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Schumer Schedules Votes on Three Key Military Nominees After Tuberville Threatens to Go Around Blockade; House GOP Infighting Threatens Deal to Avoid Shutdown; The Fed Pauses Rate Hikes for Now. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired September 20, 2023 - 15:30   ET



REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA): -- that's what's at stake here. So it just it just shows how small Senator Tuberville is. How out of touch he is with what our military is all about. What men and women put on the line, the sacrifices that they are willing to make for our country. And by the way, the sacrifices that their families make.

By holding up all these military promotions, it also means that all these kids of military families who are trying to go to school, who are trying to start their school year in the new community in which they'll be living, they weren't able to do that. So it's not surprising that a lot of these military leaders are now just saying, you know, what, I've had enough. I've had enough with this politicization. I'm getting out.

Senator Tuberville is doing more damage to our military right now than Russia or China could dream of at the moment. It's a real threat to our national security, an internal threat to our national security what this Senator is doing.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: We'll see if something gives here soon. Congressman Seth Moulton, thank you so much for being with us.

MOULTON: Thank you.

KEILAR: Boris.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Fed Chair Jerome Powell is addressing the Feds decision to hold steady on interest rates, at least for now. What he's saying about the future of potential rate hikes and how the fight against inflation is going. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: Happening right now, House Republicans are meeting on The Hill as the nation moves closer to a government shutdown. In just 10 days on September 30th, the funding runs out for many federal agencies. The impasse is so severe that lawmakers can't even agree on the band-aid, a stopgap resolution a CR, to kick the can down the road. What's more, the stalemate is essentially all inside the Republican Party because far-right hardliners will not budget on their spending cuts.

Now one veteran Republican said his conference is, quote, being dragged down by 20 people, but 200 of us are in agreement. They want their way or the highway.

CNN's Manu Raju joins us now live from Capitol Hill. So Manu, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that there was progress today. Bring us up to speed with what's happening.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there been urgent talks all day long to try to figure out a way Republicans could get on the same page on the stopgap measure to keep the government open past September 30th. Just about a one-month plan, just a band-aid of sources before they try to negotiate the larger spending package. But there are still sharp disagreements about how to move ahead.

In just matter of minutes, they was -- how the full House Republican Conference will meet in the room behind me as they tried to hash out all these disagreements. It's not just between conservatives and moderates, but a sharp division among conservatives themselves about how far to go in terms of spending cuts. And the real challenge for Kevin McCarthy is that if he goes too far to the right and gives in to those demands, he will lose moderates.

And also the real warning from a number of those same conservatives that he works with Democrats to keep the government open, it could cost Speaker McCarthy his job. That is a warning level today by Matt Gaetz, someone who's been threatening to force a vote seeking McCarthy's ouster, reiterating that threat just moments ago to me saying, if McCarthy does indeed try to cut a bipartisan deal, he will no longer be Speaker.


REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): With all due respect to my conservative colleagues, let them go explain why they don't support that. It's completely inexplicable. And I think it's indefensible. So you know, here we set. So now we got to go try to figure out how to move the ball forward. But we had agreement in good faith with people across the conference.

RAJU: Can the speaker's job be in peril if he relies on Democrats?

ROY: It wouldn't be a good move. But if Speaker McCarthy relies on Democrats to pass a continuing resolution, I would call the Capitol moving truck to his office pretty soon because my expectation would be he'd be out of the Speaker's office quite promptly.

REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): I would never like to see a shutdown, but if that's where it's going, that's where it's going.


RAJU (on camera): And that last comment, something that has been echoed up and down the line about the growing expectation that a shut down will happen here. How they get out of it remains to be seen because as I mentioned, Boris, they don't just have to get out of the House, they got to get an agreement between the Senate. And Republican and Democrats are on much different pages between the Senate and the House. There's an agreement in the Senate on how to move forward. A non-agreement with how the House Republicans are dealing with this and much alone, letting the president signed this into law as well. So just so many questions here on Capitol Hill as the Speaker's job also in a very tenuous position -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Manu Raju keep us posted on what happens in that meeting. Thanks so much.

Stay with CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We're back in just moments.



KEILAR: A pause for now, but we are not out of the woods yet. Fed Chair Jerome Powell just moments ago, saying while they are not raising rates today, all options are on the table and there are some serious red flags that are threatening the economy. Markets now in the red. Pulling back from earlier high -- earlier highs on those comments plus this --


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: I've always thought that the soft landing was a plausible outcome, that there was a path really to a soft landing. I thought that and I've said that since we lifted off. It's also possible that the path has narrowed and it's widened, apparently. Ultimately, it may -- this may be decided by factors that are that are outside our control.


KEILAR: CNN, Rahel Solomon here with everything that you need to know about what this means for you -- Rahel.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brianna. Yes, I just want to stick with that clip for just a moment more, Brianna. Because the question that Chairman Powell was asked right before the clip we heard there, is, is a soft landing the baseline? A soft landing of course, being inflation coming in closer to target two percent without a recession. And Jay Powell said, oh no, no, no. I wouldn't say that. And then he said, what you heard him say. So really not trying to box himself in in terms of what the path looks for ahead.

Now in terms of some of the things that are out of his control. Look, he was asked about the UAW strike. He was asked about the potential for a government shutdown. He was asked about student loan repayments and gas prices.

And Brianna, on most of these topics, most of these areas, he didn't really go into detail because of the obvious political nature. But he did say it's the strikes, the government shutdown, resumption of student loan payments. There are a lot of things that you can look at. So what we try to do is assess all of them and handicap all of them. Ultimately, though, there is so much uncertainty around these things.

He did, however, go into a bit more detail about the rise up, the rise in energy prices. What we've seen at the pump. But also what we've seen in crude prices. And he said that if prices remain high for a sustained period of time, that's when it becomes more concerning for the Fed in terms of its inflationary impact.

But just to sort of take a broader view here in terms of this meeting, they paused again for the second time in about six policy meetings but left open the door that we will likely see another rate hike in the remaining two meetings this year. And looking ahead to 2024 and 2025, fewer rate cuts, so fewer rate cuts than we had been previously expecting. And what that essentially means is that they expect rates to remain higher for longer. Now also something to point out here is that when you look at other economic indicators, GDP, unemployment, they actually expect those areas to hold up stronger than they previously had. But pausing, but certainly not saying that he expects a soft landing. Not yet.

KEILAR: Not yet. All right, Rahel, we will hold our breath. We're kind of getting used to that I will say. All right, stay with CNN NEWS CENTRAL, we'll be right back.



KEILAR: All this week, we're bringing you stories of ordinary people who are breaking new ground. They are changing the way that things get done, and they're making the most of human potential. We call this Champions for Change.

SANCHEZ: And today, we're going to introduce you to Jim Acosta's champion. You know, they say good friends aren't easy to come by in Washington, DC. The old adage is that you should get a dog if you want a friend in DC. And Jim found his through an organization that's transforming the way that pets and animals are adopted in this country. Take a look.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: What you doing over here? As Harry Truman once said, if you want a friend in Washington get a dog.

I was coming out of my seven or eight years at the White House. I was suddenly burdened with some extra time on my hands and I thought, hey, time to get a Dog. This is Duke, he is my rescue dog that I got from Best Friends. He was found in Arkansas. Mother was in an abandoned home.


This is Duke.

A lot of the times with these rescue animals, they're coming out of pretty bad situations. JULIE CASTLE, CEO, BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY: Traditional animal sheltering has been around for 150 years. The status quo was we don't have a choice. It's a necessary evil in our society that we have to kill these animals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, does that feel good?

CASTLE: Best friends really became the disruptor because they challenged the status quo. Why don't we talk about how to best save our best friends rather than how to best kill our best friends?

ACOSTA: Julie is a remarkable person. She started in 1996. She was employee number 17 here and became the CEO of this amazing organization. What they're trying to do is sort of transform the animal rescue pet adoption experience.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Kanab, Utah this is where Best Friends basically runs their operations here in the Southwest. It's a spectacular setting and it makes it all the more welcoming and inviting as somebody who might be interested in adopting a pet. So and see pigs and goats and horses. And we saw, of course, we saw dogs and cats. There were turtles and parrots and cockatoos. I felt like Doctor Doolittle.

ALI WASZMER, DOGTOWN DIRECTOR, BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY: What we do here at the sanctuary is so incredibly unique, so we are able to help animals that most other organizations cut in.

These aren't throw away animals. These are precious sentient beings that deserve a second chance of life.

ACOSTA: The Arkansas facility, can you describe that?

CASTLE: Bentonville was an opportunity to reimagine you're walking into this bright, cool environment with a coffee shop and no cages. You can participate in that life saving in a way that's very similar to something like an Apple Store.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The Arkansas facility is important to me because that's where I got my pet from. When you look at who's going in. There, you know, you see a lot of young people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, this one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Ariana. She's two months old and two weeks. We've always been dog people. We just lost one and we really wanted to get another. It's. It's like a whole experience. I think when you come in here. You just tell they want you and the dog to be taken care of.

ACOSTA (voice-over): You're trying to market this experience. Trying to transform the way people think about pet adoption that, oh, it's a cool place where you can go to pick up a pet.

ACOSTA: Back in 1984, when Best Friends got started, they tell us that there was something in the neighborhood of 17 million animals that were killed in this country. Now they're about 378,000 last year and Best Friends is the leader in that movement. They'd like to get to this place where the United States is a no kill country essentially by 2025.

CASTLE: The benchmark for no kill is 90 percent. Roughly 10 percent of animals that are entering America shelters probably are too sick to be saved. So it's that 90 percent benchmark that we're after.

ACOSTA: And you think it's possible?

CASTLE: Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you showing off? Yes.


SANCHEZ: And we have Jim here to share this remarkable story. Such incredible work that they're doing.

ACOSTA (on camera): It really is. It's incredible. And I mean, what we were just hearing at the last part of that piece, what Julie was saying is they're on the verge of doing something pretty remarkable. Can you imagine we live in a country where we don't kill animals in animal shelters anymore. They're trying to get to a place where we're in no-kill country by 2025. That's just a year and a half from now, and basically what they want to do is get it down to 90 percent of animals that are coming in, get adopted. 10 percent usually are too sick to be adopted, that sort of thing. And so it's a remarkable goal.

And you, you can understand why they're successful. You know, you go out to their facility in Utah, it's like a animal rescue National Park or the facility in Arkansas is like an Apple store. And they're starting to put these locations all around the country to sort of transform the animal adoption experience. So it's not this sad, depressing kind of scary place where the dogs are crying and that sort of thing. And it does make a huge difference.

KEILAR: I had no idea that would be even possible. When they said 2025, that's stunning to me. But also this idea of making it a place where people want to come, but also where animals can be. So those animals that they aren't too sick. But, you know, animals can have behavioral issues too. And that's something that they can help them deal with.

ACOSTA: Yes, and I got Duke when he was a puppy, and that was an important thing to me. But they had, you know, senior citizen dogs that you could go adopt. And if you have a little more time on your hands, it's perfect. And I tell you, when I went out to Utah, I wanted to take all of them with me. And that's sort of their secret sauce at Best Friends. When you go there, you wanna take in animal home. And it does seem to be working.


They're sharing their secrets with other animal shelters that are not affiliated with them all around the country. And they're finding that this approach works. And more and more, they're getting down to that goal. So we have to keep tabs on this because it's a really an amazing thing that they're doing.

KEILAR: Such a great story. Thank you for sharing. I did adopt a senior citizen dog once and I will tell you they come house broken. It's phenomenal, Jim, yes.

ACOSTA: Yes, definitely. And they're -- and they're the happiest dogs, right?

KEILAR: They are.

ACOSTA: They will love you forever and bring so much joy for lives.

KEILAR: Thank you so much for sharing. And CNN is going to be sharing stories from our "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" series all week. You can tune in on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for the "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" one hour special. It features all of this year's CNN champions.

SANCHEZ: Hey, thank you so much for sharing your afternoon with us on CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We're going to leave you in good hands with Jake Tapper because "THE LEAD" starts in just a few minutes.