Hoyer: GOP Will Shoot Its 'Own Child' if Dems Don't 'Pay Ransom' on Debt Ceiling

By Curtis Houck | July 23, 2013 | 2:12 PM EDT


Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – Using a bizarre analogy, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) accused Republicans of being willing to "take their own child hostage" and “shoot [their] own child" if Democrats do not agree to federal spending cuts in exchange for GOP support in raising the debt ceiling.

The federal government is slated to reach its $16.69 trillion borrowing limit by early September.

"In effect, what they're doing is they're taking their own child hostage, their child in this case being the United States of America's credit, taking their own child hostage, and  telling us (Democrats), ‘If you don't pay ransom, we're gonna shoot our own child'," Hoyer told reporters at a press briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

"Republicans talk about what they want to get from us in order to vote for the debt limit extension. The problem with that, of course, is that almost all the Republican leaders have said that defaulting on the debt is an unacceptable alternative," Hoyer added.

Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, also criticized a Republican proposal by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to defund Obamacare by not including money for the controversial health care law in any continuing resolution to keep the government running.

That’s "exactly what [House Speaker] John Boehner says is the opposite of creating jobs and that, of course, is about bringing financial stability to the country,” Hoyer said.

"Compromise has been in short supply," he added, pointing out that "gridlock in Congress, the failure of Congress to be acting, acting responsibly, is undermining the growth of our economy and jobs."

He disparaged House GOP attempts to fund the government:"I don't [take] them seriously. It's about messaging, it's not about substance," and accused Republicans of “folllowing their version of the sequester.”

But Hoyer denied that there was any sort of hypocrisy on the part of Democrats, calliing the idea that President Obama came up with the idea for the sequester “baloney.”

"The sequester was made to bite, if you will, to hopefully force a compromise agreement by saying you're gonna be hurt across the board. We're not going to save some special children while we let other children fall off the boat. Not because, on our side, we don't want anyone to fall off the boat."

"I don't think there's any hypocrisy on our side, on this issue, at all. Period,” Hoyer concluded. “And I'm having trouble conceding what our hypocrisy would be."

However, according to the Washington Post, "The battle over raising the debt ceiling consumed Washington in the summer of 2011, with Republicans refusing to agree to raise it unless spending was cut by an equivalent amount. Obama pressed but failed to get an agreement on raising revenue as part of the package. [Bob] Woodward’s book details the efforts to come up with an enforcement mechanism that would make sure the cuts took place — and virtually every mention shows this was a White House gambit.”