tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN July 6, 2021 1:44am-2:28am EDT
wildfire season with holly fretwell, research fellow. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern tuesday morning and join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments, texts and tweets. >> tuesday, a discussion about the israeli-palestinian conflict with state department officials from the wilson center at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, on c-span.org or on the free free -- or on the free radio app. from the washington examiner, jim antle. he served as their politics editor. thank you for joining us on this observed independence day holiday. thanks again. guest: tank for having me. host: the president talking yesterday particularly when it comes to issues of covid, talking about unity and some of
our darkest days. how would you agree the administration as far as their efforts on covid and other things? guest: obviously present biden is presiding over a period where we are having a high level of vaccinations, so we are reopening under button. clearly that is a positive development. i think the voters largely have a favorable view of how he has managed the pandemic. a very large factor in how he became president in the first place. so i think that is very much a positive. clearly -- excuse me -- clearly what is going to matter a lot in terms of how he is evaluated going forward is how the economy goes. so there is an economic reopening happening. that is going to cause a lot of growth. a lot of people to go back to work. what we are going to have to see how the economy absorbs all of
the new government spending that has taken place, and so we are going to see -- we are in the midst of some inflation. we are going to have to see how -- whether that subsides or whether that becomes a new feature of the economy. clearly if we see some inflation continuing to persist, and we see jobs reports that are good certainly, but not quite what economists expect, that those are going to be things to look out for. but at the moment, i think most voters are pretty happy with the way the vaccine is rolling out, and the fact that we are getting somewhat back to normal. host: when it comes to jobs, we saw that jobs report last week, is that a good marker for this administration? guest: it is certainly better than the last two jobs reports. it is still below what would have been expected based on the fact that we are reopening. and we are still about 9 million
jobs short of what we were pre-pandemic. but, you know, obviously with any new jobs better, i think what will happen with additional unemployment benefits phase out in september, does that incite a lot of more workers to go back to the labor force? we have not -- that has not really been something that has performed up to expectations, but clearly, given that we are in the midst of the reopening, things are better than they have been over the past year. host: one of the lines taking a look at the biden administration politically, the new york times highlights that the job approval has been in the mid-50's for most of the year, particular when it comes to his handling of the virus. also highlighting the fact that his numbers are weaker on topics
like crime and immigration. and overall, what is the republican strategy now for the current biden administration continuing -- considering what you highlighted? guest: i think you have to look at the fact that democratic majorities in the congress are pretty small. so in 1994 republicans picked up 52 seats in the house. in 2010, the first midterm election for barack obama, republicans gain 63 seats in the house. they don't need to do anything quite like that to retake both houses of congress. they can add fairly minor gains, a gain of six or seven seats in the house, a net gain of one in the senate would give them a majority. i think republicans are going to focus on the level of spending, overheating the economy -- is that causing some inflation? are the jobs reports below what we would expect?
which so far they have been. obviously immigration and crime are very big issues. people are very concerned about homicides we are seeing in a lot of major cities. and the situation at the border is an area where president biden has some of the lowest job approval ratings based on the public polling that we have seen. people are not very happy with how he has handled that. so those are really big opportunity areas for republicans, and they are focusing on these issues. these are the types of things that also get the sorts of voters that turn out in midterm elections to come to the polls. i think you are going to hear more and more about that. i think those are the things that president biden needs to be careful about. host: jim antle, our guest with the washington examiner. for democrats, 202-748-8000.
republicans, 202-748-8001. independents 202-748-8002 202-748-8002,. you wrote a recent column talking about negotiating skills in the senate. how are you seeing them play out now? can you talk about that, but relate it to what discussions are going on with the infrastructure packet? guest: president biden is a man who served 36 years in the senate. a big argument for his candidacy would be that he would be able to reach across the aisle, he would be able to negotiate, he would be able to come to some legislative solutions. some infrastructure is a test -- so infrastructure is a test of that. the bipartisan talks centered in the white house did not go very well, but ultimately a group of centrist democrats and centrist republicans in the senate continued talking, and they came up with a framework, and the
white house has come out in support of that framework. so you have a situation where there is potentially a infrastructure bill that could get more than 60 votes in the senate, which would be enough to clear a filibuster, which would mean that it would be able to pass. but you also add the fact that president biden is in support of a reconciliation. a bill that would pass only with democratic votes, that would not be subject to a filibuster in the senate, that would maybe re-add some of the liberal policy priorities that are stripped from the bipartisan bill. so does one bill end up tanking the other? that is really the big question. they want to pass both bills. they would like to get as big an infrastructure package through a combination of these two bills as they can. but trying to do the reconciliation bill, does that
abandon bipartisan talks? or are those in the house unwilling to vote for a bipartisan bill, pending whether they can get the reconciliation bill through both houses of congress. you have the fact that you have liberals in the house they have committed to saying both bills or none, and then you have kyrsten sinema and joe manchin, two centrist democrats in the senate, who will have a lot to say about whether a reconciliation bill passes. so there is a framework in place , but there is still a lot that has to come together for these things to pass. host: have the cards been revealed, which is most satisfying to him? guest: the only thing that republicans will be willing to support, and somep republicans
are not even willingt to support that. op it is a trillion dollar bill. we have seen the administration proposed spending packages that are $2 trillion each. we could get up to $6 trillion to $10 trillion in new spending. if all of their legislative plans are adopted. but certainly there is some republican support for the bipartisan infrastructure framework, and there is no republican support for what they are trying to do for reconciliation, which is why they are trying to do it through reconciliation, though they won't need republican support. but if that is a spending bill, that is it -- that is a spending bill that contains a lot more money than the bipartisan bill. host: questions for him on facebook. you can post on facebook .com/c-span. our twitter feed also. one of the things before the break, this idea of a
subcommittee -- a select committee to advance the investigation on january 6. how does that advance things going forward? guest: i think there was always going to be an investigation of the events of january 6. clearly the justice department is investigated people who were in the riot that are -- people who were involved in the right, there will be prosecution. there are members of congress who see some big questions that are not yet resolved. i think one issue will be, does this simply relitigate the final days of the trump administration, or can we agree to which this was a planned event, and what role federal investigators who were trying to figure out when all of the characters organizing this were up to come over -- were up to,
what they played. to what degree was this simply an event where you had some protests that spiraled out of control? to what degree was this an organized attempt to disrupt the certification of the electoral college results? we still don't know the answer to those questions. hopefully that is what the select committee will come up with. it was an attempt to have a different type of committee, one that would have been i think somewhat less partisan. house republicans did not support that. senate republicans blocked it through the filibuster. so we are going to have this investigation a little bit more under house speaker nancy pelosi's terms then we might otherwise have had -- and then might have otherwise have had it. we will have to see what they
come up with. host: eight chosen by nancy pelosi, five yet to be determined by the house committee. talk about lynn cheney. why is she put in place but -- liz cheney. why is she put in place by the democrats? guest: i think liz cheney has become the primary republican voice who is critical in terms of president trump in terms of how he handled the election, his continued casting of doubt on the election results, accusations of voter fraud, things of that nature. she was among the 10 house republicans who voted to impeach then president trump on the basis of inciting the january 6 riot. and then she ultimately lost her position in the house republican leadership. she was the chairwoman of the house republican conference, the
third ranking republican in the house. the perception existed that she was more focused on criticizing trump that she was on promoting the house republican position ahead of the midterm election. so she survived one vote. the second vote removed her from that position. she was replaced by elise stefanik, a republican from new york. so in terms of making the committee appear bipartisan but also finding a person who is broadly in agreement with the democratic position that president trump cited, the events of january 6, that there needs to be some accountability for that. i think liz cheney very much fits into that role and reinforces that message, but does it in a way that she is clearly somebody who has been involved in republican politics
for quite some time. not a big fan of president trump, but as somebody who i think it is pretty hard to write off as a partisan democrat. host: the lines. they all start with a 202 area code. 202-748-8000 for democrats, 202-748-8001 for republicans, and 202-748-8002 for independents. what has raised the debate other than -- is the not wholly unjustified perception that each party is weaponizing election integrity or voting rights for their own partisan gain. happens to be sickly lined up with what most experts believe would help them win a competitive election. my mistake, this goes back to the debate that has been going on about voting rights, particular with the efforts of passed legislation to change those voting rights in the house and senate. guest: democrats in the house
and senate want to do an overall review of how elections are conducted in this country, a much larger federal role in those elections. republicans do not want to do that and have thus far been able to block it in the senate but have at the state level in passing a number of bills that are intended to tighten voter id , getting rid of third parties being able to collect and deliver mail in and absentee ballots. we saw a law of that nature in arizona passed by republican-controlled legislature, upheld by the supreme court this week. so these are very controversial issues. republicans are trying to make sure that the rules for voting are stricter. democrats are trying to make sure that as many people are able to vote as possible.
there are some tensions, of course, between ballot access and ballot security. but as i mentioned in that piece, one of the reasons why the debate is as heated as it is is that in each case, the parties i think perceive themselves to be getting some kind of advantage by having the legal regime surrounding voting that they prefer. republicans believe that if you tighten up some of the protocols that we saw in the 2020 election, that they would win more races, possibly given that the presidential race really came down to fewer than 45,000 votes, remaining battleground states. from an electoral college perspective. the democrats believe that the greater the turnout, the greater their chances of winning. clearly they are pretty happy that joe biden has 81 million
votes. that might not have happened in the situation where you did not have the degree of mail-in voting that we saw during covid and last year's election. so this is going to remain, i think, a pretty heated topic going forward. redistricting is going to play a pretty big role in the shape of the electoral map. next year's midterm election. so there is really a lot that will come down to what are the rules surrounding voting in the competitive states? host: jim antle our guest. democrats like, you are on with jim antle comedy politics after -- politics editor of "the washington examiner." caller: you are welcome for the question i have, with respect to the select committee and the appointment of the members -- assuming that mccarthy does not
designate any republicans for that select committee, and assuming further that speaker pelosi wishes to up an equal number of republicans, how is she to do it and liz cheney? guest: well, the statute creating the committee says that she is going to seek the input of the minority leader, kevin mccarthy, in terms of what republicans and up on the committee, but it doesn't require her to only allow those appointees. the likelihood would be if kevin mccarthy wants to appoint people to the committee that she would not allow that to go forward. but if she does have some -- but she does have shown -- but she does have some options if mccarthy does not put anyone on the committee. she has already put liz cheney on the committee.
they could proceed on that basis. they could also install other members along with housework and's who did not vote against certifying the electoral college vote. that will be one of the bigger controversies going forward, is kevin mccarthy, if he does decide to appoint members, if he appoints members who represent the majority position among the house republican conference, which was to vote against certifying at least some of the electoral college results, does nancy pelosi regard as illegitimate that they are on that committee and on that basis , try to block some of those appointments? that is something that i think we have to take a look at. we don't really know what leader mccarthy is going to do yet, but i think, you know, putting liz cheney on the committee was a shot across the bow, and we will have to see what his approach will be to the committee makeup.
host: to the larger issues of the actions of january 6 -- this is janet from florida off twitter, saying -- similar thoughts from randy in michigan, texting us -- so what is the pay like since the sixth, and what happens now? guest: former president trump is still a major player in the republican party, and rank and file republican voters are still very supportive of him, and they tend to agree with his take on the election, that the election was in some way flawed or worse than that. there has not been much sign, at least in the public polling, that that is changing. but, you know, he is not in
office anymore. there is an opportunity for other republican elected officials to step forward and take a leadership role in the party. depending on what president trump decides to do in 2024, we could end up seeing some very big changes. so, you know, i think when you talk about a lot of these things, people do take a partisan position. certainly you have a large number of democrats, at least in some polling, who suggest that russia altered the vote totals in 2016. that was something for which there is no evidence, but a lot of people believed. there does tend to be questions where there is a lot of partisan polarization. people do take a position that their party is expected to take. so how much that actually matters for republicans going forward i think is something we are going to have to watch.
but president trump, unlike other recent former presidents, is not going away. he is still on the front pages of newspapers on fairly regular basis. i think the select committee investigation will keep those headlines going. certainly the trump organization were keep a lot of those headlines going. but he is going to keep them going himself by taking on a pretty active campaign like role doing rallies all of the country and things like that. so this is really somewhat uncharted territory. . it has been quite a long time since we have had a former president who has remained an active political figure in this way. >> let's hear from frank, republican line, jupiter, florida. go ahead. caller: how are you doing this morning?
the commander in chief, joe biden, needs to get a test done to see if his marbles are all there. i don't think they are. what is your opinion on this? i don't even think he is capable of being president. thank you. guest: it is -- we are in somewhat unprecedented territory here in president biden's. he is older than any previous president. ronald reagan was the previous oldest to serve. he left office about a month before his 78th birthday. president biden took office after his 78th birthday. if he were to run for reelection, he would be over 80 years old seeking a second term. we have really never had that happen before. president trump was also over
70, an older man by historical standards, for the presidency, but he has raised a lot of questions. i think president biden has performed in big moments when that has been expected of him, so his major speeches i think of gone well as debate performances in the general election. they certainly went well. his speech at the joint session of congress went well enough. but there is a sense that maybe he is not quite as that's not quite firing on the same number of cylinders as when he was vice president. this is a man who has been in the public eye for decades, so the public is familiar with him, and they know his speech patterns and what he is like. so there is going to be some scrutiny of him in this position at this age, older than any previous president. host: from new jersey,
republican line. this is jerry. go ahead. caller: i saw nancy pelosi saying it was an armed insurrection. i was just wondering, how many guns were confiscated during that? and i know that -- i know there are 1400 hrs of tapes of this. so why won't the democratic party just show us the tapes? i know that there are several hundred still under arrest, but nothing is insurrection. they are all just for trespassing and those kinds of things. so how many guns did they confiscate come and how many people were still arrested from january 6? and do they really have 14,000 hours of tapes and video?
i want to get to the bottom of this, too. host: thanks, caller. guest: i imagine that the tapes are going to be a big thing that the committee is going to look at. certainly i think where you are going to get to the bottom of a number of things will be that there are people who are arrested in the system and who are going to be prosecuted. as the caller mentioned, a number are being charged for things like trespassing and destruction of public property and things of that nature. it may be where we get our fullest picture is in terms of what do all the prosecutions look like? what are people convicted of doing? what kind of crimes do they ultimately yield -- what kind of crimes ultimately yield to convictions and prosecutable offenses? the select committee is designed , or at least in theory is designed, to look at the big
picture. and what was the purpose of this? this, was this a protest that got out of control, was this somewhat more of a planned event that had a specific aim of disrupting the certification of the electoral college certifications. obviously to some degree it was designed to disrupt that but was it really something that was going to prevent that from happening or did we just have a bunch of people protesting who spilled into the capital and it just went out of control after that. host: of the criticisms republicans had leading up to this was that there were already investigations leading up on several fronts. what do you think about that as a republican used to keep this committee from being formed? >> i think if people had greater
confidence in the idea that congressional investigators are honest brokers, that would have an a tougher argument to make. democrats did not have faith in the benghazi hearings, republicans did not have faith in the investigations of the trump administration. there is a perception that this is going to largely be used as a way of beating up on congressional republicans, if there wasn't the case there would have been more bipartisan report for the committee. at the same time there are clearly a lot of people who would like to know more information about what happened on january 6. obviously a lot of it can be sussed out what happens to the people who get prosecuted. there are certainly big picture questions that those prosecutors
aren't well-designed to answer that in theory if we could have confidence in the select committee that the committee might be able to answer. certainly a lot of republicans think they are simply weaponizing this politically and that they want to continue relitigating 2020 because the midterm elections in 2024 don't look as good for them. host: this is jesse on the democrats line. caller: good morning. i'm calling because i barely caught it pieces of the comments, i heard a false equivalency between the democratic position around the involvement of russia in 2016 election. that definitely proved that
there was involvement. was it proof that they actually changed any votes or anything, that wasn't approved. even putin admitted to it in a press conference that yes of course they did. so equating that to the completely false and negated allegations around the issues -- really truly allegations that are issues with the elections in 2020 is really not something that should be bypassed in the conversation. thank you. guest: right, but what you are saying was never proven. there is no evidence that any votes were changed, which is what i said. i never denied that russia made some attempts to sway public opinion in the 2016 election which i don't think very many people dispute.
some people do, but i don't think very many dispute that. the conspiracy theory, the unverified thing that many partisans believe is that there were votes that were altered and there is simply no evidence for that. host: one of the criticisms when it comes to this committee is the lack of a timeline or at least a definite and. what are republicans concerned about? >> if there is no timeline, you can continue to drag things out through various elections. you can make things campaign issues. certainly i think in a lot of these investigations having some kind of date certain at which things and creates a certain amount of discipline to the investigation and prevents a mission creep from happening for the committee.
i think democrats would argue that this should take as long as it needs for them to get to the bottom of what happened. so i think the republican would be the -- concerned would simply be that it becomes a fishing exposition -- expedition. democrats are going to argue that you need to put in the time and the resources that it will take to actually come up the answers as to what happened to january 6. host: one of the criticisms was the impact it could have on the elections. host: is it actually a fact-finding operation or is it something that's designed to keep the events of january 6 in the public eye, under a set of circumstances politically in the midterm elections that otherwise
would not be as favorable to the democrats. i think a lot of democrats feel continued to discuss january 6 is favorable grand -- ground for them. litigating things that have gone on since january 6 is less favorable. it's a republican concerned that this is something to help democrats in the coming elections. democrats argue that getting to the bottom of this should be a nonpartisan scenario. host: republican line from indiana, connie. you are next. caller: one lady asked the question and it didn't get answered. i want to know how many guns were found in the insurrection at the capitol building. >> i don't know the answer to that.
some of that is going to come out as a result of the prosecutions of people who were arrested for participating. in the riot. that is an example of the types of questions that a select committee should be able to pursue. in terms of who gets prosecuted obviously you're only going to come up with the facts relevant to the case by which they might be convicted in terms of big picture, a number of guns, who was organizing the event. what they were trying to do, to what degree was this simply a protest that got out of control versus a coordinated attempt to prevent the certification of the electoral college results. those of the type of things that a committee looking at the big picture should be focused on trying to get to the bottom of. a number of the protesters who
were arrested were not armed and no one was shot, but the number of weapons that people possess in the capital, i don't know that we have heard final number on that. hopefully between the committee and the prosecutions we will get an answer to that question. host: you decided to take on the topic of critical race theory. he wrote, they are correct to note that racism has been tragic with consequences we continue to live with today, but treating patriotism as if they are in contention with each other as the provocative 1619 project -- is something we will regret it can you elaborate? >> sure. i think that treating pride in the country, patriotism, national pride and a belief in racial equality as if they are goals that are in tension with each other is something that we
are going to live to regret if we do that. you don't have anything that unifies all of us if we don't believe we are living in one country. i think that a belief that our founding principles were inherently racist rather than the product this that began our country were in tension with those principles and that we over time began to live more in accord with our founding principles, i think that is a much better argument and basis for us all living together peacefully in one country and for us to argue that the countries founding itself was a racist act. we are going to really have to find a way for us all to live together and come together as one country and if we reject any
notion that there is any basis to do that, i think it's going to cause more hatred, more social division and it's not going to solve the problems we need solved for us all to go forward as americans. host: the national education association is setting aside money to push back against this idea of critical race theory or at least that it's too complicated to teach to k-12 students. is it true that it's being taught on the k-12 level? >> certainly some things that are influenced by critical race theory starting to be taught in public school curriculum. you could debate whether it is specifically critical race theory. i think obviously it's important to teach the role racism has played in american society, but what is specific to critical
race theory is the idea that people are oppressors and victims based on their racial identity, based on their skin color and i think that this certainly problematic and something that should not be in public school curricula. but certainly that should not preclude us from having an honest discussion about the role that slavery, segregation, efforts to disrupt black businesses, lynching. many of the tragic and terrible things that have in a part of our history we do need to discuss those things, but we don't necessarily need to have an ideological or marxist framework for how we discuss them. host: republican line. caller: good morning. could you comment on bidens plan
to have multiple dwellings in the suburbs and those who don't abide by this will be punished by losing funds? isn't that just an attempt to -- the suburbs so there will be more democratic voters in the same fashion as illegal immigrants will become democrats leading to a one-party democratic state? thank you. >> is interesting that joe biden likely owes his presidency to the fact that he made a number of inroads among suburban voters and certainly democrats retook the house in 2018 based on gains among suburban voters but there's a lot of concern that some of the housing policies and other policies that the administration is pursuing and the clinton and obama administrations considered some of these policies might lead to
the end of the suburbs in terms of multi-dwelling houses, making it harder in terms of zoning and regulations for you to have single-family homes. democrats argue that this is beneficial to affordable housing. republicans are going to argue that it's going to be disrupt to the whole idea of why people moved out to the suburbs in the first place. and i think it's going to become a major campaign issue at a time when democrats are making some of their biggest gains among suburban voters. host: your piece today takes a look at the supreme court and the debate whether the expanding of such a court -- talk about what you are writing about
today. >> after last week's supreme court decisions where you saw pair of six to three rulings, one striking down a california nonprofit donor disclosure law and another upholding a republican passed law in arizona regulating the voting process, the fact that the conservative majority was unified on this question and voted along conservative lines has made a lot of progressives talk again about expanding the supreme court and there's a possibility that stephen breyer, a liberal justice may retire. but democrats would like to after president trump had got three nominees to the supreme court confirmed would like an opportunity to reshape the court a little bit. being able to expand the number
of justices is one opportunity to do that. i think the math for that in the senate at least is pretty daunting. i think it would be fairly hard to do. it is certainly something that liberal activists are talking about. it is something they might make a serious push to do. host: jim antal serves as the editor of politics.