tv Senator Mc Connell on Closing Guantanamo CSPAN February 28, 2016 1:50pm-1:56pm EST
i mean, how will joe voter know what exactly the conservative agenda that you guys have? mr. scalise: there's no misconceptions that the house is going to drive the agenda for the presidential election. i do think the house can actually help lay out some of these issues so our presidential candidates can comment on them and they should be asked to comment. if we come up with an alternative to obamacare in the form of an actual piece of legislation. look, when i was rnc chairman, i led a task force to write an alternative. we came up with a bill called the american health care reform act. less than 200 pages. actual legislative text. and half of our conference signed on as co-sponsors to that bill. you can look at a piece of legislation and if you like it, endorse it. if you have maybe a change this part, i'd change tax deductions to tax credits. let's have our candidates for president be commenting on and taking positions on those pieces of legislation. so that in an off year, congress can have a contract with america type document where we lay out the vision, but let's make no
mistake. our presidential nominee is going to be laying out that vision. that's going to be the job of our presidential nominee. we just want to put a lot of those good ideas on the table now so they're not fighting amongst themselves over who may be the better person or who has the worst idea on this or that, let's lay out good ideas that we can coalesce around and hopefully our nominee will be able to turn and say, ok, i want toa really good idea about how to get the economy back on track and how to stop all these radical federal agencies from being able to write rules and in essence laws without any public input. we're going to have really good ideas that we've already brought to the house floor, to address those real problems and hopefully our presidential nominee then says, i'm going to embrace that idea or tweak it a little bit and this is what i will do as president of the united states. and then let hillary clinton have her own approach. at least we can have a debate about good ideas between our presidential nominee and theirs over how to get the country moving again.
questioner: long time civil servant with both legislative and executive branch. today i'm jane voter in terms of this question. it seems that since 1977, congress has only passed appropriations four times without continuing resolutions. so the situation seems neither new nor unexpected, just sort of increasingly more worse, increasingly more severe. i wonder, in terms of if really there's an interest in saving money or sort of how government functions, has there been any thinking or studies on the impact of what running on continual continuing resolutions, omnibuses, no budgets, threat of shutdown does? i'm thinking planning, wasting. if you tried to tell a company that they were not guaranteed with their budget, that they had no idea how much money they were going to get and you a all of a sudden they had to spend it, not to mention all the time that's wasted in government and employee time, you'd probably come up with some pretty significant figures. so it seems that it can't be laid at this president or this
party. i think since 1990 there's been really no party that's put forward a budget that's balanced. so a lot of that -- mr. scalise: the republicans have. the last time a republican house has balanced a federal budget was in 2002. the last time a democrat house passed a balanced budget was in 1969. when man walked on the moon. so -- but to get to your question. it really is an important point. these showdowns and these crises, it hurts our country. it hurts our economy. it's not just making washington look dysfunctional. it actually hurts the ability for the federal government to be more effective and efficient with tax dollars. look at the department of defense. if you have a continuing resolution instead of an actual d.o.d. appropriations bill signed into law, then they can actually do planning. you know, companies plan years in advance. a government agency should actually be laying out plans as well about how to best use taxpayer dollars. but if they don't know what their budget's going to look like until literally the day
before it's about to take effect, it's real hard for them to do planning and a lot of times what they do is suspend contracts and then they have to start that contract back up again, even though they know that ultimately something's going to get worked out. they can't do long-term planning. and it costs even more money. to do the same thing, so it does lead to a less efficient government, to not have a functioning appropriations process. it's why we want passionately for this to move forward. again, i'd like to see the president leading this charge. he should be the one leading this charge to say, let's come together and move appropriations bills. last year when we were passing bills out of the house, to do this, months in advance of the deadline, the president was sitting on the sideline. he never once said, harry reid, who was his senate leader, on the democratic side when harry's blocking every bill, he never once said, harry reid, take the bill up and y'all debate your differences. that's what congress is supposed to do. he sat on the sidelines and almost encouraged it. so you had this dysfunction get even worse. so i agree. it hasn't happened in a long time. it should happen every year.
when we passed a balanced budget last year that we got an agreement with the senate on, it was the first time since 2002 that congress had come to that kind of agreement. it shouldn't take 13 years for congress to agree on how to balance a federal budget. questioner: obama has not been president since 1977, so maybe there is a time of introspection for congress to kind of look at what their role is. mr. scalise: right. our role should be to do that job and ultimately it takes two sides to do it. when the senate refuses to take up even one bill, when we pass six bills over to them and they made it very clear, we're not taking up any of them, that's irresponsible. somebody should have called out the people that were voting not even to take up a bill. the senate's supposed to be the most deliberative body in the history of the world. that's the way it was created. they turned the 60-vote requirement into a way to be the least deliberative body in the world. that's an abuse of their responsibilities. be nice to see the president chime in on this. but hopefully both of our presidential candidates, republican and democrat, will