Can lawmakers prevent the 'fiscal cliff'?
Congress works to reach agreement
- Duration 5:25
- Date Dec 30, 2012
Congress works to reach agreement
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-- gun violence.
Lawmakers are back to work on Capitol Hill today but are the two parties any closer to reaching an actual agreement aimed at heading off the fiscal meltdown.
Let's ask a Republican congressman Dr.
Phil degree of Georgia and his colleague from across the aisle congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio joining us gentlemen welcome -- you both.
-- to be here thank you Shannon.
-- person considered to wanna start with you the spending side of this equation do you feel there are areas where the government could cut as a part of this negotiation process.
Well you know certainly have been arguing for years that we could cut spending at the Pentagon there's a lot of programs are that -- wasteful.
We could stop America's expansion into -- war throughout the Middle East that would save a lot of money.
Do you know it's not -- it's not that difficult to cut spending the probably never -- we have a manufactured crisis.
And they're trying to manufacture consent for a -- that would otherwise be unacceptable.
To members of congress and the American people.
That's where were -- and in you know right I don't think many people -- thinking about having to watch what's going on in congress and New Jersey.
And in fact you know we govern 365 days a year or -- And this really is a sign that the two party system is just breaking down can't function and can't run a government.
Yet congress and angry it would seem that many Americans agree with that with -- at congressional approval rating sitting at 18%.
How we get here.
Well listen -- and I agree my friend and -- -- it.
We can cut spending we I don't think we need to cut the Department of Defense by 9%.
And how while the military but we can cut spending.
In the president I can't believe it with a straight face I guess with practice.
He can do it they go Meet the Press -- -- -- the Republicans have done nothing with had months but to act.
How about HR eight which dog keeps a bush era tax cuts are in place for everybody we pass that I think in June.
And the ball all sequester relief act so -- we didn't have the draconian cuts to department of -- we pat pass that back in May.
And we've been waiting for the senate to act so to blame.
The congress the house.
The only body -- -- acted responsibly.
Is is pretty discouraging it's on the part of the present.
-- considers do you think we'll get action from the senate today something that they can send back to you there you can debate in the house.
What we could only hope that we're just wouldn't let me state something and that is that.
You know we have.
Over ten million Americans out of work how come this is even being discussed.
If you say -- more attacks are a couple more taxpayers.
Have -- put him putting America back to a couple of rebuilding our infrastructure.
It is amazing that all this discussion -- taxing and spending there's no discussion about getting America back to work.
And that just is further proof that the system isn't working.
And as far as what the senate does let the senate sitting what every appropriations bill right now.
There's there's no action that's a lot of -- -- -- the house has passed seven.
The senate hasn't taken action now look we we have a whole appropriations process that's fallen apart in the last couple years.
You know whether it's hyper partisanship -- the influence of outside interest group because of Buckley vs the -- its Citizens United.
We've got a system here that isn't working for the American people and with people needing jobs and having to save their homes in and protect the retirement security and their investments.
You know we should not even be in this situation and it really needs close scrutiny to ask ourselves.
-- how did we get here.
And how can we make sure this kind of hijinks never happens again.
Well congress and angry even if you do reach a deal here it'll -- -- temporary patch everyone knows that there are so many other big issues looming the debt ceiling entitlement reform tax reform.
Is there anyway due to reconfigure the -- -- -- -- working now because this is just one of many crises that are coming.
And it is it always gonna have to be at the -- Where the decisions -- -- Janet I've got a great suggestion but Foreman at -- let me just -- -- my my friend -- mayor of Cleveland.
Thought for his wisdom he's had sixty years experience in the house I'm gonna miss him.
When he retires after this year but but he said it exactly right the problem of course with so many people unemployed.
You getting people back to work.
And I don't care what.
Tax right there -- -- it might be a low right.
But we're gonna generate revenue and that's the only way you solve this problem.
You don't solve it back so call taxing the rich.
Whether you call that 250004000.
A million so you pay for the government eight days four days to -- whatever.
He's right we have to get people back to work and that's the only way to do it now you're asked me specifically what what -- -- Well I haven't man in regard to not -- these cliffs in the future in regard to.
Race in the debt ceiling.
I don't think that that should ever be done in the congress.
And I'm gonna propose a rules change to that -- in the house until in any fiscal year.
You've got to budget passed in your -- every one of your appropriations bills because how do you know how much money you need to borrow if you haven't already had a budget and decide how much money gonna spend -- that year.
Now we can get bipartisan support bad don't you think a bit this would support that if he -- in the 113 congress.
Well gentlemen we definitely -- a lot of sense to leave until leave you on a lot of agreement and kind words for each other.
Congress think -- congressmen that -- -- -- thank you both very much thank you.
Thank you Shannon.