GOP Lawmaker Defends Spending Bill No Vote

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, freshman Congressman Tim Huelskamp is one of those Republican no-votes, not because he feels the cuts were too deep, but precisely the opposite; they were not deep enough.

Congressman, I, frankly, expected more Republican no-votes today, with all the yapping I was hearing on the Hill last week. What happened?

REP. TIM HUELSKAMP, R-KAN.: Well, you expressed it right.

It's not enough cuts. You know, we started at $100 billion. We ended up with $61 billion, down to $38 billion. And then the CBO yesterday said yesterday maybe nothing and so not nearly enough. We've got a long -- work to go, especially when we have got a $1.6 trillion debt. This is just a small portion of what has to be done very soon.

CAVUTO: When you voted no -- and, of course, your intentions were well-known -- you were not hiding your displeasure -- any friction with the House leadership? Did anyone ever say, you know, you keep resisting us, here, Congressman...

HUELSKAMP: Well, it's certainly the case.

And people ask me back home, what it's like up there? What's the difference? I think, for the freshman class in general, there's a real sense of urgency that we have got to tackle our overspending problem. And a $38 billion cut, or a $352 million is what CBO said, that's not enough.  That's the same old thing out of Washington.

And they talk about massive cuts, and the end result is, we still have a bigger deficit.

CAVUTO: We should explain, the CBO described it this way that a lot of the cuts in reality were just savings that were passed along as cuts, most of them. We can get into the particulars. But suffice to say, as you said, the cuts even here were not what they appeared to be.


CAVUTO: I'm wondering whether if -- when the debt ceiling issue comes up, Congressman, where you would stand. Would you raise it at the way things are right now?

HUELSKAMP: I will raise it under one condition, and I've made it clear for over a month. With a balanced budget amendment, we will -- I would consider voting for it.

We have got to look forward to the future and find a way to avoid these type of foreign bailouts. And that's what it is. We are expecting a brand-new infusion of money if we raise the debt ceiling that someone will continue to give us money to continue to spend more than we're able to raise ourselves.

So, that's a real serious issue. And it will be a real tough battle I think for leadership to deliver the votes they need in order to raise that debt -- debt limit.

CAVUTO: All right. So it sounds like we are set for another potential shutdown saga, right?

HUELSKAMP: Well, it's our understanding that, whatever day the White House says we will have difficulty raising more money that'll be the time when we probably have a few more weeks. So if it's a shutdown or not, whatever day they say, there is more time, because they have a lot of room in the Treasury to maneuver around.

But the point is, sometime in the future, we're going to run out of -- max out that credit card. And that's really symbolic of spending in the past, but myself and other freshmen and other conservatives say, hey, we don't want to do this again. Make certain that doesn't happen again.


HUELSKAMP: Give us a balanced budget amendment or real structural reform, and we would consider the vote.

CAVUTO: Congressman, we will watch closely. Thank you, sir.

HUELSKAMP: Thank you.

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