The Breakdown: Senate prepares to vote on COVID-19 relief bill

Plus, the House cancels its Thursday session after threats of violence and more on first lady Jill Biden’s trip to schools in Connecticut
30:12 | 03/04/21

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Transcript for The Breakdown: Senate prepares to vote on COVID-19 relief bill
Hi everyone welcome to the breakdown I'm Diane as an open. And I'm Terry Moran today senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said no matter how long it takes the senate will approve that nearly two trillion dollar Kobe relief package. This week the senate remains in session. But the house today decided to move up some scheduled votes after the FBI warn of a possible plot to breach the capital we'll get the latest from Capitol Hill. Plus they got more on the battle over schools as the newly confirmed secretary of education joins First Lady Jill Biden to make their pitch. For reopening safely we'll take a closer look at their plans and breaking down with our medical. But we begin with a capital on alert as the senate begins what could be a long debate over president Biden stimulus bill. Our Capitol Hill correspondent Rachel Scott joins us now from the capitol with more. Original what's the status of the bill right now. So big picture here we know that Democrats are up against a deadline here they want to get this on president Joseph Biden's -- by march 14 on that day unemployment benefits for millions of Americans are set to expire. So lucky were asking when are those 14100 dollar stimulus checks expected to go out wolf maybe within a matter of weeks looks small picture what is happening right now. Isn't bigger basically fine tuning this bill so in the senate they just started ticking off twenty hours of debate Republicans and Democrats both will be proposing some amendments trying to Whittle this bill down before it goes to a vote there in the senate and I'll have to go back over to the house but again bottom line they're gonna have to get this passed by march 14 in just ten days in order to beat that deadline. I'm Diane and Brittany talked about amendments to the bill there have been some concessions made already in the senate version here narrowing the scope of who gets relieves limiting the length of time for expanded unemployment benefits. Could those entice some bipartisan supporter of those really just aim to get the moderate Democrats on board. Yellow here expecting sweeping bipartisan support for this Kobe relief package it's just not going to happen in the house he and see a single Republican. A congressperson boat for the bill in so. Here in the senate all eyes are a Republican senator Lisa Murkowski and that is because she is basically described herself as listening Lisa over the past. We should listen to both sides of this she's from Alaska her seat has really been hit hard by the pandemic the tourism industry has been suffering and so now Democrats are trying to get bound to try to get her rather to vote when dom on this relief package but Republicans won their party to stand united they want to set a very strong signal. To Democrats said they are united on this front and that they oppose this global relief package Diane. And Rachel as we mentioned capitol police are on guard today for another potential attack on the capital what's it like they're right now. We'll Washington a capitol hill's solo levels fortress here you have miles long the razor wired sentencing wrapping around the entire Capitol Hill. Complex of 5000. Members of the National Guard still on site and then of course you still have these threats of and so now would be that this increased amount of security here are ready there are threats to attack president Joseph Biden's upcoming speech to a joint session of congress and sold. While much of the security that you see here around the capital is temporary law enforcement officials have said it is absolutely necessary because of the threats of violence that they're still. I think I am now after the January 6 attack on that very night members made a show coming back to the capital. And finishing the work that they started that day but today the house isn't even in session at all. Citing this threat why. The at a house is not in session sources told us that they days we moved up their floor schedule in order to get lawmakers out of Washington DC by today of course today is date that has been pushed by far right conspiracy theories in in groups like chewing on a saying that president trump would assume power again today of course that is not true that's completely false but there were plans that the FBI uncovered a group trying to attack. That capital again today -- so lawmakers. In the house essentially who were able to get out of Washington before today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to push back on this a little bit today citing the GOP's conference saying that they just simply moved up their schedule by a couple of hours but there are serious questions about what message does does send to the American people as lawmakers are getting out of town because of these increased threats of violence I am. I read just got a capital for us thanks Rachel. Thanks Richard let's let's talk more on the high security alert today at the capitol building and let's bring in former FBI agent and ABC news contributor Brad Garrett Bret let me pick up on the on the intelligence bulletin which is says starting the us capital remains quote an unattractive. Target unquote to talk about the threatened also pick of war Rachel left up doesn't this send a message to every Nazi and white supremacist is out there. That they won today the house turned tail and headed for the high. Grass. So we'll looks to start with the security that's there which is very similar to how it was constructed after. January 6. So the question is do you need a much security what does that say to your point Terry about. Groups that have made. Only some comments toward having discussions about attacking the capital they I think the bill law enforcement bulls and talked about the 3% here's. I had also talked about Q and on. And that I never got the impression that those who were specific threats it's just information they picked up. And though the abundance of caution they told the rest of us now. If you look at. Giving us information that's not specific consortium against heightening people's anxiety. In particular as you mentioned the house is not there. Is it sort of me cave into every time there's a piece of chatter about the potential assault or an attack. Congress is going to shut down the other side of that cheery is it also tells us in the public. Who law enforcement really have to rely on on tips about people about to commit for talking about committing bad axe to come forward. If patients don't go anywhere people been sort of become non life what's the point impasse and on meet these seem to be sort of not helpful types and information and all the news raise my anxiety. So it is sort of canceled twice. And then redwood we have seen this kind of response three months ago or is this. Is this the new normal now that we've had this capital breached. You definitely wouldn't have seen this response three months ago I was on a squad for. A number of years they worked all threats against congress and we just seemed that every day and there were some specifics I'm not someone weeded out some we actually went after people arrested and prosecuted them. But it wasn't information only the public even knew about. I think January 6 now. Has the so rattled people on the hill and I think it's also double Li rattled the capital police because. All of the heat has been on them obviously as to why there was not adequate security. All on the six. So. I shield lot of we've got to we've got we'll get a get out front on this and tell her body what we think might be going on. But as I mentioned earlier to both of you you have to be careful. As to what signal literally sending. Yes that's really enjoy it and we're learning more about. That attack we saw this week FBI director Chris Ray tell congress that the instructions attack on the capital was quote domestic terrorism we also saw. This is hosting the commander of the DC National Guard say former president trumps the Department of Defense he says slow walk approving an urgent request for help. While the capital was under siege. Yeah that seems extraordinary to me what what do you take from from their testimonies. Hey it clearly and we'll also start we're general walker because I found him so straightforward so honest about look. I was trying as soon as as chief Sohn the chief of the capitol police the time came to him and said. Or in real trouble here we need help immediately. He starts crying Canada and be cause they knew both noticed that of course C. The politics and getting the National Guard where if this were staged the governor would say do it. You now have to get to secretary of the army and the secretary of defense on board to approve. That couldn't find the secretary of the army apparently. I'll finally get either a representatives of the of the secretary of defense. A couple of other generals got involved with they basically said well we're not sure we want you know this is image of uniformed military the capital on this day. It hit 88 was so clear to the rest of this that this was a political move because it didn't want it'll look like. The scene the people that supported president trunk. We're going to be sort of stopped in any direct way or that the G would need the military to stop them little rescinding the wrong signal miss so. I think clearly some version of that happened that day and as general walker pointed out teary if they could've gotten there within a few minutes. Go to the level of DM age that went on wood but I think would have been significantly reduce it would've stopped all of the dozens already going on that in that that was a big statement as far as director raise. Thank you paint it very clear picture. It's is a top of the FBI's list of things to do it every day. Which is a track domestic terrorists because let's face it that there are some version of a lot of them in almost every state and. And Brad significant events in US history have changed the way law enforcement operates 9/11 is a perfect example. Do you think that January 6 is that type of event that it's gonna create. Long term changes it is so what are day. So I think. Well he may create long term physical security situations like at the US capitol or other potential targets. Oh let's look for a couple seconds. How the FBI and others have gone after international terrorists they've done undercover operations have been wiretaps and all sorts of things to gather information. Infiltration obviously he undercover would be part of it. Theater to see more of that in domestic terrorism situations because it's very difficult sometimes. In these isolated rural. Groups militia groups to really know what's going on with the militia somebody inside. So I think you'll see more that you're gonna see more domestic terrorism prosecutions. And that you know the key here really is to be steady at this is kinda like fighting anything it's big. You you can't dismantle it she could slow it down and naked weaker and I think. He won't force you do here and I Brad Garrett great to talk as always thank you. Really great in center thanks breath. So we're gonna turner co but now we vaccinations on the rise and complications following the question. Of reopening schools is becoming absolutely critical for so many parents. And lawmakers across the country. First Lady Joseph Biden joined the newly confirmed secretary of education to make their pitch for reopening safely what you need to know about those plans. Welcome back newly sworn in secretary of education a young Cardona and First Lady Jill Biden. Have started Tom offensives to talk about reopening schools. They visited schools in Connecticut and Pennsylvania yesterday ABC's Mary Bruce was with them. Well this may be Joseph Biden's and biggest challenge right now trying to but still his promise to reopen most of America's schools by the end of may and now he is a new strategy trying to vaccinated as many teachers as possible it's something the union's. Have been demanding that the CDC the nation's top scientists say that's leading teachers is not necessary. Isn't a prerequisite in order to get them back into the classroom. And now the president has been deploying is secret weapon in this fight. The nation's top educator the First Lady Jill Biden has been out visiting school she's been here in Pennsylvania and in Connecticut along with the education secretary Jill Biden herself an educator she's teaching virtually. This semester her students and she tells teachers look. She gets it she understands their frustration. That's been visiting school districts have actually been successful in reopening their schools but even the district that she visited are still a hybrid models some students in class. Some learning virtually and the teachers we talked to said look they're proud of what they've been able to achieve. That others can do this to it's simply requires a lot of hard work. An a lot of teamwork but they also tell us like everyone across the country they are eager to get students back in the class full time. But they believe it's gonna take one key thing. We want to be back I am I future I am teaching virtually. And last week I think you might student. Hey guys. How are you do it. And they had that can be ordered OK we're yeah okay. But we can't wait to be back in the classroom. And even now I think that's how we all feel but we just know that we have to get. Back safely if teamwork. It's grueling. It's. Listen name it's working as a team. And that's just not good to a bus gets every single person in that building and every single person who works premiered in public schools. Had some hard. Console. To help make this happen. We want to teach kids this is not normal this is not logical we want them back. But we want them back safely with us being saved them being safe and that's what we need to get done once again it take to get there. The vaccines for every teacher and every one so much more comfortable much markkaa to. You keep saying that certain the linchpin to this it is getting teachers that vaccine the CDC says that's not a prerequisite to having to do back in the classroom. Nobody would see them aren't comfortable now as for parents they of course are juggling so much we talked to one mom was forced students. In this district it all on different schedules she says yell like most parents across the country she wakes up some mornings and says just doesn't know how she's going to get all of this accomplished. The president has set this ambitious goal. But the reality is that right now based on one analysis has roughly 45%. Of the nation's schoolchildren are actually backing class. Full time still a long way to go primary Prius in Philadelphia. And our thanks to Mary Bruce for that it is such an important issue for more on. All schools reopening in all the code would latest joining us now as epidemiologist and ABC news contributor doctor John Brownstein. Thanks for joining us doctor brown seems as of the CDC says it's getting all teachers vaccinated should not be a prerequisite to reopening schools so. What's your take on that. Yeah yeah. During this is a really complicated question of course we want our teachers immunize it's easy put out guidance they extended. Their recommendations and it was really dated Trenton it's all O Leary and see you precautions for these focus on masking fiscal distancing partying. And watching ventilation. And then of course testing and contractors and so. You know CB Kobe under control in this. Slow isn't it and one thing as well many games and and what we see if this holds shatter leash dog should be a lot to community transmission if you how. The right controls in place and meaty or Tesla is the only the issue is that his contacts and depend. And may Cheney's across this country has some transmission that schools can open seats leash and then rightly so the focus on the stock. Aren't vaccination and so me. We need prior I think are teachers got. So we get we open our schools are open and it receives many states across country aren't practicing teachers and receipt in the coming weeks teachers will get those immunizations. And finally we'll start to see schools opened across this country. And doctor Bronson as we mentioned tech this Texas governor rabbit is ending the State's master mandate and allowing for full reopening. There were concerns over the impact that that big winter storm would have on komen race because so many people were forced. To gather together to take shelter so have we had time yet to see the potential impact of that should yeah. Think you don't see this is movie over and over again you know cases are actually rising in Texas you know we don't know if that's related to the storm just yet aren't so the timing of an Indian masks mandate is just not. Countries and it's not just because of testing receipt she's percent pockets to you Gloria so we don't know yet to sign a meeting their hands taking a whole but regardless it's over it's a moment where we just can't let our guard down and so this and about mast mandated and other interventions just doesn't lineup with a deed and it's forcing local governments and individuals to make decisions for themselves the good news here is you wouldn't and I mean mandates you seen actually people continue to warehouse because they recognized the value of these interventions and so you know what we're seeing is you know the population is still kind infection control unit from their needs are or how. They from the government itself he. And then doctor the CDC says that sometimes shown relatively soon I don't have guidance on what. Fully vaccinated people can safely that's becoming a more and more important question is more more people get vaccinated yet any sense of what that guidance might look like. Yeah we were always connect guidance Fred because I think what we keep hearing about his tax you know alarm and are alarmist and write this idea that because vaccines are a 100% effective if you just can't do anything you can start to go back to normal life and really isn't true let me know these are credible Martins decent start co allow us to do things that we once did before this and I wish we noticed he he's he's probably your recommended the fact that you can change I congregate in the worst with those that have been vaccinated whether it's friends and families -- army will be able to connect again with our there's a soccer ball I think there's other recognition that we might see this idea of quarantining after Trout may not have to do that if you are fascinated in the relaxed testing requirements over. A number of things young Neil are huge hassles. For liberty alliance may start to go away I do think that's her endure gatherings and in restaurants and movie gives other places you'll still see how spending just because of the fact it's just so hard to enforce sort of proves been vaccinated who isn't many people start to get better over the coming months. Now we certainly hope so and you and I have talked in the past about vaccine supplies and vaccines in arms aren't always the same things so. As production starts ramping up to states and localities have the infrastructure ready to offer these vaccines to the general public ones there is enough available. Yeah I mean yes we've spoken about this issue and they came to surround vaccine roll out all there's a lot of optimism right now we're we're now are merging two million I shot today arms which is incredible I actually think he's yet to three million today. You've RT delivered a hundred million doses to Jerry's locations across the country bush fiscal improvements to make great and we still haven't quite figured out the logistics at this scale through this many people we know that there she cuts in terms it a rule out of vaccines and long term care facilities but it's also going to be a boxer in a veto it I delivery is a sell off. New inoculation centers like mass mass vaccination sites were fairly supportive community health centers you know the humans involved so. It's not just about seating the federal government is wrapping up a do you think you know Cheney's taxation centers and mobile clinics are going to be super car and he recently about this idea of seeing dozens right issues where people just don't. So it's a supply oh where there's there's too much demand and so courts technologies can fix some of the best I'm. I'm well you know I'm hoping that in the coming weeks forget that really deploy this seems and its huge numbers of people. And doctor Brownstein MI five says that vaccine finder dot org is up a website. Yes taxi finder dot org source I that we don't CDC to really help people get access to vaccine and you know you've covered are seeing hundreds yesterday there's incredible work that's happening across this country to help get those vaccines out the door and people. Aaron Gray doctor Brownstein great to have you and great to see you working to help people find those vaccines thank you. Think you. Thanks for that joining us now. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Democrat of Texas for the latest on. The call would vaccine is among the other big issues on Capitol Hill congressman thanks very much for being with us. I don't ask first we just were talking to doctor Brownstein about the vaccines you representing Houston. Yesterday governor admits you know says he's lifting the mast mandated so what do you make of that what are you telling your constituents about these measures. Well let me yankees and Mets have need to area and that I am. You can see I'm up on the bull trying to get back to my district in the midst. Threats that we're here in. Washington DC. You can imagine how stunned I was. Win without consultation with members of congress without any consultation with mayors and got county judges those are the officers by elected officials admit on the front line. Try to get people originally tested we were behind in Texas in terms about testing. We are behind as relates. To population in. As relates to our vaccination as a governor did not have a protocol that reach hard to serve areas minorities. Of African American Heritage Hispanic Garrett did hit hardest Michael that nineteen we're absolutely. Dumbfounded by this irreverent erratic. And it's senseless order that he is given now I'm going to be working with the by the administration I think yes. Stronger response we thank them very much but calling it yen at all let people want to be hurt there could be more people dying. More people hospitalized. More people who are and in essence. Subject to the very its mutants that are now about. That it now out in an and the state of Texas we understand the scientists that we have an idiot and a state of Texas. And so I'm asking the governor what is your response I talk to my mayor this morning. I've talked to other individuals and I would say you that we had a low ebb. A vaccination and now we need to be so but next week we will have teaming nightclub. We'll have restaurants. Whip. People. There have good will. Taking their families out whatever may be dealing this is a great thing that's happening without ads. Have not been tested and not been vaccinated and creating a mass that community spread. This is not. Are hyperventilating. This is not exaggerating. This is based on science based and a sickness or disease control and limit try to open our schools this is an old time to promote. And do you credence and support to community spread so I don't think that the governor should be conducting. These vaccination. Should have and control the government because he's not doing his job. It's a shame to have to say that out Texas electric grid failed and that we're sailing infighting lit nineteen. I am absolutely stunned that'll. And that congresswoman last night the house passed another major piece of legislation expanding voting rights in reforming campaign finance plus. How do you think this'll make voting more equitable. All I think this will be Powell pull as relates to the idea here but voting. Empowerment and that is same day registration. That is more days be able to vote within the law of course. That is to Denton eight oppressive actions by state governments. That is to provide more resources for out voting apparatus. To have oversight. And to make sure that we don't have the intimidation. That we saw and president trumps former president's terms sheet back speech which said they should only be one day of voting Millie edible. The apartment. African American voters and Hispanic voters and young voters so. This legislation is guided by all of it is doing nothing outside of the law. It is only seeking to in power boating. And it will be a complement to the John Robert Louis bowed and hands. That will fix the very bad decision that was made by the Supreme Court that undermined the 1965. Voting rights act so we're looking. Not to do anything but to allow boaters to be able to vote it's really honestly and legally as possible. And and you think that in a democracy again as many people who vote as possible would being part of the point let me turn. To another major piece of legislation to George Floyd police reform. Bill banning controversial police tactics easing the way for lawsuits against officers who have been violated suspect's constitutional rights. This has been such a pressing issue is lit this country up. In so many ways last you think this bill gonna make a big practical difference in policing on the streets. You know it's very important. To put a human face. On this legislation. And many of us called the names. Of so many. From the genie is eight minutes and 46 seconds from the murder of George Ford. And I spent a lot of time with his family. Well most people with saint will be embittered. But they have utilized themselves to go around the country and charging people to -- Encouraging people to interact easily with the police it's been amazing we spend time with them yesterday evening. But beyond a T Ellis Stanley and Timmy or rice's family and Walter Scott. That bill. Is a mainstream after it to enhance the relationships between police and community. I think the police and bills who were exaggerating. Soul. Excessively on the chart last night our Republican friends. Should look at the amount of resources we give to re imagine policing. To increase our says he opportunity for enhanced education. Accreditation. Training as are laced an excessive force training on the duty to intervene I would love to get. Those additional dollars to be able to re imagine my police force. I don't know anybody realizes at 181000 police forces in United States. Two mini because they would do well to collaborate. And come by what many of the surrounding departments to get them more resources but they have there. And so if there's one department one person department. That person will have the opportunity to get resources to re imagine policing out of this legislation and then. It will give victims and police officers rights because it will hold everyone accountable because it allow everyone to enter into the courthouse fairly. Because before. Only that police officer to go into a court. And be ruled. Not guilty if you will the poor victim never got a chance to explain their case. I think this is an opportunity or. New young bright officers or coming in a college degrees. And those who are in leadership. And of course out senior officers are finding new bright opportunity to serve their communities are going to pass to exploit in the United States senate. And we litigated sign. As well so we got really make a difference. In what we're doing and it is going to be one that the nation is going to be able to be very proud out because we did not do this. Alone. We did this is speaking to those who are Republicans and Democrats unitary I wanna say this after George Troy. Those who were protesting peacefully. When that black. Given at Hispanic. That when that Asian. The cabinet Anglo welcome Kasich and they were every one. They were doing in in New Zealand in London and Paris on the continent of Africa they would join in the south and Central America. They felt so much pain. And they had such hope and the democracy. That they call the United States of America that they thought if they could be seen and heard. Wall any exchange it would impact does it has impacted as. And as an impact of these families who still more and about the loss of their loved one not that because people don't pass away or die that happens and our families. But when it comes to cope in nineteen. That you look to see how did this happen. These acts in good Rihanna Taylor and George Floyd and others badly look and say how did this happen why did my job. Have to die at this level of but violence from the government that's very different. From what happens if you are encountering. Violence and we know that happens we looked up police officers for safety and security so I believe this is going to enhance. I'll service to the nation's. All right congresswoman. Sheila Jackson lay on that bill and on a robust agenda in the house represents thanks very much for being with us. A lot of drag and urging its huge thank you. And that does for us share on the break dad I'm Diana stayed out. And I'm Terry Moran thanks for joining us and be sure to tune in tonight at 8 PM for the ABC news live to stop the hate the lies in violence against Asian Americans. That's right here on ABC news lives we'll see you back here tomorrow. I'm not.

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