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SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland and
also, Congressman John Garamendi of California.
Gentlemen, breaking news tonight. Very interesting.
Congressman Cummings, did you think it was going to come to this? Did
you think John Boehner was not going to be able to get the votes and be
able to hold the vote in the House tonight?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I have a feeling he probably
wouldn`t be able to do so because this plan is one that`s inconsistent with
the Republican philosophy. Keep in mind, they don`t want to tax the
wealthier people one dime. And so, that`s why this failed.
Let me tell you, one of the things that Speaker Boehner ought to be
concerned about right now is that as a result of not being able to get
these votes, he`s now emboldened the Tea Party and basically the Tea Party
is controlling the Republican Party. And that`s so bad because they are
now pushing us over this cliff.
The president`s been very reasonable. But again, the Tea Party has
again ruled, unfortunately.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Garamendi, where does John Boehner go from here?
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I don`t know where he
would go. But I know where we have to go. We`ve got to find a compromise.
We`ve got to get this done. We cannot let America hang out because of the
chaos in the Republican caucus.
It`s just really a tragedy if we don`t get this together. We`re more
than willing to compromise -- the president`s gone way, way down the road
toward compromise. Obviously, the Republicans are unable to even get their
act together, let alone reach a compromise.
SCHULTZ: How are you going to reach a compromise with these people?
With their position, on what was on the table.
Congressman Cummings, I mean --
CUMMINGS: It`s going to be very difficult. But I hope that Speaker
Boehner will go back to his caucus and remind them that we just came
through an election and that the people have spoken and they`ve spoken very
clearly. And I`ve got to tell you, Ed, I`m beginning to feel that much of
the Republican caucus must be out of touch with the American people. They
act like an election never happened.
We`ve got to move on, though. I mean, there`s so many people at
Christmas time who are suffering. And we -- and just think. This is now -
- we spent several days, and Speaker Boehner spent several days creating
this distraction. That`s what it`s been.
When we could have had this resolved and we could have moved on. But
yet they`ve got us -- they literally are pushing us over this cliff when
the president has been extremely reasonable.
SCHULTZ: John Garamendi, do you think the president should come out
with another offer, or is this it? Are we going over the cliff?
GARAMENDI: Well, the president has put a very good offer on the
table. He`s got probably 180 clear votes. There were 21 Republicans that
did not go with what I would call the Ryan budget plan, which was
devastating to the 47 percent that was discussed earlier.
So, all we need is those 21 Republicans to come on board and we could
put this together.
So, it`s really a question I think of whether Speaker Boehner`s
willing to do what`s right by America or to hang on as best he can to his
SCHULTZ: So, this is the latest from majority leader captor`s office.
"The House has concluded legislative business for the week. Members are
advised that the house will return for legislative business after the
Christmas holiday when needed."
Congressman Cummings, if you had to put a percentage on whether we`re
going over the cliff right now after tonight`s events unfolding, that they
couldn`t round up the votes, what would you put it at?
CUMMINGS: I think -- I think it`s going to be very difficult to avoid
it. But I`m hoping that they will come to their senses over this Christmas
holiday, and I hope that they`ll work with the president. I know the
president has extended his hand. And I`m sure he`s willing to work through
the Christmas holiday to get it done because he realizes how important it
is. And I`m hoping that they will put the country before their party.
SCHULTZ: John, it would seem to me the Tea Party has had enough of
John Boehner. And they didn`t give him the votes tonight because they
don`t think he`s conservative enough. And so, this was a tipping point and
this was their chance to make a statement, and they`ll go home and say that
they stood by their principles and didn`t raise taxes. What about that?
GARAMENDI: Well, that`s obviously what they did. But the larger
question is what is going to happen to America. What`s going to go --
SCHULTZ: They don`t care. They don`t seem to care, do they?
GARAMENDI: Well, that`s not the entire Republican caucus. There`s a
large percentage of the Republican caucus that is rational on this issue
even though they may not be exactly where we are in the Democratic caucus.
These votes can be put together.
Speaker Boehner, would you really be serious about what`s good for
America? We can put the president`s plan on the table, on the floor
tomorrow, and it would pass with Republican votes if Speaker Boehner is
willing to put his speakership at risk.
SCHULTZ: You think it would pass? You think the -- you think the
president`s plan would pass if Boehner were to bring it up?
GARAMENDI: I think it has a very good chance of passing.
GARAMENDI: It`s a compromise all the way through. And it has the
balance of cuts and taxes. It`s a good plan. We ought to move forward.
There are things in it that I don`t like. But as I said on your show
earlier, I`m willing to compromise and do what`s good for America.
SCHULTZ: And, Congressman Cummings, is it an intriguing question to
know just how hard Eric Cantor may have worked for votes tonight?
CUMMINGS: Oh, yes. It is. I`m not sure how hard he worked. But the
fact is the Tea Party, Ed, the sad story that comes out of this is the Tea
Party can go back and say they controlled the process.
And I`ve got to tell you, Ed, it is very, very painful when I think
about all the people who will suffer as a result of the Republican Party
being in disarray and not wanting to tax the richer of the rich one dime
more. It`s just a sad occasion.
SCHULTZ: It is.
Congressman Elijah Cummings and John Garamendi, great to have you with
us tonight, gentlemen. Thank you so much.
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