tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 19, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
you are not welcome in their neighborhood, you are always welcome to hang out with me on my street. and we can teach matt slap the absolute worst. about the letter i. for inclusivity. bye bye now. and that's tonight's "the reidout." i'm back on monday. all in with chris hays starts now. tonight on all in. >> the build back better bill is passed. >> undenial victory for democrats and the opposition can't find the words. >> let this sink in. you are encouraging more of the -- >> tonight, why the troll caucus is already planning the to ditch kevin mcart and the foolproof way they can sell build back better in the senate. kyle rittenhouse not guilty on all counts. why this is such a dangerous
tipping point for armed violence in america. plus, another infamous claim of voter fraud goes poof. >> dead people voted in clark county. >> the jaw dropping republican plan to choke off any chance a democrat could ever win in wisconsin. all in starts now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hays. we begin with this moment. something you don't actually see a lot of this american politics. majority party with control of government passes something bold and ambitious that it truly believes in. >> the yays are 220. the nays are 213. the build back better bill is passed! [ applause ] >> yes the bill still has to pass the senate.
where a lot of the real fight will be. there's a whole host of truly ground breaking provisions in the legislation that passed this morning. first how did we get to this moment. this vote was a victory for the biden agenda and working folks in the country. and democrats in more ways than one. it came after some truly odd theet ricks from house minority leader. the top republican in the chamber. it's worth talking about who he is and how he stumbled into the top spot in his party. 2011. you remember this man. republican from ohio. sworn into speaker of the house. republicans had just decimated the democrats in the midterm. and took control of the house. writing a waiver of res sentiment and ready to take control of washington. it was his responsibility to lead his party. set the agenda. with votes keep the new caucus of inexperienced far right activists in line. baner to put it mildly was not up to the task.
i have to be honest. i'm not sure if anyone could have been. his new tea party shut down the government. refused to play ball in a number of key issues like the budget. and made his life a living hell. and caused tremendous damage to the country. by imposing -- eventually after a few years of pushing they ran him out of the job entirely. the base won. he was old news anyway. there had to be a better way. >> there is a better way. and the new team is ready to bring america back. eric canter. kevin mcar thi. paul ryan. joined by common sense conservative candidates from across the country. together, they are ready to make history. together, they are the young guns. >> that's right. republicans young guns will save you from the old guard. eric canter. paul ryan. here to rescue the party from
dispair. where'd they end up? famously canter the first and only house majority leader in history to lose his primary. who lost to a democrat. who holds to this day. and paul ryan, he fulfilled his potential. became speaker of the house 45 years old and managed to pass the wildly unpopular trump tax cuts for corporations. and the rich. but much like baner, ryan struggled to hold together a coalition and failed to accomplish any other conservative priorities like obamacare or slashing entitlements. after three years he quit. to help run fox news and bring in the sweet swoot cash. sweet sweet cash. california republican. he's the current house minority leader. who hopes to be the next speaker of house. he very well can be. unlike baner who worked up
through leadership for years. and widely respected for intellect and ran on the vice president ticket. he's just kind of there. and i got to say just based on my conversation with people on capitol hill, staffers and members. setting aside idea differences or political believes. leadership capabilities here, he's not widely believed to be one of the great strategic thinkers of the generation. not a commanding figure within the republican party. not the way nancy pelosi is. nobody expects him to strike fear in the heart of the opposition. he delivered this kind of out landish speech last night. to try as hard as he could to prove to the base that he can really bring the fire. in response to the democrats agenda. you can judge for yourself whether he succeeded. >> this isn't a republican or democrat issue. this is the safety of the nation. gas prices.
thanksgiving. a border. i was in the sixth grade, i turn on the tv, i watch jimmy carter have a sweater on and tell me to turn the heater down. mr. president come to the grocery store with me. have you eaten baby carrot? i'll lead you a secret. there's no such thing. they're big carrots they chop them and charge you more. members could be here and didn't want to change the airline ticket. and you're in puerto rico. they can vote proxy. maybe they're down there. i don't know. >> now, setting aside the skills. we should note the speech had a aspect. well known fact on both parties in washington that you want to delay the opposition key votes as much as possible. so that you can accuse them of passing their priorities in the dead of the night. except it seems as though he may have over shot the goal. he spoke for eight and a half hours. eight and a half hours of that.
i spared you. that was longer than he expected. and wrapped up around 5:00 a.m. and then the democrats just passed the bill a few hours later. just as millions of americans were waking up to hear about it on the morning news. a for effort. f for execution, congressman. as i mentioned his real goal was to impress the gop powerful troll caucus. the new wave of republicans who only organizing principle is being as antisocial as possible. they are furious he let the bipartisan infrastructure bill pass two weeks ago. even though there wasn't much he could do about it. and already smell blood in the water. congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of georgia is saying she's not sure if he's be the next speaker. mark meadows is floating trump to be the next speaker. the base doesn't want him in charge. so how did the troll caucus receive his speech? just ask one of the key players.
congressman matt gaetz of florida. >> all we heard leader speak for a great duration of time. it was like a really long death rattle. the out come was already determined as a consequence of poor leadership and poor strategy. >> not really a glowing reception. let's be clear, he has the wind at his back politically right now. in terms of impressing those people and managing them it will get worse and harder from here on out. almost certainly. congressman jeffreys from new york the chairman of the house democratic caucus. and he joins me now. congressman, there was some tense moments in your caucus. between various factions and divisions. over the last month. about the hold up on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. times leadership said we'll have a vote and it didn't happen. the votes weren't there. what is the moral sentiment among house democrats after this
morning? >> well this was great day in a great week for the american people. a great week for the country. a great week for the biden agenda. as well as the house democratic caucus. we began the week of course with president biden signing the bipartisan infrastructure agreement. it's going to create millions of good paying jobs. invest in our crumbling bridges and roads and airports. mass transit system and water system. bring about high speed internet. throughout the country. urban america, rural and in between. we ended the week by passing this transformational legislation that will also create millions of good paying jobs. cut taxes for working families. and drive down and lower costs in areas like child car care and healthcare. life saving prescription drugs. housing. higher education. and so, it's fair to say we're feeling pretty good.
because we're delivering in a meaningful way. for the american people. >> you mentioned that the tax cuts for working families. i have to ask the controversial elements of this, one of the most political hard to defend, because of negotiations in the caucus, particularly representing new jersey suburb. there's a repeal on part of the republicans tax bill which will end up effectively cutting taxes for millionaires. who live in high tax states. like new jersey and new york. and california. and people said you ran on raising taxes on the rich. you are giving them a huge tax cut in the bill. how do you defend that? >> when you look at the over all amount of revenue that's being generated, that will come from the wealthy. the well off and well connected paying their fair share. across the country. as well as additional taxes from corporations. not as high as i would have liked. we should have raised the corporate tax rate. but that doesn't appear feasible
given the dynamics in the senate. with respect to the tax cap, you are talking about often in places like new york or northern new jersey or connecticut, parts of illinois. certainly california. a high cost jurisdictions where you can have a police officer and a teacher, a nurse and firefighter, a social worker, two public employees who are middle class or maybe even solidly middle class. who the salt tax cap has put them in a worse position than they were in prior to the passage of the gop tax scam in 2017. and this was aimed directly at blue states by republicans and the bill 83% of benefits went to the wealthy 1%. i believe that we need some salt reform. and some of the public employee
unions are including the american federation of teachers. as well as the state and local and county employees. actually support this effort that we have under taken. they recognize that the republicans were trying to punish the ability of states like new york and california to raise revenue. that can then be poured into the well being of the people that we serve in the states. opposed to what happens in red states, where they raise no revenue. they don't have local income taxes. and they treat their people very differently. needless to say. >> you mention that you would have liked to see maybe the corporate rate raise and make reference to the senate. that's what looms over all this. you saying that i want you to clarify. i don't know if you can be honest. but i'll ask. are you just in suspense about whether this will be okay with
king joe manchin and cinema in the senate and sign it or do you have some sense that you are in the ballpark. otherwise, this all feels a little bit like pretend. >> yeah. my view we are in the ballpark. i believe that all 50 of the senators are operating in good faith in terms of trying to land the plane. what gives i think many of us confidence in the house, is that president biden has given us his commitment that what has been out lined in terms of the tremendous strives we will be taking for the american people, in the build back better act. will get the support of 50 senators and he will personally make sure that occurs. and we know that joe biden one is not just a man of his word. this is his agenda. he cares about advancing the build back better act and a
creature of the senate having served 30 plus years there. if anyone can get this done in the senate, it's president biden. of course in partnership with great leadership from chuck schumer. >> you're right that everyone i have talked to in the process says it's got to come from the president. he's been working hard. and it's his agenda and succeed or fail. based on that. congressman jeffreys, thank you for being with us. >> thanks, chris. i'd like to bring in the american intersurprise institute. he's written at length about congressional dysfunction. including baner and ryan years. i thought about how long you have been ringing the alarm bell about particularly this trajectory of the republican caucus. which is now sort of moved through different it retaliations into this marjorie taylor greene and gaetz. potentially being the forces that have to appease likely be joined by another dozen.
that are going to be sort of driving the caucus no matter who the leader is. i think we have seen that on display. what do you think? >> you're absolutely right. when we wrote almost ten years ago the republican party was in out liar. we called them a political party. i don't believe it's a party anymore. it's a cult. it's a cult that is now moving to glorify violence. we not only saw kevin mccarthy and the caucus almost uniformly try to protect paul go sar. who had done this horrific animation video. but kevin mccarthy said if he becomes speaker. they will give back the committee assignment. but he and marjorie taylor greene who is also basically threatened her own members or democratic members of congress even better committee assignments.
there's a new young gun and it's kyle rittenhouse. and now we have had several members say they want to offer him internships. it wouldn't surprise me they'll bring him in and celebrate him in the republican conference. this is a deterioration that is absolutely alarming. kevin mccarthy is a weak leader. he is following now the most violent and elements of the caucus. >> just to give people context. i think it's important that subsequent to the acquitle today you have the celebrating from members of the caucus. all sort of joking about how they were going to arm wrestle each other. to hire kyle rittenhouse as an intern. young man who killed two people. who took his gun illegally obtained to go to a protest where he killed two people and wounded a third. and this -- the celebration of
him is a figure by members of congress. not right wing trolls. is a despicable dark and ominous developments i have seen recently. and i have seen a lot of them. >> you know, we have seen kevin mccarthy ridiculous speech. eight and a half hours i watched three hours of it. before i gave up. i'm expecting he'll do a commercial with mike lindle on my catheter before the week is out. it's a reflection of where they are. he feels the hot breath of jim jordan on his neck. who is likely to be the alternative of the radicals in his caucus. we know as you said what mark meadows said. he's trying desperately to stay in leadership. but the fact is that the entire leadership of the party and that includes mitch mcconnell. who is a slightly more benign version is doing nothing to put
guardrails around the people who are supporting the violent insurrection. and seeing it play out outside of washington as well. including the alarming actions by robin and the leaders of the wisconsin legislature. trying to hijack the election process. it's not a party it's a cult. and we have to be utterly alarmed at the direction that this is taking. we can't survive as a country without a viable two party system. without leaders willing to stand up to this set of violent responses, and kevin mccarthy is pathetic in that respect. we're in deep deep trouble. >> yeah. the weakness wafts off mccarthy. and always has. meadows floating that trump idea. which that's -- i thought it was a troll. it's a real thing out there. i think will probably pick up. almost certainly pick up steam. it's done a variety of reasons. one of them is put pressure on mccarthy. to say, do the full maga bit or
you're out. >> and we know the strategy here. they made it overt. that what they're going to do is take control of the house. and of course if they do take control of the house, we'll see 500 -- it's going to be an attempt if the lose in 2024 to try and send the election to the house where they will almost certainly have majority of state delegations. it was so interesting to me to see it's the cult coming out again. all of those republicans members who voted for the infrastructure plan. the bipartisan infrastructure plan. all of the ones with two exceptions who voted to impeach donald trump, none of them were willing to stand up when it came to paul goeser. and willing to do anything to move in the direction. they know that they'll be
shunned and excommunicated from their own friends and constituents and donald trump. this is people caving in. it's a lack of moral courage. that is absolutely stunning. i have been around for five decades. i do republican leaders in the past. they wouldn't have responded this way. i'm sure. >> norm, as always. thank you, sir. there are literally dozens of provisions in this new bill passed by the house today. single out just one. one concrete tangible thing that will benefit tens of millions of americans if it becomes law. whether they are democrat or republican. or like trump or not. and hate joe biden or not. a good thing for all of those folks all of us, and not a single republican voted for it. that's next. (tiger) this is the dimension of imagination. ♪
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there's so much going on in the build back better bill. a welfare bill a climate bill. it's hard to get your arms around it. if you broke it up into individual bills they are pretty popular. here's an example. here's a bill that you can call the insulin price reduction act. inslee lins prices one of the prices in american life that are rightly considered indefensible and outrageous across the political spectrum. they persist. >> over the last 20 years the list price of insulin shot up 1000%. >> they can't afford the insulin they need to live.
>> they decided it's worth the risk to go to mexico dangerous city as insulin prices in the u.s. have doubled in recent years. >> so, one of the provisions in the legislation that passed earlier this morning is that finally, after years of this being a problem and people talking about doing something, insulin deductibles and copays are capped at $35 for a 30 day supply. to put that in perspective. right now the average cost a month is a staggering $590. oim joined by a reporter who has been covering the issue and the drug pricing section of the bill. extensively. senior national correspondent of the huffing ton post. you have been covering this. this is something i'm obsessed with. we have the prevalence of diabetes in the country is quite high. 10% of americans. which is high in the list of -- 35 million americans who are dealing with this. first of all. why and how did the problem get
so bad? >> as is the case with so many drugs we here in the united states pay a lot more for insulin than citizens-over other countries. because in every other country the government takes responsibility for negotiating with drug companies and saying we'll demand a fair price for drugs and work out a price with the drug company and that's what the drug sells for. we don't have that system in the united states. we don't yet. so, drug companies really have much more power to set prices as they want. and in theory, insurance companies are supposed to negotiate lower prices. but the way the system works in this country, there's a complicated set of middlemen. with back and forth rebaits and the prices don't come down that much. then finally, the drug companies have become really good at manipulating the patent system. so what they do is insulin the
usual argument for high prices is we're inventing a new breakthrough drug. this has been around for 100 years. they make improvements and add patent after patent on the ingredients and delivery system. nobody can compete and they charge what they want. >> the original developers of the insulin. 1920. that they wouldn't patent it. they sold it for a dollar. they thought it was outrageous. they update the patent to keep the ip. this is not some like -- it's not some mind blowing new development. it's a 100 year-old drug. here's the cost to manufacture. $6.16. the cost to purchase. $332. they are printing money off the backs of people who literally have no option in order to survive. >> yeah. and they have no option in order
to survive and they are responding by rationing their own care. they don't take the pills when they should. they get sick and people are dying because of this. it's a crazy thing. and yes, the inventers thought it would be greedily and wrong morally to jack up the prices and have claim on the drug. they want everybody to have it. that's not the case right now. >> this is an issue like surprise medical billing. it's not even been that partisan. you have 35 million americans with diabetic. republicans and democrats across the board got it. have to deal it. complaints about it. chuck grassly complained about it. how did it get done finally? >> it got done by sheer will. years of lobbying to push to do some kind of real prescription drug reform. two years ago when trump was
president, the house democrats under nancy pelosi worked and worked and fought with each other. they came up with a plan. when biden was elected they said we're going to do prescription drugs. it's been a fight a slog. the pharmaceutical company fought it tooth and nail. they had to make compromises. the provision on insulin. we have to see what happens in the senate. >> that's the big question. originally it was a much larger sweet of drugs the price capping was going to happen. that got witled down by the conservative members and signals from the senate. the question is, joe manchin with like his daughter who runs a big pharmacy company. is he taking the ax to this? it's so obviously the right thing morally and politically. i just -- please tell me someone is not going to ride in to kill this in the senate? >> look. the saying in washington is never bet against the drug industry.
it's gotten this far. i don't think joe manchin necessarily would be the problem. there's other senators i would worry about more. certainly there's going to be a push back. like you said this has such an obvious logic. it's so popular. so easy to sell. even conservative democrats who are usually the ones skeptical of government regulation. and see this has something that can sell to the voters. they need to sell to the voters and can so obviously do a lot of good. i do think this has a good shot. of making it all the way. again, we'll have to see. >> honestly if you can't message we took insulin from $500 to $35. get out of politics. if you can't deliver that for people. get out. that's what you're there to do. i don't care about the drug companies. whoever is writing you checks on this. this is such a clear cut win for all involved. do it. great reporting.
thank you. coming up. what the predictable and disheartening verdict in the kyle rittenhouse means for open carry laws and self-defense claims in the country. no annual fee on any discover card. cough cough sneeze sneeze... [ sneezing ] needs, plop plop fizz fizz. alka seltzer plus cold relief. dissolves quickly. instantly ready to start working. so you can bounce back fast with alka-seltzer plus. now available for fast sinus relief.
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today wisconsin jury found kyle rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. everyone though there was never a question he shot three people killing two of them. during protests in kenosha last summer. the protests which came after george floyd death and the burned stores and in response to the police shooting of another unarmed black man shot seven times in the back by a police officer. blake survived. two of the men rittenhouse shot didn't survive. their families must be mourning them even more intensely today. his parents released a statement
saying today's verdict means there's no accountability for the person who murdered our son. sends the unacceptable message armed civilians can show up and incite violence and use the danger they created to justify shooting people in the street. the out come was not surprising to people following the case and trial. it does present unnerving ideas about self-defense. writing in new york magazine if rittenhouse had a right to shoot two people in self-defense the latter had a similarly basis for shooting rittenhouse dead. put differently. once he fired his first shot he is his attackers entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other. verdict also raises real question about what open carry laws will mean for free speech and the right to peacefully assemble. that many people in kenosha were attempting to enganl in. going forward. especially in a world somebody can bring a gun to a protest. shoot three people and face to criminal repercussions.
a former prosecute and criminal defense attorney and both join me now. david let me start with you. someone who has been a lot of trials on both side. and watched this trial closely. i think the people that were watching this was a essentially the anticipated out come. what was your reaction today. what do you think of the verdict? >> i'm not surprised. this was what i expected. in terms of the verdict. i think the verdict is unjust. and it puts public safety at risk. here's the reason why, it's not just rittenhouse won, it's the way he won. he was able to claim self-defense in a circumstance where a man who was 5'3" was running at him and basic argument was because of the way he ran at me, i had to kill him. he went onto say i knew he was going it take my gun. which was strapped to his body. and he never physically touched him or his gun. and despite that, he still provailed with an argument of
self-defense. to the point you are making earlier, we were already teetering on the brink. people take assault rifles to the protest. in light of this verdict, they'll feel comfortable firing them as emotions rise. because they won't fear consequences. >> this is an example of what this is not my phrase. i use it a lot. second amendment eating the first. in some ways. if you can open carry. folks peacefully protesting and assemble. and petition. grievances from the government. it just changes everything if there's someone standing around you open carrying a weapon like that. and then can say they were scared enough to shoot and kill people. and be acquitted on that. what does that do to society? >> it does terrible things to society. in every way imaginable. obviously based on what i do
professionally. on behalf of victims across the country. i'm often out in public and protest. it makes me reconsider how i feel out in the public square. as a mother it makes me reconsider it. i think the larger implications for the ruling are exactly as you say. it's an insurrectionist view of the second amendment. that has no limit. part of the under pinning that is very upsetting about how the judge proceeded with the trial. obviously the verdict. because our change in society that we have been able to achieve, think about the civil rights movement. think about women suffrage. and antiwar protests. has relied on exercise of our first amendment right. exercise of our rights to assembly and part of the right ss premised on the right to live. the right not to be shot in our society. and a larger implication is it's
as if gun owners have super-rights. super-constitutional rights. because here, kyle rittenhouse was the one who decided who lived or died. the two people who are dead they don't get to claim self-defense. they were unarmed and dead. this is just simply a colossally concerning ruling in terms of the implication. not just for this but the supreme court case pending about permitting systems in new york and about a quarter of the states across the country. where there are systems in place to determine who should carry guns in public. the supreme court is going to determine whether all of those laws should be over turned. >> david, someone again who practiced in the criminal justice system. which is both the criminal justice system as constitute in the u.s. is inescapable in racial hireky. particular this case it came out a protest of a black man being
shot and black lives matter protest. and that was of the motivation in some ways for rittenhouse to go there. his three victims were all white. the two that died and wub survived. he was white as well. i wonder what role you saw as race playing in the context. >> to say that race played no role in the case which some people argued is saying race played no role in the murder of james reed and. court case that result frd it. of course it did. because of what's directly connected to the case. as i say that, i do think that influenced the way the prosecutor went about the case. i think the mistakes they made are so egregious. you wonder why their hearts were not in it. for example they charged him with shooting and killing under a manslaughter charge. and yet kyle rittenhouse himself confessed to a higher level offense when he took the stand. how do you explain that gap? but for the fact that the way the prosecutor bought into the defenses narrative and part of the reason why they lost the case. the way they did.
it should have been narrowed down to the basic issue of public safety and prosecutor should have taken the position, do we really want 17 year-olds running arnds with assault rifles, killing people, permanently disabling people. and putting other people at risk? that's what the case is about. the reason here that's important is because you don't change peoples minds in court. you appeal to what they already believe in. the people who go around carrying guns and claim they are concerned about safety. as a prosecution you have to say put your money where your mouth is. and hold this person accountable for compromising everyone's safety that night. resulting in two deaths. >> quickly. we have several republican members of congress falling over themselves to offer internships to rittenhouse. despicable spectacle. what message that send in the wake of the verdict? >> horrible message. this is really about armed vigilantism. which is hugely on the rise.
when you have a situation where an individual can murder two individuals and injure a third. with no consequences. you are encouraging and inciting that across the country. we see the linkages with this with so much happening. the threat ts against public officials. the january 6th insurrection. all of these things are linked. and the targets too often are individuals of color. the linkage between white supremacy, guns and fundamental rights being put at risk are huge. >> chris brown and david thank you both. appreciate it. still ahead. one of the republicans most stories of voter fraud. just took the most perfect twist. i cannot wait to tell you. that's next. you might feel bothered by it. so talk to a urologist. because a bend in your erection
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searching high and low dpr a examples of voter fraud. looking for any excuse to under mine democracy over turn the results of the election and keep donald trump in office. one of the first stories they latched onto came out of las vegas. >> it was disbelief. it made no sense to me. >> kirk said he was surprised when he found out his wife who died in 2017 had sent in mail in ballot. >> i was surprised because she passed three years ago. i was surprised to get that. >> she died at 52 from breast cancer. her name is still on the voter roll. since everyone in the rolls got a ballot. one was sent to her. but kirk says a ballot never got to his house. >> that is pretty sickening to me. to be honest. >> sickening indeed. that sound like an awful story a grieving widower attempting to deal with the attempted fraud and became part of the trump team talking points to under mine the election results.
>> dead people voted in clark county. that is a tricky thing because obviously for the families, this is a very tragic reminder of a loss they have just recently had to go through. we have two examples that we have talked about. and want to talk about today. one is the death of rose mary. in 2017. >> nevada republican party shared the story too. the media needs to understand we are finding concrete cases of voter regulator. >> he answered the call. >> she was a loving, fun, sassy and sarcastic. beautiful. powerful. inspiring. sadly now she's gone. but her voter registration
remain. she's on the role. someone received her ballot. in the mail. and then cast it. who did this? we don't know who did it. we wish we did. we should know. it's fraud. it's a threat to our system. >> yes. it is fraud. and we should know who did this. and now we do. it was kirk hurtle himself, rose marie's husband. this week he appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to the charge of voting more than once in the same election. hurtle was expensed to probation and fined $2,000. so this case, a supposed voter fraud, turned out to be bogus, just like pretty much every other voter fraud claim the right made. that has not stopped them from trying to rig the game so that democrats cannot win again. in fact it's happening right now in wisconsin. we'll bring you those shocking details, next. details, next. ght, i'll be eatig a club sandwich with fries and a side of mayonnaise. [doorbell rings] wonderful! mayonnaise?
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all across the country, republicans are trying to take more control over elections. and working to break down some of the defenses that manage to protect us from democratic catastrophe after the 2020 election. in wisconsin, republican officials led by senator ron johnson are taking aim at the bipartisan state elections commission. according to "the new york times," they're trying to eliminate it, transferring power to republican state lawmakers and even attempting to send several of its members to jail. reid epstein brought us that great reporting in "the new york times" and he joins us now. reid, this is a great piece. what is this elections commission, who's on it, what does it do? >> chris, it's a bipartisan, six-member commission, three republicans and three democrats. it was actually created by wisconsin republicans in 2015 to replace an agency that had a little more investigatory power and teeth that republicans didn't like because they spent a lot of time investigating scott
walker, so they eliminated it and replaced it with this relatively toothless agency that does administer the state's elections. but republicans are upset at how the 2020 election went. they're upset certainly that joe biden defeated donald trump in wisconsin. but at the moment, they're angry about measures that the commissioners allowed to make voting easier during the pandemic, things like specifically allowing residents in long term care facilities and nursing homes to vote without visits from what's called a special voting deputy to come help them vote which of course wouldn't have been allowed during the pandemic when visitors weren't being allowed into nursing homes. >> right, not to editorialize, but a sensible, defensible position that they are very angry about. and i mean, the other thing is that this kind of institution, these are common. one of the things we saw in 2020 is you've got all these bipartisan, 3-3, 4-4 kind of boards that are running at an
administrative level elections all over the place that are bipartisan for a reason because they're essentially supposed to be ministerial, administrative, that are now coming under political pressure, particularly by republicans, like we're seeing in wisconsin. >> that's right. republicans in wisconsin are used to running state government. they have near super majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. and now they have a democratic governor who has vetoed much of what they have put forward in the last couple of years. and there is an enormous amount of frustration that they don't have more control over how the elections are run. and without much chance for them to change it through the normal legislative measures before the midterm elections when ron johnson and the governor's race are on the ballot, what they're trying to do is find ways to circumvent that. and what ron johnson has proposed is sort of an extraordinary legal maneuver
that is -- you know, legal scholars say it's extremely dubious, that would seize power from the elections commission and the governor and have it taken over by the legislature. >> based on what? how can you do that? >> it's based on an extremely strict reading of the constitution that says state legislatures shall select the time, place, and manner of elections for the senate and house of representatives. of course there's a supreme court ruling, there's a wisconsin supreme court ruling, that say that his argument is bogus. but stranger things have happened in wisconsin, in the decade that republicans have been in power. >> this is an important point. this is johnson saying it. the state legislature has to reassert its constitutional role, assert its constitutional responsibility to set the time, place, and manner of the election, not continue to outsource it through the wisconsin elections commission. this is a constitutional argument that was the argument that josh hawley and ted cruz are making, it's a constitutional argument that appears in one of the bush v. gore opinions, it's actually in the kennedy opinion, scalia
signs onto it, which basically says the constitution only gives to state legislatures and legislators only and they're basically they're determin determinativh -- determinative, it's part of a broader conspiracy they have developed. >> that's true. unfortunately for them, the courts have determined if legislatures have set up elections commission by statute, the only way to undo them is also by statute. that's part of the issue what have they may run into if they get to court. but we'll see. >> legally dubious. great reporting, reid epstein, out of wisconsin. thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. earlier he mentioned senator joe manchin's daughter in a
pharmaceutical company, she retired at age 49, good for her. that's "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening. >> i know that had nothing to do with me but as a 48-year-old, that hit me right here. >> that's young, that's the point. good for you, you're going to do do your thing. i'm sorry that i thought you were still running a big pharma company. >> no, no. it's totally fine. but i also have a 9:00 p.m. slot to sell you if you're interested. >> we're not going down that road in this conversation. >> in this environment, i understand. i'll call you later. >> sounds great. >> have a great weekend, my friend. all right. thanks to you at home for joining this hour. it's really good to have you here on this friday night. and what has been just an incredible, incredible news day. today, among a million other things, today for just about an hour and a half, kamala harris was the acting president of the united states.