Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference on a bipartisan letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to work together on a big and balanced deficit reduction plan. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"We are standing together today, Democrats and Republicans united in our deep concern over the size of our deficits, their contribution to our staggering debt, and their negative effect on our economy. We are here to send a message of urgency and support to the members of the Joint Select Committee.
"More than 100 of us have asked the Committee to pursue a big, balanced deal – which includes consideration and inclusion of spending cuts, revenues, and mandatory spending reform.
"We state that – and I quote: “To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. In addition, we know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal well-being.”
"Congress has placed enormous responsibility and power in the committee and has allowed it wide latitude to send us a plan to get America on a sustainable fiscal path. If it fails to do so, the consequences will be wrenching, immediate, and long term and will undermine the well-being of our children and grandchildren.
"Failure will also further undermine the already deeply eroded faith the American people have in their government’s ability to address serious and dangerous challenges with courage, wisdom, and a required unity of purpose.
"The alternative to success is a damaging and irrational sequestration, which will fall short of the action required and place America’s economy, confidence, and international reputation at further risk.
"I thank all of my colleagues who have signed this letter and shown a bipartisan seriousness of purpose required by the challenge that confronts us."