Calls Mounting for Vote on Bowles-Simpson Plan

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: All right, the super committee flopped, and now lawmakers flipping over this committee? Calls mounting on both sides of the aisle to vote on the Simpson-Bowles deficit-cutting plan.

Senator Lindsey Graham among those pushing for it -- the Republican senator on the phone with us right now.

So, Senator, you want an up-or-down vote on that debt commission plan. Right?


I want to vote on something that will change America’s future. Bowles-Simpson has to have legislative language drafted. Probably the better choice is the Gang of Six, which is more maturely developed in terms of $4 trillion turnaround, entitlement reform, and lowering tax rates.

But either of those proposals which were bipartisan that are big deals need to be on the table, so we can vote on something meaningful.

CAVUTO: Now, a lot of your Republican colleagues would say no to that, Senator, because of the tax increases in that commission work. What do you say?

GRAHAM: Well, a lot of Democrats will say no because of entitlement reform.

CAVUTO: Right.

GRAHAM: I am in the camp of keeping America from becoming like Greece, Spain, and Italy.

And what Bowles-Simpson, what the Gang of Six did particularly, is lowered rates by limiting deductions. And, Neil, I’m in the camp that if you eliminate a deduction or extension, and you take three of the dollars to pay down tax rates and $1 to pay down debt that is OK with me.

CAVUTO: This is the battle royal. Now, I know you want to do this. I know you want to find another way, especially because this super committee botched it.

But is the temperament in Congress to do anything like this? You heard this famous incident in the last week where the chairman of Scotts Lawn I think was essentially cursing at Paul Ryan, not blaming him per se, but saying he was frustrated by this talk we just have to wait after the next election to do anything.

What do you make of that? What do you make of that?

GRAHAM: Yes, we don’t have time to wait.

Well, your last guest described a European situation that could affect us. We have a chance here. You have got two bipartisan products, the Gang of Six, Bowles-Simpson. Let’s get them up, develop them in a way so they can be voted on. And all of us take hard votes to keep America from going bankrupt.

This president has been a pathetic fiscal leader. His budget, the Obama budget, got zero votes in the United States Senate. He threw the Bowles-Simpson plan under the bus. When they had large Democratic majorities, he added 35 percent to the national debt.

So President Obama has been AWOL on the super committee negotiations. So I hope people will consider firing him and hiring somebody who will actually lead, because he has been very weak when it comes to providing leadership to save America from bankruptcy. And I’m willing to vote on anything that makes sense.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator Graham, we will see what reaction you get from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but very thankful you joined us. Be well.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

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