POLITICS: PennAve

Steny Hoyer calls 2013 Congress ‘least productive’ of his tenure

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As lawmakers prepares for their late summer recess, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer on Tuesday called this year’s session “the least productive Congress in which I have served.”

Hoyer, D-Md., said leaders should cancel some of their scheduled time off in September and work in Washington to find a bipartisan agreement to raise the nation’s borrowing limit for the long term and fund government for the rest of the fiscal year. The No. 2 ranking House Democrat also noted that Congress has only nine working days scheduled in September and warned that might not be enough time to strike a deal.

“Republicans have no intention of reaching an agreement,” Hoyer said. Hoyer offered that a continuing resolution to fund the government should be set at pre-2013 sequestration levels but said he was willing to compromise and split the $91 billion difference between what Senate Democrats have proposed and what Republicans want.

“That would be a discussion we could have I suppose,” he said.

President Obama will meet with House Democrats on Wednesday to lay out the tenets he wants the deal to include.

At his weekly sit down with reporters, Hoyer was also asked about Obama’s plan to lower the corporate income tax rate and said the tax code “clearly” needs to be reformed. But Hoyer doesn’t believe any plan dealing with taxes should be revenue neutral, which is what Republicans are gunning for.

“My own view is we need more revenue. We are trying to operate government on 2013 prices on 2008 income,” Hoyer said. “That doesn’t work.”

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