Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) spoke on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Wednesday night about what he characterized as an unacceptable Republican prioritization of the fiscal interests of the wealthiest Americans over the unemployed.
Earlier in the week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell penned a letter, signed by all 42 GOP Senators, to Harry Reid explaining that they intend to block all Democratic legislation, including an extension of only middle class tax cuts or an extension of unemployment benefits, until they had secured an extension of all current tax rates -- including cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.
Here's what Harkin said:
"Have the Republicans lost all sense of fairness? Have they lost all sense of justice? Have they lost all sense of what's right and wrong? I mean, there ought to be moral outrage at the policies that permit million-dollar bonuses to these money manipulators on Wall Street, and yet they're telling the unemployed to get into the soup line for Christmas. We ought to be outraged at this -- at what the Republicans are doing to the unemployed in this country. And we ought to let the American people know just what the Mitch McConnell and the Republican leaders are doing here in the Senate."
Harkin then pointed to a recent USA Today article that outlined the return of lavish personal spending on Wall Street.
"What I want the president to do is say, look, we're going to stay here til Christmas Eve. We'll stay here on Christmas Day if we have to to make sure that the people who are hurting the most in this country, the people who are out of work, through no fault of their own, Ed, through no fault of their own, and they're losing their unemployment benefits at this crucial time of the year," Harkin continued. "We're gonna stay here until we get the job done and we're not gonna cave in and make sure that the top two-percent get their tax breaks so they can keep going to Tiffany's and Saks Fifth Avenue."