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Congress Reaches Last-Minute Deal To Avoid Government Shutdown; Largest Ever Health Care Strike Could Start Wednesday; Plains Midwest Brace For Potentially Record-Breaking Heat; Zelenskyy Marks Day Of Defenders Holiday; Ukrainian Soldier Returns To Battlefield After Losing Legs; Pelosi Accompanies Feinstein's Body Home To San Francisco; FBI Focus Turns To Crimes Impacting Indigenous Women & Children; Former President Jimmy Carter Turns 99 Today. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 01, 2023 - 14:00   ET



FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Now Modi faces another election next spring. And he will surely be held, if he can run by standing up to Sikh separatism and the Western bullying regardless of how real or dangerous either threat actually is.

Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we begin with a national crisis averted at least for the next 45 days. Just a few hours before midnight, the deadline to shut down the government, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to keep the nation's government open until mid-November. The breakthrough came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy surprised everyone by pushing a short-term spending bill through the House with Democratic help.

It is a deal that may cost McCarthy his speakership. Republican hardliners are vowing to bring a motion to the floor to oust the leader for ignoring the spending cuts conservatives were demanding in a package.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to rip off the band aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that could be trustworthy.

Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden, he lied to House conservatives. The only way Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out. Now, they probably will.

I actually think that when you believe in nothing as Kevin McCarthy does, everything is negotiable.


WHITFIELD: We have a team of correspondents covering these developments for us. Arlette Saenz is at the White House where President Biden just spoke about the new deal saying he's happy about the continuing resolution but he is sick and tired of the brinksmanship.

Let's begin with Eva McKend on Capitol Hill. So Eva, what tremors are being felt with these threats against House Speaker McCarthy on what could be a motion to vacate this week?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well he seems clear eyed about what lies ahead. He said he will survive challenges to his speakership from Congressman Gaetz all but daring his right flank to bring it on. Let's listen.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yes, I'll survive. You know, this is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure our border. He's more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something.

He wanted to push us into a shutdown even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid only because he wants to take this motion. So be it. Bring it on. Let's get over with it and let's start governing.

If he's upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown and I made sure the government didn't shutdown, then let's have that fight.


MCKEND: So you heard the Speaker there ready for the fight. But we're likely entering a historic week. McCarthy would become the first to have his gavel challenged in over 100 years.

If Gaetz is successful in his quest to oust the Speaker though, it is not clear who would succeed McCarthy. Thus far Democrats have given very little indication they want to bail him out.

But new today, we're learning that Gaetz has an ally, Arizona Congressman Eli Crane. He's also one of the hardliners in the House who has been critical of McCarthy. He is signaling support for ousting the Speaker as well.

WHITFIELD: All right. Eva McKend, thank you so much for that.

Arlette over there at the White House, President Biden, you know, is weighing in on this new deal. And he's happy that it is happening. But he also, you know, implored that it is about keeping promises and he's putting that kind of added pressure on the House Speaker and Democrats and Republicans overall on Capitol Hill.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. Washington may be breathing a momentary sigh of relief but President Biden says that it is time to get to work as the funding bill that was passed last night expires in just 45 days.

And there are two elements of this that the president is concerned about. One, he wants Congress to pass the government funding bills for a one-year period. But he also wants to ensure that Congress provides more support to Ukraine. That is something that the White House had been pushing for in this bill but was ultimately stripped out as they got to this last-minute deal.

But listen to President Biden as he talked about how this entire episode has been an example of brinksmanship once again in Washington.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The truth is we shouldn't be here in the first place. We shouldn't have gotten here in the first place. It is time to end governing by crisis and keep your word when you give it in the Congress.

You know, where I come from, when you make a deal, you give your word, you keep it. And I expect the Republican Speaker and Republican Congress to honor their word and keep the deal that they made months ago when they tried to threaten to -- with almost international bankruptcy by not paying our debts.


SAENZ: So what the president was referencing there was a deal that was struck between the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during that debt ceiling showdown. And ultimately at the end of that deal, they had reached this conclusion that they had agreed to these budget agreements outlined that would hopefully, they had hoped, avert a government shutdown crisis like we saw play out over the course of the past week.

The president is urging Congress to go ahead with that deal even as there are some in the right flank of the Republican caucus who want to see further spending cuts.

The other thing that President Biden wants to see in the coming weeks is a vote on aid for Ukraine. That is something that was stripped of this proposal and the president wants to see House Speaker McCarthy bring it up for a stand-alone vote.

That is something the Democratic leaders up on the Hill have said that they believe McCarthy will do. But so far, McCarthy has not committed to doing so.

Just this morning on one of the Sunday shows he suggested linking Ukraine aid with border security funding. The president said that there is still time but it is starting to run short. That this is a moment of urgency. The president tried to make clear to allies that the U.S. would be providing that funding to Ukraine even as this whole battle over government funding is still playing out.

WHITFIELD: all right. And this 45-days now, they have, November 17th is the deadline for a new spending package.

All right. Arlette Saenz, Eva McKend -- thank you so much to both of you.

All right. Let's talk more about all of this now with Mike Soellner. She is a congressional reporter for Punchbowl News. And Mychael Schnell is a congressional reporter for "The Hill". Good to see you to see both of you, ladies.

So Mica, you first, you know, can Speaker McCarthy potentially survive what might be a motion to vacate this week, if you listen to what Matt Gaetz has to say this morning?

MICA SOELLNER, PUNCHBOWL NEWS: Yes, so this is going to be a big test for McCarthy. And you know, it's been coming, all of Congress. I'll say that, you know, Matt Gaetz specifically has threatened this really multiple times.

I think some of these Republicans, you know, that aren't as far to the right as him and some of these moderates have been kind of tired of his threats just saying bring it on.

So I think McCarthy is going to have a (INAUDIBLE) a lot of the people that have supported him whole time and we're really going to see how this vote plays out.

You know, we're even seeing some of these hardliners really split. I think we only saw one ally, Eli Crane -- ally of Gaetz -- come forward and say that he's ready for this as well.

WHITFIELD: And Mychael, you know, the president kind of set the tone earlier today. There is great relief, you know, that the government continues to work, that business -- it is open for business but at the same time, he says, look, this brinksmanship, you know, has got to end.

He really was talking about, you know, making promises and not keeping them as it pertains to Republicans and Democrats on the Hill.

But now, this is going to be a real test because in 45 days they have to work on yet another deal. One that will stick with more permanency.

Do you believe that whether McCarthy survives this vote, this week or beyond, is that going to interfere with getting business done in 45 days in time for this November 17 deadline?

MYCHAEL SCHNELL, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE HILL: Look, Fredricka, I don't think it helps, right. Because when you focus so much time on this threat to McCarthy's speaker and potential vote on the floor on his ouster, that eats up time and a lot of attention.

And as you mentioned, this deal that was averted through -- deal that was struck this weekend to avert a government shutdown, I had one lawmaker describe it to me as just a band aid because this is just kicking that deadline to November 17th. A lot of conservatives are very frustrated with that clean stopgap bill. In fact 90 voted against it.

So I think it is the understanding that they'll continue to push for these spending cuts, continue to push for these border security provisions up until that November 17th deadline.

That is already a very heavy lift as we saw over this past month of this showdown over government funding. Adding in a vote against McCarthy's speakership and the heightened threats to his gavel, again, it's not going to help.

And so, I wonder you know, Mica, already House Speaker McCarthy is, you know, winning the support out loud from Republicans, at least in the Senate. Lindsey graham said he's the right guy for this time.

But if Matt Gaetz in the House is influential, if he does have supporters who want to oust the House Speaker, who is next in line?


SOELLNER: That is a great question. Because we really don't know the objectives a lot of times of what exactly these hardliners are asking from leadership. You know, they've been very clear that they want the spending cuts, but it never really seems to be enough for a group of about five to ten lawmakers in the House.

And we're seeing this split up even within the House freedom caucus. The House Freedom Caucus chairman Scott Perry told me this isn't really his fight when it comes to ousting the leadership.

I've heard that from several other members. I talked to Congressman Perry Moore today who said he's not surprised but hasn't made a decision himself. So I think this is very much a focus on Gaetz and some of these other hardliners. And it is not necessarily, you know, I don't even know how much support he's going to get among those who are more aligned with him as well.

WHITFIELD: And then as it pertains to Democrats who are supporting him, McCarthy -- Mychael, what will it take? I mean already, at least in the Senate Joe Manchin, he praised McCarthy, saying he finally realized that you can't reason with unreasonable people.

And then Ocasio-Cortez, you know, in the House, said it is not up to Democrats to try to save Republicans from themselves.

SCHNELL: Yes, Fredricka, what Democrats do in this situation is going to be the key question. And very possibly could be the determining factor of whether or not Kevin McCarthy holds on to the Speaker's gavel.

Listen Democratic leadership has been very coy when asked this question, asked what they would do in a situation of a motion to vacate. They haven't said which way they are leaning but they have said that it will very likely remain together as a block as we saw for this government funding bill over the weekend, as we saw during the speaker's race back in January. But look, this is the nature of again, the very slim majority that

House Republicans have this Congress. So if just about five Republicans decide that they want to oust McCarthy, if all Democrats side with them, that could be enough, that would likely be enough to confiscate his gavel.

But again some Democrats are saying that well if they decide to support him, they would have to extract some concessions from it. One Democratic lawmaker told me that if Kevin McCarthy wants her vote, he should come ask for it and be aware that he's going to have to pay a big price.

So a lot of focus this week is going to be on Democrats to see what way they are going to lean for the moment that Matt Gaetz, as he said he's going to do, brings this motion to vacate.

WHITFIELD: All right. That's a lot. Mychael Schnell, Mica Soellner, thank you so much, ladies. Appreciate it. It is going to be another busy week in Washington.

All right. Meantime, the stage is set for tens of thousands of unionized health care workers to walk off the job this week in what would be the largest health care strike in U.S. history. Talks with their employer Kaiser Permanente fell short of reaching a labor deal before the workers' contract expired Saturday night. And now more than 75,000 employees could join the picket lines Wednesday unless a deal is reached.

CNN national correspondent Camila Bernal joining us now with more details on this. Camila, so what are the workers asking for and how might this affect patients?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Fred. So I actually talked to one union member this morning and she said her biggest ask is shortage problems. She says, you know, it's people doing the job of two or three and so that is really her biggest concern.

And she says this directly impacting patients because it is sort of a domino effect. So she was explaining to me, look, even if a custodian is missing, right, there is a shortage in that, one room doesn't get cleaned. And so if that room doesn't get cleaned, well, the patients are going to have to wait a lot longer.

So she says waiting times are not just at the hospital but also trying to make an appointment and your scheduled three, four, five months out. So that is really her biggest concern. The shortage of staffing at these hospitals.

But there is a number of demands and I want to go over some of them. Obviously, wages is one of them. Across the board raises is what they're asking for, job protections against outsourcing, updates to retiree medical benefits, advance and notice for workers returning to the office.

And this is really across the board for the coalition of eight unions. So because this is eight unions, we are talking about 75,000 employees and they're everywhere across the nation.

You know, they're here on the West Coast in California, but they're also on the East Coast in D.C. and Virginia. It really could impact a lot of people across the country.

And Kaiser said that they're at the table, that they're working on this, that they're negotiating with the union right now and they say they have made some progress in some of the issues that they're debating. But they -- there is a lot still to go through.

They're hoping to get this deal before Wednesday, which is when the strike is scheduled to happen. But it is unclear if they're going to be able to reach an agreement.


BERNAL: Kaiser says they're ready and have a plan in case that strike does happen they will keep hospitals and emergency rooms open.

And I did ask the union member, you know, are you worried about a strike on Wednesday and what is going to happen to patients. And she said, yes, it is worrisome. But at the end of the day she also says they are fighting for those same patients, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much. Keep us posted.

So if Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike, they won't be alone.

The SAG-AFTRA actors union which has been on the picket lines for nearly ten weeks now heads back to the bargaining table tomorrow. They'll meet with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to work out a new contract and address streaming residuals and artificial intelligence.

Union president Fran Drescher tells CNN that while they're happy the Writers Guild came to a tentative agreement last week, one size fits all. Plus the United Auto Workers union expanded its strike on Friday to include additional General Motors and Ford assembly plants bringing 43 locations to a halt.

They said progress with Stellantis kept them from expanding picket lines there.


SHAWN FEIN, UAW PRESIDENT: We've had good discussions, there is times we think we're getting somewhere and then things just stop. It is not just Ford. It is all the big three. And you could pick an issue. It's just the same of many. (INAUDIBLE)

We have made some progress on some issues but, you know, we're nowhere near where we need to be and that is the problem. And we need to get there and we have a lot of work ahead of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: Union president Shawn Fein fought back against Ford's claims that they were close to reaching a deal saying they're still far apart on core economic proposals.

All right. Still to come, record-breaking heat is stifling areas from Texas to Minnesota. And it is resulted in the cancelation of a major marathon just hours ahead of the race.

Plus, with the death of Senator Dianne Feinstein, there is growing pressure on California Governor Gavin Newsom over who he plans to pick as her replacement.

All that straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

Extreme heat forcing organizers of the Twin Cities in Motion marathon in Minneapolis-St. Paul to cancel the event this morning. The decision to cancel came after forecasts predicted temperatures of up to 91 degrees today.


CHARLIE MAHLER, TWIN CITIES IN MOTION: I have not ever run a marathon in these conditions. The one year I ran this particular marathon it was typical October weather in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was cool and breezy. But today is nothing like that.


WHITFIELD: The race which was set to draw 300,000 spectators will be rescheduled. And this comes as temperatures are rising across the plains and the Midwest today as part of a summer level heat wave. With temperatures reaching potentially 15 to 20 degrees above average.

CNN's Allison Chinchar has more from the CNN Weather Center.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're looking at over 50 possible record temperatures to be set over the next several days across numerous regions including the Midwest down to the Gulf Coast and all the way over towards the northeast. But that might change in the coming days as cooler air is expected to settle in.

For now, though, as we finish out the weekend, that extreme heat is really focused across the central U.S., 90 degrees temperatures reaching areas like Omaha and even into southern Minnesota.

But as we mentioned, that is going to change. Over the next few days, all of that extreme heat is going to make its way off to the east really focusing more over the Great Lakes and the northeast by the time we get to the middle portion of this week and cooler air beings to settle in across the central U.S. And you can clearly see that drop here. Looking at Sioux Falls that's

going from 92 on Monday down to only 69 on Wednesday. Similar for Minneapolis, going from 87 on Monday down to only 68 by Wednesday.

Even farther south in Dallas, you have got several days of 90-degree temperatures before we start to see those drop back below normal for a change as we finish out the upcoming week.

Now, as for the northeast, temperatures are going to be on the rise. They might not be 15 to 20 degrees above average like we're seeing in the central U.S., but still well above where they should be.

Take for example Albany, topping out at 83 degrees on Tuesday. You're talking more than 10 degrees above average. Even for Philadelphia, topping out at 83 on Tuesday. And New York topping out at 81. Both of which will be 10 degrees above their average.

WHITFIELD: All right. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

All right. Aid for Ukraine was not included in that new spending deal that prevented a government shutdown. Coming up, how Ukraine is responding.

Plus the emotional story of a Ukrainian soldier who lost a leg to a land mine but returned to the front line.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

Additional military aid for Ukraine is not included in the latest U.S. spending bill passed right before the shutdown deadline. Ukraine's foreign minister says they're working closely with U.S. officials over the next 45 days to ensure the new budget decision will include funds for Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy led Ukrainians across the country in a minute of silence this morning to remember their fallen heroes. It is part of a holiday known as the Day of Defenders.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is live for us in eastern Ukraine. Fred so, you know, what does this mean for Ukraine if there is indeed this delay in U.S. funding and assistance?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly, it would be a huge deal for Ukraine. And you know, Fredricka, we've been on the battlefields here in this country both in the south and in the east. And one of the things that we can certainly say is that Ukraine relies heavily on security assistance, on weapons from the United States and it really is all facets that you're looking at.

You're looking at rifles, bullets for rifles, larger caliber weapons, artillery and munitions also a huge deal as well. And it goes of course all the way to tanks and surface-to-air missile systems. And that's definitely something that the Ukrainians are very concerned about.

They understand the United States is their most important partner in giving them weapons and that is something that's not only keeping them in the fight but allowing them to advance as well.

But there is a second facet also and that is the possible chilling effect that something like that could have on the U.S. NATO partners for instance, who are also giving weapons but many of them only doing so because the U.S. is also giving weapons to Ukraine.

So certainly it could have large reverberations. Again, the Ukrainians hoping that they'll be able to get these weapons in the future.

One of the things that Kyiv is saying, they say look, they understand all of this is very expensive. They understand it could go a long time but they also say they are the ones who are paying in blood.

And we spoke to one soldier whose leg got blown off by a land mine on a mission that he was on and yet he returned to the battlefield.

Here is what we learned.


PLEITGEN: It was a race against time after Danilo stepped on a land mine while on a mission behind enemy lines.


DANILO, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES MEMBER (through translator): The mine blew me up and my brothers carried me for seven and a half kilometers. They gave me's first date and carried me.

PLEITGEN: They saved his life, but his injuries were catastrophic.

DANILO (through translator): One leg was gone, it was blown away, and the other was hanging, all broken.

PLEITGEN: But that isn't holding Danilo back. He's hiding his face for safety reasons, but his story is remarkable. After the incident, he recovered, traveled all the way to Mexico to get an artificial limb, learn to walk again, and is now back on the battlefield.

DANILO (through translator): I can't just it at home and watch what's happening. In a country under attack, every man has to stand up from the couch and defend his home. I have to do it, and I'm good at it.

PLEITGEN: He's contributing to Ukraine's massive counteroffensive in the south where Kyiv says its forces have been making increasing progress. Danilo right on the front lines.

DANILO (through translator): I'm in charge of mortar grenade launcher, and antitank squads. The platoon commander and I choose the right positions, targets, and planned the operations. PLEITGEN: Russian minefields and artillery are still causing a lot of

casualties on the Ukrainian side, and while Kyiv won't disclose exact numbers, they acknowledge that the going is tough.

Combat medics gave us this video showing the trauma they deal with every day.

Medic Vlad tells me sometimes they simply can't save their comrades limbs or even their lives because the wounds are too severe.

VLAD, COMBAT MEDIC, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): We had around ten cases where the limb was dramatically amputated, and there was no chance to save it. Compared to the number of people in the brigade, it's not much, but it's a terrible sacrifice.

PLEITGEN: A sacrifice that changed Danilo's lives but he's adapted, learning to move and fight effectively even though his artificial limb limits his mobility.

DANILO (through translator): We don't have a choice, we can't lose this war. This counteroffensive can't fail. We don't have this right. We are defending our home. It is victory or death for us.


PLEITGEN (on camera): So there you have it, Fredricka, victory or death for us, that Ukrainian soldier says. And it's certainly something we've heard from other Ukrainian soldiers as well.

Again, they say that the security assistance they're getting from the U.S. is absolutely key, especially now that they believe the counteroffensive is going better than it has before, and they are making some pretty significant games, not just in the south, but also in the east as well. But they also say that if that security system drives up, it's not going to stop them from fighting, because they simply have no other choice, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Well, that's very powerful. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.

Still to come, Nancy Pelosi, accompanied the body of Dianne Feinstein back to California Saturday evening. A look at Feinstein's trailblazing career and more, on the battle that will now commence to replace the California senator in Congress. That's next.



WHITFIELD: Senator Dianne Feinstein's body is now back in San Francisco, her beloved hometown. A U.S. military carried her remains to California last night accompanied by the senator's longtime friend and colleague, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Feinstein's daughter, Katherine, was also on board for the final journey home.

The longest serving female senator in U.S. history died on Thursday following months of declining health.

Her death puts California Governor Gavin Newsom now under immediate pressure over whom he picks as her replacement with Democrats clinging to a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate.

Joining me right now to discuss this is Larry Gerston. He's a professor at San Jose State University.

Professor Gerston, great to see you.

I mean, in your view, I mean, is this a very difficult assignment for Governor Newsom, or do you think he has been thinking about this for sometime now and actually has a plan in place?

LARRY GERSTON, PROFESSOR, SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, you're right on two of those three. Yes, it's difficult assignment. He's been thinking about it from time, but whether he has somebody in place, that's a good question. He kind of put himself in a bind, if you will, Fredricka, when he said way back after Padilla was appointed, Alex Padilla, to the Senate seat vacated by Kamala Harris, okay, I know we left we no longer have an African-American women in the Senate. So, I promise you that I will appoint one the next time anything happens, a vacancy, should it happen.

Well, it's happened. The problem is there aren't very many Black officeholders who want to give up their seat for 14 months. So, now, he has to hung around for somebody who is obviously qualified but who maybe not necessarily a person he might have chosen otherwise. So, there's a very small group here we're looking at.

WHITFIELD: So, he's in a tight spot because if he reneges on that, you know, pronouncement and, you know, doesn't choose a Black woman after saying that's what he do with the next opportunity. How damaging is that for him?

GERSTON: Well, it would be damaging, but he's already in a bad spot because Barbara Lee, an African-American woman, is quite qualified, of course, a member of Congress, is one of the three major candidates running for the Senate seat. He won't go ahead and appoint her because he thinks that might be tilting the scale, and it might very well do that.

So, he's already in a bind as it is because if he doesn't, he's in trouble, if he does, he's in trouble. So, now, he has to find some way out of this because let's remember, Gavin Newsom is a big name. Gavin Newsom is somebody that a lot of people are looking at in 19 -- in 2028, for example, as a possible presidential candidate.


So, he really does have to think carefully about this next move.

WHITFIELD: Is there a deadline that he needs to act by when do you think?

GERSTON: That's a great question. There is not an official deadline but he's got to act quickly because you know as well as I do, with the makeup of the Senate is.

WHITFIELD: They want the votes.

GERSTON: Now, it's 50-49, very tight for the Democrats. And who knows what might happen with Senator Menendez.

So, he has to move quickly because they need those votes especially in the middle of this budget shutdown issue.

WHITFIELD: Okay. All right. Well, now, let's talk about the woman who's at the center of all this, you know, and I mean, people cannot say enough about her legacy Senator Dianne Feinstein. I mean, what an incredible, I mean, litany of accomplishments. I mean, she was involved in so much.

How do you hope people will remember, you know, her imprint on politics, on human rights, civil rights, I mean, the list is long? From public service overall.

GERSTON: The list is long. Yes, the list is long. We think about the assault weapons ban of 1994 which was just legendary include in terms of when it did, reducing the use of those weapons, reducing (INAUDIBLE) lack of use of those weapons. So many other things.

I think one of the things that people sometimes forget about Dianne Feinstein was her innate ability to cross the aisle and deal with senators of the other party. Some of whom didn't have a whole lot in common with her. When I think about the assault weapons ban, this was a real work, when you think about how hard she had to work to get all these people together to go ahead and pass this legislation, which unfortunately, at the end of those ten years expired. It was not reinstituted by Congress. This is really a gift, leadership like that you don't see very much anymore.

The Senate and the House for that matter have become so polarized that you really don't see a lot of people going from one side of the aisle to the other. The old days they did it, they went out to dinner. They might talk during the day, and then at the end of the evening, they shared a drink.

WHITFIELD: And, you know, that she passed in office. I mean, you heard Nancy Pelosi saying it this morning, who say, you know, I'm just glad that she did it on her own terms because in the last few months, there was so much growing pressure that she should step down because of her declining health. In the end, she got the last word, didn't she?

GERSTON: She got the last word because she voted the day she died. The day before she died, excuse me. She got the last word all right.

Look, it's hard to imagine someone not leaving a place like that when they're not feeling well. But she wanted to stay to the very end because she thought she could do more good than not. She was dedicated to doing good, not just power for power sake, but good for the state, good for the country.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, she felt she still had purpose. GERSTON: Yes.

WHITFIELD: All right. Professor Larry Gerston, thank you so much, pleasure.

GERSTON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Up next, a look at how FBI agents are helping understaffed tribal police agency saw hundreds of violent crimes and cold cases on Native American lands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people you know don't know an FBI agent, but we're out here, and we're working. We've all joined the FBI to kind of answer that call. And I would say that call comes in a lot more frequently.




WHITFIELD: The FBI is adding more personnel to help solve violent crimes and cold cases impacting Native Americans, mainly women and children. The additional investigative resources are being used in operation not forgotten.

Here's CNN Josh Campbell, with this exclusive report.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The FBI announcing the results of a months-long surge of personnel to help solve violent crimes and cold cases impacting Native Americans. The bureau said operation not forgotten focused on crimes occurring on tribal lands across ten FBI divisions, with dozens of FBI personnel conducting victim and witness interviews, and launching more than 40 arrest and search operations.

Now, I spoke exclusively with an FBI agent overseeing the operation.

JONATHAN TAPP, FBI SECTION CHIEF: The main focus of our case is death investigation, and sexual abuse crimes. Those agents respond to scenes, they process evidence, they arrest subjects, and review witnesses.

Simultaneously, our intelligence personnel are locating information processing leads, and determining locations of additional victims.

CAMPBELL: The agency said that list of personnel surging to tribal lands also included FBI victims specialists, working to care for those impacted by violent crime.

Now, prior to the launch of Operation Not Forgotten, CNN went inside the FBI's efforts to locate missing Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona, seeing firsthand the difficult nature of this work.

FBI AGENT: You've got to be able to learn the land, you've got to be able to learn the cultural norms. Our number one challenges access. For certain crimes out here, it'll be some sort of family on family crime, and they may not want the individual to go to jail.

CAMPBELL: But to you, this is more than just data.

FBI AGENT: It is more than data. These are individuals, and these are individuals that are in pain, or missing, or in trouble.

FBI AGENT: Most people you know don't know an FBI agent, but we're out here. And we're working. We've all joined the FBI to kind of answer that call, and I would say that call comes in a lot more frequently out here.


CAMPBELL: Now, to help investigators solve the numerous unresolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous persons on tribal lands, the FBI is appealing to the public to visit, scan the faces of the missing, and contact law enforcement if you have any information on the whereabouts of these victims.


Josh Campbell, CNN, Los Angeles.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Josh.

All right. Still to come, Jimmy Carter turns 99 today, and birthday wishes are pouring in for the oldest living former president. More on the birthday celebrations, next.


WHITFIELD: All right. Today, Jimmy Carter, America's 39th president, turns 99 years old today. Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Carter is the oldest living former president and first U.S. president born in a hospital.


With the shutdown averted, celebrations at the Carter Center can continue today. Birthday wishes are coming in from all over the world, in fact, including this message from the sitting president.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President, happy birthday, pal. I've known a lot of presidents as you have but I've admired you because you have such incredible integrity, character, determination, I consider a great honor to know you and work with you. And I just hope I can be one half the president you've been. God love you. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh, what a nice picture that was of them way back when. And then, look, right here on the White House lawn, today, a larger than life birthday card for President Carter.

CNN's Tom Foreman has more on how others are marking this special day.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven months into hospice care, making a surprise appearance in the peanut parade. There was former president, Jimmy Carter, barely visible but smiling, rolling into his 99th birthday where everyone seems to know him as a friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really impressive he's made it that far, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy birthday to him. Yeah, that's a good president.

FOREMAN: For anyone passing through tiny Plains, Georgia, may not look anything but for the 39th president, it is everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy Carter knows what it's like to work for a living.

FOREMAN: This is where he dreamed of playing baseball while helping his parents scratch a living from the red dirt, where he launched his bid for president. And after decades of building houses for struggling people, fighting disease in faraway lands, and defending rights --

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: We look on human rights as an ability to live in peace, and to believe that your future will be better than your own past might be.

FOREMAN: This is where he's calling yet. When the folks at Gladys' Kitchen heard the president was craving there casserole, they started sending a whole pan every few days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was overwhelming knowing that someone like him came from where I'm from.

CARTER: Morning, everybody.


FOREMAN: He can't make it to church as he once did every week, drawing people for hundreds mile away to her the farmer turned president turn Sunday school teacher.

CARTER: South Carolina?




CARTER: Just in the middle.


CARTER: I used to live there.


KIM CARTER FULLER, JIMMY CARTER'S NIECE: Even when he can't attend, he's listening.

FOREMAN: His niece Kim took over and notes the tourists are gone.

But the people who are here for him are still here for him.

FULLER: Yes. Exactly. And we're here for him. And we know that we have to keep on -- keeping on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy birthday, dear Jimmy.

FOREMAN: Of course, there are big tributes. In New York, singer and activist Peter Gabriel led a chorus of happy birthday.

At the Carter Center in Atlanta. Good wishes are coming in too fast to count.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy birthday, President Carter.

FOREMAN: So what is the oldest living president in American history making of all of this hullabaloo? In his simple, quiet house away from prying eyes here in his hometown, his family says he's just taking it all in.

Alongside his wife, Rosalyn, now diagnosed with dementia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are at home, in love, and they know who they are. And I don't, you know, you don't get more from a life than they've gotten.

FOREMAN: The former president is with his family, watching the Braves play baseball, and enjoying the extra innings at home at last.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Plains, Georgia.


WHITFIELD: Thank you so much, Tom.

And, happy birthday, Mr. President.

All right. The Powerball lottery jackpot has now topped one billion dollars. Get your tickets. No one's matched all six numbers in last night's drawing and that pushes the jackpot for tomorrow night's drawing up to more than one billion dollars. The estimated cash value of $478.2 million. Your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are pretty slim at one in 292.2 million.

This is the second highest jackpot so far this year. But don't let it stop you, get a ticket or two.


WHITFIELD: All right. Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.

And we begin this hour at the federal government fully operational and funded. The shutdown crisis averted, at least for the next 45 days. Just a few hours before midnight deadline to shut down the government the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan spending bill that will last until November 17th.