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For the next round of covid-19 stimulus 'there are areas of common ground we can reach’: Republican Rep. Steve Stivers

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Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio joined Yahoo Finance to discuss how Republicans will to work with President Biden as his term begins.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Compromise, right? That's what politics sometimes is about. Our next guest will not compromise. He's a Bengals fan, so we'll forgive him for that. But he is one of the leaders in Congress who's already talked about working with the new administration. Please welcome into the stream Republican representative Steve Stivers of Ohio. And the district you represent is just south of Columbus, Ohio. I was making--

STEVE STIVERS: That's correct.

ADAM SHAPIRO: --reference to those of us who love the north coast of Ohio. Let me ask you. You actually attended the inauguration. You made a statement. You said, I am committed to uphold the peaceful transition of power. We're looking at an administration that is going to, very quickly, take steps with climate change and immigration, even the pandemic response. You know, a couple of those are things where they might be at odds with Republican leadership. What would you say to leadership and the administration to forge compromise?

STEVE STIVERS: Well, I think there will be things we disagree on. That's how America works. But hopefully, there are things that we can come together on. You know, even the pandemic response, it's so important that we build herd immunity as soon as we can. While I am not for giving a $1,400 stimulus check for anything, I'd be willing to sign off on a stimulus check of $1,400 for people who take the vaccine. And I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400, and that's herd immunity.

SEANA SMITH: Going off of what you just said, you said that you would support $1,400 if people were to take a vaccine. What are some of the other items in that $1.9 trillion package or an item in that $1.9 trillion package that you would support, where you think Republicans and Democrats can come together and reach some common ground?

STEVE STIVERS: Well, clearly, the vaccine distribution, getting that out as quick as we can, is very, very important. I think that is super important. Many of us would be willing to take the aid to state and local governments that has already been spent or already been allocated and extend the timeline, as opposed to increasing the dollar amount. Just let them use it into the new year because much of that money expired at the end of the year.

So I think there's ways to do things that don't cost as much and still give some relief to some of the folks involved here. So I think there are elements of common ground that we can reach. But we just passed the $900 billion coronavirus package a few weeks ago.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Congressman, there's a lot of spending that's going to come out of Congress. And one of the things we hear from Republicans is, how do we pay for it, how do we pay for it. We are going to take on more debt, but is there a limit to how far Republicans are willing to go?

STEVE STIVERS: Well, I think it should be debt for the right things. We're willing to take on debt, but, you know, one of the things that my dad taught me is, you know, you don't want to take on debt for operating costs. You want to take on debt for something where you're getting capital. You know, you take on debt for a car or a house, some type of physical asset.

So I'd be willing to do some debt for an infrastructure deal that's a real infrastructure deal. But I am hopeful that we aren't just going to keep doing operating expenses and borrowing more and more money for that. So, and that's how I feel about a lot of these coronavirus relief packages. They're ongoing expenses, and we just keep borrowing more and more.

The quickest thing we need to do if we really want to help the American people is get this economy turned back on, get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can, and get the uptake rate up. That's why I'd be willing to accept a $1,400 stimulus check if people were willing to take the vaccine.

SEANA SMITH: Congressman, as we're trying to get this legislation done, as the Biden administration at least is trying to push some of their legislation through, of course, we also have the impeachment trial. How do you see this affecting future legislation? And do you see it holding certain things up in Congress?

STEVE STIVERS: Well, you know, last time, the legislation or the impeachment trial took six weeks in the Senate. And it doesn't take six weeks to go through the evidence. It takes six weeks because under the Senate rules, everybody wants to talk, and everybody gets to talk. And so, it will likely take at least four weeks. It's going to slow down-- the big thing it's going to slow down in the Senate is the confirmation of President Biden's Cabinet.

But then, obviously, it'll take up time-- floor time that could be used to pass a coronavirus package, an infrastructure package, housing packages, a lot of other issues that are important to this country. So, you know, I wish we weren't spending time impeaching somebody that's already gone. But that horse is already out of the barn, I guess.

ADAM SHAPIRO: And let's turn our attention as we take a deep breath. Let's go past the first 100 days. Eventually, the Biden administration is going to come to the House with proposals on tax increases. One thing that's getting kicked around is a capital gains tax increase. You're on the committee that oversees the House Financial Services. That has an impact on this kind of legislation, especially when it comes to securities. What would you say if approached about a tax increase? Is it true that Republicans have never met a tax increase they would ever pass?

STEVE STIVERS: Well, I don't know that we would never pass any tax increase, but I think a capital gains tax increase would be bad for economic growth. And it would result in people holding investments or property because they don't want to take tax gains, as opposed to they don't want to sell it. So I think that is an issue that is not the best way to look at taxation because I think it will negatively impact economic growth. There are other things I'm willing to look at and willing to have a conversation about, but I would not start with things like a capital gains tax increase.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, I just want to let you know that I am biased. Whether they be Democrat or Republican, when it's someone from Ohio, I am always thrilled that they're joining us. I hope you will come back. All the best to you, sir.

STEVE STIVERS: Thanks. I hope to talk to you again soon. Take care.