Guest Host: Chris Hayes
Guests: Mike Viqueira, Rep. James Clyburn, Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Donna Edwards, Robert
Reich, Dave Weigel, Cecile Richards
RACHEL MADDOW, “TRMS” HOST: Chris, you‘re going to be covering a very exciting, unfolding news story this hour.
CHRIS HAYES, GUEST HOST: That‘s how it‘s looking, although I don‘t know if anything will top flag preparation, which is—which is what America really wants to know about. I think we‘ve had some flag inflation actually in these events, starting back in 2000. It was like one, and then 50. Now, like a hundred.
MADDOW: Well, now, there‘s at least four flags there. But while we are trying to figure out if the defund Planned Parenthood initiative is going to be the thing that shuts down the federal government, it turns out that wire hangers are totally intrinsic to the prop-making political pageantry of this.
HAYES: And that line item has gotten through in the CRs thus far.
Thank you very much, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate it, Chris. Good luck.
HAYES: Have a good night.
I‘m Chris Hayes, in for Ed Schultz.
As Rachel just mentioned, with two hours until a midnight deadline for a government shutdown, there appears to be a deal that has been worked out between Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama and the White House.
That deal as we hear is being looked over now. John Boehner, as Rachel just said, meeting with the House GOP caucus at the moment.
Later on, we expect they make a statement and if they do, we will bring that to you, of course, live, right here.
In the interim, let‘s go to Mike Viqueira, who is standing by in the White House and has been covering this story all day to give us the latest.
Mike, what is the state of play at this moment?
MIKE VIQUEIRA, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, right over there, or is it there? That is the basement of the Capitol under the magnificent dome behind you. The Republicans are meeting. Their meeting was supposed to begin at 9:45. We saw John Boehner walked by just minutes ago.
We understand, although they are not saying this out in public yet, that John Boehner is there presenting to his rank and file, the 240 some odd members of the Republican conference in the House of Representatives, obviously, newly-empowered, just came into power. Boehner getting the gavel in January, the outlines of the deal that John Boehner, through torturous and long negotiation over the past week, has struck with Democrats and President Obama. He‘s been here in the White House, Chris, Speaker John Boehner, along with his Senate counterpart, the Democrat Harry Reid, four times over the course of the last three days. They did not make the trip today.
Everything is on hold right now. The president is here in the White House.
If, in fact, Boehner makes this sale to his conference, whether he determines he has the necessary support among conservatives and others in his base constituency within that conference, and they sign off on this deal, a number of things will be set in motion. First of all, the deal itself, we understand the outlines that have been negotiated, a breakthrough this afternoon, $39 billion in cuts out of a trillion dollar, to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that runs through September 30th. In exchange, John Boehner and Republican negotiators have apparently dropped that provision that you and Rachel were talking about that would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other women‘s clinics that provide abortion services, along with the other medical services that they provide. That‘s the deal that Boehner is presenting to his caucus.
If Boehner comes out, if the deal is signed, if everybody gives the OK, we can assume that we will see the president of the United States live from the White House here sometime tonight. Obviously, not a moment too soon. We are two hours away from the government running out of money, and that shut-down that everybody has been dreading occurring.
We are heading literally into the 11th hour at this point. There are some other nuts and bolts that have to happen overnight and over the weekend in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. They‘re going to have to pass another, I believe this would be the seventh short term funding bill. This one is likely to last two, three, four days.
So, John Boehner can fulfill his promise to have the House of Representatives read every piece of major legislation, have 72 hours to do so, before voting on it. That and other spine tuning would be likely going on over the course of the weekend.
But, if things go as they appear to be heading at this point, and it‘s all very sensitive at this point, things could again change at the last minute. But things go, as they appear to be heading, we could have the shut-down averted and not a moment too soon, Chris.
HAYES: NBC News‘ Mike Viqueira, who has been doggedly covering this all day—thanks so much for filling us in. I really appreciate it.
Let‘s turn now to Congressman James Clyburn, assistant Democratic leader.
Good evening, Congressman Clyburn. How are you?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Good evening. Just fine.
How are you?
HAYES: Well, I‘m all right. I am trying to figure out what this deal actually looks like. We‘ve been hearing these numbers bandied about. What is your sense of what the state of play is at this moment?
CLYBURN: Well, my understand something they have decided to step away from all of the riders and to concentrate on what they said they were about and that is what cuts we can make. We‘ve never had a problem making cuts. The problem has always been where to cut. And I think that we are very close on the top line number.
What we are going to be working hopefully if we get this one week or five-day extension, they give us time to work on exactly where the cuts will come. That‘s the only addition. We have a different value system than they have.
HAYES: So that‘s actually interesting. I think it‘s actually a bit of news because my understanding so far is that the deal being hammered is not only the number—which we have been reported at $39 billion, but it‘s actually the contours of where that $39 billion is going to come, substantively.
What you‘re saying is that there‘s an agreement on the top line number. But it actually to determined where the cuts come from or is part of that already in the deal that‘s been worked out?
CLYBURN: I don‘t know what‘s in the deal that‘s been worked out. I have not been in any of those meetings. I know a little bit about my caucus and I know what the value system is within my caucus. And I can tell you, when you talk about cutting funds for Head Start, putting 200,000 Head Start kids out of their classrooms—that‘s a problem for us. It may not be for them.
And when you start talking about denying young people an opportunity to go to college or some other place of advanced studies, that‘s a problem for us and it may not be for them. That‘s what I‘m talking about here when I say value system that I think we will be working to protect.
HAYES: Let me ask you this question. If the deal does come back and Boehner is able to get a large majority but not all of his caucus on board, it becomes possibly mathematically that the Democratic minority in the House plays a kind of swing role, right? I mean, if he doesn‘t total buy-in from his caucus, then there has to be some Democratic votes that are delivered to ultimately push this deal through, is that correct?
CLYBURN: Well, you know, I spent the past four years as a majority whip and my job was to count votes. Now, we work to get the 218. This whole notion is that you got have all 218 from within your own part y, that‘s not what I think you ought to be working to.
And so, I think that Mr. Boehner can come forward with a bipartisan piece of legislation that will get Democratic votes. I know there are a lot of people on our side who would like for this to be as bipartisan as it can be. And so, if we can have those kinds of discussions, I think there‘ll be votes on our side. He doesn‘t have to worry about trying to get all 218 from his side. We‘re there to be helpful.
HAYES: Here to be helpful. Jim Clyburn, assistant Democratic leader in the House—thanks so much for your time tonight. I really appreciate.
CLYBURN: Thank you so much for having me.
HAYES: So, to step back for a second and put this in perspective. The budget the president proposed last year increased spending by $40 billion over the previous year. Now, given the fact that we still have a very high unemployment rate and lots of resources line idle, that was probably far too little to provide the additional stimulus and jobs that the country needs. But that was the starting point.
That budget was never passed. And instead, during the lame duck session, Congress agreed to a continuing resolution that kept the government operating at 2010 levels. In other words, a $40 billion cut from the president‘s proposal.
When they took over the House, the Republicans initially pushed for an additional $30 billion in cuts. And then the freshmen Tea Party caucus threatened revolt, and they passed a budget that cut $60 billion, a full $100 billion below the president‘s budget.
So, to review, on one end, you have the president‘s budget from last year and on the other end, the Tea Party-approved H.R. 1. There‘s $100 billion between them. And where our current negotiation center? Here. At $79 billion in cuts below the president‘s budget.
It means that Democrats have compromised with the Republicans to the tune of $79 billion out of $100 billion. Think about that. Not 50/50. Not $50 billion out of $100 billion, $79 billion of $100 billion.
Now, estimates of job losses this year from these cuts range between 120,000 to 450,000 according to Ezra Klein of “The Washington Post.” He is citing an economist, Mark Zandi, who has said that the Republican proposal would cost between 207,000 jobs if the entire thing went through.
Many economists think the government should still be increasing stimulative spending by as much as $300 billion to $400 billion. Keep in mind that number is more than the initial Republican proposal. The $79 billion in cuts were not enough for Republicans who were willing, it appeared today, to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer summed it up this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: At the White House last night, Speaker Boehner offered a number, $78 billion in cuts. The president said, “We‘ll take that.” And they spent all the rest of the time on the riders. The issue was not spending.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Riders are, of course, those dozens of Republican pet peeves, most notably their interest in defunding Planned Parenthood which Republicans only backed down at the last minute today apparently. Or as Ryan Grim of the “Huffington Post” put it earlier, “The United States government is on the verge of shutting down over a dispute about subsidized pap smears, according to sources familiar with the budget negotiations.”
Or as expressed by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Democrat of New York, who compared this year‘s Republican strategy to 1994.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER (D), NEW YORK: This is probably one of the worst times that we have seen because the numbers of people who were elected to Congress. I went through this as co-chair of the Arts Caucus. In 1994, people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now, they are here to kill women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ouch! Let‘s turn to Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland. Thank you both for joining us tonight.
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You‘re welcome.
REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Thank you.
MADDOW: Congressman Frank, how much of the final hours have been sort of theatrics, how much of this whole thing has been theatrics and how much of this has been a real battle over the substance? You get the sense that the Planned Parenthood rider was perhaps put out there so that they could then take it away and say, look, we have a deal.
FRANK: I don‘t think so. If it‘s (INAUDIBLE) here‘s the problem. In a normal situation, you would have conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats, moderates, all understand the American system of government, which is you don‘t have to win a majority in one election and run the whole government. That‘s Great Britain.
Here, we have people with two-year terms, four-year terms, six-year terms, checks and balances and you‘ve got to compromised.
The problem is, so I think John Boehner would like to compromised, he‘s dealing with a Republican Party which is composed partly of Tea Party people, and also people who are afraid of losing in the Tea Party—into a Tea Party in the primary. Well, what‘s causing the problem is what I would call Bachno-phobia, which is fear and loathing to someone who is delusional in a primary.
HAYES: Let me ask you, Congresswoman Edwards. I‘m just speaking to
Congressman Clyburn. It seems, during this whole debate, we‘ve been
getting lots of reporting on the numbers and very little reporting of what
the substance of the cuts are. And that seems like it‘s a big deal. What
is your understanding of what is being targeted and what is not? Are there
do you have concerns that there are areas important to you that are coming under the knife?
EDWARDS: Well, I do. I mean, I think some of those concerns have to do with Head Start for our young people, have to do with what‘s going to happen with our seniors. And we got a lot of young people who just gotten their acceptance letters from colleges and they are wondering whether they will get Pell grants.
And so, I think the substance really does matter. And, frankly, it‘s up to Speaker Boehner, who seems to be being led by the ear by the most extreme parts with his party to really get a deal that‘s going to get him 218 votes to make it to the president‘s desk for a signature. And there are of us who still have questions about what the substance is.
FRANK: And can I tell you what‘s important is not just what they‘re cutting, but what they‘re not cutting. We had a vote during continuing resolution to cut out $150 million that we‘re sending to Brazilian cotton farmers so that we can continue to subsidize the American cotton farmers. And the great majority of these budget-cutting conservatives vote in favor of that.
We put in $400 million to build infrastructure in Afghanistan. Now, no one thinks that should be well-spent. So, I‘m not talking just about how much to cut but what do you cut? The military has given unlimited license to spend money in ways that are important to the defense of our troops, but also a quite wasteful.
Agricultural spending, there are other things in there. These people have turned out to be hypocritical about earmarks. They were against earmarks in everybody else‘s district. So, yes, there is plenty you can cut. But there‘s a great lack of value on how you do it.
HAYES: Congressman Edwards, you obviously represent a district that is close here to D.C. and I would imagine has quite a number of federal workers. What have you been hearing from your constituents about the impending shutdown, the possibility of a shut down?
EDWARDS: People are concerned. I have 150,000 federal workers in my district and many more contractors. People whose livelihoods and the ability to buy gas for their cars and put food on their tables and pay their mortgages. It really depends on their job.
I mean, these are people, some of whom GS 3 and GS 5 workers who work at the lowest levels of government. They really need their paycheck. And so, we‘re hearing a lot from them. And that‘s why the cuts matter as well, because it isn‘t just about whether we‘re going to shut down government or not. That‘s clearly important. But it also does matter where the cuts are coming from. I mean, when you start ripping out a couple of billion dollars out of the National Institute of Health for cancer research and other kinds of medical research. That really goes at the core of our values and what we do to protect people‘s health and safety.
HAYES: Finally, Congressman Frank, if we do end up in a situation with this top line number that‘s around $79 billion, it is mostly coming out of non-defense discretionary spending, which is the sort of stipulation of the Republican caucus. Do you think it‘s fair deal in the final analysis? Is this too much compromise? Is it far towards that far out $100 billion number?
FRANK: I think it is. Let‘s be clear. When we talk about non-defense discretionary, in other words, there‘s quality of life, of transportation, of the environment. And again, I want to talk about the hypocrisy—these are people who are ready to spend money on Iraqi security forces and Afghan infrastructure, on money for Brazilian cotton farmers.
Many of these people represent districts where NASA is active. They are putting money in having a moon shot. Not a moon shot, a mars shot. They want to spend $1 trillion to go to mars and back.
And yes, we‘re not fighting about how much to cut. We‘re fighting about where to cut it and whether or not we work together to improve the quality of our lives here at home or whether we spend it on their very distorted priorities.
HAYES: Representative Donna Edwards of Maryland and Barney Frank of Massachusetts—really appreciate you joining us tonight. Thanks so much.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
HAYES: So, what happens now? Robert Reich learned the hard way in the last shut down that is a lot more than just sending workers home. Shut down would ripple throughout the country.
And Republicans use this crisis to target women, Planned Parenthood specifically. Tonight, the president of Planned Parenthood joins us with her pledge to fight back.
HAYES: At this moment, we are less than two hours from a possible government shut down if a deal is not agreed to by all parties voted on in Congress and signed by the president of the United States. At this moment, House Speaker John Boehner is meeting with the House Republican Caucus. That shot you see there on the screen is where he is expected to speak after that meeting.
Be sure to check out our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. There, you‘ll find links to WeGotEd.com, Twitter and Facebook. You can go this useful site:
Isthegovernmentshutdown.com throughout the weekend for updates.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich was on the front lines of the last government shut down. He joins us next to discuss the economic impact of the latest budget fight.
HAYES: A deal may be in place to avert a government shutdown but at what cost? Put it this way: Democrats and Republicans were fighting over spending a dollar, took eleventh hour talks to get them to agree on saving a penny.
Some perspective: these negotiations have come down to the wire for what NBC News reports is about $39 billion in spending cuts. The proposed 2010, 2011 federal budget includes $3.82 trillion in spending. The government was pushed to the brink for what amounts to slightly more than 1 percent cuts to federal spending.
Joining me now to talk about the economics of this reported deal is former labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich. He is a professor of public policy at University of California, at Berkeley, and is also the author of the book, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America‘s Future.”
Mr. Secretary, good evening.
ROBERT REICH, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY: Good evening, Chris.
HAYES: So, what do you think about the—let‘s say this deal does happen as been reported with $39 billion in cuts from 2010 levels, what is the economic impact of that?
REICH: It will slow down the recovery. This is a very anemic recovery to begin with, Chris. Unlike the last big show down over the budget deficit, unlike in 1995 where we actually had a shut down, then the economy is doing very well, we were coming roaring out of a recession.
This time, we are doing very poorly. We have 13.5 Americans still unemployed, 6 million who have been unemployed six months or more. We‘ve got a lot of Americans out there who are hurting so that to actually reduce the size of the government and reduce public spending is very, very bad for a lot of people.
HAYES: And it sometimes feels like we‘ve been here before. I mean, in a global sense, this has happened in recoveries where there was a premature austerity program put in place. And also, in 1937, right? I mean, in 1937, tell us a little bit about what the macro economics were then and what the results were.
REICH: Well, you know, it‘s the interesting thing, Chris, is we don‘t seem to learn from history. I mean, in 1933, we had a huge dip. I mean, that was the Great Depression. We started coming out of it in 1934, ‘35, ‘36.
And by 1936, the economy was growing. The pressure was coming from Congress to balance the budget and therefore government actually began to cut spending. What happened in 1937, we went back down into the Great Depression once again.
Now, I don‘t think we‘re going go into a double dip, so called, or go back into recession nw. But it‘s pretty clear that by cutting government spending now when you really ought to be expanding it right now, to make up for the shortfall in consumer spending and also corporate investment, right now is the worst time to actually do what we are evidently going to do in terms of coming out of the recession.
HAYES: I want to sort of play devil‘s advocate for a moment because I do think people look at the numbers and they say, you know, wow, we have this massive debt and they hear numbers thrown around like $13 trillion and a debt to GDP ratio that‘s fairly high by historical standards. Why aren‘t the Republicans right?
I mean, their argument is we were sent here to cut spending. We were sent here to address the deficit and that‘s what‘s going to get the economy and that‘s what we‘re doing. And what is wrong with that argument?
REICH: Well, they are right about the long term. I mean, we do have a deficit problem with the next five, 10, 15 years. We got to get that down.
They are wrong about the timing. I mean, when you‘re coming out of the gravitational pull of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the last thing you want to do is take away the booster rockets. Right now, you want government to spend.
Once we are out of the gravitational pull of the Great Recession, hopefully, next year or the year after, then you do really want to get on with the serious business of deficit reduction.
HAYES: Why do you think that argument, which you have made and Joseph Stieglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has made them, and Paul Krugman, another Nobel Prize-winning economist, has made, and a variety of others have made the exact argument about this. And yet, within Washington at least and the Washington policy circles and on Capitol Hill, it seems like the debate has been so centered around this sort of reduction and austerity conversation? I wonder, why do you think that is?
REICH: Well, partly I think because of that Republicans, Chris, have succeeded in creating the impression—actually selling a big lie. And that big lie is that if you get the deficit under control right now, you‘ll get more jobs back. The big lie is that we got into trouble in terms of going into the Great Recession because government was too big and we were spending too much money.
Now, those big lies, George Orwell in 1949 published a book, you know, about the big lie, he called it “1984.” It was published 1949. The import of his book and the idea of the big lie as you say it over and over and over again, and you don‘t really have anybody coming back on that big lie explaining why it‘s a lie, people start believing it.
And I think the failure of the Democrats, Chris, is that the president on down, Democrats have really not directly rebutted that big lie.
HAYES: Robert Reich, thanks for joining us this evening. I really appreciate it.
REICH: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: A GOP source tells NBC News that a deal has been struck to avoid a shutdown. Republicans reportedly have agreed to a five or six-day stopgap spending measure that is breaking news at this moment.
And we‘re going to continue to bring you breaking news. We‘d probably hear, I would imagine, from Speaker Boehner very shortly.
At the heart of this impasse today, Planned Parenthood, proof that this fight isn‘t really about cutting spending, at least not wholly. And the budget battle is just the first. Bigger ones are coming.
Dave Weigel on the Tea Party and Republicans on the battles yet to come. Stick around.
HAYES: Welcome back. With about an hour and a half to go before a government shutdown, its looks like a deal has been hammered out between House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the president, Barack Obama. We‘ve gotten word that a deal has been circulated. John Boehner met with his caucus at 1945 Eastern, this evening.
NBC News has confirmed from a source inside the meeting that he told them he said, quote, the best deal he could get and that the caucus agreed to it. We expect to hear from him shortly when he returns from that meeting. That is what that live shot is that you are seeing right there. Obviously we will bring you those comments live.
Joining me now to discuss this is “Slate” political reporter and MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel.
DAVE WEIGEL, SLATE.COM: Good evening. Thanks.
HAYES. So do you think John Boehner wakes up tomorrow—let‘s say this all goes well—wakes up tomorrow with increased stature in the House Republican caucus, decreased stature or it stays the same?
WEIGEL: Increased stature. I mean, from the Republicans I‘ve been talking to, including a lot of the Tea Party members who came in with the promise of cutting 100 billion dollars, they have been coming closer to reality. They have gone Washington in a way, and realized that this was all about getting the biggest number they could.
At the end of the day, John Boehner, if these numbers are right, will have gotten bigger cuts than they proposed two months ago, bigger cuts than Democrats said they were willing to accept. Once they‘ve put those pieces together, this is a great deal for them.
HAYES: Yes, how did that happen? I think it is actually pretty remarkable when you track out the numbers. Paul Ryan when—walk us through the chronology, right? They get to Congress and then what happens?
WEIGEL: They get to Congress and Paul Ryan comes out with a smaller package that is not what they promised in the Pledge to America. Pledge to America said 100 billion dollars prorated over the whole fiscal year. Ryan comes out with a little more than 60 billion over the fiscal year.
Republicans fight over that. Two weeks later, they vote on HR-1, which is that 100 billion -- 61 -- we‘re mixing up numbers here, but basically a bigger number than Democrats said they were willing to get.
The deal that we‘re hearing about now is bigger than what suggested. It was basically 33 billion dollars over the fiscal year. They‘re talking about 38 to 40. We‘re going to get the final number later. Again, go back to what Democrats were saying. That was not something they were ready to accept. They‘ve gotten around to it basically by Republicans standing on one place.
HAYES: Right. And that‘s what is so interesting to me, is that confrontation, that first confrontation, when the freshmen members and the Tea Party Caucus, proves to be, in some ways, so important, right? Because that‘s what produces the leverage.
WEIGEL: It does. And Democrats at the time were having a little bit of fun with this. They were pointing out, look, you guys, you promised that you were going to do no less than 100 billion dollars in cuts. Where are they?
They were goading them a bit and kind of testing the limits of Boehner of the new—and of the Tea Party members. These guys actually—I think Boehner proved better at wrangling them than a lot of people expected.
I also think the external force from the Tea Party was not as much of a problem for Boehner as a lot of people thought it was. You can get a press release from some Tea Party activist saying we‘re going to primary him; we‘re not happy with this.
Most Tea Party people were brought in on message. And that was really important. So Republicans stayed in one place, had their base with them. Democrats kept inching towards them. It is tough to change that momentum, if it‘s pretty obvious you‘re getting what you want.
HAYES: So then what does this do? How does this set up the next two fights, right? There is two more coming. We‘re going to get a debt ceiling fight that is going to happen sometime around May or June. And then we‘re going get the full budget fight, the 2012 -- FY 2012 budget.
What position do you—what do you think is going happen to happen in May, given the results that happened here?
WEIGEL: I think Republicans realize that they can work the Democrats over. They also realize in this deal, if this deal happens, what they were saying the last few days, different Republican members, is look—Michele Bachmann even said this—there are bigger fights coming.
We‘ve gotten all we can. We‘re going to fight harder on this. And we have tested the will of the Democrats. We tested it—remembering back to December, they tested it on the tax cut deal. We got most of what we wanted. So they‘ve got a Democratic party that bends really far.
I talked to Democrats yesterday who were pointing to things that were cut in these various CRs that were the best possibilities they could get, they had personally introduced, you know, bills—measures they‘d introduced, Center for Disease Control funding that they had helped get—they were ready to give it up.
Republicans have given up a social—basically some social policies they only intended to be bargaining chips. I mean, look at Planned Parenthood. That‘s 363 billion dollars maybe in that rider. They got—
HAYES: Million, million, million.
WEIGEL: Million dollars in that rider. It‘s a billion dollars we‘re hearing that they got in exchange for that.
HAYES: That‘s right.
WEIGEL: IF that‘s your pattern, why diverge from that?
HAYES: Finally, I wonder how much—I wonder what this means ultimately for those big fights. Does this make them—does this give confidence—the Paul Ryan budget come out and there was a lot of blowback, I think. There was sort of early adulatory press, and then blowback.
I wonder if this gives the caucus confidence to take on the Medicare fight, which really looks extremely politically risky I think to everyone that‘s watching.
WEIGEL: It might give them too much confidence, because that‘s always been risky. The last time we were at this stage, we got further. We got to a real shutdown that lasted a few weeks.
It was largely over Medicare. And Republicans lost that pretty badly. The new guys don‘t remember that. The new guys are convinced because this sort of came up in the 2010 election, their country is ready for a fight about cutting Medicare. Democrats—that‘s what Democrats were hoping they would think.
So Democrats might have given a lot of ground on this. They are happy—and maybe they are too happy. But they are happy to have a fight about entitlements.
HAYES: Dave Weigel, political contributor for “Slate,” thanks so much. Appreciate it.
WEIGEL: Thank you.
HAYES: We are still waiting to hear from congressional leadership to update us about the apparent deal that has been struck to keep the government operating past midnight tonight, the point at which its current funding would expired.
In the meantime, coming up, the battle may be over, but the GOP vows the war will continue. The fight over Planned Parenthood.
HAYES: It appears a deal has been struck to avert a government shutdown. But just a few hours ago, it looked as if the Republican party was ready to shutdown the entirety of the federal government over one organization, Planned Parenthood, which provides women‘s health services around the country, and the Republican party was looking to defund.
I have with me right now the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards. I should say, full disclosure, that I have donated to your organization in the past.
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Thank you. Thank you. As have millions of Americans. I appreciate that.
HAYES: The reason, I think, is that there are two ways to understand what Planned Parenthood does. Obviously, there‘s a reproductive choice component politically, but then there‘s another component. Tell me about what that other component that would have been put at risk by the rider today.
RICHARDS: We see three million patients a year. One in five women in American have been to Planned Parenthood, and primarily for preventive health care. We provide more family planning than any organization in America, about 2.5 million patients each year for basically birth control, pap smears, breast exams.
That is really what was at risk. That is what is incredible, that they have been spending all this time threatening to shut down the government over women being able to get basic family planning services and cancer screenings.
HAYES: Jon Kyl took to the floor of the U.S. Senate today. And he said that 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions.
Then later issued a statement saying—his press shop said it was not intended to be a factual statement.
RICHARDS: It wasn‘t a factual statement. It was completely incorrect, yes.
HAYES: My question is do you think they really think that? Like I can‘t figure out if this has been a disingenuous war that‘s being waged on your organization, or the rank of file of the GOP really believes—doesn‘t realize what Planned Parenthood does.
RICHARDS: I think one thing is clear. I don‘t think the Republican leadership understands what the impact would be of denying women the ability to get family planning services from Planned Parenthood or anyone else. That‘s what—unfortunately, what the Republican budget did.
It said basically the five million women who rely on either Planned Parenthood or other providers to get basic family planning, basic cancer screenings, would be thrown out of those programs.
That‘s really—I think is something that they haven‘t completely thought through.
And the other thing that, of course, has come up a lot on this program is that it would do nothing to reduce the federal deficit. You know, by eliminating Planned Parenthood as a provider to women of basic preventive health care, you wouldn‘t save a single dime.
In fact, it would end up costing the taxpayers more money, because we‘re the most cost effective provider of women‘s reproductive health care in the country.
HAYES: Given the tenor of the 2010 elections, which focused a lot on fiscal issues and less on social issues like choice, et cetera, have you been surprised by the vigor and intensity with which this Republican Congress has come—has sort of focused on abortion and come after your organization specifically?
RICHARDS: I think it was stunning. When you looked at the third bill introduced in the House was about the issue of choice, when in fact everyone who looked at the November election saw I think there were two themes there. One, we need to get the deficit under control, get the economy on back on track. Two, we need to get people back to work.
I haven‘t seen a single jobs bill come out of this House. That‘s what the American people are concerned about. I think that‘s what we saw today as I thought more and more Republican started saying, we should quit talking about things like getting rid of Planned Parenthood.
In fact, we should focus on getting this budget bill passed. And then let‘s focus on jobs and the economy. That‘s what the American people are really concerned about.
HAYES: As you watched the debate develop during the day, what did you take away from it? It did seem like there was fairly effective and concerted messaging on the Democratic side on this issue. And it seems to have been effective, if the current deal, as we understand it, holds, which is about 39 billion dollars in cuts, but does not have this rider that would specifically come after Planned Parenthood.
RICHARDS: That‘s what I saw today. As people begin to understand that, in fact, it seemed like the two parties were very close on the dollar figure, but there was still this issue that they wanted to get rid of women‘s family planning services and cancer screenings through Planned Parenthood, it became clear—I think the Democrats were very clear this was a no way.
And then we saw many Republican senators as well saying, you know, this is not the place to be doing social policy. This is a budget bill. We can‘t threaten the government shutting down over the issue of women being able to get a pap smear. That is not—that is just not good policy.
I really think it kind of began to unravel. That‘s why I hope, as we are hearing, perhaps they have finally taken this issue off of the table and we might get a deal.
HAYES: They will be coming back for you again, though. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood.
RICHARDS: Thanks so much. Great to see you.
HAYES: We will have the latest about the breaking news of a deal that appears to have been hammered out on Capitol Hill to avert a shutdown, right after this break.
HAYES: Some breaking news from Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has just announced, quote, we have an agreement, acknowledging that there is a deal. This now seems like all parties are in agreement. They have all parts in place.
House Speaker John Boehner met with the House Republican caucus from 9:45 until recently. I think they might still be in that meeting. We have word from a GOP source that he sold the deal to this caucus. They have agreed to it.
Senator Harry Reid now saying—and this looks like Speaker Boehner to speak right now.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good evening, everyone. I am pleased that Senator Reid and I and the White House have been able to come to an agreement that will, in fact, cut spending and keep our government open.
I expect that the House will vote yet tonight a short term continuing resolution into next week, to allow for time for this agreement to be put together in legislation form and brought to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote.
I would expect the final vote on this to occur mid next week. But I do believe that we‘ll have a—what we‘ll call a bridge continuing resolution past tonight to ensure that government is open.
As you all know, this has been a lot of discussion and a long fight. But we fought to keep government spending down, because it really will, in fact, help create a better environment for job creators in our country. Thank you.
HAYES: Well, that was brief. House Speaker John Boehner confirming that there is, in fact, a deal. He says that they have a deal worked out. They will—and we will hear some updates now from Mike Viqueira, who is with us live. White House correspondent Mike Viqueira. Mike, what do we know?
MIKE VIQUEIRA, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, it‘s as we have been reporting. Apparently, John Boehner able to make the sale to the House GOP conference, many of those conservatives. It was touch and go there for a while. We didn‘t know whether they would buy it.
He did not elucidate the details, of course. We have been going on, what we‘ve been reporting through the course of the last several hours is that they did agree to cut spending for the rest of this fiscal year, with the president and Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, by 39 billion dollars.
Remember, at the beginning of the week, the Democrats led in these negotiations by President Obama in the West Wing just behind me here. Four times did Harry Reid and John Boehner meet with the president there. The White House started the week at the figure of 33 billion.
So doubtless, John Boehner and his surrogates, his people are going to be claiming a victory, getting the administration to come up to 39 from 33 billion.
On the other hand, that policy, quote unquote, rider that had been the last minute sticking negotiations over the co-course of this day, that stumbling black about defunding those so-called Title X organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the leader of which you just had on your air, apparently has been dropped.
They finessed that somehow. I am hearing some various reports about how they are going to handle that, either a standalone vote on the floor of the House and the Senate, or they‘re going to tackle at some point in the near future, perhaps as part of that big deficit and debt ceiling raising that you have also been talking about tonight.
But there you have it, John Boehner. Bottom line, no shut-down. John Boehner able to make the sale. We can expect to hear from the president relatively shortly, assuming everything is on the up and up there.
Certainly a good day for 800,000 civilian employees of the United States government. Certainly a good day for the more than two million men and women in uniform who were going to see their pay deferred.
A little bit of the nuts and bolts there. You heard Boehner talk about a short term stopgap resolution. That is going to allow two things. First, it will allow him to fulfill a pledge to allow the House of Representatives have 72 hours. Remembers, this is something that Republicans ran on, sort of a procedural change, cleaning up the House, they like to call it, allowing them to read the bill before voting on it, something as momentous as what‘s been debated.
Second of all, it has got to be put in legislative language. That‘s not something they were going to do between now and midnight, however long that is, an hour and 15 minutes from now.
So they‘re going to have—everything‘s going to move relatively quickly, ironically enough, over the course of the next several minutes here in Congress.
They‘re going to put that short term, four or five day continuing resolution, to allow them to take care of the things that we just outlined. And then the bigger, John Boehner indicating mid-week, an agreement to fund the United States government through the remainder of this fiscal year that runs until September 30th, Chris.
HAYES: We have now heard from Speaker Boehner and there has been some discussion that we will be hearing from Senator Reid. Do you expect we will hear from the president tonight?
VIQUEIRA: I do, Chris. I do. You know, the choreography of this is obviously the president, the White House wasn‘t going to come out and trumpet anything before John Boehner made that sale behind closed doors. You see him there.
They typically meet in a room called HC-5 in the basement of the Capitol. He emerged from that room having the approval—or at least enough votes within his conference. We can assume that‘s a substantial majority of his conference, to come forward and declare that he had, in fact, come to an agreement with the president.
So having that out of the way now, the sensitivities about the president breaking the news to Republican conference are over. We can probably expect to hear from Harry Reid very shortly as well, either just outside the chamber or on the Senate floor itself.
Again, they‘ve still got some nuts and bolts here to take care of, some housekeeping to take care of over the course of the next few hours in Washington. All of that sort of is trivialized by the larger issue here. And that is there‘s an agreement and there‘s not going to be a shutdown.
We expect—we can presume that we are going to hear from the president sometime relatively shortly, certainly before midnight tonight, from here at the White House, Chris.
HAYES: Mike Viqueira, NBC White House correspondent, thanks so much.
Really appreciate all your work tonight.
All right, just to recap, it looks like—well, it has been announced that there is a deal between the Republicans in the House, the Democratic controlled Senate and the White House to fund the government. There will be no shutdown this evening, if they can get things together in the next hour, before that clock runs out.
The deal apparently 39 billion dollars in cuts, which is—which does not include the very controversial riders which would have defunded Planned Parenthood and not allowed them to provide health services of any kind to woman across the country, and other riders that were being negotiated early today.
Thirty nine billion dollars in cuts. The government does stay open. They will pass an interim continuing resolution this evening, in the next hour, to keep things open for the next five or six days, while they debate that.
We are expecting as the night goes forward to hear from Senate Majority Harry Reid and finally President Barack Obama. NBC news‘ live coverage of the impending—no longer impending, I should say, government shutdown continues now with Lawrence O‘Donnell and “THE LAST WORD.”
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