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House Democrat scorns GOP debt 'ransom'

  |   May 23, 2011 at 2:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is rejecting Republican "ransom demands" in the debt ceiling debate and opposing further tax cuts for the rich.

In a speech to be delivered before the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington Monday, Hoyer, D-Md., calls for maintaining entitlement programs, cutting military and discretionary domestic spending and setting a "trigger" for automatic spending cuts and tax increases, Roll Call reports.

He also seeks to close tax loopholes and simplify the income tax code.

"It's an incredible sleight of hand to suggest that our choices are between the Republican plan and nothing, as if giving in to their ransom demands, and then implementing a plan for more inequality and the end of Medicare as we know it, is the only option left," the text of Hoyer's address says.

Two weeks ago, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans would not agree to increase the ceiling without huge spending cuts.

"Speaker Boehner's demand is $2 trillion in unspecified cuts. But at the same time, he and the Republican Party support tax cuts that will cost twice as much over the next decade," Hoyer's text says.

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