Schiff Discusses Ongoing Debt Talks on Fox News' America's Newsroom

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined Fox News host Alisyn Camerota on America’s Newsroom to discuss the ongoing debt and deficit negotiations.  See below for a transcript of the interview. Click here to watch the video on Rep. Schiff’s YouTube Channel. Rep. Schiff also appeared on Fox News Sunday with Shannon Bream.  Click here to watch.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:The battle over the debt crisis ping- ponged back and forth this weekend, and the clock, of course, is ticking to a deadline. Both sides are now working on separate plans after failing to find common ground over the weekend.


House Speaker John Boehner, appearing exclusively on "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" yesterday, says any thoughts of going back to the Obama administration's grand bargain might be a nonstarter.




REP. JOHN A. BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:It may be pretty hard to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, but my last offer is still out there.




CAMEROTA:At FOX News, you know, we keep our coverage fair and balanced. Last hour we spoke with Republican Ron Johnson. Here for the other side is California Congressman Adam Schiff.


Good morning, Mr. Schiff. Thanks for being here.






SCHIFF:Thank you.


CAMEROTA:We're eight days away. Where are we at this hour with some sort of deal?


SCHIFF:Well, it's not very encouraging. I don't like the fact that you have the Republican leadership in the House working on its own idea, the Senate leadership working on its own idea, because at the end of the day a party line approach is not going to work. It's got to get through both Houses. So I'm very concerned after the breakdown this weekend.   We have to avoid defaulting on our debt. Our top priority really has to be the American economy, and what can we do to get the economy moving again and this uncertainty over the debt issue is just crippling us. I think it is harming us around the world. It's going to result in a lower bond rating. It's going to result in higher interest rates. We need to keep our focus on getting this done in a way that improves our economy, and I see us getting away from that and it concerns me enormously.


CAMEROTA:Senate majority leader Harry Reid says that he will present a proposal. Based on some media reports, it will include $2.7 trillion in cuts. Do you know any more about what this Democratic proposal looks like?


SCHIFF:I really don't and I don't know how much of that will also encompass the idea that the Bush tax cuts, at least the upper-income ones go out of existence. It seems hard for me to believe that he will be proposing nearly $2.7 trillion in cuts without any increase in revenue, something he's always supported.


So it is very hard to gather. You know, I think that Grover Norquist opened a window for the parties to get to agreement without people violating their Norquist pledge by assuming that some of the Bush tax cuts go out of existence. And -- but at this point we don't know whether that's part of the Senate plan or not.


CAMEROTA: As you know, a balanced budget amendment plan, the cut, cap and balance act, died in the Senate. What's wrong with the balanced budget amendment?


SCHIFF: Well, what is wrong with it, at this hour is that from the very beginning the Senate and president has said that was a no-go.


CAMEROTA: But what is the problem -- I mean people --


SCHIFF:So the more we travel down that path --


CAMEROTA:Americans seem to like the idea of politicians having to present a balanced budget and live by a balanced budget every year. So why not vote for that?


SCHIFF:Well, embedding that in the Constitution, though, I think most economists would tell you it'd be a great mistake because when the economy goes sour you need to do counter cyclical things to get the economy back out again. This would be precluded by a balanced budget amendment. We didn't need a constitutional amendment to restore our deficit and debt situation in the Clinton administration. We did that without a constitutional amendment. An amendment would take many years to get passed. It's not going to help address the current crisis.  What we have, really, is the need for the political will to get the job done and a willingness to compromise the way we saw Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan get to yes. That's really I think what we need to do but this proposal that was floated in the House, a week or so ago that would limit revenues to what they were many years ago, that would effectively result in cuts to Medicare and Social Security, greater than even what the Ryan budget proposed, was always going to be a nonstarter. And I think it did what it was intended to do, which was give the House Republicans some cover if they have to make a more difficult vote this week, but it didn't really advance the discussions very much and I think it's been, unfortunately, a needless distraction.


CAMEROTA:Well, Congressman Adam Schiff, we appreciate you coming in to talk about this. Please let us know if anything happens today and good luck with getting all of this squared away. We appreciate it.


SCHIFF:Thank you.