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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Senate Voting Now on Deal to End Government Shutdown, Raise the U.S. Debt Ceiling; Interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham; Interview with Rep. Matt Salmon; Interview with Rep. Steve Israel
Aired October 16, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We're live tonight in Washington, D.C., where with the clock winding down and four hours to go for the debt ceiling deadline, finally, the Senate is voting on a deal to reopen the government and averted a debt default. It's expected to pass and then go on to the House.
Some people who work in the building behind me will probably call this a victory, others will breathe a sigh of relief, and this being Washington there are surely some self-congratulations.
But now here we are after 16 days of a government shutdown and for what? All the American people really got out of this was a further erosion of their faith in the people they put in office and one gigantic price tag.
Today Standard & Poor's estimated that the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the American economy. $24 billion so far. And the Senate deal is not the end of the story by any stretch of the imagination. If only -- it only funds the government through the middle of January and extends the debt ceiling only through the middle of February. So we'll see you back here in winter possibly having the same conversation. Let's hope not.
As for this round today House Speaker John Boehner said, quote, "We fought the good fight, we just didn't win."
And Senator Ted Cruz, in the run-up to tonight's votes, kept the rhetoric fiery right up until the end, calling the Senate agreement a, quote, "terrible deal," praising the hard line Republicans in the House as a, quote, "profile encourage," and of course getting in another slam at Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Imagine after the House Republicans stood together with the American people, if all 46 Senate Republicans have stood together and said, we are united against the train wreck that is Obamacare.
We are united with the American people that if President Obama is going to give an exemption for big business, for members of Congress, that the American people deserve that very same exemption.
I want you to imagine, Mr. President, if Senate Republicans have stood together and simply supported House Republicans and the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash joins me now live.
So, Dana, what's happening right now? What's the latest?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest is that the Senate is voting on the second and final vote to formally send this deal, this bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling over to the House. The vote -- the initial vote was huge, hugely bipartisan, approved overwhelmingly, 83-16.
So only 16 Republicans voted no on this, and some of the people who voted no, and in fact most of them you probably wouldn't be shocked at, obviously Ted Cruz is one of them and several Republicans who have some primary challenger who have already announced that they want to take their -- to take their Senate seats but as -- they're challenging them from the right, from within their own party. So that's not surprising that they voted no.
So again, it's going to be onto the House. We do expect them to vote tonight, Anderson, and then it will go to the president's desk. So as you said, after all of this, after the roller coaster ride, after the twist and turns and the -- and the real split within the Republican Party, this is passing overwhelmingly in the Senate and it is leaving a lot of scars here on Capitol Hill.
COOPER: All right. Dana, thanks very much. A lot going on tonight. We'll get back to you later.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has been venting frustration about what he calls the little leverage that his party was left with approaching this deal and also about where his party is heading today. The senator wrote on Twitter, quote, "We could have done much, much better. By the time we got to this point we were playing poker only holding a pair of twos." And this, quote, "To say we as Republicans left a lot on the table would be one of the biggest understatements in American political history."
Senator Lindsey Graham joins me now. Quite a tweet there.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, it's true. I mean, we could have repealed the medical device tax. We could have done a lot of things that would have been good for the country but by the time we made a deal we're at 75 percent disapproval. It's not a whole lot of leverage when 75 percent of the people don't like what you're doing.
COOPER: So those polls really had an impact?
GRAHAM: Well, you can't let 20 or 30 polls cloud your thinking, apparently. Of course they had an --
GRAHAM: Of course they had an impact and to the people on my side who think this turned out to be a good idea, I just think that's not reality.
COOPER: John Boehner said we fought the good fight. Was this a good fight?
GRAHAM: Well, you know, I love John Boehner. And the thing I like about John is he was trying to bring sanity at the end. It really hurt me to see him not be able to get something out of the House to -- that would have been a lot better than this, but 60 percent of the American people want to fire every incumbent. My party is at 24 percent. The president is not doing very well. The Democrats moved the goalpost twice.
I can understand in general discuss with everybody and I can understand why we suffered the most.
COOPER: So when Senator Cruz came out today and said look, not only did we fight the good fight, but we accomplished stuff. We accomplished them. Was anything accomplished in all this?
GRAHAM: Number one, the debt wasn't affected at all. Obamacare wasn't changed in any real measure. Our numbers went down, and if you think those polls are wrong you're kidding yourself. The president was AWOL I thought during the time of national crisis. Harry Reid kept moving the goalpost when we tried to get a deal. So everybody lost. So I just don't see -- if you like this movie, maybe a sequel is being in the mix now for January.
If we do this again in January, we all should just --
COOPER: Well, I mean, is this -- is the can just being kicked in the road here?
GRAHAM: Totally. Name one thing in this deal that changed the underlying faults in Obamacare that we in a bipartisan fashion agree with. Name one thing in this bill that changed the course of this country becoming Greece over time. But this is the best Mitch could do because we overplayed our hands so badly. By the end we had just a pair of twos. But it's not about us winning or losing or the Democrats win or losing, it's about the country suffering under a dysfunctional system.
Our system up here is completely broken and you get second chances in life very seldom. We'll have a second chance between now and January to prove to the American people the Republican Party can govern and the Congress can address the problems that face us all.
COOPER: Did those who said to their constituents we're going to defund Obamacare, we're going to -- we're going to delay it, we're -- and were fundraising off it, were they lying? GRAHAM: No, I don't know if they were lying. I'm not going to question their motives but I know it wasn't possible. There are a lot of people sincerely upset with Obamacare. Think it's bad for their business, bad for the economy, bad for the American health care system. There are a lot of people really afraid about what's going on in Washington and to stoke their fear and to create unreasonable expectations about what you can do really is not the way to go.
It was never possible to get President Obama to repeal, defund or delay a signature issue. We have a small majority in the House, we have a minority in the Senate and Obamacare, the guy whose bill is named after still in the White House. I never understood how this could end well for us.
COOPER: So what happens now? I mean, the deadlines are pushed back, the government reopens, there's supposed to be now negotiations. Do you think without this threat of catastrophe, there will be real negotiations?
GRAHAM: Well, I think there is a wakeup call. There has been a wakeup call for us, I hope. I think it has been. I see some people in my party talking in a more practical form regarding conservativism. Democrats know they didn't really shine, either. So between now and January maybe we could come up with a deal to reform entitlements, flatten out the tax code and take small steps but significant steps toward changing America and find a way to deal with Obamacare where there is a bipartisan agreement that the plan is not working.
For two weeks it's been a disaster and you haven't talked much about Obamacare as failures because we got in the way of that story. We've done more to elevate Obamacare in the last two weeks than any Democrat could have hoped of.
COOPER: It's actually gone up in the polls.
GRAHAM: Yes, it has.
COOPER: Despite this roll out which has been --
GRAHAM: It's been --
COOPER: Obviously --
GRAHAM: This has been a debacle for us but the good news, I guess politically, Obamacare will be a debacle long after this shutdown is over. By next summer, if there are not changes in this law Democrats are going to come to us and say help us change it, if we all just get out of the way.
COOPER: Lindsey Graham, appreciate you being with us.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you, Senator. I know you got to go vote. Appreciate it.
GRAHAM: Yes. That's right.
COOPER: I want to go to Dana Bash, also checking in. Dana, just what's going on?
BASH: We're waiting for the vote to end. We have some senators who haven't voted, maybe one of them is standing with you right now and is going back into the building behind you to cast a vote, so we're just waiting for that final number.
One other thing that I wanted to tell you, maybe there is a little bit of optimism. I know I said that earlier to Lindsey Graham, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and he told me no, that's a train coming towards you. But I actually think that this is interesting, and that is tomorrow morning the House Budget chair, Republican, Paul Ryan, the Senate budget chair, a Democrat, Patty Murray, are going to meet. They're going to have breakfast together and they're going to let the cameras in to see it, we believe.
But more importantly they're going to have their first meeting to start to look ahead at trying to work out the nation's fiscal problems or at least at the very minimum, get a budget for next year. So what we're going through right now doesn't happen. So that is a positive sign. We have not seen that kind of meeting at all this year or the year before and both parties absolutely can be blamed for that.
COOPER: Dana Bash, appreciate it. Thanks very much, Dana.
We're joined now by chief national correspondent John King, political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen.
John, in terms of what's happening tonight, what should people know?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What should people know is it looks like the government is going to reopen pretty quickly and the debt ceiling will be extended until February, everybody can take a deep sigh of relief, breath for a day or two, and then we start this all over again.
COOPER: Does that mean -- I mean, museums open tomorrow, I mean things are open, the monuments are open --
KING: As soon as the president signs it. They can move on to this as quickly as possible. You'll get that official word out of the administration when the president knows it's coming his way. But officially he has to sign it before you can do that but you've seen what some workers brought back in. Museums and things will wait until he signs it. Other signals could go out the federal workers as early as tonight.
But in terms of the politics, this is going to be fascinating to watch on the House side, to see how many House Republicans actually vote yes because the safe vote for them is no.
COOPER: Still no.
KING: That makes probably no sense to a lot of people watching.
COOPER: Safe because then they don't get potentially a primary challenge then they can say, well, we fought the good fight.
KING: The overwhelming majority of House districts are drawn in a way that the only test for a lawmaker is a primary. So if you're a Republican, especially because the Tea Party doesn't like this deal, it's threatening to primary people, the safe vote is no. So Speaker John Boehner will be weakened by this. This will pass in the House. He will be weakened. There is no threat of an immediate challenge.
But, Anderson, we're going to be -- you'll be back. I know you love Washington. You know, this extends the debt ceiling until early February, government funding until early January. It's great that they're finally going to meet. It would be nice maybe if the president met with them, too, instead of waiting until we get to the deadline but there is no indication given the policy divide and as now they've kicked the can into an election year.
Are you're going to ask Democrats to vote to cut Medicare in an election year. Are you going to ask Republicans to raise taxes in an election year? Good luck with that.
COOPER: And we're still hearing from House Republicans about defunding or delaying Obamacare.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Of course you are. I mean there is the group, the hell-no caucus that's going to -- they believe that is what they were elected to do, they were elected to defund Obamacare. There is another group that's just afraid of their right flank and they will tonight vote no, but I think they're going to -- you're going to see some of them holding back to see, you know, if their votes are needed.
COOPER: Dana is getting some new information.
Dana, what are you hearing?
BASH: This just passed the Senate. The vote was 81-18. So this compromise, this bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is now on its way over to the House and we're going to see how that plays out as the night goes on. But this is a very big bipartisan vote, 81-18, and I don't have the exact names of the 18 nays but I would be surprised if there were any Democrats on that.
COOPER: And in terms of the timing of the House vote, I mean, what's the expectation?
BASH: Well, they are trying to expedite it as much as possible. The House does have the ability to move faster than the Senate because majority really does rule with regard to procedure there, but they do have to go through some important processes in order to get it on the floor but --
BASH: We do expect it to happen before midnight.
COOPER: And I hear Harry Reid is speaking. Let's listen in.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Lamar Alexander reached out to Senator Schumer, and being the peacemaker that he is, Lamar Alexander suggested that they that start doing what they could to engage Senator McConnell and I, as a result of that, I think we're able to talk and hopefully develop really a strong relationship.
We -- Senator McConnell and I have worked together for many years. The last little bit is no surprise it hasn't been too good. So anyway, I appreciate the work that Senator Alexander and Senator Schumer did. I'm grateful for Senator Pryor and that gang of senators that they did some things that really helped us.
So I would hope that in the future the work that -- has done -- was done by Senator Pryor and Collins will be able to get together to create some separation here from all this shrill voice, these shrill voices that we hear that really are not helpful.
This crisis is historic. Let's be honest, this is pain inflicted on our nation for no good reason and cannot make -- we cannot, cannot make the same mistake again. So as we move into the next round of negotiations, I'm depending on stable, hard working, always available Patty Murray. She is the stereotype of what I believe a senator should be.
I'm very, very grateful to her for being willing to take the leadership of trying to work something out, to make sure that we don't have another one of these crisis, manufactured crisis. She was called upon by the Democratic caucus to be the chair of the super committee. And she worked so hard and we were so close but as you know from all the experiences that the president had and I've had with Speaker Boehner, he was never able to take that step to accomplish this.
I want to express here, probably the right place that would be on the Senate floor for the support of my three leaders. It's -- everyone knows my caucus has been locked strong together. We've worked with the president. We've been a real team. But one way we've been able to be a team is my team made the bigger team work. So I'm really grateful to them. No one will ever know --
COOPER: Senator Harry Reid.
Back with our panel, chief national correspondent John King, political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen.
David, did anything come out of this? I mean -- was this all for naught? I mean, Boehner saying we fought the good fight --
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Nothing good came out of it. A lot came out of it. It caused damage to an awful lot of people, it's dampened the economy, it's going to cost us some jobs, it's embarrassed us in front of the world. Other than that, yes --
COOPER: And I just learned the president is expected to speak. President Obama is expected to speak in about 10 minutes, around 8:25 in the press briefing room. We'll obviously carry that live.
BORGER: You know, I think the next question is what happens in this next round of budget negotiations. I think you can try and be optimistic, but I remember the super committee which didn't do too well and they sort of agreed to disagree. And so my big question going into this is what has changed that would allow them to kind of reach a deal of some kind in the next few months.
COOPER: And what would be on the table.
GERGEN: There could be plenty of things on the table. The sequester is very important. The level of spending every year is very important to the Democrats in particular but there is also a question of entitlement reform.
GERGEN: It's still out there. There's the question of tax reform. A lot of work has been done on the hill by Max Baucus, the Democrat, and David Camp, the Republican in the House. So --
KING: Two establishment guys, though. Two establishment guys.
GERGEN: Yes. Right.
KING: Liberals don't like what Max Baucus wants to do with entitlements, conservatives don't think Dave Camp is going to go far enough on spending cuts and they think he's open to tax reform that raises taxes.
The most important thing I think going forward, at least from my perspective, is the divide in the Republican Party is not healing, it is growing. And the distrust in the leadership is growing. And so the president said on an interview with the local TV station of the day when this is over he wants to move on to immigration. Really? Really?
If you go back to the State of the Union Address, he said immigration, a jobs bill, an infrastructure bank, preschool for every child, I mean, the president is winning in the short term politically. But if you go back to his State of the Union and you realize now it's October, this has been a lost year in Washington.
BORGER: But --
KING: A completely lost year.
BORGER: But there are going to be Republicans like Lindsey Graham who are going to say we have to decide whether want to be a national party, whether we want to be able to be a presidential party, or whether we want to just stay congressional party --
GERGEN: One of the surprises for me today has been that the conservatives in the House who have been attacking Boehner, that looked like they might want to over throw him at one point, they gave him a standing ovation today.
GERGEN: They really rallied around him. And they blamed the moderates in the Republican Party for causing all this. That they were too soft. They were squishy and --
COOPER: Right. In fact I talked to a Tea Party, the head of a Tea Party group earlier today who said look, essentially, that it was the moderates in the Senate, Senate Republicans, who didn't stand with the House Republicans.
COOPER: Who caught -- who were the reason this thing didn't work.
GERGEN: They are about the only people in Washington that believe that. These hard line conservatives.
BORGER: And Boehner --
GERGEN: Of course everybody believes -- the Cruz thing was a -- a folly. Total folly from the Republicans.
BORGER: You know, there is a poll out tonight that -- a Pew poll that asked sort of Republicans what you think of the Tea Party. Half of Republican voters now believe that the Tea Party is separate from them.
So, you know, this could (INAUDIBLE) some kind of a real split because I don't think John Boehner is going to be able to control them anymore after this. They'll go home, they'll be fine. Ted Cruz will be very warmly received back in Texas.
COOPER: And has raised a lot of money on this.
KING: And the question is, can there be a circuit breaker?
KING: This is not a mess that the president is making. I'm not trying to say that. But when the president speaks tonight, we only have one president. Whether he's a Democrat or a Republican, he does have a chance. If you could throw a circuit breaker here, it's going to have to come from the president. I don't know if it's possible.
COOPER: What could the president do in terms of reaching out? Because that's the -- one of the big criticisms by Republicans that he's not reached out. KING: See them more often.
KING: And don't let these things go to the deadline. The president can get out -- if they don't want -- if the Senate and the House -- the Senate and the House hate each other. It's not just Democrats and Republicans. That's sort of a bipartisan agreement. All the senators hate the House and all the House members hate the Senate. The president could, you know, kick them a little bit more and chive them to do their work before you get up against the ticking clock.
BORGER: And he's going to have to get his liberal Democrats a little bit angry. I mean, that's the -- that's question for President Obama, can he sort of forget about -- not forget about them but get -- you know, be willing to anger them a bit.
COOPER: Are there -- that he would be willing to --
BORGER: No. Not on Obamacare.
GERGEN: No. Yes.
BORGER: We've moved onto the budget. I mean, we've moved on to entitlements and taxes.
GERGEN: Really the best thing you can do is just send them home for 10 days and go soak their heads.
BORGER: I agree. Yes.
GERGEN: And cool off.
GERGEN: And get the heck out of here. I mean, they are so poisonous right now. There are -- there is such a weight on this capitol right now. They're demoralizing the country. There are so many people who -- not angry, they're not protesting, but they're discouraged about the state of our democracy.
KING: We'll see what happens. You're just talking to Lindsey Graham, he voted yes to reopen the government and to raise the debt ceiling. He has a Tea Party challenger back home. We will see the strength of the Tea Party there. Mitch McConnell, who in the end is the first person who probably more than anyone else got this deal to the finish line, working with Harry Reid, this time without Joe Biden in the room. Mitch McConnell has a Tea Party challenger back home.
We will see -- I was back there a few weeks ago. And it didn't seem like much. But now we'll see.
COOPER: Right. KING: Does it blossom up? And does it go? Those are the questions --
BORGER: Or not.
COOPER: And our Dana Bash has more information she's getting.
Dana, what are you hearing from sources?
BASH: Republican leadership sources in the House are simply stunned and really scratching their heads about why the president is coming out to speak before the House votes. The president says all the time he gets that his presence, his name attached to anything is toxic in many Republican circles and at a time when John Boehner went into a private Republican caucus earlier today, yes, as David said, he got a standing ovation but he really tried to get Republicans to vote for this.
It could have the opposite effect. Yes, of course, there are 200 Democrats who -- many of whom are going to vote yes, so I'm not sure that this would put the outcome of the vote in jeopardy but a lot of Republicans are thinking -- I'm saying to myself, to Deirdre Walsh, our House producer, this is sort of political tin ear moment. They're not sure why he's not waiting until after the House vote except for the fact that it could be midnight.
COOPER: Well, let's check in with our senator White House correspondent Brianna Keilar who's standing by right now in the room where the president is expected just momentarily.
Brianna, what about that? What is the White House saying about why President Obama is coming out now? Or are they?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they haven't said anything about why he's coming out at this point but I do think they just want to highlight the progress in the Senate and officially they're not going to say that this is a political move, Anderson.
But I do think that even in the negotiations that we've seen going on really in the Senate where, obviously, the White House has had, you know, has been in concert with Senate Democrats, even though it's the Senate Democratic leadership doing the majority of the negotiating or all of the negotiating, I think there has been a message and that has been that the president or the White House through Senate Democrats is willing to negotiate with Republicans.
Remember, he did give a small capitulation on Obamacare with that income verification but he's not willing to negotiate with Tea Party Republicans or really any Republicans who are being very much swayed by the Tea Party. I think that may have something to do with why we're seeing him come out now, but the other issue may be one of logistics as well, and that is the White House will remind you, and they haven't said this, but earlier we were talking about timing if the president were going to come out. They'll remind you that it takes awhile sometimes for the bill to get over here, even after the House passes it, assuming that they do, it has to be enrolled, it goes through a whole process. It takes some time. And I think the president wants to get on the record as all of this has gone down throughout the day -- Anderson.
COOPER: Has the White House been commenting all about the idea or the possibility that this could all happen again in a few months?
KEILAR: Yes, that's sort of a fascinating point. Because you can imagine it happening all over again. And what White House officials will tell you is that the way they conducted themselves in this process saying that they will not negotiate and really in the end pretty much getting their way, they feel that that will discourage Tea Party Republicans, House Republicans from taking a similar track come middle of January.
Now whether that's going to happen, that's to be debated but what they're saying is this discourages them and also they're sort of betting on the fact that closer to an election when the polls show and you just heard Lindsey Graham telling you certainly from his perspective that the polls which showed Republicans were very much blamed for this compared to Democrats and certainly compared to the White House, I think the White House feels that closer to the election that Republicans aren't going to want to go through this all over again.
Of course, that's sort of I think the standard that you wouldn't necessarily see some House Republicans standing by. So I think we're not going to know if this really works until we get to mid January. You can really imagine it happening all over again.
COOPER: All right, Brianna, we're going to, again, bring the president's comments live, of course, as soon as they happen just a few minutes from now.
Back with our panel, David Gergen, Gloria Borger and John King.
Does it surprise you that the president would come out to speak before the House actually votes?
KING: Yes and no.
Yes, from a -- if they would call up to John Boehner and say when should the president speak? If they would give him that courtesy he would say, please not now.
KING: They clearly didn't do that. And look, the president wants to get into the news cycle. He wants to celebrate, if you will, this deal but it's risky. As Dana just noted, it's going to cost him some votes and to the point that Brianna --
COOPER: You're saying it's something that's going to cost him some votes.
KING: I think it will cost them some votes. You already have some people stand back. So people will wait along, and they'll complain about it. It will cost him goodwill going forward which there's already none in this town to begin with. But to Brianna's point about if the White House thinks that this is going to scare away Tea Party Republicans because the president is winning this time, they're not talking to enough Tea Party Republicans.
So that's the problem in this town. They don't understand each other. These guys live in districts where Mitt Romney got 55 and 60 percent. They got 60 and sometimes 70 percent, a rare unopposed in the general election. They're not afraid of this president.
KING: That doesn't mean nationally this hasn't hurt the Republican Party. But that 25 or 30, sometimes 40 members, they don't care.
BORGER: I don't think the president is going out there to gloat because that's not sort of his style. He may be doing this because of foreign markets. He may be doing it to give the signal things are going to be OK. We're not going to -- you know, we're going to blow by the debt ceiling and he's probably going to point out the bipartisan margin, I would think, that he's going to get -- that he got in the Senate that he surely isn't going to get now.
COOPER: Is it smart to do this, David?
GERGEN: A lot depends on what he says.
GERGEN: You know, if he comes out and attacks Republicans in the House it'd be terribly dumb. It would drive voters away. If he comes out and says, you know, I was serious about negotiations, I'm willing to sit down and appointment my team tomorrow, that could actually help him a little bit. But I do think -- I think John was on to something. It is part of -- he wants to be in this news cycle.
It looks like he's been really removed from what's going on and I think he wants to get his fingerprints on it and he also wants -- and I think he has justification for arguing that by standing tough, by not -- by not willing to compromise, he actually won and the Republicans capitulated. So you've got say, on his -- he came out of this better than he might have. I think.
COOPER: And we are just about a minute or so away. You certainly don't expect him to say, though, I won?
GERGEN: No. COOPER: No.
COOPER: That was not --
GERGEN: No. But I think if --
KING: The American people --
BORGER: But you don't have to say it.
KING: The American are about to win.
GERGEN: Yes, yes.
BORGER: You don't have to -- right. This is a victory for the American people.
BORGER: One would assume he would say.
KING: It's hard, though. To David's point, and David has been in the White House at moments like this. The president is going to win in the short term. There's no question about that. The question is, can he get anything done in the long term? That first year of the second term is so important. And again, I'm not blaming the president, but go back to his wish list from February and look at what has happened, it would be nothing.
BORGER: But must have more leverage --
COOPER: So, again, on the issue of Obamacare, I mean, moving forward.
COOPER: Is there a wiggle room on this? Are there things that might change with it?
BORGER: Yes. There are things --
COOPER: That the president would be willing to change on it?
BORGER: For example, the tax on medical devices. Bipartisan support, they're going to -- you know, they're going to fix that. They're going to -- they may remove it. They have to find revenue to replace it with. So they'll -- they will do that, but not on this particular bill and that was the president's kind of line in the sand.
BORGER: Then he stuck to it, and I think, by the way, a lot of Republicans were surprised, or absolutely shocked he did.
GERGEN: A lot depends on what happens with Obamacare itself over the next two, three, four weeks.
GERGEN: If the glitches continue, if this rollout is seen as a disaster, then that will give Republicans a lot more leverage --
COOPER: And to even call it glitches, I mean, is sort of an understatement.
COOPER: I mean, a lot of people have been covering this, they saying look, this is some real inherent problems with the way --
COOPER: That the Web site, the way the whole thing was created.
GERGEN: Right. And there's been a reporting today, is that in the last few months there were people inside the administration saying they should postpone the exchange.
COOPER: Saying that.
BORGER: Extend it.
BORGER: Right. And so, you know, the president in a way that, you know, this fight kind of stepped on that whole Republicans message.
BORGER: As Lindsey Graham pointed out. They've stepped on their own message. Government has grown more popular and Republicans have gone down in the polls.
COOPER: I got to say --
BORGER: Not exactly a great fight --
COOPER: It was actually refreshing to hear Lindsey Graham -- you know, a politician, saying the polls actually matter because normally every Democrat, Republican you talk to, they always say, you know, we're not paying attention to polls which is --
COOPER: I mean --
GERGEN: Except they eat them for breakfast.
BORGER: And so John McCain --
COOPER: The president is coming now. Let's listen in.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening, everybody.
Tonight the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy.
The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point.
Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately. We'll begin reopening our government immediately. And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.
I'll have more to say about this tomorrow and I've got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year, stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that's been lost over the last few weeks. And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'm willing to work with anybody. I am eager to work with anybody, Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members, on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term.
I've never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas and despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government, I'm convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.
In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out. We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair and that helps hardworking people all across this country.
And we could get all these things done even this year, if everybody comes together in a spirit of how we're going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us.
That's what I believe the American people are looking for, not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives. And that's going to be my focus. I'm looking forward to Congress doing the same.
And for once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully next time it won't be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.
And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can't work on the issues at hand, why we can't disagree between the parties while still being agreeable and make sure that we're not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements. So hopefully, that's a lesson that will be internalized and not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file. Thanks very much, everybody.
COOPER: President Obama speaking at the White House, obviously not taking questions. Back with the panel David Gergen, Gloria Borger and John King. Do you think the president is right this is a lesson that has been internalized? I talked to John McCain a little bit earlier this evening. We're going to play that in our 10:00 hour. He said he believes it's less likely to happen again at the 11th hour, there maybe has been some lessons learned.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: We'll see. We'll see. It's -- I don't know why we need people with training wheels around here to run the government. Nonetheless, I am not at all convinced, to John's point, I think Gloria would make the same argument, the Tea Party learned that lesson out of this. They didn't find hard enough. W e surrendered and had guys too weak and squishing on the team and we need to get some really bold people in here.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The party has changed so much and we'll see that in elections. If they fizzle and fail in this year primary changes maybe you won't see as much next year. The Heritage Foundation that came up with the original Massachusetts model and disputed and had the health care that Mitt Romney barred, that used to be the Heritage Foundation.
Now it's Jim DeMint saying vote no on this and we'll help you raise money for your primary opponents if you don't. The Tea Party groups are saying if you vote yes on this we'll primary you. Do John McCain, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Lindsey Graham, Peter King in the House, do those guys want to sit down and work with Democrats and cut the best deal they can based on the available math that day? Sure. Do the Tea Party guys want that? Does Ted Cruz want that? I think not.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's also a question of who is leading the Republican Party right now. Is it Chris Christie that might want to be president? Is it John Boehner? Is it Ted Cruz? There isn't any voice for the Republican Party. That generally happens with a presidential nominee. At this point they got to sort and try to sort it out because they are heading into this fiscal negotiation and that's a problem.
GERGEN: Can't you imagine Democrats will come out of this feeling like they won, their muscles are bigger and they will be less willing to compromise and these negotiations, they will want to hang tough on a lot?
BORGER: That's where the president may have to take on his own party.
COOPER: John McCain was saying and warning Democrats don't get too --
GERGEN: Don't get too cocky.
COOPER: I do want to bring in Dana Bash just for a second. Dana, you sent me e-mails you were getting from Republican sources saying, you know, why is the president doing this? Stop, stop, stop.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I can even read you one, it did say OMG, stop, stop, stop, why would you do this to our vote count potus, meaning president of the United States. That is from one Republican source.
COOPER: I love Republican sources are using OMG --
BASH: It has come to that. It has come to that. But in a more serious note, the question is whether or not that is going to lower the vote count among Republicans. Another source says to me it's too early to tell, but it is further poisoning of the well. The other thing after he was finished speaking, this same Republican source said really, he's coming out right now and saying let's talk about immigration reform after everything is so strident?
Look, I mean, it's understandable that the president wants to come out and be part of this and look, he did, as you all were saying, he put his stake in the ground and said no negotiations, but it is not done yet. And he does have Democratic votes, but it is not done yet and we have seen this movie before when things change and they don't end up the way we think they will end up so --
BASH: Certainly in the category of not helpful as Republicans are concerned.
COOPER: Brianna Keilar at the White House. Brianna, I understand the president was asked a question and answered it. Did you hear what it was?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I asked it. I said how is this not going to happen all over again in a few months, I said is it going to happen and he turned around leaving through the door and said no, simply no. The White House feels that this whole process should have discouraged Republicans. They think that Republicans should be doing a little soul searching, realize they got so much of the blame that even though you'll hear the White House say everyone lost in this.
Republicans lost so much more particularly some of the more moderate Republicans who followed the lead of Tea Party Republicans. You talk, though, to -- for instance Republicans on the Hill and we heard yesterday President Obama said I'm ready day one after this is done to talk about immigration reform, but Republicans will tell you there is no way to really in any substantive way plow through that when we had one issue here in Washington we can't move on to another one.
KEILAR: You talk to this White House and they say look, this has been a waste of time. We don't want to let it slow us down, but they look the chances like immigration reform going through --
COOPER: Which is --
KEILAR: They say not this year.
COOPER: There is the point you made earlier.
KING: The Tea Party guys lost on Obamacare. Do you think they want to sign on to a path of citizenship? That would be an interesting conversation to watch. I've been talking about watching to see what happens to Mitch McConnell or Lindsey Graham. There are two governor races in New Jersey, blue state where it looks like Chris Christie will win in a blowout and a Tea Party guy that could send a bit of a message to the party if that happens.
COOPER: We got to take a break. Brianna Keilar, thank you. Dana Bash, John King, Gloria Borger, David Gergen. Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter. The president said he'll sign the bill to reopen the government immediately once it reaches his desk. The Senate passed a bill 81-18 and goes to the House. I'll speak with Democrat and Republican congressmen next.
COOPER: Welcome back, breaking news the Senate passed a bill to reopen the government and extent the debt ceiling passed by a vote of 81-18 and now goes to the House. Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Steve Israel. Congressman, thanks for being with us. When did you anticipate it getting to the House? What is the procedure?
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: It could be as soon as the next half hour. If there are some gyrations it could be the next two hours. But we will pass this bill tonight, Democrats will responsively provide the votes to get this passed, reopen the government, stop default and get to the president's desk and that will happen by midnight.
COOPER: You have no doubt that this will pass the House?
ISRAEL: This is going to pass because Democrats will do the right thing. We are going to do our job and get it passed and provide the votes to get it passed. COOPER: There are some on the Republican side who are critical of the president for coming out just now and speaking before the vote. Did it surprise you?
ISRAEL: No, if you listen to the president's speech, which you did and many Americans did, he used the word immediately several times. I think he was signaling the markets this isn't going to go on longer than it needs to. He's ready to sign this bill, reopen the government. The markets can be calm. Does anybody believe there were 218 Republican votes ready to go for this and pass it and the president's speech will bring it down to 217? No.
COOPER: Can actual negotiations occur or are we kicking the can down the road? Is this all going to happen again?
ISRAEL: You know, Anderson, we are kicking the can, but better to kick than stomp the can, which is where we were just a few hours ago.
COOPER: Where is the room to negotiate? I mean, what issues do you see?
ISRAEL: We have said consistently that we're willing to negotiate anything and everything, but has to be negotiated with the government open and without default. So we look forward to a debate with Republicans on things like Medicare and jobs and on immigration, on balancing the budgets responsibly and that is what the next several weeks and months will be about.
COOPER: How concerned are you about the roll out of Obamacare, just the -- I mean, beyond glitches, just the -- I mean, it's been pretty pathetic the way it's rolled out, I mean, a huge number of people trying to get onto the web site unable to actually create --
ISRAEL: I know in my home state New York there is enormous demand, unprecedented demand for access to the affordable care act because in New York the exchanges are going to reduce premiums in half. They got to get this right. There is no question about it. I want the affordable care act to be accessible and they got to make improvements to the computer systems.
COOPER: Do you know what the problem is? Because I mean early on the administration said look, it's a problem of the sheer volume, but it seems to be far more than that and seems like people within who were involved in this were sending warning signals months ago to the administration.
ISRAEL: I'm not a computer expert. I expect the computer experts to fix this and when Republicans passed Medicare part D it was riddled with problems and Democrats didn't use those problems to sabotage Medicare Part D. We worked with Republicans to get it fixed. We need it on the issues confronting this country.
COOPER: When Republicans are saying I want to defund and we can do it and fundraise on it, are they being dishonest? ISRAEL: Look, I think there is an unquenchable thirst. They had it with defunding and delays and repealing and moving backwards. The election will be a referendum if you want people with common sense solutions and willing to find middle ground or have these cliffs, shutdowns, showdowns and obsession to defund --
COOPER: This could be a referendum on the Tea Party.
ISRAEL: I think so. There is buyer's remorse setting in. This place Washington is like the old cartoon the Road Runner, another cliff. I think the American people want us to get beyond that, find that middle ground, learn how to cooperate and move this country forward.
COOPER: Paul Begala last night described it as Mogadishu. Congressman Israel, thank you very much.
Polling has suggested the American people disapprove of the Republicans in Congress more than the Democrats for the way they've handled budget negotiations. Frankly, Democrats aren't doing so great and nearly half American have a negative view of the Tea Party, even some GOP lawmakers are less than thrilled how the party operated during the negotiations, listen.
REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: We allowed 35, 40 people to threaten to bring the House down and we're in this position.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey this body has been put through, but far more importantly the American people have been put through. It's one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen in the years that I spent here in the Senate.
KEILAR: It's never going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a winning strategy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conservatives know how to count. You have to be here to conserve something. When you tell constituents that we are going to just shut the government down until we get rid of Obamacare, that's crazy.
COOPER: Republican Congressman Matt Salmon joins me now live. Good to have you on the show.
thanks a lot.
COOPER: John McCain that I spoke to said this has been a shameful chapter for this body. Do you agree with that?
REPRESENTATIVE MATT SALMON (R), ARIZONA: You know, I think all the way around, the American public has really lost through this whole process, but honestly, I think any time people stand up for what they believe, I think that's a good thing.
COOPER: Do you think anything positive was accomplished?
SALMON: Yes, I actually do. I heard some of the talking heads talking about how folks that don't agree with Boehner are now going to do something to hasten his demise. I didn't feel that way. I didn't agree with some of the folks on the other side of my party, but you know what? They are still the good guys. I got no problem with them.
My beef is with the way the government is running and right now we're borrowing $52,000 a second. Right now, Obamacare rollout has been a miserable failure and one of these four folks have in common, Alan Combs, Wolf Blitzer and Joe Mansion and the "Chicago Tribune", every one of them said the individual mandate of Obamacare should be postponed for a year --
COOPER: Wolf Blitzer said that's not actually what he said -- but what has been accomplished, John Boehner said we fought the good fight. There was never any hope of actually delaying or defunding Obamacare. The votes were not there.
SALMON: But you still got to try. I mean, that -- it's not always about winning. Sometimes it's about trying.
COOPER: Even if it costs the economy $28 billion --
SALMON: You know, something, Anderson, when I just mentioned we're borrowing $52,000 a second, I think that's a lot more than any kind of pain that was caused during the shutdown and was the shut down a good thing? No, I don't think it was. But do I believe ultimately we'll advance the ball?
President Obama during the course of the shutdown made repeated promises as soon as the government is open and the debt ceiling is passed, I'll be willing to sit down and work with Republicans to fix Obamacare and be willing to sit down and work with Republicans on getting fiscal sanity back into the budget. I'll take him on his word on that.
COOPER: There is a difference between fixing Obamacare and defunding it.
SALMON: I'll predict President Obama will delay more parts of Obamacare before this is done because it doesn't work and it's hurting people and because I believe that he sees that the more this rolls out, one of the things that's going to happen over the next few weeks, Anderson, the focus will shift from a government shutdown to the Obamacare itself. The most unhappy person about the government opening up is Kathleen Sebelius.
COOPER: She did a terrible interview on the "Daily Show."
SALMON: Exactly. Exactly.
COOPER: In terms of what happens next, you say you will hold the president to the promise he's willing to negotiate. Do you actually see, do you have faith this won't happen again, we're not kicking the can down the road?
SALMON: It's hard not to be cynical when we seen the can kicked down the road so many times, but I think the voters sent us here to do the level best we can to fight for the things they sent us here to fight for. A lot of people, you know, when they talk about leadership, they talk about them being our bosses.
Anderson, you know that's not the case. They aren't our bosses. The people that sent us to Washington are our bosses. Especially in the House, that's the people's House. We are representatives of the people that sent us and ultimately that's who we answer to. I don't think that standing on principle and fighting for what you believe is ever something that's wrong.
COOPER: Congressman Salmon, thank you for your time.
SALMON: Thank you.
COOPER: Again, our political panel weighs in on the expect vote in the House. Are Republicans surrendering? We'll get their take ahead.
COOPER: Tonight 16 days and the government shutdown, with now about three hours to go to the debt ceiling deadline. The Senate approved a deal to reopen the government, avoid default now goes to the House and a vote expected tonight and to the president who said he'll sign it immediately.
Joining me now is CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Paul Begala, Republican strategist Rich Galen and Matt Kebbi, the president and CEO of Freedom Works, a conservative group that has been urging lawmakers not to vote for a deal.
Matt, let's start with you, is your belief when you look at what happened that what went wrong is that the moderate Republicans in the Senate and House did not back up hard line conservatives in the House and if they had, they could have gotten what they wanted?
MATT KIBBE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FREEDOMWORKS: Well, it's not clear that the Republican leadership had a clear strategy on how to deal with the budget and debt ceiling. There was all sorts of different opinions and it was only when Ted Cruz and Mike Lee stepped in with a strategy that we started having the conversation about what the strategy was and instead of partnering with Cruz and Lee, they started shooting at each other.
And I think we probably lost this thing a long time ago because they were never willing to stand firm and you're either going to stand firm or you're going to give everything to the president, and there wasn't really a middle ground there.
COOPER: Paul, is that how you see it?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I really think Senator Cruz mislead his followers. There are a lot of good people that want to repeal Obamacare. They also misunderestimated Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader has incredibly diverse caucus from a socialist to Joe Manchin, a very, very conservative West Virginian. Reid held them together and he was firm and strong and never blinked and that's why the Democrats won this thing and why the Republicans fractured.
COOPER: Rich, was Ted Cruz being misleading --
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I think he was leading the way he wanted to but I do a lot of work with T. Boon Pickens and he said if you want to make a deal, you have to decide how far you're willing to do and how far you think the other guy is willing to go. And if they don't cross, you aren't getting a deal. I think what Cruz and the other Tea Party members, they didn't -- they misunderstood what the president was willing to do. They were never going to get to a deal and should have realized that before they ever got to the table.
COOPER: So Matt, you're watching obviously this vote that will take place in the House. What is your message to those House Republicans who vote yes on this, who vote -- who approve the Senate deal?
KIBBE: Well, I think they are making a bad vote and just kicking the can down the road and we're telling them they are on the wrong side of history here because for all out theater and tactical arguments about what we should have done going into this very short- term budget deal, that the real stuff still matters. Obamacare is still being implemented. We are increasing the debt one more time.
We haven't done anything about the real factors that are driving the economy and under performance. That's what is going to happen the next time we have a budget fight. Obamacare is still going to be a train wreck. People are still going to be facing higher premiums. People are still going to be kicked out of their current health care plans.
GALEN: But this is the wrong place to fight that. There was a time and place, probably right after the 2010 election when the Republicans took control of the House and the country was behind a new direction and that was about Obamacare. And that's when they should have fought this, not two weeks before --
COOPER: But wasn't the presidential election largely about Obamacare? Didn't President Obama win twice on Obamacare?
KIBBE: Well, the Republicans ran Mitt Romney who you guys pointed out was an architect of that model, so it was never a credible alternative. Voters didn't get a choice --
GALEN: Who was your guy ten years ago?
KIBBE: A bad field.
GALEN: Who were you for? KIBBE: We'll fix the problem next time.
GALEN: Who were you for, though?
KIBBE: Who I was for?
KIBBE: I was actually hoping someone like Paul Ryan or Chris Christie would get in.
COOPER: As much as you say, you know, Mitt Romney created Obamacare or Romneycare, wasn't the election a referendum on Obamacare in many ways? Not as if the American people didn't know President Obama was going to do this?
KIBBE: I think authenticity matters and to have a Republican say something doesn't mean that the people view it as a credible promise.
BEGALA: Here is what is so deliciously ironic, support for Obamacare went up during this shutdown, despite the fact that the Obamacare rollout was to put it, a little troubled. That's amazing. It moved up eight points in eight days.
COOPER: What does that tell you?
BEGALA: Actually, you don't know what you got until it's gone. People don't want to do away with Obamacare, they want to change it or fix it. They don't want to throw it out and start over again and when the threat came it might go away, even though the rollout had a lot of glitches, people supported it more.
COOPER: Do you buy that?
KIBBE: We should talk in a few months. It's one thing to have a dysfunctional website and another thing to get hit with a huge increase in premiums and co-pays.
COOPER: So months when people see the reality in their own lives, you think there will be a lot of people opposed to it?
KIBBE: Yes, this time next year Democrats will be hoping for at least a delay in the individual mandate because it will be a mess.
COOPER: We got to leave it there. Great to have you on again, Rich Galen as well, Paul Begala. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're live waiting on a House vote on a bill to reopen the government and avoid debt default. The Senate passed it by a vote of 81-18 about an hour ago. We got about three hours to go until the debt ceiling deadline begins. We heard from President Obama just a short time ago. That does it for this edition of 360. We'll be back one hour from now, live edition of "360 LATER" live on Capitol Hill. I hope you join us for that. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.