MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Sequester and Taxes

Interview

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: Feb. 20, 2013
Location: Unknown

SCHULTZ: So on one hand, they say that the president doesn`t want the
make cuts, but now that we`re coming down to the wire, they`re blaming him
for the sequester when 174 Republicans voted on it. Does it sound like
everything is adding up to you?

John Boehner is coming up empty on the sequester fight. But what he
is counting on, your stupidity. He is hoping you don`t remember the summer
of 2011. He is hoping that you don`t remember the Budget Control Act. He
is hoping that you`ll just forget all of this stuff and it`s this damn guy
Obama who doesn`t know anything about the economy, and we should have
elected Mitt Romney.

But now we`re stuck with this, we got to do these cuts. Excuse,
excuses, excuses.

So hollow, they have an identity crisis over on the Republican side
right now and they just don`t know how to deal with it. So the best way to
deal with it, just lie to the public. We`ll get Hannity to lie, too.
We`ll get all of FOX folks to lie about it. We`ll get some backup that we
need.

And maybe we`ll hoodwink just enough people to blame the president.
We`ll get all these it cuts and pin it on him and say it`s his economy.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: Does John Boehner know the meaning of leadership?

Text A for yes, and text B for no to 67622. You can always go to our blog
at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida,
chairwoman of the DNC.

Congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIRWOMAN: Thank you, Ed.
Great to be with you.

SCHULTZ: How do the Republicans get away with this lying? I mean,
they`re banking on the American people being stupid what other conclusion
with can we come to?

SCHULTZ: You know, the further evidence is that here I am in south
Florida, and as much as I love being home with my constituents and my
family, if the speaker and the Republicans in the house are really serious
about reaching a compromise with the president, why aren`t we in session?

Why did they all vote to adjourn last week when Democrats said we needed to
stay in Washington and hammer out a compromise?

We`ve got eight days left, Ed. The clock is kicking. And at the end
of that eight days, you`re going to have 70,000 kids kicked off Head Start.
You`re going to have cuts to education and health care.

I was just at a community meeting in my district where I had
constituents who were concerned about the cutback in hours that the IRS
offices locally have had.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And you know what the sequester is going to do?
It`s going to shut offices like that down because of furloughs. We need to
make sure that we focus on a balanced approach to reducing our deficit,
heed the president`s call for us to compromise and stop this "my way or the
highway" politics.

And, you know, I think the proof is in the pudding. There are
Republican members of congress who have publicly stated that this sequester
is their leverage so that they can finally get the spending cuts that they
want and to show that they`re serious about spending cuts. Well, this is
going to be serious, all right.

SCHULTZ: OK, here is another line from Speaker Boehner`s op-ed today.
He says the president has put forth no detailed plan that can pass
Congress. Is that correct?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That`s just simply not correct. You know, we`ve
already done $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction of a $4 trillion grand
bargain that Speaker Boehner walked away from. There are significant
spending cuts and revenue in that plan.

You know, what I`d like to know is name -- why hasn`t John Boehner or
any of the Republicans in the Congress named one tax loophole that they`re
willing to close for a wealthy person so that we can reduce this deficit in
a balanced and responsible way? Where is their plan? It`s nonexistent.
SCHULTZ: Where are you going to get new revenue when the Republicans
have drawn a line in the sand? How are you going to do this?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Look, during the entire campaign last year, Mitt
Romney and all the Republican leadership that I heard said they were in
favor of closing loop tax holes. That was one of the few things we agreed
on.

So, you know, why can`t we close the loophole that allows for a tax
break on having a corporate jet? How about ending wasteful oil company
subsidies when they are making hundreds of billions of dollars?

SCHULTZ: Profit.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I mean -- yes. It`s just stunning.

SCHULTZ: There is a lot of fat out there that you could go get in the
tax code, but getting the Republicans to get on board with you on that,
that would mean they would have to work with the president, and I think
that`s part of the equation, too.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at home getting an earful
tonight from constituents.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It`s unfortunate.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us on the program.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thanks.