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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Millions of Americans, they want to get back to work, and they"re looking to the president to make it happen. And if it doesn"t happen, he"ll pay a political price.

Tomorrow, in his State of the Union Address, the president of the United states will show that he"s got the message. He"ll be focused, laser-focused, on job creation.

My next guest has a plan of his own about getting Americans back to work. In December, he introduced a jobs bill in Congress that I think would rival FDR"s New Deal.

Joining me now is Congressman Phil Hare of Illinois. He is a member of the Congressional Task Force on Job Creation and the chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Task Force on Jobs.

Phil, great to have you on tonight.

REP. PHIL HARE (D), ILLINOIS: Thanks for having me, Ed. Good to be on.

SCHULTZ: You bet.

Let"s talk about the politics of this first.

HARE: Sure.

SCHULTZ: Have you had any Republican reach out to you and say, Phil, this is a great bill, let"s work together on this? What do you say? Have you had anybody do that?

HARE: No. The short answer is, absolutely no.

SCHULTZ: OK. So it"s all about messaging.

What should the president, in your opinion--before we get to your bill and what it is--what should the president say tomorrow night about a party who hasn"t done anything in the Senate--and you just told us--and you"re on the Jobs Task Force--they haven"t reached out to you to work on jobs.

So what"s the mission tomorrow night? You know? What do you think?

HARE: Well, I think the mission tomorrow night is to look in the camera, as I"m looking, and say, look, every one percent--you want to reduce this deficit, Ed, you"re really serious about it? Every one percent of unemployed people in this country is a $450 billion drain on the deficit. So, you put three percent of people back to work, do the math.

I mean, look, the president needs to reach out to Americans and say, look, we don"t need to retool. We"ve got the things that we need here.

I mean, I don"t care what the other side doesn"t like. I"ve got 11.1 percent unemployment in my state. I"ve got a bill, HR-4290, that will put a minimum of three million people back to work over a three-year period of time. And quite frankly, they"re telling us now that could be up to five million people.

Look, if you don"t have a job, you can"t buy health care, you can"t buy a car, you can"t put your kids through school. Ordinary people need to go back to work.

If you look at what we did in the stimulus, we had over $10.6 billion in payroll that went out, and the Treasury saved $295 million in unemployment checks they wouldn"t have to spend. So, look, what"s the deal here? It"s simple math.

Put people to work, reduce the deficit, and move on. And if the other side wants to stand in the way, that"s their problem, not ours.

SCHULTZ: All right.

Let me play devil"s advocate here. Let"s look oat the other side.

Congressman Hare, how in the world can you put together a bill that can"t attract one Republican? What"s wrong with you?

HARE: Well, you know me. I don"t know.

I"ll tell you this--this bill, by the way, is paid for out of TARP money. It doesn"t add a single penny to the deficit. It puts young people to work in our forests and our national parks, learning work ethic. It gives the opportunity for municipalities to be able to keep firefighters and police officers and teachers, for heaven"s sakes. It gives us the opportunity to really have meaningful employment for people.

And the bottom line is, I said this I think to you one more time. If I keep hearing this term about jobless recovery one more time, I"m going to throw up.

SCHULTZ: Yes. OK. So you have got--and this sounds pretty common sense, I think the American middle class would jump on this.

HARE: I hope so.

SCHULTZ: You want TARP money for job creation. Plain and simple.

HARE: I do. I want the money that went to the banks, who, by the way, didn"t even do half of what we asked them do at the banks. They"re paying it back.

Let"s invest--you know, you hear about Main Street. OK, fine. I want to invest in main, ordinary, decent people who want to go to work.

Look, I"ve got 1.1 percent in my state. It"s not sustainable. We can"t sustain double digits.

You can talk about the politics of this and what"s going to happen in November. What happens between now and November for the steel worker that"s unemployed, for the clothing and textile worker that"s unemployed, for, you know--we couldn"t get the health care bill through.

And look, the bottom line is, I did not come here to just sit there and be some back-bencher and go, well, you know, things are tough. They are tough, but there is a way out of this if you have the courage to stand up.

And I would just tell you, Ed, this is a good bill. Is it the perfect bill? I don"t know that there is one.

But I will tell you, I"m not giving up and I"m going to work this bill. We have got over 75 cosponsors on it. I told my caucus...

SCHULTZ: And no Republicans?

HARE: And no Republicans that I"ve asked. And we sent--well, we sent the letter out to every member of the House and we don"t have one yet.

But I will tell you, look, we"ve got 218 in the House, and we need to get this bill through. The American people have got to understand that what we"re trying to do is help them get back to work again.

And the other side, if they want to sit there and fiddle while people are losing everything they"ve ever had, they pay the price in November, not us. But I don"t even worry about that.

I care about the price that the people are paying when they lose their home every 30 seconds because of health care. Every 30 seconds in this country, Ed, a bankruptcy.

SCHULTZ: I"ve got to ask you, Congressman, quickly, before we go, it"s a heck of a battle for the Senate nomination in your state of Illinois. I believe there"s five candidates there.

HARE: It is. There is.

SCHULTZ: Have any of these candidates embraced your bill or even looked at it?

(CROSSTALK)

HARE: Yes. Let me tell you, before I endorse him--but before I did, I wanted to know, where are you on job creation in our state? And I"ll tell you, he"s ahead in the polls. And you know why? Because he went and he"s been slugging this out and talking about putting people back to work.

I think he"s going to be our nominee. And if I were Nark Kirk, I would be very, very concerned, because he"s moved now from being this moderate to having Sarah Palin commit for him.

Good look there, Mark.

SCHULTZ: All right.

Congressman, great to have you with us.

HARE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I know you"re fighting for the regular folks out there, the middle class.

HARE: Every day.

SCHULTZ: It sure makes sense to me to use TARP funds to create jobs.

And I hope it hits the president"s desk.

HARE: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us.

HARE: Well, I do too. Thank you, Ed.

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