tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 28, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
morris becoming altruia. didn't change much. you can follow me, tweet the show. if you ever miss an episode, you know what you can do? listen to the lead wherever you get your podcasts. our coverage continues with mr. wolf blitzer who's live from rome. >> happening now, breaking news. president biden is on his way here to rome for a high stakes global talks at a watershed moment for his domestic agenda, his presidency and party. he unveiled a framework for his scaled back spending bill before his departure and warned fellow democrats of the consequences if they don't get on board. tonight, speaker pelosi is f
pleading with her caucus to not ex embarrass the president. but progressives are still balking. this hour, i'll talk with a major player in all this. the top house progressive represen representative jayapal. i'm wolf blitzer at the vatican and you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we have spectacular views of the vatican and rome as we await president biden's arrival. he will turn his attention to global affairs as his domestic agenda clearly hangs in the balance back home. tonight, democrats are urgently huddling on capitol hill. they're reviewing the text of the new spending bill framework and they're trying to figure out
how to move forward. our senior white house correspondent is joining us right now. he's here in rome covering this summit. you know, phil, the president clearly wanted to show up here with a win on his agenda. it hasn't happened yet. >> it hasn't. the president starting his day going up to capitol hill making an urgent pitch to house democrats that the stakes were enormous. the time was now. he wanted votes on at least one piece of his package. the $1.2 trillion bill. he's going to land here without those votes and without a clear path forward. >> i know we have an historic economic framework. >> tonight, president biden rolling the dice on his entire presidency. >> no one got everything they wanted including me. but that's what compromise is. >> with no sign yet it's a bet that will pay off. >> there are too many members for the bill to pass. too many no votes to pass today. >> in a push to jump-start his
agenda, biden traveling to capitol hill this morning to lay out the key elements of a $1.75 trillion economic and climate package. not hedging on his view of the stakes of the moment as he prepared to travel to europe for two summits with world leaders. biden according to sources in the room telling democrats it's not quote, hyperbole to say that the house and senate majorities and my presence will be determined by what happens in the next week. speaker nancy pelosi telling democrats she planned to hold a a vote on biden's infrastructure package today. >> let's do it in a timely fashion. let's not just keep having postponements and leaving any doubt as to when this will happen. >> a challenge to progressives who had refused to support that bill until the economic and climate package is not just an outline, but a full proposal. >> our members are still in the same position they were.
they need to see legislation and they need to see it passed. >> biden publicly and privately, urging democrats to focus on what's in the proposal. not what's been left out or the mechanics. >> any single element of this framework would be viewed as a fundamental view in america. taken together, they're truly k consequential. >> it includes hundreds of billions of dollars. >> this framework also makes the most significant investment to deal with the climate address is ever, ever happened. >> but it's a proposal that drops some of the most coveted pieces of biden's agenda from paid family and medical leave to medicare expansion for vision and dental coverage to free community college and a proposal to lower prescription drug prices. >> i know it's hard. i know how deeply people feel about the things they fight for. >> all in an effort to secure
the support of joe manchin of west virginia and kirsten sinema of arizona. two is that rights who after days on end of negotiations still haven't explicitly endorsed the framework. when biden borden air force one for rome without a clear path forward and pelosi in focus. >> for those who said i want to see text, the text is there. for you to review, for you to complain about, for you to add to. for whatever it is and we'll see what consensus emerges from that. >> and wolf, at this point, the consensus just simply hasn't emerged. just a short while ago, the caucus putting out a statement saying members of our caucus will not vote for the bill would the build back better act. we'll work immediately to finalize both pieces of legislation together. no question negotiations and
legislative drafting accelerated today deal votes most certainly not going to happen. >> the president and speaker wanted that vote today. not going to happen. >> not right now. >> stay with us. i want to bring in our chief national security correspondent. he's here with us at the vatican. also as well, dana bash and our senior political commentator, david axelrod. the president really wanted this deal. he may still get it at some point, but it's disappointing he left washington without it in hand. >> no question, the president himself acknowledged to lawmakers that his credibility was on the line here. to be able to come to the g-20 with something to deliver. that's not just about his standing at home, there's a key piece of this, right? half a trillion dollars in climate initiatives. climate is the number one agenda here at g-20, but at the top in scotland next week for the u.n. climate summit, those measures essential for the u.s. to meet
its commitments going forward. but there's a larger picture issue here, which is how much should the world take the u.s. at its word? on many of these commitments. obama got the u.s. in the paris climate accord. what does the next president do? the iran nuclear deal. obama got the country in. trump got them out. biden tried to get back in. that's a lasting problem. it's something that biden will not solve in this summit, but it's lasting challenge for the u.s. going forward. >> enormous challenges unfolding. >> dana, progressives in the house, they're on board with the spending plan even though democrats had to make major cuts like paid family leave. it's a major step forward, but they're still demanding a firm commitment from the senate. how do democrats bring this home? >> well, it's not going to happen this week and that is news that is just coming in.
according to our capitol hill team, and i just confirmed with a source in the house of representatives they are going to take a vote to extend the highway funding highway transportation funding, which was going to run out on halloween, which is part of the reason why the house speaker was trying to rush the hard infrastructure bill to get this done. that means that there will be no more votes this week. what that really means is that the push that the president gave, but much more importantly, the house speaker made in front of the president to the entire house caucus this morning, was not successful. she's gotten them closer, but she didn't get them where she wanted them. and kind of ended up where we started the day here in washington, which is the president of the united states making a really remarkable appeal that phil was talking
about to his fellow democrats saying my presidency is on the line. please get this done. the house speaker taking it a step further saying i want to do this today. i will do this today. and it's not happening because the progressives are on board with the substance. that was a big move today, but not on board with the process because of the trust deficit within the party still. and across in the senate. >> you know, and david, i want to pick up on the trust factor. some house democrats, the progressives, simply don't trust senators manchin and sinema. how much of an obstacle is that lack of trust among democrats and is there anything the president can do about it? >> look, i think he's trying. he's been trying to broker this for six weeks and he tried to force the issue today. i don't have any doubt that this is a major obstacle. they need, they're in principle on board with this framework, the president and despite all the sacrifices that were involved in that compromise, but they want to hear manchin and
sinema say they're on board, too. they don't want to vote for, they don't want to lose their leverage then find out that manchin and sinema aren't on board. so until they come on board, this will they bless this deal, until they say yes, we're in, i think it's going to be very hard to move forward and win the votes of those 50 progressive legislators. and just on your point with jim, wo wolf, this morning when the speaker spoke to the delegation, her caucus, she said we want to make sure that when the president lands in europe that people know this is a functioning government. well, that's not going to happen so that is a loss. i think they'll get there, but this is a loss. >> certainly is. it's an embarrassment at least right now. you can get them to agree in the next few days, they can certainly recover. jim, the president says no one gets everything they wanted including me. he's trying to frame this as a
compromise rather than a failure. >> no question. we talk about the lack of trust and compromise between democrats and republicans. this is a friendly fire issue within the democratic party. they cannot get at least to this point, the compromise necessary to get this over the finish line was based in part on a lack of trust within the party. they don't trust the word of sinema or manchin as to what they're going to agree to. more broadly to david's point, that's a soft power issue for the u.s. and biden has articulated that to say part of the battle now is between functioning western democracies and authoritarianism of china or russia and part of that battle involves the u.s. showing it can handle big problems. >> we're getting word that the house has now officially delayed until next week the vote on this bipartisan infrastructure bill. the speaker, the president, they wanted that vote today. $1.2 trillion in traditional
infrastructure, roads, bridge, airports and now it's been delayed until next week. monday and tuesday, he's going to be in k scotland. we'll be coming back to washington on wednesday. this is a big disappointment for the president. >> making the decision to send the president to clear and make clear what he wanted and then not getting any of that, it makes clear that the president and i think in this case, too, the speaker don't necessarily have the leverage or the juice that maybe they thought they did and it almost feels like a repeat of last month where they decided we're going to make a run at this and we think we can muscle the progressives into where they want them to be and once again, the progressives showed a willingness to use their leverage and make clear until we get what we want, we're not moving forward. there's a belief inside the white house they are going to get there, but they are missing every deadline they set. >> and dana, you covered capitol hill for a long time.
spoker she never covers a vote she was going to lose. that's why she didn't bring it up today. she knew she was going to lose. >> that's right and why when we began talking, this was remarkable news i had and we talked about the fact there were no more votes this week, which meant this wasn't going to happen. but also to david's point, the idea that the house speaker and the president raised the stakes this morning, they raised the stakes. our colleague, gloria borger, called it a high wire act this morning and it is so true. they put, they framed this, i mee mean it was the reality they were facing, but they really framed this as you have to do this for your president. you have to do this for the country to look like it can actually govern for the party, but also internationally, and it didn't work. and that says a lot about the
state of the party and the state of the sort of this dysfunction within the leadership. >> yeah, clear embarrassment for the president as he's about to land here in rome. guys, thank you very much. just ahead, i'll speak with one of the most influential players in these negotiations on the biden agenda. about the state of play, the congressional progressive caucus chair, there you see her, she's? statutory hall standing by. we've got lots to discuss. the president's about to land in rome. a dramatic moment for the president of the united states. stand by. this... is the planning effect. this is how it feels to know you have a wealth plan that covers everything that's important to you. this is what it's like to have a dedicated fidelity advisor looking at your full financial picture. making sure you have the right balance of risk and reward. and helping you plan for future generations.
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we're back with our live coverage. we're reporting live from the vatican. we're awaiting president biden's arrival in rome for truly critical talks with world leaders. we're also following breaking news on the biden domestic agenda. the house has just delayed a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill vowing to progressive opposition hours after the president unveiled a new spending bill framework. we're joined by the congressional progressive caucus chair, representative pramila jayapal. representative, thank you so much for joining us. i want to get your reaction to the breaking news. the house as you know just delayed the infrastructure vote. tell us for how long the president and the speaker really wanted this vote today burt it didn't happen. >> woit's great to see you. the president was fantastic in front of the caucus today. what he said is that he wants votes on both bills and this next week is going to be very consequential. he did not actually ask for a
vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. i know that's something the speaker wanted. i have signalled for days we didn't have the votes for the bipartisan bill without the other bill. the build back better act, which has 85% of the president's agenda that we really care deeply about. we care about the bipartisan bill as well, but our members have been saying for months that these two bills need to be, need to go together and that we need to have the legislative text. now what is really fantastic news and is a testament to the president's speech before the caucus today is that we got an overwhelming endorsement of the biden framework that was proposed today for the build back better act. this is really significant because as you know and as you've been reporting, there are many things in there that we did not get. i will just mention a couple of things and i know people are still working on seeing what can be done. but even without these things, the progressive caucus endorsed
the framework that was put forward and i think that is a really significant achievement for the president to go and say he was able to get everybody on board for this framework. he believes it can pass in the senate. it will pass in the house. we just need to know look at the text, which also significant achievement came out today. we are looking at that text. we will go through it. we will make sure that again, that we are all together and then we will vote those two bills together and the president will be able to have the victory that he deserves for being a gl negotiator in chief, bringing all parts of the party together, but most importantly, we will deliver for the american people the transformative changes that he and all of us ran on that will transform people's lives. >> all right. how much longer is this going to take you think? >> i think it's going to be quick. you know, i think the text is already there and this is what we were always saying. don't rush this and we tried to
say that to people. don't rush this. don't put another arbitrary timeline on here. give us the text and let us get through it. let us make sure that everybody is on board and we will pass both the bills together. so we have the text and i think it's going to be quick here for us to pass both these bills through the house. >> i just want you briefly to explain, congresswoman, why not simply go ahead and approve the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package right now. get that out of the way and then focus in on the second piece of legislation? why do they have to be done together? >> well, as you know, wolf, this has been a difficult negotiation. it wasn't until the progressive caucus said we need both of these bills. we will vote for the infrastructure bill, but we need to build back better bill to go forward that we actually finally started having negotiations with the two senators that hadn't been on board with the original
$3.5 trillion package. now we have been incredibly productive allies at the table, progressives, and we have been in these conversations with both of those senators. i spent time with senator manchin. i had another conversation, very productive conversation today with senator sinema. we will get there, but we have consistently said that we need to have both of these because it wasn't until we really, you know, did what we did, that all of these priorities of the president, the president's agenda, are on the table because of progressives standing up and saying we're not going to leave anyone behind. so let us get through. i said it's not about trust. it's about verify. we're beyond trust. we're to verify and at the end of the day, just think about what the president, first of all, can talk about right now. he can talk about this framework and the fact that progressives have endorsed it. he believes he can get 50 votes
in the senate for it. he can talk about that and wented to send him off with that endorsement, but we need to have both these bills and we're working on getting the agreement very quickly so we can pass both of them through the house. >> very quickly before i let you go, congresswoman, are you disappointed? i'm sure the president and white house team, they're d disappointed, that the president of the united states is coming here to rome without a deal. >> well, look. i think all of us are disappointed in some different ways. we support the president and his leadership and he can go to rome with a significant investment in climate for the build back better act. frankly, our endorsement of the build back better act today is something that he can really take with him that is the actual work that will be done on climate. i mean, look, the infrastructure bill is great, but in truth, to go there to the g-20 where the only country that is 40th on the
list of rich countries on childcare is the united states. the only country that can lead on climate emissions with a significant investment in climate is through the build back better act. not through the infrastructure bill. not that there's not some good things in there. but let's be clear what we're talking about and in my mind, this is phenomenal progress we've made in just three weeks. just three weeks. because the progressive caucus was bold. because allies across the democratic caucus, 96% of us agreed, but we understood that in a democracy, it can get a little messy sometimes and you do need every single vote in these slim margins. >> especially in the senate where there's 50 republicans and 50 democrats. representative pramila jayapal, as usual, thanks for joining us on this very, very busy day. coming up, a u.s. ascillian
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we built the recycling system from the ground up, helping san francisco become the first city in the country to have a universal recycling and composting program for residents and businesses. but it all starts with you. let's keep making a differene together. we're live here tonight in vatican city where president biden will meet with pope francis tomorrow just ahead of the high stakes talks with g-20 leaders and a major climate summit. let's get more. joining us now, nic robertson and delia gallagher.
the president has really got a lot on his plate with these two major summits here in rome then scotland on climate. give us a little sense of what's going on. >> well, he's going to also be meeting while he's here one-on-one with the french president to try to sort of talk down the diplomatic rift that opened up when the united states and the uk decided to sell nuclear submarines to australia and replace froance. the big issue is going to be the covid agenda. trying to make sure the poorer nations of the world, the developing part of the world, gets access to covid vaccines. that's a sensitive issue. there are many people out there saying look, you rich nations, g-20, you're talking about giving boosters, third shots, when there are countries out there that don't have the vaccine yet, aren't getting enough of it and unless you help them level up, the economy of the world, which is what these leaders are meeting about, is going to suffer. so that will be a big issue.
parity and equality for women in the workplace. helping small and medium businesses is going to be on the agenda and the president of course is going to be talking about the issue of supply chains. so there's a, there are very big issues out there on the table for all of them, but there's also going to be interesting one-on-ones. let's watch what happens with macron and boris johnson. a british fishing vessel. >> there's a lot going on right now. and delia, what do you expect to see when president biden meets tomorrow behind us at the vatican? we're here at the vatican right now. >> we'll see them, actually. we'll see the president's convoy drive up right here behind us. he goes into the courtyard of the vatican. he's greeted by the head of the papel and taken into the library
where the pope will be waiting and greet him. a few words there, then it's closed doors. generally these meetings last between 20 to 50 minutes then the pope will meet the first lady, the entourage and there's an exchange of gifts. in terms of substance, this is a meeting happening on the eve of the g-20. a cop 26. those are both major international meetings that pope francis has spent a large part of his pontiffcate advocating for those issues. you can bet climate and the poor and vaccines are top of the agenda for this meeting. and there's also personal element, wolf. we always look for that. the rapport between the two. they have met before. president biden has spoken a admiringly of the pope. that's another element we look for when we see the two meeting. >> going to be busy here
tomorrow covering. these are historic meetings that are about to unfold. thank you very, very much. let's continue the discussion with the former national security official, fiona hill. she's also the author of a new book, there is nothing for you here, finding opportunity in the 21st century. thank you so much for joining us. first of all, what do you read into the decision by putin, xi, to skip these summits? they're not going to be here physically. is that a positive moment for president biden to take advantage of or is it a missed opportunity? >> well, it could be a bit of both there. one of the reasons that putin is in rome is because he's got a covid crisis on his hands in moscow. just in the last couple of weeks, the case load in russia has increased far beyond what it has been throughout the entire pandemic. russia only has 30% of its population that's vaccinated at
this stage. they've obviously been spreading around a lot of anti-vaxx propaganda and it's coming home to roost. people in russia don't trust the government. they don't trust the vaccines. you've got the highest mortality rate as well as the highest infektivity rate. that actually could be an opportunity for president biden and for others to then speak out and say look, we need more work here. we should be working together to pushback disinformation in our own societies. as well as reach out to the rest of the world as the rich countries to try to push forward on global vaccination. this is an opportunity for leadership there. especially you know given the fact that president xi is also absent because in china itself, it is also still grappling with the affects of covid. this could be an opportunity to step forward and say look, this is what we need to do now.
>> as you know, some of the allies were caught off guard by president biden's withdrawal from afghanistan and his snub of the french over the submarine deal. how did the president mend those relationships while juggling media concerns from adversaries? >> i think part of this is communications. and also, showing that we have the band width to engage with or allies. part of the problem for the united states and for any new president coming in, we get rid of all the continuity in terms of personnel and it's like we start with a blank slate. even though we have seasoned political figures around biden who have joined him in his cabinet and also in his administration. but we have to then move very quickly to take opportunity of these face-to-face meetings and to put these relationships on to a different footing. so i think as everybody's been saying here, that meeting between biden and macron is going to be critical to show
that they can get over this what is a very big bump in the road and be able to establish communications again and build on you know, close relationships with their teams. >> the stakes clearly, clearly are enormous. thank you so much for joining us. we'll continue this conversation with you down the road. there's more breaking news we're following here in "the situation room." a surprise move by the house january 6th committee. it's just granted postponements to two key trump allies. we're live here in vatican city as we await president biden's arrival for a truly high stakes trip.
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former president trump have been granted postponements by the house select committee investigating the capitol insurrection. ryan nobles is working the story for us. ryan, what are you picking up on capitol hill where you are? >> yeah, that's right, wolf. these are two key witnesses that the committee considers very important to their investigation. dan scavino, the former deputy white house chief of staff has been granted a short postponement in answering his subpoena as has jeffrey clark, the former doj official who was scheduled to be here on capitol hill tomorrow for a deposition. he was forced to change lawyers and as a result, the committee has granted him a postponement. this as the committee is running into roadblocks trying to get some sort of cooperation from the former white house chief of staff, mark meadows. tonight, the january 6 select committee is losing patience, warning one of president trump's
closest advisers that it is time to start cooperating with their investigation. former white house chief of staff, mark meadows, was subpoenaed more than a month ago. he was given a short postponement because his attorneys had been engaging with the committee. however, cnn has learned the negotiations have yet to produce results and now the committee is considering next steps. our patience isn't unlimited and engagement needs to become cooperation very soon, a house select committee source told cnn, calling meadows a key witness in the investigation. >> if we get to a point where we feel that they are trying to obstruct, we will take the necessary actions and move forward. >> and several select committee members have made it clear. criminal contempt proceedings, an option they've already used to try to compel steve bannon to testify, is an option for meadows as well. >> the committee's resolved that we're going to hear from everybody that we've subpoenaed to come in. if you don't come in, then you're going to be facing the
kinds of sanctions that bannon is facing. >> meanwhile, the testimony of another important witness is up in the air. >> i'm jeff clark. >> jeffrey clark, a doj official who was pedaling falsehoods, was scheduled to appear for a deposition tomorrow, but cnn has learned that clark and his attorney are no longer working together and the committee has now postponed his interview as a result of his change in counsel. the committee considers clark and his role of high importance. >> clark had a lot to do with this plan for january 6th and he also was apparently making a play to become the attorney general, which caused a huge number of lawyers to say they would resign immediately so we'd get something like the saturday night massacre. >> and while the committee moves ahead, they are still waiting to see how the department of justice will handle their
criminal contempt referral of steve ban. the doj has yet to say how they'll move forward. on friday, there are also depositions scheduled with amy and kylie kremer. they were all organizers of the rallies that took place on january 6th. at this point, the committee says to expect those depositions to take place. wolf. >> all right, ryan. thank you very much. ryan nobles on capitol hill. appreciate it very much. coming up, we're getting a new glimpse of alec baldwin as authorities are narrowing their focus in the investigation of the fatal shooting on the set of his movie. "the situation room" live from the vatican continues in just a moment. ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark.
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coverage of president biden's trip here to rome. just ahead of his landing here. he's about to land in just a little while. right now we have new developments in the investigation of the fatal shooting on the set of an alec baldwin movie. stephanie elam has the details. >> reporter: tonight the investigation into the fatal shooting on the setting of "rust." >> three people handled the firearm prior to the death of halyna hutchins. those people will be interviewed. they're the focus of the investigation. >> reporter: actor alec baldwin who fired the gun that killed
the film's cinematographer during that rehearsal and armorer hannah reed, all on the set. >> that's the million dollar question. how the live round ended up in the revolver. >> reporter: an affidavit for the prop truck revealed that assistant director halls acknowledged he didn't fully check the firearm, saying he could only remember seeing three rounds. >> we'll continue the investigation. we would like to do some follow up interviews with mr. halls and get some clarification. >> reporter: the warrant also shows that reed told
investigators no live ammo was kept onset. >> that was a live round that killed ms. hutchins, so that's not an accurate statement. >> reporter: according to a previous person who worked with reed, said she's handled live rounds onset. the actions of halls and reed are key to investigators determining why and how live rounds were present and whether anyone will ultimately face criminal charges. >> can we get to that bar of somehow proving that reckless standard? it's just simply far too early to say. >> reporter: the sheriff also noted that there were some 90 to 100 people on the entire set at the time of the shooting. they have plenty of more interviews to do. wolf? >> stephanie, thanks very much.
cnn's exclusive interview with taiwan's president who confirmed a small number of u.s. troops are on the island helping to train troops. she spoke with will wiply. will, are tensions between the u.s. and china higher tonight after your interview? >> reporter: i believe they are, wolf. the chinese foreign minister ind put out a harshly worded statement to our report. they say the issue of taiwan independence is a dead end. china still claims taiwan, an island with its own government for 70 years. china and the chinese president said they'll reunify with taiwan by force if necessary. we learned that u.s. troops, we don't know if they're army or marines, military members are on
the ground in taipei training the taiwanese military. that was confirmed by president tsai ing-wen. he said this. >> does this support include sending u.s. service members to train taiwanese chtroops? >> yes. we have a wide-range of cooperation with the u.s. increasing or defense capability. >> how many u.s. service members are deployed taiwan? >> not as many as people thought. >> reporter: wolf, we have looked at the department of defense records. it seems as if the official number is around 32. you're talking about small numbers of u.s. forces helping to train the taiwanese to defend
themselves against the mainland. if there were an escalation, the president telling me it's not to time for taiwan to back down, but to be resilient and strong. >> thank you very much, will. excellent reporting. thanks very much for watching. i'll be back tomorrow for our special coverage from rome. erin burnett, right now. out front next biden's presidency at a pivotal moment. missing his own deadline to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. where does his agenda stand? the committee investigating january 6th growing impatient with mark meadows and considering whether to hold trump's former white house chief