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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/16/13

Guests: Chris Van Hollen, Jon Tester, Steve LaTourette, John Stanton

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Good evening, Chris, it`s going to be a long fascinating night. Thanks to you all for joining us this hour, there is a lot going on. President Obama tonight just a little while ago made this short statement in the press room at the White House. This was just after the Senate voted to end the government shutdown tonight and to avert the debt ceiling crisis by the skin of the nation`s teeth just one day before the Treasury Department said, we would start to risk default. Here is the president. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy. The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take. But I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point. Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We`ll begin reopening of our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainly and from our businesses and from the American people. I`ll have more to say about this tomorrow. And I have got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year, and stay focused on the job at hand. Because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks. And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about. I have said before, I`ll say it again, I`m willing to work with anybody. I`m eager to work with anybody. The Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthens the middle class and get our fiscal House in order for the long-term. I`ve never believed the Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas, and despite the differences over the issues of shutting down the government, I`m convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America. In fact, there are things that we know that helps strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year`s out. We still need to pass a lot to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair. And that helps hard working people all across this country. And we could get all of these things done even this year, if everybody comes together in the spirit of how are we going to move this country forward, and put the last three weeks behind us. That is what I believe the American people are looking for, not a focus on politics. Not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives. That is going to be my focus. I`m looking forward to Congress doing the same. But once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully next time it won`t be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we have to get out of the habit of governing by crisis. And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can`t work on the issues at hand. Why we can`t disagree between the parties, while still being agreeable. And make sure that we`re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements. So hopefully that is a lesson that will be internalized. Not just by me, but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file. Thanks very much, everybody. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: President Obama speaking just a few minutes ago from the White House press room saying that he will make further remarks tomorrow. But again, the big breaking news tonight is that the Senate has voted, 81 to 18, to reopen the government. At long last, and also to avert the debt ceiling disaster that was due to hit tomorrow. These were all the senators who voted no. Again, it was 81 to 18, these were the 18 senators who voted to keep the government shutdown. And to hit the debt ceiling tomorrow, Tom Coburn, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Risch, Pat Roberts, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Jefferson Beauregard Jeff Sessions III, Richard Shelby, Pat Toomey, and David Vitter. Eighteen, no votes, but those 18 senators saying no was not enough to stop the rescue plans from going forward. So now, the plan goes to the house, which is why everybody is working late tonight, and why there is still a lot to watch in Washington. Now obviously, all of those no-vote senators are Republicans clearly, all 18 of them. And of course the whole -- here started when the Republicans in the House hatched a plan, right, sure, they had voted 30, 40, OK more than 40 times to repeal the health care reform law, to repeal ObamaCare. More than 40 times. But it never mattered. They kept voting over and over and over again, dozens of times to repeal ObamaCare in the House. But everybody ignored them. All those votes had no effect at all. So then this whole thing started when Republicans hatched a plan. Marlin Stutzman, please explain the plan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MARLIN STUTZMAN (R), INDIANA: I believe that this is our time. This is when it really matters. Yes, we voted to repeal ObamaCare 30 to 40 times, but this is when it really counts. This is when it is time to put up or shut up. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Yes, with 30, 40 maybe more than 40. Those other 30 or 40 times that they had, you know, taken those votes before, forget that. This time they figured out a way to make it count. They have figured out a way to not be ignored anymore. And their plan this time, the thing that got us here in the first place, is that the Republicans in the House decided they would refuse to fund anything, they would refuse to fund the entire government unless the Democrats caved and finally let them kill ObamaCare. This was their brilliant plan, they thought this would work, the Democrats would never let the government be shutdown, they said we`ll demand the only way that the Democrats can avoid that is to kill ObamaCare. That is how we will finally get our way. That was the plan that got us here. The Democrats said no to the Republicans on that. The Republicans thought for sure. The Democrats would cave on this. But the Democrats said no. And so 16 days ago the government did in fact shutdown. Which maybe the Republicans did not expect. Because once they had an actual shutdown on their hands they didn`t seem to have a plan for what to do next. At least it was a hitch in the plan, right? They got the shutdown but Democrats didn`t agree to repeal ObamaCare. So now what? And that is when the demand lists started changing. The effort to force the Democrats into giving them something in exchange for holding the country hostage, from that point on, when something like that -- OK, we can`t get ObamaCare repealed. Can we get a de-funding of ObamaCare? The Democrats said no, can we get ObamaCare delayed? The Democrats said no, can we delay the specific individual mandate in ObamaCare? The Democrats said no, they wanted to keep it on ObamaCare, sort of running out of ObamaCare ideas until this point. So David Vitter of all people comes up with a new list of weird, specific demands about ObamaCare. So, the next demand was, can we deny health care insurance coverage specifically to the president himself and the vice president. That actually was one of their demands, the Democrats said no. Can we mess with the health insurance of the people who work for members of Congress, Congressional staffers. Democrat says, no. Can we mess with the health insurance specifically members of the president`s cabinet? They said, that is what we want. Democrats said no. Then they said, can we make it so birth control is not covered by people`s health insurance anymore? If you don`t let us get people`s birth control, not covered by the health insurance, you can`t open the government. They tried that as a demand. Democrats said no. How about the keystone pipeline, can we force the keystone pipeline to be opened? No. Means testing Medicare? No. Changing the pensions of federal employees. No. Expanded oil drilling? And they wanted an expand the oil drilling on federal lands. No, net neutrality? Nope. Tort reform? Nope. The EPA`s pollution rules for the new coal-powered plants, they asked for that, the Democrats said, no. And then Paul Ryan demanded that he get all of his proposed tax code changes for when he lost, when he was running for vice president, can we help Paul Ryan`s tax code, please? No. Then they demanded the administration get rid of coal ash regulations, the answer was no. Here is a new one, they demanded to change the tax on medical devices, the one that Evan Bayh is the lobbyist for. The answer for that was, no. Can we change the Treasury Department`s rules to make the next debt ceiling crisis worse than this one, that was one of the last demands they made, the answer for that one was no. Here is one, can we get guarantees of income verifications for certain low income people who are going to get subsidies for their health insurance under ObamaCare. Yes, yes, that one you can have. Because that actually is already in the ObamaCare law, it is already law. So, yes, you can have that. You also have the right to bestow the name Wednesday on the day that comes after Tuesday, if you like, it already exists. The income verifications thing that they won in this process is already in the loss, so, yes, sure, magnanimously, you guys can have that. But all of the other long, arcane, improvised, constantly changing list of demands that the Republicans made on their long weird ever-changing ransom notes that they kept writing and re-writing once they found that, opps, we actually have shut down the government. For some reason, we better come up with a reason why of the entire list of things they demanded in exchange for opening the government throughout this entire crisis, we now know as of tonight, that of their entire list, they are going to get nothing. Nothing. You can argue for what you want through the legislative process by trying to make legislation, amend bills, do great in debates, win votes. You can try to win through the legislative process. You can try to win what you want in terms of policy by winning elections. But when you lose policy fights and you lose elections, the line was drawn here tonight to say you know what? There is not a third way. There is not another means of policy-making available to you in Washington that involves you destroying things unless you get your way. If you try to do it that way, you will find that what you get off your list of chest-pounding demands is exactly nothing. Nothing. I should say -- there is one other thing that they got out of this disaster. Before this crisis started, the Democrats in Congress had been asking for six months for there to be negotiations between the two parties and the two Houses of Congress to talk big picture about the budget. So as to try to avoid this lurching from crisis to crisis that we have been going through since the Republicans got control in the House. Democrats have been asking for that since April, they`ve asked for that by their own count, 21 times. And Republicans have been saying no, over and over again. They have refused to participate in that process. Well, now as part of this deal being worked out and voted on tonight, the Republicans have finally agreed that yes they will do that negotiation thing that the Democrats have been asking for for six months that they have been refusing all this time until now. So, to summarize through this process, the Republicans, oh, yes, I think we fit them all on here. The Republicans said that they would shutdown the government, or once they shut it down, they would refuse to open the government unless they got each of these things. Of all the things that they wanted, they got nothing. On the other hand, the Democrats had suggested before this whole process that they would please like to talk about the budget. And now, Republicans will go along with that after refusing for six months. So tonight, on day 16 of the government shutdown, on the eve of the date when the treasury said we would hit the debt ceiling and start to be unable to pay what we owe with God knows what consequences for the American economy and the global economy. Tonight, the Senate once again passed a bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Before tonight, John Boehner had refused to allow a vote on a bill like that, because although it would probably pass with all the Democrats and a handful of Republicans, most Republicans didn`t like the idea. So he wouldn`t bring it up. Most Republicans wanted to keep pressing for more demands, more things to add to the ransom note, again, none of which they got. Tonight, John Boehner says he will finally allow vote that will open the government and raise the debt ceiling just in time. The White House has insisted throughout this process that there are no winners, nobody is coming out on top here. And it may be true that nobody won, but somebody definitely lost here. And that has kind of been the story of John Boehner`s leadership of the House Republicans, since the House Republicans got control of Congress in 2011. Under the speakership of John Boehner, we have now had two near defaults. We have had two brushes up against the debt ceiling. We have had one long government shutdown. And we have had no legislation of any significance passed at all, since he has been speaker. One real crisis, two near crises that you could call crises, because they didn`t cause real damage, and no accomplishment. And he has also been unable to roll back any legislative accomplishments of the Democrats in that time either. And the means by which John Boehner has failed over the past three years, it has all been in public, and it`s all been careening and dramatic in a way that sort of ought to be predictable at this point, but still, every time he fails newly in public, it is still shocking. I mean, John Boehner had a Republican farm bill that his own side killed. John Boehner had a Republican transportation bill that his own side killed. John Boehner had a Republican housing bill that his own side killed. John Boehner had a House leadership Republican plan for the fiscal cliff site in the first debt ceiling and the payroll tax extension. He even had a Republican version -- House leadership version of a health care bill. He put all of those things out there publicly. He said here is what I, as leader of the Republicans say, we are going to do. And then he looked behind him and the rest of the Republicans will be back there saying, no, John, you know what? No, we`re not doing it, never mind. John Boehner`s tenure as Speaker of the House since Republicans control of Congress in January, 2011, has succeed in accomplishing one now seemingly unlikely thing. And that is that John Boehner is still speaker of the house. He has not lost that job. And maybe that is just because nobody else wants that job. John Boehner is still there, which in its own right is amazing given the abject depths of faire during his time as leader. In the immediate sense, this have been 16 bad days for the country and for the economy, and for how close we got to the debt ceiling, it is probably too close. It will probably also have significant economic consequences for us as a country, beyond the tens of billions of dollars of economic pain we suffered just as a result of the shutdown. The country suffers for the Republicans` failures in Congress. But at this point, their failure has reached new depths. It is almost sort of seemingly bottomless at this point, we don`t know where it ends. And now, Congress, the Senate tonight already, the House do, they will take this one last vote. And then after that, they will go away for a week, presumably to lick their wounds and figure out who they`re going to blame and who can profit out of this. And then once they`ve gone away for a week and do whatever it is that they do and they`re not in D.C., they have to come back to D.C. and they have to once again, take up the job of trying to make policy and keep the government open a not hit the debt ceiling again and when it comes around really, really soon. What changes in Congress, because of this journey that we`ve just been through, through the bottom-lines. What changes for when they come back? Because surely we cannot stay here. Surely everybody acknowledges that we cannot stay where we are and keep doing what we just did, over and over again. Joining us now is Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, he`s the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Mr. Van Hollen, thank you very much for being with us. REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: It`s good to be with you, Rachel. MADDOW: What is going to happen tonight in the House? Do you expect that this bill will definitely pass and this will definitely be done tonight? VAN HOLLEN: Well, you know and as you just said, it is always premature to be predicting things in this house. But I do believe that now that Speaker Boehner is finally allowing the House to work its will, we will be able to pass this. As we speak, I think the papers are being brought over to the House from the Senate. We`re going to try and get unanimous consent to bring this up for a vote and get it done. But again, it is important to emphasize the only reason we`re able to do this now after these 15 long days, is because the speaker has finally after exhausting all the bad alternatives which have really hurt the country, finally allowing democracy to work its will, something he could have done 15 days ago and avoided this whole mess and all the pain that is generated. MADDOW: There were 18 Republicans in the Senate who voted no on the bill that did pass there, that is now headed your way. I expect that if not all, at least most Democrats are going to vote yes to reopen the government and to avert the debt ceiling crisis. If that happens, how much of a defection can Speaker Boehner afford? How much leeway does he really have? How much of a cushion is there? VAN HOLLEN: Well, I think you`re right, Rachel. You will going to see virtually every Democrat -- not every Democrat vote in favor of reopening the government and preventing us from defaulting on our debts. That would mean that Speaker Boehner would have to have 17 Republicans join him. So I`m sure that there is a margin to do that. How many Republicans will vote for this, in the end, I don`t know. What you`re seeing here as you indicated by that litany that you went through is really the final death throes of what Senator Richard Byrd, the Republican from North Carolina said that weeks and weeks ago, was the dumbest idea he ever heard. If this had just been a dumb idea, that would be bad enough, but this has been a tragedy and disgrace that the country did not need in an unnecessary one. These kind of self-inflicted wounds are things that we hope our Republican colleagues will avoid in the future. You asked whether anything will change. The question is whether people have learned that lesson? MADDOW: We`re already starting to see on the rights trying to spin this as maybe it was not so bad. Or maybe the reason that things seemed to have gone south here or people are blaming us for this is just because of the squishes, because Republicans are too moderate and they compromise too much. We`re seeing the right gearing up for this as a permanent way of doing business. I guess my question to you is not, you know, why they`re doing that or how effective they`re going to be at doing that. But whether or not they still hold sway in the House. Do you feel like the house is still going to be sort of dancing to the tune played by these outside groups that don`t really care about the long-term health of the country? VAN HOLLEN: Well, time will tell. I mean, that is exactly the question we`re all asking ourselves. We heard Senator Cruz on the Senate floor today say by God, if the Senate Republicans had just stuck together and kept all this for another week we would have undone the Affordable Care Act, we would have gotten rid of ObamaCare. If the House leadership and the members of the House remain that deluded this time around, then the country is in for a very, very bumpy ride. If Speaker Boehner and other members of his leadership are finally willing to stand up to the Ted Cruz faction in the House of Representatives, then we have some hope of getting on a better course. But only the future will tell. Look, the only good news that you might find in what happened is the possibility that the Republican leadership recognized that you don`t get your way by threatening government shutdowns and threatening default. But whether or not they have in fact learned that lesson, we will only know going forward. As you said, we`re finally pleased to have negotiations on the budget. We have been trying to do this since last march. So maybe we`ll sit down and maybe Republicans will put down the clubs of government shutdown and threats of default, and actually have a negotiation on the budget. But time will tell. MADDOW: Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. I know you`re about to be very busy, I know the House just started its work on this bill tonight. Thanks for taking the time to explain to us what is going on. I appreciate your time. VAN HOLLEN: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: As you can see though, there is the live shot of the House of Representatives. They`re starting the discussions on the matter that was already taken up and voted on and passed in the Senate tonight. All eyes tonight on the House. The expectation is that they too will vote to reopen the government and to avert default by not hitting the debt ceiling. But it is not over until the fat lady sings. At this point, we don`t even know who the fat lady is, so all eyes on the House tonight. Stay with us here on MSNBC. This is happening right now. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The House is now considering the bill that would reopen the government as of tomorrow morning, and avert the debt ceiling crisis, the Senate has already passed it. News that the Senate was going to come up with something, news that the Senate had arrived at a plan to avert the debt ceiling disaster, to restart the government, that news was reported early today. That they would come up with something. They reported early enough today that the Dow Jones had time to climb more than 200 points by closing time at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. By that time a day, the reporting about the prospects for a deal in the Senate were bolstered by a draft proposal that started to circulating on the hill and at the press as to what the Senate was going to agree to. But then, just before 6:00 p.m. Eastern today, the language of the final bill in the Senate came out. It was released by Senate Democratic staff. It had all sorts of specific spending measures in it that nobody really expected. There was funding for flood recovery in Colorado, funding for recovery from wildfires in the west, some wildfire prevention money as well, funding for LI-HEAP which helps low income families by fuel oil, otherwise pay their hitting bills over the winter, really important program, funding for the privacy and civil liberties oversight board, there`s funding for a big construction project on the lower Ohio River in Illinois and Kentucky. There is even a very specific provision in the bill for the payment that is due to the widow of the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. That money owed to her by the Senate is about $174,000 and that money is in the fund of the government and don`t hit the debt ceiling bill that would pass 81 to 18 tonight in the United States Senate. Why is that? Why were all of those provisions in this bill? And why would anybody risk getting that list of stuff done? That list of stuff. Why would you risk getting that stuff done by this means, by this very delicate means, when none of these things have been debated as part of this process. And when any sliding back into standoff mode, any excuse to slide back in the standoff mode would surely throw the nation into overtime on the debt ceiling with all the disastrous consequences that would entail. What happened here? Joining us now, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, he`s a member of the appropriations committee. Senator Tester, thanks very much for being with us, it is nice to have you here. SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: It is great to be with you, Rachel. Thank you. MADDOW: Should we have expected all these individual line items, funding items in the bill to pass the Senate tonight, or was this a surprise? TESTER: It is a surprise. I mean, I think that this stuff was probably put in with all the best of intentions, but it is one of the reasons our popularity ratings are so low, is because of surprises. We have seen a lot of surprises the last three weeks. And I wish that we could have kept it clean. And look, there are things I like to get in, and there are amendments I like to put on bills that go through, too. But the bottom-line is that you need to have time to be able to analyze what is in a bill. And quite frankly there was not a lot of time. As you said, this bill came out at 6:00. I found out about the provisions before I voted, but just before I voted. MADDOW: And there is no time to, I mean, not enough time to read it, because there is not enough time to let it fly another day because then we`re sliding into disaster territory. TESTER: That is exactly right. And I think these insertions may have just been fine. But the fact is, we ought to have the opportunity to debate them on the floor and discuss them and make sure they`re the right thing to do, make sure it is the right thing to put in this bill. But the real problem here is, Rachel, is for the fact that for the last three weeks, we have been dealing with the House of Representatives that have done some pretty kooky things, done some pretty damaging things to our business climate in this country, to our world reputation and to working families. And that is really the criminal part about all of this. This never had to come to this point. There was a clean resolution to fund the government in the House long before the shutdown. And I think we could have gotten a clean debt limit passed, too. But a total lack of leadership in the House and being led by the minority of people who fell off the right side of the earth. MADDOW: We will see why whether or not the House is able to pull it together and actually pass this thing. Tonight, everybody says, to expect that, but I think we are all sort of, on tenterhooks wanting to makes sure that it actually does happen, even though they say it will. But one of the things that happen that was very unusual during this process, is that one senator, one member of your chamber, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, freshman from Texas, actually got involved very overtly in the House negotiations, telling House Republicans to stand strong and not cave on this and that they were the ones that needed to really push the shutdown, really egging them on. How does that affect his standing in the Senate now? Is there anything like that ever happened before Senator, you know? TESTER: Not that I know, but I will tell you there was very average on the get-go, that this was about Ted Cruz raising money for a potential run for the presidency. That`s all this was about. It was about Ted Cruz. It wasn`t about the country. And I`m telling you -- you know this, Rachel, you talked about it in the last three weeks, the things that the folks were following Ted Cruz are trying to do, would have done long-term devastating damage to this country`s economy, and we would have no way got our arms around the debt and deficit in the country because our economy would have been in the tank, far worse than it was back in 2008. You know, I don`t know why you would follow somebody who would take you down a path to destruction, but that`s what some of the House members are doing. I think it is very unfortunate for the country. MADDOW: Understanding what you do about why this happened, how this happens, and obviously, I can hear it in the tone of your voice how you feel, the anger you have about the consequences of what we`ve just been through over the last three weeks. Do you feel like you have learned anything and the Senate has learned anything about how to avert this, how to stop this from happening again in three more months? TESTER: Well, I think there are good people on both sides of the aisle in the Senate that want to get things done, and want to get some things done to move the economy forward in the right direction. We`re working in a bipartisan way for example, Rachel, on a House financing reform bill that I think should be the next bill up, as soon as we get things operational again and get back in town. It will help the housing market and move things forward. It is a bipartisan bill that makes sense and moves the country forward in a positive way and solves problems. That being said, we can do that on every issue. But we certainly can`t do it if there`s obstructionists out there that want to ruin the economy and their main focus is on themselves and not on the country. MADDOW: Senator Jon Tester of Montana -- sir, thank you very much for your time tonight. I know it has been a long night already. Thanks for being here. TESTER: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: After a week like this one, some parts of the Republican Party and some parts of the conservative movement appear to have learned a lesson. Keep fighting each other. That`s what they`re telling each other today. The amazing work of Senator Ted Cruz and the pile of broken dishes he is leaving behind in the conservative movement. More on that coming up. Plus more from the Senate floor where the House right now is debating what to do about the bill that passed the Senate already tonight, to reopen the government and to avert the debt ceiling disaster. Stay with us. This is happening right now. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: -- including the budget deficit, the nation`s out of control debt, and the many challenges -- MADDOW: This is Charlie Dent, the moderate Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, who was willing to limit and extend (ph) caucus with Democrats a little bit to try to find a way out of the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, speaking right now on the floor as the House prepares to vote. Let`s listen for a second. DENT: -- Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, and the many other members who participated in the discussions, I believe these conversations have laid a strong foundation that we can build on to arrive at agreements amid the major issues that need to be addressed in this country. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor for this legislation tonight, but to join with those of us who share an affirmative obligation to govern and to seek bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing our great nation. This time, I yield back. Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gentleman -- MADDOW: Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania played a key role in articulating a non-obstructionist, nonmilitant Republican position here on this matter, one of the few Republicans in Congress who did this. Right now, this bill is on the House floor. They have sort of leapfrogged over the Rules Committee to get it on the floor and they`re proceeding to debate right now, before voting on a matter that the Senate has already passed. If it passes the House, it goes to the president and the shutdown is done. Stay with us live here on MSNBC. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (MUSIC) MADDOW: We have breaking news for you tonight. It has nothing to do with the shutdown. We have a result for you in the special election to choose the nation`s newest United States senator, the new U.S. senator for the great state of New Jersey. Senator Frank Lautenberg held that seat and he passed away in June. Tonight`s race for that now open seat in New Jersey has just been called by "The Associated Press". With 58 percent of precincts reporting, "The Associated Press" has declared that Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is the winner of this U.S. Senate seat, with 58 percent of the vote at this point. Welcome to Washington, Senator Cory Booker. Fun times await you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey that this body has been put through. But far more importantly, the American people have been put through. It`s one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen in the years that I spent here in the Senate. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was John McCain on the Senate floor earlier today. His friend, Senator Lindsey Graham, told reporters today, quote, "We really did go too far. We screwed up." He said this has been a, quote, "very bad two weeks for the Republican Party and for conservatism." The lead editorial on the uber conservative "Wall Street Journal" editorial page today was sub-titled, "It`s time to wrap up this comedy of political errors." Quote, "This is the quality of thinking or lack thereof that has afflicted many GOP conservatives from the beginning of this budget showdown. They picked a goal they couldn`t achieve in trying to defund Obamacare from one House of Congress, and then picked a means they couldn`t sustain politically, by pursuing a long government shutdown and threatening to blow through the debt limit. Republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with and moving on to fight more intelligently another day." "The Journal" also today quotes Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, describing the impact of his conservative brethren in the House, describing it with some finality. Congressman Nunes says, quote, "This is it. The Star Wars convention ends today." And that is just the Republican side talking about themselves right now. But the total collapse of the Republican Party`s effort here to try to end Obamacare, to try to get their way on policy by threatening and then causing a government shutdown, and then by coming right up to the brink of hitting the debt ceiling. The failure to achieve anything by that strategy, other than harm to the economy, and to their own standing with the American people, that failure does not mean that everybody on the right thinks what they just did was a bad idea. The conservative group the Club for Growth, which likes to run even more right wing challengers against Republicans in the incumbent in the primary system, they said today that Republicans should still vote against the deal. They said they would hold it against them if Republicans voted yes. Same goes for the Jim DeMint group, Heritage Action. Same goes for the Tea Party Patriots group. Same goes for the group FreedomWorks, which used to be kind of a big deal in the circles, but seems to be petering out of it now. The Pew Research Center today put out a new poll showing that the American public`s view of the Tea Party has never been more negative. That said, look at the title on the poll as they put it out, about the overall plunging of popularity with the Tea Party, basically saying nobody identifies with the Tea Party anymore, America is starting to hate them more and more. But that said, the last few people who remain in the Tea Party, well, Ted Cruz` popularity is soaring among them. Senator Ted Cruz today decided to make his latest remarks to the press at the same time that the Republican leader in the Senate was on the Senate floor announcing the deal to reopen the government. While Mitch McConnell was announcing the deal on the Senate floor, Senator Cruz convened reporters outside the chamber to talk about what he wanted to talk about. Senator Cruz, of course, has been whipping Republicans in the House about how they can never give up, the must stand strong, they should never give in, and the fight was never over. But as far as he`s concerned, he explained to reporters today, the fight is over. Senator Cruz announced he wouldn`t take any extraordinary measures to block the deal in the Senate. So, in other words, he said this hill really was worth dying on for House Republicans, but he doesn`t plan to die on this hill himself. Nobody in American politics wanted a shutdown, except for the right. Nobody in American politics thought a debt ceiling standoff was a good idea, except for the right. Nobody thought maybe a debt ceiling crash might even a good thing, except for a very narrow sliver of the right. The rest of the country is breathing a sigh of relief tonight as this seems to be getting sorted out. The rest of the country is very grateful that the right lost. In whatever it was they were trying to do here. But if the right itself does not think that they lost, if their takeaway here is that we should have just blown through the debt ceiling, the only thing we did wrong is that we didn`t stick to it, if that`s what they think, and they`re the ones who caused this in the first place, then what happens when Republicans come back to Congress? Is this all going to happen again? Joining us now is former Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette. He`s Republican congressman who represented parts of Ohio. Congressman LaTourette, it`s great for you to be here tonight. Thanks for your time. FORMER REP. STEVE LATOURETTE (R), OHIO: Nice to see you. MADDOW: So, we have seen a lot of very interesting conflict within the Republican Party over this shutdown resolution. How do the dynamics inside the party change now that we have had this resolution? LATOURETTE: Well, they don`t. The civil war that is going on, and I hope we can sort it out by the 2014 elections. This group that led us on the Bataan death march to nowhere believes that we continue to lose elections because we are not conservative enough, and so, the evangelical and very conservative voters stay home. If they turned out, Mitt Romney would be president, we wouldn`t have Obamacare, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I, and people like Charlie Dent, Devin Nunes, whom you`ve already heard from this evening, believe that in order to win a national election, it would be nice if we had women, Hispanics, African-Americans, gay Americans, Asian Americans and people in labor actually thought about voting for Republicans. That`s the dynamic that we are going through today. And this bunch -- I mean, they just had no plan. And that was evident. I think John Boehner deserves a lot of credit for trying to show them six ways to Sunday that this was not a strategy that was going to work. He tried to save them from themselves, yesterday, coming up not only plan B, but plan C. But these people are willing to shoot the hostage. And -- and, not negotiate. And then a bunch will vote no tonight, and go home, Rachel. This is the thing that kills me. They`re going to go home and say -- well, it is a RINOs and the squishes, joined with the Democrats, reopened the government and did this thing, but we stood up to Barack Obama. That`s crap. And they should be ashamed for the way they`ve conducted this thing. MADDOW: When the Republicans do face this again, because as you say those dynamics are still going to be there, that civil war is going to be being fought. Do you think tactically, strategically, that Speaker Boehner and the other Republicans in the House or other leaders in the party have figured out any new ways to deal with this so it doesn`t get so dangerous again? LATOURETTE: No. I mean, this is not a great deal. Let me say that. All they have done is we are going to be talking in January and February, because what they did was, what they always do in Washington we can`t solve a problem, we appoint a blue ribbon committee. MADDOW: Right. LATOURETTE: And we had the super committee that couldn`t come up with $1.3 trillion in savings over three years. And that`s how we got the Budget Control Act that led to this problem now. Well, now, we have a bigger committee. I think there`s 22 senators are going to be on this thing. If you think something will be hashed out in January, February, by December 13th. I will sell you some property I have in Ohio. MADDOW: Members of Congress like Charlie Dent, members of Congress who believe, like you did, who have this kind of criticisms that Devin Nunes` voices, is there any new support that`s going to emerge for them, from Republicans who have views like that out of this process. LATOURETTE: Well, yes. I mean, my, my part time job is being the president of the main street partnership, a group that was started by moderate Republicans 15 years ago. And we are getting a lot of phone calls from people who are Republican donors saying, what are you, crazy? Said what happened to my party. I can remember when I ran the first time. I would knock on doors. Older people would come and say, Democratic Party left me, I didn`t leave them. And they don`t know what the hell they are talking about. Tonight, I know what the hell they`re talking about. MADDOW: Former Congressman Steve LaTourette, Republican of Ohio -- thank you very much for being with us tonight. It`s good to have you here, sir. LATOURETTE: Thank you. MADDOW: We should say, Mr. LaTourette is with Main Street Partnership, as I said. He`s also president of the McDonalds Hopkins lobbying firm. All right. We got a live report on just what`s happening in the House right now from one and only John Stanton right now. The House has not yet voted. But they`re getting close. Stay with us. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), DEMOCRATIC LEADER: That is a luxury this country cannot afford. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is under way. You`re looking at live pictures right now on the floor of the House of Representatives. We are expecting a vote imminently on the House floor on the bill to end the 16-day long government shutdown and raise the nation`s debt ceiling in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic national default that the Treasury said could start as early as tomorrow. The bill to do both of those things passed the Senate a little more than an hour ago. It is now in the House. We are all in John Boehner`s hand right now. Lord, give us strength. Joining us now is John Stanton. He`s Washington bureau chief for "BuzzFeed". John, thanks for being with us tonight. JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: It`s good to see you. MADDOW: John, my ulcer is back. Is there a reason to worry that this vote is not going to happen? STANTON: No, no, no. This vote -- this vote will be fine. And they`ll go -- they should actually have a fair number of Republicans that vote with Democrats to extend the debt limit and reopen government until early next year. So, this should go fine. MADDOW: What are you expecting in terms of numbers, in terms of the cushion from the Republican votes? STANTON: Well, it depends frankly. You know, some of the conservatives like, Mulvaney, said that they think that a majority of Republicans will end up voting with Democrats on this. I`m not so sure that I believe that. But I think, potentially, a healthy number, anywhere 80 or more could potentially end up voting with all of the Democrats or most of the Democrats to reopen the government and avoid a debt default. MADDOW: What`s the mood among the House Republican caucus now if we can describe there being one. Obviously, there are different factions that have different feelings. If you could give them an overall mode, where would you say they`re at? STANTON: Well, there isn`t one, frankly. I think for most Republicans they feel very beat up and bruised. They feel like they got put through a ringer. A lot of them are blaming Ted Cruz right now and feel like they got sort of pulled down the rabbit hole, that they didn`t see coming. Although there are a number that really think they won, frankly. The folks like, Representative Huelskamp and others, sort of very ideologically based conservatives, feel like this is a win for them that they were able to demonstrate to the public that they were going to fight the president tooth and nail. They think that they can use this to transition into the broader movement for the next shutdown that will happen in January. So, you know, there is sort of the split as always. MADDOW: Is their view that the polling that says that the country is disgusted with them and that this tactic of theirs has been essentially unpatriotic and bad for the country and self serving. Is it their view that the polls are just skewed or that they`re true but they don`t care? STANTON: No, yes, most of the ones that don`t -- that don`t, that you are talking about most you are talking about here they don`t care about the polls. They believe what they`re doing is morally right. They have, you know all of the conviction of a person that is, you know, feels they`re righteous. And they belief that, you know, what they`re doing will ultimately be better for the country than going along with, with the White House and moderate Republicans. And so, for them, they`re very comfortable with that. MADDOW: John Stanton, Washington bureau chief of BuzzFeed, and a late night in the Capitol -- John, thanks for being with us. Good to have you here. STANTON: Of course. MADDOW: That does it for us right now. But this is ongoing. What you are watching now the vote in the House to end the government shutdown and avert the debt ceiling crisis that the Treasury Department says would hit tomorrow. We are done to the skin of our teeth, as a nation, as this vote comes in right now in the House of Representatives. That does it for us tonight, but we will see you live at midnight for the latest from Washington. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END