Senators Susan Collins And Joe Manachin, From Both Sides, Find Common Ground | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Senators Susan Collins And Joe Manachin, From Both Sides, Find Common Ground | Morning Joe | MSNBC
    >> SO GOOD TO SEE HIM THERE. >> IT IS.
    >> THANK GOD HE'S THERE. >> THANK GOD.
    AND WITH THAT IN MIND JOINING US NOW FROM CAPITOL HILL NEWLY
    ANNOUNCED CO-CHAIRS OF THE BIPARTISAN GROUP, NO LABELS,
    REPUBLICAN SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS OF MAINE AND DEMOCRATIC SENATOR
    JOE MANCHIN OF WEST VIRGINIA. LET'S START RIGHT THERE, NO
    LABELS. I KNOW THE ORGANIZATION.
    WHY DID YOU TWO DECIDE TO TAKE OVER?
    I LIKE IT. >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WE'RE THE
    MOST CENTRIST AND WE WORK TOGETHER THE MOST.
    AND WHEN I HAVE A GO-TO PERSON TO GO TO, IT'S RIGHT HERE, SUSAN
    COLLINS. WE HAVE TO GET ALONG AND SHOW
    CIVILITY AND SHOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER AND FUNCTION TOGETHER.
    THOSE OF US WHO SHOW DESIRE TO FIND THE MODERATE MIDDLE WE CAN
    MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. THAT'S WHERE IT'S ALWAYS GOING
    TO HAPPEN AND IF WE'RE GOING TO FIX THINGS THAT'S WHERE IT'S GOT
    TO BE. >> THERE'S SO MUCH
    HYPERPARTISANSHIP IN WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW WHICH REFLECTS ALL THE
    DEEP DIVIDES IN OUR COUNTRY. TOO OFTEN THE DEBATE IN
    WASHINGTON HAS BEEN CONTROLLED BY IDEOLOGICALLY GROUPS ON THE
    FAR LEFT AND ON THE FAR RIGHT. WHAT NO LABELS IS TO DO AND
    WE'RE HAPPY TO JOIN AS HONORARY CO-CHAIRS IS TO BRING PEOPLE
    TOGETHER AND ENERGIZE THE MIDDLE.
    WHAT I'VE SAID WE NEED OUR FANATICAL MODERATES TO START
    SPEAKING OUT AND BEING AS ENERGETIC AND INVOLVED AS THOSE
    ON THE FAR LEFT AND THE FAR RIGHT.
    >> SO, SENATOR MANCHIN, IT'S WILLIE GEIST.
    GOOD TO SEE YOU, AND YOU TOO, SENATOR COLLINS.
    >> HOW ARE YOU? >> I'M WELL, THANK YOU.
    THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOOKED AT NO LABELS WILL LOOK AT THIS
    AS THE SQUISHY MIDDLE OF AMERICAN POLITICS TRYING TO HAVE

    PEOPLE TOGETHER IN A PRACTICAL WAY, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN
    ACCOMPLISH TOGETHER? >> LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT NO
    LABELS, SINCE ARRIVED IN 2010 IT WAS THE ONLY ORGANIZATION I SAW
    TRYING TO BRING PEOPLE FROM BOTH SIDES TOGETHER.
    >> YEP. >> AND I'VE BEEN A FAN, I'VE
    BEEN INVOLVED FOR ALL THESE MANY YEARS.
    AND FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO STEP UP WITH SUSAN NOW AND SHOW WE'RE
    BRINGING PEOPLE IN FROM THE HIGH ECHELON OF THE CORPORATIONS,
    CORPORATE LEADERS TO THE RANK AND FILE ON THE STREETS SAY,
    LISTEN, CAN'T YOU JUST GET ALONG?
    WE'D LIKE TO SEE YOU WORK TOGETHER.
    WE'RE IN TROUBLE OUT HERE. WE LIKE TO DO A LITTLE BETTER
    FOR OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILY. SO I THINK WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
    IS THEY'RE NOT GETTING ANYTHING ACCOMPLISHED FROM THE FAR RIGHT
    AND FAR LEFT. IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN.
    THESE RESPECTFULLY -- I RESPECT THEIR POSITIONS.
    I LIKE TO LISTEN TO THEM. AND THEN BASICALLY FIND HOW DO
    YOU MOVE FORWARD. AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO
    DO. THAT'S WHAT WE'VE ALWAYS DONE.
    IF YOU LOOK AT THE 2013 SHUTDOWN IT WAS SUSAN AND I WORKING
    TOGETHER TO FIND OUT HOW WE OPEN GOVERNMENT.
    IF YOU LOOK JUST RECENTLY AT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, SUSAN AND I
    NOW SIGNED UP WITH PATTY MURRAY AND LAMAR ALEXANDER AND NOW
    WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE SAME SITUATION, I BELIEVE, WITH TAX
    REFORM. >> SO LET'S GET PRACTICAL,
    SENATOR COLLINS, AND SENATOR MANCHIN MENTIONED TAX REFORM,
    WHICH WE'RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT TODAY.
    WHAT'S THE NO LABELS SOLUTION THERE?
    WHAT CAN CHANGE IN OUR TAX SYSTEM?
    >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THERE'S A MATTER OF PROCESS.
    AND WE NEED TO HAVE AMPLE OPPORTUNITY FOR DEMOCRATS AS
    WELL AS REPUBLICANS TO OFFER AMENDMENTS.
    AND THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS CASE UNLIKE THE WAY THE
    HEALTH CARE BILLS WERE BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR.
    SO THAT'S AN IMPROVEMENT TO START WITH.
    IT'S GOING THROUGH THE FINANCE COMMITTEE.
    THERE WILL BE A REAL MARKUP ON THE BILL AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO
    CHANGE IT. I THINK ALL OF US HAVE OUR VIEWS
    ON WHAT SHOULD BE IN IT. THE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN'S MARK
    IS GOING TO BE RELEASED TODAY. THAT'S WHAT HE THINKS SHOULD BE
    IN THE BILL. AND THEN NEXT WEEK YOU'LL SEE
    THE COMMITTEE DELIBERATING ON THE BILL AND AMPLE OPPORTUNITY
    FOR BOTH SIDES TO OFFER AMENDMENTS.
    AND THEN WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE COMMITTEE COMES OUT
    WITH TODAY AND AFTER THE MARKUP. AND MAYBE THEY'LL BE A
    BIPARTISAN AMENDMENT THAT WE'LL WANT TO OFFER ON THE SENATE
    FLOOR. IT'S TOO EARLY TO TELL.
    ONE THING I WILL SAY IS I DO THINK WE NEED AN OVERHAUL OF THE
    TAX CODE. THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE SINCE
    1986. >> WILLIE, THE THING I THINK
    SUSAN AND I ARE BOTH SAYING VERY LOUDLY AND VERY CLEARLY IS THAT
    YOU CAN'T DO IT FROM ONE SIDE. THE DEMOCRATS CAN'T FIX IT
    WITHOUT THE REPUBLICANS HELPING THEM.
    AND I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THE REPUBLICANS THINK THEY CAN'T FIX
    IT WITHOUT THE DEMOCRATS HELPING THEM.
    WHEN THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THAT FROM THE LEADERSHIP AND THEY
    WANT TO HUNKER DOWN AND JUST SAY PARTY LINES, SUSAN AND I ARE
    GOING TO FIND ENOUGH THAT WANT TO SIT DOWN AND SAY, WAIT A
    MINUTE, THAT'S NOT RIGHT, IT'S NOT FAIR AND IT WON'T BE
    BALANCED OR BIPARTISAN. WE'RE LOOKING AT HOW DO YOU HELP
    THE WORKING PERSON, HOW DO YOU HELP THE SMALL BUSINESS PERSON.
    >> RIGHT. >> IF YOU'RE GOING TO ASSUME
    WE'RE GOING TO TAKE ON $1.5 TRILLION OF DEBT, IF YOU WANT US
    TO TAKE THAT RISK, WHO GETS HELPED THE MOST FROM THE RISK
    WE'RE TAKING?
    THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO LOOK FOR.
    >> HEIDI. >> SENATORS, YOU HAVE AS WE KNOW
    YOU CALL THEM IN CONGRESS GANGS. WE'VE HAD A BAZILLION GANGS FROM
    EVERYTHING OF THE BUDGET AND I'M WONDERING WHAT'S MATERIALLY
    DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS IN TERMS OF ATTACHING YOURSELF TO NO LABELS
    WHICH IS A GROUP ACTUALLY IN THE END COULD SEE ITSELF KIND OF
    SPLINTERING OFF INTO A THIRD PARTY.
    DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE ATTACHING YOURSELVES TO THAT
    IDEA? >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE
    PURPOSE IS NOT TO USE NO LABELS TO FORM A THIRD PARTY BUT RATHER
    TO BRING TOGETHER DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDENTS,
    PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN GOOD GOVERNMENT WHO WANT TO SEE
    COMPROMISE WHO UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED TO HAVE A MORE
    RESPECTFUL DEBATE IN THIS COUNTRY.
    AND ABOUT THOSE GANGS, AND I THINK I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN
    EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM AS HAS JOE SINCE WE'VE BEEN IN THE
    SENATE, THOSE GANGS HAVE PRODUCED RESULTS.
    A LOT OF TIMES THEY BROUGHT US BACK FROM THE BRINK INCLUDING
    ENDING THE SHUTDOWN IN 2013. SO I DON'T DIMINISH THE POWER OF
    PEOPLE IN THE SENATE COMING TOGETHER, LISTENING RESPECTFULLY
    AND TRYING TO FIND COMMON GROUND.
    AND WHAT WE'RE HOPING TO DO WIT
    INSTITUTIONIZE THAT. NOW, THE MEMBERS MAY CHANGE FROM
    ISSUE TO ISSUE, BUT RIGHT NOW THERE'S NOT AN ENTITY ON THE
    OUTSIDE CHEERING ON THAT ACTIVITY.
    AND THAT'S WHAT NO LABELS WILL DO.
    >> LET ME JUST SAY THE SILENT MIDDLE HAS BEEN SILENT FOR FAR
    TOO LONG. THEY'RE STARTING TO SPEAK OUT
    NOW. YOU HEAR MOVERS AND SHAKERS ON
    THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, WHETHER IT BE THE COKE BROTHERS, YOU HEAR
    ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE, GEORGE SOARES, AT THE HIGH ECHELON OF
    THE CORPORATE LADDER. YOU DON'T KNOW THE CORPORATE
    LEADERS WE HAVE INVOLVED WITH NO LEADERS WHO SAID ENOUGH IS
    ENOUGH. WE'RE GOING TO FIND A WAY TO
    MAKE THIS COUNTRY WORK AGAIN. WE HAVE A HUNDRED THOUSAND-PLUS
    PEOPLE BASICALLY THE SOLDIERS DOING THE JOB.
    THEY'RE GOING TO SPEAK UP LOUDER AND CLEARER.
    WE WANT TO FIND THE SENSIBLE MIDDLE, WE WANT TO GET THINGS
    DONE, WORK TOGETHER. YOU SAW THAT IN ELECTION
    RETURNS. THEY WANT US TO WORK TOGETHER.
    IF YOU'RE STUCK IN THE IDEOLOGICAL RIGHT OR LEFT,
    YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE OPEN-MINDED TO GET ANYTHING
    ACCOMPLISHED. >> MIKE BARNICLE.
    >> SENATOR COLLINS, SENATOR MANCHIN, GREAT TO SEE THE TWO OF
    YOU TOGETHER THIS MORNING. VERY HAPPY YOU TWO WOULD BE
    WILLING TO CAR POOL TOGETHER AND BIPARTISANSHIP AND ALL THAT.
    >> GANG MEMBERS, TOO. >> A GANG OF TWO RIGHT NOW.
    >> FORGIVE ME FOR INJECTING A BIT OF CYNICISM INTO THIS, AND I
    UNDERSTAND THAT BOTH OF YOU WORK ACROSS THE AISLE AND BOTH OF YOU
    HAVE FRIENDSHIPS WITHIN THE SENATE ACROSS THE AISLE, BUT HOW
    WILL THIS WORK WHENEVER THE MAJORITY SEIZES CONTROL OF
    THINGS LIKE THE TAX BILL AND YOU, SENATOR MANCHIN, AS A
    MEMBER OF THE MINORITY ARE OFTEN BLOCKED OUT OF MARKING UP A BILL
    OR HAVING PUBLIC HEARINGS ON A BILL.
    HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK GOING FORWARD?
    >> LET ME JUST SAY THAT, FIRST OF ALL, WHEN YOU SAW JOHN McCAIN
    DO WHAT HE DID WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.
    HE DIDN'T DO IT FOR ANY OTHER REASON, HE GAVE THEM A CHANCE
    AND SAY LET'S MOVE THE BILL FOR WARD.
    THEN HE VOTED TO SHUT IT DOWN WHEN HE SAW THERE WAS NO OPEN
    PATHWAY. WE KNOW THERE ARE PARTS OF IT
    BROKEN. WE CAN FIX IT.
    YOU DON'T HAVE TO THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER.
    YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MYSELF AND SUSAN AND OTHER JOHN McCAINS OF
    THE SENATE STEP FORWARD AND SAY THIS PROCESS IS NOT RIGHT.
    FIRST TIME IN HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THEY'VE
    EVER TRIED TO DO A MAJOR POLICY REFORM ON A BUDGET
    RECONCILIATION TO DO TAX REFORM BY ONE SIDE OF THE PARTY OR THE
    OTHER CITED OF THE PARTY. IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE.
    I THINK THERE'S A REASON IT HAS PRESIDENT BEEN DONE AND IT WON'T
    WORK. WE'RE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO START
    WORKING TOGETHER. >> MIKE, LET ME JUST ADD THAT
    WHEN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS PASSED, I REMEMBER IT WELL, ON
    CHRISTMAS EVE IN 2009 IN THE SENATE.
    IT WAS PASSED, JAMMED THROUGH WITHOUT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN
    VOTE, AND THEN MY PARTY MADE THE SAME MISTAKE IN TRYING TO PUSH
    THROUGH THE SENATE WITHOUT A SINGLE DEMOCRATIC VOTE VARIOUS
    REPEAL AND REPLACE BILLS. THAT'S NOT HOW YOU GET GOOD
    LEGISLATION THAT WILL HAVE LASTING IMPACT AND THAT THE
    AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT. IF YOU LOOK BACK AT HOW THE
    MEDICARE PROGRAM PASSED, THERE WERE DEMOCRATS FOR IT AND
    AGAINST IT. THERE WERE REPUBLICANS FOR IT
    AND AGAINST IT. THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO GET BACK
    TO. AND I AM FAR MORE OPTIMISTIC
    THAN YOU ARE. AS SOON AS THOSE HEALTH CARE
    BILLS WENT DOWN THIS SUMMER AND FALL, WHAT HAPPENED?
    WE HAD FOUR SUBSTANTIVE HEARINGS THAT WERE COMPLETELY BIPARTISAN
    IN THE SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE, AND THE TWO LEADERS OF THAT
    COMMITTEE, SENATE STORE ALEXANDER AND SENATOR MURRAY,
    PUT TOGETHER WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF
    BILLS TO FIX SOME OF THE FLAWS, AND THERE ARE FLAWS IN THE
    AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. I'M HOPING WE CAN BRING THEIR
    BILL TO THE SENATE FLOOR TO HELP LOWER PREMIUMS AND STABILIZE THE
    INSURANCE MARKET. >> THAT BILL IS TEED UP AND
    READY TO GO. WE'RE BOTH CO-SPONSORS ON THIS
    BIPARTISAN BILL. IT'S TEED UP, WILL GET 60-PLUS
    VOTES IF MITCH McCONNELL WILL PUT IT ON THE FLOOR.
    I GUESS HE'S WAITING FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP OR THE WHITE
    HOUSE TO GIVE HIM THE OKAY. I CAN'T SEE US LEAVING OUT OF
    HERE BEFORE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT HAVING SOMETHING THAT WE CAN FIX
    FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WEST VIRGINIA'S PRICES HAVE BEEN
    SPIKED BY 15 TO 20% JUST BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF THAT PIECE
    OF LEGISLATION. IF WE GET IT PASSED, IT HELPS US
    ALL. WE'RE PUSHING IT HARD.
    WE BOTH COME FROM COMMON SENSE STATES.
    THE PEOPLE IN WEST VIRGINIA AND MAINE SAY, HEY, JUST WORK
    TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. WE UNDERSTAND THE DEFINITION OF
    INSANITY IS TRYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER.
    IT HASN'T WORKED. MAYBE WE CAN MAKE --
    >> AMEN. SIGNS OF HOPE.
    SENATORS SUSAN COLLINS AND JOE MANCHIN, GREAT TO SEE YOU BOTH.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING ON THIS MORNING.
    >> THANK YOU ALL. >> GOOD LUCK.
    >>> POPE FRANCIS HAS A MESSAGE FOR THE WORLD'S 1.2 BILLION
    CATHOLICS. LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS, NOT YOUR
    CELL PHONES. FRANCIS SAID SEEING THE USE OF
    CELL PHONES TO TAKE PHOTOS WHILE CELEBRATING MASS BY
    PARISHIONERS, PRIESTS AND BISHOPS MADE HIM SAD AND CALLED
    IT A VERY UGLY THING TO SEE. HE WENT ON TO SAY THE MASS IS
    NOT A SHOW. SO REMEMBER NO CELL PHONES.
    POPE FRANCIS' COMMENTS WERE MADE DURING HIS WEEKLY AUDIENCE IN
    ST. PETER'S SQUARE AND WERE MET WITH LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE FROM
    THE CROWD. I LOVE HIM.
    >> I LOVE THAT GUY. >> HE'S UP THERE WITH POPE JOHN
    PAUL II. >> USE DO NOT DISTURB.
    NO PHONES AT NIGHT. >> AND GET OFF FACEBOOK, TOO.
    >> EXACTLY. >> WE'RE TALKING TO OURSELVES.
    WE'RE TALKING JUST TO OURSELVES. >> GET OFF MY LAWN, GET OFF
    FACEBOOK AND SNAPCHAT. >> IS THE PRESIDENT'S MANTRA
    STILL AMERICA FIRST WHEN HE'S OVERSEAS?
    NO, IT'S JUST NOT. HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HIS MANTRA
    IS. IT'S HARD TO WATCH.
    WE'LL HAVE HIS TONED-DOWN RHETORIC WHILE IN BEIJING.
    TONED DOWN? >>> PLUS REPUBLICANS TRY TO
    FIGURE OUT A PATH FORWARD
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