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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Sixty-six days after Hurricane
Sandy devastated communities along the East Coast, Republicans in Congress
are delaying a critical disaster relief package. The House, as we told
you, was expected to hold a vote on the $66.4 billion relief bill last
night, but Speaker Boehner pulled the bill from consideration. The House
will now vote on a $9 billion flood insurance bill on Friday, and a
remaining $51 billion in aid will get a vote on January 15th.
Their delay on the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief package rightfully
has members of both parties furious. For more, let`s turn to New York
congressman Jerrold Nadler. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: You know, we`re not talking about the middle of the country.
We`re talking about where there`s a lot of media, there`s millions of
people, and yet relief is not on the way. Why is that?
NADLER: Well, we don`t really know why it is, and people have raised
that question. You know, after Hurricane Katrina, $64 billion was voted
within 10 days. Here it is 66 days later, not a nickel has been voted.
A lot of the Republicans seem very reluctant to vote any money, or --
and certainly enough. $60 billion -- the necessity for $60 billion has
been very well documented by Governors Christie and...
SCHULTZ: So the politics of this pretty inconvenient. With the
backdrop of too much spending in Washington and the Republicans trying to
fight the president on the most recent fiscal cliff, this was just pretty
inconvenient, and they didn`t give a damn about the people. I mean, that`s
my read on it. What about yours?
NADLER: I think that is true to some extent, but it`s even worse
because they had to separate the bill into two bills, $27 billion, and
hopefully, $33 billion extra, on the assumption that most of the
Republicans wouldn`t vote for the full amount that we need. That has never
been the case where you nickel and dime people in desperate straits because
of a natural disaster before.
SCHULTZ: Will there be enough votes for this? Will you get the votes
to get the $60 billion in aid to do right by these Americans?
NADLER: I think the votes will be there now. But you know, because
the speaker pulled the bill last week -- last night, rather -- and we`re
not going to get a vote in the House now, partially tomorrow, but partially
not until January 15th, assuming he`s as good as his word, the Senate has
to do it all over again.
They had already passed it. They`ve got to do it all over again. And
this is totally -- it`s just more weeks of agony for small business people
whose businesses may go under because they don`t get aid in time, for
people who can`t start rebuilding their Houses...
SCHULTZ: That`s the key. That is the key. There`s going to be a lot
-- and I`ve covered disasters in the Midwest. Businesses close and they
don`t reopen, and it hurts a lot of people. Timing is of the essence right
now.
And of course, Governor Christie commented today on New Jersey giving
more taxes back than getting from the federal government, which I think is
a very profound point. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: New Jersey and New York are perennially among the most
generous states in the nation to our fellow states. We vote for disaster
relief for other states in need. We are donor states, sending much more to
Washington, D.C., than we ever get back in federal spending.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Should that matter, Congressman?
NADLER: Well, only in the sense that it shows the inequity of what`s
happening. The fact is -- Senator Moynihan used to maintain an annual
list, and it showed that we sent $18 billion or $19 billion more to
Washington than we got back.
But the fact is, we`re lucky enough to have the industry and the tax
revenue and enough upper-income people to do that. We should spend money
where it`s needed and raise it where you can equitably. So that never
bothered me.
But if when we need it, the rest of the country says, You can`t have
the money, we`re going to treat you differently than everybody else, then
it raises real questions.
SCHULTZ: You`ve got a lot of Americans displaced on the East Coast
because of this. Is this government, is this Congress, is this, the U.S.,
at its worst hour of sorts?
NADLER: Well, it`s at a very bad hour. I don`t know that I want to
say it`s its worst hour, but it`s a very bad hour when you nickel and dime
people in desperate straits, Americans in dire straits, you don`t send help
to them. It`s been 66 days already and you`re still trying to say -- a lot
of the Republicans -- a lot of the people in Congress, Republicans, won`t
vote adequate funds, and then they put it off for no reason at all.
And the contempt with which the speaker did it, giving no reason at
the last minute. We were told 20 minutes before to expect a vote, and all
of a sudden, it`s not going to happen, and no reason given, and he won`t
even talk to even Republicans from New York and New Jersey.
SCHULTZ: Is this how Boehner operates?
NADLER: I can`t think of anything this bad.
SCHULTZ: Is this -- is this how Boehner operates? I mean, listening
to Chris Christie today explain that he was shown no respect whatsoever
when people are struggling, didn`t even get a call back, calling him for
times -- is this how Boehner operates?
NADLER: I haven`t seen that before. But he didn`t call the governor
back. He wouldn`t -- refused to meet with the Republican congressmen from
New York who wanted to go in and say, What are you doing, and why? He just
wouldn`t talk to any of them or anybody else.
SCHULTZ: If he operates like that, I think it gives us a pretty good
insight about what kind of a tough customer he was to deal with in
negotiations with the White House.
NADLER: That`s probably true.
SCHULTZ: I mean, I would draw that conclusion. Congressman Jerrold
Nadler, great to have you with us tonight. I hope it all works out.
People need the help.

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