Meet the Press   |  July 14, 2013

Washington dysfunction: What lies ahead

A Meet the Press roundtable examines the difficulties facing Capitol Hill and how the parties should move forward to be productive on hot-button issues.

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

>>> so, much to get to. steve schmidt, washington dysfunction. again, you can talk about the rule change and the minutia. it's about whether the minority candidate wants to block what the majority wants to do. what are we seeing here?

>> that's right. one of the fascinating aspects of it is the fact that when leader mcconnell was in the majority of course his view was completely different, as was leader reid's. these are complicated issues. the dysfunction you saw play out this morning is why the senate, why the congress has such a low approval rating with the american people who view this as an institution almost completely removed from dealing with anything that's relevant to their actual lives.

>> neera tanden, mcconnell making a point and saying what are they so upset about? the president's gotten most of what he's wanted. these are particular nominations that legally we have a right to challenge. we also know it's ideological as well.

>> yeah. no. i think what people are concerned about is there are a number of agencies, not just the ones that mitch mcconnell , senator mcconnell was talking about, it's epa, it is cpfb, consumer financial protection board, but it's tallas department of labor , it's also -- it's a range -- nlrb -- a range of agencies that actually protect consumers against large special interests . and i think the issue here is really that the congress is really unpopular because it's not dealing with the country's problems, and i think people really want a functioning senate.

>> and if it can't function, even though it passed immigration reform , we see another area where we get nothing done. and i get to the issue of immigration, rich lowry , which, as i referenced to senator reid, you and bill krystal, prominent conservatives, said kill this bill spp it going to be killed in the house? will it die a slow death? will they do nothing?

>> it's definitely in trouble in the house. i wouldn't say it's dead because there are still powerful interests in the republican party who want this thing to happen.

>> former president bush didn't approve the particularities of it, but he certainly wants something done.

>> sure. but i think the senate bill is fundamentally flawed. if you believe the cbo analysis and believe their optimistic assumptions that the enforcements of this bill actually happened the way it's written, which never happens, we're still going to have, depending on estimates, 6 million, 7 million, 8 million more plants here in ten years. that means this bill fails on its own terms, it fails on the terms marco rubio sate seth out on it. he said i don't want to have to deal with this problem again. he will if his own bill passes. i think the house should pass incremental measures and if the senate wants to take them up, great, bipartisan consensus. if not, wait.

>> the western border governor formerly, how do you respond?

>> i think the bill is in trouble, and i regret it because i think the true conservative position on immigration reform , here's legislation that improves the gross domestic product . it reduces the deficit. it creates jobs, more social security rules. it's a path to legalization that takes 13 years. there's a lot of steps that need to be taken. employer sanctions. i was a border governor. illegal immigration has gone down. it's gone down. the border fence that has been created is not going to do much, but if it gets some republican votes, it makes sense. my view is the congress is totally dysfunctional. it's not just immigration pipt's the farm bill . it's nominations. it's the national labor relations board , consumer bills. farm bill , an example, no food stamps for poor people . what we have is subsidies for the big farmers. i hope there's a filibuster change. i think the nuclear option needs to be exercised. i don't go anymore, even though i served 15 years in the house, for this we're going to sit on monday and discuss senate traditions and hope nothing happens. i think the american people want change and a real change could happen if there's filibuster reform. there can be a stoppage to some of these huge blockages of