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. Steve

    Arguing with Republicans is like arguing with an empty chair.

    December 28, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  2. tact

    As long as there is a dominant 2 party system that can not reach down the middle of their ideals , there will be no progress. As long as people keep living in the problem and whining about it instead of acting for a solution there will be no progress. Neither party has it right because I have not heard one speak of solutions that benefit all Americans. They only play to their base.

    December 28, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  3. Tee

    Can someone tell me how we can fire all the members in congress and elect officials that will act in the majority of the nations best interest and not just the top 2%? I am all for being apart of the process to de-elect these officials. What is going on is ridiculous.

    December 28, 2012 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  4. Dvet

    The repubics only plan to work 2 days a week next year. They need to fire those and take away their pensions.

    December 28, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  5. Francisco Decastro

    I agree with Hoyer but not a very nice choice of words. WHy did the hostage have to be a child? Wouldn't the same effect be if he jsut used the word hostage? However, in the end of the day, that is exactly what the GOP is doing. Holding us hostage and do what they want. Even if the majority of the country like me voted or wanted to vote for Obama because of the new laws he said he would sign. But noooooooo, forget what most of us Americans want, lets only care about ourselves, and not the country's future.

    December 28, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  6. motley

    What is sad is the democrats are doing the exact same thing,... with the attitude of no compromise and only doing it their way,.. yet they are the ones that are hypocritical in their demonizing the GOP for the very tactics they use,.. of course then media like CNN promote that via headlining these outrageous and meritless statements or political rhetoric and hyperbole,... and like mindless zombies,.. many eat it up and feed on this crap without thought.

    December 28, 2012 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  7. ray

    Does it really suprise anyone? The Repugnican core will stay true to their twisted ideology rather than do whats best for the country. They continue to obstruct, mislead, and misdirect in hopes they will benefit. Ronald(the great communicator) sold them a bill of goods and they have been marching to its drumbeat for 30+ years.

    December 28, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  8. ghost

    The word everyone is not saying is TREASON. That is what it is. They use to shoot traitors. Now they just elect them to public office. ClINTON 2016

    December 28, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  9. aebe

    Hoyer,not just foolish,but your statement is also that of a cold – blooded creature that should no longer be inflicting itself upon others.
    And those,Sir,are reasons sufficient to demonstrate why you should not retire,but simply quit,and move to a place where such rhetoric would find greater acceptance.Benghazi,perhaps ? Your decision,it is up to you.

    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.
    Hoyer,you have shown that your humanity,not just
    your brain,is not quite right.Federal law prohibits
    the mentally undone from exercising their Second
    Amendment Rights,as subhuman cretins are a danger
    to others,as well as themselves.

    December 28, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  10. aebe

    All you folks being so upset at the Republicans,and not a few conservatives,kindly give some thought to this : While a Senator,the Presidunce stated that raising the debt limit was foolish.He was right,then.

    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

    December 28, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  11. BeverlyNC

    Congressional Republicans have yet again betrayed the Anerican People by holding what is best for the middle class and working people hostage for extremist Republican games with our lives and futures. They still don;t seem to understand they lost because their Party is complete clueless with the priorities of the America People. Come the 2014 midterms it will be past time to rid the House and Senate of obstructionist Repubilcans who have done absolutely nothing for our economic recovery exceot to threaten to destroy it. 386 filiusbusters by Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell is pure abuse of power and shows a complete lack of leadership and concern for the country.It's time to stand with President Obama against do-nothing Republicans. This is nothiing but Republican political game playing so Boehner can try to desperately save his Speaker job and fpor Grover Norquist pawns to say they "lowered taxes" once Repulblicans take us over the cliff on Dec 31st and begin anew risking another downgrading of our credit rating playing more hostage games with the debt ceiling – the Bush debt we are still paying. Shame on Republicans for hurting the People for ridiculous political games. They have betrayed us yet again,

    December 28, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  12. kalksdjfalkjgakgqeiruqoihqkhglakgjaalkjqlwjrqi

    i hate being held hostage. we don't talk to terrorists. just walk out. and whine that nobody showed up to negotiate with.

    December 28, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  13. bear

    Why can't we have people like Tip O'Neil and Ted Kennedy who were willing to compromise for the good of the country.

    December 28, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    There they go again. The unhinged GOBP tea potty working to downgrade the US credit rating. 2014 comes quickly for them.

    December 28, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  15. DrexCan

    I'm sorry, but I don't understand how a country that is supposed to be the self proclaimed "leader of the free world" can be so idotic and naive. How is it possible for a nation to lead others if it is by far the most screwed up of them all? When it comes to the economy, something that is considered the most crucial part to any country, how is it possible that it is special interest groups and just insane idealism on both sides of the isle that make the decisions and hold everyone else hostage? How is it that the majority of the populous, you know the sane ones, won't get off their hands and exercise their so called freedoms to demand more of their elected officials to fix this? Left or right politics has very little to do with this. It's the ones in the middle on both sides who can't seem to get their acts together and unite as one to take back the logical course of action from the extremes. Guess what, unless the majority starts exercising their voice and speaks up for common sense, the USA is dead in the waters. As for the rest of the world, we'll pick up the pieces and figure out something else, something that works and America is going to find themselves left behind with nobody coming to it's rescue. If you disagree with me, let me put it to you this way...who wants to play with the bully on the field who can't pay for anything and throws tantrums every so often because they don't get their way? Nobody, so my advice is get your house in order because the world is sick of your childish bs. The world has many more problems then the United States of America and their no-brainer problems.

    December 28, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  16. Harvty

    When the Dems get serious about cutting spending, a deal will be had. GOP made significant concessions on raising revenue, now Dems need to make concessions on spendiing cuts. This entire crisis is the result of FAILED LEADERSHIP that starts at the top. Don't expect to get that truth from CNN. CNN is the propaganda arm of the liberal wing-nut Dem. party.

    December 28, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  17. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    This is actually worse than the Debt Ceiling hostage situation that resulted in the current financial crisis. The Republicans agreed to the automatic sequestration and elimination of the Bush Era tax breaks to pay for raising the debt ceiling, believing it would give them more time to work out a deal. Guess they forgot about that deal with all the hype, I mean hope of Romney getting elected and going back to the deficit spending they loved so well.

    December 28, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  18. Me 3

    When talking about the deficit, I notce that no one is talking about custs in military spending. Bush's two unfunded wars (including Cheney's no-bid contracts with Halliburton. Remember those?) are a large contributor to the the current deficit. The military industrial complex i ngeneral is drowning our country in debt. Out of contro military spending is what eventually brought down Russia. It is also killing us. We just cannot continue to police the world and spend huges amounts of money on foreign aid to people who do not like us anyway (like Pakistan). We are fools to do so.

    December 28, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  19. Andy

    An extremely ugly and insensitive comment by another politician trying to blame anyone but themselves. Move beyond petty politics and words and work torwards a compromise instead of trying to win political talking points. This is no more or less a Republican or a Democratic failure but instead a failure of government to live within its means.

    December 28, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  20. Richie

    2% comes out of my paycheck on Jan 1 because our leaders cannot lead.

    December 28, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  21. Surfer George

    And WE are that child.

    December 28, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  22. Me 3

    I advocated in an earlier post that an effective way to reduce the deficit would be to reduce military spending. After companies like Bain Capital has outsourced all normal U.S. manufacturing jobs to China, the only manufacturing base we have left is weapons of war (and assault rifles and high capacity clips). The U.S. tax payer is aksed to pay to build bombs, and to pay people (a bloated military) to shoot them off. Remember Bush's Shock and Awe where he lit off 800 cruise missles at $2 million a pop on day one of the Iraq War? Maybe if we do go over the cliff we can make some cuts in military spending stick.

    December 28, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. DC Observer

    A truly irreponsible analysis by Hoyer - utterly irresponsible.

    We are spending too much as a nation and nobody in DC has the courage to try to fix the problem; we do not have leadership – we have politics and finger pointing . And we are spiraling deeper into fiscal oblivion.... Consider that for all the doom and gloom of the impacts of the tax hikes noted above in this article, these taxes were all in effect during the Clinton Presidency - all we are doing is going back to the Clinton days. The impacts – which are considerable – illustrates how much more dependent people are on the government - so when we cut all these taxes with the Bush tax cuts thereby reducing the tax income to DC, our political leaders did NOT cut their spending at the same time - they actually increased it, which has made the problem much worse. They, in effect, reduced their revenues and increased their spending - foolhardy. If individuals acted like our government, this would be like a family running up large amount of credit card debt and then having a cut in salary or loss of a job in the family – and to fix this, the family simply spends even more money on the credit card...... they would soon be bankrupt, and out on the street and homeless. This is the direction that Obama, Reid and the Dems are taking this nation - clueless – leaderless – irresponsible - and absolutely no courage to tell the hard truth or do anything about it. I admire the GOP for fighting for spending cuts..at least they are trying to fix the problem. All Obama is doing is trying to win more control in the mid term elections so his main goal in all of this is to make it worse and then blame the GOP for it -- the WORST kind of leader this nation could possibly have. It is truly disgusting

    December 28, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  24. wgf

    I don't know that comparing Republicans to child kidnappers and murderers really gets us anywhere. This constant demonization of one's opponents is part of the problem.

    December 28, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  25. DC Observer

    The comments on here by the left bashing the GOP are astoundingly clueless..... people on the left seem to think that they should have lower taxes and that our government is fine with increasing its spending. The DEMS are destroying the future for our children --

    December 28, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
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