Hoyer: Voter anger should worry both parties; Dems to focus on health, jobs

Massachusetts voters who elected a Republican to the Senate "expressed anger" that should worry both parties, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

"We will all be making a mistake if we believe that the message that was delivered in Massachusetts last night was unique to Massachusetts," Hoyer said. "That anger was directed, frankly, at all of us.”

In remarks at the Capitol before the centrist group Third Way, Hoyer repeated his assertion that Democratic leaders plan to move forward immediately with their healthcare plan.

Hoyer also said that going forward, a job creation bill would be the "number-one priority."

The House has passed a $154 billion bill that calls for new infrastructure spending and state fiscal relief, but the Senate has yet to act on a jobs measure.

According to Hoyer, Americans are angry at Republicans and former President George W. Bush for their "fiscal irresponsibility" and "regulatory neglect" when they held power in recent years. With Bush leaving the public stage, that anger has now been directed at President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFDA tobacco crackdown draws fire from right As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural Trump's take on midterms: ‘Epic' win in Senate, ‘better than other sitting Presidents’ in House MORE. "The person left on the stage has been getting a lot of the heat," Hoyer said.

Hoyer acknowledged that Obama and Democrats have made mistakes. He said that they had "over-promised" on the $787 billion stimulus. Though it has helped to create and save jobs and avoid a deeper recession, it has not kept the unemployment rate from reaching double digits. He noted that some economists had predicted that the rate would peak around 8 percent, a reference to the projections made by Obama's economists early last year.

But Hoyer said that there was a "stark contrast" between the GOP and Democratic records on the economy. Millions of jobs were lost during the last year of the Bush administration, while millions were created under the Clinton administration, Hoyer said. And while congressional Democrats voted last year for the emergency bailout bill that the Bush administration said was necessary to prevent a depression, no Republican House members voted with Obama and Democrats on the stimulus.