On on CNBC’s Squawk Box

Transcript: 

on that note, this segue will be interesting, democrats renewing efforts to extend jobless shirnsz benefits after failing to pass it wednesday by three votes. in a first on squawk interview now, stenny heir, the maryland democrat leading the charge joining us from washington this morning. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> i would guess that if i voted against these benefits, you are going to have a tough time going back to your constituents this fall, right. >> i think the american people are going to say why did you do this when the economy is in such trouble, long-term unemployed, a million and a half people unemployed. why would you vote against these people helping themselves and their families. >> their answer would be the budget's not looking so great right now. maybe we should rate till the jobless rate hits historic levels. >> we have 200,000 more long-term unemployed than in 2002 when president bush signed an extension at that point. it's hard to sustain that argument. >> is it the end of it or is it going to happen. >> i think we'll pass it today on the house floor. we put it on the floor in a procedure which required two-thirds vote require agextraordinary majority. as you point out, 279 members voted for that bill. 49 republicans voted for that bill. every democrat from right to left all over the country voted for this bill to help people facing long-term unemployment and having a real squeeze gas prices, grocery prices, mortgage prices keeping themselves and their families together. so we think it's going to pass today and we'll send it over to the senate. >> you mentioned gas and oil prices. here's a quote from you talking about potential solutions to where we are with oil. more drilling, you say. that is the johnny one-note policy of the republican party, of the president, of this republican leadership in the house. what's wrong with drilling when crude's at 133. >> there's nothing wrong with drilling but we have 80% of the leases that are currently authorized that are not being drilled upon. 80% on gas, 82% on natural gas. we have most of the outer continental shelf as well as the on land on the main land leases that aren't being used. >> you're saying they have the permits but not putting straws in the ground. >> absolutely. the republicans talk about refinery capacity. there's only been one application for a new refinery. that was approved by epa but has not been built. refinery capacity is 88, 9% when it usually is at 95, 96%. we're not even at capacities in terms of refining. the fact of the matter is drill, drill, drill is not the answer. the long-term answer is energy independence. we're pursuing policies to get us there. it's going to be long-term. this administration has opposed it. republicans have opposed it historically, but we've got to look for alternative energy sources. >> congressman, don carty. >> hi, don. >> automobile we've got to attack this thing on every front. it is becoming a crisis. certainly demand has got to be attacked. certainly alternate energy has got to be attacked. what about offshore drilling? >> again, i would repeat, most of the leasehold places that are now available for drilling are not being used. as a result, if we used the capacity that's now available, we'd have another 4.5 million barrels a day available to us. i don't know whether that's barrels, frankly or millions of gallons. the pabt of the matter is, right now, if the companies would utilize the leases they now you have an proved, we would have 4.5 million more gallons per day in capacity. >> switch topics from the short time we have left to the presidential race. you met with obama. you've met with at least the team that was m place to pick his vice president. looks like jim johnson is now going to leave after these reports came out about his relationship with countrywide. was that the right call. >> jim johnson made the right call and did not want to be a distraction to the campaign. i have the highest regard for jim and his judgment. he of course, did the same job for john kerry. i think that obama picked somebody who was experienced and knew his job. in this case, that controversy clearly should not muddle the campaign and jim johnson got out. i think he did the right thing. >> what does it say about the senator's skrumt and ho chooses to surround himself with? >> this was someone who had been very active for a very long period of time, not just somebody he picked at random but that had done the job before, anded himself well, very knowledgeable. so the controversy arose. jim johnson decided to take himself out of the mix. i think he made the right decision. ...