No. 2 House Democrat: Bickering must come to end

Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer says Congress must "put aside ideological constraints" and resolve differences over taxes, budget and spending.

The Maryland Democrat says such an accommodation would help restore both consumer and business confidence.

Hoyer tells MSNBC in an interview Thursday that "managing from crisis to crisis every 60 to 90 days" is absurd. He also says, "Congress is not working because we've got this ideological confrontation when we need pragmatic."

Lawmakers currently are on vacation. They face a March 1 deadline for over $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, known in Washington as a "sequester." Democrats, Republicans and the Obama White House barely averted a "fiscal cliff" at the end of last year. And more fights are unavoidable in connection with legislation to increase the government's borrowing authority.