tv Katy Tur Reports MSNBC November 16, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
putin is pushing us on a number of fronts. anyway, ambassador, thank you, and thank you all for being with us this hour. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press daily" and msnbc will continue with katy tur. that's the first time i've gotten to say that in a while. hello, mom. >> as we come on the air, we are waiting for president biden to speak in woodstock, new hampshire. the president highlighting an 88-year-old bridge over the river. the structure since 2013 has been on the state's red list of bridges in poor condition. as you may have guessed, he's using that backdrop to highlight the serious danger of crumbling roads and bridges across the nation, and the hope he says is on the way thanks to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill he signed yesterday on the grounds of the white house.
the other big deal being debated in congress is a lot harder. speaker nancy pelosi says she hopes the house will pass the build back better act this week, and majority leader chuck schumer says he wants it on the floor of the summit by christmas. standing in the way, though, are democrats waiting for a cost estimate expected to be released on friday. >> i think this boils down to why there's a group of individuals, myself included, who wanted to know the full scope of this bill in terms of what the cbo score is, what the bill costs before we take a vote. it's ensuring that we as legislators are making responsible, informed decisions. i think for many people that's not necessarily going to be a dealbreaker. >> they want it paid for. also standing in the way of a guy you think you may have heard too much about lately, senator joe manchin of west virginia. as if that were not enough, the president faces perilous
headwinds on inflation, rising prices, and shortages for just about everything else. and it's happening just as we head into the holiday season, leaving an increasing number of voters souring on the president and his ability to get the supply chain up and prices down and fast. joining me now is nbc news correspondent josh letterman from woodstock, new hampshire, senior business correspondent stephanie ruhle, "new york times" correspondent peter baker, and former rnc chairman and former maryland lieutenant governor, mike wilson. josh, i want to start with you in new hampshire. the polls are down, people are worried about 2022. what is this the start of for the biden white house? >> reporter: a big welcome back to you, katy, we missed you while you were aware. americans are hoping americans will forget some things as the
president is trying to drive home for people exactly what's in this bill and how it will affect their lives directly. you'll see the white house starting today in new hampshire, and tomorrow when president biden travels to detroit trying to localize this, trying to say, here's what you are getting in each individual state out of this massive bill that so far has been this kind of nebulous thing being tossed around in washington. here in new hampshire, for example, they've got more than 200 of these bridges that are in poor condition, have needed for a long time, frankly, to be rehabbed or completely rebuilt. they haven't had the money. now some of that money is on the way. but here's the problem politically, katy. this is not the kind of thing you can do overnight. the money for highways, for transportation in this bill is divided over five years. in a state like new hampshire, for example, they do their planning for these kinds of projects over a 10-year span. so the fact that president biden
yesterday signed this into law, doesn't necessarily mean these projects will be up and running and delivering things like new highways, bridges, broadband internet by the time of next year's election, and that's where white house officials are really concerned, because they know americans across the country, they are feeling the impact of increased gas prices, of inflation, and all of the effects it has on the economy. they are not yet feeling the positive benefits of this just-signed-into-law bill. the white house hoping they can connect the dots for people and hopefully they will award contracts next year. >> obviously top of mind for republicans and democrats, not top of mind for those who want it done and want it done fast. josh just said they should get it done fast so people can use it. >> we have to remember where all of in is coming from, right?
this is not inflation in isolation. a year ago there was not a vaccine. we now have 200 million americans vaccinated. there is huge demand out there. so when you combine we've got these supply chain issues that are real, and then sort of at the top of the economic food chain, major demand for goods and services right now, right? american households had record savings in the last year. i'm talking about wealthier americans. they're out there spending in record numbers, and interest rates are very low. when you combine all of this, we're in this hot inflationary environment, and the president does want to solve for this, but it's not getting solved overnight and voters aren't happy. >> talk about what it's going to mean, though, eventually for jobs, for the american economy, for the american worker, for localities who need new bridges, et cetera, how transformative does it stand to be? >> absolutely transformative. we shouldn't think about infrastructure in a political way. we need new roads, we need new bridges, we need wi-fi in rural
america. one of the things people are asking right now, the biden administration is saying lots of good, high-paying jobs will be created. that's a big positive. but what people aren't solving for right now is lots of jobs, and they are lower wage jobs that are open right now and going unfilled. and we do have to solve for that because this labor shortage we're dealing with is a problem. >> so, peter baker, when the white house looks at this, and obviously they want to get it done pretty quickly, do they have a timetable? >> look, as josh said, these projects now will go to the states where they will have their own processes. there will be lots of things that will take a while to train. the last two presidents had big accomplishments that they didn't then sell to the american people. president obama basically gave up on trying to sell obamacare to the public when the polls showed it wasn't very popular and the website crashed on the first day. the president made very little
attempt to go talk about his tax cuts once he got them through, and veterans of both administrations will tell you to make sure the public understands something is coming their way even though they won't see direct results right away. that's why the president is in new hampshire today, in michigan tomorrow. it's also important here on capitol hill. if he's going to pass the next stage of his plan, the next stage so much harder. no republican votes coming on that, basically 100% of democrats, and he'll only do that if there is a sense he can deliver. >> the build back better plan and the partial infrastructure plan that was already passed, what does that mean for us? >> from a political or economic standpoint? >> from an economic standpoint. they don't necessarily go hand in hand. >> it's historic in its size. it's a huge undertaking. a lot of americans could make
the argument that, listen, the government is about to spend a huge amount of money, let's see how it goes. there is one school of thought that goes with that. however, both of these bills put together are transformative. they are looking to change the way we work, the way we live, the way we care for our children. so, yes, if they want to do something massive and significant, doing them together is the way to do it. however, right now what joe biden has banging against him and certainly republicans are banging about it all day long are the issues around inflation. there is increased pressure not just on the president but on lawmakers in every state from people saying, deal with my high gas prices today, that's my most urgent issue, so it's a balancing act. >> michael, talk to me about the politics of inflation. >> the politics of inflation are very problematic for this administration. it certainly, as has been expressed by stephanie, this goes back to last year, supply
chain, the course of the economy, the recovery from covid, people going back to work, all of these external pressures have fueled this sort of inflationary increase that we've seen. this is the first time, and certainly, you know, we're looking at the first generation that's seen inflation in almost 50 years at this level. there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion. the problem is, you've got one party, my party, banging the drum. oh, my god, look what joe biden has done, all this spending, all this spending, discounting the $8 trillion that was spent the last four years by republicans that contributed to this, and then, of course, you have an administration that has not found the voice, the footing. i would highly recommend that the administration take the jersey girl sitting next to you, probably one of the smartest women in the economic space, on the road to break this itch down
for them, because she just did in the first minute on this show what has not been done by the administration, putting it in the proper context, explaining to people why it's important, what they should be concerned about and what they shouldn't be concerned about. if you address those four buckets as the administration, guess what? the numbers change because you get the people's blood pressure to settle down. everybody knows gas prices go up and down, everybody knows costs go up and down and there are reasons for that. but they want to know that you at least understand why they're upset, and then begin to move into that, you can make a difference. >> you're being way, way, way too nice to me, however, democrats do let republicans run the table when it comes to the economy. right now they could talk about the expanded child tax credit and the fact that families need it right now.
low-income families need it. on average you've got 60 million families getting about $430 a month because of the expanded child tax credit. that runs out at the end of the year. the administration could say all of this is part of covid's economic recovery. that's why we have the expanded child tax credit, that's why we had the expanded stimulus check, because they knew it would be a slow recovery. i don't know why they don't tell their story. >> peter baker, do you have an idea whether the legislation feels like they are doing a good job selling this, whether they are doing a good job messaging this? and if they don't, do they have a plan to get better at it? >> in public, of course, they would say they think they're doing great. in private they would acknowledge it hasn't been, obviously. you just have to look at the poll numbers to see that. there is a disconnect right now between the president, and even the programs he's trying to sell. the infrastructure, on its face, has long been a bipartisan popular priority. abc news show that 63% support
this plan the president signed yesterday, and only 40% support president biden. why is that? he has not yet shown he is a master of washington in the way he has promised to be. inflation does feel like it's chipping away at people's pocketbooks. the sense that it took so long, as josh eluded to, to get this passed. he had a chance now through this next round of legislation in the next few weeks to counter that. not only does he have the build back better bill coming up, he has just keeping the government doors open to avoid another shutdown, and he has the big defense authorization bill. that's a lot before christmas, and i think you're heading for a potential traffic jam there, if not crash. >> michael, real quick. what do you make of the public
infighting of the republicans in the house who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the republican senators who voted for it? it was quite a scene yesterday seeing republican senators standing alongside nancy pelosi and chuck schumer and some major democrats, and the president saying they got this bill done. >> god bless them for paying attention to the needs of their constituents as opposed to the politics of their party, number one. number two, look, it's the typical crazy infighting and stupid sycophantic oath slaying to donald trumpism, which benefits nobody but donald trump. number three, at the end of the day, you'll watch the very same people who didn't show up and didn't vote for it, go back to their district and say, look what i got for you. look at all the money we got for the bridge that i didn't vote for. the question for democrats is, we know all of that is going to happen on the gop side. how are your candidates in the
party going to deal with the counter-narrative that will speak closer to truth than the fake reality that the republicans actually did something here. >> not a lot of people are paying close attention. they have lives to lead, and when someone comes back and starts selling them something, a lot of them aren't checking to see if they were the one that voted for it. michael steele, good to see you, my friend, peter baker, stephanie ruhle and josh lederman, thank you. how and why rittenhouse himself helped select the men and women who will decide his fate? really interesting turn of events. plus a federal court is looking at donald trump's taxes. will we see them? trump is asking the irs to intervene. how does that work? they haven't yet approved the booster for many adults, but some are going ahead, anyway. ay '.
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a jury is now deliberating in the case of kyle rittenhouse, but not before an unusual moment earlier in the wisconsin courtroom. at the direction of judge bruce schroder, rittenhouse did something that's usually done by a courtroom clerk. he randomly chose the name of six jurors from a tumbler, helping to decide the panel of 12 that will ultimately decide his case. rittenhouse stands accused of crossing state lines with a
semiautomatic rifle last year, then killing two men amid the tumult of the protests. gentlemen, welcome. shaq, get me up to speed on what happened yesterday and what we're expecting today. >> i tell you, katie, the last we heard in terms of the jury, they did break for a pizza lunch about an hour ago at this point. you mentioned we finally got a sense of who are the exact members of that 12-member jury panel. we know there is six women, five men, one person of color in this county that is about 80% white. we also saw where kyle rittenhouse was the one who selected the alternate jurors. the 18 jurors who sat there, listened to this trial, listened to the closing arguments yesterday, six of them were
dismissed and that brought you to the 12 that are deliberating right now. this case went to them about 10:00 a.m. eastern time this morning. as far as what you have outside the courthouse, katy, you do have a group of protesters gathering, those saying rittenhouse acted in self-defense, and those saying they want to see him convicted, chanting black lives matter and saying he did cause trouble that night. you have underlying tension here as people wait for the verdict of the we're also seeing increased security presence here as there are potential skirmishes between the two sides that you're seeing outside the courtroom. but as far as we know, things are still relatively calm right now. we know that the governor did activate about 500 members of the national guard. those folks are staying stationed outside of kenosha and will only be brought in at the request of local law enforcement, but there is nothing to suggest at this point that that will be necessary, katy. >> what is the deal with
rittenhouse choosing the jurors? >> first of all, katy, welcome back. it's great to see you back. as far as rittenhouse choosing the jurors, we don't see that happen every day. i've never seen the defendant himself pull jurors from a raffle-type box. but choosing their own jurors is not unprecedented, i've seen that happen before, but often when that happens a clerk will pull the names out of a hat. so it was a little unconventional, but as we can see, judge schroder has his own way of doing things. >> let's talk about wisconsin in particular. i know you watched as the defense laid out its closing arguments, the prosecution laid out its arguments. since you understand better than we do, what are you expecting and what should we expect?
>> kenosha, wisconsin is a smaller county. a lot of it is a rural county as well. it's comprised of people -- this part of kenosha is kind of a diverse county as well, the city of kenosha itself. i think we have a good jury panel from what i can tell and what i can understand. there is one minority member on this jury, and i think the jurors have a midwestern sensibility about them. kenosha is also not a place where people like high drama, so i don't know in terms of their affinities. politically they'll be across the gamut, but i don't think the people of kenosha necessarily appreciated the civil unrest that occurred, nor did they appreciate the action in the community as well. >> so if the jury finds he was acting in self-defense, what does that mean for the lesser charges? >> if they find out he was acting in self-defense, then those lesser charges go away.
you kind of work from it from top to bottom. first they have to consider the most serious charge, and if they can't come to a unanimous verdict on those charges, then they consider the lesser charges until they exhaust them. if they can't come to an agreement, he would be found not guilty. >> how does a jury need to decide in order for him to be completely acquitted or found guilty? does it have to be unanimous for every single count? >> it does. so a lot of counts have been presented to the jury now, and all the jurors, all 12 jurors, have to unanimously agree on either guilt or not guilty. if there are any counts on which they can't come to an agreement, then it's declared a hung jury in regard to that particular count, and theoretically the state could retry mr. rittenhouse on that particular count. >> we will see what happens, potentially even today. gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us. meanwhile in georgia, a
judge has rejected calls for a mistrial in the case of three men accused of killing ahmaud arbery. they objected to the presence of a black pastor in the courtroom. last week he called the court's attention to the reverend sitting in the audience. he called him jesse jackson. and then he said the actual jesse jackson is sitting in court and thought he could influence the jury. the judge flatly rejected that claim and reprimanded. go. >> jesse jackson, i think, is still here. i believe we all know an icon, not just a witness. the personification. in other circumstances, i think people would be happy to have
their picture taken, but in honor of this trial, we find his presence welcoming in the courtroom. >> i object that from the court's standpoint. i have said over and over and over in this trial that i am attempting to ensure that in this courtroom that the defendants receive a fair trial, and i will continue to do that. >> the judge in the case also called the attorney's comments reprehensible. and still ahead, steve bannon defiant after his first surrender on contempt of congress charges. his case leading to new questions about the january 6 committee's strategy. later, dangerous debris. a russian missile test launches space junk into orbit, putting the international space station and the astronauts on board at risk. >> it was dangerous. it was reckless. it was irresponsible. irresponse
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return as complicated as donald trump's in the future should someone like him or him himself become president again. trump's legal team has asked the court to block the treasury department and the irs from releasing the tax returns. they claim it has nothing to do with looking at the audit system. in the court filing, trump's legal team wrote, no one believes that chairman neal requested president trump's tax return so he can study legislation about irs audits. adding, his political opponents assume the information would damage him, so his opponents want to force the disclosure. joining me now is nbc correspondent pete williams and jesse hahn. pete, what did we hear about this today? >> it just started and it's got a long way to go. originally the house ways and means committee sued the treasury and irs saying, you're supposed to turn these documents
over. there is a law that says we can ask for any individual's returns. you're not giving them so we're suing you, and initially the treasury department said, no, you don't have a legitimate purpose. that was under the trump administration. the biden administration said, on second thought, we think you should have these documents, so the house said, okay, the fight's over, let's dismiss the case. that's when president trump's lawyers came in and said, whoa, not so fast, we think this lawsuit should stay alive. we don't think the documents should be turned over. right now the judge is questioning the lawyer for the house, saying, what am i supposed to make about all these statements that are made by democratic politicians which the trump team has assembled for the judge to look at, which basically say they want them for political purposes, and the lawyer for the house, doug letter, is saying, in essence, that doesn't count. the only thing that counts is an official request from the chairman to the treasury department saying we want to
know if maybe we should write the law to make this a different practice. that's all you should look at. the house position is that as long as there is a legitimate purpose, no matter whatever political chaff may be in the air, the courts cannot second-guess what congress wants, because that would violate the session of power. >> so that's one trump-related fight that's happening in congress. the other trump-related fight happening in congress, betsy, is the january 6 committee suing many who are defying the subpoena. bannon threatened everyone after it. tell us why the committee is so keen on getting indictments and documents and to hear testimony from steve bannon? >> the committee has said in its document issuing the subpoena is
their understanding is bannon was present at the willard hotel, which is just down the street from the white house. they view that hotel as a place for efforts to try to overturn the election results. there is word that people at that hotel reached out to other state allies, were very enthusiastic about bringing as many riled-up trump supporters as possible into washington on january 6 and were also very much engaged in the effort to directly pressure then-vice president mike pence to try to unilaterally overturn the electoral college results on january 6. remember, that's where all these different forces and projects were coalescing. so bannon, the committee believes, has detailed knowledge of those efforts. they also said it's their understanding that he communicated with trump in the
days leading up to january 6. they want to hear about all of that. but bannon has said that broadly he believes he doesn't have to engage with the committee whatsoever, because there are some claims trump has made regarding executive privilege. this has particularly irked some in the committee, because bannon has refused to answer questions about anything, including about communications nobody would think are covered by executive privilege between bannon, who is not a member of the executive branch, and other people who were not members of the executive branch. that's why this is a top priority for the select committee and why they are so heartened to see it is a top priority for the justice department. >> bannon wants this fight, he has said as much. it does seem, though, betsy, this is a no-win situation for the january 6 committee. on one hand they have to draw a line and say, you can't just ignore us, but at the same time bannon is making himself into a martyr, and if he does end up
going to jail over this, paying a fine for this, he doesn't have to testify or reproduce those documents. >> that's right. the select committee is almost certainly not going to get what they want from bannon. this prosecution is important because it sends a signal to all the other witnesses who are currently on the fence about whether or not to comply with subpoenas, that if they violate subpoenas they could face the same thing. even though for bannon, this type of moment in the sun is, to your point, something he has historically reveled in, there are other folks that have paid, mid-level staffers that don't necessarily want their future governed by trump incorporated who simply wouldn't have this same type of relish in the way they would experience, a criminal indictment and prosecution. so it really does send a signal that the committee isn't messing around and that there are real consequences for people who defy their subpoenas. that's something that's helpful even if it doesn't help them on
a discreet manner to getting bannon to cooperate. >> betty swan and pete williams, thank you for joining me today. extreme weather and mudslides force a state of emergency in the midwest. some are getting booster access without the okay of the fda. it's pretty confusing. y of the fda. it's pretty confusing. your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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or whatever comes down the road. this is "the planning effect" from fidelity. ♪ or what♪ver comes down the road. when the chapstick goes on. it's on. get yours on at chapstick.com the cdc has not yet recommended booster shots for all adults, but some states and cities are not waiting. arkansas, colorado, california, new mexico and the city of new york have already expanded access to anyone over 18 years old. the looming threat of a winter surge has pushed state and local governments to make their own decisions about how to proceed. in the last couple weeks, cases have started to creep up across the united states. nbc's sam brock has the latest. sam? >> reporter: katy, good
afternoon. look, the bottom line here is that this really ramps up the pressure on the fda and the cdc to update their guidelines as more cities and states are expected to follow suit. local officials right now are arguing that the government's position on boosters is that they should be available for high risk populations and that everybody in their city or state theoretically is at high risk. the federal government right now choosing to look the other way. with covid cases once again on the rise, health leaders coast to coast are trying to pump the brakes on an upward trend. >> hi. it's dr. dave chakse with an update on covid booster results. >> reporter: people likely recognize these ads with doctors pushing a booster. but dr. chakse offering them to all fully vaccinated adults to
om 40 million people. >> we've seen that we have to stay ahead of the virus and new york city was very much a part of that decision. >> colorado, new mexico, california and arkansas all issued the same guidance, offering boosters for high risk populations. in minnesota, seen in 70% of increasing cases the last few weeks, the virus is flooding communities big and small. >> this is not getting better. >> reporter: this as americans try and sort through mixed messaging on boosters. >> i think the confusing message around the boosters may end up being one of the biggest missed opportunities in this pandemic. >> reporter: states and cities are trying to take the lead. the cdc says adults with increased risk of exposure should get the booster and some local officials say that can cover all adults. >> how does new york city have the autonomy to make this decision? >> the commissioners' advisory that i issued today is
consistent with the fda authorization and the cdc guidance. an important part of that guidance is about risk of exposure. >> choksi says we're learning from europe which tends to foreshadow what happens in the u.s., cases there rising so precipitously, austria has imposed a lockdown for all unvaccinated people and new zealand is considering the same. >> it makes me feel safer when i know people walking around are vaccinated. >> reporter: health officials emphasizing the most important shot is the first one. medical experts tell us the issue here is not supply. the cities, states and pharmacies have enough boosters. the question right now is one of liability. if someone is unauthorized from a federal standpoint to get a booster has complications, who is responsible? is it the state, is it the health care provider? just one of many unanswered questions right now. that's the latest here in miami. katy, back to you. joining us now, medical
director dr. patel. she served in the white house bush administration. dr. patel, i want to talk about something that just happened. pfizer has asked for an emergency use authorization for its pill to treat covid. what do you know about this treatment? >> yeah, it's incredible, katy. this is a pill that could be taken twice a day for five days, and effectively reduce the risk of any of the severe or even moderate outcomes of covid by about 95%. so this is an incredible step in the right direction. that study, by the way, where pfizer found that this antiviral pill that you can take after you get a positive covid test was done on unvaccinated people. so you could imagine if we have something for vaccinated individuals who even have a breakthrough infection, this in an ambulatory basis is
incredible so we can move from the crutches of the pandemic right now. >> what do we know about it from the trials? any side effects to speak of? >> yeah, so something that's critical is that the side effects -- actually, what we see with other antivirals, so we do see nausea and fatigue and some other important monitoring that we would need to do of bloodwork. we have certain patients we do not recommend this for. this has not been studied in pregnant women, this is not available to people under the age of 18, and even in young adults, katy, there is a debate because this can have -- it's an antiviral medicine with the technology that was developed by pfizer, and people would want to make sure that you understand that there could be some reproductive risk. so this comes with some caveats. it's not a substitute for the vaccine. i think that's the most important point. the united states purchasing all the pfizer in advance of the authorization is a way to make sure our country is prepared,
and it's incredible that we have an option. remember a year ago, no vaccines, no pills, we really had very little to offer. we've now really almost quadrupled what we can do, the most important thing being the vaccine. >> buying 10 million doses, we will see, though, people refuse to get the vaccine, what they would think taking a pill like this if they have a case of covid that is severe. let's also talk about booster shots, because people are confused about whether or not they need one. what do you make of some states saying, we're going to push them out there, even though the fda has not officially authorized the use of booster shots for everybody? >> katy, i think it reflects the kind of fear and frustration that we're all experiencing on the ground. we're seeing more and more breakthrough cases. i'm sure you know somebody that has had a breakthrough case and there are some that have led to more severe forms of illness. we're seeing this decreasing
immunity, and at the same time, i think the messaging around the booster, it is confusing. if you're over 65, it's pretty cut and clear, you need a booster after six months. for ages 18 to 64, i'm pushing a booster because people say, i'm only 40, i don't think it's time for me. i don't think they realize if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, you need a booster after six months. >> you're talking about some conditions. what about in terms of the way people are living their lives right now? what about people going into an office every day? there are people now who are doing that, or taking mass transportation every day, or people traveling either for work or to see family during the holidays. at what point is it responsible for them to get a booster because they're potentially at a higher risk? >> you're highlighting the
biggest question right now in policy circles, which is once we do have these boosters for everybody across country, which i suspect we will for those over 18, does that require that you need to be fully immunized. i think you need the original doses and a booster to be fully vaccinated, because of the situation you're pointing out. we're all kind of taking individual risks and whether those risks are important enough to have the balance on the other side. i know some people taking mass transit have no choice. they need to wear well-fitting, high-quality masks and make sure that outside of transit, they get ventilation if possible. having testing, katy, and having these boosters be much clearer in communication, when you need a booster, that would help these situations we're in. >> dr. kavita patel, thank you
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new hampshire, beginning the tour where he'll be selling to the american public, his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. >> your calm common sense as usual always leads the way, and i mean that sincerely. the fact is you need that being married to billy, being calm, common sense. i shouldn't be so familiar, but, anyway, billy is a friend. making sure new hampshire water is safe to drink, upgrading pipes over 100 years old, eliminating chemicals from the waterways. you always make the case of developing a work force and creating jobs is an issue that many small businesses here in new hampshire focus on. i might add parenthetically, one of the things that's going to happen, we have another bill that's coming along for education, and it has money to provide for money that's directly for community colleges
and for apprentice programs and pell grants to allow people at colleges to train for what is needed in the work force, to train what is needed in the work force, including major apprentice plans to help hire folks in new hampshire to do the work. andy is an old friend. how many times do we talk about new hampshire parents during the pandemic who are worried about not having high-speed internet at their home, children learning remotely, especially here in rural new hampshire. ander time this issue came up, you were there, reminding us, making case as she did in every element of the bill. and, chris, he was a key member of the committee that got this bill across the finish line because the truth of the matter s getting big ideas in an actual bill is hard work, and technical data is required, and it
requires getting into the nitty-gritty details without losing the big picture. that's exactly what you did chris, always looking at the big picture and making economic case about making investments that will matter across the country and particularly here in new hampshire and how clean water, access to the internet, rebuilding bridges affect the real lives of real people. folks, it's not hyperbole to say your delegation is laser focused on your needs, the people of new hampshire, the concerns that have been discussed around our kitchen table. this isn't esoteric. it's not some gigantic bill, but it is. it's about people. the discussions around the kitchen table are profound an ordernary. how do i cross the bridge in a snowstorm. think about it. what if the bridge collapses and there's a fire on the other
side? it's going to take ten miles longer to get to the fire. people are going to die. this is real. this is real stuff. what does it mean if a school bus or water treatment or logging trucks can't get across? it means time, energy. more broadly, how do we emerge in this pandemic, not just the breathing room but a chance to get ahead. the kitchen table is where i grew up and it's where all of you are living. maggie, jean, annie, chris, we all ran for office to answer those questions. i used to get kidded because i spent so much time commuting every day from wilmington, delaware, to where my wife and daughter were killed, back to washington. 260 miles a day. i'd ride home and look out the window. this is the god's truth. outside washington. i'd go through the residential
neighbors and see the lights on in the kitchen, in the dining room. i would wonder what are they talking about? what are they thinking about? that's why i ran. that's why these folks ran. it's about taking care of their needs. we promised we couldn't just build back what we had before. we had to build back better. and that's an environmental requirement. when a highway gets washed out, you can't build it the way it was before. you have to build it a couple feet higher because even if we gain control of the climate, it's not going to go back to what it was before. it's not going to be that way. despite the cynics, democrats and republicans, we can work together. we can deliver real results. we can deliver real people, results that are going to affect their lives and that, you know, we're taking monumental steps forward in building back better for this nation.
my message to the people of new hampshire is simple. it's this. because of this delegation, new hampshire and america is moving again. your life is going to change for the better. that's literally. for example, the bridge here i just walked across opened in 1929, 82 years ago. this may not seem like a big bridge, but it saves lives and solves problems. let me tell you why. businesses depend on it like the local propane company or sanding company or logging trucks. public services depend on it. school buses, wastewater trucks. the fire station is about a mile away. without the bridge, it would be a ten-mile detour to get to the other side. i had a house burn down. my wife got out, god willing, but ten minutes makes a helluva
difference. it makes a big difference. folks, every mile counts, every minute counts. this is a bridge that has been structurally deficient for years. i'm preaching to the choir, i know. the fact is it used to carry 40-ton trucks. now it's down 20-ton trucks. in a couple of weeks it will be closed to put steel plates over sections of the bridge. it's like putting a band-aid on a wound. it's going to might difficult for the snow plows and bikers. the state has spent a quarter of a million dollars for band-aid repairs on this bring alone. right now there are 215 bridges in your state deemed structurally unsafe in new
hampshire alone. many of them are less traffic bridges. they're often overlooked when decisions are made in where and how to invest and rebuild. these are ee season kmally smaller towns, rural areas like my state of delaware. you have seven miles of highway in new hampshire that's listed in poor condition. drived on these roads costs drivers an estimated $446 every year per person in driving for gas and repair and commute times. that's $476 hidden tax on drivers ads a result of it. 6 we're going to make the most significant investment to modernize our roads. the law is going to speed up the bridges by at least a year and allow new hampshire to invest in