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Senate Taking Key Vote To End Government Shutdown. Aired 12:30- 1p ET
Aired January 22, 2018 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clerk will call the roll.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Alexander.
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: Aye.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: The United States Senate now voting on a resolution that would reopen the United States Government. The Senate is passing its plan because it changed the House plan. They would now then have to go over to the House.
But the big headline as you listen to the speeches before the United States Senate, this United States Government now shutdown because this measure failed to pass at midnight Friday, should reopened by the end of the day.
The Senate voting at this moment for legislation will then quickly assuming it passes 60 votes to end the debate, then they'll pass the bill then they'll it will go to the White House.
Some remarkable words there from, first, the Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, then the Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell, then the number two Democrat Dick Durbin speaking on the politics involve in that. He has been shepherding for the Democrats in the Senate the so- called DREAMer issue for some time. Some of those DREAMers on the progressive groups that support them are going to be angry here thinking the Democrats blinked too soon, thinking the Democrats did not get as much commitment on legislation. Just a commitment to debate legislation.
So, we're watching a lot of politics play out. I want to bring in first our Dana Bash who has covered the Senate for quite some time.
Dana, your observation should you see this going forward again. The Democrats saying we got what we needed, a commitment to have a debate in the Senate, but there is no guarantee even if they pass a DREAMer bill, a DACA bill, an immigration bill in the United States Senate. There is no guarantee anything like that will pass in the House, is there?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, there isn't at all which is why the -- not so subtle trashing of the president that the Democratic leader started with by saying, you know, what happened to the guy who is suppose to make deals, was so critical because Schumer was clearly taunting the president. Because he knows that once it gets to that point, if it gets to the point where you're going to need to pass this in the House, that is going to be up to the president.
The president is going to be the one who has to step forward and give House Republicans cover. From the House speaker, who is going to have to be forced by the president to put that whatever bipartisan deal it is on the floor, knowing that it might not get the majority of the majority of Republicans which this speaker and past speakers have been loathe to do. So that is what was interesting.
The other observation that I have, John, is we're so focused on, you know, kind of the politics of it now, but looking forward to the way that the Democratic Party and the politics of the Democratic Party is going to play out, the choice that Chuck Schumer made today, just as somebody who have covered -- I covered him for a long time, it seems to me he went with his heart, because he is a dealmaker at heart, and not with his head which is probably telling him, we got to keep the resistance moving, we got to keep the Democratic base energized.
Because he's clearly was convinced by the Democrats who have been working, as Dick Durbin said, with Republicans for the past few days. We got to put an end to this, we have to move this forward. And he didn't go along with the progressives who I'm guessing we're going to see some of them, voting no on this. And he certainly, as you said, is going to hear from a lot of those progressives that he gave in and he gave in too soon.
KING: On this vote, right now, I don't want to get too far ahead of what we're watching right here because the United States government has been shut down since 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. The impact of that shutdown will be more limited, two of those days being weekend days Saturday and Sunday.
This is the first weekday when we expected to start to see the impact of the shutdown. It now appears the Senate is voting, it will go to the House then that legislation should reach the president perhaps even by dinnertime tonight. So the government should be fully reopened by tomorrow morning, Tuesday, the second day of the work week.
We got standbys with us. Let's go over to the White House with Jeff Zeleny. Number one, Jeff, I assume there's no question at all the president there is ready to sign this as soon as it gets there. Any sense of how the president is going to react from the public tongue lashing he just received there from his friend Chuck, Democrat Chuck Schumer, Democratic leader in the Senate. And, as you well know behind the scenes, a lot of Republicans have also said the only way they've resolved this shutdown is for the president to stay in the House and to stay quiet.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And that's exactly what happened. I mean, the president has been extraordinarily out of this picture, at least for most of the last three days or so. I am told by a White House official that we are going to see the president speak probably after that House vote.
Again, you know, it has to pass the Senate as you said. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves here, it has to pass the Senate and then the House is expected to swiftly take it up. So I can assure you at least in the words of a White House official, the president will become reengaged in this in a public way, likely speaking before he would sign this bill.
But, John, I think it certainly raises an interesting question, what happens going forward here? The president, as we know, has been on several sides of this issue. And I think that one thing is clear that, you know, despite the fact that the government will be reopening, it looks like, if things all happen as it seems they will, there is no change in the hardened positions on immigration and DACA.
[12:35:06] So the president still has a decision to make, a challenge for his leadership. Is he going to do what he's talked about several times and do something for the Dreamers, or is he going to take a harder line on this? So this simply moves things down the road three weeks or so, but certainly a sense of relief here that the White House.
Of course the president is going to try to reframe this as a win for him, that Democrats blinked. It's partially true, but I think the bigger picture going forward, the bigger question here is what happens after this? Will the president stay disengaged or will he reengage on this immigration fight because that is the next thing to come.
Of course he'll be giving a state of the union address next week where he has the chance to frame and reframe all of this debate, John.
KING: Jeff Zeleny at the White House. Appreciate that.
Let's bring it back into the room here. It's an interesting moment. Again, we're going to watch this vote. We'll tell you the Senate vote as soon as they tally the votes in the Senate. First, the procedure motion then they expect to pass the resolution to refund the government, to reopen the government, then it goes to the House of representatives.
So what -- well, let's look forward. What will we learn from this, what will they learn from this, more importantly? Let me start with the president.
The president as Jeff said, he will sign this. He wants to say the government is reopened, everything is fine, you know, go back to your lives and all of that. What he says and the tone of what he says will be incredibly important to what comes next, including this immigration debate.
One of the reasons we are here in the middle of a government shutdown day three is because the president moved from Tuesday Trump, as Lindsey Graham wisely called him, pass immigration reform, an act of love, I will sign it, I will take the heat, to Thursday Trump, a much more hardline, you know, I want more, I want more, I want my wall money. I want this.
Will we get from the president right away, a clear statement of here's what I'm for, here's what I'm against. Pass a bill that meets these parameters and we'll stick with it. ELIANA JOHNSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: I actually don't think the president has been all that inconsistent. He's been consistent in saying he wants to do something on DACA. He has a tremendous amount of sympathy and empathy for these kids. And he's also been a hardliner on essentially all the other issues surrounding immigration.
What I think is being painted as inconsistent is he's tying these two things together. He's saying, in exchange for being -- showing sympathy, empathy which he genuinely feels on DACA, he wants this other hardline changes. That is what immigration hardliners are pushing him to do.
I don't think Trump necessarily himself feels he needs a one-for-one trade, but those truly are his positions and I think he waivers back and forth about the extent to which he wants to link these two together.
KING: Probably the wrong word though. But if the Senate passes a DACA plan, I assume it will have some wall money in it, I assume it will have something to do with the question of so-called chain migration to meet the Republican concerns, to get it through the Senate with a big bipartisan vote. But then, is there any way in an election year, knowing what we know about the House, the much more conservative House Republican conference, again, in an election year.
Is there any chance a "more liberal bill" that the House would like can pass the House without the president standing and saying, I need you to pass this, I will take the heat.
JOSHUA GREEN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Ask why there would be. I mean, you know, most of the pressure on the Republican base, especially in light of this shutdown and the Democrats folding on it appears what we're about to do is that, Republicans can't stand up for what they believe in and would stand Democratic pressure campaigns to get them to change. So I don't see why Republican leaders would feel more compel in the wake of that.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: It's so much more polarized in the Senate, to be able to get something through the House. Paul Ryan is probably going to calculate that he's going to have to get his members on board, not Democratic members. Democratic members are going to take own hardline, conservatives are going to take their own hard line and he's going to try to reach a deal within his own conference. And almost certainly, that's going to move it further and further to the right.
And remember what happened after they pass the last immigration bill, John Boehner didn't even put it on the floor of the House because there were so much opposition from members there over the pathway (INAUDIBLE). This is going to be another test for Paul Ryan.
KING: Yes. I was communicating this as we watch this unfold with one of the speakers top (inaudible), should say, we will do DACA in the House. We will have a DACA debate in the House, it's just what is that DACA debate is what we don't know. But, again, as you're watching, the most important headline here in the short term, the United States voting right now to end the government shutdown. The question always is, what are we learning from this, what is changed from this. We're in the early days of year two of the Trump presidency. One of the things that's been fascinating in recent days is all the conservative praise for Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan. They are often treated like Satan in the conservative logo sphere in the land of Breitbart but there has been praise of the two Republican leaders for holding firm here.
MARY KATHARINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER, THE FEDERALIST: Yes. I think the bottom line is, and I'm not sure how much it matters how much Trump was involved in the day to day. And again, I don't know how many news cycles this story lasts anyway. Buy, I think Democrats got a pretty good sense of their leverage here which was not a bunch even playing really hard ball. And Republicans may have learned that sort of keeping Trump a bit quiet actually leads to help.
[12:40:01] What changed during this week? One of the things that changed, you've got Democrats, Schumer and the like of Luis Gutierrez talking openly about we'll do the wall to get the DREAMers. That was not the message on Tuesday when he was Tuesday Trump.
So perhaps he did, actually, he got them to move on something. And by the way, I'm not sure Republican voters are fine with DACA. It's a very loud part of the base that is not. They have to consider that. But it's not actually that unpopular.
KING: So, in an odd way, you're making the point that while we have not seen from this president, you know, Lyndon Johnson style deal making, bring everybody down deal making. And that what we campaigned though.
He said everybody was stupid in Washington. Democrats and Republican, send me there, we'll do this like a business, I do great deals. That's what I do. Well, we're not seeing it in a room, trading, you're making a point that in an odd way or just in a Trump way, maybe is the best way to put it that he's getting -- he has actually the ball has move to his way a bit.
HAM: That's what it feels like to me. And look, as (INAUDIBLE) Trump, it maybe smoky but it actually works in his favor.
RAJU: The things we have to keep in mind here, this is a three-week deal. They'll definitely be right back in this mess in three weeks. So whatever short-term victory they made, I feel like after Democrats agree to back off their resistance here, they could be right back in the same situation in three weeks less -- what you are making will be tested.
KING: (Inaudible). They promised to have an immigration debate at least in the Senate. That has been quicksand, quagmire, or land mine, pick your term, for the Republican Party after the last decade. They have to have a debate about military spending counts which also divides the party to hawks. Want to spend more, they said the military needs this money for new equipment, new training that it's in this repair.
You have other conservative saying, hey, wait a minute, we just passed a tax cut that's going to slow the deficit sum, even though we like it, even though we think in time. You know, the growth will make up for that, we got to be careful about this.
So, even if they think the Republicans think we win this one, they're back into some very tough issues very quick.
JOHNSON: I think there are two factors that work here on immigration. The first is that, I think Trump's candidacy on broadcast pretty clearly to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan who are pretty dovish on immigration. Both and particularly Paul Ryan that their position really wasn't the position of the Republican base and they've hardened on the issue.
The second factor is the president did campaign, railing against the Republican establishment, and he now finds himself really trapped inside a system that he hates. So he isn't the deal maker, but he is really a hostage of Washington, and I think that's why you've seen him kind of sidelined and quiet and essentially a prisoner of the political system sort of waiting for Mitch McConnel and Paul Ryan and Chuck Schumer to set him free.
RAJU: Yes. I don't think it's important to note how much Schumer backed off his demands from Saturday. I talked to him on his office on Saturday night, he said that we need to get a good bipartisan agreement that allows us to get a good defense number of good non- defense winner. Get a vote on the DREAMers bill and get that done, and deal with the disasters too. And he rejected the notion of doing the three-week continuing resolution, so he has come a long way in putting faith in McConnell that they could get some sort of agreement.
You know, in large part it has to do with pressure from his own, middle of his caucus to cut this deal. But clearly, Schumer has backed off those demands because he senses that it was he has to do.
KING: He didn't get cement on any of those. He got intentions and we will talk about this and we'll talk about that but he hasn't get a firm commitment, I don't think, on any of the things you just mentioned.
GREEN: But I think Eliana makes a great point which is that, this is essentially the campaign Trump immigration position prevailing her. I think that one thing that comes out of this shutdown is the Republican Party writ large can see that they can take that position and withstand the political heat from Democrats and prevail. And so there's no reason to think that that doesn't grown going forward.
HAM: A real quick point, I think many Republicans will thank Trump for that sort of backbone of the party, for feeling like they can stand up to this messaging and say, look, we are not the ones shutting this down. We've been on both sides of this coin and you're not going to call us hostage takers this time and (inaudible) shutdown thing which I mentioned earlier that a lot of people will give them credit for that. KING: Chuck Schumer calls it the Trump shutdown, the Republicans calls it the Schumer shutdown. That branding will go on for a few more minutes and as they go through and end in a debate in the next days and weeks to come over who was to blame for this even though it looks the government shutdown will be over on it's third day.
As the Senate votes, we're waiting for the final vote. One of the big questions is not how much more than 60? They need 60 votes to advances. That's one question.
But Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill. The other question, Phil, you see the signs of discontent and those who vote no. What can you tell us as this plays out.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And look, there's no question they're well above 60 at this point but as you know, I'm kind of (INAUDIBLE) on who's voting no and who's planning to vote no in the House.
And if you look at some of the names right now who have voted no already. You have Warren, Sanders, Gillenbrand, Harris. You know, you can connect those names to people who are considered rather interested in 2020.
You can also connect those names to the progressive wing of the caucus. I know Manu has been talking about this a lot, is that these are Democrats that are very unhappy with the -- this was the decision to have the path forward.
I am told that inside that caucus meeting, the one that went for nearly two hours, there was a very real split between Democrats in terms of how to move forward on this on the House side.
[12:40:04] Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi already saying that she's going to vote against this. You're going to see a large chunk of House Democrats who vote against this as well. There's really one primary reason. There is just -- it's such a huge trust deficit right now when it comes to Republicans, whether it'd be Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel, but more clearly I think it's with the House. They've seen immigration with or on the vine before it moves to the Senate. There is not trust that Speaker Paul Ryan will bring something up to address this right now.
But the calculations right now both on the policy side of things when it comes to the trust, when it comes to immigration but also the political side of things. You're watching that play out on the floor right now, and it also underscores the fact that as Manu was talking about. In just a few weeks, we're going to be here again.
And these types of voices, these people who are voting right know right now are certainly rising inside the Democratic Party. They are saying that this was not the right decision, and those voices will certainly be able to say, we told you so if things are going to back in a bad place in the future ahead.
But one other things, John, I want to point out that I thought it was interesting was when Senator Durbin came to the floor he is certainly in this progressive wing. He is certainly been the leader on immigration, on DACA, and the Democratic Party definitely did not want to enter into enter into a deal where he felt like he didn't have firm commitments. He pointed to the bipartisan group that's been meeting over the last couple of days, 22 senators and senators who's in Collin's office, look, we've all seen this happen before, we've all seen his efforts fall completely flat on their face before as well.
One thing I picked up over the last three or four days is the members of that group are very hopeful that this is now a new strain or a new thread in the Senate that perhaps can serve as a group of bipartisan senators who change the pathway or change the direction of how the debate is considered, of how legislation is considered, of how politics are considered in the chamber. Is that too much to ask in the history of today? Probably based on the last decade or so, but keep a close eye on that in the days ahead, because if Senator is Durbin is pointing that group and saying they've been very constructive and provide a new path forward, perhaps that might actually be the case. We'll see, John.
KING: Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill. Phil, stay with us as we track the final votes there and tracking that was --is very important. Dana Bash is going to rejoin the conversation now veteran Congress watcher. Dana, let's pick up on that point because it's very significant.
You have 25 to 30 senators, bipartisan group, in a Senate of 100, that's a group that can affect the calendar, they can affect policy can do business. But, and here is the big but, the Senate can pass a thousand bills and that means nothing unless the House passes them. Is there a chance and again, the headline today is the government shutdown is going to end. But then they got right back into the quagmire of spending immigration, the Pentagon budget and the like.
Is there any chance of getting a DACA deal through the House which may conservatives, yes to minority but a very vocal minority, consider amnesty? Can you get that done without consistent leadership publicly from the president of United States saying, I need you to do this for me?
BASH: No. There is no chance without leadership. Maybe not consistent leadership because that hasn't happened because we've seen the kind of gutter-to-gutter, side rail to side rail of where the president is on blessing that kind of deal or not. We've seen him do it in public, never mind in private. But when -- and it gets to that point that this group of Democratic and Republican senators that Phil was talking about can force something to get through the Senate.
When it gets to the point of getting this to the House, it must be with Republican -- with the president -- Republican president and his leadership. There is no question about it. I've heard that from Republican leadership source after source about the fact that he is the one who spent the past year making sure that his base still believed in him, and it worked.
He's got the Capitol with the base, not these rank and file House Republicans who are very worried that if they vote for anything that their base calls, amnesty, they're going to get a primary from the right and they're going to be gone. The only person who can stop they think is President Trump.
KING: Let me as you question. Based on your reporting over the weekend, including this morning and your experience of years covering Capitol Hill, does anything change here or coming into this it was all, the McConnel-Schumer relationship is dysfunctional? That Schumer has this problem so then his own group of Democrats, McConnel his has problems with his own group of Republicans. Is there anything from a governing perspective as again they vote now to reopen the government, but then they go right back to try to pass another spending bill with the threat of another government shutdown three weeks away, immigration, military spending and the like? Is there anything we've learned from this -- you'd learned from this that tells you it will be any different, or are we going to careen up to the edge of the cliff again in three weeks?
BASH: I'm going to try to give you a hopeful answer and say that I think this could be different, and I think it is because of that group. In fact, several members of that group of bipartisan senators, they called themselves the commonsense caucus, by the way, have told me this is on the Republican and Democratic side, that they believe that they have formed a very important coalition that can work as a backstop, not just on the issue of immigration and the broader question of funding the military and other issues that are kind tied up in this current government shutdown.
[12:50:14] But I think that there has been a realization, John, that even on the tough issues that they need the president to work on like immigration, that they can't rely on him, and particularly the Democrats who watched Chuck Schumer go over to the White House on Friday and try to get a deal. And according to Schumer, the White House, you know, dispute some of this, but Schumer has told his colleagues that he thought he had a very good framework and the rug was pulled out.
So what the adults in the room in the United States Senate have done is that, we have to figure this out ourselves no matter what the president is going to do. And that's the way it should work. This is what we have seen an absence of leadership, of coming together. This is the way it should work. We'll see if they actually can find fruition.
KING: We'll see if they can find fruition. What we do know, though, watching that Senate vote finish, the Senate always now to vote to end the United States government shutdown, sign the legislation over the House, the president should get by the end of the day. So, it turns out this most likely will be a three-day government shutdown, only one day of a work week, one Monday today in early 2018.
And as Phil Mattingly just noting, a lot of 2020 calculations in how the Democrats are voting here. More progressive members who are considered likely or at least thinking about running for president in 2020 voting no, including Bernie Sanders, including Elizabeth Warren, including Kirsten Gillibrand. Manu, you have some information from the junior senator of California who also fits in to that group. RAJU: Yes, she -- Kamala Harris just told reporters that she's disappointed her according to her college on the Hill, listen on. Disappointed with the conversation that suggest a false choice, you either fund the government you take care of these DACA kids. We can do both.
Senator Feinstein, our fellow California Democrat has told reporters also she's disappointed. I'm here inseparably from my sources and progressive groups are very unhappy, progressive senators they have been in communication with also have said they don't like the way that this deal has gone down. So, you know, this is a divide within the Democratic caucus on this deal, and it could have more pronounced if this does not come to pass, this DACA deal was going to pass.
KING: That was my next point. And so, you have frustration in the moment from this groups who thought if the Democrats are going to shutdown the government over this, they should get more to reopen the government. That is their frustration, we didn't get it from commitment, we don't have a bill, we don't have a plan. We just have a promise to debate, and there is no guarantee that anything will passed.
In that regard, what happens and then what is the test, I guess, for Chuck Schumer in the next three weeks to prove to that base that this was worth it?
RAJU: He's got to deliver a deal that would essentially give legal status to DREAMers. The challenge for him is that he got all these moderate Democrats up for reelection. They're going to balance the moderates and the progressive in his caucus. In a lot of ways, there's going to be more concern about those restates Democrats from state that Trump won overwhelmingly because they're up for reelection.
KING: Which is going to bring us back to the question, this has been a bit of a curve ball in the control room so I'm going to tell you now. I'm trying to ask them to get ready for me something that you interviewed Senator Lindsey Graham this morning about this very question saying he doesn't ever trust who they partner in the White House. I'm going to give them a moment to pull that up for me. So, they have it for me, but that becomes the idea.
To Eliana's point I think, Eliana, you're correct in the sense that the president has been pretty consistent that, you know, I want my wall, and he's flexible on that exactly where it, but he wants a decent amount of money to build some part of a wall. Some of it can be technology, some of it can be something else.
JOHNSON: It's wonderful that he's also fixated on it.
KING: Right, right.
JOHSON: So I don't think he's moving away from some funding for some kind of wall. He's flexible I think on the amount of money and that's where I think there has been a misconception that Trump is the tool of his advisers. And we're seeing this come up again now where people are saying, well, it's John Kelly who is, you know, pulling him back from making these deals, or Steven Miller who is pulling him back from making these deals. I don't think that they're going fundamentally change the president's position on wanting a wall and on wanting something in exchange for doing a DACA deal.
KING: And as we watch this play out, again, the United States Senate voting to end the U.S. government shutdown, the legislation then we go over to the House. You've heard from everybody at the table here from our reporters, Phi Mattingly, Dana Bash, a lot of Democrats are not happy with this. Here's the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi on the floor just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP.NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE: The Republicans have put forth what they did with CHIP, which in the Senate they never showed much interest in. All of a sudden CHIP their chit. CHIP was their chit. They put that on the table.
And they said America is a country of Sophie's choice. You either choose the DREAMers or you choose the CHIP hits. No, we all support all of that. America can take care of all of its children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A little bit of Washington speak there, but CHIP is the Children's Health Program which is a bipartisan -- the program that has deep bipartisan support, and the Republicans did put up money for that for six years, I believe, in a continuing resolution funded that program, which in some states is not a money.
[15:55:10] That's different state by state. At some state if you're out of money, there's an urgent need for.
The Republicans put that in the original bill, saying here, Democrats, vote for this because here's what you've been asking for, the CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program money for six years and we'll deal with DREAMers later. Nancy Pelosi saying, no, we can do this all at once. But more than the specifics there again, a sign of the frustration among progressive Democrats, where we are even as we prepare to reopen the government.
HAM: Well, and I don't know if the activist will notice this or others will, but they had many years in a majority during which they could have eliminated this false choice by doing this legislatively and did not and did not attempt to. So, this is a lot harder and now they're not in the majority. So, sometimes when you're in the minority, you get promises and that's what you get.
I do think there are a couple things that calculus has changed. First, the subtraction of Bannon, which changes the primary situation for House Republicans should something get there eventually. And then the Senate debate, I'm not sure how much of those Democrats want to go on the record about.
Republican base is the wrong side of the DACA issue with the American public. They're on the wrong side of pretty much every other issue in the security column, so I don't know how much that's going to help, either.
KING: You don't get to say this that often in today's Washington, 81 t0 18, 81 to 18 the motion to move this debate. And, again, respectively to move to reopen the United States government, passing the United States Senate by a vote of 81-18. That is overwhelming. And again, so a lot of people out there in America and watching around the world will say, if they can pass this 81 to 18, then why did they shutdown the government in the first place?
GREEN: You know, I think the answer is because there is a lot of pressure from Democratic activists. And what this vote tells me is that there's 18 Democratic senators with possible presidential ambition in 2020, that's why they're voting against this. But --
RAJU: Well, likely in Rand Paul to vote against it.
GREEN: -- OK but -- 16, although he might have president --
KING: Yes, right.
GREEN: -- the other side. But this is how Democrats wind up in a situation that really didn't have an obvious exit strategy, but you could hope for capitulation. That probably wasn't realistic. The progressives I've talk to over the last couple of days are frustrated that this hasn't carry out longer.
They think, rightly or wrongly, that public opinion would have moved against the Republicans and the president. I think Chuck Schumer and a lot of Democratic centrists didn't share that assessment and that's why the government shutdown.
KING: And I think again, you're having a national conversation. You can have a 2020 conversation. You can also have a 2018 conversation, that if you're Chuck Schumer and you have an outside chance of taking the majority back in the 2018 elections, and you have people like Jon Tester of Montana. You don't like Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota saying, hey, you know, my state is different than New York, let's be careful here.
GREEN: One other quick bite, I just got an e-mail from a Democratic strategist saying, what this does, if there isn't a DACA resolution and these kids start to become deported, the strategist said, at least now it will be clear which party is to blame for what does go.
JOHNSON: I mean, to Joshua's point I think both parties right now are playing base politics and trying to rev up their bases. And Trump is a base president. You always hear him doing things that play to his base and the Democrats are matching that. And the shutdown I think was a base political move by Chuck Schumer and the Democrats.
KING: It's a great point because again I'm going to be a broken record on this from January through November, but we're in a midterm election year, which is normally defined by the president's approval rating and the president's popularity. Both parties have to turnout base voters like those people turned out by politics, don't show -- it's not like a presidential year. People turn up, don't show up for Congressional elections.
And so, is this the only Nixon can go to China, only Trump can do an immigration deal? We actually going to get an immigration deal that does something that some conservatives call amnesty in midterm election year. Is that feasible?
RAJU: It's all up to the president in a lot of ways. He needs to be very clear what he supports, not back off what he supports, and also cannot -- and if he does cut a deal with the Senate Democrats, he has to take this to the House and sell the House on this, too.
So the president is going to have to really step forward here in order to get something through. He can't take this back seat position like he did over the weekend here, John.
GREEN: But if he can't, Chuck Schumer's job, and I think he's trying to thread the needle here, is to both keep that base encouraged by shutting down the government but not carrying that shutdown on so long that voters in red states become angry and blame Democrats. I think that's the tight rope he's trying to walk.
HAM: I'm not sure that needle was threaded.
KING: And so, did he find switch button? Again, to our viewers, you're watching the United States Senate still voting. They have clear the key hurtle to reopen the United States government. This will be taken up by the House of Representatives a bit later today.
So the temporary dysfunction however your views on who was to blame should end in the United States government. If you're a federal work, if you're planning to go to the federal institution in the next few days, that should all be cleared up by the end of the day. Final thought?
JOHNSON: Here we are. Yes, I don't know if I have a takeaway yet, except for that it's just still not clear to me what Democrats got from the Senate is that tremendously risky move for Chuck Schumer. And I truly wonder whether his base will be satisfied even if he does strike a deal on this in the next three weeks.
KING: We'll see how it goes. And again, we'll continue our coverage. Thanks for joining us today at Inside Politics working through the very dramatic vote in the United States Senate. But White house holding a press briefing next hour, lots to talk about. Wolf Blitzer picks up our breaking news coverage right now.