Imagine CBS goading Barack Obama to work with House Republicans in 2016 to repeal ObamaCare? Doesn’t seem likely, right? Well, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell on Thursday pressed Paul Ryan as to whether he is working with, of all people, Nancy Pelosi on health care. Talking to the Speaker of the House in an “exclusive” interview, O’Donnell demanded, “Have you reached out to the Democrats yet to work on this bill? Pelosi?”
Ryan scoffed and retorted, “No. I'm trying to work to get this bill passed. Nancy and I see things very differently!” This prompted the network journalist to blurt in an exasperated tone: “Then you guys aren't on the same page. The President of the United States saying he's going to work with Democrats on this. You don't want to!”
Earlier in the in interview, the host used Democratic talking points to put the responsibility for a government shut down on the Republicans:
NANCY PELOSI: The government will shut down on April 29th unless you pass a funding bill. Will it defund Planned Parenthood?
PAUL RYAN: Well, that's in our ObamaCare legislation. So, we think the smart way to go is through reconciliation, because that only requires 50 votes. It takes 60 votes to defund Planned Parenthood in the Senate if you go through appropriation, I don't think there are 60 votes.
O'DONNELL: So, you don't want the defunding of Planned Parenthood —
RYAN: No, we want it in reconciliation.
O'DONNELL: Not in the funding bill.
RYAN: Yeah. Reconciliation is where we have the best place of getting it done
A partial transcript is below:
CBS This Morning
NORAH O’DONNELL: There’s no sign yet of a deal in Congress to prevent a possible government shutdown. Current funding runs out April 28th, which is about four weeks away and Congress will be in recess for two of those weeks. So time is running short. Only on CBS This Morning, we asked House Speaker Ryan how he's working to avoid another legislative setback. The government will shut down on April 29th unless you pass a funding bill. Will it defund Planned Parenthood?
PAUL RYAN: Well, that’s in our ObamaCare legislation. So, we think the smart way to go is through reconciliation, because that only requires 50 votes. It takes 60 votes to defund Planned Parenthood in the Senate if you go through appropriation, I don’t think there are 60 votes.
O’DONNELL: So, you don’t want the defunding of Planned Parenthood —
RYAN: No, we want it in reconciliation.
O’DONNELL: Not in the funding bill.
RYAN: Yeah. Reconciliation is where we have the best place of getting it done. Let me just say this —
O’DONNELL: You’re talking about shutting down the government.
RYAN: No, no—
O’DONNELL: And you hear people in the Freedom Caucus and they’re saying we want the defunding of Planned Parenthood in this funding bill. We’ll shut down the government.
RYAN: It's in our ObamaCare replacement bill. And that bill can’t be filibustered. That’s the smart place to put it and that’s where we have a chance of doing it. Let me just say this, Norah. We're not going to have a government shutdown. The President doesn't want to have a government shutdown. It's funding the government from April 28th to September 30th.
O’DONNELL: So that funding bill doesn’t need to fund the wall, the border wall.
RYAN: Of course. DHS needs money for border security.
O’DONNELL: So, that money will be there.
RYAN: There's always money for border security.
O’DONNELL: What I meant was additional money for the wall.
RYAN: The big chunk of money for the wall is really in next year's fiscal appropriations because they literally can't start construction even this quickly.
NORAH O’DONNELL: One of my other questions in my interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan was about working with Democrats on health care. Here's what he had to say. Do you think it would help if the President were more involved in the policy itself?
PAUL RYAN: Oh, he was deeply involved. That's the thing I was so pleased and impressed with. He really rolled up his sleeves. So, actually he's up to speed on the issues. He knows the circumstances. What I'm worried about, Norah, if we don't do this, then he'll go work with Democrats to try and change ObamaCare and that's hardly a conservative authentic. This is a can-do President. This is a business guy who wanted to get things done and I know he wants to get things down with the Republican Congress. But if this Republican Congress allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good, I worry we'll push the President into working with Democrats. He's been suggesting that as much.
O’DONNELL: I mean, have you reached out to the Democrats yet to work on this bill? Pelosi?
RYAN: No. I'm trying to work to get this bill passed. Nancy and I see things very differently!
O’DONNELL: Then you guys aren’t on the same page. The President of the United States saying he’s going to work with Democrats on this. You don’t want to!
RYAN: I know he’s been saying that. And I don’t want that to happen. You know why? I want a patient-centered system. I don't want government running health care.
O’DONNELL: That sound bite, of course, is making a lot of news, that part of the interview. Because the President saying we are going to work with the Democrats. And the House Speaker says, “No, we don’t want to.” It’s a part of an effort to put pressure on this Freedom Caucus.