Minority Whip Steny Hoyer on Tuesday told reporters that he’s reviewing a $38.5 billion spending agreement and suggested that supporting it may be the most “responsible” step.
“My staff is going through it; I want to be going through it,” the Maryland Democrat said. “I think the president and [Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] made a bad situation less bad, and as you know, I voted for the last two and I believe that it’s responsible to move forward.”
Still, Hoyer noted that “there are a number of things I don’t like” in the package, particularly provisions dealing with the District of Columbia. The final deal cut by President Barack Obama, Reid and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) included a school voucher program for D.C. and a prohibition on the city from using federal or local money to pay for abortions.
Hoyer also said GOP leaders have not reached out to him about collecting Democratic votes for the long-term continuing resolution, which is scheduled for a floor vote Thursday.
“I don’t think either side has had the opportunity to review it fully, and therefore ... my presumption is they don’t know where their people are and we don’t know where our people are at this point in time,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer voted for the short-term CRs passed by the House on March 1, March 15 and April 9. He voted against the measure approved April 7, which was not enacted.
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.