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Congress to Vote on Spending Bill to Avert Government Shutdown; President Trump Discusses New Possible GOP Health Care Reform Bill. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired May 1, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In many cases, you're forced to make deals that are not the deal you'd make.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrats and Republicans agreeing on a spending plan that staves off the threat of a shutdown.
TRUMP: We need the wall to stop the drugs and the human trafficking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has given us a graveyard of broken promises.
TRUMP: They say we don't cover preexisting conditions. We cover it beautifully.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: He said he'd cover more people at less cost. His Bill does just the opposite.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think health care reform is just around the corner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scheduling a meeting with Duterte is not appropriate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't mean human rights don't matter. We need cooperation among our partners in Southeast Asia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, May 1st, 8:00 in the east. And we do begin with breaking news. Shutdown averted. A late night bipartisan spending agreement is going to keep the government funded until September. It is a $1 trillion plan denying money for the president's border wall and dismissing his request to cut funding from a lot of domestic programs.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And there's more controversy for the presidential after inviting a world leader accused of human rights abuses to the White House. CNN has it all covered for you, so let's begin with Suzanne Malveaux. She is live on Capitol Hill. What is the latest there, Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. It's certainly surprise news on a Monday morning that members of Congress actually working through the weekend hammering out, negotiating this deal, a breakthrough to fund the government not just through this Friday but through September. And this comes after weeks of tense talks between Democrats and Republicans both seemingly trying to avoid a government shutdown.
MALVEAUX: Rare bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill over a $1 trillion spending bill that includes billions in new defense spending, and $1.5 billion for border security, but not a single dollar for President Trump's border wall despite the president's insistence that is a wall is necessary at Saturday's campaign rally.
TRUMP: We'll build the wall, folks, don't even worry about it. Go to sleep. Go home, go to sleep. Rest assured. That's the final thing we needed.
MALVEAUX: Also left out of the bill, federal cuts to sanctuary cities and money for a deportation force, two of the president's other campaign promises.
TRUMP: At the heart of my administration's efforts to restore the rule of law has been a nationwide crackdown on criminal gangs, and that means taking the fight to the sanctuary cities that shield these dangerous criminals from removal.
MALVEAUX: The spending bill includes some victories for Democrats, including no cuts to Planned Parenthood funding, a nominal cut to the EPA's budget, a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health which the president targeted for budget cuts, and $295 million to help Puerto Rico continue making payments to Medicaid, a Democratic demand the president has spoken out against multiple times. The bill also includes millions to reimburse local law enforcement for extra security for the president and first family when they travel to Florida and New York.
Other bipartisan victories include $407 million in wildfire relief for western states, and a permanent extension to a program that provides health insurance for coal miners, a key constituency for President Trump.
TRUMP: Who are the miners here? The miners finally, we're taking care of our miners. We love our miners.
MALVEAUX: Votes on the funding bill are expected to go before both chambers by the end of the week. Also we expect some House Republicans to once again reintroduce their health care plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Chris?
CUOMO: All right, Suzanne, thank you very much.
The White House pushing for a vote on the GOP's health care vote before the House goes on recess at the end of the week. Will they get a vote on the bill? This as President Trump finds himself under fire for inviting the Philippines authoritarian leader to the White House.
CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with more. They're going on vacation again down there, Joe? How I do get one of those jobs?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's a pretty good deal certainly if you can get one. But you got to get elected first. Look, Chris, the first 100 days showed this administration a lot of things. One of them was that it's almost impossible to dictate the pace of what lawmakers are going to do. So the White House is now once again predicting victory on health care and getting a bill to the president's desk. The question is about the timing.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think health care reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare is around the corner. I think we're close.
[08:05:00] JOHNS: The White House expressing confidence in the GOP's latest health care bill. President Trump trying to spin the administration's effort, saying they aren't pushing for a vote.
TRUMP: I said just relax, don't worry about the phony 100-day thing. Just relax, take it easy. Take your time, get the good vote and make it perfect.
JOHNS: Despite calling out lawmakers by name at his Saturday rally.
TRUMP: And I'll be so angry at Congressman Kelly and Congressman Moreno and all of our congressmen in this room if we don't get that damned thing passed quickly.
JOHNS: The president falsely claiming that the new bill guaranties coverage for those with preexisting conditions.
TRUMP: Preexisting conditions are in the bill, and I mandated it. I said it has to be. So we're going to have lower premiums.
JOHNS: When in reality the draft bill would allow states to opt out of the requirement under certain conditions.
Meanwhile the Trump administration is under fire for inviting the Philippines authoritarian leader to the White House. Rodrigo Duterte has led a deadly crackdown on drugs that left thousands dead.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: If we don't have all of our folks together, whether they're good folks, bad folks, people that we wish would do better in their country, doesn't matter. We've got to be on the same page. JOHNS: The White House argues the U.S. needs the Philippines to
combat the North Korean threat as Trump's critics and human rights organizations respond with outrage. The president also raising eyebrows for again questions if Russia is responsible for hacking during the 2016 campaign.
TRUMP: If you don't catch a hacker, OK, in the act it's hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said I'll go along with Russia. It could have been China, could have been a lot of different groups.
JOHNS: Offering no evidence to discount the conclusions of his own FBI director and 16 other intelligence agencies.
President Trump marking his 100th day in office over the weekend with a campaign rally reprising attacks on his favorite foe.
TRUMP: I think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very, big, fat failing grade.
JOHNS: The White House could soon have another vacancy working in national security. That area has had a bit of upheaval ever since the first national security adviser Michael Flynn left. Sources tell CNN that the controversial aide Sebastian Gorka is expected to be leaving soon. It's not clear whether he'll be taking another job in the administration or leaving the White House entirely. Back to you Chris and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Joe, thank you very much.
Let's bring in our panel to discuss all of it. We have CNN political analysts David Gregory, David Drucker and Jackie Kucinich. Great to see all of you. So let's put up for our viewers one more time what's happening. If you are just waking up this is what happened last night. There is this budget open. It will keep the government open. Here are some details -- $15 billion for defense spending, $1.5 billion for border security. There's also funding for NIH. There's funding for opioid abuse. There is $57 million, this is interesting, for presidential security needs. That's what New York and Florida, Palm Beach, were asking for because there's added Secret Service because the president lives in a couple of different places.
Here is what is out, David Drucker -- no funding cuts for Planned Parenthood, so all of the things that the Republicans had railed against for Planned Parenthood, no, the funding stays in for Planned Parenthood. No money for deportation force, no federal cuts to sanctuary cities, again, a big deal for mayors of San Francisco and New York, no funding for the border wall construction. How do you see it?
DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So the Democrats in the Senate, first of all, used their ability to filibuster very effectively. But I think the larger story here is a president that is still held hostage by a Republican Congress because he cannot get a lot of Republicans to go along in the house and the Senate with key parts of his agenda.
And I think that's due first of all to the fact, and I think in some ways we should credit Republicans in the Congress in this regard. I think there were a lot of assumptions and I was guilty of this at times, assuming when you looked at what President Trump was the strongest in the country, it meant that he was going to be able to bring along the conservatives that were always pushing back against their leadership under President Obama. That hasn't been the case. And we've seen clearly because President Trump is weak in districts where it is competitive and where Democrats have a chance to pick up seats in the midterm elections, you have moderates that are pushing back against him. In a weird way Trump isn't the most ideological president we've seen on the right.
And so finally, that gets us to how Trump deals with this. And I don't think he's yet learned, as good of a negotiator as he may have been in business, how to negotiate with Congress and put together the pieces of the puzzle in a big legislative deal that are required for health care, tax reform upcoming. And if he wants these major permanent achievements that permanently impact the government and can't be easily undone by future presidents, he's going to have to learn how to negotiate in Washington, which is a lot different than negotiating real estate in New York.
[08:10:05] CUOMO: David Gregory, what did we just see though. He seems to have forced McConnell or at least Ryan at this point to accept this bill, we just had Jim Jordan on here, representative from Ohio, he's like, I don't like it. For every $1 that we spend on defense I had to give the Democrats a $1, I'm not going to vote for this. But he got it done.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And I think what the president recognized and indeed what House and Senate leadership recognized since Republicans control the government is that they can't be responsible for a government shutdown. This is a temporary measure. This is not a budget so we shouldn't be throwing a big party for them. They're still not doing the very hard work of passing a budget and they have bigger fights to fight -- health care, tax reform, that are far more important.
So yes, this is pragmatism on the part of the White House and congressional leaders. There's some give to Democrats and you may look to other areas where some of this may happen again. Some of the cutting EPA spending which they stepped back from here, other things the Democrats wanted, this is the kind of thing where Trump realizes he's got bigger fights and bigger priorities in terms of promises that he's made.
CAMEROTA: Jackie, how do you see it?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't disagree. Republicans need to clear the deck so they can start working on some of the things that they've promised to do like tax reform, like health care. And if they don't get this spending measure done and they spend all this political capital fighting each other on this, then we're moving into the summer where they had actually hoped to have some legislative points on the board.
And the bottom line is they need Democratic votes to get this through, and if they were going to put defunding Planned Parenthood and all these things in this package, that was not going to happen.
CUOMO: We had Jim Jordan on this morning talking about health care. He's like this bill is pretty good based on it not being what he wants, which is it does not repeal and replace Obamacare. But it seems like they can't negotiate the space in between, David, even what we saw with the president trying to get past the idea of preexisting conditions. Are they leaving it the way it is now? No, but they don't want to say that. So they seem caught the middle of this still.
DRUCKER: Because they're trying to give everything that people like about Affordable Care Act, all the protections against -- all the coverage guarantees and protections against exclusions based on preexisting conditions, and they're trying to do that while not delivering any vinegar that goes along with it, the mandates that pay for it, the taxes that pay for it. And this is the space that they're caught up in.
I think Congressman Jordan is right in that it really is just a partial repeal of Obamacare and it really shows to the extent that President Obama has changed inexorably the way people think about health care in America. And Republicans are then caught up in this space where they're playing on President Obama's turf but trying to, first of all, satisfy a campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, and to fix a problem that they think is very real and in fact is real, which is premiums are rising, choice is receding, and it's all because the current health care system governed by Obamacare is not working properly. And where Republicans probably could go if the president wanted to take them there, is they could decide to strengthen and keep Obamacare, but the political cost for doing so on the right would be huge, and I don't know they could survive it.
CAMEROTA: David Gregory?
GREGORY: Well, I think there's some confusion around whether the president can do what he says, which is mandate the kinds of changes that he's talking about with regard to coverage of preexisting conditions. I think there's a danger here, the White House is saying they're so close, if they don't deliver. And if they can't bring Republicans together then that's another huge defeat. And I think beyond the politics of this, actually making implementation work on health care, this is something that people don't pay attention to. It takes a long time for it to really get absorbed into the system. Obamacare is still being absorbed into the health care system, and there's pluses and there's minuses as well, but coverage is a key issue. Whether it's hospitals, whether it's how the system works in terms of controlling costs, how many people are getting covered is a big issue.
KUCINICH: But there's also been -- I just wanted to add there's also been such a contradiction with what this White House is saying is in this bill versus what's in the bill versus they're trying to pressure Congress to get this done, and then you have President Trump saying I told them to take their time. You can have one more week. So it really does, there seems to be a lot of conflicting messages. And it only makes it harder for house Republican leadership. At the end of the day they're the ones who are trying to get the votes to get this through and get something through -- they don't seem concerned to get anything through that would actually pass the Senate, which is a very real hurdle for whatever comes out of the House.
CUOMO: They've got to be careful that the people who get cut off the roles aren't the same people they need in those swing districts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Panel, thank you.
CUOMO: We have breaking news for you, police are looking for a motive after a gunman opened fire at a pool party in San Diego. A woman was killed. Six others hurt. CNN's Paul Vercammen is live at the scene with breaking details -- Paul.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Peter Sellers (ph) lived at this apartment complex. He was a mechanic. We also found out that in late 2015 he had filed for bankruptcy under crushing debt, but that is possibly just one motive in this.
We know that all of the victims were people of color, six of them African-American, one of them Hispanic. The shooter was white. They're trying to determine what led up to this.
One man told me a short time ago that he heard some arguing, but he was playing video games and didn't bother to see what was going on, and then they heard the noises, sounded like fireworks, of course, it turned out to be gunfire.
At one point, some witnesses characterized it as the shooter was sitting on pool equipment with a beer in one hand and firing. Police responded. They came upon the shooter. He turned what they describe as a large caliber handgun at them and he was killed at the scene. Still a big mystery here at this luxurious apartment complex in La Jolla. Back to you now, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: My goodness, Paul, please keep us posted on when there's any developments there.
So the spending bill agreement appears to favor a lot of Democratic issues. We'll talk to a Republican lawmaker about how he feels about that, next.
CUOMO: They're saying no shutdown. Republicans and Democrats poised to vote on a bipartisan budget deal, continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded through September. It's not a real budget, they can't get one of those passed yet.
But the deal is going to add billions for defense and border security but the compromise appears to have more wins for the Democrats.
Let's discuss with Republican Congressman Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. It is good to have you with us, Congressman. Will you vote for this?
REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK MEEHAN (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, I suspect I will, Chris. I liked what was in the bill with respect to funding for opioids, the National Institutes of Health, what we're trying to do with some cancer breakthroughs and plus up for defense.
CUOMO: How do you explain that it seems to be light on the president's wish list?
MEEHAN: Well, I thought that was a part of leadership on the president. He got some concessions on the border, having served on Homeland Security, the things that he's insisting on with respect to increased activity by agents, the use of some of the new technology, are the very things that I think will help us get to a more secure border.
He put off the longer fight to a later point, but I think he allowed us to get to yes, there's been too much "no" around this town for a long time and I think that's significant, and I think the president certainly participated in getting to yes by not insisting that those things be the stopping points.
CUOMO: So no wall. Maybe later. No word from Ryan or McConnell about this. We heard from the Democrats. Is that proof of the president's fingerprints maybe on their lapels?
MEEHAN: Well, no, I just think he had Chuck Schumer out there as quick as a camera can get there. My suspicion that's really probably it. I'm sure you'll have plenty of commentary with all the other issues before us. This is a nice thing that got done Sunday night.
CUOMO: So you don't read anything into Ryan and McConnell not being there, maybe they are working on this new health care bill, we are told that there's going to be a vote this week. What do you think of that? Will there be a vote?
MEEHAN: Yes, I mean, there's a chance there will be a vote when the numbers are there, and you know, there's still a number of members from the Republican conference and it's all going to have to come from Republicans. Not going to get a single Democrat vote so the speaker has been pretty clear, a vote can come, but the numbers have to be there.
CUOMO: Do you think the numbers are there?
MEEHAN: I don't think they're there today. I think there's probably closer than they've been in a while. I still have great concerns. I'm not there because I'm concerned what may happen with preexisting conditions and the ability for us to be able to assure coverage particularly those who are very sick and those who are older but there may be some ways people can get there.
CUOMO: The president was playing with the concept of preexisting conditions in interviews this weekend. He said no it's in there. We take care of it beautifully. That's not really true, is it, Congressman? Preexisting condition protections will not exist as affirmatively as they do right now.
MEEHAN: Well, that's accurate, but right now is broken and we're not able to afford what we're trying to do. What I want to see is something that can actually work. I'm a little concerned that any time you get into the high risk pools you have to assure they're going to be sufficiently funded so that you can take those of the sickest.
And assure they can get a policy that is so expensive we return to the days where it's not real coverage because you don't have a policy that you can afford. That being said, there are ways we can do a lot more with the high risk pools, and chronic condition care, some other kinds of things, which may get us there.
These are big lifts. I think we're pretty close but the fact is there is preexisting condition coverage. The question is at what cost?
CUOMO: That's right. I mean, that's why look, you said you have concerns about it. I mean, obviously, if you have concerns whether or not people with preexisting conditions will be able to get coverage. That means it's not like right now under the ACA, where if you have pre-existing conditions, you get coverage. Isn't that pretty simple statement?
MEEHAN: Yes, but I said it before, it isn't like it is right now, but what we have right now isn't working either. The costs are exploding. We haven't found a way to contain it.
CUOMO: Now high risk pools, this is operating off the premise of we don't want the mandate. We want to do something else. Lot of insurance experts say these high risk pools can cost even more than what you have in place right now.
And they point to the fact that the rate of increase in spending in health care is less under the ACA than it was before the ACA. Are you concerned about throwing the baby out with the bath water?
MEEHAN: Well, I think there's a lot of things we can do to control health care costs, if we start looking at managing the care in a better way and get away from the fee for service program. So there's a lot of room to make up here where I think we can do more.
[08:25:11]But your point is accurate, wherever the states have turned to high risk pools the batting average is not too good and the reason is you put your sickest people in there, and on merit the sickest people use a lot of medical care.
So how do we manage those more effectively in the long run? You can do a lot more with chronic care and other kinds of things. There are solutions but I don't think they're the kinds of things that will be done with the click of a finger overnight.
CUOMO: Anybody thinking about reaching across the aisle and saying look, repeal and replace was a great campaign slogan but now we are dealing with the reality of how to deal with this thing. Let's fix what's there, parts of it are good, parts of it aren't. Let's get on the same page. Anybody talking that way?
MEEHAN: Yes, it would be nice if there was, but you know you're not getting a vote at this point in time, not allowed to get a vote. Nancy Pelosi is not going to let a Democrat take a vote that will help us.
When we were trying to get things that dealt with Obamacare in the last Congress it was impossible for anybody to actually put up a vote. So you have to look at the political realities perhaps down the road there could be a point where some people start to say, hey, we haven't been able to get it done in any way, shape or form, and the system has to be fixed, but I suspect that's further down the road.
CUOMO: Congressman Meehan, thank you very much. Appreciate you being on NEW DAY.
MEEHAN: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right, be well, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, Chris, President Trump inviting the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. Duterte is accused of many human rights abuses including a willingness to kill even drug addicts. Should he be welcome at the White House?