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Video: Rep. Roskam: Senate Dems should step up

  1. Closed captioning of: Rep. Roskam: Senate Dems should step up

    >> well, with no visible signs of progress on a budget deal and both parties hardening their positions, it looks increasingly likely, perhaps, that the federal government could shut down for the first time in 15 years.

    >> vice president biden returns publicly to the debate today. he meets with white house negotiator in just over an hour. peter rosco does much of the heavy lifting on rang ling votes and he served with president obama in the senate . congressman, thanks for joining us this morning. i want to start with libya . and i want to get your reaction to senator lindsay graham . a republican senator. he was talking about criticisms through the budget and cost. he says to my fellow republican friends, nobody complained about the cost of iraq and afghanistan on our watch. i'm tired of hearing people talk about how it costs too much. react to that comment from senator graham. and what was your thoughts on the president's speech?

    >> the issue the president needs to lay out that transcends the cost issue is what is the definition of success. and what is the nature of american involvement. it was wise for the president to make a speech. but until the question of success in libya is settled, there's going to be continuing questions about the cost. right now, it's ambiguous.

    >> so with senator graham's statement that cost should be off the table as a discussion do you think that's not correct?

    >> i think the president's problem on cost goes away if he's clear about what the mission is.

    >> so sky is the limit on cost?

    >> not necessarily. but it won't be the first thing out of people's mouths. what i'm hearing is concern about the nature of the operation, and i think what the american public wants to hear is what does success look like in libya , and what's the pathway to success? the people are willing to cut the president slack on cost as long as they know what the mission is and what the definition of success is.

    >> congressman, we're ten days away from when the most recently passed continuing resolution on the budget expires. it expires on april 8th . and it does seem to be there are a couple of sticking points. sticking point number one for democrats in the white house has to do with these writers that you've passed on one of your budget proposals in the house about defunding npr and planned parenthood . are you willing to take the writers off the table to get a deal done to fund the government for the rest of the year? sh that a nonstarter for house republicans?

    >> well, you mentioned that we're ten days away from april 8th , which is when the continuing resolution will expire. we're 38 days away from when the house acted and passed something over to the senate . we haven't seen any action in that entire time. before the house acts, the senate has to act. we've seen nothing. a house republican proposal got 44 votes in the senate . senator reid's proposal got less than that. only 42 votes in the senate . so until there's any substantive conversation beyond that, the senate has to move. and it's very clear to me that the white house that has to get involved. and president obama has to put together the same type of effort that he did last december. it doesn't seem like senator reid is table to move anything through the senate absent that.

    >> democrats have obviously, as we understand it from the reporting, offered some more in the way of budget cuts to try to get closer.

    >> meet in the middle . how much are republicans willing to come down to get a deal?

    >> so far we've seen nothing from the senate democrats . absolutely nothing from the democrats in terms of long term resolution. if that is their position, they need to be out there and putting that on the table.

    >> what's your position?

    >> my position is the senate needs to act. my position is the senate needs to take up this challenge. that april 8th is looming and they need to be serious about trying to cut and keep the government open. and we need to follow through on what the public basically said last november. that have the spending binge in washington has to stop.

    >> congressman, you're the vote counter. are you operating on a majority of the majority rule that you guys are willing to take up a bill as long as you have a majority of the caucus. even if it means none of the tea party is supportive of the agreement?

    >> we're trying to do two things. one is to make sure we're cutting government and number two, make sure we're keeping the government open and operating. toward that basis you have house republicans involved in a four-day very robust debate. an open process unlike the house has seen. it brought a great deal of energy and consensus around the product. that is now sitting in the senate . and we're waiting for the senate to act. they've had it for 38 days.

    >> are you concerned about the tea party coming after you? i know the chicago tea party wrote you a letter after the last continuing resolution temporary budget bill was passed. it said, sir. you face much more serious political retribution because like the elephant that represents the true conservatives of the grand old party, we never forget.

    >> look, i think there's a lot of tea party concern. there's concern about the nature of spending in washington , d.c.

    >> was that a fair criticism of you?

    >> i don't recall receiving the letter. ultimately what folks are saying is they're watching washington . they're saying stop the spending nonsense and get the priorities in order. that requires the united states senate to take up action, and they've been missing for the past 38 days.

    >> chief party whip for the house republicans say it's all in the senate democrats ' court today. thank you for joining us.

    >> thank you.


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