Hoyer Reflects on State of the Union Address on Squawk Box

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... >> fair enough. thank you, terry. guys, back to you. >> all right, andrew, thank you. i'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of you from davos over the next few days. our thanks to terry as well. >>> we heard from house majority leader eric canter. now let's check in on the other side of the aisle. house minority whip steny hoyer joins us. and i'm still going to call you leader. we do that with armey still, so you can't call someone -- can't call someone a whip. we know leaders lead. welcome and thanks for joining us. what was your take on what was proposed last night? i guess there was a lot for you to like. >> i think there was a lot for america to like, frankly. it was a serious speech. obviously, delivered in a chamber that had been chastened by the tragedy in arizona and -- but also impelled to sit together. i thought the atmospherics were much better for this speech. it wasn't so much a rah-rah speech as it was to a challenge to america and to the congress to respond to the challenges that confront us and to grow our economy. we have an agenda that we call make it in america which means that simply we need to do better in manufacturing. we need to do better in succeeding and growing and exporting. and that america can do that. he spoke to a serious problem of the deficit that confronts us. asked all of us to join in meeting that challenge and bringing the deficit under control. so we could in fact, grow the economy. so i thought the tone of the speech was excellent. i thought the challenge he gave to all of us to all americans and to the congress to come together to work together, that it wasn't enough just to sit together but we had to work together if we were going to make progress and have success. so from that perspective, i thought it was a speech that addressed the challenges and set forth not in specific terms but set forth a direction that we needed to move to be competitive worldwide so that we could provide the kinds of jobs and opportunities that our people need. >> i guess it's simplistic to just break down the two sides. one side wants to spend more. one side wants to stop spending and start cutting. now after the election, the 63 seats and the reason that you are a minority whip at this point, could you see how the other side would think that too much time was spent with what we did over the last two years and what, you know, maybe was in some ways responsible for the losses that your party suffered but talking about the spending for most of the speech? >> i can't imagine that they were surprised by the fact that a president who put forth an agenda at a time when the economy was tanking, he inherited the worst economy that we've seen in over 60 years since the roosevelt administration. i don't think they were surprised he said, look. we addressed those issues. we stabilized the economy. we stabilized the financial community building on what president bush had done in the last quarter of his own administration. we created a million jobs last year. over a million jobs last year. we see the corporate sector having large reserves on hand so that i think it was not surprising that he talked also about health care and bringing the cost down and expanding access and affordability for all of our citizens. but i think we've felt those were positive accomplishments. but then also talked about the future, about tax reform, about bringing corporate rates down so we could be more competitive. i think there was a positive response to that from both sides of the aisle. >> but what are the chances -- >> at least from republicans and democrats throughout the house. >> well, what are the chances, in the way that the house is -- the make-up of the house right now, most would say it's unlikely that you're going to -- you know, ever be able to get a lot of that stuff through the house. but there was a chance probably to work together on simpson/boles and hopes a couple of months ago that when that came out, this is the president's moment to embrace that. and you get cooperation from the other side of the aisle and make real progress. probably most of the spending at this point, those ideas for investment are not going to happen. they're not feasible. why not seize the moment for what you can do with simpson/boles and lead as the president. >> we ought to seize the moment and the president did in fact mention simpson/boles by commissioning two reports that said we've got a big deficit problem. here are some of the ways we can solve it. and the president said he thought they were very good ideas. while he didn't agree with every one he believed we ought to pursue meeting the deficit crisis with those reports in ...