Rep. Daniel Webster: Lame Duck Session Best Hope for Deficit, Debt Deal

Friday, 18 May 2012 11:09 AM

By John Bachman

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Florida Republican Congressman Daniel Webster wants to save American taxpayers all a lot of money by proposing a plan to eliminate an obscure government program called the American Community Survey.

“It’s very intrusive. There’s a fine if you don’t fill it out. And it costs $2.4 billion dollars to do it,” Webster told Newsmax.TV during an exclusive interview.

The Census Bureau uses the survey to gather statistics of interest to the government and the business community, according to House majority leader Eric Cantor's website —

Watch the exclusive video here.

Webster says it’s unnecessary and way too expensive, and part of a broader effort to shrink the size of the federal government.

“If you take the average, it comes down to $67 per survey. And it asks questions like – ‘Do you have trouble walking up stairs?' 'Do you have trouble thinking?' 'Do you have trouble remembering?’ Many questions that are way over the edge and are too personal. And it’s nothing the government needs to know,” Webster said.

The freshman congressman, who defeated liberal Alan Grayson in 2010, also talked to Newsmax.TV about the ongoing budget discussions in Washington, D.C.

When asked if he saw any signs of bipartisan cooperationg coming from Democrats in the House, Webster said: “in some cases yes, not in all cases.

“For instance, the Defense Reauthorization Act passed out of committee 56 to five . . . so it wasn’t even close. It was very non-partisan.

“On the other hand . . . when it comes to looking at entitlements, then there’s a lot of opposition and there’s no help from the other side,” Webster told Newsmax.

However, Webster said members of both political parties understand the negative implications if congress is not able to come up with an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avoid tax increases scheduled to kick in in January of 2013.

“There are more Democrats who are openly saying that something has to happen. And I think they’ve said it publicly in an unusual way. If you look at the votes in the House and the Senate on the president’s budget, he got zero votes. 99 to nothing in the Senate, 414 in the House.

“They [Democrats] certainly don’t like the idea of borrowing another $1.3 trillion, they don’t. And so they are even ready to say that to their own president.”

Still, Webster said that doesn’t mean anything significant will get accomplished before the November elections.

“I do believe we will pass an appropriations act that will cover 2013, which has to happen before September 30. And I know it will stay within the guidelines of what we passed last year. We are going to, again, save money. We are going to cut money.”

Webster did say he has “hopes” that a substantial debt and deficit reduction package could be passed after the election, during a lameduck session of Congress.

“I think there is going to be a bit of leverage in order to pull off something that hopefully would be significant,” Webster added.

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