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tv   President Biden Vice Pres. Harris on Passage of Infrastructure Deal  CSPAN  August 11, 2021 6:00am-6:38am EDT

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vp harris: good afternoon, we continue the work to strengthen our nations care economy, and this is true today. because today, we move one step
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closer to making a once in a generation investment in our nations infrastructure. today, democrats, independents, and republicans in the united states senate passed the infrastructure investment and jobs act. let me describe why this bill is so important. it is an investment in the roads and bridges we drive on every day to get our kids to school. it is investment in the public transit we rely on to get to work. it will mean people in our nation won't have to drink water from lead pipes or go to a fast food working lot to get high-speed internet. this bill will also establish a national network on electric vehicle chargers that the president has been fighting for
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for a long time and build towards a national fleet of electric school buses. the way i see it, investment in infrastructure provides people with what they need to get where they need to go. this bill that passed the senate today gives people what they need to get where they need to go. and it will do that while also creating millions of good union jobs for our nations workers. it will do that while also helping our nation's businesses compete worldwide. just so we are clear, we are not going to raise middle-class taxes to pay for it because that is what the president promised, and that is what we must deliver. this afternoon i was proud to preside over the senate vote,
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and i want to thank the senators who worked together to pass this bill. i also think the members of the house -- thank the members of the house who will work to get this bill to the president's desks. first and foremost, we would not be here today were it not for the leadership of our president, joe biden. mr. president, from the very start welcomed ideas. you welcomed debate. you welcomed democrats, independents, and republicans to meet with us in the oval office. in those meetings i watched as you listened. in those meetings, you deliberated. you were determined to bring all sides together and deliver real results to the people of our
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nation. and i know that even after this vote, our work will not stop. even when you sign the bill into law, our work will not stop. we will never stop working on behalf of the american people. so, thank you, mr. president. thank you, thank you. it is now my great honor to introduce the president of the united states, joe biden. pres. biden: well, thank you, madam vice president. first of all, i want to thank a group of senators, democrats and republicans, for doing what they told me they would do. the death of this legislation was mildly premature as reported.
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they said they were willing to work in a by pair -- bipartisan manner and i want to thank them, that's just what they did. after years and years of infrastructure week, we are on the cusp of an infrastructure decade that i think will transform america. as you all know, a short while ago the u.s. senate passed the infrastructure investment and jobs act, the very legislation i ran on when i announced my candidacy for the nomination for president. historic investment in the nation's roads and highway, clean energy, environmental cleanup, and making infrastructure more resilient and the climate crisis much more in our minds and how we deal with it. you know, we are poised once again, and i mean this in the literal sense, to make the same kind of historic investment that
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is so often made -- has so often made it possible for america to build the future and allow us to outcompete the rest of the world. from tilting the ear he canal in the early 1800s to the transcontinental railroad. to the construction of the civil war and the dwight eisenhower highway system of the 1950's. the investments that literally connected our entire nation and fundamentally changed the pattern of life in america. to the public investments that took us to the moon and the discovery of lifesaving medicines and vaccines. gave us the internet. america has often had the greatest prosperity and made the most progress when we invest in america itself. and that's what this infrastructure bill does, with overwhelming support from the u.s. senate. 69 votes in the senate.
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a vote margin bigger than when the internet highway system passed in 1956. -- interstate highway system passed in 1956. creating jobs across the country, smitty's, small towns, rural and tribal communities. america, america, this is how we truly build back better. this bill is going to put people to work, modernizing our roads, highways, and bridges so that commuters and truckers don't lose time and traffic. today up to 10 million homes in america, more than 400,000 schools and childcare centers have pipes with lead in them, including for drinking water. this is a clear and present danger to the health of america. particularly our children's health. this bill will put plumbers and pipefitters to work, replacing
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all the lead pipes so that every child in america can turn on a faucet at home in school and know that they are drinking clean water. during remote learning and the pandemic last year, we sought too many families forced to literally sit in their vehicles and a fast food parking lot so that their children could get on the internet that they couldn't afford and didn't have access to at home. the bill will deliver affordable high-speed internet to every american, a necessity for the 21st century. we have also seen in the last couple of years the damage done in texas and other places where transmission lines carrying power were taken down by extreme and unanticipated weather, leaving millions without electricity for weeks and weeks, costing the economy billions of dollars.
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this bill provides upgrades to the power grid so that more secure, resilient, and cleaner energy can be transferred across the wires. down in new orleans i met with incredible women and men who are in charge of the water system, some of it running on technology that is literally 100 years old. this bill is going to provide opportunities to upgrade that system and it also allows american workers to strengthen our national infrastructure, like the levees. they are at risk of catastrophic collapse in the face of extreme weather like super storms, wildfires, droughts, and heat waves. last week i stood, and many of you were with me, on the south lawn of the white house with the united auto workers and leaders of the big three automobile companies in america, surrounded by iconic american vehicles that
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will all be electric and made right here in america in the not-too-distant future. it's also going to put electrical workers to work installing a truly national network of electric vehicle charging stations, changing the way that we travel and move. by the way, around them you will see, just like gas stations other industries will build up. we have the benefit of significantly losing pollution on the roads. look, this bill, i believe, will make the most important investment in public transit in american history. when i went to philadelphia not long ago for the 50th anniversary of amtrak, i was proud to be able to say that the bill was in the works and that it would be the most important investment in rail since the creation of amtrak itself.
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the bill will upgrade railroad tracks so that people can get to work and their destinations faster and build new lines to get people to more places faster. reducing, i might add, pollution . another critical part of the bill, 90% of the jobs created don't require a college degree. tired of hearing me say that, i know, but this is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild america. we are going to do all of this by keeping my commitment. we will not raise taxes by one cent on people making less than $400,000 a year. everyone from union to business leaders to economists, left, right, and center, believe the public investment in this bill will include more jobs, higher productivity, higher growth for the economy over the long term. forecasters on wall street
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project that over the next 10 years the economy will expand by trillions of dollars and create an additional 2 million jobs per year beyond what was already projected. good paying jobs around the country. experts believe that the majority of the benefits will flow to working families. faster commute. cleaner water. available and affordable internet. these are the things that working families need to. -- need. last week the jobs report showed the economy recovering at a record rate. 940,000 new jobs created in july. it's going to go up and down, but 4 million created since i took office. this bill is going to help take a historic recovery a long-term boom. folks, above all, this
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investment infrastructure is what i believe you, the american people, one. what you have been asking for for a long, long time. this bill shows that we can work together. i know a lot of people, some in the audience, who didn't this could happen. this bill has been declared dead more often than anyway. that bipartisanship was a thing of the past. from the time that i announced my candidacy to bring the country together in a bipartisan way, it was characterized as a relic of an earlier age, as you may -- age. as you may well remember, i never believed that and i still don't. i want to thank senators who work so hard to bring this together. i know it wasn't easy. for the republicans who supported the bill, you showed a lot of courage and i would like to personally thank you for that and i have called most of you on
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the phone to do just that. you have and no doubt will disagree with me on many issues, but where we can agree, we should. here on this bill we proved you can still come together to do big things, important things for the american people. for the democrats who supported the bill, we can be proud of this unprecedented vestment that is going to transform the nation and change millions of lives for the better. think about what's going to happen in a practical sense. clogged arteries at the heart of our economy are going to be opened up, reducing transportation costs, reduce commuting costs, and as a result reduce costs overall for families and businesses. safety positions -- provisions, as i said not long ago, everyone can tell you what the most dangerous intersections in their community are. there is money there to deal
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with those specific needs. thousands of bridges will be safer and more accessible and as you have heard me say before, some bridges are so weak, they couldn't have a fire truck go across it, requiring the fire department to go 10 to 12 miles out of the way just to get literally a mile away to put out a fire. millions of lead pipes carrying drinking water to homes, schools, and daycare centers are finally going to be replaced. never again can we allow what happened, michigan -- happened in flint, michigan or jackson, mississippi, to happen again. high-speed internet will be available to everyone everywhere. farmers can get the best prices by knowing when to sell. children in chicago or philadelphia never again have to sit in a parking lot of a mcdonald's to do their homework.
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this is transformational. i know compromise is hard for both sides. but it is important, important and nevers -- necessary for democracy to be able to function and i want to thank everyone on both sides of the aisle for supporting this bill. today we proved democracy can still work. but we have more work to do. i want to thank republican, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell for supporting the bill. i want to give special thanks to chuck schumer, whose leadership was masterful in the senate. let's be clear. the work is far from done. the bill now has to go to the house of representatives, where i look forward to winning its approval. we have to get to work on the next critical piece of my agenda, the bill back better plan.
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making housing more affordable. providing clean energy tax cuts, including to homeowners, to make energy-efficient improvements in their homes. bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, making elder care more affordable, giving middle-class families and children a tax break, a tax cut. the one that they are -- receiving now that gives them just a little bit of breathing room. this is a plan that invests in the american people, their future, and their success. it will be paid for by having the largest corporations, including 55 of them who didn't pay a single penny and federal income tax, and the super wealthy, to pay their fair share. i want corporations to do incredibly well. but this isn't going to change anything for you.
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you will still have your three homes, whatever you need, and corporations will continue to do well. i have more to say about this later as the senate continues its work, but today i'm happy to mark this significant milestone on the road to making but we all know are long overdue, much needed investments in basic, hard infrastructure in this nation. i truly believe that this bill proves the voice of the people will be heard and we can all come together to make a difference in the lives of the people. as you heard me say it before, and i apologize for repeating it, there are no republican bridges or democratic roads. this is a moment that lives beyond the headlines and beyond partisan soundbites. beyond the culture of stint outrage as entertainment. this is about us doing the real hard work of governing.
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it's about democracy delivering for the people. this is about winning the future. it's about doing our job. it's about building an economy from the bottom up in the middle out, giving everyone a decent chance at a decent life and when the bottom in the middle do well, the wealthy do very, very well. nobody, nobody, nobody gets hurt. this is what i call governing, government doing its job, making sure everybody is better off. i have said it many times and i will say it again today, we are the united states of america. there is nothing, nothing we can't do, if we do it together. so, thank you. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. >> [indiscernible] pres. biden: arlene, ap.
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>> what is your reaction to the announcement from governor cuomo to step down. you called on him to resign, did you think you would? pres. biden: i respect the governor's decision and the decision that he made. >> how concerned are you now about children in school, given that 94% of children are too young to get vaccinated, what are your concerns around school staying open as you have asked? pres. biden: my concerns have deepened. i'm very concerned. we all know why. look, i understand that there are millions of people, adults, who decided not to get vaccinated. i understand that to badger those folks is not likely to get them to move or get vaccinated.
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i also understand that the reason children are becoming infected is because in most cases they live in low vaccination rate states and communities and they are getting it from unvaccinated adults. that's what's happening. so, mike lee -- my plea is, and for those who are not vaccinated, think about it. god willing, the fda will be coming out in a reasonable timeframe to say that this vaccine is totally safe. we have seen millions of doses around the world. a billion doses already. we know how it's transmitted. one of the things that i find a little disingenuous, when i suggest that people in zones
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where there is a high risk where the mask, like you all are doing , i'm told government should get out of the way and not do that. they don't have the authority to do that. i find it interesting that some of the very people saying that, who hold government positions, are people who are threatening that if a schoolteacher asks a student if they have been vaccinated, or if a principal says everyone in my school should wear a mask or the school board votes for it, that governor will nullify it that -- nullify that, the governor has the ability to nullify that. i found that counterintuitive and disingenuous. ask [indiscernible] intervene in texas -- >> [indiscernible]
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intervene in texas and florida? pres. biden: i don't believe i do, we are checking on that. but on the federal workforce, i can and i think that will should understand, seeing little kids, four years old, five years old, six years old and hospitals on ventilators, some of them passing, not many, but some of them passing, it's almost, it's, it's, well i should not characterize beyond that. >> as the head of the party, what impact does the formal resignation have on the party should mark -- party? pres. biden: the impact is all on andrew cuomo and his decision and i respect that decision. >> in the last few days, multiple cities in afghanistan have fallen to the taliban and there is irrefutable evidence that the vast majority of those forces cannot hold ground there.
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has your decision to withdraw changed at all? pres. biden: no. look, we spent over $1 trillion over 20 years, training over 300,000 afghan forces. afghan leaders have to come together. we lost thousands, death and injury to thousands of american s&l. they have got to fight for themselves. fight for their nation. the united states, i insist, will continue to keep the commitments we made, providing air support, making sure that their air force functions and is operable. resupplying their forces with food and equipment and paying all of their salaries.
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but they have got to want to fight. they have outnumbered the taliban. i'm getting daily briefings and there is delay significant possibility that a new secretary of defense, our equivalent in afghanistan, who is a serious fighter, i think they are beginning to realize that they have got to come together politically at the top. but we will continue to keep our commitment and i do not regret my decision. yes, ma'am? >> on the infrastructure bill and the work ahead of you now, are you concerned or hesitant that you have the support of all of the democrats on board to get this package through? pres. biden: god love you, dear. look, i have, and i'm not referring to you in particular,
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just overall, was going over some of the quotes from the moment how i got elected how might land was dead. this is the exact same plan that i ran on. we'll see. i continue to be an optimist. i think that we can get a significant portion of the not all, of the reconciliation bill, the budget that they are voting on now, i think that over the next month, the way it's going to work, they vote on all these amendments and then they get to the business of seeing if they can make it work and then they come back. i know you understand this well but the public understand -- wonders what we are talking about sometimes. wondering how much will be spent in the reconciliation bill. we will get enough democrats to vote for it, i think, and i
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think the house will eventually put two bills on my desktop. one on infrastructure and one on reconciliation. thank you. >> mr. president, [inaudible] pres. biden: sorry? >> [inaudible] [indiscernible] mitigation members in place early enough and whether we should have heeded the lessons from other countries in may and june about how the variance spread to. pres. biden: we -- spread. pres. biden: we knew how it spread. we knew how the variant spreads. we put the vaccines together, we have 300 million, 600 million doses of vaccines for americans
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and have exported, when we have exported over half a billion, we knew what is disappointing is that more people were not willing to take the vaccine. we have done everything in our power -- i shouldn't say that, there is probably more, we will do more, but we will continue to try to make the case to the american people who haven't taken the vaccine that it is in your interest, can save your life and the mentally impact -- fundamentally impact the lives of the children and the people you love. the death rate is, don't hold me to the number, significantly, sick if it can be lower than when i inherited this job. when i inherited the coronavirus pandemic, when i first got elected.
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so, the thing that i, i, i continue to hope is that people will overcome their fears. some are just a political statement, but very few. i think most people are worried, and that's why i'm hope that the fda will say that we permanently approve of these vaccines, because we have enough for everyone. and i am hoping that as people realize this, vaccines are picking up, but not at the rate they were before. remember, i was setting up sports stadiums where we had thousands of vaccines today. i wish i could have thought of something that would help make
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everyone want to get the vaccine. but that hasn't been the case. now at the federal level but i am going to be doing is making sure they understand that i do have the authority to say that if you are coming into a federal building, you have to have been vaccinated or show that you will be wearing a mask. and i think that i'm going to use, and i anticipate it is probable that the defense department will, as they put in place all the mechanisms needed to be able to in fact impose or initiate a mandate for all regular forces and resort -- reserves to get vaccinated, i continue to be hopeful. you see, i had a long talk, not long, but a talk with governor asa hutchinson, who said he made a mistake is working hard going around, telling me that is doing a lot of town meetings, not all
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of which are being embraced, but he's making the case and we will continue to make the case. >> mr. president, mr. president. >> ironically one of the democrats who spoke with the most over the years is andrew cuomo. he's resigning today. you traveled to new york with him and during the launch of the reconstruction of laguardia he supported your campaign early on. though you called on him to resign condemned the a lot -- condemned the behavior, as someone who spends a lot of time with mayors and governors, how would you assess his time in state? pres. biden: in terms of his personal behavior or as a governor? >> his job as a governor. pres. biden: he's done a hell of a job. everything on access to voting and infrastructure to a whole range of things. that's why it's so sad >> i have
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a question about the significance of the bipartisan nature of the infrastructure agreement. are there lessons to be learned that can be applied to police reform or civil rights? pres. biden: by you guys will buy me? -- by me? i shouldn't kid. i was reading serious statements about how my plan was dead from the beginning. look, the lesson learned is willing to talk and listen. listen. call people in. let me finish. i think the lesson learned is exposing people to other views. that is why the beginning on all the subjects he raised, i have sat with people and listened to their position. some in agreement, some in disagreement. i think it's a matter of the
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listening and it's a part of democracy. >> if andrew cuomo resigned immediately? >> i'm not -- >> [indiscernible] >> [indiscernible] pres. biden: say again? >> why have you not named a permanent fda commissioner? pres. biden: we are working hard to do that fast. >> following up, can you really say that governor romo has done a hell of a job if he's accused of sexually harassing? pres. biden: should he remain as governor is one question. women should be believed when they make accusations that make sense on the face of them and they are investigated in the judgment was made that what they said was correct. that's one thing. the question was, did he do a good job on infrastructure? that was the question.
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he did. >> his job as governor -- pres. biden: correct me if i'm wrong. >> generally. outside his personal behavior. pres. biden: can you separate them -- i was asked a specific question. what do you want to ask me specifically? >> given that you said it is urgent that the bill is passed, why not have the house take it up immediately for a vote? pres. biden: [laughter] we will get it done. thank you. >> [indiscernible] approval of coronavirus vaccine [indiscernible] >> baltimore police officer commission harrison talks about police reform and crime prevention with the washington
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post. live coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span online at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> c-span's washington journal. everyday we are taking your calls live on the air on the needs of the day, that we will discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, federal spending, the debt limit, and efforts to avoid another government shutdown with our guest. and then this any vice president for government affairs for the national apartment association, on the biden administration's new eviction moratorium. and a look at federal data showing life expectancy in the u.s. with a professor of sociology at the university of texas in austin. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning, and be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, text messages, facebook comments, and
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tweets. >> new york governor andrew cuomo announced his resignation, said to take effect in two weeks. he said the state attorney general's report on allegations against him had no factual basis, but he said he was stepping aside to let the state government get back to work. governor cuomo: first, i have always started by telling new yorkers the facts before my opinion. so let's start new york tough, with the truth. the attorney general did a report on complaints made against me by certain women for my conduct. the report said i sexually harassed 11 women. that was the headline people heard and saw and reacted to. the reaction was outrage, it should have been. heard, saw, and reacted. the reaction was outrage. it should have been. however, it was also farce -- false. my lawyers have reviewed the report and have already raised

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