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Robert Reich: Democrats Can No Longer Compromise with “Authoritarian” Republicans

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Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich says President Biden must “push back as hard as he can” if Republicans take control of even one chamber in Congress following Tuesday’s midterm elections. He says the administration needs to be clear there is no compromise on the debt ceiling, which he expects a Republican-controlled Congress would challenge, potentially triggering a repeat of the political crisis in 2011 under former President Obama.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Also on Democracy Now!’s election night special, Juan and I spoke to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich about the next steps for President Biden if the Republicans do take control of the House.

ROBERT REICH: There are some who say that the Democrats need to compromise more with Republicans. Well, you know, the days of compromising have to be over. There’s no compromising with authoritarianism or protofascism. There’s no halfway point between democracy and the authoritarianism we are seeing with the Republican Party now, which is becoming the party of authoritarianism. I don’t think the Democrats should attempt to compromise.

And I think the Democrats have got to stand for labor, jobs, working people. The abandonment of the working class by the Democratic Party, to a large extent over the past 40 years, has been a huge problem, not only for the Democratic Party but for the country as a whole.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Robert Reich, if, as seems likely, although we don’t know for sure, that the Democrats lose control of the House, possibly even the Senate, what do you envision that President Biden should do in the next two years to be dealing with opposition control of the Congress?

ROBERT REICH: Well, his veto pen is going to be very, very active. I think he’s going to be — if the Republicans take control over Congress, or even if they take control over one house of Congress, he’s got to be very careful to push back as hard as he possibly can.

What I expect, the first thing we are likely to get if Republicans control the House is an attempt to use the raising of the debt ceiling as a way of forcing the administration’s hand to do a lot of things that the Republican Party would like to do for its patrons in corporate America and in the moneyed interest class, such as reducing taxes further, such as providing even more rollbacks of regulations. And I think that what the administration has got to be very clear about is that there is going to be no compromising on the debt ceiling. We’re not going to have a repeat of 2011. We’re not going to allow the Republicans to use that debt ceiling fight as a way of gaining leverage, when they know they’re not going to have the ability to override a veto.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich speaking on our Democracy Now!’s midterm election night special Tuesday night early in the evening, before we had many results back.

When we come back, we’re going to Aimee Allison, president and founder of She the People. Among the wins we’re going to talk about with her are Summer Lee in Pennsylvania, a Democratic Socialist, who took on not only the Republicans but the Democratic establishment. Stay with us.

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