tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 15, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
former u.s. army captain who risked his life to save others on the battlefield in afghanistan. just reading through this man's story, it's incredible. so we will play that for you. you will hear it. you will see him. we'll take that ceremony live for you on cnn. but first, after weeks and weeks here of this back and forth, the tedious game of chicken, the question on capitol hill right now, deal or no deal? >> our leadership team met with our members today trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that would continue to provide fairness to the american people under obama care. there are a lot of opinions about what direction to go. there have been no decisions about what exactly we will do. i have made clear for months and months that the idea of default is wrong. we shouldn't get anywhere close to it. >> well, here's the thing, mr.
speaker, we're very close to that deadline. take a look at the clock. 33 hours to go before the u.s. runs short of its money to pay its bills. right now the only beacon of light we have is this framework of a possible compromise. you like how i have to couch that. possible compromise. this a bill being worked on by house republicans. don't get too excited here. the white house has already said, uh-uh, they've already rejected this. senator majority leader harry reid, who is still working on his own bill with his republican counterpart, mitch mcconnell, says the house proposal is a nonstarter. >> mr. president, the house republican leadership's plan that is now out and people have taken a look at it, it's a plan to advance an extreme piece of legislation, and it's nothing more than a blatant attack on bipartisanship. this bill that they're sending over here is doomed to failure. it's doomed to failure legislatively, and it is so awful, awful, awful for our country.
>> adding to the challenge, this house republican bill struggling for support, especially among republicans. let's take you to capitol hill to our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, there's so many moving parts here. let me start with what's the state of play right now? where does this stand? >> well, we are waiting for the senate republican leader and the senate democratic leader to hopefully come out to this podium right here. they're currently meeting with their respective caucuses, trying to get a lay of the land from them and more importantly give them a lay of the land. basically, here in the senate side of the capital, they're in a holding pattern. they're waiting to see what happens in the house. why? because the house proposal that you talked about that we learned about in detail earlier this morning is now also on hold because house speaker john boehner doesn't have the votes right now or at least didn't about an hour or two hours ago, that magic 217 votes that he needs in order to pass that plan through the house. so he is struggling right now behind closed doors with his
fellow leaders with the rank and file to figure out if that plan can pass, if they need to tweak it a little bit to lure conservatives. it's sort of been the same old story we've heard from the house for some time, except we're up against the deadline right now. >> and what about john boehner? how much of a lift is this for speaker boehner? how much of a toll is this for him? once again, his people are revolting. >> right. the fascinating thing about john boehner is that if he is ever stressed out or, you know, if this is getting to him, he never shows it. he has a rule, which he didn't have before he was speaker, but he has now, not to talk to people like me and other reporters in the hallways. just even an hour ago, i followed him down the hall from the house floor to his office, tried to ask him questions. he sort of has this look on his face like, i know you know that i can't talk to you, and i'm not going to talk to you. he doesn't answer the questions.
look, he has taken his caucus down this road for 2 1/2 weeks now that they wanted to go on, at least a good number of them wanted to go on. he didn't want to do it in the first place. the road, meaning attaching any kind of changes to obama care to the idea of funding the government. he didn't want to let the government shut down. but we're here. he didn't want to come up to the brink of defaulting, but we're here. the feeling, at least up until this morning, among some of his closest cough ifnfidants is he built up so much goodwill in his fellow republicans and trust that he was going to take it to the nth degree where if he had to finally put a bill on the floor that not all his members would support, they would maybe understand and focus their ire on the white house, democrats who wouldn't compromise. the fact that he had to, once again, put another plan together, even though this senate plan has been working for
24 hours now with the help of mitch mcconnell, his republican counterpart, is quite fascinating. the flip side is we know that john boehner was in mitch mcconnell's office yesterday. sometimes maybe we give these guys too much credit for planning, but maybe this was part of the plan. if something passes the house and comes to the senate, procedurally, technically, it will be much easier for the senate to do this quicker for reasons i won't bore you with, with regard to senate rules. it will be much easier for them to do it quicker. the issue now is back in john boehner's lap. is john boehner able to get the votes for this procedural vote to pass the house? >> i hear all the background noise. i see everyone behind you. as soon as we see one of those leaders step forward and start speaking, we'll come back to you. dana bash, thank you. if there's one thing investors hate, it is uncertainty. that is what we have right now
in washington and in new york. take a look at the big board here. dow jones industrial average is down just about 50 points here with all this uncertainty. quite pervasive, not just in washington, but clearly in the markets as well. we're keeping a close eye on that. you can go to cnnmoney.com to watch the numbers yourself. much more on the special coverage out of washington coming up, including this secret meeting. you hear about this? republican senator ted cruz had this meeting inside this burrito joint last night on capitol hill. first, coming up next, as promised, history in the making, folks. here are live pictures inside the white house. in a matter of moments, the president of the united states will be awarding the medal of honor to just the sixth living recipient for his bravery on the battlefield in afghanistan. >> outnumbered, outgunned, and we've taken casualties. >> he was completely under control of the whole situation. he knew exactly what had to be done and when. >> you will hear what army
captain william swin son did and how he stood up to his own bosses in the army. you're watching cnn's special live coverage. stay with me. jackie: there are plenty of things i prefer to do on my own. but when it comes to investing, i just think it's better to work with someone. someone you feel you can really partner with. unfortunately, i've found that some brokerage firms don't always encourage that kind of relationship. that's why i stopped working at the old brokerage, and started working for charles schwab.
we're keeping a close eye on this scene. any moment now, former army captain william swenson will become the sixth living recipient of the medal of honor. he'll receive it for showing extraordinary bravery in afghanistan where his unit was, quote, outnumbered, outgunned, and taking casualties. he's the first army officer to receive the award since the vietnam war, but after this battle, he actually found himself in yet another fight. just him against the army. here is cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> reporter: it was a helicopter ride into the hell of war and the soul of captain william swenson, a soldier who refused
to leave anyone behind and spoke up to senior commanders when it all went wrong. >> what happened that day was a result of clouded judgment. it was a result of clouded judgment on behalf of people who did later receive letters of reprimand. >> reporter: in this valley four years ago, swenson and his men were ambushed in one of the most brutal fire fights of the afghan war. swenson said his men did not get urgently needed air support, a claim validated by the army. then his nomination file was said to be lost. now he is finally receiving the medal of honor, the nation's highest combat award. it was early morning when the column of more than 100 u.s. and afghan troops started up the valley's narrow path. enemy fire opened up from three sides. >> we're now outnumbered, outgunned, and we've taken casualties. >> reporter: sergeant first class kenneth westbrook is shot in the throat and laying out in the open. >> he called out to me and said, i'm hit.
he wasn't panicked. there was no indication of pain. i called out to him, all right, hold on, i can't get to you. i'm pinned down. keep fighting. >> reporter: swenson runs across open ground, dodging enemy fire to get him. sergeant kevin durst was crew chief of the medevac helo coming to get the unit. a helmet-mounted camera showed swenson flashing an orange panel so the helicopter can find him, but it makes him an enemy target. >> he was completely under control of the whole situation. he knew exactly what had to be done and when. >> reporter: swenson and a medic helped westbrook to the helo. then a moment amid the mayhem. watch as he gently kisses westbrook good-bye. swenson has no memory of it. >> i was just trying to keep his spirits up. i wanted him to know it was going to be okay. i wanted him to know that he had done his job. but it was time for him to go.
>> reporter: swenson, determined to get everyone out, went back into the battle with others still under fire to find and bring out the bodies of dead american and afghan fighters. sergeant westbrook died a few weeks later. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> as we await the ceremony at the white house, here he is, jake tapper, host of "the lead," and author of "the outpost." i know each of these stories is so different. you have written about so many of them. as barbara outlined in that piece, you know, one of the things that makes captain swenson's story so unique, not just the bravery exhibited by rushing in, you know, to recover the bodies of his fellow soldiers, but because he criticized leadership for failing to provide help in the fog of battle. >> and this is something that i've heard about while reporting the book, you mentioned, which takes place nearby.
we should point out i think this is the ninth medal of honor going to a veteran of the war in afghanistan. most of these medals of honor have gone to soldiers for battles in one of two provinces in the eastern part of afghanistan. one of the things that i've heard from many, many soldiers is the rules of engagement make it difficult for them to do their job when they're under attack. that is especially after general mccrystal took over. people were discouraged from using force as much as possible. when you hear about this specific battle in the valley, which is near the border with pakistan, you hear that people there who are on the ground and
these marines were part of an embedded tactical training team. they were basically training afghan border troops. they wanted to call in what's called willie pete, white phosphorous, which burns. they were told they could not because of the potential civilian casualties, even though many of the withnesses say a lo of civilians there were helping the enemy during this battle >> also, as you explain that, just the video we saw in barbara's piece, which makes this unique, the fact there was this helmet cam on this pilot. we actually see, you know, captain swenson kissing his brother who had been shot in the throat. kissing his forehead because he said he simply was trying to keep his spirits up. you've talked to these people, these recipients. i feel like there's this, you know, modesty that they say they were just doing this because it's their job. >> it's profoundly familial, the bonds these men and women form
with each other while in battle. they really do become like blood relatives. they're willing to lay down their lives, even if the person is not a close friend. we've heard this in different medal of honor stories. even if it's just another soldier that they're not even that close with. >> let's take a listen. here we go. >> more than two centuries, you have blessed our nation, the dedicated and selfless soldiers in uniform stand ready to defend our nation's freedoms. as we honor captain will swenson for his actions during the battle, we honor the sacred trust that he and his team embodied that day. we thank you for the last full measure of devotion given that day. the medal of honor is draped around captain swenson. may the healing grace of hope and peace rest upon each of us. captain swenson's example
rekindle the spirit in us. with this occasion, renew our commitment to uphold the right to oppose the wrong and continue the work that has begun so long ago. we ask and pray in your holy name, amen. >> good afternoon, everybody. please have a seat. on behalf of michelle and myself, welcome to the white house. last month the united states army released a remarkable piece of video. it's from the combat helmet cameras of a medevec helicopter crew in afghanistan. it's shaky and grainy, but it takes us to the front lines that our troops face every single day. it's useful to remember that there's still a whole lot of our troops in afghanistan in harm's way. in that video as the helicopter
touches down by a remote village, you see out of a cloud of dust an american soldier. he's without his helmet, standing in the open, exposing himself to enemy fire, standing watch over a severely wounded soldier. he helps carry that wounded soldier to the helicopter and places him inside. and then amidst the whipping wind and the deafening roar of the helicopter blades, he does something unexpected. he leans in and kisses the wounded soldier on the head. a simple act of compassion and loyalty to a brother in arms. and as the door closes and the helicopter takes off, he turns and goes back the way he came, back into the heat of battle. in our nation's history, we have presented our highest military declaration, the medal of honor,
nearly 3,500 times for actions above and beyond the call of duty. but this may be the first time we can bear witness to a small fraction of those actions for ourselves. today we honor the american in that video, the soldier who went back in, captain william swenson. not far away that day was then-corporal dakota meyer, to whom we presened the medal of honor two years ago. today is only the second time in nearly half a century that the medal of honor has been awarded to two survivors of the same battle. dakota is not here today, but i wanted to welcome some of the soldiers and marines who fought alongside both these men and the families of those who gave their lives that day. i want to welcome all of our distinguished guests, including members of the medal of honor society, whose ranks today grow by one more.
most of all, i want to welcome will's wonderful parents, julia and carl and his girlfriend kels kelsey. i had a chance to visit with them. both carl and julia are former college professors. instead of a house full of g.i. joes, will grew up in a house full of educational games. i'm told even when will was little, his mom was always a stickler for grammar, always making sure he said to whom instead of to who, so i'm going to be very careful today. i just had a chance to spend some time with them. i have to say will is a pretty low-key guy. his idea of a good time isn't a big ceremony like this one. he'd rather be somewhere up in the mountains or on a trail surrounded by cedar trees instead of cameras. but i think our nation needs this ceremony today.
in moments like this, americans like will remind us of what our country can be at its best, a nation of citizens who look out for one another, who meet our obligations to one another, not just when it's easy, but also when it's hard. maybe especially when it's hard. will, you're an example to everyone in this city and to our whole country of the professionalism and patriotism that we should strive for, whether we wear a uniform or not. not just on particular occasions but all the time. for those who aren't familiar with the story of the battle that led will to be here today, i want to take you back to that september morning four years ago. it's around sunrise. a column of afghan soldiers and their american advisers are wie winding their way up a narrow trail. just as the first soldier
reaches the outskirts of the village, all hell breaks loose. almost instantly four americans, three marines, one navy, at the front of the column are surrounded. will and the soldiers in the center of the column are pinned down. rocket propelled grenades, mortar, machine gunfire, all of this is pouring in from three sides. as he returns fire, will calls for air support, but his initial requests are denied. will and his team are too close to the village. then will learns that his noncommissioned officer, sergeant first class kenneth westbrook, has been shot in the neck. so will breaks across 50 meters of open space, bullets biting all around, lying on his back, he presses a bandage to kenneth's wounds with one hand and calls for a medevac with the other, trying to keep his buddy calm. by this time, the enemy has gotten even closer, just 20 or 30 meters away over the radio, they're demanding the americans to
surrender. will stops treating kenneth long enough to respond by lobbing a grenade. finally after more than an hour and a half of fighting, air support arrives. will directs them to nearby targets. then it's time to move, so exposing himself again to henem fire, will helps carry kenny the length of more than two football fields to that helicopter. then in the moment captured by those cameras, will leans in to say good-bye. more americans and more afghans are still out there, so will does something incredible. he jumps behind the wheel of an unarmored ford ranger pick-up truck. a marine gets in the passenger seat, and they drive that truck as a vehicle designed for the highway straight into the battle. twice they pick up injured afghan soldiers, bullets whizzing past them, slamming into the pick-up truck. twice they bring them back. when the truck gives out, they grab a humvee. the marine by will's side has no idea how they survive, but he
says by that time it didn't matter. we weren't going to leave any soldiers behind. finally a helicopter spots those four missing americans, hours after they were trapped in the open ambush. so will gets in another humvee with a crew that includes dakota meyer, and together they drive past enemy fighters, up through the valley, exposed once more. when they reach the village, will jumps out, drawing even more fire, dodging even more bullets. they reach those americans, lying where they fell. will and the others carry them out one by one. they bring their fallen brothers home. now, scripture tells us the greatst among you shall be your servant. captain will swenson was a leader on that september morning. like all great leaders, he was also a servant to the men he commanded, to the more than dozen afghans and americans whose lives he saved, to the families of those who gave their last full measure of devotion on that faraway field.
as one of his fellow soldiers later said, will did things that nobody else would ever do, and he did it for his guys and everybody on the ground, to get them out. that's why after i called will to tell him he'd be receiving this medal, one of the first things he did was to invite to this ceremony those who fought alongside him. i'd like all of those who served with such valor alongside will, both army and marines, who fought for each other, please stand and be recognized. [ applause ]
>> thank you. will also reached out to the families of the four americans who gave their lives that day. to them he wrote, and i'm quoting, we have never met, we have never spoken, but i would like to believe that i know something about you through the actions of your loved ones that day. they were part of a team, and you are now part of that team. i would ask the members of this team of the families of first lieutenant michael johnson, edwin johnson, gunnery sergeant aaron kenefick, and hospitalman third class james lateen as well as the family of james westbrook to please stand. [ applause ]
>> kenneth was the soldier will delivered to the safety of that helicopter. after being air lifted out, he made it to walter reed. he started rehab and spent time with his wife charlene, who joins us here today. she still remembers the first time she spoke to will when he called from afghanistan to check in on kenneth. soon after that have phone call, however, kenneth took a turn for the worst. he succumbed to complications from his treatment. i think it's fair to be say that charlene will always be grateful for the final days she was able to spend with her husband. and even now, a month rarely
goes by when will doesn't call or text, checking in with charlene and her three boys. that's the kind of man he is, sch charlene says about will. you don't have to ask for help. he just knows when to be there for you. so will swenson was there for his brothers. he was there for their families. as a nation, we thank god that patriots like him are there for us all. so will, god bless you and all the men you fought alongside and everything that you've done for us. god bless all our men and women in uniform, and god bless the united states of america. with that, i'd like my military to read the citation, please. >> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress march 3rd, 1863,
has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to captain william d. swenson, united states army for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. he distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as emb embedded adviser of the afghan security police in support of first battalion, 32nd infantry regiment, tenth mountain division during combat operations against an armed enemy in afghanistan on september 8th, 2009. on that morning, more than 60 well-armed, well-positioned enemy fighters ambushed captain swenson's combat team as it moved on foot for a meeting with village elders. as the enemy unleashed a barrage of rocket-propelled grenade,
mortar, and machine gunfire, captain swenson immediately returned fire and coordinated and directed the response of his afghan border police while simultaneously calling in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support. after the enemy effectively flanked coalition forces, captain swenson repeatedly called for smoke to cover the withdrawal of the elements. surrounded on three sides by enemy forces, inflicting effective and accurate fire, captain swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support, and evacuation support. captain swenson ignored enemy radio transmissionings demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded soldier. captain swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces before assisting with removing the soldier. with complete disregard for his own safety, captain swenson led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions to recover
the wounded and search for four missing comrades. after using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. captain swenson's team returned to the kill zone another time in a humvee. captain swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen marines and one navy fallen corpsman. he rallied his teammates and effectively disruptded the enemy's assault. captain william d. swenson's extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, task force phoenix, third brigade combat team, tenth mountain division, and the
>> let us pray. god, we ask your blessing to rest upon us this day. we go forth in peace. may we follow the example set by captain swenson and his team, the people of valor, ready when the cause for which we have given our vow confronts us. grant us strength to live through troubled times. fill us with grace equal to every need, and grant us the wisdom and the will to do justice, to love mercifully and walk humbly. this we ask and pray in your holy name.
amen. >> well, let me say once again not only to will but all our men and women in uniform who have served us with such incredible courage and professionalism, that america's grateful for you. to the families of those we've lost, we will never forget. and will, you are a remarkable role model for all of us. we're very grateful for your service. we are going to have a reception after this. i hear the food is pretty good around here. so i hope all of you have a chance to stay and those of you who have a chance to say thank you to will personally, obviously, that's very welcome. i'm going to be exiting with will and michelle first. we'll take a couple of pictures. but enjoy yourselves this afternoon. god bless america. [ applause ]
>> amazing story. as we stay on some of these pictures, i want to bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. jake tapper is with us as well. barbara, you're the one who interviewed captain swenson not too long ago. as the president pointed out at the top of his remarks, the video, which is so rare to see, from that pilot's helmet cam, you told me captain swenson didn't realize that video existed until recently. >> he didn't. i was very privileged to interview him yesterday and talk to him at length. let me give you a bit of the back story. as you look at this video, the california national guard crew that was running the helicopter, it was their helmet cameras. they didn't realize how much they captured until several months ago when they finally, one of the guys looked at it on his laptop. he's like, oh, my goodness. look at what we have here. they called up will swenson.
he came, got together with the guys in california. they looked at it together. what will swenson told me is he had no memory of all of this. this level of detail, until he looked at that laptop computer. he said, you know, i can tell you every minute of the battle, where we were, where the enemy was, but i didn't remember the sounds, the wind, the dust, the sound of the gunfire, and even this moment of kissing sergeant westbrook good-bye. he just didn't remember it. then he saw it on the laptop, and i think it's very fair to say a lot of what happened in that valley came back and even came back if you looked at his face today. you could tell that's where he was. >> thank you for sitting with him. what a privilege indeed for sharing his story. jake tapper, over to you. the president unveiled the fact that will swenson each and every day picks up the phone and calls the wife of one of those fallen
soldiers. how common is that? >> it's not very uncommon, truth be told, especially when it comes to a captain looking after his men or somebody in a leadership position calling. i found in reporting on the military, especially after battles like this where men and women are tragically taken, there really is a lifelong devotion to those who survive, especially the family members. a lot of times they feel like they're completely alone. so it's not out of character, from what we hear about captain swenson, that he would have that connection and make sure that the westbrooks are all okay, the widow and the three sons. also, for other survivors to make sure and check on each other, especially in this age of communication where texting, e-mailing, and facebooking is so easy to do. >> i know, it is. jake tapper, thank you.
we'll see you at 4:00 on "the lead." just to echo the president, we thank all of our men and women in uniform. and word of a secret meeting in the basement of a mexican restaurant on capitol hill, orchestrated by senator ted cruz. stick around for those details. you're watching cnn's special coverage of the deadline in washington.
back to washington and what's happening right now. house republicans say they're working on a proposal to reopen the government and avoid a default, but the white house has already rejected its key points. but this new house effort means senate talks on a potential compromise was simply in a holding pattern. let's look at the big picture. this shutdown here is now the third longest in american history. first one lasted 21 days from december '95 into january of '96. the second longest government shutdown lasted 18 days. that was way back in september and october of 1978. and that brings us to the current shutdown. 15 days and counting. to the white house we go to our senior white house correspondent there, brianna kooeler is standing by. the house democrats are headed
to where you are in half an hour from now. what can you tell me about that meeting? >> reporter: that's right. president obama, brooke, will be meeting with house democratic leaders here at about 3:15 eastern. this is really about shoring up support. president obama's party has been able to remain pretty unified, very unified, in fact, through this whole process. whatever happens in the house, he will be relying certainly on many house democratic votes. i think they're just kind of getting their ducks in a row here. we saw senate democrats on saturday as well. what's unclear is what's happening in the senate where it appears negotiations have stalled and also what's going to go on in the house. speaker boehner earlier today said that they're talking to members on both sides of the aisle. they're trying to find a way to move forward today, but it also appears, brooke, he doesn't have the votes to pass a proposal that at least momentarily was put out there this morning by house republicans. >> so once again, to be crystal clear, and this sticking point we've been reporting that the president and white house are rejecting, the fact that this house version of this proposed
bill includes changes to obama care. we've heard from the president. you were in the daily briefing today with jay carney. they're not negotiating when it comes to that, correct? >> reporter: well, they are and they aren't. i guess they are in a way, it appears, because the white house is very much in concert with senate democrats, with senate majority leader harry reid. democratic sources tell us that obama care changes have been on the table in those negotiations. now, when you look at it, i guess you could argue these are kind of small fry changes. there's something called a delay to a reinsurance tax. that's something democrats in labor unions wanted anyways. what republicans would get in exchange is verifying the income of americans who are seeking those federal subsidies, who are getting federal assistance to help pay their insurance premiums. those are kind of little things, i guess you could argue, but they still violate, if you take the president at his word, that he won't negotiate on obama care. the key thing to zero in on is those aren't key demands of the
tea party. i think that may really be what the white house is looking at. >> got you. brianna, thank you, my friend. some of the folks who have fought america's battles are calling for peace in the nation's capital. take a look at this. a coalition representing more than 30 veterans groups wants an end to the shutdown, at least partly out of fear that it could cut government benefits. the department of veterans affairs has warned that it can't guarantee all the payments promised to veterans should the shutdown enter the month of november. coming up next, remember the former mayor of san diego? boy, did we talk about him for a while. bob filner faces a number of sexual harassment allegations. well, big news today. he's now facing felony charges. we're on the case next. plus, what is going on at lax? the airport in los angeles, another dry ice bomb found. who's behind this? what's going on? stay right here. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest...
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the suspect in the 1998 bombings of u.s. embassies in africa pleaded not guilty this afternoon before an american judge. delta force soldiers seized al libi october 5th in libya. prosecutors say he's an al qaeda operative who played a role in the attack against american outposts in both kenya and tanzania. his wife says al libi, who's now 49 years of age, no longer has ties to al qaeda and is in poor health from hepatitis c. to san diego here. the former mayor who was forced to resign amid a massive sexual harassment scandal has just pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges. bob filner was charged with one count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery. cnn's kenog law joins us live
from san diego. a guilty plea. is this a surprise? >> reporter: well, the speed at which all of this happened is the biggest surprise here, brooke. also, essentially, the personality transplant that we saw take place in bob filner just a few weeks ago, you may recall he was defiant, refusing to leave his job as san diego mayor. the man we saw in court today appearing was conciliatory. he was obedient as he pled guilty to these charges. charges that occurred all within this past year while he was mayor. the most serious of which is that he restrained a woman using force against her will at a fundraising event. remember, we are not just talking about san diego's former mayor but a ten-term congressman, a man who spent 20 years in congress, the former chair of the house veterans committee, who is now a felon. here's what his attorney told us. >> he's a much more humbled man, in my own personal view, from the first time i met him early
in this. i think he didn't realize this was as bad as perceived by other people. he's got ongoing counseling going on. i don't think any one of you ever want to enter a guilty plea in a court. it's a sobering event. >> reporter: the california attorney generals office did release a statement calling this case, quote, an extreme abuse of power. if bob filner had gone to trial, if he had been found guilty of these three counts, then he could have faced a maximum of five years behind bars, brooke. he will now have three years of probation, three months of home confinement. >> okay. thank you. i should tell you jury selection underway in the trial of a doctor accused of killing his wife. prosecutors say martin mcneil gave his wife a deadly cocktail of drugs so he could be with his mistress. this is after the couple's 6-year-old daughter found michelle mcneil's body in her bathtub. her death was initially ruled
due to natural causes. that was until her children called on toxicology tests. coming up next, congress faces down a deadline and americans are not the only ones frustrated with this partisan bickering. female lawmakers are fed up with the tactics of some of their male colleagues. coming up next, senator jean sha heen joins me from washington on how some of the ladies are making moving to end this stalemate. pepcid® presents: the burns family dinner. why would i take one pepcid® when i could take tums® throughout the day when my heartburn comes back? 'cause you only have to take one... [ male announcer ] don't be like the burns. just one pepcid® complete works fast and lasts.
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here is another layer of gamesmanship to it the drama playing out in washington. a reliable website that covers capitol hill reports that senator ted cruz of texas convened in a secret meeting last night. heard about this? cruz reportedly summoned some 15 to 20 house republicans to the basement of this mexican restaurant there on capitol hill for a meeting.
lasted about two hours. what was discussed isn't entirely clear, but those reportedly in attendance included like-minded opponents of obama care who have been encouraged by cruz to lead the unsuccessful effort in the house to derail the president's health care reforms. and stay with me because next hour, we're going to talk to a reporter who broke that story. he's matt fuller from "roll call." we'll talk to him next hour. and this stalemate in congress showcases the difference not just between parties but also between genders. i want to show you something. this is one opinion piece from cnn.com. i'm quoting, this has not been a shining week for the pay tree our i can. the men in suits diter, posture, plan negotiation sessions and then cancel them, wage battle, refuse to surrender. then there's this fantastic
piece straight out of the "new york times" explaining how republican senator susan collins got together with two other family senators to form this bipartisan group, and it's that group that "the new york times" is reporting who developed really what's the blueprint, the framework for this bill that is right now the best shot at ending the shutdown and this debt ceiling crisis. here is one congresswoman, her explanation of the difference that the women can make. >> i think we need more women because in my experience and the women in congress on both side of the aisle talk about this all the time, how if they just put us in a room together more often, we could solve a lot of these problem. women are more focused on consensus building. not all women. the times i've worked with women, they're not as focused on obliterating the other side. they want to find a way to get to the end. >> joining me now is one of those senators. she's jeanne shaheen from new hampshire, who's part of this
bipartisan group. senator, great to have you back. welcome to you. reading about your group, i mean, you ladies really do span the ideological spectrum. somehow you have managed to get together and talk and collaborate. specifically, senator, what is your secret? >> well, you know, i come from a state of new hampshire where we sent the first all-female delegation to washington. we have a woman governor. my colleague in the senate, senator ayotte, and i have worked closely together. the women in the senate get together on a regular basis. we get together, talk about our lives, talk about challenges in the senate, talk about issues that matter to us. we've built a relationship. we trust each other. i think that's very important when you get to this kind of a delicate negotiation. you have to trust each other in order to be able to get something done. >> is it that your colleagues then and some of these men s there a lack of trust? is that -- thus this
intransigence? >> i'm not going to speak for my male colleagues. >> just trying to figure out what you guys are doing right that they're not. >> you know, i think what's positive is that we've had very good bipartisan negotiations going on. i was pleased to hear senator reid and senator mcconnell have been using some of the work that was done by this bipartisan group as a blueprint for what their negotiations look like and have been disappointed today to hear that the house is not following suit, that they have come up with new demands that i think are really irresponsible in the face of the deadline that we're looking at on needing to raise the debt ceiling to the country can pay its bills. >> i can't imagine how frustrating that would be. some of the men are takes notice. john mccain, he quipped that the women are taking over. joe mansion, this is from "the new york times," that gender mix
was great, it helped tremendously. he went on, would it have worked as well if it had been 12 women or 12 men, talking about this bipartisan committee? i can't say for sure, but it worked pretty well. back, senator, to your frustration, talking about this house republican bill that clearly would be counter to the leadership plan. we were just talking about this basement conclave among, you know, ted cruz and a couple specific members of the republican caucus in the house. what are your thoughts on that kind of meeting? >> well, obviously it wasn't intended to be secret, otherwise they wouldn't have done it at tortilla coast. i think it's unfortunate that we've got a small group of people who are preventing a real bipartisan effort from going forward. the majority of the people in the house and senate, i believe, want to reopen the government. it's way past time for us to do
that. there's such hardship on people in my state of new hampshire, people across this country. they understand that it's critical to our economy, to families, to businesses, to make sure that the country pays its bills. and we all agree we should negotiate. so let's do that. we've got a committee of conference we can appoint on the budget tomorrow to start doing that negotiation. >> americans ready to move forward. they like that end word. senator jeanne shaheen, thank you very much. i appreciate you joining us today. as house democrats get ready to meet with the president at the white house, you'll hear from a congressman who's fed up with the tea party members of his own party. stay here. back in 30 seconds. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the new twin turbo xts from cadillac.
410 available horses. ♪ room for four. twice the fun. ♪ ♪ democratic leaders are scheduled to head to the white house for talks with the president. the senate, those talks are on hold on that side. they're waiting to see how the house moves forward on its proposal of its bill. that has spent the day being picked apart and getting shot down by both sides of the aisle. >> our leadership team met with our members today trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that would continue to provide fairness to the american people under obama care. there are a lot of opinions about what direction to go.
there have been no decisions about what exactly we will do. i have made clear for months and months that the idea of default is wrong, and we shouldn't get anywhere close to it. >> doesn't want to get close to default, but if we look at the clock, that ship has sailed. 33 hours to go before the u.s. runs short of its money to pay its bills. right now the only deal on the table is being called a nonstarter. >> mr. president, the house republican leadership's plan that is now out and people have taken a look at it, it's a plan to advance an extreme piece of legislation, and it's nothing more than a blatant attack on bipartisanship. this bill that they're sending over here is doomed to failure. it's doomed to failure legislatively and it's so awful, awful, awful for our country. >> that house republican proposal even hitting big snags among conservative republicans.
you'll never guess what the big sticking point is here for both sides. the "o" word, obama care. some house conservatives say this bill doesn't go far enough in making changes to obama care provisions. the white house today saying that those demands amount to ransom, while still saying they're open to some sort of negotiation. to capitol hill we go to our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. a lot of moving parts. 15 minutes away from this meeting between the president of the united states, house democratic leadership. set the scene for me right now where you are. >> we're in a holding pattern. we're waiting to hear from the house speakers office, from republican leadership in the house as to what they plan to do. with me here i have a member of the house republican conference, congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania. congressman, if you could just give us an update now. the senate is waiting on you all to move something. what are you hearing about what will move and whether or not there will be changes to what was presented to you this
morning in the meeting. >> well, sure. there are three plans on the table right now. the plan that the speaker laid out this morning to the house conference. it doesn't appear there are the votes there to pass that. there's the reid-mcconnell plan. there's the collins-mansion plan. i suspect at this point the house must regroup and determine what bill we will send over to the senate, if any. the senate, as you stated, is waiting on the house. it's not clear at this point what the house will send and when it will send it. >> so just to go back to what you said, and we've been reporting this since this morning, the speaker presented a plan to you and your fellow republicans in a private meeting this morning. there was push back. tell us -- take us inside that meeting. how is it that we're two days before default and the house speaker is presenting a plan to his fellow republicans and they can't get behind this. >> i'd say some of the more conservative members had a problem with it. i like to look at it as the glass half full. what the house and senate have agreed to, we've agreed to the
dates. we've agreed to funding the government through january 15th and raising the debt ceiling to february 7th. that's the basis of the agreement. >> but you couldn't agree on anything. if you don't pass it into law, it's not relevant. >> there was another issue too. they put the medical device tax in, which is important to me, a two-year delay. i think the side are far closer than we realize right now. it's just a matter of putting together the final agreement. >> you think the side are closer. you have been somebody who's been outspoken for a couple of weeks. if it were up to you, you would have put a clean bill on the floor to fund the government, to reopen the government. >> i would have put that on the floor on september 30th. >> so tell me how you feel now two days before a potential default. i mean, i've talked to people. i don't know if you feel this way. it is entirely possible we're going to blow through that date and the marketsing react very negatively. >> i sure hope not. as i said repeatedly, it's
unacceptable to default on this country's obligations. this government shutdown is horrendous. i think at the end of the day, if we can't come to an agreement, there could be a clean agreement. we agree on the dates, january 7th and february -- january 15th and february 7th. i could vote for that. i could easily vote for that. of course i could. i could do that, you know, immediately. again, there are other provisions being attached to this bill in the senate. senate majority leader reid said they didn't want to do anything with respect to the health care law. now they've agreed to this so-called reinsurance tax. >> tell me about the house speaker. he's been such a key person and personality and leader for better or worse, probably as far as he's concerned, going throughout this. what is he like behind closed doors? do you feel that he has the support of the conference because he's sort of, you know, listened to the people who you didn't want to listen to, some
of the conservatives in your conference? and where is he right now with regard to the state of his leadership? >> well, look, the speaker is -- he understands that we have an affirmative obligation to govern. he knows we cannot go into default. he knows we must reopen the government. i know he's working hard to get to an agreement. clearly there will be some members in the house republican conference who will not be happy with whatever he presents. some members are simply not going to be happy with anything. >> is he in trouble? >> i don't believe he's in trouble. i don't. i believe most members understand that he's in a tough spot. we have divided government. you know, we have to deliver votes to pass an agreement that the senate can accept and the president will sign. i think most members of the house republican conference, i'd say close to 200 of them, understand that in this type of divided government, we have to make some accommodations. doesn't mean we like everything. we have to respect it. >> thank you. before i toss it back to brooke, do you think there will be a vote in the house tonight?
>> i don't want to make a prediction. i would hope there would be on something that's reasonable. i'm not prepared to tell you yes to that yet. >> that's an unfortunate thing to hear. thank you very much. brooke, back to you. >> dana bash and congressman charlie dent. thank you both very, very much. i'm going to talk about the deadline bearing down on us with two washington veterans. gentlemen, welcome to both of you. congressman, i want to begin with you because i remember our interview. we last chatted in january. it was day one of your retirement. we talked about the new congress. i very distinctly remember a word you called your former colleagues, chuckle heads. ten months later, sir, has much changed? >> no, other than there's more chuckle heads on the horizon and more chuckle headedness going on.
this is the fiscal cliff part two. this is exactly what happened to john boehner when we had the fiscal cliff at the end of last year. people make demands, and you're entitled to make all the demands you want, but at the end of the day, if you won't give them 218 votes, you've surrendered the majority and turned him into someone who's powerless. >> chris, speaking of demands, there's this conventional wisdom out there. we heard john mccain saying it, that the democrats have the republicans cornered. but there's this contrarian notion that's percolating that every time congress goes through one of these crises, these fights, the president has to concede on spending levels. does that make you nervous? >> well, i mean, it doesn't make me nervous. i think it's the unfortunate reality. when i hear people talk about this deal and somehow the republicans are caving, republicans are surrendering. i need to remind everyone that the spending level that is being agreed to that at least would extend through january and february, depending how you look at it, is basically what the
republicans wanted in terms of the cr level. we're talking about $980 billion give or take. the democrats wanted a little over $1 trillion. that's a significant difference from what democrats prefer. part of this is the art of negotiating. unfortunately, i think, as you have seen, you can't negotiate with a party. i've said this so many times, that can't seemingly agree amongst itself what its position is. the house republicans can't agree on what they're going to vote for, as you heard the congressman just mention. >> the fii want both of you to with me. congressman, john boehner is a good friend of yours. i want to talk to you about the pressure he's facing right now. be right back. i was made to work.
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nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. live pictures here at the white house. any minute now we know that house democratic leaders will be meeting with the president of the united states to talk about possibly, hopefully some kind of deal, talk about some of these negotiations that have been going on back and forth on capitol hill. we will also resume our conversation with our political pros here in just a moment. i want to take you back to
capitol hill, back to our chief congressional correspondent dana bash, who has a congressman standing by who is about to break a little news. dana, the floor is yours. >> that's right. hey, brooke. we have been waiting to figure out what the house is going to do if the house republican leadership is going to move a bill and what's in it. i have with me congressman devin nunez, republican, who you can tell us that there is news on that front now. >> well, i feel pretty strongly that here within an hour or two we're going to see the bill that's going to be revealed at the rules committee. it'll be similar to bill we talked about this morning in our republican conference and likely be voted on tonight. >> what is in that bill? >> essentially what it is is a clean debt limit increase until, i believe, into the new year. >> february 7th? >> yes, roughly. i think a clean clean cr funding the government until probably december. then with the medical device tax making sure that there is all members of congress and staff and white house are on obama
care and then making sure that there's an income verification in obama care. so a couple small changes to obama care but all changes that the senate actually agrees with. i think this would be a strong bipartisan compromise with the senate. >> first and foremost, this means that you feel confident or you know john boehner feels confident that he has 270 votes from your republican conference to pass this bill tonight. >> i don't know that we know that we have the votes or not. i think it would really show those who are republicans and those across the country those that came here to actually govern and make law and actually do something with their voting card versus just people who just want to vote no. >> you have been very outspoken, calling the group of conservatives in your caucus who have been basically forcing the strategy from the beginning, starting with defunding obama care, linking that to the spending bill and so on. you've been calling them the lemming caucus. you've said their strategy is moronic. very critical of your fellow
republicans. the fact that here we are two days before a potential default and they're still making noise about a bill that john boehner clearly brought up to give them one more shot at making their stand, what does that tell you about that particular part of your kcaucus? >> first of all, your premise is wrong. these are not conservatives that do this. to be a conservative, you have to know how to count. we started off in this without counting the votes. clearly we didn't have the votes. we've been through this for two weeks. it's playing out exactly as we knew it would. it was not going to get rid of obama care. but there are times when we were closely using our majority, like we'll try to do tonight. if we can use our majority tonight to give us leverage, i think harry reid will have to take this or something that looks a lot like it. >> those are fighting words. i know you've been very critical of your fellow republicans, but to say that they're not conservative. >> well, it's not fighting, but
conservatives know how to count. you have to be here to conserve something. when you go out and tell your constituents we're going to shut the government down until we get rid of obama care, it's lunacy. plain and simple. so this allows us tonight to get 218 republicans to pass something that would then go over to the senate that would make some small changes to obama care that need to be made. >> you are somebody who i think is fair to say is a close confidant of john boehner. take us inside his head or at least the walls of the leadership as he's been trying to navigate this for the past three weeks or so. >> well, look, he fully gave this cruz strategy a chance. he fully implemented ted cruz's strategy. look, he didn't want this. this is not what he wanted, but he did everything he could to push it. >> was it a mistake? >> look, i think it was a mistake, but what choice was he given when a majority of our conference wanted to implement it? now you're seeing a majority of our conference has figured out that this was probably not a wise move. >> so looking forward, do you
think or do you know that john boehner knows that since we are so close to that magic date of potential default in two days that he is going to have to do what he has refused to do for the past three weeks, which is put something on the house floor that is likely to get bipartisan support, democratic votes, and maybe not all your republican caucus? >> that's what this is tonight. this vote tonight is something that has support of senate republicans and democrats. this is something that we need 218 votes to pass. the democrats are going to give us no votes. let's face it, the democrats like having this shutdown. this is helping them politically. we have to just wait and see if we can get the votes tonight. then harry reid is going to have a tough decision to make. then it really will be harry reid's default. >> you don't think any democrats will vote on this tonight? i mean, i know that's not probably a proper question to ask you since you're a member of the republican conference. is the speaker devising this with the idea that maybe he will get some democratic votes? >> well, we know that in the senate it will get democratic
votes. we know there's strong bipartisan support for this. in the house, it's a much more political -- this is one of the things that some of my conservative friends haven't figured out yet. without 218 votes in the house, you just don't have any leverage. so i don't suspect that nancy pelosi is going to give us very many votes, but there will be a few democrats that vote. >> before you go, i want to clarify one thing you said about the changes the speaker made to this republican plan. sounds like you're saying not only would people like you, members of congress, the president, the cabinet, not get federal subsidies for your health care but also your staff. is that what you're saying? you're expanding it to include congressional staff? >> as i understand it, yes. so all members and staff in the white house, all members of congress and their staff. >> you feel comfortable taking that money away from people who are making, you know, $18,000, $20,000 on your staff? >> i don't think it's wise. but it's an argument that we're going to have to have. clearly the american people believe that everybody should be on to obama care.
i don't actually disagree with that. the issue is what about the employer supported plan you give to all federal employees and should our staff be treated differently. i get that. the problem is we're at the 11th hour. this is what it takes to get the votes. so you have to go with it. >> okay. thank you very much. thank you for bringing us that news. brooke, as you just heard, the congressman who has a very good sense of what's going on in the leadership, telling us that the house is now prepared to move a bill similar to the plan that the leadership told the rank and file about this morning but with some changes to try to appeal to the caucus that the congressman calls the lemming congress, even saying there's lunacy going on with them, effectively calling them lunatics. also just really goes to show you how raw things are, even among and within the republican party. >> fighting words, to quote you, dana bash. dana, thank you. this is sort of one iteration of a proposal that may be voted on tonight. as we just heard from the congressman, thus far it perhaps
doesn't have the votes. steve is rejoining me, former congressman, republican from ohio. and democratic strategist chris. let me pick up on the point they were making specifically about the pressures that speaker boehner is facing. he sort of let this ted cruz strategy play out, perhaps didn't work, and now rejiggering this proposal, if i may. you know this man. what's he like? how frustrated might he be right now? >> well, you know, the great thing about john boehner is he has a pretty steady personality. he's got to be pulling his hair out. this has been going on for 2 1/2 years. the pressure he faces in front of him is a very tough negotiator in the president of the united states. senator reid, who i think is enjoying being back in a boxing ring with this particular fight he's always wanted. behind the speaker you have these, we'll call them cruz missiles, if not lemmings, and
they continue to push a strategy that has no chance of working legislatively. to think that the president's going to have a v-8 malt with nancy pelosi during this meeting and say, you're right, obama care stink, let's get rid of it, it's not happening. so i feel sorry for congressman nunes and charlie dent. they know what the right thing is. so does john boehner. >> it's interesting. chris, we did hear from a veteran of the senate, republican john mccain on the floor this morning criticizing the thought, you know, this idea that the senate, that the house democrats, that the white house rejects this boehner proposal outright. this is what john mccain had to say. >> the majority leader and the democrats in the house and the white house will say absolutely categorically not, we will not consider what the republicans in the house of representatives are doing in my view is piling on. it's piling on and it's not
right. >> he says it's piling on. he went on to say let's consider the republican house proposal as a serious proposal as a way to end the gridlock and a way to get this thing done. he's come out and criticized his own party, chris. are you surprised by those comments today? >> no, i'm not surprised. here's the problem can senator mccain's comments. i'm not sure what anyone expects, you know, senate democrats and the president to do here. are they just supposed to agree to basically propose what's going to come out of the house, that if it's lucky will have one or two democratic votes and no democrat will have been involved in the negotiations versus what's coming out of the senate where clear lly mitch mcconnell and senator reid have been sitting down trying to negotiate something. basically right now it has a degree of bipartisan support. so part of this is the gamesmanship of what's going on between two different chambers and the reality that speaker boehner is in a box, that he's
in a sense put himself in because he refuses to put this on the floor for an open vote. that would be fine if the clock wasn't ticking. the smartest move, the smartest political move for both sides is you buy the time to negotiate without guns to your heads. at this point, the realities of going over that deadline would be so bad for everyone, in particular for republicans. i'm not sure it makes a lot of political sense what they're doing. i've not been able to understand what they're doing for a while. >> chris and steve, thank you both very much. coming up next, a lot of talk here about this mexican restaurant in washington, d.c. today. tortilla coast getting free pub today. we're talking about a secret meeting among some house republicans. it all went down right here in this basement of this mexican restaurant. listen, nothing stays secret in
we will get you back to our special coverage out of washington in just a moment. first, blackberry tells its customers we're not dead yet. the company publishing an open letter here in newspapers around the world stressing the smart phone maker doesn't have debt and has a lot of cash on hand. just last month blackberry announced it will lay off 40% of its work force after losing $1 billion in the second quarter. all of that said, blackberry is for sale and has a buy-out offer. apple, meantime, is recuting another executive from, of all places, the fashion world. this time the target is burberry ceo. she's expected to take over strategy and operation of apple's retail and online stores. her hiring is raising some eyebrows. many people suspect apple is working on some kind of i-watch. it is apple's second high-fashion hire.
over the summer, the company hired a former executive. and a heart problem this summer for george w. bush was far worse than previously known. two sources tell cnn one of the former president's arteries was 95% blocked. a cardiologist says this would have put him at significant risk for a heart attack. doctors placed a stint in the president's heart in august. the 67-year-old was famous for his excellent health during his years at the white house. and here is yet another layer of gamesmanship to the drama playing out in washington. a reliable website that covers capitol hill reports that senator ted cruz of texas convened a secret meeting last night. senator cruz reportedly summoned some 15 to 20 house republicans to the basement of this mexican restaurant on capitol hill for a meeting that lasted about two hours. what was discussed isn't quite
clear, but those reportedly in attendance included like-minded opponents of obama care who have been encouraged by cruz to lead the unsuccessful effort in the house to derail the president's health care reform. joining me now from capitol hill, the reporter who broke the story, matt fuller of roll call. matt, nice work. i don't know if you happened to be there eating chips and salsa yourself. did you happen to be at tortilla coast? how did you get the scoop that ted cruz and company were there? >> i was not. a source told roll call and i chased it down. i can't say too much more than that. >> okay. in your piece that you published this morning, you wrote it wasn't known what cruz, et cetera, were meeting about. have you heard since what was discussed in that restaurant basement? >> yeah, i've ask a number of members who were there. it seems they were discussing the next steps forward. no mention of a speakership revolt or anything. certainly what the house can do
and what the senate is going to do, i think that members at that time were under the understanding and it seems it's a good one now that the senate plan will be the pathway forward. they were discussing what the house would do, what members in the house, this 15 to 20 members, what they might be able to accomplish on the senate bill when it comes to the house. >> let's listen quickly here. i want to play some sound. this is from a top house democrat who seems to think cruz was pushing these house republicans to make new demands of their leaders. >> on the brink of an agreement that would open up our government and make sure that america pays its bills, that the republican conference met this morning apparently after a number of them talked to ted cruz and said, no, it's not good enough for us. >> i know you touched on this, but do you have anymore information to support the notion these house republicans who met with cruz last night did, in fact, go back to their leaders today to start making
some new demands? >> well, certainly in conference this morning, the plan that speaker boehner laid out sort of dissolved. it was not a plan that republicans seem to be supporting. it was a two-hour conference meeting. as you've pointed out here, members just aren't quite happy with the proposal that boehner has put forward, which is a middle of the road proposal. right now the speaker and leadership is determined if there's a way they can sort of re-enforce the proposal, make it stronger, more appealing to these republican members, but the 15 to 20 members who met at tortilla coast are certainly members who don't seem like they'd support anything like this. 15 to 20 members who are constant thorns in the side of leadership. no deal seems like it's going to be palatable to them. >> of all places, i think what got all of us is in the bottom of a mexican restaurant. matt, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> happening right now, live pictures at the white house. as we know, democratic party
leaders on the house side are meeting with president obama. we are expecting to get some video from inside any minute now. as soon as we get that, we'll turn it around and play it for you. also coming up next, we'll talk to senator bernie sanders. does he know what's going on at the white house? could a deal be in sight? we're going to ask him next. here we honor the proud thaccomplishmentsss. of our students and alumni. people like, maria salazar, an executive director at american red cross. or garlin smith, video account director at yahoo. and for every garlin, thousands more are hired by hundreds of top companies. each expanding the influence of our proud university of phoenix network.
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as that deadline fast approaches, as the clock ticks, we're watching specifically the action in washington, or the lack of action. we just heard from dana bash, republican congressman devin nunes says this house bill we've been hearing about today will likely be put to a vote tonight. this is one that has been criticized by the white house, by some conservatives.
much of the crux of that criticism was because of obama care. it appears at least in part, according to the reporting, btht breaking news we had from capitol hill, this source saying they had dropped the medical tax device delay. but they did not take out changes to that law completely. back to washington we go. i want to bring in independent senator from vermont, bernie sanders. so senator sanders, great to have you back on the show. i know that from what i can tell, and maybe you give me the correct wording. i'm hearing the senate is really in a holding pattern, but if i may, i'd like to just get your reaction to what we're hearing about this house proposal that will likely be put to a vote tonight. although, we're hearing boehner doesn't have the votes, at least not yet. your reaction to that. >> well, brooke, let's take a deep breath and look where we are. in two days for the first time in the history of the united states, this country may not pay
its bills and precipitate an international and national financial crisis. the u.s. house of representatives, john boehner, the republican speaker, cannot even get his act together to come up with any kind of language. the problem there is there are 232 republicans. he does not want to go to the democrats. they're not involved. he needs to get 217 out of 232 in agreement. given the wild people they have there, that's virtually impossible. >> as we are taking our collective deep breath, i wanted to let our viewers know, we're looking at pictures of house democratic leadership meeting with president obama. they're in the white house right now. we got a quick little pool spray, as we call it in the news business. we wanted to show our viewers that. i wanted to pick up what we were talking about. you're a senator, so let's talk about what's pert neant to you,
this specific deal. where does that stand? >> well, we woke up this morning, and everyone was feeling pretty good. reid was positive. mitch mcconnell was positive. then somewhere in midmorning or so, mcconnell said, wait a second, as i understand it, he has to back off from the agreement he had reached with reid, which frankly from my perspective was not a great deal. but at least it was better than the alternative. that's not reopening the government or not paying our bills. so we had momentum. then mitch mcconnell, as i understand it, says, well, you know what, i can't go forward until we see what's going on in the house. but nothing is going on in the house because they can't get their act together. you know, it pains me very much. it really does. this country, as you know, brooke, has enormous problems. we have a disappearing middle class. poverty is at an all-time high. the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider. we can't begin to address those problems because we're waiting
for the house to say, oh, yeah, i guess it's okay to pay our bills or reopen the government. >> i hear your frustration. you're not the first senator to come on this show and express frustration regarding your colleagues in the house. let me read a quote. this may explain some of the lack of action. this is a quote i read this morning. this is from "the new york times" asking congressman tim hulescamp about the senate deal. we have a name for it in the house. it's called the senate surrender caucus. anyone who would vote for that in the house as a republican would virtually guarantee a primary challenger. senator sanders, your reaction. >> i think it speaks for itself. there's nothing more i have to comment on. we are seeing a huge amount of suffering in this country today. a million federal workers who are not getting paid. tens of millions of americans, veterans in the state of vermont are worried they're not going to get their disability benefits.
people are worried about whether or not they're going to get social security. head start is being impacted. this guy says that an attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement between a conservative republican, mitch mcconnell, and the majority leader, harry reid, is an act of surrender. i mean, that just should tell every single american, regardless of their political views, what is going on with the extremists in the house of represe representatives. >> just so i'm clear, are you saying you believe we could be going over the deadline, that we are going over the deadline? >> well, no. first of all, i passionately hope and pray that does not happen. by the way, you have heard and i have heard speaker boehner saying default -- i don't want to put words in his mouth, but the quo is, he says we're not going to default, default would be unacceptable. what i hope and expect happens is that in the 12th hour boehner looks his right wing extremists
in the eye and says, look, guys, i've gone as far as i can with you, i cannot allow a default to take place, i cannot allow this entire world's economy to go into recession. we're going to work with the democrats. we're going to pass what the senate has brought us. and that's the way out. >> okay. senator bernie sanders, thank you very much. taking our deep breath, reality check here for all of us. we appreciate you ke. keeping an eye on washington. up next, going to los angeles. what the heck is going on at lax, the airport in l.a.? another dry ice bomb has been found. why? who's behind this? that story is next. [ female announcer ] who are we?
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libi october 5th right out of his home in tripoli, libya. u.s. prosecutors say al libi is an al qaeda operative who played a role in the attack against american outposts in both kenya and tanzania. his wife says al libi, who's now 49 years of age, no longer has ties to al qaeda and is in poor health from hepatitis c. and for the second time now in a course of 24 hours, dry ice bomb has rocked the third busiest airport in the united states. the second explosion happened just last night in a restricted area of los angeles international airport. this is two corridors down from where a bomb was found inside an employee bathroom on sunday night. renee marsh has more on what authorities believe is behind these explosions. renee? >> reporter: brooke, it's the second dry ice explosion at the airport in just as many days. now investigators are trying to track down who's responsible.
the explosion happened at the bradley terminal last night. police say the dry ice bomb was in a storage cage on the tarmac near an airplane. now, there was a second dry ice bomb in a different area of the terminal, but it did not detonate. we can tell you no injuries were reported, but the explosion did trigger a massive police response, including the bomb squad. police say the restricted area where the explosion happened is not open to the general public. investigators also say at this point there's no link to terrorism. it appears to be an internal job, maybe a labor dispute or prank, but what is so peculiar about all this is it's the second dry ice explosion set off at the same airport in just two days. sunday night dry ice in a plastic bottle exploded inside a men's bathroom, an employee men's bathroom. that caused a brief shutdown of terminal two. in that incident, no one was
injured. at this point, no word of any arrests. brooke? >> okay, rene marsh, thank you. coming up, back to washington. this hour republican house member said the house bill we've been talking about today will be up for a vote tonight. coming up next, can majority leader -- can the house speaker john boehner deliver the votes needed to pass? [ male announcer ] every inch. every minute. every second -- we chip away. making the colors of earth and sunset skies into rich interior accents. or putting the beauty of a forest in the palm of your hands... it will take you to another place... wherever you happen to be. this is the new 2014 jeep grand cherokee. it is the best of what we're made of.
now. house republicans this morning unveiled this alternative plan to reopen the federal government and to stave off the chance of a treasury default. but apparently, the plan drew some resistance when it was laid out before house republicans, which led house speaker john boehner to concede that he really isn't sure what's next. >> our leadership team met with our members today, trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that we continue to provide fairness to the american people under obama care. there are a lot of opinions about what direction to go. there have been no decisions about what exactly we will do. >> well, as you know by now, there is also a bipartisan plan taking shape in the senate but no vote scheduled there as the government's power to borrow money expires thursday. so joining me from princeton, new jersey is historian and professor julian zelizer. really, i can update that because we heard at the top of the hour we now know that the
house does plan to put their version of this proposal with some changes, a bit of obama care in there, but taking out the medical device tax issue, that's it. my question really to you is are you surprised that the house republicans sort of preempted the senate by putting forth their proposal first? >> no. the story's been the same. speaker boehner's had trouble controlling the conservatives in the caucus and the conservatives in the house have been very reluctant to let senate republicans or senate democrats lead this debate. so what they're doing is trying one last time to show that they are a force to be reckoned with and creating uncertainty whether speaker boehner actually can close the deal. >> julian, you are a professor, you are a historian. bigger picture, i'm just curious, this era, we have seen really the last couple years of crisis, couple months, crisis, couple of months.
i mean, is this the beginning of the new normal? >> i do think we're reaching that stage. we have obviously had budget battles before. we have even had threats of default. but i think we're entering a new stage where there are some politicians actually willing to use the tools that will result in default, that result in government shutdown, not occasionally but as a normal part of budget politics. what's amazing -- >> which doesn't poll very well with americans. >> it doesn't. americans are not happy with congress, not happy with republicans, but the question is, in midterms do they do something about it. that's how ultimately politicians react to voters, not to the press or not to warnings about public opinion. >> you are correct, sir. thank you. coming up here, think about this just for yourself. do you consider yourself conservative? do you label yourself as liberal? maybe you're more -- there's a
the middle? a wonderful article in the new esquire makes the case that it is not. esquire has uncovered what it says a large group of american voters, even a majority, who make up a new american center that is passionate, persuadable and very real. they are merely waiting for washington to find them. richard dorman is senior editor at "esquire." richard, i think what's fascinating is you point out at the top of the piece, i should point out this is also polling you did with nbc news, that people who outwardly say hey, i'm liberal, hey, i'm conservative, really, their ideology fits in the center. >> well, the problem is that a lot of people are using those terms but they don't mean what we think they mean. today, based on these survey findings, we found that things like support for abortion and support for gay marriage, support for raising minimum wage are not exclusively liberal positions. those are centrist positions. similarly, things that you think are exclusively conservative
positions like extreme wariness of government spending and pro-voter i.d. laws, those are also centrist positions. it really just changes the way we think about and talk about these issues. >> you run through, it's a multi-page piece where you run through different questions and different surveys and pie charts but my question in going through all of this is how did we get this way? >> well, if you're talking about how we are in washington, that's an excellent question. i will leave it to far greater minds than mine. i think like a lot of people across america, we look at washington and see a funhouse version of ourselves, we see distortions and exaggerations and not an accurate reflection of what we believe. it's a question of two things. one, it's a primary process that rewards the most extreme candidates but also a surge in redistricting that protects the most extreme candidates. i think because of that, you see a fundamental disjunction because what americans actually believe and what we're seeing in washington.
>> do you think there is an elected official out there right now who embodies, who best personifies the view of this new american center? >> it's funny, we created an interactive tool that you can find at esquire.com and nbcnews.com that enables anybody in america to take this survey and identify where they are on the lineup. we ran through 25 elected officials in the country to see if anybody sort of really sticks in the middle and they don't. the closest we can get are susan collins from maine and john tester from montana. they're as close as you get to the center. but they are still pretty far to the left and the right. so no, i don't think there's anybody out in washington really speaking for 51% of the country. >> it is in the latest issue of "esquire." thank you so, so much. >> thank you, brooke. with all this back and forth and back and forth in washington, i just wanted to leave you with this today. the boston red sox, they take the field tonight in baseball's playoffs, this is game three, but this is six months after a bombing that rocked the city's famous marathon. so sunday night, they enjoyed
this miraculous comeback, if you waited up and watched this game, it was amazing. it was an inspiring start. that's what i want to focus on. the national anthem was sung by jane richard, the 7-year-old lost her leg in the bombing last april and it was her brother who was the youngest of the three people killed, but i tell you, she fired up the crowd. then in the eighth inning with the sox losing 5-1, to the detroit tigers, this was the picture seen all around. david ortiz, big papi, if i may, sent a grand slam blast into the bull pen, tying the game and setting the stage for victory in the ninth inning. as his blast sailed over this fence, right fielder for the tigers, torii hunter, these are his legs, he tumbled into the bull pen and you see the guy behind him with his two hands up, the boston police officer who cheered the homer became a local hero. game three tonight, i'll be
watching. before we go, quick check here of the dow as we watch what's happening in washington. before that closing bell, it is down, a big 130 points, sailing into the closing bell any second now. thank you for being with me. i'll be back tomorrow. in the meantime, jake tapper starts right now. hey, everyone. remember that light at the end of the tunnel that we thought we saw yesterday? well, it looks like we're all standing on the tracks. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead" live from capitol hill. the national lead on day 15 of the government shutdown, and with america headed for an economic buzz saw in two days' time, the house gop puts brand new focus on obama care and all other negotiations seem to screech to a halt. the politics lead. president obama says he won't pay ransom to reopen the government, but is any negotiating possible? well, that all depends on what you mean by negotiate. the white house with clinton-esque parsing, as this crisis drags on. and on the day one
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