Hoyer argues Republicans have no right to criticize Wisconsin Democrats
March 1st, 2011
07:22 PM ET
12 years ago

Hoyer argues Republicans have no right to criticize Wisconsin Democrats

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."

Hoyer, who has not spoken publicly about the standoff between Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic legislators, defended the legislators who oppose a bill that would limit union worker bargaining rights.

He acknowledged that labor groups need to give some concessions in tough economic times. "A case can be made that we have to reign in benefits and require more contributions," Hoyer said. But he criticized the Republican governor's action, saying, "To respond by using that as an excuse for taking away from workers the right to collectively bargain is to retreat on a century of policy here, and the commitment that this country has made to workers being able to better themselves."

Filed under: Steny Hoyer • Wisconsin
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    Hoyer is absolutely correct. Wisconsin doesn't have any means of filibuster, so these Democrats simply exercised the only option they have.

    What I find telling is that Walker never campaigned on stripping collective bargaining rights, yet he had a bill ready from the moment he was sworn into office. How do you not mention that during the campaign and call yourself anything but a liar? He HAD to know that the people of Wisconsin wouldn't support that, or he'd have made it part of his platform. You don't neglect to mention something so major and have it ready to go on day one and call yourself honest.

    I normally don't care for this practice, but I think Wisconsin would be best served by recalling Walker when his year in office comes around. By hardlining against collective bargaining, he's already indicated no desire to win re-election. Wisconsin is a labor state, that's not some big secret. I think he's just there to implement his own (Or the Kochs') ideology and run from the political consequences.

    If Wisconsin doesn't want to become the experimental ground for radical right-wing ideology, they need to recall Governor Walker.

    March 1, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. John N Florida

    The Wisconsin Democrats are just employing a 'Walking Filibuster'.

    March 1, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Barry Ladd

    If I were to refuse to show up for work for the amount of time these Democrats have, I would have been terminated from my job. If they were elected to represent the people, then they should be there representing the people not hiding out of state What a shame it is for Wisconsin voters to have to represent theirselves with demonstrations. I hope you remember who bailed on you when you needed them the most the next time they come asking for your vote.

    March 1, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. sara

    No, they just sit there while our country was falling apart and said, "NO" to everything...WHERE'S THE JOBS?????

    March 1, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Chuck

    Finally! How has this point been missing from this dicussion so far!

    March 1, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. Jon in Madison

    Gig Difference........Republicans showed up and offered amendments, debated, and voted (regardless if they knew they would lose)

    March 1, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    Hoyer is right.

    And guess what I just heard on the Lawrence O'Donnell show? Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman just called the protestors in the capital building in Madison a bunch of slobs.

    March 1, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Inmyopinion

    At least the Republicans stayed and were brave enough to say no in person, faced up to it, took it like men & women. Democrats just ran away, disappeared, big difference. If Democrats truly believe on keeping collective bargaining for government workers, that this process is not a scam, gimmick from the Unions to make money on our tax dollars and we the private sector, businesses are not being had by paying high taxes to keep Unions making money for the Democrat Party than they should have stayed to fight for it.

    March 1, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Tanja

    Thank You...finally the voice of reason.

    March 1, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. DAVE

    this out of control wisconsin govenor is union busting plain and simple. to get elected the republicans run around telling everybody how worried they are about our grandchildern paying the bills. than when they get in office they start kicking the heck out of the same children that they say they are worried about! we the american middle class have been giving back to business thru pay cuts for over 25 years to save jobs and creat new ones. supply siders have failed in their promise and all the trickle down failed promises have produced an average income from 1985 of $33,400 to an average income of $33,000 in 2008 along with todays high unemployment.the voter of wisconsin have been had along with the whole country its more about the priorities of how to spend tax dollars . the choice is keep giving tax revenue away in tax abatements and tax cuts for business which is so far a nowhere investment or invest our tax dollars into our childerns education! wisconsin has become the battle ground for a failed ideology of the republican party along with other states to come. this same argument is being put forth by the republicans about social sucerity and the current federal budget. the sicial sucerity system is still running with a suplus in revenues from taxes paid to ssi and has nothing to do with the current budget problems.. the I.O.U.s that the goverment put in the fund for money borrowed to pay for other things is $2.5 trillion dollars so far. gess which presidents borrowed most of it? ronald raegan to pay for his arms race and george w. bush to pay for his nation building wars. george bush borrowed $674 billion just in his last year of his office.

    March 1, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |