NewsNation | March 08, 2013
>>> well, work on a possible grand bargain could be in the works next week as president obama continues the republican outreach. on wednesday, meeting with the house republican conference and on thursday will attend the weekly gop senate policy lunch. the first time he'll do so in almost three years. a new report by "the hill" claims the president wants a bipartisan deficit deal done by the end of july and also coming up next week, paul ryan who talked of optimism after the lunch with the president expected to unveil a new budget plan. joining me now april ryan and chris kofonis. thank you for joining us.
>> thank you, tamron .
>> our first read team talks about this being a consequential week and a year from now we may look at rand paul, for example, on another issue, the budget saying it remains to be seen if the recalibration will pay dividends for obama but if a grand bargain or close to it occurs late they are year we'll look back on this week as consequential. the means and deals or whatever you call it may be something more than breaking bread , april.
>> tamron , i don't think so.
>> i'm going back to something that happened this week. there was a poll that showed 51% of americans really don't know what sequestration is and then a grand bargain is still about cuts, as well.
>> no win-win here. it's major. the white house , josh earnest, just said at the white house that the white house is going to face cuts, as well. they're going to have pay cuts. they're going to stop projects. some projects. their going to furlough. i mean, this is going to be not just the white house but this is going to be across the government. and it trickles down in to so many other places so -- and then you have the jobs numbers and months to come that will also wind up being affected. so this is not just consequential. this is something that's going to have a ripple effect and tentacles are going to be long.
>> this report then from the hill claiming the president wants a bipartisan deficit deal done by the end of july, is there no there there and coming out of thin air?
>> well, i don't think it's come coming out of thin air but you have to remember i talked to congresswoman fudge who is a democrat. she says the president needs to put democrats in the forefront to get some information to them first. they don't know what's going on.
>> he's talking about a bipartisan deal but you have democrats saying we don't know what's going on so they're waiting to hear what's going to happen.
>> you have democrats, chris . we had maxine waters on earlier this week talking about entitlement reform and we know the line she has drawn and many other progressives and believes there should be closing of loopholes and not in her words helping those that need the help the most. chris , politico says there isn't an irrational exuberance in the white house that the big deal is back within reach. a senior administration official says changing circumstances has given the president some hope. so they're not irrational in the exuberance according to this report but the president has some hope. do you see any of that?
>> well, i mean, possibly.
>> you and april are depressing me, by the way, right now. and the rest of america.
>> i'm sorry.
>> be realistic but you have to understand, most people at home even though i think they see the back and forth and sick and tired of being sick and tired , after the little luncheons and din ir meetings over the week, i believe that you have some folk who is wake up, seeing the unemployment rate down, and they're thinking maybe these people can get it together here. so now go back to depressing me, chris .
>> well, you know, listen. if a dinner is able to turn washington around, i think we're going to need a lot more dinners.
>> listen, nothing else has. polls show that most people are with the president. you see a tiny dip but for the most part seen as a winner in the early part of the sequester game and look at other things. polling with universal background checks, even in gop districts and overwhelming people support that. so, we're hoping that if polls don't change, if elections don't change, folks in washington, that maybe a dinner might because we're throwing our hands up to the sky, chris .
>> right. well, here's what i'll say. i think it's possible because what's going to happen this year is that both chambers are planning to pass a budget. now, in order for that budget to have a -- they have to compromise. you have different visions between the senate and the house and the president i think is smart to try to negotiate a bigger deal than one to get sequester out of the way and achieve some type of smarter spending cuts that don't impact the people we're trying to actually help as a country.
>> that being said, you know, the challenge here's always in the details. when you have republicans who basically said -- some republicans have basically said no to revenues even if those revenues are going towards the deficit, let alone in terms of addressing other --
>> lindsey graham appeared to give wriggle room with revenue or reform to the tax code.
>> he did. and then speaker boehner does the opposite and so the challenge here is, who are you negotiating with? i think part of the smart strategy in terms of the white house and what they're doing is, listen, if we can't negotiate with the leadership and it's clearly not been very productive, let's try to negotiate with the rank and file members and see where there's common ground and then build momentum from the bottom up on the leaders.
>> april, real quick. i want to read what john dickerson of "slate" and saying early in his first term, he, meaning the president, reached out to senators grassley, snowe, collins and specter in the negotiations and tried a back room deal to secure the support of nebraska senator ben nelson . while obama may not be very good at trying to work congress, he may only have done it in fits and starts but you can't say he hasn't tried. so that's the focus of trying with republicans. has he done the same with democrats, april?
>> democrats are saying that they are not, again, on the front end of this. they don't know what's going on. the president is doing right, though. reaching out to the other side of the aisle, to the republican party to find out exactly where they are and seeing if the charm offensive can work. breaking bread and whatever what have you but at the same time he has to bring the fellow democrats in and you remember, tamron , the last time in the briefing room, the president did say, he said, look, i'm going to make some hard decisions and he was telling the truth about that. he said i'm going to make decisions that my own party may not even like so he's doing that and going on straight ahead and leading the way he knows to lead.
>> thank you so much. great