Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed tax cuts on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews this afternoon. See below for excerpts of the interview and a link to the video.
"We passed a bill, of course, over to the Senate, which incorporated what we thought was the priority in making sure there was unemployment insurance available and secondly, that middle income taxpayers did not get any increase in their taxes on January 1st. That has not moved in the Senate as you know. It's pending there. It will be amended. The president discussed with us, he negotiated with Republicans a deal. It incorporates some things we don't think were necessary. We wish the President had made that case more strongly, but having said that, we'll see what the Senate does and we'll see what their product is. As we said today, we're going to consider it and may make some changes and send it back to the Senate.”
“There are a lot of things in the President's package to grow the economy, to encourage people to invest, to give them breaks on investing and buying capital products now rather than later…However, our position was pretty clear and the President’s position was pretty clear that we didn't think that freezing taxes on upper income, which would make the deficit worse, but not grow the economy, was good policy.”
“I believe we have a party that does represent the interests of working men and women throughout this country and I think the legislation we passed through the House reflects that. As a matter of fact, when you look at the polling data, you see that 52% of Republicans believe the bill we passed through the House, the policies included in it, they support. 64% of independents support that premise, that you give the middle income a tax break or do nothing so you can make a big crack in the deficit we've incurred. I think we were representing the majority of the United States and 87% of democrats… We need to focus on the districts we lost to make sure they know as we believe that our party represents them, their values, their aspirations, want to grow the economy and cut the deficit.”