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tv   Washington Journal 08242021  CSPAN  August 24, 2021 6:59am-10:02am EDT

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>> you can watch when the house returns here on c-span. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these companies. buckeye broadband support c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> coming up this morning, he'll burst border -- a hill reporter with an update on the house
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legislative agenda, including a budget resolution and voting rights legislation. later, we discuss recent events in afghanistan with iraq and afghanistan veterans of america ceo jeremy butler. washington journal is next. ♪ host: good morning from capitol hill, where house lawmakers are in washington to vote on infrastructure proposals. negotiations within the democratic party have stalled votes. more on that coming up. we want to get your take on this infrastructure debate. what do you support? republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. we will take your thoughts in your text if you include your
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first name, city, and state at (202) 748-8003. you can also post on or send us a tweet with the handle @cspanwj or follow us on instagram as well. what do you support? what do you want washington to do? the senate approved that bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill. it included $100 billion for roads and bridges, $66 billion for rail, $46 billion for severe weather resilience operations. transit would get nearly 40 million and airports, 25 million. the senate also pushed through a reconciliation bill that included what democrats are calling human infrastructure. that price tag, $3.5 trillion.
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that includes 726 billion dollars for universal pre-k and community college tuition. clean energy develop and would get $198 billion. to reduce forest fires, democrats want to spend hundred $35 billion. -- $135 billion. of these proposals, what do you support? it is your turn to tell washington as they huddle and negotiate in the house what to do on these proposals. listen to what republicans are saying. this is how freedom congress -- caucus member chip roy of texas spoke out against the budget resolution yesterday. [video clip] >> when thousands of americans are still on the outside of gays looking to get into the airport in afghanistan and kabul mac -- gates looking to get into the airport in afghanistan in
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trouble -- kabul, instead of having hearings of we can push this administration to do we are here to spend $3.5 trillion we do not have and have a federal takeover of elections. let's make no mistake about what this bill is, a bunch of leftist nonsense that the american people do not want to see with a massive takeover of health care and expansion of green new deal policies trying to push us to being 80% carbon free by 2030. all of the stuff is the wish list of the progressive left and the squad. that is why the speaker called us back in august -- calls us back in august while our people are on the outside looking in in afghanistan. >> listen to democratic rule share jim mcgovern of
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massachusetts responding to what republicans are saying, criticizing the view on this. here he is from yesterday. >> i am tired of the talking point that we look forward to working with you because you do not. i also get tired of the debt and deficit. you passed a tax cut mostly for rich people that cost over $2 trillion over the next decade. none of it was paid for. talk about problems to solve, we have people that do not believe we have a climate crisis and yet they work overtime to find ways to block anything that might address the issue. talk about government shutdowns. the government shutdown i remember was when you guys controls the house, senate, and white house and shut it down.
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that is a first in history. on infrastructure, one of the things joe biden's predecessor said when he was campaigning was he wanted to do some begun infrastructure. and yet republicans did not want to work with us on anything meaningful. it is only on infrastructure weeks. how insulting to the american people, infrastructure weeks. we now have an infrastructure bill that has bipartisan support in the senate. i expect when it comes to the floor there will be some republicans who support it. host: more on these negotiations happening behind the scenes within the democratic party. joining us is scott wong from the hill to tell us about it. let's begin with what was supposed to happen yesterday.
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guest: what was supposed to happen was a procedural vote to advance joe biden's -- key elements of joe biden's domestic agenda forward. what nancy pelosi had done was to package three items of that agenda, the john lewis voting rights bill, the 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure package that passed the senate recently, and this budget framework that would pave the way for the bigger bill of $3.5 trillion in human infrastructure. what happened was that democrats and democratic leaders underestimated the centrist rebels who are objecting to the process. they did not like how nancy pelosi was packaging this together, the timing of this.
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they did not like her political strategy of how the bills would come to the floor. they wanted to see infrastructure past first and quickly to give joe biden that win. what we saw was a standoff that lasted hours, hours of negotiations between pelosi and her leadership team and one of the leaders of this moderate group. after several hours of negotiation between offices and leadership for a number of hours, at midnight it passed last night and there was no resolution, so we are still engaged in this standoff. this is democrats against democrats. this has nothing to do with republicans at the moment. they are having a family discussion and disagreement and it is playing out in public. host: why do these centrists
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have this leverage? guest: because of how joe manchin and kyrsten sinema in the senate have incredible leverage. the margin of their majority is so narrow in the senate and the house. in the house, nancy pelosi can only use -- lose three democrats on any given vote. josh gottheimer has now -- they were known as the moderate nine. they had nine moderates sticking together and saying my way or the highway or we are going to take down joe biden's agenda. now they have 10. stephanie murphy, one of the other leaders of the moderates. she is one of the cochairs of the blue dog democrats. she also has joined the group so now they have 10, so they have incredible leverage. they flexed their muscle last night and showed they mean business. it sounds like the two sides are inching closer to a deal.
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there's going to be another meeting at 9:00 a.m. this morning. they will have a separate briefing on the other big crisis, which is afghanistan. they will hear from officials including secretary of state tony blinken. nancy pelosi saying she hopes to have some kind of deal with gottheimer by noon, when she plans to bring this rule, this procedural vote, to the floor. she is hoping they have something in hand with timer -- in hand to move this forward. host: what can the speaker give to these centrists? guest: they want to the infrastructure bill to go first and soon rather than wait around
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for a process for the democrats to shape this social safety net plan that joe biden has proposed that is extremely them bishops. the concern from gottheimer's he believes the longer the infrastructure -- the senate passed infrastructure bill sits out there, the longer it can get beat up by republicans, by former president trump, who has been really against republicans and his party for supporting this i partisan bill. he is a leader of the bipartisan problem solvers caucus. he wants republicans to join the effort to help democrats pass this bipartisan bill. he thinks the longer it sits out there, the longer republicans might get a little shaky in
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terms of support and maybe in the end there will not be the 30 to 40 they think are there today. that will not give moderates bipartisan cover, so that is what they are looking for. nancy pelosi has so far ruled that out, but what we are hearing, what people like one of the committee chairman have told me was that pelosi could offer to move up that bipartisan vote may be to october 1, a date we have been hearing lately. maybe it is even sooner. it is a guarantee to the moderates that we will pass infrastructure by this date and get that to biden's desk for his signature. host: if that bipartisan package does not move this week, what will move this week?
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what does the rest of the week in washington for house lawmakers look like? guest: it really is uncertain because everything hinges on this one procedural rules vote. what nancy pelosi did commit something very creative, she said, what if we deem the budget resolution, the big controversy in the room, as past -- passed when we pass that rule we have been talking about? that would spare moderates from taking a tough vote on a separate $3.5 trillion budget package. that so far is an idea some moderates are open to, but not all. it has not won overall 10 of those moderates. as somebody put to me recently,
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don't bet against nancy pelosi. she has been there before. she knows how these things work and she can work miracles. she is one of the most experienced legislators in the room. she understands rules and procedures. she may have a trick up her sleeve, but if they are unable to come to an agreement -- i will not say it derails joe biden's domestic agenda, but it slows down the momentum where just a few weeks ago we were talking about how much momentum joe biden had with the senate victory on his infrastructure package. obviously in a few weeks things have turned considerably given the situation in afghanistan and this rebellion we are seeing from moderates and his party. host: to follow everything happening on capitol hill today,
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go to you can also follow him on twitter. thank you. it is your turn to tell washington what you want them to do. joe in texas, democratic caller. how should she move forward on infrastructure. what do you think? caller: i agree we need to support everything he mentioned on the list, especially the infrastructure. that is going to bring jobs to the american people and the housing bill too. we have millions of homeless americans here and almost every city. they need to vote for the voting rights.
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when trump was president, he put money in the infrastructure bill. now that he is not president, he is telling republicans not to vote for the bill. at the end, this is going to turn out good. we have 17 republican senators who are for it. host: todd in michigan, independent. caller: good morning. i hope you do not cut me off because it seems like sometimes when a good point is being made you have your finger on the button. i would like to state the fact. mr. biden when he was running for president promised seniors $200 a month social security increase during the covid epidemic.
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that went nowhere, of course. the man is a liar, a professional liar. with all the money they waste, they could be helping us. i am an american, not an afghan. if that is how this country treats the elderly, it is pathetic. host: what are you for on infrastructure? what is your take on the debate? caller: first of all, they do not do nothing but enrich themselves. on social security, i am barely making it. host: gary in virginia, republican. caller: good morning. first i would like to say a
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harvard economist once said never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs. god bless you, girl. i have heard you try to inform people four times in one show. they were for something they were really against and you -- that is one thing. infrastructure -- i think we need to use alternative intelligence. i mean artificial intelligence, not alternative intelligence. host: for what? caller: to analyze, prioritize, subsidize, and design are infrastructure to prevent waste, fraud, corruption, incompetence, and partisanship because there is going to be a food fight. we need to optimize the
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efficiency of our expenditures. thank you very much. host: so you are for the price tag but want to make sure it is not wasted. david, arizona, independent. caller: i wanted to say it is kind of ridiculous, how out of touch some politicians are. these things would really benefit the people. we are just going to fight about it. i was thrilled when trump was not the president anymore, but i do not know if the democrats are doing a better job. when you looked at the votes when trump was president, the republicans voted almost unanimously. that is a party that works together. i am not saying the republican party is better, but how are the democrats going to get anything done when you have 10 people?
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host: here is a list of those 10 centrist democrats saying they are going to bring down the agenda from the president and speaker pelosi on trying to move forward with the $3.5 trillion. the democrats cannot afford to lose those votes. here is a list of those members. it includes josh gottheimer of new jersey, jared golden of maine, jim cost of california, along with vincent gonzalez. representative stephanie murphy of florida also added to that list. there are the 10 democrats who are saying they are not right now on board with moving forward with that $3.5 trillion budget package until the house would vote on the $1 trillion
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infrastructure bill approved by the senate and negotiated with the white house as well. they want that to move first. steve and tennessee, democratic party. good morning -- in and tennessee, democratic party. good morning. caller: first, the guy from michigan -- i got a lot of stimulus money during the covid. also, if you rely only on your social security to live, you messed up. i have a pension. my wife has a pension. i feel sorry for the guy. i think it is pretty simple here , this infrastructure thing. if any congressmen voted against it, do not give their district
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the money. that cuts costs and solves problems. thank you so much. have a good day. host: the new york times talks about republicans who are against $3.5 trillion. they say while some republicans are expected to support the infrastructure bill, they are opposed to the budget blueprint, citing concerns about proposed tax increases and the possibility that increased spending will worsen inflation. tony, connecticut, democratic caller. what do democrats do here, just go forward with the infrastructure and give the president a win or do they push through that 3.5 trillion dollars and than the $1 trillion package? caller: i have a comment on that. i think they should pass an infrastructure bill first. i come from connecticut. we should be called the pothole
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state. we need hard infrastructure. my concern here is that, since the beginning of the year, we have passed a number of these bills. like they say, the devil is in the details and honesty and advertising. i did quick math. you are showing half the infrastructure money that is going to be spent, less than half of the money on the reconciliation bill. they have done that over and over on the covid bills. then i get beat up by my republican friends by saying, look at this stuff that we all want. please can we just put out there what is the rest of the money being spent on? you are showing only the stuff that touches the emotional buttons of the people. i do not care if it is republican, democrat, independent. give us honesty and the bill. -- in the bill.
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why are you only showing half of it? please do that. host: you are right. the list is long. there is a lot more than what we just showed you. those are the big numbers to give you an idea of what they are proposing. we will try to find something that summarizes everything else that we can show to you. first, listen to the argument democrats are making about this $3.5 trillion. here is kathy castor. she leads the democrats select committee on the climate crisis. here is what she had to say yesterday. [video clip] >> here is what we intend to do. we are going to stop the pollution devastating our way of life. we are going to build and connect lower cost, renewable,
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and clean energy resources for consumers. we are going to build more resilient communities and do it in an equitable way that secures environmental justice for communities that have carried the burden of pollution. let's get specific. what does this mean, build back better? we are going to clean up the power sector to renew clean energy payment plans and speed up the deployment of clean energy. i see electrical workers finding new careers that will be lifelong. we will put americans to work manufacturing electric cars, trucks, buses, and charging infrastructure, a boon to workers across this country. we will lead by example in the federal government, electrifying the federal vehicle fleet, and make our federal buildings run cleaner.
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workers will be hard at work doing this. host: laying out the arguments for moving forward on $3.5 trillion budget package. ray in new york, republican. what do you think of this? caller: -- support as republican the senate bill that passed. we are a pretty split country. we do need hard infrastructure. i can accept that even though the bill is larger than i would like. the $3.5 trillion goes into the green new deal and gives amnesty to many illegals, not just keeping people here but putting a path to citizenship, which i think is just a democratic way to get people to vote democrat.
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i think it is a compromise even though i have problems with the $1.2 trillion the senate passed. i think the other bill goes too far in a country where right now president biden has enough to deal with. you could use the win. -- he could use the win. host: in that bill, $100 billion for roads and bridges. they want to spend $65 billion on broadband internet, 46 billion dollars for severe weather resilience operations, $39 billion for transit and airports. caller: the last person who spoke said it would give biden a victory. of course he would say that. it would not be a victory if
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they settle for less than the $3.5 trillion bill. we need a lot of infrastructure, not just the social infrastructure, not just the hard infrastructure, but the social infrastructure as well. right-wing extremists, corporate democrats are looked at as moderate. they are not moderates. they are going with the republican party, not the democratic party. there is no party discipline. the republicans always have discipline. they vote on strict party lines and no one deviates from it. we do not have moderate republicans. to call these democrats moderate is a misnomer. it gives them political cover. for republicans to use afghanistan, a bipartisan quagmire, to undermine infrastructure for american citizens is ridiculous.
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as to the last caller, the point about pushing voting rights -- pushing voting rights helps people vote regardless of whether they are independent, republican, or democrats. why do they want to suppress the vote. -- the vote? we should not be calling democrats who vote with the republican party moderates. they are not moderate anymore than the republican party. they are extreme right-wingers. host: he was referring to the budget reconciliation bill. it includes voting rights legislation as well. here are the top numbers. 300 $32 billion -- 332 billion dollars for public housing and housing affordability. $135 billion to address forest
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fires and carbon emissions. there is more to it, as we said. as democrats debate what to do, how to move forward with these two proposals, what do you support? it is your turn to tell washington. good morning. caller: i want to make a note of the fact that we should be calling the republican party the racist party. host: what does that have to do with infrastructure? caller: it is that they only want to build infrastructure for rich white people. host: listen to the republican argument from jason smith, republican of missouri, criticizing the democratic budget. [video clip] >> budgeting means coming up with a plan before you start spending. of course the budget is not
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about strengthening the physical integrity of our nation, nor is the budget about getting government spending and inflation under control. we know it is not about protecting the integrity of programs, our seniors depend on -- programs are seniors depend on. it does not protect america's working-class families. and those making less than $400,000 a year from a tax increase. in fact, it does the opposite. the whole effort is to turn this budget into a political tool to unlock the door to at least $3.5 trillion in new spending and a host of policies which do nothing to fix the crisis that american families are facing.
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the inflation crisis, the border crisis, the energy crisis, the afghanistan crisis. this budget only makes it worse. host: jason smith of missouri is the top republican on the house budget committee. their argument against moving forward with 3.5 trillion dollar budget reconciliation package. julie in kentucky, you are a republican. we will go to you next. caller: they should only address infrastructure. take everything else out. just infrastructure. then it would pass. the fake stuff they have entered in just to get it sneakily passed, take that out. address what they are trying to address, infrastructure. host: and you would support it
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as a republican if they would just move forward on a boat with what passed in the senate -- on a vote with what passed in the senate already. you would support it. caller: only if it was nothing but infrastructure and none of the other fake stuff. host: did you support what was approved by the senate? caller: not all of it, no. host: meredith in massachusetts, democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i support this fully. all of these items listed in the inver structure bill have been long neglected in our country and we need to pay for these improvements in our public transit system and our future and our climate. i have a hybrid vehicle. that is the way of the future, hybrid or electric vehicles.
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we have been talking about this my entire 43 years of life. it is long overdue and i am willing to pay for it because this is for my kids' future and their kids and so forth. host: meredith in massachusetts, thanks for calling in. glenda in california -- linda in california, independent. caller: i would like to say that you met with regards to the infrastructure bill or any bill that it is -- that any bill that is increasing our debt needs to be looked at. it needs to be taken apart and restructured differently. most states have the capability of providing infrastructure money, much of which is gotten
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by bond especially in california over the last 10 years. most of the bonds are repaid. for the most part, that is not happening. where the money is going is questionable. i think that is the reason many people are question what is going into the infrastructure built in and of itself. there were things that came up with other bills we were questioning as far as what does it have to do with covid and why do we have to rebuild the john f. kennedy center when we are dealing with covid. this is the reason why these questions keep coming up with these huge bills. how much further are we supposed
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to go when we cannot see paying it back? host: and the debt ceiling has to be raised in october, as you probably know. caller: this is insanity. i do not think this is really a party thing. it is really a national thing. we have to be able to repay these debts. in what way are we going to do that? host: dave, cincinnati, democratic caller. caller: [indiscernible]
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and then senator portman stepped in. [indiscernible] the bridge was brought up many times. that is going to go through a process. it is going to be well spent. the money spent on infrastructure -- what china spends, what europe spends. we have not had a major bill. host: you are a little muffled. it is hard to hear you. bob in arizona, independent. caller: i had one item. that lady congressperson that was on a few minutes ago, i
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believe she must be in lala land. when the sun goes down, the power goes out. thank you. host: doug in south dakota, democratic caller. caller: $30 trillion in debt and biden -- i am a democrat. i believe in spending money for the people and helping people, but i believe in paying bills. these people must think money comes on trees. i do not understand it. biden is going to end up giving everything back to trump. biden is falling -- following the same procedure. host: you agree with the tense interest -- 10 centrist democrats saying move forward on the $1.5 trillion infrastructure
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bill. caller: i totally a guilt -- agree with the infrastructure deal. if they are going to give it back to trump, i cannot handle another four years of trump. he is following the same procedure, being entity at. you -- being an idiot. you have to pay your way. if you cannot pay your way, you need help. host: scott wong give us an update earlier about where negotiations are and they continue this morning. house democrats are going to meet behind closed doors and continue to work this out.
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punch will news -- punch bowl news sent out this update saying the monarch group began the day negotiating before the budget -- moderate group began the get -- day negotiating before the budget reconciliation. a significant departure from their previous position, yet predictable for these lawmakers. let's go to mike in arkansas, independent. caller: much like her previous callers, i am worried about this rapidly rising national debt. the scary part about this is the only reason we are able to get away with this level of spending is we have the reserve currency of the world. if we keep having a rise in national debt, we are going to see a confidence crisis in the
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dollar around the world. host: al from arkansas texts us to say the only and that is important is roads, bridges, clearwater, rod band. the other things they want we cannot afford. democrats want to raise the taxes on the wealthy and big corporations. all people will have to pay through higher prices on goods and services. i would not approve either one. most of the infrastructure part is mainly done by local and state governments got not the federal governments. too much federal government control is always too much fraud and waste. you can send us your thoughts via text with your first name, city, and state at (202) 748-8003. oscar in san diego, republican. caller: how are you? host: what do you think should happen? caller: i was listening to what you were saying and the figures
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that were on the screen on the tv. it had $107 billion to legalize this new illegal aliens coming into america. why don't we spend that instead to reinforce our borders and have more border patrol to keep the amount? why not spend it on homeless veterans and homeless brothers? after covid is over, hundreds of thousands of businesses will be closed forever. we are going to wind up a third world country. host: the wall street journal reporting august 9 the legislation was expected at that point to include paid family medical leave, and expansion of the child tax credit, universal
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pre-k. it will provide green cards to millions of immigrants. you can learn more details of what is in this if you go to democrats' website in the senate. they have on democrats. a breakdown of what is in this budget reconciliation agreement. you can read more details there if you go to david in west virginia, independent. caller: good morning. my question is, everybody that supports the two bills that total over $5 trillion, is that not going to hurt the economy and bankrupt the country, and evaluate the dollar -- d evaluate -- devaluate the
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dollar, why don't we double it? $4 trillion for infrastructure. we are bankrupting the country with this hocus-pocus money out there. if we did that, at least our infrastructure would be good when we default on the dollar. everyone keeps saying our kids and grandkids have to pay this. nobody is ever going to pay this. nobody has have not and you have not the debt we already have. i wish people would stop saying our grand kids are going to pay. if it is so great, why don't we triple it? host: understood, david. bob, new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning. you have to keep in mind for my republican friends that when donald trump first got into office one of the first things he wanted to do was funding new
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york from i-95 down. he increased the national debt $7.8 trillion. now the republicans are throwing this afghanistan thing. stephen miller and that is the man who caused the problems because he did not want afghanistan people coming back to the united states. he made it more difficult. he made people jump through hoops. which is part of the problem we have in afghanistan now. the covid problem -- you can thank the president for that because in october -- host: stick infrastructure. on afghanistan, ap news alert says the officials say the cia
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director met with taliban political leaders in kabul amid evacuation efforts. that from the associated press. we are going to talk about afghanistan in our next hour of the washington journal. right now, this infrastructure debate happening on the house side within the democratic party , family infighting over how to move forward. 10 centrist democrats holding up the democratic agenda. do you support it? what do you think should happen? this is tim in ohio, who says let's pass a budget that just pays our bills. it is required of the average citizen here and why not the government? -- then i support every bit of it. it is about time we had something big for the people. especially the human infrastructure part. republicans need to work together to do something for the 90% for a change.
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what do you think? caller: and for structure is -- infrastructure is generally seen as a budget positive item. reduces waste. $3.5 trillion is a large pill to swallow. when you have an interest wait so low -- rate so low. as a 34-year-old person -- what are those services going to be? we are seeing pull out of afghanistan, reduction of our imperial scope. you would think with that you would want to improve your budgets. it seems we are just taking that opportunity to increase spending elsewhere. host: how do you respond to this text?
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we support many nations. now it is time to support us. yes to both bills. caller: the market has a way to fix a lot of problems. look at what they are trying to do with electric vehicles. the chevy volt, they had to recall all the vehicles because of fires in their batteries. i do not think the technology is proven. we are ready to move forward betting on the technology. there are a lot of political talking points without taking the time to ensure it is worthy of investment. host: as you have heard in today's program, this three point 5 trillion dollar reconciliation package includes a budget framework proposed by
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democrats. it includes what they call human infrastructure. it includes a voting rights bill. take a look at this ad put together by voting rights groups to target those democratic house members who want to hold up the $3.5 trillion because they say first we should vote on this $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. take a look at this. [video clip] >> joe biden promised he would build back better. his infrastructure plan does that, fixing our roads and bridges, making historic investments, expanding medicare. these nine conservative democrats are sabotaging biden's agenda because it would make billionaires and corporations pay their fair share. stop obstructing president biden and start working for the american people. host: you saw there at the end
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the democratic leader of the group of 10 who spent hours negotiating with the speaker's office and other leadership members on capitol hill behind closed doors. as we learn from scott wong, shuffling back and forth between offices for hours. it was after midnight yesterday that democrats pulled the plug on moving forward for now. they were supposed to bring to the floor a vote for the rules for the debate and they did not do that yesterday. the speaker says they will do so today. they are going to meet in a little over an hour and talk about the path forward. in the meantime, read, what do you think your party should do -- marie, what you think your party should do? caller: i support the infrastructure bill. that would be half of what it is.
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during president obama's first year in office, he offered stimulus for infrastructure. they decided they would vote no on everything he put forth. we would not even be dealing with the roads and bridges and all this stuff that started as part of infrastructure had they supported that bill when president obama first put it out. the bill would be half of that, not including roads or bridges. we are behind a lot of the nations in that part of the infrastructure because of the selfishness and topography of the republicans and now they want to talk about we need to do this. it could have been half of that if they had done that before.
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host: what do you have to say, bobby? caller: i support the 10 democrats. i hope they stay with their backbone and stand their ground. we have a gas tax down here that is $.45 a gallon. they plant flowers in the middle of the interstate instead of fixing the roads and bridges and other stuff. it don't make no sense. i support them. they need to get reelected. i would donate to their campaigns. host: steve in alabama says, i oppose all three of the bills being considered in the house. these are another step toward a bloated federal government that continues robbing hard-working,
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freedom loving americans. text us your thoughts. include your city and state at (202) 748-8003. larry in washington, democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. it is morning. host: very early for you. caller: it is pretty early over here. my thought on the infrastructure package is the american taxpayer is being shortchanged. we need a larger package as far as i'm concerned. it is odd that callers talk about social security but keep the top 100 wealthiest people in the united states paying for the full package out of pocket and still have millions of dollars to live on, which i know is hard for people who live on millions.
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millions of people that live on social security seem to do all right, even though we do not go on a lot of vacations. that is my thought. we should have wealthy people pay for this. host: peggy in south carolina, independent. caller: they keep raising our gas tax and our potholes and roads are getting bigger and they are lining their pockets with our tax money. [indiscernible] they ain't doing nothing. host: we will go to steve in new york, democratic caller. you are on the air. caller: hi.
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host: you need to mute your television. caller: i am sorry. i am not a democrat. i am a republican. host: all right. what are your thoughts on the infrastructure debate? caller: we are too much in debt already, $28 trillion already, and you want another $3 trillion. i believe democrats are trying to make -- destroy america. i really do. another $3 trillion for the democratic party for their agenda. i do not know. they need to stop and realize what they are doing. they are destroying america. host: bob in illinois in a text. i support old-fashioned infrastructure, may be 10%, not the remaining wokeness nonsense.
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private industry will take care of the rest. do not bury generations to come in massive debt. the house lawmakers are in session this week. the senate is out for august recess. nancy pelosi calling house lawmakers back to vote on the $3.5 trillion budget package before the house moves forward on what passed in the senate. that is being held up by 10 centrist democrats. we will see what happens next here in washington. keep your channel on c-span. you can go to our website, follow us on twitter @cspanwj, follow us on instagram and facebook as well for the latest on what is happening here in washington throughout the day and the rest of the week. gary in indianapolis, a republican. good morning. caller: i am for the
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infrastructure, but i do not want to see infrastructure 100% spending. i do not want to see 10%, 20%. if you're going to do something, do it right. fix the roads, bridges, and take this fat out. whether you are republican, democrat, independent, you need to see who voted for what. whoever voted for all the money that has nothing to do with infrastructure, vote those people out. that congress is ours and it is our tax dollars. whoever is not going to support 100% infrastructure on rebuilding -- i call it the three b's. tilde better roads and bridges and all that -- build better roads and bridges and all that.
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make sure the money is spent for what it is supposed to be. host: glenn, massachusetts, independent. what is your message to washington on infrastructure? caller: i was listening to that guy from maryland going on and on about electric cars and why those are bad. the guy does not know what he is talking -- host: scott in pennsylvania sends a text to say, start over. separate the pork. dolores. caller: hello. i am for the infrastructure bill , the stimulus package. in the stores, the people do not have enough money to pay their bills. the food is much more expensive or they do not have it or they have to buy the next brand for
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the food. the rent -- the people do not have money to pay rent or mortgage. they would need the money to pay their rent or their mortgage. it is very much needed. people do not have the money to get medicines. they need medicines. the infrastructures bill that would give the people stimulus is very much needed. the black people and the white people are the same. the people who are poor, the spanish people come of the people who are poor need the money badly -- very much. if they do not get the money, it is going to trickle up to the rich. they are going to lose money. host: dolores in baton rouge,
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louisiana. let's go across to diane in key west, florida, democratic caller. caller: i do not understand about the debt. it seems we are trillions in, but what i am happy about these bills is that it is not just a tax cut for the rich. it is really for the working people. our infrastructure is crumbling. you cannot deny that. for parents with children, day care, medicare, this goes across the board. the last president to spend so much money on the people was johnson and thereafter, whether you are democrat or republican, they always added to the debt. i am tired of that complaint. another thing is that, with so many billionaires, trillion
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heirs, jeff bezos, they cannot possibly circulate the money throughout the economy. this definitely will stimulate the money and touch the people. i am looking forward to it. the -- both of these bills should both pass at the same time, and thank you so much for letting me share. host: all right, diane. rick tina in san diego, democratic caller. what are you saying should happen in washington today? caller: i think they should pass both bills. i am a single parent in san diego, a custodian, and the child with the child tax credit that i have been getting, it allows me to just breathe, just to give me a little breath for each month. so i think that they definitely should pass both bills and think about the parents and the single
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parents, what they are going through right now. host: we will leave it there for now. we will return to this conversation. in the last hour of "the washington journal," you will be able to call in. we will take more calls from folks across the country on this infrastructure debate. up next, we are going to take a look at what is happening in afghanistan from a veteran's perspective. we will speak with jeremy butler. we will be right back. ♪ announcer: -- >> the population of china in necking 49 when the communists took control was 540 million people. -- in 1949 when the communists took control was 540 million people. the prc has had five principal leaders -- mousy dung, deng
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xiaoping, hu jintao, and the current head of state, xi jinping. george washington university professor david shambaugh has written close to 30 books devoted to the subject of asia. we talk with professor shambaugh about his newest book entitled " china's leaders from mao to now." ♪
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announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: joining us this morning is jeremy butler, the ceo of washington -- of iraq veterans of america. i want to get your reaction to the withdrawal from afghanistan. your opinion on that decision? guest: my personal opinion is that it was the right decision in general. i think that there has been a lot of mistakes, miscalculations, mission creep over the years. we accomplished what the original goals for the mission to afghanistan were a long time ago, but unfortunately the mission creep has been very real in this case. i believe the decision was correct, but there is obviously
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plenty of room for error and recriminations around the way the withdrawal was executed, but i think in general the decision was correct. we just wish there had been more listening to the veterans groups that were calling for the early withdrawal and evacuation of our -- there is plenty of room for, in my view, bipartisan criticism from many decisions made throughout our time in afghanistan and the way the withdrawal was planned for, the agreements that were reached, and the way it was executed. host: talk about that more on the evacuation. what are you hearing from other veterans? guest: the biggest thing has to do with the special immigrant visas. this is not a new thing. what i get so frustrated when i hear the president talking about how no one expected the taliban to take over so quickly -- that has nothing to do with this issue. the special immigrant visa program was put in place in 20
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-- in 2008, so it has been used since the program has been established, years since the first afghan allies started qualifying via their service to receive one of these visas, and for year after year, administration after administration, there has been excuses, mismanagement, and we have not executed on putting these visas to those -- the fact that where we are now is by our own government in action, lack of congressional oversight for years. we could have had so many siv applicants through the system and out of the country a long time ago and not be in nearly as bad a situation as we are right now. host: tell us about the bond between u.s. soldiers and these afghan -- afghans who have served alongside of the u.s. soldiers, and help them throughout the last 20 years. guest: i don't think you can say enough about that bond. this is literally something where you have had afghan allies
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that not only were putting themselves and their families in danger by aligning with the western forces, in this case the american forces, but they were going out on patrol, often unarmed, and unarmored, side-by-side with special forces, conventional forces, everybody, suffering the same casualties and the same risks to roadside bombs, sniper attacks, everything you can talk about. they have been doing this for years, and in many cases they were saving the lives of the service members they were working alongside. everything from being able to read the landscape, understanding the cultural issues, getting a sense that something is not right, what you are being told is inaccurate. we need to take action right now, to very directly saving lives by fighting back, pulling people out of the way, saving soldiers that were becoming -- injuries from ied attacks.
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it has been just an absolutely side-by-side partnership for years. on top of that, it is not only the u.s. government that has been promising that these applicants would get what we promised them, it's the servicemembers themselves. they were saying all that you have been doing for us is not in vain, not just a paycheck. we are going to process this application, we are writing letters of recommendation for you. that america is following through on his promise. it is not just a greater issue of these were afghans that fought alongside the u.s., it is that so many of our servicemembers made the direct promised to them that america would keep its agreement. it is heartbreaking for so many of them to be hearing directly now from those people that they promised, that they are unable to not just get out of the country, but they cannot even get to the airport, let alone to kabul. host: what sort of stories are you hearing? or your colleagues?
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guest: it is my colleagues. i am working with a lot of people who spent a lot of time in afghanistan, made a lot of close friends, and their hearing heart wrenching tales from people in some cases who are trying to get to the airport, what are unable to, to administrative issues where they have had the paperwork for years, and the state department at others have denied that. people have died. some of these allies that we are trying to get out have already been killed, so it is tragic, and they are hearing in real time from so many of these allies. obviously today with the committee occasions abilities. this is something that so many groups, encoding my own iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, have been raising for many years. that we as a country need to take a turn on getting the allies out. there was no reason to wait until the withdrawal was well underway. this is something we could have been working on for months if
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not years, and it would have resulted in a much better situation than we are seeing right now. host: we are learning this morning from alex ward, a national security reporter with politico. according to elite state department cable, these are the latest evacuation numbers as of august 23. the total manifested since midnight in kabul, august 23 -- 483 american citizens, 6425 afghans, eight third country unknowns for a total of 6916. since operations began, 4407 american citizens, 21,533 afghans, 640 -- 642 unknown, third country. for a total of 26,000, -- for a
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total of 26,582. does that sound low? guest: it does sound low. we are talking about direct applicants and family members who were already eligible for this program, so roughly 80,000 afghan allies and family members that we promised to get out of the country, who made every requirement that was required of them to achieve this siv application. they have done what they were asked to do, and we have failed them. so the numbers are going up in terms of how many we are getting out right now, i agree, but it also speaks to what could have been done if the government had made this a priority long ago when it should have. host: we want to hear from our viewers. here's how we're dividing the lines. if you are an afghanistan veteran, dial in at 202-748-8000 . if you are a veteran of another war conflict, dial in at 202-748-8001.
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all others, your line this morning is 202-748-8002. we will take those text messages from you all, too. 202-748-8003. jeremy butler, the white house announced an extension of the perimeter around the airport in kabul. what do you make of that? what does that say to you? guest: it says they are doing the right thing. this is a very tenuous situation. servicemembers that have now redeployed back into afghanistan to augment the forces that were there and to help with this withdrawal are in an incredibly challenging and dangerous situation. i don't think we can estimate or understate the amazing work that our military is doing around this effort right now. they are in real danger, so they always want to be the commanders -- the commanders on the ground always want to be expanding their footprint as best they can, increasing safety,
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increasing their ability to vet, check those coming in. i think that is inevitable. it is a good sign that we are getting not just more forces but more equipment in to be able to do that. that said, they are in an incredibly challenging situation. geography, the topography, the number of taliban around the area. and we are talking about isis k now coming in. they are in a real danger now coming in. it is a challenge, adding to the challenge of when this operation is completely over and those american forces need to fall back and make their own exit. that is another incredibly challenging and dangerous operation that is going to have to happen after they have completed all the evacuations of siv applicants, other americans, other nationals that we want to get out. host: here's a text from michelle in illinois. she says --
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tell us about your discussions with the trump administration and withdrawal plans, and then also what are you hearing now from the biden administration when you started pushing for these evacuations before afghanistan fell. guest: thanks for the question, michelle. a couple of things in there, and i will try to get to everything. this has been on the policy agenda for years. this predated the trump administration. i want to go back to reiterating that this is an issue that has been around since the u.s. has been in afghanistan. this is not new. under the trump administration, it was difficult to get to this part of the discussion because it was such a much larger push around immigration in general, especially immigration from muslim countries. there was very little in terms of interaction in general with
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the trump administration and veterans groups. they were not particularly open to hearing from the vast majority of veterans groups about the issues that we were so passionate about, which is disappointing because i think a lot of good work could have been done there. you compound that with the fact that we were so focused on the v.a. and other responses to the covid pandemic, that really this was an issue that they did not focus on. they should have, and as soon as the withdrawal date was noted, it could have been another time and a missed opportunity to getting these siv applicants out . but as we saw, the trump administration was really drawing down the overall numbers of immigrants that they were allowing into the country, and the siv applicants i don't even think began to make the list in terms of those that they were looking at or planning for around the withdrawal. there was another question there. host: compare that with the
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biden administration. before the situation right now, you were saying if we are going to withdraw, let's get the process going. what was their response? guest: once again the frustration continues, because it was made very clear, and the expectations were high that the biden administration would be much more welcoming to the message, that we had to act immediately to save our siv applicants, our avenue lies -- our allies. so many groups stepped up work they had been doing for years in terms of making it very clear what was needed, how early this evacuation process had to begin, and all of the steps that would be required in order to get them out. you had groups posting daily updates on social media saying it is going to take x number of flights with y number of applicants on them every day between now and the september 11
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end date for after president biden made the end date for withdrawal. it was very clear, the messaging was there, and it was much louder than in previous administrations because there was a real optimism that the president and his administration would be much more proactive and responsive to the urgent need to get these allies out. so that adds to our current frustration, disappointment, and anger that things are going so poorly, and that little was done until now. the message was there. it was delivered. you hear so many trying to plead on social media, mr. president, if your staff is not delivering this message to you, they are failing you. you need to know how much more needs to be done at how urgent it is we get our allies out. otherwise we are breaking an incredible promise and bond to those who stood by us for so many years. host: let's go to bill in
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virginia beach. welcome to the conversation. caller: thanks for taking my call. i assume you're a veteran of the iraq and afghanistan conflicts. as the ceo of your organization. i do have a question for you. i would like your comment. we want to pray for the best but be prepared for the worst. the worst would be the taliban go to war against the united states by the deadline date, which i believe is set for august 31, if i'm not correct. having said that, we are going to need more troops in afghanistan to get the rest of the civilians, both american and afghani people, out of there and over to the u.s. we helped our troops during the conflict, and we also need to get our equipment out of there. therefore, we need more troops in afghanistan. so it looks like we are going to have to go back and start and continue the effort to get
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everything out of there that we want out of there, and we need to fight the taliban at the same time. we need to be really, really strong and do them in and get rid of them. thank you, sir. your comment? guest: i appreciate the question. i am a navy veteran, joined in 9099 -- in 1999, deployed to the persian gulf in support of the iraq invasion. i did not serve in afghanistan, but i'm honored to be the head of the organization because so much needs to be done for the post 9/11 generation of veterans. it is an honor to be here and represent so many that did so much. they should not be having to continue to fight when they come back home. it is an honor to step in and help with that. you are right -- this is an incredibly challenging situation, it is dynamic. we are asking u.s. servicemembers who have already spent so much time and effort
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fighting in these countries to go back in and do a lot of the work that really should have been done before. so it is tough. i don't have a good answer to your question in the sense that it is going to take a real commitment on the part of the u.s. to navigate this very challenging environment, which is, as you said, to get our allies out, to retrograde safely are equipment and personnel that we have flown into the area of operation, and to do so safely. i don't think anyone within the administration wants to reengage in direct combat with the taliban. i don't think that is going to be helpful in this situation, and we have spent 20 years trying to do that and we have seen where it has gotten us. i think what is going to be -- and this is just my own opinion -- what the focus is going to be on but -- on the administration is going to be on diplomacy. they are clear they are in regular talks with the taliban
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to achieve what we are already hearing. i don't know if it has been proven or if it is just rumors we are getting that the taliban has called the august 31 date a redline. i don't think our best case scenario is going to be involving active combat app operations as opposed to continuing the noncombatant operation. we are going to be needing longer than the august 31 deadline in order to get out everybody, but hopefully the u.s. and our allies can continue discussions with the taliban to allow that to happen relatively peacefully. i would not call what is happening right there peaceful, but you could say it is relatively peaceful in terms of what it could be if we engage in direct conflict with the taliban. host: ralph in augusta, georgia. when did you serve? caller: yes, i retired from the military in 1986, just before
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the first world war -- before the first gulf war. however, i continued to work until 2014 in el paso, texas, alongside these soldiers who were -- who came to the united states as interpreters, and in other places, other areas, assisted the united states. my job, along with them, were role players. from the different scenarios the dhp units would phase once they got to iraq, afghanistan, other areas. if they were going to iraq to work at a detainment facility, our role was to be working with detainees. if we were in villages in different areas, we would play
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that area as village people. dressing like the people that were there. i would like to say that each commandant that went overhead a base as to how they were going to deal with these people, regardless of the training. one other quick thing i will say is that these people told us that they had to have a job within four months after arriving in the united states. some of them left their families in detroit, san francisco, and came to the areas where they could work. so, yes, i would -- i have lived beside them. they express their opinions. we had a lot of great conversations. host: jeremy butler, your thoughts listening to ralph? guest: i appreciate his
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comments. it is a good point remembering that so many of these allies have made it over here. many of them have and they continue to support our efforts, continue to support america, as he was discussing, talking about some of the many training facilities that the u.s. has established within the u.s. to get deploying servicemembers a real idea of what it is going to be like when they find themselves on the ground in countries like iraq and afghanistan, to understand the cultural and language barriers that are going to be there. we are not talking about folks that only served overseas. many of them come back and want to continue their service over here. have grown to love the u.s. military, servicemembers, and they want to continue to work with them. these are folks who want to continue to provide service to the u.s., and they have been incredibly well vetted. they were vetted many times over before being allowed to go out on patrols and work directly with -- and in many cases being
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very much responsible for a lot of the safety of the u.s. forces. these are incredible folks that really are going to add to the beauty of america, i think. host: sandy in kent, ohio. caller: yes, thank you so much for taking my call. i have seen a veteran who lost both his legs on tv the other day. he worked in afghanistan. he said we can train them to drive a tank, we can train them to shoot a gun, but these people are not brave. you cannot train them to be brave. and he said when came to shove, they fled. and all of our equipment is there. he talked about how we sent them all of the latest technology,
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and we just leave it all for the taliban? i mean, if we took it in, can't we get it out? thank you. i listen to your comments. host: a couple questions from sandy. jeremy butler? guest: thanks for your questions. a couple things. first off, there is definitely -- the veteran community, the military community is very diverse. i don't want to imply i'm speaking for everybody, but in my view, the comments that you heard from that veteran speak to the challenges of the overall u.s. goals as they evolve and as we have this mission creep. to say that afghans didn't fight bravely for their country, you have to look at the bigger picture, which is that they were fighting and dying on orders of magnitude larger than u.s. service members were. we lost approximately 2500 u.s. service members killed in action in afghanistan.
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the afghan forces were losing that many in a matter of days. throughout the last 20 years we have been there, and really even in larger numbers over the last 10 years ago or so as the u.s. handed off the lead to so many efforts to the afghan forces. absolutely we have seen examples of afghan forces crumbling relatively quickly when put to the test, but we have also seen outstanding and unbelievable levels of courage from so many of them that hung on for so long. the special forces, those that were given a greater degree of training. so i don't think it is safe to say -- and i think this has been glossed over too much as there has been focus on the speed with which the taliban took over the country. that's the fact that while we were trying to do training of the afghan forces, one thing lacking was the overall emphasis of what they were fighting for. we were trying to build an afghan national army in a country that doesn't see
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themselves first and foremost as a country. there are much deeper alliances at the tribal and local level, and i think that was failed to be taken into account by the u.s., going all the way back to the 2001 invasion, when we decided to try and make this afghan national army. the reality is that thousands and thousands of afghans have been fighting and dying, civilians as well as armed services, their national police. so many over the years. we really should not discount -- in fact, it is shameful if we don't remember the sacrifices that have been made by so many afghans in defense of their own country. host: the washington post puts a total number on what you're talking about. 66,000 is the estimated number of afghan national and military police killed in the conflict. this is in the report calculating -- 47,245, the
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number of afghan civilians killed, according to that same report. jerry in overton, nebraska, we will go to you, jerry. caller: thank you for taking my call. president biden said that there was no comparison between vietnam and the evacuation of vietnam and afghanistan. i see it exactly the same. i remember the people running to the embassy to try to get out. the same thing is happening in afghanistan with people chasing planes down the runway. i had a brother that i lost in vietnam, and it tears me apart to see the same thing happening again. thank you. guest: i think there are many that are with you and are seeing very, very strong similarities there, and i hope we can use that as lessons learned. it is one thing that is too often the case, that we are too
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shortsighted in our foreign policy come and we have to remember the lessons that we learned. one of the things we can remember from that, and i was just hearing about it this morning, about the way in which so many of the vietnamese refugees that we brought to the u.s. have contributed so heavily and strongly to the strength and creativity and success of the country. so hopefully, while there are definitely negative similarities between the withdrawal from vietnam and the withdrawal from afghanistan, we also have to look at the incredible contributions that were made by the vietnamese refugees who did fight alongside us and that we were able to get out back in the 1970's. host: neff annual in parksville, maryland. welcome to -- nathaniel, in parksville, maryland. caller: good morning, mr. butler.
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i would like to thank you for your service. i was going to talk about the 18 months preceding this evacuation, where the taliban was signing surrender agreements with the local tribal leaders. as far as afghanistan. but i do want to address your comparisons of vietnam to afghanistan. since the fall of afghanistan, there has been in excess of 350 thousand evacuated after the government fell. in vietnam, after the government fell, there was a total of zero. so i think you are comparing apples and oranges. host: jeremy butler? guest: i am by no means saying it is the exact same situation, but also i think there were
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hundreds of thousand -- i think we evacuated 300,000 total in the time leading up to the withdrawal of vietnam. which goes back to the point we have been trying to make, that this evacuation of our allies should have been going on for years, at a minimum for months, since the details around the withdrawal were finalized under the trump administration. it was an incredible missed opportunity. incredible frustrating that we did not take advantage of that time when we did have control over kabul, the airports, and certainly the forces on the ground, and the ability to bring siv applicants to staging areas to bring them out. so much more could have been done if we had started working on this earlier, as so many of us were pushing for. host: i want to run this number by you, and for our viewers as well. 51, the number of countries including nato and partner nations that have fought in the
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afghanistan war. what do you think about that? 51. how is the taliban in control? guest: it is an excellent question. i don't consider i self an expert on everything that went wrong, but it shows you the limitations of nationbuilding. that is the bottom line. when we went in by the allies, back in 2001, we were able to very quickly achieve the military success that we wanted to. the taliban were making an offer of complete and total surrender to the u.s., and the u.s. turned them down and said we are going to keep fighting, we want to wipe physically all of you out. i think it goes to the hubris and the extent of the limitations of what military power can do in a foreign country. we showed -- there obviously was a dedicated effort over the last
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two decades to fight in afghanistan, to rebuild, create new institutions. but that is challenging to do in another country, especially as the rest of those countries begin to turn their attention away to other things. we've not been focused on afghanistan in a good two decades. if you look at the last two presidential elections, there were zero conversations about strategy policy, goals, and afghanistan. the sum total of it was i'm going to get all of our troops out of the country. you did not get any details behind that. congress for years has not been focusing on their oversight rule. we have continued to fund these operations through overseas contingency operations funding. it is kind of laughable to consider it a 20-year campaign, a contingency. by that point you really should be planning much more firmly for it. in many ways, this is an example
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of what happens when you take your eye off the real prize and the real goal of why we went in there. so hopefully again, this goes back to what i was saying earlier, hopefully this is an opportunity that we can really, truly learn from and not just look at partisan blame game, finger-pointing, things like that. this has been a 20-year effort that has resulted in where we're at right now, and there is blame to be found for every administration going back to president bush. host: the washington post headline article is nearly 20 years of war, 10 days to fall. afghanistan by the numbers. the u.s. has estimated -- sent -- spent an estimated $2.2 trillion on the war effort. we are talking with jeremy butler, the ceo of the iraq and afghanistan veterans group. keith, when did you serve? caller: i served from 1980 to
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1983. i was with a unit that was a sister unit to the 82nd airborne as artillery. and the closest i came was on practice and stuff. his last statement, i would bring it all the way back to president clinton for not taking a shot twice at osama bin laden, because the civilians around him, we would not accept the civilians, but look what we got afterwards. my question is, these people coming back -- i don't want to take away anything from anybody, but these are the type of people that you want left in that country to help their country, if they are brave enough to do that. even during the iran situation, i never studied the islamic culture, and so she and pasture and and sunni and all this -- i hear a lot of the enemy of my
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enemy is my friend, and although they did relationships serving, they were serving for their country to help their country was their ultimate goal. and i just wonder, you know, bringing these people here -- we promised to, but the psyche of these people that we just blundered their country into -- plunder their country into devastation, what they will think about the country where they live again. i myself would not like that country. that just devastated my country and my extended family and had them all killed. host: let's take those concerns. jeremy butler? guest: keith, thanks for your questions and for the service as well. one, we made a promise. what we are doing, to a certain degree is fulfilling the promise that we made. those that are being evacuated go beyond now, qualifying for
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the special immigrant visas. but the similarity there is that there are also folks following through, and where following through on a promise that the u.s.-made. we encouraged them, told them you need to stand up, you need to expand women's rights here, we are going to support you 100%, so i understand what you're saying. but we are also basically following through on a promise we made to them, which is we are going to create a better society for you and your family, you should trust us, put your hopes and dreams in that even though there are many in your country who feel that what you're doing is wrong. i do feel that we need to stand by more than just the special immigrant visa applicants, to include those who are now at risk of death because of the forms of democracy and equality that we encourage them to fight for. this is not just a matter of
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some rights might be rolled back, this is literally they could be facing death, not just them but their families and others, because of what we encouraged them to stand for. so i think it is incumbent on the u.s. to follow through, to get them out, give them a better life. you are right that these are the folks that could build a better future afghanistan, but they are not going to be able to do that if they are forced into hiding or, worse, that they are killed. they can continue to advocate and fight for change and advancement in afghanistan from the u.s. we deserve to give them that opportunity, in my view. host: let's go to billy in crockett, texas. caller: good morning. i want to say i agree with what you all are saying. as a defendant of african-american slaves, i know
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how it feels and i understand there is a lot of negativity, president biden, bringing the people out of afghanistan, and dealing with the taliban. dealing with america as the number one nation in the world. it may not be the biggest size wise, but we are the most powerful nation in the world, and -- when you have people coming out like we are allowing them to come out, the people in america are all from different countries. i just want to say that god has our protection as well. as a longtime writer and activist, i know that a lot of times you do the right things and a lot of things will be negative, but at the end of the
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day, rather than joe biden -- doing what trump, who has really been a dysfunctional president, what he did say we were going to come out of that country and we are coming out now. but there will always be some type of -- for america. host: let's have jeremy butler respond. guest: thanks. i do want to add what you are saying, because you're right that one of the things that should also be remembered as there does become some unfortunate partisan fighting around increasing numbers of immigrants and afghan refugees coming here, is that literally just a few months ago, the congress had an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote to expand the number of siv applicants that we could give. so it was very much one of the few times that we have seen such strong bipartisan -- i forget the numbers that the legislation passed, but it was almost overwhelming that both
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republicans, democrats, and independents came together to say we need to vastly increase the number of afghan allies that we bring into this country. it is frustrating to me when i see now some partisan fighting and finger-pointing when it was just a few months ago, maybe even weeks ago that both parties and independents came together and said let's increase the number of allies we are bringing into this country. host: i want to get your thoughts on the press secretary yesterday talking about the idea of using the bagram air force base for these evacuations. take a listen. >> it was closed down as part of the retrograde, it was always to be closed down, turning over to the afghans. even as recently as three weeks ago, before we had to conduct a
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noncombatant evacuation operation, the leaders in this building ran a tabletop exercise on what it would be like to run an effective operation out of hamid karzai airport come and we are running that play now. it is not without its challenges for sure, but we are doing that now, and that is the focus, making sure we can get as many people out as possible, using hamid karzai international airport. the numbers are showing that it is working. don't want to be predictive about tomorrow, but it is working. host: jeremy butler, what do you think? guest: first off, i have been watching every one of these press conferences that the print gone -- that the pentagon has been doing at the state department, and i want to give credit to the administration for the frequency with which they are doing that. we might night like -- we might not we might not like everything we are hearing from them, but they do continue to give regular
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and frequent updates to the country as to what is happening. two point -- one, this idea about using the bagram air base goes back to the frustration have had, which is that we should have been doing this evacuation months, weeks, even years ago when we did have control of all these assets. so much more could have been completed in a more fluid manner if we had started a long time ago. obviously that is history now, and that is not an option, but on the flipside, the suggestion that we should conduct a combat operation to retake other parts of the country i think fails to take into account how dangerous that would be. taking airports is something that -- i think we had a caller that was with the 82nd airborne. it's one of the missions they train for, but that is incredible challenging, and i think it would be a given that the u.s. would meet stiff resistance from the taliban if
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we attempted to do that. perhaps down the line that become something that the u.s. considers, but i think anyone making that suggestion also needs to remember that you would be putting a lot of service members at real risk if we were to go down that path. host: from twitter -- do you see a civil war coming in afghanistan? guest: it's tough because in some ways i wonder how do you define a civil war. right now i think it is maybe already happening to a certain extent. it's just that the taliban is winning strongly and formidably. so many do not want the taliban in their country. you can have the larger conversation around how quickly many of the provincial leaders and district leaders came to peace deals with the taliban, but i think that was probably more in the sense of realizing what the long-term possibilities were, that they could fight and
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probably die or make an agreement and live to fight another day, if you will. you are seeing resistance efforts rising in the north. you're seeing the taliban respond to that. you are obviously seeing thousands and thousands of afghan citizens who want to get out of the country because they fear the taliban and they fear what life is going to be like not just right now, but possibly even after the u.s. completes its withdrawal. in many ways, i would say we might be seeing civil war happening right now. it is maybe just not as hot of a civil war, but i do think that there is going to be a lot of resistance to the taliban. it might not be armed resistance, but it is safe to say a large portion of the afghan society does not want the taliban running their country. there is obviously a clear segment that does, but that is what you have in the country -- it is a very divided and
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geographically and culturally diverse place. host: rhonda in fulsome, california. when did -- where did you serve and when? caller: from 1981 to 1984, medical generalist. mr. butler, it's an honor to speak with you. you mentioned earlier about the vetting process. my question to you that i'm most interested in is how meticulously and scrupulously are we vetting these now refugees? my concern is, because i have seen bottlenecks, i have seen deaths right outside of kabul, how are we willing -- in hopes that we are not letting in the taliban or isis? thank you for supporting come
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and thank you, washington journal, free taking my answer offline. thank you. guest: thank you. great questions, and thank you for your service as well, especially in the medical corps. credibly important, even more so these days. i don't have insight into the processes that the state department and military are using to vet evacuees as it is happening right now. they obviously have a process in place. it is obviously very important to them that they get it right. they are not bringing evacuees directly to the u.s., they are using other countries or military facilities, u.s. military facilities in other countries to begin that vetting process, so i cannot speak to anything other than what i hear the government saying and what is being reported in the media. but what i can speak to are the siv applicants and the amount of vetting that they receive before they were allowed to work with
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u.s. forces. that was incredibly expensive. they proved himself time and time again. i cannot stress enough that these were people going into harm's way, fighting. they were not hired to be armed fighters in this, but they oftentimes -- i should not say that, but there are definitely stories of them picking up weapons when the u.s. service members found themselves, fighting back, and they -- also by their service. year after year, putting their lives at risk, knowing that they were putting at risk their entire family. they had been vetted. they have been fighting to complete this process for in some cases decades, and it has been incredibly frustrating to see all of the stories about how the state department and others stepping along the way, they have been denied for simple things like missing a signature here performs being outdated,
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even though they have submitted these forms years ago and the state department finally gets back. the stories are in durable -- innumerable, both from the applicants themselves but also the thousands of u.s. service members who sponsored these afghan allies to get them here. they have been fighting themselves to get through the bureaucracy. the vetting was definitely done there. i cannot speak with any real knowledge about the vetting that is currently taking place, but i know it is a priority for the administration to make sure they get it right. no one wants to let in anyone who has ill intent against the u.s. host: connie in new jersey. caller: my question is, we were talking about afghanistan and so on. i heard many things compared
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with vietnam. my question is, -- that is one. second, you can never compare vietnam with afghanistan because we do not look at it like we do afghanistan. that has never happened. host: what was your first question, connie? caller: my question is, do we have any support in afghanistan? guest: i think she asked about prisoners of war in afghanistan? host: you heard it. go ahead. guest: i don't think there are u.s. service members, prisoners of war, but there are americans that are held -- i should not say necessarily by the taliban,
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but may be seized by the taliban that are still being held, and u.s. veterans that are being held, we believe, by the taliban, or forces that they are friendly with. but i don't believe -- i don't want to say this 100%, that i don't believe there are any u.s. service members that have been captured, but there are definitely americans, to include american veterans, that are being held by -- i think they are. i cannot speak for certain because in some cases it has been a little while since there has been direct contact. i appreciate you bringing that up because that is a very important thing, and there has been a movement to raise the issue, to try and get more information from the administration as to what they are doing, and maybe what they are hearing, what the intelligence community is hearing about those individuals. host: gregory, west palm beach,
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florida. when and where did you serve, sir? caller: good morning. mr. butler, good morning. i was deployed to panama, to saudi arabia, and i was also deployed to bosnia, and i also had a duty station in germany, korea, and italy. my question is to you -- out of all the conflicts and wars that we have been in, including iraq and afghanistan, how many -- vietnamese or koreans or anybody -- did we have to bring to the states? because ever since the revolutionary war, we have had allies. they used african-americans in the civil war for different reasons. i cannot remember anybody having a big issue trying to bring all these people from afghanistan, from other countries, that serve
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the american purpose with the help of their country. the taliban -- in afghanistan and pakistan, if i am correct. i wonder how many from other countries that we have brought back after wars? guest: it's a good question. i don't have the answer in terms of numbers, but i think you raise a good point, which is that foreign -- foreign individuals fighting on behalf, alongside the u.s., is not something new. this goes back to the revolutionary war, and it has continued through every conflict. i think it speaks to the high regard in which so many do hold the united states, and the ideals that we espouse as americans, because they support that. they want to be a part of it. they want to help expand that. that is why they are willing to put their life on the line to fight for these ideals. i think we need to encourage
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that and certainly rewarded when it happens. i'm sorry i don't have a specific answer, but it's a great question. i'm sure there are some historians that do. and i'm sure we would be surprised at how high the number is, because you are right, it has been an aspect of every conflict that the u.s. has taken part in. host: let's go to michael in galveston, texas. hi, michael. michael, good morning to you come in galveston, texas. caller: good morning to you. host: your question or comment for jeremy butler. caller: i want to comment on the discrepancy between vietnam and afghanistan. we were through from vietnam in 1973. saigon did not fall until 1975, only because congress withdrew support from the vietnamese military. the vietnamese fought, there was
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a corrupt government, no question about it. but there was a significant period to determine what to do about vietnam, and only when congress -- did vietnam fall. that is my comment. guest: i appreciate that, and i don't think anyone is trying to say that the parallels are exact. a lot of this conversation comes from president biden's comments -- i forget now how long it was ago, four weeks, six weeks -- that we were not going to see helicopters on the top of the rooftop embassy. he was making an argument against any comparison between afghanistan in vietnam -- and vietnam. and i think we have seen those words come back to haunt him. that is not to say that the situations are exact, but it is that the parallels between the
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chaotic ends and the number of evacuees trying to get out, those trying to flee, are very eerily similar, and the chaos around the withdrawal. it is much more complex than that, and i think we do a bit of a disservice to history in the reality of both situations, and we kind of gloss over it and try to put a picture up side by side to say same thing. you are right. i appreciate that comment. we can always do better to better understand our history. host: jim is a war veteran in mckinley ville, california. where did you serve? caller: vietnam, 1968 to 1970. host: thank you, sir, for your service. your question or comment this morning? caller: the fact that we spent so much blood and treasure in vietnam is all the more reason why we should have maintained a
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relatively small residual force there, to keep the taliban from taking over. we have had troops in south korea for 70 years, and even today we have nearly 30,000 troops in south korea. we were down to 2500 troops in afghanistan, none of them in combat roles. we haven't had a casualty there in more than a year and a half. because the afghans are doing the fighting, but they needed our air support, our logistical support, our technical support, and most of all, or moral support. and, you know, 2500 troops seems a small price to pay in order to maintain a presence there for intelligence, to keep the taliban from taking over so that -- host: jim, how do you respond to
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the president's upper argument, that if you kept them there, and then the spring friday season -- the spring fighting season against, and then having to send in more troops, another surge in this war? how do you respond to that? caller: i don't think that we would have needed more troops. the afghans -- 60,000 afghan soldiers fought and died in that war. like i say, what price would be needed to prevent millions of afghan women and girls from now once again being condemned to virtual lives of slavery in that country? host: jeremy butler, your perspective? guest: a few comments here, and i appreciate the question and i absolutely appreciate your service. first off, it should be remembered that president trump made an agreement with the
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taliban that the u.s. would withdraw and be out i may of this year, so i think it is a little easy to say that we would have continued with the low casualty rates and things like that if president biden had decided to break that agreement and stay longer. it is obviously speculation, and there are views on both sides. we should have stayed come he could have renegotiated deal with the taliban, etc. i don't know. i can't speak to the veracity of the likelihood of one count -- one outcome or the other. it would have required breaking an agreement that the u.s. under president trump made with the taliban or negotiating a new agreement potentially, or trying to, with the taliban. the other part of this is going back to something i was saying at the beginning, which is i feel the u.s. administrations, going back years, to include congress, ed bk did -- abdicated
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their role of focusing in understanding what exactly are goals, our attention, our strategy was. let's see -- let's say they were able to maintain a footprint of 2500 in the region and maybe make a new deal with the taliban etc. to what end, is my question. we were not would it be to be there forever and remain as an occupying force, providing support to the afghan army as they continue to fight against the taliban. if that's the case i can't imagine the taliban would have been supportive of us remaining in the country. i think you would have ultimately had a large uptick in u.s. casualties which would have resulted in an increase in u.s. forces back in the country and another prolonged occupation of the country. that's my view. my opinion. i think it all goes back to the
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u.s. not having a clear sense of what we were trying-to-cheemb in the country and what our ultimate end states were. and not having a regular robust dialogue about it. congress wasn't holding hearings to find out what we wanted to do. the u.s. people weren't being loud and vocal about this being a priority and wanting to know what the president wanted to do. that allowed multiple administrations to a certain extent turn their back on focusing on what was happening. frankly i think to let the military run things and not have the real coordinated work of the u.s. government working to achieve very clearly established goals. that's a bit of a long winded answer to your question. i appreciate it. i know this is something that will be debated for a long time. host: jeremy butler. we appreciate your time this morning. c.e.o., veterans of america web
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group. thank you for the conversation. guest: thank you. appreciate t appreciate all the callers. thank you. host: especially the veterans. we want to thank all of you for calling in and thank you for your service as well. we are going to return to where we left off after our first hour and that is getting your take on this infrastructure debate in washington. what do you support? republicans dial at 202-748-8001 . democrats, 202-748-8000. and independents, 202-748-8002. text with your first name, city, state, to 202-748-8003. happening now on capitol hill democrats are meeting behind closed doors. our capitol hill producer, craig kaplan with this tweet this morning and photo capturing the howlway. house democrats will meet at 9
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a.m. to discuss the house floor strategy to pass a rule to advance their $3.2 trillion budget resolution and the senate passed bipartisan infrastructure package. the capitol basement hallway right there is filling up probably right as we speak with members and reporters. what are they debating? right now yesterday they were supposed to move forward with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package as craig notes. 10 centrist democrats are holding up that evident because they want passed first the $1 billion infrastructure bill that passed in the senate. what does that include? those details, $100 billion for roads and bridges. $66 billion for freight and passenger rail. $65 billion for broadband internet. $460 billion for severe weather resilience operations. $39 billion for transit. another $25 billion for airports. the $3.4 trillion budget package
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includes a lot of things. here are some top line numbers. $726 billion for universal pre-k community college. $332 for public housing and housing affordability. clean energy and development they want to spend $198 billion on that to address forest fires, $135 billion. as democrats talk behind closed doors on capitol hill on how they get this to the floor, listen to what has been happening. we talked to scott wong, capitol hill reporter earlier today. this is what he told us. guest: what nope has done is
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package three items of the agenda. the john lewis voting rights bill. the $1.2 trillion infrastructure packable that passed the senate recently. and this budget framework that would pave wait for the bigger, much bigger bill, $3.5 trillion in human infrastructure as joe biden has put it. what happened was that democrats and democratic leaders underestimated these centrist rebels who are objecting to the process. they didn't like how nancy pelosi was packaging this together. the timing of this. they didn't like her political strategy of how these bills would come to the floor. they wanted to see infrastructure passed first and passed quickly to give joe biden that win. so what we saw was a standoff that lasted hours. hours of negotiations between pelosi and her leadership team
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and josh gottheimer of new jersey, one of the leaders of this moderate group. and after several hours of negotiation, of shuttling between offices and leadership offices, steny hoyer's office, nancy pelosi's office for a number of hours, midnight passed last night and there was still no resolution and so we are still engaged in this tense standoff. remember, this is democrats against democrats. this has nothing to do with republicans at the moment. they are having a family discussion and a family disagreement. it's playing out very much in public. host: why did these centrists have this leverage? guest: they have this leverage much like because -- of how joe manchin and kirsten sinema in the senate have considerable leverage. the margin of their majority is so narrow in both the senate and the house. in the house nancy pelosi can only lose three democrats on any
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given vote. josh gottheimer has now -- they were known as the moderate nine, they had nine moderates sticking together and saying my way or the highway. or we are going to take down joe biden's agenda. now they have 10. stephanie murphy, one of the other leaders of the moderates. she's one of the co-chairs of the blue dog democrats. she also has joined this group. now they have 10. they have incredible leverage. they flexed their muscle last night and showed that they mean business. it sounds like the two sides are inching closer to a deal. there is going to be another democratic family meeting, a caucus meeting at 9 a.m. this morning. then they'll have separate all members briefing on the other big crisis, which is afghanistan. they'll hear from the top biden officials, including secretary of state tony blinken.
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nancy pelosi is saying she hopes to have some kind of deal with gottheimer by noon when she plans, as she told reporters last night, she plans to bring this rule, this procedural vote to the floor. she's hoping that they have something in hand with josh gottheimer to move this agenda forward. host: what can the speaker give to these centrists? guest: what they want, what the centrists want, they have made it very clear, they want the infrastructure bill to go first and to go soon rather than wait around for a week's long or even month's long process for the democrats to shape this $3.5 trillion social safety net plan that joe biden has proposed. it's extremely ambitious. the concern from gottheimer is that he believes the longer that
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the infrastructure, the senate passed infrastructure bill sits out there, the longer it can get beat up by republicans, by former president trump who has been railing against republicans in his party for supporting this bipartisan bill. gottheimer is the leader of the bipartisan problem solvers caucus. he wants, obviously, republicans to join in the effort to help democrats pass this bipartisan bill. he thinks the longer it sits out there, i think, the longer republicans might get a little shaky in terms of their support and maybe in the end there won't be the 30 to 40 they think are there today. that won't give moderates like gottheimer bipartisan cover. that's what they are looking for. they are looking for a quick vote on infrastructure. nancy pelosi has so far ruled
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that out. what we are hearing, what people like mark takano, one of the committee chairmen has told me, pelosi could offer him an olive branch and say, look, we will move up that bipartisan vote, maybe it's october 1. that's a date we have been hearing lately. maybe sooner than that. but it would be guaranteed to gottheimer and the moderates that we will pass infrastructure by this date certain and get that to biden's desk for his signature. host: if that bipartisan package doesn't move this week, then what will move this week? what does the rest of this week in washington for house lawmakers look like? guest: well, it really is uncertain because everything hinges on this one procedural rules vote. what nancy pelosi did something very creative, she said, look, what if we deemed the -- what if
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we deemed the budget resolution, the big controversies in the room, as passed when we pass that rule, the rule we have been talking about. this procedural vote. that would spare the moderates from taking a tough vote on a separate $3.5 trillion budget package. and that so far is an idea that some moderates are open to, but not all. it hasn't won over all 10 of those moderates. so nancy pelosi -- as somebody put to me recently as one of nancy pelosi's colleagues put to me, don't bet against nancy pelosi. she's been there before. she knows how these things work. and she can work miracles. she's obviously one of the most experienced legislators in the room. she understands rules and procedures. so she may have a trick up her
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sleeve yet. if they are unable to come to an agreement, it really -- won't say it derails joe biden's domestic agenda, but it really flows down -- slows down the momentum where just a few weeks ago we were talking about how much momentum joe biden had with the senate victory on his infrastructure package. obviously in just a few weeks things have turned considerably given the situation in afghanistan and given this rebellion that we are seeing from moderates in his own party. host: to follow everything that's happening on capitol hill throughout today, go to the, scott wong is the -- one of the reporters for the hill. you can follow him on twitter@scottwongdc. thank you. that from earlier this morning. we are watching on capitol hill as democrats are gathering inside the capitol and meeting
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behind closed doors and discuss what's next as you just heard from scott wong. your turn here to tell these lawmakers what do you want them to do on infrastructure? john in brooklyn. go to you. democratic caller, hi, john. joip how you doing? i'm john -- caller:, how you doing? i'm john. i want to talk about paying for the bill. to me they got a one track narrow mind. they don't figure out what would the bill gain to america? how much money would you make on new technology on fixing the economy so they can make money. nobody talks about that. everybody's saying, well, who's going to pay for this? my grandkids? would you want to get your grandkids an economy an eggshell. or give your kids and grandkids an economy that's space aged designed and ready to go? host: all right, john. let's listen in as this lawmaker
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talks to reporter. >> with the cares act. with the american rescue plan. so proud that the president has brokered a bipartisan deal. we spoke to that loudly and clearly. it was a meeting of unity. like in any family, people have different views until the family comes together. that's what we are doing today. reporter: 10 moderates, how democrats are doing in holding -- >> i'm not angry with anyone. but i'm committed to making sure that we are united and we get on the right page. we are united as the congressional black caucus. and we have different views. but we know this is what's right for the american people. and we are not that far apart. it is a procedural more than the actual legislative process. reporter: are we still going to have a vote on the john lewis voting rights act? >> i'm going in here to find out what we are going to vote on. but we are very hopeful we'll have a vote today.
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thank you. host: you just heard from that lawmaker, she has been to this meeting on capitol hill that they are discussing what's next because of these 10 centrist democrats. let me show you who these 10 centrist democrats are. they are being led by josh gottheimer, democrat from new jersey, who was in those talks for hours yesterday. and there are the rest of the members of congress, these democrats, that are moderates. that are saying that they will vote against any procedural moves to move forward on this $3.2 trillion unless they vote on this $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. it sounds like, according to punch bowl news, they have moved from demanding -- first they vote on the $1 trillion package to now just getting a guarantee
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of a vote. carolyn in tucson, arizona, independent. what do you think they should do? caller: well, i don't know or care what they should do. i do know that you as the media have an immense power over the national psyche. and direct what happens politically. the government has always been in surgery. will always be in surgery. and it is ugly. and it is complex. and to show snippets and direct emotions so that it influences the future votes of people, you have a responsibility. and you could go outside the surgery to the doctors and specialists and equipment providers. you could be talking to the billionaires asking what they will do privately to sustain the
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economy. you could be going to the new deal concepts that biden's trying to put across. host: ok. carolyn in tucson, arizona. chad who covers capitol hill for fox news treat tweething out house democrats meeting and another caucus meeting now. democrats trying to find a path forward to approve a budget resolution which will help pass the $3.5 trillion social spending bill. democrats need budget in place to use reconciliation to avoid a filibuster in the senate. otherwise they are stuck. steve, normal, illinois, republican. steve, what do you think should happen? caller: first of all i think they are working on the wrong thing. they need to work on afghanistan. then go out and see why our clueless president didn't -- did things the way he did. this bill will always be there. they can do that later. that's how the democrats work.
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they work backwards. congress works backwards. if they don't get things straightened out in afghanistan, we may not have an america. host: they are going to get a briefing on capitol hill from secretary of state anthony blinken behind closed doors on what's happening in afghanistan. we'll go to kneel, new york. republican. kneel, on infrastructure -- neil, on infrastructure what do you think should happen on capitol hill? caller: personally i think the $1 trillion plan should go forward. they should scrap this $3 trillion debacle. the reap for that is i think the $1 -- reason for that is i think the $1 trillion plan is more focused. if you look at the rent relief money that was sent to states, a lot of that money has not been disbursted.
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a lot of that money the states -- disbursed. a lot of that money the states had no idea what to do with it. there was no plan. it was just money thrown at a problem. and hoping that somehow it would solve the problem. if you can't focus that money, then there is -- there's absolutely no sense in spending it. host: chuck, democratic caller, in jeffersonville, indiana. chuck, what do you think of your party right now and this infighting? caller: i think they are doing a great job. i think nancy and them will work it out. a couple other things i would like to say, greta. the gentleman on there is jason smith, about where the trillion was spent. where did the $2 trillion go for the rich when they were in power? for paying all this? they have rich people here they are not paying no taxes. they should be paying taxes. we can get this taken care of.
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host: sounding optimistic about the party and path forward. so is jim mcgovern, democrat from massachusetts chair of the rules committee. to our craig kaplan on capitol hill. i'm going to go in there now and figure it out. i trust everything will get settled and move forward. and chad from his colleague, carolyn mcgee, democratic leaders on what they expect from their caucus meeting today as they try to get votes for budget resolution, for social spending. he quotes jim clyburn, cooperation. hoyer said it would be hopefully positive. let's go to west burrough, massachusetts, indent. as we look at the door to the meeting where democrats are gathering as they discuss this next step, what do you think they should do? caller: hi. my name is fadra calling from massachusetts. yes. i was actually just wanting to
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comment on something that scott wong said earlier from the hill. i think he said something along the lines of the social part of the infrastructure bill being a social safety net. i wanted to push back on that. it really is an investment. i agree with what chuck said. we will find the money. that seems clear one way or the other. it's not easy. do i think it's an investment and i think the media and everybody should look at it as such instead of naming it a social safety net. people do not like to hear social safe net. a lot of people don't. everyone likes to hear universal preschool. thank you. host: dianne, fredericksburg, virginia. democratic caller. caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. i think they should go ahead and put all the two plans together and then vote on the them simultaneously. also, we got to remember the
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democrats did do this all the time. they fight among themselves. even if they all agree on the same thing they are still going to fight against themselves anyway. so the so-called democrats that want a deal on voting on the $1 trillion there is just 10 of them. what happens to the other people? host: all the republicans are voting against moving forward on this $3.5 trillion. and democrats only have a three vote margin. they can't afford to lose more than three democrats. that's why these 10 centrist democrats have the leverage. caller: well, what happened to the 930 left wingers, also? they have more leverage than the 10 people. so if 10 people want to get what they want, what happens to the 90 people? i'm very confident the democrats will solve this out. they always do that. it's sickening, but what can you do? this is democracy, right?
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even one person have the choice to say whatever they want to say. you have to listen to them. so, yeah, 10 people want this. 90 left wingers also want something. they don't want to vote on this. host: ok. on that family fight, let me show you craig caplan's tweet. jim mcgovern on last night's heated closed door democratic caucus meeting on the house floor strategy to advance the budget resolution and senate passed infrastructure bill. he was quoted as saying, i don't think it was tense. that's my natural self. we swear a lot in massachusetts. lea in illinois. independent. hi. lea, good morning. we lost her. michael in arizona. democratic caller. what's up, michael? what should your party do? caller: good morning. our party is stuck with an intransient senate.
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so what they have to negotiate within themselves only and that's all this is. you can call it infighting, call it what you want. ultimately if all the democrats want higher taxes for the rich, expanded medicare, expanded eldercare. every single republican could care less about because that's helping people. voters rights. democrats have to figure it out among themselves and whatever will work ultimately we'll get there. can you call it infighting. it's just negotiation because they have another side who won't negotiate at all. host: listen to chip roy. member of the house freedom caucus, the conservative group. they held a news conference yesterday to talk about this $3.5 trillion budget package. and here was his argument against it. >> instead right now when thousands of americans are still in the outside of gates looking to try to get into the airport in afghanistan in kabul, when we've got assets, our planes,
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our helicopters, our humvees, weapons that are now in the hands of our enemy, instead of sitting in here and having hearings, instead of having conversation abouts what we can do to push this administration to do its job, we are here to spend $3.5 trillion we don't have. we are here to have the federal takeover of elections. that's what we are here to do. make no mistake about what this $3.5 trillion bill s it's a bunch of leftist nonsense that the american people don't want to see with massive takeover of health care and expansion of the federal government in health care. a massive expansion of green new deal policies. trying to push us to being 80% carbon free by 2030. all of this stuff is the wish list of the progressive list -- progressive left and the squad. that's why we are here in august? that's why the speaker calls us back in august while our people are on the outside looking in in afghanistan. host: from the republican party. chip roy of texas.
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listen to democrats criticize -- criticism of republicans' opposition to what they are trying to do. here's jim mcgovern, chair of the rules committee yesterday. >> i really am tired of the talking point that we look forward to working with you. you don't. i think it's pretty clear. i also get tired of the talking point of, all we care about the debt and deficit. i remember you passed a tax cut mostly for rich people that cost over $2 trillion. over the next decade. and none of it was paid for. and talk about problems to solve, we have people in europe, who don't believe in the climate crisis. and look over time to find ways to block anything that might address that issue. when you talk about government shutdowns, those last big government shutdown i remember was when you guys controlled the
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house, the senate, and the white house and you shut it down. that's a first in history. on infrastructure, everybody said -- one of the things that joe biden's predecessor said that when he was campaigning that he wanted to do something on infrastructure. we thought that might be a place for common ground. yet, republicans didn't want to work with us on anything. or anything meaningful. we had infrastructure weeks. how insulting to the american people. infrastructure weeks. we now have a infrastructure bill. that has bipartisan support in the senate. i expect when it comes to the floor that there will be some republicans who support it. host: the chair of the rules committee, jim mcgovern of massachusetts. we turn to you this morning as democrats debate among themselves on the path forward here.
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and your turn to tell washington what you think they should do. alexis in wilmington, north carolina. independent, go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i find it very puzzling that there are republicans who are working poor and need help with paid family medical leave, universal preschool, etc. why don't they ever want to help their own? i don't get it. i'm for both bills. and as far as the money being spent and our people standing trying to get back to america from afghanistan, that's thanks to steven miller who held up every step of the way. host: let's stick to the infrastructure debate. here's monica in california, kentucky. democrats need to get the job
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done. let the republicans vote no and face their voters in the mid terms. those holding out need to look at the big picture. maryanne in northern cambria, pennsylvania. democratic caller. what do you say? caller: well, i say that they ought to go ahead and pass the infrastructure, the $1.2, which is bipartisan. why continue this infighting? they are so -- hellbent on working together, this is what they say they want to do. then pass the one. and then worry about the other one later. if that's what they have come up with, ok, the roads, that's what we need done. who did they think is going to pay for all of this? it's going to be our children. i am registered as a democrat but i voted republican. but right now they both need to
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come together and do something. host: maryanne you support what passed in the senate with bipartisan support, that $1.2 trillion package? caller: yes. host: ok. caller: they should just stop the fighting. go with that one. and work on the other one later. host: understood. we'll go to fortune in springfield gardens, new york, independent. you are next. caller: good morning. i just want to say that now as the democrats have the majority in both houses, they need to stop -- they need to start doing something. first thing they need to do is to repeal the trump tax cut that was passedle which is hurting middle class families. in addition, they need to abolish the filibuster.
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because the republicans are stopping everything. this infrastructure bill is a good thing for the country. and the fact that democrats need to stop playing politics of consensus. and nancy pelosi needs to start acting like newt gingrich and just pass bills and have all of the soldiers in line to pass the bills that they were elected for. and they need to actually stop making -- thinking about what's going to happen -- they are elected to do a job. host: speaker pelosi told reporters last evening when asked it do you have the votes to move forward? she said we will when we come to the floor. look for floor action right here on c-span. we'll bring you gavel-to-gavel uninterrupted, unfiltered coverage of the floor. right here. you can also go to our website, c watch us there, follow us on
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social media website on facebook, at c-span is our handle on twitter g to instagram and follow us there as well. eric in seattle, progressive democrats and the c.b.c., the congressional black caucus need to let pelosi know they will hold their vote also if they are not done together. it's more them than we want both. he says. then you have dave in georgia. the rich are not opposed to the bill. they know this will be paid by hardworking american people in the long run. senate republicans hosed by nancy again is what dave has to say. vineyard, maine, a republican. what's your take on this? caller: yes. i think they ought to just, democrats ought to just save their money and put it in their pocket because when afghanistan gets through we are going to need more money for that alone. plus, the first thing is to get those americans out. host: all right.
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let's stick to infrastructure here. let's go to patricia in oregon and her text writing, though the infrastructure bill has not yet passed, i contacted my local school boards to bring our congresspeople and the various industries involved to talk to teachers, students, and parents on the career opportunities and academic training needed for the students so we can be ready to rise to the occasion. in charlotte, north carolina n. democratic caller. what's your name? you have to turn down the television. caller: sorry. host: your turn. caller: ok. my name is sahash, calling from charlotte, north carolina. the democrats have to sign what they supposed to sign. they supposed to pass infrastructure. we worry about afghanistan. why don't we worry about ourself over here?
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work on this one and go to the next one. this is a good deal. and now go to the next one. that's it. i'm a democrat. i lifelong. host: ok. george in michigan. independent. hi. caller: hello. how are you? host: well. caller: thank you. my comment is i wish the -- sorry, i wish the republicans will put their foot down and stop this bill any way they can. there is so much pork in there that's been promised to democrat supporters. none of those other things besides bridges, roads, and actual infrastructure mean anything. they ought to vote on those things separately and let those bills stand on their own. if it can pass it passes. if it doesn't, it doesn't. stop this bill any way you can, republicans. host: george is taking michigan.
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guy in new york with a text, gottheimer's group, he says of those 10 democrats, are simply trying to vote on infrastructure bill first because they are uninterested in the social welfare bill. it's a shameless ploy to avoid going on the record against the larger budget bill. and ted in indianapolis, if political agendas are removed, it's an easy decision how to proceed. pass without conditions the bipartisan hard scape infrastructure bill that will benefit all americans. not just social special interests that split the country. the answer is self-evident in the described 10 centrist democrats. that defines the remaining democrats as extremists. bob in dayton, ohio, democratic caller. what do you think of your party this morning? caller: i think they should just at least pass the infrastructure bill for the roads and bridges. we definitely, definitely need t it's way past time. and the fact that we should work
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on the second bill because it's about time they do something for the american public. thank you. host: ronald, sanford, north carolina, democratic caller. what do you think, ronald? ronald in sanford, north carolina. what should happen here on capitol hill this morning on this infrastructure debate? caller: well, the democrats you think about what's going to happen in november of 2021 if they don't get this thing passed. they are going to be on the outside looking in. we are going to have a senate controlled by republicans. and house controlled by republicans. host: ronald, are you talking about both the $1.2 -- caller: i'm talking about both bills. they need to get them passed. they need to get their stuff together. the republicans always stuck
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together. the democrats can't -- just can't seem to do that. it's going to cost them in mid terms. guarantee t host: i seem to remember president trump complaining that republicans weren't sticking together. caller: well, they always stuck together. even the filibuster to the supreme court. host: ronald from sanford, north carolina. patricia in maine. a republican. hi. caller: pay hi, there. i just want to say that i think that the $1.7 trillion is plenty for the infrastructure at this point. hello. host: we are listening. caller: oh. all right. host: you are confused because you didn't turn down your television. gary, in st. louis. democratic caller. caller: hi. i guess the question i have here is the progressive -- i think they should pass both bills. but feels like the progressive
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argument, in fact, is with manchin as sinema. can't quite figure out -- host: can't figure out what, gary? caller: can't figure out what -- it can't be the republicans that they are holding up the votes for because they have sufficient votes in the senate. that allows them to pass the bill without republican support. i think they need to go after -- they need to pass both bills and go after sinema and manchin. host: rocky in california texts us to say. vote on the $1 trillion bill and give biden a win. then tackle $3.5 trillion bill. some democrats along with environmental groups held a news conference on capitol hill yesterday to push for the $3.5 trillion. arguing it would help with climate change. here is the chair of the climate
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crisis special committee, kathy cassor. >> here's what we intend to do. we are going to stop the pollution that is devastating our way of life. we are going to build and connect up the lower cost renewable and clean energy resources for consumers. we are going to build more resilient communities with the focus on good-paying jobs, careers, and opportunities. and we are going to do it in an equitable way that secures environmental justice for the communities that have too long carried the burden of pollution. so let's get specific here. what does this mean build back better? well, we are going to clean up the power sector. through a new clean energy payment plan that will speed up the employment of clean energy. i see electrical workers finding new careers that will be lifelong. we are going to put americans to work, manufacturing electric cars, trucks, and pus busts and charging infrastructure.
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a boon to auto works and electrical works across this great country. we are going to lead by example here in the federal government, electrifying the federal vehicle fleet. make our federal buildings run cleaner. plumbers, pipe fitters, auto workers, iron workers will be hard at work doing this. host: kathy castor from yesterday, chair of the climate crisis committee. democrat from florida. listen to the republicans. this is jason smith who is the top g.o.p. member of the house budget committee testifying before the rules committee last night. he says, here's his argument against this budget package. >> budgeting means coming up with a plan before you start spending. of course the budget is not about strengthening the fiscal integrity of our nation. nor is this budget about getting government spending and inflation under control. we know it's not about protecting the integrity of
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programs, our seniors depending. and it's certainly not -- does not protect america's working class families and those making less than $400,000 a year. from a tax increase. in fact, it does the opposite. the whole effort is simply to turn this budget into a political tool. to unlock the door to at least $3.5 trillion in new spending and taxes on a -- and a host of policies which do nothing to fix the crisis that american families are facing. the unnation crisis, the border crisis -- the inflation crisis, the border crisis, the afghanistan crisis. this budget only makes it worse. host: infrastructure debate
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happening on capitol hill as we talk to all of you this morning. democrats preparing for a path forward on the $3.5 trillion budget package while some, 10 democrats, say they want to vote first on the $1 trillion budget package. we want you to tell these lawmakers in washington what you want them to do. john in mcandicsburg, pennsylvania, republican, go next. caller: good morning. my problem is when you say infrastructure i think most people behind that as far as roads and bridges. but all this other wish list of the democrats and getting money to the special interest groups, that -- we can't have that vote buying going on. we can't afford it. as far as talking about pollution, you need lithium for car batteries. if you look at lithium mines, they are totally ruining the environment. i don't like the devil's speak about that, either.
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that was my comment today. host: all right. bruce in texas with the text, the infrastructure bill is 45 years overdue. i had high hopes when the cold war ended that money could be diverted to roads and bridges. hopefully infrastructure will create jobs and help solve some social issues. rick in lincolnville, maine, independent. what do you say? caller: good morning, greta. this whole dog-and-pony show is nothing more than a proxy of what the democrats hope to achieve in the midterm elections. they are trying to buy votes like they always do. they are trying to keep everybody happy. but you can't keep everybody happy. let's just do the roads and bridges and the social stuff can come on later, thank you. host: all right, rick. coming up here at 10 a.m. eastern time, kathy hochul will be ceremoniously sworn in as the
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first female governor of new york. she was sworn in after midnight and she sent out this tweet showing that swearing-in happening. hopored to be officially sworn in as new york's 57th governor. she's looking forward to the full swearing-in ceremony with her family this morning at 10 a.m. eastern time. then 3 p.m. eastern time she's going to be addressing the people of new york. look for our coverage on hayward, california, democratic caller. we'll go to you. what is your name? caller: yes. the name is akiba. i disagree with these republicans for, number one, they have no clue what's going on. democrats has always been for the people. i think we need to pass both bills because infrastructure has a lot to do with rental and everything that's going on in this country. and if we don't pass that, we worry about just bridges, what about the homeless people?
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all that is in this reconciliation bill. republicans don't care about nobody but themselves. and it's really irony about how they say that democrats, democrats. i am so sick of them. it's about the people. our democracy is on the line for everything else. we cannot afford to just pass one bill. we have taken a long time even trying to get any bills through because of what's going on with the republicans and the grim reaper. host: all right. scott who is an independent, essex, massachusetts, texted to say, democrats do not have mandate. why are they trying to push this second package through? time to start from square one again. david in las vegas, a republican. hi, david. what's your take? caller: how you doing? fine. i agree with jason. the representative for the republican party and his comments. i do not trust the democrats.
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i grew up in a democrat family. and i had a cousin in congress. and from the county where i grew up in california. host: we are listening. caller: i'd like to know what your thoughts are? you have been sharing -- chairing this committee, this tv broadcast for a long time. you have been around for a long time. what skills do you have in all this? host: well-- caller: you ask us. host: right. and the reason why we don't share our opinions is because when we sit in this chair, we are the mott rad -- moderators of the conversation. we are facilitating it. it doesn't matter what we think. we are staying out of it. and helping to let you speak to lawmakers who are presumably
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watching right now as they wait for the floor to gavel in. and let them know what you think. and we also, at this table, bring lawmakers to you so you can ask them questions directly. we are just moderating all those conversations. ronnie in houston, texas. independent. hi. caller: good morning. i listen to all these people they are saying democrats do this and republicans do that. at the end of the day they are all going to stick together. the problem is there's too much pork in any bill that goes through. i think it's like 10% is actually going to roads and bridges. there's a huge percentage going to 5-g. but then there is billions of dollars given out to all kinds of people. all it is is money that gets redirected right back into campaigns. this is going to be a problem for the next 100 years if we
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don't decide to do something about it. host: update for you on afghanistan. there is from associated press assert. the taliban spokesman says that the u.s. must complete evacuations of afghanistan by august 31. no extensions. is what they are saying. jared in kentucky, democratic caller. hey, good morning. on the infrastructure debate, what do you think should happen? caller: i think both bills should pass. what i am worried about is after a change in the tax code, if the dow drops that could be a huge problem. that's all i have to say about that. host: ok. charles in d.c., independent. why are there no conversations or policies on infrastructure training for the millions of unemployed or underemployed americans? with the number of unified jobs
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-- unfilled jobs or soon-to-be vacant positions due to the retirees, the lack of a pipeline to infrastructure training for high school students and young adults as the replacement trades men and women is is actually a national security issue. david in san antonio, republican. hi, welcome to the conversation. caller: hi. how you doing. host: good morning. what's your opinion? caller: all i want to say. we are all worried about infrastructure and all this. if we don't nip this afghanistan deal in the bud, we are not going to have a infrastructure to worry about. we'll end up back with towers being blown up and everything else. our government needs to do the job they were hired to do. and they are not doing that. and the infrastructure is the least of our concerns right now. host: all right. david. as well as infrastructure, what democrats are calling human infrastructure in this $3.5 trillion budget package, they have also tied it together, the voting rights bill. so there are voting rights
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groups that have targeted those 10 centrist democrats in a new ad to pressure them to not hold up the budget package. take a look at the ad. >> joe biden promised he would build back better. and his infrastructure plan does exactly that. fixing our roads and bridges. making historic investments in clean energy, education, and broadband. expanding medicare and childcare. but these nine conservative democrats are sabotaging biden's geanda, because it would make billionaires and corporations pay their fair share. tell representative gottheimer stop obstructing president biden and start working for the american people. host: and ad by voting rights groups targeting those 10 centrist democrats who are holding up right now. they are in negotiations. the bill, the $3.5 trillion package, there are the democrats on your screen. led by josh gottheimer of new
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jersey carolyn bourdeaux of georgia, ed case of hawaii, jared golden of maine. you have oregon's kurt schrader, california congressman jim costa, and three texas democrats, henry cuellar, vincent gonzalez, and vela also of texas. and stephanie murphy of florida just jointing this group in dissenting on the path forward. matthew in denver, colorado. independent. what do you think should happen? caller: i definitely think he we are -- think we are getting to a point in politics where it's becoming more like a football team debate. it's not actually focusing more on the info getting out through these bills and more so focusing on the people pushing the bills. host: ok. anthony, pikesville, maryland, democratic caller. your turn. caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. focusing just on the bill itself i have always supported it.
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it's useful to everyone who rides the road, rides the rail, cybersecurity. i can understand the shepherding of this amount of money. still i don't know what the special interest in congress is holding it up for. what we need to do is concern ourselves with how it helps all of us and not just the one or two districts that they represent. that's my only comment. host: ok. here is renee in georgia. republicans. she writes are never worried about spending money in other places. just here in america. $1 trillion in afghanistan for what? we shouldn't have better roads and airports? keith in walk saw, wisconsin, a republican. hi. good morning. caller: good morning. greta. good morning, fell americans. -- fellows americans. i want to say there really is no such thing as human infrastructure. yes, we need bridges and roads and airports and ports fixed. but human infrastructure is
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nothing but socialist program wish list from the democrats. now, when you talk about $3.5 trillion, at that sounds like a lot of money. there was once a politician said a billion here and billion there, i am paraphrasing, you are talking real money. what is trillion. it's not a 10 billion, it's not 100 million. a trillion is 1,000 billion dollars. so when you are talking about spending $3.5 trillion, that's 3,500 billion dollars. that is going to put america in bankruptcy. that's my comment. host: rocky river, ohio. on our line for democrats. elaina, what do you think your party should do here? caller: i think i'm in support of the infrastructure money being -- the domestic arena rather than pouring money into international scene any longer. which is what's happening with getting out of afghanistan.
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so glad to see we are getting out of there and focusing domestic issues. host: ok. on capitol hill democrats are meeting behind closed doors. as they were walking in c-span's craig caplan heard the ways and means chair, richard neil of sepulveda pass on these talks saying i know the evident fer effort was being made -- effort was being made. it appears there was progress made then. we always anticipated this would be a walk slog from the chair of the ways and means committee. there is a live shot outside of the meeting room in the basement of the capitol. democrats are behind there having what they have dubbed the family meeting. discussing how they go forward when 10 democrats want a vote first on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, or according to punch bowl news,
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they at least want a state date set for that vote. bill in houston, texas, independent. hi. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say, people need to understand that the government does not have a construction company. they can't fix the infrastructure. it's up to the local governments to fix their own infrastructure. everybody in the country has different needs. they ought to just stop taxing us. let us keep our own money and fix our own problems. for them to tax us and whatever party's in power is going to dole out the money as they say fit, that's not representation. it doesn't get things fixed. it's just like education. the federal government should not be in the business of education. that's a local issue for all the local independent school districts. the government needs to have a common currency and national defense. that's it. they should get out of the rest of it. host: all right, bill.
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charles west palm beach, florida. a republican. welcome to the conversation. go ahead. caller: thank you for the conversation. my main issue is i have never seen so much pork in my entire life in a bill. why is democrats doing this to us? i used to be a democrat. i'll never side with that side again. everybody i'm friends with are the same. so maybe this is a thing, what do you call it a premonition on your side, the democrats, this is not going anywherefore you if anything it's going to put you in a hole. let's get together as americans. make this work. not pork, grandkids and grandkids' grandkids into the poorhouse. take the pork out. remove the politicians that have pork in their agenda. move on from there. host: got it, charles.
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betty in elizabethtown, kentucky. betty, good morning. caller: good morning. host: are you a democrat. what do you think about this infighting. caller: first of all i'd like to say i'm so clad r glad for coming back into our country where we can talk without each other ranting and raving. i appreciate the fact you don't give your opinion. i support the bill. we need infrastructure. i also support the voting rights bill. that's something that we are kind of throwing under the rug. we need to remember this is something that has been a plague to our nation for so long. denying people the right to vote. finding one means or another whether it's counting marbles in a jar to qualify. thank goodness that we are at least becoming calmer. the only way we can solve our
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problem is to talk to each other and stop blaming each other. this afghanistan, how does it look to the rest of the world? when we can't even get along with our politicians, they are attacking to gain political status. thank you for taking my call. host: all right, betty. john in lake geneva, wisconsin, independent. what do you think? caller: i think the $3.5 trillion is just a wish list. that nancy pelosi wants to try to get passed before they lose control. in 2022. i remember back when she said we have to pass the bill before you can find out what's in it when we had the first bill for the coronavirus. the first bill that passed -- host: cares act. caller: i live in a very small town. my city council is currently discussing how we can spend the money. what it can go for. what kind of strings are attached to t i understand
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what's going on -- attached to it. i understand what's going on. we are still trying to figure out how to spend from the last act. host: a republican tom, in fort lauderdale, florida. you are the last caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. no one has talked about it but i got to tell you i am so frustrated. we had a builder that on his platform ran for infrastructure. his name was donald trump. and even the republicans blocked him from getting a infrastructure plan in his first term. this is so corrupt. it's not even infrastructure most of it. but trump would have at least gotten the bridges -- real infrastructure done. the airports. this just goes to show you how terrible our country is. people don't even remember that he was the one that wanted the
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infrastructure and they didn't allow him to do it. thank you. host: all right. we'll leave the discussion there for now. the house is coming in at 12 p.m. eastern time. and of course our coverage will be gavel-to-gavel uninterrupted as democrats i prepare to come to the floor with these infrastructure proposals. thank you for watching and calling in. enjow joy the rest of your day. -- enjoy the rest of your day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] snoot >> the u.s. house comes into session at noon eastern today and is expected to consider the
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debate rules for three measures. the $3.5 trillion budget resolution. a bill restoring provisions of the 1965 voting rights acts. and that $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that was approved by the senate earlier this month. now, if the house approves those debate rules, the budget resolution will be deemed to have been approved by the house without an individual vote on the budget resolution. the house would then move on to debate infrastructure and the voting rights bill. you should know house democrats are meeting this morning to talk about this process, but we could hear more about the way forward on this legislation shortly. when the house gavels in at noon eastern, you can see live coverage right here on c-span. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more, including mediacom. >> the world changed in an instant. but mediacom was ready. internet traffic soared and we neveow


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