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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 30, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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think is at this point seen as weak leadership by john boehner. thank you both for your time. that is "all in" for now. we'll be back at 11:00 p.m. eastern live with the latest from washington. we get the final hour as the clock ticks down to a possible government shutdown. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rarachel. >> something disconcerting about you handing the reigns back to me at midnight and me presumably having to say, it's all over! thanks, chris. >> i know, as the suspense drains out. >> thanks, cheers. see you later, chris. >> yeah, good luck. >> thanks to you at home as well for staying with us tonight. home base for our show is in new york city, which you may know, but tonight i am here in washington, d.c., because we are on government shutdown watch, and it looks like it is about three hours away. i will, as i just said to chris, also be back live tonight at midnight eastern. midnight eastern is when the shutdown is expected to go into effect, barring any last-minute developments. president obama called the threatened shutdown the height
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of irresponsibility, saying "it does not need to happen." we're going to be talking with the white house communications director in just a couple minutes. we are right now awaiting movement in the senate. just this past hour, house republicans voted again to make funding of the government contingent on delaying the implementation of health reform. in the next few minutes, the senate is expected to reject what house republicans just passed. they did it before, expected to happen again. then back to the house, rinse, repeat, ad nauseam. at this point, house republicans are expected to be meeting behind closed doors to plan their next moves. throughout the night, of course, we will bring you live, breaking news as it comes in. when president obama was first elected in 2008, he, of course, came to washington with something every president wants, a house and a senate controlled by his own party. and in the two years where the democrats had the white house, the house and the senate, we got wall street reform, student loan
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reform, credit card reform, health care reform, obviously, the fair pay act, expanding of the gi bill, they reauthorized the children's health insurance program, expanded national service programs, they fixed the disparity between crack and powdered cocaine, we got the hate crimes act, the s.t.a.r.t. treaty between us and russia on nuclear weapons. they repealed don't ask, don't tell, they did the cash for clunkers, the stimulus, which included the greatest middle class tax cuts ever. that was all done by the congress elected at the same time as president obama in 2008. they were elected in november of 2008. they were sworn in in january of 2009, and in the next two years, they got all of those things done. then the republicans did really well in the midterms, and the republicans took control of the house for the first time in years, and john boehner became speaker. and since then, there has not been a single significant piece of legislation enacted into law. there have been a couple of
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trade bills. there was a bill that seemed to be inspired by a "60 minutes" segment about whether or not members of congress get insider trading tips in the course of doing business in congress, but yeah, nothing. nothing. no significant legislation since john boehner got the speakership. the republicans won the elections in november 2010. they were sworn in in january 2011. since then, zero, zip, nothing in terms of legislative accomplishment. and that, of course, is because they have been otherwise occupied. after getting sworn in in january, by april they threatened to shut down the government. that was april. by july, republicans had forced the first ever debt ceiling crisis in american history. we got our national credit rating downgraded for that one until they eventually blinked. by september that year, republicans were threatening another government shutdown. by april of the following year, more threats from republicans of another government shutdown. by december, by this past december, happy new year! republicans were pushing us over the fiscal cliff! by january, this past january,
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congressional republicans were talking about forcing another debt ceiling crisis before again backing down. and now, happy september 30th. we are due for that often threatened republican shutdown before tonight is through. this is not an accident that just keeps happening over and over again. republicans control one half of one branch of government, and they have never had any plan to use that control to pass anything into law. if they had had that kind of plan, they might have passed something into law, but they haven't even seriously tried. we are deep into year three of them running the house now, and we've got zip from them in terms of law or policy. and we're at seven and counting when it comes to can't keep the lights on failures of basic governance, and that is just as they planned it. in september 2010, just a few weeks before the midterm elections, where the house republicans won their majority and won back control of the house, a republican congressman from georgia, lynn westmoreland,
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he spoke to a certaonservative audience at the faith and freedom conference, and he exhorted that conservative crowd that the republicans were going to need their support when they move to shut down the government. again, this is ahead of the election. they were already planning on shutting down the government even before they got elected that november. congressman westmoreland said republicans were going to do it again this time, just like the last time they took power in the house after the 1994 elections. the audio here is a little sketchy, but lucky we had a transcript. so, check this out. >> he can tell you what happened. the government shut down. [ applause ] the american people -- that's what i wanted to hear! i wanted to hear a good clap for that. because here's what's going to happen. if we hold the line, if we get those courageous men and women to be part of our majority, if we say, look, we're in partnership with the american people, we're listening to the american people, this is what
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we're going to do. if the government shuts down, we want you with us. we want you with us. we've got to have you. we've got to have you there because later on, you all will call us and say, look, i didn't get nye check. daddy can't go to the va. you know, the national parks are closed. we need to make sure that you're going to be with us. >> we need to make sure that you are going to be with us when we shut down the government, which we will do if we win the majority this year. that was before the 2010 election. when we get the majority, we're going to shut down the government. that was the plan from the beginning. that was what they were promising to their own base and getting cheers for from their own base if they got the majority. that's what they'd do. and then they got the majority and then they followed through. >> we will do what we have to do to shut down the government, if we have to. >> so, you think even if that were to happen, theoretically, it wouldn't be as bad as people make it out to be? >> no, i don't think it would
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be, i really don't. >> do you think shutdown should be off the table? >> everything ought to be on the table. >> i've got to tell you, most people in my district say shut it down. this country very well may need some sort of shock therapy. >> would it be a good thing fiscally and philosophically if the government did shut down for a few weeks and the american people could see life would go on without the federal government for a little while? >> i don't think it would hurt one bit. >> even if it means showing how serious we are, okay, government's going to have to shut down. >> if liberals in the senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of makinga small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, i say shut it down. >> shut it down! cut it or shut it! cut it or shut it! that's how they campaigned for office in 2010. that's what they promised they
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would do if they were elected in 2010. and that is what they started to do as soon as they were elected in 2010. this was their whole idea for governance. this was their whole idea for why it's worth it to even try to have some control of some lever of american governmental power. and so, within a matter of weeks after they were sworn in, in january 2011, republicans were giving john boehner a standing ovation in their caucus meeting when he said, yeah, we are preparing for a shutdown. that was the first time. hoor hooray, a shutdown! because they weren't promising a specific result. they were just promising to use this tactic. and i think this is crucial, the tactic itself is the point. the shutdown may or may not accomplish anything. it's the shutdown itself that is the point. it demonstrates a willingness to go to extremes, which is fun and ideologically desirable, and it shows a decisive lack of respect for what government is. it is a tactical insult to the whole idea of governance. so, it's just perfect for the
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american right, no matter what it accomplishes, even if it accomplishes nothing. the shutdown itself is the point. and so, when it started to become clear that republicans were taking over the house -- this was back in 2010, ahead of the 2010 election -- pundits on the right knew what they were going to get excited for. i'm almost giddy thinking about a government shutdown next year! i cannot wait! why shut it down? because we'll be able to! because republicans are about to win enough control in washington to be able to do it. they knew that ahead of the election. and then they got elected. and now we've got, this is this week, house republicans coming out of their closed-door meeting on saturday when they decided to vote for a shutdown, and they did not see this as a somber thing, a sober thing that they were taking on reluctantly, a bad thing that they were reluctant to do? when they came out of that conference meeting, having just decided to shut down the government, they were psyched! >> this is exactly what we hoped for. words all getting behind
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leadership. do you think you're going to get every vote? >> we're excited. we're united. >> tell us, why -- >> all good. good plan. >> how'd it go in there? >> very good. it went very well. >> very well! it's great! we're shutting down the government! what could be better? they see this as great news. reporters have been staking out the committee rooms and meeting rooms where members of congress has been confabbing and deciding who to do and their description of the mood among republicans is jarring. "house republicans were ecstatic saturday when mr. boehner and his leadership team presented their plan." "the mood in the capitol on saturday, at least among republicans, was downright giddy. when republicans presented their plan in a closed-door meeting on saturday, cheers and chants of "vote, vote, vote!" went up. leaving the meeting, many were beaming grins." and as john coal numberson and his colleagues were leaving for a vote, he shouted, "i said,
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like nev9/11, let's roll! let's roll! let's bring government to its knees, just like on 9/11, except the other way. yeah. there's a kind of palpable glee on the republican side about this accomplishment they are bringing about tonight. they are psyched. there is no mirror image between the two major parties. there is only one major party of the two that strives for control in government specifically because that is the place from which you can hurt government the worst. there is nothing about the last few weeks of political back-and-forth that explains why this is happening, there is nothing about health reform specifically that explains why this is happening. in 2011, they didn't bother making it about health reform, they made it about the budget back then. or maybe it will be planned parenthood funding. let's just pick something. what we want is a shutdown. what is happening tonight is happening tonight because this is what republicans want to do. this is what they promised to do. this tactic, let's roll, this tactic is an end in and of itself, and that is why there is no talking them out of it.
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elect republicans and they will burn the place down and they will laugh while they do it and have a great time. and then what? joining us now is senator charles schumer of new york, vice chair of the democratic conference. thank you for being with us. >> good evening. >> what do you know about the latest matters of procedure this evening? we know that the house has been meeting privately to decide how to respond to the senate's latest action. >> yeah, look, i think that, as you say, there's just a faction in the house that wants to shut the government down, that doesn't mind taking hostages, whether it be a federal worker who needs a paycheck, a highway construction worker who gets a federal grant, a veteran waiting to adjust a disability claim. they don't really care. but let me say this, the public does. the closer we get to this moment, the more and more people see what the republicans are doing and the less popular they are. and that's why today we've had many republicans, including some
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conservative ones, say we shouldn't shut the government down. the real weak kink in this, the real weak link is speaker boehner. even mitch mcconnell, with the tea party opponent, figured out a way that he would let things move forward, not shut the government down. he voted with 24 of his colleagues not to block us, but boehner doesn't seem to have that strength. and a small group of real fanatics who sort of feel that they have to sacrifice innocent people to the right-wing gods so they can show how tough and resolute they are controls boehner, and unfortunately, controls many in the house republican caucus who really know better. they know it's a disaster for their party. they know it's a disaster for the country. they know they're hurting innocent people. but they don't care. there is such anger, there is such hatred that they just act on those emotions. and sooner or later, that catches up to you.
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i don't think -- i would hope that they come to their senses tonight. you know, they always thought we'd cave, but we are united from one end of this democratic caucus to the other. the white house is strong. tonight the president said we're not doing this debt ceiling either. and we haven't caved. and now the leadership of the republican house is stuck, stuck between these fanatical right-wingers and what they know is wrong not only for the country, but actually, for the future of their party. >> senator, you've seen a lot of different confrontations in washington come and go, you've seen a lot of iterations of the republican party as they have changed over the years, particularly in the last few years. what do you think specifically about republican senators? so, republicans in your chamber advising the house on what they ought to be doing, advising house members to defy their leadership, to defy speaker boehner and do instead what the senate wants? >> we've never seen anything like it. but the bottom line is that senator cruz and his small band
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did not get a majority of support in the republican senate, and there were some courageous profiles and coverage of people like lindsey graham, lamar alexander, who had tea party opponents but who knew they shouldn't go along. these are more mainstream conserve pivz. but this small band, given the fact that they have talk radio, they have a whole blogging radio, jim demint does far more damage outside than in with his foundation. they frighten republicans and say you don't go along with it. even though you know it's wrong, you know it's irrational, you know it's bad, we're going to give you primary. and too many republicans in the house shrug their shoulders and say okay. i think the jubilation you saw there is not universal in the republican caucus. there are large numbers in the republican house caucus who know this is wrong. very few have the courage of pete king to stand up and say so. but privately, they admit it. and i think that, god forbid we'll shut down the government.
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there is going to be such a reaction against them that they're going to have to back off, hopefully after a few days. >> senator chuck schumer of new york. thank you for your time tonight. i'll let you go. >> thank you. good to talk to you. >> senate voting right now. and again, what's expected is that between now and midnight, you see the shutdown clock in the corner of your screen there. between now and midnight, a decision's going to have to be made one way or the other. fix this, or if it is not fixed, the shutdown happens at 12:01 automatically. 800,000 jobs and some of the pillars of the american economy are on the line. stay with us. [ male announcer ] julia child became a famous chef at age 51.
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today the united states marine corps fired two generals for not adequately protecting a u.s. base in afghanistan that was attacked by the taliban last year. today also, venezuela expelled
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three u.s. diplomats from that country. the president of venezuela actually said the phrase "yankee, go home," when he was threatening to throw them out, something like a conspiracy theory that the u.s. is engineering venezuela's power outages now. also, the prime minister of israel met one on one with our president, at a time when our decades-long standoff with iran is changing shape rapidly. so, it's not like there's nothing going on in the world, right? it's not like there's nothing going on in the world, in washington, in the federal government, but we are, apparently, shutting it down, regardless. that is what we are barreling towards. the white house communications director is here next. ready to run your lines? okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow.
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one faction of one party in one house of congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election. keeping the people's government open is not a concession to me. keeping vital services running and hundreds of thousands of americans on the job is not something you give to the other side. it's our basic responsibility. you don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you're supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there's a law there that you don't like. the american people sent us here to govern. my hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour, once again, that congress will choose to do the right thing and that the house of representatives in particular will choose the right thing. thank you very much. >> president obama speaking at
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the white house this afternoon, sounding rather exasperated to my ear. joining us now to give us a sense of the current mood and strategy is jennifer palmieri, communications director. thank you for being with us. >> very happy to be here, rachel. >> we've heard that the president has spoken this evening with speaker boehner on the phone. what can you tell us about that conversation and anything else the president is doing directly to try to resolve this? >> he spoke to speaker boehner and the other three leaders to, you know, say we still have a few more hours, it's pretty apparent where the solution here lies. we believe that if speaker boehner would just put the, you know, a clean version of the funding bill on the floor, that would fund the government for two months without any special packages attached to it, that that could pass. and obviously, we believe this will ultimately end up and that the speaker should allow that vote to happen tonight so we can
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avoid the shutdown. so, that was pretty much the conversation he had with speaker boehner and senator mcconnell, but it's not apparent that that's where we're going to end up tonight. >> as we head toward midnight and toward a potential shutdown, what you just described there as the white house's view of how this should be resolved, something you've been pretty consistently explaining for the past few days and weeks when it looked like this was possible. >> right. >> will that change at all once we're in shutdown mode? does strategy change? does what you want or expect change if a shutdown happens at midnight? >> our strategy hasn't changed. you've heard president obama say over the last couple weeks, congress has two duties to do right now. they need today pay their bills and they need to pass a budget. and we're not interested, nor are we willing to make special concessions to them in order to just do these two basic things. you know, other times where we faced sort of budget showdowns,
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there's been a situation where there is sort of a general agreement on both sides that we are trying to achieve something other than just regular business. we are trying achieve a deficit reduction package like we did in 2011 or in the fiscal cliff, the fight from this past year. we were trying to pass middle class tax cuts and make those permanent. all we are asking is that congress pass a six-week funding bill to keep the government open. so, we're not really sure what there is to negotiate around. and so, that is -- i don't expect our strategy's not going to change, our message is not going to change. it's clear what congress these to do. you see more and more republicans on the house side coming out, admitting that there is support, enough support in the house that they could pass a clean funding bill, if they would put that on the floor, and so, that's what we'll continue to push for them to do. and in the meanwhile, we're getting ready tomorrow health care tomorrow, too. >> right.
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in the meantime, there is also a massive national health reform bill that's going to be implemented tomorrow. >> yes. >> it seems like what we are all watching is the house republican caucus. they are the ones who have to make the decision about what to do here. >> right. >> does the white house have any leverage whatsoever with any republicans in the house? the president obviously started off his time in office with overt and high-profile efforts to have good bipartisan elevationships. republicans seem to have rebuffed him in that way. does he call republicans in congress? is he lobbying republicans or does he expect republicans to work this out themselves? >> he has, particularly on the senate side, had a lot of good interactions, particularly in this year. and in developing relationships with people that are interested in working on budget issues. but we keep hitting some walls here, which is they're not willing to consider new revenues or they still want to hold some things hostage, like for example, they want to hold obama
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care, use that as a negotiating tool. so, i don't know that there is a lot. you know, i don't want to give people the sense that in this particular case, we're just talking about this really narrow funding bill that just goes two months. and likewise, just getting congress to pass legislation to pay their bills when it comes to the debt ceiling. i don't know that there's a lot of negotiation for the president to do directly. he'll continue to make the case to the american people. we feel that that case -- you know, i think there will be more attention paid to this, and that breaks through. but it's apparent what needs to happen. and you know, our expectation is that republicans in the house will eventually see that way. >> white house communications director jennifer palmieri, thank you very much for your time and your optimism. nice to have you here. >> eventually, rachel. >> rachel. >> got to me, yes. >> eventually can mean a long time.
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did you see the market today? jitters in the markets today. the economic forecasting. it is all bad about what's about to happen at the strike of midnight tonight. it's like dystopia new year's eve here in washington tonight,
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counting the minutes, waiting for it all to shut down when the clock strikes 12:00, like a big ball dropping on the economy. and it turns out, the people making it happen have every rational short-term political reason to go for it, which is an important part of figuring out why this is happening and maybe how to undo it. and that story next.
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to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back?
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♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. the first time the senate convened today, they convened very briefly to tell the house republicans that they were not going to go along with the republican shutdown plan. the whole thing was over quickly. there was no real drama about the vote. everybody knew how it was going to go, and the procedural stuff just went, chop, chop, chop. they did it again just minutes ago, same deal. but the first time, it was done in less than a half an hour, and that less than half an hour time included a prayer from the senate chop lane that was kind of a kick in the pants to kick the whole thing off. this was kind of amazing. check this out. >> as our nation stumbles toward a seemingly unavoidable government shutdown, keep our lawmakers from sewing to the
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wind, thereby risking reaping the wor the whirlwind. when they remember that all that is necessary or unintended catastrophic consequences is for good people to do nothing. >> the chaplain chopping the hides of congress for, in his words, stumbling toward a government shutdown. all that is necessary for unintended, catastrophic, unintended consequences is for good people to do nothing. that was 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. the congress was done with its business and the issue was sent back to the house after an hour. meanwhile, president obama was discussing with his cabinet a way to shut down all of their agencies and being able to keep the services too essential to stop altogether. the president also today meeting with the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu, who wept through his way to note, what a weird time this is to be in washington.
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>> mr. president, thank you for welcoming me and my delegation. what i know, it is a very busy day for you in washington today. there are many things on your plate, but i know that you know -- >> there are a lot of things on the plate of the government of the united states of america all the time, even without one-half of our legislature pouring water in the gas tank, but that is what we're doing now, fact. the question coming into focus is not necessarily whether republicans will succeed in shutting down the government before midnight tonight, but how long the shutdown will last. joining us now is senator shared brown of ohio, fresh off of a vote on the senate floor. senator brown, thank you so much for being with us. >> great to be back, rachel. thank you. >> i understand the senate voted to reject the amendment passed by the house which would have made the funding for the government contingent on another
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delay to health reform. just in terms of what happens next here, what do you expect? >> i don't think we know what to expect. the house of representatives still has the senate continuing resolution. the issue is, will john boehner act like -- will he be the speaker of the radical right wing of the republican party or will he be the speaker of the united states house of representatives. because if he just takes the senate language -- you know, we went through a bipartisan process in the senate, we passed this. if he takes the senate continuing residence lurks puts it to a vote for all 435 members of congress, almost all of whom were elected in november and sworn in in january, then it's clear to most of us, maybe all of us, that that would pass the house of representatives. you'd get virtually all the democrats and the responsible republicans that know this is the wrong thing to do for our country. that would pass before midnight, the president would sign it before midnight, there would be no government shut. the answer's pretty easy, pretty
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obvious, whether the leadership in the house shows real leadership or not is obviously the question. >> senator, i know you were in the house the last time the government shut down. do you feel like that experience, both for us as a country, but also for the legislature of our country, had lessons that we're willingfully ignoring right now, or is it that every 17 years we're ready for another one of these. >> maybe it's like the 17-year locust. i think they've forgotten. these new far right republicans that don't think anything good happened in the country until they arrived in washington, they don't know much history. if they know history, they would know that there was the same on decision to medicare from the john numbery society, the teat party of those days, maybe, the doctors, the insurance companies. and five years later, the country really appreciated medicare. i think they'd know that lesson, if they knew anything about history, because we're seeing this rerun.
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i'm certain five years from now, people will think the affordable care act, which is a big deal arguing about, this is good for our country. so, these aren't people who ever studied or read history, so they've really learned nothing about the damage it had to the country, to the budge, to job creation 17 years ago, let alone the damage to their political party. terms of the challenges we have as a country and what we are working on as a country and specifically as a government, do you think that this shutdown will affect or could affect our country's room to maneuver, our ability to lead and try to get what we want on all these other issues that are moving right now, that are totally separate from the shupp, on things like syria and the chemical weapons on iran, winding down afghanistan, and everything else we are doing as a government. does this shutdown interfere with our ability to get something done? >> i think certainly it damages our reputation around the world, especially as the far right approaches the debt ceiling
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debate later, well, next month. i guess today's the 30th. in mid-october. but there is an opportunity cost and we're not working on job creation, a job-creating farm bill. we're doing none of the things that we should be doing because we're lurching from crisis to crisis, self-induced, human-made, congressional-induced crisis to kruse. there's simply no reason we need to be going through this as a nation. talk to anybody at home. if you get outside, if the bubble is outside of the country club and talk wait and a few old right wing rigged meetings, they're going to see that the country doesn't like this. the kroection wants they want u getting this health care law implemented. so, hundreds of thousands of people will get medicaid in my state, will be joining exchanges, there have consumer protections. a million seniors have already gotten free preventive care. one thing after another is
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happening. we need to cooperate to make sure it's done right. >> senate yooe yoor share yod b ohio, thank you. we are still looking down the barrel of a midnight shutdown, less than 2 1/2 hours from now. what else might happen between now and then to potentially stop that? and the linchpin political thing that made this kerfuffle possible. that's coming up. we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours. yeah? then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check?
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you are not the only one on twitter tonight. the president of the united states just tweeted this. put it on screen. "it is time for congress to do the right thing for our country and pass a budget that represents a #governmentshutdown, and it's signed "b.o." when you see "b.o." at the end, i think of the president's dog, but no, it means that the president himself sent the message. now we have to find out who is following him in the house of representatives. we'll be right back.
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so, the whole reason we are barreling toward the shutdown of the federal government right now is because republicans control the house, and it's kind of a funny reason why republicans control the house. because in the last election, when every single one of the seats in the house was up for a vote, democratic candidates for the house got way more votes than the republican candidates did. overall in the last election, if you add up the total number of people who voted for a democratic congressional candidate and total number of people who voted for a
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republican congressional candidate, it looks like this. look. about 1.5 million more votes for democrats than for republicans. and yet, republicans maintained control of the house. fewer people overall voted for them, but they still won more seats! nice trick. here's how that looked state by state, and this is kind of nuts. in the great state of michigan, more than 2.25 million people voted for democratic house candidates. just over 2 million people voted for republican candidates. the results of democrats getting lots more votes is that republicans got lots more seats! the democrats won just five seats and republicans got nine. democrats got more votes and fewer seats in. across the lake in wisconsin, same deal. more wisconsin voters voted for democrats, but republicans get two more seats than the democrats did. in pennsylvania, republicans won almost three times as many seats as democrats. in virginia, womens got 4% more
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votes, but they won almost three times the number of democratic seats. in ohio, staple deal, republicans won a few more votes that be the democrats did but they won triple the amount of democratic seats. the number of republicans and democrats sent to congress from states like michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania and washington and ohio, these congressional delegations are totally out of whack with the actual statewide vote totals. and that is the point. partisan legislators drawing congressional districts during a census year, which was 2010, so that it only takes a handful of votes to elect people from their own party but takes a miracle for anybody from the other side to get elected. the republicans agreecive use of their tactic in the 2010 election that's two consequences for where we are now. first, it means that republicans as a whole have no fear at all of them losing control of the house. the districts are drawn, so there are so many safe republicans seats in the country. they almost can't lose their
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majority. the other consequence, though, is this. in making sure that represents are representing republican-only, republican-safe districts where there will never be a chance that they'll lose to a democrat, sure, must be nice for them to fear no mrazible democratic challenger, but that also means that the real contest for their seat is in the republican primary in their home district. and where the only thing republicans are worried about is a challenge from their right flank, then you have republicans always worried about trying to get as far to the right as possible. you can never waiver, you can never have less than 100% approval for whatever conservative movement will blanket your district with ads calling you a squish, an obama lover. when you tilt the playing field to give yourself an ad strong, sometimes the tilting has other unintedded conspiracy againsts. would we had a shutdown if the house wasn't so gerrymandered to help republicans? and what can this dynamic tell us about how this more white
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wing than wow spiraling crisis may end. david wasserman is the editor specifically for the house at "the cook political report." thank you for being here. >> thank you. welcome to d.c. >> thank you! it's a weird time to be here. but let me ask you about those dynamics i just described. obviously, i did sort of sample states there, but how is the republicans in the house versus the republicans that presided over the last shutdown years ago. >> this is six or seven beer goggles ugly, but really, this has its roots like redistricting andy meandering. i've heard republicans being described as rational. they've reflected to the c constituencies who have gotten what they wanted on both sides of the aisle and let's be honest, kratz would have won the same thing if they won. >> but how much more republican
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are republican districts now than was north before. >> back in '95 and '96, there were 79 out of the 236 seats carried by bill clinton in 1992. that was many more than the 17 districts that represent that were won by barack obama in the 2012 election. so, you're talking about going from some incentive to compromise to just 17. republicans are living in a completely alternate units from the country. their districts are 75% white. considering that only 37 today out of 233 were around for the '85, '86 shut. then you also have the fact that 48 of all house republicans were elected after george w. bush left office. they ran against democrats and republican leadership to get to congress and are reflecting what
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the primary elect rates which decided their elections back home wanted in the first place. >> so, do you think that in describing the dharkt of the sort of average house republican's district, am i overstating that when i say they're worried about primary challenges from their right? it may be that they're not trying to posture themselves as being as far to the right as possible. they may simply be reflecting the very unusual politics of their tightly drawn districts. >> you're absolutely right, and they're in districts that out of the 80 letter-signers who were essentially what democrats would call the hostage takers, obama actually lost their districts by an average of 23 points. so you're talking about republicans sitting in district, fewer than a third of house republicans in '95-'96 came from districts that were at least ten points more republican than the national average. today more than half house republicans come from districts at least ten points more republican on a national average on a voter index.
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so, we're talking about a situation where obama has negative leverage. if he comes out and says he supports one thing that drives the incentive on the right to push things more. what will eventually end this stalemate? i tend to think wall street has more leverage with william of the road in the house and it is a marvel that eric cantor can be seen as a bellwether within the house congressional congress, but that's where we're at. and certainly, president obama and democratic leadership has with house republicans -- >> and all of the pundit-driven appeals to say ah, this turns off moderate voters. there are no moderate voters voting in these. dave >> thanks rachel. >> tick tok. tick tok. we will be right back. i'm a careful investor. when you do what i do, you think about risk.
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>> president obama used 22 pens when he signed health reform. and what he signed into was law. he signed the bill into law after it passed both houses of congress and the supreme court upheld its constitutionality. millions of people will be able to buy affordable health insurance because of that law. it's law. we know it makes a difference what you call health reform. more people say they oppose something called obama care than something that is called the affordable care act even though they are the exact same thing, what you call it makes a difference as to how people feel about it. which is why despite the congress passing it and the president having signed it into law with 22 pens and the supreme court ruling that the law was constitution, despite all of those factual indications that it is law, republicans constantly like referring to the
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law as a bill. they call it this bill and the bill named after the president and 100% the president's bill. you know what? health reform is not a bill any more. it has gotten its wings. girl, it's a woman now. but health reform is a law, not a bill. no matter how desperately republicans have tried to rebrand it as something that is pending and not something that is on the books and going into effect. even after the bill became a law and was upheld, republicans thought they might have one more crack at undoing it by asking the country to elect a republican president. and then they lost by a lot. in the popular vote and in the electoral college. and now the vice presidential nominee from that losing contest tells the wall street journal
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that the republicans and congress feel the need to get right over it because they lost the fight at the ballot box. we do not have an election around the corner where we feel we are going to win it and fix it ourselves. the government you are stuck with is the government that the people elected when they voted. which is how we do things in our country. we subject different why ideas to different voters. that's the system. what you can do is constrained by the constitution. once they have decided within those lines, democracy is how we choose what happens to us. as of midnight as a way for
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republicans to forcibly get what they could not get within the political system that they apparently have real problems with. instead the senate is asking the house begin to pass a temporary spending bill without offending health reform or denying women access to contraception. what the house will do in response we do not yet know but it is their turn and there is two hours left. lather rinse repeat lather rinse repeat. this is is a big night for politics and for policy and for the country. msnbc will continue our special coverage of this developing story tonight. "the last word" takes o

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