tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN April 6, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
>> queen rania opted to lower her thrown. but when you're busy looking at owl pellets through safety googles, even royal, doesn't leave you googly eyed. >> i know you feel more glam louse, as do i right now. >> prince and princess, alison. thank you so very much. we have a lot of news, so let's get right to it. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> count down to the nuclear option, the final moments before the u.s. congress changes potentially forever. and if you think it is a good change, well senator john mccain says think again. it is a quote, stupid idea. after the horrific chemical attack in syria, the president caims a radical shift in his opinion, but what about his promises? >> that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line.
>> so is the pentagon weighing options just hours before the president's most important meeting with a world leader yet. then the president officials declares an obama official guilty and bill o'reilly innocent. good morning, everyone. >> at any moment we will hear from president trump at a wounded warriors event at the white house. we will bring that to you live as you see people beginning to gather there. this at the same day he holds a big stakes meeting with china's president. he responds to the chemical weapon attack in syria. >> that attack killed dozens there. president trump says he has changed after this. but wow? what does that mean? what is he willing to do about it? that is a question being asked by democrats, republicans and syria's sponsor, russia. what is the u.s. approach?
we're covering all of this. want to begin with cnn correspondent. if president trump does decide to do something about this with u.s. military, what are his options? >> you made the key point here, john. good morning. the first question is does the president make a political decision to proceed with military action? that is a political decision for a president to make. so if he were to decide to go ahead, will he have the options to do that? military commanders don't wait to be asked by the white house. they are already moving to look at what potential options are to present to mr. trump if he asks for them. so, yes, they have several ideas. it starts with this notion, what military objective will he want to achieve. does he want to send just a signal to assad? does he want to maybe take out a couple of targets, things assad holds in great value that would send a message, stop this or
we're going to take everything out. would that be enough to change assad's behavior? i think there is a fair understanding that that is not likely to change his mind, especially with the russians at his side. so the next set of options would be do you want to take out all of assad's capability to deliver chemical weapons? that is a difficult proposition. you have to take out airfields, helicopters that drop barrel bombs filled with chemical agent. the manufacturing sites that make the barrel bombs and also the ground delivery systems, ar ti tillry, those shell ks be filled with chemical agents. a broader sense of targets becomes a great problem. you have to get neighbors countries to understand why you're moving through their air space, possibly to take this military action. john, poppy?
>> thank you, barbara for that. and so far the assad regime just continues to deny any part in this, any part in attacking its own people. this is the continued line from the assad regime instead blaming assad. >> good morning. there is a bit more evidence stacked up against them this morning. today turkey announced they conducted autopsies on three of the bodies recovered. they say the autopsies were observed by an organization called the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. they were the ones that disarmed syria back in 2013. turkey says the autopsy results clearly show that chemical weapons were used in this instance in syria. but here is where the plot thickens. cnn reached out to the world health organization and they
said they can't verify the results of that autopsy because they weren't the ones conducting it. as far as syria speaking out and again sticking to that line that they did not launch a chemical weapon attack. they say it was an attack on some sort of weapons or ammunition depot and there were chemical weapons in that depot and the result of that blast is what caused the chemical weapons to be released in the air. appointed out something they warned the un about multiple times, something that has been suspected, and that is that isis is also widely believed to have access to chemical weapons as well as a group which has changed its names a couple of times but basically it still remains the al-qaeda affiliates. >> yeah. the delivery option is much different, though, for a regime like the syrian government as opposed to groups that only have ways to deliver it. thanks so much. want to discuss this right now.
joining us is andrew, author of in the lions den. and robin wright, contributing author for the new yorker. obviously yesterday in the rose garden we saw president trump claim a reversal in his opinion towards syria and assad. let me play you one more time what he said. >> that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me, big impact. it was a horrible, horrible thing. and i have been watching it and seeing it and it doesn't get any worse than that. and i will tell you it's already happened that my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. >> now, robin, we don't know exactly how it's clanged, all right? we don't know if he went from thinking assad shouldn't go to all of a sudden today thinking assad should go.
but what are his options? >> this is the problem. there are military options to take out whether his aircraft or his chemical weapons capabilities, but the problem has always been in this grizzly atrocious civil war that's taken the lives of almost half a million people that there are very few political options. the russians and iranian allies said over and over, okay, if you don't like this, where is the viable opposition leader who would represent the syrian people and who could win some kind of election. and that's the problem that the u.s. rebels have gotten to the point that they're almost dysfunctional, that political opposition has never been viable. it's largely exiled. they have not had traction inside the country. so the great challenge for the west and those who oppose outside is coming up with an alternative, a peace process that the un has tried to run and has repeatedly stalled because of divisions among the
oppositions but also even trenched in the regime. we are stuck knowing he is unacceptable, that he engages in widespread slaughter of people and not being able to find a mechanism now to replace him. >> andrew, for the obama administration, it did not work to set a red line because then that red line was crossed and nothing happened. do you think that the trump administration, that this president needs to say where his red line is? >> well, i mean, of course in the coming hours and days we're going to know what the president meant in the rose garden and a little bit about what was outlined. but, look, this is not about regime change. hasn't been about regime change in a long time. this is about the fact that assad massively violated the much touted cw deal of 2013.
he has done it on multiple occasions as verified by the un. this one is more egregious because it appeared to be sarin. it begs the question how did et get there, blaming the opposition as the regime has done so far and saying it was part of their stocks isn't with keeping with the un findings. they have only find isis once used sul far pterygoid start against other rebels. it is not really about if there is a viable alternative leader to us. that's part of the political problem. the immediate problem is the much touted chemical weapons deal, president obama's liberation as he called it appears to have been violated and the question is how to keep him from continues to violate it and that is a tough nut to crack. >> apparently he has violated.
it does seem like this was an attack carried out by the ree se -- ra seem on his own people. we may learn in a few day what is the white house policy. i don't know if that's the case. i don't know if the white house has a policy, if what we heard yet from the president was articulated that he's not sure what he is going to do. and that matters here. it matters in particular when it comes to russia, right, because some advisors speaking out in harsh terms against russia, but you don't have the president doing the same, robin. how is that interpreted on the world stage? >> i think that's a really interesting question and we will see a little bit more because rex tillerson is due to visit moscow in a few weeks and this will rise to the top of their agenda in their talks. there had been a sense that the two countries were in sync on syria among the top burner
issues, that they were prepared to see some transition staying in place until there is a process that reached fruition, kind of an indefinite process. now the president's tough language will make that much tougher to at least sell internationally. i think the allies are somewhat relieved because i think there's been a sense particularly in europe that assad was unacceptable and the idea of seeing him remain in power was controversial to put it mildly and they didn't share mr. trump's position on that. >> as you see on the side of your screen, we are waiting for the president to come in. as we gdo, i want to show our viewers why this is so important. let's bring up the photos of all the children and the people being killed in yet another masker carmass kwer being carried out. russia is responding and russian's spokesperson said if russia's approach to assad is
clear, he's the legal president of an independent state, what is the u.s. approach? do the russians have a point on that. they say, look, you may not agree on our position, but this is our position. what is the u.s.'s position? >> look, i mean, it is a legal bay laeeaf. he's not even capable of fulfilling his treaty obligations. that's the reason why we're in this mess and intervening in syria. believe me, once a political decision is made, legal justifications can be found to pursue different parts of military action or whatever. now i think the big problem here is liberation. this is now beyond syria. it's been beyond syria for a long time. i think that's part of the calculus for the white house, right? it is not just about syria and the middle east. it is the fact that we somehow
assad is being propped up by the russians and iranians thought he was going to go to the nuclear option. how is that? how is it after all of these efforts at deescalation and dip employee masy by obama's administration and the early days of the trump administration that assad thought this was a smart thing to do? >> all right, guys. you're looking at live pictures from inside the white house. this is an event the president is about to attend. it is important reminder of the consequences that the president makes with the u.s. military. important on this day. guys, do you want to go to commercial or do you want to stay with this? all right. we're going to take a quick break and then we'll come back and hear from the president. stay with us. >> cnn news room brought to you by dell technologies. magic can't make digital
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you're looking at live pictures from the white house. the president is about to walk out, make some remarks benefitting wounded warriors. you see a number of those who have served the country lined up right there. meantime this morning, history about to be made. we are minutes away from a show down that will change out the senate works potentially forever. debate over supreme court pick kneel gorsuch stops at the top of the hour and is expected to end in a democratic filibuster and then the republicans are expected to deploy the nuclear option that will deploy the 60 vote approval count to a simple majority of 51. >> once that historical move is made, it is likely that kneel gorsuch will become the next justice on the supreme court with that mere 51 vote majority. live from capitol hill it is about to get very interesting
there. >> reporter: it certainly is, john. a lot of technical gymnastics the senate will be jumping through today and the kor rog gra fee here is very important. i want to show you how this is all anticipated to go down. in the next hour the senate will convene. an hour after that, this will be the first vote to break the democrat filibuster. republicans do not have the 60 votes they need. they won't get this. this will fail as a small but temporary victory for the democrats here. that will set off proseiceedure. and that will set up a second vote to break the gorsuch filibuster at that lower threshold, that 51 threshold rather than the 60 threshold. and i can tell you there is a lot of grumbling up here on capitol hill on both sides of the aisle about what today means for the institution of the senate, the fact they are going to at the end of the day change
the rules. senate mccain was asked about this in an interview, and he was asked specifically if the senate could run more smoothly if the nuclear option is invoked. here is how he answered. >> i would like to meet that idiot. i would like to meet that numb skull that would say that, that after 200 years, at least 10 years of this tradition, they think it would be a good idea to blow it up. whoever says that is a stupid idiot that has not been here and seen what i have been through and how we were able to avoid that on several occasions. and they're stupid and don't -- thand they have deceived their voter because they are so stupid. >> after a lot of procedures today, a lot of heated moments at times, today, guys, it is likely that all sets up neil
grsug gorsuch to have his final confirmation vote on friday. >> history is about to be made. and i wonder how big you think this moment is. right now it is just about, you know, the supreme court pick. but could this branch over into the legislative side of things. that is another outstanding question. is this a moment and day when we are going to look back in history and say this is when things change forever for the senate? >> quite possibly. it reflects where the country is. in terms of being driven by bipartisan ship. people identify themselves in terms of party and attach to the ideas. all of that is reinforced by facebook and media consumption.
i think the question you raise about whether or not this is a slippery slope in that this will be, you know, sort of a bridge to more partisanship because we know the senate has been a cooling house with the lower chamber on the house really being much more partisan. but here, i mean, you see i think the senate reflecting where the country is and the country doesn't feel so great about the way congress operates as it is. it is 12%, 13% approval rating. in some ways, i think this is, you know, sort of a funeral for a body that has been dead for a while in terms of operating in a bipartisan fashion. >> i think you make a good point. i think the shock over the fact that the senate is becoming partisan might be overblown. democrats are going to lose. you know, judge kneel gorsuch is going to be on the supreme court unless something ridiculous that no one foresees happens.
the question is did they get anything out of this week, out of their filibuster, which is about to happen, out of the way they handled this? >> i don't think so, on. they have given up leverage for next time. next time a possibly polarizing and more partisan justice will come before the senate for justice. glide through on 51 votes, and that will be the case even if the democrats take control over the senate. we will look at more controversial judges. less measured people who meet a more moderate standard that can bring at least a few votes over from the other side. i'm surprised other three democrats who are up for election in states trump won came on board to support neil gorsuch. he is obviously really as ideal a candidate that they could be voting on in those types of candidates for justice positions have been supported in the past by republicans when a democrat is in the white house, even who
disagreed, you know, ie dee logically with the opinions of that judge. you can absolutely vote against kneel gorsuch without blocking the vote in there. they're acting very much like republicans in 2013 who didn't have the votes for obamacare and shut the government down any way. >> other important news as we wait for the president to speak. in this fascinating interview that the president gave to "the new york times" yesterday, he is playing judge. it is almost like the oval office has been playing court. he says with no evidence that susan rice is guilty. not only that of what and that she is -- this is going to be a very big story, the biggest story. and in the same interview, just a few moments apart, he says i know bill o'reilly, he's a good
guy. he did nothing wrong. therefore, discrediting the women that were paid for harassment claims by to reilly. >> i think the president has bigger things on his plate and they will overshadow this element of the presidency where he riffs on news of the day, gives his opinion and does things that, you know, aren't generally thought of as presidential. but the key is how he handles his meeting with the chinese president and how he deals with syria because here he has put the syrian regime and vladimir putin on notice he is not happy with what is happening in syria, that he has serious concerns about what's going on in that country. and, so, the question and leaders around the world will be watching this. what do you plan to do about it. the president was talking tough but not following throw. not putting any teeth behind it in terms of action. and for a president that campaigned on keeping the u.s. out of the world and reducing
its footprint, i think the question is here if the president is outraged about what is going on in syria and finds it unacceptable, what does he plan to do about it? so far he hasn't actually said that. all he has said is he is flexible, but there is no foreign policy behind his displeasure and there is no sense of how he plans to take on assad and vladimir putin. the russians are very entrenched in trush yeah and there is no way for us to do anything about the syrian problem without going to bat against russia. >> it is an interesting question. is he choosing his words as carefully on syria as he is on bill o'reilly and susan rice. if the answer is yes, that could be a big problem. let's break town the susan rice comments because the way the president has said it is fascinating. the russia story is a total hoax, there has been nothing coming out of that. so on the one hand he thinks susan rice, who seemed to have unmasked at least one member of
the trump team during the transition. >> which, by the way, isn't illegal. >> he says with no evidence she committed a crime. but that's bigger than the entire russian investigation. he seems to be laying out at least part of the reason he's talking about this, isn't he? >> yeah. i think he wants to make it the biggest story, which is why he talked to the no"the new york t about it. remember, all this began with his initial conspiracy tier reagainst president obama tapping his phones and we have seen that kind of fall apart. he's found he essentially accused obama of doing something illegal. now he's found someone else that he is accusing of doing something illegal. i think to his base, there is glee about this. and, so, i think that's what he's doing. but my goodness it is incredibly dangerous for a president to call someone out like this and essentially call them a criminal or possibly a criminal in the pages of "the new york times"
and fox of course went wall to wall on this yesterday. so, you know, i mean here we have a president again that's the bar stool presidency, as david said. >> listen in to the president walking into the east room with the first lady. this is an event honoring the wounded warriors project. obviously the president is going to make remarks. what is he going to say? will he address any further the situation in syria? it is unclear at this time. >> to all the heroes gathered here, to their families, patrons of this great project, members of congress, you have my wife karen. it is my great honor standing beside the president of the united states and the first lady to welcome you all to the white house.
we're grateful to have so many who are of such great consequence to our armed forces with us today, as well as those who serve our veterans. our secretary, we serve in this cabinet. but on behalf of the president and the first family, a special thank you to lieutenant general michael and michael shy. the wounded warrior project is a source of the great comfort to our veterans across the country and it is an inspiration to the nation. since 2003, the wounded warrior project has faithfully served men and women who have been
injured in the defense of freedom and paid a maul debt of gratitude that this nation will never be able to fully repay. the white house has hosted the wounded warrior project soldier ride every year since 2008 and the president and the first family and karen and i are so proud to be a part of continuing this important tradition. in fact, we're bikers, and karen and i hope some day to join the wounded warrior bikers ride on a sunny day in the future. from the bottom of my heart, let me just say thank you for your service. and also let me say as the proud parents of a united states marine, it is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president to a president who cares so deeply about the men and women of our armed forces and the veterans of this
i want to thank you, vice president pence, for your wonderful introduction. but maybe more importantly for your incredible service to our country. you have done an incredible job. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> melania and i are deeply honored to join you all today and stand here among real heroes. these are real heroes. secretary shulkin and zinke right in front of us working so hard. i want to thank you for joining us as we pay tribute to america's warriors and i call them america's winners because they are winners and mark this year's soldiers ride. the soldier ride has been very, very unique. lieutenant general linington,
deven shea and all the people at the wounded warrior project, thank you for organizing this event. great deally great job and thank you for serving those who have served our nation. on behalf of the country, let me extend to all of the riders and your families the warmest possible welcome into i call it the people's house. this is the people's house. it is the white house, but it is the people's house. and i thank you all very much, especially all of the folks that are on stage with me. you are something very, very amazing as well. thank you. [ applause ] >> you have risked all that you have, all that you possess to keep our people safe and our democracy secure and we're going to keep it going, folks for a
long time. that i can tell you in your honor i am going to keep it going. you have earned our freedom with your sweat and your blood and your incredible sacrifice. we salute you. we salute your service and we salute the flag you have so courageously protected. we love our flag. thank you. the story of today's event is a story about america and the strength of her citizens. in 2004 a young man working in a tavern on the east end of long island, i know that end of long island very well, was moved by a desire to help his fellow americans returning from iraq and afghanistan. so chris carne had an idea. with the support of friends,
chris road a bike across the country to raise funds and awareness for the wounded warrior project. great people. he biked 4,000 miles. wow. where is chris? is chris there? stand up. 4,000. yeah, wow. [ applause ] >> and raised at the timillion. this inspired others. and since that first year, the soldier ride, why we're here today, has become an annual event that unites and uplifts our nation. president bush hosted the first soldier ride at the white house in 2008, and i am proud to continue this incredible tradition and we're going to keep it going for a long time. i should have it for about seven
more years. [ applause ] >> most of all, and i'm proud to stand here today before all of you and to share with the nation the depth of our gratitude and the height of our total admiration for these folks, for our veterans, for anybody in uniform. and that includes our great men and women in blue. and i want to thank all of them because they are just incredible people. each of you has forged in battle the sacred bonds of loyalty that link our country together. our country, our values, our way of life endures because of you and it endures because brave americans raise up in every generation and they really do.
they rise to the occasion like nobody can rise to an occasion to fight for this country and to defend its citizens with every ounce of blood, sweat and tears in their bodies. our way of life continues because of men and women who are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to protect their fellow warriors and to protect all of us. you have not only poured out the blood and all of your blood in some cases for this country, but you have poured out the love from your souls and from your hearts. each of you have carved your place in the history of this incredible nation. and i can tell you into our hearts. it is that love, which brings us here today which binds us
together as one people and which offers us the hope and promise of a future that is safe and secure and free. with one grateful heart and one mighty spirit, the people of our nation thank you. they really thank you. and embrace you as you carry on this magnificent soldier ride. good job. good job. may god bless you. may god bless our incredible country. may god bless our warriors and let's have a great ride because i'll tell you what, i couldn't do it. thank you. thank you. congratulations. congratulations. [ applause ]
>> president trump wrapping up remarks in the east room of the white house honoring members of the wounded warriors project. you see him shaking hands right now. several dozen wounded warriors, veterans, various actions overseas over the last several years. obviously a pointing moment he has made veterans a big part of his campaign, something that president obama and president bush, it trance sends presidencies to honor these people. now president trump for the first time is considering military action, perhaps, we don't know. >> he may call on the men and women that serve this country to do more to put their lives on the line. you're exactly right. we did not hear anything from him on syria. a little political moment where he said i'll be here more seven more years. we'll take a quick break and
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this is cnn breaking news. >> all right. major breaking news just into cnn. the chairman of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes stepping aside from the investigation into any contacts between trump associates and russia. let's go to right to manu raju. >> reporter: he had been saying for some time he's not going to step aside, despite those calls from democrats to step aside and recuse himself from the russian probe. they believe he was too cozy with the white house, something he and his allies rejected. but in a statement he just released, he says this, several activist groups have filed accusations against me that charges are entirely false and politically motivated and being levelled just as the american people are beginning to learn
the truth of improper unmasking. he goes on to say he's going to step aside just from the russia probe and continue as chairman of the committee. the people that are going to lead this probe is congressman mike conway with the assistance he says of tray goudy, two republican members of the committee. now, there was a meeting, actually that happened right now, a closed door private meeting. devin nunes did, i'm told from a source of the room that he stepped out of the meeting early. a statement just came out. real change. we were not expecting this at all. devin nunes has been digging in. but a lot of questions about whether or not this investigation could have moved forward in a credible manner given his decision to brief the president of the united states in about surveillance information that he said showed a collection of trump officials
during the time of the presidential transition now briefing the democrats before then but also by canceling a public hearing that was supposed to take place. the democrats wanted that public hearing to take place. we have heard from a number of people that presumably would have raised concerns about any of these contacts that occurred between russian officials and the trump campaign. but a big shift here and a sign that perhaps this investigation may be able to get back on track after democrats have been calling for nunes to step aside. notable to say also, nunes had been tired of answering questions about all of this is last couple of days i have been asking him a number of questions. not answering any of those questions, clearly tired of the accusations against him. so a big change here and a sign of how this investigation may be going forward now without deven knew nenunes running it. >> thank you so much.
stick around with us. let's bring our panel back in and remind your viewers devin nunes traveled to the whies hout on march 31st to bring that intelligence that he viewed to the president. he did that before he briefed members of his own committee. that enraged them, to say the least. this is also someone who did serve on the president's transition team. so that brought up questions of was this all becoming far too political to truly be an independent investigation. i remember vividly the moment that manu was chasing nunes down the hall there at the capital and said would you step aside and nunes said, why would i do that. now he's doing that. >> yeah. and in some ways, again, this seems like something that probably had to happen. i think the question is, ryan, at some point paul ryan is going to have a presser. is this something that paul ryan wanted to see happen. paul line was asked earlier
about nunes and he seemed to have the full faith and confidence of paul ryan. but my goodness, russia seems to be a drip, drip, drip and even circling so many people and so many unexpected people. you have michael flynn that had to step down. you had jeff sessions recuse himselves because of comments he made that he didn't disclose to the committee when he was going through his nomination hearings and now here is devin nunes, who seemed to be at points carrying water for this white house and running fe running interference for this white house now being forced to step down. what's interesting about this white house is there does seem to be -- typically they enhance the credibility of people, enhance the stature of people. here you have had any number of people, the people i have mentioned, even people in the inner circle, whether it's bannon or spicer. really taking hits to that
stature and credibility because of this involvement with this white house and i think we have seen that with nunes here. >> we brought up the fact that paul ryan is set to speak any moment right now. ma knnu raju standing there. you have talked to devin nunes over the last several weeks. fa this pressure last week or ten days ago. why now. especially after the white house or someone released this information that susan rice may have unmasked you know people associated with the trump campaign which some people may lend correct to what devin nunes is saying. some of what had been going on. he felt vindicated. the visitics shonts be.
i know from speaking to him he felt like this is what i was talking about. i had to go about it in a particular way. it may not look good, but i knew what i was doing, but it was correct. speaking to him a couple of minutes ago. he told me the ethics informations were going to be too difficult for the republicans in the house to defend over two weeks in a recess when they're home. didn't want to be attack over issues he had caused so the best thing for him to do for the republicans on the house committee was to step away from the russia investigation and it is your right a sort of surprise move he has been adamant that all these attacks coming from the democrats were nothing, but politics and he had nothing to worry about or apologies for and there's no reason he should step away. it was definitely a surprise to me. someone who speaks to him regularly has covered him for the past few years. i didn't see it coming. i think there's more to it. he has had the can confidence of the speaker ryan.
close friendship of the past decade. there's probably more to this than just simply the chairman making a unilateral decision. let's bring in congress woman jackie spear. >> what more can you tell us about reaction to breaking ne i chairman of your committee, devin nunes is stepping aside, in his statement he says temporarily. what color can you give us for this decision that came about. do you know anything more than what is in the statement. >> i know nothing more. we had a hearing this morning. he was there to gavel the hearing in. and then stepped out. and no, i didn't think anything of it because from time to time members do step outside and come back in. this is brand new to all of us. it is probably a reaction to the
fact that across this country, there have been great disdain for unwillingness of the leadership in the house to remove him because you cannot do a legit independent review. >> hang on one second. we have to hear house speaker ryan speaking now. hang on one second. >> that is ideal over why over the last couple of weeks. we have encouraged members from across the conference. you see them represented here today. we eencourage members from across the conference to come together and try to find consens consensus. in particular i want to thank kevin brady and greg. being engaged in these talks. we have work to do to get all the way there. we have made real progress this week. that's why we're all here today. we have come together in a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections to those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care.
this brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve. this idea was offered by two of our most conservative members. it has been embraced by a broad sprek trum of conference. people representing all corners of conference. it would create a new high risk program. lower cost for everyone else. and the authors of this will go into more detail. following votes today, i've asked the house rules committee to mark up this amendment and add it to what we were already considering before. i want to thank gary and dave for being productive throughout this process. their amendment makes this a much better bill. it gets it closer. this is the kind of collaborative, bottom up effort that we have been looking for. like i said, we have more work to do. those conversations continue to take place and really show progress. this amendment alone is real
progress. it will help us build momentum for delivering on our pledge to the country. i would like to ask the majority leader to speak if we could. >> thank you speaker. thank you all for being here and good morning. the results of the past couple weeks have been progress. valuable progress. i think that shows who is standing behind us. it's a micro cause of conference. every aspect and every caucus and group is here today being united. each and every day we move closer and closer to finding agreement in the best way to repeal and replace obamacare. you can already see some of the results. that's why today the rules committee is going to meet to add an amendment to the american health care act. i want to be clear. we still have many r work to do, but the palmer amendment by allocating funds to a risk sharing program will lower premiums for the american people. this is an improvement on the bill that will help the american
people bring us closer to ultimate goal to repeal obamacare and replace it with something much much bertter. the work throughout all three committees have been tremendous and the chairman have continued to lead the way. in doing so, they have found working also with other elements and everybody throughout this conference, that there are a lot of great ideas on how we can improve things. i want to thank chairman walden and brady for continued work throughout that i recaeir commi i want to bring up right now, mr. paul. >> thank you. i want to say how encouraged i am on the progress we're making on this bill. the whole point is trying to keep our promise to the american people. do something that brings down premiums. make sure we take care of people with preexisting conditions, and, i believe, we do this. we have a model in the state of maine. they have this risk sharing arrangement that has worked very
well there. brought down premiums. actually increased the number of people insured. we believe that's what we're going to have with this. we believe when it's implemented it will be a federal program for three years and then the states will be able to take it over. we're going to see premiums coming down. i think perhaps by next year. i tell people we believe we can bring down premiums quickly. that's actuarial. i'm very encouraged with the work of the committee. they have been helpful and cooperative in the process. the we've had input from a number of members. including congressman who has been helpful on this. he understands it extremely well. helped build a consensus around it. i would like for congressman to come up and speak to the issue as well.
>> have you ever had that moment where you're heading to the microphone and you're being whispered in your ear don't geek out too much. we'll try to avoid some of the math. this is actually a really neat experience, particularly with the members you see standing behind me and the leadership where i'd like to say this is a unique idea. it's not. it was one of those when you listen to the membership from folks from all parts of the country and all parts of different districts there was sort of this unifying theory. what are we doing to lower premiums for those individuals in that individual health care market. and i think this does it. remember you all know the number. five percent of the brothers and sisters who have chronic
condition s are functioning 50% of our health care cost. because of that we have a hockey stick curve. i believe what we've written here helps us mitigate their need to stay in the health care system, but also mitigate some of the extraordinary costs that have been transferred to other folks trying to buy health coverage. i'm excited. this doesn't close this chapte,. but i think it gets us closer. thank you. good morning. everyone. i would like to commend the members up here today who have worked so hard. and thank the vice president the head of hhs and others who have been a very important part of this process as have the president 6789 we all know ledgelating especially in this town is never a straight line process. a lot of good ideas come flowing in from a lot of directions and we found a good one here i think with this shared support system
for those most in need. a great motto comes out of the state of maine where it has lowered premiums and increased enrollment. we knew we needed to do more work in this area to make sure people get coverage they can afford and they need access to. >> we're listening to this news conference and right now they're talking about plans on health care. going to be a show boat a little later. waiting to hear from paul ryan to address the issue that devnu stepped away. stepped side from the russia investigation today. huge news. none of us were expecting to happen today. on the phone. democratic on the intelligence committee. you told us the chairman, he ran a meeting this morning for your committee and said nothing to any of you, which is odd. isn't it? >> well, most of this whole experience has been odd. his sbrer acting with the white house without communicating with the ranking member, you know
historically this committee has worked in bipartisan fashion and steps have been taken together in a bipartisan fashion in terms of investigation. so this whole chapter has been one i'm sorry the republicans would like to put to rest. and going home to their constituents and still have this cloud hanging over the committee in terms of its legitimacy in doing investigation where the chair is in contact with the white house when the white house is part of the investigation surely was causing consternation. >> do you think this -- you know, completely solves, his recusing himself from this investigation, completely solves the issue of it bz politicized. you do have the ranking democratic. your fellow democratic on the committee schiff who has been part of this drip drip drip information. who has come to the microphone and said more than his words. more than circumstantial evidence against t