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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/9/21

Guest: Renita Shannon, Nick Corasaniti, Tim O`Brien, Jennifer Rubin, Ned Lamont, Jim Clyburn


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.


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.


to contribute that through Save America PAC and

HAYES: Plus, a year after his endorsement helped decide the Democratic

nomination, Congressman James Clyburn on what he makes of President Biden`s

fast start.

And first, it was Texas and Mississippi. Tonight, Governor Ned Lamont on

his decision to lift COVID restrictions in Connecticut when ALL IN starts

right now.


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

White House.

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

voices heard.

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

choosing us.

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

voter legislation.

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?


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

these communities.

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

that bill.

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

the election.

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


HAYES: Right.

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 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.

HAYES: Right.

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.


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 --

HAYES: Right.

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.



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.


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

are doing?

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.

HAYES: Right.

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Joe Biden.


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.

HAYES: Right.

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.




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