ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 19, 2013
Guest: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Robert Costa, Matt Taibbi, Dan Timothy
Kildee, Mattie Duppler, Sam Seder
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
An absolute new low in the House of Representatives today as the GOP
squeaks through a vote to take food out of the mouths of the poor. We`ll
tell you what makes that even more outrageous than it first appears.
Also tonight, what happens when John McCain writes an op-ed that nobody
Plus, another installment of best pope ever!
All that`s coming up.
But tonight we begin, one day closer to a shutdown and one day closer to a
total meltdown within the Republican Party. This morning, Speaker John
Boehner once again taking shots at Senate Republicans, repeating that he
expects them to put up a worthy fight to defund Obamacare.
Which led to Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, just hours later, appearing
with eight house Republicans for a bit of damage control.
We are watching right now, the Republican Party, cannibalize itself in real
time. But here`s the thing. That does not mean we are going to avoid a
government shutdown, or even a default over this crusade to take down
Obamacare, because the passion on Obamacare, the zealotry that makes
Republicans willing to shut down the U.S. government to kill it, that
hasn`t gotten anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason I came to congress after a 12-year hiatus,
is because this bill is so oppressive and so hurtful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be law that we see already as hurting
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will do everything necessary and anything
possible to defund Obamacare.
HAYES (voice-over): More than two years after the president signed his
health care law, the Republican Party`s signature national priority is
still destroying it. But as conservative lawmakers continue to foam at the
mouth, it`s worth asking, why does the Republican Party have an almost
religious obsession with Obamacare?
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Let`s repeal this failure before it
literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.
HAYES: The Tea Party wing of the modern Republican Party was built every
step of the way in singular opposition to Obamacare. That is its
foundation and enduring mission.
The origin story begins in hot, crowded town halls across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are packing town hall meetings with politicians
during the August congressional race.
HAYES: Crowds were whipped into frenzies with a mythical death panels,
Soviet-style rationed care, and a secret plot to cut Medicare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day, God is going to stand before you, and he`s
going to judge you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t want this country turning into Russia,
turning into a socialized country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I don`t want the government to do it for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am not a right-wing wacko.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pay for my health care cash.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know if it`s coming out of my paycheck, yes
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t believe this is just about health care. This
is about the systemic dismantling of this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a fraud! And you`re sentencing this person to
death under the Obama plan!
HAYES: All of it, aided and abetted by Republican politicians.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should not have a government program that determines
if you`re going to pull the plug on grandpa.
HAYES: It was the momentum from that frenzy that carried Scott Brown to
victory in Massachusetts, giving Republicans a chance to, quote, "bury
Obamacare with Kennedy" -- a dramatic upset that robbed the Democrats of
their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I hereby say, health care is dead.
HAYES: But Democrats improbably persevered, and pushed through the health
care bill. Republicans then focused their energy on a spate of surprise
lower court rulings on the law.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much!
HAYES: Contrary to initial reports, the Supreme Court upheld the
individual mandate and broke their collective hearts.
Now, after 40-something meaningless repeal votes, conservatives are
threatening U.S. government default, and releasing ads like this.
It should come as no shock that that ad, of an Uncle Sam clown, violating a
woman, is not what the law does. What the law actually does is attempt to
solve a moral, social, and economic problem that has plagued the country
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A sign of the times in Los Angeles these pas couple
of days. A sports arena transformed into the world`s biggest doctor`s
office thousands showed up to receive free health care services. A lot of
them actually have jobs, but they either have no insurance or even with it,
their medical care is still too expensive.
HAYES: Let`s be clear. Right now, the Republican Party is working to kill
a law that would provide access to health insurance to 30 million people
who did not have it before.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat from
Florida, chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Is there some point where there is victory here? Are we doomed to be
fighting about Obamacare until I am an old man?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: I don`t think so. In fact,
that is exactly why the Tea Party Republicans are hell-bent on doing
everything they can to try to stop Obamacare from going online on October
1st, because even as Ted Cruz said the other day, I mean, this is the real
transparent deal here, Chris, is that they know that once people realize
the benefits of Obamacare, once they can no longer be dropped or denied
coverage for pre-existing conditions, once they are able to fully benefit
from the coverage that will be provided, they`re not going to want to let
They`re going to realize that the bogeyman that the Republicans and the Tea
Party have put up was just that. It was as fictional as the bogeyman of
HAYES: So you think this push right now, this fall, that the reason that
the fight has doubled down right now, as we head up against both a
continuing resolution deadline, that happens to be the same deadline as the
day that the health exchanges go into effect, you think that`s not a
coincidence? You think this is a last-gasp attempt to kill the thing
before it starts delivering the tangible benefits that have been promised.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely. The Tea Partiers are desperate to prevent people
from realizing the full scope of the benefits to the lives that Obamacare
will provide. The women who will, you know, be able to get their annual
checkups and preventative care, which is already occurring. The -- no more
of annual or lifetime caps. The young adults who can stay on their
parent`s insurance until their 26. The side-by-side coverage that they`re
going to be able to compare in the marketplace exchanges, when they go
online on October 1st. The 30 million people that will over the next few
years will get coverage they don`t have now.
That is what the Republicans are desperate to prevent from coming fully
online. Because they know that there`s no turning back after that, and
they know they will have lost. That`s why they`re willing to harm the
economy in order to stop it from happening.
HAYES: So as you watch this kind of amazing war of words escalating
between members of the House. We`re talking to every reporter they can
find anonymously, saying incredibly increasingly nasty things about each
other, are you enjoying this? Are you savoring this? Has this been a
delicious few days?
SCHULTZ: No, not at all. Look, I`m an elected member of Congress and I
really think this is sad and pathetic. I mean, what`s the most disturbing
is that the civil war that has been going on within the Republican Party,
particularly in Congress, you know, is over. And the Tea Party has clearly
You have John Boehner, the speaker of the House, who has essentially ceded
all of his party to a hard-core group of his Tea Party members, and the
tail is wagging the dog. You know, he`s literally willing to let them
drive the economy over a cliff, and it`s just a matter of which car that
they go in. Is it going to be shut the government down or is it going to
be default through not raising our debt ceiling?
HAYES: So, here`s my question to you. One thing I worry about that as we
follow the bouncing ball that is the Obama -- defund Obamacare story, which
has already blocked two nights a row, the thing we`re focused on, that what
is going to come out of this entire thing is that the sequester cuts, which
six months ago were the most controversial policy in all of American
politics going to be the moderate fallback concession position, once
they`re done failing at repealing Obamacare.
SCHULTZ: You know, a number of us were talking about that on the House
floor tonight. And, you know, ironically, you know, the best potential
fall back position could be that we get out of this by not shutting the
government down, and just going with 988 as a limit, but that`s the
sequester levels. And I`ll tell you, there are many, many Democrats who
are not OK with that.
At the end of the day, Chris, what has to happen, in order for us to avoid
government shutdown, is set aside the ideological battle over Obamacare,
and focus on making sure that we can come together, as a Congress, not as
hyper-partisan Tea Party --
HAYES: Here`s my suggestion, let`s balance the scales. House Democratic
Caucus says you won`t vote for anything unless they get rid of the
sequester, everybody threatens a shutdown and let`s make it happen.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thank you so much.
SCHULTZ: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now is Robert Costa, Washington, D.C. editor for the
conservative "National Review", and CNBC contributor, who himself has been
pulled into the maelstrom of the GOP civil war.
Here`s -- OK, I`m going to read you two quotes. This is my favorite. This
is a senior House Republican source quipping to "Huffington Post" about Ted
Cruz. Cruz is the leader of a secret cabal of leftists that are seeking
control of the conservative movement. Their aim is to force the party to
take on suicidal missions to destroy the movement from within.
Now, that`s not that different from a number of off-the-record quotes that
you got today in a really good piece you wrote for "The National Review"
about Cruz`s critics. And when that piece was posted, the very influential
radio show host, Mark Levine, tweeted that, "Why is NRO trashing Cruz?"
He`s accusing you of thrashing Cruz.
Did you have (INAUDIBLE) for Ted Cruz, and how did you get pulling into
ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, I`m a reporter, Chris, and what I`m
reporting is how Ted Cruz is really dividing the Republican Party right
now. And Mark Levine and others are championing Ted Cruz. I think he`s
doing a great thing by trying to tie the C.R. to defunding.
But what you`re seeing play out is a civil war. It`s not behind the
scenes. It`s out in the open. Speaker John Boehner is putting pressure on
Senator Cruz and other Senate conservatives to follow through, to get the
votes for defunding. But, of course, we know that`s going to be very
HAYES: So, here`s the thing. The reason that the drama seems so high and
the reason that people are now going at each other in the public spotlight
is that everyone understands, they are now all collectively pursuing a
I mean, is that -- is that realization dawning on everyone?
COSTA: That`s exactly right. There`s really a strange thing happening
within the Republican Party. We saw in the summer, Senator Ted Cruz went
on a nine-city tour with Heritage Foundation, with Heritage Action, stoking
activists, telling activists that de-funding is a possibility. It got so
big in the conservative movement, as an idea, as a cause, that they`re now
having to go through the motions, pass this vote through the House
tomorrow, on Friday, and then having a vote in the Senate.
But there`s going to have to be a plan B, Chris, and behind the scenes.
When I talked to my leadership sources, they`re already looking at a plan
B, to pass a clean C.R. eventually, and use the debt limit as a leverage
HAYES: OK. So, that`s the scary thing to me, and you, me and Ezra talked
about this last week, which is if the idea is to get through the C.R. and
use the debt ceiling as leverage, what suggests to them that the president
is going to be anymore willing to take a hatchet to Obamacare then than he
COSTA: That`s exactly right. And the White House is in a better strategic
position now than they were in the summer of 2011, when they did deal on
the debt limit.
HAYES: That`s right.
COSTA: Now, the president just won re-election, and he has a Senate
majority. So, here`s the question for Boehner. Can he break the so-called
Hastert Rule? Will he go to Nancy Pelosi and ask for Democratic votes to
try to cobble together some kind of bipartisan compromise, not only with
the C.R., but with the debt limit.
HAYES: Would that be the end of him? I mean, I feel like he has one of
those left in his speakership. I`m personally hoping that it`s on
comprehensive immigration reform, which can pass Congress tomorrow if he
brought it up for a vote, but I also feel that John Boehner literally has
one more of those in his entire speakership, and then it`s done because
there`s only so many times he can do it.
COSTA: I agree with your read on Speaker Boehner, Chris. I think Speaker
Boehner`s power right now is so fragile, that if he actually has to break
the Hastert Rule on the C.R. or on the debt limit, the chances for
immigration reform will be very small.
And Speaker Boehner right now is just trying to survive. He`s going to his
conference every day and say, just try to come with me. I`m throwing you a
bone with this vote on Friday, but eventually we`ll have to come together.
HAYES: Finally and quickly, Robert, why do they hate Ted Cruz so much? It
just -- I cannot get over the anonymous quotes we`ve been reading. It
feels like there was this dam of contempt that is now broken, and everyone
just feels so delighted to express just how much they`ve been hating this
dude from the day he showed up.
COSTA: Here`s, real quick, why they don`t like Senator Cruz in the House?
House Republicans like their power. They want to determine their own plan.
And for three months, Senator Cruz has been wagging his finger at Speaker
Boehner, dictating the strategy and they don`t like to be dictated to.
HAYES: And he successfully dictated.
Robert Costa from "The National Review," thank you so much.
COSTA: That`s right.
HAYES: In the battle of op-eds, it is Vladimir Putin, one, John McCain,
zero. I`ll explain, coming up.
HAYES: Oh, hello there. I`m Chris Hayes and I`m here to talk to you about
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HAYES: A big, big win for Senator John McCain today. At least, that`s
what John McCain thought.
After Vladimir Putin successfully pulled off one of the great global
trolling enterprises in history, by placing an op-ed in "The New York
Times," making a direct appeal to the American people, McCain tried to do
him one better, by publishing an op-ed in "Pravda", which he knew is the
newspaper that served as a mouthpiece of communist Russia.
There was just one little problem. The current incarnation of "Pravda" is
not the "Pravda" John McCain was thinking of when he first hatched the idea
in a discussion about Putin`s "Times" op-ed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I would like to have a chance to have a
commentary in "Pravda".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not going to happen, probably, right?
MCCAIN: If that would happen --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The "Pravda" that McCain was thinking of, that was the official
state newspaper originally funded by Russian revolutionaries in 1912 that
for 80 years delivered what was literally the party line of communist
The current "Pravda" is a weird orphan of that one and has nowhere near the
influence "The New York Times" has in America. NewYorkTimes.com is the
32nd most read Web site in America. Pravda.ru is the 535th most read Web
site in Russia. It is dwarfed in traffic as such sites as Swagbox,
AdultFriendFinder and bodybuilding.com. Though to be fair, I don`t think
any of the other sites accept op-eds.
"Slate" described the new "Pravda" as a kind of cross between the "World
Net Daily" and "The National Enquirer," with headlines such as, "An Expose
of Boston Marathon Bombing Hoax," "Russian children get gay love books from
the West", and "13 terribly weird facts about women."
So, OK, not exactly a platform of global prestige. But what McCain`s
decision to publish in this "Pravda" really shows us, is that despite the
new Russia we are currently dealing with in the world stage, the old habits
of cold warriors die very, very hard.
Joining me now is Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for "Rolling Stone." He
lived and worked as a journalist in Russia for quite a few years. He
speaks fluent Russian if I`m not mistaken.
MATT TAIBBI, ROLLING STONE: Ten years living there.
HAYES: You are in 10 years. OK, did anyone read John McCain`s op-ed?
TAIBBI: I seriously doubt it. I mean, I always -- I actually worked in
the Pravda building, believe it or not, way back when, and "Pravda" was a
dead publication. That is what people wrapped their fish in, and that was
in its heyday.
I remember being in that building and literally having to touch somebody to
make sure he was still alive. And that was in the early `90s. So "Pravda"
is a joke. It has been a joke for a couple of decades.
It`s apparently making a comeback, as kind of this weird, quirky, Internet
conspiracy site, but it`s nothing like the official --
HAYES: "The New York Times"?
TAIBBI: Exactly, yes.
HAYES: If you wanted to start a conversation in Russia, because I think
part of the point here about John McCain kind of coming back is like, we
have a free press, and you in Russia don`t. A, is that true? And B, if
you actually wanted to address the Russian people over the heads of
Vladimir Putin, what would you do? Where would you go?
TAIBBI: OK. You go (INAUDIBLE), which is an outstanding, incredibly brave
publication that, you know, is renowned throughout the former Soviet
countries as kind of a herald of investigative journalism. You might have
heard people like Anna Politkovskaya, Yuri Cheken (ph) --
HAYES: Anna Politkovskaya shot and killed, murdered, both returning to
their apartments with groceries.
TAIBBI: Exactly. I knew, I mean, I knew vaguely, both of those people.
You know, they were both killed for various reasons. And, you know, they
have continued to publish despite the violence that`s been committed
against the staff.
HAYES: Here`s what`s hilarious to me, is that this sort of offhand mention
of "Pravda". You see this sometimes in Republican politicians or even all
politicians, will slip up and call it the USSR, the Soviet Union.
HAYES: And how much do you think John McCain`s kind of vestigial Cold War
attitude forms how he`s thinking about Vladimir Putin and Russia now, and
how far is that leading us astray?
TAIBBI: Oh, I mean, look, I live there for a long time and I saw
generations of American politicians come to Russia and literally you can
tell, the only thing they knew about Russia was the Wendy`s swimwear
commercial, you know? I mean, people don`t -- they have not broken out of
the old idea of what Russia is all about. They still think of it as
communist or pseudo communist, where in fact it`s evolved into sort of a
third world mafia state, that is nothing like -- we, it`s like it, but it`s
very different in significant ways and I think people haven`t move past
HAYES: In terms of a third world mafia state, some of the McCain op-ed in
content is quite good.
HAYES: He talks about to the Russian people and says, they don`t respect
your dignity, accept your authority over them, they punish dissent and
imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media.
They harass, threaten and banish organizations that defend your right to
TAIBBI: All true.
HAYES: That`s true, right?
They perpetuate their power, they foster rampant corruption in your courts,
your economy, and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to
expose your corruption.
TAIBBI: Absolutely, all true.
And I saw that all firsthand and there aren`t many Russians who would
disagree with any of that passage. And the only ones who would, would be
in the Putin government.
HAYES: So, here`s another quote. This is from Steven Cohn (ph), we`ve had
on the show. Very renowned scholar of Russia for his career. And he says
that we are essentially characterizing Putin in way that`s harmful to our
U.S. interests and harmful of our understanding in what`s going on in
And he even, I mean, it`s not directed at our show, but he talks about how
everyone wants to like put him topless, which we do all the time, it
basically an editorial rule, all photos of Putin need to be topless.
He says, "Instead of embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin`s proposal
to save Washington from another disastrous war, influential segments of the
American political media establishment are bent on discrediting him and
thus in effect the alternative to war he represents."
Do you think there is a misapprehension of Putin?
TAIBBI: Well, I think people don`t completely understand what he`s all
about. I think he`s a very difficult figure to get a hold on, no matter
how you look at him. His parts of his politics are democratic. Parts of
them are extremely authoritarian. It`s hard to tell exactly how sincere he
is, and this whole Syria thing.
But clearly, he has a hold over the country that Boris Yeltsin never had.
I mean, he`s a genuine leader in the sense that that old administration
never was. So, he should be taken seriously, I think. It`s just, we have
a problem doing it, because he lends himself to this kind of satire.
HAYES: That`s exactly right. Cable news producers thank him.
Matt Taibbi from "Rolling Stone," thank you so much.
TAIBBI: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with #click3.
HAYES: My spiritual crush on the new pope is intensifying. I`ll tell you
the latest thing he said that has my heart all aflutter.
And Republicans vote to write government checks to rich people at the
expense of poor people, literally. I will explain, ahead.
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet
today, beginning with news from across the pond. BBC News presenter Simon
McCoy is no stranger to the viral video. Here he is snapping himself awake
on set, and here he is bitching about the royal baby coverage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON MCCOY, BBC NEWS PRESENT: If you come from here, of course, none of
it news, because continue I don`t come from Buckingham Palace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mr. McCoy`s latest rush with Internet immortality came earlier this
week when Mr. McCoy, intended to reach for his iPad, but instead grabbed a
ream of printer paper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCOY: Good morning. Welcome to BBC News.
Plans for privately run drunk tanks to tackle alcohol-fueled disorder have
been backed by police chiefs. Under the proposal, drunk troublemakers will
be taken to cells run by private firms and would have to pay for it once
they sobered up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Can you see that? What a pro. The guy didn`t even flinch.
As a BBC spokeswoman explained, in the rush of news, he didn`t have an
opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it.
We hear at #click3 were going to bring you this story yesterday, but wanted
to wait until the Internet gods took to PhotoShop to show us what Mr. McCoy
should have been holding instead.
Here`s Simon McCoy holding a roll of toilet paper. Simon McCoy holding a
can of baked beans. Perhaps most appropriately, Simon McCoy holding on to
What, too soon? How about this?
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: We had to get that kitten in (ph) somehow.
The second awesomest thing on the Internet today, going the distance and
then some. Who doesn`t love the "Rocky" training montage? You know the
one when he runs around Philadelphia with Bill Conti dramatic orchestration
at his backdrop.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Well, "Philly Post" writer Dan McQuade loves that montage like any
other red-blooded American, but took issue with all of the incongruous
running around the City of Brotherly Love. With the help of the USA track
and field distance measuring tool, McQuade charted Rocky`s route, including
every film around Philly. If we were to believe that Rocky hit up the
Italian market, Independence Hall, and the art museum in a single run, he
would have run over 30 miles. That`s longer than a marathon and more
excruciating than a double feature of "Rambo 3" and "Stop or My Mom Will
And the third awesomest thing on Internet today takes us to Ukraine, where
one man looked into a dog`s eyes and was able to get a sense of his soul.
Here is a picture that dog found walking the streets of Kiev. His tail
says I want to play while his eyes says, "But, I first I have to kill you."
If that terrifying gaze rings a bell, that`s because this dog bears an
uncanny resemblance to everyone`s favorite Russian ruler, Vladimir Putin.
And, this isn`t the first time people see the similarities between Putin
and the animal kingdom. Foreign policy magazine came up with 14 hairless
cats that look like Putin a few months back. And, don`t forget about Doby
from the Harry Potter movies. Putin dog is the latest entry that will
haunt your dreams. I guarantee, you will be seeing him everywhere.
HAYES: You can find all the links for tonight`s #Click3 on our website,
allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.
HAYES: It is great for the world to have a pope talking about what this
pope is talking about, grace, humility, peace, and compassion for others.
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I
to judge? On the subject of atheism, Francis says nonbelievers should obey
their conscious that God`s mercy has no limits. He even suggesting that he
is open to a debate on married priests.
Last week, I confessed I had a growing crush on the new pope, Pope Francis,
who has been melting my lefty heart, and after that, people have been
coming out of the woodwork on Facebook and twitter, e-mailing me,
basically saying, "Me too!" So, today when I got to work and I looked in
my inbox and my friend, Megan, who was raised catholic, sent me an e-mail
with just the subject line, "This guy!" exclamation point.
I knew who she was talking about before I even clicked the link. And, what
the link took me to is this incredible interview with this Popeness. Case
in point, "A person once asked me in a provocative manner, if I approved of
homosexuality. I replayed with another question. Tell me, when God looks
at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love or
reject and condemn this person?"
But, in this lengthy interview with La Civilta Catolica, the Italian Jesuit
journal and republished in America, the national catholic review, Pope
Francis was just getting warmed up. "We cannot insist only on issues
related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.
This is not impossible." I have not spoken much about these things and I
was reprimanded for that.
But, when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a
context. The teaching of the church for that matter is clear, and I am a
son of the church. But, it is not necessary to talk about these issues all
the time. The church`s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the
transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed
insistently. We have to find a new balance.
If you have been raised in the church or outside the church or just
interfere with the church is an institution of social or political life,
this is a revolutionary interview. And, the Pope`s attitude, as shown by
his actions, and now espoused with sufficient clarity, it`s having an
effect. There are record numbers of people showing up for his masses.
They are trying to bring people to the church. This is what brings them to
the church, charity, compassion, peace, or as he puts it, this is also what
fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn. Now, this is not
an offhanded thing. Pope Francis knows what he is doing and he is sending
a signal about making a break with the past.
In that same interview, he again hints at an evolving role for women in the
church, the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions.
The challenge today is this, to think about the specific place of women
also in those places, where the authority of the church is exercised for
various areas of the church. And, if it feels like part of what I`m saying
-- what he is saying is, I am not a right-winger. That is in fact exactly
what he is saying.
The pope relates a story about becoming a Jesuit superior at the young age
of 36. "My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to
have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. But, I
had never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making
decisions that created problems." It seems like he has learned his lesson.
When I was a teenager, my family and I went to Rome and we went to St.
Peter`s cathedral. And, I remember very distinctly going into the basement
where they have the tombs of the popes, and my father making sure to seek
out the tomb of Pope John XXIII, the remarkable man who convene the Vatican
My dad kneeled in front of the casket to say prayers of thanksgiving for
this pope, who had so completely revolutionized the church through Vatican
II. And, I remember thinking how weird it was that my dad was so moved by
and emotionally invested in, of all things, a pope. I could never imagine
feeling that way towards a pope. Now, now that seems a little less
HAYES: House republicans today voted to kick almost 4 million people off
of food stamps next year and nearly 3 million people each year over the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: On this vote, the yeas are 217 and the nays are
210. The bill is passed without objection. The motion to reconsidered is
laid upon the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Righteous boos raining down, appropriately, because republicans did
this by slashing almost $40 billion from the food stamp program over 10
years. Mind you, this is at a time when nearly 47 million Americans are
living in poverty. A statistic that is even more striking when you
consider that equates to one in seven people in this country.
Food stamps play a crucial roll in helping lift Americans out of poverty.
In 2011, it kept almost 5 million people above the poverty line. What
happened today is beyond shameless. And, here`s what makes it worse. Back
in July, house republicans did this unprecedented thing. They broke away
from 40 years of congressional tradition and cleaved the food stamp
funding from the farm bill, because that bill would have only cut $20
billion from the program, half as much as they wanted to cut.
In other words, they felt they weren`t screwing poor people enough. But,
at the same time, they wanted to make sure they got the farm bill passed
because they so desperately wanted to stuff money in the pockets of
recipients of farm subsidies, which is somewhere between $15 billion and
So, the recipients of those subsidies are members of congress themselves,
like republican representative, Stephen Fincher from Tennessee, who has
received almost $3.5 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2012. So,
to quickly summarize here, house republicans hacked off all the poor people
from the farm bill. Gave them their own special vote, which is what
happened today, so that they could preserve corporate welfare.
And, some of those yes votes today came from Stephen Fincher, who I just
mentioned, and Republican Steve King from Iowa, who California`s Jackie
Speier alluded to on the house floor as someone who has recently given
$3,500 for food and lodging allowance during a six-day trip to Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KAREN LORRAINE JACQUELINE SPEIER, (D) CALIFORNIA`S 14TH CONGRESSIONAL
DISTRICT: That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his
district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on
what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Oh, and one more. This guy, Congressman Phil Gingrey, a republican
from Georgia, who according to the "National Review," was caught in a
closed-door meeting whining that his staff can eventually move on and get
rich, working as lobbyists, while, quote, "I`m stuck here making $172,000."
Hey, congressman, do you think you`re hurting now? Try food stamps.
Joining me now is Congressman Dan Kildee, democrat from Michigan. In June,
he proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would have helped S.N.A.P.
recipients maximize their benefits. Is this rock bottom, congressman?
REP. DAN TIMOTHY KILDEE, (D) MICHIGAN`S 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: You
know, I have never seen anything like it. I have only been in congress
nine months, but I have been in government my whole life. This is a new
low. You know, instead of -- you know, dealing with where we are bloated,
instead of taking on big tax breaks for corporations to balance our budget,
or making sure that we have a buffet rule, where everybody pays their fair
share. The republicans decided that they`re going to take food out of the
mouths of the hungry in order to satisfy their ideological goals. It`s a
KILDEE: And, it`s mean.
HAYES: I am going to give you the arguments that I saw republicans and
conservatives making today. First of all, what are you talking about?
It`s America. No one`s really hungry, A. B, we are just trying to make
this program work better, be more efficient, and we are pushing work
requirements, because that`s we believe that people should work. We don`t
want the lazy, indolent folks laying around, living off government largess.
What do you say to those arguments?
KILDEE: Well, first of all, they should get out to their offices and come
to the communities that I represent. If they want to see people that are
hungry, come to Flint. Come to Saginaw. I talk to them every single day,
number one. And, secondly, they talk about a work program. If they were
serious about wanting people to have an alternative to being poor and have
a job, they would work to create jobs in this country.
They have had an infrastructure bill that would put people to work,
rebuilding this country, building schools and bridges and roads. This is -
- all this is, is an effort on the part of the few who have control and
power to make sure that they continue to keep their big tax breaks,
offshore their profits, and who do they have paying for it? Who do they
pick to pay for these big tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this
country? The poor. It`s a shame. They ought to be -- honestly, they
ought to be ashamed of themselves. This is mean. It`s not just politics.
It`s not just policy. It`s outright cruelty.
HAYES: Will you do me a favor, congressman, and explain to folks. It`s a
little wonky, but I think it`s an important point here. Part of what the
republicans did together was get rid of the waiver program. And, the
waiver program was basically, there are certain eligibility requirements.
If you don`t have a kid and you`re out of work, there are certain fairly
tight eligibility requirements of whether you can get food stamps or not.
But, in areas with elevated levels of unemployment, like I would imagine,
the district that you represent in the great state of Michigan, the state
could wave those eligibility requirements. Am i right?
KILDEE: That is right.
HAYES: And, that`s what they got rid of today. What -- what is the
KILDEE: You know, they just don`t understand what it`s like to be poor in
America. And, if you don`t have a job and no prospect of a job, you have
to be able to feed yourself until we can get an economy moving that puts
people back to work. What are these folks supposed to do? I mean it`s
just beyond my comprehension that they can`t just spend a little bit of
time talking to real people in Flint, Saginaw, or any district in America.
There are poor people. For some reason, they just don`t know these folks.
They just don`t understand them.
HAYES: So, you`re telling me the constituents of your district in Michigan
aren`t choosing to not work, so that they can collect, you know, $1.40 per
meal on SNAP.
KILDEE: You know, it`s the biggest myth that you continue to hear
republicans try to sell us. That the folks out there who are on food
stamps, they want it that way. They like it. Look, since I took the food
stamp challenge, I have talked to hundreds of people who have come to me
and said, you know, thank you for doing that because -- I never told
anybody, but, you know, I was on food stamps.
This is a situation where real people who are literally living from
paycheck to paycheck, or meal to meal, will have that food taken away from
them because of a heartless, cruel congress, more concerned about patting
themselves on the back for cutting the budget with no consideration
whatsoever for what it means in human terms.
They honestly ought to be ashamed of themselves. I just don`t know how
they look at themselves in the mirror after doing this. Some things are
political. This was just plain wrong. It`s mean and it`s wrong.
HAYES: Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan. Thank you so much.
KILDEE: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: We will be right back.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now is Maddie Duppler, Director of Budget
and Regulatory Policy at Americans For Tax Reform, which is Grover
Norquist`s group, and Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report, a daily
political talk show and a fantastic podcast that everyone should listen to.
I listen to basically every day.
All right, here is what has me so frustrated, angry, and upset about the
vote. The shameful, shameful ass vote that the republicans had today.
Before we argue it -- I know, I know. Before we argue it, let me just say
this. So, here`s the thing that has been lost in all of this. There is
already a cut to S.N.A.P. that is going to take effect this fall. It`s
going to be $36 a month, which you say, well, $36. $36 a month is a lot of
money if you are poor, if you are poor enough to receive food stamps.
And, then this $40 billion cut, which is not going to happen and is not
going to be made real is then obscures the fact that the senate, the
democratic senate passed a farm bill that cut food stamps by $4 billion.
OK? That`s one-tenth, but that is also a lot of money. We shouldn`t even
be cutting food stamps. We should be increasing food stamps. Let`s
increase it by $10 billion a year or $50 billion. I don`t care.
People need to eat and there are a lot of poor people in this country.
And, what this connects to, and then I`ll shut up in a moment -- what this
connects to is the exact same thing has happened with the sequester, which
is the right flank does all sorts of crazy nonsense over to the right, and
then they drag the center to the middle. So, right now we`re having this
debate about Obama care. Defund Obama Care. Your boss, Grover Norquist
says it`s crazy, it`s batty, don`t do it. All right? He`s no rhino.
MATTIE DUPPLER, DIRECTOR OF BUDGET AND REGULATORY POLICY AT AMERICANS FOR
TAX REFORM: Right.
HAYES: He is no squish. He is saying, you`re crazy. What`s going to
happen is, when the whole thing is over, then the center is going to keep
the sequester funding. The sequester was the most controversial policy in
all of domestic fiscal politics that we have seen in this country in
several years. And, then it`s going to be the base lane. Sam, am I wrong
about this? Does it drive you crazy as it drives me crazy?
SAM SEDER, HOST OF MAJORITY REPORT: Yes, I mean it does. But, it also
speaks to some larger problem in our culture, where this notion that we`re
going to be punishing poor people for being poor, essentially. And, what`s
also stunning is that we hear constant, and I think some of this is
legitimate, that the economy, you know, from the right, that Obama has
tanked the economy, that the growth is sort of aspheric that is, is not
really happening. Well, there`s some truth to that, but you can`t turn
around and say, and now we are going to punish the people who are suffering
under that, that we are crying about it.
HAYES: Duppler, why -- Explain to me why this vote today was not morally
DUPPLER: Well, because smart people need to disabuse themselves of the
idea that spending more money means spending money well and that`s exactly
what they are trying to do with this vote today. He is trying to actually
-- because, look he they are trying talking about how there`s going to be a
S.N.A.P, spending cut coming down the pipe. How we`ve got sequester that
we`re already laboring around. If there is going to be less money, we need
to spend it better. And, it means --
HAYES: No -- so why isn`t a person who has been unemployed for more than
three months, who doesn`t have a kid, who is living in poverty, right? --
meets the income requirement has been unemployed for more than three
months, which is the current requirement, in a very high unemployment
year, why should that person not get a $100 a month from the government --
DUPPLER: What this bill does is says maybe the dead person shouldn`t get
the $100 a month. The lottery winner shouldn`t get a hundred bucks a
month, that person --
SEDER: So, wait a second. You need to throw off 4 million people to get
rid of those two people that you are talking about because --
DUPPLER: They`re the dead people. Those are the people you are getting
rid off --
SEDER: Dead people are not actually cashing those checks. There is 1
percent fraud in the program --
DUPPLER: But, guess what, if you write the --
HAYES: Wait a second --
DUPPLER: So, we`re still spending the more.
SEDER: But, is 1 percent fraud, you`re going to do an across-the-board 10
percent cut? Throwing 10 percent of the people off the law. It doesn`t
make any sense. There`s no logic to that.
HAYES: Let me say this. Let me just say this, also. The argument Eric
Cantor was making today was not an argument about fraud. I saw some people
making the fraud argument, and frankly I don`t think the fraud argument
holds up because they have done -- and there`s incredibly --
SEDER: 1 percent.
HAYES: But, that wasn`t even -- Eric Cantor even gave up on this. His
whole argument is, this is, we are just doing what Bill Clinton did, which
is work requirements. People should be working --
DUPPLER: That is right.
HAYES: They shouldn`t be sitting on the bill. But, here is the thing.
And, this is what Sam unemployment in this country is 7.5 percent. There
are three unemployed people for every job opening. It`s not like people
are sitting around. And, critics of the Obama economy say this all the
time on the right. It`s not like people are sitting around saying, man, it
is awesome being unemployed in this economy.
DUPPLER: I know that! I know that.
SEDER: That was also the biggest failing of welfare reform under Clinton,
because it did not project out what happens when there are no jobs.
DUPPLER: But, welfare reform under Clinton has been heralded as a success
on the left and the right.
SEDER: Not --
HAYES: Incorrectly heralded, a, but continue.
DUPPLER: OK. Well, but perhaps, then, this is a starting point for
conversation on welfare writ large. What the bill was intended to do today
was expand the work requirements that are already in TANF, that had 50
governors right and left sign off on, saying it was better --
HAYES: You`re saying is TANF?
DUPPLER: TANF, yes.
SEDER: Wait. No --
DUPPLER: This expanded it to --
SEDER: There are 40 governors in the country right now who want to
maintain these waivers --
SEDER: -- because they have too many poor people --
HAYES: Including republican governor.
SEDER: -- who cannot eat! They cant afford to eat.
DUPPLER: But there are those who you don`t want to have them in place.
And, they have the chance now that they don`t have to abide by -- they want
to decrease --
SEDER: They don`t have to apply for a waiver.
HAYES: Yes. The waiver --
SEDER: -- that`s a completely opt-in situation.
DUPPLER: Correct. But, now they don`t have the option to opt-in, but have
the option to expand their programs to the population that need them
because they are not spending money on federal mandates that require them
SEDER: No, this is all --
HAYES: This is all federal government --
DUPPLER: Correct. But, they are able to set up their own programs now.
They`re able to have better control over --
SEDER: Where are they going to get the money for these programs?
DUPPLER: They still get the federal money. They just get what they`re
doing. If they`re increasing the work requirements that are already in
place in federal law, that welfare reform advocated signed off on the last
20 years and they`re increasing federal matches for people who do this in
order to increase the working population --
HAYES: Two questions -- on work requirements, do you genuinely think, are
you sitting here looking me in the face saying, there are a lot of people,
hundreds of thousands, millions, because 4 million will be kicked off.
Let`s say 2 million or a million of these folks, who are sitting around,
not getting a job because they are getting $1.40 per meal?
DUPPLER: This is not an argument against the policy for you to impugn what
you think the motives are. And, of course I don`t think that --
HAYES: No, that is the logic of the policy!
DUPPLER: That is not the logic of the policy. As I was telling you --
HAYES: The logic of the policy is that we are disincentivizing people --
DUPPLER: -- it is more better --
HAYES: -- The logic of the policy, quite frankly, is that we are
disincentivizing people getting into the labor market by giving them $1.40
for every meal, and we need to put work requirements, otherwise, the
government, with its tasty, tasty candy will lure people away from being
productive members of society, in an economy that has 7.5 percent
unemployment. It is completely nonsensical.
SEDER: I also would like to know, how many lottery winners and dead people
-- if you`re endorsing this policy, how many lottery winners and dead
people -- do you think that we are funding?
DUPPLER: But, does it really matter? --
SEDER: -- With there is $200 -- $130 a month.
DUPPLER: -- if you`re someone who believes in the safety net, which we all
do, we just disagree to the extent to which size it should be, don`t you
think those people shouldn`t be on -- you`re disregarding this idea that
there is fraud in the --
HAYES: Here, I think we all agree. The 1 percent of the people in the
latest audit that we`re getting, fraudulently, let`s figure out a way toot
have them get it.
HAYES: Mattie Duppler, for Americans For Tax Reform. We ended on an
DUPPLER: That is correct.
HAYES: -- on the 1 percent and Sam Seder from Majority Report. Thank you
both. All right, that is "All In" for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW
SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: Good evening, Chris.
Thank you very much. That was fun.
HAYES: Thank you.
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