Meet the Press | January 06, 2013
>>> former speaker of the house newt gingrich . columnist for "the washington post " our friend ej dionne . chairman of the house democratic caucus , chairman xavier becerra . sorry i butchered your name just a moment ago. former head of hewlett-packard carly fiorina . and for the first time, the newly elected independent senator from maine, angus king , succeeding the retiring olympia snow . former governor of the state . and it's said he will caucus with the democrats. and a big redskins fan, which is particularly important today as they play seattle. senator, welcome, and all of you welcome back to the program and happy new year. senator, let me start with you. based on everything you've heard this morning, it doesn't seem like a great way to run the government or to solve big problems, does it?
>> i think one of things that comes out of this is of course the budget is important and the deficit is important, but there's an underlying structural issue that's affecting the economy and the market, and that is people have lost confidence in the ability of our government to do anything. this whole fiasco with the fiscal cliff going two hours over the deadline, coming back, how it finally worked out, and simpson and bowles are right, it's a very small piece of the solution. it's no solution at all. in effect it was the easy part. so i think the discussion you had with senator mcconnell is very important because it's the inability of our government to work in a way to solve these problems that itself i think is a big drag on the economy.
>> but as you approach the job newly here, how do you propose to break that sort of impasse?
>> well, i hope i can do -- i mean, listen, i'm not arrogant enough or naive enough to think that one guy from maine is going to change the way the u.s. senate works. but clearly, i think there have got to be some people that come in and say, look, the solutions are more important than the parties. the pragmatic solutions to these problems really transcend ideology. let's try to solve some of these things and make some decisions. and i think that's a big part of what we just saw. by the way, i once asked erskine bowles why it was always called simpson - bowles . he said because they realized if it was bowles - simpson the initials might have thrown people off.
>> fair enough. speaker gingrich, you thought this deal was a disaster for the republicans. i asked leader mcconnell about the division within the republican party . howie severe do you think it is and what's the impact?
>> i think there's a real internal argument underway, and it's partially over the very nature which we're setting up once again of these kind of negotiations. we're now going to spend 60 days or 90 days totally fixated in the media on the next big crisis. and then the crisis will go down to the white house . and then there will be secret meetings. and at the last minute, once again we'll produce 2,400 pages no one will have read. it's exactly the opposite of healthy self government . and i think the people are fed up.i] if you're a house member and you thought you won an election and you came here to do something and you're told, actually, your job is to sit around for two or three weeks while all the real work is done by three people in some room you're not allowed in. you inherently build up hostility. and i think that we're seeing the same dance start over again. i said 11 months ago it will end up at the last minute doing something in secret, which no one will have read. because you could