January 26th, 2010
05:04 PM ET
8 years ago

House majority leader: Congress should pass jobs bill right away

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that a jobs bill passed by the House should be approved by the Senate and sent to President Obama's desk as soon as possible.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that a jobs bill passed by the House should be approved by the Senate and sent to President Obama's desk as soon as possible.

Washington (CNN) - A jobs bill passed by the House should be approved by the Senate and sent to President Barack Obama as soon as possible, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

In a speech at the National Press Club, Hoyer outlined the legislative agenda of House Democrats in an election year for the entire chamber.

Job creation and debt reduction topped Hoyer's list as part of a broad approach to confront the long-term problem of unsustainable government spending.

Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, cited health care reform and energy reform - both passed by the House but facing uncertain fates - as vital legislation for both job creation and reduced spending.

Another House-passed measure - a jobs bill that would use federal bailout money for infrastructure development and other programs creating jobs - also is awaiting action in the Senate.

The jobs bill, which passed on a 217-212 vote, taps $75 billion of bailout funds to pay for more infrastructure projects and assistance for cash-strapped states. It also includes $79 billion in "emergency relief" that includes a six-month extension of unemployment insurance, health care subsidies for those who are out of work, some Medicaid money for states and an extension of the child-care tax credit.

"It is crucial to get a jobs bill to the president's desk as soon as possible," Hoyer said.

However, Hoyer, D-Maryland, expressed frustration with routine filibusters in the Senate that prevent action on bills sent there by the House.

"It's one thing to have a considered process; it's another thing to have a broken process," Hoyer said, adding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ofNevada and his deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, shared his frustration.

Filibusters occur when the Senate "invokes cloture" on debate, meaning it holds a vote on whether to begin and end debate on a particular bill. While final passage of a bill requires a simple majority of 51 votes in the 100-seat chamber, cloture needs a 60-vote "super-majority" to succeed.

When the Senate took up the health care bill last year, the votes on cloture were the most vital to the measure getting passed. Both times, the bill received support from all 60 Democrats to squeak by on the cloture votes.

Now, the Democrats have lost their Senate super-majority with last week's election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, giving Republicans the power to block action on any measure.

Hoyer noted that winning 55 percent of the vote in a U.S. election is considered good, but in the Senate, 59 percent is insufficient to pass a bill. Republicans have the right to adopt a posture of "permanent obstruction," but Democrats will be challenging them to contribute to solutions instead of simply opposing the majority party, Hoyer said.

Asked later Tuesday about Hoyer's comment, Reid made light of his Democratic colleague's complaint.

"House leaders have been saying this about the Senate from the very beginning" of the creation of the two-chamber Congress, Reid said. "So I could give him a few comments on how I feel about the House, but I'm not going to."

Filed under: Jobs • President Obama • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Michael Hsu

    The only jobs bill that works is an income tax reduction bill, tested and proven by Reagononmics.

    January 26, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Hoyer is an idiot.
    Health Care reform will create federal and clerical jobs only.
    The reult in higher health care costs will cause companies to cut back, lessen coverage and lay off thousands.
    The result of new taxes on people will cause them to spend less
    and more jobes will be lost. It is a Global Economy Killer.

    January 26, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Chrynoble

    Well Senator Reid, you should know that the people of the US expect a majority rule government. We don't have that now.

    The filibuster must be changed. Instead of blocking a vote forever, simply change it to a week extension on the first failed effort to close debate, 3 days on the next, and 1 day on the last and final extension. After that debate closes automatically and it is a up or down vote on the bill needing only 51 votes to pass.

    It is time we start holding both parties accountable for what they do instead of what the minority party stops them from doing!

    January 26, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    I wonder how the Senate Republicans are going to spin it when they vote unanamously agaisnt jobs for Americans. Probably say there weren't enough tax cuts in the bill.

    January 26, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Enough

    Look you morons, you can pass all those pork filled spending bills and name them anything you want. Bottom line is we are broke and your spending money cannot do anything to create jobs. It's not rocket science, cut taxes and encourage business growth, quit running businesses with their jobs out of this country by using them as your personal ATM machines...................Geez, Democrats are so clueless to anything common sense.

    January 26, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. howie

    Do not give another penny to these people until they can prove that thte previous stimilus package worked. Make Obama clearly state exactly where this money will go? Here is hope that the bill will not make it out of the house.

    January 26, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. D.D.

    Where is the bill? I think they need to explore the foundation of Rev. Sullivan's Opportunites Industrial Center that began in Philly and expanded throughout the East Coast. There are many jobs people can earn a training certificate if it is offered and the classes are mandated attendance to earn a reference from the training center. People need re-training skills in order to survive and yet some need the health care as well. We need to seriously comtiplated the training since Heatlth care has been rolles over numerous of time waiting in the President to unroll and vacuum that which is a hinderance at the jecture. And then someone, Secretary Duncan and Secretary Dolis and Christina Romer could tour an OIC and that hospital Rush loved so well.

    January 26, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Jimmy James

    A year late. The stimulus was 787 billion. Now its another 75 billion. That is from the CBO. The same office that claimed the healthcare bill will be deficit neutral. Imagine how much the healthcare bill would have really cost? This is less than a year since the stimulus was passed. They need more turtle tunnels. That will create jobs. This country is doomed. I should quit my job, go on welfare, and become a democrat so I can finally reap the rewards of being a citizen in the Obama utopia.

    January 26, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Get real!

    Ummm.....how about steering money away from the stimulus plan to pay for your jobs bill Congressman Hoyer. Given all that money hasn't gone out yet I don't know how you say this with a straight face!

    January 26, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. Terry

    Hoyer needs to shut up! He wants to spend our tax money like it is his own. No more government hand outs!! the stimulus was a failure as is most everything from this democratic administration and congress.

    January 26, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    but I thought the 1 trillion dollar stimulus bill WAS a JOBS bill! that's what the Liar in chief pitched to us like the travelling salesman he is! remember the urgency! the hurry hurry hurry! this makes me sick!

    January 26, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. T'SAH from Virginia

    How is President Obama going to PASS anything with the PARTY of NO constantly saying NO!!

    Then, after saying NO – the RepubliCAN'Ts give SHOUT OUTS to the Media and FLOP NEWS about how they are stopping President Obama because he needs to FAIL!!!

    Then they hang on the coat tails of the far-right TEA-BAGGERS and other BeckLimHannity PA’INs to allow them to do their DIRTY work. But OH – THEY WILL NOT let YOU know that their hands are behind these NUTS until it does not benefit them – then they MAY repudiate them.

    So FORGET IT!!! Working with the Party of NO will NEVER happen!!

    January 26, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. tess

    Steny, Steny, Steny – Can't you remember???
    We the People of these United States told you and OBAMA that we did not want OBAMA's Healthcare! Really, we don't want it!

    I know that OBAMA has to have things repeated about 50 times to
    understand but we thought you understood.

    January 26, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    Republicans have the right to adopt a posture of "permanent obstruction," but Democrats will be challenging them to contribute to solutions instead of simply opposing the majority party, Hoyer said.
    News Flash for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer! The majority of Americans oppose the partisan, expensive, ineffective bills being crammed down our throats by the majority party.

    Now the majority party lost it's license to abuse the US Treasury for their own agenda and special interests. You have to actually bring legislation that makes sense for America now and work WITH the Republicans tens of millions of us have voted into congress.

    January 26, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. haren

    Hugo wrote,
    The ONLY thing stimulus did was keep government bureaucrats in their government jobs while the private small businesses fold, even when they have nothing to do!

    Hugo looks like you didn't know what stimulus package did to average american.
    Well, how you know? because you are not unemployed and you did not loose your medical insurance but I did.
    it help me with COBRA plan, it extended my unemployment and your Govt. burocrats are none other than policeman and fire fighter who kept their job to save your ass.

    January 26, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. tess

    Don't dare try to pass a bill without the entire congress and senate
    seeing what they are signing! This is an old law in this country.
    You read the bill and give copies to everyone before you '..try..' to have
    them sign it.
    We, the American People, don't want anymore of that OBAMA stuff where he has some piece of legislature that no one knows what it is and he just says 'SIGN IT'! No more Steny – we all want to know exactly how it reads and how many people it affects.

    January 26, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. Justen in Florida

    blah blah blah.....

    like he cares.

    I get a kick out of you retards who post here, about how evil the repubs are, have you ever took a look at all the venom and hate you post?

    all the extremests make me sick, from the right, and you from the left.

    January 26, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Sure, the Democrats had a supermajority for a year and failed at every turn. Now they see the November elections coming and panic has set in, particularly after Scott Brown. Of course they want to pass another jobs bill, since the stimulus obviously was a pile of pork and didn't work. They need something to show they're actually doing more than take boondoggles to Copenhagen.

    January 26, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. Hammerer

    Lost my job, lost my house, lost most of my 401K and Obama says he wants to help me more by giving a tax break for child care and lower the payments on college loans. Just how will that help?
    Do you think he understands or is he just out of touch with reality?

    January 26, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. m smith

    and how many repos voted on this??

    January 26, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. Michael from Ventura

    We need a JOBS bill and Healthcare reform- too bad one party can only say NO and the other is busy fighting amoungst themselves. Politics as usual. Blue dogs and baggers:America's at the crossroads, help or get out of the way!

    January 26, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Dennis in AZ

    You want to create jobs? Pay off the National Debt. Balance the budget. When America is fiscally responsible, it makes every dollar we spend worth more. Massive spending doesn't solve anything. I just saw a story on CNN where we spent $840,000 to create six jobs over three years? I remember when President Obama tried to bowl–it sort of represents how he could not understand things like Velocity and Control. I mean for a tenth of that price, I could buy property out-right and start paying property taxes which would support all kinds of things at the local level. I could build a house where I wouldn't have to worry about walking through 2 inches of water on the way to the toilet while trying to hang on to my infusion pump. They really just don't get it at all.

    January 26, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. Matt

    Hey Idiot. What was the Stimulus for then? I'll tell you what. You give up every penny you have and contribute it to fund this jobs bill along with every other Senator and Congressperson that voted for the Stimulus.

    Give up every cent you have to your name and then we will trust you. If you are not personally invested into it then you won't accept reponsibility if it fails. And if it fails you are gone.

    It's called "Put your money where your mouth is".

    January 26, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    "It's crucial to get a jobs bill to the president's desk as soon as possible." Since WHEN? You've had a year to get it done Congressman, but the socialization of medical care – and consolidation of power – were far too important.

    January 26, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Scott, Tucson

    Of course Mr. Hoyer would want a jobs bill sign right away so that he and his fellow democrats can try to hold onto their jobs after November.

    January 26, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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