Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Raul Labrador on 'This Week'

Two House members on whether Congress can avoid the fiscal cliff.
7:29 | 12/30/12

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Transcript for Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Raul Labrador on 'This Week'
let's turn now to the house. We're joined by democratic representative chris van hollen of maryland and republican representative raul labrador of idaho. So you just heard it from your senate counterparts. They appear to be close to a deal, a mini deal. Will it fly in the house? Well, the house is a real problem because as we know, speaker boehner, the republican speaker in the house, was unable to get his members to support his own plan, which said that we should ask people earning more than $1 million a year to pay a little bit more, and so speaker boehner is going to have to decide that he's going to allow the house finally to vote on a deal, whatever may come out of the senate rather than -- rather than play republican caucus politics in the house. But I guess the question you can answer is the democrats. Based -- the deal we're talking about now, which would not address the debt ceiling, which would extend tax cuts to whatever income level they agree to and do a couple of other things like extend unemployment benefits, would democrats en masse vote to support that in the house? Well, jon, I think you know and we'll probably say the same thing on this, until we exactly what the senate is proposing, the senate couldn't tell us the details, it's impossible to know. It depends on the deal. All I know is democrats in the house are very determined to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, but we want to make sure that any agreement asks folks at the very high income levels to pay a little bit more to reduce our deficit, because if you don't ask them to pay a little bit more, everybody else gets hit that much harder. It's kind of funny to sit here and listen to chris and say that it's the republicans in the house who are the problem. If you look at the budget that chris proposed two years ago, which was the alternative to the paul ryan budget, it only asked for tax increases from people making over a million dollars. There were only about 50 of us in the house who said that we were not going to vote for john boehner's deal last week. All they needed was 50 democrats to vote for the deal, and it would have passed last week but, no, he spent the entire day, the entire day of the deal, on the house floor attacking everything that john boehner was going to do. When john boehner actually tried to meet them halfway and now he comes here on national tv and he says that it's the republicans -- a little fact checking. Raul, you got to get your facts right. The budget we brought and did have an alternative budget that got an overwhelming democratic vote did not say we're only going to raise taxes on people over a million dollars. It actually supported the president's proposals so you got to check your facts. What we're asking for in the house is the same thing the republicans got in the senate. An up-or-down vote on their proposal. Raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year. That's right, but, jon, what we're saying is you don't have to agree with us, just allow a vote in the house. The republicans got a vote in the senate on their proposal. But let me ask you, though, because nancy pelosi, your leader in the house, had proposed the million dollar threshold. Exactly. Let's take a look at exactly what she said. I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth. This is nancy pelosi from march of this year. Go ahead. I says let's begin by getting rid of tax cuts for people making over a million dollars a year. I'm not even saying 250. I know. The president is saying 250. I'm saying a million and above. Who can argue with that? So who can argue with that? Well, the question was whether -- only the democrats -- the issue is who could argue with over a million dollars and obviously in the house, the republicans didn't even agree with their own speaker on a million dollars. Look, the president, as we all know, as part of a larger agreement has said 400,000 should be the threshold as part of a larger agreement. The issue is the balance between the cuts and the revenue and what we have called for is balance. Republicans in the house have refused even one penny so far from people earning more than a million dollars. Which is your position -- so let me ask you, as I recall, when boehner proposed this -- a million dollars and above your answer was not just no but hell no. Absolutely. Given what they're talking about here will certainly raise taxes on people making less than a million, are you going to be hell no again? If it raises taxes and doesn't cut any spending, which is what they're proposing, i think I would be -- I would be a no but you have to look at what's happening. The president first proposed two -- about a year and a half ago he proposed $800 billion and I love washington math. He proposed increases in revenues of $800 billion. En he goes to $1.2 billion. Now after the electihe's going to $1.6 billion. He goes back that -- raul has to get his facts straight. The president's proposal -- they are the facts. -- Well over a year ago. If you read bob woodward's book, it was $800 billion. Look at the president's budget. Look at the president's proposal to congress, september 2011, just take a look. It's on the internet. 1.6 trillion in revenue. Right, but -- the president then -- that's what he proposed, raul, and then -- how many votes did that budget get? Actually it got overwhelming support in the house despite the talking point you guys used. How many -- well, based on the republicans' plan got an overwhelming democratic vote -- it failed. The republicans have failed, as well. But I want to ask, republicans seem to be incredibly divided on this issue of taxes. You wouldn't even support your leader. You wouldn't even support speaker boehner, a relatively modest increase of those making over a million dollars. Charles krauthammer said tha this is -- republicans are basically completely divided on this. Here's what he said. "President obama's been using this, and I must say with great skill and ruthless skill and success, to fracture and basically shatter the republican opposition. His objective from the very beginning was to break the will ublicans in the house and to create an internal civil war, and he has done that." Is that what we are seeing here? Absolutely. A civil war -- I agree with charles. This has been what the democrats wanted to do from day one. They have tried to divide the republicans. They have tried to get us to fight against each other on taxes when I'm not really sure that they don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. You're going to have howard dean here a little bit later. He agrees with many democrats that what they need is actually more revenue. They want to expand the growth of government. They need more revenues, you know, democrats are like bank robbers. You don't have the money and the 2% -- the money isn't in the -- they want to raise taxes on everyone. You're unwilling to compromise at all. I'm willing to compromise if we have real cuts. If we have real cuts because what happens in washington is that we talk about raising taxes today then we talk about cuts ten years from now. It happened under the reagan. It happened under bush and it's what's going to happen to us once again. Jon, look, the proposal we put on the table, $1.2 trillion in cuts to include the interest savings and $1.2 trillion in revenue. They can't get that kind of balance package through a very right wing caucus in the house of representatives. The speaker is going to have -- we'll see about a smaller deal. Congressman van hollen, thank you for joining us -- just remember -- congressman labrador -- the vote is 3-1 and now it's 1-1. Thank you very much. We do have a raucous debate when it comes to the house, all right.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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