tv Martin Bashir MSNBC November 13, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
so let the fight begin. ♪ >> i had no idea obama care was going to be exclusive. >> look for issa to get into the nitty-gritty. >> using it were as easy as kayak.com or buying a television on amazon.com. this is an insult to go live and explode on the launch pad. even vista launched better. >> so now i'm the boss? >> you mean the president. >> this is the gop plan for the rest of the year. why? they don't have anything else to do. >> nobody in this country believes the republicans want to fix the website. >> the american people do not want to see a kangaroo court. >> this is not a partisan hearing. >> the pac panic is set in. >> the president didn't honor the commitment the federal government made. >> i'm inclined to agree with bill clinton. >> hillary clinton is looking to run away from obama care. >> we're better off with this law than without it. >> i don't think this is ever going to work. >> i'll join anything that won't
have me. let me in, earth, wind and fire! a very good afternoon to you, and in spite of aggressive attacks by its opponents, in spite of zealous campaigns to prevent its passage and implementation, it may surprise some of you to learn, the patient protection and affordable care act is, in fact, alive and kicking. just moments ago, we got the long awaited enrollment numbers for the month of october. hhs secretary, kathleen sebelius, announcing on a conference call that just over 106,000 signed up on the aca private exchanges in the first month. as the white house has warned, not up to their own or anyone else's expectations but there's more. nearly 400,000 have now been accessed as eligible for medicaid, or oh the children's health insurance program. and nearly 1 million customers
have gotten all the way through the application process but have yet to select a plan. enrollments are improving, uninsured rates going down, growth in health care costs is slowing, and even that troubled website is getting better. but whatever you do, do not try telling that to darrell issa. just look at what happens. >> more and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans. >> we are not able to process nearly 17,000 registrations per hour or 5 per second with no errors. >> if you can tell us 17,000 are signing upper hour why is a subpoena unanswered as to how many have signed up? is please, don't answer yet. >> don't answer that. the chairman has not called this hearing for witnesses to answer questions. don't be ridiculous. and listen here. it's not for democrats to ask questions either. >> the gentleman's time is
expired. >> mr. chairman, i would just ask the same amount of time you had. >> i let you and the question after your time has expired. the gentleman is recognized. >> you're not going to run a fair hearing, you're just going to go out and do this all the way. >> the witnesses are being badgered. >> kangaroo court is quite an accusation and i hope the gentleman from tennessee when he uses the term kangaroo court in the future will think better of making an accusation. >> that is quite an accusation. that's right, it's right up there with monkey court. but there is a different accusation getting serious push dfs back from the white house today. a report in the "washington post" that healthcare.gov is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month, as the white house has promised. and the white house press secretary responded to that this afternoon. >> the fact is, on november 13th, we are not where we will be and want to be by november 30th. but it remains the case that we
believe the site will be working smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of the month. >> mr. carney said the website error rate is now below 1%. and as the house prepares to vote on a keep your plan bill at the end of the week, carney said to expect an announcement from the president on improvements to the affordable care act sooner rather than later. what great news to greet the return of john boehner, just back from a fun in the sun two-week recess. he must be delighted. >> when you look at obama care, frankly, i don't think there is a way to fix it. i don't think this is ever going to work. and certainly, unaffordable. >> just a friendly reminder, mr. speaker, as the nonpartisan congressional budget office has said all along, the affordable care act will reduce the deficit. let's get right to our panel. with me here is my friend and colleague, krystal ball, co host of "the cycle" and democratic strategist, professor bob shrum. professor shrum, i need to read
you another tedious statement that has been fired off by speaker boehner. these numbers underscore the urgent need for president obama to allow people to keep the plans they have and like. above all, this report is a symbol of the failure of the president's health care law. it is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped. >> he's a stupid sound bite in a suit. he's a profile in cowardous. all he cares about is keeping his speakership. so he's going to keep saying all this stuff about obama care. >> you could have taken that statement at any month over the past three years. >> that's what i mean. this is just red meat for his caucus. because he doesn't care about whether 30 million americans get health care. in fact, he would take the health care away from 30 million americans to assure that he has a car, a driver, a bunch of servants and a big office that is reserved for the speaker. >> absolutely true. and krystal, what do you think of the disingenuousness of these people who are suddenly discovered people in this
smaller -- smallish area, 5%, on the private insurance market that they never mentioned over the last ten years? >> no, that's exactly right. and bob hits the nail on the head. i mean, where was -- where is their concern for 30 million people? where is their concern for the people that if they were to actually repeal obama care would be left out in the cold, as they have been in this health care system for years? they don't care about any of that. just as they don't care anything about these anecdotes they're putting forward of people whose prices are going up or people whose plans are changed. they don't care about these people. they care about making a political point. and with darrell issa in these hearings, i wish he would just realize that what he is doing is not even helping his side. his going over the top, his lying about the facts, his stretching the truth, his outrageous behavior in this hearing and in hearings that he has had throughout this administration, totally undermines his credibility and the credibility of his party to act as reasonable spokespeople and partners in fixing this law. >> you know, krystal makes the point about resolving the
problem. i understand the need to improve the website. you do, krystal does. you have all been critical of it. but here's what they're doing. they're now introducing this marco rubio bill that is going to target navigators, so that they should be -- it's called the privacy and anti fraud act and targets criminal background checks, fingerprinting and a credit report. what they're doing is swamping the process in plenty of red tape, again, to achieve their goal, which all along was that they didn't want this to work. >> make it break down, all this stuff about criminal background checks, fingerprints, all of that. same kind of thing they're doing with voting. they want to take away people's right to vote. they want to take away people's right to health care. and look, when the bush prescription drug benefit was introduced, in the first few months, "slate" magazine had a piece that was typical, called it a fiasco. only 1 million of the 21 million seniors signed up on their own for the prescription drug benefit. the prices weren't what was
promised. democrats worked with the bush administration to fix the process. it got fixed. and today if you were to propose repealing that, you would be dead politically. and that is what they're terrified. ted cruz admitted it during his faux filibuster. once this takes effect, once they see it, there will be no way to get rid of it. in fact, if they get rid of it, mother jones estimated 137 million americans would see their health care adversely impacted. not just the people who had the insurance taken away. but people who got letters saying, by the way, your preexisting condition is no long longer covered. by the way, your kids can't stay on the plan. by the way, you have a lifetime limit. this is barbaric politics in far right wing ideology. >> krystal, the president and harry reid shared a telephone call late last night and here's what the senate majority leader had to say about the call. take a listen. >> obviously, the panic has set
in on the other side. everything we predicted was going to happen with obama care has happened. it's pretty clear now that there's a stampede developing among house and senate democrats away from obama care. >> i'm sorry. that was a different piece of sound, and it was of mitch mcconnell, of course. and he was talking about a panic stampede and total mayhem. is that true? >> it's not true. i mean -- i will say, this is the whole strategy of the republicans. they don't care about health care, they don't care about people being insured. they don't care about any of that. but they do care about power. and they care about trying to make things uncomfortable for democrats that are running in difficult districts across the country, where this law has been demagog to the point where it is not popular and people are afraid of it. that is what they care about. so marco rubio's bill, you know, the efforts to have this sort of magical, okay, you can keep your plan bill, which won't even work. those are all efforts to make democrats uncomfortable and to score political points. they have nothing to do with
care or concern for the american people. >> do you agree with that? >> oh, yeah. and you know, the state where it's working is one state where it's working incredibly well is kentucky. mitch mcconnell just apparently hasn't noticed that. the governor in that state, steve beshear, has been very brave and very conscience in making those exchanges work. he's not playing to the politics of the state. and suddenly, people all over kentucky who probably never even thought of voting for barack obama, are signing up for obama care. >> krystal ball and professor bob shrum, thank you for joining us. coming up, a new school of thought. the president's vision for universal pre-k begins to take shape. next. ♪ [ woman 1 ] why do i cook? to share with family. [ woman 2 ] to carry on traditions. [ woman 3 ] to come together even when we're apart. [ male announcer ] in stuffing, mashed potatoes,
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most middle class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for a private preschool. and for poor kids, who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. so tonight, i propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in america. >> that was the president in his state of the union address outlining the academic and economic benefits of universal pre-k. today that legislation was introduced in both the senate and the house. the bills have four main measures, including, quality preschool for low and middle-income families and increasing the quality of infant and toddler care. and we're delighted to welcome the man helping to shepard the legislation, the secretary of education, mr. arne duncan. good afternoon, sir. >> thanks for the opportunity. >> explain what this program
will do for the nearly one in four children who live in poverty. because in our research, we actually found websites decrying big government and indock tri nation when, in fact, the opposite is the case. >> yeah, well, i think about what we can do over the next three years, not to improve education for the next three years, but for the next 30, the next 3 decades and arguably at the top of the list, making sure our babies have access to high-quality, early learning opportunities is the best investment we as a nation can make in our children, in strong families and ultimately the country. for poor children coming from disadvantaged communities, martin, the average child starts kindergarten at 5 years old, a year to 14 months behind. and quite frankly, far too often we never catch up. i keep saying, we have to get out of the calf catch-up business, our babies off to a good start. this is a huge day to seek folks on both sides of the aisle, working together to introduce legislation to make that vision a reality.
>> mr. secretary, you say that, but we are currently in the middle of budget negotiations, where as you know, republicans want to slash spending. studies actually show universal pre-k could help reduce income inequality, raise college graduation rates and actually reduce crime. now, the president recently said, if you think education is expensive, then wait until you find out how much ignorance costs. but isn't the republican response to this, we prefer dumb? >> well, i think all of us want to use taxpayer money wisely. and folks like james heckman, a nobel prize-winning economist at the university of chicago, talks about a 7-1 return on investment. so for every dollar we invest as a society, as a country, get back $7. less teenage pregnancy, less crime, less dropouts, more folks graduating from high school, going on to college. becoming prod i have taxpayer citizens, a goal we can unite
behind. it's the right thing to do for taxpayers, for young people to strengthen families and ultimately for our nation. >> let's again go back to the reality of where we are, sir. sequestration has severely injured the head start program. bloomberg reported in august the cuts not only cost 60,000 poor children their preschool slots this year, it's actually leading to some parents losing their jobs to care for those children. i know that oil is a precious resource. and the oil industry benefits from huge subsidies. but when did our children become less precious than oil? why has there not been a stampede to prevent these poor children losing their preschool places in the same way that speaker boehner would erupt with fury at any mention of closing a tax loophole? >> well, sequestration has been an unmitigated disaster. there is no up side. and quite frankly, that's not how any other high-performing country is managing their education strategy.
education is an investment, it's not an expense. it's the best investment we can make. when you see tens of thousands of children, again, disadvantaged children, lose access to head start, we're cutting off our nose to spite our face. as a nation, we need to come together, put politics and ideology to the side. education has to be the ultimate bipartisan or nonpartisan, nonideological issue. we have to come together to make sure we're increasing high school graduation rates, reducing dropout rates, and ultimately leading the world again in the number of young people graduating from college. we can all unite behind that goal, forget politics. >> secretary of education, arne duncan, thank you, sir. and thank you for your commitment to this absolutely crucial issue. thank you. >> we've got to get this done. thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, it's a house party. indeed, speaker boehner, armed with a fresh suntan, reveals his primary objective for the remainder of the year. but first, the heavy burden that comes with being the face of the health care website.
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american people and our members can absorb. >> in other words, no, and yes. joining us now is democratic congressman, keith ellison of minnesota. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon. how are you? >> it's good to have you. i understand, sir, that the only thing that republicans currently agree on is opposing the affordable care act. but when do they actually look beyond their pet project and do something that might actually benefit the country as a whole, like reforming the immigration system, which we all know would benefit the nation economically and in all other ways? >> well, martin, you know, they have tried to repeal the affordable care act 44, 45 times. they tried to destroy it in the supreme court. and they shut the government down 16 days all over it. so i don't suspect they're going to ease up any time soon. i mean, the bottom line is, they have many reasons why they must try to stop affordable health care from reaching americans, which is one, they can't allow
government to prove they have done some good for americans. that's against their ideology. two, you know, they literally -- the industry as it exists now makes money by kicking people off health care and basically doing it the status quo way, preaffordable care act. and, of course, they know that if the democrats actually successfully implement the affordable care act, they will be in trouble politically for a long time. bill crystal admitted that to me just a few days ago. >> but mr. ellison, what is your reaction when you hear someone like speaker boehner simply, noncha chantly say, yeah, immigration ain't happening. what is your reaction to that as a dedicated lawmaker, as someone who wants to resolve the predict for almost 12 million people in this nation? >> well, it's incredibly frustrating. mi i mean, you know, look, immigration, blisteringly
important issue. we're ignoring it. but not only that, what about gun safety? you know, there was another mass shooting just recently. and so the bottom line is that there are so many things that call for a legislative fix, call for congressional attention, that he's ignoring. why? because he's gleeful he's gotten hold of stagnating. we still have a situation where preschoolers are not getting access to the head start. we still have a lot of problems. but they don't want to deal with those problems. they just want to sort of maximize the public's outrage at a glitchy website. that's where they're at and that's where i think they're going to stay. >> you just mentioned raising the minimum wage. and that's another issue that's very, very popular among
americans. gallup found that just over three quarters of voters would support a law, raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. in fact, almost 60% of republicans support the raise. so why are we still at $7.25? >> well, you know, one more fact, if i may, martin. you know, people celebrate the election of governor christie at 60%. well, 61% voted to raise the minimum wage in new jersey. so you're absolutely right. americans want to see the minimum wage increased. when are we going to get that done? you know what, it's a long-term battle. but the people who support and fund the republican party believe that raising the minimum wage is going to cost their -- their constituency, not their voters, but their donor constituency money. so they don't want to do it. in fact, some of them have even gone as far as to say that increasing the minimum wage will cause job losses, because -- and actually, increase jobs, they should get rid of any minimum wage. this is the ideology these
people carry forward. >> okay. so we've addressed immigration. they don't want to do anything with that. we have addressed minimum wage. they don't want to do that. gun violence is another issue that appears to unite the nation. 90% of americans say they're in favor of extending background checks. again, nothing, zero from republicans. >> that's right. >> do you sometimes wonder why so many have sought public office when their sole intention upon entering government is to stop government from doing anything? why do these people run for office? >> you know, it used to perplex me martin, but i've learned, the people who they are actually representing send them here. most of these folks are going to leave congress and walk into some extremely lucrative contracts. and that's kind of how they do business. many of them are already very rich anyway. so they don't really care. what does darrell issa care, you know, about these issues? he's already, you know -- his
grandkids can't spend the money he has. so they're already comfortable. but for the overwhelming number of americans who need congress to work who need common sense gun reform, immigration reform, increase the minimum wage, it's just not working. we do need real reform in the area of campaign finance reform, and we need to tell people, this is a time to get more involved. don't check out. don't get cynical. you've got to check in, and really bring about a situation where you have responsive government and responsive congress in place. >> well, thank you, sir, for emboding that commitment. democratic representative, keith ellison of minnesota. thank you, sir. >> thank you it, sir. stay with us. it's a full-blown block party in today's top lines. but first, a quick recap of today's city council meeting in toronto, where the affable mayer, rob ford, stated his case. >> i think you're referring to the st. patrick's day party i had in my office. some of it was true. and some of it was false. that is not a crack house.
he can't just make these hypothetical situations up. i said it would not happen again and it has never happened again at the air canada center. i've been -- >> hold on. >> a few isolated incidents. >> this is not funny, folks. >> i'm not part of gang bangers, i do not support them. >> have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years? >> yes, i have. ♪ but every song is like gold teeth chipping in the bathroom ♪ ♪ blood stains ball gowns in the hotel room ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] this is brad.
his day of coaching begins with knee pain, when... [ man ] hey, brad, want to trade the all-day relief of two aleve for six tylenol? what's the catch? there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol? no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve. [ hans ] toaster strudel! [ angelic music plays ] don't overthink it. [ hans ] warm, flakey, gooey. toaster strudel! from the game of politics to a game of chess. here are today's top lines. checkmate. >> senator, i will commit to working with you. >> no, i'm not asking to working -- >> insurance system. >> no, no! this was -- >> instead of --. i am inclined to give you what you need. >> i'm not asking for your inclination. as much as i admire and
appreciate you -- >> the arrogance of you people -- >> unless you can tell me you were given the information. >> who are you? >> i cannot support your nomination. >> why do you get to decide that? >> i am inclined -- >> i'm not -- >> why does the government get to decide? >> i will not support your nomination. >> are you pro choice? >> until i get a yes answer. >> you got me there, sean. >> checkmate. >> president clinton, i'm sure you love president clinton, right? >> forget it. >> he said the president ought to keep his promise. >> let them keep what they've got. >> do you agree with president clinton? >> that was certainly revealing. >> i don't think the president ever meant you will have the exact plan you have. >> i know that consumers using healthcare.gov have been frustrated. >> i can't tell you the frustration i've felt. >> that's impossible. >> this thing isn't working. >> everybody in america with health insurance knows, their plan changes every year. >> today the president's second term problems got worse. >> will you now end your threat to place a hold on the president's nominees?
>> no. >> and you've got nominees like jeh johnson. >> i'm -- >> tomorrow it's janet yellen. >> shocking when you think about the nominees blocked through filibuster. >> cannot get more important than the head of federal reserve and homeland security. >> let's get right to our panel. joining us now is political strategist, angela rye. malika henderson of the "washington post" and josh marshal, founding editor of talkingpointsmemo.com. josh, the newest target for republican obstruction in congress is jeh johnson. allow me to give you a curriculum vitae. president's nominee, former general counsel of the department of defense, the former general counsel for the u.s. air force and first black partner at the law firm of paul weise, arguably top law firm in the country, if not the world. and yet congressman mike mccaul, republican chair of the house, home land committee, calls him a hack. really? he's a hack?
mr. mccaul must be a toad. >> well, it's par for the course. you have these very accomplished, qualified people. but the plan right now is basically objestruction, to kee everything locked down. you saw it with the shutdown. it's all of a piece. it's all of a piece. the -- >> and the driving force is what? >> well, it depends how big you want to cast -- >> what is it, philosophically such a hatred of government, they want to see government fail? >> i think it's a little more than that. i think it's that right now the right wing of the republican party, the people who back the right wing of the republican party, see the countryall these people. and i think tre's a perception that it's going to be hard to
win elections for those people going forward. the house is locked down, the presidency is difficult. still having problems with the senate. so what they can still do, though, is say no. and basically, shut everything down from the house of representatives. and that's kind of the underlying thread. you see across everything that's happening. >> angela, the department of homeland security, as you know, is regarded as one of the most troubled agencies in the federal government. 40% of its leadership positions are currently empty. it's almost in a permanent state of shutdown. but perhaps that's exactly what mr. mccaul and other anti-government fan nationalics want, is it? >> well, i don't know if it's what they want, martin. but it's certainly is a problem that now you have sitting before the senate today jeh johnson, who could be very well fixed the challenges with 40% of the vacancies open. the fact that his potential spot is open. you need to allow someone the opportunity to fix some of those holes to repair some of those breaches. and instead of taking the time today to really talk about his
qualifications, senator mccain, for example, went toe-to-toe with jeh johnson about the border. the border is the most secure that it has been in years. and meanwhile, speaker boehner has pledged not to pass any form of immigration reform during this session of congress. so instead of taking that battle up with jeh johnson, martin, he should be taking it up with the lower chamber. >> absolutely. malika, senator lindsey graham is another key player in the republican block party, as you know. he's in so much trouble with the tea party back in south carolina that he's threatening to block all presidential nominations in the senate. is he going to be able to do that, do you think? >> well, technically, he could do that. if he wanted to do that, and we have seen lindsey graham have these fights over nominations. and linking it to benghazi time and time again. he did that with susan rice -- >> but that's a complete frauld. that's a complete charade. we know why he's doing it. >> yeah, we do know. here is lindsey graham, folks in south carolina, very much, at
least some republicans think he's a rhino, has got some republican challenges now. and his way is to prove he's a krcht is to talk about benghazi and you have seen him do that time and time again. he did that with the hagel nomination. he wanted panetta to testify. that happened. he hasn't blocked all of these nominations. i do think some of this is theater. and you see john mccain obviously engaging in that today. whether or not this goes down to the wire and these folks don't get confirmed, hard to see that happening. this same thing again happened with hagel, tom perez. he eventually got confirmed over at labor. so i think eventually, you know, folks will get -- will get a good hearing and an up or down vote on the senate floor. >> josh, isn't it utterly reasonable that an individual like senator lindsey graham should use his power to block the functioning of government in order to protect himself from challenges? >> you know, i think -- >> is that really what we've
come to? >> well, i think what it is is that all of these things have existed in the past to a degree. but what you have seen over the last 15, maybe 20 years, and increasingly over the last six or seven years is all of the norms that keep things in check. yes, you can block nominees. but you use it for something very specific, usually. and then you work out a deal. the idea that to -- the idea that someone would do what graham is doing now, the idea that you would shut down the whole government over obama care -- >> over a law that has passed and been affirmed by the supreme court. >> right. these are -- again, a lot of it has to do with none of the norms seem to apply. and when you don't have norms -- norms are sort of like the connective tissue in the skeleton of government. and without that, everything can grind to a halt and nothing works well. and i think that's what you see happening here. >> right. angela, republicans argue that government doesn't work. then they get elected and prove it. can you imagine what would
happen right now if republicans had full control in washington rather than just the house? >> i can't imagine it. and i don't want to see it. >> well, please try. try to. i just think at this point, martin, with this filibuster-proof majority issue and the fact that president obama is being micro managed from the hill. they talk about they're not passing or allowing these judicial nominees to be confirmed, because they don't want folks legislating from the bench. what they're micro managing from the senate, it is just as bad if not worse. and so we really have to make sure that we're following what the constitution says. the president has a right to appoint people. he has a right to fill vacancies in his administration and judicial nominees have a right to be seated, sworn in and confirmed. so the senate has a job to do, and it's not just obstructing the president. that's not what the filibuster was ever designed for and it's time for it to be put back in its rightful place. >> so final question, what do you expect to see tomorrow when janet yellen, the president's nominee for new fed chief appears before republican lawmakers? more theater?
>> i think you will see theater. >> theater of the absurd? >> you have seen these confirmation hearings and any time someone comes before the congress to testify, this is what these are. this is what they always have been. in terms of this fight going on around the d.c. circuit court, that has always gone on around that court. it has, i think, reached a new level, as republicans are trying to limit the amount of people who are on that court from 11 and take it down to 8. so that is, i think, a new level in this fight. but i do think this partisanship has always been there in terms of these nominations, as well. >> angela rye, malika henderson and josh marshal, thank you very much. coming up, the typhoons aftermath. and the brady bill and so much work to be done. one nation under the gun. stay with us. >> to protect and defend. that's our first responsibility.
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they insist this huge aid effort is now gaining momentum, but not nearly fast enough for those desperate communities who need basic items, which only are trickling down to them. clean water, food, shelter, med sen. now, the desperation has been on display. one crowd storming a government rice store. an act of self preservation, rather than looting was the way a government official described it. eight people died in the crush. we have also seen reports of people digging up water pipes, trying to crack open the water pipes in a desperate bid to find drinking water. the government here is very much on the defensive, saying they're doing everything they can, but conceding that the aid has not been getting to communities that need it fast enough. they blame that on debris on the scale of the devastation. also the fact that local governments were decimated. there certainly weren't people to administer the aid. and, of course, in four to five
days, we'll see the arrival of the "u.s.s. george washington" slowed down by bad weather, but will bring some much, much needed help when it does arrive here. martin? >> ian williams, thank you. and if you would like to contribute, there are plenty of ways of doing so. you can donate to the american red cross online at redcross.org or redcross.org.ph. you can also give to unicef at unicef.org/support. as well as to the u.n. world food program at wfpusa.org. all of this information is available at our facebook page, which is facebook.com/martinbashir. coming up, 20 years after the brady handgun violence prevention act was signed into law, what now? but first, a market wrap with cnbc's seema mody. good afternoon, seema. >> hi, martin. here's a look at how stocks stand going into tomorrow. the dow settling at a new record
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1994. >> those heart-rendering testimonies from an event earlier today to mark the 20th anniversary of the brady handgun violence prevention act. every year, thousands have similar stories and with 90% of americans supporting expanded background checks for all gun purchases, it's clear that americans do support greater gun safety reform. yet despite this overwhelming majority, the senate voted against expanded background checks in april. for more, i'm joined by democratic strategist, steve elmenddorff and jonathan capehart. steve, this is the 20th anniversary of the brady act, a law that has blocked an estimated 2 million handgun purchases. and your firm was engaged by the brady campaign to extend background checks to online sales and gun shows. and yet, with over 30,000 deaths from firearms every year, it's the campaign to prevent gun
violence an abject failure? >> no, martin, it's not. i worked on the brady bill when i worked -- >>it not? how is it not? >> well, because, you know, we have to be persistent. it takes time. it took us three presidencies, six years, seven votes to pass the brady bill. we're not going to go away because it's hard or because john boehner won't schedule a vote. you know, we have 55 -- 55 senators and a bipartisan people who passed it in the -- voted for it in the senate. we don't have 60 yet. but we're going to work hard to try and get there and work hard to do it in the house. >> more power to you. >> we're not going to give up. and, you know, you listen to those families talk about -- >> oh, yeah. >> their losses. nobody is giving up here. it may take more than one congress or more than one presidency, but we're going to get it done. >> john, we have seen a member of congress shot in the head. we have seen 20 small children at an elementary school murdered. we have had a shooting at a naval yard, movie theater. you name it, we have had it. police investigating at this moment are shooting in the area
around a pittsburgh high school. where reportedly teens have been shot and wounded. isn't it time, perhaps, that we stop maybe deluding ourselves and congratulate the nra on the best performance of lobbying in the history of lobbying? >> i think that happens every time we go through one of these mass shootings. i remember being here on the day of sandy hook and being horrified as the events unfolded to find out something we had never seen before. children slaughtered inside a school. and it set off this national conversation, national debate that we hadn't seen in a very long time. and even then people were poo-pooing the efforts that were to come to try to get background checks or some sort of gun violence legislation out there. and it hasn't happened. and i think steve raises a very good point. that the nra is expecting people, those families that you showed, to give up, to back
down, because they don't have the money that -- or the brady campaign doesn't have the money to compete against big guns. but persistence and heart are what's going to make this happen. but it's going to take a very long time. so every time there's a mass shooting and people rise up and say we're not going to take it anymore and it dies down, that in itself is an implicit message that, oh, nra, you have won again. >> steve, florida voted last week to uphold their stand your ground law. this just days after an unarmed 19-year-old girl in detroit was shot in the face when she sought help in the middle of the night from a homeowner, and who was armed, of course, with a shotgun, and presumably protected by a stand your ground law there. if we can't curb the ownership of lethal weapons, isn't it time, say, to focus on repealing these stand your ground laws, at least start chopping away at those? >> martin, we've got a lot of things we're going to do and we're not going to give up.
i don't think we can say that the nra has won. they never give up and we're never going to give up. and we're going to go at those laws and background checks and we're going to go at every law we can get. understanding that this is a very hard issue. it's always been a very hard issue. it took a long time to do brady. but we worked hard and got it done and we're going to work hard and try and get this done. >> john, a final question to you. does any legislation move in the near to short term? >> no. nothing is going to happen. when you have the speaker of the house saying that comprehensive immigration reform -- today he said this. is not going to happen? what makes any of us think that gun control legislation is going to happen today or in the future? >> indeed. we must continue fighting. steve, thank you for your work on this. jonathan capehart, as always, thank you. we'll be right back. khan academy is a not-for-profit with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. if you look at a khan academy video,
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