tv PBS News Hour PBS December 21, 2020 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight. finally a deal -- congress reaches agreement on a covid financial relief package as the economy remains hobbled by the pandemic. then, getting the vaccine -- we talk with doctor fauci about the inoculation campaign and state of the virus as the holiday's -- the holidays approach. plus, a different deadly surge -- drastic societal changes brought on by the pandemic cause a sharp rise in murder rates nationwide. >> the loss of people's source of income, of their stability, of their home, ojust a sense of crisis that they're in. we've seen a dramatic irease, historic increase in the number of gun sales. judy: althat and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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judy: the stalemate is over, but the nations lawmakers are voting tonight on measures to providere financiaef to those suffering in the pandemico, fund federal government, and to address other key concerns. congressional correspondent lisa desjardins has been following it all. lisa: after weeks of slow, tortured negotiations, at the capitol, a mega-deal is on at very fack. sen. schumer: the bill today is a good bill. today is a good day. sen. thune: we have before us, at long last, a piece ofth legislatio addresses the critical needs that are out there. lisa: the final deal launches an arsenal of attempted coronavirus relief. for many americans direct checks , of $600 each. for the m unemployed $3e , each week for 10 wks. and to fight the virus, $50
billion for buying andng distribuaccine and for expanding testing and tracing across the country. y at nearl$1 trillion, the coronavirus portions alone make for one of the largest single-issue spending bills in but added to the must-pass covid relief is a mountain of other heavyweight legislation, affecting millions. the biggest financial aid expansion for college students an entire package of significant climate and energy changes.t- and a long-souter billo end what's called surprise medical billing. all of this -- an epic 5500 pages of lawmaking -- is bound together because it is likely the last chance this congress has to pass anything, on any inpic. that includes fugovernment also in the bill. most agencies and the military are due to run out of money at midnight tonight. hence the rush to get this behemoth through quickly possibly before many, if any , members, could read it.or republican senand paul decried it as irresponsible. sen. paul: the monstrous
s ending bill presentey is not just a deficn't matter disaster, it is everything that republicans say they don't believe in.is ill is free money for everyone. lisa:do from the leaders who know what's in the bill,ndnified praiseebate over whether more relief will be needed. senateajority leader mitch mcconnell. sen. mcconnell: this is just some of the aid that will bean heading ame' way in a matter of hours. no sprawling left-wing wish list. no unconstrained bailouts for state and local government with no connection to covid needs. sen. schumer: the list could go on. reporter: whereas senate huminority leader democrat schumer railed about urgent needs in states -- which face possible government layoffs. sen. schumer: this is anem gency survival package and when we come back in january, our number one job will be to fill in the gaps left by the bill and then moving with strong federal input.
lisa: in a statement yesterday, president-elect joe biden but noted that he sees this is as "just the beginning." president trump is expected to sign the bill once the deal gets to his desk. judy: and lisa is here to walk us through what else made it into this massive bill. let's start with covid relief. tell us where people are going to see help and how it is going to work. lisa: let's run right to a graphic on this. those $600 checks will go to peoplend,iduals earning $75,000 or less, and if you have a child and you qualify, you get anothers $600. coupet $1200 if they qualify. let's talk about food health. there's a 15% increase in snap benefits. it used to be called food
stamps. that's temporary for four months. when i spoke to food banks, they say that is a massive help to them a for families in need. they do is helping now. now small businesses, the another rounds of loans that will be forgiven will go out in this program. this time they will go to businesses with fewer than 300 workers, and have lost 25% of revenue year on year. this is more tgeted than last me. those businesses will qualify for something like 2.5 months worth of payroll and business expenses. there's also's pencil -- special dispositions for museums, theaters, getting special help becausthey are among the most suffered, and not anything for state and cal governments, something debra katz wanted. unemployment -- something democrats wanted.
unemployment will run out soon, that is something democrats wanted to continue. judy: what is it here with regard to fighting the virus itself? lisa: this was a major change through negotiations, the amount of money spent directly to fight the virus jumped to $50 billion, which will be spent on buying enough vaccine as well as new testing and tracing for states.: ju and as you mention, 5500 pages, we can barely imagine th sc this thing, but give us a bigger sense of what is in here. lisa: i want to talk about education reform. there will be an incrse in polygrams, -- pell grant's. half a mlion students will alify.
also, incarcerated americans will be able to qualify. in addition, historically black cleges and institutions will be seeing loan forgiveness for capital projects, a huge help when they are shut dn during the pandemic. judy: and climate and energy, we understand the bill contains a new energy policy. lisa: it blows your mind, i'm going through all of these, but they are all important. i want to show you another graphic about this. this is important. hydrofluorocarbons will be phased out completely in this countrin 15 years in this y,counhose are some of the biggest contributors to climate pollution say scientis there is a reporting here that is interesting, looking for how much it would take to get to zero emissions by 2050.
all of these things been in ofe works, somhem for six years by senator murkowski, now getting in this bill and we expect to be passed tonight. judy: so much else we could ver, but tell us what all stands out to you here. feet tall. page bill, it is two there's a lot in the bill. tbut re is surprise medical billing, so that when you go to the her room -- emergency room, you will not get a surprise bill for thousands and thousands of dollars. thata's a problem. there's also a bill for human ntrightsbet including a u.s. consulate which would be new. all kinds ofhings. tax breaks for small breweries. there's an american women's history museum that wod be established. a museum for american latinos. it is a massiveill, basically anything almost anyone in
sngress wanted to do had t in the bill and it looks like a lot of it is in their. -- there. judy: something about israeli t peace as well middle east. so much to go through. we will ha to look at it in the days to come. lisa desjardin thank you fort staying onl week. shipments of the new moderna vaccine began arriving around the united states today. nearly six mlion doses are pected at more than 3,500 locations by the end of the week. across the atlantic, the european union approved for use, the vaccine by pfizer and bio-n-ch. but that news was all but overshadowed by fears of a possible mutation of the coronavirus. d the chans not seem to make the virus more resistant to a vaccine.
allows it to spread far more easily. train stations were jammed as people tried to get out of lond before a lockdown. and over 30 countries banned travel and flights from the u.k. the u.s. has not banned such travel yet. new york governor andrew cuomo asked why. governoryuomo: it's serious, friends. and we are on notice about it. iwhy don't we aelligently for a change? why don't we mandate testing before people get on flights oro halt fghtsthe u.k. now? many other countries have done this. judy: in california, governor gavin newsom reportetoday there are no available intensive care beds in many parts of the state. there have been half a million new cases in the state in the last two weeks.
for his part, president-elect biden t his vaccination on live tv today to help peuade the american people of its. sa all of this comes as a cdc advisory committee is recommending that front line essentiaworkers should get the next wave of vaccinations. that would include police, firefighters, teachers and grocery workers. thcommittee also recommended people 75 and older should get the vaccine in the next phe 're going to focus on some of this news with doctor anthony fauci. he's the head of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. he isr a mem the white house coronavirus task force. twelcome bathe "newshour." let me a first about this mutation getting attention. it has come out of england. how concerned should people be and is there sething thatan be done to stop it? something you want to keep your eyes on. you don't want to just blow itin
off, cer not. you have to understand though,on this cirus is an rna virus. that is the genetic makeup. o these typviruses tend to mutate a lot. most ofat the mns have no functional relevance. this one has a suggestion that it might allow the virus to spread more rapidly. we are seeking out evidence to ek or disprove that. let's make an assumption that it is making the virus more that has not been .though the -- it does not have an impactn the verlin's or the deadliest -- deadliness it doesn't seem to have any impact on the protective nature of the vaccines we ag. currently us it is something you take k seriously, youp your eyes on it, you do test and determine if there is more functional relevance than we see to
believe. judy: it is believed the current vaccines protect agast it. and we assume it is in the united states now? dr. uci: you have to make that assumption. whenom you seehing that is pretty prevalent in a place like the u.k., there are also mutations we are sriing in south . given the travel throughout the world, i would not be surprised if it's already herto when we starook for it, we are going to find it. certainly it the prevalent one -th- is not yt prevalent one. i assume we will run into it sooner or later. judy: do you think a travel ban from the u.k. is a good idea? dr. fauci: i don't think thatki of draconian approach is necessary. i think we should seriously consider the posbility of
quarantining and testing of people from the u.k. before they come into the country, but i don't think it's essential to essentially lock down travel from the u.k. seriously consider the possibility you might want to require people coming here to be tested within a period of time, you know, 24, 36 or 72 hours before they get a plane, to come to the united states. utjudy: i want to ask ahe reports over the last few days from governors and others that the first shipments of the pfizer vaccine were smaller, fewer doses than expected. the hhs secretary told t me on newshour last week that it was not the governments fault. however, general in charge of atopns for operation warp apologize and said therwas a miscommunication with the states. this happened?ow do you ink
dr. fauci: it happens, whenever you have the rollout of a big program like this, you are going to get some glitches. detailsknow exactly the of what happened in the states that were expecting more dosest d not get it, but that's one of the things that happens when you are rolling out a brand-new program like this. i would expect asa we gew more weeks into the process that mou will see it running much morehly. that happens all the time. people get used to it, they get into a groove and the distribution goes more smoothly. judy: dr. fauci, with regard to the next vaccine, the moderna vaccine, and further pfizer vaccine shipments, the panel advising the fda -- the cdc rather, is recommending it is for people 75 and older and front line essential workers we
described a minute ago. does this sounde l we heard the chairman of this panel say it was about thearde decision he's ever had to make in his career. kind of recommendao you? right dr. fauci: i believe so. as you mentioned appropriately, not easy to make.isions that are but if you look the percentage of deaths from covid-19, it is heavily weighted towardhe elderly. that is the reason to get individualer of ain age, 75 and older,o be first. you also want to make sure the infrastructu of society, the essential workers that make things run in a normal want toing society, y keep them protected because you don't want to break down normal functions. i think a balance between the elderly individuals andwhhose
who hav is called a essential jobs in society, at the end of the day, it's the right choice so i agree with that. judy:judy: i'm jumping around a little bit because there's so much we want to askbout, but there's a congressional committee today that issued a report saying they have significant findings of instances where the white house, the trump administration exerted political pressure on science, people making scientific desions, at the cdc, at the fda, at hhs. do you know of any instance where political -- where decisions were made for political reasons, either that recommendations were altered or done away with because of pressure from the white house? dr. fauci: i think whatou're talking about is issues related to the cdc. and what goes into or out of the scientific publication, which is
a very honored publication, the morbidity and mortality record. there was a person in hhs who was actually trying to influence what was said. at person is no longer there. that person has bitn removed and s now no longer a problem. judy: and that is the only stance you are aware of? dr. fauci: to my knowledge, yes. that individual person also try to make a comment about what i ould or should notay, but i completely blew that off and didn't pay any attention to him. but that person was trying to exert some influence on what went into the morbidity and mortality weekly report but appropriately,, the department got rid of that person. judy: back quickly to the vaines, president-elect joe biden had his vaccination today. it has been reported you will get a vaccination totrrow. is t true, number one? trufauci: yes, it is
[laughter] i will be vaccinat tomorrow. yes. judy:nd do you think president vaccination get a he has not had one yet as far as we know. dr. fauci: there is a reason for him t to, because he received monoclonatransfer of antibody when he was sick. that level of antibody very high in you body can interfere with the efficacyf a vaccine. so it is recommended if you do receive a passive infusion of monoclonal antibody that you tdon' get vaccinated for about 90 days. so he is still within the limit. i think sooner or later, h should ultimately get vaccinated, but the fact he's not vaccinated now i think is not ania appro. it goes along with the recommendations of when someone
should vaccinate. judy: this is christs week, so i want to ask you. i think we had a conversation before thanksgiving similar to this. what is your advice to americans who areng so much they could be around family members right now, in terms of how they should be thinking about this? i also saw that you wrote that even inside the family, people should wear masks older family members. reporter: yes -- dr. fauci: yes. this is a tough recommendation because i'm not recommending we cancel christmas. someone was tweeting that ound, saying i was trying to cancel the holidays. that's i think there is something we have to face. when you get into a holiday situation with there's a lot of avel of people from different places and you have a tendencye to congregdoors with usual, families and friends come
over, you have a big christmas dinner of 15 or 20 people, i'mju saying be careful. limit travel to the extent possible f within thmework of your family and try, when you have indoor settings like meals, that you do it with a limited number of people. you get family or a few friends with confidence that they are being careful, but not 20 or 25 size dinners you have sometimes with people that you have no connection with, just a friend a friend. you don't know where they have been, where they come from, or is. their exposure we are just asking, we are in the middle of a significant search. -- surge. if you look at the map of the country d you look at the numbers of cases where there's an increase in cases, and you look at the numbers now, we are averagingwe b 200 thousand
and 300,000 cases a day. we have between 200 and 300 deaths per day. hospitalizations are at 100 plus. situation.s in a dire they are running out of icu beds. we are in a serious situation. e despe fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines rolled out through december into january, february andd, beye still have to be careful, because there's a lot of virusut there. that's all i'm recommending. be careful during the christmas holidays and tone it down a bit. you don't have to cancel what you're doing. just tone it down a bit finally, a person question. we understand you have a ay coming up on christma eve. you are going to be how many years young? how do you plan toelrate?
where are you going to be and what will you do? dr. fauci:dr. fauci: i'm going to be doing what i recommend to the rest of the country. you asked, so i'm going to be 80 years old christmas eve. lli pend at a quiet dinner with my wife. we will do what we did over thanksgiving.i will zoom in my three daughters so we can have a chat and maybe share a glass of proce of with them and then we will -- prosecco with them, then we will have a quiet dinner. so i will practice what we have preached to thamerican public. dy: and into christmas day. ondr. anfauci, thank you very much and we wish you a safe holiday. dr. fauci: thank. same to you and your family. stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with
"newour"est. we will return to the rest of the program after these headlines. representatives has approved a $1.4 trillion government spending bill which includes $900 billion in coronavirus eight. the currently -- bill is currently in theenate. u.s. attorneneral william rr has for a second time dismissed president trump's claims of election fraud. barr spoke two days before leaving office. o said there was no basis seize voting machines -- as the president reportedly has suggested. he also rejected naming a special counsel to investigate the election. atty. gen. barr: if i thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate, i would name one. but i haven't and i'm not going to. stephanie: in addition, barr counsel to investigate the financial dealings of hunter biden, the president-elect's he said an existing federal prob the attorney general also broke
today with the president's weekend claims that china might ehind the hacking of u.s government agencies. instead, he said he agrees with other top u.s. officials that it "certainly appears the russians." this evening, treasury department staff told a senatede committee thrtment suffered a serious breach beginning in july. meanwhile, the irs said it found no evidence the agency was targeted by the heck. -- hack. sirussian opon leader alexei navalny says a government security officer has confessed to poisoning him last august. aynavalny posted a video t showing himself posing as a security chief, and getting an operative to explain that a nerve agent was planted in his underwear. the dissident then addressed his follers. >> we have pressed them to the wall. there is more than enough evidence, but i will not present them to a court, i can only present them to the russian people.
putin uses all thene tv ch and newspapers to spread his lies. our only response can be in telling the truth. stephanie: the kremlin has reatedly denied any involvement. navalny is now recuperating in germany. in germany, a court today sentenced a white supremacist gunman to life in prison for attacking a synagogue on yom kippur in 2019. judges convicted stephen balliet of murder and attempted murder -- for killing two people and wounding others, on judaism's hoitest day. he ad he had wanted to kill many more. u.back in this country, th justice department filed new charges in the 1988 bombing of pan am flight 103. at lea 259 people were killed -- including 190 americans -- when the plane was destroyed
over lockerbie, s otland, 32 yeo today. the statue of confederate general robert e. lee has been removed from the u.s. capitol. workers hauled it off its early today, after 111 years. virginia's governor called it a racist symbol, unfit to represent the state today. a statue of vil rights figure barbara johns is expected to be the replacement. still to come on the "newshour" with judy woodruff, the smoke begins to clear after the brutal war for nagorno carkhkaraba. the murder rate in the u.s. is spiking. and on politics monday, the team breaks down covid relief and what the president is not doing. announcer: announcer: thiss the "pbs newshour," from weta west from the waltnkitend in the school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: nearly three months ago, a
rmant conflict on the fringes of europe broke into brutal warfare. the former soviet republics of armenia and azerbaijan went to war again over the enclavebaf nagorno-ka, drawing in regional powers. now, after the azerbaijani victory as special correspondent n ostrovsky tells us, wi the support of the pulitzer center peace will be a hard bargaig and a warnin some images in this report may disturb viewers. reporter: earlier this month, allies reviewing the ctured spoils of a brutal war. azerbaijan's president ilham aliyev with turkish president recep tayyip erdogan on the capital, baku's main square. column after column of captured armenian weapons rolled by in a victorparade celebrate neighboring armenia's defeat, oand the capturea larger prize -- the nagorno-karabakh region.
after the latest war over karabakh ended november ninth, a a decidedly unusual, even repellent spectacle for modern europe, but thesere dark times in this corner of the continent where turkey, ru intersect. m just over th ago, armenia lost control of these areas of azerbaijan, which it held since thenend of the first war bet azeris and armenians here in 1994. now, the azerbaijani and turkish leaders' exult in their popularity. >> the famous bayraktar one, which is made by the turkish defense industry, was a gamechanger and played an important role in our success. reporter: azerbaijan's successful mility campaign was lped by turkish know-how, and drone technology; it wilo-shape the gepolitical map for years to come in this vital region russia, turkey's rival in the
theatersak as diverse as kar syria and libya, seems to have secured a place on that map. i it wield influence with armenia and azerbaijan to broker a deal that not only ended the fighting but secured a role for its military in the contested enclave in the form of peacekeeping troops. >> i have to mention mr. putin's approach. his approach made ity ossible to cais process out in a positive manner and get things to where they are. reporter: while azerbaijanis are jubilant over the return of lands long coveted, some worry the russians are there to stay. >> in my opinion, it's bad that e russian peacekeepers arrived. they should not have come. at minimum, russia is a country that helps armenia and sendspe ekeepers. if turkey came, yes, but i don't e prove of russian peacekeepers. reporter: mequently though, responses like this one when we asked residents of baku what they thought of the russian presence.
>> we trust our president. he knows everything very well. it must have been the right decision reporter armenian forces may have handed these territories back to azbaijan, but it might be a long time before civilians can come back here safely. there's hundreds of miles of frontline to de-mine. but it's not just about clearing unexploded ordnance. if civilians from both sides are to return to these areas painful steps toward reconciliation must that includes the ution of war criminals. rachel denber is a deputyhu director on rights watch. >> it's imperative for a couple of reasons. first, it's imperative as a deterrent to ensure that these crimes don't repeat to send a very strong signal to throughout the chain of command from the highest level to the lowest
level, that these that these kinds of actions will not be d.lerated, and that they will be vigorously punis but it's also it's also important for a sense of justice and a sense of security. reporter: while azerbaijan'sle er promised to govern regained territory for the benefit of both the azeri and armenian communities, his troops our sending another message. here, they chant that they will destroy armenians. and here, just a small samp of the gruesome footage that has omemerged this conflict. a soier cuts off the ear of a dead armenian fighter. ntin its war to take back l of karabakh, azerbaijan is accused of war crimes, including the beheading, mutilation and humiliation of armenian fighters and civilians, according to recent reports by both amnesty international and human rights s tch. and while armeniso standcu d of humiliating captive soldiers and killing at least
one pow, they didn't mistrt anyivilians, possibly because their troops were in the retreat. to show first and st thatrbaijan it is serious about being a just steward for everyone w will live here. for the pbs newshour, i'm simon ostrovsky, in nagorno-karabakh. juross the u.s. murders have skyrocketed this year, while nonviolent offenses have largely dropped, according to publicly available cme data. but the efforts to curb whhomicides comes at a tim police departments are facing both staffing shortages because of the pandemic and lingering following months oonwideof color protests. john yang explores what is
behind the latest trends. williamnick: -- john khalilah cs : 19 year old son wanya dreamed of becoming a journalist. in his free time, he loved playing basketball in their minneapolis neighborhood >> that is kind of how my neighborhood got to know us. i was the mother, e single mother, with five, and the boys outside playing basketball. john on october 11thcorey got : a text from wanya saying he was heading home after playing at a nearby court. it was my middle child'shd bi. he was turning 12. and later that day, we were going to celebrake at home we do. we were waiting for wayna to come. and, when he didn't come back, it was devastating. reporter: wanya had been killed in a drive-by shooting. minneapolis -- still reeling from this summer's police killing of george floyd -- has
had 80 murders so far this year, a level not seen since the 1990s. despe the uptick, the minneapolis city council voted to shift nearly from next year's $8on milolice budget. i spoke with corey, who is anio early educteacher, by skype. what do you think happened? >' i dont even know. i mean, just from what i'm hearing from, like, you know, the police. like mistaken identy. they don't have any leads. john: tragically khacorey , has felt this pain before. she grew up on chicago's west side and lost two brothers to gun violence. she says she moved hea family to mipolis six years ago in hopes of giving her children a better life. >> it's just more trauma on top of trauma, on top of trauma. and i just i don't want my kids
to live in fear. reporter: john: the 80% spike ia milis homicides this year is part of a nationwide surge in murders during the pandemic. >> we're seeing something historic here. john jeff asher is a crime : analyst in new orleans who has studied 2020 data from more than >> in those cities, murder is up about 35%, 36% this year relative to last year. which to put that in somepe peive, the largest national year to year change we've ever had is a 12.5% increase. john:, while most crime, including home burglaries and wnrobberies, has gone murder rates have risen sharply -- both in large cities like new york, chicago and seattle. and in small ones like lubbock, texas and greensboro, north carolina. l andt month, los angeles reached a grim milestone. for the first time in more than a decade, 300 homicides. >> this is a pandemic
violence. john: los angeles police chief michel mre says increased gang violence, and the effects of the pandemic has led to a 30% increase in killings in the nation's second largest city. chief moore: the loss of jobs the loss of people's source , of incom of their stability, of their home, of just a sense of crisis that they're in. we' seen a dramatic increase, historic increase in the number of gun sales. john like in many u.s. cities, : covid-19 has led to police staffing shortages and violence.d efforts to target >> we're not having meetings, social interactions and engagements that we would normally have to help stem this. we've had more than 800 of our personnel thatave come down with the virus. we have lost two of ourn employees, oneficer and one a detention officer that died as a result of this. so we know firsthand the impact of this pandemic. john: another major factor, lingering distrust beten law enforcement and communities of color after officers killed
floyd in minneapolis and breonna taylor in louisville. rev. darren faulkner: there's a seeing in the community as it pertains to law enforcement. and that didn't just start with the death of george floyd. i will say that that has definitely complicated things. further. john: reverend darren faulkner works with at-risk individuals in kansas city, missouri, which this year has set a nerd for homicides. he says manyf the people he rks with are afraid to call the police. >> fear of the police, fear to call the police. i will call 911 if i am dying. anything short of that, i'm afraid i'm going to go to jail if i call them. so, you know, that's a that's an issue that's beenstanding in the community that i serve. john: some of the biggest spikes
in homicide have been in citie l that hge protests over racial justice and police killings. in louisville, for exae le, murders 77%, in milwaukee, almost 100%. >> we have to be more speculative about the connectioe een protest activity on the one hand and community violencee onther. john criminologist ric : rosenfeld says when a community loses trust in the police, violence can follow. rosenfeld it could be that police have been redeployed to address the protest activity haom their normal routines could contribute to crime in the community, violent crime -- and it could also be communities that have had a somewhat fraught relationship with the police, in periods of protest, that relationship deteriorates further. street justice takes hold and we see an increase in violent crime. john: despite the sharp increase
in murders, the nation's violent crime rate is nowhere near its peak 30 years ago. >> there's been a big crime dro since the early with some fits 1990's and starts. and we're seeing a spike right now, but that spike, generally king, is taking cities back to where they were perhaps five years ago, five to 10 years ago. there are some exceptions of cities that are seeing crime, violent crime rates that they haven't seen in decaars. but by and, that's not the case. john: back in minneapolis, though, khalilah corey violence in her neighborhood is the worst she's ever seen. oued i'm even more sco even leave the house,now, take the kids out it's been so much because violence. so much. i feel like i'm back in chicago. john: and she says life now seems unimaginable without her oldest son. >> anytime i was sad, he would come and hold his arms out and
, say, "mom, bring it in, bring it in. and i'd be like, no, i don't want a hug. he's like, come on, i'm going to do it anyway, bring it in. and he'd hug me so tighto nd i couldn'tything. and i couldn't be angry anymore. and i couldn't think about anything except for that hug. john: another victim in a year that has been marked by so many deaths. for the "pbs newshour," i'm john yang. judy: with analysis of the politics behind the covid reli bill, the preside's continued tacks on the election results and more, we turn to our politics monday team. that's amy walter of the cook political repobl and host of radio's "politics with amy walter." and tamara keith of npr. she al co-hosts the "npr politics podcast." hello to both of you. we heard lisa desjardins lay out
a part of the 5500 page dealgr that cs is apparently coming around to passing. here were, another deadline, and i hate to be so crass as b o ask you l it down to winners and losers, but who do yous see as winnd losers here? losers are in the same camp. that's the american puic and small businesses. many of them are winters in that they are finally seeing aid that has been in the works here since earlier in the summer. they are also losers though because many of them, especiall businesses, did n survive the summer and fall when these negotiations were deadlocked. there are a couple of other political issues here that i think are important to think about. the first is that in georgia, you have the senate races.
y janu is a special election. democrats have made a case against the sitting republican y nators that were against relief and now tt to go home and say guess what? we are bringing help and money back to georgia to folks struggling in the pandemic. the other question that will be interesting is to see what it means for president-elect joe biden. the one hand, good news for him because doesn't show up on january 20 with a whole bunch of deadlock and an economy that got worse. but it also means he doesn't have the same sort of possibility to pus a stimulus bill in his first few days and e it as a vehicle to do a lot of the things he promised on the campaign trail
a good upon me -- economy and improving our will be best for president-elect biden but at the sametoime, republicans need agree to another stimus package. judy: what would you add in terms of political calculus, both in terms of the runoff and what it means for january for joe biden and what it means for people now. >> in terms of what congress is goingad to pass, ition to the covid relief, there's also an omnibus spending bill. a big budget bill that means that tre is not going to be a budget cliff in the first 100 days of joe biden's presidency.
in theory there is a bill in this covid bill because sometime unemployment benefits and others will run out and if things are not back to normal, which it is unlikely they will be, there will be another pressing moment for joe den to push for more of what he wantedecause the bill is far less than what debra katz had wanted and thought was needed. but as we learned this summer, expiringnemployment or additional benefits is not much of a cliff at all for congress. they have essentially proven they cano the air minimum at the absolute last minute, which uld be like the slogan for congress for the last several years. judy: so c weld be heading into another stalemate situation for a long time to come. >> if you look at where we could
potentially be when joe biden takes over as president, you are right, we are still waing to see who takes over the senate, but even if debra katz to -- democrats do, it will be by one vote. the people who came together to craft this, the problem solvers tant thanore i ever, that could mean more cooperation, that the folks whot are not onr side of the ideological spectrum are saying we have a lot of powernd influence, let's get together and try to do more bipartisan deals. and in president biden, they have someone who says absolutely, this is what i campaigned on, i would love to. whethethat holds true, whether we get into 21 -- when we g into 2021 and joe biden is the actual president of the midterms are around the corner, midterm elections were and we know the
house and senate are on the line, i will be curious to see how long this cooperation last. judy: it is not often we hear a foreca of people actually getting together and agreeing and passing legislation smoothly. you o can pick upn that, but i also want to turn weekly to president trump. what we've seen is not only is he still pushing the baseless conspiracy theories about the election, bute's talking abo things like seizing voting machines and declaring martial aslaw. thatoved into the area of fantasy. saying that should not happen. is this the kind of thing, are we now in territory where the people supporting- where it could hurt the supporthe has in some way? >> i'm not sure that it necessarily can really, truly
hurt the support he has, but certainly it can hurt the democracy. cit hurt the country. and at this moment, i think also for his l it could hurt his legacy and it's not clear he's thinking about his legacy -- it is clear, he's not prinking about his legacy in the same way pasidents have. many past presidents have thought of a smooth handoff as part of their legacy. president trump is in the middle of a crisis. this is a momen that with the coronavirus, he could be taking charge, but instead he showing a level of a difference while at same time tweeting conspiracy theories, undermining o o the pillars of democracy in free and fair elections. he could be working on coronavirus. this week, he could be out
promoting two vaccines and we just have not seen him in days ands d. even joe biden today said that the current admistration deserve some credit for operation warp speed, but for inexplicable reasons, president trump is not taking that victory lap. judy: contrast what we are seeing now with the president and what he'saying and what he's doing or not doing around the ndemic with how previous presidents have related to crises and moments in these -- this country. >> this will be one of these things we will be studying for quite a long time, whether a better response to covid from the very beginning would have helpedum donald's chances. i feel like we have had this conversation so many timesver the course of this presidency, when we've had such a tumultuous year and yet opinions abouthe president in some ways barely
budged, because he never changed the y he operates, and there's very little that would change people's opinion of him because it got locked in so early on in his time as predent. the thing to me that i lookt where the republican party goes post trump, what is trumpism without trump? it is what h is always fight.ich fight everything. it's not even about winning and losing, it's about never admitting when you do lose. forward is can we put othergo deals lik this together and see ncooperat? if the whole point of politics is just to fight,oure never going to end up with anything that looks like compromise. the compromise become something that only losers to. so that makes for a very difficult and dangerous place
for politics to go for the foreseeable future, which is why we will look and see, is joe biden going to be able, just by turn the temperature down, not encouraging the fighting or divisiveness, going to be able to sort of, if nothange that trajectory, at least slow it down. judy: just a very few seconds left, but we are all watching to see how the dynamics change af>>r january 20. and it is certainly worth noting theouse will be very narrowly divided, too. house members have even fewer incentives to be seen as go along, got along deal makers, bipartisanship. ehe incentives are not there for house members to bipartisan. judy: that was a big disappointment for democrats in the house. keith --tamara keith, amyra
walters, for politics monday. thank you. on the "newshour" online right now, what was the soundtrack to your year? we asked 15 writers and artists for the songs they turned to for joy and reflection. listen to our 2020 playlist on our website, pbs.org/newshour. ending the year on an up not that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. for all of us at theh"pbs news,"hank you, please stay safe and see you soon. announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> architect, beekeeper, mtor. a raymond james financl advisor tailors advice to helpve you our life. life well planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no contract wireless plans designed to help people do more of what they like.
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