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Soon: Senate To Vote On Abortion Rights Bill, Expected To Fail; CNN: 1/6 House Panel Finalizes Witnesses For June Public Hearings; CNN: Hearings To Focus On Trump's Actions During Riot, Election Fraud Claims, Police Response, Rally Finances; Gas Prices Now Average $4.40 For First Time In U.S. History. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired May 11, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Yes.
JUDGE ESTHER SALAS, U.S. DISTRICT COURT: You do what's right for the American people.
CAMEROTA: But Judge, I mean, who's opposed to protecting your home address, protecting these schools that your kids go to? Who's fighting that? We've lost ...
SALAS: I'm sorry for that. Can you hear me now?
CAMEROTA: I can hear you, so, yes, go on?
SALAS: I was going to say that for the most part, there are a few members of Congress that are fighting to increase include themselves on the legislation which - listen, I don't have a problem with Congress wanting to include themselves. I don't have a problem with that. But our bill is narrowly tailored to address this governmental interest, this needed governmental interest.
And if they want protections, they should pursue that in their own bill.
SALAS: But this is a bill that has been languishing, is ready to go and there's just no reason to hold it back at this point.
SALAS: And that's the part that for me I just say let's do something now. Let's be united and do something.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I understand. I want to play for you something that Sen. Chuck Schumer said about this, about people showing up outside the homes of public officials. Basically, he was saying it comes with the territory, so listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): There's protests three, four times a week outside my house. That's - the American way to peacefully protest is okay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So do you agree that peacefully protesting outside of a judge's, say, or Supreme Court justices' home is okay or are you uncomfortable?
SALAS: Listen, I respect Sen. Schumer so much. I have a lot of respect for all the members of Congress. But the fact of the matter is judges are in a unique situation. We are on the front line, protecting democracy every single day. The numbers have shown that we are literally, and I'm - this is not hyperbole. We are literally taking the bullets to protect democracy and the rule of law.
My son paid for it with his life. Judge Lefkow's husband and her mother paid for her doing her job with their lives, Duranko (ph), there have been so many judges. We are in a different situation and we are asked to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. We are talking apples and oranges here and the fact of the matter is that if we want this country to continue to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy, we need to protect the federal judiciary. We are in a unique position and one that I'm sure Sen. Schumer could understand.
CAMEROTA: Judge Salas, we appreciate talking to you. We'll watch very closely what happens to the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act that you want passed so desperately. Thank you very much for being on with us.
SALAS: Thank you so much (inaudible) time. Have a good day.
CAMEROTA: You too.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: So we're watching the Senate floor, minutes from now, we're expecting a vote on a bill that would preserve abortion rights under federal law. This is coming after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicates that Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned. Now, the bill is almost certainly going to fail. Moments ago House Democrats marched over to the Senate chanting in support of the legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my body.
CROWD: My decision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My body.
CROWD: My decision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My body.
CROWD: My decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe vs. Wade, those
decisions would be left up to the states and numerous states have passed laws indicating that they intend to ban abortions. CNN's Manu Raju is live for us at the Capitol. So Manu, what are you hearing from senators ahead of this vote?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this bill will go down and will probably fail by a bipartisan majority vote to block this measure from going forward. This bill would in the view of some of the critics here go too far in dealing with abortion rights, people like Sen. Joe Manchin as the one Democratic senator who is expected to vote against this plan and two Republicans who support abortion rights, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins also are expected to vote no. The rest of the 49 Democrats - the 47 Democrats and the two Independents whose caucus with Democrats will vote in favor this, so 49-51 is the expected vote outcome.
Now earlier today, we caught up with Sen. Manchin asked him what his view is on this and he made clear that he believes that Roe vs. Wade should be codified but in his view this legislation goes too far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): It's just disappointing that we're going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today. But I would vote for Roe v. Wade codification if it was today. I was hopeful for that, but I found out yesterday in caucus that wasn't going to be.
RAJU (on camera): You said you're pro-life, so then why do you support codification of Roe v. Wade?
MANCHIN: I've always (inaudible) land, that's the legislation we've had for 50 years. It's precedented law. When the Supreme Court justices came to us and they confirmed their belief and support for precedented law, I believed it.
We found out that's not what they're moving towards, we will find out when they have their final ruling come out, but I was very disappointed to see that."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So the question is where do Democrats go from here after this vote fails, ultimately this will be up to the voters come the fall midterms, because legislatively, there is no path for the Democrats. Some liberals, particularly in the House have pushed the Democrats to change the Senate's filibuster rules to allow this legislation to advance by a simple majority of 51 senators, but not just Joe Manchin, who opposes change the Senate filibuster rules, you have Kyrsten Sinema, but also some top Democrats are skeptical of doing that as well for abortion, including Sen. Dick Durbin who's the number two Democrat told me earlier today that doing that what - could essentially come back to bite them if the Republicans take the majority and if they take back the White House here.
So ultimately, a lot of passion on this issue, a lot of debate on both sides of the issue, but it will be the voters who ultimately decide whether - which party should be in control of Congress and whether they'll send back more Democrats in order to pass this legislation and potentially changes the Senate's filibuster rules and eventually get this into law, guys.
BLACKWELL: All right. Manu, we are standing by waiting for that vote to begin. Stay with us and let's bring in now CNN Senior Political Correspondent Abby Phillip. She's the anchor of INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY.
CAMEROTA: Also with us, CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. Great to have you both. So, Gloria, the Supreme Court, it sounds like in that draft, was basically saying this is really the job of your elected representatives. This is a job for legislation, doesn't seem as though Congress is going to be able to do that and then what?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that's the question. I think, look, right now, this is politically for Republicans, something they don't want to touch. They understand where the polls are. And I think privately, if you were to talk to a lot of them, particularly those who are up for reelection, they would say to you, gee, I wish this hadn't happened right now, because they know that the votes of suburban well-educated women are probably on the line right now.
And what you see going on in Congress and Manu can talk about this better than almost anybody is a little bit of kabuki theater here. You know that this is going to fail. Democrats want to get Republicans on the record voting against this bill. Republicans say the bill goes too far and Democrats say that Republicans just want to do away with Roe vs. Wade, which has been in effect for 50 years and take away a right that women have had for so long.
So it's kind of a dance that's going on. We don't know exactly what the Supreme Court opinion is going to be at this point. I should point out, Democrats hope it's going to affect the midterm elections. Although if you look at the polling, it really hasn't sunk in yet and may not have the impact that Democrats hoped it would have.
BLACKWELL: Abby, we know that as we heard from Sen. Manchin there, also Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, they say that this bill goes too far. Is there even a single piece of legislation that could unite the senators who support codifying Roe? Is there one bill that all 52 of them can agree on?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, this is a little bit like legislative whack a mole, where if you're trying to get Collins and Murkowski, oftentimes, and Manchin, you're going to lose someone else on the left, perhaps. And I think that's the calculus that Senate leaders are making right now is that if they really do try to make a good faith effort, for example, to try to create a compromise that could get bipartisan support, they may not be able to do it if they end up losing progressives on the left who say it just doesn't go far enough.
And so I think it just, honestly, it calls into question this whole strategy all together. I mean, as a messaging vote, you're kind of dividing your own caucus with - by losing Manchin and basically signaling to voters that you're taking a test vote that's not going to go anywhere that you know is not going to go anywhere and you're not showing that there is bipartisan support for the thing that you want to accomplish.
And I don't see how that necessarily is going to help Democrats when it comes to galvanizing their voters. Already voters have said in a lot of polls, that they are frustrated with the Democratic Party by the inability to get things done and setting up this vote really does kind of put that front and center that there are not enough votes to protect Roe vs. Wade, which is something that is of a priority to a lot of Democratic base voters.
CAMEROTA: Gloria, I try to imagine the future and what this looks like if in fact the draft is true, Roe vs. Wade is gone.
If there is no federal legislation at all, then are we just a bifurcated country of red versus blue where women who want abortion rights live in the blue states and people who can't or who don't want it live in the red states and then what?
BORGER: Well, I think that's the huge question for - particularly for women who cannot afford to travel to get an abortion if they need one and then there are the other questions in addition to the economic questions, who are you going to penalize. And now are you going to penalize the doctors? Are you going to arrest them? Are you going to arrest the women? Where does this lead vis-a-vis other Supreme Court decisions, for example, about gay marriage or interracial marriage, et cetera, et cetera.
And so if you play this out, there are some states in which questions have been raised about whether IVF would become illegal. And so as I look at this, and I see, okay, the polls are showing that, as of now, it's not going to have that much impact on the midterm elections. The question that I have is if this decision is as we think it is, how does it play out in the presidential election in 2024 when you see the ramifications of this decision as it kind of unspools in different states and women see what they are up against. And I just don't know where this leads, because every state is different, and some state laws are much more draconian than others.
BLACKWELL: Manu, I'm going to jump ahead here, we're still waiting for the vote here, but what is the Democratic strategy moving forward? The Senate held, by my count, correct me if I'm wrong, at least two votes on voting rights legislation that they knew would fail. There was a vote on the January 6th commission that they knew would fail before it started. I'm sure that - more that fit on that list. Are they going to continue to do this leading up to the midterms?
RAJU: I'd say that we're going to keep fighting for it, but what exactly does that mean? Remember, this bill that's about to go down this hour, a similar version was already defeated back in February. So there has been no question about ultimately where this would end up. The only question was, if any votes, perhaps one around the margins, maybe Manchin would have changed because he said he was still reviewing some of the minor changes that were made here, but he opposed also this measure in February.
Now, there is some possible talk of a bipartisan bill, you mentioned potentially getting a Murkowski recalls on board, they do have a piece of legislation that is narrower that would essentially codify Roe and codify Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decisions, but not go much further than that.
Potentially, that could get Joe Manchin on board, but that still would get them 52 votes where they need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. And it's just not clear whether the Democrats' view as a political strategy is worthwhile to give - to say that they have Manchin or Murkowski and Collins on board on this plan. Maybe they want to give that vote, but they haven't said that they do.
So ultimately, this is going to be a messaging issue. This is going to be a talking point, but having more and more of these votes are bound to end the - in the same result here, which is failure.
CAMEROTA: Okay. We will continue to keep an eye on this vote and bring you the results when it happens. Abby, Gloria, Manu, thank you all.
Okay. So CNN has new details about the public hearings on the January 6th insurrection, the testimony will begin in just under a month.
BLACKWELL: Sources tell CNN people may hear from members of the Trump family, not live and in-person, but through recordings. CNN's Ryan Nobles joins us now with this new information. Tell us more.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Victor and Alisyn. We are less than a month away from these hearings, which the January 6 Select Committee is really banking a lot of their hopes in terms of making a case to the American people about the merits of their investigation through these very public hearings and some that will take place in prime time, some throughout the day.
And we're zeroing in on exactly what the committee is going to talk about. We're told that some of these hearings will have specific focus areas and that there will be a number of topics that they want to dive into. As an example, we're told that they're going to focus on that period of time as to what the former President Donald Trump was doing during the riot. Of course, we've seen these call logs and records of his conduct during that period of time that have big gaps that do not explain what he was doing. They're going to focus on that.
Also, efforts to push false election fraud claims. They're going to talk about law enforcement response to the right and the organizing and financing of the January 6th rally. And then there, of course, becomes a question as to who the Committee will call as a potential witness. We're told at this point they've not finalize that list of potential witnesses. They haven't even made outreach to people that they'd like to see appear.
But if you take a look at some of the people that have already appeared behind closed doors and have already provided a lot of information, you'll look to names like Jeff Rosen, the former Acting Attorney General, his deputy, Richard Donoghue, Marc Short, who was the former chief of staff to Mike Pence and Greg Jacob, who's the former General Counsel to the Vice President. All four of these men had been very cooperative in their investigation and have unique insight into what was happening in the time leading up to and on January 6th and could be pretty compelling witnesses should they appear in an open hearing.
But then there's, of course, a question about those closest to the former president. His own children and son in law, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr., all three of these individuals have appeared behind closed doors. There's no sign right now that the Committee wants them to appear in a public hearing. But we do know that they've videotaped these interviews, these depositions that have already taken place and the Committee has already foreshadowed that their presentations will be a multimedia presentation that will include video, audio and testimony and there's the very real possibility that they will use clips from these depositions as part of their hearings coming up.
So at the very least, the committee hoping that they deliver explosive new details when these hearings take place. They are setting the stage very high for what will be at least the culmination of their work of the past 10 months, at least up until this point, Victor and Alisyn?
BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Nobles, thank you.
President Biden just addressed food supply issues and skyrocketing prices. He is vowing to ease the pain, but experts warn it may be a while until you feel much relief. A member of his economic team is with us next.
CAMEROTA: And parents across the country are desperately searching for baby formula, but store shelves are empty so what they're now resorting to and what the solution is ahead.
CAMEROTA: President Biden spoke at a family farm in Illinois tonight - today about inflation and ways to increase the global food supply. Food shortages are just another dangerous byproduct of the war in Ukraine, which is the breadbasket of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now, America's fighting on two fronts: at home, this inflation and rising prices. Abroad, it's helping Ukrainians defend their democracy and feeding those who are left hungry around the world because Russian atrocities exist. And Jeff - and the American farmers understand Putin war has cut off critical sources of food.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The Labor Department just reported that inflation finally slowed a bit for the first time in nine months, but economists say it'll probably be a while until we feel any significant relief at the grocery store, at the gas station. Fuel costs just broke another record, $4.40 a gallon on average for the first time ever.
Joining me now is Jared Bernstein. He's a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Jared, welcome back. Good to have you. Let's start here. Our Jeremy Diamond there in Kankakee with the President asked him about inflation. And the President said that it is going down by two-tenths of a percent in April. Was - did we see the peak of inflation in March? Is the high point behind us?
JARED BERNSTEIN, MEMBER, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVICERS: The President was asked that precise question yesterday and he said it's too soon to call a peak. We're always happy to see any kind of a slowdown of inflation. We saw that, as you mentioned, A5 to A3. I think the broader point is that inflation is just too elevated and is putting real pressure on household budgets.
And that the President called this yesterday his top domestic priority and he reinforced that message today, as you just heard, in the segment you played. Now, I work for the President, so if it's his top priority, that makes it mine as well. And we are working in areas of food, energy, kitchen table cost, bringing down the deficit, helping to increase labor supply, an active agenda to help ease these price pressures as best we can. Because even with this slight slowdown, we know this is a real challenge to American households.
BLACKWELL: So when will there be some relief? As I mentioned at the top some economists say it'll be a while. What's the projection?
BERNSTEIN: Sure. One of the first things you want to do with these reports is get under the hood and look at all the different components. Now, we at the Council of Economic Advisers are very careful never to call one month a trend, even if we like what it says in one month.
But for the past three months used car prices have had negative handles on each one of those months. So we're very happy to see that, we're very much hoping that trend continues. That probably suggests some loosening of supply chain snarl ups. Our ports have actually been doing a very good job of throughput that is getting goods off the ships and onto the shelves.
Shelves are actually stocked at about the rate they were pre-pandemic. Our fingerprints are on some of that because we've tried to help improve that kind of throughput through the ports, so that's helped. Now if you look at broader forecasts, you will see that by the end of the year, inflation is expected to grow considerably more slowly than it is now, but we're not just going to count on those forecasts, we're going to do everything we can to make sure they materialize.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about gas prices. Last time you and I spoke was in February and you touted the President's three-point plan to bring down the price of a gallon of gas. Back then it was about $3.46 a gallon, it's almost a dollar more now.
What left is there to do?
BERNSTEIN: Well, probably if that was in February, assuming it was before February 24th, that's pre invasion. And one of the things that this president has been very clear with about the American people, you just heard him talking about it now, the atrocities that Russia is imposing on the sovereign state of Ukraine are definitely playing out in commodity prices: food, energy, gasoline, fertilizer and so we have to continue to ramp up our efforts.
Now, since then, the President has overseen a plan to release 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Reserves. That is a historic release from those oil reserves that we control. He's gotten our European partners to add 60 million barrels to that. He's out in the Midwest today where he has waived E15, ethanol rules such that they can increase their supply of biofuel additives to gasoline, and that will increase the supply there. And, of course, he's working with our partners and other producing countries energy producing countries to make sure that they hit their energy quotas.
BLACKWELL: And still gas is at a record high. Let me ask you about this potential gas tax holiday. You got 30 Democrats on the Hill who support legislation. Right now, it's $18.4 a gallon. States are creating this holiday. Is that under serious consideration, supporting that brief respite and maybe through the end of the year for drivers?
BERNSTEIN: Let me put it this way, Victor, that is very much on the table as any other good idea that comes our way to help ease these price pressures. I think the key thing for listeners to recognize is that gasoline, oil in particular, is a global market, all right. The globe consumes a hundred million barrels of oil per day.
Now anything we can do at the margin, that is even a million barrels per day, that release from the strategic reserve, 1 million barrels per day for the next six months is going to help in that regard. But the President's been straight up with the American people about this that we are trying to help the atrocities being perpetuated on Ukraine and that will put pressure on commodity prices. That said, every good idea is on the table.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jared Bernstein, always appreciate your time, sir. Thank you.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Victor.
CAMEROTA: A crisis, that's what parents are calling the dire shortage of infant baby formula, so what can be done, next.