Jansing and Co | February 06, 2013
>> let me bring in congressman john yarmuth . what would you like to see?
>> i think some of the spending you mentioned could be very youthful. some of the farm subsidies that are unjustified. i'd like to consider a securities transaction pack, the so called wall street packs that can raise tens of billions of dollars. and we can do some cutting, but in that cbo report that you mentioned, it also said that the kind of austerity program which the sequester would represent would be damaging to the recovery, would hurt gdp, and, of course, that's in line with what most economists believe. i think we've got to be very careful when we just say we've got a cut, without regard to the impact of those cuts, both on the economy and on some very important programs.
>> you know what the republicans' answer to that is. they say one of the concerns is as we look ahead, and to increase needs for medicare and medicaid. social security , if that deficit reduction is going to stop, it's going to go if the other direction, so the time to cut is now.
>> well, i think we can plan to cut, but we saw what happened in the last quarter with reductions in defense spending bringing in a negative gdp for january. if we actually have the kind of cuts that are projected in the sequester, that would do very serious damage to the economy in the short term. so we ought to talk about what we need to do, but right now the economy is much too fragile to impose another $85 billion in cuts.
>> i'm sure you heard as we were just talking with kelly ayotte about what they had to say about all this. i'm wondering do you think they'd rather see the sequester kick in than raise taxes? how entrenched is this on the republican side ?
>> i think with many of them, it is pretty much entrenched. and again, it's done without regard to the impact of the sequester. if you consider -- and i don't want to go into the weeds on this, but this would have an incredibly negative impact on agencies like the fbi, like food inspectors, air traffic controllers . those agencies that have heavy personnel costs. we see a very severe reduction in the services that we all come to rely on for our protection if these sequester cuts were allowed to occur. so i think you've got to be very careful when you say we need to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. because these things have very serious implications for the american people .
>> let me switch gears. you're part of that bipartisan group in the house working on immigration reform . how close are you guys to a bill?
>> well, i think a lot of us have come to an agreement on both sides on the principles of the bill. i think we're still far, far away on the question of what we do with the 11 million or so immigrants who are here without documentation, here illegally. that's going to be a very tough sticking point. and i think --
>> we did hear yesterday there are a number of republicans in the house judiciary committee who want to do something about immigration but they've said no paths to citizenship. can i just play for you really quickly what your republican colleague raul labrador had to say.
>> i talked to thousands and thousands of people who were here illegally. what they want is they want to come out of the shadows. they want to be able to be legal. they want to be able to work. they want to be able to travel. they want to be able to feel like they're being treated with dignity. not very many people told me i want to be a citizen, i have to be a citizen.
>> so for you, does a pathway to citizenship have to be part of this?
>> well, i think it does, and the reason is that we want people here who want to be citizens. while i think raul is absolutely right, there are some for whom the actual citizenship issue is not important, for many many more it is. their children are citizens. they want to have the same rights as their families. so the burdens that are set up in kind of the proposals that are being floated -- people don't get to citizenship for 15 to 20 years. this is not some kind of easy free pass that is being proposed. so while i accept the fact that what most of the illegal immigrants want is the ability to live and work here and come out of the shadows, i think the ultimate goal of citizenship is still something that's important to provide for.
>> congressman john yarmuth , it is always great to have you. thanks so much.
>> thank you, chris.