Transcript for Contentious congressional vote on holding attorney general in contempt
And yeah. Hey happy Wednesday I'm Devin Dwyer Washington welcome to the briefing room a lot to get to today including some big announcement on drug prices by the trump administration in an effort. To get those lower also take a look today at the worst strike that's hitting a number of cities across the United States but want to start up. On Capitol Hill where there is a constitutional. Crisis unfolding right now the president of the United States just a short time ago. Announce that he is exerting executive privilege. Over the entirety of the Muller report as house Democrats are demanding to get their hands on the full copy of that 400 page report. And voting to data hole the attorney general of the United States in contempt of congress. For not turning it over so what does this all mean in what is it mean for the investigation going forward and for politics. Our investigative reporter Catherine folders is up on Capitol Hill she's been tracking the developments Catherine so what does this fight. Really all about. It looked at and the Democrats they want to see be full on exacted a mullah report and that includes the thousands of pages of underlying evidence that went in to Mueller writing that report it also includes grand jury information confidential information they're saying. What is the president afraid of why won't. The attorney general and the president of releases information out of course Republicans on the other side are saying. He can't do this since confidential its grand jury immaterial look you've already seen the majority of our reporter well Democrats they've been negotiating with Bart with the Department of Justice. Over this weekend last week trying to come. I'll put some sort of agreement the Justice Department how to count our offer. Two Democrats and they said OK maybe we'll allow. More members. The committee and and staff person to view the report but but not the full committee when Democrats did not budge on 97 and they moved. Fall on what. Pulling the attorney general and contempt and of course the White House responded and said wow hey if you're going to do that. Worsening privilege over the full report meaning you can't see. Any of it any of the 400 docked in the port and underlying evidence set up Soriano. Yet this hasn't been an explosive debate it's and then emblematic of of the water debate in this town right now between two branches of government. There were quite fireworks. Did this morning hearing the simplest. There's no basis in law or in fact for the Stonewall are in chief to exert executive privilege. The Mahler investigation. Has already run its course. Bob Mueller and his investigators have spoken to countless individuals including the former. White House counsel. And so to try to assert executive privilege after the fact. Is laughable. It's frivolous. And it has no basis in reality. It's not about the Moeller report 92% of which. Everyone and America's got the opportunity to read it's not about the fact that even the portions that the American people haven't been able to read the chairman's been able to garrido had he chosen. This is all about impeaching the president now why don't they just say. Gonna bring in now Melissa Marie she's a constitutional law professor at NYU Melissa great to see you so. Helpless or break through the legalese here what is executive privilege and I guess the big question I have is why are they exerting an over a document that. By many accounts 95% of which is already made public how does that work. Executive privilege is not actually knew her and she Shin Bet it's determined to eat heart that the president's executive power the ability. I'm to ensure that there could be confidential communications between the president and his or her staff members by tapping sound. Issues or documents or material. From public you. But to be clear it is not an absolute privilege and here it's being invoked in a blanket way to shield everything. And that's typically not how courts are regarded it. You can have a limited are qualified executive privilege but it's Gary an orthodox to your court and force executive privilege. Wholesale across a broad array of different communications and again you're absolutely right it begs the question why meeting eating executive privilege. When it most of the American public already knows although they don't have a full idea because of their actions that they have a good idea of what's already in the Mueller war. Yet an in this small portion that is redacted much of that we're told is grand jury immaterial which has already protected. By lost so one wonders again what is going on here by Katherine fall there's the committee and holding tickets. Contempt vote today against the attorney general is vowing to take this to court they want and the book the judge to lift. David actions from the report they also want to force attorney general Barr to comply with the next step here. He Avalon after. And there is a vote in the committee and passed to. The good to a vote on the full house floor but and the other important portion of the seven understand is that the heyday. How criminal were flaw which means it's. Referred to the US attorney in Washington DC when I was attorney as a trump appointees so it's unlikely antiques and make it very farm because it's attorney general bill bars. Own Justice Department while the other thing that they're considering the Democrats are considering. Is taking some simple action of some sort diamond which could also lead to a years long legal fight so we have a long road ahead of us. And Melissa Marie this is just about documents it's also about testimony a lot of people Republicans Democrats ought to want to hear from Bob Mueller himself. What do you think the odds are that the White House could exert successfully. Exert. Executive privilege over his testimony do you think that's something that can be used there. I'm a terrible cost Ater adult ticks. Betty and likely a horrible look favorably on uplink get out of exertion of executive privilege the courts typically like to see both congress and the executive working together to negotiate a compromise that allows each branch you get what eight me. Out the particular disclosure in our it does seem that there are some stability aren't those rights in ways that while the core. Yeah I guess the bottom line in all of this is it's bound for court and this will be a drawn out fight between congress and the president Melissa Marie. It's a great to see you as always from NYU constitutional law professor in our Catherine Fuller suffered Catherine. Up on Capitol Hill shifting gears now to a major announcement today by. The trump administration and drug prices we know so many of you. I had been grappling with the skyrocketing prices over the past couple of years to Health and Human Services Department at announced today a new rule requiring drug companies. To put the list price of all prescription drugs in their TV ads that run. On network channels I caught up with the HHS secretary galaxies are short time ago to talk about the news. So today's a great taper American patience will present troubles requiring today. Is that the drug companies will have to put in their TV ads the actual list price of their drugs. The goal is that the drug companies finally start leveling with the American people about what their drugs will cost. You right now. The drug company runs these ads in the whole goal of the ad is to get you go to your doctor to talk with a doctor about by and that drug. But they don't tell you what it'll cost it could be a fifty dollar for a 5000 dollar drug. But you're shelling out hundreds of bucks to go see a doctor not knowing now your gonna now. Did and you can specify in the rule mr. secretary how loaded the company's need to tell us the price of the drug I mean is this going to be. One of those fast talking announcers at the end of the matter that very fine print that you need a magnifying glass to read what what does it will say about that. So what the rule says as you have to actually provided in attacks were not requiring them to use the voice over but rather in taxed and it'll probably appear near the end of the ads were re used to having information patients look for information about affordability. Kobe cards that might be available so we'll be there. And we actually specify the Texan has to be used a pass to be disclosure of the list price of a common course of therapy usually thirty days. And it makes it clear that if you have health insurance that pays for drugs you may hey last but we're giving you the list price of your drug seek to have an informed discussion with your doctor about affordability. Yes and end to the drug companies mr. secretary saying that this is Bennett had tip quite a lot of confusion they point out that. Obviously rebates. And discounts through here achieved by a lot of the insurance companies will go to the consumer at the time of actually going to the drugstore. Isn't that true isn't isn't the price that they'll show on the screen eight in most cases likely to be much higher than people would actually pay. Absolutely not true that's the farm a talking point that their own list prices are relevant and don't matter that is not true. 47%. Of us have a high deductible health care plan were when were and are deductible we're paying the full freight of their list price and even after that we may pay cost sharing on expensive drugs that's based as a percent of that list price. Every senior in America has a health care plan that has at least a drug on it. That you pay cost sharing based on a percent of that list price. And they may have deductibles also based on list price so to say that list price doesn't matter is the say we don't have a drug pricing problem in this country. And president trump and I do not believe that. And so many people live as we know have been just its sticker shock. Our over the prices of their prescriptions climbing as we've seen so many studies just over the past. Few months you guys have made this a priority taken on. What's your advice for for patients and consumers though when they're trying to pick a drug should. Price BA the top priority when deciding which medication to take. Well I think individual patients will decide the role price what we do know is that affordability matters of great deal there's a ton of data that suggests that the patient past this done. More than fifty to a hundred dollars for a prescription. They're less likely to pick it up at the pharmacy and take it and they're less likely to be here on that medicine and actually get the value that's why the president so committed to getting these lists prices down. And also reducing the out of pocket payments that patience will pay. That's why we proposed actually a rule that's currently pending. That would forbid these rebates that are going to middlemen right now but don't go to the patients and required that those discounts instead go right to the patient. When they shall but the pharmacy that's an average 30% discount a patient would get when they walk in the pharmacy. It and finally mr. secretary a number of states are joining U in this effort to do whatever it takes to drive down drew drug prices Florida as you know just a couple weeks ago became the second state after Vermont to. Enact a prescription drug importation law what people. In theory start to buy drugs cheaper drugs saying Canada is that part of the solution here do you support something like that. It could be part of it president trump and I have been very supportive of any efforts to import drugs from other countries. If those drugs can be brought in and a way that would be safe to the American public preserve the safety of America's distribution system. And if it would lead to real out of pocket savings for our citizens. The president's committed to ending Ford free riding and that's why we've actually proposed in the Medicare program that Medicare beneficiaries and the program. Should get the benefit of deals farm is giving to other countries but not giving. Us. Secretary is our thanks so much for joining us thank them. And join Abbott to consumer advocates in the drug space sleep Purves is a director of health services research for AARP also. German police say gill of consumer reports an expert I'm drug price is great to see both ladies thanks for for joining us today we want to start with you. Oddly I take it that your organization sees this as good news for consumers how significant do you see this development today. We absolutely do theater and advance them we were bears the part of the administration's proposal and we do see a lot of value. Giving consumers more information we're very interested in increasing transparency in the prescription drug phase and we think this is a great step forward. And do you think at all we ever particularly for for older Americans who are subjected to a lot of these TV ads and did you think that this disclosure wolf. It anyway confuse people when they see those high prices. I think the primary source of confusion will be actually how expensive these products really are. The reality is right now a lot of people have absolutely no idea how expensive are prescription drugs are until they arrive at the pharmacy Connor. And this is going to be incredibly important in terms of informing conversations between patients and a priest drivers. At the point there deciding how much truck to take. Are at least say you've got a lot of work with folks in gay giving out tips on how. We should use this information we go to our doctors. What do you suggest to people as they start to learn more about the actual list price of these drugs what we should what which we do with that and that information. Certainly even typically we just consumers to comparison shop. Checking pharmacies in their area making phone calls going online looking into smaller discount coupons and I cut to lower their costs. I have to say for drunk every advertise. They're typically is no generic equivalent and it may not even be other options in that category so does list prices are particularly important people pay attention. Four out of every ten Americans without health insurance through their top. Actually how high deductible insurance plans and they are paying potentially apple is price or portion outlets price in order to actually get their insurance again so. Our tips really are currently under many other drugs that are. To that they other generic or other options caught around ASCII and nothing is sue if it hit believe they're not asking your position. Hey is there are less expensive version of this medication or another alternative but how can that currency with your doctor most people don't think their doctor will know how much a drug costs. Always worth asking and checking in any other. That's great advice always worth asking for sure row quickly to you both again these says start with you here I did ask the secretary at the end. There his thoughts about importing drugs from other countries are going to be cheaper where you guys fall mad as it is that a good idea should more states be looking. To allow sales from overseas. Shares of the policy arm of consumer reports has actually long. Really supported the idea of Americans be able to import reimport drugs from Canada but it within what we really. Honed in on the idea that the safety of the supply chain that either the FDA has not. Really big task or resource with this issue mean we went decades really focused on drug. We in the united statement later coming from other countries so I think that would be a key provision. And before anything like that would be. Helpful or say from people. And the purpose is that something in that AARP supports as well. Yes they're. I'm elect a secretary our primary concern is ensuring the safety and quality of the products that are imported that we want to ensure that the FDA is involved to help ensure that any products that are brought into this country. Remains safer than people who are taking them. Hartley purpose of AARP and leasing deal with consumer reports really appreciate your time thanks so much for coming in. And shifting gears now to the situation on the southern border of the United States a new record number. Of immigrants showing up and stopped at the southern border was just released by the trump administration here it is. 109000. Immigrants were stopped trying to aunt in the United States in April alone that number. Has now surpassed the entire total of the year last seven months and also every year since 2009. A really big deal join number immigration reporter a quick known has been tracking all this from the beginning Quinn. That's really a shocker. And in GQ do you get the sense that win that is the services that number sort of resonates throughout this town that did it may prompt some action. Well it's definitely a milestone as he said it's those we've now surpassed the total for all of last year and every year in the past decade. So it's that it is CBP is taking this very seriously. And they're trying to respond best they can but as we've have reported on this show before. It's the nature of the people that are coming across that are presenting themselves and making asylum places cases that's proving such a difficulty. During the Bush Administration we did see a large number. Primarily Mexican nationals crossing the border. And now we've got a lot of CBP is using countering a lot of families and children that are coming across. And they of course require a lot more resources to handle and eventually process. And encode go through with their immigration cases. Horford Conchita crews and the conversations she's with the asylum seeker advocacy program a group that. I've got a lot of outreach with families and immigrants that are Seeking Asylum in the United States concede a great to see you joining us from New York. Why is it that so many people continue to come continue to show up at the southern border. Despite. President from some bluster of the troops sent there the threat to send people back it's just stunning that the numbers continue to climb on his watch. Well this administration has attempted to deter Central American asylum seekers from seeking refuge at the US Mexico border but. What elected officials need to understand and government officials need to understand is that. Families who are seeking refuge in the United States are fleeing because. They don't feel that they have an option. If they were to stay in Central America they would die and so they have to go they have to try to seek refuge not just for themselves. But for the children that they are taking care out for their families. And so a silent seekers are fleeing Central America may be because. They have been witnesses to murders or because gang members have tried to recruit them or a child to join a gang. And then when individuals. Don't do what they're told by drug traffickers or gang members. They end up having to flee because the obviously if they were to stand Central America they would be murdered that's what they're hearing back from gang members from. Individuals and their communities they're seeing it for themselves when people don't listen to. Gangs when they don't listen to transnational criminal networks they're celts and so they don't want to see that for themselves and they don't wanna tune up for their children. NIC your sense good cheetah based on in your contacts with a lot of these migrants that the situation has been getting worse just in the past year down in Central America. The situation is not getting batter and so what has happened is that as individuals are coming to the United States. Matt other individuals and Central America are becoming targets so. If one individual leaves because they I didn't wanna join a gang or because they refuse to pay extortion to a gang more because they witnessed a murder. And comes the United States may be the annual target another family member where the gang will go after someone else and so. What's happening it's not so much that it's getting works as much that it's not getting better and individuals who are taking care of children and Central America. Watson actually protect those children so whether it's a grandmother who is taking care of grand child or an aunt an uncle taking care of a niece and nephew or mother taking care for child. Individuals feel that they need to protect the people and their care and need to bring them to safety and this is the only way that they they can. He and the White House we understand right now is preparing to roll out a new immigration proposal from senior advisor Jared Kushner let's go to the White House where. On that Jordan how plus for a break down what the White House is preparing to release a lot of people may not have been paying attention to this. But they have been putting together a plan led by the president's son in law that will address aspects of the immigration system aside from the wall right. Right seven important to keep in mind this is not about that sticky issue of illegal immigration I'm more hot button issue this is all dealing with. A legal immigration but nonetheless that is an issue that remains one of the president's top priorities and it has been at a standstill. So here are some of the things we're just getting a first glimpse of what this plan. I would look to do you. I it looks to keep legal immigration at the current level so no changes they are about what is key here is it's looking. To shift our system of immigration away from. We're at this family based system to more. Merit based as a means to attract kind of high skilled workers and bring them Ted the United States over low lower skilled workers. I and it also look to increase. Border security through implementing new technologies and simplifying the V says system. I DeVon s.'s at this were an issue that the president has turned to his son in law. TU kind of shepherd now because it has been fact he turns on and off a lot of cases like that thing Jared Kushner actually gave some rare public remarks about that. A couple weeks ago kind of revealing what he's looking to do here let's take less. Who prints get a very detailed proposal also working on a guest worker peace it's important for agricultural lot of seasonal. Work in and my hope is that we can really be something that. Unifies people around what reform immigration and immigration iPad campus Stephen Miller and Kevin passive Reza CA involved in. And I think they both agree with with what this is massive I can get Steve Miller and Kevin passage to agree and immigration plan the Middle East peace will Pia. We'll be easy by comparison so. But I think it's very very good and make sense in and we have a lot of data to back down. So the administration is try to make progress on this before they're giving it a second go here. But DeVon reality check this isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon on Capitol Hill Democrats obviously. Are quite suspicious of working with this administration on immigration issues and even members in the president's own party aren't exactly lining up to take. Yeah especially in an election year Jordan one thing the plan doesn't address obviously is the situation of dreamers are those gas workers but certainly. It into steam proposal on the table wondering and somebody. Who spent part of some of these conversations as Steve Cohen joins us now. From Washington here's Steve is the founder of ideal immigration designed to enhance American lives and advocate. For immigration and citizenship also. Someone who supports merit based immigration Steve great to see you what do you make of this proposal that is starting to trickle out. Are from the White House is this something that that you would support. But I think it's a good first step I was a member of that groups that spoke to Jared Kushner and his team about this proposal and yeah I think there are extremes. Abuse on an immigration there are some extremes that would have us remove all eleven million people who were inducted from this country. There are other extreme that would have open borders. I think what Jerry and his team are doing is trying to find a middle path. I think there is a middle pap that's more rational and more positive for America. The best way frankly to reduce illegal immigration this country is to increase legal immigration and now's a great time to do that. We have three point 7% unemployment we have more job listings than people who are seeking jobs. This is a great time that we should be thinking about ways to increase legal immigration but do any rational way. And I think the consensus among economists about the idea of having a higher end and higher legal immigration number. The that would be good for the US economy is probably as strong as the consensus on climate change among scientists on time catch. Yeah with with unemployment rates so low that a lot of employers particular wolf's co workers having a tough time filling those jobs Steve potentially rich you what did you find bill among White House staff when you were Inverness inside the room there. We know officials like Stephen Miller the president. He himself does not want to raise the cap at all he says the country is full. But did you get the sense that that Kushner believes an increasing legal immigration that's something that their there could be any light at daylight on there but it. I think he'll listen very carefully to live the nuanced answer that the Jerry gave in that time interview be played earlier. So that we should keep legal immigration the same rate cut also including guest worker program. That's certainly important if he's good at any agricultural community do any rural part of our country. There will tell you that it we workers are absolutely essential and that that there are in desperate need of them so I think. Jared is doing his best to come up with the aid proposal that is moving the ball forward on this movie discussion forward. I think it'd still be difficult in this closed environment to get anything done and immigration but I think the discussion is moving forward on an idea that. There has to be ways that people can come here. Who are working who are paying taxes who are following our laws. Giving them a chance to both come here in ultimately I think the discussion will come to having them having earned path. Two permanent residence I think that might be a difficult path and a long path but I think. That discussion has also been percolating in Washington. Important insight Steve Cohen founder of ideal immigration advocacy group Steve has been in the room at the YST thanks so much for coming in. I appreciate they're seeing you hearing from you in Quinn. One interceding and all this that we just heard is nothing is on the table to address that humanitarian crisis at the border switching from the sports right in these are almost separate issues they're so different because. The proposals we've heard from the White House and Jared fishers plan. I. Or further enabling CBP and asylum officers to. To do a better job at handling the inflow and eight of those concerns are met then the there's really no end in sight if congress doesn't take any action. You're an Olympics so much for that much more reporting from you and abcnews.com finally today shifting to I nutrition store they developed in fourteen major cities around the globe today and that is. A bunch of Woburn Robert drivers and lift drivers going on strike this is ahead of that initial public offering by Hoover tomorrow the company valued at nine. About some of those working conditions a let's bring in now an expert on who were in the ride share a community talk little bit more about what this means and what could be in store for Hoover in. Fans of the platform alana after is a reporter business insider who's been tracking. The company and developments of the past 24 hours a lot of great to see you so. How much is the average Hoover Hoover driver actually make what is it that they're protesting today. So they're protesting. Low wages and it's pretty and it's difficult to say exactly how much each humor driver makes because it depends on how often they work and it depends on things like. You know how often they're getting rides and things like that but for full time worker is. It's safe to say with aggregate data we have now that they do not make a livable wage so the Economic Policy Institute found a study that side that. We're drivers make nine dollars and 21 sons an hour in wages. And that is taking into account. Things went after it they paved vehicle expenses. After they pay for modest health care plans things like that so that's one metric and I also looked metric from the JPMorgan institute outside that. Not wages are actually going down so in the past five years there's more rig drivers than ever and now but. Wages as a whole have gone down for the most active participants in these are participants who ban on lap for ten months out of the year. And went from 2500 dollars in about 2014 and now it's the twelve felonies have been. At which amounts to about 151000 dollars per year which is not O. Little Willie wells fascinating send nine dollars 41 cents an hour on average base in the studies that you've taken a look at. And those wages have declined over the past believe yes the content. We we do have a statement from the company we should put up but also hear from you wait you reporting tells you. And they in the company's statement says that of today's protest the drivers in the heart of the service gets sixty without that maybe I thousands of people coming to work with over every day focus on how to make your experience that are on and off the road I think they've also implied. A lot of that those drivers are replaceable right. Yes they have I'm so basically an issue with Gruber and its drivers right now is that they get kind of few drivers is being independent contractors. And what that means of that they're not salaried employees they don't they'd that it apparel and they don't qualify for overtime they don't qualify for other benefits like Medicare. Fireside they don't qualify for health care benefits and things like so. Employee used. Yeah they have different they have more bargaining power they can collectively bargained for her you know better working conditions and that's what drivers plot. They don't want to be independent contractors for the most part especially the ones were protesting today they wanna be employees. But lumber analyst have said both in their IPO times filings if number words hadn't read lips where it's. Viewed drivers of that would be I would cost them money and that could have very serious financial consequences. For both company is going forward and the things why you don't. Ever since these startups have been you know existed they've won and there. Drivers to be independent contractor is in different cities when they've moves you know Seattle moves unionized labor and look we're very much against so young hasn't been an ongoing issue between driver is in the company is and you know it's it's not going away. Yeah and certainly on the eve of their public offering on the stock market becoming a public traded company. I certainly a message from that workforce alana after thanks so much thinking for sharing your reporting with us and we should we did Ed talk a little bit earlier with a professor here at Georgetown University Katie wells. Who has researched the whole ride share economy in this country be gig economy. Two for a deeper look at what that means four society and here's Letterman of that conversation. Rice industry is highly unregulated in comparison to its peers and that taxi industry. But also in comparison to you know industry Clay Bennett street right and that's it that's an Ohio his businesses regulated Barry different way. And the rights and mystery and we think at that raises concerns. About contemporary standards. How significant is today's protest fourteen cities. Different parts of the globe all these Hoover drivers coming together. According to an online distinct just protesting to gonna make a difference. I think it will make a difference. An adult fantasy we look at the history and social movements in the last hand a bride. They always start somewhere has the biggest issue. He's seen these workers right now favorite drivers did not have access to the information they need and easy accessible way to try to figure out. I think making money are not 33% of the drivers in our study ended up taking non work related to act while as a sophomore the second thing that I want to pot highlight. About the resource that we've done. It's that the right drivers are encouraged to take on significant financial risk and what is that is that taking on new loan. Car. At me that it also can be damaging your existing car this hearing me out the suspension system and then not having enough money to be able to preparing. To safety standards. If you had a meeting with Hoover lift executives at state embark on this pick IPO what. It would be one or two things that they could do you should do right now to make things better in direct whether workers. Gas I think that's I think there's two things that they could do one as they can immediately. Sarah acting out. He's an eight trance parent what's actually happening are drivers to be V earning more and then losing what's happening by the findings that we found in this study. Are they representative of what's happening a process or it. The second thing they could do is also raise wages in line with my New York City has now promised drivers seventeenth when he took an hour after its axis. Our thanks again doctor Katie wells in Georgetown university and thanks you for watching us today a lot of ground cover. I hear the briefing room today on this very busy Wednesday download the ABC news apathy having our you don't have for the latest on all these stories you can watch our live coverage there as well. I've great to have you with us again I'm DeVon while Washington hoped to see you tomorrow.
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