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tv   Greta Van Susteren  FOX News  August 1, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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gave me all that money. mitch daniels would have been a very candidate. the rest of the candidates are trying out for the new edition of "the wizard of oz." >> greta: the debt ceiling debate passes the house of representatives. in a huge surprise one those yay was from congresswoman gabrielle giffords, casting her first vote since she was shot in january. the bill passed in the how is, but what about the senate in the senate vote happens tomorrow. meanwhile the debate has gotten dirty and downright nasty. the name-calling is rampant. don't believe it? how about this one? vice president joe biden today accusing the tea party of acting like terrorists. much more on that straight ahead. joining us republican senator of south dakota john thune. great to see you. >> hi, greta.
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>> greta: everyone's gone home, pretty much made up their decision? >> i think there's still people digesting it, going through the issues. noon tomorrow, we'll know the final answer on this. >> greta: have you made your decision? >> if i end up voting for this tomorrow, it won't be because it is the best possible deal. it will be because it is the best deal possible. i think that's where lots of people are on this. i think people are very concerned about it, particularly some of the triggers that were put into it. if you look at where we've come from, relative to where we are today, there's a tremendous amount of headway that's been made in terms of spending and debt. >> greta: we don't know the specific spending, right? >> right. >> greta: medicare, medicaid, social security, or you're worried about your taxes, tonight you have no clue if you're going to get cut? >> well, that's not entirely true. in the process it's created here, there's going to be a discretionary spending cut made in the very beginning, equal
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dollar-to-dollar to the amount the debt limit is raised, then a second amount that will come later --. >> greta: that's the overall number. if i'm sitting at home tonight, medicaid, medicare, social security, worried about my taxes, i don't know, right? >> well, i think that if there is a -- this joint committee that reports out, if they come out with a recommendation that could have some tax reform in it, entitlement reform in it. my guess is it won't impact seniors today. if you look at the proposals that have come out so far, including the ryan budget -- everyone chris it as this is an assault on seniors, social security and medicare, it wasn't at all. if you were 55 and older, you weren't impacted by it. my guess is any proposed changes that come to medicare or social security out of the joint committee work will entail protecting people who are retired today or nearing retirement age, and would change the program for those who were younger. it's got to change if it's going to survive. >> greta: on the flip side of
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that, i read that many cuts are back-ended, meaning they'll occur after the year 2014. nothing will happen this year, the year after, but 2014 is it when really matters. >> that's not true. there's immediate cuts. it's modeled after the cut, cap and balance approach. there's a balanced budget amendment vote will occur sometime this fall, something we've been fighting for a long time. there will be some immediate cuts made on the order of about $917 billion. those are -- that's spending that will be capped. >> greta: who gets that first $900 billion in cuts? >> it's going to come out of a lot of discretionary spending accounts. >> greta: like what, though? the american people hear these numbers and names, discretionary -- who gets hit, who's losing money, who gets cut? >> that's a decision made by members of congress. once you set the cap, and the cap is a reduction over last year's level of spending, it's
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not as much as some of us would like to see in terms of the reduction, but over the decade it saves almost a trillion dollars. so those are real savings. those are savings that will be realized. and then this joint committee is going to do its work, and come up, we hope, a minimum of another $1.2 trillion. if it doesn't, there will be across-the-board cuts, across all areas of the budget. >> greta: all right. of course you're here working tonight. congress will make the decision on cuts. the house of representatives just left tonight for a five-week vacation. i think many americans, like you talk about the discretionary cuts in the first go-round, the american people still don't know what that means. i mean, what cuts, and everybody's going home. >> what it means, this is for the budget that starts october 1st. when congress comes back in in september, we'll have to act on that. these cuts will occur for the fiscal year 2012 budget, when the cuts would take effect. >> greta: the 2012 budget. right now we're operating on a continuing resolution. we don't have a budget for this
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year. >> correct. >> greta: what makes you think, if we don't have a budget for this year, and the continuing resolution expires on september 30th of this year, why in the world do you think there's a 2012 budget? >> because this proposal sets a cap on spending, and for nondefense discretionary spending, and for that matter for the defense accounts as well. but it sets a cap on the amount that can be spent for fiscal year 2012, which starts october 1. now how that gets distributed will be decided by members of congress, but it will have to happen because that's the end of the fiscal year. >> greta: talking about the super committee that's supposed to go into the second faces of cuts, or are you talking about -- >> this is your normal appropriations committees that deal with this. could end up being another continuing resolution. this is the problem when you don't pass a budget. we haven't passed a budget for 825 days, i think the number is. >> greta: i recognize you're in the minority in the senate so i won't give you a hard time about that one, at least not tonight. it is appalling, because everyone left town, and the continuing resolution expires on september 29th, and we'll have
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a gun to our heads come september 29th, when everyone is rushing around to pass these bills, nobody reads them and late-night meetings. it's nuts. >> it's a terrible way to run a railroad, especially a $3.7 trillion railroad, and that's got to change. if we can get the majority back in 2013, elect a republican president. that being said, there's a cap set for 2012, which starts october 1st, and congress will have to come back in september and make decisions about how to spend the money thunder cap. under that cap. >> greta: that the hour, there's deep division in the senate, and the division is not along party lines. nor graham is not giving senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, also a republican, the republican leader, the vote he's looking for. nor lindsey graham joins us. i take it you're a no. >> you can take it to the bank. >> greta: why are you a no to this? >> number one, you can say with
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certainty that we changed the debate. the tea party are not a bunch of terrorists. they're people who believe that the government has gotten out of control, we spend too much. we've got more debt than their children can pay back. we've had a new debate. it's a good debate about cutting spending, not growing the government. but the deal itself, here's my concern, it really doesn't, in my view, cut spending in way way to say that we've changed the dynamic that got us into $14 trillion in debt. there will be more debt, $7 trillion over 10 years. amount of spending cut in 2012 is $21 billion -- >> greta: what year is that? >> 2012. >> greta: so are the spending cuts back-ended? >> i would argue that $21 billion is 2 1/2 days of federal spending. that's not a lot in 2012. >> greta: i'm enormously suspicious of the cuts if they occur after the election. >> why would you be suspicious? >> greta: if you look at this bill, it looks like, you know,
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well, everyone's like -- >> can i tell you my real concerns? >> greta: okay. >> number one, we'll borrow every penny of the $3.2 trillion. the average lent of time we extend the debt ceiling since 1940 has been nine months. we chose 22 months here and borrowing $3.2 trillion, which is historic. why we did that as republicans i don't know. president obama wants this to end. he doesn't want to have more of these debates until -- >> greta: until after the election, which is like back ended cuts. >> right. his numbers have tanked, because he's against spending. we only have one-third of the government. our leadership did the best they could. when you look at this agreement, it doesn't change the dynamic that led us to $14 trillion in debt. the defense side, under this agreement, our defense budget could be cut up to a trillion dollars. if this joint committee doesn't produce the $1.2 trillion, the agreement says 50% comes out of the defense budget. we're already cutting at
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$400 billion. our new chairman of the joint chiefs nominee said it's difficult to find $400 billion in cuts, i believe $800 billion would be extremely difficult, very high risk. at the end of the day, what we've done as republicans is put the defense cuts on the table at a level i could never envision as a republican. the biggest loser of this clearly is the men and women in uniform. >> greta: there's a couple things. one is that anytime anyone in washington mentions the word committee i think at this point i suspect the american people are -- >> let's assume the best. let's assume the best. the committee works well and -- >> greta: the gang of six worked well, but it didn't work. we've got the bowles-simpson commission, which they worked really hard -- >> give it's a chance. >> greta: give it's a chance? >> you get $3 trillion. less than $3 trillion now. you're going to add $7 trillion to the debt. you haven't moved the needle. if this does works the joint committee fails, the defense
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department gets devastated. >> greta: we haven't had a lot of successful committees. >> i'm with you. >> greta: so you're saying that if the committee fails, it's going to be devastating to the defense. >> under this agreement, it will be. >> greta: as you say, but there's been no history -- >> how much money do we spend on defense at the federal level? defense. under this agreement, if the joint committee doesn't produce a product, 50% of the cuts come out of the defense department. i believe the number one obligation of the federal government is to defend the nation. you should start with a defense budget, get it right, then go to other things. >> greta: this is an interesting piece of information. i realize that you were not the -- you're not in the house, but the chairman of the house armed services committee, which is congressman mccann back in -- on august 1st, 2011, made a statement -- >> today. >> greta: today, made a statement, said our senior military commanders have been unanimous in their concerns that
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deeper cuts could break the force, and he voted yes. >> all i can tell you, he further says that the second part of the proposal would create a national security crisis rather than debt crisis because it's the second part where defense could be cut $500 billion to $600 billion. i'm not suggesting that you have to vote like i do. i respect every member of congress who cast a vote. they're as patriotic as i am. i'm saying the party of ronald reagan in many ways died today, because we're no longer the party of national defense by blessing this agreement. >> greta: let's tell the american people another dirty secret. this bill came out when? >> 4:00 last night. >> greta: it's about 75 pages? >> yeah. that's better than the obama healthcare bill. >> greta: that was 2200 pages. because everybody is rushing to go on this five-week vacation, they could have extended tomorrow night's deadline, is everybody voted on it today, nobody read it. we don't know exactly where the cuts are. we have a general outline of the cuts, but the problem is that it
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seems like it would have been smart to -- let's give people a chance to read it before they vote on it. >> i understand that, but this i know without having read every page, the triggers in here take the best trained, the best equipped, the best motivated military in the history of the worked and over the next decade put it at risk. our nation is facing threats i can't even tell you about in full detail. this is not the time to put the defense budget on the table for cuts for other parts of the government. at the end of the day, i'm going to try to do everything i can to unravel this deal. >> greta: only have 10 or 12 hours, so you better hustle. get on the phone with your colleagues. thank you, senator. vice president biden as near as at the tea party, accusing them of acting like terrorists during the fight to raise our nation's debt ceiling. the vice president made the comment while agreeing with a comment made by democratic congressman mike doyle who said, "we have negotiated with terrorist." that's just those two. there's more. there's lots more.
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here's representative maxine waters slamming the tea party earlier today on the house floor. >> mr. speaker, i rise to congratulate the tea party for starting a deal made in their image and their image alone. the cuts will be deep. they will be lasting. and they will weaken an already depressed economy. what's clear is that the tea party is so illogickically driven to kill government, they're willing to kill the private sector, jobs, and growth in the process. >> greta: these attacks are nothing new to the tea party. on saturday, republican senator marco rubio fired back at those calling the tea party extremists^. now president obama may want to cover his ears for this one. >> today, and for much of this time, i've heard all these attacks and name-calling. if we had a billion dollars for every time that i hear the word tea party extremists, we could solve this debt problem. so all this name-calling, so i said, let me read quotes about
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this debt limit. i found some pretty extremist quotes. here's one. let me read you what it says. the fact that we're here to debate raising america's debate is a sign of leadership's failure. america has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. americans deserve better. i oppose the effort to increase america's debt limit. a quote from a tea party extremist, right? no. this is a quote from march 16th of 2006, from senator barack obama of illinois. yet now these same quotes, in this context, when we're talk being raising the debt limit more than been raised in one vote is extremism? this name-calling is absurd. it sets this process back. >> greta: we want to know what you think. does vice president biden owe the tea party an apology for his comment? yes or no. vote in our new poll. straight ahead, governor sarah palin is a tea party favorite. she's here to go on the record. find out whether she thinks vice president biden was being a bit
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snarky about the tea party, or whether the establishment might be running a bit scared. governor sarah palin coming up. also, is congressman allen west a tea party defector? he got back slash for supporting then speaker boehner's debt ceiling bill. what happened today? we ask republican carbon monoxidrepublican congressmanal. stay tuned. run more smoothly by helping remove deposits and cleaning up intake valves. so when you fill up at an exxon or mobil station, you can rest assured we help your engine run more smoothly while leaving behind cleaner emissions. it's how we make gasoline work harder for you. exxon and mobil. and those people are what i like to call wrong. take metamucil. sure it helps you keep regular, but it doesn't stop there.
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>> greta: all right. there's no question about it, the tea party's really rubbing the political establishment the wrong way. our next guest is a member of the tea party caucus, but got criticism last week from tea party colleagues after supporting speaker boehner's debt ceiling bill back then. joining us allen west from florida. i talked about him being a defector, but my apology. >> that's not a problem. i honor my commitment to this country. >> greta: indeed you do. so what's the story? you voted yesterday? >> yes. >> greta: why? >> when you look at the conversation that's changing in washington, d.c., who would have thought a year ago we'd be talking about cutting spending? yes, we did raise the debt limit, but we raised the debt limit by saying we'll have equal or exceeding spending cuts. you know, one of the things that i was not warmed over about was this commission that comes later
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on. we would a very good meeting, the house gop members with the speaker today, possibly putting a subcomittee chairman on that three-member panel we'll send from the house. you have an opportunity to have a balanced budget amendment, something i think we have not had in 15 years. you do have the opportunity to have cuts on federal government spending, something that we have not had. so we're starting to turn this thing around for the first time in quite some time. >> greta: i do not deny the fact that has been an enormous shift in thinking among many on capitol hilling, but there are a couple things that i'm curious about. one is the bill just came out a few hours ago basically, 75 pages, the devil's in the details. we don't know exactly what the details are. we talk about spending cuts, even in the first group, who's getting cut, how much. we know sort of categories, but we don't know realistically who's getting cut. then the second thing happening in november, this super congress. we don't know who's on the
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congress. no commission has been particularly successful, at least the gang of six ran into trouble, and theowles-simpson commission was basically ignored. widthe other thing is the terric spending cuts are coming at the back end in 2014 after the election. so it's sort of hard to -- i don't deny you've had a huge shift in the thinking, a huge impact, but i mean -- >> in the first year you have $21 billion in cuts. >> greta: how much? >> $21 billion in the first year. in the second year, you have $47 billion. >> greta: that's 2013? >> 2013. >> greta: okay. >> we need to do something with the senate, with the white house. then we can do bigger things with spending. >> greta: when do the big cuts come? >> that has to happen. you're not going to get the big cuts right now. >> greta: we're getting them after the election. the american people are saying, wait a second, you're doing this after the election? you know, these are huge -- >> the american people have to manage their expectations.
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this is a great example from a military aspect. this was a 70%, 75% plan, there's no doubt about it. i read the bill. i got in early this morning at 8:00, read through it, got an understanding. in the military you can take a 70%, 75% plan, and if you can execute it to 100% capability, then you're doing the right thing. if we sat around worried about coming up way 100% plan, we won't get anywhere. that's the most important thing that we must do. >> greta: i like the admission to the 75% plan. >> i've always said that. >> greta: everyone is acting like this is such a huge step forward, but i sometimes think it's oversold the american people. it's not a huge structural change that starts tomorrow at all. >> it's not, but i think it's a first step. it's the incremental step that we have to take. it takes five miles to turn an aircraft carrier, so at least we're starting that motion. the most important thing, if we can get past 2013, 2014, get the
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right people to start structural reform, start prioritizing the spend bills we have, start prioritizing the appropriations bills. some of these appropriations bills we're sending over, ought to be on a two-year cycle, prioritize the tier one type of defense, some of the others, transportation infrastructure. but right now, at least the most important thing are people are talking about where can we spending in washington, d.c.? it's sad we have to have draconian measures on top of the senate to make sure they do what they're supposed to do come to back with the spending cuts before the end of this year. >> greta: congressman, thank you. i know you have a busy week, including town hall meetings back home. you'll be working hearted. >> always a pleasure to be here. thank you. >> greta: coming up, governor sarah palin joins us. does she think there's war being waged against the tea party or
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is it just dumb talk? also nor orrin hatch is here. how is he going to vote tomorrow? we'll find out. plus senator hatch is talking about the tea party and president reagan. that's all straight ahead. [ female announcer ] this is not a prescription. this is kate. [ kate ] can't believe i have high blood pressure. what's that thing? another medication. ♪ i really should have taken my shoes off before i got weighed. [ female announcer ] you've got a lot on your mind. that's why every walgreens prescription goes through a 10 point safeguard check that reviews your current walgreens health record for allergies and potentially harmful drug interactions. [ kate ] i can do this. [ female announcer ] the 10 point safeguard check from walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
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>> greta: today the vice president accused the tea party of acting like terrorists over the debt ceiling debate. yes, terrorists. now was that just political
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snarkiness in the heat of battle or is the tea party under attack from the establishment? former governor sarah palin joins us. good evening, governor. governor, it's pretty heated here in washington. but tell me, is that just political snarkiness, or do you think that the people, the establishment, political party, both sides of the aisle, are on the run and just don't like the tea party? >> you know, i think independent patriots who happen to be believers in tea party principles, you know, reining in government, realize that we're taxed enough, that we need a strong national defense, the thing tea party patriots have been taking a stand for, are getting used to being called names, racists, inciters of violence, being accused of things we have nothing to do with, but it's more appalling to be called acting like terrorists from who is second in command of the most powerful office in the world. it's quite appalling. and certainly proves how
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out-of-touch this white house is when it comes to realizing what the silent majority of americans are seeing and feeling. what we're feeling, greta, growing more debt isn't going to get us out of debt, and raising taxes in a down economy is a bad economy, and we're taking a stand in light of those issues that i just brought up. so to be called a terrorist, because of our beliefs from the vice president, quite appalling, quite vile. >> greta: i'm surprised by many here in washington, the response to the tea party. it's not a big surprise. each members of the tea party ran campaigns, it's very obvious what they promised to each of their constituents, and so it wasn't like a big surprise, what they were going to do, unless they rolled over and went with the establishment. this was pretty self-evident. although i am surprised by many of the votes today, but i guess many are sort of practical, and they did get the balanced budget amendment on the side. but it's like it's not a surprise.
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i mean, guess people thought they would be different when they came to washington. >> yeah. perhaps some of these talking heads, liberal politicians who refer to tea party patriots as terrorists, perhaps they thought they were going to be just typical politicians, where they get into office, and then they change to their stripes. you're making a great point there in that it should not be a surprise to the politicos when they realize now that many of these tea party patriots, who ran for office, and were supported by just independent americans, who want the best for the most exceptional country on earth, that once they got into office, they were going to fulfill their promises, and their promises were not to take steps to incur more debt, not when we're $14 trillion in debt, and we're drowning in that unsustainable, immoral debt we're handing to our kids and grandkids. no, the steps that the tea party patriots are taking today, it
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should not come as a surprise when they're sticking to their principles. >> greta: well, you know, i think -- be interesting to see what happens. the tea party, i think, had an enormous victory, because they did change the discussion here in washington. it's a little bit like trying to change the direction of an aircraft carrier. it's not easy. i mean, that's huge. i'm sort of curious before the american people will now sort of take a bow, those who are tea party activities activists, ando their lives, which are very busy and full, they're worried about their own lives, or whether this is now -- now they'll take this victory and move on. i don't know. >> well, i think that we shall take this victory and make sure that our politicians in office today are learning from this victory, realizing that it's not 100% pure genuine victory, because realize, greta, we just handed the most liberal president, i believe, in u.s. history a $2.4 trillion debt increase. we're allowing him to increase the budget even more, and
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without guaranteed cuts, and without guaranteed reforms. and we have to make sure that we realize that, yes, this is a victory, because tea party patriots did shift the debate. however, there's so much more work to do in order to get the economy back on the right track, and to restore the exceptionalism that is america. >> greta: that does take some time, though. i mean, we can't just all of a sudden throw a switch. we have to work our way into -- you know, into any sort of change, you know, in whatever direction it is. i see this a very significant change that the people are talking about in this country. so the only thing that sort of -- you know, in terms of this particular deal, there is that balanced budget amendment vote on the side, which i think is a significant victory. the one thing i'm curious about, maybe it's my cynicism, is the fact that i think most cuts are in the back end, after the election, which i think the republicans care about and the democrats care b because they don't want their constituents cut in any way. that's the kind of stuff i don't
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like. i don't like it was pushed through at the last minute while they go off on their five-week recess. i want people to read it and think about it. >> one thing there, obama did get healthy in terms of not having to deal with this issue until after the election. that was his victory there. in terms of timing of all this, what happened to the pledge that our -- our congressmen made to america, saying they would post online three days any bill before it was voted on. they've already broken that pledge. doggone it, that makes us disappointed in our politicians in washington, d.c. we want to make sure they're fulfilling the promises they've made. but yeah, it's a step in the right direction. yet still, you know, i'm not celebrating as a pure 100% victory, the actions that have been taken, because, again, we're handing a very liberal president and his colleagues a check in order to spend even
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more money that we don't have. we're not taking the steps still to reform entitlements so that those safety nets can be there for future generations. and we're not taking steps, greta, to become energy independent. we're still over there talking to dictators, talking to foreign country leaders, asking them to ramp up development of energy supplies when we have those god-given resources here, under foot, that we should be developing in order to be energy secure one more step to get the economy back on the right track. >> greta: governor, thank you. be interesting to see what they do, if they do a last-minute number on that continuing resolution, which i keep talking about, that expires at the end of september. we'll see whether they pull an all-nighter for that one as well. thank you, governor. i'm taking the last word on that. thank you. coming up, for a long time he's been calling for a balanced budget amendment. how will senator orrin hatch vote tomorrow? senator hatch goes on the record next. and democratic representative elliott engle is here, and says
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the tea party is refusing to accept victories. what is he talking about? does have it to do with the debt ceiling compromise? hearwa from him straight ahead. didn't like high school. and then i met my teacher, mr. mccooey, and that click happened. i would never have even thought about going into the engineering field if it wasn't for these ap classes, these teachers and them helping me realize that this is a major calling in my life. ♪ i didn't always know that i would like math, but now i think it'll change my life. grab your stuff out of the truck and meet mep front. ♪ ♪
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sure. call or click-- we'll send you strips and a meter, free. can't i just have these? freestyle lite test strips. call or click today. >> greta: senator orrin hatch on the record in 60 seconds, but first we go to the newsroom. jamie? >> thanks, greta. an autopsy is planned tomorrow on the body of 11-year-old selena cass. divers found the child's remains this morning in a river not far from her home. authorities say her death is suspicious, but they haven't named a suspect. selena disappearance one week ago launched a massive search involving more than 100 federal, state and local officers. and a senate plan to end a partial federal aviation administration shutdown has fallen parts. democrats and republicans are at odds over subsidies and union laws. it could mean congress could leave for august recess without resolving the issue. it's now in its second week.
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the government could lose more than a billion dollars in uncollected airline ticket taxes due to that shutdown. i'm jamie colby. now back to "on the record" and greta. >> greta: tomorrow night at midnight we hit our debt ceiling, and prior to that the senate will rush to vote on the new debt ceiling bill. fit passes the senate, the bill will get rushed to president obama's desk so the president can sign it before the clock strikes midnight. will the senate pass it? earlier today we caught up with republican senator orrin hatch of utah. we asked him if he's going to vote yes or no. senator, nice to see you sir. >> nice to see you, greta. >> greta: are you a yes vote to the debt ceiling proposal or a no vote? >> i'm a no vote, because i committed i'm not going to vote to lift the debt ceiling until we get a balanced budget amendment. frankly i think that's the correct position to take. i have to honorly live up to that, even though i think the leadership has done a very good job under the circumstances. >> greta: the fact that there's going to be a balanced budget
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amendment vote later is not sufficient for you? >> that's not sufficient. i think we have to pass a balanced budget, at least for this congress. i'd like to see that done. >> greta: the members of the tea party movement supports your view on that. they're not very happy with this, a lot of them. >> they're not happy, but, you know, the president wants a balanced economy. that means more taxes. i think they've been able to keep this from blowing up in taxes, although the joint committee might have to do some tax increases, but i hope not. actually i don't want more taxes. i don't want his principle of balance. i wanted a balanced budget, and that's what i've worked for my whole senate service, and will continue to do so. >> greta: your former colleague, vice president biden, said to a number of people at this tea party has acted like terrorists in this. what do you say to that? >> i think that's pure bunk. the fact of the matter is without the tea party we wouldn't be where we are. we wouldn't have the agreement
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that we've got, even though they would like to see it more. i'm an original tea party person when you think of it, before they even conceived of the tea party. i was one of the first to support ronald reagan. i think the only one he ever pre-primary endorsed. so i think the tea party has done a great service to the country. so i think -- i don't think they should be vilified. frankly, the president, you know, he wants a balanced approach. i want a balanced budget. i think the tea party -- i want us to be accountable around this place. my, gosh, we're not accountable. we've run this country right into the ground. when i say, "we," i mean the people who are the more liberal persuasion. i don't think i've been part of that. but congress has run this country right into the ground. we haven't been accountable. i think we've got to get accountability involved in here. that's what's going to happen with this approach, that they've come up with. i give them credit for what they've done. >> greta: is this new bill -- i know you don't agree with it, you'll vote no -- does it structurally change things at
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all? besides the balanced budget amendment vote that will be off to the side, done a little bit later, does it sort of -- does it give any protection to the american people that the next congress is going to come along and just ignore this? >> yeah, it really does. the very fact that the american people are going to be behind this, and getting spending at least somewhat under control, and not raising taxes, is a very, very good thing. but the second tronch of this happens, if they can't put it together, those 12 people are not able to come up with a solution, then at that particular point there's going guy seto be a separation acrosse board. that's going to be the -- that's going to be the trigger that really makes a difference here. i think that's the only way we can make this bunch up here on capitol hill be accountable for what they're doing. >> greta: do you have any interest on serving on this super committee, super congress, whatever it's called? >> i'm not sure i would be
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picked for that, because i can't vote for tax increases under any circumstances. i don't think they're justified. what's justified to me is to get people working. we get more people working, at higher salaries, and better benefits, and by, gosh, after a while, we'll work ourselves out of the revenue people, because more people will be paying taxes, more people participating in the system. we won't get that as long as president obama is president, because he doesn't understand the private sector, and there's no one down at the white house that does understand the private sector. not one person down there, to my knowledge, has ever created a private sector job. if they have, it's been darn few at that. >> greta: this discussion is so heated about the balanced budget amendment, about the debt ceiling, i think in part because the economy has been so sluggish. still have 9.2% unemployment. >> right. >> greta: while all our attention is on the debt ceiling, what's happening with the -- what's being done -- or what's your idea, your plans, or even anyone here, to fix the economy and the job situation? >> well, let's face it, jobs,
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that's where it has to be. if we're not creating jobs, we won't get the revenues up to the point where we can handle some of these problems the way they napy napy democrats are doing, and have these years,l including some that were republicans as well. i think what we've got to do is -- i think keeping taxes low, reducing them if we can, making sure the federal government is not regulating people to death. allowing the small business people to really come out of it and grow and go by, by not overtaxing them, making sure that we go to a territorial system to get that $1 trillion to $2 trillion that corporations are holding back, because they don't want to pay 35% corporate tax rate. we could go on and on. the main thing is, let the economy grow, get the federal government out of our hair, and let the small business community
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do what it knows how to do, and that's create 70% of the jobs. >> greta: coming up, he says they've gotten everything they've asked for, but they continue to be the party of no. democratic representative eliot engel is talking about the tea party. we ask him all about that, and about tonight's big vote in the house. that's next. flac h aflac! oh, i've just got major medical... major medical. ...but it helps pay the doctors. pays the doctors, boyyy! [ quack ] oh yeah? what about your family? ♪ we added aflac, so we get cash! it's like our safety net... ♪ to help with the mortgage or whater we need! so my family doesn't feel the pain too. ha! [ male announcer ] help protect your family at [ pigeons ] heyyy! hooo!!!
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>> greta: the debt ceiling compromise passed the house a short time ago, 269 yes, 161 no. now the passed bill takes a road trip to the united states senate, and there has to be a vote there, expected to happen tomorrow. so what do house democrats think about tonight's big vote and who's claiming victory? joining us is new york democratic senator eliot engel. thanks for being here. >> good to here. >> greta: i'm curious, you're saying the tea party is a party of no. >> well, the republican party particularly last year is the party of no. this year the tea party should declare victory and go home. we just passed a bill today which was totaling about cutting spending. there were no revenue raises in there, part of the reason i had difficulty with it, because i think that tax loopholes for big corporations and big oil and gas ought to be closed. i think billionaires should pay more, and we need to cut
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spending. >> greta: so you were a no? >> i was a no. i think we need to do all those three things. clearly we need to have a balanced budget, and clearly we haven't been proper about it. again, i don't think you can do cuts on the spending side. you've got to raise some revenues. there's nothing wrong with corporations paying their fair share, with big oil and big gas foregoing those subsidies, and with billionaires paying more. >> greta: did the president let you down in this? >> no. i think the president had a difficult situation. he played the best hand dealt to him. i don't think it was good enough for me and my constituents. i go back to my district, people are petrified over cuts to medicare, they're petrified over these kinds of cuts, working class families, senior citizens. >> greta: let me ask you a question. you know, i don't want to see any old person or poor person, anyone else, to go without. i mean, that's a terrible thing. it seems to me one of the reasons we're in this particular, in particular,
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besides the derivatives, the credit swaps, all that, is that if the economy had taken off in february of '09, had even trended steeper with the stimulus bill, that it had been a success, then we would have a much greater personal sense of confidence that we're going in the right direction, more revenue, because more people would be employed. it seems this is an indictment that the stimulus bill was really -- didn't work and that we need to go to plan b on something. >> well, i think the stimulus bill worked to a degree. i think we -- when barack obama took office, we were heading toward a depression. >> greta: there's no question, he got a bad hand given to him. but the problem is, once february came along and he made this significant economic policy change, and through the congress, is that he owned the trend. and had it trended up, all the indicators, whether it's housing starts, whether it the employment levels, i mean, consumer confidence, gdp, i mean all this, but they didn't. that's the problem. >> well, they didn't.
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we have to be concerned about creating jobs. i frankly don't see this bill as a job creator. i see it as the opposite. i think if you're not spending, you're not creating jobs. i haven't seen one bill on the floor in the republican congress this entire year that would create even one job. >> greta: we would have less attention on the cuts if, let's say, say year ago the stimulus bill were working. i think what drove people over the edge, into a panic because the government was spending more money we were taking in at such tremendous levels, hitting this debt ceiling, we didn't feel successful as a country. the stimulus didn't get us going. it wasn't roaring the economy. and a year ago, you know, something -- i mean, some policy should have been implemented, a recognition that it wasn't working. >> there's no doubt that the economy's been disappointing. there's no doubt that job joblessness is up and we need to come forward with bills that
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promote jobs. >> greta: like what? >> well, whether it's cutting some taxes and trying to spend more. government has to spend more to stimulate the programs. >> greta: was it that we didn't spend in the right direction? i travel the country and see all these businesses going out of business. it's terrible. people unemployed. it's not working for them. >> you know, back in the 1930s, we read the history books, franklin delano roosevelt created these public sector jobs. i would have preferred that a lot of the money would have gone into the creation of public sector jobs, infrastructure jobs, things like that. we didn't do it. >> greta: it's a very different economy in the '30s than now. we got to go. will you come back and talk to me about this? >> i'd love to. thank you. >> greta: thank you, sir. coming up, she's amazing and she's back. representative gabrielle giffords making home run her arizona constituents have a voice in the debt ceiling
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>> greta: it's agreed there was a stunning and inspiring moment today in the house chamber. congress woman gabby giffords returned to washington to cast her first vote since being shot in the head. >> we want to welcome back our wonderful colleague, congress woman giffords here. >> greta: in a statement giffords says i have closely followed the debate and have been deeply disappointed on what is going on in washington and pleased to see a solution emerge and i believe crossing the aisle for the good of the american people is more important than party politics. i had to be here for this vote. i could not take the chance my absence could crash our economy. the congressmen


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