a little bit under attack by people who want to use them as social experimentation as well. >> we'll have to agree to disagree. thanks to my panel. that does it for had this hour. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts now with chuck. how are you doing? >> we're employing to have big news, apparently r coming up. five big time senators have a big health care announcement coming in to minutes. so even more reason for you to stick around. if it's thursday, we're about to find out if healthcare reform will go belly up yet again. >> tonight, the skinny on the health care debate. can republicans pass their so-called skin my bill? or will even that go down to defeat with every other proposal? >> in some cases, it will get fat if a lot of amendments are adopted and it may stay very skinny. >> plus, the growing chaos in the president's inner circle. >> if jeff sessions is fired,
there will be holy held to pay. >> who is in, who is out, who knows? i'll talk to the democratic on the tom house intel committee. do they have cooperation on the other side. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. well, good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. welcome to "mtp daily." guess what, the cots are out. it could be a long night in the senate. we have no idea what exactly they're voting on, and kbes what? neither do they. >> do you know if you'll support it or not. >> i don't know what's in it still. i truly don't. >> do you have any idea if you'll vote for this so-called skinny repeal tonight? >> i haven't seen it yet, so i'm going to reserve comment on that as we move into the markup tonight. >> have you decided how you'll vote on this repeal -- >> i'm still waiting to see.
there was some discussion on the floor last evening when we broke as to what this skinny bill would look like. i've been in conversations with folks and i know others have, so we'll see what it actually looks like. >> well, we did find one republican senator who says he knows what's in the bill, and he's not optimistic about it. >> yeah, i know what's in the bill. >> you do? will you explain exactly for success where it stanlds right now? >> well, i think it's just up in the air. we'll just have to see what happens, but i don't see anything passing. >> in just a few minutes these republican senators, lindsey graham, john mccain, purdue, johnson and lee are holding a presser on health care. none of them, of course, have been big fans of this approach. are they going to collectively kill this plan, draw a line in the sand? strus mess cht me, you're going to want to hear what they have to say in a few minutes. you're looking live right now on the senate floor where every single vote has failed, start over, failed, single payor,
failed. even a symbolic resolution basically saying medicaid is good, failed. the senate is actually moving on to a sanctions bill against russia, iran and north korea at this hour. it already passed the house and it's expected to pass the senate easily, a version of this passed earlier, but this now has north korea added to it. the current healthcare plan, the vote as early as tonight under the so-called skinny repeal which has become a big fat headache for leadership, that is what we're trying to figure out when that comes up next. things got even more complicated, though, thanks to the wonk yil reconciliation rules that republicans are using to pass this skinny bill without the help of democrats who have walked away from the process entirely. folks, it's no way to govern, pass many of you already realize and to make matters worse republican senator dan sullivan told the press that interior secretary ryan basically threatened to sabotage alaska's economy because murkowski voted
against starting to debate. now, she says she didn't feel threatened, but she said the white house has made it clear they don't hike her position. within the executive branch all heck has broken loose. it looks as if the new communications director scaramucci is trying to get chief of staff reince priebus fired or force him to quit. he's accused priebus of leaking a financial disclosure form which is a publicly available document and called for an fbi investigation into the leak of this public document. >> people know my history between me and reince, okay. >> yes. >>ic speak for my own actions. he's going to need to speak for his own actions. if reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that. >> when did you stop beating your wife type of thing. okay. this comes as a president trump lashes out at his attorney general for recusing himself on russia, the president has suggested jeff sessions investigate his political opponent, hillary clinton, probe the opposition party, the dnc
and fire the nation's top investigator, the acting fbi chief among other things. he's also threatened to undermine bob mueller's investigation, all this week, by the way. we've got some republicans like lindsey graham now threatening the white house. >> if jeff sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. any effort to go after mueller could be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency unless mueller did something wrong. the president is not in the business of drawing red lines when it comes to the law. the law is above any presidential red line. this is not draining the swamp. what he's interjecting is turning democracy upside down. >> other republican senators have told the president point blak that if he fires sessions, they won't confirm a replacement and to top it all off there's a shack up today inside the president's national security counsel ill. and folks, this is just the madness that happened today. well, we begin tonight with what senator mitch mcconnell is
promising will be a long night in the senate. in fact, we have reports now that the cots are out of the so joined by kelly o'donnell from the white house and garrett headache from capitol hill. garrett, let me start with you, because that's where all the action is right now. we have this press conference coming from five senators. i have an inkling about where we're headed here. and it has to do with this, what is the house planning to do when or if the senate passes something tonight? are they going to go to conference or are they going to try to pass whatever the senate passes? >> yeah, chuck. we're on the same waive length here because that is the million-dollar question. haven't committed one way or the other whether they would go to conference on this bill. they've sent some signals basically saying they're going to be here tomorrow with most rules suspended. so theoretically they could vote on something the senate passes tonight or they could decide to go to conference. and they haven't said either way which direction they're going to go. that press conference coming up
with lindsey graham, john mccain, david pursue. the presence of david purdue as part of that group makes me pretty certainly this is not an effort to skulgts this bill. he's been a major ally of the president here. i suspect we're going to hear from them trying to say we'll support this thing maybe if the house agrees to do a conference committee on it. they're not in a position to make demands of the house, so it's going to be interesting. >> it absolutely will. and what if skinny doesn't happen tonight? is there a plan e? i would say plan b. i feel like we're on plan e or f here. >> yeah. in the short term i think not. skinny is essentially the combination of all future letter plans. i mean, the whole idea behind this skinny repeal which is just sort of a name we've put on it is to slap together what concepts they think can pass with 50 voetsz. p if they don't get that, i don't know that there's enough letters left to go on. >> who at the white house is
tracking this? i mean, who other than the president, i mean, is this a reince priebus project? if he has time in the midst of the scaramucci stuff. who is rt so of the point person at the white house right now following this debate and trying to be helpful if they can? >> well, based on the phone calls that i am learning about from the white house going to senators involved, priebus is at the center of this. that of course also is aided by his close relationship with the house speaker and then of course you've got a legislative team and the vice president. he really has a big shadow over this and the president even kind of teased at him in recent days, mike, this is on you, mike, that kind of public stance we've seen where the president tries to push people. so it is closely watched. at the same time we also saw a joint statement coming out from the white house and the hill today talking about tax reform. so they seem so ready to try to
turn the page. it's hot in washington in the summer, and it just feels like the heat has been rising for the political atmosphere, the stakes here, you know, after skinny does it go to skeletal? i'm not sure quite sure, but it's going to be tough for this white house. >> that's a good one. i've got to give you is credit on that skeletal. that's well played. before i let you go, i've got to ask you about scaramucci and priebus. what's happening here? it seems as if scaramucci has no qualms about making every little public issue that he has with priebus public, excuse me, every issue that he has public? >> airing it all and then often marrying that to his close relationship with the president, talking about he has spoken with the president, spent time with the president, sat in the oval office with the president. today we're just sort of looking for tea leaves. reince priebus the chief of staff was in, a very special event this afternoon, honoring are the first responders for the congressional shooting. i saw a moment where the president appeared to either shake his hand or pat him on the
elbow. so he was there, he was present. scaramucci we are told was not here today. but tleer also giving us somewhat conflicting messages. is he actually an employee of the white house yet? they say yes, he is. has he gotten a approximate clearance, they won't talk about that. has he taken the oath required of all senior staffers, they are not aware of that. this is a communications director who is really managing up, going right to the president. normally the chief is in charge of all staffers no matter how null, no matter how wealthy, powerful or big their personalities may be. and it really seems as if scaramucci is trying to pressure reince priebus in every day possible. i sort of think it's not unlike what the president done to jeff sessions, to really squeeze somebody publicly. you either win or you move on. we're just not sure how this ends. >> and it's apparently the president doesn't mind it. that's what's amazing here. kelly and garrett, get back to work both of you. it's going to be a busy night.
that's for sure. let me bring in tonight's panel. welcome all. george will, what's this look like? what are you watching? >> just a small little matter. i think the last graphic apt to be kept in the bill is the medical devices tax. what's funny about that is, a, it's particularly destructive. it's a tax on a very dynamic industry, one spread all over the country, which matters. and it's pay tax not on their profit but on their gross revenues. so a firm can be losing money and still pay the tax. now, what makes this interesting is you want something bipartisan to be 60 to 70 votes to repeal that. >> i think the senate has voted to repeal this a few times from
particular durbin. >> so nour they're keeping this tax that no one wants because or in spite of the fact that they can get rild of it on a bipartisan vote. >> that actually underscores the craziness. 9 one thing that there is bipartisan, it's the one thing they can't accomplish. >> i might add the further aspect of the lun's which is you have senator after senator after senator, republican senators saying they don't want skinny bik ra. they don't want it to become law, but they're going to vote for it. i mean, just think about that. we are at the end of this process. they have voted down multiple options, and now their way of getting to a bill is to volt for a bill which they've just said they know will increase premiums for millions shf people, 20% increase in preem yuls. it's like -- >> you were at the white house when that was what the democrats did. don't worry, we'll fix what you don't like in conference. and there never was a conference. >> oh, my god. we had a bill -- >> i understand that. no, no, no.
and i'm not going to compare the two. because it's not -- you did hold hearings and all this stuff. but you skimmed the conference too. >> and then people had to make a decision. but this proves my point. that bill was deliberated on four hundreds of hours. it was -- just to be clear, it's five o'clock eastern time. we still don't have bill language for a bill that's going to ap effect one sixth of the economy. no one has seen it. notice member of the public has seen it. most republican senators haven't seen it either. >> i don't understand why they think if they haven't been able to do it here that they're somehow going to get it done in conference, but i get that they want to at least show they can do something. >> well, i think the one thing that this entire process has revealed is for all the focus there is in washington on the dysfunction of the white house and the president's knack for delivering self-inflicted bloes is that there is more than enough dysfunction in congress to go around and that republicans in conference are
plenty good at delivering self-inflicted blows to themselves. and i think going forward there will be more focus on the processes in congress, among the republican congress. i think mitch mcconnell will shoulder a huge amount perform blame if he doesn't get something acceptable out of this. butdy do think the focus will shift from the administration to congress because there are plenty of problems there too. >> here is what i don't understand. mitch mcconnell, the one thing he's always so good at is understanding the old saying you know when to fold them, you know when to hold them and he knows when to fold. it seems to me if any other president were sitting in that oval office under the same circumstances, mitch mcconnell would have walked away from this awhile ago. for some reason he's pushing forward with what he knows is a bad hand of the why? >> i can't figure it out because you remember when he was reelected he said we're looking forward for this republican majority and we're not going to be like hear reed. and hear harry read because he
nad it so entirely sub serve yant to the interests of a democrat president, there by violating madison's hope and ethics which was that each institution would be rivalous and prickly about defending its own interests. this looks to me like -- this is what's piz ling. mcconnell is an institutional man. he was a senate staff. >> he claims to be. >> he was a senate staff before he became a senator and he's been a senator since the taft administration. i mean, he does not seem to me to be looking to the interests of his institution. >> my tease is he saw what happened to john boehner. he saw what happened frankly to paul ryan after health care where the president effectively was laying this blame on him. i think mcconnell fierce that he could suddenly be out of -- that all of the blame goes on him if he pulse the rip -- sort of if he pulls the plug too quickly. >> well, if that's the case, he's choosing his own political
chuns so if mitch mcconnell is an institution list, he should really go home right now. the nothing like this happened under harry reed. again, i'm just saying we're delivering a bill that affects one sixth of the kmeel and no one has even seen it and they're likely to vote on that within the next 24 hours. the thing i don't understand is why john mccain skpl lindsey graham, who are also news lists are acceptable -- are accepting voting for a bill that they themselves, linld see graham has said this bill is a bad bill. he has said this bill is a bad bill, why he would even send it into the process that he can't trust with the house, i doopt know. >> that's what you just did. you teased the press conference that lindsey graham and john mccain are going to be participating on where they may sans that very question. you guys stick around. we'll watch this together. we are expecting said press conference any moment now on the future of this bill. we're going to bring that to you
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here ber going right to lindsey graham, one of five senators about the skinny bill. >> there's concern on my part and others that what the house will do is take whatever we pass, the so-called skinny bill, not take it to conference, go directly to the house floor, vote on it and that goes to the president's desk with the argument this is better than doing nothing. here is my response. the skinny bill as policy is a disaster. the skinny bill as a replacement for obamacare is a fraud. the skinny bill is a vehicle to getting conference to find a replacement. it is not a replace in and of itself. the policy is terrible because you eliminate the individual employer mandate which we all want eliminated but we -- so
you're going to have increased premiums and most of obamacare stays in place if the skinny bill becomes law. not only do we not replace pk, we politically own the collapse of health careel. i'd rather get out of the way let it collapse then have a half acid approach. so we're not going to do that with our vote. what we will do is move the process along. our freedom caucus friends who i disagree with a lot, but sometimes i agree with them. here is what mark meadows said. we will send a skip any bill at no time president is the question? the answer is no. so it becomes the vehicle for conference. mark meadows agreed the skinny repeal will be dead on arriving in the house, but he understands it's just a vehicle for a conference. here is the problem. the whip in the house is suggesting to some that whatever we send becomes the final product. there will be no conference, and i am not going to vote for the
skinny bill if i am not assured by the house there will be a conference where my idea and other ideas can be taken up so we can actually replace obamacare. i'm not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics just because we have to get something done. so all three of us want to move the process along. we were encouraged by our leadership to be team players. they're coming up with a skinny bill that changes by the moment, but none of us believe it actually replaces obamacare. neither does the freedom caucus. and i need assurances from the speaker of the house and his team that if i vote for the skinny bill, it will not become the final product. it will be the vehicle to have a conference between the house and senate where we can consider a true replacement. if i don't get those assurances, i am a no because i'm not going to vote for a pig in a poke and i'm not not going to tell people
back in south carolina that this product actually replaces obamacare because it does not. it is a fraud. and with a that i'll turn over to my great friend john mccain. >> i have nothing to add. as i stated earlier this week, i'm not supportive of the legislation as it stands today. i am in close consultation with arizona gofrp or doug do you sayy regarding the so-called skinny repeal and its potential impact on the state of arizona. my position on this proposal would be largely guided by governor do you sayy's analysis of how it would impact the people of our state. my friends, mislegislation that directly affects the lives of the people in my state. i trust my governor. i trust his people. and he is looking carefully at this. he is looking carefully at the skinny bill repeal, but he's
also looking at steps that need to be taken in addition to it. so i am convinced that we can move forward, but we have to have an assurance that it will go to a normal conference. right now that is not the case. and we do not have the assurance that is the casey believe that one of the major problems with obamacare was that it was p rammed through congress by democrats without a single republican vote. ible that we shouldn't make that same mistake again. and if necessary, this is you're now about to hear from an antique phone that very few americans -- there's very few americans anywhere in the world. ible there's a person in toe go who has this phone. look, we can't make the same mistake that we inflicted in
2009. we've got to have some bipartisanship. all of you saw my speech which i will be glad to provide you with a recording of in case you missed it, in case you have insomnia. but the point is we've got to have republicans and democrats sit down together and come up with a bill that gets a majority in both houses. otherwise we're going to see this continuous gridlock. and i don't want to go on and on, but when we passed obamacare in 2009, it split us. it split us dramatically, and it split us for years. it's time we sat down together and came up with a piece of legislation that addresses this issue. and don't think this issue is just out there sitting by itself. in my state we are down to one health care provider in every county.
copace pays are geg up -- you're late. you see the fresh men show no respect for their he woulders. finally, i'd just like to say, again, in my state obamacare is a failure. it needs to be fixed. we have fixes, but it's got to be done in the normal process. and what i'm afraid of, of course, is if this things dies this week and then it sits out there over the august recess or whatever it is. it's time we sat down together and came up with solutions that the american people overall would support. i guarantee you in my state the status quo is not satisfactory, and that's one of the major reasons why i've been in constant contact with the governor of the state of arizona, who bears large responsibility. now as is keeping with our seniority, we will allow the two
additional senators 30 seconds each. >> thanks much, john. >> all right. >> well, first of all, john, it was great seeing you come back and i've told you a number of times it's an honor to be able to serve with you. p listen, i'm happy to join lindsey and john and senator cassidy. just asking very simple request. give us the assurance, give us the guarantee that whatever we pass out of the senate is going to go to conference so we can work on, for example, the great ideas that these two gentlemen have been working hard with our governors, something that i think can really get a great deal of support. the fact of the matter is the status quo is unacceptable. obamacare markets are collapsing. let me just tell you a little story of a woman that i spoke to for the first time on tuesday. cherie and vern kobe from river falls wisconsin contacted our office and i called her up and she conveyed her story to me. had some pre-existing conditions in 2014. they signed up for obamacare.
i won't go through all the troubles they had signing up. pay their premiums. sent in their check stublz to make sure they qualified for the subsidies. did their taxes in march of 2 0 2000115, got the bad news that they made too much money and had to pay $15,000 back to the irs. now, the irs isn't real kind about being for giving about is it, so in order to pay that $15,000 back because, again, they made too much money they completed their 401 k. then they had to sell their home that they intended to live in for the rest of their wife so they wouldn't lose their home. think about that. now, chaer and vern are the forgotten men ask women, the same folks that bill clinton was talking about, the ones that are busting it. vern works 60 or 70 hours a week driving milk trucks. sherrie works 30 hours a week as a florist. they're busting it. they're working those hours. premiums double or more, their coverage cut in half. they lost their house. that's why the status quo is not
acceptable. skpl i'm sorry, the skinny bill in the senate doesn't even come close to honoring our promises of repealing obamacare. those market reforms that have kregsd their premiums, and nothing we're doing, virtually nothing we're doing in any of these bills and proposals are addressing the challenges, the problems, the damage done to people like cherie and vern. and so all we're asking leadership, and this is a very simple question, just give us the assurance that whatever we pass tonight will go to conference and so the good ideas of people like senator lindsey graham and senator cassidy here can get scored, can have a chance to be argued and hopefully can replace obamacare with something that actually works for folks like cherie and vern. and with that i'm happy to introduce senator cassidy who is doing some great work coming up with an alternative. >> and i just want to look at the potential wf what would happen should it go to
conference. again, senator graham, nelson, heller and i have been working on a provision which frankly will take a little bit longer to be scored. process as you know requires that to occur. and it can be over laid upon the bill that will be passed tonight. sp in that we would hope to take all the dollars that would go to the state and tlid to the state. the state would have to use it to health care but then allow that state to come up with a solution particular to their state. what happens in alaska with less than one person's per square mile is very different than what happens in washington, d.c. over a hundred thousand people per square mile which is different than south carolina, louisiana, wisconsin and arizona. those states should decide what's best for those states. we can do that through this process if indeed we pass the bill tonight and then it goes to conference committee and then we can overlay this. we think this is the way to fulfill the promise president trump made to the american people to actually repeal. ask that's our dmitment and we hope this process allows it.
>> yes. >> what is -- >> mafrt inmeadows who has become a good friend. he's from north carolina. he's a really goot kevlt. he's in the freedom caucus. he's been suggesting that nobody in the freedom caucus sees this as a viable replacement. i don't think gofrp or do you sayy is going to say that the skinny bill fixes arizona's problem. i know it won't fix sherrie's problem. we're just trying to create a vehicle and see if we can come up with a block grant approach. four states get 40% of the obamacare dollars. we're trying to level that out. so mark called me and said that he was concerned that there is a move in the house to take whatever we pass in the senate and pass, not go to conference.
we have been trying to communicate with the speaker. we've asked our leader point-blank and he says the speaker prefers to go to the conference, intends to go to the conference. i want to know like are you going to go to the conference. i want to know that, because i am not going to vote for a piece of legislation that i believe is not a replacement, that politically would be the dumbest thing in history to throw this out there, collapse the individual market and own the problem at a tame when obamacare is collapsing. so i think senator mccain is dead right. if you listen to governor could you sayy, john is going to have a pretty good decision to make. the governor is going to look the our new approach over laid and he's going to tell john that works for arizona. ic tell you right now, the skinny bill doesn't work nor any state. it's never meant to be the final outcome. it's meant to be a process to get a better outcome. our bill hasn't been scored.
ted cruz's bill hasn't been scored, so we're buying time to get there. but that requires the house to actually go to conference. and if they don't go to p conference, then i am not going to vote. >> are any of you worried about -- is there a concern if you three block the replacement attempt tonight that you will then have to be accountable to voters who really want obamacare replaced and then you three -- >> yeah. i do this with joy in my heart. i'm going to go back to south carolina and say that the skinny bill does not replace obamacare. the skinny bill leaves most of the obamacare infrastructure in place. it's a disaster for premiums in south carolina. it was never sold to be the final product. that i was told that if i vote for the skinny bill, i get a chance to put in play my block grant approach. so i'm not the bad guy here. i'm actually a team player. i'm gig trying to honor the
request by our leadership to keep the pros alive. and as we get to the -- near the goal line here, this will surprise people in south carolina, you need to trust but verify in washington. >> senator, you -- by the way, let me just confirm what lindsey said. this has been sold to us as the vehicle to get to conferences, so we can have the time. because cbo has to be able to score things. we have 22 senators sign a letter that i asked the cbo to score the full repeal of obamacare back in march. never got the score. we've been told this is the vehicle to give us the time to get those scores so we can take a look at those other although naisks. and so, again, all we're looking for is a pretty simple guarantee. we're not trying to tank anything here. we'll vote yes as long as we get that guarantee. >> wait a minute. let me ask you -- wait a minute. >> he wants to squ a question. >> do you believe the skinny bill is an adequate replacement for obamacare -- >> it absolutely would not, senator graham.
>> senator graham -- senator mccape, what do you say to people -- regular order, work wo democrats. >> what do you say to people that say then you should vote no and send this thing back to committee. >> right now as i mentioned earlier, i am voting no unless i see that there is a path to a conference that will come out with a result that will address the challenges. the status quo in my state is unsatisfactory. that's why i'm working with the governor of my state, who has proposed three different amendments which i will be putting up for votes as we go through. and if it satisfies the govern or, then i would be satisfied. right now my governor is not satisfied. zoom one last question from south carolina. >> has the parliamentaryian said that your amendment will pass the -- >> i'm 99% sure that it will get a memo from the parliamentaryian
saying that the graham cassidy heller maybe johnson bill will be conferenceable and that block has been checked. and i really wouldn't too much worried about anything above that until i got a call from mark meadows. and i got a call from mark meadows who believes like ron does and i do that the ask skinny bill is not a replacement, that obamacare is collapsing and it won't prevent it from collapsing and if many ways makes it worse. so that part of it we're good to go. i need an insurance. who asked that? okay. here is what an -- >> what is the guarantee? blood oath? >> we don't have it. it's like pornography. you'll know it when you see it. >> there you go. >> we've got to go. come on. go ahead. say whatever you want to say. >> well, you also asked why are we a little concerned.
you're you can with aing up here someone is asking me -- the house is going into martial law. i didn't even know that was possible. i guess that would give us a little bit of a concern. i do in the remaining moments, i'm happy to give you all this charting. i keech talking about information we need. this shows you the disaster that is obamacare in terms of the effect of premiums. this is the premium trend prior to obamacare. this is what we're talking about now. this is why cherie and vern can't afford insurance. this kind of information we need to make better information to have a better process to actually have a replacement that will work for cherie and vern. >> and we'll end on this. we'll end on this. as to the skinny bill being a replacement for obamacare, actually helping americans like cherie and people in my state, that's about as accurate as when president obama told you if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. >> thanks much. >> well, that was dwight the lively presser there with four senators. should be noted the fifth s'more that we had been told was going to join that kwaur at the time
of senators david pur ever pesh do you of georgia did not. joining me now is senator dick durbin of illinois. what's happening here? what can you decipher? what do you stay away from what you just aerd from your four colleagues on the other side of the aisle? >> you can which, it's been over six years since the republicans told us they were going to repeal obamacare and replace it. and now it's been seven months that we've been in session here. and listen to how republican senators describe the work product we're being asked to vote on tonight. i respect the senators who came before the press calling it a fraud, a disaster. it will make this situation worse, and it won't solve the problems that face our healthcare system and obamacare today. what i heard them say was they are demanding a conference committee. they want it to be bipartisan and they want buy in from the
governors across america who are going to have to implement the final work product. that tells you that we need to roll up our sleeves, follow john mccain's advice and have a bipartisan effort to finally write a good bill that is deserving for the american people. >> look, there's a lot of people that may have forgotten how a bill becomes a law because i think many of you in the united states senate have forgotten how a bill becomes a law, to be respectful here. i'm trying to figure out the last time a bill was written in conference. george will was reminding me here that the way it works, the way we thought it worked was the house passes a bill, the senate passes a meaningful bill, and you work out a few differences. it seems as if the plan by senator graham and mccain and cassidy in particular is they view the conference as an opportunity to write new legislation. how does that work? is that -- and will you participate in something like that? will democrats be appointed to a
conference committee and participate in helping to write that legislation? >> and p don't forget, we have reached this point in this deliberation, and the republicans in control of the united states senate could not find a plan that 50 of them could agree on. and so they came up with this skinny thing, which i think lindsey gram graham was right. it is a fraud. it is going to raise health insurance premiums. he said as much and i agree with him complete. . it's going to cut 16 million people off of health insurance. and so they couldn't come up with a plan that 50 of their members can agree on and now they're hoping that a conference committee might be able to. i just say to george will s heats go pack to basics here. basics suggest that we ought to junk this approach, real go down to the regular order which john mccain spoke about. let's have the hearings in the committee. let's have the deliberation and the amendments and the debate on the floor. that's the design of the constitution and that's what we ought to follow. >> you're a member of leadership on the democratic side. you have good personal relationships with the leadership on the other side of
the aisle. i know that. senators cornyn and mcconnell and those folks. the rank and file on that republican side clearly would like regular order. u6 seen it growing. we're up to 12 or 13 senators that don't like the reconciliation. when does leadership acknowledge that? >> when the republicans have a vote that they lose. if the vote that is called on this skinny approach loses and at that point they have to decide what the alternative is. do nothing and watch the healthcare system that we currently have face problems that we know exist and need to be resolved and solved or they're going to step forward and have i a meaningful bipartisan approach which these senators asked for today. john mccain asked for two days ago. that really is the answer. >> i want to go back to you didn't quite answer my question about the conference situation. if we do get a conference committee and it's clear to me lindsey graham used the fraud word to almost guarantee that
paul ryan will have no choice but to do that, will democrats participate this that process of helping to shape that legislation or are you going to be a little more -- as hands off as you've been so far on the floor of the senate? >> well, i can tell you if we start with the premise that this is not about a tax cut but it's about health care for all americans, if we say that we're at the end of the day not going to cut off health insurance for americans and try to expand that opportunity and really address the issue that i think most are concerned about, the premium costs and the individual market, i'm sure we're ready to sit down and work. we've said that for months to republican leadership. >> even in a kwrchs committee you would do that, even the way this process has gone? >> can i add one caveat, chuck. >> yes. >> we don't know who is going to be on that conference committee. if the conference committee includes pay group of good faith participants who are trying to reach the goals i just described, then it's possible that elwith be joining them. but let's wait and see how this
unfolds. the first step is going to be this critical vote on the skinny freedom bill as the president now calls it and that will decide how we go forward. >> senator dick durbin from illinois who pat this point i'm guessing is just watching with amusement from the other side of the aisle. thank you very much. and is we bring back the panel. george, i invoked your name. we've invoked you a lot here. you were pulling your hair out when you heard the conference committee being sort of warped in its description. >> by great senator pat monday han inserted into our language the phrase defining dooef yaens down. what near doing here is defining regular order down. they are envisioning the conference committee as a third branch of the legislative branch. that is these guys could pass and call it repeal and replace. they could pass this afternoon -- it's very interesting that the's box score. send it over there and hope that these unknown and unnamed people so far in the conference committee would write a bill. that is not regular order.
regular order is the reconciliation of two fully written and deliberated and debated, after hearings, pieces of legislation. >> it seems to me the ball really is noul suddenly in reince priebus -- wrong wisconsin in paul ryan and kevin mccarthy's corner. the senators through them the gauntlet. you've got to tell me this is going to skrchs or we're out. then it's over. >> that's absolutely right. they have got to decide, i think paul ryan has got to decide what he's going to do. but he also has to corral house members and get them to vote on whatever, you know, piece of paper is passed from the senate to the house, which we continent know what it's going to be. and as we've seen before, it's not so easy effort for medical mitch mcconnell to round up the votes he needs or for paul ryan. so if he wants to do this, elhave the difficult task of corralling the votes and ensure that house members trust that there will be i think it's
difficult because precisely for the reason george described to get the trust among house and senate members that what results will be a good bill. >> yeah. what did you make of dick durbin essentially not ruling outs the idea that while democrats haven't wanted to participate in the process right now that they might in a conference committee if they know something is going to the president's desk from there, that democrats appointed to that would participate? >> look, if you listen to jm and lindsey graham, particularly jm talk about how he wants to fix the markets, that's a conference democrats are willing to have, have been willing to have. what i think is just bizarre about where we are is that if you listen to senator mccain it sounds like he recognizes that skinny bik ra or the skinny repeal and replace will hurt arizona and so he may well vote no. but most of those senators are talking bl a disaster pill, a terrible bill, a disaster for their markets and yet they may still vote for it to get to a conference in which they can
talk about a approximate proposal that nobody has ever discussed before their own particular idea on the process. and the reason why we are where we are is because we've had no mark ups, no deliberation, no norm pal system. people are just -- to be honest, spit bawling ideas out there and the idea that we're actually going to decide issues that affect people's health insurance in this kind of random way is just like the most irresponsible leadership i've ever seen in my life. >> i spoke this afternoon with congressman mark meadows of north carolina, the head pft freedom caucus. he's got 30 serious people who are here for pay reason. and he was none committal, but he said they passed if from the house by two votes. now, they're going to go back over there and mark meadows people are going to look at this and they're going to see some things. they're going to see maybe a hundred billion dollars thrown at the opioid crisis. that will be dwavd by the slush fun to stabilize the insurance
markets, to subsidies the insurance companies. >> by the way, the exact thing that they criticized obamacare for doing and repealed some of that earlier. >> precisely. at that point, again, i keep saying this every two weeks, keep your eye on the freedom caucus. >> well, it's clearly, and meadows made his presence known. he's the one that sounded the alarm. >> it's weird. he sounds more than paul ryan. >> where is ryan on this? where is mccarthy on this. >> i have no idea but this is precisely why i said this is why i think it's going to be more difficult for ryan simply to say i agree and come out and have a ceremonial handshake with lindsey graham or mitch mcconnell. >> i mean, all of this is just passing the buck. >> the larger problem here is all of the crafting of in legislation has been done behind closed doors, and what they want to strike an agreement to do is to craft the bill behind closed doors. >> there's a fundamental issue that i have -- that somebody yesterday pointed out. we don't know what the goal is
of the bill. the republicans have never outlined what is the goal of their health care legislation. is it universal coverage? is it lower premiums? what is the goal? they've never outlined it. >> all of the above, but the primary goal is to get this over with so they can get on with the mayor's nest of tax reform. >> there is the problem right there. >> absolutely. they've never -- >> the goal is not about the policy. the goal is to get through the bill. >> whatever the american people have seen is a 12 to 25% because people don't know what they're trying to do other than just pass something that helps their political goals, which is not what they're supposed to be here -- i hate to be naive, but they are not to be here just to get reelected. you're not supposed toll damage peoples health care in order to meet your plit cal needs. >> for the first time since 2010 the affordable care act was 50% approval. so what obama's tireless
campaigning this bill has accomplished. >> let's snek in a quick break because i don't want to go to our next topic here because we call our final break "the lid." well, anthony scaramucci has blown his own lid in an interview with ryan leez afilled with explicatives that is unbelievable and we'll quote as much as we can on a family program like ours. right after the break. this is crabfest at red lobster. and right now,
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welcome back. time for the lids. all right. the headline of the piece in the new yorker that just brought about 40 minutes ago. anthony scaramucci called me to unload about reince priebus and steve bannon. it's filled with four words. we have a few of them up here that we feel like we can give you an idea of how scaramucci described reince priebus and steve bannon. reince is a expletive, paranoid schizophrenic. i want to kill all the leakers and get the president's agenda on track so we can skucceed for the american people. i think we have a couple more choice quotes that we could not put on air because we'd have to
delete so many expletives, you would not understand what the quote meant. you've had some interactions with mr. scaramucci, as have i. this is the white house communications speaking of the chief of staff in such a derogatory and deviant manner. >> it's the tight lipped guy you would want in charge of your communicatio communications oerm communications operations. the president likes to be around people he is comfortable with. he brought on anthony and he will go to the mats for him. i think this will win him points with the president, oddly. he lost sean spicer who is somebody he has far less in
common with and not wealthy and not a new yorker. he seems to no problem to depart with reince priebus. it's something that reflects the president himself. >> this was all on the record here. he said rieeince will get fired and he wants to do lie detector tests. he also went after steve bannon. i'm not tried to build my own brand off the expletive, deleted strength of the president. i'm here to serve the country. priebus may be going soon but bannon isn't going anywhere. he's going to have another war inside that white house, appare apparently. >> this is a circular firing squad. the president's all attacking and we're hear the president likes when people attack each other. jared kushner recommended this guy for the job. jared kushner recommended that he fire the fbi director.
i wonder where the accountability is where you have disaster after disaster coming out of white house. >> the west wing of the white house is the state of nature as thomas hobs describes it where life is solitary, nasty, brutish and short. emphasize the short. i would be -- nothing surprises me. i would be semi-surprised if the man who gave that interview with the language and who is not now a public official. >> we don't think he's technically taken the job yet. officially, as far as bookkeeping is concerned. >> that sort of fits because remember before mr. trump was president he wielded presidential powers against the carrier air-conditioning company. he said this is now new policy and they caved. their little casual about distinctions between public official and not public officials. if after this they go ahead and put this man in john adams white
house, we'll have learned even more. >> again, his title is communications director. i'm just sort -- that's the part of this that i'm struggling with. he chose to communicate this way. >> scaramucci came in and said he will crack down on leaks. there's no cracking down on leaks in the trump white house. the reason is second point is that in previous white houses people felt a loyalty. >> different tactics. they may trash people. >> there were arguments but i don't think in the trump white house there's anybody who is not related to the president of the united states who feels loyalty to the president and who even knows let alone believes in what the larger cause is here. that's why i don't think any of this will change. >> why would they? he attacks his staff all the time. you have to be loyal to get loyalty. he mu-- mu mihumiliates jeff
sessions. who is loyal? >> you left the republican party. you are no longer a republican. who stands for character in the republican party right now? ben sass says a lot of strong words but at what point are the words not enough? >> the word depends on when they are said and about what. mr. sass is laying the predicate for institutional and political opposition to the president. jeff flake is another. they're out there. one of the food effects he's going to have is he's going to revitalize institutional identity of the legislative branch. >> the best example of this is
what we saw take place in alaska in the last 24 hours. the president attacks lisa murkowski. they say boy the interior department may not be as helpful to the state of alaska all the time. what was interesting is that dan sullivan decided to go public and make sure, even though he's going to be a yes on this. he thought that was unbecoming and lisa suddenly decided in a committee that they didn't have time to consider any interior secretary undersecretary nominees today. the payback goes two ways. >> i was going to say they showed that if the executive branch shoves them in one direction, they have the power to push back. i think the other example was lindsey graham saying if the president fires the attorney general we have some power too.
we're not confirming another attorney general in 2017. if he fires bob mueller without showing any proof there's going to be serious consequences for that. this is really the first time that we have seen congress draw a serious red line, cliche term,0term now with regards to the president's behavior. >> so far paul ryan has not stood up to the president. you can't pass a bill. you can't pass a bill to tie the president's hands without the house. it's not enough. you need leadership from both sides. republican leaders to have backbone fs in the senate and t house. >> by the way, is that against the law? might be against the law. it may get an inspector general. >> if an inspector general does not investigate that -- >> you may get that. >> what do you have an inspector general for? >> all right. what an hour. what a day. guess what, it's only thursday.
thank you very much. that's all we have tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more mtp daily. my friend ari is next with the beat. it starts right now. the beat goes on and for sure today. >> what an hour it could be a theme for any number of hours in today's political news cycle. thanks chuck. donald trump threatening to abuse his power so now republicans are taking some of his power away. there is so much noise coming from washington right now, it would be easy to miss an actual turning point today in the trump presidency. the white house exploring how to fire jeff sessions but republican judiciary chairman chuck grassley drawing a red line saying there will be no hearings for any sessions replacement. ea