Rep. Fattah: We Need to Invest in America

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, “YOUR WORLD”: Jobs bill dead, the fear game, though, pretty much alive and well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we have witnessed across America in the last several weeks are our citizens taking to the streets, born out of frustration.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a perfect storm, man. And what a perfect storm is reduced budgets, reduced manpower, decimated neighborhoods and the rise in crime. That is a witch’s brew. That is a mixture for a cancer in a city.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The American people are desperate for some relief right now.


CAVUTO: Defeated, but not done.

Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto.

Desperate, frustrated, maybe just a perfect witch’s brew, Democrats suggesting crime will go up and this anti-Wall Street crowd will just stay riled up if -- if -- if the president’s $447 billion jobs bill ultimately does go down.

It looks like it already has gone down, but my next guest says all this talk about what happens if that finally is the case is not a stretch, that there will indeed be consequences. Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah joining me now.

Congressman, you don’t think some of the consequences that Joe Biden and others allude to are a bit overstated?

REP. CHAKA FATTAH-D-PA.: Well, look, first of all, I’m disappointed I didn’t get invited to the 15-year anniversary, Neil.


FATTAH: But let me say this, that the biggest consequence is that families will continue to lose their homes, lose their hopes; our country will go further into debt and deficit.

We need to get people back to work. This administration has lowered the crime rate consecutively over the last two years. They have worked hard on all of the issues important and we see real progress. There’s been some talk about the solar industry. We have 100,000 Americans working in solar that we didn’t have two years ago.

I visited a plan in Philadelphia with Boeing where they are making helicopters there. They had 4,000 people two years ago. They now have 6,000. The problem is, is that we have a team on the other side that feels as though beating the president is more important than getting Americans back to work. And we need to work hard. Let’s pass the jobs bill.


CAVUTO: But it was many of your same colleagues, Congressman, in the Senate rejected this and who didn’t get it over the goal line. So, are they inviting, are they inviting some of the very things you’re saying Republicans are?


FATTAH: Here’s the news flash -- 26 consecutive months of private sector jobs growth, over 2.6 million new jobs. But it’s not enough. And we got 51 Democrats in the Senate to vote for the jobs bill.


CAVUTO: Congressman, we’re down a net 2.5 million jobs. We’re down 2.5 million jobs.

FATTAH: But statistics are challenging things.


CAVUTO: No, no, actually, they’re not, Congressman. They are what they are. You can politicize them, but when we’re down 2.5 million jobs, this was rejected on the notion, sir, that this wasn’t cutting it by many in your own party. So then what?


FATTAH: Twenty-six months consecutive of private sector job growth, 2.6 million jobs. That’s a true statement.

CAVUTO: Net-net, we’re down 2.5 million jobs.

You and I can go back and forth on the real numbers.

FATTAH: Well, and I understand what you’re saying.

CAVUTO: I want to ask you this. The jobs bill itself was repudiated by many in your own party. Now, to threaten that there will be all but a civil war if we don’t repeat the errors of prior stimulus efforts, don’t you think that’s a stretch?

FATTAH: Fifty-one senators, Democrats all, voted for the jobs bill. We lost a couple. Every single Republican voted no.

Now, you want to focus on the handful of Democrats who voted no and I want to focus on the fact that not one Republican thought we should do anything to put Americans back to work.

CAVUTO: No, they thought maybe -- as well as some Democrats thought that, look, repeating sins of the past that didn’t yield big results means maybe we should seek out an alternative.

There are already Blue Democrats -- Blue Dog Democrats who later on, on this very show have an alternative to try to encourage jobs, and that is to remove the onerous tax on that money that is being kept abroad. Would you be open to that, would you be open to those who say the president’s efforts, the things that you like, sir, aren’t getting it done, so let’s try something else?

FATTAH: Well, Neil, what I’m willing to do is to try almost anything.

But let me say this to you, right? The American public supports the president’s jobs bill two out of every three and they support the way he wants to pay for it. There’s no other bill before the Congress. I go with Eric Cantor said. It’s really the Congress’ job to introduce bills and to get them passed and the president’s job is to sign them or not sign them.

So we don’t have to criticize the president. Let’s have the Republican leadership come forward and say, this is our jobs bill.


CAVUTO: Now, look, we can go back and forth saying it’s the Republicans’ fault. I could just as easily talk about Democrats and two years without submitting a budget when you guys were running the show. We can go play this game forever, Congressman.


FATTAH: I wasn’t complaining. I’m asking for an offering of a bill.

CAVUTO: Would you be open for an alternative measure? Let’s get past this jobs bill stuff that doesn’t seem to bear results or adequate enough proof and let’s say cut taxes or do something to bring the $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion that companies are keeping abroad, with the hope being that once you bring it here, jobs materialize. Would you be open to that, as some of your Blue Dog Democrat colleagues are?

FATTAH: Yes, I am willing to work towards the repatriation of those dollars if a significant percentage are going to be invested, invested in manufacturing improvements here in America, not just a one-time cash-out for people who will get the money, but actually investing in small manufacturing, medium-size manufacturing in our country.

We have to make things. I think we can work an accommodation that meets the interests of those companies to bring some of that money that is offshore back onshore. And, yes, there are ways we can work together.

CAVUTO: All right.

FATTAH: But the president has put a bill forward. The Republicans should put a bill forward. And then you, Neil, can look at both bills and figure out what of them makes any sense.

CAVUTO: Well, your colleagues looked at this bill. In the one place where you had a shot, the Senate, it was shot down. So I think it’s fair to say, especially when I hear your colleagues are picking it apart, and saying what can we salvage from this, that the bill itself, as the president envisioned, is dead, gone, right?

FATTAH: Follow this, Neil -- 51 senators out of 100 voted for it -- 63 percent of the country is for it, OK?


CAVUTO: It didn’t go anywhere. It didn’t go anywhere. You know what?

I will tell you, there was a time when I wanted to be an as astronaut growing up. I was a fat kid. I realized I couldn’t fit in a capsule. So I moved on. And I then moved on to journalism. My point is no intended jest here that you have to realize the numbers, what they are. This failed in the Senate. It’s time to move on, right?

FATTAH: Well, here’s the deal, right? What we need to do is understand that this is not a computation between Republicans and Democrats. We’re competing against the rest of the world, India and China. We have to get our country back to work. We can’t do it on the cheap.

CAVUTO: So cut taxes, right? Cut taxes. How about cutting taxes? That’s the problem. We’re at a big disadvantage on that, right?


FATTAH: Well, Neil, you might have missed this, but for eight years under Bush we cut taxes and we ended up with no net jobs, big zero over eight years. So why would we do the same thing that didn’t work?


CAVUTO: Wait. Wait. No. So, events that we had in the interim, things like 9/11, a recession when he started office -- I’m not here to go back in time, but since you just did, you will not knowledge that there were other factors there?

FATTAH: Well, I will knowledge that every time the president says there was a earthquake and a tsunami in Japan, you say and other Republicans say, oh, that’s just a poor excuse.

CAVUTO: All right.

FATTAH: So, if Bush can have a excuse for why he had net no new jobs and our president has put forward a program that would put Americans to work, let’s have a fair discussion.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman. All right, it’s always good having you.

FATTAH: But I wasn’t invited to the 15th anniversary. I’m going to be around for the 30th, Neil. And I hope you do it in Philadelphia.

CAVUTO: It was not personal. I had nothing to with the invites. You know what? They didn’t even invite me. They didn’t even invite me. I have no idea.

FATTAH: But I saw your show, the great show, even if I wasn’t on it, all right?

CAVUTO: Thank you, Congressman. Very good having you.

FATTAH: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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