OTR Interviews

Introducing 'YouCut'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, Republicans want help tonight. They want it from you. They want you to help them get the Democrats to just simply stop spending. So what does the GOP want you to do? Go to "YouCut." Now, what's that? House Minority Whip Eric Cantor tells you. He goes "On the Record."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, nice to see you, sir.

REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA, MINORITY WHIP: Greta, great to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we blogged earlier today on GretaWire about YouCut, but we wanted to come up and talk to you about YouCut. What is it?

CANTOR: YouCut is a program that we unveiled today. It was really produced by the Economic Recovery Working Group in the House, a group of Republicans who really intend on trying to change the culture in Washington. You know, not only have we've seen just rampant pork barrel spending, but the whole process itself is bent towards spending money. And so what this program is, is an ability for people across the country to make their voices heard, to vote on what they think should be cut from the federal budget.

VAN SUSTEREN: So let me -- so let me understand. So you go online to YouCut, and you get to vote on what you think should be cut out of the federal budget?

CANTOR: Right. And then the winning item, we take that, and then we're going to put it to a vote, to an up-or-down vote on the House floor the following week.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. How often do you vote? How often are items put up on YouCut so that Americans can vote whether it should be cut or not cut?

CANTOR: Well, once a week, there will be new -- there will five new items to be voted on by the American people. So today, with the launch, there are five items up there right now. As of four hours into the launch, we were getting thousands of people coming to the website to cast their vote. It's Republicanwhip.house.gov/youcut. And once we tally all that up, the following week, we will bring that to an up-or-down vote on the House floor.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, this does -- all right, I see sort of the wisdom of letting the American people participate in the government. I see that. But I also think this must drive your opponents absolutely mad.

CANTOR: Well, you know what, Greta? I think the reason why maybe some would say that this -- they're so frustrated at this -- you know, this project called YouCut is, number one, it goes to the fact that the majority has not been listening to the American people, and that's why we see so much frustration now beginning to rise up across the country is they think that there's an arrogance about Washington and that Washington is not listening.

What We're saying here -- we're going to listen. Vote on your priority, and we'll take it to an up-or-down vote on the floor. Secondly, you know, it is about trying to change the culture. And right now, Speaker Pelosi and the majority in the House have no interest in reducing spending. And we all know that the American people who watch your show and others are sitting there, trying to make ends meet at the end of the month, and they see Washington on a rampant spending spree! That's what we're trying to change and that's what YouCut's about.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so let's say we -- there's a -- there's a vote and you take the winner to the floor. What do you expect mechanically to happen?

CANTOR: Well, mechanically, what this will be will be a vote as to whether the other side will join us in beginning to change the culture.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so what happens? I mean, do you really expect the Democrats are going to say, Aha, this is great, the -- this is a great thing to cut?

CANTOR: If they don't, then let them explain why because we -- these are items that the American people will vote on. And frankly, they are sensible kinds of cuts, some of them large, some of them certainly large in anybody's eyes. But when we're dealing with the kind of deficits we're dealing of a trillion-and-a-half dollars, we've got a long way to go. So these are items that you'll see up on line today. Some of them are a couple billion dollars, some a couple hundred million dollars. These are items that we feel that the public should have an opportunity to opine, and we will take that vote and then put it in the form of an up-or-down vote on the floor of the U.S. House.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's sort of interesting. When you look at - - when cameras came, C-Span, everyone thought that was an enormous amount of transparency. We heard that. We could finally see what you do here in Congress. And then the Internet -- use of Internet and the races. Now what we see is the Republicans using the Internet to both give a voice but also to clobber the opponent.

CANTOR: Well, listen, I mean, the problem is the majority and Speaker Pelosi feel like they don't need to listen to the people! The people have said, Enough with the spending! Enough with taking on more debt! That's what we're trying to do right now. We're trying to change the culture in Washington, asking Speaker Pelosi and her majority to join us in doing what the people are asking Washington to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, it's just been up a few hours. Are you hearing anything in the halls, any reaction from...

CANTOR: Well, I tell you one thing. I know that many, many members are out talking to their constituents now, telling them that there's an opportunity here for everyone in the country to get behind a campaign to reduce spending in Washington. That is the purpose, and we're very excited about it. We've had the latest count over 6,500 votes cast already, and this is just the first day.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about from the Democratic side? Are you hearing things in the hall? Are they pulling you aside and say anything to you?

CANTOR: Well, listen, there's no question there's some talk that they don't like this, that somehow, you know, this is not something that they would approve of because, frankly, Greta, they're in charge on Capitol Hill. They have been unable to bring a budget forward, much less begin the process of reducing spending. They're -- believe me, I look at what they're about right now, and it seems to be a lot of disarray about the direction we need to head in terms of fiscal restraint. And we are taking the lead here by asking the American people to get engaged and to offer up their priorities.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.

CANTOR: Thank you, Greta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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