Washington (CNN) - As the Senate gears up for votes on competing proposals on how to cut spending for the rest of the year, the number two House Democrat warned that both parties need to work together to address the larger problem driving up the nation's debt – spending on entitlement programs.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer complained that Republicans were distracting the public with the debate over the spending cuts in the bill for this year, but noted, "to their credit" Speaker Boehner and other GOP leaders have committed to including in their budget for next year proposals to address the growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is expected to unveil the 2012 budget blueprint early next month.
The number-two House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, made the case Tuesday that Republicans have no right to criticize Wisconsin Democratic state senators for fleeing the state capitol to avoid voting on a budget bill, because Republican efforts to block bills from votes in the U.S. Senate amount to the same thing.
The Wisconsin Democrats "don't want something coming to the floor unless they can fully participate and not be rolled," Hoyer said. "Thirty- eight, 39, 40, 41 Republicans did that consistently over the last four years in the United States Senate. Now, they were here, but they said we would not vote to bring measures to the floor of the United States Senate. I see no substantive difference."
Washington (CNN) - As the House of Representatives prepares for a vote on Wednesday to repeal the health care law, the No. 2 House Democrat acknowledged Tuesday that Democrats have fallen short selling the public on the benefits of the law, and predicted the issue will be central in the 2012 presidential contest.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, asked by CNN about polls showing Americans are almost evenly split on whether to repeal the health care law, said those polls are evidence that Democrats have work to do. "Apparently none of us did a good enough job because public opinion is divided, and they are unsure of whether this legislation is going to be positive for them and their families."
Washington (CNN) – House members aren't happy that they'll have to return next week, booing when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Friday they would have to return on Tuesday to continue their work.
Congress is still working through a number of issues, particularly that of funding the federal government after its current money runs out at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The current plan is to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to pay for government operations for another five days - forcing the House to return on Tuesday and take whatever next step is agreed upon with the Senate.
Washington (CNN) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer conceded Tuesday that the House will ultimately pass a bill extending Bush-era tax cuts, but said House Democrats still might try to change the estate tax provisions in the president's plan.
"I think, frankly, that ultimately we will pass legislation," Hoyer said at his weekly session with reporters on Capitol Hill.
Washington (CNN) – On the same day Congressional and White House negotiators met to broker a compromise on how to deal with the Bush-era tax cuts that are expiring at the end of the year, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that House Democrats would push ahead on a vote Thursday to permanently extend tax breaks just for those making $250,000 a year or less. Republicans argue tax cuts should be extended for everyone, including the wealthy.
Hoyer said the House bill would include permanent extensions of income tax rates for the middle class, plus tax breaks for married couples, the child tax credit, and the earned income tax credit.
Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer blasted Congressional Republicans on Thursday for forcing the White House to postpone a bipartisan post-election meeting with President Obama, which the White House had announced was scheduled for Thursday.
"I can never remember an instance when President Bush asked me or a Democrat in leadership to come down to meet with him that we did not accommodate our schedules to that request. I think that is not only respectful of the president of the United States, but it also furthers the ability to solve problems confronting our country," Hoyer said during a session with reporters on Capitol Hill.
(CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck a deal that ends the leadership fight for the number two slot in the new House minority, multiple senior Democratic sources tell CNN.
Under the compromise, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the current House majority leader will become the Democratic whip, which will be the number two spot in the new Democratic minority.
Washington (CNN) – Multiple senior Democratic sources say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stepped into the battle between Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, for the number two Democratic leadership post, and is personally trying to negotiate a compromise. The sources say her goal is to avoid forcing the caucus to cast what many fear could be divisive votes.
"The speaker and everyone else think it's good to settle this quickly." said one of the senior Democratic sources with knowledge of the private conversations.
(CNN) - Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, and Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, worked the phones all weekend, talking to Democratic lawmakers to try to gather support in their competition for the number two spot in the new House minority. Sources close to each insist to CNN their candidate will prevail.
“We will win,” said a senior Democratic source in the Hoyer camp, declining to speak on the record in order to talk about the internal process. “He [Hoyer] is racking up the votes. He knows how to do this because he has done this before,” said the source, referring to a bitter contest for House majority leader he ended up easily winning in 2006 against the late John Murtha.