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Shutdown Will Throw A "Wrench" In Economy; Bill Clinton Slams Republicans; Government Shutdown Then and Now

Aired September 30, 2013 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, thanks very much. Happening now, with the government shutdown only seven hours away, President Obama goes public on the deadlock that has divided Congress within a minute or so. We will hear from him live at the White House.

The key players in the shutdown standoff are faring poorly right now in the American public's eye. Our brand new poll is just in. We will tell you who's getting most of the blame.

And the clock is also ticking for millions of people who plan to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. We will show you how this marketplace, a brand new marketplace, will work.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BLITZER: Only within the past few moments, we learned that the president of the United States will go into the briefing room at the White House and make a statement. He's getting ready to meet with his cabinet elsewhere in the west wing of the White House. There you see reporters standing by. They're getting ready for this live coverage.

The president obviously wants to say something with now less than seven hours away from this potential government shutdown. The president will walk in, make his statement. We don't know if he will answer reporters' questions. We do know that there is lots at stake right now. Passing a spending bill is clearly sort of blame game volleyball that's going on in Washington.

Republicans and Democrats are hitting that money ball back and forth from the House to the senate, back to the house. The average American may feel confused. Here's the president.


BLITZER: So, there he is, 10, 11 minutes, the president making a statement in the briefing room over at the White House, making it clear he's not about to budge. He wants Congress to pass legislation, legislation that has already passed the Senate, to pass in the House of Representatives, that will avoid a government shutdown at midnight tonight.

You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job. That's what the president of the United States just said. John King is here, Gloria Borger is up on Capitol Hill. John, I still believe and I may be overly wildly optimistic, there's still a tiny little chance a government shutdown can be avoided.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is the time. You see the clock up there.

It's almost seven hours left for them to do this or they could go past midnight and get it done by daybreak and wouldn't have any problems with it, but there is zero evidence in terms of what people are saying they're willing to do, especially as the president noted, The House Republican majority, there is zero evidence at this hour that they are willing to do something that would get a House and Senate into agreement and send the president something either by midnight or shortly after midnight. Is there time? Yes. Do they know how to do it? Yes. Is there any evidence they're willing to do it at this moment? No.

BLITZER: Is there any evidence, Gloria, that the president is going to call John Boehner, the speaker of the House, Republican leaders, say you know what, he just outlined what's at stake for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of American people out there? Is there any indication he's about to make a phone call to John Boehner and say you know what, it's enough. Let's just resolve this?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Wolf, he may decide in the end that he's got to do that. I don't know if that would be before the clock strikes midnight or after the clock strikes midnight, but you know, in a way, there's really nothing the president can offer John Boehner in the way of help. This is a decision that John Boehner has to make, you know, as speaker of the House.

He has to decide whether he is going to provide enough Republicans to go along with Democrats to pass the funding of the government without attaching something that would kill Obamacare on it. That's a decision he has to make as speaker of the House, with his own caucus, and the president really can't offer him any help on that, and he can't offer him any advice on that.

I mean, John Boehner already knows what the president thinks he ought to do and I think in listening to the president just now, Wolf, it was very clear to me that he wasn't really interested in a month or two delay on any of this, because he seemed to be saying very directly we would only end up back in the same spot that we're in right now.

BLITZER: You know, Dana Bash is up on Capitol Hill also, our chief Congressional correspondent. Dana, it's a huge if, if the speaker were to allow the language of the resolution that has already passed the Senate to come up for an up or down vote in the House of Representatives, almost all the Democrats if not all of the Democrats would vote for it, but a large number of Republicans, maybe even a majority of the Republicans, would vote for it at the same time.

So, why doesn't the speaker let that resolution come up for a vote and as a result, there would be no government shutdown? DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a great question, but it's something that he does not seem willing to do, at least not yet. In fact, Wolf, despite the president's pleas for a clean CR, excuse me, for using the lingo here, but for a spending bill that has no strings attached, it does not look like the speaker would even do that when the clock strikes midnight tonight and the government shuts down. Listen to what the speaker said earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is a clean CR off the table? Is that not going to happen?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: That's not going to happen.


BASH: -- it's not going to happen when? It's not going to happen tonight before midnight or it's not going to happen ever ever?

BOEHNER: The house will act this evening and we'll send it over to the United States Senate.


BLITZER: Dana, good question. He says it's not going to happen, but let's say he learns that a majority of the Republicans would vote for that resolution. I understand a lot of the Tea Party supporters would oppose it because nothing would be attached involving Obamacare, but let's say a majority of Republicans would support it. Would he then go ahead and allow it to be up for a vote?

BASH: From what I'm hearing from republican sources, at least tonight, unlikely. And you're right. It doesn't seem as though it would be difficult to pass a bill that simply funds the government with no strings attached. The Democrats have already come out and said that they would support it even though the funding level is lower than they would like, and there are a number of Republicans, in fact, who say let's not do this.

In fact, I spoke to one of them earlier today who spoke up in the meeting that House republicans had saying don't do that, but on the other side, you have a very vocal, very empowered minority of the minority, perhaps, at this point, saying keep the fight up. Listen to interviews I had with two of those House members.


BASH: It sounds like what you're saying is that if the government does shut down, you believe it's House Republicans' fault?

REP. CHARLIE DENT, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I'm not going to say it's the House Republicans' fault, but I suspect we'll be blamed regardless of whose fault it is. I think it will look bad on everyone in Washington if the government shuts down. I suspect the Republicans will be more blamed than the Democrats will. But I'm urging my colleagues that a government shutdown is not in anyone's interest.

It's not in the American people's interest, it's not in our troops' interest, it's not in the Republican Party's interest. It's really on no one's interest. So, I say get on with the business of governing, get it done, and we'll be able to debate some of these issues again with the debt ceiling. We're going to have all these debates again over the next few weeks.

BASH: Are you fighting a kamikaze mission here? I mean, you know the way the Senate Democrats are going to respond, and they run the show over there.

REP. SCOTT RIGELL, (R) VIRGINIA: If our Senate colleagues want to vote against what I think every American would think is right, that is that we're all in. We're not getting a subsidy either on the Affordable Care Act. I mean, this resonates deeply with the American people. They want members of Congress to live like everybody else. And so, I think it's a wise path. I've been critical of our leadership many times, but I think this is a viable path.


BASH: And that viable path is not so much the House plan to delay the individual mandate for a year which is part of what they're going to vote on early this evening, but also, the idea that members of Congress, their staff, the executive branch, people who serve in the federal government here in these halls should not get federal subsidies for their health care.

The Republicans are banking on the fact that that might be very difficult for members of Congress politically to vote against, even though personally in their pocketbooks, it would be hard for them to vote for. But again, just to make clear, down the hall in the Senate, the Democratic leader insists they will reject.

They have the votes, they will reject what the House sends over and that is going to put us very close to midnight and just to sort of wrap this up where we started, House Republican sources are saying that at this point it looks unlikely that they are going to do what the president and what the Democrats want, fund the government in a way that he will sign it and that means a government shutdown at midnight.

BLITZER: Well, it could be a government shutdown at midnight, but they can stay in session, the House and Senate, until 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. and see what they can do by tomorrow morning when people are supposed to go back to work. Dana, it could be a long night for all of us. All right. Stand by.

Wall Street already very aware that a government shutdown could cost the U.S. economy billions, yes, billions of dollars. Nervous investors today sent the Dow plunging another 128 points. The other indices suffered relatively smaller losses.

Up next, as the clock ticks and it's ticking toward the beginning also of the Obamacare insurance programs, the exchanges are about to get under way. What you need to know about buying health care coverage in the new marketplace?

And President Obama's making a point of not engaging with Republicans as they try to derail his health care law. Is that the right approach?


BLITZER: Midnight tonight marks the start of the government shutdown and it also marks the debut of a key provision of the law at the heart of this political standoff, the Obamacare insurance exchanges. CNN's Tom Foreman is standing by to get a closer look at how this will work, how it's supposed to work.

What do our viewers need to know right now, because millions and millions of Americans will want to know about the opportunities to purchase health insurance for many of them for the first time.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, they will, Wolf. And the truth is, for all this talk about the monumental changes to health care, for most people who have insurance, those changes really won't seem very apparent at first. They may be modifications because this is really about the 48 million people who do not have insurance, about half of whom are now expected to buy it through these health care exchanges.

And about seven million of those before the end of the year, just to give you an idea of how fast this is going to happen. So, how do we imagine these health care exchanges? How do you make sense of it? Imagine a store, if you would, where you could go in and buy four different insurance packages, you could get the bronze or the silver or the gold or the platinum.

If you buy at the lower end, in the bronze program, for example, what you're going to do is you're going to pay a relatively low monthly premium, but, if you actually get sick and go to the doctor, your co- pay, your deductible, your other out of pocket expenses are going to be higher. If, on the other hand, you want to go with the platinum plan, then you're going to have a different equation all together.

You're going to pay a much higher premium month to month to month, but when you go to the doctor, all of your expenses will be lower than you would be under the bronze plan, Wolf. And by the way, this is not going to be the same state to state to state because local companies are involved.

So, you're not going to be able to just call your brother-in-law up in North Dakota and say, hey, what are you doing, because in your state, Mississippi or Alabama, it could be a little bit different -- Wolf.

BLITZER: But there are certain universal parts of this health care reform plan, aren't there? Things will be the same no matter where you live for various parts of it.

FOREMAN: Yes. These are some of the most popular parts of this plan, Wolf. For example, no higher premiums if you get sick. That's one of the cornerstones. No denial of coverage if you're already sick and you're trying to get insurance. And no fees for preventive care. So, if you need a physical or your wife needs a mammogram or your kids need a vaccination, those things would be covered.

Nonetheless, this could be expensive to a lot of people out there who don't make a lot of money, a lot of people who don't have insurance, Wolf. So, this is what the government's doing to help. if You make only $46,000 a year as an individual or $94,000 a year or less as a family, the government's going to give you a refund to help pay for all this. It sounds complicated, Wolf, but these are the bare bones of how it's going to work.

BLITZER: Interesting stuff. Some states still don't like the plan. They've opted out, but Obamacare does apply to everyone in the country no matter where they live, isn't that right?

FOREMAN: Yes, it does. And this is something you really have to bear in mind. Let me get rid of all this and bring in the map. Yes, there are dozens of states out there that have opted out of Obamacare, and if you live in one of these states, you may think it doesn't apply to you anymore, but that is not true. All that means is that your state government will not set up this medical marketplace in your state.

The federal government will do it and you will have to sign up through a federal website. But, with few exceptions for people whose immigration status is uncertain or people who are very, very poor, the great bulk of people who are uninsured right now, if you don't get out there and pick a plan and get involved, you're going to be fined by the federal government for not doing so. So, the time for choices really is even with all this turmoil, Wolf, upon people coast to coast.

BLITZER: And it starts after midnight tonight. All right. Tom, thank you. Good explanation.

Coming up, the key players in the shutdown standoff are faring very poorly right now in the American public's eye. Our new CNN poll is just out. We're going to tellyou who is getting most of the blame right now.



OBAMA: One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election.


BLITZER: President only moments ago in the briefing room making the case to keep the government operational, don't make any attachments to Obamacare, to current legislation passed by the Senate that would allow the government to go forward with no government shutdown. Our latest poll shows the public is taking a dim view of the key players in this shutdown drama.

Let's bring back our chief national correspondent, John King. He's got the new numbers that are just out this hour. JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPODNENT: And Wolf, they show us in our new poll that none of the major players here are anywhere near high standing with the American people as we go into this shutdown.

Look at the president, for example. We just heard from him in the briefing room. He's under water when it comes to his approval rating. A majority of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling his job. This is why, Wolf, so many Republicans are so frustrated. You just saw the president using the bully pulpit. They think they have the president down right now and they're worried a shutdown could bring him back.

Let's look at the president's standing by party breakdown. Democrats, this has been a constant in the Obama presidency. Eight in 10 Democrats approved his job, but look at this: almost two to one independents he's under water, and forget about it among Republicans. They so deeply disapprove of this president. That is the polarized, partisan environment we're in heading into the shutdown.

But if you think the president is underwater with his approval rating, what would you call this? Beyond bankrupt. Only 10 percent of the American people, one in ten Americans, approve of the job Congress is doing right now. That is a stunning number. Nearly nine in 10 disapprove. The disdain with which the American people, the mistrust with which the American people hold Congress right now is stunning.

The House speaker, John Boehner, is the big player when it comes to House Republicans in this debate. He's even in worse shape than the president nationally. Thirty-three percent of Americans, one in three, approve of the job he's doing. Unfavorable opinion, nearly half of Americans of the speaker.

And look at this. We showed you eight in 10 Democrats approve of the job the president's doing. Here's the speaker's problem within his own party. Just a bare majority of Republicans, Wolf, 54 percent of Republicans approve of the Republican House speaker. He's the most important Republican in Washington, and barely a majority of his own party support him. Among independents he's underwater, and among Democrats of course, he is way underwater.

Want to show you another person, very unknown nationally until recently. Ted Cruz is the new freshman conservative senator who has been pushing House Republicans to stand up to the president, to defund Obamacare. Three in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion. Thirty- six, nearly four in ten Americans, unfavorable. Ted Cruz still largely unknown. More than a third of Americans still don't quite know who he is although they are getting to know him more in this debate.

So Wolf, all the key people involved, the president, the House speaker, even the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid not held in very high esteem. So I just want to end as we look at this one right here. They're not held in high esteem when the American people want them to do this: fewer than three in 10 say it's a good thing to shut down the government. Nearly seven in 10 say what could happen in just a few hours is a bad thing. BLITZER: yes. They don't want the government -- nobody actually wants the government to shut down, although it could shut down over these disputes. All right, John, thanks for those numbers.

Just a little bit more than six hours to the shutdown deadline tonight. Been there, done that. The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, he was involved in two government shutdowns at the end of '95, early '96. He has some advice for the current speaker, John Boehner.


BLITZER: So, with the clock ticking toward a government shutdown, I'll speak live with the White Hosue press secretary Jay Carney; that'll happen right at the top of the hour. What would you like me to ask him? Tweet your questions to us using the hash tag sitroom.


BLITZER: Get back to the looming government shutdown in a few moments, but there's other news we're following. Just days after his groundbreaking call with Iran's president, President Obama sat down at the White House today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described the moderate new tone from Iran as quote, "sweet talk and smiles."

Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is here. So what happened?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president has some convincing to do, still does when it comes to the Israeli prime minister. Israel's very public position is that Iran's new outreach is purely tactical, intended only to buy time to build a nuclear weapon.


SCIUTTO: President Obama met today with the American ally most skeptical of any nuclear deal with Iran. A point Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Iran is committed to Israel's destruction. So for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program.

SCIUTTO: To those doubts, the president answered he's going into talks about Iran's nuclear program quote, "clear-eyed and with all options on the table."

OBAMA: As president of the United States, I've said before and I will repeat that we take no options off the table, including military options.

SCIUTTO: A new CNN/ORC poll shows the president has the American public's backing. Three-quarters of Americans say they support direct diplomatic talks between the U.S. and Iran. In the days since the Iranian and American presidents exchanged their historic phone call, however, the administration's consistent message has been that further progress will depend on concrete steps by Iran, a point Secretary Kerry made on CBS' 60 Minutes.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: What we need are actions that prove that we and our allies, our friends in the region, can never be threatened by this program.

SCIUTTO: Still, Israel is warning that Iran's nuclear program is more advanced than the administration believes, including a recent assertion by a senior Israeli minister that Iran is just six months away from a breakout nuclear capability. A charge the Iranian foreign minister dismissed on ABC this week.

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Netanyahu and his colleagues have been saying since 1991, and you can refer to your records, that Iran is six months away from a nuclear weapon. And we are how many years, 22 years after that? And they are still saying we are six months away from nuclear weapons.


SCIUTTO: Vice President Biden also making the administration's case today, speaking at the J Street organization this afternoon. He said quote, "He served seven presidents and none of them more supportive of Israel than Obama." Tomorrow, though, Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak at the U.N. General Assembly, and if you remember his speech there last year, complete with that diagram of Israel's (sic) march to the bomb, I think we can expect more tough words from the Israeli prime minister --

BLITZER: Iran's march to the bomb.

SCIUTTO: Exactly.

BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much for that, Jim Sciutto.

Just ahead, the former President Bill Clinton is blasting Republicans. We will tell you what he's saying; we'll also discuss with the "CROSSFIRE" hosts Newt Gingrich and Van Jones.

Also coming up, your questions about the looming government shutdown for Jay Carney. Tweet what you want me to ask the White House press secretary using #sitroom.


BLITZER: All right. So we're a little bit more than six hours away from the federal government shutdown. One former president laying the blame squarely on the Republicans.

Let's talk about that with the "CROSSFIRE" co-hosts Newt Gingrich and Van Jones. I'm talking about Bill Clinton. He was on ABC yesterday. I'm going to play a clip of what he said about this government shutdown. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They so badly want it to fail.


CLINTON: I've never it -- can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was just sitting around begging for America to fail? I don't know what's going to happen but I'll be shocked if it fails.


BLITZER: He's saying the Republicans and you're a Republican, Newt. You're begging for the country to fail.

NEWT GINGRICH, HOST, CNN'S CROSSFIRE: Look, Bill Clinton is being Bill Clinton. That's totally partisan hyperbole. The Republicans believe that the level of debt we're building up, the level of government centralization we're getting is, in fact, a real risk to our future. Now, maybe Bill Clinton doesn't agree with that but I think -- I think it's typical of the exaggerated rhetoric on both sides that it can't be an argument over the facts, it has to be an assertion that this group wants America to fail.

It's one thing to say they want Obamacare to fail. It's a big difference to say they want America to fail.

BLITZER: You agree with Bill Clinton, I assume?

VAN JONES, HOST, CNN'S CROSSFIRE: Well, I think he's right, I don't think they want America to fail. I do think they want Obamacare to fail and I think that's bewildering. Don't forget, part of the reason why Democrats are now being so tough and not willing to negotiate, we already gave away single-payer. We already gave away the public option. This is the compromise.

The compromise is we would go with the Heritage Foundation's idea that we would go with Romney's idea, that we would go with a competitive marketplace and now that's being called socialism. Because we have actually put in place a Republican program, they have no place to go but crazy attacking a Republican program as socialism.


JONES: And that's why we don't want to move.

GINGRICH: Van, your idea of compromise got zero Republican votes on final passage. I'm going to say, at the very beginning of this bill, it -- it only degenerated in a very partisan fight which has continued now from 2010 all the way to today.

JONES: Let me tell you how we see that. You tell me why. It seems to us that from the very beginning, from reporting on this, that there was a meeting held by top Republicans. They said we're going to oppose this guy on everything. And rather than saying we're going to find areas to work with the president and areas not to work with the president, it seemed like there was just a wall of opposition.

Even on the stimulus bill. We put a third of tax cuts and stimulus bill, and Republicans voted down $300 billion of tax cuts. So it felt to us. And you tell me why I'm wrong. It felt to us that no matter what we do, when we compromise, they will not take yes for an answer. Obamacare, they should take yes for an answer. It's their program and they won't even take their own program.

GINGRICH: No, I think you make a very interesting point. One of the great problems here is that almost no one on the Democratic sides understand or appreciates the legislative process. Take the stimulus. Not a single Republican amendment was made over in the House. Nancy Pelosi rammed through the bill. She wanted on her terms, she said you have to vote for it to find out what's in it.

That poisons the well. And we've now been suffering since 2009, what I think is an increasingly bitter and increasingly difficult situation.


BLITZER: Let me -- let me pick your brain on this current government shutdown. You were the speaker of the House at the end of '95, early '96, when there were two government shutdowns. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States. You remember those days. He wrote in his autobiography, in his memoirs, he says, you told him, you, Newt Gingrich, you told him you thought the president would cave as far as the party demands were concerned.

Did you tell him that there was going to be -- that afterwards you thought he would cave?

GINGRICH: Sure, I thought he would, and in fact over time, he did. We got welfare reform, four years of balanced budget, the first tax cut in 17 years. But it was a long, tough, slow-motion slog. By the way --


BLITZER: What's the difference between Bill Clinton --

GINGRICH: I just have to say.

BLITZER: Between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in handling you -- Bill Clinton handling you, as the speaker, Barack Obama is trying to handle John Boehner. What's the difference between these two presidents?

GINGRICH: I have to say.

BLITZER: Go ahead.

GINGRICH: I love the shot of you earlier today.


GINGRICH: The younger out there in the White House.


BLITZER: You were much younger 17, 18 years ago as well. We're both much younger.


GINGRICH: Look. Here's the biggest difference. President Obama found time today to meet with prime minister of Israel, but not with the Republican speaker. He found time this weekend to talk to the president of Iran, but not the Republican speaker. He just did a totally nonsense White House briefing in which he was back to the same partisan baloney.

I mean, if you're five hours away from a shutdown, you don't go on the TV to attack your opponents. You try to find some way to reach out to him and say, let's do something together.

BLITZER: What about that?

JONES: I tell you. I think one difference is Newt Gingrich versus Boehner. Boehner seems to be a hostage himself. He's being taken hostage by the Tea Party. Boehner said, that after the election Obamacare is over. Now he's out there with the Tea Party line on Obamacare. Boehner said that he didn't want to shut down the government. He's getting drug along. There's a difference when -- we don't have anybody to negotiate with. You can't negotiate with hostage takers --

BLITZER: All right. Hold on that though because I know at 6:30 you guys have a lot more coming up. And I want to make sure our viewers stick around for that. So just good thought -- goof thought from you, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones, 6:30, "CROSSFIRE". 6:30 p.m. Eastern right after THE SITUATION ROOM.

Jeanne Moos gives us her take on the looming shutdown, that's coming up next. Also coming up at the top of the hour, a SITUATION ROOM special report, "Shutdown Countdown." The Republican Senator Ted Cruz, he'll join us live.


BLITZER: With a likely government shutdown looming, I'll speak live with the Republican senator, Ted Cruz of Texas. What do you want me to ask him? Tweet your questions using the hashtag sitroom.


BLITZER: Government shutdowns then and now. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clock was ticking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tick, tick, tick.


MOOS: Sometimes two clocks. People seemed to be getting ticked off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a compromised position, we passed --

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Congress -- and that's not fair. Don't you dare put this back on me. You know full well -- no, no. You know full well you attacked Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a -- hold on, am I your guest? Whose bidding are you doing?

MOOS: Even bidding someone good morning could send them off.

MATT LAUER, MSNBC'S "TODAY" SHOW: Bill, good morning, good to see you.


MOOS: A shutdown showdown was enough to leave an anchor off-balance.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Senate simply going to pass -- and pass back to the House --

MOOS: And apparently some lawmakers on the House floor Saturday needed a drink. A "Politico" reporter tweeted, "I can smell the booze wafting from members as they walk off the floor."

Congress found itself the butt of shutdown jokes.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": What does that mean to me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it -- how will we really be able to tell?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's what I don't understand, OK?

MOOS (on camera): Let's take a trip down memory lane to the last government shutdown, 1995.

(Voice-over): The year O.J. walked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty of the crime of murder.

MOOS: And "E.R." was the number one show.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR, "E.R.": I was young, I was a fool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're still a fool.

MOOS: Seal had the song of the year at the Grammys. But Republicans and Democrats weren't kissing.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: You don't hold the government hostage. Plain and simply. You are. And everyone knows it.

MOOS: Sound familiar? 1995.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't put a gun to the head of the president.

MOOS: 2013.

AXELROD: But you can't do it at the point of a gun.

MOOS: Wolf Blitzer looked a little younger back then, but covered the same old ground.

BLITZER: So a very high-stakes game of chicken is at hand.

MOOS: 1995 was the year Drew Barrymore got on Letterman's desk and flashed him. And someone else flashed the president.

(On camera): It was during the shutdown that the Lewinsky affair started up.

(Voice-over): Jeffrey Toobin wrote a book about the sex scandal telling how Monica, the unpaid intern, was at the White House working since paid employees had been furloughed. It was the second day of the shutdown when she found herself alone with President Clinton.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: She questioned that she had a crush on him. She also showed him her thong.

MOOS: From there things progressed. The movie line that was big in 1995 applies just as well today.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR, "APOLLO 13": Houston, we have a problem.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.