Scarborough to Rep. Weiner on 9/11 Responders Controversy: 'You're Not Going to Demagogue This Issue!'
Love him or hate him as a "conservative," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough just showed he hasn't been completely brainwashed at his network. On his Aug. 11 program, Scarborough demonstrated just how thin the veil is over the parlor tricks going on with in the U.S. House of Representatives controlled by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
At the center of this was the back-and-forth between Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., over Sept. 11 responders compensation legislation. Their disagreement has been well documented dating back to Weiner's late-July outburst on the House floor accusing House Republicans of playing politics with this legislation. The two had one more dust-up on Fox News a day later, but since then it has been a he-said, he-said situation.
Weiner alleges this was a non-controversial bill that should have been passed easily with a two-thirds vote. King argues the Democratic House leadership could have offered it up and it would have passed with a simple majority. But there were some issues with offering the bill up under normal House procedure with the Hispanic Caucus.
Video and Partial Transcript Below Fold
According to MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert, it was Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., who said the Hispanic Caucus would walk away from the legislation if Republicans were allowed to offer amendments, which would force an up-or-down vote on whether or not illegal immigrants would be eligible for these benefits.
Highlight starts about five minutes into the clip below.
"Nydia Velázquez of New York echoed her thoughts to the leadership according to my sources that the Latino Caucus, Hispanic Caucus would walk if this motion, if this language was not in the original bill," Russert explained. "Thus, in the motion to recommit the Republicans would bring up the illegal immigration language, it would have forced a lot of Blue Dog Democrats, a lot of moderates to have to take a very difficult immigration vote."
After Russert offered his explanation, the debate deteriorated between Scarborough and Weiner:
WEINER: Do you have any idea hoe mind-numbingly tedious this sounds to most Americans?
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no - you're not going to demagogue this issue. You demagogued it before. The fact of the matter is this -
WEINER: Dial it down, buddy.
SCARBOROUGH: Whoa, Anthony Weiner is telling me to relax.
WEINER: Just relax, joe.
SCARBOROUGH: No, because you know you are nailed. You came on my show and demagogued.