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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  October 21, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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good thursday morning to you, i'm erica hill. >> and i'm jim sciutto. this morning president biden striking an optimistic tone ahead of tonight's cnn town hall event where he is expected to push his ambitious, yet unfinished agenda, while taking questions about that proposal. right now biden is working to bridge the ongoing divide within his own party amid a political tug of war. senators manchin and sinema are holding out for their priorities and both of them have different sticking points as they question in particular how to pay for this deal. >> the pay for is a big focus here, so is the final price tag. but what about what's actually in that bill?
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as we look at all of this, it's important to remember that these negotiations could also impact the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. despite all the uncertainty, pramila jayapal says the talks are going well. >> i know he's working very hard with senators sinema and manchin and we are going to get this done because it is really important. let me just say that this is a good thing that's happening right now. >> soon we do expect to hear from house speaker nancy pelosi. we'll monitor that and bring you any developments from that press conference. let's begin this morning with cnn chief congressional correspondent manu raju on capitol hill with the very latest for us. so how much of this focus today is on senator sinema? >> a significant amount, in large part because of how to pay for this package. remember, they have already come down about $2 trillion or so, $3.5 trillion was the democratic proposal that had been proposed
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in the house. that's going nowhere. they have dropped that price tag probably around $2 trillion, probably less than $2 trillion, maybe 1.7 to $1.9 trillion in large part because of senator sinema and joe manchin. both have different concerns. manchin has issues about how the climate change provisions will be dealt with and also concern about the paid family leave provisions. initially democrats wanted 12 weeks of paid leave. that's going to be probably down to four right now. those negotiations are ongoing, how to deal with the child tax credit. but there is a back-and-forth going on with manchin and democratic senators, democratic house members. sinema is different. she is having conversations strictly with the white house. that's leaving a lot of democrats frustrated on capitol hill because they don't know where she stands and she is making very clear that she is opposed to raising corporate taxes on high earners. that is something she has conveyed to white house officials over the last several weeks and that remains her position today. that is a big problem for the
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democrats about how to finance this plan because it was expected to be financed in large part on those increased tax rates. now, they're now looking for different ways to pay for this program, potentially putting new taxes on billion airs, a corporate minimum tax, a tax on stock buybacks. it's unclear how senator sinema will come down but that's leading to a lot of democrats why is she not getting behind something, given her opposition to the 2007 gop tax law that cut corporate taxes and that everybody on capitol hill on the democratic side has been opposed to. there are questions of that as she is facing pressure from liberals, including back home and facing new advertising campaigns from at least some former advisers who have come after her saying that she needs to change her position on a range of issues. now, will this position actually change her mind? that is the big question. but it's also significant, guys, because as you know, they need all 50 democrats, kyrsten
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sinema, joe manchin, bernie sanders and the like to get behind the bill to the it out of the senate. never mind that $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan that is still awaiting action in the house. so big questions remain as democrats try to get a deal on the larger plan this week, guys. >> that's for sure. manu raju, appreciate the reporting as always. joining us to talk about all of this, cnn senior political analyst, david gergen, advisor to nixon, ford, and reagan. always good to have you on. >> thanks, jim. it's good to be here. >> you've seen, witnessed and been involved with your share of white house negotiations with the hill. i wonder, we were talking all about manchin's sticking points and now we're talking about sinema's. do you see these as part of a negotiation, trying to the best deal possible, or a potential deal-breaker? >> well, i think it can be both. a lot depends on where you sit in this thing. if you're a progressive, you
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think -- you're very disappointed and feel betrayed to some extent and if you're a moderate you feel like you haven't done enough. but he has some important things to get done here now in terms of public opinion. he has to stop the wrangling in the democratic party and bring people together very soon. the longer this goes on, the weaker the president looks and the question becomes who -- can he govern the country. he needs to come in with a package, erica and jim, that's big enough that he can convince the country he got something out of it, it's good for the country. the other thing, though, is in parallel with that, he has to change the media story about what's happening here. in recent days the story has been about what's being cut. you know, democrats cutting this, democrats cutting that, which was precisely the opposite of what he wants, which is democrats beefing up, democrats energizing these programs. until he can get that -- turn that corner, it's going to be
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hard to swing the public behind him. >> david, to that point, this is something that we've talked about on the air but jim and i have had a number of conversations about this. why do you think the messaging has been so off from the beginning? to your point from the very beginning democrats could have been saying look at all of the reasons this could be great for you instead of we can't agree on a big number. >> right. look, i totally agree and i think it's become symptomatic now in this white house. they frequently have good policies, but they screw it up with the messaging and it doesn't come out looking that way. there was a good argument to be made on afghanistan about trying to shut it down and so forth and instead it came out as chaos and sent a wrong message. all the messaging about the pandemic and what you should take and what you shouldn't take has become so confusing that no one knows quite what to believe they should do and people are
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going off on their own to make those decisions. that again was a messaging failure in my judgment. they have had some of the same problems here. i'm a little mystified because he does have a good team around him, he's got some real pros around him in the white house. but i just -- i don't understand why they can't sort of corral people and get them on the same page. republicans turn out -- for all you may say bad things about republican policies, they turn out and can put things together pretty well. >> results matter, right, and we are a good 11 months from the midterms. that said reading the tea leaves you have a lot of senior democrats deciding it ain't going to be good for us in 2022 and straight up leaving congress at this point. >> right. >> is that enough time, right? let's assume, by the way, assume, and that's a big assumption, that they get something through in the next couple of weeks. is it enough to turn that messaging around? >> that's a really good question, jim. i do think that right now one of the things that's scaring people in the democratic party and some
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senior people are leaving is the president's poll numbers have dropped down to 43% overall approval. the conventional wisdom is if the president is not above 50% going into a midterm you lose seats. and a considerable number of seats. so that is -- that's why it's important for all sorts of reasons, for the white house now to rally the country behind what they're doing here on this economic and social plan. one of the areas they have got to look to is climate. the meeting in glasgow is just around the corner next week. it's a hugely important international meeting. many scientists say it could be the last chance to really have a significant impact and to keep climate under control. the president's climate program apparently has been gutted, and they're going to rely on -- but they come back and say we'll do it through executive orders, it will be okay. well, if you could do it through executive orders, why put it in the bill?
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why not go ahead and do it? why hasn't it been done last week, last month? >> he's going to have a difficult message to sell when he's over there for climate negotiations. david gergen, always good to have you on. >> thank you. good to be here. president biden, he'll take questions from the american people in a cnn exclusive. anderson cooper moderates a cnn presidential town hall starting tonight at 8:00 eastern time. right now attorney general merrick garland is about to answer questions from the house judiciary committee for the first time. it is expected to be a contentious hearing as lawmakers will likely press him on the enforcement of subpoenas from the january 6 committee as well as the capital riot, voting rights, migrants at the southern border and the ongoing abortion ban in texas. >> cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider is joining us live from washington. as jim pointed out, expected to get contentious. i think we're all waiting for a little bit of that. we also have a sense of what merrick garland is going to say
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going into this. >> the interesting thing about this, this is a standard oversight hearing. this is a chance for committee members on the judiciary committee to question the attorney general about what's happening at the department of justice. you can bet that the attorney general will do everything he can to steer it to a conversation about what the department of justice has done in his seven months at the top and what it will continue to do. in his opening statement he talks specifically about always adhering to the rule of law. this is a message that we've heard from the attorney general repeatedly, whether it was when he was officially nominated by president biden, whether it was at his confirmation hearing, and ever since. this is something that the attorney general will hit right off the top in his opening remarks to lawmakers there. but he'll also talk about the work the department of justice has done during his relatively short tenure. he'll talk about the focus on civil rights. he'll also talk about combatting cyber crime and foreign and domestic terrorism.
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he will touch, according to his opening remarks, on january 6th. and he really will say that he respects and appreciates and stands by the work that prosecutors across the country have done in prosecuting at this point more than 600 defendants who were involved in the capitol insurrection. so the attorney general, though, will likely not comment on this expected criminal referral of steve bannon. we see the attorney general right there. he should be taking questions, giving his opening statement very shortly. but you can bet that the message we'll hear from attorney general garland is what we've heard from his department of justice spokesperson, what we've heard from the u.s. attorney in washington about this steve ban on criminal referral. they have repeatedly said that they will stick to the facts and the law and make an independent decision just completely clear of politics, guys. >> we will be watching for all of that. things set to get under way pretty quickly.
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jessica some schneider, appreciate it. texas has until noon today to respond to the justice department's request urging the supreme court to temporarily block that state's law which bans nearly all abortions. >> the doj says the law is clearly unconstitutional. they're not alone in that. an amazing fact of this whole story is basically roe v. wade is not operating in texas right now since this decision has been made. what is likely to happen here now? because the supreme court really gets a chance to intervene. >> merrick garland has put the supreme court in a place it hates to be, in the center of the spotlight. he's saying block the law now, let these abortions continue while the appeals process plays out. if the supreme court agrees this time, maybe that means there's some sentiment that the doj is going to ultimately prevail here. but garland also made a much bigger ask.
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he said take this case up now, have oral arguments, put it on your docket and you decide on whether or not that's constitutional, because already the court is hearing this mississippi case in december that asks it to overturn roe v. wade. so in a sense, add this to the pile. if the supreme court, jim, and this is so important. if it denies both of those requests, it really sends a signal that maybe there are some of the justices on the supreme court in that mississippi case who are ready to overturn roe because if they overturn roe in that case, the texas case is moot. >> which justice are you watching in particular here, justice or justices? >> well, you've just got to look at the trump nominees and see those three and what they have added to the court since 2017. you know where clarence thomas stands. he's been the only one to come forward and say roe was wrongly decided. the question is how much momentum does that draw. >> wow, this is a big moecment. we know you'll be watching
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closely. still this hour we are live in florida where search crews are on the scene of a nature preserve where brian laundrie's belongings but also we should note unidentified human remains were found yesterday. what the medical examiner is saying and what the fbi is looking for in that new evidence, next. plus house speaker nancy pelosi speaking this hour. will president biden's economic bill be the working class tax cut that has been promised? we're joined by congressman tim ryan. and today the cdc expected to green light moderna and johnson & johnson's booster shots. what that means for when and which second or third shot you may get, later.
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right now search crews are back at a florida nature preserve after finding human remains along with a backpack and a notebook belonging to gabby petito's fiance, brian laundrie. >> this news comes after laundrie's parents went to search the area themselves and actually discovered some of those items. >> it is my understanding that they were followed closely by the two law enforcement personnel. when i say closely, certainly within eye shot. at some point chris locates what's called a dry bag. they looked at the contents of the bag. at that time, law enforcement officers showed them a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also
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nearby and also some distance off the trail. at that point, the laundries were notified that there's also remains near the backpack and they were asked to leave the preserve. >> cnn correspondent nick valencia is live from north port, florida. a remarkable idea of the parents in effect taking part in the search and handling things found in the search. what do we know about where this search stands? >> reporter: yeah, it has been a very active morning outside of the entrance of the carlton reserve. we saw the lee county sheriff go in there along with other law enforcement officials. they told us that later today, they didn't say exactly what time, but later today there will be a statement on camera from officials. we just also put our cnn drone up in the air and saw a handful of local law enforcement as well as what we believe to be an fbi response team inside the reserve. we don't know exactly what they're doing but we can tell
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you we're about two or three miles away from where that grim discovery was made of the partial human remains. those remains, according to the family attorney, in all likelihood and probability belong to brian laundrie. there are a lot of questions this morning as to why the parents were a part of this search yesterday. we're told by the family attorney that they indicated at some point tuesday night to the fbi as well as local law enforcement their intent on coming back to search this area. this park had been closed for weeks to the public and just opened up yesterday. that's why according to the family attorney those parents of brian laundrie decided to come back into this park. it's about a 24,000 acre park that has been scoured by the fbi as well as a handful of agencies on that exhaustive manhunt for brian laundrie. a manhunt that may have come to an end with that grim discovery. but a lot of questions because of the silence of brian laundrie's parents. that silence speaking volumes to gabby petito's parents who say they want answers.
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>> i believe they know probably if not everything, they know most of the information. i would love to just face to face ask why are you doing this. just tell me the truth. >> we want vengeance -- >> and justice. >> -- and justice. and for him to pay for his crimes and to spend it in a prison for the rest of his life. >> reporter: the laundrie family attorney saying that he instructed the laundrie parents not to speak to the media and more information will come out at the appropriate time. but they really are the focus not just for the public but for questions the investigators have as to what happened and where brian laundrie was these last weeks. jim, erica. >> yeah. nick valencia, thanks so much. joining us now to discuss, former senior fbi profiler and former fbi special agent mary
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ellen o'toole. good to see you this morning. as nick pointed out, there are a lot of questions this morning and some of what we've learned and what has transpired in the last 24 hours i think really leaves you scratching your head, just the way that this unfolded. the attorney for the laundries saying last night they went to this area first. it was in his hands happenstance that they stumbled upon these items. based on your experience, is there anything in the information that we've been given in the timeline of events that occurred this week that raises significant questions for you? >> i would say based on my experience in cases and going to crime scenes that the idea of family members participating in a search and then being the ones to actually find the evidence and then actually picking up the evidence or some of it, taking it over to law enforcement, is really quite unusual.
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and the problem with that is that, for example, just picking up one item of evidence and walking over and giving it to a police officer, you've ruined physical evidence on that item. and you don't want to do that whatsoever. so now law enforcement has to go back and take a look at all the items of evidence that they found at that scene. theoretically all that evidence should have been left there at about the same time. so they'll go back and take a look to see and to make sure that everything does look like it's been there for a while. on the other hand, if there are items of evidence that look relatively clean, then they're going to have to take a different direction. >> they'll also be looking at not just the items, but also the remains, which have not yet been ident identified, as we know. but they'll be looking to see if both the remains and the items there date to the same time
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period, correct? >> they will. it will be difficult, because the environment and the an animal -- will have impacted the remains and other items of evidence differently, but they'll still be able to get a sense of how long the human remains were there, how long the physical evidence was there. so that does -- that becomes quite important in a case like this. >> so we're waiting on that positive identification, two-part question. how quickly could we get the identification on those remains? and then number two, do you think we'll also learn the manner of death? >> so the first most important identification is whether or not those are the remains of brian laundrie. and then that should come, depending on the condition of the remains, that could be challenging or it could come relatively quickly. second is the manner of death and that's very important, which
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is going to be suicide, homicide, accidental and so forth. and that may be even -- again, it may be more challenging for the medical examiner because the remains appear to have been out there for some time. and in that area where you have the weather, you have water, you have animals, insects and so forth, they can do a lot of damage to human remains. so depending on what that damage is, identifying the manner of death could take a lot longer. >> there's also in addition to -- we've talked a lot about the dry bag and know about the human remains, but there's also this notebook that was reportedly found, could offer some insight, but it also raises questions of its own, doesn't it? >> it really does, because you have to look at the content. if they can determine what the content is. if they can see what the entries are. if it's a narrative, if it's musings, they still have to confirm that that handwriting is that of brian laundrie.
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you can't just assume that he wrote that. so that would be number one. and then number two, once you make that determination, it has to be considered that if he did make those entries into a notebook, even if it's relative to what he did to gabby or what he's suspected of doing to gabby, that's still self-reported information, which means it's pretty unreliable because he could give his opinion, he could give this is why it happened. i didn't cause it, she caused it. this is what is going on. so i think knowing that he wrote it is the first step. then the second step is what did he write and what perspective has he taken on those entries. >> mary ellen o'toole, great to have your expertise this morning. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead this morning, pfizer announcing some encouraging new efficacy results when it comes to booster shots for its covid vaccine. this as the cdc meeting to potentially approve additional
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right now the cdc's independent vaccine advisory committee is meeting to discuss the fda's authorization of moderna and johnson & johnson booster shots. >> the panel will also discuss this so-called mix and match approach to booster doses. the surgeon general says they're trying to determine how often boosters may be needed. >> what we're going to be continuing to look at over time after people get their boosters is whether there is an increase in breakthrough illness. but i will tell you that it's very possible that three shots might end up being the primary series that lasts for years. it's possible there may be regular boosters that are required, kind of like the flu shot on an annual basis. at this point nobody knows for sure. time will tell. >> time will tell because it's new because we follow the science. dr. sanjay gupta joining us now. as we look at this, the fda has signed off on boosters for
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moderna and johnson & johnson, also allowing this mix and match approach. for folks thinking about getting a booster, what do they need to know this morning? >> well, i think what they have been doing at the fda and we'll hear from the cdc is specifically sort of define who is going to benefit the most from the boosters. the way to think about this is the vaccines work really well but for a percentage of people, even though they have been vaccinated, they can develop severe illness and hospitalization and sadly death. so if you take a look specifically at the criteria that the fda put forth, they define it as people over the age of 65. they say people who are adults but are at risk of severe disease, which by the way is a really large population in this country. people who have heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, moderate asthma, obesity, you're talking 170 million people there. and people at risk of frequent exposures, frontline workers, health care workers, people like
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that. that's going to sound very familiar because that's what they authorize for the pfizer vaccine. six months between the boosters -- between the shots for pfizer and moderna. johnson & johnson is about 15 million in this country received that shot, they also commented on that, which a lot of people have been waiting for basically saying anyone 18 and older can get the johnson & johnson booster and wait at least two months. so that's the little distinction there. mix and matchwise it's very interesting. they say that not only does it appear safe and okay to use a shot other than the one that you received initially, but there might in fact be some benefit to it because you're stimulating slightly different parts of the immune system by taking a different shot. so you really don't need to probably worry about what the second or third shot is that you're getting, if you're getting one of these boosters. just wait at least two months. you want to give enough interval after the johnson & johnson and wait at least six months after the mrna, the pfizer and moderna
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shots. one thing i just want to say quickly, the vast majority of severe illness, hospitalization and death is still very much among the unvaccinated. boosters are important, but when we talk about the next few months, this is an unvaccinated problem primarily. >> i'm glad you made that point. the data is so clear. just one more question on boosters as we move in that direction. pfizer announced its data really just off the charts. 95.6% efficacy against covid, this in a phase three trial. what's the significance of that? >> yeah. i think what this is showing basically is when they got this booster -- and by the way, i think we should call it a third shot for people who are immune compromised and didn't have a significant antibody response in the first place. a booster shot for people who have normal, not weakened immune systems, so just in terms of the terminology. what they did is basically studied 10,000 people. some of them got the booster in this case, some got a placebo.
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and what they foundi was the chance of developing a breakthrough infection with any kind of symptoms at all, even mild symptoms, was about -- they had about 95, as you said, percent protection against that. so that's the sort of case that they're making for the booster shot. again, the vaccines as they stand right now work really well against severe disease. this was 95% or 96% protection against any symptoms at all. >> wow, that's remarkable. well, follow the data. the data appears to be good. dr. sanjay gupta, thanks so much. >> you got it, thank you. coming up next, we do expect to hear from house speaker nancy pelosi any moment. that's the podium there live on the hill. how realistic is it to get moderate democrats on board with the president's plan this week? we'll speak with democratic congressman, tim ryan.
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just minutes from now we do expect to hear from house speaker nancy pelosi right there at that podium as negotiations continue among democrats under president biden's social safety net package. and some signs it may be reaching the finish line. this comes as the president ramping up his public push for what is now a scaled-back spending plan, expected to make a big public sales pitch tonight in a cnn town hall. joining me to discuss is democratic congressman tim ryan of ohio. congressman, thanks so much for taking the time this morning. >> always good to be with you. >> all right. we've been here before where folks have talked about a
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deadline, but we are starting to hear coalescing around something in the next 48 hours. steny hoyer says he believes that's possible. jon tester believes it will be done by friday. can you state confidently in your view the democrats will at least have a framework deal by the end of this week? >> i wouldn't say confidently, but cautiously optimistic that things are coming together. look, this is going to be an impactful thing for working families. i mean this is huge. i think this should have been done 30 or 40 years ago. you're talking about a huge tax cut for families, middle class families, working class families who go out there and do everything right. you're talking about universal preschool. you're talking about community college. it's to be determined what's in there, but what we're trying to do is put money in the pockets of people and get this country ready to outcompete china. that's what's at stake here so we've got to get this thing
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done. >> you just describe it this bill in a way there that is frankly not been branded that way, right? it's been talked about based on the top line figure, $3.5 trillion, now around $2 trillion as a big budget deal, et cetera. not as a tax cut with the child tax credit, not as the expansion of universal pre-k. you ran for president in 2016 arguing that democrats have to run on the economy, have to have an economic message. have they failed in 2020, i could say. has your party failed to do so effectively? >> i think a lot of the conversations have gotten lost in the number and the process. we've got to focus on how this is going to help people. in my mind this is about putting money in people's pockets and outcompeting china, period, that's it. you go through all of the items in there, again, paid family leave, capping child care expenses, investing in education, the new economy so that we can manufacture and make
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things again here like electric vehicles, batteries, charging stations, wind, solar. we can completely resuscitate the manufacturing base and resuscitate the middle class with this bill and help families again doing everything right. and to not talk about it in that way i think is a mistake because it sells itself. whether you're democrat, republican, independent, people need help. they need broadband, they need lower child care costs, they need early childhood education and that's what we're doing here, delivering for them. once we get it passed, then we should go out and be very clear on how we talk about it. >> one of the latest significant hurdles from democratic senator kyrsten sinema who apparently opposes tax increases either on corporations or on high earners. democrats discussing other ways to fund the bill. honestly, is there a way without fuzzy math to pay for this, some $2 trillion, without raising some taxes?
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>> no. you know, look, ceo pay from 1970 until today has gone up 1,300%. that is 1,300%. huge concentration of wealth. we just saw that the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the country own 90% of the stocks in the country. i mean there's been this huge concentration of wealth. so i think it's bad economics and it's immoral not to ask those people to pay more in taxes. it won't affect their life one iota. and then we're going to help seniors pay for their glasses on the medicare program or pay for their hearing aids or make sure that a two-parent family where they're both working, they don't have to pay egregious amounts of money to take care of their kids or that if you get sick, you can have paid family leave. jim, this is -- this is a no-brainer, an absolute no-brainer. ask those ceos who have gotten
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1,300% pay increase in the last 30 or 40 or 50 years to help middle class families get some breathing room. it's a no-brainer, we've got to pass this and get it done. >> sadly not enough for democratic senators, which you need. one of the biggest pullbacks right now is on the child tax credit. you said making it permanent is a no-brainer. now they're talking about a one-year extension and joe manchin may insist on a work requirement for it. if that's the best you can get would you vote on a budget that just has a one-year extension with a work requirement? >> i'm not going to speculate. but an extension of the first middle class, working class tax cut in decades is something that's very important for us to keep and to extend. i want to make it permanent, but again, nobody gets everything they want so we'll see what the extension is and i think it's important because it's putting money in millions of people's pockets. it's lifting kids out of poverty.
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again, we need to be cutting taxes for working people and asking the wealthiest to pay more. of course we want everybody to be out working. if you're an able-bodied american, you need to be out there working hard and contributing to the economy. look, we've got this huge competition against china. we can't have everybody on the sidelines, we've got to have everybody in the game wearing that team usa jersey ready to rock and roll. >> congressman tim ryan, also candidate for candidate in your home state in the next cycle. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, jim. still ahead, the former minneapolis police officer convicted of killing a woman who called 911 for help back in court this hour and was just resentenced. those details, next. yeah, it's wireless with unlimited data and if you join a group it's as low as $25/mo. just get together and save! we look goooood! visible. wireless that gets better with friends.
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♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music)
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♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪ house speaker nancy pelosi, a live update on budget negotiations. let's listen in. >> taking us to nearly universal coverage in our country. another bucket is the family care piece of that, children learning, parents earning, especially moms, but dads too who have responsibilities in the home. with the child tax credit, child care/universal pre-k, they go together. home health care, paid family medical leave, workplace
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development and housing, to name a few of the aspects of that. and, again, very important to our children. these are jobs issues. health and jobs. family issues and jobs. and now climate, helping achieve the president's vision to cut emissions in half by 2030, advancing environmental justice. that's a very important part of all of this for the president, justice. and creating good paying, clean energy jobs. so it's about the health of our children, the air they breathe, the water they drink. it's about jobs, creating good paying, green jobs to make us preeminent in the world and it's about a security issue as our experts, our security experts tell us. competition for habitat and resources in time of drought and the rest and the migration it contributes to.
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other natural disasters. it's a national security issue and of course always a moral issue to pass this plan in the best possible way on to future generations. children understand that much better than some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle in fact. so this will build back better, achieves a better future for workers, their families and children, creating good-paying jobs, giving a tax cut, a big tax cut to the middle class, lowering costs for families and making the wealthiest -- the wealthiest and corporations pay their fair share. so this legislation will be paid for. in fact it may be more than paid for. again, it's transformative, it's historic, it's life changing, and it will pass soon. again, everything that the congressional democrats do is our title for the people, but sadly senate republicans
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continue to stand in the way. yesterday, yesterday was such a sad day. senate republicans voted to aid and abet the most dangerous campaign of voter suppression since jim crow as they blocked a vote on the freedom to vote act, hurting their own constituents and dishonoring the sanctity of the vote in our constitution. the stakes could not be higher. state lawmakers have introduced 425 voter suppression bills in 49 states in the 2021 sessions alone. a number of them have become law. and they must be overturned and this legislation would do that. it would not only end the voter suppression laws but end their vote nullification laws. they're there to overturn the results of an election. really? house democrats have passed
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hr-1, which is now the bill that i mentioned in the senate, the freedom to vote act as modified in the senate. it's a good bill. hr-4, the john lewis voting rights act. and today when i leave here, i'll go out this door and go to the tenth anniversary of emma k. memorial dedication. ten years it's been. imagine, martin luther king was 58 years ago, nearly 60 years ago when he stood near that place and talked about justice and democracy and the beautiful speech "i had a dream" speech and the fierce urgency of now. now martin luther king is there on the mall, as john lewis called it, america's front yard, with washington and lincoln and jefferson. presidents of the united states and reverend martin luther king. so we'll go down there honoring dr. king of course, being
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inspired by his work and words to protect the ballot. meanwhile, here on the hill the select committee on january 6th continues its work. this week unanimously on a bipartisan basis voting to hold one of the past president's advisers to contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoena. the committee is seeking information from bannon that is central to the investigative and legislative purpose, to investigate the january 6th domestic terrorist attack that was intended to interfere with the peaceful constitutional transfer of power. and then see what legislation is necessary that springs from that. according to published reports, bannon had specific knowledge about the events of january 6th before they occurred and had multiple roles relevant to the
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attack and very outspoken about it. today on the house -- today on the floor, the house will vote to approve this contempt resolution led by the committee to find the truth. okay. so everything that, again, we've got the -- everything the congressional -- the sanctity of the vote, the assault on the constitution and meeting the needs of the people, we have a busy, busy few days here. any questions? >> madam speaker, on bannon, why is it important that republicans vote to hold him in contempt? >> because they take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the united states. the genius of our constitution and of our founders was the separation of power, checks and balances. if in fact you want to negate the ability of one check of another branch of government over another, then you are
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undermining the constitution. so this goes beyond bannon in terms of its importance and you would think that if they take an oath to protect and defend the constitution, they would vote for the system of checks and balances. >> madam speaker, do you -- i'm curious if you think a package like this can be completed without rate increases, tax rate increases? >> we changed the subject? >> yes. >> well, that's one of the options, that's for sure. the last couple of days just to answer your question, the last couple of days we've come to narrowing what the possibilities are as we see what we need to cover because the bill will be paid for. and so what are the choices that will be made. so we met yesterday morning to narrow what needs to be done and the chairman of the finance committee, mr. wyden, chairman of ways and means committee, mr.

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