Transcript: 'This Week' Economic Debate

SHELBY: And not only that, I'll tell you, the stimulus bill was loaded with earmarks. There was one coming out of Illinois, $2 billion...

MCCASKILL: That was competitively -- that was competitively done, George.

SHELBY: Oh, yes. Nobody believes that now.

MCCASKILL: But it was. It was a five-year...


SHELBY: It was competitively done because the president wanted it, and he's the biggest earmarker of all.


SHELBY: Bush was the biggest earmarker. All of them are earmarkers.


DONOHUE: If we talked as much about jobs as we talk about earmarks, we'd be better off.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I actually want to move to health care right now, because you were part of a health care summit this week that President Obama convened. Here's President Obama speaking at that summit.


OBAMA: Nothing is harder in politics than doing something now that costs money in order to gain benefits 20 years from now. It's -- it's the single hardest thing to do in politics, and that's part of the reason why health care reform has consistently broken down.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Mr. Donohue, you were at this summit. There's been something of an evolution at the Chamber of Commerce. You were at the summit saying you support the president's goals. You believe we can get something done this year.

DONOHUE: Well, what I did say is, in comparison to the previous big debates on health care, all of the parties are somewhere else. For the longest period of time, you knew where big business, small business, the docs, the hospitals, now they're all over the place, and they are for a very simple reason, is that health care has become not only very expensive, but very complicated and very much driven more and more by the government, who are, you know, engaged with 45 percent of paying for what's going on in the health care business.

So I do believe there is a sentiment, a willingness to listen and willingness to see what we can work out here. Of course, you know, that'll fall part at one point when everybody finds out where their car happens to be parked.

But we're going to participate in this debate and listen. There are things we all agree to. We have to do wellness. I mean, what's going on with young people in this country is crazy. We have to do I.T. It's the only industry, 60...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Information technology.

DONOHUE: Yes, 16 percent of the economy, and it's the only industry that basically doesn't use it. We have to do things about getting those people covered who are not.

You know, everybody talks about 49 million not covered. A third of them could be covered tomorrow if we took them by the hand and down, signed them into the programs that are available. A third of them can't be covered, and we have to do something about that. So there are many things we can find common ground on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But does that mean, for example, that business is ready to sign on to a requirement to provide health care to all their employees?

DONOHUE: Well, I don't know that that's going to come apart -- around at this time. See, there is a basic issue that's more fundamental, as we look at health care, as we look at CO-2, as we look at what we're doing in labor. We're trying to hold this economy together.

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