tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN September 29, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
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his biggest promises disappear. democrats are trying to make progress on those two major bills on infrastructure and the social safety net, but neither side seems willing to bend at this moment. house speaker nancy pelosi says she plans to hold a vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package tomorrow, and she's optimistic that the factions can come to agreement on the bigger social safety net. >> i think that we come to a place where we have agreement in legislative language, not just principle, in legislative language that the president supports, has to meet his standard, because that's what we are supporting, then i think we will come together. >> but one of the moderates leading the pushback on the cost for the package says that agreement is not going to happen by tomorrow. >> reporter: she said legislative language agreed to.
>> that won't happen. that won't happen. >> reporter: why is that? >> we haven't been negotiating yet in good faith. no one has been negotiating along those lines with the other party to see what would be comfortable. all we need to do is pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, sit down and start negotiating in good faith, that's it. >> cnn chief congressional correspondent manu raju is here. senator man chin says because we haven't been negotiating. are they negotiating or not negotiating? >> reporter: well, i think he's referring to negotiations with house democrats. now, he has been talking directly with the white house, but he even said yesterday he had not come up with a top line number. what he's being clear about here is about the larger package, that $3.5 trillion bill that the democratic liberals, the democratic caucus want to approve. he wants that paired back
substantially. there need to be an agreement on what that package looks like with the white house and with manchin and sinema signing off on that as well in order for that to reassure progressives in the house who are threatening to vote in mass to sink that separate bipartisan infrastructure plan headed to a vote tomorrow. at the moment, nancy pelosi is moving forward to that vote, but she could potentially delay it if the votes are simply not there. if talking to a number of progressives, they are making clear they are ready to sink this tomorrow because they view this as leverage to get manchin and kyrsten sinema on board behind that larger plan. and kiersten sinema was behind closed doors with white house officials earlier today talking to them about coming to some sort of agreement but talking to progressives today, there was clear they were frustrated at these talks. >> i'm an absolute no. you can write it on the wall with cori bush next to it, i'm a no. come to my district.
have kyrsten sinema come to my folks in st. louis, talk to the people spending all their money on their prescription medication that they need that's life saving but also cannot afford their rent at the same time. talk to those who are sleeping in their cars. she has her own story that i feel like she's forgotten. >> i think that if the vote were to fail tomorrow or be delayed there would be a significant breach in trust that would slow the momentum in moving forward in delivering the biden agenda. >> reporter: now that last point is critical from stephanie murphy, a blue dog democrat, one of the more moderate democrats. i asked if the infrastructure vote is delayed tomorrow what will that do for her vote for the larger democratic only plan. she said a breach in trust that could damage the full agenda going forward, so there you have it, alisyn, the dilemma, the two sides debating the process, the procedure, the policy, can they get an agreement in an open
question if it will all just collapse. alisyn. >> and hard to see how they're going to work it out at this hour. but manu raju, thank you very much for all the developments. maybe we can get answers now. joining us now is democratic congressman who is aligned with the moderate wing on in, and that is congressman henry quayar, i know these are 11th hour moments. you're aligned with the moderate wing. you're not sold on the $3.5 trillion social safety net bill. let me pull up the things that are in it. everybody knows we're not talking about dollars signs, universal pre-k, child care support so women can get back into the workplace, free community college, pell grants, paid maternity leave to help working moms. child tax credits, aid for seniors on medicare. drug costs, meaning prescription
drugs, and of course help for the climate crisis. so what part do you want in, what part do you want out if you're not sold on it? >> first of all, you mentioned things that i support. there's nothing wrong with that. we certainly support that. what we want to do is, as you remember, is we want to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and then second of all, we'll go ahead and negotiate on this reconciliation bill. there are things, we support, but again, keep in mind, we want to make sure we vote on something that has 50 votes on the senate. that was the agreement that we made, and i think we can get there. we will get there. there are some differences between the house and the senate, but we cannot forget one thing that's very important. we're in the legislative environment. isn't this what the legislative body does, they go ahead and they work things out, and that's exactly what our jobs are as members of congress. >> yeah, here's the problem,
progressives say they have tried it your way, to do it incrementally on things like voting rights, police reform, and every time they get almost to the finish line, the rug is pulled out from under them. now they have leverage. you just heard in the piece, congresswoman cori bush of missouri say you have forgotten what real people need. yes, they need bridges and tunnels, but they also really need child care and so it's not going to just help to have a good bridge if you can't get back o to work. what would you say to her? >> of course. we want to make sure that we have education. we're not against that, we want to have health care. some people want medicare plus. some people want to have -- fill up the medicaid expansion gap. there's 12 southern states, like texas, that has 771,000 people that don't have any coverage at all. we want to help that, so there are some little differences that we need to work at, but at the end of the day, we are going to work this out. this is the legislative process. >> what's your dollar sign, in
other words, if you don't start with something to offer a negotiation, how can you negotiate in good faith, what is the dollar figure you want to get to? >> again, i think what we're seeing is i think this is where the senate is working out. look, i was here in 2010 when we went big, we went bold, you know, weknow we did that. we passed the affordable health care act. >> was that a mistake? >> let me finish. we went big last time. all we're asking right now is that whatever the house votes on because we lost 63 members in 2010, all we're asking is that we vote on something that has the vote of 50 democrats in the senate, and the house majority here. that's all we're asking, so we're negotiating right now. >> okay. i understand, but part of the problem is that senators joe manchin, and kyrsten sinema don't seem to have been able to articulate exactly what defines
their terms. we have heard president biden say they're not giving me a number. what is the number, what exactly defines those terms that you say? >> well, again, you need to get joe manchin and sinema on the show to ask them that question, like i said, i'm ready to support a reconciliation bill. i'm ready to vote tomorrow for the infrastructure. these two bills make up, they make up joe biden's agenda. i want to support the joe biden agenda, and we are going to do that. we are in a legislative process. people need to understand this is what happens in the legislative process. it's what we do every year and every day. >> okay. so you say you are ready to vote on that reconciliation bill. you will vote for $3.5 trillion in spending? >> no, i did not say that. >> okay. what number are you comfortable with. >> look, i'm not going to good enough you a number. all i'm going to tell you is we support a bipartisan, somebody
came wup with a $3.5 trillion. i'm sorry, i was not in the room. somebody was in the room, we've got a couple of infrastructure bill together with the reconciliation. i'm sorry, i was not in that room. what i want to do is let's go ahead, i said in appropriations, we deal with numbers all the time. we put money in pell grants, we put money to make sure we fight climate change, we do that in appropriations every single year. again, the reconciliation. >> 3.5 is arbitrary, you don't believe that number has been reached through actually crunching the details of it together? >> i was not in that room. who came up with that number. were you in that room? i'm sure you were not. i was not in that room. somebody came up with 3.5. i want to support a reconciliation where we can meet the basic needs. reconciliation is another term for we need to remake, redo the safety net where we can help the people that need the help.
i support health care, i support education, i want to make sure we fight, you know, the problem with climate change. i want to do all of that, but were you and i in that room, somebody came up with $3.5 trillion, i don't know who came up with that number. if you can tell me, please tell me who came up with that number. >> so it sounds like you have a long way to go, so should the vote tomorrow -- >> no, no, no. >> should the vote tomorrow be postponed? >> no, of course not. you know, the people think that making this part of joe biden's agenda a historic $1.2 trillion, knocking that down, is that going to be helpful to the president, no, do people think that if we knock down that bill tomorrow that's going to get people closer to each other? no, it doesn't. we got to understand that we got to work together. i want to vote for the reconciliation. we've got to have a number that passes 50 democrats on the senate side, and of course the
majority here. that's what i'm saying. i'm for health care, i'm for education. i'm for fighting climate change. >> yes, but wouldn't it be helpful to know what that number is that would pass the 50 democrats on the senate side? s >> well, i think that's what the president and the senator sinema, and joe manchin are trying to figure that out. they're going to figure that out. they're going to figure that out. like i said, i'm ready to vote on a reconciliation for health care, education, fight climate change, that passes with 50 senators on the senate side. i'm tired of being btu. what happened to the democrats in 1990s. i saw what happened in 2010. we're not going to be btu by anybody that just came up with the number. i want to support reconciliation, education, health care, i want to do that, but i need something that will pass with 50 votes on the senate side, so we can send it straight to the president. >> congressman henry cuellar, we
appreciate getting your take on where you are right now. thank you for your time. >> thank you so much, thank you, alisyn. >> we have cnn political analyst, margaret talev, and senior white house correspondent phil mattingly. should be easy, you heard congr congressman kcuellar say it should be simple. what's the problem. >> reporter: how long do we have here? look, it's actually -- it was a very good interview. in the end kind of zeroed in on the key point here, that congressional democrats on the house side of things are concern about voting for something that isn't going to pass muster in the senate. that's why the president has been focused on the two senators in particular over the course of the last 48 hours. as complicated as this moment is on capitol hill, as complex as the knitting of the policy together here, reality remains if two senators sign off on a top line, that's the top line that passes, and everything underneath it can start to get
to work. what they don't have at this moment despite the meetings between the two senators, staff and senator sinema is that top line. >> margaret, how about congressman cuellar saying i don't know how they got to that $3.5 trillion, has anybody seen the math on that? >> we know what some of the major pieces, aillisyn of what they're talking about could cost. so many of these negotiations have happened in public, we know that there are any number of ways you could get from 3.5 trillion to sort of that 1.5 trillion zone that man chin has hinted he would be more comfortable in and anywhere in between, and honestly, it just involves which pieces of the spending are in, and which pieces are out. what are you going to do with medicaid, what are you going to do with two years of free community college. what are you going to do with electric car or tax credits. i mean, there's a laundry list
of a million things that could go in or out, but the bottom line is from president biden's perspective, this is the -- this is like something has to happen if he has nothing, and democrats have nothing to take into the midterm elections, they're in real trouble, and also, let's say they lost the majority a year from november. this is what the democratic caucus in some form wants to deliver anyhow, right, if you may not even be able to keep power, at least you want to have something lasting from your time there that will benefit your constituents. that's the moment you're in. there's a million ways you get across the finish line. i'll say this. if you're a member of the public at home watching this, what is so important about tomorrow. there's really two different things happening the same week. one is the cr, which we thought was going to pass today. i don't know at this point at 3:00 if that's happening, but that's to avert a government shut down. that does have to happen by the end of this fiscal year, and
that is -- we are at the end of the fiscal year. >> right. the infrastructure/spending stuff, the only reason it has to be happen is because of an agreement they thought they could patch together between, you know, the moderates and the progressives, as long as everyone agrees to extend it, they could keep talking. the question is more time going to get them closer to where they are now. >> phil, we talk about this as threatening president biden's agenda. isn't it also threatening his reelection. i mean, what we just heard there, from congressman cuellar, i was around in 2010 with obamacare, he thought they were punished and democrats lost seats, and it was too big. he wasn't going to make that mistake again. it threatens the democrats' majority, president biden's reelection, am i overstating it? >> no, i think the reality is this is the agenda the president campaigned on. this is the agenda most democrats who won in 2020 campaigned on as well, and if this domestic agenda falls apart
like on the whole, then they have nothing going into the midterms. i think that's an argument you have heard from white house officials. we campaigned on this, you supported this. these are the key tenants of the agenda. you have to get it across the finish line. the alternative is you go into the midterm election with absolutely nothing. it's just the reality right now that this is complicated and i think a point that people sometimes miss is the vast majority of both democratic caucuses in the house and the senate are fully on board with this. they support the scale. they support the scope. they support the policy. when you only have a majority of three votes or a space of three votes in the house and zero votes in the u.s. senate, one in two, three people matter, and that's where they're at right now. no matter how much support you have, if you don't have all of it in the senate, you have problems. >> i would hate to see what lack of support looks like. so margaret, as we sit here right now, is this vote going to happen tomorrow, the infrastructure vote or not? >> boy, i mean, pelosi's brand, you're asking me like the
unknowable question. pelosi's brand is never put a vote up that's going to fail and she reiterated that as early as yesterday, she has been saying this all week. i don't put up votes that aren't going to pass. so i just, i'm trying to understand the strategy and logic of setting up a failure. i guess it could be, you know, to scare people into action. i just don't see that being where this goes. i think what we're still talking about is the speaker trying to figure out how much give is there on the progressive side. how much give is there on the moderate side. would the moderates rather have their infrastructure vote fail and the world's fury, you know, who want a deal turn on the progressives or would an extra day or some additional negotiations by the time, i think we just don't know the answer to that right now, and biden's tactic is not to be engaged as much on the house side, it is to be working with
the two senators who can unlock the key to all of this. >> okay. we'll be watching. margaret talev, phil mattingly. thank you very much. we have new details about brian laundrie's whereabouts in the days after gabby petito's death, and the puzzling time line. ahead. with your qb's increased spin rate, any pass with a launch angle of at least 43 degrees puts sanchez in the endzone. you a data analyst or something? an investor in invesco qqq. a fund that gives you access to nasdaq-100 innovations like ai statistical analysis software. how am i gonna do? become an agent of innovation with invesco qqq. ♪ it's an important time to save. with priceline, you can get up to 60% off amazing hotels. and when you get a big deal... you feel like a big deal.
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gabby petito's fiance brian laundrie was seen. they have doubtful laundrie's parents will help find them. cnn learned brian went camping with his parents early september after returning from his cross country road trip alone. layl leyla santiago joins us from the north port city hall where a memorial has been set up. walk us through the time line as we know it, and where this camping trip fits in it. >> right, alisyn, and these tidbits we're learning and slowly confirming are painting the picture of how we got to where we are today, how there is now a growing memorial behind me for a young woman and the tragedy, and a search for her fiance. so yeah, let's walk through that. let's take you back to september 1st. that is when brian laundrie came back from a cross country trip that he had had with gabby, but he came back alone. what we have learned is that a
few days later, september 6th and 7th, he went on a camping trip with his family, about 75 miles north of where he lives at de soto state park. now, we have talked to neighbors who said they did see him return after that. they saw him at the house after that camping trip. a few days later, september 11th, gabby petito was reported missing, and a few days after that, laundrie's parents claimed that was the last time they saw their son. he was headed to a reserve. they didn't report that until a few days after that, september 17th, and then the search ensued bringing us to where we are today. searching for brian laundrie and quite frankly searching for answers for what happened to gabby petito. we have seen the fbi carry out or execute search warrants at the laundrie house. an arrest warrant has been put
out there for brian laundrie and the petito family says they don't have any faith that the lawn laundrie family is going to help them with any answers. listen. >> for the launsilence, they dit help us find gabby, they're sure not going to help us find brian. for brian, we ask you to turn yourself into the fbi or nearest law enforcement agency. >> and laundries' family insists that the parents are worried about brian laundrie and well being, saying they don't know where he is and they did not help him in any way get away. >> leyla santiago thank you for the update. top military officials warning of the real possibility that terrorist groups will reform in afghanistan. when they think that could happen. ♪ after we make grilled cheese, ♪ ♪ then we're eating grilled cheese. ♪ ♪ because it's time. ♪
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top military brass return to capitol hill today to answer more questions about the chaotic u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. joint chiefs chairman, mark milley, mark austin, and frank mckenzie spent three hours under oath before the house armed services committee. lawmakers demanded more details about the recommendation that at least 2,500 troops should have stayed in afghanistan.
advice that president biden told abc news he never heard. general mckenzie said the president was also told of the risks of keeping a troop presence behind. >> had we held the 2,500 which i stated was my position, and as the secretary articulated, there would have been a clear risk that the taliban would have begun to attack us as we move past the 1 may deadline. however, it was my judgment then that that would still have given us a platform to continue negotiations with the taliban to perhaps force a political solution. >> joining me now is cnn military analyst retired air force colonel cedric leighton, a former cia counter terrorism official. colonel, great to have you. isn't that the heart of the matter right there which is that president trump had set this may 1st deadline, president biden felt that he had to oblige it on some level, though he moved it to serge, if he left the 2,500
troops, every day would have gotten more dangerous because the taliban wouldn't have complied after may 1st. do i have that right? >> basically, alisyn. the real problem is i think president biden felt he was put in a box, right, he's looking at all the different possibilities of how to handle afghanistan, and he has this agreement, the doha agreement that was negotiated during the trump administration. there were a lot of problems with that agreement, but basically what it says is you've got to get out of here by that time, may 1st. the deadline was extended until the 31st of august, and that is in essence what president biden felt he had to live with, so as a result of that, we had a very hasty, perhaps mal planned way of evacuating this, this theater of operations for 20 years. that was a real dilemma for the administration. >> general milley was asked about and talked about whether or not we are safer, well,
afghanistan is safer, i suppose, now than it was, and than we were in the days right before 9/11. here's that response. >> i think, right this minute, it is lesser than it was in 9/11, however, i think the conditions are set. the conditions could be set for a reconstitution of al qaeda and/or isis, and i gave some specific times in my statement, and i stand by those. i think that the -- it's a real possibility in the not too distant future, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 months, that kind of time frame, a reconstitution of al qaeda or isis. >> to be clear, he's saying the risk is less today than it was right before 9/11, but that could change in the next 12, 18, 24 months, so where does that leave us. what is the u.s. supposed to do about that? >> well, alisyn, and you know what general milley was talking about there was the threat to the u.s. homeland, so afghanistan as a spring board for terrorist activities, you
know, within six months to 12 months to 18 months, he wasn't quite sure, you know, what the time line would be, nor i don't think could anybody be sure. but what the real answer here is that afghanistan requires a degree of intelligence over watch, that we did not have before 9/11, and that degree of over watch is going to be pretty extensive, and something that's going to be really hard to do given the fact that we don't have boots on the ground in afghanistan. we don't have a real collection architecture on the ground there. we do have of course other assets, so-called over the horizon assets, and that is something that can be used but there are some difficulties with that, and the intelligence may not be as accurate as we will want or need in order to protect the u.s. homeland. >> as we learned tragically when u.s. troops were killed, sometimes that intelligence is faulty. colonel cedric leighton, thank you very much. great to talk to you. >> you bet.
absolutely. cnn is getting a closer look at life inside afghanistan nearly a month after the u.s. left. the taliban has since retaken control of the country, leading many afghans particularly women and girls quite vulnerable. so let's bring in cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward, she is in kabul there on the ground for us. so clarissa, just give us the big picture. tell us about the changes you have seen since you were last there? >> i think there's no question, alisyn, it does feel different on the ground. it's less fraud, it'sl less chaotic, less kinetic of violent activity but there is tension under pinning it all. a lot of people in kabul believe this is a lull, a transitional period where the taliban wants to show the international community it can be more pragmatic, it's keen to be integrated and accepted by the international community, and it's desperate to make sure that funding and aid that has been
frozen by the world bank, by the imf, by the u.s. is unfrozen because this country is also dealing with a major liquidity crisis. a huge economic bomb shell, poised to explode here, alisyn, with teachers' salaries not getting paid. health care salaries not getting paid. food prices rising. fuel prices rising, and people waiting in line for often six hours to try to take out their weekly $200 from the bank. so there is a serious economic crisis, and then more than that, there is deep seeded anxiety about what will happen when the taliban really starts to show its true colors, and we have seen some indications of what that might look like. girls now, can't go to school here beyond 6th grade. the taliban says that's because it needs to make sure that the correct islamic environment is created. people here remember, alisyn,
back in the '90s. that's the exact same excuse used and girls never ended up going back to school. women are being told, don't go to the office, don't go to university, we need to organize safe transportation for women. we need to organize complete segregation, but these small things, they're not small, actually. i shouldn't call them small things. these significant things really do portend ominous signs down the line about what this country will look like and what this city will look like once the taliban feels more comfortable to show its true colors, alisyn. >> clarissa, it's so helpful as always to have you on the ground there because you can just see it with your own eyes and then you bring it to us how the taliban is thrusting a large portion of the population back into the stone ages and we get to see it up close and personal. thank you very much for your reporting. liz cheney one of the republican party's most vocal
trump critics, she's plotting her political future, and marshaling some support from some important republicans. ♪ ♪ every day can be extraordinary with rich, creamy, delicious fage total yogurt. new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit indeed.com/hire and get started today. growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work.
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now. she's doing more than just visiting new hampshire, what's she doing there. >> reporter: she's not talking about running for president but it's also not something she's ruled out, and she's making moves that she's exploring a political future beyond the state of wyoming. she raised eyebrows when she announced she would visit the state of new hampshire which is home to the first presidential primary, and was profiled by 60 minutes where she reversed her opposition to same sex marriage, and has a high profile role on the select committee where she serves as vice chair, and has been beefing up her political operation, which includes raising boat loads of cash. n next month, former president george w. bush will host a fundraiser, and there are prominent figures who have donated to her campaign, mitch mcconnell, mitt romney, and former speaker paul ryan. all of these moves can help her if she chooses to run for higher office but 2024 is a long way away, and right now she is focused on defending her
congressional seat against a trump backed primary challenger. cheney, i have talked to her before, talked to people close to her, she views this race as so much bigger than just about herself. take a listen to how she is framing this in an interview with 60 minutes. >> i think it's going to be the most important house race in the country in 2022. and it will be one where people do have the opportunity to say we want to stand for the constitution. >> do you think a vote against you is a vote against the constitution? >> a vote against me in this race, a vote for whomever donald trump has endorsed is a vote for somebody who's willing to perpetuate the big lie, somebody who's willing to put allegiance to trump above allegiance to the constitution, absolutely. >> so cheney clearly views this race as a battle for the heart and soul of the republican party, and she is not going down without a fight. alisyn. >> okay.
thank you. >> reporter: thank you: a hearing on britney spears conservatorship case is set to begin in minutes. after 13 years, could this be the day it finally ends? we're going to hear from a leader in the free britney movement next. transform our workforce overnight out of convenience, or necessity. we can explore uncharted waters, and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change-- meeting them where they are, and getting them where they want to be. faster. vmware. welcome change.
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a crucial court hearing for britney spears starts soon. the pop star is expected to appear virtually as a los angeles county judge weighs whether to end her father's role in her conserfrvatorconservator. britney has called this abusive. leann simmons is a leader with the "free britney" movement. i know you're on pins and needles about what's going to happen today. in fact, you recently retweeted somebody who said if jamie spears is not removed, which is the dad, at the very, very least, we're going to have to take things up a notch. what does that mean? >> well, you know at this point we've heard from britney several times. we know how she feels about her father. their relationship is very contentious and there have been allegations of abuse. so at the very least, it is judge penney's duty as an
honorable judge to remove jamie spears from this arrangement. of course, the end goal is to free britney entirely from this conservatorship which is fraudulent and unjust. but getting rid of her father is an excellent first step. >> but just out of curiosity, if that doesn't happen today, what would the free britney movement do? >> we're going to have to brainstorm. i don't want to give away any of our tactics. this is a social justice movement. this such bigger than britney at this moment. we are continuing to uncover a lot of unsettling e ing facts a the probate court system. we're going to get louder, keep screaming and won't give up until we effect change that helps britney and conservatees. >> if britney were to be freed from her conservatorship today after 13 years, what would you do? >> i think we might pop some champagne. i think there will be
celebrations. everybody will hug and cry and we'll just be really proud as a movement. we fought really hard for this and our end goal is for britney to have her own voice and freedom. i don't know if it's today, but i do hope that it's soon. >> just to let people know, this is not a lark for you. you have been involved in this since 2019. you have done a deep dive into court documents. you guys are the ones who got the momentum for all of this going, who grabbed the national spotlight and attention so that people are now focused on this and you may have changed her trajectory. the course of whatever happens today, i think she gives you tremendous credit. so do you think you will see britney today? is that what you're expecting? >> i don't think anyone expects to see britney. it's just about getting her her freedom. we support her. we support her as a human being more than anything. of course, a lot of us came into this as fans who support a pop
star, but it's evolved from there. and as we've learned about the abuse she's faced and other c conservatees have faced. i will continue fighting for conservatorship reform, laws to change and maybe even abolishment of the system because i do think it is a very fraudulent system and it allows for exploitation. >> we only have ten seconds left. what do you want to say to britney? >> britney, you are not alone. we're here for you. we won't stop until you're free. >> leann simmons, thank you. we'll be watching closely with what happens. "the lead" with jake tapper starts after a quick break. ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan.
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all they need is a number. how hard can it be? "the lead" starts right now. democrats are locked in a multitrillion-dollar staring contest and, quote, nobody wants to blink. just hours before the big vote on infrastructure. right now it looks as though progressives will tank. it may all come down to white house meetings with one key senator. and -- who is that? it's arizona's kyrsten sinema. now at the center of the negotiations and essentially in control of whether biden's agenda will live or die. we'll take a close