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WASHINGTON, DC - Democratic Whip-Elect Steny Hoyer (MD-5) released the following statement today on the second day of the House Democratic economic forum during a press availability with other members of the House Democratic Leadership:
"President Bush all but admitted that his economic program was taking us on the fast track to nowhere when he fired his economic team.
But we are not going to wait for him to finally get his bearings on the economy. As of today, Democrats are taking the lead.
We aren’t satisfied with 6 percent unemployment – that’s 8.5 million people who want to work but can’t find a job. And we don’t agree with the Republicans that cutting off unemployment benefits for over 800,000 people three days after Christmas is the right thing to do.
For two days, we have discussed with the best and brightest the most effective ways of pulling the economy out of the doldrums where President Bush has let it sit for over a year.
We have talked about how to craft an economic program that - unlike the Republican plan - responds to the needs of the American people.
The Democratic program will aim to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the short and long term, provide reasonable, wisely targeted, affordable tax cuts for working Americans who need tax cuts the most, and be fiscally responsible to ensure long-term economic health.
After reflecting on all that we have learned over the past two days, Democrats will present America with a strong vision of where this country should go that is centered on working people. And I believe that America will agree with us that our vision is the right vision."