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tv   Washington Journal 02242021  CSPAN  February 24, 2021 6:59am-10:00am EST

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afternoon, another confirmation hearing for javier becerra to become health and human services secretary. there are several events streaming live today on our website. the confirmation hearing for interior secretary continues at 10:00 a.m. eastern with a second day of testimony. federal reserve chair jerome powell provides his assessment of the u.s. economic outlook and a house -- at a house financial services hearing. a house appropriations subcommittee examines how u.s. capitol and boys are reacting to the january 6 capital attack. that's all live it coming up on washington journal, house budget committee chair john yarmuth talks about congressional efforts to pass a one point $9 trillion covid-19 relief package. business insider, senior health care reporter kimberly leonard,
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joins us to discuss confirmation hearings being held for health and human services secretary nominee javier becerra. later, more on the covid-19 relief package with americans for prosperity president tim phillips. washington journal is next. ♪ host: with a simple i do, minority little mitch mcconnell told politico he intends to support judge merrick garland for u.s. attorney general. five years after blocking the judge for a seat on the supreme order. mr. mcconnell's decision comes after he said there is no question that president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the january 6 attack on the capital. good morning morning on this wednesday. we will get your thoughts on the republican leader, your view on his tenure at the head of the party in the senate. if you are a republican dial-in at (202) 748-8001.
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democrats, (202) 748-8000. and independents, (202) 748-8002 . kentucky residence, (202) 748-8003. text us with your first name, city, and state at that number or send us a tweet [video clip] -- @cspanwj. or go to ross baker, a professor at rutgers university road back in 2018, trump is right, mitch mcconnell is one of the greatest senate leaders of all time. he wrote that then because then president trump called mitch mcconnell one of the greatest leaders after the confirmation of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. ross baker writes that he ought to be judged by the tactical skills of the majority leader as well as the objective they
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achieved. he says by either standard mcconnell is among the most effective of the senate leaders. comparing him to lyndon johnson, bob dole, george mitchell, and harry reid. he goes on to write that democrats deride mcconnell's claim to greatness because they see his tactical and strategic skills as obstructionism masquerading a hind a -- facade of principal. to them his toxic blend is most evident in his argument against taking up the nomination of merrick garland. citing debatable if not contrived history concerning the nomination of supreme court candidates in the last year of a presidency. this gambit encapsulates mcconnell's brilliance, if we define a majority leader's greatness as the ability to achieve, political objectives like capturing the majority in 2014 and turning a potential long-term majority liberal on the court into a durable conservative majority, mcconnell has a strong claim even though
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some of it may give off a with of sulfur. frank in birmingham, alabama. your thoughts on the now minority leader. caller: i wasn't calling about the minority leader. i wanted to speak to the gentleman who's going to be speaking as related to the covid stimulus package. host: will talk about that coming up. ban in state college, pennsylvania. your thoughts on mitch mcconnell? caller: i have a lot of respect for senate minority leader mcconnell. i think it was a pbs frontline documentary or something along those lines that went over how his main goal through his tenure in the senate was to appoint conservative justices to the federal bench. whether it be the u.s. supreme court or federal circuit courts. i don't want to say that he used president trump to attain his goal, but i feel like it was a
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relationship of convenience. i don't think those two would be friends in a social setting. i think they worked together well but at this point donald is out of office and senate minority leader mcconnell does not have to plan nice anymore. host: what do you make of the current rift between the two after the acquittal of donald trump you saw mitch mcconnell go to the floor and repeat that he believes the president was responsible for the attack. caller: i'm not from kentucky but i did grow up in rural western pennsylvania. mitch mcconnell, he just won his reelection so he has secured that. i know a lot of people down in the holler of kentucky in some areas that are unhappy with how he handled that. six years from now there will be another scandal. host: he is 79 years old, first elected and started serving in
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the senate in 1985. here is a moment from the senate floor after the acquittal, the leaders saying he believed the president was responsible but he voted to acquit claiming it was unconstitutional to try to impeach him. >> there is no question that president trump is practically, and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day, no question about it. the people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the
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defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet earth. the issue is not only the president's intemperate language on january 6, it is not just his endorsement of remarks in which an associate urged trial by combat. it was the entire manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe. the increasingly wild myths about a reverse landslide election that was somehow being stolen, some secret coup by our now president. i defended the president's rights to bring complaints that are read -- legal system.
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the legal system spoke, the electoral college spoke. as i said clearly at that time, the election was settled. it's over. that opened a new practice chapter of even wilder and more unfounded claims. the leader of the free world cannot spend weeks blundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise. host: minority leader mitch mcconnell after the senate acquitted former president trump. last tuesday the former president issued a statement about the republican leader, writing "the republican party can never again be respected or strong with political leaders like senator mitch mcconnell at its helm. mcconnell's dedication to
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business as usual and status quo policies with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality has driven him from majority leader to minority leader and it will only get worse. democrats and chuck schumer play mcconnell like a fiddle, they've never had it so good and want to keep it that way. in 2020i received the most votes of any sitting president in history. every house republican one for the first time in decades. we flipped 15 seats almost costing nancy pelosi her job. republicans won majorities in 59 of the 98 legislative chambers, and democrats failed to flip a single legislative chamber from red to blue. in mitch's senate over the last two election cycles i single-handedly saved at least two senate seats. more than eight in the 2020 cycle alone and then came the georgia disaster where we would have won both u.s. senate seats but mcconnell matched to the democrat offer -- it became the democrats
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principal advertisement and a big -- he told politico yesterday he will support the confirmation of merrick garland as attorney general. in florence kentucky, what do you make of your senator? caller: i am not a fan. going back to the merrick garland supreme court nomination there were talks with mcconnell that if hillary were elected he would -- i don't like the legislative backlog on his desk. vote on it, straight up-and-down vote. we won a functioning government. one of your callers brought up the election, how he has been reelected. i tell you, somebody who watches
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this stuff, mitch mcconnell is an absolute chameleon when it comes to reelection strategies. in 2010 when the tea party was raging in rand paul was brought in as a tea party candidate, what did mitch do? he hired rand paul's political advisor, and he won that handedly because the democrats continue to put up week candidates. in pennsylvania we didn't pull it off. i'm not a fan of mcconnell for what i said. a backlog of bills on his desk, for holding up nominations to the supreme court, i don't support his vision on the supreme court, i don't support his vision on anything. host: are you a democrat?
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caller: i am a proud democrat. host: ok. neil in-house springs, missouri. your thoughts? caller: my thoughts is mitch mcconnell is probably one of the most destructive people we've ever had in the senate. all of this really started with mitch mcconnell when obama was first elected saying how he is going to make him a one term president. from that time until now he has done nothing but get worse and worse. that man denied obama up right to put a supreme court judge. batman hurried up and rushed through the last one. all the other antics he had in between. i don't know why you people in the state of kentucky cannot see through this line of bs that he has spewed since he has been there. he's been in
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obstructionist, and created havoc. him and trump are two peas in a pod. noma, wants to backpedal and get away from it? i think it's too late. host: derek in randall's town, maryland. a democratic caller. caller: i agree with the previous caller. i have to say one thing about mitch. it took a lot of courage to stand up and say what he said about trump initiating the riots at the capital. took a lot of guts to say that which is true. we have to give them credit for that. i don't think we worry too much about trump anymore. we will do what we did the last time we will all show up -- mitch mcconnell is a dirt bag, but that one time when he stood up to trump i respected him for that. host: we want to hear from republicans. your line, (202) 748-8001.
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ted in warrenton, oregon. a democratic caller. caller: good morning, greta. i have been observing mitch mcconnell now ever since 2008 with the election of president obama. i watched how that man has just held up in the business of the country for the eight years of president obama and when it came time for the second impeachment of donald trump he voted against it but then after he voiced his opinion and it's almost like when you read the record of mitch mcconnell he never spent one day in the military uniform. i spent many years in the air force active duty. as shocking -- it's shocking how a republican does not find
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courage until he is in the 70's. i think mitch mcconnell should be in the military right now. i think he should be in leavenworth making gravel. thank you. host: cory in illinois, republican caller. hi, corey. caller: i have to take issue with these people, i guess they have amnesia. for the eight years that george w. bush was president the democrats led by the people in the senate they led every -- they did everything they could to pause george w. bush's judicial pix, even though bush and the republicans had control of the senate and the house. democrats did everything they could to prevent george w. bush's picks. dick durbin did not want to let one of george w. bush's's judges because the guy was hispanic.
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he said all the republicans were grooming him for a future supreme court c. don't come out with this mitch mcconnell is doing all this bad stuff. it was the democrats. what always happens is the democrats scream because they don't like when they get a dose of their own medicine. that's what mcconnell did with blocking the merrick garland pic. he gave them a dose of their medicine and they don't like it. host: how do you view mitch mcconnell as a leader? caller: i think he is the most effective leader that we have ever had in the senate for the republicans. i think that mcconnell has done what he has gotten done with the judicial picks, he has been great. democrats, you always know when they hate someone they go on their enemies list because the person is effective. in mcconnell's effect.
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host: president trump previously praised the republican leader for his judicial push to put conservatives on the court and for getting through brett kavanaugh and neil gorsuch. what do you make of president trump blaming the republican leader for losing the senate? caller: the thing about president trump is that we know he has thin skin. his policies were great and i am a trump supporter. we know he is thin-skinned so corsi is going to criticize mcconnell. it doesn't change the fact that mcconnell has been a dim good leader. maybe we should do a show on pelosi and schumer and they are very good for the country. host: ask in your views of mitch mcconnell and his leadership of
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the republican party in the senate. we showed you what donald trump had to say about senator mcconnell and blaming him for what happened in the election cycle in the senate. writing in the opinion page today of the washington post that there is no amount of disaster that can shape the gop -- shake the gop loose from president trump. he writes "democrats love the madness of it all. they know it was trump who made it possible for pelosi to become speaker of the house. they know it was his idiocy during the runoffs made schumer majority leader and bernie sanders in charge of the budget committee. trump offended enough suburban voters to offend democrats to win seats in arizona and georgia and allow senate democrats to fill a court vacancies with liberals. let's go to jail in crofton, kentucky. republican. what do you make of your senator? caller: actually i think mcconnell is a turncoat.
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he should have supported trump. the reason he didn't is because he is a rino, not a true republican. he is a chameleon. he will do whatever it takes. whatever it takes, and say whatever he can to keep his position and leadership. he is not a leader, he is in obstructionist. host: did you vote for him? caller: no ma'am, i did not. i was going to, but i felt like he should have primary that man and put him out. mitch mcconnell has six years left because he got on trump's coattails. that's how it goes. host: you went to the polls and voted for president trumpet sound like. did you just not vote for the senate? caller: i did not. mcconnell there just wasn't a choice. i didn't vote.
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. host: what about friends and family? did they vote for the leader? caller: my family, my mother, my father did vote for mcconnell. just to be on is that guy was a chameleon. he will say what it takes in do whatever. i've seen him do it, turn on his own party. that is trump's party now. they don't need mitch mcconnell. it kills them, you see it in their faces, they can't stand it. the people of this country know who fought for them. i've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and i've never been more scared for my country than i am right now and that's the truth. i don't know if i can make it another 10 years. the way our country is going,
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just as soon as he got there. host: all right, joe and kentucky. let's go to mary kay in pompton plains, new jersey. democratic caller. your thoughts on senator mitch mcconnell? caller: good morning. i want to remind you why we are -- ask you why we are talking about this? joe biden is the president of the united states. there are more important things to be talking about than this person from kentucky and i wish you would continue to stop calling the former president president. he is the former president, he is no longer president, and i'm sick and tired. there are more important issues to be talking about than this particular issue. host: got it. caller: every single day you talk about the former president and now we are talking about the former senate leader.
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there are issues with the insurrection. there's the pandemic. and why are you talking about this? could you please tell me why? host: because he banks some news, he's still the republican leader of the senate, and in the newspapers there is tension between him and the former president. yesterday he said he would support merrick harlan for attorney general five years after blocking him from the sea. so i wanted to hear what people's the think of him as a leader. it's 30 minutes. we're going to then move on to the $1.9 trillion economic aid bill in response to covid-19 and cover other topics as well. we cover a lot of different topics. let's go to terry in elwood, illinois. caller: good morning, greta. i'm gonna have to agree with the
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lady that just on the phone. every day i've been watching and that's all you've been talking about is the republicans. we know you're a republican, i don't care. my point is the democrats just won this election, why is you constantly asking the republicans to call in. you do that every day. i think management needs to take a look at the host that is hosting the washington journal. host: outcome on now. we didn't have any republican callers, we were getting a lot of democratic collars, so i said let's get some republican voices so -- caller: i am a student to see through that. you are taking offense. management should look at all the host. all of you guys. all of you guys are republicans, which we don't care but you want to be fair and balanced. let's get some fair and balanced.
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let's get some young black hosts on to replace you, how about that, have a good day. host: ok. steven in lexington, kentucky. democratic caller. caller: how are you. i think you guys are great hosts, everyone of you. i don't know what the other people are talking about. i enjoy watching your shows and i enjoy listening so i think c-span does a great job. as for mitch mcconnell, i moved to kentucky last year from california, and this guy has a cult behind him outside of the major cities. my wife said that his dad voted for him back in the 80's. he has been around forever. i thought when i moved here i was going to see the end of him. but people still vote for him for some audrey's and because he makes kentucky relevant. i think hopefully this is his last term and he will -- we will find some new blood. host: first elected in 1984 and
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served as majority leader from january 2015 to 2021. terry in sweetwater, tennessee. independent. caller: actually i'm a democrat, must've dialed the wrong number. i'm going to concur with the majority of your callers this morning and suggesting that you find a more relevant topic that this is not newsworthy. the lady from new jersey was absolutely correct, we've got a pandemic that still raging, people are still dying, and we need this relief money and that should be the topic on everybody's list this morning, nothing else. host: we are going to take your top public policy issues during 230 minute phone sessions today in the washington journals. coming up next we are going to talk about it with john yarmuth, a democrat who is the chair of the budget committee and
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responsible for steering that package through the house this week, getting it to the floor for a vote which is expected to take place on friday. rick in savannah georgia, a republican. rick, good morning to you. caller: good morning. i think there should be an investigation on mcconnell and his chinese connection. i know his wife has a shipping company over there that's influenced by the chinese communist party and i know mitch mcconnell has -- is influenced by the chinese. i love the segment on the chinese connections with small well and feinstein. . i think you are wonderful and it's the democrats calling in that one segment. let's do a segment on cuomo and how he took the lives with the
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stroke of a pen on thousands and thousands of innocent older people or if the democrats want to talk about something let's talk about the people in charge behind the scenes. not biden but the people in charge behind the scenes that are destroying this country. host: ted in new york, a democratic caller. caller: thank you so much for c-span. you do a very fair job. i know you got some criticism and it's never comfortable to get criticism. perhaps you do show us light leaned to one side or another but that's neither here nor there. i think mitch mcconnell is a bit of a benedict arnold. i think he's a bit of a turncoat. one caller said that his actions were payback for what the
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democrats did prior during the bush. that's all nonsense and that's fake. what mcconnell did when denying obama the right to have him interviewed for the supreme court, merrick garland, when mcconnell held that back he started a ball in motion that, he left nothing but ill feelings from people like me, democrats and our sense of what is fair, what is right, was completely violated. he is a turncoat. he created a gap between people in this country, between republicans and democrats because of what he did. he put a stake in the heart in the stomach of people like me, my sense of justice and my sense
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of fairness is completely violated. one month before, i can't remember her name, how terrible of me. our bg when she passed away, one month and his hypocrisy allowing someone when he said originally it was 11 months before obama left office. mcconnell is a turncoat and he turned on the constitution and turned against the american people republicans and democrats. it's a shameful thing that we have people like this that continue to just create a gap between us to divide us and to separate us so that families don't like each other and people within families are squabbling and hating each other and it started with this not appointing merrick garland, he is terrible this man. i wish his upper lip would move. host: politico reports that republicans after winning the white house filled scully upon
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former seat with justice neil gorsuch in 2017. mcconnell has described his decision to block garland as the most consequential thing he's ever done. mcconnell's decision to support him for attorney general is not entirely surprising given that the kentucky republican recommended him to lead the fbi during the trump administration. his tuesday announcement could clear the way for even more gop senators. to vote for him. in chicago, illinois, and up. caller: i want to thank you so much for your show. i really wish that the call ins were the facts of america. there's a lot of smokescreen in washington dc. we know that. i don't know this man personally. i can only go by his record and what he stands for. i don't think he wavers at all. i think he is who he is. i want to say that i think he
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was very fair in what he did, when people were calling for trump to be impeached and talking with really negative things. i don't think he is a division area or the one that divides this country. i think that in the past he has made particular decisions that he kind of stands by. he was put between a rock and a hard place i think as a leader. as leaders go i don't want to say anything negative about this gentleman. i really think he has been placed in a very hard position and has done everything that he can to try to bring fairness. at least he gives people a voice. host: all right, and up. dave in new york sends us a text writing as a left-leaning independent i agree with the article describing his power and prowess. mcconnell and pelosi are people who whether you like it or not exercise political power effectively and with the majesty
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of the boston philharmonic. that was our last call on this. coming up we will talk with the chair of the budget committee, kentucky democrat john yarmuth who is in charge of steering that one $9 trillion would relief will through the house. later insiders senior health care correspondent kimberly leonard joins us to talk about yesterday's contentious confirmation hearing for javier becerra, the pic to be health and human services secretary. we will be right back. >> listen to c-span's podcast the weekly. this week an expert on infectious diseases and one of america's leading epidemiologist talks about the road ahead in dealing with the coronavirus. >> we have a long road ahead. i can say that without any doubt at this point we expect more curveballs to be thrown at us. if we had this interview 10 weeks ago we would not have been
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talking about things in the way we are are now. here we are talking about severe challenges. i would expect the unexpected. it's still out there. there is much we can do. at this point this is not going to be over with anytime soon. >> find c-span's "the weekly." wherever you get your podcast. >> with the biden administration leading the federal response to the coronavirus follow the latest at search c-span's coverage of news conferences and remarks from members of congress, use the interactive gallery of maps to follow cases in the u.s. and worldwide. go to 1 >> washington journal continues. host: congressman john yarmuth, the chair of the budget
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committee, democrat from kentucky, joining us to talk about the one $9 trillion covid relief will headed for a vote in the house friday. chairman yarmuth, mitt romney, republican of utah writes that this $1.9 trillion land is a clunker, he says this in the wall street journal. he writes that the congressional budget office recent analysis of the plan found more than a third of the proposed funding, $700 billion, would not be spent until 2022 or later undermining claims that the massive price tag is justified for urgent pandemic related needs. your response? rep. yarmuth: good, greta, good to be with you. we certainly disagree with that. a lot of the money when you are talking about spending money at the federal level there is a trail that takes a little while to get moving and certainly some of the things we are doing like
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paying to make schools safer students to return, getting the money for the pipeline to get through. we are in a serious situation, when you think about the economic impact on families throughout the country, the money we are allocating for that $1400 to every adult and every child, other's income levels that's about $400 billion of total, that will provide immediate economic relief that a lot of people are struggling with. obviously the money for vaccinations and contact tracing and testing, that will be spent fairly rapidly. there is no question that part of this bill is designed to save the economy through a. -- through a period of months. we don't know what's going to happen with the coronavirus and the recovery. we are only guessing.
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we are looking at three or four months -- turned out not to be the case. we are in uncharted territory. this is a program that the president campaigned on. it's something people everywhere from goldman sachs to jerome powell has said is equal to the need in the crisis we are in. everybody is entitled to talk about whether it's the appropriate amount or its targeted well enough or not and that's what this process is all about. host: there is a high-stakes meeting according to rollcall today between senators and the senate parliamentarian about whether or not a minimum wage increase is the rule as allowed under the reconciliation process. what does your gut tell you about the ruling.
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will it be allowed under the so-called byrd rule? rep. yarmuth: i'm going to leave it to the senate parliamentarians. from the beginning the minimum wage is problematic with the bird rule but there have been a lot of provisions that have been accepted in the past. the parliamentarian uses might decide that's appropriate. the byrd rule is designed to make sure that the only -- that everything in the proposal, the legislation impacts the budget directly in the cbo has said this clearly does. it also says he can't increase the deficit past the 10 year budget window.
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in this case it would be raising the minimum wage increases the deficit debt beyond 2031, that was disqualified under the byrd rule. you could make a strong case that by 2031 no one is going to be making less than $15 an hour in the united states and i suspect that is what she is going to have to weigh when she is making the decision. host: democratic senator joe mansion of west virginia wants to raise it to $11. what would happen if that were to be approved in the package? what would happen next? rep. yarmuth: i doubt any democrat is going to vote against the package with minimum wage going to $15 not in it. we want it very much. bernie sanders has been a strong advocate of it and he's the chair of the budget committee in the senate. i think it's appropriate. if that's what the senate is
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doing and they passed that and it comes back to us -- i suspect they will pass the house and we will move to a stand-alone bill to raise it to $15. host: you are featured in roll call, picture of you with the headline "house democrats press changes to coronavirus relief." they report prior to the manager's amendment from you which the rules committee is expected to incorporate into the base tax the congressional budget office said the existing 592 page draft bill was over its 1.8 9 trillion combined ceiling under the fiscal 2021 budget resolution. how will you get with your changes this package to not violate the rule that you just outlined? >> there will have to be a curative amendment in the process. the way this was constructed is 12 different committees were
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tasked with coming up with a spending plan to spend certain amounts of money. in the process of doing that they made some adjustments in the various committees that in toto took it over the $1.9 trillion. we can fix that decently and we solved that. host: minimum wage would bring the total amount in excess of $67 billion or your changes would and that is the same amount of the cost of the minimum wage. would it be easier to eliminate the minimum wage increase? >> what we need to do first is we have our priorities and many of us think that $15 minimum wage is a priority. we will see what the parliamentarian says about that and adjust accordingly. host: i want to invite our viewers to join in. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats (202) 748-8000.
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independents, (202) 748-8002. text us at (202) 748-8003 with your first name, city, and state. rollcall also writes that in the amendment text drafted by you there is also additional spending from foreign affairs, natural resources totaling 11.8 alien dollars. the largest allotment in three committees add-on package is 8.7 billion dollars to combat the pandemic overseas with three 18 billion dollars reserve for hiv-aids programs. $3 billion to the u.s. agents -- and emergency food needs and -- how and why is this necessary to put into this package? rep. yarmuth: clearly when you are talking about fighting the covid virus you are talking about not just a domestic effort
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, there is certainly an international element to combating the virus. i think it's important that we take steps that will help other countries including creating new variants. i think you can argue whether they are appropriate for this package. we have an opportunity because of reconciliation to do a number of things that are important i think to this administration and this administration's agenda. not everything is directly covid relief, but all of it is justifiable on the merits. this is the american rescue plan, that's what it's called. it has a lot of elements to it and some like fade family leave may not seem like it's directly connected to the virus but of course it is because so many people are having trouble going back to work or dealing with their children that would
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otherwise be in daycare. you could make a strong case i think for every element of this bill. host: let's get to the calls. doug is up from newport news, virginia. democratic caller. caller: i'm curious about the bill that they are putting in their, the reason they have all these ties -- it should be one bill, one vote on the bill. the other thing is, why don't you have congress pay for that fence and the people around outside when there is no national threat to us. they have a fence around the congress but they want to open our borders and cause more problems. i don't understand why we are spending our money like this. host: chairman yarmuth? rep. yarmuth: i'm not sure i understand the question. the first part of the question i would say we are doing it this way because there is a 60 vote rule in the senate the required 60 votes to get anything past
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and we have yet to get any republican participation or cooperation in responding to the many needs that we have is a country right now. this is one process that we have available to us once every year to pass something with a simple majority to avoid the filibuster. that is the explanation as to why we are doing it this way. i would love to see the senate abandon the filibuster. what it has ended up being in modern times has been basically a veto for the minority. and that is true when democrats were in the majority -- minority as well as when the republicans were in the minority. we should not have a system of government that depends on getting a super majority. particularly in this highly polarized environment area i hope the senate will consider doing that. . i think if there's a way to eliminate filibusters and provide ample opportunities and
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have significant amounts -- the filibusters -- modern history shows the filibuster does not encourage bipartisanship. host: ray is next in indiana, independent. caller: my question is twofold. first of all, why is the public not have all the information that is included in this relief package. my understanding is that part of this money is going to be for abortions. they are going to call it women's health care and stuff like that and some of it is going to the united states and some of it is going overseas. if that is true, why is that not
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released to the public? i saw biden on tv the other day and was talking about the 500,000 deaths from covid. that is very sad, but however many human lives are being destroyed each day from abortions. i would like to know is that included and why, once again, is not everything brought to the public. everything that's inclusive in this package. host: chairman? rep. yarmuth: it is about a 600 page piece of legislation and there are an awful lot of elements that are all available to the public. it's not something the public is going to be interested in listening to hours and hours of one sitting here reading it. this was an agenda that the president campaigned on in 2020.
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it is highly popular and polling shows that about 70 or 74% of americans support this plan, almost 50% of republicans support it. i think overall this is something that the american people have recognized as an important response to the crisis , both the health crisis and the economic crisis that so many people are facing right now. that is the way democracy works. i think the question of abortion and i don't want to get into the abortion issue, there is nothing in this bill that gives money for abortion. there are health care dollars in the bill, and i think what some people have grasped on is that this doesn't, the money in here is not subject to the hyde amendment which is a law that prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions. that doesn't mean this money will be used for abortions. quite to the contrary i think
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the way this money will be directed is not used for anything remotely close to abortions. host: ted from cleveland, ohio. republican. caller: hi. the more i keep trying to understand this package, i'm a small business owner and i am trying to finish up what i have put up with here and it's rough. for some reason i just don't trust what they think they are trying to spend money on. i don't believe there is enough going to covid. i think more of it is going towards a lot of things that just don't represent what the problems exist. they want to spend their way into all kinds of other slush fund's or whatever you want to call them. i will wait for your answer. thank you so much. rep. yarmuth: will give you the
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same answer. i hope the indians are going to be good this year. i'm a big cleveland indians fan. i think that the american people who have heard about this plan who understand what's inside the bill overwhelmingly supported. in this day and age you are likely to get -- lucky to get 50% of people who support any particular initiative. this is 70% or higher. that's the only answer i can give you. i think a lot of people recognize that individuals need financials work. the costs to families in this country of this pandemic is enormous. we know there are other elements of it like state and local governments and i know republicans like to say -- there are red states that are hurting every bit as much as blue states through this pandemic, lost revenues, and added costs and harmed their economy.
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louisville, kentucky is heavily dependent on tourism. we had a thriving what we call tourism income under street -- thanks to bourbon. that has disappeared and that's in a norma source of revenue not just for the government but also businesses throughout our community and state. those funds while you may say, some people say it's just a bailout for the states for poorly run states. talk to the conference of mayor or republican governors in west virginia or arkansas and they will tell you they are hurting and need help from the federal government. you can take issue with any element of this bill, but they are all i think important policies that will help the american people. host: the washington post headline reads moderate senate democrats target relief hills,
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state aid. 350 billion for states in this package. if the moderate democrats are not on board with this money and they don't get republicans votes like you didn't in the house in the budget committee, what is your prediction for that money for states? rep. yarmuth: the concerns that they've raised, one is that the money should be diverted to providing infrastructure, particularly with broadband. broadband of course has a direct impact on this pandemic primarily through education but also through telehealth. i think that is certainly something to consider. it's money that's going to end up going generally to the same purpose if you diverted it to infrastructure. on the other hand a lot of these moderate say it's a lot of
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money. we have democrats who are concerned about the debt and deficit. we all think about that. most every economist who has looked at this including jerome powell, chairman of the fed, republican said this is the path -- this is the time to make a significant investment in the country i was -- the u.s. chamber of commerce and the business roundtable. and a lot of conservative groups are saying this is justified. host: mike from buffalo, new york sends a text related to your answer there. he says, will the chairman discussed budget plans after covid? will democrats focus on an infrastructure package after seeing what happened in texas and other parts of the country spurred by storms and climate change? rep. yarmuth: i think that's
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going to probably be the next major initiative. i know the administration is committed to that. we have another opportunity to use the reconciliation process and that is one of the things that's being considered for that purpose. i think it would be wonderful if republicans would join us, historically this has been bipartisan -- infrastructure spending has been a bipartisan issue and should be, red states and blue states and drivers don't drive on blue streets or red streets, they drive on the same streets. i think that's the way we should approach it area if we are not able to get republican support or cooperation i think we use the same process for infrastructure. host: su in waiting, new jersey with this text. what does data show about previous stimulus? does it have the desired effect? government wants us to spend to stimulate the economy but does
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that make sense or should we payoff bills? so much uncertainty, she writes it's a towing cost -- she writes it's a coin toss. rep. yarmuth: we all see the economy and the budget through our own frame of reference. our own frame of reference is our household or our small business or if you are a mayor or governor three or governmental entity. those governments can't use their own money, they have to do -- deal with money they get from the u.s. government. we have a sovereign currency and we borrow and spend money in our own currency. we have been doing that for a fair amount of time. we can afford, we have what is called the physical space to spend this money. i mean we can inject this much money in the economy without having significant inflation. there are some economists like larry summers and others who
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think that's a problem. jerome powell at the fed is in charge of our money supply. i would say everyone has to make their own individual choices as to what they should do with their money. -- the second payment on that $2000 that we said we wanted former president trump said he wanted, number of republican senators wanted. people say they will spend that. they payoff bills with it and if they save it then it will be stimulative. this is not a stimulus bill. this bill is named the american rescue plan for a reason because we are trying to get the american economy, the american people through the worst part of this pandemic. host: chelsea from tennessee,
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you are on the chair with the -- you are on the phone with the chair of the budget committee john yarmuth. caller: i have a thorn in my side about social security recipients. for decades and decades it's like we were left out no increases and when you have lost a widow or you are a widower -- they calculated when you increase the medicare, it's not much, it's like we are an underdog. also, i would, in my opinion vote for an increase in salary for 11 to $12 a person because this economy inflation, they need it, they work hard. host: let's have the chair jump
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in and talk about social security. rep. yarmuth: that's a great point. there is no question that we have to look at our retirement security problem very closely. a third of americans over 65 rely on social security for their sole source of income. about two thirds rely on it for more than half of their income. it's not adequate. you can't live off of a social security payment. that is one thing hopefully this $2000 will help with our seniors of which i am one. there is a proposal now that was introduced in the house by john larson of connecticut who dramatically reformed the social security system to provide
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additional benefits and to stabilize the social security trust fund. this will come as a shock to some more conservative voters. we can pass comprehensive immigration reform, which will be a great help to social security, because you will have millions of people paying into the social security trust fund, but not using the benefits for 10, 20, 30 years. social security is a very complicated issue and we need to spend a lot of time as i congress looking at it. i empathize with your situation and so many are in the same place. host: mike is a republican in north carolina, good morning to you. caller: i have two points. one on the corona relief hill that says america rescue plan, but all this money is going out of america.
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if you take the $400 -- $1400 check away -- people are blinded by the money. why is the train line in california and silicon valley, what does that have to do with the coronavirus? one other thing, i see the capital has a fence and the police around it, but most democrats don't like the police and they don't want a fence on our borders to keep the immigrants out. explain that one. rep. yarmuth: too many to get into there. host: one about the train line in california and also the bridge to canada which news reports have said is being pushed by senator -- the majority leader senator schumer. is that appropriate to include in this package? 4 this -- rep. yarmuth: this is an opportunity we have to not just
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deal with the virus but also to get relief that is desperately needed. we can use this process once a year, if republicans were cooperative with us we could have come up with a very different package and we could have debated some of these things initially. they walked away from the table and in order to get anything done we had to use the reconciliation process. the process to a certain extent has dictated some of the items that are in this bill. no question about it. caller: i would like to address a couple of things. like giving money overseas -- they gave $726 billion. that is more than enough money. this is buried in it. disadvantage farmers, they want to give them 120% of what they
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owe. this is black farmers and hispanics, but white's may not apply. biden wants to give a $3600 to people who have kids under six years old. i am sorry. a rebate at the end of the year when they filed taxes. i'm not interested -- most of these people are getting their kid's interest paid for. if you cannot afford them, do not have them. i see helping people who need help, but this welfare state we have, i am sorry, i am not for that. host: chairman yarmuth. guest: you said 700 something billion dollars going overseas, it is probably millions of dollars. $720 billion was the rough amount that we created in the stimulus package back in 2008
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and it is almost half of what we are proposing now and only $2 billion are going overseas in this package. it is to help combat the covid virus overseas so we can protect ourselves from different variants. host: when you expect the to take place on friday? guest: we are going to use martial law, so i suspect it will be sometime late afternoon on friday, that is the goal. when we passed a bill in december, that provided some relief, providing an extension of unemployment insurance, that was done to expire on march 14.
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we have 11 million unemployed people in this country who depend on this unemployment insurance. there are a couple of other -- that expire in march. we are trying to get this done by march 14th so that those millions of people who are out of work do not lose their unemployment insurance. host: thank you as always for your time and talking to our viewers. we appreciate it. guest: thank you. host: we will take a short break. when we come back, your top public policy issues, is it the $1.9 trillion aid package or any other issue? there are the lines on your screen. we will be right back. >> book tv on c-span2 as top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, nationally syndicated radio host on his book, "fish out of water:
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the meaning of life." at 10:00 p.m. eastern, and argument on the increase in sexual assault in europe due to immigration in her book "prey." at 11:05 eastern, james patterson and retired army ranger that talk about their book, "walk in my combat boots." watch book tv on c-span2 sunday evening. ♪ >> you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was treated by america's cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who
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provide c-span to viewers as a public service. >> washington journal continues. host: we are back, opening up the phone lines for yard top public policy issues today. republicans, (202) 748-8002 -- (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. the majority leader hoyer of maryland sent this tweet out yesterday, the house will vote on friday on the president's american rescue plan to end the pandemic and deliver urgently needed relief to american families and small businesses. the american people strongly support this bill and we are moving quickly to see it enacted into law. the senate will then take it up week after that. is that your top public policy issue? the $1.9 trillion covid relief
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bill or is it immigration? political reporting a texas judge has dealt another blow on a 100 day deportation ban. u.s. district judge drew granted an injunction to block the mother or charm that he biden announced -- blocked the moratorium that biden announced. or is it health care? yesterday on capitol hill, the president's nominee to serve as the head of the health of human services department, javier becerra testified before members of congress. the headline in the washington times, pledges to build on obamacare, confront covid-19 challenges, conservative highlights radical records. a xavier becerra on capitol hill today, 2:00 p.m. eastern time. you can watch it on c-span, on our website, or on
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the radio app. coming out, we will talk about what the nominee has to say about health care and the biden administration's health care priorities. connie in brooklyn. good morning to you and what is your top public policy issue c2 my topic -- issue. c2 color: -- caller: there will be a lot of part-time jobs, companies are turning to part-time workers because they do not have to be responsible for insurance and other benefits that are given to people and with the way the economy spends, there will be more part-time jobs than there ever has been. that means a person cannot live on just four hours of $15 a day,
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so i feel strongly that the $15, it is about time they did something for that. we will see a lot of part-time jobs coming more. there will be work for people, but it will be on a part-time basis. sometimes, people have to have two jobs to make ends meet. host: you probably heard in a previous conversation with the chair of the house budget committee that there is a high-stakes meeting between the senate parliamentarian and senate majority leader chuck schumer and bernie sanders, who chairs the budget committee, to include the minimum wage increase in this $1.9 trillion aid package. it cannot violate the bird role in the senate parliamentarian will get to roll on that today. -- the bird yankee rule -- all senators briefing on capital security, it will take place, this after a joint hearing on
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the january 6th attack on the capitol. intelligence failures blamed in the riot. from that hearing yesterday, rules and administration committee chair roy blunt question the former police chief and former house at arms sergeant about discrepancies in their testimony about the timeline when the national guard troops were requested and approved. >> you said in your testimony that when asked for national guard assistance, you approved it, mr. scion stated that you asked for the national guard assistance at 1:09 and you -- it was approved at 2:10. why would it take an hour to approve national guard assistance on your part in that moment of crisis? mr. irving. >> from my recollection, i did
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not receive a request for approval for national guard until shortly after 2:00 p.m. when i was in my office. >> mr. son, did you know when you ask for national guard assistance, was it 1:09 or 2:00 p.m.? who did you ask for assistance? i'm not -- >> -- >> why would you not remember that? >> i have no election -- no recollection of a conversation with chief sund. my conversation with chief sund in that timeframe was shortly before 1:30 when i recall he was describing conditions outside, which were deteriorating. he may have been submitting a
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request and i carry that forward and that, as much as i can tell you, i have no record of calls from chief sund. >> did you discuss that request at 1:09 or when you got it from anybody else or did you and mr. stinger make that decision then? >> i did not get a request at 1:09. the first conversation i had with chief sund in that timeframe was at 1:28-1:30, and in that conversation, he indicated that conditions were deteriorating, he might be looking for national guard approval. i went to mike singer's office. >> this is a time i am sure my colleagues will want to follow up on this because i am out of time, but this is a time when the difference it in 1:30 and 2:10 makes a dip -- a big
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difference. host: if you missed that hearing, you can find it on our website, republican, your top public policy issues? caller: right now, i want to talk about the covid bill. there is only 10% of the $1.9 trillion going to covid. as for the minimum wage hike, that would kill 1.4 million jobs and most of those are lower income jobs and it would raise childcare 20%. there are 86 million for the bailout of the bailout of pension plans. $350 billion to states that shut down 129 billion for schools, whether they are open or not, but that does not start until next year and it goes through 2028.
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listen, 5% of that is for this year. 4.5 billion for the new york subway, 112 million for the silicon valley. -- silicon valley subway. 12 billion for foreign aid. the guy did not know how much molly -- much money he had in the bill going to foreign aid. less than 10% of it is anything related to covid. host: share with us your source? where are you getting those numbers? caller: brosseau on the floor speaking in the senate. host: you are watching the debate over this. caller: i appreciate c-span for giving us that opportunity. that is where i get my information, as from the floor itself. i do not listen -- i listen to fox, newsmax, but i go to the
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source, i go online and i read the bills, i go and see what my senator and congressman are voting for and thanks again, c-span giving us an opportunity -- people need to be watching what the people are actually doing. they do need -- they do not need to depend on other people's opinions on this. they need to see what is actually going on and i appreciate you guys giving us the opportunity. host: all right, north carolina, republican. a scoop this morning. senate committee postponed their hearing. the senate homeland security committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled for today for tendon. a potential -- why it matters, tendon's nomination was in peril after several senators voiced their operation while the white
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house has continued to stand by, the last-minute postponement -- robert in greenville, north carolina, independence. -- independents. caller: the $15 an hour is ridiculous. that will help the economy. the people that needed, they will spend it. it will not save it because $15 an hour is barely enough to get by. as far as what is going on with the postal office, they need to clear that up because right now, the democrats, while we are figuring out how to get out of the mess that we are in, the republicans statewide, they are voting -- voter suppression, doing everything they can. the republicans, organized crime at the highest level.
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you have the mitch mcconnell conservatives, they are bought and sold and you have the donald trump -- i do not even know to call him. host: you mentioned the postmaster general or the post-truth service -- or the postal service. why is that important to you? caller: i live in north carolina, the mail situation is so bad. he is finishing off the postal office for the next election. literally, on the street i live on, 15 people got notices for not paying their utility bills. that is how bad -- they were paid on time. he is killing the postal office, he is finishing it up so that mail voting -- the only way to stop voting -- voting suppression -- if it was not for the virus, the democrats would
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not have had the presidency. host: the postmaster general is testifying before the house oversight committee. you can watch that if that is important to you at 10:00 a.m. eastern time and it will also be on c-span2 before the senate comes in. postmaster general testifying this morning at 10 a.m. eastern time. let us go to jeremy in california. republican. caller: i think the biggest policy issue i have an issue with is the biden cartel, president biden letting all of the illegal aliens in an effect that employees in america through biden's green light he is going to allow companies to hire illegal aliens with no documentation, no drivers license, no social security card, it is going to got america. the whole thing is becoming
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california and new york and illinois, all fusing together, because you have a situation where you are not even following american law. when they ask him during the hearing for mr. darling, they say, listen, do you think it is illegal, do you agree that it is illegal to come across the border illegally, is that a crime? and he starts dodging and saying, i have not thought about it. right? i am a person that wrote a bus with that american terrorist in southern california. i heard him yapping -- i went to the v.a. in mona linda, and i heard everything he was yapping about and i went and i talked -- uncle sam says, if you see something, say something. i went to the fbi office, they blew it off and told me, sir, we
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have to be aware and cognizant of possible racial profiling. so, people can say we did not like trump's mouth, we did not like this, or that, he has done some the great things for america and if biden continues on this path, i am afraid it will be worse than it was on january 6th at the capitol. host: it has been a busy week at the capitol as the senate is juggling many confirmation hearings to fill the president's cabinet. washington with a headline "senate republicans real interior pick debbie holland over anti-fracking stances." debbie holland testifying yesterday in her confirmation hearing to lead the interior department. from that hearing, here is bill cassidy, senator from louisiana asking her if she agrees with the president of show decision
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to cancel the keystone xl pipeline. [video clip] >> you agree with president biden's order to stop the keystone xl pipeline knowing that 11,000 current or future jobs are eliminated because of that? >> thank you for the question and i know that the keystone has been an issue, both sides passionate on both sides and with respect to president biden's decision, it his -- it is his decision. >> let me ask you this. in the context, senator barrasso mentioned your attitude, your perception, as to how republicans review science. if i can point to a state department report, based upon science, that's it that building
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the pipeline lowers global greenhouse gas emissions. if you are the president, would you eliminate the pipeline with the 11,000 jobs in the future is left bright for the families, knowing that by not building this, based on science from the state department, we would have increased global greenhouse gas emissions? >> senator, thank you. i would be happy to read any report, i would be happy to be briefed. >> if you could just stipulate that because that is a state department report. that is design. i am hoping, no offense, that democrats pay attention to the signs and that is the nature of my question. can you accept that as a stipulation, i am willing to get it from you. i am trying to understand, is the administration -- will your department be guided by a prejudice for fossil fuel or will it be guided by science?
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>> if i can take the liberty of saying -- perhaps is not the way i would describe it. i would say that president biden is feeling, and moving toward, the tremendous opportunity that we have in diversifying our energy. >> that is dodging my question, congresswoman host: from yesterday's confirmation hearing for congresswoman debbie haaland to head the interior department. you can watch it on our website, democratic color, arkansas. caller: i want to know -- i am disabled, and i did not get any of the stimulus money. host: have you asked the person that represents you? caller: i have not. is that where i should go? host: yes.
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caller: what was the office? host: i do not know who represents you and in congress, but i would look that up. host: jon runyan -- high john. -- hi, john. caller: if you are not filing your tax, you will not get a stimulus. that is what they are basing it off of. do not worry about where that got -- guy said a while ago. you do not come across as a republican. a gentleman called in about taking vitamin d for covid to prevent it and you seemed generally surprised. obviously, you do not watch fox. lauren ingram has had doctors on her show for the last six months saying take vitamin d and zinc and vitamin c. there is nothing wrong with watching fox contrary to popular belief.
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host: go ahead, your public policy issue. caller: when he killed the pipeline, the job losses side effect that i cannot see any logic why you would kill that pipeline, it is not going to stop us from using fossil fuels, we are just going to buy them from overseas. here we have -- supplying us oil and if you are worried about pollution, the pollution has less pollution than trucks. they estimate it will add $10 to the price of oil, getting it to the coast. there is absolutely no logic for that executive order and the other thing is the border. trump, say what you want about john, but if i figured out how to secure a border, we have this in employment in the middle of covid, we secure every boarding in the world, you have to take a test before you go to one country to the other, except
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between mexico and the united states. again, there is no logic in anything they are doing and the only reason they could run all of these immigrants coming in is to legalize them so they can get votes. there is a million problems that -- with all of these executive orders. those are my two. host: george and the democratic line. caller: my biggest issue are the rich republicans sitting on their chairs, getting all this money. they will not even look at the people in the eye. if you take the rich people like the republicans, take some of their money, take $100, $100 from the republicans and let them feel how low income people
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are dealing with and having no money at all. host: you're getting confused because you are listening to your phone and television. if you call the end, you have to turn your television off and listen to your phone. if reopening schools as a top public policy issue for you, look at this moment from capitol hill yesterday when the president's picked for hhs secretary price javier becerra, was asked by susan collins about the pandemic and school reopening. [video clip] >> two public health experts were critical of the new cdc school reopening guidelines. they suggested that while you need six feet per adult, that it is safe if you have masks and other procedures for students to be only cap three feet apart.
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it is not just these public health experts, the american academy of pediatrics has similarly said that schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to the six feet spacing rule with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative. my question to you is this: won't maintaining the six foot recommendation despite these very credible alternatives used by health care experts prevent many schools from resuming full-time, in-person learning this year and possibly even into next year. keep in mind, some of these students have not been in school since last march. >> senator, you posed a question that is on the minds of parents throughout this country every day.
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the prime rate -- the preeminent concern must be the safety of our families. no one wants to risk the life of their child and no one wants to have a child become the reason an adult becomes ill from covid. i will tell you what i believe it is the best approach that is to let science guide us and let the experts determine when it is safe. remembering that schools and education are a local issue and the federal government has a partnership, we provide the guidance. we should not be the ones making the final decision on how and when a school will reopen because those are local decisions. we must work with them and provide the guidance, the support, the resources to make sure that those schools do reopen as soon as possible and as safely as possible. i can commit to you that i will work with you and leaders in congress, especially local leaders, in our school districts
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to make sure we are provided the partnership they need to know when it is safe to reopen their schools for their kids. >> -- host: hobby or becerra and the former attorney general for this -- xavier becerra, and the former attorney general, the department on capitol hill, he will be back before the senate finance committee. you can watch that on c-span at 2:00 p.m. eastern time or on our website, you can download the free c-span radio app. we will talk more about his testimony coming up at 8:30 a.m. eastern time with kimberly leonard, the senior health care reporter for insider. she will be here to talk about what he said on the affordable care act on other health issues. we will get your thoughts on president biden's priorities for health care policy. there is breaking news from bloomberg, the fda staff has found the johnson & johnson vaccine is safe and effective.
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independents. top public policy issues. caller: this relates to everybody, not anyone specific party. i have concerns about this. katie ha had a two part series on it. in one of my complaints, no one talks about higher education and now they talk about making communities -- community colleges free. there are a number of perspectives, potentially who are writing their own low-level textbooks, and forcing the students to buy them. i was trying to get my credentials. i have written for cbs news. i want to give that by teaching. the books are written by some of the chairs and heads of the departments and in my case, when i and seven latinos complained about one book, they came in and
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threaten the latinos and relatives and i went through with this and nothing really happened, even though -- and then they kicked me out of the program. then, i went to -- the same thing happen, except it went up to the higher levels, the book i was forced to teach from an communications was written by the people who run the communications and the president. i am here to help with my peers, other wise i would move -- help with my parents. it is happening all over the country. host: i will leave it there. the headline that the former senator, david perdue, will not mount a comeback bid for the u.s. senate in 2022. washington, a republican. caller: good morning. i want to make a few comments but i will be brief written one
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thing i want to mention, i have been watching c-span for a long time. it puzzles me why people call and say, i am disabled and they genuinely raised the issue of not -- in our modern times, you can work on their home as a customer service representative and get he calls into your home through telephoning, use a website or proprietary application to get access to the database of that corporation and you can work from your home. my point is, if you can call washington journal and you are cognizant and you can make a comment, you are not disabled in this modern time. you are just lazy. the comments i would like to say about minimum wage, why don't they simply -- i believe in it, to raise the minimum wage, because $10 an hour, i made that in 1978. it needs to be raised. the cost of living has increased rapidly because the federal reserve is printing money like toilet paper. i believe in it, but why don't they gauge it so that the size of the company it applies to, if
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you are some big home depot, you have the margin to get someone more money. if you are a small sandwich shop and you have three employees, you don't. i would like to raise that issue. hr one is a bill coming through for the congress. it is the most radical anti-gun legislation ever proposed. and just one issue, there are a ton of issues that are so irrational. one issue, they are requiring everyone that owns a gun, for every one gun you own, you have to maintain an insurance policy that will cost you $800 a month. what is the rationale behind that? if you have a six shooter, what company will ensure someone for a gun? they will not. no insurance company will touch it because god forbid someone you said that gun against innocents, now defending themselves in an offense of way. each lawsuit, the insurance company in this case, one single
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bullet can be $10 million. how can $800 a month cover someone for $100 million of liability. i think it is absurd. you have to ask at face value, what is the government scared about? host: we will leave it there. we will return to your top public policy issues later on in the program. if you did not get in, we will return to it. you can try then. we will focus next on health care. insider senior health care correspondent kimberly leonard joined us just joins us. -- joins us. later, phillips, joins us to talk about the group's opposition to the $1.9 trillion covid plan moving through congress. >> listen to c-span podcast weekly.
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an expert on infectious diseases and one of america's leading epidemiologist talks about the road ahead in dealing with a coronavirus. >> we have a long road ahead. i can say that without any doubt at this point, expect more curveballs to get thrown at us. we had this interview 10 weeks ago, if we had this interview -- if we had this interview 10 years ago, that 10 weeks ago, -- i would expect the unexpected. it is still out there. there is much we can do, but at this point, this is not going to be over with anytime soon. >> find c-span's the weekly, where you get your podcast. >> this is c-span's new online store at to check the new c-span products , we are taking preorders for
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the congressional directory. every purchase helps support c-span's nonprofit operation. shop today at c-span -- washington journal continues. host: kimberly leonard is with us, she is a senior health care reporter with insider to talk about health care priorities for the administration. yesterday, kimberly leonard, that president's picked for hhs, xavier becerra was on the hot seat at capitol hill. what did we learn from him on the affordable care act and what is next for that law? guest: p. -- he did not make any exact commitments. he was a huge defender of the affordable care act as attorney general of california. we know that he is a proponent of universal health care. we know that the hhs secretary
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essentially goes along with what the biden administration wants to do. we know that the biden administration wants to strengthen the affordable care act. that is the direction they will head in. host: how does the administration plan to strengthen it and did the nominee say that he won't push for a government funded health care system? guest: now, but the biden administration sl does not support the medicare for all idea, which would abolish five health insurance in favor of putting everyone into a government plan. they are involved in writing the affordable care act. when he had supported it, it looked different than it does today. for example, they wanted to add a public option to it, which would give people the opportunity to sign up for a government coverage. that is something the biden administration says it wants to do. we do know that there are items
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in the stimulus that are set to strengthen the aca. they do it in a way that is not as cost-effective as a public option would be they are -- what they are doing is that they are preparing for billions of dollars in the affordable care act exchanges so that people will be able to purchase coverage that is less expensive to them. they will be paying less in the coming months on that. host: how will that work? what is the proposal in the covid-19 aid package, what is it say? guest: there are a few different items. well, what it does is it will make it so that people making about 400% of the federal poverty level, which is roughly $51,000 a year, will be able to qualify for subsidies. they do not right now. that means in a a lot of parts of the u.s., you have people looking at aca plans and finding that they are not affordable. they are costing 50% of their
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income, 20% of their income. a lot of these people are choosing to either go uninsured or to get health insurance that will not cover everything that they need. what the stimulus does it would allow people to pay no more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance that they buy on the exchanges. it was also allow -- to get more generous subsidies than they do now. some people will pay as little as zero dollars in premium. others will play less than they are now. host: how does the administration plan to pay for it? guest: they do not have a way to pay for it in the bill. this is part of the stimulus, there are not many offsets on it. one thing i should mention is that this provision is temporary, it will only last this year and next. i will say that it is something that he held insurance industry is supporting, the hospital industry supports, pharmaceutical companies support. it is a way for the government to make health insurance
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premiums cheaper without cracking down on actual prices, picking up the rest of the tab. they will be pushing to make it permanent for sure. host: how does the biden administration plan to incentivize states who did not expand their medicaid program to do so now? guest: that is an important part of the stimulus. what they have done -- under the aca, states were supposed to -- so if you made less than $17,000 a year, you automatically get medicaid. it is a good deal for people who sign up because they do not have to pay anything for premiums. it sometimes, they have to pay a bit of our but not much. in most states, the federal government and state pick up the full tab of it. what happened was the supreme court decision changed the law. and said that states can choose whether they wanted to expand medicaid or not. right now, there are about 12
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states that have -- there are potentially millions of more people, low income people, who do not have coverage today, you can gate it at their states were to expand medicaid. these are big states like texas and florida. the stimulus would essentially help states to give you extra money for medicaid across-the-board if you expand. they are hoping that that will entice a lot of states to come along. a fact that a number of states have not expanded is political. industry support, health care and industries board, hospitals aboard, insurance industry support, for expansion as strong. it seems like there will be pressure for lawmakers to go through that. host: for viewers, kimberly leonard covers health care. she had the insider's senior reporter to answer your question. she will respond to your comments about the biden
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administration's priorities for health care policy. the lines this morning, republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. start dialing in. kimberly leonard, what does the president plan to do about the cost of health care in this country? guest: that is the big question. we do note that he promised that he would allow the federal government to regulate drug prices. that is going to be very hard to do. it is not forget that even though democrats have control of congress, they only have a razor thin majority in the senate. they cannot afford to -- democrats had passed a bill twice in the past couple of years saying that fellow government should be allowed to negotiate the price of drugs. they are not able to do that now. that is one of the main ways they want to do that. they have also promised that
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they will introduce a public option. i did speak to white house officials yesterday and there is not a specific timeline on that yet. they say the president remains committed to it. right now, we are in the middle of this major crisis with a pandemic. that seems to be their focus. and then there will be a a lot of pressure for the next package in terms of what should be the priority, should it be that environment, whether it should be the public option. there is going to be a lot of different causes that will try to get it quickly to make it the next item on the agenda. host: i have to correct the network for our viewers who are planning to watch xavier becerra testify again today. it is on c-span3 today. c-span3 at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. you can watch on the website, or download the free radio app. did xavier becerra say anything
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about how he would like to address the cost of health care? guest: he did not give away specifics, but he talked about these issues, particularly prescription drugs being too expensive. it is typical, i should mention, for people who are offered these positions to leave the door open. he definitely, as the legislator, as someone in the house for 20 years, -- at the end of the day, the secretary, they do go with what the administration wants. even if there is not a public option on the for example, that goes through congress, i could potentially see a way that hhs, which is the agency that would oversee health and human services, would find ways to encourage these two to look at public auctions, which will then end up being a model for the
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federal government down the line. host: let us get to our viewers. democratic color. caller: thanked -- democratic color 800 22 my concern is, over the years, the republican support came out with a health plan and i do not know where it is, what happened, and what do they have to offer. guest: what happened is they did not have enough votes to pass a health care plan. they try to use the same mechanism that the democrat controlled congress is using now, which is called reconciliation and they only needed 50 votes in the senate. they were unable to get those boats to support it and so they ended up dropping their work against the affordable care act. republicans are not as unified on health care as they could be. they do not have a plan to be able to say, this is how we
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envision, this is our conservative vision for health care. limiting how much we spent on medicaid, and things like that. i would not say that there is a broad proposal where they are able to unify that this is our vision for health care. host: plymouth, michigan, and text us with this question. when will the aca become affordable? we pay $20,000 per year and monthly premiums, plus co-pays, 6000 that doubles with 8020 coverage for a family of three. this is not affordable. guest: this is what i was talking about earlier on in the segment about how a lot of people do not find coverage affordable. that is a lot of money for something where you have to spend so much to be able to use your insurance. that is a common complaint that we hear from a lot of people
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about the aca marketplace plan. when will it become affordable? it is set to become more affordable as part of the stimulus package making its way through congress. i would recommend that people go back to health or their state of changes to see whether there are plans that they should switch to to be able to get a better deal. for the next couple of years, they will become cheaper for people. they will plot -- pay less in premiums. they do not address premiums for people over a certain income level, but at least they can get the premium costs down. host: xavier becerra shedding light on the biden administration's support to vaccinations and distribution of them. guest: not so much. he praised their 100 million shots in 100 days plan, which some people think is not quite as ambitious.
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he was asked, when can we get back to normal? he did not exactly answer this question, but i will say, there has been an acceleration in the vaccination process, manufacturers say that they will send more vaccine our way. some people think that in a few months we will be back to normal. i think the reason people are cautious about giving an exact timeline. it is because there are so many variants out there right now and there is uncertainty about how well the vaccine will work against them and what could happen next and whether people who are vaccinated can still carry the virus and transmitted to others. that is why public health officials are being more cautious in their guidance. host: can in michigan. caller: i would like to know what happened to the cadillac tax. where is that? guest: they got rid of that.
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a lot of the taxes that were supposed to help pay for the aca are now gone. for example, people who have no health insurance are no longer penalized for that. they said -- that was zeroed out as part of the tax law. the fact that a lot of these taxes are now gone as one of the reasons why the industry is now very supportive of the aca. they would like to see and affordable care act that receives far more funding, but without introducing any kind of a public plan or trying to put any control on prices. a lot of the taxes, medical device tax, health insurance tax, they have been removed from the health care laws. host: new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning. while i support universal health care, i have a friend who lived in switzerland and receives
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amazing health care. i am having great difficulty with medicare. my premium for -- has doubled the cost of my brother in law's paying in indiana. i am paying $500 a month -- the difficulty i am having, since there are so many wealthy people who live in new york, and i am not, i am living on social security, is that most of the specialists in new york city have opted out of medicare and we have a dearth of primary care physicians here. i do not have a primary care physician. i am paying $500 a month, basically only if i were to be hospitalized. all of my medical expenses are out of pocket. as the reimbursement rate -- is that reimbursement rate for cardiologists the same in indiana as it is in new york, do
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they pay more? guest: it will not be the same in one county in indiana as it is in another county in indiana. the prices are what help hospitals and clinics charge, they are opaque. they vary a lot. everyone charges a different amount. you can have a hospital that is 10 miles away from another hospital and they will charge one thing for a replacement and the other will charge something else. the trump administration did try to have a hospitals post the prices that they charge. what was interesting was that there was price transparency yesterday during the hearing. there is a sense -- i think what he said is that you ought to know what you are paying for. you have know what you are buying. it will be interesting to see
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what happens with that. host: wide does drug pricing come to the top of every discussion of health care when it is one of the smallest percentages of total health care? guest: it is. hospitals cost a lot more. for example, i think the reason it comes up more is because people interact with the pharmaceutical prices a lot more than a lot of the other prices they have. people experience that on a regular basis when they go to the pharmacy. i think that is a big reason why it does come up and you see people who have huge costs on medication, some of which are generic, some of which have been around for a long time, as you see a lot of taxes by pharmaceutical companies that
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people want to crackdown on. so, i think that is a big reason that it comes up often whereas the hospitals, you see those big bills, but for a lot of people, it will be less common to go to the emergency room that may be a pharmacy, where they might be going every month, a couple of times a month. host: michigan, and dependents. caller: -- independence. -- independents. caller: medicaid people do not pay nothing for medicare. i pay $143 a month for medicare because i am not on medicaid. the people on medicaid do not pay nothing for medicare. i am watching on tv. bring that up. that is going to make medicare go bankrupt. host: the difference between medicaid and medicare and how it is funded? guest: medicaid is a joint, federal state program.
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it is funded by both. typically, it covers pregnancies, birth, it covers a lot of children, a lot of older adults, people with disabilities . it varies by state. the aca said that states can be allowed to extend medicaid so that all low income groups qualify. if you're someone who does not have an income, you would automatically get medicaid if you were to sign up for it. you would receive health care coverage that does not cost you anything. medicare, mostly covers people over the age of 65, but it also includes people who qualify because of their disabilities. for example, a lot of people on dialysis are on medicare. those are the differences between the two programs, some people are in both. those are two government programs that are run throughout the u.s. they cover millions of people. host: marilyn, democratic
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caller. caller: i am calling -- premiums for obamacare and medicare premiums. obamacare is not an insurance company is sitting -- it is guidelines for health care. how health care should be, how it should be implemented. the lady had called and said she paid $500 a month for medicare. now, obamacare and medicare, it is according the state's health insurance overseers. they decide which health care company will be available in a particular area. here in maryland, my medicare advantage, through kaiser
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permanente, i pay $25 a month for my premium. i have, everything is covered. i have my co-pays, etc.. it is not obamacare, it is your state and you have to look at your state. host: is she right? guest: for the affordable care act plan, it is different in any state. it is not the state -- health insurance plans have to decide as well, whether they want to participate or not. we saw last week and, part of cbs, will rejoin the affordable care act marketplace, they did not say in which state. most states use would is called individuals can go to that website and typically, these are people who are -- self-employed. people who do not get health insurance through work and can go to that website and get health insurance coverage that
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the government helps them pay for. as i mentioned earlier, a lot of people do not receive that. host: georgia. democratic caller. good morning to you. caller: good morning. i am calling about medicare. you know, medicare is taking a $79 fee out of my social security check each month. i did not submit to this, they just volunteered, and they are taking it out. also, i filed a report to the social security office and the first time they did it, they gave me all of my money back. ok, i just recently got some mail from social security, they gave me my money back, but they
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took my check away from this month. i see it as a ripoff. you know. guest: there have been a few conversations about making medicare more affordable. one of the things that members of congress talk about, for example, when they talk about the public option, meaning, that does make people buy into medicare or medicare for all, they are saying, we are not talking about the medical or -- medicare problem -- medicare program now, the government is picking up the full tab so that all health care coverage is included. the medicare system as it is now is not what they envisioned. there are some services that are left out, they want that to be included. that is part of the conversation, but it has been less so a part of the conversation in the aca in terms
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of what congress is willing to act on and unify in acting on. host: north carolina, democratic caller. caller: good morning. my question is, my doctors, i can go to the doctor, and they billed my insurance at least seven times. i asked for my medical report and i found that they were stealing my insurance for a hospital i never attended. when i complained about it to the medical board, they said that they understood why they billed it and they got paid five or six times. i do not pay anything for my medicaid or medicare because i am on disability, social security disability. who else can i come -- can i complained to the that medical board.
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i never had a surgery, anything at this hospital, but i was at another hospital at that same date and they got paid. guest: it sounds like it might be worth talking to a lawyer about. talking to your state representative. maybe then the representative in congress to be able to straighten that out. without saying the bill and his specific details, it is hard to say exactly. it is something worth following up on. host: senior health care reported, you can follow her reporting at business thank you for your time. guest: thank you. host: we will take a short break. when we come back, we speak to the president of the group americans for prosperity. we will talk about his opposition to the $1.9 trillion culvert plan moving through congress. -- covid plan moving through congress.
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evening. with the biden administration now leading the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, follow the latest at searching news conferences and remarks for members of congress. use the interactive gallery of maps to follow the cases in the u.s. and worldwide. go to >> "washington journal" continues. host: tim phillips joining us now, president of americans for prosperity. mr. phillips, what is your group? guest: we are a grassroots organization, with right around 3.5 million americans from every walk of life that have worked with us to remove the various that hold every american back from living their version of the american dream. host: you are here to talk about the $1.9 trillion aid package.
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what in this proposal would you support? guest: we want anything that the government does at this point to be timely and targeted, and really helping of folks in need. too much in this legislation doesn't reach that goal. i thought the paycheck protection program and the very first cares act last spring, we supported that. it was an important program. it was laser-being targeted to help business people keep folks on payrolls so they did not lose their job. we supported that. there were problems and abuses. there always are. overall it was a good program that helped a lot of americans, especially lower-income americans -- that job was their lifeline, week to week -- stay on payroll. we supported that. the initial payment to americans in the cares act, we also supported. at this point, though, the
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government has appropriated $3.7 trillion to the pandemic. that is more than anything ever in american history, and the kicker is this, $1 trillion of that money has still not been spent. it is still not yet doing what it was supposed to be doing. so we are urging the biden administration to take the money that has already been appropriated, therefore schools, for vaccination rollouts, there for people to hang on to during these tough times -- let's get that money out the door and into communities and individual hands rather than simply throwing another $1.9 trillion added. the last thing i mentioned -- i will mention, so much of the money is not related to the pandemic at all. $350 billion of it goes to bail out big-spending cities and states that have been fiscally irresponsible for decades -- many of them.
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that is not fair and it is not helping with the pandemic. there is money in this bill that also bails out insurance companies. that is not a proper use of suppose it pandemic relief that will simply go into the pockets of already very wealthy insurance companies. there is a lot in this bill. it is not a good idea. it is, kind of, a partisan, ideological wish list, and we are urging them to take the $350 billion sitting there that is not out the door, and get it out there to do some good be forcibly throwing more legislation at this. host: we want our viewers to tell us their views of this $1.9 trillion aid package. republicans, you can dial in at 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, your line, 202-748-8002. text us at 202-748-8003.
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mr. phillips, do you disagree with former president trump that each american making a certain amount of money should get a $2000 check, as he proposed late last year? guest: we do. we think at this point the way to go is to get this economy open with the vaccination program speeding already toward that goal. put the funding into expanding and rapidly getting shots in the arms of more americans, and let them live their lives. this pandemic has hurt people struggling social economically more than it has hurt the well to do. there is no question about that. so, simply tripling out government subsidies is not the answer. the answer is let's actually put the money where it can do the most good. let's get the vaccinations done.
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let's get schools reopen. parents are struggling. so many children are falling behind. teacher unions need to show flexibility and let the schools reopened. the cdc have said they do believe that can be done in a safe, responsible fashion. that is what we ought to do rather than the government keeping folks on a string with subsidies. let's get life back to normal again, and let's move more rapidly to that. let's put aside political considerations. it does seem like this administration -- some of the unions, teacher unions and others -- might be looking more at politics than actually getting students back into school and folks working again, and economies reopening. the last thing i will mention on that question, i look at a state like florida that has tried to walk the right line between protecting its citizens and getting the economy open again for people to make a living and to support their families, and
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their results have been good. they have been as good or better than a lot of states with more draconian shotguns, lockdowns, -- shutdowns, lockdowns that have heard a lot of people, especially those struggling at the margins. host: we want our viewers to join in on the conversation. we gave them the lines. i want to get their reaction and your reaction to senate majority leader chuck schumer on the floor defending the go-big approach. [video clip] senator schumer: if we don't act, on employment benefits will expire for many americans in need. if we don't act, millions of americans will miss out on direct payments and an extension of the earned income tax credit. if we don't act, we go through the same, long, slow, painful recovery we experienced after the financial crisis in 2008 when congress did too little to get our country back on track.
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the worst thing we could do would be to slow down now before the race is one. we will not, not do that. host: tim phillips, how do you respond? guest: well, the government has gone big. no one would argue that $3.7 trillion, which they have already appropriated --the most money in american history. you have been around a long time. that is a lot of money. they did to make sure they are using that money to help the folks that are struggling. i mentioned earlier, up to $1 trillion of that money is still sitting there. politicians like to talk big sometimes rather than roll up their sleeves and actually began, and do the nitty-gritty work of making sure the money the appropriate gets to people that need it. that is money that is sitting there that is not out the door. it has been sitting there in some cases for a long time, months and months and months.
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we would urge the administration, various government agencies, and congress, because they have oversight of this money, to get it out there. let's get that trillion dollars that is sitting there out there. in the meantime, let's take steps that are targeted like a laser beam to letting folks get their normal life back. it has been almost a year now -- 11 and a half months. states need to reopen. we need to get schools reopened again. they are not talking about that, and they should be. i cannot tell you about how many parents, single moms especially, who need to work, are struggling, because those schools have been closed for months and months and months. it can be done safely. a lot of private schools are reopened. they have been open for months already. congress needs to do the tough work. prickly, it is easy to throw money at problems -- frankly, it is easy to throw money at problems, but they don't want to
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do the hard work. the hard work is getting the economy, schools back open again. i would love senate majority to sit down with teacher unions and parents and focus on our children, who are being left behind. they need to get the schools reopen. we need to get the economy open again. that is far better than government spending trillions more and some broadway that doesn't act -- in some broadway that does not actually focus on the biggest problems we have got -- getting the vaccinations faster to americans. it needs to speed up to get to more than one million people a day. we can focus on that with this money, getting the schools reopen, getting the economy going. that is our message to majority leader schumer and to president biden. host: bob, amsterdam, ohio, democratic color. caller: thanks to c-span, and listen, mr. phillips, i wonder what planet republicans are living on like you.
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mnuchin had $500 billion that he kept. donald trump and his family got millions of dollars they got for their businesses. you sit there with americans for prosperity. you mean republicans for prosperity. you don't care about anything but tax cuts. you are all just plain greedy. host: let's get a response from mr. phillips. guest: well, bob, we did support the paycheck protection program, and that was an early program under the cares act that i mentioned earlier. it was designed, and it did a decent job of getting money -- government money -- to businesses, many of them small ones, and the focus was to be on smaller businesses to keep their employees on the payrolls so while the pandemic raged, especially in those early months, that those layoffs and unemployment did not dramatically expand even further. we supported that.
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again, there were some issues with that, as any big program would be starting from scratch, but it did a lot of good. there were some abuses. you are right about that. some big businesses that should be getting it, they filled out the forms and got it. they were exposed in most cases, and that was a good thing. some of them had to give the money back, and that was a good thing, but we did support the payment protection program, the initial payment to americans in the cares act. it was an unprecedented moment in this country's history. we have supported those evident -- efforts. the irony of what you are saying is, the people hurting the most because of this pandemic are people struggling at the margins. they are the ones that are disproportionately being affected by this virus, and the ones that are losing their jobs, especially in the restaurant and hospitality and hotel industries. they are being devastated. the answer to that is to get
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this economy open again. some states have taken a lead in that. i mentioned florida. i mention tennessee. most states like that -- we would urge these politicians in both parties to do that. that is the answer. the answer is not government continuing to spend money that, frankly, the country does not have. it is all going into debt at the moment. who knows when that will cause bankruptcy and terrible inflation that again will hurt those at the margins the most. it will not hurt the rich as much as poor folks. that is the answer. get this economy going again. it can be done safely, rather than having government, kind of, pick winners and losers with our tax money. host: george in jacksonville, florida. republican. good morning. caller: yes. good morning. let me give you three points. first, biden's first executive order was there should have been to build one or two more vaccine
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factories or lease out others from vaccine company's. by now we would be in a position to vaccinate almost everyone. i did my second shot yesterday, and they ran out of vaccines. number two, john dingell and jimmy carter -- i'm a republican, but these guys did one thing that i really like. john dingell got approval for a piece of equip that cuts health care costs in -- equipment that cuts health care and half. -- costs in half. every doctor should have one. that would be about $18 billion. the third thing as housing. health care costs are expensive for poor people, and housing is expensive. a few cities in the united states are doing the right thing. they are basically giving housing to people, and then they pay it off -- especially people
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who work in restaurants, etc., but they are either building small, little houses, or using shipping containers. they come in to jacksonville, other places, $8,000, $10,000 each -- they slowly pay it off. if they leave that company they go to the next copy, and they get their money back -- company, and they get their money back. host: we will leave it there. tim phillips, what did you think? guest: i like george's first point. what we are calling for, any funding needs to be timely, targeted to this virus, and temporary. this first point about extending -- expanding vaccination hits all of those. we think the administration working across lines with republicans and democrats should use their focus, make your focus rapidly expanding the distribution and the creation of these vaccines. that happened in record time
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with his operation warp speed to develop these vaccines. it happened in part because americans in the drug, pharmaceutical, and science community, they were freed up from government barriers, regulation, red tape, to just go and create in a desperate moment, and they did it. it is historic what they did when we took the shackles that too often government puts on that inhibits the ability to get out there and create and knock down these barriers that hold people back, in this case, of vaccine that would need it. we do think that is where any additional spending ought to go -- to expanding more rapidly the vaccination efforts, to expanding -- two getting schools reopen again, doing what needs to be done to get them reopen again. that is what we mean when we say timely and targeted. early on it was the paycheck protection program. the first idea george had there
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about focusing on it, we do think that is important. one last thing about that. whatever you think about government, too often we think about -- or often we think about government simply spending money or putting on additional rules and regulations. sometimes what government can do to really help people is to pull back rules or regulations that hold them back from creating meeting -- needed products like this vaccine that we got, and that is an example of government doing that. host: jane. olympia, washington, independent. your question or comment? caller: i am concerned this next relief package will be partying like it is 1999. that is my general. host: ok, jane. that may get in dale who is in riverdale, maryland. caller: mr. phillips, how are
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you today? well, i hope. i save my calls to speak out for the truth. i would imagine you have heard of the book "dark money," which outlines coke brother activities, which of course, just happens to be americans for prosperity, a company you work for. this idea that you are grassroots is really kind of silly, and you know that. i am really calling just to let the viewers out there look at this through reality, which is you are there to represent the super rich. so, that is pretty much my comment. guest: well, thank you, and it is a sad one, in all candor. we believe that free speech is a good thing -- that having votes on the right, the left, the middle, but we are doing right now, having conversations with each other -- that is a good
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thing. we supported -- americans with prosperity -- this past year, looking back at 2020, there were groups on every side of the political spectrum that under the first amendment are allowed to operate out there. we think that is a good thing. we think more free speech is the answer to that speech or to speech that is not going in the right direction, so we are proud of the work we do. 3.5 million americans from all 50 states and literally every walk of life have volunteered with us to try to make america a better place. so, that is our goal, and we are proud of it. two jane's comment before that, about partying like it is 1999, we agree. $3.7 trillion have already been appropriated. again, that is more money than for anything than american history. more money than for world war
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ii, for lyndon johnson's war on poverty in the 1960's, etc. we think that with $1 trillion that is still unspent, the politicians in both parties should really work to make good use of that money to actually help americans where it is needed most, and we believe that is in expanding the vaccination program faster, getting schools opened up again, helping free parents, especially, and folks at the margins who are struggling economically, to live their lives again. that is the best thing we can do to create a good, healthy economy once again in this country of ours. host: tim phillips, how much money do you get from the koch family? guest: we are proud to take money from the koch family, but it is a small part of our funding. guest: --
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host: how much is it? guest: i don't share numbers. i think it is a good thing to have free speech protected and privacy. this is another areas where americans can see privacy lost if legislation passes that congress has been calling for -- some in congress are, that would actually kill free speech and harm the first amendment. we don't think that is a good idea. when you look at the organizations that are c4 and c3 organizations that are across the spectrum, right, left, center, it would hit all of them equally and we think it is a good thing to have groups out there that are pushing for good policies and helping folks. a chilling affect of this legislation called hr one would do, it would actually harm free speech in this country when frankly we need more free speech. host: jane in indiana.
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independent. caller: good morning. thank you so much for c-span. i heard you mention unspent money from a previous package and i have heard other spokespersons say the same thing -- the same reference. it would strengthen your case if you could tell us exactly where that unspent money is, what level is it, is it at the government level, state level, county? what department? exactly where is that unspent money from the previous package. if you don't know, please say so. thank you. i will take my answer from the television. thank you. guest: absolutely. and that is a fair question. there is money out there for schools, for unemployment, for those that have lost their jobs during this pandemic that is still sitting there, waiting to be used. the biggest problem is a lot of times states -- the money goes from the federal government to
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the state government, and that transfer -- the government is not super efficient at that. so, in the transfer from the federal side to the stateside or locality side -- the second area is a lot of the programs, whether it is, as i mentioned, unemployment, or schools, it takes a while to get through the pipeline. there is literally dozens of players of bureaucracy from washington, d.c., at the highest levels, down to the point at a local field office where that money is used for rubber hitting the road, and it just takes a long time, and it is hard work to grind through this. i don't have an exhaustive, all $1 trillion of it located, but we know it is there, and we notice across the board. it is on the health care side as well. helping with health care reimbursements -- that is another area where it has been slow in being distributed.
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so when i -- i think when you are dealing with that much money, these are historic numbers. we have never seen that kind of spending. the government is usually not the most efficient. it is not what they do well, and when you give $3.7 trillion, more than, again, anything in american history, i am not surprised that a significant percentage of that, even months later, is still sitting there. host: ronda in new jersey. democratic caller. caller: hi. good morning, america. i have two comments i would like to make. first on the stimulus package -- this stimulus package is so badly needed it is incredible. it is needed for schools. it is needed for our cities to rebuild themselves and to create jobs, and to help the small business owners.
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so, i am totally at agreement with the fact that you guys have a problem with $1.9 trillion, when you had no problem giving that to the richest people in america under trump's tax policy. host: let's take that point. what about the president's tax cuts -- the former president's tax cuts. guest: the tax cuts and tax reforms of 2017 and gave every income bracket from the top to the bottom -- every single one. it took a lot of americans who were paying lower rates completely off the tax rolls, so every american who was working benefited -- or looking for work, by the way, benefited from that tax cut. also, it did something else. it cut the corporate tax rate. we had one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world -- higher than our competitors in europe and in asia as well.
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it lowered that to 21%. able think that is only helping the big guys -- people think that is only helping the big guys. there are a lot of smaller american organizations that are more competitive and can hire more people as a result of those tax reforms and tax cuts, and i think the proof is in the economic numbers from 2018, 2019, and early 20-20, before the pandemic took hold. america -- unemployment was at record lows. american manufacturing was back. job creation in the manufacturing area was up. income levels were out. income levels and employment rates for african americans and latinos especially where the highest they have ever been, at least since they have been recording those numbers with the bureau of labor statistics. so, that tax reform and tax cut, it lifted up this country, and it lifted up just about everyone. it was a good thing.
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one point two your comment about this $1.9 trillion package, a lot of it -- let's be candid, it is just an ideological wish list from one party. i will give a couple examples. $350 billion of it goes to bailouts in the next 2, 3, 4 years, big states and spending cities that have spent way too much money -- places like new york and illinois that are not fiscally well-managed, and that is not fair to americans living in states that do fair -- pay their bills are fiscally managed. if that money appropriated in this bill goes to illinois, for example, folks living in wisconsin, right next door, that are better managed, it is not fair for them to have to pay for illinois. that is part of the second thing -- it directly increases the federal minimum wage. what that does is make it twice as expensive for small
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businesses to hire new workers, and it eliminates jobs for a lot of americans who do have minimum wage jobs because employers won't be able to afford them. in fact, the congressional budget office -- congress's own budget office that legislation -- analyzes legislation, they say over one million jobs would be destroyed, wiped out if this federal minimum wage is increased to $15. that is not related to the pandemic. it is not at all. they need to focus on this pandemic. let's give the schools open. i cannot tell you how many parents i talked to, especially lower income parents, who are struggling -- they have had to juggle remote learning, which is not as effective. our children are falling behind. this money being spent, this $1.9 trillion -- it is not going to do anything about that and these politicians know it. they have the money they need to
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get the schools open again, and if they come to congress with very specific needs they have on that front, i think congress in both parties will listen and take appropriate action as additional funding is needed for the schools. why not -- here is an idea for you -- why not on education, if they need more money, let parents, families, single moms and dads, let them have more control of that money to make the decisions they think best rather than the school bureaucracy that right now is not getting the job done on reopening these schools? that is a thought. let's put that money directly to parents who are the ones struggling the most, along with their children, by the way, who are falling behind. host: teena is our last call in huntington, pennsylvania. republican. caller: thank you for taking my call this morning. i have been waiting for this topic for i cannot tell you how long. this is not a belief bill for the american -- relief bill for the american people.
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we are going to get a little bit of change out of this. i am so angry, especially for the stimulus being, or the rail system for silicon valley to be hidden in this bill. it kind of feels like a quid pro quo. let's silence 45, and you will get your rail system. as far as the tax cuts from trump, they were a godsend for my children to all of my kids with the exception of one are currently unemployed with small children, and in pennsylvania we just went back to school, yet i still have to pay my school taxes. they are not allocating the money where they need to allocate the money. this will not help the average american. it will help the big corporations and these lobbyists, and it is really sickening. all they need to do is give us -- open up our country, let us work, give us a moratorium on federal taxes for a year, and our economy would come back with
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a slingshot reaction, and then instead of offering all of these big companies these loans, offer them to the middle class at low interest or no interest, and allow us to pay off everything we have incurred as far as credit cards and loans to help our families get through this. host: ok, teena, i have to leave it there. tim phillips, what about her ideas? guest: she makes a good point. her very first point -- it is not about the people. it is a partisan, ideological wish list that is chock-full of in this bill and it is not timely and targeted at getting our nation back to work again. there is already the money there to do this. i agree with a lot of what she is saying in that regard for sure. host: tim phillips, the president of americans for prosperity, we appreciate your time. the website is
9:32 am coming back, we will go back to your top public policy issue. there are the lines on your screen. start dialing in. we will be right back. ♪ >> american history tv on c-span3, exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. coming up this weekend, saturday, at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war, a discussion with h.w. brands, author of "the zealot, and the emancipator, john brown, abraham lincoln, and the struggle for american freedom." sunday on reel america we mark the 80th anniversary of the uso with three films including the 1971 film, uso with 30 years of service, hosted by late entertainer bob hope, in a 1972 defense department film
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document in a trip to vietnam by semi-davis junior. on "american artist -- sam -- sami davis junior. then, the untold death -- story shows several dollhouse signs -- sized crime scenes and tells a story who -- of miss leigh, who helped pioneer the science of crime scene investigation. at 8:00 p.m., it is fashion on elizabeth powell, george washington's political confident, and a look at a surviving eight-page letter to provides a glimpse into her role as washington's confidant. explore the american storyteller watch "american history tv" this weekend on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with more of your calls on the top public
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policy issue for you. isn't this $1.9 trillion economic aid package we have been -- is it this 1.i joined other economic aid package we have been talking about as well as a minimum wage increase included in the package? today parliamentarians will be leading with -- meeting with democratic leaders on the expansion of the minimum wage and whether it is allowed on the so-called byrd rule. who is the palminteri -- palminteri and? "washington post" reports elizabeth mcdonogh's job is acting as nonpartisan referee including deciding if bills can be passed under the process known as reconciliation. she will make and deliver the official guidance and whether democrats can include an increase in the federal men wage to $15 an hour in their 1.9 coronavirus relief bill.
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her decision is expected today or tomorrow according to lawmakers. reconciliation is designed to help lawmakers pass legislation tied to the budget quickly with 51 votes rather than the 60 required for most bills to advance. that means democrats will be able to pass a bill without any gop votes as long as they don't lose any democrat. how does the parliamentarian decide which decisions are allowed? measures have to be directly tied to the budget. specifically, they have to have a meaningful fiscal impact that can't be "merely incidental" to the policy proposal. if not, the position that provision can be challenged by the so-called byrd rule, which prevents any provision from adding to the deficit beyond the bill's budgetary window unless lawmakers find a way to offset its costs through the committee that has jurisdiction over that provision.
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gordon in kansas city. republican. gordon, your top public policy issue. caller: first of all, thanks for taking my call and i would like to address the caller earlier that called you a republican because that is so far from the truth. he has not watched c-span very long because you get totally giddy when anyone is saying anything bad about president trump. but the $1.9 trillion, if they would take everything out of it that is not covid, it would pass, and i want everyone to know right now mcdonald's and parties already have seven dollar hamburgers and go ahead and pass your $15 an hour, and see what the inflation -- inflation will eat that $1400 up in one year. host: ed. georgia independent.
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your turn. caller: my public policy issue, i want a badge to honor freedom of the press. freedom of the press does not grow on screens. i listened your -- to your screener and i was hoping i would get guidance. i want to ban the callers of c-span. we love c-span but we don't have time to tie up airwaves to talk about how much we love c-span or how grateful we are to have our call come through. it is imperative we not spend time talking about. i want to talk about jamal khashoggi, not what a pretty day it is. i love you all. i love good manners, but please, if you send a thank you note to c-span, washington, d.c., i guarantee it will get there in the mail.
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don't tie up the phone line. the lady wanted to get through for 20 years, she cannot get through because people are talking about what a nice day it is. host: all right. christian, bridgeport, connecticut. democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to talk about something that is not talked about too often, which is a public policy issue, and that is what is going on with the federal reserve. now, since the pandemic started, the federal reserve has expanded its balance sheet by a proximally 4.5 trillion dollars debt approximately $4.5 trillion. it really dwarfs anything -- approximately $4.5 trillion. it really dwarfs anything coming out of our government. any economist if you go to bloomberg, cnbc, they say all this money ends up in the stock market and asset crisis and it is green makes the rich richer
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and the poor poorer. that fellow you had before was talking about what happened to the last $1 trillion. now, there is still $500 million in the exchange stabilization fund, and that is known as the plunge protection team. that is $500 billion. that is used to manipulate futures markets and to keep the markets stable, another benefit to the rich. so, i think we need to talk about the federal reserve, it's role in the current pandemic, whether it is just making the rich richer, or if it is actually helping anybody. we need to look at our modern monetary system, which is going digital, which is fiat, which is unrestricted. this is our share of the united
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states government -- our dollars are precious to us. if we lose value, we all lose. inflation, prices double every 15 years with compounded interest. host: christian with monetary policy as his top public policy issue. if you share that, you can go to our website,, and watch the federal reserve chair testify before the house financial services committee. he testified yesterday as well. bruce. alabama. republican. bruce, what is your top public policy issue? caller: several things i would like to talk about. good morning, gretta. host: good morning. caller: this stimulus stuff going on right here -- there is just too much in it. in the past, trump wanted the $2000 to begin with, but they would not do it.
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it was crazy the way all of that went down. now they want to do it. it has so much pork in the bill, it is crazy -- all the stuff in there with the train lines and all of it. it was kind of funny on the inauguration they had all of those flags out there poked in the ground for all the good people that voted for biden -- did people that voted -- dead people that voted for biden. i think nikki haley needs to announce she will run for president and bring trumpian as vice president. you all have a good day. host: john. new jersey. democratic caller. caller: boy, those last two callers got my mind operating. the gentleman from connecticut made a lot of very good, valid points. the last caller, trump and the democrats are the ones that wanted to give $2000 to
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everyone. it was republicans that the not want to give it. get the facts straight. i want to comment on the american for prosperity front for the koch brothers. i agree with the guy from connecticut. everything that has been done has been benefited -- benefiting the wealthy. most of us have someone money in the stock market and we all benefit a little bit, but the people that benefit from that and the huge tax cuts that increased the debt $1.5 -- 1.5 -- $1.5 to $2 trillion a year. tax code 20 the wealthy. there should be some financial rigor, but it was trump that moved all the inspector generals and gave money to the banks to help to the small ones that really need it. it is outrageous. we have to have the truth spoken to the american people and wake
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up the dumbbells that by all the lies that trump and the republicans are spinning. the people in the lower class and middle class are getting crushed and the wealthy are getting wealthier than ever. it is obvious to people that pay attention and can use critical they can. we need people like you and other people on c-span and "washington journal" to wake up people of this country that are being brainwashed by liars. host: john's thoughts. if vaccination distribution is your top issue, there is breaking news from bloomberg of the johnson & johnson covid-19 vaccine has been found effective by the fda before the panel meets later this week. yesterday at the house energy meeting on vaccine manufacturing, congresswoman diana degette, democrat of colorado, question the executives of pfizer and moderna on their company -- companies'
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promises -- will they keep the promise of the number of vaccinations. take a look. [video clip] >> you have said you would provide the federal government 300 million doses by the end of july. at current production levels, are you going to be able to meet that deadline? >> thank you for your question. it is correct to say we did initially experience some problems with the initial wrapup , -- ramp up, and we have been in the process of developing and manufacturing process for a vaccine product we have never made before. we saw some limiting factors with raw materials, but we anticipate we will be on track to deliver those 300 million doses before the end of july. >> the short answer is we do believe we are on track to meet those deadlines. as i noted in my order remarks, we had as of two weeks ago delivered 45 million doses. last week we are pleased we got
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to deliver 9 million doses, which puts us on a track record, if you look at the number of weeks ahead, that we should be able to continue to deliver approximately 40 to 50 million doses a month. >> does that get you to 300 million by the end of july? >> yes, ma'am, it does. host: yesterday's hearing on vaccine manufactured. you can watch it on her website,, if you missed it. phil, in georgetown, republican --georgetown, kentucky. republican. caller: good morning. i think everyone ought to think about why they have 25,000 soldiers guarding the capital. what is the congress afraid of? what is going on? well, what is going on is they are not elected. the election was stolen. if you watch mike lindell's video, biden is not the president.
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trump was elected. probably the two senators from georgia did not win. there are election was stolen in the middle of the night just like georgia stole the election from trump, and think about it -- why would they have 25,000 troops guarding the capitol. and they are afraid. you have to be afraid to have that to put up a 9, 10-foot wall with barbed wire around it -- i don't know what to tell you other than it is a fake election and most americans know it. host: david perdue is announcing from -- the atlanta journal-constitution reported he will not mount a comeback bid for the senate in 2022. jo. new york. independent. caller: good morning. how are you? host: good morning. your top public policy issue? caller: i'm calling about the
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covid-19. i have been calling the white house for six months. they blocked my number at the white house, but they did not block my number at the capitol. i am 65. i have four underlying conditions. four people in my family died. they never call me back. i live on $9,000 a year. and my wife -- i called up every congressman, everybody. nobody ever called me back. i am a vet of 12 years. i don't want to know why they don't want to give us our stimulus check? how could two people with underlying conditions live on $18,000 a year -- joe biden promised the american people, don't worry, little girl, the money is coming. he is a fake politicians --
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politician. you can see now he has dementia. he does not know anybody's name, what state he is in -- i never voted for anyone in my life other than donald trump. he wants to let illegal immigrants in, and they are all wearing nike sneakers, $200 sneakers, and drug cartels. i want people to hear this on tv. host: i will leave it there. steny hoyer tweeting out last night the house will vote on friday on the president's $.9 trillion economic aid plan, and he says deliver urgently needed relief to american families and small businesses. philip up, in a recent piece for "washington post," takes on the argument that he won this election. he notes this -- trump's legal
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team noted there was evidence of fraud six states. in all six of the states a lawsuit was rejected, not only in general, but on the lack of evidence presented in defense of their claim. plaintiffs rely on numerous affidavits who painted picture of sinister, fraudulent activities occurring openly and under the cloak of darkness. the challengers conclusions are decidedly contradicted by the highly respected former state elections director, christopher thomas, who spend hours and hours at the tcf center november 3 and november 4 explaining challenges and resolving disputes. the elections -- rejected the idea. in arizona, -- wrote plaintiffs
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have not moved the needle for their fraud theories from conceivable to plausible, which they must meet to state a claim under federal pleading standards." in florida -- in georgia, tash wrote, "those allegations are supported by precious, little proof. host: nancy. crawford, nebraska. democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am so annoyed at having to talk about team sports here.
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i called in the democrat line. this is about people and planets. children are surviving a pandemic. they are not falling behind. these plantation capitalists that would make you think that we should go back to a new normal is insane. we have to go forward. thank you. host: ok. peggy. that a pre-, michigan, the public in. your turn -- battle creek, michigan, republican. your turn. caller: i am seen a growing tendency in a lot of biden nominees and legislators themselves in congress currently that there is a disregard for constitutionality in so many things. i have heard statements from some of the nominees stating that they would take a policy that is in direct conflict to certain of the amendments of the constitution, whether it is on
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gun laws or the state rights, different issues all over the place. people need to pay attention to that, just because this is something that should concern all of us, no matter what our party is, that they remain constitutionally dedicated and committed to following up on that. host: peggy, for you and for others interested in the confirmation hearings, you will find coverage on our website, andy. independent. let's go to you next. caller: how are you doing? host: good morning. caller: we do have justice on the insurgents at the capitol building. the guy from kentucky called earlier wondering why 25,000 people, law enforcement, are still guarding that building. probably because they killed
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five people, and also term limits, i think would go a long way into helping the situation. there wasn't but a handful of republicans voted to impeach the president when it was clear he promoted that whole thing. i think term limits would go a long way. the republicans were afraid of voting for the same result of what might happen to them. you have these nuts that are going to come after them because of the sheep following the shepherd. host: and on the january 6 attack there was that joint hearing yesterday. let's show you senator jeff merkley, democrat of oregon, asking the former capitol police
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chief about an fbi intelligence report that warned of violence. [video clip] >> on january 5, the fbi issued a report to the joint terrorism task force, which includes going to the u.s. capitol fleet, and that report noted that on far right media, the threats included things such as -- and comments such as "be ready to fight." congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, blood from blm and antifa spilled. get a ballot. stop calling this a rally or a protest. go there ready for war. we get our president or we die. nothing else will achieve this goal. did you get that fbi intelligence report? >> i addressed that right when we started. the united states capitol police department did get that report.
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that report made it to the intelligence bureau over to a sergeant there, and ceased moving forward at that point. no leadership, myself included, at capitol police, were made aware of that at the time of the event. >> you reporting your testimony to the individual who is the head -- john donohue, the director of intelligence on the u.s. capitol police. did he received the report, but he did not pass that on to you? >> again, i have no knowledge he received that report. i am told it went over to an official rank of sergeant and did not move any further from there. >> that is very concerning -- were there not procedures, or the head of intelligence to get the intelligence report to review it, especially when there
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were others to make sure that you as a leader had that knowledge on which to develop additional plans if additional plans were needed? >> i'm sure that is something they are looking at and yesterday is a process for, but as i mentioned before, that was raw intelligence coming in, and taking into consideration, none of the other intelligence was showing we were looking at this type of event with pounds of -- thousands of armed and coordinated individuals. host: if you missed yesterday's hearing on january 6 attack, you can watch it on today there will be an all-senators briefing with the acting chief of the u.s. capitol police and acting sergeant at arms on the current and future security measures around the capitol. madeleine dean west virginia. republican. what is your top public policy issues?
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caller: it is the people -- if the democrats would do what they are supposed to do, and let president trump and his family have a life, our country would be so much better off. i feel sorry for the ones that are doing this. this is not right. we are not supposed to hate like they hate that poor soul. host: mary in pennsylvania. democratic caller. caller: good morning. i wanted to make a statement. as far as with c-span -- the gentleman you just had on, mr. phillips, who is the president for americans with prosperity, that is a front for the koch brothers.
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the koch brothers are politicians to further their agenda in this country. as far as the first amendment, we need to change the laws on these channels for the news -- the so-called news channels, as far as for fox and newsmax. these are republican-controlled news sites, and they need to be cut off because they are the ones causing these issues in our country as far as these people getting irate, going to the capital, and killing people. so, we need to look into the first amendment and maybe change some loss as far as what they put out there -- change some laws as far as what they put out there to the american people. host: ruby. beverly, ohio. republican. what you have to say, ruby? caller: my biggest problem with
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the policy issue is that the president won the presidency because of the stimulus -- we heard it would be the first thing he did on his first day, but on his first day he shut down the pipeline and put thousands of men out of work. host: ok, ruby, and that is the president's stimulus plan, $1.9 trillion is headed to the floor for a vote later this week. majority leader steny hoyer ruling it will go into the floor on friday afternoon. the house is in session. live coverage here on c-span.


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