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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Shutdown: Less Than Six Hours Away; Official: Obama Has Talked To Boehner, Pelosi; Markets Drop Ahead Of Shutdown; GOP House Revolt Failed; Exposed Terror Plot Leaves U.S. Scrambling; Fiery Jet Crash Kills at Least Two; Interview with Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah; Veterans Outraged Over Possible Shutdown
Aired September 30, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news, this hour the House of Representatives will take a vote that could shut down the U.S. government. Right now though, moderate Republicans in the House are staging what's being dubbed a revolt against their own party. Politics doesn't get any better or worse than this.
It's a last ditch effort to save the government, but what happens if that fails? Less than five hours from now, the U.S. government could officially shut down. It would be the first time since 1995.
Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill. So Dana, let's just start with this development just happening at this moment. Moderate Republicans, quote/unquote, "staging a revolt," what exactly are they trying to do?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the next series of votes that we're going to see on the House floor, what moderate Republicans are hoping to do is to stop procedurally Republicans from going ahead with this plan that they have to fund the government, but yet with another few ideas to chip away at Obamacare that Senate Democrats say they'll reject ideas, like delaying the individual mandate for a year and also taking away federal subsidies for lawmakers and their staff and other in the federal government that they get to help pay for their own health care premiums.
What they're hoping to do is get enough Republicans to defeat this procedurally. Now in terms of just raw numbers, we're talking about maybe 17 Republicans would have to agree to vote no and that could make this whole Republican plan crumble. I talked to Peter King of New York, who is one of the people who is trying to get the votes to wage this revolt. And here's how he explained why he's doing this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Basically what you and some of your colleagues are saying is enough already.
REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Yes. First of all, this was a doomed process from the start. The only reason I sign on to it at all over the last week or so was because I was told that this is a way to get the process going to prevent the government from shutting down. It's obvious now there is no end in sight. This is going to go on.
We have people in the conference I believe who are just as happy to have the government shut down. They live in these narrow eco-chambers and they listen to their Tea Party friends, forgetting that the rest of the country thinks that we're crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: So the goal of these moderate Republicans is to say that they simple want to finally do Democrats have been pleading with them to do, which is to pass a bill, funding the government for six weeks with no strings attached, avert a government and move on. One little piece of color, Erin, Peter King is on the House floor right now, of course, beginning this series of votes.
And our Deirdre Walsh is up in the gallery, saw the House speaker walk over to him and talk to him about this move that they're making. So they're hoping that this revolt isn't successful and by they I mean the Republican leaders as we speak during this first vote right on the House floor.
BURNETT: Ironic because, of course, the revolt as you're calling it seems to be exactly what John Boehner himself supported a few months ago. But so let me just ask you, Dana, because I know they're getting ready to vote and this obviously could be so significant. First of all, just to make sure it's clear to everybody, just funding the government in full with no strings attached for another six weeks doesn't do anything, but put this off for another six weeks, but if this is successful, would it mean no shutdown tonight at midnight?
BASH: No, it would just mean that the Republican leaders are back to square one. That the hope of people like Peter King and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who is also working hard on this is that this would make it impossible for Republicans to pass anything except a bill to fund the government with nothing attached, but they would have to do it with almost the entire Democratic caucus supporting it.
It would have to be a true bipartisan vote, but we would really be back to square one and House Republican leaders would have to sort of scramble to figure out how they would deal with this. I should also tell you that even though 17 Republicans out of 233, I believe, doesn't sound like a lot.
They are having a lot of trouble getting enough people to vote no and make a stand as Peter King said to me, enough already. We're ready to move on and stop this march toward the government shutdown.
BURNETT: All right, we're going to get back to Dana in a second as we get the results of that vote. And of course, there's another vote later this hour, which is a crucial vote from the House of Representatives. Of course, the president spoke today, has refused to negotiate so far with Republicans. That's our second story here.
And I want to bring in Jim Acosta on that. Jim, you're hearing Dana talk a little bit about, you know, this Republican revolt, which you know, I don't want to overplay, but obviously this is really significant. What's the view from the White House?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we'll have to see. One thing you are seeing right now, Erin, and I can report to you that President Obama is starting to reach out to congressional leaders. Just got this confirmed in the last few seconds that this evening according to a White House official the president placed separate phone calls to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner and the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
So the president is starting to engage with members of Congress. You heard him saying earlier today that basically this is not going to go anywhere unless House Republicans pass what came out of the Senate and of course, the House has decided not do that or perhaps it's a now wait and see kind of situation to be continued.
But, you know, Erin, just to give you a sense of how really locked in this White House is to its position right now that it's not going to look at anything that delays or defunds Obamacare. The president earlier this afternoon met with his cabinet said they need to start preparing for a government shutdown, start looking at things they can do to prepare for a government shutdown.
And you heard the president earlier this afternoon say that Obamacare is here to stay. That he is willing to look at ways to change the law, but outside of this government shutdown and outside of this debt default, he also started to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Republicans for what he described as people being hurt by a government shutdown. He talked about women, children, veterans, senior citizens and other indication of the president has dug in.
And listen to what the president told NPR earlier this evening about the prospect of a government shutdown. I'm going to read it to you, Erin, because it's very interesting. He said to NPR, I shouldn't have to offer anything. He said what are you offering?
The president said I shouldn't have to offer anything. They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they've already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government. That's not doing me a favor, Erin. That sounds like if the government shuts down tonight. The president's not moving. We could be here for a while.
BURNETT: Jim, let me just ask you. I know, Dana had to step away from the camera because we are waiting that -- the breaking on that first vote that could come out of the Republicans who are revolting against the other Republicans.
But let me ask you, because you just had that breaking news and this is significant, right? The president had an opportunity to meet with leadership and chose not to before. So the fact that he's just made these phone calls that you reported on to John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, how significant is that? I mean, is there a chance of a deal tonight because it's sort of become (inaudible) there is no deal, but do you think that is prejudging? ACOSTA: I don't know. You have to be optimistic in Washington or you'll get too depressed, Erin. The Redskins won yesterday. What else can I say? They're not 0-4. But no, I think that the president has not spoken to House Speaker John Boehner for over a week. So the fact that he reached out by telephone to the speaker indicates that perhaps some discussions are going on that they're not really reading out to the press.
That they are not telling the press about and it could bear some fruit later on tonight. There was some talk earlier today of a short term one week continuing resolution that would keep the government open. Harry Reid basically said no way, that's not going to happen. But when we asked Jay Carney, the press secretary at the White House about this earlier today, he did not knock that down.
So was that one of the scenarios that was once dead earlier this afternoon and now it's back a lot. We just don't know, but it is an indication that the president is starting to engage with congressional leaders. Something he wasn't really willing to do in the last several days because in the view of this White House. This is up to Congress to solve. The president can't pass legislation. He can only sign it.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much to Jim Acosta. We are going to be getting back to Jim and Dana, of course, as this first breaking news happens with the vote, the Republican revolt in the House and then of course, later this hour the other crucial vote from the House on the Senate bill, which could mean on that vote depending how it goes that the shutdown is assured.
At this time though, I want to bring in Jim Bianco for our third story, OUTFRONT, on the markets and the economy because, you know, people have thrown around all these huge words about the significance here of cataclysm, Armageddon, you've heard it. The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped more than 128 points today.
You look at the past couple of weeks. You've seen significant drops all in. But what's the real impact? And Jim is with me now of Bianco Research. Jim, so I guess the first question is, despite today's slide, you know, you've got to take a bigger picture here. You know, just even with what Jim Acosta and Dana are just saying, right?
Fund it for six weeks, fund it for one week. I mean, we're going to be back at ground zero very quickly and the markets have gotten used to that because despite the plunge we've seen over the past couple of weeks, you look at the year, markets up 15 to 25 percent, a pretty huge jump. Will that change?
JIM BIANCO, PRESIDENT, BIANCO RESEARCH: I don't think it will change. I think the markets have been through this before, most recently during the fiscal cliff and "The Sequester." They know how this story works. That they go down. Washington all of a sudden throws a deal together and they rally. I think it's also telling, Erin, if you look at what happened in other markets other than the stock market, the bond market, the gold market or the U.S. dollar, it was a quiet day, not much going on in any of those markets. BURNETT: Which is fascinating because in a sense they have become immune, I mean, these issues are hugely significant, but when you get used to it coming to the umpteenth hour and then getting solved, you get complacent in the sense. I mean, I don't know if you heard today the president was talking about why this is such a big deal.
But he said tomorrow a lot of things that matter, Social Security, Medicare, military paychecks, the mail, all of that is going to go on as usual. That will not change tomorrow with the shutdown. So how long until you think the shutdown would hurt this country? You know, thinking about the last time this happened in 1995. It was what, I don't know, 17, 21 days.
BIANCO: Yes, you know, first of all, as far as government shut downs go, we have those regularly. It's called snowstorms in Washington in January. You know, one, two-day shutdown is no big deal. There's not going to be much of a fallout. Once you get seven to 10 days into the end of next week then you begin to start talking about damage to the economy.
But if they cut a deal later this week or even towards Friday, I think that the all in effect on the economy is negligible. That's what the markets are essentially trying to tell us. Yes, the markets were down 100 points today, but they've done that a lot, but it's a still only 2 percent off its all-time high.
So the markets are kind of looking past this. Get us to next week without a shut down or with a continued shut down, and then we might have a story to talk about damage to the economy.
BURNETT: Right. Obviously every day it becomes more cumulative. Jim Bianco, thank you very much. Important the perspective though to let you know why the next few days might be OK, but don't get lulled into complacency because then it becomes some much more significant effect.
We are just moments away, as I told you, that vote happening right, the House vote of the Republicans revolting against other Republicans trying to keep the government running. Our Dana Bash is going to have the results of that vote. As you can see we're watching that. We also have the other breaking news vote this hour, all these votes happening in the next 45 minutes.
Plus last month, Americans thwarted the single biggest terrorist attack since 9/11. Why are they now scrambling to keep up with al Qaeda, which has gone ominously silent on U.S. intelligence channels?
And we have new information from last night's deadly plane crash. One woman said she saw it coming can.
And dramatic footage, a confrontation caught on tape, an SUV driver took on a group of motorcyclists right here in the United States. We're going to show you the entire video later on this hour. We'll be back with the breaking news.
BURNETT: Right now, we are back with breaking news.
You are, of course, looking at the House floor, and we can report that the revolt vote that we were just saying had suddenly happened at the top of the hour, driven by the likes of Peter King, Republican against Republican, to keep the government open. That revolt vote has just failed with some Republicans trying to stage a showdown against members of their own party because they think that a shut down will end up hurting the Republican Party.
Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill. And Dana I know you runaway from the camera to try to get the headlines here. But that vote looks like it failed.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And what this means in practical terms, Erin, is that this country, this government is headed for a shutdown at midnight. What this was, was sort of a last ditch effort by some Republicans who think that they've -- enough is enough. That they've made their point and voting once to defund Obamacare, once to delay it for a year, failing both of those times, that it's time at this late hour to simply fund the government with no strings attached, passed a bill that the president would sign.
But I told you it seemed like a lot. They only needed 17 Republicans to agree with them. They only got six. The rest did vote with their party on the plan that just passed procedurally that we're going to see the actual vote on soon, and at that plan would be to fund the government but to delay the individual mandate of Obamacare for a year and something that hits everybody here very close to home, to take away federal subsidies for premiums, health care premiums, for members and their staff and for some in the executive branch.
So, that is basically what is going to roll forward right now. It looks like a train that's not going to stop. The House is going to have a couple more votes to formalize that. And it's going to go back over to the Senate.
And as we have heard from the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and others so many times before, we saw earlier today, they feel confident that they have the votes to reject that. And then we're in limbo. And then we are -- you know, we're probably going to be very close to the clock striking midnight.
And my Republican sources who I've talked to here in the House side say that they simply don't at this point see the House relenting -- at least not tonight -- to finally, even after all those machinations agreeing to pass the bill funding the government with nothing at all even derailing Obamacare a little bit on it.
BURNETT: All right. Dana Bash, thank you very much, explaining exactly the significance of that vote with -- as we said, Peter King had led that revolt against the Republicans to try to fund the government. It failed. Pretty incredible when you look at those numbers, though, that that they only needed 17 Republican votes in the House to get that revolt to succeed and they only got six.
Now, later on this hour, we have the other crucial vote in the House, which we are counting down to. And as Dana said, the failure of the revolt, significant, but that other vote could be really what puts the nail in the coffin of a shut down. That's going to be coming up in just the next few minutes. Of course, we're going to be going to that live.
In the meantime, though, a major al Qaeda development tonight. And that's our fourth story, OUTFRONT. Al Qaeda gone quiet.
When U.S. intelligence intercepted messages last month between al Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the head of Yemen's al Qaeda, it was seen as a major break in thwarting an imminent terrorist attack. Officials have said they stopped the biggest single plot since 9/11 and back against American interests.
But now, there are major the consequences as al Qaeda is leaving U.S. intelligence scrambling.
Our Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is OUTFRONT.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. intelligence officials are still dealing with the fall out over a leaked terrorist plot and how it was unveiled.
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Anybody who's an al Qaeda who's looking at these stories knows that the particular method that they were using to communicate has been compromised.
LAWRENCE: The U.S. shut down American embassies and consulates around the world last month because of a potentially imminent terrorist attack. News reports reveal the source of the concern -- an intercepted communication between two of al Qaeda's top leaders.
BERGEN: Clearly, there was some ability for al Qaeda central in Pakistan to reach out to al Qaeda in Yemen and have some meaningful discussion.
LAWRENCE: Al Qaeda's so-called conference call wasn't done over the phone. The group used a secure Internet messaging system, with various encrypted accounts providing multiple points of entry. Analysts say couriers of top leaders likely uploaded messages to these accounts.
But since the very public revelation that the U.S. was able to intercept those messages, intelligence officials have seen a drop in how much al Qaeda uses the system. A U.S. official says it's a problem anytime you call attention to a specific channel. "We have to chase these guys when they go to different channels, and our hope is they don't go to others that are inaccessible to us."
But the U.S. expected to see al Qaeda react when they realize communication had been compromised.
JIM LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: They know there's a breach somewhere. They've got to find it. They've got to close it down.
LAWRENCE: Cyber expert Jim Lewis says it's not easy for the U.S. to access these systems. It can take a combination of surveillance, hacking and human agents.
LEWIS: Once you acquire them, you want to milk them for all they're worth. And when they switch, it can take months to rebuild that level of access.
BURNETT: Now, Chris, did this leak do as much damage as the revelations by -- of Edward Snowden? I guess that's the big question.
LAWRENCE: Erin, I just talked to a U.S. official who says if there in is, it's apples and oranges. He said Snowden caused long-term sustained damage. He said this leak was sort of a moment in time.
He said look, we haven't even given up on that channel yet. He said sometimes, al Qaeda get spooked. They go away from a channel. Then they come back to it.
He said sometimes things happen in the world that force them back to channels that the U.S. has better access to. He said they probably won't know for about six months whether al Qaeda has truly lost complete confidence in that channel.
In other words, it's a little too soon to make that call.
BURNETT: All right. Chris Lawrence, thank you very much, reporting there as we said on the Pentagon.
OUTFRONT next, more of our continuing news on the government shut down, but it's now just hours away. And after a crucial Republican revolt vote just failed, more likely than ever, another vote coming up in about 15 minutes, as we countdown, that could come sooner.
In the meantime, we'll have new details on the fiery, deadly plane crash in Santa Monica. Why some say they saw that crash coming and fear there will be more.
And fans say good-bye to "Breaking Bad". Well, money and power tonight -- what about the future?
BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT: New clues in a deadly the plane crash tonight.
We are learning that the chief executive of one of California's biggest companies was onboard of a small jet. It veered off the runway, crashed and burst into flames last night at the Santa Monica airport.
This is an airport, of course, used by many celebrities, the rich and famous. And that jet took off from a resort community in Idaho near Tucson Valley and home of many celebrities.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT in Santa Monica.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No emergency call, no distress alert as a fixed wing multi-engine Cessna touched down at the Santa Monica airport.
VAN MCKENNY, NTSB: It looks like he veered off the right side of the runway. And then as the veer, as he continued down, the turn got sharper and sharper.
LAH: Straight into the path of this hangar, where debris litters the runway after the power impact. Still images shot just after the shot show billowing smoke from a fire so hot it melted the steel hangar's frame. A building now so unstable, investigators have yet to reach the damaged plane.
Cranes will lift the roof so investigators can get to the fuselage. The plane belonged to Mark Benjamin, the president of Morley Builders, a multimillion dollar construction company based in Santa Monica. The company says Benjamin is believed to have been on the plane with his son Luke Benjamin, a senior project engineer with Morley Builders. They left from Idaho last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smoke ball, gigantic in the air.
LAH: The airport sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Just on the other side of the hangar where the runway ends, homes including Vicki Miceli's.
VICKI MICELI, RESIDENT: We are a couple a hundred yards away from where the plane crashed last night.
LAH: According to the NTSB, since 1982, there have been more than 30 incidents related to the Santa Monica airport.
MICELI: People worry that something really bad is going to happen. And it's going to happen. It's inevitable.
LAH: You are looking at a live image of the hangar itself. Those cranes that you're looking at have been brought in by the NTSB. What they're going to do is start to lift up the hangar itself. They need to shore up the structure in order to enter the hangar safely, in order to get to the fuselage.
Erin, the good news her for investigators is that they believe there's a cockpit voice recorder aboard that plane -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. As we said, reporting from Santa Monica.
And we continue the count down to the shutdown and the next crucial vote, which is I indicated happens this hour. Congressman Jason Chaffetz is going to be OUTFRONT to explain his vote that will essentially shut down the government. Why he thinks that vote is smart.
Plus, how veterans could be the big losers in a shut down. We have an OUTFRONT special report on that tonight.
And a dramatic confrontation caught on tape, a showdown between a SUV and a group of motorcyclists turns violent. We're going to show you the entire video so you can judge for yourself.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was at the White House today. He met with President Obama. The big topic, of course, was Iran's nuclear program. And Netanyahu was careful to praise American sanctions against Iran, but urged the president to strengthen that if Iran continues to grow its nuclear program.
Israel, of course, maintains Iran is building its program even as it talks about peace and negotiations. Netanyahu will discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions at the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow in his big speech.
Well, we've been telling you we were going to show you this. This is the video showing a clash between an SUV driver and a group of motorcyclists in New York. This video was filmed at a motorcyclist's helmet cam, OK? So, let's keep that into account as I explained it to you.
Basically, it shows the Range Rover rear-ending one of the bikers. Now, the bikers proceeded follow the SUV surrounding it, they slashed its tires. The driver then tried to escape. And at that time it appears that he ran over a motorcycle.
The bikers continued to chase the SUV and he eventually caught up, one biker attempting to open the driver's side door, as you can see blowing out the glass, attacking it. You can find this whole situation frightening, regardless of who you think is in the right or wrong, but the confrontation eventually came to an end when one of the motorcyclists used his helmet to bash out the car's window.
The tape stops here but again, it's scary no matter which side you think is right. I want to tell you, the NYPD, because it's happened in New York, says the Range Rover's driver was beaten, he had flashes to his face and injuries. He went to the hospital.
Now, here's a kicker. His wife and 2 year old child were also in that Range Rover, which gives you more perspective on what was happening.
Now, this incident is under invitation. No arrests have been made. We, of course, are working on a special report.
Well, the money and power of "Breaking Bad". Last night, the series' finale o AMC's "Breaking Bad" aired on AMC. For five seasons, the show had a rabid fan base, grew and grew. For weeks, fans have speculated on how it would end.
Now, some of you have not seen the finale yet. So, I don't want to ruin it for you. People like our friends at the Restaurant Ivy, spoiler free zone.
All right. We're going to try not to drop any spoilers into the story. All I will say is this, iut was a definitive ending.
The CEO of AMC called the final episode, quote, "exquisite", not a word often used by executives. But the fans seemed to have agreed, because a record 10.3 million people watched "Breaking Bad" last night. And those numbers helped AMC network's shares. Shares grew 2.6 percent today. And over the past year, AMC shares are up over 60 percent, which frankly, people, is pretty darn incredible for a traditional stinker of a company.
But what about the network's future? Because with last night's finale, AMC is down a show. And as we said, they can't change their mind because the ending was definitive. That's the word I'm using.
"Mad Men," which is another one of AMC's hits, is going to end in 2015, which leaves two giant holes in the network's lineup. Now, AMC has the licensing and syndication rights for "Breaking Bad", which obviously means more money, but this is what's important on the money front, everybody. The show's producer, Sony, gets all the Netflix and DVD money. So, you see the problem.
Now, AMC has plans for spin-off series called "Better Call Saul." There's no guarantee it will be the hit the first one was. I mean, it could be a "Joey."
Anyway, what will keep AMC going? "The Walking Dead," because "Breaking Bad" seems popular, right? It's nothing compared to "The Walking Dead." "Breaking Bad's" series finale drew 10.10 million. "The Walking Dead" season finale drew 12 million.
AMC is counting on "The Walking Dead" to buy it sometime to replace those other shows. And the question is, should you buy a stock that's up 60 percent over the past year, or will AMC shares break bad on your wallet? Sorry. I couldn't resist.
Speaking of breaking bad, the breaking news tonight is pretty bad. Just moments away from a crucial House vote to keep a bill that fund the government but delay the Obamacare individual mandate. It is a bad situation, no matter which side of this you are on.
Now, this vote would also include a provision that would require lawmakers and their staff to get insurance through Obamacare without government subsidies.
Now, after this happen, this crucial vote which could happen at any minute, it's going to go back to the Senate, where it is dead on arrival because obviously it's Democratically dominate, and then the government shuts down. So, the way to put this in English is, Congress could shut down the government.
OUTFRONT tonight, Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz. He is about to vote.
And, of course, Congressman, I guess, you know, your vote here is pretty clear. But go ahead and explain to me if you could -- you're going to vote on a bill that you know will not go through the Senate. So, you know that the repercussion of your vote is a government shut down. You're comfortable with that, how come?
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: No, no, come on, Erin. We are voting to keep government open. It is the third time we've voted to keep government open, except Obamacare. One time was to repeal. One time was to delay.
This one has to do with making sure members of Congress don't get some special treatment. And the second part of it is to delay the individual mandate. The president has numerously times -- taken numerous times and delayed individual parts of Obamacare. Why not what they did for business do for the individual mandates for a year? That seems like a reasonable thing to do and keep the government open.
BURNETT: All right. Now, look, I hear you on Congress shouldn't get special treatment, you know? I hear you on this. But again, it comes back to what's realistic, right? I mean, what you know can pass.
And I guess, Congressman, the question -- the way I want to put the question to you is this way -- you know, I understand you feel passionately about this issue, but why not say, you know what, here's a whole bunch of spending cuts that I can put out there, that are going to be painful for my constituents and everyone else, but this country needs to deal with, because we've got to pay the piper sometime, and put those cuts out there, instead of putting out sort of the straw horse of Obamacare, which -- you know, I know you quit the moral victory of going against it, but you know politically your view cannot pass.
Why not go for those other spending cuts?
CHAFFETZ: You know, I know the president and Democrats like to say, well, they're repercussions for an election.
But let's go back to the 2010 election. That was right after Obamacare passed, when Nancy Pelosi famously said, we have to pass this bill in order to find out what's in it. Well, the American people figured out what was in it. In 2011, we had sweeping changes in the House of Representatives.
So, we are doing -- you know, some say, well, let's go for majority rule. Well, three times, I'm anticipating that this bill will pass when we vote on it here on the next hour, that three times the House will affirmatively pass a provision that keeps government open and makes some small adjustments. I think a small adjustment in delaying the individual mandate which they've already done for businesses, let's do it for individuals as well, and make sure members of Congress don't get some special exemption. That is not a heavy lift. That should be something that Democrats should join themselves.
BURNETT: All right. Let me ask you this, because, you know, you're talking about special treatment. Are you willing to give up your pay in solidarity for those who are going to be forced to work without pay if there's a shut down?
CHAFFETZ: Well, according to the 27th Amendment of the Constitution, we can't adjust any pay of members. That's just the one in the Constitution. What we are voting for, what I'm supportive of is, getting rid of that special exception that the Congress, their staff, the White House, political appointees, get rid of that and have to deal with health care the way every American's going to have to deal with health care. That's what I'm voting in favor of.
And the Democrats who planned to vote, they're going to be saying, no, no, no. America -- members of Congress should get special treatment. I don't know how you vote for that in good conscience.
BURNETT: So, the president spoke to NPR's Steve Innskeep today in an interview. It's going to air tomorrow morning. But I have a little clip of that because Steve asked the president about ongoing conversations with House leaders. And, you know, just a few moments ago, we reported the president did pick up the phone and call John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and what those leaders could offer him.
Here's what the president said, pretty interesting take and I wanted to play it for you, Congressman.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I shouldn't have to offer anything. They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government. That's not doing me a favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, the president does have a point, Congressman, in the sense that Congress has approved things it's now refusing to pay for. I mean, you know, it's like whether my boss tells me you can't do this. And I don't like it, but I can't go every day to him and try to relitigate it.
At some point I have to say, shucks, I'm stuck. I've got to do what the ruling is. Isn't that the situation you're now in? You already approved this Obamacare.
CHAFFETZ: Well, I would point to the Congressional Budget Office that has literally hundreds of programs worth billions of dollars that have been approved that don't get funded. That's why we go through these resolutions and why we go through this funding process.
The second thing is, it will be interesting if the president takes that same position on the debt ceiling, because the debt ceiling is the law of the land. And yet the president wants us to make adjustments to that, he wants us to go back and rework all of that because it's not tenable to what he wants to do.
So, you can't have it both ways. The reason we go through the appropriations process is that we have to figure out where the priorities are and where they aren't. And we can't fund everything that's been approved. That's the reality of how we have to operate the government.
BURNETT: Right. But shouldn't you just not have approved it in the first place? But once you approve it, there is an argument about the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. I mean, the world expects us to make good on those promises. That's what makes us America.
CHAFFETZ: That's why we're voting in favor of keeping every bit of government open, and the only adjustment that we're offering here is to delay the individual mandate for one year and make sure that Congress gets no special, has no special rules. That's not a lot that we're asking for, and I think the Democrats -- I don't understand the argument on why they would shut down the entire government and have all this chaos because they wanted to make sure that Congress continued to have some sort of special exemption on Obamacare. That makes no sense.
BURNETT: Congressman, thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking time out of a busy night.
CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And, of course, that vote, as we said, coming any minute. Meantime the military effect of a government shut down. You know, the president came out today and he noted certain things would not be affected, when the government shuts down tomorrow, including Social Security, and Medicare, all, quote-unquote, "essential people", as Congressman Chaffetz was pointing out, members of Congress are going to keep getting paid.
But when it comes to the military, especially veterans, who oftentimes live paycheck to paycheck, well, they're being told they're only going to get paid in IOUs and that is a significant headline.
Our Barbara Starr investigated for OUTFRONT tonight.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 3.3 million disabled veterans, the budget mess in Washington is about to affect them in a big way.
OBAMA: Veterans who have sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed.
STARR: If the government shuts down and it stretches into late October, the Department of Veterans Affair will run out of money and that means disability and pension checks could stop for elderly and ill veterans. Advocates are outraged. TOM TARANTINO, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: That's what they need to pay rent, to pay food. It's not their total income, but it is a significant part of it. And taking that out of the mix because the government can't get its act together is really dangerous for these men and women who need it the most.
STARR: Disability payments can reach $3,000 a month. For the nation's war wounded, it can be a financial lifeline.
Tom Tarantino is an Iraq war veteran.
TARANTINO: Members of Congress, members of the administration, any politician needs to the understand that if you are holding veterans hostage for the sake of political gain or if you're trying to balance the budget on the backs of the men and women who have served and sacrificed this country, you are going to pay a political price.
STARR: For America's 1.4 million troops still on duty and their families, the prospect of a shutdown has also brought worry about delayed paychecks, even though Congress has moved to ensure men and women in uniform including those in Afghanistan are paid on time.
But Eileen Huck, a Navy wife, says there's plenty of anxiety about what may happen.
EILEEN HUCK, WIFE OF A U.S. NAVY CAPTAIN: Short term, we know that commissaries where we do a lot of our shopping will be shut down. And for those of us who get our health care or our children's health care at military facilities, it's possible that's going to be affected as well. Routine appointments are not going to be available.
STARR: Still, 400,000 civilian Defense Department personnel will be furloughed until Congress and the White House reach an agreement.
For OUTFRONT, Barbara Starr, the Pentagon.
BURNETT: All right. Ahead, we are closely watching Capitol Hill. Any moment now, it's quarter of the hour, we're going to be having that next crucial vote as you heard the Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz talk about. This vote, if it passes, essentially will shut down the government because whether it goes back to the Senate later tonight, it will be dead on arrival.
As we count down that, we have our special panel lined up. We're going to be back in just a moment as we await that vote on the House floor.
BURNETT: And breaking news right now, the House of Representatives moments away from a crucial vote. This is the vote -- the big vote, the one that will shut down the American government.
Dana Bash, John King, and John Avlon are OUTFRONT. So, Dana, let me start with you. Where do things stand right now inside the Capitol? Obviously, it's a House vote then it goes back to the Senate. But this is the vote that -- this is the vote that would do it.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And so, they're having the final debate on that vote. And what is going to be interesting is to see is if in fact the House Republicans have the vote. It looks like they do, based on sort of the procedural vote that we just saw in which the so-called moderates, and the very few of them who are left were not successful in derailing this whole process.
The open question is whether or not frankly there are some conservatives, or those on the other side of the Republican caucus who vote no because this doesn't go far enough in what they want to do. So, those are the kinds of wings, two wings of the party that John Boehner is dealing with.
But sort of big picture, assuming that it all goes planned by the House Republican leadership, yes, this all gets kicked back to the Senate and they have promised to reject it immediately. And then we are back at square one, back in limbo.
And again, I think this is important to underscore. I have not talked to any senior Republican sources who say that they think it will makes sense politically, procedurally, or any other reason, to give in effectively and pass that bill, funding the government with no strings attached by midnight, which means we'll see a government shutdown if all of that goes as we expected to.
BURNETT: So, John King, what are the American people want here? I mean, you know, this is an interesting issue, they don't want the government shut down. They also by most polls don't like Obamacare. So, when you balance it out, what do they think?
KING: They think shutting down the government would be a big mistake and they think that, Erin, by big numbers. Usually in our politics we have a roughly divided country on so many of the big questions -- look at these numbers, a good thing or a bad thing to shutdown the government for a few days? Sixty-eight percent, so that's seven in 10 Americans say a bad thing to shut it down for a few days. That number jumps if you say for a few weeks.
However, to Dana's point about the competing factions, I'll call them, the interesting Republican politics, look at this among Tea Party supporters -- 56 percent of Tea Party supporters say it would be a good thing to shut down the government for a few days, 25 percent are neutral, 8 percent opposed.
If you opposed the Tea Party, you think the shut down is a bad idea, you see those numbers. But that's John Boehner's problem, those 30, 40 members who say, let's do this. Back home, they have support among Tea Party members.
But the defining question for weeks now has been this -- are you willing to shut down the government to block, delay, defund, do something significant to stall the president's health care law? And on that one, Erin, the American people say, no. Again, 60 percent say do not shut down the government if the price is just to block Obamacare. You see the numbers there, almost two to one.
But the House is not -- Republicans anyway, not listening to that number.
BURNETT: All right. And, John Avlon, part of that is because their constituents in their specific districts want them to do what they're doing. So, in a sense, those districts, what they want with those individual voters may want does not jibe with the overall country wants, Republican or Democrat.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. I mean, this is partly a legacy of the rigged system of redistricting, that's created these safe districts for folks only worried about offending their base, looking over their right shoulder and afraid of offending their right flank.
But, I mean, this is a truly pathetically predictable crisis. We've seen this coming. And there is going to be hell to pay. I mean, there is this attempted revolt of the moderates earlier tonight that did not succeed.
But there is no plan out of this. This game of hot potato is going to continue all night, and then we'll have to do a shutdown and watch out when American people start to make their feelings felt, because even on the Hill here, even those Tea Party members, believe it or not.
BURNETT: Right. Now, Dana, let me ask, to John's point. You know, people are going to hear it, although, you know, tomorrow, a lot of things that people may expect from government shutdown are not going to happen, right? Medicare is going to continue to function, Social Security, the mail, the military, all of those things.
So, people are not necessarily going to feel anything tomorrow. What happens though when the government shuts down tonight? I mean, how quickly could it reopen? I mean, I don't understand the logistics from here.
BASH: I'm sorry, I think I missed the beginning of what you were saying, there were some technical difficulties. But the logistics of what happens from here is really unclear, I believe that was what your question is?
BASH: But when it comes to the government, you know, we do know that already today, Erin, people here in the Capitol hill and elsewhere in the federal government got their furlough notices if they're considered nonessential. We do know that all of the buildings that are national parks, that are museums, things like that, those will be closed.
So, you're actually going to visually see the effects of the government shutdown. One thing that people are really interested in seeing is how the markets react. Because some people think that they maybe they won't react that negatively because it's just a bunch of bureaucrats who aren't working. But perhaps, if they know that the debt ceiling is coming just, you know, a couple of weeks from now, that they might think that this portends even a catastrophe when it comes to the debt ceiling. So, they might react more negatively if it was just a shutdown in a vacuum.
BURNETT: Which is just the point, John Avlon, right? I mean, you know, you have a few days here and then things get bad.
AVLON: That's exactly right. I mean, we're looking at basically a two-day window, and this gets really serious. So, in some ways, the shutdown would create an opportunity for people to start feeling some pain in Congress, start focusing on that debt ceiling fight. But this is not going to be one of the shutdowns that gets papered over real quick.
We've got real issues, real differences and this is going to be a fundamental problem going forward. This is the symbol for all of the function of our democracy right now, and folks are going to be furious.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much.
And, of course, I think you just heard John King there, his mike was open, with a sigh, your check is not in the mail. That will be when it starts to hit.
All right. OUTFRONT next, our continuing coverage of the breaking news, the government shutdown and that vote. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much for joining us for the special edition of OUTFRONT. We're going to be live tonight at 11:00 Eastern Standard Time. We, of course, will be on the air when the government is set to shutdown this evening, barring some sort of a miracle. Grover Norquist, market experts, John Avlon, all will be on hand with me all hour to count you down and figure out what matters, why it matters if matters.
Meantime, our coverage of the countdown continues right now with Wolf Blitzer.