Former Dem Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: 'I think they need a cooling off period' on shutdown

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, including the ongoing partial government shutdown.
9:29 | 01/13/19

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Transcript for Former Dem Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: 'I think they need a cooling off period' on shutdown
Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option. But I think we're up almost there. I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of times like three weeks before it pulls the plug. See if we can get a deal if we can't at the end of three weeks all bets are off seeping into a client sifted the emergency powers that's not recommend. Patient and is there from Republican senator Lindsey Graham on FOX News Sunday this point proposing a new compromise for the president to except. I think I can only brings you a former senate you put a lot of these this is the answer right now do you think as leader senator Durbin say it's a Republican senators and push the president. Towards a compromise is this the answer. Maybe they need a cooling off period and one of the things that the legislation that's pending right now what open up every branch except DH yes. Which would then be given a continuing resolution I think what Lindsay saying there. Is that everything should just give advance on a continuing resolution. Which will keep the pressure on we'll take an opportunity for everybody cool down a little bit and start negotiating and I think that. It's it's not a bad proposal the problem that you have is that if the president. Decides he sport and then that tomorrow decides he's against it then he's left all of his Republican senators out there in the coal. And they're stuck trying to explain to their base why they're against the president yes that's what happened in this. I guess the question is could someone Lincecum has become in some ways presents best friend. In the senate console only can convince the president to access something doesn't want to accept. He could I'm told this morning that the president is rejecting the idea now he could change his life and Lindsay could change as Barbara right now told. Real time this morning that he doesn't like the idea and wouldn't do it the and I think in the end. You I took a couple times this should George got a couple of things that I know that the president truly believes and the trade issue we've talked about before we've been talking about it for years and its immigration issues another one that he really truly believes and and I think he thinks his core. Two keys existence doesn't put a lot of wall is about the politics they'll force chased him but how does he explain. This idea that he promised 212 times and its book they've worked well listen. I think in the end they're now having an evolving answer on that as we've seen cut up over the course of time and I think it's an issue evolved to a long time ago. Which is the citizen if we get a better treat you with Mexico. More money will be coming into United States economy and more money hasn't even though it's not make it to the treasury board right I think you could say because I was talking with Mexico. We got greater revenue with United States but that's it happened along time ago because it hasn't happened so now it's going to be a lot harder to convince people. Lisa what do things we've seen in our poll this morning overwhelming numbers Americans wearing a huge gap between those who blame Republicans and those who blame. The Democrats but it is interest in to CNN poll that. Many Americans believe that the Democrats should compromise even people who are against the wall say the democratic should compromise so when he Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer start to feel the pressure. I think right now they believe they hold all of the cards may believe that they have come in good faith and negotiate it is going back to last January when there was a deal in place for doc. And the president stepped away from this I do think though there are more complicated con tours to this debate than we've talked about so for example. As soon as Monday the Supreme Court could announce whether or not it's going to take up the repeal of daka. The president has said repeatedly that he is very confident that the Supreme Court will take up the case that they won't rule in his favor quote. Overwhelmingly. And that if they do that he will be able to put together a dock awhile play. But immigration advocates are even more concerned about is that he will use the 700000. Dreamers who slights will be tossed into disarray even ran Arnie has been. And try to make changes to legal immigration. Specifically changes to asylum proceedings in the US such that'll make it nearly impossible for these Central American migrants to seek asylum in the please you know the president wants me changes. For skilled immigrants that's right he's recently announced that he wants to us and implement sweeping reforms to the H one B program and to provide what he called a path to citizenship. For skilled foreign workers. This is a pretty big change rhetorically. But it's also something that complicates the politics of immigration in uninteresting way as there are those who believe that we need to rebalance immigration any more skilled direction you see many employers arguing in that vein. And if the president were to take that stands as it seems he's preparing to do. That really does split the opposition to his larger agenda. As he did different question you're editor of the national review you know large numbers of present based read. The Nash review is sitting right on the politics of this to did the president's supporters care about the wall as much as he thinks they do. I believe that this is very dynamic if you look at what's happened over the course of the shot down you see a shift in opinion all the wall. Essentially his base voters are hardening on the issue. Moderate voters are softening their opposition ass we saw the Washington Post ABC poll. And it's also very striking to see that he's talking about an issue where he feels comfortable. Where he feels he has a solid position re strengthening the position among his base supporters whereas Democrats. Are not able to discuss their priority issues in 28 team. Democrats are very shrewdly focused on the obamacare debate. It's a debate that the president was not entirely comfortable talking about certainly congressional Republicans we're not at all comfortable talking about and he saw the power and emphasizing one issue rather than another and while I might question the wisdom of this is a long term strategy for the president achieving his objectives on immigration reform. It don't seem that there are some evidence. That this is moving the politics. What do you think it's hard to reach on this week is where the president actually stands in the city of declaring a national emergency is the way out he's been both sides of that issue. Several times. This week it does appear that by the end of the week. He had been convinced this could cause more trouble with the Republicans in congress should first off. What he has heard is there is virtually no support among Republicans certainly Republicans in the senate or needs him the most in support of the national emergency idea. The opposition and he's also been told by his own legal team. I did if he goes with this he is almost certainly he's he's going he's going to face a legal challenge and he is almost certainly going to lose that legal challenge so what's the point. But my sense is that there's like a fringe benefits that the president believes to this battle. He gets to fight. Day after day talking about the wall talking about border security it takes all the oxygen out from the rest the debates the investigations. That house Democrats are eager to get up and going. Our are effectively delayed the other issues that he's less comfortable talking about I think that he feels that this can go on Friday won't you come from the comfort trumps state. And North Dakota on the one hand I guess those were support for the wall during the campaign but a lot of farmers you can get her to the show it and keeps going. Well that's absolutely true in the real casualty in all of this is governing. Do we talk about infrastructure do we talk about debt and deficit are we talking about healthcare. With that with the demographic changes that are gonna blow up our health care system no we're not talking about any of that we're talking about an issue. That could easily be resolved if we quit talking about a wall. Has started talking about border security because everybody's for border security right there's a deal to be had here. We everybody forgets that in January we actually February we actually voted 25 billion dollars for the wall. And and the president walked away from at the Republican Party pop walked away from it because it was a deal that they didn't want on immigration. This does seem to have become zero sum for the president well mr. George I think Eric Johnson. He's comfortable arguing on this basis we staying away from a lot of other things readers not obvious solution. Here's an obvious solution on the health care issue there once we separate some obvious solution and infrastructure can't give us on the deficits hoarding all the rest of it. And and I think that the fundamental mistake the Democrats are making here is that. They're playing allowing him to play in this playing field where he feels. Very safe very secure very confident about what he believes. And when he does that he's a much more convincing salesman now in the end I don't know how that brings us to a resolution. But the president may not be worried about a resolution at the moment anyway he may be more concerned about is the politics of consolidation. After having a difficult maternal asking any sense and that's Youkilis who break on this no and I think especially because she feels tremendous pressure from the laughter from party to hold the line on us. There's going to be about thirty ago Democrats in the house who in trump either one or leaning districts that are gonna start with some pressure on its that's. It was as a casualty of the loss of moderates. When you don't have moderates who say look you know I've got to answer to both sides I've got a very. That you don't do want state. You don't have that Joseph Donnelly is gone Claire McCaskill is gone I'm gone the people who opened up government in thirteen Theo died John McCain's going. They're gone. And so who's going to step up into that well it. And from what we've heard all morning gent and seems like which which group is gonna matter more of those new moderates elected. Democrats in the house or all this Republican senators who are up in primaries. Yeah in which it Diana a new dynamic this time but they knew that new freshman class. In the house includes some of the real. Progressives the the you know hugs Andrea Costa Cortez but it also includes those. And of those Democrats. Who are moderate or elected it representing. Trump areas and by I think there is and you see a. They're kind of rhetoric for that reason among Democrats some saying hey we want enhanced border fencing we want border security and you up others who talk about this being. Immoral that's a big difference that's the last word today thank you all very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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