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U.S. Government Shutdown, Tropical Storm Phailin in India, Kidnappings in New York, Adrian Peterson's Tragedy

Aired October 12, 2013 - 09:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: We've got much more ahead on "NEW DAY SATURDAY" which continues right now.

Hello and thanks for joining us, I'm Ana Cabrera.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. 9:00 here on the East Coast, 6:00 out West -- this is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

We've got a live look out at the House floor. Can we have that picture up where House Republicans are behind closed doors on Capitol Hill? Right now they're starting to talk strategy. We don't have the camera up. Here's the dome, though.

CABRERA: Yes, you can see it's kind of a gloomy day out there, as -- there's a lot of pressure on these leaders to come up with a debt deal. Their plan to raise the debt ceiling for just a few weeks right now is not a hit at the White House.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Instead a Senate plan to raise the debt ceiling for several months and reopen government is gaining a bit of traction.

CABRERA: CNN's Athena Jones is at the Capitol watching every move. Athena tell us about this GOP meeting.

ATHENA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Ana. As you mentioned, with the activity you see around here is that House Democratic pressure that's going to get placed under way in a few more minutes. But right now the House Republicans are meeting, trying to figure out a way forward. As you mentioned, their plan that would just raise the debt limit until November 22nd, is not something the president wants to see. He wants to see a plan that would not only raise the debt limit, hopefully for a little longer than that, but also reopen the government. And so they're trying to figure out how to move forward. I can tell you that right now the House is about to get -- is about to open session at 9:30. And so far on this schedule, there's no scheduled vote on this debt limit plan. So there's still a lot to be worked out there. On the Senate side, I should mention, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is planning a vote on a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for a year with no strings attached. That plan doesn't look like it's going to get far past the Senate, even if it passes the Senate. It's not even expected to pass the Senate. So still a lot to be worked out here on the Hill today. BLACKWELL: OK. Senate vote aside, are we optimistic that this is going to move forward, or at least are senators optimistic it's going to move forward?

JONES: Well, they had the meeting, and the Republicans had a meeting with President Obama and said that he listened to the elements of this plan. But it was inconclusive, so he's not yet committing. Let me tell you what's in the plan that Susan Collins, the senator from Maine, presented to the president. This plan would both raise the debt ceiling until at least January. It would also reopen the government and repeal or delay a tax on medical devices that helps fund Obamacare. And it would get federal agencies more flexibility to work around poor spending cuts. So, that's the plan on the table, but it still remains to be seen what's going to pass both Houses. Back to you guys.

CABRERA: All right, Athena Jones covering developments on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis. Thanks for keeping us on top of that.

Now, over at the White House, the president seems to be standing firm. He says, well, this fight over the debt ceiling is not one that he is willing to delay, and he's blaming Republicans for a country on the brink of default right now.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, but despite those harsh words for Republicans, the White House says the lines of communication are open. Brianna Keilar is at the White House this morning. Brianna, things seem to be going well on Thursday, because everyone was ...

CABRERA: Talking.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, they were talking.

CABRERA: Finally.

BLACKWELL: Congratulating themselves for conversing. But another plan was rejected on Friday. Where do we stand?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And I think what we saw there was more a change in tone. Because we just saw both sides dug in and kind of saying, oh, well, the other side can talk to me if they want and they just weren't really engaging. So, now we have this period of engagement, but we're not really seeing, at least yet, the bridging of sort of these difficult issues that House Republicans and President Obama differ on. The president has said that he is open to a short-term solution. He did reject the House plan for a six-week solution, at least for the debt ceiling, because he has said he's wanted longer, but also that takes us right up to that holiday shopping season that Athena was talking about. This is something the president addressed in his weekly radio address. Here's what he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And it wouldn't be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple of months and flirt with the first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Because damage to America's sterling credit rating wouldn't just cause global markets to go haywire. It would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money. Students paying for college, newlyweds buying a home. It would amount to a new tax. A Republican default tax on every family and business in America.


KEILAR: And it sort of seemed yesterday, as we had a White House briefing scheduled at 1:30 and just kept getting pushed back, pushed back until when? After the markets closed. I think that was buying a little time, obviously, because the concern here is that the markets would respond emotionally and dip as they try to work out something on the Hill that President Obama will accept. So where are we? Well, both sides are talking. The White House is very careful not to say this is negotiating, because the president has said that he would not negotiate on the debt ceiling. But really right now, guys, it's as if he's sort of waiting. He's waiting for Senate Republicans and House Republicans and you hear they have differing plans that Athena outlined. He's sort of waiting for them to find something that can pass both chambers, and that he can accept. What is that? We just don't know at this point.

CABRERA: And that, of course, is the key. And that's been the problem all along. Way back when the government shut down now almost two weeks ago, where there was just no agreement in the two different chambers, and, of course, with the White House. Is there any middle ground now? It kind of seems like everybody is just digging in their heels, and again, you mentioned, we're back to where we started with the president saying he's not going to negotiate.

KEILAR: Yeah, you know, I do think it is - I think you can look at it positively, that you have this plan in the Senate, and that House Republicans are meeting and hopefully that they may tinker with sort of their idea of what they can move forward on. And I think that those are all positive signals. But it's not sort of -- what everyone really wants to see is this whole thing resolved. And you're sort of watching what we call the sausage making up on Capitol Hill, which is never fun to watch, you know, is never appetizing. And so that's really I think the process that we're in right now. It's not necessarily a -- we're not in a bad place, necessarily. But we're not really getting to that breakthrough point, which obviously the country would need to reopen the government and to increase the debt ceiling.

BLACKWELL: Well, everybody is pleased with themselves for talking.


KEILAR: They sure are.

BLACKWELL: They are pleased with themselves. Brianna Keilar in Washington for us. Thank you.

Well, he has been there, and done that. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, weighs in on the government shutdown, '95 and 2013. Also, there is a storm on the way for India. Tropical cyclone. Yeah.

CABRERA: Yeah. Tropical cyclone Phailin. We'll have a live report from the cost when we come back.


BLACKWELL: All right, so let's pull back the curtain a bit on today's activity on Capitol Hill with expert analysis from a man who has, as I said before the break, been there and done that.

CABRERA: Been there, done that. Newt Gingrich. He's our cohost of CNN's "Crossfire." He was speaker of the House during the shutdowns of 1995 and 1996. So you kind of know the shoes speaker John Boehner is in, maybe what's going on behind closed doors. What's your take on sort of the back and forth we have seen maybe in the last 36 hours or so? Is there progress? Should we be hopeful?

NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, CNN CROSSFIRE: Yeah, I think there is a good reason to be a little bit hopeful. They're not up to negotiation yet, but they're up to conversation. And conversation beats where they were for about three weeks. And the question I think the president has got to decide is, does he want to get to an agreement in the next two or three days, in which case I suspect he can, or does he want to push harder and see if he can find a way to get the Senate to run over the House. In order to set up future struggles. And I don't think the president knows yet which he wants to do. So Harry Reid will go through a dance, the Senate majority leader will go through a dance this morning, and they'll try to pass something that won't get anywhere. The House Republicans, I think, will talk back channel with the Senate Republicans, and try to see if they can find something the president can accept. And the truth is, while he has said all along, I will not negotiate, they're pretty close to negotiating. They're right at the edge of I think having a chance to think something through.

BLACKWELL: And what do you think that one thing may be that the president could possibly negotiate on would be? Would it be the medical device tax? Would that be something that he would consider?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it depends on -- if he's determined to get everything -- that is both the debt ceiling for more than six weeks and reopening the government, I suspect he's going to have to give up three or four things. I would be very surprised if they would agree to just get, you know -- particularly negotiate a year-long debt ceiling. And so imagine it this way. The longer the debt ceiling he wants, the more he has to pay for it. And payments mostly, as Congressman Paul Ryan, the budget chairman has said, are mostly on things like how do we get back towards a balanced budget, how do we control federal spending? And I think that's a very challenging thing for the president, because many of his allies don't want to control spending. They, in fact, believe in bigger government and higher taxes.

CABRERA: So you don't think this is about Obamacare at all anymore.

GINGRICH: Well, Obamacare is still there. And frankly, the more he's watches it fail, the more people say I can't get on or I'm paying much higher prices, I think Obamacare -- one of the things that ironically that may be happening, is a lot of conservatives think that Obamacare may start to collapse of its own weight and so it's actually - you can actually take it on in a separate clean fight. But I think unless the House Republicans see some fairly big things, the odds are pretty high that they would not accept any kind of deal that didn't include something on Obamacare.

BLACKWELL: So you wrote in an op-ed that the shutdowns in '95 and '96 really didn't hurt the GOP. There is the new NBC "Wall Street Journal" poll that shows favorable view of the Republicans. It's 24 percent. Tea Party, 21, all-time low. Is this crystallizing, or do you think that this too by the time we get to 2014 elections will be gone?

GINGRICH: Look, Nate Silver, who's the famous analyst of polling, was at the "New York Times," just wrote a piece yesterday and said, look, all of this is noise. We have no idea what a year from now will be like. We have zero reason to believe that this will last. Obviously, if you're in the middle of this kind of a mess, you don't look good. But on the other hand, if six months from now people say, you know, they really began to bring spending under control, they really began to reform Washington, maybe it was worth the fight, then you're in a different place. We gained two seats in the Senate after closing the government, and we were the first re-elected Republicans since 1928 after closing the government.

BLACKWELL: But the fight is only being pushed for another six months. If the debt ceiling ...

GINGRICH: Well, that's the question the president has got to think about, too. But my only point is, you can have lots of fights now. The election is not this November. The election is next November. Some politicians actually ought to do what they believe is right and then figure out they ought to home and explain it.

CABRERA: And we know obviously where your political views stand. But what do the Republicans need to do to help us get our government back on track?

GINGRICH: I think we need -- in fact, I have a book coming out next month called "Breakout" and my argument is we need to rethink everything we're doing. If you look in your own private life, you look at your smartphone, you look at your ATM card, you look at the tremendous amount of data we have that's very accurate, and you look at this mess in Washington, you have huge old paper-based bureaucracies that are just incompetent. And nobody in either party is prepared to slow down and look at the scale of reform we need. So I think we really need, in both parties, to come into touch with the modern world in our private lives and realize, there is an enormous gap between what we routinely do nowadays and what this bureaucracy is capable of.

BLACKWELL: All right. We - I wish we had more time. But Newt Gingrich, cohost of "Crossfire." Thank you so much for talking with us. GINGRICH: Good to be here.

CABRERA: Still ahead this morning, strong winds already whipping the northeast coast of India. We'll have a live report as millions are bracing for a huge tropical cyclone.


BLACKWELL: We're going to go live to the House. We've got the Democrats who are standing there at the mic, who are talking about going to the House floor and entering a discharge petition. Let's listen.

REP. GEORGE MILLER (D) CALIFORNIA: This government shutdown is hurting government workers, it's hurting the people in this country that need the services of this government. And it's hurting our economy. It's time to reopen the government and put people back to work.

REP. STENY HOYER (D) MINORITY WHIP: I now want to recognize the ranking member of the budget committee, who has been working for the last six -- we want to do -- all right. I'm going to recognize first then the ranking member of the appropriations committee, who has been working very hard to get appropriation bills passed, so that we did not have this government shutdown, so government workers would not be shut out of their workplace and so the American people would be served by their government. Nita Lowey.

REP. NITA LOWEY, (D) NEW YORK: Thank you. It's very clear to all of us that the American people have had enough. The government shutdown is an abject failure of this Congress to do its job. It's having a severe impact on jobs, economic growth, services and investments that are critical to American families. Speaker Boehner should allow a vote on the clean Senate-passed bill to open the government. It would pass with Democratic and Republican votes, and President Obama would sign it into law, ending the shutdown today. The majority still doesn't understand that this shutdown serves no purpose, causes real pain to American families. If Speaker Boehner will not agree to hold a vote to reopen government, he is going to get support on the floor that will make him do so. That is why this discharge petition is so important. It gives Democrats and Republicans the chance to force a vote on bringing this ugly and embarrassing episode to a close. So I call on all my colleagues, let your voices be heard. Sign the petition. Let's open government. This is important for jobs, the economy, the American people and the future. Thank you.

HOYER: I now want to recognize the ranking member of the budget committee, who has been working for the last six months to get a conference established so that we could discuss the issues, which apparently some have said have led to the shutdown. He has also been working very hard to get a bill on the floor, which would open the government now, put the people to work for the American public. Chris Van Hollen.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: Thank you, Steny. A majority of members of the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, are on the public record saying that they want a vote to open the entire government now. Speaker Boehner has prevented us from having a vote in the House of Representatives. He has prevented democracy from working its will. In fact, on October 1st, they rigged the rules of the House in order to keep the government shutdown. This is now an opportunity to use the rules of the House to allow democracy to work its will. We're calling on every member of Congress who has told their constituents that they want a vote to immediately open the government that this is the time to show that they mean what they say. This is a chance to show here in Washington, D.C. that they mean what they're telling their constituents back home in their districts, which is they want a vote to open the government now. We know the votes are there. It's just now a matter of people keeping their word to their constituents and the American people. Let's get it done. Let's vote to open the government now.

HOYER: I have in my hand the piece of legislation that Mr. Van Hollen wants to bring to the floor. And we can substitute opening government today. What it says is, it's the Government Shutdown Prevention Act. If they meant that, they too will sign the petition that we are about to go into the House of Representatives, all of my colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle signed this petition. Get the government open. Do it today. Questions?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You sound like you're not totally sure you're going to get enough Republican signatures here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think is going to happen, and also what about the debt ceiling?

HOYER: Well, I think you're probably correct on the fact that we're not sure, because a lot of people have said they want the government open. But have refused to provide for ways and means to get the government open. We could do it today. We ought to do it today. We're going to try to do it today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any assurances from the leadership that if you get the signatures that they would allow you to move forward on Monday? There was some question about whether or not (inaudible) that would be OK. Has that been established?

HOYER: Under the rules, we think ...

BLACKWELL: So, you've been listening to House Democratic leadership there, talking about taking this discharge petition to the House floor to use this as a maneuver, as an endgame to end the shutdown. If they get their 200 Democrats, which they will, and then the 19 Republicans who have gone public, saying that they are ready to vote for a clean CR. They would be able to bring it to the floor for a vote without the support of House leadership, John Boehner.

CABRERA: Right. So this would be a way to get around his leadership by basically forcing a vote on the clean spending bill.


CABRERA: They think they have the votes and they think if everybody signs this petition, to be able to then vote on that clean spending bill, that would be enough to get the government back up and running. So that's the big question right now. We're following developments closely. We have teams all across the Capitol and at the White House following developments as they happen throughout the morning and all throughout the day here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Quick break. We'll be back.


BLACKWELL: Flooding and fierce winds are already whipping the coast of northeast India.

CABRERA: This tropical cyclone is a monster. Phailin. More than 1,500 miles wide.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Karen Maginnis is in the CNN severe weather center. Karen, how bad is this? How bad could it be?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is within striking distance of the coast, and when we say that, that means the eye is almost on shore. But certainly they've already been battered in some of these coastal areas. They're expecting as much as a foot of rainfall. This is the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. It is very broad in scope. Right across the Bay of Bengal. It will move onshore, weaken to a category two and then make its way towards the northeast over the next 24 to 48 hours. So we'll keep you updated on that. Heavy rainfall in the Mid-Atlantic. Some areas saw as much as ten inches of rainfall. But some record rainfall amounts all the way from Cape Hatteras to Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

We're looking at temperatures cooler behind the weather system. Temperatures about 50 to 60 degrees. If you're wondering what's happening in Chicago, we go from 70s to 60s. Nashville, 80s to temperatures in the 70s. We'll keep you updated. Maybe we can take a quick look at the sinkhole in Pennsylvania. They saw four people evacuate. No one was injured. But we'll show that to you the next time. All right, back to you.

CABRERA: Karen Maginnis in the CNN severe weather center, thank you. And thank you for watching today. We'll see you back here at the top of the hour.

BLACKWELL: But first ...

REP. PAUL RYAN (R ) WISCONSIN: You know, divided government, it's frustrating. But our country is worth the effort. We have to find a way to make it work.

BLACKWELL: Is there enough time to avert economic disaster? Fareed Zakaria joins Christine Romans on an emergency edition of "YOUR MONEY." It starts right now.