Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., explains why Congress can’t seem to reach a deal on the budget and who will be affected most by a shutdown.



>>> democratic leader in the house. congressman clyburn, if you were a betting man, play pundit for a moment. what are the odds we actually have a shutdown this evening?

>> it’s 50/50 i think. maybe a little less than 50/50. so much about this business are about feelings. my gut tells me that we’re not going to have a shutdown. i don’t have anything to go on except my gut. i just don’t think that the american people are going to stand for it. and i do believe that my republican friends know that. the numbers have been met. we’re dealing with these so-called ?riders. the american people want to stay at work. they want the economy to continue moving because things are moving in the right direction right now. and anything like a shutdown could disrupt that. they know that. my republican friends know that. so i don’t think we’re going to have a shutdown.

>> couldn’t there have all been avoid fd the democrats simply passed a budget last year sometime? why didn’t that happen?

>> well, i think you’ve heard of a so-called 60-vote rule. and it’s all because it was filibustered. the senate has got this filibuster rule over there that we don’t have in the house. and so often we do things in the house and you can’t get it done in the senate. so harry reid has tried hard to move an agenda over there. but because he doesn’t have 60 votes to cut off filibustering, you can’t move it.

>> how is it the democrats are able to do the biggest overhaul in the health care system in decades, an attempt at an overhaul of the banking system that we haven’t seen in a long time — i don’t need that graphic yet, guys, and we’re able to achieve that with the barrier that you described, but couldn’t do a budget? why could you get health care and banking done?

>> if you recall, when we did the health care bill, we did it on the process called reconciliation. you may recall that senator mcconnell threatened us, that we better not do it in the reconciliation. on the reconciliation, you can get around the 60-vote rule.

>> why not do that with the budget since the reconciliation is vying for economic and financial issues of the country?

>> well, the democrats aren’t in charge of the house now.

>> no, no, no. i’m saying last year. you could have used reconciliation to do a budget? last year, no?

>> we had a budget resolution t. rules for budgeting are different than the rules for authorizing legislation. so appropriation rules are different from authorizing rules.

>> understood. that’s educational for me. i appreciate that. thank you.

>> thank you.

>> let’s talk about the cuts themselves. specifically we’re looking at the budget. maybe we can bring the pie chart up that was up a second ago. obviously most people know orr would like to know that 37% of all the money in the budget for ’11 is health care related. 19% is social security related and 19% is defense related. those really are the vast majority, the big chunks. are those chunks on the table in this big cut, whether it’s $30 billion, $40 billion, $60 billion, are those three things on the table in this deal?

>> oh, yes. they’ve been there. if you remember, when we did our bill back during the lame duck when $41 billion were cut, we had all of that on the table. it is the republican that is did not want to put defense on the table. secretary gates had been saying for a long time now that there are things over there that he can do without and he wanted to see us cut, but they’re refusing to cut them. they plus up their continuing resolution by $67 billion on the defense side. at the same time they say we were $6 billion, $7 billion apart. that’s why we were apart because they plussed up defense when they had it in their hands.

>> my last question for you is, there’s been lots of talks about the riders, planned parenthood, the epa, it’s very clear there’s a right wing agenda to defund the things ? they don’t like that have nothing to do with the budget. it’s about as transparent as a child stealing candy because everybody knows it’s irrelevant to the budget but an opportunity for the social conservatives in the country to nail women’s health care, because they don’t like women or whatever it is. but what we haven’t received is any arctic case as to where the actual cuts in the billions are. so people say, you give me a little information there in the categories, but no one seems to want to tell any of us what exactly you guys are talking about cutting.

>> well, i have not been in the room for the negotiations, but i have to defend the speaker on this. speaker boehner is a consummate legislator, and he knows full well if he starts identifying the cuts, those special interests out there who may feel threatened by them will rev up their friends here in the body and may cause him some pain and suffering. so i think he’s right not to identify those cuts and just deal with the top line number. so i’ve got to defend him on that, though i feel that some of what he wants to cut and some of these riders that he supports i don’t defend him or do i support him on those things.

>> fair enough. your position is clear there. i’m going to let you go. i wanted to confirm one last thing.

>> sure.

>> before i go here because obviously there’s a lot of problems with the government shutdown in termination of the disruptions all the news agencies are talking about, from national parks, to the mortgage servicing and the rest of it. am i correct that i don’t have to pay my taxes next week as long as nobody is there to take the check?

>> i wouldn’t do that if i were you. hopefully the mailbox will work. if i were you, i’d get those things postmarked before the 15th.

>> how can you — that’s like giants while the giants are on strike? why do i have to buy the ticket when there’s no game?

>> i agree with you, but i’m from south carolina and i’m much more conservative than that.