Rep. Robert Wexler

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 18, 2005, that was edited for clarity.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: The Democrats are united in the House and the Senate to go forward with our "stop privatization, save Social Security first." Our first suggestion is not going to be to raise taxes.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, there you have it, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in an exclusive chat with our own buddy, Alan Colmes. You can catch the entire interview, by the way, on "Hannity & Colmes" on Friday. She's not exactly a fan of my next guest's plan to fix Social Security. He's a Democratic congressman, his name is Bob Wexler (search) of Florida. He's the first Democrat to put a plan on the table.

Congressman, you're to be congratulated for that, but your leadership seemed to stymie you.

REP. ROBERT WEXLER, D-FLA.: Well, the president has been traveling the country, and the plan that he offered has massive benefit cuts for Social Security, and it also has this very risky privatization scheme. The president was the one that originally talked about removing the cap on Social Security wages. And what I believe should be done is that there absolutely should be no benefit cuts. We shouldn't be raising the retirement age and the only way it seems, or the best way to offer an honest plan, and that's what I wanted to show the American people, that there was a different alternative to the president, was to do what seems to be most equitable, raise the cap on taxable wages.

CAVUTO: All right, now, Congressman, we can quibble over the details of your plan. But I will tip my hat you to, at least you have got a plan. Now your leadership was see essentially saying, Congressman, don't give them a plan, just let the president sort of hang on a vine. You didn't. Why not?

WEXLER: Well, the Democratic Party gave birth to Social Security. I think we ought to thank the president for making Social Security an issue, because this is our issue. It's the Democrats' issue.

CAVUTO: Well, they did squat, Congressman. You did something, they didn't. And they seemed to almost threaten you if you pushed this. You did push it. What happened?

WEXLER: Well, my view is you don't win any debate by default. And that's why I think the Democrats collectively and individually should be putting forth ideas. You know what? The last Democrat to win anything really big was Bill Clinton. And Bill Clinton, on a couple of occasions now, has said that the Democrats need to be heard on Social Security. Democrats need to come up with a plan. That's why I did it.

CAVUTO: Well, Congressman -- again, my hat is off to you. You came up with a plan, unlike some of your Democratic colleagues. I wonder if you have been burnt in your party as a result.

WEXLER: Oh, I don't think I will be. In fact, the response that I have gotten from Democrats all across the country, but especially in my district in Florida, has been overwhelming.

CAVUTO: All right. They like it. I'm asking you about your colleagues in the House.

WEXLER: I think time will tell. I think that the overwhelming support in the country for Democratic action, what I'm hearing from people is, where are the Democrats? These are Democrats that are saying that. They want to know where the Democrats are, and where the Democrats need to be in my view is absolutely not on privatization. We have already shown the American people that.

CAVUTO: All right.

WEXLER: But no benefit cuts. That's the key. If at the end of this process there are no benefit cuts to Social Security, the Democratic Party would have won.

CAVUTO: OK. Congressman Wexler, people can disagree on the specifics, but kudos to you at least for offering them.

WEXLER: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Congressman Wexler on Capitol Hill.

Content and Programming Copyright 2005 Fox News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.