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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Republicans and the Economy

Interview

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REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D-FL) DNC CHAIR: Great to be with you, Ed. You`re welcome. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: What are House Democrats? What are the plans if this is going to go all the way to November for five million people, what can be done?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, look, you`re absolutely right, Ed. The Republicans callously cut off unemployment insurance benefits for two million people at the end of last year right in the midst of the holidays. And, you know, beyond how callous and inhumane that was, it was also pennywise and pound foolish. And let`s think about the group of people that lost those benefits.

Beyond that, we are also -- we`re leaving them in much more significant desperate financial straits than not having a job was to begin with. We also know that when they have those benefits, they`re able to spend money, they`re putting money out into the economy and we`re still, you know, in the midst of a recovery which the Republicans by the way I think deliberately .

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: . have put the brakes on so that we don`t have a more robust recovery and then they can try to point fingers but the American people are much smarter than that as you pointed out so many times and I think they`ll see through it on into this election.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, what is your response to Eric Cantor talking about the coal industry and backing off on regulations? And this is really what it`s all about if we`re going to help the long-term unemployed. I mean, that`s what I heard. Maybe you heard it differently.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, there`s no getting around that they have a
bipartisan agreement in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits for the
long-term unemployed. They passed in the Senate. And John Boehner and
Eric Cantor are refusing to extend those benefits, to make sure that we can
put those resources back into the economy because that money will be in
people`s pockets and they can spend it, and also to make sure that we can
help those people with a bridge that they need .

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: . while they`re struggling -- at the end of this recovery period to find work. What Eric Cantor is clearly doing, as his entire Republican conference is doing is protecting corporate special interests.

SCHULTZ: That is the bottom line.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And they`re not focused on job creation.

SCHULTZ: Let`s talk about .

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: They`re focused on protecting big businesses.

SCHULTZ: They are. Finally, the Supreme Court started hearing arguments today over companies saying that they don`t want to provide birth control over religious beliefs. What`s your reaction to that?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, I think if you ask almost every woman in America what their opinion was. It is not their boss` business what kind of healthcare they choose to utilize, what kind of medication they take. And when it comes to this Supreme Court case that a CEO of a corporation is trying to decide for his female employees and impose his religious believes
.
SCHULTZ: Yes.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: . on his female employees and force them not to be able to make a decision to use birth control. When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it`s outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous.

SCHULTZ: Hobby Lobby asking the Supreme Court to discriminate against women. How else can you read it?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz .

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you.

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