House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer
says Democrats have compromised enough on the 2011 budget, and it’s time for the Republicans to give on social policies they want included in the spending package. Hoyer also said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” he will be working with House and Senate Democratic leaders on a short-term “bridge” measure that will keep the government open, as negotiations continue.
“It’s going to take some willingness on the other side to give a little bit,” Hoyer said. “We have given 70 percent towards the dollars that they wanted to reduce and they have not given an inch on the policies that they want included.
“As Governor [Mitch] Daniels pointed out from Indiana . . . he said: ‘Look, make an agreement on numbers, let’s get that stabilized first — leave the social issues to other bills.’ That’s what we ought to do,” he continued. “The fact is that shutting down the government is a bad policy — but it’s a policy, of course, that the Republicans have pursued before in 1995, in trying to bludgeon the Clinton administration into agreeing to things it didn’t agree to.
“That was not good policy then — it’s not good policy now,” Hoyer added. “And I’m going to be working with, I know, other Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House to keep the government open for the next week or 10 days, with a bridge that will get us from where we are now — negotiations — to hopefully an agreement, but hopefully not shut down the government in the process.”
Hoyer was asked by agreeing to 70 percent of the spending reductions the Republicans wanted, weren’t Democrats just emboldening the GOP leadership to seek more.
“It may — and that will be a mistake,” Hoyer said. “Because I think the president is very clear on what he will and will not do, and he’s not going to take positions with which he does not agree,” Hoyer said, adding the Democrats have agreed to reduce spending because, “It is clear that the Republicans, on dollars, [are responding to] a real desire among the American public — and we share that view — that we’ve got to restrain spending, bring the deficit under control . . . we understand that government spending has to be restrained.
“But we don’t think that 100 percent of everything they want is sound democracy, or sound negotiations.”
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