Interviews

Rep. Camp: We Haven't Seen a Budget Plan From Democrats

Michigan congressman on Senate's plan to vote on Ryan budget, spending cuts

 

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: My next guest says Republicans are sticking with that Ryan Medicare plan.

Dave Camp is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Chairman, what do you make of Pat Caddell’s point that maybe that Ryan boat is rickety and you should get off it?

REP. DAVE CAMP, R- MICH.: Look, we have a plan. I haven’t seen any plan from the Democrats. I think that is one thing I agree with Pat Caddell on. They have not offered anything.

OK. If this is such a bad proposal, what is their proposal? And when people do get that we have a debt problem, when we look at spending, two- thirds of that is entitlement mandatory spending, so you cannot actually get there without reforms that will make these programs sustainable for the long run, not just for today’s seniors, but well into the future.

So, we’re having a public discussion on this. Obviously, the Senate’s done nothing with this, but we need to continue that discussion, because it’s real.

CAVUTO: Do you feel a little bit disappointed -- I’m trying to put the right words here -- by the Senate dropping this, because they’re not pushing this?

I know they are going to be voting on this, because Harry Reid is kind of forcing them now, but they have not endorsed what Mr. Ryan is doing and what you’re supporting and kind of leaving you House guys in the lurch.

CAMP: Well, we really need to have a proposal from the Democrats in the Senate or the administration. That is what we’re looking for. So...

CAVUTO: But you know what I think is happening, Chairman? And you know this far better than I. I think they are just letting you stew and letting you turn on the spigot.

CAMP: Look, I think when the American people, and we’re going to continue to have a public conversation about this, understand where we are, they’re going to know that we -- that this promise of Medicare, this current promise, is really a false promise, because it’s not going to be there.

The trustees’ report was just issued and says, in 2024, we’re going to have -- Medicare is going to not be there.

CAVUTO: No, Chairman, there’s no doubt. The numbers are with you. The arguments and statistics are with you.

But is it fair to say, sir, that the other side is getting the better of you on the emotional battle, the "throwing granny off the cliff" thing, the "Paul Ryan is going to kill off seniors" thing, Paul Ryan’s going to cut Medicare, when, in fact, we know all anyone is trying to do here is slow the growth in Medicare, but that you’re losing the argument?

What do you make of that?

CAMP: What we trying to do is get personal choice in Medicare, where you can actually get the sort of medical plan that is tailored to your needs.

CAVUTO: They’re not letting you even get past that. They’re not letting you get past that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMP: Their solution is the IPAD, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is going to slice off provider payments and slice off...

CAVUTO: With all due respect, sir, you’re intellectualizing it. You’re a very smart man. I’m saying, how are you going to post-this?

If everyone now in the traditional media is saying this race in New York has been decided on Medicare and Republicans going so far, what do you recommend the game plan is now?

CAMP: Look, the New York race is special. I think you can only draw so many conclusions from those. And, also, it was a three-way race and a three-way race where a Democrat actually said they were Tea Party and spent $2 million. I think you can’t draw a lot of conclusions from that race.

CAVUTO: But you can draw a lot of conclusions by calling their bluff on the debt ceiling, right? You want to have a special vote on that up or down, right?

CAMP: I do. I want an up-or-down vote, because we must have real spending cuts and structural reforms.

And if we don’t demonstrate to the administration that this idea that it’s just going to go up without any reforms, that that is not going to be a workable alternative. We won’t get to the actual real discussion.

So this is to help facilitate a discussion on what kinds of spending reductions, what kinds of reforms. And, look, even President Clinton, Speaker Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, they all say everything’s on the table. They say Medicare is on the table, so there are Democrats who are recognizing that, even in this debt limit discussion, we have to address this issue.

CAVUTO: It’s one thing to say. It is one thing to say. I would admire you if you got them to do it. We will watch, Chairman, very closely. Thank you very much.

(LAUGHTER)

CAMP: All right. Hey, thanks a lot.

CAVUTO: All right.

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