MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Sequester

Interview

By:  Bill Pascrell, Jr. John Larson Rosa DeLauro
Date: March 4, 2013
Location: Unknown

SCHULTZ: That is jaw-dropping. In an op-ed of "the Wall Street
Journal" on February 20th, not long ago, Boehner wrote "a week from now, a
dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S.
national security, thousands of jobs, and more."

I mean, he wrote that. And then he goes and says, well, I`m really
not sure what is going to happen with the economy. Which is it?

Let`s turn to Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey with us tonight,
and also Congresswoman Rosa Delauro of Connecticut and Congressman John
Larson of Connecticut as well. Great to have all of you with us tonight
.
Rosa, you first. I mean, this is amazing. Boehner says that the
Democrats didn`t have a plan, but they obviously did. Are they just
counting on people not paying attention to this stuff?

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: I think they`re just in their own
universe. You pointed out, and it`s been pointed out over and over again,
the president has laid many plans at their doorstep to see what they might
be willing to do. Our colleague, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, introduced
a substitute in the House side. and quite frankly they wouldn`t even allow
it to come up.

They really want to go down this road of the sequester. And by the
way, if the speaker doesn`t know how bad this would be, all he needs to do
is listen to Ben Bernanke about what kind of an effect this would have on
economic recovery. All he has to do is listen to the National Association
of Business Economists, who said that sequestration is a bad idea.

But I would suggest to him that he talk to one of the 25,000 women who
is going to be unwilling -- unable to be able to get a breast or cervical
cancer screening, or a family whose child is going to be kicked off of Head
Start, or a woman or infant or a toddler who no longer are going to have
access --

SCHULTZ: Those are the effects to the economy that you`re saying.
There is no question about it.

DELAURO: That`s right.

SCHULTZ: But Congressman Larson, on one hand, he says he doesn`t know
what the effect is going to have. On the other hand, he has an op say,
gosh, we`re going to lose a bunch of jobs here. Which is it? Is he that
mixed up, or is he just trying to fool people?

REP. JOHN LARSON (D), CONNECTICUT: They never let the truth get in
the way of the real story. And that`s unfortunate for the speaker and for
the country. And what we have here, Ed -- and you`ve done a great job on
this show of pointing out, we don`t have a deficit crisis. We have a
health care crisis in this nation that needs to be solved. We don`t have a
problem -- a sequester problem. We have a jobs problem. We need to put
the country back to work.

And we`ve been in Congress now, and we haven`t met. They haven`t put
any plan forward. Most importantly they haven`t put any plan forward for
jobs. That`s what the real issue is out there with the American people.
The people are tired of this. They`re tired of all the games. They`re
tired of the lying. They`re tired of all of this.

They want to see results. They want to go back to work. They want us
to solve their problems.

SCHULTZ: How can one man have so much power in a representative
government? I mean, I think this is a bad lesson for America. You got
Republicans who retain control of the Congress, even though it had a nine
percent approval rating.

Congressman Pascrell, is Boehner making a political calculation that
he can ride this thing out with no personal downside, and just hope that
the public gets frustrated with the president?

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, the speaker likes to
embellish the truth. His middle name is embellishment, if not lies. The
fact is this: he just said in that same interview that you went to just a
few moments ago that what we should do is be cutting taxes, and that will
create those jobs. We went in 2001 and 2003, we had major tax cuts, mostly
for those wealthy in our country. And what happened? We were supposed to
have a creation of a 1,500,000 jobs. We lost millions and millions of
jobs, which led to the great recession of 2007 and 2008.

You can`t have it both ways. And what we need to be doing is
stimulating the economy and not coming to the end product, which they would
like us to do, and say all you have to do is cut programs and we`ll get
back to where we belong. Talk about phonies. They put up a budget that
supposedly is going to make things even, balance the budget in 10 years.
That budget was 40 years just last year. God knows what the heck cuts
they`re talking about for us in America.

We`re talking about the American people now.

SCHULTZ: Rosa, what is the conclusion here? What options does
President Obama have, other than to go out on the road and ask the American
people to put pressure on Republicans?

DELAURO: Well, the fact of the matter is that that is what we need to
do. And it has got to be the balanced approach, where you have to be
looking at what are the revenue sources.

SCHULTZ: They say no more revenue.

DELAURO: Listen, let`s just talk about spending. You want to talk
about closing those loopholes for oil and gas or the special interests?

That is spending. You want cut spending? It ought to be included in what
we view as spending cuts. And we ought to be cutting that. And that, in
fact, would give us additional revenue.

SCHULTZ: What if the Democrats asked the Republicans to identify one
loophole. I haven`t heard one.

PASCRELL: We can identify them.

LARSON: Not only can we identify them, Chris --

(CROSS TALK)

SCHULTZ: The Republicans have not identified one loophole that I`m
aware of.

DELAURO: Well, listen, it was the speaker who said not that long ago
that we could deal with about 800 billion dollars in closing down those
loopholes and reforming the tax code and the special interests. And yet
today they are unwilling to put one penny of that 800 billion dollars on
the table.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Larson, what about that?

LARSON: It`s absolutely true. But you have to take a look at this
thing. You know, I think that people give the speaker an awful lot of
credit that they don`t deserve. And that`s primarily because he is a
leader without followers. And it`s made this place dysfunctional. And
what we need to do is get back to work, get the country back to work
through jobs, and focus on the things that are important to the American
people.

SCHULTZ: What are the options of the president, though, John? What
can he do other than ask --

LARSON: I think Rosa is right. You have to take this out to the
public and continue to get on the stump, because it`s the people that are
going to make a difference. They`re the ones that are going to emphasize
the change that are need. The hurt hasn`t been felt dramatically, but it
will be.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: The unfortunate thing is it shouldn`t be felt at all. We
should be focusing on putting the country back to work. That`s what is the
most disturbing thing.

SCHULTZ: Bill, your thoughts?

PASCRELL: I think that we have them where we want them. But the
American people aren`t at the right spot right now, because they`re trying
to figure this out. Look, there is some drama on both sides. We got to
get to the truth and not embellish the facts. They`ve done a great job
embellishing. What we need is to come back to reality. This is not
reality TV, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It is not. Bill Pascrell, Rosa Delauro and also John
Larson, greet to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.