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. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Sometimes the truth is stated crudely, but it remains the truth. Hoyer speaks the crudest of truths. Here's the plain truth. John Boehner is an utter failure who can't control the babies in the crib of his party. The Republicans in the Senate have perverted the filibuster procedure to the point where this much is clear: They would rather send the country into a hell hole if only to block the president. And they care not an iota about the citizenry they despise. I say Hang these obstructionist idiot "leaders" in the public square, along with a row of select high criminals from Wall Street.

    December 27, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. lawrence scott

    these tea party controlled republicans have lost there freaking minds they will be kicked of the house in a landslide at the mid term elections as for the tea party you can start packing your bags and your backward thinking ideologies as well enough is enough americans stand up and be counted save america because a all of us can plainly see these demonic nuts are hell bent on bringing this countrty to its knees wake up america!!!

    December 27, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  3. beau

    How can a leader say something like this and still be in office. After all that has happened in conneticut, this language should be stirring up protests for his resignation.

    December 27, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Happy New Year Norquist !

    You and the NRA are the same , lobbyists who only care about there high paying jobs .

    December 27, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. w_roos

    I totally agree with Hoyer. It's extortion. It's blackmail. And, I see the same sort of fiasco being replayed with the raising of our debt ceiling, on money already budget and spent. It's reckless and negligent behavior by the congressional republicans.

    December 27, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. David

    Of course he is right, the GOP's actions are disgusting, have been the past four years.

    December 27, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Beverly - NYC

    In light of Newton, this is not a good comparison Steny.

    December 27, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. Ginger Gough

    Try hard to use logic and reason, look at all sides and not be "knee -jerk," but have so had it with all the politicing and egos in Congress. Many of us lost homes, life savings, job benefits and now who do you think will suffer when this baby- fighting causes a dip in the slowly growing economy? I've worked my whole life and we have lost, lost, lost in this crash. I'm about to mobilize other baby boomers who now how to protest. I'm on my last nerve with this.

    December 27, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. Scotti

    The country has gone more liberal and with the increased social programs there needs to be more income into the Govt. Wake up GOP and raise taxes before you become marginalized.

    December 27, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Jerry Miller

    Everything Obama and the democratic party has been saying is it's my way or the highway. Instead of being a little flexible and getting things accomplished it's causing this gridlock. Neither party is ever completely right and thats why there has too be some give and take unless you want a dictatorship where the ruler says that's the way it's gonna be.

    December 27, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    A big Liberal Mouthpiece. The Liberal's want their Cake and Eat it too. The Libs put all those social Programs in place but forgot how to pay for them. They want the Job Creators to provide the money, hire workers, pay a good salery, pay all the beneftis and then send the rest to Washington. Sorry Libs. Go play in the traffic.

    December 27, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. maxingermany

    That's actually a pretty disgusting comment to make. How can you even compare those two things, especially after the Sandy Hook shootings? CNN should post how to contact Mr. Hoyer's office to complain.

    December 27, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Nameb

    CNN is disgracfull. What is this fox news now. How dare they report this. I expect to hear negative comments about dens on Fox, Not CNN. Shame you cnn

    December 27, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. GBA

    There should be term limits for the good for nothing Congress. The GOP will become GNOP (Good for Nothing Old Party). It has become irrelevant as the Cold War, ruled by dinasours. God bless America.

    December 27, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. smitvict

    Democrats only care about raising taxes which will provide 8 cents on the dollar of the deficit. What a joke. Democrats have not put up anything for spending cuts. They are holding the country hostage with their unbalanced demands on tax rates.

    December 27, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. smitvict

    Democrats only care about raising taxes which will provide 8 cents on the dollar of the deficit. This is not deficit reduction . Democrats have not put up anything for spending cuts. They are holding the country hos tage with their unbalanced demands on tax rates.

    December 27, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. mucklucky

    Why can we not charge Boehner and Reid for ecomonic terrorism? Why can they not be held accountable for their actions that has destroyed so many people's saving and retirement funds? They should be tarred and feathered... then put into jail with a bar of lava soap and a brillo pad!

    December 27, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. Githm

    This country has approximately one year left before the final stages of its demise. Thanks to the politicians.

    December 27, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. Concerned Citizen

    what you expect from an average a democrat or a Obama supporter? They cannot see any thing beyond the obvious. They are very good in making inflammatory statements and mislead the public. Media is also supporting them for strange reasons. Democrats and the media will destroy this country as we know it. They are attempting turn this country into socialist Europe. They haven't learn t any lessons from the failed 19th century idea of socialism.

    December 27, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. The mess of the masses

    There is no recession for the rich which is why over the cliff the rest of us go! They could care less about the average population and never have! you have to understand that this root is over 400 years old and they have been handing a beat down to the poor for centuries. We are not dealing with any new ideology which is why they call themselves conservatives but what are they conserving? Power and Money for themselves so they can control the average middle class family and the poor. It's just one more black eye on the face of millions of americans as power slips from their greedy finger tips!

    December 27, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. Squigman

    The people deserve better. The republicans are doing all they can to derail the economic recovery. They do so, intending to get even for the election that not only reelected the president, but lost them seats in both house and senate. They have decided that if they can not have everything their way, they are bound to ruin it for all of us. And, they're succeeding. The real shame of it all, there are those among us that voted for them. Otherwise they wouldn't be in office. They'd be doing what they are qualified to do, not much.

    December 27, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. Larry L

    Politicians continue to validate my opinion of elected officials. They make a living out of evaluating the emotions and significant feelings of the American people. Then they open their pie hole and something stupid just jumps out. What scares me is WE ELECT THEM!

    December 27, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. Kevin B

    This is not and isolated, off handed comment. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and even the President insult the GOP on a regular basis. It's not right, and very unhelpful when you need to negotiate. The Dems need to talk less in front of the camera and more to opposition

    December 27, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    I'm hoping that even the dimmest bulb in the rethug base will eventually see these clowns cannot and will not govern. the only way to move this country forward is to vote every last rethug out of office. they're called the 'left wing' and the 'right wing.' if you had a plane with the left wing facing forward and the right wing facing backward, the way the respective groups' mindsets are, the plane would never get off the ground! that's what's happening now with this fiscal cliff debate. the 99% are held hostage to the imagined needs and wishes of the 1%, who, it turns out, are mostly fine with paying their fair share. someone needs to remind the rethugs in congress that greed is a deadly sin!

    December 27, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Michael Swartz

    Sadly, the tenor of these comments here doesn't surprise me. When a Republican says something controversial it's all about the speaker. But when Steny Hoyer says something controversial like this, it's an excuse for Republican-bashing and what he actually said is unimportant.

    The key question here is why Republicans should trust that Democrats will follow through on anything they say. It seems to me we've been at this point of addressing the deficit and debt before, and the Republicans are always first to compromise on their principles and raise taxes. The Democrats, on the other hand, don't follow through on spending cuts.

    So, Congressman Hoyer, let's play the game this way: make the spending cuts Republicans desire and at some unspecified future point we'll get around to raising taxes. Sounds fair to me.

    December 27, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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