Idaho Congressman Labrador talks debt on Meet the Press

Idaho Congressman Labrador talks debt on Meet the Press

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 1 at 7:19 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An Idaho Congressman was front-and-center in the debt debate Sunday, as Raul Labrador appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The looming debt limit deadline is the only focus in Washington right now, as everyone is feeling the heat from their constituents.

"They tell me, I want you cut spending, but not for my program," said Labrador (R - Idaho) on the nationally-televised program.

After being challenged by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Labrador claimed that it isn't Tea Party-backed Republicans who are slowing negotiations.

"The reason we have 15 trillion dollars in debt is not because I was in Congress for the last 30 years," said Labrador. "It's because of the people who have been here."

Granholm said we need to cut, as well as invest, to avoid hurting the gross domestic product.

"You've got to reform entitlements and invest to grow," said Granholm. "Because the quickest way to take down your deficit is through growth."

Labrador said deep cuts have to be made. But he also believes taxes can also be lowered, as long as loopholes are closed and more people are taxed.

"I think every person should pay the same rate," said Labrador. "I think it should be across the board, and I think it should be fair to all Americans."

Labrador has long touted trimming spending and government, but was challenged by NBC's Tom Brokaw about the amount of federal dollars that he would be willing to trim from Idaho.

"You get a buck-28 back for every dollar you send to Washington," said Brokaw. "Of that 28 cent premium, what would you be willing to give up, how much of it?"

"It costs us actually 30 percent more to use federal money, so I think it would be a wash," answered Labrador.

The Idaho Congressman closed his debt argument with some exasperation about President Barack Obama.

"We have to solve this problem," said Labrador. "I want to solve this problem, but there has been a failure of leadership from this president. All he's doing is demagoguing and scaring the American people."

"This is a critical time in the 21st century, and we're not just talking about the markets on Monday," said Brokaw. "We're talking about our grandchildren. We're talking about the future of this country."

Labrador also believes the country should have a balanced budget amendment like most states. That amendment was in a debt deal that failed in the Senate earlier this week. Labrador admits a deal will probably be made without it, and said a deal will be done either Sunday night or Monday.

A deal was made Sunday night.

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