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CROSSFIRE

Obama, Congressional Leaders Meet

Aired October 2, 2013 - 18:28   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on CROSSFIRE, the president and Congress finally start talking. But as the government shutdown drags on, who do you blame?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I blame both sides. They're both -- they're fighting one another.

ANNOUNCER: On the left, Van Jones. On the right, S.E. Cupp. In the CROSSFIRE, Tom Perriello, who wants the government reopened with no strings attached and Emily Miller, who wants to delay Obamacare before the government reopens. Who do you blame for the shutdown standoff? Speaker Boehner or the president? Tonight on CROSSFIRE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

S.E. CUPP, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. I'm S.E. Cupp on the right.

VAN JONES, CO-HOST: And I'm Van Jones on the left.

Congressional leaders have been in the White House for about an hour now. Now, if I were in the room, my message to the president would be this: stand firm. We have already compromised and pre-compromised enough. We gave away single payer. That's a compromise. We gave away the public option. That's a compromise. Even with this C.R., we have already rolled over and given Republicans 100 percent of the budget cuts they want, $70 billion worth.

So, Mr. President, meet, that's great, but don't cave; don't start giving away more stuff; stick to what you told CNBC this afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: During the course of my presidency, I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party.

And one thing that I know the American people are tired of, and I have to assume the vast majority of businesses are tired of, is this constant governing from crisis to crisis. So in that sense, do we need to break that fever? Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Amen.

CUPP: So, Van, I get it: You want the president to stand his ground. I think you've got a little Ted Cruz envy. I don't blame you. He's been pretty impressive. He's been, you know, really taking Obama to the mat.

And I kind of understand where you're coming from. President Obama's leadership on this has been disappointing.

Now you want him -- you want him to lurch leftward. I want him to come to the more reasonable center. But we will ask our guests about this. Tonight, Tom Perriello, he is with us tonight with the Center for American Progress. He supports President Obama's position on the shutdown. And "Washington Times" senior editor, Emily Miller, who supports the House Republicans.

Tom, I have a hunch that President Obama is digging in his heels on this fight and the upcoming fight on the debt ceiling because of people like Van, who are pressuring him from the left to really take it to these guys; really don't give in; talk tough, stand firm. Do you think that's why he's been so reluctant to negotiate?

TOM PERRIELLO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I just don't understand the premise. He's actually given up 100 percent of the position to the Republicans. The C.R. is a budget document. The Republicans wanted $988 billion. And they didn't say, "Well, we'll give you half that." He said, "We will give you 100 percent of what you want on the budget." So where do you negotiate after giving people 100 percent of what they want?

CUPP: Please -- Tom, Tom -- please educate Tom.

EMILY MILLER, SENIOR EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": Former congressman, first of all, the number we're talking about in the C.R. the spending levels was negotiated in 2001. So this is agreed upon, because I think on all of our sides, we agree that $17 trillion is just a little bit high of a deficit or debt to have. We need to start bringing it down; we need to start bringing spending down. So he didn't really --

JONES: Seventeen?

MILLER: Yes. It's been stuck at 16.7, because we haven't been borrowing or spending money in the last two days.

PERRIELLO: The deficit has been coming down for a number of reasons, including curbing of health care.

MILLER: We have a $17 trillion debt -- well, we have a $16.7 trillion debt right now, and everyone agrees we need to cut spending. So the president, I mean, yes, he's gone along with the spending levels they agreed to in 2011, but beyond that it's been my way or the highway on Obamacare.

PERRIELLO: But the sequester numbers, which both sides agree is a terrible idea for policy and terrible for the economy, but 988 includes that, and the Democrats already caved on splitting the defense and non-defense part of that, which is why you're --

CUPP: But c'mon, be honest, you're making it sound like Democrats and President Obama have just rolled over. Republicans didn't get entitlement reform. They haven't gotten tax reform. They've asked for a lot and gotten very little.

PERRIELLO: All of those things can happen. All of those things can continue to be discussed --

CUPP: When?

PERRIELLO: -- in the context of the budget. A continuing resolution is meant to be a clean document to move the budget forward. It is supposed to be a budget number. Nothing prevents this conversation from continuing for an actual budget, if the Republicans could move forward with the budget.

MILLER: But -- in general, yes, these shutdowns have always happened over spending. Even in 17 years. They do happen over spending, but this one really isn't about spending. Like you said, everyone is agreeing to the 2011 levels with the sequester. What's happening now is this is about Obamacare.

PERRIELLO: But it's not supposed to be about Obamacare.

MILLER: But it is.

PERRIELLO: It's supposed to be continuing resolution.

CUPP: But this is where we are, right? This is our reality.

PERRIELLO: There's nothing that prevents the House from..

MILLER: Right now, they're -- these former members of Congress -- current members of Congress are in the White House, which I think must be the quietest negotiation that's ever happened. Because Jay Carney said -- the White House spokesman said earlier today that Obama will not negotiate. He will not negotiate. And then he invites all the congressional leaders to the White House.

CUPP: What are they talking about?

MILLER: I mean, maybe they're, like, discussing our show or I don't know -- or they're talking about what movies they've seen lately.

CUPP: They are.

JONES: But let me just say a couple things here. No. 1, I think we forget that a C.R. is a little tiny, tiny bitty thing. The budget is a big things, and the debt ceiling is a huge thing. We're talking about the C.R., which is the continuing resolution just to keep the doors open for two months, and the Tea Party Republicans want us to give massive concessions over something small.

Don't you think it's disingenuous on the part of Tea Party Republicans for us to trade away huge chunks of Obamacare to keep the government open for eight weeks? And then we're going to be right back in the same situation again, eight weeks from now? MILLER: Well, granted we all agree, C.R. after C.R., the past five years have been ridiculous. I mean, how can you have a budget? Look, we all -- I think -- well, I don't know about the politicians, but I think the rest of America wants a budget and wants a well-thought-out budget, and this is ridiculous how this has been operating.

However, what is happening is, is that what you're calling the Tea Party Republicans, which is a great deal of them, but it's also the majority of Republicans in the House, and about 98 percent Republicans in the Senate, say, "Our constituents are telling us they're not ready for Obamacare. They don't want it implemented."

And since they are in the minority, and the Republicans control one half of one third of the government, all the leverage they have is the C.R. I agree with you, it's a tiny little thing, but it's all they have.

PERRIELLO: It's just not the way it works. We need a budget. We need these guys to do their job. And their job right now is to keep the government running. They need to do that with a six-week C.R., and then they can go back to all the games and the Dr. Seuss and everything else they want to do.

CUPP; And so for the first four years under President Obama, even the first two when Democrats controlled everything, there was no budget. So I love that you now demand a budget. Republicans have been demanding budgets for the past four years. It's nice to finally have one. But let me ask --

PERRIELLO: You pass a budget, you pass a C.R. So I think we all agree here that it would be great to have a grand bargain. It would be great to get at least a budget, but in the absence of that, your job is to pass a C.R., and the president agreed to 100 percent of the Republican budget number on the C.R.

CUPP: Let me tell you what -- let me tell you what Democrats are not agreeing to right now.

Republicans have offered to reopen slices of the government: to fund veteran services, for example, national parks, a number of other things. Nancy Pelosi called this pathetic. Here is what Harry Reid had to say about it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?

REP. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Listen, why -- I want why one against the other?

Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting at home. They have -- they have a few problems of their own.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUPP: I have right here -- This was tweeted by Eric Cantor. This is a statement from the president's office. It's the threat to veto.

"The Honoring our Promise to America's Veterans Act, the Research for Life-Saving Cures Act -- "

JONES: They're really cool names you guys made up for this stuff.

CUPP: No, I mean, it's terrible optics. This is your party. How do you defend this?

PERRIELLO: You think the optics are hurting the Democrats right now in the government shutdown?

CUPP: I think this is terrible optics.

PERRIELLO: I don't think anyone takes this seriously. The American people are so much smarter than this. They don't buy it with the World War 2 memorial and this other stuff. The Republicans are grasping right now. They need to get the C.R. passed and continue to fight these things. This idea of trying to cherry-pick a line, that's not how the government works.

CUPP: So you support this? You support the president saying we're not going to open the government, but --

PERRIELLO: Is Congress going to start going street by street and saying, "We're going to get the trash from this street but not this street. We'll open this park but not this park"? I mean, they can't even pass the C.R. They're going to start micromanaging in that way? Like, this is just not how Americans deserve for the government.

CUPP: On the one hand, the Democrats are grandstanding on all of these closures. Why wouldn't you open one thing at a time.

MILLER: And if you're the majority leader of the Senate and you say, "Can you save one child," and you say, "Why should I?" I mean, talked about optics.

CUPP: Terrible, terrible optics. It's unconscionable.

JONES: Well, he's going to get beat up for that. I think we all know that Reid cares a lot about kids. And one of the things that's so weird to me is he's -- now suddenly, the Republicans care so much about this particular program, and yet the budget they voted for have defunded a lot of the program. The Ryan budget actually defunds almost all the things they're talking about.

MILLER: It was Dana Bash from CNN. It wasn't Republicans who asked that question.

JONES: I know. I thought, look, it was a good question and a bad answer. I'll give you that. I don't think anybody is going to sit here and say that he handled the question well.

But let's just talk about something that has come in the news now recently. Suddenly, the Republicans are the huge champions of veterans. One of these great, cute things you just named is about veterans. They've got great names for their bills.

CUPP: Honoring Our Promise to American Veterans.

JONES: It's great -- great branding, but why, if we're going to honor our promise to our veterans, why are we starting now? Why didn't we start a while ago? The Ryan budget, for instance, decimates funding to help veterans. We have right now -- I'm going to tell you what's going on. You tell me why we haven't dealt with this in the past.

Right now we have a suicide crisis with our veterans: 21 of our veterans taking their lives every single day. Fifteen percent of our veterans are homeless. The programs to do something about that were decimated in the Ryan budget. The Ryan budget decimates those programs. Why are suddenly now Republicans concerned about honoring or veterans when they weren't as concerned before?

MILLER: The Republicans have always been the party of national security and the party of military --

JONES: Say that to veterans.

MILLER: -- so it's absolutely not true that the Ryan budget decimated veterans affairs and --

JONES: It is true.

MILLER: I will say I completely agree --

JONES: I gave you numbers.

MILLER: -- that PTSD is an enormous problem with our current veterans from the Iraq and -- wars, and it's something that needs to be dealt with from a mental health issue.

JONES: Let me -- don't you think that demagoguing these veterans issues at this late date is --

MILLER: But that's nothing to do with what's going on right now.

JONES: Let me ask you a question. Don't you think it's a little bit hypocritical, though, when the Ryan budget -- I can give you numbers -- does decimate programs to keep veterans off the street, to help them? We're decimating those programs a few months ago and making those votes, and now we're demagoguing the issue. Isn't that hypocritical?

CUPP: What about the sequester? The sequester was President Obama's idea. The sequester is having a worse effect on defense and veterans than anything this Paul Ryan budget that has not been implemented has -- has suggested.

JONES: Was the sequester actually supposed to be implemented? They love saying that --

PERRIELLO: It was supposed to be a disincentive. It was agreed upon to be something --

JONES: It was nobody's idea.

PERRIELLO: -- both sides disliked, and now it's a Republican C.R. that accepts those sequester numbers, which is bad for defense, particularly in a state like mine of Virginia, but this is the Republican number. The Democratic number is 1056. The Republicans are at 988. We've accepted that number, which you yourself have just agreed is bad for our defense and national security.

CUPP: Now I know.

PERRIELLO: So the Republicans are winning a fight that is hurting our defense sector, and the president is saying, "If that's what it takes to keep the government open."

I think we should be going back to the kind of budget that actually builds the kind of infrastructure and competitiveness that supports our troops, that supports science and research. I just got back from China last week. They're not going slow. They're not cutting back on these investments to make themselves competitive.

So I think, overall, we should be moving towards more investment in these areas to make ourselves more competitive. We should be giving our troops the support they need.

JONES: What's wrong with that?

PERRIELLO: But again --

MILLER: I hear -- I hear Democrats say investment, and I hear Obama. And I just hear, "Money, money, money, money, money, money, money." And we've gone from a $9 trillion debt to a $17 trillion debt in five years.

PERRIELLO: So you don't think we should invest in --

(CROSSTALK)

CUPP: Let's stop us right there. Actually, most Americans agree that we should not raise the debt ceiling without some spending cuts. But before that, I'm sure I don't have to tell you fine folks that the entire House of Representatives -- Representatives is up for reelection next year.

When we come back, I want you guys to tell me and our viewers why we should keep any of them around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUPP: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're waiting for President Obama to finish meeting with congressional leaders.

In the CROSSFIRE tonight, Tom Perriello, who's with the Center for American Progress and supports President Obama's position on the shutdown; and "Washington Times" senior editor Emily Miller, who supports the House Republicans.

Tom, Congress's approval numbers -- luckily this no longer reflects you --

PERRIELLO: Thank you.

CUPP: You got out. But Congress's approval numbers are abysmal. We are an international laughingstock. Why should we bring any of these guys back? Give us some hope. Tell me why I can have a government to believe in.

PERRIELLO: Well, I will say a lot of members of Congress from both parties work their tails off. A lot of them are there for the right reasons; not all of them. And they really do believe a lot of the stuff that they say. I think, unfortunately, you've lost some of the core contingent that believes in getting things done, that believes that ultimately, coming together to solve some of the country's problems is more important.

CUPP: And would you agree on both sides?

PERRIELLO: I think it's not quite that equal. I think you see the Democrats willing to compromise a lot and come together, even giving up things they care about.

I will say this going forward, though. If you look at elections for both parties over the last 40 or 50 years, the strength of the economy and the direction of the unemployment rate is probably the best indicator of how elections are going to go. And I think right now if we do see some sort of double dip in the economy, if the shutdown of the debt ceiling moves us into a more negative economic environment -- not that we've had radically strong growth as of late -- I think that's going to be very bad news for anyone running for reelection next year.

MILLER: I wrote in my column in "The Washington Times" today that I think this shutdown will help Republicans in 2014, and here's why.

Because right now, yes, I think the Republicans are taking most of the blame for this, because they generally do take the blame for when things go wrong in Washington and Congress does, and President Obama is very, very good at not taking blame for anything. He still hasn't taken any responsibility, even though he will not make one change to Obamacare in this process.

JONES: I know you're going someplace with this.

MILLER: Anyway, the point of that is that people are -- people don't want Obamacare. They're seeing their premiums go up. They're not being able to stick with their same insurance companies. Plus, I didn't want to try to log on yesterday. You couldn't get on, even if you tried to. They don't want it fully implemented.

And so the Ted Cruzes, and the Tea Party people in the House who really are trying to push the leadership into this position, they're saying, "We hear you. We hear you." CUPP: Well, not only that, Emily. Not just the standing up. I've also said I think in November 2014, no one is going to remember this weeklong or two-weeklong or three-weeklong shutdown. They're going to be feeling the effects of Obamacare. That's what's going to drive voting.

JONES: Could be true. I mean, you guys are assuming the worst. I think we're assuming the best.

But let's just take you at your word. You are right: there has been this sort of strong congressional leadership, Ted Cruz now apparently the speaker of the House. I don't know how he pulled that off. I thought he was running for the Senate. But now he's speaker of the House.

MILLER: He's a freshman. You know, he's a Tea Party -- he's a Tea Party favorite right now.

JONES: He certainly is.

MILLER: He has this -- that following in America. That's his power.

JONES: So I think that he believes, and I think that you believe, that he's actually speaking for a big chunk of the American public.

MILLER: Yes.

JONES: You agree with me on that?

MILLER: That's what I think.

JONES: And so if that's true, wouldn't -- why doesn't Boehner let there just be an up or down vote of all the members of Congress to either -- to open up the government? No strings attached. And let the -- let majority rule happen in the Congress.

If you're so confident that you represent the American people --

MILLER: No, no, the whole concept behind Cruz, what I'm confident is that he's saying we need to use whatever leverage we have --

JONES: I think --

MILLER: -- to stop Obamacare from being fully implemented, and right now that's what is the C.R.

JONES: But there are two things about that that are weird. One is if you -- at least two things about it are weird.

MILLER: All right.

JONES: One is that if you're so convinced it's going to be a train wreck, then in some ways it's strange that you're afraid to let it go into play. So I can understand maybe you're trying to help people -- people from being hurt. But what's really strange about this is you're saying that you're representing the concerns of all the people, and yet if you had a vote right now in the Congress and let everybody vote their conscience, the people who actually represent America, the shutdown would be over tomorrow. There would be a clean C.R.

MILLER: If you -- if you had --

JONES: And Obamacare would go in effect.

MILLER: If you had a vote on Obama --

JONES: With bipartisan support, right now.

MILLER: If you had a vote on Obamacare tomorrow, it would get defeated.

JONES: But I don't understand, though, if you believe you represent the American --

MILLER: Exactly. On Obamacare, not the --

JONES: No, no, you've done that 40 times. You had a vote on Obamacare 40 times. You've lost 40 times.

MILLER: No, no, it keeps passing the House.

JONES: Help me make --

PERRIELLO: The majority of votes for Congress were cast for Democrats. The majority in the House of Representatives --

MILLER: And how does that work?

JONES: We had a million more votes. We had a million more votes.

PERRIELLO: There were a million more votes cast for Democrats for the House than for Republicans. So that majority doesn't actually represent the majority.

MILLER: Here's the thing with the Constitution.

PERRIELLO: It represents the majority of gerrymandered districts.

MILLER: We have this whole constitutional thing where you get to -- you guys are like --

(CROSSTALK)

PERRIELLO: No, I support that. That's why we're here. I just don't think that it reflects the majority of Americans. I think it reflects a rigged map.

CUPP: And you know, correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth, but I think what Emily is saying is that what Ted Cruz is doing is standing up for millions of people around the country, certainly, in his district back at home, who want Obamacare repealed, delayed, stopped. That is not represented in Congress. And that's why Ted Cruz is such a hero.

PERRIELLO: How is that not represented of Congress? They never vote.

CUPP: Because there are so many sort of flip-floppers. And we --

PERRIELLO: You know, there's some majoritarian movement out there. Ted Cruz is --

CUPP: -- the House and the Senate who don't have the back bone that Ted Cruz does.

PERRIELLO: Ted Cruz is supported by a small faction of the American people. He doesn't actually get to attach anything that he wants and take his ball and go home.

MILLER: That's not true.

PERRIELLO: He represent Americans. I totally accept that.

MILLER: But Tom, you just saw a majority of the House, five times in the past two weeks, a majority of the House of Representatives pass bills that either defunded, delayed Obamacare, stopped the medical device tax. Five different times. Stop the members of Congress getting -- so there is enormous majority support in Congress. Plus all those senators who voted for it. Republican senators. Majority of the House.

JONES: Why are you afraid of a vote on the House floor, up or down about -- ?

MILLER: There's no fear. The point is there's no leverage left.

JONES: You don't believe in the majority. But here's the thing. You say you're a majoritarian movement, but you don't believe in majority rule in the House of Representatives. Why is that?

Why can't the majority -- why can't you have a clean vote, let everybody who -- if you're a Democrat or Republican pass with bipartisan support, and the government would open up?

CUPP: OK, let me --

MILLER: Why would they give up their leverage?

CUPP: Let me give -- let me give --

JONES: Because they believe in democracy. I don't know.

PERRIELLO: Because they believe in democracy, and they believe in getting things done. You don't actually get to simply say --

MILLER: -- Pelosi believed in democracy when she passed Obamacare? Do you know how she shoved that through in the middle of the night, that 5,000 pages, and then they used all those tricks to get it through the Senate?

PERRIELLO: In the middle of the night? Trust me, there were a lot of nights. There was no "middle of the night."

CUPP: Let me -- let me give Tom a "for instance." What would you do? Senators Dick Durbin and Joe Manchin have both suggested they would compromise on certain parts of Obamacare. Dick Durbin wants to repeal the medical device tax. He's OK with that.

Joe Manchin said he would delay the individual mandate. Where's that kind of compromise from a plurality of Democrats?

PERRIELLO: Well, if they want to do that, we can do that. The C.R. is just -- that's not what a C.R. is.

MILLER: They voted it down in the Senate.

PERRIELLO: This is a six-week extension to get the government running. There's nothing that limits your ability to continue to negotiate those things. The problem is --

CUPP: You want this utopian world where they're separated. They are not separated.

PERRIELLO: Senator Cruz, who wouldn't let there be a budget conference. That's how the adults in the room come together for the Republicans and Democrats to do this.

MILLER: No, no.

PERRIELLO: You can actually agree to try to legislate these things.

I think the device tax is an interesting one. Because I think it represents more of the bipartisan special interests connection than it does anything else.

But you know, leaving that aside, I think that's the one place, unfortunately, the parties tend to come together, is this is a C.R. It has bipartisan support. It would pass the House, and we could continue to function --

CUPP: But plainly how this works is Republicans say here's a handful of things that we want. The president says, "We'll get to that. But first do all the things that I'm asking you to do. And then I promise on good faith, because I've been so trustworthy before, we'll get to all your things. And I'll come to the table and I'll negotiate with you, like did I on entitlement reform and tax reform." Why would it make them give up their leverage?

PERRIELLO: Well, you're asking like we're excited for 988. Democrats think it should be a 1056 or much higher. They gave the Republicans everything that a C.R. is supposed to be about, 100 percent of the Republican number. Where do you keep negotiating from?

MILLER: Let's clarify a couple things. On the conference committee, the House passed a bill that said yesterday, "Let's just to go conference committee. Let's do regular order. We have passed this. Here's our bill. The Senate bill has just the clean C.R. that you like. The House bill has a delay of one year of the individual mandate with the C.R. Let's put them together and go to conference committee." What happened? Harry Reid said absolutely not. They voted it down, and it went away. We won't negotiate; we won't talk.

PERRIELLO: I'm talking about the real budget. There was a chance for a conference on the real budget. That's how Congress is really supposed to work.

MILLER: In dreamland, possibly. But in the fact that --

PERRIELLO: -- is you put a real budget. No, the house passed the budget. And the Senate passed a budget.

MILLER: In the divided government that we've all seen in the past few years, there is zero chance people are working together. Let's be realistic here.

JONES: Well, well, speaking of the --

MILLER: On the budget.

JONES: We'll keep them working.

MILLER: They wouldn't even go to conference on the budget.

JONES: Speaking of working, let me ask you guys a question in the minute that we have left. Should these Congress people get paid in the middle of all this? You.

PERRIELLO: Probably not. I mean, I think we tend to focus on that sort of thing. And, you know, whether it's six weeks of pay, it's not going to be a huge disincentive. Most members of Congress are actually worth over a million dollars. So I think the optics of that can seem fair, but I don't think it's probably going to be a seismic difference one way or the other.

What I worry about is the hundreds of thousands of federal workers out there who this is going to mean a lot to whether they pay their bills this month. They're getting reduced 25 percent of time or furloughed fully. That's an enormous impact on a working middle-class family.

JONES: What do you --

MILLER: I have to say, I mean, just from 17 years ago, what exactly happened this time, is when this August resolve, which it will be. And everybody will win a little bit of something. Everybody will get paid in full. So everything else is just for show.

JONES: We'll see about that. I sure hope they do. There have been some noises that they may not.

But listen, I want to thank Tom Perriello. I also want to thank Emily Miller.

Next, we are going to "Ceasefire."

CUPP: Are we?

JONES: I don't know. We're going to see if we can "Ceasefire."

CUPP: All right.

JONES: See if there is anything we can agree on. I think there's one thing, and it has to do with what's really going on at that World War 2 Memorial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN LIVE PRESSER COVERAGE - IN PROGRESS)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: -- time tonight that he will not negotiate. We've got divided government. Democrats control the White House and the Senate. Republicans control the House.

We sent four different proposals to our Democrat colleagues in the Senate. They've rejected all of them. We've asked them into conference to sit down to try to solve our differences. They don't want to -- they will not negotiate.

We had a nice conversation, a light conversation. But at some point we've got to allow the process that our founders gave us to work out. We've appointed conferees on the House side to sit down and work with our Senate colleagues. It's time for them to appoint conferees.

All we're asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare. I wish, I would hope that the president and my Democrat colleagues in the Senate would listen to the American people and sit down and have a serious discussion about resolving these differences.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, why not bring up a clean C.R.?

CUPP: That was House GOP Speaker John Boehner. And exiting from the White House after what sounds like not a very productive meeting.

JONES: Yes, well, it's not the end. It's not even the beginning of the end. I think it's the end of the beginning. They are now talking.

CUPP: OK.

JONES: That's a good thing. And I have to say that I'm glad they are.

One thing I would say is, as we think about the things that can hopefully bring people together, I think everybody is concerned about that World War 2 Memorial.

CUPP: Yes.

JONES: And what I would say is that the debate about that's going to continue online at CNN.com/crossfire, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

From the left, I'm Van Jones.

CUPP: From the right, I'm S.E. Cupp.

Join us tomorrow for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.