- President Biden's big gamble.
- No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that's what compromises.
And that's what I ran on.
- After months of negotiations, president Biden unveils a $1.75 trillion framework for infrastructure and social policy.
Now he's hoping he will earn the support of Americans and convince Democrats on Capitol hill that it's time to make a deal and pass legislation.
- This is phenomenal progress that we've made in just three weeks, just three weeks, because the progressive caucus was bold, but we understood that in a democracy, it can get a little messy sometimes.
- And while progressives back the framework.
They're still cautious about the way forward.
Plus, president Biden heads to Europe to meet with world leaders and promote his climate agenda.
- This is Washington week.
Once again from Washington moderator Yamiche Alcindor.
- Good evening and welcome to Washington week.
Democrats are locked in a 11th hour negotiations over president Biden, sweeping spinning plans On Thursday, president Biden delayed his trip to Rome for a couple of hours to go up to Capitol hill.
There, He pressured democratic lawmakers and tried to convince them to turn the framework into law.
- Any single arm of this framework would fundamentally viewed, but would view be viewed as a fundamental change in America taking together they're truly consequential.
- The framework for the bill includes some of president Biden's campaign promises, including an expansion of the affordable care act, half a trillion dollars to fight climate change and investment and investments in childcare, elder Care, as well as universal pre-K.
But other goals like paid family leave were left out.
Still house progressives have come out in support of the framework, but on Thursday they did hold up a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan.
Even as house speaker, Nancy Pelosi pushed for a vote to happen that day.
- What we have said is all of, you know, From day one that both of these bills are limited.
I support the infrastructure bill, but I want to see a a strong build back better bill as well.
- Our trust has to be in two senators, that have not, in my opinion, been very good faith actors up until this point.
- And it's still unclear of senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will actually vote for what's in the framework.
Here's what Senator Manchin had to say - would you vote for a $1.7 trillion package.
- We have worked and we've negotiated a good, a good number that we've worked off of and we're all dealing in a good faith but a 1.72 trillion or 1.75 too high for you, No way, that was negotiated.
- Now joining me to discuss what's in what's out and where the negotiation stand.
Jonathan Lamire, political white house bureau chief, and the new host of MSNBC way too early.
Now, Jonathan, I'm so happy you stayed awake to join us from New York and congratulations on the new show And here with me in studio.
Thank you so much, Johnathan, and here in studio, Dan Balz, chief correspondent for the Washington post Ayesha Rascoe white house correspondent for NPR and Ali Vitali NBC news, Capitol hill correspondent.
This was a wild week.
Ali, I have to start with you.
You were running all through Capitol hill.
I saw you all week.
What's the latest this hour, where do things stand?
Are there the votes by, with Democrat to get this through, to make this framework a law.
- Even in all of our sprinting from Joe mansion's car, back to the speaker's office and all throughout the halls of Congress, it's clear that there's the will to get this done, but it's really just a question at this point of time.
Progressives have long felt that if this takes an extra few days or an extra few weeks, it's more important for them to be able to get as many of the policy priorities in as they possibly can.
And now it feels like we've been here before in some ways, because they've come so close to voting and then had to pull back because Progressives held the line.
But I think what's so different about this moment is now we actually have a clear and transparent picture of what's actually in and what's actually out progressives have gone as far as to say, they're good with what's actually in this bill.
They just need assurances now from the key senators on the other side of this equation, that they're not going to see a vote on this in the house and then get kicked to the curb when it actually comes time to vote on this larger social spending package.
I think that's what makes this moment so different.
And what one lawmaker said to me as they were leaving town on Thursday, when I asked them when this was going to get done, they just said, good vibes for November.
That seems like where they're at right now as a caucus.
- Good vibes for November.
I mean, it's been a wild sort of few months for Joe Biden and for house speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
I was really struck by the idea that while progressive said that they were, they were, they were supportive of this bill.
They held up this vote on the bipartisan infrastructure on the infrastructure plan.
And they did so, while house speaker, Nancy Pelosi in a meeting with the president, standing there said, we need to give a vote of confidence to the president before he lands in Europe, he landed, there was no vote.
What does that say about the power of house of house speaker, Nancy Pelosi and the power of all these other democratic lawmakers.
- Well she has Progressive caucus now that is unified and ready to actually take a stand.
But I think the difference in that meeting is speaker Pelosi asked to have a vote, but president Biden, according to all of our sources who were in the room, didn't And there's a difference between the speaker who her caucus respects her, but it's not the president of the United States, Biden went in that room and said, trust me on this deal.
He worked through the framework, everyone who left that meeting, who we talked to said, it was clear, he was dialed in on the specifics, but in terms of actually pressuring them for a vote Biden has endorsed this strategy of linking these bills and allowing Progressive's to make sure that he gets the most transformational package possible.
It behooves him and it behooves the white house that progressives are continuing to hold the line on this.
Because again, almost every democratic lawmaker that you talk to actually wants to pass both of these bills.
Some are more passionate about the hard infrastructure pieces.
Others are more passionate about the social spending, but by and large, they all would like to give a white house the win because the policy here that passes is going to be the platform in the midterms.
The more they get done, the better they can say, this is what you get from democratic majority.
- And Ali, the keyword that you said was, when Ayesha president Biden absolutely wants a win, but he made this sort of political calculation to put out this framework without getting the explicit and direct support of Senator manchin and sinema Names that now, all Americans at this point, probably know because they were the key senators that were being chased by Ali and others to get an understanding of where they are.
What's the white house's thinking of why the president did it this way.
- It seems like the white house was ready to kind of put down a marker.
There has been criticism of the president up until now because people were saying, you're going out and you're going to these states and talking about a bill, but we don't know what's in the bill.
Like what is going to be in this?
And it's very hard to sell.
I mean, obviously president Biden believes in compromise, but it's very hard to sell.
Well, this is what we're able to get.
You need to be able to sell.
You're going to get universal pre-K, your children are going to be able, you're going to get help with childcare.
This is you need to have like specific things that you're telling people, this is what we're going to deliver for you and build back better.
It's a slogan, but it is not telling people what you're actually doing for them.
And so I feel like they needed to put down a marker to say, this is what we're going to do.
And so that they have something to actually sell to the American people.
Because in addition to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, they have to convince the American people that they are actually doing something for them.
And, and Jonathan, in that critical meeting with, with house lawmakers before he left for Europe, the president said, it's not a hyperbole to think that his presidency, as well as the majority's that senates that that Democrats have now, even though they're thin in the house and senate that they are writing on what happens in the next week.
I wonder what you're hearing about what the president's thinking about this framework and what's at stake for him and Democrats.
The president said this was an inflection point in his words for his presidency.
And he said, what was at stake here?
Not just the fate of his term in office, but whether Democrats can con keep control of the house and Senate from the midterms.
And we should take him at his word.
This is something that the dire's entire time at office had been building towards.
This is the heart of his agenda.
Obviously he had the win with the COVID relief bill back in March, but this is it.
The bipartisan infrastructure deal, which has passed the Senate, but ceilings approval in the house.
And now of course this larger reconciliation package, but there are deep divides within the party Yamiche.
I mean, and I think that is where we are right now.
More than anything, it's the Progressive's and the couple of moderate, or frankly, conservative senators, Manchin, and Sinema don't trust each other that, and yesterday we heard from so many progressives in the house saying, wait, we want a full throated endorsement from senators, Manchin and Sinema about the framework on this deal.
And they didn't get that.
And they therefore refuse to go for this vote.
So the president was left then heading to Europe, empty handed, and now white house aides have told me, and I'm sure you're talking to your sources as well saying they do believe this will still happen.
It might be a few more weeks.
It might even be a month or two.
They think it will happen, but they blown past two critical deadlines.
One, the president now is in Europe after meeting the Pope today, he had a few meetings in the sidelines, the G20 the he's got that summit and then on to Scotland for this major climate change gathering, He's going to go there without any sort of new legislation to combat carbon emissions and climate change.
And then secondly, Democrats are keenly watching the Virginia governor's race next week, Terry McAuliffe pleading with them, pass this infrastructure.
Bill, give me something to run on, that didn't happen.
And Democrats are worried about the signal that could send for the midterms next year.
- Well, Jonathan, maybe you were in our writing meetings because you literally just walked through the rest of the show and the rundown.
So thank you so much for really, I think summing up what this entire show was about now, Dan, while Jonathan has told us sort of, a lot of what we need to know, the thing that I've been thinking about is the context of this bill.
Yes, it's, it's not what Progressive's wanted.
It's not everything that Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema wanted, but the president is saying that this is historic it's transformational.
I wonder if you can put into context what this how this bill stacks up, when you look at all the other bills that we've seen in history.
- Yeah, I mean, It is important to remember that we've focused so much on what has been taken out and how much this has you know shrunk over the period of months in which they've been negotiating.
But even at 1.75 trillion dollars, along with, you know, roughly a trillion dollars for infrastructure and a $1.9 trillion rescue package, the stimulus package, this adds up to almost $5 trillion of domestic spending that the president is pushing.
And it seems, you know, based on what you all are hearing, what we're all hearing this will eventually get done.
This is, this is a reaffirmation of the Democrats values and principles.
It is a reaffirmation of their belief that Government can work on behalf of people.
So in that sense, it is historic.
What's interesting about this is that he is trying to do this with the slimmest majorities of any transformational president, whether it was FDR or Lyndon Johnson.
So this is the challenge he's got, but historically this is a very big deal.
At the same time, the risks are enormous because of these very slim majorities.
And that was what he was trying to get across to people yesterday, that everything is on the line for this party right now.
- And I mean, to connect that I'm sticking with you, Dan, there is this Virginia governor's race that, that Jonathan just talked about.
A new Washington post poll shows that education is the number one issue.
Now in that race, it's about critical race theory.
Democrats have been saying truthfully, that critical race theory is not something taught in elementary schools.
Republicans have been falsely saying it is.
I wonder if you could talk a bit about how that race connects to, to this bill and also to the, to the calculations the president is making.
Jonathan made the point that the Terry McAuliffe, the democratic candidate has been pleading with congressional Democrats to get this done.
And the, the campaign of his team was not overly happy today as a result of what happened yesterday, it was if all of this issue of frustration among Democrats, democratic voters, that things were not getting done was highlighted again by what happened on Thursday.
And so it was, it was a bad signal to send to voters in Virginia.
So they're nervous about what might happen, but this race has clearly nationalized it's nationalized because of Biden, It's nationalized and his, you know sagging approval ratings.
It's nationalized because of what's going on on Capitol hill.
And it's nationalized in the way the McAuliffe campaign has tried to make it a race, not about Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate, but about Donald Trump.
And so all of what we have been talking about and doing and watching nationally has come together in this race.
- And we're going to move on to what the president's doing abroad, but I, I, I, in some ways, want to talk about this one last thing Ayesha, which is paid family leave.
I talked to Jocelyn Frye, she's the incoming president of the national partnership for women and families.
She said it was unconscionable that paid family leave, wasn't included in this bill.
She said that women for decades, especially women of color have been pushed and enforced to take care of everyone else's families without getting time to deal with their own family to take care of their own families.
What are you hearing on this issue of paid family leave?
And what does it say that, that, that in some ways, these senators, especially Senator Manchin, that they had the power to take this out of the bill.
- Well, you know, when I I've been talking to economists and people who look at these issues of economic inequality, including William Spriggs, the chief economist for the AFL CIO.
And what they said is that all of these policies universal pre-care, the childcare health help, and the family medical leave, all of these policies are really supposed to work together.
Be meaning that when you have a child, then you need some time off after you give birth.
If that child gets sick, you need to have some time to take care of that child.
You need to have childcare.
You need all of those things together.
And so if you don't have one of those things that is harmful, and we are at this point where women have not been in the workforce, because it's been decimated by the pandemic, they've had to drop out of the workforce.
And if you really want those numbers to be where you want them to be with job creation, you need women back in the workforce and you need to give them help with the care economy.
Because women, as we know are usually the caretaker.
- But even on paid leave, right?
It's important to remember fully correct to talk about this in the lens of women.
But I also did some reporting on this back when this was first rolled out.
And what one advocate told me, especially in the light of the pandemic is everyone will, at some point have to give or receive care.
Men, women, Republican Democrats, old, young, whether you're caring for yourself or a family member or a newborn baby, which is why you're seeing democratic senators, democratic house members, even speaker Pelosi in her conference this week saying that they're not ready to give up on paid leave yet.
And I think that there's an interesting thread on this because as I was following, Joe Manchin through the halls of Congress, what he seemed to say to us two days ago was that paid leave for him is just not supposed to be in this reconciliation package.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sort of echoed that the other day when she said Manchin doesn't want to do it through this vehicle.
That's not to say that they're not going to try again, but there are some people who think it could be revived in this bill.
Maybe they do another reconciliation package next year.
It could end up there.
Maybe it's a standalone piece of legislation, but advocates do really feel left out in the cold on this when they see every other item in the care economy in this bill, but not paid leave.
- Yeah, well, while his domestic agenda hangs in the balance, President Biden is a day into his latest international trip.
At the Vatican president Biden met with Pope Francis.
This was his third meeting with the Pope and his first since taking office.
- The president has what is called a command coin.
- (Translation of the same)ú - And he gives to warriors and leaders - And you are the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met.
- In Rome, President Biden also met with French president Emmanuel McCall.
The men are trying and hoping to men fame fences following a diplomatic clash over a defense agreement.
The president will also meet with other world leaders at the G20.
Later president Biden will head to Scotland for a UN climate conference.
He is hoping to show the world that the US is taking more of an engaged role on the issue.
After the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris climate accord.
It's an agreement president Biden has rejoined.
See Jonathan, I told you, you literally stole our show with your answer.
So Jonathan, tell us what's the president's mission in Europe.
Talk a bit about what's going on with climate change, but also there is this, this G20 meeting.
They're going to talk about global supply chains and other things.
- Yeah, it's a, it's a more like a contrast Yamiche.
from when the president's first overseas trip, which was June, which included a meeting of the G7 and NATO when he was hailed Trev as a hero and greeted with open arms and sighs of relief because he wasn't Donald Trump.
And it was a victory lap of sorts.
This trip, a little thornier he's got more work to do Today was a win for him.
He met with Pope Francis, president Biden, of course is only the second us president who's Catholic.
He is a devout attends mass every weekend.
He met with Pope Francis and was not only told that he should continue to receive communion despite his pro-life stance, which some American bishops have questioned, but he and Francis are in many ways, ideologically similar in terms of their beliefs on climate change, helping the poor and so on, and certainly Biden, those meetings with heads of state, with the Pope, usually half hour, 45 minutes, president Biden in there for 90.
Then he had some apologizing to do.
He called his the deal with, with France in his meeting with McCrone.
He suggest talked about the submarine deal he did with the US with the UK and Australia, cutting France out of it.
He called it clumsy, which is about as close as an apology you'll get from US president on public stage and acknowledged that France is that France is, the US's oldest ally.
And yet they were so angry with what that deal was.
They withdrew their ambassadors for a time, but there seems like a sense, white house aides told me tonight that they've patched things up, but now he's got the harder issues.
He's at the G20 and then onto Scotland, where he does as we discussed earlier, does not come to, come to the summit in Glasgow with significant climate change measures, but he will still attempt to reassert America's moral leadership on the issue after the Trump issue after the Trump years.
But the, what was supposed to be, the centerpiece of this trip is not happening.
He was home, and the white house aides had hoped he would meet with president Xi Jinping of China.
That's not occurring president Xi is skipping the site and he hasn't left China in two years, frankly, since the pandemic started.
So there'll be a vacuum there.
That president Biden hopes to fill and where he will, once again, make the case a democracy, not these authoritarianism, that's the way of the future and try to convince people around the world that the American style of government is still the best.
- And it's, it's been what the president has been echoing that it's, that America is back diplomacy should work.
Dan, what's the importance though, of the president meeting the Pope, especially under these times, when you think about the issues going on with abortion, when you think what the GOP sort of really continuing to have its strong hold on, evangelical Christians.
- Well its important for several reasons, but probably the most important is for the similarity of views that they have on two very important issues.
One is obviously climate Pope Francis has been quite outspoken and frequently so on the importance of dealing with that issue to protect the planet.
The other is if you will, the social gospel aspect of Catholicism.
There, the Pope and president Biden are simpatico.
And so I think it was a way for him to reinforce those, to put aside whatever differences they have and they're significant on abortion, but to focus on what brings them together.
And it sends a signal around the world about the importance of those issues and the relationship between a US president and the, the head of the Catholic church.
- And meanwhile, there's some good news on the pandemic front, across the US, the rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths have dropped significantly.
That's, it's in some ways a heartwarming thing to be able to say out loud, given all that we've all lived through.
And on Friday, the FDA authorized a Pfizer vaccine for kids age 5 to 11 years old Ayesha, COVID has been the undercurrent, of course, of all of the things that have been going on.
How do these developments on COVID impact Americans and especially people of color black people who have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic - Yes, I mean, and one of the things that was pointed out when I talked to William Spriggs or the AFL CIO, is that a lot of the, that while a lot of older people died from COVID when it came to black and brown people, it was often working age, people who die like it, and that the numbers were extremely high and that has affected even employment in this country.
But I mean, this is a problem for this country and for the world that they've had to face dealing with the Corona virus and wanting to get on the other side of it.
I think a lot of the frustration that Biden has faced is that people wanted normalcy.
They want it to be passed, as they wanted to be back, you know, doing what they're normally do without mask and all of that.
And not having to worry about that.
But when you do get these vaccines approved for, you know, younger children, thank you, Jesus, hallelujah.
I'm very happy about it.
I got very young children, but when you get them approved, you can start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, Have children back in school, you know, you're going into the fall, we'll see what happens there.
But you, you see that maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- And Jonathan, we only have a couple of minutes left.
So I want to give you a couple seconds here just to really talk about the fact that kids can now get the vaccine.
They're authorized to get the vaccine, but there's still so much polarization over mass, over vaccines.
Where do you see this going?
- Well, first let me echo those prayers of Thanksgiving.
My kids are 10 and 6 and we can't wait for them to get the shots, hopefully the next week or two.
So, but you're right.
This is not the slam dunk nationally that it should be.
There will be portions of those country that will rush and eagerly, take their children to get the shots in the arms.
We have still stubborn pockets of vaccine resistance across the country.
That is vexed.
Yamiche, as you all know the white house have tried everything they can to get those people to take their shots.
They simply won't because of how polarized this has been.
Masks and vaccines, this has become a unfortunate, but yet persistent cultural issue and a wedge issue as we go into the midterms next year and beyond.
And we have heard even from former president Trump, as he continues to step back on the political stage here, you know, a few months ago, he gave for him a relatively strong endorsement for folks to take the vaccine.
He of course took his own shot behind closed doors.
After January 6th, you had to ignore the issue for awhile, but then told people, including at a rally, Hey, get this vaccine, it's important.
What was he greeted with, booze.
Since then, he hasn't said it again.
This is something he is backed off of.
And it's become a real dividing line between some portion of the Republican party and the rest of country.
- Yeah and Ali.
In the, in the 10 seconds we have left here.
The GOP continues to be sort of the party that has not wanted to endorse vaccines, not wanting to talk openly about getting vaccinated.
There's this news with the kids.
Does it change anything or do you think it's going to be as polarized as, as it is.
- I think it deepens the divides in the same way that you gave a hallelujah in the positive sense?
I think that there are going to be as many people still showing up to school board meetings, threatening school board officials, the same deep divisions that we've seen across the country, those viral videos, that's probably where we're going.
- Yeah, well, I will also just join Ayesha in saying hallelujah that we can get some people vaccinated, but that's it.
That's our time.
That's the time we have tonight.
Thank you to Jonathan Dan, Ayesha Ali for your reporting and thank you for joining us.
And before we go, I want to encourage all of you watching tonight to learn about Claudette Colvin.
She's a black woman who in March, 1955, refused to give up her bus seat to a white woman in Alabama.
That was almost nine months before civil rights icon, Rosa parks.
She was quickly arrested.
Now six decades later, she is seeking to have her record cleared.
Thank you, Ms. Colvin for your courage And be sure to join the next week.
The PBS news hour when president Biden meets with world leaders at the UN climate summit, That's it for our conversation.
There's no Washington week extra this week, but it'll be back next week.
I'm Yamiche Alcindor, Goodnight from Washington.