Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the Republican "Pay China First" bill and the urgent need to continue the budget process on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“I think [debt prioritization] is not a serious effort and I think the Democrats are going to be overwhelmingly, if not unanimously opposed to it. The Senate is not going to take it up. And Tony Fratto who was with the [President George W.] Bush economic team, says it is essentially a joke, it won’t work, it’s impossible. Others have said it will be a political catastrophe if they try to do that. Effectively we call it ‘Pay China First’ bill. … I think this prioritization bill is simply a fig leaf for Republicans that are deeply divided on how they want to go forward, as you have seen. And I think that this bill is not a serious effort, and that's unfortuante.”
“I think the continuing disagreement and failure to reach agreement and to give confidence to the economy - to give confidence to businesses - that is evident in Washington, I frankly think that is having a dampening effect on the economy's growth. I think it's unfortunate. As you well know, I'm a big proponent of getting to a big deal over time. That does not mean, and I want to emphasize, that does not mean substantial cuts or increases immediately. The economy is still struggling. We're still over 7 percent unemployment. We still need to get the economy moving more robustly than that. But I think if we got an agreement between Republicans and Democrats, passed it, and had the President sign it, which got us to a credible path to fiscal sustainability over the next 15 years, I think that would have a tremendously positive effect on the economy. I think that's what we ought to do.”