Rep. Walsh: GSA scandal an 'in-your-face abuse' of taxpayer dollars

Illinois congressman on GSA scandal


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, it's the video that is already going viral.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hotel would like to talk about to you about paying for the party that was held in the commissioner's sweet suite last month.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to take care of that.


CAVUTO: Well, that GSA bath costs taxpayers more than $800,000. And now the House Oversight Committee says the White House knew about all of this for nearly a year.

Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh sits on that committee and joins me now by phone.

So, what are you going to do?

REP. JOE WALSH, R-ILL.: Boy, that is quite a video, huh, Neil?

Man. You know, in listening to your earlier segment, how is any of this stuff going to impact the election, the job numbers? This is the thing, Neil, that people get. Everybody out in the real world is struggling, and this is actually amazing. You have got government employees almost laughing.

This is just almost an in-your-face abuse of taxpayer dollars. And I think what Chairman Issa said is really troubling, that the administration has known about this for almost a year.

CAVUTO: Obviously, two things I found surprising here, the production value of this particular video, and, B, that I didn't know that many in government had such great personalities.

So touche on both counts there.


CAVUTO: But I guess my bigger issue here is the administration of course lambasted those that would go to Las Vegas to get money, to have meetings, to have big shindigs. This was $800,000. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that obviously they weren't aware of this ahead of time, they were aware after the fact. The administrator has been replaced.

But the bottom line is that obviously there was little follow-through within the structure of the government. In other words, you know how the president feels on this. You know this is his point of view that he is going after anything Vegas for one thing, or for that matter any whooping it up at all, and you do it anyway. You know?


WALSH: Yes. He went after the banks and other private companies for any sort of whooping it up in Vegas or anywhere.

And then here he has got his own government agency -- a government agency doing the same darn thing. And, again, this is a fairly easy thing once you see and learn about to discern how egregious it is. And it would seem to be a fairly quick thing to deal with it.

The fact that the administration has almost been sitting on this for a year, again, is pretty troubling. And I -- suffice it to say, Congress I think fairly quickly, the Transportation Committee and Oversight Reform are both going to look into this pretty quickly.

CAVUTO: But here's my issue with this, $800,000. Let's say it was all blown on silliness.


CAVUTO: We pile up $4 billion a day in debt, not minimizing this whole charade, but no one is doing anything about the $4 billion in debt?

WALSH: No. Well, you are right. I quibble with you for a moment. There is one group of people trying to do something about the debt, and that is the House Republicans.

And we get ripped upside-down and sideways, you name it. Neil, you and I have talked before. You have got a United States Senate that hasn't even passed a budget in three years, you have got president who puts a budget out there that never, ever balances. And here come the House Republicans putting something out to deal with the debt and we get hit over the head by the president and the media.

Look, you are right. By the time you and I are done with this conversation, we will have added hundreds of thousands to the debt. But this is the kind of thing that people get. It doesn't matter the amount. It matters the attitude that these government employees had toward your and my tax dollar.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, thank you very much. We will see how this goes.

WALSH: Happy Easter, Neil.

CAVUTO: To you as well. Thank you.

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