WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a press conference this morning with the Blue Dog Coalition to urge Senate Republicans to join House and Senate Democrats in supporting fiscally responsible AMT legislation. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"I am proud to be here today with my friends in the Blue Dog Coalition – leaders in the fight to turn back the Republican Party’s fiscally irresponsible policies and to restore fiscal discipline.
"The Blue Dogs believe in balanced budgets.
"The Blue Dogs believe our nation is strengthened when we live within our means.
"The Blue Dogs believe that it is simply irresponsible – and immoral – for this generation of Americans to force future ones to pay our bills.
"And, I could not agree with them more.
"This fall, the President and Republicans in Congress have pretended that they are somehow the party of fiscal discipline – even though their policies instigated record budget deficits and added more than $3 trillion to the national debt over the last seven years.
"And now, Republicans are trying to force Democrats to pass a one-year AMT patch that is not paid for – adding some $50 billion to the deficit and debt.
"Let me say: I am doing everything in my power – and I know the Blue Dogs are, too – to fight for an AMT patch that is paid for and which complies with the pay-as-you-go budget rules which House Democrats reinstated on our first day back in the Majority.
"The House has already passed legislation ensuring that 23 million Americans will not have to pay the AMT next year.
"That legislation was paid for by, among other things, demanding that those who are exploiting tax loopholes pay their fair share.
"But unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked that bill.
"So today, the House will go back at it again, and take up – and pass – an AMT patch that protects taxpayers from the AMT and that complies with PAYGO.
"We are fighting for principle – and for this nation’s future. We are not giving up. Passing an AMT bill that is not paid for is not a fait accompli.
"We will continue to push legislation, as we have all year long, that complies with PAYGO – because our nation and future generations deserve no less."