New concerns over Congress' ability to compromise

Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, well, stuck between a rock and, well, a cliff, lawmakers flat out of room and almost no time when it comes to this ticking tax-and-spending bomb. Both sides say that they will work together, but so far they are really not doing much budging.

So, what exactly are Republicans going to do?

Colorado Republican Cory Gardner offers some ideas.

Congressman, good to have you.

What is most likely? If the speaker has indicated his willingness to consider revenues, i.e. tax hikes, I guess in the form closing loopholes and credits and that sort of thing, I don't hear the same talk out of Democrats wanting to rein in entitlements. Maybe I missed it. I don't want to say that unfairly. But what are you hearing and what kind of a deal do you think will ultimately be cobbled together?

REP. CORY GARDNER, R-COLO.: Well, look, there are two ways to get revenue for the federal government. You can increase taxes, you can cut spending.

And the third way is to grow the economy, and I think the third way is where we are talking about growing the economy. If tax reform results in a lower, fairer, flatter system for America with a stronger economy resulting in more revenue, I think that is a good direction to head in to.

But we do need to work on entitlement reform because you can increase taxes until you are blue in the case, but the fact is, two-thirds of the budget...


CAVUTO: I don't mean to be rude. I understand that and I know where you coming from on that. I am looking at the 53-day thing.

So, ahead of that, you would be open to what Speaker Boehner was open to, that is, closing loopholes and that sort of thing, and if that is part of a deal to extend these rates as they stand now or the spending cuts until both sides can cobble together the very thing you talked about, you would be open to that part of it?

GARDNER: Well, we cannot increase taxes on the American people. If there are loopholes that can be closed, that is one thing, but you can't increase taxes on American business or families. The next 53 days are critical.

CAVUTO: I just want to be clear. You are open to closing loopholes and credits. You don't want to increase the tax rates. That, I understand.

GARDNER: Correct.

CAVUTO: But you would be open to offer the Democrats, all right, you want to address revenues, close these loopholes, credits, we will be open to do that?

GARDNER: In the next 53 days, I think that's something we have to do, as long as we make sure that we do not increase taxes on the American people.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry. I am busy trying to save the world here, so not a lot of time.


CAVUTO: The Democrats come back and say what to you in order to get the yea on a deal, a temporary deal, to address these thornier and more serious issues? What do you want to hear out of them? You have gone ahead and told them the credits, allowances; I'm willing to junk them, you, my Democratic colleague, do what?

GARDNER: You have got to look at entitlement reform.

The two-thirds of the budget that is on autopilot, the fact is Medicare and Medicaid spending, it's the health care spending we know is driving our debt. That has got to be on the table, and not just a wink and a nudge at it.

CAVUTO: What if they only say verbally we will look at the entitlement reform, but they offer no skin like you just have with the credits and allowances right now?

What do you specifically want to hear out of them in the next 53 days for you guys to shake hands and then do the hard stuff next year?

GARDNER: They have to lay out a clear path saying we will deal with entitlements and we will put it on the table. This is how we will put it on the table and have some kind of a time frame commitment to getting that done, a time frame of negotiations, a time frame to come out with a plan.

This can't just be that wink-wink, nudge-nudge kind of a handshake deal.

CAVUTO: They can't just say, Congressman, we're for reform, because you will have said, well, I am not only for reform, I have already put something on table here, closing credits and loopholes and maybe that kind of thing, so I want to hear more out of you than just promising reform, right?

GARDNER: That's right. That's exactly right. And I think the American people deserve that.


CAVUTO: I'm sorry again. Saving the world takes time.


CAVUTO: So, if they don't do that, if they don't do that, we are going to go kablooey, right?

GARDNER: I don't think that we will do that. But that is the risk.

Look, they wanted to us come to the table. We have come to the table.

CAVUTO: All right.

GARDNER: And I think the American people will now expect them to come to the table as well.

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you, Congressman. I didn't mean to be rude, but when you are saving civilization, you do not have time for niceties.

GARDNER: Just same thing we're up to in Colorado.

CAVUTO: Indeed.

All right, we're going to watch it very, very closely.

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