Swiss America chairman calls out 'do nothing' Congress

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JENNA LEE, GUEST HOST: Well, take a look at this, 28 days, 28 days -- when Congress returns next week, that's how many working days it has left before the midterm elections all the way until November.

Now, look at how many working days the rest of us have, 85. A difference there, isn't there?

Chairman Craig Smith says pathetic. And considering our veterans need help right now, really pathetic.

Craig, why is this acceptable?

CRAIG SMITH, CEO, SWISS AMERICA: Jenna, pathetic is not even the word.

It's -- it's shameful. It's disturbing. It's -- especially when we're talking about our veterans, Jenna, here we are on the Fourth of July, the day that we're celebrating the independence of this country. A lot -- a lot -- a lot of that was because men and women risked life and limb.

And now we're making all these excuses of why we can't take care of them. And that is the one bill that should get through. Look, we have got the national defense authorization bill that's hung up. It was passed June 2, sent to the Senate June 5, sitting there -- sitting there on Harry Reid's desk.

Even Claire McCaskill and Angus King, Democrats and an independent who caucus together, are saying, Mr. Reid, bring these bills to the floor. And how can Harry Reid for one minute stop any movement on that VA reform bill is beyond me, Jenna.

LEE: One of the things that lawmakers are saying, the ones that are -- that are working on the bill, is that they're waiting to get the proper projections from the CBO, from the Congressional Budget Office, so that they have the numbers right, so that they can put forward a proposal that really makes sense.

Craig, what do you think about that? Do the numbers matter? Do we need to take the time to do it? You're a business guy. What do you think about it?


You know, Jenna, you know as well as I do, because you have -- you have covered it more, since when has CBO ever gotten it right? I mean, the reality is, is, they're projecting $44 billion to $50 billion worth of costs. Let's just assume that that is right. And everybody is balking at that number.

It's not going to just take money. It's going to take somebody that is empowered to make the tough decisions, and here's where I think the glitch is, Jenna. I think you -- Senator McCain and Bernie Sanders, of all people, came together and said, look, let's empower this new secretary with the ability to fire senior staff, if that's what it takes.

LEE: Right.

SMITH: How well is that going to go over with the federal government unions?

LEE: Well, that's a big question.

SMITH: The unions are probably...


LEE: Well, we're getting into hypothetics a little bit. Let me ask you about something that is actually happening now. Bob McDonald is the nominee to be the next secretary of the VA. He is a business guy, Craig. do you think he is the way to go?

SMITH: I do. I do.

I think Bob McDonald is going to do a great job. He ran Procter & Gamble. He knows what it takes to get things done. He will held -- he held lower management accountable all the way from the floor workers straight on up to the top office. I think he is a good choice. I think he is going to have the military leaders behind him.

And not just money will clean this up, Jenna. It is going to take leadership. And I think Bob leadership can -- Bob can do that. I just hope that he is not hamstrung by a political president who appointed him on a basis of, he's got to think about politics, because politics is not going to clean up the VA.

LEE: You certainly bring up the bigger point about leadership.

And I have to ask you about that as a CEO, Craig. If a private company was only working for 28 days for the rest of this year, what do you think would happen?


SMITH: Well, we'd be out of business, Jenna.

I mean, we -- we work sometimes six days a week. Other times, we get two days off on a weekend. It's -- it's crazy what is happening in Washington. And sometimes I have to sit back. I get angry at it. Other times, I laugh at it.

But I hope -- look, I got to tell you, if the right decisions are not made between now and November, Mr. Obama said he took a shellacking in 2010. It is going to be a bloodbath in 2014 for those very sensitive Senate seats that are held by the Democrats right now, and the same thing in the Congress.

LEE: Well...

SMITH: I think people want change, and I think that change is going to happen in 2014 in November.

LEE: It will be a certainly interesting 28 days...


LEE: ... when they get back into the office, Craig.


SMITH: That's for sure.

LEE: Craig, thank you. It's great to see you, as always.

SMITH: Thank you, Jenna.

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