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New GOP Speaker Likely To Need Democrat Support To Pass Government Funding Plan To Avoid Shutdown; Shutdown Looms Ahead Of Busy Travel Week; Thanksgiving Air Travel Expected To Break All Records; Secret Service Agent Protecting Biden's Granddaughter Opens Fire On Suspects Breaking Into Govt Vehicle; Biden Speaks On Gaza As New Govt Shutdown Deadline Looms; Pentagon Identifies 5 Soldiers Killed In Training Accident. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired November 13, 2023 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: This week, Speaker Mike Johnson, who got the job just last month, faces his first major test, avoiding a government shutdown this Friday night.
Once again, hard-right members in his conference are getting in the way of a deal. A total of eight House Republicans are opposing Johnson's two-tiered spending plan.
Johnson's proposal would temporarily fund the government, setting deadlines in January and February for the passage of permanent department budgets.
CNN Capitol Hill reporter, Melanie Zanona, joins us now.
All right, Mel, that many Republicans against Johnson means he's going to likely need Democrats to avoid a shutdown. What does that mean?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Speaker Mike Johnson finds himself in almost the exact same position that his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, did. He's going to need to rely on some Democratic votes here to avoid a government shutdown at the end of this week.
Conservatives don't like this plan because it does not include spending cuts. It would extend government funding at current levels. But Johnson did try to give them a concession by the way he structured this government funding plan.
It's going to fund the government in two tranches. First, four agencies will be funded until January. And then the rest of the agencies will be funded until sometime in February.
But that clearly was not enough to win over conservative hardliners, who are balking at this plan.
The question really becomes, what are House Democrats going to do? And so far, they have not exactly said what they want to do. They are keeping an open mind. They recognize this doesn't include
spending cuts or include any policy riders. However, they don't like its complicated structure of this two-step plan.
They also don't like it doesn't include money for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan or the border, something the White House has requested.
Meanwhile, the White House did put out a statement initially blasting this plan, but ultimately, they may have to swallow this at the end of the day.
But before they get to final passage, Mike Johnson will have to clear a key procedural vote in the House.
Typically, those procedural votes are done along party lines. But this year, conservatives have been willing to take those procedural votes down if they don't like the substance of the bill.
So we'll get our first glimpse on the floor tomorrow when they try to do that procedural vote for that spending plan. At this point, it's unclear how they are going to act.
But we'll see whether they are going to give Mike Johnson a longer leash to govern -- Bri?
KEILAR: It's like they didn't have cloture in the house. Now they almost do. That's like an inside joke for us former and current congressional reports.
Mel Zanona, thank you.
I heard Jessica laugh, so here we go.
All right --
KEILAR: -- I'll be seeing a lot of you this week, Mel. Thank you so much.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Just a little Capitol Hill humor on a Monday. Keep it going.
Well, if the shutdown does happen, the Thanksgiving travel week could be even more chaotic than usual. Congrats to all of us.
Let me turn to CNN's aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean.
Just to remind everyone, we don't know that's going to happen.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No.
DEAN: But let's just take us there. What would it look like?
MUNTEAN: It would be chaos on top of the grounds. You know?
MUNTEAN: So the TSA agents, TSOs, what they're called, and the AAA air traffic controllers are expected to still report to work, although not get paid if a government shutdown comes to pass.
Now remember, during the longest shutdown ever, in 2018 into 2019, 35 days long, it only took about 10 air traffic controllers staying home to clear the log jam and get a funding bill passed.
So this can have some significant impacts on travel and the impact of travel can also have an impact on top. We'll see if this plays out.
It really comes during a huge Thanksgiving travel season. That is the forecast from airlines, from AAA and from the federal government.
The TSA just said that the Sunday after Thanksgiving will likely be the busiest day for air travel ever.
When you think about each day, the two days prior, 2.6 million expected on Tuesday, 2.7 million people expected at airports nationwide on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, 2.9 million on Sunday.
The best record was June 30th, 2023, 2.88 million people, the biggest number TSA has seen in its existence.
When you think about that against the biggest number, 51 million people expected to travel 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving holiday, it really is going just to be icing on the cake if the shutdown does come to pass.
You may want to consider driving.
MUNTEAN: More on that in a second.
But the big thing here is that the trends are really changing, too. And a lot of people are now trying to travel a little earlier.
So it's interesting about the TSA numbers, is they say it's a 12-day travel period, which means --
DEAN: Twelve days?
MUNTEAN: Twelve days. That means that would start this coming Friday.
And I want you to listen to AAA spokesperson, Aixa Diaz. She says that really the demand is lengthening and the peaks are getting a little less as more and more people take advantage of hybrid work schedules and being able to work from home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AIXA DIAZ, AAA SPOKESPERSON: The reality is many people are leaving on Tuesday, on Monday, and also maybe coming back the Monday after Thanksgiving because they know that Sunday is going to be such a mess on the roads and at the airports. So if people are being a little bit more flexible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: It is a condensed holiday. So a lot of people are going to fly, but more people are going to drive. And 49 million people, that's the anticipated number from AAA.
And a lot of those people will be driving at the worst possible time. You have to look at the breakdown. Really, it's kind of like --
MUNTEAN: It's kind of like rush hour times two. That's almost literally.
So if you can avoid essentially 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., 2:00, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. pretty much every day leading up to Thanksgiving and in the few days after, you might have a little bit of luck. Try to go early or really late in the day.
But in some major metro areas like Baltimore to D.C., Houston, Vegas, traffic could be twice the norm. So we'll see.
DEAN: Great. Great. I'm going to look into my plans for Wednesday.
Pete Muntean, with a lot of information there, thank you so much.
KEILAR: Just stay put. Come over to my house, you guys, all right?
So a Secret Service agent on security detail for President Biden's granddaughter, Naomi, fired a weapon while trying to stop some people from breaking into a government vehicle.
It happened last night in the affluent and historic neighborhood of Georgetown here in Washington, D.C.
We have Jessica Schneider joining us on this story.
Jessica, what are you learning about this shooting?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: What we have gotten, Brianna, is the investigation is being led by the Metropolitan Police Department here in D.C.
We're getting very few additional details released. The biggest question now is, why did this Secret Service agent fire a weapon at the people attempting to break into that government vehicle?
The question is, was the agent's life in danger, because that would be the protocol for actually firing a weapon. The agent isn't allowed to just fire to protect that vehicle or to protect other property.
But this incident really does highlight the severe uptick in crime around Washington, D.C. Motor vehicle theft is up 98 percent over the past year.
Here's the statement on this. The most details we have gotten so far from the Secret Service.
It says, "On November 12th -- that was last night -- "around 11:58 p.m. in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Secret Service agents encountered possibly three individuals breaking a window on a parked and unoccupied government vehicle.
"During this encounter, a federal agent discharged a service weapon, and it is believed that no one was struck."
That's from the spokesperson. He did continue to say that the people trying to break into that government vehicle did immediately flee the area in a red car.
And then a regional lookout was issued to supporting units, including MPD here in Washington.
The Secret Service is also saying there was never any threat to any protectee.
A source confirmed with our team that the agent involved in firing this weapon is assigned to Naomi Biden's detail. She's the granddaughter of President Biden and the first lady. The oldest daughter of Hunter Biden. She lives in Georgetown.
So, Brianna, few details being released. But we're expecting more as this investigation continues. Naomi Biden, nor anyone else in danger at all. So this investigation does continue -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Much more to come, no doubt.
Jessica, thank you for that report.
KEILAR: New York City Mayor Eric Adams under fire over reported allegation that he is he pressured city officials while he served as the Manhattan Borough president. Hear how he's responding, coming up.
DEAN: We want to listen now to President Biden, just moments ago, talking about the government shutdown and also the situation in Gaza. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the speaker of the House has a proposal that's being negotiated with the leader of the House and Senator Schumer.
And -- and the Republican leader also talking about. I don't know what the outcome is going to be. There was a meeting today at 4:00 or 5:00 today on the Rules Committee. And we'll see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
BIDEN: I'm not going to make a judgment what I would veto or sign. Let's see what they come up.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER -- the hospital in Gaza. Have you expressed any specific concerns to Israel on that, sir?
BIDEN: Well, I am reluctant at expressing my concerns going on. And it is my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital.
And with the Israelis, also there's an effort to take this pause to deal with release of prisoners. And that's being negotiated as well. Qatar is engaged.
And so I remain somewhat hopeful that the hospital must be protected be protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: That was President Biden just a few moments ago talking about two separate issues. Number one, in Gaza, he said it was his expectation that that hospital would be protected.
He also said that they are continuing to negotiate the release of hostages in exchange for a pause. So more to come on that.
Then in terms of a potential government shutdown, he sounds like so many Americans. He also is waiting to hear what comes out of the House as they talk and meet this afternoon. So more to come there.
KEILAR: All right, Jessica.
New York Mayor Eric Adams says he's cooperating with the federal probe into reports he may have pressured city fire officials to open a building housing the Turkish consulate, despite safety concerns.
CNN previously reported that authorities are also looking into whether Adams took illegal campaign contributions from a foreign entity.
CNN national correspondent, Gloria Pazmino, is following the very latest on this investigation.
Gloria, so the mayor says has not been accused of wrongdoing. He's going to address the public tomorrow. Bring us up to speed here. What's the latest?
GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, I think we can start just a few days ago with reminding viewers that FBI officials took a remarkable step last week to issue a warrant to the mayor to seize his electronic devices.
And the reason I bring that up first is because it's a pretty remarkable escalation of this investigation.
A judge had to issue a warrant and, in order to do that, they had to be presented with probable cause that some crime or evidence of a crime could be found on those electronic devices.
What we don't know is whether the mayor is the one who committed that crime. As you said, he has not been directly named at any of these investigations.
Then over the weekend, we learned just a little bit more about the investigation.
"The New York Times" has been reporting that part of what investigators are looking into is whether or not the mayor, before taking office in 2021, used his power as Brooklyn borough president to influence and interfere with the local fire department.
To ensure that the Turkish consulate would get permits that it was trying to acquire in order to open up their headquarters.
Now as you said, the mayor has issued a statement saying that, as borough president, this is part of what he was supposed to do in office to help his constituents and his constituencies.
And has, again, said over and over that he has nothing to hide and he will cooperate with officials.
But this is getting more and more closer to the mayor every time, and a drip, drip of details coming out about this investigation.
So certainly, a lot of questions for the mayor and his administration tomorrow, when we expect to hear from him to see if he will say anything more about what this investigation is about and why he thinks electronic devices were seized -- Brianna?
KEILAR: We'll be looking forward to that.
Gloria, thank you for that report.
A tragic incident over the Mediterranean Sea. The Pentagon now identifying five Army soldiers killed in a helicopter crash. We'll have what we're learning about the victims, ahead.
KEILAR: The Pentagon is now identifying the servicemembers who were killed in a training flight crash in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Right now, officials continue to investigate the cause of the crash but they say the accident was not related to the fighting in the Middle East.
CNN national security reporter, Natasha Bertrand, is live for us at this Pentagon.
Natasha, tell us what you're learning.
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Brianna, these were soldiers with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, special Operations forces who were in the region because they were sent there as part of the military's contingency planning around the war between Israel and Hamas.
And tragically during a routine training exercise, according to the Pentagon, it was a refueling exercise, their helicopter, a Black Hawk, had suffered a mishap.
That's how the Pentagon is describing it. And it crashed into the eastern Mediterranean and it killed all five of the troops who were on board.
According to two U.S. officials, these soldiers were part of a broader contingent of Special Operators who have been sent to the region, including JSOC teams who had been stationed in Cypress.
All as part of emergency planning in case there needs to be some kind of evacuation carried out of U.S. citizens in the Middle East. Of course, that has not had to happen at this point.
But the Defense Department did take a few days to put out this statement, obviously, to give the families some time to grieve this loss.
But obviously, a very tragic moment during the ongoing tensions, of course, in the Middle East and the Pentagon is being very sensitive to that.
KEILAR: Yes, horrible, horrible news.
Natasha, thank you so much for that information.
Still ahead, Gaza's vulnerable health care system is crumbling at a rapid pace. And it comes as Israeli forces intensify their fight on the ground against Hamas. We'll have the latest from the region, next.