From Meet the Press Rachel Maddow calls out Rep. Aaron Shock for taking credit for what the stimulus bill has done for his district while at the same time touting his vote against the stimulus bill. Schock tries to shift the argument to whether any Republicans were included in drafting the bill or not. David Gregory follows up and asks Schock if that means he won't take any federal money for his district or not and Schock responds that he thinks it is a ridiculous argument and is Rachel Maddow going to give back her Bush tax cuts she rails about and says his district deserves their share of federal spending. As Rachel points out though, that's not the problem but rather the rank hypocrisy of voting against something and then touting it.
If MSNBC actually cared about their ratings on this show, they'd get rid of Gregory and let Maddow host it.
MR. GREGORY: Congressman Schock, where are the Republicans going to be on this?
REP. SCHOCK: Well, look, I think, unfortunately, it's more of the same. I mean, all of this talk about bipartisanship, and yet the rhetoric doesn't match the reality. As David Brooks mentioned, there was some, some Republicans who worked with Democrats in the Senate to come up with a jobs bill only to have their leadership put the kibosh on it. We, we are for creating long-term economic growth. You do that by incentivizing entrepreneurialism, risk taking, and investment. You do that through creating certainty in the markets through certain tax incentives. And that's where we'll be on a jobs bill.
MR. GREGORY: So it sounds like you're--you like what the Democrats are doing here?
REP. SCHOCK: Well, I don't like all the pork that was in the bill. Seven hundred eighty-seven billion dollar stimulus bill, the largest spending bill in, in history, one of the reasons why it didn't create long-term growth is it didn't have stimulative tax cuts in it, but rather a lot of pork and spending.
MS. MADDOW: Which are the least stimulative things in the stimulus. I mean, when you assess what creates jobs, in the stimulus band it's the tax cuts that were put in in order to try to win Republican votes that didn't come anyway that are the least effective thing in the stimulus bill. So the theory doesn't match the practice here.
But, I mean, you, in your district...
REP. SCHOCK: Well, I, I can assure you...
MS. MADDOW: ...just this week you were at a community college touting a $350,000 green technology education program, talking about how great that was going to be for your district. You voted against the bill that created that grant. And so that's happening a lot with Republicans sort of taking credit for things that Democratic bills do, and then Republicans simultaneously touting their votes against them and trashing them. That's, I think, a, a, a problem that needs to be resolved within, within your caucus, because, I mean, you seem like a very nice person, but that's very hypocritical stance to take.
REP. SCHOCK: Well, Rachel, with all due respect, I can assure you Republicans were not consulted on the stimulus bill. That bill was filed at 11 PM the night before the 10:30 AM we began debating it. None of our amendments were considered. There was no debate and no bipartisanship on that bill.
MS. MADDOW: How about the...(unintelligible)?
MR. GREGORY: But, but answer--all right, let me, let me...(unintelligible)...Rachel, which is that the, the question about you--you've called for spending caps out of Washington.
REP. SCHOCK: Sure.
MR. GREGORY: But to Rachel's point, does that mean that you will not accept any federal money that comes the way of your district?
REP. SCHOCK: No. I think that argument that liberals are making is absolutely ridiculous. With all due respect, Rachel, does that mean you're going to give back your Bush tax cuts that you continue to rail against? The fact of the matter is our country operates and govern by a majority. And I, along with almost all of my Republican colleagues and a good number of Democrats, have voted against the stimulus, the omnibus, all of this runaway spending. But we've lost those battles in the House. And at the end of the day, my constituents...
MR. GREGORY: But you'll take the money for, you'll take the money for your district.
MS. MADDOW: Take the money and tout it...(unintelligible).
REP. FORD: Here's, here's, here's a...
REP. SCHOCK: Well, let me finish. At the end of the day, my constituents and their children and grandchildren will be on the hook for the debt that's being created by this majority...
MR. GREGORY: OK.
REP. SCHOCK: ...and they deserve to have their fair share of federal spending.
MR. GREGORY: Harold's turn.
REP. FORD: I was in Congress for 10 years. I can tell you, your party ran up a lot of debt. Matter of fact, we, we grew--from the eight years that President Bush was there, the rate of growth exceeded any other presidents in the history of the nation. So we found ourselves in a moment...
REP. SCHOCK: Until this one.
REP. FORD: Well, no, this, this president, he's only been in a year. I know you want to blame him for everything, but you can't blame him for quite everything yet. And I don't want to blame President Bush, but we got to put it in context.
Two, I, I love it when Republicans talk about the desire to come around the table and work together. It was a Republican-Democrat thing that happened in the Senate. It was Grassley and Baucus, and it was Hatch and Schumer. They're--that was the centerpiece of the, of the stimulus bill and the jobs bill that's working its way through the Senate. But it was McConnell who told Reid the other day, "I will not work to, to, to collect any votes for this bill if you bring it to the floor." There has to be a genuineness and a sincerity here. Republicans say they want deficit reduction and deficit control, they vote against a deficit commission. I do hope President Obama will use an executive order to create a deficit commission in spite of what Republicans may say. You can't have it one day Monday in the morning and have a different message in the afternoon on, on, on Tuesday.
MR. BROOKS: But can I say this?
MR. GREGORY: Yeah.
REP. FORD: I think it just has to be fair. Now, Democrats deserve some blame here.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MR. BROOKS: Yeah.
REP. FORD: But Republicans have to be, have to be honest, too.
MR. BROOKS: This conversation exemplifies what's wrong with Washington. It's like two guys fighting in the ocean to see who drowns first. I mean, the--it's--both parties are responsible for the, the deficits, and both parties are responsible for the fiscal suicide. And if you look at the polls that came out--a whole bunch of polls came out this week and they show both parties very negative. Unprecedented levels of distrust in Washington. Unprecedented, historically high levels of people want to get rid of their member of Congress from both parties. A level of distrust of Washington that is absolutely unprecedented in American history. And it's because the two sides are trying to fight each other than actually do something bipartisan or actually do anything.
MS. MADDOW: No, but...
MR. BROOKS: And so bipartisanship has become a wedge issue, a way to make the other party look bad. So bipartisanship has been twisted into just another partisan rant.
MS. MADDOW: But the issue is not bipartisanship qua bipartisanship. It's hypocrisy. I mean, if you are for PAYGO, if you're for a deficit commission until the president of the other party comes around for it, and then you're against it? We're not talking policy anymore, we're not talking about bipartisanship. You shouldn't be blamed for not getting Republican votes on that. That's hypocrisy. If you vote against the omnibus bill, if you complain about the omnibus bill, if you tout your vote against the omnibus bill, it is hypocrisy to then go to your district and go to a ribbon cutting ceremony for something that's funded by the omnibus bill that you voted against. It's not just bipartisanship as a sort of platonic virtue.
REP. FORD: But, but...(unintelligible).
MR. BROOKS: Listen...(unintelligible)...Republicans say--I can pick up the Democratic points. If, if Obama wants to say, "I'm going to balance the budget," and then say, "but I won't cut taxes on the bottom 98 percent," well, that's also somewhat hypocritical or inconsistent. If he says...
MS. MADDOW: Or that's focused policy.
MR. BROOKS: ..."I want bipartisan health care," but then invites the, the cameras into a bipartisan discussion and already has the plan he's going to come with--out with after the healthcare summit, that's also slightly political.