'This Week' Transcript: Stimulus Debate

ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"

FEBRUARY 15, 2009

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST

SEN. CHARLES E. SCHUMER, D-N.Y.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.

REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF.

REP. PETER T. KING, R-N.Y. [*] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."

The president gets his plan.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have done something today that is transformational for our nation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But at what cost?

REP. JOHN A. BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: What happened to the promise that we're going to let the American people see what's in this bill for 48 hours? But, nope, we don't have time to do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And his strategy for sick banks...

SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TIMOTHY F. GEITHNER: This program is going to require a substantial and sustained commitment of public resources.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... falls flat on Wall Street.

(UNKNOWN): We wanted real guts and details to this, and we didn't get it today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Will the Obama's plans confound the skeptics and fix the economy? Senate, House Democrats and Republicans square off. Our "This Week" debate.

Then, one more pick for commerce secretary bows out.

SEN. JUDD GREGG, R-N.H.: I said yes. That was my mistake.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it one more sign that bipartisanship has its limits? That debate and the rest of the week's politics on our roundtable with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Donna Brazile.

And, as always, the Sunday funnies.

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: The economy's so bad, Barack Obama's new slogan, "Spare change you can believe in." That's how bad it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, "This Week" with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again.

When President Obama signs his $787 billion stimulus plan into law on Tuesday, he'll set a new record. It will be the single most expensive piece of economic legislation ever in our history, and it passed without a single Republican vote in the House and only three in the Senate.

So the voting is done. Let the debate begin.

For that, I'm joined today by four key players from Capitol Hill, Senator Chuck Schumer, the vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee.

Welcome.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, she's a senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee.

Senior Republican on that committee, Representative Peter King of New York.

And Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Senate Budget Committee.

And I'm going to begin with your governor, Mark Sanford.

GRAHAM: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Big opponent of the stimulus legislation. And I want to show everybody what he wrote in this morning's State newspaper in South Carolina. He says that, "For every job the bill creates, American taxpayers will spend $223,000. If we add the costs of this bill to the previous efforts of the federal government to deal with the financial crisis, the American taxpayer is on the hook for $9.7 trillion. If the stimulus bill were a country, it would be the 15th- largest country in the world."

Senator Schumer, he says it's going to be a waste, it's not going to work, and we're going to be paying for it for generations.

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