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Obamacare Enrollment Continues Despite Court Ruling; Future Of Health Coverage New In Doubt For Millions Of Americans; Trump Names Budget Director Mulvaney As Acting Chief Of Staff; Parkland Shooting Panel Recommends Arming Teachers; What Does A Partial Shutdown Look Like. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired December 15, 2018 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ho, ho, hey, hey, Obamacare is here to stay.

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The law that brought health care to millions of Americans has been struck down by a U.S. judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's troubling for 130 million Americans with pre- existing conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Liberty, yes, Obamacare, no!

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People are hurting. Inaction is not an option.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So glad to have your company here. 7:00 is the time. And it is a dramatic ruling that could affect the future of health care coverage for millions of you. A federal judge in Texas has struck down Obamacare, essentially.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the judge says that part of the law, the individual mandate, is unconstitutional. According to his ruling, the rest of the law cannot stand without the mandate. So, the entire Affordable Care Act must fall.

PAUL: Attorneys general in several states are already preparing their appeals while those in other states are joining the White House in sharing their decision. Now, this is happening on the same day as the year's Obamacare signup deadline. That deadline to sign up for Obamacare ends at midnight tonight in most states. BLACKWELL: Now, this is an important point. The judge did not block

the law. So, you can still sign up. More than four million people have already done so this year alone. But now, of course, with this new ruling, the future is uncertain.


DAVID KATZ, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: What just happened now is not going to be the last step but it's a troubling first judicial step. It's troubling for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. It's very disturbing to 12 million people who are on Obamacare as of 2018.


BLACKWELL: So, Obamacare, you'll remember was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. And we'll talk about why this ruling is different from that one in a minute. But first, let's start with the reaction to the ruling from the White House. And CNN White House Reporter Sarah Westwood joins us live. So, what are they saying, Sarah?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Victor and Christi, the White House is certainly taking a Victory lap after last night's ruling with President Trump, claiming credit for predicting the downfall of the Affordable Care Act and calling on Congress to come up with the replacement plan. The president tweeting, "As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an unconstitutional disaster. Now, Congress must pass a strong law that provides great health care and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done." Of course, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and soon-to-be likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Now, Pelosi responded with a statement of her own saying that House Democrats will get involved in the appeals process come January. Pelosi said, "While the absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision and the fear they have struck into millions of families across America who are now in danger of losing their health coverage. When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the lifesaving protections for people with pre-existing conditions."

Now, this of course, was a case brought by 20 Republican state attorneys generals and governors. The Trump administration was not directly involved in the case, but back in June it said it wouldn't be defending key parts of the law in court. Now, this case was based on changes to the individual mandate that came through the 2017 tax bill with the judge ruling that because the individual mandate is now unconstitutional, the rest of the law is invalid. But as you mentioned, it's still the law of the land.

Now, President Trump said last year that he hoped Obamacare would fail, that the exchanges would collapse that the Medicaid expansion would fail, so that Democrats would be compelled to come to the negotiating table and help Republicans come up with a replacement plan. As you'll recall, they tried unsuccessfully to repeal Obamacare legislatively. Now, the future of the Affordable Care Act is looking uncertain. But Victor and Christi, this is -- this ruling from the court is certainly the outcome that the White House was hoping for.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, we appreciate so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Now, it's important to remember why the Affordable Care Act was such a landmark legislation and also why it launched a fight that's continuing today. I mean, this changed the game for insurance providers. They could no longer reject applicants who had prior health conditions, give them high-priced plans with limited coverage. It allowed millions of people with imperfect health records to get insurance. But -- and also pushed premiums for the young and healthy, pushed them up and added a tax penalty for not having health care. That was zeroed out by this year -- by the Congress and that provided the opening for this ruling.

[07:05:04] PAUL: OK. So, I want to talk about what happens next. Errol Louis, CNN Political Commentator and Political Anchor for Spectrum News with us now, as well as CNN Legal Analyst Page Pate, Constitutional and Criminal Defense Attorney. Gentlemen, thank you, good to see you this morning. Page, I want to start with you because I think a lot of people are sitting at home right now and they're going, what does this mean, I signed up, or I was going to sign up today. So, to that, let's deal with that first. What is the state of insurance coverage for people who have signed up or want to today?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Christi, it's the same as it was earlier in the week. This decision does not stop Obamacare. It does not stop people from signing up. It does not take away those protections. What the judge has ruled, though, is that he believes and only him at this point, that the law is unconstitutional because of this mandate. What it happened earlier is the Supreme Court addressed this same argument, can congress compel people to buy health insurance. And the argument was basically Congress can't do that much. They don't have that power.

But the Supreme Court upheld it only because there was a tax involved. And that was critical. And this federal judge said, well, the tax is now gone as a result of recent legislation. So, the entire act fails. Obamacare fails because there's no longer that tax to impose that penalty. Now, that's going to be appealed. It will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. And then Justice Roberts will have to deal with this issue. Is it still a tax, is it still constitutional? But for now, everything is the same as far as the day-to-day operation of the act.

PAUL: So, and Errol, I'll get to you in a minute. But just so we know, as this is debated and we look at a timeline here, if something does change this year, does the signup change for people in 2019? Will they lose -- could they lose their health coverage immediately?

PATE: Well, it's possible, Christi. I mean, at this point, all we have is a district court saying he believes the act is constitutional. Now, we've already seen that an appeal is probably going to be taken to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. It's going to work its way through the process. Congress can step in at any time and adjust this law. We'll have to see if that's what happens.

PAUL: All right. So, Errol, let's talk about the politics of this. Chuck Schumer tweeted this last night, he said: "First, Republicans tried to eliminate the ACA in Congress and failed so they turned to the courts, because the legal reasoning is so faulty. Hopefully, the ruling will not stand. But what will stand is Republican ownership of such a harmful and disastrous lawsuit." This is what President Trump ran on. He voted to dismantle Obamacare. He and many see it as a win. Do you get the sense that all Republicans are behind that, or is there a risk that some may pull back on this?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think most Republicans, if they're looking at the results of the midterms and they can read polls and they have their hand on the pulse of where the American public is going, they know that you can't add what tends to be an estimate of about 20 million people since the year 2013, who have been added to the roles because of the Affordable Care Act.

You can't just throw them off the roles and expect there to be no political consequences. The midterms, the outcome of the votes, as well as everything told to the pollsters strongly suggested that Democrats in particular but also Independents really like the stability that comes with the Affordable Care Act. Repeal was one of the most unpopular bills of the last 30 years.

And when they tried to do it and it failed last year, a lot of Republicans actually quietly breathed a sigh of relief that they wouldn't have to try and shoulder the burden of this ideologically driven political strategy that was not working for them at the polls. So, if this gets thrown back into the laps of the Republican Party and they're going to have to go and try and fight for this, either on Capitol Hill or in the ballot -- at the ballot box, I think they're going to have a really, really hard time.

PAUL: And the president, you know, said that he tweeted that Congress must pass a strong law that provides great health care and protects pre-existing conditions. What are the options the president is putting out there, Errol?

LOUIS: The president has only described in broad terms what he would like to see. And you know, it's really interesting, Christi. He had an opportunity, certainly when he came in, he talked all over the place. He said, he wanted to have a bill that was -- was kind and would help a lot of people and wouldn't hurt anybody with pre-existing conditions. But he also had that Republican ideological requirement to say that he hated Obamacare. He really could have charted his own course on this, but he's now ending up in a place where he's going to get saddled with that same unpopular stance that -- that Republicans tried to take and which cost them dearly in the midterms.

PAUL: So, Page, you mentioned an appeal is almost certain here. If this goes to the Supreme Court, how do you think it would be received by the new court?

PATE: Well, that's what's going to be interesting to see. We have the same -- excuse me -- division of justices because at the time, there were four justices who basically said we think the law is fine, there's no good constitutional challenge to it. And the two new justices replaced two who were on the side that said you need to strike it down. It's not a tax, and the individual mandate is unconstitutional. That hasn't changed. The key question here will be: does Chief Justice Roberts change his opinion now that there's no longer that tax payment that's required. Because the only way the Supreme Court found the law constitutional the first time, was to say that there was a tax. Now, Congress has made that tax effectively zero, so it still constitutional? It's all going to come down to Chief Justice Roberts again.

[07:10:41] PAUL: All right. Errol Louis and Page Pate, always appreciate both of you; chiming in with your perspectives. Thank you, gentlemen.

LOUIS: Thank you.

PATE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, after a week of speculation and rejection, President Trump has a new chief of staff, at least an acting chief of staff. Coming up, how Mick Mulvaney will manage his new west wing duties as he continues his work as the White House budget director.

PAUL: And the panel investigating the Florida shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School says schools need armed teachers and better law enforcement. We're learning more about their proposals for school safety. We'll tell you, straight ahead.


[07:15:19] PAUL: Well, the president announced last night on Twitter that Mick Mulvaney will become acting chief of staff at the end of the year.

BLACKWELL: Now, Mulvaney will not resign from his current position as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. And CNN's Kaitlan Collins explains, his appointment puts an end to several days of confusion after the president's top pick turned down the job.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump announced on Twitter late Friday night that Mick Mulvaney, the White House Budget Director, will become the acting chief of staff when John Kelly, currently the Chief of Staff, leaves at the end of the year. Now, that word "acting" came as a surprise to most people in the White House since that was the word that led to the failure and breakdown in negotiations over Nick Ayers -- Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff -- becoming John Kelly's replacement in becoming the Chief of Staff here in the west wing. President Trump told Nick Ayers he wanted a two-year commitment and didn't want someone to be the acting chief of staff. Yet now, he has got an acting chief of staff.

However, all of this could've come down to timing it. Because on Friday, President Trump was discussing the possible government shutdown next week and so was the senior staff throughout the day. And Mick Mulvaney, the Budget Director, came over to the White House to sit down with the president, go over what would happen during that shut down and discuss it with him, and walked out with the top job. Now, it's a question of just how long Mick Mulvaney is going to be in this position. But this position is coming with quite a list of challenges as we're seeing the number of investigations surrounding President Trump and aspects of not only his political but personal life start to mount up. But that is a job that Mick Mulvaney will take over at the beginning of the year. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


BLACKWELL: President Trump is nearing the end of his second year in office. And he's also the focus of more than a half dozen investigations. Let's say this, we don't know exactly how many there are because some might have -- might not have been made public.

PAUL: Yes, but here's what we do know -- that is being under -- that is under investigation right now. The Trump organization, the Trump foundation, the Trump campaign, the Trump inauguration, and the Trump transition, and the Trump administration, all six under investigation as we sit here with you. And now, CNN has learned, Special Counsel Robert Mueller still wants to speak in person with President Trump about obstruction of justice. His lawyers, of course, adamant that that can't happen. The president previously answered written questions from the special counsel, the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, telling CNN they are against it because they don't trust Mueller.

BLACKWELL: Our next guest says President Trump is out of options in the face of these mounting investigations. Joining us Richard Painter, he's the former Chief Ethics Attorney for George W. Bush and Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota. Richard, welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's start here with a pretty dramatic statement that you made this week that you said it's time for President Trump's lawyers to negotiate a plea deal. Explain that.

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER CHIEF ETHICS ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, the president has serious exposure to criminal liability on several fronts. He has the case, the investigation on proceeding in the Southern District of New York surrounding the payments to porn stars, he has the even more serious situations with Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation and the president's obstruction of justice there. The New York attorney general is coming after the foundation and may very well have other investigations of the Trump organization. And, of course, he's going to have to deal with the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in January.

The president at this juncture, really ought to consider negotiating while he has some negotiating power. The presidency, say, offer to resign in return for reduced charges. His lawyer is already getting three years in prison for something that Donald Trump clearly told the lawyer to do. That in and of itself exposes the president to jail time. I think it is time for a comprehensive plea agreement. It would be a lot better for the country, for us to be able to move on. And for Donald Trump to negotiate now while he still has something to negotiate with rather than waiting for the end of his presidency for all of these criminal proceedings against him to really turn up the heat. He could very well send him to prison for a long time if he doesn't work this out.

PAUL: Do you get the sense -- I think what's so jolting is when we put those six investigations that are going on right now, up there and you think about the time and the money and the energy that is going into this, do you think President Trump will make it through his next two years?

[07:20:05] PAINTER: Well, that depends on what he wants to do and also Congress. I think he ought to negotiate a plea deal. Because it's going to be very bad for him in the criminal process as things move along. People are copping pleas, there are lots of guilty pleas or convictions of his top people, campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, national security adviser, so forth. So, he's in deep trouble. But if he wants to dig in his heels and stay there, then we'll see what Congress wants to do.

The Democrats may want to impeach him, and the Republicans have to decide whether to, I think, do the smart thing and ask him to leave, tell him to leave and calm things down with Mike Pence for two years or suffer through this. But it's turning into a national disaster. We've got the economy in on the brink of some difficulties here with the trade war heating up. Nobody really knows who's in charge in the United States.

BLACKWELL: Speaking of being in charge and the economy, you know, we're at the -- we got a couple of days left until this potential government shutdown. And this is the time at which the president decides to take the director of the Office of Management and Budget and make him his acting chief of staff. The question was asked of Sarah sanders, will he continue to have both roles, and she said this: "Mick Mulvaney will not resign from the Office of Management and Budget but will spend all of his time devoted to his role as the acting chief of staff for the president. Russ Vought will hand day- to-day operations and run OMB." What's your reaction to that -- at the time that you're facing potential government shutdown, you're talking about the budget pull. The budge guy, moving to the chief of staff, for as long as he can stay because he's acting. And is there any ethical concern about having both roles?

PAINTER: It's a disaster. A completely chaos, this administration. And the government with a trillion-dollar budget and a potential government shutdown and you don't have anybody really in charge over at OMB. You're just using somebody temporary at OMB, at the Office of Management and Budget, because you want to put the director of OMB over the chief of staff's position because nobody else wants it because nobody wants to work for this president.

It's complete chaos in this White House. And putting that on top of all these investigations, something's got to get fixed very quickly or we could be in serious trouble. The markets are getting nervous. The trade war is heating up. Now, they're talking about shutting down the government. Why? Because the president doesn't get some stupid wall that he wants down on the southern border. It's ridiculous what's going on right now.

BLACKWELL: I've got one more here. Let me ask you what you think about the current director of the office, Emory Rounds. Initially, when he was announced as the nominee, there were encouraging response from several of you who've held the office. But now, I see on Twitter and from you being on the show: Norm Isen, you, Walter Schwab, former directors, are just lambasting this administration daily. What do you think of the job he's doing now?

PAINTER: Emory Rounds is over at the Office of Government Ethics. And I think he's doing a very good job at the Office of Government Ethics. That's an independent agency. The problem is, they don't have the enforcement powers as they ought to have. And because of that, when they write the White House and tell the White House somebody's in violation, for example, Kellyanne Conway, has been chilling for Ivanka clothes or (INAUDIBLE) or whatever, the White House (INAUDIBLE) tells government ethics to pound sand.

Emory Rounds, he was my deputy of the Bush White House, the ethics office there, he's worked in OGE for a long time. He's doing the best job he can as director of the Office of Government Ethics. But they need to have enforcement power. They need to have the power to investigate. Because what we're finding out is that everybody in the Trump administration is just ignoring the Office of Government Ethics. They simply don't care what OGE has to say about what the rules are.

BLACKWELL: All right. Richard, thanks so much.

PAINTER: Thank you.

[07:24:18] PAUL: Thank you, sir. Well, millions of Americans may feel like they're just unclear this morning regarding the future of their health care after a federal judge strikes down the Affordable Care Act. This happened late last night. We have more on what this means for you regarding Obamacare next.


PAUL: So good to be with you this morning. 29 minutes past the hour right now. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. Millions of Americans are waking up this morning with the future of their health care in limbo. Last night, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. And that judge's ruling is that the ACA's individual mandate is unconstitutional.

PAUL: That mandate required all individuals to have insurance and would fine those who did not. Former U.S. Attorney David Katz explains it this way.


[07:29:52] KATZ: The argument goes like this -- the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the ACA was constitutional. Five justices were willing to say, including Chief Justice Roberts, that it was OK as a tax. That's the individual mandate was a tax. If you didn't buy the insurance, you had to pay a tax. And that was within the taxing power of the United States federal government. As of next year, there is no more individual mandate. That was what the Republicans put in the new ACA.


PAUL: So, this doesn't mean that you can't sign up for Obamacare, the law still in effect. This morning though marks the final day to enroll in the plan in order to be covered for 2019. You have until 11:59 tonight to do so.

So let's talk about the Affordable Care Act and how we got here. It's considered President Barack Obama's signature policy achievement. It was signed into law, March 23rd, 2010, and the goal is to make health care affordable in the United States by lowering costs, expanding coverage, and improving the quality of care. That was what they said the goal was.

President Obama campaigned on reforming health care industry and celebrated when the bill was signed.


OBAMA: Today, after almost a century of trying. Today, after over a year of debate. Today, after all of the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America.


PAUL: Now, Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured in the U.S. And 2013, the year before Obamacare came in full effect, there were 42 million people without health insurance that number was down to 29 million in 2015. From the onset here, Republicans opposed the law and made several attempts to repeal it.

In fact, repealing Obamacare was one of candidate Trump's key campaign promises. Republicans just couldn't muster enough votes in Congress. However, to fulfill that promise to replace the law with the American Health Care Act of 2017.

The government has taken steps though, the tax cut bill passed in 2017 including a provision that eliminated that so-called individual mandate that compelled people to get health insurance. According to the government, nearly 12 million people enrolled in Obamacare in 2018, 27 percent of them were new customers. And right now, President Obama is on the social media blitz, reminding people about today's deadline to enroll for health coverage.


OBAMA: And frankly, I think you've proven that you don't need to see me taking jump-shots or sitting between a couple of forest plants in order to know it's important to have health insurance. In case God forbid, you get really sick or hurt yourself next year. So this year, I'm giving it to you straight. Sign up for health insurance at before the deadline on December 15th. You can do it right now.


BLACKWELL: All right, joining me now to discuss, CNN political commentator and former senior advisor for the Trump campaign Jack Kingston. Jack, been a while. Good morning, welcome back.

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good, great to be with you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, so let's start here with the numbers. The latest public polling on this out from Fox News right before the election shows that Obamacare is popular here. 54 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable. Republican, attorneys general -- well, of red states, I should say. They pushed for this lawsuit. They won at this juncture on the wrong side of this with the American people?

KINGSTON: Well, I'd say on the wrong side of aspects of it if you're talking about pre-existing conditions coverage, which is enormously popular with both parties, and also supported by both parties. I want to point out one thing that I heard Mr. Katz say earlier that 133 million Americans have pre-existing conditions.

I would point out to him, on May 6th, 2017 article by CNN health expert and they're called Chavez that says that number is actually 52 million people have pre-existing illnesses. The reason why I say that is because he's speaking right off Democrat talking points. The reality is it's too high, which is why Republicans including Kevin Brady in his statement last night said we support coverage for pre- existing illnesses.

BLACKWELL: So, let me ask you this, if you say that this lawsuit is on the wrong side of history as it relates to protection for people with pre-existing conditions, then why did this Department of Justice, six months ago say that it would stop defending the law as relates to those protections?

KINGSTON: Well, I think what the president wants to -- let me say this unequivocally. The Republican Party from John McCain to Jim Jordan ran on let's repeal Obamacare. And in 2010, as you know, it was passed without a single Republican vote. The repeal as manifests in the mandate -- the individual mandate was passed without a single Democrat vote.

So you have in 2010, a partisan vote and in 2017 another partisan vote. I think what's good about this is now, Democrats and Republicans together have to come up with a bipartisan solution.

[07:35:05] BLACKWELL: OK Jack, you didn't answer my question. Let me ask you again. Why if this -- if you believe that being against the protections for people with pre-existing conditions is on the wrong side of history, on the wrong side of the people, then why did this administration, the Department of Justice in June announce or tell this federal court that it would stop defending the law as it relates to those protections?

KINGSTON: Well, I think because, Victor, they're against the total law, and there's different aspects of it that they would support like pre-existing condition.


BLACKWELL: But they didn't announce they would stop defending the total law. They didn't -- they did -- they wouldn't talk about that the keeping your kids on the policy until you're 26. They pointed picked out that specific provision.

KINGSTON: Well, that was the Department of Justice.


KINGSTON: But the administration and the Republicans have said, they do support those provisions. But I think what the DOJ was trying to do is say, if the whole thing falls down, then we can go back to the bargaining table and hammer out a bipartisan solution that doesn't increase premiums, 60 percent and --


BLACKWELL: So, it's to let it fail and then we'll fix it strategy.

KINGSTON: Yes. But remember, one of the things that Obamacare promised and the President Obama himself that your average family health care premiums would go down $2,500 per household, it's gone up 60 percent since 2013 when this passed. So --


BLACKWELL: So, is the president getting what he said back in July of 2017, "Let it fail. Let the Obamacare fail, and then Democrats will have to come to the table." Is that what you're seeing happen here?

KINGSTON: That's what I'm seeing happening, Victor. And I think in the long run, America will be better off with a bipartisan solution. Because again --


BLACKWELL: But what's that being to the 52 million people if you're using the number you just quoted who have those pre-existing conditions, who wake up this morning and don't know what this means for their future?

KINGSTON: Well, Obamacare has caught -- cause uncertainty in the market since its inception. And so, this is just one more chapter of that uncertainty. And I would never deny that there's lot.


BLACKWELL: But the certainty they did have was -- that the certainty that they did have was that they could not be charged more for those pre-existing conditions and that they could not be denied coverage.

KINGSTON: And I think for right now, that is going to be a question. And that's why Democrats and Republicans can get back this week. In fact, and put it in as some of the last-minute changes in the law, they could actually do it this week in Congress. But if not, they can do it in January but it would have to be bipartisan, which I believe is somebody who served in Congress for 22 years that the best laws that are passed and put into laws are bipartisan --the laws that are put into on the books.

Because you, you know, we're a divided country philosophically of 320 million people.


KINGSTON: And both parties have to hammer out the solution here. And I think that's good. But you know, keep in mind the 60 percent premium increases since Obamacare is passed have hurt working Americans.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jack Kingston. Thanks so much.

KINGSTON: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: Coming up. The panel reviewing the Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has concluded that teachers, they say, need guns in schools. We're going to discuss that. And some of the other measures they are proposing for school safety. That's next.


[07:42:31] PAUL: Here's a quote, "Teachers need guns and students need more security." Those were two conclusions coming from the state commission panel that's investigating the Parkland High School shooting.

BLACKWELL: And the panel voted to include a proposal to allow classroom teachers to carry guns in schools if they go through a selection process that includes background checks and training. The idea is already sparking concerns from Congressman Ted Deutch, whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval has more details for us this morning. Polo, what are you learning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Victor, Christi, good morning to you. We should remember though that back in March, the Florida State Legislature actually proposed and even passed legislation that allows some school staff to carry weapons.

However, this new list of recommendations that were just rolled out this week now seeks to allow all teachers at Florida public school campuses to carry weapons if they want to.


BOB GUALTIERI, SHERIFF, PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA: Such as participating on the threat assessment teams --

SANDOVAL: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is recommending teachers be allowed to carry guns on school campuses. The controversial proposal, part of a 407-page preliminary report. It addresses failures by Broward County law enforcement during the massacre. As well as recommendations on how to counter future school violence.

Chairing the Commission, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who supports the measure.

GUALTIERI: We have to give people a fighting chance, we've got to give them an opportunity to protect themselves in my view. We don't have enough to put cops in every school or multiple cops in every school. And we're not maximizing the use of the Guardian -- the use of the Guardian program. And one person, one good guy with a gun on every campus is not adequate.

SANDOVAL: The proposal has yet to go before the governor or state lawmakers. If proved, teachers who want to carry would be required to go through training and background checks before arming themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here is the issue. Districts and schools need to act now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They need to act now. They need to act now.

SANDOVAL: Currently, only some teachers and school staff are allowed to carry firearms since the Parkland shooting, at least, 14 other states have introduced similar measures. The changes have been met with some support in states where rural communities like funding and resources to respond to a school shooter.

Max Schachter is the only person on the Advisory Commission opposing the arming of Florida teachers.

MAX SCHACHTER, SAFETY COMMISSION, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SCHOOL: I don't think teachers should be carrying guns. I think they have enough on their plate. I think their priority is teaching. It just creates a lot of host to more problems.

[07:45:01] SANDOVAL: With the recommendations still tentative, more debate is likely about how to face a school's worst nightmare.

GUALTIERI: What we got right now ain't working. So, we need to do something differently.


SANDOVAL: Until there was one person on that Commission who actually spoke out against these measures, there is still quite a bit of opposition outside of that Commission. Including from some of these groups that want to see gun reform. Including every town for gun safety. A volunteer with the group said, that there is no research that indicates that teachers carrying guns could lead to more safety for children.

What this particular group here is asking for is a really more background search -- as criminal background searches for all gun sales. They believe that, that is the answer. So, Victor Christi, a lot of opposition. Of course, a lot of support as well, and a whole lot of debate about this issue before this report goes to legislators.

PAUL: Yes, a lot of conversation. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. You realize we could just be days away from another government shutdown. How would it affect you though, the taxpayers of America? Do you have a good grasp for that? While Bloomberg reporter Erik Wasson breaks it down for us next. Stay close.



[07:50:22] TRUMP: We need to have the wall. We need border security. Whatever it takes to get border security, I will do it.


PAUL: "Whatever it takes." Defiant words from president Trump there two days after meeting with Democratic leadership. Saying, he will proudly own a government shutdown over border security.


TRUMP: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. Because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.


PAUL: With both parties at a gridlock here, we're six days away from the nation's third government shutdown of the year. Expert say, even a partial shutdown could have a major impact on the country. How would it affect you? I know that's what you're concerned about today.

Bloomberg reporter, Erik Wasson, joining us now to explain what you should expect. So, let's get to that first and foremost, Erik. And thank you so much for being here. For people who are sitting at home today, wondering what is in store for them, help us understand that.

ERIK WASSON, CAPITOL HILL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: Well, this government shutdown will look very different from the one we saw in 2013. That lasted for 17 days. It's estimated that cost the economy $24 billion. But the entire government was shut down for that period of time.

75 percent of the government's trillion-dollar operating budget has already been provided in this fiscal year. So, we're looking at much more of a partial government shutdown.

Still, it would be nine federal agencies and about 80 -- you know, smaller agencies that will be affected. We looked at the numbers and about 420,000 workers would be forced to work without pay.

This includes border security workers. It includes people in customs and border patrol, includes the transportation security administration. These people, if their paycheck comes during the government shutdown, will not be paid.

Another 350,000 workers will be furloughed. This includes the IRS, these includes the environmental protection agency. The national park service will be closed. The State Department will be closed but passports will still be issued because they're paid by fees.

So, in the upshot is that the government will be less than a big government shutdown we've seen in the past that effects will not be as widespread. And because of that, both sides may not have the incentives to bring it to an end.

Sources I talk to in administration on Capitol Hill say that right now, we're headed to a shutdown that could last into January.

PAUL: I was just going to ask, how long could it -- how long could it last without regular Joes -- you know, those of us at home, feeling the effects of it?

WASSON: Well, I think it really depends on who you are and where you sit in this economy. For example, food banks are going to be affected. They're not going to see the kind of food delivers and food storage that they need. So, you're going to have real people being affected by that.

You're going to see people who have questions about how to pay their taxes in the coming year. IRS will not be answering the phone. You know, it really depends. The export/import bank, the small business administration, the USDA, they all make loans to farmers, to businesses, those will all be held up.

Anyone who's -- you know, doing a vending service to the U.S. government will not be able to have those contracts go through, grants to local communities will not go through.


WASSON: So the effects will start to really build as time goes on.

PAUL: OK, so I want to ask you about something that Nancy Pelosi tweeted. She said, "At a time when there's so much uncertainty about the economic security of working families, it's deeply disturbing that Donald Trump is threatening a Trump shutdown. This is far from the treatment American families deserves during the holiday season."

Talk to me about the potential economic impact of a shutdown. Especially one that might last several weeks.

WASSON: Well, so far, we've really not seen the markets particularly spooked by the shutdown. There is a big downturn in the S&P 500, one of the worst we've seen in recent years. But it's really focused on Trump's trade policy. His conflicting messages on whether a China trade deal can be done.

So far, the markets are not really taking this into account. However, it could be just another -- you know, straw that breaks the camel's back. We'll see the fed raise interest rates this week. You know, like I said, $24 billion in economic impact in 2013. This will be smaller, but it could be another thing that we see adding to the nervousness in the equity market.

PAUL: All right. So, from the economics to the political, what is the political impact here? Who do you think will show -- I mean, the president has said, "I'll take the blame." Will he truly shoulder all of it?

WASSON: Well, the thing is, this shutdown games is all about who is going to be blamed. Whoever is going to be blamed is the one who loses. And that's why advisers to President Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill were not happy with his performance in the Oval Office when he said that he would be proud to shut down the government.

You saw Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi smiling coming at that meeting. They feel like they have the upper hand. Listen, possible scenarios, I put Trump getting his full wall money at the very bottom. There could be some kind of split the baby compromise. There is the possibility, potentially next year of a grand bargain with protectors -- protections for young DREAMers in exchange for wall money. That's off the table right now, but that could be where we're headed.

[07:55:15] PAUL: All right. Erik Wasson, really appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.

WASSON: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Christi. Up next, millions of Americans are waking up this morning. Wondering if their health care coverage is going away. Well, we have details on this late-night ruling in which a federal judge in Texas struck down the individual mandate in Obamacare.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obamacare is here to stay.

OBAMA: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a law that brought health care to millions of Americans has been struck down by a U.S. judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's troubling for 130 million Americans with pre- existing conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Liberty, yes. Obamacare, no.