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Pressure Builds In D.C. to Reach Deal On Debt Limit; U.S. Treasury Cash Balance Falls Amid Debt Limit Standoff; Colombia Retracts Claim Kids Found Alive After Miscommunication; Feinstein's Office: Senator Developed Complications From Shingles. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 09:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It'd be interesting to see if DeSantis thinks it's a strength, his opponents think it's a liability. We'll see if they can both be right. Hard to see how to do that. Steve Contorno. Great to see you. Thank you for your reporting. Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead, a 95-year-old woman in critical condition. Why the great grandmother who has dementia and was using a walker was tased at an Australian nursing home.

Also, the money the U.S. has on hand to pay bills less than two weeks from possible default, continuing to dwindle down $27 billion in just one day. How negotiations could get to a solution, next.



SIDNER: 13 days and counting, that's how much time the U.S. has before potentially defaulting on its debt. But with the clock ticking, there does seem to be some positive movement. Again this morning, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy telling CNN he sees how they can get a deal and that he wants a bill on the floor next week.

Me meanwhile, the White House says steady progress has been made towards getting a deal done. CNN's Melanie Zanona is following all of the latest developments on this. She joins us from Capitol Hill.

Melanie, what kind of pressure are not just McCarthy but Biden under right now? We're talking next week, potentially?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah. Lots of pressure on both sides and not a lot of time to get a deal done. But I will tell you that negotiations are slowly but surely moving ahead. They are starting to gauge on substance. Sources tell us that the White House is now pushing for a debt ceiling hike that lasts into 2025 so they don't have to deal with this until after the next presidential election.

We're also told that work requirements, tougher work requirements for TANF, which is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, is also on the table. But there are members in both parties who are starting to grow very uneasy about what type of deal might be cut, especially now that the negotiating room has shrunk down just to Biden and McCarthy.

You have Democrats who have signed on to a letter calling on Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment in order to just raise the debt ceiling on his own. That's a really long shot idea that the White House has already said is unworkable.

And then you have some conservatives who are calling for a complete end to the bipartisan talks and insisting that that the Senate just passed the House GOP debt ceiling bill. Take a listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: The President has the authority to use the 14th Amendment, and he should be prepared to do that. Period. I think none of us are aware of exactly what is happening. I think what the President has insisted from day one. That there be a clean debt ceiling approach and I think we all support that.

REP. RALPH NORMAN, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I would suggest that McCarthy not meet until he put something in writing. His words have no meaning. Put it in writing and if it's anything less, we're not going to accept it.


ZANONA: Very clear warning signs there. If and when negotiators are able to come up with a deal, then the leadership in both parties is really going to have to do a sales job. So there is a lot to get done between now and that June 1 deadline. But as of right now, negotiators expressing optimism and pushing hard to get a deal done. Sara.

SIDNER: Melanie Zanona, thank you for all of that. Live from Capitol Hill for us. John?

BERMAN: So a new look this morning at the amount of money the U.S. government has on hand to pay its bills. It's dropping by the day. The Daily Treasury cash balance has fallen to $68 billion from nearly 95 billion and it dropped that much in just one day. It gives you a sense of how time is really running out here. It illustrates the need for a resolution to the debt ceiling standoff. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans is here with that. Wow.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Have you ever looked at your bank account and you knew they had a big credit card bill coming and maybe a tuition payment and oh yeah, the mortgage payment. And then you're like, uh-oh.

BERMAN: That was in my 20s right there. Yeah.

ROMANS: I never have a B behind it. But, you know, this is what's happening here. There's money coming in for tax receipts, but there's a lot more money going out. And without borrowing, the government just can't pay all the bills.

BERMAN: How do they get to yes?

ROMANS: Well. That's a big question. Yesterday Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, was with all these bank CEOs, two dozen bank CEOs, and they talked about this and she reiterated failure to raise or suspend the debt limit would be catastrophic for the financial system as well as American families and businesses.

And John, I think the message has gotten through because now you're hearing a little more optimism and a little more urgency, but the time still here is really running out. So where -- I guess where are the potential compromises work requirements. Senator Biden had supported work requirements over the past years for safety net programs. That's something that Republicans really want, more of them for people aged 50 to 55 to work more, to get some of those food stamps and Medicaid, maybe climb back unspent COVID aid that states have.

States aren't very happy about it, but it's someplace that maybe you could find some compromise. And energy permitting, that's something they're also talking about. But there's a bunch of stuff outside of that that both sides aren't moving on. So still, as Melanie said, a very ambitious agenda with a very, very short timeline.

BERMAN: I will tell you, we had the stock market up a moment ago.


BERMAN: And you saw some green there. The markets have been sort of fine the last few days, responding to some of the more optimistic language. I mean, have they seen what goes on in Washington these days?

ROMANS: The disconnect is pretty startling. And, you know, a lot of people on Wall Street are just pulling their hair out because they just can't imagine that we're here again like we were in 2011, 2013.

Remember in 2011, the stock market fell 17%. Even though Congress raised the debt ceiling two days before the deadline, it still really hurt.


But look, the NASDAQ is up 21% this year. The S&P 500 is up 9%. They're telling you, failure is not an option, D.C., failure is not an option. And if they do fail, you'll see, you could see those numbers cut in half.

BERMAN: Well, it's almost scary that they don't believe that failure will happen here, because if it does, the green numbers that I'm looking at in that wall right there, they won't be green. The will be way red.

ROMANS: They will not be. And then suddenly, these Congress, members and senators will get an ear full from their constituents. We've seen it before that it takes a gun to their head before they actually really do what's right.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, it's great to see you. Sara?

SIDNER: All right. A scary scene at the Vatican ahead. Shots are fired when a man rams his car into a gate at the entrance of the palace. And this morning, the grandmother of those missing children in Colombia remains hopeful that her grandchildren will be found. What authorities have found in that plane crash, next.



BERMAN: Right, incredible new video the morning of a series of eruptions at one of Mexico's most active volcanoes. According to Mexico News Daily, officials in Pueblo State canceled classes for more than 100,000 students in 22 towns because of the falling ash. Scientists, though monitoring the volcano, says some of this activity is normal and not cause for evacuations, yet.

Vatican police have arrested a man who rammed through their gates. Surveillance video shows the vehicle maneuvering around barriers inside the walled city. According to Vatican news, officials said security guards shot at the car and the man later got out and was arrested. A doctor said the man was about 40 years old and was having a mental health crisis.

So a 95-year-old woman in Australia is in critical condition after being tased by a police officer inside her nursing home. Employees at the home called police because Clare Nowland, the great grandmother who has dementia. She was carrying a steak knife. Investigators say she was approaching the officer when he tased her. But the officer admitted that as she was approaching, she was doing so at a slow pace because she uses a walker.

A community advocate says Nowland is 5'2", less than 100 pounds. She is well known in the area because local media covered a Skydiving trip she took to celebrate her 80th birthday day. She did it again at 85. Her family, which includes eight children and dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren, they have requested privacy. Sara?

SIDNER: A mystery in Colombia. This story is crazy. What was first reported as an extraordinary survival story in the Amazon jungle. Now has the nation confused because Wednesday, the president of Colombia tweeted that four children who were on board a small plane that crashed in the southern part of the country more than two weeks ago were actually found alive.

But then he later deleted that tweet, saying that information given to him by the country's child welfare agency had not been confirmed. The search then intensified Thursday after the discovery of new findings that could give clues on their potential location. Military forces searching for the children, the youngest, just eleven months old, are following a trail of scrunchies, plastic wrappings and a baby bottle.

Now, search officials say they have located footprints as well, and a makeshift shelter with sticks and branches. CNN's Stefano Pozzebon is following this for us. Stefano, conducting a search in the dense jungle is an extremely difficult challenge. This story, just yesterday we were saying, hey, they're saying these children are found, and now that has all changed. What can you tell us?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, here in Colombia, Sara, the rumors about the whereabouts of these children keep swirling, and I have to say it's hard to distinguish what is actually fact from what we keep hearing, just because, as you said, it's very hard to communicate to that part of Colombia where the kids are believed to still be.

It's one of the most sparsely populated and most remote regions in south America, let alone Colombia itself. It's deep in the amazon rainforest, a place where you move around either by small single engine planes, like the one that these children were on board, or with canoes and boats on the rivers which act as waterways. Talking from one community to the other, and talking with the search and rescue teams that are on the ground is incredibly difficult. Think that yesterday I was at Vigil Hill (ph) here in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, to pray for the well-being of these kids.

And the indigenous people there told me that even them sometimes they can't talk with their community after 04:00 p.m., for example, and so it's very hard to get in touch with them.

SIDNER: Stefano Pozzebon, will keep following this story, of course, and check back with you. Let us know what you hear. John?

BERMAN: All right, the big news this morning, Sara, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make an unexpected trip to Japan on Sunday to speak with world leaders at the G7 Summit. The powerful group set to issue a statement of unified support for Ukraine.

And we have new details this morning about California Senator Dianne Feinstein's previously undisclosed health complications from shingles.



BERMAN: This morning, the Office of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has confirmed that her bout with shingles is more serious than previously acknowledged. Senator Feinstein had initially denied a New York Times report that she had developed encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, but her office now says she did, in fact, have it and has since recovered, and that she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which can cause facial paralysis.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is with us now. Sanjay, I think we all know the word encephalitis, but what does that mean in this case and what are the implications?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so encephalitis just basically means inflammation of the brain. A lot of people have heard of the term meningitis, and that is inflammation of the outer linings of the brain. But with encephalitis, you can get the entire brain or parts of the brain itself inflamed, and typically it's caused by some sort of pathogen, something that causes that inflammation, the body, the brain, in this case reacts to it, and that causes the inflammation. It can be hard to diagnose sometimes, John.

I mean, the symptoms initially can overlap with a lot of other things. People may have fever. They may have headache. They may have stiffness of the neck. They also develop mental confusion, things like that. That starts to really heighten the degree of suspicion.


But it can be a challenging diagnosis, which I think has been part of the issue with the Senator here as well, going back and forth. Now, a lot of times you got to get brain imaging, MRI scan, even EEG to see if the electrical activity changes somehow, and sometimes a lumbar puncture even, to confirm the diagnosis. John. Do you see the virus or presence of that the virus was there at some point. So it's serious. People can recover from it, as they said, but some of those symptoms can linger for a while as well, especially things like memory issues.

BERMAN: And what about Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which also apparently stem from the same shingles?

GUPTA: Yeah, you know, most people have heard of shingles. And shingles is basically, if you had chickenpox as a kid, the virus that causes that, there's a good chance it never left your body, even if it wasn't really doing anything. At some point as an adult, it can be reactivated for all sorts of different reasons. People may develop, you know, rash and things like that across their chest, across their abdomen.

That same sort of thing can happen on your face. And I think you got an image here of showing you the facial nerve. So this is the nerve that that virus might affect if it's affecting the face. And when that happens, people will develop weakness, numbness. They can develop rash on the face. And, John, if you've heard anything about shingles, it can be really painful.

Imagine that on your face or lesions in the ear, around the eye, in the mouth. That's why the shingles vaccine is recommended starting at the age of 50, John.

BERMAN: Yeah, look, those of us of a certain age have been told this is exactly why the shingles vaccine is so important, such an important reminder. Sanjay, thank you very much. Great to see you. Sara?

GUPTA: I got mine there.

BERMAN: Yeah, me too.

SIDNER: New York City is sinking, and scientists say they know why. The new research that recalls that one day part of the city could be underwater, the armor charged in the Rust movie shooting once charges against her drop the same treatment given to actor and producer Alec Baldwin.