HAYES: Joining me now, a member House Democratic Leadership, which is now
negotiating to try to avoid another shutdown, Democratic Congresswoman
Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.
Do you think Mulvaney and the White House are bluffing on this?
REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I certainly hope so. I wish they
could have been in the room with me with federal workers as we watched the
president address the country from the Rose Garden. They were just
sickened. Happy the government was going to open, but just filled with
dread that in three weeks we`d be right back in this same situation.
It`s the problem when we`re negotiating with a political applause line.
Nobody knows what the president wants, and he is clearly completely
disconnected from the true suffering that he caused with this shutdown.
HAYES: You know, part of the problem it seems to me is the way forward now
is there`s a conference committee, which is a standard part of the
legislative process. When the House and Senate differ, they put together a
conference committee. They try to hammer something out. There`s Democrats
and Republicans who are going to be in that conference committee from the
two sides, but there`s no guarantee the president just doesn`t rip up the
deal. Am I missing something here?
CLARK: There is no guarantee. But I think one thing really speaks to this
president, and that`s his poll numbers. And he saw those decline. So even
though he has no feeling or empathy for what he did to our economy, the $11
billion figure that the CBO cited today, and to what he did to families,
hopefully his own numbers, and that steep decline that this shutdown
caused, will speak to him and get him to come to reason.
HAYES: Although I should note there is reporting today he got a briefing
today from campaign folks that it actually helped his numbers.
CLARK: Well, we`ve seen no sign of that.
HAYES: I don`t think you`re wrong. I`m just telling you what information
CLARK: And I think that he only needs to speak to his Republican
counterparts in the Senate. They understand this is very much now about
their elections in 2020. And that, I think, is going to
be the pressure point on this president.
And you know, we in the House, we`re anxious to have this discussion around
border security, and we`re just as anxious to get to those things that the
American people told us loudly and clearly in the midterms they want us to
work on: make sure we`re getting corruption out of politics, investing in
America with our infrastructure, tackling health care costs, specifically
prescription medication, these are the issues that Americans want congress
to come together and work on, not send our front line of national security
to work without pay and take $3 billion permanently out of this economy
with the shutdown.
HAYES: Final question, the president has dangled the idea of declaring
some kind of national emergency for a while now. He`s still dangling it.
There`s a piece in The Atlantic that says he`s destroying his own case for
national emergency, because he keeps delaying it, and it sort of vitiates
the idea it`s an emergency if you can delay it. What is your position on
the declaration of a national
CLARK: Well, I think the president is desperately looking for an exit
ramp. You know, he did a 180 on congress back in December, decided to
listen to “President” Coulter and let her make the
decisions for him. And so I think the emergency is something that he is
trying to use as a possible way to get out of the jam he put himself in.
We will let the courts decide, but as you noted for the last two years when
there has been a
Republican majority in the House and the Senate and a Republican in the
White House, this emergency for the wall did not exist. If so, it would
have been funded.
They waited until the verge of Democrats taking over in the House. And I
think the president got into this on false information, from what you just
said, using the wall as a mnemonic to remember to talk about immigration.
And it really is an emperor has no clothes situation. And we need the
court jesters to remind him that this is real people, real lives, real
national security, and to come together and have a serious negotiation
about how we strengthen our borders.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, thank you for your time