tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC September 22, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
food as it should be. that will do it for this hour of "msnbc live." indicat katy tur picking things up in washington, d.c. it is 11:00 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. in washington. we are following senator john mccain breaking news, announcing moments ago that he is a no on the graham/cassidy health care bill. it puts him at odds with senator lindsay graham, who has often been one of his fiercest allies in the senate. nbc news capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt is getting m,ic'ed up. john mccain released a statement, saying i cannot in good conscience vote for the graham/cassidy proposal. i believe we could do better working together. republicans and democrats, and
have not yet really tried. nor could i support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. without a full cbo score, remember, the cbo said it would take weeks to score this bill, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have a reliable answer to any of those questions. they want to get this done before september 30th, obviously, that's the time frame they can do it without -- by only using a simple republican majority, more than 50 votes, 51 votes. kasie hunt is with me now. kasie, this shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. john mccain was calling to go back to regular order, to have hearings on something like health care, a bill as important as this, some bipartisan efforts there. that didn't happen. they were trying to ram this through. >> reporter: i have to tell you, i'm a little bit surprised that we are getting john mccain coming out front on this before we have heard from lisa
murkowski of alaska, before we definitively heard from susan collins of maine. i think that tells you a little bit about his thinking in context of what was going to unfold over the course of the next few days. think about it. they have a huge hearing that is now scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon on monday. that was going to be the one public airing for this bill. mcconnell, the majority leader, had said he intended to put it on the floor next week. that would put it on the floor probably tuesday with votes wednesday or thursday, considering there's another jewish holiday. but what this really does is throws up a quick stop sign in the road, and if you look at the vote count right now, if murkowski and collins were both to go ahead and say they would vote for this, that of course would still allow it to go through. but i have a lot of trouble and we here at nbc news are reaching out again to senator collins and senator murkowski's staff to see if they have any updates here. but i'm now, i would be extremely surprised if it got to
the point where this would potentially have 51 votes. i this i the length of this statement john mccain put out says he knows that and in some ways, i think he may be trying to spare his party another embarrassing showdown on the floor of the senate. now, the other thing is, he notes in this statement the bill's authors are my dear friends and i think the world of them. this is -- >> we know they have a strong relationship. >> reporter: very strong. it would be fair to call lindsay graham and john mccain best friends in the senate. they are often palling around together. lindsay graham of course was visibly upset when he found out his friend mccain was battling cancer. they are often spotted together, they are on the phone together. they really do pal around. lindsay graham, i spoke to him a couple times last week, he was in a pretty unusual position with this bill. he is somebody who is out front publicly on a lot of things, but very rarely does he find himself in position to be the one who's selling a major piece of
legislation or has so much riding on something that he's doing. and it was pretty clear he was feeling the pressure last week. so i think that it could put a strain on their friendship. i'm sure that mccain let lindsay graham know about this. i'm going to double-check this. but i would imagine they were in communication before the statement went out. >> gave a heads-up on this. >> that would be the typical decorum here. >> it's a seven-paragraph statement, if you have big type like i do, it spans three pages. john mccain is of course the person who -- one of the people who torpedoed the last attempt at health care in the senate. what does this mean going forward? if this does, in fact, end up killing this bill, now it's looking more likely, what does that mean for republicans? can they get anything done going forward? >> well, look, i think the concern, and one of the reasons we saw this flare back up again the way that it did was there was a perception back at home
over the august recess from a lot of people went back to their home states and districts and they weren't just hearing from constituents. they were hearing from long-time donors, long-time supporters, people they had known for years who said hey, why can't you get anything done. and that changed kind of the prevailing mood on capitol hill around this. now, i would say leadership is more inclined to fix that by trying to pass tax reform. they feel like okay, lot of these people that have been with us for a really long time will forgive us if we can show them we can pass a massive tax cut that will help them. that will ultimately demonstrate that we are past the failure of health reform. but there were obviously these voices inside the conference that wanted the try again on health care. my read of the timing of this, this is again just my analysis and i should emphasize we are still making more and more phone calls about this, but this i think lessens the embarrassment potentially of having another very high profile failure on the floor of the senate. this is friday afternoon, 2:00.
we are heading into the weekend. instead of spending the weekend and sunday shows talking about will they or won't they and amping up the pressure around this and having everything focused on it early next week, this potentially defuses it. it's still an embarrassing episode potentially. we have to say we don't know about collins and murkowski. >> collins has said she's leaning no. murkowski is very tight-lipped about this. we also have susan page of "usa today" with us and phil rucker of "the washington post" with us as well. is there a possibility that the republicans want it to look like they are trying to get something done and then maybe won't feel so bad about not being able to get health care done? that's a huge potentially big and bad burden to have over your shoulders in 2018 if it doesn't go well. >> so this is the smallest of silver linings because they can say we really tried, we tried until the last minute until the option of using reconciliation went away but they still aren't able to do it after seven years
of promising to repeal the affordable care act. i think this is their actual last shot. last time we thought was the last shot. i think this is actually their last shot. now the question facing them is do they try to fix the current system. will they go into an election not having repealed the affordable care act but having made it work better? that would be quite the political turnaround. >> phil, the white house got behind this to a degree at least, the president did. he's been trying to get something done on health care. it seems like he doesn't really care what it is. he just wants to sign a bill, from what he's said in the past. what do you think the white house's reaction is going to be to this? >> it's going to be a real blow. because they had sensed a lot of momentum at the white house for this health care bill. mike pence left the united nations this week for the day to come down to the senate -- >> we should say this bill is not dead yet. >> that's true. but this is a significant blow for the efforts. i was over at the white house this morning. officials were planning for next week to make this last dash big push on the health care bill.
they thought they could have a victory. they knew it might be difficult. they knew mccain could be hard. they knew murkowski would especially be hard. they felt they already lost susan collins and rand paul, obviously. but this is a blow. it's difficult for them. >> kelly o'donnell is with us from somerset, new jersey. any reaction from the president there? >> reporter: not yet. but of course we have reached out. i do know that there have been those behind the scenes, players in the trump administration, who have been working to reach out to lawmakers, also the governors who have been coming forward in the john mccain instance, his home state governor in arizona had come out in favor of this, and in the last iteration of health care where john mccain so publicly gave us that dramatic flourish of the big thumbs down that surprised many democrats with gasps in the chamber, the governor had been against that. so this was one of the expectations, that by getting the governor of arizona to support this, could that put some political pressure on john
mccain. i think the obvious answer to that at this point is that mccain is in a new space politically. he's acting on what he believes is perhaps instinct, perhaps it's the maverick background in part because of his -- i think it's not a presumption to say his diagnosis with brain cancer has given him some liberty to do a lot of the things that he wants to do and to try to have an influence on the senate. part of what is behind the mccain statement is that i have come to know over the years of covering him that he believes enduring good legislation is done when both parties work together. and you hear that from time to time and there are not that many voices in washington who have the ability to talk about it with no political downside. john mccain doesn't have a race coming up, he will likely never run for election again, and he has a freedom to try to move the body that he believes so strongly in to do things differently when many of his colleagues, including jeff
flake, his fellow arizona senator, do have big, tough elections coming up. so i think the white house will be frustrated. i think since we have done the math on who is remaining to be heard from, this is also something where i would expect the president who travels to alabama tonight to make a political appearance on behalf of luther strange, who was placed in office at the absence of jeff sessions, who is now attorney general, this kind of promises made, promises not yet kept argument for the white house is going to be very tough. trying to make a change to the obamacare health law was supposed to be something that would be easy and it has been anything but in the months of this administration. >> he said he would get it done on day one. it should be an interesting rally tonight when donald trump takes the stage out there in alabama. again, this is the second time john mccain has made impassioned pleas about getting to regular order in pivotal moments both on the same topic of health care. the other person that's involved in this national debate is, of
course, comedian jimmy kimmel. he has just tweeted thank you at senator john mccain for being a hero again and again and now again. jimmy kimmel has found himself in the middle of this firestorm. he spoke about it initially about health care after his son was born, he had a problem with his heart, he needed emergency surgery. he made a plea for health care to be fixed with a conscience and he had senator cassidy on his show to talk about this. after that, the two of them have gotten into a war of words. jimmy kimmel saying that senator cassidy did not keep his word to protect those with pre-existing conditions. cassidy and graham firing back, saying that jimmy kimmel didn't understand the legislation and he was just listening to liberal talking points. last night, jimmy kimmel responded to that. take a listen. >> to them, i say all of these very reputable organizations,
american diabetes association, american medical association, american cancer society, american heart association, the list goes on and on, all of these groups populated by doctors say this health care bill is bad. >> again, we will hear from the president tonight in alabama. kasie, the jimmy kimmel factor, how much was it? >> look, i actually think it played a pretty significant role here. it was a high profile way to thrust this debate on to center stage when i think that republicans, if they did want to pass something, they were quite frankly better off doing it quickly and with as little attention as possible, and one question i had when this kind of cropped up earlier this week was how quickly would democrats be able to remobilize all of the forces that they brought to bear right before the last failure. i think jimmy kimmel helped them in that effort. he helped them elevate this in a pretty remarkable way. he also brought -- >> usually when hollywood gets involved in these sorts of debates, republicans can use
that in their favor, saying hollywood's liberal, they're not on your side. don't listen to them. >> he has such a personal story and he spoke about it, you know, one of the things i did this week was watch that monologue in may when he first talked about his son, and he is clearly visibly choked up and emotional about it. he also was pretty straightforward in acknowledging look, this is my son so my son is going to be okay, because i have this position where i have health insurance, i have all of these things you could possibly want, i can take care of myself. he has enough money. he said to people, look, my son is lucky but your son might not be. >> he did one thing i thought was very important. he focused attention on the details of what happened to people with pre-existing conditions, because republicans had a talking point on that that people with pre-existing conditions would be protected, and jimmy kimmel, a comedian, late night comedian, focused on the details of how that would work and how you could have protection to buy insurance but maybe it would be at a price you
couldn't possibly afford. so in a way he fueled the substance of a debate that proved to be very damaging. >> the cbo wasn't going to come out with a score for this for weeks. not in time for the september 30th deadline. the other day i was talking to senator barrasso on "meet the press daily" and i asked him if he could guarantee his voters, the people of wyoming, that their premiums won't go up so high if they had a pre-existing condition, that essentially they wouldn't be able to afford it, that they would lose their health care because they wouldn't be able to pay for it. he couldn't do that. obviously he can't do that, because these are block grants that are going to the states and the states will decide how they are going to dole out that money, how they are going to regulate it. but isn't that just the fundamental issue? whenever i asked him this, he went back to saying obamacare was terrible and obamacare raised premiums, but they were trying to replace something they said was so terrible that raised premiums, but they couldn't guarantee that the same thing wouldn't happen with their
legislation. is that essentially the problem republicans were having in trying to sell this? and why bother, is my question? >> that's a big problem. there were a lot of questions that weren't answered. part of what we were waiting for the cbo to tell us is how many people would be affected by all of this and what the impact would be not only financially but in real lives, how many people are going to lose coverage. those are questions we had answered on previous health care bills and the numbers were so large, it's one of the reasons that the republican bills were so unpopular in the polls. as much as republicans campaigned against obamacare, the replacements they have been proposing for the last eight or nine months are less popular in public opinion surveys one after another, and it's been very difficult for these republican senators to build a public case behind their bill to rally support for it. >> yeah. and one thing, i have had democrats joke we spent eight years trying to sell obamacare and the thing that made it popular was republican attempts to get rid of it. but i do think don't overlook -- democrats made some missteps here. chuck schumer green-lit bernie
sanders going out and doing that press conference for medicare for all, and all of these 2020 hopefuls signed on to it and that gave graham a little more juice to get us to the point where we are today. he senwas able to say that scar socialized medicine thing is still coming. my bill is going to save you from that. it recalibrated the debate a little bit and we were looking and we may still again, we have to check with collins, murkowski and others, but we were set up for potentially a debate on cnn between graham, cassidy and bernie sanders over medicare for all. we had a lot of clintonite democrats very unhappy about bernie sanders doing that. so there's more at play here along those lines as well. >> i imagine the pressure on senator murkowski is just going to intensify, especially from the white house. i wonder if the president himself goes after murkowski in his speech tonight, tries to target her to convince her to come along or if he goes after
john mccain or if he doesn't say anything. i think he's unpredictable in that respect. we do have some numbers. the brookings institute has said 21 million people would lose coverage by 2026. 32 million could lose coverage by 2027. since we are talking about numbers, there is no better segue than to go to nbc news national political correspondent, steve kornacki, who is standing by for us. steve? >> yeah. i think to pick up on what you guys are talking about there, the interesting thing is politically what we have been seeing here, i think leading up to mccain's announcement today, is very similar to what we saw in these other attempts. what's been absent here for republicans as these plans emerge is a concerted effort from top to bottom in the republican party to sell it. you have got graham and cassidy putting their names on it. they have been out there trying to make the case for this thing. but you think about the republican party and how it responded to obamacare from the minute it was introduced back in 2009-2010 up until today.
you ask any republican in the country about obamacare and they will give you the same message. they will tell you it's failing, it's collapsing, they will tell you all the problems it's causing. they have no problem, every republican getting behind it and selling that message. now you put some kind of repeal, replace plan, a real specific plan out there, there has been a noticeable absence of major republican voices out there pushing this, advocating for it, selling it and it's popped up in the polls. we saw a few polls come out in the last couple days on this graham/cassidy proposal, they look similar, they look identical, really, to what we saw earlier this summer when that last effort sunk. you see universal opposition from democrats. you see strong opposition from independents and sort of a split among republicans. one of the things that tells me is you have a lot of major republican voices that have looked at this thing and they have said i can't sell this, i don't want to sell this, i want to keep my distance from this, i'm not sure how to sell this. when you have that many major
republicans who aren't sure what to do with a proposal like this, you start seeing it in the polls. you start seeing this thing poll very very unpopular. then of course, when you start seeing polls like that, it sort of becomes a closed loop here and starts to become a lot easier for republicans like john mccain in this case to say you know what, it's not going to be the end of the world if i go out there and vote against this thing and vote to derail this thing. that looks like where we have landed yet again. >> then there is the senator menendez factor. he is back in new jersey facing his corruption trial. if he does not show up for -- or cannot show up for a vote on health care, that will change the dynamics of the vote. republicans could find it easier to pass this thing. do you suspect that's going to play a role at all? >> he could show up for a vote, though. it's just they won't stop his trial. he would have to be away from his trial. but there's no legal reason why he couldn't be there. think about pressure on lisa murkowski. here is someone who is
technically republican but went off as a write-in independent in alaska so exactly how much pressure -- >> amazing because her name is murkowski. that's not an easy name to write in. >> she literally taught voters a song to spell her name. i'm with susan on this one. i actually think one of the things the statement from mccain does is take pressure off collins and murkowski because also, it sets it up, think about if you are a more moderate republican who doesn't really want to vote for this and were maybe waiting, my reporting was a lot of people like senator rob portman, shelly moore-capito were waiting to see what lisa murkowski did and if she was voting for it they would reluctantly go along. we should say, i think this has the potential to open the flood gates and we could see even by the end of the day if not the conclusion of the weekend, they don't plan to put this on the floor next week. i could be wrong about that. >> the thing that strikes me is how seven years of the affordable care act has changed the landscape for some of these
issues. we didn't used to have protections for people with pre-existing condition. >> no, we did not. >> americans have gotten used to the idea even if they or somebody in their family gets sick they can still afford health care. that issue is toxic in a way it wasn't when the affordable care act passed. republicans are pretty comfortable, in fact, like the idea of sending decision making back to the states. that's kind of a republican federalist principle. now the argument if you do that, you might lose this protection. >> my dad had heart surgery a number of times, and the health insurance in my family was on and off. there were struggles with freelancing and maintaining a job in the news business in the '90s. there was always a real concern within the family that if we lose health care, will my dad's heart surgeries be covered. those are very expensive. pre-existing conditions is a real concern for millions and millions of americans and you might not think you have a problem, then suddenly you do. it can come out of the blue.
it might not be an issue for you when you are 22. it could be an issue when you are 23 or 55. you never have a real understanding of that. kelly o'donnell, the president has been tweeting about this. do you think he's going to have an appetite to put up the pressure on republicans, oir is he going to let this one pass? pass by, i should say? >> reporter: the president has a built-up frustration they are not able to get this done yet. i think he thought that the coming together of graham, who has long been a trump critic, and cassidy of louisiana, who is a medical doctor, that they might have a way of making this work and getting some of the governors involved. so seeing a political path. the president's frustration is clear in his tweets where he talks about rand paul, who has always been against these iterations of trying to change the health care law because he wants repeal. even graham/cassidy admits it's
not repeal, it's retooling. whomever votes against the h-care bill will parenthetically, future political campaigns be known as the republican who saved obamacare. there's a lot of frustration among republicans who did all campaign on trying to change the health care law. but when you talk about future campaigns, that again is where john mccain steps into the fray. while he was the last to cast the vote in the most recent time where this went down to defeat, by coming out sort of first among those most closely watched, i think as your discussion has been playing out, it does give significant political cover. also, lisa murkowski is one of the most resilient republicans in the sense if you remember she lost her own primary, had to do a write-in candidacy with a last name like murkowski that had to be properly spelled, and won. she has been sort of let go by the republican establishment, tried to be reembraced, and the first thing you have to know about lawmakers is they always
vote their home state first. in alaska, for lots of different reasons, delivery of health care is a complicated issue. so for mourkowski, alaskans understand that. she's weathered many a political storm in her day and is not as vulnerable and other lawmakers might be. thinking of dean heller in nevada, for example. or others who are really on the bubble for their own re-election. i think in that way, john mccain for principled reasons as he articulated in a very long statement talking about the fact he wants to see the proper kind of bipartisan work and feeling this deadline that you have talked about, september 30th, end of the government's fiscal year, when the time runs out on using this particular legislative tool known as reconciliation, where you only need 51 votes to get this through. that's what this urgency is about. the president, will he speak on this? i would think let's keep an eye on that twitter page. i think he will be very frustrated. i will be curious to see if he takes a shot at mccain given the change of circumstances for mccain's health.
he's never been hesitating to criticize mccain in the past. we will see how this plays out. >> he was in arizona the other day and went after, he didn't say john mccain's name but did go after john mccain. he notably did not -- >> reporter: softer, i would say, when he was there. >> does this push the president more into the democrats' arms? >> you know, it may. i think the president is most comfortable lately with chuck schumer. chuck and nancy but chuck especially, there's a real chemistry there. >> you can't underscore the value or understate the value of chuck schumer being the senator from new york. chuck schumer being a brooklyn guy. >> they speak the same language. they are deal makers and they are trying to make deals on all these issues. if you take health care off the table, the president's going to be dealing with them on daca. >> i take issue with calling donald trump a deal maker. >> he fashions himself. >> he fashions himself as a deal maker. he hasn't made any deals so far in congress except for the
package for hurricane relief. he hasn't made significant bipartisan deals. he campaigned, he campaigned saying i alone can fix this, because i alone am the person who can reach across the aisle and can make people get along and get things done. i can make these deals happen. we haven't yet seen that. so does that mean that he gets more comfortable as you said with chuck schumer and tries to, tries to live up to this myth that he's created? >> he very well may because he's been frustrated with the republicans in the senate, especially mitch mcconnell, feeling they are not following through on their campaign pledges, feeling like they are not strong in defending his agenda and promoting his agenda. this will be one more data point in his argument for why they don't have his back as the president. >> i think phil hit on the key there. this perception from the white house, perhaps from the president himself, that mitch mcconnell can't do what he says he's going to do. can't actually follow through. and that i think perceived weakness is something the president has really seized on.
you know what, it's honestly a fundamental reality, we forget sometimes because we are in the age of trump, that before trump was the president, the story in washington was the complete dysfunction inside the republican party. john boehner was speaker of the house. he couldn't control the freedom caucus. the right wing of his party. he got frustrated enough that he walked off the job. very suddenly, to the surprise of all of us who were here covering it. paul ryan had to be basically begged to take the job. he didn't want to deal with the mess. and that dynamic is still there. quite frankly, when the president made that deal with pelosi and schumer, that's the first time since he's been president when i sat back and thought oh, wow, he's actually changing how business is done in washington, because continuing to try to do this kind of all republican, very tenuous governing coalition wasn't working. i see no reason -- >> there's no reason why his voters would not go along with him. they didn't vote for party. they voted for a man. they were not ideological in the
way that past voting blocs had been. my question now, steve kornacki, what does this mean for luther strange in alabama? >> well, boy, this sets up some drama with donald trump heading down to alabama tonight. he's got the big rally with luther strange. luther strange really the establishment candidate. mitch mcconnell's candidate, the appointed senator. was the former republican governor, disgraced former governor who appointed him. trump trying to push him from behind across the finish line. here's a weapon now for donald trump in his speech tonight. i will be very curious to see if and how he uses this. strange is for this. he's for graham/cassidy, for this republican repeal and replace plan. roy moore, the guy you see on the right-hand side of the screen, he's against it. his position is the rand paul position. he says he wants a total, complete repeal of obamacare. he says this is too soft, this leaves too much in place. he's against this republican repeal and replace plan. donald trump can go down to this rally tonight and keep saying what he's been saying for months.
hey, my party, your party, the republican party, is letting me down. they are letting you down on health care, on obamacare. luther strange, he's standing with me. the guy running against him, he's standing in the way. he's standing against me, he's standing against you. donald trump can go down there tonight and he can make that message, he could deliver that message. now, the question is this. if he does that, if that's the tack he takes, the position roy moore is trying to sell his position which is against this repeal and replace plan, as pro-trump. he's saying that hey, mitch mcconnell, the republican establishment, the swamp as trump supporters call it, they are not letting donald trump be donald trump. because of that, you are getting these half fixes like graham/cassidy that are leaving trump in this bad position where he can't pass it. so moore will say hey, the failure of this thing, the failure of this thing means you need more people like roy moore in the senate, because we will let trump be trump. it's an interesting test of messages potentially.
>> it is. i think that last message you were talking about, the swamp isn't letting donald trump be trump, they are trying to stop him, the establishment is trying to stop him, is one of the exact things he ran on. we heard it especially in the ends of the campaign, when there was a concern from the trump campaign that he was going to lose and they needed to find an excuse for why he lost or at the very least, hopefully galvanize republican voters to vote for him, that the establishment wants to keep you down and i'm the only one who can change things. the reason they are going after me as hard as they are, trying to tear me down, is that they know that i'm going to go to washington and i'm going to change the way things work there. i'm going to get rid of special interests. i'm going to be a completely new president who is not beholden to anybody. remember, it took him a whole lot of time, a long time, to sign a pledge that said that he would support the republican nominee if he was not the republican nominee. there has always been a lost
questions about whether or not he was a republican, democrat, independent or none of the above. again, if you are just joining us, it is 2:30 here in washington, d.c. just a couple minutes before the top of the hour, senator john mccain released a statement saying that he would vote no for the graham/cassidy health care bill. let me read you a portion of his statement once again. i cannot in good conscience vote for the graham/cassidy proposal. i believe we could do better working together, republicans and democrats, and have not yet really tried, nor could i support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. without a full cbo score which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions. i take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. far from it. the bill's authors are my dear
friends and i think the world of them. i know that they are acting consistently with their beliefs and a sense of what is best for the country. so am i. the other factor in this, we talked about it a little while ago, at the top of the hour, is jimmy kimmel, the comedian who made that impassioned plea during the first round of health care coverage, for his son essentially, saying his son was born with a heart condition, he needed emergency surgery. he had the wherewithal, jimmy kimmel had the wherewithal and the means, the finances, the insurance, to make sure that that happened, but he was concerned for people who did not have the means he did, people who would potentially lose the protections for pre-existing conditions if obamacare was repealed and replaced with something the republicans put forward. he had senator cassidy on his show. senator cassidy promised that pre-existing conditions would be protected in the bill that he was putting forward with senator
graham. more information came out about that bill a few months later as this health care debate was resurrected once again. jimmy kimmel came out and said pre-existing conditions are not being protected as senator cassidy had told me they were. essentially he said he lied to my face. senator cassidy shot back, saying jimmy kimmel didn't understand the legislation. then jimmy kimmel said this last night. take a listen. we don't have this. we do have the tweet. jimmy kimmel said thank you, senator john mccain, for being a hero again and again and now again. last night in the sound bite we weren't able to air, he showed all of the various health organizations and insurance companies and outside analysis that said this bill was not going to be better than obamacare. jake sherman of politico joins us now. jake, what are you hearing from capitol hill?
>> i will play devil's advocate for a second here. so in order to get on this bill, there is something called a motion to proceed which is a simple majority. 51 votes to get back to restart debate that kind of fell apart last time. the question is, if republicans, if john mccain votes for that, if they get 51 republicans to vote for that, can they resolve some of these differences, some of the senators' problems in an amendment, a debate format, a debate structure. i would say no. my inclination is no. john mccain says i'm not doing this on a partisan basis but the aides and members i have been texting with the last 20, 30 minutes, they seem to think this is not dead and this could be resurrected if they could just get on the floor and patch this up through the amendment process. >> before september 30th? >> john mccain, i agree with kasie -- >> she's shaking her head and rolling her eyes. i don't know if you see that
kasie hunt eye roll. >> we went to college together. i have seen it all. listen, i don't think so but the question is john mccain has talked about regular order, process, doing things the right way. if they get on the floor and do this through the amendment process, is that the right way? i would say no. but there are those on the hill -- >> john mccain says he wants a cbo score. even if they do get to the floor and start debating this for the next few days before september 30th, and say they are able to resolve some differences, that still wouldn't resolve one of the things he talks about in the statement, without a full cbo score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have a reliable answer to any of those questions. >> agreed. i'm very skeptical. i think his issues with the bill -- >> this is what -- i cannot wrap my mind around it. maybe it's because i don't live here in washington. maybe it's because i'm naive or idealistic, whatever you want to say. why is there such a distaste for bipartisan debate over a bill as big as this, as important as this, and why can't there be an
agreement on everybody's side that they are going to figure out a way to come together and get this done on behalf of the american people? the american people, it seems to me why they voted for donald trump, were sick of this gridlock, sick of these party line votes. >> i don't think we can cover this in 25 minutes. >> i don't think we have enough time. look, health care became -- d democrats made an error in some ways or many of them say they made an error when they pushed obamacare through without more bipartisan support. now, the defenders will say we tried, we argued in the committees, we took a lot of republican amendments, we did way better than the republicans. at the end of the day it passed with democratic support only. they had 60 votes in the senate so it was easier. that set up a situation, and you know, mitch mcconnell has really been the tip of the spear on this strategy of saying you know, we are going to oppose anything and everything related to this bill going forward, and it's part of why the aca is broken now, because they refused to open the bill in any way,
democrats did, because once they lost a little bit of their majority they knew republicans would try to rewrite it from top to bottom. the calcification around this issue is so intense, and it's one of the things we were talking about jimmy kimmel that he did was take a very complicated subject and make it very straightforward and simple. he kept saying to people hey, i know this is boring but this is why, to a certain extent -- >> he said this is boring but they make it boring. they know that we think it's boring and that's how they are able to get it passed. jake, you looked like you were itching to comment. >> the reason there's no bipartisan process here is because donald trump and paul ryan, the two top republicans in the country, said they didn't want the bipartisan process to go forward. so that's just like plain and simple. there was a process between lamar alexander and patty murray to get this done, to try to build up obamacare from the standpoint of it's not working, they both think it has problems, let's fix it. the white house and speaker said we're not interested. >> that may change now.
if this bill goes down which despite your analysis is likely. >> i agree with you. let me be clear. >> if there continues to be serious problems with the affordable care act, the exchanges, that affect everybody's constituents, maybe -- >> the regulations are getting thrown out and it's unstable. it's purposefully unstable. the republicans are trying to kill it, essentially, and say this is why we need to have a new health care -- >> if you finally give up on repealing the affordable care act, this is the question that republicans will face. do you then try to address the real problems, the affordable care act is facing, because it affects your people. doesn't just affect democrats. it affects republican voters as well. >> we will sneak in a very quick break. we have gone 38 full minutes. susan and jake, stay with us. kasie, we will let you go do your thing reporting. appreciate your time. after the break, we are also going to bring in michael steele, former chairman of the rnc. stay with us. we may be one of the world's most familiar companies, but we make more than our name suggests.
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senator murkowski who will not say where she stands on this bill. she voted no to the last senate effort. senator collins as well, although she said today that she is leaning no on this bill. if she says no, if john mccain says no, as he said he will do, and if rand paul says no, this bill is d.o.a. won't even get a chance to get mike pence in there for a tie-breaking vote. michael steele, welcome to the conversation. >> great to be here. >> what does this mean for the republican party? >> hopefully now they can stop stupid and do like john mccain has suggested, that they attempt some form of regular order, pull this thing back, pull together a comprehensive committee or commission, really, on health care, to get all the stake holders involved and go through a process in which they can have full discussion, including the american people, in front of the american people, about what this nation's health care should be,
what it should look like and how you are going to be impacted by it. i thought john mccain's statement on this was very clear. he's a true lion in the senate today, and standing not against his party but standing for the principle that this should be a process that is open for everybody, because it impacts everybody. >> mitch mcconnell, can he survive as the leader of the republican party? >> yes. >> in the senate? >> 100%. he's in no danger. this isn't the house. he has 52 republicans and he has the support of all 52 republicans. the question is what -- if i'm mitch mcconnell or paul ryan, i'm looking at monday morning and wondering what donald trump or not even monday morning, friday night in alabama when he's onstage -- >> tonight. >> yeah, listen, he will be angry. he will wonder why republicans can't get their act together and he's going to go do business with democrats which he's shown he's plenty willing to do. >> i don't think mitch mcconnell's in any danger of losing his leadership position but i do think this is damaging
to him that once again, the senate republicans who talked about this for so long weren't able to do it. let's talk about the alabama senate race and if roy moore wins that against every force mitch mcconnell tried to array against him. that would be bad news for donald trump, since he endorsed luther strange. it would also be bad news for mitch mcconnell. >> not just bad news. if the reality hits him when moore shows up in the senate, you know, to start work, that's the new reality for republicans. what we have seen take place in the house over the last two or three cycles is now beginning to emerge within the senate itself and for someone like mitch mcconnell, who is all about the process and the order of things, having someone like moore there is disruptive. >> we spend so much time talking about the republicans, let's talk about the democrats for a moment. single payer, bernie sanders comes out with it, he gets support from folks who might be keeping an eye on 2020. does this give any momentum at all to sanders' proposal? >> no.
not in the legislative sense. it's part of the conversation, now every democrat has signed up for the proposal, is behind the proposal, which by the way, a lot of democrats were behind single payer in 2008, when by the way, the house democrats tried to do a single payer option on the house floor. nancy pelosi was just strong enough of a leader to kind of let the process play out, let everybody realize it was a really bad idea politically. i will say, though, that becomes a problem for a lot of democrats, for the eventual nominee in 2020. i don't know where the political climate will be but i don't think -- it's a political liability in some sense. >> the energy in the democratic party is for single payer. the problem is politics are damaging for democrats -- >> it's not such a terribly unpopular bill when you talk about it to voters. it becomes less popular whether you tell people that that includes getting rid of your employer health care.
>> and includes raising your taxes. you can say you don't have to pay premiums but you will pay taxes. it is an idea that is easy for republicans to attack. so the degree to which the democratic party gets pulled in that direction which is definitely happening with their 2020 prospects, creates a possibility of some problems for them. >> what about just creating medicare for the 20% of people who don't have health care? you lose your employer coverage, you don't have any health care, you get medicare. why would that not be -- >> i have always said, i firmly believe this, despite all the crazy noise out here around health care and the trek through obamacare land, that this country is ultimately going to move into a bifurcated system, very much of what you are talking about, in which you will have a private market and a public market. depending on your condition and state in life, you pick and choose which market you want to play in. now, there are a lot of little details that need to be worked out about that, but that's why the congress, the senate and the white house working with health care professionals have to work
that through. that's ultimately where we will end up. >> know what we forget to remind people of and forget to say, that even those who do not have health care, we end up as taxpayers paying for them regardless. those who go to emergency rooms and can't pay for it, the taxpayers end up paying those bills. >> this is not an issue where congress has to figure out some small details. this is expanding a major entitlement in a way that has never been expanded before. republicans have run on reforming entitlements for now almost a dozen years and have been unsuccessful. this is not a walk in the park. when you expand a major health care program as democrats kind of did in 2010, it carries political consequences, even if you do accept the idea that medicare for all is a great idea substantively. politically it's not easy. >> can we talk about russia for a minute since i have you guys here, and what's going on with
facebook. mark zuckerberg will hand over thousands of documents essentially, thousands of ads, to congress, jake, basically trying to help them understand how much influence russia had in the election through buying ads on social media and targeting folks on social media and spreading real fake news, i should say. >> yeah. it's alarming that they didn't realize this was happening during the election and if they did, where were they, right. facebook is a big company, publicly traded company, and if russian shell companies were buying political ads and facebook had no idea -- >> is that enough information for them? will they try and get more? >> i think they will try to get more. >> mark zuckerberg is saying essentially it's very difficult to figure out where this is coming from and to monitor it they would need a human, i guess, to go through everything that comes in. >> how do they process -- >> the counter argument is get a
human. >> we have plenty of them on earth. >> how do you process your ads and like any other aspect of facebook or any corporate activity, there are structures and systems in place that sort of track when the dollars come have no idea where those dollars are coming for, for those ads? >> and responsible for trying to figure out people are money laundering, why would facebook or a media giant not be able to figure whether or not putting money into affect an election? >> they're not a neutral thing people can share pictures of their children on. something that affected our election. may affect the german election. affects the social debate dividing the country and facebook will face a lot of scrutiny and political debate about what their obligations are and the government be obligation in regulating. >> and donald trump is still
refusing to take this seriously. i hope we have the tweet to throw it up. this morning, again, all a bunch of fake news. created by the media, and now they're going after facebook. why -- what does it do to the president's credibility for those who did vote for him or maybe wavering about voting for him, that he's not taking something like this as seriously as pretty much everyone else is? >> i don't think it's a question of credibility. i don't think people look at the stuff that he's tweeting through that lens. it just -- because it is. the president sort of, you know, first thing is, before he gets in the shower or after he gets out of the shower. who knows. >> sees it on television. >> sees it and reacts. spontaneous in the moment you telling you free-form thinking, this is how i think or feel about it. and so the rest of us are left to react to it. but, you know, for his
supporters, it sort of feeds that -- >> maybe shouldn't have about supporters. he says, continues. ads on facebook, dishonest media coverage in favor of hillary clinton? what does it do to our democracy he's not taking this seriously? less so, voters aside, what does it do to our democracy the leader of this country is not taking a threat like this seriously? calling for russia to hack into hillary clinton's e-mails during the campaign and sitting in the oval office refusing to take something seriously hit intelligence officers say take seriously, probes, facebook under duress taking seriously. >> what has to happen before you begin to take it seriously? unfortunately we don't know what it is because there is no clear direction from the president how he's receives this information. >> and others are taking it seriously. congress counsel, congress is
taking it seriously. in a way, those investigations will go forward regardless of what the president's attitude towards it is. >> and releasing a statement on john mccain, pivot to health care. john mccain showing the same courage in congress as a naval aviator. soon as this is off the table we democrats are intent on resuming the bipartisan process. thank you all. appreciate your time. next, the two natural disasters that devastated puerto rico and mexico city. stay with us. it's "your business" of the week. will disaster strikes, will you be ready? owner of new york slab, the owner wasn't. a fire tore apart his custom furniture shop and he lost almost everything when he discovered he had the wrong insurance. find out how he rebuilt his
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thank you, from johnson & johnson. we're following the other breaking news in the world today. mexico city where the search for survivors has reached a critical point. today marks four days since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit mexico and after four days the odds of surviving under rubble without water -- drops drastically. for rescuers, every hour matters. across the country seeing scenes like this one play out. silence as crews listen for signs of life. overnight, one of those scenes ended like this. [ applause ] >> watch this scene play out. cheers at a textile factory when two more were pulled from the
rubble. a moment of hope for rescuers who worked for days with little or no sleep or food. breaking news out of puerto rico. a dam is failing leading to flash flooding calling it an extremely dangerous situation and say people are being evacuated as quickly as possible from the area. 13 people now confirmed dead after hurricane maria. aid is just beginning to arrive in that country. and one more thing before we go. those disasters and relief efforts are sure to be a big focus at perform's global citizen festival. the aim of the annual concert in new york city, promote activism and highlight efforts to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. in manhattan's central park, musicians and global citizens will gather saturday afternoon. >> reporter: katy, tomorrow around this time, 60,000 people on the great lawn here at
central park. check it out. people are starting to gather for the annual festival. this way is our msnbc stage, joy reid will be here. hosting. on the ground, co-hosts out here. a huge party, stevie wonder, chain smokers and others performing live on this stage and for a very important cause. all about eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. we'll hear about issues playing out and have played out in the news this week from hurricanes in the caribbean to the earthquake in mexico. sustainable development of clean water, food and knnutrition, al critical, eradicating by 20. other important goals especially importance of women and girls and issue of citizenship plays out here tomorrow. an incredible day. i've never experienced it before
and very much am looking forward to it. get a ticket, goes down here on the great lawn in central park. pre-show, stats at 3:00 p.m. followed by a concert at 4:00. >> get a ticket. it's really big and can fits lots of people. terrible job at ad-libbing there. thank you very much. and with that, don't forget to catch tomorrow's global citizen's festival live, if you're not in new york, right here on msnbc starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern. that will wrap things up for me at this hour from a busy washington, d.c. ali velshi picks up things from new york. >> you're right. speak the truth. the great lawn can accommodate a lot of people. little lawn nearby, not so accommodating. been busy. anything happen in the last hour? >> not much. a thing, john mccain said something about not -- >> yes. >> it's not epic. >> maybe we got something. katy, have a