Hoyer: If We Are Going to Serve Our Country, We Need to Come to Agreement

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mr. Hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i'm not sure whether i rise for or against this. very frankly, because i think this process is not the process that we ought to be pursuing. i think in that context i speak for the chairman and for the ranking member and for most members in this body. but i want -- i was going to wait a while then i heard mr. dent of pennsylvania speak and i want to reiterate this point that he made because i made it last week in my colloquy with the majority leader. i made the point that we are about to make the largest single reduction in discretionary spending that we have made. the gentleman said in history, i was more modest and said in the 30 years i have been here. in any event this is not an insubstantial cut. the problem those of us have on this side of the aisle is, it is not enough for a large number of your folks. then they have said so. and the heritage foundation has said so and the family research council has said so and some of your members have said so. now, the fact of the matter is this is a lousy way to run a railroad. we are trying to run the largest enterprise in the world in two-week segments. it is costly to the private sector. it is extraordinarily inefficient for the public sector, and it is demoralizing for the private sector who deals with the government and for the public employees we have asked to perform the service that is we have set forth as policy. and so i say at this juncture, this ought to be the last of this type. we need to reach agreement. now, i say to my friend from pennsylvania, because it is the largest cut, i think we have come a long way. you said you wanted to cut $100 billion. now you're not cutting the $41 billion that we cut. you were using the 2011 baseline. that's how you got your $100 billion. $41 billion we have all agreed is gone. we are going to freeze at 2010 and go below that. but we have cut $41 billion and we agree on that. now, you use the 2011, that wasn't our figure first, you used it in september. we used it in december. so my view is, we have agreed on $41 billion. you don't say that, you say we are between zero and 60. i understand your rationale, it's your figure, your baseline you used in september in your pledge to america. if we have gone 41 and we are going to go another 10 or 15, what i ask of you is in light of the fact, as mr. dent points out, we have already done the deepest cut under republicans, under democrats, under any of us. it is time to hear from you what is your alternative to make a deal? now, compromise is a prettier word, but we need to come to agreement. if we are going to serve our country and those who serve our country, then we need to come to agreement because they elected all of us. none of us has any greater superiority. we are all the same. and we need to come to agreement. i don't have much time but i'll be glad to yield to you. can you take time –

mr. rogers: would the gentleman talk to his colleagues over in the other body and tell them to pass something we can negotiate on? mr. Hoyer: reclaiming my time, 435 of us have tried to talk to the people in the other body. but i will tell you under the constitution of the united states, we have the responsibility of initiating bills. read the constitution. read the constitution. we sent h.r. 1 over there as my good friend, the former speaker of idaho, says to me, and they didn't pass it. it's not their responsibility to initiate. that didn't go any place. may i have one additional minute? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington controls the time.

mr. dicks: 30 seconds.

mr. Hoyer: i will say to you, we can wring our hands and say the senate is not doing its job. we are not in the senate. we are here. let us come to agreement. and we know the agreement is going to be someplace in between where you are and where we are. we know that. but what we don't know is what you can pass. what you don't know is what you can pass. you don't know what your caucus will do. i understand that. you're deeply divided in my opinion. and we need to know because it's not just us here that are adversely affected. let us come to agreement. let us stop this process of funding government in very short cycles. it is not good for our country. it's not good for the people who work for this country. it's not good for the people who are doing work around the world. i yield back the balance of my time.