Lawmaker says government shutdown should be 'on the table'

Rep. Matt Salmon sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile -- shut the government down.

Arizona Republican Congressman Matt Salmon says, if that is what it takes to just start cutting this spending, then do it and do it now.

Congressman, I know a number in the media were a little shocked at your standing by that, but you still stand by that. Explain.

REP. MATT SALMON, R - AZ: Absolutely.

I came to Washington this time to cut spending and to balance the budget. I didn't come there to be a congressman again. I came there to do a very specific job. I used to say I like to fight for the next generation to make sure we don't pass those tax burdens on to them or paying the debt back to them.

But it is not about future generations anymore. It is about the guy that retires tomorrow. And so, frankly, I believe we have got a very, very tough job to do. And it is going to take some tough love. And after this latest bait and switch by Pelosi and the president, where they said just give us these revenues, these tax increases, and then we will roll over and play dead, well, that is not what they are doing.

And unless Republicans man up now and show that we are willing to fight the fight and do what has to be done, we are not going to balance the budget. And just like the old Fram man commercials, you either pay me now or you pay me a lot more later.

We have seen what has happened across the Atlantic. We are not immune from that kind of thing. And I want to make sure that we take care of our problem now. And so, while it's not my first...

CAVUTO: Well, no, the idea of a shutdown and welcoming it if that is the only way you can bang some heads, I see where you are coming from.

But do you mind being pilloried, as you have, on the left, and even some within your own party, Congressman, who say that is throwing grenades?

SALMON: You know, I believe these are very, very desperate times and I believe that we have to employ everything that we possibly can. It is not my first option.

I would hope that the president...


CAVUTO: Well, it's apparently not Speaker Boehner's first option, and it is not Mitch McConnell's first option.



CAVUTO: A lot of the prominent Republicans have said it is not their option. You say it should be, should be on the table.

SALMON: It should be. It should be. It should be on the table. It should be an option. We should do whatever it takes to make sure that we get this budget balanced, because America is in the balance and frankly, I came here to balance the budget as quickly as we possibly can. I serve under a Democrat president.

CAVUTO: Well, agree or disagree, you -- you -- agree well, or disagree, you have some vinegar and fight in you. And whether people support your position or not, you are one of the few who is not afraid to state it.

And I get a sense, sir, from a lot of your colleagues that they are running around with like a tail between their legs and they're afraid of their own shadow. What has happened to Republicans?

SALMON: You know something? If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. And that's the adage I want my colleagues to remember and understand.

I served in Congress when Bill Clinton was president. I there was for a government shutdown. I was there for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I was there for welfare reform, a whole host of different things. And I want to tell you something. I believe that if this president truly starts not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, we can actually get to a bipartisan solution.

We got have to fix Social Security and Medicare. There are lot of people that are going to be hurt very, very badly if we don't draw the line in the sand now and fix Social Security and Medicare and get our country back on a path to fiscal health. And I believe that we ought to be willing to do whatever it takes to be statesmen and to stand up for this country and do what is right.

CAVUTO: Well, Congressman, I admire your guts. And it was very good having you. Thank you very, very much.

SALMON: OK. Thank you.

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