Press Item
For Immediate Release: 
November 1, 2015

Last Updated Nov 1, 2015 12:11 PM EST

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer suggested on CBS' "Face the Nation" that Speaker Paul Ryan will have to take some risks if he wants to avoid the same problems his predecessor John Boehner faced.

"He's going to have to take some risks and he's going to confront the same challenge that John Boehner confronted," Hoyer told host John Dickerson.

Hoyer said Democrats are "certainly willing to work" with Ryan, but Hoyer also implied that some of the newly-elected speaker's previous policy proposals are off the table.

"We're not for changing Social Security as it exists today. We're for strengthening it. We're not for making Medicare a voucher program," said Hoyer, referring to proposals Ryan included in some of his budget blueprints that he developed as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Hoyer also said he didn't understand why Ryan ruled out passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill while President Obama is still president in another CBS Face the Nation interview.

But even if Ryan does try to unite the polarized Congress, Hoyer said he could still have the same problems Boehner experienced.

"It wasn't the speakership that was the problem," Hoyer said. "It was a deeply divided, dysfunctional Republican Party...and that remains."

On the 2016 Republican field for president, Hoyer said, "I think [Marco] Rubio is good. I think he speaks well. He comes across as rational."

At the same time, Hoyer said Rubio doesn't appeal to Republican voters who want an outsider like Donald Trump or Ben Carson. Hoyer also said Rubio has flip-flopped.

"He's changed his position on comprehensive immigration reform because the right wing of his party didn't like it," Hoyer said.