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What are these guys up to? I mean, this is political theater. I actually think that they think there are some head shakers out there, they think that they really have a chance of getting this through. What`s the mission here? What do you think?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL, DCCC CHAIRMAN: Well, the mission is to protect health insurance company profits even if it undermines the middle class.
They`ll keep doing it for as lock as they have the majority in the House of Representatives. They`ll do it 30 times, 60 times, 90 times. They will do it every day if they have to until they protect those health insurance company profits even if they`re taking away important patient protections from the middle class.
Here is the contrast between us, Ed. House Democrats want a vote on
comprehensive legislation to create jobs to strengthen the middle class.
House Republicans want to move backwards and vote 31 times to repeal important patient protections that help the middle class. That`s the difference between us. And that`s why there`s this buyer`s remorse that puts the house in play.
SCHULTZ: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calls it extortion. Here it is.
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GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Obamacare on Medicaid to the states is extortion. It said you expand your program to where we tell you. And if you don`t, we`re taking the rest of your money away. Well, that`s extortion.
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SCHULTZ: What`s your response to that.
ISRAEL: You know what extortion is? Extortion is taking people`s money for health insurance and then telling them if you`re a woman with breast cancer that we took your money but it`s a pre-existing condition so we`re kicking you off the policy.
Extortion is telling people who want to keep their kids on their health insurance policies until they`re 26 that the kids get kicked off.
Extortion is with the Republicans are doing now. Extortion is taking votes to protect health insurance company profits and then extorting the middle class by doing nothing to help them.
SCHULTZ: So, in some way, is this vote going to help the Democrats on the campaign trail?
ISRAEL: Let me tell you. If I were a house Republican, I would not want to go home to my district next weekend and explain to people why I took away their protections. I would not like to talk to a woman with breast cancer and explain to her why I voted to make breast cancer a pre-existing condition again. I would not like to talk to a senior citizen at a town hall meeting and explain to them why I just voted to re-instate the doughnut hole and increased their prescription drug prices. I would not like to explain why, once again, I have put insurance company profits ahead of the middle class.
Ed, they started the majority by voting to end Medicare to help millionaires. They`re going to end their majority by repealing patient protections to help insurance company profits. And I`m fine with that.
SCHULTZ: On the tax issue, should every Democrat get on the same page
and support the president go home and campaign on what he talked about
ISRAEL: I think every Democrat needs to coalesce for middle class -- to continue to middle class tax cuts. That`s what the president said.
You know, I wish we could find the right balance and compromise with the Republicans. But my guess is this, if we said to them it`s a million, they would say no, if we said a billion dollars, they would say no.
They`re saying no to everything. We need to create jobs, protect the middle class and move on.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Steve Israel. Good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
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