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Pelosi Speaks Amid Bipartisan Tax Reform Talks With Trump; Trump In Florida To Survey Damage Meet With Victims; Florida Governor: Four Million Customers' Power Restored So Far; Florida Keys Recovering, But Services Scarce; Trump: Top Dems Working On Deal For "Dreamers". Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired September 14, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: -- see when we see in writing. That was really news to me because it is basically in their DNA to give tax cuts to the high end and have trickle down economic as opposed to what we support which is middle-class economic.
Better jobs, better paychecks, better future and when the consumer, the middle class has consumer confidence, they consume injecting demand into the economy creating jobs. Revenue neutral is very important standard for us to have.
Growth is very -- I tell anybody who goes to any meeting for us, put growth in the middle of the table. Growth is what is important. Growth of good paying jobs, growth in our economy, and that growth means that we do so in a way that creates jobs and reduces the deficit.
What the Republicans have been proposing would increase the debt by $2 trillion at a minimum. We cannot go down that path. So, they want to say the growth is going to pay the tab. It never has. It's only created more debt or trickled down.
Let's not make a judgment when we see what they have, but so far, it's not about tax reform. What we want to do is engage them in a bipartisan way in simplification, fairness, closing special interest loopholes, and having proper revenue to meet the needs of the American people and create growth in our economy.
Growth does not just come from tax cuts for the wealthy. That's what they think. It hasn't. Growth comes from the education of the American people, investments in research and development. We will have our agenda on this as part of the better deal.
But yes, to your question, revenue neutral is very important to us. So again, whether it's the -- what we have coming up are certain deadlines part of our discussion last night with certain deadlines coming up September 30th, many things expire.
We'll have to extend them by the 30th or shortly thereafter. You see a lot of activity on health care, Senator Sanders has introduced his in the House, our Democrats have introduced Medicare for everyone over 50 to 64, all of these to be -- are on the table to be considered.
Universal care, that is our goal. We think the Affordable Care Act is a path to that. If they have a better idea, let's see what the numbers are and how we can come together about it. But I don't want --
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We've been listening to the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking at her weekly press conference. Right now, you are also looking at some live pictures from Fort Myers, Florida, where President Trump is meeting with first responders who have been critical, essential and on the ground from the very beginning in the relief efforts after Hurricane Irma.
My monitor I'm leaning in to see if I see -- right there on the right, you can see President Trump shaking hands with folks on the ground there.
Alex Marquardt is in Fort Myers where the president landed. He's joining me right now. So, Alex, the president landed, he made news on the political front but at this moment, Alex, for watching these like pictures, let's stick to the relief effort. The president and first lady and the vice president all there they will be getting a briefing very soon, yes?
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, this is the third visit that he's made to a hurricane-ravaged area in just the past three weeks. We've had these back-to-back historic hurricanes.
The president touching down just moments ago at Fort Myers, being accompanied by the first lady, Melania Trump. He stepped off the plane and gave that press conference.
BOLDUAN: Hang on, Alex. Let's listen in once again.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: -- the Marines, everybody, the Navy, the job that everybody has done, is incredible. And I know you're also in the process, but to think of the incredible power of that storm and while people unfortunately passed, it was such a small number that nobody would have -- people thought thousands and thousands of people may have their lives ended and the number is a very small number which is a great tribute to you.
Also in the fact that I know in the case of FEMA and the case of Coast Guard, the job you've done in saving people and saving lives as an example, in Harvey, in Texas, we talked over 16,000 lives, and nobody would even understand that. It's hard to even imagine.
And down here the same thing. So, I want to thank everybody. You guys, I don't want to see you next week at another place, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We've seen you enough. I just want to thank everybody, the first responders, on behalf of myself, our vice president, Melania really wanted to be with us, she's really -- it's really touched her heart what's gone on.
[11:05:07] We've seen the devastation and we will see more of it now, unfortunately, and I have to say that your governor, where is our governor here? Rick Scott -- the job he's done is incredible.
And I guess I've been very lucky because, you know, you have a great governor of Texas, a great governor in Florida, the job that Rick has done is being talked about all over and to think that -- I must say, Florida Power and Light, where is Eric, where is Eric, come here, Eric, great job.
I will say, they're way ahead of schedule. There are more electrical people in this state than ever accumulated anywhere in the world is what I read before. It's from all over the country they came and I mean, I've never seen -- you've never seen anything like it.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we haven't.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Localized all over. I see Pam Bonedy, who has done such an incredible job, stopping certain little problems before they start, and actually getting some of the companies to put up a lot of money to help. So, the attorney general -- I want to thank you, Pam, fantastic job. And Elaine -- where is Elaine Duke? Elaine Duke, and where is (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right here.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Don't lose them. Elaine. I have to say that Brock, working with your governor, with Pam, working with Elaine, working by the way with Marco Rubio, who is around here some place -- it's a team like very few people have seen and I want to thank everybody.
Marco, I want to thank you a lot. You were really helpful. I just, again, I have to say, that what do I know, but I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the senate. I don't know what he's going to do.
But I know that at a certain point it ends for you and we can't let it end. I hope he runs for the Senate. Who knows what he's going to do? Again, I came down to say hello to you folks and to say hello to you folks, and the first lady and myself, this is an honor for us to be here.
We're now going to tour some of the areas and as Rick said, we have been very, very fast and we had to be. We were signing papers as the storm was coming in and that's never happened before. Rick, thank you very much for the great job. Brock and everybody. Thank you very much.
We have the great Rick Perry here. Rick -- we have energy -- we have Linda McMahon. We have so many of the people, so many of the cabinet members because they're going to help. I want to thank Mike Pence. He is, in fact, I would like you to say a few words.
PENCE: I would be happy to. Thank you, Mr. President. First lady, it's an honor to be with you today. Just to pay a debt of gratitude for the great leadership here at the state and local level. I know the president directed the full resources of the federal government, to support Florida's effort to prepare for and confront and now recover and rebuild from Hurricane Irma.
The president's directive over this weekend was clear, wherever Hurricane Irma goes, we're going to be there first. And thanks to the great leadership of your governor, and your emergency management team, and all of the great first responders on the ground, that's exactly what Florida did.
And as the president has said, we're with you today, we're going to be with you tomorrow, and we're going to be with you until Florida rebuilds bigger and better than ever before. Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: One word on a very important subject, so your power, I mean, literally, Rick, it's going on as we speak. It's going way ahead of schedule, weeks ahead of schedule. And much of it, most of it, I guess, outside of the Keys where we have a very special problem but we're working hard on that.
That's a very, very special problem, that was just dead center, but we're working very hard on that, and we have a lot of goods out there, a lot of water, food, everything, but I would like to ask your governor to say a few words. He's been absolutely outstanding. Thank you. Rick?
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA: Thank you, Mr. President. First off, I want to thank everybody for their prayers. We've had prayers from all over the world. I want to thank everybody for doing everything they can to get us back.
I want to thank the president and vice president. What I can tell you is, they were always accessible. They made quick decisions. They surrounded themselves with outstanding people.
[11:00:00] They were constantly calling me to say what resources do we need. I want to thank the -- basically the entire military. I want to thank the Coast Guard, the Navy. I want to thank Secretary Duke, Brock Long, they were always calling to say what resources can we bring to the table.
As you know our state has been devastated. I was in the -- I've been in the Keys. If you go to the Keys there's maybe -- there were nine- foot storm surges. Their homes just toppled. We're -- we don't want to lose a life.
Down here in this part of the state we have a lot of flooding, a lot of wind, a lot of rain. We've got flooding up in the northeast. We're working hard to get our power back on. We've restored -- our utilities have restored over 4 million homes already.
We are down to about 25 percent of our homes. Every person in our state wants their power back. I want to thank them for what they're doing so far. We have high expectations and want our power back as fast as possible. I want to thank the federal government for all their support. When our ports reopen we get our fuel back in our state. We're short of fuel. We have lines at our gas station. The federal government is going to partner to help make sure our ports get open to get the fuel back in the state
Law enforcement escorts of our tanker trucks to get to the gas stations to make sure we have fuel. Everybody has worked hard and I want to thank the National Guard. We called up over 8,000 National Guard members.
We got National Guard members from other states making sure shelters were open, people were comfortable. We opened almost 600 shelters in record time. It wouldn't have happened but for the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the National Guards, but also National Guard from other states.
So, we have a lot of work to do. This is not -- we're not done today. We're ready to work hard. I know the federal government will continue to be a partner, our locals will, our state will. We're going to make sure we're continuing to be a strong resilient state and I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everybody's prayers to help us get through this.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. We are now going to be making a tour of the areas and see some of the folks and make sure they're happy because we're trying to keep them as happy as we can under the circumstances. In many cases they lost their homes and it's a tough situation.
So, we're going to go see a lot of the folks and I will tell you, again, I want to thank you, I want to thank the military, just incredible. Thank everybody and we'll see you later. Media, we appreciate your being so understanding. It's been a tough period of time even for you folks and we appreciate your understanding.
This has been a difficult situation as Rick knows, almost all of the roads are now open and the port are just about open. What we had to do to get some of the ports open, people wouldn't even believe we did it so quickly. We're very proud of the job that everybody around has done. Thank you all, thank you very much. We'll see you later. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: All right. You're listening right there, President Trump, Vice President Pence, the first lady and many others, including the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, speaking there. The president getting a briefing.
He's going to be taking a tour of some of the areas around Fort Myers before he heads to Naples. Taking a moment to thank first responders, all the members of the military, the Coast Guard, the Navy, who have been working around the clock to try to clear debris, to search and rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
And an important update from Governor Rick Scott right there that they've restored over 4 million homes, power to over 4 million homes to date. That is no -- that's not done. There's still millions without power, but that is the progress.
All right. Let me bring in where we left off, Alex Marquardt, he's in Fort Myers, right where the -- where the president has landed and just speaking. Alex, as you well noted, this is the third time in three weeks that the president has gone to a -- gone to see a natural disaster?
MARQUARDT: Yes. You heard him in his comments there, right at the beginning, joking with that crowd, he doesn't want to see them again next week. This has been an incredible period with these back-to-back hurricanes. The president making three trips. This is his first one to Florida.
Of course, the major concern whenever a White House visits an area of devastation, is not tying up too many natural -- too many emergency resources, local resources. And so -- but he wants to be sure to actually go to where people have been affected and to see that devastation.
So, he's starting here in Fort Myers. This is the biggest airport in the area, arriving not too long ago. As you mention he was there with the vice president, the governor of Florida.
He's due to get a briefing here around 30 minutes, but the White House has been very conscientious to make sure that everyone knows he has been monitoring the situation day in and day out, posting photos of him getting his briefings in the oval office and speaking with local officials.
[11:15:04] We've been speaking with mayors in different towns and they've been very happy with the response from the White House, that they say things have been going smoothly, they've been getting the resources and the information they need.
Now, in a short time after that briefing, the president and his entourage will get in Marine One and head a short distance down to Naples. Naples was one of the hardest hit areas here on the west coast.
We're getting a little more information about what he'll actually be doing. We're told he will be visiting a trailer park. Now remember, so many of these homes were spared, a lot of people who boarded up their homes and went to shelters came home and found their homes intact, a huge sigh of relief.
But there were Category 1 winds and that wreaks devastation in numerous trailer parks all across the state. Flooding them, making it very difficult for the residents to get out. So, the president will be visiting Naples, visiting that trailer park. We're told he will meet with first responders and with victims down there.
This, of course, comes after his visit to Houston where he came under a lot of criticism for not visiting with victims and with first responders. So, they will be sure to do that today.
The big question that we've been getting, that the president is going to face right now, is when will the power come back on. As you heard him say, they have been making a lot of progress, but around 25 percent of the state is still without power -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Yes. They seem to be very aware of that concern and frustration as the governor, that was one of the first things he wanted to speak to when the president gave him a moment to speak. All right. Alex, thank you so much.
Let me bring in White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, traveling with the president. Jim, this is -- this is the third time in three weeks the president is going to a disaster area. As Alex noted, his first trip to Texas came under quite a bit of criticism. It seems this president has seen a lot and learned a lot in three weeks?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. And as Alex was saying, he's going to be taking an aerial tour of Southwest Florida looking at some of the devastation. He's also going to visit a mobile home community in Naples.
And you can see some of the damage behind me, there is a piece of one of the mobile homes in a community that we're stationed near that was ripped off and thrown behind me and that's sitting behind me along with all the downed trees.
That's just one snapshot of the devastation that you see down here. And Alex is right, what the president was saying, Governor Scott, were saying is absolutely right, getting the power back on is a major concern down here.
As we were driving in, most of the stop lights are not working. Shopping centers are not really up and running. We went to one supermarket that was basically the only sign of life in this community, and people in there did not have cold drinks to buy.
So, you know, the lady at the checkout counter said that she wished she could have a cold drink. She hadn't had a cold drink in days. That gives you a sense as to what people are going through down in this part of the country.
Now, we should point out, the president did make some remarks, yes, he has learned from some of the stumbles that occurred in Texas during his trip down to Corpus Christi to see the damage down there when he talked about having a big crowd.
We should point out in the last several minutes the president did say that Governor Rick Scott should run for the Senate, so the president did inject some politics into what is supposed to be an official presidential trip. He's, obviously, going to get dinged for that.
And then just before those remarks, Kate, as you saw, some I would call Category 5 confusion when it comes to this issue of DACA and the "DREAMers." The president saying to reporters just in the last several minutes that there's not going to be amnesty for these "DREAMers."
There's not going to be a path to citizenship for these "DREAMers," and yet his spokesperson, Lindsey Walters, on Air Force One talking to reporters in the previous hour, said one thing they will be looking at is some sort of path to legal citizenship. That will be under discussion.
The president saying a few moments ago, probably very conscious of the fact that he's getting hit by his conservative base right now because of this deal he cut with Nancy Pelosi or they say they didn't cut a deal but they seemed to be pretty close to a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
And so this is -- you know, he has the storm to survey, the damage from the storm to survey down here, but quite the tempest brewing over the issue of immigration back in Washington and my suspicion is he'll be dealing with those questions all day long -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: To say the very least. We'll get to the question of DACA and exactly where the president stands and where that deal/no deal stands as well in just a moment. Jim, great to see you.
The president going to be heading to Naples very shortly and we will be following as he travels throughout the state and following and bringing you all the live moments and any video we get in as the president moves about.
Also keeping a focus on Florida and one part of Florida in particular, the Florida Keys, some of the hardest hit in terms of the areas hit by Hurricane Irma. The images coming out of the Lower Keys especially are really devastating.
Many people are still not able to get into their homes to really even survey what's left, what damage there is. Making all of it worse, the big issue we've been talking about already, power. Still out for millions.
[11:20:06] The Keys are also still under curfew and homeowners in the Lower Keys are still not allowed back to their homes to check on their homes.
Joining me on the phone right now is Monroe County Commissioner Heather Caruthers. Monroe County, of course, covers the Keys. Commissioner, thank you so much for joining me again.
COMMISSIONER HEATHER CARUTHERS, MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA (via telephone): Sure. Happy to do it. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. We spoke yesterday. I just want to get a quick update. Progress made or frustrations, where do things stand? What's the important message today?
CARUTHERS: Sure. The important message today is what it was yesterday, please try to be patient. We are making progress. We've got about 16 percent of power restored from -- in the very -- the Keys, Key Haven through Key West.
We've got about 42 percent of power restored in the Upper Keys. We have water pressure all the way down to Marathon, but we are still under a boil water order, so for -- in terms of our health concerns, the folks don't have power to boil water or fuel to boil water we're really concerned about health which is part of why, you know, we're not inviting everyone back yet.
That compounded with the fact that we have a lot of essential services folks trying to get through to help continue with the recovery as well as supplies to everybody. So, if everyone can be a little more patient.
I have one other note that everybody needs to understand that the port of Key West is closed and the water surrounding Key West are considered a safety zone, so please do not try to take your boat anywhere near Key West or the keys. You will be boarded by the Coast Guard.
BOLDUAN: Important messages. It's very important messages. We did hear, I'm not sure if you were able to hear it commissioner, but the president, President Trump, just spoke a moment ago, and part of his remarks he mentioned the keys and said in particular, that -- talking about getting the power back quickly but said outside of the Keys where we have a very special problem down there, but we are working very hard on that.
It made me just wonder, the president is on the ground, he's going to tour Fort Myers and Naples today. Do you wish he was coming to Monroe County?
CARUTHERS: Frankly, yes, and no. You know, we're just trying to recover. Every single moment is absorbed with getting supplies where they need to be, making sure the right people are getting access back into the Keys, repaving highways, you know, dealing with our 300 downed power lines, so we really appreciate the federal support that we've received, but we're really trying to just work down here.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Yes. The focus being exactly on just getting one power line up at a time and getting clean water to everyone down in the Keys. As the days tick on and temperatures continue to rise, I know for so many anguish is turning to frustration but the message from Heather Caruthers is patience please, they're working. They are working on all of it. Commissioner, thank you so much for getting on again. I really appreciate it.
CARUTHERS: You're welcome. Happy to do it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. We will have much more on the president's trip to Florida. That is ahead.
Plus, this, as Jim Acosta was noting, deal or no deal, do you have whiplash? I kind of do and it doesn't feel so nice finding a solution for 800,000 "DREAMers" living in the United States, DACA recipients.
We've heard from the president and top leaders in Congress this morning. I'm not really sure where they stand so we're going to try to sift it out for you in just a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:27:46]
BOLDUAN: This morning President Trump seems to be moving closer to another deal with Democrats. This time, on protection for the some 800,000 "DREAMers" in the country. The undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents illegally.
The president, you will recall, rescinded the program announced by Jeff Sessions and now there is something of a six-month buffer for Congress to figure out a solution. So, what are they figuring out?
Democratic Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi had dinner with the president last night and then it's pretty much anyone's guess at this point. There's a deal, there is no deal, funding the wall is off the table, no, funding the wall is on the table. Here is how the president explained it moments ago when he arrived in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are looking for extreme border security and surveillance, everything else, we also have to get the wall. It doesn't have to be here, but they can't obstruct the wall, whether it's in a budget or something else when we're ready for the project.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) citizenship for "DREAMers" over time?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're not looking at citizenship or amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here. We're working with everybody. Republican, we're working with Democrat. I just spoke with Paul Ryan. He's on board. Everybody is on board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: CNN congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly is here. Phil, what is going on? Please make sense of this? I feel like I cover Congress for a long time, but I also feel like I have no idea right now.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You're kind in the same boat as a lot of people here. What's important here is the nuance here is what's going to actually make the deal happen. If you want to track back into what happened last night, there was a dinner and the agreement was on kind of the parameters of where a final deal would end.
Essentially, they would protect DACA participants in exchange for significant package border security, whether it's money, resources, something like that. The details of what each of those two things actually will be, are extraordinarily important.
You're finding out why this morning, take a listen to what Democratic minority leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, told us she believes the deal contains just a short while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PELOSI: Last night, Leader Schumer and I had a very productive meeting with President Trump. We agreed to a plan to work at an agreement to protect our nation's "DREAMers" from deportation. We insisted that the bipartisan DREAM Act, the one introduced by Congress --