The Rachel Maddow Show | June 26, 2012
>>> okay. acting, coming up. i promise. the republican party 's agenda in congress hit a big snag in the senate today. the republican party 's agenda in congress is, of course, jobs, jobs, jobs, by which i mean abortion. their laser-like focus on jobs, jobs, job-abortion has produced a ton of legislation already this year. they tried to amend the house spending bill to restrict access to abortion under the health reform law. they expedited a bill to the house floor that would require doctors to investigate women's motives for seeking an abortion. they introduced a u.s. senate bill to make it harder for young women to get abortions. they pushed a bill in the house to limit the time during which women can get abortions in washington, d.c. and speaking of d.c. , after threatening last year to shut down the entire federal government over republicans' desperate need to ban d.c. from using its own money to fund abortions for low-income women, house republicans this year have already put the local d.c. abortion funding ban into this year's budget. and a bill that would have given d.c. more control over its own money and its own budget died an unceremonious death in the senate today. it was removed from the schedule after republican senator rand paul tried to add a host of amendments to force on d.c. his own chosen gun laws, his own chosen runbacks, and that ban on using local d.c. funds for abortion. the republicans are focused. the republican focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, by which i mean abortion, has just been exhaustive this year. they don't get that much credit for it, but it's really most of what they're working on. but if you are a member of congress, even if you are a republican member of congress who is singularly dedicated to the very important issue of creating jobs, by which i mean restricting abortion rights , sometimes you still simply have to work on something else. you have to work on other issues that happen to be important to the running of the country, besides abortion. things like infrastructure. keeping the nation's highways running, or emergency preparedness , or maybe, for example, steppextending the country's flood insurance program, which covers 5.6 million properties in flood-prone areas. the flood insurance program is set to expire at the end of next month. and as if to remind us all how important that is, big swaths of the state of florida are underwater right now. tropical storm debby has been dousing the western coast of florida . one florida county near tallahassee has seen more than 2 feet of rain in the last few days. residents stranded there by flooding had to be rescued by boat. parts of the interstate along a 50-mile stretch of florida between jacksonville and tallahassee were shut down because of all the flooding. so, great, sounds like a good time to make sure the nation's flood insurance program doesn't expire, right? well, what had been a bipartisan effort in the senate to extend that program suddenly became a partisan disaster today. because today, the flood insurance bill came face to face with the republicans' abortion above all else agenda. they couldn't help themselves. they couldn't let a totally unrelated bill with broad bipartisan support about flooding, they couldn't let that pass without turning it into some way to go after abortion rights . republican senator rand paul , who's theoretically a small government , get the government out of my business guy, he is pushing for a personhood amendment to the flood insurance thing. rand paul wants to add to flood insurance a personhood measure, like the one that was defeated, even by voters in mississippi last fall. a measure that declares a fertilized egg is a person, declares a woman to have become two people, essentially as soon as she has had sex, thereby banning all abortion as well as some common forms of hormonal birth control . that's what rand paul wants to do with the flood insurance bill. this kind of thing has been happening all session. jobs, jobs, job-abortion. but this time, this time, senator harry reid on the democratic side has had enough. the rand paul personhood amendment to the flood thing seems to have aroused real genuine anger in the mild-mannered senate majority leader. in responding to the personhood amendment, senator reid lost his temper today. he lit into republicans on the senate floor. here's the thing about harry reid losing his temper, though, and lighting into republicans. harry reid is so soft spoken, so mild mannered, so beyond calm and collected, his demeanor so politely unperturbed, that even when he is saying mean, angry, fed up, even sarcastic words, he does not sound mean, angry, fed up, or sarcastic. he sounds nice. for example, about two-thirds of the way through his tirade about the anti-abortion personhood amendment to the flood bill, senator reid says, "i think this is outlandish." only, here's how he says it.
>> i think this is outlandish.
>> outlandish. the substance of senator reid 's speech was compelling and important and fiery if you read it on the page, but the delivery was --
>> outlandish. so in order that you may fully appreciate the substance of harry reid inveighing against the republican jobs, jobs, job-abortion agenda today, kent jones has translated it for us, translating harry reid 's angry-looking words into actually angry-sounding words.
>> i have been very patient working with my republican colleagues, in allowing amendments, that are relative amendments on issues, and sometimes we even do non-relevant amendments. but, really, on flood insurance ?! the big pushers of this bill are republican senators, veteran republican senators! and they better work on their side of the aisle -- because i am not going to put up with that on flood insurance ! i can be condemned by outside forces. my friends can say, let them have a vote on it! there will not be a vote on that in flood insurance . we will either do flood insurance with the amendments dealing with flood insurance , or we won't do it!
>> harry reid 's "rant" against the republican effort to attach an anti-abortion personhood amendment to the flood insurance bill, as translated for our non-sleeping viewer by the great kent jones . kent, i have never loved you more than i love you in this moment and i have loved you for a long time.
>> i'm still pretty angry.
>> i have a cough drop if you need it.
>> i will.
>>> a quick programming note before you go. tomorrow night, our guest for the interview is going to be massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren . obviously, we would love to have her opponent, republican senator scott brown on this show as well, but he never returns our phone calls. we are always excited to have elizabeth warren here. scott brown , call me, anytime. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night.