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Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) is Interviewed about Biden's Agenda; Fatal Shooting on Movie Set; Michigan City Declares State of Emergency over Lead; CNN Hero Razia Jan. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 22, 2021 - 08:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: One way President Biden says that his social spending plan will help working families is with childcare, which some have argued has limited the ability of some women to go back to work, because it has, right?

Here's what President Biden said about that part of his plan at last night's CNN town hall.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So it's the child care, having someone take care of your child while you are working, while you and your wife are working. Under this proposal I have, no one will have to pay unless you're making more than individually -- you're each making -- you're making over 300 grand, $150,000 apiece.

So, you will not have to pay more than 7 percent of your income for childcare. Seven percent.


KEILAR: Joining us to discuss this now is Democratic Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts. She is the assistant speaker of the House and she serves on the Appropriations Committee.

Thank you for being here with us in studio this morning.

Childcare is a pet issue of yours for sure. But there are a lot of progressive issues here, some of which are staying, some of which are going.

Were you happy with what you heard last night and what concerns do you have?

REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): I -- you know, I was so glad to hear the president talking about in agenda and what is in this package with the American people. That's how he developed it, in conversations with people across the country. And childcare is a great example of the transformative change that is going to be in this package. We know childcare was difficult before the pandemic. It was tough for

providers to make ends meet and really hard for parents to find affordable care.

Back home in Massachusetts, and certainly here in Washington, childcare can be more than the mortgage payment, more than the rent. Just this past weekend I talked to a young family that said they had to choose between childcare or getting a house they could live in with their child. So they moved back in with their parents in order to have that childcare. We can do better than this.

And this package looks at those areas around child care and home care and paid leave. And those are all important to supporting working families and getting this economy going again.

KEILAR: One of the issues, and the president detailed it very clearly, is how to pay for this. And Kyrsten Sinema does not, as he made clear, want to raise taxes on corporations and on wealthy Americans. There might be some sort of finagling there, but that's her position.

Are you OK with that?

CLARK: You know, our -- what we came out with in the House, where the president is, is, let's make this tax code fair. It is for far too long working families are the ones shouldering the tax burden while they see the Amazons paying zero.


So our commitment is this will be paid for and this is going to rebalance our tax code. That is what the president reassured the American people, that those making, you know, under $400,000 a year are not going to see their taxes go up.

KEILAR: But he said Kyrsten Sinema is not on board with people above 400 seeing their taxes go up. So she's a liming -- she's the limiting factor here. Are you OK with that?

CLARK: You know, what we did in the House is what I want to see. Let's keep that focus on fairness.

KEILAR: Is it a broken campaign promise if you don't have that in there?

CLARK: No, but this is -- this is an opportunity to look at this tax code. And Kyrsten Sinema, we have not -- we're not done with negotiations. We're still in this. And I can tell you what our shared values are is making sure that families can get back to work. That they see themselves, I felt seen last night in the town hall when the president talked about moving his dad back into his house to make ends meet and be able to provide that care.

When I first came to Congress, I was caring for two very sick parents and three young children with my husband. These are the struggles that Americans are seeing. So, let's make sure that everyone pays their full share, their full share in taxes, and let's make sure that we continue to put these policies together. Whether it's driving down the cost of healthcare, driving down the cost of home care and childcare, making sure that we are reducing the tax burden on families, like we did with the child tax credit. These are important policies to meet this moment of economic, racial and climate justice for the country.

KEILAR: You're working on a bill that I think will resonate with a lot of women. It's called The Pump Act. And this is something that says to all employers or, tell us, is it employers of a certain size, you must have a facility in your business where women can pump in privacy.

CLARK: Yes, this is a bill that the House passed last week. And it is -- it is a recognition that those with so many of these other policies, that women's place in the economy, that the role of a mom is a crucial one, and let's have those policies that support it.

I remember pumping as the mom of a newborn at work and it was just scotch tape over a series of windows and a prayer that I had to use to have some privacy to do that. We can do better.

And as we look at the September job numbers, where we continue to see the recovery in place, but we continue to see women falling behind, you know, this is why things like The Pump Act, making sure there's childcare and home care, making sure that we are looking at the women who provide that care to our families, that they are able to make a living to provide for their own families. All of that is at the heart of the Build Back Better agenda. And it's why it's so crucial that we get this done.

KEILAR: And perhaps the most important question, and this is really for my co-anchor John Berman, your prediction in the game six -- in game six for the Red Sox.

Oh, look, I see he's perking up. What --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I know. I'm so happy you're asking this.

KEILAR: What do you think, Congresswoman?

CLARK: Oh, the Sox are going to have it.

KEILAR: I mean she's kind of biased, Berman.

BERMAN: Well, we have them right where we want them, right?

CLARK: Right.

BERMAN: We're down 3-2. It's exactly where we want them.

CLARK: This is where the magic comes into play.

KEILAR: I am a fan of the Red Sox because it's actually a job requirement to anchor with John Berman. So I'm very in favor. Very in favor.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark, thank you so much.

CLARK: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, we have new details coming in on the breaking news.

A deadly shooting involving Alec Baldwin on a movie set. What went wrong with the prop gun?



BERMAN: Breaking overnight, police now investigating a deadly shooting involving Alec Baldwin on a movie set in New Mexico. They're trying to figure out how a prop gun, fired by the actor, could have killed someone.

Joining me is Joseph Fisher, he's a prop master who works on movie sets. He's also handled weapons in the military and with the NYPD.

Joseph, thanks so much for being with us right now.

Talk to us around the issues with prop guns. How do they work? How are they supposed to be kept safe?

JOSEPH FISHER, PROP MASTER ON MOVIE SETS: Good morning, John. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be with you this morning.

Unfortunately, what happened was a tragedy. In the film business, we take extreme caution with any kind of weapons, whether they be (INAUDIBLE) prop guns, blank guns and anything in between.

Typically, we will do a safety brief with the cast and crew. We'll introduce the weapon to the cast and crew. We'll let them examine it. We'll explain safety precautions that go with each type of prop weapon.

In this case, it was a blank firing weapon. And with that there are inherent risks.

We saw with the Brandon Lee shooting several years ago that prop weapons do have a dangerous factor to them, even though they're a lot safer than using a live firearm on set.

Typical prop load will be about 25 to 50 percent of the gunpowder in an actual projectile load that would be used in a regular weapon.

With that in mind, there has to be safety precautions. There have to be safety distances. And at some point there was a mishap and those were not followed.


BERMAN: What can come out of a blank gun? If a prop gun is supposed to only have blanks, how is it then that something could come out of it, a projectile?

FISHER: Anytime you're dealing with a gunpowder load, which is what's in a prop weapon that fires blanks, you're going to have gas, you're going to have heat, you're going to have air coming out of it. Even though there's no actual physical projectile mounted on the front of that weapon, on the cartridge, there is projectiles that do come out, the powder, the gas, and those can cause physical injury within 25 to 50 feet, depending on the load.

BERMAN: Within 25 to 50 feet. That's actually some distance if you think of a film set and how close people could be behind a camera.

FISHER: Very true. And that's why we take extreme caution when we are using blanks on set. We do safety distances. We try to keep the actors slightly misaligned with the weapon, so that if the person firing the weapon is firing straight this way, the other actor in frame is just slightly off.

BERMAN: Based on what you know of this case, and, again, we have very few details, what questions would you want answered?

FISHER: If I was on that set, I would be very curious as to what broke down as far as the rules, the regulations, and the safety precautions. There's always somebody who's responsible for the weapons. And that's usually the armor on set. Their responsibility is to take the weapons away from the actors and the actresses as soon as the scene's done, make them safe, and make them safe for the next shot. And somewhere there was a breakdown.

BERMAN: Joseph Fisher, this has been an education. Thank you for helping us understand what may be surrounding this awful tragedy. Thank you.

FISHER: My pleasure.

BERMAN: So here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 11:00 a.m. ET, White House COVID briefing.

12:20 p.m. ET, VP Harris speaks in NYC.

1:30 p.m. ET, White House press briefing.


BERMAN: The midwestern city calling an emergency to get Washington's attention.

KEILAR: And China already responding to what President Biden told a CNN town hall about defending Taiwan.



KEILAR: Officials in Benton Harbor, Michigan, are declaring a state of emergency in response to the discovery of high levels of lead contamination in the water. Right now the timeline to get the lead out of the city's water system is 18 months.

CNN's Miguel Marquez live in Benton Harbor with more.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, on top of all that, Brianna, they had a water main break here yesterday that they've gotten fixed and the pressure to the entire city is starting to come back up, so water is being restored to the entire city now. But it all underscores just how fragile the water system is in places like Benton Harbor, and across the country, and that access to fresh, clean water is not as simple as people would like. Certainly here in Michigan, it's been an issue in the national headlines with Flint, Michigan, several years ago. But towns across this state are still dealing with the situation.

The governor, Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has said that she has a plan to replace all the pipes in Benton Harbor, but activists on the ground say they've heard a lot of promises before.


REV. EDWARD PINKNEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BENTON HARBOR COMMUNITY WATER COUNCIL: Nobody, nobody should have water that they can't drink and have to pay for it. Nobody should have contaminated water, you know. You shouldn't have to tell people not to brush your teeth, not to drink the water, not to cook with it, not to bathe with it, not to make baby formula with the water. You should not, not here in America. You see, this is America. This should not be happening into any community.


MARQUEZ: Now, the governor has announced an expedited plan to replace the water pipes here in Benton Harbor within the next 18 months. She's asked the state legislature, the Republican state legislature, for money. So far a committee in the state legislature has announced an investigation into the governor and the water crisis here in Benton Harbor.

Back to you.

KEILAR: Yes, how did this happen? How did this happen again, I should say? I guess we'll find out hopefully in the coming months.

Miguel, thank you so much.

There are three CDC approved booster shots available in the U.S. How should you decide which one to get? Dr. Anthony Fauci answers that question.

BERMAN: And Queen Elizabeth, with a night in the hospital, something we learned about after the fact. Why? We're live outside Windsor Castle.



KEILAR: Razia Jan was recognized as a top 10 CNN hero in 2012 for courageously educating girls in her native Afghanistan. Her school had grown to more than 800 students when the Taliban suddenly took control this past August. Now her life's work is at risk.

CNN's Anderson Cooper takes a look.


RAZIA JAN, CNN HERO: Which country in the world would fall in 11 days? It took 20 years for woman to stand and be recognized. And to see that it was all for not (ph).

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC 360" (voice over): Under the Taliban's all male government, women have already lost ground. While they're still permitted at some universities and segregated classes, girls cannot attend secondary schools until so-called security concerns are resolved.

Yet girls grade six and younger are still in school for now. Razia says she's determined to build on that.

JAN: I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see these girls in the courtyard playing and also in the classroom and trying to learn. It's just amazing.

I have a great support of the community and the girls, they want to learn.


That gives me hope. Maybe it won't be the same, but we can do something to educate these girls.