On this week’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing tonight at 9:00PM/ET, Bloomberg TV anchor and Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt interviews Rep. Tom Cole and said on budget talks: “let’s recognize [the president] stepped toward us here, we ought to try to step toward him.” Cole went on to say ”the reality is, you’re going to have to have a deal here. And a deal means everybody gives something up.”
Cole also signed that he backs revenue as part of U.S. budget deal.
See Bloomberg News story here
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Full transcript available upon request.
Rep. Cole on the probability of getting a budget by the December 13th deadline:
“Well, I think the first one is to bridge the difference between the House and the Senate. We’re about $90 billion apart, in terms of discretionary spending. We’ve got the sequester kicking in. We would – I think both sides would like to deal with the sequester. And we’re willing to put more revenue on the table to do that, and we would like to do it with entitlement savings. But there’s also pro-growth revenue. So, number one, find the common number to me and let the Appropriations Committees get to work, get an omnibus”
On whether there is a greater than 50/50 chance:
“I think so. I think so. I really do. Look, I think the worst thing to do would be another long-term continuing resolution. I mean, that’s just a bad way to govern.”
On whether part of the package will include entitlement changes and some added revenue, not tax rates:
“Well, I think that’s possible. Again, it depends on how big a deal the Democrats want to do and whether or not we want to cut – or connect this with a larger tax reform issue, which I think we can and should do.”
On whether you do a number now and then to a bigger tax reform bill later:
“You could. You absolutely could. And, frankly, there’s more than enough”
On whether there are a number of Republicans who disagree with him that say no revenue, no matter what:
“Yeah, there are some that feel that way. But, you know, the reality is, you’re going to have to have a deal here. And a deal means everybody gives something up. Now, again, we’re much more into what I’d call pro-growth revenue. And I could give you, you know, a number of examples of what that would be, an amount, although a lot of that would be specified – would have to be worked out between- ”
On whether it would also involve curbing some loopholes:
“It could. It depends on what they are. So I think there are some things out there… Again, repatriation of stranded profits overseas. In a 10-year period, that’s about $200 billion. Accelerated oil and gas exploration on federal lands and offshore, that generates money. You could have one-time things like timber sales, things like that. Not big money, but it’s some.”
On whether he would curb carried interest loopholes:
“I think that’s certainly – this is my personal view, it’s not speaking for anybody else – that ought to be something on the table…So those kinds of things are reasonable. But I actually think long term the entitlement reform area, where we actually have some overlap with the president’s budget – the president’s been for chained CPI. So has the Ryan budget. The president’s been for modified means testing for Medicare. So has the Ryan budget. The president’s laid out some Medicare savings. And to me, getting a handle on the entitlement side long term for budget stability is the most important.”
On where he would go further on entitlement than the president has proposed:
“Oh, we’d go a lot further. Well, let’s just start, if we wanted to follow the Ryan plan and do what we did with welfare years ago and change Medicaid into a state-run system, guaranteeing them a pot of money.”
On whether the president’s proposal is a good starting point for entitlements:
“I think they are a good starting point, and the first time he’s put on the table. You know, he did not do that his first four years, so I give him a lot of credit. And he caught a lot of flak from his left wing. So that tells me – and I tell my Republican friends, look, look how much outrage he got from some of his core constituents. So let’s recognize he stepped toward us here, we ought to try to step toward him.
On whether Republicans will insist again to curb some of Obamacare or face another shutdown if a deal is not made before the January deadline:
“I don’t think so, although, again, I think there are areas where the two sides can come together, medical device tax and maybe looking at whether or not a 30- versus a 40-hour week makes – there are some things within. And people forget, we’ve done that. You know, when people talk about we voted 41 times to repeal, delay, they forget, seven of those became law, and they – that means the Democratic Senate and the president”
On whether Congress could curb some Obamacare stuff that the democrats would sign off on, like medical device tax:
Absolutely, and I know it saves money – they saved about $62 billion collectively over a 10-year period. So there are some things like that. And I think that’s well within the bounds of what the president is suggesting he’s open to.
On whether Congress can negotiate:
“Look, I think that’s the only way divided government ever works. And now, the fallback Republican position is, if we can’t find agreement, you know, the law’s pretty clear. Sequester cuts hit, and we’re operating in a continuing resolution at $967 billion or whatever the.”
On whether he would love to replace most of the sequester, particularly defense:
“I would – I would – I don’t know if it needs – but quite a bit of, yeah. And I think that would be a negotiation. Again, we’re $90 billion apart. I doubt we’ll end up in the Republican number or the Democratic number if we have a deal, but if we can’t come to a deal, the law specifies sequester numbers. And I don’t think that’s where the president wants to be. That’s not where we want to be.”
“But if we’re pushed, if it’s – you’ve got to raise tax rates or something, then, you know, it’s pretty easy for Republicans to hold that lower number. They demonstrated from January to March, when the president tried to break them on sequester, that they weren’t going to break.”
On recent dismal polls where American’s blame Republicans for the shutdown:
“The only good number in there is it’s a 2013 poll, it’s not 2014. A lot can happen