tv Political Capital With Al Hunt Bloomberg December 15, 2013 1:30pm-2:01pm EST
>> this week on "political capital" -- harry reid and chris van hollen talk about the budget deal and 2014. and also the volcker rule. and talking about paul ryan's future. we begin the show with the senate majority leader harry reid. thank you for being with us. you do not need another all- night session. does this mark the end of this war that has transpired?
>> the trouble has not been over the last few days, but over the past five years. there's never been a situation where the president has been treated the way he has by congress. it is no wonder that people feel the way they do about congress. we have had untoward abstraction on everything. the common nation was after five years, that the recognition was after five years. we change the rules. >> are those permanent? >> it is so important. this way no matter who is president, i do not know how people can complain about the majority. people talk about the filibuster as if it were something that is next to the 10 commandments.
the filibuster is not part of the constitution. it was developed to help get legislation passed. it is good for the country. who could complain about majority voting? >> with this agreement, you will take up the budget deal, at least the first vote. is that certain to pass? >> i think it would be suicide if republicans did not pass it. it is a landmark agreement. >> and you have the democratic vote? how confident are you on republicans? >> that is up to them. it would be political suicide.
paul ryan has meetings with patty murray. they did what we always used to do in congress. they both have fixed ideas. they're both good legislators will stop they do not agree on much, but that is how it used to be. you work together and compromise. >> will the senate confirmed janet yellen? >> yes. >> the white house has indicated plans to have stanley fischer, the former head of the central bank of israel, as the new vice chair of the head. good idea? >> i do not have the slightest idea. i read about it yesterday. it sounds interesting. i do not know. that is the least of my worries today. >> return to another issue. menendez would like to pass a tougher iranian sanctions bill. will there be a vote in the
senate in january on an iranian sanctions bill? >> we had a briefing this week. we had kerry and lew. it lasted for more than two hours. and menendez was there. they are working to come up with some type of resolution or legislation. he has worked closely at my side, senator schumer who has been involved in this. >> wouldn't likely be a resolution? >> people started talking about it a day or two ago. iran has been a real problem for
the united states for many years. we cannot let them get a nuclear weapon. israel is our friend. israel is my friend. i will do everything i can to protect negotiations and also take into consideration that legislation is never bad. if we can come up with something that satisfies my people -- menendez and schumer and it is bipartisan -- >> and satisfy john kerry, too. if kerry says this could impede negotiations, wouldn't that be a concern? >> of course it is a concern. that is why before thanksgiving, the major there wasn't anything on that. is could go on forever.
we are taking consideration. i have talked to the president on this. i have spoken to john kerry on many occasions. >> it has cost democrats. charlie cook says there is a 50/50 chance where republicans could win back the senate. do you think it will cost you the senate? >> maybe cook will be right for once, but i doubt it. >> you think you will take control of the senate? do you think you'll lose a couple? >> no. they said we will lose last time. we picked up two seats. we have incumbents that are doing well. we have states like kentucky, georgia. >> speaking of kentucky, will you campaign for allison grimes? >> no. i'm a traditionalist.
>> would you help her raise money? >> i do not and she needs much of my health. she seems to be doing well. >> let me ask about the white house decision to bring back john podesta who was a clinton chief of staff. >> when i was told this was going to happen, he could hear me yell over the phone. john podesta will bring political savvy to the white house. i think that is important. he was a wise choice. in addition, they will bring another. she will be the personnel representing the white house and the senate. she is just wonderful. the two of them will help so
much and getting good, political judgment. >> is this your assessment of the white house that they had trouble with their congressional, political relations? >> i'm not sure what the calculation has been. as far as i am concerned, we have wonderful people in the white house. it is one of the all-time best white house staff in the country. one has reached a retirement age. they need to replace him. >> do you think obama will have a better sixth year? >> first of all, the economy will be better. we do not have to worry about the government closing or default on its debt. maybe we can do good legislation. >> will republicans make an issue of the debt issue in february? >> we talked about them committing suicide.
is this the high water mark on any crystal measures in this congress? >> i hope not. this was a small -- it was a forward moving step, but a small one. the jury is still out on where we go from here. it is a good sign that speaker boehner finally stood up to the tea party crowd. they have essentially been running the show in the house of representatives for a year. whether this is a sign of the future or a one off, we do not know. the big test of that will be when we get to the debt ceiling, whether the public is threatened not to pay the bills that are due and try to use that moment to extract concessions. >> and that comes up in february. >> february, possibly early march. the u.s. has to pay its bills on time.
these are bills that have already incurred. >> you are furious they did not allow a vote to extend insurance for the jobless. you got to keep fighting. >> do you have leverage? i think we do. it was incredibly disappointing. it was unconscionable that the house would go home without dealing with this measure. on december 28, you'll have 1.3 million americans losing their unemployment compensation. we offered an amendment and were denied a vote. we have got to get the ag bill through the house and the senate. otherwise, prices will spike. the ag bill has 15 billion. we're trying to get the savings to offset the sequester. he said no.
this is my personal view -- should say, we will support the ag bill, but you have got to use the savings from that bill to help people with unemployment insurance. i have a lot of concerns of the ag bill. my goodness. we know it has at least $15 billion in savings. let's use that to help people. >> and you think they will vote on that and the food stamps in the ag bill? >> we are pushing hard on food stamps. what we do know is that the minimum savings -- we should have more than this -- but the minimum will be $15 billion. that will go a long way to pay for unemployment compensation for americans who are out of work through no fault of their own and are continuing to look
for work. i see folks with stacks of job applications a foot-high. they are still looking. we still have a slow economy. it is improving, but still slow. they need to pay their rent and groceries. >> it seriously damage the president's poll standing and it has hurt democrats as well. the house gop would add to the majority if an election was held now. how permanent is this? >> i think we had a serious problem with the rollout. it was a rocky rollout. we see things improving every day on that front. we know from the states that have their own assistance -- california, new york, kentucky
>> we see them struggling. >> they are working to get it done. maryland is still struggling. the underlying policy is sound. we know that by looking at the states where the computer systems are working. i think you will see continued improvement going forward. more more people are signing up. more people have access to affordable care who did not afford. you will have a different story. >> one used to work in the house. will that make a difference? >> i think it will make a difference. the house democratic leadership, some of us met with bill yesterday to talk about health care policy issue here did john podesta. i think that will provide some added muscle there. >> do they not consult enough or reach out enough?
>> i think that is right. there are some who believe the communication is not what it should be. he took on the chief of staff position to do that. this brings more firepower. bill has hit the ground running. we talked about the health care rollout and making sure house democrats can anticipate a future problems that may arise. everything i have seen, all of the polling from the american people, they want to make this health care reform work. they are opposed to the republican position of repealing it and going back to the status quo. >> thank you.
will the volcker rule work? how is it going to work? >> it is only going to work out if there is constant vigilance on the part of regulators. there will be so much discretion to the five regulators charge of overseeing it. they have to be in the banks learning about their models and their best practices and how to distinguish what is huge bets and what is regular banking practices. >> are there loopholes or legal challenges? >> i believe hundreds of lawyers are trying to figure that out as we speak. the door is open to loopholes. the rules are written so vaguely. it depends on whether regulators try to close out this language and what kind of agreement can be found between regulators and the compliance offices within these banks on what these definitions on's regulative trading and hedging actually mean in practice.
>> the results will be "less liquid markets, higher transaction costs, a weaker financial system, and richer lawyers." >> that is a pretty dire protection. it could be worth it from a regulatory it. you do not know. my problem with this rule is that there was a major change between the proposed in the final and the limitation of what is called for portfolio hedging. that was never publicly debated. it appeared in the final rule. that is where we do not know what the muster is in this rule. how far would to come down on what is allowed to make being safer and what is not allowed? we do not know that. >> i always turn to margaret carlson on my portfolio hedging. some are pushing for tougher
regulation. did anything happen? >> we don't know. the volcker rule leave so much discretion to regulators. elizabeth warren thinks banks are too big to fail. i think that is the next step. this is still an open question. >> thank you. i hope you'll come back. >> i would love to. >> i turn to the columnists now. does this help or hurt the presidential process?
>> i'm not sure paul ryan wants to be president. i think vice president took away from his core strength which is the bulky details of budget policy. he likes to do budget stuff. he is very excited about cbo reports. >> megan is our philosopher king. no one runs for vice president who does not want to run for president. you can be both. this week you could see how ryan thinks and how do john boehner thinks. these compromises, if you will, they think they will take back the party. boehner's outburst is not angry as it seems. we, the chamber of commerce and
the financial community, we are getting the party back. >> my prediction is he will be the next chair of -- but when you are as young as paul ryan -- >> he is a baby. >> can he make a difference? >> they're both serious and somewhat modest. they are press hounds. i think it will be good. i think the job is bigger than one man. >> i think obama administration has troubles that are bigger. where is the real action happening? it is at hhs and making sure that obamacare works. that is not something that senior white house staffers have
much influence over at the point. >> i agree that the problems are bigger. i have never underestimated anyone as much as john podesta. the best white house chief staffer in modern times. >> he could save obamacare. >> it is salvageable. thank you for being with us. thank you for watching. see you next week. >> "political capital" is a production of bloomberg television. ♪
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