Maryland congressman Stony Hoyer was in Tampa today, speaking to a group of students at the University of South Florida as part of their pizza, politics and power series of events. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.


ACT "We have some young repubs, I am going to be harsh...we are heading down the wrong path..."

Stony Hoyer, now in his second term as democratic whip of the US House of Representatives, devoted most of his speech to criticizing the continuing rise of the US national debt since President Bush took office in 2000.

ACT "We are pursuing the most fiscally irresponsible ..I will debate..we too a 5.6 billion surplus...that surplus was accrued during ..these have turned it into a 9 trillion dollar deficit, that’s 9 trillion in 60 months.."

Hoyer justified his vote to invade Iraq, partially on the basis that he thought it would cost much less than it has ended up costing.

ACT- "I supported the war, you may disagree, I thought get rid of Saddam..The president said it would cost 60 b, we are now at 400b..we had prescription drug, pres said 395b, it will be1 trillion and seniors are besides themselves, will be 400 ought to be angry, what ever said, reps, so be it, but your country is on the wrong track and wrong track and we need to change..."

Hoyer said that he believes 35 percent of the increase in debt was due to 9-11, but the other 65% can be blamed on Bush. Hoyer said that student debt, and personal debt were also increasing as a result of the Presidents and the republican parties irresponsible fiscal management.

ACT "If you don’t have to pay for things, you think I'm great, new road, going to mars,..its all for free, its a great guys are gonna pay for it, well buy it you'll pay for it.."

Hoyer also said that the US healthcare system needs to be fixed.

ACT 'healthcare is not an gotta have heath care..48 million don’t have healthcare...people who come who are poor, they go to emergency room, has to see them its the most expensive way to deliver healthcare...we have to have healthcare, so not having those folks in the system who you do..we have an inefficient healthcare we need to make it efficient

Hoyer said he was glad that the president has spoken recently about alternative energy sources, but he has yet to see any substantial action, and he also believes the presidents inaction and denial of global warming is putting the United States at great risk.

ACT 'If it continues to happen, Tampa will be swimming in the streets, Katrina, Miami, DC< NYC..cause the sea will rise..were not addressing that problem.."

Hoyer encouraged the crowd of 60 or so students to support the campaigns of Phyllis Busansky and Christine Jennings, who are both running for the US house in the Tampa bay area. He repeatedly complimented the young democrats, who were the host of the speech, and mentioned the young republicans several times, a few of which were present in the audience.

ACT “we have a lot of people involved in the republicans were in young republicans..I don’t think they are touting them, but the fact is they met in the young repubs.."

Hoyer, who has been in congress since 1981, encouraged the students to get involved in politics, and gave the example of the Eugene McCarthy campaign in the late 1960s.

ACT "In 1968 young people thought e were wrong, they went to new Hampshire...its a pretty moderate conservative state, not ready for hippies...young people with long hair bears shaved an went knockin on doors, they thought it was wrong...LBJ, as a result got we asked for McCarthy ad within 10 days LBJ got out and said he will not seek.."

One student asked Hoyer what he thought about the president authorizing secret wiretapping of Americans without courts permission.

ACT "I think the president is breaking the law, he says no you have the authority..if we have security its because of a consequence, he needs to go to a judge, and they can get a determination in 2 hours, and can get it after the fact...if America is gonna be free, then going to the courts is a requirement...DO YOU FEEL THATS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFFENSE..I don’t know, Clinton was despicable; it was personal transgressions...but lets not file impeachment willynilly..if the court determines he has broken the law thats impeachable.."

WMNF asked Hoyer if the Democratic Party was preparing to roll out a unified campaign for 2006, similar to the republicans "Contract for America" in 1996

ACT "I think you will see a return to an agenda

ACT WHAT ABOUT HEALTHCARE?..we will see a proposal..NOT NATIONAL HEATH..its not only controversial but difficult but well have to se how we do that.."

WMNF asked some of the students who attended the talk their thoughts on Steny Hoyer

ACT-Vernon "He was good..DEMOCRAT..yes..WHAT ARE THEY FOR..its hard to have a stance, its easy to go against, no power, gotta think about that..

ACT-Sean--American congress class “I tend to lean to the right and I agreed with lot of what he said, that would be my 2 sense..WHAT ISSUES..deficit.. ACT-Amberine "I like that he was trying t

o motivate us to get involved..DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE STOOD FOR..I guess he put out facts...YOU LEANTO RIGHT...I wont say his speech alone, maybe it will, I don’t know if it will effect my future.."

ACT-Steven Jordan. "I thought it was informative, included republicans..WHAT WERE THE MAJOR POINTS...get people active...HE WAS VERY CRITICAL OF BUSH AND REPUBLICANS...that’s a loaded question...I don’t have an answer..There was nothing he said...I guess more openness, more responsibility to do things for the people.."

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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