tv Velshi MSNBC August 1, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT
happening today. chuck schumer says the chamber will reconvene today at noon as lawmakers work to finalize the text of that $1 trillion infrastructure plan. senators waited on this package to be finalized and leader schumer is urging that a group of lawmakers work as quickly as possible. >> but i urge the bipartisan group to finish their work so we can begin the amendment process here on the floor. i've said for weeks that the senate is going to move forward on both tracks of infrastructure before the beginning of the august recess. the longer it takes to finish, the longer we'll be here. but we're going to get the job done. >> that august recess, by the way, is set to begin on august 9th. that gives the senate just a little over a week to finish up on this bill. the physical infrastructure plan so they can move on to the
larger infrastructure plan the democrats try to push through on their own using a legislative maneuver to get around the filibuster. not the only major piece of legislation introduce new voting rights legislation named after john lewis this week. the bill is likely to contain some of the key protections outlined in the initial election reform proposal that has been stalled in the senate for months now. nbc news reports that house members are working on voting legislation preempting harmful laws already passing in state houses across the country. this is the type of action that the texas democratic lawmakers that have been in d.c. for almost three weeks now have been pushing for after leaving their state in order to break the quorum. this is the right advocates have been calling for, as well. this weekend hundreds of demonstrators marched across texas straight to the state capitol to protest how
republicans are trying to restrict voting rights and demand that they take action. johnson participated and told my colleague that democrats and republicans working together on this is crucial. >> we need the republican leaders to care about justice. after all, they have children, too. and they're going to give them an unjust and cruel world if they don't try to come together for voting rights, not just for them, but for everybody. >> so, it seems that the push for federal level voting protections happening on the ground has helped reignite the fight on capitol hill. as democrats gain momentum on a number of priorities questions continue to swirl for what comes next for the select committee. following last week's explosive
hearing where we heard from capitol and d.c. police officers who were crushed, beaten and attacked by the pro-trump rioters, the leaders of the committee are promising to continue their rigorous investigation. the question is how. several republican lawmakers have now admitted to having some contact with the former president while his supporters were attacking the capitol or in the days leading up to the insurrection. this now leaves the select committee with the unprecedented choice of whether to call their gop colleagues to testify. the panel's chairman congressman benny thompson says, quote, no reluctance to subpoena any member of congress whose testimony is germane if they resist cooperating voluntarily. joining me is a political correspondent for npr and the co-host of npr politics podcast. good morning to you. let's start with the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill. i don't know what you reporters on capitol hill call it.
the little bill and the big bill and schumer said they're trying to get both bills done before the august recess. that's in nine days. >> that's an awfully ambitious goal. you know, look, what i will say is that just the fact that we saw this initial hurdle cleared for the bipartisan bill to me was a big step. you know, i cover president biden and the white house and looking at how much that president has pushed for bipartisanship, to me, it seems like there was some vindication in what he was showing and what democrats have suggested. and the idea that bipartisanship is still alive. but i have long said that what i think is the substance of that bipartisan bill matters less to this white house than the sheer facts that something is passed along bipartisan lines and then they move on to that larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that includes many of the democratic priorities that were cut from this bipartisan package. >> talk to me about that one. i will be talking to a number of
representatives today, but a number of progressive democrats have said you don't get your little hard intrastructure bill, not that little, but if we don't get the other at the same time or earlier. there isn't complete democratic support behind that larger bill. >> yeah. and then i would say this is why they both needed to occur in tandem. the $3.5 trillion package needed the support or needs, i should say, still in action, needs the voices of moderate voices in the senate. think of joe manchin of west virginia. at the same time, democrats cannot really afford to lose that many folks in the more progressive left of their party on this bipartisan bill. that being said, if we look at the test case vote this week there were a number of republican senators. 17 in total that agreed to let this legislation move forward. of course, there's no final text
of that bill yet. what they were voting on was just the idea of supporting this bipartisan package. once we get the final bill, most republicans may not be onboard. that being said, the bigger bill is what a lot of the more progressive voices want. they are not satisfied with this traditional infrastructure. they want things like early childhood education and expanded medicare and that's in that bigger reconciliation package. >> let's talk about the discussion of the new voting rights bill that we believe that one of the georgia senators is working on with other senators. two voting rights bills that stalled in the senate. real concerns that a watered down or compromised bill won't do what it needs to do in terms of stopping states from voter restriction. where do you think we stop with this? >> i'm rather skeptical that a voting rights bill will get through the senate and any bipartisan voting rights package. i say that because when we look
at issues that have really galvanized the base of the republican party and the base of the democratic party, voting rights is one of those issues. whether or not this is a critie and it has become a culture way issue. >> let's talk a little bit about the january 6th committee. a very big hearing this week. hearing from police officers and benny thompson telling me they are prepared to and going to subpoena people. where do we know, what do we know about that? who are they subpoenaing and members of congress who were in contact with the president and what does this look like moving forward? >> for democrats they want to be able to show that there were republicans involved to some degree in conversations, as you say, with the president on that day. on january 6th. you know, the question of who they subpoena will be judicious because they want to show that they have said that this is a fact-finding mission. and republicans, specifically
more conservative voices have already tried to suggest that this is a largely partisan committee. so, to the degree that the democrats try to have legitimacy of the findings of this, they need to be judicious. >> asma, good to see you this morning. thank you for joining us. the co-host of the npr politics podcast. for more on this i'm joined by mondaire jones of new york. he is on the labor and ethics committee. good morning, congressman. thank you for being with us, once again. let me ask you about the thing i was talking to asma about. progressives like you want some assurance that in backing the infrastructure bill you get your other priorities done, too. how determined are you that this gets done either simultaneously or your larger reconciliation bill comes first? >> well, good morning. and i am very determined. as are other progressives. i dare say moderates and some
conservative democrats within the house democratic caucus who all understand that in the 21st century infrastructure has a much broader meaning than simply bridges, highways and so on and so forth. it includes things like the care economy. so, that's why we're seeking to expand medicare to include dental, vision and hearing. it's why we want to address climate change which poses a threat to the planet and human civilization and, of course, why we're fighting to ensure that child care is affordable for every family in the richest nation in the world. these are the things that must be in the larger reconciliation package and it is going to get me to the table to support that much, much paired down bipartisan infrastructure pack package that leaves out so much of what americans need this week. >> everyone was celebrating the fact that the senate was able to get it together to get
bipartisan support to move the infrastructure bill forward. your colleague kyrsten sinema said that is too much money. she doesn't want to support that. >> many of us were disappointed and if not surprised to hear her make those statements because up until that point, people seemed to be in agreement that there would be a two-track series of packages and that is what house speaker nancy pelosi has said. she will not hold a vote until she has assurances that approximately $3.5 trillion infrastructure package has passed. let me say this. i don't want to get focused too much on precisely on how much money is going to be in the larger reconciliation package, but it must meet this moment. it must meet the scale of the various crises that we face. even senator manchin did not take issue with the $3.5
trillion amount. it was interesting to see sinema make those statements and why it's important that house democrats stick together in what we said we would do which is pass a larger package. >> let's talk about voting rights. you took to the floor of house of representatives and made an interesting point that joe biden does not have a vote in whether or not the filibuster stays or goes and whether or not voting rights becomes a thing or doesn't. but you said he does have the most important voice in the world on this topic right now. >> absolutely. you know, famously lyndon b. johnson was the master of the senate. right. and so, too, can this president be. he can use his authority as the president of the united states and his platform, more specifically, to call on members of his own party and approximately two standing in the way of american democracy at this point and, of course, those people are sinema and manchin. to do the right thing.
use the bully pulpit and make an exception to the filibuster for securing constitutional rights. this is why people have recognized that voting is a pathway to all the other rights that we need to be secured in this country. including other things like economic justice and the expansion of medicare that i referred to earlier today. >> you also wrote that you can't outorganize. the president has suggested that the president could outorganize on state laws and you can't out organize gerrymanering and using legislation that was just passed. these things can't be out organized. this is dismantling democracy where the remarkable women in georgia who got everybody out to vote can't do anything about. >> you're precisely right. the president in philadelphia last month accurately described the crisis that we face in terms
of our ailing democracy and the greatest assault on democracy, in fact, since jim crowe by the republican party. what he failed to do was to call for the only solution that would get us these voting rights bills enacted. that is precisely what your guest right before me said. there's no way enough republicans are going to sign on to the voting rights legislation that is being negotiated right now in the democratic party for overcoming the filibuster. they understand the only way they can win is by disenfranchising people. they will never come on board with this. it's why we have to have filibuster reform to get this done. >> democratic representative mondaire jones of new york. rare sunday session on infrastructure. plus, the latest on the house investigation into the january 6th attack with a member of the select committee pete aguilar. we'll dive into the two
democrats that we were talking about who are now possibly more popular with republicans than they are in their own party partly because of their support of the filibuster. pillow talk. phone pillow talk, specifically. who would have thought it would be so dangerous to democracy. you're watching "velshi" on msnbc. ♪ i want to make you yell. ♪ i'm so glad you're ok, sgt. houston. this is sam with usaa. do you see the tow truck? yes, thank you, that was fast. sgt. houston never expected this to happen. or that her grandpa's dog tags would be left behind. but that one call got her a tow and rental... ...paid her claim... ...and we even pulled a few strings. making it easy to make things right: that's what we're made for.
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if you're one of the 2.1 million people who cast a vote in arizona last november, your ballot is finally back in the possession of the actual county election officials. for the last three months, those ballots have been under the supervision of the republican-led arizona state senate and the private firm that it hired to carry out a sham audit of the county's 2020 results. just because the ballots were sent back doesn't mean that
republicans are done with their shenanigans. gop state senators issued new subpoenas asking for additional materials while cyberninja ballot count is reviewed. data breaches and copies of ballot envelopes with voter signatures with changer to the county voter records, network data, user names, passwords pins to the voting county machines that they used. this process is now approaching 100 days. republicans initially said it should take 60 days to complete. at best a partisan shipping expedition from the very start and now another republican is calling the chorus of people for what it is. one of the legislators strongest advocates for strict voting laws. she tweeted out recently, i supported the audit, but i do not support the trump audit any longer. i wanted to review our election processes to see what, if anything, could be improved.
sadly, it's now become clear that the audit has been botched. but no matter how corrupt this process may seem, the people behind it are flushed with cash, which could drag things out even further. in addition to the $150,000 given to the audit operation by the state senate, prominent supporters of donald trump's big lie have raised more than $5.7 million. you might recognize some of the names that help to raise all that money. trump's former national security adviser michael flynn, former ceo of overstock.com patrick burns and multiple correspondent from fox news light as people call it. results of this audit can be allegedly expected next month. another character supporting that scam and fuelling the conspiracy theories that surround it. the foam pillow guy. mike lindell. the real danger to democracy posed by people like the pillow
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american democracy feels soft, pliable, like a foam pillow. a few years ago if i asked you to come up with an example of someone or something that could jeopardize democracy i bet your first answer would not be a guy who sells foam pillows on tv. he advertises his pillows on cable tv and over the last year countless americans who believe and promote dangerous lies and conspiracy theories, so what makes this guy any different? well, for starters he seems to have a direct line to the former president and willing to spend millions of his own dollars to spread the big lie to anyone who will listen. in a profile in "the atlantic"
along with bannon, giuliani and the rest of the conspiracy posse, he is helping to create profound distrust in the american political system and in the american public health system and ultimately in american democracy. the eventual consquensequences their actions may be genuinely stolen or disputed election in 2024 and political violence on a scale the u.s. has not seen in decades, end quote. applebaum calls michael lindell, the pillow's guy name a lover of myths. she wrote the profile as a warning of how dangerous he is. ann applebaum joins me now a fellow at the john hopkins school of international studies and wrote the important book "twilight of democracy." ann, i wondered, first of all, welcome to the show. i wondered when i saw this thing, i wonder why you would do this and give this guy oxygen.
but as soon as i started reading it, i understood what you were doing here. you were telling us how he operates and how he ticks and compelling right from the beginning. he does believe this. he is not manipulative for the sake of it, he believes this stuff. >> oh, yes, i think there are different categories of people in that world and some of them are clearly cynical. he is not one of them. i originally wanted to meet him because i have written several books about soviet and i had a lot of experience with true believers in genuinely wrong or evil ideas and i thought this was the chance to meet one of them in real life. and his genuine confidence comes from a lot of things. one of them is from his own success. you know, he's a self-made businessman who was previously a crack addict and overcame his addiction and he achieved a lot of success in his life. and he believes that that success and that record gives
him special access to information and to the truth. he's also probably manipulated by other people. i can't prove that. but somebody has given him some data that he genuinely proves believes the chinese stole our election. you might hear more about it in august because he's spending a lot of money in the second week of august promoting this idea. >> in fact, august 13th, he says, friday the 13th is when joe biden and kamala harris will resign from office that he is going to present august 10th through 12th. you asked him about this. he said this, he said you understand i've been attacked. i have 2,500 employees and i've been attacked every day. do i look like a stupid person? i am just doing this for my health. i owe it to the united states whether it's a democrat or republican or whoever it is to bring this forward to the country. you asked him, what happens if
this, the information that he's been given doesn't turn out to be true. what did he say? >> he said it's impossible. i can't be wrong. there's no way it's wrong. don't you understand. the expression he used was nonsubjective. this is a nonsubjective set of facts. i did call up other people and i talked to several other people about what it was he could have or what he thinks they had in their various speculations but the main point is that all of the elections that were challenged and all the votes were counted and audited by hand. in georgia more than once. there is no way that there was something happened inside the machines and the machine somehow stole the election. so, fundamentally what he says happened cannot have happened and yet he believes exactly the opposite. not only that, but he believes all the challenges he has received including from people like me and people like you, all these challenges are further proof that it's true. in other words, he's attracting all this negative attention
because what he's saying is true. so he cannot be convinced otherwise. i'm afraid that mentality. i know i'm right and i can't be convinced by anything. no rational argument that can sway me. that mentality is important for everyone to understand right now. there is a chunk of americans who feel that same way about the election. they feel that way about the vaccines. they feel that way and they are absolutely to any challenge of their views. >> in the things you have studied in the past, from your article he has brought down upon himself for trying to make his case are in lindell's mind are true. stalin once said that the emergence of opposition signified the intensification of the class struggle and this is lindell's logic. he quotes the bible a lot. he's a religious guy.
is he critical? does he take any critical eye to this stuff that he's believing or is it because it's in pursuit of his cause as a conservative that he wants it to be true? >> i mean, he's very critical of the republican party. and you may have seen a couple days ago he said something i don't know if it's going to prove true or not that he was removing advertising because fox news will not push or promote his conspiracy theory or his presentation of evidence which, as you said, takes place in august. so he's critical of plenty of people and he actually suspects that many leading republicans like leading democrats are secretly working for the chinese communist party. that was another thing we have discussed. but not at all critical towards the information he has or towards his very deep and profound belief that trump will soon become president again. he can't explain by what mechanism this will happen and what is the constitutional way it will happen but he believes the supreme court will vote 9-0.
i don't know how or under what circumstances but it will happen and trump will become president. he is somebody who has had these visions before. he had a dream in which he saw himself standing next to donald trump and then that dream became reality. he is someone who believes he has a special gift and insight and this will all come true. it is simply not possible to talk him out of it. as i said, unfortunately, i think that's something that you can see among other similarly minded people in our country. >> how influential is he? >> you know, i can't measure it. i think there's more to these conspiracy theories. they have a bigger reach than people who are outside of that bubble believe. i actually met him at steve's studio and the podcast is in the top 50 million podcasts. he's reaching millions of people. you know, he's somebody who has a big presence on tv, he is a
trusted figure and a nice guy who sells pillows. what's not to like? i think he probably around the margins at least, at least what he can do is convince people to have less faith in our democracy and less faith in our electoral system and, of course, that lack of faith and that lack of belief is something that can be used in 2022 or more likely 2024. once again, undermine the results and, once again, seek to overturn the results of the election. >> that is full circle to the things you studied in your past which makes it important to read your book. thanks for this book. author of several books including the very important "twilight of democracy." i used to read titles like this and think what lure could there be to author tearyism. it is compelling. more than half of all americans remain unvaccinated against covid-19 and that includes a significant number of american health care workers. after the break, we'll introduce
you to four of them who should know better and should probably be in a different line of work. that i should get used to people staring. so i did. it's okay, you can stare. when you're a two-time gold medalist, it comes with the territory. that delicious scramble was microwaved? get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg.
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it's too much to fit in all these pictures in pictures in- the cdc says on friday that florida reported its highest number of daily covid since the start of the pandemic last year. it's part of another surge in cases across the country, partly due or in large part due to the delta variant and due to the fact that nationwide 49.5% of
americans are fully vaccinated. believe it or not, a significant number of health care workers are among the millions of americans still unvaccinated against covid-19. nbc news correspondent gabe gutierrez caught up with staff members and asked the obvious and important question, why. >> show of hands, how many of you have gotten a covid vaccine? these are four health care workers from different hospitals in north carolina. why not? >> we don't know what the long-term side effects are. >> it also hasn't been proven to be effective? >> the cdc says it's more than 90% effective. >> they do say that. that hasn't proven to me to be true. >> i'm not going to jump on a band wagon with something that hasn't been tested. >> it has been tested, though. >> if you look at the normal year span of how long something is tested, it's usually 12 to 14 years before it comes to humans. >> across the country, about one
in four health care workers still isn't vaccinated against covid. from north carolina to texas to new york, anti- >> this is in the category of give me a bleeping break. when did everyone get a medical degree? >> for weeks we have spoken with many overworked health care workers who practically begged americans to get the shot. what do you tell people who just don't believe you? >> it's frustrating. >> not these. they say they're not anti-vax more anti-mandate. >> i'm not comfortable putting something into my body until i am ready. if and when i'm ready, i will get it on my own accord, i will not be forced. >> you do not trust the cdc? >> i do not trust the cdc. absolutely not. >> that fuels their skepticism. >> i have the right to question anybody i want to in this country. >> you're entitled to your opinion, but these are facts.
>> are they facts? >> are they facts. my thanks to my colleague gabe gutierrez for that reporting. we'll break down why that way of thinking is so dangerous and deadly, after the break. there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both. introducing the wildly civilized all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l
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with the science and fighting the virus because a whole movement of who are actively working in fighting the spread. for example, just as employers, businesses and schools started planning new mask and vaccine requirements in line with the cdc's latest guidance, texas republican governor issued an executive order banning local governments across the state from issuing any kind of mask or vaccine mandate. in the fight against covid, seems like he's taking covid's side. joining me is dr. ebony hilton and the co-host of unpacked podcast. dr. hilton, good to see you. i want to draw a distinction here. there are people who are vaccine hesitant, you and i talked about this before possibly for historical or cultural reasons and people who are a little bit of quacks about vaccines. they both need to be convinced to take the vaccine, but the approach to convincing them is different. >> the approach to convincing
them, one group we may not be able to convince and america needs to wrap our head around that. but the other thing i need to talk to both groups is the virus, covid-19 is not why you don't want to have the vaccine. what we do know is younger and younger persons are being hospitalized and our cases are increasing 148% over the last two weeks and our hospitalizations are increasing 73% and our deaths are starting to climb, again. this is not the time to be hesitant. if you are thinking whether or not just know that there has been millions of americans at this point who have been vaccinated. you can look globally and know that you can have additional millions of persons and this vaccine has proven itself to be safe and effective at keeping you alive, keeping you out of the hospital and off of those ventilators. and that is what is most important right now in the middle of this pandemic. >> so, i have certainly started wearing my mask more than i was when i'm in public a couple years ago. there have been a number of
people who have gone and gotten their vaccine this week prompted by the fear of the delta variant and how much it's spreading and also had the opposite effect. the effect of convincing some people who are not vaccinated, well, if i could still get this thing and i have been vaccinated, what is the point of being vaccinated? >> if you are vaccinated, eight times less likely to get infected. 25 times less likely to be hospitalized and you're 25 times less likely to die from covid-19. you don't get a second chance with covid. not like you can say now, okay, i changed my mind. once this virus has taken hold of your body and particular with the delta variant more contagious than the original and what does that mean? the viral load when you come in contact with someone with the delta variant, the viral load is higher and for lack of better analogy and i know this is very much not what most medical people say, but i want to give the analogy of cocaine. we know there are some people who do cocaine and come into our
hospital and have an elevated blood pressure. if you do a lot, it will kill you on the spot. that's what we're seeing with this, your body does not have time to respond before this virus is able to get into a high enough dose that could literally kill you. >> last year when you and i were talking we had a cdc that became politicized and a lot of people lost faith in it. they're trying to rebuild, but it's not fantastic when you issue one piece of guidance and then even if the science determines that you have to update it, it is contributing to the idea that does the cdc know what it is talking about. how do you address that? >> i urge the cdc, we, all medical professions, we must be very consistent and concise in our messaging. and we have to be proactive, not reactive. what we noticed when we withdrew from the mask mandate back in may. what we knew there was an ongoing outbreak of delta variant in india and we could
see they were having case load and estimation of death of 13,000 people a day was what their modeling was looking like. when we see that happening, even if we want to make it we can start talking about the fourth of july celebrations, we need to say to american people, we need to pause. i understand you're tired. i'm tired, too. i wear n-95 masks literally all day in the hospital to the point i don't eat because it's not worth the risk of taking my mask off. but it doesn't matter if you are tired, you must finish this race and you can finish this race alive and you can finish this race dead. those are your three options. and, so, choose the one that is best for you and your family. but for me and mine, the option is to stay alive, so we will wear our masks and get vaccinated and we will follow basic, simple, public health measures that will let us see 2022 together. >> critical care condition and the co-host of a podcast.
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the pair of democrats from arizona and west virginia have sparked controversy over their unwavering support of the senate filibuster and for their views. their colleagues in the democratic party see them as legislative road blocks, people who need to be appeased to get a single law passed. sinema and manchin are both popular with republicans right now, more popular than they are in their own parties. they represent two very different states with vastly different demographics, but both senators prioritize bipartisanship, and in doing so, they're actively stifling legislation that critics say would make a world of difference to millions of americans both in their home states and beyond. joining me is steve benin, producer on the rachel maddow show, prolisk blogger for the maddo blog. the author of the great book, the impostors, how republicans quit governing and seized politics. good to see you. we honed in on you quickly when we said we need to have this conversation with people. democrats in particular, who
want to understand what motivates joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, and not the same thing motivates both of them. let's start with joe manchin. what's unusual about him that is keeping him being the stick in the mud in the democratic party in the senate right now? >> i think senator manchin, of course, is one of the most conservative democrats in congress and has for many years. comes from a state donald trump won twice. he comes to the table with a certain motivation. i think he wants to see democrats and republicans work together. he wants to see bipartisan cooperation on practically every issue. and that becomes a bit of a hurdle for democratic governance. for most democrats in congress, the first question they ask when they consider a bill or a piece of legislation is, is this bill a good idea? is it worthwhile? will it help people. for joe manchin, among the first questions is can this bill get bipartisan support? can it get support across all of congress? and that incongruity, that conflict becomes a point of serious breakdown for democratic
governance. >> what's the issue with kyrsten sinema? why does she also follow that same category when they both have different backgrounds, different career histories and different demographics in their state? >> senator sinema is an interesting case because she started more on the progressive side. she was a green party activist, for example, in the bush/chaina era, first term. she moves slowly towards the center, and that worked for her. when we look back at arizona over the course of the last several decades, it's been a traditional republican state. but yet she was elected, when she was elected to the senate, it was the first time a democrat had been elect today the senate from arizona since the 1980s. she believes she knows what the recipe is for success based on the traditional history, but at the same time, it puts her in the same, basically the same camp as joe manchin because she's thinking how do i maximize these bipartisan goals in order to position myself in the senate? >> are they the same or different when it comes to when they make their considerations how much of it has to do with
electoral politics and their political future versus how much of it has to do with their underlying core beliefs? >> i think for joe manchin, it's much more of a core belief. this guy has always been very conservative. at least by democratic standards. for senator sinema, it's a little more complicated. here's arizona that's a state that is quickly changing. it's a state that joe biden carried. it's a state that senator mark kelly was recently elected to. so for senator sinema, it seems to be more of a calculation as to how to maximize her electoral viability. i think there's a difference between the two. >> i have been talking to the reverend dr. william barber a lot lately. he's been leading protests against both of them. got arrested at sinema's office the other day. this is what he had to say about the people of west virginia and why he thinks joe manchin might be out of sync with them. >> we were called by poor white people and black people and miners and veterans to come. they're tired of people talking
about west virginia and allowing him to say he's doing this because of west virginia. 79% of likely voters in west virginia want expansion of the voting rights act. they want the vision of the for the people act. >> i was talking to him, i was talking to a representative from new york this morning. a lot of people come on this show and say manchin, you're doing the wrong thing. you have to move. is any of this pressure going to work for joe manchin? >> i think the cautious answer is maybe. just this week, for example, we saw reverend warnock and senator schumer meeting to discuss a stripped down, nero voting rights act. joe manchin who has been an opponent of democratic governance was a voice at the table playing a constructive role, saying positive things about the warnock/schumer effort. i feel like the door is possibly opened. the pressure campaign is having an effect. i think joe manchin is listening. he's at least open to the
possibility of legislating on this issue. the question ultimately becomes, will he make a carve-out to the filibuster rule. is he prepared to allow this to advance without republican support? right now, that's an open question. the more pressure he feels from reverend barber and others, i think the more likely it is we'll see possible governance on this issue. >> you mentioned you're cautious about exaggerating the unorthodoxy of these two. when push comes to shove, they can be -- they are democrats, and they vote with democrats. >> i think that's right. certainly, i understand among democrats and progressive activists that senator sinema and senator manchin can be a frequent source of frustration and i get that. having said that, i don't want to exaggerate the significance. we look back at the american rescue plan, which was very partisan. republicans opposed it in the house and senate. both senator manchin and sinema supported it and did the right thing in terms of the covid relief package.
so i think that while i can appreciate why they seem so out of step, at the same time, i'm mindful of the fact more often than not, they're going to vote with their party. i think that's rel vnltd as we look forward to the coming month in terms of the major progressive issues coming up in legislation, legislatively, they're more off than not with their parties is going to matter. >> thank you for joining us. steve bennett is a producer for the rachel maddow show and the author of "the impostors, how republicans quit governing and seized american politics." we have another haar of velshi on the way. i'll be speaking to dr. francis collins about the confusion surrounding mask mandates and the delta variant. another hour of velshi starts right now. good morning. it's sunday, august 1st. i'm ali velshi. in a couple hours, the nat is going to gather for a rare sunday session as it worked to
finalize the nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. they have been working all throughout the weekend to get this bill finished. before releasing everyone for the night, senate majority leader chalk schumer laid out what will happen next with the bipartisan bill and signaled the sooner lawmakers can get the agreement finalized, the sooner democrats can get to work on their separate, larger bill that they plan to try to pass without any republican support using a legislative maneuver called budget reconciliation to do so. >> when the legislative text is ready, i will offer it as the substitute amendment and after that, we can begin voting on amendments. as a reminder, upon completion of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the senate will turn to the budget resolution with reconciliation instructions. >> with just eight days until the scheduled senate recess, the senate chamber is going to have to move quickly. however, neither plan is currently anywhere near the