msnbc | February 10, 2013
>>> on today's "meet the press," house majority leader eric cantor weighed in on the budget cuts.
>> every time you turn around, the effect is to raise taxes. he just got his tax hike on the wealthy, and you can't in this town every three months raise taxes. again, every time, that's his response. we've got a spending problem. everybody knows it.
>> joining me now is newly elected republican congresswoman ann wagner , member of the financial services committee and freshman representative to gop house leadership. welcome to you.
>> welcome. i'm so pleased to be here, alex , with you and your viewers.
>> it's always fun to interview someone after they've been elected. i would call you a rising star , but looking at your bio, you have landed there in congress as a star already. we'll get to why in just a moment. in president obama 's weekly address, he said fairly explicitly he wants a balanced approach, including the spending cuts, entitlement changes, and tax reforms. what we heard from leader cantor just then, is that posturing?
>> no. i think it's the truth. it's not just what's coming from house leadership and the gop , it's what the american people want. we have a spending problem. here in missouri 's second district, there are families and small businesses living within their means every single day. they've had to cut back. they know what these policies and what this overriding $17 trillion in debt, and the continual year after year deficit are doing, not just in the mortgaging of our own children's future and a $52,000 lug each morning that we have around their necks, but frankly, alex , we are mortgaging today. we have got to do something about this out of control spending. the president's sequestration is right around the corner here, and i think the house republicans are the only ones that have put forth some responsible replacements to that sequester that still reined in spending.
>> to be perfectly honest, when you say you're in line with the american people , didn't the election say that americans overwhelmingly reelected president obama and dealt a pretty hard blow to the gop ? and then part of what the americans elected was someone who said, we've got to raise revenue. and people agreed with it.
>> with the fiscal cliff deal, the president just got a large tax increase and not just on the wealthy, but on small business owners and on the middle class . i don't think the american people voted or had any mandate to give up more of their personal wealth. what they want is to be able to make it to the 15th and 30th of every month. we want consumer spending to go up. the best way to raise revenue, alex , is to grow our economy. if we don't get our debt and out of control spending in check here, we will not grow this economy.
>> but is it entirely fair to call it the president's sequestration? because congress is the group that passed it.
>> well, the president proposed it. and the president has also, i think, frankly, shown a real void in leadership in terms of this budget and dealing with the real problems facing america. we passed as a house in a bipartisan basis, both no budget, no pay, to be sure the senate was doing their job in finally putting forth a responsible budget, and also last week they require a plan to the president saying, hey, you're late on your budget, four years out of five. we want to know how and when you get to a balanced budget , mr. president. and i think that's what i'm hearing the people in the second district talk about.
>> i would imagine you're also hearing people in the second district there in missouri that they want something done that's concrete. i think everybody -- and i would suggest even congress -- is tired of kicking the can down the road. there's so many issues facing this country. do you think there's a chance we're going to get a deal reached before the deadline and have it be a final deal?
>> i hope so. it shouldn't be a last-minute deal. it should be a deal with great debate and great thoughtfulness. we've been having this debate for some time. i'm a part of this freshman class, the 113th congress. we were sent here, alex , to do the big things . we want to be about solutions and getting things done. people are tired and frustrated with this paralysis and the lack of leadership that the president, i believe, has shown, and frankly, the fact that the united states senate and the democrats in the senate have not come to the table to deal with our fiscal crisis. enough is enough. we're fed up, and i'm hopeful, though, i really am hopeful, we're going to have solutions, and we'll be able to come together on behalf of the american public.
>> well, there is a new body there. you are part of this new freshman class. there will be new voices being hea heard, yours certainly. the self-created crisis, is this any way to run washington? have you come to congress because you want to change things up and get things done?
>> absolutely. we're a class of do-ers. it's a wonderful eclectic group that forms the people's house , and they're farmers and men and women and moms and dads and small business leaders, people involved in the military. it's a great class of, i think, real doers. we've been sent here to tackle the big things . the biggest thing on our plate right now is this out of control spending, this propensity to do nothing but make government the center of all things. we have to empower people and families and individuals. that's what we need to do. we need to care about the hard working middle class , whether the it the carpenters, the nurses, the teachers. as i said, the people trying to make it to the 15th and 30th day of the month. how do we make their lives better and easier?
>> paycheck to paycheck.
>> but there seems to be a lack of diplomacy or the use of that on capitol hill .
>> moving faster to luxembourg. you obviously had to use diplomacy skills to get things done and deal with any issues that might arise. is there a chance at that diplomacy will be employed between our democratic and republican lawmakers? and that the art of compromise will be found again?
>> i do think we're going to come together to find solutions. a lot of it has to do with building relationships, talking to one another, and i'm very proud of what we did very quickly out of the house , the u.s. house , which was no budget, no pay. that had over 80 democrats sign on to that piece of legislation. i think it was a great bipartisan showing, and i think it's a way that we should move forward. i'm hopeful we're going to have solutions, but i'm also hoping we desperately are going to have the kind of leadership from the white house that's going to talk about growing our economy, talk about jobs, talk about helping the middle class that does not raise our taxes and take more of their wealth and grow government. we don't need to grow government. we need to grow our economy for hard working families.
>> missouri representative ann wagner , it was nice to see you and meet you on the air. good luck with everything. we'll be watching.