Hoyer Says Federal Budget May Not Be Balanced for 20 Years

By Matt Cover | March 8, 2011 | 11:56am EST

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Md., speaks to supporters at an election night party in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington (CNSNews.com) – House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that it may take as many as 20 years to balance the federal budget after years of deficit spending in Washington.

At Hoyer's weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com noted that President Obama's latest budget proposal does not balance at any time in the next 10 years and asked Hoyer, "Do you plan on introducing anything that balances within that 10-year timeframe, or is that possible?"

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Hoyer said, “Now [that] we’re at $14 trillion in debt, I think the answer is – responsibly – we’re not going to get there [a balanced budget] in ten years, but we have to be on a very considered path to get there, certainly, within the next decade and a half or two decades,” Hoyer said Tuesday at his weekly press briefing.

“I don’t think you can get there in ten years. I think it’s going to take a longer time [because] we’ve dug such a deep hole. We turned a $5.6 trillion [projected] surplus into $5 trillion in additional debt.”

Hoyer noted that even his 20-year estimate was based on a robustly growing economy that would allow the government to take in a normal level of tax revenue instead of the reduced revenue it expects to take in during a recession.

Hoyer, the number two House Democrat, said he is not satisfied with President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal, which does not balance the budget within ten years. President Obama said earlier that his fiscal 2012 budget request would lower the budget deficit by about $1 trillion over ten years.

Hoyer said Republicans and Democrats must compromise if they are ever going to solve the nation’s budget issues. “We have to – together, together – work on getting this deficit under control.”

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