Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) labeled Republicans as hypocrites for accusing Wisconsin Democratic senators of obstruction for fleeing the state to avoid giving Republican Gov. Scott Walker a quorum for a bill that would weaken collective bargaining right for state employees.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Hoyer said that Washington Republicans’ numerous Senate filibusters should destroy any credibility they have on the issue.
“38, 39, 40, 41 Republicans did that consistently over the last four years in the United States Senate,” he said. “Now, they were here, but they simply would not vote to bring measures to the floor of the United States Senate. I see no substantive difference.”
Hoyer added that using the state’s budget woes “as an excuse for taking away from workers the right to collectively bargain is to retreat from a century of policy here and a commitment this country has made to workers being able to better themselves.”
Regarding the House’s own budget talks, Hoyer cautioned that lawmakers should not get too comfortable using short-term continuing resolutions to fund the government. Both parties appear poised to approve a two-week funding measure to prevent a shutdown during talks on a longer-term deal.
“Funding government in 14-day increments is an extraordinarily inefficient, unproductive, demoralizing, unacceptable way to run the largest enterprise in the world,” he said. “It disrupts both the public sector, but more importantly it is extraordinarily disruptive in the private sector.”
Nonetheless, he said he was “hopeful” both parties could come together on a resolution to fund the government through September.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.