House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Monday that he is hopeful the House can finish its work by Friday but left open the possibility that Members would have to come back to town before the end of the year to wrap up the tax cut package.
Hoyer, speaking at the National Press Club, said he is “hopeful that we can conclude business on the 17th.” But the Maryland Democrat added that the House could make changes to a Senate tax extension bill, sending it back to the other chamber for consideration. If the Senate rejects those changes, Hoyer said, the House might have to come back into session. “We might do that at some point in time,” he said.
Hoyer downplayed White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod’s comments Sunday that there wouldn’t be significant changes to the tax package. Hoyer said it depends on the definition of significant.
“[There] certainly seems to me to be some room for change, which may or may not be perceived by some as significant,” Hoyer said.
The Majority Leader declined to get more specific about what amendments House Democrats would seek, but he did say the estate tax provision might be one area to target.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.