FOX "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace" - Transcript: Government Shutdown

Interview

By:  Pete King
Date: Oct. 6, 2013
Location: Unknown

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REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: -- almost open -- after quite a while. You know, why don't we go get them as well? That has been a real issue I know by a number of us in the Congress, why we don't we go after those who've carried out Benghazi. But Libya is a great capture, and I give our Navy SEALs and our Special Forces, and FBI operatives tremendous credit. But again, I hope he's interrogated for a long time before he's -- anyway.

WALLACE: All right, let's turn, if we can, to the other subject in hand, which, of course, is the government shutdown and possible default. Congressman King, let me start with you. You said some pretty rough things about your fellow Republicans who've been pushing this default. You've called them yahoos, Ted Cruz crazies, even terrorists. With Tom Graves, sitting here, it sounds like it's more than just a disagreement over policy.

KING: No, I was -- I have great regard for Tom Graves. And I was talking primarily about Ted Cruz here. Who basically was saying that if we defunded ObamaCare, he can manage to both keep the government open and defund ObamaCare. The fact is, it was done in the House, and the government is now closed, and ObamaCare is going forward. This was a strategy that never could have worked. It was almost sort of nullification to say we're going to shut down the government if you don't defund a law that we don't like. I mean, if we want to defund something, we should repeal it. And we do it by the same way that the president got to sign it. Elect Republicans in both Houses of Congress, repeal it, and then having Republican president sign it. This was a strategy doomed to failure. And Ted Cruz has now walked away from it. Now we're saying we should negotiate on the debt limit, which is what we should have been doing for the last month, that's where the real negotiation is, not on this strategy that was doomed to failure.

WALLACE: Let me bring Congressman Graves into this. You have been one of the people leading the charge to defund or delay ObamaCare. First, how do you feel, either --whether it was from Congressman King or Congressman Nunes, being called a terrorist, a lemming wearing a suicide band. And what is it that so-called moderates like King and Nunes don't get?

REP. TOM GRAVES, R-GA.: Well, first, let me just say, we as a conference, we're united. We have been working together now over the last couple of weeks. There are maybe disagreements on strategy or tactics, but we're fully united behind opening the government up as quickly as we can, as well, as providing fairness to all of Americans as it relays to ObamaCare. And we have been pretty reasonable as we work through this process for the reference to a full delay or a full repeal. That was something that was for, a full defund, likewise a one-year delay of the entire program, so now we're just saying Mr. President, can we not just have a one year delay of individual mandate and provide the same protection to all of Americans that you provided to big business --

WALLACE: So, but you say you're united, there are fellow Republicans who have called you terrorists.

GRAVES: That as a relation to tactics and strategy. What I'm saying, we're united behind this protecting Americans from the harmful effects of ObamaCare and keeping the government open. And the votes of the last week demonstrate that clearly.

WALLACE: Let's talk about how flexible you are. Because there is now some talk and the House Republican leaders to pivot away from ObamaCare. Not to make demands about ObamaCare, but instead to focus on the debt and entitlement reform and long-term spending cuts. Would you accept a deal on that? To reopen the government and to raise the debt limit if it did not include any changes to ObamaCare?

GRAVES: I don't suspect that is something the conference would embrace right now? We have had a tremendous fight over keeping the government open and protecting Americans from ObamaCare. But I'm here to say I'm open to a lot of different ideas. I'm willing to put it all on the table. Let's have a conversation about tax reform, about debt limit, about funding the government, about ObamaCare. But in order to do that, Harry Reid has to send some Democrats to meet with us. He can't be scared to send some Democrats to meet with Republicans to have this conversation.

WALLACE: You just heard Ted -- rather Jack Lew, Secretary Lew, the secretary of the Treasury talking about how catastrophic it would be if we were to default. Are you prepared -- are you prepared to refuse to raise the debt limit unless you get what you want on ObamaCare?

GRAVES: There is no reason to default. In fact, the Republicans don't want to default. We've passed the bill to full faith and credit--

WALLACE: Forgive me, what I did with Secretary Lew, you're not answering my question.

GRAVES: But I'm just saying, we're -- there is no reason to default. The president is the only one demanding default right now. He could sign the Full Faith and Credit Act that we've passed out of the House, that would prioritize the spending. And I think you pointed out rightly that there is a lot of revenue coming into the government. They forget to tell you about the $200 billion collected every month by the IRS, taxes are still being collected, there is still plenty of revenue.

WALLACE: But would you refuse to raise the debt limit over ObamaCare?

GRAVES: Right now we're talking about ObamaCare as it relates to opening the government and the continuing resolution. The fact is we have in relation 95 percent of all this we agree on. Let's get that taken care of and then let's talk about the other five percent.

WALLACE: Congressman King, Democrats are now pushing a discharge petition to take this idea of a clean CR out of committee to bring it to the House floor for a vote. There are 200 Democrats who have agreed to sign that, in fact, they are going to need at least 17 Republicans in the House. Will you support a discharge petition?

KING: No. Let me first tell you, I don't consider myself a moderate. I'm a Reagan conservative. Having said that no, I would not. And by the way, one thing that Tom Graves and I can agree on is that the Democrats in my mind are also being irresponsible here. The president of the United States has an obligation to get involved. He is the head of the Democratic Party, he's doing a very good job at that, but he's also the head of the entire country. And I can't picture Harry Truman or Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton or John Kennedy standing on the sidelines while this was going on. He has an obligation to get involved. Whether he calls it negotiations, whatever else he wants to call it, the fact is if this situation is as serious as he say it is, I think it is as far as a default on the debt, then he has an absolute obligation as president of the United States to get involved. I think it's irresponsible--

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WALLACE: Sir, if you could answer my direct question, though, why won't you sign a discharge petition?

KING: It's not going to go anywhere. And also the Democrats are not bargaining in good faith. You have to get -- there is no way in the world you're going to get 25 Republicans to go on that, and having said that, I wouldn't go out because they're, as I said, not bargaining in good faith here right now.

I'm committed to making this work. That's why I have been against this government shutdown from the start. Where I am disagreeing with Tom is we are the ones who did shut the government down. Charles Krauthammer called it the suicide caucus. I mean, "Wall Street Journal" said we're kamikazes. Don't take the dramatic step of shutting down the government unless you have a real strategy, and a chance of working -- this never had a chance to work. And now we're almost pushing ObamaCare to the side, and we're talking about other issues, and people are still out of work, and the government is still shut down.

WALLACE: Congressman Graves, suicide caucus, kamikazes?

GRAVES: Still, as he indicated we're unified behind the fairness --

WALLACE: But when you talking that --

GRAVES: And keeping the government open--

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WALLACE: I know, but the strategy at this point that it shut down the government.

GRAVES: But the reality is, we are where we are right now, and as a conference we have never been more united than what we've seen particularly last Friday. We know that the president and his what -- his chief aides in the administration are saying let it go. They don't care how long it goes on, because they winning. But this is not about who's going to win or lose, because it's the American people ultimately that are losing if we don't reach some sort of agreement. You've got to have Democrats willing to have a conversation.

WALLACE: Congressman Graves, one final area I want to get into with you. If House Speaker Boehner agrees to either reopen the government or to raise the debt ceiling without a deal that limits ObamaCare, would you vote to remove him as speaker?

GRAVES: There is no vote to remove him as speaker. I mean the next vote for speaker is in January, I guess, of what--

WALLACE: You could give a vote to remove him. You can have a vote on the House floor.

GRAVES: What we're looking for right now, I mean this is clear, Chris. We want to open up all the government that we can, but we want to provide fairness for the American people and that is providing them the same protection that the president has provided big business, insurance companies and members of Congress. There should be no special treatment. And all of Americans deserve that same --

WALLACE: And briefly, Congressman King, less than a minute -- Congressman Graves is not saying it, but there certainly are some members who have threatened, if Boehner gives on this, he is gone.

KING: I'm absolutely committed to John Boehner, I think he is an outstanding speaker, doing the best he can under a terrible situation. He warned us a month ago that if we shut down the government because of defunding ObamaCare, it was a no-win policy. John had to do it ultimately to keep the party together, so we can have a chance of getting into the negotiations, but I'm actually committed to John Boehner. He has been the speaker, he's done an outstanding job. Considering what he's up against, he really has different factions within that conference, and nobody can do a better job than he could. As tough as it is, maybe people have different opinions here and there. Obviously, I've had some disagreements, but never, ever his ability to be the best speaker we have.

WALLACE: Congressmen King, Congressman Graves, thank you both, thanks for coming in, and we will be following the action in the House, gentlemen.

KING: Thank you very much.

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