Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Maryland is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee and chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He was the guest at the April 8 Monitor Breakfast.
The House Republican budget:
"It is not bold or courageous to take two-thirds of your budget cuts from the most vulnerable families and people."
His relations with House Budget chairman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin:
"I think his motivation is genuine. But ... his policies are incredibly misguided; they are not connected to the real world of people who are out there working hard."
Predictions that Republicans will pick up House seats in 2014:
"The big issue in these elections is going to be the ability to turn out core voters."
One factor he thinks will change the outlook for Democratic House candidates:
"Opinion is beginning to change slowly on [the Affordable Care Act] ... more people now support the [law] than oppose it."
Jeb Bush saying that illegal immigration can result from an act of love for family:
"What is really inhumane is [for Republican leaders] not to allow a vote on a bipartisan piece of [immigration reform] legislation that has already passed the Senate."
Defense spending and the crisis in Ukraine:
"I don't think it is logical for people to say – based on what happens in Ukraine – we should dramatically boost our defense spending.... In 2008, when Russian troops went into parts of Georgia,... our defense budget was rapidly escalating."