Senator McConnell says, no impeachment trial before Biden inauguration. Democrats will need at least 17 GOP senators to convict Trump. Senator Murkowski says, House responded appropriately with impeachment.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I can tell you, it's James Comey's first ever appearance or interview on THE BEAT. So we expect it to be interesting. We're also taking your questions. You can send them to me on social media @arimelber, @arimelber on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I'll review some of your suggestive questions. That's tomorrow at 6:00 P.M. Eastern.
Right now, it's THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Moments from now, President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated just six days from now under extraordinary circumstances, will address the nation about what millions of Americans have been waiting an entire year for, a plan from the White House on how to fight the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economy. We'll bring that you to live as soon as it begins.
But before we get there, the story of the current president has always been about Donald Trump's buffoonery, his lies and his racism, his criminality, but also about the Republican Party enabling his assault on the presidency and our democratic systems. Donald Trump's unprecedented second impeachment trial is heading to the Senate.
And Republican senators now face a decision that will define them and their party for generations, whether or not they will convict a president who spent months pouring gasoline on a lie that whipped up a lynch mob to attack the U.S. Capitol with the intent to harm, kidnap or kill members of Congress and even Trump's own vice president.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to disrupt his vacation to bring the Senate back immediately to put Trump on trial, a move that allows Trump to serve out the remainder of his term. Democrats will need at least 17 Republican senators to break ranks and convict Trump.
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has called on Trump to resign, issued a statement saying the House responded swiftly and appropriately with impeachment, adding that she will consider the argument on both sides.
With less than a week left in office, Trump continues to retreat in a rage. The Washington Post reports that his inner circle is shrinking and White House offices are emptying. Even his legal flunkies, from Jay Sekulow to Pat Cipollone and Pam Bondi of Florida, are staying far away from this one. Bloomberg reports that some of these lawyers privately said what Trump did was indefensible, privately.
It took four years of toxic lies, two racist campaigns, two impeachments, obstruction with Russia, a failed coup and an utter catastrophic failure to even respond to the pandemic, which is marching toward 390,000 dead Americans for them to grow a conscience, I guess.
Well, Trump may finally be alone in the dark without even his tweets. And still, the possibility remains that the Senate will save America's biggest ever con man one last time.
Joining me now is Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado. He's one of the nine House impeachment managers. And, Congressman Neguse, thank you so much for being here this evening.
I want to start with the question of can you get to 17. The first impeachment of Donald Trump featured a masterful performance, a masterful prosecution by the House managers, and they weren't able to get past one. And let me play for you one of the jurors that you will be presenting your case to. This is one Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): To the American people, what good comes from impeaching President Trump after he's out of office? That's an unconstitutional attack on the presidency.
Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. And impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: When you have somebody that disingenuous, that lack of self-awareness, that much of a hypocrite, he's -- he represents more Republicans in the Senate than, you know, Lisa Murkowski does, and even she's up in the air. Do you think you can get to 17?
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): I certainly hope so. And we're all going to work as hard as we can to make that happen. It's good to be with you, Joy.
Look, clearly, the Lindsey Graham of 1999 sounds a little different than the Lindsey Graham of 2021. But, nonetheless, we have some very promising signs from a number of different Republican senators, including Senator Murkowski and Senator Sasse and others who have committed to objectively look in a fair way at the evidence and the arguments that ultimately we will present in the United States Senate in the impeachment trial. I believe that if they do so, cognizant of the oath that they take, that, ultimately, they'll reach the same conclusion that so many Republicans and Democrats did just yesterday, that this president clearly committed high crimes and misdemeanors and that he must be removed from office.
So, look, we're working hard. Obviously, as you said, there was a very talented team of managers like Chairman Schiff, Hakeem Jeffries, so many of my close colleagues and friends who did a masterful job in the first impeachment. But, clearly, things have changed. And the fact that we all were witness to an armed insurrection, I was on the floor of the House as the rioters descended and stormed into the Capitol, the first breach of the Capitol since the war of 1812. And, of course, let's not forget, these senators were there as well. They lived this experience.
So I think we're going to have a very compelling case to make as the trial commences and we're certainly going to make our case.
REID: I have to quickly ask you, you're on the floor at that time. Was Lauren Boebert anywhere around you? What do you make of her? She's from your fellow state, my former growing up state of Colorado. She represents your state as well as you do. With people like that in the Republican caucus, do you think the Republican Party is even capable writ large of holding this president to account with people like her, a QAnon lady?
REID: Well, I take pride in the other members of Congress that have been elected by the great state of Colorado, people like Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who is going to be joining me as we tried a case in the United States Senate.
Look, clearly, I'm as disturbed as every American is and has been since January 6th to learn more details that we seemingly learn each and every day about the potential complicity of various members of Congress, including one that you mentioned. I think it's going to be important for the Congress and ultimately the Ethics Committee to get to the bottom of it to do a full investigation to determine the level of complicity of these various different remembers, and then, ultimately, make a recommendation to the broader Congress about punishment.
But let's not forget, Liz Cheney, the number three (INAUDIBLE) put out a forceful statement in advance of her vote yesterday to honor her oath and vote in favor of impeachment. And there were nine other Republicans who joined her. I believe that Senate Republicans will ultimately follow the evidence and that they will reach the same conclusion that we have in the House.
REID: All right. Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado, thank you very much. I appreciate you being here this evening.
And joining me now, Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC, and Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff to Senator Harry Reid and author of Kill Switch, The Rise of the Modern Senate and The Crippling of American Democracy. Thank you both for being here.
And let's talk about this sort of procedure, Adam, and I want to go to you on this first. You worked for the Great Harry Reid. No relation technically in the Reid family. Donald Trump, whether or not he would be called to testify in a case like this, we know that Ronald Reagan did testify back during Joe Walsh's investigations of Iran/Contra. There's New York Times reporting that he wanted to go to the House floor to defend himself, had to be stopped from doing that during the first impeachment in December 2019.
And if you were running the ship in the United States Senate, would you suggest that they call Trump?
ADAM JENTLESON, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO SENATOR HARRY REID: I don't think that they should. I think that it's better just to bring this vote to a head. I think that if you -- you know, Trump just lost his Twitter account. He's been banned from many social media platforms. I think that he would probably relish the spectacle of being brought to the floor.
The other factor to testify in this trial, the other factor to consider here is that it's not like they need any new information from him. Everything that has been done has been done right out in the open, it's been done on (INAUDIBLE). They have the evidence that they need to convict him. I don't think that his presence there would help persuade any of the Republican senators that they need to persuade to get to 67. So I'm not sure what you gain from bringing him to the floor other than possibly giving him a platform to rally his base. So I think it's probably better not to bring it to the floor.
REID: Well, and probably he also probably just physically intimidate the people there because they seem to be terrified of him. But I want to play a little bit of the sound from the invasion of our Capitol that seems to be quite damning for Trump. And here are some of the rioters saying who brought them there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wanted Biden here. We wanted Biden. Hey, we were invited here. We were invited by the president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: We were invited by the president of the United States, Michael Steele. That sounds like case closed.
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, in many respects, it is. And I think that that evidence along with a lot more evidence that's coming out now and will come out in the next days and weeks ahead will affirm and verify how those individuals got there, why they were there, which members of Congress escorted them to the Capitol the night before the attack on Wednesday. All of that now is part of the narrative of the impeachment.
In one sense, the trial itself in the Senate is the sort of the (INAUDIBLE), okay, it will be what it will be, but the stain is there on Trump and the stain is there on Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and others who participated willfully in this process.
So, to the point about what addition is gained for Trump, my concern is that folks don't overplay their hands. Don't give him more of a platform to play the martyr, to play the victim, to play the one who is being put upon. No, for four years we as a nation were put on. And we saw that at the ballot box many times over. You lost many times over. And now, as a nation, we're ready to move on. And the final imprimatur there, Joy, was what happened in the House this week with impeachment.
And so no matter what happens in the Senate, that impeachment stain is there on this legacy. He's done something no other president was able to do and that's get impeached twice.
REID: Yes, Andrew Johnson. But, I mean, is it four years that we've been under this? Because let me play a little montage, because it feels like this brand of the right that has been embedded in the Republican Party dates back a whole lot longer. Take a look at this quick montage, gentlemen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK): He said too that our troops in Afghanistan are just, quote, air raiding villages and killing civilians. I hope Americans know that is not what our brave men and women in uniform are doing in Afghanistan.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: But how do you stop these people? You can't. That's only in the panhandle you can get away with that statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You know, Adam, the second clip in that trio there were members of Congress going up to that same Capitol, some of whom got spat on because they were trying to pass health care reform. That was a tea party. And that just got embedded into the Republican Party. You were there fighting long with Senator Harry Reid trying to get health care reform. Does it feel like we're pretending something is new that isn't new? How much fault would you put on people like Mitch McConnell who played to that group then and now here we are?
JENTLESON: Yes, I think they deserve an enormous amount of thought. I think that the establishment of the Republican Party thought that they could ride this tiger and feed it but they got -- they've been eaten by the beast they tried to feed.
And I think it's important for us as a country not to look away from this because we have to be extremely clear on about the fact that Donald Trump didn't create a new Republican Party, he met the party where it was. He was embraced by his voters almost immediately. When he entered the primary, he seized the lead and never lost it.
And I think that, you know, this is a party that even after he's gone is going to continue to respond primarily to the type of people who offer them the same types of things that Trump offered them. They responded to those people before Trump came on the scene and they will continue to respond to those types of people after he leaves the scene. And that is a big long-term problem for us as a country that we are going to have to deal with.
REID: Well, I mean, and, Michael Steele, I remember the tiger on the tail analogy. You making that to me when you and I talked about the tea party back in the day, before we had Donald Trumpism, and this was the case with the tea party as well. You served as RNC chair right at the height of this. And so don't -- doesn't the Republican Party have to take a deeper look before and beyond Donald Trump?
STEELE: Oh, yes.
REID: And it wasn't that much different from that. That was in '08.
STEELE: And a lot of folks -- I agree with that. And a lot of folks focused on Sarah Palin because of what she came to represent in that 2008 campaign. But, Joy, you don't have to start with Sarah Palin. Go back to the 1980s and the ground war that was asserted by Newt Gingrich in the takeover of the House.
And while we applaud Republicans taking control of the House after 50 years of -- 40 years of Democratic control of the House, 1954 to 1994, at the same time, you have to look at the tactics that forever changed the way our politics was going to be played out in that chamber and how that then spilled out on to the streets, or more importantly, how the street came street came into the House, because that's effectively what those late night one-minute speeches did. They spoke directly to the nation, to pockets of the nation, and drew them into that chamber in a way that was not necessarily the most constructive at all times.
REID: Yes, indeed. And, Adam, you know what, I want you to give us the benefit of you having been up close and personal dealing with Mitch McConnell. He will now be minority leader. We've been through this movie before and he was a nightmare as minority leader before in all of the obstruction that he pulled off. What should we assume is going to happen when this impeachment trial begins? What kind of shenanigans could he pull off from the minority?
JENTLESON: Well, I wish I had had a more optimistic view of this, but I think that what McConnell is probably going to do is make the case that Trump is gone from office and it would be better for the healing of our country. It's going to be rhetoric that I think will be very hard to swallow and hard to take.
But he's going to try to seize the high ground and say that Republicans are acting in the best interest of healing the country by letting us move on. Trump is gone from office. So why bother inflaming it? Let's just let him fade out. And so they'll try to seize that moral high ground. It will be a lot to swallow and I think McConnell has a tendency to do that.
And I wish I were more optimistic about the chances for a conviction, but right now, looking at the statements of senators like Rob Portman, who is sort of a bellwether from Ohio, who is up for re-election in the cycle, they don't seem to be leaning in that direction. And I think that they will try to make that moral high ground case during the trial.
REID: Yes. Well, as long as he's forced to say, I, the grim reaper, approve this message, because you can't be the grim reaper and the heal America guy. You can't be both things. And everyone already understands, you know, what he is.
We are waiting -- I just want you all to pay attention to that little screen there at the bottom of your screen. We are waiting for President-elect Joe Biden to come on screen. We were going to take a quick break but I don't think we're going to have time to do that because we don't want to miss the top of what he has to say. We're just waiting for him. You can see the prep is being done there so that he can go ahead and come on.
I want to thank Michael Steele and Adam Jentleson. Thank you both gentlemen.
We are moments away, indeed, from President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to unveil a nearly $2 trillion emergency coronavirus plan.
Joining me now is MSNBC White House Correspondent Geoff Bennett in Wilmington, Delaware, Dr. Vin Gupta, Critical Care Pulmonologist.
We're waiting for this to start. But, Geoff, give us a taste of what we're going to see coming up here.
GEOFF BENNETT, MSNBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, Joy, people close to the president-elect say that this plan is ambitious and achievable. So he's going to call on Congress to pass nearly $2 trillion in the COVID-19 relief package which will do a couple of things. One, it calls for raising the minimum wage, federal minimum wage to $15. It would boost those direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000. It also has money in there to safely reopen schools.
But the biggest thing, the biggest takeaway here is that Joe Biden is calling for billions of dollars, roughly $200 billion to create a national vaccine program. And the reason why that matters is because our team is told that the Biden transition only this week, with six days to go before he is sworn in as the next president, that the Biden transition team just this week got access to the federal vaccine monitoring program that they use so track the distribution within states. And what they learned is that Trump administration never really fully invested in an infrastructure to help the states get the vaccines basically from the trucks and into people's arms.
And so now, the Biden team will be caught having to course-correct in real-time this vaccination plan. And this, of course, goes back to testing and PPE shortages in the early days of the pandemic with the Trump administration put all of the onus on the states and gave them none of the help. Well, now, Joe Biden is trying to change that, a 180-degree flip. But in order to do it, he needs Congress to basically fund it.
So this will be an early legislative test for him. It will be an early legislative test for those Republicans who say that they, you know, want to work with him and turn the page and all of that, Joy.
REID: It looks like President-elect Biden has come out. Let's listen.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's been 343 days since the virus tragically that has ravaged our nation tragically claimed its first life. On February the 6th in 2020, Patricia Dowd took her last breath at home under the California sun in Santa Clara. She was 57 years old, a beloved wife, mother, daughter and sister. She never knew she had the virus, at a time when most folks never heard about the virus. But just like that, she was gone.
And almost exactly one year later, nearly 400,000 -- 400,000 of our fellow Americans have met the same cruel fate. Countless families and friends left behind with unrelenting grief and guilt, anger and frustration. And the emptiness felt by the loss of life is compounded by the loss of our way of life.
During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with the job and a paycheck. Millions of Americans never thought they'd be out of work. Many of them never even can envision the idea -- are facing eviction, waiting for hours in their cars to feed their families as they drive up to a food bank.
Millions have kept their jobs, but have seen their hours and paychecks reduced, barely hanging on as well.
That's happening today in the United States of America. Just as we're in the midst of the dark winter of this pandemic, as cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike at record levels, there is real pain overwhelming the real economy, one where people rely on paychecks, not their investments, to pay for their bills and their meals and their children's needs.
You won't see this pain if your score -- if your scorecard is how things are going on Wall Street. But you will see it very clearly if you examine what the twin crises of a pandemic and this sinking economy have laid bare, the growing divide between those few people at the very top, who are doing quite well in this economy, and the rest of America.
Just since this pandemic began, the wealth of the top 1 percent of the nation has grown roughly $1.5 trillion since the end of last year, four times the amount for the entire bottom 50 percent of American wage-earners.
Some 18 million Americans are still relying on unemployment insurance. Some 400,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors. And it's not hard to see that we're in the middle of a once-in-several-generations economic crisis with a once-in-several-generations public health crisis.
A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there's no time to waste. We have to act, and we have to act now. This is what economists are telling us. More importantly, it's what the values we hold dear in our hearts as Americans are telling us.
A growing chorus of top economists agree that the moment of crisis -- in this moment of crisis, with interest rates at historic lows, we cannot afford inaction. It's not just that smart fiscal investments, including deficit spending, are more urgent than ever. It's that the return on these investments in jobs, racial equity will prevent long-term economic damage, and the benefits will far out-surpass -- far surpass the cost.
A growing number of top economists have shown even our debt situation will be more stable, not less stable, if we seize this moment with vision and purpose.
And so, tonight, I'd like to talk to you about our way forward, a two-step plan of rescue and recovery, a two-step plan to build a bridge to the other side of the crisis we face to a better, stronger, more secure America.
Tonight, I will lay out my first step, the American Rescue Plan, that will tackle the pandemic and get direct financial assistance and relief to Americans who need it the most.
Next month, in my first appearance before a joint session of Congress, I will lay out my Build Back Better recovery plan that. It make historic investments in infrastructure, that Build Back Better plan, infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy, investments in a caregiving economy and in skills and training needed by our workers to be able to compete and win in the global economy of the coming years.
Moody's, an independent Wall Street firm, said my approach will create more than 18 million good-paying jobs. Our rescue and recovery plan is a path forward, with both seriousness of purpose and a clear plan, with transparency and accountability, with a call for unity that is equally necessary.
And unity is not some pie-in-the-sky dream. It's a practical step to getting the things we have to get done as a country, get done together.
As I said when it passed in December, the bipartisan COVID relief package was a very important first step. And I'm grateful for the Democrats, Republicans and independent members of Congress who came together to get it done.
But I said at the time, it's just a down payment. We need more action, more bipartisanship, and we need to move quickly. We need to move fast.
Our Rescue Plan starts aggressively in order to speed up our national COVID-19 response. The vaccines offer so much hope, and we're grateful to the scientists and researchers and everyone who participated in the clinical trials.
We're also grateful for the rigorous review and testing that has led to millions of people around the world already being vaccinated safely.
But the vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far.
Tomorrow, I will lay out our vaccination plan to correct course and meet our goal of 100 million shots at the end of my first 100 days as president. This will be one of the most challenging operational efforts we have ever undertaken as a nation. We will have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated, to create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people's arms, to increase vaccine supply, and to get it out the door as fast as possible.
We will also do everything we can to keep our educators and students safe, to safely reopen a majority of our K-8 schools by the end of the first 100 days. We can do this if we give the school districts, the schools themselves, the communities, the states the clear guidance they need, as well as the resources they need that they can't afford right now because of the economic dilemma they're in.
That means more testing and transportation, additional cleaning and sanitizing services in those schools, protective equipment and ventilation systems in those schools. We need to make sure that workers who have COVID-19 symptoms are quarantined, and those who need to take care of their family members with COVID-19 symptoms should be able to stay home from work and still get paid.
This will reduce the spread of the virus and make sure workers get the support they need to maintain their families. But, but they need about -- we need about $400 billion in funding from Congress to make all of what I just said happen.
It's a great deal, but I'm convinced we're ready to get this done. The very health of our nation is at stake.
Our Rescue Plan also includes immediate relief to Americans hardest hit and most in need. We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it the most. The $600 already appropriated is simply not enough, if you just have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table.
Even for those who have kept their jobs, these checks are really important. You see, if you're an American worker making $40,000 a year, with less than $400 in savings, maybe you have lost hours, or maybe you're doing fewer shifts, driving a truck or caring for the kids or the elderly.
You're out there putting your life on the line to work during this pandemic, and worry every week that you will get sick, lose your job, or worse; $2,000 is going to go a long way to ease that pain.
We will also provide more peace of mind for struggling families by extending unemployment insurance beyond the end of March for millions of workers. That means that 18 million Americans currently running out of unemployment benefits, while they look for work, can count on these checks continuing to be there.
Plus, there will be a $400-per-week supplement, so people can make ends meet.
This gets money quickly into the pockets of millions of Americans, who will spend it immediately on food and rent and other basic needs. As the economists tell us, that helps the whole economy grow.
We will also tackle the growing hunger crisis in America.
As I speak -- and the vice president-elect has spoken to this many times -- one in seven households in America, more than one in five black and Latino households in America, report they don't have enough food to eat.
This includes 30 million adults and as many as 12 million children. It's wrong. It's tragic. It's unnecessary. It's unacceptable.
So, we're going to extend emergency nutritional assistance for 30 -- for 43 million children and their families enrolled in the SNAP program through the rest of this year.
We'll help Hardee's restaurants prepare meals for the hungry, provide food for the families who need it.
We'll invest $3 billion in making sure mothers and their young children have the nutrition they need.
This will not only meet our moral obligation we have to one another, but it will also spur economic growth, get restaurants and workers back on the job.
And, as we work to keep people from going hungry, we'll also work to keep a roof over their heads to stem the growing housing crisis and evictions that are looming.
Approximately 14 million Americans are falling behind on rent, many at risk of eviction. If we don't act now, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months, as the pandemic rages on. This would overwhelm emergency shelters, increase COVID-19 infections, as people have nowhere to go and can't socially distance.
Next week, we'll take action to extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures. This will provide -- this will provide more than 25 million Americans greater stability, instead of living on the edge every single month.
And I'm asking Congress to do its part by funding rental assistance for 14 million hard-hit families and tenants. It will also be a bridge to economic recovery for countless mom-and-pop landlords.
These crises are straining the budgets of states and cities and tribal communities that are forced to consider layoff and service restrictions of the most needed workers. It means that people putting their lives at risk are the very people now at risk of losing their jobs, police officers, firefighters, all first responders, nurses, educators.
You know, over the last year alone, over 600,000 educators have been lost -- have lost their jobs in our cities and towns.
Our Rescue Plan will provide emergency funding to keep these essential workers on the job and maintain essential services. It will ensure that vaccines are administered and schools can reopen.
Vice president-elect Harris and I have been speaking with county officials, mayors, governors of both parties on a regular basis. We're ready to work with them, help them get the relief they need.
Our Rescue Plan will also help small businesses that are the engines of our economic growth, our economy at whole -- as a whole, the glue that holds communities together as well. But they're hurting badly. And do you realize they account for nearly half of the entire total U.S. work force?
Our Rescue Plan will provide flexible grants to help those hardest-hit small businesses survive the pandemic, and the low-cost capital that will help entrepreneurs of all backgrounds create and maintain jobs, plus provide the essential goods and services that communities depend upon.
Last week, I laid out how we'll make sure that our emergency small business relief is distributed swiftly and equitably, unlike the first time around.
We're going to focus on small businesses, on Main Street. We'll focus on minority-owned small businesses, women-owned small businesses, and finally having equal access to the resources they need to reopen and to rebuild.
And we will be responsible with taxpayers' dollars, ensuring accountability that reduces waste and fraud and abuse, like we did in the Recovery Act that I administered in our administration.
Direct cash payments, extended unemployment insurance, rent relief, food assistance, keeping essential front-line workers on the job, aid to small businesses, these are keys to the American Rescue Plan that would lift 12 million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half. That's five million children lifted out of poverty if we move.
Our plan will reduce poverty in the black community by one-third and reduce poverty in the Hispanic community by almost 40 percent. And it includes much more, like an increase in the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. People tell me that's going to be hard to pass. Florida just passed it. As divided as that state is, they just passed it.
The rest of the country is ready to move as well. There should be a national minimum wage of $15 an hour. No one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line. That's what it means. If you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you're living in poverty.
It includes access to affordable child care that will enable parents, particularly women, to get back to work.
I look forward to working with members of Congress from both parties to move quickly to get the American Rescue Plan to the American people. And then we can move with equal urgency and bipartisanship to my Build Back Better recovery plan that I will call for next month to generate even more economic growth.
American manufacturing was the arsenal of democracy in World War II. It will be so again. Imagine a future made in America, all made in America, and all by Americans. We'll use taxpayers' dollars to rebuild America. We'll buy American products, supporting millions of American manufacturing jobs, enhancing our competitive strength in an increasingly competitive world.
Imagine historic investments in research and development to sharpen America's innovative edge in markets for global leadership is up for grabs, markets like the battery technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, clean energy. Imagine confronting the climate crisis with American jobs and ingenuity leading the world.
It's time to stop talking about infrastructure and to finally start building an infrastructure, so we can be more competitive, millions of good-paying jobs that put Americans to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our ports to make them more climate-resilient, to make them faster, cheaper, cleaner, to transport American-made goods across our country and around the world. That's how we compete.
And imagine millions of jobs in the caregiving economy to ease the financial burden of caring for young children and aged loved ones. Let's make sure our caregivers, mostly women, women of color, immigrants, have the same pay and dignity that they deserve, so we can do these bold, practical things now, now.
You know, I know what I just described does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly. The consensus among leading economists is, we simply cannot afford not to do what I'm proposing.
Independent and respected institutions from around the world, from the Federal Reserve, to the International Monetary Fund, have underscored the urgency. Even Wall Street firms have reinforced the logic. If we invest now boldly, smartly, and with unwavering focus on American workers and families, we will strengthen our economy, reduce inequity, and put our nation's long-term finances on the most sustainable course, and where we're making permanent investments, recurring investments.
As I said on the campaign trail, we will pay for them by making sure that everyone pays their fair share, not punishing anybody. We can do it without punishing a single person by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas, or to allow American companies, 90 of the top Fortune 500, to pay zero federal income taxes.
Asking everyone to pay their fair share at the top, so we can make permanent investments to rescue and rebuild America, it's the right thing for our economy. It's the fair thing. It's the decent thing to do.
We not only have an economic imperative to act now. I believe we have a moral obligation. In this pandemic, in America, we cannot let people go hungry. We cannot let people get evicted. We cannot watch nurses, educators and others lose their jobs. We so badly need them. We must act now and act decisively.
My fellow Americans, the decisions we make in the next few weeks and months are going to determine whether we thrive in a way that benefits all Americans, or whether we stay stuck in a place where those at the top do great, while economic growth for most everyone else is just a spectator sport, and where American prospects dim, not brighten.
These investments will determine whether we reassert American leadership and out-compete our competitors in a global economy. We're better equipped to do this than any nation in the world, whether we watch them catch up and pass us by.
Together, I know which path we'll choose. That includes all Americans so we can own the 21st century. We lead (ph) with all these bold steps, it's going to take time to get where we need to be. There will be stumbles, but I will always be honest with you about both the progress we're making and what setbacks we meet.
And there will -- here's the deal: the more people we vaccinate, the faster we do it, the sooner we can save lives and put this pandemic behind us and get back to our lives and our loved ones, and the sooner we can rescue and rebuild the American economy, the biggest and most profitable engine in the world.
I know it's been nearly a year. It's tested us beyond measure. For all of you who have lost someone, my heart goes out to you. I know that feeling looking at an empty chair across the table.
All of you have fallen on hard times, I know you can never get back what you lost, but as your president, I know that every day matters and every person matters. From the very first to the nearly 400,000 lost American souls and counting, to the millions of you just looking for a fighting chance in this economy, I promise you, we will not forget you. We understand what you're going through. We will never, ever give up.
And we will come back. We'll come back together. And we didn't get into all this overnight. We won't get out of it overnight. And we can't do it as a separated and divided nation.
The only way we can do it is to come together, to come together as fellow Americans, as neighbors, as a United States of America. And when we do, there's nothing beyond our capacity -- I've said this many times. When America acts as one, there's never been a single thing we've been unable to do, no matter how consequential this year has been.
Out of all the peril of this moment, I want you to know, I give you my word, I see the promise, the promise as well. We've seen clearly what we face now.
Now we're being so optimistic about America, as optimistic as I've ever been. We have everything we need, but the will must be demonstrated.
So come Wednesday we begin a new chapter. The vice president-elect and I will do our best to meet all the expectations you have for the country and the expectations we have for it.
I'm confident, I am truly confident. Together -- together, we can get this done and come out better off than what we went into this crisis.
God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: There he is, President-elect Joe Biden walking off stage after giving his address on his plan to address the economic and health crisis that we face right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said we have to act and we have to act now. He called the current vaccine rollout as it has been done so far by the current administration a dismal failure so far, and he laid out what he would do differently.
Still with me, Dr. Vin Gupta. Also joining us is Loyce Pace, a member of President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.
Before I get to you on, let me get your reactions to it very quickly for our audience, to summarize, Joe Biden planning to put in 1,400 additional dollars on top of the $600 people already received. He has some other proposals including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide, asking Congress to extend the eviction for closure moratoria and adding a SNAP increase for those that are hungry.
On the rescue side, on the COVID-19 side, $20 billion for a national vaccine plan launching community vaccination centers, $50 billion for testing, adding local places for people to be vaccinated, $10 billion for vaccine supplies.
I want to go you to Dr. Gupta, from what you heard about that side of the plan, the vaccine side of the plan, what did you make of it? What did you think?
DR. VIN GUPTA, CRITICAL CARE PULMONOLOGIST: Joy, you know, it's the type of think big disaster mindset that we needed all along since the beginning of 2020 and I'm glad that we're seeing it now. We need more places for Americans to get shots, and more people frankly to administer the shots. So, some sort of train the trainer program, where you don't have to be a health care worker necessarily to give the vaccine. We have people giving insulin to themselves all the time. We need to think big here.
So, I'm encouraged by that. You know, mobilize, as I say this as a reservist in the air force, we need to mobilize our military. No the just expecting governors to mobilize our national guards but mobilize the federal military asset set that they have at hand. So that's gong to be vital as well.
And if I could quickly say this is where messaging is going to be key. Now, we have a president that is messaging on point to the science and evidence and I'm hoping the governors across the country are paying attention. When it comes to schools, I'm hearing from different teachers unions, why are we going back into in person instruction with a new strain that is transmissible when we could be adversely impacted? Teachers deserve to be vaccinated.
Alaska Airlines just said that they're going to start flying to full capacity. No more middle seats can be blocked out. That just makes no logical sense. What happened to social distancing?
We need private sector partners that play their part here. Governors in 45 states still to continue to have to endure restaurants open. Again, we need them to be partners for the Biden administrations. We have common sense policies so that we can really decrease transmission until the vaccination process really ramps up by the spring.
REID: You know that, is an excellent point.
And, Loyce Pace, I want to bring in here. I mean, at this point in our country, we have 23 million people who are infected with COVID, 388,000 people have died. Among the infected, we just got another member of Congress, Adriano Espaillat of New York also testing positive.
The vaccine rollout so far has been slow. Eleven million people have gotten the shots, 30 million doses distribute. That is a pittance of compared to what we were promised. I wonder as you listen and obviously you're a part of this plan, why roll this out in February? Why not make this immediate in the first days of the new Biden administration?
And why not as Dr. Gupta said include enlisting the military in getting this vaccine out. Having teachers, training people in schools to be vaccinators so that we can make this happen faster for teachers and other vulnerable workers?
LOYCE PACE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL HEALTH COUNCIL: Well, some of that is actually happening, Joy. I really appreciate you and Ben both raising it. We absolutely need to bring the full breath of our capability to bear, and that includes working closely with these very communities and leaders in those communities to make that happen.
So, as you mentioned, there are 100,000 community health workers and acknowledgement that there are even more people beyond that number working with local networks, clinics, community-based organizations who can be of assistance. And absolutely, thinking of this as a disaster plan and there is absolutely a commitment to bringing in the National Guard as the states need them.
And not only that, but fully funding that on behalf of the states if required, I think what I'm impressed by is the fact that the president-elect is bringing the full resources of the federal government to bear or is at least wanting to do so as he steps into this role. To your other question about timing, I think the reality is we have next Wednesday as a starting point. But there are still things that we don't know and we don't want to act too prematurely too. We don't want to rush into this and continue to make mistakes in the process.
I think the team going in needs to truly understand what they're dealing with, because there are still things they may not know. I'm encouraged by the conversations that the advisory board and transition staff have been having again with those state, local, and tribal leaders to truly understand what they need and I think that this is how the president-elect and vice president-elect is trying to step up.
REID: Yeah, indeed, and to say nothing of the economic devastation people are facing. I think everyone can agree that it is refreshing to have empathy from the leader of the country. A plan that's helpful as well. And at least what looks like a determination to finally get this virus under control. That was very good news. Very good to hear.
Dr. Vin Gupta and Loyce Pace, thank you both very much. Appreciate you both.
PACE: Good to see you.
REID: And coming up, D.C. locks down and -- thank you -- and armors up ahead of the Biden inauguration now less than six days away. New information tonight about the potential for deadly violence ahead. Don't go anywhere.
REID: With six days until the inauguration, Capitol Hill is still reeling from the deadly insurrection last week. According to "Politico", lawmakers are privately questioning the safety of their families, their staff, and themselves.
House Democrats are also demanding an investigation into the Republican members of Congress who were seen giving reconnaissance tours to people who appeared to are associated with the rally at the White House the day before the siege. All of Washington is on high alert through MLK weekend in advance of Wednesday's inauguration with upwards of 20,000 National Guard troops gathering in the nation's capital.
As "Politico" reports, those troops are being told to prepare for the potential threat of improvised explosives. D.C.'s mayor is encouraging people to stay away from the city.
Meanwhile, the FBI continues to round up suspects involved in the deadly assault. Recent arrests include a retired firefighter who allegedly threw a fire extinguisher at police, and a man seen parading with a Confederate flag who said he was just following Trump's instructions.
I'm joined now by Natasha Bertrand, national security correspondent for "Politico", and two former federal prosecutors, Paul Butler and Glenn Kirschner.
Natasha, I'm gong to start with you.
"The Washington Post" reports that dozens of people who were already on the FBI terrorist watch list came to Washington, D.C. Put a pin on that.
Yahoo! News reporting that bitcoin payments were being made to right-wing activists a month before the Capitol riot from a foreign account.
This sounds like a massive security failure. Do you think that there is more information being professionally used ahead of the inauguration?
NATASHA BERTRAND, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Yeah, I think that this was more a failure to act on the intelligence than it was a failure of intelligence, right? I mean, it seems like law enforcement and the FBI had plenty of indication that this could turn violent and that people were communicating in these chat rooms and trying to organize to storm the Capitol specifically and potentially even take hostages.
So I think that the FBI in particular is now trying to step and up say, look, we have been collecting this intelligence, we shared it with our local partners and state partners, and it's really up to them, up to Capitol police, up to the National Guard, up to all of these security actors, to provide the appropriate kind of perimeter around the inauguration to keep people safe, particularly obviously the partly cloudy and the vice president-elect.
But I do think more is probably going to come out about the security failures we saw last week. Just the fact that we're learning people on the terrorist watch list were there is alarming to say the least. The FBI did warn some of those people, reportedly, to stay away from Washington, D.C. for last week's rally. But a lot of them did not stay away.
So, now, with this fence around the Capitol --
BERTRAND: -- with all the preparations being made, I think that we're hoping that it's going to fizzle.
REID: Well, and, Glenn Kirschner, you know, you have Paul Waldman, who wrote a piece at "The Washington Post," saying that Republican politics is now defined by people not afraid their base won't vote for them again and causing their job, they're afraid they'll literally kill them, that's what Republicans are now afraid of with their own base.
How do we prevent this with the laws that are on the books? Do sedition laws -- walk us through sedition laws and how they can be helpful in this moment.
GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Sure, Joy. Well, this to me looks like a number of different federal crimes, seditious conspiracy, for one, and insurrection or inciting insurrection. You know, seditious conspiracy can be proved in a number of ways.
One way is to prove that two or more persons conspired to overthrow the government, or they conspired by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority of the United States. That's a 20-year offense.
What I expect to see is the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia has been bringing some of the relatively lower-level charges, the easier charges to prove immediately. But then they will begin to build in the grand jury, and I expect we will see some far more significant charges, like seditious conspiracy, and like insurrection.
REID: You know, and, Paul, it was a failure of not using intelligence, as Natasha said, but it's also a failure of just imagination, the seeming inability of these agencies to imagine people who are not black or brown being dangerous, right? I mean, you had hundreds of black police officers on the capitol police who have sued the department, who have said, look, there are racist folks in here. Nobody listened to them and they were suing.
So, do you think we now have to go through the Capitol police, top to bottom, for reform here?
PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Absolutely. Hundreds of black officers have sued the Capitol police for race discrimination. And now we know there's actually an investigation to see if some of the officers were complicit in the takeover of the Capitol, 12 officers have been suspended. We saw one Capitol Hill officer taking selfies with rioters. Another one had a make America great cap on.
These African-American cops have been warning about some of their fellow officers for 20 years, but it was like they were howling in the wind, now the cost of ignoring racism are evident.
REID: And very quickly, I'm going to give you the last word on this, Glenn. When can we start seeing people in court, do you expect?
KIRSCHNER: Oh, we're seeing them in court now, Joy. They're being arrested in real-time. We see these people, and we have to call them what they are, they are domestic terrorists.
And I was so disappointed when the acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, but a 3-minute and 39-second video on the Department of Justice website late last night, and he called them violators, wrongdoers, intruders, like they were littering and jaywalking. They were domestic terrorists and we need to call them out.
REID: Paul, that is the same thing, again. Isn't that the same issue we were just talking about?
BUTLER: Yeah. It's the same thing as when African-Americans make claims about racism. We typically aren't believed. Until white people, frankly, pay the cost. Now the cost of ignoring this racism is a threat to our democracy. I haven't seen this many troops in D.C. since the Black Lives Matter rally.
REID: Yeah, and you're quite right. I don't think we have much time. Absolutely.
Natasha Bertrand, Paul Butler, Glenn Kirschner, I apologize, we don't have much more time. We did have that speech by Biden in the middle.
So, thank you all for being here.
That is tonight's REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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