Mike Pence and the Republicans should hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire.

I must say that I agree with about everything that Mike Pence says below and I disagree with about everything that Chris Van Hollen has to say. However, I am not pleased that the Republicans do not try to get a balanced budget in 3 years instead of trying to balance it in 10 years. I must agree with the analysis that Van Hollen gives here concerning the hypocritical nature of the Republicans ploy:

It will be hugely dangerous for the Republican colleagues to play a game of chicken on the debt ceiling. You would see an economic catastrophe if the United States defaulted on its debt. Now, the budget proposal that they’re bringing forth will require increases in the debt ceiling for years and years to come. So for them to say we’re not going to support an increase in the debt ceiling on this. And then put a budget on the floor that will require it is just irresponsible.

It is my view that the Republicans should make the Democrats balance the budget now or not vote to raise the debt limit.

VAN HOLLEN: Facts, facts. AMANPOUR: Because I want to move on.

VAN HOLLEN: The facts are that not one penny of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood or anybody else for abortion. And what Mike and his colleagues tried to do was use a funding bill, a spending bill, to impose changes in law that should be debated, but not as part of this…

AMANPOUR: No, I need to go forward now, because you made your position clear, sir, you made it clear. I understand where you stand on this. I understand this. What I want to know now, is you have a huge fight coming up. You have got the debt ceiling. You’ve got a potential catastrophe, if you believe Timothy Geithner, the Treasury Secretary. What’s going to happen there? What needs to happen for you to vote yes to raise the debt ceiling, the amount America can borrow?

PENCE: Well, look, I will not support an increase in the debt ceiling without real and meaningful changes in spending in the short-term and in the long-term. We’ve got to change the way we spend the people’s money. Again, we have a $14 trillion national debt. The president sends the budget to Capitol Hill that will double the national debt in the next ten years. And simply expanding the credit card is not the right answer.

AMANPOUR: On this issue, how will that fight be fought?

VAN HOLLEN: It will be hugely dangerous for the Republican colleagues to play a game of chicken on the debt ceiling. You would see an economic catastrophe if the United States defaulted on its debt. Now, the budget proposal that they’re bringing forth will require increases in the debt ceiling for years and years to come. So for them to say we’re not going to support an increase in the debt ceiling on this. And then put a budget on the floor that will require it is just irresponsible.

AMANPOUR: One of the questions I asked David Plouffe was about who has the ideas. Congressman Ryan has put forth a budget that many people are saying is a good attempt to deal with this. When are we going to hear — and are you frustrated that there isn’t one detail on your side — although, again, David Plouffe said the president is going to put more details out this week.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, the president had a budget. And we, the Democrats in the House, are going to have an alternative budget this week as we debate it. The problem with the Ryan plan, the Republican plan is it’s totally unbalanced. That’s what the co-authors of the fiscal commission, bipartisan fiscal commission said, because what he does is he takes deep cuts, he ends Medicare. He ends the Medicare guarantee for seniors. He’s going to require seniors to go not private insurance market and they’ll have to eat all of the rising costs of health care, while they provide big tax breaks for millionaires, and the corporate special interest. That is just not the priorities of the country. And I think it’s wrong to do that.

AMANPOUR: Do you think, Congressman Pence, and this is the last question, there will be some bipartisan compromise? Because, on the big issue, it has to be bipartisan crafting.

PENCE: Well, let me say, House Republicans under Paul Ryan’s leadership have offered a vision to put America back on a pathway toward a balanced budget. It deals with issues in entitlement. It reduces the national debt. For Americans 55 or older, we’re not proposing a single change in Medicare. Chris knows that. What we want to do for Americans under the age of 55 is make sure they can participate in the same health plan that members of Congress do.

VAN HOLLEN: That is not accurate.

PENCE: This is going to be a big debate…

VAN HOLLEN: Members — no members of Congress…

PENCE: ..there’s no repeal — there’s no repeal of the Medicare guarantee.

VAN HOLLEN: Members of Congress have what is called a fair-share deal. We do not bare the entire risk of increased costs. They are asking seniors to bear risks, they are not asking themselves…

PENCE: Members of Congress have the same premium support system, Chris knows that.

AMANPOUR: We will be watching this, debating it…

VAN HOLLEN: There’s a fair share guarantee. And Mike should check the law, because they’re ask seniors to absorb the entire risk of — the higher risk of increased costs. Members of Congress do not bear that risk in the same way.

AMANPOUR: We are certainly going to bring this up with our round table. And we’ll keep talking about it, because this will be the issue ahead. Thank you both very much indeed for joining us.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.

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It has been 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War that started in April of 1861 at Ft Sumter.

Officers of 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment …

Officers of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment while away the hours during the lengthy Siege of Petersburg in 1864-65. “There’s a lot of daily life that goes on backstage behind the camps around battlefields,” Knauer says. If these men from the Army of the Potomac joined their unit at its founding, in 1861, they may have served at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, among other major battles of the war.

Officers of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment ...

 

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