9:30 a.m. E.T.
A “Morning Joe” conversation with the Minnesota Senator:
MARK HALPERIN: There’s been a lot of focus on Speaker Boehner and his role here and where his head is at. Talk about your colleague, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate. Where do you think his head is at, in terms of trying to work on a compromise?
AMY KLOBUCHAR: Well, I’m not in his head right now but I do know that he is able to get deals done. And you look at the last year in the Senate — was a little bit of an unsung story — but the Senate was able to move through the Farm Bill with 80 votes, the FAA Reauthorization, the Transportation Bill with Barbara Boxer and Inhofe working together, the Payroll Tax Extension, Violence Against Women Act, Patent Reform Bill. Some of them are sitting in the House. Some of them were pushed through the House. But the Senate got things done and that showed a willingness on Mitch McConnell’s part, with some of his members, to get things done. So he knows how to get votes. So, hopefully, he will realize, as we go forward, that our country depends on this. And you saw the clear message from the voters. Yes, the balance of power didn’t change. Everyone knows that. We’re all still going to have to work together. But there clearly was a message that for some people that weren’t willing to compromise, they lost their elections. And, hopefully, that’s going to get through.
JOHN HEILEMANN: Just to stay with that, in the Senate, you’ve got a core, putting aside Mitch McConnell, you’ve got a bunch of Republicans who are — I wouldn’t say they’re moderates — but they’re conservatives of the Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Rob Portman school, who clearly take questions like deficit reduction really seriously. Does it seem to you like there’s a sweet spot, where the White House, working with Democrats in the Senate and that collection of Republican, again, not moderates, but kind of mainstream conservatives, can just pretty easily put together, on the Senate side, some kind of approach to the grand bargain that would put us in the right place?
AMY KLOBUCHAR: Well, that was a group, when I went through those bills, it was between 62 and about 75 Senators that voted for them. So, you had at least half the Republicans with Democrats. We’re going to need that. Now, you also might lose some Democrats on a budget deal. So it’s every important that those Republicans work with us to get this done.
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