tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 17, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. and on the contrary to legislation, significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs. >> republicans say the warnings should serve as a wake-up call for democrats, but they shouldn't rush legislation through before the summer break. no excuses. that's the message president obama delivered at last night's naacp centennial event in new york city, emphasizing the need to encourage education in black communities. >> no one has written your destiny for you! your destiny is in your hands! you cannot forget that. that's what we have to teach all of our children. no excuses! and president obama is strongly condemning the deadly morning bombings in jakarta,
indonesia, vowing continued work with indonesian authorities to eliminate violent extremists. we're awaiting a state department briefing on how many americans were injured in those blasts. a progress report on the u.s. economy and the efforts to fix it. larry summers says there is still work to be done. >> recovery will take time. and history suggests that there will be setbacks along the way. coming up this hour, cnbc's senior analyst, ron insana, on the stronger than expected earnings at four of the nation's biggest banks. plus, democratic congressman eliza cummings from the oversight and reform committee on the house side. and senator dianne feinstein with the latest on judge sotomayor's confirmation process and the latest on the cia. good day. the white house wants speaker nancy pelosi to toughen health care proposals in order to cut the cost. this after some house members worked through the night to hammer out new tax increases on
the wealthy to help finance the overhaul. it's the big story at the white house today, so let's bring in nbc's mike viqueira. mike, what is the pushback, first, against what the house democrats have done and what the cbo reported yesterday? >> reporter: i've got to tell you, andrea, it is on when it comes to health care policy in this debate. i've just seen some 30, 35 house democrats march down the white house driveway for a meeting with rahm emanuel on the issue of health care. it's not out of the question that we would see the president speak on this issue today. we have seen the house democratic leadership, nancy pelosi, steny hoyer, charlie rangel, the two lieutenants who have worked into the night and into daybreak, 6:00 a.m. on the case of one committee, working on this health care legislation, all trying to get out ahead of that bomb that was dropped by bob el mendorf yesterday who said that the cost curve in fact, in his estimation is going to go up, not down. and turning the cost curve down is one of the main rationales
along with insuring the 50 million americans who do not have insurance. the stakes could not be higher in terms of policy, if terms of insuring those 50 million, in terms of how 300 million americans, every american gets their health care. and we've passed the point of political no return here, it would appear, andrea. democrats have no point but to move forward at this point. the question is, how are day going to do it? will they get it done before their self-imposed deadline of an august recess. and in the end, how are they going to pay for this mechanism. andrea? >> mike, one of those things that larry summers mention today when he was speaking at the peterson institute here is that -- and he seems to be agreeing with cbo's explanation after the fact, that they can't consider the cost containments, because they don't know how much will be saved by the new technologies, by the wellness programs. but if they don't know what those savings will be, how can they ever score that? don't they have to, at least, if
they're going to be deficit neutral, come up with new taxes, revenues of some sort in order to consider those as real savings? >> reporter: let's not confuse the issue of whether it's deficit neutral and whether in the long-term it's going to turn that cost curve downwards. deficit neutral seems to me -- means that in the short-term, anyway, they have to find offsets. a way to pay for the initial costs for this program. in the house of representatives, they have done so by taxing the wealthiest americans, adding a surcharge, if you're making more than $280,000 as a single taxpayer, $350,000 as a couple, adding a surcharge on to your taxes. they also have some streamlining mechanisms within medicare that they say is going to save between $500 billion and $600 billion. but the issue all along has been the expanding cost of health care and the drag that it places on the economy. it is the director of the cbo himself who has said many times that the best way to attack these long-term costs is to tax the employer-provided health
benefits. because if you don't do that, you're just providing an incentive for these plans to become more expensive. that, of course, andrea, was taken off the table by the president back in the campaign and there was some vacillation, some ambivalence and ambiguity in the last few weeks as to whether the president would accept that. because that appeared to be the way it was going in congress. that has since been taken off the table by the president, by the democratic leader in the senate, and that is a nonstarter in the house of representatives. so what are you left with? you're left with these surcharges and some other ideas. the democrats have sort of gotten themselves in a box on this pay for issue and how to bring down these long-term costs and how to pay for this program initially, andrea. >> meanwhile, on the senate side, mike, you've got these members of the finance committee who have not yet come up with their bill. and we interviewed olympia snowe, one of the bipartisan compromisers, if you will, and they say that they have more work to do and that they can't really be rushed by the deadline, the august recess deadline.
she told that to the president herself yesterday. >> reporter: and the president has continued to meet with wavering members. they call it the coalition of the willing, andrea, seven senators, the gang of seven, always a gang of one number or another around washington these days, who meet upstairs in max baucus's office in the heart office building. many members of the press are outside waiting for them, each day they come out, we're waiting for white smoke. but what douglas elmendorf said yesterday has set them back down. now they're re-evaluating where they're going to go with this thing in order to turn the cost curve down in the long-term to stop the rise in health care costs, which is a reason for existence, at least mostly, along with insuring the 50 million americans that are uninsured for this whole exercise to begin with. >> okay, mike viqueira at the white house on all things health care-related. and coming up, can congress get
past this price tag issue and find common ground on health care? plus, big earnings today on some of the biggest banks on wall street, but analysts warn the economy is not out of the woods yet. i was in the grocery store when i had a heart attack. my daughter was with me. i took a bayer aspirin out of my purse and chewed it. my doctor said the bayer aspirin saved my life.
please talk to your doctor about aspirin and your heart. i'm going to be grandma for a long time. an eleven sixteenths wrench over here? here you go. eleven sixteenths... (announcer) from designing some of the world's cleanest and most fuel-efficient jet engines... to building more wind turbines than anyone in the country... the people of ge are working together... creating innovation today for america's tomorrow. thanks! no problem!
doing better. it can mean that the economy is recovering. bad news, it's politically toxic. >> yeah. i'm less concerned at this point, andrea, as you might imagine about the politics of it. i know it appears unseemly that banks are making, you know, $2 billion or $3 billion a quarter. in the interest of full disclosure, i happen to own bank of america and citigroup, which reported today. by the same token, congress is showing this outrage over the fact that banks that were bailed out are earning money. that's exactly what the bailout program was designed to do, recapitalize the banking system, save the financial system from collapsing, and put banks on a surer footing so they can start lending again. and that's exactly what's happening. bank of america in the second quarter lent out $2.1 billion. i assume that's what everybody wanted. >> well, larry summers, when he briefed today, said that, look, there has been progress, but that it was a really dire situation. and he says that we could still have setbacks. what's your overall view of
where the economy's headed? >> i think we are at the very early stages of what will turn out to be an entrenched economic recovery. there could be setbacks, or as our former fed chairman used to say, headwinds in front of the economy and in front of the financial system like souring commercial real estate loans and rising consumer credit delinquencies and so forth. but from all the indicators we've seen, market-based and otherwise, the economy is on the mend. this is what an early cycle recovery looks like after a financial crisis. we've seen it before. never of this magnitude, but it's playing out in a certain sense, in a textbook way. and i'm rather encouraged. i mean, there are going to be bumps along the road, no doubt, but there were in every other recovery that we've experienced in our lifetime as well. >> let's talk about hank paulson. he was on the hot seat in front of the house, and he had no apologies, no excuses for having hammered ken lewis for going ahead with that bank of america/merrill takeover. at the same time, he was just throttled by the house members. and one has to wonder, you know,
what lies ahead with the politics of all of this? >> i wrote -- and it's rare for me to do something like this, as you well know. i wrote a scathing indictment of the congress folk who grilled mr. paulson. i was never a fan of his as treasury secretary, to be quite blunt. i thought he was very late for the party, ham-handed, ham-fisted in putting the bailout together. ben bernanke at the fed did a much better job of guiding the process along. by the same token, congress is largely responsible for the failure to supervise the areas of the economy that certain committees, you know, where they had jurisdiction. banking oversight, oversight of various aspect of the economy that they simply dropped the ball, derivatives and other areas. and just to sit there and to beat up on mr. paulson for alleged conflicts of interest or not protecting the taxpayer is hypocritical at best. remember, if these warrants they were complaining about so voe
siferrously yesterday, the taxpayer will make money on these transactions, not lose money that was shown by the illiteratesy that was shown by most of the panel members yesterday. is that too strong? >> no, that's not too strong. that's your view and why we have you on. but let's talk about health care and the pitfalls here. elmendorf from the congressional budget office, he said that given what they know now about the legislation, they can't score it as having actually saved money. in fact, by adding many more people to the insurance role wis, which is exactly the purpose of it, will cost money. pushback from the white house and even from some people in the cbo, since they don't know what the savings are, summers said today, we don't know what the wellness programs are going to achieve, we don't know what these cost savings are going to be, so technically an economist can't consider those things. but then you can't consider it deficit neutral either. >> you can't. and andrea, you've been in
washington for a couple of years. there's nothing such as a deficit neutral program put out by congress. if you look at the history of other entitlements, if i recall correctly, i believe by 1990 or something, it was estimated that medicare would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 billion and ended up costing something like 3.5 times that. so it is very difficult to make long-term assessments of an economy that is ageing rather rapidly, in terms of the baby boomers. 77 million people who are now on the cutting edge of 65, who are going to go through the system like a piglet in a python demanding health care for the golden years. it will be expensive. i'm not sure i agree with the administration's approach to this problem, but i do agree with mr. elmendorf that it's impossible to score this in a way that would be meaningful to anybody examining long-term budget implications. >> of course, he's being used by the republicans and everyone else who's opposed to it as the excuse. housing foreclosures and what we're seeing down the road, because that is, of course, one of the factors that could trip
up a recovery. the president's program was supposed to help $3 million to $4 million people facing foreclosures. in fact, it's only helped maybe 350,000. now they're talking about perhaps helping renters. where are they on that? >> difficult to administer. the mortgage servicers who are charged with helping to work out these situations, you know, find it to be rather difficult. there's a lot of paperwork to go through. it is a rather long and laborious process. there's a lot to do to rework a mortgage. you can't just turn on a switch and say, you're now refinanced, we've gotten you out of foreclosures. these things take 60, 90, 180 days to work through, given the paperwork, given the trail of paper that goes from the bank to the servicer to the investor who owns the mortgage-backed security. so this could take a lot longer than expected. personally, andrea, i think the housing market is on the mend. we got very good housing starts data for the second month in a row, first time since 2008 that we had back-to-back gains in
housing starts, up 17% last month, up 3.7% this month. and full disclosure, because i've got kind of a new life, i own the homebuilders, but it does look like the housing market is showing early signs of recovery as well. >> and just final question, ge, new earnings report today. let's talk about our own company. >> that's always fun. >> yeah. >> you know, clearly, investors have some concerns about the quality of earnings, if you will, as opposed to the absolute numbers. ge's capital unit has got very heavy exposure in real estate, $80 billion to $85 billion. a lot of it's commercial, some of it's overseas. there are concerns that that's going to be a major source of headaches down the road. a lot of the business units, including the entertainment side did not contribute as hoped. and so it appears from the stock's price, and i, like you, own the stock that investors are still worried that ge's not out of the woods. ge will fight, however, it seems any plan by the government to separate the capital unit from
the rest of the conglomerate. >> all right. a full report and full disclosures, ron insana, thank you very much. >> thanks, andrea. >> good to see you. >> you as well. meanwhile, back here in washington, lawmakers are in the midst of intense negotiations to get that deal on health care done before the august recess. nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill. kelly, good to see you. let's talk about max baucus and his coalition of the willing. we've got the names here. chuck grassley, you've got olympia snowe, whom we interviewed yesterday. mike enzi, orrin hatch, kent conrad, jeff bingaman. is the future of health care, certainly in the finance bill, in whether or not these democrats and republicans can come together? >> reporter: well, this is really a focus, andrea, and if you'll indulge me for a moment, it was like the lightning round watching you and ron. you covered more ground in that segment than i can imagine. >> we have so much fun. >> reporter: and i will not be disclosing any of my holdings
during this report. just having fun. the group you talked about is crucial. because you've got moderate republicans and you've got what i would call the timekeepers. this is a group that wants to slow the process down a bit after president obama has said he wants it done in august. the house is certainly pressing. they had their foot on the gas today with committees working over night, trying to get some of their work done on the house side. also, senator harry reid here in the senate, he's still talking about it being doable. but it's max baucus, his finance committee, where a lot of the focus is right now. and some of that group you just talked about, republicans and democrats, some moderates there who say there shouldn't be a rush. susan collins of maine, republican of maine said that she told the president directly that they need to have a little bit of time here. that the goal shouldn't be just getting a bill signed and done, but having a moment to take a breath, to try to work out some of these details and maybe have some chance of some republican support. that's part of what max baucus
is still trying to do. he got in a little bit of trouble appearing to have criticized the president and then again backing away from that, saying he's just trying to get this all done with the greatest respect for the president's wishes on this. there is so much happening here that you really need a score card between the two chambers, the house and senate, and really this issue of time. urgency versus a sense of wanting to be thoughtful and careful about what's going on in the bill, which will have such sweeping effect on americans. >> kelly, of course, the white house wants to get it done, because they're worried about what is the surprise around the corner and what could happen during the august recess. and one of those "surprises" was doug elmendorf from the congressional budget office. his testimony at senate budget yesterday. let's play a little bit of it and i want to ask you about it on the other side. >> everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort.
from what you have seen, from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve? >> no, mr. chairman. >> that "no" rocketed right across to pennsylvania avenue, 1600 pennsylvania avenue, where the white house said, wait a second, what do you mean, no? we haven't come up with details of this yet. that said, it's given a lot of people political cover to say, slow it down and it's going to cost too much. >> exactly. >> exactly. political cover. and we'll take mr. elmendorf at his word that he believes what he said to congress and he's concerned about it going up, not going down. but it has given a little bit of momentum to those who say this may not be going as well as it should, given that urgency that i've been talking about. so it is political cover for them. they're concerned that there
will be a political price to be paid. if we remember back to the stimulus, which was pushed through so quickly in the eyes of many here on capitol hill, and now some time later when people are measuring the results, have some doubts and some questions about it. that kind of a problem is what they foresee with health care, which in many ways could be a much bigger issue for people to deal with, because it's so personal. concerned about the price they'll pay at the blallot box, especially on the house side for some of these freshman congressman who are concerned about taxes being raised, and even more broadly, just a concern about can they get it right? so in terms of these competing forces, that was a really critical moment. one difficult for the white house and one that's giving a little bit of ammunition for some who are concerned here on capitol hill. andrea? zwr >> kelly o'donnell with all the latest. and nancy pelosi reiterating that they can get it done by august. >> reporter: she sure did. >> good luck. up next, new developments out of jakarta.
today's twin bombings at american-owned luxury hotels, american chains, at least. and later, president obama returns to the campaign trail, stumping for new jersey governor, jon corzine. we know why we're here. to build a new generation of airplanes to connect the world. airplanes that fly cleaner and farther on less fuel. and make nonstop travel possible to more places. announcer: around the globe, the people of boeing are working together-- to bring us together. that's why we're here.
when diet and exercise are not enough, adding lipitor may help. unlike some other cholesterol lowering medications, lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk... of heart attack, stroke, and certain kinds of heart surgeries... in patients with several common risk factors... or heart disease. lipitor has been extensively studied... with over 16 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems... and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. i was caught offuard. but maybe you can learn from my story. have a heart to heart with your doctor... about your risk. and about lipitor. some people like to pretend... a flood could never happen to them... and that their homeowners insurance... protects them. it doesn't.
stop pretending. it can happen to you. protect your home with flood insurance. call the number on your screen... for your free brochure. more protests in iran with friday prayers. witnesses say that police fired teargas on thousands of protesters during iran's main islamic prayer service today. opposition supporters gathered outside of tehran university to urge president mahmoud ahmadinejad to resign. opposition leader mir hossein mousavi sat in the front row of worshippers. and now to the latest on that deadly hotel bombing in jakarta, indonesia. at least eight people now dead. at least 50 more injured in twin blasts at the marriott and the ritz-carlton hotels. the state department has just confirmed that at least eight americans are among the wounded.
so far, no group has claimed responsibility for those attacks. msnbc's ian williams is live in bangkok for us. ian, some suspicions, though, as to who might be responsible? >> reporter: suspicions, yes. and they've fallen on a group called j.i., which is a regional terror organization associated with al qaeda. now, this was the group that was responsible for the bali bombing back in 2002 in which more than 200 people died, as well as an earlier attack on the marriott hotel, the australian embassy, a string of attacks. but that we haven't seen anything from them for four years now. they've been hit hard by the indonesian government, by the terror police down there. a lot of their leaders are being captured and killed. it had been assumed that they'd been splintered, that there were breakaway groups, but they were no longer as being regarded as effective as they were a few
years ago. but clearly the tactics would appear to be those of the j.i. this is a high-profile attack on a very visible western target. it's also a very sophisticated one, because although this was a suicide becoming, it was very carefully planned. they checked into the hotel, they took a room on the 18th floor. they assembled their bomb on the 18th floor. it was all done very carefully to avoid very strict security at the hotel before, of course, going down to breakfast this morning and letting those bombs off, andrea. >> ian, when i was there just a couple of months ago with clinton on a trip, and clinton is heading your way right now. she's just arrived in mumbai, india, and in a few days she'll be going to bangkok, where you are. while i was there, there was very strict security. there was magnatomteres, so they by assembling the bomb,
presumably, upstairs, avoided that security. >> reporter: that's right. we don't know the precise details yet, but the security on these western-owned hotels in jakarta is extremely tight, but it tends to be geared towards the threat of vehicle bomb or a bigger bomb attack. and clearly, what appears to have happened is perhaps components or parts of these bombs were smuggled in, perhaps piecemeal and assembled in a room in which the police are now calling a command room up on the 18th floor of the marriott hotel. so it does seem to have been very carefully planned and perhaps well resourced. and that would be very worrying for indonesia, because there was a real sense down there that they'd left all this behind, that they'd managed to crack the terror threat, that they'd managed to neutralize the jihadies. and you could see in the manner of the president today as he addressed the nation, as he addressed that press conference, that he was very rattled by
this. because he himself was only re-elected this month, partly on a platform of restoring security to indonesia. so a lot of worry down there, andrea. >> and, of course, ian, as you know better than anyone else, there's great pride as well because of the democratic principles in indonesia, great pride if the fact that barack obama had some roots, spent some of his childhood there. hoped he would come to visit. a lot to talk about when those asian leaders gather in bangkok in a couple of days. thank you, ian williams, i know you'll be on top of this for "nbc nightly news" as well, coming up. thanks so much. and straight ahead, supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor moves a lot closer to confirmation. we now know that at least three republicans say they will support her. plus, demands growing for a congressional investigation into the cia's top-secret program to assassinate al qaeda operatives. up next, senator dianne feinstein, chairwoman of the senate intelligence committee and a member of the senate
judiciary committee joins us. if you're taking 8 extra-strength tylenol... a day on the days that you have arthritis pain, you could end up taking 4 times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthris pain all day.
umm fancy a crisp? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. officially threw their support behind supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor. senators richard lugar, mel martinez, and olympia snowe all endorsing her. none of them are on the judiciary committee. all say they will vote for sotomayor when her nomination comes before the full senate. their leader, though, mitchell mcconnell, saying today that he will oppose her. the democratic leader, dianne feinstein, is on the judiciary committee, and we watched you in the questioning the last couple of days. you don't anticipate nany difficulties now? it looks like this is a done deal? >> i actually don't. i think there are well over 60 votes righ s right now for her.
and i hope she can be confirmed as soon as possible. it's very important that she be able to take her place on the court and the court is reconvening a month early this year in early september and there's some big cases. so you don't want an eight-member court, you want a nine-member court. >> in fact, they're convening early on september 9th to hear the argument on a key aspect of the mccain/feingold campaign finance bill, which could -- >> that's right. >> -- could, conceivably, put in jeopardy those limits on corporate and labor party contributions to political campaigns during the last couple of months of the campaign. let me ask you about intelligence, as we move forward. there's been a lot of criticism of the cia for not briefing congress. we now know, and i know you can't talk about it, but we now know from other sources that we're talking about hit squads and on-again, off-again program after 9/11. yet, at the same time, al qaeda remains a threat and an affiliate of al qaeda may well
be behind these jakarta bombings. so how do you reach the balance. you're the intelligence chairman, you want to investigate, you want the oversight, yet there's going to be a chilling factor, is there not, according to the former cia director of the people involved in covert activities if they feel they're going to be second-guessed? >> well, i believe i can speak for the senate intelligence committee in saying that we are not about creating a chilling factor for the intelligence community. let me put this in perspective. we were notified of certain actions in general that the administration wished to take directly following 9/11. the law, very clearly, states that specific activities should be presented to the intelligence committees in a form of notification. that was not done in this case. when mr. batenna found out, he came directly to the committee, he said, you have not been notified about this specific
program. i am canceling it. and he proceeded to notify us about the program. since that time, we, the staff has been briefed, we have read those briefings, we have asked additional questions. we are aware that there was a specific program, it was in three different increments, and we are looking in to how the money was spent. now, that's the status of it. and beyond that, i'm not going to go. it is not my interest, or, i believe, the nation's interest to cast any recrimination. i think our interest is to see that we correct any problems that exist and see that they don't happen again. and to that end, we have strengthened the notification of congress language in the intelligence authorization bill, which we just last night or late last -- yesterday afternoon, passed out unanimously
partnership from the senate intelligence committee. >> how concerning is it that we now have this outbreak of violence, of terror bombings in indonesia, where we've had a couple of years of relative peace there? we've got a government that we thought was strong and we had managed to control the terror groups there. is this something that should be of great concern to the united states? >> the answer is, it's very concerning. these were american interests that were attacked. two very big, well-known hotels, both the ritz-carlton and the marriott hotel. i've reviewed the intelligence this morning and i've seen enough to convince me now that this was the product of terror. so i think what americans have to know is that our interests are under threat, we do need to be on guard and we need to have
the sharpest, best intelligence we can possibly put together. >> dianne feinstein, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. thank you, andrea. president obama hit the campaign trail last night, his first time since taking office. he was in new jersey, trying to excite supporters for democratic governor jon corzine who is trailing his republican challenger, chris christie in recent polls. it is one of two states that has governor races this year, virginia and new jersey. keith richburg is new york bureau chief for "the washington post." good to see you. tell us about the event last night. the president sounded as though he was very fired up. >> he was very fired up and jon corzine was very fired up to have him there. and they spent a long time embracing each other. corzine talking about president obama, the first time he met him. president obama came back and said he really needs an ally like onkjon corzine to help him the health care fight. >> corzine, of course, has spent
an extraordinary amount of money in past campaigns. there have been stories that he's going around, hat in hand, trying to raise money. is it harder for someone with his wealth, he's a former co-partner, co-head of goldman sachs, is it harder for him to raise campaign funds when people know he's a rich guy? >> absolutely. and in this economy too, it's really hard to ask people to pony up. and he has taken a hit like everybody, like anybody with a 401(k), his wealth is not what it used to be, but he's still probably got about $150 million around. he's let it be known that he does not want to spend what he has spent in the past. his last race, i think he spent about $40 million for his campaign for the senate, which it was the first time he was really introducing himself to new jersey. he spent about $60 million. a little over $100 million total for his two statewide races so far. he's let it be known that he doesn't want to spend that much. but he's also a competitive guy and he has said this might be his last campaign. he'll spend what it takes, i
think. >> in some of the video that we've seen, you've talked about embrace, it looked as though corzine was hanging on to the president like a life jacket there. the president's popularity is far exceeding that of the governor of new jersey right now. >> obama's got about a 60% approval rating in new jersey, one of his highest, even though he's ticking down in places like ohio. and this despite the fact that the economy in new jersey is in pretty tough shape. about 9.2% unemployment. not the worst in the country, but not great. corzine has got about a 33% job approval rating. only about a third of the people think he deserve to be re-elected. the majority of new jerseyians think he's on the wrong track, he's being blamed for high taxes, not giving back property tax rebates that were due to property owners. but corzine says once he gets his message out and once he starts spending money on commercials, he's going to make
the case that he's been in there during a tough time and had to made these tough calls. he's trailing to christopher christie, and that margin's held pretty steady the last couple of weeks. >> thanks so much, keith richburg. coming up, what does the white house need to do to get the right players on board with health care? we'll be asking democratic political consultant bob shrum and msnbc political analyst pat buchanan. they'll weigh in next on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us. ♪ on this endless ocean
the house and the senate are pushing forward with talks right now to move the president's health care agenda. but there are a number of sticking points, namely how to pay for such sweeping changes and what to do about the protracted recession and its impact. let's bring in bob shrum, msnbc political analyst, pat buchanan. welcome both.
bob, to you first, because just now, ken strickland, our own senator producer has just notified us that a bipartisan group of senators are now asking for more time. and this is -- there's some big names here. there's so much heavy lifting ahead, lieberman, nelson, biden, collins, landrieu, and snowe, and a couple of these are members of the finance committee and the baucus group. at this stage, what does that mean? if they want more time, does that mean the august recess does not -- that deadline will not work for the white house? >> look, it may or may not. but a lot of the reporting on this, andrea, is just like your reporting on the stimulus bill. it's as if the perils of pauline was being enacted every single day. i think the president is resolute, he's pretty confident about where this is going to come out. take that cbo conclusion that came out yesterday. it was about total federal health spending. of course, total federal health spending will go up under this, but you'll save $2 trillion in the overall economy and for
individuals over ten years. the average family will be $2,600, and that's what the house has to do. they have to go out and tell this story. the average family will be $2,600 a year better off ten years from now with health reform. >> but bob, the umpire, cbo scores these things and what the umpire is saying is that you can't tell yet because we don't know what the numbers are -- >> that's wrong, andrea. >> well, no -- >> no, no, that's wrong. i watched the show earlier. let me show what's going on here. what's going on here is the savings are all within ranges. there's a harvard-rand study that says the savings would be about $2 trillion. nobody denies that there would be massive savings. those savings would come about. the cbo, as you know, under its rules, can't score things unless they're absolutely certain. >> exactly. >> in fact, 1996, they issued a ten-year estimate on medicare, there were a number of reform estimates on the table, they
couldn't count those, so they estimated that it would be hundreds of billions of dollars higher than it in fact was. >> but the fact is, you don't have a bill yet because you've got these three different versions that are floating around. bob, let me get pat to weigh in on that. i've talked to the cbo folks, and they're saying, they're not ruling out that these savings will materialize, but as economists, they can't honestly project them. >> well, andrea, the key thing here is that obama correctly wants this thing moved through both houses before august. >> why? >> he understands the urgency of it because the tide is going out on the obama administration. on issues of finance and money and deficits -- >> keep hoping, pat. >> there's no doubt about it. this is why you're getting the terrible urgency in shrum's voice. >> i don't have any urgency. i'll tell you this though, pat, there's going to be an economic -- and the republicans are going to get slacked in the next -- >> hold on, we understand your
urgency and panic. >> you're predicting obama will win the presidency -- >> okay, bob. bob. >> if he doesn't get through by august, he's going to have to pull back on the size of the package, because i think when people look at the cost of this thing, how in heaven's name are they going to pay with it this 5.5% tax -- >> well, the house worked until 6:00 this morning and came out with some new taxes. bob, let me ask you a serious question, a sobering question that "the new york times" raised on the front page today? how much are we missing, aside from the emotional factors, and we all miss them every day, how much are we missing the legislative skill of the lion of the senate, teddy kennedy, who would have been shaping this and working on these compromises behind the scene? >> i think we miss it a lot. and i think he is working on this. he has been working on this behind the scenes. and talked with senator dodd, i believe, the other morning after
the health -- after the labor and education committee approved the bill. but look, we are throwing around so many phony numbers here. pat said a 5.4% tax to pay for this. you know who that's on? it's on millionaires. you know what it will do? it will -- people who earn over $1 million a year, it will take taxes for them back to the level they were at after the first reagan tax cut. so let's not throw phony numbers around. let's not try and scare people. pat predicted that obama wasn't going to win. pat predicted the stimulus package was going to -- pat has done nothing but predict obama's failure year in and year out. >> let me quickly change subjects, sonia sotomayor. because, pat, you really cast aspersions on her this week. you were saying that she had achieved things by affirmative action. >> sure. >> she came out of princeton with the highest marks, she went through yale, she was a star according to all the witnesses in the last 24, 48 hours. how can you describe her as an affirmative action? >> i'm quoting her. she told "the new york times" --
or, i'm sorry, didn't tell "the new york times," uncovered tapes where she told people, i'muncov an affirmative action baby. i didn't have grades or achievement tests like they did. >> but out of princeton already proving herself. >> look at the rehearsed, canned speech. is that a real engaged mind? she can't answer a question. do you think people have a right to self-defense. sat there for five minutes. she was picked one out of last four by obama. he picks the hispanic. liberals -- >> the diversity, the value of diversity on the court. >> if liberals believe in affirmative action, why are they ashamed. >> shrum, you get the last word. >> you weren't first in the class at georgetown. she was first in her class at
princeton. >> no, she was not. she got an award -- >> get off this because you're hispanic bashing all the time. it only hurts the republican party. >> the republican party appreciates your advice, shrum. the democratic party took it and didn't do that well. >> doesn't matter. >> we have to leave it there. let's just stipulate that nobody here is panicked, nobody has any urgency and we're all happy. patrick buchanan, bob shrum, thank you. what political story will be making headlines? that's next on msnbc, the place for politics. know why we're he. to stand behind all who serve. ♪ to deliver the technologies... vital to freedom. ♪ to help carry hope to those in need.
white house reporter for "the washington post" and author of "the fix." >> not sure if i can do it better than bob and pat, but i think health care is going to dominate the sunday talk shows. this past week, all sonia sotomayor all the time. health care took a backseat even though there was a lot of interest in the ceo saying this would cut prices only slightly. if it looks like it is not real reform, it's just a watered down bill they had to do to get something passed, is a big blow to the economy, still not in great shape. if you add health care to that, if he comes up short, you'll see polling, i believe, start to reflect doubts about his ability to get things done.
>> i've got to ask you what mouthpiece theatre is. i never thought of you and allister cook in the same breath, but you'll have your own special look. >> i don't know who put you up to that, but thank them for it. we're doing something twice a week, it's a take-off on "masterpiece theatre." we wear smoking jackets and talk about politics in a unique perspective. that's what i tell my mom. >> you can read more from chris on his blog, depending on what he's wearing. that does it for me. i'm andrea mitchell here in washington. norah o'donnell and john harwood pick up our coverage next with a special new york times edition. come on in. you're invited to the chevy open house.
where getting a new vehicle is easy. because the price on the tag is the price you pay on remaining '08 and '09 models. you'll find low, straightforward pricing. it's simple. now get an '09 silverado xfe with an epa estimated 21 mpg highway for under 28 thousand after all offers. go to chevy.com/openhouse for more details.