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Conservatives Balk at GOP Plan To Avert Shutdown; Deported From America; Trump Voters Sound Off On Trump Presidency. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 17, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:37] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. With just three days until a possible shutdown, House Republicans are releasing a new plan to keep the government funded for another month, but conservatives are balking at it.

The short-term spending bill ignores Democrats' demands as well on the issue of Dreamers. So, do the Republicans have enough votes without those conservatives to get this through?

Joining us now is Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Good to see you.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: Hey, you, too. How are you?

CUOMO: So what's the simple answer? Do you have the votes?

KINZINGER: I don't know. We just -- you know, we're kind of figuring out what we're doing as of last night. We're hearing the plan. I guess our friends over at the freedom club decided they want to oppose us, so we'll see.

But, you know, I ultimately think that we're going to get through. I'm not -- I'm a little less optimistic this time -- this Friday, than I was say December 23rd. And so, my hope is we can all kind of come together.

Look, let's solve the issue of Dreamers and DACA. I've been saying for a long time we need to solve that.

I guess the Democrats, for some reason, have decided that they're going to tie the issue of Dreamers to government funding -- two completely separate issues, by the way. But since it's up for demand let's hope we can get this done.

But ultimately, this is how big people govern. We try to come together and try to get some big things done.

CUOMO: All right. So let's look at the two different layers of resistance. Let's start in-house first and then we'll go out of house to the Democrats.

KINZINGER: Right. CUOMO: Is it true the conservative resistance -- if it were going to be about one thing -- if there were one thing you could do, that they feel the military's not being funded long enough.

KINZINGER: No, that's not what I'm hearing from the freedom club -- our friends over there. I don't know what their reasoning is because they're not the ones that have been advocating for robust military spending. In fact, many of them over in the Freedom Caucus are actually fans of sequester, which I am not.

There is a group of us, which I consider myself part of, more the military hawk types that do think we need to fix this long-term. We understand, I think in this case, that we're going to -- and I still need a lot more details of what this three-week plan looks like, by the way.

But the hope is we can put the anomalies in there and delay this new sequester from coming in.

While we get -- and here's the big issue really, Chris, is we've got to get the Democrats and Republicans together on a topline number to alleviate the impending sequester. And so, that's where we're at right now.

CUOMO: So explain that to people. What does that mean?

KINZINGER: So, if you remember back in 2011, we did this budget deal that had this thing called sequester where if we can't find $1.5 trillion in spending we're going to do a sequester, which is just a blunt hammer against all program.

But, God forbid, we ever do that. We're never going to do it.

Well, we did it because it's Washington, D.C. And so we're kind of like in this 10-year thing where there's this budget hammer that just comes in and randomly cuts military and domestic programs.

And so we're trying to work with Democrats. Unfortunately, from what I understand, they're not coming to the table right now until this DACA issue is done to try to get a topline number. Some $700 billion for defense or whatever for the discretionary side, non-defense, so we could have a budget deal that lasts for two years.

CUOMO: So you're not hearing that Democrats are saying -- we just had Jim Himes on from Connecticut --

KINZINGER: Yes, I heard him.

CUOMO: -- and he said, you know, they should come to us. We could get a group together and govern this country that way and kind of cut off the extremes. That's not your experience if that offer's out there?

KINZINGER: No. With all -- with all due respect to Jim, look, we've -- if you remember, we were at the table and the president tweeted the Democrats use that as, you know, the excuse of the real reason to say we're not going to negotiate with the president on this topline number. This was in the fall or kind of late fall and from what I understand we haven't made much progress since then.

CUOMO: So --

[07:35:00] KINZINGER: So, I think we'll get there but they have made the issue of Dreamers priority over this.

CUOMO: What are you hearing from your own side in terms of whether it's even on the table of the folding in something to help the Dreamers and deal with parts of DACA to get Democrats into the tent for this Friday?

KINZINGER: I think there's a hope that we can get that done this week. There is -- there is, I guess, the outlines of a deal coming together.

CUOMO: Because, you know, McConnell is saying don't include it, you know, on the Senate side.

KINZINGER: Yes, that's true.

CUOMO: And there are Democrats who are saying I won't vote for the C.R., the continuing resolution unless there's something in there. And there are other Democrats who are saying no, it's got to be done as a clean bill. DACA's too important to just --


CUOMO: -- fold it in.

KINZINGER: I mean, who knows, right? When we come up to the -- to the funding deadline in this town -- I think -- I guess kind of from what I understand, trying to speak for my Democratic colleagues who have to accept that, by the way, if we're going to do DACA there's going to be some things in there they don't want either.

This is a -- this is again, as I mentioned earlier, how big people govern. Not everything's perfect.

I think if the outlines of the deal come forward and it appears that we're going to be able to get something, then probably at that point maybe they'll come and vote for a clean C.R. I'm not sure.

This is going to include, from what I understand, five or six years of CHIP funding to get that CHIP program done and reauthorized.

CUOMO: That's a carrot toward mostly the Democrats, right? Not that the Republicans --

KINZINGER: Maybe, yes.

CUOMO: -- are against CHIP but putting six years in there is something and Paul Ryan and others are hoping that that reduces the bite of the medical tax delays --


CUOMO: -- that go towards funding the ACA.

KINZINGER: Look, we're all for CHIP and this is where I've kind of been -- also been befuddled out here at the narrative that Republicans hate CHIP.

We -- in fact, I'm on the Energy and Commerce Committee. We passed a reauthorization. It went through the House. The Energy and Commerce Committee did our work, the House did our work, and now it's -- I keep hearing that we haven't done our work.

So, let's just get this done. Again, we try to take -- our side is guilty, too. We try to take every little issue that exists and try to beat our opponents over the head with it.

There's a lot of these things that I think we can just take a deep breath, get DACA done, get CHIP done, figure out how to fund the government, and then actually maybe have a good year where we can do things like infrastructure.

CUOMO: Well, that's obviously a big initiative for the president and it remains to be seen whether or not the -- you know, the hard holdouts fiscally on your side and on the Democrats' side, whether they want to do that kind of deal with him or whether he's going to have to do it state-by-state.

Let me ask you something. From a function of government perspective, are you troubled at all by this spin game coming out of the White House about what happened in that immigration meeting and now, having big-time senators like Cotton and Perdue and the Homeland Security playing the "I don't recall" game?

KINZINGER: Look, you know, it's we're going to do the story another day. I -- look, I don't know what happened in the meeting. I think -- I put a --

CUOMO: One question at end of the interview. Come on, now.

KINZINGER: No, I put out a statement saying that look, this is not the language a president should use. I was very aggressive about that.

CUOMO: Right.

KINZINGER: You know, that said, on my side -- on -- let's look at my senator, Dick Durbin. Did not confront the president in the meeting. Instead, comes out and goes right to the media and does it through the media.

Look, have the courage to confront the president in the meeting like, I guess, Lindsey Graham did.

So, do I like the message coming out of it, no? I think, you know, there has to be a level of being able to have conversations that aren't going to come out of the Oval Office but, regardless, it was language that the president shouldn't have used. Most people, I hope, agree with that.

But I think it's time to move on from this and ultimately, understand that my senator, Dick Durbin, should have confronted the president there in the Oval Office instead of through the media.

CUOMO: All right, fair enough.

You know, so Adam Kinzinger, for the audience, you know, is a decorated veteran. Seen the worst that the world had to offer in defending our freedoms.

But it is not until he went to Washington, D.C. that gray appeared in his beard. I want you to know that.


KINZINGER: I'm growing -- I'm doing my best Wolf Blitzer here.

CUOMO: I told you -- I told you it would age you.

But appreciate the straight talk. Thank you for coming on to discuss --

KINZINGER: You, too.

CUOMO: -- what matters to the American people. You're always welcome.

KINZINGER: You bet, thanks.

CUOMO: All right, Adam Kinzinger.

The former chair of the House Freedom Caucus, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan. Now, he is one of these guys who is digging in his heels, who doesn't want to work with his own party for certain reasons of principle.

On the Democrat side, you have Rep. Keith Ellison. These guys are very important right now because when the margins are thin you have to try to cater the divisions within your own party.

We have them both on "PRIME TIME" tonight. We'll put them to the test about what is stopping progress for you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I think you're burying the lead. Wolf Blitzer, style icon in Congress. That's the --

CUOMO: Oh, but everybody knows that.

CAMEROTA: I guess that you're right. Old news.

CUOMO: That's why we call him the captain.


CUOMO: The rest of us. CAMEROTA: They're trying to look like him in the halls of Congress.

All right. Meanwhile, wait until you hear this story. There is one man living in the U.S. since he was 10 years old, now forced to leave his family. He's been deported to Mexico.

We speak to that man -- this video has gotten so much attention -- and his wife and family who are still here in the U.S. They're next.


[07:43:25] CUOMO: The country watched as Cindy Garcia and her two children were forced to say goodbye to their father and husband Jorge at a Detroit airport Monday.

He has been in the United States for 30 years. He was brought here at the age of 10 as an undocumented immigrant. He has been here his whole life.

He works, takes care of his family, is liked in his community, and doesn't even have a speeding ticket. Yet, he was deported and is now in Mexico.

Joining us now from Mexico City is Jorge Garcia. And in Detroit, his wife Cindy.

Cindy, we spoke once before. As lousy a situation as this is, at least you're set up with a return monitor there so you can see Jorge. I don't know if you've gotten to see him since he left. He looks like he's doing pretty well.

CINDY GARCIA, WIFE OF JORGE GARCIA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT DEPORTED TO MEXICO: Yes, thank you. He looks -- he looks healthy so I'm happy.

CUOMO: But look, that's not the measure of success in this situation.

Have you heard anything, Cindy, from any government representative or from your counsel about any prospect of hope for Jorge being allowed to come back?

C. GARCIA: No, not as of yet I have not heard anything.

CUOMO: All right. Senator Lindsey Graham was being asked about what to do about this issue. Did you hear what he said?

C. GARCIA: No. I'm sorry, I didn't hear.

CUOMO: All right, let's play the sound for you and for the audience.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Senator Grassley asked me about deporting people who are criminals -- fine. I think we're doing that as we speak. That's something to consider.

[07:45:02] Now, the young man who got deported yesterday, 39 years old and apparently wasn't a felon, is something we need to look at.


CUOMO: Now, he's talking about you, Jorge. Does that give you a little bit of a spark that maybe somebody will do the right thing and change your situation?

JORGE GARCIA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT DEPORTED TO MEXICO: Yes, because I mean, at least I know that somebody's looking at my case. So it gives me a little bit more hope.

CUOMO: What do you want people to know about you and what the country means to you?

There's this big fight in the country right now -- I don't have to tell you that -- where people say no, you're here illegally.

We need it to stop. We need less illegal entries and so people like Jorge, they have to go. We have to respect the law.

What do you say to them about what this has cost you?

J. GARCIA: I mean, all I can tell them is -- I mean, I didn't -- I didn't go into the country by my choice. I was a kid. So, I mean, I know there's laws but I don't know.

I think there -- I think they should have some consideration (ph) to individual cases like just like mine.

CUOMO: Look, I know this is a situation that you were hoping was never going to come but now it's here, Cindy.

What's it been like for you since we spoke last? For the kids, for you not having Jorge, not knowing what comes next.

C. GARCIA: It's said, it's devastating, it's a nightmare. The kids cry. It's rough. We're just trying to live day-by-day. Watch them as they deal --

CUOMO: What are you telling the kids?

C. GARCIA: To try to be strong and know that we're going to try to do everything we can to bring their dad back.

CUOMO: I cut you off there.

C. GARCIA: Is it hard for you to see the video? That's you. I mean, you lived it, but is it hard to watch?

C. GARCIA: Yes, it's very hard to watch due to the fact that it's like watching a video -- a movie of somebody else going through it, even though it's me. And every time we see it we just break out into tears.

CUOMO: What has been the hardest part for you emotionally in this, Cindy? C. GARCIA: Emotionally, it is knowing that I had to say goodbye. That the officers took him and reality set in because we knew maybe one day this was going to happen. But it has happened and it's horrible.

CUOMO: Has anybody reached out to help you?

C. GARCIA: No, not as of yet.

CUOMO: Jorge, how hard is it for you to not be able to be there for your family?

J. GARCIA: It's really hard knowing that they're over there and I'm here and that there's nothing I could do.

CUOMO: Do you think you're going to come back to the United States?

J. GARCIA: Well, that's what I'm hoping. I mean, I'm just hoping that it goes fast.

CUOMO: Well, look, let's try to make the most of this opportunity, Jorge. Your kids are going to be able to see it. It will be a good way for them to get a sense of how you're doing.

What do you want your kids to know?

J. GARCIA: Well, just to know that we -- I mean, we're going through hard times but that everything's going to be OK and I'll be home soon.

CUOMO: Hey, Cindy, the president often watches morning T.V. shows. A lot of the power structure in this country watches morning cable T.V. shows.

If the president's watching, the people in leadership are watching, what do you want them to know, Cindy?

C. GARCIA: I want them to know that these laws need to change. They need a pathway to citizenship. I also believe that they need to look at each individual case separately, not as a group, because like in my husband's case, he is not a criminal and yet, we are suffering.

And I am a U.S. citizen. I understand that we have to protect our borders from terrorists but my husband is not a terrorist, he is not a criminal. And every situation is different and they need to look at that -- individual cases instead of as a group.

CUOMO: Cindy, Jorge, I'm sorry that we met under these circumstances but we'll keep your story out there because it is an example. There are a lot of Garcias out there, not just by name but by disposition and legal situation.

So we will stay on this story and thank you very much for checking in with us today, Cindy and Jorge. You, too. I wish you the best down there.

C. GARCIA: Thank you. J. GARCIA: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right.

Trump voters in Ohio are talking to CNN about the president's job performance one year in. What do they have to say? That's next.


[07:54:18] CAMEROTA: Trump voters in the swing state of Ohio sounding off on the president's job performance. Just shy of one year in, is he living up to their expectations?

Here's CNN Martin Savidge in Youngstown.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, AND ANCHOR (voice-over): Anywhere you look in Youngstown are reminders of what's been lost -- factories, jobs. The city's population is down by almost two-thirds from the 1950s. The economy wasn't just disappearing here, so was a way life.

RICK GREEN, IRONWORKER: And I realized that the core foundation of our country is slipping away.

ANNA PARA, RETIRED, MOTHER OF FOUR: I mean, it got to a point where I did not like the direction that my country was going.

SAVIDGE: The answer for many was Donald Trump. In 2016, according to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, approximately 7,000 registered Democrats switched parties to become Republicans.

[07:55:08] DERRICK ANDERSON, PASTOR: He said he was going to make America first and he was going to bring jobs back.

GENO DIFABIO, MACHINE SHOP WORKER: Donald Trump said you're in lousy trade deals. We fix that, the jobs can come back.

JUSTIS HARRISON, STUDENT: Something that he said that really sticks with me is that he wants to give the power back to the American people, and that's something that I can certainly get behind.

SAVIDGE: I'm with a pastor, a stay-at-home mom, a student, a machine shop worker, and a union member. Democrats who were raised in Democrat families who crossed over to vote Trump.

SAVIDGE (on camera): We're one year -- one year in. How's he doing?

GREEN: Fantastic.

PARA: Great. Better than I ever would have dreamt and I mean that sincerely.

SAVIDGE: Really?

PARA: Oh, yes.

SAVIDGE: Derrick?

ANDERSON: Yes, I agree.

PARA: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: Yes, he's doing wonderful. He's staying on task.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): We start with a hot-button topic of the moment.

SAVIDGE (on camera): How big an issue to all of you is immigration?


PARA: Huge.

SAVIDGE: Really? In Youngstown, Ohio?

GREEN: Absolutely, and as far as I'm concerned they're stealing jobs of rightful citizens.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): It's also about something else Trump voters say is important, rules and respect.

HARRISON: I feel like when people come here illegally that's just very disrespectful. You don't respect our laws and you shouldn't be able to come here free willing like that.

SAVIDGE: A year later, they all still want the wall. As for the president's inflammatory tweets and speech, Geno says he used to cringe, not anymore.

SAVIDGE (on camera): So, you don't cringe anymore because you've grown numb to it or --

DEFABIO: No, not numb at all. But I know what he's done and I'm starting to get an inkling why he uses Twitter in the way he does because if all he had to rely on is what people say about him, oh my God. I might not like the guy and I love the guy. I love the job he's doing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Justis met Trump at a rally and says he not a racist.

HARRISON: He was just the nicest person and honestly, he could -- if he was a racist, as everyone paints him out to be, he could have just walked right past me and not even said a word.

SAVIDGE: What about the lies?

SAVIDGE (on camera): Well, let me ask you this. Do you think he is a liar?

DIFABIO: Do I think he's lied, no, but he's fallen short on some of his goals. We all do.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Economically, they say things are getting better. The stock market and their home values are up.

GREEN: Industries are booming everywhere I've seen.

SAVIDGE (on camera): I look around here and I don't see a boom.

GREEN: Well, in this area, no. But I feel like there's small businesses that are starting to pick up.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Derrick says Trump's tax reform will fuel the recovery.

ANDERSON: If you expand your business in the inner city so then my community will benefit from this tax cut.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Do you think the media gives the president a fair shake?

HARRISON: I don't think so at all.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): One year later, these voters couldn't be happier. They see achievement. Most of all, they see a president like them.

PARA: And he's like tenacious sometimes and says stuff off the cuff like we do. Like real Americans do, you know. We're not perfect.

I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of polished, I'm tired of the teleprompter, you know. I am. I want my country back.

SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Youngstown, Ohio.


CAMEROTA: Fascinating, I think. After the election -- remember, because we talked a lot about Youngstown and that keeping our finger on the pulse of what was happening in Youngstown would be a helpful exercise and really instructive to people who live in -- you know, on the coast.

And it's a good thing that Marty Savidge is doing that and checking in a year later.

CUOMO: It is very interesting to see where people are and what they rely on. And it's more interesting to me that we'll see what will change it because the course that we're on now is unsustainable in terms of how we're governing, how people look at each other, and how they think of each other.

It may be more normal -- the coarseness that we're hearing now -- that may be something that more people say in their private lives. But for it to be the commanding sense of where we are without any decency for one another, we're nowhere. We're nowhere on anything that matters.

CAMEROTA: Everybody says they want to end the division but we just have to figure out how to do that.

CUOMO: It's right up there with losing weight and New Year's resolutions. It sounds good.

CAMEROTA: How are yours going?

CUOMO: Not done. I'm right on track.

CAMEROTA: Are you?



CUOMO: Solid as --

CAMEROTA: So you didn't make any?

CUOMO: Every day. I make them --

CAMEROTA: When we mention a new hour.

CUOMO: Enough about us.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news. Let's get to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we're going to have a deal on DACA by the end of the week. What we need to do is to fund the government.

CUOMO: With a shutdown looming, House Republicans scrambling to find the votes to pass a short-term bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd hate to have a temporary spending bill. It's crisis management at its worst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we have a shutdown it is the president's responsibility.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Democrats' unwillingness to actually put the country ahead of their party is what's stalling things.

GRAHAM: This has turned into a s-show. We need to get back to where Democrats and Republicans work together.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: And the White House said that any communications that happened in the White House or during the transition were off limits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His claim of executive privilege was meant to demonstrate Bannon's loyalty to President Trump. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before the grand jury he doesn't have that option.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: All right, good morning. Welcome to your new day. It is Wednesday, January 17th, 8:00 in the east.