'This Week' Transcript: Stimulus Debate

SCHUMER: Well, you know, it's easy to say no. We have the worst economy we've had since the Great Depression, half a million people more losing jobs every month. The economy's hurdling southward. Yes, this is a big, strong, bold package.

It's going to do three things. It's going to keep or create 3 million to 4 million jobs. It's going to put money into the hands of the middle class so they spend it in the stores and restaurants and get the economy going. And it's going to create an infrastructure that not only puts people to work, but leaves something after, God willing, we get out of this. To do nothing risks a depression.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what's wrong with that?

GRAHAM: Well, I wanted to do something. I think we do need a stimulus package with a focus, and that's create jobs in the near term. Eleven percent of the appropriated money in this bill hits in 2009. Most of the money in this bill is in entitlement spending that's not going to create jobs.

Twenty-seven percent of the bill is now tax cuts. That's down significantly. And of those tax cuts, most of them, only $3 billion goes to small business.

Seventy-five percent of the people in this country work for small business. Of a $787 billion bill, $3 billion is directed to small- business people. I think we missed the mark a long way. We increased new government; we did not increase new jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Congressman Waters, when this bill came out of the Senate at the end of the week, your speaker, Nancy Pelosi, had to quell a mini-revolt among House Democrats who actually take an opposite view from Senator Graham. They thought the bill wasn't big enough, and they didn't like the cuts, particularly in state aid, education aid, that came in the Senate.

WATERS: Absolutely. We worked very hard on that bill in the House. And as you know, many well-known economists say that this should be a trillion-dollar bailout bill, that we need to put more into our economy.

And we worked very hard on education, as you know. Our schools are in great disrepair in this country. We have children going to schools in deplorable conditions, and so we wanted more money in school construction. We thought, not only does that create jobs, it's an investment in the future.

And so those kinds of programs we really, really wanted to fight for. As it turns out, we have through the conference committee accepted the amendments from those Republicans who were willing to step up to the bat and at least do something for the people of this country. And so we lost on some of it, but it's a big win for all families and all Americans.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Only three Republicans, Congressman King, in the -- in the Senate, zero in House. And I have to say, it -- it surprised me that zero Republicans in the House went along with this. And, for example, I know that you support infrastructure spending. I know you support Medicaid aid to the states, yet you -- you vote no on this. Was this more taking one for the team so the Republicans could be unified?

KING: No, not at all. First of all, I do support the Medicaid provisions in the bill. But as far as the infrastructure, less than 9.5 percent of the bill goes to infrastructure on transit and highway construction. That was a key part to me, which was really severely diminished.

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