tv Newsmakers CSPAN February 27, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EST
are millions of tourists coming in. our economy is taking off. it is not because of the united states. it is because of asian growth. in china, they are having a tough time going under 10%. the lesson for all of us is, anyone who has been to asia and you take a look at their focus on building infrastructure, they have the best high speed rail systems. go to korea, go to tokyo. education. from a perspective of a u.s. territory that is in asia, it is important to take lessons from asia. one thing we cannot do, we cannot sacrifice and education. that will hurt our economic advantage. >> i want to set and the point
that my colleague made about the connection we see these -- see between education and economic -- economic opportunity. we could bridge the economic -- bridge the education funding during the economic downturn. if you are in second grade, you do not get to sit out second great. right now is your time. no way that the stimulus funds were trailing off this year, we planned for that. we can afford to beat our own record in the coming fiscal year without the use of stimulus bonds. that is exactly how the stimulus bill was intended to work. >> i would simply closed the discussion by saying i agree with the president in his state of the union address.
we have to out-educates. we can ill afford to cut back on educate. whether it is early education in the head start and all the way to k-12 and higher education, which has to keep its doors open and its quality up. only then will we be able to compete in the global economy tyrian >> joining us on "newsmakers" this morning is congressman chris van hollen. thank you for being with us. we have a budget reporter from "the hill" newspaper. what are the chances that the government will shut down this week? >> i am cautiously optimistic
that the government will not shut down. the cooler heads on the republican side have prevailed. they have decided not to go for an immediate 61 million -- $61 billion in cuts. that does not mean we will not be back here in three weeks. with respect to the cuts they have put on the table, some of them find common ground with the white house and congressional democrats, i am concerned about the cuts to education programs. the president proposed to move funding of programs into other areas of education. this would cut deeply in education. i am cautiously optimistic that at least for this round we will avoid a shutdown. >> in "the washington post," newt gingrich said the shutdown in 1995 was good for the government and good for clinton.
he said it gave clinton a surplus when he left office. >> i saw the newt gingrich peace. the fact is, clinton left office with a surplus. newt gingrich rewrote history. he passed over the 1993 debate when clinton was able to get our fiscal house in order. he was tough on the tax issue. not a single republican voted for it. that sets the stage for the later budget surplus. -- set the stage for the later budget surplus. >> i have a question about a government shutdown. it is an issue in the forefront for a lot of your constituents. how would a government shutdown now compared to the 1995-1996
shutdown. ? a lot more of what the government does is on the internet. there are a lot more government contractors. would it be more disruptive or less disruptive than the other time around? >> that is a good question. nobody knows. a fair amount of discretion is left up to the president in terms of what is essential. there were some things that might have got to shut down last time because of automation and there might be less disruption. on the other hand, as you point out on the security side, there is a lot more in terms of government efforts to protect our citizens. during the shutdown, you are supposed to focus on areas that do not put the lives of american citizens at risk. but it would be disruptive. that me be clear. the national governor's
association expressed their concerns about the impact of the government shut down in their state operations. >> i have a question about president obama's budget that was released recently. a lot of republicans say this budget is overly timid and it does not lay out a long-term plan. with its continuing resolution in the house, the president is taking a standoffish approach. is it fair to -- say the president is refusing to lead? >> it is unfair. it is not fair to take this holier than thou that during from the republicans in congress. there were too big bush that cuts -- two big which tax cuts.
we have big problems. there is no argument. cutting spending needs to be a part of that. that is why the president's budget calls for cuts over a period of time. what the republicans are proposing right now is reckless. it will hurt a fragile economy and throw more people out of work. that is just me -- that is not just me saying that. the fiscal commission specifically warned against deep cuts in 2011. why? because it would put people out of work. goldman sachs -- you can say many things about goldman sachs but they know about money and be counted. they warned that these immediate deep cuts would have a negative impact on the recovery as we are trying to recover. >> word came out from senate
democrats late last week that in terms of the seven-month spending bill, they are combing the budget proposal and there could be $33 billion in additional cuts this year. are you saying that is the wrong approach and house democrats do not think that is the white way to go in terms of the-right way to go in terms of cuts? right way to go in terms of cuts? >> i supported some cuts on the floor today that are not part of the republican cut proposal. we should get rid of the second engine for the strike fighter. we can come together on some specific cuts on the merits. what is wrong is to come up
with an arbitrary number and slash in a way that will put the recovery in jeopardy. you have to remember that all three house republicans never even showed up for the vote on the fiscal commission's proposal. they opposed it. it is interesting to say, mr. president, why didn't you include more from the commission? every one of the voted against it. we had significant reforms in medicare. what was the response from our republican colleagues? it is going to hurt granma. they ran ads against many of our candidates based on the changes we made to make medicare more efficient and to get rid of subsidies paid to be managed care operations. while the republicans are saying to the president, why didn't you
include more in the wake of the fiscal commission recommendations? dave voted against it. they ran act against -- they voted against it. they ran against our candidates. >> you came into congress as a minority candidate. you were in the majority and now you are back in the minority again. can you make a difference in this debate? >> been a minority in the house is a tough place to be. -- being a minority in the house is a tough place to be. we can be part of framing the debate that is participated in by the american people. we can have an immediate impact in the discussion.
depending on what happens on the rebound from the senate, there will be a real question about whether or not that proposal will be supported by the tea party folks on the republican side in the house. it is possible that they may need some democratic support for any proposal that comes to the floor in the house. the with 04 and coming back, we have an important role to play -- the way back and coming over, we have an important -- going back and coming over, we have an important role to play. there is great room for opportunity for tax return. -- our tax reform. a lot of job has scrapped -- has crept up in the tax code. now is the time to clean that up
and lower the rates. there are going to be deductions that people say our sacred cows. there are others that people will say are unnecessary. it is time to get out some of the cluster to raise -- to lower rates. -- clutter to lower rates. the fight we are having on the domestic side is about 12% of the budget. you need to raise these other issues. the republicans should put on the floor of the house a proposal to get rid of the big taxpayer subsidies to the oil and gas industry. they are doing fine without taxpayer subsidies. that is about $40 billion that the president has proposed to save the taxpayers. let's not focus on one little sliver of things.
let's look at the overall picture. the president has made it clear we can no longer afford the tax cuts or the people as the very top, the top 2%. >> on social security, you will ultimately increase taxes for individuals that they pay each year. you would support something like that? >> here is what i think we should do on social security. it is important to realize that social security is not the big driver of these deficits. social security is one of% solvent until the year 2037. -- 100% solvent until the year 27 -- the year 2037. we are not going to balance the budget on the backs of social security beneficiaries. there is room for dialogue in
terms of how we strengthen that. people can come to the table and get that done. again, let's not confuse that with the other challenge we face. most people agree that we should deal with strengthening social security on its own merits. >> i have a question about the timing of this compensation. speaker boehner and chairman ryan issued a statement saying their budget would tackle entitlements. do you think it is the time to tackle entitlements or work on health care? >> whether they are talking about social security, they ruled that out yesterday. it was not clear that medicare reform, which i pointed out is part of the recently passed health reform legislation. we made significant changes to
medicare. we got beaten up by our report -- our republican candidates -- our republican colleagues for it. we will have to take a look at those proposals. we absolutely need to get together on a bipartisan basis to tackle some of these broader issues. not just for the next 10 years, but for the 10 beyond that. that is when everything really comes to a head. we are much better if we act today to address these issues. the longer we delay, the more painful it will be. >> there is a plan to put the fiscal commission's plan into legislation. there is not much talk across the rotunda between you and right hand. why not make that the adult conversation about the deficit? >> i will have a conversation with one of the senators and about in that effort to buy out
where they are. i think that is a productive conversation. it depends on how it is translated into policy. one of my concerns is not that they come up with something. it is sometimes easy to come up with something in the abstract. you put targets on spending and taxes and it is important to understand what the impact on real people would be in those targets. we can sit around and talk about percentages and it sounds kind of antiseptic. if you put in place a mechanism that is like a machine that automatically makes cut across the board, make sure you understand what impact those are having on people's lives first. >> traditionally, one of the least popular parts of the budget has been falling a. id. people have talked a lot about
slashing foreign aid. non-military places like pakistan and afghanistan. it is going to be an issue going forward. in this climate, is anybody on the hill going to have the stomach to fight for foreign aid to? ? >> the secretary of defense has taken a strong position that you have to have a broad view of our national security. you cannot just look at it as military hardware. you have to look at it as military systems, humanitarian assistance, anti-corruption at first. those are important in afghanistan and pakistan. -- you have to look at it as a military system, humanitarian
assistance, anti-corruption systems. it would be shortsighted to dramatically cut back in terms of some of that assistance. should we go through every item with a fine tooth comb? absolutely. there is a connection between our national security when it comes to defense spending as well as state department operations. >> i have a question about the politics of all of this. given the history of the 1995 and 1996 shutdown that hurt republicans, democrats enjoy it added that is going into this. it was suggested that both parties would be blamed by the public. isn't that motivation to try to find a compromise going forward? >> we are focused on trying to
avoid a shutdown. democrats in congress believed that. it appears to be the case among republican leadership in congress. we are only by ourselves three weeks if we are able to put together this package. there is a lot of pressure on republicans in the house -- there is a lot of pressure on new republicans in the house. there remains a danger that cooler heads will not prevail at the end of the day. this whole theory that immediate deep cuts will somehow help the economy is the economic equivalent of a battery society. we have to put together a plan -- equivalent of a flattery
society. we need to close the loopholes for oil and gas. they got a big break under the bush administration. it would be foolish to try to do all of that in the next seven months. it is not me saying that. the fiscal commission warned against that. goldman sachs has indicated that is a bad idea. another report showed a hundred thousand jobs would be lost. -- showed a hundred thousand jobs would be lost. -- 800,000 house with the loss. >> everyone is talking about what to cut and when to cut. >> if you go back to december, what the democrats proposed was a continuing resolution to the end of this year. that would have been $41
billion, which would have been $41 billion below what president obama requested. they are saying that is not good enough. we have to drive right now for $61 billion not respected of its impact on the economy. -- not respective of its impact on the economy. when speaker boehner was told jobs would be lost, he said "so be it." >> to our audience on c-span radio, our guest is chris van hollen. he is the ranking democrats in the house budget committee. -- he is the ranking democrat in the the -- on the house budget committee. >> i want to look at second homes as part of a larger conversation about all the
deductions. i do not think we can just focus on that aspect of the deductions that are in the tax code. you have to look at them across the board. >> what about the primary homeowners? the interest deducted for your primary home? >> i am in favor of keeping that for now. would i be open to lowering the amount? president obama has proposed it for people making over $250,000. we should look at everything as a part of comprehensive tax reform. i do not want to pick out one piece and say, i will support that one piece without looking at the interaction of all the pieces. we need to have this competition right now in terms of tax reform as well as the other issues. >> what is your sense of where the president is on all of this?
looking back on 1995 and 1996, a lot of democrats at that point decided bill clinton sold them out in terms of not holding the line on a lot of the cuts they were worried about. where is your sense on where president obama is on all of this and how involved he is going to be in the making these arguments? >> there is a good working relationship between the president and the democrats in the house and the senate. there will be dimmed -- there will be differences from time to time. the president also -- the has some's budget painful cuts. we are hearing from mayors and
community leaders around the country about cuts to a community development block grants. there is real pain. it is a tough love budget. most of our members recognize that if they are going to oppose the president's cut in one area, they have an obligation to come up with another cut in another area. >> if you look at the way things played out in the lame-duck session, these things where done by mitch mcconnell. >> the minorities in the house had an important part in this process. it may require some democratic votes. we do not know what the end of the movie will be. i am hoping we will continue a
good working relationship with the right house -- with the white house. the director of omb used to be a staffer on the house budget committee. he had done a good job of making sure we are fully engaged in this process. i hope that will continue. >> one of the most controversial parts of the seven months a continuing resolution that was that word the writers -- riders that dealt with planned parenthood. are these poison pills that will cause the government to shut down? >> senate democrats have said that these riders are un acceptable. they are tried to pass social policy on the guise of fiscal responsibility. these are not items that will
help reduce the deficit. these are hot-button issues like planned parenthood and like some of the changes they made to environmental protection. close to home, they eliminated funding to implement the president also proposal to help clean up the chesapeake bay. -- and with the president's proposal to help clean up chesapeake bay. those items, which are social engineering under the guise of budget cutting and is our responsibility are going to be unacceptable on the senate side. the majority of democrats voted against those provisions. the republicans should not be using the budget process to deal with hot-button social issues. if they are serious about fiscal issues, let's have our argument there. do not try to slip these other
things in in the middle of the night. >> the nation's postal governors are in town this weekend. democrats and republicans -- the nation's governors are in town this weekend. >> there are some provisions that the president and the congress have already indicated and we are willing to change them and revisit them. there is a 1099 provision that was put in during the health- care debate. it never had a lot of support in the house. that is an example of a change that could be made. >> entitlements and regulations they feel washington is asking the states to pay out. >> the main issue some of the governors have raised deals with the medicaid program. some of the governors, especially republicans governor
-- republican governors, was the president to turn the money over to the states and say, deal with it. he would end up changing the health care system in a way that would deny people the coverage they need when they need it. we saw a situation in arizona where a lot of people did not get their transplants. >> arizona was also granted a waiver. a lot of these governors are saying we cannot afford to be spending on our medicaid programs. that is what this bill requires us to spend. is that a fair assessment? >> there is no doubt that the federal government and states have to work together to provide flexibility to the states. there are ways the state can get
waivers and weighs built into the current system that allows for flexibility while trying to make sure there is some uniformity and standard of insuring people get the care they need. that is the tension. this has been an ongoing issue. i was in the state legislature in maryland. there was this constant back and forth. whatrepuicans are asking for is not that we work together in a coordinated way, but that we hand over all the money without any guidelines and say, you deal with it. a lot of us are worried that that will end up rationing care based on income and will deny a lot of people who need health care support the opportunity to get it. and that the governors will use that money to balance other parts of their budget. >> i have a process question. one of the reasons we are in this area this month is because