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Senate GOP Defy Trump's Health Care Demands. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired August 2, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: There are not the votes, as I've said repeatedly to the president, to change the rules of the Senate.
[07:00:19] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By mid-September, we will see if we can agree on a way to stabilize the individual insurance market.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: We've got to get away from this attitude that a senator should be a rubber stamp for everything the president wants.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: The president said that he weighed in the way any father would on a statement.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When you're caught in a lie, it makes it hard to just say, "Let the other stuff go."
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The statement that Don Jr. issued is true. This is all discussion, frankly, of no consequence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now it appears he actually drafted the language in a way that intentionally deceived the American people.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Up first, a growing number of Senate Republicans are defying President Trump. The president had suggested that they allow the ACA to collapse by withholding needed funding. Not only might that violate the law and the Constitution, but it put the party in a pickle.
So instead, Republicans are working with Democrats to stabilize insurance markets, and Congress is charting its own course to focus on tax reform and the debt ceiling.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK. This as the White House concedes President Trump was involved in crafting his son's misleading initial statement about that meeting with a Russian lawyer. That admission contradicts repeated denials from the president's legal team.
So let's begin our coverage with CNN's Joe Johns. He is live at the White House. What's the latest, Joe?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
It was the president who tweeted over the weekend that Senate Republicans look like fools, because they won't change the rules. Now the president is facing a growing number of United States senators who are Republican who are speaking out against him and his legislative priorities, even as his credibility continues to erode due to the ever-changing stories about his campaign and Russia.
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump's response to the collapse of the health care bill exacerbating growing tensions between Senate Republicans and the White House.
FLAKE: We've got to get away from this attitude that you have to agree with the president and that a senator should be a rubber stamp for everything the president wants at all times.
JOHNS: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bypassing requests to hold another repeal vote and rejecting the president's demand that the Senate change their rules to pass bills by a simple majority.
MCCONNELL: There are not the votes in the Senate, as I've said repeatedly to the president and to all of you, to change the rules of the Senate.
JOHNS: It comes as the Senate Health Committee's influential Republican chairman also pushes back against the president's threat to let Obamacare implode by stopping payments to insurance companies. Senator Lamar Alexander proposing bipartisan legislation that would do exactly the opposite.
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, HELP COMMITTEE: Our proposal is that by mid-September we will see if we can agree on a way to stabilize the individual insurance market.
JOHNS: Senate Republicans also criticizing the administration's shifting story about the president's role in crafting his son's misleading initial statement about the reason for the June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer.
GRAHAM: When you put out a misleading statement, it's going to be hard to convince people to stop looking at other things.
JOHNS: The White House admitting Tuesday that the president was involved...
SANDERS: The president weighed in, as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.
JOHNS: ... contradicting repeated denials from the president's legal team.
JAY SEKULOW, LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: The president was president not involved in the drafting of the statement.
I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all; nor was the president.
The president didn't sign off on anything.
JOHNS: Sarah Sanders denying reports that President Trump personally dictated the deceptive statement and attempting to shift the narrative.
SANDERS: Everyone wants to try to make this some story about misleading. The only thing I see as misleading is a year's worth of stories that have been fueling a false narrative about this Russia collusion.
JOHNS: The ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating possible collusion disagreeing.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), RANKING MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: This administration continues to say, particularly vis-a- vis Russia, there's nothing there. Yet they don't act that way at all.
JOHNS: Facing the continued difficulties in the Senate, the administration apparently is trying to shore up the president's base on the right. "The New York Times" reporting this morning that the Department of Justice is considering suing colleges and universities for affirmative action policies that they say may discriminate against white students. The administration also looking at another trade case against China, as well as a skill-based immigration policy -- Chris and Alisyn.
CUOMO: Joe, appreciate it.
Let's bring in the panel: CNN Politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza; and CNN political analysts David Gregory and John Avlon.
David Gregory, the president saying allow the ACA to implode, arguably a violation of law, arguably a violation of his constitutional duty. But certainly, bad politics as viewed now in the eyes of his own party members. What's the play?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Republicans realize that a failure to make good on their pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare leaves them vulnerable, because so many conservatives around the country don't like Obamacare, don't like the federal government's role in the health care economy, and wanted to see action.
Well, Republicans simply couldn't agree. And now the president is trying to strong-arm Republicans further in a
way that will only hurt Republicans more. These are very definitely supporters of the president who could be further hurt by efforts to undermine Obamacare further.
So there are real problems in the health care market today under the Affordable Care Act that responsible politicians ought to try to remedy. That includes Democrats, who can't just stand by and allow these things to get worse. There are some Republicans who now want to get to the business of make the markets better.
I think this -- this move by the administration to talk it down and to undermine the market is not only horrible policy and a dereliction of duty, but I think it will hurt Republicans more, because they're responsible for trying to change it; and people know they're responsible for pushing it further into dangerous territory.
CUOMO: John Avlon, for a long time, for the past six months, at least, we've heard Republicans say, "I may not be crazy about everything that President Trump says or the way he acts or what he does, but he is the best shot at getting our agenda through, and that's what we're laser-focused on."
And now something has shifted, and they're saying different things, publicly saying different things. Here is -- here is Jeff Flake, who has come out with an op-ed in Politico and now he's even saying it publicly on camera. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLAKE: We've got to get away from this attitude that you have to agree with the president and that a senator should be a rubber stamp for everything the president wants at all times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, look, it's a concession to reality. I mean, not only the constitutional vision of what the Senate was supposed to do and traditionally has, but I think the fact that Donald Trump went after Jeff Sessions was a key tipping point. Because it showed that someone from their club, the Senate club, could have early and unbending public loyalty to the president and still be turned on in a vicious and humiliating way.
And once that happened, they said, "Look, we privately don't think this president is tightly wrapped, running a disciplined ship, understands policy, or is appealing to the better angels of our nature. And politically he may be hurting us, too, and personally we can't trust him."
That combination of factors is leading them to belatedly grow a backbone. But it's a good thing for the country if we can return to some semblance of bipartisan governing, some semblance of thinking beyond simply what the president wants at any moment.
CUOMO: What's interesting is to see this play, where the Republicans, Chris Cillizza, seem to be trying to steal the populist mandate from the president. Listen to Tim Scott in "The Washington Post": "We work for the American people. We don't work for the president. We should do what's good for the administration as long as that does not in any way, shape or form make it harder on the American people."
So what are you seeing? That it's not just health care and working to shore up the markets, which is obviously necessary, those CSR payments, the matching funds from the federal government, are needed. But tax reform, worrying about the debt ceiling. All those things are in play, too. You can argue the political strategy: McConnell wanting to use a reconciliation rule, the 51 rule. Democrats don't like that. But they are moving on things that they think will matter to the American people.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes. First, I would say, before we get too far down the bipartisanship kumbaya trail, remember that McConnell did say yesterday, "We're doing reconciliation."
CILLIZZA: "And we're only using Republicans." So let's put that in the pot.
But I do think that you are right that -- I think what you see Senate Republicans, even House Republicans realizing -- and they've said this. Paul Ryan, when they got in control, Mitch McConnell when they got in control said, "We have to show that we can govern. We have to show that we're not just the opposition party." They continue to still act like the opposition party, aided and abetted and encouraged, frankly, by Donald Trump. They are now in control.
You get blamed when you control the White House, the Senate and the House, particularly in midterm elections. It's going to be very hard to say, "The Democrats did this." Voters don't buy that.
So I think you see from McConnell, you see from Paul Ryan, the understanding that you can't simply protest and do nothing, throw up your hands and say, "Well, we let it fail. Democrats screwed everything up." You've got to have some accomplishments.
And go through, what are the accomplishments? Neil Gorsuch, OK, that will help with the conservative base; and these midterm elections tend to be base-driven elections. Neil Gorsuch. Now name me something else.
CAMEROTA: Well, there's all sorts -- I can name. Look, I talk to these panels all the time. They see all the executive actions that he's signed, the rolling back of regulations. They like that he got out of Paris. They like that he's -- you know, where he is in terms of climate control and not hurting businesses.
CILLIZZA: That's the president -- that's the argument for the president's re-election in 2020. It's going to be very hard for Dean Heller in Nevada to say, "Well, I helped President Trump pull out of the Paris Accords." Like, they have to have something that they've done.
Go ahead, David.
GREGORY: I just want to make a larger point here. Because what we're talking about is important, but it's still small; it's still tactical. Because we're in the middle of covering and analyzing the daily fights of a pugilistic administration that is populist, where there's no ideological center and no real vision for where you take the country domestically or internationally.
Republicans and Democrats have to think beyond the day to day about what's urgent but also what's important. I just finished reading Senator Ben Sasse's book, which is so provocative and so interesting, because he goes bigger than the partisan divide to talk about the role of technology and how it's going to deal with workforce training, deal with education.
Just as Steve Jobs helped define what Americans needed through technology before they understood it, the parties need to do that. And you know, you take a guy like Jeff Flake, who is a very committed conservative, an excellent senator, no matter where you come from politically. He's thinking about a new conservatism and what it actually means.
And part of the backlash against Trump is that he doesn't have real ideological vision. That's celebrated in certain quarters. But both Republicans and Democrats have to think longer term about how you actually govern, what you stand for, how you move government to meet some of the challenges that Trump voters identified that are not going away in this economy, and at the same time, think about how we project power in the rest of the world. That is a changing model, as well. So it's -- this is a very fluid time to be governing.
CILLIZZA: And by the way, that said...
CUOMO: Something else hanging over their heads.
CILLIZZA: I was just -- Chris, I was just going to add just very quickly to that, what you see from Trump -- I think the biggest danger for Trump as you look at 2018 and 2020, is he basically governs by whack-a-mole. Which is, "Oh, this thing is here today. This thing is here this day. I said this, I did this, I tweeted that." There is no sort of broader vision of what the party can be.
AVLON: Yes, and the ADD executive is not a winning message. But I think it can't be overstated, the fact that senators are starting to speak out.
And yes, the 51 -- you know, McConnell saying they're going to do tax by reconciliation. But you're also seeing this sort of sub rosa effort by folks like Alexander and Murray to try to solve a problem. You're seeing the coalition in the House trying to get together to solve the problem. And if that's the kind of declaration of independence we need to push back on an executive that's clearly out of control and probably out of his depth, that's a good thing for taking more civic responsibility for our country.
CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much for all of your analysis.
CUOMO: Right. And also, the attrition in his trust level over the Russia investigation also is weighing in and emboldening some of these Republicans to step forward.
So the White House is telling the Senate to focus on health care: get that done, hold another vote. But as we see, the senators are saying, "Mind your business. We'll mind our own." And they're working, even with Republicans and Democrats, working to deal with health care their own way, to deal with taxes, to deal with the budget. We're going to talk to the budget director from the White House who has entered the fray, straight ahead.
[07:17:50] CUOMO: President Trump wants senators to hold another vote to dismantle Obamacare before moving on to anything else. But Senate Republicans are saying no. They're actually working, some Republicans with Democrats, trying to stabilize the insurance markets that the president has suggested they should just let fail.
They're also refocusing efforts to get some tax reform done, to take a look at the debt ceiling that's coming at the end of September. Republican Senator John Cornyn went further. He had pointed responses to the budget director at the White House, Mick Mulvaney, in terms of this push to deal only with health care. "I don't think he's got much experience in the Senate," said Cornyn, "as I recall. He's got a big job. He ought to do that job, and let us do our job."
Let's discuss this turn in events with Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mick, good to have you.
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Hey, Chris. Good morning. How are you?
CUOMO: So what's going on here with Republican senators saying enough from the White House, we're going to take care of it our own way; we're not going to let the ACA implode?
MULVANEY: Look, here's what we're -- I appreciate Senator Cornyn's comments. He's a good friend of mine.
But we are trying to follow through on the promises that we made as a party, which was to repeal and replace. We're not really sure how you can run for seven years saying that if you elect us, we'll repeal and replace Obamacare. Then the voters give us the chance to do that, and we don't do it. So we've got that working, which we know everyone agrees with. So the question is why can't the Senate deliver on that?
At the same time, as to my job, part of my job is to try to get the American economy back on track, back to what we call this -- this MAGAnomics concept, Make American Great Again economics concept, a 3 percent sustained economic growth. Part of that is getting rid of Obamacare because, hard-wired into Obamacare -- and even left-leaning think tanks will tell you this -- is a disincentive to work. And we need folks to go back to work.
So I appreciate Senator Cornyn. I know there's a little bit tongue- in-cheek in there. There's always a little bit of institutional infighting between here and Capitol Hill, which is fine. But we are doing our job down here. We hope the Senate does theirs and continues to work on health care. It doesn't mean they can't work on tax reform at the same time. I know that Senator Graham, for example, has been to the White House talking to the president about some ideas on health care. Other folks are working on taxes. Other folks are working on debt ceiling. That's great.
[07:20:10] But I think our point is this: let's not move on from health care just because you failed by one vote. The president isn't giving up on health care, and neither should the Senate.
CUOMO: All right, well, there's a lot to unpack there.
First, saying repeal and replace is a lot easier than doing something about it. The ACA has been in there for years. A lot of people depend on it. You have Mnuchin meeting with senators, so clearly this White House message of "only focus on health care," you know, isn't 100 percent solid, right? Because Mnuchin's meeting on tax reform, and as you say, there's more than one iron in the fire.
But there's a bigger issue. You could argue that it's unconstitutional, and certainly in defiance of statutes that enable the ACA, for the president to say let the markets implode. Right? At a minimum, it's insensitive; at a maximum, it may have been illegal. What's wrong with the senator saying, "We're not going to do that. People will get hurt. We have to shore up the markets now, which includes those payments that the president is dangling over their heads of a lot of needy Americans"?
MULVANEY: Sure, people are getting hurt now. The way to fix that is not by bailing out the insurance companies. Keep in mind, that's what these are. These cost-sharing reduction payments were payments to the insurance companies in order to get them to support Obamacare in the first place.
So the president's attitude is fairly simple. If people are suffering -- and they are -- and they will continue to suffer because we have not repealed or replaced Obamacare, why shouldn't insurance companies similarly suffer?
That's his point. I don't think that's an unfair or unreasonable position for the president of the United States to take.
CUOMO: Why isn't it unreasonable when you know that the -- the difference between the consumer and the insurer is that the consumer pays the price; the insurer passes it along through premiums. You know they're going to raise premiums; they tell you that they will. Why would you allow that to happen? MULVANEY: That's a great point that you and I could talk about on corporate taxes. Because every time Republicans say we want to lower the corporate tax, Democrats always say it's a giveaway to corporations. When we remind them that it's actually citizens who pay the corporate tax through the higher price of goods. So it's a wonderful conversation to have on tax reform if you'd like.
CUOMO: Well, then, answer my question. Why would you allow insurers to raise premiums in some effort just to cripple Obamacare?
MULVANEY: Let's make -- let's make one thing perfectly clear. Insurance companies have been raising premiums even with these payments having been made for the last several years. I live in a state that only has one provider. My insurance premiums have gone up every single year, and I -- until I was in this job, when I was in Congress, I was on one of the Obamacare exchanges. So I know exactly what it's doing.
I lost my doctor. I know exactly what it's doing. My wife lost her doctor. So we've been through this in a way that many people have not. That was happening even with these CSR payments having been made.
Obamacare is failing, and I think what's happening is a lot of folks are trying to distract from that and focus on the Republican plays.
CUOMO: No, they're just trying to keep you from making it worse.
How do you -- how do you justify making it worse as evidence that it's already bad?
MULVANEY: It gets worse by itself, as we've seen for the last several years. It doesn't need the president's help to make it a bad piece of legislation. The president is looking at it saying, "Look, I've got people over here who are suffering. I've got insurance companies over here getting a bailout. That's not right. I want to level the playing field."
MULVANEY: ... position for the president to say.
CUOMO: But, Mick, it's not a bailout in as much as it won't keep premiums from spiking. You know -- nobody knows this better than you do. Certainly, I don't. But what I'm saying is I don't understand why you're not calling it what it is.
The reason you're getting pushback from your own party is because you're going to hurt people if you don't allow these CSR payments -- which, by the way, your own party put in their own bills. You know, so obviously, they saw the need for them, even though they were trying to repeal and replace.
MULVANEY: Well, I don't know. I think it was the Republicans in the House who filed the lawsuit to stop the payments in the first place. So I would disagree with that entirely. Look... CUOMO: True, but they were also included in this bill. You have the Senate and the House with a disconnect there, even though the House still provided for some of these payments going forward to a certain year stoppage.
MULVANEY: Look, if they want to provide for the payments as part of a larger bill, that's fine. We would welcome that. We supported the House bill, as you recall. So it's not that we dislike these payments, as long as they're part of a system to fix Obamacare, or to repeal Obamacare, but right now you don't even have that.
So the president comes back to the point I've just made, which is why are you giving the insurance companies a better deal than you are the people who are on Obamacare?
CUOMO: Because the people will get a worse deal if you don't give these payments. That's -- isn't it as simple as that?
MULVANEY: The people have a bad deal the way that it is.
Look, the simplest way to fix this is to get rid of this, not continue to throw bad money after good.
CUOMO: But you don't have the votes.
MULVANEY: That's right, which is why we continue to push. You said something earlier about how the White House's position was to focus only on Obamacare. I think that's not entirely accurate.
What we're saying is don't give up. Yes, you can continue to work on tax reform. We want you to. In fact, we're down on the Hill every day; Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Cohn are down doing that. We need you to work on the debt ceiling. In fact, we hope they would address that before they leave for their August recess.
But that doesn't mean that you can't also continue to talk about health care reform. In fact, I was encouraged to hear that my own senator, Lindsey Graham, has been talking with his some of his colleagues and the White House about some ideas he has on new ways to replace Obamacare.
So it's not that we just want them to work on that by itself. We just don't want them to give up. We haven't given up on trying to repeal and replace. We don't think they should either.
[07:25:10] CUOMO: Do you think the president will enable, to the extent that he has control, these CSR payments to those markets so they stay stabilized?
MULVANEY: I think we said -- we've said, from the very beginning, the time that he got into office, that we'd look at these on a month by month basis. And that position has not changed.
CUOMO: But aren't you then holding those payments hostage and encouraging the insurers to do exactly what they're doing, which is to say "We're going to have to raise premiums because of the uncertainty"? The exact same uncertainty that you say is the problem?
MULVANEY: Chris, we're having the exact same conversation we had 30 seconds ago.
CUOMO: Yes, because I feel like you're dancing around the reality that you need those payments in order to stabilize the markets. And if you're holding them hostage, you're essentially putting people at risk.
MULVANEY: Chris, stop for a second. Stop for a second. These payments have been there for years.
MULVANEY: The markets are not stable. You are making the assumption that if we make the payments...
CUOMO: Not all markets.
MULVANEY: No, stop for a second! You asked me a question. Let me finish the answer.
CUOMO: All markets are not unstable.
MULVANEY: You asked me the question.
CUOMO: All markets are not unstable.
MULVANEY: You asked me the question; let me finish the answer. You are assuming that with these CSR payments, the markets will stay stable. That is a false assumption.
CUOMO: More stable.
MULVANEY: That's not a fair question.
CUOMO: More stable than otherwise. The insurers are saying they're going to have raise premiums if you don't give them to us.
CUOMO: What do you...
MULVANEY: More stable is replacing this with something that actually works. That is more stable. And that is the goal of this administration.
CUOMO: And the CBO said that every one of your suggestions made it worse. Every single one, the CBO said. And your reaction to that was to try to dismantle the CBO, essentially.
MULVANEY: Dismantle? What the CBO said -- excuse me. What the CBO said was that, if you are on Medicaid expansion and the House bill gets rid of the federal mandate that you have health insurance, that you would voluntarily give up Medicaid.
Let's put that in perspective. What the CBO said was that you would choose to be uninsured instead of receiving a free government program. So I ask you Chris, does that sound like it makes sense? I'll answer the question: it doesn't make sense. And that's...
CUOMO: Well, it's also just one aspect of the underlying assumptions. The bigger assumption was that the states won't have the money, no matter how much choice you give them, to keep those people enrolled. So you'd have tens of millions who lose their coverage.
MULVANEY: One of the things you all have not talked about is the fact that the methodology the CBO uses to score every single one of these bills, every single one of these amendments, is the same methodology they used to score Obamacare in the first place. This is a methodology designed by Jonathan Gruber, the guy who famously said we had to lie to the American public in order to get a bill done.
CUOMO: They say they're using the numbers and the years that you asked them to, that the lawmakers asked them to use for their underlying assumptions.
MULVANEY: It's the methodologies we're talking about.
Look, the CBO has the numbers. There's no question. Again, come back to what did they say, X number of people will not receive coverage. What are they comparing that to? They're comparing that to an ideal Obamacare that works.
Obamacare doesn't work. People are going to lose coverage anyway. People lost coverage yesterday; people lost coverage last week. Again, I live in a state -- I used to be on Obamacare -- that only has one provider. Our premiums have gone through the roof. We've lost the doctors. All of those promises that were made about Obamacare turned out to be false.
CUOMO: Did your state -- did your state accept the Medicaid expansion money?
MULVANEY: We did not.
CUOMO: You see what I'm saying?
CUOMO: You don't think that factors into why the market became destabilized?
MULVANEY: Not at all.
CUOMO: Why not?
MULVANEY: I think the market became destabilized because the system is broken, and they couldn't figure out a way to bring market forces to bear in the insurance business.
CUOMO: What does that mean, market forces to bear?
MULVANEY: And again...
CUOMO: When has that ever worked in the insurance world? When have we ever seen that this free enterprise notion makes things cheaper for people when it comes to health insurance? People were crippled by the cost before the ACA. You know that.
MULVANEY: Yes, I'd love to have a long conversation about what was broken with health insurance before Obamacare, what continues to be broken with insurance on Obamacare.
CUOMO: Certainly still problems.
MULVANEY: One of the examples I could give -- yes, it is. Well, it's one of the few things you buy that you really don't care what the cost is. When you go to the doctor for, say, an X-ray or a CAT scan, you don't care what the cost of that is. You only care what your deductible is, what your monthly payment, your out-of-pocket expense is on that. That's the only product or service that we buy like that in the country, so it's a tremendous warping and distortion of the market. But that's probably a longer discussion for another day.
CUOMO: Right, and we encourage them here. Nobody spends the time that we do on these issues, Mick. That's why you're always welcome here.
Let me ask you one quick question about taxes. It's interesting, because, you know, your time in Congress, you were a deficit hawk. You wanted fiscal responsibility. You were a movement politician in that way.
You put out a statement after the initial budget proposal where you said that "I'm not really interested in how tax reform handles the deficit."
CUOMO: And that was seen as a huge reversal of course, if not a hypocritical statement, from somebody who was all about deficit control. Why the change?
MULVANEY: Sure. And I think if you looked at the statement, what I saw was this. It wasn't actually a change. What I said was, look, there's different kinds of deficits. What I'm trying to do, Chris, is get us back to a healthy American economy. That's defined in our minds as sustained 3 percent economic growth, as I pointed out...
CUOMO: The president had said four or five, hadn't he? And now he's saying 2.7 is great?
MULVANEY: Well, listen, you also accused, I think, my budget of being overly optimistic. Yet the 2.6...
CUOMO: Not me.
MULVANEY: ... that we got this month is actually less than we projected in our budget. So we've got that going for us.
But, no, come back to what we're trying to accomplish with taxes, trying to get to sustained economic growth.
My comment about deficits was this. There's one kind of deficit that comes from government spending and an entirely different kind of deficit that comes from allowing people --