Hoyer Discussing the Debt Limit on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show

See video

joining us, democratic whip steny Hoyer. congressman Hoyer, a pleasure to see you again.

dylan good to be with you.

any chance that anything, whether it's the gang of six plan or anything that's being bandied about has a chance of passing the house of representatives?

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 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 american will run out of its ability to pray its bills. that will have reverberations in this country for every single american in terms of interest rates, 401(k) value, housing values, ability to purchase cars and pay for college. it will have very serious negative effects. and what are we doing? a political exercise on the floor of the house of representatives. that's unfortunate. but your question is, can something pass? something must pass.

let's talk about the --

no alternative.

the new amendment the so-called gang of six. senator coburn is back in the room. he obviously pus up a $9 trillion proposal, i guess it was yesterday, mid-day, hitting frefrg $1 trillion in defense, $1 trillion in tax loophole elimination,s 3ds trillion and entitlements by the ways and means testing. in the room, he pretty much took a crack at it. sounds like the gang of six plan right now is a more along the lines of $3 trillion to $4 trm. is that where this is head ed? $3 trillion to $4 trillion?

i certainly think the spread correct. i think the plan purt forward by a bipartisan group of six united states senators. three democrats, three republicans, with mr. coburn included in that three on the republican side there's 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 asking everybody to take part getting a handle on the debt which conference us and it's essential and everybody agrees. the question is how do you do it? who gets hurt jt do you as the amendment on flort or the bill on the floor of the house of representatives today, present 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 office in america while a majority vote would undermine least well off in our country. i don't think that's the direction americans want to go.

and i think that's why i think senator coburn's plan was so interesting. he basically said, i'll go for the tax code in opposition to the grover norquist fringe republican group that you're dealing with in the house. senator coburn, i think, is a little more of a statesman in that regard. also the military.

takes courage.

and hits entitlements. my kind of conservative at the end of the day. if were you to look at the democrats, specifically if something comes out of the gang of six with the flaed either raises the qualification age and/or means tax for associate security or medicare, do you meev you can get democrats to vote for any legislation that does either of those two thing, raise the age or means tax?

as the president said, dylan, without going into specifics if it does this, that or the other, looking specifically at what it does. i think the answer to that is, the leader, has said, leader pelosi. i've said. joe biden has said. dick durbin said. we are all for will the president have 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 many credit worthiness the trust its always had and at the same time 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 heretocore walked out on plans that were balancedthey did so in the bowles simps's 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.

congressman, i'm grateful for the opportunity and privilege to speak to you directorly particularly at this point in time. appreciate you coming on to have a conversation with me.

thank you, dylan.