"The Republican majority … in my opinion, in this House has given us the most chaotic and confidence-destroying leadership I have seen in my 32 years of service in this House," Hoyer said. He called on the GOP to help avoid the upcoming sequester, but said many Republicans now seem content to let those cuts happen, to the detriment of people who depend on federal programs.
"When you use language like that, and you talk about an American manufacturing industry in that way, you're talking about welders, you're talking about union mechanics, you're asking about all the support people that work at fixed-base operations all across the country," Pompeo said. "You're talking about good, hard-working Americans, not corporate fat cat jet owners."
Some members blamed both sides for problems the country faces. Rep. Ed WhitfieldEd WhitfieldHouse lawmakers urge Obama to forgo lame-duck TPP vote Ethics panel rebukes Kentucky Republican ‘Un-American’ charge ignites hearing on EPA rules MORE (R-Ky.) said presidents should be required to submit a formal statement on the national debt as part of their State of the Union address. He said Obama has racked up $6 trillion in debt since arriving in the White House four years ago; the Treasury Department put the total national debt at $16.5 trillion last Friday.
"If you stacked $16 trillion one dollar bills, one on top of the other, it would extend more than one million miles, which would reach to the moon and back twice," Whitfield said.
But Whitfield said Obama is not the only person to blame, and said anyone who has served in Congress or in the administration for the last few years is to blame.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said Republicans have refused to allow legislation through the House that would help the U.S. Postal Service regain its financial footing. But he then called Obama's Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, an "idiot" for making it worse by moving to eliminate Saturday delivery.
House Republicans have "in fact have encouraged the most destructive instincts of the idiot who's running the Postal Service, who should be fired by the President, to go to five-day delivery, to close all the sorting centers," DeFazio said.
After spending several minutes blaming Republicans for making it harder to address the deficit, Hoyer seemed to acknowledge that both sides are to blame.
"The blame game must end, by us and by our Republican colleagues," he said. "The issue is not who's at fault. As the previous speaker indicated, we're all at fault. We're all responsible."