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CNN "Piers Morgan Live" - Transcript: Last-Minute Deal to Reopen Government, Raise Debt Ceiling Passes Senate


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MORGAN: Well, I will be waiting to the wee hours as I suspect you will Dana because you never sleep burning job as always and we'll see you again. We're having a live show at midnight so we'll come back with an update then. Thank you very much to you and to Brianna.

Wit me now is Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas who's on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Welcome to you, Senator. What is your take on all of these? I mean clearly the people who suffered are the American people and all those have been furloughed and the American economy. Are there winners and losers politically do you think?

SEN. MARK PRYOR (D) ARKANSAS: Well, I don't know but, you know, this was completely avoidable and I think most people understand that, you know, my view of it is that you have a small group of Republicans mostly on the House side but a small group for Republicans. It's not all Republicans but a small group that's driving the train and is they just about drove us over the cliff here. And it's not good for the country.

I hope that today really is a win for bipartisanship. I was part of the bipartisan group led by Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican. And we put together basically the framework that the leaders use and we were glad to do it and it works. And even though most people never tell you this, you know, on talk radio or wherever else, the only way you get things done in Washington is about working together by doing in a bipartisan way. So hopefully this is a victory for bipartisanship.

MORGAN: You talked about a train. Let's go to the engine driver, Mr. Cruz. Watch this.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R) TEXAS: I am confident that in time the US Senate will follow the lead of the House of Representatives and listen to the American people. That is our job. That is our responsibility. This is a terrible deal today but it's a terrible deal for the American people.


MORGAN: Now, Sarah Palin was the queen of the Tea Party. We now have a self-anointed king of the Tea Party. He's smart. He's articulate, I suppose and that was (ph) yesterday who told him that Harvard called him one of the most brilliant students he'd ever had. This guy has a plan and a strategy. And my gut feeling is he wants to run the Republicans into 2016 and be a representative. Can anyone him?

PRYOR: Well, you know, we'll let the political process work. He'll go through the political primary process. And if they nominate him, they nominate him and, you know, who know who the Democrats will have, but I do think that one of the points is important to make is I try to -- very hard, very, very hard to listen to the people in the Sate of Arkansas. That's who I work for and I live in Arkansas. When I'm home, I hear over and over and over people say, "Why can't you guys just get along? If you all could get along, then everything would work smoother." And you know what, they're right. That's how you get things done is by working together.

And I think people are fed up with Washington and understandably so. I'm fed up with it. And, you know, we don't need this my way or the highway approach, we need a bipartisan, a more measured, a sure or better way to go forward and go forward together. And I think that's what a lot of us want to try to do, but unfortunately a lot of time, I've always just get drowned out by the loud voices -- very loud voices on the extremes.

MORGAN: Senator, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

PRYOR: Thank you. Great to be with you.

MORGAN: I'm going to show you some Breaking News. I believe that the House now has got the bill. So I would imagine be expecting a vote to commence very shortly. We'll be right with you obviously live on CNN All Night. I'll be back at midnight live after this show. So we'll see how things progress.

I want to bring in now Republican Congressman Jack Kingston in Georgia and California Congressman Xavier Becerra the Chairman of the House of Democratic Caucus. Welcome to you both gentlemen, smiling, looking happy to be next to each other.

REP. JACK KINGSTON (R) GEORGIA: Well, thank you.

MORGAN: ... to each other. A great ...


MORGAN: ... shining example of bipartisan joy. What is taking you guys so long collectively as two parties to bang the heads together and get some sense here? Let me start with you if I may Jack Kingston.

KINGSTON: Well, I think you have to go through this process, you know. As you know, we're not real wild about ObamaCare. So we tried our best to defund it then we tried to delay it, then we tried to put Congress under it and try to have individuals treated the same way as corporations are and we lost those battles. And we wanted to go the negotiation was the Senate and that's one where now we have some agreement that we will be a lot more negotiating but, you know, sometimes you have to go through these things. It's a part of democracy. It's not always clean. It's not always easy but I think that the good thing is that we do have a process that allows us to have these debate and yet we all know that we have to get back to work in the morning and try to come up with solutions on the budget and solutions on health care that are in the interest of America.

MORGHAN: Xavier Becerra, the number one rule of battle is you never start a fight you can't win. What is seemed to most observervices (ph) -- seasoned observers of Washington? Was that the battle that will struck to try and defund ObamaCare was from the very start fatally flaw because it was never going to succeed even ideologically with more moderate members on the Republican Party? So from a political point of view, that whole game plan was a disaster from day one, wasn't it?

REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D-CA) CHAIRMAN HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: Well, I think out of respect to my Republican colleagues I would just say that they've -- they got disconnected from the American people in this one. And I agree with Jack that democracies are sometimes messy, they're sometimes slow. And I hope what I hear Jack saying is that we will go through this again because in three months we're actually going to have re-up the budget again. And so, we should be prepared to cut and do this on a bipartisan basis.

This is the way we do it. You just can't always hit the ball out of the park in the bottom that I've been in two hours. And so, we can't continue to do this because the folks who suffer aren't so much members of Congress, it's the folks back home. There are a lot of Americans who were put out of work over two weeks. There were a lot of Americans who were very anxious about whether they'd be able to pay their mortgage tomorrow.

And so, hopefully what this teaches all of us is that we can work together and we can do it without forcing the American people to suffer the consequences of what happens here in Congress.

MORGAN: Now, wait, hearing that the House now has a bill that's coming down from the Senate. So, Jack Kingston how will you be voting on this?

KINGSTON: I'm going to vote no on it and I'll tell you why in the 17 previous shutdowns and in the five previous debts ceiling summits, there was always something that corrected the spending, reduce the spending in Washington. And this agreement is absence of that.

Now, we do hope that during this Conference Committee which was long overdue I want to say that for the beginning we should have been as the budget conference workings on this in April with the Senate. But, you know, moving over them is the sequestration which many members of Congress are worried about the sequestration. We have concerns because it cuts out the fat and the muscle blindly.

And ...

MORGAN: But just to clarify, Congressman. So -- Because I've got this wrong, you're going to vote no. If everybody on the Republican side voted no like you, then America would basically go into default on its debt.

KINGSTON: Well ...

MORGAN: I mean are you prepared personally to carry that burden?

KINGSTON: I haven't voted three times to keep the government open with the CR two weeks ago. I think I've shown that I do not want the government to shutdown nor do I want the government to default but ....

MORGAN: But you say that, but with respect to you, Congressman, if everybody else did what you're doing tonight, then that's exactly what would happen. And I just put it to you again, even Speaker Boehner has admitted that you have lost the battle, what is the point in voting no when the only direct results of that would be America going into a catastrophic economic default. I'm curious.

KINGSTON: Well, here is what you have. You have a national debt that 16 percent -- excuse me, that at $16 trillion is 100 percent of the GDP for every dollar we spend 42 cents is borrowed and we can't escape from that. And this is just a surmise compared to what lies ahead if China or some of our other lenders that you got to restructure to your debt ...

MORGAN: But they want ...

KINGSTON: ... and you lose control of it.

MORGAN: Congressman with the respect again, Chinese people who are watching this businessman and politicians they want people like you to vote no tonight. They'd love the House to throw this out that caused total economic meltdown in America, so that China emerges ever more dominant economically.

And so, again I say to you I don't understand why you would be prepared to risk all that over something that your own Speaker has already said has been a failure. I don't get it.

KINGSTON: Well, I think that there is maybe a debate that we have not really had about what actually happened at the stroke of midnight tonight. As you remember this was the Secretary of Treasury who said, we're going to go into default. We're going to reach the debt ceiling in April, no one in May, no one in July. Well, maybe August, and now suddenly it's the 17th of October.

I believe that is a soft deadline. But I'll also say the bigger parallel there is going broke in the first place and we were doing nothing in this agreement to change our course of runaway spending. And that's what I have a great concern about.

MORGAN: OK. Final words that have you, Becerra, just quickly if you don't mind.

BECERRA: Piers, first if we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the American people we wouldn't go through this exercise of wait till the last moment to do this.

American folks -- American families when they go through this stuff they have to make the top decisions. This is crazy. This is not the way you run the smallest business on mainstream. It should be the way that we run the largest economy in the world.

This budget, this short-term budget I don't like it, because it's actually the Republican number on the budget which cooks in the sequester, which we've been told by the congressional budget office that is going to cost us some 800,000 jobs. So, this slows down our economic growth. But you have to come this in common ground and you have to come up with some solutions.

And so, a lot of us as Democrats while we don't like this because we're going down to the Republican number on the budget temporarily, it's a way to keep us moving forward.


BECERRA: The budget and without defaulting on our payment of our current bill (ph).

MORGAN: Congressmen thank you both of joining me. I appreciate it very much. We'll bring you the vote when it happens. It's one down to the house from the senate and also move government reopen.

And now, what the Republican Party, that's on next.

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