'This Week' Transcript: Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.)


Senator Schumer, from your perspective, has any progress been made? Will there be a shutdown in five days?

SCHUMER: Yes. No I don't -- excuse me. I don't think there will be a shutdown, Christiane. In fact, I'm quite optimistic. I think progress is being made. They're working off a number, $33 billion in cuts. That's very reasonable. It's right in between what Democrats have proposed and Republicans have proposed right in the middle. And after all, that was the number proposed originally by the House Republican leaders, Ryan and Rogers, the head of the appropriations committee.

So they're working off that number. That's good. Now we have to figure out what goes into that number. And that's where the discussions are headed.

Let me just say a word about that. We have two goals here. Jeff is right, we have to deal with the deficit very seriously. But we also have to deal with the economy and job growth. And we don't want to snuff that out. And particularly when we're beginning to see jobs grow.

If you just cut from domestic discretionary, you'll have to cut things like helping students go to college, you'll have to cut scientific research, including cancer research. These things have created millions of jobs through the years.

And so the good news is this: There's another place we can look to cut not just on domestic discretionary. It's called mandatory spending. It requires you to do something for somebody, but the way of doing it is not required. We can find cuts in places like agriculture and justice and banking. These are now being called CHIMPS...


SCHUMER: CHIMPS, yes, changes in mandatory program spending.

And we've offered about $10 billion of those to our Republican colleagues. They're not adverse to them, because HR 1 had some of those in. And I believe that's how we can come to an agreement that both keeps job growth and cuts the deficit at about the $33 billion level. And I believe that's where we'll end up.

AMANPOUR: You've raised a number of issues there. Let me first quickly ask Senator Sessions, do you -- we're talking about the job numbers, do you think that's -- that's good news, obviously. The job numbers have increased. The unemployment number has come down, lowest in two years.

SESSIONS: Well, it's really high.

AMANPOUR: It is, but it's come down. That's good.

SESSIONS: Not much.

This was a good month. This was a good month of a little over 200,000. We need to average 250,000 jobs a month. In the last three months we have only averaged 124,000 new jobs. We are well below where we need to be.

One of the reasons, as the testimony of Secretary Geithner, President Obama's Secretary of Treasury, testified that the debt is pulling down our growth and creates a threat of a crisis that could put us back into recession. We have got to make changes now.

AMANPOUR: Can you live with the short-term method here. Can you live with the $33 billion in cuts?

SESSIONS: I really believe we should do 61 total as the House proposed over ten years. That would be a savings of $860 billion.

We have to borrow this money. The House has sent a bill over that reduces what is before us, discretionary spending, CR, is the only thing before us. They proposed 61. The Democrats started at 4 or 5. They've how to been pushed up to halfway. I think we should go all the way.

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