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Biden Addresses Systemic Racism in Economic Speech; Biden Says Trump Stoking Division Is the Last Thing We Need; AG Barr Testifies Before House. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 28, 2020 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Peaceful protesters should be protected and arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted. And local law enforcement can do that. When President Obama and I were in office we protected federal property. We were able to do it without the Department of Homeland Security turning it into a private militia.

And it could be done today. But that wouldn't help Trump's political interest. He's determined to stoke division and chaos. It is not good for country. But Donald Trump doesn't care. His campaign is failing and he's looking for a political lifeline. This isn't about law and order, it's about a political strategy to revive a failing campaign. Every instinct Trump has is to add fuel to the fire. It's the last thing, the last thing we need.

We need leadership that will calm the waters and lower the temperature. That's how we will restore peace in the streets. But this election is not just about voting against Donald Trump. It is about rising to this moment of crisis, understanding people's struggles. And building a future worthy of their courage and their ambition to overcome.

Last month I stopped at Bethel AME Church here in Wilmington not far from here. I talked to a group of faith and local leaders. They shared their pain, their anger, and their frustration at the state of affairs, state of affairs in our justice system, our health care system, our politics, our economy. There is just a sense and it's real that the deck is stacked, stacked against the community. The common theme was how do we break the cycle? In good times communities of color still lag. In bad times they get hit first and the hardest. And a recovery, they take the longest to bounce back.

This is about justice. I propose a criminal justice reform and policing reform agenda that I'm committed to working with the Congress to see it through as President.

It is also about jobs. Good-paying jobs. Financial stability. Building wealth for families of color. And passing it down to their kids. It's about economic growth for our country. And outperforming the rest of the world to stay ahead. It's also about dignity for working people and the middle class. Many

of you heard me say it before, my dad had an expression. He said, Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity, it's about respect. It is about your place in the community. And he'd end by saying it's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, honey, it's going to be OK and mean it.

Over 50 percent of the people in America don't think it's going to be OK for their kids that they'll never meet the standard of living that they had. Over the last few weeks, I've laid out my Build Back Better plan. Based on necessities and on the idea that you can't just build back to what it was before. We have to build back better and this time bring everybody along.

Need to make bold, practical investments to recover from the economic mess we're in, and to rebuild the economic future our country deserves. I've explained how these investments should be paid for. I've laid it out. Today I'm here to explain how the Build Back Better plan will deal with systemic racism and advance racial equity in our economy. So far, the Build Back Better plan has had three parts I've spoken to.

First, investing in American manufacturing and technology so that the future is made in America. And it includes all Americans, not just the seven cities, the vast majority of venture capital has gone to. Under my plan, we will mobilize the biggest investment in rebuilding our country since World War II. Creating millions of good-paying union jobs.

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It includes a historic investment and federal procurement which is the way government purchases goods and services. Under my proposal we'd make sure those goods and services are American made and American supply chains. Like American steel for building and energy efficient vehicles and battery technology and so on.

But for too long federal contracting for this work has been inaccessible to too many black and brown entrepreneurs and businesses. They too often never get a fair shot to apply. My plan makes sure that contractors and subcontractors of color get a fair shot. We're going to triple the existing federal goal for contracting with small disadvantaged businesses from 5 percent to a minimum of 15 percent by 2025. We'll create jobs and growth along the way. We can do that.

The second plank in Build Back Better advances racial equity by mobilizing our infrastructure and taking on climate change with jobs. Take infrastructure for example. In too many underserved communities of color, the roads are falling apart, streetlights are out, sidewalks are cracked, school buildings outdated and unsafe, parks aren't safe for the kids to play in or adults to exercise in, and there's nowhere you could go to buy fresh food for miles away.

Air pollution causes childhood asthma that follows them through their adult life and affects their overall health condition. Abandoned homes, crush property values and diminish the quality of life in the neighborhoods, they exist. But notwithstanding these systematic barriers, look at the energy, pride and achievement of communities of color. Just imagine if we could truly unleash their full potential.

My Build Back Better plan would make sure families in these communities are the ones who benefit from the hundreds of billion dollars in federal investment, taxpayer dollars that have already have to be invested by the administration in purchasing things. To rebuild roads, fill those cracks in the sidewalks, instill broadband, close the digit divide. Create spaces and live and work and play safely.

Where you can drink clean water, breathe clean air, and shop in a nearby grocery store with a fresh stock of healthy food. We can't rebuild our economy and meet this climate crisis unless we create opportunities for people to build their own communities. This is about jobs. It's also about dignity. It's about pride. I'm confident we can do this.

The third plank of my Build Back Better investment is in caregivers. Who take care of our loved ones and our kids. We truly want to reward the work in this country. We have to ease the financial burdens of care that families are carrying. We have to elevate the compassion, benefits and dignity of caregiver workers and early childhood educators. Families are squeezed emotionally, and financially, trying to raise their kids and care for their parents or loved one, live with a disability. My guess is some of you have been through that with a parent who's ill and can't take care of themself.

You have to make the choice of going to work or staying home and take care of them because the cost is so incredible. Or a young child under the age of five figuring how you pay for it. I was a single parent for five years with a lot of help and I had a good salary. I was making $42,000 a year and without my family I couldn't have done it.

They need help. But often they can't afford it. And the professional caregivers out there, home health workers, childcare workers, who are often women, women of color, and immigrants, are too often underpaid, underseen and undervalued. But these are the things that we can do right now to ease the burden. My plan would clear the waiting list that exists now of 800,000 people who are eligible for home and community care for a loved one through Medicaid, who signed up that are waiting, 800,000.

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My plan would make sure every three and four-year-old child gets access to free high quality preschool like students have at this center. What I do with Title One schools. And low- and middle-income families won't spend more than 7 percent of their income on childcare for children under the age of five. The most hard-pressed working families won't have to spend a dime because it will be free.

My plan would pay and support our caregivers who overwhelmingly as I said are women of color. This plan to help workers, especially those without college degrees gain new skills in good-paying industries like health care and provide the pathway to advance their careers. For example, a home health care worker under this plan will have

access to training, you need to become an EMT or a nurse or physician's assistant. We don't just put millions of Americans to work in new care and early childhood education jobs. We'll also free up millions more to rejoin the paid work force.

Studies indicate at least two million additional jobs will be created and more economic growth for our nation. And the economy as a whole will grow. We can do this.

Today I'm laying out a fourth part of my Build Back Better plan. Advancing racial equity across American economy. Not just part of the other pillar of Build Back Better, but this is in its own right.

To start, we create a new small business opportunity fund. It dramatically expands on the successful Obama-Biden initiative that generated more than $5,000,000,00 and $5 in private equity for every $1 in public investment in a small business, particularly in hard- pressed areas.

We're going to take $30 billion of our made in America investment, I announced earlier this year, and put it into this fund. We'll allow the expanded federal support for the most effective state, local and nonprofit programs to provide venture capital and financing for minority business owners and communities in need.

It will also allow us to support community development banks that have a proven record of investing in minority small businesses. That $30 billion is estimated to leverage $150 billion in new financing and equity for more black and brown small businesses.

So, our small business opportunity fund supports an investment in a small manufacturer of color seeking to commercialize a new technology for example. That helps the manufacturer get started. Then private investors, we know, notice the promise of that business and invest their private dollars as well. That helps manufacturers scale and grow. That's how we'll make that those with the best ideas, are not denied the venture capital or financing they need because of race or zip code.

And here is why it matters. Right now, we're in the midst of one of the greatest threats to small businesses our country has ever seen. What is Donald Trump doing about it? Well, he's giving big banks the green light to loan millions of dollars that their covered for by the federal government and make millions of dollars in fees by favoring their most well off and well connected clients, while shutting the door on smaller black and brown businesses without these connections.

You all remember some of you covered when I first laid out what I thought needed to be done in the first recovery plan put forward by the Congress. I said we should use -- the President should use the authority he has under the Defense Production Act to force big banks to have to lend to small businesses. They're guaranteed the loan. We bailed them out before. Force them to lend, but what did they do? Do you have a credit card with us? Have you established credit with us? Do you have a bank account with us? And the list goes on. And they're denied.

The result, billions of dollars in COVID relief programs for small businesses benefit ones who had lawyers and accountants to help them better connected businesses jump to the head of the line and the big banks accommodate.

Black and brown small businesses that needed the help most got shutout. In fact, just 12 percent, 12 percent of black and brown businesses surveyed seeking help got the aid they asked for. Now half of them say they're going to close up shop and they're a major source of employment in America.

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Our economy can't afford for them to close. Their families can't afford for them to close.

Under my plan, 50 percent of emergency small business relief would reserve for the smallest businesses of 50 or fewer employers. Right now, we're talking 500. They are small business compared to the Fortune 500, but do you think most people think the neighborhood stores have 500 employees, they're small busines? Ride down the main streets of so many small towns around America and big towns. And see them shuttered.

This has helped minority owned business get life-saving loans before the well-connected businesses jump to the head of the line. But removing the barriers for black and brown entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses is only one of many things we have to do to close the racial wealth gap of this nation.

Expanding black and brown home ownership is another. Today American cities, there are a number, where about 75 percent of white Americans own their homes, only 25 percent of black and brown citizens or blacks actually own their homes. Even in the middle, the class of communities of color, the same homes that exist in the white community are offering values significantly less.

Those black residents then see their wealth accumulate much more slowly. Many of you are from families like mine -- middle class families. Where did my parents accumulate any ability to borrow and generate any wealth? In their home, that's how it got built. That's how a lot of people send their kids to school and borrow against that. When a house is an asset that helps build equity and wealth, the home ownership disparity denies equal opportunity.

My housing plan is going to be a --

(SIGNAL LOSS)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: You've been listening to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware. The former Vice President slammed President Trump for his handling of coronavirus, for how he has handled protests in Portland and elsewhere in the country, for failing to unite the country. Biden also laid out the plans as how he intends to rebuild the economy

in a way that would be more racially just than in the past. He also addressed the need for criminal justice reform.

We are also covering right now the House Judiciary Committee hearing involving the Attorney General Bill Barr. Let's go back to that which is already in session.

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: -- police directions.

REP. DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL (D-FL): Most of the protests have been peaceful, Mr. Barr. You know that. You know that. You're just --

BARR: I don't know what that --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: You're just using language for political purposes just like my colleagues across the aisle.

BARR: I don't know what it means.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Let me just go now to one of the most important topics facing our nation right now, health care. You know, in my district we have close to 100,000 people that get their health insurance through the ACA. 19,000 of them are living with serious pre- existing conditions. And yet you are working to strip their health care at the worst possible moment. When the coronavirus is killing thousands of people in my state.

BARR: They will not be stripped of their healthcare.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: In Miami-Dade County and in Monroe counties, counties that I represent, do you how many people have died from COVID-19?

BARR: No, I don't.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: 1,410 people. You are at the White House on March 23rd when President Trump said Governor DeSantis was doing an incredible job. Do you agree that Governor DeSantis is doing an incredible job?

BARR: Well, I have no reason not to believe that.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Well, Florida now has more cases than in China --

BARR: Well, did Cuomo do an incredible job in New York?

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Unfortunately, and I'm not proud to say this, in Florida we have more cases than most countries combined around the world. So no, he is not doing an incredible job. You push states to open too soon. You threaten states with lawsuits.

BARR: I didn't ask states to open. I didn't ask states to open.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: You threaten with lawsuits for those states that wanted to have stay-at-home orders, Mr. Barr.

BARR: For things like church.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: We have the facts. I'm going by the facts.

BARR: I'm just saying --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: And now the country, the United States of America has more than 4.3 million COVID cases alone. You, you, Mr. Barr, and President Trump, working together are letting my constituents down.

And it's something that you are going to have to live with. What am I supposed to say to my constituents when they ask me if the government has done everything in its power to protect their loved ones from dying?

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You tell me Mr. Barr, what am I supposed to tell them?

BARR: I would tell them that managing this kind of thing requires a lot of difficult choices and weighing different consequences.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: I'm not going to lie, I am not going to lie to my constituents.

BARR: And that is left in our system of government, that's left to the governor.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: That President Donald Trump and the Attorney General working together --

BARR: The governor --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: -- are not following health guidelines. They are letting Americans die needlessly because of political reasons.

BARR: In our system --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: That is what I will tell them, Mr. Barr.

BARR: In our system --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Thank you. And one last question, if I can.

BARR: In our system --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Under oath. Under oath. Do you commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?

BARR: No.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: You don't commit to that?

BARR: No.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: You don't commit to that?

BARR: No

MUCARSEL-POWELL: So, you won't go by Department of Justice policy --

BARR: I will be very careful --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Department of Justice policy

BARR: I know what Justice Department policy --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: -- that you won't interfere in any political investigations before the November election?

BARR: We're not going to interfere. In fact, I've made it clear I'm not going to tolerate it.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: But under oath you're saying that you do not commit to releasing a report by Durham?

BARR: I am not going to -- any report will be, in my judgment, not one that is covered by the policy and it would disrupt the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time of gentleman --

BARR: I've already made it clear that neither candidate is --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: You would go against your own Department of Justice policy, Mr. Barr?

BARR: Why don't you tell me what that policy is?

MUCARSEL-POWELL: I have it right here.

BARR: Well, actually --

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Do you want me to repeat it for you?

BARR: No. I know what the policy is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time of this young lady, Mr. Chairman --

CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: I yield back Mr. Chairman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, point of order.

CHAIRMAN: Gentle lady.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN: What purpose does the gentleman see --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it permissible for a member of this committee to accuse the sitting Attorney General of the United States of murder. Because that's what we just heard. Those words need to be struck from this record. This is outrageous. CHAIRMAN: The members control the time --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, to say whatever they want? What about rules of decorum? Mr. Chairman, I actually have a clarification.

CHAIRMAN: Escobar --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this, I just --

CHAIRMAN: Escobar is recognized.

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, was the video played by the previous member, was that a video of things that happened in the United States or in Venezuela? I just want a clarification. What was the video?

CHAIRMAN: The gentleman is not stating a recognizable point of order. Ms. Escobar is recognized.

ESCOBAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Barr, the administration against the constitutional text, historical precedent, and DOJ's own memo is trying to exclude undocumented persons from the census an action that harms American lives and immigrant communities and American communities.

Here's an example. Many American children are living with an undocumented parent or relative. This change in the census means that those children, American children, would receive less money for programs like the national school lunch program, Head Start, and/or the state children's health insurance program. A simple yes or no, please, Mr. Barr. Are you comfortable with the decision that would punish American children and immigrant communities in this way?

BARR: I don't make the policy. I provide legal advice on legal issues.

ESCOBAR: OK.

BARR: As both to this issue and the issue of the ACA.

ESCOBAR: Thank you. Mr. Barr.

BARR: The question presented to the department is the law --

ESCOBAR: I'm reclaiming my time, sir. Mr. Barr, a simple yes or no, does the Constitution say that only citizens should be counted in the census?

BARR: No.

ESCOBAR: Correct, it does not. In fact, the phrase --

TAPPER: Joe Biden, the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee is going to be taking questions. Let's go back to Wilmington, Delaware, where he is doing that right now. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- identified when you would make your

announcement. Are you still targeting early August? And how many of these people, how many finalists do you have, and are you going to be able to meet with them in person because of COVID?

BIDEN: I'm going to try to figure out how to trick you all so I can meet with them in person. You've got crews outside my house. I don't think it matters actually. What I said was that I will -- I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August, and I promise I'll let you know when I do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But will you be able to meet with them in person? Do you think?

BIDEN: Will I what, I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you be able to meet with them face to face?

BIDEN: Well, we'll see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to have to wear masks?

BIDEN: They would have to wear masks --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you get tested do you think if you have to do that for COVID?

BIDEN: I'm not prepared to say much more than that right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

BIDEN: Thank you. All right. I'm supposed to call on people, right? OK. Mary Bruce, ABC.

MARY BRUCE, ABC CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. This pandemic is taking a terrible toll on American lives and also the economy. But are there specific states right now that you think should halt their re-openings and roll things back? And if so, which states?

[15:55:00]

BIDEN: Well, I'm not going to comment on every state. But any state where the rate is more than one to one here, should be, in fact, rolling back.

Look, from the beginning of my view, the President has given us a false choice. He said that we have to get back to work and also deal with COVID.

You can't get this country going again unless you get COVID under control. And so, he has been really late in the game to getting around himself wearing a mask, for example.

We waited for -- as you've heard it a hundred times, a Columbia Study showing that if he'd acted just one week earlier, it would be, I think it was 37,000 was it? Or 31,000 more people alive? Two weeks earlier, 57000 or whatever.

The point is that there's no clear message. There's a federal responsibility to lay out really clear guidelines. It's like opening up our schools. What's happening now is there's a national -- we need the CDC, they had very strict guidelines, they were going to do it first.

They've watered those down in my view what I've seen, just talking to the docs that I deal with about three times a week, in giving an hour and a half, hour and 15-minute brief.

And so I think that what's happening now is even in the states where it's about, you know, freedom versus physical safety of your neighbor and communication of the virus, even in those states, they're now locking down, and they're locking down counties which have high returns on testing.

And the President says his answer is we'll stop testing so we're not going to know. OK, we won't know who has the virus.

I think it's really important. And it takes me into what the next stage of this. As you know, I know you cover this a lot, I called a long time ago a meaning in several months that we should be putting together right now, and we should be prying about $25 billion to do it, to make sure that we have a detailed plan once a vaccine is in fact found, god willing, sooner than later, to be able to be distributed to all America and anything beyond that.

And it's really a difficult logistical thing to do. Where is the planning to do that? We said the same thing about testing and tracing. We still don't have enough tests. We still don't have the capacity to trace. And so really, really I pray the President, in fact, takes advantage of the prospect of getting a vaccine just before, just after the first of the year so we're able to distribute it and do it in a way that deals with every part of America. But there's been no planning that I can see.

BRUCE: And to be clear, have you been tested yet?

BIDEN: No, I have not.

BRUCE: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you. All right. Craig Anderson, Delaware State News.

CRAIG ANDERSON, DELAWARE STATE NEWS: Thank you, sir. We've had these meetings in Dover -- or Delaware the last three weeks. I'm just curious why Delaware to be here making these announcements?

BIDEN: Because I'm home. This is my home, and this is, making this announcement in terms of whether I did this announcement in Seattle, Washington, or in, you know, New Mexico wouldn't matter. It gets the same coverage no matter where it's.

And it was just a lot easier to be able to communicate with staff, work with staff that's in Philadelphia and the like to get this all lined up. And what I found is, operating out of home all the stuff about hiding in the basement, well, over 340 million people have watched what we've done like this on television. That's as big as the American population.

So, I'm learning that the way people are viewing the news and absorbing the news these days is totally different than it was before. So, I find it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference where you do it from as long as we can do it safely.

And, secondly, the reason I want to do this is because of Hicks Anderson. I can think of no more -- if I were in Washington at the time, I'd come here for dealing with this issue because of my buddy Hicks and what has been done, what he was all about. It's just it's a Delaware thing, as you probably know.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you.

OK. Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.