The GOP in states like Georgia and Iowa are enacting laws to
restrict voting in service of former President Trump`s election lie.
Attorneys for Donald Trump sent cease and desist letters to three
Republican organizations asking them to stop using the former president`s
name and likeness in fundraising appeals and merchandise. Gov. Ned Lamont
will open his state`s economy in 10 days but with mask mandates. According
to President Biden, the COVID Rescue Bill will make it possible to cut
child poverty in half.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Let`s call it the Queen`s Gambit. And that`s
tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. Turning the big
lie that inspired an insurrection into law. Tonight, the latest brazen move
by Republicans to hobble democracy. Then, Donald Trump`s brazen attempt to
siphon money from Republicans.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s only one way
to contribute that through Save America PAC and DonaldJTrump.com.
HAYES: Plus, a year after his endorsement helped decide the Democratic
nomination, Congressman James Clyburn on what he makes of President Biden`s
And first, it was Texas and Mississippi. Tonight, Governor Ned Lamont on
his decision to lift COVID restrictions in Connecticut when ALL IN starts
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. As the Biden
administration, the Democratic Congress, and the country as a whole trying
to claw our way out of an unprecedented set of national crises, the
Republican Party, coast to coast, has found its mission for the year 2021,
make it harder for Americans to vote.
Right now, we`re on track to see the largest rescue bill in recent memory
signed into law by President Biden this week that would provide direct
relief to Americans, billions for vaccination programs, money to reopen
schools, keep restaurants open. And not a single Republican in either House
or the Senate has voted for it. Instead, after losing the popular vote in
seven of the last eight presidential elections going all the way back to
1992, Republicans are laser-focused on restricting voting access.
The Brennan Center is tracking all the state bills aimed at restricting
access to the polls. Their list includes 253 bills introduced, pre-filed,
or carry over this year in 43 states. In Georgia, of course, already
notorious for having absurdly long lines to vote, with residents waiting up
to 11 hours to cast their ballots last fall, Republican Governor Brian Kemp
has waged a long battle to make the voting process even more difficult.
In his previous role as Georgia Secretary of State, he oversaw the closing
of polling places and the purging of hundreds of thousands of registered
voters from the polls. Thanks in part to the efforts of Stacey Abrams and
other activists on the ground registering hundreds of thousands of new
voters, turnout in 2020 in Georgia in the election was unbelievably high,
smashing records, and of course, also helping to propel Joe Biden to the
Georgia`s election last November was also just about the most scrutinized
and -- scrutinized and audited of any state in the nation. Remember this.
They counted the votes three times in that state. They did a hand recount
of five million ballots. There is zero doubt whatsoever the results in
Georgia were accurate. And more Georgians than ever before made their
So, what did state Republicans do? Just yesterday, the State Senate passed
a bill limiting no-excuse absentee voting, which is how 1.3 million
Georgians, including 450,000 Republicans voted in 2020. Just last week,
Republicans of the State House passed a sweeping piece of legislation,
cutting weekend days from early voting, restricting the use of ballot drop
boxes, adding new ID requirements for absentee voting, restricting the
amount of time election officials have to send out mail ballots, and voters
have to return them, and prohibiting the distribution of food and water to
voters waiting in line. In fact, making it a misdemeanor (audio gap) drink
to voters waiting in the longest lines in the country.
That`s not because there are any actual problems with the administration of
elections in Georgia. It`s because the Republicans lost. It`s because they
lost and they think these things will make it easier for them to win next
time. But keep in mind, this is not just happening in Georgia, which is of
course the center of a lot of attention as the swing state with the closest
election last cycle.
Take a look at how crazy things are in Iowa. Not a state where Republicans
are disappointing results last year, OK. In fact, Iowa Republicans did
great in 2020. They flip two House seats, held on to a third. And you know
what, loads of Iowans voted, breaking the all-time general election turnout
record. And they had, you know, pretty expansive voter access including
early voting, absentee voting, and same-day registration.
And in Iowa, keep in mind, again, all of that worked in Republicans favor.
Donald Trump carried the state. Joni Ernst was reelected. They flipped two
House seats. So, what is the problem? Well, the problem is that the
Republican Party is radicalizing against democracy almost as a guiding
principle. They fear voter access. They want to shut it down. They are
using the cover of the big lie, the wildly insidious and poisonous lie the
election was stolen, propagated by the former president and his party and
right-wing media to just make it harder to vote.
And not only harder for specifically disfavored groups like African
Americans or Democrats were generally, although these measures will
disproportionately hurt them, it`s a major part of all this, but also just
harder to vote in general, like as a kind of ideological fixation. There
are a lot of white Republicans Iowa who will have a harder time voting
thanks for the measure sign in law today by Republican Governor Kim
The new law cuts the state`s early voting period down by nine days. It
tightens the timeline for when absentee ballots must be received in order
to be counted. It strips county auditors of much of their discretion in
running elections, including establishing satellite in-person early voting
sites, which are useful, and mailing absentee ballot request forms to
voters who didn`t specifically ask for one. It limits who can return to
voter`s absentee ballot. And get this. It closes the polls an hour earlier
on Election Day.
Just think about that. Sit with that for a second. What conceivable
argument is there to close the polls an hour earlier? Like, the fraudsters
always show up in the last hour of the day to do their fraud? No, no, there
is no argument. There is not even a pretense of an argument. What possible
coherence is there to this entire project other than we just want fewer
people voting, we want to make it harder, we want to weed out and thin out
the electorate. We want to choose who votes as opposed to the voters
Two people who we`re following the situation in Georgia very closely are
Nick Corasaniti. He`s New York Times Domestic Correspondent, who wrote
about the effect the new legislation would have on black voters in the
state, particularly black churches roles in those elections. And Georgia
State Representative or need to Shannon, who spoke up on the floor of the
Georgia House of Representatives as Republicans proposed new restrictive
Representative Shannon, let me start with you. I mean, your state has been
famous for this. It has been the site of these sort of epic battles. What`s
different now? What`s new now? What do you want to say to Americans about
what`s happening in the state right now?
REP. RENITA SHANNON (D-GA): Well, you`re correct. Georgia has been doing
this year after year. When I was first elected, I served on the Government
Affairs Committee which deals with election law. And every year, I`ve seen
nothing but bills come through meant to make it harder for everyone to
What`s different now is that what`s happening in Georgia has been happening
across the country and it`s very well-coordinated. This year, in
particular, Republicans are going after Black and Brown voters with
targeted precision to make sure that they cannot show up in the ways that
they did in the November and the U.S. Senate races. They want to make sure
that turnout never happens again.
HAYES: Nick, you wrote a great piece about one of the specific aspects of
the proposed legislations targeting really voter mobilization efforts by
black churches. What what`s going on there?
NICK CORASANITI, DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, one of the
provisions in the omnibus bill that was passed by the House, severely
limits weekend voting. It allows only one Sunday per election cycle for the
polls to be open. And even that`s up to the local registrar in the biggest
And traditionally, voting on Sundays has been very (INAUDIBLE) and black
churches take a kind of central role in making sure communities are
engaged, that their voting rights are protected. They`ll help them register
to vote. They`ll help them get their absentee ballots, if that`s how they
choose. And they`ll also help with simple things like transportation. The
phrase souls to the polls has been very popular, you know, pretty much
since the 1990s.
And what this bill does is by removing that. It starts a kind of, you know,
systemic way of trying to suppress the votes of the Black community. And by
taking Sunday voting and then making it harder to vote absentee as well,
they then may be going to create lines and make that even harder in some of
So, when you take away the role of the black church by taking away voting
on Sundays, it`s just going to kind of have a real trickle-down effect.
HAYES: Representative, you know, there`s obviously a bill -- a national
bill, H.R.1 that Democrats would like to see passed that would set some
minimum standards. And I thought it was interesting. Senator Bill Cassidy
of Louisiana said this about that piece of legislation. "Democrats are
selling out their own voters in a brazen attempt to permanently solidify
their majority. States make their own voting laws, not the federal
government. This power grab is shameful."
I mean, you know, the history here is, you know, we have the 15th Amendment
and the Voting Rights Act precisely because states like Georgia and other
chose to make their own voting laws in obviously discriminatory ways.
SHANNON: And what`s really interesting, it`s so rich that Senator Cassidy
would even say that because even in Georgia, when you look at HB531, the
omnibus bill that you were just referring to, that bill specifically takes
away local control. Republicans have railed forever about how important
local control is.
That bill moves local control away from the counties who have historically
had the responsibility of deciding what is the best way to facilitate the
for their -- for their residents. That bill takes that power away, gives a
lot of it to the state. So, there`s a state takeover committee that`s in
And then it also puts a lot of the onus on the registrars. So, they can`t
have it both ways. You can`t rail for local people consistently and then,
you know, negate those principles. Just -- and so, you see how far they are
willing to go just to make sure that black and brown voters can never show
up in the ways that they did in the previous elections.
HAYES: Brad Raffensperger who is of course secretary of state, Nick, a
Republican who has both sided with state Republicans on some fights over
voter restriction. He`s been very critical of new voter project group that
was started by Stacey Abrams, but also pushed back against Trump.
He said this which I think is interesting. "At the end of the day, many of
these bills are reactionary to a three-month disinformation campaign that
could have been prevented. In your reporting, have you heard Georgian
politicians invoke the lie of the election being stolen as justification
for these measures?
CORASANITI: Yes. It`s almost the sole justification. The two things that
you hear repeatedly are that there are concerns about the election, there`s
a lack of confidence in the November election, and that we need to restore
the confidence of our voters or our constituents who have concerns about
And as you mentioned earlier, there was no issues in Georgia, no major
issues whatsoever. There were three different audits that all affirmed the
results. And there was no issues in the runoff elections either. So, kind
of what you`re seeing and I think you`re seeing this in other states as
well, you mentioned Iowa earlier, is that some of these voting laws are
almost becoming, you know, a way to appease some of the more conservative
parts of the Republican base, people who are very loyal to former President
Trump. They want to see changes just because they`re unhappy and they have
doubts due to all the lies and the disinformation that was spread online
and, you know, coming from the former president himself.
So, I think when you look at the justification that you hear a lot of,
there`s talk of securing the vote after an election that was very secure
and talk of re rebuilding confidence for some voters when it was a very
safe secure and smooth election given all the circumstances.
HAYES: And quickly, Representative. I mean, both in Iowa and Georgia,
right, they`re very different states, very different makeups
demographically, and very different results. Like, Republicans did very
well in Iowa. But in both states, you`ve got a state GOP that doesn`t look
and say hey, that was a really high turnout election. We crushed it.
They`re in both states, regardless on they outcomes, saying the same thing
of like we cannot let that happen again.
SHANNON: Well, and what`s interesting is, so Brad Raffensperger, secretary
of state, and Gabriel Sterling have been hailed as heroes for standing up
to Trump. But to your point, states across the country, whether Trump did
well or not, are moving forward with these same tactics. And that`s because
all of them, including the secretary of state and Gabriel Sterling have
been telling the big -- they were all telling the big lie before the
SHANNON: Republicans have been talking about voter fraud, this mysterious
voter fraud, that they never can come up with any evidence to support. But
they`ve been talking about it forever. And finally, what has happened is
they have lost a major election, their voters don`t like it, and they are
having to enact policies, you know, to satisfy these voters because they`ve
been lying to them for decades about voter fraud that does not exist.
HAYES: All right, Nick Corasaniti of the New York Times, Representative
Renita Shannon down there in Georgia, thank you both. I really appreciate
CORASANITI: Thanks, Chris.
SHANNON: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: The one thing, the one thing that Donald Trump is unquestionably
good at is once in a generation, maybe once in a lifetime talent, is
raising a money off Republican donors. And even in exile, he wants to make
sure he is controlling all that money. A fight between Donald Trump and the
Republican Party about who gets the checks from the MAGA heads is next.
HAYES: Donald Trump does not have many super promising sources of
traditional business revenue right now, right? I mean, the Trump brand is
tarnished, the Trump properties have lost a ton of value. What Donald Trump
does have though is a very loyal MAGA base that is willing to give him
money. And he doesn`t seem to want that money going to anyone but Donald
You see many Republican organizations including the National Party often
use images of Trump in their fundraising appeals. That money goes to state
parties of the Republican National Committee instead of Trump himself. And
it could even help some of the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.
So, on a Friday, attorneys for Trump sent cease and desist letters to three
Republican organizations asking them to stop using the former president`s
name and likeness in fundraising appeals and merchandise. There`s just one
big problem. Trump is a public figure. Public figures can`t stop an
organization from using their likenesses.
If they could, you know, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar among others would almost
certainly stop Republicans from using her to raise money. Trump is the
biggest name of the GOP by far. And the RNC really is counting on that MAGA
money. And so, it rejected the cease and desist demand from Trump to stop
using his image.
The institutional Republican Party also really wants to try to keep Trump
happy. So, now they`re paying tribute. We learned yesterday the RNC is
moving a portion of its spring donor retreat to Mar-a-Lago and will be
paying Trump`s club for the use of facilities.
That was not nearly enough for Donald Trump. Last night, he explicitly told
his supporters not to give money to anyone but him, telling the faithful to
donate through his Save America PAC, that`s SAP for short, "No more money
for RINOs. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great
voting base. They will never lead us to greatness. Send your donation to
Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com. We will bring it all back stronger
than ever before.
And late today, Trump put out a new statement. This one reading, "I fully
support the Republican Party in important GOP committees, but I do not
support RINOs and fools. And it is not their right to use my likeness or
image to raise funds. So much money is being raised and completely wasted
by people that do not have the GOP`s best interest in mind." Trump then
goes on once again to tell people to give money directly to him.
To talk about what`s going on here, I`m joined by Bloomberg Opinion
Columnist Tim O`Brien, author of Trump Nation which results in a $5 billion
lawsuit from Trump over O`Brien`s estimate of his net worth. That lawsuit
was dismissed. Also with me, Washington Post Opinion Columnist and devoted
never Trumper Jennifer Rubin.
Tim, let`s start on the business angle here. You know, it does strike me
that this is the best business Donald Trump has at this moment, is small-
dollar fundraising of loyalists, way better than any revenue streams from
anything else he has. What do you think?
TIM O`BRIEN, OPINION COLUMNIST, BLOOMBERG: For a short time. But you know,
his money (AUDIO GAP) real estate had around $2 billion in assets. He`s got
about $1 billion in debt against those. He`s not going broke anytime soon
but he`s got a real debt -- a possible debt squeeze on his hand. So, he is
looking frantically around to siphon cash from wherever he can so he
doesn`t have to sell things off and watch his portfolio shrink.
I think the larger thing informing this actually, Chris, is that Trump is
just a profound grifter. And anytime he sees an ability to make coin, he
will try to do it. You know he came into the White House a profoundly
ignorant person about the presidency and public policymaking. I think he
thought Article One was a clothing store or a magazine and he couldn`t have
found Iran on a map.
And he learned through all of these crises that he could try to bend the
office to his will. He survived Mueller`s investigation and two
impeachments. And then the 2020 election happens and he discovers I think
for the first time that he can use the big lie grift to actually raise
scads of money. He raised $200 million or so for his "legal defense fund"
of which only $14 million actually went to legal defense.
O`BRIEN: And I think -- and I think the light went off in his head then. I
think it was another thing that he learned in the presidency was, you know
what, I can monetize the Trump cult. And all of these working class people
and small donors who I`ve done actually nothing to help in my presidency
but still believe I will, I can continue to scam them when I leave. And I
think that`s what`s informing, you know, these feisty cups now with the
HAYES: Well, and Jennifer, I mean, you know, not to defend Donald Trump
here, but he`s not wrong in the sense of he`s the one motivating the
donating and the RNC really does want to appropriate that motivation to
their own ends. And he`s basically saying like, no, you don`t -- like, you
don`t get to do that. They`re only giving you money because they like me.
I`m the one that matters here.
JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. It really is a co-
dependent relationship. And the Republican Party can`t quit Donald Trump.
They need him. They fear him. And yet, they are going to be forever saddled
with -- it`s not this battle then there will be some other battle.
Donald Trump is what has kept the Republican Party from complete oblivion
over the last four years. But it`s also what`s going to prevent them from
any kind of recovery, any kind of expansion into any kind of governing
majority. And that`s why you see as you pointed out in your previous
segment, they resort to voter suppression and to Jim Crow laws in essence.
This is the dilemma the Republicans in. It`s made of their own making. And
I don`t think the Democrats could possibly come up with anything as
brilliant as this to have Donald Trump and the Republican Party pointing
fingers saying no, send the money to me, no send the money to me. And we
haven`t even gotten to the primary season yet. Wait until that hits.
So, this is the dilemma of dealing with Donald Trump. To quote my friend
Rick Wilson, everything he touches dies. And the Republican Party right now
doesn`t look too good.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, this idea that -- I mean, Tim, to your point too that,
you know, he`s both greedy. He wants money. But he also, we know this about
him, just hates the notion anyone`s making money off of him and he`s not
getting cut in. That is a huge like neurosis of his. He is not going to let
that happen. Like, he`s not going to sit back. There`s not going to be any
kind of permanent arrangement or truce here. This is I think going to be a
constant source of tension for the RNC.
O`BRIEN: You know, you and I are both Chicago Cubs fans. And Leo Durocher
had this one line that I used to love where he said, you know, if I`m
running down to second base and I`m setting up a double play, and my -- I
don`t care if it`s my grandmother on second, she`s going down. And Donald
Trump, anything that gets between Donald Trump and a pile of money is going
to go down.
And these notes that he`s sending that he cares about the future of the
party, he doesn`t care about the party. He doesn`t care about the party`s
values. What he cares about is continuing to foster this cult of
personality that he can monetize. And this whole debate is about him seeing
a huge pile of cash on the horizon. If the GOP gets in between him and the
cash, he`s going to try to make it go down.
HAYES: Well, and there`s another aspect to this, Jennifer, too which is
that two things happened that made the parties themselves less powerful as
repositories of money. McCain-Feingold banned soft money so the parties
couldn`t raise it. And then Citizens United allowed these outside entities
like Super PACs to raise unlimited funds.
All of a sudden the party itself which used to control candidates and
recruiting all this through its ability to get its hands on money has been
weakened. And now Trump is coming in to sort of like put the final stake
in. It`s like, why do you need this party organ if he`s the one that really
raises the money for you?
RUBIN: That`s absolutely right. Political parties were on their deathbed
before Donald Trump. And he certainly isn`t helping any matters for all the
reasons that you describe. And that`s why you get people who are
essentially engaged in performance art. That`s how they establish their
name and their identity and their fundraising by essentially becoming Fox
News performance clowns.
They don`t have a fate, a political fate that is in any way tied to the
party. And that`s a problem for American politics in general because the
political parties, believe it or not, used to play a positive role in sort
of smoothing out candidates, getting good ones, getting qualified ones,
making sure extremists didn`t get into office. They don`t do that anymore.
And because of that, you have a gangster and a con man who`s come in and
said OK, I`m going to run this show. And he does it like he always does by
extorting people. And you know, the notion that GOP has to go tomorrow --
RUBIN: Matt Schlapp, you know, mowing his lawn for him, McConnell washing
his car. These people are completely in his spell. And as much as they
would like to conveniently set him aside when it becomes uncomfortable,
they absolutely cannot do this because without him, they don`t have money
and they don`t have this link to this ferocious MAGA base that he`s
HAYES: Yes. Them sort of caving and paying tribute by moving it to Mar-a-
Lago is so deeply pathetic in revealing. Tim O`Brien, Jennifer Rubin, thank
you both for being with me tonight.
O`BRIEN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, vaccines are going up, cases are going down, but is it still
too soon for states to reopen it all up? Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on
his decision to loosen restrictions next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any
type are allowed to open 100 percent. Also, I am ending the statewide mask
GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): This new order removes all of our county mask
mandates and allows businesses to operate at full capacity without state-
imposed rules or restrictions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Last week, were all I think taken a little back when Governors Greg
Abbott of Texas and Tate Reeves of Mississippi announced they were fully
opening businesses in their state and repealing mass mandates. A move
president Joe Biden referred to as Neanderthal thinking. But then, just two
days later, Connecticut, a blue state that has had around seven 7,700 --
7,700 COVID deaths -- sorry about that -- announced the lifting of many
business restrictions as of March 19th.
Now, Connecticut is keeping the mask mandate in place, has been doing far
better against the virus in other states, but how is what the state is
doing any different than what Texas or Mississippi is doing? Here to
discuss with that with me, the governor of Connecticut, Democrat Ned
Let`s start there. Why is this different than what Texas and Mississippi
GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): I think it`s pretty different, Chris. Here in
Connecticut, we`re twice as likely to wear a mask as they are in Texas.
We`re twice as likely to be vaccinated. We`re half as likely to be
infected. And as you point out, if I`m a Neanderthal, I`m a Neanderthal
with a mask. We have everybody wearing the mass. It`s really important it`s
the one thing that we know works and makes an enormous difference. And has
held our infection rate very low for many months.
HAYES: So, then, take me through the process here. I mean, look, these are
difficult policy decisions no matter who you are, Tate Reeves, Gov. Greg
Abbott. I don`t envy this for any governor or any policymaker. And there`s
no like the science says this because you`re dealing with trade-offs. What
is your process? What metrics are you using in this when you decided to
announce that date?
LAMONT: Because on March 19th, about 10 days, we`re going to have the
overwhelming majority of our people over the age of 55 vaccinate at least
with one shot. That means that`s where 99 percent of the complications and
the fatalities are. I could have gone from 50 percent, to 75 percent, to 85
percent, not really very enforceable.
You know, instead we said, you`re going to be open 100, you`re going to
wear the mask, and you`re going to close at 11:00. Because after 11:00, a
lot of our restaurants turn into bars, so we don`t allow bars.
HAYES: Wait, so are bars -- what`s the story with bars then post March
LAMONT: We`ve closed our bars for the entire year. We haven`t opened them
yet. And so, we`ll see what happens later on this spring, but right now our
bars stay closed. And that`s because there`s a specific, based on the
science that we`ve seen, the CDC, there`s a sign of specific issue with
bars, right, particularly bars and nightclubs in terms of people, you know,
having something to drink, speaking very loudly, very close to each other.
That is a real vector in a way that you`ve identified that`s different to
your mind than a bunch of other businesses.
LAMONT: The whole purpose of a bar is the opposite of social distancing.
LAMONT: And you`re not wearing a mask and you`re getting louder, so right,
we`re going to hold that off. Look, Texas, they open their bars and they
closed them again, then they opened them up. We`ve been pretty steady.
We`ve kept them closed and we`ve slowly opened up our restaurants and
retail, so now we`ll be at 100 percent starting in 10 days.
HAYES: How much in your experience is mask compliance a question of
behavior and how much is a question of state mandates? Because one of the
things I`ve seen in the -- in the in the aftermath of the Mississippi and
Texas decisions is look, the mandate is kind of an afterthought, right?
This is the thing people are going to do or not do. There`s going to be a
kind of social norm or not. The government mandate is a little beside the
point. What`s been your experience in Connecticut?
LAMONT: Yes. That`s a really good question, Chris. Look, it`s
overwhelmingly -- it`s guidance. It sends a signal. I mean, I can`t arrest
you or find you about the mask. We tell you wear the mask because it`s the
right thing to do for yourself and it`s the right thing to do for the
people you come into contact with.
We`re not rushing to get back in the restaurants. I think it`s going to
take a few months. But they see a restaurant where people are wearing
masks, you`ve got six feet of distance between tables, people are taking it
more seriously, then some of that caution, people start coming back in
again. We`re pretty good about we`re in the mask here in Connecticut.
HAYES: That`s part of a broader question which I think all of us have been
wrestling with throughout the last year and I think is pretty germane right
now which is how much policy is leading behavior and how much policy is
tailing behavior, right?
So, we`ve seen in places even states next to each other when you look at
the mobility data, one with one policy regime, one with the other. They`re
fairly similar, right? People are responding to the messages, they`re
responding to the levels of community transmission. Is this -- I guess my
question is were you looking at data showing people moving in a certain
direction in terms of their patterns of behavior that was part of this
LAMONT: Yes. I like to have laws that people follow. I like to have roles
that people understand. So, my job is really to explain. Look, I`m not
doing this by dictate. I`m not doing this because I`m a dictator. I`m doing
this because I think it`s in the best interest of you and your family. I`ve
got to convince you to do it because it`s the right thing.
And I think you`ll find that 80-plus percent of people comply here
voluntarily in the state of Connecticut with the mass mandate. And you go
to our restaurants, people keep the distance and the tables are very clean,
and people are wearing the mask.
HAYES: So, then the question becomes, is there -- is there some kind of
switch at which point you reconsider, right, and what the kind of testing
surveillance, infrastructure, and public health infrastructure is such that
should there be some new variant that is incredibly contagious, should
there be for whatever reason a real bad outbreak in Connecticut because of
people, you know, no longer social distancing. How you evaluate that and
how you get ahead of what might happen if that goes on too long?
LAMONT: Yes, we were very nervous about the variant. That was the wild card
in the deck. We saw it down in Miami. We saw it in San Diego. That was
eight weeks ago. I thought it might be exponential growth but it seems to
be pretty linear.
So, I think we will have time if we see the variant really taking off to do
everything we can to, you know, turn the clock back. But more importantly,
focus on our hospitals and make sure we have the capacity there. We`re
watching that carefully, but so far our infection rate has stayed pretty
constant which is low.
HAYES: Yes. You mentioned the hospitals, and I wonder as we move into this
next phase, I mean, that has always been in some ways the real focus of a
lot of policymakers, right? The one thing you can`t allow is the hospitals
to meltdown. You can`t overwhelm them. We saw what happened last -- a year
ago in your state, New York, and New Jersey when some of that did happen.
And I wonder if basically vaccinating at the rates that we are and
increasingly among the populations most threatened to be hospitalized
really does change the calculus.
LAMONT: It does change the calculus, Chris. I mean, we got everybody in our
nursing homes vaccinated with two shots well over a month ago. And
hospitalizations and fatalities have almost stopped in our -- in our
nursing homes. And as you know, we were hit there really hard.
As I said, you know, right now, people 55 and above are overwhelmingly
vaccinated and certainly will be over the next 10 days. And that means we
have a lot of capacity in our hospitals. So, look, I saw what was going on
in Italy. I saw other places in Queens where the hospitals were getting
close to overflowing. That didn`t happen in Connecticut. And that is the
metric that`s going to make sure that we keep safe.
HAYES: All right, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, like everyone, I wish
you good luck. And hopefully, you can come back in a month and go like this
and say see, it all worked out. But either way, let`s check back in.
LAMONT: We`ll check back in. Thank you, sir.
HAYES: This Thursday, it will be exactly one year since the world health
organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. To mark the date, we will
be live from the Lincoln Memorial for a special show along with President
Biden`s first primetime national address. We`ll look back on this
incredible and awful year and look forward to vaccinations and that light
at the end of the tunnel.
Still ahead, why the COVID Relief Package could mean more money in the bank
for parents every month cutting child poverty in half. I`ll explain why
that`s such a big deal next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Taken altogether, this plan is
going to make it possible to cut child poverty in half. Let me say it
again. A significant, historic, will cut child poverty in half.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Biden and Congressional Democrats have understandably been
touting the fact that their COVID rescue package will project into cut
child poverty in half. But in the abstract, it`s kind of hard to wrap your
head around just how huge that really is. And I think people might not
understand the scope we`re talking about, OK.
To begin with, if you are watching this right now and you have one or more
children and you make less than $150 000 a year in combined household
income which is, you know, the overwhelming majority of parents, you can
get money from the government on a monthly basis to help with the expenses
of having a child.
You won`t have to wait for a tax refund at the end of the year because the
bill increases the child tax credit to $3,000 per child age six to 17. And
$3,600 annually for children under six for the tax year 2021. But then,
importantly, parents of children under six will start receiving $300.00
monthly payments via direct deposit or through the mail starting around
July. Parents with kids aged seven to 17 will receive $250.00 a month, and
then claim the rest of the year`s tax credit when they file 2021 taxes.
Remember, this credit, right, which is actually a check in certain
circumstances, it`s per child. So, right now, if you have a 10-year-old, a
seven-year-old, and a four-year-old, the government is going to give you an
extra $800.00 every month. The U.S. has not really had a program anything
like this before.
I mean, some European countries in Canada have experimented with different
versions of what`s called child allowances, and those experiments have been
very, very popular. People really like them. This will essentially be the
closest thing we have to a universal cash benefit. Or here`s another way to
think about this which I think is helpful. Think about it as social
security for kids, right?
The reason we have social security is because in a market-driven capitalist
society, no matter how low unemployment is, there`s always going to be two
big age categories of people that can`t earn market income, they can`t
work, very old people and very young people.
Now, before Social Security, a huge percentage of elderly people were just
grindingly poor. It was the poorest demographic in America because the very
oldest people usually don`t have wage income, right? Traditional Social
Security helped alleviate that problem. In fact, by one estimate, in 2018,
"Without Social Security benefits, 37.8 of elderly Americans would have
incomes below the official poverty line all else being equal. With Social
Security benefits, only 9.7 percent do." In other words, these benefits
lived 14.8 million elderly Americans above the poverty line.
But the same problem exists for the youngest people for kids. First of all,
kids are expensive, but they usually do not and should not have to bring
any money into a household, right? We count on the the custodians of those
kids, their parents or their guardians, to bring the money in but they`re
still just an expense on a ledger at least from an income perspective.
And the way we solve the problem for old people was to create a universal
pension for everyone once they reach a certain age, once they get to the
age where they`re not going to be earning a market income. That`s Social
Security. So, think about it on the other end. The way to solve this
problem for kids is to create a universal child allowance that says raising
a kid is a good thing for our society.
We as Americans, collectively through the government, are going to help you
with that expense. We`re going to subsidize that expense. And that`s what
is in the COVID Rescue Bill. It`s revolutionary. Now, these changes are
only supposed to be for this next year, but as Democratic Congressman
Richie Neal, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee explained,
some things are hard to undo once they are set in motion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD NEAL (D-MA): One thing that you should know about the tax
code, getting something out of the code is oftentimes harder than getting
something in the code. So, I`ve already had some thoughts about how we`re
going to expand it and make it permanent. And I intend to share those in
the near future. But what we did is unlikely to go away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Keep your eyes on that. It`s going to be a big fight. Now,
obviously, President Joe Biden would not be a plan and not be in place to
sign the rescue bill with this provision had he not won his party`s
primary. And the man who arguably did more than any other to put him on the
path to victory joins me next.
HAYES: It`s been a good week for most importantly the country but also
politically for the Democratic Party. The Senate approved a $1.9 trillion
COVID Relief Bill. We`re averaging around two million vaccinations a day.
In fact, 2.2 daily average. Nearly 70 percent of people approve of the way
Joe Biden is handling the virus. The Democratic Party`s approach to things
in their first 50 days of this administration is paying off.
But just a little over a year ago, party leaders were very anxious not just
about the virus that hadn`t really hit us yet, but about a Democratic
Primary with no real front-runner. And then came one of the biggest turning
points of the year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): I`ve known for a long time rather before, but I
had not decided, well, not to share it with the public. But I want the
public to know that I`m voting for Joe Biden. South should be voting for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Without the endorsement of the third highest-ranking Democrat in the
House, Congressman Jim Clyburn, Biden might not have won South Carolina. A
victory which helped propel him to the nomination, ultimately the
presidency. Now, Congressman Clyburn is raising his voice again to speak
out trying to ensure the House passes the COVID Relief Bill tomorrow so the
president can sign it this weekend. And arguing that Democrats must pass
H.R.1, the sweeping new voting rights bill or lose control of Congress.
And House Majority Whip Congressman Jim Clyburn joins me now. It`s great to
have you, Congressman. First, I wanted to get your sense as someone who has
been legislating for a while and been in a lot of battles over many bills.
Where do you put this rescue bill which the House is poised to pass
probably tomorrow and get signed shortly thereafter?
CLYBURN: I put it way up on my list of some of the best things that I`ve
seen happen since I`ve been here in the Congress. I thought we were really
at the highest point we could get when we passed the Affordable Care Act.
Having studied history for as long as I have, I knew how long that issue
had been around more than 100 years.
Theodore Roosevelt first introduced the subject, and here was Obama getting
it done it done. This time, in more than 100 years, we have not had this
kind of a pandemic to contend with and the economy in tailspins. And here
comes Joe Biden`s $1.9 trillion program doing things that nobody thought
could get done.
You just talked about the child tax credit and what that`s going to do for
children in this country. I saw a headline in the Washington Post this
morning saying that what this bill does for black farmers is more than has
been done, maybe the best thing since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We can go
into rural communities and see what we`re doing for rural hospitals.
This bill is huge. And that`s why I think we`ve got to pass it because I
think that when you see 76 percent of the American people saying they are
for something, 60 of Republicans support this bill, 71 of Independents
support this bill, I have not seen anything like that since I`ve been here.
So, I believe this is a big, big deal.
HAYES: Yes, it`s funny you note that because I think that Democrats have a
tendency to look over their shoulder a little more about these sort of
things. And you know, I imagine if Donald Trump`s first big legislative
initiative in 2017 was some massively popular bill that was polling at 75
percent, that you would have a very different conversation inside your
caucus in terms of holding Democrats together. People would have been a
little freaked out by that.
CLYBURN: That`s true, absolutely true. That`s why I think we are going to -
- you know, when we did this bill in the House, we only had two Democrats
to vote against it. I think we can cut that number in half by tomorrow
morning. There may be one person voting against it. But everybody that`s
going to be for it, the Republicans will probably vote against it.
But in spite of all of that support from Republicans around the country,
they are maintaining political partisanship. That`s what they`re doing.
They`re putting their politics ahead to the country. We have got to get
people back on their feet. We got to get people out of hospital rooms and
back on the job. We got to get our children back in school. We got to get
these shots in the arms of people all over this country.
And that`s what this legislation will do. This to me is as transformative
as anything that I`ve seen since I`ve been here. And Democrats all over
ought to be going from one side of this country to the other singing the
praises of Joe Biden`s commitment to do as much for the people who voted
against him, as for the people who voted for him. He is keeping that
commitment with this legislation.
HAYES: Let`s talk a little bit of H.R.1 which would create a whole bunch of
minimum standards for the administration of elections, democratic access,
and free and fair elections. I know you`re very, very, very, committed
supporter to it. In fact, you`ve said that you don`t want to see the
filibuster in the Senate be the thing that defeats this thing because I
think we all agree there`s not 10 Republican votes for it in the United
States Senate. There`s probably zero.
How -- what are those conversations like inside the Democratic Party that
you`re having? You`re a very respected member of the Democratic Party. I
don`t think anyone thinks you`re some sort of, you know, impetuous
revolutionary hothead. But you think this calls for some changes the way
the Senate works.
CLYBURN: Yes. It`s not just H.R.1 that I`m concerned about. And remember,
H.R.1 has a lot to do with redistricting, it has to do with financing
campaigns. That`s got nothing to do with voting rights and civil rights.
H.R.4 that we have renamed, the John R. Lewis vote rights act is coming
forward. We hope it will be ready by the fourth of -- or sixth of August,
the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Right Act, so that we can get that out.
I don`t think these things should be subjective to the filibuster because I
think it is very clear, if we can make an exception to the filibuster rules
for budgets, we ought to be able to make it an acceptance for any other
civil or voting right that exists. Protected classes are treated especially
and it ought to not -- the filibuster ought not to apply to benefits and
other issues surrounding protective classes. So, that`s what I think we
should do. I`m not saying get rid of the filibuster.
CLYBURN: If the President wants to keep the filibuster, fine. But let do it
for civil rights and voting rights as we`ve done for the budget.
HAYES: Congressman Jim Clyburn, thank you so much for making time tonight.
I really appreciate talking to you. I really appreciate it.
That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copyright 2021 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the