Sparring on House Floor (see note from FNC Chad Pergram)

 Cantor/Hoyer spar on the floor over sequester


Per Pergram-Capitol Hill

On cam from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) sparring over the sequester and the budget bill approved on the floor today.

Hoyer

What I said was the only people that we have as a policy reduced, and the gentleman is correct we did raise taxes on people over $400,000 but no one in the federal service of course makes over $400,000. The president makes $400,000. He’s at the top as he should be. He doesn’t get an adjustment. There’s nobody in federal service who makes over that. They’re the only people we’ve raised contributions on.

Hoyer:

The sequester is going to hurt our people, jobs, economic growth, exactly what the gentlemen says ought to be our objectives.

Hoyer:

The deal postponed sequester until march 1st. We’re 20 days away from sequester- we didn’t do anything 2 days ago, last week, next week. There’s no legislation proposed by majority party to make sure sequester doesn’t go into effect

Hoyer:

Mr. Van hollen had a proposal to specifically deal with the sequester, it’s adverse effects, but we still haven’t seen anything from republicans. I’m deeply upset that you did not make an order to a Van Hollen alternative. That alternative would have made a substantial difference to sequester, president would have signed it, and the senate would have passed it.

Hoyer:

I read the majority leader’s speech- we need to let both sides offer alternative, and the let American people make a judgment. The American people would have preferred Van Hollen alternative.

Hoyer:

A lot of republicans think sequester is ok.

A quote by cantor: “under sequester unemployment would soar, set back progress, 200,000 Virginians’ jobs are on the line”

We have no legislation put on this floor to preclude sequester from going into effect

“Sequestration is not okay”- says Tom Rooney

Bill Young: not as much opposition to sequestration as there might be

A lot of republicans say sequestration is the way to go

John Shimkus: “sequestration is coming”

Tomko Burn: “I think sequestration is happening”

Hoyer:

I think it’s bad for the country, the president doesn’t want it, Harry Reid doesn’t want it. I hope you don’t want it. But we’re not getting away from it unless you bring legislation that would put in place an alternative and address deficit and debt

Hoyer:

Mike Johan said: “sequestration is going to happen, I have a feeling.”

John Cornyn: “Sequester is the only cuts we’ve got right now”

“Gridlock is leading to spending reductions.” Congressman Mulvaney

Hoyer:

In terms of sequester I want to point out to you that there’s been comments on your side that this was the president’s initially, that’s inaccurate. We put sequester in place thinking it was so irrational we would clearly address problem in last 14 months. We’re not going to quit getting an alternative

Hoyer:

In terms of agreement we reached- Boehner said when you look at final agreement I got 98% of what I wanted, “I’m pretty happy”

Now he’s saying sequester is happening because the president didn’t lead

I think that’s totally inaccurate, the president was prepared to support Van Hollen’s alternative.

Hoyer:

I’m disappointed that the schedule doesn’t reflect substantive meaningful legislation that I think we don’t want, but I don’t know about your side but I would hope the majority leader with the speaker and with others in his caucus seriously think about next week and making an alternative

The last congress is gone. We’ve got to get to compromise Mr. leader if we don’t get there, we wont get to a solution

Cantor:

Once again what we hear from the democrats is let’s raise taxes that’ll fix the problem. We all know the problem is spending

Cantor:

2 bills we had on the floor last year both of which were designed to address real problems of spending which he knows as well as I are drivers of deficit. We passed bill without reciprocation from senate and white house. How is it that white house/ senate are compromising at all if all we hear again and again is take more money from American people

Cantor:

No Mr. speaker that’s just “kicking the can.” That’s why we don’t take up Van Hollen’s bill, it’s just raising more taxes and it wasn’t germane today

Cantor:

Please, let’s sit down together and address the real problem, not raise more taxes and kick the can. That dominates the majority party in this town. The democrats are constantly saying let’s raise more taxes and keep spending. That’s not the direction we want to go in. We want to do real fixes

Cantor:

We have put out there,  and said here’s our way of balancing the budget. Please senate move, Mr. president please, let’s see your plan and show it to the American people about the way to manage the debt and deficit. What he calls a message bill is now law and we’ll see what the senate says. Hopefully if plan act is taken up by senate, the president will tell us how he will balance the budget

Cantor:

We need a rational way to balance when you have 2 sides taking different approaches to same problem. Join us in fixing long term problem to tackle the debt.

I know the gentleman says let’s keep spending/ taxing, it doesn’t help long term, we’re trying to do long term planning

Hoyer:

“Good spin, but not substance”

Hoyer:

That was a silly bill, but the only way we could make sure the creditworthiness of the US was not at risk.

“We’re playing a game of chicken”

We reject that out of hand, I continue to believe it was a silly bill

Yes president signed it because he didn’t want to default on our debts and we tried to give some confidence to the economy

It had nothing to do with the sequester

Hoyer:

The bill we passed today reflects no progress. Ryan’s plan does not balance the budget until well into the 2030s , heavens knows what’s going to happen in next 25 years.

Cantor:

We are going to come forward with another budget that will balance in 10 years.

Where is the other body’s, the president’s plan to balance?

Let’s do the adult thing and resolve unfunded liabilities of the federal government to make life better for the people in this country

Hoyer:

I’ve been one of the leaders of getting to a balanced budget

We buy things- people send us here and we buy things. One of things we bought was defending ourselves against terrorists. We paid 0 of it, that’s the largest expenditure that we didn’t pay for by cutting spending

You didn’t cut spending when you (republicans) were in charge

Hoyer:

Right now, you’re talking about a plan, Paul Ryan said yesterday the founding fathers would be upset with the president over not coming up with a plan, but the constitution doesn’t say the president has a role in the budget.

Not a nickel can be spent in America without the Congress authorizing it, the president can’t do it.

It’s Congress’ responsibility; we’re not taking that responsibility. We’re trying to shove it off to the president.

Hoyer:

Your side doesn’t like his plan because it involves revenues, there’s not a bipartisan commission that doesn’t say we need to have a balanced plan. It’s necessary, I agree with that.

Cantor:

We just raised taxes, we just put more revenue into the mix, $650 billion in 10 years.

2001, 2003 tax cuts, without paying for them, we extended tax measures and relief to people under $400,000 with no cuts

We already got revenues

It’s not the answer

Let’s get to the problem that is causing the mounting deficits, a lack of growth and spending

Hoyer:

We’re not going to resolve this argument

On my side we have to deal across the board with spending, on your side you have to deal with revenues

Saying that the senate, the president need to compromise by doing it your way-that won’t work. Your way or the highway

Cantor:

What about the revenues we already have?

Hoyer:

You voted for budget control act, and we had the supercommittee to get the additional cuts you wanted 2.2 trillion. In his proposal Van Hollen made cuts. Do we need more cuts? Yes.

Hoyer:

But you didn’t even let the American people consider it

The issue in front of us immediately is in 22 days we’re going to have a sequester, almost everyone agrees it will adversely impact economy, national security, discretionary programs it will be done across the board

I regret we’re not dealing with the sequester

We had an election in the election the American people voted because they thought the president’s view had merit. A balanced approach. And the senate expanded it’s numbers and more people voted for democrats in the house but redistricting allowed you to retain control

Hoyer:

Put something on the floor to avoid the sequester

Another issue is the violence against woman act, can you tell me status of the legislation?

Cantor:

We’re having daily meetings to try and get to a point where I can bring it forward, I care deeply about women we need to get them relief that this bill offers. It’s our priority. We must move and act on this bill and I’ve been in touch with Biden about trying to assist and bring parties together. There’s been introduction of issues that aren’t directly related to issue of domestic violence want to protect women who are subject to it on tribal lands, outside issues have complicated it. I hope to deal with it

Hoyer:

It’s a critically important issue, I hope we will come to an agreement
Chad Pergram
FOX News
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill

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