House Minority Whip: DC has killed confidence for too long

Here's what will boost economy: Rep. Hoyer
Here's what will boost economy: Rep. Hoyer   

Congress has been undermining confidence among the private sector for too many years, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told CNBC on Friday.

He was referring to comments from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers earlier on CNBC that confidence in and of itself is an economic booster.

Read MoreSummers: US economy not growing fast enough

"For instance, [the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act] was allowed to expire. The good thing we did with over 415 votes was to approve it this week. Frankly, we could have done that six months ago, and we should have done it six months ago, but it's never too late to do the right thing," the Maryland Democrat said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act provides a government backstop in the event that insurers suffer extraordinary financial losses due to a terror attack. Both houses of Congress voted on a bipartisan basis this week to extend the law by six years.

Hoyer said Congress can further boost confidence by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, as well as the Highway Trust Fund, an infrastructure fund financed through federal gasoline taxes.

Read More Congress should raise gas tax: Sen. Corker

Asked whether disagreements over trade policy among Democrats could be a barrier to legislative progress on that front, Hoyer said trading partners must recognize labor rights so that "we're not going to the bottom in terms of labor." Environmental rights must also come into focus so that competitors are not polluting, he said.

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