On a special edition of All In with Chris Hayes on Monday, January 13, MSNBC host Hayes and NBC's Maria Shriver devoted the hour to a discussion of poverty in America, 50 years after President Johnson announced the "War on Poverty."
At one point, the two gave New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand an unchallenged forum to push for paid family medical leave, without any concerns about the cost to businesses, as Gillibrand fretted that the federally mandated Family and Medical Leave Act does not go far enough since employees are often unable to go without income while taking leave.
After Gillibrand gave a left-wing wish list of items the federal government should do, Shriver sympathetically responded: "Senator, all those things that you just outlined, all are needed. In our poll, respondents said that the thing that would make the most difference to them was getting paid leave. Where do you see the most movement of all those things you just talked about?"
After Gillibrand gave another pitch for "paid leave," Shriver followed up: "Right, Americans say they know, but they say that Washington doesn't know, and they can't get the law passed. So tell them why you know and how you're going to fix it?"
Hayes soon fretted about losing liberal policies that are already in place:
Senator, before there's even a space politically for a proactive agenda like the one you outlined, it seems to me that a lot of people in Washington are forced to fight these rear guard actions against a lot of whittling away of stuff we have and we know that works.
There's $40 billion in food stamp cuts that are slated on the House side. There's unemployment extension that we have not seen. We've seen Medicaid expansion being blocked in the states. I mean, how do you think about the kind of first do-no-arm job of legislators in Washington on that score?