There's a precedent for holding the govt hostage...

Republican Rep. Scott Perry insists there's a precedent for holding the government hostage--he just can't remember it.

During a discussion on the Republican attempt to defund Obamacare,  Hardball host Chris Mathews asked the Pennsylvania lawmaker to name one time when the debt ceiling or the government was being "held hostage" in order to "kill a law."

"C'mon Chris, you're a student of history. This has been done on many occasions," Perry said. After being asked five times, the GOPer could not name one example.

“Those are your words--'the country is being held hostage,'" Perry said. "This is a negotiating with an intractable president” who will talk with Russia, Iran and Syria “but won’t negotiate with 50% of his countrymen.”

After Matthews pointed out that Obamacare is the law of the land, Perry replied, “Slavery was legal at some point, Chris. Do you think that should still be legal today?”

The Senate is debating a House-passed bill that would keep the government running through  Nov. 15 but defund President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The Democrats in the upper chamber are expected to remove from the bill the provision to defund Obamacare, which will be known as the “clean” spending bill, and then kick it back to the House.

House Speaker John Bohener said on Thursday that it's unlikely the House will accept the clean government funding bill  unless it includes a number of provisions favorable to his party.

Matthews and his guest also rumbled over Perry's connections to the offshore drilling business.