Transcript for Debt ceiling deal faces Senate passage
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- Hi, everyone. Thanks for streaming with us on ABC News Live. I'm Terry Moran.
- And I'm Kyra Phillips. Today on ABC News Live, House lawmakers haggling their way through the hurdles, passing the debt limit bill. Now it's the Senate's turn with only four days left until the government runs out of money. We are live on the Hill.
TERRY MORAN: Sources tell ABC News that former President Trump says he kept a classified document about a possible attack on Iran. He says that and it's all on tape. What this means for the special counsel's investigation.
KYRA PHILLIPS: And teaching tech in Atlanta Grammy award winning rapper Future bringing STEM to his old neighborhood. We are seeking sunshine with his foundation for our kids' future. But we begin, of course, with the debt limit deal now heading to the Senate after it passed the House last night with support from a majority of both Republicans and Democrats.
TERRY MORAN: But with the deadline to avoid a catastrophic default only four days away, concerns linger that the deal could face some hurdles from senators on both sides of the aisle. ABC's Jay O'Brien is on Capitol Hill and has been tracking it all along with Elizabeth Schulze at the White House. So Jay, it's a big day, right, for the Senate after the vote, after this bill passed in the House. What does the Senate look like?
- Yeah, and to answer that question, Terry, I have to walk you through something that the four of us are very familiar with. It's called Senate magic. And it's as real and all around us as the air that I am breathing here. And it means that when senators are staring down the barrel of a weekend, they work a little bit faster than you perhaps would have expected them to.
Earlier on in the week, if this passed the House on Wednesday, which it, of course, did last night, the prevailing wisdom was that there would be a vote in the Senate potentially by Friday. But what we're hearing now, as senators emerge from meetings a little bit earlier in the day, is that there is the possibility for a vote tonight on this debt ceiling legislation. There is still no deal done to put the vote scheduled for tonight. But we know that aides are working feverishly behind closed doors to try to hammer out some kind of an agreement that would allow the Senate to vote on this tonight. Now, it might be late tonight, possibly into the early morning. There are amendments that they will have to vote on first between 10:00 to 12:00, my colleagues Trish Turner and Allie Pecorin in the Senate are told, but on track for the possibility of a vote as early as tonight, if not tomorrow. And, again, the X date is Monday.
- Well, Elizabeth, as Jay just pointed out, the Senate will most likely have some changes here right before the bill is passed. So what could some of those concessions be?
- Well, and Kyra, it's a message we've heard since this agreement was finalized, that both sides feel like they didn't get what they want. And as we head into the Senate, the possibility that senators will put amendments forward to make some of the changes to what they don't like. So, for example, Senator Tim Kaine has said that he wants to remove a provision in the bill that would expedite this natural gas pipeline that Senator Joe Manchin has been pushing for. We've also heard from the Bernie Sanders of the world saying they don't like the work requirement provisions in this. The Senator Mike Lee's of the world basically saying that they think this doesn't cut enough spending.
So, really, the question is going to come down to, how much will that amendment process hold up the vote? Will that go, kind of drag on, as Jay was talking about the process here? Or will some be filed and then they get through with this, recognizing how tight this timeline is?
We do know that the president talked with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last night saying that there is a real urgency to get this done. He wants to get this bill to his desk as soon as possible, guys.
- And, Jay, you know, we've seen that drama in the House that was resolved by a bipartisan compromise among the most despised constituency in America, the moderates, all right? So all of a sudden, it's--
- Lashing out already.
- That's right. So is that-- we're going to see something similar in the Senate, that all of a sudden adulthood has broken out in the United States Congress?
- Well, I don't know about that. But I can tell you that two things there. Firstly, we have not seen the White House and the Speaker work in this kind of tandem-- and then Senate Republican leadership as well-- before on anything else, right? Both trying to sell this deal to their parties simultaneously. And you saw the product of that in the House last night.
The other thing I can tell you is speaking with those in the Senate is that there is an absolute certainty amongst those in the Senate that they have the votes to pass this. And as we've been discussing, the only open question is, when does this vote take place? Does anyone want to push this too far into the weekend? Or do we get a vote as early as tonight?
KYRA PHILLIPS: So, Elizabeth, we've been talking so much about a default, right? We're moving in the right direction, it looks like. But, still, this has had an impact on the economy. We've watched it-- we've watched the markets go up and down, depending on what's going on with negotiations.
- Right, and the big word there is uncertainty. And the fact is still that until this bill is on the president's desk and signed, there is a risk that the government would run out of money to pay its bills. So that would mean those payments to Americans for Social Security, for Medicaid, ultimately, the fact that bondholders, people who own government debt might not get paid out until this is a done deal.
But there is something to remember that's really important here, is that back in 2011, when we were up against the clock like this, even after the bill was signed and the deal was done, that's when the US credit rating was downgraded. And that was because of the political brinksmanship, this back and forth that we saw, this negotiating over something that really does affect so many American households and their finances, that affects not just the safety of the American economy, but really the global financial system. So that is still a risk that could face the economy as we move forward, especially the closer we get to that deadline, guys.
- All right, Jay, Elizabeth, thanks so much, guys. Well, sources are telling ABC News that federal prosecutors have obtained a new audio recording of former President Trump.
TERRY MORAN: This is a doozy. They say that in this recording, Trump acknowledges that he kept a classified document after he left office, indicating that he knew the document in question was secret and the recording-- this recording could be a key piece of evidence in special counsel Jack Smith's continuing investigation into the former president's handling of classified documents. ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has the latest.
PIERRE THOMAS: Former President Trump heading into a radio interview in Des Moines as news breaks about his alleged handling of classified documents.
REPORTER: Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump--
PIERRE THOMAS: Federal prosecutors have obtained an audio recording of Trump allegedly acknowledging he kept a classified document about a possible attack on Iran, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The recording, sources said, was made during a July 2021 meeting at his Bedminster club that Trump held with two people who were helping former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with his book, The Chief's Chief. Trump allegedly indicated during the recording he knew the document in question was secret, the source has said.
The alleged recording could be a crucial piece of evidence as the special counsel assesses whether Trump violated any federal laws or put national security at risk. The former president has insisted that the documents were automatically declassified, saying this at a town hall just last month.
- Did you ever show those classified documents to anyone?
- Not really. I would have the right to. By the way, they were declassified--
- What do you mean "not really?"
- Not that I can think of.
PIERRE THOMAS: According to sources familiar with the investigation, witnesses in special counsel Jack Smith's probe have been questioned about the recording. Meadows was not present for the July 2021 meeting. But sources said other Trump aides, including Margo Martin, were. The special counsel's office declined to comment. On the recording, which ABC News has not listened to nor obtained, Trump can allegedly be heard attacking the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and referenced one document in particular that Trump claimed Milley had compiled.
- And Pierre Thomas joins us now. So, Pierre, what are prosecutors going to make of this recording?
- Well, it's obviously something that's potentially critical in establishing what was Trump's state of mind. Did he know that the documents that he took were in fact classified? And did he have a sense that they should not be shared? That is what our sources are telling us that the special counsel seems to be locked in on establishing the former president's state of mind.
- So what is Trump's response to the new reporting?
- Well, overnight, they issued a pretty blistering statement to ABC News and other news organizations working the story, basically saying that this was a partisan witch hunt, that this was an effort to basically disrupt his campaign and take it away from the will of the people.
- And, Pierre, you know, we just heard Trump say in a town hall in Des Moines that the documents were declassified, even though there's no evidence to support that claim. He has this argument that presidents have carte blanche to declassify anything they want and any law or regulation to the contrary would be unconstitutional, given that the Constitution gives the president the power to be commander in chief. Is there any legitimate reason that Trump might have these kinds of documents?
- Well, Terry, here's the thing. We've heard the president say he can just think it and it'd be so. The problem is that there's a process for declassifying documents. And to date, we've had no one come publicly and state-- or go to court, as far as we know-- and state that he, in fact, told them to declassify, you know, hundreds of documents in this fashion. So that is the question. What did the president do? Who knew about it? And what can the special counsel establish in terms of what took place once these documents were taken to Mar-a-Lago and, now, apparently, to Bedminster as well?
- So what does this tell us about the type of charges that Jack Smith might ultimately consider now?
- Well, from the court records that we've seen so far, they've been pretty open about what they're investigating. And there's two primary issues-- the illegal, potential illegal retention of classified documents. Basically, the government's position has been that these documents belong to the people of the United States. That once the president vacates office, they are no longer his to control, that they belong to the federal government.
And then the second item that they are looking at is this whole issue of, what did the president do once he knew the government was trying to get these documents back? Did he try to intentionally obstruct their investigation and attempt to get the documents back?
- All right, much more to come. Pierre Thomas, we'll continue, of course, to follow all the investigations surrounding the former president. And speaking of presidents, today, President Biden appeared to trip on something and fall after shaking hands with the US Air Force Academy graduates.
TERRY MORAN: So people rushed over to help the president. And up here you see it. There he goes down. Pointed back at something once he stood up there. And we're showing this now because we want to show you Joe Biden falling, but he's 80 years old. He's running for president. If your mom or dad 80 years old fell, you'd want to know about it and know that he was OK. Looks OK.
KYRA PHILLIPS: It's interesting. It looks like you can see the why are there under the teleprompter.
TERRY MORAN: Yep, yep. Might have been--
KYRA PHILLIPS: See the long wire? And he could have just taken a trip after one of the-- passing over the part of the teleprompter there, mirrors.
TERRY MORAN: And the White House will, I'm sure, update us on any injuries the President might have suffered. Doesn't look like he did, though. He did deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony there in Colorado. So, coming up, your voice, your vote. Former Governor Chris Christie and former Vise President Mike Pence are joining the race for the White House. They could shake things up or not. After a break.
KYRA PHILLIPS: [CHUCKLING]
- Well, thanks for streaming with us. The ever-expanding race for the White House is heating up in May of-- June now, June of 2023. A couple of big time Republican figures are expected to make it official next week. Sources tell ABC News that former Vice President Mike Pence, he'll give a kickoff speech in Iowa on Wednesday. His announcement pitting him against his former boss and current frontrunner, of course, former President Donald Trump.
KYRA PHILLIPS: And former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also planning to announce his GOP bid in New Hampshire on Tuesday. ABC News deputy political director Averi Harper joining us now. All right, Averi, what are we learning about Pence's announcement? Let's start there. Trump voters, you know, turned on him when he certified the 2020 election results. How does he plan to persuade them to come back to his side?
AVERI HARPER: Right, so we expect the former vice president to launch his campaign with a speech in Iowa. And that will kick off his effort to campaign in all 99 counties of the early caucus state. And you're absolutely right. Listen, last time I was in Iowa, I spoke with Republican voters. And many of them laughed off the notion of a Pence candidacy, some calling him a traitor, some saying that he betrayed former President Donald Trump on January 6. And so it is quite possible that die hard Trump voters are never going to look to Mike Pence as a viable candidate. And that's going to be an uphill battle for him as he tries to get this nomination.
TERRY MORAN: So Averi, now let's talk about Chris Christie, our sometime colleague here at ABC News. We should disclose that, and certainly a friend. But when he ran in 2016 against Trump, he did not do very well. Many Republicans like him. Many don't. What's he going to do differently to do better this time around?
- Right, well, he is in a very different place than he was during 2016. After he dropped out of the race, he was in Donald Trump's corner. Now he is vocally anti-Trump. And that's going to be a complicating factor for him as he enters this race. And I think it's quite interesting that he's going to launch his bid in New Hampshire, a state where he did very poorly in the primary there and dropped out shortly after.
KYRA PHILLIPS: So now you have Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also kicking off his campaign in Iowa. What's been his messaging? And how does he plan to distance himself from Trump? And is he doing a good job thus far?
- Well, the Florida governor is really framing himself as someone who can accomplish the agenda items that are on the GOP voters' wish list. And so he's using some of what he's been able to accomplish in Florida. He's been pointing to his landslide victory in his re-election effort there. He's also been pointing to some of the legislation that they have been able to pass in Florida with that GOP supermajority. He's talking about some of the controversial legislation around things like diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, putting restrictions on the discussion of the LGBT community, of Black history. He's even been speaking and pointing to some of the legislation that they have been able to pass in Florida as it regards to migrants. And that's legislation that some advocates will call decidedly anti-immigrant. So he is really pointing to that. And that's something that is going to be very attractive for some GOP voters.
- And he's come out slugging against Donald Trump, as have some of the other candidates, some more gently than the others. But that's really the game in this primary, isn't it? How do you peel off Republican voters, you know, who still-- if they're standing in the middle of 5th Avenue and Trump shoots somebody, they'll stick with him? How are they going to basically de-Trump-ify the Republican Party? Is it possible even?
- Right, that is something that's going to be very difficult for some of these candidates. They have to navigate this environment in which this Republican Party, for many in this Republican Party, the support of and allegiance to former President Donald Trump is a litmus test of sorts. And Donald Trump really enjoys the fact that he far outpaces many of his Republican contenders in this race. And we've seen him come out and swing directly at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He has really taken most of Trump's ire at this point. And so it's still early. It's anyone's race. But we'll see what happens there.
- All right, Averi Harper, thanks so much.
- Thank you.
- Some other top stories that we're following for you this hour, beginning with today marking the first day of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predicting a near-normal season, but the National Hurricane Center stresses there's nothing normal when it comes to hurricanes, as it just takes one to cause a devastation. Right now a tropical system is building in the Gulf of Mexico with a 70% chance of developing into a tropical storm or depression by this weekend.
TERRY MORAN: Amazon will pay tens of millions of in settlements after two federal lawsuits accused the company of unlawfully storing voice recordings from Alexa devices and mishandling access to Ring doorbell cameras. The company agreed to pay $25 million civil penalty to settle settle the Federal Trade Commission allegations that it violated a child privacy law for keeping kids' voices and location data obtained by the Amazon Alexa app. The company also agreed to pay an additional $5.8 million in customer refunds for privacy violations involving its doorbell camera Ring.
KYRA PHILLIPS: And take a look this trash pileup on Mount Everest. One sherpa is saying it's the dirtiest he's ever seen the mountain. And officials say that they don't have a good way to do garbage removal in such a remote area. That garbage fueling calls now for climbers who attempt to summit, well, pack in and pack out.
TERRY MORAN: Sure should. Look at that. What a mess.
- It's disgraceful.
- Mm. Well, coming up, he's famed rapper from Atlanta and now his foundation is giving back to the very neighborhood he grew up in. We're seeking sunshine with Future's Freewishes Foundation. That's coming up next.
- All right, Thanks for streaming with us. Today, we are seeking sunshine with a STEM lab or STEAM lab in Atlanta hoping to close the educational achievement gap of students in underserved communities. And it's all thanks to Future and his Freewishes Foundation.
TERRY MORAN: The I Am a Dreamer STEAM lab opened last week at the school-- at a school in the Kirkwood area of Atlanta where the Grammy winning rapper grew up. And some kids are already benefiting from all that it has to offer.
KYRA PHILLIPS: For more, let's bring in Freewishes co-founders Future's mom, Stephanie Jester, also his sister Tia Wilburn, along with Cardena Phillips and her son Christian, who is in the program. Thank you all for being here. Aw, Christian's waving. Hey, buddy. So glad to have all of you. Stephanie, mom, let's start with you. Just tell us about Freewishes, this foundation, and your son's passion to give back to your community, the community he grew up in.
- Yes, Freewishes Foundation was birthed about 13 years ago with my son and my daughter Tia. I always believe that we're blessed to be a blessing. And just when his career started on the rise, we decided to start giving back to the Kirkwood community. Why not give back where you grew up at? And so since 13 years ago, with its several activations. And now we've just launched this major program, this major lab in the Bessie Branham Park at Kirkwood. So Freewishes is always trying to find opportunities to empower the youth and to give back through the Atlanta metro area.
- I love that. I love that. And so I've been told, Tia, that I Am a Dreamer, it just isn't your typical STEM lab focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, S-T-E-M, STEM. But here, students are getting a chance to learn about the arts too, makes sense given Future. So it goes from STEM to STEAM with the "A" from the arts. Why was it so important to include art?
TIA WILBURN: Yes, well, a program that incorporates the arts into the curriculum has been proven to increase creativity. Additionally, by Future being an artist, you know, it's important that we introduce students to this, to career paths that lands up under the arts. So we want to be sure that kids get that exposure to the arts. And it's just, it's really important. So that's why we made sure to include it.
KYRA PHILLIPS: Well, Cardena, your son-- and Christian, we're going to talk to you in a minute. But your son will be in this program soon, which is an extension of the foundation's educational initiative. What does the opening of this lab mean for you, his education, and that of the students in your entire community?
- It means a lot. It means so much for our community. I grew up in the Kirkwood area. We didn't have these types of programs to stimulate these kids, to teach them things outside of what you generally learn in the classroom, career paths that they didn't think that they had, resources that they have now, the technology to learn to further their careers in many different areas that they didn't even know that they could.
- So Christian, what do you think? Are you excited to be part of the program?
- For this program, I am excited for the entrepreneurship part, robotics, and gaming. I'm excited about the gaming part.
TERRY MORAN: I'll bet.
KYRA PHILLIPS: Have you thought about what you want--
- What did you say?
- Have you thought about what you want to do, how this could maybe launch a career in something? Tell us what your dreams are.
- My dream is to be an actor. And I feel like this program will help out to pursue my dream.
KYRA PHILLIPS: OK. What kind of actor?
- An actor to be in movies.
KYRA PHILLIPS: OK.
TERRY MORAN: Big star.
- Yeah, I could see it. I could see some stem being incorporated in the whole creative part. Do you love art, Christian?
- I do love art.
- Can't wait to follow up to see.
- Being in the art club in school.
- Yes? Oh, OK. Stephanie, your foundation actually partnered with another foundation, right, to make this happen. Tell us about how you and K2 came together to make this a reality.
- Well, actually, Tia is the one that really spearheaded this project. And so I let her get more into the details about the relationship with 2K Foundation.
KYRA PHILLIPS: OK, take it away, Tia.
- Yes, so, what happened was I was introduced to 2K Foundations. I pitched the ideas to them of the STEM lab because they had not done anything in the Atlanta area yet. So when I pitched the idea to them, I sent over a proposal, they were all in. And they were hands-on throughout this entire process. It was a great and wonderful partnership that this won't be the last time that we do something together. It's a long-standing relationship that we built with 2K Foundation. So we were very appreciative of that partnership.
- Well, it's amazing. You've got the sports, the STEM, the arts, you have everything.
- It's great.
- Yeah, it'll be incredible for the community. I used to live there. And it's great to see this all going forward. Stephanie, Tia, Cardena, Christian, thank you all so much.
- Thanks. Good luck.
- Thank you.
- Thank you all for having us.
- All right, and we'll follow up for sure. Thanks for streaming with us. I'm Kyra Phillips.
- And I'm Terry Moran. ABC News Live is here for you any time with the latest news, context, and analysis.
- We'll be right back. More news on the other side.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.