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CNBC "CNBC Reports" Part I - Transcript

Interview

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CNBC INTERVIEW WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN
SUBJECT: ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE INTERVIEWER: JOHN HARWOOD

2:04 P.M. EST, THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2009

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MS. BURNETT: John Harwood is here as promised. Now, he has had a very busy day, just moments ago, finished that exclusive interview with Vice President Joe Biden and he's got a lot he's going to show us through the program, first, though, John, we wanted to give you a chance to share with everyone what he had to say about stimulus.

MR. HARWOOD: Well, it was fascinating, Erin. Even though they got that big goose egg from Republicans in the House last night, Joe Biden said they're not giving up on bipartisan cooperation, that that package and answering the question you posed at the top of the broadcast, will change in the Senate, more infrastructure spending, perhaps more tax cuts as well.

Let's take a listen to Joe Biden.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: It's not over yet. We've only gone through the first phase of this, that is, its passed the House, which is a big, big step. It's about to pass the Senate and we're going to go to conference, and I'm sure there's going to be some additional changes in this.

MR. HARWOOD: What kind?

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, my guess is you're going to see, maybe some additional infrastructure spending. You may see some changes in some of the things that have been put forward by the House in terms of spending and maybe even some changes in the tax side. But look --

MR. HARWOOD: More tax cuts, in other words?

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, that may occur, but here's where we are. You have for a city that did not function for eight years, in terms of any kind of bipartisan consensus, any kind of real coordination, here we are, God willing, with less than, you know, 20 days in the first session, passing the most significant stimulus package in the history of the United States of America, that is, and it's going to spend out 75 percent of it quickly, that is spent out every way we want to, I mean, for example, you have a circumstance where you want to make sure you don't create as they say a tail, you don't want to start a spending program that locks you in the long, long-term spending and the other side of it is, you'd also like to be able to if you could write it, you know, if there was no Congress, you just write it yourself, you would like to have significant reforms built into this as well.

Could it be better when you have two branches of government and three separate entities working on something, I'm not sure it could have gotten at this stage much better than it is. I think it's good. I think you'll see it get better and I also think you'll see Republicans voting for it.

MR. HARWOOD: And so, Erin, we're going to have a lot more on the administration's attitude toward that bad bank, which Wall Street is watching very closely, its attitude toward China, also, the auto industry coming up later on your show.

MS. BURNETT: All right. Well, we can't wait for that and we're going to have that in just a couple of moments. Thanks, John. John will be back and the reason everyone we wanted to interrupt him here after the stimulus conversation was to get a Republican response to what the vice president had to say.

END.


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