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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  November 21, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PST

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good morning, i'm carol costello, thank you so much for joining me. we begin in buff low there are new concerns following that epic snowstorm. another death has been reported. that brings the death toll in buffalo to 13. new york governor andrew cuomo is about to speak at a news conference updating this weather emergency. rain is expected this weekend on top of the 85 inches of snow in some places. the weight of that snow already threatening more roof collapses. crews are working 24/7 to clear the streets but that operation could take days and where are workers dumping that snow? cnn's brian todd is in buff low that part of the story. i guess they're dumping writ they can, brian. >> they're dumping writ they can, carol, and this is one of the places. this is the old rail yard just east of buffalo. i'm standing in the middle of about a 50-foot pile of snow. this has been a huge issue. as you just said, where to put this snow. on the side streets as they're plowing and elsewhere it's been
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a huge problem. once they plow a street they run out of places to put it. this is one of the places they've decided to bring the removed snow. the mayor of buffalo says just in south buffalo, that's where they got hit the hardest, there have been about 29,000 tons of snow removed from south buffalo and this is one of the area where they are bringing it. you just mentioned the death toll now at about 13. including two who died overnight inwho had been evacuated from a nursing home, the garden gait nursing home in new york where we were just yesterday filming that evacuation. you mentioned flooding. that's a huge issue here. they're preparing for swift-water rescues because the rain is coming. i'm going to be going between dump trucks. the rain is coming this weekend and there's a huge meltoff. all of this will start to melt today. it will be warmer and the rain will be coming so they're preparing for the worst here as far as the flooding.
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the dump trucks, a steady stream today, here's another one coming past. sorry about that. it ice a very active scene as they're trying to find a place to take to removed snow, carol. >> that's just -- what is that? is that a facility where you are? is it beside a road? where is that? >> it's basically an old abandoned rail yard. it was one of buffalo's main -- [ muted ] that's going to cause the flooding problems. they here in for another round of severe weather here. >> unbelievable. brian todd, thanks so much, brian todd reporting live from buffalo this morning. also this hour, president obama due to las vegas to o promote the most far-reaching executive action on immigration ever ordered by a u.s. president. the president's scheduled to leave the white house in just a few minutes. it was last night in the east
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room that president obama unveiled his plan to shield as many as five million undocumented immigrants, most of them parents of legal u.s. residents from deportation for at least three years. the measures include tightening border security and a renewed focus on deporting criminals. just last hour, republican house speaker john boehner slammed the president for ignoring the will of the people. >> you can't ask the elected representatives of the people to trust you to enforce the law if you're constantly demonstrating that you can't be trusted to enforce the law. the president never listened anded with this action he's refused to listen to the american people. >> michelle kosinski joins us live from the white house. i don't think the atmosphere could get more poisonous but i think it just did. >> we've heard republican thr t
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threats. the president has not made a new law or changed the law. in fact, just this morning the white house called this plan legally unassailable. they say it's using discretion in the way existing law is enforced. with crowds chanting in spanish "yes, he could" in the freezing cold outside the white house, the president put his case for executive action before the american public. >> these people are neighbors, our classmates, our friends, they did not come here in search of a free ride or easy life. they came to work. >> at one point, quoting scripture. "we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger. we were strangers once, too."
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my fellow americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. >> reporter: his plan allows the department of homeland security to take certain groups off the priority list for deportation while keeping others high up. felon, not families, criminals, not children, gang members not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids. >> putting more resources at the border and focusing on deporting criminals and those entering the u.s. most recently. the plan will allow immigrants who have been in america at least five years with children who are legal residents a chance to apply to stay for three years provided by that pass a background check and start paying taxes. they will expand such relief granted by the president to people brought here illegally as kids, the so-called dreamers. for example, eliminating the age limit. and promises to streamline the immigration system, helping high-skilled workers, graduate, and entrepreneurs with a chance to stay. >> what i'm describing is accountability. a common sense middle ground
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approach. if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. if you're a criminal, you'll be deported. >> the speech was played just before the latin grammys. cheers went up at watch parties around the country. >> it gets me emotional so that maybe one day my mom will be able to -- my parents will be able to go back to ecuador and that, you know, families will be connected again. >> obviously this is a huge victory for our community but obviously this is not enough. we're going to still fight. >> reporter: the plan, remember, is not a path to citizenship. the republican response? >> what he has done is thrown article one out of the constitution, put it into his own pocket and said "i'm now legislative branch, too." >> reporter: house speaker john boehner in a statement said the president cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left. to which president obama responded with those three little political words. j. >> pass a bill. >> reporter: we'll see if that
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happens. if this point it doesn't look like it will. the white house just released a fact sheet detailing how its team of economic advisors feels the president's plan will help the economy. growing the gdp. >> michelle kosinski, he's already being sued over this order. controversial arizona sheriff joe arpaio filed a lawsuit asking a federal court in washington to halt the order claiming it's unconstitutional. the complaint names president obama, attorney general eric holder and homeland security secretary jay johnson as defendants. several republican governors, including bobby jindal of louisiana and rick perry of texas have threatened similar suits. president obama's proposed reforms, though, are drawing a mixed reaction even from those who will benefit from it. for one so-called dreamer who came here as a child, his family
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can now dare to be optimistic. cnn's ana cabrera has more for you. >> we gave up our family to be a part of a bigger family here and sometimes that's heart. but now we're a little more included. it's a good feeling. >> angel oaxaca rivas is one of the so-called dreamers. the president's executive action on immigration provides hope for his family. >> true, however many years my parents worry about me that's how much i worry for them. >> reporter: the 1-year-old pre-med student dime the united states with his parents when he was just four years old. his younger sisters were both born in america. >> my parents, they're the ones who take care of me.
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why should they not have papers and i do? >> reporter: their parents had a tourist visa when they traveled from mexico to denver in 1989 but because of a poor economy and violence in their native country, they decided to stay. why didn't your parents try to legally immigrate? >> i think -- i've never asked them that. i think the process is just rough. i think when they -- when they got here they just thought, oh, this is a better situation for our son. there's more work here. >> reporter: dad sells jewelry, mom has her own cleaning company, both too afraid to reveal their identities for our story. angel explains they have an i-10 number for tax purposes, but no social security number. >> i want to be a psychiatrist. >> angel is grateful for some scholarships made possible only after the president took immigration action in 2012 giving him temporary status
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because he was brought to the u.s. as a child. now under the president's new plan, angel's parents can apply for protection from deportation for up to three years since angel's sisters are american citizens. what do you tell those critics? >> give us a chance. >> reporter: we still didn't hear anything about path to citizenship. >> as far as, like, a path to citizenship, this gives us a better shot. >> reporter: ana cabrera, cnn, denver. still to come in the newsroom, the president says he won't wait on congress to take action on immigration but this battle 1 just beginning. what steps can republicans take next? we'll have that conversation next.
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be king." it was complete with a crown and throne. president obama is firing back at his capitol hill critics with a challenge. >> to those members who congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where congress has failed, i have one answer -- pass a bill. >> donna brazill is a cnn political commentator and stratd gist and ana navarro, a republican strategist. welcome to both of you. >> good morning. >> buenos dias, carol. [ laughter ] >> i love that, ana. >> si. >> nana, some of the options available to the republicans to fight back against the president is cutting off homeland security funding, shutting down the government, blocking confirmation of obama's nominees, and initiating impeachment proceedings. do you suppose republicans will actually act on any of those? >> no. maybe the one on the
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nominations, yes. but, frankly, that's something wherever the opposing party is in charge of the senate that tends to happen, nominations get difficult because it's one of the things that the senate can actually do effectively, hold up and block nominations. but, look, there's only a handful of republicans and, frankly, nobody in leadership and nobody with the ability or power to get it done talking impeachment. there's only a handful of republicans talking about defunding the government. the chairman of the appropriations committee, therefore, the money bag man has said, hall rogerer, that you cannot defund this program because the agency that implements it is self-funded by the fees that are paid through applications. so i think they're going to look at legal options. there's going to be a lot of scrutiny to see if this passes legal muster. if legal scholars decide that it is not constitutional and that it can be challenged, you will see that happen. but if they decide that it is
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constitutional and, frankly, there's one option left, pass a bill that can be passed bipartisanly by the legislature that can address this problem comprehensively. i don't care if it's piecemeal or one bill, but that can address the problem and make a solution permanent and comprehensive. >> here's the thing, donna. the house speaker, republican john boehner came out earlier this morning and came down hard on the president, said he was acting like a king, he should have waited for the legislature to act. he said the president's action further poisons the environment within the halls of congress. so is it even possible at this juncture for legislators to consider a bipartisan bill? >> you know, speaker boehner with all due respect has offering nothing but blame excuses. there's a bill that is sitting right there in the house, he can pick it up with bipartisan support just like in the senate and pass that bill today. or wherever they come back home
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from the thanksgiving recess. this is a broken system and what president obama did last night, what he will do today, because last night he spelled it out, today he will sign the executive ord sore maybe after they read it they might chill out a bit and get ready for something else, somor issue to wine about. but he has acted within the law, within the limitations of the law that prevents him from giving anyone amnesty. congress has the full authority to move this bill, to pass a comprehensive immigration bill and if they decide to the that next year, i'm sure the president will work with them, put this aside, and we finally fix something in washington, d.c. and stop complaining and whining. >> carol, my understanding is that there is up to six months between the announcement and when this actually starts getting implement sod you're not going to see implementation until sometime in the spring, maybe late spring if it's up to six months. therefore the new congress does
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have time to put something together that is with their fingerprints that is their plan that they can pass and that means this thing doesn't have to get implemented one day if they can get that done before implementation begins. but you know, i think there's still a problem out there. this doesn't fix the problem. i know why republicans are mad. the number is very large. five sml a very large number and it feels like a change of the immigration system done unilaterally and, frankly, it's hard to resist not calling the president emperor and those things when that's what he himself described would be the result of him using these powers. >> whether he called himself president or whatever, my mother used to say it's fwhoot they call you it's what you answer to. he's the president of the united states. i think president has acted with the same authority that five previous republican presidents and, of course, even democratic presidents. this is not an overreach. this is an opportunity for both political parties to find the common ground.
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we have a problem, we need to bring people out of the shadows, we need to make sure that those who are here are not obeying the law, not oe buying the rules, the criminals, not the families, deport them. there's a way forward that strengthens our borders and makes sure people can come out of the shadows and that's what we should focus on today. all is this name calling sounds like we're back in second grade. >> well i agree with you and you know what? i hope congress goes back home, has a great thanksgiving, a lot of wine and turkey, thinks about the positive things and things to give thanks to. there's going to be a lot of immigrant families giving thanks this thanks giving so let's find a way to move forward and craft a permanent solution. >> give them some gumbo, ana, the wine won't be good without gumbo. >> i think they need to be drunk. >> donna, in miami we like to cover our turkey with bacon and stuff it with picarillo. that gumbo the you have too
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spicy. >> jhappy thanksgiving. still to come in the newsroom. ferguson, missouri, a city on edge. the national guard on duty. we'll have the latest on today's meeting of the grand jury and why officer darren wilson has decided to resign. we'll talk next.
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in ferguson, missouri, an announcement inches closer and national guard troops start to roll in. the grand jury holding what is believed to be its final meeting today. that could mean at any time we learn its decision on charging police officer darren wilson in the shooting death of michael brown. the attorney for brown's family says their entire world hangs in the balance in this decision. >> the family understands after the decision of the grand jury they're either going to have relief saying well, we have a chance at justice. because, remember, this would just be an indictment if he's indicted. he'll still get his day in court, nobody will say he doesn't get his constitutional rights of innocent until proven guilty. but the real issue is if he's not even charged then the brown family has no chance at getting justice for their child. they have no chance of getting their due process and that's
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what this has always been about, equal justice. >> we've also learned officer darren wilson is wrapping up negotiations to resign from the ferguson police force. that announcement could also come today. in the meantime, the father of michael brown is pleading for peace. here's his public service announcement. >> i that you can fnk you for l voices to end racial profile and police intimidation but hurting others and destroying property is not the answer. no matter what the grand jury decides, i don't want my son's death to be in vain. i want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the st. louis region better for everyone. >> cnn's stephanie elam joins us live from ferguson with more. good morning, stephanie. >> reporter: good morning, carol. that's just one of the piece
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ssa -- psa's recorded asking for piece. in the ones we've heard, you only hear mike brown, sr., mentioning his son actually in the psas, and the other ones they seem to be talking to the st. louis region in general, one that most people here will know the people that are in these psas will be one from the st. louis rams, a football team here. look at what they had to say. >> we here in this together, st. louis. >> one team. >> one team. >> that can accomplish anything. >> when we work together -- >> together. >> all eyes are on us now. >> the whole world is watching. >> our children are watching. >> let's make them proud. >> proud to be a from st. louis, proud of how we move forward. >> together. >> together. >> together. >> together. >> one team. >> one team. >> one team. >> that's better and stronger -- >> when st. louis stands together. you hear they're asking for unity, asking for people to work together and there's also one from olympian jackie
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joyner-kersee. one from the st. louis mayor as well and there's also one from captain ron johnson, who a lot of people became familiar with back in august and october when he took over from st. louis county police. he also has, i believe, two of the psas that are out there as well. really asking people to have cooler heads and let that prevail no matter what the grand jury decides, carol. >> there have been sporadic problems over the past several days. where there any problems overnight, stephanie? >> well, there were three arrests and every night in ferguson outside of the police department there are people that are out there and there are interactions. so three arrests, pretty standard operating procedure around here as we lead into this decision here. but it -- it's almost weird to say, but three seems kind of calm, actually, from what we've seen over the different months that we've been here, carol. >> stephanie elam reporting live for thus morning.
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i love my sister... 40 flavors. 100 calories or less. i'm carol costello, thank you so much for joining me. the grand jury deciding whether to indict officer wilson will meet for the very last time today. authorities are doing what they can to ensure calm after that
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announcement is made. that includes the us justice department. it's out with a new video urging police across the country to engage with demonstrators in a respectful manner. the goal, to minimize confrontations like the ones seen in ferguson following the shooting death of michael brown. >> the bureau of justice assistants and the office of community oriented policing services are providing new guidance to law enforcement officers about how to approach maintaining order during first amendment protected events. now, this comprehensive new guide compiles information, tools, and best practices that will help law enforcement officers maintain public safety while safeguarding constitutional rights. over the past few months, we've seen demonstrations and protests that have sought to bring attention to real and significant underlying issues involving police practices, implicit bias and pervasive
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community distrust. in most cases, these demonstrations have been both meaningful and responsible and have brought vital issues to the attention of the public at large. similarly, and i want to emphasize this, the vast majority of law enforcement officers have honorably defended their fellow citizens engaged in these peace profl e tests. i know from firsthand experience that demonstrations like these have the potential to spark a sustained and positive national dialogue, to provide momentum to a necessary conversation, and to bring about critical reform. but history has also shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and non-violence and so i ask all those who seek to lend their voice to important causes and discussions, who seek to elevate these vital
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conversations should do so in a way that respects the gravity of their subject matter. holders video message before a grand jury decides whether to charge embattled officer darren wilson. let's talk about this with hln legal analyst and criminal defense attorney joey jackson and in st. louis, bishop rafael green, the senior pastor at metropolitan christian worship center. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> bishop, i want to start with you, these public service announcements asking for peaceful demonstrations, are they effective? >> of course i think they will be. there are a number of people in the community who are already in that posture in their own hearts and mind. we in st. louis want to see st. louis develop and progress. >> and joey, the prosecutor's office is being very careful in how it will announce the grand jury's decision. a lot of people, though, aren't very happy with the prosecutor's
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office and the way it's been doing that. how should it proceed? >> it's important, carol. obviously people have a lot of passions about this issue one way or the other and i think first of all the public service announcements are significant because on the one hand you want the community to be out there, to be expressive, that's what what the united states is all about. on the other hand, you want it to be peaceful and the message from attorney general holder, carol, significant because it sends a message to law enforcement that it's about mutual respect. the protesters will be respectful, police, you be respectful, too. i think moving forward if the public is on board with that message, the police are on board with that message and the district attorney's office affords the family notice in addition to the community notice i think we could see peace no matter what that grand jury decision is. >> bishop, word has leaked out that officer darren wilson may resign from the ferguson police department. will that calm things down or will it work the other way? >> well, of course it just depends upon the people that you're speaking to and speaking
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about. those that feel the great "essence" of anxious and anger and rage maybe not receive that as well, for many who want to sea a peaceful pollution resolve misdemeanor will navigate past what the implications of that decision might be. >> bishop, is the police officer making the right decision? >> oh, i can't speak for him. i think he's probably thought it through with his own family and parents and so forth. of course our main concern here is that the due process of law takes place, that there's a sense of justice on both sides. currently the grand jury decision could affect hour that is all perceived, whether or not the due process of law has been followed through. >> reporter: joey, let's say officer darren wilson is not indicted but he's going resign from his job, he may never work again. a lot of people might think that's not fair. >> you know, there are always many points to any equation, but
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it comes down this, carol. it comes down to what he felt was appropriate and best for him but it's also about the community, it's about trust, it's about rebuilding, it's about rebranding and it's a larger message, too, carol. we know passions are inflamed in st. louis but we know throughout the country people have very broad concerns about policing, about police tactics, about community relation els, is it an us versus them mentality and i think, you know, it's appropriate, i guess, in his mind. he felt it was the appropriate thing to do and i think it does serve to send a larger message about healing, about renewing. and i think that's significant and important and i think it would also be very difficult if he went back to policing because of that mistrust that the community would have specifically about him and then about the broader message of leaders keeping him on the force regardless of what happens whether it's criminal or not. >> and, bishop, i think one of officer wilson's concerns is that if he would return to his job, he would endanger his fellow police officers in ferguson. >> that is a real possibility. but i still believe that most of
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the people in the community are able to read past most of those implications. for us, our real concern is that we are able to respond in prayer and that we're also able to provide even this weekend as we're involved in our urban world summit, we've been doing this for 28 years, that we'll be able to provide some legal law kinds of information, the rights of the citizen, the rights of law enforcement, we have a stellar panel that will be there for that in the morning to deal with it from this perspective. so it's time to take our reinvestigation of what's going on from a christian-based perspective and not view as a monolithic kind of way. many people in this community love st. louis and want to see us advance, as i mentioned before. we're confident that as we move forward in this direction that's exactly what's going to happen. officer wilson is in our prayers as well as certainly brown family and we want to see and expect to see great things
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coming out of this entire event, as painful as it is. >> gosh, i hope you're right. i'll be praying hard. bishop rafael greene -- >> he hears the prayer. >> and thanks to you, too, joey, i'll be right back.
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i've been telling you about the terrible conditions in buffalo, new york. as you know, they got seven feet of snow. there's a warmup expected in the next several days so all of that snow will melt and now residents are very concerned about flooding in the region. governor andrew cuomo, who's the governor of new york, is now
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holding a news conference. in fact, he spoke just minutes ago so we wanted to share that with you. let's listen. >> the good news is it seems like, seems like, the snow is stopped and we have gone through the worst in terms of snowfall and we will now turn to the snow removal without worrying about another imminent snowfall, which is the good news. as we've been discussing all week, this was going to be in stages and we still believe we'll have challenges to deal with. there will be warming over the next couple of days. the warming will bring melting. melting will bring water. water will bring floods. how many and where we can't tell you. we are preparing now for more flooding than we have seen in a long, long time. but it's hard to tell because
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we've never had this much snow and this much melting of this much snow in a short period of time. so we still have that challenge to look forward to. but snow removal is proceeding to remove the snow we have to move vehicles. to move vehicles, the vehicles need a place to go. and therefore we're going to start lifting driving bans and opening the roads primarily to move vehicles that are now blocking roadways. and primarily to allow deliveries of essential services. health products, food deliveries to supermarkets, et cetera. when we are opening roads and living driving bans, we do not intend to signify all is fine,
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get in your car and go for a road or do something that is non-essential. please. we are saying the opposite. the opening of the roads is to move vehicles that are blocking roads and to allow trucks to come in to make essential deliveries. if you have a non-essential purpose, now is not the time to be driving around. the roads are still very dangerous. you should expect a lot of blockages as the plows are working, as vehicles are becoming unstuck. so if at all possible, if it is non-essential, again, stay in your homes. the following state roads will be opening at 3:00 today. again, for essential travel.
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the 219 and the 400. along those roads local exits may be closed so do not get on that road is you are expecting to get off at a local exit because many of the local exits will still be closed. again, the purpose of opening the road is so that traffic -- trucks that want to leave the area can leave the area. those roads are can 190, 219 and 400. >> governor andrew cuomo sending out warnings to residents the roads aren't open for them but to emergency vehicles to clear the vehicles stranded by that extreme snowstorm buffalo had over the past several days. i do have some breaking news to pass along to you right now. house republicans have filed a lawsuit over obamacare. the house speaker john boehner says "time after time the
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president has chosen to ignore the will of the american people about rewrite federal law on his own without a vote of congress. that's not the way our system of government was designed to work. if this president can get away with making his own future laws, future presidents will have the ability to to as well. the house has an obligation to stand up for the constitution and that's why we're pursuing on this course of action." so let's check in with athena jones. why now on this, athena? >> carol, we've known this was coming for some time, the house representatives passed legislation back at the end of july allowing them to bring this litigation but there were some problems with finding lawyers who could bring the suit. just earlier this week we knew this suit was coming. the two issues to find standing to brick this suit is they
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believe the president unlawfully waived the employer mandate as part of the health care legislation. they believe that was unlawful because he did not go through congress to delay that mandate whereby employers weren't going to be penalized for not offering health insurance. the other issue that's part of the lawsuit is they say the president has been illegally transferring funds to insurance companies. this is part of one of the obamacare -- one of the affordable care act's -- part of that legislation requires that insurance companies offer reduced fees to the people who are being ensured. so the government has been transferring, they say, to the tune of $3 billion to insurance companies in fiscal year 2014 and if they continue this over the next ten years there will be payments to unshurns companies of $175 billion. they say this is money they say congress has not passed this money to appropriate so they say the president is inappropriately passing on this money to
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insurance companies. so those are the two issues that will be part of the this lawsuit. carol, this shows you that the republicans are going to do what they can do to fight the president when it comes to unilateral actions. in this case it's on health care, but we know there is some talk of trying to bring a lawsuit against the president when it comes to executive action. so this is the breaking news we have today. carol? >> athena jones, reporting live from washington. i want to bring in joey jackson. i have a question or two. so the president's health care plan already went to the u.s. supreme court and now the republicans are filing a -- the u.s. supreme court upheld it as constitutional. now -- >> 5-4. >> 5-4. so do the republicans have a chance with these latest lawsuit? >> they could. it's interestings, carol, because this speaks to a larger issue. when athena was breaking it down, she said very important, mox amongst a number of things, but republicans believe he's unilaterally taking these actions when you have law.
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so if you have a law it's passed by congress, there's a separation between the executive power of the president and the power of the purse, which congress has, we dole out the money. so they say "look, mr. president, we have a law and that says employer mandate in the event employers are not providing the appropriate insurance, you fine them." they say it's unlawful. the law says you must o move forward with that so they believe he's breaking the law in right light of that. in terms of the other piece athena was speaking to which is the issue regarding paying these insurance companies, power of the purse. we didn't fund that, says congress. you want money for insurance companies, you come to us. so i think the larger implications in this lawsuit is about what are the powers of the president and what are the powers of congress and if you don't respect our powers, mr. president, we'll take you to court. it will be interesting to see what the supreme court says this time. >> it's going to be a fun 2015, don't you any. >> just getting started. >> joey jackson, thanks so much. i'll be right back. she inspires you. no question about that.
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the president in essence declared war on the nation by issuing an executive order on immigration. at least that's what one republican congressman says. now house speaker john boehner has jumped on board slamming president obama for turning "a deaf ear" to voters and vowing to act. >> the people's house will rise to this challenge. we will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk. >> let's talk about this. republican congressman mario diaz-balart joins us now. welcome, sir. >> thank you, carol. >> we heard house speaker boehner filed a lawsuit against the president over obamacare. can you just tell me what you think about that? >> the lawsuit is really about overreach. it's whether the president can do whatever he or she likes
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regardless of what the law may say or not. and that's bigger than president obama or an issue. that's the separation of powers. that's our constitution, that's the rule of law. and you know, no man, no woman, and no president whether it's president obama or president nixon can be above the law. so i think what we're dealing with here is bigger than obamacare. bigger than executive action. it's whether the president of the united states has the power to do whatever he or she wants to do regard leless of whether law allows him or her to do that. >> are you comparing president obama to president nixon? >> i'm not a constitutional authority. you know who is? who is a constitutional scholar, president obama. he's lectured on the issue. so president obama, for example, for what six years, five years has been saying publicly a number of times that he does not have the legal authority to do what he has done last night. i agree with a lot of the issues
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in that executive order. but the question is does he have the legal authority? it's not you, carol, or me saying it. president obama who has lectured on the constitution has said multiple times publicly and privately that he does not have the authority do exactly what he has done. so what we are dealing with is whether or not the president has done something unlawful and he's stated multiple times that what he did last night is unlawful. that's a serious issues. >> well, here's the thing. the executive order doesn't go into effect for six months so congress has a chance to do what the president suggested, that would be to pass a bill. is that on the table? >> i hope so. i've been working on trying to pass legislation. it would have been nice if the president would have sat down with those of us working on doing this to see if we could work together and join efforts
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to do this. but, again, i support a lot of the specific things in the president's executive order. the question is -- and it's not me saying it, it's him saying it -- does he have the legal authority to do it on his own or are certain things the prerogative of the congress or the president? >> i understand your concerns but now we have to move forward and the american people kind of want congress and the president to work together. so it seems as if the president's further poisoned the well and congress is intent on fighting back and many lawmakers don't think it's constitutional. that means in the voters' minds that nothing will get done either in 2015. >> carol, i hope we're able to work together. i think that was one of the take aways from this last election is the american people want us to work together tork, to roll up sleeves and deal with our differences and come up with solutions. >> but, frankly, nobody thinks that's going to happen.
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>> well, and the president clearly has not made it easier, unfortunately. and i wish that he -- look, the leadership of the incoming congress has said publicly and privately that they want to tackle immigration reform. the president could have said, okay, give you six months, four months, five months and let's see if we can deal with the issue to get this thing done. now the congress is talking about punishing president obama. the congress is talking about adhering to the constitution to making sure nobody is above the law. that's not punishing the president. that's making sure we adhere to the constitution. i'm hoping that we can look at ways to work together but clearly the one who has shown once again that he has no intention of working with anybody is president obama. despite that, i can tell you
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what i'm going do, i'm going work with the president or anybody else to deal with this to not let the partisan shship, hope we can work through this but, again, i think the president has in essence on purpose created a quasi-constitutional issue i hope we can do this in a way that's constructive to the country and that we can work things out in the near future. >> congressman mario diaz-balart, thank you so much for being with me. i appreciate it. viewers who tuned into last night's latin grammys had to wait as the awards show took a brief backseat to president obama announcing the details of that immigration overhaul. >> reporter: the 15th annual latin grammy awards took a bowe to president obama, allowing him to first deliver his immigration thoughts to a tv audience. >> today our immigration system is broken. and everybody knows it. it's been this way for decades.
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and for decades we haven't done much about it. >> reporter:en this from the mgm grand hotel latino music and culture wove together with a sense of euphoria from the president's speech. obama declared he wants to prevent deportation of an estimated five million undocumented immigrants. and so winner car vos vives dedicated his trow foye the presiden president. >> and on the arrival line, the usual talk about who's wearing what tushed to what will happen with immigration next. >> it is important because there's so many people that live here for so many years that they need that answer. they need to be able to know where are they going to go? where their dreams are going to go. as a puerto rico, i'm an american citizen so for me it doesn't affect me the same way but i know it's a big deal for latinos in this country to be recognized and represented and they deserve to be here. they work hard. >> this country is the land of
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dreams. >> reporter: this man played an immigrant gardener in the film "a better life." it earned him a best actor nomination. he applauded the move. >> even though that does not fix the whole broken immigration syst system, it helps a lot and it's a big, big, big step. we have to celebrate that. >> reporter: back in las vegas, the joy and the tributed poured out on stage. winner mark anthony. >> boriqua! >> they delayed the grammys for 17 minutes for the announcement. cnn, los angeles. thank you so much for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "@this hour with berman and michaela" starts now.


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