This Congress — the new, very large number of new members that came in, (some with) tea party affiliations, they’ve never looked the word “compromise” up in the dictionary.
Our system cannot work unless there’s compromise. It’s always, always been the case. Does that mean there shouldn’t be heated debates about major, major policies and what’s best for the country? That’s at the heart of democracy.
They don’t know what the meaning of compromise is. If you disagree with them, then you’re an enemy. That’s a toxic brew for the country. You can see what the outcomes have been. One crisis after another. Created crisis. How many times have you heard on the news all of last year that the government may shut down?
Now, this is an unthinkable thing. I think it’s unthinkable, but it’s become the norm. I think they’re know-nothings, but they’re very proud of it.
That’s not good for the country.
Really, the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was last year during the debt ceiling debate. They viewed this as writing a check to the president. That’s not what it is. This is about the full faith and credit of the United States of America. … I never dreamed that there would be members of Congress that would deliberately damage that. We’re not a deadbeat nation; we pay our bills, and we are still a country that has the broadest, deepest markets in the world. The point of the realm is confidence. There were businesses that said, as that debate was going on, everything came to a screeching halt. And they were willing to play with fire. Very, very dangerous. I judge them by their very judgment to have done that to the country.
Do I think that’s an easy vote? I’ve never thought that it was an easy vote, but if you talked to someone a year and a half ago and asked them what’s the debt ceiling, they wouldn’t know. Why? Because Republicans and Democrats always understood. There’d always be a few that would vote against it … but you have a responsibility to the nation.
Elections have consequences. People were very angry in 2010; I don’t blame them. … So they marched to the polls and said, look, we want to change this thing, and I don’t blame them for that. But this is what came in, and we’ll see if there is buyer’s remorse, and, of course, it’s a presidential election year.
Those are the ingredients to it. You can see where the Speaker agrees to the structure of a deal and goes back to his caucus and they hand his head to him. He says, well, I have to go with the will of the house, and he has (House Majority Leader Eric) Canter with a knife in his back. They’re fighting mightily amongst one another. They’re having a really rough time.
I think, at the end of the day, they have the same recipe. Huge tax cuts for the top. It’s a big, big thing, that on the very first day of the new Congress they eliminated the “Pay Go” rule to protect not having to pay for tax cuts. It seems to me we’ve tried this and it hasn’t worked, but they do cling to that. I think we should, as Democrats, pay attention to the weight and burden of regulations and where they don’t make sense.
Eshoo’s recent legislation can be found at www.eshoo.house.gov.