December 27th, 2012
05:31 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. bcrunner

    @jpmichigan: Really?? The House Republicans have passed responsible budgets and other "responsible" legislation in the past for years? You mean like the budget that does away with the Affordable Care Act? Like the budger turning medicare into vouchercare?? Like the one that included cutting funding for "legitimate rape" abortions"? like defunding planned parenthood? like the one that included the "personhood amendment"??

    December 27, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Larry L


    So sad, to fall to this from Mr. Hoyer. You would think number two in the house wouldn't use such tactics. The Senate and the President along with a majority of Democrats have held the American people hostage. The House has in the last 4 years passed budgets and other responsible legislation that Mr. Reid REFUSES to allow be debated on in the Senate. Mr. Reid has not been doing his job for 4 years and the President can not even get his budget passed by Democrats in 4 Years. American people is this what you voted for, NO!.
    You are wildly, Fox News delusional! Responsible legislation? Harry Reid refuses to vote on the political theater provided by the House – loaded with pork, "personhood" riders, efforts to kill the healthcare law (34 times!), and ridiculous bills designed only to protect the rich. House Republicans held us all hostage with the debt ceiling debacle – causing the S&P to lower America's rating. Republicans in the Senate only filibuster – topped-off by Mitch McConnell filibustering the bill he just proposed! He filibustered his own bill! Pull your head out and think for yourself.

    December 27, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    And that is a statement from the #2 House Dem.
    Says something about his character or lack there of.

    December 27, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. PJ

    Terrible comment. He has legitimate arguments but he chose insensitive words. He should be ashamed.

    December 27, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Brouhard

    I'm really speechless at the "GOP are terrorists"group. Basically, one party is trying to take more of your money in taxes, the other is trying to help you keep your money.......the media is telling us that the people trying to limit tax increases are the terrorists, and the American public is buying their BS line.

    PLEASE ... Tax us MORE! Don't let the GOP "terrorists" win! LOL

    December 27, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Scott

    I am a Reagan Democrat and I agree with the sentiment that the GOP is a emotional train wreck for losers these days with its misguided aristocratic policies.

    December 27, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Anthony

    Republicans want to do it again when the debt ceiling comes around again. Remember, Republicans made the debt ceiling into a crisis, did not get what they wanted, so they agreed to the automatic spending cuts, which became part of the fiscal cliff. Republicans do not like cuts in military spending– like Romney, they actually want to increase military spending– so they demand that Obama renegotiate. This is after they lost the election. Yes, you can't reason with these people.

    December 27, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. Christina Stauffer

    I may find Congressman Hoyer's gun analogy a little tacky but he is absolutely on the mark that an extreme right few are holding the nation hostage. Their way or the highway! How exactly does that represent serving the people? The Teaparty has done nothing but hurt this country since they got together. The original Boston teaparty was a one-off. They made their statement and then got on with business. How long is the GOP going to let these tea baggers hold up the business of the nation?

    December 27, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Sheepleherder

    Says the guy holding the gun to the mothers head.

    December 27, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. davecu

    Just for clarification: Americans do NOT have a fiscal cliff to fall off.

    Our "elected officials" do.
    We were not in favor of "deficit spending", congress was. Both parties.

    They skrewed it up, they can darn well fix it. Or face the end of THEIR job security.

    December 27, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Pete

    All republican signees to Norquists pledge should be tried for treason plan and simple..Years ago they'd be taken out in a courtyard told of the infractions and then shot like the unamerican dogs that they are...They keep holding our countrys economy hostage now with the debt ceiling nearing and all they've done is worry about how much they'll work next year,that's a sign its time for massive terminations and get some new blood on Capital Hill to get us back on our feet again ,it has to stop and this infighting is the last straw...

    December 27, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. RD

    The American people need to demand a public apoligy on the house floor from Steny Hoyer. Also every news and media outlet that reported the vile commentary must also publish his public apoligy with the same level as his comments.

    We need a new standard in which to hold our public officials. I also wish the would quit refereing to each other as "Friend(s)" when they really don't mean it... it makes them more of a hypocrit than they already are, if that's possible.

    December 27, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Uchenna Steve.

    The truth is very bitter!

    December 27, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. Steve Lyons

    Defaulting on the debt is not a concern of mine. Dismantling the welfare nanny state IS a goal I desire.

    December 27, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. Evergreen

    He should have worded differently but we get the point he was trying to make

    December 27, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Name lynn

    all these cabnets is crazy what is wrong with the republicans the democrates and boehner its wild in the white house obama just x them out all of them he dont need republicans nor democrates and boehner to pass the tax bills like he last president bush says i dont need the republicans nor the democrates to pass his bills hes the president and what he says goes and it did

    December 27, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. RapidOne


    Terrorist: A person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

    December 27, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. MarkyGA

    What do you expect this guy to say??? The Democrats are NOT interested in spending cuts, only tax hikes. Of COURSE they'll rip the Republicans... DUH!!

    December 27, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Bob the Janitor

    If Mr. Hoyer truly cared about this crisis, his party would not be pressing for unlimited presidential power to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval and they would finally pass a budget, something they have been unwilling to do for nearly 4 years.

    The democrats only care about telling you what's wrong with America and who is to blame for it...

    December 27, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Getoverit

    LMFAO! If a Republican had said this, all you loons would be screaming for his public execution.

    December 27, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Pete

    A President who has never passed a budget, and has not listed the cuts he is willing to make. Where is his leadership? He sits back and waits for others to do the work, he did not even write Obamacare. His leadership is not lacking but totally missing. Step up Mr President and put forth plan not just word which divide us.

    December 27, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Cindy

    Republicans are not who are running this country. It is your stupid Obama and the Democrats who are. There is NO BUDGET. THERE IS NO MONEY. Boehner has put forth numerous offers and Obama and Reid and have said dont bother as we wont put through anything you put forth SO WHY SHOULD THE REPUB's but anything on the table??????? You want taxes raised on everyone but yourself, well to bad buddy, if they go up on me they damn sure are going up on YOU too.

    December 27, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. toolatesmart

    Finally the truth is out. Congress especially the GOP want the Bush tax cuts to expire. They don't care what happens to the economy, but in January they can be voting for tax cuts every day. With them it is Party first, country second. I do not remember any of the pundits predicting this.

    December 27, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. Layne

    Horrible analogy. Just horrible.

    December 27, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. rey

    It,s worse than what Hoyer is saying. Those idiots are holding the whole country hostage. So long to my retirement account these last few days. The President should pass an executive order to save us all.

    December 27, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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