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Rep. Marsha Blackburn Takes On MSNBC Election Panel On GOP Spending

Republican Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn assumed the challenge of facing the entire MSNBC election night team last night to celebrate the Republican victory and take a couple of hardball questions from Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow. While the conversation got heated when Rep. Blackburn refused to define military spending as “discretionary,” she held her own on her promise to cut the federal budget.

“I’ve got to ask you a hardball question,” Matthews opened the segment with, asking Rep. Blackburn what the Republican majority’s priority would be in the House now that they had the requisite number of votes to undo some of the Democrats’ policies. Blackburn answered that extending the Bush tax cuts would be first, followed by a review of the health care bill passed under the Democratic Congress. Matthews, wondering how extending tax cuts would decrease the budget, asked, “what will you get rid off in the government to pay for the tax cuts?”

After several answers of “federal spending,” Matthews (and, later, Maddow) pressed Blackburn to define that spending. She refused to specify what she would cut, other than answering that she did not consider defense spending discretionary, and thus would not limit it. As for social security and Medicare, which Matthews inquired about, Blackburn insisted that the party would come to a decision after an “adult conversation,” to which Matthews scoffed, “yeah, right.”

The full conversation from last night’s coverage of the elections on MSNBC below:

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