tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 10, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PDT
priority is to do everything i can to reignite what i consider to be the true engine of the american economy. a rising, thriving middle class. that's what i think about every day, that's the driving force behind every decision that i make. over the past three years, our businesses have created nearly 6.5 million new jobs, but we know we can help them create more. corporate profits are at an all-time high, but we have to get wages and incomes rising, as well. our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in years. but we can do more to bring them down in a balanced and responsible way. the point is, our economy is poised for progress. as long as washington doesn't get in the way. frankly, the american people deserve better than what we've been seeing a shortsighted
crisis driven decision making like the reckless across the board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there. cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year. if we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we've got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation. and that's what the budget i'm sending to congress today represents. a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle class jobs and growth. for years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs and makie ining the investments necy to grow our economy. this budget answers that argument because we can do both. we can grow our economy and shrink our deficits. in fact, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing shrinks deficits faster than a growing economy.
that's been my goal since i took office and that should be our goal going forward. at a time when too many americans are still looking for work, my budget begins by making targeted investments in areas that will create jobs right now. and prime our economy to keep generating good jobs down the road. as i said in my state of the union address, we should ask ourselves three questions every day. how do we make america a magnet for new jobs, how do we give our workers skills to do those jobs, and how do we make sure that hard work leads to a different living? to make america a magnet for good jobs, this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization in the global centers of high-tech jobs. we'll spark new american innovation and industry with cutting edge research like the initiative i announced to map the human brain and cure disease. we'll continue our march towards energy independence and address
the threat of climate change. and our rebuild america partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools in terms of attracting manier new business to schools across the country. to help workers to learn the skills to fill those jobs, we'll work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in america. and we're going to pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people. it's the right thing to do. we'll reform our high schools and job training programs to equip more americans with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy. and we'll help more middle class families afford the rising cost of college. to make sure hard work is rewarded, we'll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for anybody who is
willing to work hard to climb them. we'll partner with 20 of our communities hit hardest by the recession to help them improve housing and education and business investment. and we should make the minimum wage a wage you can live on because no one who works full-time should have to raise his or her family in poverty. my budget also replaces the foolish across the board spending cuts that are already hurting our economy. and i have to point out that many of the same members of congress who supported deep cuts are now the ones complaining about them the loudest as they hit their own communities. of course, the people i feel for are the people who are directly feeling the pain of these cuts. the people who can least afford it. they're hurting military communities that have already sacrificed enough, they're hurting middle class families,
there are children who have had to enter a lottery to determine which of them get to stay in their headstart program with their friends. there are seniors who depend on programs like meals on wheels that they can live independently but who are seeing their services cut. that's what the so-called sequester means. some people may not have been impacted, but there are a lot of folks who are being increasingly impacted throughout this country. and that's why my budget replaces these cuts with smarter ones, making long-term reforms, eliminating actual waste and programs we don't need anymore. so building new roads and bridges, educating our children from the youngest age, helping more families afford college, making sure that hard work pays. these are things that should not be partisan, should not be controversial. we need to make them happen. my budget makes these investments to grow our economy and create jobs and it does so without adding a dime to our
deficits. now, on the topic of deficits, despite all the noise in washington, here's a clear and unassailable fact, our deficits are already falling. over the past two years, i've signed legislation that will reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. more than 2/3 of it through spending cuts and the rest through asking the wealthiest americans to begin paying their fair share. that doesn't mean we don't have more work to do. but here's how we finish the job. my budget will reduce our deficit by nearly another $2 trillion so that all told we will have surpassed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilize our finance. but it does so in a balanced and responsible way, a way that most
americans prefer. both parties, for example, agree that the rising cost of caring for an aging generation is the single biggest driver of our long-term deficits. and the truth is, for those like me who deeply believe in our social insurance programs think it's one of the core things that our government needs to do. if we want to keep medicare working as well as it has. if we want to preserve the ironclad guarantee that medicare represents, then we're going to have to make some changes. they don't have to be drastic ones. and instead of making drastic ones later, what we should be doing is making some manageable ones now. the reforms i'm proposing will strengthen medicare for future generations without undermining that ironclad guarantee that medicare represents. we'll reduce our government's
medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the cost of health care. not by shifting the cost to seniors or the poor or families with disabilities. they are reforms that keep the promise we've made to our seniors basic security that is rock solid and dependable and there for you when you need it. that's what my budget represents. my budget does also contain the compromise i offered speaker boehner at the end of last year, including reforms championed by leaders in congress. and i don't believe that all these ideas are optimal, but i'm willing to accept them as part of a compromise. if and only if they contain protections for the most vulnerable americans. but if we're serious about deficit reduction, then these reforms have to go hand in hand with reforming our tax code to make it more simple and more fair so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations cannot keep taking
advantage of loopholes and deductions that most americans don't get. that's the bottom line. if you're serious about deficit reduction, then there's no excuse to keep these loopholes open. they don't serve an economic purpose, they don't grow our economy, they don't put people back to work. all they do is to allow folks who are already well off and well connected game the system. if anyone thinks i'll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again. when it comes to deficit reduction, i've already met republicans more than half way. so in the coming days and weeks, i hope that republicans will come forward and demonstrate that there really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be.
so growing our economy, creating jobs, shrinking our deficits. keeping our promise to the generation that made us great but also investing in the next generation. the next generation that will make us even greater. these are not conflicting goals. we can do them in concert. that's what my budget does. that's why i'm so grateful for the great work that jeff and his team have done in shaping this budget. the numbers work. there's not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here. and if we can come together, have a serious, reasoned debate not driven by politics and come together around common sense and compromise, then i'm confident we'll move this country forward and leave behind something better for our children. that's our task. thank you, god bless you, god bless the united states of america.
>> there he is. the president with the head of the office of management of -- the office of management and budget walking back into the oval office from the rose garden. the president making his proposals public now. and there's a detailed budget that the white house is releasing. hundreds if not thousands of pages going through point by point by point all domestic, all national security, all social security medicare, all spending for the fiscal year 2014 budget. once again, that fiscal year begins october 1st of this year. white house correspondent jessica yellin is there. jessica, so the house has already approved paul ryan's budget. he's the chairman of the house budget committee, the senate has approved patty murray's budget, very different budget. she's the chair of the senate budget committee. now the president's weighing in with his own budget. what happens now? >> these are effectively negotiating positions, wolf. and what the president has done
today is laid out what he considers a compromised position to try to restart debt talks with republicans. the headlines out of this budget are that he's proposing reforms to social security and medicare. big thing from a democratic president to do, not well-received by some progressive groups in the president's own party. but even republicans say it's not enough. so he's managed to -- with the budget anger both folks on the left without winning over people on the right. a bit of a challenge in understanding where this will go next. he's also proposed replacing the sequester cuts, those across the board spending cuts with more reasoned cuts in his view that he thinks will affect people less harshly. and with some tax increases and tax changes for millionaires. but the budget also includes some new spending and priorities that the president thinks are important. spending on infrastructure and, for example, universal pre-k
education for all kids in america which we're looking for the dollar figure on that, it's going to come out soon and that's going to be a big price tag republicans really dislike all that new spending. you ask where this goes. it could go nowhere from here tonight he sits down with a dozen or so senators, republican senators to talk this over, guns, immigration, and see if they can revive any sort of talks. not a lot of optimism in washington that deficit deal will get going from here. but this is the president's offer to restart -- kick start that discussion, wolf. >> yeah, at least there's a budget proposal on the table right now from the president, one from the democrats who have the majority in the senate. one from the republicans who have the majority in the house. gloria borger is watching what's going on. what is probably going to be the best of any compromise is the president's adamant position that there have to be additional tax increases on wealthy
americans, on big corporations, as well as an across the board tax increase, at least 30% tax for wealthy americans, so-called buffett rule. i can't imagine the republicans, especially in the house of representatives going along with that since they did go along with averting the fiscal cliff and raising taxes on wealthy americans at the end of the year. >> they're already saying, look, we did that. we gave you -- we gave you tax increases, and we're not going to do it again. i think what the most interesting thing about the president's budget is the point as jess was pointing out earlier that he did decide to bring medicare back on the table, to bring social security back on the table. remember, it was part of his so-called grand bargain that became a grand failure with house speaker john boehner. and the white house is saying, okay, this budget is not the starting point, but it's our sticking point. because we're putting these things back on the table.
if republicans and democrats were serious, they would take a look at entitlement changes as well as tax reform. as the president was just talking about. as a way to do some grand bargain on spending in this country where you did change the tax code so that you could raise revenue and lower rates to a certain degree and attack these entitlements. but again, does the congress have the will to do that right now? is there an awful lot on their plate? we've been talking about guns, we've been talking about immigration reform. when will they finally get around to doing this? or will they just keep patching this as they've been doing over the last year? >> let's get some republican reaction from what we just heard from the president of the united states. representative greg walden of oregon is joining us. congressman, what did you think of the president's remarks?
>> well, i thought it very intriguing in that the budget really lays out kind of a shocking attack on seniors, if you will. we haven't seen all the detail yet, we'll look at it, but i'll tell you when you're going after seniors the way he's already done on obama care, taken $700 billion out of medicare to put into obama care and now coming back at seniors again, i think you're crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country. i think he's going to have a lot of pushback from some of the major senior organizations on this and republicans, as well. and this is a budget that doesn't balance. at the end of the day, you can have all the flowery rhetoric, but i'm a numbers guy and this doesn't add up. it does not balance. we've passed the ryan budget. it does balance in ten years, it will put us on a path to grow the economy and jobs and, again, gets us to where we have a balanced budget. 65 days late and it doesn't add
up. >> let's talk about these proposed changes that the president is putting forward when it comes to social security and medicare. the socking proposals that you say the president's putting forward that could affect seniors. what's so shocking about changing that cpi, that consumer price index the way that you would determine how much inflation would go ahead with increases for social security recipients, for example? >> well, once again, you're trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors and i think it's not the right way to go. >> doesn't the -- doesn't paul ryan's budget have major changes as far as social security and medicare concerned, as well? >> look, it doesn't -- yes, but it doesn't do that. and so i just think there's some -- you know, it's all about when you get to the specifics. and what does that really mean down on the ground? the president just said that his proposals will reduce the cost of health care. where did we hear that before? we heard that premiums for a
family on -- for health insurance would go down $2,500 if his plan was adopted. and we now see them going up 2,000, in my state 3,000. so you've got to cut through the rhetoric, wolf, which of course, you all your team will do and get into the real facts and figures and so will we. but i don't see this budget as either on time, adding up, balancing, and further, i think it really does go right at seniors in a way they're going to be shocked coming out of the administration. >> let's talk about taxes right now. are you open to what the president calls taxed reform, eliminating some of the loopholes, the reductions for the wealthiest americans, some of the biggest corporations in order to pay for some of the infrastructure, education, health care benefits that he's putting forward? >> so, wolf, let's go back as you said or one of your folks said the fiscal cliff. the president got $600 billion in new revrevenue.
and put in a provision, the amendment which already reduces and trails out how much the wealthy americans can claim for deductions. tax reform is where you would have the debate about how you can close the loopholes and reduce the rates so we have a competitive code and create jobs in america. what he's proposing, at least, at this point. and again, we've got to get into the details, sounds a lot like the old style, we're going to raise taxes by dividing the country and go spend the money on new programs and existing programs and never get around to real tax reform which is what we need to be competitive in the world to grow private sector jobs in the world. the notion that the federal government is somehow going to be the great creator of jobs in america, i think is a misnomer, if we're spending $800 billion more than we took in this year and last year $1 trillion plus more, we ought to have a robust economy right now. the federal government isn't what's going to do this. we've got to get out there where the folks on the street aren't
having to work two or three jobs in order to make ends meet. and now seeing their health insurance costs spike. i think there's a lot of problem with what he's proposing. >> what do you think of that so-called buffett rule? that individuals making more than $1 million a year are required to pay at least 30% income tax? >> well, again, he had the opportunity to put that into law before, the opportunity to do it in the fiscal cliff discussions. and i just don't see that catching traction here. it didn't catch traction in the senate, i don't believe. and so i'm not sure that's even a starter. >> you opposed that. you would vote against that so-called buffett rule? >> yeah, again. look, what we've got to do is get back to have a meaningful discussion about overall tax reform, not just, you know, split one group of americans against the others to the benefit of the growth of the federal government and the deficit. this does not put us on a path toward reducing americans' deficit in a meaningful way and need to have those serious discussions. >> it's called the buffett rule
because warren buffett himself came up with the notion. one of the richest people in the world saying if he pays 15% of his income, which is a lot to the federal government 15%, that is a lot less, and that's legal, investments and earned income or whatever, that's -- if his secretary is paying 28% or 30%, he says there's something that if the secretary's paying 30% of deferred income and he's paying 15%. >> wolf, there's a big difference of putting your money at risk. you can lose money as people painfully know from the losses they suffered in the stock market versus a paycheck every month that's guaranteed. those have always been treated differently because there's a higher risk at putting your money at risk in an investment strategy that can go bad. and remember, you're limited on how much you can deduct when it does go bad. so these are apples and orange
comparisons except when it gets spun out there at 30,000 feet in the political world. they're meaningful differences in the tax code because we want people to take their wealth and giant wealth and invest it in the private sector to grow companies and jobs. but you could lose that, as well. he's had good years and he's had bad years. his secretary probably has been paid each month. and that's a good thing. he should pay her more. i'm all for that. but you do that because you have companies that are successful and they make money going forward, not because you're suddenly giving the federal government more of your money. and i think that's the confusion here is that building up a bigger, more costly federal government puts a burden of debt on the next generation that's unconscionable and suppresses our economy. >> one final question before i let you go, now there's a house budget, there's a senate budget, the president has come up with his proposals today, there's a deadline of sorts i suspect at the end of july, early august when the government's going to have to raise the nation's debt
ceiling once again, are you in favor of raising the debt ceiling even if there's no so-called grand bargain budget agreement between the house and senate and the president? >> you know, i would hope we wouldn't get to where that's the only choice on the table. i've supported increasing the debt ceiling when there's been offsetting reductions in spending because i think at some point here and we've reached that point, you can't keep borrowing 42 cents of every dollar sending the next generation the bill. and so we've dealt with the debt ceiling, we'll deal with it again, but it's going to be in the context of overall more broad discussions about how we achieve savings going forward. >> i think that will be a sort of deadline looking forward. let's hope everybody can come up with some sort of -- >> yeah. >> compromise. >> it would be bad news for you, bad news for american workers, bad news for exports, bad news for the u.s. economy if we once again had to go through that drama of having to see if the
debt ceiling is going to be increased. >> i couldn't agree more with you, wolf, and that's certainly not what we're proposing as republicans. and we already extended the debt ceiling a couple of times here. but we also said it's not a good thing for the country, jobs, exports and economy when you've got the printing press on jet fuel at the federal reserve kicking out $85 billion a month in phony money in effect and increasing ballooning our debt out at over $1 trillion a year. that's not good either. somewhere in here, there's common ground to solve the problem. >> let's hope that can be found. thanks very much for coming in. >> you bet. all right. so we just heard the president say he plans to cut the deficit, but the new budget adds some new revenues, as well. we're going to break it all down. our own christine romans standing by. we'll take a quick break. much more of our special coverage here in the "cnn newsroom" after this. ore effici. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups.
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rose garden at the white house, unveil his nearly $4 trillion proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year which begins october 1st. here it is. i'll just show you how big it is. all of this stuff, all of these books. this is it, this is the budget of the president of the united states. christine romans has been watching. and i suspect, christine, you haven't gone to the thousands of pages that are here, but i'm sure some eventually will. how is it going to play? we have a republican budget in the house, a democratic budget in the senate. and the president has come up with his own version. what do you think? >> well, i think a president's budget is sort of his mission statement. and i'll quote my colleague john berman who said the chance of this budget passing is minus infinity. this is the president getting on paper what his priorities are for the american people. and he throws a bone to the gop with the social security, with the cpi, we thought and you just had your republican guest who said, no, this is hurting senior
citizens, it's progressives upset about the proposals, rather, on social security. that's playing out interesting there. there's also some proposals in here that will appeal to progressives where he's talking about the buffett tax, higher taxes for people who make all of their money from investing money, hedge fund managers and the private equity gurus of the world who are taxed for investment income, not as ordinary income. there are a lot of things in there that appeal to the left but certainly the social security measures do not appeal to the left at all. many are saying, look if you were to enact a budget like this over ten years plus the deficit reduction we're already seeing, we never really, you know, taken the budget deficit down that quickly over ten years. it is reducing budget deficits. we have staggering national
debt, though, and that's what they keep fighting about. >> you think the end of july deadline for increasing the nation's debt ceiling in effect is a deadline for the republicans and democrats to come up with some sort of plan? we don't have that have that crisis at the end of july? >> i think we have a washington that is for some reason into these manufactured and avoidable crises. i never thought last august we would have a crisis of a deadline and we certainly did. i hope we don't, again, in july. but i think you're seeing, i don't know, you tell me, i think you're seeing more opportunity for consensus now than we did a year and a half ago and maybe that's a good sign. >> i think it was a little bit more, but i wouldn't -- >> a little, a tiny, tiny bit. >> i know that the president's going to have another dinner with a dozen republican senators tonight here in washington so that charm offensive continues. let's hope it becomes very charming and everybody gets onboard and they work out some
deals. not only on deficits and taxes, the budget but on immigration reform, gun control, there's a lot of issues here in washington right now, forget about the national security issues including north korea right now. there's obviously a lot going on. christine, don't go too far away. we're going to continue our special coverage here in the "cnn newsroom." we're making the turn, though, to guns, a bipartisan deal. at least two senators, a democrat and a republican with major pro nra gun records. joe manchin, pat toomey, they've just drafted a news conference with their own proposal on how to deal with background checks for gun purchases. to treat my low testosterone, my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant
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the senator joe manchin of west virginia has a near perfect record as far as the national rifle association. he's a democrat, republican senator pat toomey of pennsylvania also has a virtually perfect record as far as the nra is concerned. they have now, though, come together and have come up with a compromise proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases in the united states. they spoke together just moments ago. >> let me just say good morning to all of you and i'm very, very proud to be here with my good friend pat toomey from my sister
state of pennsylvania, west virginia, we're side-by-side and we come from states that have deep rooted cultures, as you know. and we've been very strong. and i also want to give special thanks to two people who aren't here today who have been invaluable to this process and have worked from the beginning trying to find common ground. and that is senator chuck schumer, my good friend, and my dear friend mark kirk. mark has been with me from the beginning. and has never left and chuck and his staff and all of them who have worked so hard, i thank everybody. pat will tell you. i also want to thank tom coburn. tom has been invaluable to the process also coming from the culture we have come from and had great input all the way through this process. i want to make it clear from the start that this is a start and not the end of our work. we still have a lot to do.
we have an agreement, pat and i have an agreement with senator kirk and senator schumer. we have an agreement to prevent criminals and the mentally ill and insane from getting firearms and harming people. that's extremely important for all of us. and also, we agree that we need a commission on mass violence. and this commission is going to be made up of people with expertise. people have expertise in guns, people have expertise in mental illness, in school safety and people have expertise in video violence. we have a culture of violence and we have a whole generation who basically has been desensitized. and if you go around and talk to the young people today, it just is what it is, and we've got to find out how we can change and reverse that. we also need to protect legal gun owners. legal gun owners like myself and pat who basically cherish the second amendment rights that we have. and we have done that also. but today is just the start of a healthy debate that must end
with the senate and house hopefully passing these common sense measures and the president signing it into law. back home where i come from, we have common sense, we have nonsense, and now we have gun sense. and that's what we're talking about. the events at newton, truly the events at newtown changed us all. changed our country, our communities, our towns, and it changed our hearts and minds. this amendment won't ease the pain. it will not ease the pain of the families who lost their children on that horrible day. but nobody here and i mean not one of us in this great, great capital of ours with a good conscience could sit by and not try to prevent a day like that from happening again. and i think that's what we're doing. americans on both sides of the debate can and must find common ground, that's what pat and i have been working on and what we've been able to do. today's agreement is the first step in common ground that ul of us agree is crucial to keep them
out of dangerous hands and keep our children safe. this is a bipartisan movement, it's a bipartisan amendment, and we all know that a bipartisan solution is a lasting solution. but nobody here in good conscience could sit by and not try to prevent a day that has happened at newtown from ever happening again. i can't say enough about my friend pat toomey, and i just appreciate him so much for working as hard and his staff doing what they've done and for us all coming together today. with that, i'd like to introduce my dear friend pat toomey from the great state of pennsylvania. >> thank you very much, senator manchin, i too want to commend senator manchin for the work he's put in for a long time on this. and i appreciate it. it's been a pleasure working for you. we're going to continue to work together. i hope on many things. i also want to mention the terrific work that senator kirk has done on this. he's really been an invaluable asset and very, very important
voice in this discussion and i appreciate that. let me say, you know, pennsylvania has a long bipartisan tradition of supporting gun rights. and i've been proud to be a part of that tradition and i continue to be. i'm a gun owner and the rights that are enshrined in the second amendment are important to me personally as i know they are to so many people across pennsylvania. my record shows this, but i've got to tell you candidly, i don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. i think it's just common sense. if you pass a criminal background check, you get to buy a gun, no problem. it's the people who fail a criminal or mental health background check that we don't want having guns. now, in my time in public life, i've not taken a very high-profile role on this issue. i spend most of my time and energy focusing on policies that will help generate economic growth and job creation and put
us on a sustainable fiscal path. that has been my focus, it'll continue to by my focus. so let me explain to you why i'm standing here today with senator manchin. i'm here because over the last few months, several things became apparent to me. first is that gun legislation appeared destined to reach the senate floor. it's not something i sought, but it's inevitable. second thing is it became apparent that there are a number of gun control proposals that i think actually would infringe second amendment rights. and i will tell you categorically that nothing in our amendment prevents the ownership of guns by any lawful person. and i wouldn't support it if it did. but what also became apparent to me in the course of this debate, there was the danger that we might end up accomplishing nothing. and not making progress where we could. so that's when i started talking with senator manchin and senator kirk and others to see if we might be able to find a place
where there's some common ground. and i think we found it. and the common ground rests on a simple proposition, and that is that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn't have guns. i don't know anyone who disagrees with that premise. from either political party or whatever folks' views might be on broader gun rights issues. so if we start with the notion that dangerous criminals and dangerously mentally ill people shouldn't have guns, the question is, how can we accomplish that? now, background checks are not a cure-all by any means, but they can be helpful. in a ten-year period from 1999 to 2009, 1.8 million gun sales were blocked by the current background check system because people were not qualified to own a gun. now, i've supported background checks in the past, i support them now. they already exist, of course, for the purchase of guns from
licensed dealers. in pennsylvania, in fact, they already exist for all handgun purchases. what our measure will do, it'll expand background checks to purchases of firearms at gun shows and over the internet. it would not require recordkeeping by any private citizen. now, the fact is, the national law that we have had and pennsylvania's experience have done nothing to restrict the lawful ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens and neither will our amendment. the worries that we hear sometimes about background checks leading to an erosion of our second amendment rights simply hasn't happened. now we've got to make sure it doesn't. i also should point out as senator manchin did that this amendment is a genuine compromise. in addition to expanding background checks, it includes the number of measures that help secure second amendment rights. the bottom line for me is this, you know, if expanding
background checks to include gun shows and internet sales can reduce the likelihood of criminals and mentally ill people from getting guns and we can do it in a fashion that does not infringe on the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, then we should do it and in this amendment, i think we do. thanks very much. >> republican senator pat toomey of pennsylvania, democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia with their compromise proposal to expand background checks. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash has been watching all of this unfold. just because these two guys, these two senators, dana, have come up with this compromise, it's by no means a done deal, is it? >> well, i think certainly they hope that because they have the credibility of being gun owners as you just heard them describe in various ways that they will be able to get the 60 senators that will be needed in order to pass what will effectively be an amendment when the gun debate starts, which will happen
probably tomorrow, maybe as soon as today. but one thing that could make it hard is the nra just put out a press release, a statement knocking this down. not a surprise, but out there in black and white. expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime, and will not keep our kids safe in schools. it goes on to make the point that the shootings in aurora, tucson and in newtown would not have been stopped with a background check. that the background check -- not having a background check was not an issue in any of those situations. so that is certainly what they're going to be up against. but, look, you heard both of these men who are historically not people who run towards curbing gun use say that this is absolutely necessary in order to at least take a baby step towards making sure that people who are criminals or mentally ill don't have guns. >> what i say, it's not
necessarily that done deal, dana. what it mean is even if it were to pass the senate, if they had the 60 votes to break the expected republican led filibuster, let's say on the senate floor. let's say they get more than 60 votes to break that filibuster, they have an up and down vote, they get 51 votes in favor and then goes to the house of representatives where i don't know what's going to happen if the nra comes out and adamantly opposes this compromise to expand background checks. >> that's right. and i think so much of it is going to be determined by how big the vote is in the senate. if it is overwhelming, the l be very hard for republicans who run the house to stop it. one thing that we can report is our deidra walsh learned there's a companion bill in the house. peter king the republican from new york is on it and virtually, she's told is the same as the manchin/toomey bill. that is a start for them to try to move this in the house. because they would need at least one republican on it.
so i think john boehner, the house speaker has been very circumspect, very careful not to say no or yes because he too understands if this comes rolling out of the senate with a big vote, it will be hard for him to stop in the house. >> just avoiding the fiscal cliff hard to stop in the house of representatives after passing overwhelmingly in the united states senate. let's bring back gloria borger in this conversation. a lot of people don't understand, this is a compromise, not universal background checks, not what the democrats wanted, what the president wanted, it's a compromise. but 90% of the american people want universal background checks, 8% or 9% don't. why is it so tough to get this? >> well, very tough to get this on both sides of the aisle. you know that democrats, for example, lots -- about half a dozen of senate democrats up for reelection come from progun states. so it's very difficult for them to vote for any kind of huge kind of gun control. i mean, if you do look at our poll, we have a new poll out today, you're right, 86% of the
american people favor tougher new background checks. 14% oppose it. so you never get the american people to agree. >> yeah, there was a poll that had 98%. all these polls are very consistent. >> that's right. and i think what you see in this compromise from these two men, both of whom are rated well by the nra is a response to this kind of public opinion saying, yes, we can do something. i mean, curbing sales at gun shows and the internet is far short of universal background checks, but it's more than congress has done in over a decade. let's take a look at something else our poll shows. we asked the question, should the federal government use background checks to create a list of gun owners? and you see that, wolf, the majority says absolutely not. and that is why you heard senator toomey come out and say there's not going to be any
recordkeeping. there is not going to be any registry. while people do want background checks, they're skeptical that the government could overreach. and that if you start keeping a registry that at some point other polls have said either if you have legal guns in the house, this would give the government the opportunity to actually confiscate your guns, which is, of course, a violation of your constitutional right. so what you see these senators trying to do here is tiptoe around the complicated politics of the gun issue and do something that stops short, of course, of what the president and joe biden have been working for. >> and this manchin/toomey compromise deal deals with the loophole of gun shows and transactions on the internet, but doesn't deal with private one-on-one transactions. and that's still a sticking point for a lot of the gun control advocates. >> right. and it doesn't contain this registry, which, of course, was a huge sticking point for lots
of republicans in the senate. >> doesn't do anything about the assault type weapons and doesn't do anything about the high capacity magazine clips. this is one step, an important step from the perspective of the president but it's just a step. >> right. >> all right, gloria, standby. could background checks have prevented the newtown, connecticut, shooting? joe johns is standing by for that. u'll dump your old mop. but don't worry, he'll find someone else. ♪ who's that lady? ♪ who's that lady? ♪ sexy lady ♪ who's that lady? [ female announcer ] used mops can grow bacteria. swiffer wetjet starts with a clean pad every time, and its antibacterial cleaner kills bacteria mops can spread around. swiffer gives cleaning a whole new meaning. ♪ lovely lady all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams.
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[ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. welcome back to our special coverage. would background checks have made a significant difference in aurora or newtown or at virginia tech? cnn's joe johns has been taking a closer look at this question for us. what are you seeing, joe? >> probably not, wolf. that's the bottom line. if you look at newtown, adam lanza, the shooter there essentially got his weapons from his mother who was the registered owner. she also purchased them. he actually killed her as his first victim. probably not aurora, although the shooter there actually was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as dangerous. that never made it into the system. in fact, you almost have to go all the way back to 2007 and virginia tech before you find an instance where background checks
could have made a difference. but in that case the shooter slipped through the cracks. so this proposal that the senators have brought forward is helpful, wolf, in the sense that it's supposed to clarify that submissions of mental health records into the national instant check system actually are not prohibited by federal law. that certainly is helpful, but the larger issue here is the criteria used to determine who is dangerous, mentally ill and should not get a gun. the so-called prohibitors. something the justice department is trying to look at to decide who shouldn't get into the system. it's a very hard question, wolf. >> certainly is, joe, thanks for that report. as talk focuses in on expanding existing background checks, we gloss over what we already have to do when it comes to buying a gun at gun shops.
so our chris cuomo decided to show all of you what was going on what it takes to buy a gun. >> chris. >> mike, what can i do for you? >> i'm looking for home protection shotgun. >> okay. i'm going to bring you down to our shotgun section. >> reporter: seems simple, but there's more to it than you might think. every purchase from a licensed dealer requires a federal background check. are you under indictment? no. have you been convicted of any felony? no. 20 personal questions including mental health history. thousands across the country and it could feel like an obstacle course. >> there's a background check for the rifle. if you live in the city, there's a rifle shotgun card, if there's a pistol, there's also a pistol license. >> reporter: but this pails in comparison to the pain the nation felt on december 14th in newtown, connecticut. the most vulnerable victimized by dangerous weapons in the wrong sick hands.
cnn's latest poll shows people want it to stop. calls to do something resulting in demands for expanded background checks despite the fact they wouldn't have stopped the newtown shooter. >> we know that background checks can work, but the problem is loopholes in the current law let so many people avoid background checks altogether. >> reporter: gun control advocates want all gun sales, not just those by dealers, subject to background checks. >> this background check law that we're talking about is enforcing the law. >> reporter: colin goddard works for the brady center to protect gun violence. he is a gun violence victim, shot four times at virginia tech six years ago. >> how are you supposed to know if somebody's got a felony record? how are you supposed to be i to know if someone has a restraining order or dangerous mental illness without a bok ground check? you're supposed to look at them really hard?
>> reporter: fearing could lead to a national gun registry and maybe confiscation. making it harder to buy may not stop massacres and handgun violence. before owning this gun store, he was a police officer for 11 years. in your experience as a cop, did that hold true? >> in 11 years i've never had a legal pistol license see use his gun in a crime. >> reporter: gun roll i control advocates sayed nearly 2 million people denied guns is proof of effectiveness. >> most were not on prohibited lists, most were false positives, name looked like somebody else, records in there that were incomplete. >> the first thing you have to do is take the system you have and get it fixed and make it work. >> reporter: mike says the big issue isn't the law but enforcement. >> if somebody comes in and hell bent on buying a gun, we let them fill out the form and they fail. and in a perfect world i'll call firearms and they'll arrest that person.
>> that's the big catch, right? >> would make this state the safest in the union if they were enforced. >> reporter: in my case the system worked. after 25 minutes of completing forms and waiting for approval, i had my shotgun. >> thank you very much. >> chris is joining us now. so why did you decide to buy a shotgun? >> well, to be honest, wolf, it's the easiest thing you can do. there are so many laws right now prohibiting handguns, paperwork that's involved, your residence, there's so many different challenges to ownership right now if you want to do it lawfully that the shotgun made it easiest. there's also a window of insight as to why there's resistance you don't see in the polls. one of the reasons that there can't be such easy political compromise here is because all of these checks go toward lawful purchases. so the burden is inherently on people who want to do it the right way. and the resistance comes from
that recognition and that we're not seeing equal pressure on the bad guys. enforcement of gun crimes, mandatory minimum sentences, dealing with how we treat the mentally ill. and because we don't see the energy on that side, there's been resistance that you may not pick up in the polls. for many people the announcement we just heard in the presser most impressive part, wolf, will be what has nothing to do with background checks, the idea that they're just the first step, that we have to deal with the culture of violence and mental health, that's going to resonate with a lot of people, wolf. >> took about half an hour to go ahead and buy a shotgun. fascinating material. we're going to have more in our special at 5:00 p.m. eastern with you, chris. thanks very much. "the situation room" 5:00 p.m. eastern. stay with cnn by the way all day as we take an in depth look at universal background checks for gast gun buyers. as we mentioned all of the polls suggesting nearly 90% of americans want universal background checks. guns under fire throughout the afternoon into the evening
including 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room" only here on cnn. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. "around the world" starts right after this quick break. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪