Top Dem invokes Daniels's social-issue 'truce' call in riders fight

The No. 2 House Democrat on Friday cited Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels's (R) call for a "truce" on social issues as a reason the GOP should drop controversial riders from legislation to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) name-checked Daniels, apparently looking to use the potential GOP presidential candidate against House Republicans.

ADVERTISEMENT
"As Gov. Daniels has said, we ought to fight the social issues on another bill," Hoyer said on NBC's "Today" show, while noting that no deal has yet been reached on a funding bill to avert a government shutdown. The government's spending authority expires at midnight.

Hoyer voiced a similar argument later on MSNBC, again naming Daniels.

Daniels is regarded as a fiscal hawk, and served as budget director in former President George W. Bush's White House. He's mulling his own run for president, and has called for a "truce" on the social issues, including abortion, that often dominate debate in Republican primaries.

Hoyer's mention of Daniels comes because of riders — policy measures contained in the hotly debated spending bill — that would cut federal support to Planned Parenthood and curtail some of the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory powers.

Democrats have blamed those riders for holding up a deal before Friday night's deadline.