This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The filibuster -- well, it's back! And guess what? Scott Brown just officially became Senator Brown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Will you please raise your right hand? Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this oath of -- this -- you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you are about to enter, so help you God?
SEN.-ELECT SCOTT BROWN R - MASS.: I do.
BIDEN: Congratulations, Senator.
BROWN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: So now what does President Obama expect? And does Senator Brown tame the president's agenda? Florida Republican senator George LeMieux joins us. And Senator, you're probably the only senator that hasn't fled Washington, D.C., with the storm coming. And who would have guessed, a senator from Florida would do that.
SEN. GEORGE LEMIEUX, R - FLA.: Well, I'm leaving tomorrow morning, so I'm looking forward to getting back to the Sunshine State.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I must admit you're a brave man. Everyone else has fled, as I understand it. All right, now that you have a new member of the United States Senate, how is that going to affect the president's agenda, if at all?
LEMIEUX: Well, I think it's going to bring bipartisanship, at least I hope it's going to, back to Washington. He's not just the 41st senator from Massachusetts, he's the 41st senator for America. And no longer will the Democrats be able to steamroll over us. The American people spoke up. And it wasn't just the people of Massachusetts. I know people in Florida contributed to Scott Brown, made phone calls on his behalf. And I really think it was a national referendum. And now we have that 41st vote, and I think it's going to lead to better policy because Republicans have to have a voice and a seat at the table as we go forward.
VAN SUSTEREN: One of the things I've always found curious in covering the story of health care is that I speak to every (SIC) Democrat and the Democrats say, Well, the Republicans are obstructionists, they're the party of no. I speak to the Republicans, and I hear you saying this, as well, is that you had no seat at the table, no opportunity, no voice. Tell me your efforts or your experience? Because I'm trying to sort out, you know, what is what.
LEMIEUX: Well, it's true, we didn't have a seat at the table. The dealings were done in the majority leader, Harry Reid's, conference room, and no Republican was allowed in. I had a proposal -- and I know this will warm your heart from your experience in the criminal justice system. I had a proposal to try to stop health care fraud as part of this health care discussion. We're losing $60 billion a year in Medicare fraud alone. I had a proposal that some thought might cut $20 billion out of that, save $20 billion a year for Medicare.
I tried to introduce that proposal on the floor of the United States Senate in December, and the Democrats wouldn't even allow me to debate it because they already had their deal done. So now that we have Senator Brown, America's 41st senator, I hope that we'll have an opportunity to have a discussion about these issues so that we can do good policy for the American people.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did they stop you, though? I mean, did they just say, you know, Tough luck, Senator, we don't want to hear from you? I mean, like, you know, what are the mechanics? Because I'll tell you, more and more American people, as they learn about the sort of what goes on in Capitol Hill, it looks, frankly, a little high schoolish from time to time. But I mean, how did they actually stop you from putting your ideas forward?
LEMIEUX: Well, unfortunately -- and you know, I'm new here, Greta, so it's all a bizarre situation to me because you would think that you would have an opportunity in the world's greatest debating institution to debate all these issues. But the truth of it is, is that we have 19th century rules in the United States Senate as to how laws are passed. So you just can't bring up an amendment. And when I brought up my amendment, the Democrats had done their procedural maneuverings to keep our amendments from going forward. So I tried to bring it forward, and only one Democrat had to object to my procedure and my proposal. So it's not what the American people think.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who objected to yours? Do you remember who...
LEMIEUX: It was Senator -- yes, it was Senator Baucus, who's the chairman of the Finance Committee. Now, honestly, to his credit, he's met with me afterwards and he's told me that he's interested in my idea and I hope that we can work on it together...
VAN SUSTEREN: But it's too late!
LEMIEUX: ... in this new environment.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean, he -- he had his chance! I mean, that's what's so distressing. I mean, it's nice after he sort of, you know, bars you or prevents you from doing it, then he pulls you aside, say, Hey, sorry, maybe we can talk about it later. I mean, that's rather lame because it doesn't -- it doesn't get debated, whether it's a good or a bad idea.
LEMIEUX: Well, imagine if we could have saved $20 billion a year to prevent health care fraud before it starts and put that money back in the Medicare trust fund so it can go to health care for seniors. And we didn't even get to talk about that idea. That's not what the American people expect of us.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does Senate majority Harry Reid -- what's he like with you? Does he -- does he, you know, embrace your ideas or even nod at you in the hall? Or does he have any sort of relationship with you at all?
LEMIEUX: Well, he's a fine fellow and he nods at me. But you know, this is not what the American people would expect. It's not a free-flowing debate about ideas. The Democrats had 60 votes. They didn't need any of the Republicans to get anything done. So they just pressed on and they made their deals within their party, and the "Cornhusker kickback" and the "Louisiana purchase" and all the different deals for different states and different Democratic state senators were done, and they thought they didn't have to talk to the Republicans. So they just rolled us over.
And you know, you'll remember those days where there were 24 days in a row. We voted on Christmas Eve morning. We voted at 1:00 in the morning. And they just did everything they could to try to get this done.
But the American people spoke up and in a special election in Massachusetts, arguably the most liberal state in the country, that state voted for a Republican to send a message to the Democrats in Congress and the president that's, Enough enough (SIC). You know, we're spending too much money. This health care bill was cutting Medicare, raising taxes, not reducing the cost of insurance. It just wasn't the right thing for America.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, I think we ought to tell the viewers, just because they may have forgotten, how long have you been in the U.S. Senate? Because you just replaced a senator recently.
LEMIEUX: Yes, I'm new here. I came in in September.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you can't be...
LEMIEUX: And I'll be here for 16 months.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... blamed for the -- so you can't be blamed for all the rules that have been going on for centuries, cutting off the debate.
LEMIEUX: Well, I don't think so. But you know, I bring fresh eyes to it, and I think it's helpful, really, in representing my state of 18 million people, that someone comes here having a business background, having experiences in state government, where we balance budgets, where in business, we make payrolls. I mean, this Congress spends money like it's out of control, and no one has any cognizance of how much money we take in versus how much money we spend. It's really out of control.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, and good luck getting to your Sunshine State before the snow whacks that city. Thank you, Senator.
LEMIEUX: Thanks so much, Greta.
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