Interviews

Rep. Maloney: Combined Cuts in Budget Are Draconian

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, that back-from-the-brink budget deal, well, it is still not a done deal. Lots of hurdles remain.

And between agreeing on rules, then cuts, then voting on both in the House, then agreeing on rules and procedures, and getting the whole thing through the Senate, well, let's just say it's a long way from being a done deal right now, especially when so many conservatives feel, at $38 billion bucks, Republicans didn't cut nearly enough. And a lot of liberals grumble that the president actually cut too much.

With me now, one of the latter, New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

So, Congresswoman, first off, you think that the president cut too much. Do you think this thing is in jeopardy right now, as it stands?

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY, D-N.Y.: Well, I think it's -- there's going to be a debate and votes as we move failure, not only on the extension for the next six months to end the year -- it's September 29. It's $78 billion, when you look at the annual amount. It's $34 billion just to the six-month period.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

MALONEY: And then we're going to be also addressing the Ryan Republican budget, which...

CAVUTO: Well, I know that. That's -- well, first things first. This thing, do you think it goes through? People have just been, you know, it is signed, sealed and done.

It isn't.

MALONEY: Well, nothing is ever solid until the vote takes place.

CAVUTO: Do you think it will take place and it will be approved?

MALONEY: I think it will take place and it will be...

CAVUTO: Are you going to vote for it?

MALONEY: And it will be approved.

But the question is in what form it will be approved. We'll look at it. I will probably vote against it, if the cuts are as draconian as they have been.  It -- the cuts coming forward with the Ryan Republican plan and this one would end Medicare as we know it, greatly abolish the safety net, and not create jobs.

CAVUTO: Well, first of all, to the budget that wasn't a budget, now is a budget, for this year that will be voted on. You call them draconian, but $34 billion, $38 billion in the scheme of things, just money under the couch.

MALONEY: It's $78 billion when you look at...

CAVUTO: From what the president originally proposed. Oh, annualized.

MALONEY: It's $78 billion annualized.

CAVUTO: But, again, in $3.5 trillion budget, it's a rounding error.  So, why do you call that draconian?

MALONEY: When you combine that with -- with the Republican -- Republican 10-year plan, it will end Medicare. It cuts programs to the poor by two-thirds, even though it's only 21 percent of it.

CAVUTO: I know that, but you said this was draconian, this measure was. And it just worries me from this perspective, Congresswoman. If that's draconian, man, oh, man, we have got some serious stuff to do, right?

MALONEY: Well, when you combine all of them, I believe it's very draconian. And according to many economists, they are questioning whether or not it will cause a double-dip recession. You don't want that to happen, do you?

CAVUTO: So, you're saying that to cut is advisable; in this environment, not advisable?

MALONEY: Yes. And also...

CAVUTO: So, why was it OK to raise or to push taxes up on the upper income in an equally, in fact, for a while, worse economic environment?

MALONEY: Well, they weren't. This budget...

CAVUTO: They weren't, I know. But back then, many in your party had urged against that.

(CROSSTALK)

MALONEY: This -- this budget has a tax -- it continues the Bush tax cuts, makes them permanent.

CAVUTO: Right. Well, how do you feel about that?

(CROSSTALK)

MALONEY: The Republican -- I voted for the Obama plan to move it forward. And in the Republican plan, it reduces the taxes again. And the Economic Policy Institute projects, by 2022, that it will not reduce the deficit, and that it will not reduce the debt, and that it will cost jobs.  So, I think you have...

CAVUTO: So, when the president talks this week apparently about a mix of cuts, along with spending or tax hikes, is that closer to what you want to see?

MALONEY: Well, what the president said is, he will be using a scalpel, not a machete.

He will be speaking on Wednesday at Georgetown University.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Do you know what he's going to say?

MALONEY: I do not. I called over to the DNC and also the White House and tried to get some information. I'll have to stay tuned.

CAVUTO: He has not shared it with you?

MALONEY: No, he hasn't shared it with...

CAVUTO: What do you think of him? What do you think of him?

(CROSSTALK) MALONEY: I think he's a great president. I think he's working hard and...

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: I hear a lot of liberals in your party are getting annoyed.

MALONEY: Well, the bottom line to me is that the economy is improving. And that helps everyone. When he went...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But you are saying this doesn't improve it; this could make it worse.

MALONEY: When he went to office, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month.  We are now gaining jobs. By the end of the year, we will have gained two million.

CAVUTO: But you just said that what he is doing now, you don't like.

MALONEY: Well, I don't like what the -- I don't like the Republican plan. I do like President Obama.

CAVUTO: But he signed on to this plan, this $38 billion plan.

MALONEY: Well, he negotiated this plan, and everything was a compromise.

CAVUTO: I know, but he wasn't invisible, right?

MALONEY: No. He was a leader in the negotiations.

CAVUTO: And you don't like the final end product.

MALONEY: Well, I represent an urban area. And in this particular plan, they cut programs that are particularly important to urban areas, mass transit, housing, seniors.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

MALONEY: Particularly, to me, to cut the Pell Grants for young people to go to college is -- is not investing in the future. And yet it extends $40 billion in subsidies to oil companies, and cuts investment and innovation in coming up with energy alternatives by 85 percent.

I don't think that that is a program of innovation for the future...

CAVUTO: Understood.

MALONEY: ... for employment and future economic strength for our country.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, thank you. Very good seeing you again.

MALONEY: Well, thank you. Good to see you again, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right. Be well.

MALONEY: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

MALONEY: All right.

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