(CNSNews.com)–House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that the $447-billion jobs bill proposed by President Barack Obama must include new stimulus spending to be acceptable to congressional Democrats.
At his pen and pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, a journalist asked: "Will Democrats accept -- basically Leader Cantor told us yesterday he doesn't, he and House Republicans can't accept most of the stimulus spending, so he's more looking at reforms in the tax packages that the president has proposed. Do you think that if at the end of the day that is what Congress can pass, is that acceptable to you and to the House Democrats?"
Hoyer said, "no," adding that “the fact is that Republicans continue to focus on their tax [cut] proposals; I don’t think they’ve changed since 1981, when I came to Congress.”
“We know that they [Republicans] support tax cuts, but if that’s the only thing they will support, that’s not going to get us to where we need to be, and that I think is demonstrably true based on the 2000s,” Hoyer said, referring to the two recessions that occurred in that decade.
Hoyer also said there would be no possibility to “move forward” unless Republicans in the House and Senate reconsider their opposition to tax increases. President Obama plans to call for a host of new taxes in the coming days, as he continues to try to sell his jobs plan to the public.
Another reporter asked Hoyer: "On the jobs package, the president wants to pay for it with tax increases. Republicans say no to tax increases. So how do you move forward?"
Hoyer answered, “We’re not going to move forward if both sides are stuck in the cement. I’ll tell you that, privately, many, many Republicans that I’ve talked to understand that you can’t get there from here without revenues.”
“If one side says, ‘we’re not going to cooperate, we’re not going to move,’ then that’ll have to be decided by the American people in 2012,” he said.
Hoyer also said that politics should not motivate Congress in its goal to reverse the historic trend in unemployment and the weak economic growth.
“If politics is the motivating factor in the minds of the members of the Senate and the House, America will not be well served,” said Hoyer. “That’s what the president said in his speech. That’s what I believe. It is a time to rise above politics for the purpose of getting our country on the right track.”