million full-time jobs, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.”

“The CBO figures released Tuesday estimate that the stimulus package raised the gross domestic product this past quarter by 0.3 percent to 1.9 percent.”

“The CBO report provided a broad range of the estimated number of full-time jobs created because of the stimulus - from a low of 500,000 to a high of 3.3 million jobs.”

“However, the CBO estimates that the stimulus will raise GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.8 percent next year and employment by 200,000 to 1.1 million jobs.”

November 22, 2011

To: Reporters, Editors, Producers
Fr: Democratic Leader and Democratic Whip Press Offices
Dt: November 22, 2011
Re: Afternoon Roundup - Republican Refusal Edition

One look at today’s news makes it clear: the GOP's insistence on an unfair plan that extends the Bush tax cuts for those making more than a million dollars a year led to these headlines…

 

November 17, 2011

The GOP quote of the day goes to Rules Chairman David Dreier, who explained today on the Floor that he wouldn’t be supporting the balanced budget amendment because it doesn’t take a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget...

November 17, 2011

With Speaker Boehner and Reps. Mica and Hastings set to discuss a long-term surface transportation bill at a press conference this morning, we here in the Democratic Whip Press Shop wanted to offer up a few suggested questions to pose for the lawmakers...

November 16, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this article by the Associated Press on how manufacturing continues to lead our economic recovery.

November 16, 2011

With all eyes on the Super Committee this week, Republicans still can’t hide from the fact that they have yet to offer a comprehensive jobs plan of their own.

November 9, 2011

As House Democrats continue to highlight the need to protect voting rights, we wanted to draw your attention to yesterday’s vote in Maine, where voters solidly overturned a Republican-passed law ending same-day voter registration on Election Day. The right to register at one’s polling place had been a Maine mainstay for over forty years until the Republican-controlled state legislature in June enacted a law requiring voters to register at least two days in advance.

For many Maine residents eligible to vote but not yet registered, this could have led to many arriving at their polling sites expecting to register and vote only to be turned away. Yesterday’s vote was a firm rejection of attempts to manipulate elections by making it harder for people to vote.

 

Maine voters restore Election Day registration, repeal newly enacted law requiring 2-day wait

By Associated Press, Published: November 8

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine voters have repealed a law requiring voters to enroll at least two days before an election, restoring a four-decade policy of allowing registrations as late as Election Day.

With 30 percent of Maine’s precincts reporting, the proposal to repeal the newly enacted requirement was passed Tuesday with 59 percent of the vote.

The referendum was put on the ballot through a people’s veto initiative after the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law in June requiring voters to register at least two business days before an election is held. Maine’s tradition of allowing same-day voter registrations began with a law passed in 1973.

Spokesman David Farmer of the Yes on One campaign calls this “a big night for voters in Maine.”

November 9, 2011

With only two weeks until the Joint Select Committee’s deadline, Democrats are still pushing for a big, bold, and balanced plan - and today we’ve got a poll that shows the majority of Americans agree with that approach.

According to the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll, the majority of Americans prefer Democrats’ proposal, which calls for $4 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced way, through both spending cuts and ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share.

It’s time for Republicans to listen to the American people and work with us on a balanced plan so we can reduce the deficit, create jobs, build confidence in our economy, and avoid a damaging sequester.

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