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CNN "Newsroom" - Transcript: Government Shutdown and ACA


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WHITFIELD: One outspoken Republican who has been against shutting down the government is New York Congressman Peter King. Representative King sits on the Homeland Security Committee and he is joining me now from Long Island, New York. Mr. Congressman, good to see you.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: You were against the proposal that avoids a government shutdown while defunding the president's health care reform. Listen to what you told our Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.


KING: We can't let the government shutdown, can't be kamikazes and can't be General Custer.


WHITFIELD: But then Congressman, yesterday, you voted for the measure and you even compared that measure to that suicide mission. So why did you ultimately vote for it?

KING: Because it was the only way to keep the process going, Ted Cruz and others in the Senate have said, if we sent this over to them that it would be successful in the Senate. I know it's not going to be. But otherwise, we now have gotten out of the House and now it goes to the Senate. The Senate I assume is going to strip it out, send it back to us, send another bill back to us, that's when the real negotiations begin.

WHITFIELD: So you're counting on those changes that would ultimately happen in the Senate. And you're OK with that, the portion that defunds the president's health care plan. Your bottom line is you want to keep the government going. Do you think you're going to like that Senate plan after those amendments are made, you and other House members that voted for the measure?

KING: I would hope so. I would hope the Senate even if some Republicans are not being responsible, that the Senate will be responsible, that they will send us a bill, which does keep the government open through December 15. Ones we can both agree on. I think if the Senate and the House leaders definitely want to negotiate, they can do it.

I am convinced John Boehner doesn't want to shut the government down. Eric Cantor doesn't want to shut the government down. This is opportunity, yesterday's vote, to let some people get it out of their system about Obamacare, but I'm hoping the Senate sends back a reasonable bill. If there are disagreements, let's start negotiating it right away to get this resolved by September 30 or October 1st.

WHITFIELD: Many Americans are getting confused about this, you're saying you believe Cantor and Boehner want to keep the government going, but they're on board with this plan that says there has to be a contingency plan, that Obama's health care has to go to keep the government going. How can you have it both ways?

KING: Yes, the situation like Ted Cruz put us in. They have gone around convincing grass roots Republicans that we can just defund Obamacare. If yesterday's bill was not sent to the Senate, I know it sounds confusing, there's no way anything moves forward. I hope now that it is in the Senate, we can let real negotiations begin.

The Senate will send back something reasonable, and whatever differences can be worked out by October 1st. It is not the way to run the government, the way it should be done. It is trying to make the best of a bad situation created by people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

WHITFIELD: You called Ted Cruz a fraud, yet he seems to be getting a lot of support, if Boehner and Cantor are on board with his plan, and you use the word reasonable, too, and that's where I guess it seems difficult to discern, whose idea is reasonable.

WHITFIELD: Well, first of all, as you know last week John Boehner did not want to include this in the continuing resolution, it was only done as a way to get the bill out of the House and let the Senate see if they can get it done. Ted Cruz said if we sent it to the Senate, it would get done. Now it will go to the Senate, see it can't be done.

It will show he was being fraudulent all summer pedalling the false story that somehow it can be resolved in the Senate and we can get back to real serious business. It again is not the way it should be done. It is a situation the House was put in. I went along yesterday with the purpose of moving forward and hopefully exposing small group of Republican senators that are holding the entire Congress hostage.

WHITFIELD: Before I let you go, Congressman King, you feel confident the government will continue to keep operating after October 1, that a deal can be reached?

KING: I believe so. I know a solid majority of House Republicans do not want the House to shut down in any way. We will do whatever we can, whatever has to be done, we'll see. I am confident that the House will not shut down, and if it does, then it is a real black eye for all of us.

WHITFIELD: All right, Congressman Peter King, thanks so much for your time this Saturday. I appreciate it.

KING: Thank you, Fredricka.


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