MTP Daily, Transcript 7/19/2017

Guests:
Beth Fouhy
Transcript:

Show: MTP DAILY
Date: July 19, 2017
Guest: Beth Fouhy

FRANK BRUNI, OP-ED COLUMNIST, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: That’s what makes one
question –

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: OK.

BRUNI: – the soul of the party.

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: All right. We got everyone to say yes at the
same time. Thanks to Juan Zarate and Susan Glasser, and for our panel, Joy
Reid, Doug Holtz-Eakin, Eddie Glaude, Frank Bruni and Rick Stengel.

That does it for this hour. I’m Nicole Wallace. MTP DAILY starts right
now with Katy Tur in for Chuck Todd. Hi, Katy.

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle.

And if it is Wednesday, is political whiplash covered under the latest
Republican health care plan?

(voice-over): Tonight, huddling on health care. Why leader McConnell is
calling for a repeal only vote. It’s not likely he’ll win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We’re going to vote on the motion to
proceed to the bill next week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: We’ll talk to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Plus, why did it take weeks for the White House to disclose the president’s
second talk with Vladimir Putin?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, U.S. WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I’m not
going to get into the specifics of the conversation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: And why one of the leaders of the president’s Voter Integrity
Commission is calling into question the legitimacy of the entire 2016
election?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: So, again, you think that maybe Hillary Clinton did not win the
popular vote?

KRIS KOBACH, PRESIDENT, VOTER INTEGRITY COMMISSION: We may never know
this.

TUR: Or the votes for Donald Trump that led him to win the election in
doubt as well?

KOBACH: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.

(on camera): Good evening, I’m Katy Tur in New York in for Chuck Todd.
Welcome to MTP DAILY.

Just one day after the Senate effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, all
but collapsed, president Trump huddled with Senate Republicans at the White
House this afternoon. And he gave them a bit of whiplash.

Three days ago, he was on board with the Senate plan to repeal and replace.
Two days ago, he told them to replace now and – repeal now and replace
later. Yesterday, he told them to let the health system collapse entirely
and wait until 2018.

But this afternoon he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to repeal and
replace Obamacare. We can repeal it. But the best is repeal and replace
and let’s get going.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: Amid these muddled messages, he made one thing clear. He wants to
sign something and senators shouldn’t go home until he’s got it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, I don’t think we
should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can
give our people great health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: After their meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid it
down. They’re going to go full speed ahead, even if it means going full
speed ahead to nowhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: Well, it’s pretty obvious, we’ve had difficulty in getting 50
votes to proceed. But what I want to disabuse any of you of is the notion
that we will not have that vote next week. We’re going to vote on the
motion to proceed to the bill next week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: But the fact stands. Right now, McConnell does not have the votes to
repeal or replace Obamacare. And their meeting with the president appears
to have done little to change that, at least so far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you reconsidering your decision to vote against the
motion to proceed?

No.

SEN. DEAN HELLER (R), NEVADA: There’s so many moving parts on this. I
don’t want to commit to anything at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you vote on a motion to proceed if it’s just a
repeal bill?

HELLER: Yes, I just answered that question.

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: I’m still in a position I’ve been in, you
know, for weeks which is trying to improve the bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: Before this president was ever sworn in, and in fact before he was
even a candidate, Republicans were unified in their goal to repeal and
replace Obamacare. And they still are.

But here we are six months into Trump’s presidency with the Senate
stampeding towards a do or die vote, and they’re still split on how exactly
to do it.

And any moment now, we are expecting brand-new numbers from the
Congressional Budget Office on what would happen under the GOP plan to
repeal Obamacare now, two years, and replace it later.

And joining me now from Capitol Hill is MSNBC’s Garrett Haake. Garrett,
what is next?

GARRETT HAAKE, MSNBC CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Katy, that’s a great
question. Look, what we know is next is that we’re going to get these
numbers tonight on the repeal and delay plan. And we know they’re going to
be bad.

The CBO scored a very similar bill a couple of years ago, found more than
30 million people losing insurance. And a lot of them lose it like that,
right away, because of the way this bill is structured.

Well, even once the repeal part starts down the line, you see these, sort
of, insurance markets just, kind of, dry up. So, that’s not going to be
pretty.

We know also that Mitch McConnell is absolutely committed to getting some
kind of bill on the floor and trying to start some kind of debate. There’s
almost sort of a wild west feeling to this. The majority leader’s office
thinks they can get something on the floor, and they can essentially fight
it out with these amendments to try to get something that 50 senators can
vote for.

And we know tonight that this meeting with the White House did breathe a
little bit of life into this process. It certainly lit a fire under some
of these senators to try at least one more time to get something done.

[17:05:05] But I can tell you that the follow-up is still part of the
problem here. There’s this 7:30 meeting tonight on the Hill with White
House officials and wavering senators to talk about this bill.

And one of the hardest nos, Susan Collins, isn’t even going. By the time
she found out about this and was invited to it this afternoon, she had
another commitment tonight. So, she’s not going to be there.

So, whether they’ll be able to, sort of, crack the ice around some of the
more committed nos on this vote is still an open question.

TUR: So, what happens? They repeal it but Obamacare stays in place for
two years, and then they – during that time they figure out something to
replace it with.

What does that do to the health care markets? Does that cause mass
destabilization more than we’re already seeing? Is that part of the
problem is that senators are having with this.

HAAKE: Sure, absolutely. I mean, we’ve heard that from Senator Murkowski
who’s one of the most vocal people about the problem of uncertainty.

You know, the – Congress has not typically been good at meeting these
self-imposed deadlines.

TUR: Yes.

HAAKE: I mean, think about the sequester from a few years ago. Sometimes
they set these roadblocks for themselves in the hope that they’ll get
energized and organized to get something done.

But opponents of the repeal and delay say, look, Republicans had seven
years to come up with an alternative plan to Obamacare. What’s the
thinking that they would get it done in another two?

Now, Republicans would argue, look, we’re going to get Democrats on board
because this is – would be such a disastrous cliff, if we can’t come up
with a replacement.

The Democrats would have to get on board, but that’s a huge gamble, quite
frankly, Katy. And some of these senators just aren’t willing to take it.

TUR: Garrett Haake on Capitol Hill. Garrett, thank you very much.

And joining me now is Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. Thank you
so much for being here, Congressman.

Let’s talk about what happens if McConnell brings this vote to the floor.
Should he be doing so, if he’s not positive that he’s got enough votes to
get it passed?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: At some point, you’ve got to have the vote. I
actually support just repeal it now. There’s a two-year winddown. I – we
reintroduced that same bill that we put on President Obama’s desk 18 months
ago. I reintroduced it this Congress.

I think that’s what we should do. Repeal it. You’ve got a two-year wind-
down, a phase down period, where you could actually work on the
replacement. I hope that’s what we do.

TUR: What about the market getting destabilized during that time for all
that uncertainty? What are you going to do about the people who are going
to get –

JORDAN: Katy, –

TUR: – kicked off their insurance or lose health care coverage during
that time? Is that a concern?

JORDAN: – the did he stabilization and uncertainty already exists.

TUR: Absolutely, –

(CROSSTALK)

TUR: – but certainly that would make it – make it more did destabilized
than it already is right now.

JORDAN: Right now in – right now in Crawford County, Ohio, the county I
get the privilege of representing, there are no plans in the exchange.
None. And no option for people in the – in the – in the individual and
small group market.

So, look, this is the problem. We have to get rid of this law. It’s what
we told the voters we were going to do. We got elected in 2010, 2014 and
2016 largely on this issue.

We just need to do what we said and that’s what we have to – it never
hurts you to do what you told the voters you were going to do, what they
sent you here to do. Let’s do that.

TUR: I understand that.

JORDAN: And the bill has a two-year winddown. There’s plenty of time then
to – and you know what? If you want a bipartisan solution, you repeal it
first. I think you’ve got a better opportunity. That could be the
catalyst that creates the momentum for a bipartisan solution and we could
actually help families.

So, –

TUR: Potentially.

JORDAN: – I think it’s the right way to go.

TUR: But then, what happens, Congressman, if it does not and you have
people who are losing their health care, who are suddenly in dire need of
help.

JORDAN: What happens – what happens –

TUR: No, no, hold on. Let me – let me finish my question. So, if you
have this two year delay and people – the markets get destabilized ever
further and people can’t get access to the health care that they need –
and you say that’s already happening in many communities. You cited just
one. Fine. Accept that.

But why is the Republican Congress, who has to control both Houses and the
White House, why are you OK with just letting it flounder for two more
years. If it is –

JORDAN: I’m not.

TUR: – such a massive problem, –

JORDAN: Katy, I’m not.

TUR: – why can you not get on the same page to find a replacement that
would stabilize everything right now? That’s my question.

JORDAN: Yes. And I’m not OK with that. That’s why I supported the House
bill after we, conservatives, weighed in intense debate and made the House
bill better. I support that legislation.

But based on where we are right now, let’s do what President Trump said we
should do, let’s repeal it. Let’s do what Vice President Pence said we
should do, let’s repeal it. And let’s do what Senator Sasse said we should
do, let’s repeal it. Let’s repeal it.

We still have time, then, to put together the replacement, the kind of
thing that I think actually is going to bring down costs, bring down
premiums and help families.

Help those families who are paying $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 a month in
premium costs and also with a $6,000 to $10,000 deductible. How is that
helping families today? That’s what Obamacare has given us.

TUR: So, the CBO –

JORDAN: Let’s fix that.

TUR: – the CBO scored the House version of the bill pretty poorly. It
said it would knock off millions – I mean, 33 million I think was the
number of people that it would end up knocking off or 32 million people.
That’s a – that’s a huge number.

The Senate health care bill is a little different. Obviously, we’re going
to get another CBO score coming a little bit – a little bit later. This
is also something that’s not popular, even among Republican voters. Even
among Trump voters in Trump counties, Congressman, only one in four voters
support this.

And that’s not a high number. The rest either don’t care or they – or
they think it’s a bad idea.

[17:10:7] JORDAN: Two points. Two points.

TUR: So, my question is – hold on. Why is it not an option for everybody
in Congress, since that’s what the American public elected people to do, to
get together a bipartisan agreement to find a way to stabilize the markets
as they exist right now?

And then, while they have that stabilized, come up with a new plan that you
think is going to be better. Why not do that first, since it’s so dire and
people have health care and –

JORDAN: Three things.

TUR: – they need it and then go forward with it?

JORDAN: Three things. One, that market is so unstable, as we talk under
Obamacare. Two, CBO score has all kinds of problems. You can look at the
“Forbes” article which pointed out the data and the procedures and the
process they used to come to their conclusions. Very suspect.

And then, three, come back to the basics. We just had an election on
November 8, 2016, where it was very clear we were sent here to repeal
Obamacare and then replace it with market centered, patient centered, the
kind of focus that’s going to actually empower families and individuals.

A clear message in the election was do what we said we would do. That’s
what we have to focus on.

TUR: I understand that. I understand that, as a strategy, completely.
But I’m trying to point out –

JORDAN: Not a strategy, a promise, a contract.

TUR: Or a promise. What the American people –

JORDAN: It’s not a strategy.

TUR: – what the American people, including Republicans want. That’s what
I’m asking about. And you might not trust the CBO, but it’s a non-partisan
group. So, if you don’t trust the CBO, –

JORDAN: Katy, –

TUR: – who are Americans supposed to trust? And not to mention the CBO,
health care companies have come out and hospitals have come and the AARP
has come out and the American Medical Association has come out and
everybody has said –

JORDAN: All they’re –

TUR: – that this is a bad idea.

JORDAN: – all they’re saying –

TUR: So, who do the American people thrust, just the Republican Party? Is
that it?

JORDAN: So, no, all that – Katy, all that list you went down through,
those are the same people who said Obamacare was going to be wonderful and
we’ve seen what – we’ve seen what that’s done.

There’s been three elections where this was a central issue and the
American people elected us to go here and do something. That is a contract
– that’s not a strategy.

It’s not about politics here. It’s about doing what we said. I have a
constituent back home in Lima, Ohio. We – I remember the first time when
he said, do what you said you would do in this business.

TUR: But –

JORDAN: That’s what we have to focus on. You know, it’s not about
politics. It’s not about strategy. It’s about keeping our word and
helping those families who are currently hurting under Obamacare.

The same law when it was passed, we were told nine different things that
all turned out to be true – that all turned out to be false. Remember
this, like your plan, keep your plan; like your doctor, keep your doctor?
Premiums will go down. Premiums will go down $2,500 on average, the
president told us.

We were even told this Web site was going to work when it was rolled out.
The Web site was secure. We were told (INAUDIBLE.)

TUR: I understand that.

JORDAN: All those things we were told.

TUR: But that was seven years ago, Congressman. And now, people have had
health care for quite some time. And the fact remains –

JORDAN: No, now they’ve lived under that law –

TUR: – that the American public –

JORDAN: – seven years and they know it needs to go.

TUR: – the American public, the majority – hold on a minute. So, the
American public, the majority of which, vast majority, don’t like the
Republican plans. And that’s not just Democrats, it’s Republicans, too.

So, I understand that you want keep a promise, –

JORDAN: They don’t like Obamacare either.

TUR: But ultimately, –

JORDAN: They don’t like Obamacare either.

TUR: – they don’t – but they like it better than they like the
Republican plan. So, why not go in and try to stabilize things, as of now,
to make sure –

JORDAN: Why not –

TUR: – that you’re putting the public interest first? That is my
question.

JORDAN: I am putting the public interests first.

TUR: Because it feels – it feels, from an outside observer –

JORDAN: Repeal it.

TUR: – that this is just politics on both sides of the issue.

JORDAN: It’s not politics on both sides of the issue. It’s about keeping
your word. Repeal it first and then do exactly what you talked about.

Replace it with something that’s much better for the families and the
taxpayers that I represent in the fourth district of Ohio and the families
and taxpayers across this country. That has got to be our focus. That’s
what my focus is.

And that’s why those of us in the Freedom Caucus, those of us as
conservatives, that’s why we’re pushing for what we’re pushing for.

TUR: Congressman Jim Jordan, thank you so much. Really appreciate your
time, sir. Always love to have you on.

JORDAN: Thank you.

TUR: And we’ve got the entire ideological spectrum covered tonight. We
just spoke to a conservative in the House Republican – to a conservative
in the House of Representatives, a Republican.

So, now, let’s turn to a moderate Senate Democrat. Joe Manchin is a
Democratic from West Virginia. Senator, thanks for joining us. West
Virginia is obviously a state –

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Good to be with you, Katy.

TUR: – wonderful to have you – that relies very heavily on Medicare.
And that’s something that would get cut significantly with this current
Senate health care plan, as it stands right now.

What do you make of Congressman Jordan saying that it’s OK to have two
years for that delay for everybody to come to the table, he says, and find
a way to make sure that they have better health care?

MANCHIN: Well, Jim has to understand that we have to respectfully disagree
with on this. That’s a cruel and inhumane treatment, allowing someone to
dangle for two years.

And here’s the thing. The reality of what we’re dealing with here, Katy,
is that we – they can’t even get 50 votes on the Senate side to do what
they wanted to do. They’ve come to that conclusion. They’re still going
to have a vote on this side.

You heard Jim Jordan talk about how committed they are in keeping their
promise. Things have changed. The bottom line, this is an intricate.
People’s lives are at stake here. We think that we can help fix it. I’ve
been meeting with different people on both sides in a moderate group.

TUR: Yes.

MANCHIN: We’re not going to get the far left or the far right, Katy.
That’s just the way –

TUR: Giving that, you have been meeting with them. What areas of
compromise do you see open to you right now between Democrats and
Republicans?

MANCHIN: Well, first of all, you have to go through the orderly process,
OK, regular order we call it. It should go through the committee to where
you have discussions.

[17:15:04] If someone has an idea, explain to me how that idea – let me
understand that idea better and see if it’s something I can support. We’ve
never even had the opportunity to do that. Let’s go back through regular
order.

Next of all, when you have the private market, we know that the private
market will collapse. And they can accelerate the collapse by the CSR’s,
by not putting the money towards stabilizing the market.

But with that being said, it’s still that those rates are too high. We
understand that. We’ll work with you on that across state borders, MSA’s,
medical savings account. There are so many things that we can have
dialogue and probably come to an agreement.

TUR: So, that meeting that you had –

MANCHIN: Where we disagree, Katy, is this.

TUR: Yes.

MANCHIN: They want to – they wanted to give all of these tax credits
back, 600 plus billion, whatever they want to scale that down to.

You can’t start giving the resources that pay for the health care that we
have. And then, go over and say, well, I’m going to take it away from the
services that we’re given. That’s a nonstarter.

And when you had keep talking about repealing because they made some type
of a promise, I made the people a promise that I’d come here and try to
make things work and fix things. If it means repealing it, fine.

But if it means repairing it, right now, they can’t do what they said. Why
don’t you – why can’t they (INAUDIBLE) and say, OK, we’ll sit down with
you and fix it now.

We’ve tried what we done. The people understand it. But if they want to
go through a ceremonial vote, go so.

Let me say another thing, in West Virginia, 180,000 people got health care
for the first time. God bless them. They never had it before.

The only health care they had was if you’re sick, go to the emergency room
at the highest cost. We gave them a health care. The greatest wealth you
can give someone is the health care. Never gave them one word of
instructions, Katy, how to use it.

So, don’t you think before you start taking this inhumane approach by
throwing people off, try to educate them. Help them to live a healthier,
better life style, going with a family practitioner, managed care. So many
things we can do that we’re willing to talk about.

TUR: So, you met with a number of senators who used to be governor to try
and find a way to find some compromise, a bipartisan deal, something you
can work together on. Is Senator Schumer on board with your effort?

MANCHIN: Absolutely. I think Chuck understands. You know, we want to
find a pathway forward. He knows that those of us that we call recovering
governors, we long for the days when we could sit down and bring people
together.

And I said this, if we can’t get Democrat and Republican governors or ex-
governors, you know, if we can’t come to the table and find a pathway
forward, God help us here in the Senate. Because we’re used to working
with sometimes a contentious legislature on both sides, Democrat and
Republican.

We understand the challenges every state has. States have balanced budget
amendments. They have restrictions of how – what they can do and what
their ability to pay for those things.

So, we can’t put undue burdens. We’ve got to work with them. We, as
governors, prior, understanding the budget process and the dilemmas we have
and challenges, we think we understand that. And we had a dialogue. We
all believe there should be regular order. We believe that we can fix that
private market.

But also, how do you keep the person, the high need person, the pre-
existing conditions, those with severe illnesses, how do we protect them
and give them a chance? That’s the group that we have to make sure that we
don’t leave behind.

And when Ted Cruz says the states will have the opportunity to still offer
to pre-existing – you know, for pre-existing conditions, and I said, Ted,
I have the opportunity to buy a Rolls-Royce. I just can’t afford it.

So, the opportunity – that – we can’t – we just can’t put people in that
type of a situation, Katy.

TUR: So, we just got the new CBO score and we’re trying to go –

MANCHIN: Yes.

TUR: – through it right now. So, give us a moment to get through the
numbers. My follow-up question to you, Senator Manchin, is that there’s a
good chunk of the Democratic Party, the liberal base, that says, don’t work
with Donald Trump on anything. Certainly don’t work with the Republicans
on health care.

We don’t want to see Obamacare repealed or replaced. You’re trying to come
up with some sort of compromise.

MANCHIN: Sure.

TUR: Ultimately, whatever does happen will be labeled Trumpcare.

If you can come and meet the Republicans, this is a political question, –

MANCHIN: Sure.

TUR: – if you can meet them halfway and help get this passed, are you
worried about being saddled with the label of the – as the Democrat who
helped Donald Trump pass his own health care and helped repeal Obamacare?

MANCHIN: Let me make sure you – I’m not going to vote to repeal. I don’t
know the Democrats will vote to repeal. We’re not going to throw the baby
out with the bathwater. The baby just needs a diaper change. The baby
doesn’t need to be drowned. So, I’m not going to do that, Katy.

Now, what I will do, I’ll work with the president. I’ll work with any
Republican and Democrat to try to fix things that we know is wrong. I’m
not going to sit back and say, oh, I’m sorry, I might lose an election or I
might lose a couple of votes.

And I’m not going to try to fix things when I know the market is going to
collapse. That’s not what I was saying here.

I’m just so – I feel so privileged to be an American to live in this
wonderful country. And if I’m going to worry about my own political – my
own political self before I worry about the public, then I’m here for the
wrong reason.

[17:20:00] So, Mr. Trump, President Trump got elected through the process.
He’s our president. I’m going to work with this president the best I can
to do the best I can for the state of West Virginia and all the wonderful
people in West Virginia and for this country.

Now, when he’s wrong, I’m going to respectfully disagree. I don’t have to
call him names –

TUR: Yes.

MANCHIN: – and this and that. And I can give input. That’s what I’m
going to try to do. I’ve always done that. I’m not changing who I am.

TUR: Senator, we have some of the headlines from the CBO. Let me read
them to you. So, this is for the Senate plan to repeal Obamacare now and
replace it later, two years down the line.

So, this bill would decrease deficits, Republicans are going to like this,
by $473 billion over the 2017-2026 period. But the number of uninsured
would increase by 17 million in 2018. It would also increase by 27 million
in 2020. And then, 32 million in 2026.

They also say the average premiums in the non-group market would increase
by roughly 25 percent. And that premiums would double by 2026.

So, listen, it’s going to reduce the deficit which will allow Mitch
McConnell to negotiate with some Republicans about what sort of deals and
what sort of extra money he can give to certain states and for certain
efforts.

But, at the same time, we’re seeing that people would get kicked off their
health care the same way they would during the House bill – for the House
bill. 32 million people in 2026 who would be uninsured.

I mean, do you know any of your Republican colleagues who would find a CBO
score like this acceptable?

MANCHIN: No. Well, I would not a CBO score like that acceptable.

TUR: Do you think Susan Collins or Senator Murkowski or Capito –

MANCHIN: Shelly Moore Capito.

TUR: – your colleague in West Virginia, Capito, Shelly Capito?

MANCHIN: Shelly Moore Capito, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said they
would not let their people be pushed off a cliff. They’re not going to let
people – and I appreciate that so much for Shelly standing as strong as
she stood. And I know the pressure she’s receiving. I’m sure Susan and
Lisa are the same. So, there’s three.

We’re talk – we’re saying that if you want to save – if savings is the
thing, then use the system and improve the system to use it for
efficiently. You can’t let people basically keep going to the emergency
room.

TUR: Yes.

MANCHIN: We’ve got to show them how to manage their care to have a better
quality of life, a healthier life and a more productive life to get back
into the work force and get them from the welfare.

And we’re not even trying that. Why they want to take this approach to
throwing so many people off, knowing that this many people are going to
lose their health care. Why would you do that when there’s another avenue
to take?

TUR: Again, 30 –

MANCHIN: We just –

TUR: I’m sorry.

MANCHIN: (INAUDIBLE) yes, you can’t put 30 million people out on the
streets again. That’s where we started from.

TUR: 32 million by 2026.

MANCHIN: Yes.

TUR: But, again, it would decrease the deficit by $473 billion from 2017-
2026.

MANCHIN: I’ve always said this, sometimes Republicans go to the bottom
line and the Democrats would go to the bottom of your heart. So you have
to choose.

TUR: Senator Joe Manchin, thank you very much for joining us. And thank
you for playing with us as we try to figure out this CBO score as it gets
passed down. Good luck going through it yourself tonight, sir.

MANCHIN: We will. We’re going to figure a way forward. We can make this
work. We can make it work.

TUR: Well, let’s hope so for the American public.

MANCHIN: OK.

TUR: Senator Manchin, thank you.

And we’re going to have more on the new CBO score that just posted in a
minute.

[17:23:32]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back.

As we just mentioned, we’ve got some breaking news for you from the non-
partisan Congressional Budget Office. This is the Republican Plan B which
would repeal major pieces of Obamacare right now and replace it later in
two years.

The CBO says that 32 million more people would be uninsured by 2026.
Premiums would eventually double relative to projections under current law
and roughly half of the nation’s population would live in areas with no
insurers participating in the non-group market by 2020.

Garrett Haake joins me again from Capitol Hill. Garrett, today, the
president promised that Republican version of this bill forces not
necessarily the Republican version of it would eventually have lower
premiums. But this doesn’t look so good.

HAAKE: Right, Katy. But remember, in any Republican plan, this is only,
sort of, the first half. This is the stick. You get the carrot later.

The idea here being that if you do the repeal, delay and replace. The
repeal part, you would vote to repeal, you know, Monday, let’s say. But
that the repeal wouldn’t actually go into effect for two years.

So, you would essentially have this CBO score hanging over you as a reason
to act. And the CBO score, really, is a – it’s a shotgun blast to the
individual insurance market. I mean, it’s devastating.

The numbers on here talk about starting in 2018. But if you – even if you
push that back and say, OK, we’re going to start it in 2020, two years from
now or two years from whenever this deal gets done, right out of the gate,
you lose 17 million people who are not covered. And that’s, in part,
because the individual mandate would go away.

TUR: Yes.

HAAKE: That gets healthy people off – you know, some healthy people then
stop buying insurance. That cranks the premiums up for other people who
now can’t afford it.

So, this CBO report paints a pretty bleak picture of something that even
the most conservative Republicans say won’t ever actually happen. Because
by then, they say, they would have a replacement plan in place.

Now, I think it’s fair to question how much credit Republicans should get
for something that they haven’t designed, found the votes for or
implemented yet. But Republicans would say, yes, this is bad, but this is
– this is the – the badness of this is the motivation to come up with a
really good replacement plan.

TUR: Garrett Haake, thank you so much for hooking back up for us so
quickly, sir. Appreciate it.

HAAKE: Sure thing.

TUR: And let’s go to our panel. Beth Fouhy is NBC’s Senior Politics
Editor. Michael Steele is an MSNBC Political Analyst and former RNC
chairman. And Jonathan Alter is an MSNBC Political Analyst and a “Daily
Beast” Columnist.

Michael Steele, you know I’m coming to you first. You knew it.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Why?

TUR: Well, because we’re talking about the Republicans and their bill. It
is fair to say that this is not – you know, this is the projections of
just essentially repealing Obamacare and not having anything else. And the
Republicans do say that they will have a better plan in place in two years.

STEELE: As opposed to the last seven. OK, I’m following you.

TUR: Yes, Congress – there you go. Congress doesn’t have a very good
reputation, track record for meeting the deadlines that they self-impose.

STEELE: Well, it’s not just about meeting the deadlines, it’s getting
within the caucus some sense of how we want to do this. What is our, you
know, purpose and goal here? Why – how and why can’t we get on the same
page so that we can go before the country and give them the confidence that
once we repeal this that there will be, in fact, something there that will
work as a placeholder while that process is unfolding? And then, at the
end of that period, have something ready to go.

The only thing the American people have to look at, quite honestly, is the
last seven years. And particularly, the last six months when you had the
White House, the Senate and the House, and there was still no bill. And
the bill you put out there has largely been scored as unrealistic.

And, yes, you can trash the CBO, but the numbers – the CBO is only as good
as the numbers you put in. So, they’re working off of your info.

TUR: Yes. Well, and they’re non-partisan. Who do you trust? Do you
trust the Republicans alone? Do you trust the Democrats alone? Do you
trust the Kaiser Foundation or the AMA or the AARP? I mean, it just –

STEELE: Which is why I –

TUR: – out of all the people – yes.

STEELE: You put everybody in the room, I think. And listening to your
last segment and asking the questions, then why can’t we just approach this
from a reasonable perspective? Get the Democrats, get all the stakeholders
in the room and craft the bill.

TUR: Beth, why can’t we?

STEELE: Yes, Beth.

BETH FOUHY, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, NBC NEWS: Yes, you know what? I’ve
got the answer.

(CROSSTALK)

TUR: That’s what we’ve all been waiting for.

FOUHY: No. What I can’t ever get over about any of this, Katy, is the
fact that nobody, the president, not anybody in Congress, not conservative
media, nobody seems to be out there explaining to the American public why
this bill would be better than Obamacare.

[17:30:07] TUR: What are you talking about? The president today said it’s
going to have lower premiums.

FOUHY: But today –

TUR: It’s going to have better coverage.

FOUHY: – but today –

BETH FOUHY, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, NBC NEWS: . conservative media, nobody
seems to be out there explaining to the American public why this bill would
be better than Obamacare.

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: What are you talking about? The president
today said it’s going to have lower premiums, going to have better
coverage. Everybody with pre-existing condition is going to have great
health care. He declared it today.

FOUHY: That’s exactly my point. He declared it today when this thing is at
the tail end of this process and it’s practically almost buried into the
ground at this point.

TUR: But is that enough, just declaring it?

FOUHY: No, that’s the thing. Here is a man who we all know can snap his
fingers and put together a 30,000 person rally.

TUR: Yes.

FOUHY: He’s got a hundred million people on his social media accounts or
something like that. Why isn’t he out there using that capital to sell this
plan?

TUR: Well, he’s fighting with the media, that’s what he’s doing.

FOUHY: Well, and that is a very unproductive battle if what he really wants
is to pass this health care bill. I don’t think he really wants it.
Otherwise, he would be using the tools at his disposal.

TUR: Jon, hold on. I had Congressman Jim Jordan on a moment ago. I asked
him, you know, you repeal it now and yes, maybe two years, you find a
replacement. But in the meantime, you know, you put so much uncertainty
into the market, are you worried about the people who would get kicked off
and their argument is there already is uncertainty.

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST FOR THE DAILY BEAST, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, just
playing 52 card pickup with a fifth of the American economy. It is the
height of irresponsibility to do that. You’re talking about real peoples’
lives that are in the balance. The good news is I don’t think anything
about the CBO report changes the fact that three Republican women, Collins,
Capito, and Murkowski, have declared that they’re not going to let this
repeal only bill proceed.

And there’s nothing in the CBO report that’s going to change their minds on
that over the weekend. It’s possible. Everything is possible nowadays, but
it doesn’t seem to be likely that they will change their minds. And then
you’re just talking about moral root canal. You know, at a certain point,
the Republicans are tired of this.

It’s like Trump is Laurence Olivier in “Marathon Man.” He’s in their mouth
and they’re ready to go home and see their family. They don’t want this
anymore. They want it off their plate. And it seems like McConnell
understands that. They’re going to have a vote –

TUR: Yes.

ALTER: – at the beginning of next week and then folks are going to come
home.

TUR: OK. I’ve got a question for you coming straight from Jesse Bergman,
one of our producers on the show, great producer. He says, how is the CBO
scoring this over a 10-year window given that the GOP plan would presumably
include some kind of a replacement plan in that two-year window? How are
they finding that score, is it just repeal?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It’s just
repeal, yes. I mean, at the end of the day, from the Republican
perspective, it’s all at this stage about just repeal. The CBO, however, is
looking at this over a 10-year period. They’re saying, okay, if you put a
plan in place next year, this is what it’s going to look like, this is how
it plays out.

It’s not taking into account that there is no Obamacare per se, and that
there’s going to be this mining period of two years to come up with
something else. That changes the CBO – again, as I said before, CBO only
gives you what you put in. That’s how it works. At the end of the day,
they’re going to work off the information, the numbers, you give it.

TUR: Why, why, why, Beth, were women cut out of this? Why did the
Republicans do this behind closed doors with 13 men? We are 50 percent of
the population. We are affected by health care. We produce the babies that
are men’s’ babies as well. Why are we left out?

FOUHY: This has been a huge, huge thing I’ve been thinking a lot about
because many, many, health providers and others who look at this industry
will tell you that women make 80 percent of health care decisions in this
country.

STEELE: Yes.

TUR: Yes.

FOUHY: They make them for themselves, they make them for their kids, they
make them for their parents once their parents become elderly.

STEELE: Yes.

FOUHY: Exactly. Most men do not interact with the health care system until
they are, you know, well into middle age. Women do very early on as young
patients and then as parents. This is remarkable that a group of men, many
of whom I guarantee you in that senate have not seen a doctor in a long,
long time have devised a plan that is completely unworkable because in part
because they did not talk to the people who would actually use this.

TUR: What is it about us that make us not relevant to this debate? Is it
because we have lady parts? Seriously, why are we not relevant to this
debate? And apparently we are, because senators Murkowski, Collins, and
Capito are the ones that shut this down.

ALTER: Three of the five Republican women and this was a colossal
historical mistake and people will look back on this when they go back and
pick up the pieces, this decision to exclude women. I think McConnell who
has this great reputation as a tactician and everything, he really blew it
on that. I think he was worried that the conservatives couldn’t be kept in
if Republican moderate women put their imprint on the bill and that was
historic error.

TUR: Guys, we’re going to have more conversation a little bit later. Thank
you so far. Beth, Michael, Jonathan Alter. The White House election
integrity commission kicks off with the president’s vote of confidence, but
does the panel have confidence in the 2016 election results? Here with the
commission’s chair had to say about that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Still ahead, why one of the leaders of the president’s voter integrity
commission is calling into question the legitimacy of the entire 2016
election? I talked to Kris Kobach just after the commission’s first meeting
wrapped up. You’re going to want to hear what he had to say. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back. The White House’s controversial commission on election
integrity held its first session today. President Trump formed the panel by
executive order and it’s chaired by Vice President Mike Pence to in his
words help promote fair federal elections.

Mr. Pence today said the panel had no preconceived notions or preordained
results. I spoke to Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the commission, and he
said that they are taking a look at the entirety of the federal electoral
process including voter fraud, and Kobach questioned the integrity of the
election, the one in 2016. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: You think that maybe Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote?

KRIS KOBACH, SECRETARY OF STATE OF KANSAS: We may never know the answer to
that question.

TUR: How do you say we may never know the answer to that question? Really?
You really believe that?

KOBACH: Well, what I’m saying is let’s suppose that the commission
determined that there were a certain number of votes cast by ineligible
voters, you still won’t know whether those people who were ineligible voted
for Trump or for Clinton or for somebody else. And so it’s impossible to
ever know exactly guesses.

TUR: So the votes for Donald Trump that led him to win the election in
doubt as well?

KOBACH: Absolutely. If there are ineligible voters in an election, people
who are non-citizens, people who are felons who shouldn’t be voting
according to the law of state –

TUR: So is our democratic process completely broken? Should we not be
confident that when we cast a ballot that anyone we are voting for is
actually going to get elected fairly?

KOBACH: That’s exactly the reason the commission exists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: It’s a good time to go to the panel. Beth Fouhy, Michael Steele,
Jonathan Alter. Jon, take it away.

ALTER: OK. So, he’s trying to say that Hillary’s 2.8 million margin in the
popular vote is now in question, but if you look at the follow-up that you
asked, what he’s really saying is that Donald Trump’s electoral college
margin is now in question, because compare that 2.8 million votes to what
happened in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin where the margins were
40,000 votes, 22,000 votes, and in Michigan 10,000 votes compared to 2.8
million.

If those had gone the other direction, less than one-half of one percent in
those states, Hillary Clinton would be president through the electoral
college. So arguably, he is playing with fire here. If he wants to reopen
Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and find out how many ineligible
voters voted there, that we would then find that Donald Trump’s victory was
not legitimate in the electoral college, that would be interesting.

FOUHY: And, you know, Katy, I watched your interview that you did with Kris
Kobach earlier, and I thought one really interesting point that you asked
him was is this being done because Donald Trump believes that the 3 million
people that he lost by were all illegal votes, all entirely cast against
him, cast for Hillary Clinton.

TUR: That’s what he said.

FOUHY: He certainly did. And several times.

TUR: Donald Trump said.

FOUHY: Correct. And you asked Kris Kobach if that was the reason that this
commission existed and he said no. He sounded, you know, very reasonable
that he wanted – that there’s legitimate issues to look into, and yet he
also said to your question that they’re not looking into the fear or the
concern about Russia or any other country getting involved, hacking into
voting machines, things that are legitimate concerns going forward.

TUR: No, he says – he said they were looking into the interfering into the
machines, just not whether or not somebody is hacking into DNC e-mails.

FOUHY: But he didn’t – he did say that, but he didn’t seem particularly
concerned about what might lie ahead. It still seems to be sort of re-
litigating 2016.

TUR: Definitely. It was remarkable that he said we may never know if
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and by that reason, logic, may never
know if Donald Trump actually won the electoral college. Michael, are you
comfortable with this?

STEELE: No, I’m not. I just think, again, this is a reaction or a solution
searching for a problem, however you want to cast this. You know, having
spent a significant portion of my political life at the grassroots level
dealing with ballot boxes in a very lopsided state like Maryland where you
go in and looking at precincts, thousand people and three of them are
registered Republicans, OK, so let’s have some fun with this election,
right.

That’s the reality of it. It is what it is on the ground. The fact that
there’s a federal commission looking into this, that is not, you know,
taking into consideration what the states are already doing to sort of deal
with this on a day to day basis, year in and year out.

The reaction by states attorneys across the country and attorneys, generals
to this commission tells you that the states are put off by this and I
think there should be some real concern about where this leads to when it
ultimately says –

TUR: People worry for two things. One, for voter suppression that this is
ultimately what that is about.

ALTER: It is.

TUR: And then secondly, you know, if he’s saying that we don’t know if we
can trust the results of the 2016 election, what does that mean for the
2020 election?

ALTER: Well, this is such a threat to democracy, this commission, this
voter suppression commission which is what it should be properly called
because every step they’re taking in the queries that they’re making to
state governments and local governments is all intended to hold down votes,
Democratic votes that they are trying to keep people, they are trying to
keep from coming to the polls.

The people he’s collected in this commission, they all have long histories
of voter suppression that go back 20 years. So that’s antidemocratic and
raising doubts about the legitimacy of an election is antidemocratic. Both
of them undermine the faith that we have in our system. It’s very, very
important for us, moving forward, and if we get into a situation like a
banana republic situation where every election, nobody believes the
returns, we’re in trouble.

TUR: Again, they just say that what they’re doing is trying to make sure
that everything is fair and done honestly. That’s what they say.

STEELE: The president won.

TUR: The president wanted to find out what was going on with the voter
fraud that he claimed existed. He tweeted it out right afterwards, 3 to 5
million people voted illegally, and if they didn’t do that, I would have
won the popular vote and then he issued an executive order for this voter
commission.

STEELE: This is all about not winning the popular vote.

TUR: I want to get you on the next topic. We are going to stop here. Beth,
Michael, Jonathan. Stay with us. Still ahead, new insight into how voters
in key Trump counties are grading the president’s first six months in
office.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back. They want the steak without the sizzle. That’s the
message we got from Americans in Trump counties when they were asked about
this president’s first six months in office. According to new numbers from
our NBC News Wall Street Journal poll, the Americans in quote, Trump
counties, seem to like this president’s substance a lot more than that his
style.

His efforts to keep jobs in the U.S., they love it by a huge 61-point
margin. His tough talking stance on North Korea, they love that too by a
46-point margin. A lot more folks support his travel ban than oppose it.
It’s the same story with his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court.
Those are all the predominantly issues of substance.

It’s the issues of style that get a bit hairier. Americans in Trump
counties oppose his use of Twitter by a whopping 38-point margin. His
handling of the Russia issue is under water by 31 points. His decision not
to release his tax returns is not popular either, and neither are his
efforts to replace Obamacare. More folks oppose his much withdrawal from
the Paris Climate Agreement than support it.

It’s the same story with both his criticism of the media and his decision
to fire James Comey, who spur the appointment of special council in
reaction to, you guess it, a Trump tweet. The message to the president from
Trump counties, Trump voters is pretty clear, keep your eyes on job and
security, and keep your hands off the iPhone. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back. It’s time for “The Lid.” Let’s bring back our panel.
Beth Fouhy, Michael Steele, Jonathan Alter. Beth, this was the same thing
we saw during the primaries too and the general election. Folks liked
Donald Trump. They were amused by him, but really wanted him to stop using
Twitter. They wanted him to pull it back, they want him to focus on
substance, but he won.

FOUHY: He did. And a lot of same people are still with him, still behind
him. Most polling showing up 85, 88 percent of Republicans are there. He
has a base and he knows it. And what he’s doing –

TUR: He’s allowed to do whatever he wants on the margins?

FOUHY: It appears that his strategy is very much base centric. It’s not
bringing the country together in any meaningful way. The problem here is
that if you dig deeper into the polls, his support among independents and
people who perhaps are sort of holding their nose is really starting to
sink. That base may be the only thing left for him if he doesn’t start dong
things that bring the country together.

TUR: Does he have any reason to trust the polls?

STEELE: Yes, I think he does. I think he does and his internal polls are
probably confirming a lot of this. In real estate, it’s location, location,
location. For Donald Trump and politics, it’s deliverables, deliverables,
deliverables.

That’s going to be the turning point with those Trump counties is when
those deliverables get delivered or not. That’s the next stage which is why
he’s probably pressing on health care and few other things.

TUR: Can’t he just say I tried to deliver but the Republicans or Democrats

STEELE: He can say that and –

ALTER: He can try that and he can probably do that fairly effectively, but
that poll wasn’t just Trump voters. Those were Trump counties including
Democrats and independents. The real warning signs in there, he was
carrying a lot of those counties 75-25 whereas Romney carried them 60-40.
If the Democrats can make them 60-40 counties, even if Trump wins them, the
Democrat will be elected president.

TUR: Keep an eye on those soft Democrats and those independent and those
moderate Republicans who just voted for Donald Trump because of their
worries about Hillary Clinton. Guys, thank you very much. After the break,
bringing home the bacon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: In case you missed it, D.C. is a town steeped in tradition. It’s also
a town that loves a good political stunt. In case you missed it, today is
one of those days that combine both. The annual unveiling of the
congressional pig book from the watchdog group Citizens Against Government
Waste.

The pig book highlights more of the ridiculous pork in D.C. No, not that
kind of pork although that is Faye the pig and she was at today’s event.
We’re talking about what known as pork of barrel spending or earmarks for
lawmakers’ pet projects. And Faye wasn’t the only pig at the party.

(LAUGHTER)

TUR: It seems like that other pig, remember Senator Ernst’s ad about –
this is ridiculous. Making him squeal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, pig foot. Good to see you again.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Notice he’s always at the other end of the line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: What is going on in Washington, DC? That guy looks ridiculous! Or
lady.

That’s all for tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with more MTP Daily. I’ll
try to get it together by then.

Have a good night, guys.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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