Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) went on America’s Newsroom with Martha Maccallum and Bill Hemmer on the Fox News Channel this morning following the Senate Finance Committee hearing with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius he was in yesterday. Here’s a transcript (video currently is unavailable).
Martha Maccallum: The issue whether you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. he asked is that true or is that false and it’s still on that website. I’m joined by Ohio Republican Charles Grassley — Iowa, excuse me – Senator Grassley welcome, always good to have you with us. You were there during that hearing. That is the question, whether that was a lie. Whether the American people were told the truth when they were promised if you wanted to keep your healthcare plan you could. What are the ramifications of it if it’s not true?
Senator Chuck Grassley: The ramifications are that a lot of people are disappointed. They also find that the President wasn’t leveling with them, and even if you give him the benefit of the doubt during the campaign he made a lot of promises that he thought he could keep. It’s turning out that those promises are not realistic today and that there is a tremendous disappointment. Not only for insurance, but, you know, it lowers people’s credibility with people in government. And cynicism grows and that’s the broad outcome of all this. It’s not just about healthcare.
Maccallum: You touch on something there, and we’ve heard a couple of people, Barbara Milkulski among them, talk about that that there is a crisis of of confidence in the country. We haven’t heard that term since President Carter used it during a very difficult period, during the energy crisis of 1979-1980. He felt people were suffering that they didn’t have confidence in the credibility of their government. Are we at that point once again because of this do you believe?
Grassley: I think you see that in polls that show that people respect Congressmen maybe only 11% and sometimes I question that because I haven’t run into any of the 11%. We have all got to work harder to number one – not overpromise, and when you promise, carry out your promises. And it’s better not to make too many promises. It’s better to tell people how around going to go about solving a problem you want to solve and not make the concrete statements that the President’s made that if you like it you can keep it. You can keep your doctor, you can’t keep your doctor today and all that sort of stuff. It does hurt credibility.
Maccalum: Obviously the President is the President of the whole country. If there is a crisis of confidence, I sense it when you talk to people every day. Somebody says to me “Oh I got that letter in the mail.” “I lost my health insurance.” “I’m not sure what my family is going to do. I am going to have to come up with something they say by January.” What is the President’s responsibility in the your mind sir? You’ve been in Washington a long time. What would you call upon him to do to try to restore confidence and to insure people this isn’t, we are not going to go to hell in a hand basket with this thing?
Grassley: I’ll give you a broad answer because your questions are legitimate for a lot of things other than just healthcare. But I would start with saying we are going to delay the implementation of Obamacare, but in addition there are so many regulations out there that are going on the books now that cause small business particularly for not hiring. You have got this every day the president wants to increase taxes by another trillion dollars and Obamacare. All of these are putting a damper on the business and particularly small business hiring people. Why do you have one in three tenths in corporate treasuries? People can’t make any money having that there. They would like to invest it. They would like to make money, and when they invest it creates jobs. The president could turn this economy around overnight if he would say we are going to put a damper on regulations, we are not going to increase taxes and we are going to make Obamacare work rather than staying with the original principle that isn’t working out.
Maccallum: I think that’s pretty unlikely given where he stands on a lot of these things, but in terms of what the president will do. Do you think it’ likely he will come out and say I misspoke or it wasn’t quite right. I know how important this is and I want to fix this program and I want to do it in a bipartisan way. Quickly if you can sir.
Grassley: Well I think an answer to that would be some rumors coming out of the meeting of the 14 Democratic Senators coming up for reelection having a meeting with him yesterday that they didn’t get have much satisfaction that he was going to do anything other, when it comes to Obamacare, but keep on the course that he’s on.
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