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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Debt Ceiling

Interview

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: This isn`t a Republican or a
Democratic thing. This is a math thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A math thing. Let`s turn to Congressman Chris Van Hollen,
who is the ranking Democratic member on the House Budget Committee.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Ed, it`s good to be with you.
Your analysis is spot-on.

SCHULTZ: Although I do not have the swampland, I was just kidding on
that one.

VAN HOLLEN: Right.

SCHULTZ: What happened today on the debt ceiling? I mean, are we
going to go through this again in another three, four months?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s right. Look, the little bit of good news
here, Ed, was that Republicans recognized that the United States has to pay
their bills. The bad news is they said, well, we only have to pay our
bills as a country until May 19th. And so they`ve left this huge
uncertainty hanging over the economy.

We know that when they did this in 2011, it produced the month with
the lowest job growth. It meant that our credit rating got downgraded. So
while Republicans have spent the last couple of years saying we need more
certainty in the economy, what they have done is put more uncertainty in
the economy. That will hurt the economy.

And in order to get their right wing Tea Party folks to even do that,
to even extend the debt court of appealing to May 19th, they had to promise
them that they were going to slash spending. And the only way to make the
math work -- I mean, Paul Ryan wants to talk about the math. The only way
to make the math work in the way they approached the budget is to rescind
and violate all the promises we made to our seniors, devastate Medicaid,
transfer rising health care costs on to seniors in Medicare, cut
investments in education that are important for our kids, all, by the way -
- all while protecting the tax breaks and loopholes for folks at the high
end of the income scale.

SCHULTZ: You know, my question for Ryan would be, and of course to
you, the Republicans aren`t going to go along with these kinds of cuts in
defense. I mean, I think the Democrats would certainly pare back on
defense spending. But the Republicans -- so isn`t this somewhat of a
phantom budget that he is just trying to throw out right now?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s exactly right. Look, Republicans have said
for the last couple of months that the across-the-board cuts to defense
spending are reckless. And Democrats have said the way they do it and the
arbitrary way doesn`t make sense. And the cuts across the board to non-
defense spending like NIH and air traffic control and all of that, that
doesn`t make sense.

Now all of the sudden within the Republican caucus, apparently the Tea
Party wing has gotten them to reverse their position. Now the cuts they
said were reckless and across the board, they say, no problem, we`re going
to make that happen, even though the Congressional Budget Office has said
that will hurt our economy.

So on top of keeping this debt ceiling cloud over the economy, they`re
talking about these across-the-board meat ax cuts that will also hurt the
economy, when we should be focused on jobs and economic growth.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, good to have you with us
tonight on THE ED SHOW.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you. Thank you.

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