Hardball | December 13, 2012
>>> this afternoon president obama and speaker boehner met at the white house in their first face-to-face meeting since fiscal negotiations last sunday and boehner is scheduled to return home to ohio for friday for a long weekend. earlier today the speaker made clear that there would be no compromise without more cuts to spending. let's listen.
>> i have been pushing all year for us to address this problem. but here we are at the 11th hour and the president still isn't serious about dealing with this issue right here. it's this issue, spending.
>> joining me is congress van hollen who is a ranking member on the budget committee and a man many expect to be the next democratic speaker of the house . i do mean that. let's start. you don't have to take that back. you're young, you have a shot. let's talk about --
>> i like your book, by the way.
>> the book on kennedy. thank you. let's talk about the speaker of the house . you said in the press the last couple hours or day that boehner is waiting to get re-elected speaker so he can have the republicans behind him before he cuts this deal.
>> well, my point is this, the big holdup right now is the fact that speaker boehner cannot get a critical mass in his caucus a critical mass in his caucus with increase increased rates on wealthier individuals. if he doesn't have critical mass , he has a choice. he could easily bring a bill to the house that allowed for a vote. it might require less than half of republicans joining with democrats, but we can get it done. there's nothing in the constitution.
>> wahere they did they get the idea that you have to have a majority of the majority?
>> people need to know . this is just something they made up. i mean --
>> how can you by bipartisan if you set as a rule you've got to have a majority of your party?
>> that's exactly right. be a leader. take into account the interest of the country, not just the republican party and the house. bring a bill to the floor that can get a majority of the vote. that's what the american people want to see. so my concern is that because he might think he's going to put his speaker ship at risk if he does that before the end of the year, he may be, in fact, holding out until january 3rd , which is when he's officially sworn in. he has to be voted on by his colleagues as speaker of the house for the next term. so my worry is that he's dragging things out for political purposes.
>> is it possible you can get a deal that's not the big esz deal in the century but big enough to avoid the cliff? what about a little bit more around a trillion in revenue and a trillion in spenlding cuts? does it look like it could be a solution now? $2 trillion in savings from the debt over ten years?
>> i think the president says that in order to get a balanced approach and really deal with this issue, you need more revenue.
>> do you think you need 1.2?
>> i think the president is at 1.4, which is less than bolls. which is less than that revenue. kri chris, here's an issue. the president agreed to adopt a trillion dollars. he is called for another $6 trillion as part of his plan and he spelled them out.
>> what's the republican problem. why could they accept --
>> i thought it was hard to budget the caucus. he's talking 600 million, which is really pushing your caucus. what do they want? the republicans?
>> they won't tell us what they want. they won't even tell us how they would get their 800 billion. it's not enough. but they can't tell us how they would get the $800 billion in revenue. people start to see eliminating deductions like your charitable deduction is going to be something people don't support.
>> by the way, raising the age for many people makes no sense. you're driving a truck, you're working on a trip hammer , why should you have to wait to get medicare?
>> simply transferring and passing on the costs to seniors. as opposed to the way the president and democrats did it, trying to overall all health care costs. the president has more in the next ten years than the ryan republican budget than he gets in a very different way.
>> i do think you'll be speaker some day. joining me now -- if you want it.
>> joining me now is neah malika henderson. neah, here we go. watching this thing as of tonight, are we looking like we're going to get to the cliff? over it? as of right now, end of december, how does it look to you watching this thing as an observer?
>> there's certainly a debate inside the white house about whether or not to go over the cliff. whether or not it's actually a political more advantageous for the white house . maybe that strengthens the president's hand. about whether or not they would be strengthened if u in fact, this happens. two things happened today. one of which is beranck erksz came out and boehner essentially came out and seem today give a nonanswer of whether or not he would back just voting on the middle class tax cuts . so those two things, i think, both show -- on the one hand, bernancke, where the rubber meets the road here, when the stock market really starts to reablr react and people would be more jittery and the reality would be upon us . and then with boehner essentially being a middle path to get passed this.
>> are there really people in the white house who believe that it's a bunji jump? that if we go over in the cliff, we'll come right back up again in the market? that's not what bernanke things.
>> you're right. that's not what berksnanke thinks. there is a sense that the politics of it and the optics of it would strengthen the president's hand. if people start looking at their 401ks and seeing that decline, it could spell trouble for the white house . ultimately, the economy and the stock market ends with the president.
>> i think it's a cliff. thank you, nia henderson. we'll be right back with my thoughts about what's going on