tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 27, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST
just can't find work. and new hope today for an end to the deadly violence in south sudan as the united nations says its peacekeeping force there is overwhelmed. could u.s. troops be forced to step in? hourless. tens of thousands in maine and michigan still in dark. good day, everyone. i'm alex witt in work in for andrea mitchell today. over 1 million americans are facing a grim reality. tomorrow their unemployment benefits will run out, and a divided congress may not find a solution that can get to the president's desk. nbc white house correspondent peter alexander is join\ing us from honolulu. it's all very short term extension of these struggling americans but the president can't do this on his own. >> reporter: the president has said if the deal comes together back in congress he'll certainly sign this thing right away. he's been pushing for this. these are the emergency benefits part of a federal aid program set up during the great recession to try to help the
long-term unemployed, those people after their 26 weeks of unemployment insurance from the state had run out right now. supporters of this say if you take it away, among them the president, it actually hurts the economy. and a new report that came out from the white house just recently said not only does it hurt the economy but actually adds a number of unemployed, about 250,000 more, as a result of that in the next year. opponents of it say the market is much better than it's been in the past. it's down to 7% unemployment, and this will force people back to work. so the best change in place that could change the situation is a bipartisan proposal that's in the works right now. jack reid from rhode island, the democrat, dean heller from nevada proposing a three-month extension on this. it would give more time to work out a deal. it would also be retroactive back to this weekend. to give you a sense, these individuals make on average $300 a week in this unemployment benefit. >> you've got to wonder what is going to change, though, between
trying to get this passed prior to the congressional recess. and that they say they're taking up first thing in january. is there anything that tells you this will be different? >> reporter: well, democrats, as it's been described by nancy pelosi and others, hope to turn this into a, quote, political hammer. obviously at the end of the day there's politics behind all of these things and the question is whether or not the democrats can convince enough republicans that there's some value in doing this, that they stand to lose by doing something like this. obviously it's very tough politics and that's why it didn't get done in that deal between patty murray and paul ryan, the budget deal, before they left town. will it happen? it's unclear, but in a 2014 campaign year there's certainly a lot of openings. >> peter, also, do we have any response yet from the white house regarding this new ruling from a federal judge here in new york on the nsa phone data programs? >> reporter: we just reached out to white house hofficials. they don't have any comment. we are waiting to hear from the
justice department. as you noted in your introduction, alex, obviously this increases the likelihood that the decisions about the nsa surveillance programs ultimately go to the supreme court. the president, of course, in the early new year after reviewing an independent panel's report is going to make his decision about any reforms, and this actual ruling speaks specifically to that. it says that when posed that question, the judge today, judge paulee, said, is this legal? yes. should it be done? that's an issue up to the president and up to congress. >> peter alexander in honolulu with the president, thank you so much, peter. and joining me now for our daily fix, steve clemens, msnbc contributor and editor at large at the atlantic and nbc news deputy political editor. good to see you guys. >> thanks. >> steve, the news on this nsa phone programs, a federal judge ruling today that they are lawful, are these programs going to be under major scrutiny next year no matter what the
president says in january? >> it's a huge deal because you now have a standoff between two judges, one in washington and one in new york, who have taken completely opposite views. judge paulie in new york has said in his decision today that, while it's very clear that the nsa basically sucks up every phone call in the united states, nonetheless it is powerful, as we saw in 9/11, the power of one critical thread that could lead to massive damage and a strike against the united states. so that's where he's come out. where as judge leon in washington, d.c., has said that's a massive overstep of authority and in his view he feels it's unconstitutional. so you've got two judges in completely different sides of this. it's a collision that can only be figured out by the nooifrn judges who sit on the top of the system. >> i'm goinging ing ting to tu congress and unemployment benefits. can anything be done to extend these things with long term benefits?
we're looking at 13 weeks, maybe 3 months? >> you have, what, 1.3 million people who could lose benefits tonight, another 1.9 millionor so who could lose them by the middle of next year. everyone knows this is a problem, republicans and democrats included. they didn't get anything done before the went president went hawaii, senate closed up session. what they're looking at is realistically is a three-month extension, this reid/heller bill. and speaker boehner seems open to this, but they want real cuts that would come to pay for this. they're not going to do it clean. they want something that's going to be paid for. they call fiscally responsible. they want something on jobs, possibly something in the energy sector. there could be some negotiation to come, but there hasn't been any yet. >> that's again, 13 weeks we're looking at. >> exactly. >> steve, let's switch gears. i want to talk about health care and the push by the obama administration to hit that 7 million enrolled target by the end of march. of what will the perception of
the president be among global leaders if he can't successfully implement his own signature law? >> i think that there is an understanding by world leaders how difficult and complicated it is because most of these governments, to be quite candid, are as inefficient as our own when they go try to implement massive programs. i think the international dimension of a failure by the president will be quite weak. but what it does send a shock wave through is through the u.s. citizenry that looks at the government, confirms for a lot of people that the government is just not good at doing its job. that's what particularly in the '90s and early 2000s led so much of the federal government roles and tasks to be privatized. there was the view that there was too much incompetence going on there. i don't believe there will be a real big international movement. and at the end of the day i think most people see this as still a legacy mark. it will take a long time just as
social security did, just as the prescription benefit plan was very hard to implement as well. so as this proceeds and they work out the kinks i think in the long run the president will be a winner in this. >> in terms of working out the kinks, there's an article in the "new york times" today that talks about how republicans are going to go forward and try to tackle this now that there are americans enrolled and counting on this. do you expect unanimity or even a struggle among conservatives? >> we're seeing a struggle among conservatives on what the message should wind up being. to steve's point, the fact is, once people have the benefit, it's very difficult to take that away. even though it's scaled back for what the 7 million estimate was to maybe 2 million or so, how do you fell those 2 million you can't have health insurance anymore. what i found ironic, having covered politics in the '08
campaign and hillary clinton and barack obama going back and forth on whether there should or shouldn't be a mandate. obama was against a mandate and then he wound up being for one. ron johnson now says there shouldn't be a mandate. he's taking the barack obama position in the '08 campaign against obama's hillary clinton position. the problem with eliminating people who wouldn't have to pay for it, which by the way was a conservative idea originally, is that this bill wouldn't be able to be paid for. you have two problems. you have the mandate where you have to have people in this pool or you can't pay for it and you have to have about a third of the people signing up be young and healthy or you can't pay for it. there's a two-pronged issue here that the administration is dealing with. but republicans are having to deal with it, too, because you can't just take benefits away from people. >> see you later in the hour. don't go far. steve, good to see you. thank you. well, the prospects for an extension of unmroipment benefits will rise or fall in congress next year. i sfoek with a leading
democratic lawmaker about the next legislative steps. joining me, new jersey senator bob menendez. senator, good to see you. let's talk about the unemployment benefits expiring tomorrow. it is a tough thing for the state of new jersey. i believe you guys are getting hit the worst, over 90,000 people affected come this it time tomorrow morning. what's happening with you, the democratic leadership in the senate in terms of talking with republicans on how to get something done? >> well, it is huge for new jersey. as you said, over 90,000, 250,000 or more if we don't extend it into next year. and about 1.3 million nationwide, which is why we tried to get unemployment insurance extension as part of the budget deal but were rejected by the house republicans. and it's why on january 6th, the day that we go back into session in the senate, we'll have our first vote on extending
unemployment insurance. and it is my hope that we'll get a strong bipartisan vote for it because it's important, even in an economy that it's recovering. and we see all the statistical information, all of the economic reports, showing that we're headed in the right direction, but we still don't have the job growth to measure that same economic growth. and so in a state like new jersey that has 7.8% unemployment, that's why you have so many people unemployed. they're looking for jobs. they just can't find them. we need to help them during this period of time as the economy continues to grow. >> right. sir, i believe it's gone from 63 weeks of unemployment insurance down to that mandate across the board of just 26 weeks now. so anybody who's been on longer than 26 weeks, that is it. but you make a good point because new jersey, the state itself, is improving significantly. unemployment has dropped by 0.6%. you are running as you mentioned at 7.8%. 16,900 jobs added in the month
of november. it's a bit of a double-edged sort, is it not, when you bring this to the senate and to your colleagues there in congress to say, we're doing better, but we still need this unemployment insurance? >> well, absolutely. look, first of all, as the economy continues to grow, there will come a point in time that those of us like myself who are advocates for unemployment insurance extension will say it's not needed anymore. that's when the job market continues to grow to a point that people looking for jobs will be able to achieve it. secondly, the reality is that the department of labor has put out information, as has other groups, that for every dollar of unemployment insurance that ultimately we give, we get a 2 for 1 ratio in terms of the ripple effect in the economy. so this is about helping working families be able to sustain themselves while they're looking for work. and, by the way, unemployment insurance requires that you exhibit and prove that you're actually in looking at the job
market and have made efforts to do so. so i think that those are all important elements to understand bh we're debating this public policy issue. >> as you well know, sir, the inability to get this extension done feeds into the numbers we're seeing, a new cnn poll has 73% of respondents saying this congress has done nothing to address the country's problems. what are the reasons for optimism in the new year? >> we're going to put it to a vote. that's the best senate democrats can do. we're going to put it to a vote. i think overwhelmingly senate democrats will support it. we'll see if republicans want to join us of. the 1.3 million americans who will suffer -- it's my hope that when the question is called republicans will respond, join us, and hopefully if we can get a good vote out of the senate we can get the house which balked at putting it as part of the
budget deal to act as well. the pressure will be upon them. >> with regard to the recent problems with target shoppers, you've been out front on this after the early reports there. what can the federal government do to make sure the consumer information is secure when they hit the stores? >> well, this is why i've asked the federal trade commission, number one, to tell us what specifically their investigation has revealed so far as it relates to target. and, two, do they need greater legal authority than they have today to establish a high standard, not just for it target but you for the entire retail industry, for the online industry as well, to ensure that they are applying the highest security standards that are available in the marketplace to protect the identity of consumers? so we'll see because in 2006 when the federal trade commission pursued action against the parent company of tj maxx and marshalls and in another major data breach, there were no fines and penalties levied. i want to know if they have the
power to do that, if not, i'll pursue legislation to give them that. we need to send a message that you can't go cheap on security when in fact there are millions of americans whose identity theft ultimately means real consequences in their lives. >> that is a very valid point. best of luck in pursuing that and everything else in the new year. thank you so much. >> thank you. developing now, the justice department just reacted to the federal judge ruling on the nsa saying, quote, we are pleased that the court found that nsa's bulk telephone meta data program is lawful. u.p.s. now saying they expect to finally clear the backlog of late christmas packages today. and the company says it will refund some customers who didn't get their gifts on time. this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. we'll be right back. male announ. it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™.
the pentagon is now confirming that at least one of the people killed in a suicide bombing in afghanistan was indeed an american. a car bomber targeted a convoy of coalition service members in kabul this morning. the explosion also wounded a number of civilians. the convoy of armored vehicles was hit near the camp phoenix military base. this attack comes just two days after a rocket hit the american embassy in kabul. no one was injured in that incident. there is word today of a possible peace keel in the world's anewest country, the united nations says at least 1,000 people have died in south sudan since violence broke out december 15th. more than 120,000 people are sheltering in refugee camps. the feud between the current president and the country's former vice president has touched off this crisis. the u.n. says aid agencies need
at least $166 million to fight starvation while the fighting continues. but following talks today, east african leaders announce the south sudanese -- defeated in a key oil producing city. meantime, the united states is applying considerable pressure, last week president obama's national security adviser sent an audio message to the people of south sudan urging peace and threatening sanctions. susan rice says, if the fighting doesn't stop, quote, the united states will have no choice but to withdraw our traditional robust support. so what does the fighting in south sudan mean for the united states? i'm joined by msnbc military analyst barry mccaffrey. this is a relatively new situation and i want people to understand all about this, but let's talk about sanctions. why would the united states pose sanctions in this case? >> well, i think we're probably
thrashing around trying to find something useful to do. this giant country, it's the size of texas, 11 million people, for 40 years they've been p in warfare, 2.5 million dead. the only thing they've got is oil, 500,000 barrels a day, and that's involved in this fighting. i think this tribal fighting is unlikely to be at an end because of the positive intervention of the kenyan, ethiopian and u.s. and norwegian leadership. >> would there be a chance the united states would have to send troops? >> well, we've got 150 marine force in southern spain right now that's capable of intervening. those osprey vertical landing aircraft that went in were probably out of the special operations community. all three of them were hit by ground fire, as you remember, two wounded, a third very badly. this is a long way from
anywhere, a landlocked country. in the entire nation, remember, the size of texas, there's less than 7,000 kilometers of any road and 60 kilometers of paved road. our leverage is minimal in this terrible tragedy. christian south fought the arab muslim north for 40 years. now they're turning on each other in tribal conflict. >> so if the south sudan government doesn't acquiesce, if you will, as we indicated they'd agreed to. if they don't want to end the hostility and the fighting continues, what is at stake overall? >> well, directly the united states very little. we've had a very continuing involvement in the country because primarily it was a christian south sudan fighting the north. when the truce came and then they gained their independence, everybody breathed a sigh of relief. but there's probably 16 major tribes inside south sudan, the
two principal ones are now fighting. it broke out 15 december when the presidential guard turned on each other in armed conflict. so, again, we ought to be exc t skeptical but hopeful the diplomatic interventions can have some impact. >> general barry mccaffrey, always a pleasure. might i add, i wish you had taken peter alexander's position outdoors as you are in honolulu, hawaii. >> i am. in paradise, no question about it. >> thank you for taking a break to join us. slowly but surely, they're getting their lives back on in iced-over parts of the country. freezing rain and snow knocked out the power to hundreds of thousands of people in the midwest. at this hour, 57,000 people are still without heat in michigan. then in maine, crews seem to be working more quickly, almost 16,000 families were without family this morning, but utility workers have brought that number down to 12,500 this afternoon. we' we'll be right back.
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the fight for control of the senate picks up steam in 2014 with some serious primary battles and general election fights on the calendar. republicans want to make their dream of a senate majority a reality. manu runs the senate for politico. let's head to the lone star state of texas and talk about steve stockman, who's really come out of nowhere with the challenge of john cornyn. this primary is on the calendar for early march. what do you expect from stockman? what do you think of ted cruz? >> ted cruz has caused confirmation because he was refused to endorse john cornyn. i don't anticipate him getting involved. stockman will pretty much be a
n nuisance. cornyn will have to watch his right flank. after all, cornyn has taken some votes that are not popular with the right. he's a remember of the republican leadership where tea party folks are trying to take down the leadership. cornyn has been kind of guarding against that right flank ever since the beginning of this congress. he should have little problem dispensing with stockman, but he's someone he'll have to at least pay attention to over the next several months here. >> so basically, given that setup, that is why ted cruz doesn't go in and endorse him wholeheartedly, because he's been really guarding against the right flank? >> yeah. cruz has been careful about balancing the support from the right wing and not trying to do anything to show he's breaking from the tea party right, even if it means not endorsing the senior senator from his state, which you know is very unusual. >> let's look at where the
democrats may see some hope in georgia, where they have their likely candidate michelle nunn may need a break to have any realistic shot. >> i think what she'll need is a bloody primary for the republicans to really fight it out and really damage themselves in the primary cycle. you have several congressmen vying for that nomination. some other folks as well. the democrats hope that the republicans nominate paul brown, a very convict vev tiff congressman. he has a chance of winning that primary. but there are also very conservative congressman as well, phil gingrey, no, ma'am ni -- nominate nying for the democrats think they can escape with this seat. if they do win georgia, the chances of republicans taking back the senate are essentially gone. >> i know you've been on the ground in north carolina, kay
hagen certainly fighting to keep her had seat. her challenger will be attacking her reputation in washington. >> she was running hard against the north carolina legislature. remember, 2008 was an election in which democrats thought they could move north carolina in the direction of their column for years to come. but what's happened is the state has shifted markedly to the right. the legislature is now controlled by republicans, the governorship first time since reconstruction that happened. they pushed through a very, very conservative agenda over the last year or so. and kay hagen's strategy is to run against that legislature, run against that agenda, and hope that that is less popular than the democrats' agenda in washington. it will be a race with huge national implications, a test between the conservative agenda and obama's agenda and how it plays in a key swing state like north carolina. >> we'll be watching with your help. thanks so much.
>> thank you. a chinese ice breaker named snow dragon is close to reaching a russian vessel stuck on a research expedition in antarctica. it's been frozen since tuesday. the trapped vessel and its 74 passengers are all safe and they have enough supplies to last another two weeks. three ice breakers were dispatched to rescue wednesday, including snow dragon. the chinese ship has been delayed because of thick ice, but it is expected to arrive soon.
a you former ambassador to the united states was assassinated in an explosion this morning in beirut. the car bomb killed mohammed shatau and four others. he served as lebanon's ambassador to the u.s. and was a representative to the international monetary fund. he may have been targeted because he was a vocal opponent to hezbollah and syrian president assad.
in egypt, political protests are intensifying. at least three people have been killed and more than 200 arrested. the confrontation stems from a series of suicide bombings that started on tuesday. the attacker bombed a police station and killed 16 people and then yesterday another bomb exploded inside a public bus. egypt's ruling government claimed the deposed muslim brotherhood. protesters have been clashing with police all day. here's the latest from cairo. >> reporter: supporters of ousted president mohamed morsi and members of the muslim brotherhood took to the streets today in defiance of a recent decision by the government that effectively outlawed the organization. now, egyptian riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disperse the crowds. this was a very important day for the news limb brother rood,
the first friday, a day marked by violent protests. it was since then the muslim brotherhood said they would be undeterred, have been calling on supporters and members to take to the streets today. and it seems that many of their followers did in fact heed that call. the egyptian government, though, is not backing off its threats. they have already arrested close to 150 supporters of the organization. they have vowed that anybody caught leading a demonstration or leading a rally belonging to the muslim brotherhood would be dealt with severely in accordance with the law. that has a lot of people here in egypt concerned that the egyptian government may be overreaching its authority in trying to crack down on dissent, whether it be from islamists like the muslim brotherhood or other secular organizations. nonetheless, though, the marches did take place across the country today in defiance of that government order, and it has a lot of people here on edge. already the egyptian government and the people have been witnessing an unprecedented wave
of violence that the government here calls terrorism at the hands of the muslim brotherhood. but it is also something that the muslim brotherhood is categorca categorically rejecting. >> aman mow ha dean, thank you. let's go to the markets and potentially good news on the new york stock exchange. if the dow closes higher on the day, it will mark the seventh straight daily rise for the dow. good day to you. how are the major indicators doing so far, mand why? >> we've turned to the downside now, a little lackluster, a lot of light volume which exacerbates the move. many market participants are out for the holidays still. but we've had an incredible run. the dow has enjoyed its sixth straight gain through yesterday, purring further and further into record territory. and the s & p 500 is looking to post its best two weeks since
july. today not a huge amount of catalyst to go in either direction but a lot of interesting stories out there. let me give you a couple of them. you've got, for example, one of the biggest recalls in one of the biggest auto markets. we're not talking about the united states. we're actually talking about china. this is general motors china joint venture recalling close to 1.5 million vehicles including buicks and chevrolets due to potential safety issues with fuel pumps. there are's twitter. this stock is down but it has roared higher since going public earlier this had year, last month. it's up about 17% in the past week alone. then this morning the stock was downgraded to under perform saying they just believe nothing has changed in the fundamentals to justify such a sharp rise in the shares over the past few weeks. they're keeping their price tag at 46 bucks. and then lastly, this is interesting, a delta airlines web site glitch yesterday caused some of those airlines fares to be offered at such deep
discounts, including a reported round trip between new york and los angeles for 40 bucks. can you imagine? >> get out! i was just looking yesterday to make that trip. i wish i had known. oh, i'm bummed. on a very serious note, though, may i hear about the target security breach? anything new on that? >> yes. target has come out and said that their investigation into that data breach is continuing. they previously shared that encrypted data was obtained and now they are able to confirm to us, alex, that strongly encrypted pin data was removed but the retailer remains confident that pin numbers are safe and secure. in fact, target says the most important thing for their guests to know is that their debit card accounts have not been compromised due to the encrypted pin numbers being taken. this is an ongoing story, of course. the investigation is not complete. more details will become available as soon as we have them. >> thank you, mandy drurry. president obama has signed a
bipartisan budget deal and paving the way for congress to take up immigration again. failed negotiations mar red negotiation in 2010. welcome, allen. as you know, the president has said immigration reform was a top priority this year. now you have gop leaders saying they're ready to overhaul immigration. >> it could be the only time. once we get into 2014, the longer it goes and close her we get to election, i think the more hesitant anyone is going to be to take up this very, very controversial. once that session is done, then
we go into spring and there's a little window there. but those are very small windows. if they want to do something, the chances are better the quicker they get to it. >> what is the biggest obstacle for getting legislation passed? do you see it as being the enormity of passing a huge comprehensive bill versus the piecemeal bills that have successfully passed? or at least been proposed. >> i think it comes down to whether you do it in one huge packet and if you do it in small bills. even if you do the small bills it kind of ends up making up the same component as the big bill. what it really comes down to is where we were from the very beginning of this a year ago, that question of whether there's enough republicans who are willing to allow any sort of bill to go through that allows the nation's undocumented immigrants to eventually get citizenship. no matter the barriers they put up, criminal background checks, 12, 15 year of a process to get the citizenship, there are still a huge chunk of republicans in the house resistant to that and
will deem anything like that as amnesty. they liken it to the '86 bill where 3 million were allowed to become citizens. we're still really at the same point. a lot of agreement on border security, a lot of agreement on how to revamp the legal immigration system to get more workers into the country. but we're sort of at square one with whether they can accept any deal that allows them to become citizens. >> is that really the sticking point for the gop? as you've heard, there are gop leaders who say this is a top priority for 2014. we have an election year. they want to get the votes that show that they're supportive of the minority community so would benefit from immigration being passed. but they failed to pass that bill in june, and that one had bipartisan support. so what has got to change to get something accomplished? >> well, i think what they're working on right now is figuring out what that -- sort of what to do with those 12 million undocumented immigrants we have in the country. as you said, in june it got very, very strong support in the senate, i think about 68 votes it passed with. but as you were talking about
earlier, senator cornyn and senator cruz, both from texas, voted against the bill, even though that -- and techbl texas tex is a good example of a state where it will be difficult. a lot of house republicans in that state are worried about being primaried and the main component is it isn't about reformtion the legal immigration system, not about border security. i really do think it comes down to that willingness to accept that. what you have now is speaker boehner and republican leadership, what they're working on are these principles for immigration reform they want to see probably in the next few weeks you'll see that kind of coming out. and then in the weeks to follow they'll -- kind of like a big trial balloon. see how that comes out, get a little response to that, then they'll start putting those principles into a bill form. they've been working for months on trying to strike that balance, some want full citizenship, some want them to be here legally but never be able to get sit zenship.
it's trying to strike that balance. >> good to see you. thanks so much. the iconic times square new year's eve ball will glitter with a whole new look this year. the ball was unveiled this afternoon. it has 2688 new crystals, each decide designed with the theme gift of imagination. one of the crystals was designed by a 12-year-old girl, a patient at st. jude's children's hospital. well done. we'll be right back. t's who. republicans in congress made sure of that protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways. and for those facing tough times? republicans stripped 1.3 million americans of jobless benefits folks who want to work, but cannot find a job kicking them to the curb during christmas.
so to the 1.3 million americans losing benefits merry christmas - from the gop. it's wrong to leave more than a million americans behind. tell republicans: restore unemployment benefits now. with 0-calorie monk fruit in the raw. it's made with the natural, vine-ripened sweetness of fruit, so you can serve up deliciously sweet treats without all the sugar. raw natural sweetness, raw natural success.
i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is. lawmakers and veterans are fighting consult ining cuts to retirement benefits, part of the two-year budget bill.
the annual cost of living adjustments will be cut for veterans under age 62. the cuts will save the government some $6 billion over a decade. alex nicholson is the legislative director at iraq and afghanistan veterans of america and editor at defense policy.org. and alex, with a welcome to you, i'm curious what you've been hearing from your members this week. how has the legislation impacted them? >> you know, it's causing a lot of anxiety among veterans and service members and families. this may seem like a small cut, 1% off of the annual cola increase, until you turn ask a. but over the course of years this adds up to tens of thousands of dollars on average. if you're an officer who retires, it's over $100,000 that the government is taking back, that they already promised you. this is a big deal to veterans and military families. >> absolutely. just this week, a couple of members of congress introduced some bills that would repeal the cuts. you have senator kelley ayotte.
>> i think they need to prioritize undoing this cut they made as part of the budget deal. it was a mistake, a bipartisan mistake, a bipartisan deal. but the first thing they need to do when they come back to work is have a bipartisan solution and restore these promised earned benefits that veterans and military families have sacrificed for and were guaranteed as part of their compensation and retirement package when they signed up. >> how optimistic are you it's going to happen? >> oh, you know, i'm extremely optimistic this is going to happen. you saw as soon as it came out that these cuts were part of the budget deal, you know, they pushed themselves up against a time line. basically they didn't leave themselves enough time to undo mistakes that were part of this deal. but once it started coming out that this was a part of the deal
and how much veterans and military families were going to lose as a result of it, everybody started coming out saying this is a mistake, we don't have time to fix it now, but we will fix it as soon as we come back. you started seeing not only senator graham of my home state, senator ayotte and snatdor wicker to fight to delay the budget deal until they come back in january and use that extra week to fix it. you saw many who voted for the deal saying it's a mistake. we are pledging to undo it as soon as we come back. they have the time. this isn't going to go into effect for at least another year or so. they have the time to do it. they have the time before even this congress ends in mid-january, and they've pledged to do it. i'm extremely optimistic they'll follow through because veterans have earned it. >> i want to bring up another suggest that's been plaguing so many of our military veterans. that's what you talked about recently at a press conference about the mental health for veterans. what are some of your biggest concerns there?
>> well, you know, one of our biggest concerns is access to mental health care for veterans and service members, but specifically suicide among service members and veterans. that's a problem that's just becoming almost too muchveteran. that's a problem that's becoming too much to handle. we need to figure how to you how to address this. mental health and veteran suicide a priority in 2014. we're going to be attacking it and senator stabenow and blunt have been active. we really see the impact of wars, five or ten or 15 years after wars end. we wound down in iraq and winding down in afghanistan this coming year. we won't start seeing the full impact of conflicts we've been involved in for the next decade or half decade and mental health issues, specifically veteran suicide, is going to be a big issue we'll have to deal with. we need to get out in front on it and start attacking the source of the problem and helping vets and military
families now. >> you're absolutely right. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> you're very welcome. thanks for joining us. >> two members of the punk rock band granted amnesty, one woman told reporters her release was permitted by putin to bolster his image ahead of the winter olympics in sochi, which she referred to as his quote, favorite project. [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices that connect us and teach us. ♪ we'd see that almost 100% of medical plastics are made from oil and natural gas. ♪ and an industry that supports
which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? back with us, i'm guessing that which expires tomorrow, right? >> the unemployment benefits, no question about it, 1. 3 million affected by that, 1.9 by the middle of next year. that is a huge issue, democrats want to push something through and republicans want spending cuts in addition and we're talking about just three months,
13 weeks to get something done on that. and we'll see if they make it retroactive so these folks won't see the cuts that they are anticipating in the paychecks. >> i want to plug for my own show, i have a great interview with bart gelener, a comprehensive interview he did. >> the guy who called himself an indoor house cat in russia because he doesn't get outside. he says i'm working for the nsa, they don't know it because he thinks he's elevating this debate. it's going to be interesting. the thing that stands out to me, what edward snowden has done has done more to hurt president obama on foreign policy than almost anything president obama has done, any decision he made pro actively. >> thank you very much for that. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." i'll see you tomorrow. right now tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> hey there, alex. coming up in the next hour, more
than a million out of work americans set to lose their lifeline. jobless benefits expire at midnight and there's a bipartisan proposal to extend them but will republicans support the measure? we'll have more on that. plus, the justice department responds after a federal judge ruled just today that the nsa phone data program is legal. more on the direct counterpunch to the ruling that found it to be unconstitutional. fighting for a fair child 70 years later. a hearing is scheduled to clear the name of 14-year-old george steny, one of the youngest people ever executed in this country. "news nation" is next. playing in the nfl is tough. ♪ doing it with a cold, just not going to happen. ♪ vicks dayquil powerful non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ no matter what city you're playing tomorrow...
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million americans set to lose their unemployment benefits by midnight tonight. since congress failed to pass an extension, funds officially run out for those facing long-term unemployment, an additional 1.9 million americans stand to lose their benefits by june, bringing the number of people affected to 2.3 million. if congress does nothing but next december, almost 5 million americans will have lost their benefits. and with those benefits averaging about $300 a week, the pressure is on for lawmakers to act. president obama has said congress should make it their number one priority when they return on january 6th. at least one bipartisan measure is set to come to the floor then. two senators jack reed and dean teller are proposing a bill that would extend benefits for three months. their $6 billion proposal buys lawmakers more time to work on a longer extension, not everyone