Hoyer Press Staff Blog

Blog posts from the press staff of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

July 13, 2011

Surely Republicans aren’t actually rooting for the economic catastrophe that would occur if America didn’t pay its bills, but that’s certainly hard to tell from today’s NY Times article:

“Instead, many Congressional Republicans seem to be spoiling for a fight, calculating that some level of turmoil caused by a federal default might be what it takes to give them the chance to right the nation’s fiscal ship.”

So the question is, why do they keep walking away from every opportunity to do something big to reduce the deficit – BEFORE we default on our bills? Democrats are still pushing for a big compromise that will reduce the deficit in a balanced way. If Republicans are as serious about the deficit as they claim to be, they’ll stop protecting tax breaks for the wealthiest and join with us to take action so we keep paying our bills and bring down the deficit.
 

July 13, 2011

Democrats are ready and willing to work with Republicans on a balanced agreement to ensure we pay our nation’s bills and reduce the deficit. But instead of coming to the table to address an issue they say is a top priority and is critical to economic growth, Republicans are walking away and risking our economy security while protecting tax breaks for the wealthy. Today on NPR Morning Edition, Norm Ornstein summed up the Republican strategy well:

“The President stepped in with something that took Republicans aback by pushing for a much more ambitious plan and giving them a lot of things that they asked for but demanding something that they didn’t want to give up. And they now look like the recalcitrants. So, Republicans in both houses are trying desperately to find a way to shift the blame.”

Instead of shifting blame to Democrats, it’s time for Republicans to share responsibility in addressing the debt they helped create and ensure we pay our nation’s bills.

July 13, 2011

Wanted to pass along this article in today’s Washington Post about the letter business leaders sent to Congress and the White House putting pressure on Republicans to agree to a comprehensive deal to ensure that America pays its bills and reduce the deficit. While Democrats are ready and willing to compromise on a large, comprehensive deficit reduction package, Republicans keep walking away and risking our economy security in order to fight for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. It’s time for Republicans to heed this call from business leaders and work with us to ensure we pay our nation’s bills and seriously reduce the deficit so we can give businesses and the markets the certainty they need.

July 12, 2011

While Democrats seek compromise on a large, comprehensive deficit reduction package, Republicans keep walking away in order to fight for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans while advocating the end of Medicare.

If you’re wondering how genuinely concerned Republicans are about deficit reduction, look no further than to Senator McConnell's comments on the Senate Floor:

"I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable.”

Senator McConnell's comments clearly show he's focused on politics, not on reducing the deficit -- despite Republicans repeatedly stressing that we must take action on this issue. Is Senator McConnell really willing to risk our economic security rather than work with Democrats on a balanced, comprehensive agreement to reduce the deficit?

July 12, 2011

Wanted to make sure you all saw this story in The Hill on how business leaders are urging Congress and the White House to reach a comprehensive deal to ensure that America pays its bills and avoid the catastrophic consequences of default.

We would note that the groups—which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association for Manufacturers, Business Roundtable and Financial Services Forum—are all echoing Democrats’ calls for a long-term deal that will give businesses the certainty they need and the certainty that Republicans have said we need to provide.

Key Point: “Our political leaders must agree to a plan to substantially reduce our long-term budget deficits with a goal of at least stabilizing our nation’s debt as a percentage of GDP — which will entail difficult choices,” they wrote. “The resulting plan must be long-term, predictable and binding.”

July 11, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw these op-eds and editorials after House Republicans backed away from negotiating a larger, comprehensive agreement to reduce the deficit and ensure America pays its bills. While Republicans have said they agree that we must pay our nation’s bills and argue that deficit reduction is critical to boosting the economy and creating jobs, they continue to fight for tax breaks for the wealthy while ending Medicare, rather than compromising on a balanced agreement.

July 11, 2011

With America just 22 days away from not paying its bills and the need to create more jobs on everyone’s mind, House Republicans had the bright idea of bringing an unnecessary lightbulb bill to the House floor today.

This misguided bill would repeal light bulb efficiency standards set in 2007 that will save consumers billions of dollars every year. The standards are supported by the lightbulb industry and have spurred innovation as companies have already made the investments needed to produce these energy efficient bulbs.

More importantly, this bill has absolutely nothing to do with jobs and everything to do with making a political appeal to the far right wing of the Republican Party.

But even if we did have the luxury of time to focus on lightbulbs instead of jobs programs or deficit reduction, this bill is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem.

July 11, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this piece in The Economist on the political games Republicans are playing as they refuse to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Republicans continue to risk our economic security as they fight for tax breaks for the wealthy while ending Medicare for seniors. It’s time for them to take a serious approach to deficit reduction and work with Democrats to agree to a balanced deal to reduce the deficit and ensure America pays its bills.

July 11, 2011

We were intrigued to hear Republicans say on yesterday’s Sunday shows that there has to be an deficit reduction agreement to ensure America pays its bills – despite the fact that they are walking away from a big, comprehensive compromise that would seriously reduce the deficit:

On Fox News Sunday:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling. I haven't heard that discussed by anybody… the Secretary of Treasury stated we need to do this and we're using this as an opportunity to have a discussion about doing something about spending and debt.”

On Face the Nation:

Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions: “There needs to be a deal by August 2nd. I assume [Secretary Geithner] is accurate on that date.”

While Republicans pay lip service to a deal that they keep walking away from so that they can protect tax breaks for the wealthy while they continue to advocate ending Medicare for seniors, other Sunday show guests warned of the catastrophic consequences to our economy if we fail to ensure we pay our nation’s bills.

June 29, 2011

Add the International Monetary Fund to the list of economists, business leaders, and Wall Street executives warning of the damaging consequences of not paying America’s bills:

The U.S. should raise its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to avoid ‘a severe shock’ to the global economy, the International Monetary Fund has warned.”

“In an annual report card on U.S. economic policy made public on Wednesday, the IMF said the debt ceiling should be raised as soon as possible to avoid damage to the economy and world financial markets.”

Let’s hope Republicans are ready to listen.

June 28, 2011

Yes, we know you’re tired of us quoting him, but Mark Zandi’s comments on the debt limit are definitely worth the read.  Here’s a highlight:

"I think we go into recession and my forecast would be blown out of the water. I think if we get to August 2nd and there is no debt ceiling [increase] and there has to be significant spending cuts, I think even if Congress and the administration reverse themselves days later, I think the damage will have been serious and we'll probably be thrown into a recession."

It’s time for Republicans to take these warnings seriously and stop holding the economy hostage by suggesting we may not pay our nation’s bills. Instead they should work with Democrats to ensure we pay our bills and agree on a balanced approach to reduce the deficit that includes revenues and spending cuts.

June 22, 2011

Today, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned against undermining our economic recovery by drastically cutting spending too quickly. Democrats agree with Republicans that we must reduce spending but we also have to ensure that spending cuts don’t harm the economy and impede job creation.

Key Point: “In light of the weakness of the recovery, it would be best not to have sudden and sharp fiscal consolidation in the near term,” he said. “I don’t think that sharp, immediate cuts in the deficit would create more jobs.”

June 22, 2011

Wanted to make sure you all saw this editorial in the New York Times this morning.

Key Point:  Leading Republicans — after proposing to gut Medicare — are still trying to pose as the program’s saviors. How cynical can they get?

June 21, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw this comment from Pacific Investment Management Co. manager Bill Gross, calling on the government to support job creation and shift our focus to manufacturing. While the Republican agenda has been thin on jobs, Democrats hope moving forward they’ll work with us on our Make It In America agenda, particularly bills that passed last Congress with bipartisan support. 

June 20, 2011

Wanted to be sure you saw the Washington Post editorial today about the consequences of failing to ensure America pays its bills. The editorial highlights comments made by CBO Director Elmendorf and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke about the negative impact default, or the risk of default, could have on the economy, including significantly adding to the deficit. Democrats stand ready to work with Republicans to ensure we pay our nation’s bills and agree on a path to reduce the deficit.

Key Point: “But no one should inaccurately minimize the risk of tampering with the markets’ faith in U.S. credit and credibility. In the end, the debt ceiling must be raised, and the Bernanke-Elmendorf warnings about the consequences kept in mind. The need to raise the debt ceiling reflects past choices, not future ones. The latter will be difficult enough. They will become even harder if politicians allow the United States to come close to default.”

June 20, 2011

We hope House Republicans were paying attention to the ethanol vote in the Senate today, as 73 Senators—including 33 Republicans—voted to end these tax breaks.

That’s 33 Republican Senators who finally agreed that the tax code is not off limits when looking to restore fiscal discipline.

Posts by Year

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014