tv Meet the Press MSNBC August 1, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PDT
but just moments ago, 50 hours before the united states would default, president obama addressed the nation. here is what he had to say in its entirety >>there are still some very important votes to be taken by members of congress, but i want to announce that the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default. the default that would have had a deaf sfath effect on our economy. the first part of this agreement will cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next ten years.
cuts that both parties had agreed to early on in this process. the result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since dwight eisenhower was president. but at a level that still allows us to make job creating investments in things like education and research. we also made sure these cuts wouldn't happen so abruptly that they'd be a drag on a fragile economy. i've said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit solution must be balance. despite what some republicans have argued, i believe that we have to ask the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions. despite what some in my own party have argued. i believe we need to make modest adjustments to programs like medicare to ensure they are still around for future generations. that's why the second part of this agreement is so important. it establishes a bipartisan committee of congress to report back by november with a proposal
to further reduce the deficit which will then be put before the entire congress for an up or down vote. in this stage, everything will be on the table. to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect if we don't act. and over the next few months, i'll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why i believe a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job. now, is this the deal i would have preferred? no. i believe that we could have made the tough choices required on entitlement reform and tax reform right now rather than through a special congressional committee process. but this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan
done before the end of the year. most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that washington imposed on the rest of america. it ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months or eight months or 12 months. and it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy. now this process has been messy. it's taken far too long. i've been concerned about the impact that it has had on business confidence and consumer confidence and the economy as a whole over the last month. nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise. and i want to thank them for that. most of all, i want to thank the american people. it's been your voices, your letters, your e-mails, your tweets, your phone calls that have compelled washington to act
in the final days. and the american people's voice is a very powerful thing. we're not done yet. i want to urge members of both parties to do the right thing and support this deal with your votes over the next few days. it will allow us to avoid default. it will allow us to pay our bills. it will allow us to start reducing our deficit in a responsible way. and it will allow us to turn to the very important business of doing everything we can to create jobs, boost wages and grow this economy faster than it's currently growing. that's what the american people sent us here to do. and that's what we should be devoting all of our time to accomplishing in the months ahead. thank you very much, everybody. >> all right. that was the president moments before he spoke, senate majority leader harry reid and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell announced they are going to be meet with their respective caucuses tomorrow morning followed by a vote on this compromise deal. >> sometimes it seems our two
sides disagree on almost everything. but in the end, reasonable people were able to agree on this. the united states could not take the chance of defaulting on our debt, risking a united states financial collapse and worldwide depression. >> at this point, i think i can say with a high degree of confidence that there is now a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in washington spending. and we can assure the american people tonight that the united states of america will not, for the first time in our history, default on its obligations. >> and also while all of this was going on, speaker john boehner was holding a conference call with all 240 members of his caucus telling them there is nothing in this framework that violates our principles. it's all spending cuts. the white house bid to raise taxes has been shut down. and as i vowed back in may when everyone thought i was crazy for saying it, every dollar of debt limit increase will be matched by more than $1 of spending cuts.
and in doing this, we've stopped again, these are john boehner's words in a power point presentation, we've stopped a job-killing national default that none of us wanted. well, members of the congressional progressive caucus are scheduled for an emergency meeting at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon. the congressional black caucus has expressed real concerns with this deal. let's go to nbc's luke russert who is on capitol hill and who has the uneniable job of trying to follow all the vote counting. i mean, i think we heard what the president had to say. do the right thing. certainly there's going to be pressure that continues to be applied by leadership in both houses, on both sides. but how tight could this be? >> it's going to be tight, chris, from everything that we've heard. and i -- what i found so interesting about what speaker boehner said on that conference call was it really was a pep talk. in a sense it reminded me almost of a football coach saying, you know what? you guys won today.
you won today because you stuck together. i believe the words were it was a long battle, but you fought valiantly. you went toe-to-toe with president obama and with the senate. you changed the way washington worked. the key is for boehner, does that message resonate with his conference? and that's unknown right now because last week we saw firsthand that speaker boehner is not able to get 216 republican votes for his original plan which was further to the right of this one. he's going to need to get between 120, 130. it's not known if he can do that. on the democratic side you mentioned some groups upset with this deal. specifically the progressive caucus, black caucus. the general consensus from what i've heard with democratic aides is that nancy pelosi will do her absolute best and try to corral these groups together and rank and file democrats and say we need to get to 95, 100 votes because the president needs us for his re-election. they got the debt limit issue off the table until 2013.
we need the president's back on this. that's what i'm being told her message is going to be. nancy pelosi is also the most prolific fund-raiser for the democratic caucus, so she has some power in that regard. so the question now becomes, chris, can john boehner get to that 120, 130 number? the words he's using on this conference call are really trying to make the point of, look, we don't want a job-killing default. he's trying to bring in this idea that they have won. this is going to make the changes they came to washington to pursue. it's going to be a real tough sell job. and no one knows how it's going to turn out. now as far as timing, we know that both the senate democrats and senate republicans are going to meet tomorrow. it's presumably going to get out of the senate. chuck todd made an excellent point. the more republican senators that support this makes it easier on john boehner to sell to his conference. it if it comes out with 75, 80, over 40 republicans or 45
republicans or whatnot it makes it easier for boehner to say, look, the entire team over there is going forward with this. get on board. you know, don't let us own this type of default which would be very, very politically damaging. and, quite frankly, chris, the president was thanking the american people for tweeting and calling and e-mailing, the real culture of dysfunction has become a stain on not only capitol hill but also the white house. and when you talk to folks who have been around here for a while, there is this desire to try and rid themselves of this view that congress is incapable of getting anything done. listen to the words of mcconnell and reid. this is a great night for america. it shows we can come together and do big things. no one is happy with this deal. usually if nobody is happy then perhaps they did the right thing. the trick will be and this is what i've heard. they want to get this done quickly. the longer this deal hangs out
there the longer the liberal blogosphere will attack it. they don't want their members to think about it that much. they say they essentially want them to think, hey, i'm preventing the united states economy from defaulting for the first time in this nation's history. let's get on board and do this. >> let's be serious about this. i mean, assuming that, you know, again, they pretty much had the deal done. they had a sense they would have the votes. it's also true that congress likes to have a deadline hanging over its head. they pretty much pushed it up to the limit at this point. >> basically they don't get anything done without the deadline. doing things at the 11th hour, like studying for an exam, just a few hours before the exam starts, is not really usually a very good idea. doesn't make for really rational policy making. but a keyword here, chris, is framework which we're really just hearing for the first time. reminds me of a little bit of middle east negotiations. a framework denotes a set of
principles, targets, basic broad outline. so a lot of people at home may be wondering, well, how will these $1 trillion in cuts over ten years affect the program i'm interested in? and the answer to that question is, we don't know yet. this does not put congressional appropriators out of business. they will still make the determinations of which programs get cut by how much over time. it's just the larger framework that they are establishing. >> he makes a very good point. let me bring in andrea mitchell from "andrea mitchell reports." and how much are we like three know before this actually goes to a vote, and how much opportunity will the american people have to weigh in on this? >> it is a framework and the specific cuts are not there. but we'll know a lot. we already know a lot. and as the details are coming out, the caucuses are going to be briefed. but time is of the essence.
if you believe that the deadline is serious, and we've got a deadline with the markets and a deadline with the legislative calendar, they've got to get this done. they've got to get it done quickly. i personally think they'll have a lot of trouble with their individual caucuses and this is all going to be about the reaction on the house side tomorrow as john boehner has already tried to sell this as a good deal where they are holding president obama accountable. nancy pelosi has to take a very different tact with her caucus and persuade liberals they've not been sold down the river. >> we were just talking about this with luke russert. they get 75 or 80 votes in the senate, how much does that put pressure on members of the house, and does it make it that much more likely it's going to pass there? >> i don't think any longer with those members of the house who came here to change things, who were revolutionaries at heart and who, in fact, believe they are angry at the senate. they believe the senate has failed to deliver a budget.
they are very resentful, in fact, of senate privileges and perks. there's always been a lot of rivalry and resentment of the senate from the house side. and i don't think a large vote in the senate is going to have that much weight. >> joining me also, chuck todd, chief white house correspondent and, of course, political director for nbc news. and host of "daily rundown" here on msnbc. so, chuck, how does this look like it's going to play out? best case scenario, worst case scenario? >> look, i think the house vote is still going to be a heavy lift. let's not pretend it's anything but that. you're still going to have a monday filled with a lot of arm chair quarterbacking on the two bases of the party. we know the progressive wing, the democrats hates this deal. feels like the president capitulated. feels like the president gave up on harry reid and chuck schumer. even tactically, harry reid could have forced this. it would have been an ugly partisan fight. i don't know if the house could
have handled that, but that's going to be that kind of arm chair quarterbacking. and you'll have -- we've already seen it among some of the tea party conservatives and some of the other blogosphere conservatives. very unhappy with this deal. so that is why they have to move this fast. any delay in this could make this house vote very precarious at the end. that said, steny hoyer, john boehner, at the end of the day on this one, because, frankly, it would cost a lot of -- they could cost leaders their job. on this one, they'll have some back-up votes. they'll know at the end of the day when one is -- when you have the democrats promising 80 to 100, that's a lot of back pocket votes that john boehner can have. so i think it's going to get through. it's going to be a close vote but they'll probably have 10 to 15, each party, of sort of like in case of emergency votes. the break glass here if you really need this vote. they'll have a few of those votes to get through.
but i can tell you what whip operations have told me. they need a big vote out of the senate. i agree with what andrea is saying. i don't think it's as influential anymore as it used to be. but having the big vote out of the senate certainly helps. it would hurt if it came out of a 65-35. that would make the job a little bit harder. >> do they have a sense at this point if it might be a big vote in the senate? >> i would be surprised if it's anywhere under 70 at this point. i think they can get to 75. i think anything above that is a reach. i expect it to be. what's interesting here, we can see more democrats in the senate support this deal, but more republicans bring it over to the house. we'll see if that's the way it goes. that would be an interesting dynamic, but one reason you would have that you have 23 democratic seats up for re-election. a lot of folks like claire mccaskill who are trying to woo independents, trying to woo deficit hawks. so this certainly if you are
going to sell this vote, the best way to settle it is, well, i'm a deficit hawk and that's why i'm supporting this deal. >> and apparently, andrea, the best way to sell it as a republican on the house side is to put together a power point presentation with talking points to give your members a chance to go home, who may be on the fence and say, look. look at all the things we got. >> and they did get a lot. let's face it. they got some very deep cuts up front and for a promise of further cuts down the road. no guarantee at all that those revenue measures will be considered even though the congressional super committee will have the option of considering revenue measures. and those wouldn't kick in until 2013. they got a lot. what the president got was a longer term deal than was originally offered. >> so, luke, logistically, we're hearing remarks from john boehner who says, by the way, that this isn't the deal he wanted, but maybe not the greatest deal in the world. but it's still pretty good and he's recommending it.
and he wants to bring it to a vote as soon as possible. what does that mean? what's as soon as possible? >> well, it all depends on what exactly the senate would take this vote and whether or not they would use expedited procedure. remember, the senate, if anyone objects, it can essentially hold up a bill. you need unanimous consent to move things forward. it's presumed from talking to the folks who ordinarily disrupt things like this, like jim demint or sanders of vermont. i don't expect them to do that especially with the nation possibly defaulting on tuesday night at 11:59. if it were to come out of the senate tomorrow, i believe it's possible to get to the house tomorrow night or early tuesday morning. they want to do it as early as possible so in the event that maybe somehow this doesn't go through the house, they can tinker with it. obviously, that would have a dire effect on the financial markets. but time is of the essence here. not only for -- to avoid the default but also to really, i think, not allow this compromise
to be destroyed by the folks from the liberal blogosphere and from the conservative talk radio, the chattering class of both extremes are going to go to town on this tonight and tomorrow and especially on the right side newly elected members. those guys have a lot of sway. and the last thing that john boehner wants is for this power point to be read and they feel good about it and then tonight getting e-mails saying you can't do this. you are selling out the cause. we're going to primary you from the right because you are giving in to washington. that's the big fear. so the earlier you get this vote on the floor, the less of that these members have to deal with. essentially, especially they need to just jump together and that's really where they hope they go. but, look, this is not a slam dunk. this is, obviously, a huge moment that the four leaders here agree with the president. but there is a very difficult,
treacherous path. chuck mentioned the votes in their back pocket breaking in case of glass. you may have that on the democratic side but i'm not sure how you get that on the republican side. a lot of folks are going to want to go for this. it's going to be -- >> is there any message under which you can see that being available on the republican side? >> look, i do. i think ultimately you go to the institutionalists. you know, write off the freshmen and tea party conservatives. you rely on the institutionalists. in fact, i think part of the delay at the end, in a weird way, it's fitting. it's -- the story came full circle. it was these house republicans coming in at the very beginning that said you want this debt ceiling increase you'll have to go cut for cut. figure out a way to go, dollar for dollar. so they started this debate. and, of course, it was you had to wait until they signed off on
it essentially at the end before we had an agreement. so i think the struggle here was some of the institutionalists that we've talked about are not happy with these pentagon cuts. it's about the last remnants of pork that there is. and i don't mean pork in a negative context. i'm just simply, defense spending is a very good thing for the economy and some of these congressional districts and some states. look at northern virginia. you look at all of virginia and its economy. look at the state of texas and some places where there's a lot of republican congressmen. so i think losing some of that was a concern on the old-fashioned pork front. >> chuck, thank you. luke, andrea, thanks to all of you. after the break, congressman emmanuel cleburne, chairman of the congressional black caucus. we're going to get reaction from him. we'll get political analysis from jonathan alter and richard wolffe. our coverage will continue, but president obama says the -- at least the outlines of an
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boehner has given a power point presentation to the members of his caucus. so tomorrow we have a little bit of a schedule. i'm just handed the senate schedule. they are going to come in tomorrow morning. the republicans are going to meet at 10:00. the democrats are going to meet at 11:00. but the idea on both sides is that there will be a vote. now, the question is, what's going to happen over on the house side? joining me is democratic congressman from missouri eman manual cleaver. he is the chairman of the congressional black caucus. congressman, good evening. >> good evening. >> the president painted this in -- picture that this is a very important step. it is something that he supports. you have been quoted coming out of your caucus as calling this agreement a sugar-coated satan sandwich. was that indeed your quote? is that how you feel about this deal? >> it's a very accurate quote. what i am saying is if you lift the bun, what you see is antitheical to what all the great religions teach. take care of the poor. take care of the aged.
when you look at the phone calls i've gotten, they are 7-1 in favor of a balanced deal. and also preserving medicare and medicaid and social security. and i am concerned about this because we don't know the details. and until we see the details, we're going to be extremely noncommitted but on the surface it looks like a satan sandwich. >> tell me on the surface, what it is about this package, what you are hearing about this deal that makes it so incredibly unpalatable to you? >> when you talk about trillions of dollars in discretionary spending cuts without identifying what those cuts will be, that should cause some concern to -- concerns to the american public. also, we're going to create a super congress to then put together a program and a plan and we need to understand completely what the triggers are if this super congress can't put a plan together.
i am not really excited about this. but you see, our leadership, i think, understands that with -- in this congress, there are some of white house could be counted on and some of us counted out. and historically, we've been able to be counted on. we are not interested in walking the nation across into the abyss. but at the same time, we've got to protect our constituents. >> well, leaves you with an interesting dilemma, doesn't it? because harry reid, the president, seems like nancy pelosi are going to say, look. this is not the deal we wanted which is the same thing john boehner said, but it is the best deal we could get. it is a deal we have to do. and we have got to avoid this default. what are the alternatives? >> well, there are possibly are no alternatives at this point. i came back to washington at the beginning of the year thinking
that we were going to create jobs. and we allowed the national discourse to change from jobs to the debt. and so right now, there's very little we can do. but the one thing i think is important. if i were a republican, i would be dancing in the street. i don't have any idea what the republicans wanted that they didn't get. so -- and i can't tell you anything that democrats got out of this deal, except that we're going to probably prevent the nation from crashing economically. >> i think the president said in his remarks that one of the key things that was a bottom line for him was that this is not going to be revisited as he put it tonight six months, eight months or 12 months from now. and it will begin to lift a cloud of debt and uncertainty that hangs over our economy. we'll not have to revisit this in the short term. >> and i agree with the president.
i think that we have got to get this off the table. but keep in mind, i am not as comfortable as maybe the president is that when we come to this point again we're not going to revisit exactly the same kind of dilemma. i am convinced that tomorrow when all of these caucuses begin to meet, the black caucus, progressive caucus, hispanic caucus, asian-pacific caucus, we're going to all struggle. i can tell you now. it's going to be a tumultuous meeting for us because we feel we didn't get anything out of the deal, and, you know, at the very minimum, we thought that we could reduce all of the cuts at a time when the -- most of the economists tell us that with the federal government placing money into the economy and if we begin to snatch it out, we could accelerate a double dip if you will.
and unemployment could jump from 9.2% to whatever it is. when we talk about federal cuts, every time we do a federal cut it means we're going to take some jobs away. and that's the one thing that we can't afford to do right now. >> one of the statements the president made tonight was that one of the things this deal does that he felt it does is to make sure that the cuts don't happen so abruptly that they drag on a fragile economy. are you not confident of that? >> well, i heard the president say that, and i am hoping that when we read the language that we will see that there is nothing done abruptly because i think that would lose some votes. so we have to see the details. and again, we want to go to the discretionary spending. we want to see how we're going to deal with defense. look. we're spending $2 billion a week fighting wars we should have been out of a long time ago. you want to save money? stop the wars. and we can't afford to continue
to do these wars now. and that's a good way to save $2 billion a week right now. there are a lot of things we can do before we start hacking into the three guarantees that we gave people in this country. >> well, let me ask you just finally one last thing that the president had to say and get your reaction to it. to your point, sir, this is the president earlier tonight. i believe we have to make modest adjustments to programs like medicare, to make sure they are around for future generations. >> i support that if what the president says does not mean we are taking -- making benefit cuts. social security recipients haven't even gotten their cost of living increase in the last couple of years. and so when we talk about medicare, i think we've got to do something because medicare is out of control financially and economically.
but the details, i think, are the things we've got to get into. and it may be that we get into the details, we can smile. but if i were a republican, my goodness, this is a night to party. >> congressman emmanuel cleaver, chairman of the congressional black caucus, what time are you all meeting tomorrow, sir? >> we're going to meet and have an emergency meeting. we'll probably do it around noon, giving some of our members a chance to come back, those who live on the east coast probably went home. most of us stayed here. >> another very busy day on capitol hill after a very late night. congressman, thank you so much. >> good to talk with you. coming up, we'll hear from a conservative republican member of the house for his reaction to the debt deal. keep it right here. ugh, my feet are killin' me. well, we're here to get you custom orthotic inserts.
recommends the custom-fit orthotic that's best for your tired feet. foot-care scientists are behind it. you'll get all-day relief. for your tired achy feet. for locations, see drscholls.com. thank you... in this stage, everything will be on the table to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect if we don't act. and over the next few months, i'll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why i believe a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job.
>> and that was the president talking about this super congress that are going to have the unenviable job of figuring out the details of all of this. they are going to have a deadline of november. that, of course, assumes that what we heard from the president and the leaders of both parties in the senate are right and that is that the framework of this deal is something that's going to be acceptable to both parties and both houses. and those votes could happen tomorrow. in fact, we would expect they would. joining me now on the phone, congressman michael grimm, republican of new york, who was elected with some support of the tea party. congressman, good evening. >> good evening. how are you? >> i'm well. i guess the question is how are you doing? i assume you just got off the conference call with john boehner. what did he say? >> basically, he outlined what was in this plan and what was in this agreement. very similar to what we had passed in the house with the boehner plan with some different tweaks. and, you know, overall, it is something that i voted for
before and, obviously, i'll be supporting this time. >> did you get a sense on that call that there was any nervousness? do you think there will be difficulty within the republican party getting the votes that's needed to pass this in the house? >> no, i don't. again, i think it's similar enough to what we just passed. therefore, you know, by that nature, we shouldn't have any problem passing this. and i also think this time you'll have bipartisan support. so that's -- which is really what we want here. this is, again, we can be real partisan and we can look to demonize one another. we've done enough of that. quite frankly one of the things i've been disgusted by since i've been in office. we have to get past this. this debt problem we have, it's not democrat or republican. it's an american issue. as republicans, we feel that this president has been on a spending spree. we're noting going to be shy about that. he has. but the overall debt is over $14.3 trillion.
and that's a real american issue which we have to deal with in a bipartisan way. so hopefully this agreement today, which we'll vote on hopefully tomorrow, will be the beginning of that bipartisan support and it should be a partnership that we're working toward with -- which is based in good judgment. common sense approaches, fact-based, not rhetoric, not demagoguing. let's hope this is a first step in the right direction for both parties. >> congressman, it's jonathan alter. we've been talking most of the evening about a very close vote in the house and the subtext of your comment suggests that maybe a very substantial majority of republicans will vote for this and it might be a lopsided vote in the house. is that possible? >> i think anything is possible. you know, in my short seven months tenure here, i've seen things i didn't think i'd ever see. i think anything is possible. i think most republicans will rally behind this and the biggest problem i think that my conference had is that a lot of
the conservatives were expecting bigger, bolder changes. but here's a little fact of life that we all have to deal with. washington is so systemically broken that it is going to take time to make big changes. but this is definitely a historic change. the idea that we are going to cut more than we're going to increase the debt ceiling is a first time. that's a historic moment. we're tying similar handcuffs for the next time we have to raise the debt ceiling. so that means the debate has changed. and we are taking steps for the first time in our history to curtail our spending. that is incredible. we seriously have a balanced budget amendment on the table. it's being talked about. and i think over the next three, four months you are going to see a lot of the american people rally behind a balanced budget amendment. and that's the biggest thing i would urge my colleagues to do on both sides of the aisle. listen to the american people.
they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. they know what's best. they balance their books for the own households and own small businesses every single day. >> congressman, i don't know if you had a chance to hear, just before you, we were talking to a missouri democrat, emmanuel cleaver who is the chairman of the congressional black caucus. he said, frankly, if i was a republican, i'd be dancing in the streets. are you? >> absolutely not. let me tell you why i disagree. if we had an opportunity today to say our $14.3 trillion debt was gone, then i'd be dancing in the streets. we still have a debt crisis. just because we're going to be able to raise the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophe for august 2nd, we still have a very serious problem on our hands. and we still have to deal with entitlements that we know are raising this debt astronomically. >> are you concerned about this super committee at all? >> well, you know, i think we're concerned about everything, but i'm going to be optimistic that that committee, knowing that if they don't do their job, then
it's going to be sequestration, which is going to implement cuts that both sides are going to want to avoid with their lives in my opinion. so this committee, which will be completely bipartisan does two things. number one, it forces them because of sequestration to coming up with the cuts needed. but more importantly because it's bipartisan, it should put an end to the demagoguery and the demonization. let's get past the rhetoric. let's get past rs and ds. let's put america first ow country first. this board i'm optimistic will be able to do that, this committee. >> congressman michael grimm. it's always good to talk to you. >> great. have a good night. coming up next, our panel of experts will give us their take on this historic compromise between president obama and the republicans. we'll be right back.
it will allow us to pay our bills. it will allow us to start reducing our deficit in a responsible way. and it will allow us to turn to the very important business of doing everything we can to create jobs, boost wages and grow this economy faster than it's currently growing. that's what the american people sent us here to do, and that's what we should be devoting all of our time to accomplishing in the months ahead. >> that was the president a little more than an hour ago. of course, before they can get on with the business of jobs, there is this little business of having to vote on this framework of a deal that was agreed to by the leadership on both sides, in both houses. now we are just told that house speaker john boehner has left the capitol building. he had this long power point presentation. he was on the phone with all 240 members. and that is clearly where the real fight and the real question mark is. let's bring in our msnbc political analyst richard wolffe, arth of "engade: the making of a president." shira toeplitz.
jonathan alter with us also. richard, do you think this is going to get done? >> yes it will get done. you have all four leaders on the house and senate saying it's going to get done. everyone would question if it didn't get done. as we just heard from the congressman from new york, we've all been saying, there's lots here conservatives don't like. i don't really see what conservatives wouldn't like. the balanced budget language is still in there. the taxes. the president says everything is on the table. according to speaker boehner's presentation, it's, quote, effectively impossible to increase taxes in that very second phase that the president says everything is on the table in. so, you know, they cannot both be correct here. either taxes are on the table or they are off the table in that second phase. if republicans believe this is as good as they say it is, then they should have no trouble getting the votes in the house. >> it's only two members but we did talk to two members, you mentioned michael grimm, but two people elected with tea party support.
one a member of the tea party caucus. both of them indicating they would be willing to vote for it. maybe it's not going to be as tough as we think it might be? >> i think that's quite possible. congressman grimm from new york, his comments are very -- are promising, certainly, that if a lot of his colleagues, a lot of the freshmen colleagues agree with him, then it will probably have an easier time passing. here's what i'm going to look for tomorrow morning, jason schaefitz. i'm also going to look at some of the more moderate democrats to see if they're going to be on board as well. i think we could see really interesting schism among house democrats that support this and those that don't. look for gary peters from michigan or joe donnelly from indiana to see if they're on board as well. >> so what do you think, jonathan? >> it would be an anti-climactic vote. could be more lopsided than we've been saying all evening. who knows. it's hazardous to make these
kind of predictions. i'm looking at the larger picture. i think historians will look back on tonight and this week as the beginning of the age of austerity in america. we are dealing with a different landscape than we've been used to for so many decades where the question is, you know, what do you spend more on? and now the questions moving forward are, what do you spend less on? those are excruciating choices. we're just at the beginning of these choices. there's a sense tonight that this crisis is ending? no. something is beginning, and we're going to be arguing about all of this, taxes and entitlements as far as the eye can see. >> you do get a sense, richard wolffe, and you mentioned earlier your homeland the uk has been through this as well. it's a little of, be careful what you wished for. everyone wanted this deal done. you heard so many saying it's about time that the government started doing what i have to do at home which is to balance my
checkbook, but the consequences will not be easy. >> no, but that's actually -- the terms of this debate phase in these cuts to spending. i believe in fiscal year 13. again, people are assuming the economy is picking up by 2013. so that maybe it doesn't have the same kind of impact that we've been seeing in the uk where you cut spending when there's low growth and unemployment will rise. and there is a connection there. i think there's another red line here that we have got to realize has been crossed, which is that democrats did not want to put entitlements on the table unless taxes were on the table, too. they would confront the sacred cows but they wanted republicans to do so well. that has been broken tonight. republicans have got away with putting entitlements, getting both parties to agree to entitlements being changed without having to give up their sacred cows. that's a game changer in itself. >> we will get a take on the night's events from both the democratic and republican
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we won't just match it. we'll give you $50 towards your next trip. [ gnome ] it's go time. monumental day in washington with the framework for an agreement to avoid default. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house where there was a rare late night briefing that just wrapped up. kristen, what did you hear? >> well, chris, white house officials at that briefing gave us a sense of how this deal came together. first point i want to make is that according to the white house officials they believe that this week really helped them to make the argument that the debt ceiling should only be increased once, essentially through 2013. they believe that the fact that the dow dropped so severely this week really helped them to make their argument that the markets just won't respond well if we have to go through this in another six months, and they also say that the phone calls
that came pouring into capitol hill and remember that president obama asked the public to call their leaders. they believe those phone calls actually had an impact. one more point they have been having phone calls throughout the weekend with congressional leaders and president obama and vice president biden have been. and the last point i want to make here, chris, is that according to the white house officials, they believe that the -- sorry, i just lost my thought here, but the last highlight that came out of the meeting is that each congressional leader gets to a appoint one member of that super committee, and that is how the super committee is going to be identified, chris. >> that is an interesting development, kristen welker. and let's bring back krystal ball and joe watkins, republican strategist, and we are getting indications that the republican party may be more willing than we thought to go for the deal. what do you see happening tomorrow? >> well, it is a positive development, because it means
that john boehner is likely to get the 120 votes or more if some of the members of the tea party say this is an agreement they can sign on to, that is a very, very good indication. now, i think that the president's remarks have turned the heat up on the democrats, and specifically, on those democrats like the congressional black caucus who have strong constituencies who support the president are going to be hard-pressed even if emanuel cleaver has misgivings to go back to the constituencies to say that they didn't give the president he needed in the hours before default. >> well, you call them misgivings, krystal ball, but he called them a sugar-coated satan sandwich, but do you see movement in the black caucus and the progressive black caucus? >> well, the democrats have moved so far on the right on this, there is a sense that all they can do is to help the country avoid default and the president has called on them, and i suspect you will see movement there. but the sad thing tonight is
that we have to realize that this is the beginning of hostage politic, and the republicans led by the tea party took the country hostage to push through an ideological agenda they could not get through any other way, and it worked. >> i hope that is not the case. >> so the tea party members would be crazy not to vote for that, because they won. >> and i hope it is a victory for the country, because we all win if there is not a default and we will all lose if we default. >> well, we need to think about unemployment, and the default debt ceiling, and when we get back to work is when we all win. >> and thank you. jonathan alter who has been my partner throughout the night, i want to thank you and to all of you who have been watching. again, there is a framework for the deal, and we are expecting a vote tomorrow. the president made his comments tonight, and john boehner has