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Lawmakers returning to work on Capitol Hill this morning after seven week vacation the ones who -- -- -- jobs there.
And priority number one of course is trying to reach some kind of deal to avert the so called the fiscal -- The US is facing more than sixteen.
Trillion dollars in debt.
Right now there seems to be no plan that -- -- one and that's point to move forward on all of that.
Joined now by Missouri Republican -- -- who is the vice chairman of the senate.
Republican conference he is also on the Appropriations Committee good to have you this morning senator Lott welcome.
-- and -- with you.
Thank you for coming -- -- actually a little bit about this this fiscal cliff issue it's pretty scary when you really start to dig into these numbers.
A lot of folks wondering if Simpson Bowles is gonna come back up again.
And how much negotiating both sides -- actually be able to -- Well I think that's -- called fiscal cliff for a reason and going off a cliff this ball is never a good idea of both the Congressional Budget Office in the the at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue the Office of Management and Budget have said if we do this.
It's gonna have recession like implications on the economy so surely.
This is something that nobody should want to do I think frankly this is great opportunity for the president to step forward just been reelected even have to run for office again.
And come up with a plan that actually can pass and I think -- means don't don't believe the across the board cuts come up with a way to have really targeted cuts.
And look at ways to increase revenue by one growing the economy into may be looked at the tax code just like governor Romney -- you look at the tax code.
An increase revenue without increasing taxes.
Yeah yeah I think there's that that isn't perhaps one of the best areas that some ground might be able to be reached out we heard from.
Paul Ryan on that he wants to get into the issues of raising -- I think a little -- suspicion when you talk about raising tax revenue through economic growth until that economic growth starts to sort of become evident.
But but in terms of reforming the tax code you know aren't there ways to eliminate loopholes that would force the wealthy to pay more in taxes and it would also sort of make the whole system a little bit more efficient.
Well I think any any time you make the tax code simpler and fairer that's a good thing you can do that this is one of the things we ought to be looking at.
But we ought to take the idea off the table that this clip there's an acceptable thing to do.
I unit divided government is a good time to solve problems because everybody has to have their fingerprints.
On a real solution that.
The president thinks it's going to be the solution and only appeals to -- and Democrats in the senate.
Or -- we think it's only -- solution will appeal to Republicans in the house.
We're not gonna get anywhere and I'd like to see -- begin this process right now I'm gonna have divided government for awhile.
The divided government failed the last two years it needs to work.
The next two and that's largely dependent on leadership.
What do you say you know the president says look let's just allow the bush tax cuts to expire.
I mean to seem plays rather for the middle class and then we'll go back and we'll talk about what we'll do with the wealthy let's just start right there.
What he said well I think.
You know that that doesn't sound like much of negotiation -- me give the president what he wants and then we'll talk about.
What others think is the right economic thing to do later probably that's gonna work and the president surely knows that -- work as well.
If the president wants to.
On the books recover all this revenue from going back to the tax rates at thirteen and fourteen years ago.
That looked good on paper but it will never produce the kind of revenue because it's gonna have dramatic.
Negative economic consequences.
All his economic advisors surely are telling him that.
And so we need -- we need a plan here that actually is doable -- that a plan is still more of 2012 politics.
You know a senator but you've been around Washington a Capitol Hill on time and before I let you go I do want to get your thoughts.
On what you hope will happen with regard to that General Petraeus and now the general Allen.
Situation do you expect that General Petraeus will testify in front of congress and what about Eric Holder in terms of what he knew.
While I'm on the intelligence committee in the senate we're gonna meet today and I think we're gonna meet again at -- later this week I don't know.
General Petraeus will be part of either one of those meetings.
But I think he does need to come forward and testify tell us what he knows I saw our chairman of our committee Dianne Feinstein.
Just yesterday was concerned that the the report the -- for -- prepared to make.
Is not being released to even the intelligence committees.
We need to see that report in all likelihood we need to talk this eagerness and find out what he knows and what was going on while he was -- -- Not to his personal activities as much as it relates to our national security it.
Want to just one more quick question for why would that be you know in General Petraeus traveled as the head of the CIA.
To Benghazi to investigate that he came back with a report isn't it -- -- -- at that report would be released almost right away and why would it not be released.
Well I don't think it's -- that we released everybody right away but I believe it is customary -- -- be released to the house and Senate Intelligence Committees that's why those committees were setup.
This is a system that's almost forty years old now and it's always work.
Because every administration understood.
That they had to tell you these elected members of congress what it is that they know and when they knew it and what they think and when they thought it.
And we have those meetings two -- three times every week there's no reason.
This report shouldn't be part of that discussion and sooner rather than later I agree with Dianne Feinstein.
Pretty hard to come up with any legitimate reason.
Not to no one -- General Petraeus saw and learned when he was then Libya.
-- so congress would like to see his report.
And also to see him testify out we will see senator -- thank you very much hope to see -- sand.
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