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Trump talks about a shutdown over immigration, but Congress takes a different tack

In Washington, immigration and spending are on a collision course -- with a Thursday night deadline. The House and Senate moved on separate tracks Tuesday to avert a new government shutdown, while President Trump dared Democrats not to cooperate. Lisa Desjardins and Yamiche Alcindor join John Yang for more.

Read the Full Transcript

  • John Yang:

    They are breathing just a little easier on Wall Street tonight, after another dizzying day.

    The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points in the opening minutes, then rallied to recover nearly half of Monday’s huge loss. In the end, the Dow closed up 567 points — that’s a 2 percent gain — to finish at 24,912. The Nasdaq rose 148 points, and the S&P 500 added 46.

    At a House hearing today, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin played down the market volatility.

  • Steve Mnuchin:

    The stock market is up significantly, over 30 percent, since President Trump was elected. We’re monitoring the stock markets. They’re functioning very well, and we continue to believe in the long-term impact of the stock markets.

  • John Yang:

    Stock markets in Asia and Europe also took a hit in the wake of Monday’s sell-off on Wall Street.

    We will get more perspective on the recent market turmoil right after the news summary.

    The day’s other big story is the latest deadline to avert a new government shutdown. The House and Senate moved on separate tracks today, while President Trump dared Democrats not to cooperate.

    Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In Washington, a tale of two issues, immigration and spending, colliding around one magnetic deadline- to fund the government by Thursday night.

  • Sen. Ben Cardin:

    My guess is that they don’t want a government shutdown. We don’t want a government shutdown. No one wants a government shutdown.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    First, spending.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan:

    They must stop using our troops as pawns in the game of politics.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Republicans like Speaker Paul Ryan want to erase defense budget cuts known as budget caps. Their case was bolstered by the defense secretary appearing on the Hill today. He also decried temporary spending bills, or continuing resolutions.

  • James Mattis:

    Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare- air, land sea, cyber, and space. Under frequent continuing resolutions and sequesters’ budget caps, our advantages continue to shrink.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    House Republicans’ bill to avoid a shutdown proposes funding the military through September 30 with a $30 billion increase to avert spending cuts. The rest of government would get a temporary six weeks of funds.

    But this partisan funding bill is a whopping 515 pages long, full of other policies and proposals, many of them meant to jam or pressure the Senate.

    Conservative Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat.

  • Rep. Dave Brat:

    I would love to just see the Senate have to vote on something.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    But in the Senate, a wholly different idea. Both parties, both leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, working toward a bigger bipartisan budget deal to increase funds for defense and non-defense.

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell:

    I think we’re on the way to getting an agreement, and on the way of getting an agreement very soon.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer:

    We support an increase in funding for our military and an increase in funding for middle-class programs. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    One budget breakthrough- Democrats like Schumer seem to be separating the immigration debate from this week’s spending debate. That’s issue number two, immigration, now mostly behind closed doors as senators try to work out a deal with mixed optimism.

  • Sen. John Kennedy:

    In terms of immigration, I think it’s great that little pockets of senators are meeting, but what counts is whether 60 can agree.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In a reverse, today, it was the Republican White House that connected the immigration debate to a possible shutdown. President Trump spoke at a roundtable on the predominantly Central American gang MS-13.

  • President Donald Trump:

    If we don’t change the legislation, if we don’t get rid of these loopholes, where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill, if we don’t change it, let’s have a shutdown. We will do a shutdown, and it’s worth it for our country. I would love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The White House later said that the president is not advocating for a shutdown.

  • John Yang:

    Lisa is on Capitol Hill. And White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor is in the Briefing Room.

    Yamiche, stand by.

    Let me turn to Lisa fist.

    Lisa, developments and events moving very fast up there. The House is poised to pass its spending bill. What’s the state of play in the Senate?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Right. The House any minute could act. The Senate, a very different track. What we expect is, the House to pass this spending bill, for it to go over to the Senate.

    They will take out the legislative scissors, John, and probably cut out most of that bill, replace it with their own version, which we expect could be this two-year budget deal, perhaps erasing spending cuts for defense and non-defense. Staff is in talks on that right now, John.

    What happens after that, they send that new bill over to the House, and there’s a question mark, John. It’s not clear if that will get the votes in the House. There are criticisms of this idea, of this spending cap bill, from both the right and the left in the House tonight.

  • John Yang:

    You mentioned in your taped spot that the president is now attaching immigration to this issue. How is that playing on the Hill, and what’s the state of play on immigration on the Hill today?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    There is some confusion over the president’s remarks. It’s not clear exactly what he meant, because immigration doesn’t seem to be attached to a possible shutdown this week, at least not at this point.

    But where immigration is, right now, I just walked passed a meeting and talked to some conservative senators coming out of Mitch McConnell’s office, and Mitch McConnell is the person to watch on this issue, John. He told his Republicans that he does plan to move forward with a full debate on the Senate floor next week.

    And that’s why Democrats are stepping back this week on forcing a shutdown over immigration. Essentially, John, they are trusting Mitch McConnell. They’re taking him at his word. Dick Durbin said this to our Julie Percha and others today, that they believe he will come through and allow an open debate on the Senate floor.

    But, John, there are big questions over what that debate looks like. How many amendments does Senator McConnell allow? Is it a truly open debate? And then, of course, the big question is, even with all of that, can the Senate come up with plan with 60 votes?

    Senator Lindsey Graham said he’s more pessimistic today over a wider deal. There is trouble on the topic of family migration. Very hard to find an agreement on whether or how to limit that.

  • John Yang:

    Lisa Desjardins, thank you very much.

    Yamiche, in the White House Briefing Room, we heard the president talking about that he would love a shutdown. Why is he talking about this?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    The president is talking about a shutdown for several reasons. The first is that he actually I think misunderstood what was going on, on the Hill today.

    The Hill is really talking about and lawmakers there are talking about a spending bill, including military and non-military spending. This is not like the last shutdown, where people were really focused on immigration. Democrats were saying that they weren’t going to vote for the bill if it doesn’t include something to do with the DACA kids, the dreamers, of course, those undocumented kids that were brought here as young people.

    But this time around, that’s just not the case. President Trump, however, really maybe didn’t understand that. He was sitting in this immigration — this MS-13 roundtable when he made that remark, so maybe that’s why immigration was on his mind.

    The second thing is that he likely thinks that he won the immigration messaging war and the shutdown messaging war the last time the government shutdown. He feels good about the fact that when the government was reopened, the Democrats still didn’t have their fix to immigration, and as a result, it seems as though he doesn’t really think that a shutdown is going to hurt the Republicans, which is the only reason I can think of why he would put that on the table, when his party was actually not interested in talking about that.

  • John Yang:

    And in that White House meeting that we saw where he made those comments, there was an interesting exchange between the president and Representative Barbara Comstock of Virginia. Tell us about that.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, in that meeting, Representative Comstock was saying that there really doesn’t need to be a shutdown. There really doesn’t need to be this gridlock over immigration.

    She thinks that — she thought that they could actually get it done. The president actually interrupted her. So this is a Republican president interrupting a Republican lawmaker.

    And he said, no, that Republicans need to essentially stand hard, and the Democrats, they’re probably not going to get it together, and if we need to have a shutdown, let’s have a shutdown.

    It was a pretty remarkable exchange, because his party, the Republican Party, is not talking about shutting down the government, but this president is pushing for it.

    I think part of that has to do, some of the reporting I have been doing is that it shows that conservative groups are really upset about the president’s offer to have 1.8 million people have a path toward citizenship. There are a lot of conservative people who think that that’s amnesty. Breitbart has been calling him Amnesty Don.

    So I think the president is really feeling pressure from his own base to look really hard on this. So, as a result, you have this MS-13 roundtable where he’s talking about immigration and crime. You also have Chief of Staff John Kelly going to the Hill, and he’s saying to lawmakers, dreamers might have been lazy, that might have been why there aren’t as many people on DACA.

    So there is this idea that this White House wants to feel as though that they are taking hard line, that they’re drawing this line in the sand and forcing Democrats’ hands so that, when the government is back open or if it doesn’t shut down, the president can say, well, you know what, I saved the day.

  • John Yang:

    Yamiche Alcindor at the White House, Lisa Desjardins on Capitol Hill, thanks very much. Busy days ahead for both of you.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Indeed.

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