Martin Bashir | March 05, 2013
>>> it is a terrific tuesday on wall street . with the swashbuckling dow smashing records to smithereens hitting an all-time record high as the bell closes, a banner day for the stock market with a gold star for corporate earnings, but don't you dare try to touch a red cent because we begin with republicans revealing the next steps in their austerity agenda also known as the sequel to the sequester. cut harder, uncensored edition. house leaders have moved ahead with a stopgap measure to fund the government. shifting $10 billion to pentagon operations. it requires the government to keep current staffing levels at detention centers for undocumented immigrants. boosts embassy security by $2 billion. and funds the government through september the 30th. but if the gop is working to mitigate disaster for defense, they're far from rolling back the sequester reductions. democrats wanting to restore head start or health care funding, of course, came away empty handed. indeed, new estimates from the congressional budget office show that under the stopgap bill, current appropriations levels will drop by about $59 billion leaving the president less real money to run government than george w. bush had five years ago. but as the democratic chairman pointed out, this is just the beginning.
>> tens of thousands of kids will be kicked off head start programs and we also know that republicans are intent on following this up with perhaps the thing that most americans don't see and should care about most and that is the next step, change medicare from a guaranteed program into a voucher.
>> that's right. you remember paul ryan .
>> we're also going to repeal obama care and replace it with real reform.
>> yeah, that didn't quite pan out as he'd hoped but those ryan reforms are still on the agenda, including a potential hike in the medicare retirement age. back to his post as budget chairman, ryan will unveil the republican's budget next week and the headlines really do tell the story. paul ryan floats change to medicare plan. gop centrists balk at ryan medicare shift. republican goal to balance budget could mean deep cuts to health programs. new york republican peter king tells "the washington post ," quote, i know a number of people who have real concerns about where this is going. one of the last presidents to balance the budget was herbert hoover . oh, yes, happy days are here again. nbc's kristin welker joins us live from the white house . kristin, one imagines that each day the president wakes up believing that the white house -- sorry, that house republicans will see sense and perhaps pursue a more balanced approach and then they come up with another brilliant way to slash discretionary spending, cut programs for the poor. what's the white house saying about republicans ' latest budget proposals?
>> reporter: well, martin, good afternoon. it's interesting, the white house hasn't officially weighed in really. they say they are reviewing the latest cr proposal by republicans , only saying that the president has specific guidelines that include that it not be political, that it be a practical approach. so they haven't given a specific response to what they think about this. but you're right, the appropriations level has been set at a lower level in part because of the sequester. remember, democrats and the senate are going to put their own plan forward in the coming days, so we'll have to wait and see how those negotiations pan out. but the one thing to keep in mind, there is a lot of pressure on both sides to avoid a government shutdown . you heard president obama reference that. you heard house speaker john boehner saying he wants to avoid a government shutdown . then when you look at the polling, we're getting a new poll out from cbs news/" wall street journal " which shows that 38% of americans blame republicans for this sequester debacle. 33% blame the president. so the blame is actually fairly equally spread. there's a lot of pressure on both sides to make sure this does not devolve into a government shutdown . in terms of what the white house specifically thinks about the republicans ' latest proposal, they say they're still reviewing it.
>> even as republicans plan to slash more, i hope your parents, harvey and julie, are not planning on touring the white house because all tours are being canceled. is that right?
>> reporter: that is right. starting this weekend. i think you just made their afternoon, martin. but that's right. the white house is planning to cancel tours starting this weekend. it's all because of staffing and restrictions with staffing, martin. trying to get specifics about how many people this will actually impact. at this point in time the white house hasn't released that information, but i can tell you in order to conduct these tours, it requires secret service as well as white house staffers. so as