Hoyer 'open' to second stimulus, but not just yet

The No. 2 Democratic leader in the House said Democrats are open to looking at a second stimulus package, but said it's still to early to judge the success or failure of the $787 billion package passed earlier this year.

"I don't think we can yet make a determination as to whether that's been successful," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Tuesday. But, he added, "I think we need to be open to whether we need further action."

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Rising unemployment is fueling calls for another stimulus and adding to the anxiety for the administration and Congress. The Department of Labor reported unemployment hit 9.5 percent in June, the highest rate in 26 years. It is now expected to reach double digits and could remain high into the 2010 elections.

Obama administration officials in January had predicted that the unemployment rate would peak at 8 percent if a stimulus were passed.

Republicans have seized on the latest data as evidence that the stimulus isn’t working and stepped up their criticism of the government spending in the package.