December 27th, 2012
05:31 PM ET
10 months ago

Hoyer compares GOP debt limit tactics to hostage taker threatening to shoot child

Washington (CNN) - Less than two weeks after one of the nation's deadliest school shootings, the No.2 Democrat in the U.S. House, Steny Hoyer, compared Republican tactics for dealing with the nation's debt limit to someone threatening to shoot a child hostage.

"It's somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, 'I'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what I want done.' You don't want to shoot your child. There's no Republican leader that wants to default on our debt, that I've talked to," Hoyer said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

Hoyer's comments came in response to a question about the Treasury Department's notice that the nation was approaching its debt limit. He criticized Republicans for previous resistance to raising the debt ceiling and used the gun analogy to argue that the issue should not be part of the negotiations involving the fiscal cliff.

In a session on the House floor lasting less than 10 minutes – and at which just a handful of members were present - Hoyer called on GOP leaders to bring the House back into session to craft a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff.

Shortly after Hoyer spoke to reporters, House Republican leaders held a conference call with their members and told them the House would reconvene on Sunday night - just a day before the year-end deadline.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Yup. Rep Hoyer is right on the mark. The GOP/Tea Party is copying a hostage taking tactic from the Taliban.

    December 27, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Hugh Mann

    500 "experts" and no solutions, year after year......

    Maybe they should seat them alphabetically instead of be political affiliation, like they do with the troublemakers in elementary school – - that's what those old men act like anyway

    December 27, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    For four years the GOP has used all sorts of inflammatory and divisive rhetoric and deliberate policy delaying tactics to stall economic growth and ruin our country just to see to it that President Obama fails. Now one Democratic for the first time in four years has the ba/lls to tell it like it is and the GOP are complaining??? Outrageous. Let's face it, if the GOP or our home grown terrorist group had their way, they'd do more than holding our kids hostage or shooting them. If the GOP had their way, they'd push the red button for all I know. Hey, I'm just telling it they way I see it.

    December 27, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Johnmac

    Suggestion for all> First New Years Resolutiom: Vow to vote out (by any means) ANYONE who thinks they represent you in Washington. They are ALL a bunch of Hypocrites, more concerned with their own egos and positions than the good of the United States and it's citizens. Send them all to Hell!!!!!!!

    December 27, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Curtis

    I'll tell you what is really criminal is all those people commenting in here that the Republicans are holding the many hostage to support the few. THAT is what's criminal. To believe a lie is foolish, but to perpetuate a lie because of ignorance is criminal against yourselves and against the 98%. The Republicans are being stubborn, no one can deny that. But, to say they ONLY support the rich is simply stupid. The Democrats are every bit as culpable as the Republicans. They REFUSE to entertain real spending cuts. They are JUST AS GUILTY of holding the citizens hostage as the Republicans. Obama got re-elected on the premise that he was going to reach across to the conservatives and COMPRIMISE

    December 27, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. on StreetWise

    The GOP/Teanethals has been holding our poor workers, middle class, students, disabled vets and elderly hostage now for four years... They want a "Scorched Earth" policy or nothing and will do anything to save their 1%'ers power. Its time to send them over the cliff themselves.

    December 27, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Josh

    True analogy, bad timing. I voted McCain last time, but Obama this time because of deep end Republicans. Constitution should have added a democratic process that locks officials in their halls until a deal is done or the people say they can have a break.

    December 27, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Logic N LA

    While his analogy could have been better concieved, his sentiment is correct. The house has placed our economy in a hostage situation for 4 years. the Sentate minority leader had been thier accomplice.
    We need revenue. We need a jobs bill. We need spending cuts. Where are the ideas that include all of these? Not coming from the Congress and definitely not from Republicans.

    December 27, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. N&W 1000

    I commend Congressman Stinky Hoyer on his use of language, especially in light of the massacre of the children in CT.

    December 27, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Logic N LA

    JPmichigan – "responsible" bills? Name one – just one that did not put the middle class or poor in either a higher tax bracket or cut off needed aid to them? you won't be able to becuase every bill has cut benefits to someone without doing anything to raise revenue. That by the way means return of our tax rates to sensible levels.

    December 27, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. geggyg

    Hoyer is right in the meaning of his comment , but wrong in his choice of words not just because of the events in the few weeks , but allegories involving guns/shooting should always be out of bounds. There are other comparisons to hostage taking that could have been used , ssuch as , such as taking control and turning off the water supply , and not turning it back on until their demands are met, but that comparision wouldnt get the headlines that Hoyers recent comment has received.

    December 27, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Over the cliff

    GOPs don't give a damn about the middle classes whose taxes will be raised – must stand with their fat-cat puppet-string-pullers, never mind what the majority of the country voted for.

    December 27, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. bp

    For too long the GOP has behaved like a hostage taker who is willing to let the hostage die rather than give an inch. They always believed (with reason) that the Democrats would blink and give in. Not this time – the only way to deal with unreasoning fanatics is by calling their bluff, and being willing to fight fire with fire. Appeasement never works when dealing with demagogues.

    See you on the other side of the cliff, GOP. You've sown the wind, now reap the whirlwind and be damned.

    December 27, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. penguin

    We are just fighting what "cliff" we will be going over. The fact that nearly everyone agrees that going over the "cliff" will have dire economic effects is an admission that "stimulus" works. No matter what mix of revenue gains (I.e.tax increases) and spending cuts the government decides to make to avoid "the " cliff, there will be economic consequences. Perhaps one "cliff" is better to go over than another, but without knowing what the alternative to "The Cliff" will be we won't be able to estimate its consequence. I guess ignorance is bliss afterall.

    December 27, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. fernace

    I understand what Hoyer is saying, but in light of recent shootings it's pretty insensitive! A better analogy, which Americans have been saying all along, is that the GOT-Party is taking the nation & its people hostage! They did it the moment Obama took office in '09 & have continued until we go over the cliff! The issues they want secured, W's taxcuts for the rich, "welfare" in the form of subsidies for multibillion $ corperations, more $$$ for military & so forth, are deducted from education budget, various other necessities for the citizens & Medicare/aid & SS! When the going gets rough they tell us we must "sacrifice," while conveniently leaving themselves out of the equation! This has been going on for at least the past 20 years, w/no end in sight! Republicans want smaller government....as long as their own jobs are secure! Politicians live a cushy life at our expense! What motivates them to give a hoot about the populace? Nothing!!

    December 27, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. ConnieB

    It is extremely sad that our elected officials are more interested in politics than in the welfare of our country. This "self inflicted" so called fiscal cliff can and should be averted. It's shameful that the House won't convene until Sunday, only one day shy of the deadline. Unfortunately, it seems our representatives are immune to the fallout that will result. They will still have their jobs, collect their paychecks and have their taxpayer provided healthcare. While everyone else must simply deal with it...Shameful does not even begin to cover it!

    December 27, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. Rick

    Let's see: Taxes to rise on everyone, including the middle class. The Post Office near total financial collapse. Milk prices set to double Jan 1. All due to inaction in Congress. What a bunch of incompetent morons!!

    December 27, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. California Gary

    Unfortunate choice of words Steny. Any other time this analogy would be right on.......but now is not the time to be mentioning guns, hostages, and children in the same sentence.

    December 27, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. Kevin

    You guys have this backward. If your president really cared about you and your country, he would take part in discussions with the GOP about meaningful spending reduction. These tax hikes are trivial in comparison to our debt.

    December 27, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Robert

    ReallyY??
    House Republicans do not care about the country! They should be terminated for non-performance.""

    Democrats are whining piles of crap and everyone WILL be terminated starting with the lowest level union thugs.

    December 27, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Disgusted

    Really? Now Republicans are shooting kids? If a Republican said that about the Democrats, there would be a national uproar. Give up the theatrics and get on with your job! If you can't do it, get the useless people out of Congress. This goes for the Democrats. The Dems couldn't even pass a budget when they had control of the House, Senate and Presidency. Useless people just collecting their perks and big paychecks. I have the perfect solution. If they don't come up with a budget and solution, they don't get paid, have no trips and no perks. This includes the President since he obviously doesn't care about the country either.

    December 27, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. TxLostWolf

    The sad part of this is these clowns (Congress) voted themselves indispensible and they and their personnel will be paid in full regardless of the debt ceiling or the "fiscal cliff".

    December 27, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. tony_Pittsburgh

    Why is it that conservatives that don't want to raise taxes, are branded as evil? Does anyone want to see what we really spend day after day in our federal government on useless redundant and wastefull activities? It would scare the crap out of a normal person! Why has there been no talk about expense reduction and major cuts like regular corporations would do – because they have no budget, business background or any clues on what do do – we need term limits and FAST!

    December 27, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Independent jim

    the tea party fascist leaders dont care about the fiscal cliff.. they want our country to fail .. and will do all they can to see that our middle clas go bankrupt.. there is no hostaqe scenario here this a pure and simple murder..

    December 27, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. plain&simple

    I myself would never put it in the terms Mr Hoyer chose.....unfortunately in our gun loving,arm everyone ,no one is responsible for ANYTHING age,maybe It's a language the right wing can relate to!!!! Doesn't speak well for the direction of our country however.....someone tell me another reasonable explanation PLEASE....he's stupid doesn't work.

    December 27, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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