Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Republicans Seem To Be More Interested In Seeing Recovery Package Fail

[media id=7300] You Tube Debbie Wasserman Schultz on CNN's State of the Union responding to John King questioning her with the media's latest talkin

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz on CNN's State of the Union responding to John King questioning her with the media's latest talking points on bipartisanship and about what's going to happen to the bill once it goes to conference committee. She explains that Republicans refused the hand of bipartianship. The only people surprised by that are the media.

KING: As you know, the new president came to town promising a new era of bipartisanship. Eight years of George W. Bush, eight years of Bill Clinton, not much true bipartisanship in this town. Your speaker after the Senate compromise was reached on Friday, made clear she doesn't like it. She said this, "Washington seems consumed in the process argument of the bipartisanship when the rest of the country says they need this bill."

The process argument of bipartisanship. The president said it is a critical spirit to have in this town. Your boss in the House, the speaker, doesn't seem to think it's important.

SCHULTZ: On the contrary, Speaker Pelosi has made bipartisanship and reaching out in the Republicans in the House a priority. We made sure that we had markup after markup in committee this week and in the last few weeks which included Republican amendments that we heard, that some that we accepted.

We reached out our hand across the aisle, asked them to help craft this legislation. That was rejected. So we have made an effort at reaching out our hand across the aisle. They really seem to be more interested in making sure that this whole process fails. It's really baffling to me why they don't want to pass an economic recovery package. They'll have to answer the American people as to why that is.

KING: 37 lawmakers, critics and analysts have made the rounds this morning on the Sunday talk shows. Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, she gets the last word. Thank you for joining us here.

If you listen to the debate this morning, people look at this compromise the Senate brokered Friday and they say the only way to keep it intact and get a bill to President Obama by the end of this coming week is to keep that number. As you know, your speaker, many other Democrats in the House say, no. No, we don't like this bill. I think the speaker used the term violent, did violence to what you're trying to accomplish in the House. So will you come back in the House this week and say we're putting the money back in?

SCHULTZ: What we're going to come back in the House this week and do is make sure that we can apply the tourniquet to the gash that has been busted open in the economy after eight years of Republican applied leeches.

At the end of the day, the front page of "The Washington Post" said agree speed matters more than size and shape. And we're going through the normal legislative process, the give and take, and ensure that we can invest in our nation's infrastructure.

KING: But if speed matters more than size or shape, to use the headline you just read, why doesn't the House say you know what, we don't like this, we thought ours was better, but we will accept it because then we can get a bill to the president on Wednesday or Thursday. SCHULTZ: Well, we know that we crafted a bill that includes the priorities of the American people to ensure that we can get them working again. Investing in our nation's infrastructure, roads and bridges, making sure that we can rebuild schools. Establishing a streamline health care system so we can computerize medical records and reduce health care costs. We have to get aid to states to avoid layoffs and teachers and firefighters and police officers.

Those are the kinds of investments that need to be made to ensure that we can get this economy turned around. Now that's 90 percent of both bills. We've got about a 10 percent difference. And we're going to make sure that we negotiate over that last 10 percent and pass a bill that can get the economy turned around and send it to the president.

KING: So you won't take the Senate bill. You will insist in the House on putting some of that spending back in.

SCHULTZ: The founding fathers created a legislative process that also created the conference committee and we're going to go through the conference committee and the appropriations process this week, come out with a good product that will help get the economy turned around.

KING: As you know, the new president came to town promising a new era of bipartisanship. Eight years of George W. Bush, eight years of Bill Clinton, not much true bipartisanship in this town. Your speaker after the Senate compromise was reached on Friday, made clear she doesn't like it. She said this, "Washington seems consumed in the process argument of the bipartisanship when the rest of the country says they need this bill."

The process argument of bipartisanship. The president said it is a critical spirit to have in this town. Your boss in the House, the speaker, doesn't seem to think it's important.

SCHULTZ: On the contrary, Speaker Pelosi has made bipartisanship and reaching out in the Republicans in the House a priority. We made sure that we had markup after markup in committee this week and in the last few weeks which included Republican amendments that we heard, that some that we accepted.

We reached out our hand across the aisle, asked them to help craft this legislation. That was rejected. So we have made an effort at reaching out our hand across the aisle. They really seem to be more interested in making sure that this whole process fails. It's really baffling to me why they don't want to pass an economic recovery package. They'll have to answer the American people as to why that is.

KING: Well, one of your colleagues on the Republican side, the one -- one of the ones who disagrees with you, Mike Pence, was out this morning and he says this plan is horrible. Let's listen.

PENCE: The Senate piece of any effective stimulus bill that's ever been passed by Congress in the recent past has been tax relief. The center of this stimulus bill is massive, unaccountable government spending. And the American people are tired of it.

KING: You're shaking your head. But if you had to add some tax cuts to take up some spending to get it palatable, to get three, just three Republican votes over in the Senate. I'm going to ask you the last question on this one. I know you disagree with Congressman Pence. But will you accept the current mix if that is the only way to get a bill to the president this week?

SCHULTZ: Well, that is predictable criticism from my friend Mike Pence. But the bottom line is that we've had eight years as the president said of doing it their way through pure tax cuts.

We have to have the right mix of tax cuts that go targeted to the middle class, like President Obama's tax cut that would go to 95 percent of Americans that we included in the House bill. We're going to have a balance, the right balance of tax cuts and spending.

But we're not going to continue to allow the middle class to twist in the wind and we're going to focus on investments and this economy that will create jobs -- 598,000 jobs lost in the last month, 2.6 million in the last year of the Bush administration. Job creation at least three to four million, those are priorities, that is the president's priority, making sure we get tax cuts targeted for the middle class. That's how we're going to get the economy turned around. KING: We'll watch the debate as it leaves the Senate, comes back your way to the House this week. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thank you for having the last word with us today.

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