From NBC's Luke Russert
On the House floor today Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) did something fairly uncommon for a politician in a leadership position, he admitted that he and his party were wrong in the past.
The moment occurred during the debate regarding the House passing a bill allowing for an increase in the Federal debt ceiling. First, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) went to the floor and passionately spoke out against the increase in government spending over the past fiscal year.
"But after this year for you to criticize us for fiscal responsibility and to lecture us about fiscal responsibility after spending a trillion dollars that was supposed to be about jobs, what have we done?" Boehner said. "We have created more unemployment, we have not put anybody back to work and we are asking our kids and grandkids to pay back a trillion dollars in interest for a bill that is not doing anything other than increasing spending."
Boehner concluded by saying, "Who are we kidding? We aren't kidding anybody. I think it's time to put the brakes on spending and the way to start is to say no to increasing the debt limit."
After this, Hoyer walked to the floor and addressed his colleagues, he started off by giving a history lesson regarding the first TARP bill and the reasons for why an increase in the debt ceiling were needed, but he then spoke of how, in the past, votes on debt ceilings have been extremely partisan.
Hoyer harkened back to when the GOP was in power he himself voted against an increase to the debt ceiling by saying, "I want to plead guilty, because I've demagogued this issue as well."
Hoyer continued, "My suspicion is we'll find ourselves in the same place today. You all are not responsible for running the government or the passing of policy. We are. I understand that…[but] if America and its duly elected representatives say to the rest of the world, we will not pay our bills that will be of consequence. It is not about pointing fingers, it is about taking responsibility."
Hoyer then asked his Democratic colleagues to show restraint in criticism of Republicans.
"Therefore on my side of the aisle I ask us to do it, don't point fingers their side if we don't do it, because we didn't do it," Hoyer said. "We need to stop that, we need to stop that whoever is in charge, because Americans expect better of us."