Steny Hoyer Praises Boehner for Forcing Through Budget

‘I want to congratulate John Boehner for trying to clean up some of the tough issues before Paul Ryan steps in’

SCARBOROUGH: "Now we get the house majority, minority whip, Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland. I just promoted you, Steny. It might take a couple of elections. We both worked for Paul Ryan. I’m obviously sort of -- I'm a conservative guy and worked with him on my side of the aisle. You worked with him on the other side. What do you think of Paul Ryan?"

HOYER: "I think he’s obviously what everybody knows. He’s very bright, very hardworking and very issue focused and I think can be an outstanding leader of the House. There’s a big if, of course. In order to be an outstanding leader, you got to have outstanding followers and the problem the Republicans have had is they’re a deeply divided party and have rendered their leadership dysfunctional."

SCARBOROUGH: "Steny, can you give Americans this morning a reason of hope and reason to believe that Congress can work? Can you explain and tell Americans a good side of what happens in that House of Representatives when Democrats and Republicans do work together?"

HOYER: "What I say to people is the House is less than the sum of its parts. What I mean by that as you well know, Joe, there are some very good people on both sides of the aisle. If we would stop just confronting one another and do real things and understand that we have to compromise, the House can and should work for this great country. So we have good people in the House. As a body we have not functioned in an effective manner because we have been too partisan and too divided. But I will tell you this. It has largely been the Republican party that was deeply divided. You saw yesterday a perfect example of that. Just before the election of the new speaker. We considered the Export/Import bank that we had passed overwhelmingly bipartisanly in the past. There was a confrontation. Republicans had to bring it to the floor over the objection of the chairman of the committee. And guess what? 127 Republicans, a majority of the Republicans, voted for it, and every Democrat save one voted for it. That was a bipartisan agreement. I think we took an effective step forward. Then this bipartisan agreement — and I want to congratulate John Boehner for doing what he said he would do, try to clean up some of the tough issues before Paul Ryan steps in. He’s done that. Hopefully today we will pass the debt limit budget deal, which is not a perfect deal, obviously. It’s not a long-term deal. But it is certainly better than the alternative."

SCARBOROUGH: "All right."

KORNACKI: "Congressman, this is Steve Kornaki. I’m thinking back couple of years to all of the press releases that you had from Democrats, bashing Paul Ryan over his path to prosperity [indecipherable] budget blue print that he put out; 2011, 2012, all the attacks when he was the vice presidential candidate in 2012; 'this is an extremist Republican; he's going to destroy Medicare, granny over the cliff, all these sorts of things.' Is this the guy -- now I hear you saying you think you can work with him. How can you work with the guy that you guys pilloried so relentlessly?"

SCARBOROUGH: "They wanted to push granny over the cliff!?"

HOYER: "Let me say — (Laughter) so there is no confusion, I thought Paul Ryan’s budgets were not good budgets. Hall Rogers referred to them as unrealistic and ill-conceived. Hal Rogers, is as you know a conservative chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Republican, as you know. I don’t think Paul Ryan's budgets were good policy documents. They were good political documents. But if Paul Ryan — he certainly has the ability, if he wants to lead in a constructive, positive, bipartisan way, he has the ability to do that, and I hope that’s what he does."

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