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tv   White House Senior Adviser Discusses Bidens Agenda  CSPAN  July 2, 2021 10:03am-10:28am EDT

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how many calls he has listened to. answer? a lot. we are going to miss his professionalism, good-natured, warm personality and all that he is brought over the years for the last four decades. on behalf of all of us at c-span, we wish you the all of the best in your next chapter. thank you so much for contributing to the c-span mission. that's washington journal. we are back tomorrow morning. check out all of our coverage on the web at c-span.org. up next, a playbook conversation with anita dunn. that's alive on c-span. -- that's live on c-span. >> we heard that jobs were created anita dunn: yesterday --
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anita dunn: revising it upward from 3.7 to 7.4% for 2021. the highest gpe -- gdp. we feel there are a few things that were important for this morning's report. the president's economic plan is working. it is clear that it's working. we have a record number of new jobs being created. we have economic growth projected to be the highest and nearly 40 years. we have wages increasing. the president believes americans , working families need arrays. employers are paying more. workers are getting more which is a good thing for this economy.
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we feel that this gives us added momentum. eight-year investments to continue the growth and to be competitive internationally. host: let's -- >> let's dive back into the build back better agenda. now that you've gotten this framework, you had to make some choices when you are negotiating with the republicans and democrats on this. what to take from the american jobs plan. what are the highest priorities from the original american jobs plan that did not make it into the bipartisan bill that you wanted to see in the reconciliation bill? anita dunn: the president has
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been clear. he sees this as to bill process. items from his jobs plan that did not make it into the bipartisan infrastructure bill. i would say that the clean energy tax credit. this is a critical piece of his clean energy proposal package that he rolled out a year ago. these are not new issues or new proposals. the housing pieces are also critically important. it is no secret that this country has had the housing crisis. those investments are ones that are a big priority.
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the care economy are also no secret to anyone who has tried to find help for an adult disabled child, for their elderly parents. there aren't enough home health care workers in this country. the president also believes they should be paid more. those pieces amongst others, are also ones he sees is critically important. he believes both bills should get to his desk. he intends to sign both bills. economic agenda is what we needed to position this country were growth in the future and to compete economically around the globe. ryan lizzo: one thing when you are negotiating the infrastructure bill and you had priorities to push. you had to traps that you had --
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was there anything you didn't put in or didn't ask for in the bipartisan bill because you couldn't get as much as you wanted and you said you know what? that's better done in the reconciliation bill. is there an example of anything like that to give us a flavor of how you solved the jigsaw vogel -- jigsaw puzzle of these bills? anita dunn: bipartisan negotiations around the infrastructure plan that the questions were discussed a great deal. i can't pick out one thing that falls into that category. the republican and democrats who began those discussions among
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themselves initially on capitol hill came in with a fairly good idea of what they felt the scope of this should be. we did push on a few things, but at the end of the day it was always our clear communication and a clear understanding that what didn't make it in that first package, we were going to push very hard for the second package that we don't see this as one or the other. always saw this as a dual track process. it's why when the president rolled out his economic agenda, we did it in two pieces. that was all part of that bill back better agenda that the president released to the american public your ago and said these are my priorities. this is how we are going to build a better economy for everybody, one that builds from the middle out and bottom up as opposed to the top down. have you heard that line before?
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ryan lizza: one question on the bipartisan bill. there's a lot of budget aspect -- experts who are looking at it and saying is that really going to add up? the cbo will weigh in on this. you remember 2009 and how the cbo affected the writing of the affordable care act? i know it drove the white house crazy. what happens if the cbo says it doesn't add up to the spending in the bipartisan framework? anita dunn: the bipartisan group of united states senators put together and they feel comfortable, is going to be enough to pay for this. let me point out infrastructure
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and a lot of the expenditures are traditional investments. if you are company, you would be taking this off of your annual books and been it into your capital budget. these are long-term investments. they are not stimulus. the ones that were agreed upon and the context of the larger plan. i think the group of senators and the president felt confident. ryan lizza: let's talk a little bit about the bill. there's a big difference right now between what the president has proposed and what the senate budget committee led by bernie sanders is writing. probably the biggest difference is over the medicare provisions that sanders wants to put in. both an expansion of
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prescription drugs reform and reducing the eligibility age of medicare. what is the white house position on that whole basket of medicare provisions that was not originally proposed? anita dunn: the president has been clear that he supports giving medicare the authority and power to negotiate drug prices. he also supports the expansion of medicare benefits to cover hearing aids, eyeglasses and other things and dental. i was think about that. and lowering the age. that proposal comes out of the proposal developed out of the unity task forces. the biden campaign and the other
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campaign came together. he said he supported those things. there is no argument here. how reconciliation is put together something that chairman sanders, the leadership, other leaders will be heavily involved in. we will all be talking about what priorities are and how we pay for it. ryan lizza: that is not a redline. that is negotiating. that's not saying don't do that -- don't do medicare in this bill and drawing a line in the sand. anita dunn: he's been very clear that he supports them. he ate -- he supports expanded benefits, lowering the age to 60. he said so in his budget message to congress. ryan lizza: once the bipartisan bill started moving, the white house did lay down some
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redlines. i'm wondering if there is a number that the white house has on the overall cost of the reconciliation bill. some members of congress have already started to put down their markers. senator manchin has said he does not want to go higher than 2 million, i'm sorry to trillion. quite different. [laughter] anita dunn: 2 million would be quite a tough budget. ryan lizza: it looks like he would be around 5 trillion otherwise 6 trillion. what's left over from the jobs plan and the family plan looks like for you guys adds up to about $3 trillion more if i've got the map right. i might be off, plus or -one trillion. where are you?
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anita dunn: two redlines in this process. the first and most important was inaction, which was not an act -- which was not an option. we were going to get something done. the second is that he is not going to agree to tax increases for people who make less than $400,000 a year. those have been the two redlines that we have had to negotiate on. in terms of the overall number, we are at the beginning of a reconciliation process. you have the house and the senate. they have their own processes. the president has been clear what he thinks should be in the budget resolution. it is our bill back better agenda. that is certainly his preference, but he was in the united states senate for 36 years. it's a congressional process and negotiation. so we understand that there will
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be a lot of back-and-forth between now and then and probably going to announce their agenda a few more times before this is all over. no matter how many times we say that's true, it never happens. ryan lizza: i don't think we ever said dead. we often pointed out. anita dunn: you would be amazed at how may times you can bring that back. ryan lizza: fair enough. it's a long process. let's switch to the pandemic and covid. i think people outside of washington i talked to who thought that all the coverage this crisis was behind this my be a little surprised about news about the delta virus. cases are up 5% in places that
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are vaccinated, they are doing quite well. -- cases are up 5%. in places that are vaccinated, they are doing quite well. given that vaccination has slowed so much and it looks like you are not going to make the 70% vaccination goal this weekend. anita dunn: that's a great question. the president and every single covid statement and speech that he has made since we've been in this white house has what that has had one consistent message. -- that he has made since we've been in the white house is one consistent message. get vaccinated. if you've gotten the vaccination, you don't have to worry about the delta variant because you are protected. the most extraordinary story and medical history is the success of these vaccines.
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one of the most successful vaccines ever in terms of efficacy. if you get a vaccine, you don't have to worry about the delta variant because you are protected against it. it is all the more reason that if you have not gotten the vaccine, you need to get it. nearly 70% of the country is going to be vaccinated within a couple of weeks. we did not quite make our goal, but we are darn close to it. it means it early difficult to see how you get another national surge because so many people nationally are vaccinated. we do have local hotspots. we are going to have those places where the vaccine rate isn't as high. this administration is appearing for that. our cobit task force talked about our search -- our covid task force talked about our surgeon. --surge. we make sure that the medicine
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is where we needed to be, -- where we need it to be, where people are getting sick. vaccination resources so the people who may have been holding off can now see it is a problem and get those vaccinations. we are going to be continuing to target our communication for those populations who are lagging behind, and particular younger people. they are healthy, they probably at the beginning of the pandemic heard that younger people did not get us sick. that's not true with the delta variant. we are going to be communicating the targeted populations. we are going to be making sure that the vaccinations are available to people where people are getting their health care. we are going to continue to push hard because the reality is that there is an easy, safe and
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effective way to make sure you don't have to wait -- you don't have to worry about the delta variant. we are going to keep pushing that message. ryan lizza: switching gears a little bit, one of our long-standing franchises is women rule which is a community of highly engaged civic minded women leaders and rising leaders across many sectors. a couple of questions. you have been in the inner circle on more than one winning presidential campaign, which isn't too bad. close advisor to two presidents. one of the most powerful women in washington. what is the best piece of career advice you have gotten on the way to where you are today? anita dunn: that's a great question. i will say that as someone who
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has participated in women rules, i am a big rule -- i am a big fan. the best piece of advice i got is when i was an intern in jimmy carter's white house who was the chief of staff. one of the smartest political minds of anybody's generation. hamilton told me, i forget the context, but he told me that it is better to make a decision and have it be wrong because you can fix it then to make no decision. no decision can be costly. it is worse than making a bad decision that you can fix. if you are smart and good, out of 10 decisions one or two will be mistakes and you fix them.
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women are hesitant to raise their voices even when they can see that a decision is being made is a bad decision. the best career advice ever got was from hamilton's basic thing was, if you think you are right, if you think you are a smart person speak up. i was say to women, don't be scared to speak up. don't feel like you're being stupid. you are smart. show you are smart and keep your organization or your candidate from making dumb mistakes. ryan lizza: that's a great point. one other question. the biden administration is 50% -- 56% women. how does that change the way that you work and advise the president if at all? anita dunn: ryan, this is a white house where we can say women rule. there are also meetings with the president where it's all women.
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that is so different from most of our experiences as women and politics, certainly my generation. it was much more routine if there was one woman in the room then all women in the room. i think it shapes his thinking. i think it shapes our policymaking. i think it is also, it gives women, in particular working moms, permission to be the parent they want to be and the white house staff they want to be. there is never any question about people who want to take time because there is an event at school or a doctors appointment. i think it makes us a better white house. the president is somebody who was a single parent for five years. a very dedicated parent and grandparent. there is no one who was more supportive of women than joe biden when it comes to being in
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the workforce. ryan lizza: one other question. speaking of careers, you sort of took this job a little bit reluctantly. you had to be talked into it. you are ready to go back to your firm. what is the status of your career in the white house? are you sticking around? are you leaving? this is about the point in time where you suggested you might hang up your hat. anita dunn: i am here as an temporary employee. i believe when the president asked you to come serve, you have a responsibility to serve. this was not my intention to be at the botnets at the white house for a longer stent. -- this was not my intention, to be at the white house for a longer stent.
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i would say pretty soon. ryan lizza: days or weeks? anita dunn: stay tuned. ryan lizza: weeks or months? anita dunn: it's temporary. take my word for it. ryan lizza: thank you very much for joining us. great to have you. anyone who is not subscribing to polotio --politico. you can follow upcoming programming on our social media at politico live. anita dunn: thanks for having me. have a great fourth of july. ♪ >> the country added about 850 thousand jobs last month.
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the unemployment rate -- 850,000 jobs last month. the unemployment rate went up. the overall numbers are good because the numbers gained in june but well above the past three months. overall, the country is still down nearly 7 million jobs. before the covid-19 outbreak, the jobless rate was about 3.5%. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. comcast -- >> you think this is just a community center? no, it's much more than that. >> low income families can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these
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