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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  June 27, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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very clear and publicly saying that he wants mitch mcconnell to give his colleagues more time to consider this bill as well as the cbo score. now coming out of senate lunch just a little while ago, ron johnson said that he was grateful to leadership for giving members more time to think about this bill and that he, you know, truly appreciates this fact that we have more time, but he also said that this is going to be a difficult, difficult process and when i asked him, look, is there a scenario a week and a half from now where you get to a yes, he actually couldn't answer that question and i think that really goes to show that even though there might be a little sigh of relief right now among a number of the senate republicans who really felt like this process was too rushed and that a vote this week would have been too much, there is now the question that members are going to be going home for the july fourth going home for the july fourth recess. -- captions by vitac --
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>> there are deep ideological divides between the moderates and the conservatives and what mitch mcconnell needs to do to even get on board, a couple of these senate republicans who are currently no, that task still remains very, very difficult and as my colleague, phil mattingly has reported, the plan for the time being is to get a plan in place by tethe end of this week members can think about it over the next week's recess and then come back and have a vote. but i can tell you, while the members go home and they are actually stewing over this, that might not be a good thing. a lot of members as we have been reporting expect to hear from their constituents and expect to face the backlash of supporting a bill that the cbo projects will lead to 22 million more people being uninsured over ten years than compared to
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obamacare. >> all right, stand by, i want to bring in cnn political analyst kirsten powers as we welcome our viewers who are joining us at the top of the hour as we continue to follow breaking news right now with senate majority leader saying he will delay any vote on the senate republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare until after the fourth of july recess. he had been pushing hard, kirsten, for a vote this week so that the senators wouldn't have to go home and face, perhaps, some backlash among the constituents, lose any momentum they may have gained prior to the break. what's your reaction? >> i think what we're seeing play out is similar to what we saw play out on the house side. they came up with a bill. they came very close to bringing it up and suddenly they couldn't bring it up because they had this backlash from the conservatives and of course when they came back, the house bill ended up being much more like what the conservatives in the house wanted than what the moderates wanted, and so this bill arrives in the senate, they says it's dead on arrival, and understanding is just because as the president described it, it's too mean, but what we're seeing
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again is the conservatives really digging in and saying, no, we're not going to give in. these are the things that we want. we don't think this actually does repeal obamacare. club for growth has put out a statement now saying this is not a repeal of obamacare and until we see a repeal of obamacare, we're not going to support this. >> we have some sound from one of those conservatives who's been digging in, senator ted cruz. let's listen. >> we continue to have positive and productive conversations. i believe we can get to yes. i believe we will get to yes. it's going to take more discussions, and the most critical question is how do we lower premiums. that's been my central focus from the beginning. inn, f you know, for five months, there has been a working group in the senate working to bring republicans together and unite behind the best approach to repealing obamacare. that was a working group that's been led by senator lamar alexander and myself and the discussions of the working group have really focused on common sense reforms that would expand
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options, expand competition, and give consumers more choices, which would lower premiums and make health insurance more affordable. if we do that, we will have succeeded. we need to do more to get that to happen, but i believe we can and will get that done. >> do you think leadership is going to hear you out the second round? >> we continue to have productive conversations with leadership and with members across the ideological spectrum. this is a process of bringing the conference together, uniting republicans. i think we're making steady progress in that regard, but we still got a way to go. >> what does the president need to do tonight? what does he need to say tonight? >> the president has been part of these conversations. i spent about a half hour on the phone with the president a couple days ago and discussed with him that the central focus needs to be on lowering premiums. you know, the biggest reason so many millions of americans are unhappy with obamacare is that it's caused premiums to skyrocket. the average family's premiums have increased over $5,000 a
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year under obamacare. that's a problem caused by the federal government. it's caused by the abject failures of obamacare. we've got to fix that problem. the current draft doesn't do nearly enough to fix that problem, but we can get it done if we give consumers more options, more choices, lower prices, and make health care more affordable to families who are struggle, that will be a victory and that will be honoring the promise we made to the american people. >> senator ted cruz reacting to the announcement moments ago on capitol hill and now live pictures just outside the capitol where this bus is there, prepared to take senators of the republican caucus to the white house to meet with the president and his team at the top of the hour, at 4:00 is when that meeting is scheduled to happen. ted cruz speaking with the president earlier today. they had a meeting around noon. it lasted about an hour and coming out of that meeting, he expressed optimism. you heard him say right there that he wasn't supportive but he wants to get to yes, he believes he can get to yes. he of course has been one of the
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more conservative voices expressing concerns about this not repealing obamacare enough. and so that is part of the dance as mitch mcconnell works to get the majority vote or at least 50 votes in order to pass this with just republicans. i want to bring in our david chalain now and get your take here, david, on what we have witnessed over the last hour, some of the sound that we've been hearing. it seems like the conservatives and those conservative holdouts tend to be a little bit more optimistic than some of the more moderate republicans who have had concerns like susan collins. >> right, listening to ted cruz there, you have to ask at the end of what he said there, okay, how do you do that? how does mitch mcconnell now change the bill to indeed lower premiums even further than the bill suggests they will, to allow people more choice, freeing up regulation. if indeed mitch mcconnell goes in to fix the bill to assuage ted cruz's concerns there and get his vote on board, it is
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very likely that that may harden the positions of susan collins, dean heller, who are in the no column right now as well, and likely to not be persuaded by those kinds of changes to the bill. so this is the problem that mitch mcconnell, as he says, the discussion goes on, and we are continuing the discussion, this is the problem he finds himself in. it's a push and pull with very, very little room for error because he can only afford to let two votes go. >> but does he have some wiggle room because of the cbo score that says that the senate version of the bill would reduce the deficit by $321 billion, so he has some money to work with and we heard mitch mcconnell -- not mitch mcconnell, rather, chuck schumer talk about that money and say that now he has sort of the slush fund that he can offer to some of these individual senators to get on board. do you expect he's going to try to wheel and deal. >> i certainly expect that he's
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going to try to wheel and deal. he would be out of his mind not too try to do that. i imagine he's going to cajole individual senators any which way he can to get them there. the problem is how, again, back to the substance of this, what is he going to do with that money. where does he put that money in the bill? that tells us a lot about which senators he's trying to bring on board. if indeed he is going to pour that money, let's say, into making medicaid, perhaps, a little more robust than it is in the current version, i think 700 billion plus cuts in medicaid, if he's going to take some of that deficit savings and put that into medicaid, well then you can imagine the ted cruzs, the rand pauls, the mike lees of the world having a bigger problem with the bill than they do right now. so how he decides to appropriate that money within the bill will be key to understanding of where he sees the votes that he needs. >> kirsten powers, you're with us as well. and if he is appealing to those
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conservatives, it seemed to work to go that direction with the house bill. remember with the house freedom caucus, they made some deals. would that work in the senate? >> i mean, i think it's hard. he's already starting out on a very hard spot if you're only playing with basically two votes, right? it's just not that hard to find people who are going to have a problem, especially in a very diverse caucus where you have some very conservative members and you have some that are very moderate, the susan collins types, so i think it's already a problem just from the starting gate. and then you add in the fact that the republican party writ large is so divided over health care, about what they want to do about it or if they even want to do anything. they probably wouldn't be doing anything if it wasn't for the fact that obamacare existed so they're not really republicans -- republicans aren't really the party that reforms big systems. they're more about cutting things, you know, cutting taxes, cutting benefits, they're not the ones who reform the way democrats do and so they didn't come into this with a great plan. and so i think this is going to be very difficult for them to
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come up with something that everyone agrees on and then that works, because we're not -- we then need to talk about what's going to happen when this plan goes into effect because there are some real political costs for them if they move ahead with anything that looks like this bill. >> david, right now, this is an incredibly unpopular plan. we know just 30% of americans who were polled more recently by the kaiser family foundation actually approved of this bill. and we'll continue our conversation in a moment, but let's listen in to the white house press briefing now that sarah huckabee sanders has taken the podium. >> great guy, wrong football team but that's probably for another day. on top of energy week and everything that secretary perry and other cabinet members have on the agenda for that, we've got a full schedule of events and actions from the president's cabinet today on everything from global human trafficking to assistance funding for small communities. this morning, ivanka trump joined secretary tillerson hat a state department event releasing the 2017 trafficking and persons
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report. as ivanka said this morning, human trafficking is a human rights issue that affects millions and this report is an important tool for the administration to combat this tragic problem. the full report is available on the state department website. i encourage you guys to take a look. also this morning, the department of veterans affairs secretary hosted a meeting of robotics experts for a robotics and health care round table. the v.a. is embarking on the largest transformation and modernization effort in recent history and part of that will be developing a robust robotics program within the department. yesterday, the interior department announced a record $464.6 million allocation to help small communities further demonstrating the trump administration's commitment to all americans. in states like utah which receive nearly $40 million and nevada, which receive $22.6 million, these investments are an important part of the
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federal gochlt's role as land manager and neighbor to local communities, including many of those that play a big role in feeding and powering our nation. many of these small communities in states like nevada are also being hit particularly hard as health care insurance premiums rise and insurers flee their obamacare exchanges. it's because of the people who will have no choice for themselves or their families that it's so critical that the senate votes to repeal and replace obamacare. every day a new announcement is made that puts health insurance out of reach for thousands of americans, whether insurance -- insurers are hiking up rates or leaving markets entirely. today, the vice president is on the hill to attend the senate policy lunch and hold additional meetings and he'll be hosting senators at dinner tonight in his residence. both the president and the vice president are fully engaged with the senate and are helping to create a consensus that will push this bill over the finish line. as sean said yesterday, the president talked extensively with several republican members over the weekend, including
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senators cruz, paul, capito and johnson. he spoke to senator mcconnell this morning and he's invited all republican senators to the white house later this afternoon to continue these discussions. the president is optimistic that republicans will live up to the promise that they've been making to the american people for seven years by repealing and replacing obamacare. i know you guys are probably a little bit tired since we've been here a while. so you want to skip on the questions? i figured it was worth a shot. and with that, i'll take your questions. charlie. >> recently, breitbart news challenged the accuracy of the cnn story and afterwards it was retracted, deleted, and the editors responsible were fired as well as the network apologized for the story. the target of the -- one of the targets of the story accepted the apology, the president went on twitter this morning and
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repeated that cnn was fake news. why isn't their response good enough for the president? >> i don't know that it's that their response isn't good enough for the president. i think it's the constant barrage of fake news directed at this president, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration. you point to that report. there are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected. there's a video circulating now, whether it's accurate or not, i don't know, but i would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it. i think if it is accurate, i think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. i think that we have gone to a place where if the media can't be trusted to report the news, then that's a dangerous place
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for america, and i think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that's coming directly from the top, i think that's even more scary. and certainly more disgraceful. and i hope that that's not the direction we're headed. i hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all, we've been going on this russia/trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything. things like the success at the va barely get covered. they may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out, and i think america is frankly looking for something better. they're looking for something more. and i think they deserve something better from our news media. >> does the president actually expect us to not report on
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stories of a foreign country trying to influence the presidential election? >> i don't think it's expected that you're not to report on, again, actual news if there's something there. but again, i think that there are a lot of things happening in this world that frankly a lot of people would like to hear about, whether it's job growth, whether it's deregulation, whether it's tax reform, health care, i think a lot of those things deserve a lot more coverage than they get. and all we're saying is, you know, i think that we should take a really good look at what we are focused on, what we are covering, and making sure that it's actually accurate and it's honest. if we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room, but news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have, you know, you mentioned the
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story where they had to have reporters are resign. >> come on. you're -- everybody right here right now with those words. this administration has done that as well. why in the name of heavens is any one of us are replaceable and any one of us, if we don't get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. you have been elected to serve for four years at least. there's no option other than that. we're here to ask you questions. you're here to provide the answers and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, see, once again, the president's right and everybody else out here is fake media and everybody in this room is only trying to do their job. >> i just -- i disagree completely, first of all. i think if anything has been inflamed, it's the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media and i think it is outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when i was simply trying to respond to his
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question. kevin. >> sarah, i just rapid fire because i know we've had a bit of a long briefing here. would it be fair -- let me ask it this way. how would you describe the president's mood on health care, concerned, still encouraged, and what did you make of the cbo score if you had talked to him about that and then secondly, i want to ask you about the warning to syria. what's the message that the administration wants to convey not just to the world community but also to the american people who see headlines like that and they wonder are we hurtling head long into a major situation in that part of the world. >> i'll start with health care first. obviously we're continuing to be optimistic. the president is committed. he said in all the members of the administration have said repeatedly to repealing and replacing obamacare, working with the senate, working with the house, making sure we get the best bill for us, it's never been about the timeline but about getting the best piece of legislation that helps the most americans and that's what we're
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continuing to do, day in, day out. that's the reason the president has asked members of the senate to come here today so that we -- they can talk through that, so they can figure out the best way the move the ball forward. that's the goal of the meeting this afternoon and that's the goal of the administration. in terms of the cbo score, as we said yesterday, the cbo is a budget office. and while it does very well at times predicting things on budget whether it's revenue or spending, i don't think it does a great job, and i think the administration's been clear and consistent that we don't always agree that it does a great job predicting coverage. i think we saw that given their history, they projected that obamacare, there would be 24 million people that were part of that. there were only 11. and that number's dropping every day. so, i don't have a lot of confidence in that number on that part, but i do think that some of the places where they do a good job, again, are on the budget and the revenue side and
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the cbo score that they pointed out was that it would cut deficits by $300 billion and cut taxes. i think those are good things and i think when they focus on the budget side, that's probably a good thing and i think you had a second part. >> syria. the warning to syria, what's your message to the international community, and also to the american people who may be concerned when they read a headline like that, that they're thinking we may be hurdling towards a situation that involves the u.s. in that part of the world. >> i think that the message from the statement yesterday was extremely clear. i don't think it was a gray area. it was pretty black and white. major. >> can you explain, because you went on the record this morning, what the process was that led to that statement last night. were members of the team at the state department or defense department taken aback by that statement or were they fully involved? can you give us an idea of thousand process internally worked to deliberate that statement and then create the
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statement for public release. >> i can tell you that leadership from the state department, d.o.d., dni, the cia, as well as members of the administration within this building were part of that process from the very beginning, and fully aware. >> can you give us a time line from the very beginning, was that a yesterday -- >> i'm not going to walk through the detailed process of a time line on how that was released for intelligence purposes. >> and on health care, you just said you accept or find valid the cbo numbers on the budget side. is that true? >> they're -- i mean, they're a budget -- they're a budget office. and i think on the initial numbers that we saw from that, the cutting of the deficit, the cutting of taxes, i think that that's where historically they've been more accurate as well. it is not just my -- like i've decided that. but historically, that's where they've been. >> for the purposes of the public looking at this, would the administration accept the budget and revenue numbers that were published yesterday as generally valid and worth taking
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seriously. >> i would think so for the most part. i think in large, yes. jennifer. >> two things. one on google and one on the economic forecast. so, european officials have slapped google with this $2.7 million bind. is the white house cool with european regulators hitting a u.s. company when our own federal trade commission hand accused them of anti- -- behavior. >> i don't have anything for us to weigh in. the regulations of a private company. but if anything changes, i'll let you know. >> on the international monetary fund, they lowered their forecast for u.s. economic growth down to 2.1%, which is lower than what the president has been -- can you share some reaction on what you think about this new imf forecast. >> i haven't had a chance to dig into that but we'll certainly circle back with you on it. >> you called on me, sarah. >> jim, let me take kristen. i did call on her. >> thank you. i appreciate it. if syria is poised to launch another chemical weapons attack, isn't that an acknowledgment
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that the air strikes in april didn't work, sarah? >> look, i think that our goal every day is to do what we can to protect life in all forms, and to take steps to move the ball forward in defeating isis, defeating all efforts of terrorism and i think the statement yesterday helped do that. >> while will a paper statement work, though, when air strikes didn't dissuade bashar al assad. >> i don't know that it didn't based on what we know at this point. >> just to follow up very quickly, was there a principals meeting, a deputies meeting before that statement was issued by sean spicer last night? >> i know that there was a routine meeting that took place yesterday. i don't believe that there was anything beyond that yesterday. >> sarah, two questions. given the news about cnn's -- >> be careful letting nbc set
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your standard. >> given the news about cnn's erroneous story, does the white house believe there are other raugs-related stories from major outlets that have not been retracted and are just as false, including the february 14 story in the "new york times" about collusion between the trump campaign and russia which james comey called into question, which many believe the cnn story was based upon. >> i would have to look back at that specific story. there have been many by "the new york times" that i would probably disagree quite a bit with. i think you could take it pretty straightforward that this administration disagrees with all of the stories that claim that the president and his campaign colluded with russia in any capacity. so, i think he's been extremely clear that he believes that's a hoax, and certainly something that's not true and didn't take place, and any story related to that, you would, i think, find
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frustration from this team here. >> cnn retraction, does the white house now believe the news media have an obligation to review stories on the russian trump issue and retract questionably sourced stories on the topic? >> i'm sorry? i'm not following the -- >> do you believe that the media should go back and look at anonymously sourced stories on russia and trump and, you know, maybe start a review process and retract where necessary? >> i think that would be a great idea. i certainly don't think that you would get arguments from us if there were retractions from outlets on fake stories. but i also think that, you know, there's a moment where we can all do better, and i certainly think that's what we strive to do every day and hopefully that's the goal. i know it is of many and hopefully it will continue to be of not just the news media but everybody involved in the process to continue to do better, to continue to strive for excellence and to continue to deliver the best we can for the american people.
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>> two health care questions. okay, so you accept the budgetary calculations of the cbo but not the projections on how many people would be insured. what about their projections on what would happen to premiums and deductibles? is that something you accept or not? >> i mean, i think they said yesterday that the premiums would go down roughly 30% by 2020. that seems based on what we've done internally, pretty consistent. >> they also said that for people of certain incomes, they would go way up. do you only accept that they would go down? >> no, but i think in general and largely they predicted that they go down 30% by 2020. >> and another question. the president promised that his health care plan would not have cuts to medicaid. does he believe that a family of four making $60,000 makes too much money to qualify for medicaid? in other words, that that's just too high an income to be getting medicaid. >> i don't know about a specific, like, level breakdown.
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and again, there's a reason he's bringing senators over here today to talk through. we know there's going to be changes and adjustments. the thing that the president was committed to is making sure that anybody that currently receives medicare, that's not -- medicaid, sorry, medicaid, that's not touched. and that is consistent with what's in the bill and that will continue to be what he fights for. >> does he believe -- he said the house bill was too mean. does he believe that the senate bill is less mean, as mean, more mean? like what does he think? >> i honestly haven't asked him whether or not he thinks the senate bill -- the mood of it yet, but i'll check on that and get back to you. thanks, guys, so much. have a good day. >> you talked about cnn, there, sarah, can i ask you a question -- >> she was briefing the media for the first time on camera from the white house podium. and i want to bring in kirsten powers, of course, a lot of the questions today were dominated on the health care issues. of course right now we're learning that the -- there's a bus getting ready to take the
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senate majority leader and his caucus over to the white house to meet with the president to discuss how they may be able to move forward in coming up with a plan. a republican plan that repeals and replaces obamacare to make good on the president's promise and that of many of these senators when they were elected into their position. so kirsten, did this press conference move the ball forward as far as what the president is doing to try to win over the support for the gop bill? >> not really. i mean, i think, you know, the little that she said about it was basically they agree with everything in the cbo that's positive about the bill and don't seem to pay too much attention to the things that are negative about the bill. the problem is the senators are paying attention to it. and so they're going to need to address the issues in a -- in a more policy-centered way. instead, what probably will happen here is president trump is very focused on the political issue here, which is that they've made a promise that they're going to repeal obamacare. and i think they're trying to solve this political problem with something that in the long are run is going to come back to
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bite them on the policy side when this is actually implemented and a lot of people are affected by it, including a lot of their roervoters and tha what the cbo talks about so it will be interesting to see after this meeting if he's able to have some sort of substantive conversation with these senators and address the real issues, the real problems that they have with this. i think they're seeing the ro problems with the bill. >> julian is also with us. when you look at the bill and you look at just the complicated issue of health care in america, we know it was complicated for the democrats, but that was the word, specifically, that mitch mcconnell used after he made this decision to delay the vote until after the fourth of july recess. is this something that mitch mcconnell can get done? he has been called the master legislator in the senate. >> yeah, i'm not sure it's clear he can do it. he has been a master of obstruction, he's been very effective at that, but now we're seeing a test, can he actually put a coalition together to pass
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legislation, not to block it. and i think it's not simply an issue of being complicated. there are fundamental divisions among republicans and certainly with democrats about the effects of this legislation, and in seven days, those don't go away. so, he's going to try to find ways to buy votes or to pressure people into voting, but it will be very difficult because of that cbo report and what this bill will do. >> and is it just because it's health care, specifically, and how complex the health care system in america is that make it so difficult, whether it would be mitch mcconnell or anybody else who's trying to get a consensus? >> well, sure. it's always complicated. but changes happen. so we do have medicare and medicaid. we do have the affordable care act. there have been presidents that have been able to breakthrough and senate majority leaders that have been able to put together a coalition. look, this is legislation republicans have been pushing since the legislation went on to the books.
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they have been trying to reverse it. so, what's striking is that they don't have a plan yet, and at the same time, mcconnell is dealing with a president who has not been totally invested in this fight and is not selling to americans what the idea is behind the change other than people are going to lose many benefits. >> dana bash has been standing by at capitol hill as we await those senators leaving to head over and speak with the president at the white house. dana, what is the latest there? have they already taken off? i know the meeting's supposed to happen around 4:00. >> reporter: they have not taken off yet. you can see the very large blue bus back there and you can see senators are getting on. one senator that i sort of found interesting who is actually going is senator susan collins, and the reason i say i find it interesting is because she's going to go and hear the president out, despite the fact that right here on this capitol plaza within the last hour, she
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said that she's pretty doubtful that the white house, that the republican leadership in this senate can come up with something that is so sweeping of a change that it would get her on board. she said that she actually thinks that is as similar sentiment from a few of her other colleagues. still, she is getting on that bus, and they are going to go and sit and talk to the president. and you know, it's interesting in that the -- the white house presence here during the senate republican lunch, during which, behind closed doors, mitch mcconnell actually said, we're going to delay this, the white house presence was pretty big. not just the white house chief of staff, reince peebriebus, th vice president of the united states, but also as we learned when we saw him coming out and showed it right here on cnn, sean spicer, who is officially the white house spokesman but clearly was not briefing today over at the white house. he instead joined his white house colleagues to talk and listen to senate republicans
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about strategy going forward so i thought that was also very interesting, especially given the fact that they are engaging in a very big way the president of the united states, wanting these senators to come have a broad discussion, have a family meeting, for lack of a better way to say it, to figure out how they get to yes, at least enough senat senate republicans that they actually can get the 51, including the vice president's tie breaking vote if needed. >> dana, you covered capitol hill for a long time. you have relationships with these senators, and i know a lot of them pretty well. who do you think will be most influential from the leadership of this party? is it mitch mcconnell and what he says and does? is it the president? is it the vice president? >> reporter: that's a great question. i'm not sure any one person is going to be that influential. it's really, i think, going to come down to genuinely the substance of the changes. it just appears that the way
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that the discussions are going is that the leadership thinks that they have a better chance at making changes that will be palatable to the conservatives, that they probably have too much -- too far to go for moderates like susan collins who i was just talking about. mike lee walked past about a half an hour ago after this big meeting inside the senate republican lunch and he said he does think he can get to yes and you heard ted cruz right on our air saying the same thing. that seems to be genuine. and the influence is certainly has to come from somebody they trust, and i do think that mitch mcconnell, their leader, has built up a reservoir of goodwill, even though the likes of ted cruz and even mike lee and rand paul have not always seen eye to eye with the leadership of their party here in the united states senate. >> all right, dana, i'm going to switch to jim acosta. stand by and keep us posted when those senators start making their way to the bus. jim, you're outside the white house north lawn there. what is the message from the
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president as he prepares to meet with these senators? >> reporter: well, it sounds like they are trying to rally the troops. i mean, there's really no other way to put it. this is a fairly stinging defeat for the president to see this vote delayed. we'll see how long it is delayed. and you know, whether they'll ultimately get this bill out of the senate. but we've been hearing from sarah huckabee sanders over the last 15, 20 minutes, secretary of energy rick perry was up for about 40 minutes. when sarah huckabee sanders was asked about health care, it was interesting, she said they remain optimistic. the president is continuing to talk to senators up on capitol hill, talk to mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader earlier this morning, but a very interesting moment happened at the very end of this briefing, at which point sarah sanders cut the briefing short and took off. she was asked a question by npr whether the president believes
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that this current senate version of the bill is less mean than the house version, you'll recall the president, it was reported, and even acknowledged this, referred to the house health care bill that they celebrated in the rose garden earlier this year, he referred to it in a closed door meeting with senators as being, quote, mean. and so sarah huckabee sanders was asked by a reporter here at the white house briefing whether or not he feels that this senate bill is less mean, and she just didn't answer the question. she said, well, and this has been a common answer coming from the white house these days, she said, well, i just haven't had a chance to ask the president about that. so you're hearing from a number of senators coming out this afternoon and i heard this from a republican source earlier today that they are really upset about this ad that was being placed by this outside group, america first, priorities, going after this embattled, endangered republican senator out in nevada, dean heller, hitting him for his opposition to this current version of the senate health care bill. you're hearing a number of
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senators coming out and saying that they're upset about this and i talked to a key republican source who's close to this process earlier today who said you just don't do that to senators, and so even though it wasn't the white house doing this, there are a number of people inside that outside group who are very close to the white house, who used to work for the white house and also work for the trump campaign and so this may be a learning lesson here for the white house moving forward that you just can't go after senators like that when you want to cobble together just enough votes to get this over the finish line. >> jim, thank you. let's hear what senate majority leader mitch mcconnell had to say just moments ago. >> we're going to continue the discussions within our conference on the differences that we have that we're continuing to try to litigate. consequently, we will not be on the bill this week, but we're still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place. we're going down to the white house at 4:00. the president invited us to come down. the white house has been very
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much involved in these discussions. they're very anxious to help. it's a very complicated subject. i remember how challenging it was for the democrats when they were enacting this back in 2009 and 2010. it's a big, complicated subject. we've got a lot of discussions going on and we're still optimistic we're going to get there. it's an ongoing discussion, and members have -- want -- several of them want more time. we have a number of different discussions going on that have been going on for six weeks now and they continue. this is a big complicated subject. if none of you have ever covered a big, complicated bill, they're hard to pull together and hard to pass. we need -- it's far enough down the path to where there were a few issues extant that needed to be closed, and we're delaying the process so that we can close those remaining issues and he's fully engaged and being helpful in every way that he can, including the meeting this afternoon. >> i want to bring in cnn senior economic analyst steve moore who
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used to advise the trump campaign and andy slaft, once the acting administrator for the centers for medicare and medicaid services, he managed the affordable care act in the obama white house. you guys are numbers guys so let me throw a few out there. we have the cbo score that came out yesterday. 22 million more americans, it says, will not have health care in the next decade under the current senate plan versus what is current law, obamacare. also said $321 billion will be reduced from the deficit. so conservatives like to hear that number. but steven, one of the big questions is how is this going to lower the cost of health care in america? we've heard from both conservatives and homoderates saying this bill doesn't get the job done and it's not just premiums, it's the out-of-pocket cost that has a lot of people concerned, people may pay less for their insurance, but they go to the doctor and they're having
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to pay out-of-pocket, more for deductibles or copays. what would you do or what would you advise these senators do to make this bill more palatable? >> well, part of the problem, by the way, with obamacare is that people are actually paying higher premiums and higher deductibles, so you're essentially under obamacare paying more money for less insurance so that's been a catastrophe and i have to say that i think one of the things that's misleading about this cbo score is it assumes we're going to be fine if we do nothing but we're not. we see week after week that obamacare is melting down and there won't be -- in ten years, there won't be an insurance market left. now, republicans have a big problem with that 22 million number because it certainly looks like a big sore thumb in this bill and they're going to have to convince american people that they're going to bring those costs down and the way to do that is through more competition, allow people to buy insurance across state lines, do medical malpractice liability reform, more transparency and pricing, more high deductible policies that lower your
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premiums, things like that will bring down costs and perhaps as much by 30% or 35%. >> andy, what's your thought? >> i think the big struggle that the senate has right now is democrats generally want to push health care policies to cover more people. generally speaking, republicans want to push down costs. this bill does neither. this bill causes people to lose coverage and makes the coverage more expensive. so, the problem that mcconnell has isn't a political one. it's a political one borne out of the fact that this bill is really not fixable. i've been in health care in the private sector for 20 years. i ran the aca exchanges so i learned a little bit about what it's like inside, enough to know that this is not something that can be fixed from tweaking a few things. >> so, when we look at 22 million fewer people who would be uninsured under the current direction that this is headed, andy, do you think, though, part
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of that could be people who choose not to get health insurance. >> well, look, i think let's just look at a couple ways. first of all, let's stipulate that nobody can predict the future and the f it's not 22 million, if it's 18 million or 15 million, it really doesn't matter. conclusion's no different. there's a lot of people that are going to lose coverage. most of the people that lose coverage in this bill lose it because they lose medicaid and medicaid goes away. so these are low income people, they're kids, they lose coverage. and then the second reason is because the cost of insurance spikes, particularly if you're over 50 and the tax credits go down. so, chat cbo says is insurance becomes unaffordable and low income people essentially stop being insured in in bill. that's the principal reason. i'm sure there's a little bit of an effect of some young people that wouldn't buy it otherwise but that's not the real issue. the real issue is medicaid and people over 50. >> stephen, one of the biggest criticisms is that this is a huge tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of the lower class
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or middle income people and the tax policy analysis found those earning more than $5 million or more would get an average tax cut of $250,000 in 2026 under the current gop plan. those earning $875,000 would get an average tax cut of $44,500 a year. does that make sense to you? >> one of the features of obamacare, people forget, is this huge tax increase. i mean, people forget, obamacare was one of the biggest tax increases in american history. it was essentially a big redistribution plan and our analysis at harris foundation shows those tax increases had a very negative effect on the economy. they reduced employment. they had a very negative effect on investment. i mean, if you want more business to invest, why would you tax business for investing more through the capital gains tax. why would you, if you want insurance to be cheaper, why would you put a tax on health insurance plans. if you want better, you know, innovation in health care, why would you put a tax on things like new drugs and vaccines and medical devices. so this is one of the best features of the bill is getting
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rid of those tax increases. i think they'll help the economy a lot and i think they'll help the insurance market, but i just wanted to go back to this main point because i think it's the central point of disagreement. this plan republicans are talking about will reduce the cost of health care because it's going to increase the competition and increase the amount of choice that patients have in terms of buying their care. one of the biggest problems i've had with obamacare is it has all these essential benefits so you can't buy a basic health plan. you have to buy essential a cadillac plan that covers for 25 or 30 different kinds of services that many americans don't want or can't afford. the average family is paying $5,000 more for health insurance. >> according to the cbo score, it is the middle class and the sicker people with preexisting conditions that could be negatively affected by the gop
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plan. obviously, the gop plan could still change as there aren't the votes to get this plan passed just yet. >> don't forget -- >> we got to leave it there, guys. thank you very much for joining us. happening right now, republican senators are heading to the white house for their 4:00 meeting with the president and his administration. we'll have more on that in just a moment. also, the administration delivering a stern warning to the syrian regime, saying it sees evidence that it may be planning another chemical attack. you're watching cnn special life coverage. whoooo.
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. following breaking news here on cnn. you're in the newsroom and we are awaiting a meeting between the gop senators and the president and the vice president and members of the white house as they try to figure out where to go with their plan to repeal and replace obamacare. this coming after just a couple hours ago, mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, made a big announcement saying the vote on the gop plan in the senate to repeal obamacare or replace it with something else will be delayed until after the july 4 recess. something he did not want to do and was pushing not to have happen all week long, trying to bring up some momentum for this bill. i want to go to dana bash who has recently heard from the vice president who has been part of this full court press to try to bring a consensus to the gop and the senate, dana. >> that's right, anna, and now
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someone who we understand was strumt instrumental with the senate majority leader saying, we need more time. as he was leaving for the white house, i attempted to ask him one question about it. here's what happened. >> obamacare is collapsing all over this country, and president trump and republicans in congress are absolutely determined to repeal and replace obamacare and give the american people the kind of health care reform they deserve. >> reporter: do you think the delay is really going to make a difference? >> so we're going to keep working it and that's exactly what is about to happen starting in 5 or 10 minutes at the white house. all of the republican senators, pretty much all of them, we believe, got on a bus, left fth capitol to head to the white house which was part of the discussion, the idea to have
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this meeting with republican senators and the president himself at the white house. this does appear to be an idea borne out of discussions earlier today with the vice president and the senate majority leader about finding a way to get a path forward. and whether or not just being in a room together at the white house with the president will spark that conversation. certainly don't expect there to be serious substantive conversations about the regulations, for example, that ted cruz wants relaxed from obamacare and other things like that, but i think the notion of why they, the republicans, got the majority. and they will argue that it's in large part because they have promised to repeal obamacare. so having that kind of obsession the leadership and those at the white house feel will be very helpful at this very critical juncture for this issue among senate republicans. >> dana, stand by. i want to bring in april ryan.
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she is cnn analyst and for american radio networks. april, i know you were inside that white house briefing when they talked about this health care situation and how they are still hopeful that there will be some kind of legislation that comes about in the senate that will be able to get passed. how influential is the president among those senators who are the holdouts currently? >> the president always, no matter who it is, this office is very influential. but what's more influential is the public, the people, the constituents that these senators have to serve. and if these people are taken off within 10 years, that's a real issue, so that is one of the reasons why there is a controversy and a real conversation that's happening here in the white house as to how to cut the effects, the drastic effects, of the repeal and replace efforts. and the white house clearly does not like the cbo score.
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we heard that from sarah huckabee sanders today, saying when it comes to budgets, cbo is fine, but when it comes to scoring something like this, it's off, basically. so the white house is really trying to figure out how to keep this promise to the american people. well, it leaves to those that the supporters of the president are looking forward to this repeal and replace effort. so at issue, they want to repeal and replace. >> so what has been your sense of the white house strategy in terms of how they've gone about this, and are they sticking with that strategy, changing it, do you have an idea? >> well, the issue is how do you knock down premiums. you talk about tax cuts and things like that, but where does the money come from? so you have to figure out the ways and means to pay for this, you have to figure out how not to knock people off. they have to go back and talk to groups to find out, how do you fix this so there won't be such
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a drastic problem. you've got the house bill, now you've got the senate bill. both of them are turning people off. medicaid is affected. it's not just minority groups, it's white people who supported this president, the core base who will be affected by this. so they've really got to go in and dig in hard and come up with ways to work this out. on the senate, they have 13 white men. they might need to expand their pool to women. we understand preventative care for any issue is not really in the package. we also understand the issues of mammograms and prenatal care are not there. so maybe they need to expand a little bit more and figure out how to tweak what's here and add a little bit more. but right now they're putting their heads together and they're talking about what they can do to fix it. >> julian zelizer, cnn political analyst and historian is also with us, as well as doug hye,
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former communications director for the rnc. julian, let me ask you about this strategy we're seeing playing out. we are preparing for the senators to be bused over to the white house. they are scheduled to have a meeting with the president at 4:00. wouldn't we all like to be a fly on the wall inside that room? how do you see this playing out? >> inside that room, i assume there will be some carrots on sticks. on the one hand president trump wants to put partisan pressure on the republicans to get this through and to make sure this campaign promise doesn't fall apart. but on the other hand, he has to sell the ideas, he has to calm the fears of people like senator collins who say, i can't vote for this. i can't take away the benefits of so many americans' basic health care benefits. everyone in the room knows that over the next week, there will be protests in key parts of the country against this bill because of the delay that
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senator mcconnell has just announced. so it's a car rrots and sticks meeting. >> doug hye, do you think it's riskier for the senate to vote for this bill or against it? >> that's a good question. there are political risks in either direction which is why i think mr. mcconnell was smart to pull this away from having a vote this week. chuck schumer said this was a metaphor for health care. the parties remain divided amongst themselves. we see them being corporate-tized. they need to come together and have mcconnell figure out the policy and donald trump figure out the rules. >> it's been a long time that it
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would gather enough support to pass. hasn't it been a long time? >> the big chunk of 2014 was trying to help republicans put together some kind of health care bill. we couldn't do it. republicans have a hard time coming to agreements on health care as john baynor said earlier this year. >> if you were the president, julian, what would you be doing? what issue within the bill would you be focusing on to try to tweak to make people happy? >> you have to reduce the medicaid cuts. that's clear. that issue gives opponents a certain kind of moral authority that supporters of the legislation simply don't have at this point, and i do think they have to ease off on some of the changes that are going to be made in terms of what the states have to require of insurance companies, because people don't want to pay high deductibles to lose basic benefits. all of that is problematic,
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because conservatives in the senate, conservatives in the freedom caucus when this goes to the conference committee won't accept that. you have a fundamental problem in the bill that i'm not sure those tweaks will be able to resolve. i'm glad i'm not president or senate majority leader right now. sdp >> doug, we have less than a minute, but do you see any chance they come back from break and say, hey, you know what, we can't do this with just republicans. let's bring in democrats and try to work out a deal that's bipartisan. >> i think mcconnell will try to make a deal with just republicans. the republican battles you've seen will be an all-out war with recriminations and being a traitor to the party. that's something republicans can't afford, especially when they control the government right now. >> julian, go ahead. >> i would rather move to other issues, frankly, such as tax cuts. i agree that wouldn't fly in the partisan world in which we live.
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>> lots to play out. again, the president expected to meet with those senators from the gop caucus at any minute at the white house as they figure out what the next steps are and their plan to repeal and replace obamacare. that's going to do it for me in the newsroom on this tuesday. thanks so much for being with us. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news in the politics lead this afternoon. republican senators are now at the white house, arriving moments ago by bus. you see the images of the bus there. they're not at the white house to celebrate the passage of the senate republican health care bill. as you may recall, president trump did with the house version. republican senators are there to meet with white house officials and try to search for some way forward, given senate republicans right now do not have the votes needed to pass their