National Press Club

DCCC Chairman Predicts Dems Will Keep House Majority

August 30, 2010

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Photo/Image: Rodrigo A. Valderrama

Democrats will retain a majority in the House in the 2010 elections, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, predicted at an Aug. 27 Newsmaker press conference. He said Democrats will use a three-pronged strategy: a move-forward agenda, effective field operations and a reliance on voter anger at “extreme” GOP candidates.

Van Hollen criticized House Republican Leader John Boehner’s promise to repeal the Wall Street reform bill. Van Hollen said that “would undermine confidence and move the nation backward.” In addition, he attacked Republicans for not supporting legislation to require that all new spending is off set with cuts elsewhere.

In order to stimulate the economy, Van Hollen urged the Senate to pass a bill to provide small business tax credits, a measure which he said Republican have opposed because it is paid for by removing offshore tax loopholes for large companies exporting jobs.

Van Hollen said teh stimulus program was “not a miracle cure” but has stabilized the economy and stopped the nation from losing 700,000 jobs a month. He asserted the Republicans would “blow a $680 billion hole in the deficit” by extending tax cuts to the top 2 percent of taxpayers.

He said the Republican support for BP during the oil spill was not just by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who apologized to BP, but by the House Republican caucus in a statement calling the BP fund President Obama negotiated to help affected Gulf Coast individuals a “Chicago-style shakedown.”

Van Hollen also attacked Republican budget plans, supported by Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., to partially privatize and cut Social Security, and their plans to “end Medicare as we know it” by vouchers for private insurance.

As the author of the Disclose Act pending in Congress forcing disclosure of the financial sources of ad buys, a step he deems necessary because of the Supreme Court’s recent decision allowing corporations and special interests to purchase political campaign advertising, he warned, “Voters beware. Try to find out who is running these ads and who is paying for them.”

The Newsmakers Committee is working to schedule a press conference with Rep. Pete Sessions. R-Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

-- Bob Weiner and Varun Saxena