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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

House To Vote On Biden's Two Massive Economic Bills; Trump Allies Testified About Debunked Election Fraud Claims; COP26: 20 Nations To Stop Funding Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 05, 2021 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Friday morning, folks. It is Friday. Good morning. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Laura Jarrett. It's 30 minutes past the hour here in New York. It's time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

President Biden's sweeping agenda and, potentially, his legacy on the line today. The House is finally expected to vote on both his social safety net plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

ROMANS: The Biden administration anticipating some good news on the economy after two months of dismal employment numbers. Economists expect the October jobs report to come in at about half a million jobs added.

JARRETT: A memorial service in the nation's capital today for former Secretary of State and general, Colin Powell. Powell died last month from COVID complications. He was also battling cancer. Powell was 84 years old. CNN's special coverage of the memorial begins at 11:00 eastern.

ROMANS: Europe is back to being the epicenter of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Cases there have risen 55 percent over the past four weeks. Cases in the U.S. have fallen as Europe spikes once again.

JARRETT: Human remains found in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park are believed to be those of a German man who went missing nearly 40 years ago. Authorities say the man was 27 years old when he went missing on a ski trip in 1983.

ROMANS: Dwyane Johnson says his production company will no longer use real guns on-set after a cinematographer was fatally shot on the "Rust" movie set.

JARRETT: Some popular snack foods getting more expensive. The maker of Oreos and Sour Patch Kids announced prices will increase by seven percent in the new year. The company says ongoing global supply chain issues are to blame.

ROMANS: It's championship Friday in Atlanta. A parade celebrating the World Series champion Atlanta Braves will make its way through the city and into Cobb County, ending with a post-parade concert at Truist Park kids can go to. Schools across much of Atlanta are closed today.

JARRETT: All right, a big day for American families on Capitol Hill. The House is expected to vote on both of President Biden's economic bills -- the sweeping social safety net plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. House Democrats clearly coalescing after major election defeats see it as a time to act.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark says they want to pass a bill that will do the most good for the most people.


REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-CT): Every call that I get, every time I'm out in my district, people are concerned about the future. The pandemic has been a time of loss and challenge and it has bred anxiety. As we see rising costs at the grocery store, at the gas pump, people want to know that they are seen and we are working for them.


ROMANS: The last remaining issues are immigration and concerns from five moderates who want an accounting from the Congressional Budget Office. That's, of course, if it doesn't happen overnight.

CNN's Jasmine Wright is live in Washington. Jasmine, the president needs a win. Could he get two today?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Well, for Democrats, that surely is the plan, Christine. And I know that we have been before, about twice, with votes scheduled and then not happening. But as my colleague Daniella Diaz reported, Pelosi told her caucus that she wanted these votes last night. Now they are planned for today, really showing the urgency that both she, House Democratic leaders, and ultimately, President Biden want to see in getting his agenda out of the House doors.

And for Biden, officials told me and my colleagues that he had really been pitching that effort, calling members trying to narrow down the list of holdouts that right now are a lot of moderate Democrats trying to push them towards the edge.

One Democrat in particular that he called was Congresswoman Spanberger of Virginia, Democrat, who he really urged her to support that climate and economic agenda. Now, Spanberger has been really vocal since that defeat in Virginia of that governor's race, saying basically in a -- it was reported in a closed-door Democrats' meeting that the American people did not elect Joe Biden to be the new FDR. So obviously, Biden making that call to her is very interesting.

And he made other calls, officials said, really pushing folks to vote yes when the vote was set. And so, Democrats hope that vote being set happens today. But I just want to caution that even if these votes are set today that doesn't necessarily mean that it's out the woods for Democrats because, of course, the bipartisan infrastructure bill would go to the president's desk if passed -- a major win for the president after all this time.

But that social spending net expansion package -- that would go over to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. We don't know how long it's going to take for them to work through it. And then likely with the changes it may have to go back to the House side.


But still, with -- if this bipartisan infrastructure package passed today as Democrats hope that it does, that would be a major win for the president who, at this point, really needs it -- Laura, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jasmine. So nice to see you -- thanks. Have a good weekend.

JARRETT: Thanks, Jasmine.

Let's dig a little deeper on all of this, shall we? It's time for three questions in three minutes. Let's bring in Toluse Olorunnipa, CNN's political analyst and national politics reporter for "The Washington Post." Good morning.

ROMANS: Good morning.

JARRETT: Thanks so much for getting up with us.

We're finally here after months of negotiation. All the backbiting, all the infighting, all the false starts, after an embarrassing election day for Democrats, it looks like these two bills could finally pass -- $3 trillion in spending for American families. It's just a huge deal.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via Webex by Cisco): Yes, it is a really big deal. It's not a finished deal and --


OLORUNNIPA: -- completed because the social spending bill still needs to be negotiated.

But it is a big deal and President Biden will have a long-awaited win in which he can say I got infrastructure after years of the Trump administration trying to have infrastructure week after infrastructure week. Biden will be able to say I did something on infrastructure and actually campaigned on it.

We haven't heard a lot about the infrastructure package because there has been so much focus on the social spending bill. But at least Biden will be able to say I got this through the House. And now he's got to focus on getting the social spending bill through the Senate, working out the kinks, getting progressives and moderates to finally agree. And I think the election may have helped with that because they

realize that they're either all going to hand separately or hang together. And it looks like they're trying to figure out a way to get together and make sure that both of these bills can pass and the president's agenda can make it through.

ROMANS: I think you're right on the election comment there. Tuesday, a bad night for Democrats everywhere. It's easy to get caught up in the major races.

But Republicans made gains on a hyperlocal level, like in New Jersey, for example. The Democratic State Senate majority leader is on the verge of being unseated by Edward Durr, a 20-year veteran truck driver -- listen.


EDWARD DURR (R), LEADING IN NEW JERSEY STATE SENATE RACE: It's a multitude of people who got elected because the peoples' voice needed to be heard. They were -- they were tired of being ignored.

I want this job. I don't want all the fame but I want this job. I want to be the voice. I want to be somebody who can speak for the people.


ROMANS: What do races like this say about the state of the country, Toluse?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, it's an absolutely shocking reaction from the voters in New Jersey. They kicked out the Senate president who had been in the Senate for 20 years and put in a truck driver who had never been in politics. And it shows that the country is anxious.


OLORUNNIPA: The country is tired of the infighting and they want something fresh. They want something new. We've seen some of these types of races from AOC's race a couple of years ago to even the election of Donald Trump.

It's pretty clear that the voters are looking for something different and Democrats have to realize that they need to show that they are not the party of all. That they're going to bring something fresh to the table.

JARRETT: So, speaking of bringing something fresh to the table, longtime Democratic strategist James Carville says that Democrats are essentially out of touch. Take a listen to what he says here and then I want to talk about it.


JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: What went wrong is this stupid wokeness, all right? Don't just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis. Even look at Seattle, Washington. I mean, this defund the police lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln's name off of schools -- some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something. They're expressing a language that people just don't use and there's a backlash and a frustration at that.


JARRETT: So, Toluse, part of the reason I think we wanted to play that is because he's giving voice to something that you have heard from Democrats -- some party -- some people in the party after Tuesday night.

But I wonder, in your view, is it too simple? Can't you both talk about kitchen table issues, recognize that the economy is the most important thing to voters, and also call out racism?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, you can, but it's incredibly difficult, especially in such a divided country and such a divided Congress.

Democrats talk about racism, they talk about trying to change policing, but they can't actually pass some of these laws. And it makes it almost a difficult situation where they are talking about this and they are getting the political blowback, but they can't campaign and say this is what we did to fix the problem.

So, they're not really able to motivate their base by saying we passed policing bills or we passed voting rights bills. They just talk about it. And then Republicans are able to campaign on the angst it has created in the community because these are tough issues.

These are issues that really rile up people's emotions. And it's going to be upon Democrats to figure out how to negotiate and strategize on these things. Otherwise, they are going to continue to lose some of these close races.

ROMANS: I think they also underthought the anger and the anxiety of suburban moms because of school.

JARRETT: About schools.

ROMANS: The school thing -- everyone has had to deal with it and I think that came bubbling through. And not necessarily the critical race theory red herring.

JARRETT: Exactly. It's about schools being closed.

ROMANS: It was about schools being --


JARRETT: It's not about critical race theory.

ROMANS: I think -- I think schools being closed was a huge, huge driver here and we don't even really know how to process it politically.


ROMANS: All right. Toluse, nice to see you -- CNN political analyst and political reporter for "The Washington Post." Thanks so much.

JARRETT: Thanks, Toluse.

ROMANS: We'll be right back.

You agree with me, right?


ROMANS: Welcome back.

New video exclusive to CNN shows Donald Trump's allies saying under oath that they put very little effort into verifying debunked claims of election fraud before spreading them on the national stage.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP PERSONAL LAWYER: We had a report that the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic somewhere in the mid-teens -- you know, 2013-14 -- whatever went down to Venezuela for a 'get to know' meeting with Maduro so they could demonstrate to Maduro the kind of vote-fixing they did for Chavez.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic?

GIULIANI: Yes, that's what I was told. Before the press conference, I was told about it. Sometimes I go and look, myself, online when stuff comes up. This time I didn't have the time to do it.

It's not my job in a fast-moving case to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that is given to me. Otherwise, you're never going to write a story and you never come to a conclusion.


JARRETT: That's Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, admitting that he didn't take the time to vet any of this stuff. And the stuff --

ROMANS: That wasn't true, right? By the way, like, some -- that just wasn't true.

JARRETT: No. It's all --it's lies. And the deposition sheds light on what Trump's attorneys did behind the scenes -- little to nothing as they tried publicly to sow doubt about the 2020 election results.

This video is part of a defamation case brought by a former executive of Dominion Voting Systems. He says he got death threats after the Trump campaign and conservative media figures made vote-rigging claims.

ROMANS: All right.

It's often said confronting the climate crisis is about future generations. Today, the first week of a historic U.N. climate summit in Scotland is wrapping up with an eye to the future.

CNN's Phil Black is live in Glasgow. Good morning.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, good morning.

We've seen more deals here that signal a real shift in thinking and a sense of urgency. This time, on the use of fossil fuels. For example, 20 countries, including the United States, have vowed to stop using public money to back fossil fuel projects abroad. But this deal does not stop them from subsidizing those fuels within their own borders.

Forty-six countries have now pledged to move on from coal-fired electricity within the coming decades. But this pledge does not include the biggest users of coal, like the United States, China, and India.

So, these deals, like the other big ones that have been announced over this conference, on deforestation, cutting methane, low carbon steel -- they are good. But in the context of what the goals here are, still not quite good enough.

And that limited progress is really distilled in one clear number -- 1.8 degrees Celsius. That is the amount of average global temperature increase we can expect by the end of the century, according to the International Energy Agency, if all the promises here are put into place on time.

Now, on one hand, that represents real progress because coming into this conference the United Nations was forecasting an increase -- a catastrophic increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. One point eight is clearly a big improvement but it is still short of the goal, which is 1.5. And in order to achieve that it is widely accepted that all countries must do more, especially in the short-term -- this decade -- by 2030 to dramatically decrease carbon emissions.

Today is Youth Day at the conference. We will see thousands of people, including -- thousands of young people, I should say, including the noted environmentalist -- the Swedish woman Greta Thunberg -- marching through the streets of Glasgow. They will be joined by tens of thousands of protesters over the weekend.

They are marching -- rallying to keep the pressure on to remind the people who are negotiating at the conference here that near enough simply isn't good enough when it comes to climate change -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Phil for us this morning from Glasgow. Thank you so much for that.

Back in the U.S., more than 20,000 healthcare workers are set to strike this month against Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation's largest healthcare providers. The nurse's union gave Kaiser 10 days' notice after the California-based company proposed wage cuts -- wage cuts despite a national staffing crisis. The union estimates the strike affects more than 350 healthcare facilities in Southern California.

JARRETT: Yes, there is a trend across the U.S. Workers at companies from Kellogg to John Deere protesting low wages, long hours, and lacking benefits. Last month was dubbed "Striketober." There were 38 strikes in the first two weeks of October.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Friday morning. Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares have closed for the week, and they closed on a down note. Europe has opened higher. And on Wall Street, stock index futures are barely mixed here this morning.

It was a mixed day on Thursday. The Dow snapping a four-day string of record highs ending down a little bit. But record highs for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq thanks to strong earnings.

And weekly jobless claims hit a new pandemic low.

Moderna shares fell more than 17 percent after it said it was struggling to meet demand -- global demand for its COVID vaccine.

Investors looking past the Fed's announcement it plans to roll back its pandemic stimulus.

Turning now to the October jobs report, that's out in just a couple of hours. Analysts expect the economy added maybe 450,000 jobs last month, more than in both September and October.


OPEC and its allies have decided not to ramp up oil production despite international pressure. President Biden called on OPEC to ease the global energy crunch even as diplomats worked in Glasgow to get the world off fossil fuels. At its virtual meeting in Vienna, OPEC-Plus agreed to stick to its plan it will increase production next month by just 400,000 barrels per day.

Soaring oil prices are dampening the economic recovery at a crucial moment. U.S. gas prices, as you all know, are at a 7-year high.

JARRETT: So, we went from schools being closed for months during this pandemic to now, not enough bus drivers to get them to class. But one 12-year-old boy in Colorado isn't letting that stop him. Despite very real risks, Josh Smith told his dad he had a solution.


JASON SMITH, FATHER OF JOSH SMITH: One night around dinner, Josh just said hey, dad, would you mind if I kayaked to school? And some kids if they say that you just kind of laugh it off and say yes, sure -- no problem. But I knew if he asked it, he was probably planning on doing it. JOSH SMITH, KAYAKS TO SCHOOL: I would decide to just kayak to school because I always want to do something cool that I'll remember for my whole life -- and I will remember this for my whole life.

JASON SMITH: I can remember finally pushing him off into the reservoir, thinking what have I just done?

JOSH SMITH: I just throw my bag in the front and hope I don't capsize and get to school. I really like how every time I do it the sun rises, like, when I'm in the middle of the lake and the whole lake is really smooth and like glass. I just think it's really pretty and stuff and I think it's worth it.


JARRETT: Wow, I love that. And guess what? It is not a short route. It's two miles a day. And once the lake freezes over Josh tells our CNN affiliate KUSA he plans to cross-country ski to class.

ROMANS: I love that kid.

JARRETT: What kind of 12-year-old has this amount of initiative?

ROMANS: This is awesome. This is awesome. He's not tied to the video games. He wants to kayak to school. We love you.

JARRETT: The fate of your existence.

ROMANS: I know, right?

All right. The NBA is investigating allegations of racism and sexism against the owner of the Phoenix Suns this morning.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy, what's going on here?


So, the Suns knew this ESPN report has been coming for a while, even preemptively releasing statements about it last month.

Now, Robert Sarver has owned the Suns and Mercury of the WNBA since 2004. And according to the ESPN report, Sarver has used inappropriate language on multiple occasions, creating a hostile work environment.

Baxter Holmes, of ESPN, interviewed more than 70 current and former employees for his report. One of them was former Suns coach Earl Watson, who says Sarver repeatedly used the "n" word after a loss in 2016 despite Watson's strong objections.

And Sarver says the report is inaccurate and misleading. He added, "I have never called anyone or any group of people the n-word or referred to anyone or any group of people by that word, either verbally or in writing. I don't use that word. It is abhorrent and ugly and denigrating and against everything I believe in." Now, before last night's win over the Rockets, head coach Monty Williams acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations but didn't want to rush to judgment.


MONTY WILLIAMS, PHOENIX SUNS HEAD COACH: These allegations are, you know -- sensitive is an understatement. At the same time, they're just not clear yet. An article was written, many opinions were shared, many feelings were shared, but all of it happened before I was here. And based on what you all know about me -- the little you know about me -- if any of that stuff happened while I was here, I wouldn't be in this seat.


SCHOLES: All right.

Week nine of the NFL season opening up last night with the Colts hosting the Jets. Carson Wentz bouncing back from a rough outing on Sunday throwing three touchdown passes, including this one to offensive lineman Danny Pinter. Always good when a lineman catches a touchdown.

Jonathan Taylor, meanwhile, running all over the Jets' defense. He had 172 yards, 78 of them on this touchdown in the third.

Colts led 42-10 at one point and held on to the 45-30 win.

All right. And finally, the Braves had some of their stars at the Hawks game last night. Freddie Freeman, A.J. Minter, and Joc Pederson getting a huge ovation from the Hawks crowd as they were introduced.

One million people are expected along the parade route and championship celebration this afternoon in Atlanta.

And that's going to be the last time fans are going to see Joc Pederson with his famous pair of white pearls. After the parade, he's sending them to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Joc started wearing them in late September and kept the same pair on throughout the title run.

And guys, men all around Atlanta have been wearing pearls around their necks since --

JARRETT: Where are your pearls, Andy?


JARRETT: I know you're not a Braves fan but --

SCHOLES: I don't have them. My kids don't have them either even though they are Braves fans. Maybe one day.

But I'll tell you what, guys. Everyone I talk to here in Atlanta is going to that parade. JARRETT: Yes.

SCHOLES: It is going to be quite the scene.

ROMANS: Schools are closed, right? They closed the schools for it, right?

SCHOLES: Schools -- most school districts closed today here in Atlanta so the kids can go. It should be a fun time. I'm hoping people can navigate traffic in order to get there.


JARRETT: The city needs something to bring people together right now --

ROMANS: It's true, it's true.

JARRETT: -- right?

ROMANS: Sports are important.


JARRETT: Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

It looks like the Astros will have to build back better.

Speaking of which, in about two hours the House will reconvene to vote on two sweeping spending plans -- hard infrastructure and the CARE economy.

Thanks for joining us on this Friday edition. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. Have a great weekend, everyone. "NEW DAY" is next.