NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Well, sorry, Mitch, House Republicans simply will not budge.
Despite Senate GOP boss Mitch McConnell thinking he had a deal, House GOPers reminding him that he did not, so a payroll tax cut still very much up in the air, and embarrassed Republican Senate leader up in arms.
To the House Republican ticked off and here. Florida Congressman Allen West says better no deal than this bad deal.
Congressman, very good to have you. You probably heard from White House economic adviser Gene Sperling saying you are missing a golden opportunity here, paraphrasing.
CAVUTO: What’s going to happen tonight?
REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: Well, I have to tell you, in listening to Mr. Sperling, I have never met him, but he truly did seem to me to be an idiot that was just repeating some very weak talking points.
You have to understand one simple thing. The National Payroll Reporting Consortium today came out and said that this two-month extension cannot be properly implemented. And who would ever think of economic policy just going for a two-month incremental time period?
CAVUTO: Well, you have done that before.
WEST: Yes. Yes.
CAVUTO: You guys on both sides have done this sort of stumbling along a couple of months at a time before.
WEST: Yes, but that’s something -- but that’s something that I have not stood for. And I have been against these countless continuing resolutions.
I was proud of the fact that we finally do have a bipartisan, bicameral passed appropriations bill that came out last week. Look, Neil, we voted on something that was a one-year extension of the payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, with reforms, and also two years for the sustained growth rate or the doc fix for those doctors that provide Medicare.
For us to turn around and say we’re just going to extend this for two months, that is insane. That is poor policy. It’s fiscally irresponsible.
CAVUTO: Well, it must have shocked people, Congressman, and maybe even John Boehner himself, who I’m told was told, maybe by you and others, look, don’t have any deal here, and this is a deal we don’t want.
What was his reaction?
WEST: Well, I think that, you know, most of us on the House Republican side, when we crafted together that package to go forward, we felt that we had everything that met the requirements that the president talked about in extending these -- the payroll tax and unemployment.
We did it for a year. But the most important thing, Neil, it was paid for. We are not going to see Social Security suffer. This year with the payroll tax cut, we saw Social Security with a deficit. We are going to reform unemployment.
So, I cannot understand why anyone would think that the package, H.R. 3560, that we passed last week was not a good bill.
CAVUTO: All right.
WEST: And this two-month extension is just not going to cut it.
CAVUTO: All right. We will watch closely.
CAVUTO: Congressman, I will see you again. Have a very merry Christmas. Thank you very much.
WEST: Merry Christmas. Buon Natale.
CAVUTO: OK. Everyone became Italian all of a sudden.
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