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tv   MSNBC Live With Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  March 23, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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it's to debate real ideas that affect real people day in and day out. >> you have a veto power -- a veto over this bill, do you? >> do you think you will have a vote tomorrow? >> as soon as i get done here i'm making a call to tom mcarthur to try to reach out to some of the tuesday group. it's important for me to understand where they're coming from. i would love to see 237 votes on the house side and certainly would welcome any democrats that would come across as well. in this we are not there at this particular point. >> is the speaker being unhelpful? >> no. i talked to the speaker this morning. i think the speaker has a very difficult task of trying to assemble 215 or 216 votes. when you look at that, they are working very hard to try to get this done. and so, that being said, there are a number of negotiations that are going on, not only at
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1600 pennsylvania avenue but on capitol hill, as we speak. so hopefully we will be able to find some consensus. >> you a a modest man, but you basically have veto power over this, don't you? >> no, i don't have veto power. i have one vote. my vote belongs to the people of western north carolina. that's truly what motivates me -- >> -- does this pass without your support? >> again, i am one vote. i can tell you at this point, we are trying to get another 30 to 40 votes that are currently in the "no" category to "yes." once we do that i think we can move forward to passing it on the house floor. >> do you agree with some of your colleagues that voting c t carte blanche for the bill is worse than doing nothing for obamacare? >> some of the provisions in here do not lower health care costs enough, certainly for my
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constituents. even with the cbo -- here is the problem with doing nothing. i don't believe that's an option because i also have talked to people, businesspeople that have had the tough opportunity of seeing their health care premiums go up 30%, 35%, another 30% in north carolina this year. when you look at that, obamacare is not sustainable. and so, to suggest that it can be around, i don't see that happin >> you had someone speaking yesterday who said it would be worse. >> mike cannon is a learned individual when it comes to health care. >> are you still a no? >> i am still a no at this time. i am desperately trying to get to yes. i think the president knows that. i told him that personally.
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i can say, with all the freedom caucus, they are really trying to get to yes. that's why we met for such a long time. it was, at times, a not contentious but i would say very rigorous debate. >> what changed between last night and right now in terms of your support and the freedom caucus? >> i think what changed between last night and today was the fact that the president has made some very good-faith and good-will gestures to try to move the ball along. and it's having an impact. >> he said if you don't get on board he's going to come after you. are you worried about that? >> guys, i am going to leave. the president is not only someone i support but someone that i really look at from a very -- not only friendly way but certainly take some of the things he says in the jovial manner. >> you are not afraid this may come back to haunt you? >> anybody who is in politics always worries about the
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consequence of every vote. >> is this fun for you? >> i am steve kornacki, here in new york. you are watching the scene there on capitol hill. that was mark meadows. he is a republican congressman from north carolina. he is the chair of the house freedom caucus. that is the group of conservative republicans who have been most sistant to that republican obamacare replacement plan. mark meadows talking to reporters there after what has been an absolutely frantic 45 minutes. last 45 minutes on capitol hill. a major turn of events in this first critical legislative test for the trump administration. let me quickly reset what's happened in the last 45 minutes and where it leaves us now. when this day began it was expected the house would be voting tonight on that bill to repeal and replace obamacare. the republican replacement plan. all systems seemed go for that vote. we were not sure what the outcome would be, but it
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certainly was on the calendar. then, 3:30 this afternoon. house speaker paul ryan had been scheduled to address the press to talk with the strategy to pass it in the house tonight. that press conference was canceled. that set off all sorts of speculation. within minutes, word then leaking out that the vote scheduled for tonight had been postponed. there would be no and there will be no house vote tonight on republican replacement plan for obamacare. and now you just heard mark meadows there saying at that press conference that republican leaders do not yet have the votes to pass this. let me quickly take you through why he says that, what the math looks like, what republicans are up against here. they need 215. that's the magic number. 215 republicans need to vote yes if they're going to get this through. what were they up against this afternoon as this thing was postponed? take a look. they can afford 22 defections. that's the maximum number of republicans who could vote no on
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any vote on the house floor and this thing still passes. 22 is the maximum. our count as of right now is that 30 republicans, 30 republican members, say they're either against it or likely to be against it. that would be over, obviously, that number of 22. if that held in a house vote, it would go down. you can see why were we showing you mark meadows? why were so many reporters gathered to listen toverything he had to say? look at this. the bulk of the opposition here, the no, leaning no votes among republicans, it is from the freedom caucus. this is sort of the right side of the republican conference there. this is the most resistance. you heard mark meadows there. he said he is trying to get them to yes. trying to get himself to yes. but they're not there yet. a very tumultuous past hour, 45 minutes on capitol hill. kasie hunt is there in the capitol hill corridors. she was at the press conference. kasie hunt, we know the vote is
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postponed. do we know when the next one is going to be? take us through what you know here. >> press conference or minor mob depending on how you look at it, steve. we were a minute ago crushed together as i am sure you saw, talking to mark meadows, the chair of the freedom caucus. who, of course, has been back and forth to the white house. he came out and said that they are not where they need to be. he put a number on it. we haven't always heard them say numbers for us. he said between 30 and 40 members are currently at no, trying to get to yes. that makes it pretty clear and stark that they are not where they need to be. that number is 22. they can lose 22 people before they get -- before this bill would fail. so the challenge now, of course, is what happens next. it sounds like they are going to at least attempt to make some procedural moves tonight. we are waiting to hear exactly after the leadership meeting that's now set for 7:00 behind closed doors what exactly the next plan after that would be. they have essentially set up the procedure so that they have
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until monday under the current setup to push the bill through. it's a lot of technical detail, but if they go past monday then we would probably have to start the process over again in a more fundamental way. so that, of course, is the challenge now for leadership. the mark meadows refusing, frankly, to answer my question. i asked several times if this was a loss for donald trump or a blow to donald trump. and he avoided the question several times. eventually he came back around to it and said, no, i don't think this is a blow or a loss for donald trump because at the end of the day we are going to come up with something, we are going to pass a bill somewhere along the line, we just need to take the time to get it right. now, of course, i think in the moment this was a deadline that was set and a deadline that was missed. and the president himself has been extraordinarily involved in these negotiations. and i think that's something that the house leadership really wanted, and i think they are trying to put the focus on the white house here in this situation. obviously, the speaker has not been able to get the votes
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together as well on his end. they've been much more involved in negotiations with moderate republicans, the so-called tuesday group. that's the group that's heading to the white house at 5:00 today. you also heard mark meadows of the freedom caucus say he was going to get on the phone with them to see if they could work out their differences. it's hard to see at this point how they start to see eye to eye on policy. quite frankly, they're worried about very different things. mark meadows has talked a lot about lowering premiums. there are a variety of ways to do that. one of the ones we've talked about is the essential benefits package that insurers are required to provide. you can make premiums cheaper if your plan does not cover all these essential things that the health care law mandated things should cover. that gives people in the tuesday group pause. they say, okay, you want to not require maternity care, pediatric care. those are things that work quickly in a 30-second television ad in a congressional campaign, as you know. it's very hard to see at this point how the differences are bridged.
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but they've decided that they need to take the temperature down on this one, steve. >> kasie hunt on capitol hill. thank you for that. meanwhile, this is a test for paul ryan, the house speaker. if he can get this through. it's also the first critical legislative test for the trump administration. kristen welker is standing by on the white house lawn. kristen. they do not have the votes to pass this right now in the house. it's being postponed. we don't know when it's being rescheduled till. what is the white house saying and what are they doing? response? >> it's all hands on deck, steve. i just spoke with sara huckabee sanders, the senior administration official. her argument now is look, we're going to start debate on the bill tonight, and then we expect a vote tomorrow morning. we pressed her and asked her if she thought by then the white house would have enough votes to get this past the threshold. she said yes. but the critical question, how
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will they get all of the nos to flip to yes. she says, look, the president is meeting with the tuesday group. he is reaching out to lawmakers. he is working the phones. and of course, we know the vice president is as well. and so he is really giving it the full-court press. but, at this point, as kasie hunt was laying out, it does not look promising. where the problem really lies, steve, is the fact that the white house gave what many see as a major concession to conservatives, the house freedom caucus. the president met with members of the house freedom caucus today, and they said it's not good enough. we want to see more regulations stripped. the white house is drawing a line in the sand and saying we can't go any further. sean spicer was pressed on all of this earlier today about whether or n the wte house has a plan b. take a listen to what he had to say. >> you've said that there is no -- there is only plan a.
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>> right. >> at this point, is there an acknowledgement that perhaps there does need to be a plan b if the vote doesn't happen tonight? >> no. plan a. >> is there any plan if the bill doesn't pass tonight? >> it's going to pass. that's it. >> hallie jackson there pressing sean spicer on what the contingency plan is. and the strategy behind the scenes and publicly is to say there is no contingency plan because this is going to move forward. the reality is it's not moving forward tonight and it's not clear where they'll get the votes tomorrow. this is a critical test for the president who campaigned on someone who is able to close the really tough deals. so it's important from that perspective, but also because the rest of his legislative agenda could rely on this. his vow to get tax reform done, to renegotiate trade deals like nafta. it all starts with this major push to repeal and replace obamacare which right now seems to be in critical condition. >> kristen welker at the white
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house. thank you. back to capitol hill. we are joined by republican congressman tom mcclintock. he has been a yes on the health care bill that will not be receiving a vote tonight. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> a pleasure. >> we heard from the white house as recently as today that the vote is happening tonight. we heard from republican leaders yesterday saying no matter what, this is going on the floor tonight, thursday night. now that is not going to happen. it is being postponed. is it fair to say that the opposition to this is higher among republicans and more entrenched among republicans than your party's leadership and the white house expected? >> i don't know. i sadly can't read minds and i can't tell fortunes. so i really can't comment what individual members are thinking. this is part of a process that was designed 240 years ago. it is specifically designed to have a great, big, messy brawl every time a big decision is to be made. the american founders wanted
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these issues held up to every conceivable light. they wanted every voice involved in the discussions. and ultimately the process has proven itself time and again to be very good at finally coming together in a common direction for the country, and i am ever bit confident that we are amidst that process right now. >> when do you expect the vote will be taken? >> oh, i don't know. i remember when the titanic went down the cunyard liners are the plaque saying safety first, consensus second. whatever it happens there will be a vote. >> we just heard our reporter on capitol hill, kasie hunt, saying, look, the rules of the house, the way the procedure works you have until monday. a window of less than 100 hours right now to get a vote on the bill in its current form. can you do it by then? or is there a chance you won't? >> i don't know. if they don't, there will be a
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new rule extending the time. that's a procedural issue, and not a big hurdle. >> what is the biggest single b obstacle. you heard mark meadows saying 30 to 40 republicans who are not at yes right now. what is the single biggest obstacle you see in getting those holdouts to yes? >> abiding by benjamin franklin's advice at the constitutional convention when he said, you know, this is not a perfect document of -- the system was not designed to produce perfect documents. but it's a pretty good one. and in order to get there and to obtain its benefits, we're each going to have to doubt a little of our own infallibility. i have a big problem with the way it's been piece-mealed together. i would rather see a single comprehensive package that repeals obamacare in its entirety and replaces it in its entirety with a consumer driven,
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market system that ensures the wideange of choices at the lowest possible cost. we don't have that. th's part of the imperfections of the process. i am confident that at the end of the day the will of the people will have been done or they will have been relieved of the burdens of obamacare and we will have taken a major step toward a consumer driven market system. >> if you are unable to pass the bill, if the holdout republicans remain nos on this, what does that do for this young presidency? we've heard about tax reform being high on the agenda. we've heard donald trump talk about doing trade in congress. if his white house, which has staked so much on this repeal and replace effort is unable to get this through a republican house, does it potentially derail broader parts of the trump agenda? >> it certainly complicates it. it certainly breaks the momentum of the new administration. it is not something to be desired. but perhaps it would be better to have this conversation in a week or two. it may be a very different
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situation then. >> congressman tom mcclintock. a republican who has been supporting this bill. thank you for joining us from capitol hill. >> thanks for having me. >> you saw in the lower right hand corner of the screen. wall street, the markets, they closed at the top of the hour. reaction to the late-breaking news. to find out what wall street thinks of the abrupt change of course. msnbc's ali velshi standing by. >> a slight down arrow on the dow ght now. the context of this is about midday. the dow was 100 points higher than it closed yesterday. what happened is around 1:00, 1:30 when it looked like there were some problems, meetings being canceled. press conferences canceled, the dow lost half its gain. it was 50 points higher. in the last little while as we learned the vote is not likely to take place today, the dow gave all its gains up. we didn't lose a lot. on wednesday the dow had its
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worst day in more than three months on the idea that maybe the grand deal-maker is not going to gette this deal done. the main issue is wall street cares about tax cuts and changes in tax rules and regulations. and if donald trump can't get his first and signature piece of legislation through as he promised, maybe all of those other things that investors had pushed the market up for the last three months on won't get done either. that's what this is all about. some concern that maybe donald trump is not as great a deal-maker on complicated issues as he feels it is. i wouldn't worry too much about this one. if we find out that the vote is not going to happen, the bill is not going to pass, then you might see a bigger investor reaction. this is just a reaction that says, all right, we thought this was getting done tonight. it's not getting done tonight. if it's done by tomorrow, maybe something else will happen. >> ali velshi, keeping an eye on
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the market. thank you for that. everybody, i'll give you a chance to take a breath. it's been a sprint of news in the last hour. we'll take a quick break. on the other side, though, we are learng more about the last-minute decision by repuican leade to postpone the vote on the health care replacement bill. it had been scheduled for tonight. republicans now say they do not have the votes this minute to pass it. we'll also look at some of the changes that have already been made, some of the concessions republicans have made to conservatives and moderates in an attempt to get this through. next i'll be joined by a democratic member of congress who comes from a district that swung hard in the direction of donald trump in the last election. he says he is against this and so are his constituents. other big news on capitol hill today as well, the other showdown, this over the confirmation of neil gorsuch. donald trump's pick to serve on the supreme court. democrats now suggesting they may mount a filibuster.
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. all right. all eyes on capitol hill right now. you see that podium there, waiting to see if we hear from paul ryan, the house speaker. he canceled the press conference an hour ago, and then, after that, the vote on the republican replacement plan, republican replacement health care plan, scheduled for tonight, now postponed. major development here. joining us from capitol hill, dan kilde, democratic congressman from michigan. thank you for taking a few minutes. what are folks on your side of the aisle hearing about what's
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going on right now? >> just that the republicans cannot seem to put together a piece of legislation that they themselves can support. they met with the president today, the freedom caucus did. no progress. i think the message here is that you take a really bad piece of legislation that makes things worse for americans who simply want health care, that transfers wealth in a massive way to the richest americans, and it's hard to get it passed by congress. no kidding. so i think their problem is not so much that they can't negotiate or that they can't figure out how to work the process. their problem is they have a really bad piece of legislation. and that's not going to change unless they change course. >> as a practical matter, though, you know there is the legislation it self, and then there is the pressure, the pressure that can be applied. if you are a republican right now, from a republican president, a republican white house, republican leaders in the chamber who can have all sorts of perks, they have all sorts of privileges that they can dole
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out. if this becomes the priority and the cause for president trump, for speaker ryan over the next 24, 48, 72 hours, practically speaking, do you think they have the power to get enough republicans on board? >> i know they are trying to do that and using every tool they have. but there is one element of the pressure that is the most significant element. and while all eyes might be on the capitol, all eyes in the capitol are focused on 435 congressional districts. people are hearing from their constituents. it's coming loud and clear. they don't like the legislation. they can do all they want. offer the incentives. inducements. whatever they want. if the people back home don't want the legislation. the folks in congress, at least a number of them, enough, won't go for it. >> what happens if the plan is pulled permanently, scrapped, if it goes to a vote and fails? if this plan does not get through the house this weekend,
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early next week, what happens next? have democrats thought through to that step? did democrats then reach out to republicans? is there some sort of gesture about, can we find a way to work together or will republicans just come up with another versn on their o again? >> it's hard toigureut what path they would be on because ey he a leader in donald trump who just really doesn't understand the process of government. so it's hard to predict. i will say this. democrats then and now have always stood ready to find ways to improve health care in america. every piece of major legislation ever enacted, whether it's social security in the 1930s, medicare in the 1960s, always needs to be modified. we are willing to work with republicans to come up with solutions to make the affordable care act more effective. that's really, i think, what ought to be the next step. but i think republicans in some ways maybe have painted themselves into a corner where they're so committed to repealing the affordable care act that they really don't care
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what they replace it with, even if it's nothing. that's a really dangerous thing. 24 million people losing health care is a really dangerous thing. >> dan kildee from michigan. thank you for the time, congressman. republicans, you know the dilemma on the vote. they've offered some concessions to conservative holdouts, trying to get them aboard. they've offered concessions to moderates as well. there have been major changes made and proposed in this legislation that they are still trying to push through. we'll take you through those changes, the big ones, and what they could mean right after this. dad likare you going to weeks be using my car? until my insurance claim goes through this is our car. mr. parker, my parents have allstate.
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all right. again, we have a very busy and dramatic day unfolding on capitol hill. republican leaders deciding in the last hour to postpone the vote that they had scheduled for tonight on their obamacare replacement plan. republicansow saying, at this
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momentthey don't have the votes. kelly o'donnell standing by on capitol hill. we are waiting to hear potentially from paul ryan, and other key players. kelly, what are you learning about this? >> i have been working the halls and having a lot of conservations. let me bring you up to date with what i know. at the moment what we expect is that members from the republican conference will meet at 7:00. this will be a real kind of soul-searching moment where they'll get a sense of where they are in terms of issues where there might be movement, how the different factions see this. we've been talking a lot about the most conservative freedom caucus and the more moderator what's known as the tuesday group. the different groups within the republican conference hold a lot of sway. we have seen that they've not been able to get there. i talked to one of the most conservative members who said, scrap the idea of being on this anniversary of the obamacare initial signature of president obama. get rid of that notion that there could be an anniversary,
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as being the reason to do it now. he is suggesting, get everybody in a room and try to hash things out. that's not where the leadership is at this point, to go quite that far. the interesting thing is i am hearing from conservatives. praise for president trump's handling of this. some frustration at their own leadership about how this has come to pass. the wish list. could they get something accomplished by tomorrow. i have sources at the white house and here on capitol hill that say that's a possibility, to come to an agreement tonight, vote tomorrow. this is all in the maybe category of what could happen. at the meeting tonight this will be a chance for them to sort of test where people are, look for ideas. there could be some procedural vote that happens on the floor which just helps them get to the bill. but the real takeaway is that this first really enormous step for the presint in terms of legislation has hit a b speed bump. can they save it. there are some members i am talking to who are saying, step
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back. go back to the drawing board, try to write a new bill, take into account all the things that have been said. that's not where the leadership is right now. there is still a lot of pressure to get this done as an early achievement for the trump white house and the republicans on capitol hill, and the sense that the more time this goes there could be more erosion of support. i am told by members of the freedom caucus, the conservative group, that there were some minds changed with the president at the most recent meeting but not enough, and that's part of why they are looking at having these other meetings. i'm told speaker ryan will have individual members coming to his office. that's an arm-twisting moment. and there will be, from those different factions looking for how can they get this done. a lot of pressure being applied. some of those who were in the most red states saying that it's not going to affect them so much on the election mid-term time but some of these other groups it might. steve. >> kelly o'donnell there on capitol hill. kelly, thanks for that. you are seeing a couple different pictures on your screen.
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in fact, right now that is the scene outside of paul ryan's office, outside of house speaker paul ryan's office. obviously, to be a fly on the wall inside there right now, keeping an eye where he may be talking to the press later on. we expect to hear from him at some point. we have no idea when. obviously everybody wants to know what the house speaker will say about what went down today, what caused him to decide to hold off this vote that had been scheduled for tonight and what the path forward may look like now for this republican effort to replace obamacare, to replace the affordable care act. of course, one of the stumbling blocks that republican leaders have faced, we have been talking about this all hour, the opposition they have faced to their plan from some of the most conservative members of their own party. they call them the house freedom caucus. and one of the issues, not the only one but one of the biggest issues, one of the key issues to members of the house freedom caucus isomething called the essential benefits provisionf obamacare. what is that? it's something that members of
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the house freedom caucus would like to see done away with. currently that is not something in this plan. it is something, though, that may be offered as a concession. what would that mean? the essential health benefits provision of obamacare basically said, every insurance policy that is sold on the individual market, remember, obamacare, it wasn't about the employer plans that you get through your job, it was about the individual market. every insurance plan sold on that market had to have this sort of broad array of coverage. you can see some of the bullet points here. there are more. there are ten in total. over plan, no matter what, had to cover all these areas. why do some conservative republicans hate this? they say this is basically a violation of personal freedom. they say, look, if you don't need a particular service, a particular coverage, if you don't want it, you shouldn't have to pay for it. somebody who is not a parent shouldn't have to pay for, for instance, pediatric dental coverage. that's the kind of argument you hear from conservative republicans here. they say, look, bottom line, by
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doing that, by forcing people to buy plans that have all of that coverage, you do drive up the premium costs for people who want a stripped-down plan, who only want a few things covered. they can't get a cheaper plan anymore. that's the republican argument. what do democrats say, people who do not want to change this say? take a listen. here is how nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, addresses this idea of getting rid of the essential benefits. >> stripping guaranteed maternity care is a pregnancy tax pure and simple. worsening the addiction epidemic, making it harder to access mental health care, making it more expensive to be sick in america. that the goal. >> that's the argument you hear from docrats joining me matt schlapp, chair of the american conservative union. ed rendell, msnbc political analyst, former governor of pennsylvania. thanks to both of you for
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joining us. matt schlapp, i'll start with you. if a political analyst looks at this situation and says, republicans promised there would be a vote tonight no matter what on this, now there is not going to be a vote. mark meadows says they do not have the votes to pass this. is it fair to say the republican replacement plan is in critical condition right now? >> they don't have the votes to pass it. i agree with mark meadows. i think it's politically just a dangerous territory for the republican party to be in. to not actually be able to come up with a replacement to obamacare. there are a lot of imperfections in this bill. there are a lot of things in the bill i do not like. but i hate even more the idea that obamacare will remain simply because republicans can't come together. >> ed rendell, what do you make of what you've seen in the last hour out of washington, d.c.? >> it's a train wreck. it's hard to make it better. if you do things for the tea party, to get rid of some of the things on the tea party's wish
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list, you'll lose moderate republicans. take philadelphia. we have four suburban republican congressman. dent, costello. fitztrick and meehan. the other three guys are history in 2018. i don't think we can beat dent though. >> ed was talking about you have these sort of competing constituencies, if you take care of the freedom caucus, the essential benefits thing. you have moderate members who say, if you do that, it drives up the cost for sick people, people with preexisting conditions. >> right. >> is that a zero-sum game? is there a way to please both of them? >> i think there is. the fact is this. this is the very first step. the very first step is we have to have a 50-vote threshold in the senate because we are using this reconciliation vehicle. what people need to understand is you can't get everything you want. the essential health services
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will not be taken out of the law because you can't get there on the reconciliation bill. what you can do is allow greater state flexibility on some of those provisions. the fact is this. we have to come to this very basic understanding as a party, do we want to replace obamacare? if we do, it has to be a vehicle that can get through both the house and the senate. the second thing we have to decide as all americans is do we think centralizing our health care bureaucracy and decisions has made it better or worse? we have gone through all these elections that made it clear that obamacare was unpopular. now it's time for republicans to put up the very best plan they can to replace it. >> ed rendell, if they can't pass it, if it goes to a vote and fails or republicans decide to pull the bill altogether, is that a bigger loss for paul ryan or president trump? >> in the short run probably a bigger loss for the speaker. but steve, i wanted to say one thing about what the republicans want to do by letting competition go across state
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lines. it's really an attack on federalism. because each state, through its insurance commissioner and, thereby through its governor, has the right to put in what they think are things that have to be offered by a health plan to be licensed. anyone can sell insurance in pennsylvania. any health care company anywhere, as long as they're willing to abide by our regulations. when i was governor i decided we have to cover autism. if you want to sell health care in pennsylvania, you can, but you have to cover autism. it's as simple as that. isn't that a state right? doesn't the state have the right to make that judgment without interference from the federal government? >> you sound like the freedom caucus, governor. >> right. what the republican would do is strip states' independence and the right to make decisions for themselves. >> i want you to weigh in, matt, on what i asked ed rendell. if the bill doesn't go through, who has more egg on their face? >> i think the stakes are very
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high for the president. the bill doesn't have to pass today or in the morning. i know that's when they want to start voting on this, tomorrow. i really tnk that, if we don't get a reform bill done this year, maybe i could expand it to this congress, but i think it's this year, i think the politics are terrible. i'll be honest about my own team. you can't run around saying obamacare is so obnoxious and say we'll replace it and then not replace when you're in charge of the whole joint. you can't do it. >> thank you both for joining us. we'll go back to capitol hill right now. standing by is dan donovan, a republican congressman from new york. he had just announced yesterday that he would be a no vote on this. that announcement probably played no small role in the announcement by republican leaders now that the vote is being postponed tonight. congressman, first, what are you hearing from republican leaders? have they told you anything about when they do plan to hold the vote? >> not yet, steve. but we have a conference at 7:00
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tonight, where i suspect we'll be told that. then we have votes at 8:00 which are probably procedural votes that you have to go through before you can get to get on the actual bill. >> you were publicly a no vote before this public announcement. what direction, what approach, where would you like to see paul ryan and republican leaders go in light of this announcement this afternoon? >> steve, the president and the leader -- the speaker have to look through this through a different set of lenses than i do. they are looking at 330 million people across america. my responsibility is to the 740,000 people that i represent. so when i looked at the bill, i have to consider whether or not this is helping the people who were harmed by the affordable care act. i am not a supporter of the affordable care act. it cost families their doctors, their health plans, it's costing people thousands upon thousands of dollars in premiums and deductibles. i am not a fan of this. but i think we need the right solution. when i examine what's in the
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bill, my constituents will be paying higher taxes to make up for the medicare cuts. the hospital system, four of which are the biggest employers in the district. will receive massive cuts. it will deny people access to health care and it will certainly hurt the hospitals that may have to let people go. i have different concerns than a lot of my colleagues do here in congress. >> you certainly do. you are outlining a very different list of concerns than many of the members of the house eem caucus are talking about. that take to my next question to you. e meeting today between the president and the house freedom caucus. there have been all these efforts by republican leaders to try to make concessions, to try to get the house freedom caucus on board with this thing. is it possible, given where your concerns are and given where their concerns are? you are not alone. charlie dent, republican from pennsylvania, saying things similar to you. to get 215 votes, is it possible for republicans to get enough of you and the freedom caucus together at the same time?
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>> i don't know, steve. we've been given the opportunity to voice our concerns. both the president -- i was at the white house tuesday. he listened more than he spoke. when i told him of my concerns, the president recognized how unique new york is compared to the rest of the country. speaker ryan has given me the voice that he has given people who have been here for 35 years. so everyone has listened. we don't know what the count is right now. people are speculating. people are hearing media reports about what the count is. but we are not privy to that. tonight at the conference at 7:00, i think the leadership will tell us a lot more than we know right now. >> when you talk to your colleagues, are republicans concerned? are you hearing concerns from your fellow republicans up there that, if this bill is either defeated or pulled, if this is not a legislative win, is that it will have a ripple effect? you guys want to do tax reform. donald trump wants to do trade. if you fail on this one, you risk failing on those t? >> i hope not,ve. i hope people give speaker ryan
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and president trump the credit for trying to put something together to help the american public. they could have let obamacare fall on its face. it was crippled. it's not fully funded. it wouldn't survive. they could have sat back for the next two years and say, see, this is what we told you, obamacare is a failure. instead, within the first ten weeks of the presidency, the president and speaker ryan took the bull by the horns and tried to make this a better health care system for americans. i think people ought to give them the credit. i hope, if it does not pass or we don't vote on it, that we can continue to make it better, work on the bill and at the same time continue to do the other things that the president wants to do. >> there is also the flip-side of this. if the republican leadership, if the white house is successful in getting the plan through, a new quinnipiac poll this afternoon, a 17% favorable rating for this republican health care replacement plan. it's up on the screen. 17% approve. 56% disapprove. you saw what obamacare, when
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enacted in 2010 did it democrats politically. are you concerned, if this passes, republicans could pay a price like that? >> it may, steve. but i have all along said and i've said this publicly, if anybody down here is voting because of how it's going to affect them in 2018 they ought to go do something else. we were sent down here for this two-year period to have the courage to do what we believe is right for the people who we represent. i am never going to vote for anything or against anything because i am afraid of whether it's going to help me get reelected or not. i think about the 740,000 people, do what i believe is right for them, and let the chips fall where they may. >> dan donovan, republican congressman from new york. he was a no vote had it come to the floor tonight. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, steve. we've been telling you all hour, this is a major, major story on capitol hill. republicans had promised to hold a vote tonight on their health care replacement plan. instead, the vote has been
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postponed. all eyes, you see on the right-hand side of your screen, on paul ryan's office, the house speaker, will he emerge from there? will he address the press? what will he say? we're following every angle of this. quick break. stay with us. upstate new york is a good place to pursue your dreams. at vicarious visions, i get to be creative, work with awesome people, and we get to make great games. ( ♪ ) what i like about the area, feels like everybody knows each other. and i can go to my local coffee shop and they know who i am. it's really cool. new york state is filled with bright minds like lisa's. to find the companies and talent of tomorrow, search for our page, jobsinnewyorkstate on linkedin. the search for relief often leads here.s,ge, today there's drug-free aleve direct therapy. a high intensity tens device that uses technology once only in doctors' offices. for deep penetrating relief at the source. aleve direct therapy. [kids cheering] [kids screaming]
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again, republican leaders in the house promised they would hold a vote tonight on their plan to repeal and replace obamacare. instead they've now postponed the vote. they do not, at the moment, have the necessary number of votes to pass it.
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of course, the idea of repealing and replacing obamacare was a major part of donald trump's message. a major promise he made during the campaign, a major promise republicans have been making ever since it was first enacted seven years ago this week. nbc's jacob rascon went to oklahoma and kentucky, those were two big trump states where republican voters are watching closely to see if their party delivers. >> reporter: building storm shelters in tornado alley is good business for greg engel. so good he wants to hire more workers. but under obamacare he can't unless he buys a more expensive plan for all 50 employees. candidate trump would say, repeal obamacare day one. >> we have to terminate. repeal obamacare. we need great health care. this is a disaster. >> reporter: did that help you vote for him?
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>> it's one of the reaso i voted for him. top of the list. >> reporter: many republican voters agree obamacare is bad but don't agree on the solution. in bryant county, oklahoma, where trump won 75% of the vote, many say give health care back to the free market. so you are not interested in the new plan? >> no. we voted for repeal. i believe in november, america voted for repeal. >> reporter: in kentucky where trump won 82% of the vote in this county, cathy helped more than 1,000 neighbors sign up for obamacare. >> you voted for obama because you wanted a change in health care, but then you turned around and voted for donald trump. why? >> i felt that he would make it better. >> reporter: antique shop owner bobby smith signed up for obamacare with cathy's help and voted for trump. it was good when you signed up. >> yes. >> reporter: it was cheap.
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it covered you. >> yes. >> reporter: but then what happened? >> the premiums went up, and the deductibles went up. >> reporter: in two and a half years her premium doubled and her deductible more than tripled. obamacare, bobby and cathy say, needs a major upgrade. you are not one of those who voted for donald trump who wants him to just get rid of obamacare? >> no. we have to have health insurance. period. we have to have health insurance. >> reporter: repeal, repeal and replace, and with what? growing uncertainty and disagreement about the future of health care, especially in trump country. >> all right. jacob rascon with that report from kentucky and oklahoma. again, republicans, they are scrambling now. they have postponed their vote on their health care replacement plan. could they still somehow get it through? the answer may still be yes. most important number of the day, we'll explain. it is next.
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the president wrote a book called "the art of the deal." he is considered the ultimate closer when it comes to negotiations. if this bill does not pass, would he accept the blame for its failure? >> i think the president has done a phenomenal job. there is no question, when you look at the effort he has put in, the number of meetings he's had and the changes to the bill, no question how hard the president and his team, the vice president, have worked to get this done. >> sean spicer, the white house press secretary, earlier today. he was confident that the republican health care plan would get through the house
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tonight. after that republican leaders have postponed the vote. they do not have the votes. all sorts of talk that this thing may be pulled permanently, that they may still put it for a vote and it could fail. could republican leaders still gut this thing out and get it passed? it's our most important number of the day today. 218. that's normally the magic number in the house. that's the majority when the house is full. it's actually 215 in this case because we have a few vacant seats. let's look at a few cases where president's party leaders have been up against it like republicans are now and pulled it out. bill clinton. democratic congress. 1993. his first year. his budget, big tax increase, trying to push it through the house. it came down to the wire. the message the white house finally delivered in those final few minutes in the house floor, they said to the members, do you want to be the one who is responsible for taking this presidency down? democrats in the end, even those who did not want to do it,
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enough came around and they passed it. 218. that's the bare minimum. 2003. republicans, the medicare prescription drug vote. george bush's presidency. this bill seemed like it failed on the floor. 218 no votes. what did republican leaders do in the house? they held the vote open. supposed to be 15 minutes. three hours. held it open in the middle of the night for three hours. cut deals, twisted arms. turned 218 no votes into 220 yes votes and passed it when it looked like they had lost. there are examples where party leaders can gut this out. there is a famous example where a president just did not have the pull with his own party. newt gingrich. republican leader. number two republican in 1990. he went to war with the bush white house. they wanted to pass a tax deal. gingrich led a republican revolt and the thing didn't come close to passing. the power of white house, not
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always enough. we'll see. the most important number of the day. takes us to this hour. what a day in washington. all sorts of drama. nothing better to watch right now than "mtp daily." starts right now! if it's thursday, the house pulls the plug on a health care bill vote tonight. tonight, what's the deal? >> we have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes. >> can life imitate the art of the deal or not? >> i think there is 95% agreement on this conservative bill in the house. but in washington, the last 5% matters. >> we'll talk to republican lawmakers for and against the president's health care bill as tonight's planned vote hits a delay. plus, source code. >> look, on this -- this committee, we are not going to ever


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