Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the need for a big, balanced plan to ensure we pay America's bills and reduce the deficit on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show. See below for a link to the video and excerpts:
"I certainly hope something has a chance of passing the House of Representatives. We're fiddling, frankly, while the debt and the default is about to burn us badly, and burn the American people badly. And we need to get about doing our business. Unfortunately, as you just observed, and as I just said, we're fiddling while Rome is burning, in the sense that the piece of legislation on our floor now has zero chance of passage. It was introduced at the last minute last Friday. It was printed just this weekend. Nobody's probably fully understood what it does, and it can't pass and won't pass the Senate. We're wasting time. We have 14 days until the Secretary of the Treasury tells us America will run out of its ability to pay its bills. That will have reverberations in this country for every single American in terms of interest rates, 401(k) value, housing values, and ability to purchase cars and pay for college. It will have very serious negative effects. And what are we doing? We’re doing a political exercise on the floor of the House of Representatives. That's unfortunate."
“I think the plan put forward by a bipartisan group of six United States Senators… is a very positive step forward. I haven't yet seen all the specifics of what they've recommended, but clearly, it mirrors the plan that was put forward by Mr. Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson in that it asks everybody to take part getting a handle on the debt which confronts us, which is essential and all of us agrees with that. The question is how do you do it? Who gets hurt? Do you, as the… the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives today, protect the wealthiest among us, protect the tax loopholes that exist throughout our code and require a two-thirds vote to repeal any of them? A protection of the best off in America while a majority vote would undermine the least well off in our country? I don't think that's the direction Americans want to go.”
“Leader Pelosi and I've said, Joe Biden has said, Harry Reid has said, Dick Durbin said we are all for, with the President, a bigger plan, a plan that will take to us where we need to be, a plan that will, I think, stabilize the financial markets, give America’s credit worthiness the trust its always had and at the same time get a handle on our debt and deficit. Now, whatever the component parts of that is, I think we can get Democratic votes, if it is a balanced program, and that's the key – a balanced program. The Republicans have walked out on plans that were balanced. They did so in the Bowles-Simpson commission. They did so in the Biden talks, and frankly, they walked away when Mr. Boehner and President Obama were talking about a balanced plan. Hopefully a balanced plan will be something that both parties can support, get a majority for and set our country on a sound, fiscal path.”