Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:59 PM
Alan Grayson (485 posts)
Right from Day One of the new Congress, Congressman Alan Grayson has been saying what needs to be said, and fighting for what's right. Here is an MSNBC interview of Alan, on the day that he was sworn into office again:
Rev. Al Sharpton: Today we welcome back a new Congress. We welcomed in a new Congress in Washington, and with it a new number of battles. We know the Right is coming. On the debt ceiling. On Medicare. On Social Security. They're ready to fight. So now, more than ever, the Democrats need strong voices -- Progressives who are willing to fight for causes they believe in. Who aren't afraid to land a political punch. Look out Republicans -- Heeeeeee's baaaaaack!
—video of Congressman Grayson's "Don't Get Sick" floor speech—
Congressman Alan Grayson: The Republican's Healthcare Plan for America: Don't get sick. That's right. Don't. Get. Sick. If you have insurance, don't get sick. If you don't have insurance, don't get sick. If you're sick, don't get sick. Just don't get sick.
—video of Congressman Grayson floor speech on unemployment—
Alan: Let's give three million Americans a working wage. An honest day's pay for an honest day's work. They will spend it on the things they need to do to stay alive. Instead of the alternative, the Republican-favored alternative, which is to have them lose their jobs, keep unemployed, and move into their cars.
—video of Congressman Grayson floor speech on Republican opposition to Barack Obama—
Alan: If Barack Obama were somehow able to cure hunger in the world, the Republicans would blame him for overpopulation. Understand that if Barack Obama has a BLT sandwich for lunch tomorrow, they will try to ban bacon.
—end video montage—
Rev. Al: Joining me now is the man himself, Congressman Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida. He was reelected this past year, and was sworn in today as a part of the 113th Congress. Congressman Grayson, congratulations, and thanks for being here.
Alan: Thank you. As Steven Tyler would say, I'm back in the saddle again.
Rev. Al: (laughter) I imagine the Republicans didn't exactly roll out the red carpet for you today.
Alan: No, but that's okay. I think we're going to have to find some way to get along with each other, I guess. But time will tell.
Rev. Al: Now, talking about getting along. They've already said they are willing to hold the debt ceiling hostage. That's quite a reversal from a few years ago. Listen to this:
—C-SPAN video of Congressman Paul Ryan in January 2011—
Congressman Ryan: Does…will the debt ceiling be raised? Or does it have to be raised? Yeah. You can't not raise the debt ceiling. Default is the unworkable solution. Obviously you cannot default.
—CNN video of Senator Lindsey Graham in January 2011—
Senator Graham: Well, let me tell you what will happen if we don't lift the death ceiling—debt ceiling, excuse me. Financial collapse, and calamity throughout the world. That's not lost upon me.
—Fox News Sunday video of Speaker John Boehner in January 2011—
Speaker Boehner: That would be a financial disaster not only for our country but for the worldwide economy.
Interviewer: So, defaulting, on the full faith and credit, is unacceptable?
Speaker Boehner: I, uh, don't think, uh . . . I don't think it's even a question that's on the table.
<p align="center" style="text-align: center">—end video montage—
Rev. Al: So, were they kidding then, or are they kidding now? Why the big change, Congressman, and how do we deal with it?
Alan: Well, they changed their minds because they see that it's a device for them to extract concessions they would otherwise never be able to accomplish. That's why. It's legislative terrorism. They're using the debt ceiling as a means to cut Social Security benefits, cut Medicare benefits, cut unemployment insurance, cut anything of any use to any ordinary human being in this country, simply because they want more money for tax cuts for the rich.
Rev. Al: Legislative terrorism. Holding the economy hostage, I would take from that. Mr. Boehner, the Speaker, reportedly told the GOP that he's done negotiating one-on-one with President Obama. What do you make of that?
Alan: Well, look, Boehner is a chief with no Indians. We saw it again today. When he reached the end of the roll call, he didn't have enough votes to be Speaker. You need 218 votes to be Speaker. When everybody had already voted, he was at 216. They had to drag Bachmann in for her vote. He ended up voting for himself, which he didn't do the first time around. Then he managed to eke out a two-vote victory in a House where he has 25, well, sorry, 18 extra votes now. And that shows how weak he is. He's a weak, weak man, a weak Speaker, and therefore, he can't negotiate with the President because the President can actually make commitments, make decisions. can say, "When you send me a bill, I'll sign it." What can Boehner say? Nothing.
Rev. Al: So, you led the charge against the GOP tax cuts in 2010. Let me play for people what you did.
—video of Congressman Grayson's floor speech on tax cuts—
Alan: Every single year for the next ten years, the Republican tax plan is to give millionaires enough money for a Mercedes Benz. They can buy a bottle of wine from 1787 every year, for the next decade. Thank you, Republican Party. Here's something else they can do—they can buy 20,000 jars of their favorite mustard, Grey Poupon.
Here's an idea. Let's take that $100 billion, and give 3 million Americans a job.
Rev. Al: Now, that was you fighting in 2010 against tax cuts for the rich. Now that they've made some concessions on taxes, do you think that they'll be easier to negotiate with on revenue?
Alan: No. And frankly, let me use a term that you may have heard once or twice in New York. I'm tired of their mishegoss. They keep nattering over and over about debt-deficit-deficit-deficit-debt-debt-debt-deficit-deficit. But when it comes time to actually do something about it, meaning tax increases for people who actually have money they can pay to the government, somehow that's beyond the pale. They want to tax the poor, who have no money, instead of taxing the rich, who have all the money. It just doesn't make any sense, and I think people are starting to see through it.
Rev. Al: "Mishegoss." Didn't make my side of Brooklyn, but I'll use it. Congressman Alan Grayson, thanks for your time tonight, and good luck.
Alan: Thank you, Reverend.
Congressman Alan Grayson – telling it like it is. If you would like a chance to join Congressman Grayson for breakfast on Inauguration Day in Washington, DC, on January 21st, please contribute $25 or more to our campaign by Tuesday night. (Or you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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