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Some Republicans Feel Betrayed by Last-Minute Payroll Tax Cut Compromise: 'I Feel Like Charlie Brown When He Goes Up to Kick the Ball ...'

Some Republicans feel 'like Charlie Brown with a football' after the last-minute compromise on the payroll tax cut extension

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, one unidentified Republican congressman says that Speaker Boehner may have a hard time keeping his speakership after this. So who's this speaking up, or at least anonymously?

Let's see if our next guest knows. Congressman Allen West joins us. Good evening, sir. And it's an unidentified congressman who says that Speaker Boehner may have a hard time hanging onto his job. Do you know who's saying that? And what's your -- what's your view of this?

REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: No, I don't know who is saying that, Greta. I read -- I saw the report come in. And I think it was reported that someone up in Washington, D.C. I got back down here to Florida yesterday.

And this is the thing. I'd rather have our leadership team than the House Democrat leadership team or the Senate Republican or Democrat leadership team. And I certainly don't want to have the President of the United States, who is really absent in leadership.

I have to tell you, I feel kind of like Charlie Brown when he goes up to kick the ball with Lucy. When we were told -- everyone said they wanted a one-year extension on this, and we came up with a plan. That was paid for. That would not bring about any detriment to Social Security. Then we go to kick the ball, and the ball moves and it becomes a simple two-month plan.

So I think that what happened -- to echo what Michael Grimm said -- you saw the politics of demagoguery trump policy and also principle in Washington, D.C., today. And I think that's a sad thing for America.

VAN SUSTEREN: If you believe that, then it appears that you got politically outmaneuvered and that you caved and deviated from your principles. And there still were, you know, in theory, eight days left of this month, and people could have stayed in Washington and pounded the pavement. But you know, everybody knew what the deadline was, but it certainly doesn't -- you know, just -- just from a sort of -- you all seem to have given up, those of you who have your position, because you got outmaneuvered and you didn't have the PR. But it seems like, you know, you still -- you didn't fight much at the end.

WEST: Well, I think that's not a good reflection of me. I put out a press release back last Saturday about this two-month deal. And the president very simply, by the Constitution, could have called the Senate back.

You have you to remember, Greta, the House did not adjourn for the year. The Senate did adjourn for the year and basically packed up their toys and went away. So I think that when you do the final analysis of this two-month deal, the thing that a lot of Americans don't understand, it's the "pay fors." Our plan, the one-year plan, was paid for, the one-year extension of payroll tax, unemployment insurance reforms, two-year "doc fix" and also some job creation policies.

But this two-month deal, what is going to happen is that the fees for loan guarantees for the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that is going to be the means by which you're supposed to pay for this.

So in other words, if you're one of those Americans out there that are getting this little $40 pittance that the president was walking back and forth on stage about -- of you go and you all of a sudden, you decide to buy a home and you go through one of the government-sponsored enterprises, you're going to see an increase in fees, which will actually take away this $40 or $166 over the two months that you're receiving.

So the American people were duped by the president of the United States, and that's why I really don't like his style of leadership.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, that's the substantive argument on the different bills on the Republican or the Senate versus the House bill. But the other thing...

WEST: And that's why -- and that's why we should have had...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, but I...

WEST: ... a conference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, yes, but here's one of the problems. You all -- you know, you and others don't like it. You know, everybody knew this deadline was coming up for about at least more than a year. Everybody was well aware of it. Your party's in control in the House, so you knew about it.

And so it gets pushed up to the line and everybody says, Well, it's too late, everybody went home. Well, where I'm from is, like, you know, I can't show up at 10:15 for my job. I have to show up on time for my job. I can't ask for an extension. No extensions. You guys have extensions and you just -- I mean, you guys have deadlines, and all do you is every time you don't agree, is you just create another extension!

WEST: Well, I tell you...

VAN SUSTEREN: It's because when you don't do your job.

WEST: Well, I tell you, Greta, give me the opportunity to be in leadership in Washington, D.C., and I think you'd see something different because coming out of the military, we didn't go home until the mission was complete. And so maybe that's what the American people need to understand.

It's about time that we take a chance with some of the young leaders that we have sent to Washington, D.C., and move away from this establishment rhetoric and this games that they play in Washington, D.C.

You know, this was played out on Twitter and Facebook and in the media. And the American people lose out because this is bad policy. You cannot do tax policy every two months. And I think all across the world, people are laughing at us right now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you're going to be doing it in two months from now because that's all the extension is. I'm curious what...

WEST: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... if you've spoken to any of the other freshman members of -- the Republicans who are the Tea Party caucus, for lack of a better word, in the House. Have you spoken to any of them? Have anybody said that there's going to be any sort of challenge to leadership in light of this, or is this just a -- you know, a 24-hour wound and you pick up after the first of the year and everything's fine and you move on to the next course of business?

WEST: No, this is not a 24-hour wound. We've had some e-mail discussions back and forth within the freshman class, and we're pretty let down, upset. But that does not mean we will continue to fight against the business as usual Beltway two-step because as you just said, this is going to be a kabuki dance that continues on. And we will never get to the point where we rectify the fiscal situation of the United States of America if we keep having these sound-bite policies.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm trying to gauge the fury within your group. I mean, is it such that people have said that there's going to be a challenge to the leadership in the Republican Party in the House? Have you heard any of that in the e-mails that have gone back and forth tonight?

WEST: No. That's not the concern right now. I think the number on concern is that the person that is occupying 1600 Pennsylvania, who's an abject failure in leadership and supporting probably the grossest bit of incompetent legislation that I've seen since I've been up there this year.

That is where we have to start, first and foremost, because very simply, the president could have stepped in and instead of sending out Twitter post, he could have by the Constitution called the House and the Senate back and made us resolve this. Someone has to be the adult in Washington, D.C.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.

WEST: Always a pleasure.