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Public Statements

FOX "On The Record" - Transcript

Interview

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MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Well, things are rough on the Senate floor. Senators are duking it out over the $410 billion omnibus bill. It has an 8 percent increase from last year's spending. The House passed the bill so now it's on to the Senate floor. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid talked about the Republican opposition to the bill.

SENATOR HARRY REID (D-NV): (From videotape.) But the Republicans have made a decision just to say no to everything. It's very clear they've made a decision that they want President Obama to fail. I'm not going to name individual Republicans, but I think it's very clear as a result of the actions since Obama was elected that people want him to fail. Some have said so, others have just acted accordingly. And I think that, as a result of what's been going on in the press the last few days, we know that there's a significant number of Republicans out there who want the president to fail.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us live is Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator, it's rather cowardly to say that he won't name names but that there are people out there who want the president to fail. And that's sort of cowardly. I mean, name the people if you're going to make those assertions.

SEN. GRAHAM: There you go. Who are we and why do we want him to fail? Well, I want his ideas that I disagree with to fail. I think we're going into a spending orgy here. We've spent $2.3 trillion since last year trying to stabilize banks and bail out different institutions. The omnibus bill that the House passed that we had before the Senate increases spending 8 percent over last year's number. When do we stop? Is there any sense of responsibility by our Democratic colleagues when it comes to spending? I haven't seen any yet.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, Senator Reid says Republicans are just saying no. Just so we have it straight, right now we've had the stimulus bill and now we're talking about the omnibus spending which will only take us to run the government until October 1st, and then we have the budget which starts October 1st. So we've got three big matters to talk about. All right. Just say no is what Senator Reid says that the Republicans are saying. Tell me, when you sat down, you said there's some duplicate spending here. I mean, it's just going to make any American hit the ceiling.

SEN. GRAHAM: There's 122 accounts in the omnibus bill that have already had money put into them in the stimulus package, so they're double dipping.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Why would anyone double dip?

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, because it's a chance just to put money into accounts without any accountability. I mean, there are people in the Congress who have put $50 million in the National Endowment for the Arts, calling it a stimulus investment. They've put 130 million (dollars) more in the omnibus bill.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Why don't they just put 180 (million dollars) in one of them? I mean, like, what's the point of this?

SEN. GRAHAM: They're in charge, but let me talk about failing. The Republican Party had an alternative to this stimulus package. It was 440 billion (dollars). That's not miserly. We had tax cuts. We had unemployment benefits extended. We had more food stamps available for people who have lost their job. We had $45 billion in infrastructure spending. The CBO said that our $440 billion stimulus package would create more jobs at half the cost. The House started the stimulus package, and Nancy Pelosi said, we won, we write the bill. You're not going to get people to meet you in the middle when you try to run over them. So there was a version by the Republican Party of 440 billion (dollars). The House bill was 819 (billion dollars). The Senate wound up passing an $831 billion stimulus package. That's not really trying to meet us in the middle.

I think I have a reputation for trying to find solutions with my Democratic colleagues to hard problems -- working on immigration, the gang of 14 when it came to judges. So I don't buy this at all. I know bipartisanship when I see it. It hasn't existed since President Obama has been president. It's all talk. He's never sat down with people like me and John McCain and others to find middle ground, and that's been a huge mistake. And the public is getting turned off to this spending without consequence.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Well, and the thing that I think most Americans are appalled at as they're learning is that these numbers are made up.

SEN. GRAHAM: Literally made up.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Now, you come in tonight to tell me that 122 of that is basically double dipping, 122 accounts. But even worse than that, the numbers are just made up anyway.

SEN. GRAHAM: There's $185 million been put in the National Endowment for the Arts. They've put 50 million (dollars) in the stimulus package. Now, how does putting $50 million in the National Endowment for the Arts create jobs? The stimulus package, to me, was to create jobs in the near term, not grow the government in the out years. The reason that I have been voting no is because I think they took a legitimate concern America has, jobs being lost, the economy being stagnant, and they've piled everything but the kitchen sink onto this. And you see now this budget. You want to know what change is? What did that mean? Look at President Obama's budget. It is an increase in spending, an increase in taxes, a decrease in military spending coming out of the '60s.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: You know what? The thing that really bothers me most of all is that I don't want to be lied to. I mean, it's like whatever the numbers are, at least have some rational basis for them. I don't know if they're good numbers or bad numbers, but it's the lies.

SEN. GRAHAM: Can I just put one comment to that? If you talk about energy independence and climate change, how can you become energy independent if you take offshore drilling off the table? How can you solve climate change if you will not allow nuclear power to be part of the solution? During the campaign he was for both, in his budget neither one of them exist. That's disingenuous.

MS. VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you.

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