Video: Hoeven backs Boehner’s debt plan as House vote looms

John Hoeven

FARGO – North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven endorsed House Speaker John Boehner‘s debt-reduction plan today, just hours before the House has planned an up-or-down vote on the measure.

Hoeven’s speech on the Senate floor this morning shows where his support leans in this controversial and mostly partisan debate, but it seems a futile pitch given the predictable conclusion of today’s events.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already vowed that the Senate will vote down Boehner’s proposal, as early as this evening.

Members of the House are currently undergoing debate over Boehner’s plan – aka the Budget Control Act of 2011 – before a final vote later today.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg‘s spokeswoman Alee Lockman declined to say this morning whether or not Berg would support the Budget Control Act but she said he would be releasing a statement following the vote.

For his part, Hoeven urged members of Congress to compromise on a plan to address the nation’s deficit and debt.

“Nobody has a corner on good ideas,” Hoeven said. “There have been many, many good ideas brought forward, but now is the time where we have to realize that we’ve got to come to agreement.”

Hoeven said Boehner’s plan “does represent many of the ideas that both sides.”

“As with any agreement, somebody can certainly find something to criticize,” he said.  “No agreement is perfect.”

Specifically, Boehner’s plan calls for:

  • raising the federal debt limit by nearly $1 trillion, while requiring $1.2 trillion in spending cuts in the short-term.
  • the formation of a 12-member bipartisan congressional committee to outline at least another $1.8 trillion in savings by November.
  • only with the savings outlined could the debt ceiling be raised by another $1.6 trillion – enough to fund the government through the 2012 elections.

Hoeven said the bipartisan committee would allow members of Congress to combine ideas from the president’s fiscal commission and the Gang of Six to draft a final plan that saves money, brings much-needed reforms to the tax code, and raises revenues but doesn’t raise taxes.

Boehner’s plan also recommends a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the end of this year. Hoeven and other senators have already cosponsored legislation calling for such a constitutional amendment.

“I strongly believe that’s what we need,” he said. “It’s all about the right approach. Today we need to take that first step. I come back to where I started. It may not be the plan exactly the way everybody wants it, but it’s a plan that we can approve, and it brings together concepts that people on both sides of the aisle have brought forward.”

Watch Hoeven’s full speech here:

3 thoughts on “Video: Hoeven backs Boehner’s debt plan as House vote looms

  1. Reaganomics became the buzz word of 30 years ago. The tax rates were reduced and President Reagan told the nation that the tax savings to the wealthiest members of society would be used to trickle down to the rest of the nation, as the tax savings would be used to start new businesses and hire more employees.

    The Federal government has kept its side of the deal. The tax rates are now even lower than what President Reagan lowered them to.

    But, the same is not true of the wealthiest American’s. They have received reduced taxes for the past 30 years, but they have dropped the ball when starting new businesses and hiring more employee’s.

    Here is what I would recommend.

    Anyone that receives a reduction in tax, as targeted by Ronald Reagan’s Reaganomics, that cannot demonstrate that they have more employees this year than last year is not allowed to use the lower tax rates. They pay taxes at pre-Reaganomics rates with a maximum marginal tax rate of 70%.

    That would be a good starting point.

  2. Hoeven and Berg are both in over their heads. This is the time for pragmatic problem solvers and all we get are ideological followers. Berg is far worse with his idiotic call for a balanced budget amendment as part of the old cap, cut, and balance plan. During recessions, it is important for the govt to lower taxes and increase spending to push the economy back towards recovery. This downturn was more severe and we already had huge deficits beforehand which makes it harder but taking away those tools for a Constitutional gimmick is just irresponsible.

  3. Pingback: Berg “undecided” on Boehner plan as House resumes debate | Flickertales from The Hill

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