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THE SITUATION ROOM
Lurching from Crisis to Crisis; Twin U.S. Raids Against Terror Targets; Interview With Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Rep. Steve Israel; Redskins Name Change Controversy; Space Movie Reality Check
Aired October 7, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, a week into the government shutdown, a much greater financial crisis already looming. In 10 days, the United States may start drowning in its own red ink, but amid all the harsh words from both sides, a cryptic comment from the White House could offer a glimmer, a glimmer of hope.
What if, what if the debt ceiling deadline passes with no deal and America can't pay its bills? We are taking a closer look at a very scary scenario.
And twin U.S. raids aimed at high value terror targets in Africa, a top al Qaeda suspect is captured. But an attempt to snatch an Al- Shabab leader has a different outcome.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Just seven hours from now will mark one week since the start of the government shutdown. There's still no end in sight to that, yet the clock is already ticking toward a much greater crisis. Ten days from now, the United States could start defaulting on its bills unless Congress votes to raise the nation's debt ceiling. And there's also harsh new rhetoric from President Obama and the House speaker, John Boehner. But the White House today may have signaled a possible -- possible compromise on the debt ceiling.
Let's get the very latest from CNN's chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, who's here with me -- Dana, what is the latest, because this -- this is moving rapidly and potentially could get out of control.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, you know, it tells you everything you need to know, Wolf, that when the White House signals even the slightest wiggle room, even if it's not on anything Republicans are demanding, it's taken as news and parsed very closely. That's what happened when the two sides -- happens, rather -- when the two sides are so entrenched on twin economic crises.
BASH (voice-over): The government has been shut down since last week. The country could default next week. And the president and House speaker spent the day talking past each other.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason that Speaker Boehner hasn't called a vote on it is because he doesn't, apparently, want to see the government shutdown end at the moment.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president had us all down at the White House last week, only to remind me that he was not going to negotiate over keeping the government open or over the looming need to increase the debt limit.
BASH: Let's start with the debt ceiling deadline, just 10 days away. The White House signaled some flexibility on timing. The president's spokesman said they prefer to raise the debt ceiling for a year, but could accept shorter.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And we're not saying today that the debt ceiling ought to be or can be any particular length of time.
BASH: But timing isn't that relevant if the president insists he won't negotiate anything as a condition to raising the debt ceiling.
OBAMA: We're not going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy and middle class families.
BASH: And the House speaker says any hike in the debt ceiling must include talks on issues directly related to the nation's debt, like entitlement reform.
In an attempt to make the president look unreasonable, some 20 times Sunday, John Boehner said all he wants is a conversation.
BOEHNER: My goal here is not to have the United States default on their debt. My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.
BASH: On the government shutdown, seven days in, still no end in sight. The president taunted the speaker for refusing to schedule a vote on a clean, no strings attached bill to fund and reopen the federal government.
OBAMA: If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it.
BASH: That in response to Boehner insisting the votes are not there.
But some of Boehner's rank and file moderate Republicans disagree.
(on camera): Do you agree with that?
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: With respect to the speaker, I do not agree. I believe that if a clean CR were put on the House floor, that it would likely pass with more than 218 votes, I believe comfortably. BASH (voice-over): One hundred and ninety-five Democrats, trying to call Boehner's bluff, signed a letter demanding a vote on a no strings attached bill to fund the government. That would mean 22 Republicans would have to defy their leadership.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BASH: Now on the question of whether a clean bill could pass the House, CNN has put a vote count together. Right now, we have identified 200 Democrats -- that's including some delegates -- and 14 Republicans who have either publicly stated or told us they would vote for a clean continuing resolution, which, of course, means a bill to fund the government, to end the shutdown.
John Boehner needs 217 to pass a clean bill. So by our count, he is short. There are five Republicans who are, for lack of a better way to say it, squishy on this issue.
But the thing to keep in mind is, though, even though technically, when you go down number by number, we don't have the votes, two things. One is this is very much a chicken or the egg situation. Several Republicans have not said publicly that they are going to -- that they would vote for this and won't do so because why take the political risk if John Boehner isn't going to put this on the floor?
The other point I'd like to make is that I was talking to a senior Republican source today who said point blank the main reason John Boehner is not putting this on the floor is because that would be the end of his speakership.
BLITZER: And Gloria Borger is here, as well, with us as well, and Ryan Lizza, our contributor from the "New Yorker" magazine -- but, Dana, before I bring them in, a quick follow up on that. All 200 Democrats, every single one -- there are 200 Democrats in the House -- they are now committed that they would vote in favor of what's called this clean CR, this resolution without any strings attached, including those five conservative Democrats who refused to sign that letter over the weekend promising that they would vote for it?
BASH: We know that there are 200. My understanding is that five of those, from a senior Democratic source, are actually delegates.
BLITZER: No, no. There's five conservative Democrats...
BASH: Right. Right. I
BLITZER: -- who refused to sign the...
BASH: No, I understand.
BLITZER: There's five separate nonvoting delegates...
BASH: I understand. No, I understand.
BLITZER: -- who did sign.
BASH: My point is that I don't think that those five are on board yet.
BLITZER: The five conservative...
BLITZER: -- Republicans?
GLORIA BORGER, HOST: Right.
BLITZER: Because that would bring it down to 195.
BASH: Correct. Exactly.
BLITZER: But if -- I suspect, though, we did call...
BLITZER: -- those five conservative Democrats and asked their offices, if a clean CR comes up, would you sign it?
And I think they told us yes. So that would bring it up to 200. You'd still need 17 Republicans...
BLITZER: And as you're saying right now, they probably have 14, based on our count, for sure.
BASH: We have 14 based on our count, for sure. The thing is, is that there are five who are not answering us directly. But most importantly, there are people who are just not saying, because there's no point in taking a political risk for something that's not going to happen.
When I say political risk, it's because they could be...
BORGER: They don't want...
BORGER: And they don't want to have a...
BASH: They don't want a...
BASH: -- they don't want to have the threat of a primary.
BLITZER: Here's what I was told by Peter King, the moderate Republican from New York, Charlie Dent, in Dana's piece, and Gloria -- and whatever...
BLITZER: -- in Dana's piece.
But Charlie Dent, if the speaker were to allow...
BLITZER: -- an open vote, that a whole bunch of...
BORGER: Sure. Sure, look, they don't...
BLITZER: -- other Republicans would join.
BORGER: -- they don't want to buck the speaker, nor do they want to destroy the speaker. I think that those are two things to keep in mind. The speaker doesn't want to destroy the speaker.
So, you know, I think what we're looking for here is some form of immaculate conception, where everyone can kind of agree that this needs to get done and sort of move on from it. So you need to find someone who is really good at the art of contrivance, because what we're looking for here in Washington is a contrived way to get out of this problem, because both sides have backed themselves into corners and it's kind of difficult to figure out how they're going to do it.
BLITZER: So -- right.
Is there any White House strategy now, serious strategy, from the presidential level, that would allow some sort of compromise?
I know it's not necessarily a politically accurate word, right, but compromise to emerge, to get the government off of the shutdown and to raise that debt ceiling?
Is there something realistic that the White House is ready to put on the table that would convince John Boehner let this thing end?
RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORKER": We haven't seen anything. We saw the president speak today when he was over at FEMA. He didn't put anything new on the table, right.
The thing we've been saying for a week-and-a-half is if he's going to break his no negotiations pledge, he has to do it in a way that makes it seem like he didn't break that pledge, right.
BLITZER: How does he do that?
LIZZA: Well, one way he could do that is they could add something to the debt ceiling increase that gives instructions...
LIZZA: -- for Congress to enter into a budget negotiation, right? So it doesn't actually have the force of law, but it sets up a process for the two sides to get together and put together some kind of bargain.
LIZZA: That would...
BLITZER: And to pretend it's not linked.
LIZZA: Exactly. It would be instructions that you have to do X, Y and Z, but it wouldn't have the force of law.
BORGER: But, you know, the thing that we're...
BLITZER: Some kind of framework.
BORGER: The thing that we're hearing, also, is -- and you and I talked about this earlier today, Dana -- is that they seem to be kind of, from both sides, they're talking about the larger picture more now, this question of entitlement reform, what you could do after all of this is over, as opposed to just talking about ObamaCare, ObamaCare, ObamaCare.
The House speaker, over the weekend, was sort of not talking about it as much as he was, because it's clear, they're -- they're all trying to look for a way out of this and to figure out a way to contrive it.
LIZZA: And, remember, Boehner never wanted the debate to be about ObamaCare.
BORGER: Of course not.
LIZZA: He wanted it to be about...
BORGER: Of course not.
LIZZA: -- Social Security and the sequester...
LIZZA: -- Social Security, Medicare and the sequester. That's the deal he has sort of put on the table.
BLITZER: But he owns it now.
BORGER: And they're going to...
BLITZER: He owns that debate...
BORGER: And there have been...
BLITZER: -- now...
BLITZER: Because he's so deep into it.
BORGER: He does.
BASH: He does own it now, which is what is so fascinating, because the shutdown is so dependent and linked now to the debt ceiling. In fact, a Republican source said to me, just imagine if John Boehner capitulated and he agreed to have a clean bill to fund the government on the floor.
Then where would we be in the debt ceiling?
There would be -- it would be Armageddon.
BASH: There would be an absolute revolt...
BASH: -- among conservatives.
BORGER: I agree.
BASH: And that would actually weaken his hand when it comes to the debt ceiling.
BASH: And I think that's really true.
BORGER: I agree.
LIZZA: One other possibility here is what if Obama gave some policy concession in return for the abolition of the debt ceiling vote?
In other words...
BLITZER: Forever, you mean?
LIZZA: Forever. So you never have -- so you're taking the nuclear device away from...
BORGER: Yes, but...
LIZZA: -- the Republican Party.
BORGER: -- Republicans wouldn't agree to that.
BASH: No way would they agree with that.
BASH: Absolutely not.
LIZZA: What would they...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way.
LIZZA: -- what would they...
LIZZA: -- want in return for that?
A medical device tax?
BORGER: No, no.
BORGER: They'd want a lot more than the medical device tax. Republicans -- and, you know, the debt ceiling...
BORGER: -- the question of the debt ceiling -- in fact, if you look at the polls, people believe when you're raising the debt ceiling, you ought to deal with the debt. And so...
BORGER: -- so they're -- they feel like they're on terra firma on that one, right?
LIZZA: The Republicans...
BORGER: They might do a...
LIZZA: It's not an easy vote for them, though, you know what I mean?
BORGER: But they're...
LIZZA: So they might want to just...
BASH: It's not an easy vote for anybody.
BORGER: Right. But there's...
LIZZA: I think (INAUDIBLE)...
BASH: I think even some Democrats... LIZZA: I think that could -- if -- if Obama was willing to give something -- if Obama could get the abolition of the debt ceiling, I think he could break his no negotiations pledge. But like you said, Republicans may...
BORGER: No. And there were some Republicans talking about a short- term, you know, funding of the government tied to the debt ceiling. And I don't know that that's gone anywhere, actually...
BLITZER: Why doesn't the president just pick up the phone, tell John Boehner, come over here, just forget about Harry Reid, forget about Nancy Pelosi, forget about Mitch McConnell. Just John Boehner and him, one-on-one, the two of them start talking. And it might not take a few hours, it might take a few days.
Why doesn't he do that?
That's the way Bill Clinton...
BLITZER: -- used to work with Newt Gingrich during those two shutdowns in '95...
LIZZA: His position...
BLITZER: -- and '96?
LIZZA: -- his position is as soon as you make that call and enter into negotiations, that you are encouraging John Boehner and Republicans, maybe Democrats, in the future, whoever, to use the debt ceiling as a source of leverage.
BLITZER: But the debt ceiling has been used as that for 20 times...
LIZZA: The White House story...
LIZZA: -- is that it hasn't been used in this way.
LIZZA: It hasn't been -- we haven't gone this close -- what are we...
BASH: To the deadline.
LIZZA: 10 days out...
BASH: Right. LIZZA: -- before the deadline.
LIZZA: Economic catastrophe...
BLITZER: In 2011...
LIZZA: -- in 10 days.
BLITZER: -- remember...
BLITZER: -- America's credit rating slid because of this debate...
BLITZER: -- that was going on then.
LIZZA: -- for the White House.
LIZZA: They think they messed up. They think we entered...
LIZZA: Into negotiations...
LIZZA: -- and we made this...
LIZZA: -- worse.
BASH: That's exactly right.
BASH: And that's why the White House...
BORGER: And what can he deliver?
BASH: -- says that the president wants to break the fever.
BASH: That's what his whole...
BORGER: But also, what could John Boehner...
BASH: Intention is here.
BORGER: -- what could John Boehner deliver, actually?
So if Boehner were to meet with the president, and were to say, OK, Mr. -- can he actually promise something?
BLITZER: He could promise...
BORGER: That he...
BLITZER: -- an up or down vote.
BORGER: -- that he knows...
BLITZER: He could promise a...
BORGER: Yes, but...
BLITZER: -- a clean vote.
BORGER: But according to our numbers...
LIZZA: -- to Republicans.
BLITZER: If he wants to be a profile in courage, he could do something like that. And if he decides, you know what, I'm not going to be speaker...
BORGER: But he's not going to do that.
BLITZER: -- after 2014 anyhow, I am going to make sure the government is working and I am going to make sure there's no default. He could do that, if he wanted to.
BLITZER: I'm not saying he will, but he could do that if he wanted.
BASH: He could also go on the House floor and sing show tunes. I mean I just don't...
BASH: You're right...
BORGER: No, you're right.
BASH: No, no, you're right. You're right. I just think that it's fair -- at this point, just like you all said, he's so far down this road... BORGER: Right.
BASH: -- it's hard to see him -- how he gets out.
BLITZER: Dana Bash, thanks very much.
Gloria Borger, Ryan Lizza, good work.
Just ahead, is there a way for the two sides to end the shutdown and prevent a debt default?
We're going to have a debate later this hour. Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling and Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, they will be here live. They will debate.
Also, a pair of bold and risky raids against top terror targets, a key al Qaeda suspect and an Al-Shabab leader.
Why did the U.S. act now?
BLITZER: Very bold and very risky. The United States carried out twin special operations raids against high value targets in Africa this weekend. One team grabbed a key al Qaeda suspect in Libya, the other failed to snatch an al Shabaab leader in Somalia.
Let's bring in our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto. He's got the very latest. Bold, indeed, and very risky.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. Both these attacks show the administration's new focus on terror threats emanating in particular from Africa. The Libya raid connected to an attack that took place there years ago, the 1998 embassy bombings.
The Somalia raid, however, more forward-looking, driven by U.S. concerns about al Shabaab's growing focus on attacks abroad, including targeting U.S. interests in the region with sophisticated attacks like the one we saw in Nairobi.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): The Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, left dozens dead, a luxury mall destroyed, and a country terrorized. It is attacks like this, bold, sophisticated, and beyond Somalia's borders that helped lead the U.S. to target al Shabaab on its home territory. It was a daring operation. Late Friday night, SEAL Team Six, the same team that killed Osama Bin Laden, launched from a commercial ship towards shore, aiming to capture the al Shabaab leader known as Ikrima.
Met by a hail of gunfire at a shoreside villa, the SEAL team withdrew without their men. Just hours later and 3,000 miles away in Libya, another daring operation, this one in broad daylight in downtown Tripoli. The target, Abu Anas al-Libi, picked up by members of the elite U.S. delta force. His family said they surrounded his car, many in masks, and rushed al-Libi away as his wife watched in terror from a window. She spoke exclusively with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Everything happened rapidly. They grabbed him and shoved him in the car. I saw them doing this and saying get in, but wasn't sure that was my husband. The cars then sped off like a rocket.
SCIUTTO: Al-Libi, a senior al Qaeda operative wanted for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, is now on a U.S. navy ship in the Mediterranean. Ikrima, the target of the Somalia raid, remains at large. The operations show America's increasing focus on the growing terror threat emanating from Africa. In Mali and Algeria, al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb, in Nigeria, Boko haram, al Shabaab in Somalia, and just across the gulf of Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, now the U.S. is relying on smaller, swifter operations. James Liddy is a former Navy SEAL commander.
CMDR. JAMES LIDDY, (RET) FORMER NAVY SEAL: The United States is showing once again that it's not going to let terrorists dictate the war on terror. A surgical strike makes a lot of sense to try to minimize the casualties that would ensue if you had a larger footprint or bigger operation.
SCIUTTO: Still, these two raids show the difficulty of that strategy. One team gets its man, the other does not. Both in high risk operations. That said, a U.S. official told me today emphatically the U.S. does not see the Somalia operation as a failure, rather Wolf, he told me it shows that we can, quote, "knock on their door" anywhere in the world. It showed that we can get eyes on them and guns on them very quickly.
BLITZER: It also shows a lot about this president, President Obama. He had to authorize both of these raids at the presidential level, and it basically says to terrorists out there, it may be 15 years, 15 years since the U.S. embassy in Tanzania and Kenya were destroyed and a lot of people were killed, but the U.S. is going to come and get you, so just be aware of that. It sends a powerful message of where this president is coming from.
SCIUTTO: No question. Bin Laden caught ten years after 9/11. But these are very risky operations, too. They'll put boots on the ground, maybe not tens of thousands, but a SEAL Team Six with life and limb at risk.
BLITZER: And I think he also is trying to send a message to Ayman al- Zawahiri, the new leader of al qaeda, used to be the number two under Bin Laden and others, especially those terrorists who killed the U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, in Benghazi and three other Americans. The U.S. is going to be patient, the U.S. is watching. Just be ready, be nervous the rest of your life, because the U.S. is not going to forget and there's going to be an order to either capture or kill. I assume that was part of the thinking on U.S. officials.
SCIUTTO: Absolutely. To send a very powerful message. And that's what they're saying now. They got one man. They didn't get the other, but they've been successful in sending that message.
BLITZER: Yes. As soon as I heard that the president authorized these two missions, especially to get al-Libi 15 years after that, I thought this president was out channeling in Golda Meir after the Munich Olympic massacre. She called in all of her security commanders and said, whatever it takes, no matter how long, you will find and either capture or kill those responsible for killing those Israeli athletes.
The movie, you know, "Munich," was a result, depicted all of that. I immediately said to myself well, this president has got that Golda Meir instinct in him as well.
SCIUTTO: Lots of movie material here, too.
BLITZER: Yes. I think you're right. All right. Thanks very much, Jim Sciutto reporting.
Coming up, some say it's a fiscal doomsday scenario. We're taking a closer look at what really happens if the government defaults on the debt in the coming days.
And we also have two lawmakers here, they're getting ready to debate, a democrat and a Republican. Our debate with them and more coming up.
BLITZER: So, what if there's no deal to extend the debt ceiling by October 17th, and the nation's bills come due with no money to pay for them all? CNN's Tom Foreman has been taking a closer look into that dire scenario. Tom, lot of people are worried. Tell us why.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Wolf, they're worried because of this. If you defaulted on your mortgage, if you didn't pay it one month, you know the consequences would go beyond your front door. It would affect your credit, it would affect your dealings with the bank, it might affect your standings in the community.
In a worst case scenario, this is what some analysts fear about a U.S. default, that it would set up a domino effect around the world in finances. How would this happen? On the day the government did not have enough money to cover everything it had to pay for, that would push over the domino number one, the default itself, and that would set up a difficult choice.
Does the government keep funding fully all the programs people are counting on, Social Security, the military, the Department of Agriculture, everything else, or does it focus more on getting interest to the people who gave it money before to keep running, paying those people back. Either way you go, there are consequences because when those dominoes kick over, then you have what follows.
Consumer confidence, all those people out there who are counting on money who now don't get it from the government, they stop spending because they don't feel confident about spending. Businesses who are counting on those people to come to them or, perhaps, like a Lockheed Martin counting on big government contracts, they pull back from the economy because they can't count on that money, and of course, the stock market.
Everybody who's involved in investing on that, they pull back and that kicks it over to the next level of dominoes back here. Now, businesses start saying we have to lay people off. We certainly can't create jobs in this environment. Investors say if businesses are in that much trouble, we can't invest in them right now. That means your savings, your 401(k), everything else you have in the bank, becomes worth a little bit less. And if there's anybody out there who'll still loan money to the United States at that point, they say this is not the safe bet it once was.
Our interest rates are going to be much, much higher. And because the United States is really the cornerstone of the world economy, that could keep rippling beyond U.S. shores around the planet to many other places. Now, people can argue about whether or not there are stopgap measures or whether or not all of this would happen or on what timetable.
But the bottom line, Wolf, is everyone will agree on this. It's a lot easier to push these dominoes over than it is to ever get them back upright again -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's a good point. Tom Foreman, excellent explanation. Thanks very much.
Wall Street clearly worrying about the debt ceiling mess. Nervous investors sent the Dow down another 136 points today. The S&P and the NASDAQ indices were also down almost one percent.
So, what's the answer to the shutdown stalemate, the debt ceiling dispute? Joining us now, two members of Congress, Republican Jeb Hensarling of Texas. He's the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Democratic congressman, Steve Israel, of New York. He chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
I just want to make sure both of you agree with that dire scenario. Congressman Hensarling, first to you, that Tom Foreman just laid out, do you accept that?
REP. JEB HENSARLING, (R) TEXAS: Oh, I think it would be quite dire for America to default on its bonds, on its sovereign debt. That's why House Republicans back in May put forth H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, to say that the United States cannot default on its debt. Basically, it takes payment of interest and principal on our debt out of the calculation of the debt ceiling, and yet, the president has issued a veto threat on this.
The only conclusion you can reach is that he wants to use this as a hostage to force Congress to rubber stamp his spendthrift ways that are bankrupting our nation. That's not what the American people want. The debt ceiling is there for a purpose. I mean, it's like the smoke alarm and Democrats want to unplug the smoke alarm and Republicans want to go out and fight the fire. That's the difference.
BLITZER: Congressman Israel, is that right?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL, (D) NEW YORK: Well, no surprise that I'm going to fundamentally disagree. And quite honestly, you know, I was in my district this morning in New York, people are tired of that kind of rhetoric. They're tired of the blame and the sound bites, Wolf. They want solutions. And there is a solution to this.
Everything that Tom just mentioned, the consequences of a default, entirely avoidable. Jeb, you and I can go on the floor of the House, you just heard the bells ring, we can go on the floor of the House in an hour. We can reopen the government, 195 Democrats. That's 99 percent of our caucus will
BLITZER: One at a time.
ISRAEL: Please let me finish.
We will provide you with 98 percent of our caucus, if you could find 25 members of your own. That's step one.
Step two, we will negotiate a long-term continued responsible and balanced approach to our debt, as we have. We will cut spending, we'll work with you on that. We will generate revenues. We'll work with you on that.
But you want us to negotiate with unreasonableness. And you have thrown in the kitchen sink...
BLITZER: All right.
ISRAEL: -- in these negotiations.
BLITZER: Go ahead, Congressman.
HENSARLING: Steve, your party has become the party of no. The president and Harry Reid could not think -- make things more clear that they refuse to negotiate. House Republicans put on one, two, three, four different proposals on the table. Now, we're not through negotiating, but we are through negotiating with ourselves.
And, again, if you want to take the specter of default off the table, then why don't you call upon the president, why don't you call upon Harry Reid, to take it off the table and pass The Full Faith and Credit Act?
ISRAEL: Here's why.
HENSARLING: Now when it comes. Let me...
BLITZER: All right, let him explain.
Go ahead, Congressman Israel.
HENSARLING: And we...
BLITZER: Answer the question that Congressman Hensarling just raised...
ISRAEL: I would love to.
BLITZER: Why won't you support that legislation...
BLITZER: -- so that there won't be this crisis raising the debt ceiling...
BLITZER: -- every few years?
ISRAEL: For two reasons. Number one, because Jeb's legislation has the absolute wrong priorities for the middle class. What Jeb's legislation says is, we can default. They accept the fact that we can default. And if we do, China gets paid first.
So if you're on Social Security, you get in line.
If you're on Medicare, you get in line. If you're a veteran, you get in line. But an investment bank in China, you're first in line.
That's the first reason I oppose this.
And secondly, it's not necessary. We don't have to have bills ordering the priorities for paying our debt if Republicans will simply agree to pay the credit card bills that they themselves have -- have mounted...
ISRAEL: -- over the past several years.
HENSARLING: So, Wolf, the short answer is, is we're going to hold the specter of default hostage for our spending priorities -- the very same spending...
HENSARLING: -- priorities that have created more debt in the president's first four years than our nation's first 200. We are on the road to national bankruptcy.
ISRAEL: Jeb... HENSARLING: And what you hear from the Washington class is no, we'll deal with it tomorrow...
HENSARLING: -- we'll deal with it tomorrow.
The debt ceiling vote, half the time we've had debt ceiling votes, we have attached to it something to bend the cost curve to try to put us back on the road to fiscal solvency. And, in fact, pay as you go -- when your party was in the majority, was attached...
BLITZER: All right...
HENSARLING: -- to the debt ceiling. Graham Rudman, The Balanced Budget Act, the latest sequester, all attached to the debt ceiling.
BLITZER: Congressman, go...
BLITZER: -- go ahead.
ISRAEL: Let's end the filibuster and let's talk about reality, Jeb.
Have you voted for farm subsidies?
Have you voted for farm subsidies?
HENSARLING: I don't believe in farm subsidies. You're changing the subject.
ISRAEL: I have -- no, no, I'm not.
HENSARLING: Why are you holding...
ISRAEL: Here's the point I'm making.
HENSARLING: -- why are you holding...
ISRAEL: -- please let me make the point. Please don't interrupt. I -- I've listened to your point and I respect your point. But that's the problem with Washington, one side believes that they have all the absolutes and they don't let the other side talk. So let me talk just for a moment.
Both parties have been on the floor of the House. And both parties, in fact, have supported different kinds of investments and spending. Your party, in fact, has led the fight to support spending for things like farm subsidies.
To now say that it's OK for us to do that spending, but not pay the bill for that spending, and hold the middle class hostage, I think, is fundamentally wrong.
HENSARLING: OK. Well, I can tell you what the fundamental difference is. American families understand that there is a fundamental difference when you borrow money for a mortgage, paying that mortgage, versus canceling your vacation to Las Vegas, because you can no longer afford it. OK, families every single day have to get around the kitchen table and prioritize.
Payments on our bonds are not equivalent to funding the travel expenses for the Alabama watermelon queen, paying for pottery classes in Morocco and the thousands of other things that squander the hardworking...
BLITZER: All right...
HENSARLING: -- money of the hardworking taxpayer.
BLITZER: Very quickly, answer that, because I have one follow-up question for Congressman Hensarling.
Go ahead, Congressman Israel.
ISRAEL: Jeb, we're -- we're all for sitting down with you, as we have, as we did in the last debt ceiling cliff that you perpetrated on the American people, to negotiate specific spending cuts. The Budget Control Act cuts spending by over $1 trillion. I supported that. We are ready, willing and able to negotiate going forward.
BLITZER: All right.
ISRAEL: We are going to support spending reductions. We also are going to support generating revenues, because you can't say that you're not going to exceed the debt ceiling because you don't want to raise taxes on the wealthiest.
Let's take a balanced...
BLITZER: All right...
ISRAEL: -- approach, the kind of balanced approach the American people want us to take.
BLITZER: One final question for Congressman Hensarling.
Here's what the president said today, urging you, Republicans, to do this.
Listen to the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it. Let the bill go to the floor and let's see what happens. Just vote. Let every member of Congress vote their conscience and they can determine whether or not they want to shut the government down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, so why not just allow an up and down vote on a clean resolution, without any strings attached. If you have the votes, fine. If, as Speaker Boehner says, there are no votes there and the president says there are, why not simply allow the vote, Congressman Hensarling?
HENSARLING: Well, Wolf, we have bipartisan support now to pay our veterans and the president said no.
BLITZER: No, no, no, no.
HENSARLING: We have bipartisan votes...
BLITZER: But why -- why not allow a...
HENSARLING: We have bi...
BLITZER: -- simple up and down vote on this...
HENSARLING: Why don't we...
BLITZER: -- (INAUDIBLE) resolution?
HENSARLING: No, Wolf why don't -- why don't we take votes that have already passed the House with strong bipartisan support to keep our parks open?
The president has said no.
To pay our veterans?
The president has said no.
To fund the Women and Infant Children program?
BLITZER: All of that is...
HENSARLING: The president has said no.
BLITZER: -- all of that is true, but why...
HENSARLING: Pediatric cancer...
BLITZER: -- but here's...
HENSARLING: -- research...
BLITZER: -- but the question...
HENSARLING: -- at the National Institutes of Health...
BLITZER: -- are you afraid...
HENSARLING: The president has said no.
BLITZER: Here's the question.
Are you afraid the president is right, if that clean CR comes up for a vote, it will pass?
HENSARLING: No, I'm not -- I'm not in the last. But I -- here -- they are theorizing about...
ISRAEL: It will pass.
HENSARLING: -- some bipartisan vote, but instead, we have bipartisan support in the House and the only person who's trying to ensure the key functions of the government are shut down is the president, Harry Reid and a number of their Democratic Congressional allies...
ISRAEL: Jeb, you got (INAUDIBLE)...
HENSARLING: -- but not all of them.
ISRAEL: -- I have 195...
HENSARLING: We're getting...
BLITZER: All right, hold on.
HENSARLING: -- 25 to 35 Democrats on all of these votes.
So why isn't the president opening up the government?
Again, he wants to use it hostage for his radical spending agenda, that's helping bankrupt America...
BLITZER: All right...
HENSARLING: -- and keeping tens of millions...
BLITZER: -- a final thought, Congressman Israel.
HENSARLING: -- our fellow Americans out of work.
ISRAEL: We have 195 Democrats willing to support reopening the government in the next 15 minutes on your budget, Jeb, on your $998 billion budget. Take yes for an answer.
BLITZER: All right, we'll leave it on that note.
I suspect that vote is not going to happen any time soon, unless the speaker decides he wants that vote to happen. And so far, he has said -- said no. And the president says no on all these piecemeal pieces of legislation that Congressman Hensarling is supporting, together with all the other Republicans.
A good debate. Let's continue this discussion down the road.
Thanks very much to both of you for joining us.
HENSARLING: Thank you.
ISRAEL: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Up next, new information on the chase that locked down the U.S. Capitol.
And should the NFL's Washington Redskins change their name? President Obama enters that controversy as well.
BLITZER: Should the Washington Redskins change their name? President Obama now weighing in. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Getting some new information on why the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six ended its Somalia operation. Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. What are you learning, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, new just at this hour, Navy SEALs on the ground in Somalia, reported at that compound they were seeing children emerge being used by al Shabaab as human shields. So, there were children standing between the Navy SEALs and their target in the middle of an intense firefight. It was seeing those children, we are told, that made the Navy SEALs make the decision to abort the mission and retreat. They could not get to their target.
They had children standing there. They decided to back off. We now know after several days why the Navy SEALs now retreated because that is not something that Navy SEALs do. Wolf?
BLITZER: Obviously a good point. We'll have more on this in the next hour as well. Barbara, thanks for that new information.
We are also getting some new information on that car chase here in Washington that ended near the U.S. Capitol with the shooting death of a young mother whose baby was in the back seat. Let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent, Joe Johns. He has been combing through some newly released police reports. What are you finding out, Joe?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. This new information comes to us from this, the search warrant affidavit that D.C. police filed so that a federal magistrate would allow them to search the car Miriam Carey was driving last week here in Washington, D.C.
The affidavit tells us a little bit more about how all of it started at the White House. It says she refused to stop her vehicle at a White House checkpoint, which we knew, and made a u-turn to try to get away. The U.S. Secret Service officer attempted to block the vehicle with a bicycle rack, apparently, but the vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack and knocked the officer to the ground.
After that, the wild police chase we all know about up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol, where officers apparently opened fire twice on Miriam Carey's car before ultimately striking her. Apparently Carey was shot by U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police after she drove over a median strip and refused to stop while driving her car in reverse. Carey's child, who was also in the car, was removed from the vehicle uninjured.
So this gives us a fuller understanding, Wolf, of what happened even as the family of Miriam Carey is making the case publicly that the shooting was unjustified.
BLITZER: Yes, this issue will continue for some time, I'm sure. Joe, thank you very much.
Still ahead, more news, including on a much lighter note, the number one film at the box office. Jeanne Moos gets astronauts to review the film "Gravity."
Straight ahead, the controversy over the Washington Redskins' name heating up, thanks to President Obama.
BLITZER: A simmering controversy heating up once again right now thanks to the latest remarks by President Obama. He's directly waded into the debate over the name of the Washington pro-football team, the Redskins.
CNN's Brian Todd is here with more on what's going on.
What is going on?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the president has spoken out in favor of changing the nickname. And that has drawn a strong response from the Redskins, but it's also given Native American groups some new momentum in their 40-plus year campaign to get rid of that name.
TODD (voice-over): A standoff that seems like the government shutdown, neither side budging, the president firing a news-making salvo, but this Washington drama is over the nickname of the city's NFL franchise.
Native-American groups feel they've got new momentum in their efforts to get rid of the name Redskins.
RAY HALBRITTER, ONEIDA INDIAN NATION: It's about the way our children are affected by the imagery of Washington's name and mascot.
TODD: Ray Halbritter and the Oneida Indian Nation are making a new push after President Obama's remark that if he were the owner of a team and its name offended a sizable group of people, quote, "I'd think about changing it."
The Redskins are firing back through their attorney Lanny Davis.
LANNY DAVIS, WASHINGTON REDSKINS ATTORNEY: There should not be a name change, which is not about race. It's not about disrespect, it's about loving the Redskins.
TODD: Davis cited a poll this year showing four out of five Americans don't think the Redskins' name should be changed and the only poll, which asks Native Americans specifically about it, taken almost a decade ago. That surveys show the 9 out of 10 Native Americans were not bothered by the name.
(On camera): What do you make of the polling that shows -- that many Native Americans aren't offended and many others don't want the name changed?
HALBRITTER: The dictionary defined offensive racial epitaph. You shouldn't be using that to sell a national sports team to America or to the rest of the world.
TODD (voice-over): He's referring to the Miriam Webster Dictionary's definition of red-skin, which says it's usually offensive. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stepped lightly into the controversy.
ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: If we are offending one person, we need to be listening.
TODD: But Redskins' owner Dan Snyder, one of 32 owners who Goodell works for, said recently he'll never change the name. With both sides dug in --
(On camera): Is there a realistic chance it will ever change its name?
CINDY BOREN, WASHINGTON POST: I think there's a realistic chance in that if it affects sales, if suddenly it's no longer one of the most popular, you know, merchandise drivers for the league. I mean, it generates a tremendous am of money for the league. If that changes and people stop voting with their pocketbooks, yes, then it will change.
TODD: Cindy Boren and others who cover sports in Washington say they don't think that'll happen anytime soon with so many Redskins fans supporting the name and so much merchandising money still on the line. But the Oneida Indian Nation will get the NFL's ear soon. Both sides say they'll meet with each other about the Redskins' name next month -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And the other teams that have Indian-related names, the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians.
BLITZER: The Chicago Black Hawks. They have no problems with those names?
TODD: You know, most of the Native American people who speak out about this say that those -- they're offended by the actual logos. If you look at the logos of those -- some of those teams, some of those are not so great. But the names themselves, no, because it doesn't really have to do with the color of your skins, but the Redskins obviously does, and that's kind of where they draw that line.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much for that report.
Coming up, a rocky online debut for Obamacare. Have the glitches been fixed? Our medical team takes another test drive.
BLITZER: So what does a real-life astronaut make of the movie "Gravity"? Jeanne Moos gets his review. That's next.
BLITZER: So what do experts think of "Gravity"? Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who better to review the movie "Gravity" than a guy who doesn't just talk the talk, but has actually walked the space walk?
MIKE MASSIMINO, NASA ASTRONAUT: What you see is kind of like a bad day -- not just a bad day, but a bad day on steroids.
MOOS: On his two flights into space, Mike Massimino never had debris crash into him as Sandra Bullock does. Instead of being flung into space --
SANDRA BULLOCK, ACTRESS, "GRAVITY": I can't breathe.
MOOS -- Mike's space walks were like a slow dance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just allow a (INAUDIBLE) boost.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you.
MOOS: Nod a body slam, but when it comes to realism.
MASSIMINO: I was really excited when I saw the accuracy of my telescope and payload bay and tools. I wasn't looking at Sandra Bullock at all, sorry. I recognized my wire cutter.
MOOS: What Mike did not recognize was Sandra's heavy breathing.
(On camera): Stop panting.
MASSIMINO: That's not helpful. No, that is not helpful. When you're breathing heavy, you're using more oxygen.
MOOS (voice-over): Maybe it freaks you out to see Sandra untethered floating off into blackness.
BULLOCK: Anybody. Please call me.
MASSIMINO: Yes, I didn't like that idea, either.
MOOS: Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson nitpicked via Twitter, noting that nearly all satellites orbit earth west to east, not east to west as in the film. And he pondered why Bullock's hair, an otherwise convincing zero-gravity scenes, did not float freely on her head. As even Mike's short hair did.
MASSIMINO: It kind of poofs a little bit.
MOOS (on camera): The real astronaut doesn't quibble with Sandra Bullock's spacesuit. It's what's under her space suit that wasn't so realistic.
MASSIMINO: The undergarments were not accurate, but again, it's a movie.
MOOS (voice-over): And which would you rather see, Sandra Bullock in boy shorts or the fancy long underwear with tubing that real astronauts wear under their space suits?
While the movie astronauts were having their tethers severed, the worst thing that happened to Mike was a hole in his glove.
(On camera): So then you started going --
MASSIMINO: No, no, no panting.
MOOS (voice-over): Mike says he misses being up in space and the movie reminded him of being there.
MASSIMINO: For me, yes, I'm just an astronaut, I'm not a movie critic, but I give it a thumbs up.
MOOS (on camera): Just an astronaut.
(Voice-over): An astronaut more worried about holes in his glove than holes in the plot.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.