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Let`s turn to Congressman Steve Israel of New York with us tonight
here on THE ED SHOW.
Congressman, good to have you with us.
Let`s talk about this Norquist thing for just a moment. He is now
giving cover the Republicans in the House, saying go ahead and vote for
plan B. You`re going to be OK. What does that signal to you?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: Well, it signals to me that the
speaker is desperate. It also signals to me that once again the
Republicans have taken their oath to Grover Norquist.
The only seal of approval that`s necessary in Congress is the seal of
approval that your constituents give you, that the middle class gives you.
And once again, the Republicans are letting Grover Norquist call the shots.
Secondly, Ed, you know, at a certain point, these Republicans have to
learn how to take yes for an answer. Tonight, they`re going through these
gyrations, these contortions. They`re taking every step they can with head
fakes to produce a bill tomorrow, except the one step that they could take
to avoid going over this cliff, and that is meet the president in the
middle on some common sense, that they refuse to do.
They`d rather talk to Grover Norquist about how to get off the fiscal
cliff, how to fall off this cliff than talk to the president about how to
SCHULTZ: All right. Boehner`s plan B -- it, of course, would raise
taxes on those who make a million dollars a year and more. But it would
raise taxes on middle class Americans because of the tax credits --
ISRAEL: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: -- are not being extended. Is this going to get any
ISRAEL: Well, it shouldn`t get any Democratic votes. It is not a
plan, it is a stunt. And I don`t believe that Democrats should be
supporting a stunt like this.
Democrats have shown an ability to compromise. Democrats have shown
an ability to try and meet Republicans. And when we are met with a stunt
like this that doesn`t solve the problem but simply continues these cliff-
hangers every several weeks, we ought to say no to the Republicans.
So, this is a non-starter. And the B in plan B is just bizarre. This
raises taxes for the middle class.
ISRAEL: It is true that it raises taxes on people over a million
dollars. But you lose the earned income tax credit. You lose the child
care tax credit. You lose tuition tax credits.
It is another shot at the middle class in order to protect the
SCHULTZ: So, you know, when you take a look at how this is starting
to unfold, it doesn`t look like a deal is anywhere near close. I mean,
we`re at a stalemate with the days down to what, 18?
What does this say to the American people? Here we are, we`re having
a discussion about gun laws. If we can`t get our act together on our --
you know, fiscal house in order in any way, shape, or form, how are you
going to get anything done on gun laws?
ISRAEL: Well, it`s going to be hard to get anything done on gun laws.
It`s going about the hard to get anything done on anything when you have a
Tea Party that continues to run the House of Representatives.
The American people -- we just had an election that was about
solutions and compromise. And only weeks after this election, the
Republicans have reverted to their natural form, their fundamental DNA,
which is obstruction and cliffs.
This wouldn`t happen if we had a Democratic majority in the House of
SCHULTZ: Will plan B pass tomorrow, Congressman?
ISRAEL: I don`t know. I know that the speaker is frantically trying
to whip this thing. He very rarely goes to the floor to try to convince
Republicans to vote with him. He was on the floor tonight, whipping.
I think I hear that they`re going to go through this kind of bizarre
parliamentary procedure. They`ll have other bills on the floor in order to
cajole Republicans to support it.
They don`t need to do this. Just meet with the president. He has
compromised. He`s gone from $250,000 in net income --
SCHULTZ: To $400,000.
ISRAEL: To $400,000. He has -- he has shown an ability to
compromise. All you have to do, Speaker Boehner, is meet with the
president and work this out.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Steve Israel, thanks for your time
tonight. Appreciate it.
ISRAEL: Thanks, Ed.
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