Transcript

No good options for responding to North Korean threat?

Reaction and analysis on 'The Fox News Specialists'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," September 4, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kat Timpf along with Eboni K. Williams and Jason Chaffetz. This is "The Fox News Specialists."

Despite the Labor Day holiday, a lot of major news unfolding. Leading it all, the shock waves from North Korea's sixth nuclear weapons test over the weekend, and warnings of an imminent new test of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the rogue state. Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin joins us now with more from Washington. Jennifer?

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kat, for now it looks like the U.S. is opting for diplomacy with last-ditch efforts at the U.N. Security Council. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said North Korea leader seems to be begging for war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Enough is enough. We have taken an incremental approach and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked. The time for half measures in the Security Council is over. The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it's too late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: South Korea simulated an attack on North Korea's nuclear test site today and promised more. The drills involved F-15 fighter jets which can be used to drop nuclear bombs. They also fired ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan at a distance estimated to be that of North Korea's nuclear site. But none of these military tests have had any impact on North Korea's leader. In fact, just two days before North Korea conducted the latest nuclear tests, U.S., South Korea, and Japan carried out a ten hour drill using the B-1B bombers and F-35 stealth bombers for the first time at the end of 10 days of joint war games.

Kim uses the U.S.-South Korean military drills to convince his people that the U.S. and South Korea are preparing an invasion to overthrow his regime. That is why you heard Defense Secretary Jim Mattis say yesterday that the U.S. is not looking to annihilate the regime, but has military options prepared if Kim threatens the U.S. homeland or Guam. The choice of Mattis to deliver the message standing alongside General Joe Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs, who would have to resource any military response was also designed to send a message that the U.S. doesn't only have diplomatic options.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We have many military options, and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them. We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies. We're not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Some of those military options are actions you won't see, cyber actions, for instance, or underground activity to neutralize Kim's missile program. All are inherently risky. South Korea has warned Kim Jong-un is preparing for another missile test, perhaps this weekend. Kat?

TIMPF: Thank you. Eboni, I like the way the White House is handling this now. I know that you've been a little bit more support of doing more. What do you think about this?

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I mean, as you've said, we all know there're no good options.

TIMPF: Right.

WILLIAMS: But I do like that diplomacy is not the only option, but at the same time, exhausting it to the extent it's viable on any level. The thing I like best, what she said -- Jennifer there, Kat, was talking about the cyber options and possibly the ability to neutralize what could be coming from North Korea.

TIMPF: Your thoughts?

JASON CHAFFETZ, CO-HOST: I just don't believe more sanctions are actually going to do the trick. I think we obviously want to choke them off financially. But at the same time, we have to speak the language, and we have to also understand that Kim Jong-un has one goal which is to annihilate the United States of America. And I love what Secretary Mattis give us up there and said, look, our goal isn't to annihilate you, but if we have to, we will.

TIMPF: We will.

WILLIAMS: Whenever you say, but, I think everything before we all know means not as much what comes after that, but. And, but, we will explore all options necessary to protect ourselves and our allies.

CHAFFETZ: I do think that the key here are the Chinese. When you see an escalation about a Chinese on their rhetoric against North Korea, which has started to happen, we're getting more and more serious about actually getting to a plausible solution that doesn't require the military, but we have to be prepared to use the military and take out the threat, should they point those guns and weapons at the United States.

WILLIAMS: And noted, of course, that wasn't President Trump, respectfully, out there. That was a military speech, like, very plainly. And so, this is more than just politics at this point. Making it very clear that, you know, all of our military options are on the table. I thought that was very powerful.

TIMPF: Absolutely. Well, time to meet today's specialists. She's a visiting fellow in communications at the Heritage Foundation, a guest columnist for The Hill, and the president and founder of District Media Group, but she specializes in being a reality TV junkie -- me, too, Beverly Hallberg is here. And he started working in politics at 15-years-old working in the U.K. parliament, he founded Democrats for Trump, a coalition of moderate Democrats supporting Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, and he's the managing partner of the Logan Circle Group, so clearly, he specializes in all thing politics, Harlan Hill is here. All right. Beverly, it's been said a million times, everyone says it, because it's true, which is that, there are no good options, whatsoever. Do you like the way that this is being handled now, or you wish it would be handled differently?

BEVERLY HALLBERG, DISTRICT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER: I think there are things that do work well and things that don't. I will say if we can come together as a country and say there really are no good options, as we've already said on the show. But I would say and some of the President Trump tweets today, it was a little concern that he seemed to bash South Korea a bit, saying that their process of appeasement hasn't worked. I was glad to see later in the day that he did meet with them with some of their leaders there, because we need our allies to be very close. He'd also had another tweet saying that maybe we should stop trade with China. That would have huge economic implications if we did that. So, I would say in some ways the fact that he has tried diplomacy, tried to keep us out of any type of war is a good thing, but I think he needs to be careful about some of his tweets and what he thinks our solutions.

TIMPF: Harlan, if we stop trade with China, I mean, this iPhone will be very expensive. I might have to start using, I don't know, pigeons, or whatever, to be able to communicate with other. And I think that China knows that. We've probably won't actually do anything like that.

HARLAN HILL, LOGAN CIRCLE GROUP MANAGING PARTNER: The problem is, China hasn't held up on their end of the bargain. President Trump believed in good faith that they would come to the table and that they would apply pressure to the North Koreans. That has not worked out, at least so far. And with North Korea, we either neutralize them or they're going to neutralize us and our ability to respond to their development of this nuclear weapons program. And with all due respect, I don't think they're going to do it. And so, the time is of the essence because once they have the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to Manhattan or Los Angeles by an ICBM, and it's just a question of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead to be able to deliver here, they're already working on that technology, and they're far ahead of schedule compared to where our intelligence community thought they were.

Once they have that, they have neutralized our ability to respond to them. They are then more -- they're closer to parity than they are today, and that's a real concern. And so, this is a ticking time bomb, literally. And the time for appeasement is over. And in South Korea, they had a recent election. You would think that North Korea would be the top issue on the ballots. It was number three. It was number three. And the South Koreans, their president wanted to go and co-host the winter Olympics with North Korea. I mean, they're not an equal partner. They don't want to help pay for their defense. So the president has to take control of the situation because the South Koreans aren't.

CHAFFETZ: I do think that the Chinese are OK with the -- sort of this appeasement type of philosophy to able say.

HILL: Sure.

CHAFFETZ: . it's OK if North Korea gets this type of weapon. But what they are afraid of, what the Chinese are worried about is, actually, North Koreans fleeing North Korea and going into China. They're much more worried about the migration of those people moving into there. But again, we need to engage the Chinese, but we have to be ready for a military strike and it may have to be proactive.

TIMPF: And they're worried about other things, too, in addition to just the refugee problem. They don't want Japan to have this huge military force, or South Korea to ramp up, it just create all that conflict in the area. They don't want.

WILLIAMS: I understand that, but I'm with Harlan on this. I think there's so much of what they shouldn't want, Kat, and what they should be considering, and then there's what they're just absolutely not doing. And they're not showing any type of good faith efforts for many, many, many years. We've been saying the answer to this lies with China, if China steps up, if China plays their part, and China is not doing anything of that. So, the most provocative tweet that I saw today, and I'll go with you, Beverly, when the president said he is considering stopping all trade with any country. Not just doing business, congressman, enabling, enabling North Korea to the highest level. I think that has to be a viable threat no matter how expensive it makes our iPhones or anything else, because I don't see China moving with any other option other than that type of severe economic pressure.

HALLBERG: No, I think it's definitely concerning. We do need to look at all options. I do think China is the key. But when you make a statement like that without knowing what some of the implications can be, I think you have to be careful. I mean, to stop being trade with a country where we do a lot of trade with them that will impact a lot of business.

WILLIAMS: I think we have to be very serious and we don't put empty threats out. I guess what I'm saying, maybe it's provocative. I don't know.

HALLBERG: It's provocative.

WILLIAMS: But, I also think it's provocative that we are possibly within weeks of North Korea being nuclear in a way that we never imagined before.

HILL: Eboni, the dichotomy that we have here is either we threaten to suspend trade with China and our iPhones cost more, or.

TIMPF: More than just iPhones.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Our economy would tank.

HILL: Either we suspend trade or we have a radical dictator that is totally unhinged, that has the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. So either we go through some short-term pain readjusting our economy and bringing back manufacturing here, or we run up against a tyrannical dictator that will have a gotcha card over us that we will never be able to eliminate. Containment doesn't work, as we've seen with Pakistan.

TIMPF: Again, it's not so simple to just stop all trade with China.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: It's nuclear war or trade.

TIMPF: It's not nuclear war or trade because we don't really know -- there's a lot of experts who think if we don't do anything to him first, he won't do anything to us, because him doing anything to us, he know it's basically like saying, hey, I'd like to be blown up now, and my whole entire country to be blown up, too.

CHAFFETZ: Look at what Kim Jong-un had seen, he saw Iran try to develop its nuclear weapons. And what did they do, they got rewarded by the United States of America. President Obama gave them $150 billion and gave them a pathway.

WILLIAMS: Which is exactly why I hate the Iran deal. And that's why you cannot -- every country is not designed to do a deal with, right? And we have to really stop kidding ourselves that diplomacy of any sort is viable. With someone like Iran, I don't think a deal can be done, and I think the same is true with North Korea.

HALLBERG: I will say, I'm very thankful that we do have an antiballistic missile defense system here in this country. You have that in South Korea. They're already looking at it today. That's something that plenty of people in the left didn't want the United States to have. It's not the solution to this, but I'm glad we have a defense.

TIMPF: I agree. I'm glad that we have a defense as well. I just think this is such complicated issue. And when you start talking about things like completely stopping trade with China, I mean, that would be a huge, huge deal, absolutely.

WILLIAMS: I think it's all a huge deal, though, right?

TIMPF: Of course it is. And it does rest with China.

CHAFFETZ: The major trade that goes on in North Korea is over the border with China. That's where the black market is. That's where the trade is going on. For far too long, as President Trump pointed out, we have actually funded the North Koreans in order to develop this. It was fundamentally wrong. I don't believe Kim Jong-un cares a hill of beans about any of his people. I don't think he's motivated by sanctions. But I do think it does get the attention of the Chinese. And if there's somebody that can be the pivotal person to actually, you know, push the envelope there, I do think it is the Chinese.

HILL: In due all respect, congressman, last time he acted up the Chinese said they were going to suspend coal imports from North Korea to China, and that wasn't enough. He's continuing to continue. And we're seeing an escalation, not a de-escalation. I'm not sure that China is equipped to handle this. I think they have lost control. I would love to believe that you're right, that they do have control over this guy that he's just a puppet. I don't think that that's the case anymore. And maybe that's why they're starting to ramp up their rhetoric publicly because behind the scenes they're not able to exert the control they used to be able to.

HALLBERG: And I will say that even if Kim Jong-un doesn't plan to do anything and we don't know, I think he loves the spotlight. That's the element of us talking about it. People feel threatened. I think he's thriving on this. I don't know what he will do, but I think we should pay attention to it. But I think he's sitting back, watching TV, and loving all of the coverage and that he's being feared.

WILLIAMS: I think both are at play, absolutely, because they could absolutely be doing all this development and we'll be none the wiser. I don't think it's an accident that everything is talked about, promoted. I think they're even rallying a celebration, a parade of sort, to celebrate just how far they've come in this process. I think that is all very much a part of it and part of the luster, I agree. At the same time it doesn't mean it's not the case, and that they aren't where they are in the development of this thing. And I think it has to be, of course, taken seriously.

CHAFFETZ: I would hope that the Democrats, they've been pretty silence on this, but would actually join and support the president of the United States to let the U.S. men and women who serve in our military know that we are united behind this president and what he's going to have to do as a steady hand and taking care of North Korea.

HILL: Don't hold your breath.

TIMPF: We'll see. Never a good idea to hold your breath for too long. Up next, President Trump is expected to end the DACA immigration program, while giving congress a six month window to act. Can it actually find a solution? We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: The debate over illegal immigration turning white hot this Labor Day weekend. President Trump is expected to end the DACA immigration program put in place under President Obama that allowed people who entered the U.S. illegally as children to stay and work in the country. But tomorrow, it's believed that President Trump will announce DACA's cancelation, while also giving congress a six month window to act. So the news is igniting fierce backlash from the left, and even from some members of the GOP. But could this actually force a better and permanent solution for DACA recipients?

I'll start with you, congressman. I think that the way the president makes this announcement or Sarah Huckabee Sanders is going to be very critical, because there's going to be two possible narratives. One is this is President Trump feeding into the notion that America being great again is only for certain people. Doesn't necessarily include some Latinos or Hispanics. That's one narrative. The other thing is saying, you know want, the way President Obama allowed for these dreamers to be here was temporary and not long term solution based. And so, the president can actually, I think, capitalize on this opportunity if done that particular way. Your thoughts.

CHAFFETZ: I think both sides will probably go to their individual corners, like, people, obviously, thought this through. But I believe in the rule of law, and I believe that the president has a mandate. He ran on it, he campaigned on it. He won overwhelmingly, 30 of the 50 states. It was no coincidence. It was no surprise that the president was going to lock down the border, reject the amnesty, get rid of the rewards and incentives, and that he was going to get rid of DACA. So I think he's trying to be compassionate, maybe let it phase out, but he's got a mandate to get it done.

TIMPF: Well, he did say in the spring that, you know, don't worry for the dreamers. So that being specifically, I don't know. But this argument in general kind of represents everything I absolutely hate about political discourse in this country. On the one side, you have people saying, oh, if you think this shouldn't have been done by an E.O., then you're a racist. And the other side, you have people saying, well, if you're saying that dreamers present any economic benefits to our country, then you're just an idiot. That you're just arguing, you know, only from feelings and not economics. Where really, there are economic benefit to dreamers, but there's also is a reasonable argument that this should not have been done by executive order. It shouldn't be done by congress. And I really wish that we could just talk about things in a levelheaded, reasonable way, but it seems to be really difficult to do.

WILLIAMS: I think she's exactly right there. That's why I framed the question as I did. I mean, I think, the knee-jerk is if DACA is canceled, you know, people will go ballistic. OK, possibly. The other part is, let's look at the actual dreamers, the children who came here with no criminal intent because they were younger than 16-years-old when they got here, and they have done everything right for the most part. And what opportunities long term can be put in place by this very administration? Because I would agree with Kat, I don't know that the mandate President Trump was elected on was specifically about getting rid of dreamers. I think at some point there were some back and forth, even the president admitting it's a tough choice, and maybe he is in a position now, an opportunity, to fix that

HALLBERG: Well, even the speaker, Paul Ryan, said that you're talking about people who are in limbo. Who -- what do they do? Will this be a two-year phasing out? And the problem is that you were saying earlier, this was a temporary executive order. So presidents can change it when they come in and come out. And congress is the permanent solution. But even the six month time frame that President Trump is supposedly going to give tomorrow, do we think congress is going to be able to get immigration reform done in six months, beyond the fact of everything else that they have on their plate? This is one of the most heated issues among Republicans, and thinking through, where do we go with this? So even the six month time frame, I don't know if they're going to get it done. So I will say that having President Trump not lead with what he thinks the reform should look like is putting Republicans in a bad place, and I think it's going to cause more division between the president and the GOP.

WILLIAMS: Harlan?

HILL: The president has made it abundantly clear that this isn't about emotion, this is about the laws. And we have laws in this country and we have a constitution in this country. And there's a right way to do this, as you've all pointed out, and President Obama didn't do it. He went beyond his constitutional powers to write immigration.

WILLIAMS: That's not true, Harlan. Not on this.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: . traditional scrutiny.

HILL: If he wanted to see this as a long-term policy he should have gone.

WILLIAMS: That's why I said the question that way. But in terms of surviving judicial scrutiny as a properly executed executive order, it did. Now, we could say we don't like that that's not a long-term answer, but it did.

HILL: But, Eboni, I think the distinction that I want to draw is that Democrats are trying to present this as if President Trump is rewriting the law or this is some big overthrow of how things have been done for quite some time. That's not the case.

WILLIAMS: I agree with you. And that's why I said I think the way President Trump makes the announcement will be very critical because that might take some wind out of that sail.

HILL: But here's the thing, you're right, six months is not very long, but congress has already wasted so much, and they squandered a tremendous opportunity to get a lot done. And so, it is now incumbent upon them to start showing that they have the chops to start producing for the American people. And I'm not sure that they're going to be able to, and they're going to be consequences in 2018 for it.

CHAFFETZ: Congress usually operates best on a deadline. I mean, part of what's wrong with congress is it just continues on in perpetuity. So when there's an actual deadline, congress actually does, I think, do a better job of actually hitting that deadline. But when you start talking now about the opportunity to fund a border wall, to deal with the DACA situation, then you've got motivation on both sides of the aisle to come together. But I do think the president has a mandate and his base is expecting him to live up to exactly what he campaigned on.

HILL: Well, here's what I believe, is that President Trump is probably one of the most pragmatic, moderate candidates we've ever elected to the White House. And I believe that if Democrats came to the table and they were willing to work with Republicans on this issue, that he would show compassion to dreamers, the so-called dreamers, in exchange for the border wall, and in exchange for comprehensive immigration reform. And so, Democrats really want to see compassion, a compassionate response to dreamers, then come to the table and negotiate.

TIMPF: Again, it's more about than just compassion. It's also about our economy does better because of the dreamers, and it will cost about $60 million to deport them all. And high on my list of priorities is not deporting people who are, overwhelmingly, people who are in school and, or, working right now. However, I don't think that if you don't like that it was done by E.O. and don't see it as a long term solution, that that makes you a heartless person.

HALLBERG: And I wouldn't say on this as well, you have Republicans, many who thinks we need to secure the border first. So, when we're talking about who's here, whether it's the dreamers, whether it's adults here illegally, I think we need to figure out what we're going to do with immigrants coming over here first before we deal with what's going on here. I think -- and then becomes a very tricky issue because this will be a people argument.

WILLIAMS: I think that's really important. And I think the whole panel loves a secure border and sovereignty, but for 750,000 people, that issue in that order becomes very critical. Up ahead, Hurricane Irma just upgrade to a category 4 storm barreling towards the Caribbean. How big is the threat for the U.S.? We'll have the very latest. Plus, recovery efforts from Harvey are in full swing. How are victims starting to pick up the pieces and rebuild? We'll get a firsthand look from Texas. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHAFFETZ: After Hurricane Harvey, forecasters are now keeping a close watch on Hurricane Irma. The national hurricane center announcing a short time ago, it's now an official category four storm and churning towards the eastern Caribbean. It's now packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. Hurricane warnings are now in effect for the leeward islands in the Eastern Caribbean, and with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also under direct threat. Adding to concerns is where Irma may head after the eastern Caribbean, with some current models showing Irma moving towards Florida. However, forecasters expect to get a more precise path for Irma over the next couple of days. Meanwhile, Harvey recovery efforts are ramping up as floodwaters recede in southeast Texas. Victims are returning home and witnessing horrific damage cause by the storm, with some even facing a new threat, looting. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins joins us from Texas. Griff, tell us the latest.

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, congressman, it was a week ago today that I was floating down these very streets when they were doing rescues. Now the massive cleanup. Look at this debris here in Houston in a suburb. It's just a massive cleanup. The mayor saying he needs a lot of help in getting it done. You see personal belongings. And I've talked to some of these homeowners, and they said that as soon as they got in here to start cleaning this stuff up, dragging their personal belongings out, looters, scavengers came here, hundreds of them going through their personal belongings. She said, actually, this street itself was backed up, because there were so many cars of people getting out and going through this stuff, looking for appliances, looking for everything else.

Earlier today, we were up in the northeast part of Houston in a little town called Atascocita, where literally, they have signs, "You loot. We shoot." A very clear message that they will not stand for it. They regard their property as sacred, and they don't want these people in here. We talked to one of those homeowners, Mike Woolley, who encountered actual people going through his stuff. Here's what he had to say about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE WOOLLEY, ATASCOCITA, TEXAS, RESIDENT: If you loot, we shoot. Our concern is that if you take our stuff, we have nothing to show FEMA or insurance adjusters who might be coming in here. No way to prove what we had. This is not a free-for-all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JENKINS: And apparently, it was a free-for-all. We'll just give you one more look down this street. You just see every single house trying to do that. Apparently, the looting or scavenging, as it were, on this street seems to be gone. We've seen flatbeds of people with all sorts of appliances -- refrigerators, washers, driers -- even still circling around the neighborhood.

And a little bit of news, the mayor, Mayor Turner announcing on Twitter just a little while ago that he's going to think about maybe lifting that curfew tomorrow after seeing what happens tonight. Perhaps an indication that the looting may subside.

To date, authorities in Harris County said there have been over 60 arrests for storm-related crimes involving burglary and looting -- Congressman.

CHAFFETZ: Griff, thank you. You've done a wonderful job. We love watching your reporting, and Godspeed to you. Appreciate it.

The scum that would come and take advantage of people in their worst hour. I can't even imagine. Kat, what would you do if you were in that situation, if somebody showed up and started stealing your stuff?

TIMPF: Hopefully, I would do with that one person did, by writing a "You loot, we shoot" sign with a little smile face underneath it. That was my favorite thing that I've seen.

But yes. You get overwhelmed with watching, you know, private citizens taking time out and even risking their lives to help others in times of this tragedy and, you know, it warms your heart. Then you see people that are using it to loot and take other people's stuff, and that just really bums you out. Because you're like, wow, some of these people are complete garbage.

CHAFFETZ: Eboni, any other recourse, things that people should be doing proactively to make sure that they can protect themselves?

WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, I'm not mad at the state of Texas for having laws such that you don't have a duty to retreat or anything like that when you are on your property.

TIMPF: I agree.

WILLIAMS: And I love that you can stand up and you can protect yourself and your family and your possessions, because they do matter, too.

I guess the answer to your question, though, Congressman, this is where the iPhone or cell phone you use or whatever is helpful. Take pictures of everything, because unfortunately, when those claims adjusters come out there, when those FEMA reps, you want to be able to document and show everything that you had so you can get reimbursed and made whole as quickly as possible.

CHAFFETZ: Beverly, how do you -- how do you see it? What touched you the most in Texas?

HALLBERG: Don't mess with Texas, right? I love the signs. I love what they're doing. I wouldn't want to mess with anyone from Texas.

But I think what is so sad about this -- it's already been mentioned on the panel -- is you had a natural disaster not caused by humans, but natural disaster. And you had all these people in Texas and from outside get together and really help people through this time. And then to see people come in and do this, it really, it makes me so mad seeing it. I see this, and it's just ridiculous.

So I would say looking at Texas and how they've handled this hurricane situation to begin with has been optimal. I think even looking at Hurricane Irma, we can look to what Texas did. And I think it's just a sad state that there are few people who would do this when so many people were heroes during this time.

CHAFFETZ: Now Harlan, I don't think you'd be bashful if somebody stood up there and started stealing.

HILL: I believe in the Second Amendment, yes.

Ultimately, though, taking this back to politics, I want Republicans to get to work in Washington. And quite frankly, I'm surprised they didn't take advantage of this to get back to work early.

Because there are 6 million residents of Houston that need their assistance. And thus far, what's concerning to me is that Republicans both in the House and the Senate have not demonstrated that they have any ability to get anything done, even the low-hanging fruit like tax reform and health care reform.

And now we're facing a potential government shutdown. We're facing the potential of them not being able to come through with funding for these victims of this -- this horrible hurricane. And I'm concerned, because the basic functioning of government is no longer there.

So now Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the time is now to put up or shut up. To deliver for the American people, or there are consequences in November.

WILLIAMS: I'm unclear.

CHAFFETZ: Congress is going back into session tomorrow. They're returning from their summer recess with an enormous load on their agenda, everything from tax reform to funding the government to budget to Harvey funding. A lot on their plate. What could possibly go wrong? Stay tuned. Don't go away. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Beverly Hallberg and Harlan Hill. Now we'll continue the conversation.

Congress is set to return from its summer recess tomorrow. On top of urgent deadlines to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling, Congress also has to tackle Harvey recovery efforts, tax reform, funding for Obamacare premiums and much, much more. And if recent history tells us anything, we know that it will all go just awesome.

Congressman, we're going to start with you. Sorry for the little sarcasm there, but I know that you have some insight on this, so please share.

CHAFFETZ: I think what's going to happen, the House has put out notice they're actually going to vote earlier than they were planning to, so before noon on Wednesday morning, they're supposed to vote on Harvey relief.

My guess is, as best I can tell in talking to colleagues on the Hill, is that there will be a clean debt -- a clean package that they will vote on. It will then go over to the Senate. Unfortunately, I think the Senate will attach debt ceiling and maybe some other stuff that they -- I wish they wouldn't do. And then that will come back over to the House of Representatives. But they'll get that kicked off.

I worry that there's only 12 legislative days on the calendar. Six of them are fly in and fly out days. But they've got to tackle a lot of other things.

I do think they're going to get a short-term funding package together, probably another short-term -- honestly, I don't believe the major issues will be on -- up for final vote until December.

WILLIAMS: Harvey relief.

CHAFFETZ: That's just -- I think the Harvey relief will happen.

WILLIAMS: OK.

CHAFFETZ: And that should get done in the first two, two and a half weeks.

WILLIAMS: OK.

CHAFFETZ: But the rest of it, I think, gets punted, punted, and then we're into Christmas time.

WILLIAMS: That's helpful. Beverly, you also have insight.

HALLBERG: Yes. Probably against my better judgment, I'm going to predict a legislative victory for the GOP in the fall. I think tax reform, we're going to see a lot of movement on it.

There's been already a lot of movement in the House Ways and Means Committee. They've been hammering out details behind the scenes, even in the past few months. They've taken out the border adjustment tax, which some senators, Senator Tom Cotton had some issues with.

So I think, because the president needs a legislative victory and the Republicans really want to push something forward, I think tax reform is where we're going to see it, and I think legislatively, that's what they're going to tackle after Harvey funding, debt ceiling, and budget.

WILLIAMS: Harlan, let me ask you. The Dems have also wanted tax reform. Do you think they will cut off their nose to spite their face politically in terms of fighting President Trump and his administration around these tax reform initiatives?

HILL: The Democrats are going to come to the table.

WILLIAMS: OK.

HILL: I mean, they care less about policy and ideology than they do defeating the president of the United States. If they really cared about their constituents, they would come to the table to resolve problems with our infrastructure. And the president is in line with Democrats there. They would come to the table to resolve problems with Obamacare premiums rolling out of control and coverage being not where it should be.

But we've seen the establishment on both sides of the party -- both sides of the aisle are totally unwilling or incapable of governing. And they're going on undeserved vacations while millions of Americans can't even afford to pay for their health care, let alone go on a vacation. I mean, those are the people that I talk to.

WILLIAMS: Right.

HILL: And they've had enough. They just want relief.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

HILL: This is what they were sent to Washington to do.

WILLIAMS: Kat, you know, you spoke about -- I believe it was you earlier - - that they should have come back early at this point. So they're coming back tomorrow. What do you want to see them do first after Harvey?

TIMPF: Tax reform. I think that's what they should do first. Then they're going to add on -- I guess they have six months to solve immigration, as well, on top of everything.

But I'm, in general, sick of all the whining of certain Republican saying, "Yes, well, I can't because President Trump did this and certain, you know -- the Democrats did this." And Democrats saying, "Oh, well, Trump..." Stop whining. Yes, your job is hard. That's why you have to go through all this to be elected. That's why we're not all in Congress all the time. Stop whining, get to work and get it done. Because American people don't feel bad for you...

WILLIAMS: That's right.

TIMPF: ... especially when -- I mean, I would love to have a vacation.

CHAFFETZ: Well, Mitch McConnell -- Mitch McConnell...

WILLIAMS: Hear, hear.

TIMPF: It's Labor Day. We're all here.

CHAFFETZ: Are you announcing a candidacy?

TIMPF: I could have -- I could have been...

WILLIAMS: That would be a hell of a stump speech, Kat.

TIMPF: It's not a very nice thing, I'll tell you, but I could still be drinking beer. But I'm not, because I'm at work. So I don't feel bad for you. Get to work.

CHAFFETZ: Mitch McConnell announced in July that they were going to stay deeper into August because there was so much on the agenda. They couldn't even live up to that promise.

TIMPF: No.

CHAFFETZ: So they adjourned early.

These are district work periods. I know a lot of members work hard and listen to their constituents. They do some very important things. But there is so much on the agenda.

The House has passed four of the 12 appropriations bills. I think you'll see them coupled together with the other eight in that consolidated appropriations package, which should come up in the first week or two. We'll get them over to the Senate where, all good things go to linger. So that's...

WILLIAMS: Let me ask you this, Congressman. Because you know, you've literally been there. Either you can't speak for all of your colleagues, but can you give us a little bit of insight? Kat's point, and Harlan's as well, it's well taken. People are frustrated, and they're tired. And this is why you've seen change candidates do so well here. What's going on in the psyche of the Congressmen and women that go on vacation, knowing so much is to be done?

CHAFFETZ: I think there's a lot of frustration in the House, because there are literally more than 200 bills that have passed the House that are now over in the Senate.

And what also drives us crazy is when the bill goes over to the Senate. Remember on the health care vote? That wasn't a vote on final package -- passage. That was a vote on should we debate it?

WILLIAMS: Have the debate.

CHAFFETZ: Should we have the discussion? Should we allow members to offer amendments and have a vote? And when you don't even vote, that's what drives everybody crazy, including the current members of Congress.

HALLBERG: And I would love to see President Trump come out and really lead the narrative on tax reform and explain why it's so important. Stay away from some of the tweets that get you into trouble and stay on the tax reform message. And I think that would be a winner for them.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I mean, it's one of those things where running for office seems to be one thing. Getting elected seems to be another. But actually governing, actually doing the work of coming together and spending that political capital to get stuff passed for the people that put you there seems to be a bit more challenging.

Anyway, straight ahead, "Kat on the Street." Astronomers have detected some mysterious signals from another galaxy. Should mankind now be worried? Kat gets us the answers right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: NASA is taking steps to hire what they call a planetary protection officer to guard us against alien life. And they must have known something was going on up there, because over the weekend, astronomers at Steven Hawking's breakthrough Listen Project detected some mysterious signals they believe could be coming from intelligent aliens.

So I hit the street to ask regular people if they're super worried.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIMPF: NASA is hiring a planetary protection officer to keep us safe from aliens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you serious?

TIMPF: Yes, I'm definitely serious. Who do you think could do the job well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say David Hasselhoff.

TIMPF: Whoa, there we go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson maybe.

TIMPF: I was thinking maybe Will Smith because of "Independence Day" and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, definitely.

TIMPF: If we've had this sooner, though, "Space Jam" would have never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool. I don't think I could live without that.

TIMPF: So you don't wake up every morning thinking, "What if the aliens come and get me?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

TIMPF: Really? I feel like it's normal to do that.

Because aliens are -- are dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know that, though.

TIMPF: I think we do. What's one good movie where we've had aliens here and it's worked out well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "E.T."

TIMPF: It seems like he was cute, but you know what happened after that movie. Everyone got sick from a disease that he brought, and they all died. That's why there's no "E.T. 2." No one could handle it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I think that aliens have been existing for a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe in aliens.

TIMPF: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TIMPF: Sounds like something an alien would say so I wouldn't [SIC] stop worrying so much.

We're going to ask you to rank the three greatest threats to the human race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Global warming.

TIMPF: Really? Global warming more than aliens? Aliens might have, like, really bad climate footprints.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to think about that stuff. It think global warming is more important.

TIMPF: Yes, but what if aliens are the worst with it?

This right here, this seems like it could be some sort of political platform that hasn't been discovered yet but will probably exist by 2020.

What scares you the most about Channing Tatum?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Devastatingly good looks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think aliens right in front of global warming.

TIMPF: Oh, wow. But aliens not more dangerous than ISIS?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so.

TIMPF: Less likely to steal your girlfriend, but there might be -- there might be some good-looking ones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! They might steal me from my girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not all aliens are bad. At the same time, not all aliens are good. You know, sometimes they want to kick our jives (ph), all right? Yes, keep them away.

TIMPF: So you're trying to tell me you're not scared of aliens?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not really. I have other things I'm a little more afraid of.

TIMPF: Like what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The camera guy is kind of scary.

TIMPF: How do we vet aliens from outer space to know they're good or they're bad? Like Neptune's government is, like, a little shaky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen "Aliens" a couple times. I don't want a thing in my face.

TIMPF: I have a mole that I think I got from an alien.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?

TIMPF: Yes, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love Channing Tatum.

TIMPF: OK, so not a threat at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not at all.

TIMPF: Did your boyfriend hear that just now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Channing Tatum is the biggest threat to the human race, especially my girlfriend. I don't like -- she's not allowed to see "Magic Mike."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TIMPF: What do you think?

CHAFFETZ: No comment.

HILL: Staying out of this. Staying out of the alien debate, yes.

CHAFFETZ: I love that the guy actually knew David Hasselhoff, and David Hasselhoff is going to save the world?

TIMPF: Yes.

CHAFFETZ: Of all the people...

TIMPF: The first person you think of.

CHAFFETZ: ... David Hasselhoff?

WILLIAMS: Well, he clearly -- I mean, that kid seems pretty young. He must be watching some major "Baywatch." Like, I don't think he knows who David Hasselhoff is, with all respect to David Hasselhoff.

HALLBERG: I think we should look at some of the Harvey heroes, $187,000. Why not send them: "We'll shoot you," if the aliens come? So I say we go - - we go to Texas.

WILLIAMS: Yes, the Cajun Navy. They'll take good care of them.

CHAFFETZ: You really burst my bubble on "E.T."

TIMPF: Yes, it was really sad what ended up happening after he left. They only show the good stuff. It's like worse than "Old Yeller."

But you know, a lot of people were really concerned about aliens, like in all seriousness, on the street. They were like, "I'm glad something is being done about this." You never really know what happens until you just start talking to people on the street. You learn a lot.

OK. We've got to say goodbye to our specialists, Beverly Hallberg and Harlan Hill. Thank you both for joining us. Up next, it's "Wait, What?" Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHAFFETZ: And now it's the return of our last segment. It's time for...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wait, What?"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHAFFETZ: All right. I'll kick things off. Big things happening in Mesa, Arizona, tonight. My in-laws, Joan and Egon (ph), celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. Glad it's been such a successful marriage, and I married their youngest daughter. They had six kids, and their daughter Julie is my wife of 26 years.

WILLIAMS: Congratulations. Amazing, for both them and you.

CHAFFETZ: Well, thank you. Thank you. Great family. Great family.

WILLIAMS: That's awesome.

TIMPF: My turn?

CHAFFETZ: Yes.

TIMPF: My turn. OK. So I don't know if anybody saw this picture. Someone, a man came home in Texas after the flooding, returned home, found a 9-foot alligator was living there under his table. And the guy was still alive. Like, not only did the alligator not eat him, but also he didn't die of a heart attack on the spot.

I freak out if I see a spider in my shower. Like so cat where I'll kind of put my cat in the bathroom so he'll eat it before I can actually bathe. So I wouldn't have -- I wouldn't have made it through this one.

CHAFFETZ: I'm sure that's the only one that got out. I'm sure it's the only one that's in that flooding.

WILLIAMS: I'm sure not.

TIMPF: Go home and there's a...

WILLIAMS: Bayou swamplands. I would have dropped coal, Kat.

TIMPF: I would have died, yes.

WILLIAMS: No thank you.

CHAFFETZ: Eboni.

WILLIAMS: Alligator? Absolutely no thank you.

All right. Well, this is a warm fuzzy. The royal family is expecting a third baby of Prince William and Duchess Kate, joining George, who's 4, Charlotte, who is 2, will be a third little baby. Who doesn't love a royal baby?

CHAFFETZ: That's about the cutest family in the world right there.

WILLIAMS: They're so adorable.

CHAFFETZ: They are absolutely a lovely couple. And you know what? They're a good role model for the rest of...

WILLIAMS: And it feels feels really sweet, too, Jason, because it was just last week that Princess Diana, it was the 20th anniversary of her passing. And you know, Prince William and Prince Harry both have been very public, it's still very hard for them. They were so young. So this feels, like, really nice and positive, to have something so wonderful to look forward to.

TIMPF: Absolutely.

CHAFFETZ: Yes. With all the coverage of Harvey and missing the anniversary of the death of Diana, I still remember when that happened. I remember my wife was up all night watching and crying. And it was a sad time.

And I feel for those boys, that they've really turned out, pretty good people. Yes.

WILLIAMS: They're amazing. They do so much good work all around the world.

CHAFFETZ: All right. That's all the time we have today. We thank you for watching this Labor Day. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Please follow us on -- on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. And remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same.

"Special Report" is up next. Thanks again for watching it. We do appreciate it. It's an honor to be here having fun. Have a great holiday. Four seconds. We're getting out there. "Special Report" is up next.


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