Hoyer: Extend Middle Class Tax Cuts Without Holding Them Hostage to Wealthy

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"The gentleman knows full well I think you have wasted a lot of time on this House Floor. Wasted a lot of effort on this House Floor knowing full well that [health care repeal vote] had no chance of passage and that you were simply appealing to the base that you were just appealing to. In fact, this gentleman believes what you would do if your bills passed [is] you would take away benefits from millions and millions and millions of people. I think that's incontestable. It's incontestable that seniors who are now getting more help with the 'doughnut hole' for the prescription drugs which enhance their quality and length of life would lose it if we repealed the Affordable Care Act. It is incontrovertible, I will tell my friend, that millions of young people who can't find a job - unfortunate in this economy, and we haven't gotten any immediate jobs legislation that was offered by the President on this Floor to even consider, pass or fail - millions of young people would lose their insurance. Millions of children who have a pre-existing condition who now under the Affordable Care Act cannot be precluded by the insurance companies [...] who you want -- not you personally, but who the defeat of the Affordable Care Act  -- would put insurance companies back in charge."

"My way or the highway, that's what you just said, Mr. Leader. I understand that concept. Very frankly in my view we have agreement. We have agreement on something that you won't bring to the Floor and it is that all middle-class, working Americans will not get a tax hike. All of them. And everybody up to $250,000 of income will have no tax increase."

"Yes, we have disagreement, but you're prepared to hold hostage working Americans by saying, 'if the richest people in America might have a little bit of a tax increase, then everybody else is going to get a tax increase.' You said it a different way, I understand it. But the reality and the ramifications of the actions that you are proposing to follow will mean that we will not get a vote, which I think there's overwhelming support of, and making sure that working Americans and, yes, small -- 97% of small businesses -- don't get any tax increase at all. We have agreement on that, Mr. Leader. Why don't we bring that to the Floor and show the American public that, yes, we can come together as you have suggested, yes, we can agree and yes, we can make sure they don't get a tax increase. And then, yes, we can have a debate on the ballots, and you will take one position. I may take another position and the American public will see that and they can make a judgment on with whom they agree. Now, my view is an overwhelming majority of the public will agree with me and you will think the overwhelming majority of the American public will agree with you. That's what democracy is about. Let us have this debate. Let us have this vote. Let us make sure that working Americans aren't held hostage to the wealthiest in our country."

"What you ... are proposing to do, Mr. Leader, is to bring to the Floor a bill which simply protects the 2%. Saying the 2% should not pay more and the gentleman says, oh, they're great job creators...I will tell the gentleman with all clarity that the consequences of your act - and you do it knowledgeably - will be that middle class taxpayers will be put at risk. Why? Whether you agree with it or not, the President will veto it. The Senate I don't think will pass it. And the fact of the matter is we can do for 98% of America that which we agree on. You don't want them to have a tax increase. I don't want them to have a tax increase. We agree on that. Americans can't understand...When we agree on that why we can't at least pass something on which we agree which will help 98% of America."