House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) delivered a speech at the National Press Club this morning on the Democrats’ 2010 legislative agenda. According to the Majority Leader, Dems will focus on job creation and deficit reduction – one and the same goal, as unemployment and a down economy drive the deficit up. Majority Leader Hoyer framed health reform as a powerful response to economic insecurity, as comprehensive reform would create millions of jobs and ensure middle-class Americans have stable health insurance coverage and lower health care costs.
On the Jobs Bill… the House-passed Jobs Bill continues to make its way through the Senate and the Majority Leader emphasized that job creation has been at the heart of the Congress’ work in the past year. He pledged that in 2010 Democrats will be even more focused and vigorous in prioritizing job creation and deficit reduction.
On Health Reform… the Majority Leader outlined some of the options Congress may consider – breaking up the bill into small bills, passing a bill through the budget reconciliation process to avoid a filibuster, passing the Senate bill – and then spoke in support of passing a comprehensive reform package. Health reform, he said, is made up of separate pieces that build an “integrated whole,” with the various parts relying on one another to successfully bring about much needed, large-scale reform to the health care system in this country. While Congress could pass bills that would establish a limited exchange, large insurance pools for small businesses, reform the insurance industry and increase transparency (for example), the Majority Leader continues to support comprehensive reform to the health care system.
Majority Leader Hoyer’s remarks today clarified the public stance that the the House of Representatives plans to take in the coming months. Now, we eagerly await for the President’s State of the Union Address tonight…