tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN July 28, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT
this is clearly a disappointing moment.a >> this dramatic moment right there, thumbs down, crystallizing a stunning night on capitol hill. republican efforts to repeal obamacare failed. an early morning vote in the senate came down to a single vote, and guess which senator -- guess which one -- cast the deciding vote. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs.
friday, july 28th. that's the day republicans and democrats in congress will not soon forget. 4:00 a.m. in the east. breaking news this morning on capitol hill. senate republicans going into the we have hours trying to repeal and replace obamacare. that vote coming up short when the maverick made his mark. senator john mccain days removed from his cancer diagnosis stunning the chamber, turning thumbs down on the repeal bill. it happened just feet away from mitch mcconnell, prompting an audible gasp in the chamber. >> seven years of repeal efforts, seven years of repeal efforts have essentially gone up in smoke, leaving a frustrated mcconnell to explain on the floor. >> i and many of my colleagues did as we promised and vote to repeal this failed law. we told our constituents we would vote that way, and when the moment came, when the moment
came, most of us did. >> two other republicans senators, maine's susan collins, and alaska's lisa murkowski, they joined mccain, crossing party lines to vote against the repeal bill. so how did this go down behind the scenes and where do gop leaders go from here? let's go live to phil mattingly, still on the capitol hill -- still at the capitol for us this morning on capitol hill. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. look, as you note, seven years of campaign promises all came down to one man. it was senator john mccain. it was hours of behind-the-scenes al qaedaing. mitch mcconnell, vice president mike pence, and at one moment, even the president putting a call in to senator mccain trying to sway his vote. guys, it didn't work. becoming the third republican to vote no, essentially sinking the repeal effort entirely. again, we've talked about this throughout the last couple of weeks, how the process has gone
forward. kind of slimming down bill after bill after bill, trying to get a bare-bones option just to send over to the house to have a conference committee. in the end, that ended up not being enough. take a listen to what the leaders in the senate of both parties had to say after the vote -- >> i imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating -- probably pretty happy about all this. our friends on the other side decided early on they didn't want to engage with us in a serious way, in a serious way, to help those suffering under obamacare. >> it's time to turn the page. i would say to my dear friend, the majority leader, we are not celebrating. we are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care. >> reporter: an hour after the
vote failed, president trump taking to twitter saying, "three republicans and 48 democrats let the american people down. as i said from the begin, let obamacare implode, then deal. watch." i think it's important for context -- the idea how rare this was, how dramatic this moment was. not only did it happen at 1:30 in the morning, but that the majority leader would put a bill on the floor that would fail, let alone a bill that they've worked on for seven years, day after day, month after month after month. it is a huge moment. it is a huge moment for the president's agenda. it is a huge moment for the republican party in general. it is a huge failure that we've seen multiple times. they seem to be able to revive after the failure occurs. let me tell you what a senate gop aide who was working directly on health care told me a short while ago. this is a kill shot to the repeal efforts. that's what the aide said. they said currently aides who have been working on this are sitting around with stunned exhaustion. they thought they could get there. in the end, they couldn't sway
mccain. look at the broader picture. if you think about the fights that have gone on about the issue year after year after year, at least at the moment, there is no clear path forward, no clear effort that will be maintained. there is very clearly a need to do something for the marketplace. the repeal efforts at least as we know them right now, talking to senate gop aides, they're dead. >> kill shot. >> yeah. and you talk about a seven-year effort. phil, this bill was unveiled at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. seven years to think of a replacement. it's unveiled just hours before a vote. you say it came down to one man. it certainly did in john mccain. what about those two women? one susan collins who was always a no. lisa murkowski, who the president directly took on twitter, how did that backfire? >> reporter: it did. susan collins and lisa murkowski were nos early in the week. there was a push to get lisa
murkowski. the president had his interior secretary call and say lisa murkowski's vote is threatening what the interior department is willing to do for alaska. >> wow. >> that's not a great move for somebody who's independent like lisa murkowski. in the end, no matter the effort, whether it was twisting arms or trying to be nice, didn't work. things are moving on, guys. >> what about idea? why did mccain vote no? why the thumbs down? essentially he didn't think that paul ryan and the house would be able to get something satisfactory through conference committee? >> reporter: that's essentially how he ended it. when he was walking out, he told reporters it was the right vote. in his statement, he made clear, this was all about getting to the conference committee. there was very real concern not just among the senators that voted no, but among almost all the senators in the conference that at some point the house would just pass this bare-bones bill. nobody was trying to act like this was repeal and replace. this was clearly a vehicle to get to conference.
speaker of the house paul ryan said they were willing to get to conference. he thought that would be assurance enough. he -- it wasn't. in the end, john mccain saying it wasn't enough. the risk was too real that this would end up being passed into law. guys, that's exactly why he voted no. >> now they turn the page perhaps to tax reform. don't they have to let john mccain to take up authorization? >> reporter: that was the plan, the strategy. another interesting element -- you want to talk about the drama over the last couple of hours, senator mcconnell was going to pick up the national defense authorization act. that was what was next. senator rand paul objected on the senate floor. it wasn't expected. i'm told leadership aides didn't know it was coming, senate armed services aides didn't know it was coming. the idea was to let senator mccain manage the bill he was overseeing. at least for the moment this was going to be his last big effort before he started treatment. by all accounts, senator mccain starts treatment in arizona next week.
a big question when do they take the ndaa up, will senator mccain be back for it, and why did senator rand paul do this on the floor. some are wondering if it was out of spite, confusion. he said there are serious issues that he has with the bill, as well. yeah, the ndaa was next. this is senator mccain's bill. this is, as one aide told me, his baby. that was blocked. all this coming together kind of in a dramatic kind of view on the floor. these are the things that usually happen behind the scenes, in senator mcconnell's office. we saw it all tonight which was pretty amazing. >> thank you very much. thanks for bringing us up to speed. kimberly leonard is senior health policy reporter for "the washington examiner." if our producers could put up the president's statement again, where he talked about letting it implode and then make a deal. this is what the president said -- three republicans and 48 democrats let the american people down. as i said from the beginning, let obamacare implode, then deal. watch. okay. so my question to you, in three months obamacare open enrollment
begins. ten million people have to choose their plans. of the 22 million people will get fines if they don't get into the health care system. obamacare is still the law of the land. will it implease if congress -- implode if congress does nothing? >> it's still the law of the land, but it has tremendous obstacles to overcome before open enrollment. we have about 40 counties across the country that have zero insurers to buy subsidized coverage from. and then insurers are also saying, you know, there's too much uncertainty. we're either going to withdraw from different markets, or we're going to raise our rates significantly. if you don't receive subsidies, you're looking at potentially paying quite a lot more for insurance heading into 2018. >> ironically, it was this republican effort that made obamacare more popular than ever, polling at the most recent 50%. what does it need to fix it? >> it depends who you ask. a lot of democrats would say that it's time to go ahead and inject more funding into the
programs. they suggest a reinsurance program. it would allow federal funding to go toward payments for the more expensive, costly enrollees so that premiums don't go up for everyone else. they could also guarantee those cost-sharing reduction subsidies that president trump has been paying out every single month. and some say that when he talks about letting it implode, perhaps he won't allow those payments to go through. if he doesn't, that's a damaging option. insurers without payments are unsure about participating for next year. >> what happens to people who get insurance through the vast -- the vast majority who get insurance through their own company? clearly those premiums are rising. those costs on rising. all of us know, everyone's paying more for health care. >> no question. >> the whole problem, it's not just obamacare on its own. health care costs are going up. the whole thing is a wreck.
>> exactly. and so much of the policy conversation on capitol hill has focused so much on the financing of health care and not the actual cost. >> right. >> i have yet to see policies come up that would address that. and it's really unclear that there's a willingness to do that because it would mean objection says from the pharmaceutical industry, doctors. addressing medical costs is going to be politically difficult. >> really silence on prescription drug reform. >> yeah. the democrats -- the democrats say that's part of their new -- >> they say that. let's see a bill. a better deal. of course. what is there if anything that republicans and democrats do agree on regarding the all-important issue of health car care? >> there are certain parts of bicycle that they would be -- of obamacare that they would be willing to alter. republicans might alter it as we're repealing obamacare whereas democrats might call it
a fix. for example, the medical device tax. machines of both parties -- members of both parties are willing to do away with that portion of obamacare. you have other parts that you could pull along the edges. you could probably get them to alter the employer mandate a little bit where you might say, okay, perhaps the threshold of employees that have to be covered could be a little bit higher. there are areas of agreement that could allow with the right rhetoric both parties to declare victory at the end of the day. >> you're right. if both parties can win and are satisfied that both parties can win, then the american people win. >> that word repeal is stuck -- >> social security was not perfect when it started. medicare was not perfect when it started. both have been tweaked along the way. obamacare needs to be fixed, too, or replaced with something that is concrete and works. i don't see either of those options on the table right now. >> there has to be a way to
bri brimg the divide. there are hurt feelings with obamacare when it first passed. now it seemed like everyone was throwing punches in death directions. republicans when they hear from democrats that they want to work together and want to come up with solutions together, they don't see that as a genuine offer. there are a lot of wounded feelings to be mended certainly in the weeks ahead. >> and broken promises. >> many promises. on the far left fears, on the far right hopes that this leads someday to a single-payer system. does it get us one step closer to that? >> it's hard to tell. it seems to me there are factions of the democratic party that want to see single payer. others think that the next step to do is probably to allow a medicaid buy-in like a public option. the question is how willing are they to move very far to the left. it's hard to see even those who voted, though on the republican side, who voted against obamacare repeal tonight.
it's hard to see them get on board. it would be a massive overhaul. it's unclear to me how much they would like that. we know the medicaid program was extended to cover low-income people. for most cases, that doesn't have any premiums. >> right. >> comes at no cost, it's very popular. >> certainly. >> people want to make sure the right incentives are aligned and don't want medical costs nestle to take up such -- necessarily to take up such a huge part of the budget as it does now. >> right. is it sustainable, that's a whole other question. kimberly leonard from the "washington examiner," thank you very much. we'll check back next half hour. the statement from senator john mccain who was the third no-vote and sent this -- "from the beginning, i have believed that obamacare should be repealed and replaced. while the amendment would have repealed some of obamacare's most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system. the speaker's statement that the house would be willing to go to
conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time." that's without even getting, christine, the politics of this. what does it mean for the trump administration, for their agenda, and for 2018, the all-important midterm elections for republicans? in particular in the house. >> all right. we'll continue to follow this. our other big story this morning, open warfare in the white house. it looks like the president's top aide who wanted the feds to investigate leaks was leaking. now anthony scaramucci's vulgar tirade is public. that's next. hi. when you clock out, i'll clock in... sensing and automatically adjusting to your every move. there. i can even warm these. does your bed do that? i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store.
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intrzero alcohol™.ine® it delivers a whole mouth clean with a less intense taste. so it has the bad breath germ-killing power of this... with the lighter feel... of this. try listerine® zero alcohol™. the big six negotiating reform released the principles of the gop's plan. the group includes treasury secretary mnuchin, economic director gary cohn, house speaker paul ryan, and majority leader mitch mcconnell. it's still a wish list for tax cuts and lacks details save for
one, the border adjustment tax is out. championed by speaker ryan. the adjustment tax changes the way we tax u.s. imports and exports. it gives tax breaks to companies that export and strips away breaks from those that import. it has two goals -- one to encourage manufacturing in the u.s. the companies that rely on imports like retailers hated it. they warn it would jack up consumer prices, and americans, by the way, love their cheap goods. second, it raises tax revenue. the current plan has $1.2 trillion of cuts. and without the border adjustment tax, it's not clear what will pay for it. the administration says it will pay for itself. reformers say it will spur economic growth. many are skeptical, expecting slower, 1.8% growth. some dysfunction at the white house on steroids. while communications director scaramucci was blasting leaks coming out of the white house, it turns out scaramucci himself was leaking. in a profanity-laced tirade to
the new yorker's ryan lizza, a cnn contributor, he says he believes kravchuk was -- believes reince priebus was behind the leaks which wasn't a leak because it was public record. sacramen saying, "reince is an expletive, paranoid, schizophrenic, a paranoic." >> lizza who originally protected his source said the communications director didn't ask for the conversation to be off the record or on backgrounds. the white house doing damage control while defending scaramucci who tweeted he sometimes uses colorful language. colorful. he'll refrain. he said, "i made a mistake in trusting a reporter. it won't happen again." it was the article called "anthony scaramucci called me to unload about white house leakers, reince priebus and steve bannon." he started by threatening to
fire the entire white house communications staff. it escalated from there. >> a great beach read. >> don't let your kids read it. jeff zeleny at the white house. >> reporter: as the white house ends another tumultuous week here, an internal fight inside the west wing is brewing unlike anything we've seen in the first six months of the administration. by now, everyone knows about the fight between white house chief of staff reince priebus and the new communications director anthony scaramucci. a lot of this played out yesterday on cnn's "new day" when anthony scaramucci called in and questioned reince prie s priebus, his credibility. saying if he was not leaking, he should speak for himself. reince priebus did not comment throughout the day on thursday. asked at the daily press briefing, the new press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders, was asked if the president had confidepends in his chief of staff -- confidence in his chief of staff. this is what she set -- >> does the president have confidence in his chief of staff? >> look, i think i've addressed
this question when it comes to staffing and personnel many times. that if the president doesn't, then he'll make that decision. we all serve at the pleasure of the president. and if he gets to a place where that isn't the case, he'll let you know. >> reporter: not a definitive answer there. in the new comments from the "new yorker" magazine with anthony scaramucci using colorful and vulgar language to describe reince priebus. chief strategist steve bannon and others, the white house defending their new communications director. i spoke with sarah huckabee sanders thursday at the white house. she said anthony scaramucci uses colorful language, he's passionate about things. she said he won't do it again. we'll see. with everything going on with health care, the afghanistan agenda, things happening at the white house, the palace intrigue still dominating and overshadowing the agenda. >> no question about that. thanks. jeff sessions speaking publicly for the first time since president trump began
targeting him with a barrage of critical tweets. the attorney general standing by his decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. he admits the relentless battering from his boss stings. >> well, it's kind of hurtful, but the president of the united states is a strong leader. he is -- he's had a lot of criticisms, and he's steadfastly determined to get his job done. he wants all of us to do our job s. that's what i intend to say. >> he's said during the barrage that you should have acted differently, you should have recused yourself. >> i think the exerts and department of justice people, i'm confident that i made the right decision. >> sessions says he believes the justice department is making tremendous progress but acknowledges he serves at the pleasure of the president and will step down if his boss wants a change. the republican chuck grassley, chairman of the senate judiciary
committee, is warning the president he will not hold hearings for a successor to sessions in 2017. he says, "our calendar is set, and there are not hearings in there for a new a.g." senator lindsey graham cautioning the president there would be holy hell to pay if he fires the attorney general. the former senate colleagues of jeff sessions are behind jeff sessions. >> no question, unanimous support. not a good day for the trump administration when you take in the opposition in his party. the families of american diplomats are being ordered leave caracas. president maduro is attempting to elect a new assembly and rewrite the constitution. many calling it a shameless power grab. 111 people have died in violent protests across venezuela since april. now the venezuelan government says it will ban protests ahead
of the weekend's election. >> it is really a country coming apart at the seams. the people suffering for some time. that move is not expected to keep the streets quiet. we have more from paula newton. >> reporter: good morning. we're bracing for a day of protests in venezuela as the opposition comes against the government of president nicholas maduro who is holding a vote on sunday, a vote the opposition says will give this government the power to act against protesters. there will be intense confrontations, the government saying these protests are illegal. we caught up with what people call the resistance. everyday people using everything but the kitchen sink to fight fire with fire. diy shields, improvised explosives. these people say unless they get on the street and fight, they believe that president maduro will be able to do what he wants in this country.
remember, this country dealing with a humanitarian crisis, shortages of basic food and medicine. a game changer could be the trump administration. they're say figure maduro -- if maduro goes through with the vote there could be strong and swift economic reaction from the white house. >> it's worrisome what's happening there. glad paula's there to walk us through it. 27 minutes past the hour. seven years, seven years of promises and efforts to repeal obamacare not enough to sway senator john mccain. there it is. the thumbs down. one of the most dramatic moments washington has ever produced. we're live on capitol hill. briu better value by having better values? at blue apron, we work directly with more than a hundred family farms. so instead of spending on costly middlemen and supermarkets, we can invest in the things that matter most: making farmland healthier. cutting down on food waste.
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efforts to repeal obamacare have failed. the vote came just hours ago. we're live on capitol hill where john mccain's deciding vote left lawmakers and the country stunned. welcome back to "early start," everybody. i'm dave briggs. >> wow. that was all so dramatic. what a long night. >> sure. >> i'm christine romans. it is 4:32 in the east. breaking early this morning on capitol hill just about three hours ago, senate republicans trying to repeal and replace obamacare. that vote came up short when the maverick made his mark. senator john mccain days removed from his cancer diagnosis stunning the chamber, turning thumbs down on the repeal bill. it happened just feet away from republican leader mitch mcconnell, prompting an audible gasp in the chamber. [ gasp ] >> seven years of repeal efforts have now essentially gone up in smoke leaving a frustrated mitch
mcconnell to explain on the senate floor. >> i and many of my colleagues did as we promised and voted to repeal this failed law. we told our constituents we would vote that way, and when the moment did, when the moment came, most of us did. >> two other republican senators, maine's susan collins and alaska's lisa murkowski, joined mccain to vote against the repeal bill. how did this go down behind the scenes, and where do gop leaders go from here? let's go live to cnn's phil mattingly, who's not slept a wink, live on capitol hill. good morning to you. how did this go down? >> reporter: clearly the peak vote from mccain. dramatic happenings behind the scenes leading into that.
mitch mcconnell trying to bring senator mccain around. vice president mike pence on the hill to be a potential tie-breaking effort giving his best -- tie-breaking vote, giving his best effort, handing the phone to mccain -- on the phone, president trump. that didn't work either. they weren't able to deliver on the promise they've made year after year after year, and the disappointment on one side and the glee on the other was clear. take a listen to the senate leaders from both sides. >> now i image ine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. probably pretty happy about all this. our friends on the other side decided early on they didn't want to engage with us in a serious way, a serious way, to help those suffering under obamacare. >> it's time it turn the page. i would say to my dear friend
the majority leader, we are not celebrating. we are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care. >> reporter: while the president's lobbying efforts with senator john mccain didn't work, he tweeted, three republicans and 48 democrats let the american people down. as i said from the beginning, let obamacare implode, then deal. watch. what's most fascinating about all of this is this is something that took place over the course of hours -- frankly, it seems six days ago. late in the evening, republicans releasing their bill. they had pared back and pared back and pared back the repeal and replace efforts to a skinny bill to do a bare-bones repeal of key obamacare components. the basic goal, just send it to the house. get it to conference committee. and try and negotiate going forward. that was a major, major concern of republican senators, recognizing that this bill wasn't something any of them
wanted to become law. trying to get commitments from speaker paul ryan that the conference would happen. the house wouldn't pass the bill. the speaker at one point late released a statement saying the house was willing to go to conference. that wasn't enough. the speaker picking up the phone, calling several senators including senator senator john mccain, saying, look, we will go to conference, you have my word we will go to conference. in the end, senator mccain in his statement after the vote saying even that wasn't enough. guys, you had the entire apparatus of the republican party, all of their senior officials, working on this. in the end, whether it was susan collins from plane mamaine, lis murkowski of alaska, and senator mccain, it wasn't enough. republican aides make it clear, while obviously they're exhausted, surprised, most thought they would get there in the end, they are clear on one thing -- there is no path forward that they know of now. obviously this has been resuscitated multiple times the last five or six months, so anything can happen. at least at this moment, that seven-year campaign promise, the reason republicans have majorities in the senate, the
house, and partially the reason they own the white house right now, they won't be able to deliver on it, guys. >> you know, john mccain essentially said this is a shell, this bill is a shell. and i don't have confidence that we're going to be able to fill it with meaningful legislation and get something done. is that the bottom line? >> reporter: yeah, it is. i think you can talk to -- i've been talking to both senate and house republican aides over the course of the last 48 to 72 hours. the real issue here is if republicans couldn't get the votes for repeal and replace now, why would they get the votes for whatever the conference could come up with. with that in mind, the idea as a last resort the house would eventually pass this bill that had no replace elements whatsoever, just repealed the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device tax, tried to defund planned parenthood for a year. that on its own in isolation would have caused major disruptions in the insurance markets. i think the concern that senate republicans were never going to be able to coalesce around a single proposal made the vote,
at least for senator mccain, certainly senator murkowski, too much of a risk. that risk wasn't something they were never going to deal with. >> let's talk about lisa murkowski. president can use tactics, try to use a close relationship, try to intimidate. they can try to just use the respect, the admiration, the fear, whatever it is they have in n arsenal. what did -- in their arsenal. what did the president attempt to use to bring lisa murkowski on board? how did it go? >> reporter: both publicly and privately it seemed to be using the bully pulpit in an intimidating factor. we saw the president tweet about lisa murkowski earlier. and she confirmed that the interior secretary called both dan sullivan, lisa murkowski's colleague from alaska, and lisa murkowski, and informed them that lisa murkowski's no vote against the notion start debate earlier in the week -- motion to start debate earlier in the week would hurt the administration's position. she's been clear about what she
wants on policy, clear about the issues she had about repeal and replace. the things that alaska very specifically needed here. the idea that somebody who, keep in mind, in 2010 lost the republican primary, won as a write-in candidate, known to be a fighter, known to be her own senator -- and perhaps more important, the senator who chairs the committee that oversees the interior department and secretary ryan zincke, this will probably blow back in the administration's face. administrations try this -- you try and pull every level of government that -- every lever of government that you can, and in this case it didn't work. >> how many coffees have you had? that's my big question. >> reporter: i'm trying to put it directly into the veins at this point. if that's possible, i'm in. mainline it. >> good luck you to. it will be a long day. we'll check back. let's bring in -- sorry, i interrupted you -- >> no. the two women that voted no, let's bring in kimberly leonard from the "washington examiner." the two women left out of the
process entirely. you wonder if that comes back to haunt them. let's check in with the senior health policy reporter for "the washington examiner." let's talk about what is next, what is the path forward on health care in the united state states? >> they certainly have to do something to help fix obamacare. they're having issues with the insurance exchanges. whether that means suspending some of the taxes in obamacare or maybe adding additional federal funding into it, they're looking at a pretty long road ahead. limited long road because open enrollment is coming up. but they have to be able to come to some agreement on both sides about how to patch up obamacare. >> in the meantime, it is the law of the land. the president says, hey, we're going to watch it implode. watch it implode, that's what he says. the white house has a great deal of lenk from here. open -- leverage from here. open enrollment is in november. could they starve the enrollment process for advertising, the
clinics they have to tell people how you sign up and why you have to sign up and how you're going to get fined? could they defund the process? >> that's one of the interesting parts of the way the obama administration worked on obamacare. every enrollment they put out ads, hired navigators to help people sign up for insurance. obviously they had issues with the website early on. they were very much invested in trying to get people signed up. some is said should they be doing that. this is going to private insurance companies, should the private insurance companies be the ones recruiting customers. it's possible we'll see some of that. how will the administration work to undermine the affordable care act so that it doesn't function the way that this t should and so that -- the way that it should and so that they can get something in the end out of bargaining with the democrats. >> they could tell the irs, you're not going to collect the
fines. you know, i mean, there are things they could do to really undermine it, to force the implosion. >> right. and they can't exactly say don't take up the fine, but they can loosen the definition they put on the hardships around why people don't have health insurance. in previous years the exemptions have been a little bit loose. it's something that insurance companies have complained about. it could make it a lot worse. >> democrats and republicans alike, some have spoken about the hope, the desire for bipartisan work on health care. largely it's hung up on one word -- that's repeal. whatever republicans want, they want repeal to be a part of it. and democrats will not allow for that. what is the common ground between the two parties on health care? >> they can continue to use different semantics. a couple of years ago, a spending bill was passed in which changes to obamacare were made. the cadillac tax was suspended. and the health insurance tax was suspend suspended, as well. at the time, democrats said,
look, we've made a fix to obamacare. and republicans said, we repealed obamacare. it was the exact same policy move. just different language that was used around it. and so i think at the end of the day, what voters are mostly going to notice is am i paying more for health care than i was last year, and am i able to access a wide range of doctors? do i have access to insurance at all. those are things that people are going to be looking at and things that we'll be covering as we kind of head into the next open enrollment and into next year. there are things they can do to make it better. >> i'm not in obamacare, i have my health insurance through my company. and my costs have gone up. my out-of-pocket has gone up. what they cover has gone down. i mean, it's been unbelievable the trajectory of health insurance over the past 20 years, since i started working. that is independent of obamacare. i don't hear anybody talking about health care costs under control, prescription drug costs -- the democrats mentioned it recently. the things that really bother people about health care.
if you want to say every four years when you go to the ballot box you say, are things better in health care? they've been worse. they've been worse since -- >> well, right. when it comes to costs, you kind of run into difficult political ground. what you're essentially saying by lowering costs is that you're also going to be reducing access to something. so that's something that politicians will point to that happens in other countries. look, if you limit certain prices on drugs, then you can't have access to every drug that we have access to in america. and by access to meaning it's available, not necessarily that people can pay for it. >> right. >> but so that's one of the arguments that you run into. when you say let's lower costs, you're really asking physicians also to perhaps do more with less. you're asking hospitals to provide better equality measures. obamacare had some of that but wasn't the push that would be necessary. it would be difficult politically to get some of that through. >> oh, the politics of this, too. kimberly leonard from the "washington examiner." thank you very much, we'll check
in with you at 5:00. christine, that's the question as we get throughout the day -- what are the politics of this? what does it mean for the house in 2018? what does it mean for the trump agenda moving forward? >> gosh. >> so many questions. >> if you have obamacare insurance now, what does it mean for you in october when open enrollment begins? i think if i were on -- an obamacare customer, i'd be concerned. >> one word, uncertainty, facing our health care system in the united states. ahead, the attorney general speaking out. what does he have to say about the president's week of cyber taunts directly at his a.g.? it's a good thing we brought the tablets huh?
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treasury secretary mnuchin clashing with democrats on capitol hill, especially over a specific nickname. >> i did not make one mortgage during or prior to the mortgage crisis. so i take great offense to anybody who calls me the foreclosure king. >> democrats, of course, bestowed that title on mnuchin during his nomination, accusing him of profiting from the financial crisis while he ran the lender, one west. the hearing got heated when representative keith ellison brought up robo signing, the infamous foreclosure practice. >> i don't think you know what the definition of robo calling is -- >> there's not a legal definition of robo signing. >> one was several testy moments with the house financial services committee, demonstrating increasing frustration between democrats and the administration. mnuchin says this when asked if he would apologize --
>> and i'm not apologizing to anybody because robo signing is not a legal term, and i was being harassed. >> he was later criticized for not providing records of financial ties between russia and the president. what is usually a low-key kind of appearance turned out to be a little feisty. >> no question about that. check out the cover of the "new york post," "survivor white house." the trump-friendly "the new york post." why? there's dysfunction at the white house perhaps on steroids. communications director anthony scaramucci was blasting leaks coming out of the white house, turns out scaramucci himself may have been leaking. in a profanity-laced tirade to ""the ne" t noerk ""the new yorker" -- tow yorker's" rise an lizza says he may have leaked. but scaramucci saying, "reince is an expletive, paranoid schizophrenic." wow. >> lizza who initially protected
his source, when scaramucci said he wanted priebus investigated, said the communications director did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background. the white house in damage control mode, defending scaramucci who tweeted he sometimes uses colorful language but will refrain from doing it while at the white house. in a tweet he said this -- i made a mistake in trusting in a reporter, it won't happen again. more from jeff zeleny at the white house. >> reporter: christine and dave, as the white house ends another tumultuous week here. an internal fight inside the west wing is brewing unlike anything we've seen in the first six months of the administration. by now, everyone knows about the fight between white house chief of staff reince priebus and the new communications director anthony scaramucci. now a lot of this played out yesterday on cnn's "new day" when anthony scaramucci called in and questioned reince priebus, really his credibility, and asked if he was leaking. said if he was not, he should speak for himself here. reince priebus did not comment throughout the day on thursday.
asked at the daily press briefing, the new press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders, was asked if the president had confidepends -- confidence in his chief of staff. >> does the president have confidence in his chief of staff? >> look, i think i've addressed this many times. if the president doesn't, then he'll make that decision. we all serve at the pleasure of the president. if he gets to a place where that isn't the case, he'll let you know. >> reporter: not a definitive answer. the new comments from "the new yorker" magazine came out with anthony scaramucci using colorful and vulgar language to describe reince priebus. chief strategist steve bannon and others. the white house again defending their new communications director. i caught up with sarah huckabee sanders thursday night at the white house. he said, look, anthony scaramucci uses colorful language. he's passionate about things. she said he won't do it again. but we will see. this is a moment where despite
everything going on with health care, with the afghanistan agenda, other things happening at the white house, the palace intrigue dominating and overshadowing the agenda. dave and christine? >> jeff zeleny, thanks. jeff sessions speaking publicly for the first time since president trump began targeting him with a barrage of critical tweets. the attorney general standing by his decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. he admits the relentless battering from his boss stings. >> well, it's kind of hurtful, but the president of the united states is a strong leader. he is -- he's had a lot of criticisms, and he's steadfastly determined to get his job done. he wants all of us to do our jobs. and that's what i intend to do. >> he has said again and again in many different forums throughout the barrage that you should have acted different, not recused yourself -- >> i talked to experts and
department of justice people who trained in that. i'm confident i made the right decision. >> sessions says he believes the justice department is making progress but action angels that he serves -- acknowledges that he serves at the pleasure of the president and. step down if his boss tells him to. warnings that there will not be hearings for a successor in 2017. the calendar is set, don't mess with jeff. senator lindsey graham cautioning the president there would be holy hell to pay if he fires the attorney general. >> wow. a bill slapping new sanctions on russia headed to the president's desk. the senate thursday passing the bill by a 98-2 margin. it passed the house earlier this week 419-3. the legislation allows congress to block president trump from easing sanctions against moscow. it also includes new penalties against iran and north korea. the bill is one of the first major bipartisan pieces of
legislation passed during the trump administration. the white house not saying if the president will sign the bill, only that he would review it. he has ten days to decide once it hits his desk. the u.s. is ordering relatives of american diplomats to leave immediately caracas. two days ahead of a polarizing election that is threatening to terryvention apart. the -- tear venezuela apart. the vote called by president maduro is an attempt to elect a new assembly and rewrite the country's constitution. maduro's opponents call it a shameless power grab and end of democracy. 111 people have died in violent protests in venezuela since april. and now the venezuelan government says it will ban protests ahead of this weekend's election. that move not expected to keep the streets quiet. cnn's paula newton with more from caracas. >> reporter: good morning. we are bracing for a day of protests here in venezuela as the opposition comes against the government of president nicholas maduro who is holding a vote on
sunday. a vote the opposition says will give this government the powers to act like a dictatorship. now, when we say a day of protests, there will likely be very intense confrontations because the government says these protests are now illegal. you know, we caught up with what people call the resistance. these are everyday people using everything but the kitchen sink to fight fire with fire. diy shields, improvised explosives. these people say that unless they get on the street and fight, they believe that nicholas maduro will be able to do what he wants in this country. remember, this country dealing with a humanitarian crisis, severe shortages of even basic food and medicine. a game changer could be the trump administration. they're say figure maduro goes -- saying if maduro goes through with the vote that there will be strong and swift economic reaction from the white house. christine, dave? >> all right. thank you very much for that. let's check cnn "money stream." global stock markets lower after what was a mixed day on wall
street. the dow hit a fresh record high. the dow is 30 stocks. a slump in tech dragged down the nasdaq and s&p 500. tech has been a huge driver of the stock market of 23%. these five tech companies have had an out-sized effect on the market accounting for more than one-fourth of the gains in the s&p market. four of five closed lower. some on wall street worry stocks may have gotten too hot. for now, investors are shrugging off high valuation, instead focusing on big corporate profits. and overall tech earnings have been strong. one tech stock that did not tumble, facebook. the stock jumped nearly 3% after strong earnings, pushing its value to about $500 billion. the $500 billion milestone, a big day, especially considering it's only been public for five years. right now, only three other tech companies are worth more -- apple, google parent alphabet, and microsoft. amazon also hit that $500 billion mark on wednesday. speaking of amazon, the
stock falling more than 3% overnight after profits declined 77%. you know, amazon has made multiple investments and acquisitions, including that purchase of whole foods for $13.7 billion. while sales grew last quarter, net profit dropped to $197 million from $85 million the year before. -- $875 million the year before. ending jeff bezos' brief run as the world's richest person. he briefly dethroned bill gates thursday morning. dave briggs and christine romans have a long way to go to even be considered. >> we're close. we're bridging the gap. >> i am not ever going to be close. those guys are like brainiac risk-takers. >> no one feels bad for jeff bezos losing that momentarily. major developments on health care. "early start" begins right now. this is clearly a
disappointing moment. >> in one of the most dramatic moments you'll see, republican efforts to repeal obamacare have died. an early morning vote in the senate came down to one single vote -- john mccain. the moment democrats and republicans will not soon forget. we have you covered across washington this morning. good morning, everyone, welcome to "early start" on a huge day in this country. i'm dave briggs. >> yeah. not just your average friday. i'm christine romans. 5:00 a.m. in the east. high drama on capitol hill stretching into the we have hours. senate republicans trying to repeal and replace obamacare. and that vote coming up short when the maverick made his mark. senator john mccain just days removed from his cancer diagnosis stunning the chamber, turning thumbs down on the repeal bill. happened just feet away from republican leader mitch mcconnell, prompting an audible gasp in the chamber. [ gasp