600 KCOL Mornings, Cory Gardner, 8/01/2011

Station: KCOL

Show: 600 KCOL Mornings

Guest: Cory Gardner

Link: http://www.600kcol.com/main.html

Date: 8/1/2011

Topics: Budget, debt ceiling, entitlement programs, defense spending.

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FALLEN: Representative Gardner, good to hear from you.

GARDNER: Great to hear, thanks for having me on.

FALLEN: The dust has settled in some degree but there is still a question even though leaders agreed on this debt ceiling. Still a question whether the votes will be there in order to pass this. What do you say?

GARDNER: I think they will. There is a lot of questions that are going to have to be answered today. We are going into conference at noon today. I want to know a couple things about the numbers. The baseline that is being used in this solution that has been put forward. I think a lot of people are going to have some questions and once they get those answered we will have a better picture of it this afternoon.

MALMBERG: House Speaker Boehner said that Republicans got 98 percent of what you were hoping to achieve in this. Do you go along with this, 98 percent?

GARDNER: Let me just what the New York Times said. And we all know that the New York Times is not exactly the bastion of conservatism.

FALLEN: Really?

GARDNER: This is what they said. The rest of the package is a complete capitulation to hostage taking demands of Republican extremists.

FALLEN: Oh geez.

GARDNER: That is what the New York Times said about the deal. Another Liberal Democrat in the House said that the deal was a Satan sandwich. And so you can hear some of the outcry now on the far left of this package as it moves to cut spending and put caps in place and possibly force across the board cuts or a balanced budget amendment.

FALLEN: You know Representative, there are a number of analysts and this is something I have been yapping about for months, they have said that this is a politically expedient deal. Everybody can feel pretty good about this. We beat that rather nebulous August 2nd deadline. Or will we? That still remains to be seen.


FALLEN: Unfortunately, does it address the drivers of the problem, the big drivers of government spending?

GARDNER: Actually I think if you look at what’s going to happen in the second tranche of this bill, the fact that you are left with a stark choice, you cut significantly and put in place a plan to cuts significantly. And that will have to look at entitlement reform as well. Or it does an across the board cuts into both the entitlement side of things as well as the defense side of things. So I think you are looking at a situation where this package is going to force Washington to change. And it already has because 90 some times in the past history of this country the debt ceiling has been raised. Never has there been a single penny of cuts to go along with those. For the first time in a hundred years, first time ever, we are demanding more than a dollar for dollar cuts.

MALMBERG: I understand you are looking at a 10 o’clock Eastern Time vote, approximately?

GARDNER: Not 10’oclock Eastern Time. We are going to have conference at noon today eastern time. So the vote will come sometime after that. I don’t think we will be voting anytime before noon Eastern Time.

FALLEN: It’s probably not politically correct to ask, but that has never stopped me before Representative. What will your vote be?

GARDNER: You know, I don’t know yet. I want to hang on to some questions and get those answered before I commit one way or the other. And I just want to know about the baseline and that we are indeed cutting spending more than not. There is also, its possible that this deal written in into it says if a balanced budget amendment is passed, then it still triggers the immediate spending cuts. And that was something that I think is a great, something that is very good if it does. I just want to get that answered.

FALLEN: What about the real specter of Moody’s and S & P, regardless of raising the debt ceiling and the downgrade? How will that affect us?

GARDNER: We’ve just got to do more. This is a first step. This is not the whole apple. This is a bite at the apple and we’ve got to do more.  Moody’s said very clearly that a deal needs to…a package needs to be put in place by August 2nd but then we got to do more to bend down the cost curve of government. We will continue to do that. The House of Representatives not has voted to cut $6.6 trillion in the budget. We have voted on individual bills that have cut over $3 trillion. And so we are going to continue this fight.

MALMBERG:: How do you feel about this 12-member committee composed of 6 Republicans and Six Democrats, three from each party and each chamber?

GARDNER: That is going to force some hard conversations to take place. A much needed conversation on where we are with our safety net programs and how we make sure that they are able to continue for future generations. Because that is a written now, in current law they cannot continue for future generations. We’ve got to act now so that we can get some spending controls in place and make sure that they are doing the right thing. If they don’t find a solution then its going to trigger some very hefty across the board cuts and that in its self may be enough for them to act big and bold.

FALLEN: The big question is, how enforceable are these cuts over a ten-year time span?  How do we hold future congress’s feet to the fire?

GARDNER: It is the same as passing any law today that be changed tomorrow. If taxes were cut today they could be raised tomorrow by a different congress. So that is why it is important that these up front cuts are going to be in place.

MALMBERG: Would you like to be on this committee or would this be tough duty?

GARDNER:   I would actually be on the committee if they asked because I would be driving the hard decision. I am not afraid to shy away from difficult choices.

FALLEN: Certainly is the truth. Thank you Sir for your time, as always.