OTR Interviews

Where's the Budget?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 13, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: If you have financial problems, wouldn't you at least try and figure out your own budget so could you work on fixing it? Guess what, our nation has big financial problems, but we still don't have a budget. So what is going on? House Minority Leader John Boehner went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Where is our budget?

BOEHNER: That's the question I've been asking. Every family has to do a budget. This is one of the most basic responsibilities of the Congress to pass a budget. And never in the modern era has the House failed to produce a budget. But it appears they are going to try to go along without a budget.

And this is going to kill jobs and our economy. We had 222 economists write a letter late this year, earlier this year, that said what we could do to help get the economy going and create jobs is begin to cut spending.

And we see the problems in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. And if we don't get spending under control we are going to have the same problem here.

VAN SUSTEREN: So the budget was sort of expected April 15th?

BOEHNER: That's the deadline.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is for October, this coming October?

BOEHNER: The fiscal year 2011 begins in October.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you called Speaker Pelosi and said "I'm the leader of the minority party. What is going on with this budget?"

BOEHNER: I've been asking the questions in all kinds of forms to find out if there is a budget.

VAN SUSTEREN: Directly to her?

BOEHNER: Not directly to her or to Mr. Hoyer. But I want to know where the budget is. He's the one who said that in 2006 that it is one of our basic responsibilities.

And John Spratt, the chairman of the budget committee in 2006, also said that failure to pass a budget is a failure to govern.

VAN SUSTEREN: I got that, because we can't figure out where we are, how much we can spend, until we have some idea of the overall budget. But what do they say when you say where is the budget?

BOEHNER: They haven't said anything.

VAN SUSTEREN: They don't talk to you?

BOEHNER: They don't talk to us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why can you just pick up the phone and talk to the speaker?

BOEHNER: I might just do that. Where is the budget?

VAN SUSTEREN: Where is the budget? And what do you think they going to say? It's coming?

BOEHNER: No, they're not going to say it's coming. Today on the House floor the majority leader Mr. Hoyer said later on in May they are going to announce the discretionary spending numbers which is an indication to me they have to intention of passing a budget.

The American people believe that spending here in Washington is out of control, and they are right. Republicans have been offering ideas to cut the budget $350 billion worth of rescissions. We asked the president, send them up here, we will support you.

We're the ones who did a moratorium on earmarks for the balance of this year until we figure out how to do this process in more open and transparent ways. And we have other ideas about how to cut spending.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do they gain from not having a budget? You are going to hammer them. You and the Republicans are going to say where is the budget? How do we get our fiscal house in order if we don't have a budget? So they must have a reason, plan or strategy. It is not like they are doing nothing, right?

BOEHNER: No. The issue is Speaker Pelosi broke the back of her Democrat colleagues in order to pass their health care bill. And not long after the speaker said there won't be any more tough votes this year. Trust me, passing a budget is a tough vote, because you have got to make real decisions about spending and how spending is going to go on.

VAN SUSTEREN: But isn't that failure to act also a tough vote in its absence, because the American people are very concerned about unemployment, very concerned about the crisis in Greece and whether it is going to bleed back here to the United States in some form. Is the failure to have a budget also a "tough vote"?

BOEHNER: Well, it is going to be a tough they are going to have to answer each and every day over the course of the summer when they should have a budget in place. And we should be working on ways together to cut spending.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think they are thinking? I'm trying to figure out their thinking. Maybe they will have one in July?

BOEHNER: I think that -- we are not going to be here much after July.

VAN SUSTEREN: You would come back to work.

BOEHNER: But the fact is there aren't enough voting days before the election to do anything. So if you are going to have a budget we need it now so we can begin the real work of getting our arms around this out of control spending here in Washington.

VAN SUSTEREN: If it was due in theory, April 15th, why couldn't they get it done before April 15th, if that's the way it has been done? I realize a few times where it's been late, but what would they say?

BOEHNER: They've got problems in their own caucus. They've got a few members who want to cut spending, but they have a lot who want to spend more. They can't get 218 votes to pass a budget, that's why they don't have one.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's been a recent CBO report that the health care federal legislation is going to cost us more than we've been told. I suppose you are not particularly surprised by this.

BOEHNER: I'm not at all surprised. And it's not just the $115 billion that the Congressional Budget Office says this bill is going to cost more than what the president said it was. It's also the secretary of Health and Human Services own actuaries of Medicare and Medicaid who say people's health insurance premiums are going up and other quality of medicine is going down.

All the things that the president promised for a year leading up to the passage of this health care bill are turning now to not be true. He's the one who said we need do this to save the budget. They didn't want it to cost people more, and it will increase the quality of health care. We have his own administration admitting that's not really true.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thanks very much. And by the way, when are you going to make this call to the speaker?

BOEHNER: I'll do it soon.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is soon to you?

BOEHNER: I'll let you know, I'll tweet you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Great, I look toward to the tweet. Thank you, sir.

BOEHNER: Thank you.


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