CBS NewsChannel 5's Rylee DeGood sat down with Wyoming Senator John Barrasso to talk about Washington Spending, Friday's Federal Appeals Court decision, and the gun debate.
Rylee – "Senator, you spoke yesterday (Thursday) on the Senate floor about Washington spending. You talk about spending a lot. You talked about how this is a very appropriate time to talk about spending when the President wants to raise the debt ceiling again. Can you tell me what kind of spending are we talking about and what should be cut? And how is it going to affect Wyoming?"
Sen. Barrasso – "We as a country have maxed out the credit card. The president now wants a new credit card and that is the perfect time to sit down and say, ‘Ok, let's have a budget.' And the Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years under the democratic control of Harry Reid and I'm supporting a proposal that says, ‘No Budget, No Pay.' If you don't come up with a budget like families have to do, the state of Wyoming has to do, then none of the members of the Senate, or the house, should get paid at all. That's the first place to start cutting spending, with the salaries of the Legislators who don't pass a budget."
Rylee – "What specifically are we cutting, especially here in Wyoming?"
Sen. Barrasso – "The idea is to take a look across the board at where money is being wasted. We know that, every day you hear about different programs where there is significant wasteful Washington spending. The President's health care law has added a huge additional amount of money to the debt that we can't afford. So it's important to say, ‘What can we do?', ‘How can we do it better?' and specifically be very careful about how we spend taxpayers money. People in Wyoming believe have the money we send to Washington is being wasted and I agree with them."
Rylee – "There was a big decision by the Federal Appeals Court on a few of President Obama's appointments. They ruled three of his appointments unconstitutional saying he used Executive Order and he shouldn't have. Now, Republicans have raised the red flag before on some of the times he used Executive Order before. Do you think he's kind of bypassing the process?"
Sen. Barrasso – Well the President has seemed to try to ignore the constitution which says he has to have advice and consent from the Senate. He used a ploy called a "Recess Appointment", but we weren't on recess. We weren't out of session and he did it anyway. So the court just ruled, "Foul." Said ‘I'm sorry Mr. President you can't do that.' But he has done it in his last term with these csars from different areas, overseeing different things, that weren't approved by the Senate. It continues to be this back and fourth battle with Executive Orders . We're seeing it here in Wyoming with the president's orders that go way beyond the original intent of legislation. It may have made sense at the time, but the way he interprets it and the orders that come out I think hurt our energy industry, hurt jobs in Wyoming, specifically are such that it hurts our economy."
Rylee – "One place he's planning on using executive orders are in these new gun proposals. He wants to have universal background checks for guns. He also would like to renew the assault weapon ban. What's your stance on all of this?"
Sen. Barrasso – "I'm a strong supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights. I'm a life member of the NRA. Got my first NRA medal when I was about 12. And people of Wyoming understand that the 2nd Amendment has to do with our rights as individuals to own firearms, which is why I voted against the president's Attorney General Eric Holder because he said, ‘No, it only has to do with a well regulated militia.' But I would welcome an open and honest debate on the senate floor about this to talk about our 2nd Amendment rights. But you're right, the President, 23 Executive Orders on this. He's going to continue to push this legislation and I'm going to continue to fight it."