'This Week' Transcript: WH Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Sen. Lindsey Graham


TAPPER: -- talking about Montana, talking about $100 million for a hospital in Connecticut--

AXELROD: The principle should be, the principle should be, do those provisions apply to everyone? In other words, are there things that pertain, that if a state satisfies a certain set of circumstances, they would -- they would qualify. And I think that is different than a special state-specific thing. In the case of Nebraska, what everyone was outraged about was that it seemed to be a special deal just for one state. That is not going to be in this bill.

TAPPER: So none of the things that are state-specific to win the votes of individual senators. Louisiana not counting as that, but none of the others will be in the final bill.

AXELROD: The principle that we want to apply is that are these -- are these applicable to all states? Even if they do not qualify now, would they qualify under certain sets of circumstances.

TAPPER: I don't want to get into a whole debate about reconciliation, because I know that Republicans have used it in the past, that's the measure to pass a bill in the Senate with a majority vote instead of 60 votes. But the provision is supposed to be used to reduce the deficit. So, is the administration saying that the fixes will reduce the deficit more than the Senate bill already does?

AXELROD: Well, the CBO is still running through--

TAPPER: But doesn't it--


AXELROD: Well, it certainly will. We believe that it will be similar to the Senate bill in the sense that it will reduce the deficits over the first decade by something on the order of $100 billion, and over a trillion dollars in the second decade. So there is no doubt that what we're doing here will help reduce the deficits, and that's of course one of the reasons why it's important that we act, because health care costs are the single greatest upward pressure on the federal deficit.

TAPPER: House Democrats are talking about using a procedural maneuver to pass the Senate bill in the House and then the fixes without ever actually having a vote on the Senate bill. Here is Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, a Democrat of California.


WOOLSEY: I don't need to see my colleagues vote for the Senate bill in the House. We don't like the Senate bill. Why should we be forced to do that?


TAPPER: Can the president support a procedure where members of the House pass the Senate bill without ever voting for the Senate bill?

AXELROD: Well, look, I think everybody is going to be on the record by the end of this week on these matters, and of course in answer to Congresswoman Woolsey, the president's proposal is not the Senate proposal. With the corrections that have been made, with the improvements that have been made, some including Republican ideas, some including Democratic ideas, this is -- this is a different proposal, and I think it addresses some of the concerns that people have had.

TAPPER: But when pushing reconciliation in the Senate, the president has talked about how the Senate bill deserves an up or down vote. Shouldn't--

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