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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 7, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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(woman) i don't want to look like this anymore. (man) what is happening to my body? (woman) why can't i lose weight? (announcer) you may be suffering from insulin resistance. measure your waist. females measuring more than 35 inches and males measuring more than 40 inches may have insulin resistance. to learn how to reverse insulin resistance and lose weight effectively, go online to once again, that's good day, everyone. from msnbc news headquarters welcome to "weekends with alex witt." democrats on capitol hill are working to ebb sure that by this time next week president biden's coronavirus relief bill will be law. the $1.9 trillion man is headed to the house for a final vote. house majority whip jim clyburn
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tells msnbc he's confident they will get it across the finish line. >> i think that the votes are there to pass what the senate has done. it doesn't mean that we're in complete hey agreement with everything they have done. certainly we wanted the $15 an hour raise in the minimum wage. we didn't get it. we're going to keep working for it. >> and to that point, the $15 minimum wage increase was not in the package passed by the senate, but the conversation today shifts towards the future of the minimum wage fight. senator joe manchin gave his view on where negotiations could go. >> we're going to go and do something because there's not one senator out of 100, not one, that does not want to raise the minimum wage, not one, and with that said we're going to make that half. you go to work every day, you should at the end of the day be above the minimum guidelines as far as the poverty guidelines. you should be above that. that should be the absolute low base. when you do it and figure the
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numbers, it comes out to $11. >> new hurdles for other major legislation just passed in the house including a sweeping voting rights bill. republican senator lindsey graham promising it won't get through the senate. >> hr-1 will come to the senate and it will die in the senate because we have the ability as long as democrats work with us to make sure you need 60 votes and not one republican is going to vote for hr-1. >> and president biden signing another executive order today, this one focused on expanding voting access to all americans. it comes as we mark the 56th anniversary of the bloody sunday march in selma, alabama. >> the legacy of the march in selma is that while nothing can stop free people from exercising their most sacred power as a citizen, there are those who will do anything they can to take that power away. >> this hour we're going to walk
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you through the highlights in the bill, what's in it besides all the things you've already heard. the minimum wage hike, of course, didn't make the relief bill so mehdi hasan will weigh in on its future. the eerie eyesore on capitol hill and why officials say it's too soon to get rid of it. welcome to you all. we'll go first to capitol hill and nbc's amanda golden. amanda, how soon could this relief bill actually get to the president's desk? >> reporter: well, alex, congressional democrats and the white house are really hoping that biden can sign this into law by the end of the week, by march 14th, the deadline when unemployment benefits are set to expire across the country but first as you noted the house needs to repass the legislation just passed in the senate yesterday. house majority leader steny hoyer announced after the bill was passed that the house will be taking up a vote on this bill on tuesday. we could expect biden to sign this into law when it happens,
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sometime before that march 14th dead hine and this comes as the verge of the bill passed is mission some elements initially passed by the house one week earlier but we do see the $14 hub stimulus checks and the $300 jobless benefits that will run until september 6th so $350 billion going towards state and local funding and millions -- billions for vaccine distribution and even more throughout we started to hear from some of the senators that were involved in this marathon voter rama. as they made their rounds on the sunday shows, is senator joe manchin held up the bill as well as john barrasso who held up the bill to do away with provisions that were not necessary. >> there was a provision added. i had no idea. they were going in a one direction and they came out in another direction and i said that's not something i can agree
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with. there's never a hill to die on and we can fix anything if we just talk to each other and negotiate. >> this was not really about coronavirus in terms of the spending. this was a liberal wish list of liberal spending just basically filled with pork. it didn't need to be this way. we passed five bipartisan coronavirus relief bills already. >> reporter: so you hear those elements of hesitation in both sides of the aisle even within the senate and also in the house as we look forward to this week, when you look to take up this legislation, once again there are those within the house that feel that it doesn't go far enough of what was passed by the senate, the progressives within the democratic caucus who feel there should be a $15 minimum wage increase seeing this version of the bill as watered down. we'll continue to track this as it makes its way through the claim per and ultimately once passing to biden's desk later this week. >> from there to nbc's monica
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alba. how is the white house responding to critics of the relief bill? >> they are saying it's hard to please everyone and the white house is saying the need was too urgent and the most important thing that this relief is going to be delivered to the american people, and crickets on the left and right can have their concerns and issues but really the president is quite pleased that what he laid out, the $1.9 trillion price tag remained intact because you'll remember for weeks, alex, he was asking republican and democratic senators hey like what would you have me cut? should schools suffer? should the vaccination efforts suffer? should small businesses not get as much money, so they are very happy with what they believe is the compromise that allows them to really stimulate the economy, get help to people in these one-time payments and then also do things that were quite ambitious and lofty like attempting to cut child poverty in half. that's something that's in the american rescue plan and this
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white house is going it ton to out to say we're not just dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but, of course, that was the chief priority for this package. we're also going to be help others in desperate need right now who have struggled more mightily but white house press secretary jen psaki did talk to some of the tweaks that were made and take a listen to what she had to say this morning with our open jonathan capehart. >> there's changes. that's democracy in action. he didn't cut the bill in half. he stayed true to his $1.9 trillion package and we're looking forward to signing it into law enforcement for the agenda moving forward. the president knows there are critics and those who disagree with him but what he's confident in is that his ideas and his vision for moving the country forward is something the american people agree with. >> reporter: and it's that popularity in polling, al, that the president will point to when he goes out and really sells this package on the road. he's going to be traveling,
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perhaps meeting with some of the republican mayors and governors who offered their support for the bill even though no republican senators backed it in the end, but it's that kind of bipartisan support that they will talk about on a local level that they think will help them make the pitch for why the $1.9 trillion price tag was so essential and we'll see the president pivot to once this gets passed and is able to sign it talk about how this works and educate the american public on some of the things in it they may not even be aware of. that will be the next phase before they start to talk about what comes next on the legislative agenda which could be florida from a, immigration, the voting lights legislation, but then you also know that from this president he has said there's also more of a recovery element, and this entire build back better agenda he has spoken to is also what's going to be paramount in the next couple of weeks. alex. >> >> monica alba, thanks so much for that. as we look ahead to
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tuesday's house vote let's take a closer look at what's in the relief bill. joining me is jonathan le mire, white house reporter with the associated press. glad to go through this with you. first of all, can you put no perspective how big a pin this is for president biden after 44 days in of course, i think it's day 47 today, maybe 46 days it was, so the partisan nature of this vote, does it dilute the victory in any way? >> the biden white house certainly doesn't think so, alex, and i think we should be clear on the top line here. it's a pretty remarkable thing that joe biden and his team proposed a $1.9 trillion relief bill and what got passed was a $1.9 trillion relief bill. from the 30,000 foot level this did not get cut or water down. of course, there were some changes. the direct payments got smaller. there are things trimmed around the edges, obviously, but this is in its heart what the white
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house wanted, and, yes, to be clear, they had hoped to have republican support. biden campaigned on the idea that he is someone who could almost be a throwback to a less partisan era in washington and touted his relationships with republicans in the senate. they courted republicans at the white house. the president was on the phone. they wanted this to be a bipartisan bill. it didn't happen that way, but it still got passed. it's still done and barring something completely unexpected this week will go into law. that's a huge win for this white house. they are glad to get it and believe it gives them momentum going forward. >> some. highlights. first up to the two most urgent unemployment assistance, the unemployment benefit extended through march 6th and also the $1,400 checks for individuals earning up to $75,000 and $150,000 for couples. how koss this compare in direct
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relief to money that's already gone out to americans? >> first of all, the key here, the white house has been signaling the idea that it had to get done now because the benefits are expiring at the end of the week and that's why they are hoping to get the president's signature on the bill in the coming days. i mean, some of the payment structure changed a little bit, you know. the threshold is lower. it's a little more targeted. it's a little less money going out than perhaps first offered, but it's still -- it's left and ambitious, and the white house is really trying to frame this. they are not backing away from the big claims here or trying to suggest this is a relief bill. they are trying to target poverty across the nation with this. those who are, of course, middle easter most impact by the ban democratic and those who have suffered because of health and the economic costs at the bottom of the nation's economic sector. they are embracing the headline and feel it's important and i'm relieved that even the minimum wage has dropped out of there.
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they have gotten cover from bernie sanders >> you mentioned poverty and democrats saying there's several measures in the bill that will reduce poverty, the higher child tax credits and income care and earned income tax credit, mortgage insurance and the like. how can republicans defend voting unanimously against this? >> it's a tough sell, particularly a party that has tried to reframe itself as sort of the party of the working class. >> yeah. >> we heard some of that in the last few days from republican senators, sort of pointing to the demographics of some of those who voted for former president trump in the last election. they can have concerns about the size of the package. you know, there are -- there are conservative reasons why oppose
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it, but i think they run the risk of opposing it because another team -- even though the there were no republican senators on board, but there were mayors and governors who backed it and also just the people. the idea that there are -- you know, the polling suggests this is a broadly popular bill with democratic and republican voters alike. >> absolutely. restaurants came out big winners here. they got $25 billion reviselation fund and up to $5 million for eligible music and they are getting $125 billion in grant money. other funds have not been distributed but these appear pretty directly focused on main street, is that right? >> it's not about the major
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corporations or the wealthy. it isp deed main street. these are two industries decimated by the pandemic. some residents have closed and some are trying to come back post-pandemic and others won't be able to about soul some -- and not to overlock. this comes at a time when there's a -- making up for all the jobs lost since the dawn of this pandemic. >> we always need to have a conversation with you. thank you so much. with the growing concern of another case surge, health officials are working dill jept i had to more people vaccinated, and with only 9% of the u.s.
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population having been inoculated. states like arizona are loosening restrictions, fully opening gyms, restaurant and other businesses. let's go to vaughan hilliard joining us from glendale, arizona. first, how is the vaccine rollout going here in arizona? >> reporter: alex, you're seeing here in arizona as well as across the country states returning to the state-run mass vaccination sites. there are now four in arizona. they are looking to add additional ones in the outer parts of the state. i want you to take a look behind the scenes here because manufacturers expect they will be able to increase supply by the next month. the question is are vaccines red. >> reporter: america's vaccine supply chase is facing its
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biggest supply chain. here in phoenix, the latest arrival via 5:30 a.m. >> you're bringing in something to help sun. >> arizona happens to be the worst in the country or it -- >> we're going to be following you with vaccine shipments. >> reporter: 7:00 a.m. into the plane of ups trucker jeremy giles. >> do you know when you have vaccine shipments? >> yes, absolutely. >> reporter: and this site charting them to the skies. inside the pfizer vaccines. >> i get to deliver this stuff that's going to save lives. >> the final stop, 8:00 a.m., phoenix municipal stadium. >> this is pfizer. >> reporter: where this walmart pharmacist starts counting.
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50 tries times 95 vials gives you 17,550 doses. that's how many folks will benefit from these boxes. >> reporter: checks the sub zero temperature required to keep dozes fresh. >> the thermometer on the inside, you'll see tracks it the whole way so it never breaks the cold chain as they call it. >> reporter: and his team also preps syringes for the thousands waiting in line. >> thanks for your help. >> arizona's governor doug doocy says the state has the manpower to get back on track, just not enough vaccine. >> what we're telling the administration we need more supply. you double the supply, we'll double the output. >> and we've got a dashboard that upsets us, what the average -- >> a vaccine's journey in the promise of a healthier virginia. >> we have seven kids and 11
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grand parents and have time with them enful joy them. >> reporter: that's what you're hearing from folks like. just this weekend they surpassed a mip string not more than 400,000 doses at this location alone. there is more data that's coming in here in the greater phoenix area though that will showing the disparities between neighborhoods, particularly in the heavily latino more disadvantaged neighborhoods of western part of phoenix. they are seeing a lower vaccination rate and these were the ones also hit hardest by covid over the last year. the governor tells me conversations are under way about bringing mobile vaccination sites directly into those neighborhoods. alex. >> yeah. that would be real good. you know what else was really good. that was a super cool package. i loved seeing all of that, the practical applications of how it
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gets from being shipped into our arms. that was real cool. thanks for bringing that e it is a dismal riddle with a depressing answer so what is 8 feet high, surrounds 20 city blocks and guarded by 5,000 national guard troops? why some say why it's too soap for the capitol hill fence to come down. it's too soap for the capitol hill fence to come down. iabetic dry skin* #1 for psoriasis symptom relief* and #1 for eczema symptom relief* gold bond champion your skin darrell's family uses gain flings now so their laundry smells more amazing than ever. isn't that the dog's towel? hey, me towel su towel. more gain scent plus oxi boost and febreze in every gain fling. with relapsing forms of ms, there's a lot to deal with. not just unpredictable relapses. all these other things too. who needs that kind of drama? kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection that may help you put this rms drama in its place.
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the latest investigation on the capitol riots. tomorrow retired began honore and the task force will present their recommendations to congress as the fbi and its review of the electronic communications between members of congress and far right extremists in the days leading up to the capitol riot are being scrutinized. also former. trump official federica klein is hoped to be moving to a holing cell that he says isn't infested with cockroaches, and capitol hill police are still waiting for a response to have their request stay in national guard
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for at least two more months. >> we really can't keep being afraid, you know, in our own capitol of our own people, so i think some of this is approaching being overdone. >> january 6th was not an isolated event. the problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now, and it's not going away anytime soon. >> the first two months of 2021 there's been over a 90% increase in threats to members compared to the same period last year. >> we expect anti-government and anti-authority violent extremists will most likely present the most dangerous critical threats in 2021 and into 2022. >> joining me now is clint watts, distinguished research fellow at the foreign policy research institute. what are you expecting to hear
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from general honore's review tomorrow? >> i think he'll essentially address the fact that there was probably no real good way to deploy force to the capitol. what's been consistent with all of this is that the folks at the capitol didn't have enough intelligence. when you heard fbi director wray and, know, the rest of the fbi briefings came out that there was some warning, that they had distributed information, i think what we're finding is a breakdown in terms of information flows and our ability to rapidly deploy force and there's a balance at the capitol in particular about leaving it open to the public and also making sure that officials are secure. the there's a boundary list which would lead to a quick
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reaction force in the report which allows capitol police to lev force as need. this is more similar to what you see in new york city. the nypd they have groups that can be deployed and can move very nimbly. they have sensors and cameras, a risk steel, as you would say, and it's interesting that that's a similar approach that began honore's report will be looking for tomorrow. >> when you say there's no real way to raped response, when i think of the capitol hill police for their first pleas begging for help, three hours hand 19 minutes later that gets approved in the trumping if p pentagon, i don't understand how it took so long. educate me. why did it take so long. it seems outrageous. >> i think the big elephant in the room in all of these discussions is because the president was the one pointing. he was the one pointing the direction to the capitol that day and at the same point part of that i think hesitation that you saw from the department of
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the defense said was they had gone out of their way since the george floyd protest when general milley was out there in uniform, he and defense secretary esper get caught in the photo op over at the church. they were doing everything they could to not be seen as a tooflt president. >> let me interrupt for a secretary because when you're referring to the lafayette square event. how quickly was the national guard, is were c from the white house to st. john's episcopal chu and take that picture. that happened just like that. >> the president is the one in charm of the district of columbia and he's the one that controls the force, so what was consistent two the fall, if you had heard, remember secretary esper probably part of the reason he was fired was he was in disagreement with the involvement or politicization of the military, particularly around the election.
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the secretary of defense trying to balance the military being used as a tool for the president, one. lead conspiracies the night before is that the military would step in and declare marshall law so that president trump could stay in power for another term. i'm sure that was weighing on the minds of the military people who were assessing the situation and probably saying we don't want to be seen as confirming the conspiracy by showing up there that day. i think it's all sort of backrash from how the president abused his power and politicized the military going all the way back, by the way, to 2018. remember when he deployed military force to the border on an imagine caravan to drum up this sort of these their there were lots of immigrants that would storm across the bothered and we need to deploy the military so i think whether it's politicization of the military, politicization of law enforcement, this creates weaknesses in the system where they don't really react the way they need them to react. >> how long do you think the
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fence and the presence of 5,000 national guard troops there now will have to remain on capitol hill? >> i think within the next few weeks, unless there is a strong intelligence signal. it seems like they had one last week around march 4 had. you knew that and could see it in social media. qanon circles were discussing it an unless there's strong intelligence for it i think there's going to be a time here the next few weeks where they need to go and remove that. for several reasons. one, what do we need our national guard for right now? deploying the vaccine. the segment right before. that's what we need them for. west virginia is one that has made great gains using it and the other part is the targets will essentially open up as the pandemic ends and the months warm and director wray spoke to this last week is what happened when there's large-scale targets around the country and we still have angry people that are trying to attack fellow americans here in the homeland. >> sobering note on which to end
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that. clint watts, good to talk with you. thank you so much. coming up next, what do the dr. suess/gop fallacy, mask burning and greta this upberg all have in common? we'll hear about all those topics next. n common we'll hear about all those topics next. (man) how hot is the diablo chili? (waitress) well, you've got to sign a waiver. [loud laughter] (woman) is this even a road? (man) yeah. (woman) so what should we do second? (vo male) the subaru forester. the most adventurous forester ever. (vo female) get 0% for 63 months on select new 2021 models. now through march 31st. you're clearly someone who takes care of yourself. so why wait to screen for colon cancer? because when caught in early stages, it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk
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see yourself. welcome back to the mirror. and know you're not alone. because this... come on jesse, one more! a reflection of an unstoppable community. in the mirror. do you like being the most powerful member of congress, the swing vote in a 50-50 senate. do you like that, sir? >> no, i do not, and i did not lobby for this, did not seek it out. the bottom line is i am who i am and i've always been that person that tries to find the middle of common sense. >> senator joe manchin defending his role in the senate after a $1.9 trillion covid package was pass. among changes he played a role in playing was narrowing the income eligibility for stimulus checks and also reducing the unlimit benefits to $300 per
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week. joining knee now is mehdi hasa. the with a big welcome, i want to start with your reaction to joe manchin today. he says that the amendments made the bill more balanced, more targeted. the do you agree with that. do you think these were changes necessary to get the bill over the finish line in a win? >> i mean, they were necessary to get it over the finish line because joe manchin made those his condition and they needed joe manchin's vote because it's as 50-50 senate. they shouldn't have been the provisions. there were eight democratic senators who vote against the
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minimum wage in my view including kirstyn sinema with the downward thumb. on manchin's point about the minimum wage, this idea he was on the sunday showing, saying $11 is fine with me. we don't need 7.25 which is what it was and-11 should be enough to avoid poverty which is an absurd statement for someone who is report reportedly $7 million, $8 million. you live on $11 an hour and tell us whether that's a poverty wage. $15 is the compromise. if the minimum wage had tracked with productivity growth it would actually be worth $24 an hour today so 15 is the compromise. for him not to go to 15 i think it's outrageous and moving the $400 unemployment to $300 a week, what does it achieve? how do these people sleep at night? did he cut $100 from unemployed people's income? >> yeah. >> i find the whole thing distasteful. >> i spend so many hours wondering how many of our lawmakers sleep soundly at night. y will meet ask what he said
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when posed the question do you like this power? he said, no, no, no, do you want that. i mean, what lawmaker don't want that power. we're talking about joe manchin elevating his profile in ways that greatly exceed what we've done recently. >> i mean, just think about what happened on friday, alex. i believe it was the longest amendment process in senate history or some such stat about how much he dragged out the process from friday morning to friday late night. just to be clear to your viewers. in order to most timeline on when the $400 or $300 unemployment boost would end, whether it would be the end of september or the beginning of september, real, that's what he dragged it up and that's not someone who lights idea of having power. don't forgot that he's part of the problem in our politics in that he fetishizes the negotiation process. a lot of politicians who are obsessed with process. oh, well, we had this negotiation. we reached out to our friends.
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voters don't care about process. voters want results. nobody cares how they got the $14 hubachek or how they got the $300 or $400 unemployment. they just want it done fast and we waste a lot of time in washington obsessing over bipartisanship. with the republican it's pointless. not a single republican in the house or senate voted for a bill that hats support of what, 70%, 75% of the american public. that tells you everything you need to know about our police, our democracy and the pointlessness of bipartisanship. >> yeah, you mentioned the $15 federal minimum wage increase being left out of the bill. i want to go back to what happened on your inaugural show on msnbc when you spoke with congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. here's what she had to say about that. take a listen, everybody. >> override the parliamentarian or eliminate the filibuster. those are the only two paths that we have in order to actually create substantive change in the united states, and
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that is what people in the country sent us here to do. >> medi, does aoc take a stand against the changes, do you think progressives will refuse, hold up the bill? that's what he did in the senate? >> yeah. that's a great question. i don't think they will hold up the bill because i think it is -- let's not forgot the big picture. even without the $15 minimum wage. it is a massively important vital big bill being described rightly in my view as one of the most progressive laws in modern american history. that's how bernie sanders has described. it has a lot of good things so i don't think progressives will hold it up. look, that fight has to be had. kirstyn sinema 2014 said it's a no-brainer, raise the minimum wage. her tweet is still up and on friday she did this ridiculous performtive thumbs down to it. people need help right new and joe manchin's west virginia, a quarter million a people are working on less than $15 and in arizona almost a million people, almost 900,000 people are working less than $15 an hour.
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in their own states it's a popular bill so democrats need to put pressure on the holdouts to back a $15 minimum wage and joe biden need to weigh in and win this vote because 2022 mid terms will be upon us quickly and they can't go to the country and say we didn't give you $15 because of the parliamentarian. that just won't work. >> so besides voting unanimously against the american rescue plan another thing that the republicans seem to be obsessed with lately is dr. suess. in the latest chapter in the cancel culture controversial, you see house leader kevin mccarthy getting a lot of backlash for posting this video of himself reading "green eggs and ham." let's remind folks that that's one of the books that the publisher decided to stop printing because of racist imagery. what is all this outrage about? >> it's such bad faith behavior from an already bad faith party. as you point out, key fact, six books being withdrawn from anti-chinese and anti-african
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imagery from the past, not "green eggs and ham." what's so fascinating is fox news and republicans have been obsessing about this while many americans are hurting needing a covid relief bill and they aren't even upset about it. they won't talk about what's in the books being withdrawn because they know it's indefensible and racist. i'll make a charge, kevin mccarthy comes on alex's show or my show and read from the books that are actually being withdrawn. hold those books up and defend those images, i dare you. >> okay. let's see if he takes up that dare. how about what's happening on your show tonight. you're going to interview greta thunberg. what are you going to discuss with her? >> so, greta thunberg is just an amazing person. she has inspired millions of people around the world, adult and children, to take on the most serious issue of our time, existential threat of climate change and the real interesting topic is not just to talk to her about joe biden's agenda but the
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big question is how do you inspire the next generation? how do you produce a child like greta this unbhoerg can actually inspire the war? one person can make a difference. we live in such a cynical world where you think i can't do anything, i'm powerless and i don't have a platform like those on tv. greta thunberg is an innings operation in terms of reminding us the power of single person with passion and focus so that's really the focus of the conversation tonight. >> yeah. can i just pick up on being a parent. it must be in the dna in my family to be a fan of yours because my son is watching hemp's going to kill me but while we were talking he sent a text saying preach, medi, on that minimum wage issue. >> thanks. >> he's a big fan. >> get medi's interviews with greta thunberg tonight at 8:00 eastern on msnbc and watch his show weeknights at 7:00 p.m. eastern on the peacock streaming channel the choice.
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(announcer) and offer the best in entertainment like disney+, hulu, and espn+, with a galaxy s21+ 5g when you buy one. only from verizon. are. new today. president biden is set to sign an executive order aimed at leveraging federal resources to expand access to investigate. it comes on the 56th anniversary of bloody when 600 peaceful protesters marched across the edmund pettus bridge in sell alabama. they were led by the late congressman john lewis urging for the passage of the voting rights act before being met with violence from white police officers. the president this morning noting now even half a century later despite all the progress made the fight for voting rights for all americans is still an ongoing bat. >> the legacy of the march in selma is that while nothing can stop free people from exercise their most sacred power as a
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citizen, there are those who will do anything they can to take that power away. >> joining me now congresswoman terry sewal, a democrat from alabama. the from selma specifically. that's home. >> reporter: it's home. welcome to my hometown. today is the 56th anniversary of the bloody sunday and the temerity and audacity of ordinary americans standing up and making our country live up to its ideals of equality and justice for all. it's been bittersweet day for me. it is the first time in my lifetime that john lewis has not been here on this day. you know, john and those food soldiers would come back year after year after year. i'm not only in my hometown of selma, but i'm also a lifelong member of the historic brown chapel ame church here in selma. so as a little child singing in
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the choir i would see c.t. vivian, joseph lorry, john lewis and coretta scott king, and now one by one they are all disappearing and i think it's really important to put us who are direct beneficiaries of the movement to pick up their baton and carry it on. >> look, they are disappearing, but as you said, there's you, and you are definitely perpetuating this fight, this struggle. you mentioned john lewis. i want to take a listen to something he said in 2015 at the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. take a listen to this. >> people often ask me why do you come back? what purpose does it serve? we come to selma to be renewed. we come to be inspired. we come to be reminded that we must do the work that justice and equality calls us to do. >> if he were here today, what do you think his message would
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be? >> i think his message would be the same message, that we must never give up. we must never give in. we must keep our eyes on the prize. you know, i never thought that the cause for which john lewis and jozefia williams bludgeoned on a bridge as john would say, you know, he shed a little blood on the bridge in selma for the equal right to vote but i never thought i would 56 years later be the member of congress representing selma, alabama, and now their cause is my cause, too. congressional action is what is required in order to put the full enforcement provisions back into the vra, so all battles have become new again, and i think that it's important that those tactics, those same strategies that we exercise them now today. it's ordinary -- rarely does change happen in the halves congress without grassroots activism. ordinary americans demanding their fundamental right to vote. we saw that when you do give
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people access they come out and they vote as john would say like they have never voted before. who would have ever thought we'd have two democratic senators from the state of georgia. >> georgia, yeah. >> it gives me hope that the south will indeed rise again, and this time be a shade of blue. >> indeed. how much hope do you have around the house this week having passed hr-1, that sweeping voting rights bill, but there's an uphill battle in the senate. republicans overwhelmingly opposing it. are you confident that it will pass in an equally divided senate? >> you know, we have to once again take to the streets and call our senators and make sure hr-1 for the people, which passed the house last week, and that it gets to the floor of the senate and it votes numbers up. i'll be introducing later this year the hr-4, the john robert lewis voting rights advancement act. hr-4 among with hr-1 would truly
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give equal access to the ballot box for all americans and it's really important on this day that we report legacy of john lewis, but we can do something about that legacy. we can be renewed, as he said, and rededicaterededicate oursel cause for which he and those freedom fighters, those foot soldiers march, and that is for equality and justice for all. >> yeah. before i let you go i do want to ask you about the covid relief bill that just passed through the senate yesterday. i know you'll be voting on it tuesday. are you satisfied with the final bill? do you expect it to pass without any big surprises? >> i hope so. listen, i obviously voted for it out of the house with the $15 minimum wage. we in alabama deserve a livable wage. the only way that minimum wage rises in states like alabama is if the federal minimum wage is raised. i obviously would have wanted $400 for the unemployment benefits, but you know what, it's still a $1.9 trillion
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rescue plan for america. it will put, you know, vaccinations in the arms of americans, it will help us reopen our schools safely, and most importantly it will put money in the pockets of needy americans. i'm so excited about the opportunity on tuesday to vote for this bill and getting it to president biden for his signature. he made a promise to the american people, and we're going to fulfill that promise. >> i'm very happy to have had this opportunity to speak with you. congresswoman terri sewell. thank you very much. from the beaches of florida to the bike week in daytona, people are encouraged to take precautions during the pandemic but what if they don't during spring break? but what if they d spring break the calming scent of lavender by downy infusions calm. laundry isn't done until it's done with downy.
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there is now a total of five women raising accusations. all have told their stories and the governor is continuing to deny all the allegations. let's go to cory kauffman joining us. we talk about this breaking news. what all has the governor just said? >> reporter: yeah, alex, governor cuomo in this phone call that he just held with press continued to insist that he will not be stepping down. he says he was elected by the people of new york and not by politicians. he also urged people to wait for the results of the attorney general's investigation before not only making any judgments but before calling for any resignation. and here's how he explained it on that phone call. listen in. >> the premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic and it's -- we've always done the exact opposite. the system is based on due process. i was never aware at the time
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that miss bennett felt uncomfortable at any time when we were working together. but on the rule of do the job you are assigned to do, the attorney general is doing an investigation. that's what she does. that's how this works. let her do her investigation. she'll then issue her findings. and then everybody can comment from there. >> reporter: so as we mentioned, prior to today's previous -- today's announcement from governor cuomo, there was in the last 24 hours two women to come forward prior to the previous three accusers. now, governor cuomo's office has through multiple spokespeople also denied these recent allegations before this phone call that he got on today. nbc news has reached out to cuomo's office as well as karen
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hinton and anna liss, the two most recent accusers. we will continue to follow this story. >> okay, i appreciate that report. is there any explanation on why the governor was not on camera? that was a phone interview that he offered to the media. did they say why he was not in front of a camera? because he typically is. >> reporter: it was described as a last-minute phone call press briefing. he did not answer any questions about why he was not in front of camera and actually quickly after that explanation he had for ms. bennett and urging the investigation to continue through, he got off that call fairly quickly. it lasted only about 40 minutes, which as we know is fairly short for governor cuomo. >> cori coffin, thank you, cori. so it's a case that led to worldwide outrage last summer and now there's a last-minute ruling that could pursue the pursuit of justice. we'll have those details in our next hour. we'll have those details in our next hour. ah, honey!
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a very good day to all of you. welcome to weekends with alex witt. here's what's happening as we approach 2:00 p.m. eastern, 11:00 a.m. pacific time. we're beginning with a developing story in minneapolis. in the next hour, more protests are expected ahead of jury selection in the murder and manslaughter trial of a former police officer charged in the killing of george floyd. with the spotlight back on the city, local officials and the national guard are working to prevent a repeat of last year's
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violence. let's go out to shaquille brewster who's watching things for us. shaq, welcome. how is the city getting ready and what are you hearing from any potential demonstrators? >> reporter: well, you get a sense of the preparations behind me with those rows of fencing protecting the court house. that's of course where the proceedings will start tomorrow. beyond this, you see fencing around businesses in the downtown area as you travel throughout. not only do you see fences, you see barbed wire and concrete barriers. sometimes all three of them at once. this is all part of what the city is calling operation safety net. it's part of their process. it took months of planning to get ready for this trial that of course will gather a lot of attention. you mentioned the demonstrations. we do expect a demonstration to happen here at the courthouse a little bit later today. i was at one yesterday and in my conversations with the demonstrators, you got a sense that, yes, people are going to be watching this trial very closely, but you also got a sense that among those protesters, there's not that mu