Joe Scarborough confronted Senator Chuck Schumer’s accusation that the tea party “blocked basically everything” before the new budget deal, with the MSNBC host exclaiming Harry Reid’s Senate “[hasn't] even passed a single appropriations bill.”
The Democratic Senator from New York spoke with Scarborough and co-hosts on “Morning Joe” Monday morning about the new budget agreement, which overwhelmingly passed the House last week and is expected to pass the Senate. Schumer hailed the new deal as a “breakthrough” and explained his reasoning, prompting immediate pushback from Scarborough:
SCHUMER: What’s held things up for the last while is the tea party faction in the House, which blocked basically everything. In the Senate –
SCARBOROUGH: Whoa whoa whoa, no. Let me just — I can’t let you say that.
SCHUMER: Go ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: When you have Harry Reid as the Majority Leader acting as a glorified pocket veto for Barack Obama.
SCHUMER: Yeah, but —
SCARBOROUGH: The House passes so much that never even sees the light of day on the Senate floor.
SCARBOROUGH: And I’m respectful and I like you a lot. But if you’re going to just — if we’re going to use the tea party as a straw man and knock them down, then we’ve got to tell the truth about the sorry, sorry state of things in Harry Reid’s Senate, where you guys haven’t even passed a single appropriations bill.
SCHUMER: Joe, I’ve heard you say this over and over again. I sit there on the bike in the gym and you say “Can’t Barack Obama bring them together?”
SCARBOROUGH: I’m talking about Harry Reid.
SCHUMER: I know, but you said that last week.
SCARBOROUGH: Don’t change the subject.
SCHUMER: I’m not.
SCARBOROUGH: Why can’t you guys pass an appropriation bill?
SCHUMER: There is one faction in the entire Congress who does not want to compromise at all. Barack Obama and Harry Reid have compromised. They’ve said they’re willing to look at certain entitlement cuts.
SCHUMER: Now you’re not letting me finish.
SCARBOROUGH: That’s just not true.
SCHUMER: It is true.
SCARBOROUGH: Harry Reid just said a week or two ago that if anybody wants to talk about Medicare or Social Security, it’s off the table.
SCHUMER: Without any –
SCARBOROUGH: Am I supposed to sit here and let you say something Harry Reid said the opposite thing of last week?
Schumer insisted that the Senate would compromise with House Republicans on lowering entitlement spending as long as there are revenue increases to go along with it. He noted that Senate Democrats haven’t lent a single vote to bills sent from the Republican-controlled House.
“Not a single Democratic vote?” Scarborough asked sarcastically. “Why is the Democratic Party the party of no? That makes me sad.”