tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN December 1, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST
all outsourcing. we are outsourcing talent and job creators which does not make sense. we are outsourcing talent and job creators which does not make sense. i have worked awfully hard over the years to try to reunite families. this bill has a very important component that deals with family reunification. this does not solve everything. it is a great step in the right direction. it deals with an important aspect of a broken immigration system. this is an issue we have been talking about four years. finally, thank you for your leadership and getting this done. it is a step in the right direction. i hope it will have much more -- i hope we will have more of these press conferences when it comes to fixing a broken immigration system that does not work for our economic interests. it does not work for -- it does not work for the country at all. thank you.
>> i have had tech manufacturers, i have had job traders come to be and say, we need more highly skilled workers, period. it gives the opportunity for american workers to fill a slot. if we do not have it or if there are not enough -- we always hope there are enough. those men and women who have come here from other countries that have gone to universities and gotten degrees, they have the opportunity to grow businesses and ideas. this is a great start. i think this is one which we cannot only help grow jobs, but we can decrease foreign competition. it makes no sense to educate the world's best and brightest and require them to go home and be our competition. we do not win in that case. the way we when is we keep the best and brightest here, american and foreign, and we grow opportunity and create
jobs. this is a great step. this is the first piece of reforming immigration. this is the first piece of -- it is immigration and economic opportunity in one step. i was glad to see people from the other side of the aisle step over and support it. >> what was your reaction to what the president said yesterday. >> that is not a serious offer. they are asking for $1.60 trillion in tax hikes. nowhere near that number in spending reform. we have always said we want to fix the problem. we want to make sure we get a hand on the unfunded obligations. we want to stop the spending
problem so we can fix the deficit. we want to get people back to work, which is why again, we take the position that raising tax rates is absolutely not something that helps get people back to work. >> what was the importance of that, rather than just going ahead with visas that you agree are very, very important? >> well, again, what we believe is this was the first step forward in terms of trying to address the need for modernization in our visa laws. and we have a system of lottery that, frankly, i think, is properly replaced with a system that rewards those who want to come here to help create jobs and help get our economy back on track. so it's very much, i think, in sync with our priority of helping americans get back to work, helping create more jobs for more americans.
>> democrats have now said after your response towards the thee house's proposal that ball is now in your court, that the onus is on you to put forth a proposal. is the ball in the republicans' court now? >> well, we remain committed at all -- at all instances to engage in discussions that are serious. i think that the proposal that was delivered here by secretary geithner to the speaker and me yesterday was not a serious proposal. we remain in discussions. i know the speaker as well as i do not want to see us go over the fiscal cliff, but feel very strongly we've got to get serious here. we don't want to increase tax rates. we're not going to increase tax rates. and we want to do something about the spending problem. and remember, the good will, the piece that is, i think, determinive here, the speaker's put new revenues on the table just after the election and said we get it.
the president won his re- election. we won ours. we have to now come together. here is our proposal to the speaker -- to the president that we were unwilling to give a year and a half ago. >> they know they need to put revenant on the table, but will you come back and give them the entitlement cuts? >> we will take this as a serious matter. this is not a game. we are interested in trying to solve the problem for the american people so that we do not see taxes go up on anybody, so we can engage in reform, get the economy going again. we're not playing a game. that offer yesterday was not serious. thank you.
>> next, nancy pelosi answers fiscal cliff questions. this is about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm here today with my colleague. i invited him here to be with us this afternoon because yesterday i named tim to be the head of the leadership task force of election reform. i believe how we do our policy is directly related to -- it has a direct impact on the policies that we create in congress.
our founders risked their lives and liberties and their sacred honor for a government of the many and not government of the money. john larson is the perfect person in that regard. first, i want to talk about the subject at hand. the president has his pen in hand. he is ready to sign the middle class income tax. a similar bill was introduced into the house at that time. since then, we have been asking republican leadership to bring middle income tax cuts to the floor. the clock is ticking. it is important for the tax legislation to happen now. we are calling on the republican leadership in the house to bring this legislation to the floor next week.
we believe that not doing that and holding the middle income tax cuts hostage for the tax cuts for the rich will heap mountains mountains of debt on future generations. to that end, if there is no announcement of scheduling of the middle income tax cuts -- which by the way, it has tremendous support in the republican caucus -- i think we will get 100% vote if they came to the floor. if it is not scheduled, on tuesday we will be introducing a discharge petition. if we can get a certain number of signatures, it will ring the bill automatically to the floor. that would mean we would need some republicans to support middle income tax cuts to sign on with us. this is very important.
so much has been said. this is only one piece of what we have to do before we leave for christmas, hanukkah, kwanzaa, every other holiday that is coming up. the other part of it of course is to avoid going over the cliff. you have heard much of what would happen if we do. let's dwell instead on what would happen if we do not go over it. there is so much evidence for the markets and the consumers. there is so much good. that is why we were leased to receive every poor yesterday about the president sticking with his big and bold, balanced approach. it said we have to create jobs and infrastructure, etc. we have to make cuts, but in order to get her from here in terms of you do facing -- in terms of reducing the deficit -- we call upon the republicans to
come to the table to get this job done. we're are there to supply votes to pass this when they come to an agreement. first and foremost, we would hope that the speaker would say that we are scheduling a middle income tax cut next week. again, elections have consequences. the president campaigned. he made it very clear that he was supporting tax cuts for the middle class and that he wanted the expiration of the tax cuts for the high end. he let the people know that. they voted for him. even more so people support the subject.
overwhelming support for the repeal of the higher tax cuts. any questions? >> madam leader, the response from the publicans today was instantaneous. mr. cantor just finished saying that they were not going to raise rates. what is your response to that? given that line in the sand, where does this process stand? >> let me say that there are three elements to this -- growth, reduction in spending, and raising revenue. we have voted for -- the democrats have voted for over $1 trillion in cuts and spending. that was part of the budget control act. that is part of how we should go forward. you cannot speak about reducing
the deficit without talking about raising revenue. i think the president has taken his message to the american. i hope the republicans will listen to that. in the republican caucus -- i'm usually the last person to speak -- i know many members of them are ready to vote for middle income tax cuts. then mckinley the subject of rates and all the rest of that for next year -- and then we can be the subject of rates and all the rest of that for next year and whatever we would do under a broader tax reform package. >> [inaudible] >> no.
>> last year you raise idea of redefining wealth. making it when million dollars or more. >> just where that republicans would support an expiration of tax cuts. it was about finding out where the republicans were. at that point, they said no. if you make $1 million per year, we will not touch a hair on your head. they hold harmless the wealthiest people in that country, even making over $1 million per year. >> could you see yourself as a compromise supporting the idea of moving that?
>> the president would forward a package that reduces the deficit that predicated the expiration of the tax cuts. predicated on investments of growth and over one billion -- excuse me, when trillion dollars in cuts. taking one piece or another if you're having a big and bold proposal, you have to have it reduced the deficit. doing it at 250 reduces the deficit. that is what the public understood. that is what they voted for. the number is even larger than the president's margin. in all of the polling, the american people support the expiration of the tax cuts for evil making over $250,000. >> do you support obama having the power to increase the debt
limit? >> can you clarify something? when he talk about trillions of dollars in cuts [indiscernible] >> in the budget control act, it calls for over $1 trillion in cuts. >> the president opposed to propose of wedlock in a certain amount for entitlement programs. do democrats support that? >> first of all, we do democrats, saw savings in medicare of over $700 billion and affordable care act.
we use that money to strengthen medicare and extend its life for almost a decade and to increase benefits for seniors now. is there more opportunity for that? yes. but not at the expense of an official years. there have been all kinds of -- but not at the expense of beneficiaries. >> st. mary's hospital is a catholic institution in san francisco. should they be required to adjust to this new health plan? >> the compromise is a reasonable one. >> madame leader? >> yes. >> would you support that if it is part of the package? >> i want the middle class to get a break. i would hope we could get the middle income taxes cut.
it is important for us not to think that the payroll tax holiday is a substitute for real relief for middle income families in our country. in the absence of other things, which might have to be considered, i had hoped that two years would be enough. unfortunately, republicans in congress have stood in the way of many of the job initiatives that the president put forward that would have accelerated the growth that we think is possible. some of it is coming into play. that might be something we have to consider. >> speaker boehner earlier
described there being a stalemate. do you think that we will get a deal last minute? >> last-minute is the last day of the month. i do not think that is right. we know what is at stake. everyone knows that we have to have cuts, growth, and revenue. why are we stalling? this delay is harmful to confidence and consumers and to the market. it is the holiday shopping season. wouldn't it be better if there were a clear message? the sooner the better. don't toy around with this. give people the confidence so they can buy toys for the children.
you might say, ok, there is a reason for it to be that day. but when the markets are looking very carefully at what the intentions of congress are, for us to have anyone doubt that we will do this, it is not right. i do not know what the weight is for. it does not like we need to get more information or there are certain variables we do not know about. it is clear. every bipartisan group that has addressed this issue has called for revenue cuts and spending. i will yield to my distinguished colleague. >> can you speak of the stalemate?
>> let's keep on the subject of the budget. >> the tax code is probably one of the issues that big money weighs in on elections more than anywhere else. they are not bashful about it by the way. it is related to this conversation, but it is fundamental to our democracy. i said during the campaign -- our democracy is on the ballot. thank god the president won because now we have a chance to make some of the reforms that i talked about earlier. i want to yield to my colleague, the gentleman from connecticut, longstanding authority on the subject of election reform in terms of the role of money in campaigns -- honoring the vows of our founders for a government of the many, not the government
of the money and a person who has commanded the respect of our colleagues, has worked with aggressive organizations, brings real authority to the stuff, congressman john larson, chair of our taskforce. >> thank you, madam leader, and i thank you for the opportunity to serve our caucus in an area that is critical to all americans. we are just through major presidential and congressional elections. it is clear from listening to our colleagues and from listening to the people out there in this country that it is long overdue that we refer to as d.a.r.e., which, disclose, amend, reform, enforce, empower, and have reform for election in a way that will make sure that every american has access to the polls and that anyone who seeks to run for public office has the ability and financing to do so and that we can limit the amount of money that has so overshadowed our process. to those ends, i am honored that the leader has chosen me to head up the taskforce.
there is no shortage of bills. there is no shortage of enthusiasm and ideas that emanates from our caucus. we will be coming to the floor early with legislation that we know will empower the american people. we will work not only within the beltway but outside to take this message forward. we know people who stood in lines far too long and how proud we are of them to stay in lines -- even when the results were known -- to make sure that they did their patriotic duty in the most fundamental right we have, the right to vote. this caucus is out to guarantee that that continues to flourish in a way that is fair, in a way that is forward-minded and forward-looking and a way that is just for all americans.
thank you, madam leader, for that opportunity. >> any questions on this subject? >> i was just wondering if the administration sees the need for any legislation on election reform. >> the president has said from the end of his campaign and during it that he recognizes the strong need for reform in this process. >> have there been any proposals? >> we will work closely with everyone, including the president -- including our republican colleagues, many of whom have already expressed interest in this area, and we
will continue to reach out not only here but outside the beltway as well. >> is there frustration in your caucus that the justice department's voting rights section was not more aggressive? there was quite a bit of complaints about voter suppression and gerrymandering around the country where they did not take action. >> by the number of the bills that have been offered and issued, that is an indication that they think the system is less-than-perfect and that we need to continue, and part of our focus will be on enforcement.
that is something that has come across loud and clear from the members of our caucus. >> one concern we do have is that the supreme court reviewing title v, section v of the voting rights act. this is really alarming to us. that is what members are fighting closely and want to have legislative action to address or redress as the case may be. >> "the wall street journal reports" that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said republicans wanted changes to eligibility such as means testing and an increase in age requirements regarding medicare. in return, the gop would agree to more tax revenues but not higher rates. what is your response to mr. mcconnell? >> nothing new in that statement from his mitch mcconnell. no. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪ president obama spoken in manufacturing company. this is about 20 minutes.
>> good morning, everybody. please have a seat. have a seat. relax for a second. it is good to see all of you. hello. it is good to be back in pennsylvania. and eight is good to be right here -- and it is good to be right here. i want to thank michael, robert, and the investor, joel glickman for hosting me today and giving me a great tour. stand up so everybody can see you, guys. [cheers and applause] there you go. we have a couple of outstanding members of congress here.
[cheers and applause] now, i just finished getting a tour of the workshop. i have to say it makes me wish that joel invented this stuff sooner when i was a kid. back then, you couldn't build a roller coaster out of your erector set. i got a chance to meet some of the folks who have been working around the clock to keep up with the christmas rush. that is a good thing. these guys are santa's extra elves. they manufacture almost 3000 pieces every minute. every box that ends up on store shelves in 30 countries is stamped "made in america." that is something to be proud of. [cheers and applause] by the way, i hope the camera folks have a chance to take a look at some of it.
including that flag. joe biden was in costco and he wanted to buy some of this stuff. [laughter] i told him he had too much work to do. i was not going to have him building roller coasters all day long. of course, santa delivers everywhere. i have been keeping my own list for washington. you should keep your eye on who gets some this year. there are going to be some members of congress who get them and some who don't. [applause] this is a wonderful time of year. it has been a few weeks since a long election finally came to an end. obviously, i cannot be more
honored to be back in the white house. but i am already missing the time that i spent on the campaign visiting towns like this and talking to folks like you. i love you back. [applause] one of the benefits of traveling and getting out of the white house is it gives you a chance to talk to the american people about what kind of country we want to be and what kind of country we want to leave to our kids. i believe america only thrives when we have a strong middle class. i believe we are at our best when everybody gets a chance to get ahead. we were talking about these guys' dads.
just passed away at the age of 101. these guys have good genes in addition to inventive minds. the stories about businesses, hiring folks, making sure you can get ahead, that is what america is all about. that is at the heart of the plan that i have been talking about all year. i want to reward manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs in the united states. not overseas. [applause] by the way, this is a company, one of the few companies in the toy industry, that aggressively moved jobs back here. that is a great story to tell. [applause] because we have the best workers in the world. and the most productive workers
in the world. we need champions for american industry creating jobs here in the united states. i want to give more americans the chance to learn the skills that businesses are looking for right now, and i want to give our children the kind of education they need. i want to lead the world in research, technology, and clean energy. i want to put people back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and our schools. i want to do this by bringing down our deficits in a balanced and responsible way. [applause] >> on this last point, you probably heard a lot of talk in washington and in the media about the deadlines that we're facing on jobs and taxes and investments. this is not some run-of-the-mill debate. this isn't about which political party can come out on top in negotiations. we've got important decisions to make that are going to have a real impact on businesses and
families all across the country. our ultimate goal, our long-term goal is to get our long-term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair. that would be good for businesses, for our economy, for future generations. and i believe both parties can and will work together in the coming weeks to get that done. we know how that gets done. we're going to have to raise a little more revenue. we've got to cut out spending we don't need, building on the trillion dollars of spending cuts we've already made. and if we combine those two things, we can create a path where america's paying its bills while still being able to make investments in the things we need to grow like education and infrastructure. so we know how to do that. but in washington, nothing's easy. so you know, there's going to be
some prolonged negotiations. and all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen. i'm willing to do that. i'm hopeful that enough members of congress in both parties are willing to do that as well. we can solve these problems. but where the clock is really ticking right now is on middle class taxes. at the end of the year, middle class taxes that are currently in place are set to expire. middle class tax cuts that are currently in place are set to expire. there are two things that can happen. if congress does nothing, every family in america will see their income taxes automatically go up on january 1. every -- every family, everybody here, you'll see your taxes go up on january 1. i mean, i'm assuming that doesn't sound too good to you.
that's sort of like the lump of coal you get for christmas. that's a scrooge christmas. a typical middle class family of four would see their income taxes go up by about $2,200. that's for a typical family. it would be more for some folks. that's money a lot of families just can't afford to lose. gas,s less money to buy less money to buy groceries. in some cases, it means tougher choices between paying the rent and saving for college. it means less money to buy more kinex. just the other day, economists said if income taxes go up on the middle class, people will spend nearly 200 billion less in scores and on line. and when folks are buying fewer clothes or cars or toys, that's not good for our businesses.
it's not good for our economy. it's not good for employment. that's one path. congress does nothing, we don't deal with this looming tax hike on middle class families, and starting in january, everybody gets hit with this big tax hike and businesses suddenly see fewer customers, less demand, the economy, which we've been fighting for four years to get out of this, you know, incredible economic crisis that we have, it starts stalling again. so that's one path. the good news is there's a second option. right now congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. everybody. so that means 98% of americans, 97% of small businesses wouldn't see their income taxes go up by a single dime, right? because 98% of americans make $250,000 a year or less. 97% of small businesses make $250,000 a year or less.
so if you say income taxes don't go up, income above $250,000, the vast majority of americans, they don't see a tax hike. but here's the thing, even the top 2%, even folks who make more than $250,000, they still keep their tax cut on the first $250,000 of income. so it would still be better off for them, too, for us to go ahead and get that done. families would have a sense of security going into the new year. companies like this one would know what to expect in terms of planning for next year and the year after. that means people's jobs would be secure. the sooner congress gets this done, the sooner our economy will get a boost. and it would then give us in
washington more time to work together on that long range plan to bring down deficits in a balanced way. tax reform, working on entitlements, and asking the wealthiest americans to pay a little bit more so we can keep investing in things like education and research that make us strong. all right? so those are the choices that we have. and understand this was a central question in the election, maybe the central question in the election. you remember. we talked about this a lot. it wasn't like this should come to anybody's -- as a surprise to anybody. we had debates about it. there were a lot of tv commercials about it. and at the end of the day, a clear majority of americans, democrats, republicans, independents, they agreed with a balanced approach to deficit reduction and making sure that middle class taxes don't go up. folks agreed to that. now, the good news is we're starting to see a few republicans coming around to it, too. i'm talking about republicans in congress.
so the reason i'm here is because i want the american people to urge congress soon, in the next week, the next two weeks, to begin the work we have by doing what we all agree on. both parties agree that we should extend the middle class tax cuts. we've got some disagreements about the high-end tax cuts, right? republicans don't want to raise taxes on folks like me. i think i can pay a little bit more to make sure that kids can go to college and we can build roads and invest in n.i.h. so that we're finding cures for alzheimer's. and that's a disagreement that we're going to have and we got to sort out. we say we want to make sure middle class taxes don't go up. so let's get that done. let's go ahead and take the fear out for the vast majority of american families so they don't
have to worry about $2,000 coming out of their pockets starting next year. the senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle class families. that's already passed the senate. your members of congress, like alison and other democrats in the house, they're ready to go. they're ready to vote on that same thing. and if we can just get a few house republicans onboard, we can pass the bill in the house. it will land on my desk, and i am ready. i've got a bunch of pens ready to sign this bill. i'm ready to sign. [applause] >> ready to sign it. there are no shortage of pens in the white house. and i carry one around for an emergency, just in case. just waiting for the chance to use it to sign this bill to make sure people's taxes don't go up. well, don't thank me yet because
i haven't signed it. i need -- i need some help from congress. so the key is though, the american people have to be involved. you know, it's not going to be enough for me to just do this on my own. so i'm hopeful that both sides are going to come together and do the right thing. but we all know you can't take anything for granted when it comes to washington. let's face it. and that's why i'm going to be asking for all of you to make your voices heard over the next few days and the next couple of weeks. i need you to remind members of congress, democrats and republicans, to not get bogged down in a bunch of partisan bickering, but let's go ahead and focus on the people who sent us to washington and make sure that we're doing the right thing by them. so i want you to call. i want you to send an email. post on their facebook wall. if you tweet, then use a hash
tag we're calling my 2k. not y2k. my 2 k. because it's about your two k in your pocket. we're trying to burn that into people's minds. [applause] so, in the meantime i'm doing my part. i'm meeting with every constituency group out there. we're talking to c.e.o.'s. we're talking to labor groups. we're talking to civic groups. i'm talking to, you know, media outlets, just explaining to the american people this is not that complicated. let's make sure that middle class taxes don't go up. let's get that done in the next couple of weeks. at's also work together on fair and balanced, responsible plan so that we are paying our bills.
you know, we're not spending on things we don't need, but we are still spending on the things that make us grow. that's the kind of fair, balanced, responsible plan that i talked about during the campaign, and that's what the majority of americans believe in. so, i'm hopeful, but i'm going to need folks like you and the people here in hatfield and here in pennsylvania and all across the country to get this done. and a lot is riding on this debate. this is too important to our economy, it's too important for our families to not get it done. and it's not -- it's not acceptable to me, and i don't think it's acceptable to you, for just a handful of republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they don't want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up. all right? that doesn't make sense. [applause] if your voices are heard, then we can help businesses like this one.
we're going to sell a whole bunch. let's -- [applause] let's give families all across america the kind of security and certainty that they deserve during the holiday season. let's keep our economy on the right track. let's stand up for the american belief that each of us have our own dreams and aspirations, but we're also in this together. and we can work together in a responsible way. that we're one people. and we're one nation. that's what this country is about. that's what all of you deserve. that's what i'm fighting for every single day. and i will keep fighting for as long as i have the privilege of being your president. thank you very much, everybody. ["hail to the chief" plays]
>> house speaker john boehner held his own meeting on the fiscal cliff negotiations. this is close to 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. the president traveled to pennsylvania to visit a small business today to talk about the fiscal cliff. unfortunately, it's the president and members of his own party who were proposing that we let many small businesses, as in hundreds of thousands of them,
go over the fiscal cliff. simply put, that's why we don't have an agreement as yet. they said yesterday this is not a game. i used to be a small business owner. small business owners are regular men and women from all backgrounds who, in today's economy, are facing challenges on a daily basis. and the president's tax increase would be another crippling blow for them while doing little to nothing to solve the bigger problem here, which is our national deficit and our national debt. this debt doesn't exist because we don't tax small businesses enough. it exists because washington continues to spend too much. raising taxes on small businesses instead of taking a balanced approach that also cuts spending is wrong. it's only going to make it harder for our economy to grow. and if our economy doesn't
grow, americans don't get new jobs. and the debt problem that we have will continue to threaten our children's future. as i said the day after the election, republicans are not seeking to impose our will on the president. we're seeking a bipartisan solution that can pass both chambers of congress and be signed into law by the president in the coming days. now, during the campaign, the president pledged to the american people that he would seek a balanced approach to addressing the debt, a combination of new revenues and spending cuts. so the day after the election, i said the republican majority would accept new revenue as part of a balanced approach that includes real spending cuts and reforms. now, the white house took three weeks to respond with any kind of a proposal, and much to my disappointment, it wasn't a serious one. still, i'm willing to move forward in good faith.
our original framework still stands. instead of raising tax rates, we can produce similar amount of revenue, reforming the tax code to close loopholes and lower tax rates. that's far better for the economy, and the american people actually favor that approach by two to one. they favor it even more when we can also show them that real spending cuts will, in fact, reduce the deficit. now, there have been many conversations over the last couple of years that could inform a solution. i hope the president will draw from those discussions and work with both parties to find common ground. solving the fiscal cliff in a manner that addresses the true drivers of our debt and saves american jobs is a great way for the president to start his second term.
and for the good of our country, and my colleagues, we're ready to work with the president to achieve those goals. >> mr. speaker, couple things. first, on the issue of tax rates, are you willing to accept no deal that includes some increase in those top tax rates? and i'm also wondering what our final deadline is on this? when do we really have to have a deal? >> increasing tax rates draws money away from our economy that needs to be invested in our economy to put the american people back to work. it's the wrong approach. we're willing to put revenues on the table, but revenues that come from closing loopholes, getting rid of special interest deductions, and not raising rates. we think it's better for the economy. pure and simple. secondly, the american people expect us to find common ground, to work together, and to resolve this. and frankly, sooner is better
than later. >> you've been doing this for a long time. the past 24 hours, is this the necessary public posturing that needs to go on or is there a serious stalemate right now? >> there's a stalemate. let's not kid ourselves. i'm not trying to make this more difficult. if you've watched me in the last three weeks, i've been very guarded because i don't want to make it harder for me or the president or members of both parties to be able to find common ground. but when -- when i come out the day after the election and make it clear that republicans will put revenue on the table, i took a great risk. and then the white house spends three weeks trying to develop a proposal, and they send one up here that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, calls for a little -- not even $400 billion in cuts, and they want to have this extra spending that's actually greater than the amount they're willing to cut.
wasan, it's -- it's -- it not a serious proposal. and so right now we're almost nowhere. >> do you expect to speak to the president again? are there meetings scheduled between you and the president? >> a lot of ideas have been put on the table. we've had conversations, and i'm sure we'll continue to have conversations. >> do you think the white house is trying to squeeze you? and if so, will that work? >> listen, most of you know me pretty well. what you see is what you get. i may be affable, someone that can work with members of both parties, which i've demonstrated over the 22 years that i've been here. i've also rather determined to solve our spending problem. and to solve this looming debt crisis that is about to consume us.
>> what is it that republicans want on reform? you keep saying the president needs to show the democrats' hand on this. what do you want to do in terms of medicare and how quickly do you want those implemented? >> well, you can look at our budget from the last two years, and there are plenty of specific proposals, most of which were part of the conversation that the president and i had two years ago. or a year and a half ago. there have been discussions about many of those same issues this time. so there's a -- there's a lot from the conversations that we've had to inform almost anybody the kind of proposals we're looking for. >> even the paul ryan plan on medicare doesn't really take effect for years down the road. do you want something more immediate? >> i think the debt crisis that we face requires us to make serious decisions and it requires us to make those decisions now. thank you.
>> today on c-span, "washington journal" live with your calls, tweets, and e-mail's. later, we will hear from the president of the european parliament on the eu and u.s. partnership. >> this morning, robert van order talks about the forgiveness of the mortgage debt relief act. then, we will look at the preparations for the 113th congress chris bradford stitch -- with bradford fitch. later, the