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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
No Progress after White House Meeting on Shutdown
Aired October 2, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening everyone.
We begin with breaking news. White House talks on the government shutdown ending just about an hour ago with no end to the stand off in sight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Times like this, the American people expect their leaders to come together and to try to find ways to resolve their differences. The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate. I wish, I would hope that the president and my Democrat colleagues in the Senate would listen to the American people and sit down and have a serious discussion about resolving these differences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's House Speaker John Boehner.
House Republicans late today passing a pair of bills to selectively reopen the government to fund national parks and the National Institutes of Health. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calling that and threats not to raise the debt ceiling unless the president's healthcare plan is rolled back, game playing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: We're through playing these little games on -- and all -- is all focused on Obamacare. That's all it's about. And as I've said before, and I'll tell each of you here tonight, they did the same thing to Social Security, they did the same thing to Medicare and trying to do the same thing to Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: To many, though, none of this is a game, it can be a matter of life and death.
Later in the program you're going to meet a young woman with terminal cancer. She's counting on experimental treatment at the NIH to save her life. Treatments she now cannot get because of the shutdown. And she's not the only one. NTSB investors aren't investigating plane crashes. Safety inspectors aren't safeguarding consumers and workers, and the list goes on and on.
Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill where all this began and hopefully where it could end soon.
Dana, obviously both sides have their heels dug in. What's the latest? What do we know more about this meeting?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what you saw is what it was, which is not very productive at all. It's certainly the big difference between tonight and what we've seen over the past few weeks is the only difference is that they were actually talking to each other eyeball to eyeball as opposed through us in the media. It did not go well in terms of any kind of movement at all.
Maybe the only benefit is that they did actually express themselves to one another and maybe that could crack the stalemate in the future, but so far, it didn't work.
COOPER: There are now several moderate House Republicans who changed their mind, right? Saying that they're willing to pass a clean bill with no strings attached. Would they actually have the numbers to do that at this point if John Boehner allowed it?
BASH: From all conversations I've had with some of those moderate Republicans, they have the numbers but to be honest, they don't have the will right now. And that is a very different thing. What I mean by that is a lot of people say that they want to just pass a clean bill, a bill with no strings attached, forget Obamacare, just fund the government, get it reopened and that's it. But they are not willing to stand up, bang on John Boehner's door and say, do this or else.
They try to stage many revolts a couple of days ago. It didn't get very far because John Boehner went out to the House floor personally talked to some of these members saying please, don't do this, just give me a little bit of time. We'll see if that changes as the week comes to a close, but so far, they -- again they've said that they would vote for a clean bill but they're not willing to push and force John Boehner to bring one up.
COOPER: And this piecemeal spending measures that passed in the House tonight that would fund like the NHI and reopen parks, those measures, they're not going to go anywhere in the Senate, right?
BASH: Absolutely not. They're not going anywhere at all. The whole goal that Republicans have and they're pretty honest about it is to try to turn the tables on the Democrats. They understand that they are getting the blame for this for the large part for this government shutdown and they want to try to put the blame back on Democrats for not at least funding some of the most visible, some of the most heart wrenching areas of the government.
You talked about clinical trials, that's a great example. The House passed a bill to fund the National Institute of Health, Harry Reid said no, I'm not going to do that today, he said because I'm not going to take one for the other. I'm not going to put one group against the other and that really does put Democrats in a difficult position but they are standing firm saying all or nothing.
COOPER: All right, Dana. Thanks very much.
Republican Congressman Matt Salmon is deep in the trenches on this, he joins us now.
Congressman, appreciate you being with us. This piecemeal approach, I mean, it's expected obviously to be rejected by the Senate as Dana just said. I guess what I don't understand, how are Republicans picking these agencies to fund? Why money for national parks and not, say, for the intelligence agency?
REP. MATT SALMON (R), ARIZONA: Well, honestly, Anderson, you got to start somewhere and this piecemeal approach actually is the way Congress has been budgets for many, many years. In fact, when I was here back in the '90s we always passed 13 appropriation bills, and that was the budget, and we would send those to the president and he would sign them one by one.
COOPER: But is that anyway to govern? Or isn't the Tea Party who supports you and others, of these conservative Republicans, isn't all about fiscal responsibility, standing on principle? Is that really a principled stand during this piecemeal approach?
SALMON: No, I think the best thing would be to be able to pass a continuing resolution and keep the government open and honestly that's what we've been trying to do. Over the last several weeks we've been trying to dialogue with the Senate and with the president and it's hard to dialogue when they say my way or the highway.
There has to be some give and take. That is the process. That's the process that's been adhered to for a couple of hundred years that we all have different opinions. We sit down at the table and we work things out. I would hope that Senator Reid would appoint a conference committee so that these negotiators can then work out the fine details and we can get a budget and get the government back open.
COOPER: But those who support the White House position on this and the Democrats' position on this will say, well, look, this president of the United States ran on Obamacare. He won two elections. The American people voted on this. I know House Republicans point to -- well, polls show it's unpopular but this president wasn't elected, the Republican presidential candidate who's opposed to Obamacare lost.
Aren't there winners and losers in politics who at a certain point you've got to just take your losses and move on?
SALMON: Anderson, when this -- when this bill was originally passed, Obamacare, it was passed in a lame-duck session with 80 defeated politicians with no accountability back to the voters. There were some problems in the bill, some glitches, and the president has rightfully postponed some of the provisions of Obamacare because they are bad and we would like to work with him to try to postpone some other bad things.
COOPER: But you're describing as if it was passed by criminals in the middle of the night, you called them 80 defeated politicians. These are elected representatives who were serving lawfully and it's passed with muster by the Supreme Court.
SALMON: Well, but they are not accountable back to the people --
COOPER: Well, they are. They were elected by the people. I mean, I know it was at the end of their terms, but so what, at some point you're going to have an end of your term and I don't think you would like to be called no longer accountable to your constituents.
SALMON: Honestly, I think these lame-duck sessions are really a travesty and I don't think they actually help the process. I think that when you have people that actually have to stand for election and actually explain to the voters what they did, I think that that's an important part of the process.
But honestly this bill, I totally believe, will drive us further into a part-time economy and I think that we have a responsibility to try to go back and postpone some of the bad parts and fix this thing and move on. And I believe that most Americans are with us on that.
COOPER: But the president of the United States has said that he is willing to talk about things that might not work in this, to talk about this down the road but not to essentially be held hostage to your group of congressmen.
SALMON: We've passed over 40 measures in the last couple of years on Obamacare --
COOPER: And they all failed.
SALMON: That's right. Not one of them has ever seen the light of day. When has the president negotiated with us? Never. And so if he's not going to negotiate now, when will he? I think there -- there are false promises just like the last ones have been. We've got to take the time that we've got right now -- this is a relevant time to talk about budgetary issues and policy matters and I think this is a reasonable approach to share our opinions, have them share their opinions and then have a -- have a vote on it.
The American process is to have -- when we have differences to have a conference committee come together and try to work out the differences and that is the process.
COOPER: But isn't that what this president -- was elected on? I mean, he ran -- this was clearly discussed, this has been discussed for a long, long time just about everywhere. Haven't the American people spoken on this in two elections for this president?
SALMON: Well, weren't we in the Republican House of Representatives elected against Obamacare?
COOPER: Well, the 40 of you, yes, but there's a lot of moderate Republicans who would be willing to pass this, as you know.
SALMON: There is not one Republican that voted for Obamacare, not one.
COOPER: Right, but there are many Republicans right now or a number -- we just talked about a number who've changed their mind who would be willing to vote a clean bill moving forward.
COOPER: They're opposed to Obamacare. I talked to Pete King last night. He's opposed to Obamacare but he says look, you guys do not have the votes to defund and so you've got to move on.
SALMON: Anderson, as long as you're bringing up Republicans that support that position, how about the 35 Democrats that voted with us on these funding measures tonight? How about the 35 that voted with us yesterday? How about the 35 that voted with us when we wanted a year's postponement of -- of the individual mandate along with the provision that says Congress has to live under the same laws as every other American when it comes to Obamacare?
If -- we have a lot of Democrats vote with us on that.
COOPER: Well, Congress Salmon, I appreciate your perspective. Thank you for being on.
SALMON: Thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: Now to the other side, from New York Democratic counterpart, Joseph Crowley, who's vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Congressman, you just heard Representative Salmon talking. Does he make some sense here that this should be a negotiation, that this is a time -- that it's time for the president, it's time for Democrats to sit down at the table and negotiate?
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: What I think, Anderson -- thank you for having me on tonight. What I think, Anderson, it's time to get off the Affordable Care Act kick. They've had a 43 -- at least 43 times two repeal the act. By the way, which for the record, was not passed during a lame-duck session. In fact, it was passed in March, three years ago, March, and as a result of that, some of my colleagues from the Democratic side of the aisle did lose their election because of it.
But if you ask them today, it was one of the greatest things that they ever did for the American people and today millions and millions of people now have the opportunity to afford insurance for the first time. That's something to celebrate, not something they should be trying to repeal.
What Mr. Salmon was saying about negotiations, you don't walk into negotiations and say, either you repeal the Affordable Care Act or we will shut down government but that's what they've done. That's what they have done, Anderson, they shut down the government because of their ideological agenda, their hatred for the Affordable Care Act. They don't want these people to have the opportunity to afford insurance for the first time. And that is irresponsible, it reckless and it's unacceptable.
COOPER: John Boehner was clearly frustrated as he got out of the meeting with the president tonight. He said we have a divided government. He said Americans put Republicans in charge of the House. Why not try to negotiate an end here? Give in on something? Is there something that the Democrats could give in on?
CROWLEY: Well, I think John Boehner is frustrated. I think he's more frustrated, Anderson, by his own caucus. There's a civil war going on within my caucus. I don't pretend to understand all the ins and outs of that, but he has clearly sided now with the far right, with the Tea Party element within his caucus. As you've mentioned yourself, there are members of the Republican caucus who want to have a clean CR and bring it to the floor. I hope that they have the fortitude to press their leadership to do just that.
But, Anderson, the Democratic caucus we have tried to find a solution here. That is, we've come down to the Republican number. We would like to be at $1.58 trillion in terms of the budget. Their number is $987. We've agreed to that for the purposes of having a CR, a continuing resolution, so we can get down and negotiate a conference committee on the budget.
That's where I'd like to be, that's where the Democratic caucus would like to be. At the end of the day, Anderson, there are two things that Congress is responsible for -- they need to pass a budget and they need to pay their debts. The Republican caucus has already failed on the first and I unfortunately believe we're heading down the wrong way on the latter.
COOPER: Congressman, I appreciate you being on the program tonight, as well. Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: Thank you. Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Good to talk to you.
I want to bring in Republican consultant, radio talk show host, Alice Stewart, now, she served in the 2012 presidential campaigns of Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Also Democratic strategist and 1996 shutdown veteran, Paul Begala, and Rich Galen who had a ringside seat as well in 1996 as spokesman for House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Alice, you were cautiously optimistic about this meeting in the White House before it concluded. Any reason for optimism after what congressional leaders had to say? ALICE STEWART, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR BACHMANN 2012 CAMPAIGN: None at all, unfortunately. The only we come out of this, at least everyone agrees on one thing is that neither side wants to negotiate but the fact of the matter is, it reminds me of my old boss. Governor Huckabee had a plaque in his office that said, "Come, let us reason together." And here we have the president says come, let's not negotiate together, and we should have had these conversations a long time ago instead of after the fact.
Two days after the shutdown we're still at a stalemate. And if anyone is in a better position to end the stalemate, it's the president. And we're not seeing that. The Republicans have come forth with three proposals to do exactly what the people want, which is not shut down the government and also make fairness apply to everyone when it comes to the Affordable Care Act and the Senate Democrats aren't doing that.
COOPER: Paul, what about that? I mean, is it -- is it the president's obligation to negotiate?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, of course, and he and his party have. Now I committed math. I was a liberal arts major, OK. But I committed math this afternoon. I went and looked it up. I looked at the president's original budget proposal. He asked for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending. This is what they're fighting over now.
Then I looked at the Paul Ryan House Republican budget, which is a very, very austere budget. Congressman Ryan and the Republicans wanted 967, OK, so there was about 233 billion separating them. The Democrats now are agreeing to 92 percent of those cuts.
Nancy Pelosi talked about it today after the meeting at the White House. You could see the frustration. She has got her caucus ready to vote for cuts that they hate and they are ready to support that. That's a huge concession. And when you win 92 percent of the funding cuts you want, it's called a win and -- the Tea Party people, I don't know if they are too crazy or too stupid or too cruel but there is something wrong here. They've got a screw loose if they don't take this deal.
COOPER: Rich, should the Republicans take the deal?
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good grief, after that string of adjectives, I'm breathless.
BEGALA: That will win them over, won't it, Rich?
BEGALA: Call them names -- they don't want to deal with me.
GALEN: Here's my -- here's what I think about this -- the whole negotiating thing. If the White House is not going to negotiate, the president has decided that this is his position and nothing is going to change it. And how do we know that? Because one guy has not been seen for a week and a half, and that's Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been in the United States Senate his whole life. He was elected when he was 29. You have to be 30 to get into the Senate. He turned 30 before he was sworn in.
He knows every cobweb in that place and if the president had any inkling that he wanted to actually sort of see if they could figure something out, he would have Joe Biden up there all day every day and he'd probably get it done. So nobody wants to negotiate, so far, everybody is looking at their own polling, they're seeing what they want to see, maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong. We'll find out in about 11 months. But I don't see this thing getting off the snide here for sometime to come.
COOPER: Alice, to those who support the president and say, why should the president have to negotiate on the signature, you know, thing that he has supported from the time he got in office and before he first ran, which is this Affordable Care Act? Why should he have to give that up or shuttle key parts of it?
GALEN: Although, I don't agree with it. I think if they -- if that were the case, then when the -- when HHS, when Health and Human Services decided to delay the employer mandate for a year, if the Republicans had put that to a vote on the individual mandate at about the same time, then I think they could have had this kind of -- this kind of discussion.
But the president is not a very good negotiator. I mean his negotiating strategies are, give you everything you want or don't talk to you. He doesn't really kind of get this give-and-take stuff. Now granted --
STEWART: Well --
GALEN: However, the House Republicans aren't doing any better. Harry Reid was so frustrated today, he yelled at Dana Bash. I mean, who yells at Dana Bash?
COOPER: Go ahead, Alice.
STEWART: And that's the key point. You say, why should he have to negotiate on a signature achievement. Simply because this Obamacare was sold as and what was passed is not the same one that is now being implemented and executed because what he has done, he has picked and chosen those under the employer mandate that their provisions will be delayed for a year. And my question is under what rationale can he decide that those people should be delayed for one year and members of Congress have to fund the Obamacare.
GALEN: Then impeach him. Then impeach him.
STEWART: They should be able to have the decision to create fairness for all under Obamacare and delay the same thing for those --
COOPER: Paul, what about that argument? Because that is the argument that a lot of Republican members of the House are making that -- that the bill that was voted on that was passed is different than the one the president is now released to the public.
BEGALA: Because he has shown flexibility and compromise in implementing it. This is why this whole thing is just a fraud from the Republicans as Peter King said. It's a fraud. The president compromised even in implementing it, right? Truth is the employer mandate is a small part of it. The individual mandate, a Republican idea that Newt Gingrich first proposed, is a big part of it. He's shown flexibility. He's shown compromise and the Republicans don't want to compromise and they certainly don't want to negotiate. Here is how this ends --
GALEN: But, Paul, to be fair he did that unilaterally. He didn't do that in consultation with the House and the Senate. He just -- he just did it.
BEGALA: So --
GALEN: So that's not really a negotiation.
BEGALA: It's not about negotiation, it's sort of a compromise.
STEWART: And the key with that --
BEGALA: It's sort of a compromise.
STEWART: He has the power to do that. He has the power to unilaterally bypass Congress and impose that executive action, but at the same time Congress under Article One of the Constitution has the power of the purse so they don't have to fund this --
COOPER: And so --
STEWART: The new law that he has recreated so that's an important component --
BEGALA: The government shutdown -- Alice knows this, but viewers should know the irony here is that government shutdown hurts a lot of people and a lot of good people, but it doesn't hurt Obamacare. It doesn't hurt the good people who are going to be helped by Obamacare. And that's the tragic flaw of this fraud of a Republican strategy is it's not even stopping Obamacare.
COOPER: We got to leave it there. Paul Begala, Alice Stewart, Rich Galen, good to have you all on.
More breaking news tonight, the White House had just weighed in on the meeting. Details next from Jim Acosta who's there.
And later the mother of a toddler who's counting on the government for cancer treatment to save her life or just give her more time with her daughter. We'll talk to her about what the shutdown means and why it's -- well, why it scares her right now. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. More breaking news now. The White House has just gone on record on a meeting tonight between President Obama and congressional leaders.
Jim Acosta is on the North Lawn, joins us now.
What are they saying, Jim?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Basically no progress, Anderson. House Speaker John Boehner, as you heard, came out of that White House meeting and said they will not negotiate. Well, he's right. Listen to the statement that came out of the White House just a few moments ago.
It says, quote, "The president made clear to the leaders that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills Congress has already incurred."
The president is basically making clear what he made clear earlier today in that interview on CNBC he is not going to negotiate any deal that passes a temporary spending bill and signs it into law that includes any kind of anti-Obamacare provisions. That is a non- starter still with this White House.
Anderson, it took them all about an hour to essentially say no to each other and we're at a standoff once again tonight.
COOPER: And I understand President Obama has got an event tomorrow at a construction company. What do we expect?
ACOSTA: Well, I think what we're going to expect to hear the president say is that the shutdown has to end but he's also going to talk about what's happening on October 17th, Anderson, when the nation hits the debt ceiling and potentially goes into default. He's going to be talking about that, how that might freeze up credit for companies all around the country, harkening back to what happened to the country when the financial crisis hit in 2008.
So I think we'll hear the president say that and he made that comment earlier today in that interview with CNBC that Wall Street has to worry this time. This is not like last time around or past crisis in this town, that there is really a reason to worry here. We heard that from Wall Street CEOs who came out of a meeting with the president earlier today.
And so in addition to seeing the president and what he has to say at this event tomorrow, Anderson, I think we also need to see how Wall Street reacts to what the president had to say today because it is starting to sound very dire here in the nation's capital.
COOPER: All right. Jim Acosta, appreciate the latest. Thanks.
With us now, political analysts David Gergen and Gloria Borger, and chief national correspondent, John King.
David, the president making clear again he's not going to negotiate on funding the government. If that's the case, why meet with congressional leaders at all? Was it just for the optics of it?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, one has to believe it was for the optics. We have no progress in fact. I think this tonight probably set things back. It makes it very, very unlikely we'll have any kind of settlement within the next several days. I think it's going to stretch into next week and that also will entwine it with October 17th.
COOPER: And John, I mean, the tone of the -- from members of Congress after the meeting with the president, it doesn't bode well for any kind of speedy resolution.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't but I think they knew going in that, as David just noted, there was no speedy resolution in sight. So you have to have this first unproductive meeting, although the president called it useful. Leader McDonnell on the Senate side called it unproductive.
Look, it's just Washington is so broken right now that you have to have a bad meeting before you can have a second meeting that will probably also be bad or hopefully you get around to a third or a fourth where you to start to go in the right direction. I know that sounds ridiculous but that's the way Washington doesn't work at the moment.
COOPER: And Gloria, in the president's interview with CNBC he did seem to signal he was ready to do a deal on some kind of a grand bargain, tax, entitlement reform.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
COOPER: If the Republicans would simply fund the government, raise the debt ceiling, is that at all realistic?
BORGER: I don't think so. Look, I think what the president was saying is look, if we can get past this hurdle, think of all the good things we can do. We can -- you know, we can reform entitlements, I'm not going to raise taxes, we can do everything we -- tax reform. We can do everything we've been talking about for lo these many years if only you would just fund the government because I'm not going to touch, you know, my signature piece of legislation.
So I think he was kind of holding it out there but that's a big if because right now after this meeting tonight -- I've been e-mailing with some Republicans and they say, you know, we were waiting for the president to blink, he didn't blink tonight, and they say he will eventually but I'm not so sure.
COOPER: So, David, how does this get resolved? I mean, where -- this is all finger pointing at this point.
GERGEN: I think it's going to be resolved by two things, Anderson, the coming of the October 17th, the fall deadline and increasing pressure from the public and from Wall Street. The more people raise hell out on the grassroots and send that message to Washington, the faster this will get resolved. So I think we all applaud the degree to which that happens.
Anderson, I do think -- and the three of us, John and Gloria on this. I do think there are the makings of a negotiation here, a glimmer of it at least. If the president said look, you agree the debt ceiling -- we go forward on that, we don't dismantle Obamacare, I'll give you a two-week extension on the continuing resolution during which time we negotiate, and if we don't reach some sort of reasonable settlement, then we can -- we keep fighting on that.
But take default off the table and take dismantling healthcare off the table then I'm -- willing to sit down and talk about all range of things.
COOPER: John --
BORGER: Look, I --
COOPER: Gloria, go ahead.
BORGER: I think once they -- you know, once they get past the sort of funding of the government, I also think that the administration might be open to amending Obamacare through the usual legislative route. There are lots of things, for example, repeal of the medical device tax, which lots of Democrats support, but I think you have to first get past this hurdle. If the president were to do major reform on entitlements then, he'd have to start worrying about his Democrats.
COOPER: John, do you see a glimmer there?
KING: Well, the problem is you have 20 or 30 members of the House Republican conference who want a piece of Obamacare. They want to kill it, but if they can't kill it, they want to wound it and even if -- as Gloria says, even if the president said, I'm not going to negotiate that as part of keeping the government open, and I'm not going to negotiate that as part of raising the debt ceiling.
But if you do those two things then we'll have this conversation, the problem is, Anderson, nobody in this town trust each other. Especially those most conservative members. They don't trust the president. So they wouldn't believe he would do it. And so that's the mess we're in.
Nobody trusts each other. Not only do they not agree. They don't trust each other. They don't like talking to each other. The fact that this is the first time they met tonight when we've seen this problem brewing for weeks and months tells you everything you need to know about the dysfunction.
COOPER: There are --
GERGEN: Yes --
COOPER: Go ahead, David.
GERGEN: The problem right now is each side is demanding the unconditional surrender of the other side.
GERGEN: That is just not going to hack it. Neither side is going to bow to that if they can possibly help it. The Republicans are under the heaviest public pressure to crack. They're the most likely to crack. But right now this thing is much more likely to go on for several days.
Don't you guys think we're into next week?
BORGER: I do. And I --
BORGER: And I think -- you know what, I do. And I think that eventually, one way out of this might be to wrap it all into the question of the -- of the debt ceiling and find some way to raise the debt ceiling and avert Armageddon on that and temporarily fund the government while they work out the rest of this.
BORGER: The rest of this stuff.
COOPER: All right.
KING: It's one negotiation instead of two but the question, Anderson --
KING: Again, the 20 House Republicans, 30 House Republicans, driving this go home to districts the president had lost by 20 something points, they don't feel any heat right now.
COOPER: Right. They don't have the pressure.
Gloria, thank you. John King, David Gergen, as well.
For more on the story, of course you can go to CNN.com anytime.
Just ahead tonight, a young mother battling a rare cancer. She's got a message for Congress about the clinical trial that she's counting on to give her more time with her young daughter. She can't get into that trial right now because of the shutdown. You'll hear more from her ahead.
Also new details about the moments leading up to that assault on the driver of an SUV who's driving with his family. A pack of motorcyclists attacking the SUV. You see them bashing the window there with a helmet of one of the drivers. We'll hear more on the latest ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. No progress from talks to the White House to end the shutdown standoff. As we've been reporting, the House voted as short time ago to restore funding to the NIH and money that would pay for cancer clinical trials among other things. The Senate leader say the measure is a no go for there. Here is what Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Chuck Schumer told CNN's Dana Bash earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you said, will you at least pass that and if not, aren't you playing the same political games that Republicans are?
SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER. Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well and he's did it here. He did it on the floor earlier as did Senator Schumer. What right do they have to pick and choose what part of governance can be funded?
BASH: But if you can help one child that has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One against the other.
REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at an Air Force base sitting home. They have a few problems of their own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's no doubt true. At the same time though, for cancer patients like Michelle Langbehn, the government shut down isn't an inconvenience, it could be a matter of life or death. This young mom is battling a rare kind of cancer and diagnosed shortly after she gave birth and now the cancer has spread. When the government shutdown Tuesday, she was in the process of enrolling in a clinical trial, and now that's on hold. I spoke to Michelle earlier.
COOPER: What kind of cancer do you have?
MICHELLE LANGBEHN, CANCER PATIENT AFFECTED BY SHUTDOWN: My diagnosis is fibrosarcoma. Fibrosarcoma represents 1 percent of all sarcomas. There is 40 subtype of sarcoma and fibrosarcoma is one of them. COOPER: So what does that actually mean? Where is the cancer?
LANGBEHN: I have tumors on my spine and my skull. I have had a few of them receipted, but there are tumors that remain and just recently, my oncologist scans showed one new spot was discovered.
COOPER: You've been waiting to become a part of this clinical trial and because of the shut down the approval process has been put on hold, is that right?
LANGBEHN: That's correct.
COOPER: So, I mean, how long have you been waiting to get in?
LANGBEHN: I've been waiting for probably a couple of weeks now, and I have actually just found this clinical trial, and it was rather exciting to find as there aren't many treatment options out there that are approved at this point. So I found it, and I made contact and NIH was able to get back to me very quickly, and they had just begun the process of evaluating my records that were sent in when I was told that the shutdown was going to happen.
COOPER: What went through your mind when the person at the NIH told you it would be put on hold?
LANGBEHN: So many emotions. I was upset and frustrated. This is a potential life-saving drug and to be told that it is going to be postponed because a decision hasn't been made and the shutdown occurred was rather upsetting.
COOPER: When would you treatments have begun or when could it possibly have begun?
LANGBEHN: I was told that if everything went according to plan, they could see me as early as October 14th.
COOPER: Wow, so basically two weeks from now.
COOPER: How -- I mean, how important is this treatment for you? Is this to be part of this clinical trial?
LANGBEHN: It's extremely important. There is -- sarcoma represents less than 1 percent of all cancers and there aren't many approved treatment options out there for us and I've already done or completed two different chemo regular minutes and my body is taking the toll. Chemo is very difficult to be on long term and it's -- studies have shown that it does weaken your immune system and frankly, my body isn't responding as well as it used to with chemo. So I need to look at other options.
COOPER: If you ran into a member of Congress now, just as a person, what do you want them to know?
LANGBEHN: I want them to know that I want them to -- it's not just about the national parks. It's about people that are in need, people that have cancer just like myself that are in need of new and innovative cancer treatment that new method -- or that more traditional methods like chemotherapy can't provide at this point.
COOPER: Does it anger you when you hear people, you know, politicians talking about this on the television as if it's not a big deal or it's just national parks, it's not really impacting people's lives?
LANGBEHN: Yes, it makes me very upset when I hear that the focus more is on national park closures and people not receiving paychecks and while that's important, too, there are people that have cancer just like me that frankly cannot wait.
COOPER: Well, Michelle, listen, I wish you the best and I hope this helps.
LANGBEHN: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight, new details about that high-speed chase on a Manhattan highway caught on a camera on a biker's helmet. What happened when the pack of motorcyclists swarmed a vehicle with a young child inside?
Also, former Penn State football coach, convicted child sex abuser, Jerry Sandusky, did not get the answer he wanted from a judge today. We'll tell you what the ruling was coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back. A 360 follow, new developments in the story that we talked about last night. The driver of an SUV assaulted by a pack of bikers, the video showing the high-speed chase leading up to the assault went viral, but the facts are still being sorted out with new details still surfacing. Today prosecutors dropped charges against one of the bikers. Another biker was in court today released on bail. Susan Candiotti has the latest.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Businessman Alexian Lien was driving on this New York City Highway with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when he noticed bikers driving erratically according to police. He calls 911 to report them. Around that time, one of the bikers slows down in front of Lien's car and Lien bumps into the back tire.
Police say it was an accident. Bikers surround Lien's car pounding on the windows and slashing his tires. At this point, Lien later tells police he feared for his life and takes off hitting three bikers in the process injuring one critically. The motorcyclists take off after him and he makes several additional calls to 911 described by police as frantic.
Minutes later the bikers catch up. The video shows two men running up to the car, one uses his helmet to break through the window. The video ends here and police say Lien is dragged out of his car, beaten and slashed in front of his wife and daughter. The men seen attacking the car were wanted for questioning.
Yesterday, Alan Edwards turned himself in, but today he was released with no charges. A law enforcement official says instead he might have been trying to help Lien. Other bikers are being sought by the NYPD and prosecutors are still building the strongest cases possible. So far, only Christopher Cruz, the biker who slowed down in front of his car has been charged with reckless driving, a charge his attorney denies.
H. BENJAMIN PEREZ, CHRISTOPHER CRUZ'S ATTORNEY: He never assaulted this man. He never tried to assault him in any way. He does not know any of the other motorcyclists who were involved in this beating.
CANDIOTTI: Police say the bikers may be loosely affiliated with a group known as the Hollywood Stunts and were participating in an annual ride from Brooklyn to Times Square.
COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE: This particular group did not ask for a permit, did not file for a permit. In fact, last year they came in with over 1,000 cyclists to be somewhat disruptive. They rode upside walks, that sort of thing. We had over 200 calls just on Sunday about this particular group operating in a reckless manner.
CANDIOTTI: This is not the first time motorcycle groups acted aggressively in New York City. This video from liveleak.com shows another motorcycle gang driving on the wrong side of the street running red lights and speeding downside walks. At one point the bikers circle around a car just as the bikers on Sunday did with Alexian Lien.
We don't know if these two groups are affiliated, but CNN has learned this video is now part of the police investigation. A source says authorities are studying the video looking for a possible pattern in bikers' habits, a pattern of reckless behavior and potential violence. Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Joining me now are CNN legal analysts, Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin. She is a criminal defense attorney. She was former federal prosecutor. Mark, what do you make about this? I mean, what would -- this SUV driver, should he be charged?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYSTS: The SUV driver may end up being charged. There are laws that say even if you're just negligent, you hit somebody and injure them in a car, you could be charged.
COOPER: If you fear for your life -- GERAGOS: Even if you fear for your life. In this case, we don't know. It's telling and I think we're getting way ahead of ourselves on trying to say what the facts are in this case. I think the fact that the prosecutor today rejected basically the charge of what the police brought to them speaks volumes. They want to figure out what was going on. We may find out that both the driver was scared and that the people who were in those bikes were doing nothing more than trying to not get hit or trying to get -- apprehend somebody that hit one.
COOPER: Sunny, I mean, the bikers are stopped in the middle of a highway surrounding this vehicle.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: As a gang, as a gang, I don't know which video you just watched, but think about a man with his child, with his wife being swarmed by a gang of cyclists who are clearly trying to antagonize him.
COOPER: Not a motorcycle gang --
GERAGOS: They are not necessarily a gang.
HOSTIN: They are swarmed of a group of co-conspirators who think they are bad --
GERAGOS: The one anybody views this is colored by who they relate to. Sunny is an SUV driving mother who drives that highway.
HOSTIN: Drives that highway.
GERAGOS: So she'll view them as a biker gang -- just because they are bikers, I've heard them be called thugs, I've heard them called a motorcycle gang --
HOSTIN: Mark --
COOPER: One at a time.
HOSTIN: There is every indication they were hiding license plates, shielding their faces.
GERAGOS: Not these two guys.
HOSTIN: That they chased this guy, opened up the door and indeed, took their helmet, smashed, smashed his window, dragged him out and assaulted him, and slashed him, so to say this group was up to no good.
COOPER: One at a time. If you do live in New York, I mean, I've seen these large groups of these bikers, not on Harleys but like ninja style bikes doing wheel lees, riding on sidewalks, it is an intimidating group.
GERAGOS: This story is such a New York story because I live in L.A. and in L.A. road rage is every day. You don't get on the freeway or do anything in Los Angeles without knowing you encounter road rage and you give bikes their kind of distance. You can't get in the way of them.
HOSTIN: A gang of --
GERAGOS: Stop with the gang. There is nothing -- the prosecutor didn't just reject this case because he was afraid or she was afraid of the motorcyclist.
COOPER: You actually think the prosecution is correctly handling this case --
GERAGOS: So far I do.
COOPER: I don't think I've ever heard you say that.
GERAGOS: I think the prosecutor is drilling down to figure out exactly what happened here. It may be a case the motorcyclist didn't understand what was going on with the SUV and the SUV didn't understand what was going on with the motorcyclist.
COOPER: One of the motorcyclists is in a coma, legs broken, the family says paralyzed. That person has a civil case or can sue the SUV driver civilly.
GERAGOS: I guarantee you a lawyer will take that case on a contingency.
HOSTIN: I agree with that. Let's drill down and make it real life. If you're driving, Anderson, you --
COOPER: No, it's a scary situation.
HOSTIN: -- with your family, what do you do?
COOPER: His door was unlocked. The motorcyclist ripped open the door --
HOSTIN: Do you want him to stand his ground and fight these 30, 40 people --
GERAGOS: What if you're on a motorcycle, some car comes over hits the motorcycle and takes off. You wouldn't chase him? I was laughing today. It wasn't funny. Before you were born Richard Ramirez, the night stalker in L.A., a crowd ran him down. This guy was responsible, beat the living daylights out of him before the police got there. So I mean, they might have thought the motorcyclist this guy was hitting and running.
COOPER: Still a lot we don't know. That's the bottom line. Mark Geragos, thank you. Sunny Hostin. Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter. We learned about what it was like inside that room in the White House that President Obama sat down with congressional leaders. We have breaking news ahead on that.
COOPER: More breaking news, first details of what actually went on inside the White House meeting tonight. Dana Bash has the story and joins us once again. What have we learned?
BASH: It was a really intimate group, Anderson. I was told there was absolutely no staff there, not even the white house chief of staff, just the president, vice president and principals, the four congressional leaders there. The other thing I'm told is there was really no discussion, really no discussion of any potential compromise.
The president did most of the talking saying what his position is and saying what we've heard, that he is simply not going to negotiate on this spending bill to get the government back up and running, and I'm also told that there wasn't even a discussion about, you know, kind of a wink and nod well, if we give this, you give that, nothing at all like that. It was, again, what we've heard in public and private.
COOPER: It must have been awkward, I can imagine. Dana, appreciate it. Thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Well, we're at the end of day two of the shut down, the distance between the white house and congressional Republicans. Bridging that divide, looks hard at the moment but at the end of the day, the end of the day two, a lot of people in a lot of places, people hoping it can be done.
We'll see you back live one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. for our panel show, "AC 360 LATER." Hope you join us for that. "Piers Morgan Live" starts now.