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Trump Administration
  White House Health Care Bill Talks to Continue Amid Search for Votes  CSPAN  March 23, 2017 1:39pm-2:37pm EDT

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the house freedom caucus chairman saying, quote, no deal reached on the health bill after meeting with trump. putting the vote in doubt. where things stand, the house is in recess. subject to the call of the chair. they don't know when they are coming back in. we expect to hear from house speaker paul ryan this afternoon at 3:30. right now take you live to the white house. looks like the briefing is getting under way. sean: good afternoon, everybody. i want to start by acknowledging that the president did a little while ago that a great american, curbing curt cochran, was killed in the terror attack in london yesterday. our prayers are with his family and friends. we're aware of a report that another american citizen was injured as well as potential as the story continues to develop. we stand ready to provide consular assistance, but considering some privacy concerns i'm not going to further discuss this current
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state on any of those individuals tifment as i said yesterday the president spoke with u.k. prime minister may to offer his condolences and plans full cooperation and support of the united states government in responding to this attack and bringing those responsible to justice. now a little bit on today's schedule. this morning after receiving his daily intelligence briefing, the president met with over 30 members of the house freedom caucus to discuss building momentum towards replacing and repealing obamacare with the american health care act. the members of the freedom caucus thanked the president for engaging with them throughout their negotiations. and the president likewise thanked the group for their willingness to work closely with the white house and their colleagues to craft the stockest bill possible. the group agreed their ultimate goal is to implement a system that will drive down costs and increase access to health care to millions of americans. and this meeting was a very positive step towards achieving that goal. this is just the latest in a series of discussions in person and on the phones. the president, vice president, and his team have had holding
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how republican house members and the american health care act this afternoon we expect the president to continue those meetings with members of the tuesday group from the house coming up here later today. since the law was introduced, the legislative affairs team has been in constant contact with members the american people will be counting on to fulfill their promise of repealing and replacing obamacare by supporting this bill later tonight. in the past few days, the president's been on the phone with scores of republican members in addition to the in persons meeting you have seen with the republican study committee, the house freedom caucus, and the tuesday group. this bill has truly been a collaborative effort from the beginning. through an open and deliberative process the president's team has helped to negotiate a very, very strong bill. he was on the phone last night well into the 11:00 hour with members on an individual basis discussing their support for the bill. the amendments that have been incorporated add important
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aspects to the bill like removing costly essential health benefit insurance regulations. repealing obamacare taxes immediately starting in 2017. reforming medicaid by allowing states to accept funding as a block grant to implement able-bodied requirements. and blocking states from receiving enhanced federal medical acertificatesance percentages if they expand it during the transition. we have already seen the results with many members coming out and saying they are going to be a yes tonight. as i noted before today is actually the seventh and we hope the last anniversary of the day that president obama signed obamacare. the president is looking forward to seeing republicans fulfill the pledge tonight that they have been making to their constituents for years. that with the republican in the white house and with them in congress they would once and for all see the end of obamacare. the president -- i assume that president obama must be feeling at this time is up for his signature law since today he came out with a lengthy statement about it, but he can't change the facts about where it stands. president obama stated that
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americans received a, quote, upgrade in insurance. but the mandates obamacare placed on insurance forced millions off their insurance andway from their doctor, which broke the promise they were given. president obama attempted to move the goal posts on costs down playing the skyrocketing premiums. some in the case of over 100% in some kases. unaffordable deductibles. americans he seems to have forgotten he pushed obamacare on the promise of reducing costs not making health care unaffordable. he said obamacare isn't in a death spiral. but enrollment is nowhere near expectations and this year it's declining. insurers are fleeing the exchanges in one in three counties in america only has one insurer. president obama may not believe that obamacare is a, quote, job killer, but newt law, including its job killing taxes mandates and regulations speak for itself. with the passage of the american health care act we'll begin the process of rolling back obamacare's many disastrous policies.
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and of course it's not just a big day on the house side. over on the senate we begin the final and fourth day of judge gorsuch's senate judiciary committee hearings. earlier today democratic leader chuck schumer announced that senate democrats will be mounting a fly ball against his nomination. from day one we said the president made an inspired choice with the nomination of judge gorsuch. the american bar association has given him their highest rating of well qualified. this week, though, through all four days, he has showcased his sterling credentials and a brilliant legal mind. we find senator schumer's announcement disappointing because it breaks with the tradition how the senate has handled supreme court confirmation votes in modern time and represents the type of partisanship that americans have grown tired of. in the last half century, only three supreme court justices have ever faced a filibuster. the most recent justice alita, was opposed by then senator obama who voted to up jold his filibuster and later admitted his vote was a politically vote
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mated act he regretted. in fact senate republicans didn't filibuster his supreme court nominees, kagen and sotomayor. we call on senator schumer to follow democrats to abandon this attempt to block gorsuch from receiving a fair up or down vote that he and the american people have voted for. back to the rest of the president's schedule. this afternoon the president as mingsed will meet with members of the tuesday group. he had lunch with secretary of the treasury mnuchin and nell peltz. at 3:00 we hope you'll come out and join the president to welcome the truck drivers and truck company c.e.o.'s who will be meeting on the american health care act as they arrive to the white house alongside two rather large big rigs. one in every 16 americans work for the trucking industry. it's the backbone of our country's domestic freight transportation and moves over 70% of domestic freight tonnage. the trucking industry has suffered greatly under obamacare. many were forced to buy health
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care plans that weren't right for them on the exchanges. like millions of americans across the country they saw their premiums rise and options plummet. trucking companies classified as large employers under the law are mandated to provide insurance that we already know doesn't work. instead of imposing senseless restrictions from washington, the president's three-pronged health care reform plan will lower premiums and increase choice by increasing competifplgts the president looks forward to discussion how this policy combined with forthcoming tax, regulatory, and trade reforms will provide much needed relief for the trucking industry. also today the vice president met with president hernandez of honduras. a readout on that meeting is available from the vice president's office. a few notes before i get to your questions. as the president noted during his first cabinet meeting earlier this month, while many of the spectacularly qualified chooses to lead the department and agencies are already in place and taking acks to gill the president's agendyatcht there are still important
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position that is have not been filled in large part to senate democrats' obstruction. i want to give you a quick update on some of the outstanding confirmation. secretary of labor designee, acosta, very successful hearing yesterday. we expect markup next week. secretary of agriculture former governor sonny purdue, currently appearing before the senate ag committee. we expect to him to show why he's the best choice to lead the usda. we also announced that prime minister rasmussen of denmark will visit the white house on march 30. we'll have further details on the visit in the upcoming days. tomorrow the president will host medal of honor recipients and their guests in separation of medal of honor day which falls on saturday of this year. we'll have more details on that event coming forward. the president intends to be here this weekend. so as we have updates on the president's weekend plans, we'll let you know as well. i'll also note that we've got coming up on a deadline related
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to the keystone pipeline. we'll have an update tomorrow. and finally, i'm proud to announce that on april 19 the anniversary of the battles of lexington and concord, the new england patriots will be visiting the white house to celebrate their latest and what will probably be a continuation of many more to come super bowl win. and with that i will take your questions. eporter: patriots question. sean: do you know anything about tom brady's jersey? reporter: true confession. do you expect there to be a vote tonight? sean: that's what i understand the house is scheduled, yes. reporter: any chance that will be pushed back? sean: that would be up to speaker ryan and leader mccarthy. i have been -- nothing leads me to believe that's the case. reporter: is the president concerned at all that if he draws support for the bill from the freedom caucus that he may lose support from more moderate -- sean cloon he's meeting with
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members of the tuesday group today. obviously this is something he understands. there is a little bit of a balancing act that goes on as you try to get 216 in this case. i think we continue to make progress every day. we walked out with more members in support of the american health care act today than we started the day with. i continue to see that number climb hour by hour. i anticipate that we will get there. reporter: patrick mchenry said we freedom coucks can accept it or reject it. are you waiting on the house freedom caucus to come to your side? are you at their whims? sean: i think there are some members who in the meeting stood up and told the president i'm with you now. and i think member by member that's how they are going to vote. they are going to -- i think we continue to see that number rise. the same thing with the tuesday group. there are members that had not been with us that are
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expressing their willingness to be part of this. the president went over several commitments and changes that have been made. to assuage different folks. that have continued to evolve. i think that we continue to seat number rise. but i think we continue to see the number go up not down. that's a very positive sign. reporter: do you know how many came across and what it was that brought them across? sean: it depends. i don't think there is any sing cue lar issue -- sting guelar issue. we talked a little bit about sections of the bill that they -- that there was an issue with. and so i think there's a couple areas there are some common ground on. there was over 30 members there today. some of them had specific aspects that they wanted to see improved. some of them, frank lirks came to say thank you. what you guys have done already has been an improvement. reporter: health benefits?
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sean: in a lot of case there is were members that that was their number one thing. again it wasn't universal across the board. but again i think some of the measures that have been taken along the way have really -- again, there's also beyond that, there's a lot of discussion about phase two and phase three. and i think the president and vice president both committed to continuing working and improving and making commitments on the totality and comprehensive nature how we're going to do this. for a loft these guys it comes down to premium increases. they are concerned about they are seeing constituents face. i think the president and vice president, secretary price, director mulvaney, the chief of staff the legislative affairs team, we're all continuing to work with them to talk about certain measures that have been put in place to drive down costs. i think what we continue to talk about that costs are too high, premiums are spiking, dedibbletibles are going up. these are real concerns for
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constituents of these members. i think that as they see an overall and total commitment of this, it's making them feel a lot better about not just this bill, but phases two and three. reporter: two questions both on health care. first one, is the president pen to protection of pre-existing conditions? sean: that's something he's been very clear needs to stay in there. reporter: secondly, about the essential benefits protections. obviously among those is maternity leave. how would removing that jive with the president's promise during the campaign to expand maternity leave? obviously this would take it out and insurers would no longer have to provide that. sean:00 i don't -- sean: i don't want to get into bean fit by benefit discussion. as i said to plate blake, there are a lot of concerns, part of the reason that premiums have spiked out of control is because under obamacare there were these mandated service that is had to be included.
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and what happened was is that older men, older women who had gone past maternity age were buying benefits that weren't necessary for them. people who were at the younger end of the age scale were buying end of life benefits. i think this goes back to the nut of this discussion which is we have now gone down to a system where 1/3 of our counties there is one choice. it's this potpourri of mandated benefits that everyone has to have. we have lost consumer choice. so people are paying for benefits that neither they, their spouse, their family needs which is driving up costs for everybody. so part of it isn't about necessarily a benefit. it's about a series of benefits being mandated for everybody. so what has happened is the costs of health care for every individual has gone up and the choice has gone down. i think there is a philosophical discussion going on about what we can do to make
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sure that people have actual coverage, something that that we have talked about before, but doing so in a way that doesn't drive up the costs for everybody. reporter: one follow-up. is the president concerned that without having those essential benefits in there, he'll have a situation where women are de facto paying higher for health insurance, obviously they would be paying for maternity leave? sean: the point is is that it's not -- it's not -- again you are picking one benefit and trying to extrapolate it. it's also saying to young people don't have to pay for end of life care. the idea is to instill choice back into the market. so that it's not just about one particular benefit. it's allowing people to tailor a plan and cost point that's good for them or their family or them and their spouse. it's not just about one particular benefit. it's about looking at this and figuring out what are the cost drivers and how do we give people the choice that they need? reporter: the white house and leadership initially defended the way this bill was written
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by saying it needed to be structured a concern way and include certain things to be able to proceed through the senate through budget reconciliation. what's changed to put now the pretty substantive policy changes on the table? what's given the white house and republicans confidence that now it can survive through that same process? sean: i think there is a lot of discussion that goes on without getting too into it. the issue at hand is the byrd rule. whether or not it affects the budget -- you can't have policymaking that don't have a budgetary impact. there are certain things that are being phrased in certain ways and crafted in accordance with the rule. but there is a lot of smart people that are very familiar with the rules and are trying to do things in a way to make these this bill conform in those ways. reporter: two questions. one on the health care bill first. the question about the way this bill is now being modified to pick up votes.
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on monday night they had the pecial carve out for new york. but also now these lateest -- is the president concerned that this bill now looks a lot like the -- procedurally what obamacare looked like several years ago that the republicans have spent seven years -- here they are seven years later on the same day about to do the exact same thing? sean: not at all. it's doing what we intended it to do. the exchange we had with matt. it's actually going -- two goals that it set out to do it's actually doing. driving costs down. finding ways to lower premiums. keep deductibles within reason or giving people the option to choose the plan that fits their budget. secondly is doing things that instill competition, choice. the things that are being done actually achieve the goals that have been set forth. reporter: different question. yesterday
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[inaudible] that they were willing to have congress -- have a debate around -- is that something -- traditionally start from the executive branch. is the white house willing to put one forward and begin those discussions? sean: refer you back to secretary mattis. that's one the department of defense is -- reporter: do you think that should come from the white house? sean: i think that was brought up in the context of a conversation that he is willing to have with respect to overseas contingencies that are existing right now and the battle with respect to isis. and the current tools that we have to combat them. i think that was a discussion about whether or not we should have a discussion on authorized use of force or not and how to have that. reporter: i have known that chuck schumer has announced a filibuster of judge neal
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gorsuch. do you think it's time for the white house to take a zahn on eliminating the filibuster for supreme court nominees? sean: i am not going to -- i'll let senator mcconnell is a much more apt user and understandsing of the senate rules. i am not going to start to tell senator mcconnell what he should be doing from here. reporter: it's your nominee. sean: i understand. it's his rules and chamber. i'm going to let that -- reporter: thank you. anybody from the national security team or the homeland security folks been in touch with their counterparts in london in the last 24 hours or so? sean: yes. reporter: can you expound on that? sean: only to the extent to say they have been in touch to evaluate, offer assistance, and again i'm not going to get into classified discussion about what we may or may not be iscussing.
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reporter: chairman nunes today refused to rule out that he received the information yesterday on sur rail veil lens that he got that from the white house. will you rule out that the white house or anyone in the trump administration gave chairman nunes that information? sean: i don't know what he actually briefed the president on. don't know why he would come to brief the president on something we gave him. reporter: that's why it was confusion. sean: i don't know that makes sense. i did not sit in on that briefing. i'm not -- it just doesn't -- i don't know why he would travel -- brief the speaker and come down here to brief on something that we would have briefed him on. it doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. it doesn't pass the smell test. reporter: mark meadmedos says there is no deal. does the president acknowledge this bill appears to be in trouble? sean: it's not a question of trouble. there is no deal. we weren't asking for a deal. the president --
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reporter: would you call this a deal? sean: for a loft members it was. some stood up and said mr. president, we're with you. a loft them said we're going to go back and think about it. there was no meeting to conclude by saying do we have a deal? that's not why we had it. sean: i think we have been pleased with the direction and number of members who have expressed support for it and will continue that discussion with the tuesday group. but the number of members are growing who have shared concerns and i think we have been very responsive as well as speaker ryan to the concerns and ideas that members have expressed from across the spectrum. reporter: you said -- there was only plan a. at this point is there an acknowledgement there needs to be a plan b. sean: no, plan a.
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reporter: he is asking his members to delay this vote. did the president ask to delay the vote? sean: no. reporter: leader pelosi said it is a rookie mistake to put a bill this contentious before the republican caucus. what is your response to that? sean: i appreciate that. i think we have a pretty strong record on the republican side of getting bills passed and getting things done. and so i know that they have a pretty strong record of passing things and telling people they can read the bill afterwards. we have done this the right way and we know we have done it with the support that voters told members and the president they wanted. reporter: there are some former white house lawyers who served in the prior administration who say that by tweeting from his official potus a video that was
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put on social media channels, the president and white house violated the anti-lobbying law because they are using money appropriated by congress. is that something that has been talked about here? sean: that is not applicable to the president, no. so i believe they are referring o 18 u.s. code 1819. jonathan. reporter: the president wrote the book "the art of the deal." if the president -- bill doesn't pass, will the president accept the blame? sean: the president has done a phenomenal job and look at the effort he has put in and the changes in the bill, there is no question how hard and the vice president have worked to get this get this done. we can't force somebody to vote.
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but as i mentioned to several other folks, i like the direction this thing is going. i think we continue to see support. we are not seeing people fall off but come on board. that is a great trajectory. and i like where we are headed. reporter: two quick clarifications. what the issue was not the president has done but what white house staffers have done with their official account. an: 18 u.s. code 1913, the department of justice consistently has construed that the anti-lobbying act has limited the lobbying activities within the executive office of the president, the vice president, cabinet members within their areas of responsibilities and officials confirmed by the president. it is clearly outside. next. reporter: when you are talking bout the
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[inaudible] vice president pence does not intend to overrule the senate parliamentarian. sean: it is up to the presiding officer. i understand how the senate works and the presiding officer -- the senate parliamentarian is sked for guidance. reporter: is that something that would violate the rule? sean: i'm not going to answer any hint calls. reporter: it was reported yesterday that u.s. officials believe that are investigating associates of president trump communicated with russian officials -- [inaudible] sean: look at what cnn roferted, they reported anonymous u.s.
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officials information indicates that association of the campaign and operatives coordinated. and the last line said the f.b.i. cannot yet prove that col like took place. here is more evidence that cnn col lewded with hillary clinton by giving hillary clinton questions in the debate. the f.b.i. cannot prove that collusion took place. i addressed this in the past and this fits right in. reporter: not digging too deep in the weeds with the strategy to get this amended bill through the bird bath. is the president confident that the strategy will result in a bill that will pass muster?
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sean: yes. reporter: the president told us several weeks ago if it looked like the democrats were going to he buster judge gorsuch use senator mcconnell to the nuclear option. sean: i'm sure after we get through tonight, the president will have a conversation with senator mcconnell and discuss a strategy. reporter: following up on jordan's question, how did chairman nunes end up at the white house yesterday? yesterday, he said he invited himself here but that is an uncommon way to end up here. could you give us the tick tock of what happened? sean: i don't track him. i don't keep his schedule. he literally gave a press conference as we were starting and said i'm going to go down to
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the white house after he briefed the press. reporter: first time the white house was made aware of this surveillance. sean: the information he shared with the president was new. reporter: is there any sort of plan if the bill does not pass tonight? sean: it's going to pass. that's it. reporter: have you been briefed and that the information -- information that he had that were -- [inaudible] sean: my understanding because i was not briefed on the contents of that is he spoke generally in these he had reports that he had, were made privy to, but there was further details he wanted the president to know what he had seen and that it wasn't related to russia. and all of his public comments are that he is going to continue to pursue this and offer updates
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later. i'm not aware of the specific nature of it. reporter: what will the president's reaction be as republicans vote against the health care bill and are they being asked to vote their conscience? sean: republicans in particular have made a commitment to constituents and to the american people that if given the opportunity to have a republican president, republican senate and house, that they would enact epeal and replace and put into a repeal and replace health care bill. he met with the members of the freedom caucus and this is something we have talked about. you didn't have a republican president and got to vote for repeal and tell your constituents 50 times. this is a live ball now and this is for real and do what we pledged to the american people and keep our word and he has
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made it clear part of the reason he got elected he went out and made bold pledges to the american people what he would do if he was president. he is acting on those swiftly and boldly and he believes, not just him but members in the house and senate have the pledge to fulfill the promise to the american people. ? porter: what happens tonight sean: i'm sure in some shape or form we will have a comment. reporter: is the president no matter what happens prepared to take responsibility for the outcome of this bill? sean: in what way? reporter: whether it succeeds or fails, his name is on it, a lot of people think so. sean: we have been very clear this is a priority of ours. but again, i go back to -- at
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the end of the day we can't make people vote. we have done everything we can to listen to them, to incorporate their thoughts, to incorporate their ideas to make the bill as best we can. but it's a balancing act that there is a full spectrum of folks in the house that have different desires but we can all that this is one vehicle that is going to repeal that every single republican has pledged to do if elected or re-elected. and there is a desire that we understand that not every member is going to find this perfect. we need to get to 216 votes. but it's the best bill that takes into consideration all of the concerns and goals and values. i understand that in a lot of cases, it isn't a question of the policy but the question of the timing and some of the things that people want in phase
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three or phase one. the byrd rule, which is to most people arcane thing that don't have to deal with it in the senate, that deals with whether or not -- and there is a -- if it is loaded up with things that are stricken, it doesn't serve us any good. we have put together a comprehensive approach to addressing how to actually repeal and how to actually replace. the president walked through with the house freedom caucus today several of the administrative acts that secretary price would be taken in accordance with the authority that was granted to him by the owe obamacare legislation and some of the actions that the secretary took back in 2009. from was a lot of concern among members about some of the sequencing on things and we have continued to -- this isn't just about policy but sequencing and timing. the president and vice president reassuring ont of
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the sequencing and how it's going to act. so that discussion i think has continued to be proublingttive and reassure members how this thing is going to take place. reporter: a moment ago you said members of the freedom caucus who were noes stood up and said we're with you. can you tell us how many there were and what their names are? sean: not yet. i'm not trying to be cute. as we do the whip count, as you can imagine, we have to make sure -- that this balancing act and make sure certain people don't fall off and pick up certain people. we have been keeping the vote total quiet. reporter: what specific offer was made. there was a final offer put on the table for these guys. what specific changes did the president make today?
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sean: it's not just changes. part of it is some of the administrative stuff and making sure they have reassurances that certain things that secretary sebelius enacted when she enacted the bill, that will be acted upon immediately and so there was an anew mexico ration of some of those things and commitment on some of the other aspects of support that will be given by increasing state lines and there was a lot of talk about that. and that's where a lot of this comes down to right now. members feel very good br the changes that have been made in the manager's amendment. and there is some question in the commitment and changes that might take place in the senate. there was can we count on this when this happens? so i just want to -- some of this is going that way. eporter:
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reporter: [inaudible question] unless we control two countries who are financing and training, saudi arabia is financing in the . me of charity and pakistan what is the president's message this group at the same time
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and the man who is wanted by the u.s. and $10 million bounty on andand he is still in india pakistan? sean: secretary tillerson has been going through the meeting with the 68 members who are committed to addressing syria and isis and i'm not going to go into the discussions that secretary tillerson is having with regard to policy in particular. but i would stay in touch with the state department. it was 1976 when leaders came all the way from india to new york city and anted to have --
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[indiscernible] >> but donald trump came and asked the group to go to this estival. [indiscernible] >> peaceful prayer and vigil and asking the president to come out and meet the indian-american community against hate crimes. sean: we discussed the nature of hate crimes in the past and condemn the act that happened in kansas earlier this year. this is a very important issue for them. the president is focused in particular on getting obamacare repealed and replaced. the issue in london, there is a lot that is occupying his time and i'm sure we will continue to monitor that situation as well. maybe someday as well.
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reporter: the president said to tucker carlson that if his people weren't taken care of he wasn't going to sign him. i wonder what he says to people who voted for him on the opioids addiction in the special health benefits. sean: that is a false choice. the problem with obamacare is they took all of these benefits and mandated that they had to be offered and it spiked insurance rates and deductibles. the choice is not making a benefit going away or not. it is actually offering options to people. like any other service or product that you can buy what you want. sometimes it's at a lower price point. sometimes you buy features on a product because you want those features. sometimes you determine that you don't want them. people should have choice in the health care market like they do in any every industry.
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it's not giving or taking but the point they are being mandated in a way. people should buy what they want and what is appropriate for themselves or their family. reporter: right now, where are the essential health benefits stand? sean: my understanding is they are part of the house bill. reporter: just to follow up on a question. i think part of the inherent question is a lot of people buy insurance not knowing what they are going to need. sean: if you are an older man you can say you are not going to need maternity care. reporter: opioids and drug addiction and said i need that backup coverage because i'm going to get addicted to painkillers or opioids drugs. is the president confident that the kind of choices would be offered by insurance companies on their own volition.
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sean: there is a market for things. like anything else, you don't buy insurance guessing saying if my house burns down. you buy insurance -- that's the whole point of insurance. when people look at it, they are going to buy what they may not need but evaluate it. same thing as a retirement plan or car insurance. you evaluate your needs and make the best decisions that are best for your family. [inaudible question] sean: say the first part again. eporter: [indiscernible] sean: the term associate is going around, i don't know what that means. employees of the campaign, white house, that's one thing. but the way the term associates gets thrown out, you pull out a
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gentleman who was employed by someone by five months and talk about a client he had 10 years ago. i can't say that nobody in his past who may or may not have come in contact with him, sat next to him on a plane -- forte. r: paul mana sean: i understand who he is. i'm aware of paul. the point i'm asking, when you use a term like associate and these terms, there is a reason you are doing it is because you don't have anything concrete. if you do, come back to me, does anyone in the white house, anyone in the transition. when you throw out a vague term, it's a catch-all. i think that's a broadway of asking a question or who visited the building. that's what you are saying. reporter: you clearly have an
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issue the way they have been used. people in this white house are nunes has used an anonymous source. why is it acceptable in that case? sean: what i have a problem with and specifically with the reporting yesterday is one subjective term after another, associates who may or may not be there. no concrete proof that anything happened. when you term like associates, you don't put a time frame around it. it is nebraska you louis to suggest that someone making a claim the way you do and the narrative continues without any subsubstantial. when you are talking about nunes, he was dealing with classified information and can't go out in public and reveal certain things. i don't think he said it was
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classified. but the methods. he was able to talk about the subject and not talk about the specifics. you can't talk about the specifics of a case in terms of sources, methods and individuals. a lot of the individuals who have been masked or unmasked are supposed to be classified. just because it goes in the public domain doesn't mean it is less classified. reporter: the nuclear posture review is commencing with this administration. can you assure us that everything is on the table including a lifting of a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing and developing nuclear warheads? sean: i don't have a full read on that. i'll have to get back to you. reporter: you keep saying there is not a plan b for health care, president trump said republicans should allow obamacare to collapse because democrats will own that.
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it's not fair to the american people to do that. is there a reason there is not a plan b because the president's plan is to allow obamacare to collapse? sean: no, the plan is to get the bill passed tonight and onto the president's desk. the president has been fighting for it and trying to make it stronger and stronger every day. but he states a clear reality that if it doesn't do this, it is a false choice to compare what we are doing with obamacare because obamacare is collapsing, the prices are skyrocketing. there is no aquiffle lensy. and something is failing. and the politically expedient answer is to do nothing. but for the sake of the american people and the needs they have in terms of health care, i think we owe it to do the right thing. reporter: who is the president holding accountable for the split in the republican party
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not getting the bill done, the struggle it is taking. is he holding the republican leadership, paul ryan, failing to bring a bill to the table or is he holding the freedom caucus responsible? sean: we are not focused on blaming but focused on getting it done and winning. and ter: selling obamacare valid did it. but president-elect trump and president trump has been selling this legislation as coverage for everybody, lower premiums, lower deductibles and better health care. hasn't he put republicans on the spot with this legislation? sean: yes. thank you for the advertisement, i appreciate it. i think -- reporter: it won't do that?
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sean: it will do that. and that's the point. a, there is some concern as i mentioned earlier about the timing and we have continued to allay a lot of those concerns. because of the rules that they are. and one thing that is tough to explain, if we don't do it the way we are going to do and we need to get 60 votes. the democrats are united in stopping any progress being made on this. the point we had to make over and over again, i get it. in a perfect world and have a much more comprehensive legislative strategy. o undo it in a three-pronged approach is the nature it has to get dealt with. and i think for a lot of folks, many of them are new to the process. many of them want to see it done a different way and we are
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trying to do it in the most responsible way. so when it gets sent over to the senate, we don't have a fight. and most people don't want to fully appreciate the nuances and reality we have to face if we want to get it done. reporter: when chairman nunes was here. today, behind closed doors, he apologized to the committee not coming to them first before coming to the president. so i guess my question is, why was it appropriate? why does the white house believe it was appropriate for chairman nunes to come and give this information to the president regarding an investigation about the president's own associates during the campaign? sean: as i said before, asking me why he did something -- hold on. you are getting there.
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i seen enough of you, peter. i know where you were going. but the reality is, he made a decision. he briefed the press first. no one had a problem in the press corps getting briefed. he went down and briefed your colleagues before he briefed anybody else. and he made a statement and said i'm going to come down the white house and share this information with the president. he didn't give us a heads up. he made an announcement and asked for time to share this with the president. part of the reason to be clear and to your question is specifically to say that there is a big difference between any discussion going on in russia and why this intelligence was picked up. his comments were very clear. the intelligence and the information he picked up had nothing to do with russia. and he felt as though according to his own words, an obligation to make sure the president knew
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what he had discovered. that's it. pretty and simple. reporter: doesn't the white house have a concern that creates the appearance that there was potentially interference by the president and that he was included in conversations about the investigation before it was completed? sean: my concern to be perfectly blunt with you, it's -- you seem to have an obsession with the process and not the substance. hold on. hold on. reporter: he asked for the conclusion and asked for details before it was completed. sean: i'm going to make it clear, he said he wanted to make it very clear that the discussion and the revelations that he had were not -- did not regard anything to do with russia and wanted the president to understand that. but there is this obsession with the process, you know, how did he get here, when did he go, what was the reaction. there should be a concern about the substance. this is a very serious
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revelation he has made about what happened during the 2016 election with respect to our side. and at some point i would implore, urge, beg of you to use some of your investigative skills to look into what actually did happen, why did it happen, what was going on back there, who knew what when. there should be a similar concern instead of figuring out if he took a car or skate board here. and whether he briefed us first or the democratic members, the substance of what he shared should be troubling to everybody and that's what i think is the important thing. reporter: people shouldn't be allowed to use anonymous resources unless you have a name. i guess the simple question. chairman nunes came out and couldn't provide sources
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politically. when it is politically advantageous, it's ok. but politically disadvantage, it's not ok? sean: he said he was going to get further briefed and further updates. that's a big difference than reporting and making a serious allege. he is vindicating the president saying there is something you need to know about the substance of the allegations being made against you and why that may or may not be the case -- reporter: wouldn't this have been just as important for the president to learn? sean: sure. and then you wouldn't have any concern about that, would you. reporter: you said the word vindicated and did the president feel that having chairman nunes come down here help his credibility? sean: it's reassuring to know what he discussed -- the
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chairman made it clear that he is not final in his processes that what he had seen so far gave him grave concern or whatever the exact phrase was. but to use the phrase that chairman nunes needed to say, that he gave him concern and pause and wanted the president to be aware of the activity that he had seen that occurred during the transition period. i think that's an important -- so, i think, yes, the president -- it was helpful for the president to know that the investigation as he had asked for was starting to bear fruit. equally important thing to note about yesterday was that part of what chairman nunes said was it had nothing to do with these allegations and narrative about russia. reporter: did the president
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accept chairman nunes' findings that there was no wiretapping at trump tower? sean: there is nothing planned for the chairman to come down again. i have and the president has clearly explained that the tweet wasn't to be taken literally. he was talking about surveillance in general. yes what chairman nunes said was there was evidence of surveillance that occurred during the election and that is important to note. the public comments he made to you and your colleagues was that he was very concerned with the surveillance he had seen in reports of surveillance and individuals who had been masked and unmarked during the
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transition period. that should express concern for a lot of individuals. reporter: the president confident that chairman nunes can continue to lead this investigation because there have been some questions about that including from some republicans? sean: yes. sean: thank you very much, guys. i'll see you tomorrow. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit >> sean spicer briefing reporters following president trump's meeting this morning with the house freedom caucus, the conservative freedom caucus and coming out of that, no deal. mark meadows announcing the house came in at 9:00 not to take up the legislation and not ready. but they did debate the same-day rule and have the to shot vote on that still but would allow them to take up legislation any
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time in the next couple of days. just an update, the numbers, let's talk the math. there are 237 republicans they write. 215 needed in support of the health care bill. there are a list of the 14 current nonvotes and there is 15 outside of the freedom caucus because congressman from nevada. deutch, herea butler. this is politico saying that means they can only lose eight more votes and it would be seven because of the announcement by congressman amodei of nevada. something seismic would have to happen in the next few hours to turn this bill around. here's where things are.
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meetings are under way. the freedom caucus wrapped up their meeting at the white house and came back up to capitol hill and meeting in the rayburn house office building. the scene outside the freedom caucus meeting, a nation awaits. from "the hill," they are hearing that the obamacare repeal vote may be delayed. that's the tweet from the hill. and trump to meet this afternoon with the moderate republicans at the white house on the health care, the tuesday group, they are called. that's where things stand. within the hour, we are expected to hear from speaker paul ryan. he moved it from this morning to this afternoon. if it is changed, we'll let you know. we have cameras on capitol hill on what's being called the democratic spin room in the basement of the capitol.
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congressman gene green of texas hanging out in the room where members of the democratic caucus will be speaking with reporters throughout the afternoon and keep you posted on any comments from members here on c-span. while we wait for house speaker ryan to deliver his briefing this afternoon scheduled for 3:30 and show you the comments from nancy pelosi. she spoke to reporters rate this orning for about 25 minutes. ms. pelosi: i was hoping my grandson and his brother paul could follow me in this room as