House Majority Whip Blasts 'Lack of Leadership' From Obama, Democrats on Budget
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now just over two days from a possible shutdown, it remains to be seen whether or not the president's intervention will do any good.
Joining me now of all the latest on the budget battle, is the House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, one of the Young Guns. Congressman, good to see you. Thanks for being here.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Thanks for having me, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. First of all, can you give us a background as to this meeting which is apparently about to start in about two minutes, three minutes from right now?
MCCARTHY: Well, the president called it late, he got a little upset. You know, if you look at what had transpired, he only engages at the very end of the moment, then he leaves the city, same thing he did with the vice president we he came in to negotiate and left the country for two weeks. We've been talking to the Dems but we've been very clear. We produced a budget even when the Democrats controlled Congress, they never produced a budget. We sent it to the Senate. And the Senate has never passed anything.
HANNITY: Yes. Well, you passed this budget, and I think it is important that we really outline this for people that are watching tonight. We're not dealing with Paul Ryan's budget that he proposed yesterday.
HANNITY: This is the current fiscal year started October 1, for 2011. We should have been funded back then. Why didn't the Democrats -- they had the majority of both houses, and the White House, why didn't they pass a budget?
MCCARTHY: Because they were afraid they couldn't get anything through. So, they didn't pass the budget. But this is even worse, Sean. You know, what they did? After the November election, we still had that lame duck session. They come back and they choose to pass a continuing resolution that only funds government to March 8th, because they believe in politics and that oh, this will all be bad, Republicans will shut it down. Well, Republicans take control of the House. They passed their HR1 which cuts discretionary spending which has been increased by 83 percent in the last three years. No household has had that.
So, we trim that, send it to the Senate and the Senate still doesn't pass anything, and it has been 46 days. And then the president tries to blame us?
So, then we get to the next deadline. We extend it for two weeks, cut another four billion. The president then gets engaged and sends the vice president down to talk us to. He has one meeting and then leaves the country for two weeks. Then, we are at another shutdown. So, we extend it three weeks and take another $6 billion out of the HR1. And now we are at that deadline again. There's a lack of leadership.
HANNITY: Didn't he head out of town already? I mean, did he have to come back again?
MCCARTHY: He met yesterday, then he left town today. And then I believe that press bothered him. So, then he calls a meeting tonight.
HANNITY: All right.
MCCARTHY: But you've got to understand, this is a consistent lack of leadership that has been coming down, one from the White House and from the Democrats.
HANNITY: All right. But the amount of money that you are talking about here, you're talking about 61 billion of a budget that's what, $3.6 trillion with a $1.65 trillion budget deficit? It seems to me, if you can't cut $61 billion out of that budget, how are we going to deal with significant cuts for foreign Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid as proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan who was on this program last night?
MCCARTHY: Well, remember the Ryan budget is fantastic. It is the thing we've always wanted to do. And it shows real leadership. But when you are in a continuing resolution, you can't deal with everything else. Six months of the year is already gone so you can't grab some of that. So, you can only grab discretionary spending a small portion, that's why you don't see a high number. But again, discretionary spending in the last three years under Obama in the democratic majority has been increased by 83 percent.
MCCARTHY: Now, which household has had that? We should tighten our belts just like every other household, and this is a start. That's why we went through an open process where everybody can offer an amendment on the floor, much different. The bill was out there for three days. And we sent it to Democrats. And, you know, what? In the Democrat majority Senate, our bill got more votes than any of their ideas.
HANNITY: All right. It seems like the president is getting angry, impatient. You know, he's almost becoming the petulant president again and he's shown this side of himself before. Now he's scolding the GOP that getting your way is not how it works. He's talking about congressmen and senators acting like adults. And then he said, at a time when you are struggling to pay your bills, and meet your responsibilities, the least we can do is meet our responsibilities and produce a budget. That's not too much to ask for. That's what the American people expect, that's what they deserve. You know, we want everybody to act like adults and quit playing games. And I'm like, Mr. President, why didn't you pass the budget? It seems like it is his problem, not yours.
MCCARTHY: Exactly. You know, what? This last election was more about than just changing, it was a cultural change of Washington, what America was asking for. And, you know what? America is not going to put up with someone not telling the truth.
Yes. A budget should have been passed last year. Democrats had the majority, they did not. He could blame the Republicans but the Republicans passed an HR1. We passed two extensions where we've cut. The only people that have not are the Democrat Senate.
HANNITY: Right, so.
MCCARTHY: He can get frustrated but you have a little frustration on the other side if we are doing our job and you got nothing coming from the Senate.
HANNITY: Yes. Congressman, I totally agree with you. Here's my position and polls now support that the Republicans stay firm to their promises. Now, you promised to repeal health care, check it off the list. The Ryan budget defunds Obamacare, check it off the list. The Ryan budget goes back to 2008 spending levels, you can check that of the list. A very specific promises the Republicans made. One more promises though. This $61 billion, prorated dollars was also a part of the promise. So, in that sense --
MCCARTHY: The pledge to America. Remember, I wrote the Pledge to America. The Pledge to America said, we would cut $100 billion in the first year. We are cutting more than $100 billion in the first year.
MCCARTHY: If you just take the first four weeks of Congress, and you look at the last Congress where the Democrats controlled, they increased spending by $580 billion.
HANNITY: So, my question to you though --
MCCARTHY: In our first four weeks, we've already cut $550 billion.
HANNITY: But then, this becomes my next question, is how important then is it in principle that you guys not compromise on this? Especially -- again, if we are serious about not bankrupting the country, $14 trillion in debt. You know, if you are serious about how important it is that you hold the line here. Because my take is as a conservative, I want you guys to hold the line. And if the Democrats decide to shutdown the government, then that's their choice, there's nothing we can really do.
MCCARTHY: Well, the one thing I see from Republicans. Yes, we want to hold the line, we want to cut spending in government. And so, we're going to continue to go out of it. If the president does not find to come to the agreement, one thing you will find that we can take up tomorrow, we can fun the troops all the way to September 30th, because you want to make sure the troops are paid. We will cut another $12 billion in one week. We'll continue to go after this to cut government and move forward.
HANNITY: All right. If the president seems to be --
MCCARTHY: If they don't want to act we'll do it on our own.
HANNITY: All right. He seems to be unwilling to accept that. So -- which means he would be willing to shutdown the government rather than continue the debate for another week and another $12 billion. Again, it's a pebble in the ocean in my mind. There's a lot of fear from people. What is a government shutdown really mean? Because you have to fun the military, people will get to --
MCCARTHY: No, no, no. Now remember, you're not going to shut down because you have no appropriation bills passed. If this president is going to shut down this government and not pay our troops, shame on him. Because we are not going to have that happen. We will pass a defense budget that pays our troops and make sure if they are going to defend our freedom, they will be taken care of back home.
HANNITY: No, I agree. Well, that's my question, what is it in reality if the president goes down this path. The Democrats do, do Social Security recipients get their checks? The people on Medicare and Medicaid, do they have anything to worry about?
MCCARTHY: Social Security will get their checks. But what you're going to find is, because you are going to only have essential employees. You're going to say almost everything slow down. Anything within the federal agencies slow down or shutdown.
But I'm going to tell you, first and foremost, this is a fundamental change about the philosophy and the cultural change in Washington. People expect to have the truth. They want an honest budget, they want to get rid of the budget gimmicks, they want to get rid of the accounting tricks. And that's what we produced. One, we showed leadership, that we're going to cut $6.2 trillion.
Let's not forget where we want to go. Ronald Reagan always talked about America that shiny city on the hill. We all know that is America. But we also believe that that light has been dimmed a little. These Republicans are going to climb that mountain. We might not make it in one day and we might have to take a hard road up, but when we get to the top, Sean, we are going to recharge that light, that's our pledge to you. That's our pledge to America and we are going to make it happen.
HANNITY: All right. Congressman, I think there's going to be a lot of support if you stick to your guns. I appreciate your time. And thank you for being with us.
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