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Federal Government Shuts Down As a Result of Congressional Deadlock; Unmanned Train Rolls Down Tracks, Collides with Commuter Train

Aired October 1, 2013 - 07:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, October 1st. It is 7:00 in the east. We want to welcome our international viewers. We are now seven hours into the first government shutdown in 17 years. Basically the issue is whether to fund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. No deal meant federal agencies began going dark at 12:01 eastern time. It's unclear when the House and Senate will come to an agreement and get the government running again. You know, national parks, museums, a lot of monuments, shuttered. Even the government Twitter account has gone mute. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: The shutdown has taken a personal toll on millions of people across the country. We're going to be getting reaction this morning from a panel of those people, people like you and me, everyday Americans talking about the shutdown this morning and the impact it will have on their lives.

Plus, we're going to be pressing members of Congress about how they got to this point and mostly important, at this point, how they're going to fix it, including Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, Republican Senator Rand Paul, and Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California. We're also be talking with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this morning.

And we're covering every angle of how this story affects you. Let's start with senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar live at the White House. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning to you. The w the White House sent out a memo to its agencies telling them to begin to execute a plan for an orderly shutdown, all of this because of a staring contest where neither side blinked.


KEILAR: Overnight President Obama released a message to the troops.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress.

KEILAR: After signing a bill into law agreed upon by Congress in order to keep pay in the military.

OBAMA: I'll keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible.

KEILAR: As lawmakers worked into the night in a heated floor debate --

REP. JOHN LARSON, (D) CONNECTICUT: Do you stand with your country? You stand for your country? Or do you want to take it down?

KEILAR: But failed to reach an agreement to keep the government funded.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The House has made its position known very clearly.

KEILAR: This morning, national parks and museums are closed for business and hundreds of thousands of nonessential government employees are furloughed indefinitely. House Republicans did not blink in their demand to push forward a new plan to tie government spending to a weakening of Obamacare, which begins open enrollment this morning. President Obama blamed House Republicans on Monday night and reiterated this was "entirely preventable."

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.

KEILAR: House Speaker John Boehner fired back.

BOEHNER: I talked to the president earlier tonight. I'm not going to negotiate. I'm not going to do this. I would say to the president, this is not about me. It's not about Republicans here in congress. It's about fairness for the American people.

KEILAR: After days of talking past each other, competing plans ping- ponged from one chamber to the other, and now a government shutdown for the first time since 1996. When Bill Clinton was in the White House, Republican speaker Newt Gingrich ruled the House of Representatives, and their standoff lasted for weeks.


KEILAR: Now, Republicans lost this battle, you may recall. And a lot of polls and also opinions of observers, folks who have been here before, Chris, think that's what's going to happen again. The truth is nobody wins when it comes to a shutdown, least of all the American people. So while we don't see anything on the president's public schedule today, we are expecting him as the shutdown goes on to continue that pressure on Congress. Perhaps that message to the military last night was just a preview as we expect he'll highlight constituencies who are affected by the shutdown, Chris.

CUOMO: Obvious need for leadership. Brianna, thank you for the reporting this morning.

So we're talking about how it's impacting American families. What exactly are we talking about here? Well, 800,000 federal employees are off the job. During the last shutdown, Congress approved retroactive pay for those people, but there's no guarantee that will happen again. And even if it did happen, that still means that too many families who are living close to the margins are going to have to go without.

Now, what else is closed here? All 401 national parks closed along with national museums as well as many zoos. How about what's open here? OK, some good news, post office, passport offices, air traffic control and, of course, the Pentagon all those open. What if you have defined payments you need to worry about, Social Security checks? They're still going to go out.

But there is a lot of detail here and subtlety about who will get impacted. Let's get to Christine Romans to look deeper at this. Christine, what do we see?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It looks like Congress has frankly hung a big "Sorry, we're closed" sign on some of America's biggest agencies and programs and its most famous attractions. This is a major inconvenience, and it's a sign of major Washington dysfunction.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This morning, hundreds of thousands of federal civil service employees are waking up to their new furlough status.

DIANE BONWENKE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GRAND JUNCTION COMMERCE: Our economy is going to be affected by it. And that is scary. It's too much for normal, middle class and lower class people to deal with right now.

HARLOW: All across the country, national monuments, zoos, and parks closed for business.

Along with the government shutdown comes the closure of all the nation's national parks, and that includes lady liberty. So for folks coming to New York to see the iconic statue of liberty, this may be their last chance in who knows how long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome aboard. Lady Liberty.

HARLOW: Tourists are dealing with not only writing off a paycheck --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He works for the government.

HARLOW: But writing off their vacation plans as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not much I can do about it. So I'll just -- if I'm furloughed, I'm furloughed. We'll just deal with that.

HARLOW: The shutdown is sure to take a toll on the employees at these iconic sites as well, like those who work at Liberty Island.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's my only source of income.

HARLOW: And not only are employees at national monuments staying at home today --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have liftoff.

ROMANS: And 97 percent of NASA employees are closing the office doors on the agency's 55th birthday. D.C., the Washington monument, Smithsonian and even the national zoo, closed for business. The national zoo is a ghost town. It's been closed since 8:00 p.m. last night.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The national park service says that anything that's a safety function will continue to be funded. And any employee that comes here to feed and take care of the animals will continue to do that. But if you want to see the pandas online, too bad -- even the animal cams are going dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we're shut down it takes away from things that families can do.

ROMANS: Locally owned businesses around the Hill worry that lack of tourists will dry up their income as well.

TRIPP BURDETT, BARTENDER AT WASHINGTON D.C. BAR: D.C. might be the next Detroit, because when half the city is unemployed or doesn't have a paying job, this could become Detroit in close to two months.

ROMANS: Across the mountain, national parks taking a hit, too.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the Angeles national forest, this morning the crown jewels of the park system, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Yosemite, all closed. Anyone in any national park allowing camping has 48 hours to vacate.

MIKE HERY, YOSEMITE VISITOR: We've been coming here 35 years. This is not fun if we have to get booted out.

CARL SOLLARS, NATIONAL PARK TOURIST: It's very frustrating. We invested quite a bit to come out here and see this. It's going to be a huge disappointment, huge disappointment.


ROMANS: Worst case scenario, this thing drags on for a month, you're looking at maybe by some estimates a $55 billion hit to the economy for lost wages, contracts, unfilled orders, uncollected fees. Really important to note, Social Security checks do go out and implementation of Obamacare is considered mandatory. In a shutdown, Obamacare continues. Kate?

BOLDUAN: There's the irony of it all. Christine, thanks so much. Let's talk more about this with CNN global economic analyst and "TIME" magazine's assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar, and the host of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. It's so great to see you both. Good morning. Unfortunately we're talking about the fact that the government has shut down. Candy, we are in uncertain territory at this point. Where do you see things going from here this morning after we saw it all fall apart last night?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Probably more of the same. One day isn't enough to do it. This will take a couple of days. I've heard some people say I bet this meshes into the debt ceiling discussion, that this becomes all one big thing. That's the 15th, 16th and 17th of this month. So nobody really knows how long this will go on. I'll tell you why, because no one is really sure how to get out of this at this point, because you have the movable forces coming together. And you see absolutely no give on the side of the House Republicans and no give on the side of the White House or the Democrats.

BOLDUAN: They're so backed into their corners, more so than any kind of fight over government funding that we've seen in recent history, which I think is probably why when we look at the new polls that we have out this morning about unfavorable ratings, forget about the favorable ratings. All we need to look at is the unfavorable ratings. Not surprising that Harry Reid, John Boehner, the Tea Party, Republican Party and Democratic party all taking hits in had their unfavorable rating. Do they just not even care about those ratings anymore?

CROWLEY: They've been down for so long that I think this is more of the same. It does prove the point that when something like this happens, everybody gets hurt a little image-wise, the brand of politics takes a hit.

What Republicans will tell you and what the polls are showing us is that the Republican brand itself is going to probably take the bigger hit here because our polls are showing that the people will be more likely to blame Republicans. But it hasn't played out. It's not next year when we have midterms. Let's remember that most of these congressmen, be they Democrats or Republicans, are in safe seats. The vast majority of these guys are returning time after time after time.

BOLDUAN: They're speaking for their constituents. That's where we are with this fight. Rana, we talked yesterday. Markets fell around the world yesterday. What are you expecting to happen today?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMY ANALYST: It's interesting. Asia is already open and it's actually holding steady, as is the value of the dollar, which is kind of surprising. There's also disconnect between Wall Street and Washington. Wall Street looks at what's happening in Washington and they just kind of can't believe it. Everybody is hoping for an 11th hour deal. Everybody is hoping this will only go on for another day or two. I think that there's a cautious sense that surely we'll work this out in the next couple of days.

But also you're seeing other governments, like the Japanese government announce stimulus plans. There are other things going on in the world markets. I will say we look back in 1995, which is the last time, '95-'96, we had a shutdown, it shaved about half a percentage point of economic growth off in that corner. People say this time around because the economy is weaker and there has already been so many spending cuts that that impact could be double. In an economy that's only growing two percent to begin with. BOLDUAN: You don't have much to give.

FOROOHAR: You don't have a lot of give. That creates a psychological effect. If this were to go on for a week, two weeks, three weeks, I think you'd really see stocks tumble.

ROMANS: From your perspective, how does this fight that we're still in the middle of, and we don't know how it will end, what does this fight inform them in terms of economic impact when we're looking at a fight over the debt ceiling?

FOROOHAR: It's all about psychology at this point. We don't know what's going to happen. The animal spirits in the market are what keeps it up. And people are nervous. You've seen that in the run-up to this fight to begin with. Markets were very nervous. The Fed is doing whatever it can. It's dumping money into the market still to try and keep stocks up. But ultimately if you don't see some kind of a deal, and particularly if we were to go over the debt ceiling and have a default, that would be a major economic impact.

BOLDUAN: Candy, is there any indication what will be the pressure point that will force them to act? Is it just time?

CROWLEY: Time. It really is. And it's also the substance of it. It is pretty clear at least to me that anything that has Obamacare attached to it, be it the provision of it or anything else, is not going to fly with the president or the Democrats. They're pretty far out there on that line. Whether or not there's any -- first of all, they'll need to start talking to each other which they haven't been doing.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Maybe you should get into a room. Let's see if cooler heads prevail because it hasn't yet. Candy Crowley, great to see you. Rana, always great to see you as well. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Kate, let's check in with the panel, because we're trying to show the nature of the ripple effect of a shutdown. All right, so we have Brad Hill. You have a small business that's affected because you work at a national park, the statue of liberty. That's closed, you're closed, you're dealing with hurricane Sandy. It's bad. John Farr, you have a small business also. It's a lighting company. You're not in a national park but you have certain contracts that involve the government. So what does it mean for you?

JOHN FARR, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: For my business I do a lot of events in Smithsonian, Air and Space Museum, things like that. Events that are done in those buildings are going to be shutting down and not doing the event. It's going to impact my business, my employees, caterers, decorators, florists, other people that do those events for those companies.

CUOMO: How closely tied are you to cash flow, making the point, how long can you go?

FARR: I can -- I'll have other events I can do but it will make an impact on the company and some employees will have to be rescheduled or possibly not get work at all.

CUOMO: Right away. In terms of what you're able to bring home to your family, you're a newlywed, what does this mean for you?

FARR: Less money to do things that are for us, less money to make improvements in the company.

CUOMO: This is theoretical or it's going to bite you in the can almost right away.

FARR: Almost right away.

CUOMO: Larry, you work for the federal government. What does this mean for you?

LARRY HIRSCH, GOVERNMENT WORKER: It means a reduction in the funds I take home for my family. As I said earlier, it's our second furlough.

CUOMO: "Furlough" is a fancy word. I was looking up the etymology. Basically it means permission, but you didn't ask any permission for this. But it means you work without pay or you don't work at all and there is no pay.

HIRSCH: Yes. The sequester will have a significant impact on us.

CUOMO: Now, what does that mean, the idea of maybe they'll pay you later. Is that good? Is that consoling to you?

HIRSCH: We're in a state of uncertainty. We don't know. So it's slightly consoling. But I'd rather hear that than they're not going to pay us later. But it would be nice to know for planning for our family, planning what we need to do.

CUOMO: Right, because what does it mean in terms of family budgeting when there's not money coming in every week, every two weeks?

HIRSCH: You cut back. And you have to watch all your expenses.

CUOMO: All right, and now, we're also going to be talking about other issues and the way this has affected - (Joanna Carpenter), you're here. You don't have insurance right now, so you have to figure out whether Obamacare makes sense for you. (CeCe), you have a preexisting condition, but you don't know if your funds are going to go up or down. You're managing a family, so everybody has a feel for this situation. Everybody's going to be impacted. But we will continue checking in to give all the different ways that this happens. And of course, let us know what you think. Tweet us with the hash tag #NewDay.

There's a lot of news going on this morning in addition to the shutdown, so let's get to Michaela.

MICHAELA PERIERA: All right, Chris, thanks so much. In fact, millions of uninsured Americans will get their very first opportunity to sign up for Obamacare today. Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange is the centerpiece of President Obama's landmark legislation goes into effect today. Technical glitches in some states have put enrollment on hold as state and federal officials stress the delays aren't a major concern because coverage doesn't actually begin until January 1st. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is joining us a little later in the show, we'll have more on that.

An explosion on the University of California Berkeley's campus may have been caused by copper wire thieves. University officials say thieves used heavy equipment to dig up copper power lines last week. That may have caused Monday's blast that triggered a power system failure at the school injuring one person, leaving 20 others trapped in elevators on campus.

Pope Francis convening a three-day summit with eight cardinals from around the world starting today. The panel will discuss how to better run the Catholic Church and potential reforms to the Vatican. Cardinals will help the Pope revise the (Apostolic) - the constitution - I can't pronounce that word, excuse me - drawn up by the Pope John Paul II in 1988.

Governor Chris Christie looking to lay - to delay, rather - same sex marriages in the state of New Jersey. Last week a judge ruled the state must start permitting them October 21st. Christie wants the State Supreme Court to make the decision. His attorney general sent justices a letter asking them to speed up the appeals process.

And how about this for an entrance you might not forget. Lauren Bushar and Ben Youngkin decided to head to the altar on a zipline for their wedding in Asheville, North Carolina. Down they came to the applause of family and friends. They said they wanted their guests to see something they're not likely to see again. I'm betting this would be it. Once they made to the ceremony, apparently all went off without a hitch. I'm not sure how you would gracefully - (excess)

KATE BOLDUAN, CO-HOST OF "NEW DAY" ON CNN: I'm (audible) for a finger right there - I was like and they're caught. And now what? The wedding's now delayed everyone, now what?

PERIERA: Go over then and have a cocktail. Does the preacher then also have to be suspended or do they drop to the ground? I have many questions. We'll get them (inaudible).

CUOMO: I like the socks that she had on. You see them?

PERIERA: You really like that?


BOLDUAN: And the gloves too. Very nice.

CUOMO: Very nice. You need them - (inaudible).

BOLDUAN: You need them - (inaudible). Female: You need to be suited up right when you're doing that.

CUOMO: OK, let's get over to Indra Petersons - keeping track of all things weather. INDRA PETERSONS, METEOROLOGST: Well in case you guys missed it, it is October - a little scary but the good side of this? Yes, hurricane season peaks in September and I want to show you what it looks like as we go in through October and November. Notice the trend goes down. So this is a good thing a lot of people are saying -- well how do we size up so far? Well take a look out there - we've actually had more (name) systems than average but what we haven't seen - of course, a good thing - is as many hurricanes and definitely no major hurricanes this season. And the farther we go out now it looks more and more less likely that we will. So that's the upside of this. Of course anything can still happen.

So far what we have out there today - Jerry's way out in the Atlantic and is expected to stay in the Atlantic, so that's some good news. One thing we have to watch here is that a 30 percent chance we could see some development in the Caribbean whether or not this goes into the gulf, a lot of models kind of bring it right into the Yucatan, some in the gulf, so we will be monitoring this guy. But overall conditions not that right, so not a huge concern yet.

But we are going to be watching - here's also good news. High pressure still in the southeast all the way into the northeast. The warm weather remains. Temperatures ten to 15 degrees above normal today. We are looking at a lot of 80s where temperatures should be in the upper 60s and lower 70s. So everyone is really loving that warmth. That again is the northeast and the southeast today. So pretty much beautiful everywhere. But how about hurricane season? Minimal. We like this so far, very good.

BOLDUAN: Fine with me. Fine with -- for everybody. All right, Indra, thanks so much.

CUOMO: More time not spent tied to a stop sign, the better, I always say.

BOLDUAN: The only thing you're going to be tied to is (inaudible).

CUOMO: Because that's what happens. Coming up on noon day, a horrible scene as huge rocks come crashing down on hikers in Colorado. Only one person survived. If you heard about this story, we're going to give you details ahead.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, caught on camera - a pack of motorcyclists slashing tires and shattering windshields. Police in New York City are now looking for this group who took revenge on a driver who collided with them on the road. That's coming up.


CUOMO: Welcome back to "New Day." Why would a train be motoring down the tracks without anyone at the controls? That's the mystery haunting authorities in Chicago this morning. An empty, driverless train slamming into a packed commuter line. The question - was it mechanical failure or something else entirely? CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Forest Park, Illinois with the very latest. Ted, what do we know? TED ROWLANDS, CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Not much, Chris, you said it. It is a mystery this morning. You can see they've put a tarp over the collision point where these two trains did collide so it doesn't distract motorists on the 290 freeway outside of Chicago here. Meanwhile, investigators trying to figure out exactly how this happened. The head-on collision came during the morning commute and sent 33 people to the hospital.

Female from VIDEOCLIP: It was kind of like a man go like 'stop the train, stop the train!' It was a crash and it was smoke - everywhere.

ROWLANDS: Initially foul play was suspected that someone intentionally sent an empty four-car train head-on into an eight-car train full of commuters. Surveillance video and witness accounts indicate no one was at the controls of the runaway train which was traveling at an estimated 20 miles an hour at impact. At this point, investigators have not found any evidence of wrongdoing.

BRIAN STEELE, CTA SPOKESMAN FROM VIDEO CLIP: There is no broken windows, there's no pried-open doors, there's no graffiti or vandalism inside the rail car, but we're doing a thorough investigation of this.

ROWLANDS: But transit officials say someone must have started the train which had been sidelined for repairs. The question is why and how come two separate automatic emergency shutdown systems failed?

Male FROM VIDEOCLIP: It should have went through a series of (interlacing) and the train should've been tripped and went into what we call emergency -

ROWLANDS: The collision comes nearly three months after a runaway train in Lac-Megantic, Canada killed 47 people. Investigators here think the system is safe even though they don't know what went wrong in this case.

Male: We're exploring everything. If it's not signal, not mechanical, then we look at operations because then it might be a human factor accident.

ROWLANDS: And while there were 33 people injured, taken to the nine local hospitals here, luckily none of those injuries were serious, Chris and Kate, this clearly could have been a lot worse.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Ted, thank you for the reporting and that's why getting answers is so important to avoid it the next time before more people do get hurt.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. Coming up next on "New Day," deadly consequences as boulders came crashing down on a popular hiking trail. The latest on the tragic landslide that left only one girl alive.

CUOMO: And dysfunction in D.C. Forget about the shutdown - what about the debt ceiling. Find out why the problem on the horizon is making even a shutdown look easy. Illinois senator Dick Durbin joins us next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)