Van Hollen on MSNBC: ‘Senator Reid’s proposal is the right answer’
Jul 27, 2011 -
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, today appeared on MSNBC to discuss the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. Video of the interview is available here and the transcript is below.
MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC: We are joined by Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Good afternoon, sir.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Good afternoon, Martin.
BASHIR: I wanted to get to Senator Reid’s plan in a moment, but first, what was your reaction to Mr. Walsh’s considered contribution to this debate? He’s not even going to vote for Speaker Boehner’s plan.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, you see the exactly the dilemma we are facing, which is we have this core of hard right Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives who don’t think it is a problem if the United States doesn’t pay its bills. I mean, every American family has to pay their mortgage. They have to make their car payment. They can’t get up one day and say, “I’m not making those payments anymore”, but that is what they are proposing but the single exception is they say that we will pay China and we will pay our bondholders, but it’s okay not to pay the troops, not the pay Social Security, anything that is not in the form of a Treasury bond obligation, they are willing to write off, and say, “You are on your own.” We think that is reckless and we also think that it in itself will jack up interest rates and cost Americans much more through their purchases of all of the goods and services throughout the economy when you have interest rates going up.
BASHIR: Mr. Van Hollen, we understand that the White House has issued the threat of a veto. The President said last night in his televised statement that he believes he can reach a compromise, but where on Earth do we go from here?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, the reason the President made the statement, and this is important, is we should not be playing Russian roulette with the economy every six months. Speaker Boehner’s proposal would put us in exactly the same fix six months from now that we are in today. Why you would want to keep that economic instability and uncertainty going, is beyond me. We deserve better. Now, where do we go from here? I do believe that Senator Reid’s proposal is the right answer. It goes a long way towards meeting the criteria that our Republican colleagues have laid out. You talk about moving the goalpost. This has met all of the criteria they put out and now all of a sudden they say, “Well we can’t afford – we don’t want to accept Senator Reid’s plan because he uses the savings from winding down the U.S. presence overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq,” which the Republicans did in their own budget presentation here in the House.
BASHIR: It’s as confusing as you say, and we are still waiting to see how this matter will be resolved. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, thanks so much for joining us.
VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you.