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President Biden Delivers Address On Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Ukraine: At Least 40 Killed In Russian Strike On Apartment Building. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired January 16, 2023 - 12:30   ET



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And they're paying zero. Well, we increased the corporate minimum tax, I want to go back at it, increase the minimum tax to 15 percent. Now, that's not a whole lot for millionaire's major corporations. But no one earned, and by the way, no one earning less than $400,000 a year pays a single penny more in taxes. But 15 percent seems to me to be a bare minimum when corporates made -- corporation making tens of billions of dollars should be paying.

We're making this progress at the same time reduce the deficit. You know, the talk, we're going to talk about big spending Democrats again, guess what? I reduced the deficit last year $350 billion. And this year, federal deficit is down $1 trillion plus. Hear me, that's a fact. And there's going to be hundreds of billions reduced over the next decade. But so what, these guys are the fiscally demented, I think. They don't quite get it to deliver equal justice under the law. We're building a federal bench with judges that reflect all of America.

Your dad talked about, give me basically, give me judges and we'll straighten things out, fair judges. Well, guess what? You've probably heard of a lady called Ketanji Brown Jackson. I made a commitment to Al. I said, I'm going to point the first black woman to the Supreme Court. And she's about the smartest one of all of them, I might add.

And by the way, we have appointed more black women to the Federal Circuit Courts than every other president in American history combined, every single president combined. And by the way, let me see Dick Durbin, Senator Durbin from Illinois, thank him, thank him because he got them through.

And as so many of you work so hard to pass the George Floyd and Policing Act, but since the Senate Republicans blocked it last year, I did what only thing I couldn't do, I signed a historic executive order that included key elements of that bill for the federal -- at the federal level, bans chokeholds and greatly restricts no knock warrants. It creates a national database for officer misconduct that must be placed in the national database, to tighten the use of force policies to emphasize de-escalation. We have to retrain copses to why should you always shoot for dead -- with deadly force?

The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don't have to do that. And look, to call a fresh approach to recruit and how we recruit, how we hire, how we train, how we promote, and how we retain, retain law enforcement that come from the neighborhoods that they serve. And know the people they're charged to protect. Now, I know a lot of people say community police is not a good idea, come to Wilmington, Delaware with me, with the old neighborhood I used to work in, in this side called the bucket.

They need protection. They're asking for protection, overwhelmingly black community, but they want cops who are fair, they want cops who know their communities, they want cops are going to be doing it by the numbers. And folks, that's tied to more community policing and advancing public trust and safety. Now, that's also why about a month after Buffalo and Uvalde and I visited both, I signed the first major gun safety legislation and nearly 30 years.

And I'll say what I said, then, I'll say it over and over again. I am going to get assault weapons banned. I did it once. I'm going to do it again. There's no social redeeming value. There aren't wearing kevlar vests out there. What the hell you need assault? No, I'm serious. And ban the number of bullets that can go into magazine. There's no, no need for any of that. I love my right wing friends to talk about the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots.

If you need to worry about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s. You don't need an AR-15. I'm serious. Think about it. Think about the rationale for this. It's about money, money, money, money. Meanwhile, we're making historic investments in community violence interventions. Studies have shown that reduce violent crime up to 60 percent.

We've seen this kind of impact in Baltimore in Sacramento. And by the way, even if I didn't want to do this, I'd be in real trouble. My daughter's a social worker and this is what she does. And so if I didn't I'd be in real trouble with my Ashley. You got Ashley, we got an Ashley. You think I'm joking. I'm not joking.

And one of the things about equal justice, I'm keeping my promise no one, I'll say it said again, no one should be in federal prison for the mere possession of marijuana, no one. In addition to that, they should be released in prison and completely pardoned in their entire record expungent -- expunged so that if they have to ask, have you ever been you can honestly say, no.


Folks, I just signed legislation to empower the FCC to cap the cost of phone calls from prison, prison, prisoners charge and incarcerated people. It's a step just to allow for some dignity. A lot of federal prisoners are put in prisons, and they shouldn't be far from where they live. They should be able to communicate with their families, with their children.

And we brought Brittany -- and we brought Brittney Griner home just in time for Christmas. And we have more to bring home as well. Last year, I also held the first of its kind White House summit against hate fueled violence that many of you call for and supported. And Rev. thank you for that as well. Together we're saying out loud. And we're saying and clearly that in America, hate will not prevail.

As my dad used to save it is not original to him. He said Joey, silence is complicity. Silence is complicity. We cannot remain silent. Even if all we're doing is pointing it out and putting pressure on it to change. Silence is complicity. For example, with your help, I signed a law 100 years in the making to finally making lynching a federal hate crime.

To silence as your dad said, the crying voice of little Emmett Till, screaming from the rushes of the Mississippi. Folks, it takes too long. You've just shown me at the bill signing for other victories to enshrine marriage equality under the law. To make Juneteenth the first new federal holiday since establishing a doctrine --

The idea, if we can hold a second here, the idea that we're supposed to remain silent on abuses of the past as they didn't -- as if they didn't occur, I stopped being woke, that's being honest. That's talking about history. Well, folks, well we have a lot of unfinished work to do, though, a lot of unfinished work. We have to keep building on it and defend our progress because this new Congress, this new Congress, look, I know I get criticized from some of you and some folks in our party, my party, but I'm ready to work with a new Republican House on any Republican or any Republican Congress to make progress for the people of America.

But like many Americans, I was disappointed to see the very first bill that the House Republicans and Nancy you probably rolling over when you saw it, are bringing to the floor that would help the wealthy people and big corporations cheat on their taxes at the expense of ordinary middle class taxpayers. You know, all these new IRS agents we have is because they fired a lot of them and a lot of retiring. And guess what, who needs serious agents to know what they're doing or not doing? The billionaire's, the multi, multi-millionaires.

And according to nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this one bill alone will add $114 billion to the deficit. This is their first bill. And they campaigned on inflation. They didn't say if elected they plan was to make inflation worse. Plus, House Republicans introduced another bill, on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, blocking action that would help lower gasoline prices and help consumers.

They're preparing to vote on a third bill, they want a national sales tax. Let me say this again. I know if I said that, it sounds like what's Biden making up here? They want to raise tax the middle class by taxing thousands of everyday items from groceries, gasoline, clothing, cutting taxes for the wealthiest because they want to supplant the money lost from taxes on the millionaires and billionaires with a sales tax on virtually everything in the country. What in God's name is that all about other than what is obvious?


They weren't working class folks would be paying another 10, 20 percent in their taxes depending on where they live and how they spend their money. And they're going to -- and reduce taxes for the super wealthy. Now, if we didn't see it, I used to think this making this stuff up. If I told you, in 2023, a party was going to run on a national sales tax. Well, that's how they're starting their new term, cutting taxes of billionaires.

And by the way, the number of billionaires went up during the recession, up. They did go down, they went up. Raising taxes on working families, making inflation work, worse. Let me be clear, if any of these bills happened to reach my desk, I will veto them, any of them.

What I was saying during this last election cycle this off your election, this next day, everybody said, they're got to making this up Biden. Well, they're going to try to continue to try to cut Social Security or Medicare, which Americans have been paying into it with every single paycheck they've earned since they first, got their first job when they were 16 years old.

But if Republicans want to work together on real, that's where -- they want to, they're going to argue that the thing is that for them to be sustained, you're going to have to change the way in which it works. Instead of putting more money into guarantee Social Security, that are going to kind of cut Social Security, cut Medicare.

Look, if they want to work together real solutions, and lower inflation, create jobs and build an economy works for everybody, I'm ready. One more thing, I don't want to hear a word from the other side about my student debt relief plan.

Let me tell you why I say that, it's going to help tens of millions of folks focus on Pell Grants were hit financially because of the pandemic, 70 percent of black college students receive Pell Grants. For many black students, the saving will be significant my debt relief plan, including wiping out their student debt completely. That's a real game changer.

And by the way, will increase economic growth, not diminish it. But the other side is dead set against it. These are the same folks who didn't have any problem at all, any problem at all, during the pandemic, to vote for make sure they get this so called pandemic relief loans. We all support it. But guess what? A lot of these folks in the Congress, on the Republicans side were beneficiaries of these debt relief loans to the tunes of tens of millions of dollars.

That individual I think the highest individual one was 1,000,200, or something. I didn't hear a word. I did not hear a word from them about they shouldn't be getting that relief. We didn't limit how much. We said if you have a loss, and it was legitimate and business, then you get to wipe it away. And they're complaining about some kid being able to take away $20,000 in student debt that keeps him and his wife or his husband, her husband from being able to buy a home or start a business or just get going.

Or the same folks are going after us, they're the ones who voted for the tax benefits of the wealthiest and biggest corporations that weren't paid for. The Trump tax cut was a well over almost $2 trillion. Not a penny was paid for. So give me a break. Give me a break. Currently, the only thing blocking my plan is them suing us. My administration is making the case to the Supreme Court. And I'm confident, I'm confident with legal authority to carry out our plan. You know me, I said you had my back and said I'd have yours on this one and so much more. I have your back. We got to stand together. We got to stand together including protecting a woman's right to choose. We have to continue to fight for racial justice. We got to cut black child poverty. We cut it in half in 2021 because of the Child Tax Credit. We should be permanently cut it.

Now, I need your help to make it permanent. I was pleased to see Democrats and Republicans work together to pass Electoral Count Reform Act to protect the will of the people. Nancy, thank you for getting that done and a peaceful transfer of power but we have to get the votes in Congress for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Freedom to Vote Act.


That's why I want to land a year ago to make clear, we cannot let the filibuster be an obstacle in protecting the sacred right to vote period, if we get there. Let me close with this. Many of you have been working on these issues for a long time. Over the past two years, we've gotten an awful lot done together. We got a lot done together. So let's keep it going. We have the most vibrant economy in the world right now in the world. We're doing better than any other major nation in the world today.

That's what I felt about yesterday at Ebenezer. And that inflection point in history we're at. The path is clear. To go forward, we need to go together. So let's be guided by Dr. King's light. And by the charge of scripture, which is let us never grow weary and doing what is right. For if we do not give up. We will reap our harvest in due time. Well, we're going to reap the harvest. Let's remember who we are. We're the United States of America. And there is nothing beyond our capacity, nothing, nothing, nothing if we do it together. So God bless you all. God bless the King family. And ladies and gentlemen, may God protect our troops. Thank you so very much.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: The President of the United States speaking little more than 30 minutes, you see the sign the National Action Network that is a civil rights organization, political organization, led by the Reverend Al Sharpton, the President speaking on this the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, highlighting his record over the first two years of his administration saying whether it's COVID policy, economic policy, infrastructure policy, judicial appointments, he has done just about everything, he has done the president said with an eye on reaching out to black Americans of the disadvantaged communities around the country.

Now the President said he was willing to work with any Republican who wanted to help him create jobs or make life better for the American families. But he worked a little politics into this, at one point, talking about his right wing opponents and another point saying House Republicans were quote fiscally demented in some of their policies. You see the president shaking hands here, it is the MLK holiday. This is also a critical constituency for the President of the United States says, yes, he gears up, it's early 2023.

But the President by all indications will be running again in 2024 in the black community, obviously key to his win in 2020 and key to his future prospects should he run. You see the president glad handing here at this event. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.



KING: Forty confirmed dead at least 46 people still missing in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. That's where a Russian missile hit an apartment building this weekend. It's one of the deadliest single attacks of Russia's war on Ukraine. CNN closely tracking the impact of this latest attack. In fact, CNN's Fred Pleitgen right there in Dnipro.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, John. Well, look, officially, this is still a search and rescue operation that's going on here. However, the Ukrainian authorities they do acknowledge that as the time goes on, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that they are going to be able to find anybody under this debris who might still be alive.

The Ukrainian president says that they are going to continue to search but certainly with as cold as it is and the time passing. They also say that hope is fading very quickly. The Ukrainian say that one of the reasons why the destruction here has been so extensive why this building was essentially annihilated as the Russians use a very powerful cruise missile to hit it. It's called the KH22 and was designed to take out aircraft carrier strike groups. It's got a 2,000 pound warhead and is obviously a very dangerous weapon.

Now, the Kremlin has come out and they've denied that they were behind all this. They said they don't target residential and civilian areas. They say they believe that it was a straight Ukrainian Air Defense rocket that hit this building. The Ukrainians not having any of that by the way. They say that they track this rocket, this missile all the way from the Sea of Azov to right here where it hit.

The Ukrainian say that at this point in time, they do not have air defense weapons capable of taking a cruise missile like that down, which is why they're calling for more capabilities from the U.S. and from partner nations, of course we know that the Ukrainians are already training on the Patriot air defense missile system, which they hope could give them a chance to take down something like this before it strikes a building like the one you see behind me in the future. John?

KING: Topping our Political Radar today, an American Iranian held in Iran has begun a seven-day hunger strike hoping to draw President Biden's attention to his plight and the plight of other Americans held captive there. Siamak Namazi also wrote to the President asking Mr. Biden to spend one minute a day for a week thinking about the prisoners. Namazi was arrested back in 2015 on espionage charges the United States says are baseless.

The Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he'll push to confirm President Biden's pick to lead the Federal Aviation Administration that after an FAA computer system failure delayed more than 10,000 flights last week. The position has been vacant since last March. Biden's nominee however, Phil Washington, yet to receive a hearing. Questions have been raised by lawmakers in both parties about his qualifications and he was named on a search warrant in a political corruption probe last year.

The New York City Mayor Eric Adams asking for help with the influx of migrants coming into the country. Adams making a visit to the border in El Paso, Texas this weekend, where he called for a response from the federal government.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK: I'm going to extend my hand to the mayors across this country to say together we did not create this problem, but together we will find solutions. But those solutions must be implemented by the federal government.


KING: This week opens with California facing even more rainfall after another disastrous weekend, the latest perhaps last onslaught for a while we hope hitting the state today as weather experts warn oversaturated ground could trigger more flooding and more landslides. It was this moment caught on camera in Pescadero, California. The road so saturated part of a road simply fell off.


Meanwhile, winter storm warnings posted for the Sierra, Nevada mountains over the weekend. And then there was this rescue, crews saving a driver in La Jolla Saturday evening. President Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for the state of California.

Appreciate your time today in inside politics. Erica Hill picks up our coverage after a quick break.