John McCain told Fox’s Chris Wallace that he would not vote for the economic stimulus package proposed by Democrats.
WALLACE: Let’s talk about the economy. We’ll get to national security in a moment. The president is pushing an economic stimulus package of $825 billion that raises some of the issues that were at the heart of your campaign against Barack Obama. $275 billion in tax breaks, including money for people who don’t pay income taxes. $550 billion in spending, including $200 million to resod the national mall, $360 million to fight sexually transmitted disease. As that package now stands, can john mccain vote for it?
McCAIN: No. We need to make tax cuts permanent and need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes. We need to cut payroll taxes. We need to cut business taxes. We need to have a commitment that after a couple of quarters of GDP growth that we will embark on a path to reduce spending to get our budget in balance. We’re going to lay an additional $2 trillion of debt on future Americans. Is there going to be a point where foreign countries such as the Chinese stop buying our debt? Look, we’ve got to eliminate the unnecessary spending. There’s got to be some kind of litmus as to whether it will really stimulate the economy and whether it will in the short term. Some of the stimulus in this package is excellent. Some of it has nothing to do — those projects and others you mentioned — six billion for broadband internet access. That will take years. There should be an end point to all of this spending as well. Say two years. If we need to stimulate the economy in a short period of time, let’s enact those provisions —
WALLACE: You’re talking about a major rewrite as it now stands.
McCAIN: The plan was written by a Democratic majority in the house primarily. So, yeah, I think there has to be major rewrites if we want to stimulate the economy.
WALLACE as it stands, you’d vote against it?
McCAIN: Look, I am opposed to most of the provisions in the bill. As it stands now, I would not support it.
WALLACE: Would you filibuster it?
McCAIN: Let’s — I mean, I want us all to sit down and negotiate. The Republicans have not been brought in to the degree that we should be into these negotiations and discussions. So far, as far as I can tell, no Republican proposal has been incorporated. Maybe there has been. I just may have missed it but clearly we need to have serious negotiations. We all recognize thathe economy is in deep and serious trouble. There’s a Japanese example where they tried to stimulate their economy with the wrong kinds of projects and the wrong kinds of spending. It didn’t help their economy. We’ve got to stimulate the economy and jobs, we’re losing sight of what the stimulus is all about and that is job creation. If it doesn’t create jobs, then it’s just another spending project.
WALLACE: So given what you’re talking about, which is a major reworking of the bill, is the — is the deadline that the president is talking about, presidents’ day weekend, mid-february, is that unrealistic? That’s like three weeks.
McCAIN: Well, I think we can sit down in three weeks and work hard and negotiate and come to some agreement, hopefully. I will continue to hope that we will, and will continue to dedicate myself to that proposition. republicans will have proposals as part of the stimulus package. I hope they are considered and I hope they’re adopted.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Jan. 25, 2009.