PoliticsNation | March 01, 2013
>>> in just a few hours, $85 billion in cuts will begin to kick in. cuts that will affect some of the most vulnerable and vital parts of our economy.
>> we shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on like education and research and infrastructure and defense. it's unnecessary. and at a time when too many americans are still looking for work, it's inexcusable.
>>> it's not fair. it's fot right. the american people don't think it's fair. and don't think it's right.
>> it's not fair and it's not right. the cuts are becoming a reality. and they're going to affect real people women, children, teachers, air traffic controllers , they're all going to feel the squeeze. even the people on capitol hill will take a hit, though not the ones you might expect.
>> all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the capitol. now that congress has left, somebody is going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage -- they're going to have less pay. the janitors, the security guards , they just got a pay cut and they have to figure out how to manage that. and that's real.
>> republicans lawmakers get to keep their pay. it's just everybody else that's being made to suffer. joining me now is jim mcdermott from washington. congressman, how do you explain it?
>> well, it's pretty simple, al. yesterday, we passed the violence against women 's act. it was passed out of the senate . it came over to the house. john boehner put it on the floor and all of the democrats and a few republicans voted for it and it passed. the same thing could happen today if mitch mcconnell would let a bill come out of the senate , let the majority rule in the senate if they passed it over to the house and boehner put it on the floor, you'd have 200 democrats and a handful of republicans and we would not have to have this sequester happen. it doesn't have to happen. it's only because mitch mcconnell will not let the majority rule in the senate . it's the filibuster rule in the senate that's keeping any kind of compromise from coming out of the senate .
>> let me hold you right there, congressman. i want people to understand that. when you say mitch mcconnell is using the filibuster rule and blocking this from going before the senate and then coming to the house to stop this, explain the process for those around the country that may not understand how mcconnell can do that.
>> well, he invokes the filibuster rule which says you have to have 60 votes to move a bill. so the majority in the senate , the democrats, the 57, 58 or 59, whatever it is, can decide on something but they cannot bring it to the floor for a vote because mcconnell says you have to have 60 votes even to have a vote. now, that's not majority rule . if he'd let the democrats put something on the floor that had been agreed with by the president, they can send it over to the house. at that point, the house speaker can put it on the calendar and it could be voted on. he would have only a few republicans vote for it. all of the democrats would vote for it. and it would pass and his sequester would disappear. it is absolutely mitch mcconnell . see, what's going on is mitch mek connell is running for election. and he's afraid of a tea bagger running against him .
>> i mean, you had the new york times, for example. reporting that there are republicans happy with the sequester. congressman scalise called it, quote, a big victory. an congressman mulvaney said sequester was a welcomed development. who is this a big victory for, exactly?
>> it's a big victory for mitch mcconnell . those new freshmen over in the house don't understand what's going to happen. when you start laying off air traffic controllers and there's a 90 minute delay on every flight going to chicago and you have the whole airline system slowed down in the entire country, then america is going to see what's happened. oh, when they come and there's nobody to open up the national space museum in washington, d.c. for tourists to come in, there's going to be a hundred thousand effects that will happen because of all of this that will happen little by little by little. the tea bag party, basically, is people who don't want government, who want to kill government, and want to make president obama look bad. that's all they're about. they have nothing positive.
>> and when you look at the fact we're talking about women and children and seniors and, as you say, government workers, 600,000 women and children lose nutrition aid. 125,000 families lose housing aid, 70,000 kids lose head start and 20,000 lose cancer screening so their private yachts and private jets remain in place, this is absolutely the height of insensitivity by those in government.
>> there's no question about it. you're really protecting the people at the top. boehner says there will be no more tax increases. well, he, himself, put $800 billion in tax loopholes on the table some months ago. and now he's pulled it back. he's said oh, no, no, no, we're not going to talk about that anymore. he wants it both ways. he wants to have it one way, having them believe they gave us tax increases and now they're not giving us tax increases. it's simply a game that's being played that's going to hurt ordinary citizens.
>> unfortunately, for american families, putting food on the table is not a game. thank you, congressman.
>>> nk all of those leaders from the tea party faded away? think again. why the gop is the tea party .
>>> plus, the president made a comment today about republicans who demonize him. it made us all stop for a moment. and, for the first time, michelle obama responds to the right wing attacks. stay with