Hoyer: Conservatives Not Going to Give Up on Obamacare 'Which They Think Will Destroy the World'
Claiming that there are "no good shutdowns," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged that those who encouraged the shutdown aren't talking much about Obamacare these days but he's doesn't believe the defund cause is over.
Hoyer said on MSNBC this morning that this shutdown is different than ones of years past "because this is a tactic. This is not a result of the inability to get an agreement. This was a tactic to do something that they knew they couldn't do, and that is defund Obamacare."
"I don't think anybody thinks when you hear them talk about the Affordable Care Act that they've given up on getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, which they think is gonna destroy the world and all the people in it," he added.
Hoyer claimed "there are 140, 150, 160 Republicans in the House conference right now who think what's being done is irrational."
"But let me tell you what they're all doing. They're all looking over their shoulder at the tea party primary challengers. And they've seen in Delaware where Mike Castle lost. They're looking in Indiana where Richard Lugar lost. They look in Missouri and in Nevada, where had they had a mainstream candidate, we probably would have won the Senate seats."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced last week that he would appoint conferees to come to an agreement with Democrats, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused.
Hoyer spun this as Republicans' fault for not previously going to budget conference.
"And that's what the president wants to do. And that's what he said he wants to do. We have tried to go to the conference some 18 times in a budget conference. Our number is $91 billion higher than their number, the Senate marked-up number than the -- so what do you do? You go to conference. You sit around a table like this, and you talk. But Paul Ryan and the Republicans have refused to appoint conferees. Harry Reid tried to go to conference, and the Republicans objected. They're talking about now sitting down and talking. We've been ready to do that for six months, Steve. And that's what we ought to be doing. So what we need now, and what the president is saying is, "Look, we need a short-term bridge. Here's six weeks." They're talking 10 weeks -- but six weeks or 10 weeks to sit down and talk and like any democracy needs to do, compromise."