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Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript

Interview

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is calling GOP Congressman Paul Ryan's plan a Republican path to poverty that would pass like a tornado through America's nursing homes.
Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins us. Good evening.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, D-FLA., DNC CHAIR: Good evening, Greta. Great to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to have you. OK, explain this to me. President's proposed a budget. Congressman Paul Ryan has proposed a budget. I understand you don't like it. I don't know if it's good, bad or indifferent. But the Senate has not proposed a budget. And we have to wait until the Senate proposes a budget so that we can sort of have this reconciliation of the sort of given-and-take between the House and the Senate and get a budget.
Is that sort of how the process works?

SCHULTZ: Normally, there's a budget proposed by the president, a budget that is adopted by the House, adopted by the Senate. But you know, basically, the budget process is an expression of the party who drafted that budget's values and it's a blueprint for how you're going to structure the nation's fiscal house.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, so...

SCHULTZ: And basically, that's what it comes down to.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So the House budget's Republican. So I understand those are different values than your own. But that without the Senate having...

SCHULTZ: Quite different.

VAN SUSTEREN: Quite different. No, I understand that. But without the Senate having a budget, it sort of stops everything. And the Senate is currently run by the -- majority by the Democratic Party. They have actually 54 votes, if you consider the 51 Democrats, two independents who caucus with the Democrats, and of course, they get the vice president.
And until the Democrats -- until the Senate has its budget, it doesn't enable you to sit down and work your values out and talk and try to work out a solution for the rest of the country.
That's the problem, I see it, is that not whether we -- whether people like Congressman Ryan's budget or not, is that the Senate has stopped everything.

SCHULTZ: Well, that's not it at all. And actually, you've had the majority, as I understand it, of Republicans in the Senate fully embrace the Ryan budget. We really can call it the Ryan-Romney budget now because Romney has fully embraced it, as well.
And I mean, I think it's very clear. We've got the Ryan-Romney vision for the -- how we should structure our nation's budget. Basically, we should cut our way to deficit reduction. We should...

VAN SUSTEREN: I got that, but that's...

SCHULTZ: ... slash health care...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll give it -- I'll give it to you.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: ... give Medicaid back to the states. I mean...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll give -- I'll give you a hypothetical. Let's both -- I'll give you a hypothetical. Let's say -- let's say you and I both agree that the Romney -- I'll even call it Romney -- the Romney-Ryan budget is horrible. The problem is, though, is that because the Democrats dominate the Senate, they could have a Senate Democrat budget so that the process could continue. And that's where...

SCHULTZ: Greta...

VAN SUSTEREN: You got -- you got 54 votes! All you need...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... economic is 51!

SCHULTZ: The Senate will -- I'm confident the Senate will take up a budget and -- but let's focus on what's important here. Process is not what we should be obsessing over.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we can't get to a solution!

SCHULTZ: What we need to focus on...

VAN SUSTEREN: But we can't -- we can't -- you can't get to a solution...

SCHULTZ: No, no, no. Come on.

VAN SUSTEREN: You can't -- It doesn't even matter...

SCHULTZ: Of course you can.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... what the Romney budget is. The Ryan budget -- but the Ryan budget is irrelevant because we can't even -- because nobody can get to it to discuss it because there's a stop. I'll even give it to you...

SCHULTZ: There's nothing irrelevant...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: ... about a budget that passed the House of Representatives that would end Medicare as we know it, that would...

VAN SUSTEREN: It doesn't exist!

SCHULTZ: ... pare Medicaid back to the...

VAN SUSTEREN: It doesn't exist!

SCHULTZ: It's the largest cut -- it certainly does exist. It's a budget that...

VAN SUSTEREN: But it's -- it has no -- it has no effect!

SCHULTZ: ... passed the House of Representatives.

VAN SUSTEREN: The president can't -- the president can't sign it. It hasn't come out of the -- I mean, it's a fantasy! Until...

SCHULTZ: OK...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, there's nothing that -- there's -- you've got to get something out of the Senate.

SCHULTZ: You're speculating...

VAN SUSTEREN: You've got to get something out of the Senate.

SCHULTZ: OK, Greta, you're going to stipulate that -- that we would call it the Romney-Ryan budget. And I'd ask that you stipulate that the Senate should take up a budget, and I expect that they will. And then let's talk about the substance of those budgets because that's what matters.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Good. All right, now (INAUDIBLE) the thing is, though, is that Senator Harry Reid has refused to put a budget on the floor. And I'm curious because that is...

SCHULTZ: That's simply not true.

VAN SUSTEREN: So he will?

SCHULTZ: That's simply not true. I expect that the Senate will take up a budget. I have not heard Harry Reid -- I haven't heard Harry Reid say anything close to that he's not going to put a budget on the Senate floor.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you give me an estimate of what you heard when? Because the American people are sort of curious. I mean, when do you think that'll happen in the Senate?

SCHULTZ: Well, Greta, I'm a member of the House of Representatives, so you really need to ask either Harry Reid's office or a member of the United States Senate.

VAN SUSTEREN: They won't answer! I've tried! Honestly, I swear...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: I don't speak for them.

VAN SUSTEREN: I've tried.

SCHULTZ: I don't speak for them, but we can't...

VAN SUSTEREN: Give me a tip who I could...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Greta, don't put words in Senator Reid's mouth and say that because a budget hasn't come to the floor yet that it won't. What's important here is that we make sure that the American people understand the difference between the two blueprints that have been -- and the two visions that have been laid out.
Barack Obama has laid out a vision that has balanced deficit reduction, cuts to deficit by $4 trillion, but does it in a way that asks everybody to pay the fair share, everybody to have a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules.
And the Republicans make sure that we continue tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, that we turn Medicare into a voucher program, that we pull the safety net out from under our seniors and that we turn Medicaid back over to -- down to the states and cut it by two thirds, giving them no resources.
So when I talk about the impact on seniors in nursing homes -- you have 60 percent of seniors in nursing homes who are on Medicaid. That is a huge harmful impact on our seniors and...

VAN SUSTEREN: And Congresswoman...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: And it's the Republican vision.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm going to take just brief last word. I usually don't usually like to take a brief last word. But I'm anxious to have that...

SCHULTZ: That's OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm anxious to have that discussion about all of those things that you just said, but I think that in order to get -- we got -- we got to somehow get the United States Senate to stop blocking even that discussion that you raised.

SCHULTZ: We don't have time to waste, Greta. We've got two visions for...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm with you on that. I'm with you on that. But that's why I said if you give me a tip how to get the information about when Senator Harry Reid will allow there to be a vote on a budget -- I'm totally with you on that. And if you have any tips -- and I realize you're in House, and I appreciate that -- but that -- we can't even have the other discussion. And regrettably, I took the last word...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: But I do hope you'll come back. Thank you very much.

SCHULTZ: I'd be happy to. Thank you.


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