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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Let`s turn now to Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Senator, great to have you with us tonight. There`s been a lot of conversation in the
liberal community in this country about this. And Democrats seem to be
champing at the bit. Is this going to happen? Are we going to see change?

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: Yes, I believe that we are going
to see change. We have the support to make the changes. And I think it`s
very clear the public wants us to get something done. Of course, we`re
going to work across the aisle. But one person, like Senator Rand, shouldn`t be able to hold up the Department of Defense Bill or, in the case of my Bringing Jobs Home Act, as you know, which is so important to stop the incentives for shipping jobs overseas, we had 57 votes, but we couldn`t get 60 to stop a filibuster. And they didn`t have to stand on the floor and talk. So nobody knew who it was that was blocking us to closing those loopholes to bring jobs home.

So this is common sense.

SCHULTZ: So senator, what is your response to Mitch McConnell when he says the filibuster reform is an effort to marginalize the minority party?

STABENOW: That`s really crazy. He`s trying to marginalize and has been marginalizing the majority party. I mean, the last six years, as you said, there were 386 filibusters. In the six years that Lyndon Johnson was the majority leader at that time, there was one. One. Because it was only used in the most extraordinary of circumstances.

Now they do it on everything. Everything, even a Department of Defense bill that ended up passing today 98 to zero. They still slow walked it every step of the way, objected.

SCHULTZ: So does John McCain help you? I mean, does his comments give credence to the reform that you`re having on this debate?

STABENOW: Well, certainly it does help us. I think Senator Rand`s behavior and other`s behavior does help us. I would love to see Senator McCain join us. I think it`s questionable whether he will at this point. But the reality is the public wants us to get something done, to work together. We know that a minority view needs to be protected in the Senate. That`s what the U.S. Senate is all about. But you shouldn`t be able to just block things for the sake of blocking progress in solving problems.

SCHULTZ: Well, it was very clear. Mitch McConnell said he wanted to make Barack Obama a one-term president. They wanted to fully stop the legislative agenda. Do you get a sense that they are going to do that again? Let`s say ewe didn`t make these changes. Do you think that it would it be the -- just a repeat of the last session of Congress?

STABENOW: I absolutely do. Even though there are members that want to work across the aisle, we`re actually, Ed, having better conversations now. And I appreciate that. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle. But I think, in the end, with the same leader and the same mind set, it would be the same thing. And the public deserves better.

SCHULTZ: Quickly, senator, I understand you`re having a press conference tomorrow with Senator Schumer on middle class tax cuts. From what I can gather up on the Hill today, it`s all about the rates.

STABENOW: You know what, Ed. We`re doing a countdown to the floor today. We`ve got 27 days before middle-class families see an increase in their taxes of 2,200 dollars. I had one constituent share with me, that`s four months worth of groceries for her family. It makes no sense.We passed our bill protecting middle class tax cuts, the first 250,000 dollars of income for everyone. We passed it back in July. And the Senate -- the Senate passed it. The House just needs to pass and make sure that middle class families don`t bear the burden.

SCHULTZ: All right, Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan here on THE
ED SHOW, thanks for your time tonight.

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