House GOP Freshman Reacts To Debt Deal

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., shares his thoughts on the debt deal and how members of the Tea Party Caucus will vote. A Dylan Ratigan Show panel then joins to discuss details from the bill.

Does Boehner Plan Have The Votes?

Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., shares his thoughts on the two-part debt deal. A Dylan Ratigan Show panel then joins to debate whether President Barack Obama will veto the plan if it gets that far.

GOP, Democrats Offer Counter Proposals

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., talks about his renewed call for a clean vote on the debt ceiling. A Dylan Ratigan Show panel joins Welch to discuss the future of negotiations.

Who leads the GOP?

Time Magazine’s Joe Klein discusses whether the Republican Party is missing a unified voice in the debt talks.


Debt Politics: Who Will Blink First?

A Dylan Ratigan panel talks about the top stories of the day, including the latest in debt negotiations.


What GOP Freshmen Want From Deal

The 87 GOP freshmen are being credited with forcing Speaker Boehner’s hand to drop support of the $4 trillion “grand bargain.” Freshman Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., joins the show to discuss.

Democrats, GOP clash over spending cuts

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., shares his thoughts on the Democrats’ new proposals to end the budget crisis.


A GOP game-changer?

Keli Goff of explains why Republican business executive Herman Cain might become a major challenger for President Barack Obama during election season.

Next in budget battle: debt limit, entitlements

Reps. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., and Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., talk about the upcoming partisan clash in Congress over the domestic discretionary spending portion of the country’s budget.


>>> now to the sideshow that is the budget battle in washington. senate democrats today helping to pass the house gop bill to keep the government running for another two weeks. that sets up the next showdown.

>> we appear to be lurching from one month to two weeks, and i don’t know what’s next.

>> we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have on more government and calling that progress.

>> we cannot continue to go in the direction we’re going.

>> will we in fact try to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class, on the backs of the poor, on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children? that is the question.

>> march 18th, that’s when the money runs out again. between now and then another partisan clash over the piece of the budget called, quote, domestic discretionary spending. what a fine example of democratic self-governance we’re setting for the rising arab world. the hoax, of course is that with both parties keeping the biggest chunks off-limits in these fights — i’m talking about defense, medicare and medicaid, and even social security– which gives billions each yore to well-on families that don’t need it. instead our laiders think these cuts are sending signals that they’re serious about getting serious, someday. are you receiving that signal, america? meanwhile, no one is talking about taking on our medical industrial complex, which gives us health care for double the cost of any other rich nation, or ask wall street’s zillion nairs to pitch in. all of this raises the question — how dumb do our leaders think we are? is this a case of good people trapped in a dysfunctional process, or does washington’s fear of dealing with reality simply hold up a mirror to our own collective state of denial? joining us are assuredly two decent men, democratic caulk cuss javier visera who voted against the extension, also a member of the president’s deficit commission, and from the gop congressman phil gingery also introduced two bills. conman ba ser — congressman ba seismt. ra, let me start with you.

>> it’s a mad, mad world. if i we are to talk to the local hardware shore and asked can you budget on a two-week basis? they would say, are you kidding? i can’t tell them that, this is crazy, but this is what happens when you for 58 days, to two months you put up a budget that everyone knew was dead on arrival and at the end of the day your bluff is called and you’re leave with very little time to do something. i hope we get to the real work now. congressman, is that how you see it? or is this a victory?

>> i would agree with my colleague from california, it is a bizarro world up here, but maybe for a little bit different reasons. they didn’t even have a budget on the 2011 fiscal year, and that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. i don’t like two-week extensions. no. we voted for a seven-month extension and $61 billion worth of cuts, and i think that is fiscal responsibility.

>> here’s why i think americans get frustrated. a two-week extension that you have all come together to do, we’ll have the same showdown in two weeks, another game of chicken with the debt limits, it seems like there’s no end in sight to what, honestly seems like no way to run a government. congressman becerra, what do you see as the path past this?

>> i think we have to stop playing russian roulette. at this stage the democrats have put forward a budget that did cut $41 billion from what the president had requested. this two-week tenextension did four more. we have to do it without harming the investments for our schools, for our firefighters, our police officers. this budget went deep. it took out border enforcement money, took out money for cops on the beat. when people see they were, if they were ever to become law, people wo wonder, is it a mad world in d.c.?

>> congressman gingrey, it seems to be improvised every day. the republicans talk a lot about wanting certainty for world markets. you have all of the stuff in the middle east, and now you have stuff at home where it looks like we’re running ourselves like a banana republic. what’s the end game for bringing this to at least put this year behind us?

>> matt, clearly you cannot have sacred cows. if you counseled the economic stimulus package that was passed, what $862 billion, much of that went to domestic spending, not shovel-ready projects. weaver cutting from a bloated level. that’s why my bill, hr-122, the federal employee responsibility act, would say to our federal employees whour unionized, who collective bargain, we’re not taking away that right to collective bargain. we’re simply saying not on the taxpayers’ dime. you give us eight hours of work a day, that’s what you’re signed on to do, and let the union pay for the time you spent arbitrating and mediating and whatever other union activities you do.

>>> i understand what you are talking about. medicare is the piece of the budget that no one is talking about. you’re a doctor yourself, doctor payments, doctors in the united states make more than doctors overseas, which is one of the big reasons we have health care costs twice as much per capita as any other advanced nation on earth. are you ready to put the medical instrumental complex on the table? and specifically what in that sacred cow are you willing to take on?

>> well, absolutely. there are a number of things. my bill, hr-5, is on medical riblt reform, thank goodness —

>> no, no, liability reform is not the answer. i’m talking about the compensation that doctors gets the reimbursements, the big bulk of spending is in those categories. we can agree. let’s put reform, i’m with you. let’s stipulate that. what are you going to go after with doctor and hospital reimbursements. where’s your courage on that?

>> i stand strong. i took this job in congress for the pay raise. doctors were already taking cuts in medicare and medicaid reimbursement to the point they couldn’t keep the lights on. it’s only going to get worse.

>> but you know that average physician fees and income in the u.s. is much higher than it is in the rest of the world. do you acknowledge that?

>> all i know is that average primary care physicians, general internists, family practitioners probably make around $165,000 a year and they work about 80 hours a week. now, if anybody begrudges that to physicians, then i’m telling you they’re just flat wrong. we’re not going to have any physicians like that great doctor in the emergency room in tucson that saved our colleague’s life, because we’re about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg, and having the federal government literally take over the entire process. we’re going to lose the best and brightest.

>> congressman becerra, since i went back and forth so much, a last quick word on what you make of what congressman gingrey has said.

>> matt, have you ever seen a politician that will point the finger at anyone but himself? there’s a $32,000 refrigerator in a pentagon air force plane, or a plane where the pentagon has $32,000. i could buy thej a refrigerator for $2,000 and it would be great. the pentagon still hasn’t gotten money back from halliburton everybody so there’s a lot of fraud to go after. so we can do things that go after the sacred cows, but not this way, and certainly not for two weeks at a time.

>> gentlemen, we obviously have have to come back to this, and will be, because the issue is not going away. wee talk to you again.

Obama calls for bipartisanship on budget

Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. Jason Chaffetz share their reactions to President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget.

>>> now.
>>> just a day after the white house put out its budget for 2012, president obama trying to prove the best defense is a good offense. the president holding a news conference to defend his $3.7 trillion plan in the wake of very bad first day reviews.
>> we owe the american people a government that lives within its means while still investing in our future in areas like education, innovation and infrastructure that will help us attract new jobs and businesses to our shores.
>> republicans with a very different read of his proposal.
>> the republicans will not punt. everything is on the table. and we will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country.
>> the gop accusing the president of putting, punting on the biggest drivers of spending. entitle meths like social security, medicare and medicaid. listen how speaker boehner responded.
>> i’ll let the budget committee do their work but i have no doubts that all of these issues will be on the table.
>> was that speaker boehner punting or is that just a handoff? the truth is that neither side has yet put out a plan that tracks our long run fiscal problems. why not? because they are afraid you can’t handle the truth. joining us now from washington, two leaders who can surely handle that truth and give it to us straight, democratic congressman from connecticut and republican congressman from utah, member of the house budget committee. congressman, let me start with you. we know republicans are upset with the president’s plan. we heard about the talking points, barros too much, spend too much, taxes too much. where is the republican plan? will we see it soon?
>> what’s up this next is a continuing resolution because the democrats didn’t even attempt to pass a budget last year so we’re going to deal with that first and come april or so we will through the budget committee of which i sit on go through and tackle not only discretionary funding but we got to also do the heavy lifting and looking at entitlement reform.
>> what is that heavy lifting going to involve? are the republicans going to put out reforms in social security, medicare and medicaid as part of the budget blueprint they put out in a couple of months?
>> that’s the expectation. i personally hope to come back on the show and talk about a social security plan that i plan to introduce. we need a little bit of time to play out on that. what’s up first is this continuing resolution and then come april we’ll be right in the heat of the budget battle. absolutely.
>> congressman hines, let me turn to you. a lot of negative reviews for president obama’s budget on day one. what would you make of this?
>> in contrast to the republican c.r., the continuing resolution which guts programs like education, take policemen off the street, daniel our economy, the president’s budget at least invests in things like education and infrastructure, transportation that we know to be critical. but you framed it exactly right. neither party yet is talking honestly about the fact that we’re playing basketball on a very small part of the court here. nondefense discretionary is a tiny slice of our budget. we’re looking just at that. we’re not looking at defense and nobody, jason says we’ll do it but nobody has addressed what is the vast big long term problem in our budget which is medicare and social security.
>> let me stop you for a second. here’s my problem. when they talk about investments, the kinds of things he’s doing preserving pell grants at their current level over a slight increases in people don’t realize that pell grants cover less a share of college tuition than pell grants did three decades ago. the investment the president is talking about is a back sliding. then you’re a rhodes scholar, you know the president’s numbers on the debt and deficit over the next decade don’t add up or if they do they add up to $7 trillion in fresh debt. what kind of leadership is that from the white house?
>> the white house budget to my way of thinking is timid because it plays into the nondefense discretionary which won’t cut it. now, you know, you’re right about the educational investment but there’s investments that the president proposes to make in our railway, in our roadways and infrastructure nationally which the chamber of commerce, hardly a democratic friendly entity will tell you are absolutely required if this country is going to continue to grow. for business to succeed.
>> you guys are going to zero out all that high-speed rail, all that stuff that president obama thinks is important for the country and you’re even going after in the current near term this year’s budget work that you’re doing, you’re going after the food out of the mouths of poor babies. what do you have against poor children you and your caucus?
>> we’re trying to make some difficult choices.
>> on the backs of poor children?
>> that’s an oversimplifications.
>> the womens and infants children program give nutritional supplements to poor kids when we have social security that you say should be on the table, we have social security going to people who make over $200,000 a year. isn’t that a tradeoff we should be making?
>> all those things should be on table. we’re not. we’re trying to play clean up for what wasn’t done in the 111th congress first.
>> you going to cut off women and children first?
>> no. we’re having an open rule, democrats and republicans can actually offer amendments. we have 400 amendments that would be considered to make adjustment how we fund the government. what’s imperative we look forward to adjusting this massive spending. right now we’re spending 25 cents out of every dollar spent in this government. we have to make difficult choice. if we say women n-fact children have to be a higher priority than something else let’s have that debate. but we can’t be all things to all people. that’s why we’re in debt.
>> it’s not just a spending problem because if you look at obama’s long term budget time, even with all of its imperfections he’ll run the government a little bit bigger than president ronald reagan. reagan ran it at 22% of the gdp, obama is talk about a 22.7 with a population that’s much older. don’t higher taxes have to be part of the equation and shouldn’t there be some way that republicans will agree we do some higher taxes and the democrats, congressman, will agree that we need to include slowing the growth of social security and medicare as part of the grand par gain that’s going to happen this year. can’t we cut that deal on the show?
>> jason struggles to explain why you zero out food assistance to poor women and children. frankly, look, this is a bipartisan problem right now. the president in his budget proposes to cut the heat assistance, energy assistance to poor people. this is what happens when you don’t do what the speaker said in an earlier clip which is put everything on table. unless we’re talking about the pentagon which is 700 or 800 dollars we’re spending. unless we’re talking about our entitlement programs you look at that very narrow slice of our spending. you’re forced to make brutal cuts.
>> congressman —
>> republicans put defense spending in the continuing resolution. we’re putting a package out there that cuts back on the defense spending. give some credit for what the republicans are doing.
>> let’s credit — we got about a minute or so left. i want to model the good bipartisan behavior that could preview the deal. don’t we need to agree republicans need to agree that you can’t double the number of people in an ageing america on these social security and medicare programs without taxes higher than their historic norms and in exchange for that democrats have to say yes we have to slow the growth of social security and medicare for the same reason. congressman, starting with you. isn’t that a preview of a deal that can be cut?
>> potentially. look i’m going to introduce the social security package that doesn’t raise taxes. i hope i want gets some serious consideration. all of those things will be on the table. that’s the opportunity that we will have in april. but this week right here right now we’ll cut defense spending, there’s a lot of other things that will be cut because we’re spending too much.
>> congressman himes, part of the problem what he was saying, like paul ryan who is considered the it boy, the ryan road map actually doesn’t balance the budget until the 2060s and racks up $62 trillion in debt between now and then. why? he’s called at it fiscal conservative which is crazy. the reason is he insists on saying taxes have to stay what they were back when america was much younger. it’s not possible. ryan’s road map proves that. last word congressman himes.
>> that’s right. everything needs to be on the table. what you outlined is the rough outlines of what the final deal is. which is more or less what the simpson-bowles commission recommended. so we need to acknowledge —
>> we got to run, congressman. i want to thank you both very much. i wish that it wasn’t, you know, a cable host who has to offer what the deal would be and we get a little bit of a better dialogue between our elected officials and the public because i think they are ready

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