Obama, Congress guilty of 'dereliction of duty'
With US set to go over fiscal cliff, who is to blame for no agreement? And are there any real political winners?
- Duration 13:26
- Date Dec 28, 2012
With US set to go over fiscal cliff, who is to blame for no agreement? And are there any real political winners?
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This transcript is automatically generated
We're only about 73 hours about 55 minutes away from the big event that is how much time we have the for the president this that end -- house pushing America out off the fiscal -- We are now on the verge of the biggest tax increase for this nation since World War II -- more immediate action.
It is here.
The present -- United States has two seasons for the moment this is.
No different that a marriage a lot of marriages fail because they fight over money -- missing ingredients presidential leadership races this is a manufactured crisis.
This manufactured by the Republicans and the economy and nation in the world.
Stake here and I still want to get this stuff.
Right now we're at a stalemate because we haven't been.
Democrats have been willing to consider the issue of spending.
And in all -- wanna deal with right now is tax increases and that's bad for the economy got her job this afternoon's meeting feels much to me like optics.
And make it look like we're doing so -- doing well this is not for -- I can report now.
That all the leaders from senator Reid on the democratic side in the senate.
-- -- -- -- on the -- -- for the Republicans obviously but they didn't go to the cameras after this meeting here with President Obama.
That's how would not be good signs.
Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't -- like -- some people.
-- -- -- This a total.
Of duty at every level and I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that could pass both houses.
In -- this is a last ditch effort up by the president to bring the congressional leaders together to trying yet.
-- small package just small deal together hobby for the new year if we don't have to deal -- in the next 24 hours.
Question is what -- you -- parachute.
That's about corporate -- just say yeah.
Good evening you've said that it's a total dereliction of duty at every level what do you mean by that.
Greta we still haven't even begun to deal with the issues that are causing the fiscal insolvency that we're facing -- that's the entitlements.
Nothing has been discussed in that area.
And that's what's causing our country distress at this moment so it's not on the table or not gonna deal with it this year.
Going to be the issue we deal with running into the debt ceiling around mid march and so our economy is gonna continue to be.
Having a -- over -- because we have not dealt with the issue that our nation needs to face up to right now.
Finish American people -- actually fears of -- and let me quote for what the president said today he says for the past couple months.
I've been working with leaders of both parties to try and forge agreement since when is just a minute we want a product mentioned American -- but the man a product -- -- their race sitting together when having these meetings presidencies modestly optimistic we we have no product and we're up we're not suddenly four hours away from this deadline that everyone's known about for eighteen months.
Knowing automatic for two years actually we've been building -- towards this point -- wave.
Litigated we've cost it out every solution that's there we know the impacts of all lows and we just lacked the political courage to go ahead and implement.
So the president's never laid -- -- plan I do think that something will happen over the next few days relative to to the revenue pace and hopefully we can rescue most American from a tax increase but what.
What we haven't dealt with again is the spending component and so again.
Will go through this for another two and a half months our economy will not be what it should be Americans quality of life will be lesser than it should be these programs will.
You know continue to it to weigh us down and what we need is action we've known this is happening in yes the American people.
Should be disgusted with Washington because it's.
It's our own making -- we cut conjured up.
-- we conjured up this fiscal -- To make us deal with our nation's problems we're still not gonna do -- we're gonna go into next year and yes the American people should be very disgusted.
While pie hole hold everybody wash accountable for shoving us off that cliff admitted that we're not fallen off -- you live shot en us office for not doing the job.
And if -- if -- some deal forged about 250 people make to -- 50000 dollars a year or less.
It's because no one in this country wants to raise taxes on those people but there's been somewhat of a dereliction of duty because you still have the you what you -- delayed these spending cuts.
Which not everyone agrees Republicans agree are important.
You delaying them because you haven't -- you work.
And there's going to be no -- -- heads to actually sit down and doing so like the immigration thing that you're also popped up that they handle what I -- really haven't done anything about.
Now in what in the world would be the you well what possibly.
-- the direct you to get these could be spending cuts handled.
Well first why don't.
Thing that delaying spending reductions are going to be a part of what's negotiated over this weekend I think that the sequester will stay in place.
And I think you know that offered today again offered two weeks ago debt ceiling bill that has one trillion in entitlement.
Reforms and reductions in spending -- this next decade.
For one trillion and increasing the debt ceiling -- so that is our next leverage point.
It's a shame that in this nation where every developed country in the world knows that our greatest threat as our fiscal solvency.
That you have to have these leverage points you think that people would just sit down.
Solve the problem because we know it is our greatest threat but that's not the case here we have a president too has not laid out a plan he's obviously spend the -- like.
He doesn't really worry about the growth of government and so we have to use these leverage points.
To try to do those things that naturally leader should do themselves but that's where we are as a nation.
And that's what we have to do over the next several months to ensure that we don't continue down this path of insolvency that wrong right.
Now you mention other countries in the world do you now wonder what they think about us we came -- -- and manage our own economy -- can't manage our own finances meanwhile we're trying to sort of diplomatic authority around the world -- we can't even take care of our own problems like this did you sort of wonder.
You know in the even -- the impact that has them that we look so.
Warren how we're handling in its.
-- read -- no question that our moral authority around the world has been greatly weakened for numbers are reasons but certainly.
This issue I mean people are watching out -- somebody in in Europe they were -- the only thing that's on the news there.
Is whether the American politicians if you are gonna deal of this issue that's before us so no doubt.
And we are being made and a lesser -- a country about virtue of our inability to deal with this.
And got -- I think you know also that a month he offered up one half trillion dollar package to deal was this just to show that.
These decisions are really easy to make their tough medicine but they're easy to make we we know how they score we should just get this behind us and what I think.
Most of us wanted to say on our side of the off.
This putting this in the rearview mirror as we -- into January so we -- then begin this year again with an economy.
And then investing public in a world that knew that we faced up to the responsibilities.
That we have in this great nation.
But again we stepped away from that it's going to continue long.
And again I think our nation's greatness continues to dissipate.
As we did there with this issue of -- a government that's drawing in and out of control fashion.
Senator thank you sir thank you.
And right now we are coming up about 783 and a half hours from going over that this so -- the one of pushing us -- and of course -- scrambling to scrape together a solution.
They're doing that the senate right now but as a house doing anything at all costs an errant shot joins us Canadian -- Good evening good to be with -- -- Nice -- of course everybody's blaming everybody else Republicans blame Democrats Democrats blame Republicans and -- always sort of thought that -- leadership as it goes a little bit more beyond that that you lost -- You know you you what you have political opponents but that you rise above it and have solutions for the American people -- -- leadership.
Well I it's been lacking without doubt -- and you look and kudos to you for holding elected officials' feet to the fire.
My party and and my colleagues and ourselves included.
I will tell you it's frustrating as a house member I can't be a house member a senator and the president all at once.
The house's lead.
We have tried to be the party of ideas that -- viewed the body of ideas as you know this summer we passed a bill to keep tax rates low for everyone.
It's been dead in the senate Harry Reid won't take it up.
After the election we said to the president John Boehner as you know got criticism even from my party.
Saying look Mr.
President will meet you halfway -- dvd 800 billion in revenue president comes back and says no I want one point six trillion revenue doubles the number.
So then last week he said all right let's try get as many of the hostages out alive -- try and keep as many people's taxes from going up trying treat the certainty.
And we couldn't get a single Democrat to join with us.
On a similar bill what Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
I introduced this summer which was saving all taxpayers a million dollars in below from their tax rates going up that a single Democrat last week we join with those so.
What I'm beginning to believe -- is this is an.
A well intentioned negotiators not being able to come up with a deal this is really the house.
Having negotiate with itself.
And and the president -- I believe is beginning to show his cards which is someone who doesn't really wanna deal who for whatever reason believes that it's in his political benefit.
Or or a potential dean for us to go over this cliff to try and make us look.
Obstinate in the house and and somehow it's our fault -- -- we have been trying to negotiate when trying to put ideas out there in good faith.
-- well earlier today and I'm -- about a said the president's statements so I'm gonna pick on him he says I just said he quote good and constructive discussion here at the White House.
About how to prevent this tax hike and the middle class and I thought to myself what does good -- -- of me.
What was at -- some specifics and it all we here's a sort of blather about -- you know I'm that we know what right here from both sides is like you know what exactly is it that says -- constructive discussion because we have a deadline.
A man and you know what I'm not for the rhetoric let's get down to substance and stop changing.
The rules in the middle the game you said during the campaign the president was very clear.
I want eight that are billion dollars in taxes if I get -- -- -- billion in tax revenue.
I'm -- a cut three dollars for every one dollar revenue so that's 2.4 trillion in cuts the election's over he won.
I didn't vote for -- but you know what he won he got more votes so John -- said okay we'll -- the 800 billion in revenue but let's talk about the 2.4 trillion in cuts.
And he won't do -- he won't give us any cuts.
And so why do we need to sit down and talk and talk and talk either make good on your campaign pledge and deliver the 2.4 trillion in cuts.
The house is already said -- give me the revenue that you campaigned on.
Recognize -- won reelection but we're not gonna go along with higher taxes and more revenue and more spending that if we're not gonna deal with the fundamental drivers of our debt.
I think you said that three dozen cuts for every dollar raised an incoming ad revenue and I hear the Republicans say it out and so I decide to fact check you -- actually I did find.
Actually some of -- -- of forming on April 13 2011.
The White House released the presence framework for shared prosperity and shared fiscal responsibility and includes this paragraph the presence framework.
Would seek a balanced approach to bringing down our deficit with three dollars a spending cuts -- interest savings for every one dollar from tax reform that contribute to deficit reduction.
And they says that this is consistent with the bipartisan fiscal commission's approach so yes he did say that and yes we don't have that and yes -- -- approaching this.
So how do you negotiate with that.
I mean how do you negotiate with someone who said during the campaign over and over three dollars in cuts for one dollar revenue.
And now neither side is gonna get everything that they want.
But the house Republicans have said okay will find 800 billion in revenue but give us the 2.4 trillion in cuts and he's not been willing to do that.
And -- of the last ditch effort they hail Mary pass last week was the house represented as saying fine.
Let's take Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer -- bill that they propose this summer.
Which was to extend the tax rates on every household in every small business a million dollars in below.
Allow me to go up on the and a million dollars and above which is which is the current law on January 1 let's do that -- that that ought to be something we can agree on.
Mind you let me just add this.
When we voted -- our bill in the house in this summer that was a clean extension which was an extension for every one in America.
Not only every Republican over that but nineteen Democrats did as well.
So this is why it's so frustrating for those of us in the house is net and -- analysis of this cliff and is -- and we -- -- -- a single Democrat to join with us.
Let me think you're frustrated try the American people as they watch what's going an advertisement thank you sir good luck -- Thanks -- call the senate get them to act we can't negotiate with nothing and I don't think they listen to me but -- with a kind of sent.