Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the situation in Syria and the need to prevent a government shutdown on Bloomberg TV's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt last night. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
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“Clearly, I don't think we can allow [the negotiations] to be used as a delaying tactic. This has to be either real, as Secretary Kerry pointed out, specific, and immediate, but whether it's days or weeks, but certainly not longer than weeks where we get to a place where we think this is real. …I think the military option needs to be on the table. The only reason the Russians made this offer, the only reason Assad has indicated he's now going to sign the chemical convention is because of the threat of military force. … Both Leader Pelosi and I...neither one of us believe the President is required to come to Congress in this instance, and could act on his own. ... The President has made it very clear that he is going to take action if this is not resolved.”
On Preventing a Government Shutdown
“It makes no sense to shut down government. That's our responsibility. You can argue about what level you want to spend at, what activities you want to do, but no American believes we want to shut down the government, and certainly I don't want to shut down the government. Democrats don't want to shut down the government, nor does the President. On the other hand, we're not going to be bludgeoned and blackmailed into adopting something with respect to the health care bill that the voters rejected.”
On the Sequester
“First of all, I believe the sequester is an irrational, common sense defying, fiscal policy. We ought to make rational decisions, based upon programmatic justifications, on the defense side and on the domestic side.”