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Something special happen in Washington this -- no not the blooming of the cherry blossom so that was lovely.
But some serious compromises on immigration guns in the budget.
Joining us now the two senators who count the votes for possible deals Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin joins us from Chicago.
And Texas Republican John Cornyn is here in Washington gentlemen you just heard Marco Rubio.
Senator Corning can you support the key component would is that illegals -- Legal status within months as soon.
As the Department of Homeland Security announces its plan not that it's actually achieve that but its plan for border security or is that amnesty.
Chris have found it to be good practice to read the bill before you comment audit what you gonna support it or not and I wanna I wanna say that I'm encourage.
By what the so called gang of -- including senator Durbin senator rubio and others should have come up with.
I was here in 2007 the last time we seriously debated immigration reform.
On the for the senate and I have the scars to prove it.
It was a tough.
But but briefly if I can ask could you accept temporary legal status for illegals.
Before the border has actually been secured.
I believe border security is absolutely critical to this to this picture and so much of it is regaining the public's confidence -- the federal government is actually doing its job so until that.
Confidence is restored.
-- based on the basis of what the legislation provides.
I would have difficulty supporting it but having said that I want created a warning go through the regular process on the judiciary committee on the floor.
And I'm open certainly to supporting immigration reform.
Let me ask you the same question I asked senator rubio.
Is this 90%.
Apprehension right a trigger as -- -- as or a goal as UN some of the other Democrats and again debates.
Well if it's an important question but I think what Marco Rubio said really put his finger on it.
Let's put it in context -- our border with Mexico is the safest and strongest it's been forty years.
We have invested billions of dollars into border enforcement.
Reporting more money into border enforcement than were putting into the FBI -- the Secret Service and ATF DEA combined.
And yet we're saying.
That if we don't meet all the measurements all the goals that we've set in years to come will put more it more investment there.
So there comes a point where we're working with the local units of government we are -- making these investments.
We are I think moving toward the type of border security which everyone wants to see -- America it's most certainly conservatives like Marco Rubio.
So I'm -- -- -- elegant and easy question easy answer is that a goal -- tracker.
Well I think it's both.
I think it's both in terms of saying we're gonna shut down the whole system we don't have the number.
You know this is a tough thing -- major at some point.
We may be within a point or two here -- there we're gonna work with the local stakeholders.
In trying to make sure that we make the necessary investments to close the gap.
We are committed to what it was -- getting part of the conversation every Republican of tables said.
We've got to start with border security get that right and we'll stick around for the rest the conversation I think we've kept faith on that issue.
All right gentlemen let's turn to guns which is another big issue you're going to be talking about this week in the senate senator cornyn you met with.
Families of the new town victims this week and after meeting wouldn't use that it.
That they want to -- metal health reform first.
But Francine Wheeler the mother of one of the that.
Young children who was killed Newtown delivered the president's weekly radio address or media address this week here's what she said.
I younger son -- -- six.
Was murdered in his first grade classroom.
On December 14.
Exactly four months ago this weekend please help us do something before -- tragedy becomes -- -- tragedy.
That message the only things you mention was tougher gun control.
Well I think in my meeting with the -- you -- families -- they told me that and of course you know who wouldn't be.
Who wouldn't have sympathy and empathy for these people suffered -- terrible loss to what they told me is they wanted to make sure their loved one did not die and today.
That's something good would come out of this.
And so I think that's why I'm focused like a laser on the mental health component.
Adam planets but -- -- -- -- focused on tougher gun control specifically the background wolf for example atom Lanza stole.
His mother's guns a background check would not stop that problem.
That incident about a background check go should've stopped.
James homes in Tucson.
That should have stopped the Virginia Tech shooter because there background check information about his adjudicated mental illness was not afforded to the national.
To -- FBI's background check.
In other words -- I think the mental illness issue is that common element.
That we ought to be focused on and I think we can do some good things but I'm not for symbolism over substance -- pick up.
We can't just -- cells in the back and say we're gonna pass some.
Enhanced penalties for trafficking.
Or other issues or background checks when they don't really.
Go to solve the problems that cause he's terrible tragedies.
Senator Durbin you and senator cornyn as we said in the -- then I as the as the whips in the senate.
-- -- -- -- the guys should know whether or not that there are enough votes are there enough votes when this comes up this week.
-- you you to pass the mansion to -- compromise on expanded background.
Well Chris I think John will concede.
That Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is one of the most conservative members of the Republican senate caucus Joseph mansion one of the most conservative members of the Democratic Caucus.
The two of them have come up with a background proposal.
That -- -- -- 90% of the people in America it's supported by 75%.
Of the members of the National Rifle Association.
So I hope that the sixteen senators and even more.
Will step up and join this approach.
To make sure that the background checks extend beyond where they are today.
To try to reach the 40% of forums are being sold both of their projects -- -- do you have the votes at this moment or not.
We haven't -- it.
I can tell you this when it gets down to it we've -- -- -- the basic question.
Should we try to keep guns out of the hands of felons and people so mentally unstable they shouldn't own a farm.
If the answer is yes mentioned to me is a step -- that -- grilled.
-- -- senator cornyn do you have the votes to block it.
Well -- and I'm interest in the debate and discussion but I would just make the point that if mentioned to me -- the law of the land today none of the four of the most recent got -- tragedies involving gun violence would have been prevented.
What this -- say that doesn't matter.
Well -- what matters to me is that we not just engage in -- symbolic act.
And patter -- on the back and say we've done something good and what the problem of -- I'd like to try to solve the problem let focusing.
On the common element of these recent tragedies which is the mental health is OK let's move on if we -- to the budget the president submitted his budget this week which calls for entitlement reforms and -- but also more taxes through limiting deductions.
Here was how house speaker John Boehner react.
It wants to hold his modest reforms.
For just another round of tax increases.
So -- to compromise it's no way to move the country forward and frankly it's no way to lead.
Senator Durbin you have supported change CPI in the past as a more accurate way.
To measure -- cost of living adjustments if it would.
Be a sensible and accurate -- if it would help preserve Social Security.
Why not just vote for it and and and split it off not -- it.
To this question of raising taxes.
Chris let me tell you this really gets -- -- the basics.
If infect the Republicans are genuine and sincere about dealing with the budget deficit for goodness sakes we have to put everything on the table.
The president just did that.
The president stuck his neck out and I can tell you he's getting beaten up on the left by.
Well I've said -- the change CPI can be part of our effort to reform social security and make sure it had a 75 years of solvency.
That's what the president's aiming for -- that's what I'm aiming for.
But when Boehner speaker Boehner just dismisses us and said if the word taxes in there -- Grover Norquist and or leave.
You know that is no way to run -- country it's no way to accept a bipartisan responsibility to deal with the steps.
-- -- place to begin negotiations.
Both on entitlement reform and higher taxes.
Along the on the -- CPI issue I think it does -- -- some modest.
Progress but you have to recognize the fact this budget was to move to two months late.
It raises taxes and other.
Trillion dollars or contemplates that and it never bounces so I give the president credit that he did put this on the table.
But this and I know Dick would agree would this change CPI won't save social security and Medicare we've got to do more.
And if they were willing to do more or would you be willing to put taxes on the table well I'd be willing to talk about what what a grand bargain would look like but don't tax the president got 600 billion dollars in taxes in January.
And it's the wrong thing to do to raise taxes another trillion dollars on top of the one point six trillion dollars but would you be willing to talk about -- announcer.
I'm happy to talk any day.
-- about any thing just about.
But I think president got his tax increase.
Uptight one last issue I wanna get -- -- -- would both of you and that is North Korea secretary of state.
Carry in -- this weekend said that the US and South Korea.
Are willing to return to talks and even to consider more aid.
To North Korea if that regime pulls back from its nuclear program senator Durbin.
You know this sounds familiar do we really want to go down this path again more talks more aid to the north Koreans.
The last thing we want is the launch of any kind of nuclear or missile or nuclear weapons.
On the Korean Peninsula or anywhere in this world.
We've got to beat escalate the rhetoric in the testing that's going on in North Korea.
And we're turning primarily to China.
And saying it's time for you to step up and show some leadership in this region of the world were prepared to work toward a common goal of peace.
But we need the Chinese to tell the north Koreans that if -- Want to continue this kind escalation of rhetoric it's at the expense of the safety of this world as well as their own economy.
So I think secretary Kerry has a right we -- willing to step forward but we wanna see some positive measures from the north Koreans.
But bring down this harsh and and and hot rhetoric that we've heard so often in the last.
-- senator cornyn a year ago you accused the Obama administration of a policy of appeasement your words towards North Korea how do you think they're handling the current situation.
Well I'm not for -- and an unhinged.
Leader like Kim Jong ransom in order to have him on toned down his rhetoric.
I'm concerned that this inexperienced a new leader of North Korea.
Will make a mistake or something could happen which would result in the kind of conflicted Dick just alluded to none of us wants that.
But I don't see that this policy of paying a ransom.
Just to get him to tone down rhetoric has been successful that you sort of like a bad move in week keeps you in the reruns -- -- -- -- got thirty seconds left senator Durbin you are chairing a hearing this week about the president's -- policy.
Do you think that congress should have a role in deciding when and where and who the US strikes -- drugs.
Yes I do and I think the constitution's very clear the founding fathers said the people of America will decide when we go to war through their elected members of congress.
Those -- the questions we have to -- now.
The drones have offered us a new technology but an age old question.
When is America at war -- -- in that war girl who were the combatants in the war.
And in this circumstance when it comes to targets in foreign lands does -- make a difference if it's an American or not in America.
Critical constitutional questions not my idea the idea of the founding fathers.
Senator Durbin senator cornyn we want to thank you both you got a lot on your flights and we'll be following all of the action in the senate thank you both covenant.
Thank you Chris thank you.
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