By Jill Colvin 11/23 3:32pm
Congressman Charlie Rangel on NY1. (Screengrab: NY1)
Congressman Charlie Rangel has a solution for bypassing gridlock in Washington D.C.: executive orders for “everything.”
In an interview last night with NY1, the congressman praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to push through the so-called “nuclear option” to end filibusters on most presidential nominees. But he lamented the fact the work-around could not be used for legislation, suggesting the president turn to the executive orders–like the kind used to end the deportation many people who’d entered the country illegally as children.
“You know, the DREAM Act for the kids that came over here and didn’t know their home town, the president did that by executive order. What I did is I’ve taken out the language that he used and I’m gonna see why we can’t use executive orders for everything. What’s he gonna do? Make the Republicans angry? They’re gonna get annoyed? They’re not gonna cooperate?”
He went on to slam the Republican Party for refusing to cooperate–accusing them of acting against the interests of their own constituents.
“A police officer once told me when I was a kid that the worst criminal to deal with is one that doesn’t mind dying,” he said. “And if you take a look at what these Tea Party people have done–recognizing that there’s more sick and poor white folks then there is–but they still are resisting everything that the president wants to do so they can destroy the people in their district in terms of education and jobs, the Congress, the Republican name. And when we had the debt ceiling crisis, they were really prepared to let the United States of America fiscal policy to go in the tubes. How can you talk with people like this?”
He also defended the Affordable Care Act, arguing that far too much attention has been paid to the disastrous roll-out.
“They’re concentrating on the small misjudgments that have been made and nobody’s speaking for the 40 and 50 million people that have dreamed and hoped and prayed for that they could be included and insured. Not having insurance not only destroys your life, it destroys your fiscal life. It breaks up marriages. You cannot functions anywhere unless you have good health,” he argued, agreeing the president never should have apologized.
“I’d forget the apology,” he said. “The president should have said, ‘There’ll be a little quirks here, but we’ll take care of the quirks.’”