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Ex-DHS Secretary: DNC Refused Help in Russian Election Hack; House Speaker Paul Ryan Weekly Press Conference; Tensions Erupting Between Senators over Health Bill; Rep. Michael Burgess Reacts to Senate Health Bill. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired June 22, 2017 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D), FLORIDA: We are one of the two national political parties. It is astounding, when they had a member of Congress leading that organization, that no one felt it was more important when we had a foreign enemy intruding on one of the two political party's networks to do anything more than lob a phone call in to our tech support through our main switchboard.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: How can that be true? Secretary Johnson says DNC rebuked the help offered. You are saying no one contacted you.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Secretary Johnson is utterly misinformed. That is not accurate. Much has been written about the time line of events, by "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," that document through multiple sources, including me, that the FBI and other federal agencies did virtually nothing to make sure that when they were aware, at the point they were aware or concerned there was an intrusion on our network by the Russians, they did virtually nothing to sound the alarm bells to make us aware of that. They left the Russians on our network for more than -- for almost a year before we discovered that they were there.

BOLDUAN: But it's not like this was a Republican secretary of department on some kind of face-saving tour after the fact. This is Jeh Johnson. He's a Democrat. What's -- I'm confused.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Jeh Johnson -- so was I. Because Secretary Johnson specifically referenced that he was told we were working with the firm CrowdStrike. We began working with the firm CrowdStrike once we learned the Russians were on our network in April of 2016. So, he seemed to be referencing that he became aware that we have this intrusion in April when that phone call started coming in to our tech support department in the fall of 2015, unbeknownst to me. How is it that a -- that the FBI or DHS or any federal agency that was concerned about a foreign enemy state intruding on the networks of one of the two political parties did not think it important enough to go higher than a tech support staff. When you have the chair of an organization, who is a member of Congress and can be fully briefed in a classified setting, it is astounding and outrageous. And I assume that's why Director Comey and Secretary Johnson said yesterday they wish they had taken it up and taken it a little farther than they did.

BOLDUAN: Who is to blame, Johnson or President Obama? WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I'm not pointing fingers at all. There was

certainly more that should have been done. There were more alarm bells and more action that should have been taken.


BOLDUAN: Congresswoman, I'm so sorry to cut you off here.

We have to head over to the House. House Speaker Paul Ryan is speaking. We'll get his reaction to the Senate health care bill just unveiled.


All right. Congratulations anyway.

You know what? It was cool to see Special Agent Crystal Griner throw out the first pitch. She just got out of the hospital. To see her come out and throw the first pitch was a very, very cool thing to see.

I saw Steve this morning. His spirits are up. He's talking. He's doing well. He sent his regards and thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers.

This has been a busy week delivering on our agenda for the country. Yesterday, for those of you who may have missed it, Republicans and Democrats came together to send important veterans reform to the president's desk. We have all seen the scandals. We saw the waiting list. We saw the scandals. Things clearly need to change at the Veterans Administration. This bill is going to help deliver the fundamental reform that is needed to solve those problems. It will help veterans get the world-class care and treatment they deserve and have earned. We have a lot of work to do, but we are going to keep at it until we, as a country, can say, we are keeping our promises we have made to veterans.

Later today, today, we expected big bipartisan vote for Glenn Thompson's bill to improve career and technical education. This initiative is going to make it easier for people to get the skills they need to fill better, higher-quality, better-paying jobs. A good technical skills job can mean everything. It can be the foundation of a successful career and a great future. I see this everywhere I look in my home state of Wisconsin. This bill can make a real difference for American workers.

So, bottom line, every day here, we are working to address the problem that people face in their daily lives. These are just two more examples of us coming together and delivering on our agenda.



[11:35:06] RYAN: I have not. I have been briefed on the Senate version. I have been busy myself. I have been briefed on the Senate version of the health care bill. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

RYAN: I know how hard this process is from personal experience. From what I understand, it tracks along the House bill. I think that's very good. I'm not going to opine on their process. They gave us the space to go through our process. The last thing I want to do is be disrespectful of their process. The bottom line is, I want them to pass the bill so we can get on with keeping our promise. You have to remember, the systems collapsing. Anthem Blue Cross, yesterday, pulled out of Wisconsin. That's a flagship health insurer we have had for years. This system is in a tail spin. We made a promise to repeal and replace this law. The Senate went together with putting together a bill that keeps that promise. So, yeah, I'm eager for them to pass it but I'm not going to opine on the details as they go along.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In reference to the process, they have largely done this behind closed doors. You, in a recent interview, said your process was open and you are proud of it?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you comfortable with the way --


RYAN: You release legislation after you draft legislation. This is sort of a talking point in search of a problem. You don't release a bill before you finish writing the bill. You write the bill, then you release the bill. That's what the Senate has done.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: They want to vote next week. Is that enough time for America to digest it and debate it?


RYAN: Yeah, if you are asking if we have a cap adjustment, should we have offsets to mandatory, yes. The question is quality and quantity.


RYAN: It's premature to say. We haven't made that decision yet. They are just beginning their process. We are not at the point of making that decision.


RYAN: How many of you know what the blue slip problem is? Four of you. This is a very technical issue. But it's the Constitution, so we take that seriously. My understanding is Ways and Means is giving the technical assistance the Senate needs to make sure they conform with the Constitution's Origination Clause, the blue slip. Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has indicated he is eager to move the bill. We want to get the bill cleaned up. We need Foreign Affairs to do their scrub on the legislation, which is what we do anytime a bill comes over from the Senate. Chairman Royce indicated he wants to get moving on that quickly and we want to honor that.


RYAN: Don't know the answer to that. We want to get moving on it. We have to honor the blue slip, which a constitutional Origination Clause issue. That's why we asked Ways and Means, which is in charge of this, to make sure they give Senate Foreign Affairs or Foreign Relations, the technical work they need to get this right.


RYAN: Yeah, I support sanctions. I always support sanctions. I'm going to let HFAC, Foreign Affairs, do their scrub to make sure the bill is written the right way, that it's in good shape. Ed wants to get moving on this bill. I support him in that.


RYAN: Yes.



RYAN: Who are you with?


President Trump's 2018 budget calls for eliminating federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Do you support that and will you follow that elimination in the budget?

RYAN: I have to refer you to the appropriators. They are just getting started. I don't get deep into the microdetails. I refer you to the appropriators.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A budget question for you. Diane Black, the Budget chairwoman, is supportive of the idea of doing $150 in mandatory cuts. Some other chairmen, not so comfortable with that, coming out with the savings. You are still having your family discussions, but how do you envision sort of, like, going through this? Do you think there's a half way point?

RYAN: Deja vu all over again. I served as budget chair, ranking member, for eight years. I had these conversations each and every year with the other authorizing chairs. She is doing a fantastic job of getting consensus on the kinds of instructions we need to get savings out of the budget. Every budget should have savings. Diane Black is doing that, just like any other year and any other budget chair should. She's going through, talking to each authorizer about the savings target they can hit. That's the way the budget process works. I'm confident she will get that done and find consensus with other chairs. That's how you put a budget together. Yeah?

[11:40:15] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, do you think it would be appropriate to send Judiciary Committee to subpoena former Attorney General Loretta Lynch?

RYAN: I'm not going to comment on what they are doing. That's not even in our bailiwick.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I was going to ask you, knowing how hard it was to pass the health care plan, was there red flags that came to your attention about (INAUDIBLE).

RYAN: No. I haven't seen any of that, yet. I think, I know how hard it is to pass a bill like this. What was helpful to us that we didn't have Senate leadership playing armchair quarterback with us. The last thing I want to do it play armchair quarterback with them. I'm going to respect their process. I'm not going to opine on the microdetails. I haven't read through all the bill. I have been briefed on basic contents. What is important is they pass their bill, that we get this process going so we can keep our promise.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us about Mr. Scalise?

RYAN: I'll let the doctors. We decided we are not going to be the ones commenting about his health prognosis or progress, other than to say I had a great meeting with Steve this morning. He is bright. He is alert. He wanted to go through the agenda, the latest whip. He wanted a brief on work.

He was so thankful -- by the way, we are doing blood drives here. He's thankful for that. He's thankful for the outpouring of support he received from friends and colleagues of Louisiana. He was very taken and moved. Just to hear him talk about Bailey and Crystal and his affection for them and thankfulness for them, it's really something. He seemed like he was doing well. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: The weekly press conference from House Speaker Paul Ryan, giving an update, positive update on Congressman Steve Scalise. Good news. Taking a lot of questions, of course, on the Senate health care plan revealed this morning.

Let's go to chief congressional correspondent -




BOLDUAN: You have been so many things in my life -- Dana Bash. Paul Ryan, playing it safe, we could say. I didn't want them involved

in our process, I'm not going to get involved in their process. From what he's been briefed on, it tracks along the lines of the House bill they passed?

BASH: Yes. That's what he says. But, I think it's also fair to say, if you are Mitch McConnell, you are going to be banking on the fact that the Senate bill is going to be a nice contrast to the House bill for lots of reasons. First, listen to the president of the United States, himself, saying in private the House bill was mean. Last night, in public, in Iowa, talking about the fact he's hoping and believes the Senate bill has heart. That, obviously, is a big way to put olive branches out there for the many moderate Republicans in the Senate who were not comfortable at all with the House bill, cuts to Medicaid and changes that they made.

The issue, of course, is, as you well know, Kate, is that the Senate Republican leadership has to make that very, very difficult balancing act between the moderates and the conservatives. This is -- we have to keep saying it over and over again like when this was going through the House. This is about negotiations inside the Republican Party, inside the Republican caucus. Democrats are not part of this. They are not playing ball with each other, frankly. Right now, we have Senators fanning out across the capital, reading the document, to figure out what is in it.

BOLDUAN: Hold on one second.

Let's go to the House floor. There seem to be some tensions flaring there. Let's listen in.

SEN. RON WYDEN, (D-OR), RANKING MEMBER, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, my colleague, distinguished Senator from Texas, on the finance committee, he knows that I know something about writing bipartisan health reform bills. I have written them. They become law. I have not once, not once, been asked to be part of any bipartisan effort with respect to this legislation.

I think, colleagues, it's real clear what is going on here. Senate Republicans are going to keep telling Americans they are fixing their health care right up until the second it gets taken away.

[11:45:04] Now, as the ranking member of the Finance Committee, I find it bizarre that a health bill of this importance was hidden for so long behind closed doors, denying the American people the opportunity to see it together in an open debate. There have been no hearings on this dangerous, destructive proposal. Not one hearing on whether Medicaid should be flashed to pay for tax cuts, for the fortunate few. Not one hearing on whether the bedrock protections for those with pre-existing conditions ought to be shattered. Not one hearing on whether Americans should face higher costs, along with annual, lifetime limits on insurance coverage.

This secretive process of concealing and rushing this bill, which until today, have been seen by nobody, nobody outside the Republican leadership and their lobbyist allies who dwell on "K" Street. The secretive process stands in sharp contrast to the process that led to the Affordable Care Act.

So I put forward now a parliamentary inquiry. Is the chair able to confirm that the committee considered S-1796, the America's Health Future Act, which is ultimately incorporated into H-3590, the Patient Protection Act --

BOLDUAN: You are listening to reaction on the Senate floor.

Let's head over to the House side of the capitol for more reaction.

Let's go to Michael Burgess, from Texas, joining me now. He helped draft the Republican health care reform bill in the House.

Congressman, great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, (R), TEXAS: Thanks for having me on. It's a big day. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: A very big day. You helped craft that bill. Is the Senate version, from what you see, better or worse than yours?

BURGESS: I would agree with the speaker. I heard some of his remarks leading into this statement that it does track the House bill. I think that's good. I have not had a chance, I literally, just printed off a copy and put it on my table as I came over here to do this interview. But it's only 147 pages, so I expect most of us would have a chance to read through it by midafternoon and be able to assess what the differences with the House bill are and whether or not they are acceptable on the House side. The Senate has an enormous amount of work to do. They will receive a CBO score in a day or two, and a lot of discussion over that. And they will have a 24-hour period where they amend the bill on the Senate floor. That will be a fairly involved process. We had a 28-hour mark up in our committee in Energy and Commerce. That was instructive. We had another 18 hours in the Rules Committee, that I'm also on. That was fairly constructive. The work on the Senate floor will be constructive. I encourage people to watch and monitor themselves and --

UNIDENTIFEID SENATOR: Randall, are you the first?


You're second? Are you for Georgia first?



TRUMP: How do you like the health care, folks? It's going to be very good. Little negotiation, but it's going to be very good.


TRUMP: Oh, no. I'll go over it. BOLDUAN: There you have it. Short and quick, from President Trump. There's a little negotiation, but it's going to be good.

Let's get back to Congressman Burgess. I hope he's still with us.


BOLDUAN: Congressman, we just had a hot-take reaction from President Trump there.


BURGESSS: I'm glad you did it.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.


BOLDUAN: I'm so sorry to interrupt.

BURGESS: He's right. Look, we have spent more time on this as a legislative branch than probably he would like. I hope we have a product that will be acceptable to both sides of the Capitol building. We need to put something in his hands.

Look, the president ran on this issue. We ran on this issue. It is important that we put it deliverable in the president's hands and there is other work on the economy and taxes and jobs that needs to happen.


BURGESS: This is holding things up.

BOLDUAN: On the president, the president did acknowledge last night, he wanted the Senate bill to have heart. That was his word.


BURGESS: I do, too.

BOLDUAN: That means he doesn't -- he didn't think the House bill had that. Do you agree with that?

BURGESS: I didn't hear him say the House bill didn't have heart. I agree with him. Yes, we do want --


BOLDUAN: He said behind closed doors he thought the House bill was mean and cold hearted.

[11:49:12] BURGESS: I didn't hear that. But, look, the president has provided us the leadership to get to this point. It has been a long time coming. I'm grateful for the leadership that he's provided. It's up to us for the next steps -- I do want to stress this, when

people complain that you didn't go far enough or went too far, this is the next step in a very long process. When Obamacare passed, that was the end of the story. There were not enough votes to come back to the Senate to do anything at all. So that was it. You pass the 2,700- page bill, and you're done. This is the first step on the process of bringing more market sensitivity back into our health care system, which I believe has been sorely lacking for some time.

BOLDUAN: Looking forward to you reading the bill so we can get your full reaction once you can actually see the details.

Congressman, thank you very much for your time.

BURGESS: Happy to do it. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

Rick Newman, a Yahoo! Finance columnist, has been with me through the hour.

You've been reading through. What's your hot take? There's some reaction from the Senate, some applauding what they're reading. Also, Manu Raju and folks he's been speaking to -- Orrin Hatch says this may be difficult to pass, a lot of points of view, and one week may not be enough time.

RICK NEWMAN, FINANCE COLUMNIST, YAHOO!: For matters of the public discussion, this is more or less the same as the House bill. People are trying to figure out how does it differ, does it thread the needle in the Senate. Generally, it does the same thing the House bill does, and ordinary people won't make a distinction between, did these Medicaid rollbacks occur in four years, six years. The headline will be -- the Trumpcare rolls back Medicaid. I think this is an extraordinarily hard sell. I think the Republicans are in a legislative dead end. Let's keep in mind, the Affordable Care Act has an approval rating around 51 percent, 52 percent. The highest approval rating for Trumpcare is in the mid 30s now. Some of the ratings below 20 percent. The Congress is basically trying to replace something -- something that is generally popular with something that is not popular. It's hard to see where they go with this. Frankly, you could argue that this is completely crazy.

BOLDUAN: Let me bring in Rana Foroohar on this.

Rana, any surprises in here? What's your take?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMICS ANALYST: The only surprise is that there's been so much secrecy, although maybe it's not a surprise. I agree, I think this bill is going to disappoint a lot of people. It's something that will be tough for folks in the Senate to take home during summer recess and say, yay, 23 million people are going to be without health care --

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: But it does get rid of a lot of things that the Americans said that didn't want. They didn't want the individual mandate or Obamacare taxes.

FOROOHAR: I think that the headline is going to be 23 million people without health care. I think that, at a time when, you know, wages are still stagnant, when demand is an issue -- the health care market in general has become incredibly bifurcated. Rich people can afford health care, everybody else has a hard time with it. That's what people will feel at a visceral level. I think it's a hard sell.

I think economically it shows that the Republicans have become hostage to ideology instead of what works. Republicans actually as a party used to be pretty good at saying what works on the ground, rather than we have this big theory, and we're going to do things based on that. This is a bill that is meant to just repel -- repeal Obamacare because that's what they promised to do. It's not something that makes, to me, sense economically. I think things that would make sense economically are tort reform. You know, taking pieces of problematic issues in the health care system --


FOROOHAR: Yes, and dealing with them individually. Just getting rid of this because it says Obamacare is wrong to me.


NEWMAN: This entire debacle affects about 8 percent of people with health insurance. That's it. You would think it affects everybody, it doesn't. And there are big problems in the rest of the insurance market. The big one is costs are too high. We spend way too much on health care. There is nobody in Congress addressing this now.

FOROOHAR: That's right.

NEWMAN: It's all about what really -- we're talking about a lot of people, but a narrow sliver of everybody with insurance. And everybody has problems with health care.

BOLDUAN: Let me add another voice to the conversation. Robert Graboyes is a senior research fellow and health care scholar at George Mason University.

Robert, thanks so much for joining us.

You've heard the conversation. What's your take, what's your reaction?

ROBERT GRABOYES, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW & HEALTH CARE SCHOLAR, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Well, I've just begun looking through the new bill, the draft bill. It seems to be a modest change from the House version, which, in turn, is to a large extent a modest change from the Affordable Care Act that's been in place for seven years. So things aren't going to be dramatically different after this year whatever happens. BOLDUAN: Are you in the camp of believing the Congressional Budget

Office score or not, Robert, when that comes out? Of course, many Republicans have been skeptical of the analysis when it came out about the House version, and everyone's now waiting to see what happens with the Senate version.

GRABOYES: Sure. Let me preface it with the Congressional Budget Office is probably the most nonpartisan, honest, fair group in Washington, and they're generally wrong on most of what they do. They do what they have to do.

There are real problems with the CBO report that came out on the Houses version of the bill. First of all, the 23 million losing insurance figure is a large problem. To a large extent, it's measuring it against if the Affordable Care Act were operating perfectly, which it's not, and it's not going to. So it's really matching a projection against a fiction.

BOLDUAN: M.J., let me bring you back to go back to where we began.

I want to make sure it's not lost with folks. Where are the differences that you're seeing between the Senate version and the House version that passed?

[11:55:12] M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think you were making a good point earlier. We have a tendency because the House bill came out first to compare the Senate bill to the House bill and use that as our gauge. It is important to take a comprehensive look at the Senate bill and see compared to the House bill is it more moderate or conservative.

Some of the big headlines, again, we've been talking about this all morning, but important details. On Medicaid, the expansion would be kept in place until 2021 but would be eventually phased out over a three-year period. There are drastic changes to the program, deeper cuts than what we saw in the House bill. Again, not to compare everything to the House bill, but that is a reality that there are differences between the House bill and the Senate bill.

On the federal subsidies, would be tied more to income rather than age. This is something that mirrors Obamacare. So if you are Rand Paul or Mike Lee, you can easily imagine them saying, look, this is too close to Obamacare. We already thought the House bill was basically Obamacare light. There is not something that is acceptable.

Insurance regulations, insurers cannot charge people more for pre- existing conditions. Remember, this was probably the most controversial portion of the House bill. A lot of moderate members and conservative members said that this cannot stand about their own constituents. That is why they ended up making some last-minute changes.

So a lot of differences from the House bill even though the big headlines might be the same. I think, again, the question is will some of the conservative members, who basically just want a wholesale repeal of Obamacare, will they take sort of relief in seeing some of the changes that were made.

BOLDUAN: One of the issues, Rana, that M.J. points out is how -- the subsidies that help people pay for their insurance.


BOLDUAN: There is a difference between the Senate and House version. The Senate version tracks more with Obamacare.


BOLDUAN: And they calculate it with regard to income rather than age. Is that better or worse? Do you have an opinion on that?

FOROOHAR: You know what, I have an opinion on the fact that this is incredibly complicated.


BOLDUAN: Welcome to the health care debate --


FOROOHAR: Welcome to the health care debate. But guess what? Only in this country. You know what would fix things? Making Medicare universal. That's one of the programs that's actually working, that Americans like. Having employer-linked health care --


BOLDUAN: Rana, it's not going to happen --


FOROOHAR: Let me tell you something, businesses are starting to clue in to the fact, and there's a big movement in American business, to say, you know, having employer-linked health care is actually not great. It's not great for businesses. It's not great for individuals, more of whom are going to be working as freelancers in the future. That's what the portable benefits debate is about. I know we're dealing with the here and now, but, essentially, we keep missing the fact that the health care system in America is broken at a much deeper level. In some ways, details are technocratic.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, but something's got to give, Rick, in the next week --


NEWMAN: People are going to start hearing this phrase -- the age tax, OK. This is a little bit of demagoguery here. This is what groups like AARP, which opposes the Republican health care plan, they say it would impose an age tax on seniors. They would have to pay more because of the way that this is all structured. It's hard to see how this is popular with any significant mainstream group anywhere.

BOLDUAN: Robert, one of the big things -- one of the big things - (LAUGHTER)

FOROORHA: Really, it's amazing.


BOLDUAN: Let's go to Robert.

Robert, on this one, I mean, what I heard from Republicans here is Republicans say -- some of the Republicans say they like it better than Obamacare in 100 ways. That's from John McCain. One of the things the president wanted to see is that there was more heart in this bill. Is there a way to measure if there's more heart in this bill?

GRABOYES: I don't know. They didn't teach me that in graduate school, how to measure heart.


But it's -- look, it's got a number of things that, from a conservative standpoint, would be attractive. It gets rid of a lot of taxes, some of which I think are important to get rid of, the medical device tax, for instance, which has the effect of stifling the development of things that can actually make care better and less expensive.

As for subsidies, look, it's -- seven years ago, the Affordable Care Act was passed. What it did was promised more services to a lot more people without producing any more doctors, nurses, hospitals, or anything else. The question is, I looked at the House version, I didn't see much difference on that. We'll have to see whether the Senate version does that. I'm not sure it does.

We're not really going to start fixing the problem in the country until we stop worrying so much about the insurance and who pays and who gets in line first and actually start looking at the ways that we produce health care. Fundamental changes.

FOROOHAR: Health insurance is different from -- fixing health care is different from fixing the insurance system.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys.

Thank you all very, very much, for sticking with me throughout this hour. There's been a lot of moving parts.

And it only continues as everyone continues to read through what is in and what is not in the Senate health care plan that was just unveiled.

"Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.

[12:00:14] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thank you -