Leader Hoyer Discussing Tax Cuts on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

See video

earlier today house leader steny hoyer made the case before the national press club for passing the bill in some form despite his and democrats objections. >> i simply do not believe the deep debt that comes from republicans upper income and estate tax cut is worth their minimal impact on job creation. those cuts, in my view, harm our long-term prosperity with little short-term gain in return. they are found on the fiscal fiction as the billions included for the best among us will have a significant positive affect on job growth. having said that, i believe action is necessary and compromise was inevitable. >> thank you for joining us, congressman hoyer. congressman hoyer, after all the objection you've been hearing in your caucus about this deal, are you surprised by the overwhelming democratic vote it got in the senate tonight including leading senate liberals like barbara boxer, al franken, as well as most republicans getting behind the same vote? >> i think what happened in the united states senate was a recognition of the position we're in. the republicans in the united states senate would not move on milling income tax freezes or on unemployment insurance or some other aspect of this bell unless taxes were cut or maintained for the wealthiest in america. as a result they were recognizing reality not necessarily the policies they thought would be productive to grow the economy, but they took those which would with those they thought wouldn't. i don't know that i was -- i was surprised, i think, at the number of votes but was not priced that it passed handily. >> nothing surpriseing to me. i said a week ago i thought it would move through this way. i've been listening carefully to the objections you've been dealing with in your caucus. what i'm not hearing, are members of your caucus saying that i will vote against any bill that contains an extension of the top tax bracket, the current top tax bracket. what i do hear people saying, we will vote against the bill as is, which to me is a meaningless statement. of course the bill changes as it moves along. how many members of your caucus said to you, steny, i'm going to be against you on this bill no matter what they do do it. i absolutely will not vote for a bill that extends the top tax bracket. >> lawrence, i'm not going to give you a number because frankly i don't have a number in my head. >> have any said that to you? >> there have been a number of members who have said that to me but by no means a majority of the democrats have said that. i think there are a large number of members, as i stated earlier, that believe we have two considerations. first of all jobs. and secondly debt and deficit. they believe this bill with respect to middle income tax freeze, with respect to unemployment insurance, with respect to fica, 2% reduction in taxes for working men and women, they believe that is very productive to grow jobs. what they don't believe is the upper income tax freeze and the estate tax have anything to do with growing the economy. that does not mean, however, as you point out that they are saying they won't vote for this bill, just as in the senate they recognize that we don't want to see middle income taxes go up. we do want to see unemployment insurance for 2 million people that have run out and worrying about putting food on their tables. we want to see that extended. we think the fica reduction will have a positive affect on giving consumers more money in their pocket to spend on goods and services that they need of the legislative process, as the president said today, is a series of taking some things you want and taking some things you don't want because you think there's a net plus in the action. i think that's what happened in the senate. i think that may well happen in the house. >> assuming you get this done quickly, has the president asked you to publicly today, do you think you'll have time to move onto other serious business? you've announced today you want to do don't ask, don't tell as a stand alone bill, what are the prospects for that in the house? >> lawrence, i don't think -- i didn't announce that today. i don't know who you're saying that's a -- who you're saying announce thad today. that certainly is a possibility. we need to fund government for the coming year. that's still the remaining big ...