Meet the Press   |  September 29, 2013

3: Shutdown showdown: MTP roundtable reviews

A Meet the Press panel looks at the politics behind the current government funding fight.

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

>>> "meet the press" continues with our political round table. joining us this morning, raoul labrador, john huntsman, dee dee myers , and chris humphreys .

>> welcome to all of you, here is a poll on who you would blame for the government shutdown , here is a poll, 39% would blame republicans, 36% would blame the president, 17% said both. increase matthews, i was there somebody where chris matthews said would you please tell they're behaving like children. i have done my duty, so the question for all of you, chris, i start with you, who gets the blame?

>> i was watching your discussion, and you made points about how obama care, affordable care, as passed by the senate, and then the president got reelected on that very issue. i watched that discussion, senator cruz talks as if there should be a final test that you have to get through before the law goes into effect. in other words, the final vote, whether it is on the debt ceiling or the shutdown of the government, a final look at the law saying should we really let that go into effect before it is set to go into effect. that is not really the form of government. you outlined the form of government. the test by which we submit any new legislation, and the president signs it, is the law, and upholding the law is a good question, should we uphold the law? i think he goes past his issue, which is the substance, the policy, which will be debated for years. the question is should the law be upheld?

>> the question is, when is the law legitimate ever?

>> that is a good question, but if you delay the law then you wouldn't be upheld, the president has delayed it for big business and all his friends. and the question is, is the law ready at this time? is it ready for prime time at this moment? i would repeal the law, i would get rid completely of the law. but all we're asking for in the house of representatives is a one-year delay , just like the unions are asking for a year delay like he has given to big business , i don't think it is unreason to ask for that.

>> and i don't mean to interrupt you on that. we talked plenty about the argume arguments and the substance. but i want to steer you to the end game piece of that. dee dee , we'll come back around to that. how does this end?

>> the house has voted almost 40 times to repeal obama care and every time it almost failed. insanity is doing the same thing over and over --

>> and other times we have had legislation that repealed certain parts.

>> but he wouldn't repeal the domestic part, which he believes in deeply. you guys tried 40 times , it failed. now you attach it numerous times to de-fund it. 70% of americans don't think the reasonable avenue to shut down the government to try to make that happen. you know, there are checks and balances, as you like to say. you have no ability to stop obama care. it is not going to happen. so what is the end game ?

>> i think the end game , partially, we don't see a government shutdown , 25% of them are basically broke on the cloture vote. you basically see guys like corker who are going to go down in this as keeping the sanity. it will be important to see how it is executed throughout the states. you have 17 exchanges that will be up and running on tuesday, we created the first one in utah that has 240 individual policies to be accessed. 300 small businesses are ready to buy into it. i think it will be an important experience, we move into the problem of jobs and economics. does it work or not?

>> you can't just say politics on the side, or have a debate, or the policy implementation because this is about politics. and i don't -- some may see it as petty politics, but i think the congress would say look, we want to keep it alive until 2014 , and 16, there are political means to overturning this, they just haven't achieved it yet.

>> i think it will continue, i am not as sublime as you. the difference is in a kidnapping, you grab the baby and ask for the money. in this case, grab the money and ask for the baby. obama won't give him his baby, you can't negotiate this. dee dee pointed this out. this is his claim to history, what he did after 40 or 50 years of democratic party claim, the clintons tried, almost got it. everybody said we're going to do it since roosevelt, to say i'm going to give it away, or delay it. i think everybody knows the people who want it to delay in a year, want it to die in a year. that is the problem with some of the features in the bill, those who want to kill is, that is a big difference, killing the baby --

>> we're going to be beyond politics real soon and then the world takes over.

>> what happens if the government doesn't go back to work?

>> if there is a shutdown, it will be 24 hours , republicans know it is a loser for them. they have to learn the lesson of this. that will be you can't have it all or nothing approach. you have to find areas that don't work and fix them as they proceed.

>> the democrats think this is a loser for us, everybody agrees this is a loser for us if the government shuts down, that is why i think the president wants a government shutdown . if you look at twitter, there was not a single republican on twitter that said let's shut down the government. but every single democrat was saying the republicans want to shut down the government. the politics are coming from the other side as well. so let's be really honest about this. and the other side would like to see republicans in trouble in 2014 . the other side wants to make sure that they're not even willing to meet us half way. harry reid will not negotiate with john boehner , the president will not meet with john boehner , and john boehner is actually trying to be responsible here.

>> john boehner does not agree with you, john boehner does not want to shut down, does not want to take this stand.

>> you're saying i don't want to shut down the government.

>> the speaker of the house is actually not interested in trying to filet up obama care right now as you are, he has a different view.

>> i disagree with him, i thought this was the moment to do it, not have the fight.

>> so what is the end game , congressman? are you willing to vote for a continuing resolution that comes back that does not delay or de-fund obama care?

>> i am not, but i think there are enough people in the republican party willing to do that. that is what i think you will see, the first request was to completely de-fund the program. and we knew we were going to lose on that, now we're asking for a delay , which again, i don't think is an unreasonable thing to do. you know, your boss, tip o'neill, shut down the government 12 times and you didn't call him a terrorist.

>> these were always a couple of days, and on both sides.

>> but you said why -- it happened.

>> where did you get your number from?

>> seven times .

>> since the '70s --

>> 17 times since the '70s at 12 under your boss.

>> there were issues of a day or two, and issues of funding. what i said before is you can argue over numbers, if it is seven or nine, make it eight. but if you say get rid of the number one program, under the law and put it in the history books, you can't say give me that.

>> when is a law legitimate? would it be appropriate for the president or democrat controlling the senate to say let's go back and let's overturn a reagan era law. could they do that?

>> one of the shutdowns was based on the fairness doctrine , one of the shutdowns was because the fairness doctrine had been done away with. and they wanted it back, so it has been done before. the democrats spent the entire decade of the bush administration trying to repeal the bush tax cuts . it is not like republicans and democrats don't fight about their policies. that is what politics is all about. so for somebody to go on national tv and say we can't fight about our politics.

>> the question is, do you fight about the same old rules and making non-negotiable demands. i think there is a debate on health care on whether or not to do it. and finally, the president, through the congress, the electorate, decided to do it.

>> not a single republican voted for that law, because you guys, the democrats decided to cram it down, you decided to do procedural issues.

>> there was not a real effort on either side to compromise.

>> go ahead --

>> this is an example of how divisive this debate has become, a decade ago, the republicans were trying to crack the code on health care reform . as a mandate, the heritage foundation -- we looked at expanding the market place, so i say, we have a law. let's recognize that. now we have the real world , people who are going to wait this week to find a policy. that is the real world , the question from here, the game, the politics and implementation, how do you make it work for people across this country?

>> right, and ultimately, this is what part of the political fight is about. because once that does happen, we have the experience of other entitlements in this country, that warts and all, these programs move forward and become the affirmament --

>> i think it is part of the fear here, the exchange is open on tuesday, people can go on line, as you said, go to a meeting, go by mail, if there is a policy that fits their needs, the answer will be yes. for hopefully everybody uninsured, the answer will be yes. once people have a positive experience, going on line, with a policy, being insured for the first time, having better coverage it will be very hard to take it away from people. they have been waiting a long time, as chris said, to get to this point. there are 50 million people in the country who are uninsured. this is an opportunity to change what sort of has been a black mark on our country and society that we can allow that to go forward.

>> one last kind of bottom line point, congressman, since you will have a vote on this. at some point there will be a resolution of the government shutdown , before or after, even given your views about how bad obama care is, do you think it is worse not voting to increase the debt limit over this fight?

>> not over the obama care, i always told my leadership i want the fight on the debt ceiling about debts, about spending, not about obama care. i always believe that the fight should be at the cr, the spending levels and the debt level should be about debt, not obama care. some people disagree with me.

>> all right, we'll leave it here, you talked about tip o'neill, and i thought if only -- into the tip o'neill ronald reagan years. we'll be right back after the break, talking about the new book "tip and the gipper," and the big question asked, why don't today's leaders cooperate