Schumer Throws Down Gauntlet
April 14, 2011BEGIN TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
ABC News just now: John Boehner has shrugged off conservative criticism of the dollar amount of the continuing resolution. He said, "It's not perfect. It's a first step," and what is the second step? The debt limit? What will be his second be in that regard, to wait to the Ryan budget? The second or third step, we don't know. But we do know... Can you imagine what it was like in the Republican caucus meeting last night, because all day yesterday there was talk that they might need some Democrat votes to get this continuing resolution passed. That would not look good, and here you've had a weekend filled with spin: "Big win for Boehner!
"Oh, my God, why, it's the first time we've cut the budget since Mars was discovered! This is huge: $38 billion, my God, Mabel, it's never been done before!" That was the weekend spin, and it kinda of started to deteriorate. To the point that last night it was down to $352 million. There's been criticism everywhere. There has been support from some sectors of the conservative media, but you the peoples and much of the conservative media has not been happy here. First we were told $100 hundred, and that didn't fly. It was $61 billion. If it was less than that there was gonna be hell to pay and there's hell to pay.
So imagine being in that meeting. In this regard, Republicans and Democrats don't differ much. If the leadership wants something done (chuckles), and you have an arm, they'll twist it. So I wonder what the message was from the leadership to recalcitrant Republicans who might have told they were gonna vote "no;" who might have said to leadership, "You know, we can't vote for this," because the last thing the leadership wants is Democrat votes to pass this. Now, how many of the freshmen...? Freshmen, they're the ones that always get the pressure. Okay, so we have a huge number of freshmen. Some of them gonna vote "no," leadership learns it, brings 'em in. There was a meeting yesterday afternoon into last night.
We know that.
"Okay, vote 'no.' Go ahead and vote 'no,' and don't bother coming back. Okay, vote 'no.' You want to vote 'no'? Don't expect to ever matter here again." Whatever, you can imagine the kind of stuff that might have been said. So here's Boehner shrugging off the criticism of the dollar amount. It's not perfect, first step. Okay, what's the second step? Debt limit? Well, what's gonna be the second step there? Because we're already hearing that the debt limit, "Ahhhh, kick that can down the road, too. Let's focus on the Ryan budget," and then we start focus on the Ryan budget and it'll be, "Let's kick that can down the road. We gotta focus on the 2012 election." They just don't want to deal with it. The Democrats do, and I think it's an opportunity. Here is Senator Chuck-U Schumer this afternoon in Washington. The Democrats held a miniature press conference, and during the press conference this is what Chuck-U Schumer said about Obama's speech yesterday afternoon.SCHUMER:
The president's speech has framed a debate that will rage long after we resolve the debt ceiling. The debate is a debate we welcome. We've been waiting for it. It is a debate we will win. It is a quite a different debate than the one we will finish up today. The one to come has much higher stakes. The debate ahead of us is about the role of government itself. It will be one of the seminal debates in the first quarter of this new century and will determine what America is like. The fact that the president has drawn a clear distinction with the Republicans and their Ryan budget brings the debate finally to a head, and we welcome it.
Now, before you pooh-pooh this and start talking about Chuck-U Schumer as a wacko extremist, let me tell you what he just did. Chuck-U is banking on the fact, using intelligence guided by experience, that the Republicans in the House will punt the debt ceiling. Chuck-U Schumer has just set that up as the debate of the 21st century. Chuck-U Schumer has just said that the debate on the debt ceiling is going to be the most important thing we do in the first 25 years, and he's confident that the House Republicans are gonna punt. Meaning, when it's all said and done, the Democrats... Chuck-U Schumer, is gonna be out there next time he sees the camera, he's gonna be out there saying, "We won it. We won the debate."
If the debt ceiling goes up a dime, Chuck-U is gonna go out and say they won the debate. If the Republicans do not even challenge it, if they kick it down the road as they have said they're going to do -- and there's pressure being brought to bear. Wall Street tycoons are calling Boehner. We played you the sound bites yesterday. Some of the people warning, "The debt limit, you know, you guys start messing around with that and you got a default on your hands and we can't handle it." There will not be a default. Nothing would happen. The consequences are far greater than they ever government shutdown with a continuation resolution, but this is what that election in November was all about.
Chuck-U Schumer is setting the table for the media to be able to report that the election of November of 2010 didn't mean anything. That's what this means, taken to its ultimate logical end. I just said: Why don't we want this debate? This debate is winnable. By gosh, we've got it. But we don't. At least our leadership doesn't. Chuck-U makes it look like they do. Chuck-U is willing to go out there and defend Obama. He's willing to go out there and defend joblessness. He's willing to go out there and defend what's happened to the private sector. He's willing to go out there and defend all of this that has ended up causing this damage. He's willing to do it or say so, anyway, because they think -- and who could blame 'em?
Our one weapon, the shutdown, pfft! We telegraphed we would not use it. I'm not trying to be negative, and I don't think it's the end of this, I'm just telling you: As we sit here today approaching 2:15 Eastern time on the 14th of April, that's what this means. It doesn't mean we can't be dealt with. (interruption) Snerdley, would you get your face off the floor in there. I did not say this is how this ends. This is what Chuck Schumer is trying to set up. It's almost a challenge. It's almost a call to arms, if you will. I would look at this... It's just me. It's just me. Chuck-U wants to go out and defend this? The role of government?
The role of government is to destroy the US private sector? Defend it. The role of government is to pay for borings and not military personnel? Defend it. Go right ahead. The role of government is to start taxing people left and right and choke off any economic recovery? The role of government is to prevent, to retard the creation of wealth? Great! We want you to defend that. He seems eager to, and I don't think he really is. I think one of the reasons he says he's eager to is because he doesn't think our guys are gonna show up in any serious way, at the debate that he's just now said we're gonna have.
Before Chuck-U Schumer has this little sound bite, we're all sitting here thinking that the debt ceiling debate, "Ah, they're gonna kick that can down the road. We're not gonna have it." Chuck-U has just said it's the most important thing in the first 25 years of the century: Role of government. And if they win it, Chuck-U is gonna say, "The American people have decided what they want the role of their government to be." It's the shooting match. This is it right here! That's exactly right. You know, Yul Brynner has just left of the theater at West World, he's in the street and he's about to draw on us! Or Hedley Lamarr has abandoned Governor Le Petomane, whatever western analogy you want. The bad guy has just walked to the middle of the street. Are we gonna be Sheriff Bad Bart or are we gonna be whatever, Cleavon Little, and drive away in a Cadillac eating some popcorn.
Timothy Geithner, Treasury secretary was on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer last night, and Jim Lehrer says, "There's going to be a vote next few weeks on the debt limit. You've said if that does not happen, would be a catastrophe. The Republicans have said, 'Wait a minute, we're not gonna vote for that if we don't get some more cuts out of this.' In other words, there's going to be a tradeoff."GEITHNER:
Congress will pass an increase in the debt limit 'cause they have to and the leadership of both houses has recognized that the country has to meet its obligations, and they are not prepared and should not be prepared to take the risk that that's called into question.RUSH:
Timothy Geithner telling the Republicans: You will give me your money. You will give me more money. And I remind you of Chuck Schumer, who has set this up as the defining debate over the role of government in people's lives. This debt ceiling debate, that's the debate on the role of government. Well, if the Republicans do indeed kick this down the road and don't take it seriously as they've said, then the Democrats have just set the stage here to go down and say, "The American people have sided with us, the liberal Democrats, and their view of the role of government." That's what's been set up today with Chuck Schumer. Keep a sharp eye. We don't intend to let 'em get away with it but I mean that's what they're trying. END TRANSCRIPT