Jansing and Co | December 12, 2012
>> the fiscal cliff --
>> i want to bring in the senator from maryland, a member of the budget and foreign relations committee . good to see you. good morning. i think you probably just heard what eric cantor had to say, that the president is walking us toward the cliff. what do you say?
>> the ball's in the republican court. we have already enacted over $1 trillion of spending cuts since the bowles-simpson recommendations came out. we have done $1 billion in spending cuts.
>> there is some indication that that's part of the concern right now, that's part of why they're not getting a deal, because the democrats want to include that $1 trillion with the rest of the cuts, and in fact, the republicans are saying you can't add that in, you can't get credit for that now, we have to start from zero.
>> wait a minute. that spending caps apply not just this year but out in the future. we have enacted discretionary control of spending that will bring real savings. the next piece needs to be the bill that we passed over to the house that provides the tax certainty to the taxpayers of this country for the first $250,000 of taxable income . that's the next major piece. do we have to go beyond that, absolutely. we're prepared to go beyond that. but to say that the ball's in the president's court is just not accurate. the ball is in the republicans' court. they need to move forward on the tax piece. that's the next piece that needs to be agreed to. i think most people in this country understand that. i think most members of congress understand that. we've got to get that done. yes, we've got to go further. we've already suggested that we can get savings in health care . let's bring down the cost of health care . but let's not shift the cost to the beneficiaries.
>> you know, one of the things they're looking for, for example, if you get a tax increase for the rich, would you be willing to raise the age for medicare eligibility from 65 to 67?
>> let's remember that all taxpayers will benefit by the enactment of the taxable breaks for those under $250,000. if you make half a million dollars, your first $250,000 is going to get the lower rates. so everyone benefits from it. the one thing we don't want to do is put additional burdens on middle income families. shifting the cost of health care to individuals doesn't help our economy. let's bring down the cost of health care .
>> last night a group of female senators sat down with diane sawyer . let me play for you what their message was.
>> i think if we were in charge of the senate and of the administration, that we would have a budget deal by now.
>> do you all believe that?
>> i have spoken to women senators. they say the same thing, that they think that women are just more willing to compromise, less intransigent. you're laughing but is there something to be said for that?
>> look, i think the next congress, the next senate, we're going to have 20 women members of the united states senate . i think we do need more diversity here in the senate. i think that would be healthy for not just budget issues but other issues.
>> you think they would be more likely to get a deal?
>> i think having a more diversified congress is healthy for the american people . the budget deal problems today is the fact that you have these hardcore people in the house particularly who don't want to sit down and compromise. now is the time to move forward.
>> you make a good point. there's a suggestion in the "new york times" today that even if there is a deal, even if the president and speaker boehner can come to some sort of an agreement, there is the conservative wing of his party who could possibly block it. are you worried about even if there is an agreement between these two key players, that the republican side could keep it from happening?
>> if speaker boehner exercises the leadership of his office and brings in a reasonably balanced program, he can pass that. he may not get the super majority among the republicans, he needs democratic votes in order to pass it. we understand that. but that's a good deal. where democrats and republicans come together to pass the legislation. don't do it just by getting the support within your own party. you need to reach out to the democrats.
>> senator ben cardin , good to see you. thank you so much.
>> thank you.