Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the Republicans' refusal to compromise on a spending deal because of social policy today on Fox News. See excerpts of the interview and a link to the video below.
“We tried to have a unanimous consent for resolution that would in fact have kept the government open without question. The President would have signed it and the Senate would have passed it. It was what we usually do. That is a bridge to allow you to cross over and not fall into the river until you get an agreement. Unfortunately, it was not passed. And what we did pass is a resolution that the President said he would veto. Not on numbers, not on cutting spending, not on keeping troops in place, but social policy being adopted unrelated to numbers, which the President clearly indicated he was not for. I frankly think what we’re doing is playing chicken. We're driving down the road. We agreed to 70% of the cuts proposed. 70% of the cuts they proposed. And the other side says--the founder of the [Tea Party Patriots] said today that if John Boehner brought in $99 billion, he said that wouldn't be enough.”
“We passed riders and frankly, when we were in charge and Bush wouldn't agree to riders or veto bills, we dropped them. We knew we had to come to agreement. In a democracy, you have to come to agreement. We have come 70% of the way in terms of dollars. 70% of the way. He talks about the families and any family knows if one side gets 70%. that is a good accomplishment. They're saying our way or the highway.”
“Without the votes I got [Republicans], [they] couldn't have passed [the last Continuing Resolution]. We passed it because we thought it was reasonable place to go…. This is not reasonable place to go… The President signed the resolutions that kept the government going. In fact, we accepted cuts in both of those resolutions, which I voted for, as you know."
“Shutting down the government is not a good thing for the country. In fact, during the contentious times between Bush and the Democratic Congress, we never shut the government down. We came to agreement with President Bush. The last time the Republicans took over control of the House, in 1995, they shut down the government because they would not come to an agreement with President Clinton. They said to Clinton 'our way or the highway.' They are repeating that today."
“We have to keep Congress going. Why? We have to, if the government shuts down, get it back open. If you don't have Congress in place, you can't do that. So, we're essential for making sure we get the government back going if it shuts down. It doesn't need to shut down. It doesn't need to shut down, because we did so often and as Hal Rogers would tell you he believes ought to be the case, we ought to pass a clean CR as a bridge from where we are now, with moving forward on negotiations.”
“Well, very frankly if I go 70% of the way, there is not a viewer you have that sits down in negotiations and goes 70% of the way and doesn't think to themselves I have been pretty reasonable. it's time for to us make the come from compromise.”