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CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript


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BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. The number two Democrat in the House leadership Steny Hoyer, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, are in the studio with us. Mister Hoyer, this thing with Congressman Weiner turned even worse if that can be believed overnight. Now new photos of Weiner apparently-- which he apparently took of himself posing before a mirror, in the House gym have shown up on the website TMZ. At least that's what this all appears to be. And these are the tamest ones we are not going to show you the worst of them. Chairman of your party Debbie Wasserman Shultz the leader of the House Democrats Nancy Pelosi have both said it's time for him to resign. But I-- I-- as seeing this develop this morning, I have to ask. Aren't you going to have to move faster than that? Aren't you going to have to take some-- put pressure here to force him out immediately?

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (D-Maryland/Democratic Whip): Well, forcing him out will require a process but this is bizarre, unacceptable behavior. It's my understanding Mister Weiner has indicated he wants to take a leave. I-- I would hope he does so. I hope he reflects upon whether or not he can proceed. It seems to me extraordinarily difficult that he can proceed
to represent his constituents in an effective way given the circumstances this bizarre behavior has led--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Do you-- do you he should resign?

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: I think that certainly he has to consider that option. I don't see how he can proceed and effectively represent his constituency.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister Ryan, Republicans haven't said very much. There's an old saying in Washington--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-Wisconsin/Chairman, Budget Committee; overlapping): Yeah.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --don't get between a man and a firing squad. And I take it that's what a lot of Republicans have done. They've-- they've just sort of stood back and let this thing happen. But, you know, with congressional approval ratings down to sixteen percent and that's lower than Richard Nixon's approval ratings when he was forced out of the White House. It seems to me this is not just a problem for Democrats.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: It's a problem for the institution.


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Yeah, this-- this is getting beyond ridiculous. I mean, I feel so sorry for Huma and her family most of all. But we've got to get this behind us because it's a distraction. And so yes, he should resign. I don't take pleasure in saying that because we've got important work to do and this is just a ridiculous distraction.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Is there something that can be done to speed this along or?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Well, there is a process. I don't know. It would take a little while for this process to go through. There is censuring. There's explicit-- you'd have to go through a process, you'd have to go through the-- the-- what the Ethics Committee I think would have to process--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --this. This would take time. I think the fastest best way is for Anthony to resign.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Effectively, I think Paul and I and probably all his colleagues agree that any process, judicial process through--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --the Ethics Committee is going to take time. I really don't know that we have that time. And I-- I would hope that Mister Weiner would use this opportunity to reflect upon whether or not he can effectively proceed. I don't see how he can. And I hope he would make that judgment.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, let's-- let's talk about the economy. The Washington Post editorialized this week that the economy seems to be stuck in neutral now. And Washington seems at a loss at how to fix it. The post also suggested that the Republicans and Democrats are in such an ideological gridlock here that you may be unable to do anything about it. What do you say to that, Mister Hoyer?

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: I hope that's not the case. I-- I hope that we will be able to reach agreement on a number of very important things. First of all, the debt limit extension.

This is causing-- ruining the markets, giving great apprehension in the business community, not only here but around the world. Secondly, I think we ought to be able to get together on substantial deficit reduction and debt reduction over the long term. I-- I think we have that responsibility. The American public expects that. In the last election they were concerned about
two major issues from my perspective. That is jobs, getting jobs for them and their-- and their families and their people, their neighbors and getting this deficit under control. We ought to work together to do that if we can work together. I think that's going to raise the confidence level here
and around the world. And I think that will in itself have a very substantive effect.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think, I mean, you know, saying you hope-- and I appreciate what you're saying. But you hope you can do that. Can you do it, Mister Ryan?


BOB SCHIEFFER: Is there a way here?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: I think, it's Washington's policies over the last two years that have given us this slow economic growth--this stagnation, enormous tax uncertainty, enormous regulatory uncertainty because of health care and financial laws and debt uncertainty.

On the last, one debt uncertainty, meaning, are we going to get our act together and prevent a debt crisis--that is where I hope we can get down payment on the problem. And this debt limit negotiation from my perspective given that there's no budget. I mean, it's been seven hundred and seventy-four days since the Senate passed the budget. That means that budget process is done. So hopefully, in the debt limit negotiations we can get a down payment on spending cuts and debt reduction. And I think that would help calm the markets and help us get to a recovery.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, let me just say this--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): Bob, let me just say though if I can.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Yeah, go-- go ahead.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Paul, you and I both know it's not realistic to say that the problem results from the last two years. In point of fact, we had the worst--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --recession starting in December of "07 under policies--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --that you supported and President Bush promoted. And we had three million jobs lost in the last year of the Bush administration, which was under the policies--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Absolutely. Let me agree with your statement if I can. President Obama inherited a tough--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --problem. No two ways about it. I'm not suggesting that's not the case. What I am saying is I think what he's done since then is to make matters worse not better. I think that the economic policies that the President has pushed through Congress into law have made this recovery harder to sustain itself. And that to me is he inherited a tough problem and he didn't go with the right policies, he went with the wrong policies. And I think that is why we have very anemic economic growth.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): And-- and Paul and I disagree on--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But don't you have to-- okay.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Paul and I disagree on that. After all, Mark Zandi who we like to quote--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Yeah. I know you always say something--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): --we love to quote him, because he's not a Democrat. He was John McCain's economic advisor, Paul. And he and others-- Republicans, Marty Feldstein, not-- not somebody that we usually used to quote.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Did you read his op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal.



REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: But the fact of matter is I did read some of his op-eds at the time we were considering what we needed to do to respond to this deepest recession we had.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, and let me just ask you this.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Forget about what the economists said. Look at the results. The economy is flat. And--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: The-- the economy has-- was put in the deepest recession that we've had since the Deep Depression of the Hoover administration.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, let-- let me just me say, suppose we had a deep recession sitting here.


BOB SCHIEFFER: You are both reasonable men. And-- and you like one another.


BOB SCHIEFFER: You personally are friends.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Tell me something. That the Congress could agree on that would make this situation better. What would you-- where would you start?

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Let me say that where I would start is with Bowles-Simpson.


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: The Bowles-Simpson Commission.


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Erskine Bowles, the commission.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay, this is the deficit commission the President appointed.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: The deficit commission. Now the reason I say we ought to start with that is because we had a process. I wanted to see a statutory commission appointed that would have had real teeth. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the votes in the Senate. Largely Republicans wouldn't give us give us the votes to get that bill on the floor. So we-- so the President put in place a commission. That commission was bipartisan. Paul served on that commission. They did some very substantive work. Not only did they do substantive work but you saw three Republican members of Congress and three Democratic members of Congress support it along with Bowles, a Democrat and Simpson a Republican. And you saw five out of the six members of the-- the President's appointees support it, which means that it got eleven votes. Very frankly had Paul and Mister Camp and Mister Hensarling support it--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --it would have had the fourteen out of eighteen--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --now let me said-- start, which would have meant then both Senator Reid and then Speaker Pelosi had pledged if they got the fourteen out of eighteen votes they would have put it on the floor. Was it perfect? No-- nothing's perfect. But it certainly serves as a basis, I think--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Bob, if I may.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): --for bipartisan agreement.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Okay. Well, let's see what Mister--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): So-- so what happened was that the President then disavowed his own commission. He put out a budget that did nothing to fix the problem. Republicans since we didn't like all the details in the commission, we took a dozen or so ideas from the commission put it in our budget and we passed a budget to fix this problem, to pay off the debt, to grow the economy, to save Medicare, to fix this social safety net. And we put our plan out there. Then the President just launched another commission, the Biden Commission, which is now underway. We need real leadership on this. Steny has exercised leadership but not every Democrat is Steny Hoyer in the White House and in the Senate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Mister Ryan, tell me this. What is one thing that you could say Republicans are willing to do this that you think Mister Hoyer might go along with?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: I think most people agree we have a big spending problem in Washington. That it's inescapable. And so we do want to get spending under control. We've simply said very easily for every dollar that people want to raise the debt limit, we should cut more than a dollar's worth of spending. We've put 6.2 trillion dollars of spending cuts on the
table. There's plenty to choose from. And so we would like to think that somewhere that the Democrats will be willing to get spending under control--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): So--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --and get the debt under control.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Let-- let me say, the reason I start with the commission.

What did the commission do? Everything was on the table. Now unfortunately Mister Ryan and others have taken spending, excuse me, revenues off the table. He's right. We need to constrain and cut spending where appropriate, both on domestic, on defense, on entitlements,
so that we get a handle on spending. But at the same time what the commission said supported by three Republican members of the Congress of the United States in the United States Senate said we need to do-- also have revenues as the component. So that the problem I have with
Paul and where Paul and I have the difficulty is, Paul is a Camp disciple, if you will. Supply side economics--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Supply side economics frankly--


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --has failed. It failed in the Reagan administration where we incurred 1.4 trillion dollars in new deficits. It failed in the (INDISTINCT).

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Steny, Steny. Did the commission recommended supply side economics. The commission recommended lowering tax rates to burden the base.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Let me just say something here.


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: That is slow growth economics. So Erskine Bowles is saying lower tax rates--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --for economic growth.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: And you-- as you know I agree with that.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: So we agree with that.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: No, you-- you don't think that revenues ought to be any part of this component.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: No we think revenues should grow--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --like growing the economy. And raising tax rates hurts economic growth.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me ask you.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Both of you. Both of you--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --that's an important point because with all due respect that was your argument in 1981. That was your argument in 2001.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: I was a kid in 1981, so.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: Not your personal argument.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): So-- so but--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Okay so let's--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --but your camps. Now listen to me. That was the argument in 1981. That was the argument in 2001. And both times we had continuing large deficit--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): So deficit difference today--


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): --is we're putting up the spending cuts. Difference today is we're putting out a spending controls--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): --and the tax reform.


REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: And I congratulate you for that.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Spending controls and tax reform for economic growth as well.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: But what you're also doing is--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): I can tell you want to--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: What-- what you're also doing is you're doing it in a-- in a partisan way. Clearly, your Medicare proposal was rejected soundly. We don't need to change Medicare's guarantee in order to make sure that it's fiscally sustainable.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: So when you say partisan, we took this idea from Bill Clinton's commission that John Burroughs shared.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): You didn't have--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): It's an idea that originally came to Brookings Institution.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: You didn't have one conservative Democrat vote for it. And-- and your Democrat--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): I think-- wonder who is being partisan about Medicare these days and who is not.


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): The sooner we deal with Medicare the better off we all are.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And-- and don't you've got to agree with--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: If you want to get I've had to go into Medicare.
(Cross talking)

BOB SCHIEFFER: You go to. You-- you Medicare I think, there's no nobody who doesn't say that Medicare could possibly sustain in its current state. It's going to go broke. Don't you have to reform it? Mister Ryan wants to replace it.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): That's-- that's-- the issue, reform is.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And that's one thing. But I mean with reform--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): With the guarantee--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): The difference is we--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): --we want to-- we don't want to change it for current seniors because we should keep the promise we made to them.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): Well, that's not accurate.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): And so for the next--

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): Oh, you know, that's not accurate.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --for the next generation we think we got to go a system that's solvent and secure--more money for the poor and more money for the sick, less money for the wealthy. Steny and I were two of, I think, eighteen Republicans and Democrats in 2009.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Just two-- two of eighteen to vote against increasing benefits for wealthy seniors.


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: So there hopefully is a coalition evolving where we should at least have some interest.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER (overlapping): Paul and I have some areas of agreement as you hear, Bob. But when Paul says there are no cuts to those who are currently on Medicare that's not accurate. He repeals the Affordable Care Act. He repeals--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (overlapping): Well, hold on.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: --the wellness provisions, the benefits that are in there. He pro-- he repeals the preventive benefits. And he repeals the help that we give to prescription drug for those in the Donut Hole. So to say that no benefits are changed-- but having said that, what Paul should have learned, what all of us should have learned is if we're going to move
forward in a fiscally responsible way and-- and politically adopt not just talk about adopt and objective, it will be because we work together and very frankly come to a solution together.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: The mistake we made was we took an idea that use to be a Democratic idea supported by Democrats in the 1990s. And we foolishly thought perhaps this is the start of bipartisan talks. And what we got was partisanship. What we got was--

BOB SCHIEFFER: Gentlemen, I-- I-- I would love to continue this, but we've got Lindsey Graham.

REPRESENTATIVE STENY HOYER: There's been a lot of demagoguery.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Lindsey Graham is waiting in the wings down in Clemson and I better talk to him in a second. Thanks to both of you.



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