House Minority Whip Roy Blunt on Partisan Congress

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 24, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, meantime today, stocks down big today. Could it be because spending could soon be drying up? Democratic leaders looking to meet with President Bush to discuss a series of spending bills, including one that is up for debate today.

The president is threatening to veto at least five of those measures, claiming that the spending is indeed excessive. But is this any way to foster cooperation?


SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV., MAJORITY LEADER: The American people already know that President Bush is the worst president we have ever had.


CAVUTO: Can you really call the commander in chief the worst president ever and still expect to work with him, go to a meeting at the White House and say, "Hey, you know, muffins are great?"

Let's ask House Minority Whip Roy Blunt.

Congressman, it just seems odd, to me.

REP. ROY BLUNT, R-MO., HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: Well, Neil, it is odd.

I was interested to hear that Michael Vick probably is not going to go on the Supreme Court...


BLUNT: ... and that his current career may not be hurt if he's found not guilty of these charges later.

But on the topic at hand, I think the problem that our friends on the other side have is they're not getting any work done. And now they're having to back up and see if there is some way to get some accomplishments here.

This has been an aggressively partisan Congress up until now. It's been a Congress without any accomplishments. And the facts speak for themselves. The president signed exactly one bill that's had any meaning in this Congress.

In the first six months of the last Congress, there were dozens of bills, from class action reform to bankruptcy reform to a highway bill to an energy bill. All had lots of Democrat support, along with Republicans, got to the president's desk.

This Congress is producing nothing. And I think the leaders on the other side are desperately looking for something to change the topic.

CAVUTO: But is that the strategy, though?

If you're the Democrats, and you're looking forward to 2008, and very confident that you're going to win the White House, you stop the clock and you just, sort of, say, we're going to run this out because it's going our way?

BLUNT: Well, if it's a strategy, it's not going their way. The congressional approval numbers are at an all-time low, in the 30 years that people have been asking whether they're satisfied with the Congress.

It's less than half of the approval number, the lowest we got in the 12 years of the Congress, less than half of the approval number the day we lost control of the Congress.

So, whatever they're doing, it's not working. And I think what they're trying to do now is to suggest it's not all their fault, that somehow it's the president's fault that we're not getting bills to the president's desk that he can either veto or sign.

It's not like the president's vetoed a lot of legislation. He's not gotten any legislation, and they need to do something about this.

CAVUTO: But do you think, though, Congressman, that this sets the stage for an outsider to win the White House, that maybe a Michael Bloomberg enters in, or someone who is not associated with either the House or the Senate or traditional Washington ways, and that a maverick from the outside just might pull it off?

BLUNT: You know, I really don't think it sets the stage for a third- party candidate.

But, if you look at most of the candidates out there on our side, there are people who don't have a deep association with Washington. Even Fred Thompson was a senator, but isn't really identified as a part of the Washington establishment. Neither is Mr. Giuliani. Neither is Governor Romney. I guess Senator McCain is.


BLUNT: They have got the senators, the former senators. I think it's a better time for an outsider than it is an independent candidate.

And Americans want to see us work together. We were able to work together in the first year of the last Congress...


BLUNT: ... until the Democrats decided nothing was going to happen.

CAVUTO: All right.

Congressman, great seeing you again. Thank you very, very much.

BLUNT: Hey, Neil, nice to see you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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