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Video: Super Committee struggles

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    >>> nbc news learned that half of the members of the budget super committee met separately last week to find a deal both parties can agree to. south carolina congressman jim clyburn is a member of the super committee , set to hold an open hearing this afternoon. congressman clyburn, welcome back to "the daily rundown."

    >> thank you so much for having me back.

    >> well, let me ask you this. you're not a part of this sort of subgroup, if you will. so, is this a super duper subcommittee of the super committee that is cutting a deadeal what's going on here?

    >> well, i read some of those comments, but you know, there are various areas of expertise that committee members have, and i think that what we're seeing here is that people with certain expertise on the committee are meeting, and at our suggestion. so, it is not any kind of rump meetings taking place. but if there are sticking points that need to be discussed and there are people with various expertise that others may not have, that they are, in fact, meeting. and the composition differs whatever the issue may be.

    >> have you been in one of these subgroups?

    >> yes, i have.

    >> what have you broken up and done and who have you met with?

    >> we have met among ourselves. i won't identify exactly who, but as you know, i do have a pretty extensive background in infrastructure stuff. i'm a big proponent of job-creation. i've made that a part of what i think. in that " washington post " op ed post i wrote before we started meeting, i thought job-creation ought to be a part of this. and so, we are looking for various ways to do deficit reduction, not just to do cuts, but to do deficit reduction. that means job creation , that means smart trusts and that also means raising revenue. the extent to which my background allows me to participate in submeetings, i do.

    >> i want to know what the role of the leadership on both sides has played. i want to play for you something speaker boehner said yesterday about the super committee while in louisville at the mitch mcconnell center. here's what he said.

    >> common ground doesn't mean compromising on your principles. common ground means finding places where your agenda overlaps with that of the other party, locking arms and getting it done.

    >> first of all, do you agree with that sentiment, that basically, what he's saying is we're not compromising, you're just finding places where you agr agree? do you believe there is a distinction?

    >> well, there is a distinction without a difference . any time you are looking for overlaps that you might call common ground , that is giving up something that you might not otherwise give up, which that means compromise. and so --

    >> well, do you believe the republicans.

    >> -- i agree with speaker boehner --

    >> do you believe the republicans on the super committee are willing to compromise?

    >> well, i won't categorize what i feel about the committee members, because i might be stepping out of bounds here. but let me just say this, i adopted as part of my way of life south carolina 's motto, which is as i breathe, i hope. and i have tremendous hope that the members of this committee are trying to find a meaningful resolution to this problem, and i have great faith and confidence in each and every one of them. so, i'm pretty upbeat about what we are doing, and i would not want to put a label on any one of them.

    >> senator patty murray , who's the democratic co-chair, if you will, of the super committee , said that social security was being talked about, social security reform , possible cuts, possible changes in social security was still on the table. is that your understanding?

    >> well, you know, i've talked about social security going in, and i've been talk being it for two or three years. i think that we can look at all of this stuff, entitlements, be it social security , medicare , medicaid, look at it all and see how we could extend the life. i would like to see if social security is made solvent for 75 years, out into the future. i would like to see about 45, at least 40 years on medicare , and there are ways to do this. remember, last year, we extended the life of medicare by 14 years with what we did. we didn't get credit for it.

    >> you may make some changes to social security ?

    >> well, i don't know whether we will or not. social security really is not within our forte for this committee . the entitlement stuff in this committee is limited to medicare and medicaid . social security is not what we are mandated to do, though i wouldn't mind seeing us take a look at how we could make it, you know, extend its life and make it much more solvent, but that's not anything that we are mandated to get involved in.

    >> all right. and very quickly on fund-raising, you have had 12 fund-raising events planned between now and august 23rd . no other member of the super committee has four on the books. are you concerned that you've had too many? have you dialed any of them back? do you have a way that you're vetting these so that there doesn't have any appearance of conflicts with the issues that you're dealing with in the super committee ?

    >> well, you know, chuck, one of the big debates we have in government, especially when it comes to service, is the debate of volume versus value. now, i don't know why people are interested in 10 or 12 people meeting for breakfast, and i do that pretty often. and they seem to think that because i do that 10 or 12 times, it is more ominous than someone having one fund-raiser and making twice the amount of money at that one fund-raiser than i make at 12. and if you look at the checks or if you get on the telephone, my stuff is done transparently. people look at it, i post it, i make it public, and i think that's much better than having secret telephone conversations. and you will see that members of the committee are out-raising me 2 - 1 , and that is as it's always been. i'm like the turtle. you know, i collect turtles and i keep them all over my office. i'm slow and deliberate, but i get there.

    >> all right. congressman jim clyburn , democrat from south carolina , member of the leadership, member of the super committee . thank you very much for coming on, sir.

    >> thank you so much for having me.

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