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tv   White House Senior Adviser Discusses Bidens Agenda  CSPAN  July 3, 2021 12:24am-12:49am EDT

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>> of humor and satire in american politics. and a conversation with los angeles times critic. you can watch it monday night at 8:00 eastern. i dunn, senior advisor to president biden, discussed the president's policy agenda with -- she talks about vaccination efforts.
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>> joining us to discuss that is anita dunn. thank you for being with us. >> think you for having me this morning. aside from getting an infrastructure deal through congress, we have a lot to talk about. preparations for the white house's first biggest public event. if you are tuning in on the livestream, you can follow the conversation on twitter and you can ask us questions by treating us @politicolive. just quickly, on some of the news this morning on the jobs report, what does the white house make of the numbers put out this morning?
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>> this morning we learned that over 850,000 do jobs have been created in this economy last month which makes a total of over 3 million new jobs since the president was an ungraded. yesterday, the congressional office put out a growth forecast for 2020 one, revise it upward to 7.4% growth. post-american rescue plan. the highest gdp growth forecast since 1984 when republicans were talking about how it was morning in america again. we feel there are a few things important with this report. one is that the president's economic plan is working. we have a record number of new jobs being created, more than any administration.
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we have economic growth projected to be the highest in nearly 40 years. and we have wages increasing. the president believes american working families need a raise. employers are paying more. workers are getting more which is a good thing for this economy. we feel this is added momentum as we go into this next phase with our jobs plan and with our family plan, with our build back better agenda. eight-year investments in our nation's infrastructure to continue the growth and to be competitive internationally in the 21st century. ryan: let's dive into the build back better agenda. let's talk about the bipartisan bill and the coming reconciliation bill. now that you have got this framework on the bipartisan bill, you have to make some choices when you are negotiating with republicans and democrats. what you take from the american jobs plan, what to leave out.
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what are the highest priorities from the original american jobs plan that did not make it into the bipartisan bill that you want to see in the reconciliation bill? ms. dunn: the president has been clear he sees this as a dual track process. the items from his jobs plan that did not make it into the bipartisan infrastructure bill are ones he wants in the second bill which will be the bulk of his agenda. he spoke about this at the press conference where they announced the bipartisan agenda, the clean energy tax credits. this is a critical piece of his clean energy, climate proposal package she rolled out a year ago. these are not new issues, they are the ones he ran on and won on in 2020. the housing pieces are also critically important.
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it is no secret that this country has had a housing crisis for years, particularly when it comes to affordable housing. the care economy is no secret for anyone u.s. tried to find help for an adult disabled child or elderly parents. there are not enough workers in this country and the president believes they should be paid more. those pieces are ones that he sees as critically important in this build back better package that we are looking at in the context of reconciliation. he believes both bills should get to his desk. he intends to sign both bills and that economic agenda is what we need to position this country for growth in the future and to
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ryan: i'm curious when you were building the infrastructure bill and you had this huge menu of priorities to push, and you had these two tracks, was there anything you didn't put in, or didn't ask for or negotiated and decided to remove in the bipartisan bill because you couldn't get as much as you wanted, so you decided that's better done in the rickety -- in the reconciliation bill where we have a better chance of getting 100% of what we proposed? is there an example of something like that to give you a flavor of how you solved the jigsaw puzzle of these bills and what the president originally proposed? ms. dunn: ryan, i think in the
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bipartisan negotiations around the infrastructure plan, that the questions around scope were discussed a great deal. i can't pick out one thing that falls into that category. the republicans and democrats who began those discussions, amongst themselves, initially, came in with a fairly good idea of what they felt the scope of this bill 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 with the hill that what did not make it in that first package, we were going to push very hard as priorities in the second package, that we don't see this as one or the other. we've always seen this as a dual track process. it's why when the president rolled out his agenda, we did it in two pieces, the jobs plan and the families plan. that was all part of the agenda that the president released to the american public a year ago,
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to say these are my priorities, this is how we are going to build a better economy to -- for everybody, one that we build from the middle out in the bottom up as opposed to the top-down. ryan: i've heard that line before. ms. dunn: have you heard the land before? ryan: one question on the pay forwards of the bipartisan bill. there are a lot of budget experts looking at the list of pay forwards and sing is that really going to add up to the $2 trillion? now, the coo, the congressional budget office will weigh 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 sometimes. what happens if the cbo says the
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pay-fors don't add up to the spending in the bipartisan framework? ms. dunn: no, ryan, these are pay-fors that a bipartisan group of senators put together and that they feel comfortable are going to be enough to pay for this plan. let me point out that infrastructure in particular and a lot of the expenditures in this plan are investments. they're like capital investments. if you were a company, you'd be taking this off of your annual books and putting it into your capital budget, right, since these are long-term investments. they're not stimulus. pay forwards are the ones agreed upon and in the context of the larger plan, i think the group of senators felt comfortable that these were real pay fors and that we're moving ahead on that assumption. ryan: let's talk about the reconciliation bill. two questions there. one, there's a big difference
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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 extension of the prescription drugs reforms that will pay for an expansion of medicare, and reducing the eligibility age of medicare. what is the white house's position on those that hold medicare provisions that was not originally proposed in the jobs plan or the families plan? ms. dunn: yeah, the president 's been clear that he supports , he certainly 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.
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ryan: dental, i think. ms. dunn: and dental. sorry. i was thinking about that, as well as other things. the biden campaign and the centrist campaign came together, and in the president ajit message to congress, he said he supported those things. there's no argument here. how reconciliation gets put together here is something that chairman sanders, chairman yarmuth, and others will be heavily involved in, as we are, and we will all be talking about the priorities and how we pay for it. ryan: got it, so that is not a redline. that is to be negotiated? the white house is not saying don't do medicare in this bill and drawing a line in the sand on that? ms. dunn: these are things the
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president supports, and he's been very clear he supports them, that he supports expanded benefits, he supports lowering the age to 60, and he supports giving medicare that kind of authority. he said so in his budget message to congress. ryan: once the bipartisan bill started moving, the white house did lay down some red lines. houe 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
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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? 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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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 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.
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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. 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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. 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.
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anita dunn: thanks for having me. >> buckeye broadband supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> up next, chinese president xi jinping speaks on the 100th anniversary of the chinese communist party. he talks about the strength of the chinese people, the resilience of the military, and vowed to utterly

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