Sens. Conrad, Barrasso debate chances of 'fiscal cliff' deal
Key lawmakers on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 13:35
- Date Dec 23, 2012
Key lawmakers on 'Fox News Sunday'
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And how -- again from fox and is in Washington.
Act Christmas people who are not -- get -- -- their stockings.
And if the White House and congress don't make a deal on the next nine days to avoid the fiscal left.
We bring in the new year -- big tax increases and spending cuts.
Here to talk about what's going to happen are two leading senators John -- Grasso chairman of the Republican policy committee.
And from New York Democrat Kent Conrad chairman of the Senate Budget Committee senators welcome back to FOX News Sunday thanks for having me.
-- before having and a Hawaii for Christmas the president laid out a new stripped down plan to a -- the fiscal left here is what -- it.
Extend the bush tax cuts for people making less than 250000.
Dollars extend unemployment benefits for the two million people who will run out next month.
And delayed because this thus delay the sequester -- a 110 billion dollars in spending cuts next year.
For all the talk of four trillion in debt reduction this plan would only -- 800 billion dollars.
Over ten years senator Conrad is not the best that.
Washington can do over the next nine days and Kenya pass -- that.
Look Chris it may come to that but we can do better and we should do better this is an opportunity to do something that would be hugely important for the country.
Me and my own belief is what we ought to do is take.
A speaker Boehner last offer the president's last offer split the difference.
That would be a package of about two point six trillion dollars.
You couple that with a one point one trillion that's already been done that would be close to the four trillion dollars were needed to stabilize the depth and begin to bring it down.
And then if you wanna do -- out on the Alternative Minimum Tax which costs about 800 billion dollars to fix.
You could offset that with overseas contingency operations.
-- costs some people say well.
Neither of those are real both of them are affection.
And in some sense that is true but at least you're upsetting -- spending fiction with the revenue fiction.
In clearing the deck so that we don't increase from four million to 31 million people.
The number affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax Obama.
-- that's here's an error as the briefly what what would that mean what what the -- -- for four.
Taxes for revenue -- would be raised in revenue.
And what would have made in new spending -- The spending cuts would be a 1000000000450.
The revenue would be a 1000000000150.
Billion dollars so you see there that's a combination of two point six trillion dollars.
You couple that with a one point one trillion that's already been done in your three point seven trillion dollars and look is it perfect -- is that everything we hoped for no does -- match.
What -- Simpson did know and -- on an even comparison Bowles Simpson.
Would be five point three trillion -- -- -- in the league -- can't get what let me ask you one last quick question.
Are you saying that your you don't like the president's plan.
I don't look it may come to that but I would hope that we would have one last attempt here.
To do what everyone knows needs to be done.
Which is a larger plan that really does stabilize the debt and get us moving in the right direction.
And does it in a way that -- cognizant that we have an economy that's recovering that still -- weak.
And we don't slam it we don't slam on the brakes here in a way that puts us back into recession.
That amazes jobless rate to nine point 1%.
But they bring in senator -- your reaction to senator Conrad's for -- I wanna find a solution I want us to not go over the cliff because I think if we do it hurts our economy and it hurts our country.
When I listen to the president I think the president.
Is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes I think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the -- he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs against -- cut.
The military which Democrats have been calling for for years and he gets to blame Republicans before it and when the president recently it was in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
You know using the state of the union using his inaugural address.
To blame Republicans that doesn't sound like somebody who's working with Republicans to find a solution -- it's time for the president to lead well all right you heard the president's plan and he he basically said this is what all I think we can get done in these next nine days.
The bush tax cuts for everybody below 250000.
And extend unemployment benefits.
As the number three Republican in the senate can you guarantee.
The Republicans won't filibuster that plan.
I can even guarantee that the Democrats will vote for it you have many Democrats on the record who don't like this -- either.
In the senate the 250 number is too low according to a number of the Democrats it doesn't deal with so many of the issues out there.
So I'm not sure that they even get a majority in the senate even though the Democrats do have a majority of the members of the senate and -- what about Republicans would you filibuster.
And that's a different issue I just don't think this is gonna solve the problems in the that.
It actually doesn't solve the problem we have a spending problem in this country Chris we don't have a taxing problem by president is -- I don't -- -- had a message is that this you know let me -- -- we got our seven -- our government all right we got nine days.
We gone over the -- I believe we are and I believe the president.
Is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff I think it -- our country and hurts our economy all right senator brass so I understand.
Think your party opposes raising taxes and I'm not.
Even same idea right or wrong about that's that's something that your party believes spot.
What do you like it or not the bush tax cuts expire for every one.
On the at the first of the year why not extend the bush tax cuts for 98% of people instead of raising them.
I've I don't want us to go over the cliff I want to find a solution.
The extension and making permanent the bush tax cuts.
For everyone I think would be a good idea they have that bill that came over from the house and senate and -- the senate can -- Harry Reid can bring it up amendments.
Can be offered.
So I think there's still time were coming back here on the 27.
But but realistically with the president has just proposed is raising taxes now.
Perhaps dealing with spending later we need to grow the economy we need entitlement reform the president seems to be ignoring those things -- -- -- senator Kent Conrad let's let's let's talk about the presidents are not the Conrad offer.
But the presidents offered you were a member.
Of the Bowles Simpson deficit commission and you voted for their final report let's remind people that proposed.
Almost three trillion dollars in spending cuts president Obama's last offer the one that the Republicans rejected.
Was less than one trillion dollars in spending cuts we we checked that would be less than 2%.
Of the 44 trillion dollars the government will spend over the next decade again.
Is that the best Democrats can do 2% of all the spending over the next decade.
This is this conversation to me is exactly what's wrong in Washington.
I mean just just listen to the conversation between you just -- -- he -- he said.
She said blaming the other guy.
Like I tried to be constructive here in lay out an actual plan.
To get us nearly four trillion dollars by taking the offers that are on the table.
Speaker Boehner and the president were so close.
And then speaker Boehner went off phone plan B I -- I've never understood why.
Had no prospect of succeeding.
It did not succeed even in his own caucus but now that -- and I don't know if you have you're not answered my question.
Yeah it has -- -- something because we only have nine days left here.
When are we gonna get serious.
About actual solutions I would welcome John to tell me says he wants a solution.
Give us -- give us one -- There's a guy I laid out there is only highlighting our person that can provide the leadership and that's the president of the united -- no sir no sir that was not true -- don't know there -- -- leadership the Israel rather than campaigning.
He ought to be here leading now working with people and talking to folks on both sides of the I'll.
To get a solution so we don't go over the cliff I believe no Americans eager to go over the cliff I.
I don't believe that at all -- 535.
Of us that can provide leadership.
They're five -- 435.
In the house or a hundred in the senate there's the president.
All of us have a responsibility here don't know what's happening.
What's happening is the same old tired blame game he said she said I think the American people are tired of it.
What they want to -- is what is the solution what does a way to stop this before we go over the cliff.
Put the economy back and recession put millions of more people out of work.
Look at both sides are gonna have to give some ground right gentlemen and we gotta we gotta hear from Republicans what ground -- -- willing to give.
I've outlined what ground this Democrat is willing to give.
And have demonstrated that would Bowles Simpson in the price of six.
-- so we -- our.
I wanna move I wanna move onto another subject we got limited time -- I I think we've exhausted this at this debate.
For the purposes of the of this program.
Out a week after the massacre -- sandy hook elementary.
I executive Wayne Lapierre joined the debate here's part of what he -- The only thing.
That stops -- bad guy with a gun.
Is a good guy with a gun.
Senator -- Wayne Lapierre proposed having an armed guard.
In every school in America.
Estimates are that would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of eight.
Billion dollars a year a couple of questions one.
Would you -- We -- a time of of of of deficit issues for eight billion dollars a year to put armed guards and every school in America and are there any laws you could support in terms.
Assault guns it is -- assault rifles in terms of -- capacity magazines tightening back ground checks any new gun control.
You could support but let's step back for a second -- I'm a doctor my father of three.
And I'm from Wyoming a state where we belongs believe strongly.
In our Second Amendment Rights.
We are people of Wyoming and me personally are still absolutely committed.
To find real solutions that work so something like this tragedy never happens again three more of those children relate to rest.
Yesterday and unhappiness with the request very very very very hurtful to all of us in this country I think decisions about.
Schools ought to be made at the local level I would not want a national effort to say you have to do this at schools -- -- local education decisions are best made.
At the local level you know we're gonna have a very spirited discussion in congress and the beginning of next year.
We need to look at all of the issues because what Wayne Lapierre and what the president of the United States agree on.
Is it in this country we have a culture.
A violence -- but I don't -- it wash out that that that's really.
-- -- there is a cult while there's a culture of violence I don't also they also the president placed -- -- -- is right wrong the president believes that there -- a need for tighter gun control would you support it or not.
I'm a strong supporter of our Second Amendment Rights.
I -- alliance I want to find real solutions I wanna find real solutions that work in Washington is not necessarily the place you're gonna find those solutions are going to be found and our families and our faith in our communities.
And in medicine and in health care senator most of the problems senator Conrad what did you think of what Wayne Lapierre had this site.
Another any gun controls that you would support.
-- have I.
I voted for an assault weapons -- twice I voted for.
That closing the gun.
Gun show loophole where 40% of the guns are sold in this country and there's no background check occurring in those sales I mean maybe you can catch.
People who shouldn't have their hands and -- gun.
If you close the gun control the loophole I also voted for.
A lock to be sold with guns so that you have a trigger lock.
Five dollars you can have a trigger -- that actually might -- prevented this if the mother had had trigger locks on those guns.
And we got about a minute we got a about a minute last US senator Conrad what what did you think of Wayne Lapierre has.
All I'm into the -- that it's pretty empty isn't.
I -- that's the only answer is to put more guns in schools.
Look we already have armed officers in many schools and in Washington DC.
We have armed officers in schools and some of that.
Is appropriate and perhaps we can do more it actually doesn't cost eight billion dollars we have a 130000.
Elementary and secondary schools in this country.
He had two officers in each and cost 25 billion dollars.
Where is that money gonna come from.
A period a -- at thirty seconds to -- -- Nebraska gonna have to wrap itself.
Well if it is the Christmas season.
Washington doesn't have the answers for everything for our culture.
There are issues of mental health there're issues of our culture.
And I think that we're not which we can look and get some.
False sense of security from Washington -- passing more laws.
But we need real solutions to a significant problem in our country and I'm not sure that passing another law in Washington.
Is gonna actually find real -- senator -- senator Conrad who want to thank you both thanks for coming in today.
And Merry Christmas -- both -- -- -- --