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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 11, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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and afghanistan, the u.s. pays tribute to the sacrifices they are making. ♪ vice president biden at arlington national cemetery this morning. laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. a afghanistan, u.s. and nato forces remember their fallen comrades. in germany first lady michelle obama serving food to soldiers and their families. while in south korea, today, from the g-20 summit, president obama saluted u.s. troops. >> we salute fallen heroes and keep in our prayers those who are still in harm's way. we also remember that honoring those who serve is about more than the words we say on veterans day or memorial day. it's about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. this hour, how are we
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meeting the challenge of taking care of our men and women in uniform? with tammy duckworth from the department of federal affairs. korea, a failed trade deal. and the exit strategy from afghanistan. with former bush national security adviser steven hadley. the gaping budget deficit and explosive solution. leaders of the president's deficit commission lay out an ambitious plan. the bottom line, it's going to hurt. plus, which way the white house is signaling. should we believe about extending tax cuts for the rich? and after three days stranded at sea the cruise ship "splendor" reaches safe harbor. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. it's been tough going for president obama at the economic summit in seoul. a potential trade deal with south korea fell apart. back at home his commission's plan to cut the deficit is facing heavy going from fellow democrats. nbc's savannah guthrie has more from seoul. >> reporter: the president had his first full day in seoul and
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asked to weigh in on a po tent issue at home, the debt commission report. the president kind of dodged the issue of whether he supports the various recommendations by this presidential commission in its early report. he took a shot at those who are already criticizing some of its recommendations. >> before anybody starts shooting down proposals, i think we need to listen. we need to gather up all the facts. i set up this commission prec e precisely because i'm prepared to make some tough decisions. i can't make them alone. i'm going to need congress to work with me. >> reporter: on another issue, there was already a setback. there had been hope there would be some kind of deal on the korean free trade agreement. it didn't happen. the two parties decided to wait a few weeks and have the negotiators go back to the drawing board. the same issues are the sticking points, the issues of whether or not u.s. automobiles will be let into the korean market. to the extent the u.s. wants.
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and also beef imports. the u.s. wants to see korea lift restrictions on u.s. beef imports. meanwhile, the president met with chinese president hu jintao, once again pressing china not to artificially lower the value of its currency which the u.s. thinks makes chinese goods cheaper and unfair to american business. the president is being criticized for the federal reserve's decision to pump $600 billion into the economy. some world leaders think that amounts to the u.s. manipulating its currency. here's what the president had to say. >> the most important thing that the united states can do for the world economy is to grow. if individual countries are engaging in practices that are purposely designed to boost their exports at the expense of others, that that can contribute to problems as opposed to solving them. >> the president had a working dinner tonight with the g-20 leaders. tomorrow the g-20 saummit gets
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under way in ernest. mixed signals today from the white house about compromising on extending bush tax cuts. david axelrod told the "huff post" we have to deal with the world as we find it, signaling taxes for the rich. axelrod repaired to tack back in another direction, quote, i don't think we can afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy. is the deal whether it's permanent, temporary, how long it is, is that the compromise? john harwood. where do you think this compromise is moving? >> i think it is moves exactly in the direction that you just suggested, andrea, toward a temporary extension of all the tax cuts. there are two issues. one is duration, whether temporary or permanent. the other is whether you have separation between the middle class tax cuts as the president
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wanted and top end tax cuts. he's likely to lose that fight and compromise and link the two together so you have them both on the same time frame. and temporary extension that's either one, two, or three years. interestingly because of what the deficit commission is doing, andrea, that could end up worksing in the direction of where the administration wants to go. >> when you look at the overall numbers, maybe this is an accident or maybe not. $4 trillion tax cut if you extend it fully, make it permanent and $4 trillion deficit solution coming from this commission. coincidence? >> not a coincidence at all. remember, that's why the temporary extension could work in their favor. peter orszag, the former budget director advocated this step, not having any of the tax cuts be made permanent. if fact, if you could get washington to accept all the wane in the simpson/bowles proposal and had the left and right willing to do that you could see a fundamental shift in the tax system that would make
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the bush tax cuts obsolete in the first place because you broaden the base, get rid of reductions and bring rates down to lower levels that anybody's talking about right now with respect to the bush tax cuts. >> let's go behind the scenes briefly. it seems to me reading the tea leaves if alan simpson and bowles had support they would have try to reach a consensus document. by going early ahead of the december 1st deadline for this they were basically shooting their guns off and saying let's see what happens because this is their moment of maximum exposure and publicity. >> i totally agree with you, and rew rea. it's kmeedingly unexceedingly unlikely. instead what they've done is rolled this live hand grenade in the middle of the room, watch everything scatter. by putting all these provocative ideas out there, one democrat,
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one republican, they're smoking people out, getting responses and may be the beginning of a constructive discussion. i would not expect a compromise encompassing many or most of those proposals in the next two years. i think it could set the table for some big decisions that would come after the next presidential election. >> john harwood, getting it all right out there for us. and hand grenade it is. thank you very much. the bottom line, of course, is bringing the trillion dollar federal deficit under control is going to hurt. americans say that they're fed up with government spending. that's the result of our exit polls. is anyone ready to make painful choices? john is research and policy director at the economic policy institute here in washington. let's talk about what you think democrats and people who are in the progressive liberal caucus, whatever you want to call it, are likely to accept? you have been strongly critical of these proposals headon.
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>> the commission needs to be commended for taking on these issues. these are tough issues, these are long-term problems. the work is a very valuable work to be done. what we've seen in the beginning proposal, it's unfair to call this a final proposal. this is put out there for discussion. as is i think there's some troubles with this document. i think a lot of progressive members of the commission as well as the broader congress who have trouble trying to accept cuts, cuts to social security, discretionary spending. looking at cuts that take place pretty quickly. the report does not acknowledge the fact we have a huge recession we're trying to -- >> it does push it back beyond 2012. so they are looking to avoid a collision between the, you know, fe teetering economy, fledgling economy, whatever you want to call it. >> they pay some lip service to it. the unemployment rate in 2012 when they start the austerity is still going to be above 9%.
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if you look at 2012 to 2013, if you're looking at an economy that's still going to be pretty weak. we know the weak economy is the prime driver of the deficits at least in the short run. >> let's take it apart. briefly. 15 cent gasoline tax, state, fazed in. that's good environmental policy as well as some would argue good deficit reduction. >> there are some parts of the plan which we need to look at a little more closely. the 15 cent gas tax i think is both a good environmental policy but could be seen as being good for infrastructure investments, that this money goes to roads and bridges. >> what about raising the retirement age to 68? what would be wrong with that actuarily? we're all living longer. eventually something is going to have to be done. >> we're not all living longer. people who are wealthy or have higher incomes are living much higher. people who have moderate incomes, low incomes aren't living that much longer. this means a cut in benefits. they're not changing the early retirement age, not changing the
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standard retirement age. what this means is an across the board benefit cut. if you look at proposals for social security, a reduction of 80% of the population. they have sweeteners for low income retirees. for others it wouldn't mean a severe cut to social security income. >> thank you for joining us. here in new york, a man who believes the deficit is threatening america's future. former commerce secretary peter peterson, founder and chairman of peter institute and g peterson foundation. pete, we're all friends, so i think we can call you pete. let's talk about what you think has happened here with the beginning of this conversation. what's good about it, what's not good about it? >> well, what's good about it is there seems to be a lot of recognition that what we're dealing with here is a totally unsustainable situation. i was with senator kent conrad
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at a press conference the other day. he said 400% of the gdp debts are just totally unthinkable and threaten the whole economy. you've heard bowles say this is a fiscal cancer that threatens. i heard senator bayh refer to this as an existential problem. at least there seems to be more agreement that it's a big problem and if it's as big as i think it is, it requires major solutions. >> now, what about the fact that within minutes of this being released, nancy pelosi said that this proposal is simply unacceptable, that any final proposal from the commission should do what's right for our children's and grandchildren's security and nation's fiscal security and do what's right for our seniors who are counting on the bedrock promises of social security. are they already shutting the door do you think, the democrats, first of all, to any
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attack on entitlements? >> andrea, for years we've had the problem of people from both parties coming up with reasons to do nothing. we have the point of view that you have to rely entirely on spending cuts and no revenue increases. you have the other point of view that you can rely totally on revenue increases. the point is, those changes are draconian. let's face the fact. we need to have some shared sacrifice. that's going to require pain. and this country hasn't been doing much on shared sacrifice. now, one of the things i like about this plan is first it sets a tough goal at 60% of the gdp by 2024. secondly, it includes a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. third, everything is on the table.
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one of your favorite subjects, defense, i think it's time defense gets put on the table in a major way. as you probably know, we spent more than the next 13 countries put together. as a percent of gdp we spent about 5% which is several times what we spent on federal rnd. it includes for the first time in history vigorous action on tax expenditures that have been ignored for years and are over $1 trillion. it includes discretionary spending. it includes a gasoline tax. and surely by now we ought to know that this dependence on foreign oil is a strategic issue, it's a financial issue and makes us excessive he dependent on foreign lending. now, as far as entitlements, it's a statistical impossibility. given their size, to reach their goals without reform.
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and clearly social security is a very tender issue. one of the things i like about their approach to social security is that they secure the safety net for the most vulnerable and they get benefit reductions, progressively, as we to with ttax for those who can it. we have to reduce them somewhere. i'd much rather reduce them for people if i may say so, like you and me, rather than any way the safety net for the poor. >> well said. briefly, pete, finally, what if there is gridlock in washington and nothing is done? what is the downside to this? >> something i don't think has received enough attention. we tend to think of the debt problem as a u.s. problem or a greece problem.
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our foundation is now doing a study with the peterson institute. we're looking at this debt problem globally. one of the things we find, andrea, the problem is similar throughout the developed world because they have the same demographic problems. living longer. they have the same kind of entitlement programs that are unfunded. now, what the last thing this country needs is to have that global debt bubble. the agate of debts of advanced economies burst and the best thing that could happen, this goes into your area of expertise, nothing would please me more than to see this problem approached on a global basis because it is truly becoming a global problem. >> peter g. peterson, thank you so much. thanks for your expertise today. really appreciate your coming in. and coming up next, the president's afghanistan
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timeline. could 2011 turn into 2014? plus, we'll be talking to the youngest member of congress about the deficit and how to bring it under control for future generations including his. send me your thoughts, find me on twitter at mitchell reports. of vegetables plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. v8. what's your number? oh. about what? uh, they don't really think you're an exchange student. what? they think you're a businessman, using our house to meet new clients in china. for reals, player? [ woman speaks chinese ] they overheard a phone call. [ speaks chinese ] something about shipping with fedex to shanghai. and then you opened a bottle of champagne.
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in afghanistan, for veterans day senator john mccain criticized president obama's timeline for beginning to draw down some forces from afghanistan next summer. >> it was wrong to set the date of july of mid 2011. it sent the wrong message and it created a problem. and we need to have the president of the united states state unequivocally that it will be solely condition based. and so i worry of great deal
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about the effect. not only here, but it encourages our enemies and it discourages our friends. >> steven hadley served as president bush's national security adviser from 2005 to 2009. deputy before that. and is currently a senior adviser with u.s. street instit peace. let's talk about that timeline. senators mccain and lieberman raised questions. there's been criticism of it. it was always supposed to be, quote, condition based. are you sensing what we're seeing from the secretary of defense and others that they're beginning to try to edge away from that as we approach this december review of afghanistan? are they now talking about 2014 or do you think that we're making too much of nuance? >> i don't know. i think they're moving away. remember, they did say after it was announced that this would only begin a process in 2011. you had secretary gates, secretary clinton say very
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clearly it would be condition based. i think the president has said things like that, but there's enough ambiguity about it, i think really it is time for the administration to come clear and come clean in a way and say, yes, we're going to try to transition. that is our objective. it's going to take a long time. it's going to be condition based. and create an expectation that we're probably going to be there in 2014. i think that's right. and it would be good for them to start that -- be a little more explicit on this process. >> a couple of other things that have happened today. first of all, the president in south korea failed to deliver a trade deal they hoped for. how much of a setback is what's happening at the g-20 sum mit? >> the trade agreement is a disappointment. it was negotiated well over two years ago. it was waiting for ratification by the senate of the united states. you know, there's a lot going on in asia. there's a lot of growth. there are a lot of free trade negotiations being negotiated without us.
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it's very important for the united states to get in the game. i think what president obama is hearing is that our allies in asia want us to be there. they want us to be there diplomatically, economically, militarily and getting into the free trade game and making it easy for american business to participate in asian growth is really an important element of our policy for asia going forward. >> and of course, there he is in south korea. he visited with u.s. troops today. and at the same time we, according to all that i've been reading and discussing with foreign policy folks and intelligence folks, we're expecting a major transition coming up in north korea. and a lot of saber rattling up there. what is your sense of how that is going? >> well, we really don't know. i mean, north korea is one of the great puzzles. it's one of the hardest intelligence targets. clearly there is a transition going on and there's a debate going on whether in a time of
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transition, where the support of the military is so important, is that an opportunity for negotiations on six-party talks, addressing the nuclear issue? or really we're at a time when it's going to be very difficult to address those issues in a meaningful way? the real issue that we need to be talking to our close allies is what is this transition going to look like? what are our interests in this transition? and is there a way to start a process by which we get a very different kind of regime in north korea, one more open to dealing constructively with the international community and one willing to provide a better life for their people? that's what the people of north korea deserve. they deserve a regime that's going to put them first. >> let me ask you about "decision points," president bush's book. there was a little noticed but fascinate detail about a terror alarm that went off in 2002. you figure prominently in this.
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i want to ask you about it. according to the bush book, the alarm went off in february 2002. he was in china. and they went into a tent which was considered secure for communications and videoed you in. i guess from the white house. that they thought that there might have been a biological attack on the white house. and they ended up using mice to test whether the air was safe. can you fill in the details? >> after 9/11 we were concerned about biological and chemical attacks. some centers were put in and around the white house compound. one of those went off shortly after the president and his team had left for china. indicating a toxin, one of the world's most dangerous toxins. president and the team there had likely been exposed. and the vice president and i had to get on the secure video and explain the bad news to the team in china. there was, of course, the possibility of false alarms.
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the material detected in the detector was tested on laboratory rats, but that was going to take about 24 hours. so i had to say to the president, mr. president, if the rats are feet down, running around, or the mice are feet down running around, we're fine. if they're on their backs feet up, we're all in trouble. and we waited for about the 12 hours or so that was required to get the results, and i called condoleezza rice, who was with the presidential party, and she apparently went by the president's table and said, mr. president, it's a call from steve, i guess we're going to find out results. of course the results were good. the laboratory mice were having a great time running around the cages and turned out to be a false alarm. it's a reminder as you look back how concerned we were. the predictions were there would be other attacks. we had had of course an anthrax attack within a month after 9/11. this was a circumstance under
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which the nation found itself. really ex-tepecting a further attack and dreading it might be a weapons of mass destruction. for all the problems we still have in terrorism, it's nice to have those days behind us. >> that is amazing. i can't imagine, steve, having to tell the president, your future and the wellbeing of the world really depends on whether the mice are feet up or feet down. and that anthrax attack, we recall, also of course, at nbc, right where you are right now. >> exactly. coming up next here, nancy pelosi a lightning rod for controversy. this is "andrea mitchell" reports only on msnbc.
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nancy pelosi's surprising decision to stay on as democratic leader rattled the white house and her own troops. politico is reporting today in her more liberal caucus she's facing resistance.
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with us is jean cummings, assistant managing editor for politico. most of the -- the assumption is she's going to easily win. do you thing there's real pushback against her becoming democratic leader next week? >> there definitely is. it's going to be messy, andrea. the speaker did win an important victory last night in a conference call in that the vote is going to take place next week which will not give her opponents a lot of time to organize themselves. some had hoped to push the vote off until december so there would be time for the opposition to get organized. >> what about this fight between steny hoyer and jim clyburn? is there any way to avoid it by creating a new position? does the minority have to little real estate they can't get away with that? >> it seems there are all kinds of discussions going on. that's what they would prefer, prefer to find a way to find a spot, high profile for both because they both play important roles and are symbolically important. steny hoyer is the outreach to
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the conservative democrats and clyburn is the highest ranking african-american. two very important constituencies they do want represented in the leadership. >> okay. jean cummings, thank you very much. and coming up, tackiling th deficit. will the republicans consider tax increases? congressman aaron schock joins us next.
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topping the headlines right now on "andrea mitchell reports" breaking developments out of san diego. 4, 500 passengers whose dream cruise ship vacation turned into a nightmare are dis embaembarki finally. splendor arrived three days after losing power due to a fire in an engine room. no more spam. many of the deficit commission recommendations fall in line with republicans' demands to cut government spending and waste. nearly a quarter of the recommendations to raise revenue are in the form of new or
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expanded taxes. that's not going to go down so well. congressman aaron schock serves on the oversight and government reform committee and joins us from peoria. good to see you, congressman. thanks so much. what about if you're going to go along and get democrats to go along with these taxes -- rather the spending cuts, what about tax increases? >> well andrea, thank you for having a conversation about this important issue. what's most important about the 50 page report that has come out by the two chairmen of kmis committee is it's going to start an important dialogue we have to have with constituents about the reality. out of control spending levels as well as the long-term health and sustainability of our entitlement programs. what's important is that this report came out by both republican and democratic chairmen but has not had the full input from the 18 committee members. both republicans and democrats. and before this report can come to the floor for a vote, it has
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to have the support of 14 of the 18 committee members. so outside of the two chairmen, none of the other 18 members have come out and endorsed the proposal. i'm not sure it's worth time going through all 50 pages and getting into the weeds on it. they highlight a lot of the very, very tough financial situations that our country's in and as you pointed out we're going to have to start dealing with the deficit. that's the issue that i think last tuesday the american people sent in the way of their votes. >> that clearly was the message, more important than anything else. job creation. anything else. deficit reduction, according to all the exit polls. and you're willing to even consider some of these things. let's assume, because i think it is a safe assumption, they're not going to get 14 votes for this as a package. isn't this something that the two parties could sit down, maybe have another, you know, budget summit as they did at andrew's air force base in 1991.
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why can't they take pieces from this, you and your colleagues and the democrats and see what you can hash out? >> andrea, i couldn't agree with you more. in fact, over the last two years i've been in congress most of what's in the report in terms of cost reduction i've been proposing. i had a bill i brought forward for a committee to -- a bipartisan committee to do away with programs that are deemed duplicative and unnecessary. and there were members of congress, unfortunately a majority, who voted against my bill simply because they were afraid that maybe their program or their initiative might be deemed duplicative and unnecessary. so you're right. we have to have a serious conversation about how are we realistically going to reduce this deficit? republican house members in our pledge that we came out with before the election talked about rolling back to midwedomestic s to 2008 levels which is
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significant, will save $is trillion in the next decade. asked that that domestic spending get rolled back to 2010 levels. i think we're going to get some of our friends on the democratic side of the aisle who likewise heard from their constituents over the last election cycle to join us in making those reduction in domestic spending. we have had double digit increases in domestic spending over the last two years and it's simply not sustainable. states are cutting back. local -- >> congressman, i just -- excuse me, but in order to get them to agree to some measure of spending cuts, will any republican sign on to tax increases if they revise the tax code that they suggest, lower the rates, get rid of the mortgage tax deduction and all these other deductions. is that even something that a republican, that republicans in the caucus would consider? >> well, tax reform is something that paul ryan, who's our soon
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to be chairman of the budget committee and ways & mean, dave camp, new chairman of ways & means have been talking about it. obviously when you go to a two tax bracket or reduced marginal rate tax bracket you do away with certain deductions as a result. again, that's a separate discussion because even the president of the united states, even barack obama, has agreed or seems to be coming onboard with the notion we can't raise taxes in this critical economic climate. we have 38 house democrats join with republicans before the election and say, we believe there needs to be a full extension at the current levels, we don't believe we should be raising taxes on anyone. to answer your question, no, i don't believe republicans or democrats right now are going to be advocating for any tax increases because it's not the responsible thing to do in a down economy. when it comes to tax reform and changing rates and doing away with deductions and making it a cleaner, fair tax system, you're
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going to see bipartisan support and right now there's no clear cut plan that's going to get -- even the republicans agree with yet alone getting democratic members on board. >> aaron schock from peoria, thanks for keeping the conversation going. and we're joined by our political strategist -- >> good to be with you. >> good to be with you. democratic strategyivity steve mcmahon in florida and kevin madden. most recently with the romney campaign. to you first. where do you see this debate going? they didn't have support from their rank and file. they threw a long one and are waiting to see if someone catches it. >> i think what commissions do, in washington, d.c., we're obsessed here with bipartisan commissions. we've never seen a bipartisan commission we didn't spend a lot of time talking about or wooing over. i think the bipartisan commission is really what it's going to is provide rhetorical cover for both sides of the aisle as they make recommendations and provide the
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media a lot of rethetorical cov when the debate is hashed out on capitol hill. the american public look at commissions and folks that are going to make the decisions. it's not a bipartisan commission. what it is is they look at the people on capitol hill who they elected. they want to see those folks make the tough choices. the commission's recommendations are like policy, you know, liver cod oil. everybody knows it's good for you but whether or not they're going to take it is another question. >> speaking of cod liver oil what about nancy pelosi, steve mcmahon, saying this is simply unacceptable? is that the right way to approach something that's a thoughtful bipartisan suggestion from two leaders who are both part of a democratic and republican white houses? >> i think that's going to be the reaction from a lot of people. i agree with would have been better to be perhaps a little more temperate and take a fuller look at what was in there. i mean, there are some things in there that i think no one's going to like.
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there are things in there republicans are going to like less than democrats and vice versa. she's talking about specific aspects of it, cuts in medicare and cuts in social security and taking the greatest jgeneration and faith they had we would honor our commitment to them and disappointing them. entitlements are going to have to be part of this conversation at some level. so are revenue enhancements which is, of course, taxes president and spending cuts. republicans are interesting because they want to balance the budget but next week they want to extend tax cuts to give $700 billion to millionaires who don't need $700 billion. >> you're seeing already the white house is blinking on that, though. let me ask you, both, about the leadership struggles. nancy pelosi, steve, i was told that the white house found out about it when she tweeted. there was no heads-up, no advanced warning. she really shocked her own caucus and set up this fight between steny hoyer and jim
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clyburn in the game of musical chairs. is she the best person to lead the democratic party on the house side? >> i don't know why it shocked anybody. anybody who knows nancy pelosi and saw the tough job she did over the last four years knows this is something who's not going to walk away from the fight. it was a tough election for democrats, but it wasn't a tough election because of anything nancy pelosi did. she did exactly what the president asked her to do. she passed every bill the president asked her to pass. so i'm not surprised she's running for re-election. i'm not surprised she's going to get the gavel again. the republicans did a good job during the campaign of demonizing her and driving up her negatives. that's not a reason to walk away from the most effective speaker in the last 100 years. >> michele bachmann backing down from a contest she was clearly going to loose. does this indicate tea party new comers, not michele bachmann, new comers might have more strength when they come in? >> republican leaders, they got
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the message. they recognize right now that their interests are very aligned and a lot of the leaders within the republican leadership now, john boehner has gone out there and he campaigned for a lot of folks that had tea party support. somebody who is such a strong fiscal conservative, great deal on respect. he's built up respect within the folks of the tea party activist element. we're aligned on a lot of the issues tea party folks are. it's going to be very helpful. >> you have a higher class problem than the democrats. you have the majority. >> we'll take it. >> kevin -- >> good problem to have. >> good problem to have, exactly right, steve? >> good to see you. up next, helping america's wounded warriors. tammy duckworth from the department of foreign affairs joins us.
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wars. many of our veterans return home to battle another war. unemployment, homelessness, poor access to health care. major tammy duckworth is assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs. that's a mouthful. u.s. department of veterans affairs. and joins us from the hill. it's good to see you again. you know better than anyone what the challenges are. what is the va doing to deal with the fact they have had multiple deployments, their families are faced with terrible challenges and we have more returning veterans who have been wounded? >> what we're doing at va is three thing, increasing va to all veterans, not just iraq and afghanistan wars but vietnam war and gulf war vets. we're increasing outreach to vets to end homelessness in five years and working as hard as we can to end this backlog we're tired of having to make sure we get our veterans into the system
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as quickly as possible. >> what, in particular, you have more than 1 million claims now pending. how do you deal with this backlog? why is the wait so long? >> what's happening is since fwou we've had an increase in 7 17% of veterans coming to va, applying to get into the va system. we've hired over 4,000 new claims processors. we're also working on some state of the art electronic medical records and partnership with d.o.d. so the transition from d.o.d. to va is as smooth as possible. our veterans can immediately begin accessing benefits like the g.i. bill. we have 400,000 veterans getting g.i. bill benefits to two to school now and all the way through to medical care, mental health, programs to help end homelessness. >> when you speak of homelessness, the numbers are incredible. 200,000 according to a new
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study. 200,000 veterans among the homeless. a quarter of the men who are homeless are veterans. how is that possible after people have served our country and they return, how can we be letting them down so badly? >> actually, andrea, that number is a little so badly? >> actually, andrea, that number is a little old. we're going to try to end homelessness in five years. >> i'm told this is a new study. just handed to us today. but we were told this is a brand new study with those numbers of 200,00 200,000. >> even one is not acceptable. so we need to stop the downward spiral that leads to homelessness. first we have to get the veteran who is are homeless off the streets and into transitional housing.
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there are issues are post-traumatic stress and illnesses that those health care conditions are cared for. we need to help them get to school to get the training they need to get those jobs. then we need to help them find employment. get them into good jobs so that they can afford to buy homes, so that they can have a piece of the american dream. if we can do that, we can stop the downward spiral that leads to homelessness. the numbers that we have were 18 months ago 131,000 homeless veterans. we're down to 107,000 now and we're working hard to get to zero. we agree. even one homeless veteran is not acceptable. >> i was citing the 100,000 homeless campaign. we'll check that further. thank you very much, tammy. and chris cillizza is up next here with what's coming up in the next 24. [ male announcer ] this is steven, a busy man.
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which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? chris cillizza, editor of and author of the fix blog. what are you working on? >> andrea, look to alaska, not that you weren't already. the vote is nine days after the november 2nd election, but we are still counting votes up in alaska. i think history is going to be made here. on the first day she ran as a write-in. 98% of them went for her. that was higher than almost anyone thought. she's ahead by more than 11,000 votes. if she winses, first senator to win a write-in campaign since strom thurman when he was a democrat in 1954. so we may well be witnessing history here. there's a big election in alaska. i think lisa murkowski is on the the verge of making that history. >> and joe miller is already
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calling foul and hinting at lawsuits. this is going on for a while. and he's got ginsburg of recount fame. and of course, she's got ginsburg. sorry. so it's a battle of legals as well. a lot of lawyers. >> thank you very much. that does it for uz for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. and my colleague tamron hall will be up next with "news nation." follow it on twitter [ female announcer ] kids who don't eat breakfast
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right now on "news nation." tend of a nightmare. passengers finally back on dry land. and from cutting medicare to raising the retirement age, few are happy with the new proposal, a bipartisan proposal