Bachmann: I'm Voting No on Debt Bill

2012 candidate on proposed debt deal, spending cuts


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: So, how is it going to go down in the House? We have with us right now one of that body’s more esteemed matters, also a candidate for president of the United States, also, depending on the poll, among the most popular candidates for president of the United States, Michele Bachmann, congresswoman from the fine state of Minnesota.

All right, Congresswoman, very good do have you, first off.


CAVUTO: So, how are you going to vote?

BACHMANN: Well, I’ll be voting no.

I’m not satisfied at all that this is dealing with the spending. And that’s the issue. I have been all over Iowa, North Carolina -- or South Carolina and New Hampshire. People are saying, please stop this insane spending. Don’t vote to raise the debt ceiling. And so I cannot give my vote for this deal that’s today. And you brought up tax increases, Neil. What this tells to me in this -- what this tells me in this deal is that, with almost certainty, the Bush tax cuts will go away once this deal is done. I’m very concerned about that.

Plus, we can never forget, when you do all of this spending, $2.4 trillion, some day, you have to pay the piper. This is not going to lead up to a pro-growth economy. That’s my fear. And so, if we don’t have a pro-growth economy to dig our way out of this, where are we going to go? It will only be with printing money that doesn’t have value or borrowing or tax increases. It’s one of the three. Neither of them are good for a pro- growth economy.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, what would make this acceptable to you at the last minute, I guess, and could get you to switch?

BACHMANN: Well, I won’t be switching on this because I won’t be voting to increase the debt ceiling.

Early on, I had put a measure forward with Congressmen Steve King and Gohmert. What we believe we have to do is take the issue of default off the table. No one wants default. We have to make sure we secure the full faith and credit of the United States. And we need to make sure that the military is not a pawn.

In this current deal, it appears that President Obama under any scenario will get his $2.4 trillion blank check to spend, but it appears also that if the joint commission can’t come up with their proper findings, it will be our American military fighting men and women who will be the ones who will take the biggest, most severe haircut.

That is giving great pause here on Capitol Hill right now. And you’re right. It is high drama. But I will tell you, out in the real world, where America lives, the people who do the living and working and the dying and the paying for all of these bills, they don’t want to see us to continue to spend this money.

And I will tell you, raising the debt ceiling is very unpopular across the United States.

CAVUTO: Is it your sense, Congresswoman, that many share your view? Among the Tea Party congressmen and women, there are 87 freshmen, again, largely Tea Party Republicans, newly elected this past election. How many do you suspect share your opposition?

BACHMANN: Well, I am not sure what that count will be, Neil. We know in the last vote, the one with the Boehner plan -- I believe that was on Friday -- we had 22 members that voted no.

CAVUTO: Right.

BACHMANN: That was just within a hair’s breadth of the number that John Boehner needed.

Now, today, it could be just John Boehner delivering those votes in the House, or it could with the assist of Nancy Pelosi. I don’t see that Nancy Pelosi is making an assist to help John Boehner. So, in all likelihood, he will have to deliver the bulk, if not all, of those votes. That certainly is not without peril on the part of House Republicans.

But at the end of the day, I have full confidence that this bill will pass. I think that there’s the movement and energy to see it pass. But it won’t pass with my vote.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, the Congressional Black Caucus is having a press conference at this hour. We’re monitoring that. But on the left, too, as you indicated, there’s a great divisiveness over this. That and the Progressive Caucus, if you combine the overlap with some of these members, maybe 80, 85 of your colleagues on the Democratic side similarly concerned probably predisposed to vote against this.

So in your gut, do you think this is going to be defeated in the House tonight?

BACHMANN: No, in my gut, Neil, I think that it will pass, because I think John Boehner has a good handle on his vote count.

I don’t – I’ll be leaving here within literally minutes, going across the street to vote on the rule vote, which is one of the procedural votes to tee us up for the final vote.

CAVUTO: Right.

BACHMANN: So I think that we will know during this rule vote which way it’s going to go. But I’m quite sure right now that John Boehner in all likelihood has his votes to get this passed, and then Harry Reid will have to do the same in the Senate, and we’ll wrap it up this evening.

CAVUTO: Now, obviously, you let the speaker know what your intentions were. Was he surprised? Was he angry? Was he annoyed? Any of that?

BACHMANN: No. I -- I voted no twice already. This will be a third time for me on the debt ceiling. I voted no every time previously on the debt ceiling.

My opinion is that we have a very serious problem with our fiscal house. I cannot contribute to that fiscal problem. Instead, we’ve got to focus on cutting spending. I will tell you, I was just at a company in Iowa, Cemen Tech. They just cut 50 percent of their employees.

Cisco will be letting about 6,500 of their employees go. Companies are cutting back. They aren’t taking 10 years to cut back. They’re cutting back immediately. Why in the world can’t the federal government do the same thing?

At the beginning of the recession, there was only one federal transportation employee that made $170,000 a year. Eighteen months into the recession, there’s 1,690 federal employees making over $170,000 a year. I can’t vote to keep this new normal of high, unsustainable spending going forward. I can’t do it. I won’t give my vote.

And I think the American people are really tired of this. And they doubt that the Congress is going to do what they need to do. And that’s cut spending.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, thank you very much. We’ll see how it all goes down. Very good seeing you again.

BACHMANN: Always a pleasure. Thank you, Neil.

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