The Ed Show | December 20, 2012
>>> welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for joining us tonight. speaker john boehner didn't have the votes for his own plan b this evening. boehner was desperately trying to save face with his caucus after rejecting an offer by president obama he should have taken. here's what eric cantor had to say just moments ago leaving.
>> is there going to be a vote tonight?
>> no vote tonight?
>> will there be a vote tomorrow?
>> are you ditching plan b ? will there be a vote today?
>> let's bring in congressman elijah cummings of maryland and also congressman john garamendi of california. gentlemen, breaking news tonight. very interesting. congressman cummings , did you think it was going to come to this? did you think john boehner was not going to be able to get the votes and be able to hold the vote in the house tonight?
>> i have a feeling he probably wouldn't be able to do so because this plan is one that's inconsistent with the republican philosophy. keep in mind, they don't want to tax the wealthier people one dime. and so that's why this failed. let me tell you, one of the things that speaker boehner ought to be concerned about right now is that as a result of not being able to get these votes he's now emboldened the tea party and basically the tea party is controlling the republican party . and that's so bad because they are now pushing us over this cliff. the president's been very reasonable. but again, the tea party has again ruled, unfortunately.
>> congressman garamendi, where does john boehner go from here?
>> i don't know where he would go. but i know where we have to go. we've got to find a compromise. we've got to get this done. we cannot let america hang out because of the chaos in the republican caucus . it's just really a tragedy if we don't get this together. we're more than willing to compromise. the president's gone way, way down the road toward compromise. obviously, the republicans are unable to even get their act together let alone reach a compromise.
>> how are you going to reach a compromise with these people? with their position. on what was on the table. congressman cummings --
>> it's going to be very difficult. but i hope that speaker boehner will go back to his caucus and remind them that we just came through an election and that the people have spoken and they've spoken very clearly. and i've got to tell you, ed, i'm beginning to feel that much of the republican caucus must be out of touch with the american people . they act like an election never happened. we've got to move on, though. there's so many people at christmas time who are suffering. and just think. this is now -- we spent several days, and speaker boehner spent several days creating this distraction. that's what it's been. when we could have had this resolved and we could have moved on. but yet they've got us -- they literally are pushing us over 24 cliff when the president has been extremely reasonable.
>> john garamendi , do you think the president should come out with another offer, or is this it? are we going over the cliff?
>> well, the president has put a very good offer on the table. he's got probably 180 clear votes. there were 21 republicans that did not go with what i would call the ryan budget plan, which was devastating to the 47% that was discussed earlier. so all we need is those 21 republicans to come on board and we could put this together. so it's really a question i think of whether speaker boehner 's willing to do what's right by america or to hang on as best he can to his speakership.
>> this is the latest from majority leader captor's office. the house has concluded legislative business for the week. members are advised that the house will return for legislative business after the christmas holiday when congressman cummings , if you had to put a percentage on whether we're going over the cliff right now after tonight's events unfolding, that they couldn't round up the votes, what would you put it at?
>> i think it's going to be very difficult to avoid it. but i'm hoping they will come to their senses over this christmas holiday , and i hope that they'll work with the president. i know the president has extended his hand. and i'm sure he's willing to work through the christmas holiday to get it done because he realizes how important it is. and i'm hoping that they will put the country before their party.
>> john, it would seem to me the tea party has had enough of john boehner . and they didn't give him the votes tonight because they don't think he's conservative enough. and so this was a tipping point and this was their chance to make a statement and they'll go home and say that they stood by their principles and didn't raise taxes. what about that?
>> well, that's obviously what they did. but the larger question is what is going to happen to america . what's going to go --
>> they don't care. they don't seem to care, do they?
>> well, that's not the entire republican caucus . there's a large percentage of the republican caucus that is rational on this issue even though they may not be exactly where we are in the democratic caucus . these votes can be put together. speaker boehner , would you really be serious about what's good for america ? we can put the president's plan on the table, on the floor tomorrow, and it would pass with republican votes if speaker boehner is willing to put his speakership at risk.
>> you think it would pass? you think the president's plan would pass if boehner were to bring it up?
>> i think it has a very good chance of passing. it's a compromise all the way through. and it has the balance of cuts and taxes. it's a good plan. there are things in it that i don't like. as i said on your show earlier, i'm willing to compromise and do what's good for america .
>> and congressman cummings , is it an intriguing question to know just how hard eric cantor may have worked for votes tonight?
>> oh, yeah. it is. i'm not sure how hard he worked. but the fact is the tea party , ed. the sad story that comes out of this is the tea party can go back and say they controlled the process. and i've got to tell you, ed, it is very, very painful when i think about all the people who will suffer as a result of the republican party being in disarray and not wanting to tax the richer of the rich one dime more. it's just a sad occasion.
>> it is. congressman elijah cummings and john garamendi , great to have you with us tonight, gentlemen. thank you so much. coming up, steve benen of the maddow blog and michael tomasky of the daily beast are here with their reaction. what's the next play? then president obama was asked where has he been on guns? tonight we're asked where have the republicans been? where have they gone? we've got disturbing