Rep. Smith explains vote against 'fiscal cliff' deal
One of 16 House Democrats who vote against bill
- Duration 6:05
- Date Jan 3, 2013
One of 16 House Democrats who vote against bill
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-- back and fourteen East Coast time with the house.
-- the fiscal cliff has been averted but it didn't come without both sides crossing the aisle.
Take a look at the break down here we go of the 257 passing votes.
85 came from the GOP sixteen Democrats -- the 151 Republicans who opposed the bill.
Joining us right now is one of those sixteen Democrats who oppose the deal Washington congressman Adam Smith good to have you here.
Good morning thanks for me on our -- so why did you oppose the deal.
Why -- concerned about the long term fiscal health of the country I'm also concerned that sequestration wasn't dealt with on the ranking member on the armed services committee.
The defense budget is subject -- how.
Half of those cuts.
Through automatic across the board cuts and now that's just two months from march 1 they're back in limbo.
As to how much money they're gonna happen fiscal year thirteenth I'm also concerned about the rest of the discretionary budget transportation education.
Infrastructure all of those things are still up in the air.
And also when I know this won't be popular with your viewers.
I'm concerned that revenue has been sort of taken off the table at this point 90% of the bush tax cuts are now locked in permanently.
So any effort to deal with the very large debt and deficit that we have going down that the road here.
Revenues pretty much off the table and we didn't didn't get much so those are my concerns and that's why right now.
So but paralyzed added there a number of Democrats who.
Worst -- congressman that above the 415 number should have been 250 they would like to have seen a tax cuts.
-- for anybody above 200000 individual.
Yes well I'm gonna -- a bit.
The head and be heretical here and say that actually I'm concerned that the 250 level was set.
Mean look when you look at the appetite that we have for spending on entitlements and social security and Medicare and Medicaid.
Our concerns about defense -- concerns about infrastructure and you look at the level of spending.
That -- -- poll shows that the American people don't just want but actually to mania.
A revenue level that says we're gonna take all twelve years worth of tax cuts for people under 250.
And -- all of the need.
You just not going to be able support all those programs that you want to support so.
And look I'm one of those people I've benefited a great deal and they make lesson to fifty never made more.
Bomb and make more than a 100000.
I've gotten you know twelve years worth of a lot of tax cuts.
But if we're gonna support the programs going forward I keep keep getting.
So I'm concerned that we didn't do more comprehensive tax reform that puts us in a better position to deal with the spending needs that the -- obviously demanding.
-- -- -- innocent as you know the president can mean Simpson Bowles commission doesn't really look and thoroughly entitlements.
But it seemed like a great jumping off point for president that's never gonna run for election again.
Are you concerned that the president's pursuing added to his personal agenda and not the things tickets.
Solve our economy long term.
That's why I'm concerned that everybody back here well not everybody but close to everybody most of the leaders.
You know are we all like to complain about the deficit we all like complain about the long term fiscal health and by the way that's the supplies most of the public as well.
But when you actually look at the choices that are involved in dealing with -- and generating the necessary revenue at looking at how to control spending long term.
There's -- there's no support that we we have to start having an honest discussion.
Or we have to say -- were willing to accept trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see and I also think this has a short term impact in the economy.
Of whether we're not going to deal with those deficits in addition to the uncertainty of the debt ceiling and the uncertainty of sequestration.
Is still sort of undermines the ability of businesses and investors to invest in this economy.
Well congressman -- it's great that you're worried about -- spending and and taxes but you know there are a lot of people who are watching this and they see the president.
And he really took no leadership when it comes to cutting spending.
With the budget and with this latest crisis.
So you know it seems like what -- yet I don't the president.
Why don't actually agree with that the president put on the table.
Cuts to entitlements he put on the table.
The -- CPI issuing -- -- -- -- other issues but that was a non starter for a lot of people in your.
What what I here's the thing I mean you could say well he's not -- leadership but now what you're saying is he showed leadership.
But nobody else was willing to right so it's really hard to blame the president -- Long deal -- dishonest -- audio right but but I think -- just as an apple is we're talking about the president right also make the point speaker Boehner the Republicans.
What have they put on the table in terms of specific spend lots salute look at them I don't play against.
While the Ryan plan was -- -- -- -- the budget is not an appropriations bill -- the budget said across the board we will cut 10% we're not gonna tell you what.
We're not gonna tell you where we've just got to imagine that it's going to happen in terms -- specific spending cuts the president.
To actually put -- more on the table during this last negotiation.
Then the so called fiscal conservatives leaving the house really because I don't know anything that he wanted to cut.
I just told you wanted change CPI which you couldn't get support from his own party.
Look it again if you want to say that he's having trouble getting the country behind a fiscally responsible approach that's one thing.
If you want to say he hasn't shown leadership what's different he said here's some ideas hears things that I am unwilling to do.
It wasn't just Democrats who were running away from those ideas and again let me just emphasize I'm concerned also was a Democrat.
That we just took 90% of the bush tax structure that's on concern on the revenue side yet be being a Democrat you know as much as I am in the long term spending side.
Well forbid that CBO says that in the first year for every dollar cut.
There will be 41 dollars worth of tax increases said that numbers jaw dropping -- -- congressman Adam Smith Democrat from Washington voted against it last night.
Sir thank you very much for getting up early to be with us.
Thanks for the chance you --