Hoyer Talks About TSA Concerns and Tax Cuts on CBS

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... and helping them prepare for the future. nice boots. nice bag. [ male announcer ] see how the hartford helps businesses at achievewhatsahead.com. >> schieffer: we're back now with congressman steny hoyer. just re-elected the number two man in the house democratic leadership. congressman, i want to ask you about tax cuts and a lot of other things but i have to start with these patdowns. i mean this uproar that's going on, are you hearing any of that? and does the house plan to take any action? >> yeah, i think the patdowns are going to be very controversial. the tsa of course is faced with a very difficult problem. they want to keep the airplanes safe. they want to keep us safe as individuals and as air travelers. on the other hand, they also want to honor our personal privacy. and reaching that balance it's clear that there's not a consensus whether they've done that yet. benny thompson the chairman of the homeland security has written to the tsa looking for a response and how they analyze this. there will be hearings on this. a very controversial item with two worthy objectives. number one keeping us safe but number two also honoring our personal privacy. >> schieffer: i mean, would you want to undergo one of those? >> i don't think any of wous want to undergo that. i don't think any of us feel that the discomfort and the delay is something that we like. but most people understand that we've got to keep airplanes safe. >> schieffer: let's also talk a little bit about this whole business of these trials of these terrorists. we know what happened last week. you heard what the secretary of state said. do you think there will be a move in the house to cut off these funds? i know the republicans are already talking about it. to move, to bar these people from being moved from guantanamo. >> of course as you know we've had that... we haven't had any authorization for such movement except for trial but i think the answer is there's great concern. i'm not sure if it's very warranted. whatever happened in the trial it was held in a title 3 court. it was held safely. in this court. now the outcome, one count out of i think 250 or 275 counts was disappointing. however, the count that he was convicted on has a 25-year to life sentence. of course it's at the federal level there's no parole. he will spend a very long time in jail. >> schieffer: given your druthers would you rather see them tried in a civilian or a military court. >> i've suggested to the administration two years ago that we look at the option of having either military commissions or title 3 courts. i've been down to guantanamo. there are facilities in place there, title 3 court can sit there. you don't have to bring them to the united states. i think under the constitution we could clearly impanel a title 3 court to dispose of these cases in a proper way in guantanamo itself. >> schieffer: i mean, what would you do? fly the jury in or what? how would you do that? >> we'd have to do figure that out. juries are sequestered in many cases. it wouldn't be much different. it's a caribbean island. it's not like you're sending them to an archipelago or siberia. but the fact is that we need to figure out how to get these cases resolved, whether we do it through military commissions or title 3 courts. i think you're right, bringing them to the united states given the current concerns and make-up of the congress probably is not going to happen. >> schieffer: tax cuts. one of the big things you'll be dealing with is whether or not to extend the bush tax cuts which expire at the end of the year. democrats want them for middle and lower-income folks. republicans say no way. you have to also extend them for people in the upper income brackets. we keep hearing hints, signals, whispers, that the president might be willing to compromise, maybe make those tax cuts for the upper income folks search rather in order to get the ones for the lower income people. would house democrats be willing to go along with that or do you have a problem with the president? >> i don't have a problem with the president. exactly what he says on this is he's for the 250,000 and under. that's his position. that's our position. let me say that this election, as we know, was in my view essentially about two things. number one, we hadn't grown jobs quickly enough. we hadn't grown the economy. and concern about the deficit. now if you're going to try to balance those two things one of the things you don't want to do is have average working americans have an increase in their taxes. we're suitely opposed to that happening. we're going to work towards making sure that working americans don't have an increase in their taxes. on the other hand, there's a great concern about the deficit which means the best off of us have to contribute to making sure that we pay for what we buy. that's the balance we have to make. i'm hopeful that we can work ...