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Debate GOP's Health Care Bill; White House Press Briefing. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired March 09, 2017 - 13:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- are still debating key parts of the GOP's health care bill. They've been at this now for more than 24 hours. So far, each party's leader is refusing to budge.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN, HOUSE SPEAKER: This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare. The time is here. The time is now. This is the moment.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Republicans are facing -- racing this bill forward before the CBO can truly expose the consequences, the catastrophic consequences, of their health bill. And this is in stark contrast to when we passed the bill.


BLITZER: All this as President Trump is courting lawmakers and Republican conservative groups opposing the bill. According to those at a meeting yesterday, the president revealed his plan if, if the Republican effort is not successful. Let Obamacare fail, he says, and then blame Democrats.

The White House will likely be pressed on this strategy during today's briefing. That's coming up momentarily. Also expected to come up, the president's still unproven allegation of wiretapping by his predecessor. And the WikiLeaks document dump detailing the CIA's alleged surveillance techniques.

Our Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is in the White House briefing room getting ready for the briefing. Our National Politics Reporter M.G. Lee is live up on Capitol Hill.

Jim, opposition to the Republican health care bill seems to be growing from key industry --


BLITZER: -- groups and plenty of conservatives out there. Does the White House believe it can sway that opposition?

ACOSTA: They are confident that they can win -- they can win this argument in the end. But they certainly have a big hill to climb, at this point, Wolf. No question about it. And you can tell that this is top of mind for the president right now because he tweeted it right in the middle of that presentation that was given by House Speaker Paul Ryan at the capitol. And he was walking reporters through the ins and outs of his health care proposal. Sort of a Ted talk or PowerPoint presentation, if you will.

And it was in the middle of that presentation that the president put out this tweet. He was essentially acknowledging some of the concerns that are out there about this health care initiative in the Republican Party.

And he said that, despite everything that you're hearing in the media right now, that all this is going to end in a, quote, "beautiful picture."

Well, the picture is not so beautiful right now, when you talk to Republicans. There are a group of Tea Party conservatives over here at the White House meeting in the Oval Office with the president.

I talked to some sources who were in the room during that meeting last night with the president, who said they have very big concerns about what's being proposed over on the House side. They don't like this idea of offering tax credits as financial assistance to people who can't afford health insurance. They see that as a subsidy that is very much like what's already in Obamacare.

And they also don't like the fact that this Medicaid fix, that's been talked about, is going to be pushed off until 2020. They would like to see that happen in January of 2018, as in next year.

And, Wolf, according to one source I talked to, there was some willingness on the part of the White House to accept that as a -- as a potential compromise.

And so, that's, obviously, going to rile some of those moderate Republicans over in the Senate who are going to be needed to push this over the finish line.

And so, no matter how you slice it, they are dealing with a very, very tough task ahead. And, sort of, I think, appreciating what President Obama went through when he took some two years to get Obamacare passed and signed into law.

But make no mistake. When you have Senator Tom Cotton tweeting this morning that the House Republicans should just start over again, that is not the kind of reception that they were hoping for over here at the White House -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It certainly isn't. We're going to get more on Tom Cotton's warning to his House friends over there, Republicans on the House side.

Another important issue, WikiLeaks wiretapping allegations, Jim. Both expected to come up at the briefing. You're there. Have we heard directly from the president or vice president on either of these issues? ACOSTA: You know, Wolf, I think the last time -- and there's a lot of

reporters in this room so they can all correct me here. But I think the last time the president took a question from us was on that aircraft carrier last Thursday. Now, there might have been some individual reporters here and there who have had a chance to ask the president a question.

But -- so, he has not had a chance to weigh in on camera on a whole range of issues, whether it's this baseless wiretapping allegation that he's made against the president, accusing the president -- former President Obama of committing a crime and bugging Trump Tower. An outlandish claim that has not been supported by any evidence, at this point.

The president has not commented that. And we've also not heard him weigh in on WikiLeaks. He was asked about it this morning. Here's what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Document dump -- document dump from WikiLeaks? Any thoughts?



[13:05:00] BLITZER: All right. I'm going to interrupt you, Jim. Sean Spicer is now at the lectern in the briefing room so let's listen in.

SEAN SPICER, U.S. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you to CNN viewers around the world. Good to see you guys. Thank you. Good morning, everyone. It's nice to -- thank you all. Appreciate the -- John Roberts fact checking from the seat. Good morning -- good afternoon. It's not my fault. It's on the paper.

After receiving his daily intelligence briefing this morning, the president led a national economic council at a listening session with CEOs of small and community banks. Since 2008, the number of small banks has declined 30 percent. The dramatic increase in regulation following the financial crisis has been a major driving force in the decline of these banks. Dodd-Frank alone has resulted in 22,000 pages of new regulations.

While large banks can hire armies of compliance officers whose sole purpose it is to ensure they meet the ever-growing number of regulations, it increases the cost of doing business for community banks, leading some not to engage in some forms of lending or simply due to the time and costs involved.

Our community banks are key funding sources for small business owners, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers across the country, many of whom can't qualify for traditional loans. They provide approximately half of all loans to small businesses. By reforming the regulatory system so that it is efficient, effective and appropriately tailored, we'll stop treating these institutions in our communities the same as banks that have exponentially more in assets, enabling them to engage even more with small businesses and entrepreneurs that stimulate local economies.

The banks participating in these listening associations are members of the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America. A full participant list is available to those who are interested.

Yesterday, I noted the continued signs of good news in our economy, in terms of hiring, and the morning reports showed that consumer comfort has risen to the highest level in a decade.

I'm sure last night you also saw the report that illegal southwest border crossings are down by an extraordinary 40 percent, a significant deviation, even when you consider the seasonal trends. These measures reflect that both the economy and the border are already responding to the president's agenda, even while we're still in the beginning stages of putting his policies in place.

The country and the world are clearly ready and waiting for the change the president campaigned on and is already delivering.

Right now, the president is holding a legislative affairs lunch with OMB Director Mulvaney, and key members of Congress on his plans for the federal budget and repeal and replace that we've talked about. This is just the latest opportunity to continue the dialogue between the president and members on Capitol Hill on turning his ambitious agenda into action.

The strong relationship between president and congressional leaders will be key as the budget process moves along. As Director Mulvaney has been saying, our budget blueprint will be released in mid-March and the president is working collaboratively with both his cabinet and Congress to create a budget that keeps the president's promises to secure the country and make the most efficient use of tax payer money.

In attendance at the meeting from Capitol Hill are Senator Crapo, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee; Chairman Cochran, the Senate Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Senator Mike Enzi, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee; Senator Bob Corker of the Senate, the member of the Senate Budget Committee; Congresswoman Black, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee; Congressman Thornberry, the Chairman of House Armed Services Committee; Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio; Congressman Meadows of North Carolina, the Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus; and Congressman Rokita of Indiana.

Later this afternoon, the president will meet with secretary -- former Secretary of Congress Pete Peterson. Then, the president has a meeting with Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly and the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo.

And, finally, the president will make remarks to the Senate youth program around 4:00 today. A tradition that begin with President Kennedy and has continued through every administration. The president's honored to be speaking to this distinguished group of young men and women who are interested in pursuing careers in public service.

I also want to mention that, right about now, the vice president is giving the keynote remarks at the Latino Coalitions Policy Summit. His remarks focus on the particularly negative impact of Obamacare on small businesses, many of who have been unable to hire more workers or are forced to scale down their operation, due to high taxes and burdensome requirements that were imposed by the law.

The president's dedicated to improving health care system for every American, including small business owners who have especially been suffered -- have had to suffer through complying with thousands of pages of regulations and rules. That's exactly why he's working with Congress to enact the American Health Care Act, which he was glad to wake up this morning and see approved by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Also today, the president was pleased to see his ambassador to Israel, David Freeman, voted out of committee. We had hoped to see Seema Verma, who would be confirmed -- would be confirmed as the administrator this week, as the administrator of health centers for Medicare and Medicaid services at the Department of Health and Human Services.

[13:10:12] Unfortunately, Senate Democrats continue to unnecessarily delay her confirmation. At this critical time, while we're talking about health care, it's ironic that they refuse to consider someone with such amazing expertise in this area.

Seema Verma has worked for over 20 years in health care policy. She has redesigned Medicaid programs in several states, including Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky. She's worked with governors' offices, state Medicaid agencies, state health departments, state departments of insurance as well as private companies and foundations.

She's unquestionably and uniquely qualified for her position. And especially now that health reform is at the top of the president's agenda, it's time to get her in place. This delay by Senate Democrats at this critical time is unacceptable.

On a scheduling note for the weekend, the vice president announced yesterday that he'll be in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday with Governor Bevin. The vice president's office will have further details for you on that trip as we get closer.

Finally, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that today is the 10- year anniversary of the disappearance of former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, from Kish Island, Iran. The Trump administration remains unwavering in our commitment to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home. The Levinson family has suffered far too long, and we will not rest until his case is resolved.

And with that, I'll take your questions. Hallie Jackson. HALLIE JACKSON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: I have a couple

of topics for you, if you don't find.

SPICER: Of course.

JACKSON: Julian Assange says the CIA has lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal. Does the president agree?

SPICER: I think as we've commented before, the -- there is grave concern that the president has about the release of national security and classified information that threatens and undermines our nation's security.

Obviously, he believes that the systems at the CIA are outdated and need to be updated. We're not commenting on the current situation as we've -- as U.S. government policy. But I think the situation, technology-wise at the CIA, the president's acknowledged that it needs to be updated. The CIA put out a statement regarding the current situation. I would refer you to that.

JACKSON: Two just follow-ups on that. Is he going to talk about that with Mike Pompeo today?

SPICER: He gets a daily briefing from the director and I'm not privy to the contents of his discussion. But, obviously, issues of national security, including that, are probably something that gets discussed.

JACKSON: And then, some Republicans have said Julian Assange should be in prison. Does the president agree?

SPICER: I think the U.S. government had a position on Julian Assange's position in the past and I don't see anything that's changed that. He is comprised, in the past, and undermined our national security. And I think I'll leave it up to the Department of Justice to further comment on their disposition of him.

JACKSON: The second topic was on health care. Second of two topics.

SPICER: This is an interview not a press conference.

JACKSON: The president tweeted, just a little bit ago, that he believes that health care is coming along great.


JACKSON: We've also been watching Paul Ryan deliver a pretty lengthy PowerPoint presentation.

SPICER: It's a very good PowerPoint.

JACKSON: And it's aimed at convincing Republicans to get on board this way. Isn't that a sign that health care is not actually coming along great?

SPICER: I think anybody who has been in Washington, for a few days or longer, recognizes that any major piece of legislation takes a lot of explanation. The president has been very committed to talking to members of Congress. He had another meeting last night.

Something as complicated as this that deals with one-fifth of our economy and is a major takeover of our health care system isn't a simple thing. It's a major, complicated piece of legislation that's got three prongs to it. And this is the first one. The reconciliation piece that starts to chip away at finally repealing Obamacare.

When they passed Obamacare, they rushed it so quick. They gave the then secretary of Health and Human Services great authority to enact certain aspects of it. We now -- that would be our phase two is having Secretary Price go through the pieces of Obamacare that he has been given the authority to when they passed it to help unwind a lot of things they did.

And then, phase three is stuff that has to be done through other pieces of legislation that does stuff, like allow people to sell insurance across state lines. That allows small businesses to pool.

So, there's a lot of facets to getting this pushed through. And I think that one of the things that we've been able to do, quite effectively, is talk to members, especially in the House.

But the vice president has been very active on both sides of the chambers, or both chambers, to communicate how this is a comprehensive strategy and three prongs to repeal and replace it with something more effective.

JACKSON: (INAUDIBLE) will he, for example, roll back Medicaid expansion freezing until 2018?

SPICER: Look, Hallie, I think this is going through the process of -- it's working its way through Ways and Means. Today, there's a mark-up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And I think that's where we're going to continue to see action in the House.

[13:15:01] And then, when it goes to the Senate, the president will continue to engage very actively with the House and Senate to get this done.



QUESTION: New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray said in a statement that Donald Trump should keep his hands off women's bodies, women's healthcare and Planned Parenthood, which has done just fine without President Trump's advice. I wanted to know what the response from the White House was on this?

SPICER: Well, I mean, with respect to Planned Parenthood specifically, the President's very clear that he's pro-life. He's -- we've worked with the -- with them to talk about making sure that there's a difference between tax payer funding of abortion and women's health services. We have, and the President has committed to making sure that funds for women health community centers is going to be reflected by a substantial increase in his budget. He's committed to doing that. And he's trying to figure out a way to make sure that the focus of tax payer money is right towards community centers that provide vital health services to women, and that we're not using tax payer funds for abortion. John Roberts.

QUESTION: I just want to follow on Haley (ph) --

SPICER: Which one?

QUESTION: A non-related topic. Just so your prepared. On healthcare, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas today sent out a series of tweets in which he basically said this is dead on arrival in the Senate, go back to the drawing board. Adding that it's absurd for the committees to be voting on something that hasn't even been scored yet. What does the President think to what Senator Cotton said today? Does he plan on having a conversation with him?

SPICER: Well we're going to engage. He -- he has talked to Senator Cotton. We'll continue to talk to any senator that has questions or concerns or ideas. It went through the Ways and Means Committee last night. I think they started at something like 10:15 yesterday morning. It was an 18 hour -- I don't believe he's talked to Senator Cotton. He's meeting with members right now. As I just mentioned, he had dinner last night with Senator Cruz. He's continuing to work both sides of the aisle, both chambers. As I mentioned yesterday, I think you're going to see a very aggressive, a very robust push. We continue to have the team out doing -- talking to local media, local radio, (inaudible), talking to local leaders.

We believe that the more we talk about the comprehensive three prong approach that we have, to doing a lot of the things that conservatives have talked about to bring back cost containment, to get people to be more patient centered in the health care decisions they make, allow more choice. It's going to bring people on board. But, the thing that's really interesting John, about the current approach, is that no matter where you are, especially on the conservative side, you cannot possibly believe that the current healthcare system is an effective program.

It is a monstrosity. It is a government -- government gone wrong. And I think --


SPICER: And I -- -and I think that we will continue to engage with him and other members of the House and Senate that have ideas, but it's going to continue to work it's way through the processes. As I mentioned, it went through the House Ways and Means Committee. It's currently going through the House Energy and Commerce Committee. When the House passes it and it goes over to the Senate, I'm sure Senator Cotton and other senators will have an opportunity to have their say. That's -- -that's part of the process. We welcome his ideas and his thoughts as we do with other senators, but the President has continued to do tremendous outreach and our staff has continued to do that. Mick Mulvaney has been on the hill. Vice-President Pence has been -- has maintained a very aggressive schedule, as well as other members of the administration, and we're going to get this thing passed with all their important ideas.

QUESTION: Was the President aware that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was acting as a foreign agent when he appointed him to be the National Security Advisor?

SPICER: I don't believe that that was known. I would refer you to General Flynn and to the Department of Justice in terms of the filings that have been made.

QUESTION: Had the President have known that, would he have appointed him?

SPICER: I don't know John. That's a hypothetical that I'm not prepared to ask. I don't -- I don't -- I don't know what he discussed prior to -- prior to be appointed in terms of his background, his resume, his client base. I don't know any of that. I know that, from what I have read, he has filed the appropriate forms with the Department of Justice and I think you should ask him and subsequently them if you have any questions about the specific filing.

QUESTION: Following up on Senator Cotton. He told me just a short while ago that he believes that this bill might actually make things worse, that the current Obamacare. What do you say to Senator Cotton?

SPICER: I -- I -- I respectfully disagree and I think we -- I hope we have an opportunity for the team to continue to, not only talk to him about what we're trying to do and how we're trying to do it, but we'd love to hear his ideas. I mean this isn't, as I mentioned the last couple of days, we're not jamming this down people's throat. We're welcoming ideas and thoughts. We think this is a great vehicle to restore a patient centered healthcare bill, to drive down costs. And I think Senator Cotton clearly recognizes that the current version of healthcare that's out there right now is -- is not sustainable.

[13:20:00] And so, we welcome him -- his input into the process. We think that the work that we've done prior to putting this together with the House is something that reflects a lot of the best ideas and -- and we would continue to -- to welcome his input on this.


QUESTION: Are you open to major changes...


SPICER: I'm not -- it's not -- I'm not open to -- I think the president...


QUESTION: ... the major changes? Or is it...


SPICER: I think the president has said before he wants to hear members' ideas. He believes that this bill encompasses the best of ideas and the best way forward. But again, we're going to let the process work its will through the House and then subsequently through the Senate.

And if members have ideas, we want to hear them and we want them to be part of it. It's not -- this isn't getting jammed through and we welcome that. And that's why the president continues to meet with folks. You know, he met with individuals yesterday. He continued to meet with them today.

He's going to be hitting the road. He wants to hear members of Congress, outside groups, physicians, healthcare providers, patients. But he wants people to have an input in this to make sure that we have the best possible bill that serves their needs, and that we don't look back, like we do now with Obamacare, and say I wish we had done this right.

We've got a system that, frankly, isn't working. And I think that no matter where you are on the political spectrum, you've got to admit that either you or a loved one or a friend or a colleague isn't getting the care they deserve or isn't paying what they thought they'd be paying. And I think we have to do this right so that we don't look back the way we do now and regret the way that it was done.


QUESTION: Senate and House conservatives have said that they want a -- sort of a return to the 2015 Obamacare repeal effort. If that effort landed on the president's desk, would he sign it?

SPICER: I think the effort that's going through right now is -- is the vehicle that's -- is what people are on board with. I think -- one of the things that we have to remember is that the process, this three- pronged process, is done for a particular reason. The reconciliation process, which I know for most people it sounds like a very arcane, inside baseball, congressional term, but it only allows for certain things to happen in that repeal process.

And that's why we've been very clear, and I think Paul Ryan laid out -- Dr. Price has laid it out, and Mick Mulvaney is laying it out when he goes up to the Hill -- that there are -- there's a reason that we keep talking about it in three prongs. Because there's only so many things that you are legally allowed to do through the reconciliation process.

When the Democrats jammed this through, they did it in a way that -- they did it basically in two steps. They jammed it through the reconciliation process, number one. And number two, they gave broad authority to the secretary of health and human services, the kind that she could unilaterally do certain things with healthcare and implement certain things that we now have to undo in the same way.

What we've done that's different, though, is frankly add a third prong which allows for additional legislative vehicles that will go through the House and then in the Senate, that will allow some of the core conservative principles that we've talked about for, frankly, decades, about allowing more competition, allowing people to pool, allowing people to do things that we think will allow lower prices to come out of the process.

And I think that's a big difference in how...


QUESTION: So if repeal lands on the president's desk, he would not sign it...

SPICER: It is going to land on his desk, because we're going to go through this process...

QUESTION: ... repeal without replace.

SPICER: Well, again, I think the way that we're doing now I think is the right and the responsible way to do this. This bill will land on the president's desk. He will sign it. We will repeal Obamacare and we'll put into place a system that will be patient- centered; that will allow the American people to have greater choice and lower cost.


QUESTION: Sean, (inaudible) pushback that you're getting so far with healthcare, do you think it is realistic to have both healthcare, (inaudible) tax reform done in 2017? And I ask you that because Mitch McConnell was asked about this (inaudible), and he talked about there being certain constraints, and that the tax reform portion of it could be a 2018 item.

SPICER: I think we feel very confident that we're going to get a lot done -- continue to get a lot done this year. Tax reform is high on the president's priority list. I think it's high on the American people's priority list. And especially as April grows closer and closer and people look down at the federal tax form and realize how much they're paying, and we see companies pledging to come back, recognizing that these companies bought into the president's vision and agenda to make America more tax and regulatory friendly, so that they would create jobs, manufacture more here.

That's something that -- that he's committed to. He understands how important it is. Look, the president is uniquely qualified as a businessman, a successful businessman, to understand the -- what a good business climate does to job creation and to manufacturing. And I think his commitment isn't just a campaign promise. It's something that he has lived by for decades now, understanding that that's what spurs economic growth. That makes one place more attractive to invest in or to hire more people or to grow jobs.

And so for him, this is deeply personal. And I think that you're going to see Secretary Mnuchin and others work on the contours of that in the next several weeks.

[13:25:03] But we intend to maintain to the schedule that he laid out.

QUESTION: (inaudible) the August -- the August portion is still -- is still the timeline?

SPICER: That's right.

QUESTION: On drug prices, Congressman Elijah Cummings was here yesterday. He said that the president was enthusiastic about his bill to cut drug prices. Is the president enthusiastic about that? And if he is, how much pain should drug companies be prepared to take here in the Senate (ph)?


SPICER: Ironic that you're talking about drug companies and pain. But -- maybe there's a pill for that. I think the president, as you know, one of the reasons that he reached out to Elijah Cummings initially is because they share that and I think frankly yesterday came to a lot of other areas where I think that they can find common ground and work on issues.

And I know that drug prices is something that he understands near and dear, is helping many people get the care that they need but the rising cost is something that is -- so I think as we look at the vehicle in terms of the specific legislation, they share a commitment to it and I think that there will be continued follow-ups not just between Congressman Cummings but others as to what the best piece of legislation is and how we get that home.

QUESTION: Democrats said that they're going to drop this bill in two weeks (ph).


QUESTION: Is the president prepared to push against them on Capitol Hill (ph)?

SPICER: Well, I think -- yeah, I don't -- I think that's a bigger conversation that we have to have with House leadership in terms of some, you know, maybe it is that right vehicle. Maybe Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy and -- and Chairman Brady have other ways to achieve the same goal or work with Congressman Cummings.

I don't want to be prescriptive to the House as to how they work their will but I know that the president has a commitment to that topic and that he wants to work with Congressman Cummings and others who share that same commitment. John Givesy (ph).

QUESTION: Thanks a lot, Sean.

SPICER: John Givesy (ph).

QUESTION: Givesy, oh.

SPICER: You're both good-looking Johns, but.


I'll come back.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. Two questions. First, a Japanese news service is reporting this morning that the president will have a meeting with President Jinping of China in April. Does this mean that there is a new meeting before their scheduled meeting at the G20 in July?

SPICER: I'm not going to comment on the president's schedule or foreign leader visits at this time. I think I've pretty much gotten that one down. So until I have something further for you, I'm just going to let you get on to your next question.

QUESTION: All right, thank you. Going back to the meeting and to your opening statement about the banks; in the last campaign, Candidate Trump campaigned hard on restoring the Glass-Steagall Act which put a barrier between commercial and major investment banks. It of course was repealed in 1999, the repeal signed by President Clinton.

Senator Sanders campaigned on this as well, noted that it was in the Republican platform in Cleveland and said in December he'd be happy to work with the Trump administration on restoring Glass- Steagall. Is there any plans for the president to meet with Senator Sanders and is repeal of Glass-Steagall on his agenda.

SPICER: There's no current schedule to meet with him. I'm sure that as he has done with several other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, that at some point that will be scheduled. We don't have anything on the books for now but look, he's shown -- and I think today was -- or yesterday was another example, today another example of his willingness to reach across the aisle, his willingness to look into both chambers and, you know, and not just business but labor unions and other industries where we can find common ground.

And I think if Senator Sanders and others want to work with the White House on areas of ways that we can improve the financial industry, we're going to do that, so.

QUESTION: Is he still committed to restoring Glass-Steagall?


QUESTION: On infrastructure, can you give us timing, where it is on the priority list and if these new reports that say that the infrastructure in the nation is in really bad shape (ph), does that give it new urgency?

SPICER: I think the president mentioned in the joint address, I think we're looking at a public-partner private -- public-private partnership as a funding mechanism. There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes. And I don't want to put a timeline on that, obviously as I just mentioned to Blake (ph), we've got -- currently dealing with the repeal and replace of healthcare.

I think we need to move on to tax reform but that is definitely somewhere that is trying -- we're trying to figure out how to move that vehicle. There'll be further discussion of that as we get closer to the budget as far as where that fits into the piece.

John Decker? QUESTION: The president had this meeting last evening here at the White House with some conservative groups.


QUESTION: Out of that meeting, can you tell us whether the president was successful in twisting arms, getting these conservative groups to back this particular healthcare bill?

[13:30:00] And just separately, I see on the president's campaign website that there is an event, a campaign style rally planned in Nashville, Tennessee next week.