Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed how the President’s deficit plan stands in stark contrast to the Republican budget today on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show. See below for a link to the video and excerpts.
“Well, I thought the President's speech was an excellent speech and what he essentially outlined was the vision that he sees going forward. First of all, he recognized that the deficit is a critical problem that we must confront but we must confront it, according to the President, and I agree with him, within the framework of the values that we hold dear in this country. And that is, as your previous discussion indicated, making sure that we take care of one another. He did contrast his vision with that of the Republican budget offered by Mr. Ryan, the Budget Chairman in the House, a vision which gets to the same objective of cutting $4 trillion in spending and getting toward balanced budgets but he also indicated it should not be in the context of doing away with Medicare as we know it, substantially putting those on Medicaid at great risk by eliminating its guarantees, by cutting such programs as Head Start and other early education and investment in the education of our children so we will be competitive internationally; and at the same time, giving $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest in America.”
“I heard my [Republican] colleagues that you just had on the TV say that… we are not going to raise taxes. Well what that means is, frankly, we are not going to pay for what we buy. The reason we are in such a deep hole is because Republican policy has been, for a very long period of time, to buy but not pay for. That's what they did in the last decade and that's why we are in such a deep hole. We have to get out of it. What the President also said, which I think is very important, we have shown in the past what we could come together in a bipartisan way and get the job done.”
“We need to consider all of the items on the plate, not just 12% of discretionary spending. We need to consider defense, consider entitlements, and yes, the tax expenditures, which the Bowles-Simpson Commission pointed out, were $1.1 trillion, which equals all discretionary spending that we are making. So, they are a very, very big item. I think [the President] was right to have to look across the whole gamut. We owe it to our country. The citizens expect us to work together in a responsible, adult fashion to get us back to where we need to be and that is to balance fiscal responsibility while at the same time making sure that we take care of those who need our help. Our country will be stronger if we do it.”
“The deficit is a problem... It's not sustainable. What politicians have done— it's easy to buy. It's easy to give people what they want, whether it's any of the things that you mentioned or anything else. What is difficult to do, what takes courage to do, what is the responsible thing to do is say, ‘look, if we're going to buy x, y or z, we are going to pay for it.’”
“I… am working on an agenda, which is the ‘Make It In America’ agenda, which says that we have got to focus on making it in America, being successful, but also in making it, manufacturing it, growing it, in America and selling it here and around the world. We are not going to be a successful competitor in the international global markets if we are not manufacturing things here in this country and creating the kind of good jobs that [the manufacturing sector] creates.”
“I am certainly going to be working with all of my Democratic colleagues and yes, my Republican colleagues, to say we need to be responsible. Our kids, our grandchildren, our fellow citizens are relying on us. Let's put politics aside, let's do the right thing, let's be responsible. I'm hopeful that we can do that. One of the discussions we had earlier today in the White House was I said, ‘look, we all agree, everybody around that table, every Republican, every Democrat agreed that allowing the debt limit to expire without extending it and having America in the position where it couldn't pay its bills was a totally, absolutely, unacceptable alternative.’ I said, ‘let’s come together, let's do that in a bipartisan fashion that will give confidence to the economy, not only here in this country but around the world as well.’ I didn't get as positive a responsive as I would have liked.”