'This Week' Transcript 10-31-21: Secretary Pete Buttigieg & Rep. Adam Kinzinger
This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, October 31.
A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, October 31, 2021 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC "THIS WEEK" ANCHOR (voice-over): Closing in.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a framework. No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that's what compromise is.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president lays down his bottom line for the Build Back Better plan, hoping to unify Democrats.
REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): I felt a little bamboozled.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Too many no-votes for the BIF to pass today.
QUESTION: Do you trust that Senators Manchin and Sinema will vote based off of what is outlined in this framework?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I trust the president of the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But Biden heads overseas with no deal in hand. What will it take to seal the deal? The latest with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): If I ever thought it was time to move on from Congress, I would, and that time is now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: GOP Trump critic Adam Kinzinger won't run again. What it means for the future of the GOP. He joins us live for his first interview since the announcement.
And our powerhouse roundtable on all the week's politics.
And, as the U.N. climate summit gets under way...
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR: This beach all but disappeared many years ago. Now it's the highway that is threatened.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Martha Raddatz reports on rising sea levels, alarming erosion eating at Hawaii's coastline.
STEVEN V. ROBERTS, AUTHOR, "COKIE: A LIFE WELL LIVED": Countless young women saw her on TV and said: I can be here. I can be that strong.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The new book honoring or friend, colleague and trailblazer Cokie Roberts.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."
Here now, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."
As we come on the air this morning, President Biden is attending the G20 summit in Rome, the first in person meeting of the world leaders since the pandemic.
He went to mass in the pope's archdiocese last night, receiving communion with first lady Jill Biden. And, this morning, Joe Biden met with Turkish President Erdogan. He will give a press conference later today, before heading to Glasgow for the U.N. climate conference.
Chief White House correspondent to Cecilia Vega is traveling with the president. She joins us this morning from Rome.
And, Cecilia, two big items on the agenda at the G20, climate change and getting vaccines to poor countries.
CECILIA VEGA, ABC NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly, George. Good morning to you.
And this is why this is so important. We're talking about the world's 20 largest economies, who are responsible for emitting 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The head of the U.N. recently said the dramatic action they need to take at this summit here, if it doesn't happen, we are looking at a one-way ticket to disaster, he said.
So, really, what is happening here in Rome today is going to set the stage for that high-stakes summit, COP 26, in Glasgow. President Biden heads there tomorrow. And he is really facing serious questions as he heads into that conference as to whether he can meet these huge goals that he has set for reducing emissions back home over the next decade.
You mentioned those vaccine distributions. That is a huge topic here as well. The United States has committed to donating more than a billion doses over the next year. That is more than all of the world's countries combined.
And another major issue here today, George, I want to tell you about, that huge supply crisis that Americans have been following back home that has led to so many empty shelves around the country and high gas -- high prices, leaders are really here trying to today identify where the bottlenecks are in that supply chain crisis.
And one thing that President Biden is about to announce here this morning is this deal with the E.U. over aluminum and steel tariffs. The White House says this is a really big deal because this is going to directly impact Americans and their pocketbooks.
It says it's -- they're going to end up seeing lower prices for really important things and things they have had a hard time finding, like cars and refrigerators and stoves.
But, George, I also got to tell you, we're looking at a press conference later today. The president hasn't had one of these in four months like this. He's going to be facing a lot of questions on all of those topics.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He certainly will. That's not all he's going to be getting questions on. Of course, he's going to be getting questions on the Build Back Better plan as well.
He laid out his framework before he left, but left with no deal. Still doesn't have a deal at hand. Are White House officials optimistic they're going to get it done this week?
VEGA: They are optimistic. And it's not just the White House.
We are hearing finally some pretty serious optimism from Capitol Hill. Democrats are still looking over this legislation. So, as it stands right now, the president does not have this legislation in hand ready to sign.
But House leaders, Democrats on the Hill, are signaling that they could be looking, George, at a vote potentially as soon as Tuesday. But the reality is, President Biden is here right now on this high-stakes European summit without that bill signed. That is not what the White House wanted.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Cecilia Vega, thanks very much.
Let's get more on this now from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Secretary Buttigieg, thanks for joining us this morning.
Let's pick up where Cecilia just left off.
We know that Speaker Pelosi is hoping for a vote on Tuesday. Are you confident you have the votes?
PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We're very optimistic.
The put forward this framework because he believes that it will pass the House and the Senate and can get to his desk. And as soon as it does, it’s going to make such a difference in the lives of Americans.
You know, one of the reasons we have such a sense of urgency about this is that the American people are impatient to see the kind of pro-family policies that are in that Build Back Better Plan, to make sure that we make child care more affordable in this country, to expand 3- and 4-year-old access to preschool, to get millions of Americans needed tax cuts in the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, and that’s just talking about the family parts of the bill.
Obviously huge and urgently needed action on climate change, and of course, that work on transportation infrastructure that I have been talking about all year, improving our roads and bridges, our ports and airports, something that is even more visibly needed as we face some of these supply chain issues, with record levels of goods going through infrastructure that has often been designed a hundred years ago or more.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say the American people are impatient, but we have a new poll out this morning with Ipsos, one that shows -- it shows that 69 percent of the public doesn't know much about the bill, 32 percent think it will actually hurt them. So has this been a failure of communications?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I think that gives me a great opportunity to remind Americans about some of what's in this. For example, if you’re watching this broadcast and you have kids, 9 out of 10 chance that you will personally benefit to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars from that Child Tax Credit expansion.
If you have been thinking about getting an electric vehicle and the savings in fuel that would come from that, think about what your family could do with up to a $12,500 discount on electric vehicles, which we're doing, of course, not just because it's going to benefit your family, but because it's going to benefit those American jobs making them, and importantly, benefit the climate.
Think about the real world everyday impact that it will make for millions of Americans to get that support for child care that's unaffordable. And by the way, one of the other reasons why it's so important to get those child care provisions through is that's also going to help with inflation.
We've got a lot of people who are unable to return to the labor market because they can't get child care. That is a drag on our economy and it's one of the things that’s creating upward pressure on prices which is why 17 Nobel Prize winning economists signed a letter talking about the benefits with regard to inflation that will come from this bill.
So, look, whether you're a policy wonk or whether you're just trying to get through life raising your family, anybody who has ever driven on a road or a bridge, anybody who drinks water, remember, this bill will get lead out of 100 percent of the pipes in the country, anybody concerned about Internet access coming to a neighborhood near you, this bill is for you. And it's one of the reasons why I welcome this opportunity to --
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of --
BUTTIGIEG: -- talk not just about the political blow-by-blow and the day-by-day drama, but what it's actually going to do for the American people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the provisions that's not in the bill, that’s been dropped from the bill is paid family leave. Of course, you’ve had some recent experience with paid leave, taking care of your new twins. It's been dropped from the bill. We know there's still some lobbying going on behind the scenes to get it back in. Any hope for that or is that a fight for another day?
BUTTIGIEG: Look, it's definitely something that we believe in, and so while it is not in this framework, we're going to keep fighting for it. As you said, I believe in it, the president does. And let me say this, any other policy priority that we have as an administration, as a party, it's going to be that much easier to deliver in the future where we are in a position of strength because we've gotten this done.
What we have in front of us right now, this is not half a loaf. It is a feast of good policy. It is the most transformative legislation for families, for health care, for climate, that we've seen certainly in my lifetime, and it's going to be an extraordinary achievement as soon as we can get it to the president's desk, and then departments like mine will be getting to work using those taxpayers dollars well to make everyday American life better.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you're very optimistic, but we still haven't seen expressions of support from the two senators that seem to matter most right now, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, we are the closest we have ever been, and the president put forward this framework having talked to them and others throughout the progressive and moderate wings of our party, confident that it will pass. And, you know, this is a process that's taken up to a year, and a huge amount of consultation, listening.
I've seen the president paying close attention to what members across the party have to say, talking to Republicans. Remember, we got a bipartisan vote for the infrastructure part of the deal.
I wouldn't, by the way, let Republicans off the hook on voting for the family provisions too. I know they probably won't, but it's not too late for some of them to join Democrats who are united in believing that the time has come for us to actually put our mouth -- money where our mouth is, support American families and do it with a fairer tax code that rewards work, not wealth, that asks corporations to pay their fair share, and that makes this a fairer system for everybody.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you're confident, but what are the consequences of failure?
BUTTIGIEG: Look, we just have to get this done. And I’m not just saying that politically. I’m saying that because, look, you -- look at climate, for example, as we prepare for the summit in Glasgow. We have a very limited number of years to cut emissions dramatically. And the president’s laid out a way to do it that’s actually going to create jobs and break that old false choice of climate versus jobs.
We have to do that. We have to deliver for families. The sense of urgency in this administration is part of how our economy has been brought back from the brink, if you think about the bold action in the American Rescue Plan. Now we need bold action to set us up for success, not just getting through the winter but getting through the next decade and beyond.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Buttigieg, thanks for your time this morning.
BUTTIGIEG: Great being with you. Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now to Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, one of only ten GOP members who voted to impeach Donald Trump, one of only two serving on the January 6th committee. He announced on Friday that he would not run again next year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I cannot focus on both a re-election to Congress and a broader fight nationwide. I want to make it clear: this isn't the end of my political future, but the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Congressman Kinzinger joins us now.
Thank you for joining us this morning, Congressman.
What is that broader fight? How are you going to take it on?
KINZINGER: Yeah, with the broader fight, you can -- in the House, as hard as you can, fight to try to tell the truth. You can fight against the cancer in the Republican Party of lies, of conspiracy, of dishonesty, and you ultimately come to the realization that basically, it's me, Liz Cheney, and a few others that are telling the truth, and there are about 190 people in the Republican Party that aren't going to say a word.
And there's a leader of the Republican caucus that is embracing Donald Trump with all he can.
So the broader fight is look -- and I started Country First, by the way, country1st.com.
And the point is, there's a lot of people that feel politically homeless, there's a lot of people that feel like something has to change in our politics, and I think it's important to jump in with both feet and see where that goes, see if there that's market out there because what's happening, we're failing the American people right now. The political system is failing and the Republicans in particular.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Just a month ago, you were confident you were going to run again. What changed? Was it the redistricting plan that was put forward by Democrats in Illinois that basically squeezed you out of your district?
KINZINGER: Yeah. It's a couple of things. It's sitting back and saying, okay, what happens if I win again? I go back, and Republicans will probably be in the majority. I’m going to be fighting even harder some of these things, and it's been obvious over the last ten months that nobody -- I haven't seen any momentum in the party move away from lies and towards truth.
And the other thing is keep in mind, George, 10 years ago, the Democrats in Illinois came after me, and turned me with an incumbent Republican and they did it again. I’m not complaining. It's redistricting. I get it. It's being done and abused everywhere.
But when Democrats do say they want, you know, Republican partners to tell the truth, and then they specifically target me, it makes you wonder.
But I’m going to stay in. I’m still in for the next 14 months, and I’m excited to continue on the January 6th Commission to give people the truth of what happened because they deserve that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump took a victory lap after your announcement. He said, two down, eight to go, referring to the 10 Republicans -- House Republicans who voted to impeach him.
You know, a month ago when Anthony Gonzalez, one of the other ten said he wasn't running again, you said that was a win for President Trump.
Did you hand him another win?
KINZINGER: You know, potentially. But I don't think it was my decision that would hand Donald Trump a win. I think it is -- it's the situation we find ourselves in.
Here's an interesting thing, like, Donald Trump -- he puts out -- you know, I think he said, two down, eight to go. That's about the only ink he gets from that. He's kind of just tweeting or press releasing from Mar-a-Lago.
But I actually think what's going on here is if he runs in 2024, he'll be the front-runner no doubt. But I think the Republican establishment now -- whether it's the NRCC, whether it's Kevin McCarthy -- have held onto Donald Trump, they have continued to breathe life into him, and so actually, it's not handing a win as much to Donald Trump as it is to the cancerous kind of lie and conspiracy not just wing anymore, but mainstream argument of the Republican Party.
This is not on, you know, the 10 of us that voted to impeach. It's not on Liz Cheney and I to save the Republican Party. It's on the 190 Republicans who haven't said a dang word about it, and they put their head in the sand and hope somebody else comes along and does something.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that seems to be solidifying. You know, Chuck Grassley, 88 years old, senator from Iowa, is running again this year. He was quite critical of the president after the January 6th insurrection.
But here's what he said just last month in Iowa after he endorsed President Trump, and received his endorsement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): Didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that's got 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn't be too smart. I'm smart enough to accept that endorsement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's mainstream view.
KINZINGER: Oh, yes, I mean it's very telling. And if you're in politics, you know, solely to be in politics, and not to fight for something broader, it's a very logical position to take.
Where I'm optimistic, you know, I think we have to go through pretty low points in a country to really -- and every time in history to -- to emerge in a better way. I -- I've got to tell you, George, there have been thousands of people, tens of thousands, close to hundreds of thousands that have reached out that feel politically homeless as well, and that's what country first is about. It's not even about leaving the party, it's about saying, how do we do politics differently because this matrix of what we're convinced works. You have to be either this person. If you don't like Joe Biden you have to be for Donald Trump. My goodness, there's a vast array of options out there and whole, new ideas and solutions that we haven't even thought of yet.
I'm optimistic for the future, whether that means I'm in the House or something else or just fighting for this political cause.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right now you're on the January 6th Committee. As you said, we just learned yesterday that President Trump -- former President Trump is trying to seal hundreds of pages of documents with executive privilege. It does appear that his strategy, the strategy of some of your House Republican colleagues, is just try to drag this out as long as possible in the hopes that Republicans will take control of Congress next year.
KINZINGER: Oh, I 100 percent think that's what it is. Look, they -- they know if they can drag this out, and if the Republicans take the majority, they will kill this committee. Look, they killed an independent commission. They've killed any attempt to get to the truth. We have sources beyond just those that are kind of making the news, the Steve Bannons, you know, the archives. We have people coming in and talking to the committee every day.
But I think if you look at that archive request and what the former president is trying to block, it is very telling when you look at things like call logs, et cetera. Take that for what it's worth, but we are going to fight as hard as we can to get that, and the president has no grounds to claim executive privilege as he is today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Based on what you've seen, do you think there are going to be grounds to prosecute President Trump for his role in the insurrection?
KINZINGER: You know, I don't feel comfortable making that statement yet. I'll say this. We're getting a lot of information. We -- we are continuing to learn things every day, some of which gets out to the press, some that doesn't.
If the president was aware of what was going to happen, didn't do anything -- didn't lift a finger to do anything about it, that's up to the DOJ to make that decision. We can put out the facts.
But I'll say this too, just from a raw, political perspective, if you want a president that can sit around and be more interested in doing things like watching television than actually protecting the seed (ph) of the Capitol of the United States and you want to put him back as president or you want to nominate him as president, don't come asking me why the party has failed in 2025 if you do something like that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Adam Kinzinger, thanks for your time this morning.
KINZINGER: Any time.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable's up next.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Virginia, we are so much better than the politics of hatred. And in the next three days, we are going to prove it. Let's get out. Let's vote. And let's keep Virginia blue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN, (R) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Friends, this is a moment for us. We are going to send a shock wave across this country. And there's not going to be a Democrat in any seat anywhere in this nation who's going to think that his or her seat is safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Down to the wire in Virginia. The governor's race is on Tuesday. Let's talk about it on our roundtable. We're joined by Chris Christie; Donna Shalala, former university president, Democratic member of Congress and HHS secretary under President Clinton; our congressional correspondent Rachel Scott; and political White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez.
Thanks to all of you for joining us this morning.
Chris, it does appear to be a dead heat in these final hours, depending on which poll you look at it in -- in Virginia. What is that race going to tell us?
CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR" Well, I think it's going to tell us more about Virginia than it's going to tell us about the country.
Look, Terry McAuliffe stuck his foot in his mouth in an enormous way at that second debate when he said that parents shouldn't be involved in deciding what their kids are learning in school. And he handed Glenn Youngkin something that every challenger wants to be handed in a race.
And let's face it. McAuliffe's the incumbent here, and he's acting as the incumbent. And so I think it will tell you that this education issue and what's being taught in schools has become an extraordinarily powerful issue in Virginia.
What it tells us about the country is that it could become an enormously powerful issue nationwide for Republicans if they start speaking about it smartly and do it the way Youngkin has done it in Virginia.
I still think it's a very close race, but the trend seems to be going towards Youngkin. And if I were Youngkin -- the Youngkin campaign today, I would just want Election Day to get here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna Shalala, that's one read, that it's based on this big local issue. Terry McAuliffe, others, say it's a lot more about President Biden and former President Trump.
DONNA SHALALA, (D) FORMER FLORIDA CONGRESSWOMAN & FORMER HHS SECRETARY: Well, I'm not so sure about that. I do think it's a local issue. But it's a national issue in the sense that Republicans are trying to undermine public education.
I see it in Florida. I see it across the country, that they actually are attacking public education. They don't like the teachers' unions. They don't like public schools. They want -- it's not just parents having more control, and I believe parents should have control, and -- and that's what we do with our school boards, but this is a very dangerous trend. And that's what we're seeing in Virginia. That's what we're seeing in Florida.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Rachel, you spend your days on Capitol Hill. A lot of concern among both parties there about what's going to happen.
RACHEL SCOTT, ABC NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So much concern, and I was told that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in what was one of the most consequential weeks for her in terms of her being speaker, actually took time on Tuesday to meet with Democrats from Virginia, from New Jersey, who were urging her to, sort of, push forward on this vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package partly because they believed that they need something to deliver, to tell the voters ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.
I think a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill look at President Biden winning that state by 10 points. They look at Republicans losing statewide after statewide race in that state and cannot believe that it's this close at this point.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Terry McAuliffe did want that deal in hand before Tuesday.
LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Um-hmm. Yeah, he repeatedly said, "Can you guys get something done, hand me a win?" Now he's just accepting that it's probably not going to come in time.
But another reason that Democrats wanted to pass it is that a lot of centrists in the House are worried that, if they don't pass the infrastructure portion of the bill, that their trust, which is already low among the Democratic Caucus in Congress, could become even worse if Terry -- if McAuliffe loses, and then Democrats are suffering because of that and feel as though they aren't going to be trusting each other to come together on this infrastructure deal.
So it's also a reverse dynamic, too, which is that they want to get it done before the race happens, in case McAuliffe loses, because then there may be Democrats that are just really starting to retreat from the Biden agenda.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna, among other...
CHRISTIE: Let me say one other thing about the public education issue that Secretary Shalala raised.
It's not an attack on public education by Republicans. This is a critique on what type of public education our children are going to get. I'm a product of the public schools. I believe in the public schools and supported them.
But I don't believe that parents should be excluded from what's going on. I don't believe that parents want to see the liberal agenda of the teachers union imposed upon their children. And that's a debate that should be had at the school board level, absolutely.
But what's happening because of what Terry McAuliffe did, and what's happening through the actions of some of the political activists is, they're raising that to the state level and I think, ultimately, to the national level.
SHALALA: That may be a local issue.
But you see the attacks on public education across the country. And I don't disagree about parents having a role. And they have always had a role in public education. That's why we have local school boards. That's why we designate education to the local level in this country.
But, clearly, there is an attack on public schools. The movement to give private schools more public money is a clear indication of that.
And, as for a liberal agenda, I don't see that across the country. What I...
CHRISTIE: You're not listening to the AFT and the NEA, then, I guess.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move to the plan coming forward to the Congress on Tuesday.
We have heard all these expressions of optimism from the White House, from -- we just saw Pete Buttigieg as well. But it still hasn't come together on Capitol Hill.
And we have heard all of this optimism before. We have kind of done this song and dance a few times now, with Democrats missing a lot of these self-imposed deadlines.
I think a lot of this really comes down to the broken trust between progressives and moderates. And so, yes, you have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. You have Democratic leadership. They want to vote as early as Tuesday.
Well, progressives are still saying, we need to hear from Senators Joe Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema. And I asked them repeatedly on Friday, gave them several opportunities to say whether or not they endorse this framework, and neither of them took the opportunity to do so.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What are they waiting for?
BARRON-LOPEZ: Well, a lot of Democrats want to make changes pretty much up until the last minute.
So, senators are saying, we can still -- this isn't a done deal until it even reaches the Senate, and then we can potentially add things on to it. So you're seeing last-minute efforts by Senator Gillibrand with Senator Manchin to try...
STEPHANOPOULOS: For paid family leave.
BARRON-LOPEZ: For paid family leave, which you talked about earlier, also to try to still get prescription drug pricing reform in there.
That was one of the biggest things that the administration talked about over the summer. That's out right now. And it's also one of the most popular elements of the bill. I know that, right now, a lot of voters are saying they don't understand what's in the bill.
But when the individual pieces of the bill are being pulled, there's a lot of popularity for those individual pieces. And so there's been a problem right now with Democrats just communicating what's actually in the bill, because they haven't finalized it.
SCOTT: And we didn't know until this past week, until President Biden actually came out and announced this framework. We had no idea what was in or what was out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And some people thought it should have been earlier.
One of the other big provisions that could get inserted at the last minute, important to your state of New Jersey, whether they're going to repeal -- bring back the deduction for state and local taxes.
If Democrats in New Jersey are successful in getting that back into the bill, is this going to be a tough vote for Republicans?
And, look, and I think -- and I don't think the Democrats are going to be successful getting it, because, essentially, you're talking about it favoring half-a-dozen states in the country. And I don't think that the people in the other 44 states are going to want to pay for the high taxes in New Jersey, in New York, in California, in Illinois.
They're not going to want to do it. And that's why SALT went out. I don't see SALT coming back in. And why is Manchin holding off and others? Because of the very thing that you just spoke about, the horse-trading at the end of things getting back in.
And it makes every senator a king or a queen, because, for instance, if that pharma stuff goes back in, Bob Menendez is not voting for it. And he has said he's not voting for it. So, all of a sudden, now, even if you had Manchin, you're still a vote short.
And on every one of these issues, there's somebody who is for it, but there's also somebody who's against it. And when you're at 50/50, you can't afford to do it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna, that may be true, but at the same time, what the Biden administration keeps saying is, if you can get this done, it's transformational. It's huge.
SHALALA: It is transformational.
More importantly, it's not original, in the sense that we can't implement it quickly. It's not like the ACA, where you had to stand up a new program. We have a child care platform. The states are our partners in it. We have a way of initiating pre-K. We have a way of raising the wages for home health care workers and for child care workers.
Every single part of this is doable in a relatively a short period of time. So, I think it's a miracle on the Potomac. I -- we've dreamed about universal health care. We’ve dream -- which is part of this because we've overcome the problem that we had in 12 states.
We've dreamed about universal child care. We've dreamed about pre-K, and we get all of that, and it's a very different package than an original package.
And Nancy has done it with very few votes. She had 39 votes to spare when she passed the Affordable Care Act. She has three now.
No president has ever without a vast majority passed this much legislation, passed a giant step in economic policy. This is about strengthening workers. This is not, you know, a soft social policy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Chris, we talked about the salt, but on the broader bill, if the Democrats do come together, as Laura and Donna pointed out several positions of the bill are popular. Is that no vote as good as it looks today?
CHRISTIE: Oh, look. I think the no vote is going to be what it is, and I don't think it's going to be the determining factor in the midterm elections.
I think there are much bigger issues coming in the midterm elections. You know, Secretary and I were talking about this off air. Will they be able to implement this in a way that makes people feel any of it before a vote in 2022? That's going to take enormous competence by the Biden administration --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Child care tax credit can go right away.
CHRISTIE: Right, but that's one element, George, and I don't think the child care tax credit by itself is going to swing what is -- what we know historically, midterms, 27 loss -- seat loss by the party in power. It’s the average over the last 50 years. There's a five-seat margin now.
And so, I just don't see this having that kind of impact politically which will make Republicans -- any Republicans regret this vote. And by the way, there's a lot of stuff in this bill that Republicans simply aren't for. And you can't pick and choose, you know, like in a cafeteria which ones you like and which ones you don't. You vote for the bill or you don't and that's part of the process here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Rachel, let's pick up on Congressman Kinzinger. We saw him announce on Friday he's getting out. We just heard him make his case right there. He did acknowledge that this is another win for President Trump.
SCOTT: Yeah. I thought that was really interesting that he did say, yes, potentially, a lot of people will see this as a win for the former president, and we heard from Trump obviously saying, you know, two down, eight more to go, pointing to the ten who voted to impeach him in the House.
I do think a lot of this had to do with the congressional map, how it was redrawn. And Kinzinger looked at that and said, there's no way that I’m going to be able to survive. But this does point to the fact that Trump's grip on the party is still very tight at this point, and in a lot of ways, we keep saying this, but this is a party that has grown a lot closer to the former president since the insurrection.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It actually solidified, his hold on them/
BARRON-LOPEZ: It has, but also, another interesting thing I found interesting about what Kinzinger said was that he said this is bigger than Trump. It's also about Republicans like Leader Kevin McCarthy and others, the 190 Republicans he said that are deciding that they're not willing to say that Trump's lie about the elections is a lie, that they're not willing to stand up to some of Trump's anti-democratic tactics.
And so he really -- Kinzinger was saying this is about a much bigger issue than Trump. I mean, Kinzinger has gone so far has to say that the Republican Party that he used to be a part of and that he loves is now a Trumpist authoritarian party, and that's part of why he and Cheney and others are pulling away from it. But there are so few of them in the party that are --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that, Chris Christine, at least part of the message you delivered at your speech in California last week, but is it falling on deaf ears across the rest of the party?
CHRISTIE: No. I’m going to tell you it isn't. And I can see - - I was in Indiana campaigning about ten days ago for Congressman Jim Banks, and there were a lot of people in a very conservative district in Indiana --
STEPHANOPOULOS: He’s a big -- as big a Trumper as you can get, isn’t he?
CHRISTIE: Well, look, but you had to listen to what he said that night and you have to listen to what those people -- it was about 200 people at a fund-raiser for him where I spoke, are concerned about a party that looks more backwards than looks forwards. A party that's obsessed with 2020 rather than laying out its agenda for '22 and '24.
And I say this often on the show, George, but remember, it's just nine months since Donald Trump left office. He dominated the political scene in this party and in most of this country for five years, and we want everything to change and everybody to change their attitudes within nine months.
And I’m chair of the Republican redistricting trust with Mike Pompeo, so I’m really involved with this redistricting and the maps. That map is Illinois is deadly for Adam Kinzinger, and Adam Kinzinger as you noted in your interview wasn’t talking about not running a couple of weeks ago. When that map came out, he said, I’m done. I’m out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He would be squeezed in with Congressman LaHood.
CHRISTIE: Right, and he's not going to beat Congressman LaHood in the primary and he knows that. He probably, absent to all these other things that has gone on with the January 6th commission and -- committee, et cetera, he probably wouldn't have beaten LaHood anyway. The LaHood name in Illinois is a -- is -- is one of those famous state names where it's going to be very tough to beat LaHood in a primary, even if you're Kinzinger, without the other baggage that he has because of January 6th.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, Donna Shalala, it does appear that Donald Trump is at least making all the moves he needs to make to be eligible to run again in 2024. Which camp are you in? Is he the Democrats' best gift for 2024 or worst nightmare?
SHALALA: You know, I think he's a gift for us. He's going to have some trouble. There are going to be some people running against him. And he'll be weakened by the time of the presidential election. But I think he'd be a gift to run against for all of us.
I wanted to say something about the SALT tax, because the majority of states in this country get more back in federal aid than they put in. That's financed by states like New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois. I favored the repeal of the -- of -- of the SALT tax. But Republicans put it in when they did their tax reform. Their so-called tax reform. So I think that we should put that repeal in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We only have a few seconds left. Do you think it's going to get back in?
SHALALA: I think there's a -- it's a long shot at this moment, but I hope it does get back in.
Thank you all very much.
Coming up, as President Biden heads to Glasgow for global climate talks, ABC is launching a month of climate special. Our first reports are next.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Our special climate reports are next.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(UNKNOWN): Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare open the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: As the United Nations global climate summit kicks off today, ABC News is launching a special month-long series, "Climate Crisis: Saving Tomorrow."
We have two reports today, starting with this analysis of public opinion from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.
NATE SILVER, FOUNDER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: There's certainly evidence that public opinion is shifting, albeit slowly, on the urgency of climate change.
In Gallop polling this spring, for example, 65 percent of Americans say they worry about global warming a great deal or a fair amount. That's up from 51 percent when the same question was asked 10 years ago.
And 64 percent think that global warming is the result of human activities, which is up from 52 percent in 2011.
That's a pretty broad consensus in a country where the public is closely divided on many issues. But will it lead to action on the federal level? I'm pretty skeptical for a few reasons.
One is that the issue is still highly partisan. In Gallup's polling, only 29 percent of Republicans think that global warming has already begun. That's actually much lower than when Gallup first asked this question in 1997, when 46 percent of Republican voters said so.
Another problem, the U.S. Senate really rewards rural energy-producing states. According to FiveThirtyEight's math, 48 percent of Americans live in what we would call rural, exurban or small town areas. But with each state having two senators, these low-density areas represent the equivalent of 61 percent of the votes in the Senate. So even when Democrats do hold the Senate, a rural state senator like Joe Manchin can get in the way of climate provisions.
Finally, there's the issue of prioritization. A Pew poll in 2020 found that climate change ranked 11th in importance out of 12 issues they asked voters about. And even for Biden voters, it was fifth, below health care, COVID, racial inequality and the economy.
Democrats still have a shot to squeeze some climate-related policy out of their spending bill. But barring that, I don't really buy that the political forces are aligned on climate change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Nate for that. And now a closer look at the environmental upheaval unleashed by climate change. My "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz filed this report from Maui.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Swaying palms, ivory shores and crystal blue waters. These pristine beaches define the Hawaiian islands. But with climate change raising sea levels and causing higher storm surges, erosion is speeding up, ravaging the shores on this paradise of the Pacific.
(on camera): Here in West Maui, it's so easy to see what's happening with the erosion. They're no longer walking on sandy beaches. They're walking on sandy bags.
(voice over): Over the past century, three of Hawaii's major islands have lost roughly one-quarter of their beaches. Sea levels are rising about one inch every four years, threatening 70 percent of the state's coastline.
(on camera): You were born and raised here?
(UNKNOWN): Born and raised.
RADDATZ (voice over): And it's not just beaches at risk. People are struggling to protect their homes, like Filemon Sadang, who was born and raised here near the water.
FILEMON SADANG, MAUI RESIDENT: The ocean was far out, you see, about 150 feet. Now you have zero.
RADDATZ (on camera): Are you in fear of losing your place?
SADANG: Well, we're all in fear of losing our place. We have to do something, now, temporary, until we can retreat.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Temporary fixing like seawalls and sandbags line the beaches as a way to protect property, but they're a double-edged sword, exponentially speeding up the erosion of the beaches by ripping up the seafloor and blocking natural sand replenishment.
JOHN SEEBART, WEST MAUI RESIDENT: Well, the sandbags are temporary, but it's been years and years and years.
RADDATZ: John Seebart represents a threatened beachfront condo building in West Maui.
(on camera): When you look at this building, how in danger do you think it is of disappearing if measures aren't taken?
SEEBART: Well, I'm not an engineer.
If we had a huge storm, it could go this season. And one of the buildings just down there has water in their basement. And a lot of buildings have sinkholes. And, I mean, they're 12-, 15-feet deep.
RADDATZ (voice-over): In addition to private property, vital public infrastructure around the island is in peril.
(on camera): This beach all but disappeared many years ago. Now it's the highway that is threatened; 20,000 people depend on this roadway, the only major road into West Maui, but every day, at high tide, the waves hit the road.
LAUREN BLICKLEY, SURFRIDER FOUNDATION: Yes, so you can see how close it is to the...
RADDATZ: Wow. Look at that.
BLICKLEY: ... highway.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Lauren Blickley from the Surfrider Foundation shows me the Honoapi'ilani Highway, what she calls the lifeline to West Maui.
Hawaii's Department of Transportation has spent tens of millions of dollars to reroute a few miles of the road, but it still needs to realign nearly five more miles, a critical section that the state is hoping to help fund through federal grants and the infrastructure bill.
(on camera): Do you feel you're already way behind the eight ball, Lauren?
BLICKLEY: We have to start now. If we don't start really looking at how we can move back from the coastline, we are not going to have a coastline to protect.
RADDATZ (voice-over): The effects of climate change don't stop at the shoreline. As the temperatures of the oceans rise, the entire ecosystem is threatened.
(on camera): These waters off the west coast of Maui are vital for local fishermen and popular with tourists. But below us is a coral reef already suffering. It is really the canary in the coal mine of climate change.
STEFANIE SEKICH-QUINN, SURFRIDER FOUNDATION: If we don't have corals feeding fish, then fish aren't going to be able to sustain our diets.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Stefanie Sekich-Quinn focuses on state and federal policy for the Surfrider Foundation.
SEKICH-QUINN: When we start to lose our corals, we're going to have more intense storms, potentially more sea level rise.
RADDATZ: According to the latest U.N. Climate report, by 2050, 90 percent of the coral reefs could die off. And the report says many changes to the oceans and sea level are irreversible for centuries to millennia.
SEKICH-QUINN: The report is very clear that we have literally no time to waste.
RADDATZ: Which is why, earlier this year, Hawaii became the first state to declare a climate emergency.
MICHAEL VICTORINO, MAYOR OF MAUI, HAWAII: We're looking somewhere of about a $3 billion public asset loss over the next few years.
RADDATZ: Maui Mayor Michael Victorino:is spearheading efforts to address the changes around the island and its economic impact, even filing a lawsuit on behalf of the county to hold fossil fuel companies responsible.
VICTORINO: The fossil fuel industry has not been forthright with the people of the world. So, island states like us and island nations are the ones that suffer the most, most quickly.
RADDATZ (on camera): Where do you see this going?
VICTORINO: We need to continue to work hard to make sure those who are responsible are held accountable.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Those companies refute those charges.
In the meantime, local efforts are trying to keep the impact of climate change at bay.
Tara Owens is a coastal hazard specialist working with the island of Maui to raise community awareness, restrict coastal building and replenish shorelines through beach and dune restoration.
TARA OWENS, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII COASTAL HAZARDS SPECIALIST: What dunes do is, they serve as the savings account for the beach. And then, during periods of erosion or high waves, they feed the beach with sand.
RADDATZ: These sand dunes, critical for the beach to recover, were supplemented with leftover sand from a state project down the road.
(on camera): So, what do you say to people? It's like, it's too late for this, but?
OWENS: The climate change issues are global, but the responses and the reactions are local. Our community is very aware and engaged. And I think that's something we have to share with the rest of the country that might not get to see what we see.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are glad that Martha was able to show us all that.
ABC's climate coverage continues tomorrow on "GMA." Plus, David Muir reports live from the U.N. summit in Glasgow.
And when we come back: remembering Cokie Roberts.
THIS WEEK TRIVIA: Who was the first Pope to visit the White House?
Pope John Paul II.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE JOHN PAUL II: It gives me great joy to be the first pope in history to come to the capital of this nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Two years ago, we lost our dear friend and colleague Cokie Roberts to breast cancer. She was a trail blazer, a mentor, a mother, and always the sharpest analyst on the Washington scene.
Her husband and fellow journalist Steve Roberts remembers her in his new book "Cokie: A Life Well Lived." Here's a first look.
STEVEN ROBERTS, JOURNALIST: We had gotten married when I was 23, she was 22. We moved four times in the next 11 years for my job as a correspondent for "The New York Times." Somehow when we -- we lived in Greece, she actually made her debut as a reporter. And she had never done a radio report in her life, and there was a coup in Cyprus. She was virtually the only English language reporter left in Athens. Biggest story in the world that week. I come back to find I'm married to a veteran foreign correspondent who had been covering the story 24 hours a day for CBS.
There was growing demand by women at ABC to broaden the -- the panel, and they were trying out some women, and she had been on NPR. So people had taken note of her and they invite her for a one-off.
COKIE ROBERTS: I must say that I've -- I've used Dan Quayle to my advantage this week as I sent two children off to college, saying, you know, let this be a lesson to you, get good grades. They'll come back to haunt you.
S. ROBERTS: And here she was, totally unphased, giving it back to them, playing with the big boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To womanize is a broad term. What is your definition of the term?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll simply say to you, that if you take --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May -- Cokie, do you have a definition of the term?
C. ROBERTS: Well, I think most women have a -- know it when they see it, Senator.
S. ROBERTS: The real core of her appeal was to other women who said, wait, somebody who thinks like me, somebody who talks like me, somebody who sees the world the way I do.
C. ROBERTS: Well, as you say, we have seen an awful lot of years of the women.
S. ROBERTS: There are a lot of women in the very early days who thought they had to choose between a professional career and a -- and a personal life. And here was Cokie coming in with two kids, six grandkids, a long marriage and so many women saw her as a role model because that's the life they wanted.
But beyond that she encouraged them. She said, you can do this. It is possible. But you can have it most of the time.
One of her assistants said to me, there would be a line outside her door of -- of -- of people seeking her counsel, seeking advice. And -- and above all seeking her encouragement. She was a great cheerleader.
Long before she was diagnosed, she had become an advocate for breast cancer research. And, you know, it was a devastating blow, but she got a lot of good treatment and she lived for 14 years with it in remission.
The diagnosis did reinforce her determination to spend whatever time she had left being more of an advocate.
Everybody grieves in their own way, and very quickly I decided this was a way I could grieve but also celebrate. Not everybody can be on television and -- and have that kind of impact she had.
Everybody can be a good person. Everybody can learn somebody about those private acts of generosity, of charity, and friendship. But she did it every day. And so that's a big part of the book. I want people to learn about the private Cokie, and I -- she lived the gospel. She lived the gospel every day. And in some ways that's the most important legacy she leaves.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What a remarkable woman Cokie was.
That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out WORLD NEWS TONIGHT, and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."
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