GOP lawmaker takes sword to $1.1 trillion spending bill

Rep. Walter Jones explains stunt


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 21, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right. Did you see this photo? It really interested us.

This is Walter Jones. He's a congressman from the state of North Carolina, Republican. He is literally settling a sword setting a sword to the omnibus spending bill, all, what, 2,000 pages of it, and he's wearing a mask because it just -- the thing was retched to him, I guess foul- smelling. You know all the metaphors that apply here.

The good congressman joins us on the phone right now you.

You didn't like this from the get-go and you wanted to prove the point with this. Before I get into why you did it, what reaction have you gotten since you did it?

REP. WALTER JONES, R-N.C.: Well, Neil, I did this in behalf of the people of the Third District of North Carolina and the people of America, who are sick and tired of Congress spending more money than they take in.

And so much of the spending is wasteful. And I just wanted to make a point -- and this was the idea of my staff, and I agreed with them -- that America is just sick and tired. Let me make this very quickly. Bill Clinton leaves office in 2000. We had a Republican House, Republican Senate. Our debt in 2000, Neil, was $5.6 trillion.

Today, it is over $18 trillion in just 15 years. How much longer can Congress not listen to the American people before they're just sick and tired of the wasteful spending in Washington?

CAVUTO: All right, so you include the five or so trillion that was piled up under President Bush, so this is a bipartisan rant against spending out of control, right?

JONES: Absolutely.

Neil, I did not vote for the debt ceiling increases when President Bush was in office. That was seven out of eight years he was in office. We raised the debt ceiling. And we have raised the debt ceiling seven out of six years or seven years under President Obama.

The American people want somebody to get a handle on this out-of-control spending. We're headed to $20 trillion in a year.

CAVUTO: All right.

Well, you heard the rap against guy likes you who bemoan these things and bemoan budgets and say that you're always scaring people. But now you have got a little bit of a legitimate axe to grind here, because, with rates ticking up, the carrying costs for that debt, Congressman, tick up a lot as well, right?

JONES: Well, Neil, you know, a 2,000-page bill, we had 57 hours to read it. And you know what? There's so much pork in there.

That's why I had the mask on. I don't know how much -- when you're around pork spending, that means you're around pigs -- how much...



JONES: ... you get.

CAVUTO: No, I like what you were doing here just to make the point.

You were using a sword, though, right?

JONES: Right.

CAVUTO: This wasn't a chain saw. It was a sword.

JONES: No, it was a sword given to me by a minister in Columbus, Ohio, when I spoke in his church years ago.

CAVUTO: I see.

JONES: It's a symbolic type sword.

CAVUTO: Now, were you able to cut through all 2,000 pages, Congressman?


JONES: No, I didn't really try because it's a dull blade. I couldn't have done it.


CAVUTO: Now, you know, there are lot of people who criticize spending, as you know, Congressman. You and I have gotten into this before, this notion that everyone is against it until it's about the spending for them.

And I'm wondering whether the thinking of leadership, including Speaker Paul Ryan, even some of your colleagues, said, we're going to give him a mulligan and a do-over on this one, because -- clear the slate for him, let him fight the next fight, but there were fears expressed that he might not or that your party might not. What do you say?

JONES: Well, Neil, I think that's why the frustration is so deep and Donald Trump and other candidates are doing so well with the Republicans, because they're just tired and fed up of the dishonesty in Washington.

We are controlled by the special interests in Washington, not by the people. It's the people's house, not the special interests' house, and that's what we have.

CAVUTO: All right, we're showing, by the way, Paul Ryan in the pre-beard days when he first came in, just not to confuse you. Paul Ryan now has a beard.

That's just -- but do you think, whether it's the beard or not, Congressman, that the message Republicans are probably leaving with the close of this session is that 2016 is going to kind of be the same, until, I guess, in your case, you hope to see a Republican in the White House, you have full run of Washington, that is, assuming you keep the House and the Senate, and then maybe things get done.

But I'm not so sure that things will get done. What do you think?

JONES: Well, Neil, I hope so.

And I think that's why Donald Trump is doing well in North Carolina. I have endorsed Paul Ryan -- I mean -- excuse me -- I have endorsed Rand Paul, but, really, what -- Donald Trump is running strong in North Carolina because people are fed up of special interests and money buying policy.

CAVUTO: Are you backing him, Congressman?

JONES: Well, it depends on what Rand does. He would be my second choice if Rand decides not to move forward in the campaign.

CAVUTO: Wow. All right.

Congressman, thank you very, very much. Good seeing you.


JONES: Thank you, sir. Merry Christmas.

CAVUTO: All right, to you as well, sir.

You know, sometimes, they call this stuff stunts, but stunts sometimes have a purpose. They have a value. They can put in a rather comical way the laughing process that has become our United States budget. So you can laugh at this, but he does get to the point. Get to the point. All right.  Work with me, people.

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