Thomas Roberts   |  August 02, 2013

Why GOP wants Wendy Davis to pay for her filibuster

Friday's Agenda panel -- including Think Progress' Igor Volsky, the Campaign for America's Future's Bill Scher and Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar -- discusses the outrageous demand from Texas Republicans that Rep. Wendy Davis pay for her epic filibuster.

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

>>> it's a critical choice. how far republicans willing to go to win back the senate . and pay back. texas republicans want state representative wendy davis to pay for her epic filibuster. igor is with us and lisa and bill share. it's great to see all three of you. bill, start with you on this. you got a post up at the week.com asking what republicans want more. if they have got to go for this a government shutdown or the senate . why can't they have both?

>> they can't have both because they have a very good chance of taking the senate right now. they could get the six seats d!c1 that they need if they don't upset the apple cart. if they become the face of washington dysfunction then all bets are off. you already have the public saying 25%. they only have 25% approval of their handling of congress as it is today and people don't want more dysfunction and they can't pass off the blame for a government shutdown when you have senator ted cruz openly campaigning for it and saying you'll be no different than when government closes for the weekend. they lose leverage and budget negotiations they have to accept more tax increases and putting off sequester cuts. if they can't get the rest of their party to agree, they can forget about the senate .

>> even when there is a situation playing out right now in kentucky, like a referendum on what is happening within congress. polls showing there minimum tch mcconnell is a dead heat with his opponent. he has a tea party challenger in this matt bevin. could this race be a good predictor what is come to happen in 2014 ?

>> it is fascinating. you finally have a referendum on republican control of congress. this idea of obstructing everything obama stands for, filibustering every piece of legislation and work for them in 2010 but are voters sick of it and will it work in 2014 ? the names you mentioned ted cruz will add to that marco rubio and rand paul, these are the presidential hopefuls and they are calling for the shutdown and their math is that by 2016 in the primary in 2016 , that is going to be a big hit and i don't think that is the case particularly when it comes to obama care when people are enrolling in the health care program. they will remember that those senators try to take those benefits away and i don't think that is going to play well, but you're right. it's interesting. they are not so concerned about winning back the senate , that group. they are concerned about running for president.

>> you bring up ted cruz and you bring up rand paul and also marco rubio . let's talk about rubio. he was a part of the immigration aid over on the senate side and trying to get bipartisan immigration reform . what happens in 2014 if boehner tries to bring up immigration reform ? how does that hurt the chances of taking back the senate ?

>> i think it will help them. the larger problem on the table is we are assuming the republican party is unified and if anything the fact that the senate definitely is within reach. it doesn't mean necessarily that the house republicans care. they like a massive dysfunction. how do you create an agenda you can bring in the tea party and put them back in the bottle and say it's bigger the house. if we don't get the senate we don't have a shot at the white house . you have not only government shutdown but the idea that immigration isn't going to pass. the demographics are against the republican party and they have to figure out how do you actually coalesce and win the senate and how do you bring the tea party on board to make sure that you have a functioning government?

>> igor?

>> it was disheartening to hear a paul ryan as a town hall this week answering a questioning and saying that boehner , the house speaker , has to bring the senate immigration bill to the house floor for a vote. i think that shared a lot of advocates of immigration reform and a sign of paul rein maybe another contender for 2016 taking a different tact saying voters want immigration reform and it is heated for the republican party to survive the national party and paving that way forward , a lot of pressure now on boehner between conservatives and folks like paul ryan who want to address this issue in a serious way.

>> you make a good point there. did he learn enough to revise that plan and move ahead and

look likej: a presidential contender. whether or not they are going to have to go back into another special session and the cost they are piling up however one republican state representative says wendy davis should have to pay for the special session prompted by her epic givert filibuster's bill. he said the following. but isn't it really rick perry who decides on special sessions and that is how the deficit got raised on what their bill is?

>> of course, it's ridiculous. you don't make someone pay money for exercising their rights as a legislature and using proper legislative rules. but i'm sure in texas , it's fantastic short-term politics that demonize wendy davis . long term, nationally, the optics are terrible for the republicans. if they care about winning the senate in 2014 and care about 2016 they can't be extending the war on women, they can't be obsessing about a 20-week abortion plan that punishes women who need abortions for medical reasons but if they are hung up on that they need to adjust and recalibrate to be nationally again and making wendy davis their public enemy number one is not the way to do it.

>> the indicator of what we see in the texas legislature particularly when it comes to the treatment of women.

>> thomas, it's really extraordinary.

>> i think --

>> there was a piece in the texas observer earlier this week on wednesday. the behavior of some of these lawmakers is astounding. they watch pornography on their ipads. they make cat sounds when two women are talking on the floor. you know, wendy davis is really shaking up and breaking up the good old boys club down in texas and --

>> how resourced were those reports?

>> yeah.

>> the texas observer had a long piece on it on wednesday.

>> maria, you wanted to say?

>> basically, what wendy davis is symptomatic and so are the castro brothers of the changing face on the demographics of texas and the republican party -- i'm sorry of the domestic graphics of the united states . until they figure this out what they will do in the short term the gop may have a strong hold in texas in the short term did you participation of women and moderates are not with them. what is going to happen if they don't change their strategy of actually becoming much more -- much more open and making sure they are bringing in the new england wem, -- it's a matter they have to modernize in order to survive as a political party .

>> we will leave it there. thank you. have a great weekend.

>> thank you.

>> you can hear more from our panel on our website tv.msnbc.com.