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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  June 22, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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care. fundamental changes. >> health insurance is different from -- fixing health care is different from fixing the insurance system. >> yes. >> thanks, guys. thank you all very, very much, for sticking with me throughout this hour. there's been a lot of moving parts, and it only continues as everyone continues to read through what is in and what is not in the senate health care plan that was just unveiled. "inside politics with john king" starts right now. thank you, welcome to "inside politics," i'm john king. thanks for sharing this busy newsday with us. a busy hour ahead. cnn has exclusive conversations about the president's conversations with the chiefs about the russian meddling allegation. and nancy pelosi spoke with critics who say it's time for her to go. we begin with another major story unfolding this hour. senate republicans just unveiled their obamacare replacement plan and admit they are still short the votes to pass it.
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conservatives aren't thrilled because the plan falls way short of a full obamacare repeal. moderates are mad because among other things the senate plan slashes medicaid funding for the elderly and poor. and at the moment, contains no money to help with the opioid epidemic. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell calls the new framework a good start. while he says changes are welcome, he wants to fast track a final vote next week. >> through dozens of meetings open to each and every member of the conference, we've had the opportunity to offer and consider many ideas for confronting the obamacare status quo. we debated many policy proposals. we considered many different viewpoints. in the end, we found that we share many ideas about what needs to be achieved and how we can achieve it. >> the president said the house bill was mean. the senate bill may be meaner. the senate republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep's
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clothing. only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the house bill. >> as you can see, the bill just out little more than an hour, the partisan debate starting very quickly. with us to share the reporting and insights -- cnn's dana bash, michael sherr of "the new york times," cnn's reporter. phil, the secret negotiations are over, the bill is public. what are the biggest policy headlines especially when you look at the senate proposal and compare it to the house bill? >> yeah. you have to view it through the policy and what it means to that effort to try and get 50 votes, as you were talking about. look, no question, on medicaid you had a lot of expansion state senators who were very concerned about what the house bill did. they got a little bit of a win here. there's a more gradual phaseout of the obamacare medicaid expansion program. the same senators voiced a lot of concerns about proposed extended cuts to medicaid that had been out there for people like senator pat toomey. those are in the bill starting in 2025. if you think about the house bill that cuts, according to the
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cbo, $880 billion over ten years for medicaid, these would be more dramatic cuts. now regulations, these were a huge issue in the house, obviously a very big issue for conservatives, as well. they took a different track. they didn't do the state waivers like the house bill did. they tried to use an existing affordable care act waiver to give states the ability to get out of things like the essential health benefits, the top line ten benefits required in every obamacare plan. that could help, but they don't touch pre-existing conditions or try not to. something that essentially by extension they did in the house bill. those are the key areas there. they prerepeal the taxes and employer mandate. those were always going to be in play here. i think the question remains as they try and give a little bit here and a little bit there to the specific ideological polls of their conference, does it result in 50 votes? i can tell you senator susan collins, one of the key moderates, put a statement saying she has a number of concerns. lisa murkowski was talking about how she really wants to read the
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bill. both key votes when it comes to abortion i-- abortion issues. there's a defund of planned parenthood. rand paul has serious concerns about the tax credit piece of the bill, the subsidy of the bill. he echoed the concerns after the briefing. you always have to keep an eye on the conservatives. why does ted cruz and mike lee come down on the regulatory issue? we don't have immediate answers. as you note, it's clear they don't have 50 votes yet. there's more work to do. the question becomes do they do that work via amendment, in a manager's amendment, or do they browbeat everybody to get there? it's an open question now if they get there at all. certainly a lot of work ahead, and most notably a cbo score to look at in the coming days. >> we know what the cbo score did to the debate on the house side. phil mattingly, keep wandering the haul-- the halls. if you get react, come on back. we'll talk now about the delicious politics, partisan divide, tough internal republican divide in washington to get to 50 votes. if you're watching at home, in
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america, what does this do to me? let's put up the details. this is what we know. remember, this is what the leader calls a discussion draft. this will change somewhat, the question is how much can they change it. we know the senate bill would phase out the medicaid expansion slower than the house bill. medicaid expansion was a big part of obamacare. states had the flexibility to change the medicaid program to help the poor, to help the elderly. but the senate bill also has more dramatic cuts to medicaid down the line than the house bill. there are tax credits to buy insurance, they're more generous. that's the heart president trump has talked about. the tax credits are more generous than the house bill and the senate, as phil noted. planned parenthood is defunded for one year, forgive me, but that sounds like a copout. they're trying to get the moderate votes. they're not -- trying to say it's only one year. they try to keep the moderate votes instead of take a stand one way or the other. you spent a lot of time on capitol hill, you heard the majority leader. he understands, he wants to vote next week. he had to bring the bill public, but he doesn't have the votes yet. >> he doesn't have the votes yet. you know, those of us who have covered mitch mcconnell and fights like this before always
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are -- the experience is that mcconnell is obviously the best chess player probably on capitol hill. now for sure, maybe even in recent history. so the idea that he as a masterful tactician is putting this out there without knowing how it ends is pretty astonishing. but for my reporting, that is exactly -- that's true. there isn't, you know, a secret plan procedurally to get this passed that he has now. he certainly has hopes, he knows how to negotiate, he knows how to talk to his caucus. and that he's going to use those skills from now until the actual final vote. but he doesn't have them yet. >> and he's going to need those skills. and as the leader ponders, i want to show video. this is democracy in action here. health care's an incredibly personal debate. these are protesters outside the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's office as we speak, still there. you're watching photos. they're protesting the medicaid cuts in the republican health care bill. what's interesting to me for the debate to go forward, 52-48 is
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the republican margin in the senate, meaning they can lose two. if mike pence breaks the tie, they can afford to lose two. what happens? they're going to try to fasttrafas fast track the amendments. mr. mcconnell says don't criticize the secret process, here's the chance. if a republican like susan collins opposes it, would they move it knowing you would lose mike lee, rand paul, ted cruz, you don't have the votes in the end. can the democrats, even though they were involved until now, be able to push it one way or the other to make it acceptable to 50? >> i think it depends which democrat you're talking about, are they up for re-election, is it something they've already staked their reputation on. an interesting one is the opioid legislation that doesn't exist yet. odds are somebody's going to try to insert that into the bill. and will senators, democratic senators from places like west virginia, from places that are hit hard by this crisis really be able to say, well, i didn't do it because there is procedurally a more bigger gain down the line that i couldn't
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vote for it -- that's difficult to translate to people at home when it's not -- when it's an issue you said you care about that they care about. you will see splintering on amendments when it hits issues like that. >> the key test is for republicans. this has been since long before donald trump came on the scene as a republican politician, this has been their mantra, dividing line. it was huge in the 2010 elections, 2012 elections, 2014 elections, the 2016 elections, i suspect on the flip side it will be in 2018, 2022, and beyond, listen to sound from president trump moments ago. he's had a big meeting in white house, and this came up. he didn't say much, but what he said is interesting. >> how do you like the health care, folks? >> how do you like the health care? >> it's going to be very good. little negotiation, but it's going to be very good. >> interesting in the sense that they do need to go -- negotiate in the senate to get the 50 votes. they need negotiate. one of the things mitch mcconnell has begged the white house -- and i'm told told the president directly and people on his staff -- please stay out of
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this. let us do the senate business. because remember, when the first house bill came out, speaker ryan told the white house, just leave me alone. this is the best i can do. the the tweeted out, now negotiations. >> yeah. and you know, they got essentially seven days. i mean, a week or so to get this done. maybe there's a short enough time where the president can stay mum on this and won't do things that we know he's done in terms of the house bill, calling -- calling it mean. because we do know mitch mcconnell wants to get this done. they want to be able to say they got this done, the repeal part which real conservative people want to see the repeal part of it. then the replace part. they've got so much work in terms of this bill. then the cbo score is essentially going to reset the conversation on this. >> how much is it, the insurance, what does it do to the deficit -- >> that's what trump is going to be listening to. he's been briefed, his staffers
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have been briefed. from what we know about this president, a lot of sort of the branding will come from cable news, and he's going to be listening. >> can they with a straight face call this bicycle repeal? >> that's -- obamacare repeal? >> that's the thing -- >> it does not rip all the roots of obamacare out. >> no. >> think about now that we have both sides of capitol hill weighing in on kind of what the republicans want to see, it essentially buys in to the basic underlying thought of how obama and the democrats decided to structure this. whether you phase out medicaid faster, slower, whether you do one thing with the subsidies or the other thing, you're still using government money to subsidize the people so they can -- more people can buy health insurance. that is not the kind of repeal that certainly, you know, many of the real sort of hard cores, the mike lees of the world expected. whether or not the republican kind of people on the ground, their supporters will think this is -- >> you are getting rid of the
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obamacare taxes. you are getting rid of the employer mandate. you are getting rid of of the individual mandate. those are three of the big pillars. mr. obama said root and -- you're pulling out some of the roots but leaving some. >> some weeds. but the basic idea that government has a role to play in providing people health care, that remains intact. it's a victory for democrats>> the pickle that house republicans found themselves in. all of them and the president of the united states promised over and over again the pre-existing condition, the ban, not allowing insurance companies to not take you if you have a pre-existing condition, that's not going anywhere. if you start with that, that is one of the core roots keeping up the obamacare tree. if you don't repeal that and have to find ways to work around it which is why you could never formally fully take obamacare away and put a completely
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republican kind of -- a piece of legislation that is full of republican ideals and philosophies. >> it's taking basically the philosophical core of the obama plan and preserving that. it's not -- it didn't ever fully work financially, but it could have maybe with some fixes gone down that rhine. when you get rid -- that line. when you get rid of the mandates, you can't cover as much as you wanted to cover in the system. when are you peeling back on the money that's there for medicaid, you're not catching people falling out of the system. it doesn't hang together the way it did around that central, you know, trunk of the tree, i guess. the branches are -- >> more on this throughout the hour as we continue it. remember, as mitch mcconnell tries to keep all but two votes, very difficult. we'll get back to the politics and hear the republican governor governors'. and naency pelosi vows to stay the disappointment lead-- o stay the democratic leader.
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dude, you just woke up! ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides. welcome back. more on the health care debate in a moment. let's turn to another big political drama in washington with huge implications for the democratic party across america. a short time ago, the house democratic leader, nancy pelosi, delivered a feisty response to
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her caucus suggesting the losing streak in her party's election this year means -- for pelosi to step aside. >> as far as enthusiasm in my caucus, i always listen to my members. i respect the participation of any caucus. it's a part of our life. having personal ambition, fun on tv, love your fun. i love the arena. i thrive on competition, and i welcome the discussion. but i am honored by the support. every action has a reaction. i try to say that to them. every attack provokes a massive reaction. we always have had theis discussion. one is one, two is a couple, three is a few, some some. i feel confident in the support that i have in my caucus. >> if you like raw politics, this is as raw as it gets. she didn't get where she is without being a street fighter.
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>> no. >> she done get where she is -- she did not get where she is without being a street fighter. people say it's time to go, it's time for the next generation. if you listen to that, go on tv and have your fun. she's essentially mocking -- she's mocking the critics. every action has a reaction. >> yeah. >> yep. >> she keeps good notes. she's old school, keeps the index cards, as you well know. does she mean check your committee assignments? >> i -- yeah. >> fund-raising? >> in your district. >> look, some of these people who are challenging her are new, and they haven't been around when you challenge nancy pelosi, you see what happens to you. having said that, you know, good for them that they feel they have the -- feel they have the latitude in their districts or whatever it is that they feel they have the latitude to do to say this. having said that, i personally think that the idea of picking on nancy pelosi for all that is wrong with the democrats is so
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misguided. nancy pelosi didn't tell hillary clinton not to go to michigan and wisconsin. nancy pelosi didn't tell hillary clinton not to have a good economic message. i know we're past that and talking about the house races, but it's so much broader than one person. could -- should there be new blood in addition to nancy pelosi? of course. but i have not seen paul ryan keep his caucus together the way nancy pelosi has. >> has, but there is the question. if you look at the house map, the democrats are largely confined to the coast now. there are spots throughout the rest of the country. the democrats are largely combined to the coasts. part of it is how do you come up with compelling candidates in the midwest, in the south, can you do that. among the critics, she says go on tv and have fun. here's kathleen rice, relatively new member from the state of new york. >> we need a winning strategy, and i think the first step to getting to the winning strategy is a change in leadership. if you were talking about any sports team that was losing time and time again, you -- changes would be made.
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the ceo would be out, the coach would be out. and there would be a new strategy put in place. >> on the surface that sounds fine. you don't fire all the players on a baseball team. the manager gets fired when the team's not playing right. the democrats lost the majority in 2010, and nancy pelosi has said give me another cycle, give me another cycle. her side says nobody can raise the money like nancy pelosi, and that part's true. and again, the critics say look at the ads running in georgia's ick sixth, the jon ossoff race. >> whoever would be in the position would likely be a rallying cry for democrats. obama obviously was a rallying cry for republicans. you know, i mean, i guess the question -- this comes up periodically, every time there's a loss where nancy pelosi's -- the speaker or the minority leader. but the question is always who, right? kathleen rice there, charismatic. up-and-coming star.
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people like tim ryan, are they in the position, do they have the folks behind them so they can rise through the ranks and become in the leadership? >> listen -- listen again just as a student of politics, you think she's been at this a long time, maybe a survey, she doesn't get into it. listen to nancy pelosi addressing the question of, well, you have been around a long time. what about the next generation? >> we're paving a way for a new generation of leadership. and again, i respect any opinion that members have, but my decision about how long i stay is not up to them. >> ouch. a little bit of ouch at the end. as we finish the conversation, let me bring this in. an endorsement that nancy pelosi did not want -- the president of the united states tweeting just this morning, "i certainly hope the democrats do not force nancy p. out, that would be very bad for the republican party. please let crying chuck, sta, too." the senate moving to the senate side, as well. her fiestiness, you know, whether you like her not, as someone who rose up through the
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democratic ranks at a time when there were not a lot of women in power in this town, and has proven to be a good organizer, you've been through this several times. is this deeper than before, the same as before? are there more of them than before? >> there are a few more of them. i think it's -- the danger for her, it is that it's the accumulation of times that this happened, right? the open question is exactly what you said -- if not her, who? >> i also am skeptical about what you said about the fund-raising rate. an old-fashioned way of thinking about this, that she's the sort of speaker or the leader needs to be there to raise all this money. >> right. >> ossoff raised a lot of money. a lot came on line. and that democrat base starting with bernie, maybe before that somewhat with bicycobama. it's a different kind of world that we live in. and there is going to come -- >> and with that money he didn't win. >> and with that money, he didn't win. people will look at whoever's in
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the leader chair and say maybe it's not exactly as important as it was. somebody else can do it. >> there's another issue at play. each of these people wanting to come up and replace, be the next generation that replaces police represents a faction of the democratic party but has not been in position where they balance the interests and competing philosophies of everybody in it. we saw in the presidential campaign last year, it's a split party. they don't actually think as one. every time pelosi says, okay, look, maybe we don't make the abortion issue front and center, like just test ballooning things like that, she gets excoriated by people who say how about this to expand the tent, how about this to bring in people we've lost, the conservative party, the one issues don't necessarily stand -- don't represent the working class. she's addressing things people want quite well, but nobody else in a position where they're trying to say let me reach across this wide chasm that exists between me and the other half of the democratic party and figure out how to balance it.
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>> someday, i suspect not in the relatively near future, three, four, five years down the line, someone else will have the job and understand how hard it is. coming up, more details on the health care plan and dicey politics. i'm only in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs.
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welcome back. more on the breaking news, the just-released senate republican health care plan. want to show a live picture from capitol hill. key democrats getting ready to respond. you see the sign there, "mean." their one-word spin on the senate republican health care plan. they say it's just as mean if not meaner than the house republican health care plan. we'll hear from key democrats in a moment. back here in the room, the immediate question is can mitch mcconnell get 50 republicans. he has 52. can he keep 50 so mike pence next week presumably can break the tie? let's look at key republicans to watch. on the conservative side, mike lee, rand paul, ted cruz, the tea party caucus if you will in the senate. they have said they won't vote for anything that is not complete and total repeal of obamacare. the senate draft is not full and complete repeal of obamacare. will they blink, will they get
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concessions? on the flip side, murkowski, collins, kaptur, they have issues on some side. rob portman has been leading the issue for drug treatment in his state. west virginia, one of the big states to help poor people. and a relative newcomer says, "at first glance i have serious concerns about the bill's impact on the nevadans who depend on medicaid." this is one of the big pieces. obamacare allowed governors to expand medicaid program to help the elderly and the poor. and the republican bill, the senate bill does it a bit more slowly. the changes. then it cuts the funding more dramatically if you have those senators right there, if you can only lose two and you've got four or five on this side and two or three on this side, the math's hard. >> that's exactly right. take dean heller as a prime example of somebody in a real pickle.
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he is not only from a state that took the money, he is from a state that is doing relatively well on obamacare. people comparatively like the law and like the process there. he also is up for re-election. >> yep. >> and one of the very few republicans who are vulnerable on the ballot in 2018 in the senate. all of those combined is going to make it very hard for him to support anything that his constituents will feel is him taking away the health care that they have. it is as personal and important to constituents as anything that people in washington do. and that's why this matters. on the other side, ted cruz, he was one of the 13 men in the room where it happened. he is not even on board yet. he wants to see the language. he was actually working on giving up some of the conservative principles in the
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spirit of compromise. we'll see if he does it in the end. >> i do wonder, too, whether the rapid speed is going to affect some of these folks. some of these folks like dean heller will say let's slow down here for a minute. we don't need to do this. you know, it's -- the bill is out, and it's going to be voted on in a week. they do have, you know, coming back later this year before the august recess. the election isn't this year, it's next year. >> mcconnell's argument about that is, one, republicans have been promising this for seven years now. two, with the health care cloud over the capitol, they can't get to tax reform, other things. that's a great point in the sense that it's not just -- it's not just the people who -- every caucus has people who routinely hold out, cause trouble, want to be the reason at the end. but they say, i've got to sell this back home. wisconsin's not up next year. making the idea that he could be -- it's a blue state, swings back and forth. >> this is where the interests of the leader and the interests of the rank and file are butting heads. yes, it is better if the rank
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and file are maintaining their seats, maintaining their approval ratings at home, take it back to their constituents. as dana was saying, it's a personal issue. if mcconnell lets that happen over the fourth of july break, they all go and hang out with constituents at parades and on the fourth of july. if there's just constant chants from constituents being like, this bill is mean, you can't vote for it, you can't do it, that's going to take at least those votes if not more. >> and to that point, you saw the democratic sign. and mcconnell saw what happened in the house. they scheduled the bill, they had to pull it. the president got involved in the end, it helped the bill get through final passage. the president celebrated in the rose garden and then went to meetings and said the bill he celebrated in the rose garden was mean. they want a vote as soon as possible -- here's nancy pelosi again. we're about to hear from senators. democrats say if you go home and have town halls, we're going to make this case -- >> the president called the house bill mean after celebrating its passage. he changed to saying it's mean.
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he said that he hopes the senate bill will have heart. so sad, mr. president. heartless. mean and heartless. and this is the same thing. it's the same thing all over again. we'll do exactly what the house bill did. >> there's been criticism of the process. mitch mcconnell knew he would take the criticism. his view was if you have committee hearings on this, the lobbyists get involved, democrats get involved, people try to shoot it down, now he's trying to do this essentially in a week period. have a few amendments, cut the deal to get to 50, and get it passed so you don't have a recess where you go home for a couple of weeks and do that. >> that's if you're a senator going back home and talking to constituents, hearing from constituents, and you imagine that -- >> used to call it democraci. >> yeah. yes. exactly. i mean, this idea that your response is we have to do it quickly so we avoid criticism, i mean later on, it's just not -- it's a political argument. it's not an argument for why
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this is a good bill. >> it's a washington argument. not an american argument. >> it's not. how many times over the many, many years we've been covering issue after issue no matter which party is in charge, they try to do it quickly so they can get the votes before the members of congress get earfuls from their constituents. >> that's philosophy for losing certain votes. if you're dean heller and have to go to a state which is a swing state and the governor's said he doesn't like the medicaid provision and you have to take it after the vote, you're not going to take it. >> we'll learn about how good is a chess player is the majority leader, mitch mcconnell. next, two intelligence chiefs tell investigators that president trump made them uncomfortable in asking for help in the russia meddling investigation. vent is back, with incredible offers on the mercedes-benz you've always longed for. but hurry, these shooting stars fly by fast. lease the c300 for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer.
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legislation. >> make your own deductions. i want to thank both of them, our ranking members on health and finance, for doing the fabulous job that they are doing. when the white house passed their health care bill, a bill that president trump called mean, i thought it wouldn't be possible for the senate republicans to conjure up a bill even worse than that one. unfortunately, that is what they have done. meaner. can you read it? do i have to color it in? >> yeah, you do. [ laughter ] >> that stands for emergency room, too -- >> yeah, right. >> lou's that? right there.
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"meaner." >> another career as an artist. >> okay. the senate version of trump care is even meaner than the house bill. there's a lot to unpack in this bill, but its general outline is simple and clear. they're getting up and saying this is a draft, but i asked mitch mcconnell on the floor, you may have seen it, is there anything that i said which i'll say now that is not in that draft? and he just sat down. he didn't -- didn't answer. my guess is it's all in there. the bill takes dollars out of health care for millions of americans and puts them right back in the pocket of the wealthy. it cuts health care for those who need it most just to give a tax break to those who need it least. senate republicans with this bill are proposing to defund blood, to drastically slash
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medicaid which helps middle-class families with loved ones in a nursing home, and sends those dollars to the very richest people in america. senate democrats have been pouring over the bill. now that it's come out from behind closed doors, here are just a few of the things that this bill will do. first, it will cause health care costs for middle class and working families to go up. by cutting back on tax credits and making americans pay even a bigger percentage of their income for their premiums, they're going to send costs soaring. second, the bill will kick millions off medicaid by making even deeper cuts than the house bill. if you're a middle-class family with a loved one in a nursing home, the cost of that care is going to go up. third, it abandons people with pre-existing conditions, putting
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at dire risk maternity care, mental health coverage, by allowing states even more latitude to get out of covering essential health benefits. fourth, itty de-funds planned parenthood making it hard for millions of women to afford the health care they need and deserve. why are they doing all this? to provide a giant tax break for the wealthiest americans. simply put, the bill will result in higher costs, less care, millions of americans will lose their health insurance, particularly through medicaid. it's every bit as bad as the house bill. in some ways even worse. the president has said that the senate bill needed heart. the way this bill cuts health care is heartless. the president said the house bill was mean.
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the senate bill may be meaner. the senate republican health care bill is a -- a wolf in sheep's clothing. only this wolf's teeth are even sharper than in the house bill. somewhere in america, mr. president, there's a family who takes a trip each friday to visit grandma or grandpa in a nursing home, who sacrificed all of their savings to pay for their health care until they had no more savings, and now they rely on medicaid to help pay the cost of long-term care in the nursing home. somewhere in america, president trump, there's a father who's eaten up inside watching his son struggle with opioid addiction, who knows in his heart that his son would be able to go on and live a healthy and fulfilling life if he could only afford treatment to get him out from under the devastating addiction.
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somewhere in america there's a parent whose child has cancer. a mother and father who stay up late at night worried that their insurance will not be available or run out before their family needs it most. and that america that my republican friends envision with this health care bill, those americans and many more beside might not get the coverage they need. we live in the wealthiest country on earth. we're proud of it, as we should be. surely we can do better than what the republican health care bill promises. every american should be asking their republican senators one simple question this weekend -- why do the wealthy deserve a tax cut more than we deserve health care? senator murray?
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>> senator schumer, thank you. senator wyden,it is clear -- >> senate democratic leaders voicing their opposition to the new republican health care bill. chuck schumer, democratic leader, now patty murray and ron wyden there, making their case that the house bill is mean. chuck schumer using a pen to write a note. there are higher tech ways to do that, to say that it is even meaner. while we were listening, dana, you made the point that the republicans crafted the bill in secret. 142 pages that most of the members had not seen any of it until 11:00 this morning. they're in their offices reading it, trying to decide am i for or against this? democrats rushing out to cast the politics of this. chuck schumer saying at the end, when you see your republican senator home this weekend, ask him -- why should the rich get a tax break so that you can take away my health care. we'll see how it ends up. out of the box, smart political
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framing? >> absolutely. and you know, it occurred as we were watching this, as wonderful a tactician as mitch mcconnell is, maybe not the best communicator. you know, historically when you have a piece of legislation that comes out, is born out of negotiations, even in your own party, you have a press conference, and you lay down the markers. this is what it is, and this is why it's good. >> talking points -- >> and you have talking points. that hasn't happened. there's a big vacuum. and democrats are rushing to fill it. >> and where are the republican interest groups? they don't want the prsident to get involved in negotiations, but where is the bully pulpit of the presidency -- >> yeah. >> and he's like watching this, right? i mean, the vacuum get filled -- i thought schumer was good here in terms of framing it in a way that could benefit democrats. talking about nursing homes, something that everybody can understand. maternity care, health care, planned parenthood, higher costs, less care. they are taking advantage of
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this. >> i wonder a little bit how much -- how committed mitch mcconnell is to seeing this all the way through and having it be successful at the end. he could be out there himself, even though he's -- communication is not his strength. he's been out there more on other things. sweechb th we've seen that. he could have looped members in earlier and done a bunch of things. he's wanted to push this off his plate before the recess. i don't know if that means they'll come back afterwards or go on to the next thing. why, why is he not more all skin in the game? >> it would be interesting to see since the republicans have made this their calling card for so many years. how do you head into a midterm election cycle next year when it's all about turning out your base if the republicans walk away, if they walk away from this? it would be a fascinating question. and you see the senate democrats there communicating globally. my question for them in the next several days if they really plan to have this vote next week is can they pick. they only need two or three. if they can get two or three republicans, do we see the democrats targeting particular republican senators back home in their states to try to push them off -- >> look, one of the things that
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the senate republicans saw was what happened after paul ryan pulled the first house bill. they saw the pressure around the republican party when we talked and said maybe they'll move this and go on to other things. >> ryan said that -- >> ryan said they were going to do that. there was an explosion in the republican party where people said, well, we can't do that. they know the damage that would happen if they tried to do it here. >> i want to circle back to where we began before we went live to capitol hill. tis is an important new cnn report i'm going to get to. it's about the question of whether president trump tried to improper influence the russia meddling investigation. two said they want him to state publicly that there was no collusion between the campaign and the kremlin in the election. the director of national intelligence, dan coates, the national security agency chief, admiral mike rogers, in separate classified meetings with special
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counsel robert mueller and congressional investigators, cnn has told both men describe the conversations with the president as odd and uncomfortable. while both said they were surprised the president would raise an open investigation with them, both coates and rogers also say -- this is important -- they did not take the president's comments as an order to interfere. you might recall both rogers and coates refused in recent public testimony to give details about their conversations with the president. now democrats say the president's conduct is at a minimum highly inappropriate. and perhaps part of an effort to obstruct justice. key republicans agree the president should know better about raising these things with certain people, but they say the context is critical. >> one thing i'm going to ask mr. coates is not only what was said, but what did he hear, how did he take it? what was the tone? what was the context? i need all the context, i need it hear from everyone who is part of that conversation to see if their testimonies match up, if there's corroboration, if there's contradiction. that's the way you do serious
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investigations. and i know we're not used to it in congress, but we do political investigations p. but this is really serious, and there's a reason i think your viewers are going to wind up trusting bob mueller more than they do congress. >> well, i think an important concession at the end there. i want to get back to your part -- you're part of the team that did this highly sensitive, very important reporting. you have two of the nation's intelligence chiefs who say the president of the united states separately said to them, can you state publicly that there was no collusion? can you say public things in the mid -- that would help him from a public relations standpoint at a minimum -- in the middle of a highly sensitive, count counterintelligence investigation by the fbi. anyone would tell you that's out of bounds. how much context and how much pressure he put on them? >> both of these men, both dan coates and mike rogers, according to reporting that i've done and evan perez and man
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manu raju reported in the classified session -- because they wouldn't talk about it in public -- that it was odd. was strange. it was surprising because it is not certainly the protocol with which a president usually conducts himself with people at this level on an issue so sensitive. but they didn't feel that if they didn't do it they were going to get in trouble. and they don't end up doing it in the first place. only one of the two of them documented the conversation realtime. that is mike rogers. he had his deputy at the nsa do a memo. i was told by a source who saw the memo it was one page. it was nothing like the comey memo. it wasn't detailed according to the clock and -- and all of that. it was just a general, you know, contemporaneous documentation. dan coates didn't even do that. you know, it has certainly been one of the many clouds hanging over this administration ever since the "washington post" reported last month the conversations happened. what exactly did the president say to them? at least -- there are a lot of
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details i'm sure we don't know. these were classified briefings that happened last week both with the special counsel's office and with the senate intelligence committee. at least at first blush. they didn't feel that it was untoward. it's going to be up to robert mueller to decide how inappropriate it was. >> up to robert mueller. trump loyalists say, okay, maybe the president shouldn't have said that to james comey about can you shut down the flynn investigation, shouldn't have had these conversations. he's a guy who ran his own business, he's use today to being in charge, he's not a lawyer -- used to being in charge, he's not a lawyer. democrats say this guy's been involved in litigation his entire life, they have a more nefarious view. they think he knows how to dance up to the line and suggest that you do something without crossing a legal line and ordering or telling you to do something. that is the challenge for bob mueller as he has all the investigations as well as the congressional committees. >> maybe not fully understanding where the line is is less of an important issue to excuse him than what his intent was. that's what they have to establish. if he was trying to steer them off course, whether or not he knew that was wrong, even though it seems obvious to everybody
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else that that is wrong, if that's what he was trying to do, that's going to build this case of obstruction of justice if mueller decides to go there. and this is the fundamental question. was it a suggestion or order? he said, "i hope," to james comey. james comey took that as an order. >> he did -- >> fire jim comey. >> it's not just the two conversations. it's bob mueller and the congressional investigation, got to pull all the pieces together, making a serious judgment. thanks for joining us. a lot of rock and roll coverage. that's why we love live television. the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
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hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's almost 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we have breaking news that is coming in right now. take a look at this. a new tweet just posted by the president of the united states. i'll read it to our viewers. here it is -- "donald j. trump, with all of the recently reported electronics surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, i have no idea
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whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with james comey, but i did not make and do not have any such recordings." repeat, the president of the united states saying he does not have any recordings of his conversations with the fired fbi director, james comey. sarah murray,this is the news that we were anticipating. by the end of this week, the president used twitter to make the announcement. no tapes, no recordings of those conversations with comey. >> reporter: yeah. if you talk to anyone who has worked with the president in the past, anyone who knows the president, even people who serve in this administration, they have been telling us for weeks essentially that they did not really believe that there were any actual tapes. so in many ways, this is not a surprise. it does raise the question of why the president would have ever tweeted about tapes in the first place. that is what inspired james comey to leak the memos of his conversations with the president.
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those memos, of course, then prompted the naming of special counsel. so in many ways, by tweeting this out initially, which was essentially based on nothing, the president sort of created his own worst situation. the worst outcome. this is what he had been hoping to avoid. in many ways he precipitated it. >> very interested. i know you're getting ready for the white house press briefing over there. sara huckabee sanders, the white house deputy press secretary, is going to be briefing you and all of the reporters. unfortunately, the white house has decided that the american people will not be able to see this briefing live. we're not going to be able to hear it live. neither cnn nor any of the other cable news networks, msnbc, fox, c-span. why have they decided they don't want the american public to see and hear this briefing live? >> reporter: that's right. again they've decided this is going to be an off-camera briefing. we're hoping to bring the audio to viewers later on after this has


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