tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 6, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
and their voting rights and let's do that in states all over the country. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next saturday and to keep the conversation going, like us on facebook.com/politicsnation and follow us on twitter. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. ♪ this sunday, shutdown politics. president trump insists no wall, no deal. >> you can't really do the kind of job we have to do unless you have a major powerful barrier. and that's what we're going to have to have. >> but now he faces a new democratic house -- >> to the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, i extend to you this gavel. >> and a new speaker. >> we're not building a wall. does anybody have any doubt that we're not doing a wall? >> the president is talking tough. >> he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or years. >> absolutely i said that.
>> but is he grasping for an exit strategy? my guest this is morning, nick mulvaney. house majority leader democratic steny hoyer and susan collins. plus, impeachment politics. >> we're going to go in there and impeach the [ bleep ]. >> democrats should be careful about impeachment talk but will she be able to stop her new activist members? also, gender politics. no sooner elizabeth warren announced for president -- >> hello, sioux city. >> that we began to see stories like this, suggesting that warren like hillary clinton is too unlikable to win. the debate over different treatment women get on the presidential campaign trail. joining me for insight and analysis are kasie hunt. david brooks, columnist for "the new york times." former congresswoman donna edwards. and matthew continetti.
welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. welcome to our first "meet the press" of the new year. government shutdown is now in the 16th day and, well, second year. tying it for the third longest in history and the problems for everyone are piling up. literally. though national parks are open, they are not staffed which means a lot of places are beginning to look like this. in addition, the federal food stamp program which services 38 million low income americans faces severe cuts. and some $140 billion in tax refunds, your money, could be frozen or delayed. for democrats that were once willing to provide funding, the goal seems to be deny president trump a victory, any victory and for the president it's become a symbol. it's no longer just about keeping illegal immigrants out, it's about keeping his base in. senator lindsey graham made that point clear on fox earlier this week.
>> if he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. that's probably the end of his presidency. >> we have critical players from all corners of this drama, president trump's acting chief of staff who is negotiating for the white house, the house majority leader, and a moderate republican senator who is up for re-election in 2020 who is caught in the middle. it's a staring contest in which neither the president nor the democrats see an incentive to blink because each views this shutdown as a political winner and necessity for them. >> i'm very proud of doing what i'm doing. i don't call it a shutdown. >> with the government shutdown in the third week, president trump is digging in. >> he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years. >> absolutely i said that i don't think it will. but i'm prepared. >> president trump said if democrats don't give him $5.6 billion for a border wall, he can use emergency powers to did verdict pentagon funds. >> we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly and it's another way of doing it.
but if we can do it through a negotiated process, we give that a shot. >> the president's latest threats come as he's boxed in and grasping are for an off ramp that will not alienate conservative media and the base he needs for fights ahead. >> the republicans have to stay the course. you can't back down. now the president's base is now deeply invested in this shutdown. the president has taken a stand and it's time for the republicans to do the same. >> in december the president rejected a short term spending bill passed by the senate after it was panned by immigration hawks. >> we set out a number, $5.6 billion. we're very firm on a number. >> still, some republicans who face tough re-election fights are pleading with the president to end the shutdown wall or no wall. >> let's get the government open and have a debate. that the american people can be proud of. >> the allies of the president have floated a short term plan to grant work permits to so-called dreamers in exchange for the wall funding. >> give president the $5 billion we need for wall/border security
as a down payment to securing the border. the daca population, about 700,000, give them work permits. >> but it's not clear the president will support it or what incentive house democrats buoyed by the new majority would have to accept that offer. >> i give to you this gavel. >> is there any situation you would accept even a dollar of wall funding for this president in order to reopen the government? >> a dollar? a dollar. one dollar? a wall is an immorality. it's not who we are as a nation. >> democrats have to worry about their own grassroots. this week freshman congresswoman rashida tlaib of michigan revived the debate over impeachment over these comments were caught on tape. >> we're going to go in there and impeach the [ bleep ]. >> i don't like that language. i wouldn't use that language. i don't, again, establish any language standards for my colleagues. but i don't think it's anything worse than the president has --
what the president has said. >> but in exit polling, 71% of democrats supported impeachment so it may not be a question of whether impeachment proceedings begin but when. >> i stand by impeaching the president of the united states. i ran on that. >> democratic and republican negotiators are supposedly planning to meet again today after yesterday's meeting in the words
of president trump, didn't make much head way. i sat down with the president's acting chief of staff shortly after those talks on saturday broke up. and i began by asking him, why so little progress is made? >> the first line that the chief negotiator said is we're not here to agree to anything which is a stunning way to start a negotiation. and then -- >> why is that stunning? i mean, none of their bosses were there. and the president wasn't there. so nobody was in power to make a deal. there is no question. >> it was clear nobody was there to make a final deal? >> correct. the mandate of the group was to find agreement on some of the underlying terms. >> okay. >> not agree to how much money we're going to spend but do you
think that ports of entry need to be included? do we think that? yes. then let's put that in the thing we agree on. do we disagree on a wall or really agree that maybe a steel fence qualifies as a fence and not a wall? do we want to build a steel barrier anyway? having those types of conversations. the discussion turned to a bunch of technical requests that democrats were asking for for the first time ever in these negotiations. so i think this is going to drag on a lot longer. i think that's by intention. >> obviously there is a lot of distrust here. part of this seems to be generated by the president himself. on one hand, he empowered the vice president to potentially cut a deal. the democrats rejected the vice president's offer of $2.5 billion. but apparently it's because the president said he never would have agreed to it. so the democrats have this attitude, what they tell us is that they can't trust anybody in the room other than the president. >> no. i think they said that. i'll tell you the same thing the president told them when we were in the meeting. look, i sent the vice president down with a piece of paper to
the senate minority leader, to chuck schumer. that was our proposal. you're now claiming or they were claiming yesterday or two days ago they had unnamed sources in the white house saying it was no longer part of the deal. that is silly. when the vice president of the united states at the direct instruction of the president walks in with a piece of paper, that's a deal. they walked away from it. and it's no longer on the table because it was a deal we were trying to get in place before the shutdown. >> but the president said that is not true. >> it's not at all. he said it's not on the table anymore. that is the deal to try to prevent the government from shutting down in the first place. i think it was technically the day after and we had a couple days there because of the holiday for christmas. we were trying to do our best to get the government open before it became a serious issue. >> i want to ask you how your mind has been changed on the fence. to go back to an infamous audio recording that made the rounds. let me play this one audio on how you described the border back in 2015. take a listen. >> to just say build the darn fence and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for
someone running for president to take that simplistic of view. by the way, the bottom line is the fence doesn't stop anybody who really wants to get across. you go under, around, through. the ranchers say they don't need a fence. >> has your mind changed on this personally or just acting as the president's advocate? >> i think there is an economist that -- i don't remember who gets credit for it, he said when the facts change, my opinion changes. what do you do, sir? we had 60,000 people try to cross the border every month for the last three months. things on the ground are different. and when the circumstances change, you change your opinion. the fences that we have built on the southern border, the ones that are already there under republican leadership, democrat leadership, san diego, el paso, more than 90% effective in preventing criminal immigration. we need more of that. do we need it from coast to coast, 2,000 miles all the way across? no. the president admitted as such. there are places in the middle
of nowhere where technology will be better. but a barrier, call it a wall or fence, the president said he didn't care what you call it, he even offered to let the democrats help him design something. he says as long as it's effective, he doesn't care what you call it. we need something to prevent people from coming into this country illegally. >> let me ask you this though. you know, in some ways in the measurement, you keep claiming there is a crisis. the president said he could declare a national emergency and build the wall. why hasn't he done that, by the way? >> it's not easy to do. the president has a lot of authority. >> you were looking for funds. you were looking to see if you find the money. >> absolutely. the president made it clear to every single member of the cabinet several months ago, i need you to find every pot of money to help with this crisis. and everybody has done that. the office of management and budget which is where i was was intimately involved in that. >> so why shut down the government? if this is what he can do, and it's not the whole government. you're sort of punishing one slice of the government for this fight when if you -- the negotiations can still go on. if you think can you do it another way, you have other
leverage. why hold 800,000 people's paychecks. if they don't get paid on january 11th, they won't get any money at best until january 25th? >> technically we don't know that's true. i'm putting back the old omb hat on. but if you're right, if we don't have an agreement by midnight on the 8th which is tuesday, then payroll will not go out as originally planned. >> and we're talking now a month. a month for people without a paycheck. >> congress is not even coming back until tuesday. nancy pelosi is not coming back -- >> and i'm going to ask two other members where their sense of urgency is. at the end of the day, why hold this part of the government hostage for a political fight? >> you can ask that of both sides. if i was sitting here talking to nancy pelosi, why are you holding border security -- holding all of the 800,000 workers -- >> she might then say, do elections have any consequences? i ask this. in 2018, the president in the
last month of the campaign tried to make immigration the issue. voters responded how? by handing democrats 40 house seats. if you look across border states, there is one new democratic seat in arizona. almost the upset of the century in texas. more house members. if you look at it from an election, can't you say voters that live near the border sent a message to the president, no wall. >> you and i both know that there is a lot more involved than one issue when it comes to elections. candidates still count the overall environment counts. you could put that on the table but it certainly is far from definitive. the better question is this. is the status quo acceptable? >> daca for the wall? is that deal ever back on the table if the supreme court says it can't be done with executive order? is that deal back on the table? >> let me answer it this way, the president is very interested in larger immigration reform. he said that publicly and privately. he wants to solve immigration. okay? i think he would tell you it's too hard to do it quickly. it's a huge issue. you know it.
if it was easy to do, it would have been done before. you talk about complete control of the house and senate. democrats had it in 2008 and 60 votes in the senate. they didn't even solve the immigration problem. >> they couldn't find 60 votes. >> that's exactly right. it's hard to do. the president is -- i think the president's position is i'm more than interested in talking about that. but if we wait to do that now, this government will be closed for a long time which i don't think he wants. >> lindsey graham has said that if the president caves in that's the end of -- you know, the base will abandon him essentially and probably the end of his presidency. why do you think the president can't lead the base to a compromise? why is this idea that -- i mean, the implication here is that essentially sean hannity, rush limbaugh and ann coulter have more sway over the president's base than the president? is that the implication? >> i've seen that. i would make the argument the president has more sway over sean hannity and ann coulter than vice versa. you know i like lindsey graham. he's a good friend of mine from south carolina.
he's not as good of a politician as donald trump or else he'd be president. they both ran. one of them won, one of them lost. the president is interested in resolving this issue. >> here's one thing that i didn't hear throughout our entire interview. what is it -- >> because you didn't ask. >> what is the president offering the democrats? what's the offer on their side? right now it's only clear what the president wants. >> let me tell you, because it came up the other day in the private meeting with the big eight as they call them, leaders from the house, republicans and democrats. he was willing to agree and he mentioned this at the rose garden press conference, to take a concrete wall off the table. that is -- if that is not evidence of our willingness to solve the problem, okay, because again what is driving this is the president's desire to change the conditions at the border. and if he has to give up a concrete wall and replace it with a steel fence to do that so that democrats can say, see, he's not building a wall anymore. that should help us move forward. >> you want the headline to be the president no longer wants a wall, he wants a fence? >> the president is going to secure the border with a barrier. >> call it a wall --
>> would he be comfortable saying that? by the way, mexico is never going to pay for it? >> i think he said it was going to be a 30 foot high steel. he tweeted a picture of it. that was weeks ago. we told the democrats this two weeks ago. this is what we want to build. do you think this is a wall? actually, under the way the law is written right now, technically it's not a wall. but if that's not evidence of the president's desire to try to resolve this, i don't know what is. >> mick mulvaney,
i think we ran over. i appreciate your time. the current chief of staff, you haven't given up your title. let us know when you do. >> it's always a pleasure. >> joining me is steny hoyer of maryland. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thanks, chuck. >> let me start with that last mick mulvaney said that the president is taking concrete wall off the table if that's not -- if that's not evidence he's trying to compromise, then he doesn't know what is. do you take that as a good faith offer? >> it is an offer he made and it will be discussed. but the fact of the matter is
you used mick mulvaney's quote, but you got senator john cornyn who says i don't think we're going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it. lindsey graham said the border wall is probably not a smart investment. mike mccall, the chairman of the homeland security committee in the last congress said, you have to understand, too that a 30 foot concrete wall is a very expensive proposition and there's a lot of other things we can be to be doing technology wise to make it a smart border that is more effective and more cost effective. so this is not a democratic position. this is a pretty broad position that this does not make sense. what we ought to do is open up the government first. and that's what we're going to do. we passed legislation last thursday that would open up the government. i would hope that senator mcconnell would take the responsibility as the leader of the co-equal branch of
government, the legislative branch, and send this to the president. that would open up government. would start serving the american people. >> do you regret not taking the deal that vice president pence offered, $2.35 billion and maybe you could have said here's more money for border security? you guys call it border security and all this and you would have reopened the government? >> we were ready to take the deal that vice president offered. and senator mcconnell took that offer. he passed a bill -- >> he didn't pass that one. i understand. >> no, senator mcconnell about pass that bill. in the last congress, he sent us a bill. the republicans in the house of representatives rejected the senate bills. the republican bills. and when you say have we compromised, we have voted for and are prepared to vote for republican bills. these are all the republican bills from the last congress. and as a matter of fact, chuck, as you know, we're going to make every effort to open up government next week. we're going to offer two bills to open up the financial services which will make sure that taxpayers get refunds. we're going to open up ag to make sure that people get food stamps.
we're going to open up hud in order to make sure that housing vouchers and interior so people can use their parks. >> when is enough enough? i want to play a clip from a guy named steny hoyer to you from 2011. take a listen. >> okay. >> there does come a time when the american public expect us to be able to act. gridlock is not what they voted for. the priorities that we have agreed to in this resolution are not my priorities. but we have reached agreement. >> basically you have said you supported things. you have had to vote for things you didn't support before. it will happen again. >> chuck, let me reiterate what we voted for last thursday were republican bills. all republican bills. no democratic bill. and we took them as they were passed to the senate. we're going to do the same thing this week. the difference is we'll do it bill by bill so we can help taxpayers and people who need food assistance and people who
need housing vouchers, people who need flood insurance. we'll do it one by one. i would hope that mitch mcconnell as the leader of the united states senate would represent the congress of the united states, the co-equal branch that says we believe we ought to open up government. mitch mcconnell believes we ought to open up government. >> at the end of the day you need a presidential signature, right? you need a presidential you may not like any of the ways that president has conducted himself, how he's conducted these negotiations. can you claim they've not been in good faith. what is it though -- >> that's pretty close to the characterization. >> fair enough. when is it your responsibility to say these federal workers have to get paid and i may have to eat this? >> we don't think the wall is a good technology to do the objective. this is a substantive argument. the reason i read the republican views that say the wall is not the technology we ought to pursue is because this is a difference of substance. we ought to have that argument on the substance.
and not be held hostage, 800,000 federal employees, millions of people who need food stamps. >> i understand that. but what is your threshold here? >> he is being held hostage. >> don't these people need to get paid? >> we're for strengthening border security. as a matter of fact, one of the positive things that happened in the meeting with the big eight as it's called was senator durbin brought up the fact that there was insufficient dollars in the homeland security bill to have the technology to have the electronic ability to see what is in all these trucks that come across our border every day. we're prepared to negotiate on that. >> are you willing to give anything on a fence? a steel fence, he doesn't call it a wall, can you accept that? >> chuck -- >> a steel fence? >> chuck, let me say, we've done fencing in the past. >> so you'll do it in the future. >> we've done fencing in the past.
however, what is happening today and hopefully the administration will come, the administration has not come up with any specific plan as to how they're going to spend this money. now, remember, i understand it was the last congress. the president said to mitch mcconnell, i'll sign this bill. mitch mcconnell signed a bill. he sent it to the house. we were prepared to vote for that bill but the republicans wanted to shut down the government. we need to open up government and then negotiate. not the other way around. we're prepared to negotiate. we're prepared to have the homeland security bill approved for a short term so that we have to negotiate. >> is an impeachment process inevitable? >> no, i don't think an impeachment process is inevitable. and that's not what we're focused on. we're focused on bills. we have to focus on getting the government open. that's our primary first responsibility. >> are impeachment talks a distraction? >> i think the impeachment talks are a distraction. we'll have to see what the mueller report says. nancy and i both said that. we voted that way on the floor of the house of representatives. what we want to do is concentrate on our substantive agenda.
we want to make sure that we get some reforms done, on redistricting, on campaign finance reform, on voting rights. we want to make sure we get ethical reforms. we want to make sure we focus on wages and health care. all of those issues that we campaigned on. >> steny hoyer, i have to leave it there. the house majority leader, new house majority leader -- new again, congratulations. >> i'm hopeful, as i said, that mitch mcconnell as we pass these bills will send them to the president and we will continue to negotiate on making sure that our borders are secure. >> we'll find out this week, i hope. when we come back with the shutdown impacting more people every day, will one side give in and say enough already? or are we really in for a record-long partial shutdown? panel is next. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
welcome back. the panel is here. matthew continue nell continetti. kasie hunt and david brooks, columnist for "the new york times." let me put -- speaking of "the new york times," david, your newspaper did a good job of trying to show what equivalent shutdown was look like in corporate america. so, for instance, the department of agriculture being down that, is the equivalent of one goldman sachs. the department of treasury being shut down is equal to apparently three facebooks employee wise. and the department of interior, ten netflixes. trying to put some context into this shutdown. david, it seems to me that's what's missing here. the sense of urgency in this.
>> they make it seem so good. i would love to shut down goldman sachs. no, listening to the conversation, the thing that strikes me is we're the country that won world war ii. we defeated fascism. we defeated the japanese and we launched this complicated thing. we shut down our government because we can't decide if it's a concrete wall or a steel fence or a row of ferns. it's like a sign of government dysfunction. seems to me the answer is just sitting in front of everyone which is the wall for the daca deal and the reason that has not gotten done is because both sides have loaded up a bunch of stuff on that simple deal and made it impossible for the other side to accept. so some basic competence in negotiation would just get us out of this. >> it seems to me capitol hill would come up with that compromise if the president were not involved. >> it's possible. how many times does congress do a big complicated what would have to be a bipartisan thing under this kind of a deadline? it simply doesn't work that way. and in this case, the political incentives are just all screwed up. i mean, in previous shutdowns,
usually somebody has been trying to force a shutdown because they want to make a political point. that is not the case here. nobody really wants a shutdown. certainly congress doesn't want a shutdown. it's simply note clear how they get anywhere without somebody caving in. the president has essentially backed himself into a corner. this is -- i covered now more shutdowns than i really care to think about. and i do not see a way out of this one. whereas the others, you could see how the political pressure was going to build on one side. i was inevitable they would eventually cave n that doesn't seem to be the case here. >> as in previous shutdowns, the two sides are arguing for the middle. that's not the case here. in fact, what you have is the democrats have public opinion behind them. public wants the government open and they don't like the idea of a wall. >> but the president has his republican party and his supporters strongly behind him. they want the wall. and they're repaired to shut down part of the government. the real question is when does the pain threshold become too
much? >> too much. >> too much for either side. that's why it is interesting that you see some republicans in the house, some republicans two or three in the senate voice, maybe it is time to reopen part of the government until we get these negotiations going. is trump going to listen to them or listen to the base? and on the other side, you know, democrats are the party and and the government of party employees. if this thing stretches on for months, then maybe their own base starts saying, you know what? it's just $5 billion. we need to be paid. >> donna, what is it that you represented the district right here -- you know, plenty of government workers. what do you think the pain threshold is going to be for members of congress that used to be in your shoes on this? >> i think the pain threshold is going to hit this week. this is the week where paychecks should be going out. it's the week where you begin to see more than just trash piling up at the national parks. where people really are in pain. and keep in mind that of those 800,000 federal workers and the additional contractors, probably
80% of them live some place other than the washington metropolitan region. members across the country in districts and senators in their states are going to begin to hear from the subcontractors and federal employees this really is causing them pain. they're not able to make the mortgage payments, daycare payments, all of those things in addition to the things that mr. hoyer mentioned. and so i think this is the week, to me, this is the crucial week when those stories start to come out and is not sustainable, particularly with some of the senators who are going to be up in 2020 and are vulnerable. >> what would be your -- if you were there now would you want the leadership to be willing to be a little more malleable on this or not? >> here's what the democrats offered. for the first time ever that you can imagine, democrats actually passed a republican bill. they didn't have to do that. they did it to say here we're going to get government open. i think this week a strategy of beginning to pass these
individual bills that have passed the senate and open up parts of the government that provide services is one direction. because them it leaves open the opportunity to just negotiate around the department of homeland security. >> this is all about senate republicans. >> i think it is all about senate republicans. and mitch mcconnell is in a very strange spot. you heard him say repeatedly this week i'm not putting something on the floor the president won't sign. that is interpreted as mitch mcconnell going along with this president on the border wall. i actually read something slightly different into it which is to say that mitch mcconnell was assured by a third party, mike pence at lunch one day, that the president would was going to sign the thing he was going to put on the floor. and then all of a sudden that turned out not to be true. mitch mcconnell said you don't want anything from the second kick of the mule. he said i'm confident we won't have a shutdown. here we are. he was embarrassed. so there is really no -- there is no advantage for him in doing that again. on the other hand, mitch mcconnell thinks shutdowns are bad politics. he said it a million and one times. he knows it's bad for the vulnerable republicans in 2020.
i think that is the underlying thing here. i think you're correct to think if there's a place where it gives it's probably there. >> i think there might be pressure from senate republicans. but president trump is still fixated on that base. he needs to have the shutdown continue to such a point that he can turn to his base and say i gave it my all. we're not there yet. and he needs that base because the base is the difference between a 42% approval rating and a 35% approval rating. >> impeachment hangs over this. he's got to keep the senate republicans -- >> that's what i was going to say about. >> he needs those people in case of an impeachment. >> the president -- who is more fixated on impeachment the new house democrats or the president of the united states? take a listen to him on friday on this topic. >> we even talked about that today. i said why don't you use this for impeachment? and nancy said, we're not looking to impeach you. i said that's good, nancy. that's good. but you know what? you don't impeach people when they're doing a good job.
>> david, he brings it up almost as much as some of the new members of congress do. >> i love him for a guy who is sort of not totally honest, he is totally unhidden. i mean, he totally -- he reveals everything. he's transparent. it's clearly on his mind. the mueller investigation is something he tweets about all the time. there are a bunch of investigations. this is what -- what he's going to do and why it's going to get so ugly is i assume something is going to happen. there are a bunch of investigations. there will be some sort of indictment. not to defend himself the way richard nixon defended himself. nixon had an unconscious deference to the institutions of this society. he doesn't have that. donald trump is going to try to save himself by attacking institutions. >> donna, is impeachment hearings inevitable? >> i don't think it's inevitable. but i think that democrats are prepared to go where the evidence takes them and the question is nancy pelosi holding that at bay so that the evidentiary base is there? i'm not sure we're quite there yet. but we're getting close.
>> when we come back, we're going to talk about one of the senate republicans that may be feeling unhappy about the situation. it's republican senator susan collins from maine. she joins me next. aine she joins me next. around down dirt, dust and hair? so now, i use heavy duty swiffer sweeper and dusters. for hard-to-reach places, duster makes it easy to clean. it captures dust in one swipe. ha! gotcha! and (new) sweeper heavy duty cloths lock away a twice as much dirt and dust. it gets stuff deep in the grooves other tools can miss. you know what? my place is a lot cleaner now. stop cleaning. start swiffering. the question isn't whether he should be impeached any more. he's the most corrupt president in american history. and we all know it. the question now is, how fast can we move past this president so we can build a more just and prosperous future?
please, join the more than 6.5 million americans who are demanding action now. because there's nothing more powerful than the unified voice of the american people. together, we will make this happen. need to impeach is responsible for the content of this ad. my name is elaine barber, ancancer survivor.r being diagnosed with cancer made me rethink everything in my life. the things that became important to me were the relationships with people. we pulled together closer as a family. i had so many people at ctca helping me find a way to go through the treatments, to prepare me for anything i would've faced. cancer showed me what true living is all about.
so i started helping at a school for special needs children. i think they do more for me than i do for them. the reality of cancer is not everybody survives. surviving for five years is a big deal. at ctca, they have a huge celebrate life event. that was amazing because the whole day was about all of the survivors. i'm not exactly sure what's ahead of me, but i'm excited about my future. visit cancercenter.com to schedule an appointment now. welcome back. welcome back. susan collins is used to being stuck in the middle these days and now she has company. she is one of six republican senators up in 2020 who are from states that hillary clinton won or from states that could reasonably be called tossup or swing states.
collins along with cory gardner has already called for an end to the shutdown, wall or no wall. they're pressured on one side from republicans that want to stand firm. and on the other side from democrats and independents opposed of a wall and certainly to a shutdown for it. susan collins joins me now. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, chuck. >> look, you were very patient. you heard from mick mulvaney and from steny hoyer. did you hear any hope? >> i'm always hopeful. i never thought that shutdown are an appropriate means of trying to achieve any kind of a solution. this doesn't matter to one side or the other cave in. and it's important that we remember that real lives are being affected here. the 800,000 federal employees, dedicated public servants, who
won't get a paycheck next friday this isn't resolved very soon. >> is steel for concrete a reasonable compromise offer from the white house? in your mind. >> well, i have always thought that the debate over what the physical barrier should be constructed of was rather bizarre. we do need to strengthen our border security. we know that 90% of the heroin is coming across the southern border. and a lot of unaccompanied children. that is not good either. but we need to look at more than just a physical barrier. we need to look at more border patrol agents, technology and other means as well. >> the senate adjourned on 11:00 a.m. on friday. you're not here in town. you're not alone. all of congress is adjourned for the weekend. you guys don't reconvene until tuesday. where's the urgency?
>> well, chuck, just as i can talk to you from bangor, maine, i also have been talking to my colleagues. i had -- >> i don't mean it about you. i'm talking about in general. where is the urgency in washington and congress? it just seems sort of blase. >> well, i certainly feel a sense of urgency to get back people to work and government reopened. and i think many of my colleagues do. i think that we need to make this our first priority. >> do you think mitch mcconnell has done enough? he made the decision, he has said this is between the democrats and the president. he said he's not going to bring up any bills that he doesn't think the president will sign. does he feel burned by the white house? do you think he should be more aggressive here and put some of these bills back on the floor? >> well, i can't speak for senator mcconnell. but i would like to see him bring the house-passed bills to
the senate floor. we could reopen much of government where there's no dispute over issues involving certain departments like ag, transportation, housing, interior. let's get those reopened while the negotiations continue. but to be fair to senator mcconnell, the fact is that unless chuck schumer and speaker pelosi agree and the president agrees to sign a bill, we can pass bills but they won't become law. so that's why i understand the point that senator mcconnell is making about these important negotiations that are in fact on going. >> there are -- yourself, senator gardiner, senator tillis have all spoken out, basically, sharing a similar position. let's reopen the government and continue the debate. but you're the only three that have gone public on the republican side of the aisle. privately, how anxious are some of your colleagues? >> well, there have been others. lamar alexander did an excellent
column in which he outlined three possible compromises to get government open. one you talked about and we advanced last year when there was a briefer shutdown which was that we would have border security funded at $2.5 billion. and we would give a path to citizenship for those dreamers, the very young adults who are brought to this country through no decision of their own by their parents. that is a possible compromise on this issue. and i would note that 46 out of the 49 democrats in the senate voted for that compromise just last march. >> right. let me ask you this. we're now in the third shutdown since president trump took office. it seems like there is chaos when policy decisions get announced. think of syria the most recent example. when is enough enough for you? you've expressed displeasure in the past.
but is it accumulating for you to the point that you're running out of patience? >> government shutdowns are never good policy. and we have had them in the obama administration. we've had them in president trump's administration. we should always get the appropriation bills signed into law before the start of the fiscal year so that neither side can use the threat of a shutdown or the reality of a shutdown as a political weapon. >> okay. but i guess -- what is your level of satisfaction with how the president is conducting himself in office? that's where i'm getting. are you losing patience with his conduct? >> well, i'm frustrated in the situation that we've gotten to this point where both sides appear to be intransigent. it's not a sign of weakness to try to figure out a middle ground. and i think that both sides need
to indicate a willingness to listen and to compromise. >> you have said you intend to seek re-election in to 2020. that is not a -- that is not a firm announcement. what is going into your decision? is it more professional and political? or is it more personal? >> well, it's a combination of factors. i'm very proud of the service that i have given to the people of maine and i'm getting ready to run. but, frankly, i just think it's too early to make that kind of decision. but i am getting prepared and i'll make a final decision at -- towards the end of this year. you know, used to be that we used the off year to actually legislate and left politics to the election year and that is what i would prefer to do. >> senator collins, that happened -- that's the last century these days. i hear you. i miss the odd year on policy and even numbered years on politics myself. >> exactly.
>> anyway. senator collins, happy new year. thanks for coming on and sharing your views. much appreciated. >> thank you, chuck. >> when we come back, republicans lost the house. but those who are left may be more pro trump than ever. that's next. d you want the one the experts at rootmetrics say is number one in the nation? sure, they probably know what they're talking about. or the one that j.d. power says is highest in network quality by people who use it every day? this is a tough one. well, not really, because verizon won both. so you don't even have to choose. why didn't you just lead with that? it's like a fun thing. (vo) chosen by experts. chosen by you. get six months apple music on us. it's the unlimited plan you need on the network you deserve. now buy the latest galaxy phones, get galaxy s9 free.
and while the numbers are fewer, this is a group made much more in the image of president trump. let me explain. before this year's midterm election, republicans held 23 seats in districts won by hillary clinton. that number is now two. that's right, only two current house republicans represent districts where most voters split their tickets. looking at it another way for how the house gop let the middle slip away look at it this way. republicans previously held 94 seats where president trump won less than 55% of the vote in 2016. guess what? that's been cut nearly in half to 52. but in districts where trump won 55% or more of the vote in 2016, republicans went from 146 seats to 148. that's right. house republicans actually gained in trump strong holds. these numbers matter because of just how much they change the political character of the house gop. there may be fewer republicans in the house now but the ones who remain are more closely
aligned with president trump and his view of the republican party and they hail from districts that backed the president with the most intensity. and by the way, here's one more number for you. republicans now hold 200 house seats. that's 46% of the lower chamber. it's the exact same number as president trump's approval rating in our november nbc news/"wall street journal" poll and oh, yeah, that's the same number of president trump's share of the vote in 2016. the question is what does that 46% do now? trump's base is rock solid. if this new house minority follows that pattern, get ready for a bumpy and contentious 2019. >> when we come back, is it fair to say elizabeth warren has a hillary problem or is the problem with the people making the charge? okay, i picked out my dream car.
now's the really fun part: choosing the color, the wheels, the interior. everything exactly how i want it. here's the thing, just because i configured this car online doesn't mean it really exists at a dealership. but with truecar, i get real pricing on actual cars in my area, i see what others paid for them and they show me the ones that match the car i want, so i know i can go to a truecar certified dealer and it'll be right there waiting for me... today, right now. this is truecar.
back now with end game. elizabeth warren, basically launched her presidential race this week, donna edwards. and immediately it seems the initial round and started with politico's headline here, i think we can put that up, how does elizabeth warren avoid a clinton redux, written off before her campaign gets off the ground. it's interesting hillary's communication director from
responded -- i think we have the response to the tweet. when did become unlikable? looks like you can pinpoint time of unlikability to moment she showed ambition to be potus. as far as women have come, there's something good her i just don't like. donna, you have been on the ballot. >> i feel like it. i have felt like an unlikable, aggressive woman. >> that's how you were described? >> i was. and i feel like additional women that get into the field, that changes that conversation a little bit but elizabeth warren put herself out there and those are the kind of arrows she's getting. is it fair? no, i don't think it's fair at all but we have to change that conversation and women want that conversation to be changed. >> is it going to be better when more women get in this race? on one hand, sometimes we order presidential fields by ideological lanes, geographic lanes, if it's an identity, goes
back to what? >> pi go back to nick sweeney's column, humor column but quite on point in saying, well, i never didn't really like hillary clinton. i was ready for a woman president, just not her. elizabeth warren, i would be ready for her, but there's something about her i don't like. and there's something about pamela harris i'm starting not to like, and i couldn't tell you why. which i think gets at the root of this. is it possible for a woman candidate to ever get beyond that? there's also "the new york times" story actually that walks through this idea there are some democrats even worried about nominating a woman to run against president trump, which sets up a whole another set of barriers within the party. very, very real. jennifer did not always think what the she did until she went to work for hillary clinton and she looked around and watched how she was covered and she said, okay, this is real. >> it's interesting the initial hit on elizabeth warren politically if you were going to ask the question should have been could the democrats nominate another massachusetts liberal politician, and when the
presidency tried to twice for over a generation and lost. but that isn't the comparison. there's a point here, isn't it? >> there's a point. but i think as more women get in, five, six women in the race and as the race gets started t. will look a lot different. this l not be identity politics primary campaign. the range has widened on the democratic party and republican party, radically different views of the role of government. that's what elizabeth warren is really going to be running on. i think that's what other candidates will be running on. i think that's what we will be talking about, 45,000 people who kill themselves every year in suicide, 72,000 in opioid conditions. and there will be more important chatter. >> "the new york times" comes out with a pretty rough lookback at the bernie sanders campaign. let me put this up. sexism claims from the bernie sanders' sexism run. he was asked about this article.
let me tell you his response to it. >> sirnly apologize any woman who wasn't treated purposely at a cost. if i rin, we will do better next time. >> just to be clear, you seem to indicate you did not know at the time about the allegations, is that correct? >> yes, i was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case. >> boy, that didn't seem like a good answer, did it? >> he took some heat for that. of course, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren will likely be competing over that same set of voters on the progressive side of the democratic party. when i look at warren, she's attracting a high level campaign talent. she certainly has the most policy chops and defined message of the candidates we're looking at now on the left side of the progressive left side. but she does have this burden of having high name i.d. and low personal favorability. >> donna, in iowa this weekend, she was asked about the infamous dna test. very interesting the way she responded to a voter. a voter asked her this, not a reporter. take a listen.
>> yeah, well, you know, i'm glad you asked that question, i genuinely am and i'm glad we have a chance to talk about it. i'm not a person of color, i'm not a citizen of a tribe. tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. >> how is she handling this? >> i actually think she understands she's going to be ask the question. she understands she has to reframe it a little bit differently and i actually think that right there was the closest she's come to acknowledging that she misstepped in the past. i think this is going to be a story that's not going to be there for the long term. she does have those policy chops that people are looking for. but also i don't think the era of identity politics is over because for a lot of women, from people who color who are the base of the democratic party, our identity is our politics. >> i think that's absolutely right. >> that comment reminds me, it's
hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice. warren's moment was four years ago. there was a lot of momentum she was the new face, bernie sanders was the new face. now you feel turns and a lot of people looking at the future and it will be hard for her or sanders to come back. >> but that's not new. she led. >> 12 options in riept pom said someone new, despite all of these choices they had. who that person is, we have yet to see. >> i do think there is a huge argument for a woman candidate as well. if you look at the women in the house and that excitement with he saw this week. >> no question about that. but the question is would the final to both be women? that would be an interesting development. that's all we have today. thank you for watching. we're glad to be back in 2019 and we will be back here next week as well because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
previously on "kasie dc" -- >> i will take the mantel. i will be the one to shut it down. i'm not going to blame you for it. >> we're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration. this is a very -- it comes, absolutely. >> your response? >> those statements are idiotic. >> they are now feeling the heat. >> you can call it the schumer or the pelosi or the trump shutdown. it doesn't make any difference to me. >> let's be clear, sir, you will be held responsible for shutting down the federal government. >> then shut it down.