tv Senator Chuck Schumer Calls for Bipartisan Health Care Fix CSPAN July 30, 2017 1:40pm-1:59pm EDT
chuck schumer to look ahead and talk about what he hopes will happen including working with senate republicans on a number of pending issues. this is about 15 minutes. senator schumer: good morning, everybody. we're going to have to be a little quick here. there's no flight because of the weather, i've got a get a noon amtrak which we want to keep funded. that's not why i called you here today. this is not an amtrak discussion. we will have those. last night was an amazing moment. the credit goes to a lot of people but at the top of the list are the three who showed amazing courage to resist the pressure and do what's good for the country.
john mccain at the top of the list. he and i have been friends for a very long time. ever since the gang of eight, which we put together. and i have not seen a senator who speaks truth to power as strongly, as well, and as frequently as john mccain. the very same courage he showed as a naval aviator in vietnam. tissue in vietnam, he showed last night and has shown time and time again. he's just a wonderful man. i treasure his friendship and just the fact of knowing him. aye known a few great men in the senate, i'd put ted kennedy in that category and danny inouye, and i.d. put john mccain in that category too. certainly not to be forgotten of equal praise are susan collins and lisa murkowski. they are amazing.
women are in so many instances stronger than men. they brag less about it, but they are. and last night sort of proved that. as somebody who is in a family of strong women, i very much appreciate their strength, their courage, and their dedication to principle. despite the entreaties. where do we go from here? john mccain said it all on tuesday night. i hope this is a turning point. his speech when he returned to the senate and his vote last night and his actions in the last few days. do i hear an echo? you know, on health, we've got to shut that off, whoever is doing it. ok, thank you. on health care, i hope we can
work together to make the system bet for the a bipartisan way. and i'm optimistic that that can and i'm optimistic that that can happen. i think at the very beginning we should stabilize the system. we should make permanent the cost-sharing which keeps people's premiums down and keeps the counties that are covered up. we should look at reinsurance. tom carver and tim kaine have a bill, susan collins and bill nelson have a bill, and that will help stabilize the insurance marks. and we should look at claire mccaskill's proposal for the bare, b-a-r-e, counties that offer real health insurance for counties, relatively small number of counties, almost all rural, that are not covered. that's what we should do
initially. then we should sit down and trade ideas. lamar alexander and patty murray are already talking about doing that. i'm hopeful they can begin a series of hearings. nobody has said obamacare is perfect. nobody has said our health care system doesn't need fixing. the problem was, when they started -- when they tried to just pull the rug out from under the existing health care system. so change it, improve it, but don't just take a knife and try to destroy it and put nothing in its place. so we can work together. and i said that on the floor last night and a whole number of republicans who are usually more quiet and conservative came over to me and said thank you and they'll do it. on health care, i hope what mccain did was a turning point, when the senate turned back from its partisanship and worked
together. we long for it. we yearn for it. there are some forces that get in the way but i think sometimes you need a little spark that inspires the forces. and john mccain may have done that. and i intend to follow through. i am not finished. two other things i would say. president trump did a tweet last night and a tweet this morning. not presidential. his tweet last night said, we're going to let the system collapse. we're going to hurt innocent people because we're angry we lost politically. that is small. that is not what a president does. and i hope our senate colleagues, our house colleagues on his side of the aisle will turn a deaf ear on that.
the things i mentioned will help make the system stronger. they're nonideological and we can do those first and then we can look at each other's ideas. so this idea of sabotage is a very bad thing and donald trump doesn't even get it politically because if he sabotages the system it's going to hurt him as well as hurting millions of americans. and second, this morning donald trump pulled away from the bipartisanship that john mccain and so many senators felt last night by saying, we should change the rules and vote at 51. hello. he had 51. he only needed 51 in the health care bill and couldn't do it. so let him turn around too. let him understand the only way to get major things done in america in congress and particularly in the senate is bipartisan. and i hope he changes but his
analysis is based on fluff because he had the 51 votes already with reconciliation and couldn't get it done and he said let's go down to 51. i just don't get it. finally, just a deeper analysis. well, people blame mitch mcconnell. i don't think that's fair. i think there were deep, deep fault lines in what our republican colleagues tried to do. because donald trump and the republican party campaigned on one thing -- lower premiums, more coverage, don't cut social security, medicare and medicaid. and the bill they put together did just the opposite. they didn't campaign on what they proposed, tax cuts to the rich, slashing medicaid. but what happened was the hard right, koch brother wing of the republican party has too much influence and for years they have been on the outside attacking.
they're pretty good at attacking. now they're on the inside and they can't get anything done because they are so far away from the american people. and i say this because if they do the same thing, campaign one way and then propose legislation another way in favor of the wealthy powerful few, they'll fail on tax reform. they'll fail on infrastructure. instead on those issues. work with us in a bipartisan way and we can do good things on both those issues. ready for your questions? reporter: couple questions how things went down last night. when did you know he was going to vote no? senator schumer: i can tell you john and i talked for or five times since he came back. we had a lot of discussions and i'll leave it at that. he's one of my closest friends in the senate. reporter: and you worked
together on a lot of different issues. do you think his strange relationship with the president had anything to do with this particular vote? senator schumer: john mccain is blessed with an internal gyroscope of what's right and wrong. he gets angry for sure. when push comes to shove, that internal gyroscope of what's right and wrong guides him. yes. reporter: the president's tweets about letting them -- then deal, doesn't that hold out the possibility that the president might be open to working with democrats? can you try to read between the characters? senator schumer: let us pray. [laughter] i mean, we haven't seen it. and i told the president we want to work with him on issues like infrastructure. but his idea of bipartisanship is he comes up with a bill, we have no input and then we should support it. that's not just how the world works. reporter: you said the president's tweet about letting
obamacare implode was small. are you trying to call his bluff? what if republicans refused to work with democrats on -- senator schumer: it will -- [phone ringing] [laughter] senator schumer: a large number of republicans and trump supporters, they are on his watch. his job as president is to make people's lives better, not wage a political war and hurt people to make a political point. it will fail. it will fail and his republican colleagues know that. reporter: do you buy -- senator mcconnell said [inaudible] how did you read those comments and can you point to one particular policy you think you can work with republicans?
senator schumer: i think there are a bunch. the things i mentioned at the beginning had bipartisan support. even leader mcconnell said a few weeks ago if this fails we'll work with chuck schumer and the democrats and the first -- thing we want to do is try whether in the budget negotiations or elsewhere, we want to have -- the insurance industry, hardly our allies, said one way to keep premiums down is to have cost sharing permanent. that will have bipartisan support. even talked to paul ryan this morning about working together on these kinds of things and there's a thirst to do it and i just hope, as i said, the magic moment of john mccain last night has lasting effect and makes us work together in a better way and both sides are to blame for the past. reporter: senator, democrats have made opposing president trump a big part of what you're
about right now. are you ready to say the democratic voters, we will work with republicans and get something signed by this president? senator schumer: my first conversation with president trump a week after he won is let's work together. i told him to no avail that infrastructure was probably the best place to start out. so we've always wanted to work with him. we sent him our infrastructure plan. we've talked to him about other issues. he hasn't seem to want to work with us. as soon as he does we're ready. reporter: what are you willing to give the republicans, medical device tax, cadillac tax? senator schumer: i won't get into the question the day after. not only praise for mccain and collins and murkowski but my caucus, our caucus was so united. you had bernie sanders and joe manchin and everyone in between on the same page. and we're family. we watch each other's backs.
almost every major decision we made was not made by me unilaterally but by calling our caucus together and most of the good ideas came from various members just raising their hands and saying, what about this, what about that? we had two caucuses yesterday to discuss what to do. so we're going to work with them and our caucus unity was something fabulous. reporter: mr. leader, does donald trump understand health care policy? senator schumer: i was amazed he said, let's get it down to 51 votes. and i haven't talked to him at length on health care policy but my republican colleagues who do say he doesn't understand it very well. reporter: do you think that will hurt what bipartisan effort? senator schumer: i hope donald
trump, seeing he's been unable to get much done his way does it a different way, a bipartisan way. works from the middle, not just from, you know, the hard, hard right. but i think whether he does or a different way, a bipartisan way. works from the middle, not just not, my republican colleagues want to do, one of the two major legislative successes we had, the budget appropriations process and russia sanctions were bipartisan. they passed the senate with large majorities. people from both sides voting. we can have many more successes if we do that. yes. reporter: the way i looked at it when some of your colleagues started applauding, you had a gesture to maybe stop applauding. can you -- senator schumer: i don't think it was a time for celebration or political victory. i said it on the floor, it's not a time for celebration. it's a time of relief. those of us who walked our states and heard people's anguish, you know, i'll never forget a mother with a 3-year-old daughter who had
medicaid because the daughter was disabled and without medicaid she said, my daughter will die. and there she was, this strong woman with her little child and every one of us saw instances like that over and over and over again. that's what motivated us. that's what motivated us. so i don't think it was a time for political victory because we got to work together to make things better. i thought it was a time of, you know, grateful appreciation. the courage of collins, murkowski, mccain, the caucus, but let's think of the future, not political victory. reporter: are there parts of obamacare that just aren't sustainable? senator schumer: look, nobody said it's perfect. i won't get into the details. nobody said it's perfect and we want to make it better, plain and simple, and we're willing to work in a bipartisan way to do that. reporter: how will you avoid a
train wreck in september when you return? [inaudible] senator schumer: look, i hope the 2017 budget and appropriations process is a model for 2018. we put together a proposal. leader mcconnell, speaker ryan, leader pelosi and myself along with our ranking members and chairs of appropriations did a darn good thing without much fuss. no muss, no fuss. i hope the same thing will happen when we deal with the issues of budget and appropriations and funding the government next time and how debt ceiling plays into that, we'll wait and see. reporter: do you think you'll get started on that next week? senator schumer: that's leader mcconnell, i don't know what he proposes to do next week. i would hope in honor of john mccain we could do ndaa. i thought we could have worked out rand paul there on the issue. mccain, reid and i were talking
to him. it will be up to leader mcconnell. reporter: is there a role democrats can play on tax reform -- [inaudible] reconciliation? senator schumer: they're putting the same sign out, no democrats wanted, and they did with health care and i think will lead to the same result. ok. last one. reporter: what was your conversation with speaker ryan? senator schumer: i've always gotten along with speaker ryan. he and i worked on a proposal to repatriate some money and put it into infrastructure. look, again, i think the four leaders left to their own devices along with their caucuses could get a lot done but there are outside forces that pull things apart. the president has not been helpful in bringing people together. again, i hope last night was a magic moment that changes all that. thank you, everybody.
>> talking about the senate vote on health care friday was nancy pelosi and drinking house democrats. it's about 15 minutes. ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. we know you're out there, we can see you breathing. i know it was a late night last night but a victorious one for the american people. i want to thank chuck schumer and the democrats in the senate for their unity. i want to thank senator mccain for establishing a higher level ofti