6:50 a.m. E.T.
From “Morning Joe”:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: It’s really dangerous for a democracy when you have two bodies, and, actually, one run by a Democrat, the other run by a Republican, who operate with a handful of people running the entire show, where 90 percent, 95 percent, of the Representatives and the Senators don’t have a say in the big deals because the staffs of a couple of leaders go into the back rooms, they go behind closed doors, they emerge with a deal, and then tell the members, “You have to vote up or down on this. This isn’t going to committee. There are no amendments. We’re not going to give you time to read these bills.” And, oh, yeah, by the way, they involve billions and billions of dollars.
MARK HALPERIN: You’re going to remember whose line it is. A Democratic Speaker of the House says to his colleagues, “The Republicans are the opposition but the Senate is the enemy.” The gap between the two chambers is pretty big. What’s exciting to me, now, and interesting to me is public opinion may start to matter. The President, we’ve talked about, starting this new organization, Organizing for Action, to try to get public opinion to influence what goes on in Capitol Hill, to take an outside game and actually influence an inside game. What Speaker Boehner is doing with this proposal on pay, overwhelming, I bet you, the American people support the notion they shouldn’t get paid if they can’t do their job. The question is will the Senate, will Harry Reid, will Mitch McConnell, will they actually feel, either based on the efforts of the House or what the President does, will they actually feel like, “Hey, we need to listen to what the country wants.” There’s still populism out there, particularly with the economy bad and people feeling like Washington needs to get its act together.
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