State News

October 7, 2013

Graves on 'Fox News Sunday': GOP united, Dems must negotiate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and talked about how House Republicans are united behind passing a fair government funding bill as they wait for President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid to agree to negotiate.


Rep. Tom Graves: Well, first, let me just say that we as a conference – we’re united. We have been working together now over the last couple of weeks. There may be disagreements on strategy or tactics, but we are fully united behind opening the government up as quickly as we can as well as providing fairness to all of America as it relates to Obamacare. And, we’ve been pretty reasonable as we’ve worked through this process. I’ve heard the reference to a full day, or a full repeal. That was something I was for. A full defund, likewise, a one year delay of the entire program, to now just saying, Mr. President, can we not just have a one  year delay of the individual mandate to provide the same protections to all of America that you’ve provided to big businesses.

Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday: But, let’s talk about how flexible you are because there is now some talk among House Republican leaders to pivot away from Obamacare – not to make demands about Obamacare but to instead focus on the debt, and entitlement reform, and long term spending cuts. Would you accept a deal on that, to reopen the government and raise the debt limit if it did not include any changes to Obamacare.

Graves: I don’t suspect that’s something the conference would embrace right now. We have had a tremendous fight over keeping the government open and protecting Americans from Obamacare. But, I’m here to say, I’m open to a lot of different ideas. I’m willing to put it all on the table. Let’s have a conversation about tax reform, about debt limit, about funding the government, about Obamacare. But, in order to do that, Harry Reid has to send some Democrats to meet with us. He can’t be scared to send Democrats to meet with Republicans to have this conversation.

Wallace: Are you prepared to refuse to raise the debt limit unless you get what you want on Obamacare?

Graves: There is no reason to default. In fact, Republicans don’t want to default. We’ve passed a bill, the Full Faith and Credit Act…the president is the only one demanding default right now. He could sign the Full Faith and Credit Act that we’ve passed out of the House that would prioritize the spending.

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