tv Hallie Jackson Reports MSNBC October 19, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
oh, good one. move your xfinity services without breaking a sweat. xfinity makes moving easy. go online to transfer your services in about a minute. get started today. right now on msnbc reports, what could be a make or break afternoon for the biden agenda. the president along with the vice president and treasury sec a tear holding talks with a group of progressives inside the white house right now after another round of one-on-ones with key lawmakers earlier today. our team has the latest on that meeting happening now. and on another major meeting with moderates coming up later this afternoon. what we're learning as most at risk of being cut from the social safety plan. while on capitol hill, the january 6th select committee is moving its investigation into a
new phase getting ready to vote recommend holder steve bannon in contempt of congress. the committee's strongest action yet over defiance of a subpoena. plus former president trump's new lawsuit trying it to stop that committee from getting his white house records. ahead, our legal experts on where these standoffs go next. and good afternoon from washington. i'm garrett haake in for hallie jackson. here to start us off is kristen welker at the white house. leann caldwell on capitol hill, senior business correspondent stephanie rule and the congressional economic policy reporter tony rahm. so kristen, let's talk about these meetings that have been going on at the white house all day. what are we learning about the nature of these meetings? are they negotiations? are they trying to get close to a deal? where is the president in locking down support from all of these lawmakers? >> reporter: garrett, i think they are trying to get close to
a deal, but the white house press secretary was pressed repeatedly on whether the president was going to press lawmakers to come to a final dollar amount today in these meetings and she wouldn't say that that was the goal. instead, sheen continued to use that word progress. so what does progress look like. we know that it the president met with senator sinema, senator manchin separately. now he's meeting with progressives. he's going to meet with moderates later on today. the fact that all these lawmakers are not in the same room tells you everything you need to know about where they are. and where they are is they are still hashing through a number of sticking points. including the child tax credit. will there be a limit on who would be eligible for that. will the carbon tax be on the table. white house officials believe those are part of the negotiations. they do not believe a carbon tax
is on the table. so there's still a lot of disagreement and confusion about where these two different groups of the democrats would be able to find common ground and looming over all of this is the self-ism im posed deadline that has called for a deal on the reconciliation package by october 31st. i pressed jen sake on whether the white house would meet that goal. >> given that you have two separate meeting with moderates and progressives today, is the white house confident they will reach a decision by democratic leadership's self-imposed deadline? >> that's not a deadline that we have proposed. the timeline is the surface transportation bill expiring, which is important. but what our effort is and focus on is continuing to make progress. and we are getting closer to an agreement on a path forward to deliver for the american people.
>> as you know better than anyone, if congress is not working against a deadline, it's hard to see how lawmakers will actually act and get something done. so still a lot up in the air today. but the goal here and the strategy is for the president to try to turn up the heat to find common ground. >> sometimes these conversations can be more like a book club than a negotiation where we're talking about the bill they read rather than working towards locking it down. so leann, from the perspective of the lawmakers going into these miami beach metings today, are they trying to lobby the president. they can't lobby each other. we have these meetings happening separately. what are our desperate factions in the democratic party trying to get out of these meetings tonight? >> well, they are not being extremely clear about that, but what it feels like is that this is the desperate factions last chance to say what they want and put it on the table. and ultimately it feels like it's going to be president biden's decision to pull the
party together and to ultimately decide what is going to make it in this legislation. and the senate democrats just broke from their weekly closed door lunch. they said in that meeting they decide itted to come up with some sort of framework or essentially an agreement between now and the next day or two. that pushes us against the october 31st deadline that few people think is to be met for anything to pass, any sort of legislation. this is a chance for members of congress to understand what is ultimately could make it in this bill and what is going to be dropped. and senator manchin had has played a very tough negotiating hand. everyone is revolving around what he says. leafing this meeting today
hopefully we'll get some sort of sense on what is actually going to be on the table and what is still up for it debate. >> tony, that was set up nicely when it comes to these negotiations. a lot of it seems to come down what is joe manchin willing to accept and what is he not. his increasing openness about talking about things he doesn't. to be in this bill seems to be the development that has driven the progress, if you want to see it that way, on these negotiations this week. what is your reporting indicating about what else might be on the west virginia senator's chopping block this week? >> reporter: it's not just senator manchin it's also senator sinema, who did not participate in the democratic lunch. there's two ways to look at it. manchin has been pretty clear about what he does and doesn't support. he doesn't support some of the tax increases that president biden first put forward earlier this year. he doesn't support the universal
credits. he definitely does not support some of the plans that democrats have articulated on climate change including a center piece of president biden's agenda to pay the producers of power to use more clean energy sources and penalize those that don't. part of the reason we're here is because senator manchin doesn't support anything more than $1.5 trillion. even if that number does come up to something like $2 trillion as president biden has said, basically, everything has to be cut in one way or another. you really can't get a $3.5 trillion bill down to something like $2 trillion unless you're willing to slash everything in one way or another, whether it's how long the program lasts, how much money you give, how many people you serve. so this is the real difficult thing that's in front of democrats now. even if they come out with some sort of framework in the next few days, they still have to do that dirty work to figure out what's in and what's out. >> it's going to be dirty and
it's going to be tough. stephanie, you spoke with the treasury secretary before she headed into these meetings. i find her inclusion in this process fascinating. what's your understanding of her role in these talks today? >> reporter: fascinating, but she was absolutely unwilling to say what she would look to cut. she's been very clear since the beginning saying democrats have to have hard conversations and make tough decisions. she was unwilling to say what should be cut, she did say child care should be prioritized and climate change. and when i pushed her on, but how are you going to pay or it, because remember for all lawmakers, that's the pressure under explaining how this gets paid for. she insists it's covered. watch this. >> it's estimated that the tax gap, which is the difference between what we should collect under the tax laws if everyone paid what was due, and you meant
that we did collect about $7 trillion over the next decade and we're proposing more resources for the irs and an improvement in the information they have to really begin to close that tax gap and make sure that people pay the taxes that are due. >> then as the math person, you do believe that this reconciliation bill is fully paid for? >> i absolutely do. there are plenty of revenue ideas there. we'll have to decide in the negotiations what's in the final tax package. there are more than enough ways to pay for everything that will be in that package. >> and this speaks to just how dysfunctional our government is that you're looking at democrats fight to get money to fund the irs, to execute policies that already are in place. imagine if you ran a business where you have an entire department, but by the way, they
can't function. they don't have the money to do so. or the meeting at the white house where the democrats aren't even in the same room. in our real lives and our personal lives and business lives, these are things we wouldn't accept but that is what we accept from lawmakers. >> the beauty of our system. i want to bring leigh ann back in. one of the things joe biden is comfortable with is the tax increases. but wae don't have any idea if those are the things senator sinema could get behind. if this is joe manchin week, are we beginning to have a sinema week where we find out in realtime the redlines she's been talking about with the president? >> reporter: the problem with not having a senator sinema week is that she doesn't talk to the press. they are two different people who handle their negotiations in two extremely different ways. senator manchin is happy that the press follows him around and
there's always a camera in his face. senator sinema, she distracts and she says she likes people's boos instead of answering questions. and she has not been clear even with her colleagues, other than senator schumer and president biden. so while all the attention has been on senator manchin, he's willingly let system of this stuff leak out into the press where senator sinema, we don't really know on the record what she wants and her colleagues don't know what she wants as well. while there's a lot of opportunity to put pressure on senator sinema, the way she operates makes it very difficult to pin her down. that's one of the frustrations that many of her colleagues have because they are trying to go through this negotiation and move through a negotiation where some people don't know what they are it even negotiating with. >> kristen welker, that puts more on the shoulders of president biden. he has to be the one who knows what sinema wants and works on
it. and by the way, he's back on the road this week trying to sell this still in development plan. how does the white house view that balancing act? >> reporter: well, i think that it you highlight one of the challenges. first of all, the president is trying to do this full-court press. how does he sell a plan, garrett, when he doesn't know what the details are in this it plan? when they are still being hashed out. nonetheless, hes going to pennsylvania tomorrow. that's his hometown. he is going to try to make the case according to white house officials that his build back better plan will help working class people like those in it scranton with whom had he grew up. that is a part of his broader approach to try to turn up the heat on members of his own party to get some actual progress. the question is will it work. sometimes these trips have mixed results. what does yield, typically, real results is this behind the
scenes rangeling that happens in realtime. as you say, that's going to need to happen with senator sinema. he needs to know what she will and won't accept. it's also worth noting he's on the road on thursday in baltimore for a town hall meeting. >> kristen welker, great to have you back at your post. and you can catch more of stephanie's conversation with secretary yellen tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. eastern here on msnbc. joining me now is one of the lawmakers who will be attending that 4:30 meeting with president biden this afternoon. congressman bera of california. congressman, you're going goo sbo this meeting today. what are you hoping to hear from the president? who are you going to be advocating for? >> thank you for having me on. really what i'm trying to hear from the president, i'm glad he's getting involved and inviting lawmakers down to the white house, is what are the contours. climate change is incredibly important to me. what is it that we can get joe manchin to agree to. how are we going to pay for
this? it's perfectly reasonable to ask corporations to pay their fair share. what can senator sinema agree to and how do we get both these bills passed? they are both equally important. >> what do you think of this october 31st timeline based on the conversations you're having? what is the likelihood the house is ready to vote on something by the end of this month? >> all of us agree we should pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. that's the important one for surface transportation and reauthorization. that's really the october 31st deadline. i certainly would like us to at least have the contours of the build back better act. another hugely important bill. and whether we temporaily extend surface transportation funding, that's really up to what happens in this next week. but i think we can still try to get both bills passed. we may not have the act written by then. >> let me ask you about some of
the floated cuts we have been hearing about over the last couple days. the clean energy plan, the expanded child tax credit. especially if the clean energy plan goes by the wayside, what's left on the climate change part of this? you talk about climate being important to you. there are progressives on the senate side who have been banging the table saying no climate, no deal. what happens if senator manchin can't be be moved on that? >> let's see if we can get him on the carbon tax. >> he's saying no. this seems to be the challenge here. we have an irresistible force over there in the senator from west virginia. >> we have to get 50 votes in the senate, so let's figure out what he can go for. then let's see if we can't move him a little with. the kohl jobs are going to go away over time. maybe it's an investment in west virginia to retrain folks to it build more clean energy jobs,
renewable energy jobs there, putting the coal miners to work. i don't know what it will take to get the senator there, but let's go big on climate change. >> congressman, we just heard from majority leader chuck schumer on the senate side talking about this issue. i want to play a little bit of what he's been telling reporters. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> what i told our caucus is everyone is going to be disappointed in certain things, but everyone is going to be glad about certain things. and overall, getting something done of this magnitude for the american people is a huge, huge, huge accomplishment. that's what's going to move us forward and bring us together. you can't write the whole bill within the next few days, but getting a framework done, that is agreed upon by 50 senators and 218 house members, which we're getting closer to, we're not there yet, but getting closer to, and then moving both bills together is going to be what we're going to do.
>> you heard a fairly optimistic chuck schumer talking about getting a framework done on these bills. just going back to what we were talking about at the top here, how much does that it jive with what your understanding is on how close they might be a to a framework on this spending bill. >> hopefully we'll find out at 4:30 over at the white house today. i did think we can get a framework done by the 31st. if the president puts his full clout and the bully pulpit he has behind this, we can get it done whether it's passed by the 31st or not. hopefully that framework is done. i agree with senator schumer. this is a negotiation. we're not going to get everything we want. i think we can do something good for the middle class and the next generation. >> congressman bera, text me from inside that meeting. we'll keep the conversation
going while you're in there. thank you, congressman. >> thank you. and also we have some breaking news. the secretary of homeland security has tested positive for covid. dhs tells nbc news the secretary is experiencing only mild congestion adding that he's fully vaccinated and will isolate and work from home per cdc protocols and medical advice. we'll bring you any other updates as we get them. today's other big story on capitol hill. the january 6th committee about to move one step close to finding steve bannon in contempt of congress. i'm reporting on what to expect and what it could mean for other reluctant witnesses. but first, where the fbi's efforts stand at this hour to free the group of missionaries kidnapped in haiti. and a member of president biden's cabinet joins us live. the secretary is here to talk about what the federal government doing to keep covid out of schools. government doing to keep covid out of schools
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turning now to the kidnapping of 17 christian missionaries in haiti. the "wall street journal" speaking to the justice minister this morning then reporting that the gang responsible for the kidnapping has demanded $17 million for their release. nbc news reesmed to the justice minister's office for comment, but we have not heard back. the missionary its have been in captivity since saturday when gang members kidnapped them when they left an orphanage.
they are on the ground assist issing on the case. let's bring in kerry sanders. so with these reports of this huge ransom demand now, what happens next? >> reporter: well, the fbi has agents on the ground as well as members of the state it department to locket where the hostages are being held, to begin to try to get them to be released. but at the same time, to recognize that the united states does not pay ransoms. they do not pay terrorists. essentially, that's what you have here. we do know that as you noted that the amount being asked is $1 million per person, so $17 million. the haitian justice minister telling "the wall street journal" about the 16 americans, 1 of them from canada, but perhaps most disturbing is when you look at the youngest ages of those being held, the youngest is 8 months old, 3-year-old,
14-year-old, 15-year-old and sort of as the backdrop of all of this, there have been attempts in kidnappings and actually successful kidnappings and ransoms paid. five priests, two nuns and three relatives after a ransom was paid. again, at the white house, jen reiterating the united states does not negotiate with terrorists. >> that remains our policy. i can't get into too many details operationally, because that's never been in the interest of bringing people home who are being held for ransom. >> reporter: so the real challenge here is you're not negotiating. you're attempting to make contact in what is a chaotic situation in haiti to begin with, where the lines of communication where they are a fully structured government would be quite different than
the chaos that exists in haiti right now. >> you put it mildly. chaos. we're talking a about a pandemic issues there, the earthquake in august, the assassination of haiti's president in july. understanding there's a general strike this week across the country. just how difficult does the overwhelming disorder in haiti make anything the u.s. government is doing to try to free these hostages? >> reporter: not only does it make it extremely difficult to get 17 people released without paying a ransom, but at the same time, just lines of communication. the united states does not want to wind up working in concert with somebody that could hoodwink them or a player that ultimately comes back and haunts the united states for the participation. at the same time, you have the white house, which is recognizing that more haitians, these are not related to those on the island, but rather those
who have left the island and are working their way up from south america up through the gap, through central america in panama constantly flowing north trying to get to the united states. we saw that large group that arrived in del rio in texas. and many of them were deported back to haiti. as more haitians arrive here, it will be very suspect is for many to say that the biden administration is now going to deport more of those haitians who have fled their country back to haiti when somebody can't be riding town the street without being taken hostage. >> just another layer of complexity. thank you. we're also following breaking news outs of texas at this hour. a plane crash just outside of houston. look at this video. officials say all 21 people on board this plane survived. only one person injured.
the plane reportedly had trouble gaining altitude on takeoff. the faa and the ntsb are now investigating this crash. we'll jup date you when we know more. coming up, more of my sbr view with a member of the january 6th committee and his warning to others who, like steve bannon, are refusing to cooperate. >> if we get the sense they are doing a delay tactic, then we will go the route we are with steve bannon and seek prosecution. with steve bannon and seek prosecution. he is coming for me... but i'm coming for him. happy halloween michael. ♪ ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience,
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in just a few hours from now, the select committee investigating the january attack on the capitol will vote to advance contempt proceedings for a long-time trump ally steve bannon. this follows the refusal to comply with a subpoena after the committee claims he had specific knowledge about the events planned for the january insurrection. here's what adam schiff told me last night. >> the only thing i can say is our patience is very short. we want cooperation. we're not going to allow ourselves to be endlessly strung along. those who have been subpoenaed may engage with us. we hope they will. but if we get the sense they are doing it as a delay tactic, we
will go the route we are with steve bannon and seek prosecution. >> all of this just one day after former president trump filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the committee from obtaining records related to the attack on the capitol. arguing that those documents are protected under executive privilege, a claim the current administration rejects. joining me now with more is nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and live on capitol hill is national political reporter sahill capor. walk us through what we expect to see. >> reporter: a big day for this committee. i would expect the vote to be quick and unanimous. in taifr of holding steve bannon in contempt. there's no daylight in terms of the way forward to throw the book at steve bannon for refusing to comply with this subpoena, whether it's progressive members or moderate members or skpt republican like
cheney. they all agree there must be consequences. the second part, steve bannon made himself the low-hanging fruit. he's been open about his defiance. he made that clear in a letter. he's been quoted as saying the day before the insurrection all hell would break lose. he cuts a controversial profile and made himself an easy target. what happens next is the big open question. it does go to the full house of representatives and we're expecting a majority vote also in favor of advancing those contempt charges to the justice department. a u.s. attorney in washington will have the decision on whether to prosecute. everyone is going to be watching here. are they going to hit steve bannon with a fine, slap handcuffs on his wrists. you can bet hostile witnesses will be watching to see what happens to know what fate they would meet if they refuse to cooperate with this committee. this comes as multiple other individuals facing subpoenas had their deposition dates delayed from last week early on. so a big moment here in terms of
setting the template for away would happen for those who refuse to cooperate. >> pete, help us poor congressional reporters out. what will happen to steve bannon? >> under the law when the house finds him in contempt, that's referred to the justice department. the statute says the justice department shall present the matter to a grand jury. the justice department can't tell them who to prosecute. so that's the first bit. we know what's going to happen in the house. the question is what's the justice department going to do. will they refer this to a grand jury? will steve bannon will charged with contempt of congress. it is a misdemeanor to engage in contempt to congress and be fun punished up to a year in a common jail. so that's the big question. and there are a couple issues to look at here. on the one hand, the justice department has never prosecuted
anybody for contempt of congress when executive privilege has been a asserted. however, those are cases mostly involving people currently in the government. question, what about a guy like steve bannon who is not in the government and a president not in the government. secondly, executive privilege at its height, for those people who are the president's immediate advisers. the further away you get from that, the more the executive privilege claim tends to be. and there's a question of whether steve bannon can say i'm following the advice of my lawyer in good faith. those are all things that the justice department has to factor in. the attorney general is going to be testifying before the house on thursday morning. and i'm sure they will be asking him a lot of questions about the sort of factors that go into making this decision. >> that might come up. let me ask a question on another topic. the supreme court agreed to a request for adds vo indicates
and partners to take up their challenge to this abortion law in texas. what are you watching for there? >> thursday at noon is what we're all watching for. that's the due date for two responses from texas. a response to the federal government's request to the supreme court to lift the stay that would put the district court judges order back in place. that would halt enforcement. so the justice department is asking the supreme court to block sb-8 for now. texas has to respond to that by thursday. and texas also has to respond to this private lawsuit that was filed by abortion providers in texas. that's the one the supreme court acted on in september refusing to block sb-8. they want the supreme court to take the case now full up on the merits, not just the injunction issue, but to decide once and for all whether it's constitutional. and texas has a response to that on thursday. then the supreme court will decide whether they'll take the case or not.
>> it sounds like you're going to have a busy day on thursday. thank you both. coming up, the story of one florida school district where 17 employees have died of covid just since the start of the school year. plus here to talk about covid in schools, the education secretary joins us live after the break.
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year. i want to bring in cal perry who are is at that school district and spoke to one mom who is feeling the consequences of those policies. so cal, take us inside that conversation. >> reporter: yeah, it was a hard conversation to have. this is who is caught in the middle. you have the families of those folk who is are dying. in this county, 17 folks since the beginning of the year should say 12 of them did cme back to school. so 5 folks never came back. 12 died. anthony dorsey was a 24-year-old, still is a local hero. went off to play college athletics and came home to be a biology teacher. he got sick in early september and died on september 14th. i talked to his mother. one of the things she wanted to talk about is the fact that he wasn't vaccinated. take a listen. >> what was important to me was that people understood he was a teacher and he was exposed to this virus probably at school. and i wanted people to be safe.
i wanted them to understand that masks are important. because my son was at school for days before he realized he had covid, before he had his first symptoms. so he was in a classroom where people are fighting to put their children in those classrooms without masks. you can say i don't trust it, i dent want to wear a mask, i don't want to get vaccinated, but the day you watch them rush into your son's room as he codes, you will regret everything in that moment. it will change your life. >> reporter: the governor here has banned local municipalities from putting a mask mandate in place. six school districts have ignored those orders and have a mask mandate in place, but now they are being threat mpbenned by the state government.
they could lose some funding in the school district its. that's the situation not just here in florida, be but in so many states where you have republican governors who seem to be going against that traditional republican value of local control. and seem to be going against what science is telling us. the cdc, which had a recent study that said these classrooms had a three and a halftimes chance of being shut down if those students aren't masked. >> a horrible story well told. cal perry, thank you. and staying on this conversation about the physical and mental health of our students and teachers, i want to bring in the secretary of education. mr. secretary, just listening to cal's reporting here, that's the heart of your challenge, protecting the students and the teachers as everyone is trying to get back in school for this academic year. >> thank you for having me. my heart goes out to the dorsey family and what they are experiencing now is so unfortunate. and the reality is it's preventable in so many ways.
we know which mitigation strategies work to keep our students and our staff safe. mr. dorsey was a teacher. we can protect our students and our educators if we follow the mitigation strategies that we know work. and unfortunately, there are places across the country that are not and unfortunately we're dealing with lolks that i believe is preventible. >> what other steps are available to you to prevent it? what do you say governors? to try to push back on these anti-mask policies in these school districts? >> we have been working directly with superintendents that are doing the right thing, especially in florida. there's several superintendents there that chose to protect students despite whatever risks they are being threatened on. and we know that's what they are doing to keep students safe. so we're supporting our educators.
we're providing funds if funds are withheld, but we're also engaging our office for civil rights to investigate whether the civil rights of students are being denied in cases where parents are choosing to keep their children home to prevent what the dorsey family experienced. >> are you saying that you can see potentially civil rights-related lawsuits down the line? >> right, we are opening up civil rights investigations to make sure that the civil rights of students are not being violated. and we'll see where those negotiations go. but it's got ton that level of intervention, which is unfortunate. if you look across the country, in those places where they promote vaccination when you're eligible, if we look at those places that promote the mitigation strategies that have worked since march 2020 to keep our children safe, we see students going to school without interruptions. we see staff members returning to work without fear of bringing covid-19 to their loved ones.
we know what to do. it's just a matter of having the adults do their jobs and protect our children and protect our staff. >> i want to ask you about a report your department released today on a new initiative focused on student's mental health in the time of covid. what steps is the department taking to address this issue for students, plrly i think about student who is had worsening mental health issues because they stayed out of school and the stress of going back. what steps is the department taking to help these kids? >> i'm really proud of the work to put together this report that you can find on our website. it really is -- we say follow the science to safely reopen schools. let's follow the science to get the support students need. we know students have more men tall health needs now. it's something we need to take into account as we reopen schools. so this handbook provides research-based guidance, but it also provides examples across
the country. so many educators are doing a great job providing the support that the students need and we're lifting up those best practices. we know educators learn best from educators. so we're connecting that to the science. you can have access to that on our website. we want everyone to look at this resource to make sure as we reopen schools, we're building back better and ensuring that social and emotional well being and access is available to students and staff. >> it's a tough time to be a student. it's a tough time to be a teacher. it's a tough time to be a parent. thank you for joining us to talk through all these issues. >> thank you. and a quick programming note. be sure to catch a new documentary that looks at how america's educators are teaching the civil war and how some schools have vastly different interpretations of that history. it's a look inside the nation's classrooms from a slightly different perspective. civil war is available to stream now on peacock. next as the world shift was from fossil fuels, a look inside
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growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a forest [gin norway,nd] there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort. i order my groceries online now. shingles doesn't care. i keep my social distance. shingles doesn't care. i stay within my family bubble. shingles doesn't care. because if you've had chicken pox, you're already carrying the virus that causes shingles. in fact, about 1 in 3 people will develop shingles, and the risk only increases as you age. so what can protect you against shingles?
shingrix protects. now you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after vaccination with shingrix. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. talk to your pharmacist or doctor about protecting yourself with shingrix. shingles doesn't care. but we do. all week long, we're taking a deep dive into what china's growing influence means for the u.s. environmentally and economically and as the world shifts the renewable energy, bay beijing is winning a race to
secure supplies of lithium. josh letterman got a look at how the u.s. is trying to catch up by visiting the only operational lithium mine in the country. >> what are these milky blue ponds doing in the bone dry nevada desert? generating lithium. a key ingredient in lithium batteries. >> they almost look like something from a space movie. i've never really seen a color like the surface of these ponds. and you can see that the surface of it is starting to get thicker as you get closer to the edge where the water has been evaporating for in some cases, more than a year. >> around the world, we expect the demand for lithium to grow 45% a year in the next five to ten years. >> but there's a problem. this is the only place in the whole country where lithium is being extracted. it's a global race that the u.s. is losing to china. which dominates pretty much every part of the industry.
not only does china have twice as much as the u.s., but it's also where other countries send their raw lithium to be turned into batteries. that has us automakers sounding the alarm. america's only operating lithium site is here in silver peak, nevada. population 142. it's a brian operation. meaning the lithium is found in salty water underground. the lithium giant pumps the brine into these ponds where it dries out in the scorching nevada sun, leaving behind concentrated lithium. the race is on to build new u.s. lithium mines in places like nevada. pioneer plans to mine rock here and soak it in sulfuric acid. this is how they discovered lithium here. these white rocks contain
lithium and boron and the engineers here say there's enough all over this area to quadruple u.s. production of lithium. but lithium mining is controversial. most operations use lot of ground water and toxic chemicals. new mines face opposition from groups that say they could threaten wildlife and endangered plants. but as the world trades fossil fuels for renewable energy, we need more rechargeable batteries to store that power. >> if you could point to one region of the world that's your big competitor in lithium production, what is it? >> it's absolutely china. they respect more than 70% of all the production of lithium ion cells. so for us to be sitting here like ducks waiting to be shot in a pond doesn't make any sense. >> josh joins us now.
lithium is in so much that we use every day. i think this is a fascinating story, but you touched on this in the piece. there is controversy in the environmental community about how green or not it can be as a tool in batteries or electric cars, right? >> that's right. it's interesting because we tend to think of environmentalists as a monolithic bunch, but this is a probably that really pits conservation against climate. when you talk about electric vehicles, there's no question that it is dirtier to make an electric vehicle right now than it is to build an internal come busting engine. it takes more emissions to build an ev. but then you step back and over the course of the life of that electric vehicle, it's way cleaner, obviously, because of all of the gasoline that would be used over the course of those many years that a regular car would be in use. so it's an issue of short-term pain and long-term gain.
>> fascinating give and take. thank you for bringing us this story. and thank you for watching this hour of msnbc reports. deadline white house starts after a quick break. ports. deadline white house starts after a quick break. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines, which may interact with cabenuva. serious side effects include allergic reactions post-injection reactions, liver problems,...and depression. if you have a rash and other allergic reaction symptoms, stop cabenuva and get medical help right away. tell your doctor if you have liver problems or mental health concerns, and if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy. some of the most common side effects include injection site reactions, fever, and tiredness.
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hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york today. the official beginning in the next chapter in the legal standoff between the january 6 committee and those protecting the ex-president, donald j. trump. the committee putting its money where its mouth is. expected to vote in a matter of hours to recommend contempt charges for steve bannon. bannon is defying a subpoena to turn over documents and to appear for testimony. citing donald trump's previous claims of executive privilege. the committee is making good on its vow to ensure that
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