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Johanns discusses big issues facing the nation
Senator Mike Johanns stopped in Holdrege Tuesday afternoon for a roundtable open discussion. Two big issues took center stage: the fiscal cliff and the national debt.
Johanns immediately addressed impacts from avoiding another fiasco like we saw New Year's Day.
News 5's Dara Newson spoke with Senator Johanns who says if the nation thought the fiscal cliff was scary the debt ceiling is even bigger than the fiscal cliff.
What's your position on raising the debt ceiling?
"Every plan out there calls for raising the debt ceiling. The most conservative plan out there recognizes that the debt ceiling has to be raised. What I want to see in this discussion about debt ceiling is how do we start getting spending under control and for me that's the key issue."
What do you think needs to happen?
"I think we've got to really look across the whole budget. We do need to reform entitlements although we just passed a major tax bill I do think there's more work to be done on the tax code. Even defense I do believe we have to look for ways to trim that. I believe we have to make entitlements sustainable not only for my age group I'm a baby boomer but for future age groups."
I just want to know your take on Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense?
"It's great that a Nebraskan is nominated as candidate. I think that's exciting. Chuck has always been a very outspoken person he's talked about a lot of issues some issues very controversial."
You mentioned in a statement yesterday you two had different views on certain topics what are some issues that maybe you find that could be a problem?
"My hope is that in the weeks ahead that he'll have an opportunity to explain his views on Israel. Iran would be a perfect example where they want to get rid of Israel the head person in Iran said I want to blow them off the face of the earth. Well, that concerns me when somebody suggests that. Somehow we're going to negotiate our way through this with Iran with that kind of rhetoric it's hard to find a place to start talking."
Johanns added while Secretary Defense nominee Hagel has the credentials.
With so much controversy the hearing process will be very intense.
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