tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 17, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EDT
campaign. >> maggie gets tonight's last work. thank you. >> thank you. >> congratulations america. we have not defaulted on our national debt by the skin of our teeth. starting right now midnight this was the moment that the u.s. treasury said we would begin to default on the national debt. with just over 90 minutes to spare, the house finally did vote to avoid that catastrophe. they voted to raise the debt ceiling and the government shutdown. the bill passed the senate 81-18. the no votes in the senate were all republican no votes. but all in all most of the senate republicans voted in favor of ending the crisis. in the house, the democrats voted yes in a block and were unanimous. but most house republicans, most
of them by a mile voted no on that. most republicans in the house wanted to blow past the debt ceiling and keep the shutdown going. they wanted that by almost two to one. what this means is that house speaker john boehner passed the bill without the support of his own members. but thanks to all of the democrats and minority of his caucus who did support him in this vote we brought about the end to this self imposed national crisis tonight. president obama is expected to sign the bill right away as in basically now. after that the federal government will begin the work of reopening itself after this long and painful shutdown. the office of management and budget is advising employees to expect to return to work in the morning as in a few hours from now. president obama spoke briefly tonight after the vote saying he intended to get going on policy
mentioning immigration and the farm bill, the policymaking that has been shoved off the agenda. as the president left the podium tonight a reporter from cnn, i think, shouted out a question to him. as the president finished his remarks and walked away. a reporter shouted out a question and asked what happens when the debt ceiling comes up again in february. >> is this going to happen all over again in a few months. >> no. >> no. the president says, no. we are not doing this all over again in a few months. is he right? joining us is luke russert whose life has been revolved around this. >> three weeks. it's never ending. >> i'm buying your a beer mentally to celebrate the end of this. the president turned around and
said, no, we are not doing this again in a few months. is there anything that changed tactically in the balance of power that makes this less likely to happen again in three months? >> well, i think the just beat down the g.o.p. took at the polls makes them less inclined to go on a strategy this abrasive the next time around. i don't think you'll see this cruz caucus hijack the plane. one g.o.p. member said to me these guys hijacked the plane but they didn't have anyone who knew how to fly it. that's what you saw play out in the last few weeks. interestingly enough in the world we live on capitol hill after the g.o.p. poll numbers took this hit, john boehner passes a vote with democratic votes. his standing as speaker in the house g.o.p. conference has never been stronger. the conservatives love the fact he rallied for him for the last
three weeks and that gives him the political capital down the line not to where inning the country through another ordeal such as this one where $24 billion is wasted due to a shutdown often all of the things that chris was saying in the segue to your program. but i think that the democratic strategy of not negotiating over what should be a routine matter normally which is raising the debt limit and funding the government that's a strategy that paid dividends. i expect joe biden to be kept at camp david on big time negotiating weekends like he was the last few days. >> on the issue of how the right is handling republican leadership now you are right that we have seen these insurgent tea party conservative republicans who caused all of this hassle for john boehner saying we love him more now. but you have the tea party
patriots and club for growth and heritage action to a certain extent and freedom works and erick erickson from red state and all of these people in the astro turf right saying this is a caving. this is a disaster. any republican who went along with this is a horrible person. how do you balance that outside right criticism of what boehner did and the no one should doubt the power of those outside groups. only yesterday you saw this bill on its way to the rules committee, the boehner bill, the house option. heritage action had to pull it. they claimed that was not because of heritage action but their own internal factional disputes. a lot of that has to do with the outside groups. they don't necessarily know on what they want. look what happened the last three weeks. they had control and in this yeo
said that we cannot repeal obama care until we win the white house and senate. that cannot happen until 2017. what were the last three weeks about? the outside groups, those conservatives that brought boehner and house gop on this, they don't really know what they want. what they saw before their eyes was there speaker stood tough, they're speaker showed resolve, quote unquote. they are willing to follow him in. not trying to make a run at his job through a coup anytime soon. if he continues this up, save his job if he wants to after 2014. who knows if he wants that. from covering john boehner closely, i think this has bought him the capital, if he wants to do the grand bargain. gounod's if you still wants to do it.
i think deep down he does for his own prosperity and his own legacy. as far as us seeing a revenue increase in exchange for entitlement cuts, would that happen? i'm not so sure. >> an amazing story that what might come out of here is john boehner looking better. >> it's literally only in america. it's remarkable, remarkable. >> that's right. >> luka russert, thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> take care. be well. >> the republicans in the house hatched a plan to get here. they had voted 30, 40, okay, more than 40 times to repeal obama care. it had never mattered. the kept voting over and over and over again dozens of times to repeal obama care, but everybody ignored them. more than 40 votes had no
practical effect at all, so than they hatched a plan. they would make themselves matter. please explain the plan. >> i believe this is our time. this is when it really matters. yes, we voted to repeal obama care 30 to 40 times, but this is when it will accounts. this is when it's time to put up or shut up. >> yeah, we did this 30 or 40 times already, but those other 30 or 40 times that we did this, forget those. this time their new plan, the figure out a way to make it count could figure out a way to not be ignored anymore. the entire government, unless the democrats caved and finally let them kill obama care. that was their big plan, their brilliant plan. the democrats they thought would never let the government be shut down. they would demand that the only way they could avoid that would be to kill obama care. they thought there would finally get their way. that is what they told
themselves. democrats said no to that plan right off the bat. republicans thought that there would have to take on this, especially when they folded on the debt ceiling too. 16 days ago, the government did shut down. maybe the republicans did not expect the government to shut down. maybe they did not expect democrats to say no to them at that point. once we got a shut down, republicans did not have a plan for what to do next. at least it was a hitch. they had to shut down, but they had not agreed to repeal obama care. now what? that is when their demand list started changing. after their initial failure, repeal obama character democrats said no. they have the shut down. then the republicans forced the democrats into giving them something in exchange for holding the country hostage. they want something like this. okay, we cannot get to repeal of
obama care. can we get a defunding? democrats said no. can we get obama care delayed? no. can we delayed the specific individual mandates in obama care? no. >> they wanted to keep it on obama care, but they are running on the idea of demands until david vitter came up with a whole new list of weird demands specifically about obama care. can we deny health insurance covered specifically to the president himself and the vice president? that was actually one of their demands. answer, no. >> can we mess with the health insurance for congressional staffers? democrats said no.
can we mess with the health insurance specifically of members of the president's cabinet? that is what we want in exchange for reopening the government. no. then they said, make it so birth control is not covered by people's health insurance anymore. can we have that? no. >> changing the pensions of federal employees? no expanded oil drilling, please can we have expanded oil drilling? democrats said no. neutrality, nope. >> the polluon rules for new coal-fired power plants. we demand you repeal those. democrats said no. democrats, i said no. paul ryan piped up. he popped up and said, how about my tax code changes from when i ran for vice president? can i have those tax code changes now? democrats said no. republicans demanded that the administration get rid of cole ash regulations. democrats said no.
then they demanded to change the tax on medical devices, the tax on medical devices. no. can we change the treasury department's rules so that the next crisis we have is even worse than this because they have no flexibility to move the money around. that's what we want. no can get guarantees of income verification for certain low-income people who get subsidies for their health insurance under obama care? yes. yes, you can have that one. keep that one here. that is already in the obama care law. it's already the law, so yes you can have it. also bestow the name thursday on the day that comes after wednesday, if you like. the income verification thing that they won is already in obama care. so, yes, you can have that. you enjoy that. of all the other long, arcane,
improvised, constantly changing list of demands that the republicans have come up with on their long, weird, ever-changing ransom note that they kept writing and rewriting, they did not exactly remember when or have any demands can be. the entire list of things they demanded in exchange for reopening the government, which i just listed, all of which the put forward as demands, we now know that of their entire list, of all the things they tried demanding, they are getting nothing. nothing. nothing. you can argue for what you want through the legislative process by trying to make legislation, amend bills and win votes. you can win what you want in
terms of policy by winning elections, but when you lose policy fights and elections, the line was drawn here tonight to say there isn't a third way. there is not another means of policy making available to you if you lose elections and the policy fight. you cannot just say, i'm going to destroy things unless i get my way. if you try to do it that way, you will find that your list of demands, you get nothing. there is one thing they did get out of this disaster, to be fair. the democrats had asked for six months for negotiations between the two houses of congress and the two parties to talk big picture about the budget. democrats have been asking for that since april. they have asked for that 21 separate times. republicans have said no over and over and over again. republicans have refused to participate. as part of this deal, the republicans have agreed. they will now do that negotiation thing the democrats have been asking 4 for six months that republicans were refusing. now they will get in. to summarize, through this process, they said they would shut down the government.
once it was shut down, refused to open the government until they got each one of these things. of all those things they demanded, they got none of them, none. the democrats suggested that they would please like to talk about the budgets. now they will go along with that. on the evening of day 16 of the government shut down, hours from the moment when the treasury department said we would hit the debt ceiling and start to be unable to pay what we owe, the senate passed a bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. banner had refused a vote on that. most republicans did not like the idea and wanted to keep adding more ransom demands. none of which they got. finally, wednesday night, tonight, john boehner said he would allow a vote to raise the debt ceiling.
tonight he finally did it. the white house had insisted that there are no winners, but nobody is coming out on top and it may be true that nobody wins here. but somebody definitely lost here, and the story of john boehner leading the house republicans since the got control of congress in 2011 is a remarkable story of failure. we have not had two near defaults, two brushes up against the debt ceiling, one government shutdown and no legislation of any significance at all since he has been speaker. he has been unable to roll back any accomplishments of the democrats on that time. the means by which john boehner has failed over the past three years have been public, all happening in the open. we ought to be able to predict them, but it's always still shocking when it happens. he had a republican farm bill that his own side killed. a transportation bill, a housing bill that his own side killed. john boehner had plans for the fiscal cliff fight and the first debt ceiling and the payroll tax extension. he even had a leadership version
of a health care bill. he put all those things out there publicly. here is what i, as leader of the republican party, say we are going to do. he looked behind him, and the best of the republicans said no, we are not going to do it. john boehner's tenure since republicans took control in january 2011 has really only succeeded in accomplishing one thing, that he is still the speaker of the house. he has not lost that job. maybe that is because nobody else wants it. john boehner is still there, which is amazing giving the abject depth of the failures of his speakership. 16 bad days for the country and the economy and how close the gap to the debt ceiling, maybe too close. it may have significant economic
impact beyond what we suffered in the shutdown. the country suffered for this, but this failure, republican failure and congress, is a bottomless at this point, it is epic. congress has taken this vote, and now they go away for a week to lick their wounds and figure out who they are going to blame. now have to take up the job of keeping the government open and not hit the debt ceiling again in february. now they have to get back to supposedly running the country. what changes because of this journey that we have been on? because surely we cannot stay here. surely everybody acknowledges that.
it is election night, which is weird because its wednesday, but part of the drama. it's not for what happened in d.c. tonight with the government shut down and trying to avert the looming national default, right? if not for the drama in d.c., the big story would be what just happened in the great state of new jersey. america, meet your newest united states senator. he hails from the great state of new jersey, and his name is cory booker. he is a democrat. they wanted to choose a replacement for frank lautenberg who passed away in june. their choices were cory booker on the democratic side and steve on again on the republican side.
has to be said that cory booker and just ran away with this race tonight with 99% of precincts reported. cory booker holding a 55-44 lead. cory booker has been declared the winner of this special election by the associated press. he addressed his supporters in newark, new jersey, just a short time ago. >> all of us in new jersey, all of us in jersey know this is a frustrating narrative that is infecting our politics. it's a zero-sum game mentality when they win, we lose. when we win, they lose. it's not like that. too many people are forgetting that the lines that divide us are nothing compared to those ties that bind us. it forgets the cynical attitude, for gets the idea, the ideal, the truth that we are all in
this together. it is this short-term thinking, it is this obsession with immediate the electoral victories and not the enduring american values and victories. it forgets that old saying that is so true that if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together. we are america. we are founded to be great, not good, to be great. that is why i am going to washington to take back this sense of pride, not to play shallow politics to engage in the kind of humble service brother, america can be greater for everyone. because we are this america. >> cory booker, a person i have known personally for a very,
very long time. the ernestness of his style is exactly who he is to the core of who he is. one of the most earnest people i have ever known in my life. he is going to be a change of pace for the united states senate. once he is sworn in he will be the first african-american senator in new jersey's history alongside tim scott from south carolina, senator elect booker will be the second african-american currently serving in the united states senate. now steve lonegan, of course he had the misfortune of being a tea party republican at a time in our nation's political history when tea party republicans were busy elsewhere in the country making themselves less popular than paper cuts or tripping. but even without that baggage
it's fair to say that steve lonegan would have been a long shot in this lace no matter what else is going on. mr. booker is popular and ran a good race. and this is new jersey which is a blue state. and number three, steve lonegan is steve lonegan. and to get a sense of what i mean, consider this moment from when mr. lonegan spoke to his supporters tonight after he learned he lost the race to cory booker. this is one of the strangest sound bites i have ever heard. >> moments ago i called senator booker to congratulate him on his women and as we should, wish him the best in serving the people of this state and the people of this country. and i'm hoping god will be with him in the decisions he makes as he goes into the u.s. senate in washington, d.c. and i said to myself, who wants that job anyway.
>> you did, big guy. that's why you ran. that's why all those people are at -- who wants that job anyway? the news tonight is that newark mayor, cory booker will be the next united states senator from the great state of new jersey. if new jersey voters didn't get voting out of their systems today, the state of new jersey will be holding a separate election in two and a half weeks when new jersey governor chris christie faces the voters for his re-election effort. he didn't want to be on the same ballot with cory booker and have their elections be on the same day. maybe now, perhaps, we know why chris christie didn't want to be on the ballot with him. we'll be right back.
we have narrowly averted hitting the debt ceiling by the grace of a senate compromise bill that passed over the obligations of 18 republican senators and 144 republican members of the house. when it came down to the vote in the house every single one of the democrats in the house voting tonight, 198 out of 198 democrats in the house voted yes tonight. there were no defections under nancy pelosi eleadership. but on john boehner's side of the house, the republican caucus in the house were split. 87 yeses and 144 nos. it's after midnight on the east
coast. but when the senate came up with a plan to save the day and reopen the government when the news first circulated that the senate had come up with something it was early enough in the day that the dow jones climbed more than 200 points. by that time of day the reporting about the prospect for a deal was being bolstered by a draft proposal that started circulating on the hill and in the press. but just before 6:00 p.m. eastern today, the language of the final bill came out. and there was a weird thing about it. the bill they voted on in the senate and passed and went to the house and passed it there we found out for the first time when the language came out at 6:00 p.m. tonight that it had all sorts of stuff that no one was expecting. all sorts of spending measures. funding for floods recovery in colorado. funding for recovery from
wildfires in the west. wildfire prevention money. there was funding for li-heap which helps low income families pay their heating bills over the winter. funding for the civil liberties oversight board and a construction project on the lower ohio river. and a specific provision in the bill that passed the senate tonight, there is a specific provision for a payment that is due to the widow of the late new jersey senator frank lautenberg. the money owed to her is in the vicinity of $174,000. and that $174,000 is in the fund the government don't hit the debt ceiling bill that passed tonight. why is all that being done in this bill.
that measure or the colorado floods measure or li-heap, why did that stuff get snuck in this bill? why would anybody risk getting that kind of stuff in this bill by these means. when that has not been debated at this time and when any sliding back into standoff mode would throw us into overtime on the debt ceiling with predictably catastrophic results. where did this come from? why is this in the bill? joining us is jon tester of montana. thanks for being with us. it's nice to have you here. >> it's great to be with you, rachel. >> should we have expected all of these individual line items in the bill that passed tonight or was this a surprise? >> it's a surprise. i mean, i think that this stuff was put in with all the best of intentions. but it's one of the reasons -- it's one of the reasons our popularity ratings are so low is
because of surprises. we've seen a lot of surprises the last three weeks and i wish that we could have kept it clean. and, look, there's things i like to get in and amendments i like to put on bills that go through too, but the bottom line is that you need to have time to be able to analyze what's in a bill and there wasn't a lot of time. this bill came out at 6:00. i found out about the provisions before i voted but just before i voted. >> and there's no time to -- not enough time to read it because there's not enough time to let it slide another day because we are sliding into disaster territory. >> that's exactly right. and i think these -- these insertions may have been just fine but the fact is we ought to have the opportunity to debate them on the floor and discuss them and make sure the right things to put in the bill but it's the real problem is that the fact for the last three weeks we have been dealing with a house of representatives who
have done cooky things to our world reputation and to working families. that's the criminal part about all of this. this never had to come to this point. there was a clean resolution to fund the government in the house long before the shutdown. and i think we could have got a clean debt limit passed too. but a total lack of leadership in the house and being led by a minority of people who fell off the right side of the earth. >> one of the things that happened that was unusual is that one senator, republican senator ted cruz, a freshman from texas, got involved overtly in the house negotiations, telling house republicans to stand strong and not cave on this, and they were the ones who needed to push the shutdown, egging them on. how does that affect his standing in the senate now? has anything like that happened as far as you know? >> not that i know. but this is about ted cruz raising money for the
presidency. it is all about ted cruz. it wasn't about the country. you know this, rachel. you have talked about it for the last three weeks the things these folks are trying to do, the things that folks following ted cruz were trying to do would have done long term damage to our economy. we would not have been able to get our arms around the debt and deficit in this country. you know, i don't know why you would follow somebody who would take you down a path to construction. but that's what some of the house members are doing and it's unfortunate for the country. >> understanding what you do about why this happened, how this happened, and obviously, i can hear in the tone of your voice the anger you feel about the consequences of what we have just been through do you feel you have learned anything and the senate has learned anything
about how to stop this from happening in three more months? >> there are good people on both sides of the aisle in the senate who want to do things to get the economy moving forward in the right direction. we are working on a housing finance reform bill that should be the next bill up as soon as we get things operational and back in town. it will help the housing market and move things forward. it's a bipartisan bill that moves the country forward in a positive way. that being said we can do that sunrises in a few hours on the east coast. what that means for the republican civil war that brought us the shutdown is a story that's coming up next.
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to end the standoff that republicans in the house had ginned up out of thin political air because they thought it would work out great for them in the end. it did not work out great for them in the end, according to everybody except them. they apparently think this went okay. smiles, everyone, smiles. that story is next.
we are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey that this body has been put through but far more importantly the american people have been put through. it's one of the more shameful chapters that i have seen in the years i have been here in the senate. >> that was john mccain on the senate floor earlier today. lindsay graham said we really did go too far. we screwed up. he said this has been a, quote, very bad two weeks for the republican party and finance conservativism. >> the subtitle was it's time to wrap up this comedy of political errors. this is the quality of thinking or lack thereof that has inflicted the g.o.p. conservatives from the beginning of this budget shutdown. they picked a goal they couldn't
achieve from one house of congress and a means they could not sustain politically by threatening to blow through the debt limit. the republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with. the journal quotes devin nunez, describing the impact of his conservative brethren in the house, describing it with finality. he says, quote, this is it. the star wars convention ends today. and that's just the republican side talking about themselves right now. but the total collapse of the republican party's effort here to try to end obama care and get their way on policy by threatening and causing a government shutdown and coming right up to the brink of hitting the debt ceiling, the failure to achieve anything by that strategy other than harm to the economy and to their own standing with the american people, that failure does not mean that everybody on the right
thinks what they did was a bad idea. the club for growth which likes to run more right wing challenges in the primary system says that republicans should vote against the deal. they said they would hold it against them if republicans voted yes. same goes for the jim dement group and the group freedom works which used to be a big deal but is petering out now. a new poll shows that the american public's view of the tea party has never been more negative. that said look at the title on the poll about the overall plunging of the popularity of the tea party saying nobody identifies with the tea party any more. america is starting to hate them more and more and more. but the last few people who remain in the tea party, ted cruz's popularity is soaring among them.
ted cruz made his marks to the press at the same time that the republican leader in the senate was on the senate floor announcing the deal to open the government. while mitch mcconnell was announcing the deal, ted cruz convened the media to talk about what he wanted to talk about. ted cruz has been saying they could never give up and the fight is never over. but as far as he is concerned he explained that the fight is over. senator cruz announce head would not take extraordinary measures to block the deal in the senate. so in other words, he said this hill really was worth dying on for house republicans but he didn't plan to die on this hill himself. nobody in american politics wanted a shutdown except for the right. nobody in american politics thought a standoff on the debt ceiling was a good thing except for the right. the rest of the country is
breathing a sigh of relief as this seems to be getting sorted out. the rest of the country is grateful that the right lost in whatever it was they were trying to the here. but if the right itself does not think that they lost. if their take away here is that we should have just blown through the debt ceiling. the only thing we did wrong is that we didn't stick to it. if that's what they think and they caused this in the first place what happens when republicans come back to congress? is this going to happen again? joining me is a republican congressman who represented parts of ohio. thanks for your time. >> nice to see you. we have seen a lot of interesting conflict within the republican party over the shutdown resolution. how do the dynamics inside the party change now that we have the resolution? >> well, they don't. the civil war that is going on and i hope we can sort it out by
the 2014 elections. this group that led us on this baton death march to nowhere believes that we are not conservative enough and the evangelical voters stayed home. if they turned out mitt romney would be president and we wouldn't have obama care. i and charlie dent and devin nunez who you have heard from this evening believe that in order to win a national election think it would be nice to have women and people in labor think about voting for republicans. that's the dynamic today and this bunch, i mean, they just had no plan. and that was evident. i think john boehner deserves credit for trying to show them six ways to sunday this was not a strategy that was going to work. he tried to save them from themselves yesterday by coming
up with plan "b" an "c." but these people are willing to shoot the hostage and not negotiate and then a bunch of them are going to vote no tonight and go home. this is the thing that kills me they're going to go home and say it's the rhinos joined with the democrats and reopened the government but we stood up to barack obama. but that's crap. and they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they conducted this thing. >> when the republicans do face this again, because as you say the dynamics are still going to be there, do you think that tactically and strategically that speaker boehner and the other republicans in the house or leaders in the party have figured out new ways to deal with this so it doesn't get so dangerous again? >> this is not a great deal. let me say that. and all they've done is we're going to be talking in january and february. because what they did is and what we do in washington is we appoint a blue ribbon committee. we had the supercommittee who
could not come up with savings over ten years and we had the budget control act that led to this problem. and now we have a bigger committee. and if you think something will be hashed out by december 13th, i'll sell you property i have in ohio. >> members of congress like charlie dent who have had these criticisms that devin nunez has voiced is there new support that is going to emerge for them? republicans who have views like that out of this process? >> well, yeah. i mean, my part-time job is being the president of the main street partnership a group started by moderate republicans 15 years ago. we are getting phone calls from people who are republican donors saying are you crazy? what is happening to my party? the first time i ran and i knocked on doors and older people said the democratic party left me. i didn't leave them. now i know what they were talking about.
house representatives ended the shutdown by passing a short term funding bill that went to the president's desk for his signature and no doubt about what happened next. the director of office of management and budget said that now that the bill has passed the united states senate and house of representatives the president plans to signed tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning. employees should be checking the news and omb's website for further updates. the chairman and ranking members of the house and senate budget committees will be meeting tomorrow first thing to discuss how to proceed on hammering out a budget. so the budget committees meet starting tomorrow. also tomorrow everybody will be looking at whether or not we got close enough to the debt ceiling, close enough to defaulting on our national debt that damage was already done to
both our credit and our economy. will our nation's credit rating suffer? will there be financial consequences for having pushed ourselves this close to the deadline. the last time the congress held us hostage the deal was reached two days before default. because we got so close that year our credit rating as a nation was downgraded for the first time in history. we got within two days back then. this time we got within one day. before the 2011 brink it was 1979 when we accidentally defaulted and did not pay off treasury bills in time. the result that time in 1979 was lasting, expensive higher interest rates which cost the country billions of dollars over time in money that we would not have had to spend otherwise.