On the eve of President Obama’s speech on job creation, House minority whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) criticized Republicans in Congress for creating uncertainty among the American people since taking power this year. He cited the lack of a “jobs bill” and the recent debt-ceiling showdown as primary examples. It will take Congress getting on the “same bipartisan page,” he said, to ease the public’s frustration.
Hoyer said he has already had “good conversations” with at least 10 of the 12 members of the so-called “supercommittee” on deficit reduction, and emphasized the importance of the task facing Congress. “I will use whatever influence and abilities [I have] to accomplish success, bring down the debt and deficit and grow jobs,” he said.
A two-pronged attack must be implemented, he said, arguing that the deficit will not come down if Congress cannot find a way to increase revenues. Hoyer referenced “some type of taxes” as critical to a successful package. Members of both parties must be willing to “put all of the items on the table.”
“If not, we cannot succeed,” he said. The supercommittee’s final product, he argued, should be something that can restore certainty within the United States itself and within the international community. Right now, the American people are frustrated because they believe their government does not work — a notion it has to prove wrong by tackling the task ahead with full force.
“To sequester is not an acceptable alternative,” Hoyer said, referring the automatic trigger mechanism that will go into effect if the committee fails to reach an agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in new deficit reduction.
Regarding Obama’s speech Thursday night, Hoyer said the president has to deliver an agenda that both he and his administration believe will help grow jobs. But there has to be some Republican involvement as well.
“You can’t tango alone,” he said. “We have a responsibility to make it work . . . and frankly, it’s not working.”
— Laura Nichols is an intern for National Review Online.