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339,000 Jobs Added in May, Showing Labor Market Remains Hot; Senate Passes Debt Limit Bill, Averts Default Disaster; Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Escalate Feud on Campaign Trail. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 02, 2023 - 10:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A new warning for those who use payment apps such as Venmo, Cash App or PayPal. Why a federal consumer watchdog says your money could be lost for good.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And live fire drills in South Korea. The military there is simulating a full scale attack from the north. This is CNN News Central.

BERMAN: The jobs report out just a short time ago shattered expectations. Employers added 339,000 jobs last month. That is way more than the 190,000 that had been expected. Now, the unemployment rate did tick up to 3.7 percentas more people entered the workforce looking for jobs. The Federal Reserve, which meets later this month, is monitoring the labor market very closely as they consider whether to raise interest rates for an 11th time.

CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans here with this report. The number popped up on my computer. That was my exact response.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Wow. I mean, this is way stronger than anybody really thought. And the prior couple of months were also revised higher. So, this has been a really strong spring for hiring, and we're seeing small businesses do a lot of this hiring, John, which is super interesting. You've been seeing those big headlines of companies that are laying -- big companies doing layoffs. Well, it's small businesses finally can get their hands on workers and hire.

So, the hiring here broad based and pretty strong here. We're talking about tech centers, office buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, construction sites, just about everything except for manufacturing, a little bit of weakness in manufacturing, everywhere else, strong hiring.

BERMAN: It shows signs of a resilient economy. In the midst of all these interest rate hikes, in the midst of every one particular recession, you still have 339,000 jobs new added. And, Christine, you pointed out to me that there's really interesting numbers relating to women as well. ROMANS: Yes. The labor force participation rate for women just hit an all-time high. That means the share of women 25 to 54, the biggest share of those in history, are working. Two reasons, hybrid work, economists say, makes it a better situation for women to be working, better management. But also high inflation might mean that they have to go back to work, so a double-edged sword there.

BERMAN: Just to show people what's up here, Romans. This is the chart of the jobs added over the last several months, and people can see it going up the last three months.

ROMANS: And here's what's really interesting. The Fed has been raising interest rates for 14 or 15 months now since March of last year. We have created, this economy has created 5.1 million jobs while the Fed has been trying to cool it off. So, that is really an interesting scenario. For some context, in 2019, a strong year with 2 million jobs created in the entire year, the average monthly job gain was about 163. You don't see any 163. Every single month is stronger than a typical month in 2019 before the pandemic.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you very much.


BERMAN: All right, let's get reaction from the White House now. Jeremy Diamond is there. Jeremy, what are officials saying there this morning?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're obviously thrilled with this number, John. President Biden in a statement touting these jobs growth numbers as a good day for the American economy and for the American worker. And while he doesn't directly address the fact that the unemployment rate ticked up just slightly from 3.4 to 3.7 percent, what he does note is the fact that this is a long stretch of unemployment under 4 percent, 16 months straight of unemployment under that level. And he also notes that wages are continuing to grow.

What's also clear and something that the President wanted to note and that I expect we might even hear from the President tonight in his Oval Office address, is the fact that this debt ceiling deal is very much linked to the future of the economy. And the fact that it protects some of his key economic policies, which he says, this jobs report is evidence that those policies are working.

He says, quote, due to the historic action taken by Congress this week, my economic plan will continue to deliver good jobs for the American people in communities throughout the country. The agreement protects our historic and hard earned economic recovery and all the progress that American workers have made in the last two years.

And, of course, this debt ceiling deal isn't just about protecting some of those policies, like the Inflation Reduction Act, which this White House made very clear early on in those negotiations was off the table, but it's also about clearing the decks for the rest of President Biden's term, not only taking another debt stealing standoff off the table until 2025, but incentivizing Congress to fund the government and not have a government shutdown in the next year, and also clearing the way, clearly at the same time on the messaging front, for the President to continue to talk about the impact of his economic policies and to focus on implementing some of those key legislative accomplishments that we've been talking about. John?

BERMAN: Yes. The president talks to the nation tonight at about 07:00. I expect the new job numbers will be part of that discussion. Jeremy Diamond, great to see you, thank you.



BOLDUAN: So, disaster averted. Today, President Biden will sign into law the bipartisan deal that extends the debt ceilings through January 2025 and avoids a disastrous default, as they were just discussing with Jeremy Diamond. The Treasury had said that the U.S. would have run out of cash on Monday, and we are expecting to hear from President Biden to speak to the nation about all of this tonight.

So, how we got to this point in just the whirlwind of the last, really, 24 hours, the Senate passed the bill 63 to 36 overnight, a decidedly bipartisan vote. This is despite, as we've been hearing and tracking for weeks now, the backlash from both the far left and the far right, as the bill contains provisions that lawmakers on each side of the aisle they didn't like.

The package includes several things. First and foremost, it extends the nation's debt ceiling, first and foremost, and most importantly, suspending borrowing limits until after the 2024 presidential election, it also caps non defense spending at about $700 billion and protects veterans medical care. The package will expand work requirements for some adults receiving food stamps and is expected to also claw back some COVID-19 relief funds to help cut spending. The bill will cut funding for the IRS, and it restarts the student loan payments that President Biden put a pause on at the end of the summer.

Let's get over to CNN's Lauren Fox. She's on Capitol Hill for more. You kind of wonder how everyone is feeling there, or is everyone just sleeping because they finally did their job, Lauren?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they went late into the evening, but not as late as it could have gone, Kate, in part because they were voting really expeditiously on a number of amendments, voting in some cases under ten minutes, which is basically unheard of here in the U.S. Senate.

So, a couple of things to keep in mind about this deal, it was a compromise. And like you noted, there were people on the far right, people on the far left who were really unhappy with what was included in this debt ceiling bill. But it's a coalition that we're probably going to see again because we have a spending deadline coming up at the end of September. Lawmakers are going to have to work together with probably some of the same members who you saw in the negotiating room over the course of the last several weeks. But here's what Chuck Schumer and one Republican, Joni Ernst, said about the deal.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Well, I hope the MAGA Republicans have learned that this strategy of trying to be hostage taking and do threats and hurt the American people unless they get their way just doesn't work. And I'd hope they'd learn their lesson.

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): We do need to do something to control spending, and I think this is a great first step. I think that Kevin McCarthy negotiated a good deal for now.


FOX: And you hear them there. The next fight is going to be on this spending process. They now have some top line numbers of how much they can spend over the next several years, but you have to then get into the nitty-gritty details, what's going to get cut, what is going to remain the same, and is there any place where you're going to increase spending. All of that still to be determined by the whole appropriations process, which we can look forward to this summer. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes, look forward to. There's a lot behind that we can look forward to, Lauren. I can see that in your eyes. It's great to see you. Thank you so much for the report, Lauren.

Oh, wait, Lauren, before you go, I did want to ask you because we've been hearing it for a long time from many Democrats, but in the aftermath of this crisis, we have heard from some top Democrats that they think now is the time to just do away with the debt ceiling altogether. Where are things with that?

FOX: Yes. There have been a number of Democrats for years calling for this. In fact, some Democrats, including Brendan Boyle, called for this even before the new Congress began in January, arguing that it was an opportunity last year to take care of this.

The president had really dismissed those calls as irresponsible. But here's what Brendan Boyle said recently.


REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D-PA): There's no question that the debt ceiling serves no purpose. It needs to be dramatically reformed. This is an incredibly dysfunctional process that, in the end, achieves nothing other than avoiding disaster.


FOX: And you heard there from Boyle. I will tell you that in a divided Congress, it's very unlikely to reform a process that, despite messy over the last couple of weeks, did get Republicans some of those spending changes that they wanted to see. It's very unlikely House Republicans would come to the negotiating table on a bigger reform. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Great point. Thank you, Lauren. I really appreciate it.

All right, so joining us now for more on all of this because there's a lot going on today, Ben Harris, he's the former assistant treasury secretary for economic policy under President Biden. Ben, thanks for coming in.

I want to talk about the debt sailing, but, first, I want to get your take on -- I mean, I'll describe it as kind of this bonkers jobs report that we had just out this morning, I mean, blowing through expectations for May.


What do you think this report and the trend, if you will, which is important, says about the labor market and the overall state of the economy right now?

BEN HARRIS, FORMER ASSISTANT TREASURY SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC POLICY: So, there's really no other way to interpret this report as consistent with a labor market, which remains incredibly strong. It remains just red hot. It's a great time to be a worker right now. We saw that big pop on payroll. But even when you look at other metrics, like labor force participation rate, as you just noted, we're seeing historic levels as far as people coming back to labor market, as far as prime age workers.

So, this economy isn't perfect. It has its challenges, but when it comes to the labor market, things are pretty good.

BOLDUAN: What do you think this means for the Fed's next big decision later this month? I mean, with what you're seeing, do you see soft landing in these numbers?

HARRIS: Yes. I mean, I think this probably lends a little bit more weight to the notion of a soft landing. You did see the unemployment rate tick up to 3.7. You did see some softness in broader measures of labor market. So, underemployment, ours were a little bit of a weakness here. And I think the markets are expecting a pause in June, and then perhaps we'll see what happens with inflation data for the hike potentially later on in July.

But as far as a soft landing goes, I think we're all holding our breath. But as the data comes out, it does increasingly look like there will be a decent chance of a soft landing.

BOLDUAN: I'll say with this in mind and also this broader debt ceiling deal that finally got done and will be signed today, tonight, when the president speaks from the White House, it does feel like an important moment for him. What do you think his message should be when he speaks to the nation tonight?

HARRIS: Well, it is a big moment. I mean, the first thing, this is a huge win for the American people. There was a real chance that we would see a debt ceiling default. I mean, I've been in this policy business for decades now. I've never been so pessimistic about going over the X date. And the fact that the president and the House was able to come together and get a deal is just great news for the U.S. economy.

But the other thing the president may talk about is bipartisanship. So, this is now the third major bipartisan package that he's gotten through Congress, the other two being the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Chips Act. So, this is someone who ran on a return to normalcy, ran on the premise that he could work with Republicans in Congress and I think his track record on this is pretty good at this point.

BOLDUAN: So, I also want to get your take on the conversation -- where I was ending the conversation with Lauren Fox about kind of this renewed talk from Democrats after avoiding disaster of it's time to abolish the debt ceiling all together. What do you think about that? Do you think the time is now, even set aside that it's unlikely that you're going to get people to come to the table to negotiate it now? Do you think it should happen now?

HARRIS: Yes. I mean, I think that the debt ceiling is obviously a major threat to the U.S. economy. It's really unfortunate that we've got this sort of obscure law that introduces all of this uncertainty whenever Congress feels like it wants to make it a political football. It's not good for credit markets. It's not good for U.S. treasuries and, ultimately, it's not good for the U.S. economy.

BOLDUAN: But then if it is the only forcing mechanism of getting lawmakers, for better or worse, to get their House in order, is it a good thing at all?

HARRIS: Yes, I get that argument. I think there are better ways to put constraints on Congress. So, there is a bipartisan bill out of the House. Scott Peters and Jodey Arrington have a reform to the debt ceiling that would allow there to be some restraint on some check on big increases and deficits without introducing all this uncertainty, every time that we come up against a debt ceiling. So, I think the key here is reform and finding new ways to get checks on out of control deficits.

I mean, one of the unfortunate things about this resolution was we didn't learn from the lessons of the 1990s when you saw spending and revenues as part of the solution. I mean, this was only focused on roughly 10 percent of the federal budget, non-defense discretionary ending, and there was nothing on the revenue side.

So, I don't think the main takeaway out of the last experience with the debt ceiling should be, look, we made lots of progress on debts and deficits. We didn't. We made a tiny bit of progress, and we made it the wrong way.

So, my ultimate hope is that Congress can think of new ways to put checks on rising deficits, and we can get rid of something which has been in place for 100 years and really had very little success.

BOLDUAN: Ben Harris, good to have you on. Thanks for coming in. HARRIS: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Lessons learned, that would be really great after something like this.

BERMAN: I hesitate to say it, but it might be a first. They seem to get into this every time.


There are many of the times there are debt ceiling deadlines.

BOLDUAN: And still suffering the wounds of the 2011 debt debacle, yes.

BERMAN: All right. So, this morning, we are getting a clearer sense of how the leading Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are positioning themselves against each other. Trump has been steadily criticizing DeSantis, while the Florida governor seems to be trying to strike a balance between introducing himself while also standing up to the former president and poking him a little. The two trading jabs about how DeSantis pronounces his name.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You don't change your name in the middle of the election. Change his name in the middle of the election. You don't do that. You do it before or after, but, ideally, you don't do it at all.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I think it's so petty. I think it's so juvenile. I don't think that's what voters want.

I think that's one of the reasons he's not in the White House now, because I think he alienated too many voters for things that really don't matter.


BERMAN: CNN's Steve Contorno is in South Carolina, where Governor DeSantis will be campaigning today. It was interesting that back and forth on how Governor DeSantis or I guess DeSantis says his name. What does that tell us about what we will hear from DeSantis in the next few days?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Well, John, it shows that these guys are going to continue to mix it up and really focus on each other as DeSantis tries to get a footing in this Republican primary. And we saw them go back and forth yesterday as well on another issue. DeSantis has been trying to make the case to Republican voters that, look, I can serve for two years or two terms if I'm elected. Trump can only serve one term. Well, Trump had an answer to that yesterday. Here's the back and forth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DESANTIS: You have to be mission focused. You cannot get distracted with any of this.

It will require a daily grind for not just one term but I think for two full presidential terms.

TRUMP: When he says eight years, every time I hear it, I wince because I say, if it takes eight years to turn this around, then you don't want him. You don't want him as your president.

DESANTIS: Why didn't he do it his first four years?


CONTORNO: Why didn't he do it in his first four years? That is going to the heart of the argument that DeSantis is trying to make as he challenges Trump. He is saying, look, the Trump years might not be as great as you remember them, Republicans. And he has gone after Trump on a number of issues on the policy side, accusing Trump of being soft on crime, accusing him of supporting amnesty for undocumented immigrants, accusing him of raising the national debt. And he has to try to convince Republican voters that he would be a better steward of the White House if he is there.

Now, what's interesting is that there's been little back and forth between DeSantis and the other candidates in the race so far. And now he's in South Carolina where two of the state's politicians, Nikki Haley, the former governor, and Tim Scott, the current senator, are both running for president as well, John.

BERMAN: Live pictures, by the way, of a Ron DeSantis sign, now governor Ron DeSantis, who is speaking at this moment in South Carolina. There is an old saying in politics that if two candidates go after each other, it does open up a lane for a third or maybe fourth, fifth or sixth candidate. So, we'll have to wait and see. Steve, great to have you with us. Thanks so much. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, Bill Cosby facing a new civil lawsuit alleging a sexual assault that happened decades ago. Ahead, the new California law that paved the way for this person to seek justice.

And recounting the moment her life changed forever. After the break, we're going to hear from the Texas cheerleader. You'll remember, she was shot after her friend accidentally opened the wrong door of the wrong car. Listen.


PAYTON WASHINGTON, CHEERLEADER SHOT THREE TIMES: When I heard the first shot, I had turned immediately with my blanket. I didn't know where it was coming from or anything, but it being so loud that my ears were ringing like I knew to turn and do something.


[10:20:00] BOLDUAN: On our radar this hour, the U.S. Army is re-designating one of the largest military installations in the world. North Carolina's Fort Bragg is now Fort Liberty. There was a branch-wide push, if you'll remember, to rename bases that held the names of confederate leaders. The base had been named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg.

And it is the second day only of the Atlantic hurricane season and already tropical depression, too, has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, putting Florida on alert. Forecasters expect that it will remain offshore, thankfully, but still some communities in Florida, they're preparing boarding up windows and boarding up doors.

A federal consumer watchdog is alerting users of money apps like Venmo, PayPal and Cash App, which is all of us, that their money may not be safe. The app, they allow users to store money without immediately transferring it into your bank. But those apps are not insured and you could lose your money for good.

I want to read for you what the direct of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, how he put it. He put it this way popular digital payment apps are increasingly used as substitute for traditional bank or credit union account but lack the same protections to ensure that funds are safe. That is scary, John.

BERMAN: They're not FDIC-insured. I never quite thought of it that way.

This morning, a Texas cheerleader is breaking her silence. Just six weeks ago, Payton Washington was at an Austin area grocery store after cheerleading practice when one of her friends opened the door to the wrong car. When she saw a stranger in the passenger seat, she apologized and shut the door, but that stranger got out of the car and began shooting at the girls. Payton was shot three times and left with a long road to recovery.

She spoke this morning on Good Morning America.


WASHINGTON: My spleen was shattered. My stomach had two holes in it, and my diaphragm had two holes in it and then they had to remove a lobe from my pancreas.


I had 32 staples.


BERMAN: CNN's Rosa Flores joins us now. Rosa, I don't know where you are. Rosa, give us a sense of what you learned from this interview this morning.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Payton washing and speaks about the moments leading up to that shooting. And she says that she was in the car, she was texting, she was eating twizzlers when her friend hopped into the car, rolled down the window, and started saying, sorry, sorry. And then she says that the individual who was outside that car pulled out a gun.


WASHINGTON: I was trying to stay as calm as possible for the other people in the car. I could tell how sad and scared they were.

REPORTER: So, you're shot and you're keeping everyone else calm.

WASHINGTON: Well tried. I saw blood on the seat, my passenger seat. So, I knew somewhere was bleeding, but I had so much adrenaline, I didn't really know where.


FLORES: Now she was shot three times. Those bullets hit multiple organs. And she says that her life has not been the same. Take a listen.


WASHINGTON: The hardest part was after surgeries. It was hard, like it hurting to walk or stand is really weird when a week before you were doing a bunch of flips, running the track and doing long jump and all this stuff. Can't get out of bed by yourself, can't roll off the couch, can't stand by yourself, going up the stairs, I would get winded.


FLORES: Now, since the shooting, she has graduated from high school and she is headed to Baylor.

Now, we're hearing from the suspect's attorney for the first time. The suspect's attorney issuing a statement this morning saying, quote, Pedro, who is Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Pedro was the victim of a robbery in the past. At the time of the robbery, Pedro was seated in his vehicle when a female entered his vehicle and robbed him at gunpoint. John the statement goes on to say that he thought that he was going to be robbed.

I should add that he was charged initially or arrested on deadly conduct charges and he's out on bond at the moment.

BERMAN: All right, new details emerging. Rosa Flores, thank you so much. Kate?

BOLDUAN: So, new legal troubles that Bill Cosby is now facing, a new rape allegation and lawsuit that he's up against. We'll have details coming up.