Hoyer Speaks on Bi-Partisanship in the Defecit Reduction Committee and "Go Big"

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mr. hoyer: thank you very much, speaker simpson. ladies and gentlemen, mike simpson's from idaho. former speaker of the idaho house. he and i had a relationship because i was president of the maryland senate. in his career, not in mine because i had been here some time. this is the kind of comment that undermines cooperation in the congress of the united states. mike simson's been my partner along with heath shuler and others and peter welch and others and mark warner, chambliss happens to be my fraternity brother. the public doesn't believe we have good friends across the aisle. that's not accurate. nor do they believe we can work across the aisle. we are here today to say, we must work across the aisle in both houses to get this country on the right track. let years then chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen, said that, and i quote, our national debt is our biggest national security threat. that is why we all stand here on this podium. republicans, democrats, house members, senate members. we must do something to start paying down the debt and that something is in the hands of the joint select committee on deficit reduction. two weeks ago a number of us from the house, some 100 democrats and republicans, stood together to send a message that we want the joint select committee to send us a deal that is big. about $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and is accompanied -- accomplished through a balanced mix of reductions in mandatory expenditures and additional revenues. mike simpson said when we had that press conference it cannot be done any other way. today we return and are joined by senators from parties who share our concern about deficits and agree that committee members for the sake of our country and its soundnies cal future, should recommend a package of cuts, revenues, and reforms consistent with the gang of six proposals. we have the greatest chance we have seen in a generation to strike a bold agreement that will move us forward on a sustainable fiscal path and spur economic recovery. to do so as we have all seen is not easy. we recognize the pressures committee members are facing from multiple directions. but we want them to know that there is a large and significant number of us in both chambers who want such a deal and are ready to give it a fair shot. that is why we are standing together today, democrats and republicans, united. to send a message of urgency and support. more than 100 of us in the house, split nearly evenly between parties, have already sent a letter to that effect. none of us, none of us want to risk the immediate and long-term effect of sequestration that it will bring if the committee fails in its task. sequestration is not a worthwhile option. at risk is more than just the economic impact but also the trust the american people have in their government to solve the most pressing problems we face as a nation. i want to thank all my colleagues, senate, house, republicans, and democrats. i want to thank all the house and senate members who have come together to send this message that the seriousness of the debt challenge can only be met with an equally serious and bipartisan determination to do what the american people expect of us. and i'll now yield to my friend saxby chambliss.