Entries in Chris Van Hollen (4)


Rep. Chris Van Hollen to Play Paul Ryan for Joe Biden Debate Prep -- Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland has been tapped to play his congressional archrival, Rep. Paul Ryan, in upcoming rehearsals to prepare Vice President Joe Biden for his single televised election-year debate, Obama campaign officials confirmed to ABC News.

Van Hollen, the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs, is the party’s leading voice on budget policy in the Congress.  He has studied Ryan’s signature plan and arguably knows it better than most on Capitol Hill.

An articulate and aggressive debater, he is also a regular on the TV cable news circuit and on the Sunday morning talk shows.

“I’ve said that Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to the ticket has definitely sharpened the debate and made even more clear the choice for the American people,” Van Hollen told reporters Thursday on a conference call to discuss competing plans for Medicare.

“At its core, the Ryan-Romney budget provides huge tax cuts to the very wealthy, like Mitt Romney, at the expense of everyone and everything else,” he said, before launching into a 10-minute prosecution of the plan that demonstrated his handle on the issues and eagerness to debate.

Democrats believe Van Hollen will be an able stand-in for the Republican vice presidential nominee.  It’s unclear, however, when Biden, 69, will begin debate preparations in earnest.  He and Ryan, 42, will face-off in Danville, Ky., on Oct. 11.

Meanwhile, President Obama will be preparing for his two televised debates with Mitt Romney by sparring behind closed doors with former presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.  Obama and Romney will debate three times in October.

Van Hollen will appear Sunday on a special edition of ABC’s This Week for a roundtable debate on U.S. fiscal policy coordinated in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Van Hollen: Bipartisan Seating Possible Again Next Week

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A scuffle over timing of a presidential speech has marred dreams of bipartisan unity in the coming weeks on Capitol Hill.

But one symbolic statement about the willingness to work together may come together next Thursday, when President Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress -- a day later than he had planned.

Asked on ABC’s Top Line Thursday whether mixed seating -- Democrats next to Republicans -- will be in place like it was in January at the State of the Union address, a top member of House Democratic leaders said he hopes so.

“That last time I sat with a couple of my colleagues from Florida, [Rep.] Connie Mack and some others,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.  “So I thought that was a good example to set.  I hope we will do it again.”

Van Hollen, a member of the Congressional “super-committee” charged with recommending deficit-reduction matters, said the committee is “off to a fine start,” notwithstanding the fact that Democrats and Republicans on the committee have only met separately thus far.

“Things have been coming together,” Van Hollen said.  “The nuts and bolts have to be put together, you have to agree on a hearing schedule, who your witnesses are going to be.  That does take a little bit of time.”

Van Hollen said he hopes President Obama’s proposals aren’t going to be considered “partisan by my GOP colleagues.”

“I think you do need additional investments, stimulus -- whatever you want to call it,” he said, adding that spending on areas such as transportation infrastructure are a “win-win.”

In any event, he acknowledged that the disagreement over timing of the speech didn’t instill confidence in the process.

“Clearly we had an unfortunate back and forth with the date that the president can deliver his speech,” Van Hollen said.  “I’m glad that that was very quickly resolved.  Obviously we were not off to a great start in that respect.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Abortion at Issue in Debate Over Budget

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In a fiery debate on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., insisted that the other side was to blame for the near-shutdown of the federal government and battled over the funding of Planned Parenthood.

"These guys took us to the brink not only to do something that won't create a job, but to impose their own sorta right-wing policies on the country," Van Hollen said. "We can disagree about a very controversial issue, and we do, but using this budget process to try and impose that position on the country and threaten to shut down the government is just wrong."

Pence hit back: "Speaker John Boehner made it clear that the policy issues, including my amendment on abortion providers had been negotiated."

"This administration and liberals in Congress were willing to shut the government down to continue to fund abortion providers in this country."

ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour injected. "But you know that federal funds don't do that," she said.

"In February of this year," Pence said, "the Pence Amendment passed on a bipartisan basis of 240 votes. It denied federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America."

Van Hollen, appearing a bit riled up, insisted, "the facts are not one penny of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood or anybody else for abortion."

Pence tried to sidestep the question about how he'll vote on the budget compromise, saying, "What I was saying repeatedly, was that House Republicans needed to pick a fight. And I think John Boehner fought the good fight, I think he drove a hard bargain here. I want to see the details, but from what I know, it sounds like John Boehner got a good deal, probably not good enough for me to support it, but a good deal nonetheless."

Van Hollen also declined to say whether he would vote for the budget compromise, telling Amanpour he would wait until the details of the bill were finalized. But he said he did think the compromise would pass.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


No Sign of Tax Deal from Congressmen Camp, Van Hollen

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Congressmen Dave Camp and Chris Van Hollen -- two of the six people negotiating a bi-partisan deal -- did not give any indication that there has been progress on a tax cut compromise.

In an interview with ABC News, Camp, a Michigan Republican, said, "Well, we’ve really just begun our discussions and we’re really trying to set the parameters of the debate and the issues that we are going to face.”

“We are working very hard to [reach a deal] but the first thing we need to do is work through the process,” Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, added.

The two men stuck to their parties' talking points.  Camp said it is about "preventing a tax hike" and said Democrats only bring a “restrictive” bill to the floor.  He added that Republicans are willing to vote on extending the unemployment benefits, which have begun to expire, but only if they are fully paid for.

Van Hollen accused Republicans of a double standard, saying the GOP demands a payment plan for the approximately $13 billion in unemployment benefits but not the $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Camp said that if they can’t reach a compromise on tax cuts then he will bring it up in the new Congress.

“It’s not about the deal, it’s about getting the right policy.  And frankly if we don’t get this done the first thing I’m going to do as Chairman of the Ways and Means committee is bring a bill that extends -- make sure we don’t have a tax hike for any American,” Camp said.

“Yeah, and that will add $700 billion to the deficit at the same time we are trying to get our fiscal house in order,” Van Hollen shot back.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio