Are we better off with 'fiscal cliff' deal?
Sen. Mike Lee on voting against bill
- Duration 6:03
- Date Jan 3, 2013
Sen. Mike Lee on voting against bill
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Political fallout -- last piece of business from the 112 congress.
The vote -- -- the so called fiscal Cliff Floyd had a tough time.
In the house have passed overwhelmingly.
In the senate.
And senator Bob Parker of Tennessee who often voted yes has a message for those who did it back.
You can always run from these votes and -- no I always look at myself on -- defining votes as being the deciding vote myself and so the question is are we better.
With this bill passing are what we have been better with what was going to be long that and on that basis I don't think there's any question that we're better off with what.
Eight senators voted -- senator Mike Lee a Republican from Utah I was one of them and he joins us now senator -- your response to senator worker.
Well what we did in passing this bill was preserved the vast overwhelming majority of a totally dysfunctional system.
The system that has gotten a sixteen trillion to our.
Days sixteen trillion dollars and daddy and a trillion dollars.
In additional debt every single year with -- deficit.
And so you think we're not better off having passed.
I think we're not better off everything about this bill was a failure what congress did.
How congress did it and what congress didn't do.
And if you need look no further than the fact that we were given a total of six minutes.
To read this bill before we had to vote on not one single senator who voted for had read it I find that unacceptable.
How do you change that.
Well first of all you insist that bills go through the regular order you insist that -- be given an opportunity to read legislation before were asked to cast a vote on whether.
We're going to be the deciding vote or not.
What we need to have the opportunity to read this was a campaign pledge that I made to my constituents before I was elected.
That might people vote on anything will be no if they don't give me time to read it bill if there's not a reasonable -- of time for me to review it.
I will vote no every time and and this is why we see what happens when people vote for things that they haven't read they're always bad things and.
It's interesting that you point that part of it out we all -- Acting get caught up in in getting to -- and results which we knew was against his deadline in this concern about going over the fiscal cliff.
And this is what we got from the process you write about this in an editorial in The Washington Times today -- you talk about.
A dysfunctional system in congress and failed status quo is you call it and some of our viewers probably agree with you on that but the bigger question about how you change that.
Not only having enough time to read it bill.
The change the larger -- as well.
Is -- -- -- -- where do you even start as you enter into a new congress and -- -- your party you're -- -- now but how do you leave an approach that.
Could generate -- right that it's difficult but the first step toward changing that is to vote no.
Because the more times you vote yes for something like this the more you send the signal to leaders in the senate that it's okay to follow this kind of process.
We have more people were willing to stand up and vote no when they try to jam a bill like this down our throats without the opportunity to re read it.
That that we make it much less likely in the future that they'll do the stewardess if we just vote no.
But secondly we've got to continue to encourage our leaders to.
Actually put a bill on the floor to encourage the negotiation to move forward within the four corners in the senate chamber rather than in some back room deal that never seem to -- to.
Stick to the majority of lawmakers voted yes on this bill do you think it's the fault for lack of a better term.
I the American people for putting the wrong people on the office the people that are gonna vote yes and a go like this rather than voting out isn't our -- it.
I wouldn't say that it's the fault of the American people and they're gonna blame them for mistakes made by a handful of people here.
But I didn't think if that was -- cannon -- at the lawmakers and south.
Think the lawmakers themselves need to stand accountable to the voters that put them there and the voters to whom they will have to answer in the next few years.
Did to it to say look what you do this and and now that this is becoming more of a problem I think that there will be more accountability and you'll see.
More members of both houses of congress in both political parties voting no when faced with something like that.
Here in new member to congress a couple of years ago your regular guy if you -- like the rest of that's you know voting to put people -- -- -- -- the president has another four years.
Creating some new members of congress.
To new members as well -- this and it.
How are you in the next several years going to try and it changed the process in congress -- you start senator to make things different and better.
Well let's start by encouraging.
This leadership in the senate to put bills on the floor.
Not not minutes or seconds before a deadline but weeks or months before the deadline.
And you sure we don't agree on everything sure we don't have a deal in advance but that's what the senate floors for that's what's supposed to be there so that we can debate and discuss and -- A legislative proposal might not start out in the state of perfection and it might not achieve perfection before it's voted on but at least it can be debated and discussed in the open.
And amended in the open and then the American people know what they're getting by the time they're elected representatives vote on it.
Why do you feel like this deal has begun behind closed doors instead hit a dark spaces you mentioned not output in the open.
Well it doesn't have to be that done that way and it shouldn't be done that -- and it wouldn't be done that way if they didn't know that they could get away with it.
So I do encourage all people out there who were concerned about this to contact their members of congress.
And to tell them that they expect more and that good enough for Washington simply isn't good enough anymore.
We've got to start demanding better we've got to start demanding a more full process one that represents the people's interest.
I breezes fact that other question about power -- in the people people on the power to vote so.
Policy with the next few years bring us as we as we can get again go into this 113 congress senator thanks to -- have you as always I thank you for the time today.
Think you can.