tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC July 29, 2021 6:00am-7:01am PDT
early, daytime here, we are resting to go again. we go segment by segment pretty much. i look forward to the next great thing to happen, whatever it might be. lydia jacoby from alaska, the celebration for her win, we have amazing guests. i'm looking forward to seeing my wife. it is my anniversary. >> all right. happy anniversary, kenny. thank you so much for being with us. carrie, thank you, too. you guys please come back. seriously. it is like this fine oiled machine like you have been doing this 30 years. it is unbelievable. if only the basketball team were that good. see you tonight on tokyo tonight, 7:30 p.m. eastern on peacock. thanks for being with us. >> that does it for us. stephanie ruhle picks up
coverage right now. $550 billion infrastructure plan after a group of senators from both parties reach an agreement months in the making. it is not a done deal. here at home, a major announcement to combat covid-19 as the delta variant intensifies its furious grip on unvaccinated communities. in hours, president biden set to announce additional efforts
aimed at ramping up the pace of vaccinations, specifically in areas with very low vaccination rates. that's in addition to him declaring a new vaccine requirement for all federal workers. it is not just the government beginning to implement vaccine mandates. netflix is the first major hollywood studio to require the shot for all cast and crew. google and facebook and lyft say they require them for all employees returning to the office. also new, growing number of states with high infection rates say they will not follow the cdc guidance on wearing masks indoors again. it is erupting into an all-out battle guess where, capitol hill. house minority leader kevin mccarthy arguing it is not based on science. he will be joining some other republicans later this hour to blast the reimposed mask mandate in the house. i have got a stellar team with all the latest developments, starting with monica alba at the white house.
shaquille brewster, kerry sanders, and dr. richard besser, former cdc director with us as well. monica, what are we expecting to hear from president biden to increase vaccinations that we haven't heard said already. >> reporter: there may be a new sense of urgency, given they did underestimate the risk delta posed so far, not just with the unvaccinated population but given the unknowns of break through cases. you're going to hear the president come out and unveil a new policy for the more than 2 million federal civilian workers. that's across all agencies where he is going to say you need to show proof of vaccination or submit to rigorous testing. now, we don't know what that means exactly. will it be weekly, will it be up to individual agencies, something the employees have to do on their own as an honor system, or is it going to be required on site. what happens if you're someone that doesn't do either of those
things. those are the outstanding questions that we simply don't have answers to. you're going to see the white house shift to a new phase. it was a month ago that the president here from the south lawn tried to say the virus was in retreat, we were trying to declare independence from it, when clearly the virus hasn't declared independence from us. the other thing i am watching for today is how they frame it, what language they use. the white house has been very careful to say this is not a mandate, it is a requirement. there's not a ton of gray area between the two. they're saying it is something that they're going to want federal employees to be part of. but some of the other things that have to fall into place, all of the vaccines are still under emergency use authorization. once they get fully approved, does that change matters? one example would be at the pentagon where we know the white house is working with the secretary of defense to see if that's something that will be required for all service members. right now, it is not.
even though the military has a good dosage rate, 73% with one. more than 60% fully vaccinated, which is higher staff than we know it is for the whole population of the u.s. which right now, only 50%, half the country is fully vaccinated. that's why this has become truly a pandemic of the unvaccinated. >> i'm glad you brought it up. dr. besser, emergency use versus fully approved. what's the timing on when that will happen? we heard from all sorts of businesses and individuals that say that's sort of a sticking point. >> yeah, stephanie, that's a really good question and it is an unknown. typically for the fda to approve a new vaccine it can take a year. they're trying to streamline this without cutting corners, but have given no firm date in terms of when this will happen. i have seen reports it could be as early as september, and we'll have to see whether that's
something that leads some people on the fence to say okay, it had full review, now i'm comfortable, whether you see more businesses say because it is a fully fda approved vaccine, we're going to mandate it for our employees. there's a lot of unknowns. i don't know how many people are using that as an excuse for not getting vaccinated versus the true reason they're holding back. >> i want to share what the former fda commissioner scott gottlieb is saying about renewed mask mandates. watch this. >> i think we are further into the delta wave than picking up. i have been saying that for weeks. another two, three weeks, we'll be through this. this new guidance will have negligible impact on that. >> do you agree, will all this turnaround in a few weeks so maybe we don't need to bring back masks for everybody? >> you know, what i think is, it is so important that we recognize that a pandemic is a
situation of incredible uncertainty and what you want to see is guidance response to the situation we're facing. what we're facing is rapid spread of the delta variant across the country, in large part because the vaccination coverage rate is not higher than it currently is. what you see in the uk which saw the delta wave before us is that it goes up very, very fast and then comes down. so here in the united states, if this comes down, you would hope to see guidance changing it. guidance is not something that should be fixed in time. just as a number of states put in rules that forbid mask mandates, hopefully new information that fully vaccinated people if they get a break through infection have as much virus in noses as unvaccinated, hopefully that will lead governors to say we ban mask mandates but because of
new information, we're encouraging that for schools, allow for indoor settings. we are going to adjust to the new situation. >> kerry, back in the spring, republican governor in florida ron desantis was patting himself on the back as the governor, the state that beat covid. now 66 out of 67 counties are now high transmission areas and you've got mayors in your state battling the same governor. what's going on? >> reporter: well, i'm in orange county, home to disneyworld and other theme parks, seaworld and universal, and the mayor in orange county has established a state of emergency because the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases. you look at disneyworld here, they already decided beginning friday, anybody age 2 and older, whether vaccinated or not, if you are indoors, you must wear a
mask. if there's any question whether in this state and across the country the idea that the cdc is recommending things like wearing masks is not only a health issue but also one of politics. listen to republican governor ron desantis who was in salt lake city giving a speech. here you go. >> all americans should be free to choose how they govern their affairs, how they take care of themselves and our families, and they should not be consigned to live regardless of which state in the union, consigned to live in a fauciian dystopia governed by the whim of bureaucratic authorities who care little for our freedom, little for our aspirations, little for our happiness. no more. we can't let it happen going forward. >> reporter: the orange county mayor saying that the florida
governor has not only not been leading on the coronavirus response but saying that he and the legislature here usurped power that local governments usually would have. it was once a case in florida where if there was a health emergency, the constitutional officers for the counties could determine a response but the governors took away the authority of the mayor and in every other county. so they cannot order people to do things like wearing masks while indoors. as you look at the cases, we have 1371 cases of coronavirus here in orange county on tuesday. that was a record. since the pandemic began, across the state, more than 16,000 new coronavirus cases reported on tuesday. again, nearing a record. all of this going on as there's data coming from wastewater
treatment plant in orange county where they can track the data of rna, a predictor. you look at the graphic, you see how it spikes. that spike is usually anywhere from four to ten days out. we are about four days away from where the data has been successfully predicting more coronavirus cases. we're going to see that based on this data in four, seven more days here. a lot of concern in the state of florida and as you heard, a very political stance by the governor whether people should be masking up or not. the decision by disney applies to disneyworld and disneyland. they were not mandated to do this. they decided that's where they're going to have folks going to parks do. put on a mask indoors. >> we heard from the governor, giving a speech in salt lake city utah, while 66 out of 67
counties in florida are high transmission. lawmakers are debating mask mandates. what they could do is knock on every door, push people to get the vaccine. shaq, chicago's lollapalooza festival is back. 100,000 people jammed together over the course of several days. now, there is a vaccine requirement but is that enough to keep this from being a super spreader event? >> reporter: that is the main question. that's the concern that many local officials, some local officials brought up, not the mayor and governor. they're excited to have the event. you look at this, there are standard precautions, metal fencing, limits on what people can bring in. this time there's also covid precautions. you have the requirements that any attendee not only bring a ticket, come with proof of vaccination or a negative covid test taken in the past 72 hours, if they're only bringing the covid test, they must bring a
mask once inside. because of that officials are saying they believe the event is fundamentally safe. but that was a question i put to cook county infectious disease physician here. listen to what she told me. >> i think that if one is vaccinated and it is safe, and i think if one is unvaccinated, wears a mask, and basically people follow the rules. try to keep some physical distance. >> reporter: i did have a couple conversations with people that got here early, doors don't open for a couple of hours. there's somewhat of a line forming. people are not concerned. this is self selecting, these are people still coming, but they're not concerned about the pandemic. they did say generally that they don't mind having to wear a mask if not vaccinated and the concerns about the delta variant largely didn't stop them from attending, coming out to support their favorite artist.
stephanie? >> dr. besser, netflix, google, facebook all announce they will require employees going back to the office to get vaccinated. i want to share what was just said on cnbc. >> we're going to do this ourselves in restaurants in new york city and washington, d.c., full service restaurants, require that all staff members be vaccinated and also to require guests that want to dine indoors show proof they have been vaccinated. >> boom. you want a shaq burger, want to sit indoors, better get a vaccine. should all private businesses follow their lead? how key is this to get people vaccinated? >> i think it is something that all businesses need to consider. we are looking to reopen doors at the robert wood johnson foundation after labor day, employees who want to work inside the building need to attest they have been vaccinated. the reason for that is that it
is not solely a personal decision. yes, vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against the pandemic but you also help protect those around you, those people who can't get vaccinated or people that may have a medical condition for which the vaccine isn't effective. i think it is within the realm of responsibility for businesses to ask that question. what do you want to do to ensure your servers in a restaurant are protected. what do you want to do to make sure other guests in the restaurant who may have conditions that put them at risk are protected. i think that is a way to go. i really do think that we will see more and more businesses saying look, for the safety of everyone who works at our institution, we are requiring vaccination or as some are doing, we're going to require a vigorous testing program in place of that. >> want to stay safe?
get vaccinated. thank you all so much. we're going to leave it there. when we come back, 17 republicans, including mitch mcconnell, sided with democrats on infrastructure. but make no mistake, it is far from a done deal. we ask a republican and democrat in the house what happens next. a devastating unintended consequence of the pandemic, massive learning loss. a new report shining a light on just how much students, our kids, have fallen behind, what it means for return of school in the fall. school in the fall have become their paren. okay, everybody, let's do a ticket check. paper tickets. we're off to a horrible start. ...but we can overcome it. we're not gonna point out our houses, landmarks, or major highways during takeoff. don't buy anything. i packed so many delicious snacks. -they're -- -nope. would you say, ballpark, when group two is gonna get boarded? 2 hours and 58 minutes. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. someone should've left home earlier.
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president biden is calling it an historic deal. the senate voting to advance the largest infrastructure investment in nearly a century. historic amounts of money for roads, bridges, public transit, clean water, broadband access. hard infrastructure. this thing hasn't even been written yet and is nowhere close joining me to discuss, nbc e reporter sahil kapur. no policies or laws have changed here. >> reporter: it is a big deal, but it is not a done deal. the fact that 67 senators are now invested in the process of the bill suggests it is in a good place in the senate.
that is 17 republicans. not just moderates or members of the working group like rob portman, susan collins, it is conservatives like kevin kramer, chuck grassley, it is mitch mcconnell who styled himself as the grim reaper of progressive legislation. this is a bipartisan bill. think of what it does. $110 billion to finance roads and highways, includes major amounts of money for broadband infrastructure, it includes lots of money for water, amtrak, rail. in the senate in the coming days, chuck schumer has suggested it may work long hours to try to get this done. play some of what he had to say. >> my goal remains to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution during the work period both. it might take some long nights. might eat into our weekends, but we are going to get the job done
and we are on track. >> reporter: the really hard part is what comes next. the bill is not well received by a number of house democrats. they have to be convinced to go along with some compromises that senators negotiated. in addition, house progressives are determined to torpedo the bill unless it is paired with a separate multi trillion reconciliation bill, a fancy word for major economic safety net expansion. president biden's priorities like child care, elder care, mitigating climate change, expanding health care subsidies. those things need to pass the senate before the house takes up the bipartisan infrastructure bill, according to speaker pelosi. that's where they're going to have to do a lot of work to make sure the democrats in the senate and all but a few in the house given a narrow majority are on board. >> and you know what happens when you pair this bill with the 3.5 trillion, all of the republicans walk away. eugene, just because 17 senate
republicans are agreeing to consider it, this does not mean they're going to vote for it. what are you hearing, give us your reality check. mitch mcconnell's self styled grim reaper, he is the king of pulling the football away. it is what he is best known for. >> reporter: absolutely. that's something that democrats and especially the white house are looking out for, trying to make sure they'll keep if not the 17, at least 10 republicans stay on board. and especially mitch mcconnell because if he doesn't sign onto the actual bill once it is written, done, and the vote happens, that's it. you'll start to see some republicans move away from it, maybe not all, you'll see some republicans move away from it. one of the things they're concerned about. i will say this. there's a lot of confidence and optimism, strange to hear on capitol hill and at the white house, but they are. they feel this is why people sent joe biden here to do this
work, to find bipartisanship, and something that democrats and republicans tell me sometimes is us in the media, we're not used to sausage making and back and forth. we have declared this bill dead a few times. it is a bill that can keep it alive, this time they say they'll continue to do the work to make it happen. when it comes to the politics of an infrastructure bill, hard infrastructure bill, it is good for democrats, good for republicans going into 2022. it is something that americans can look at, see the pothole filled, that bridge being done. >> but eugene, confidence is just a feeling. what are progressive democrats saying about this? they know who and what mitch mcconnell is. if they push their 3.5 trillion, they're going to lose the bipartisan deal. are they cool with that? is that the route they want to take. they are not going to get both. >> reporter: they say for the $3.5 trillion bill, it doesn't matter.
they know, there's a feeling in the senate and house, some of the progressives know that they're probably going to lose one if not both in 2022 in the election. they're saying we have to make sure we get that human infrastructure bill. they care about the infrastructure bill, hard infrastructure, but are focused on the climate change stuff, trying to pull kids out of poverty, all those things. a lot of progressives are okay with losing the hard infrastructure bill because for them, the focus is on the more expensive, expansive bill. and they said for months now that democrats and the white house should stop playing games with republicans, start negotiating with republicans and do what they can, prove to the american people when democrats are in power, things change in their everyday life. that's what a lot of progressives are focused on. they say they hope that biden learned lessons, trying to chase negotiations, trying to chase bipartisanship above all else.
>> all right. thank you. i want to bring in two gentlemen that are going to be voting on this, key voices in the house. co-chairs of problem solvers caucus. josh, let's start there. assuming the bill gets to the house, what do you believe your progressive colleagues are going to do here? i know you like this hard infrastructure bill. >> you're right. and the problem solvers caucus has been working with senate colleagues for months. this will come to the house, there will be a vote, it will pass. and i believe at the end of the day, we'll have the largest infrastructure package in a century, with the president behind it, bipartisan group of the senate passing it. we're going to pass it. and it is going to bring a lot of help to communities across the country, including every single member of congress, road, rails, water infrastructure, green energy, you name it, when it comes to investing in
infrastructure, hard infrastructure in the country, we helped bring in this package. i believe we will deliver in the house. >> brian, republicans insist on this being paid for. the list is unused covid money, taxes on crypto currency and general economic growth. is that good enough? >> good enough for me, good enough for majority of the problem solvers caucus. about half the paid fors are hard dollars, dollar for dollar off sets. the other half are things legitimate paid fors not necessarily scored by cbo. an example would be states that refuse to accept unemployment insurance money. that money has been appropriated, allocated unused. that's a legitimate unpaid for but not scored. these are conversations that occur with myself, josh, house colleagues and senate colleagues. i will tell you, stephanie, me
and josh met this morning. we have spoken to our senate colleagues from both parties this morning. talked to the white house, both of us last night. we feel good about where it is at now. >> josh, democrats had said there was no unused covid money. what changed? >> i think when you went through it, went line by line, a lot of investment in the last year and a half and thankfully saw good numbers this morning, the economy, employment down, and the economy is getting back to work. that's all good. there are places in the end didn't need to utilize resources we allocated. we'll put those to work for hard infrastructure. whether that's rail, transit, gateway tunnel in new york, new jersey, water infrastructure, broadband, there are places that can directly use dollars and resources. that's what helped pay for the package. that's why it is so important,
and as we said earlier, the president ran on both sides coming together to show we can get stuff done. so important to get it across the finish line. i believe we will. there's plenty of work to do before you get to the finish line, but we're well on the way. momentum is on our side here. >> brian, we know the american people want this stuff done, but in the past 48 hours alone, things on the hill have gone from bad to worse in terms of toxicity. nancy pelosi calling kevin mccarthy a moron, a bunch of republicans absolutely lying, calling out nancy pelosi, a, for the mask mandate, blaming her for january 6th, which is categorically false. given the level of vitriol on the hill, do you believe on this environment you're going to get lawmakers to work together and they're not going to stick a knife in it in the end? former president donald trump is pushing against this bill.
>> we don't have a choice, stephanie, we have to get past it. that's what the caucus believes. that's why we were so unique. i wish we weren't so unique. we didn't need a problem solving caucus, it is congress. we have to be leaders. leaders come and lower the temperature of discourse, bridge a gap between differences and if anybody in a leadership position is not doing both of those, they're falling short of their responsibilities. we have to lead by example. treat each other with respect and civility, respect each other's opinions. that's how any functional relationship in our lives work. that's how congress needs to work. that's what the problem solvers caucus works. >> i don't want to have a dance party about this, knowing that mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy could be talking a good game about bipartisanship and
bailing at the last minute. it is what mitch mcconnell does. >> there's so much invested by so many people, why you saw, the fact you saw mitch mcconnell come out and back this and 67 senators came out and backed this, that's a big deal. something you don't see often. i think the problem is people don't expect any more, they think it is impossible. ryan is exactly right. it will take leadership to get done. people that keep sniping and making comments, and frankly, we have to keep going, working together, bringing the coalition together. saw that happen in the senate. we're getting it done in the house. doesn't mean people won't oppose it. there will be a lot of noise. end of the day, we'll bring it across the finish line, it will take democrats and republicans. that's what the problem solvers caucus is about. we have to work very hard. the feelings last night what you want to have in washington are exactly what the american people want.
they want to know we can actually get things done. and this will be a great example when this is signed into law. >> you two sound like the little engines that could. this could be the way for all of america to win while the olympics is going on. extraordinary. good luck. appreciate you joining us. much more on the infrastructure deal and what's next with the transportation secretary, pete buttigieg joining me later this hour. next, a major win for usa gymnastics, while we have been on the air. steve kornacki is breaking down the latest from tokyo. kornacki thlae test from tokyo. so then , you oughta customize your car insurance with liberty mutual, so you only pay for what you need. hot dog or... chicken? only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ don't settle. start your day with secret. secret stops odor- causing sweat 3x more. and the provitamin b5 formula is gentle on skin. with secret, outlast anything. no sweat.
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now to the tokyo olympics, officials are worried about covid cases after they hit a record high the third day in a row. two-time world champion sam kendricks is officially out after he tested positive. we also saw simone biles giving a shoutout to fans after she officially withdrew from the games, saying it made her realize she's more than her accomplishments. speaking of accomplishments, just moments ago, team usa jim nas suni lee, won gold in women's all around final. this comes after a big night for team usa in the pool with dressel and finke winning gold in two separate races, and katie ledecky winning silver.
the one and only nbc olympic champion, steve kornacki, tracking all of this live in tokyo. steve, absolutely fantastic to see you. i have been waiting. this is a big morning for me. tell us, where does the u.s. stand in medal count, how has this been for you? >> reporter: stephanie, great to be here in tokyo. good morning to you. i guess everybody around here, it is good evening. getting late at night here. big doings. you had the headline minutes ago, suni lee winning gold medal in women's all around gymnastics, with that gold medal, the u.s. moves into a tie with china for the most medals. each with four team goals. overall medal count, the u.s. comfortably ahead, china and russian olympic committee in third. couple of streaks here. u.s. trying to make it the third
straight summer games they ended up with the most gold medals, trying to make this the seventh consecutive summer olympic games that they've ended up with the most overall medals. assuming we push them a step closer tonight, and as you mentioned in the swimming pool earlier today, u.s. swimmers have been coming through in the first week of the olympics in terms of medals. caeleb dressel, winning the freestyle earlier today, holding off kyle chalmers, the margin was six one-hundredths of a second. a gold medal there and olympic record for dressel winning gold. bobby finke in the 800 meter freestyle gets the gold for team usa as well. that was the first time in 117 years that the men's 800 meter freestyle had been an event at the olympics. they held it in the u.s. in
1904, the st. louis games. they discontinued as a men's sport after that, brought it back in 2021. there's bobby finke winning gold. you mention katie ledecky, too. she nearly brought them back in the final leg to gold. they do take silver in the 4 x 200. but there's one more chance at the games for katie ledecky. she's swimming the women's 800 meters as well. there's another chance for katie ledecky to add to her already extensive medal collection. >> steve, stay close. we have a little over a week left. lots more surprises could be ahead. i know i have olympic fever. steve, great to see you. hope to see you again. we are also weeks away from something else, a few weeks from our kids going back to school. this morning, a new very upsetting report, sounding the
alarm about the uphill climb our kids will have. research shows every one of them is behind in math and reading, compared to what they would be after a normal year. even worse for the most vulnerable kids, specifically students of color, kids living in poverty. it is part of a new report from the nonprofit education group nwea. i am talking about the kids that showed up. we have absolutely no idea about the many, many kids who have had no school since the pandemic began. joining me, lead author of the report, karen lewis. also with us, jeffrey canada. karen, the report confirms what every parent was worried about. what's your number one take away? >> my number one take away is that we really have a problem on our hands, the games we are seeing this year, there were some, but they're not on par with what we see a typical year.
get to end of year, declines are relative to more normal year suggest the growth that it will take to catch up is a multi year effort. we need to be realistic as we go back to the classroom this coming fall that we are just starting to process of recovery and have a long battle ahead of us. >> jeff, take us to harlem. the most vulnerable kids more behind than they already were. you say it day in, day out. what are you seeing in the classroom? >> i am seeing that there are priority children in harlem, in communities like harlem around this country that simply haven't shown up at all. they haven't attended school remotely or in person. it is a significant number of children we should be concerned about. children with special needs, we know this year has been a disaster for those kids. students who are already struggling beforehand we know suffered the most.
and i'm going to come on the show. i never like to correct you on your own show, this is what i am going to say. we actually do know what's happened to those students that weren't coming to school. it is worse than what karen is reporting. you can bet your bottom dollar, those children are even further behind, and this should be a signal. i mean, this is karen, thank you, break the glass, we have to do something. it is not a short term intervention. if schools that were failing before continue to do what didn't work, we're going to see an even worse gap growing, particularly students of color, poor students across the country. we as educators have to take this study seriously and we have to act differently. >> jeffrey, you didn't need this study to know this.
you have been joining me on the program the last year, sounding this very alarm. you said no summer off. these schools in vulnerable communities need to have full time summer school. we need to treat this as an emergency now. it didn't happen. why? >> didn't happen. didn't happen because i think we didn't have the leadership at the top demanding that this needs to happen. the segment that preceded this, you talked about businesses demanding folks get vaccinated, whether they wanted to or not because that's what's good for the business, our schools needed to run summer program. here at harlem, tomorrow is our last day of full summer school because we assessed our students, figured out who are the most vulnerable, we mandated they come to school all of july. now we're going to have the more camp time the next few weeks
going on, still some support. we should have been doing this all around the country. we didn't have the leaders step up. yes, teachers are tired, yes, we had to think differently. i agree. but this is something we could have done. we just lacked the will to get this done. >> karen, jeff is saying leaders didn't step up and as a result our kids have fallen down. we are headed back to school in the fall. what do we need to do in the new normal because it is not just hey, let's head back to the classroom, we're in a crisis. >> i completely agree. i think the call to action we see in results is going back to the old normal is just not acceptable, that we need as adults to collectively create the new normal that will start to reckon with inequities by the pandemic and been exacerbated by it. for us, getting results out was critical. this is a moment where there's actually influx of federal funding we've never seen before
that could be devoted to recovery. our call to action is the pandemic was uneven in how it impacted kids and allocating recovery funds must also be uneven. we must get supports to the kids and schools that get the most benefit from the supports in this moment. >> jeff, unlike most years, the funds are actually available. those leaders are listening. what's the number one thing they need to do to solve this or at least address it? >> yes. we've got to make sure that we have really specific plans, not general plans, specific plans that say if i know i'm teaching fourth grade, all my students coming in did not finish third grade, what is my plan for both teaching fourth grade material but also sort of working with those students so they learn the fundamental skills they needed to learn in third grade. this is complicated but not rocket science. we could figure that out.
we have to be smart. we can't leave it to teachers to figure this out on their own in individual classrooms. every school should be focused on this right now, the leadership, the principal, the superintendents, they should be coming up with the plan to do both things because it is hard for teachers with a full classroom of students struggling to figure out how to do this on their own. the other thing i'll say, stephanie, we have the money to bring in additional resources, academic and mental health counselors, to help students succeed. we need to incorporate these plans, they need to be transparent. everybody should be able to see how we're going to spend that money to deal with this crisis in particular. >> it is not rocket science, but we need to get our kids through the third grade. jeff, karen, thank you both so much. i appreciate you joining us. coming up, a big agreement on infrastructure with 17 republicans voting alongside democrats, but is the white
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secretary pete, this is an important and historic moment, but it's also procedural. i don't want to throw cold water on it because america needs optimism, but mitch mcconnell made it clear he's not onboard with the biden agenda. what gives you confidence he's not going to pull the rug out when it's time to vote on this? >> we just saw 17 republican senators stick their necks out alongside democrats, saying we have to do this. look, there's a lot of the president's economic vision that isn't going to have republican support. although i think it should. i think things like paid family leave for every american should be a bipartisan priority, but be that as it may, there's this other part of the agenda, having to do with physical infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, broadband, digital infrastructure, water, it turns out we can actually agree on, even in this bitterly divided washington. there has been tons of work going on for months, putting
together this deal about a month go, we saw the outlines announced with the president, but that was a framework. 93 we actually have a legislative vehicle in the senate. you're right, this is not a done deal. it still has to actually turn into a finalized package in the senate. obviously, would have to succeed in the house and then get to the president's desk to be signed. but this was a major, major hurdle cleared last night with help from both republican and democratic senators. >> i want to stay on that because i know there are things you want passed on the human infrastructure side. however, if republicans wanted it, they would have put it in the first bill. if democrats push the human infrastructure bill too hard too soon, are you concerned that you could lose both? >> well, i think in many ways what we're doing is calling to question. a lot of folks in the spring when the president said we want to do all these things, some people looked at our vision on
child care or building up veterans hospitals and improving them and said, look, that's great. we just don't think it's infrastructure so it should be in a different package. now it is in a different package. and they can vote however they may on that, but on this part, the idea that we need to fix our roads and bridges that we have been underinvesting in for decades, the idea that we have to do much more on public transit as a country, especially because also has clielt implications, the need for us to have electric vehicle charging infrastructure across this country, all these things that i think every legislator here in washington, republican or democrat, goes home and hears about as their constituents say what are you going do about the airport, about the hole in the road, what are you going to do about our bridge? that creates this powerful propulsion that appears to be cutting through even the worst of the partisan divide in washington right now. it will take a lot of work to see it through, but it's taken a lot of work to get to this point. >> certainly.
what is the first thing the americans people are going to see if this bill actually gets passed? it's a lot of money, and there are people who say we need these things but we don't trust that the government will get it done. >> what you're going to notice is a lot of projects that maybe are under way or were about to happen will be accelerated. remember, there is a pipeline of things, for example, my friends in the community of american mayors have been wanting to do in their community for years, if they just had the resources to do it with. transit agencies, states, you name it, have a pipeline of projects from things that are just about already under way to things that are going to take years to build. this is one important point i want to mention because a lot of us remember 2009, the stimulus package, the shovel ready projects. this is a bigger vision. part of it is about shovel-ready things you're going to see within months under way of this bill being signed. this is about making sure america is ready throughout the 2020s into the '30s, '40s, '50s.
its arer a long-term vision for the future of our economy and it's going to create millions of jobs over that long term. >> we'll be ready if we're healthy. today, the president is going to announce a vaccine mandate for federal workers. that's 2 million vaccines. what took so long? why haven't we done this already? >> i don't want to get ahead of the white house or the president's announcement. what i will say is that i think a lot about the wellbeing of our employees just within the department of transportation. we have got about 55,000 people who work in this agency. many of them, by the way, didn't have the option to work from home. they're keeping air traffic safe in those air traffic control towers. they're out doing inspections, making sure that vehicles and critical infrastructure is safe. and of course, i'm thinking about the wellbeing of those employees. i think a lot of organizations are doing the same. we got to do it in a way that is, of course, respectful of
where people are coming from and of their individual decision making, but at the end of the day, vaccines are necessary for people to protect themselves and to protect one another. and i think that principle is one you're going to be hearing about more and more, hopefully not only from us in the administration and from the president, but you know, from community leaders who can often be much more persuasive than anybody in washington. a trusted doctor, a trusted faith leader, a trusted local leader or family member. reassuring those they love or those who turn to them for advice that this is safe, that this is effective, and this is incredibly important if we're ever actually going to get to that normal where we say good-bye to the masks, where we're traveling safely wherever we want to go, and all of those other things that we miss from pre-pandemic life. >> get back to work on good roads, and when you get to work, i hope you're vaccinated. secretary pete, thank you for joining me this morning. that wraps up this hour.
i'm stephanie ruhle. chris jansing picks up breaking news. was that your great-grandmother, keeping the family together? was that your grandfather, paving the way for change. did they brave mother nature... and walk away stronger? did they face the unknown, with resolve...and triumph. ♪♪ there's strength in every family story. learn more about yours. at ancestry.