Rep. Fattah: McConnell Debt Plan Could Move Forward

CHRIS COTTER, GUEST HOST: Well, Democratic leaders signaling that if there is no deal by tomorrow, that they may have to go with Mitch McConnell’s backup plan.

Is my next guest OK with that? Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah joins me right now.

Would that be the plan if you got to tomorrow and you had no deal?

REP. CHAKA FATTAH, D-PA.: Well, look, there’s going to be no Republican-only deal or Democratic-only deal.

The Republicans control the House. The Democrats control the Senate. All of this talk that, well, the Republicans are going to pass something and force the president to sign it forgets about the upper chamber. So we have to have a plan that passes the Senate.

Senator McConnell has laid out a plan that the Democrats there are supportive of. So I think you could see the McConnell plan come forward, but you’re not going to see any of this cut, cap, and whatever nonsense, because the president would never sign it. OK? He said he won’t sign it. He’s not signing it. We need to get this problem resolved.

I have a letter here from 500 of our nation’s leading CEOs, who said we must come to an agreement. The two parties can resolve this problem. We’re putting our country’s economy at risk. We see Moody’s say we have to get this deal done.

And the reason they’re meeting five days in a row, because everyone in that room knows that they need to resolve this problem.


FATTAH: Go ahead. I’m sorry.

COTTER: That’s all right.

What is it about McConnell’s plan that you think broke the ice? What is it about that plan that makes both sides OK with it, since we’ve been so far apart for so long?

FATTAH: Well, what I think is really going to happen is I think that the White House meetings are going to arrive at an agreement, because you now have a fallback plan.

That is to say that I think, as Speaker Boehner said, we’re going to have an adult conversation. And I think they’re having one. I think this matter could be resolved tomorrow, and we could have a plan that they agree to. That’s why Carney, the president’s spokesman, laid out that there’s $1.7 trillion in cuts that people are prepared to make, right?

Now the question is, and they’re moving to this today, the question is revenue. What part of the revenue can we enhance that Republicans will go along with? I know they want to protect billionaires and millionaires. They don’t think we should deal with any of these loopholes that allow people to evade their responsibilities to contribute to the country appropriately. But we’re going to have to get some agreement.

COTTER: I think that is probably where you will find -- that is where you will find agreement, in terms of fixing the tax code, simplifying the tax code. I think both sides probably agree that you can build some revenue by simplifying that tax code without adding taxes to individuals and corporations already, and even reducing the tax rate for corporations.

Do you agree with that?

FATTAH: Well, that’s -- look, its music to my ears. I have a proposal to get rid of the entire income tax and go to a consumption tax.

We’re not going to do that between now and August 2, however.

COTTER: No doubt. No question.

FATTAH: So, what’s got to happen between now and then is there will have to be some agreement that generates some revenues, because every time that this deal has been done before, when President Reagan did it, when President Bush did it, it’s always had a group of spending cuts and a group revenue raisers, right?

So there’s going to be a balanced plan or there’s going to be the McConnell plan.

COTTER: All right.

FATTAH: And that’s really where we are.

COTTER: I hope we see it.

Congressman Fattah, thank you so much for your time.

FATTAH: All right.

COTTER: All right.

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