Alex Witt   |  April 27, 2013

Why was the FAA bill so easy to pass?

Anna Palmer, Senior Washington Correspondent for Politico, and Perry Bacon Jr., Political Editor for The Grio, talk Front Page Politics with MSNBC’s Alex Witt. They discuss the politics behind the FAA bill that just passed in the House, the Syrian conflict, and President Obama’s second term.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> big relief for airline passengers. congress ' last minute maneuver before a week-long break ensures air-traffic controllers will return to work. many have been furloughed leading to hundreds of frustrating delays and cans clags. the faa said the furloughs were implemented because of budget cuts from the sequester, and here is what the president is saying about it.

>> i hope members of congress will find the same sense of urgency and bipartisan cooperation to help the families still in the crosshairs of these cuts. members of congress may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off head start or the 750,000 americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them, but that pain is real.

>> joining me now is senior washington correspondent for politico anna palmer and msnbc drkter perry bacon, jr. we had senator joe manchin who said congress is acting with self-interest because congressional members have had to get on planes to go back to their districts, they're feeling the plane and that's why there is action.

>> we've seen an issue that affects congress and affects lots and lots of americans . it mostly affects people who are federal workers and that's not most people but the congressmen are getting calls. they're affecting themselves. you see this has moved them to act quickly. it's unfortunate on other issues they're not affected as much. they might act quicker and better.

>> do you think people need to call about meals on wheels --

>> and gun control for that matter. that would probably help move those issues. we're hearing two issues down the pike, nih funding and people who work in military hospitals. those are politically popular causes.

>> let's take a listen now to republican senator susan collins of maine talking about this faa bill. here it is.

>> i'm delighted that the senate has just passed a bipartisan bill to resolve a serious problem confronting the american traveling public and our economy. and it's nice to know that the when we work together we really can solve problems.

>> so, okay, they solved this one problem, but is there a disconnect with washington to have congratulate one's self for doing that.

>> as somebody who is going to take a flight next week, i'm excited it's going to be fixed but het start, this is a one offing they have chosen to fix because they heard a lot about it. they're ignoring other critical things.

>> so was she also ignoring that congress caused this problem in the first place? i mean, just saying.

>> absolutely, yes.

>> i mean, it's self-congratulatory senator speak when they pass anything that there's any kind of bipartisanship on at this point. you know, there wasn't a lot that was happening there.

>> how about this, perry , a band said has been put on the faa now. do we think the nature of how this happened, the expediency, the bipartisan nature of it, can that be take noon any other area of things facing congress right now?

>> i expect there will be a couple other programs in the sequester, i mentioned military hospitals, i think you will see that kind of speed on an issue where basically 100% of americans are for military hospitals working. immigration, gun control , on a grand bargain, i wouldn't hold your breath. congress will be moving as slow as it likes to. in a lot of ways the sequester took a long time to pass but it's not great policy though. things have not moved as fast as they should have. we knew this was come yet congress did nothing until the last moment possible until the effects were happening.

>> all right. let's move to the discussion about syria and i want to begin with you because it seems, anna , there's evidence of some use of chemical weapons . this is something the president has called a game changer and previously a few months ago in the fall he said if that happens syria is crossing a red line . the president is crossing a red line there. what are the white house options?

>> i think they're being very cautious right now. they're looking at saying they're investigating, making sure they're taking kind of prudent action here. secretary of state kerry was briefing members of the house and the senate this week and said the option on the table are everything from, you know, potentially no-fly zones to all kinds of different kind of things, but they didn't necessarily at least the senators and the members that we talked to at politico, weren't saying force. that wasn't one of the things they were really trying to lay out there.

>> okay. perry , your latest article, i have it right here, titled media declares obama's second term doa but don't count him out yet.

>> we took the gun control thing and some people wrote about it and said this was the end of his agenda, suggested he was going to be weakened in the future. i was at the white house thp they think they can revive gun control . they think it's possible to find more votes. kelly ayotte , one of the republicans who voted against gun control , has faced a lot of pressure from people on the lef because she's in a blue state and they think there's room to move on gun control , get manchin, toomey, a few others together on that issue. then immigration we think has a great chance of passing, of course. president still working on the grand bargain. he's got at least one more year to really solidly legislate before we start talking about the midterms and hk and joe biden and marco rubio and the presidential race but there's still time for him to get things done even on gun control .

>> perry bacon, jr., anna palmer, good to see you both.

>> thanks.