tv President George H.W. Bush on the Government Shutdown CSPAN January 13, 2019 1:45pm-2:04pm EST
savagery, through spanish imaginary past and romance, to .hite anglo civilization statueng the early day that was protested in the 1990's and removed last month. >> you can watch the entire discuss and -- discussion on controversial monuments in the west sunday here on american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> in 1990, president george h.w. bush and the democratic controlled congress failed to agree on federal spending levels, resulting in a three-day government shutdown. from the white house, here is the president briefing reporters are super six -- on october 6 of
that year. fewident bush: in the next minutes, i will sign to veto the resolution. congress has got to get on with the people's business. i would like them to do that business, get a budget resolution, and get it done in the next 24 hours to 48 hours. as president, i cannot let the people's business be postponed over and over again. there have been three dozen in the last decade, three dozen continuing resolutions, business as usual, and we cannot have it. and the president can only do this one thing, send that
message back and say this is not a time for business as usual. the deficit is too important to the american people. so i expressed my appreciation to the speaker, the majority leader in the senate and the house, the republican leaders, thank them for coming together to get an agreement i strongly supported. it did not have everything i wanted. but now i am calling on those who did not vote for it on the republican side and the send down side to something that will take care of the people's business once and for all. and i am sorry i have to do this, but i made very clear that i am not going to be a part of business as usual when we have one deficit after another piling up. i've had enough of it, and i think the american people have had enough of it. >> he came out a minute ago and said this serves no useful purpose. president bush: we have a
disagreement. i think it disciplines the united states congress, democrats and republicans. they are the ones that have to pass this budget, and they ought to get on with it. the leaders, to their credit, tried. this message says no more business as usual. we did have a difference on that particular point. i think both the speaker and the majority leader did not want me to do this. but let me take you back a while. in august, i wanted to keep the congress in. that story was written. i listened to the leadership. republicans and democrats said no. they said if you keep congress here in august, it will be counterproductive, everybody will be angry. the way to get it done is with the discipline of the calendar running after the summer recess. and so i acquiesced, i compromised, i gave.
i'm not going to do it anymore. people are inconvenienced, but i am not going to be part of business as usual by the united states congress. agreedtor dole said you to a short-term spending bill with cuts. can you tell us about that? president bush: i'm going to stay out of exactly what we are going to do and what the leaders handle the details. it is in the congress. i still strongly support the agreement the democrat and republican leaders came down on. i will say this. i do think there is a lot of agreement and goodwill still existing for that. it is not going to be passed exactly that way. let's leave the details on negotiation on that to congress. starting now, they will have to contend with the veto i sent up. next bill says you will
sign a c.r. president bush: i want to see the system disciplined. if what bob dole said is correct, i will sign one. but discipline on the system. if it does not discipline the system, i stay with my current position. i'm glad you brought that up because it would strongly support that. president, the leadership made a strong point that it is average americans who will be hurt, federal workers, hurt by this. president bush: the average american is smart. the average american knows what is going on, i think. and i think they know that congress has continued to kick this can down the road and they've got to act. i am very sorry for people inconvenienced or hurt by this. device one the only has for making something happen. and that is to get the congress to act, to do its business.
>> mr. president, you seem to be blaming congress. in fact, a lot of constituents to vote against this because they say the burden is unfairly divided with the poor and middle class paying too much. this program you proposed with leadership was not acceptable to the american public? president bush: well, certain aspects of it might not have been acceptable to the american public on the right or left. but when you are trying to do the country's business, i have discovered you have to compromise from time to time. and that is exactly what i did. took a few shots in the process. but it does not matter. what matters is let's move this process ahead now. you are right. people did not like one aspect or another. saying i willcans vote for it if you change this or that. -- youly, in have people
have people you are quoting on the other side. at times, one has to come together to do the country's business for the overall good. these outrageous deficits cannot be permitted to go on and on and on. i am worried about the international market. about this country being of the opinion they cannot take care of their fiscal business. the democrat and republican leaders tried very hard to get an agreement. with all i could bring to bear on it, we failed. people were looking at one, narrow part of the package and not at the overall good. i am hopeful now with the urgency this veto brings to bear on the situation that reasonable people in the congress can come together. >> what kind of progress is being made on the budget resolution? sources on the hill are saying there is growing support for
raising the tax rates of the forthy in exchange perhaps cuts on premiums for medicare. are you willing to give on tax rates to the wealthy? president bush: i don't know the answer to your question. i like the parameters of the other deal where i compromised. your question reflects the views of those on the more liberal or left side of the political spectrum who raised those questions. we have some on the right side of the political spectrum coming at the process from another way. let them negotiate it. this is the business of the congress. our people will stay in touch. i will not mislead them. if there is something so outrageous i cannot accept it, i will let them know at the beginning so they don't waste their time. we are flexible. i have already compromised. i'm not saying i cannot look at new proposals.
but you have to put together a majority in the congress. that is where the leaders are having great difficulty. >> members of your own party dislike the deal so much. how could you and your advisors have misjudged the sentiments of members of your own party? president bush: because it is easy when you don't have to be responsible for something. it is easy to say i have an election in three weeks and i'm going to stand up against this .articular package any individual member can do that. maybe it plays well at home. the president and the leadership in both houses have to be responsible for the overall good of the country, have to make something happen. i cannot get it done just my way. i don't control both houses of congress. i'd love to think that luxury would come my way someday, but it has not. therefore, we've had to compromise. i will keep trying in the cooperative, positive spirit.
but when it comes to the discipline that comes from saying i am sorry, no more business as usual, that is where i can stand up. i don't need a consultation to do that. i've gotten plenty of advice on one side of that question with the other. but i'm absolutely convinced this is right. even those inconvenienced will getting thed we are business of getting the deficit under control done. that is my objective. i think every parent who sees his kid's future being mortgaged by these outrageous deficits, sees the shaky economy affected by prolonging these deliberations, will be grateful in the long run. in the meantime, you got to take a little heat. failed despiteon the fact he gave a nationally televised speech and your popularity is high. do youat concern you and
view this as a major setback for your presidency? president bush: yes, it concerns me. i would like everybody to do it exactly the way i want, but it doesn't work that way. now we have to use a little discipline. we will try. it is not an easy decision i have made, but it is the right decision. i am disappointed they did not do it my way. but i am in here to do what is best for the country. and what is best for the country is to get this deficit under control, to get this economy moving again, and to see people and jobs, not out of some welfare line. that is what is at stake here. the economic soundness of the united states. and we have a lot of things going on in the world, and a strong economy is vital to what i want to see achieved for this country. so you have to take some hits. you don't get it done exactly your own way.
tomorrow, there will be another vote. somebody someone will second a motion or some committee chairman will jump up and say, what about me? i will say the president is the guy that has to look at the overall action. i can understand congressman doing that. we came together on a deal. we worked for it. i feel a certain responsibility to the american people to move something forward here. i compromised. now we are going to try it this way. no more business as usual. do not keep putting off the day of reckoning. i don't want to be part of that. that is why i've had to veto this resolution. >> you talk a lot about discipline today. do you think the american people are willing to except the discipline of a tough budget agreement? president bush: that is a very good question. if you look at the vote in the house of representatives, you
might say no. but i think in the final analysis, the answer will be yes because i think we sometimes underestimate the intelligence of the american people. i can see where a congressman can jump up on a specific spending program that will help him in his district, or i can see when somebody will give you tax beatstax -- broad that will help him in his district, but in the final analysis what the american people look at, is do i have an economy in which i can feed my family and have opportunity to work for a living and put a little aside to educate my kids? and therein lies the problem, because that is what we are working for, we are trying to get this spending deficit down. i think you raise a good point. a lot of these congressman can jump up without any responsibility for running
the country or cooperating with their leaders and make a point for the home folks. but i think you underestimate, i think that view underestimates the overall intelligence of the american people. whether they are conservative, working on a factory line, or whether he is an investor someplace. that is why i think it is very important that congress now finally come to grips with this. >> you're now saying hands off and it is up to the congressional leaders to do the negotiating. president bush: they have already started up the road to go to congress and start negotiating. we made very clear we are continuing to help. i don't want to mislead them. there are certain things i can accept and certain things i cannot. ourink it is important that team stay in touch with them. >> but not sit at the negotiating table with them? president bush: i think they will be there. i think it depends on the forum.
i think there is some feeling on the part of the members that you handed us a deal. to get as farect along to an agreement as we did as far along towards an agreement as we did get? i want to facilitate it. thatey want the ideas largely led to an agreement, fine. we will not force our way in. the american people know that. they know the president does not pass the budget. it's the congress. i'm simply saying we are available. we want to talk. i think both leaders indicate they want to stay in touch with the white house. >> a constitutional challenge on the hill that in your opinion is not sufficient to run the government and violates article one. >> are you going to cancel your
campaign schedule next week? president bush: i don't know. i have to cancel everything that has to do with government, but maybe that's a good chance to get out there. >> how long can you hold out? how long can you by the government stay shut down? president bush: watch and learn. >> how long can it stay shut? president bush: it's how long the congress can take it. the congress is where the action is. it is the congress that has to pass this in the house and the senate. that is where the action is. they have postponed this tough decision thirtysomething times. we just can't have it. the american people want something done about this. that is where the focus will be. i don't think it's a question of taking heat here. they are hawking their horns. they know i don't like taxes. they're out here little packard demonstrating,, giving something about the government employees. we cannot have business as
usual. the american people -- i don't know about inside the beltway, but outside they are fed up with this is as usual and so am i. i wish i had total control so we could do it exactly my way, but we don't so i have compromised and now i'm prepared to say i'm not going to accept a resolution that postpones it. i tried that approach. i tried in august. goteverybody go home and some sound advice. make the congress they in office. they said please don't do that. it will be counterproductive. now they are saying please don't the toe this. it will be counterproductive. when do the american people have a say? they want to see the deficit under control. i don't have many weapons here. one is the veto. i hope it is supported. >> what has happened to the
prestige? >> when did that happen? president bush: i don't know. >> the next couple of days? >> president bush: sure. perhaps that's a little oversimplification because they are telling me there are difficult problems right and left, but they are going right back to negotiating. that is the way to serve the people. it is what it is. >> you have vetod the cr? >> i have to do that and send it up to the hill. >> what has this done to the prestige and influence of you in your office? willdent bush: there be a demonstration there is power in the presidency to do something. >> in december of 1995 and early 1996, president clinton and the republican-controlled congress failed to agree on federal