tv Newsmakers CSPAN June 17, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
strikes. on monday, he will discuss his views on syria at any event hosted by the american enterprise institute. he'll be joined by a syrian activist, the senior editor of "the weekly standard," and others. that >> joining us on "newsmakers" on this sunday, congressman tom price, the chairman of the republican policy committee from georgia. thanks so much for being with us. joining us with the questioning is russell burman, congressional reporter for "the hill" newspaper and daniel newhauser for "roll call." thank you both for being with us. congressman, let's begin with some of the news of the last few days, the announcement friday by the white house on some changes, some immigration policy changes. for those who came to the u.s. as children. your thoughts? >> i think it's interesting that the president, who we all believe ought to be in force in all of the laws of the land, seems to think he can pick certain laws and enforce them and then pick others and decide that he will not enforce them. i think that's what the american people find troubling. this is one of the reasons i think the american people have
lost the faith and trust in this administration is because it ministration seems to think they do not have to deal with the laws that were passed by congress and enforce them. when, in fact, that is the role of the executive branch. >> do you think there's a political motivation with the hispanic vote keep in general election? >> i will let others draw that conclusion, but i know that many to believe that. >> should have gone to congress? >> welcome the last time. the constitution it is the congress that passes the laws and the administration, the executive branch, that enforces them. why the president seems to believe that he can pick and choose the laws he enforces is beyond me. >> let's go to russell of "the hill" newspaper. >> congressman, you are a member of the doctors caucus and the supreme court is expected to rule in the next couple of weeks on the health care law. first of all, everyone is making predictions. what is your prediction? >> i am not a court watcher. i'm a physician, not a lawyer. it is a little tough. i think many people -- look at the questions asked and the tone of the oral arguments, my suspicion is that the court will
throw out the individual mandate. this is a town that tends to like to split the baby in order to divide the issues. my sense is they will find that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. because, as justice kennedy said, if it is allowed to go forward then it would fundamentally, his words, it changed the relationship between the state and the citizen. i do not think this court is going to allow it to go there. >> now, if that happens, clearly the house republicans wanted to repeal the entire lot. if they strike it down entirely or only eliminate the individual mandate and some reforms, what's the response going to be? what can we see in the next few months? because clearly democrats are going to put a lot of pressure on you guys to wrap to protect people under 26 from losing their insurance, children a pre-existing conditions, seniors who will fall back into the doughnut hole. what can we see in the next few months from the house republicans?
>> it's important to appreciate that the house has already voted to repeal the entire health care bill. we did so because we believe it to be an affront to the practice of medicine but violative of the principles of health care that all of us hold dear, whether it is affordability, accessibility, quality, patient choices. all those things are violated by this law. we believe the whole thing needs to be repealed. it ended on what the court does, and that is a small claws, but everything that occurs after the court depends on what they do. i think they could rule it constitutional, the whole thing, or they could roll the whole thing on constitutional and maybe some parts and things that attach to that. depending on when they do, that dictates what the congressional response will be. >> do you see any response in the immediate aftermath? or is this something where we have heard that the election is
going to decide a lot of things. is health care going to be one of them so we will not be able to see anything until november regardless? >> we have no desire to make the same mistakes that the democrats made it, and that is to pass a 2700-page bill that many of them did not read and without having input from everybody. we want a transparent, accountable process, and an open process for not just legislators but for the american people. we believe that the kinds of challenges we have in healthcare, the status quo is unacceptable. the challenges we have right now can be solved without putting washington in charge. a lot of ideas out there. a lot of unity on our side to repeal the president's lot and to make certain we go forward in a positive way in what i call it patient-centered way where the pateints, familes, and doctors are making the decisions. >> let me turn to daniel from "roll call." >> the majority whip has been holding meetings with members to try to get support for some of these popular provisions to the floor. you have been in some of those meetings.
what sense do you get that there's appetite among your conference to vote, again, on some of these things that were in obama as health care law? >> again, whenever the court does will dictate the response. my senses that there will not be significant disruption in the real world immediately. that is regardless of what the court does. a lot of the things put in place are contracts, contracts between an employer and an insurance company. that contract, as i understand it, that stance regardless of what the court does. but we will do is go through a rational, methodical process to determine is to determine what destruction there is out there for patients, citizens, across this land. depending what distractions are out there, we will determine the best course of action. it's important for the american people to appreciate we think the whole thing ought to be repealed. we believe there are wonderful solutions to fix the challenges that do not require putting washington in charge whether it is getting people covered or
solving the insurance challenges of affordability, pre-existing conditions, are saving hundreds of billions of dollars. we can do all of those things without putting the politicians and bureaucrats here in washington in charge. >> how do you pay for all those things? >> there is so much waste in health care right now. hundreds of billions of dollars. a gallup estimates of $1 out of every $4 in health care, $600 billion of money wasted in this country is wasted on the practice of defensive medicine which are the kinds of things that i did and doctors across this land due to make certain that they are ever called in to a court of law that they can look the judge and jury in the i honestly and said, i do not know what you expected me to do. i did everything. everything is not necessary to even diagnose or treat the patient. $600 billion. even if they are off by a factor of 50%, that is still $300 billion, which is still a lot of money in washington. what we need is robust lawsuit abuse reform there are many bills that can address that.
we have authored a bill that we believe would get us on the right path towards saving the kinds of money. it's not that we do not have enough money, but we are spending in the wrong way. >> you are a doctor. one of the fundamental problems you have is that many people use emergency rooms as their primary care physician. how do you deal with those people who don't have insurance, need medical attention? hospitals have to take the cost and pass it on to others. >> great question. first, you have to get people covered. you cannot have 30-50 million people out there walking around out there without health care. >> which is what the president's bill does. >> what it does is gives people covered that the government wants, not that the patient wants. if you do not want what the government says you have to have, you still have to have what the government wanted to have because of the requirement. that's the problem with the mandate. that's the unconstitutional aspect. >> how do you enforce coverage? >> he make it financially feasible, attractive, and foolish for anybody not to be covered so that when people are doing their budgets -- people actually do budgets. i know the senate does not.
but when people do their budgets and they look and see that it makes more sense financially to be covered and not in then they will purchase the coverage that is right for them, right for their family. from the emergency room question, it's important that we have appropriate lawsuit abuse reform so that when an individual comes to the emergency room without a problem that's an emergency, if they are triaged appropriately, then those individuals ought to be able to referred to their physician the next day. the fact of the matter now is that the emergency rooms and the positions are required to see them regardless -- regardless of the emergency status of that patient. there are some wonderful, positive changes that have to make the system more responsive to people and make it so that those caring for the patients are able to do so in a better way. >> he talked about incentivizing health-care coverage. the president has reportedly been telling that the mandate is struck down that tax incentives may be a way to go to get people covered. that has been in a bill that you introduced.
do you see anything coming together their between house republican than the president on something like that is the mandate is indeed struck down? >> i cannot tell you how often the president has actually said the right thing and then down the wrong thing or did what he did not say he was going to do. i have not heard that from the president. if the president is actually a willing to look at positive- patient-centered reform, putting patients, their families, and doctors in control, not washington, then we are ready. we've passed all sorts of legislation that the president has refused to attend to cover refused to address, refused to insist the senate take it up. not just in the area of health care but job than the economy as well. >> congressman, from a political standpoint, you have mentioned a lot of ideas for the aspect of house republicans wanting to repeal the health care law. it's been a year and half in
house republicans' have not brought any real bills to replace the health care law. will that be a political liability? clearly, democrats are going to say, where is your answer? so far there has not been one. >> there are all sorts of bills introduced to address the challenges in healthcare. the fact of the matter is that we have passed legislation. first, we passed the repeal of the president's health care law. it is sitting over in the senate. we passed the 1099 reform which the senate took up in the president signed. recently, we passed a repeal of the medical device tax which is a remarkably onerous tax that actually decreases the ability of companies out there to innovate and create the kind of high quality health care in preventing the kind of high- quality health care that we have. we call on the senate to take that bill up. there are wonderful things that we have done and can be done, but until the court rules, nobody knows what is necessary to be done. with a senate that has been recalcitrant and not willing to assist in positive ways, and i'm not sure that passing a piece of legislation at this point is what needs to be done.
>> another reference that gets to the bigger issue of the inability of democrats and republicans in the house and senate to really come together on some of these big issues. why is it so difficult for republicans and democrats to work on budget issues, fiscal issues in this congress? >> a great question and i wish that you would ask it to senator reid. >> look at it from your standpoint and from the standpoint of the american people who say washington is dysfunctional. >> it seems dysfunctional and i share their frustration. the fact of the matter is that the house has passed at least 30 pieces of legislation to deal with job growth, the economy, getting the economy growing again. we have passed a budget each of the two years we have been in charge. the senate has not passed the budget in over three years now. it's hard for somebody, like senator reid, to stand up and say the problem is in the other body when his body does not act
at all. his chamber does not act at all. the american people are so frustrated when they look to washington, but then when you drill down a little bit and you see the senate has not passed a budget in over three years and you think, how can they do that? they're not even doing their job. it's all about leadership. again, i call on senator reid to take of these bills. if you do not agree with them, that's fine. pass something you do agree on and let's get to conference, the way it's supposed to work, and move forward to solve these challenges. >> will that be different after the election regardless of who wins the presidency? >> i think so. i think the american people will speak loudly, as they did in 2010, that they do not believe in over-reaching ever-expanding government from washington telling us what to do in our daily lives. they will send people to washington that will reflect that perspective. i think it will be different. i think you're going to see wholesale change. governor romney is pleased to be a wonderful president.
>> daniel from "roll call." >> speaking of after the election, we've got quite a lot on our plates, the sequester, payroll tax cuts, debt ceiling, the bush era tax cuts. what's your prediction on how all this gets dealt with after november? >> in the house, we hope to deal with some of them before the election because we think the american people and speaking loudly. when i talk to people in business, small and large, about why they don't create jobs, one of the big issues is uncertainty. there's a huge uncertainty out there about the effects of the health care law, energy policy, taxes are going to be. all of these things expiring at the end of the year, we believe in the house, the republicans, believe we should address them sooner rather than later. what i think we will do is pass a piece of legislation that will continue the current tax policy for at least one year and send it to the senate. the senate does not agree with
that? that's fine. we call on them to act and not just to put them in the bottom drawer. the american people want to know that washington will get down to the heavy lifting, the hard work that needs to be done to get this economy growing again. >> on the tax issues, we keep coming back to this. the democrats think grover norquist and jeb bush have been distancing themselves and think they should be distancing themselves from the pledge for no tax increases from grover norquist. do you see any movement in the republican party on the issue of whether you call it taxes or revenues? that's going to play a big role at the end of the year. are the republicans now willing to reconsider increased revenues as a part of a broader deal? >> i do not think the american people are interested in increasing taxes on the american people or businesses to chase ever-increasing spending. it does not make any sense at all. the fact of the matter is that the tax policy, the spending
policy, in this town are driving this country to bankruptcy. we've got a $15 trillion debt right now. this president has amassed $1 trillion plus deficit each of the last four years. you look at his plan for america, it continues to increase. he cannot continue that. we passed a budget -- twice now -- that would get us on a path to balancing the budget and paying off our debt. we did sell a closing the loopholes. many of the loopholes we believe are appropriate to end by bringing down the rates of taxes by broadening the base so that we can increase revenue and gross out there in the economy. that's the way to get this economy rolling again. >> you believe that it has to be revenue neutral and it can't add anything as the cbo does these projections? >> i'm unaware of any reasonable economist who will tell you that what washington has too little
love of money. what we have too much of in washington is spending. there are a lot of things that the federal government is doing for misspending standpoint that just needs to stop. the american people know this. we borrow 40 cents on every $1 spent. you cannot continue that. families cannot do that. businesses cannot do that. governments cannot do that. >> yet, when your party had control of the house and the white house, passing a medicare plan the two wars that the president talked about last week saying there was no way to pay for i iraq, afghanistan, and medicare part d, is that a mistake? >> i was not here when the decisions were made. >> was a mistake of the party? >> what i can tell leavis prior to the democrats taking a toll of the house and senate in the 2006 time frame and prior to this president coming into office, the deficits were about $150 billion, not $1.50 trillion.
the fact of the matter is the economy was growing and it was expanding. the revenue the federal government had been the path to getting on a balanced budget was clear. the last thing the american people want us to do is increase taxes to chase ever-increasing spending. >> harry reid, the senate majority leader, announced he will be holding a vote on a small business jobs bill that would try to incentivize hiring with tax incentives. is that something you think could be taken up in the house by the republicans? >> possibly, but i would urge senator reid to go back and look at what actually create jobs. it is not tax incentives. it is decreasing onerous regulations from the federal government. it would be tax decreases of businesses can drive more of their money back into expanding the business.
it is certainty in the marketplace. the job creators out there can not know that the government will not come in late in the game and change the rules. there is so much this government could do to get out of the way of businesses creating jobs. whether or not another tax incentive is needed, it certainly something we can discuss. however, again, i would remind folks that the house has passed 30 pieces of legislation that would in fact create jobs out there in the economy and they sit on harry reid desk. let's take up one of those. >> why would tax incentives be the right solution for health care but the wrong solution for a small business jobs bill? >> i did not say they would be wrong. i said it is something that we ought to discuss. again, there are more than 30 pieces of legislation that the senate could easily take up that would expand the economy and create jobs. i welcome senate action on this. they have been recalcitrant in not acting.
let's have the senate passed a bill. the house has passed multiple pieces of legislation. let's get together and hammer out any differences and move legislation forward. >> russell burman of "the hill." >> we've got a couple more deadline's coming up at the end of june, the student loan rates that are going to double if there is no congressional agreement and the highway bill funding expires. there has been a conference committee and negotiations have apparently broken down or are not going that well at the moment. what is your level of confidence that there's going to be in agreement on these two issues before the end of june? more broadly, do you have confidence that there can be any agreements between now and the election? or are we just inextricably in a campaign season? >> i hope not. i hope there can be agreements. it's important to appreciate the president has in narrative out there that congress cannot get anything done and that's why he needs to be reelected. if you think about it, if congress get something done that requires the president to help, it harms his narrative.
what we see is a president that seems to be urging a democratic senate not to be positive and not to be productive in these negotiations moving forward whether it is on the highway bill, student loans and the interest rates, on taxes, energy policy, health-care policy. we see a senate that refuses to act. my sense is the president is not encouraging senator retraction to be productive. the're just waiting until election occurs. >> you recently attended a neil diamond concert. how was that? >> i did, indeed. >> this is a fund-raiser for your leadership pac. this is something members generally do when they're seeking a higher position in leadership. are you seeking perhaps the leadership position, as some have suggested, a leadership like conference chairman?
>> i currently chair the policy committee. it's a great privilege to be able to do that. we're looking at all sorts of options that are out there and we will see what the future brings. right now, and concentrating on making certain we retain a majority in the house, that will energize people across this country so that the republicans are able to take control of the united states senate so that we will have a working relationship with the other chamber. i'm very, very hopeful that governor romney will be elected president so that we can work positively to solve the challenges before us. >> if you did take up the run, that would pit you against mcmorris rodgers. do you think there is anything that qualifies you abouve her? >> again, these races are not run in the press. these are races that are within the republican conference itself. my number one job right now is to make certain that i chair the policy committee in as positive and productive a way as possible, to make certain that the house remains in republican majority, that the senate moves
in the republican direction, and that governor romney is elected president of the united states and we can move forward. >> let me ask this two ways. if the president is reelected or if romney is elected president, what advice would you give democratic and republican leaders to get to the core issues, to have a conversation, to be able to get beyond politics we have seen over the last couple of years to get some things done? >> it just that. you have to sit down and work. you have to work together. the challenges we face as a nation are huge whether it's the economy, taxes, energy policy, health care policy, trade policy. the challenges are huge and the american people expect us to do our jobs. that is why there's so much frustration because they look to washington and they do not seem and they don't do the job getting done. if you look at the ledger, the house republicans have passed multiple pieces of legislation to address every one of those issues. the fact of the matter is the senator refuses to act. i call it the do nothing senate.
the president is going to run against congress, he only has to run against the do nothing senate which is why i call on the president to tell harry reid to get to work so we can pass some of these bills. >> what about the relationship between the president and the speaker? are they not talking to each other? about president and the speaker other than i think it is as productive as it ever has been. >> talking about the election, both candidates have described it as a stark contrast, competing visions, and the voters get to choose. do you see this as a mandate election? if obama wins, given that the stakes have laid down this way, is that a mandate from the voters for his policies for higher taxes? and vice versa with gov. romney? >> well, i i don't think president obama it going to win because i think the american people have recognized what they have seen over the last four years is an ever-expansive, over-reaching, over-bearing central government. i believe it is that stark.
we have a choice of two futures. it's a future that says that washington knows best. it can tell you how to run your daily life down to the very minute details. or its a future that embraces the wonderful spirit and of entrepreneurship and idealism of america, the things that made us the greatest nation in the history of the world. that this house start it is, i believe. that is what i believe the american people understand. that is why i believe they're going to select governor romney president. >> how can voters have hope that the election will lead to change its officials are not willing to agree on the terms of the election and say if obama wins, higher taxes. if governor romney winds, a repeal of the health care law, lower taxes. >> elections are about contrasts. there will be a very clear contrast. i believe when the american people speak in november that they will embrace the kind of policies and bills that the republicans have put forward, to decrease taxes come decrease the over-reaching regulatory oppression from the federal government, to solve the
health-care challenges in a positive way to put patients, families, and doctors in charge, to embrace an energy policy that is all of the above and allows us to become self-sufficient as a nation as it relates to energy. when they do that, then i'll be happy to meet with you and say it's exactly as i said, the american people understood that the contract was real and they embraced american exceptionalism. >> so a mandate if romney wins, but not if obama wins. >> i'm not convinced he's going to win. i think the american people will be speaking loudly. >> last question. instead of a contrast, there has been this elusive grand bargain now there that they have been trying all year to reach it. what scenario, electorally, do you think would be best for reaching a grand bargain to deal with the deficit where the parties come together? >> you have got to recognize the consequences of not getting
our fiscal house in order are grave for the country. what we have done is put forward budgets in each of the last two years to get us on a path to balancing in paying off the debt. thatthey're requires is you have to address the issues of medicare, medicaid, and social security. we believe those three ought to be strengthened, secured, and saved as opposed to abandon the in the way that the president's party, i believe, has done in so many ways. if you solve those challenges from a financial standpoint, then you actually get on that path to balancing the budget. that is the positive nature. >> mitt romney is about to select his running mate. i will let ask you to you think that will be, but what type of person does he need? what should the republicans be looking for? >> clearly, if events were to dictate, someone that could step in and be president immediately, have the experience, the knowledge base, and the confidence of the country to be president. i believe it must be somebody who has the principles that made
us great as a nation, who understands that there is a wonderful exceptionalism in this country that allows for individuals to dream big and realize those dreams by putting their hard work into effect. it needs to be somebody, i think, who has the ability to listen and to work with individuals across the political spectrum. there are all sorts of people out there who fit that bill. >> congressman tom price, republican from georgia, chairman of the republican policy committee. thanks for joining us here around c-span. conversation with russell burman and dan newhauser of "roll call." dan, let's start with you. what did you learn from today's conversation? >> one thing that was interesting was about tax incentives. barack obama has reportedly been out there taking decided to donors that if the mandate is struck down to use tax incentives to get people on health insurance coverage. tom price said something that
was in a bill but he did not talk about that today. he knows if there might be some way, probably after the election -- let's be realistic -- that they could come together on something it in the demand a district down. >> a lot of health care await the supreme court ruling. what will happen this summer? >> i thought it was interesting a few weeks ago when he was talking to reporters, he said the republicans would have a rational, smooth transition at the supreme court ruled in a way that caused disruptions for parts of the law that have already been implemented, whether it is the whole law, the mandate, or other reforms. today, he was saying the republicans are not going to rush anything. i took that as an indication that we may not see any significant legislation before the election out of the house unless there is a clear destruction that everybody recognizes. >> if it is a 5-4 decision and the supreme court rules on some of the key aspects of the health-care bill, does it help the democrats?
does that help the republicans? >> certainly, i think democrats are ready to pin this on the supreme court. let's face it, they're pretty unpopular after the citizens united decision. there is some feeling among the democratic base that they are unpopular. i think that could probably boost the democrats' case there. still, it would certainly hurt obama if anything is struck down. this would be a huge blow to him. there is his name on the top of this bill. there's no way to cut around that. >> quick follow-up on the politics of our conversation. what is congressman price's future in the house? >> there is some speculation that he is going to make a run for republican conference chairman since hensarling will be at the end of his term. mcmorris rodgers, who is vice chairman right now, is thinking about the same, so this may be one of the more interesting member on a member leadership races going on next year. >> allotted immigration