Monday’s Morning Joe show on MSNBC led off with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) responding to a question from Co-host Mika Brzezinski, expressing frustration as to why this fiscal cliff exists, and why doing something about it has come down to the last minute.
The short answer to her question is this. The leadership (Obama, Reid, Biden) does not have the balls to be open or transparent about what they want, and don’t want, to do. Don’t you remember when Speaker Pelosi said, unequivocally, you’ll have to pass the health care bill to see what’s in it? That’s the way Obama rolls.
There is a 4 1/2 minute set-up to the segment with Sen. Coburn.
Transcript is below.
Mika Brzezinski:You are paid to take care of this country’s wallet, to take care of this country’s reputation, to take care of this country’s health. Why wouldn’t you all just stay there and get it done. The whole thing. Not something little. Not something that ‘kicks the can down the road.’ You’ve used that phrase time and time again saying we can’t keep kicking the can down the road. I’m tired of hearing it. But even moreso our country needs some stability and balance and not temporary solutions. Why wouldn’t you all, who are paid to do this, stay there ’till you get it done?
Sen. Coburn: No one can argue with that. The problem is what you have to argue with is the fact that everything is done in a dark room, back room, not the committee, not on the floor. And the reason we haven’t achieved anything, is that the process that was intended to work for our country doesn’t work anymore because we won’t bring bills to the floor anymore.
We wouldn’t be where we are today if we actually had regular order in the Senate where you actually had bills come to the floor that actually went through committee, and amendments were offered and we took an up or down vote and then did something with them. We’ve not done that. And that’s because our leadership values the political more than they value the country. We put a premium on protecting members rather than exposing truth and letting the American people see the process.
… we have not done our job but the reason we’re not doing our job is because most members want to have it both ways. They don’t want to have the criticism of making a tough decision.