All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, September 30, 2013
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 30, 2013
Guests: Robert Costa, Nick Mulvaney, Hakeem Jeffries, Julie Fernandez,
Chris Van Hollen, Jerry Nadler, Matt Welch
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And tonight, we begin with chaos in the House of Representatives.
Moderate Republicans are fighting with Tea Party conservatives with the
federal government set to shut down in just four hours. As we await yet
another vote in the House, one whose expected passage will essentially
guarantee a shutdown, it is important to know just how exactly did it come
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe you know the way to get things done for
the American people so that we don`t have another shutdown of the
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a very simple way
of doing this, which is, the Senate passed a budget and the House passed a
budget. Maybe you`re not old enough to remember "Schoolhouse Rock".
BILL: I`m just a bill, yes, I`m only a bill and I`m sitting here on
Capitol Hill --
HAYES (voice-over): In the not-so-distant past it worked like this -- the
president presents a budget, the house passes its budget, the Senate passes
its budget, they get together in a conference committee to hammer out a
BILL: Well, now I`m stuck in committee and I`ll sit here and wait, while a
few key Congressmen discuss and debate --
HAYES: But in 20, the newly emboldened Tea Party-infused Republican
majority in the House of Representatives held the debt ceiling hostage as
leverage for implementing austerity.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: On our broadcast tonight, deal or default?
What`s it going to be?
HAYES: The normal budgetary process was abandoned and replaced by the
Budget Control Act of 2011. That spawned the Super Committee and its
impasse, which spawned sequestration and a series of temporary measures
passed to keep the government funded. All of these gimmicky, jerry-rigged
mechanisms fed off and contributed to an atmosphere of perpetual crisis.
But after winning re-election and largely holding sway over the fiscal
cliff showdown, the president held out hope that we could stop the
OBAMA: So, let`s set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that
replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our
future. And let`s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers
and scares off investors.
The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by
drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next!
HAYES: And getting back to how the normal process was broken -- for a
whole year, House Republicans complained the Senate wouldn`t pass a budget.
Finally, the Senate passed a budget, but Speaker John Boehner wouldn`t
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: For two years, my Republican
colleagues have complained that the Senate didn`t pass a budget resolution,
even though we had enacted budget by force of law and signed by President
Obama. But still, the House refused to go to conference with us.
Since they got what they claimed they wanted, their interest in regular
order has not yet waned. It`s just disappeared.
HAYES: And Tea Party leaders like Senator Ted Cruz led the strategy to
kneecap that normal budgetary process.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Let me be clear, I don`t trust the Republicans,
and I don`t trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans
likewise don`t trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is
leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.
HAYES: And so, the Tea Party die-hards, about one-fifth of the House,
hamstrings one-half of Congress, which is, of course, one-third of our
three branches of government -- 1/30 of the power in Washington is
controlling the rest of us.
And now, we`re in yet another crisis because of them.
CRUZ: The House of Representatives listened to the American people, and I
am hopeful, I am confident that the House will continue to stand its
HAYES: I am going to be joined live by two Congressmen to debate that in
just a few minutes. But joining me now is Robert Costa, Washington, D.C.
editor for the conservative "National Review" and CNBC contributor.
And, Robert, we just had a floor on the vote about 45 minutes ago. We`re
going to get another one. In that floor vote, there was a lot of talk
about revolt from the moderate wing of the Republican Caucus. What
ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL REVIEW: Peter King of New York, a veteran moderate
of the House, had tried to work the floor to rally 20 to 30 centrist
Republicans against the rule to proceed on debate on John Boehner`s latest
continuing resolution to fund the government. That failed. Leadership
worked the floor, Peter King`s crowd stopped, so now, any moderate revolt
HAYES: There was even a talk about as many as 20 to 25 members who were
aligned with king voting against it, which would have killed this
resolution that`s being passed. Now that it`s passed, do we expect they`re
just going to pass the bill in the next few minutes or so and send that
over to the Senate?
COSTA: That`s right. What you should expect in the next hour is the House
Republicans bill to delay the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year to
pass quite easily. That`s going to head over to the Senate, but that could
be, Chris, the final volley of the night from House Republicans. It seems
very much right now like we`re headed towards shutdown.
HAYES: So, it`s a one-year delay on the implementation of the mandate.
Also, my understanding is the so-called Vitter amendment, which essentially
removed the government employer contribution to the health insurance
payments of all of Congress`s staff. That`s also in there, right?
COSTA: That`s exactly right. What house Republicans are trying to do
right now is message the shutdown. The shutdown seems to be happening, so
they`re trying to put a bill to Harry Reid`s lap to make him shoulder some
of the blame should the shutdown happens and they could blame him for
shutting down the government to protect subsidies for Congressional
staffers. That`s their argument right now and what they`re going to run on
in the final hour.
HAYES: I see. So, the rhetorical positioning of that Vitter amendment is
so they have some peg they can hang the blame for this on Harry Reid in the
COSTA: Well, that`s -- the problem for House Republicans is this, a lot of
the older members, those who weren`t elected in 2010 and 2012. They went
through the Gingrich (INAUDIBLE) in `90s. They know a shutdown causes
So, there is a generational divide within the House Republican Congress,
between those who know a shutdown doesn`t always work politically and those
who say, hey, let`s try it, let`s see what happens.
HAYES: Robert Costa from "The National Review," whose reporting on all of
this will be indispensable and will be joining me later this evening live
at 11:00, as we continue to follow this.
Thank you very much, Robert.
With me now, we have Congressman Nick Mulvaney, Republican from South
Carolina, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New York and a
member of the House Budget Committee.
And, Congressman Mulvaney, I wanted to read a bit of reporting that came
from Byron York of "The Washington Examiner," I`m quoting from his article,
"There are 233 Republicans in the House. Insiders estimate that three-
quarters of them or about 175 GOP lawmakers are willing and perhaps even
eager to vote for a continuing resolution that funds the government without
pressing the Republican goal of defunding or delaying Obamacare."
It`s sort of a shocking bit of reporting there, indicating that a very
small minority of one party in one-half of one branch of Congress is
calling the shots here.
REP. NICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Chris, it`s news to me. I have
not read that piece that you`ve mentioned. And having sat through probably
more Republican conference meetings in the last four or five days than the
last several months, I just don`t see that in our room when we go in.
Today, we went in, actually kicked staff out, which is very rare for us, so
we could have a very private conversation about what was happening.
And the support for what we did two weeks ago was very high. I think we
got all Republicans but one. There was support for what we did just two
days ago was high. We got overwhelming majorities of our own party, only
lost a couple folks. And again, today the support for what we`re bringing
up tonight is still strong.
You`re actually right. Mr. King of New York has some difficulties with it,
as does Mr. Dent of Pennsylvania. But overall, the support is very strong,
so that`s not jiving with what you`re saying.
HAYES: Yes, there`s been an assertion throughout the day that I`ve seen
not just from Byron York, but backed in a lot of reporting, that if the
speaker were to bring a clean C.R. to the floor right now in the House of
Representatives that matched what the Senate has passed, that would pass
with the majority of members of the United States House of Representatives.
Are you saying that`s not true?
MULVANEY: I`m just saying I`ve not seen any evidence of it. I have no
information, where Mr. York is getting that. I have not seen that. That`s
not been the tenor of our conversations in those meetings, that`s not been
the message in our meetings.
Our message has been fairly consistent, which is that we are going to try
to chip away at Obamacare as part of the continuing resolution debates and
that`s the plan for this evening.
HAYES: Congressman Jeffries, what`s your response to the seemingly united
front the Republicans are now presenting when it looked like a complete
kind of balkanized mess a few hours ago? Where do you see this headed?
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Well, holding the government hostage
to an extreme ideological agenda is very problematic, particularly as it
relates to the attempt to repeal or defund or delay the Affordable Care
Act. As Speaker Boehner indicated earlier this year, the Affordable Care
Act is the law of the land, passed by the Congress in 2010. The Supreme
Court declared it constitutional in 2012. The American people re-elected
President Obama last November.
This should be a settled matter. We`re in a position where a few hours
away from a government shutdown that will cause significant pain of the
American people. It will cause pain for working families, for the
military, for civil service employees, for children, for senior citizens,
those that rely on Meals on Wheels, and the responsibility will lie
squarely with the House Republican majority, which has steadfastly held to
this position that it`s their way or the highway, and that quite
HAYES: Congressman Mulvaney, one of the things that have been attached to
this continuing resolution` side from delaying the mandate for a year, is
the so-called Vitter amendment, which would take away essentially the
employer contribution to health care, an employer contribution that people
in all sorts of large employers receive as part of their compensation. It
would take away employer compensation for staff members, for members of
Congress and their staffs.
Are you prepared to go into your office and look secretaries and clerical
workers and other staff members making $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 a year and
tell them they`re going to have a several thousand dollar pay cut?
MULVANEY: Absolutely, because as my staff told me, what we`re fighting
back against tonight is the OPM decision that the Obama administration
handed down a couple weeks ago. In fact, I think it was finalized today,
that said we get this subsidy. That`s not what the law says.
The law says we don`t get it. The president doesn`t have the right to
change that unilaterally.
HAYES: The subsidy -- when you say subsidy, that`s an incredibly
misleading term. The subsidy and the exchange for everyone else who are in
the exchanges because their employers don`t provide health insurance.
Let`s remember that Chuck Grassley passed this specifically to make people
have to use the exchanges even though they already have employer-provided
We`re not talking about tax credits. We`re no talking about a subsidy. We
are talking about compensation for your staff members who make a good deal
less than you.
MULVANEY: Use whatever word you want, it`s illegal. The president cannot
do this. The law as passed, we just heard Congressman Jeffries correctly
say it`s the law of the land. The law of the land says we don`t get this
type of assistance from our employer.
Like it or hate it, I`m not -- I can`t argue that, but it is the law and
the president does not have the right to change that unilaterally.
HAYES: Congressman Jeffries what do you think about your colleagues voting
to cut, to essentially give a pay cut, significant pay cut to everyone who
works in that building for, I can`t figure out the reason?
JEFFRIES: Well, I have no doubt and sincerity in the good faith of
Congressman Mulvaney. However, I do think that overall, this collective
strategy related to the legislation that`s now before us is a political
gimmick, and it`s not going to work. Harry Reid has clearly indicated that
it`s dead on arrival if it gets to the Senate. The president won`t sign it
into law, and it`s a further delay tactic that has us spiraling down the
road to a government shutdown.
I think a clean C.R. is clearly in the best for the American people and I
hope at the end of the day, reasonableness will prevail, we can find common
ground, get behind and beyond this government shutdown crisis, and then we
can sit down at the negotiating table and try to find common ground to do
what`s right for the economy and for American people moving forward.
HAYES: Congressman Mulvaney, shouldn`t the best way to have a negotiated
settlement to the budget be to go through the normal budget process and
have John Boehner appoint conferees to a conference committee so that both
houses can actually work out their differences through the process that is
designed to do precisely that?
MULVANEY: I heard your introduction talk about that, and certainly, I
think everybody can agree that sometimes going through regular order is
better. But it`s wrong to say that that`s only a recent change. In 2009
and 2010, actually, the gentleman I beat was the budget chairman who didn`t
even offer a budget that year.
So, to say regular order has broken down since Republicans have been in the
House is not right. But let`s talk about common ground. As you and I
talked about on this show 10 days ago, we sent over a plan to defund
Obamacare. They sent back a C.R.
We sent them over a one-year delay earlier this week, they send back a cr.
We`re going to send them another thing tonight, they`re probably going to
send back a C.R. Where is the common ground? Where is the Senate working
to keep the government open?
HAYES: I`ll tell you where it is, with due respect, Congressman. The
common ground is this -- the funding levels, the C.R. that came from the
Senate and the funding levels in the one that Democrats in the House are
ready to vote for is a funding levels that keep sequestration funding
intact. That is not anything the Democratic caucus wants.
And, Congressman Jeffries, feel free to weigh in here.
MULVANEY: But, Chris, that`s the law of the land. That`s the law of the
HAYES: That is a massive concession.
MULVANEY: That spending -- it`s not concession, that`s the law!
HAYES: So is Obamacare!
MULVANEY: So, they`re pushing back on the Budget Control Act because they
don`t like it and we`re pushing back on Obamacare because we don`t like it.
That`s how the system is supposed to work.
HAYES: Congressman Jeffries, are you pushing back on sequestration?
JEFFRIES: We absolutely are pushing back on sequestration. It`s a very
painful thing for the American people. And the Democrats in both the House
and the Senate are compromising as it relates to sending the funding level
at $986 billion, which is very different than what would otherwise be the
case had sequestration not come into effect. So we`re already in a place
HAYES: Congressman Nick Mulvaney and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, I
understsand you gentlemen will have a vote in a little bit. I really
appreciate your taking the time to speak to su tonight. Thank you very
MULVANEY: Thanks, Chris.
JEFFERIES: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that the thought that the Statue of Liberty
could be held hostage is appalling to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If the government shuts down in a few hours, there will be a lot
more dire consequences than the Statue of Liberty not being open to
visitors. We`ll talk about them, next.
HAYES: Right there, America, that`s shutdown cam. You clamored for it and
we`re bringing it to you.
And then right after the show at 9:00 p.m., I`ll be taking over the ALL IN
Facebook page. If you`ve got a question for me, head on over to
Facebook.com/allinwithchris and ask away. And when you`re done asking your
questions, make sure to like us. It is only fair.
HAYES: We are entering crunch time as the shutdown barrels towards us.
There`s going to be a vote in the house momentarily. We will continue to
monitor that. We will have our trustee shutdown cam up in a second.
Right now, as we head towards a shutdown, there is a huge amount of
confusion out there about what comes after that. Who will get paid and who
won`t? What services will be affected and what won`t?
So, earlier today on our Facebook page, we asked you to send us your
questions about what happens on the day after a government shutdown. We`ve
got ALL IN`s reporter Suzy Khimm, who along with our reporter Ned Resnikoff
has been doing great reporting on the effects of the shutdown to answer
Suzy, thank you for joining us. First up, I thought this got at heart of
what a lot of people are wondering.
This is Barbara Ann Ratel. She says, "What will happen to Social Security
checks, food stamps and WIC, what about Head Start, Meals on Wheels, DVR?
Not sure which are state, which are federal and how the shutdown will
affect states, if at all?"
How can you break this down for us?
SUZY KHIMM, MSNBC.COM REPORTER: All right. So, I think part of the reason
there`s so much confusion about what does and doesn`t get affected by the
shutdown is because we haven`t really had a conversation about funding
these programs. But just one sort of clear distinction that might help
folks -- basically, shutdown, spending that`s classified as mandatory
spending -- that would include food stamps, that would include Medicare,
that would include Social Security -- won`t be affected.
So, folks who get those benefits wouldn`t expect to see them taken away.
HAYES: That`s also --
KHIMM: However --
HAYES: Let me just add to that because we have a graphic. Social
Security, unemployment benefits, food stamps, those are all in the not
affected category of the line.
KHIMM: Yes. Those are all in the not affected category.
However, there are some service disruptions that you might expect even for
those benefits. And you might take a longer amount of time to get Social
Security, for instance, to get your unemployment check to apply for
unemployment if you haven`t received it already. As for things like Meals
on Wheels, Head Start, those kinds of programs, they will be affected, but
it deepens on how long the shutdown actually lasts.
In other words, if it`s just a couple of days, there might be enough
funding for folks to not really see any changes, but if it keeps going on
for a number of days, even weeks, then folks would really start to see the
HAYES: WIC is for women with infant children, it`s a food supplement,
somewhat like food stamps. That is going to be affected.
HAYES: The way it`s affected is unclear because it`s a federal-state
partnership, but there will be some effects on that?
KHIMM: Yes, there is expected to be a disruption. Basically, they`re
saying they have enough funding to go maybe a week or so, but if it goes
longer, then supplemental assistance to women and families with children
will be affected.
HAYES: All right. I want to ask -- I want to move to something else
because there are people who come to Washington, D.C., to survey the
dysfunctional wreckage that is our current Congress, and they want to know.
Benny Cani Ne says, "Hey, Chris, we`re taking over 100 eighth graders and
will likely be one of several schools visiting D.C. for their class trip in
the next few weeks. How might this affect our trip in terms of museums,
monuments, et cetera? Thank you for your consideration."
Is it all going to be closed? Are they going to be able to watch the
wreckage up close and personal?
KHIMM: Well, they won`t be able to go to the National Mall. They won`t be
able to go to the monument. They won`t be able to go to any of the
Smithsonian Museums. They could be able to go to a private museum, like
the Newseum or the Spy Museum or visit the National Cathedral, but the
attractions that bring tourists to Washington, that bring folks, you know
from all over the country here, will mostly be, people won`t be able to get
access to them. You expect to see a lot of folks disappointed when they
HAYES: OK, this is a really important one. Stina Hughes asks, and I heard
from other people, "I am waiting for a tax refund. Will they still be
KHIMM: The IRS wants to have employees working for them. They say that
there are certain forms of tax refunds that will be affected, but for the
most part, people shouldn`t expect those changes.
But this is the thing, a lot -- these agencies have just started to put
together their contingency plans to explain exactly what`s going to happen,
who`s going to stay, who`s going to go. And with 800,000 employees, at
least, expected to be furloughed if there`s a shutdown, you would expect a
lot of disruptions, you know, across vast swaths of the government that
people rely on every day.
HAYES: And, finally, the most important question, Moses K. Chege says,
"Why do members of Congress still get paid? This is at contention." Ted
Cruz is now saying he will donate his paycheck out of his generous spirit.
Why do members of Congress still get paid?
KHIMM: So, the reason they still get paid is because their salaries are
automatically appropriated. In other words, Congress doesn`t have to
approve its own salary every year.
HAYES: Hmm, handy.
Also, there is, you know, they have constitutional responsibilities and
they would be considered, as much as folks at home might not like this,
essential personnel to working in government. However, traditionally as
happened during Clinton era, Congress almost immediately passes legislation
that would suspend their salaries so it wouldn`t look politically awful.
HAYES: No one, even this Congress is not quite stupid enough to walk into
MSNBC.com reporter Suzy Khimm, thank you for all that. Really appreciate
KHIMM: All right, absolutely.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with a much-needed #click3.
HAYES: There`s a vote happening in the House right now which we will bring
you, and there`s also other big news to report today, besides the possible
government shutdown, how the Department of Justice is going after North
Carolina for its brand-new voter restriction law. More on that story
But, first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet
today. We begin with the super fail by a neighborhood fast food
restaurant. Burger King is coming on strong with new French fries that are
less horrible for you, and there is the runaway popularity of Taco Bell`s
So, McDonald`s is hoping these things, dubbed Mighty Wings, will give them
an edge in the fast-food wars. They`re rolling them out for football
season with a massive publicity push. The McDonald`s franchise in Laverne,
California, missed the mark lists the enthusiasm for the promotion. A user
posted this photo of the giant chicken wings on display outside of the
Laverne McDonald`s. And A for effort but an F minus for, you know, making
me want to eat the thing.
But who knows? If history has taught us anything, there are people who
will eat anything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNDIENTIFIED MALE: It`s no big deal!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uuh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, the Russians are
coming to Hollywood. With Russia co-opting much of the news cycle, it`s no
surprise you see a resurgence of Russia-related high jinks on our favorite
Web sites. For example, the dog who looks like Vladimir Putin made the
rounds recently. And now, in the same vein, Miriam Elder of BuzzFeed and
the Russian Web site "Big Picture" direct our attention to Russians who
look like Hollywood stars.
There`s Leonardo DiCapriosky. There`s Eminemovich. There`s, of course,
Broos Villis, Doktor Khaus. That one is spooky.
Kherrison Ford, Dzhek Nikolson, and Milla Jovovich. Don`t even need to
change the name on that one. Oh, and Chuck Norris, although to be fair,
that`s probably the actual Chuck Norris.
And the third awesomest thing on the Internet today, bad farewells are the
best. More than 10 million people watched the finale of "Breaking Bad"
last night. The ground-baking series cooked a batch of blue meth. Cast
and crew were celebrating last night.
In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of the show`s faithful were saying
good-bye to "Breaking Bad" on Twitter. It`s a moment that united all walks
of life for Ann Coulter who tweeted, "Fantastic `Breaking Bad` finale,
thank you Vince Gilligan, much better than anyone could have imagined." To
Rosie O`Donnell who wrote, "You know when you see a great movie and the
crowd claps. I wish the `Breaking Bad` cast and crew could feel that now."
Even billionaire investor Warren Buffett tweeting this picture of himself
as Walter White.
The folks over at "Mashable" provided this illustrated tribute, turning
Walt and Jesse into beloved twosomes throughout the ages. Then there was
this classic Internet meme which resurfaced in a timely fashion. A simple
description of what it would be like if "Breaking Bad" took place in
Doctor tells Walter White, "You have cancer? Treatment starts next week."
And with that, the show`s over, proper health coverage concluding,
unnecessary life of crime. Topical!
You can find all the links of tonight #click3 on our Website,
allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Justice Department expects to show
that the clear and intended effects of these changes would contract the
electorate and result in unequal access to the participation in the
political process while on account of race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the huge, non-shutdown news out of Washington today.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department`s plans to
sue the city of North Carolina over its new voting law. A law so broad and
restrictive, one expert called it the most sweeping anti-voter law in at
The federal governor is challenging four parts of the law, including the
state`s decision to cut back early voting, the elimination of same-day
registration during that early voting period, restrictions on provisional
ballots and a strict requirement of a government photo I.D. Student I.D.s,
public employees I.D.s or I.D.s issued by public assistance agencies are
The Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the voting rights act in
June, and that was what paved the way for states like North Carolina to
pass these kinds of restrictive voting laws, which disproportionately
affect the poor and people of color. Just last month, the Justice
Department challenged Texas on its voter I.D. law. Today, republican
Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the North Carolina law in August, called
the Justice Department`s move political.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK MCCRORY, (R) NORTH CAROLINA 74TH GOVERNOR: I believe the federal
government action is an overreach and without merit. I believe that North
Carolina was in the mainstream on this issue, and it`s the Justice
Department that`s working within the fringes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Julie Fernandez, former deputy assistant attorney
general in the civil rights division of the department of justice, which is
now a senior policy analyst at the open society foundations.
I want you to react to what Governor McCrory just said, that the law passed
by North Carolina, which many described as one of the most extreme voter
restrictive laws they have ever seen. He said it was perfectly in the
mainstream. Is he right about that?
JULIE FERNANDEZ, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, look, Chris, the
question is whether or not the law passed in North Carolina
disproportionately negatively impacts African-American voters. The
question that the attorney general and the Justice Department are asking is
whether or not these restrictions are ones that make it harder for black
voters to vote.
In the face of years of North Carolina where we have seen since the early
2000s an increase in African-American turnout and participation, now we
have a law where the question`s going to be asked, is this new law making
HAYES: Can you set up the connecting of the dots between the voting rights
act decision by the Supreme Court and North Carolina being able to pass
this law in the first place? Because what we saw was, the court strained
down a part of the voting rights act, and then a bunch of states, which if
you look at a map, all seem to be in the south, passed a bunch of voter
FERNANDEZ: Right. So, prior to the supreme court`s decision in Shelby
County, North Carolina could have still passed this law; but, there would
have been a proceeding, likely in the department of justice, but maybe in
the federal court, where the question would have been asked in a
straightforward, administrative or expedited judicial proceeding about
whether or not this law had an adverse impact on black voters.
Now, in a post-Shelby world, we don`t have that sort of efficient,
straightforward way to evaluate the impact. We`re going to have years of
protracted litigation on the question. And, meanwhile, we will have lots
of voting changes all over North Carolina, Georgia, other parts of the
country, that we won`t even know about and the impact that those are having
on African-American and Latino voters.
HAYES: Interestingly. What do you mean by that, there will be changes we
don`t even know about?
FERNANDEZ: Well, in the world of -- if the pre-Shelby world, any time --
if you were in a covered jurisdiction, any time you had a voting change or
you had to let DOJ know, and then they would be able to do a quick
evaluation as to whether or not it may be problematic under the voting
Now, people can make voting changes of all kinds and there`s no requirement
that there`s notice. There`s no requirement that there is any kind of
scrutiny as to whether or not those changes are going to negatively impact
African-American voters. And, interestingly, Chris, just to say, this law
was held back by the North Carolina legislature waiting to see if the
Supreme Court --
FERNANDEZ: -- would invalidate that part of the voting rights act,
section 5, and only after the Supreme Court acted, the state legislature
went in to pass this immediately.
HAYES: And -- And, that`s because the law is so blatant, it would have had
such a hard time getting past that bar of the DOJ.
FERNANDEZ: I don`t know. I`m not going to say that, but I will say there
must have been some reason why. I think the question needs to be asked, I
suppose I would say, the question should be asked, why they waited until
after this antidiscrimination provision was struck down, did only then they
pass this law.
HAYES: Julie Fernandez from the Open Society Foundation. Thanks so much
for your time tonight. I really appreciate that.
HAYES: What house republicans are doing to the country is bad enough.
What they are doing to their own staff members may be even worse. I`m
going to explain that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, (D-OH), 61ST HOUSE SPEAKER: We believe that everyone should
be treated fairly. And, so, we are going to move here in the next several
hours to take the senate bill, add to it a one-year delay of the individual
mandate on the American people, and get rid of the exemption for members
of Congress. It`s a matter of fairness for all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s House Speaker John Boehner speaking earlier today about the
two key provisions of the continuing resolution, which at this moment the
house has just passed to set up sending back to the senate, which will then
strip out those provisions and send it back to the house for a several
rounds of ping pong before midnight tonight.
Now, the operative phase there from Speaker Boehner was exemption for
members of Congress. And, what he means by that in plain English is that
in exchange for funding the government, house republicans want to basically
get rid of health care for all their employees, or more accurately, cut all
their secretaries` pay.
No, really, that`s what`s going on. Their latest gamete is to attach
what`s called the Vitter amendment to the government funding bill. That is
the one that just passed out of the house again. And, what that amendment
does is get rid of government payments for health care of members of
Congress and their staff.
Now, this won`t matter that much for members of Congress. They are good
because nearly all of them are rich. According to the center for
responsive politics, almost half of them are millionaires. But, it`s
another story altogether for their staffers, who will see their current
employer contribution to health care costs taken away from them for no
At one point today at a caucus meeting -- this is amazing -- the house GOP
had to kick the staffers out because they were talking about getting rid of
the payments for the staffers` health care. "National Review`s" Jonathan
Strong tweeted as such "One reason GOP kicked staff out of meeting, they
are talking about their health care."
And, Ezra Klein putting it in "Washington Post" "Well, going along with the
Vitter amendment is tantamount to a massive pay cut to Congressional
staffers who need health insurance," which is why when asked by the Vitter
amendment republican Congressman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said, "There
are definitely some people who are very much not for it." And, there you
have it, it has come to this.
Republicans are attempting to score rhetorical points with some of the more
extreme factions of their party by betting on the health care and the lives
of their staff members, all of which will do absolutely nothing. We should
be clear to kill off or damage or delay the hated Obamacare.
This is not governing. This is trolling with people`s actual lives.
Joining me now is Congressman Chris Van Hollen, fresh off the floor,
democrat from Maryland. He is a ranking member of the house budget
committee. My understanding is republicans just passed that continuing
resolution with a one-year delay on the mandate and this Vitter amendment.
I`m surprised there`s not more outrage about this thing.
This seems to me -- OK, you don`t like Obamacare. You want to delay the
mandate for a year, fine. I mean I disagree with that and I think that
this has been properly litigated. But, as a sheer act of destruction to
essentially just screw with all your staff to what, to grandstand -- I
really cannot believe it is happening.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: Chris, you are absolutely right.
First, it was absolutely disgraceful what we just saw on the floor of the
House of Representatives. And, I should point out at the outset, what
Speaker Boehner did not do.
He did not allow the full house of representatives to vote on a clean
extension of the continuing resolution to keep open the government. Why?
It would have passed on a bipartisan basis and the government would have
been kept open and they would not fulfill their effort to try to deny
millions of Americans access to affordable care act beginning tomorrow.
Now, with respect to the provision you are talking about. You know, it`s
fine if republicans want to demagogue and distort the facts with respect to
members of Congress, and they are demagoguing and distorting the facts
there. But, as you said, what they are really doing is taking this out on
federal employees who are staff members of Congress. And, what they`re
asking for, actually, is that Congress be exempt from the employer mandate,
VAN HOLLEN: I mean, after all, the federal government is an employer --
VAN HOLLEN: -- and it has a responsibility under the law to provide health
care. They are not asking for a delay for one year in the employer
mandate. They want Congress to be exempt from the employer mandate. After
all their talk about carve outs and all that. And, they`re doing to -- at
the expense of staff members in Congress who work very hard for the public
good, whether they were republican staff members or democratic staff
HAYES: And, in a lot of cases, I know this from my time covering the hill.
A lot of them are not making a ton of money. I mean these are not
lucrative jobs. Some are making, you know, above median income and doing
fairly well. But, there is a lot to learn. I mean -- this is talking
about, "Hey, we are just going to come and take $500 out of your paycheck,
so that we can run ads about how Congress exempted itself or make some
But, I just want to reiterate, there is actual human beings who actually
work inside the halls of Congress, who actually do work all day who are
just being pushed around for no reason. There is nothing about the Vitter
amendment -- correct me if I`m wrong.
That will have anything to do with Obamacare implementation, whether the
exchanges will get set up tomorrow, whether the mandate will come into
effect. Nothing of the ideological objections are addressed in this just
little bit of cruelty directed at the people who work in your building.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s right, Chris. And, you know, among the people
who have been offering now these proposals on the republican side are
individuals who are multimillionaires, right? I mean, health care coverage
is not something that means a whole lot to them in terms of their
But, for these staff members, who, as you say, are working at middle-income
wages, it is very meaningful. And, essentially, what they are saying is
that they want to exempt themselves -- the members of the -- the Congress
as an institution, from the requirements of the law and as a result, staff
members would take the hit.
And, it will have absolutely no impact on the implementation of the
affordable care act and Obamacare. So, it`s just a spiteful action against
their staff. Again, if they want to beat up on our members of Congress and
demagogue that issue --
VAN HOLLEN: -- you know, go ahead, but --
HAYES: At least you guys are voting.
VAN HOLLEN: You know, but to take it out on staff is really reprehensible.
HAYES: Quickly, I want to get your response to this, because we have seen
a remarkable thing happened in which Ted Cruz, a freshman senator, has
essentially reached across and appointed himself as speaker of the house
and successfully driven the house agenda from the minority of the
And, I want to get your response to this. Jason Johnson, he is a top crew
ASCS. He is now tweeting that "I am, quote, `hearing Boehner will offer a
clean vote -- CR vote after Reid refuses once again to compromise.`" This
is Ted Cruz`s top aide essentially announcing that Boehner is going to fold
to exert pressure on him not to. What do you make of the control that John
Boehner has of his caucus in that body?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, Senator Cruz has really become the puppet master here in
the House of Representatives. He has been pulling all the strings. I said
on the floor of the house today that the presiding officer might as well
hand the gavel over to Senator Cruz, because that`s where these guys are
taking their orders from. I was just waiting for some of our colleagues to
start reading, you know, "Green Eggs and Ham" on the floor of the house
this afternoon and tonight.
HAYES: Well, it`s going to be a long night, so we may get a Dr. Seuss cam
right over here.
VAN HOLLEN: It is. The sad part as you said, though, is really -- I mean,
this is going to really hurt the country.
VAN HOLLEN: And, it`s all to try to block millions of Americans --
HAYES: From getting health insurance.
VAN HOLLEN: -- from getting access to affordable health care. And, it is
just despicable. It is really a very sad day for the Congress.
HAYES: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, thank you so much for your time. All
right, we will be right back.
HAYES: For more on the shutdown that looms just a few hours away, joining
me is Congressman Jerry Nadler, democrat from New York, and Matt Welch,
editor in chief of "The Libertarian Reason" magazine. Congressman, I`ll
begin with you. This is going to go volley to the senate.
Senate said that Harry Reid said something like it`s going to take about 15
minutes to send it back to you. At this point, it seems that -- you know,
the cards have been dealt and we`re going to get a shutdown at midnight.
REP. JERRY NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: I don`t doubt that. I think the senate -
- the house may ping pong back to the senate another version, a narrower
version or not, but it`s clear. As long as the house insists on delaying
Obamacare or some part of it, the government will shut down. They are
voting to shut down the government by doing that.
HAYES: So, Matt, people look at this and they say to themselves, and Dan
Pfiefer tweeted this, this morning -- White House communications person --
I thought, you know, it`s a good point, which is basically, look, a
majority of both houses would pass a clean CR. I mean that`s fairly clear.
The senate has already passed one. The house would pass one if the came to
the floor and the president would sign it. It is like why -- When you look
at that, why should Americans be held captive to one little faction in the
house over this when there is across both houses and the white house
support for a clean CR?
MATT WELCH, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF "THE LIBERTARIAN REASON" MAGAZINE: You are
asking it should the question in politics, Chris. Shame on you. No, I
think what I think we`re going get is a clear CR at some point. Is it
going to happen at 12:30 in the morning?
HAYES: You think we are going to get one.
WELCH: Eventually we are going to get one.
HAYES: Eventually, we`re going to get one. How is this going to end?
HAYES: I don`t know!
WELCH: What did the republicans give themselves in terms of leverage on
this deal over time? Did they spend the last two months trying to bargain
for and fight for something that was winnable? Arithmetically, if that is
the word. And, because they did not, even if they come out with something
that is reasonable in the eyes of the American public, it is too late to be
reasonable because the whole thing does not look reasonable.
So, the reason they should, or why is this happening, is that you are
giving voice to people who want to express their frustration. It`s not
necessarily governance. It`s more of a cathartic scream. That cathartic
scream will take the place and/or take the form of shutting down the
government for a couple of hours or something like that, and then it would
all be over and then we will be talking about the debt ceiling.
HAYES: So, Congressman, does that sound to you like what`s going to
happen, which is that there will be a shutdown. It will be fairly brief.
There will be a clean CR that gets passed. And, then we`re going to rerun
the tape of this two weeks from now with far, far greater stakes?
NADLER: That`s quite possible. I can`t read the minds of some of my
republican colleagues. It may be that it will go a few hours or a few
days. But in the end, they are going to have to pass a clean CR. But of
course, the much, much greater threat is that they insist on some -- on
delaying the affordable care act and holding in part as a condition of
raising the debt ceiling and they throw the country in default, and that
could be catastrophic for the economy for years and years and even
So, what`s particularly wrong about this is that it`s one thing to have a
budget fight. You know, the democrats want $1.058 trillion in this
resolution. The republicans want $966. We have basically surrendered to
the republicans, at least for a few weeks.
HAYES: That is a good point.
NADLER: That`s a budget fight. But, to take something completely
unrelated, which passed both houses of Congress, which the president
signed, which the people approved in effect by re-electing the president
and democratic senate, and then say, "We, the minority in one house, we are
going to blackmail you. We`re going to say we`re going to destroy the
economy and the country by not raising the debt ceiling, or we`re going to
shut down the government if you don`t give us what we want." It`s like a
1930s gangster movie. It`s a nice economy you`ve got there. Pity it
should happen to blow up if you don`t pay us by giving us what we want.
That is not democratic government and the president cannot surrender to
HAYES: That all sounds dramatic, but that`s not going to happen. We`re
not going to default on our debt. We are not going to ruin the economy.
It is not going to happen.
WELCH: It is not going to happen.
HAYES: The Matt Welch guarantee.
WELCH: If in trade were still in business, I would be betting heavy on
this. This of course is not going to happen. What the republicans have,
although they have squandered it methodically over the last several months,
is public opinion on their side about the debt ceiling increase. 24
percent of Americans don`t want it increased, period. The 55 percent in
addition to that say, "Well, if you`re going to do it, have some spending
cuts with that. That`s an incredible advantage and negotiating position.
They have screwed that up because they talked about defunding Obamacare,
which people didn`t want.
HAYES: That`s really an interesting and important point. The other point
I take to you Congressman Nadler, what we saw last time around with this is
that public opinion shifted quite a bit on those questions, as they got
closer donate ceiling.
NADLER: Yes, and as people understand that the debt ceiling is not, as
most people think it is, enabling more spending. It`s simply enabling
paying the bills that were already incurred a year or two ago.
And, my question to you, Congressman, is there`s this argument about --
this is a broad kind of macro argument, but in these moments, I think
quite relevant -- about the modern incarnation of the republican party,
particularly its incarnation in the house of representatives, which is
that there`s something historically anomalous about it, which is that to
say it kind of flouts institutional norms and precedents in a way that
other recent parties haven`t, that there`s something different in kind
about how this republican house caucus behaves. Do you think that`s true?
NADLER: Yes, I do. It`s the willingness to use, whether it`s a government
shutdown or the threat of defaulting on the debt, as blackmail to blackmail
the majority into doing something they want as a policy thing. You don`t
see the United States, the democratic senate saying, "We won`t vote the
budget. We won`t do a continuing resolution. We`ll shut down the
government unless you give us a strong gun control bill or unless you give
us a good immigration bill."
No one thinks to do that. You do that through the normal democratic
processes. They are using the blackmail of minority to try to blackmail
the senate and the president, and frankly, the American people to go along
with them -
HAYES: Do you think there is some anomalous there?
NADLER: -- That hasn`t been done since before the civil war.
WELCH: I think one thing that`s anomalous is that there is a natural
philosophical and tactical divide within the Republican Party. They have
weak leadership. They have people who disagree with their tactics, which
is what we`re seeing now, but also philosophy, which we`re seeing in other
types of things, such as opposition to Syria, such as opposition to drones,
things that viewers might be more copasetic with, so it cuts both ways.
HAYES: It plays out and it all sort of empowered and also furthers what is
I think at this point uniformly seen as weak leadership from John Boehner.
Congressman Jery Nadler and Matt Welch from Reason Magazine, thank you both
for your time.
That is "All In" for now. We will 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, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF "RACHEL MADDOW" SHOW: Something a little
disconcerting about you handing the reigns back to me live at midnight and
me presumably having to say, "Yes! It`s all over!" Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I know. I know, as the suspense drains out.
MADDOW: Exactly! Thanks, cheers.
HAYES: Yes. Good luck.
MADDOW: Well, see you later, Chris.
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