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Medicaid Faces Deep Cuts in Senate GOP Bill; Interview with Democratic Congressman Vicente Gonzalez of Texas. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 25, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with us this Sunday. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
It's crunch time now for GOP Senate health leaders on Capitol as they try to rally the votes needed to get their health care plan passed. The Senate could vote as early as Thursday on a new bill aimed at cutting parts of Obamacare.
And we just learned, President Trump is working the phones. He's trying to get Republican senators to change their minds and support the new bill.
[18:00:04] The White House says Trump spoke with Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, two of the five Republican senators who say they oppose the bill in its current form. Three more say they have concerns.
Senate Majority Leader can only afford to lose two from his caucus and still get the bill through. I short time ago, Trump tweeted, Obamacare is dead, insurance markets are collapsing and millions don't have choices. Americans deserve better.
I want to bring in White House correspondent Athena Jones.
And, Athena, what are you hearing right now from the White House and the reluctant Republican senators?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Well, we know from the White House that the president is very supportive of this Senate bill. The problem, of course, is that the president does not have a vote in the Senate.
And right now, there's enough opposition to effectively kill the bill. That can, of course, change over the coming days. You have conservatives who are concerned it doesn't go far enough to repeal Obamacare. And then more moderate senators who are afraid that it goes too far in undoing some of the protections to the low income, that disabled, seniors, people who are getting treatment for opioid addiction. They are concerned that with the Medicaid cuts in this bill, those people will be left behind.
Listen to what Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, and one of the people concerned about Medicaid cuts had to say, followed by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on ABC's "This Week".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It's certainly going to be very difficult. For my part, I'm very concerned about the cost of insurance for older people with serious chronic illnesses and the effect of the Medicaid cuts on our state governments, the most vulnerable people in our society, and health care providers such as our rural hospitals and nursing homes, most of whom are very dependent on the Medicaid program.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: These are not cuts to Medicaid, George. This slows the rate for the future and it allows states governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars because they're closest to the people in need. Medicaid's imperative, its founding, was meant to help the poor, the sick, the needy, the disabled, children, some elderly, women, particularly pregnant women. We are trying to get it back to its original moorings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard the White House's argument that these changes to the Medicaid program shouldn't be seen as cuts because what they're doing is they're ending expansion of the Medicaid program, the expansion under Obamacare. And they're also putting a cap on the amount of money states will get in the future. Conway argues those aren't cuts, but others would view it differently because, you know, fewer people would be able to qualify in the future for this program.
And the Congressional Budget Office, that's who, we're waiting for their newest score of this newest version, but they did score an earlier version of this bill in the House that also had similar changes to the Medicaid program and found that that would be -- it would amount to more than $800 billion in cuts. So, that is what the CBO found. We'll see how they score this new bill. But there's real discrepancy between the way the White House is putting on this and the concerns of senators.
CABRERA: All right. Athena Jones, thank you very much.
This weekend alone, President Trump is taking swipes at former President Obama, accused Hillary Clinton of collusion, called Senator Bernie Sanders crazy, and said, referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas, and it was an insult to Pocahontas.
Despite those attacks, however, President Trump says his arms are open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that should be solved but probably won't be is that Republicans and Democrats don't get together. And I'm open arms. But I don't see that happening. They fight each other. The level of hostility -- and by the way, this isn't just Trump. This has been like this for years. You've been doing this for a long time, it's been like that for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: While President Trump likes talking about reaching across the aisle, he hasn't always done so publicly. However, recently he did meet with a Democratic congressman from Texas, inviting him to a private dinner.
Congressman Vicente Gonzalez is joining us now.
Congressman, thanks for being with us.
REP. VICENTE GONZALEZ (D), TEXAS: Thank you. Thank you, Ana, for having us.
CABRERA: I understand there were only a handful of moderate Democrats invited. And you were the only Hispanic lawmaker. You called the meeting productive. How so?
GONZALEZ: I did. We got to talk about issues that affect the American people. We talked about infrastructure, tax reform. For me, I was able to voice my opinion on the wall that would be part of - in my district on the southern border of Texas, and the deported veterans, which are very important to me. It's an issue that I think needs to -- needs to stop happening, and I would like to have the support of the White House and my friends across the aisle.
And I agree, I think there's just too much gridlock in Washington. It's been one of the most disappointing issues that I've had to deal with since I arrived as a freshman member is that we don't get to talk to each other enough. And I believe that, regardless, if you disagree with your opponents or your adversaries, you should be able to sit in front of them and have an honest, candid discussion and try to find common ground.
[18:05:07] I do it for the American people. And I certainly do it for the district that I represent. And when I ran my campaign, I told them that I was going to do this, and I'm going to continue to do it.
CABRERA: So, your colleague, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, said this about your meeting. I quote, I find it amazing that after someone calls you a rapist, a drug dealer, and a murderer, you can just sit down with him and have dinner without him apologizing first. To me, that seems turning your back on the kids and the families who are in harm's way.
Is Congressman Gutierrez wrong?
GONZALEZ: He absolutely is wrong. And I think not talking to my adversaries, including President Trump, would show weakness. And it would be turning my back on my district, on the people I represent, on the senior citizens that aren't getting the Medicare and Social Security attention that they deserve, that they worked for all their lives, on my veterans who don't get the medical attention and mental health care attention that they deserve when they returned home, on the young folks in my district who are trying to go to college and are coming out overburdened and in debt. I want to talk about those issues. Those nasty things that were said
early in the campaign are of offensive, but it's not going to stop me from talking about the issues that are important to my district and to the American people. And I think this gridlock in Washington needs to stop.
What they're asking me to do is the same thing that Republicans did to President Obama. And I think it was wrong when they did it, and I think it's wrong if we do it, and I'm not going to be part of that.
I came to Washington, hopefully, to try to be part of the solution, not part of this continued problem. And I'm going to stay on the road that I'm in, and I think we're going to be fine.
CABRERA: You talk about how veterans are near and dear to you. This administration as we know has really tried to crack down on illegal immigration. Did President Trump give you an indication of where he stood on the issue of deported veterans?
GONZALEZ: He did. I'm a son of a Korean War veteran. I went to school in a military base. I have about 40,000 to 50,000 veterans in my district. I'm very close do that community.
I think it's so un-American, it's just the most awful thing that I can imagine that we would deport veterans who came to this country, who fought for us, who served honorably, who had no prior criminal history, and come back get in a little trouble, get in a bar fight, use drugs or alcohol and find themselves in deportation centers and all of a sudden in foreign countries.
And when I mentioned this, I couldn't leave the room without having brought this issue up to the president, and he agreed that it was wrong to deport veterans and that we should do something about it. And I agree with him and I hope that we can continue to work together on this issue and that I can work with friends across the aisle. And I think that this is -- this should be a sweet spot, a common issue that all Americans should be able to agree with, that we should not deport our heroes.
And we're not giving them the mental health care they deserve when they come home. As you know, they're coming home with high levels of PTSD, we've had mass numbers commit suicide over the past few years. We need to begin -- first of all, we need to give them the mental health care they deserve when they come home to transition properly into society. And one's who have been deported because of an issue that they had when they came home, we need to try to help bring them back and we need to stop deporting American veterans.
These were veterans who had no prior criminal history before entering the military, served honorably, were discharged honorably, and then later on ended up in little trouble afterwards. It's just --
GONZALEZ: -- it's awful as I can get, as I can imagine, turning on our back on our American heroes. CABRERA: I want to also ask you a little bit about what you're doing in the House Financial Services Committee, number of Democrats on that committee have asked Germany's Deutsche Bank for information on the president's accounts to see if any have ties to Russia. What has your committee learned?
GONZALEZ: You mean talking about Russia or -- we've been -- I've been personally caught up in dealing with the CHOICE Act and dealing with the FEMA insurance that would certainly affect my district.
CABRERA: So, you're unfamiliar with the Financial Services Committee related to the Russia -- the Russia probe and this request of information from the president's accounts in Germany in Deutsche Bank?
GONZALEZ: Yes, we have the request. But I've not seen any evidence on that issue yet, you know? I hope we do, and I hope we can get to the bottom of it, and put it to rest and get back to work for the American people.
I think partisan politics just really need to stop in this country. I think it's negatively affected us. And it's not just this administration. It's gone on for many years.
But I intend to continue reaching across the aisle, finding common ground. If we do find that there's evidence of Russian meddling, whether it's financial or political or any other way, other way, we need to obviously do what's appropriate. But until I see clear evidence of that, you know, I don't want to get on that bandwagon.
CABRERA: Is your committee looking into any other financial dealings of the president or any other one tie to his campaign?
[18:10:02] GONZALEZ: Well, I think there are people in my committee who are very interested in trying to find, you know, financial links to Russia. I focused -- since I've been on the committee, I've focused on the CHOICE Act, which just passed the House and issues relating to our flood insurance. And those have been my focus --
GONZALEZ: -- that's been my prime focus on the committee.
CABRERA: Now, let me ask you about your party. A number of your Democratic colleagues are saying it's time for a change in party leadership, especially after the election loss in Georgia this past week. Should Nancy Pelosi stay or go?
GONZALEZ: Well, I think we need to quantify the exact reason of why we're losing elections. And I think a lot of this partisan politics could be part of it.
I don't know that she -- whether she needs to stay or go. I think she's done a good job while she's been here. She's been a very effective leader.
Everything evolves and times change and one day, it'll be time for me to go as well. And I think we should recognize it on our own. I don't think we should be infighting within ourselves, especially during such a divisive time in America, as it is already.
So I'm open to potentially having new leadership down the road. But I think Leader Pelosi has done a good job and she's been a good leader for many, many years. And we need to acknowledge that and just see where we are.
We're still --
CABRERA: Right now, do you support her as a leader then?
GONZALEZ: I do.
CABRERA: OK. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, thanks for hashing it out all with us. We really appreciate it.
GONZALEZ: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, these Republicans say they have major concerns with the health care bill. Our next guest helps explain what it could take for those noes to become a yes and for Trump care to become the law of the land.
And later this hour, these are the images Saudi Arabia doesn't want you to see. We have an exclusive report inside Yemen's brutal civil war.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:15:58] CABRERA: The man who will administer the new national health care plan, whenever its formed, says the one before the Senate right now is solid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The plan that we have in place would not allow individuals to fall through the cracks, would not -- we would not pull the rug out from under anybody. We would not have individuals lose coverage that they want for themselves and for their family. We want to make certain that health care is available to all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: That was the Secretary Tom Price on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" today. He also called out by name a few Republicans who do not support the bill right now, saying they might not fully understand the wider intentions of the plan. And these are Republicans who are saying no or maybe to the bill. That is Dean Heller is insisting that the new bill will not lower premiums. Also on the no side, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.
And I want to Chip Roy. Chip, you used to be the chief of staff for Senator Cruz. Tell me what you think it would take for Cruz and others who are more conservative there who are in the no column to move to yes?
CHIP ROY, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO SEN. TED CRUZ: Good afternoon, Ana.
Well, frankly, to actually honor their recommitment to repeal Obamacare. That's fundamentally is the core problem that conservatives have with the bill that's been put forward in the U.S. And any member of the U.S. Senate that goes home to their constituents and actually looks them and says that this bill repeals it, would simply be lying it. And, frankly, that's why they're not going out and having town halls and going and trying to talk to their constituents.
And instead they're trying to jam it in a short week, because they recognize that people back home are looking in this and saying, this isn't going to do anything to lower my premiums, this isn't going to do anything to improve my care. All I'm hearing about are tax cuts and slush funds for insurers. And that's not what they've been promising for the last seven years.
CABRERA: So, you think this is a giveaway to the wealthy?
ROY: Well, look, I think that the bill -- the tax cuts in the bill are important. But fundamentally at the core of the bill, you've got to get rid of regulations that are driving up the cost. And there are people across the political spectrum, Republicans and Democrats, who recognize that if you're going to have regulations involved with Obamacare or whatever replacement it has put in place, those regulations are driving up the cost. The CBO recognized that as you pointed out about the House bill.
The CBO saw -- pointed out that premiums are going to go up significantly and continue to go up over time. The only break they got was in states where there might be a waiver where they could get out from underneath the regulations that are driving up the cost. That's what the American people have been looking for.
Premiums have doubled under Obamacare. And for the American people, that hits them right at home in the wallet, and that's what they're driving to get their leaders in Washington to actually do.
CABRERA: Ii want to ask you about one of the sticking points at least for some of these senators, Medicaid. It's a big one for many Republicans who have chosen not to support the bill, who are more moderate in particular. Let's look at how many people are covered by Medicaid. We know this is a Medicaid program, not just the expansion and it covers 70 million Americans. Seventy -- in fact, 49 percent of all births, two in five children, three in five nursing home residents make up that 70 million American number.
What is the political calculus for Republicans to pass a bill that potentially impacts and gets rid of a chunk of money that would otherwise support millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid? ROY: Well, you pointed out at the outset of the show, I think, that
with respect to Medicaid, the cuts that they're talking about are really just reductions in expansion. And in fact, the GOP bill actually from a conservative standpoint, it continues to expand Medicaid for six, seven years into the future. And that's part of the problem.
And I think the GOP is picking a bad fight because what they're going to do is they're going to be labeled for cutting Medicaid. But they're not going to get no benefits from anybody for actually changing the regulatory structure so that you can get premiums to go down. The only way to get good health care is to do that. I know I keep coming back to that, but that's at the core of the problem.
[18:20:00] Medicaid is going to continue to expand, but the GOP is going to get hit for getting cuts because they're reducing increases as you, I think, observed at the beginning of the show.
CABRERA: Right, and reducing those increases we're hearing from governors, Republican governors like John Kasich, would in effect leave some people who currently have Medicaid out of being eligible. How might that result in, I guess -- let me rephrase the question. If Medicaid isn't going to pay for those low income groups, who does?
ROY: Well, I think one on the problems you have is that if you look at Obamacare and when President Obama would talk about 20 million Americans being insured under Obamacare, the fact is 14 million of those were on Medicaid. And the problem you have is in a state like Illinois, which expanded Medicaid, we did not in Texas, you have so many people on the waiting list because so many people have been jammed into the Medicaid rolls that you have people actually dying waiting for care and Medicaid in Illinois.
That's what we're going to be facing in this country if we continue to jam millions of people into Medicaid rolls. The only way to free up the system is to get regulations out and do what we suggested at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Let's flip it. Let's have an opt-in. And if states want to get back into Obamacare, turn it back around and let governors choose to opt-in to the Obamacare highly regulated system. And let's set the baseline in an unregulated system.
And if you want to reform Medicaid, great, but we shouldn't pass a Medicaid reform bill and call it Obamacare repeal, which is what the GOP is trying to do.
CABRERA: All right. Chip Roy, thank you so much.
ROY: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: A silent civil war leaving millions in despair. And the image Saudi Arabia doesn't want you to see in an exclusive report next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:25:56] CABRERA: At least 140 people are dead after a fiery blast in eastern Pakistan. They were attempting to collect leaking fuel from a crashed fuel tanker when this explosion happened. And here's the video after.
Just moments before, the truck veered off the road when the driver lost control. And one villager told the CNN affiliate that the driver of that truck had warned people to just stay away from it. But they began gathering around it anyway, and in addition to those killed, more than 100 people were wounded.
The U.S. secretary of state is working to try to smooth things over between the Gulf nation of Qatar and a handful of countries that cut ties earlier this month. Rex Tillerson is now urging all countries involved, Qatar included, to come to a table and hash out their differences. Four Arab nations who are boycotting Qatar, accusing it as supporting terrorism have given the country a list of demands to get back in their favor. And Tillerson says all U.S. allies in the region should be on the same page stopping terrorism and ending extremism.
Now, a heartbreaking story about starving children in a man-made hunger crisis. In Yemen, babies and toddlers are going without food for days, in some cases even weeks. Nearly half a million children are suffering from malnutrition. The problem: Saudi Arabian-led forces supporting Yemen's former government are blocking access to parts of Yemen and humanitarian aid's fight, aide groups and journalists, they can't get through the blocked areas.
We have to warn you, some of the images in this story are very troubling.
CNN's Clarissa Ward reports.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the images that Saudi Arabia does not want you to see -- the youngest victims of a near famine that threatens the lives of almost 7 million people.
Baby Ahmed is just 10 months old. The nurse says he would be dead in two days if he hadn't come for treatment.
But many Yemenis can't afford to get to a hospital. In a dusty camp for those displaced by more than two years of grinding civil war, our team met husband Hamza. His 10-month-old son Akram has been malnourished for months.
I cannot take him to the city because there's no money, he says. We're hoping any aid group will come see us and help us but no one has come. We await God's fate.
Access to the victims of this man-made famine has been drastically restricted. In recent months, CNN has found that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is deliberately blocking journalist and human rights workers from visiting the hardest hit areas.
The air, land and sea blockade imposed by Riyadh and its partners has brought blocked basic services to a grinding halt. Deteriorating conditions are being blamed for a vicious cholera outbreak, with more than 1,100 deaths in a matter of months, according to the World Health Organization.
For 25-year old medic Rana Sayed Farah (ph), the days have become a blur. Like so many hospitals, hers is short staffed and under equipped.
How old is she?, she's asked. Is she throwing up?
The little girl Israh (ph) has been brought in by her parents. She is the third of their children to fall ill.
I'm scared, of course, her father Ali says. Your children are your world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wish we could finish this epidemic, this disaster. We want to finish this disaster. Patients are dying one by one. They will die at any time. We couldn't do anything for them.
WARD: Pleas for help appear to have fallen on deaf ears. President Trump's recent trip to Riyadh and the announcement of a massive weapons deal was seen by many to embolden the kingdom leaving Yemen's conflict, for now, a silent war.
WARD: CNN has reached out to the Saudi Arabian government for comment on this issue of suspending journalist access to the hardest hit areas of Yemen.
The Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. said, quote, "Saudi Arabia does not exercise any kind of censorship. Many news reporters and U.N. personnel have been granted access to Yemen. The Yemeni government and not the Saudi-led coalition usually process visa approvals."
Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: So disturbing, but thank you. An important story, Clarissa.
Coming up, rumors are swirling around Justice Anthony Kennedy and whether he'll be announcing his retirement. As soon as tomorrow! What that could mean for the Court and the upcoming decisions, next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:35:00] CABRERA: How will the Senate health care bill affect the price of insurance premiums? In a looming showdown on Capitol Hill, tomorrow could be a crucial day. That's when the all-important assessment from the Congressional Budget Office could be made public. The Senate version was just unveiled about three days ago, and
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not wasting time. He wants to vote on the legislation Thursday before Congress leaves for the July Fourth holiday.
McConnell can only lose two Republican votes and still get the bill passed. Right now, five members of his caucus oppose it, and at least three others say they have concerns.
Let's talk it over with former South Carolina state House member, Bakari Sellers, a Democrat, and now an attorney. Also with us, Republican strategist Alice Stewart, former communications director for Ted Cruz during his presidential bid.
So, Alice, President Trump, we've learned, has called Senator Cruz as well as Senator Rand Paul. How receptive do you think those two were to his sales pitch?
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I know that Senator Cruz is wanting to get to yes, and he is open to negotiations and has been doing so for quite some time.
Look, he is beholden to his constituents there in Texas and not to legislators and Senate members here in Washington. And what he campaigned on and what he won on is repealing and replacing ObamaCare but also doing it right.
And the key hold ups with him in the current version of the bill that's out there on the table is he wants to see lower premiums, and he wants to see greater state flexibility with regard to health care.
And those are things he's going to stand firm on, as well as others who are opposing it, but he wants to get to yes. And he believes, with the right negotiations and some give-and-take and some compromise, they can do that.
CABRERA: I want you guys to hear what Health Secretary Tom Price has had to say about the cost of the Senate health care bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, UNITED STATES HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The plan that we would put in place would not allow individuals to fall through the cracks. We would not pull the rug out from under anybody. We would not have individuals lose coverage that they want for themselves and for their family. We want to make certain that health care is available to all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Bakari, is that realistic, given that the Senate bill would likely shrink the pool of insured by eliminating the individual mandate?
BAKARI SELLERS (D), FORMER HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes, that's just not true. Whether or not it's Senator Toomey or whether or not it's Secretary Price, what we're seeing is, basically, Republicans selling false talking points.
This is going to be the largest cut in Medicaid in history. Not only that, and we'll wait on the CBO score for the Senate bill, but we do know millions, if not tens of millions, of Americans are going to lose their insurance and lose their coverage.
Not only that, the insurance plans that are going to be sold, because they no longer have to cover these essential benefits, are going to be skimpy at best, and the deductibles are going to increase.
This is a 200-page bill. ObamaCare was 2,000 pages. I completely understand that. But in that 200 pages, they took the fundamental tenets of ObamaCare and then made it exponentially worse.
We agree we need to work to make ObamaCare better. But the House GOP and the House Senate now, they've just gone backwards.
CABRERA: Alice, your response?
STEWART: Well, with all due respect to my friend, Bakari, the selling false talking points line is rich, given what we heard when they passed ObamaCare.
The President and Nancy Pelosi and Democrats promising that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, promising that they would have lower cost health care with greater access and with more choices, and that simply hasn't been the case.
Millions of Americans are losing health care. They can't afford it. Many premiums have doubled and tripled in some cases. There are many counties in this nation where there's only one insurance option.
And ObamaCare is falling under its own weight. And that's why Republicans, including President Trump, campaigned and won on repealing and replacing ObamaCare because Americans want to see change.
Look, right where we are now is where the House was when they first put a text on the table. We have the more conservative members in the House, the House Freedom Caucus, saying, hold on a minute, we want lower costs and we want greater access to care.
We're seeing the same thing here in the Senate. A version is on the table. More conservative members of the Senate are saying, hold on a minute, we promised our constituents lower costs and greater access to care. And I think that McConnell was going to work hard and make sure that they get to a yes with regard to passing this legislation.
CABRERA: Bakari, when you hear some of those arguments like Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul -- I mean, their arguments are it's too much like ObamaCare -- you don't see that as a small victory?
SELLERS: Well, no, I don't see it as a small victory because we're talking about one-sixth of the economy, and we're talking about people's lives here. The fact is, the rich irony here, to borrow one of Alice's lines, is
that Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and the Republican Party have had seven years to come with up with a plan. And they're floundering. They still don't have a plan.
They are going to put forth a repeal and replace bill that is going to kick tens of millions of people off of health care. And we can keep talking about this. The semantics are really cute because they always say we want to make sure people have access to care.
[18:40:05] We want to make sure people have access to care, not that people have care. It's not access when you're priced out of it. It's not access when you're getting a plan that doesn't cover essential benefits or catastrophic injury. That is not access.
So we have two different philosophies here. We have a Republican Party that's failing to govern and lead and the least transparent process ever. And I'm hopeful -- I'm hopeful -- that we can come together and begin to fix ObamaCare because this repeal and replace idea has been bad from the beginning.
CABRERA: All right. Bakari Sellers, Alice Stewart, we got to live it there. Thanks to both you.
STEWART: Thank you.
CABRERA: And this time tomorrow, we could know whether Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has cast the pivotal vote in so many close cases, will retire and possibly change the court profoundly.
To liberals, Kennedy has been a hero at times. His vote has protected abortion rights. He legalized same sex marriage for the first time. He has also sided with conservatives over the years, however, on issues of gun control and election spending.
So Kennedy's retirement could cause a seismic shift in the Court's make-up and give President Trump a chance to install a conservative majority for decades.
Joining me now, CNN Supreme Court Reporter Ariane de Vogue. Ariane, what do we know about Kennedy's plans?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, Ana, you're right. All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Sources say he's seriously considering retirement, but no one knows if it could come as early as this term.
Of course, it would be a big change, not only for the Court but for the country. He is that critical swing vote. He has voted with liberals at times on Affirmative Action, abortion access, but he has voted with conservatives on issues like gun rights, campaign finance, Bush v. Gore.
And, of course, if President Trump were to be able to get this second vacancy, it would be an enormous opportunity because he'd be able to replace this centrist, Anthony Kennedy, with a conservative and really solidify the conservative basis of this Court, maybe for decades to come. So it's a serious moment, and all eyes will be watching the Court tomorrow and during the next week.
CABRERA: What's your gut tell you? You cover the Court. You know the inside secrets, often times. What does your gut tell you about what decision he's going to make about whether he will retire this soon?
DE VOGUE: Well, making an announcement now would be making it awfully late in the term. I guess, on one hand, you look at it, he is 80 years old. He has this rich legacy on the Supreme Court. Maybe he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.
But he knows his role on this Supreme Court. He knows how important it is. I've been at oral arguments where the advocates really direct almost all their questions, sometimes, at Justice Anthony Kennedy.
So he could well decide to wait, maybe, another term. Spend more time with his former clerk, Neil Gorsuch, and wait until next term. We'll have to see. It will be fascinating to watch.
CABRERA: Real quick before we let you go. The travel ban, that issue could come up tomorrow.
DE VOGUE: Right. We're watching for the travel ban. The administration has come to the Supreme Court and said, look, we want you to put this travel ban that has never been allowed to go into effect in effect now, and we want you to hear arguments next term. So, again, the Supreme Court is contemplating that. It could make an announcement as early as tomorrow, Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Ariane de Vogue. Thank you.
Coming up, an exclusive interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Why he says he is changing the company's mission. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:47:51] CABRERA: We have a CNN exclusive with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he lays out a new mission for the world's most popular social media network. That mission, bringing the world closer together.
It has been several years since Zuckerberg sat down with a journalist for an extensive interview, and CNN Senior Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall spoke with Zuckerberg about the future of Facebook. Laurie?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana. Well, Facebook's almost at 2 billion users. You think about the amount of reach that has, the amount of impact, and a lot of us are asking some questions about the future of Facebook and that impact.
And one of those people is Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO. He has been thinking a lot about the future of Facebook so much so that he's decided to completely overhaul the company's core mission, from being about connecting individuals to being about connecting communities. He thinks that's the future.
I had the opportunity to sit down with him here in Chicago. Take a listen.
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER AND CEO, FACEBOOK: I used to think that if we just work to give people a voice and help people connect, that that was going to make the world all better by itself.
SEGALL (on camera): Yes.
ZUCKERBERG: But now I feel like we have a responsibility to do even more, right? Because, I mean, today, a lot of society is divided, right, and so it's pretty clear that just giving people a voice and connecting people isn't enough.
SEGALL (voice-over): It's an admission by one of the most influential tech leaders that the world's most popular social media network needs to change.
ZUCKERBERG: So today we're going to set a new mission to set our course as a company for the next decade. And the full former mission statement is going to be to give people the power to build a community to bring the world closer together.
SEGALL (voice-over): It's the first time Facebook has overhauled its core mission, shifting focus from connecting individuals to building communities. Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook's first Community Summit, a gathering of leaders and influential Facebookers.
Lola is the creator of group called Female In, a place for over a million women to connect.
LOLA OMOLOLA, ADMINISTRATOR, FEMALE IN NIGERIA FACEBOOK GROUP: When you talk to make sure people feel safe, and that's what Facebook is providing now. These two tools help us better manage our communities.
[18:50:02] ZUCKERBERG: And we're also going to help you remove bad actors and all their content from your Facebook.
SEGALL (on camera): What does that mean to you specifically?
OMOLOLA: Oh, wow. It means trolls.
SEGALL (voice-over): The question, are we more connected, or has technology driven us apart?
SEGALL (on camera): Technology, to a degree, has always promised to help us discover and to help us learn. There's also the question of, like, does it make us more insular and, you know, is information being hijacked and spread? So as you make the future of Facebook, these communities, how do you make sure they remain a place for authenticity and for real discourse?
ZUCKERBERG: Well, you want to help people stay connected with the people they already know and care about, but you also want to make it so that people get access to new people and new perspectives too. So bringing people together and creating these communities is, I think, a lot of what we can do to help create more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues as well.
SEGALL: Now, Ana, a lot of these is giving these communities on Facebook tools to help them. Mark Zuckerberg actually announced a way to, you know, help them kick bad actors out of these Facebook groups to help them grow organically.
When you think about the Women's March and how impactful that was and how that was a movement that went across Facebook in these Facebook groups, you know, you get the sense that Mark is looking to create more movements like that than, you know, the opposite.
And at a time when we're all asking, you know, with Facebook and the spread of fake news and the idea that, are we living in our own filter bubbles, you know, we want to be more connected, not more divided. I think this is a clear play by Mark Zuckerberg to try to make that happen -- Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you, Laurie Segall. Coming up, President, real estate mogul, and wedding crasher? What's behind the President and all the weddings as of late.
First, what should be on your radar before the bell on Wall Street? Well, let's get to Cristina Alesci with more on this week's "Before the Bell." Cristina?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNNMONEY TELEVISION AND DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Investors will look to end June with gains after some rocky trading sessions last week.
Now, the market is still up for the month so far, but gains for the year are even more impressive. The Dow is up 8.5 percent. The S&P up nine percent. And the NASDAQ is the big winner with a 16 percent gain.
But a long list of economic reports due this week might actually slow the rally down. We'll get data on consumers, manufacturers, and most importantly, a fresh look at how the overall economy is performing.
Now, GDP came in at 1.2 percent during the first quarter, and we'll get the final revision of that number. Remember, the Trump administration wants three percent growth and said last week that tax cuts are key to getting us there.
And finally, next week marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. The device accounts for more than half of Apple's quarterly revenue, and its success is part of the reason why it's one of the best-performing stocks in the Dow this year, up more than 25 percent. But even more stunning, since its launch, Apple has sold more than one billion iPhones.
Cristina Alesci, CNN MONEY, New York.
[18:57:37] CABRERA: President Trump stayed in D.C. this weekend to celebrate Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's wedding. But you don't have to be a cabinet official to get the President to make an appearance at your nuptials. You just have to be in the right Trump place at the right time. Here's Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there's one thing we know about President Trump, it's that he loves a wedding.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And you really are a special and beautiful couple, and I hope everybody (inaudible) get back today.
BASH (voice-over): He is the chief wedding crasher at his properties, a perk that was once advertised in a Trump club brochure, although the club says it's since been removed.
This time, he is an invited guest at the wedding of his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, who is a former Hollywood movie producer who invested in hits like "Avatar" --
ZOE ZALDANA, ACTRESS: You knew this would happen?
BASH (voice-over): -- and ironically, "How to be Single."
REBEL WILSON, ACTRESS: Boys buy the drinks.
BASH (voice-over): His bride, Louise Linton, is an actress.
LOUISE LINTON, ACTRESS: Hello? Honey, you're not looking so good.
BASH (voice-over): She also briefly took over as CEO of Mnuchin's film financing company until Democrats raised ethical objections. The President will surely approve of the bridal bling, which Linton modeled for "Town and Country Magazine." But none of it is likely to trump Melania's giant diamond engagement ring, all 15 carats of it.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Let's show the ring? Did you pick it?
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF UNITED STATES: He picked it.
BASH (voice-over): The Trumps, of course, splashed out every aspect of their wedding. Melania posed in her designer gown for the cover of "Vogue," and the guest list was a who's who of the power elite, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But when it comes to making a marriage last, President Trump says it's less glitz and more grit.
TRUMP: What Melania is so good at, we just have this natural relationship. It's like my mother and father were married 63 years. I've always heard you have to work at a good relationship.
My father didn't work at a good relationship. He went home, he had dinner, he went to bed. He took it easy, he watched television. My mother, the same thing. She cooked him dinner.
BASH (voice-over): This weekend, though, it was all about the newly married Mnuchins and their presidential guest who loves his weddings like his walls, big and beautiful.
Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.
[18:59:54] CABRERA: Top of the hour. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us.
We began this hour with a ticking clock on health care and a pivotal week ahead for President Trump. Can Republican leadership secure the votes in the Senate?