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FIRST ON CNBC: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER ON CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH" TODAY AT 12PM ET

CARUSO-CABRERA: AND WELCOME TO "POWER LUNCH," I'M MICHELLE CABRUSSO-CABRERA.FED CHIEF BEN BERNANKE BACK ON THE HILL TESTIFYING BEFORE THE HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE ABOUT THE STATE OF TH ECONOMY.WE ARE JOINED BY STEVE LIESMAN AND BRIAN SHACKMAN. AND MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER, IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU, BECAUSE WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES WE ARE FACING RIGHT NOW, INCLUDING HEALTH CARE. THANKS FOR BEING WITH YOU.

HOYER: THANK YOU. GOOD TO BE HERE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: THERE IS A LOT OF DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THIS CAN GET DONE BY AUGUST 1st. I SEE YOU SAID YESTERDAY IT'S GOING TO GET DONE BY AUGUST 1st, BUT THE PRESIDENT SAYS DO IT BY THE END OF THE YEAR. WHAT'S THE ULTIMATE DEADLINE HERE?

HOYER: WELL, I THINK WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. WE WANT TO GET IT THROUGH THE HOUSE BY TIME WE LEAVE FOR THE AUGUST BREAK. BUT THAT JUST MEANS THE HOUSE BILL.THAT DOES NOT MEAN GETTING IT DONE. OBVIOUSLY THE SENATE HAS TO PASSA BILL, WE HAVE TO GO TO CONFERENCE. THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE HAVE TO AGREE ON ONE VERSION, AND THEN WE HAVE TO PASS IT AGAIN THROUGHBOTH HOUSES. THE CONFERENCE SENDS IT TO THE PRESIDENT. SO OCTOBER IS REALLY THE TARGET DATE IN TERMS OF A SIGNATURE BY THE PRESIDENT. SO GETTING IT DONE WOULD BE THEY'RE GETTING IT DONE INITIALLY IN THE HOUSE OR GETTING IT DONE FINALLY. THEY'RE TWO DIFFERENT DATES.

SHACTMAN: LEADER HOYER, DOES THAT DOVETAIL WITH THE PRESIDENT'S AGENDA?

HOYER: YES, IT DOES.

SHACTMAN: LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS AND WHEN THEY SAY THEY'VE GOT A RELEASE FROM REPRESENTATIVE ROSS ABOUT WHERE THEY STAND AND WHAT DO THEY WANT AND WILL THEY GET SOME SEMBLANCE OF WHAT THEY WANT.

HOYER: WELL, I THINK THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED IN PASSING HEALTH CARE REFORM. ALL OF THEM HAVE INDICATED PUBLICLY THEY WANT TO VOTE FOR A HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL. THEY KNOW AMERICAN PEOPLE SAID WANT THAT AND THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT. THEY'RE WORKING TOWARDS TRYING TO GET SOME OF THE THINGS THEY THINK ARE IMPORTANT IN THE BILL.

SHACTMAN: SUCH AS?

HOYER: IN TERMS OF COST CONTAINMENT,THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE IN FACT WE'RE BRINGING COSTS DOWN IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PROVIDER COMMUNITY IS COMPENSATED PROPERLY.THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE DISPARITIES IN REIMBURSEMENT AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE ADDRESSEDIN THE BILL. THEY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GET RID OF WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE, WHICH ALL OF US WANT TO LOOK THE AT.

SHACTMAN: BUT THEY'RE NOT DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND ON WHEN IT COMES TO THE PUBLIC OPTION.

HOYER: NO, THEY'RE THE NOT DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND ON PUBLIC OPTION.THEY DID INDICATE THEY WANTED A TRIGGER ON PUBLIC OPTION.THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY SOME MEMBERS OF OUR CAUCUS WHO WANT SINGLE PAYER, SOME MEMBERS WHO WANT A TRIGGER ON A PUBLIC OPTION. I THINK WE'LL HAVE A PUBLIC OPTION. AND I THINK THAT'S NOT THE LINE IN THE SAND.

CARUSO-CABRERA: IS THAT NEGOTIABLE FOR YOU, LEADER HOYER? PUBLIC OPTION HAS TO BE IN THERE?

HOYER: I THINK WE'LL HAVE A PUBLIC OPTION, YES.WE'LL HAVE A PUBLIC OPTION THERE, ANB THE PRESIDENT SAID WE WANT A PUBLIC OPTION. HOWEVER, AS I INDICATED, THE BLUE DOGS WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PUBLIC OPTION IS NOT SIMPLY A TRANSITION TO A ALL-PUBLIC SYSTEM WITHOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO THEIR CONSUMERS. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THAT --

LIESMAN: WELL, SIR, HOW DO YOU DO THAT, LEADER HOYER?IF THE PUBLIC DOESN'T HAVE TO PAY TAXES, DOESN'T HAVE TO ACCOUNT FOR ITS PAYROLL AND HAS ALL SORTS OF OTHER ADVANTAGES OVER THE PRIVATE SECTOR, THE COMPLAINT HAS BEEN, HEY, THEY START OFF WITH BOTH HANDS BEHIND THEIR BACK WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR COMPETITION.

HOYER: YOU KNOW, THERE HOW ABOUT A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE CBO SCORING AND ESTIMATES AND OPINION. CBO MAKES THE OPINION. THEY'RE A NONPARTISAN ARM OF THE CONGRESS. THEY MAKE -- THEY HAVE MADE THE OPINION THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT LESS THAN 10% OF THE CONSUMERS WILL GO INTO THE PUBLIC OPTION, WHICH MEANS 90% WILL GO INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. AND, OF COURSE, WE'RE GOING TO EXPAND THE INCLUSION OF SOME 40 MILLION PEOPLE, AND MAYBE 47 MILLION PEOPLE, NOT QUITE THERE, PROBABLY, BUT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INTO THE SYSTEM. NOW, IF 90% GO INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, 10% GO INTO THE PUBLIC SECTOR, YOU WILL EXPAND VERY SUBSTANTIALLY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY'S NUMBER OF CLIENTS.

LIESMAN: SPEAKING OF THE CBO REPORT, IT SAID THAT THESE OPTIONS ON THE TABLE OR MANY OF THEM WOULD NOT END UP SAVING MONEY WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CARE. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

HOYER: I THINK THAT THOSE ARE OF CONCERN TO US, AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS A., PAID FOR, AND B., THAT IT DOES, IN FACT, BEND THE CURVE. THAT IS -- BEND THE CURVE, IN OTHER WORDS DOWNWARD SO THAT THE COST OF HEALTH CARE COMING DOWN, NOT UP. NOW, THEY'LL GO UP IN TERMS OF DOLLARS, BUT AS A PERCENTAGE OF OUR GDP, WE WANT TO BRING THEM DOWN FROM THE APPROXIMATELY 16, 18% THAT THEY NOW ARE AT, DOWN TO A LOWER PERCENTAGE. WE ARE WORKING ON THAT AS WE SPEAK. THERE ARE MEETINGS GOING ON NOW TO AFFECT THAT END, AND THE PRESIDENT HAS INDICATED THAT WE NEED TO DO THAT, IF WE ARE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL. IN ACHIEVING THE OBJECTIVE OF LOWERING THE COST OF HEALTH CARE, BUT PROVIDING ACCESS TO ALL AMERICANS TO QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE. THAT'S OUR OBJECTIVE.

CARUSO-CABRERA: OKAY. SO LOWERING THE COSTS, THAT'S ONE WAY. BUT STILL IN THE END, YOU NEED TO PAY FOR IT SOMEHOW. REPRESENTATIVE PELOSI SEEMED TO BACK OFF TAXING INDIVIDUALS WHO MADE LESS THAN $500,000 AND WANTED TO PUSH IT MORE TOWARD COUPLES OR INDIVIDUALS MAKING MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS WHEN IT COMES TO THE SURCHARGE.WHERE DO YOU FALL ON THAT ISSUE? IS THAT GOING TO STAY IN THIS BILL?

HOYER: OBVIOUSLY, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PAY FOR IN THE BILL, THE PAY FOR THAT'S NOW IN THE BILL AS YOU KNOW THAT CAME OUT OF WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE DEALS WITH A SURCHARGE ON THE WEALTHIEST TAXPAYERS IN THE COUNTRY ABOUT THE TOP 1.2% OF TAXPAYERS IN THE COUNTRY. SPEAKER PELOSI HAS INDICATED THAT THAT IS FLEXIBLE, THAT WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE LEVELS AT WHICH THAT SURCHARGE KICKS IN. SHE'S ACCURATE ON THAT, OF COURSE. WE WILL BE DISCUSSING THAT. THE BOTTOM LINE WILL BE, HOWEVER, IF YOU ADJUST THAT, YOUNEED TO PAY FOR THIS BILL, AND WE ARE GOING TO PAY FOR IT, AND THEREFORE YOU --

CARUSO-CABRERA: WHERE DO YOU THINK IT KICKS IN?

HOYER: OF EITHER -- I THINK KICKING IN AT 350,000 PER COUPLE IS -- MAKES SOME SENSE. I THINK THAT'S AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL. HAVING SAID THAT, I AM FOR A FUNDING SOURCE WHICH THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT. AND THAT'S TAXING BENEFITS OVER A CERTAIN LEVEL.17, $18,000 OF EXCLUSION ON HEALTH CARE BENEFITS. I THINK THAT MAKES SOME SENSE. IT'S OUT OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.I THINK IT'S GOOD TAX POLICY. AND I THINK IT'S GOOD HEALTH POLICY, AS WELL. BUT HAVING SAID THAT, THE WAYS AND MEANS CHOSE THIS ALTERNATIVE. I THINK IT'S A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE. I DON'T, FRANKLY, THINK THAT THAT'S GOING TO BE THE FINAL WORD. THERE IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE A NEGOTIATION BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE.THE SENATE SAID THEY DON'T LIKE THAT OPTION.THEY'VE COME UP WITH THEIR OWN. SO -- ALL THOSE OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE. WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR IT THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE.

SHACTMAN: WHEN IT COMES TO TAXATION, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT THE IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESS, AND, OF COURSE, WHENEVER YOU PUT FORTH SOMETHING, POLICY, THERE IS GOING TO BE, OF COURSE, SOME COLLATERAL DAMAGE.BUT HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THAT SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY?

HOYER: WELL, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND HOW VERY IMPORTANT SMALL BUSINESS IS.THEY CREATE MANY OF THE JOBS WE NEED CREATED IN THIS COUNTRY. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN BE SUCCESSFUL. WE'VE ALREADY MADE AN ADJUSTMENT FROM THE ORIGINAL BILL ON SMALL BUSINESS, EXEMPTING FROM 100,000 OF PAYROLL TO 250,000 OF PAYROLL. AND THEN GRADUATING BETWEEN 250 AND 400,000. SO WE ALREADY MADE IN COMBINATION, BECAUSE OF OUR CONCERN FOR THE WELFARE OF SMALLBUSINESS, AND WE'LL HAVE TO LOOK AT THE IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESS OF THE PROPOSAL, THE SURCHARGE PROPOSAL THAT COMES OUT OF THE COMMITTEE. BUT I WANT TO ASSURE ALL OF THE SMALL BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY THAT WE'RE VERY COGNIZANT OF THEIR IMPORTANCE, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE SUCCESSFUL, AND WE'LL LOOK AT ALL OF THE FUNDING OPTIONS IN THAT CONTEXTHOWEVER, LET ME SAY SOMETHING ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS.THIS BILL PASSING IS GOING TO MAKE IT MUCH EASIER FOR THEM TO PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THEMSELVES, INDIVIDUALLY AND FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES. WE'RE GOING TO GIVE THEM THE ASSISTANCE TO DO THAT, AND WE'REGOING TO GIVE THEM AN OPTION IF THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO DO IT THEMSELVES. ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT ASSET FORTHEM.

LIESMAN: I APPRECIATE THAT, LEADER HOYER.RAHM EMANUEL SAYS TONIGHT'S PRESS CONFERENCE IS A REPORT CARD ON THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST SIX MONTHS. WHAT GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE HIM?

HOYER: I WOULD GIVE HIM CERTAINLY NO WORSE THAN AN A-. HE WAS ELECTED VERY HANDILY BY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, AND HE STATED AN AGENDA HE WAS GOING TO PURSUE. THE OVERARCHING AGENDA HE HAD IS TO GIVE OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK. AND WHILE WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT WHERE WE WANT TO BE, I MAKE THE POINT THAT OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS, WE LOST 200,000 FEWER JOBS THAN WE LAST IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. THE STOCK MARKET, THE DOW, IS UP 1,000, SOME 12%. THE NASDAQ AND S&P ARE UP EVEN MORE. NASDAQ, I BELIEVE, IS UP OVER 30% SINCE JANUARY 20th. HOUSING STARTS WERE UP OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS. SO WE'RE MAKING SOME PROGRESS. ARE WHERE WE WANT TO BE, WE'RE NOT. BUT IN TERMS OF REINVESTMENT, AND RECOVERY, WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.I THINK HE PASSED -- WE PASSED A BUDGET, WE PASSED A -- THE BALANCE OF THE APPROPRIATION BILLS, WE PASSED AN ENERGY BILL,WHICH I THINK IS GOING TO HELP US CREATE MORE JOBS. BE ENERGY-INDEPENDENT.OKAY.AND GET US TO A POINT WHERE THE GLOBE CAN SURVIVE GLOBAL WARMING. SO I THINK HE'S DONE SOME EXTRAORDINARY THINGS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS. AND HE CONTINUES TO BE FOCUSED ON THE ISSUES HE PROMISED AMERICAN PUBLIC.

CARUSO-CABRERA: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LEADER HOYER. WE APPRECIATE YOU TAKING ALL OF TIME TO TALK TO US.




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