No 'extremists in my party,' says Dem Whip Hoyer
Against the backdrop of an emerging budget deal on Capitol Hill, Home Depot founder Ken Langone pressed House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer during a heated debate Tuesday on CNBC over Washington's bitter politics.
Langone, a staunch Republican, threw out this challenge to Hoyer: "There are extremists on the Republican Party. And if you want me to throw out a name, I will. How about you throwing out a name of an extremist in your party?"
The Maryland Democrat responded by saying, "I don't think there are any extremists in my party."
An annoyed Langone scoffed, "What more can I say. The other guys are the bad guys and we're the good [guys]."
Hoyer defended his statement during his "Squawk Box" appearance. He said all 198 House Democrats who voted at the time supported reopening the government in October under a temporary measure to provide funding through Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 7.
"We took the Republican number of sequester. We didn't like that number," he continued. "But we also understood that you got to move the government forward."
"To that extent, there were no extremists," Hoyer said. "Are there some people who are more liberal and more conservative in my party? There absolutely is."
But unlike House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, he continued, "There's nobody in my caucus that I can't go to and say, 'Look this is not perfect. You don't like it, but this is the deal.'"
The time for compromise may be upon Washington once again as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., work on a two-year budget deal to avoid a repeat in January of the October government shutdown.
Ryan and Murray are said to be discussing a plan that could come together on Tuesday.
(Read more: US budget talkscould produce deal today, aides say)
Staffers told Reuters that the agreement would aim to suspend some of the automatic sequester spending reductions that cut deep at the Pentagon and other agencies. In return, some revenues would be raised by cutting federal employees' retirement benefits and raising some fees, such as those paid by air travelers.