Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
The McCallum in this evening for Greta Van Susteren so now President Obama is demanding an emergency meeting 11 o'clock sharp tomorrow morning.
At the White House He says He expects all.
Of the leaders to be there speaker Boehner -- already said He will be there.
House -- -- -- leader Pelosi senate majority leader Harry Reid.
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- joining me right now.
Is senator Mike Lee a Republican from you -- he's the author of the new book.
The freedom agenda senator welcome this evening it is a busy night in Washington nobody starting their weekends quite yet.
A lot going on what's your reaction to what we just -- Well it's disappointing but it's not terribly surprising this is one of the things that happens.
When you try to resolve -- complex problem that needs input from all 535.
Members of congress with only five people.
And look this is failed in the past we had no assurance that it would be more successful this time but what's most galling Martha.
Is the fact that we have one legislative proposal that has been moving through congress that was passed by the house represented it's just Tuesday night.
And it came up.
In the senate today and only to be shot down by senate majority leader Harry Reid who was unwilling.
Even have debate and discussion and an open amendment process on that legislation.
This was our best opportunity right now it's our only opportunity to get the debt limit issue addressed this is the only show in town and the Democrats refused to address it.
-- here obviously referring to -- captain balance which passed in the house.
And is a plan that that -- the other five people you referred -- seem to feel does not have any legs why do you think.
That they have rejected that plan that passed in the house 217.
Members I believe voted for -- captain -- in the house why are they rejecting it out of hand.
Well they rejected it by saying it can't pass but without addressing it ever on the merits.
The reason they didn't address it on the merits is because they know that they will lose.
When the American people were asked about it on the merits by CNN state.
Responded by saying overwhelmingly that they support it to the tune of about 66%.
The central feature of this plan is of course the balanced budget amendment -- -- 75%.
Of all Americans support according to the same CNN poll released just yesterday.
So this was about one simple fact that Democrats just didn't want to address a plan that -- been brought forward by Republicans.
Even though this is the only plan that addresses the problem in a real structural permanent binding way.
And for reasons that I've explained in my book the freedom agenda we have to amend the constitution in order to change the way Washington spends money.
Or else we'll continue doing the same things over again that got us into this mess.
All right so so what's happening now when you hear the discussion you heard the tensions between the president and John Boehner.
And a lot of talk today -- from a lot of very influential people who basically are pointing the finger at.
You all and people who are supported by the Tea Party and saying that you know you're basically being intransigent and can take her -- and that you know you need to get -- line.
What's your reaction to that.
Not my reaction to that is that that's pure hypocrisy look they own this now.
We gave them an opportunity to raise the debt limit which it was an opportunity that that the Democrats in the senate.
Didn't give George W.
Bush to give him their vote let me underline that -- cunanan's.
And ceremonies at vindicated because what issues with with the -- balanced budget amendment which as you say there's used to be a lot of poll support for out there.
Is that you would need to get two thirds of the states to pass it in order for to be an amendment.
So would you be willing to drop the budget balanced part of that agreement.
In order to move forward with the other elements of your plan in a timely fashion in order to get this done by August 2.
-- absolutely not Martha that's the most critical element of it like SA it.
The only way we're going to solve this problem is if we have something in place that can permanently behind congress from one congress to another.
And the problem with a lot of that debate discussion.
About raising the debt limit to this point has -- that it's focused on.
Cuts that would be stretched out over a period of ten or fifteen years to the tune of two or three trillion dollars.
The fact is we can't bind a future congress to follow through on those cuts the only way to bind a future congress is by amending the constitution.
I understand what you're saying.
You know but a lot of folks are looking at this the ratings agencies are looking at it they're saying if you don't raise the debt -- over the next several days -- eleven days before August 2.
They're gonna start to lower the reassess their job their job is to evaluate the credit worthiness of a country in this case the United States.
If they believe that they're gonna have to lower those rates and that's gonna affect interest rates for every American across the country.
So you have a lot of folks out there including Bill O'Reilly who called in today his show tonight because in -- that they wanted to get -- -- live.
Because of all of these late breaking developments and basically he's saying you know the Tea Party needs to prove that in order to be effective.
They are willing to come to the table they're willing to recognize this emergency situation is going -- if indeed it is an emergency and it appears that the ratings agencies -- is.
And have to prove that they're able to negotiate and come to the table and that's what what do you say about that.
A willingness to could capitulate unconditionally to whatever -- the president happens to have that day before He changes his mind again.
Look Martha these same ratings agencies have made that morning and I understand that and -- concern about that as anyone.
But we have to remember that's only half the warning the other half of the warning is if you raise the debt limit without putting in place permanent structural binding spending reform mechanisms.
Then that's going to be just as bad in fact I think that's going to be perhaps even worse here.
I'm not only -- at all about that and that's a point that is is very important for people to understand it's highly possible that we may get some kind of deal even over the weekend.
That -- the debt -- to be raised and Moody's may look at that deal and say you know what there's nothing substantial in here that makes us think that we're not gonna be in the same boat.
Three months six months down -- line let me ask you might think Charles Krauthammer says you know He would like to see -- 500 billion dollar short term cut.
That basically forces this issue to come back again very soon.
So that nobody will be able to put this under the rug you know over the next election cycle.
And that we'll have to you know deal with that in a shorter term but that gets us -- this deadline you are in favor not -- not open to that proposal.
It's the first time I've ever heard of that proposal put it -- I've I've said from the beginning since before I was even sworn into office.
That up a permanent acquisition of new debt of the amount that we're talking about perhaps to two and a half trillion dollars.
Requires a permanent solution and the only way you're going to be able to deal with this on a permanent -- basis.
Is by amending the constitution because we can't bind a future congress without that.
It 11 quick question that I got it out but you know it.
You all are steadfast and you're doing what people elected you to jail which I think a lot of people regardless of how they may feel that happens -- going will -- that.
Because you were sent to Washington to do something and you're doing it.
-- any fear that if the back in if this drags us into a deeper financial hole at least over the near term.
That there's gonna be backlash against you folks -- not you know not negotiate not coming to the table in a more meaningful way.
The voters of America got it right in 2010 and -- are going to get it right again.
In 2012 -- an even more significant degree.
We can't back down now and not do the things not follow through on the things that the American people elected us to do.
This is our time this is the fight -- a generation this is why we're here and we're gonna get this done you're gonna get it done the right way.
All right senator -- very good -- you tonight thank you so much for your time.
Can be very interesting we'll see where this goes --
Filter by section