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Is Steny Hoyer Next on the Endangered Congressmen List?

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Blood in the Water?
Is Steny Hoyer next on the endangered congressmen list?
 
Last Wednesday’s Charles County Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum in Waldorf pitted current Majority Leader and Congressman Steny Hoyer against business man and Marine Corps Major (Reserves) Charles Lollar.  What should have been a classic mismatch between a 40 year career politician and a political new-comer quickly took a turn for the challenger when Lollar corrected Hoyer on his talking points regarding federal deficits.
 
The exchange occurred when the moderator asked the question “How would you help control the budget; how would you increase revenues and cut expenditures.”
 
Mr. Hoyer answered in part, “One of the most critical problems confronting our country is our national deficit…but I’ve been in Congress long enough to learn what works and what doesn’t... and I’ve been in Congress for 20 years with Republican Presidents.  Every year they have run a deficit, very substantially…The last administration increased the national debt by five plus trillion dollars when they inherited from …the Clinton administration a 5.6 trillion dollar surplus.  Bill Clinton is the only President in the life time of any in this room who had a net balance budget…Talk is cheap, performance is what you’re looking for.”
 
In response Charles Lollar said in part, “…Mr. Hoyer made a very good point, he’s been in Congress for over 20 years and he knows how it works.  So he knows that Congress holds the purse strings, not the President.  He knows that when …President Clinton had the biggest surplus in our nation’s history it was because of a Republican Congress that created the surplus…I would hope that everyone that applauded, please do the research.  Congress holds the purse string, they’re responsible for appropriations.  In fact, my Congressman Mr. Hoyer refused to even pass a budget for this year for the first time in several years, which is completely irresponsible.”
 
Immediately after the exchange, Hoyer turned to Lollar and said, “I’m coming after you.”  When Lollar brushed aside the challenge with a smile, Hoyer then repeated it.
 
The exchange is further proof that despite comments to the contrary, Hoyer now regards the challenge from Lollar as serious.  In the past several weeks a number of political commentators have remarked on the increased intensity by Hoyer to stay ahead of the Lollar challenge.  Former presidential advisor and strategist Dick Morris recently declared the race winnable by Charles Lollar.
 
“I am very pleased to know that Mr. Hoyer is throwing down the gauntlet and taking our campaign seriously,” said Lollar.  “We have worked very hard to offer the voters in our district a choice between the failed bail-out and stimulus policies of Mr. Hoyer and our ‘New Day’ agenda.  If he is serious about coming after us then he had better bring his A-game because we will certainly bring ours.”

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