The Ed Show | February 26, 2013
>>> good evening, americans , and welcome to ted show from new york. three days from austerity. john boehner is scolding the senate , while the president is out working with the folks. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
>> these cuts are wrong. they're not smart. they're not fair.
>> the president lays out a plan to save thousands of jobs.
>> i am more than willing to negotiate. i want to compromise.
>> while boehner plays the blame game .
>> we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
>> congressman chris van hollen and gene robinson weigh in tonight.
>>> a new lawsuit blows the lid on jpmorgan's toxic cover-up. eliot spitzer has the forecast for the implosion.
>>> the gop tries to resurrect jim crowe laws in an attack on the voting rights act .
>>> chris christie gets left out of cpac in favor of the republican gag reel . our panel takes on the party's backwards reinvention.
>>> bachmann breaks her post election silence.
>> i didn't get anything wrong.
>> and it was worth the wait.
>>> thousands have gathered tonight in remembering the killing of trayvon martin. we'll take you inside the unanswered questions behind his shocking murder case.
>> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. well, republicans have shifted into the final phase of their sequestration strategy. talk tough and empty threats.
>> we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
>> ooh, strong language from a guy who is on the heels of a ten-day vacation, don't you think? i mean, boehner 's got a lot of nerve to stand up there in front of the american people with a brand-new golf tan and tell the senate to get to work. maybe boehner forgot the number of days off he called for the house this year. maybe democratic leader nancy pelosi was quick to remind him today.
>> we've been gone for ten days. we come back. we'll be gone by thursday at 3:00 when we have a deadline facing us. we're practically becoming a drive-by congress .
>> do you get off at 3:00 on thursday? heck of a job if you can get it. you know, it's amazing the lengths that the house republicans will go to deceive the public. boehner is once again lying about the bills that the house republicans have passed. again, let's have nancy pelosi explain the truth.
>> the republican leadership says we passed bills last year. i remind them that was a different congress . that doesn't count in this congress . the republican leadership says let the senate begin. i remind them that the constitution says that appropriations and revenue bills must begin in the house .
>> what was that about the constitution? let's go over this slowly so even john boehner will understand it all. this bill behind me was passed by house republicans in may of 2012 . it was designed by wisconsin congressman paul ryan . remember him? and of course it had cuts to programs like food stamps and medicaid instead of military spending . the bill's dead. it died when the 112th congress came to an end. here is another dandy that they say they passed. this was passed as part of john boehner 's failed plan b fiscal cliff package. this one is also dead. and so let's recap. the republicans have exactly zero bills in this session, the 113th congress to avoid what we're facing on friday, sequestration. the house needs to introduce a bill before it can go to the senate . but john boehner is too busy saying tough guy words and blaming democrats. i think the secretary of homeland security summed it up best yesterday during a question-and-answer session.
>> what impact would sequestration, were it to happen, have on the department?
>> you know, i've been in government and public service a long time, 20 years almost. i have never seen anything like this.
>> no one has ever seen anything like this, because it makes absolutely no sense. this is the party that runs around talking about cuts, yet they won't take them. this is obstruction for the sake of obstruction, no question about it. the only hard work john boehner is doing is pounding on his chest.
>> the president has been traveling all over the country and today going down to newport news in order to use our military men and women as a prop in yet another campaign rally to support his tax hikes.
>> so the people who are going to lose their job, they're just a prop. there is a good reason why the president of the united states is taking his case to the american people , because republicans , they just keep lying about everything in washington. the president is not looking for across-the-board tax increases.
>> all we're asking is that they close loopholes for the well off and the well connected, for hedge fund managers, or companies or corporate jet owners who are all doing very well and don't need these tax loopholes so we can avoid laying off workers or kicking kids off head start or reducing financial aid for college students. i don't think that's too much to ask. i do not think that is partisan. the majority of the american people agree with me. the majority of newport news agrees with me. we need to get this done.
>> well, republicans can blame the president all they want. nothing can happen without action in congress .
>> but the choice is up to congress . only congress has the power to pass a law that stops these damaging cuts and replaces them with smart savings and tax reform . and the second i get that bill on my desk, i will sign it into law. but i've got to get congress to pass it.
>> so are all the republicans just totally screwed up? well, you know what? actually, some republicans do get it. congressman scott rigell joined president obama in virginia today. he is a businessman, a car dealer guy, but he is worried about the cuts in his state.
>> i've got to give scott rigell kretd credit. he is one of your republican congressman who is with us here today. and that's not always healthy for a republican, being with me. but the reason he is doing it is because he knows it's important to you. and he has asked his colleagues in the house to consider closing tax loopholes instead of letting these automatic cuts go through.
>> the state of virginia will be hit hard by excessive sequester cuts. 90,000 civilian military employees would be furloughed. it would be a loss of nearly $650 million in salary for virginians. this is why the president took his message to a virginia facility where submarines are built. now, at this particular shipyard, projects like an overhaul to the uss theodore roosevelt is going to be delayed. how is that going to help the military? president obama wants to avoid this, and so do most americans , if you believe the polls. the latest polling from nbc news, "the wall street journal " shows nearly half of americans believe president obama is trying to unify the country. only 22% believe the same thing about the republicans . so john boehner can use all the swear words he wants. he can be a tough talker all he wants. but the numbers show that he is a failed leader, and he is the king of obstruction right now. in the 112th, it was all the filibusters in the senate . it's very clear in the 113th it's up to boehner . to not even introduce anything that would avert the job losses that are going to be taking place after friday. i guarantee you, boehner 's got a tee time 9:00 a.m . friday morning. some of you people in media in washington why don't you go ask him what he's doing on friday? you're going to tell me a guy a tan like that that loves to shake down donors at a golf course isn't going to be on the links this weekend? he is not working for you. he is rip you off. you should the be calling your congressman tonight, telling them to get to work, to do a deal. to protect these families, these middle class families that are going to get butchered by this. these are real people 's lives. well, okay, his tee time is at 9:05. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. what is more offensive, john boehner 's language or john boehner 's job performance? text "a" for language. text b for performance to 67622. you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you results later on in the show.
>>> joining me tonight, congressman chris van hollen of maryland. he is a ranking member on the house budget committee . congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
>> you too, ed.
>> i just want to cut to the chase on what boehner is telling the american people . he says that they have passed two bills. that was in the 112th. legally, they don't apply right now. is that correct?
>> that's exactly right, ed. it is totally false. the republicans have done absolutely nothing to replace or avoid the sequester in this new congress , nothing since january 1st . and whatever they did last year has absolutely no force of law, period. so they've done nothing, had in dachlt.
>> okay. so now you have come forward with a solution on the house side to get things moving. it's to the point. it has revenue. but the republicans are saying they're done with revenue. so what do you offer?
>> well, that's right, ed. listen, today, just this evening was the third time that i asked for a simple vote on the floor of the house of representatives. let the people's house vote on a plan that would avoid the sequester, replace it with a mix of targeted cuts and revenues. so the cuts were to excessive agriculture subsidies, and the revenue was closing tax breaks for big oil companies and applying the buffett rule to people who earn more than $2 million a year. so that they would pay at least 30%. if you do that, you get the same deficit reduction benefit of the sequester over a longer period of time in a smart way, and you don't lose the 750,000 american jobs that this congressional budget office , not me, the nonpartisan congressional budget office says you'll get with the sequester.
>> okay. now with this attempt by the president, he is going around the country, making the plea to people that they got to get behind this, because these cuts if sequester takes place, it's going to hurt the economy. in the meantime, he is work over the republican governors. the governors are saying, hey, this is the real deal . but boehner , you think that he is afraid, the speaker of the house afraid to bring this plan that you have up for an up-or-down vote because there might be some republicans that come over and vote yes on it?
>> that's exactly right, ed, because what this plan would do is avoid all those job losses, avoid the disruption in the economy, and does it in a balanced way. and you've got a number of republicans who are starting to say you know what? this idea that we cannot close a single tax loophole in order to reduce the deficit and help prevent the sequester is nonsense. and so there seems to be a growing sense among some republicans .
>> that they're not willing to lose 750,000 jobs in order to protect tax breaks for big oil companies or hedge fund managers or whoever it may be.
>> well, they're obstructing in the house , just like they obstructed in the senate in the 112th. it's just a different -- it's a role reverse. it's almost like it's boehner 's turn to pick up the gavel and stop everybody. here is virginia governor bob mcdonald . this is a great example of how republicans play this game. take a listen.
>> we need to cut spending, and more than the sequester. but don't put 50% of the cuts on the u.s. military .
>> oh, by the way, the u.s. military is in virginia . i mean, this is a classic comment right there. you know, he wants all these spending cuts, but don't do it in my backyard. i mean, that's where they are. they're self-serving in many regards, and this is why the country can't stand government right now, can't stand the congress .
>> well, look, it's total head-spinning, ed. here is the republican line. if you cut defense spending so you have fewer people building ships and things like that, that loses jobs.
>> and frankly, it does. but if you cut transportation spending or you cut head start programs, somehow that doesn't hurt jobs. that somehow miraculously grows the economy. we know that's not the case. what republicans want to do here is what they tried in europe and failed.
>> they tried this cut and grow. and what they got was cut and shrink. their economies are going down. they're in double-dip recessions. and that's the kind of medicine they want to prescribe here at home now. it won't work. it will hurt the economy.
>> all right. congressman chris van hollen , good to have you with us tonight. thanks.
>> likewise, thanks, ed.
>>> let's bring in pulitzer prize winning columnist for the " washington post " eugene robinson . eugene, does the hatred for president obama run so deep in the republican party that there is no deal that they'll cut with him?
>> there doesn't seem to be a deal right now. and it's not just hatred for president obama as far as speaker is concerned. i think his main priority is his own precarious political position. and, look, if he were to bring to the floor of the house a proposal such as congressman van hollen's, indeed, quite a few republicans might vote for it. in fact, it might pass. but then john boehner 's majority might turn on him and he might lose the speakership. so it's unclear whether the house republican majority can be led at this point. it is clear that boehner isn't doing a very good job of leading it.
>> so who wins the pr war that is taking place right now? i know that's the last thing american people want to hear. but that's all these guys care about right now.
>> well, polling has been done. who will you blame if the sequester happens and the sky falls? and overwhelmingly, people say we will blame the house republicans , because they're the ones who were obstructing a deal and a resolution of this completely artificial crisis, by the way. this crisis didn't have to happen, but it is happening. look, boehner has to take the long shot bet or feels he has to take the long shot bet that the polls are wrong, and that eventually people will come to blame the president and absolve the republicans . i think that's unlikely, and the polling shows that's unlikely.
>> you know, listening to the president talk today, he wants to compromise. he almost gets the feeling he would give away the farm if they give up little bit of revenue. i think he knows that they won't do it.
>> yeah, i think at this point we are the stage where this is all for public consumption, unless there are some talks going on deep, deep in the background, underground somewhere that nobody knows about. it looks like this is all preparation for what happens on friday morning after the sequester hits, and then everybody says oh, how do we fix it.
>> eugene robinson , great to have you on the "ed show" tonight. thanks for being here.
>> share your thoughts with us on twitter and ed show and on facebook. we want to know what you think.
>>> hundreds of internal e-mails show banking giant jpmorgan chase hiding bad loans from investors. the former sheriff of wall street eliot spitzer is going to weigh in on this and so much more, coming up.