One of the toughest talkers from the 111th Congress is back on Capitol Hill, and Rep. Alan Grayson had harsh words for his colleagues on the other side of the aisle mere hours after being sworn in for his second term, calling their decision to hold the debt ceiling hostage “legislative terrorism.”
“[Republicans are] using the debt ceiling as a means to cut Social Security benefits, cut Medicare benefits, cut unemployment insurance, cut anything of any use to any ordinary human being in this country simple because they want more money for tax cuts for the rich,” he said on PoliticsNation Thursday.
Grayson was a stalwart supporter of President Obama and progressive values and outspoken opponent of right-wing obstructionism during his first term before he was knocked out of office in the tea party wave. After redistricting, he won a new seat in Florida in 2012 and is poised to take on the Tea Partiers with the same vigor as he did before, calling them everything from weak to destructive.
Grayson laughed off Thursday’s headlines about Speaker John Boehner’s decision to stop meeting one-on-one to work out deals with the president, pointing to it as a sign of weakness rather than leadership.
“Boehner is a chief with no indians,” he said, pointing out that Boehner just scraped by in his speaker reelection vote, and had to “drag” Michele Bachmann in and vote for himself in order to find enough votes for reelection. ”That shows how weak he is,” Grayson said. “He’s a weak, weak man, a weak speaker.”
“He can’t negotiate with the president because the president can actually make commitments,” Grayson said.
He’s also taking Republicans on for talking a tough game on deficit, while being unwilling to make any of the hard decisions it would take to solve it. “When it comes to actually doing something about [the debt]–meaning taxing people who actually have money they can pay to the government–somehow that’s beyond the pale,” he said. “They want to tax the poor who have no money, instead of taxing the rich who have all the money.”
“It just doesn’t make any sense, and I think people are starting to see through it.”