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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  January 3, 2011 3:00am-4:00am PDT

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace. this is "fox news sunday." ringing in 2011 with a new-look congress. with republicans in charge of the house, how much will they shake up washington? we'll ask two new committee chairmen. darrell issa who will have broad powers to investigate the white house. and fred upton who will dig in to healthcare reform and energy policy. then, what effect will the new tea party backed members of congress have on capitol hill? we'll talk with two of them. incoming senator mike lee of utah and congressman allen west of florida.
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plus, has the obama administration figured out how to go around land impoese nn us? our sunday panel will have a fair and balanced debate. and a remarkable story of courage from our power player of the week. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again. and happy new year from fox news in washington. all eyes will be on house republicans this week when they take control from democrats. from investigating the white house to looking for ways to undo obamacare, our guests will be key players. congressman darrell issa who will chair the house oversight and government reform committee and congressman fred upton to chair the energy and commerce committee. >> happy new year to you. >> chris: you wrote an article where the headline was with the reclaiming the
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right to oversight." you said the new majority in congress has its work to undo the havoc done in the one party democratic reign. let me start with you, republicans don't have control of the senate or the white house, so how much can you do to undo and block the obama agenda? >> we can do a lot. i was glad to see the president talk in the radio address about jobs in the economy, reducing the size of government and reducing the deficit. we're going to try to help them do that job. we'll have an aggressive oversight sub committee in my committee and darrell will do the same with his full committee. we're going to work together and look to identify programs that don't work, programs that ought to be cut. working with our leadership, boehner and cantor to bring up spending reductions every week as we've done without success. this last year to really get the job done. >> congressman issa, white house officials have already
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said they're going to hire more lawyers to deal with all the oversight investigations; particularly, coming from your committee. are they going to need them? >> more accountants. the fact is in the 1980s, congress did about 1,600 days of oversight. that's a lot more than my committee alone could ever do. last year we did less than 400. far less. that's with you being able to call an oversight, whether it is or it isn't. looking for the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste, office of management and budget, the president office of management and budget uses $125 billion of misspending by medicare and yet year after year it doesn't change. that's 10% of the deficit that would go away if we stop paying to people who don't exist their claims. there is so much opportunity. but it's more of an accounting function than legal function. more about the inspector generals than lawyers in the white house. the sooner the administration
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figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party. the better off we'll be. >> chris: congressman upton, i want to ask you about two big issues that your committee is going to be looking at. energy and commerce. first, healthcare reform. for all the talk about repeal, as long as barack obama is president, can you really block the law? can you really stop what is going to happen between now and 2012? or are you basically going to be holding hearings to point out problems? >> chris, watch what happens. as part of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal healthcare early. that will happen before the president's "state of the union" address. we have 242 republicans, there will be a significant number of democrats, i think that will join us. you will remember when that vote passed in the house. last march. it only passed by seven votes. >> you're not going to repeal it. >> the house is not going to happen in the senate. >> just wait. if you switched four votes
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from last march, that bill would have gone down. so we'll take the democrats that voted no, other democrats who probably agree with speaker pelosi's statement. remember when she said we want to pass this thing because then we'll learn what's in it? now the american public does know what is in it. unpopularity numbers are as high as 60% across the country. i don't think we're going to be that far off from having the votes to actually override veto. remember president clinton? it took him three times before he signed welfare reform. if we pass this bill with a sizable vote, and i think that we will, it will put enormous pressure on the senate to do perhaps the same thing, but then, after that, we're going to go after this bill piece by piece. we'll look at the 1099 issue. dave camps' committee ways and means. look at the $600 1099 that has to be processed, every business transaction. we'll look at the individual
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mandate requirement and all of those as individual pieces. we'll take up early the stupak language no funds shall be spent on abortion as a separate bill early on. we will look at the individual pieces to see if we can't have it crumble. >> chris: another big issue your committee will take up is the e.p.a., which starting today is imposing new regulations on some industrial facilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. in the "wall street journal" this week, you co-wrote an article in which you said this -- this move represents an unconstitutional power grab. this is the e.p.a. regulation. this move represents an unconstitutional power grab to kill millions of jobs unless congress steps in. specifically, what are you going to do about e.p.a. and greenhouse gases? >> we are not going to let the administration regulate what they've been unable to legislate. this is a bill that passed the house and never got through the senate. the clean air act passed in the '90s does require that
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the administration in my regulation has to look at the impact on jobs in the economy. we knew that through cap and trade, we would see at least in the midwest energy prices increase by 20% almost overnight. >> chris: you are saying regulation -- >> a couple things we can do. we'll have early hearings on this and see what their analysis is on the impact on jobs. there's also something called the congressional review act, that within 60 days of rules being published, congress can take this up. and with an up-or-down vote, filibuster proof in the senate. it's been used before. >> chris: it can be vetoed by the president. >> it can be vetoed by the president but already we've seen a number of powerful democrats indicate that they have real, real qualms about what the e.p.a. is intending to do. >> chris: i want to follow up quickly with this on you and then i want to bring in congressman issa on the question of e.p.a. in the article you cowrote with head of americans for prosperity, a group financed
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in part by oil companies, you say this -- "this presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. we are not convinced." but we checked, congressman, on your congressional website and you say on the website, "i strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions. climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions." question: is carbon a problem or isn't it? and if it is, if you're going to kill the e.p.a. regulation, what is your solution? >> before the end of the next decade the country will need 30-40% more electricity than we use today. we need all of the above strategy. we need clean coal and natural gas, nuclear. something that has not happened. we need a whole host of things. >> chris: do we need to regulate carbon? >> i don't think we have to regulate carbon to the degree we have a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. the house spoke loudly, you take the same cap and trade
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bill that pass the house last year and today it would lose by 50 votes and it could never come up in the senate. this regulation process is not the way to proceed. >> chris: congressman issa, you have been very patient. i'll bring you in. you're chairman -- going to be chairman in a couple of days. >> i'm being patient for two days. >> chris: right. house oversight committee and you decided what will be your first hearing. i want to ask about one of them. regulatory impediments to job creation. given the fact that the white house made it clear it will do much more this year to govern through legislation not through regulation, with house in republican hands, are you going to be a constant battle with the white house? >> we'll be in constant battle over jobs and the economy. my father was an air force pilot and if there was a problem that stopped him from doing something he said another rock in my knapsack. every bit of weight you put
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on is a distance you don't go. you wouldn't want to be bomber pilot over english channel and find out you have too many rocks not enough fuel. we have $1.7 trillion in regulatory costs already in the government. if the president wants to throw another $300-$400 billion, he's taking it out of businesses and employment and competitiveness. we need to make sure we compete. people talk about china. we need to compete against brazil and europe. the countries are doing regulatory reform to reduce the amount of rocks in the knapsack. we need to do the same thing. >> chris: other than holding hearings, what are you going to be able to do? >> my committee is the committee primarily of efficiency and regulatory, some oversight. fred's and some of the other committees specifically get into the laws. yes, mostly what we're going to do is shed light on it. but at the same time, as you shed light you build the american people's demand we realize that the president took two years to say i found out nothing was shovel-ready.
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you know why nothing is shovel-ready? the bureaucracy slows down the road programs and the other things that the president said were so important. we need to make it to where when we do a w.p.a. type of project, a project about road building or buildings with the government expense that they can happen in six months or a year, not ten. >> chris: over the last two years, you have repeatedly criticized theous tis department over -- criticized the justice department over not investigating acorn, for scaling back a voter intimidation case against the mu black panther party and failure to go after wikileaks. question: what do you think of attorney general holder? >> i think he's guilty of all of those things. he isn't doing enough. he didn't do anything about acorn. we're going to continue to make sure we don't have that waste in government. he didn't do anything effectively about the new black panthers. chairman lamar smith as a civil rights issue will take it on. >> chris: judiciary committee. >> the judiciary committee. when it comes to wikileaks, at the end of the last congress we couldn't get a whistleblower bill passed
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because ultimately the next whistleblower bill has to deal with wikileaks and the loss of the classified documents in a mature, bipartisan way. we're going to do that off the bat. because the kind of transparency we need is not to have somebody outing what is said by diplomats in private. we need to change that. that's going to be a big part of our committee's oversight is to get that rights so the diplomats can do the job with confidence. and people can talk to our government with confidence. >> chris: when you say attorney general holder is guilty of all of those failures, should he step down? >> i think he needs to realize that for example, wikileaks, if the president says i can't deal with this guy as a terrorist, then he has to deal with him as a criminal, otherwise the world is laughing at this paper tiger we've become. so he's hurting this administration. if you are hurting the administration, either stop hurting the administration, or leave. >> chris: we've got a couple of minutes left. i want to ask you both the same question. the tea partiers -- and we're
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going to talk to two of them in a moment who were elected -- with not very happy -- and i'm going to talk to both of you as members of the republican establishment. they said you made too many deals collectively in the lame duck session, you added trillion dollar of debt, voted new money, billions of dollars for first responders, you reinstated the estate tax. there are no tea partiers in the house republican leadership. question -- i'll ask you first and then you -- did you get the message or did you fail to get the message that the voters sent in november? >> i think the big message was we need to cut spending. and you're going to see that happen. a year from now -- >> chris: added $1 trillion to the debt. >> no one wanted increased taxes and that would have been the a terntive had it not -- alternative had it not happened. we'll cut the size of government and cut deficit on the spending size, not by raising taxes. a year from now i think you will see that evidence of what we do in the house, for sure. >> chris: congressman issa?
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>> well, as somebody who will pay the estate tax, trust me, i think it's inherently immoral and wrong and i share it with the tea tear for -- there is no question that the reduction in 35% is nowhere close where it should be. it will kill small businesses. warren buffett always talk about how he can afford. he's a public company. small private businesses are killed by the death tax every day because they can't afford to finance that amount of money. >> chris: quickly, do you think the tea party will be good for the g.o.p. in the house? >> i think fiscal conservative, all the fiscal conservatives coming in at one time and coming in to a group like ourselves who really want that aid and help, giving us a majority of the majority that cares about reducing waste, and reducing spending, it's great. >> chris: congressman issa, congressman upton, thank you both so much for coming in on this holiday weekend. and we're going to be following all the action in
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the house this year. >> we look forward to it. >> chris: you'll be busy. thank you. up next, how will tea party candidates govern as new members of congress? we'll talk with two of them when we come right back. [ male announcer how can rice production in india affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing.
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>> chris: one of the most interesting developments here in washington in the new year will be the impact of those tea party outsiders who have now been elected to congress.
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will they change the capitol ol change them? for answers we turn to new senator mike lee who joins us from his home state of utah, and new florida congressman allen west who is with us in washington. gentlemen, welcome to "fox news sunday." >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. >> chris: i want to ask you bothi.'s been two months since you were elected to congress, you've made several trips to washington, and got to meet with the colleagues, leadership in the house and senate. is it even worse than you thought it was? are the problems even bigger? congressman west, why don't you start. >> i think the problems are big but i don't think they're insurmountable. if we get back to basic fundamental principles we can resolve the issues. that's what the tea party is all about. getting back to a constitutional conservative government. and that is limited, but it's also effective and efficient. that's what we'll be able to do. >> chris: senator lee, your thoughts about last two months. is washington even more broken than you thought it was from the outside?
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>> i wouldn't say it's more broken. it is what it is. voters announced in droves in november of 2010 that the federal government is too big and too expensive. they proclaim what they don't want from the federal government which is more debt heaped on the back of the future generations. they want strong national defense, controlling the border and balancing its budget. >> chris: one of the things i think we're all waiting to see is how you tea party members deal with washington. and particularly with your own party, with the g.o.p. establishment here in washington. congressman west, you have already written a letter to house majority leader cantor when you found out how many days the house was going to be taking off in the new year and complaining about that. saying we have a lot of work to do. we need to be working harder. congressman cantor's spokesman said more days in washington mean a bigger government. are you convinced? >> i think that's a
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disconcerting statement for me, because if they believe that the more time we're spending up here working toward what is best for the american people is a bad thing. then, you know, what is our purpose to being here? our purpose is to be up here to resolve the issues and the purpose is to represent the people. we have to work harder starting off especially in the first three or four months than the schedule showed. that's something i had to bring up. i think it's important that, you know, even though i'm new up here and a freshman, if i see something that i feel is not correct, my responsibility is to bring that up as an issue. >> chris: senator lee, when you see -- i was just talking about this with the new chairmen, when you see republicans making deals in the lame duck session, yes, extented the bush tax cut but it added trillion dollars to the debt, and billions for the first responders, did washington and did the republican establishment get the message that you say
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voters were sending in the mid-term elections? >> well, it certainly is disturbing that we have to add an additional trillion dollars to our debt in order to preserve tax cuts without which our economy couldn't survive right now. this showcases the need for a balanced budget amendment. congress long abused the authority to incur debt in the name of the united states. we need to restrict that through adopting a balanced budget amendment. that needs to take place this very year. we can get it done in 2011. i intend to push for it. >> chris: are you willing as congressman west says he is, are you willing to confront the g.o.p. establishment, the leadership of your party in the senate where you think they're wrong? >> well, certainly. that's what elections are about. that's why we have senators and members of congress from every state and why we have elections. the people speak and there are different viewpoints out
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there. it doesn't mean just because we're members of one party doesn't mean we behey monolithicly. we express our view points and i intend to do that. >> chris: i want the to you about your agenda. congressman west, you got attention when you made a speech last year -- now that it's 2011 -- it was 2009 which was viewed 2 million times on youtube. take a look. >> meet in places and we need to start talking about restoring our liberty and fighting against a tyrannical government. it starts right here. it starts right now. each one of you gathered here today. >> chris: then in november you said your focus -- here is the quote -- "that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left wing vile, vicious, despicable machine that is out there is soundly brought to its knees." "tyrannical, socialist, despicable," is it really as bad as that? >> i think it is.
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when you look at the things that happen in our country and the nationalization of so much of our production. being the automobile industry, healthcare industry, the fact that we had an amendment in the healthcare law, said the federal government will take over education. if you look at the fact we're creating more victims and making people dependent on the government, i would not have agreed extenting unemployment benefits with 13 months. if we extent the unemployment benefits, take it through the winter time. we need the viable conditions to be set so we have private sector job growth in this country. when you look at the incredible debt, and the deficit that occurred over the last two fiscal years, we're going in the wrong direction. this liberal progressive agenda is not the thing that the american people want and it's antithesis to who we are as constitutional republic. >> chris: let me ask you, following up on that. you'll have a decision to make as an individual member of the house voting on the debt limit, probably as early as late february, early march, continuing resolution, certainly by early march. are you prepared, backing up
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the principles, backing up the rhetoric, are you prepared to see government shutdown or default in the obligation if it doesn't get its house order? >> first, i don't think we'll have a government shut-down. i would vote to have the continuing resolution, but when you talk about raising the exet limit, the only -- raising the debt limit, the control on the federal is government. capping the spending, how do we deal with medicare problems? i'm not going to write a blank check unless we say we'll do these things to make ourselves responsible. senator lee talked about balanced budget amendment. it's in the a blank check from allen west. we have to be responsible here before we continue with business as usual. >> chris: are you saying that you would vote against the debt limit, raising the debt limit if you don't get the things you're talking about and let the country default on the obligations? >> i don't think the country default on the obligations. i think we will be able to meet our obligations but i
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think the american people are look for us to make a principle stand and say we are going to do something to get this economic situation, fiscal responsibility under control. if we say we'll raise the debt limit, that doesn't send the right message. >> chris: senator lee, you don't use congressman west's rhetoric but you talk about going back to the budget of 2004. at least as a goal. are you prepared to tell americans that it's not just a matter of waste and fraud, that they are going to have to sacrifice, do without some program that do some good because we can't afford them anymore? >> sure. look, americans are already doing that. they're doing that already in their homes and families and their businesses. state and local governments are doing that. the federal government shouldn't be exempt from everything that other americans have to do. at every level of our society. it's time to once and for all we stop perpetually spending money we don't have. and sending the bill to unborn generations of americans. >> chris: you both, even in the short time since the
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election have run in to some criticism for your choices of chiefs of staff. i want to ask you about that. starting with you, senator lee. you have chosen an energy lobbyist as your chief of staff. is that the right person to drain the swatch in washington? incidentally, that's not the right person. but are you -- is that the right person to drain the swamp in washington, energy lobbyist? >> i've hired the brightest political mind, political consultant and lobbyist in utah. manning spencer stokes. he is a brilliant man and he understands utah politics and he understands washington politics and i need a man like that to help me in washington. [ overtalk >> chris: you're not scared off by the fact he's a lobbyist? >> no. he's a lobbyist and a political consultant and i'm not scared off by that. he and i share a common vision, which is more constitutionally limited federal government. he's willing to fight with me to achieve that objective.
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that's exactly the kind of person we need in washington, d.c. right now. someone who has that goal in mind. >> chris: congressman west, you chose and we can now put the picture up on the screen, a radio talk show host, joyce kauffman, as your chief of staff. when it came out that she called nancy pelosi "garbage" and told a tea party rally "if balance don't work, bullets will." what did you learn from that experience? >> that was an attack from the left against joyce kauffman and there are other issues with that, but they didn't play the full clip of her speech when she gave that, i think it was the 4th of july. again, it was the editing sound bite. i didn't learn anything. you adjust and go on. joyce coughman was instrumental and helpful person in our campaign and she interviewed my current chief of staff because she knows it's a good match. >> chris: less than a minute less. congressman west, you say you are going to join the congressional black caucus, which has not had a
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republican member since the 1990s. what do you hope to add to the conversation and the c.b.c.? >> people talk about bipartisanship and i want to bring in that discourse. there are different voices from the black community. you had 42 blacks that ran on the republican ticket this cycle and 14 made it to the general election and two of us made it to the house of representatives. i think there is a new movement that needs to have a voice in the congressional caucus. >> chris: thank you both for coming in today. we have can't wait to see how you both do in washington. please come back. >> happy new year. >> chris: thank you. >> thank you. >> chris: up next, if the white house can't get a law it wants through congress, it may now turn to regulation. we'll ask our sunday group how that will work.
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you worry that the administration is using its
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rule-making authority to do things that the congress didn't necessarily intend or didn't come together and build a consensus and actually pass. >> chris: that's republican congressman jayson chavitz of utah responding to white house plans to go around the new g.o.p. majority in the house and g.o.p. more through regulations. time now for the sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of "the weekly standard." and michael duffy from "time" magazine. happy new year to all of you. >> happy new year to you. >> chris: let's start with healthcare reform. section 1233 of the obamacare law would have mandated government payments for end-of-life counseling. that was dropped out in all the furor over the death panels, but now we find out that the obama administration intends to -- in fact, promulgated hhs medicare regulation to do the same thing through regulation they didn't do in the law. anything wrong with that,
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brit? >> sometimes you can do that, but not very often and not to a great extent. the problem of doing things by regulation is if congress has not authorized it, the agency, whatever it is to do it, it's subject to court challenge. and may be barred. so, if it were easy to do a great deal and put in place a sweeping agenda of any kind by regulation, the president wouldn't have spent the last two years going to congress to try to get all these things of things done. if you look at the rules that have been put in place with the federal communications commission under the name of internet neutrality. it appears that the court of appeals here in the district of columbia, which has authority over the s.e.c., has indicated in an earlier case that it doesn't, that the s.e.c. lacks the authority to do that. it remains to be seen how far it can go. there will be some sparring over it but not that much to
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be done by regulation. >> chris: in this case, your thoughts about the end-of-life counseling as part of paid for in meetings between doctors and patients, voluntary, as a regulation when they dropped it out of the obamacare law. >> this is a myth over obamacare, the famous death panels that the conservatives called the "death panels." the "wall street journal" thinks they're imminently sensible and most people want to plan for end-of-life than having a bureaucrat or doctor do it for them. that's all this is. if there will be hearings on this, it might end up with a different conclusion about what the panels are. >> chris: let's go to the substance of this before we get to the regulation question, bill. there is, i suspect, number
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of us have living wills, do not resuscitate. and the wraurm said the problem wasn't the policy but the process of forced to drop something out of the law and doing this through regulation. but i read something yesterday that state arizona and indiana are already in their state medicaid, beginning to ration care and saying you know what we're just not going to pay for transplants or extraordinary measures because we can't afford to do it. in that sense, there is rationing going on, a lot more serious than the end of life counseling. >> the more government takes over healthcare, the more rationing there will be and the government will tell you if you have to have a living will or discuss it with the doctor every year or five years. that is an argument over obamacare. the point of the regulation, it's buried in a thousand of pages of regulation. do we want people at h.h.s. writing 10,000 pages of regulation based on a complex obamacare bill or a system that people work it out with
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their doctors? a good issue for republicans to have the oversight on. among other issues that they should look at what the obama administration is doing. >> we can do advanced care planning on this regulation today. and predict that congress will pull the plug on it, even if it does make sense, because it's politically loser for both sides, for the republicans to do so. and it sets the stage for what it will be, years long. several years long. five years, maybe, war of attrition between the people for healthcare reform -- >> chris: that's a plug -- >> it will defund that aspect of medicare. they'll say you can't spend the medicare money. you can't spend the medicare money on this advisory planning. they have done it before and they can do it again. it suspect they will, as i say, yank the cord on that one. >> chris: mara, i want you to pick up on brit, because the general question of the obama administration thinking they can do a lot through regulation, that now that they can't get things through a republican house, are you
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as pessimistic as he is about the ability of the obama administration to get things done through that? >> there are a lot of tools at the disposal of a president that don't need congressional approval. however, if you get more done, more substantive profound things done through legislation. i think the trick right now you are hearing republicans in a big chorus saying the obama administration will do an end run around congress and do the stuff by regulation. maybe, maybe not. the cautionary tale for both sides in this is that the country wants the president and the congress focussed on jobs and the economy. any regulation the president promulgates that isn't focussed on that is a rift for him and the same is true for congress. if the congress will spend its hole time hauling up regulators and bureaucrats and looking like they're focussing on the tiny trivial
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things instead of jobs and the economy, that could be a problem. >> chris: have you thought about that? >> the country singled in this election that obviously it didn't like the -- signalled in the election it didn't like the condition of the economy. it signalled that two years ago as well. it also signalled that it doesn't think we're overtaxed and it doesn't think we're underregulated. this republican congress following through on those issues spending and regulation is not going to be in trouble with the american people because of the economy. a lot of people believe, great many people believe that regulation is hindering economic growth. you see that particularly with regard to the banking sector, where the regulatory crackdown has occurred there proved a hindrance to borrowing by firms and individuals who need credit. so that's -- >> chris: in the time we have left i want to go to one other segment that one could argue is going around. the president went around the senate with recess appointment of james cole to
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be number two person in the justice department. in 2002, less than a year after 9/11, cole wrote an article for "legal times" calling for prosecution of terrorists in civilian force. he wrote this -- "our country faced many forms of devastating crime, including t including t including the scorge of drugs, rape act and murder. the action of 9/11 are horrible but so are the other things." what do you think of the cole appointment? >> the terrible appointment. that was followed by authorization of the military force signed by the president of the united states and passed by the congress. mr. cole in an op ed a year later said it's rhetoric that it's war on terror but it's like the other crimes. it's not rhetoric about war on terror. congress authorized a war. attorney general and justice department is part of the national security team. i hope as the deputy attorney general cole has rethought this. i say that the recess appointment there is odd. one thing that it's the
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foreign service offices to held up for ambassadorship. but recess appointment for the deputy attorney general of the united states when the senate seemed unwilling to bring it to the floor to have a debate and vote is unusual. i think the justice department with holder and cole is vulnerable area for president obama. >> i think they did try to get cole before and i think it was held up by the republicans. they haven't had assistant attorney general in justice department, haven't had an active one. the other thing that's important with cole, cole said he's not really for trying terrorists in the military tribunals and wants to try them -- >> he said they're criminals, not warriors. >> exactly. congress has already said when basically not giving you money to try these guys in civilian court. that is almost moot. >> chris: but you're saying that the medicare regulation is -- i am putting words in your mouth -- but is politically foolish because it picks a fight you can't
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win. is putting a guy, when the justice department and hold rer already under fire for not prosecuting the war on terror from their end, is this a fight you need to have? >> i think it's a fight he is willing to have because he can. they are going to read the constitution when the house meets on wednesday. the first thing they'll do when they reconvene. i think they will include article 2, section 2, where they recess appointment. and read the part after a year if he's not reaffirmed he has to step down. part of checks and balances of the way we do business. every president recessed appoint people since george washington. >> i don't think there is any question about the legitimacy or the presidential authority to make the recessment authority. i think the question is the wisdom of it and whether he's not charging up a hill he has charged up a couple of times without success. >> chris: all right. we have to take a break here. when we come back and picking up on what michael just said, we'll look at the new balance of power in washington as the
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congressional republicans plan their next moves.
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from our mail bag, greg writes about cutting government spending --
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i'm willing to work with anyone of either party who has a good idea and a commitment to see it through. we should all expect you to hold us accountable for our progress or our failure to deliver. >> chris: president obama in the new year's address emphasizing the responsibility that democrats and the republicans now share for moving the country forward. we're back now with the panel. this is a theme, brit, we have been hearing from the white house ever since the midterms. but now that the republicans actually are going to control the house, that they can no longer just obstruct and they're as responsible as democrats are. as a political reality, do you think voters are going to see it that way? >> well, they haven't in the past. for example, if you look at the difference between 2006 and 2008 when the democrats
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got back control of congress from the republicans, things deteriorated badly over the next two years. the economy in particular did. in the 2008 election, the democrats increased their numbers. not to mention the fact that they elected a president. so this idea when you get control of part of congress or all of congress, that in the next election you're immediately held accountable for the condition of the country i think has not been proven -- has not happened much in the past. i don't expect it to happen much this time, not least because they control one house. and there is going to be a limit on what they're able to do. they can be only judged a failure by their base to some extent because of that and only be judged damaging to the country by the people who don't like them to some extent. >> except for one thing. they'll finally have to put forward specifics. paul ryan is going to actually have a budget. they can't just talk about balancing the budget or cutting wasteful spending or
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slinking the government. they have to explain how they are going to do it. people will know and they'll be judged on what they put forward. that in one sense is how they will share responsibility with the president. also, i agree with you, the democrats still control the senate. but mitch mcconnell is now considered to be -- who did president obama negotiate the deal with? mitch mcconnell is understood by the country as the co-leader of the senate. co-leader of the senate. >> chris: the biggest battles, i think it's fair to say, will be over government spending and the healthcare reform. as we sit here a couple of days, three days before the new congress goes in, bill, handicap it for us. how do you see -- there are a couple of benchmarks, the "state of the union," there is the debt limit, the c.r. running out, the continuing resolution running out in early march. how do you see both sides making their moves? >> i think it's up to the republicans who will repeal obamacare, clean, absolute repeal. >> chris: in the house.
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>> in the house, in january, before the "state of the union" and ask senators to take it up. let harry reid explain why he is not taking up legislation passed by house members. republican senator could have it on the floor. that will have more momentum than people think. they will pass spending cuts next week in the house. send it to the senate. the president will give the "state of the union" and try to show he is a deficit hawk, too. introduce budget with cuts. then there is a big moment on march 4. this is something people have to get used to. we're used to having the budget fights in september and october at the end of the fiscal year. the continuing resolution runs out on march 4, and the debt limit runs out probably late in march. so we have big fights over spending and over what conditions republicans will add to the debt limit increase in february and march. a lot of pressure on john boehner and paul ryan and fred upton and others to have their act together early. a lot of pressure from people who voted republican this year to see real change. i think there will be more
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change than people think. i don't buy the cynical, don't be so symbolic stuff and of course it's going nowhere. let's see if things are going somewhere. president obama wants to look moderate and harry reid can't block off of the things in the senate. i think they can make more of a difference in the first with the or three months than people think. >> i think the president could surprise us in the "state of the union" address, not just calling for cuts. i think he could cause for a freeze, even at the prior year levels. go back to 2006, a huge $1.2 trillion budget. plenty of money to go around if you freeze it at that level. he could surprise people. >> chris: republicans talk about 2008, he goes back and even further? >> go back further. i think could make a much bigger push than people expect in his own party for the tax reform soon. that would scramble the political calculus on both sides as well. then you would have the set the table for a different sort of degree of change. both would have to recalculate how they think about this. >> i think he will come out for tax reform, but the question is how far he can go without total mutiny on his
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left. for example, the deficit commission came out and advocated a deep form of tax reform, where even the mortgage interest deduction is eliminated. >> chris: top rate goes down 48%. >> 23% in their calculations. you cannot get the top rate down to that level and have it be deficit neutral unless you eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and that is a very tall hill to climb. not impossible. >> chris: how do you see it playing in out terms of -- >> they could end up with a compromise on tax reform, not unlike the one that passed in what, 1986. that would be a real triumph. >> chris: obama has already been talking about this will take years to do tax reform. >> he is talking about starting the conversation now. >> i know, but starting it, not ending it. >> the bill will be popular and republicans will support most of what he's doing and democrats will as well. >> chris: wait a minute. are you saying you think it will be sweetness and light -- >> no.
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there will be bloody battles but may be sweetness and light as well. he will need the republican support on a bunch of things. tax reform could be one he supposes. he will need their support on the war. >> chris: what about spending? >> spending is another area there will be areas of agreement. republicans will want to cut nearly everything and obama wants to cut some things. areas they agree on will be an area of compromise. >> they're always agreeing when it comes to spending. both parties. long record of that. they can do the energy stuff together. >> we're talking about cutting that. even in agreement where you begin to bring down the level of spending to a prior year, you know, level, you are still -- there is a lot of room to spend. so, i think they have room to compromise. >> one area the president has a problem going to the middle is "a," healthcare, obamacare. he has to defend it. republicans are going to try to get rid of it and defund it. "b," regulatory issues. he has environmental protection agency that is putting a lot of burdens on
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the private sector. not just the one that's most publicized, greenhouse gas emissions. a ton of regulations are issued or about to be issued. other issues with the e.p.a., the neutrality. he has agencies that are trending to the left as he's trying to turn his ship to the center. that is a big opportunity for republican congress to defend jobs, and defend economic growth. against the environmental protection agency. and against other parts of the obama administration. >> chris: mara? >> i think if the president is bold in the "state of the union," bolts above the stale debate we saw around the tax cut, puts the tax reform at the center of a budget entitlement reform process, i think they could get a lot done. >> chris: i mean, maybe i'm the -- i seem to be the contrarian here, michael but it seems that there are a lot of problems -- we only have 15 seconds -- for obama with the left if he is going to be a deficit hawk. >> he will go in both directions at the same time. work the middle. >> watch what he does and then what he says. >> chris: we have to go. thank you, panel.
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see you next week. check out panel plus where the group picks up with the discussion on the website we'll post the video before noon eastern time. up next, power player of the week. [ male announcer how can rice production in india affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing.
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>> chris: as we begin a new year full of hope and promise, we want to bring you a special story we first showed you on mother's day. it's about a treasured member of fox news who fought a
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tough battle while taking care of her three young children. here is our power player of the week. >> i think when you're a mother you don't have time to stop and think about it. you go in action mode and you think i have to be strong because i have to be strong for my kids. >> chris: it was september of 2009 when jennifer griffin, fox news national security correspondent found out she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. her first thoughts were of her children, daughters analise and amelia and baby luke. she and her husband greg decided right away to be open about it. >> what scared you? >> getting breast cancer. >> your first question is can we catch it? that's the first thing you have to tell children, you're not going to catch it. >> then what scared them the most is the fact i was going to be bald. i said i'm going to lose my hair and that's when amelia's hair dropped. >> chris: jennifer tried to
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involve her children and take the fear out of the illness. she said she would get wigs like their favorite like miley cyrus on hanna montana. then when she shaved her head, she brought amelia along. she she was filming me through the whole thing and she was much more at tease with the bald -- at ease with amelia. >> chris: it was tougher for analise. >> you don't want to be close to me? >> chris: there was another crisis when kids at the school started saying she had breast cancer. jennifer ended up going to both her girls' classrooms. >> you can't catch cancer. you can't catch it from me. you can't catch it from me. >> bald as a cueball and i was taken for show and tell. that helped her explain to her friends why her mom showed up with a different wig at each pick-up. >> chris: but sometimes it was the children who lifted jennifer up. one night she came home from
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a tough chemo session. >> there was luke in the kitchen. and he had just taken his first steps and walked toward me. immediately i forgot about the chemo, and the girls had him doing laps in the living room. so he could barely walk. >> chris: there must have been tough moments, some low moments. >> definitely. there were nights we cried ourselves to sleep when i had to lie down her and comfort her and she asked me if i was going to die. >> did you ever think what if i miss all the moments of my children growing up? >> every minute of every day i thought that. that's in the back of any mother's head. but you dig deep. and you say i'm going to be there for the graduations and i'm going to be there for the grandchildren. that pulls you through. >> chris: after a double mastectomy in april, jennifer got astonishing news. she is now cancer-free. she says her children were the calmest members of the
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family. what have you lost this last year and what have you gained? >> we lost a little bit of innocence this year. but what we gained as a family in terms of them understanding that life isn't always fair, and that if you are strong and you set your mind to something, you can get through it. i think we gave a lot more than we lost. >> chris: and since jennifer's return to her post at the pentagon after labor day, she has been busier than ever. filing reports from a helicopter over the war in afghanistan, covering the drug cartels in guatemala and doing stories along the mexico-texas border. we wish her and her family a very happy new year. that's it for today. have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc
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