House passes 'pay freeze' bill for fed workers

Rep. Desantis weighs in on legislation


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, don't really sneeze at this freeze, the House of Representatives voting to extend a pay freeze to all, all federal employees, and that would include themselves, despite the president's wishes and despite Nancy, who doesn't really fancy it either.


HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: I don't think we should do it. I think we should respect the work we do. I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.


CAVUTO: To the Republican congressman who said, well, there's nothing about dignity in what they have yielded.

Ron DeSantis, who pushed this pay cut, and won.

Congressman, good to have you.


CAVUTO: What now? Where does this go?

DESANTIS: It goes to the U.S. Senate. And I think that Harry Reid should take it up.

He's got a lot of Democratic senators up in red states, and I think most of those voters do not believe that members of Congress, the executive branch officials or the vice president deserve to have any pay increases this year. So I think it's a commonsense measure. It saves $11 billion over 10 years. Given our fiscal situation, I think it a no-brainer.

CAVUTO: I know what you're saying. A lot of people look at $11 billion over 10 years with budgets of $3.5 trillion each year, it's just a spit in the ocean. I understand what really saying that it's a start, but you're really about making a statement here, that if you're not getting the job done, you certainly shouldn't be getting paid more for it.

But Nancy Pelosi talks about the dignity of your work and that this is essentially undignified. What do you say?

DESANTIS: Well, part of the reason we have to do this is in response to her speakership, quite frankly.

When she was making comments about Obamacare, that you have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill, a lot of Americans thought that was outrageous. They thought that whole process was undignified. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to change the way Congress is viewed, we're trying to put ourselves out there, we're willing to sacrifice to show the American people that we don't want to repeat the type of shenanigans that went on when she was the speaker of the House.

CAVUTO: Now, you talk about the next stop would be the Senate. I doubt very seriously the Senate would even take this up. What in the end are you left with here?

DESANTIS: Well, I think that there's a lot of Democratic senators who are up in red states and they should be asked, do you think your leader should bring this bill up? And if they say no, then I think that they will cause problems for themselves back home.

I think the bill should be taken up and voted on. I think it enjoys broad support from the American people. And, by the way, we got about 40 to 50 Democrats in the House to vote for it.

CAVUTO: Oh, no, no, you did not do too shabby at this, young man, at all.


CAVUTO: And I think it makes a powerful statement. It's not about the money here. It's about a statement about responsibility.

Congressman, thank you very much.

DESANTIS: Hey, thanks, Neil.

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