tv Washington Journal 10202021 CSPAN October 20, 2021 7:00am-10:01am EDT
later, former senator joe lieberman on his new book, "the centrist solution." ♪ host: after a full day of meetings with democrats yesterday president biden today heads to his hometown to call on congress to pass his so-called build back better plan. the ones $3.5 trillion spending bill that is certainly set to be less than that after conversations and compromise between congressional democrats and the white house. good morning and welcome to washington journal. it is wednesday, october 20, 2021. the first hour we will ask about
the compromises. democrats only this first hour. what do you think has to be part of this build back better plan? what can be cut? here are the lines for democrats only. (202)-748-8000 for democrats in the eastern and central time zones, mountain pacific region (202)-748-8001. we also welcome your comments via text at (202)-748-8003 and make sure you include your name and where you are texting from. you can send us a post on facebook, instagram and twitter as well @c-spanwj. we have been talking about that plan for months it seems. the $3.5 trillion build back better plan is what the white house calls it. reports say it will be far less then that. under the original plan part of
that would establish universal pre-k for three and four-year-olds, extend the child tax care credit and income tax credit, create federal family paid leave and medical leave benefit, require the electric utility sector to generate 80% of its power from clean energy sources by 2030, may community college free for two years and reduce prescription drug costs. those are just some of the highlights. this is the reporting this morning in roll call. budget trade-offs come as democrats seek consensus. some of the trade-offs democrats are likely to make as they pare back a partisan spending package through a filibuster proof reconciliation package began to crystallize tuesday. the proposal to stabilize two years of free community college is likely out.
tax credits expanded in the coronavirus relief law to help families pay for insurance and raising children will not be extended. a key proposal for pushing utility companies to switch to renewable energy sources needs to be reworked or replaced to a appease senator joe manchin. these are likely to change as democrats prepared to cut what was once a $3.5 trillion package. according to several democrats that attended meetings tuesday at the white house. part of those meetings yesterday the chair of the congressional congress said this about the discussion. [video clip] >> the president has consistently laid out a number that is between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion. it is not the number we want. we have consistently tried to make it as high as possible, but at the end of the day the idea
that we can build a multitude of programs and actually get them going so they have immediate benefits is what we are focused on. the president agreed with our strategy that the majority of our caucus put out some time ago which is we would like to see more of our priorities, and remember, the progressive caucus did not give a list of 100 things we gave a list of five major areas. i think he is with us that we need to invest in as many as those as possible even if it means, for some of them, a shorter amount of time. >> how would you describe the president's role right now? >> when it comes to investment in climate change do you see any change? [indiscernible] >> i think this is one of the most challenging places because we are waiting to see with the agreement is around how we ensure we get carbon emissions
reduction. i think that there are lots of possibilities on the table, some of which might be in the bill, some of which may not be. we need to continue to look at the final agreement around that because i don't think there is a final agreement. but we are hopeful we will get to a significant investment in climate. host: this morning on washington journal the first hour asking you, democrats only, about those compromises proposed by the president. (202)-748-8000 for the eastern and central time zones, (202)-748-8001 mountain and pacific. this is politico's playbook breaking down biden's latest build back better plan. as inflation continues to raise prices of everyday household items americans are lang the blame at the president's feet. in a new morning consul poll 62% say the administration policies
are either somewhat or very responsible for increasing inflation, including 41% of democrats. biden they say began pitching lawmakers on an outline for his build back better plan on tuesday night. the proposal pegged in the range of 1.7 trillion to $1.9 trillion. they are relieved he is getting his hands dirty after sitting on the sidelines. "this was a protective conversation and demonstrates momentum" said a congressional meeting aide on tuesday. this is a sign the white house is putting pen to paper. that from politico. today the president heading to scranton, pennsylvania. the headline from nbc as his economic plan hits a critical moment biden heads home. they right when joe biden began
lang out his build back better agenda as a presidential candidate he chose scranton to make the case. in a closing pitch to voters in the fall, centered on the idea of scranton versus wall street, he argued his administration would shift the economic playing field back in favor of americans in places like his hometown. now biden is traveling to his birthplace for the first time since he took office, using this symbolic venue to drive home the case for his agenda at a critical stage. let's get to calls and hear first from mike in virginia. good morning, go ahead. caller: good morning. i am definitely happy about biden being the president of the united states and i am hopeful that the progressives and those in congress will really take a hard look at the educational system as it relates to colleges
and the cost of colleges. that piece for the community colleges is definitely something they should really take a strong look at because the cost of college is astronomical and the problem with having college debt in america has been one of the things that is literally crippling young college graduates when they get out of school. i am really hoping that we can turn the corner and find a way to make it happen to reduce the college cost. whether it is community college or four-year university, if we could reduce those 40% to 50%, i think that would help the country, the economy, and everything moving forward. thank you very much. host: matt in maryland. caller: how are you doing? host: fine thanks. caller: i would like to see them do something about raising the taxes on the rich.
i think they don't pay anywhere near their fair share as well as the corporations. i had come across a list of corporations that don't pay taxes and it is way too large the list that don't pay taxes. i would also like to ask why we are not discussing the fact steve is going to be arrested. this seems like a big subject to me. maybe when it comes up everybody deserves to discuss this and know about it. host: thank you for that. we covered the hearing last night. you can find that on the mobile app. the story this morning about what is the next step from the hill. house to vote thursday on holding bannon in contempt. the house will vote thursday on holding former president trump's ex strategist for defying a
congressional subpoena. hoyer said the house committee investigating the january 6 attack on the capitol voted to ask the house to cite bannon for contempt after he refused to abide by the subpoena and answer questions before the panel. the january 6 committee voted tuesday to refer bannon to the justice department for criminal charges in response to his refusal to speak with the committee. that was a brief committee hearing last night, maybe 20 minutes. that will be -- and that is on the c-span mobile app. the house coming in this morning. live coverage as always on c-span but that citation expected to come up before the house on thursday. couple of comments on social media. first hour is democrats only on the compromises in the social spending bill. checking twitter and text messages as well, like obama before him biden with the chance to make america great again
caved into rich and powerful to have an fdr mobile like this. not surprising from the go along to get along biden. polio was the courage biden lacks. cindy from missouri, have enough faith in these programs to shorten funding from 10 years to five years. if a program cannot show promise after five years, may be a to be revamped. this one says, i want to congratulate the democratic party for screwing themselves over and losing the senate and the house in 2022. patrick in michigan, when it comes to making meaningful, necessary change compromising only maintains the status quo and delays what needs to be done now. let's hear from jim in highland park, new jersey. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i would like to opine on what
the republicans are trying to do. they are trying to obstruct all efforts by the democrats to further enhance the interest of america and the world. now, as far as the spending goes, i would like to remind everybody that the infrastructure bill and all spending bills are extended beyond one year. it is not just a one year deal and that is what i have to say for today. thank you very much and god bless america. host: next is margaret in care texas. caller: good morning to you and
good morning to america. even though the environment and renewables are my number one issue i am willing to give in to fossil fuel manchin just to get something passed. maybe we can do more to the energy department and transportation. we can do something later on, but we do need to get these bills passed. despite sinema and manchin. if we need them, we have to bring them in some way and give up something and then go around them later on. host: thank you for that . article from politico reporting on the discussions yesterday. democrats edge closer to ditching disarray. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer's strategy to force through democrats' domestic agenda flamed out in september.
they are ready to try all over again with the long-sought priorities on the line. the speaker and senate majority leader are hustling to clinch a deal as soon as possible that would lock in evasive centrists on a framework for joe biden's $2 trillion spending package. that framework would free up needed progressive votes for a bipartisan infrastructure bill by october 31. this was the view yesterday of the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell, on the democrats' deliberations. [video clip] >> we have all been fascinated by the stories you are filing about the difficulties our democratic friends are having getting everybody in place on this reckless spending proposal. the longer this lays out there the more unpopular it becomes. particularly interesting was the gallup poll last weekend which indicates how the public mood
has shifted from the pandemic era where people felt vulnerable and the government needed to step up and dead -- i would remind you on a bipartisan basis -- but now over half of americans think the government is doing too many things. too many things that should fall to individuals and businesses according to gallup's comprehensive poll. over half americans think the government has too much power. i think the american people can figure this out. we rescued the country last year and a time of distress. this year we had three vaccines, we were coming out of it, and the new democratic government just didn't want to stop spending. and now, taxing and spending as
well. that is the reason they are having very, very difficult time getting everybody in line behind something that is increasingly unpopular with the american people. host: in our opening our the question is for democrats only on the potential compromises in the build back better plan. where the compromise? what needs to stay? what can be cut? (202)-748-8000 the eastern and central time zone line and (202)-748-8001 mountain and pacific. you can send us a text as well, (202)-748-8003. this is from joe of kentucky, early childcare should stay in. being able to negotiate for a prescription drug for medication stay in. clean air and water has to stay. dental and glasses should stay in for medicare. mary in california, the democrats need to make a strong stand and do the right thing for the poor and middle-class. we seem to have plenty of money
for tax breaks for corporations and evil wars. david says, the democrats have been relentless in their compromising on social spending. example, bill clinton ending well for as we know it for decades. it is time to bring back the spirit of fdr. i don't like any of these compromises. we hear next from victor in birmingham, alabama. good morning. caller: yes. host: just knew your television and go ahead with your comment -- mute your television and go ahead with your comment. caller: ok. host: go ahead. caller: good morning, c-span. host: good morning. caller: i would like to say if all the democrats are sitting around then we should shut the united states down.
what happens when we build back better? we build back better with money, not promises. thank you. host: to kingsland, michigan. bill, hello. caller: thank you. i think the republican party has worked together and virginia manchin needs to get out of the coal company's pocket because they are paying him to hurt the democratic party. that is what i believe. it is a shame he is not working for the people. host: the first hour is democrats only. (202)-748-8000 if you are in eastern or central time zone, (202)-748-8001 for mountain and pacific. article in the hill about joe manchin and the ad campaign to pressure manchin on biden spending plan. a coalition of progressive groups unveiled a six-figure television advertisement to
ratchet up pressure on joe manchin to support president joe biden's multitrillion dollar build back better agenda. it is focused on an estimated 30,000 new jobs that would be created in west virginia if biden's full human infrastructure passes. [video clip] >> two daughters and they will not stay here. >> my son was a welder and he had to travel two hours from here just to have decent pay. >> my children are new to a big city. they can survive here. >> the last years we have seen 60,000 leave. joe manchin, we need permanent longtime jobs. this state's depending on him to do something right. host: that ad from coalition of groups against joe manchin. this is a reporting of the nation in a headline titled
"bernie sanders shows democrats how to deal with joe manchin." democrats hope to enact the build back better agenda that expands medicare, provides paid family leave, lifts children out of poverty and saves the planet. they are going to have to speak bluntly, not just about republican obstruction, but about the democrats standing in the way of progress. most members of the senate democratic caucus are reticent about stating the obvious but bernie sanders did so on sunday when he explained to west virginia their senior senator was on the wrong side of biden's plan. a historic opportunity to support the working families of west virginia. sanders wrote an opinion piece for the sunday edition of the charleston gazette male, the daily newspaper of west virginia's capital city, which by monday morning which was on the website. he argued for the plan backed by
president biden and the plan that would help virginians. gwen is next. good morning. caller: i agree with bernie sanders because somebody needs to stand toe to toe in joe biden -- i mean, joe manchin. they should not go lower then $1.9 trillion because there is so much that needs to be done and i believe bernie and the progressives, all it takes is one of them. just like manchin and sinema. it just takes one of them to say, we are not going to budge. host: one of the follow-ups to that story between joe manchin and bernie sanders is from the help and in that story -- the hill and in that story, it all comes down to bernie and joe.
they write senator manchin told democratic colleagues that he will work with bernie sanders and chuck schumer to reach a deal by the week's end. manchin said he thought a general agreement would be possible by friday, sounding a more optimistic tone behind closed doors then when asked by reporters about the meeting on october 31 for passing legislation. the source describe the negotiation as diplomacy was schumer coordinating the talks. doug up next in maryland. hi. caller: hi. can you hear me? host: yes we can. go ahead. caller: i am in favor of early childhood education. i think we could get the best return from it. i am not in favor of free community college. i'm not sure college is the right thing for everybody and i'm not sure free community college what lead to a job for
people. i think prescriptions for older people. maybe we can't afford it right now, although we probably want to do it, it would not help boost to the economy. i think we should invest in things that would boost the economy near and medium term. host: thanks. another view via text on community college. this is phil in connecticut who says, free community college is a must. we have a shortage of 11 million workers and employers are having a hard time finding skilled employees. community colleges provide the workforce our economy needs. in new york next up is william. caller: how you doing? host: find thank you. caller: i got a comment about the social security. people worked all their lives, 30, 40 years and they are entitled to get these benefits.
as far as the childcare, i think it is necessary because you can get more parents outworking which will raise the economy. that is how i see it. host: debbie in san antonio, texas. go ahead. hi, debbie. caller: how are you? host: fine thank you. caller: this may be an ignorant question but i am for all of the proposals. but if we have to go to war, will we have the money to do so? host: do you think this compromises our military ability by focusing this spending on social issues, the environment, on climate change and things like that? caller: it is kind of scary. host: that is your view, that it would? caller: yes.
host: appreciate your calling in. another congressional story reported in the omaha world leader, omaha.com, about jeff fortenberry. indictment for jeff fortenberry. a federal grand jury charge nebraska's first district esentative jeff fortenberry tuesday with three felonies stemming from a federal investigation of illegal contributions made to is 2016 reelection campaign. the charges include one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts, and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators. the grand jury indictment alleges jeff fortenberry repeatedly lied and misled authorities during the investigation of illegal contributions to his campaign made by a foreign billionaire in early 2016. the congressman, who served since 2005, denies any wrongdoing. "we will fight these charges.
i did not lied to them." and a video message before the indictment was released, calgary is a nigerian born billionaire of lebanese descent who lives in paris. he arranged for $30,000 in cash to be contributed to the campaign during a fundraiser in los angeles. let's hear from sasha in ocean grove, new jersey. go ahead. caller: hello? host: you are on the air. go ahead. caller: oh, good. a country is strong when a people as well educated. i believe a portion of the build back better program that should be retained is the education of three and four-year-olds and the two year -- free, sorry, college which is an extension of high school. in our country years ago high
school was not a free option. our country became strong after we provided high schools for our people, were children. now is the time for us to extend high school two more years by considering community college as an extension of our education. we needed for the jobs that are out there and we need it as a people. education is something no one can take away from you. i say educate. host: did you think these priorities have been made earlier? in other words, that they shot for the moon with $3.5 trillion or is this just part of the process? caller: you know, that is an interesting question. i think if they had started to sop it up in the beginning, maybe only a tiny bit would have gone through.
i think it was good they held on as long as they did but now they do have to compromise. the art of politics is the art of compromise. now they have to find out what is critical. i think education is critical to the development of our future as a country. host: janice in colorado springs. good morning. janice, hello. caller: i am very interested -- hello? host: you are on the air. caller: i am calling in regards to college. i feel it is fine for them to get the two-year education as long as they go and take advantage of it the right way. but if they are going, they should have to pass the two years and if they don't, they should pay it back. i don't feel it is fair to taxpayers if you are just
lollygagging in college. i think they should also be responsible if they want to take advantage. if you are not working, they should not have it. host: thank you for the call. front page of the washington post with the headline, biden sets new spending goal. president biden told democrats during a private meeting tuesday he believed they could secure a deal on a new tax and spending proposal between $1.75 trillion and 1.9 trillion dollars, far less than the party sought. it would still allow them to accomplish broad swaths of the economic agenda. the early outline shared with liberal lawmakers in the house appeared to offer one potential avenue for the white house to broker a truce among democrats' warring left-leaning and moderate factions. people familiar with biden's comments confirm the details requesting anonymity. of the potential new price range
marks a significant reduction from the $3.5 trillion some democrats initially pursued under a budget agreement chiefly brokered by bernie sanders earlier this year. but it is closer to the number centrists, especially joe manchin, outlined in recent months. manchin and sanders met tuesday for the second time in two days after the two sparred with each other over the weekend. jen psaki and a briefing yesterday talked about the discussions and her view they are getting closer to a final agreement. [video clip] >> we are getting closer to an agreement to deliver for the american people. the president believes in the value of meeting face-to-face, hence the meetings today and full day of meetings today. we believe his view of the urgency here is reflected in the views of these members meeting with as well. >> i hear you saying it is unlikely -- and i understand it
is not your deadline -- but the deadline set by democratic leadership. i hear you indicating it is unlikely -- >> that is not what i am indicating. we are continuing to make progress, we are getting close to the final stages, we are working to get agreement on a path forward, making progress. i understand why you want them. they are not particularly constructive otherwise. >> senator manchin said, i don't know how that happened. he went further than you are going. how can the president press for urgency in these talks with a leader who does not think this is ideal? >> i think the president's view, which is shared by much of the democratic caucus, he proposed to these plans months ago, we have had months to discuss, debate, litigate the nitty-gritty and it will come time soon to move forward and deliver for the american people. that is something the vast majority of the caucus agrees on. host: this first hour on
washington journal asking democrats only about the potential compromises in the build back better agenda. the lines are for those in the eastern and central time zones (202)-748-8000. mounted and pacific (202)-748-8001. on text we are (202)-748-8003. this is from nelson in st. louis, i disagree with how the democrats are wasting valuable time trying to win over joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. just go ahead and cut a deal with them and keep it moving forward. don't allow them to prevent us from accomplishing anything. do whatever you can with them now and we can do more at another time. let's hear from lamar in shreveport, louisiana. caller: hi. host: just mute your volume and go ahead with your comment. caller: ok. i was watching the show and they had run the op-ed from bernie sanders for over the weekend and i think you should at least show
joe manchin's response. the citizens of west virginia don't need to take advice from an independent socialist. i am a democrat but i am more a john kennedy ask not democrat. i am certainly physically conservative and i guess my comment is, you know, 2000 we had trillions of debt and now we are adding trillions more. after a while that adds up to serious money? . i think we need to back down and think about the american pocketbook as opposed to just reckless spending. host: to your point before the hour closes out, we will show you the response from joe
manchin. we played at the other day. we will show that to you and thank you for bringing that up. ron is in new york. good morning. caller: hey. i am calling in regards to when joe biden took office he should have left things the way they were. we were really getting going on the economy, especially with the pipelines. i know that we don't want oil and coal but they are here for a long time to stay. if you let that go and all those programs and being able to do oil different places in the country, we would still be swarming in money.
a lot of people would be back to work. we would not have the pay to stay at home work agreement. people would have gone back to work and have plenty of new jobs and we would have been booming. i think he just made the wrong turn at that time. i am not sure if he is doing that himself or the guys in the white house are controlling him because he is looking pretty frail as a democrat here. i wish things could have started out better the other way because socialism is, unfortunately, trying to get pushed through. colleges could pay their own
debt as far as paying for the first $10,000 of the person's money going to the college because colleges like harvard and everything are getting special endowments through the government. they had $42 billion in over money sitting around. that way i think the colleges that are getting these extra stipends from the government should pay for the free tuition, or at least the first $10,000. thank you and have a good one. host: this is from the new york times, democrats scaling back budget bill. compromised by week's end. senate democrats hope to reject
compromise on president biden's sprawling domestic plan by the end of the week, toiling to show progress after weeks of public bickering and private negotiations with centrist holdouts. the renewed urgency came as mr. biden privately conceded key elements of his social safety net and climate proposal were likely to be dropped or substantially paired back to fit into measures that would be much smaller than the $3.5 trillion plan democrats sketched out over the summer. here is the majority leader chuck schumer talking about the potential passage of that legislation. [video clip] >> there was universal, universal agreement in that room that we have to come to an agreement and get it done and want to get it done this week. >> tell us what that means. you want a framework this week and how do you get there? are you going to have separate meetings with the white house and your members? >> there are lots of meetings going on. the president's meeting regularly with people. probably the president the
, the speaker and i talk about everyday. there will be meetings together and separately to get this done but the pace has picked up. the desire to get it done is strong and as i said, universal agreement in the room. >> there is this rift between senator sanders and senator manchin. how do you get this done? how do you get them on the same page? >> what i told our caucus is that everyone is going to be disappointed and certain things but everyone is going to be glad about certain things. overall, getting something done of this magnitude for the american people is a huge, huge, huge accomplishment and that is what is going to move us forward and bring us together. last question. >> when you say an agreement, are you talking about a framework? >> you cannot write the whole bill in the next few days but getting a framework done, that is agreed upon by 50 senators and 218 house members -- which we are getting closer to, we are
not there yet -- and then moving both bills together is what we are going to do. host: on the relationship between senator joe manchin and senator bernie sanders the caller earlier mentioned the statement from joe manchin and he tweeted it out to the editorial that bernie sanders placed in the west virginia paper. the response says, this is not the first time an out-of-state or tried to tell west virginia's what is bes for them despits. inflation taxes or draining worker's hard earned wages as the price of gasoline and groceries continues to climb. senator sanders' answer is to throw money on an already overheated economy will 52 other senators have grave concerns about this approach. to be clear, congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and i will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. no op-ed from the self-declared independent socialist is going
to change that. let's hear from al in el dorado, arkansas. go ahead. caller: i am totally against anymore spending. we have got money up there that can take all of our needs. if joe biden left stuff alone when he became president, this country would be going smoothly. i am totally against any spending. thank you. host: to oklahoma city next and barbara is on the line. caller: wow, i cannot believe how many republicans in a row. i can't believe they are fighting us over $3.5 trillion over 10 years. i won't say. you know who but he put $13.5 trillion on the bill and we are $30 trillion and fighting over
$3.5 trillion? i like it how any time -- they keep saying free money, free money. taxes aren't free. i pay my taxes and i'm sick of it going to the billionaires instead of the people who need it. i do want the education. i want my kids educated, i want health care for them, or else i want a wage i can give to them. it is ridiculous what is going on and quit letting republicans call in on this line. thank you. host: thank you for that comment, barbara. this is the front page of the washington times. democrats raise limit on irs access to banking data. congressional democrats were forced to retreat tuesday from a plan to give the irs access to bank information on customer accounts with more than $600 in annual depository withdrawals after widespread backlash from the republican financial industry. senior democrats on congress'
tax-writing panels had a revised version that raises the monitoring threshold from $600 to $10,000 in annual account activity. the change means financial institutions will have to report to the irs on any account with more than $10,000 in deposits or withdrawals annually. treasury secretary janet yellen said the change will help crackdown on wealthy tax scofflaws and businesses that do not report income. but the low 600 dollar limit proved a major political headache for democrats trying to find ways to fund president biden's multitrillion dollar spending programs. next is charlie in pennsylvania. go ahead. caller: hey. you know, these republicans for some reason or other -- i don't care if you are democrat, republican, or independent -- we are first of all americans. i am an american.
if i would have been born in russia, i would have been russian. what i am trying to say is what america fails to realize, us americans, i am tired of hearing socialism. you know what? it is called social security. it is the best program on the planet. if you are a young guy and you have a family, if something happens to you, your wife and your kids are going to get a check until they are 18. if you become disabled, you are going to get a check. if you retire, you're going to get a check. that is the best 6% or 6.5%, best bang for the buck. i am tired of hearing republicans crying, crying all
the time socialism, socialism. if you are hungry in this country, there are programs set up where you get some type of food program. you get medicine. we have a duty and responsibility as human beings for god's sake to take care of our fellow human beings. i am tired of hearing socialism. why don't we call it being responsible? looking out for our fellow human beings? host: charlie, do you think a reduced package in the order of $2 trillion -- are the democrats doing the responsible thing in your view? caller: i would like to see some type of package. in my area, for example, i am stuck with -- i won't mention
the name -- but i kicked it up to zoom. his certain rural areas don't have high-speed internet -- let's do something to help those people. that is almost like -- i remember years ago if a cable company was coming through and you were a mile up the road, they would not run that mile line up the road to get that house. we have got to bring it up to speed a little bit. host: thank you for your call this morning. on social media and via text some comments. john says this from california, as a retired progressive we did not get a mandate in the last election. i would like to see the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed and see if we can get rid of trump's tax cuts. do major partisan bills we need a large majority in the next election otherwise the
country will continue with the hate between republicans and democrats. marked tweets, this will lower prescription drug costs by letting medicare negotiate drug prices so you are no longer at the whim of our pharmaceutical companies. [indiscernible] david is next up in franklin, west virginia. caller: i think they need to be straightening up down there in washington. i think the bill they are doing right now is great. i think joe manchin is doing an excellent job. somebody needs to stand up. we can't not spend $3.5 trillion. it is not right. what he is doing is the right thing. bernie sanders is way out in left field. our country cannot stand it. i am 63 years old.
i retired early because of my health and i took my social security. i worked for my money so i decided to take it because there are people out there who can work but they will not work. host: is the social security keeping you afloat? are you able to pay your bills and stay in your house? caller: yes and no. me and my brother -- my father passed with couple of months ago -- but me and my brother have a little farm and that helps supply. but with the social security it has, yes. but that is not all the point. the point of the matter is i know a lot of people -- i live in a rural area. most of these people won't work because they have to travel 40 or 50 miles to get a job. they are not working. it is not right what is going on
because these people were working up until this president came into office. they started getting this free money and they quit working another welcome back to work. host: we are focusing on democrats only this first hour but less than 15 minutes left. the question this morning about the compromises, potential compromises in the president's build back better plan. this is the $3.5 trillion spending measure largely in the social spending measure including efforts on climate change. a package that now, according to reports, will be somewhere in the area of $2 trillion. on the senate floor today no vote on that package but a critical vote on voting rights. this is the headline in the new york times, pressure on filibuster grows as gop thwarts voting bill. senate republicans were expected again on wednesday, today, to block action on voting rights legislation, intensive --
intensifying calls to do away with the filibuster or find themselves at a disadvantage next year's midterm elections and into the future. for the third time this year republicans were poised to use the weapon to for access to the ballot box. anticipating the move president biden, who has been criticized by progressives for not being aggressive enough on voting rights, reached out on monday to senate democrats who expressed his support for what the white house described as a must pass priority. at least one democrat who had previously been reluctant to alter filibuster rules said that he was ready to do so when it came to the voting measure. we are talking about the fundamental operation of democracy. i have to think a senate rule will have to be modified or give way, said senator angus keene of maine. independents say he would back changes to the rule if needed to
pass the bill. that vote coming up today on the senate floor and you can follow senate coverage over all in companion network c-span2. dennis is in williamsport, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. host: you bet. caller: i think we are going to have to compromise to get this bill through. what i would like to say is a person i graduated with many years ago posted some political buttons, one from the 1930's that said, defeat socialism, defeat roosevelt and social security. that is the republican campaign button and he posted one from the 1960's that said, defeat socialism, defeat johnson and medicare. if republicans have their way on
these, there would be no social security, there would be no medicare, there would be no affordable care act, there would be no workmen's compensation, and there would be no unemployment compensation. they have fought every one of these bills and the only time the budget deficit matters is when there is a democrat in the white house. that is the only time. other than that they don't care about deficit spending or running up the debt. 34% of people responded to the poll said they cannot find childcare. the united states is the lowest country in the civilized, in the industrialized nations that spends on childcare. other countries have where the government subsidizes childcare so people can go to work. this is one of the problems
holding, especially women, back from being able to rejoin the workforce. of course, we have 25% or 30% of the people that will not get a vaccine for covid and they do all the hollering about it and they keep this epidemic going. thank you. host: the story about the vaccine mandates and a ruling from the u.s. court -- not in a case -- but a ruling came down yesterday. the u.s. supreme court declined tuesday to block a vaccine requirement imposed on maine health care workers. the latest opponent defeat. it was the first time the supreme court weighed in on the statewide mandate. a rejected challenges of requirements for new york city teachers and indiana university staff and students. justice stephen breyer rejected the appeal but left the door open to try again as the clock ticks on maine's mandate.
they will enforce that october 29. amin in temple, texas. caller: good morning. you know, it is so sad when trump and the republicans made the spending go up to $12 million and there is not a thing in their for us americans -- t here for us americans. it said it they could give ceos a break, they could give companies a break but nothing for us. now that $12 million is on the books. they have the nerve to say we can't get $3 trillion for the american people who work for these companies? the republicans are really acting bad. what happened to the good
republicans? the ones that voted in watergate, that knew wrong was wrong. these republicans now are so pocket hungry and greedy as long as they can get money they don't care about the needy. god is going to make them pay for that. thank you. host: virginia, grover is up next. caller: how president trump could spend $12 million on his golf course and paid $2 trillion in afghanistan and don't even want to give the american people $3.5 trillion to build up the country. 75% of the people is for the bill.
nothing politicians. how can know republican before this -- be for this? if these dates are so poor, they really need the money. not one republican voted for it. the people want to storm the capitol and none of them want to investigate who did it and punish them for it. host: we talk a lot this first hour about the differences between joe manchin and senator bernie sanders. reporter was cbs caught up with joe manchin yesterday outside the u.s. capitol and bernie sanders and said they are still talking. [video clip] [no audio]
[laughter] >> you are going to have a resolution by the end of the week? >> we are talking. host: penny in brooklyn, new york. you are on. caller: i am wondering why most of these people who are calling don't realize this package is paid for. if you raise the taxes, not even back to the level trump gave the tax cuts but backup for the rich and anyone making over $400,000, this package is paid for. if the employers are requiring college, the poor will never get out of being poor if they cannot get college. to borrow money and end up in debt most of your life where people are still living at home at thirtysomething or fortysomething paying off college debt makes no sense. we have to have an educated society.
if two years of community college -- it is essential. that is like high school. that is getting more high school. this is not something rich people are just going to go to community college. they go to private colleges and then make it. you have to do something for people who cannot afford college and the package is paid for. it is not coming out of our taxes being raised. it is coming out of the wealthy pay their taxes and those making over $400,000. the irs is making sure these people are not escaping paying their taxes. i don't see with the problem is. childcare is so essential to people getting back in the workforce. host: thank you for your call. the headline on the negotiations so far this is the hill, white house window war sweeping budget package is closing. that is the hill this morning.
couple of comments on social media. visits from lynn who tweets, we have to pass these two bills so joe biden can get a win which republicans are doing everything they can to block it. from brooklyn, nobody batted an eye on the defense bill passed. $7 trillion for an acceptable wars. we are now saying half of $350 billion is too much? lynn says, invite a choice between keeping free college and medicare the seniors get my vote. seniors get left out of everything. it is time they get the help they need. they can always go back into free college bill. in north carolina, andi is next. caller: thank you for taking my call. the man who talked about free college and spoke about harvard,
it is community colleges. i wish c-span would push back a little bit on these comments. the other thing is may be find in your archives when trump said to the crowd, i made you all a lot richer and they all laughed. ha ha, fun. it is time that we the people get some of our tax money back instead of it going to the wealthy and well-connected who don't pay taxes, many times get refunds, and people in my bracket around $30,000 depend on pensions, social security. i am not complaining but i still owe taxes after the tax act. taxes after the 2017 tax act. tromp, he is a con artist, he is a grifter, and this thing was not letting we the people get some of our tax money back is
really getting old. the wealthy always get tax breaks, and it is never paid for. this is paid for. host: ok, to charles, one more call here in our first hour. jacksonville, florida. go ahead. caller: i worked 50 years, and my social security is paid for. they got $100 billion for illegal aliens they are shipping in everyday. that is wrong. host: ok, charles, we appreciate the call this morning. there is more ahead here on "washington journal." up next, we will be joined by congressman tom tiffany, a republican from wisconsin, who will talked about the republican perspective of the upcoming spending we have been talking about. at the bottom of the hour, we will meet the leader of the
women's group, kristin rowe-finkbeiner from the organization called momsrising. ♪ >> here is a look at what is live today. on c-span, the house returns at 10:00 a.m. eastern for general speeches, followed by legislative business at noon. members are working on several bills, including one to address
the use of artificial intelligence technologies for counterterrorism. on c-span2, the senate is back at 10:00 a.m. to take up a voting rights and election laws bill, which would require 60 votes to move forward. at 10:00 a.m. on c-span3, the senate foreign relations committee considers the nominations of nicholas burns to be a bathroom china, probably manual to be ambassador to japan, and jonathan kaplan to be ambassador to singapore. in the afternoon, wisconsin senator ron johnson leads a roundtable discussion on border security without the republican senators. >> washington unfiltered. c-span in your pocket. download c-span now today. ♪ >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman is a republican who represents the
seventh district. born in wisconsin, here with us for the first time on "washington journal." congressman tiffany, welcome. guest: it is good to be here. host: i say you are a new congressman, a newer, elected in the special election, in may of 2020. what has been your top priority as you have gotten into congress. ? guest: my top properties are the committee i sit on, and one is natural resources. natural resources are at the heart of american prosperity. always has been, always will be. i have done work in the state legislature, and i have continued that work here in washington. then i joined the judiciary committee, to sit on that committee, we are really dealing with some of the major issues, especially social issues that we are seeing here in washington, d.c. host: so let's chime into the
first one, for natural resources. what are some of the things you are trying to push through, legislation, or supporting other legislation? guest: in my district, there is something really important, first superior and duluth, i represent superior, it is one of the major transportation modes not just in the upper midwest but in all of north america -- rail, pipeline, major ports on the great lakes, all of those things come together, so i have been working diligently on issues that affect them in the heart of transportation on our natural resources. host: this is not the purview of the judiciary committee. it was the select committee of the january 6 attack, the about last night by that committee -- the vote last night by that committee to issue a contempt of court citation to trump advisor
stephen bannon. the house will vote on that on thursday. what is your view of this whole process, congressman tiffany? guest: i believe it is a sideshow to the work that congress should be doing. there was clearly a riot on january 6. i was in the house that day. those that came in that should not have, those that rioted, they should be charged accordingly. but to turn this into a sideshow i don't think is an appropriate way to go about it. think about it. we had rise across america in 2020. major cities across the country were burning. both parties should be charged for writing -- those people should be charged for rioting, as should the people who came on january 6. host: witnesses reluctant to testify in the end, especially on a matter like this. guest: i believe that is the sideshow.
it is trying to draw other personalities into this, to legitimize what is going on here. speaker pelosi -- this is her only aero in the quiver in regards to the elections coming up in 2022, to try to say to the public hey, you cannot support republicans. she has nothing in her quiver in regards to policies that people like. all you have to do is look at the border. look at crime. look at inflation. all these things have happened over the last 10 months, and it is an attempt to distract the american public. host: we spent the first hour asking democrats only on this program asking about the democratic spending proposal. the president took on a build back better plan. as that comes to the house floor, what is your view on the democrats' spending measure? guest: i will oppose it. let's start with the inter-structure built. $1.2 trillion, we have a much
better counterproposal. we can use existing dollars that have already been authorized, 400 billion dollars, the largest infrastructure package ever passed in congress, and it would be solely for infrastructure. now, it is only about 10%. it is actually for roads, bridges, ports, those kinds of things. we have a much better alternative, and the reconciliation bill of $3.5 trillion that gives free everything -- and by the way, the american public is going to find out how expensive "free" is, because we all know there is no free lunch. the $3.5 trillion bill should be killed. we are raising inflation that is skyrocketing, and it will exacerbate it even more, eroding people's paychecks. host: what are the infrastructure priorities? you say the republicans have a better plan. what are the priorities, and where would that money be spent in your district, in your state? guest: that money would be spent
on roads, bridges. it would be spent on concrete and steel, actual things needed for our infrastructure. broadband, especially for a district like mine that is very rural, very sparse. rural broadband programs are so important. that is what this should be spent on, as well as aging sewer and water systems, the true infrastructures that we need to make sure we are investing in, so we had to 20, 30, 50 years of from now that those will work. we get some states like california, and they have huge infrastructure problems, including the eligible gran -- electrical grid. host: our guest is republican congressman tom tiffany. we welcome your calls. (202) 748-8001 for republicans, (202) 748-8000 for democrats, and for independents and all others, (202) 748-8002.
congress addressed raising the debt ceiling, and of course, finally, at the end of the year, the current, short-term spending measure runs out. would you expect the last weeks, the last month will be like in the house? guest: the answer you cited at the top of the segment, bill, i am relatively new to congress, and i am not there at the front table during these negotiations and like that. it is controlled by democrats. let's be honest. they have control of both houses as well as the presidency. they are going to decide what happens here. i am trying to highlight for my constituents and the american public the harm that can be done by this unbelievable spending spree that is being proposed here. and it is going to be up to democrats whether they decide they want to jam this through and americans suffer the consequences of what we already
see, significant inflation, it could be much higher inflation. i would address one issue, bill, in regards to the debt limit, we do not have a revenue problem out here in washington, d.c. the largest amount of revenue ever came into our government in the last year -- into our federal government in the last year. it is a spending problem. we should not continue it. your local banks would not up your credit limit if you prove you are not a worthy borrower. at this point, our federal government is proving itself to be an unworthy borrower, jacking up spending that really is not affordable by the taxpayers of our country. host: you have been, as we mentioned, a member since may of 2020. in the your year and a half in the u.s. house, what has surprised you the most, please do the most, and what has disappointed you the most? guest: the greatest disappointment is how the
greatest deliberative institution that we all learned about when we were kids in school is no longer that deliberative institution. we are seeing this year bills go through, the speaker proposes them, and they go directly to the floor. the most cursory hearings and some of the committees, i will give you an example, in natural resources, there was the original omnibus spending bill that went through congress, signed by president biden at the start of the session. it was $1 billion at the natural resources committee should have been voting on. we did not even have steering on this. that is really disappointing, especially coming from the state legislature, we had really good back-and-forth, really good debate, vigorous debate, but we always had those debates in committees. bills move through the deliberative process. that is not happening here in washington, d.c., and it diminishes our democracy when we don't have a good says here in congress.
and then when you add onto that all of the executive orders that the executive branch, basically becoming a king, becoming a prime minister, circumventing congress is not helpful for our country. host: and the flipside of that, is there a real hoe, something that has pleased you in the year and a half you have been here? guest: there's a whole range of issues compared to being in the state legislature. the responsibility in our state when we had a severe budget, we were able to accomplish that. the big thing is on foreign policy, and that is the area that is significantly different than having served in a state legislature, and in particular, i have really taken on the issue in regards to taiwan, and his relationship with mainland china.
mainland china, as we all know, is extremely aggressive at this point. they do not recognize taiwan as a country, and i believe that could be a great the stabilizing force in the south east asia, so i spent a lot of time on that, as well as the immigration issue. host: you did mention you serve into committees, natural resources and judiciary. your committee next week we'll hear from the attorney general. merrick garland faces his first testimony before the house judiciary committee. that will be next thursday. i guess that is coming up this thursday, coming up this week, correct? guest: that is correct. host: what do you hope to hear or ask the attorney general? guest: i want to hear about the two-tiered justice system that we are seeing in america. that is what i hear from my constituents regularly. why do people get away with what they do, taking a server and wrecking it and that not being
accountable. why the president's son has -- we find information that would be chargeable offenses by the average citizens in america. why aren't those things being investigated. why are parents, who attend a school board meeting them and there is vigorous debate commanding we have the attorney general saying, these people, we have to treat them as terrorists. they are not terrorists. they are just people who are seeking to be heard before unelected board. people want to know why there is a two-tiered justice system. why are some of us inferior in this democracy? host: we will hear from a caller on our independent line. this is ken in tampa, florida. go ahead. caller: my question is for the representative. and, thanks, c-span. this is a great show.
it gets people like me to see the pulse of this country. my question for the congressman is, he said the investigation for the january 6 is a sideshow. i just want to ask the congressman, what would it be -- would it be a sideshow if those people that attacked the capitol were people who are black people or people he considered as illegal immigrants? i just wonder, what would his stance be then? and also, when it comes to these school board meetings, how would he feel if someone was in there, throwing things and threatening his life all over a mask? why, when it comes to common sense things, these people in congress -- the democrats are no different. these people in congress seem to just be on a different level of
thinking. host: ken, we will hear from the congressman. guest: i think this is a really good question that can is posing here. i really agree with him, on a longform show like this, where you get more in depth first of all, part of reason i say it is a sideshow, there is not a comprehensive review being done by the january 6 commission at this point. what many people in the public -- i know my constituents don't realize -- is there was a warning put out to the capitol police a couple of days before this happened on january 6, that there could be some trouble at the capital. and we're seeing that people were not -- we were not fully prepared by security at the capitol. and that is ultimately the speaker pelosi responsibility, to make sure there is enough security capital. so they had a warning. let's consider all of that.
let's release all of the data. all of the video footage needs to be put out there so that we can have a comprehensive look. the reason i believe it is a sideshow is it is being looked at very narrowly. it is trying to get at president trump, who is no longer president, and it is trying to keep january 6 alive as this issue. it is the only thing that speaker pelosi has going into the 2022 election. the second part of his election, i served on a local town board, and i've seen constituents come to a local town board meeting and be really passionate about issues. you have to be prepared for that. that is what we do here in america. we don't take up arms when we have disagreements. we have vigorous debates, and that is a good thing. to have the attorney general say that we may need to crack down on people that are coming before local school boards, that is wrong. and by the way, that local school board, just like the town
board i sat on, if there is a problem, and any be dealt with, you contact local law enforcement. that is how it works in the system of federalism. the local government, the local board can deal with this issue, and that is where the control should be taken. host: we will go next to maggie who is in georgia, democrats line. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. . i am sitting here, and i am flabbergasted. how can you possibly say that it was a riot? it was an insurrection. they were ready to go for mike pence, a republican, to kill him -- kill him! the cop, who was on tv, telling what happened to him, when they were saying, "kill him with his own gun!" i mean, i just don't understand this. i just don't.
i don't understand it. and on the bill, the big bill, it is for 10 years. it is not that they are going to spend $3 trillion in one year, it is over 10 years. it is paid for. so why are you against it? i -- you have done -- the republicans have done nothing on infrastructure. they have done nothing on health care, until the democrats came in, and they got health care through. and i hope that we will be able to get this $3.5 trillion package through. guest: let me address the questions here, maggie, real quick. it is 10 years, but some programs go on forever. so they are only being scored for 10 years in terms of their physical costs, but they go on forever. that is not how it should work out here in washington, d.c.,
and that is how we have failed the citizens of this country, because we don't figure when these programs are put in -- and remember, a government program almost always lasts forever. so if you're going to start a program now, you have got to be able to pay for it for well beyond 10 years. that is one of the really big problems that exists with these spending bills. in regards to -- she said that this is an insurrection. this may be one of the questions that comes up before attorney general garland this week. is there anyone that is being charged with insurrection? this riot at the capitol was different just in that it was a riot at the capitol compared to all the riots that happened in america. the riots in america come over the past year and a half, they are bad wherever they happened. people should be charged, whether it is my state, and madison, wisconsin, kenosha,
wisconsin, where three people were killed as a result of rights they got out of control that our governor and attorney general did not take care of. those are just as bad as if they happen at the united states capitol. i want to know from the attorney general, is anyone being charged with insurrection? because if that is all that it takes, those people that came in on january 6, to overthrow our government, we have much larger problems. i will repeat again, those people in january 6, they should be charged appropriately, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. host: do you think the former president has any culpability in helping to accelerate that crowd from the rally that was happening that day? guest: i don't know if it was the president particularly, but i think some of the rhetoric was very strong that day, and i think all of us need to just bring the temperature down a little bit, and that is certainly what i have been trying to do, is bring the
temperature down. we are going to have vigorous debate. let's do that. host: we will go to virginia, on the republican line in sarasota, florida, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to say that our government is too big. i think that we have to cut it in half, at least. it is a big expense to the taxpayers. we don't get anything done. there's no oversight. the mayors, the governors seem to be making themselves rich and not taking care of their cities. and also i think that we need term limits for congress. they should not be able to give themselves a raise. and i heard nancy pelosi just gave herself another raise. this is ridiculous. guest: let me address that question, if i may, bill. i think what our listener is
referring to is in this -- i believe it is in the reconciliation package, the $3.5 trillion, speaker pelosi has put $200 million into the park right outside of her home, right near a place called billionaires row in san francisco. that money could be used for our national parks, which needs some help, needs money to make sure that they continue to be the great places we all want to visit as americans. it is very disappointing that came before us in the natural resources committee, that $200 million that is basically an earmark that goes to the pacific heights park. and by the way, she was defended by one of her colleagues, i think, speaker pelosi deserves that because she served as speaker. that is sometimes the mentality you see out in washington, d.c. that i think the people -- that is why you see congress having a
10% approval rating. and so our, like, is absolutely correct. there is plenty of money coming into our federal government, as i stated earlier. the greatest revenue in the history of our country came in over the last year, yet we have blown for our debt limit. we have people talking about the continue to deficit spend -- there's no reason to do that. i have a track record of being able to fix that, and we have a proposal, as part of the republican study committee, over five years, we can get our budget back in balance here at the federal level. i did that over the 10 years that i served in the state legislature. three of those where i helped write the budget. we made really tough decisions, but we got our budget back in balance. if you look at wisconsin's fiscal numbers now, they are returning money, $2 billion to the taxpayers, and it is running in the black. we could do the same thing as the federal government, it just takes the will of congress to make it happen.
host: i forget which ports you have referenced earlier in our conversation, which are having backlog issues -- as all of the ports in the united states are. there and was comes, a story in the "washington post," the white house is weighing tapping the national guard to. . address mounting supply chain backlogs. is that an idea you think you could support? guest: first of all, there is no reason to do that. stop the lock down and shut down. why is this such a problematic california? part of the problem -- not all of it -- but part of the problem is you have california, which is one of the largest lockdown, shutdown states. it is having an impact. also, programs of the federal level hurt independent contractors. you are seeing truck drivers that cannot operate anymore as a result of a law that has passed in california. the second thing is the vaccine mandate. look at what happened with southwest airlines. look at what is happening when you see some of the shortages,
when you hear about hospitals that do not have capacity. some of that is because people are saying, i am not going to work if there is a vaccine mandate. stop the mandate. educate people. let them make a choice, whether they want to be educated or not, stop vaccine mandate, stop the lockdown and shut down, and you will see a lot of that end, as well as ending the extended unemployment and other benefits that are a disincentive for people to work. 4.3 million people left the workforce voluntarily. it is no wonder we have a shortage of staff to do the work here in america. host: let's hear from paul, kansas city, independent line. caller: good morning. good morning, representative. guest: good morning. caller: when i was growing up, my parents let me know early that alternative facts are lies,
and credibility means a lot come as you sit here talking to us. unless you are willing to break with so many of the freshman congressman -- and some of the congressmen and women that have been there a long time -- and say that former president is perpetuating a lie, that is divisive and is causing most of the problems that we see, you have a credibility issue. but i do have a question beyond that. last year, the republican party stated during the convention that their platform was whatever president trump said it was. and beyond protecting the tax cuts that he gave the rich -- and, for people like me, are expiring, because it was not a
long-term middle-class cut, it was a permanent top rate tax cut. what is the future, going forward, for the republican, other than being obstructionists? host: congressman tiffany? guest: i think he was referring to him in the first part of his question come about voting malfeasance, which former president trump continues to talk about. i would urge this listener here and other viewers to take a look at what happened in green bay, wisconsin, and my state, where you had mark zuckerberg put in hundreds of million of dollars in cities across america. we had a democrat opportunist that was hired by democrat mayor of green bay to handle elections in green bay. they made life so uncomfortable for the city clerk that she took a leave of absence two weeks before the election, so she was not there for the election.
that democrat operative had four of the five keys to the central facility in green bay. that is a problem, whether it is a democrat or a republican, in a political operative, that they had the keys to the central office? that is a problem and should be investigated. in regards to former president trump, it is my job to separate personality from politics, from policy. look at the policies that we had when president trump left office. he had gotten us into no new wars in four years, better trade agreements for farmers and manufacturers, like in my district. the border was much more secure than it had been in a couple of decades. now look at what has happened. immigration -- or migration come out-of-control, illegal immigration. we had the afghanistan debacle.
we had never had with president trump and mike pompeo. trade agreement, we are not seeing them work at this, because we have so many things -- look at canada. they are extremely upset with us come up with us shutting down the keystone pipeline. we were energy independent. we are not now. my job, as an elected representative, is to enact policies, and all of these were right. we are going in the wrong direction now with inflation, immigration out-of-control, and crime in our cities. we can do much better than this, and that is what we need to try to strive to do in the congress of the united states. host: tom tiffany represents the 10th district of wisconsin. he is a republican, elected in may of 2020. congressman, thank you for being with us this morning. guest: thank you for the opportunity, bill.
it is great to hear from your listeners. host: there is more here coming up on "washington journal." progressive democrats when it comes to infrastructure speaking. kristin rowe-finkbeiner headlines momsrising. later, former democratic senator joe lieberman joins us. he is discussing his new book, "the center solution: how we make government work, and how we can make it work again." ♪ >> book tv, sunday on c-span2, featuring leading authors discuss during their latest nonfiction books. watch our coverage of the southern books from nashville. we have the author of "jesus and john wayne," and at 10:00 p.m.,
on "after words," democratic congressman and chair of the house intelligence committee adam schiff talks about his book , "midnight in washington," which recounts his role in president trump's first engagement trial. he is -- impeachment trial. he is interviewed by lisa mccarroll. watch on c-span2 or watch online at any time at booktv.org. ♪ >> originally from detroit, michigan, he worked the washington post for a number of years. africa for three years, then five years in hong kong, a time as new york city bureau chief from 2007 to 2010.
keith richburg was also based for the "washington post" in paris, later as china correspondent. in addition, he had his time in afghanistan and iraq. keith richburg is currently the director of the university of hong kong journalism and media studies and center. we asked him to talk about his work. >> keith richburg on this week's episode of "book notes plus." you can listen to it and all of our podcasts on c-span now app. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is kristin rowe-finkbeiner, director of the group momsrising. she is also a member of what is called the care can't wait coalition. here this morning to talk about their efforts to convince the house and senate to pass the president's build back better agenda, the social infrastructure package, kristin,
good morning, and welcome to "washington journal." guest: good morning. thank you for having me. host: tell us about the group that you head, the momsrising coalition, what you are focused on, and what is euro. guest: momsrising is a group of over one million people, looking to increase economic prosperity, decreased discrimination, and build a nation where absolutely everyone can thrive. and we are part of the care can't wait coalition that is part of dozens of organizations and organizations with millions of members have come together to say a time to build a care infrastructure is now. host: how involved with your group in the development of the legislation that is now pending, will be pending shortly, and congress? guest: we are thrilled with the biden build back better plan. that includes the american jobs plan, the american families plan. all of those are coming
together, and the reconciliation package, that is moving alongside the bipartisan infrastructure package right now in congress, because we know that, just like we need to build bridges and roads to drive on a go to work, we have to build a care infrastructure, so parents can go to work, so we can create the jobs, so children can thrive, so childcare and care workers can earn living wages, and also so our economy and businesses can prosper. we cannot wait for organizations and people and moms, everyone across the country knows this, polling shows this is a high priority, too. democrats, republicans, and independents alike. host: the news of the past dan moore, that $3.5 trillion figure is shrinking. part of that, the key bullet point of that, include universal
pre-k for three-year-old and four-year-olds, income credit, extend the family paid leave and medical leave benefit. what is your concern that those may not be or will be in a reduced weight in the final package? guest: the important thing here is to not lose sight of the fact that the return of investment on these programs is so high. right now, we are coming out of a pandemic, we are still in a pandemic, and we know that the data is -- women and moms have experienced significant harm due to the pandemic come up with women and moms compounding economic harm. millions of women were pushed out of the labor force to one study found that 32% of all the women pushed out of the labor force were pushed out specifically because they did not have access to childcare. right now, childcare costs more than college, and so people need the wages of moms to make ends
meet. we need people to be in the labor force, and building a care infrastructure, like having access to childcare, is both job enabling, it allows parents to go to work, and job creating, if it creates great care jobs. similarly, we see tremendous returns on investments for paid leave. we are one of only a few countries in the world without this critical policy in place, and we can see that it is hurting our public health. of all of the industrial nations, with some of the worst covid mortality rates. maternal mortality tract in the world health organization, we are the only one where maternal mortality is increasing, not decreasing, and black moms are dying in child birth three times to four times more than white moms. building a paid family medical leave in the structure takes the burden off individual businesses of having to pay fully on their own for that time when people need to be out of the labor
force, to be there with a child when that child first arrives, or to be there to recover from a serious, significant illness of their own or a loved one. similarly, also come home and community-based services are also critically important. we need to have home and community-based services for people who are aging and people with disabilities, and we need to build that care workforce so that we can have a robust economy. study show that building a home and community-based workforce will build a million new care jobs. all of these are win- win-win-win-wins. our message to congress is please do not drop these policies that actually boost our businesses and boost our economy. care cannot wait. host: our guest is part of momsrising, part of the care can't wait coalition.
$400 billion in medicaid and the home, calling for the facet of paid family and medical leave legislation. calls are welcome for our guest. (202) 748-8001 is the line for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. but i guess part of the question we ask our listeners this morning, kristin, what part of this package can be left out? you stated the things that are critical for your organization. where do you think the compromise may lie? guest: we can't leave care behind. for too long, we have left care behind. i would go back to that statistic that we are one of only two countries in the world without federal paid family leave. it is us and papa new guinea.
it is beyond time, and it is hurting our businesses, our taxpayers, and our economy not to have it. there are nine states that have paid family medical leave, for example, and in those states, where people are able to access paid family leave, there is a 40% lower need for s.n.a.p. and tanf. when you don't have access to paid family medical leave, and then you have childcare, particularly infant childcare, costing more than college, it is an untenable situation. we want to leave no policy behind. [laughs] it is really important. it is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. this is one of the things where the returns on investment are so skyhigh. for every one dollar of investment, we get back eight dollars or greater. it is not something that is one of those things that we can
afford -- literally a 4 -- to leave behind in this google moment for change. host: in terms -- literally afford -- to leave behind in this article moment for change. host: in terms of the state role -- guest: we have a patchwork of childcare options. too many people live in childcare deserts, where you cannot even find childcare even if you are looking for. there is affordability, which we talked about, costs more than college, there's access, which is childcare deserts, and then there is also excellent, in making sure that our workforce is paid living wages. when we have the capacity, as we do now, we need to have a natural structure solution. we like to say that when this any people are having the same types of problems at the same time, we don't have an epidemic of personal failures. it is impossible for people to pull it together on their own.
we have natural, structural solutions that we can and must pull together. so we are absolutely urging a national solution on childcare. it is time to be able to pull our nation forward. one thing that is really important, we are coming up on latina equal pay day. it is october 21, which is tomorrow. when we look at the wage gap, we see that being a mom is a greater predictor of being weight discrimination than being a woman. it is compounding discrimination. latina moms are earning just $.46 to a white dad's salary. this is ridiculous. it needs to stop. those policies, paid family medical leave, childcare for everyone, access to health care, are proven to actually lower the wage gap between moms and non-moms, and that is between women and men. and that increases pay parity,
which is really important, because that would boost our gdp by 5%, because, actually, women make the majority of consumer purchasing decisions in our economy that is supported by, you guessed it, consumer purchasing decisions. so these policies also do a tremendous amount for our economy in a number of different ways, and united together -- you were asking what we can leave behind -- united behind, they actually add up and amplify the positive impact one another. moody's analytics just found that if you pass the care infrastructure, we would have a 10% to 50% boost in our gdp basis point. that is nothing to look away from. when people say, "does this cost too much?" i say it costs too much to leave behind. host: axios road over the weekend about senator joe manchin's red lines they called it, on the child tax care credit. joe manchin's redline is their headline. in that piece, they say that
senator manchin has told the white house the child tax credit must include a firm work environment, a family income cap in the $60,000 range per that would make it easier for the pickle senator to support the higher package, but on his requirement, work requirement, in the $60,000 level, what is your response to that? guest: we want to make sure that the child tax credit is fully refundable to everyone. and what that means is that people even earning very low income or no income still get that child tax credit. right now, the child tax credit has just pulled 40% of children and the united state of america out of poverty. we have come too far to go backwards. the child tax credit also boosts our economy -- and this is really important -- it is up to $300 per child, per month, and what happens is we are able to than help put food on the table,
help afford childcare -- we were just talking about how childcare costs more than college -- help get into the workforce. and that is critically important that we cover all workers. studies show that families with a stay-at-home parent or seven times more likely to live in poverty, so we absolutely cannot risk to leave families behind. host: let's get some calls for kristin rowe-finkbeiner of momsrising. we go first to regina and apollo, pennsylvania, on the republican line. go ahead. caller: hi, i like the "weak," ms. finkbeiner. you know, these parents who want to have children, i know they need to pay for their own childcare. i know you are smiling, but it is not my responsibility. people need to have a child, if they prepare. and everything that the government subsidizes costs me and other taxpayers more money.
for people that are for raising their own children, which is where mothers really need to be, instead of having them all on instagramming not knowing what they are doing and letting your tv run them, you are going to be poor. they don't need to be poor, if the parents would stay home, the mother stays home, and choose to nurture their children at home. as far as 80% of homes with renewables, this is not sustainable. we do not want to get rid of coal. we get rid of coal, it is going to get rid of our steel products. i do not want things to break in my hands if you buy from china. we buy steel from china. the whole thing of this reconciliation is a dream package for people like you. so why don't you get a gofundme package, put it up, and figure out how to pay for it, and stop asking us to pay for your freebies. everybody get something free.
host: kristin rowe-finkbeiner, would you like to respond? guest: well, the guest and i agree on one thing -- nobody should be pushed into poverty, and that is key here. people should have choices. right now, people do not have choices. parents are in an untenable situation. again, childcare costs more than college, so people who want to work or opt in pushed out of the labor force, childcare is out of reach or unaffordable. we need to make sure that people have access to childcare. similarly, the child tax credit -- people are paying so much right now to raise children. it costs $200,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18, not including college, right now, and that cost is rising. the child tax credit is absolutely essential. that $300 or up to $300 per child, per month, is actually allowing people to have choices in their life, to have freedom, and that is why we are seeing holding right now showing that these policies are skyhigh, with
democrats them over 80%. with republicans, over 75%. and actually, 76 percent of people recently polled say that they want these policies passed now. we have been pushed out of the labor force as women come up we have been pushed back 30 years in gender and racial equity and equality due to this pandemic. now is not the time to fall backwards. we need to build back better now, and we need to do it in an equitable way, so that everyone has access to these policies. right now, we have an equitable access to these policies, due to structural racism and due to barriers that we can get rid of. right now, only 20% of people in the whole united states of america, for instance, have access to a family medical leave. we need to build a negative will system so that everybody has access to these policies, so that we can stop wage discrimination, that harms women of color the most, so that we can build a country where everyone can thrive.
i am so glad that the caller brought up money. [laughs] one of the things about this is that when we invest in these systems, the return on investment is release i -- is really skyhigh. taxpayers are getting money back from these policies. we are not losing money. for example, again, for every one dollar, we get a dollars back, and the list goes on. so these policies are definitely good for our economy. we talked about boosting our economy by 10 to 15 basis points from gdp. they are good for our family, giving families choices and options, and they are good for our families. host: jim in texas asks this question -- daycare costs more than college education, but i doubt requiring babysitters to have college degrees will help that. is there a requirement in there in terms of pre-k instructors to have a college degree? guest: this is where we go back to that problem with childcare,
the crisis that we face right now. there is a lack of affordability, a lack of access -- people cannot find that there are not enough tucker facilities. and then we are talking about the quality of early childcare education. one of the things that is important is the situation of childcare is between a rock in a hard place. parents cannot afford to pay anymore, and we cannot afford to pay childcare workers any less. childcare workers are already some of the lowest paid people in the country, paid about $18,000 a year. that means there's high turnover often, because people cannot afford to stay in those jobs, and that means we need to build a career and ways latter. we need to bill, just like the united states military dust, a career and wage ladder for childcare workers, so that they can state in those jobs, so that they can educate our earliest
learners. young people, they are growing and learning at a phenomenal rate when they are young. we do have childcare workers who are trained and have the opportunity to earn the wages that they should receive. host: let's hear from edward in colorado, republican caller. good morning. go ahead. you are on the air. caller: you take a one dollar bill and stack them on top of each other, it goes over 80,000 miles high. if you take $1 trillion and divided by 300 million people in this country, it is 3 billion. 333 million, 333,000, and $.33. host: ok, edward, any comment on
the mounting debt? kristin rowe-finkbeiner, any comment on the caller's comment about the debt of the country? guest: one thing that is really important is we need to look at what does fuel the economy of the united states of america. 70% of our gdp is based on consumer spending. 70%. we are no longer a manufacturing-based economy. we need to invest funds into our economy so that people can spend those funds, so that we can fuel our economy, and when we don't have pay parity come up when we don't have the infrastructure, we are actually willing funds out of our economy and pushing us into a downward spiral. now is the time to make those investments to build back better, to move forward the biden build back better plan, including the american jobs plan, the american families plan, because we absolutely need to lift our economy, our families, and our businesses.
these plans, childcare for everyone, paid family and medical leave for all, home- and community-based, what these are enabling is enabling people to go to work, and they are also job creating. they are creating a care workforce, a care workforce that we need. when you look at what kind of jobs will be created in the next couple decades, when you look at the expectations for our economy , you can see that a significant portion of jobs that are coming down the line are in these care industries. so if we don't build that structure, then this problem that we are facing right now, that just pushed millions of women and millions of moms and moms of colored disproportionately come out of the labor force, -- and moms of color, disproportionately, out of the labor force, that care infrastructure unravels altogether, we see what that looks like.
childcare costs more than they are making at work. that looks like people getting sick and having a higher mortality rate from covid and childbirth. we need to pass the care infrastructure. it is urgent. host: michelle from woodbridge, virginia. democrats line. caller: good morning. i am calling in response relating called in earlier from pennsylvania who said she did not want her tax dollars to support free daycare. she needs to think of that when these republicans deny a woman to have an abortion. maybe when a woman gets pregnant, she cannot afford to take care of that baby, they get an abortion. what happens when they have a baby they cannot take care of, than the taxpayers have to take care of? think about that when you deny women to have an abortion. thank you. host: let's hear from mike in fairbanks, alaska. mike, on the infinite, good morning. caller: good morning. christin -- kristin, your
argument is laughable gobbledygook. this is just the first one coming down the line. there will be more. until we can have a public audit of the boondoggle, line by line, i say it is a no go. biden is a fool and a bald-faced liar, in addition to the rest of congress. does venezuela, mexico, cuba have childcare? guest: on the laughable gobbledygook, it is not. there are mountains of studies that back up what i have been saying today. the issue is the united states america is far, far behind. each of these -- far behind in each of these policies. that is the bad news. we are so far behind that jerome powell, who is the federal reserve chair, just recently set
it is hurting our international competitiveness. that is how far behind we are. these have tons of studies behind them. what is important is the good news is we know how to implement these policies. we will not be the first country to do it. in fact, we will be the last we know with the unintended consequences cannick can't be. we know have these policies work, because we can following the footsteps of pretty much every industrialized nation. in fact, it is not gobbledygook at all. it is gobbledygook that we have not done it yet. host: a comment from lee on twitter, who says "home health care is only for medicaid recipients who can have no more than $10,000 in assets. i am 71, disabled, i need home health care, but i'm still a medicare. i am spending all of my savings on health care for it i am looking at a crime see due to medical bills. doctors have opted out of health care. your thoughts. guest: this is one example of
why we need access to health care increased, we need investment in health care across the board. we need to have home- and community-based services boosted up. i mean, it is true, we need to have the care infrastructure, and we don't have it yet. i'm so sorry to hear about that person's experience, on twitter, and we are fighting to make sure that people don't experience that every day. host: let's go to david in south carolina, republican line. caller: hello, sir. i want to address listeners who are in the habit of contacting the legislators, or perhaps not yet come only because kristin brought up the bipartisan infrastructure bill earlier, and i wanted to make something known, and i don't expect her to reply significantly, because i am going to mention some legislation that she may not be aware of. i think there is a cart and
horse effect with the bipartisan info structure built. the 10-year spending bill specifically lies out in section 4009 that if the bipartisan info structure bill passes, funds can be used to cover the transportation portion of the 10-year spending program, and then the transportation money in the 10-year spending program can be reallocated to other programs. so, in a sense, the bipartisan infrastructure bill wound up finding social programs over 10 years. i wish people would read that and contact legislators and get that thing addressed. but it is already baked into the 10-year spending plan. i would like to hear kristin's comments. although she may not be aware specifically, she will have something to say, i'm sure. host: david, thanks for the call. guest: thanks for bringing that
up. one thing about the bipartisan infrastructure package that people don't know is in analysis, 90% of those jobs on day one will go into the jobs that are in male-dominated industries. when we look about how we are actually looking into these policies, how we are looking at the care infrastructure, what is going on in our own minds, we can see that the bipartisan infrastructure package has 90% male dominated industries, and the majority of those jobs are going to women-dominated industries, and that is really important. when we are looking at the two together, that is why we are talking about it like a care infrastructure. it is in the structure in only one way. we needpackage. the other infrastructure too -- we need the other infrastructure too.
just like we need roads to drive to work, we need to build the infrastructure, so children can go to school, care earners -- caregivers can earn living wages. we want to build our economy for everyone of all genders. host: john in lincoln, nebraska, democrats line. caller: thank you for taking my call. it is surprising to me, we hear republicans complaining about the spending to help take care of children and build jobs and all of that, though they are not concerned about dumping money into our military-industrial complex. what i'm saying is here, since children are really important to republicans, i say as a democrat, why don't we take the investments in children and invest them in planned parenthood? do you think? guest: planned parenthood
provides services across our country and needs to be provided. we need to build the care infrastructure so please support planned parenthood and building the infrastructure. i just want to be clear, the last of the infrastructure is disproportionately harming moms and people of color and we need to increase equity in our economy to boost the economy and lift families and give children the opportunity to thrive. it is critical. i worry about when the care infrastructure is framed as a progressive or democratic issue, sometimes people have a new jerk reaction because it is coming from progressives or democrats. but when you do the polling and ask people about the policies and invite them to share about their lives, we find there is massive support, upwards of three quarters of people in republican communities, in trump
voting communities across the country, that support the care infrastructure policies. i would just ask the people who are listening to take a moment and think about it. has there ever been a moment when you either need to access family medical leave at an extreme medical crisis or when a baby arrived, or you had it and you were ok? was there a time you needed access to childcare so you could go to work, or you knew someone who did? was there a time working as a childcare worker when you were not living -- earning living wages or a community-based worker not earning living wages and you were pushed out of your job? everybody needs to be part of the care infrastructure list we are doing now. everybody on here, regardless of political party, will see a little bit more about why we are pushing for this. host: kristin morel finkbeiner is the founder and head of moms
rising as part of the care, can't wait coalition. we appreciate you being here. guest: thank you. host: coming up after the break, we speak to former democratic senator, current independent joe lieberman. he is out with a new book called "the centrist solution: how we make government work and work again joe lieberman with us next on "washington journal." ♪ >> you can be a part of the national conversation by participating in c-span's studentcam video convert that conversation. if you are a middle or high school student, create a five to six minute documentary answering the question, how does the federal government impact your life? your documentary must show supporting and opposing points of view, using c-span video
clips which are easy to find and access at c-span.org. the studentcam competition awards $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at winning the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20, 2022. for rules or just how to get started, visit our website at studentcam.org. ♪ american history tv on c-span two, exploit the people and events that tell the american story -- exploring the people and events that tell the american story. first, julian sweet of baylor university talks about the capabilities of the continental army and militia troops as well as advantages and disadvantages the american and british forces had. then at 9:10 a.m. eastern,
explaining how the american and british militaries compared in demographics, organization, and the officer selection process. and then at 2:00 p.m., a look at the life and times of abraham lincoln. watch american history tv, saturday on c-span two. ♪ a new mobile video app from c-span, c-span now. download today. "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined by former senator joe lieberman, former democrat and independent senator from connecticut. welcome to "washington journal." guest: thanks, good morning. host: by my count, your ninth book "the centrist solution: how
we made government work and can make it work again why did you write the book and why now? -- make it work again." why did you write the book and why now? guest: this is a book i've been thinking about writing for a long time now, but the pandemic and the fact that i was home and working from home, not spending time on the road gave me a little extra time to read the book. the main point is that like most americans, i'm frustrated by a lack of accomplishment by our federal government, congress and the president, and i get disappointed, i get angry, and i decided that maybe i have something i could do to help a little bit, which is to talk about the way in which -- the things that i feel best about
that i did in my 24 years in the u.s. senate all -- as i described in the book, a wide range of policy areas, environmental protection, budget balance, national security, human rights. we got some good things done only because people of goodwill on both parties came to the center, and i make a point in this book which is that being a centrist is not the same thing as being a moderate. centrists can be liberal democrats, conservative republicans. the main point is, are you willing to come to the center and negotiate compromise and settle for less than 100%, but get some really -- something really substantial done. that is the way it was done not just in my 24 years in the senate, but all the way back to the constitutional convention. host: you ground your book in
the introduction in the founding fathers, john adams in particular, the nightmares of john adams is your introduction. what was it about the founding father, what was it about john adams in particular that you focus on that makes you think this is the way the country was meant to be? guest: adams and the statement that i quote and president washington, they are all very worried that what they called at that point political effect which became political parties, it would begin to not unite the people but divide people. that elected officials would have a greater loyalty to their party than to their country and i'm afraid that's too often what we are seeing in washington today. it stops things from getting done. but they have enormous fights
between the big population states and the convention. wanted congress to be totally reflective of population. the house of representatives had the smallest states and wanted equal representation, and i'm proud of the state of connecticut representatives, delegates of the constitutional convention, came up with the great compromise which looked at two chambers, a house and senate, one reflecting population and the other an equal number of senators from all states. that is the most graphic example of how a compromise enabled the creation of the country. there were much more difficult and painful compromises particularly about the issue of slavery and i can talk about that more if you want, the compromise. but i think it was an immoral
way, but that's because it acknowledged and accepted slavery. that's where they were at that time. host: in remembering and reading about your own experience and party, you have left parties and had parties leave you. it seems like your political career has been one in search of a comfortable -- not necessarily a comfortable place -- but that center, if you will come that place of compromise. guest: well, it is true that both from my own study of history and american government, which is a riddle, which is part of what got me interested as a young man, part of what got me interested in going into politics. but i also got into politics in connecticut which was a state where the politics was rough-and-tumble but the plurality, the largest number of voters were independent. it had a real balancing effect.
when i got to the legislature, the state legislature, the 1970's, happened to be 1971, i was a very young man of course. i saw pretty quickly that you only get something done if you work across party lines and i formed some really good friendships with republicans that i trusted, we trusted each other. we were of like mind so we compromised and got a lot done. i write about that. i was a very devoted democrat. i became a democrat after john f. kennedy, my catalyzing hero, as he was for so many of my generation. the democratic party over the years changed and got to be less inclusive and more demanding of 100% loyalty. of course, i ran straight into that when i differed with a majority of members of the democratic party about whether we should defund basically the
american military in iraq after things went bad in 2003, 2004, etc. the primary in 2006, i lost, and it was painful, but i had the right to run as an independent. i ran as an independent and in connecticut, i won. that was one of the most satisfying moments of my career. but i never left democratic party. i still work within it because i think america needs two parties that are open and reflect the widest array of opinions and are willing to negotiate. there are democrats in congress today who clearly are trying to do it now, and the infrastructure bill. host: one thing you point out in your book, you write "the
problem now is that centrists in both parties may have trouble getting renominated in their party, and most also have no viable third-party option in the general election. changing both parts of that political reality is one of the great challenges for american politics in the years ahead." guest: i agree. listen, what's happened, this party has changed over time. people ask me all the time and i'm sure they want to talk with you over -- all the time, how did we get here? how did the parties become so divided in washington so unproductive and nasty? we've always had differences of opinion and some of them have been intense, going back to the founding of the country.
but when it came to the crisis, people in power put the country first and try more often than not to negotiate a solution and deal with the problem. we are not doing that as much today. i will just tick off the reasons because you could go on. the gerrymandering of districts, which you talked about the house represents 435 members, most belittle son does political scientists or analysts -- most political scientists or analysts will tell you that 40 or 50 of those are really contested in november, that the big fight is for the nomination. so democrats are constantly and are too often living in fear of a challenge from the left. republicans are doing the same, challenge from the right. it makes them risk-averse and it makes them tow the party line more than they should. -- toe the party line more than they should to make sure they
get elected. there is too much money in politics and it is not philanthropy generally speaking. it comes with conditions and sometimes, special interest conditions but also ideological. people give you an amount of money, they want to ask you to vote in a certain way and you are likely to be influenced. the other thing that has really changed over the course of my political career and i write about it. the way in which the media have become partisan. it began with cable news, certainly not c-span, but the cable news channels, which operated these businesses -- and i'm afraid just to say that it was the business to carve out an ideological market for themselves and they can make more money. but that affects the discourse of our politics and our country and motivates elected officials to play to that -- those moves
to get on the tv and social media. it expanded it and exacerbated that all of the devices and rhetoric filling social media platforms. so here we are. i spout that i talk about in my last chapter -- i talk about in my last chapter about how to turn it around, leadership. leadership wanting to get it done and leaders like president reagan and president clinton. then for the people, who vote, who have the ultimate power but somehow forget about it or don't put it as a priority, who say on poll after poll that they want their elected representatives to work across party lines, compromise, get something done for the country on them personally.
i've been working for this organization called no labels to thwart republican and democrat -- gather republican and democrat an independent members. the house is equally divided in the house. these are people who really wrote the bipartisan infrastructure reform bill. they've got 69 votes in the senate, both chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell. but it has been held up in the house by the progressives and president biden is working hard to break that gridlock i hope you can, because that bill will not only be good for the country and the economy, but it would prove to all of us that congress is still able to work across party lines and get it done. host: let's make sure we open up
our phone lines for viewers and listeners. joe lieberman is our guest. we welcome your calls and comments at (202) 748-8001, the line for republicans. (202) 748-8000 is the line for democrats. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. you can also send us a text at (202) 748-8003. on your group, you are the cochair of no labels. i want to ask about a report in "the intercept most quote -- rec -- reconciliation bill could be killed. they have been able to dealing the bipartisan infrastructure bill away from the larger infrastructure package that includes the bulk of the biden agenda, with the possibility of killing the billig -- the big bill in play.
what's your understanding? guest: well, i haven't seen that note. there's no question we totally support the $1.2 trillion bipartisan reform bill because it is bipartisan and it was written really by people who no labels have supported both with policy help and politically. there are some people in our -- in the no labels group with points of view about the reconciliation package, can we afford it? do enough -- do we know enough about the programs created? i think of no labels as a group that is primarily focused on a strategy of how the government can best work on the process. that's for people who come to the center, negotiate, compromise, get something done.
host: why does it seem that sometimes the focus on compromise, certainly in the discussion on the infrastructure bill, focuses on these two senators and it often seems the case that it focuses on just a couple of members -- right now the democratic side but certainly in the past the republican side -- when compromise discussion is not more broadly accepted apparently in other parts of the body. other people aren't seemingly participating in the compromise. guest: yeah, that's what it all comes down to, numbers. you have got a very evenly divided congress. it is exactly divided in the senate 50/50 with harris able to break a tie. in the house, it takes about four people to move to get a majority. i remember when i first came into the senate 1989, i got to know john bro, senator from
louisiana and a centrist. we got to be close and he said to me one day, you know, everybody says to get anything done in the senate you need 60 votes to break a filibuster and you need 51 to pass the legislation. he said, that's not totally true. sometimes depending on where people are, it just takes two, you and me, joe. and that's the truth, because every vote counts. but i must say that i found joe manchin, sort of the leading centrist democrat in the senate today, i found him to always be willing to do exactly what i'm saying, sit down with people he disagrees with, listen to them, hope they listen to him, negotiate and try to get something done. i think that's the process that president biden is overseeing and really pushing right now,
which is good. it is unfortunate it is happening only within the democratic party with no republicans saying they would support either house. said they would support the so-called reconciliation package. that's why we at no labels are really focused on the other bill. the way i think about it, we are supportive of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan centrist infrastructure reform bill. to get that done is a major accomplishment. and i don't feel myself that i have any particular position on the reconciliation bill as chairman of no labels, except that whatever passes will hopefully be a result of compromise and the rule of reason and affordability. that's up to the members of congress.
i want to say i wish there were some republicans at the table negotiating the bigger bill but that's not happening. host: a quick flashback to a piece by david lightman from the mcclatchy newspaper on your retirement -- "senator joe lieberman will retire without a party." any regrets on how or when you left the party in 2013? guest: yeah, you know, again, i ran as an independent in connecticut for the u.s. senate because i didn't want to end up in a primary. i felt i had a responsibility to the state so i was lucky enough to run as an independent, and i got try partisan support -- tri partisan support to get me reelected. i had one friend who thought he
was pretty clever, you remember shifting the democratic party is a little like my appendix, it is there but not doing much for me. it is in my body but not doing much. maybe so, maybe not. i believed in the democratic party and the country needs to have policy parties that will work with each other and within each other to get something done. i look back, i did things along the way that i hope made sense to me and that were best for my state, my country, and were consistent with my conscience. and unfortunately in my time as it went on, the place got more and more partisan. my party moved to the left. i was quite left on some things but i was also quite right on other things, and moderate on others. but the party at that point was not going to tolerate much
dissent. i ended up being challenged in the primary. highways had great friendships with my democratic colleagues in the senate -- i always had great friendships with my democratic colleagues in the senate. host: the new book from former senator joe lieberman. let's hear from louisville, kentucky, bernie on our democrats line. caller: good morning. a few weeks ago, i leave it was john had andrew yang on the show to talk about the forward party having -- i believe the party is based around having the best things from the republican party and the best things from the democrat party and bringing them together to create this new party. do you see that getting any traction? let me just say one thing, a
john kasich-joe lieberman ticket or vice versa is a ticket i would definitely support. guest: thank you. that would be an honor. i think my running days are over, but that's kind of you to say. maybe not surprisingly, i admire andrew yang and generally admire him. i give him a lot of credit for trying to do what he's doing by creating a new party, a new party, forward party. and doing exactly what i and a lot of other democrats and republicans, but not as many as in the old days, tried to do, which is if you are a member of a political party, you have an obligation to do what is right. if your party is asking you to do something you don't believe is good for the country or your constituents, then you have a responsibility not to go with it. the average voter, and this may be changing, but not long ago the average voter decided their
position on every issue, i'm a democrat or a republican, this is the way i got to go. i think andrew yang is doing something that can only be constructed -- here's the thing that makes me -- just realism, i guess. if you look at american history, there's not much of a track record of success for third-party movements. that is, to actually elect people. the last third party that was created in america nationally that was successful was the republican party in 1856, and then 1860, elected abraham lincoln. still exists -- we are a two party country. incidentally, two parties are not ordained in the constitution or in law and as they developed, they used the law to kind of
protect what one harvard economist called their duopoly of the two parties. one thing that has happened when there have been effective third-party movements, probably the most recent was ross perot in 1992, got a vote and had little effect on trade policy, but really had a big effect on the balanced-budget movement. bill clinton adopted it partly because of ross perot's pressure. perrault got 98% of -- perot got 98% of the vote and clinton and newt gingrich balance the budget. i give perot credit. i think only good can come out of what andrew yang is doing and i wish him luck. history says it will be really hard. can he affect the two party
candidates? yes, he can, he can come in a constructive way. host: ithaca, new york, on the republican line, ray. caller: good morning. mr. lieberman, i think you are the best democrat around by far. i just have a quick question. i've been really disappointed with president biden who seems to be caving into bernie and the squat. why is the disrespect for joe manchin, why do you think president biden is acting more like he was vice president? i don't understand this hard turn to the left. i wish he was more like you, sir. guest: thanks for your kind words. i've known joe biden forever. we met long ago because we had a mutual friend long before i came to the senate. we served together for 24 years.
a wonderful person, really honorable and likable and always worked across party lines. on the committees that he chaired, he had conservative republicans, ranking republicans, orrin hatch and strom thurmond, and he worked productively with both of them on major bills that were passed. think incidentally that it is a big part of the reason why joe biden was elected president last year, because there are a lot of self-described moderates in this country who thought they voted for president trump against hillary clinton because they thought he would be different and all that, and he was quite different than they counted on. they like some of the things he did but they were upset by other things so they thought, biden knows how to work across party lines. let's elect him. i don't minimize the political problem president biden has, but
until the last few days, frankly, when we see him trying to negotiate a compromise on this $3.5 trillion package, a big new program -- of big new programs, down to some affordable amount, negotiating with the centrist. -- centrists. not the centerleft democrats but the left democrats in the senate and the house came to a disproportionate influence on the president. i just think this is leadership. just the way lyndon johnson, bill clinton, and robert -- ronald reagan worked across party lines. it is fine for the president to call democrats together for the sake of the country and also for the sake of the party and him. i hope that's what we are going to see.
if not, i fear democrats will suffer next year in the congressional elections and probably also in the presidential election two years later. host: let's go to our democrats line, moses -- sorry, i will get to you next. jim in medford, oregon next up. guest: i was looking forward to moses, but ok. go ahead, jim, sorry. caller: joe, your centrist idea has not exactly worked for the working class. nor the poor, throughout the time. i think that your ideas are pretty archaic in terms of what is going on in the world today. your opinion during the situation where you think that the left needs to move to the center, it should be the other
way around. you people should move to the left because your policies have done nothing for the poor and the working class since you've been in. you allowed ronald reagan's policies to destroy the union continue. and i think that you are one of the reasons that happened, because you were willing to go and talk to ronald reagan as if he was a good individual, when he was proven to be a liar and a cheat. and against the united states. in fairness, is not involved in that. you allowed that to happen. host: we will hear from senator lieberman. guest: with all respect, i think the facts are awful little bit. as a matter of fact, i was not in when reagan was president. i did not come in until george
bush 31 was president. if you look at my record since we are talking about me, i've had a very pro-worker record and support from labor unions over the 24 years and before that in connecticut government. you know, here's the thing i'm saying. both sides have become to the center -- have to come to the center to negotiate or nothing is going to happen. the left can be indignant, can say things are terrible, we've got to fix them and here's how. people in the center or right can say, that's not going to work. unless they come to the center and treat each other civilly, have good conversation, and then tried to get something done in which they both move. the old business, it takes two
to tango. it takes two sides to break the deadlock. each has to move somewhat toward the other. host: on the democrat side, would you agree that at least it appears the progressive caucus, those who represent the progressive point of view, have a much larger share of that view , certainly in the house of representatives, than they did in the past? guest: i'm sorry share of what? host: share of the democrats that progressives have a larger share of the view than say the moderates or the old blue dog democrat coalition. guest: well, there's no question that the center of the democratic party in the house, and i think generally, is liberal democratic. but the agenda that's being driven and it is the most difficult to find a centrist
problem to compromise on, is being driven by the further left, not center, but left left of the democratic party. then you've got to decide, can we afford it all? on this whole business of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill as it is called, human infrastructure, now they are talking about $2 trillion. basically, most of us know only about the price tag. these bills in their original form were creating big programs, almost as if looking back, you took medicare, medicaid, children's health insurance programs, clean air, and at a couple more, americans for disabilities act, and put them in one bill and say let's pass it. that's not good legislating. that's a process question. but to the caller, i plead not
guilty to the charges and the democrats like bill clinton, who i worked very closely with, who was a centrist, created an economic situation in this country that during his eight years as president, created 22 million new jobs. a lot of them filled by lower income or middle income people. so it is the old john f. kennedy line, the rising tide raises all boats. host: back to our democrats line, this is moses in florida, new york. you are on. guest: good morning, moses. caller: good morning, senator. my name is moses from new york. a democrat and a candidate for u.s. senate. guest: really? caller: so back to the bills, the infrastructure bill, i strongly believe we need those bills to bring the necessary
relief to the people, especially poor people. when do we talk about the affordability? i strongly believe we can default. what is lacking is the will in washington. as you realize, not too much gets done for everyday people, the poor people, but a lot gets done for the rich and the corporations. regarding the politics of the senator, how can we get that man out of politics? he has corrupted our people in washington. they are spending so many years there, do so much for themselves, do so much for the corporations, but down to the ground if you go through communities across the nation. the thing much is happening. affordable housing is a crisis. then they want a bill regarding town limits.
do you think that could be something that may reduce the corruption? as more time, members go to washington and get entrenched in the swamp and the dark politics. host: a couple of items, term limits and he talked about getting the money out of politics. guest: i will respond to both. term limits is something i changed my position on. sometimes you've got to be honest enough to say, your opinion on something has changed. when i first came to the senate, i thought term limits did not make sense because we have term limits. senators six years, members of the house two, and the voters get the opportunity at the end of those terms to vote somebody out. that's why terms are limited. as time went on i began to feel that most incumbents who run again -- lots do not run again
but most incumbents who run again get reelected and the place really needs to be shaken up because it has been so unproductive. so over the last 2, 3, four years, supporting term limits. there was never a chance to pass it, but i think it would be helpful. on the question of money in politics, there are some things that happen in some of the states, -- the states -- in the federal government, we have pretty good disclosure laws so you get a good idea of where candidates are getting their money from, and some limits from the supreme court, mostly disclosure. some of the states, without public financing laws which say that if you limit essentially the amount of money raised from private individuals off the total amount and the size of each contribution, the state
government will fund your campaign to some reasonable amount. that's controversial. a lot of people don't want their tax money being used to fund somebody's political campaign, but i think it's a good investment frankly because then it cuts the dependence of elected officials on people outside -- you have an agenda. that's why they are giving them the money, for the most part. i support both of those, both term limits and the best answer on money in politics is public financing. i think it is worth it. host: "the new york times" writing about money in politics, especially in the recent debate. "more than 4000 lobbyists are working on budget and spending issues and 10 major issues have spent $700 million on lobbying."
they write that the chamber of commerce is looking to kill the bill because tax increases and have already spent $30 million a year on lobbyists. george next in jacksonville, florida on our republican line. caller: good morning, senator lieberman. once upon a time, i was a democrat. then we came from being a country club republican to a centrist and we've done a pretty good job in south carolina, who are much more centrist than we have now. i wanted to point out something i found. i worked in 12 countries and i found in the south china sea that china was using -- frequencies to program elections and other things that were very
nasty. it has been pointed out that we need to change infrastructure. when we changed the radio and the fiberoptics so they can't be broken into even by the chinese, democrats need to stop this with china breaking into our internet. there is a document saying, one of them is the washington state. they told some of these frequencies -- and while you were talking to people in congress about infrastructure, you need to go to fiberoptics systems and cut most of them except one. we need to go ahead and stop this. host: joe lieberman, you served as the former chair of the senate homeland security
committee. any responses? guest: had a little trouble -- i got the general topic -- but if you could rephrase the question for me. host: he was talking about china's efforts and radio frequencies and telephone lines. i would do him in justice to try to paraphrase that question. let me ask you this, though, on that, in terms of where we are with issues like china, that the biden administration is facing with china. when you look at issues like china, withdrawal from afghanistan and relations with israel, for the past nine months or so, 10 months of the biden presidency, how would you rate how we are now versus how we were at the end of the trump presidency? guest: that's a great question and hard to answer quickly but i will try. president trump i think you said
earlier was, to put it mildly, unconventional. his foreign-policy was strong in some places, in my opinion, not good in others, and a lot of our allies were unsettled by him because they didn't know what he would do. i think in president biden's case, they know him for a long time because he had been chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, traveled all over the world and been vice president. a certain stability has come back to our foreign policy, and i think the president is trying to rebuild those relationships. on the specifics, you mentioned afghanistan, i think the withdrawal from afghanistan was a very serious mistake which will have adverse consequences for our security for a long time to come. those troops were essentially there on a counterterrorism mission.
they were not in the war anymore. they were kind of backup moral support for the afghan army, and the country has really gone to hell since then, and those people have suffered so much. they don't deserve it. on israel, i think our relations are pretty good. joe biden has a long time record of support and friendship with israel, and the new government with -- the new government wants very much to restore bipartisanship to u.s.-israel relations on the u.s. side. that's the third part. you judge it not -- on china, it is kind of interesting. president trump took a very strong stance on chinese position. contrary to what a lot of us have believed, and really joe biden changes the way of the
living standard for millions in china and make the country open and free, it didn't work. they are doing better economically over the years, but leaders have an effect in china just like they do, and more, in the united states. president xi has made the conch -- the government more centralized and less free, although more economically positive and full of growth. this is a great challenge for our future. i think really, president biden, but members of congress, there is a bipartisan -- but both can create a strong position united for china from the u.s., but in a way that does not stumble us into a hot war in china, which we don't want and the chinese
don't want. host: law -- vaughn on the independence line from missouri. caller: i will try to make this quick, mr. lieberman. you are famous in my mind because of your work that you did against obama and the obamacare. that's how i remember you. i'm having a problem with this left and right label that y'all talk about. democrats on the left, republicans on the right, i thought that was just the side of the room that they sat on, but it seems like it is more like the lord to the left that used in the room, the more -- the more to the left used -- you sit in the room, the more you care about the people and the more right, the less you care
about people. i thought the government was supposed to be the entity of balance between the people, the issue of peace and harmony to prevent the tyranny of the rich and powerful on the poor and the workers. you know, supposed to balance things out, making sure no one takes advantage of anybody else. now here's my solution for the democrats, if you are listening. why don't you guys, since they don't want these new programs, just raise the minimum wage, call it a day? raise it to $25 an hour, call it a day, go home, and let it be. then we can do our own stuff. host: vaughn in missouri. guest: that was really an interesting statement. i want to go back quickly to the obamacare, because i really feel i get an unfair wrap on this. i supported health care reform from the day i came into the senate in 1989.
always worked with different parties, president clinton, to try to get it done. president obama called me in early in his term and i went into the oval office with him alone. he said, joe, i need your help. i said, mr. president, you've got it. you can get this done. i had a disagreement with people in the democratic party -- democratic caucus about the so-called public option, which i thought was a way to try to get to a national health care system in our country, which i don't think the country was ready for that time, but also what was going to bust the budget and create a tremendous debt. i thought the bill was strong enough particularly because it was going to enable millions of people who didn't have health insurance to get it and it was going to beg your -- better regulate insurance companies who were treating consumers unfairly.
i don't like this public option part and i am enthusiastic for everything else. basically, they needed 60 votes so the white house, the obama white house took that up and said, will you support the bill if the so-called public option is out? i said, of course i will. it's a major accomplishment, and i did. instead of saying i opposed obamacare, i opposed one part of it. it came out and i am proud to think i was the 60th vote that broke the filibuster against obamacare and enabled us to pass it. i would like to go on with what was said, but the vision of where people sit in congress and the senate of determining everything is really a good one. i will tell you, when i came into the senate in 1980 nine, there was 100 senators.
at the end of sessions, some of the journals in washington sort of measured votes, liberal conservative. it was always true at the beginning, roughly speaking, that there were 40 of the 100 were conservative, 40 were liberal, and there was the 20 in the middle, democrats and republicans that were mixed up. by the end of my time in the senate, you could not find a democrat who had a more conservative voting record than any republican or republican who had a more liberal voting record than any democrat. so unfortunately what the caller said, where used begins to determine -- where you sit begins to determine where you are. host: what about the current senate? are there any centrists left?
you've been critical about chuck grassley. what about friends and allies of john mccain? are there republican centrists? guest: chuck grassley, really i was more disappointed that he felt seeking reelection that he had to be so supportive of president trump. i believe he said he would square -- support him for president. chuck grassley, i disagreed with him a lot, but a wonderful man, honorable man, willing to compromise. and here he is at this stage of the career under pressure to do that. i'm sorry, i got focused. centrists in the republican party sure. the number one now is susan collins. and lisa murkowski. and take a look at the 10 republicans who cosponsored the
bipartisan infrastructure bill and helped to write it in the senate, and you've got a great new group, mitt romney, bill cassidy of louisiana, todd of indiana, -- taught -- and lindsey graham came on at the end. lindsay is sometimes -- and this is ok with me -- people will be party line on one thing, which lindsay is, conservative, and there is not a better -- i say this positively -- dealmaker, bipartisan dealmaker when he wants to be, on the senate, then lindsey graham. he's done it in different ways over the years and he is still prepared to do it now. so it's there. we've just got to let it live and let it come to this senate in a way that serves our country. host: we've got a caller from
netiquette, gregory in wilmington -- connecticut, gregory in wilmington, democratic line. you are on the air. caller: hello, joe, how are you? guest: good morning, gregory. i can see wilmington. i had some good visits there. host: go ahead, gregory. caller: can you hear me? host: yes, we can. caller: joe, i'm one of the democrats that voted for lamont and mostly because i was terribly unhappy with nafta, terrible for the working class, terrible, terrible. it has made china a powerhouse. holy cow. you voted for bankruptcy -- the student loan debt should not be allowed as part of bankruptcy. again, that's terrible.
you deregulated wall street, which has led to incalculable loss for the american working class. and the crime bill, you put so many black and brown people in this country in jail. we are the number one jailer in the world. thank you very much. the thing that broke the camels back for me was iraq and afghanistan. you should never have allowed him to go to iraq and our footprint in afghanistan should've have been a couple of years. host: gregory, you put several topics on the table. senator lieberman. guest: gregory, i expect your right to disagree and vote for lamont. on all the bills you mentioned, the only one on iraq and afghanistan, because i was on the armed services community, -- committee, the only other one is nafta which doesn't have so much
to do with china but about prude -- improving trade with our neighbors to the north and south. it has proven to be a net job gaynor in the u.s. as well as most countries. not everybody gained, that's true. overall, that was a compromise negotiated with labor unions as well as others. so i'm not sure how to answer the rest. you know, this is our system, and i understood, it was no fun to be challenged in the primary in 2006 by ned lamont and opposed by people who supported me before, but that's everybody's right. ned lamont won the primary fair and square and thanks to the laws of connecticut, i had a chance to go on as an independent, and thanks to the voters in connecticut, i won that one fair and square support from all three parties. i was privileged to have a final
term in the u.s. senate. long live the debate. not all of us are going to agree. i think my point in this book is when we disagree, we've got to remember that we are fellow citizens of the same great country and it is much better to sit down at the table together, talk, and try to find a way to make some progress, listen to each other, instead of standing back and throwing blocks at each other. it doesn't do anything. host: the u.s. house will be coming in momentarily and so will the senate on c-span two, with a key vote coming up on a voting rights measure, procedural vote, likely won't get the 60 votes needed. you think the democrats should break the filibuster in the u.s. senate? guest: let me say two things quickly. i support the voting rights act from what i know about it.
i don't know as much in detail as i would if i was in the senate, but it sounds right and consistent with our values, the constitution, etc. i'm reluctant to break the filibuster. i have altered my position on that over the decades. i use to work with tom harkin to reduce the 60 down to a lower number. today i think the 60 vote requirement is one of the last remaining incentives to bipartisanship, because you rarely get to 60 with members of one party, so you've got to reach out to the other and compromise. it is always better when something is adopted by both parties, because it lasts, unlike the iran nuclear deal, which president trump withdrew when he came in. obamacare, the republicans fought like hell to try to repeal it but fortunately they were denied by my friend, john mccain, stopped not from happening toward the end of his life -- stopped that from
happening toward the end of his life in an act of courage. it was about getting us to work together across party lines, that's the key. host: we appreciate you being on. the new book is called "the centrist solution: how we made government work and how we can make it work again." thank you so much for being with us. guest: thanks to your viewers. host: have a great day. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 eastern. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., october 20, 2021. i hereby appoint the honorable greg stanton to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nape