MSNBC’s Alex Witt Frets ObamaCare Repeal Votes Are Costing Taxpayers Money

MSNBC anchor Alex Witt is still steaming over the  Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On Saturday’s edition of her program Weekends with Alex Witt, the host spent considerable time fuming about the House GOP’s 40th attempt to thwart ObamaCare, even hilariously worrying that the repeal votes were costing taxpayers money.

Addressing Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, Witt inquired, with no hint of irony, “So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?”


Yes indeed, replied Kucinich: “Democrats have been talking about that for quite a while. The millions of dollars that is – with staff time and printing and all sorts of other things.”

If Witt and Kucinich are concerned about millions of dollars being spent on ObamaCare repeal votes, how will they feel when ObamaCare itself socks taxpayers for more than a trillion dollars over the first 10 years of its life? Don’t expect them to raise a stink over money that a Democratic president spends. To the liberal media, it is primarily Republicans who waste time and money; Democrats simply govern.

Earlier in her show, during a separate discussion on the same topic, Witt had asked Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times what Republicans hoped to accomplish with all of their repeal votes. Sweet brought up Speaker John Boehner’s recent comment that Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal. She sneered, “Well, often people don't go to work and say what I didn't do today is my work product, but that's what the Republicans are trying to say.”

Sweet was singing a different tune back in 2007 and 2008 when then-Senator Obama was calling for an end to the war in Iraq. She tacitly approved of his efforts. In fact, the Democratic-controlled Congress then in power made ending the Iraq War one of its major goals, much like the current GOP-led Congress has made ending Obamacare one of its main goals. But there were no complaints from Sweet that the Democrats were failing to do their job by threatening to undo a Republican president’s major initiative.

Below are transcripts of the segments:

12:19

ALEX WITT: We're going to switch gears here and talk about what's happened before summer vacation. All the House Republicans, Lynn, they pushed through the legislation to repeal Obamacare. Let's say this was the 40th time they have done that. So it’s not going to go anywhere in the Democratically-controlled Senate, but the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes, quote,  “Republicans have taken themselves hostage. They are threatening to hurt themselves and their states and their voters and their most committed activists if Democrats don't give them their way on Obamacare.” So how do congressional Republicans justify this vote and what is the point?

LYNN SWEET, The Chicago Sun-Times: It is symbolic. As we head into the five-week summer recess it's part of perhaps town hall fodder for Republicans. This program really gets up and running full-throatedly October 1st, Alex. The Obama allies are putting a big push out now to get people enrolled. And on this 40th fruitless vote to neutralize Obamacare, it makes the Republicans, they think, give something to talk about to their people. One of the things that Speaker Boehner said recently is that their job isn't just to pass laws, but their job is to repeal them. Well, often people don't go to work and say what I didn't do today is my work product, but that's what the Republicans are trying to say.

WITT: But Lynn, I mean the point of all this, really, 40 times voting for something? Taking the time to debate it and discuss it and take the vote. I mean, aren’t most Americans –



SWEET:  It's ridiculous.

WITT: Well there you go.

SWEET: Yes. Okay, I’m sorry, did I not make it clear – yes, Alex, it’s ridiculous.

***
1:13

WITT: So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?

JACKIE KUCINICH, The Washington Post: I mean, it is. And Democrats have been talking about that for quite a while. The millions of dollars that is – with staff time and printing and all sorts of other things. So yes, it is costing money and that's something you hear a lot from Democrats pushing that not only is this a waste of time, it's waste of money.
 

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.