'This Week' Transcript: Stimulus Debate

WATERS: As a matter of fact, we should focus on, when you had the opportunity to participate, why not do what those three moderate Republicans did? Step up to the plate; offer your amendments. You know, we took all of their amendments.

Do you know we reduced the neighborhood stabilization program by a couple of billion dollars? We reduced Head Start, Early Start, school construction. We took the amendments. And so all those who...

KING: The fact is...

SCHUMER: And one other thing...

KING: ... not one Republican was allowed at the table in the House of Representatives when the bill was...


KING: I'm talking about the House.


SCHUMER: Let's just look at the Senate. The two biggest amendment that we accepted were Republican amendments, $70 billion -- you disagreed with it -- Senator Grassley, AMT, $38 billion, housing relief, Senator Isakson. They still voted against the bill.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Senator Graham back into this now.

SCHUMER: We don't know what more to do in terms of bipartisanship.


SCHUMER: Well, how about the Senate?

GRAHAM: If I may say, if this is going to be bipartisanship, the country's screwed. I know bipartisanship when I see it. I've participated in it. I've gone back home and gotten primary opponents because I wanted to be bipartisanship.

There's nothing about this process that's been bipartisanship. This is not change we can believe in. You rammed it through the House. You started out with the idea, "We won. We write the bill." The markup, Chuck, in the Senate took an hour and 45 minutes. What's the AMT got to do with creating jobs?


SCHUMER: ... Republican amendment.

GRAHAM: We had every Republican...

WATERS: It is a Republican amendment.

GRAHAM: ... vote for a $440 billion stimulus package that cut taxes, had infrastructure spending, and helped people who were out of work. We blew it when it came to coming together here. Let's don't blow it on housing...


STEPHANOPOULOS: And now, but, Senator, your -- your governor, who I started with, Governor Sanford... GRAHAM: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... is suggesting that he may not take the money -- that is $8 billion -- for the state of South Carolina, about 5 percent of our gross product.

GRAHAM: It won't be that -- it won't be that much, but...


STEPHANOPOULOS: Should -- if he refuses the money, will you stand by him?

GRAHAM: I think it would be smart for South Carolina to take the money, because South Carolina is going to have to pay the money back. The average taxpayer gets $8 of tax relief, but their children get $1 trillion of debt.

GRAHAM: So could we have done better? Yes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... return it to the Treasury Department?


GRAHAM: Well, at the end of the day, it won't come to the Treasury. It would be spent in some other state. So what I think we've done is blown an opportunity to help the economy by -- we should have started with housing and banking, because this is good money after bad, unless you spend housing and banking.

And the question people need to understand is, how much more do you need to fix housing and banking? $350 billion left in the TARP is not even close to fix housing and banking. And every dollar we waste in here and every policy change in this bill that could have went through the normal process is an opportunity loss for this country.

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