steny hoyer

Top Democrat Steny Hoyer Says Cuts To Medicare Benefits Must Be On The Table — Tell Him No

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

During his weekly address yesterday, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told the press that major cuts to Medicare benefits must be on the table:

Hoyer said GOP proposals to raise the Medicare eligibility age, make wealthier seniors pay higher Medicare rates and limit the cost-of-living increases for some federal programs are legitimate ones, even as he warned he might not support them.

“They clearly are on the table,” Hoyer said of the Medicare changes during his weekly press briefing in the Capitol. “They were on the table in the Boehner-Obama talks. They’ve been on the table for some period of time. That does not mean that I’d be prepared to adopt them now, but they’re clearly, I think, on the table.”

Seniors on Medicare did not cause our deficit — Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, two wars, and Wall Street’s recession did. They should not be asked to pay through their hard-earned benefits.

We’re asking PCCC members to make calls to Hoyer’s office to ask him to take cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid benefits off the table. Click here to make a call.

Steny Hoyer Has Not ‘Been In The Trenches With Progressives’

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

A Roll Call article published late last week titled “Tales Of Hoyer’s ‘Liberal Problem’ Are Exaggerated” sought to downplay the conservative views of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who serves as the House Minority Whip and would likely become the leader of House Democrats if Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) ever stepped down from her role as Minority Leader.

To do this, it cites applause from many of his more progressive House Democratic colleagues, and also references Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress (CAP). “On every major battle, Hoyer has been in the trenches with progressives,” said Tanden.

CAP makes some good contributions to the progressive community — especially their blog, ThinkProgress. (Disclosure: I once worked there.) But on this matter, it is incorrect.

On many critical issues, Hoyer has simply not stood with progressives. Here are a few examples:

Abandoning The Public Option: While Hoyer did voice support for the public option during the health care reform debate, he was saying in August of 2009 — not too long after a New York Times poll was released that showed 72 percent of the country supported a public plan — that it may have to be jettisoned. Keep in mind that progressives in Congress and their allies around the country were rallying for the public option as late as February 2010 — but Hoyer and his pro-corporate allies took the wind out of their sails.
Helping Hide Money In Politics: When President Obama proposed a plan by which he could unilaterally  require federal contractors to disclose their political contributions, Hoyer — whose district is packed with many of these contractors — attacked the plan, saying that “there are some serious questions as to what implications there are …

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