Martin Bashir | April 27, 2012
>> begin with a real fist thumping fight this week. the battle over student loan rates. and john boehner 's 11th hour reversal to premotor a temporary extension of lower rates. wait for it, paid for by cuts to a preventive health care fund. and democrats had a few choice words for the sudden choice of heart.
>> using the student loan issue to drive their agenda. i fight that very cynical. i find that in part quite repulsive.
>> their bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing. this is such a sad and sinister ploy.
>> this bill is shameless.
>> resorting to the trick bags.
>> shifty indeed.
>> shifty indeed. that is the bill that gained passage in the republican house this afternoon with the threat of a white house veto looming over it. the speaker, john boehner , accused democrats of rank hip hypocrisy and blasted them for what he said is a fake fight.
>> several months ago, you all voted the cut $4 billion out of this slush fund . when we passed the pay roll tax credibility. so to accuse us of wanting to gut women 's health is not true. and to pick this big political fight where there is no fight is just silly. give me a break.
>> he was close to tears there. +t r&e both sides expressed frustration with much partisan hand wringing, it was the women of the house who slammed the switch with particular fervor and warped, it will have serious consequences in the voting booth .
>> i would say they have worked very hard to earn that gender gap . bit by bit, vote by vote, bill by bill, defund by defund and insult by insult.
>> it's like they have rubbed two stones together and they're playing with fire . they ought not to do it. this prevention saves lives. saves money. unfortunately they came back with what seemed natural to them. let's take the money out of women 's health rather than subsidies to big on it.
>> joining us now from capitol hill , congresswoman don i can't edwards, and the congressman from kentucky. if i can begin with you, speaker john boehner says that democrats are fabric it aing a so-called war on women . but how else do you understand an approach to this student loans issue whereby republicans want to fund it from health care resources?
>> well, it's much more like a pump fake by the speaker. they've said to women on the one hand, we'll sacrifice preventive care or you can go to school and get a student loan . so i think the speaker protest as little too much. republicans took to this floor. they continue to do everything that they can to gut women 's health care . and at the same time, they're saying the 7 million st]ddnts all across this country that your student loan rates, your interest rates will double by july 1st . it is really disgusting.
>> congressman, given the major oil companies , bp, chevron, cone oako, mobil and shell, made a trillion $1 trillion over the last decade, does it make sense to allow them to keep their subsidies and take away health care from women so that students can get loans at a reasonable rate?
>> well, of course not. what this just shows, martin, is that the republicans are deficit when hawks and chickens when it comes to the elth withiest friends. they passed a tax cut for small businesses. $46 billion that they didn't pay for. the lion's share went to the top 3% of business owners in the country. so when it come to program that help humans, they're very stingy. when it come to benefits for their friends ask the very wealthiest americans , they're just wonderful. the crazy thing, when the speaker boehner talks about hypocrisy, every republican voted for the bubble which raised the interest rate to back to 6.8%. they're already on record as being opposed to keeping this interest rate at 3.4%. so this is just a last gasp measure. they didn't want to go home and speak at commencements next week when there were people out there protesting.
>> i guess, i don't want to tar you both with this brush but ? if congress can't agree on this, then what on earth will happen when it come to the debt ceiling debates in the future? this both terribly, doesn't it?
>> well, i think it does. really what it points to is that republicans will go to no lengths to protect their wealthy friends to continue to give tax breaks to oil and gas companies and sacrifice the middle class . we are talking about middle class families. students who receive student loans , manageable and affordable stoonlt loans. here they are in april getting ready for graduation in june and our high school seniors are not able to figure out with their parents what their package is going to be to put together a college education .
>> congressman, i imagine you have constituents in that very position just as she was saying.
>> absolutely. we have, i think the numbers are spg like 125,000 citizens of kentucky who have student lobes. this interest rate hike that if we don't act, will be about $1,000 a year on average to them. that's a lot of money coming out of the economy if they can afford to pay the higher rate. so this dramatically affects so many middle class families in my state and my district as it does across the country.
>> why then do they all deny that there is a war on women when they would rather deny women access to important health care provisions, but keep subsidies for their friends in the oil industry . if they're not, if there isn't a war on women , most of us must be ignorant. it seem that way. ?
>> here they are, they basically guts this for women . many are young women getting ready to go to college that we're going to sacrifice your future. your ability to be competitive in a very competitive economy. and sacrifice women 's health care . so it's not an accident. they mean these things. they mental when it they passed the republican romney-ryan budget. they mental it today when they decided to trade-off student loans and high interest rates for women 's preventive health.
>> congressmen, i have to wonder what republicans are thinking to play what seemed to be perilous politics with the health of women and the finances of young voters. aren't these two groups that mitt romney has trouble attracting, this is not sensible politics as we approach the presidential election, is it?
>> no. it's crazy. it is obvious that they recognize that they're hanging out on a political limb right now on this issue. or they wouldn't have acted in such a crazy way. to pick this kind of pay for, which dramatically impairs the health of women , of young children, keeps many seniors from getting the preventive care they need themselves could have chosen a lot of things. even forgetting the oil subsidies themselves could have gone after ag subsidies which wouldn't have provided the stark contrast to whose side they're really on. they're not on women 's side and they're definitely on billionaires' side.
>> thank you so much for joining us this afternoon.