This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Well, if infrastructure spending worked -- think about this -- then why aren’t more construction guys working? It would figure, right? Forty-three billion dollars, one million jobs lost, lost.
That is how much money was spent on the so-called shovel-ready construction projects under the president’s original stimulus plan. Now, since the president took office, though, a million construction workers out of a job.
That’s a reason why Republican freshman Congresswoman Kristi Noem is very leery of repeating the same mistake. Congresswoman, good to have you.
What do you think? That startled me when I saw that figure, but I checked and double-checked and triple-checked. It is true.
SEN. KRISTI NOEM, R-S.D.: Well, it is not a long-term fix to the situation that we are in.
Obviously, infrastructure spending is something that people find a hard time arguing against, because it is definitely necessary. But when you don’t have the money and you know that it is not going to put people back to work permanently, then it is not what we should be doing right now.
CAVUTO: So, Congresswoman, how do you feel if we are going to sort of reignite the same engine, in other words, with the same match?
CAVUTO: I don’t if you can do that with a match, with an engine, but you get my point. In other words, there is going to be more initiatives in this area and it has not exactly borne a great deal of fruit.
NOEM: Well, there’s been a lot of conversations about what the president is going to say tonight.
And honestly, I hope that there is something that we can all rally around and find some common ground. But if we are going to repeat the same fail policies in the past that is not good for our country and it’s not good for our kids. And we have talked about more spending. We have to remember that our kids are the ones who are paying for this, that we’re not the ones that are going to pay the bill. We are going to ask them to sign their name on the bottom of that note.
CAVUTO: I generally don’t care because my kids should, as long as I’m OK, Congresswoman. But that’s a separate issue.
NOEM: Well, you know...
CAVUTO: Could I get your take, seriously, on the mood there right now? We are told that there was sort of an edict that went out to the Republican troops, don’t be too divisive, don’t be too, too critical, be respectful, et cetera. Is any of that true?
NOEM: Well, I think that there’s a general consensus among the Republican ranks that this is our president and that the office deserves respect. And we are just really glad that he’s coming forward with some solutions.
Before we have asked him to lead in the past and we just haven’t seen that. So to have someone and to have him step up and say, hey, I have got some idea, we’re great. Bring them to the table. Let’s sit down and talk about them because our country is in desperate need.
CAVUTO: Do you think it is a mistake that Republicans are not planning an official response?
NOEM: No. I don’t think it’s a mistake.
This is certainly a speech that isn’t normally planned. It is not traditional. It is something that the president thinks is necessary. We all have our opportunities to respond. And we will be. We will respond to the things that we like or don’t like.
But an official response right now, I don’t know is necessary.
CAVUTO: Congresswoman, a lot of your Republican colleagues in the House and the Senate aren’t even showing up tonight. They’re not even going to go to the event.
CAVUTO: What do you think of that?
NOEM: Well, I think they should show up. I think any time that the president chooses to address Congress that it is respectful for us to show up.
And, honestly, if you are serious about solving the problems that we have in front of us, let’s come hear what he has to say. Let’s really listen with an open mind and see if we can come to the table and do some -- and offer our own solutions.
CAVUTO: You know, Charlie Rangel was here earlier, Congresswoman.
CAVUTO: And he was saying that you guys should be faulted because you are great at criticizing, but not coming up with ideas of your own. What do you say?
NOEM: Oh, man, we have been talking jobs all year.
In fact, if you go to jobs.GOP.com, for months, our jobs plan has been out there. So, we have been very public about our solutions. We have been passing them off the House floor. We have been sending them to the Senate. And they have refused to take them up.
So if there is anything right now to be critical of, it is this broken process that allows the Senate to completely ignore all of the hard work that the House has done in trying to solve the problems that we are facing in this economy.
CAVUTO: All right, Congresswoman, thank you again. Good seeing you.
NOEM: Yes. Thank you, Neil. I appreciate it.
CAVUTO: All right.
Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright CQ-2011 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.