BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: It"s good to be back, Ed. Thanks.
SCHULTZ: I know this bill is going to help a lot of people, but how do we know it"s going to create jobs? And that is the key. We must get people back on payrolls in this country.
How do you know this is going to work?
BROWN: Yes, I voted for this bill because I don"t think you can look in the eye of an unemployed worker in Shelby Ohio, or Norwalk, Ohio, and say, you know, I"m voting against tax cuts for the rich. It"s my principle, sorry about your benefits. And in the end, that"s why so many progressives I think supported this.
This bill, you know, I don"t quote John Boehner very often, but he said it
you know, he talked about certainty and predictability. This bill helps do that. This bill partners with the business community pretty well.
Advertisement | ad info
I think this bill is--this new law and the president"s leadership, and the president"s reaching out to CEOs is--really does send a signal that the cash reserves they"re sitting on which, in some cases, in some big manufacturing companies whose CEOs I"ve spoken to in the last two, three months, they"re sitting on reserves two or three times the normal cash reserves they sit on. The best stimulus package of all would be if they begin to invest. And I think we"re going to see more of that.
I think the president"s focus is that. What I"m concerned about and sort of the other part of that, Ed, is that the Republicans, the John Boehners of the world, their focus in the next month or two is going to be in this health care bill --
BROWN: -- trying to repeal all of this stuff from--and, you know, instead of focusing on jobs. And the president"s focus is on jobs. Democrats" focus is on jobs. That"s where we"re going.
Who knows what the Republicans are going to do? But that doesn"t matter.
We"ve got to keep our eye on that, as you suggested.
Senator, what do you say to liberals in this country who feel like this bill is a sellout? Will there be political damage? Is there time to patch things up?
BROWN: Yes. I mean, of course we"re disappointed. We"re disappointed that it came out the way it did.
The disappointment started November 2nd, and it"s continued on this issue. I think it could had been done differently. It"s always easy, just like the health care bill should have moved more quickly through the Senate. We all knew that.
It didn"t. This tax bill, if we had started earlier, particularly during the 20 --
SCHULTZ: But I"m talking about--Senator--
BROWN: Yes. I understand that.
SCHULTZ: -- I"m talking about--I mean, there"s people out there who are off the bandwagon.
BROWN: I understand that.
SCHULTZ: And what do you say to those people?
BROWN: Well, I don"t know. I mean, I know that people were disappointed there wasn"t a public option. We still got a good health care bill.
There were people disappointed that the Brown/Kaufman amendment didn"t pass so that those six banks couldn"t dominate the banking industry the way they do, that Ted Kaufman and I worked on. But we still got a decent bill, Wall Street reform.
I mean, you know, it"s--the word "compromise" is not particularly a favorite word for a lot of my fellow progressives, but I think this--again, I was not happy with in. I voted against cloture. I voted for the bill because I thought if we didn"t in the end, it would be worse.
But I think the president now is--his popularity is picking up again. I think he knows where his base is. He knows who got him there.
He knows the party of ideas. He knows the progress in this country, whether it"s Medicare or Social Security, civil rights, the Wilderness Act, or higher, Ed, comes from progressives. He knows that, and I think that we"re going to see a better next year and a half that will set the stage for a re-elected president.
SCHULTZ: Well, hope so. I hope so, and I hope all this goodwill shows up for the Republicans in the next couple of days, because there"s going to be votes on "Don"t Ask, Don"t Tell" and the START treaty. So I hope they come as honest brokers into your chamber.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
BROWN: Thanks, Ed. Always. Always. Thanks.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT