tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 23, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
officer. and he was also remembered today in parliament. >> he was a strong, professional public servant. and it was a delight to meet him here again only a few months after being elected. >> reporter: he leaves behind a wife, a young daughter. keith palmer was 48 years old. iesha friday lived in london with her husband. she was an administrator at the dad college in london. she was reportedly on her way to pick up her two children from schoolmism iesha was a british national but was originally from spain. a flag was lowered to half-mast in her memory in spain where her relatives still live. she was 43 years old.
nick robinson, cnn, england. >> we are back here in washington tomorrow. time to hand things over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." boy, big breaking news. the negotiations are over. thank you so much for joining us. president trump with a blunt message and a warning to house republicans. heepts a vote tomorrow on the bill to repeal and replace obamacare. and if he doesn't get it, the gop is stuck with obamacare. okay, that's what he is. but is that what the president really wanted all along? and what are the odds that paul ryan can avoid a humiliating loss on a plan republicans have been planning for seven years? i want you to listen to what speaker ryan said just tonight. >> we will repeal and replace
this broken law because it's collapsing and failing families. and tomorrow we're proceeding. >> so we've got a lot to get to. good evening, to both of you, by the way. today, republicans they had this self-imposed deadline to pass the gop bill and they failed. so take us behind the scenes here. what's happening? >> it's as high a stakes game of chicken as you can play. here's what happened over the course of this day. there was simply no movement. they cancelled press conferences. they cancelled the actual scheduled vote, and they were meeting behind the scenes passed the word to his top advisors and said look, this has to end. leadership sources tell me that the leaders talked about it a little bit and agreed.
the individual who delivered it, nick mulvaney, the budget director coming out and making clear there was no more time. what they had proposed last night was on the table and what was going to move forward. this would repeal the essentially health benefits from obamacare. these are the types -- these are ten specific benefits that were required in all insurance plans, something that was the cornerstone of obamacare plans, something republicans wanted to get rid of. the reality is they still don't have the votes. what they're relying on is the president throwing out an ultimatum. and i'm told more than 30 members came to the microphone. 29 of them were talking in support of the bill, emotional
stories, talking about pa pateeratism. again, there's work to do. one problem, there's no more work to be had. the negotiations, they're over, don. >> those are heart rendering stories there. sarah, what are you hearing from the white house. they're trying to portray an air of confidence, but what are we hearing? >> don, the president has said before it would bees easy to standby and let obamacare collapse in on itself and let democrats take the blame. and he has certainly shared that message on the hill today. and he said, look, you can either take what we have on the table or let obamacare stand as it is and live with the
consequences. the president feels he's gone out of his way to give the hoscaucus, the conservative members what they want. he's now at the point where he's saying this is what we've put on the table. you either take it or leave it or live with the consequences. remember, don, this is not with president trump's view. yes, he ran on out. yes, he talked about repealing and replacing obamacare every day on the campaign trail. but what he really wants to do is tax reform. the house speaker made clear to him that house had to come first. >> interesting that they started with healthcare then. all right, thank you. we'll see you guys in just a bit. i want to bring in now dana bash, mark preston, and jack kingston, and matt lewis.
i mean seriously this is huge. dan, i've got to get to you because we're hearing this may fall -- some are wondering if this was the president's strategy all along was to have someone else take the fall for him. >> well, i think what you're referring to is reporting that i have tonight from senior administration officials that there is concern on pennsylvania avenue with the way the speak has handled the process. specifically i'm told by a source that the concern is the speaker didn't bring conservatives who are balking or have been balking the problem that led them to not have the votes and unclear if they're going to have them tomorrow, that the speaker didn't bring them in early enough and not before the president got
involved. and that kind of came to a head tonight when the house freedom caucus, this is the conservative group we've been talking about, of course, the house republican leadership and senior members of the white house team met in the speaker's office to try to go over this and figure out the strategy to go ahead with this vote. no, i should also tell you that i just heard back from an aide to the house speaker who says this is simply not true, that they have been reaching out to conservatives. it's been a wide open and inclusive process with conservatives, and they've been part of every conversation since the beginning. but why does this matter? what does this all mean? i think it's pretty clear that even if they do have the votes tomorrow, even if it does pass by the skin of the white house and the house republican leadership's teeth, they understand the conservatives are going to be abandoned when it
gets to senate where you have a lot more moderates are they're going to want it to be less conservative. so it's a concern to them. it's also a reminder, don, that this president and this speaker have been working together were thought on the same page in the election. and it's been a very, very difficult partnership to get to this point. >> you heard paul ryan saying oh, the president worked with me on this. mark, preston, i'm going to go to you now. >> you can see my hitech notes here on these little blue scraps of paper here. but the question on who will get blamed tomorrow when this fails, you hear people say paul ryan. but i think that's going to come from his own members.
and this is the freedom caucus as well who are the ones who would have stopped it. maybe he will try to move on. in addition to that regarding the freedom caucus, though, there is this growing frustration in the white house with the freedom caucus because they feel that president trump has done everything he can for them, and they keep moving the goal posts -- so there's that feeling as well. and the last of it is what happens when this vote does fail, if it goes through tomorrow? what is the relationship between president trump and those who voted against him? basically this official told me he's not going to want to work with him anymore. he won't have an appetite to work with him. >> but freedom caucus is not
new. >> it does seem to me like 12 hours before the vote they might resist the temptation of a scapegoat. >> you think this is what it is? >> absolutely. they're setting him up for a fall. the american people aren't going to go with that. one thing this white house has not delivered is public support for this bill. when this pole came out today it's aastonishing only 17% of americans toll the poll they approved of this healthcare plan. so i'm already surprised they're starting to point fingers. i guess it's not surprising but -- >> 56% disapprove of it. >> if he has as many of 20 or 30
votes, sure. i just don't see how he gets there. if his ultimatum is to say, well, okay, we're going to leave obamacare in place, i think a lot of republicans are saying you're only two months into your presidency, why don't you fight for what you promised? >> i really think about 95% of america has no idea who the freedom caucus is. probably 80% of them even know the speaker of the house is. i think david is right. i think it is going to go to house. listening very carefully to mark -- >> you're going to be surprised. i don't think it'll necessarily be a loss to the president. i think it'll be a loss to the
republicans in the house. i think he's going to throw it in their lap, i think he's going to have a right to throw it. >> if you're the president and your first piece of legislation goes down, that's an embarrassing loss and you can never recover -- donald trump's going to say who says? >> for the years that we have had obamacare he's been sitting in trump tower tweeting about things he thought were bad. he hasn't been working on a plan to repeal and replace obamacare. paul has. >> we've made good progress -- no, he doesn't have to say that. i actually wrote down all the signals. i don't want to go home. i want to get to yes.
he kept sending that signal not to the press, not to the american people, but to the white house. they were listening to this press conference, and what he was saying was make me a deal, but help me get to your side. >> let's talk about this issue of blame. there was a focus of -- yeah, i know i'm never getting invited back again. but on the question of if this repeal and replace doesn't pass, who do you blame? trump supporters don't blame the president. they blame house republicans. so this bill has a higher risk for republicans than administration. >> listen, i want to play this for you. this was ten days ago. watch this. >> and i tell tom price, and tell paul ryan, i tell everyone
one of them. i say the best thing you can do politically is wait a year because it's going to blow itself off the map. but that's the wrong thing to do for our country, the wrong thing to do for our citizens. >> yaush and he has said that over and over again. it's almost like that was his preferred approach to this. in speeches he has talked about it. one of the issues they've had on this bill is they're stuck on the points of obamacare being a big disaster. in terms of this bill and how it will positively effect people's lives, they've sort of latched onto free market. but when you get those hard numbers about how many people will be uninsured, about those hikes in terms of premiums -- >> about the lack of support.
>> -- about the lack of support. i think it's very hard to get people around this bill. >> there's a moment of truth to it. as we all any republican, you ran on a repeal police obamacare just as you did let's cut spending and make america strong. >> and you understand why people are scratching their head. they've been doing it for seven years. they don't have a plan. >> and i think there should have been a plan that was ready, and we have had many different -- >> okay, hold that thought. the question was -- i've got to get to that, who's's to blame and why the rush? we'll be right back. we'll be right back. say goodbye to extra taxes and fees on your wireless bill... ...and hello to t-mobile one. right now, get two lines of unlimited data for a hundred bucks. taxes and fees included! two lines, a hundred dollars,
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are over and it's time for a vote on the gop's plan to replace obamacare. i want to get back to you first. my thing was why russia, buti did paul ryan feel it was so essentially to start with healthcare? i mean this is the most controversial and complicated of issues. >> it is quite complicated as the president said he found out quite quickly when he took office and had to start dealing with this. the political answer is more important than anything, which is what have we been covering since the day that obamacare passed seven years ago and the political fallout among republicans and more importantly the promise amongst republicans? we're going to repeal obamacare. the congressman was watching 60 times, more than 60 times the house republicans voted to
repeal obamacare knowing that it didn't really matter because obama was in the white house and he wasn't going to sign it, never mind the senate. but now he's not in the white house and now they have a republican in the white house, all of whom promised over and over again to do this. so that's the political reason that they felt that they had to tackle this immediately. and then the process reasonrom repealing obamacare will contribute to foigiering out a way to do tax reform which is probably going to be less controversial with house republicans, but you never know. >> i think it's interesting to say $300 something billion. i'm going to ask kingston, i asked you during the break are
they really going to go home with this becausethets a good question. i know there were some heart wrenching stories that were told tonight and meetings, but they don't really answer to those people. they go home to their constituents, and the constituents if you look at the polling, they don't want this bill. >> he's saying, no, that's not a choice. >> there's tomorrow, the next day, the next day, and the next day. i think this is completely political. they wanted to do on the anniversary of obama's headache. >> this idea that this was something new is not true. but i think what happened, frngly, is there's some growth going on here. you had a party -- >> not new to who?
the people who were voting on the healthcare, because it seems like a hethy concept for them. >> now you're playing for keeps. the republicans have had the luxury and when you're in the majority party you don't get it that way. and it's a 59%, 49% choice. and this is what makes it so difficult. >> so, dana, is there a different feeling? do you think that they're going to get the votes to do it? >> oh, my gosh, i stopped, you know, being in the prediction business about 18 months ago, maybe a little bit more. but having said that and having been through a lot of these kinds of votes in my many years covering capitol hill, my sense
is -- don't hold me to this. probably, probably. i'm going to go that far at this point. at the end of the day, although you do have many members who told me point-blank that they feel they can go back to their constituents and explain why they had promised to repeal obamacare but voted no on this because they didn't thinktist the right way to do it, at the end of the day that is whole lot harder to explain than i'm the reason that -- >> many of the constituents are on obamacare and they are reaping those benefits from obamacare. >> exactly. and that's why you have -- i'm just going to give you an
example, congresswoman from florida. because of that, because she's so concerned, even though she also promised to repeal obamacare, showed concern about what this particular replacement mechanism would do for particularly the older constituents who aren't on medicare. >> i've got to get to the break because i have two congressman on the line. but i've got to ask. does it matter if it happens in 50 days or 60 days? >> i think it matters in terms of the process. this was paul ryan's whole idea. it's a little silly the symbolism you're going to end it on the day it was passed,
obamacare six years ago. they're going to see a lot of angry constituents, and that could be complicated as well. >> very quickly, the three words right now have put us in this situation we are in right now. repeal and replace, following that phrase is why we're here. it's not fix and replace. it's repeal and replace. >> what are their next steps after tomorrow's vote?
the president warning republicans if they can't come together on this headache bill, they'll be stuck with obamacare. let's discuss now. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate you staying up late in the halls of congress to speak with us. you want this bill. the speaker wouldn't say if he has the votes. do you think you have the votes? >> well, i'm in the construction business, so i'm optimistic by
nature. i think we're going to pass the bill tomorrow. >> you do. why is that? >> i think people are realizing that the american people elected donald trump and us to start that shift in a different direction. >> and what about the people at home who are concerned about this bill? it is not popular. if you look at the polling i think 56% disaprieve of the bill. 17% approve of it. >> i think what we're going to see is the return of competition, which is going to help drive down premium costs. in my state, florida, half the countries have one insurer. so we need to bring back competition and choice to the system. and i think that's going to drive down choices. and other thing is giving states
to what the people, our state want, versus what other states want is going to provide more opportunity for better costs and terms people want to pay for. >> are you comfortable with the changes the house freedom caucus wants to make? because they want to get rid of house essentially benefits mandated by the affordable care act. are you comfortable with all of this? >> yes, i am. it's not to get rid of central healthcare benefits per se. it's to transfer to the states. it's kind of like -- >> if you don't all of them, aren't you getting rid of some of them? >> well, some states might decide to keep them all. some states may decide to get
rid of some. >> congressman, i have to ask you this because i put the numbers of how many people approve and disapprove of this bill. and this is before it changed, right? so what about this new cdo report out which estimates the costs are now costler and now fewer people might end up being uninsured? >> the estimates are nothing more than their opinion. the formialator i think is biased towards the states. >> the cbo's run by a republican. >> well, it's run by a republican now, but the form luwas setup before. >> you think the republican would have some concerns about that farm lu, because it comes
down to basic math is how people judge it. >> yeah, but it's actually basic behavior and that's what we're all about. we're about providing choice and patient strd care for people. let them decide what they should. people on company plans that have the same after cost for that same insurance. >> congressman rooney, thank you so much. congressman thank you for staying late as well. your reaction to what you just heard from your colleague on the right. >> absolutely no evidence for what the congressman was just saying. absolutely zero. it defies what the cbo said. the cbo said the premiums may go up dramatically, they may go up just a little bit less. meanwhile you're kicking off 24
million people. and it defies logic because common sense will tell you if the risk pool are going to be full of older sicker people premiums are going to go through the roof. so i don't know what they're talking about. i don't know what they're basing their facts and figures on. this is a policy. this is a legislative bill in search of a political solution. they used this for seven years to bash democrats, bash obama. obamacare is the worst thing that ever happened in the world, and now they're stuck with it and they've got to fix it. >> it's not the worse thing that happened in the world, and there are a lut of people that will tell you that. but it's not perfect. obamacare is not perfect. there could be improvements. do you agree with that? >> don, agree with you 1,000%.
it could need improvement. i'm ready to sit down and fix it. we expanded coverage for 20 million people. but if there's these problems that we need to fix, i'm ready to sit down and fix them but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. >> the only reason i make that distinction because some people don't know. some people say they have positive thoughts about the affordable care act and -- now they take these essentially things out like drug prevention and mental healthcare. and if that is removed, how do you think some of the very
people who voted for the president, how are they going to react to this? what are they going to do? >> this is an absolute betrayal to the constituents during the campaign. he made promises to people in places like ohio. well, that's fine if you're going to repeal and replace it but he also promised coverage for everybody and affordability for everybody. this bill infact reduces the life of the medicare program by four years. so it's a complete betrayal, don, of his constituents. the gentleman who was on before me was saying, well, let the state pick. what's the state going to leave out?
pregnancy, prenatal care, mental health coverage, substance abuse? we had 55 people in my koubt county overdose . >> i want to get your reaction because you said the cbo was biased. the new cbo reports that it's going to save less than initially expected and more people are going to end up without health coverage. what's your response to what he said? >> there's absolutely no credibility to that statement. there's still trying to blame him. i imagine two, three years from now they're still going to blame the president.
they don't always give you the answers that you want. but even if they were a little off, don, maybe it's not 24 million people that's going to get thrown of their healthcare, what is it 20 million people, 54 million that's okay to get thrown off their headache? guess what, nobody wants to buy insurance. nobody wants to buy insurance, but you're going to get sick. and the best way to execute that system is to make sure that everybody's in and everybody's buying. >> i mean you have a point. you do have a point. >> i know jack kingston and steve israel don't want to buy it. >> jack said he loves to pay insurance. >> we want ryan to pay. >> thank you, congressman, i
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the house of representatives passed the affordable care act on march 21, 2010. i remember it well. here's how we covered that historic moment right here on cnn. healthcare reform is now history. >> on this vote the yeas are 219 the nays are 212. >> there you heard it. more than a year of high drama came to a climatic end. it was a win he badly needed. >> this represents another stone firm lewaved in the foundation
of america. tonight we answer the call of history. >> oh, my gosh, i was so young then. >> you look exactly the same. >> seven years later the house leadership is voting for the plan to repeal and replace obamacare. so back with me as the panel was laughing at me going who is that kid? so as we said we were saying his presidency depended on it. people are saying that now about this president. his presidency doesn't depend on this. >> no, it's tough to come out of the gate. i don't think it's good for us as a country to go through all this turmoil when there's so much other stuff going on here. i think david gurgen is so
sangaree and frustrated at how the administration has acted over the last 55 or so days. >> i don't think i have to say anymore. >> are you that frustrated with how they handled this? >> are you kidding? it came because we have an inexperienced white house. you have to give them some leeway on that, but they didn't work with congress. the president's job, he's the most powerful person in the world. haz certainly the most powerful person in washington, and his responsibility to take the lead. it's to help shape the legislation, go to the congress, get the hospitals onboard, get the doctors onboard, get the nurses onboard. none of that happened. instead they talk about politics
and why this is good for the country. and for him to say, well, maybe the best thing to do is to let obamacare continue but that wouldn't be good for the country. that's what he said. if that's what he believes am stead of walking away from this he needs to say we've got to find a better away. he could have blamed the joint chief, he could have blamedizen hower. he could have blamed a lot of people. but you know what he did? he walked out and said it's my fault. i take responsibility. his popularity went up 10 points. >> and that's the mark of a leader. when he talks, everybody listens. but i want to say this because you make a very good point. this is from keirsten powers. from the freedom caucus guys she said they think the problem is
trump doesn't understand how politics work in washington, so he kept making promises to them that he couldn't follow through on. unless he figures out how to do it pretty quickly. it's going to be ryan's fault totally though, that he totally mismanaged the whole thing. >> by the way, this ain't over. you know that saying it's not over until it's over, it's the same thing. the first vote's at about 9:00. the republicans are saying they'll be out by 5:00. >> so how's it going to end up? >> i think that in a normal political environment, a party disappointment always prevails. i think the only vote of consequence that we saw go down
was on -- >> when nancy pelosi was the speaker our first vote, we killed it. and the stock market went done 400 points and she marched right back down the field in a couple of days and passed the bill. but one thing to remember david was alluding to the u.s. congress is 135 very independent contractors. you can't just intimidate them. you have to push. you have to pull. you have to really sell. >> because the republican party has been going through for many, many years now an identity crisis and a schizoism. and it was possible in the 2016 election we could have hashed that out. you could have had this ted cruz wing go up against the marco
rubio wing. what happened is when donald trump came in, he sort of transcended that flight and prevented that process from taking place. what we're seeing now is this fight never was resolved. republicans still don't know exactly who they are and what they believe in. and it's not clear who's the star. >> they just suddenly had a vehicle to have their legislation -- >> exactly, but maybe it's premature. >> one thing they do know is they're the majority. >> so how's that working out tonight? >> i'm going to vote on my home team they're going to get this thing done. >> this healthcare bill is a paul ryan bill. it's not donald trump's brand and that's part of the problem. >> and he knows that. he would love it to pass, but i
think he's perfectly willing to have it not pass and say it was paul ryan. >> but it does pass tomorrow -- >> he's going to take credit for it. >> a picture is worth a thousand words, this one maybe worth more than that. we'll talk about it right after this. he's a nascar champion who's she's a world-class swimmer who's stared down the best in her sport. but for both of them, the most challenging opponent was...
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back now with my panel. i want to put this picture up and get the reaction from you guys that democrats are seizing on this. vice president mike pence tweeted out ate photo with the message appreciated joining poe tuesday with a meeting of the freedom caucus today. this is it. pass the bill. democratic senator patty murray re-tweeted it and adding the message, a rare look inside the gop's women's caucus. let's look at that picture again because there's not -- >> there are no women. >> and they're deciding for women on pediatrics, maternal ca -- maternity care and i also had a friend who texted me and said the only brown thing in that picture is the table. >> i mean that is -- that's the house freedom caucus. >> kathy morris rogers, they already know how to vote. see, women are ahead of the folks who are in that picture. >> i mean for a party that struggled to get women and to bring in minorities, i mean this
sort of i think really is emblematic of the problem. >> the table was brown. >> congratulations on the brown table. >> thank you for showing the picture. >> people have sort of been -- i think one of the problems with president trump's administration generally is the lack of the diversity. in cabinet picks, it's one of the least diverse cabinets. >> there are some minorities who work in the white house, but you see minorities come to the white house and it's often a photo opp. hold on one second. and you see the photo opps of the people who are sitting around him. many times it's not diverse, but the times that it is diverse, it's a photo opp. and there's nothing actually happening. there's no legislation that comes from it. it is the perception of something. >> mary elizabeth taylor, she's -- >> i mean which is -- >> she's right behind -- >> placement of one of the black staffers in the white house. that's what it really was. >> you can't look at that
picture and not agree we have a long way to go. all you have is all white guys like us sitting around a table, and that's the inner sanctum where big decisions are made. >> it is the house freedom caucus and -- >> yesterday he had a -- >> we don't believe in freedom? >> the congressional black caucus, who has not one single vote here. >> the question is how many women are in the picture. >> that's what we were talking about. >> zero. >> because there are no women -- >> 25 people. >> are there any women? >> actually, i don't know who's in the freedom caucus. >> they're discussing now to scrap essential health benefits which include maternity care and pediatrics, and it's all men in that photo. >> virginia fox is chair of the health and education committee -- or the education committee, and actually the first woman of any party from north carolina, where you went to school. >> i did, duke. >> to hold a gavel. think about that, in the house of representatives.
first woman from north carolina to hold a gavel -- >> i think the reason we're pointing this out is the freedom caucus, that's the group that held this bill up, that didn't want these essential services in the bill and that's who -- >> and i'm not defending this by any stretch of the imagination because clearly there is an issue here. but as jack does say, those are members who representative a certain constituency. now, if you look at the democratic party, you know, their base is made up of african-americans and what have you. but i will say this is a greater problem on capitol hill, and perhaps you gentlemen can agree or disagree with me on this, in both parties quite frankly where there is not enough diversity amongst staff members up on capitol hill in either party. now, you can cherry pick and say so and so here and so and so there, but overall across the board -- >> you know more about it than i do, and i think you're probably right. we can always do better. we'll be right back. obile.
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