MS. CASONE: Now to New York state. The state's governor calling on Congress to pass a second round of stimulus checks. But that's not all. In a letter just penned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he wants more money for Medicaid, community grants to fight foreclosures, home- heating rebates for low-income families. Here we go again, another laundry list of taxpayer-funded giveaways. Reaction now from Republican Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey.
The governor wants to let's just throw the money out there. I mean, what do you make of this proposal?
REP. GARRETT: It's really not the right thing to do at this point in time. And it's somewhat ironic when you think about it because the Democrats come into power in the 110th Congress saying that they were going to pare down the size of spending, reduce it, go do what the public wanted them to do in the first place, what Republicans should have been doing over the past years that we weren't doing, quite honestly.
And what have they done every since they came? Expand spending out of control. They gave us a stimulus package first that was called a rebate program. But you know, that was a rebate program where we were sending tax-income rebates to people who never even paid taxes in the first place. It's a bad idea, and we shouldn't be doing it.
MS. CASONE: Why is Nancy Pelosi calling for another stimulus plan, 50 billion (dollars), when we had growth in the first quarter of this year in this country? The Fed just upped their estimates for growth for the rest of the year for GDP. Why is she standing there saying we need another $50 billion stimulus check? It doesn't make sense.
REP. GARRETT: Well, one thing that does make sense, as you think about it, you know, the current rebates which we passed just a few months ago are just getting to people now. I just got mine a couple of days ago. These rebates, if you think, if we were to pass it right now, when would people get the rebate checks? Just about, I suppose, as they're going to the election booth in November. So this is all political.
They can do it, they can say, we passed this rebate. As you go to vote, by the way, in the mailbox is your check for another 500 (dollars) or $1,000 or whatever it is. It's political. It's also bad for the economy.
MS. CASONE: Well, you know, John Boehner has said that the economy is just fine. Is no one listening to him right now?
REP. GARRETT: Well, certainly, people are hurting out there. The price of food is going up. The price of energy is going up. And Leader Boehner is right on one point on this with regard to energy costs. If we could bring down the cost of energy, wouldn't that be even better than a rebate check that's basically adding to the cost of government and adding to the debt for our children for generations to come? Bring down the cost of energy by allowing for deep-sea drilling off the East and West Coasts. That would actually translate to more dollars in your pocket.
MS. CASONE: Well, let's ask you about that real quick because obviously more drilling off the East Coast, the West Coast is a hot topic right now. Your thoughts?
REP. GARRETT: I think it's the right thing to do. I've thought it for years. I think I'm the only member of Congress from the state of New Jersey who takes this view because I do believe that, at the end of the day, because people are hurting we have to take action today. And if you do take that action, if you do allow them to say that we're going to have exploration, use 21st century technology, use the most environmentally sound ways. Do it out 50 miles or more out at sea where you and I, if we go to the Jersey shore -- well, probably you and I won't be going to the Jersey shore --
MS. CASONE: You might go to the Jersey shore. It's your state. (Laughs.)
REP. GARRETT: If I go to the Jersey shore, you can't see 50 miles out. You can only see around 20 miles out at shore because of the curvature of the earth.
MS. CASONE: And they want to drill out at 200 miles. I see your point.
REP. GARRETT: They want to go 50 to 200 miles.
MS. CASONE: Okay, I see your point.
REP. GARRETT: You will not see it, but it will translate into an immediate reduction of prices at the pump. Why? Because speculators, people who are in the marketplace, they don't want to make an investment today if they know that the cost of oil is going to be less a few years down the road.
MS. CASONE: I wish we had time to get into the speculation discussion. We don't. Representative Scott Garrett from New Jersey, thank you so much.
REP. GARRETT: Appreciate the chance, thanks so much.