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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 3, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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pharmacy. chris cuomo is off tonight. there's breaking news, the newly democratic controlled house of representatives is getting ready to vote on legislation to end the government shutdown. it will not include funding for the president's wall, the white house has already threatened to veto it. however, it could become the opening position in negotiations between the president and democrats who now for the first time hold a share of the power and a portion of the responsibility for what happens on this and anything else that really matters. breaking news coverage at both ends. let's go to manu where the action is. is this vote anything but symbolic? it's unlikely to pass the senate? and the president would likely
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veto it. >> it's not even going to get a vote in the senate. mitch mcconnell making clear he's only going to put legislation on the floor that is supported by this president. that is not going to be vetoed by this president. but the democrats are pushing forward with two measures tonight that have been supported by republicans in the senate in the past. one to fund a large portion of the government, six appropriations bills. the republicans and democrats negotiated in the congress. to keep the department of homeland security open until february 8th. that was passed by voice vote in the senate late last year, but the president changed his mind. he decided he didn't want to support that any more. the position with the democrats pass these bills, the pressure to the republicans to take up the senate and take on the president. at this point no appetite to do that, the stalemate is going to
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go on for some time. >> we saw the president call for a shutdown without a border deal. >> that's the republican senator from colorado, telling the hill newspaper he wants to see the government open at least a short term measure through february 8th, while they negotiate a larger deal. that's the same position they took back late last year. he's the first republican to really break from the position of the leadership. the question is, will other republicans join him. gardner up for re-election in 2020 in a state hillary clinton won in 2016. the sign of some republicans feeling pressure on this very issue, that's what the democrats are hoping for. if mitch mcconnell does not put this on the floor, there's very little they can do. at this point he says he has no role to end the stand-off. it's all about democrats and the white house negotiating a compromise. >> the vote could be any minute,
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right? >> any minute we expect the first of these two key votes to happen. it should be happening at this hour. at that point the house democrats will have spoken. >> we'll come back to you for the outcome, as things happen, i want to go to kaitlan collins. let's talk about this veto threat from the president? >> this vote hasn't happened yet, the white house has already saying it's a nonstarter, if it came to the president's desk, he's going to veto it. we knew that was going to happen after they walked out of the meeting with the president and the situation room yesterday, because we're told by sources that chuck schumer pressed the president multiple times, why won't you sign these bills, over the next 30 days we'll negotiate the dls funding. the president said that would make him look foolish. he didn't didn't with a to do it. it provides unnecessary funding while not doing anything about the crisis on the border. both of these sides continue to dig in with nancy pelosi saying,
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she'll give the white house one more dollar for the wall. and mike pence saying that with no wall, there is no deal, sinlly putting us no closer to reopening the government than we were 13 days ago. >> talk about what happened in the briefing room earlier in the day. was that just an effort to keep the border situation front and center, and to also try to steal some attention away from nancy pelosi getting the gavel? >> you couldn't ignore that came after all of this hours of coverage of nancy pelosi earlier today, that the president chose today to make his first appearance ever in the white house press briefing room. it wasn't used for its intended purposes today. neither the president nor the press secretary took any questions from the reporters opinion they told reporters to scramble and get up there within five minutes warning. even though this hadn't been on the schedule as typically the briefings are. the president came out, made
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some brief remarks and he had some members of the border patrol union behind him and let him speak. that is not someone who speaks officially. what's interesting about this, when the commissioner for cbp was supposed to hold an on camera on the record briefing with reporters, we was going to take their questions. they had been informed that the white house has been holding a briefing. as you pointed out, it wasn't a briefing, because it didn't take questions. >> more on the nonbriefing briefing. here's what the president said. >> without a wall you cannot have border security. without a very strong form of barrier, call it what you will. but without a wall, you cannot have border security, it won't work. you see what's just been put out on social media, where thousands of people are rushing the border. having a drone fly overhead, i think nobody knows much more about technology, this type of technology certainly than i do.
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having drones and various other forms of sensors, they're all fine, but they're not going to stop the problems that this country has. >> nobody knows more about drone technology than the president. the president claimed americans want this wall. a majority do not support it, in any event, beyond support, there's a question whether the kind of wall, barrier or what the president envisions would work. i want to get two views on that right now. joining us is david lepan who served as department of homeland security spokesman. also, former sheriff of pinal county, arizona. david, let me start with you. what goes through your mind when you hear those border patrol urine onofficials defending the need for a wall? >> a couple things, as kaitlyn pointed out rightly. the border patrol union is not an official spokesperson for the entire union and for all the members of customs and border
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protection and the border control. you have a senate confirmed commissioner who could have been there to answer questions, that was not what the white house intended. but i would say in is certainly some evidence that barriers work, they have worked in some sectors. but a couple key points, if the president felt it was necessary to have $5 billion for a border wall, he should have put that in his budget request. the president's own budget request asked for $1.6 billion for 65 miles of border wall. so to get hung up now on this idea that $5 billion is needed for a wall doesn't make a lot of sense. there is the other thing too the president mentioned -- a couple things, he was wrong, thousands of people are not rushing the border, that's not happening. the numbers are not higher than they've ever been. in fact, the annual numbers are
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lower than they've been in past history, by about half. and that the president again tries to belittle the idea of technology. those same border patrol agents represented by the union will tell you that any type of barrier would not be effective without more border enforcement, meaning people and technology to back it up. >> paul, the border patrol council whose leaders appeared with the president say they oppose building walls saying the walls and fencing are a waste of taxpayer money, what changed? >> well, you saw brandon judd, chris crane, both the leaders of -- and we can't dismiss what they're saying, often times everyone says, listen to the men and women who do the job. well, guess what, these are the men and women who protect america. and they represent not just in their one appointment confirmed
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by the senate, they represent 18,000 plus men and women in uniform, and they're -- themselves, agents, who actually have enforced the law for 21 plus years, so i think what they have to say is very valuable, and all of those gentlemen i've worked with personally, and know and understand their viewpoint. and i can say both in law enforcement here in arizona in the past, and also serving in the reserve component specifically for the border mission in yuma and also in california having helped construct portions of the wall that exist currently, barriers do work. and as the colonel mentioned before, absolutely, it's complimented and you need with that to work in concert the technology. not only cameras, infrared at night, surveillance and sensors, and as important of any barrier or any wall is the enforcement of laws.
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i think that's what we're lacking here, and so the border patrol, i think they play a vital role for them to speak out as an organized labor. >> why not -- >> to say hey, we support this. >> why not have the guy who actually runs customs and border protection, you would think he would be there too? >> you can have him. and he spoke, he's testified before congress countless times, and i believe he has the same position as the president. in fact, he's the one that was nominated by secretary kelly, chief of staff kelly. this guy was nominated. so he's been elevated to that role to carry out the policies of the border patrol and cbp. customs and border protection. this season the some farfetched thing that's all about trump. we've had many of the leaders on both sides of the aisle vote for this many times, this has long history, the great credit of
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bill clinton. he brokered a deal with duncan hunter, the first congressman, the father in san diego, when he offered a three barrier, three layers, three different walls, at certain portions of the border where high traffic proven smuggling routes were, or there's built up urban centers, that's what exists northwest of tijuana, south of san diego. and bill clinton, actually approved, signed into law two walls, two barriers, and that never was achieved. this isn't a democrat or republican issue, we should be pushing for secure borders and safety in enforcement of the law. >> david, what is wrong with, in your opinion then having the president's border wall as he talked about it during the campaign. >> well, you make a great point anderson is what the president said during the campaign. his world is different from what he's saying today. not only many times during the campaign, and even after he became president, it was all about a wall, it was a concrete
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structure. it was defined in those terms, since then he's changed his position to say, it could be a fence. it could be some slats, it could be, as he said, whatever you call it, whatever you want to call it. so one of the problems we've had is trying to nail down the president on exactly what he's looking for. the other thing that seems to be missing from this, is any hint of a strategy. rather than just focusing on a wall as the president has done. let's talk about a strategy for how we do gain operational control of the border, how we do fix our broken immigration system. i can tell you, you know, a lot of that money that's going toward the wall as the president's putting it, or he's asking for. think of the number of immigration judges that could be hired that would help reduce the backlog and address some of the other problems we have. aid to the central american countries where a lot of these people are fleeing is another important aspect of this.
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secretary kelly, when he was the secretary of homeland security convened a conference in miami, a two-day conference with the secretary of state, specifically on economy and security for the central american countries to try to address the pull factors that were causing people to leave those countries. we need that, so we need a strategy, not just a wall. >> i know you agree, you and i have talked about this before, you agree on that front, more needs to be done in el salvador, guatemala and places in honduras, where people are fleeing from? >> absolutely. and i've always said that, create the environment in which these people don't need to flee. and first and foremost is safety and security. and so that's always in america's interests. but this whole idea. let me go back to the original argument, this whole debate is so polarized because they're fixed. the very thing that democrats in
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many cases have voted for, they're now against, and they wouldn't dare vote for some of these measures, because it's the person, and it's the politics. and it's always -- it's -- on both sides, i'm not saying the president isn't in that fight either. this is the number one reason why he was elected. the president's not going to turn around and run away from this issue. he's got to have a victory here. and i think a majority of americans, it's -- as a citizen now, i'm just saying, why are we always advocating, and i'm saying this for a lot of people who are proimmigration. and i'm pro immigration, legal immigration, but we just two years ago, were saying, it was 10 million illegals that are in america. now, everybody's saying that it's now 20 or 22 million illegals that are here. and so the same fight that happened in '86 that reagan actually signed into law that would give 2 million illegal
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citizenship, only about half of them accepted that now we're at this place where 20 million. if we don't fix this now, and the president agrees with pelosi and schumer on this, we're never going to get security. so this is the president's stand, and i think there's a great opportunity here for opposite sides, a divided government to come together. give a little on each side. and let's secure the border, put america, our interests, our security first for once here. >> it does seem -- i think david, people take issue with the numbers, the president has talked about 20 or 30 million, there are a lot of people that still talk about 11 million. i'm not sure that's a settled issue on how many people are here. who are undocumented. but the president as you said, the picture he paints, it is of hoards coming, rushing the border, thousands of people, he just said it today, you can make
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a very strong argument for border security without making stuff up. >> that's absolutely true. you don't have to demonize the people that are trying to come here for various reasons. other people that have nefarious reasons, certainly. but the professionals at the border, in cbp and the border patrol deal with criminals, deal with individuals every single day. the other thing that doesn't get talked about enough is even with this idea of a wall or a barrier, it's going to do very little to stop the drug trade that is talked about very often. most of the drug trade coming into the united states. much of it comes from mexico. it comes from ports of entry, where we already have individuals, it's not sneaking across in between ports of entry like people are, it's coming in through the u.s. mail, it's coming in through our ports, our airports. the customs and border
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protection agency does a great job all throughout the u.s. of interdikting drugs that come in from all these various sources. a wall isn't going to fix that. >> the other key point too is, again, last year about -- a little over a half million people fit into the category of people coming across the soi southwest border. 700,000 a year come to this country legally on visas, and over stay their visas. that's a larger problem that a wall is not going to solve. >> david lupan, always a good discussion, appreciate it. how president trump's political world has changed. also tonight, the question of impeachment nancy pelosi, not ruling it out, but next you'll hear from another influential democrat that goes even further. hyaluronic acid. it's the skincare ingredient that everyone is searching for! and it's in here.
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the mere fact that the house is on the verge of passing legislation that the president does not want is part of the consequence of the 2018 election. house democrats now have the responsibility for conducting oversight of the executive branch and the power to do it. we have more on that right now from randi kaye. >> reporter: house democrats now armed with subpoena power are gunning for answers. a big one, the house int intelligence committee is looking to explore whether a foreign power has sway over trump. the committee will examine if there's any evidence the trump
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organization ever laundered money, since the family has business with deutche bank which has faced massive fines over the russian money laundering scheme. >> the question is, were the russians laundering money through the trump administration. >> reporter: democrats on the house intelligence committee also plan to zero in on don junior's 2016 trump tower meeting with a russian lawyer promising dirt on hillary clinton. at issue, a phone call to a blocked number that democrats believe could belong to president trump who has long insisted he was unaware of the meeting. >> we know the president used a blocked number during the campaign, so we asked for a subpoena of the phone records. >> reporter: the judiciary committee now chaired by jerry nadler plans to protect robert mueller's russia investigation. he would like to question matt whitak whitaker. >> the questions we will ask him will be about his expressed
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hostility to the investigation. how he can possibly supervise it, when he's come out and said that the investigation is invalid. >> nadler's committee plans to take the lead on trump's immigration policy. focusing on the forced family separation, and the deaths of immigrant children in u.s. custody. chairman richard neil of the house weighs and means committee has one key target. the president's tax returns. under irs rules, congressman neil is one of only three people who can ask the treasury department for his tax returns. >> the president has an opportunity to diffuse this. and just release the forms as every other candidate for president has done. >> finally, the committee on oversight and government reform has the broadest jurisdiction to investigate the president. it's top democrat is eager to investigate everything from white house security clearances to private aircraft travel by
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cabinet officials. he also plans to look into who is benefiting from foreign leaders staying at trump's hotels. >> we want to look and see exactly what's happening, how much money is actually going into his pocket. and whether -- try to make a determination whether he's making decisions in the interest of the american people or his own bottom line. >> reporter: cummings says it's time to cut through the b.s. and get to the facts. president donald trump now officially on notice. randi kaye, cnn new york. >> a whole new world for him politically, i spoke about it just before air time with jerry connelley, now in the majority on the house oversite committee. your party is now in power, you sit on a very important committee. what is your first priority in terms of exercising oversight on the president and the administration? >> we have about 64 outstanding subpoena requests that cover the
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gamut of subjects in the last two years with this white house and administration. so i think the first order of business is whittling down that list, what are our priorities, what is timely? what is potentially the most impact. that's going to cover things like emoluments, that is to say, the president illegally, under the constitution, kben fitting from foreign money, to security clearances at the white house, including to his son in law. to the north carolina ninth congressional fraud case, and what the facts are behind that. to the census, the citizenship question on the census, that has a june deadline, and so that's very timely, and really very consequential. >> i know democrats are hesitant to talk about impeachment. you don't want to look like you're getting ahead of yourselves, but that is the
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ultimate end game, at least in your chamber of congress. have you personally seen enough to start going down that road, or would you need to see more? >> i think we need to wait for robert mueller's report. let him finish his investigation. let's not try to prejudge. but i don't want to duck your question. i do believe there's plenty out there that is deeply concerning with respect to the potential impeachment of this president. we now have in the cohen filing direct evidence and statements from the prosecutor that this president, individual number one, coordinated and directed illegal campaign violations by his personal attorney. we can't ignore that. >> the jerry nadler who is the house judiciary chairman, who has said even if the president has committed crimes, it doesn't necessarily mean it's worth impeaching him. impeachment is so grave, even a
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criminal act needs to be weighed against the consequences of lawmakers taking that step. i wonder if you agree with that? >> i don't fully agree with that. if there's evidence of the violation of law, i think we took a constitutional oath to protect the constitution, including from a chief executive who has committed a criminal act. i don't think you can just waive that away. there are political considerations, impeachment is a political act as well as a legal constitutional act. i don't think you can just with impunity ignore transgressions that rise to the level of impeachment. >> do you agree with speaker pelosi, that it's still an open question whether a sitting president can be indicted? >> yes, i do. there's nothing in the constitution that says a president cannot be indicted. the only thing we have are memos from the department of justice, there's never been a ruling on that by the supreme court. and as i said, the constitution is silent on that question. >> robert mueller has indicated he's going to abide by justice
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department precedence. it's impossible to see how the president's own department of justice would put him in legal jeopardy, isn't it? >> i think that's right. but we'll see, this is going to be a test of precedent. and we're kind of in unprecedented territory right now, with respect to trump and his behavior. there are a lot of precedents that are going to be tested. this is one of them. >> congressman connelley, thank you very much for your time. the house vote is just starting on the budget. and the shutdown, we'll bring it to you as it unfolds. the question is can democrats capitalize on their new momentum to unseat president trump in 2020. what kind of messages should they be driving home to do so? we'll talk to terry mcauliffe next.
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in his words, with talk of free college or federal jobs guarantees. he writes, americans are asking us to focus on improving their lives, not to make unrealistic ideological promises. i spoke with mcauliffe about it a short while ago. >> your call for democrats to counter the president's lives with common sense solutions as a way to win in 2020, how is that any different from what hillary clinton said she was doing in 2016. it didn't work for her. >> the goal is to beat interrupt in 2020. the message i tried to convey today is we're not going to play in the sandbox with donald trump. the man lies consistently. he had 18 lies a day every single day last year. we need to have big bold progressive ideas that are realistic. as a southern governor of a southern state, i was the most progressive governor in history.
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at the same time, a record number of jobs and economic development. they want to hear real solutions how we're going to help their lives. >> a lot of people say that, it sounds good, i understand what you're saying, but when you're in the rough and tumble of a campaign, i mean, all those republican candidates against then citizen donald trump, none of them could figure out how to beat him. there were plenty of them saying, i'm not going to get in the sandbox, i'm going to take the high road, they got beaten. >> we're not going to win by putting unrealistic ideas out there, the american public have samaritaned up, i agree with your assessment of the 2016 campaign. 92 million americans did not vote, i think they realized the next day, holy cow, i now have to vote, because look what's happened with donald trump in the white house today, i think for 2020, people are going to pay attention. what are you going to do for me? they want to hear from us, what ideas the democrats have to move this country forward.
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and i think there's going to be a lot of attention played to who has a big idea, realistic ideas that are actually going to become what laws we're going to have across the country to make people's lives better. those are the big things people want to hear from us. >> you also wrote about idealistic and unrealistic policies within the democratic party, you called for resisting dishonest populism. whose policies are are you referring to exactly, it sounds like what your friend and ally secretary clinton accused bernie sanders of. >> it wasn't about an individual candidate, but i do believe that we have to have realistic big bold ideas if we're going to be successfulen if this is what a campaign is all about, we're all going to have these ideas out there, what i'm trying to convey to the democrats for this upcoming election is that voters are really paying attention. look what happened last year in the elections, why did we pick up 40 house seats. those candidates and these new members of congress that are
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terrific. they went out with realistic ideas on how to deal with health care, education. the same things i did as governor of virginia. a record amount of economic development, but i restored more felon rights than any governor in american history. reduced our juvenile detention facility by 2/3. that's what they want to hear from us, i want to make sure the democrats who are running, that we've got to put out a realistic plan, so it's not about any individuals, we need big bold ideas. big bold progressive ideas that actually work, that actually will change people's lives. you. >> write about, when you say, it's ideological populism or relentless negativity or playing on trump's turf, as you're well aware, a lot of committees in the house, have made it clear, they're going to want to investigate various aspects of the trump presidency. are you concerned that multiple democratic investigations could be seen as relentless
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negativity? >> they need to issue the subpoenas and due the investigations the constitution allows them to do. clearly, anderson, what we have seen out of this trump administration, just to his cabinet officials and everything else that's gone on. the congress has a duty, and they need to exercise that duty, i'm very optimistic, we won big in 17 last year, we won 18, we won the house, which is very -- we won 7 governors, we picked up almost 400 state house seats. this year we're going to win both chambers in the state of virginia, i'm optimistic, i think people are paying attention. >> i appreciate your time, thank you. >> thank you. the vote in the house has just wrapped up, on one big measure, we'll give you the results when we come back.
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house democrats and a few republicans just passed one of several pieces of legislation to fund the government, it's the most contentious one of the bunch. what's happened so far with the first vote? >> the house passed a bill to reopen the department of homeland security until february 8th by a 239 to 192 vote. five republicans joining with this new house democratic majority to pass that stopgap measure, punting on the fight over the border wall until february 8th. this legislation sounds
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familiar, because it's exactly what the republican led senate passed by a voice vote right before christmas. after the president said he was going to oppose that because it didn't fund his border wall. that bill is in limbo. since we have a new congress, this senate has to take this bill up. mcconnell says he will not put this bill on the floor, because president trump is now opposed to it, the house democrats are going to move on legislation, tory open the shuttered parts of the government, that bill slated to pass. republicans will not move it in the senate, tomorrow, republican leaders, democratic leaders are going to sit down in the white house to see if there's a way forward. i asked nancy pelosi give any money to trump's border wall, she said, no. we're not doing a wall, does anyone have any doubt that we are not doing a wall? she said a wall is immoral, it's
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an act of immorality. and vice president pence saying no deal without a wall. two sides in an intractable stand-off at this moment. even as the house just moved to reopen the department of homeland security as the republicans in the senate plan to oppose it. joining me now, charlie den the. congressman, what do you make of what's going on? where do things go from here? is this an opening salvo of negotiation or has nothing really changed? >> i think we're in a pretty bad spot. i felt all along the republicans should take what nancy pelosi has given them and pass it, this actually does two things, it funds the government, and then you can find this debate just to the homeland security appropriations bill. there's no point in keeping the agriculture department closed, interior department irs and others, why should they -- why have that fight? just simply pass these six
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bills, do the continuing resolution, and engage in a serious negotiation about border security funding. and then if the democrats are smart about this, and i think nancy pelosi has to be careful with her rhetoric, saying not one dollar for a wall. that's a terrible term. but there should be funding for border security. the democrats insist on taking care of the dreamers and the el salvador ans, they can get certain victories here, it's not hard to do this, i'm just amazed republicans are relinquishing their voting cards to the president at this point. >> will senate republicans eventually have to move away from the president on this is this is that the only way this can get resolved? >> yeah. is that -- >> yes, i think that's a part of it, anderson, icy spect those senators who are in cycle, they'll be running in 2020, you know, susan collins, cory gardner, tom tillis, joannie ernst and others in more
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marginal states or swing states, do not want a prolonged shutdown. i think cory gardner even made some -- i seemed to break a little bit today, from the rest of the pack, this is not good for him. and the longer these things go on, what i've learned, if they don't come to an agreement at the end of the day, they're going to pass what they call a clean continuing resolution and no one will get anything. i think we're in a really tough spot. it's going to take a while. >> there are approximately 800,000 federal workers facing economic uncertainty right now, because politicians in d.c. are refusing to come out of their corners and do the work necessary to reach some sort of compromise. in the end there's going to be some sort of compromise. >> there has to be. i've been through several of these shutdowns. remember in 2013 when ted cruz shut the government down over obamacare. it's the party that's making the demand that owns the shutdown. we could have ended that shutdown much earlier, the final resolution as you recall was a
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clean continuing resolution to fund the government for a few months. could have done this before the shutdown. same thing happened with the senate democrats being blamed for the weekend shutdown over the drimers. they opened up with a clean bill. i suspect that's what's going to happen now. each side is going to have to huff and puff and posture and make a lot of noise, the longer they do that, the less likely anybody's going to get anything in the final analysis. >> thanks very much. >> thank you, anderson. as the government remains shut down over the border wall. one young migrant girl who was separated from her family months ago. we'll tell you where she is now and her story next. making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast, the choice is simple. coricidin hbp is the #1 brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp.
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with all the fighting and political gamesmanship in washington over border policy, a reminder now of the human dimension of the honest and sincere people on all sides of the issue and all the people caught in the middle. many are vulnerable. many are young. you might remember some of them caught on audio secretly obtained by propublica this summer. the cries of children? from a little girl separated from her family at the border.
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certainly hard to forget those cries. the cries of a then 6-year-old girl named alison, a migrant from el salvador being held at a detention center in arizona. she was beg for someone to call her aunt so she could be reunited with her mom who had no idea where she was taken. turned out her north was at a detention center nearly 1300 niles away. they were finally reunited in houston shortly after that tape went viral and a lot has happened since then. our gary tuchman began following their story. >> reporter: 7-year-old alison jimena madrid enjoying the day at the children's museum of houston. are you happy today? [ speaking spanish ] >> [ speaking spanish ]. >> reporter: a very different story from when she and her mother first came to this country. and now almost six months later they're getting ready for their
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first asylum hearing. the start of a process which will determine whether or not they can stay in the u.s. as they've waited for the hearing, alison jimena has been going to a public school in houston. when she arrived in the u.s., she did not speak a word of english. so alison jimena, you having? you want to read? >> yeah. >> okay. let's hear in english. >> why i love america. i love my school. i love my church. i love to smile. i love -- and the american dream. happy new year, america. >> happy new year, america. to you too. >> happy new year. >> reporter: her mother cindy is doing her best to learn english at her church. >> one, two, three, four. >> reporter: she cannot legally get a job at this stage of the asylum process. but says she wants to work. she says she would like to have
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a job cleaning or at a restaurant or whatever job she can get as long as she can do it with dignity. >> work together. the mix -- they mix the crab apples, sugar, salt, and water. >> reporter: so what is the likelihood that daughter and mother will be granted asylum? their lawyer says she is hopeful but -- >> there's a good chance that it may not be granted. >> reporter: attorney garcia says cindy madrid left to protect alison, her only child, from gang violence. alison told us what her understanding is of that threat. "the gang," she says, "they wanted to steal me." the attorney says if sippedy madrid loses her case and is sent back to el salvador that is not an overstatement. >> it could be death. they had very serious problems with gang violence. they had no protection by the police as well. so we're not expecting anything
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good if she is returned back home. >> reporter: alison jimena says houston is now her home. >> it is a sunny day when friends stick together. >> el fin, the end! >> the finish. >> reporter: but this legal battle is far from finished. >> gary joins us now. it's amazing how much english she's learned in a short time. how long could the asylum process take for this family? >> reporter: well, it's a long process, anderson. a typical case like this takes eight to twelve months before a final decision is made. but this might take even longer, and that's because of the partial government shutdown. many immigration courts have been closed, and any case right now that's involving migrants who are not detainted like cindy and alison have been postponed. so we'll have to wait and see if this first hearing takes place on time.
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anderson in. >> gary, appreciate you following it. in a sea of raised hands on capitol hill today a photo that tells us much about the changing face of congress beyond politics. we'll show you that next.
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just a quick update on what's happening right now on
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capitol hill. the house has just passed the second of two bills to end the government shutdown. now it's expected it does not include funding for the president's wall. finally tonight, we also want to show you a sight that's certainly new. the items that were used during today's swearing in ceremonies. there was an eastern orthodox bible, a koran, and other religious books. all atheists were given copies of the constitution. the pew research center says this congress is slightly more religiously different than the last and includes the first two muslim women, four more jewish members, and one more unitarian universalist -- excuse me. it's getting a little late. the number of christians has dropped about 3%. eight more members decline to state an affiliation. regardless of belief, we americans now put our faith in this 116th congress to work together and find solutions, and just like with every elected official we'll be keeping them honest. that's the job. the news continues. so let's turn things over now to
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don lemon and "cnn tonight." don? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. what a day. breaking news. just moments ago on day 13 of the shutdown the house passed a package of bills that would end the should the shutdown but without money for the president's wall. president trump tonight promising a veto, though. while speaker pelosi makes it really clear that she is not going to budge on the wall. >> we're not doing a wall. does anybody have any doubt that we are not doing a wall? >> so here we are. on the very first day of the new congress. nancy pelosi, president trump going toe to toe. remember way back in december, just three week ago, when the president said this? >> i am proud to shut down the government for