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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Government Shutdown and Debt Limit

Interview

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Location: Unknown

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REP. GEORGE MILLER, (D) CALIFORNIA: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: If we can start from this position, the republicans say that the democrats will not negotiate. What does that mean to you?

MILLER: It means they are living in a dream world. It means they are living in denial of everything President Obama has tried to do to negotiate. It means that they deny the fact that we`ve come down on the continued resolution budget number from 998 to 996. It means that they refuse to put their budget into play to see if we can negotiate. They were so proud of their budget when they passed it months and months ago. And yet, they refuse to go to a conference committee with the Senate to work out the differences between the budget in the Senate and the budget in the House. So they wanted to stay away from any resolution of this issue in any place.

SCHULTZ: Aren`t they putting the democrats in a defensive position though? The law is the law. Healthcare is here to stay. They`ve used this as the bargaining chip to open the door to a greater discussion about the debt limit and of course the grand bargain which they want, which will go after the big three. I mean, this is where I see it evolving, your thoughts?

MILLER: Well, I think that it shows how out of touch with reality they are. The Affordable Care Act has left the station, hundreds of thousands of people all across the country, millions of people in fact across the country are trying to find out how they can get the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for their families, for themselves, for their employees, and that`s the fact. But they -- what they said was they were prepared to burn down the House to stop the Affordable Care Act. That didn`t happen, but now they keep trying to bring it back into the negotiations. They still want to overturn it.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

MILLER: They want to repeal it. They want to nullify it. They`ve lost touch with reality except that they`re holding our economy hostage as they lose touch with reality.

SCHULTZ: Do you take issue with what Boehner says? If he puts it on the floor, will the C.R. have the votes?

MILLER: I think the C.R. would have the votes to clean C.R. because we know there`s 20 to 22 to 23 Republicans out there that have said this. He wants to .

SCHULTZ: So he`s lying?

MILLER: . support that effort.

SCHULTZ: So he`s lying?

MILLER: He`s misrepresenting his caucus. He`s going back. He`s going back and sticking with the Tea Party faction of his caucus even though they are minority, he is empowering them.

SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman, you said this last week. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: The gentleman from Montana yesterday came to the floor and said it`s hurting the local economy. The gentleman from California came and said the towns around Yosemite, was he thinking about that when he voted eventually to shut down the government? He was prepared to sacrifice the local economy. He was prepared to sacrifice the towns around Yosemite when he was on a Jihad against American citizens getting access to health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You regret those words at all, Congressman?

MILLER: Not at all. What they were doing was sane that unless you were prepared to repeal the ObamaCare, they were prepared to shut down the government of the United States and to put the economy into a tail spin and even threaten the debt limit of this country. And the point was this, the point was this. They`ve sensed now, come to the floor and try to relieve the pressure around the national parks, try to relieve the pressure among the national institutes to help, try to make sure that they didn`t know that they were going to be denying food to new born, low birth weight babies. So, the point of the matter is they thought it was simple to shutdown the government.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

MILLER: And all of a sudden, they have to focus on the reality and the reality is very tough for them. So now, they`re trying to do a patchwork opening of the government. Why don`t they sit down, pass a clean C.R. until November 15th. We have 200 democrats that are going to sign that C.R., bring us 18 republicans and do your negotiations but don`t do it by holding the government hostage or the recipients of government services hostage.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, what are the chances of a discharge petition?

MILLER: Well, the fact is every discharge petition had 218 signatures has been brought to the floor. And the fact is in many instances, a discharge petition with less than the majority have been brought to the floor. We have 200 democrats ready to rock and roll over this next week and sign a discharge petition.We know that there`re 20, 22 republicans out there who`ve told us personally that they want this over with, that they want get a bipartisan effort. They`re -- we`re making this opportunity available to them and we hope that they will join us in that effort and we can restore the economic growth in this economy, and we can restore the sanity to the government.

SCHULTZ: And who`s the best democrat to knock on republican doors to get that done in the House?

MILLER: We all have different relations and we`ve all been talking to them and they`ve been talking to us .

SCHULTZ: And you think it`s a chance? You think it`s a real possibility?

MILLER: Those votes are there if the leadership will free them.

SCHULTZ: OK.

MILLER: That`s the test. That`s the test.

SCHULTZ: Congressman George Miller, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate it.

MILLER: Thank you.

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