Can lawmakers avert 'fiscal cliff' at this late stage?
Reaction from Rep. James Lankford
- Duration 5:40
- Date Dec 28, 2012
Reaction from Rep. James Lankford
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And right now as the clock winds down toward the fiscal cliff deadline and looming tax hikes and hikes and spending cuts that'll impact nearly every single American.
We're just hours away from crucial White House meeting President Obama and leaders from the house and senate will sit down for their first face to face since November.
But what can they hope to accomplish with so little time left at at this point do they even want to come up with a solution.
Joining us now Oklahoma congressman James Lankford the incoming chairman of the Republican policy committee also serves on the house oversight and budget committees.
A congressman are we going over the cliff.
Well we certainly hope so -- hope not actually try to get this resolved the house you know full well -- all over sequestration documents and may we pass over tax documents in August and we have waited.
But the senate all of this time.
And for the president quite frankly all this time so it's very frustrating for us in the house that did our work and -- -- early.
I have to now be at this point that we never hope to via a so when senate majority leader Harry Reid says that speaker Boehner and the leader of the House of Representatives has fast acting like a dictator how how would you respond to that.
That that seems interesting for a person that is actually brought seventy different bills out that prevented him from going to committee brought them straight to the senate floor.
The way the senate has operated right now are -- not operated.
-- show are real difference in the senate so that.
There's one of those issues -- say the pot is calling the kettle black.
In that process because that.
The way the senate is non functional right now not -- bring him bills up not remembering -- -- committee.
Is incredibly frustrating to those of us -- how's that are doing the work that has to be done.
If the senate wants a resolution the senate passed actually passed something on this we've done our work in the house the senate -- to respond.
Well -- as you know Harry Reid blames the minority party in the senate the Republicans for blocking legislation that he wants to bring forward.
Yeah I'm very aware but DS and -- -- Embree -- committee that that's a nice talking point from the senate.
But they have the power to be able to bring things through committee if they want to be able -- this through.
It is a different process in the senate we're both parties have to work together to be able to bring this out it's not just a single party issue.
And Harry Reid is trying to.
Make the senate run like the house and the senate needs to run like the senate.
Referring to your fellow Republicans in the house you had an interest in quote that I wanna read back to you and and and get a full explanation on and you say we've Republicans.
We're not trying to solve the fiscal cliff.
We're trying to solve the debt and deficit.
Can you explain that.
A sure can't the the White House has been very focused on what are we have to do to just get past the fiscal cliff let's just get over this bump and let's just keep spending and keep going.
In the house we're trying to actually solve the debt and the deficit -- -- -- illustrate that we have a trillion dollars in deficit spending.
Every year the last four years the president has said okay let's go back to the Clinton levels of taxation.
If we went back to the Clinton levels of taxation.
We are still double the highest bush -- deficit spending still.
Because spending was accelerated so much in 2009 and 2010.
We're trying to bring the spending levels back down on the contrary if we just brought the spending levels down the Clinton level of spending -- said the tax level going up to the Clinton level of taxes.
It would solve this so we're trying to solve the debt and the deficit we're trying to say how do we get out of debt -- the president's trying to say well let's just get past the fiscal cliff and let's just keep moving on.
That doesn't solve the problem.
What solves the problem is that -- reduce spending.
And -- get -- spending backed down answering nations back -- balance again is it mostly Medicare and and perhaps Social Security that are of the drivers of the problem in your view.
It is everything it's on the table.
When you look at our discretionary spending how much that was accelerated through the one -- stimulus program -- -- to -- that in 2009.
-- -- remembers average can be a one year anomaly in 2009 that spending go up and it'll come back down again the problem is it didn't it was firmly locked down.
We do have issues with all of our entitlements we have issues -- how much interest for paying people lose -- of -- We're paying 220 billion dollars a year just in interest payments that is just out the window.
We're going to have this kind of struggle -- quite frankly this is no different than a marriage a lot of marriages fail because they fight over money they get heavily in debt.
And then they begin to fight over money issues we as a nation are right now fighting over money because for so.
Heavily in debt and we see two different parties one that says we should spend a lot more money and that will get us out of debt and will help our economy and no one that is my party that says.
We're spending way too much we cannot continue to do this we have to get back and -- and until we can resolve this ring continued this argument but if we go over the fiscal cliff how is your Republican position strengthened.
It it's not it's doesn't help anyone and this perception that we'll just over the fiscal cliff then we'll get things unwound and and solved right -- that is not true.
The other Alternative Minimum Tax it's a tremendous number of Americans it -- slow down tax return for people are trying to get their tax returns.
It increases taxes for everyone it creates tremendous instability in our economy.
That doesn't need it.
This needs to be resolved but -- -- were resolved in a way that actually fixes the problem.
Not just postpones the fiscal cliff for another six months or another year that doesn't resolve it.
So -- -- is and why we try to get this done in May of this year rather than in December is to say we need to fix the problem let's focus on the James Langford is a Republican from Oklahoma -- our viewers know why you're on the Republican policy committee it's good of you to join us today -- -- -- Thank you.