Time to End Uncertainty Over Default, Create Jobs
Yesterday, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John B. Larson told Fox News’s Jon Scott that it's time for Republicans to stop walking away from bipartisan negotiations to prevent a default. American families should not need to worry about a GOP-manufactured crisis – which would hurt their savings, pensions and 401(k)s. Instead Congress must work together to ensure our nation pays its bills, and then focus on Americans’ top priorities: job creation and fiscal security.
Watch the video or read the transcript below:
Commentator: Connecticut Congressman John Larson has just come from a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus where is the Chairman. So what is the mood of your membership right now?
Chairman Larson: Well the mood of our membership, Jon, frankly is one of frustration. We think that the debt ceiling could lifted tomorrow. That what was done for Ronald Reagan 18 times and George Bush eight times without holding any political hostages, like the full faith and credit of the United States government, defaulting on our national responsibility, our global responsibility, but most importantly defaulting on America's household economies, and how they're as brought up to the precipice as well. So, we're frustrated.
You know, unfortunately Republicans have walked away from the plan with Biden. They’ve walked away from the McConnell plan. They’ve walked away from the bipartisan plan, put together, by the Gang of Six. They’ve walked away from the President. Now they even walked away from John Boehner's plan. So, our frustration grows. We'd like to see a clean debt ceiling vote. Take this off the plate for the American people. Let’s not govern like we're some third party country.
I understand it’s difficult, but let's get together and govern like we're the preeminent economic, social, cultural, and military leader of the world and do so in a manner to make sense.
Jon Scott: We could argue I suppose all day about, you know, past debt ceiling hikes that have been almost automatic. But, you know, those were different times. You saw yourself that a great member – a great number of your fellow House Members were elected this last time around with Tea Party support from people saying we've got to stop the spending binge.
Chairman Larson: What they were really saying is we’ve got to get jobs for the country. And certainly getting the debt under control is part of that, and great steps have been made, but, I guess the other side doesn't want to say we won and move on. It’s just continuing to hold a hostage. In this case, the hostage that they're holding is the American people and the full faith and credit of the government. What people really want to see back home is us sitting at table and getting jobs. Why can't we put Boone Pickens's bill on the Floor new which has broad bipartisan support? Why can't we put an infrastructure bill on the Floor that has bipartisan support and put America back to work?
Jon Scott: Well, I guess a lot of Republicans are asking the same thing about Democrats in the Senate who put the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill on the shelf.
Chairman Larson: Well, I can't speak for the Senate.
Jon Scott: I know that, but the House, your body, has passed that bill.
Chairman Larson: We know that we passed 492 bills that Mitch McConnell put on the back burner. I cannot control things in the – in the Senate. I think Mitch should have been named man of the year for almost single-handedly blocking legislation.
Jon Scott: Let me ask you this. It's my understanding that you have advocated that the President just rely on the 14th amendment to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. Is that your take if in fact you can't get some bill out of Congress?
Chairman Larson: We think – we think that the president should not – should not let the American people - we should not watch and witness what we saw in 2008 when people's 401K’s became 101K’s. And if nothing can be done, if something can’t get to the President's desk that he can sign. And I know the President said he won't do this, but in our Caucus today, led by our great leader, Jim Clyburn stood up and said the President ought to have that as an option.
So, I hope if nothing has been done, for the sake of the American people, that he signs it. Now, hopefully something will get done, Jon. But right now the Republican caucus looks like it’s in disarray. Nothing is on the Floor. We’re twiddling our thumbs so to speak here when I think we should be voting on jobs bills and putting America back to work.
Jon Scott: Congressman John Larson is a Democrat from Connecticut and the Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House. Congressman, we wish you well and hope something gets done here in the next six days.
Chairman Larson: Well, we wish America well. Thank you, Jon. Thank you. It’s always good to be on the program.