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tv   Newsmakers  CSPAN  November 10, 2013 10:00am-10:31am EST

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and afghanistan veterans as they returned to this country. enjoy the rest of your sunday. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] span,oday on c- "newsmakers." that is followed by testimony from the secretary of the hhs on the health insurance exchanges and later, the u.s. supreme court oral argument examining prayers before government meetings. joining us this week on oh
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quote newsmakers," senator chuck grassley from iowa, member of the budget, finance committee and ranking member on the senate judiciary committee. >> thank you for being with me. >> thank you for inviting me. >> joining us with questioning is the chief washington correspondent for the examiner. we are about one month away from the self-imposed deadline for congress to come forth with the budget plan spending bill. what will it look like and will you reach the deadline? >> i don't believe it will be very easy for us to make an agreement between the republicans and the democrats because the democrats want to increase taxes, they want to forgo sequestration. if there is going to be an agreement, it seems to me it has to be a willingness of republicans to give something up on sequestration but only that would happen if there is a long- term solution that we can arrive that between social security and
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medicare and including tax reform. can that happen? i am very pessimistic it can happen but i know that going to try to work in that direction and i know that congressman ryan is working very closely with patty murray of the senate budget committee to try to get in that direction. it is a tough row to know. >> if that's the case, then what? >> then you have sequestration which is the law of the land and republicans are generally satisfied with sequestration. since it is the law of the land, it seems to me like it is as simple as passing a claimcr through the house and find out the democrats will shut down government or not and is the president willing to sign it or does he want to shut down government and it seems a lesson was learned in our sober not to shut down government and we move
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ahead with a policy that was made that is the law of the land , sequestration, which came out of the white house. it's their idea and you don't think they would abandon it. government would move forward on 2, 2011.ies of august >> we will turn to christina peterson of "the wall street journal." republicans said they might look at sources of revenues that would not raise tax rates. do you think there is room for common ground there? can you envision a copper mines around revenue that is not raising the tax rate? >> i don't know what tom cole has in mind. i feel we have a responsibility to look at everything but you understand that more revenue is not going to solve our economic problems, our budget problems. only economic growth is going to solve those. the issue is not are we taxing
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people to much less, we are spending too much. go to theve to do is historical averages of what spending is and what revenue is and we are about but to -- we are about up to those who store call revenues of 19% of gross national product. we are still way over the historical average for spending. we have to get it down. that is what sequestration is going to do. we have had something that has not happened for 60 years or let's say 50 years, between the korean war, we had back-to-back reductions of expenditures. 14, below 14d with which is broadest down from $1.5 trillion of deficits down to $600 billion of deficits. it is still too much but on a favorable path. andn, this is a bipartisan with the president's suggestion,
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sequestration is working. if it's working and it's not roque don't fix it -- if it's not broke don't fix it. isn't there $20 billion of defense cuts and does that put more pressure on you? >> no, many republicans feel that will be bad for defense. on the other hand, strong isnomy and good job growth going to do more for our national defense long-term than what this is going to do harm short-term. of "the washington examiner." kathleen sibelius was grilled. one question you asked her about was fraud. whether there is any supervision by the federal government over these new
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insurance companies to ensure that consumers are protected against fraud and other risks. her answer was that they did not really have much authority because they are private companies. can you talk about her answer and whether that was satisfactory and you will follow-up? >> it is absolutely not satisfactory and not the way the false claims act and other protections we have against fraud. i'm most interested in the false claims act. i wrote that legislation that put $35 billion back into the federal treasury. explanation and all i got out of her was that she will let us meet with her lawyers to find out that rationale. it just does not make sense. if we are having fraud of taxpayers money, whether it is through private corporation or through a government program, we've got ways of tackling it and getting that money back and nobody should be exempt from it. , you willmpt them encourage fraud. >> what kind of fraud are we
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talking about so consumers have an idea? >> you are talking about anything where people are getting taxpayer money in violation of the federal law. her testimony, there's often a repeat of the grandfather clause of health insurance policies and discussion about the cancellations and how how they are affecting people. her overall stance was that there will not be a delay because it may increase premiums so they will keep everything on the current schedule. willu think that's how it end up ultimately or that the administration will have to do the law or tweak delay it? >> the administration will wait until the last minute to do anything. they will not admit that anything is wrong. everything will turn out rosie. it will not turn out rosie. they will have to make changes. >> let's go back to the budget issue. would you support tax reform as part of the package to reach an agreement with democrats? >> of course i would. >> what would that look like? >> speaking very broadly, there
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is 100 different tax reforms. i am talking about the general proposition of closing loopholes and reducing marginal tax rates accordingly. now, from our point of view, but because they don't think of dynamic scoring, it will bring in more revenue. if that satisfies the white house, we've got a good chance of getting tax reform. i don't think that will satisfy the white house because they want to have cbo show that you're going to bring in more revenue because you increase rates or reduced the number of tax loopholes you closed or more tax loopholes you close, that's the way they wanted. it. if they can get to dynamic scoring, we could have tax reform yesterday but i don't think they are going to go there. >> i would like to ask you about one part of the health law and that's the requirement that lawmakers and their aides go through the exchanges. we have seen that start to be
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implemented but the government also said they would include the subsidies for lawmakers much the way that large employers pay for some of their employees health costs area is this working out the way you intended and what do you make of the amendment from senator vitter? >> i would vote for that amendment. with theas not to deal of congressional involvement with the civil service -- let me make this clear -- what congress has today, they have had since 1959 and at the same as what civil service has britt i did not want to mess with the details rate i wanted to make sure that congressman and their staff had to go to the exchange so they deal with the same red tape that every citizen had to do. when my bill was adopted in committee, that's the way it read. it went to the big lack all of reid's office and was rewritten
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and it was not very clear what should be done with these details. the administration stepped in because they interpret the law. this is the way they have interpreted the law. and so the subsidy will be in place until the vitter amendment is adopted. >> if that's adopted, there could be a brain drain from the help. ifld you feel responsible qualified staffers said they cannot work here anymore? >> i feel responsible for responding to my constituents. this was never a consideration. when i was holding town meetings and bringing -- i was one of the negotiators decided based decided to go political with obamacare, the idea was that my constituents said if it is good enough for us, why isn't it good enough for you? that's what i was responding to. it is along the same principle in 1995 when i got the congressional accountability act
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passed because congress had exempted itself from 12 laws in 1938. we are now covered by those laws. i think the principle that we should feel the impact of obamacare is likely have to feel the impact of every other law we have exempted ourselves from. it was a principal i was trying to get adopted, not to get in the weeds of the whole. issue. >> turning to the 2016 primaries, i know you said you are staying out of it for now as a republican iowan but what do you make of the chris christie win in new jersey and whether or not his message would resonate with evil in iowa? have a process by which that is tested and tested very much. he would be a welcome candidate in iowa, not just because he won reelection but because he has been a good administrator of his government and he's been able to work with
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people of both political parties . he has shown considerable success. invite him and other candidates to come in and test the waters in i/o and let iowans test you and you have to have faith in system. i have faith in that system and tonight,elcome him as rick perry is being welcomed into iowa for a polk county major fundraiser. he's got a chance to tell iowans about the success he has had in texas of economic development and job creation which, by the way, happens to be the number one issue on people's minds. they want this economy turned around. a want jobs to be created. they don't see this president very successful at doing that. >> do you see any change in attitude from four years ago in terms of what the tea party candidate popularity will be like versus the more moderate mainstream candidate? some say the tea party is fading
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out. do you feel their message will resonate and be a big heart of the whole debate in iowa? >> it will be a big part of the debate in iowa but also, people who have been dissatisfied with the direction of the party in iowa are going to be activated to get more involved. i think you will have a more balanced approach . >> what are they dissatisfied with in iowa? >> i think they are the tea partyith people in iowa caught them off guard. >> in what way? riveted by of in i people who are not tea party republicans. inactivity by people who are not tea party republicans. we have to re-energized the republican party. tea partys the candidates. everyone likes our principles better get activated. out of it, the tea party will help reactivate our party so we
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can be a more major force, not only in iowa, but in the nation as a whole. >> a number of your colleagues have described chris christie as a moderate. from your vantage point, is he a moderate or conservative? how would you describe him? >> i have not had a conversation with him and i don't think i should characterize his opinion. i think there is a tendency that if you are not a purist on everything, you are a moderate rate i don't accept that. i think you have to look at people issue by issue by issue and i am going to give governor christie an opportunity to tell me issue by issue where he stands and i will make a judgment. so i cannot answer your question right now. i should give him the opportunity to talk to me rather than my prejudging him. >> there is the system for selecting candidates, there has
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been discussion of changing the system of caucuses and conventions unwilling to primaries across the board. you think that needs to happen? >> you would not expect me to say anything other than when iowa and new hampshire were first in the nation and we are a place where anybody can get involved. you can have millions of dollars and get involved but you don't have to do much. coming to the grassroots of new hampshire and iowa gives all and,e a chance to compete in our system of constitutional representative government, we should give everybody an opportunity to compete, not just the people who are rich or can raise a lot of money. even if that results in elections like we saw this weekend in virginia where the candidate loses? >> you always have winners and losers. the process in virginia produced
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winners for republicans, don't forget, as well. >> it's interesting because you talked about the tea party and ising sure that everybody involved, not just the tea party. let's talk about the recent government shutdown and the filibuster by senator ted cruz and the whole effort to include defunding the healthcare law within the government funding bills. you signed onto the effort to do that which some people saw as a tea party effort. are you glad you did that and do you feel you had the results that damaged the party's image? >> i know that we would go from fiscal issues to obama issues that would obscure the strong points of the republican message which is fiscal issues. that is strong at the grassroots. the reason i signed on and the reason i stayed on is because when you vote against obamacare,
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and when you vote to repeal it, and you say you're going to do what you can because you think it is bad for the country, i don't think i should abandon that. from kathleen sibelius this past week. what is your confidence level that healthcare.gov will be working after november 30? >> it will not they. -- it will not be. the website in and of itself is a symptom of bigger problems. it kind of obscures these bigger problems. there is a lot of problems beyond that that even if they do get the website working, they will find out that they are not going to get the number of young people in they want. they will find people turned off from the promise that if you like it you can keep it, your health insurance or your doctor. they will see their premiums go up and all those things will be major problems for obama care. that was best reflected by the fact that this week, you have 16
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democrats up for election and go down to the white house to complain but they did not get much sympathy from the white house because the white house is so sold on obama care being the answer to everything that they are not willing to admit there's anything wrong. you don't fire -- you don't find very much admittance of something wrong and you only hear the president give a speech last week that he accept responsibilities but not much admittance that other than a computer is not working that there is anything wrong with it. there is a lot wrong with it. >> if the website is not working and is december 1, what do you and other lawmakers do next? >> we've done a lot through the house of representatives but harry reid never brings it up in the senate. instance, the president, by his own ruling, ignore the law. it takes an oath to uphold the law and ignore the law and said employer mandates get a year's
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delay. why not individuals? since he does not have the authority to do it for employer mandates, the house passed a bill to legalize what he did and they don't even bring it up in the united states senate. --are going to have to get when this stuff piles up in piles up, eventually they will have to deal with it in the united states senate. >> how so? senator reid is not up for reelection so there is not pressure to do anything. he has a tough 2014 election where there is a bunch of seeds could lose. what do you think he will do? >> don't you think you will get pressure like the meeting at the white house this week? he's going to get a lot of pressure from the five or six states where people are of all marble -- are vulnerable. they will force him to move to something. mary landrieu of louisiana
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has proposed a bill that would keepow propose people to the grandfather policies that are being canceled. is that something that could be approved by the senate? >> definitely it will be approved if reid let that come up. the reason he is not willing to do that is if you bring up one little bill are one big till, it's going to open up the whole issue again and he wants to avoid that. he's doing everything he can do to protect the president from having to decide to sign a bill or veto a bill. >> what are you telling your constituents? i'm sure you're getting calls about canceled policies. >> first of all, that i voted against it. i saw it coming. we will do what we can to change the law. i think i have to be candid with them based upon what i have said about reid running the senate and not bringing up this soft that this has to get done.
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>> medicare part d had a rough start and it turned out ok and that is popular and going well. could you see that outcome for the healthcare law? >> there is a whole lot of difference between a 2700 page on writing the legislation as a post of the 300 page bill part d and d with a very narrow -- obama care is changing all of healthcare in america. it was not just to deal with healthcare. maybe behind obama care is two things, to have the federal government take over all health care number two, to redistribute wealth. >> we have a couple of minutes left. we haveof the fights seen constantly is over the president's nominees and the senate's ability to confirm them. what will happen next week when senate majority leader harry reid brings up circuit court
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nominees? will republicans move to block those? >> yes, we are going to because you don't need any more judges on that court. ofhas the lowest casework any of the circuits. average caseshe of the others. with six or eight senior judges, other up to about 3.25 judges so they have about 11.5. >> many of the senior judges were appointed by republican presidents and there are three vacant seats. i say it's their responsibility to try to fill those vacancies. do you think this will end up in a fight that could result in a real change in the senate or is a negotiated resolution more likely? >> we have had negotiated resolutions and that amounts to the republicans letting the democrats get everything they want and it means advise and
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consent and the 60 vote supermajority meaning nothing. what we should do is let them go ahead and carry it out and we will have a level playing field for history. remember, what they are complaining about republicans doing now, the they did against republican judges. it had not been done before that , before 2001. you did not have this pattern. >> is it fair to call it court packing because these are open seats? >> the court packing came from something democrat leader said that we are going to pack the court so that we can help the president rule by executive order and not have this overturned. they use that term. >> should we let them do it? to have the 60t vote majority not apply to nominations anymore, instead of republicans negotiating and let
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them do what they want, effectively it has been done away with. they want to do away with the judges, let's do away with judges and we will have a , nominate president more people like roberts and scalia and we will have 51 like it was prior to 2001. remember, we had estrada up, the democrats would not let him come it. we had peter crisler to put on the same committee. after never brought up 900 days of being on the agenda. they are choosing republicans of holding this president up? do awaywe wante to with judges? they cannot accuse us of doing it because we have a democratic president. it when we have a republican president and this republican president wanted to fill that 12 seat but we got rid of it.
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>> as a follow-up on that, but public watches all this and they get frustrated because they see people arguing on the floor of the house in the senate. how do you explain to them about the gridlock and the disagreements without having them totally lose oh. congress has low approval ratings. you're going to have controversy, it makes news, so the journalists will print the bad news or the controversy, not the good news. don't dislike a single senator and i don't think any senator dislikes me. if they do, i don't want to know about it. baucusthe grassley- committee to cooperate. people get along and if they want to cooperate, you get things done and in 10 years, only about three bills got out of committee that were not bipartisan bills. there is plenty of
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bipartisanship if you folks will tell the public about it. >> you now have about 74,000 followers on twitter with the ipo this last week and you have become a prolific tweeter. how often do you do it and why? >> well - why do i do it, that's easy? i don't do it often enough. i do it because it's the latest way to communicate with your constituents. what is being a senator all about? it is dialogue between those of us elected, we are half of the process, and the constituents of the other half. anything you can do to promote dialogue will strengthen our democracy. that's why i do it. >> senator chuck grassley, republican of iowa, thank you for being with us on "newsmakers." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we continue the conversation. let's begin with his talk on the
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budget and the lack of compromise he thinks is evident between house and senate lawmakers. >> i did not see a lot of room for compromises between the pop -- democrats and republicans from what he said. he drew a firm line on revenue and set up is going to be tax reform, the only revenue will be from economic growth. that could ways generate revenue that could reduce the deficit in the way that cbo generally scores it. i thought that was an indicator that it will be pretty tough for them to find an agreement. based on that, how willing after a 60 day government shutdown, will this government be willing to compromise if not tax increases than revenue enhancements through fixing the tax code? >> the white house or democrats are not going to be willing to compromise. it will put the leverage on the democratic side. i think it will require ultimately the sequester numbers the democrats want is about one -- $1 trillion.
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the republicans are looking at a lower number. i think you will see the republicans give way on that sequester. they will have to allow some of those cuts to go away and as part of the copper mines, they will get more military spending but there will be domestic spending. there will be at it and take their but i don't think you will see entitlement reform which is probably only other way you would see a big reduction in the this question. because of the government shutdown, the democrats are emboldened to resist any changes to social security and medicare. to have been adamant about that and feel the polls are in their favor and i think they will hold their ground even though we've got this sort ofpr nightmare with the health-care rollout. i feel the confidence level of the democrats is still there for that. >> he was pretty direct that the website for healthcare will not be working by december 1. >> correct, he did not have a lot of confidence it would be fixed.
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on the sequester, it was striking to me that he did not seem to see that much pressure from the defense cuts. seem to agree that sequester is not ideal but it did not seem to show a ton of drive to get rid of those cuts. death republicans like having those cuts built in and it did not see that the military impact would be a huge factor in the budget discussion. was the chris christie victory speech tuesday night day one of the 2016 campaign? >> absolutely. i thought was senator grassley had to say about chris christie visiting i was interesting as well. it did not turn his nose at the idea one bit. he said he would be welcome. my sense from senator grassley is he would like to see a more mainstream candidate get moreved so there is a mainstream candidate on the general ticket that would help the party and get someone in
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office easier than if they have somebody who is considered far right or extreme or part of the tea party. got frome sense i senator grassley that he likes the idea of someone like chris christie getting involved. he was highly complement three of him and to me that was a signal that he would be welcome in iowa. >> i thought he made an interesting distinction -- he did not want to label someone as moderate just the cause of their views on one subject. moderate has become a dirty word with some republicans recently. he wanted to pull back and say i want to look at the whole range of their views. both for being with us on newsmakers. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] next, health and human services secretary kathleen's ability is testifies on the implementa o

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