Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner should go all-out to tackle the big-ticket funding bills that have been stymied by legislative gridlock before leaving Congress at the end of the month, one top Democratic lawmaker is urging.
Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House minority whip, is worried Boehner's surprise resignation only increases the need for quick work to not only pass a bill to keep the government open through Dec. 11, but to immediately finish work on a long-term spending bill.
"We need to agree on a number that abandons sequestration which nobody really believes will work," Hoyer said Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.
"We need to come to a budget agreement and I've been urging the majority leader to do that for the last few months and I'm hopeful that within the next 30 days we will accomplish that objective."
He called it unfortunate Boehner
was forced out the door by pressure within his own party.
"He started out as, you know, pretty much a firebrand, but he became a positive member of the Congress who wanted to work across the aisle and get things done," Hoyer said, The Hill reports
"I think he still wanted to do that as Speaker. Unfortunately, his party — too many in his party — were not inclined to help him."
Hoyer said he hoped Boehner for his last month on the job would concentrate on other must-pass items including highway funding and re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank – and takes heart in Boehner's vow over the weekend to go big, The Hill reports.
"I have got another 30 days to be Speaker, and I'm going to make the same decisions the same way I have over the last four-and-a-half years to make sure that we're passing conservative legislation that is good for the country," Boehner told CBS's "Face the Nation"
And the veteran lawmaker conceded his resignation could also grease the wheels on other issues.
"I expect that [I] might have a little more cooperation from some around town to try to get as much finished as possible," he told CBS. "I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there."
Hoyer thinks Boehner's outlook is encouraging.
"I interpret that as he wants to get some things done that are important for the country to get done so that he doesn't leave that for the next leadership. … I agree with him on that. I hope he can," Hoyer said, according to The Hill.
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