tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 4, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. here's what we are watching this hour -- speaking out, a facebook whistleblower makes damning allegations against the social media giant. how she says they put profits over safety. environmental catastrophe. over 100,000 gallons of crude oil spewing into the pacific ocean. why it took so long to identify
this disaster. and a glimmer of hope in the fight against the pandemic. the summer surge is on the decline, but the threat far from over. dr. anthony fauci joins me live ahead. thank you for being here. we're following two developing stories. first, facebook under intense scrutiny after a whistleblower comes forward leveling damning accusations against the social media giant. in a new interview with "60 minutes," former product manager frances haugan claims facebook knows that its platforms are used to spread hate, violence, and misinformation, and that its leaders have done very much less than advertised to stop it. haugan who has released tens of thousands of pages of company research to congress and the sec says facebook knowingly chooses profits over safety. >> the thing i saw at facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the
public and what was good for facebook. and facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests like making more money. facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they'll click on less ads, they'll make less money. >> she will be testifying tomorrow before a senate committee about all of this. and facebook is trying its best at damage control in the face of this. the other major story that we're following -- the race to contain a major oil spill off the coast of southern california. more than 100,000 gallons of oil have spilled into the ocean near orange county, killing wildlife, shutting down beaches, creating what a local official calls an environmental catastrophe today. more on that in a moment. let us begin with the facebook whistleblower. joining me now, cnn's brian stelter and chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin. brian, how damning is the information that's been brought
forward? >> there have been other whistleblowers, former employees speaking out against facebook, but never as starkly as this. never as bluntly as this. i've never seen a staffer come forward with so many documents, so much backup for her allegations, and not only does she have these documents, she's filed complaints with the sec trying to get the financial regulators involved because she claims that what the company says in public is contradicted by what it's learning in private. i think this is a story that is about the entire world and how the world is being affected by social media. we're talking about countries like spain and myanmar where there are conflicts that are accelerated and intensified by the use of facebook. and here is frances haughan saying i saw it firsthand how it was making bad situations worse, creating a vicious cycle of more polarization and hate around the world. we see it far away, and we saw it on january 6th in washington. she points a finger at facebook for contributing to the conditions that caused the
insurrection, as well. facebook can reject her complaints, they can say they're trying to clean up the platform, but this is incredibly damning for the company. >> i want to get to the january 6th allegation in just one second. jeffrey, as brian was pointing out, she's filed multiple kpl complaints with the sec over this. according to her attorney, they're comparing internal research to the company's public face on what they say they're doing and have been doing. i want to also play for you what haughan says about wanting congress to act, as well. listen. >> facebook has demonstrated they cannot act independently. facebook over and over again has shown it chooses profit over safety. it is subsidizing, it is paying for its profits with our safety. >> from a legal perspective, what could you see here? >> you know, i think this story illustrates more than anything the limits of the legal system. i am not sure that a lot of this behavior even if it's exactly as
miss haugan says it is, is something that the legal system can address. i don't know that the sec polices these kinds of statements. that's not usually the kind of enforcement action that the sec takes. when it comes to inspiring the january 6th riots or helping authoritarian governments in myanmar and elsewhere, that's not something that the laws really address at this point. that's why i think the real threat to facebook here is congress changing the law. and there is some movement in that direction, but those laws have not changed yet, and i think, you know, facebook faces reputational damage, it faces criticism. but i don't see major legal problems coming out of this at least not yet. >> and brian, you had one top facebook official on your show yesterday for an extensive
interview on this point of contention, but an important moment in regard to facebook's role if any leading up to the january 6th insurrection. i want to play what nick klegg told you. >> i think it would be too easy surely to suggest that with a tweak to an algorithm somehow all the disfiguring polarization in u.s. politics would evaporate. i think it absolves people of asking themselves the harder questions about the historical, cultural, social and economic reasons that have led to the politics that we have in the u.s. today. >> but brian, is he really getting to the point here? because no one's suggesting facebook is the only problem. but the fact that they still try to pretend they don't amplify the problem -- what did you take from your conversation with him? >> to borrow from billy joel they're saying we didn't start the fire. they're selling wood for the fire, selling s'mores that you
can roast on the fire. facebook is providing accelerants and claiming it's a good time. they're claiming people have a fun time on the platform and that's why we log in every day. to some extent, there is some truth. there are people that get a lot of benefits out of facebook and instagram and whatsapp and the rest. the research shows the downsides, the damage, the harm that's being caused, and that research needs to be exposed. we need to see more of it. facebook has proven that when they want to they can turn the volume down. they can bring down some of the heat in this country and elsewhere. they keep pouring more gasoline on. that's why this hearing will be important, why the whistleblower may not be the last to come forward this year. >> here's the thing we've seen over and over again is one me congress doesn't understand media and don't know how to regulate it. there are famous examples. orrin hatch in 2018 comes to mind to remind folks, watch this -- >> how do you sustain a business model until which users don't pay for your service?
>> senator, we run ads. >> i mean, what's it going to take to get smart on this? from -- from doj to congress? >> well, you know, if there were an obvious answer, we would have found it by now. you know, every law that regulates facebook was written before facebook was the power that it is today. >> great point. >> it has never -- these laws don't address the power of facebook. and it is true that democrats and republicans, this is one area where there is actual agreement about at least in a general way about the power of -- of facebook and social media and the damage that can -- that in some cases have been inflicted. but there is not at this moment, certainly not that i'm aware of, some magic bullet, some proposal
that you can change the law that will eliminate the problematic aspects of facebook. it's -- it's not like there's some obvious solution there that congress is failing to reach. people just don't know how to do it at this point i think. >> needs continued focus as we're going to see all of this week especially on capitol hill. good to see you both. thank you. let's get to our other top story now. a massive oil spill off the coast of southern california. more than 100,000 gallons of oil have spilled into the pacific ocean near orange county killing wildlife, threatening important wetlands, and closing beaches possibly for months. cnn's natasha chen is live in huntington beach, california, keeping an eye on this. what are you seeing there now? >> reporter: yeah, it is really important right now for people to stay away from the water. it is not safe. and part of that right now we're seeing is the california department of fish and wildlife has declared the fisheries closed in this area by a set
number of beaches here because of the spill area. so that means that people shouldn't be fishing in the water. they shouldn't be consuming fish that may have been affected by the spill because we have also heard reports now of wildlife washing up with oil on them. that's currently being addressed by groups here trying to rescue animals, trying to lay boom out there to keep the oil away from the wetlands as much as possible, though damage has already been done. we do have a drone up to show you a little bit aerial views of what is going on here. we've seen boats yesterday dragging a boom to try to collect as much oil as possible. there's been some collected now, but it's really a small amount compared to the total potential spill amount of more than 120,000 gallons. we did just speak with the huntington beach mayor. she talked about, you know, growing up here and how devastating this is for a community especially that is very environmentally conscious.
>> for me personally, this is a really rough one. i am a beach person, grew up in the beach, am from this area, and so to see this happening in my back yard, it's devastating. but i also know that the -- we're going to do everything that we can to make this even better than it was before. >> reporter: and the spill happened about 4.5 miles offshore, and there are still efforts being made right now to identify the exact source of where that leak happened, how this happened. so in addition to the cleanup, there are divers down there trying to identify how this problem started and we'll still be asking questions throughout the day. >> absolutely. thank you very much. joining me now for more is brad avery, mayor of newport beach, california, which is in orange county. actually saw newport on that map that we were showing you during natasha's live shot. mayor, thank you for being here. i read that you were actually out on your own boat on saturday
morning and you saw an oil slick. did you have any sense then of how bad this was going to be? >> well, not really. i was coming back from catalina with my family after a weekend. we were headed toward the air show at huntington beach to see a little bit of that, and in the morning i heard chatter on vhf, a marine radio, and people were seeing oil in the ocean. it was sort of a random bunch of calls. and i thought they were just maybe saw a ship maybe discharge a little bit of oil. and then as we approached about five miles off -- we were going through -- going along, and there was some dolphin on our bow, and it was beautiful. we went into this patch of oil that was, you know, very extensive and pretty thick. and it was shocking. >> absolutely. i mean, how do you describe what's being done right now to contain this -- and mayor, how long do you think this will take to clean up? >> oh, i couldn't -- i couldn't
guess on that. it's a very large area, lot has to do with the current. and so it's -- it's difficult to give a timeline. i think all the agencies agree on that. we're working every day, all the agencies coordinated to do what we can to mitigate this and protect the public, protect wildlife. the spill is continuing to spread southeast down the coast. so's sort of bypassing us. it could change, but for now our -- we haven't gotten much oil on the beach beyond what little there was a couple days ago at the north end of town. so it's still a working situation. yesterday we had at least ten oil response vessels from different agencies out there trying to boom, boom around it and clean up the oil at sea. >> the mayor of huntington beach was describing to my colleague how devastating that this is and can be. what's your biggest concern right now?
>> well, it's just hoping that we can -- it stays off shore and that we can -- the boats can do the work to try and contain it and to get it dispersed, collected, all the work that goes into working a large spill like this. and it -- it's a big ask because it's a huge area, and it's -- it moves around. so it's just continuous work. one thing that's been in our favor is very fair weather, flat seas, light winds. i think that's really helping us. and the south current is taking it toward laguna beach, dana point. still off shore, it's not going on the beaches right now i believe. so it's a continuing, evolving situation. >> sure is. the "los angeles times" is reporting today that the platform company amplify energy emerged from bankruptcy just four years ago, and the way that the "los angeles times" puts it,
amassed a long record of federal noncompliance incidents and violations. has this pipeline company been on your radar before this? >> no. you know, it hasn't. and we -- we had two oil wells off shore, huntington beach, for many, many years, since the '60s. and then these oil wells where the company is were placed further offshore, about seven miles. and they -- they've been operating out there, we haven't had any issues until now. but you know, this is part and parcel to oil wells being installed off shore. it's likely over the long term there's going to be some spills. that's sort of the nature of it, the nature of same thing that happened in santa barbara with their oil rigs. you know, they've had some big spills. so years ago. >> mayor, thank you very much for your time. we'll be checking back in. >> thank you.
coming up for us, are we finally turning a corner on the summer surge of this pandemic? dr. anthony fauci joins me next. >> tech: when you get a chip in your windshield... trust safelite. this couple was headed to the farmers market... when they got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> woman: really? >> tech: that's service the way you need it. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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♪ ♪ move your high-interest debt to a sofi personal loan. earn $10 just for viewing your rate — and get your money right. ♪ encouraging signs on the pandemic right now. the seven-day average of new cases is down 22% in the last month. hospitalizations are also down 28% in the same time. that is good news. the number of people dying from coronavirus, though, remains around 2,000 deaths a day.
joining me now with the state of things is dr. anthony fauci, the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases and chief medical adviser to president biden. dr. fauci, thanks for being here. when you said this weekend that we are turning the corner, where are we turning the corner to? living with covid or being completely rid of covid-19? >> well, i don't think we're going to be at least in the near future completely rid of covid-19 for a number of reasons. one, the fact is we still have a rather substantial number, 70 million people, who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not vaccinated in this country. then there's the rest of world. as long as you have circulating virus in those other countries, many countries that don't have the resources that we do, then you have the danger of there being new variants that will come in. that's one of the reasons why we say and it's appropriate to say that the response to a global
pandemic is a global response. not only within our own country -- and we are working to get a lot of doses, many, many doses, literally hundreds of millions of doses, more than a billion, to other countries, particularly low and middle income countries. but in direct answer to your question, we are seeing a turnaround as you mentioned correctly, diminution in cases, diminution in hospitalization. deaths are still up, but that is usually a lagging indicator. and i fully expect if we keep going in the direction of a diminution in hospitalization and cases that the deaths will start coming down. having said that, not to diminish that that's good, positive news, is that we still have so many people who are not vaccinated that we'd better be careful that we don't say we're out of the woods. we might not be out of the woods in the sense of no more covid around at all. you know, i also said something over the weekend that was taken
completely out of context. i was asked what could we predict for this winter for like december and christmas. >> i was going to ask you. >> yeah. i mean, i say you hold off on that, i said we don't know because we've seen slopes that went down and then came back up. the best way to assure that we'll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated. that was misinterpreted as my saying we can't spend christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case. i will be spending christmas with my family. i encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal christmas with your family. but it just -- the way all of the other disinformation goes around, you say something talking about a landmark of a time, and it gets misinterpreted that i'm saying you can't spend family christmas time which is nonsense. you can. >> and your point is, and
correct me if i'm wrong, is that it's -- when you're in a pandemic, it is very hard to predict two months out still. >> that was, kate, my absolute point in response to the question that was asked of me. exactly as you said. i was asked to predict what the state of the pandemic would be when we get to december. and my response was, that's really dependent on us. it's difficult to predict, but the one thing we do have within our power to do is to make sure that there are less and less cases, and that diminishing slope that's going down continues to go down, and the way we can do that is by getting more and more people vaccinated. that was the point that i was making. not that you're not going to be able to spend christmas with your family. i certainly am. that's for sure. >> on vaccines, evidence out of
new york is that mandates are working. new york city's mayor said this morning that 96% of teachers are now vaccinated. thousands getting the shot in just recent days because of the requirement in schools is taking effect today. have you seen enough, dr. fauci, enough evidence, if you will, to say it's time to forget about incentives and mandates are the only way to get this sddone? >> we need to do both. i'm sensitive and aware to the reasons people push back on mandates. it's an unusual thing. it's not something that you're going to want to keep doing, telling people what to do. but there comes a time when you're dealing with an unusual and likely very, very unique situation of living through a historic pandemic. sometimes you have to do things that look more toward the societal impact than your own individual feeling about somebody telling you what to do or not. i think we need to use
incentives, but as you've just said correctly, mandates do work. and sometimes people just need a little bit of a push to do something for their own benefit for that of their family, but also for the benefit of society. so we'd like to not have to do mandates at the local level with schools, universities, places of business, government, et cetera. but sometimes you have to do that. >> the data on younger kids shows that they're slow to get the shot still. just over 44% of 12 to 15-year-olds so far. and when you look at the polling looking ahead, parents are evenly split on if they plan to get 5 to 11-year-olds vaccinated when and if that is authorized. what's the solution to this? >> well, i think we need to continue to try and get trusted messengers to give the reasons, the rationale why it is important to get children vaccinated. i think we have underestimated
the impact on children. the facts are that you're right, those who say for the most part from a pure probability standpoint, children are less likely to have a severe outcome compared to the elderly, as compared to adults. that is true. however, on the other side of the coin, look at the pediatric hospitals throughout the country, and you can ask any pediatric hospitalist if they're seeing a lot of children in the hospital with severe infection. so although relatively speaking for the rest of the epidemic it's a lesser proportion. the fact is it still can have a serious impact on children, not to mention the issue of long covid which is that peculiar type of persistence of symptomatology after you so-called recover from the infection. again not to mention the fact that children who get infected, even those who do not get any
symptoms, do not get any severe outcome, certainly can transmit it to others. and others may be people who would get a severe outcome. so there's a lot of reasons that people may not have really assimilated in their mind why it's important to do that. but there are very good reasons to do that. >> dr. fauci, thank you for coming on. >> good to be with you, kate. thank you for having me. >> thank you. coming up for us, chuck schumer is tightening the screws to try to get republicans to go along with democrats to recognize the debt ceiling as, let's be honest, they've all done many times before. what schumer is vowing to do if they do not next. liberty mutual knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ people with moderate to severe psoriasis, or psoriatic arthritis, are rethinking the choices they make
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developing right now, in a letter to fellow democrats, senate majority leader chuck schumer says that he may scrap next week's scheduled recess if republicans do not agree to work with democrats to suspend the debt limit, meaning pay congress' credit card bill. senator mitch mcconnell, he just sent a letter of his own to president biden saying that democrats do not need republican cooperation to do this.
cnn's manu raju joining me live on capitol hill with more on these developments. mcconnell's technically right, but what is technically really going on here? >> reporter: well, it's a staring game. it's unclear who will blink first, and it has significant consequences, kate, if no deal is reached by october 18th. that is when the country could face its first-ever default on the national debt. that would have massive economic ramifi ramifications. it's unclear exactly how this will play out. chuck schumer telling his colleagues that republicans need to agree to move forward in some way. and so the senate will be in session, potentially this weekend into next week if they don't deal with this immediately. by the end of this week. now what the democrats have proposed to do is allow this to pass on a simple majority threshold. all 50 democrats vote yes to consent to suspend the national debt limit. republicans have objected and instead say they have to go through a separate process known on capitol hill as the budget reconciliation process. now that process takes a couple of weeks.
it could tie up the senate floor. it could open up democrats to very politically charged amendments which is one reason why they don't want to go through that process. and as a result, democrats not moving forward on that, and mitch mcconnell not agreeing to allowing it to happen quickly means that there could potentially be no resolution on this issue. mcconnell sending a letter to joe biden warning the president to work with his own party, telling the president to avoid what he's calling sleepwalking into an avoidable catastrophe. so as the rhetoric on that issue picks up, kate, also the other major issue facing democrats -- how to deal with the president's infrastructure package and his larger expansion of the social safety net. that is an issue between democrats trying to fight among themselves, trying to resolve this. at the moment, democratic leaders have set an end of the month deadline to resolve those differences, move that $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, and the larger social safety net plan in which there are substantial differences among progressives and moderates about what that looks like and just
yesterday, the head of the progressive caucus warned joe manchin, moderates who want to bring down the price tag to $1.5 trillion. >> that's not going to happen. so it's -- >> why won't it add up to that number? >> that's too small to get our priorities in. it's going to be somewhere between $1.5 and $3.5, and i think the white house is working on that right now. >> reporter: that's a huge difference. $1.5 to $3.5 trillion. but also so many difference in between about the key policy details of what that larger package will look like. but chuck schumer wants a deal, as he said to his colleagues today, in a, quote, matter of days on that. so kate, can they get a deal on that as well as avoid a debt default? so many questions here as we reach yet another pivotal time for the biden agenda. kate? >> absolutely. thank you so much for that. we're about to hear from president biden speaking about the debt ceiling. we will bring you that when he begins. that could begin any minute now. in the meantime, joining me is
democratic congressman jared hoffman, member of the house progressive caucus, for more on this. thank you for being here. do you agree that the end point of these talks will land somewhere between $3.5 trillion -- below $3.5 trillion and above $1.5 trillion? >> i do, but i also think there's too much obsession about these numbers, and i hope we focus a lot more on the content, what's behind them, what are we doing in terms of transforming people's lives. >> that's a great point. the key question will remain what gets cut and what gets included to get a deal done. if it has to come down from the top, the most expansive version of the spending bill that you would like to see, if it has to come down from that, what do you think? what gets cut? what are you comfortable with? >> there are some things that we can do creatively. for example, the duration of some of these programs and
benefits. that will affect the top line. but we think it's important to get them in place because people need them. and i think once we have them, once, you know, moms are able to get back in the work force because they've got childcare, for example, once we've got an extended child tax credit that lifts children out of poverty, we're not going to want to go backward. >> stephanie murphy, one of the moderate house democrats who's been pushing to untie, if you will, these two bills, pass the infrastructure bill now while continuing to work on this broader bill. she put out a statement that may cut to the core of what is going on here. she put this out -- it's a sad day -- a sad day for our nation when a few members of congress block much-needed results for the american people, not because they oppose the bill before them but because they don't trust members of their own party. trust. trust. that's what this seems to be coming down to as i've been -- we've been watching this.
do you not trust members like congresswoman murphy that you can vote on infrastructure now and still get the bigger spending bill that you care so much about? >> that's not how i would frame it. i will say this -- i think it doesn't help trust when you take a package that came to us from the senate with the president and just about all the democratic senators making it clear this is a deal, they go together, and you try to break it apart and take what you believe is the easier vote out of order, take it first and leave the second bill, the more important one for most of us, quite honestly, leave it hanging on a separate track. that doesn't build trust. so we're in a better place now. i think we've politically functionally recoupled these two bills. that's where it needs to stay. and we need to go forward on that basis. >> and there is, as we've been discussing and will continue, a real policy debate here, philosophical differences on
priorities among them. there's also a question about tactics. there's video this weekend of some young activists in arizona, congressman, following senator kyrsten sinema into a bathroom to confront her about what -- about their desires to see the bigger spending bill passed. you may agree with these constituents on what they want to see happen with this bigger bill. how do you feel about following lawmakers into bathrooms with cameras rolling? >> kate, i don't condone the over-the-top type of tactics, but i do think they need to show up and make their voices heard. there's a way to do that, and frankly i think the calls for accountability for responsibility from certain u.s. senators are only going to grow louder. but they need stay, you know, within the rails. >> and in terms of just the deadlines, as we've seen in the last week, there seems to be no hard deadline in what you all are working on. when do you think this needs to
get done, or it doesn't get done at all? like what's your deadline? schumer's saying he needs -- there needs to be a deal in days, but we've blown past self-imposed deadlines already. >> we certainly fleneed pressur. the pressure of the last week led to a lot of progress. we frankly drew out those two u.s. senators and made more progress in a couple days than we had made in a couple months in terms of getting them to show their cards and trying to get this deal over the finish line. so i'm fine with pressure. what we don't need, though, are arbitrary, self-imposed deadlines that, you know, end up dividing us and creating unnecessary drama. so look, we've got there august -- october 31st expiration of the short-term transportation extension. that is not a hard deadline. we can extend it again. but i think it's okay to treat it as a goal and to try to bring
this thing home within that time frame. >> well -- let's see if it becomes a heard and fast goal the closer we get to that date. thank you for coming on, congressman. >> thanks for having me. coming up next, the supreme court back in session. it could be a blockbuster term for the high court. the consequential cases before the justices, the major changes that could come for americans from coast to coast. what could be coming out of that building this term. we'll get to that after this. your new pharmacy is here. and here. and here, too. it's here to help you save time and money and trips to the pharmacy. it's here to get you the medication you need when you need it. who knew it could be this easy? your new pharmacy is amazon pharmacy.
president biden about to speak about the debt ceiling. let's listen in. >> what we need today to raise the debt limit and why the republicans in congress -- what they're doing today is so reckless and dangerous in my view. raising the debt limit comes down to paying what we already owe. what has already been acquired. not anything new. it starts with a simple truth -- the united states is a nation that pays its bills and always has from its inception. we have never defaulted. what we pay for is for it to keep us a great nation. social security benefits for seniors. salaries for brave service members and benefits for veterans and other financial obligations for our people and for our nation. we're able to meet these obligations based on the revenue we receive from taxes and based on our ability to borrow when
needed. and in that case, we're able to borrow because we always pay our debt. we always pay what we owe. we've never failed. that's america. that's who we are. that's what's called for. it's called full faith and credit of the united states. it's rock solid, it's the best in the world. but here's the deal -- there's a cap on what we can borrow called the debt limit. and only congress can raise or lower that debt limit, so let me be really clear. this is really important to know. raising the debt limit is about paying off our old debts. there's nothing to do with any new spending being considered. it has nothing to do with my plan for infrastructure or building back better, zero, zero. both of which i might add are paid for. so if we're going to make good on what's already been approved
by previous congresses and previous presidents and parties, we have to pay for it. social security benefits, the american people are promised salaries for service men and women, benefits for veterans. we're going to have to raise the debt limit if we're going to meet those obligations. and raising the debt limit is usually a bipartisan undertaking. and it should be. that's what is not happening today. the reason we have to raise the debt limit is in part because of the reckless tax and spending policies under the previous trump administration. in four years, they incurred nearly $8 trillion, in four years, $8 trillion in additional debt and bills we have to now pay off. that's more than a quarter of the entire debt incurred now outstanding after more than 200 years. and republicans in congress
raised the debt three times when donald trump was president, and each time with democrats' support. but now they won't raise it even though they're responsible for more than $8 trillion in bills incurred in four years under the previous administration. that's what we'd be paying off. they won't raise it even though defaulting on the debt would lead to self-inflicted wound that takes our economy over a cliff and risks jobs and retirement savings, social security benefits, salaries for service members, benefits for veterans, and so much more. a failure to raise the debt limit will call into question congress' willingness to meet our obligations that we've already incurred, not new ones, we've already incurred. this is going to undermine the safety of u.s. treasury securities and will threaten the reserve status of the dollar as the world's currency, that the
world relies on. the american credit rating will be downgraded, interest rates will rise for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and borrowing. folks watching at home, you should know they won't vote to raise the debt limit to cover their own spending. democrats voted with them to cover that spending the last four years, previous four years. they say democrats should do it alone. but then they're threatening to use a procedural power called the filibuster, meaning that we'd have to get 60 votes, not 50 votes, to increase the debt limit. this would block the democrats from meeting their obligations and responsibilities to prevent congress from raising the debt limit. so let's be clear. not only are republicans refusing to do their job. they're threatening to abuse the
power, their power, to prevent us from doing our job, saving the economy from a catastrophic event. i think, quite frankly, it is hypocritical, dangerous, and disgraceful. their obstruction and irresponsibility knows absolutely no bounds, excuse me, especially as we're clawing our way out of this pandemic. democrats will meet our responsibility and obligation to this country. we're not expecting republicans to do their part. they made that clear from the beginning. we tried asking to no avail. we're just asking them not to use procedural tricks to block us from doing the job that they won't do. meteor is headed to crash into our economy. democrats are willing to do all the work stopping it. republicans just have to let us do our job. just get out of the way. if you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don't destroy it. we don't have time to delay with
elaborate procedural schemes, which republicans' proposals require. scores of votes without any certainty at all, many of which have nothing to do with the debt limit at all. that's when accidents happen. in the days ahead, even before the default date, people may see the value of their retirement accounts shrink. they may see interest rates go up, which will only raise their mortgage payments and car payments. the american people, look, let's just say it this way, as soon as this week, your savings and your pocketbook could be directly impacted by this republican stunt. it's as simple as that. republicans say they will not do their part to avoid this neen needless calamity. so be it. but they need to stop playing russian roulette with the u.s. economy. it's one thing to pay our debts
already acquired. it's another to require a super majority to pay the debts already acquired. it's not right. let the democrats vote to raise the debt ceiling this week. without obstruction or further delays. democrats in the house have already passed a bill that would do that. it's sitting in the united states senate, where democrats have the votes ready to pass it. that's the only way to eliminate the uncertainty and risk that's going to harm american families and our economy. let us vote and end the mess. we've got to get this done. we must get this done. as i said, it's playing russian roulette, to play these games. we can do it this week. just get out of the way, and let us pass it. thank you. >> mr. president, senator mitch mcconnell says he has sent a letter to you explaining his view. have you seen that letter?
have you communicated with him? and how dire do you believe this is if action doesn't take place within the next few days. >> first of all, i did get a letter. i got it ten minutes before i walked in here. i've read it. i plan on talking to mitch about it. i have been down this road once before back when i was vice president. i hope we can have some intelligent and honest conversation about what he is proposing. i think the easiest way to do this, and if the republicans would not use the filibuster, would be to let us vote on what is already in the senate right now, passed by the house, to raise the debt limit. we could do that in the next several days. >> mr. president? >> mr. president? >> thank you, mr. president. you've often touted your experience in the senate, 36 years in the senate. your aides have talked about your abilities to be a closer on deals involving legislation. why were you unable, mr. president, to close the deal
with members of your own party on key parts of your legislative agenda last week? >> i was able to close the deal with 99% of my party. two, two people are still on their way. i don't think there's been a president who has been able to close deals in a position where he has only 50 votes in the senate. a bare majority in the house. it's a process. it's a process. we'll get it done. >> mr. president? >> mr. president. >> mr. president, it sounds like you're putting the blame squarely on two u.s. senators for your inability to close that deal. senator sinema and senator manchin. am i incorrect? is that who the blame lies with? >> look, i need 50 votes in the senate. i have 48. >> mr. president, leader schumer vowed not to raise the debt ceiling through the reconciliation process.
ultimately -- >> say that again. >> leader schumer won't raise the debt ceiling through the reconciliation process. ultimately, if push comes to shove and senator mcconnell does not change his position, what is more important, that position that senator schumer has or raising the debt ceiling? i also have a question for you on ethiopia. >> let's stick on the debts so we don't confuse the american people. number one, the issue of reconciliation, which is like code to the american people. what is reconciliation? there is a process that i understand the republican leader is willing to initiate, go through, that would require literally up to hundreds of votes. it's an unlimited number of votes, having nothing to do directly with the debt limit. it could be everything from ethiopia to anything else. it has nothing to do with the
debt limit. and it's fraught with all kind of danger from miscalculation. it would have to happen twice. you could literally have several hundred votes over the next number of days. everything else would come to a standstill, but you still find yourself in a situation where, at the end of the day, you may have passed something that, in fact, then has to be undone again by democrats or republicans. it is an incredibly complicated, cumbersome process. there is a simple process sitting out there. sitting at the desk in the united states senate is a bill passed by the house saying we, dem democrats, will raise the debt limit, though some voted to acquire the debt, as well. that's the way to proceed. >> if it comes down to
reconciliation or raising the debt position, which position would you take? >> i'm not going to cross that bridge unless we have to get there. >> -- genocide and why you haven't yet imposed the sanctions you authorized two weeks ago, sir? >> we'll speak to that later. >> regarding the build back better agenda, we know the figures from manchin is $1.5 trillion. senator kyrsten sinema has yet to give the number, how high she's willing to go. she says she is negotiating in good faith with the white house. what is her figure? >> i'll let her tell you that. we're in negotiations. >> is it between $1.5 trillion and $3.5 trillion? >> i'm not going to negotiate in public. >> mr. president? >> mr. president. >> sir? >> how is what the republicans are doing now any different from when you opposed raising the debt limit as a senator during the bush years? >> because we weren't calling for filibuster. we did not require 60 votes. it was a straight up and down vote.
>> mr. president, mr. president. you're talking about how you have 48 democratic votes right now. the other two have been pressured over the weekend by activists. joe manchin had people show up to his boat. senator sinema last night was chased into a restroom. do you think those tactics are crossing a line? >> i don't think they're appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody. the only people it doesn't happen to are people who have secret service standing around them. it's a part of the process. >> a lot of people are attacking immigration -- >> comments on other senators positions, but what do you think the size of the reconciliation package should be? what specific dollar figure? >> well i laid out what i thought it should be. it's not going to be that. it is going to be less. i mean, look, the legislation,
both the build back better piece as well as the infrastructure piece, are things that i wrote. these didn't come from, god love him, bernie sanders, aoc, or anybody else. i wrote them. i disagreed with medicare for all, for example. i disagreed with -- but i laid out what i thought would be important. for example, i think in the build back better program, it's required that we, in fact, have the best education available to -- i'll be speaking to this in detail tomorrow. look, here's the situation, how can we in an ever-competitive world, increasingly competitive world, how can we not meet the educational standards at least other countries are working toward? nobody is reducing the number of years they want their children to go to school, people to go to school. you heard me say it before, as my wif
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