Hoyer: Fiscal Cliff Deal ‘Ought to Be Done Relatively Anonymously’

December 18, 2012 - 4:03 PM
Steny Hoyer

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Md., speaks to supporters at an election night party in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations between House Republicans and President Obama “ought to be done relatively anonymously, because there’s “no point in taking ownership of something” that won’t appear in the final agreement.

“One of the reasons I think these negotiations ought to be done relatively anonymously in the sense that… the reason nobody says on TV whether it’s [Speaker] Boehner or Obama or any of us, ‘yes I’m for this,’ or ‘yes I’m for that,’ because that may not be in the final deal,” Hoyer said during his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill.

“And there’s no point in taking ownership of something that may be very difficult to do without the context of the whole deal. So I’m not going to go through what would be acceptable, what won’t be acceptable,” he said.

He claimed there are a lot of “responsible Republicans” who won’t like everything in the final fiscal cliff agreement but will support it anyway.

“I think there are a lot of responsible Republicans who want to try to get this done. I think there are a lot who don’t think we ought to move on revenues, but I think there a large number of Republicans who that would not be their first choice but they’re prepared to do it,” Hoyer said.

“Impacting entitlements would not be our first choice, but then again I don’t think you get from there to here without dealing in some respects with entitlements,” he added.

Both President Obama and Boehner are attempting to negotiate a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” that will come on Jan. 1 when the Bush tax cuts expire and deep budgetary cuts (sequestration) take place.

Earlier today, Boehner laid out a proposal that would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for all those who earn $1 million or more. CNSNews.com reported that the plan does not address sequestration and only deals with tax rates.

Hoyer criticized Boehner’s Plan B proposal, saying it’s “not a serious effort” towards reaching a deal.

“The math doesn’t work. We’re going to urge our members to vote ‘No.’ The math simply doesn’t work, it’s not a serious effort to get us to where we need to be,” Hoyer said.

“I can’t imagine anybody that will think that it’s a serious effort. I wouldn’t put a million dollar threshold when the Democrats were proposing it quite frankly, I’m not for it now when the Republicans propose it,” he added.