U.S. Congressman Mike Pence appeared on ABC's "This Week" this morning to discuss the federal budget. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
On the Agreement between Congress and the Administration
"I've been battling runaway federal spending under both political parties ever since I arrived in Congress. I for one, want to celebrate the fact that we are now debating on Capitol Hill less spending, instead of more spending. What I was saying repeatedly, at the rally that you just clipped, and on the floor of the Congress, was that House Republicans needed to pick a fight. I think John Boehner fought the good fight. I think he drove a hard bargain here. I want to see the details. From what I know, it sounds like John Boehner got a good deal; probably not good enough for me to support it but a good deal nonetheless. This country's in trouble. We were asking for a 2 percent cut in the budget. And that ended up being too much of a cut for this administration and for liberals in Congress."
"I cannot bring myself to be critical of a basketball player that gets two-on-one all night. I can't bring myself to be critical of John Boehner, who was squared off against the White House, and liberals in Congress, who couldn't accept a 2 percent budget cut, and who dug in and were willing to shut down the government to continue to send a million dollars a day to the largest abortion provider in America."
"I want to see the language in the bill. I think John Boehner has a good deal but it's probably not good enough for me to support it."
On Planned Parenthood
"Let me say, first off, it's nonsense to say that Republicans were willing to shut down the government over this. Speaker John Boehner made it clear that the policy issues, including my amendment on abortion providers, had been negotiated, at the time that -- I think it's in The Washington Post this morning. What was clear here is that this administration and liberals in Congress were willing to shut the government down to continue to fund abortion providers in this country. That's the bottom line.
"Why would I fight for it? Let me explain. I'm pro-life. I don't apologize for it. I also think it's morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use [them] to fund abortion providers. In February of this year, the Pence Amendment passed on a bipartisan basis by 240 votes; it denied federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America. I've never advocated reducing funding to Title X. They tried to make this about women's health. It wasn't about that. Let me share with you this fact: Planned Parenthood's clinics focus mainly on abortion. In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed 977 adoptions, 7,000 pre-natal, 332,000 abortions."
On Increasing the Debt Ceiling
"I will not support an increase in the debt ceiling without real and meaningful changes in spending in the short-term and in the long-term. We've got to change the way we spend the people's money. We have a $14 trillion national debt. The president sends a budget to Capitol Hill that will double the national debt in the next ten years and simply expanding the credit card is not the right answer."
Republican Budget Proposal
"Let me say, House Republicans under Paul Ryan's leadership have offered a vision to put America back on a pathway toward a balanced budget. It deals with the issues in entitlements. It reduces the national debt. For Americans 55 or older, we're not proposing a single change in Medicare - Chris knows that. What we want to do for Americans under the age of 55 is make sure they can participate in the same kind of health insurance plan that members of Congress do. This is going to be a big debate. There's no repeal of the Medicare guarantee. Members of Congress have the same premium support system and Chris knows that."