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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Budget Cuts

Interview

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight, Congressman Chris Van Hollen of
Maryland. He is a ranking member on the House Budget Committee.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: You too, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I just want to cut to the chase on what Boehner is telling
the American people. He says that they have passed two bills. That was in
the 112th.

Legally, they don`t apply right now. Is that correct?

VAN HOLLEN: That`s exactly right, Ed. It is totally false. The
Republicans have done absolutely nothing to replace or avoid the sequester
in this new Congress, nothing since January 1st. And whatever they did
last year has absolutely no force of law, period. So they`ve done nothing,
nada.

SCHULTZ: OK. So, now, you have come forward with a solution on the
House side to get things moving. It`s to the point. It has revenue.
But the Republicans are saying they`re done with revenue. So what do
you offer?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s right, Ed. Listen, today, just this evening
was the third time that I asked for a simple vote on the floor of the House
of Representatives. Let the people`s House vote on a plan that would avoid
the sequester, replace it with a mix of targeted cuts and revenues.

So, the cuts were to excessive agriculture subsidies, and the revenue
were -- was closing tax breaks for big oil companies and applying the
Buffett Rule to people who earn more than $2 million a year, so that they
would pay at least 30 percent. If you do that, you get the same deficit
reduction benefit of the sequester over a longer period of time in a smart
way. And you don`t lose the 750,000 American jobs that this Congressional
Budget Office, not me, the nonpartisan --

SCHULTZ: Sure.

VAN HOLLEN: -- Congressional Budget Office says you`ll get with the
sequester.

SCHULTZ: OK. Now, with this attempt by the president, he is going
around the country, making the plea to people that they got to get behind
this, because these cuts if sequester takes place, it`s going to hurt the
economy. In the meantime, he is working over the Republican governors.
The governors are saying, hey, this is the real deal.

But Boehner -- you think that he is afraid, the speaker of the House
afraid to bring this plan that you have up for an up-or-down vote because
there might be some Republicans that come over and vote yes on it?

VAN HOLLEN: That`s exactly right, Ed, because what this plan would do
is avoid all those job losses, avoid the disruption in the economy, and
does it in a balanced way.

And you`ve got a number of Republicans who are starting to say, you
know what? This idea that we cannot close a single tax loophole in order
to reduce the deficit and help prevent the sequester is nonsense.
And so, there seems to be a growing sense among some Republicans --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

VAN HOLLEN: -- that they`re not willing to lose 750,000 jobs in order
to protect tax breaks for big oil companies or hedge fund managers or
whoever it may be.

SCHULTZ: Well, they`re obstructing in the House, just like they
obstructed in the Senate in the 112th. It`s just a different -- it`s a
role reverse. It`s almost like it`s Boehner`s turn to pick up the gavel
and stop everything.

Here is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. This is a great example of
how Republicans play this game. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: We need to cut spending, and more
than the sequester. But don`t put 50 percent of the cuts on the U.S.
military.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oh, by the way, the U.S. military is in Virginia. I mean,
this is a classic comment right there. You know, he wants all these
spending cuts, but don`t do it in my backyard.

What -- I mean, that`s where they are. They`re self-serving in many
regards, and this is why the country can`t stand government right now,
can`t stand the Congress.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, look, it`s total head-spinning, Ed. Here is the
Republican line -- if you cut defense spending and so you have fewer people
building ships and things like that, that loses jobs.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

VAN HOLLEN: And frankly, it does.

But if you cut transportation spending or you cut Head Start programs,
somehow that doesn`t hurt jobs. That somehow miraculously grows the
economy.

We know that`s not the case. What Republicans want to do here is what
they tried in Europe and failed.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

VAN HOLLEN: They tried this cut and grow. And what they got was cut
and shrink.

Their economies are going down. They`re in double-dip recessions.
And that`s the kind of medicine they want to prescribe here at home now.
It won`t work. It will hurt the economy.

SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, good to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.


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