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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Any Minute Now: House To Vote To End Shutdown As President Trump Vows To Veto Bill; Democrats Begin Push To Investigate President Trump After Taking Control Of House; Possible 2020 Contender Takes On Fellow Dems For "Unrealistic Ideological Promises"; House Passes Stopgap Bill To Reopen Department Of Homeland Security Now Voting On Other Bill With No Wall Funding; Update On Young Migrant Heard On Tape Crying For Her Family; New Congress Features More Religious Diversity. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 3, 2019 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Chris Cuomo is off tonight. In this hour of "360", there's breaking news. Right now, the newly Democratic controlled House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on legislation to end the government shutdown.
Now, it will not include funding for the President's wall and the White House has already threatened to veto it. However, it could become the opening position in negotiations between the President and Democrats who now for the first time this administration hold a share of the power and a portion of the responsibility for what happens on this and just about anything else that really matters.
We got breaking news coverage at both ends of official Washington, Kaitlan Collins at the White House, Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Let's go first to Manu where the action is. Is this vote anything other than symbolic really, Manu? Because, I mean, it's unlikely to pass the Senate and the President would likely veto it.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it's not even going to get a vote in the Senate. The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell making it very clear that he's only going to put legislation on the floor that is supported by this President, that is not going to be vetoed by this President.
But the Democrats are pushing forward with two measures tonight that have essentially been supported by Republicans in the Senate in the past. One, to fund a large portion of the government, six appropriations bills, a significant swap of the government that the Republicans and the Democrats negotiated to in the Senate last Congress, and another to keep the Department of Homeland Security open until February 8th.
And that is a bill that was passed by voice vote almost unanimously in the United States Senate late last year, but the President changed his mind. He decided he didn't want to support that any more and we're in a position -- we are now sort of position where the Democrats pass these bills, pressure the Republicans to take them up in the Senate and take on the President. But at this point, no appetite to do that, so the stalemate is going to go on for quite some time, Anderson.
COOPER: We did, though, today, see the first Republican senator call for to end the shutdown without a border deal.
RAJU: Yes, that's Cory Gardner from Colorado, the Republican senator telling "The Hill" newspaper that he indeed wants to see the government open at least a short term measure through potentially February 8th while they negotiate a larger deal. That's the same position that they took back in late last year and he's the first Republican to really break from the position of the leadership.
Now the question, will other Republicans join him? Gardner, of course, up for re-election in 2020 in a state that Hillary Clinton won, Colorado, back in 2016, he could have a tough race. So the sign, Anderson, of some Republicans feeling pressure on this very issue and that's what the Democrats are hoping for, see more and more Republicans came.
But if Mitch McConnell, Anderson, does not put this on the floor, there's very little that they can do. And at this point he says he has no role to end the stand-off. It's all about Democrats and the White House negotiating a compromise.
COOPER: And just in terms of the timeline tonight, I mean, this could any minute, right?
RAJU: Any minute we expect the first of these two key votes to happen. It should be happening at this hour. At that point the House Democrats will have spoken.
COOPER: All right. Manu, we'll come back to you for the outcome. And as things happen, I want to go to Kaitlan Collins right now at the White House. Let's talk more about this veto threat from the President.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This vote hasn't even happened yet. The White House has already saying it's a nonstarter. Now, if did comes to the President's desk, he's going to veto it.
Now, we knew that was going to happen and Democrats know it was going to happen after they walked out to that meeting with the President in the situation room yesterday because we're told by sources that Chuck Schumer pressed the President multiple times, "Why won't you sign these bills, and then over the next 30 days we'll negotiate the DHS funding."
The President told Chuck Schumer that would make him look foolish and said he did not want to do that. So they knew this is going to happen and they're vowing to veto it saying that essentially it provides unnecessary funding while not doing anything about the crisis on the border.
Now, essentially what we're seeing, Anderson, is both of these sides continue to dig in with Nancy Pelosi jokingly saying earlier she'll give the White House one more dollar for the wall. And Mike Pence's saying in an interview tonight that with no wall, there is no deal, essentially putting us no closer to reopening the government than we were 13 days ago.
COOPER: And talk about what happened in the briefing room earlier today, because it certainly obviously was not a briefing. Was that just, A, an effort to keep the border situation front and center, and also to try to steal some attention away from Nancy Pelosi getting the gavel?
COLLINS: Yes, you couldn't ignore that that came after all of this hours of coverage of Nancy Pelosi and (INAUDIBLE) newly empowered Democrats earlier today that the President chose today to make his first appearance ever in the White House press briefing room. But it certainly wasn't used for its intended purposes today because neither the President nor the press secretary took any questions from reporters into the White House and build it as a press briefing when they initially told reporters to scramble and get up there within five minutes warning even though this hadn't been on the schedule as typically these briefings usually are.
Now the President came out, he made some brief remarks and he had some members of the Border Patrol Union behind him, including the President and let him speak. But that is not someone who speaks officially for Customs and Border Patrol that is someone who speaks unofficially.
Instead, Anderson, what's interesting about this at this time is when the actual commissioner for CBP was supposed to hold an on camera on the record briefing with reporters where he was going to take their questions but they shove that because they had been informed that the White House is holding a briefing.
[21:05:12] But, of course, as you pointed out, it wasn't a briefing because they didn't take questions.
COOPER: Yes. Kaitlan, thanks.
More on the non-briefing briefing. Here's what the President said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Without a wall you cannot have border security. Without a very strong form of barrier, call it what you will, but without a wall, you cannot have border security, it won't work. You see what's just been put out on social media where thousands of people are rushing the border. Having a drone fly overhead, and I think nobody knows much more about technology, this type of technology certainly than I do. Having drones and various other forms of sensors, they're all fine, but they're not going to stop the problems that this country has.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Nobody knows more about drone technology than the President. The President also claimed that Americans want this wall. CNN polling shows that majority, 57 percent, do not in fact support it. In any event, beyond support, there's a question of whether the kind of wall or barrier or whatever the President now envisions would work. I want to get two views on that right now.
Joining us is David Lapan who served as Department of Homeland Security spokesman during this administration, also, Paul Babeu, former sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona. Appreciate both of you being with us.
David, let me start with you. What goes through your mind when you hear those Border Patrol Union officials defending the need for a wall?
DAVID LAPAN, FORMER DHS SPOKESPERSON, TRUMP ADMIN.: Well, a couple of things. As Kaitlan pointed out rightly, the Border Patrol Union is not an official spokesperson for the entire union and for all the members of Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol.
Again, you had a Senate confirmed commissioner who could have been there to answer questions, that was clearly not what the White House intended. But I would say that there is certainly some evidence that barriers work. They have worked in some sectors, but a couple of key points.
If the President felt it was necessary to have $5 billion for a border wall, he should have put that in his budget request. The President's own budget request asked for $1.6 billion for 65 miles of border wall, so to get hung up now on this idea that $5 billion is needed for a wall just doesn't make a lot of sense.
There is the other thing too that the President mentioned, one -- a couple of things, he was wrong, thousands of people aren't rushing the border, that's not happening. The numbers are not higher than they've ever been. In fact, the annual numbers are lower than they've been in past history, by about half. And that the President, again, tries to belittle the idea of technology. Those same border patrol agents represented by the union will tell you that any type of barrier would not be effective without more border enforcement, meaning people and technology to back it up.
COOPER: Paul, I mean, the Border Patrol Council whose leaders appeared with the President say as recently as 2012, they actually oppose building walls saying that walls and fencing are a waste of taxpayer money, what changed?
PAUL BABEU, FORMER SHERIFF, PINAL COUNTY, ARIZONA: Well, you saw Brandon Judd, Chris Crane, both the leaders of -- and we can't dismiss what they're saying because often times everyone always says, listen to the men and women who actually do the job. Well, guess what, these are the men and women who actually protect America. And they represent not just in their one appointment confirmed by the Senate, they represent 18,000 plus men and women in uniform, and they're -- themselves, agents, who actually have enforced the law for 21 plus years.
So, I think what they have to say is very valuable and all of those gentlemen I've worked with personally, and know and understand their viewpoint. And I can say both in law enforcement here in Arizona in the past, and also serving in the reserve component specifically for the border mission in Yuma and also in California having helped construct portions of the wall that exist currently, barriers do work.
And as the colonel mentioned before, absolutely, it's complimented and you need with that to work in concert the technology, not only cameras, infrared at night, surveillance and sensors, and as important of any barrier or any wall is the enforcement of laws. And I think that's what we're lacking here. And so the border patrol, I think they play a vital role for them to speak out as an organized labor --
COOPER: Why not --
BABEU: -- to say, hey, we support this.
[21:10:00] COOPER: Why not have the guy who actually runs Customs and Border Protection? I mean, you would think he would be there too?
BABEU: Well, you can have him. And he spoke, he's testified before Congress countless times, and I believe he has the same position as the President. In fact, he's the one that was nominated by Secretary Kelly, Chief of Staff Kelly, this guy was nominated. And so he's been elevated to that role to carry out the policies of the border patrol and CBP, Customs and Border Protection.
And so this isn't some farfetched thing that's all about Trump. We've had many of the leaders on both sides of the aisle vote for this many times, this has long history, the great credit of Bill Clinton. He brokered a deal with Duncan Hunter, the first congressman, the father in San Diego, when he offered a three barrier, three layers, three different walls, at certain portions of the border where high traffic proven smuggling routes were, or there's built up urban centers, and that's what exists northwest of Tijuana, south of San Diego.
And Bill Clinton, actually approved, signed into law two walls, two barriers, and that never was achieved. So this isn't a Democrat or Republican issue. We should all be pushing for secure borders and safety in enforcement of the law.
COOPER: So, David, I mean, what is wrong with, in your opinion then having the President's border wall as he talked about it during the campaign?
LAPAN: Well, you make a great point, Anderson, is what the President said during the campaign. His world is different from what he's saying today. Not only many times during the campaign, and even after he became president, it was all about a wall, it was a concrete structure. It was defined in those terms. Since then, he has now changed his position to say, well, it could be a fence. It could be some slats. It could be, as he said, whatever you call it, whatever you want to call it. So one of the problems we've had is trying to nail down the President on exactly what he's looking for.
The other thing that seems to be missing from this, is any hint of a strategy. Rather than just focusing on a wall as the President has done, let's talk about a strategy for how we do gain operational control of the border, how we do fix our broken immigration system. I could tell you that, you know, a lot of that money that's going toward the wall as the President's putting it, or he's asking for, think of the number of immigration judges that could be hired that would help reduce the backlog and address some of the other problems we have.
Aid to the Central American countries where a lot of these people are fleeing is another important aspect of this. Secretary Kelly, when he was the Secretary of Homeland Security, convened a conference in Miami, a two-day conference with the Secretary of State, specifically on economy and security for the Central American countries to try to address the pull factors that were causing people to leave those countries. We need that, so we need a strategy, not just a wall.
COOPER: Paul, I know you agree, you and I have talked about this before, you agree on that front, the idea of more needs to be done in El Salvador, in Guatemala and places in Honduras where people are fleeing from.
BABEU: Absolutely. And I've always said that create the environment in which these people don't need to flee. And one of that, first and foremost, is safety and security. And so that's always in America's interests. But this whole idea, let me go back to the original argument, this whole debate is so polarized because they're fixed. The very thing that Democrats in many cases have voted for, they're now against, and they wouldn't dare vote for some of these measures, because it's the person, and it's the politics. And it's always -- it's on both sides.
I'm not saying the President isn't in that fight either, but this is the number one reason why he was elected. And so the President is not going to turn around and run away from this issue. He's got to have a victory here. And I think a majority of Americans, it's -- as a citizen now, I'm just saying, why are we always advocating, and I'm saying this for a lot of people who are pro-immigration, and I'm pro- immigration, legal immigration, but we -- just two years ago, we're saying it was 10 million illegals that are in America. Now, everybody's saying that it's now 20 or 22 million illegals that are here.
And so the same fight that happened in '86 that Reagan actually signed into law, the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, that would give 2 million illegal citizenship, only about half of them accepted that and wanted citizenship, now we're at this place where 20 million. If we don't fix this now and the President submits and say he disagrees with Pelosi and Schumer on this, we're never going to get security.
[21:15:01] So this is the President's stand and I think there's a great opportunity here for opposite sides, a divided government to come together, give a little on each side and let's secure the border, put America, our interests, our security first for once here.
COOPER: It does seem -- I mean, I think, David, you know, people take issue with the numbers. The President has talked about 20 million or 30 million. You know, a lot of people still talk about 11 million, so I'm not sure that's a settled issue on exactly how many people are here, you know, who are undocumented.
But, I mean, the President as you said, the picture he paints, it is of hoards coming, rushing the border, thousands of people, he just said it today, you can make a very strong argument for border security without making stuff up.
LAPAN: Yes, that's absolutely true. You don't have to demonize the people that are trying to come here for various reasons, other people that have nefarious reasons, certainly. But the professionals at the border, in CBP and the border patrol deal with criminals, deal with individuals every single day.
The other thing that doesn't get talked about enough is even with this idea of a wall or a barrier, it's going to do very little to stop the drug trade that is talked about very often. Most of the drug trade coming into the United States, yes, much of it comes from Mexico but it comes through ports of entry where we already have individuals. It's not sneaking across in between ports of entry like people are. It's coming in through the U.S. mail. It's coming in through our ports. It's coming in through our airports.
The Customs and Border Protection agency does a great job all throughout the U.S. of interdiction -- interdicting drugs that come in from all these various sources. A wall isn't going to fix that.
And the other key point too is, again, last year about -- a little over a half million people fit into the category of people coming across the Southwest Border, either apprehended or considered inadmissible, 700,000 a year come to this country legally on visas and over stay their visas.
LAPAN: That's a larger problem that a wall is not going to solve.
COOPER: Yes. David Lapan, Paul Babeu, always a good discussion. Appreciate it. Thank you.
Just ahead, how President Trump's political world has changed now that one chamber in Congress is controlled by the opposition party determined to investigate him? Also tonight, the question of impeachment Nancy Pelosi not ruling it out, but next you'll hear from another influential Democrat that goes even further.
[21:21:12] COOPER: So the mere fact that the House is on the verge of passing legislation that the President does not want is one consequence of the 2018 election giving Democrats control part of the government.
Here's another, House Democrats now have the responsibility for conducting oversight, obviously, of the executive branch and the power to do it. We'll have more on that right now from Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): House Democrats now armed with subpoena power are gunning for answers. A big one, the House Intelligence Committee is looking to explore whether a foreign power, Russia, has sway over Trump. The committee will examine if there is any evidence that Trump organization ever laundered money, since the family has business with Deutsche Bank which has faced massive fines over a Russian money laundering scheme.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The question is, were the Russians laundering money through the Trump organization and that will be a very high priority that -- to get an answer to.
KAYE: Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee also plan to zero in on Don Jr.'s 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hilary Clinton. At issue, a phone call to a blocked number that Democrats believe could belong to President Trump, who has long insisted he was unaware of the meeting.
SCHIFF: We know the President used a blocked number during the campaign, so we asked for a subpoena of the phone records.
KAYE: The judiciary committee now chaired by Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler plans first and foremost, to protect Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Nadler would like to question Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: The questions we will ask him will be about his expressed hostility to the investigation, how he can possibly supervise it when he's come out and said that the investigation is invalid.
KAYE: Nadler's committee also plans to take the lead on Trump's immigration policy, focusing on the forced family separation and the deaths of immigrant children in U.S. custody.
(on camera) Chairman Richard Neal of the House Ways and Means Committee has one key target, the President's tax returns. Under IRS rules, Congressman Neal is one of only three people on Capitol Hill who can ask the Treasury Department for the president's tax returns and he's the only Democrat.
REP. RICHARD NEAL (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I think that the President has an opportunity here to diffuse this and just release the forms as every other candidate for president has done.
KAYE (voice-over): And finally, the committee on Oversight and Government Reform has the broadest jurisdiction to investigate the president. Its top Democrat Elijah Cummings is eager to investigate everything from White House security clearances to private aircraft traveled by Cabinet officials. He also plans to look into who is benefiting from foreign leaders staying at Trump's hotels.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: We want to look and see exactly what's happening, how much money is actually going into his pocket. And whether -- and try to make a determination whether he's making decisions in the interest of the American people or his own bottom line.
KAYE: Cummings says it's time to cut through the B.S. and get to the facts. President Donald Trump now officially on notice.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: A whole new world for him politically. In fact, I spoke about it just before air time with Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly, now on the majority on the House Oversight Committee.
COOPER: Congressman, your party is now in power. You sit on a very important committee. What is your first priority in terms of the exercising oversight of the President and the administration?
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Well, we have as, you know, Anderson, about 64 outstanding subpoena requests that cover about gamut of subjects in the last two years with this White House and this administration. So I think the first order of business is sort of whittling down that list, what are our priorities? What is timely? What is potentially the most impact?
[21:25:03] So, you know, that's going to cover things like emoluments, that is to say the President illegally under the constitution benefiting from foreign money to security clearances to the White House including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to the North Carolina 9th Congressional fraud case and what the facts are behind that, to the census, the citizenship question on the census. That has a June deadline and so that's very timely and really very consequential.
COOPER: I know Democrats are hesitant to talk about impeachment, already some are (ph). You don't want to look like you're getting ahead of yourself, but that is the ultimately end game, at least in your chamber of Congress. Have you personally seen enough to start going down that road or would you need to see more?
CONNOLLY: I think we need to wait for Robert Mueller's report. Let him finish his investigation. Let's not try to prejudge. But I don't want to duck your question. I do believe there's plenty out there that is deeply concerning with respect to the potential impeachment of this president.
We now have in the Cohen filing, direct evidence and statements from the prosecutor that this president, individual number one, coordinated and directed illegal campaign violations by his personal attorney and we can't ignore that.
COOPER: The -- Jerry Nadler, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman, has said that even if the President has committed crimes, either as a candidate or as the president, it doesn't necessarily mean it's worth impeaching him. That impeachment is so grave that even a criminal act needs to be weighed against the consequences of lawmakers taking that step. I'm wondering if you agree with that.
CONNOLLY: I don't fully agree with that. I believe that if there's evidence certainly the violation of law, I think we took a constitutional oath to protect the constitution, including from a chief executive who has committed a criminal act. I don't think you can just waive that away.
There are political considerations. Impeachment is also a political act as well as a legal constitutional act. But I don't think -- I don't think you can just with impunity ignore transgressions that rise to the level of impeachment.
COOPER: So do you agree with Speaker Pelosi that it's still an open question whether a sitting president can be indicted?
CONNOLLY: Yes, I do. There's nothing in the constitution that says a president cannot be indicted. The only thing we have are memos from the Department of Justice. There's never been a ruling in that by the Supreme Court. And as I said, the constitution is silent on that question.
COOPER: Robert Mueller is indicating he's going to abide by Justice Department precedent, so it's virtually impossible to see how the President's own Department of Justice would put him in legal jeopardy, isn't it?
CONNOLLY: I think that's right. But, you know, we'll see. This is going to be a test of precedent and we're kind of in unprecedented territory right now with respect to Trump and his behavior. So, I think, you know, there are a lot precedents that are going to be tested, this is one of them.
COOPER: All right. Congressman Connolly, appreciate your time. Thank you.
CONNOLLY: My pleasure, Anderson. Thank you.
COOPER: Right now we're following the House vote which is just starting on the budget and the shutdown. We'll bring it to you as it unfolds.
Also, we'll travel farther down the political road. The question is, can Democrats capitalize on their new momentum to unseat President Trump in 2020? What kind of messages should they be driving home to do so? We'll talk to former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. He has some ideas. He will share those next.
[21:32:16] COOPER: There's voting now underway in the House on Democratic legislation to reopen the government. Now, it's expected to pass in the House given the Democrats control the chamber, that's the news tonight.
We're also looking ahead at the politics of 2020, Democratic efforts to win back the House -- the White House. One possible 2020 contender is making waves today as he takes on some of his fellow Democrats or maybe positioning themselves to go up against President Trump. In a new op-ed, the former Virginia governor, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, hit some unnamed senators for "dishonest populism", in his words, with talk of free college or federal jobs guarantees. He writes, "Americans are asking us to focus on improving their lives, not to make unrealistic ideological promises." I spoke with McAuliffe about it a short while ago.
COOPER: Governor, your call for Democrats to counter the President's lives with use our common sense solutions as a way to win in 2020, how is that really any different from what Hillary Clinton said she was doing in 2016? Obviously it didn't work for her. Why would it work for Democrats now?
TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), FOMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well, listen, the goal is to beat Trump in 2020, if he is still there, but the goal is to beat him. And the message I tried to convey today is we're not going to play in the sandbox with Donald Trump. The man lies consistently. "The Washington Post" just reported he had 18 lies a day, every single day last year. We need to have big bold progressive ideas that are realistic.
As a governor, southern governor of a southern state, I was the most progressive governor in Virginia history but at the same time, a record amount of jobs and economic development. That's what they want to hear from us. They want to hear real solutions how we're going to help their lives.
COOPER: But with -- I mean, a lot of people say that. I mean, it sounds good. I understand what you're saying but --
COOPER: -- when you're in the rough and tumble of a campaign, I mean, all those Republican candidates against then citizen Donald Trump, none of them could figure out how to beat him.
COOPER: And there were plenty of them with, you know, saying, "Oh, I'm not going to get in the sandbox. I'm going to take the high road," all that they got beaten.
MCAUCLIFFE: Well, the point I'm trying to make is we're not going to win by putting unrealistic ideas out there. The American public I think have smartened up. I do agree with your assessment in the 2016 campaign, 92 million Americans, Anderson, did not vote. I think they realized the next day, "Holy cow, I now have to vote because look what's happened with Donald Trump in the White House today." So, I think the 2020 people are going to pay attention.
What are you actually going to do for me? They want to hear from us. What ideas the Democrats have to move this country forward? And I think there is going to be a lot of attention played to who has a big ideas, realistic ideas that are actually going to become, you know, what laws we're going to have across the country to make people's lives better and I think that's with the big thing that people want to hear from us.
[21:35:01] COOPER: I want to drill down on that because you also wrote about "idealistic but unrealistic policies" within the Democratic Party, and you called it for "resisting dishonest populism." Whose policies are you referring to exactly, because it certainly sounds like what your friend and ally, Secretary Clinton, accused Bernie Sanders of throughout the 2016?
MCAULIFFE: Yes. And to me it wasn't about an individual candidate, but I do believe that we have to have realistic big bold ideas if we're going to be successful. And this is what a campaign is all about.
Now, listen, we're all going to have these ideas out there, but what I'm trying to convey to the Democrats for this upcoming election is that voters are really paying attention.
Look what happened, Anderson, last year in the elections, why did we pick up 40 House seats? Those candidates and these new members of Congress which are terrific, they went out with realistic ideas of how to deal with healthcare, what to do on education. The same things I did as governor of Virginia, a record investment in K12, record amount of economic development.
But, you know, but I restored more felon rights than any governor in American history. I reformed our criminal justice, reduced our juvenile detention facility population by two-thirds. That's what they want to hear from us, and I'm just want to make sure that the Democrats who are running, I haven't made a decision, but whoever is running, that we've got to really put out a realistic plan. So it's not about any individuals, we need big bold ideas. Big bold progressive ideas that actually work, that actually will change people's lives.
COOPER: You also write about -- when you say it's "ideological populism" or "relentless negativity" or "playing on Trump's turf," you know, as you're well aware, a lot of committees in the House have all made it clear, they're going to be investigating or want to investigate various aspects of the Trump presidency. Are you concerned that, you know, multiple Democratic-led investigations could be seen by voters as, in your words, relentless negativity?
MCAULIFFE: Well, they need to issue the subpoenas and do the investigations the constitution requires them to do. But you make a valid point, if the public thinks that we are going over board on the investigation, there's not a reason for the subpoenas.
But clearly, Anderson, what we have seen out of this Trump administration, just to his cabinet officials and everything else that's going on that the Congress has a duty and they need to exercise their duty.
So, listen, I'm very optimistic. We won big in 17 last year. We won 18. We won the House, which is very -- we won seven governors. We picked up, you know, almost 400 state House seats. This year, we're going to win both chambers in the state of Virginia. So, I'm optimistic. I do think people are paying attention.
COOPER: Governor McAuliffe, I appreciate your time, thank you.
MCAULIFFE: Thank you.
COOPER: The vote in the House has just wrapped up on one big measure. We'll give you the results when we come back.
[21:41:16] COOPER: House Democrats and a few Republicans who just passed one of several pieces of legislation to fund the government, it's the most contentious one of the bunch. I want to check back in with there, Manu Raju on Capital Hill. So what's happened so far with the first vote?
RAJU: Yes, the House passed a bill to reopen the Department of Homeland Security until February 8th by 239 to 192 votes, five Republicans joining with this new House Democratic majority to pass that stopgap measure, essentially punting on the fight over the border walls of February 8th.
Now, Anderson, this legislation sounds familiar because it's exactly what the Republican led Senate passed by a voice vote right before Christmas, but then after the President suddenly decided he was going to oppose that plans because it did not fund his border wall, that build bill is now in limbo. Since we have started a new Congress, this Senate has to take this bill back up to pass in order to get at the president's debt, but Mitch McConnell has said that he will not put this bill on the floor because President Trump is now opposed to it.
So now the House Democrats are going to move on separate legislation fund, the rest of the un-open parts of the shuttered parts of the government that's happening right now, that bill slated to pass but, again, Republicans will not move it in the Senate.
Tomorrow, Anderson, Republican leaders, Democratic leaders are going to sit down in the White House to see if there is a way forward. And I asked Nancy Pelosi today, Anderson, will she move, give any money to Trump's border wall, and she said, no.
She said that we're not doing a wall. Does anyone have any doubt that we are not doing a wall? She said a wall is immoral. It's an act of immorality. And Vice President Pence saying today that no deal without a wall. So, two sides in an indestructible stand-off at this moment, even as the House just moved to reopen the Department of Homeland Security even as the Senate Republicans in the White House plan to oppose it, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Manu Raju, we'll keep following it. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Joining me now is former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent. Congressman, what do you make of what's going on? I mean, where do things go from here? Is this just kind of an opening salvo in the negotiation or is nothing really changed?
CHARLIE DENT (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think we're actually in a pretty bad spot. I felt all along that the Republicans should take what Nancy Pelosi has given them and pass it. This actually does two things. It funds the government and then you can find to this debate just to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.
There's no point in keeping the Agriculture Department closed, the Interior Department, IRS and others, why should they -- why have that fight? Just simply pass these six bills. Do the continuing resolution in February and then engage in a very serious negotiation about border security funding.
And then if the Democrats are smart about this, and I think Nancy Pelosi has to be careful with her rhetoric saying not $1 for a wall, well, I agree well it's a terrible term. But there should be funding for border security, unless the Democrats had simply insist on taking care of the Dreamers and that temporary protective status folks at the El Salvadorans, they can get certain victories here. It's not hard to do this. So, I'm just amazed Republicans are relinquishing their voting cards to the President at this point.
COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, will Senate Republicans eventually have to move away from the President on this? I mean, is that the only way that this can actually get resolved or -- yes, I mean is that --
DENT: Yes, I think that's a part of it, Anderson. I suspect those Republican senators who are in cycle that is they'll be running in 2020, you know, Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, and others in more marginal states or swing states, do not want a prolonged shutdown.
I think Senator Cory Gardner even made some, you know, he seemed to break a little bit today from the rest of the pack.
DENT: This is clearly not good for him.
[21:45:00] And the longer these things go on, what I've learned, if they don't come to an agreement at the end of the day just to end the shutdown, they're going to pass what they call a clean continuing resolution and no one will get anything. So I think we're in a really tough spot. It's going to take a little while.
COOPER: Yes. I mean there are -- I mean approximately 800,000 federal workers facing economic uncertainty right now because politicians in D.C. are refusing to come out of their corners and do the work necessary to reach some sort of compromise and in the end there's going to be some sort of compromise.
DENT: There has to be. And, Anderson, I've been through several of these shutdowns. If you remember in 2013 when Ted Cruz shut the government down over Obamacare, you know, it's the party that's making the policy demand that owns the shutdown. And that one too, you know, we could ended that shutdown much earlier when the final resolution as you recall was essentially a clean continuing resolution to fund the government for a few months. They could have done this before the shutdown.
Same thing happened with the Senate Democrats being blamed largely for the weekend shutdown over the Dreamers. They opened up with a clean bill. I suspect that's what's going to happen now, but each side is going to have to huff and puff and posture and make a lot of noise. And the longer they do that, the less likely that anybody is going to get anything in the final analysis.
COOPER: Congressman Dent, appreciate you being here. Thanks very much.
DENT: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: As the government remains shutdown over the President's demand for a border wall, we've got an update on one young migrant girl who was separated from her family months ago whose cries for help made headlines around the world. We'll tell you where she is now and her story, next.
[21:50:09] COOPER: With all the fighting and political gamesmanship in Washington over border policy, a reminder now of the human dimension of the honest and sincere people on all sides of the issue and all the people caught in the middle. Many are vulnerable. Many are young. You might remember some of them caught on audio secretly obtained by ProPublica this summer. The cries of children, some from a little girl separated from her family at the border.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): El Salvador.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Don't cry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I want to go with my aunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): You're going to get there. Look, she will explain it and help you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): At least can I go with my aunt? I want her to come. I want my aunt to come so she can take me to her house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Certainly hard to forget those cries. The cries of a then 6- year-old girl named Alison, a migrant from El Salvador being held at a detention center in Arizona. She was begging for someone to call her aunt so she could be reunited with her mom who had no idea where she was taken.
Turned out her mother was at a detention center nearly 1,300 miles away. They were finally reunited in Houston shortly after that tape went viral and a lot has happened since then. Our Gary Tuchman began following their story.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 7-year-old Alison Jimena Madrid enjoying the day at the children's museum of Houston.
(on camera) Are you happy today?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): A very different story from when she and her mother first came to this country. And now almost six months later, they're getting ready for their first asylum hearing, the start of a process which will determine whether or not they can stay in the U.S. As they've waited for the hearing, Alison Jimena has been going to a public school in Houston. When she arrived in the U.S., she did not speak a word of English.
(on camera) So, Alison Jimena, you have something you want to read?
ALISON JIMENA MADRID, MIGRANT GIRL CRYING IN VIRAL RECORDING: Yes.
TUCHMAN: OK. Let's hear in English.
MADRID: Why I love America. I love my school. I love my church. I love to smile. I love (INAUDIBLE) in the American dream. Happy New Year America.
TUCHMAN: Happy New Year America to you too.
MADRID: Happy New Year America.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Her mother, Cindy, is doing her best to learn English at her church.
CINDY MADRID, SEEKING ASYLUM: One, two, three, four, five.
TUCHMAN: She cannot legally get a job at this stage of the asylum process but says she wants to work.
TUCHMAN: She says she would like to have a job cleaning or at a restaurant or whatever job she can get as long as she can do it with dignity.
MADRID: Look, Amber, work together. The mix -- they mix the crab, apples, sugar, salt, and water. TUCHMAN: So what is the likelihood that daughter and mother will be granted asylum? Their lawyer says she is hopeful but --
THELMA. GARCIA, ATTORNEY: There's a good chance that it may not be granted.
TUCHMAN: Attorney Garcia says Cindy Madrid left to protect Alison, her only child, from gang violence. Alison told us what her understanding is of that threat.
TUCHMAN: "The gang," she says, "they wanted to steal me". The attorney says if Cindy Madrid loses her case and is sent back to El Salvador that is not an overstatement.
GARCIA: It could be death. They had very serious problems with gang violence. They had no protection by the police as well. So we're not expecting anything good if she is returned back home.
TUCHMAN: Alison Jimena says Houston is now her home.
MADRID: It is a sunny day when friends stick together.
TUCHMAN (on camera): El fin (ph), the end.
MADRID: They're finish. OK.
TUCHMAN (on camera): But this legal battle is far from finished.
COOPER: Gary joins us now. It's amazing how much English she's learned in a short time. How long could the asylum process take for this family?
TUCHMAN: Well, it's a long process, Anderson. A typical case like this takes eight to 12 months before a final decision is made. But this might take even longer and that's because of the partial government shutdown. Many immigration courts have been closed, and any case right now that's involving migrants who are not detained like Cindy and Alison have been postponed right now. So we'll have to wait and see if this first hearing actually takes place on time, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Gary, appreciate you following it. Thank you.
In a sea of raised hands on Capitol Hill today, a photo that tells us much about the changing face of Congress beyond politics. We'll show you that next.
[21:58:45] COOPER: Just a quick update on what's happening right now on Capitol Hill. The House has just passed the second of two bills to end the government shutdown. Now, as expected, it does not include funding for the President's wall. Finally tonight, we also want to show you a sight that's certainly new. The items that were used during today's swearing in ceremonies, there was an Eastern Orthodox Bible, a Quran, and other religious books. All atheists were given copies of the constitution.
The Pew Research Center says this Congress is slightly more religiously different than the last. It includes the first two Muslim women, four more Jewish members, and one more Unitarian Universalist, excuse me, it's getting a little late. The number of Christians has dropped about 3 percent. Eight more members decline to state an affiliation.
Regardless of belief, we Americans now put our faith in this 116th Congress to work together and find solutions. And just like with every elected official, we'll be keeping them honest. That's the job.
The news continues, so let's turn things over now to Don Lemon and CNN Tonight. Don?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN Tonight, I'm Don Lemon.
What a day. Our breaking news just moments ago on day 13 of the shutdown, the House passed a package of bill that would end the shutdown but without money for the President's wall.