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SCHULTZ: Now let`s turn to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
Congresswoman, always a pleasure to have you with us.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Is the Progressive Caucus satisfied with the way the debt
deal is being pushed by Democrats in the White House right now?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, here`s what we think -- that the framing is not
about the base of the Republican Party or the base of the Democratic Party.
It`s really about the 99 percent versus the 1 percent. That it`s not a
matter of widely spreading the debt fix. It`s about fairly spreading the
And for the Republicans, even to hold out for a minute on continuing
tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans is absolutely outrageous and, in
fact, the entitlement cuts -- I mean, are they saying that the United
States of America is poorer today than we were 50 years ago when Medicare
and Medicaid went into effect or 70 years ago with Social Security? We`re
SCHULTZ: And I think that`s a key point. How nervous are
progressives in Congress, in the House especially, that the big three will
be on the table. Now, Social Security is off the table. They made that
clear. But if the Republicans were to show up with a lot of revenue, do
you think you`d be able to still keep it off the table, Medicare, in this
SCHAKOWSKY: I`ll tell you what, the Democrats will risk not only the
base of their party, but the majority of our party, the majority of
Americans. The majority of Americans are very clear about Social Security
and Medicare. This very idea of raising the age, you know, the people
proposing it, the CEOs, the Fix the Debt group -- do you know each one of
them has an average of $9 million in their retirement fund? You know?
SCHULTZ: Yes, they are totally disconnected with the American workers
and the middle class of this country.
SCHAKOWSKY: And the Congress is in danger of being out of touch with
the American people if we cut or raise the age or cut benefits for the
SCHULTZ: So the final point here, are you confident that the White
House will hold the line? That they will be able to get what they want and
not allow Medicare, Medicaid to be chipped away at the way the Republicans
really want to?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, the way they want to is bad. But I agree with
Chris Van Hollen. We can make Medicare more efficient, cut some costs from
the Medicare program, and make it work better. But not cut the benefits,
particularly since employers have ended guaranteed health care for their
employees and certainly for their retirees. We cannot afford to do that.
SCHAKOWSKY: We can`t afford to do that.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky -- thank you for joining us
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Appreciate it.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thanks, Ed.
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