DeMint Wants Frivolous Spending to Stop

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, meanwhile, now, to the Senate, a huge $149 billion jobs bill, just the kind of stuff that Stuart loves, clearing a crucial hurdle, right now, the Senate voting 66-34 just to take up the bill. Democrats have been calling it emergency spending. Senator Jim Bunning fought against it unless it was paid for and was made out to be a nutcase, right?

But you want nutty? Well, here's nutty, my friends, money for motor sports entertainment complexes. Here's nutty, a mine rescue training credit. Here's nutty as well, incentives for bio-diesel fuel. Here's more nutty for you, an economic development credit for American Samoa.

I don't know about you, but these really don't sound like immediate emergencies to me, but they are all tucked in this bill, and it looks like a bill that will pass and become law.

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint is calling for a one-year ban on such earmarks. So, Senator, why not start right here with this bill, right now?

SEN. JIM DEMINT R-S.C.: Well, we should, Neil. I couldn't agree with Stuart more. I mean, we are in heavy debt as a country. Americans are sick of excuses about these wasteful pork barrel earmarks.

If you think about it, Neil, it's — they used earmarks to pass the bailout in the first place, to pass the stimulus. They're trying to use the earmarks such as Cornhusker kickbacks to pass the health care bill.

It's in everything. It's a sickness, here. That's why we've got nearly $14 trillion in debt. I'm going to propose another amendment, which I did a couple of years ago, which would put at least a one-year moratorium on earmarks. I hope everyone will votes for it, but I'm not sure...

CAVUTO: But why can't we do that right now, Senator, you know, right now, with this puppy, say no, no, no, all this ancillary stuff. We were for the extension of jobless benefits, even though they're getting up there now, as far as the extension after extension. Be that as it may, that was something on which most people were on board. But all this ancillary stuff thrown in, like a big old Christmas turkey, enough.

DEMINT: Well, we should have done it a long time ago. If you remember...

CAVUTO: But you don't. I mean, I know you're trying, but it doesn't happen. We keep talking about it and it doesn't happen.

DEMINT: It — it doesn't happen. I think we're close to winning this. There are still some Republicans and all the Democrats that don't get it yet, is Americans are sick and tired of these earmarks. This idea that we're up here to get money for states is bankrupting our country.

CAVUTO: Yes, but Republicans are to blame, too. God bless you, Senator. You were one of the few who spoke on behalf of your colleague, Jim Bunning, last week, when everyone else was ripping him and calling him, you know, the crazy professor. But, by and large, your party did, in all reality, abandon him and treat him as Mr. Magoo.

You did not. And you took the floor and defended him. I think you're to be given enormous credit for that. But I don't see a lot of that. So I fault your party, just as I fault the Democratic Party, a lot of folks talking the talk, very few walking the walk.

DEMINT: Well, Neil, we'll see who gets it this week. Because I'm proposing the moratorium again this week. I'm going to use a procedure to get the amendment on the floor.


CAVUTO: But this thing's going to pass.

Senator, that's a great goal. This thing's going to pass. This is slam-dunk done.

DEMINT: Yes, and they'll use — use earmarks to pass it. If one member is balking, they'll get some kind of kickback. I mean, it's corrupting our whole system. The people here in Congress need to get it.

Now, we've got some folks like Jeff Flake in the House who are following through with this moratorium on earmarks. I'm going to keep doing it here. And hopefully, by the end of this week, you'll see who is really serious about cutting spending.

CAVUTO: All right. Senator, good seeing you.

DEMINT: Thank you, Neil.

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