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CNN RIGHT NOW
Democrats to Take Control of House on Thursday; Concern Over Economy, Possible Recession; Kim Jong-Un Slams Sanctions, Sends New Warning to U.S; Texas Police Ask for Public Help in 7-Year-Old Girl's Shooting; 2019 Ushers in Slew of New State Laws. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 1, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Something happen, for some kind of action before Democrats take the House on Thursday and Washington really changes in a real way after eight years.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The other story that we're tracking and all of us going into 2019 is the economy. We have been watching the volatility in the markets. Things have been good economically but there's a lot of anxiety around it. And some economists are saying maybe not a recession in 2019 but leading into it for 2020. What are you tracking on this story?
JOHN BRESNAHAN, CONGRESSIONAL BUREAU CHIEF, POLITICO: We think Congress will step up its oversight on these issues. There's a limited amount they can do. They are watching closely Trump's efforts to have a meeting with Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell. They want to see what he does, what he says to him. They worried, like Wall Street, about the independence of the Fed. You will see hearings on the Republican tax bill and what that meant, for the deficit, and for Congress. Trying to address the issue. They have limited room to take action and there's no sign of a slowdown. They won't do a stimulus bill --
KEILAR: Are they worried about it, John?
BRESNAHAN: They're absolutely worried.
BRESNAHAN: I think everybody is. Wall Street is worried about it and that's why there's huge swings in the markets. Wall Street is are usually the leading economic indicator of a shutdown or a slowdown in the economy. If Wall Street is in a bear market, it'll have an effect on the economy.
KEILAR: Lauren, you are going to be up to your eyeballs in the oversight stories. Democrats taking control in the House. They are going to start asking questions and issuing subpoenas. What's on your radar?
FOX: They have a couple of key areas. They have the broadest jurisdiction. Security clearances and immigration and investigating policy issues like prescription drug prices. Another area is the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Richard Neal. The only Democrat who has the power to ask for Donald Trump's tax returns. They have been getting their hands on it for a while. Expect public hearings about asking for the president's tax returns and about the precedent for getting presidential tax returns. They are going to build a case and you can expect, I've been told by a source familiar, that Richard Neal will ask for the president's tax returns. TBD on when it happens but prepare for that.
KEILAR: The precedent is that president's do it. Right, John? That is certainly it. Do you think we might finally get a chance to see the tax returns?
BRESNAHAN: I don't know. There's a long way to go before they become public. It's possible. You will see Trump push a legal challenge. He's not going to roll over give up his tax returns or have them released by the IRS, which is what happens.
KEILAR: What about the other issues of oversight? You can't imagine the Trump administration will say, oh, sure that's fine. This person will send on up for a dog-and-pony show hearing. We will send her up and him up. They are going to resist this.
BRESNAHAN: You'll see the Trump administration push on what they can do to resisting congressional oversight. They fought a lot of the oversight from the Republicans and they cooperated when they had to. They slow-walked responses and turned over documents but brought them back every night. You see them try to come up with creative ways to fight oversight. Again, as Lauren mentioned, they have subpoena power and they'll push that when they need to. They will try to be smart and not to overreach them.
KEILAR: Lauren, when you ask members of Congress, who will have this oversight power, who they want to hear from, they have been watching this in the minority for a long time. Are there names that generally pop up that these are the folks or the person I want to hear from?
FOX: I talked with Elijah Cummings, who is the incoming chairman, and he said he would like to sit down and talk with Wilbur Ross about questions about the census and how a question about citizenship was put on the census. You can expect that's a timely issue that will be one of the earlier hearings they have. They want to be talking about public policy. They don't want to come in and say we will have this cabinet secretary and this one. They want to make sure we are showing the people we will govern. This is not going to be putting Trump in the spotlight.
KEILAR: Maybe defer to Robert Mueller before they --
FOX: Absolutely. They don't want to step on his toes.
KEILAR: Lauren Fox and John Bresnahan, thank you so much to both of you. We have such a big year ahead of us. It will be a wild ride. No doubt.
CNN has confirmed that the president asked congressional leaders from both parties to come to the White House, likely tomorrow or Thursday, to discuss the wall. Sources tell CNN border security officials from the Department of Homeland Security will be on hand for the meeting.
[13:34:07] President Trump said he is ready to meet with North Korea's dictator again. But Kim Jong-Un has a message for the president. First, vowing, if sanctions persist, North Korea may need to pursue, quote, "a new way." We will have that and more when we come back.
[13:39:58] KEILAR: North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un delivered a New Year's message of hope for his country mixed with words of warming for the U.S. He pledged a commitment to denuclearization and an offer to meet with President Trump but added that North Korea need to take a, quote, "new way forward" if U.S. sanctions continue.
One of the most surprising aspects of the speech was a fresh look and setting, ditching stiff formalities. Kim appeared dressed in a suit and tie, speaking in a more informal setting. Many experts believe this was calculated to cast him as a more modern world leader.
While it might be the beginning of a New Year, many of the old security threats persist.
Let's look at the challenges ahead for the U.S. in 2019 with Samantha Vinograd, CNN national security analyst, who served on President Obama's National Security Council.
What are you tracking here?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECUITY ANALYST: Brianna, you may be surprised by this, but I think the biggest risk we face come from within the situation room itself. That is the lack of a functioning National Security Council process. There's no shortage of national security threats that's going to come at the United States in 2019. What's different this year, however, from when I served in the administration before, there's not a process in place that allows the president and his team to actually prioritize what they pay attention to. National security resources are finite. I am talking about military assets and foreign assistance and time and attention. We run the risk of having a president and a national security adviser that spend time going down rabbit holes rather than appropriately prioritizing how, where, and when the United States should focus resources.
KEILAR: What are about global threats?
VINOGRAD: The largest threat facing this remains the threat from global terrorism. We saw worrisome trends and homegrown terrorism strike unfortunately that was motivated by various factors, including political agendas and a rise in hate crimes and speech. The risk of homegrown terrorist attacks is very high. At the same time, we know that Sunni extremism remains a big factor when we look at the global terrorist landscape and we've had something that changed in the last year. There are potential security vacuums that are going to open in Syria and in places like Afghanistan with the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The threats from global terrorists are also quite high going into the New Year.
KEILAR: Sam, thank you so much. Very serious topic. Obviously, a lot to think about going into the New Year. But a happy New Year to you, hopefully.
VINOGRAD: Same to you, Brianna.
KEILAR: The peace of last Sunday morning was shattered in Houston when a little girl and her mother were shot while driving in a car. The mother survived and her 7-year-old daughter died. The big questions, why would anyone target them, and where is the killer?
[13:47:31] KEILAR: A father in Texas is making a desperate plea for information to find his child's killer. On Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire on a car that was carrying his 7-year-old daughter, Jazmine Barns, and three siblings and her mother. By the time the shooting stopped, Jazmine was dead and her sister and mother were wounded. Police have launched a manhunt for the gunman. And like Jazmine's dad, they are asking the public for any information to help with the search.
I want to bring in CNN correspondent, Nick Valencia.
You are following the case. This is awful. Tell us more.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a terrible way for the family to start the New Year, Brianna, mourning the loss of this 7-year-old girl. What seems to be an unprovoked attack. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Jazmine and her three siblings and mother were leaving the Houston area Walmart when they were just -- the gunman opened fire on their vehicle. Two siblings were unhurt. Another sibling was hit by shattered glass. Jazmine lost her life. Her mother was struck in the arm. She's still in the hospital. This is what she had to say from her hospital bed.
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UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER: My baby came and asked me, where is my sister. Is she coming back? She is only 6 years old. She did not deserve to wake up and wake up without her sister. It's not fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: The sheriff emphasized this family did nothing to provoke the attack. There's no indication they deserved this at all.
The suspected gunman is described as a white male in his 40s. He has a beard and was driving a red pick-up truck, according to witnesses. There's not any other details about him that have been released by the sheriff's office. They are pleading with the public, Brianna, to check any surveillance footage they may have, to look at the red pick- up to see if they recognize this vehicle and try to get this alleged gunman captured -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Nick, we know you will continue to follow this story.
VALENCIA: You've got it.
KEILAR: Now to the miracle today amid tragedy. Take a look at the moment that Russian emergency officials found a baby boy alive in the rubble of an apartment building that collapsed after an explosion yesterday. The baby survived the blast and more than 35 hours in the freezing cold. Authorities believe a gas leak is what caused this massive explosion. At least seven people were killed and 36 are still missing.
The New Year is ushering in new laws coast to coast and some are pretty eye-opening. We are going to talk about them after the break.
[13:49:59] GILDA RADNER, COMEDIAN: Hi, I'm Gilda Radner. And -- OK, now.
RADNER: People want to know what made you funny. From the time I was a kid, I loved to pretend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the very first performer chosen for the cast of "Saturday Night Live."
RADNER: Rosanne Roseannadanna.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They loved her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I basically stole all my characters from Gilda.
RADNER: I can do almost anything if people are laughing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gilda was just not quite herself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One morning, she just said, I don't know what's wrong with me.
RADNER: For a comedian, it's the most unfunny thing in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She felt that she could be of help. And that's exactly what she did.
RADNER: How often do we get to know exactly how brave we are?
I always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right.
ANNOUNCER: "Love, Gilda," tonight at 9:00 p.m.
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(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Right now, it's a brisk three degrees in Minnesota. That's not stopping thrill-seeking swimmers from jumping into Lake Mintaka. This is the ice dive, an annual event that started 28 years. It's still going strong. And it's for a good cause, raising money for charity with most of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
It is the first day of 2019. There's a slew of new laws that take effect today, from minimum wage hikes to the number of women in the boardroom. Some of these laws could have a really big social impact.
CNN's Jean Casarez has been tracking these laws. She joins us now.
Tell us about them.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting, from the east coast to the west coast, there are so many new laws, state by state, and some of them could really impact you.
CASAREZ (voice-over): The year 2019 rings in with bigger paychecks for some works in at least 19 states that are increasing or adjusting their hourly workers on New Year's Day. Workers from Maine to Missouri to Arizona will see bumps in their paychecks even as the federal minimum wage hasn't budged since $7.25 since 2009.
Just as the 2020 political season kicks off, next week, the state of Florida will restore the voting rights of former felons upon the completion of their sentences, excluding those convicted of murder and sexual offenses.
Utah has the lowest blood alcohol content standard for drunk driving. Now at .05 percent, that as little as one drink for most women and three drinks for most men to reach the new limit.
In California, public-held corporations based in the state must have at least one woman on the board of directors by the end of the year. And by the end of 2021, they must have at least two or three female board members depending on the size of the board of directors Violations can be fined up to $300,000.
And in California, pet stores can no longer sell cats, dogs or rabbits unless they come from animal shelters or non-profit rescue groups. And the Golden State is home to a new law that gives pets more rights. No longer will the family dog and cat being treated by courts as physical property. Judges can now decide who gets custody during divorce proceedings based on what is in the best interest of the pets.
Fashion-forward hunters in Illinois will have another color option for their hunting wardrobe. The state becomes the seventh to expand from the standard blaze orange to a blaze pink.
In the age of tweets and texts, the state of Ohio is going retro. Students will be required to learn to write in cursive by the end of the fifth grade.
Just some of the news laws Americans are waking up to this New Year.
CASAREZ: In New York, Styrofoam containers for takeout food are banned because you cannot recycle them. And, Brianna, plastic straws in California, you're not going to get them at a restaurant unless you specifically ask for one.
KEILAR: Cursive, that's a little out there. That's interesting, Jean.
Happy New Year to you, Jean.
CASAREZ: Thank you. Happy New Year.
KEILAR: This just in to CNN. We are getting word a U.S. Marine was shot and killed while on duty earlier this morning at the Marine barracks in Washington, D.C. Washington police responded to this incident. The circumstances of the shooting are unclear and the killing is under investigation. The shooting was determined not to be a threat to local residents because authorities say this occurred on the grounds of the Marine barracks. CNN has reached out to D.C. police and the Marines and we will keep you updated on this story.
That is it for me.
Coming up, more on the arrest of an American in Moscow. NEWSROOM starts right now.