Transcript for Toomey 'Terribly Disappointed' in Supercommittee
Of course the week's big story was the total collapse of the super committee Washington is now once again in crisis mode facing yet another ticking clock. It's enough to need even the most upbeat American authority vexed. And joining me to discuss the way -- -- -- said the committee member Pat Toomey Republican of Pennsylvania. Senator thank you very much for joining us. Morning -- -- I just to prosecute. You know then the ranking Republican on the said the committee -- happening said he really worries for the country and wondered how long. This country has to actually put -- -- back on a sustainable place. Do you think anything is going to happen before the 2012 elections in this for god. I certainly hope so. I'm like I'm terribly disappointed. I think our country would have benefited enormously from a constructive agreement -- by this committee. Of course the silver lining is the one point two trillion dollars in deficit reduction. Which was the goal of the legislation that created our committee will still go into -- fact. I think it's important that some configuration of those cuts in fact happen -- the full amount just configured differently. And I do think that -- we Republicans put a very very reasonable. Plan on the table a proposal that I think would have broader support so I hope that we will be able to advance at least parts of it if not. As a package than sub components. And I'm I'm hopeful we'll make some progress there. You said you -- those automatic cuts will go into effect but the president has said that he doesn't want to. What he will veto any attempt to tinker windows. Do you think kids. Any tinkering will go on -- -- -- -- does he'll be allowed to veto that and it it will be able to be stopped. I thought that his comments were a little more ambiguous than -- I thought he was suggesting that he would veto any attempt to eliminate portions of it. I don't -- call him having a categorical veto threat on any change in the configuration his own Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Said that if the defense cuts go through as contemplated under existing law -- hollow out our nation's defense. I think there's a broad consensus that too much of the cuts are weighted. On our defense capabilities and what really. Really cut in deeply into our ability to defend this nation -- so I think it's important that we change the configuration. I'd be surprised that the president. Would simply -- -- every effort to make it make any changes. And you also said do you think something can be done before the the next elections beyond this these automatic cuts what do you think I mean is that any it. Possibility of more compromises the president has called -- I you know I think cell and I say that because I spoke with a number of democratic senators who were not serving on the a super committee who thought that up. The out the plan that we put forward was very constructive. Was reasonable. Senator Durbin didn't agree with the plan that I put on the table that we Republicans have not put on the table but he did suggest that it was a breakthrough. So I think there's a chance to work with some of the more moderate members of the Democratic Caucus who want to make progress. Who realize how important this is so I'm cautiously optimistic you know in the very end when we were on. Unable to persuade our democratic -- colleagues have a virtually anything we put on the table. 644. Billion dollars of really noncontroversial. Spending cuts and revenue sources things like. User fees and asset sales and even that package they rejected because it didn't have a huge tax increase on. Individual Americans I don't think that view is shared by all of the democratic senators and so I want to work with those who -- More open minded and and really looking for -- constructive opportunity to make a change. And -- scene there was some movement on the whole revenue issue -- the administration -- sources as saying that. What happened you know 300 billion dollars over the next ten years doesn't even -- sort of a no by industry got -- and they quoted regressive. But I do want to ask you this there are two issues that do have to be dealt within -- that are that are expiring. And those the the tax the extending the payroll tax cuts. And the unemployment at insurance which is set to expire at will they be extended -- support that. You know we'll take that out -- and I think probably some package of that with other features might very well pass but let me go back to the tax policy first -- Let's declare the problem that's creating this deficit is not. A revenue problem with this very current tax code that we have now with all its flaws but with current rates as recently as 2007. We had a budget that was virtually balanced a deficit of only one point 2% of GDP what's happened in the meantime is a staggering explosion in spending. Increasing and eligibility for entitlements creation of whole new entitlement programs and that's what's got to change and that's what. I was hoping the super committee could address some long term reforms to bend the curves put us on a sustainable fiscal path. And still have strong economic growth by avoiding some kind of massive tax increase obviously we're unable to get there. Because we come at this from very different perspectives. But but I'm not gonna give up our work on that's all right we'll be watching send to -- thank you very much indeed for joining us.
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