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I`m joined tonight by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: From Florida and, of course, the chair of the DNC. You bet.
This has been a real circus the last 24 hours. The president today,
Congresswoman, went back to the basics. He basically said let`s just all
get along on the 98 percent.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Right.
SCHULTZ: Let`s just vote on that.
Why won`t John Boehner go there and trust the president that all of
you can work on spending cuts after the first of the year? What`s wrong
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, there is certainly nothing wrong with it.
And that`s the certainly that we should have already been able to give the
middle class. It`s what the president has been pushing for, and we have
the bill that the Senate sent us in July sitting in the House, ready to be
voted on and sent to the president.
But, you know, look -- doing the right thing, doing the right thing,
Ed, is hard. You know, it does. It carries political risk. I mean, I
know that. My fellow Democrats who voted for that debt ceiling deal last
summer, you know, where there was a trillion dollars in spending cuts only,
with no revenue, no balance. We`ve got the debt ceiling increased.
But we put our cards on the table and voted for a trillion dollars in
spending cuts. And then, you know, me and my progressive district, I had
to go home and defend it. And there were folks at home that didn`t want me
to vote for it. And that was politically risky.
But in order to make sure that we didn`t jeopardize the full faith and
credit of the country, I voted for that deal, because it was important.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And that is what we need to do. We`ve got to come
together. And everybody`s got to give a little. We have 10 days. We can
get this done.
I share the president`s optimism. I know, and you saw some of those
Republican members that were interviewed that were disappointed at the
result last night.
We can put together a majority of the Congress, a majority of the
House, and get this deal done.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that if the Senate bill that passed, Harry
Reid`s bill, if it were put into the Congress right now over on the House
side, that it would pass? Don`t the American people deserve that
opportunity, an up-or-down vote on that bill that has already passed the
Senate? Do you think it would have a shot in the House?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I mean, if it`s on the floor, I can`t imagine that
there would be anyone who would vote against it. It`s extending tax breaks
for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.
But problem is that the Republicans -- and quite frankly, we want the
same thing. We want a total package. We know we need spending cuts. We
know we need revenue. We know we need to make sure that we deal with
But, look, the speaker couldn`t even get his spending cuts piece of
"Plan B" through with more than six votes to spare. I mean, on the
spending cuts piece. So he`s got a problem.
SCHULTZ: So -- all right. So why not go over the cliff and fix it in
the New Year? I mean, it`s not -- you know, it`s going to hurt some people
for a while. Are you afraid that the Republicans would never come back to
the table if that were to happen in and the country would just suffer pain?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Ed, we don`t have to go over the cliff. It`s not
responsible to go over the cliff.
The speaker and his leadership team needs to make a decision how many
votes they can put on the table for a balanced plan. He needs to get back
to the negotiating table with the president. I was glad to see that they
spoke today. They weren`t very far apart. The president has really moved
in a significant direction towards the speaker.
And, look, the speaker put some things on the table. Putting revenue
on the table is a big deal for the Republicans. But we`ve got a little
ways to go. We can get a deal done. And it`s essential that we get a deal
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Having to deal with it after the first of the year
comes with a whole host of other complications. And we just -- we need to
-- we need to all find our political courage. We need to go see the
wizard. We need to do the right thing and get this done before December
SCHULTZ: Well, I don`t know who the wizard would be in this deal, but
-- well, I`ll tell you what.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We all have our own personal wizard, Ed.
SCHULTZ: John Boehner may not be the speaker. I don`t -- I don`t
know if he is a wizard, but he may not be the speaker next year. What are
your thoughts on that?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, I have no idea about the internal
Republican conference politics. You know, I just know that the certainty
that we have to give the middle class is essential here.
SCHULTZ: OK. All right. Congresswoman --
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And I know there are good Republicans and good
Democrats that want to do that.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz with us
tonight here on THE ED SHOW -- thanks so much.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thanks, Ed. Happy holidays.
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