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REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Your prediction? What will Nancy Pelosi do? I mean, is there any chance that she would not bring it to the floor?
GRAYSON: Well, of course. That"s what we voted for as a caucus, and that"s our position.
There"s been no material change in the bill. There"s nothing significant that"s been changed. And frankly, we are getting the bum rush. That"s what this is.
This is a bill that spends a trillion dollars. That"s $3,000 for every man, woman and child in this country.
A couple of weeks ago I bought a big-screen TV for $1,500. It"s my first one in about five years. And I spent more than two hours trying to figure out which was the best big-screen TV to buy, because $1,500 is a significant expenditure.
Here we"re talking about $1 trillion, $3,000 for every single one of us. And it"s being forced through without a hearing, without a markup, without even a study of its economic effects. This is the bum rush, and I"m not happy about it.
SCHULTZ: The PR game seems to be working. Even 68 percent of Democrats across the country want this.
Do you believe these polls? I mean, the last week, Monday through Friday of last week, President Obama, he was on a roll. He was talking to the media, he was holding press conferences, he was making statements, he was going to the press room. That had an effect.
Do you think the public is really behind what you just said?
GRAYSON: I don"t think the public knows what"s in the bill. You know, we"ve heard over and over again for the past two years, read the bill, read the bill.
Where is the bill? How are we supposed to know what"s even in it?
What I"ve learned from it is that one-third of this bill which corresponds to $1,000 for every man, woman and child in this country, one-third of the bill consists of two things. The first thing is tax cuts for the rich and the second thing is corporate giveaways.
I don"t think that"s a good bill. Do you?
SCHULTZ: I don"t. And I don"t want this to go through. I think it"s a generational mistake.
I think the Democrats will never be trusted with the economy again if this doesn"t work. This has to work. And the story about Moody"s talking about the credit rating in the United States, I mean, is anybody in Congress paying attention to the news?
GRAYSON: Well, sure. And people in Congress are paying attention to the bill as well, this proposal. And I think that there is a division of authority. There"s a split of views inside the Democratic Caucus about this bill.
GRAYSON: I"d say that half of us think that the bill is the president punting on first down, and the other half of us think it"s the president striking out on one pitch.
SCHULTZ: All right.
The estate tax--
GRAYSON: There are only five people in the Democratic Caucus so far -
five people in the Democratic Caucus who have praised this in our caucus meetings.
SCHULTZ: OK. So, the estate tax, could this be the deal-killer? You know, by law, it was supposed to go to $1 million, at 55 percent. Now, of course, the Senate moved it to $5 million and 35 percent.
Will this be the linchpin in this to kill this deal?
GRAYSON: I would like to see the president come out and reiterate that he doesn"t think that it"s the best use of $150 billion for us to be cutting taxes on the rich. I"d like to see him reiterate that, and that includes the estate tax giveaway.
Maybe if he did say that, he could push the Republicans a little bit further. Bear in mind that we"ve already passed an estate tax bill. We"ve already passed a tax cut bill here in the House. We"d be happy to go to conference and try to bridge the differences between the House and the Senate.
And the president could have gotten our bills passed if he had just gotten two Republican senators--two Republican senators -s- to go along with this bill. Instead, he has got all the Republican senators to go along with the bill because it gives away too much for the Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Grayson, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
GRAYSON: Thank you.
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