Hoyer Defends Occupy Wall Street From GOP Critic

By Andrea Salazar

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) Tuesday countered House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s assertion that demonstrators who have set up camp in New York’s financial district represent a “mob.”

Speaking to reporters, Hoyer compared today’s protests with the Tea Party’s origins.

“I don’t know whether Mr. Cantor watched any of the town meetings that we had in August of ‘09,” Hoyer said. “They were much more confrontational in many respects than these demonstrations are. This is a democracy and one of the good aspects of democracy is people get the opportunity to express their concerns and hope that action will be taken to address those grievances.”

The Minority Whip also said that he hopes the Senate has the 51 votes needed to pass the President’s jobs bill, adding that too often good legislation fails to move forward since it can’t garner the 60 voted needed to override a filibuster.

“One of the problems that we have in this country is that a minority controls the United States Senate and that the majority of the representatives of the United States Senate are precluded, too often, from considering the merits of proposals which have a majority support but not 60 votes support,” he said. “I think that’s unfortunate.”

As for the super committee’s looming deadline for a proposal cutting at least $1.2 trillion in spending, Hoyer said it has a “unique authority” to act not for political gains, but on the “absolute necessity to come to grips with the fiscal challenge that confronts us.”

He also said he expects trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia to pass through the House with bipartisan support.

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News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

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