CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript: ACA and Government Shutdown

Interview

By:  Marsha Blackburn
Date: Sept. 29, 2013
Location: Unknown

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SCHIEFFER: Well, we are back with two key members of the House budget committee, Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn, Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen. I am not sure I need to ask either of you a question here. We just hear the questions laid out from Rand Paul and from Dick Durbin, so where do you go from here, congresswoman?

BLACKBURN: Well, we are going to wait and see what the Senate does with the proposal that we sent over. Of course it was my one year delay of Obamacare legislation that was the amendment that went on last night. We think that that is a reasonable request, the president has made 19, he and his administration, 19 delays. There have been 1,200 waivers. There are all of these problems, I have got a list of 311 employers who have already made changes to healthcare, to jobs. We need to -- we need to take a time-out on this.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this. You heard us talking about this delay. What if there was a shorter delay? What if you didn't delay it for a year? What if the president said how about three months?

BLACKBURN: Wouldn't it be great if the president would come and negotiate with us? Wouldn't it? These are the type of things that we have invited him to come and meet with us, and negotiate with us. We would love to have the president sit down and say, OK, there are some problems with Obamacare, and we have continued to bring forward ideas for healthcare reform, but we have been met with this attitude of no negotiation, I don't want to sit down. I don't want to talk about this. It is my way or the highway, but we continue to put ideas there, just hike last night.

SCHIEFFER: All right.

BLACKBURN: You know, you don't want to defund it let's go at delaying it.

SCHIEFFER: Senator -- I mean congressman.

VAN HOLLEN: Bob, Marsha wrote in an op-ed piece to her constituents the best way to defund Obamacare was to delay it and she is right about that. This is a way to prevent millions of Americans from signing up on October 1st to get more affordable care. What you are seeing play out here is the end of what Senator Richard Burr, a Republican of North Carolina, say was the dumbest idea he'd ever heard of which is this idea you are going to shut down the government if you can't prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care. Senator McCain called it irrational. And yet what you see in the House is Speaker Boehner has essentially handed the gavel over to Senator Cruz, it is like Speaker Cruz these days. And you have the far right Tea Party wing of the caucus driving this government shutdown if they can't get their way. Now we have tried to negotiate on the budget for months and, as Senator Durbin said. I put forward a motion asking the speaker of the House to appoint budget negotiators so we could work out all of these issues. What did the speaker do? He denied the appointment of negotiators. In the Senate -- in the Senate...

BLACKBURN: ...first...

VAN HOLLEN: In the Senate, in the Senate, Mike Lee blocked the appointment of negotiators. This was a calculated strategy to drive the country to the cliff and then say, give us what we want, end the Affordable Care Act or we are going to shut down the government or default on our debt It is not the way to negotiate.

BLACKBURN: That's not exactly right. Let me also point out also there is bipartisan opposition to Obamacare, not bipartisan support. There is only partisan support. And you know good and well the Senate Democrats...

SCHIEFFER: Congresswoman, that is not entirely true. The polls don't suggest that. Polls say that most people favor it.

BLACKBURN: No. Most people oppose what is happening with Obamacare. I have looked at poll after poll after poll.

SCHIEFFER: Do you agree with that, Congressman?

VAN HOLLEN: Look, your own CBS Poll...

BLACKBURN: Look at the last night on delay, we had some Democrats vote for...

VAN HOLLEN: Yeah, you had two Democrats vote and two Republicans voted the other way that is not bipartisan.

BLACKBURN: No.

VAN HOLLEN: Yes, no it's not.

BLACKBURN: Yes, it is.

VAN HOLLEN: Look, the CBS Poll shows...

BLACKBURN: So, those two Democrats don't count, their opinions don't count?

VAN HOLLEN: How about your two Republicans?

BLACKBURN: So we had bipartisan support for delay...

VAN HOLLEN: The Democrats are absolutely united that we need to make sure that millions of Americans get affordable care. Millions of Americans are already benefiting from that.

BLACKBURN: Our goal is to preserve access to affordable healthcare to all Americans. Driving up the costs of health insurance.

VAN HOLLEN: But defunding the Affordable Care Act?

BLACKBURN: I have -- I have constituents in Tennessee -- I heard from a woman this week. her insurance cost is going up five times. A school teacher, her insurance costs for her and her family, 105 percent.

VAN HOLLEN: You know, Marsha, your state...

SCHIEFFER: I don't see this going anywhere here -- let me just ask a question. Is the government going to shut down?

BLACKBURN: I hope not. The president is the one who is driving a government shutdown. He wants it, because he wants the checkbook. He wants control. And this is part of his strategy.

SCHIEFFER: Despite -- the Senate is going to reject this. I mean, even if they didn't, the president would veto it.

BLACKBURN: Let's see what they send back to us. You know, we keep sending things over. See, we continue to work to send things over to say, here you go. Here is another idea. Here is another way to do this. We do not want to shut the government down. That has been the president's strategy.

VAN HOLLEN: Here's the idea they sent over, 42 times. Repeal Obamacare never to replace it. We have always said we can make adjustments, we can make modifications but that is not what our colleagues want, they want to undermine the entire law. They want to throw the baby out with the bath water. But the crazy thing about this, Bob, Marsha is on the Budget Committee with me, the Republican budget kept major parts of ObamaCare: in fact, their budget would not balance if they hadn't kept the Medicare savings. And every penny of the revenues brought in by ObamaCare, including the amount of revenue brought in by the medical device tax, is what they have got in their budget. And their budget wouldn't balance without it, so it is a total hoax for them to say on the one hand, let's get rid of ObamaCare, when they keep major parts of ObamaCare in the budget, Marsha voted for it. Marsha, how do you explain this to me about Senator Cruz calling over there and telling Republicans not to support Speaker Boehner?

BLACKBURN: I am not aware that he called over there and told people not to support Speaker Boehner. What I will say --

SCHIEFFER: He had dinner with him.

BLACKBURN: --- is our, our leadership in the House has -- they have done a great job of listening to us. When we have said we don't want to do this, let's look at this. Let's try a different way, listening to our constituents, we are elected to represent millions of people across this country, just like those on your side of the aisle do. What we hear repeatedly from individuals, from employers, is that this law is having devastating consequences. When you look at the jobs that are being lost, when you look at the hospitals that are laying off people, hospitals that are closing, cancer patients that cannot continue to get care, they are saying, you have got to do something about the intrusive nature of ObamaCare. Look at the mess that these exchanges are in. Your online marketplace is not ready --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN HOLLEN: -- caused by ObamaCare. This is a campaign of distortion that has been going on for months. It started with death panels (ph).

BLACKBURN: No, it is a campaign to protect the sovereignty and the freedom of this nation.

VAN HOLLEN: Then you said that Republicans said it was a government takeover of healthcare --

SCHIEFFER: I'm going to let you all -- I will let you all finish this in the hall, OK? Let's -- our clock --

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: All right, (inaudible). Thank you both. We will be back in a moment with some personal thoughts about the future of Congress. In a moment.

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