MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Jan Schakowsky
Date: Jan. 22, 2013
Location: Unknown

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SCHULTZ: Right now, President Obama has the chance to set a clear
course and ask you for help. He has an opportunity to create a vision of
goals for the American people to embrace and demand.
There is more to do on health care. There is more to do on a number
of issues. There are still the Republican governors out there refusing to
expand Medicaid. There are still ways to improve Obamacare, like adding a
public option.
Then there is immigration. The president has been tougher on
undocumented immigrants than any of his modern-day predecessors.
But he`s issued a clear call for national resolve to realize the full
potential of the dreamers. And never deny a path to citizenship for those
who want to pledge of allegiance to our flag and be a part of our society
and our country. The president can bring new taxpayers into the system,
and who will enrich our technology sector, no question about it, strengthen
our manufacturing base and these folks will become Americans and serve in
our military.
Now on tax reform, this president has got to move forward with his
basic message and still firmly in place. And that is the middle class must
be protected.
The big three must be protected. Strengthen and celebrate it, because
it`s a bedrock of our country`s success. On education, the president of
the United States has an opportunity to strengthen our classrooms and
recommit to public education in this country, our teachers, so we can
compete in a global market.
Now, for the Republicans, they have vilified all of these
institutions. They think that tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation is
exactly how we should run the country. And that`s it. President Obama
actually accomplished a heck of a lot in his first term. But there is so
much more he can do on a number of important issues facing our country in
the second term.
We are a center-left country. We are progressive. Progressives are
in the majority. We have to think like that as a movement. We have to
think like that as a people.
And the chatter across the street, we learned one thing about those
folks during the 2012 election. They lie. They do a pretty good job of
it. So when we start going down the road of immigration reform and climate
change and fair taxation and public education, we`ll get plenty of lies
from the right, because they`re damn good at it. But we have the majority
on our side. And President Obama knows it.
And he has set a course for us to grab the jugular and get after it.
For more on this, let`s turn to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of
Illinois. Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Where do you think the focus needs to be in the wake of what
the president laid out yesterday, and of course the State of the Union
coming up in the early in this 113th? Where does the focus have to be?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, the president called not just -- you were
talking about the Dreamers, today`s Dreamers. But he also talked about our
founding dreamers and the mainstream principles that they set forward,
hoping that they would take hold, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness, all men and women are created equal. These are centrist ideas.
I was on Fox earlier today. And they did this whole thing about this
left wing agenda. I said excuse me, I think the president was exactly in
the center of the country. The vast majority of Americans want to protect
Social Security and Medicare, the middle class, and help to raise up the
poor, to create good jobs, jobs of the 21st century, and ask the wealthiest
Americans to pay a bit more.
You know, they use the word liberal still again as some sort of an
epithet, a nasty word. But the American people chose President Obama again
because he is speaking to the needs of the majority of people.

SCHULTZ: What kind of damage would the Republicans do to themselves
if they went down the road of obstruction again? I mean, if the 113th
starts to shape up like the 112th?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, you know, they`re already less popular than a root
canal, slightly more popular than Gonorrhea, according to a recent poll.

SCHULTZ: So what does that tell the Democrats right there? What you
just said, they are not with the mainstream right now.

SCHAKOWSKY: No, they are not.

SCHULTZ: How aggressive do the Dems have to be? >

SCHAKOWSKY: So I think we have to be perfectly clear. For example,
tomorrow my hope is when they want to do another gimmicky kind of increase
in the debt ceiling, just three months, and if a budget doesn`t pass, then
members of Congress can`t get any pay, their pay is held up, I think that
we ought to ask them, then, to put up all the votes, I mean enough votes to
pass the bill, to see if their members, who have pledged not to raise the
debt ceiling, who said they wouldn`t do it unless there were deep cuts for
every dollar, that the -- for every dollar that the debt ceiling was
raised, a dollar in cuts.

SCHULTZ: Sure.
SCHAKOWSKY: Let`s see what they do tomorrow.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thanks for joining us tonight.
Appreciate it so much. There is a lot more coming up in the next half hour
of THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.

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