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CNN "Newsroom" - Transcript: Debt Limit


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I want to talk now with Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota.

Senator, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it. We know you guys have a lot to do. You know, I was speaking broadly, about when I said not much was accomplished. How disappointed are you right now that you couldn't make a deal today?

SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R), NORTH DAKOTA: Don, we need to get this done. Republicans and Democrats have to come together and get this done. So, we're negotiating in the Senate and trying to come up with something that we can agree on and passed, get to the House and get the president to sign.

Obviously, time is short. And I think both sides have to come together and get it done.

LEMON: All right. Well, let's move this forward. House members are going to be back in town basically starting from square one tomorrow. Tell me where you see a compromise happening, or at least next week. Where do you see a compromise happening.

HOEVEN: Number of ideas have been put forward in the Senate. You've heard about Susan Collins approach. That's been modified by leader McConnell. He's talking to Senator Reid about it. I think there's something there that we should be able to move forward on.

We're asking Democrat counter parts to join us in this kind of compromise. And, ultimately, remember, the House has both the C.R. and they've offered to put forward a six-week debt limit agreement, which they could advance. So one way or another, we need to make sure we get it done this next week.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk about how this looks, the optics of it. Are you worried about your party? The polls show that this shut down and debt limit disagreement has done some damage, some real damage to Republicans.

HOEVEN: I think we all need to govern, whether you're Republican or a Democrat. And as we approach this debt ceiling issue, we need savings and reforms, because, look, this is like going to the bank, saying, hey, I want to borrow more money. The banker says to you, OK, you're spending more than you're taking in. What adjustments are you going to make?

If the president needs more time to negotiate, that's fine. We can do it with some short term extensions, but we've got to address underlying problems for the good of this country.

LEMON: Senator, with all due respect, my question was, are you concerned about the damage it is doing to your party?

HOEVEN: I'm concerned about getting our job done. That's what the American people send us here to do. And I think that applies whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.

LEMON: So you're not concerned about the polls?

HOEVEN: Look, I'm concerned about doing a good job, of course. As a Republican, I think Democrats have to be concerned, too. Everybody should be concerned about getting the job done. That's the priority, getting the job done for the American people.

LEMON: All right, Senator. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

HOEVEN: Thanks, Don.


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