Mitchell Reports | March 21, 2013
>>> connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it.
>>> but there still is no sign of agreement on the big issues, the major hurdles, entitlement cuts and tax increases, joining me now former senator olympia snowe who left the senate partly because of the gridlock. the continuing resolution , only days to go. that takes us through to september. we still don't have budgets. what are you seeing from your perch now outside of this bubble, as you try to work on how to bring the two sides together?
>> well, at least they're attempting to work together. and most notably, on having consideration of a senate budget resolution for the first time in more than three years. so you know, this is movement in the right direction. but as you indicated. there's no suggestion at this point that they can reach the broader compromise on the big issues. and that's what congress has deferred over the last few years, the big issues that would give certainty and confidence to the american people . and to businesses. and in which direction the country will proceed on the biggest questions that will affect their futures. whether it's in the tax realm or regulatory arena. and of course, on the whole question of entitlement reform and reducing the debt.
>> i want to ask you also about the assault weapon ban, your former colleague, dianne feinstein , deeply disappointed that harry reid said there aren't the votes and he's going to strip it out of whatever legislation does get to the floor. because he thinks otherwise he wouldn't be able to pass anything. i know you voted to re-authorize the assault weapons ban back in 2004 . so now what? do you think that the emotion and the reaction to newtown, connecticut, has now faded?
>> well, i wouldn't think so. i think what's at stake here are people's positions that they've already taken on these issues. and how it affects their states. and so it's, it's less a partisan divide than rather it could be a regional divide or a policy issue of this, of this magnitude. so i think that obviously the senate has the option of considering an amendment. if they allow open amendment process on this issue. so that people can weigh in and express their views.
>> senator now that you've left the senate, life after the senate, do you have a different perspective on what has been happening in washington and how gridlocked things have become?
>> well you know, andrea, i'm so pleased to join the bipartisan policy center. because it is, a can-do operation and we just launched a national conversation on american unity. there will be one of four summits across this country. along with a former majority leader senator daschle, and secretary glikman and secretary kempthorn, and so many other leaders to have a national conversation . we held a town meeting at the reagan library . what's unique about this approach is inviting the public to engage in the process, to offer their views and perspectives and ultimately the center will be the catalyst for making recommendations, ones that are based on the input from people all across america. people are frustrated, and deeply concerned about the gridlock that has paralyzed washington and its ability to address fundamental issues that obviously require our attention as a country. so we, i'm very pleased to be part of this effort. because it's not only a bipartisan basis, but it brings in people from all over the country to work on these issues. and i think it is important that we give impetus to the frustrations that people have. and what we can do to change it.
>> senator olympia snowe , thank you so much, we look forward to a continuing conversation.