Rep. Gaetz: Conservatives are fighting for military funding

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 18, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, "YOUR WORLD" HOST: Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is with us right now.

Congressman, thanks for taking the time.

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLORIDA: It's good to be on.

CAVUTO: How likely does it look to you that a shutdown is going to happen?

GAETZ: Well, Congress budgets a lot like a 17-year-old does a term paper, Neil. We wait until the last minute and then do a pretty mediocre job of it.

I think the odds could be 50/50. I would say that it's disappointing to me that one year into Republican control of the Congress, we have yet to do anything to cut spending. And at the same time, members of our military who are down-range who need training and equipment and munitions, are not getting what they need as a consequence of this C.R.

Every time the public hears continuing resolution, they should think more of the same, more depriving our military of what they need, more funding of Planned Parenthood, more funding of ObamaCare exchanges.

Those are the types of things that Republicans promised to be against. And that's why we're fighting for real reform, not just kicking the can down the road.

CAVUTO: All right, so what would that mean on this measure that could come up tonight?

GAETZ: More funding for our troops. Conservatives have said to our leadership that if we can fully fund the military and do a continuing resolution on all the other domestic priorities, we would hold our nose and vote for it, because there's no reason for sending my constituents downrange into harm's way without the training and munitions that they need.

Over 80 training deaths just this -- in this last calendar year alone, Neil, in our military. And we're complicit in those deaths if we don't fund the military adequately. That's what conservatives are fighting for.

CAVUTO: But this tentative measure, I'm told, sir, whether it's five days or 30 days, doesn't guarantee that.

GAETZ: Well, that's why we're fighting for a better measure.

One of the reasons why a number of conservatives have not indicated that they're telling to support this vote at 7:00 p.m. tonight is that we want to see a commitment for our troops, for our military, and the training and equipment that they need.

We promised that to our voters. We said we would rebuild the military. We're now over a year into the work of the 115th Congress and we have failed to maintain that commitment, and several of us want to see that it is met.

CAVUTO: Do you think that the Democrats are setting you up, though, fully predicting this and taking away whatever wind has been at your back from the surprisingly strong response to those tax cuts?

GAETZ: Well, Democrats want to shut the government down over DACA, for goodness' sakes.

Neil, this last election wasn't about DACA.

CAVUTO: Well, you want to shut the government down over this, right?

GAETZ: No, look, look, if the Democrats would come on board with the existing continuing resolution, I don't know that the leadership would even need the vote of conservatives.

The reason Democrats are holding their vote -- and don't take my word for it -- it's what they said -- they are holding their vote because they want a DACA fix. If this last election was about DACA, Hillary Clinton would have won it. This last election was about border security.

And, look, another way that a lot of conservatives would vote for this continuing resolution would be the implementation of border security measures like the legislation put together by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Raul Labrador.

If that legislation came to the floor, they would have all the votes they needed for this continuing resolution.

CAVUTO: All right, we will watch closely.

Congressman, thank you very, very much.


Content and Programming Copyright 2018 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.