BAIER: Goeienaand, welcome to Washington, I’m Bret Baier. Fresh off the debut of his $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, President Biden held his first Cabinet meeting today. He is asking several of his top advisers to take the lead on selling the plan to the public.
Republicans are already ripping the proposal as a Trojan horse filled with non-infrastructure progressive items and loads of new taxes.
The president is also getting hammered by The Washington Post for his criticism of Georgia’s new voting law. We will talk with former Georgia Senator David Perdue in just a moment about that.
Maar eerste, White House correspondent Peter Doocy starts us off tonight, as he often does, on the North Lawn. Goeienaand, Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NUUS WITHUIS KORRESPONDENT: Goeienaand, Bret. The White House was crawling with Cabinet secretaries today. Each with an entourage that made this as big an event as we have seen here since the inauguration. And five of them were singled out to try to help President Biden convince people to support this package that comes with the biggest tax hike in decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT VAN DIE VERENIGDE STATE: Vandag, I’m announcing that I’m asking five Cabinet members to take special responsibility to explain the plan to the American public.
DOOCY (stem oor): So, nou, the secretaries of transportation, energie, VEL, labor, and commerce combine to form —
JEN PSAKI, WITHUIS PERSSEKRETARIS: The jobs Cabinet.
DOOCY: And the sale starts today.
PETE BUTTIGIEG, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Any time your car hits a hole in the road, you’re paying for that.
DOOCY: That only represents a fraction of the White House’s proposal.
DOOCY: Only five percent of the spending in this package goes towards roads and bridges. And I’m curious why that number is so low.
PSAKI: We’re actually selling it as a once in a century or once in a generation investment in partly our infrastructure but partly industries of the future, American workers, and the workforce. And there are areas like broadband, which maybe is not a physical bridge, but one-third of the country doesn’t have access to broadband.
DOOCY (stem oor): Republicans are leery of Biden running up a big bill.
SY. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): As somebody on his staff has convinced them that he can be the next FDR because this is a massive expansion paid for at least in part by huge tax increases.
DOOCY: Only on corporations and people making over $ 400,000 n jaar, the White House promises.
RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The people who have benefited from the economic infrastructure should help pay for what we need to continue to win.
DOOCY: As Republicans review the Biden proposal, things like $ 174 billion for electric vehicles seem to stand out.
SY. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Just being charitable, oor 15 percent of this bill is addressed to infrastructure. The rest is climate subsidies and social welfare spending. There may be something in here for murder hornets for all I know. I need to read the detail.
DOOCY: Speaker Pelosi admits some of this might be a tough sell.
AMERICAN CROWD: Green New Deal.
DOOCY: And she says some lawmakers are frightened by talk of green infrastructure.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): — I was referring to are the people who are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry in the Congress of the United States.
DOOCY: Sover, President Biden’s comments about his new plan have been scripted or behind closed doors.
GEBOD: I thank the press for being here but talk to you all later.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: And this all represents a change in White House strategy. N paar weke gelede, with the American Rescue Plan and those $ 1,400 checks, Democrats passed the bill and then hit the road to try to sell it. With this, they are trying to get support for the package before they ask the treasury to cut another $ 2 trillion check. Bret.
BAIER: More on this with the panel. Peter Doocy live on the North Lawn. Peter, dankie.
Amerikaanse. authorities at the border are releasing some migrant families without notices to appear in court or without any paperwork at all.
And we have disturbing new video tonight showing smugglers dropping young children over the tall border wall at one point. Vannaand, we talk with a police chief who says he has never seen anything like this.
Correspondent Casey Stegall reports tonight from Eagle Pass, Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY STEGALL, FOX NUUS KORRESPONDENT (stem oor): Heart-stopping images captured by CBP cameras. Smugglers tossing two small children over the 14- foot wall onto U.S. soil near El Paso. Agents rescued the 3 and 5-year-old sisters from Ecuador who suffered no major injuries.
ALBERTO GUAJARDO, POLISIEHOOF, EAGLE PASS, TEXAS: Sometimes that criminal element, that bad element attach itself to these people that are just seeking a better place to live.
STEGALL: With federal agents swamped, local police find themselves being pulled away from their normal duties and responding to migrant-related calls. Like this Eagle Pass hotel room that was being used by the cartels as a stash house.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: He took them approximately two months to get to Eagle Pass.
STEGALL: The city’s police chief says the phone never stops ringing and it’s starting to take a toll on his small department, and the people it serves.
GUAJARDO: It used to be sporadic here and there, but in the last several months it’s been somewhat overwhelming.
STEGALL: In reaksie daarop, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has deployed additional law enforcement members from around the state to help down south.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Because the federal government is failing to act to respond to these dangers, Texas is stepping up to secure the border.
STEGALL: But those on the frontline say that’s proving to be an uphill battle. The sheer volume of migrants’ forces agents to constantly change their tactics and positioning, which cartels know and exploit.
VICTOR MANJARREZ, FORMER CHIEF BORDER PATROL AGENT: When you have large groups like this, you have to collapse your operations, which means there’s gaps.
STEGALL: And until those gaps are filled, those at the local level say they will continue to lend a hand and help those in need because that’s the oath they took.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
STEGALL: Houston became the latest Texas City to receive a batch of unaccompanied minors. Vandag, a group of about 500 were scheduled to arrive at the newly opened emergency intake site at the National Association of Christian Churches. Bret?
BAIER: Casey Stegall along the border in Texas. Casey, Dankie.
It was a big day on Wall Street today. The Dow gained 172. The S&P 500 was up 47 to a new record close. The NASDAQ today surged 233.
For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow finished ahead a quarter of a percentage point. The S&P gained more than one. The NASDAQ was up almost 2- 2/3. Markets are closed tomorrow for Good Friday.
“BREAKING TONIGHT”, some of Georgia’s most prominent corporate leaders are criticizing the state’s new election law. The chief executives of Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola are calling that legislation unacceptable.
Intussen, President Biden has said some harsh things about the law as well. But what exactly is in that legislation? Congressional correspondent Jacqui Heinrich takes a look tonight.
JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NUUS KORRESPONDENT (stem oor): President Biden received Four Pinocchios from The Washington Post fact checkers for this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEBOD: What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. Deciding that you are going to end voting at 5:00 when working people are just getting off work?
HEINRICH: But facing facts that Georgia did not shorten poll hours, the White House is holding firm.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: Is the tone going to change out of the White House or —
PSAKI: The tone for a bill that limits voting access and makes it more difficult for people to engage in voting in Georgia?
HEINRICH: Georgia’s new elections law did not change voting hours on Election Day. There still 7:00 am. aan 7:00 nm. and it expanded early voting time, scrapping the vague normal business hours for a standard minimum 9:00 aan 5:00 with the option to extend two hours on either end.
It also added a mandatory Saturday to early voting and made two more Sundays optional. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp correcting the record after major companies like Delta and Coca-Cola denounced the law, facing calls for boycotts over voter suppression.
Microsoft also joined in, despite noting, “Some recent criticisms of Georgia’s legislation have proven inaccurate.
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): ek bedoel, I have done over 20 interviews in the last 24, 36 ure, pushing the truth out. We are not going to back down.
HEINRICH: Other criticisms are based in fact. The law empowers the Republican legislature to suspend and replace election officials, prompting concerns about conflicts of interest.
Another provision makes handing out water and food to voter in line or very close to polling places a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $ 1,000 fyn. But the text does not specifically target political groups aiming to influence voters as some have claimed.
The law also shortens the time to request absentee ballots and the time before runoff elections. It scraps signature matching on absentee ballots for voter I.D. And while drop boxes are now permanent, it limits their use.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
HEINRICH: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp accused President Biden of using a false narrative to push the Democrats election reform bill, H.R. 1. Bret.
BAIER: Jacqui Heinrich live on Capitol Hill. Jacqui, Dankie.
Let’s talk about this Georgia election law with former Georgia Senator David Perdue. Senator, thanks for being here.
Senator, your reaction to what’s happening about this bill and what’s being talked about.
DAVID PERDUE, FORMER SENATOR OF GEORGIA: Jy weet, Bret, as a son of a man who integrated one of the first school systems in the State of Georgia, and as someone who has fought for equality in the state for the last 60 jare, persoonlik. And as someone who fought for criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, and HBCU funding, I am insulted by the false in narrative Democrats are trying to perpetrate here.
This bill — and I’m not in office, I’m not running for office, so I can be very objective with your viewers and that is this. This bill makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat. It builds integrity in the system for people who are concerned about that in November of last year, and it makes it easier for people to vote in every one of our 159 provinsies.
So, this rhetoric that you hear from the Democrats is all about power and it’s all about raising money for political operations.
BAIER: So, when you hear that some people and Democrats are leading the charge, say that it’s harder for people to vote, it is putting a target on especially African-American communities, and that’s there are changes here that shouldn’t be made, what do you say?
PERDUE: Wel, there’s no basis of fact for any of those accusations, it’s a continuation of the pattering of the Democratic Party to the black community in the State of Georgia. It’s a false narrative. It has been since Stacey Abrams perpetrated the lie about voter suppression in Georgia two years ago. This is nothing but a continuation of that false narrative.
This bill adds numbers of days and actually, it increases the ability of people to use drop boxes. En 20 percent of our counties, Bret, in 2020, those counties, 38 of them did not have drop boxes. So, this law actually forces those counties to do that.
It increases the number of days —
PERDUE: It’s ironic that President Biden —
BAIER: You had the president of the United States — ja, you had the president of the United States pushing this. You have CEOs of companies, you were a CEO of big companies. They’re coming out with statements that things are going to happen.
And here is the president being asked about the All-Star Game. Luister gerus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAGE STEELE, HOST, ESPN: What do you think about the possibility that baseball decides to move their All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of this political issue?
GEBOD: I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them, their leaders. Look at what’s happened with the NBA as well. Look what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these — in these various sports.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Saying considering moving the All-Star Game.
PERDUE: You know this is just ridiculous, Bret. For him to call for the boycotting of Georgia and moving the All-Star Game is a continuation of the same false rhetoric I’ve been talking about.
But you know instead of criticizing Georgia, what President Biden needs to do is go to his home state where they don’t have no excuse absentee ballot. They don’t have early voting at all.
En so, jy weet, imagine what we would have gotten the criticism, Georgia would have gotten had they done that and gone back to what the State of Delaware has. Even New Jersey was applauded this week for expanding the nine days their early voting period. Ons het 17 days now in this bill, it could be 19 days if they choose to do two additional Sunday voting days.
Everything that President Biden has accused Georgia from water, to Sunday voting, to the hours, has been absolutely false. And this is nothing but a continuation of patterning to the black community to Georgia. Sooner than later, they’re going to wake up and realize that Democrats keep lying to them about this thing about voter access.
BAIER: You know your fellow conservatives are piping up on Twitter. Erick Erickson tweets said, “Democrats promised Georgians $ 2,000 stimulus tjeks, gave them $ 1,400, and reduced the pool of eligible people to receive them. Nou, they’re calling for an economic boycott of the state. OK, then.”
I want to talk to you briefly about your election. On the Election Day, you had 49.8 percent of the vote over Jon Ossoff at 47.8. But then the runoff happens and Ossoff gets 50.4 to your 49.6. What happened in your assessment? You say you’re not running for office, you’re not in office, and you can be straight with the viewers.
Do you think it was the call by President Trump that uh the election was stolen from him that hurt you?
PERDUE: Wel, eerstens, I was straight with the voters when I was in office and running. Maar, jy weet, this is what happened. 800,000 people in Georgia — meer as 800,000 who voted in November did not vote in January.
And the irony of the Democrats’ story that they’re trying to perpetrate here, Bret is this. Is that when everybody votes in the State of Georgia, Republicans win. You just mentioned it.
In November, verby 5 million people voted in the State of Georgia and we won that election. We just came up short in this 50 percent rule and we’re pulled into a runoff and we had so many people questioning the validity of their vote.
They were worried about the integrity of the voting system in Georgia, and this bill goes a long way to protect the voting rights of every legal voter. And to build integrity in the system make sure that every legal vote is counted properly, and that illegal votes are not included.
BAIER: Jy weet, natuurlik, the secretary of state down there did an audit of the election. Election officials looked at it did not find a major irregularities or fraud that would change the election.
Can you say today that Jon Ossoff was elected, duly elected, and beat you in the runoff and that President Trump lost to Joe Biden?
PERDUE: Wel, hier is die feite. There are data points that are never talked about in the liberal press, and one of these is this that absentee ballots, which is what Stacey Abrams has been focused on for the last three years went from five percent of the election to almost 30 persentasie.
En dan, DeKalb County is one example, only nine absentee ballots were rejected because of faulty signature out of 136,000. It was similar in nine other Democrat counties, and the probability that happening Bret is one in 10,000. That’s why I wanted a special session back in November. We wanted the secretary of state to do an investigation, to my knowledge that’s never been done.
The recount and all the other investigations are on other things and not on the signature veracity.
BAIER: So, you really can’t say that tonight.
PERDUE: Jy weet, what I can say this is this bill makes it a lot better in terms of the integrity of future people who are going to vote in the State of Georgia. That’s a fact. It also gives people who are worried about access, greater access. Those are the two things I think the state legislature who should be applauded in this tried to achieve.
And let me say this, as a CEO, I had all sorts of special interests trying to blackmail me and my board about certain either social issues or political issues. And I was part of a human rights foundation, one of those companies, and we knew what was going on and participated. But we protected the integrity of our shareholders and our workers in that process.
This call for boycotting Georgia by elected officials, our two U.S. senatore, and by Stacey Abrams, en ander, particularly, President Biden, I think is immoral because it’s costing Georgians jobs. And that’s what I’m really concerned about is this false rhetoric and this false narrative based on lies for the purposes of raising money for Democratic causes is going to cost Georgia’s life. That’s why I’m speaking out tonight, Bret.
BAIER: Ja. We appreciate it and I want to ask you one more thing. Jy, as a senator in office, you were known as a deficit hawk. Your party, egter, did not speak like that. Nou, it is finding that voice as it faces what looks like a Democratic effort to push through another big bill.
Your thoughts on that, eerstens, as Jon Ossoff is one of the votes that’s likely going to take this thing over the top. And second of all, what we’re facing as a country.
PERDUE: I remember 2011 when President Obama threw the trillion dollars at so-called infrastructure investment. I can’t find any return from any of that investment. As you heard earlier on a comment from John Kennedy, net oor 15 percent of this infrastructure bill goes to infrastructure.
This is a social engineering bill and it’s a climate change bill at its — at its roots. The day of reckoning is coming, Bret, we can’t keep raising this deficit the way we have. The reality is that one day soon, we’re going to find it won’t be any lenders out there for this federal debt. So, I am still on that bandwagon about we’ve got to become more responsible.
BAIER: Former senator from Georgia, David Perdue. We appreciate your time today.
PERDUE: Dankie, Bret.
BAIER: Up next evidence mounts of a new wave in coronavirus infections even as the vaccination rate goes up.
Eerste, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight.
jakkals 5 in Atlanta the U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously for Georgia in its long-running dispute with Florida over water. The court rejected Florida’s claim Georgia uses too much of the water that flows from the Atlanta suburbs to the Gulf of Mexico.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for the court saying Florida failed to prove its case.
jakkals 2 in San Francisco as one embattled school board members suing her colleagues for tens of millions of dollars in damages. Alison Collins says she is the target of a smear campaign to label her a racist.
Many civic leaders have called on Collins to resign over tweets before she was elected. Suggesting Asian American students and parents benefit from white supremacy and a stereotype of being a model minority. She says her words were taken out of context.
And this is a live look at New York from our affiliate Fox 5, one of the big stories there tonight. Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon sells his entire song catalog to Sony Music Publishing.
Financial terms not disclosed. The deal does include songs from across the musician’s decades-long career including the Sound of Silence, Bridge Over Troubled Water, en mev. Robinson.
That is tonight’s live look “OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY” from SPECIAL REPORT. Ons is dadelik terug.
BAIER: “BREAKING TONIGHT”, we’re learning new details about the life of George Floyd that includes information about his illegal drug use and how that may have impacted the incident that led to his death.
We’re also seeing new images of the actual event. Correspondent Matt Finn has tonight’s report from Minneapolis.
MATT FINN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (stem oor): New police video revealing former Officer Derek Chauvin’s call into the department after he struggled with George Floyd and placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: We just had to hold the guy down, hy was — he was going crazy, wasn’t going coming off for the moment. Wouldn’t go in the back of the squad —
FINN: Chauvin superior at the time testifying a knee to the neck was department policy.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: For about how long?
DAVID PLEOGER, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE SERGEANT: I guess whatever is reasonable.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: And which would be when?
PLEOGER: Until you get control of the party, Ek dink.
FINN: George Floyd’s girlfriend Courtney Ross taking the stand and breaking down when asked how the couple met in 2017.
COURTNEY ROSS, GIRLFRIEND OF GEORGE FLOYD: It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Excuse me.
FINN: Ross said they both battled an addiction with opioids, testifying under oath that she suspected Floyd’s friend, Morries Hall who was with Floyd in the car in Cup Foods on the day Floyd died had a history of providing Floyd with drugs.
ERIC NELSON, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING DEREK CHAUVIN: Do you recall the FBI agents asking you, did Mr. Floyd purchase controlled substances from Mr. Morries Hall?
FINN: Hall’s attorney tells Fox News they have no response to that allegation. Hall is a key eyewitness but revealed he will not testify and will plead the Fifth.
And two paramedics testified Floyd flat-lined in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They tried to revive him from a dead state. One paramedic appeared to anger the defense, suggesting the officers could have started CPR on Floyd.
DEREK SMITH, PARAMEDIC, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA: Any layperson can do chest compressions. There’s no reason Minneapolis couldn’t have started chest compressions.
NELSON: That’s not my question. My question is he’s not an EMT, korrek is?
FINN: And new video from Chauvin’s body camera reveals his camera quickly fell off.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
FINN: Also in court today, George Floyd’s girlfriend testified that just a few months before his death, George Floyd was hospitalized for an overdose, the defense indicated it was heroin. Bret.
BAIER: Matt Finn in Minneapolis. Matt, Dankie.
Volgende, new information even more trouble for embattled New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. That’s next.
BAIER: Major League Baseball season underway today. This is a live picture from Denver. The Rockies are hosting the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s five-four right now, we are told. Teams are starting the season but allowing a percentage of fans attend. President Biden tells ESPN he thinks the Texas Rangers are making a mistake by allowing full capacity for their home opener next week. One of today’s game, the Mets at the Washington Nationals here in D.C. was postponed after one of the Nationals players tested positive for coronavirus.
On a happy note, wel, baseball will distribute a million and a half free tickets this season to pandemic essential workers.
There is growing concern tonight about a rise in coronavirus cases. This comes as millions of doses of one vaccine formula are of no use because of a production error. But there is a positive word about another vaccine. Correspondent Jonathan Serrie has the latest from Atlanta tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NUUS KORRESPONDENT: Promising news in the war on the pandemic. Pfizer announced today it’s vaccine is more than 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 and 100 percent effective in blocking severe cases. Daarbenewens, no illness was reported in any of the vaccine recipients observed in South Africa where a new strain is in wide circulation.
DR. ANTHONIE FAUCI, BIDEN CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: Even though you don’t have a vaccine directed specifically against the variant, you can get some pretty good protection. Pfizer did the study, it looked really good. I would not be surprised at all if Moderna and other companies that did this same thing would get similar results.
SERRIE: The Pfizer study tracked vaccine recipients for up to six months, but that in no way rules out the possibility the immune response will last longer. Experts say it’s too early to tell whether COVID-19 vaccines will eventually require booster shots similar to seasonal flu. But in the short- termyn, federal health officials are most concerned about preventing a fourth wave of the pandemic. The CDC reports a seven-day average approaching 62,000 new cases per day, a 12 percent increase over the previous week.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: This is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic. As we see increases in cases, we can’t afford to let our guards down.
SERRIE: Federal health officials say human error led to the waste of 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson-entstof, whose ingredients were improperly mixed at Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing contractor still going through the regulatory process to become part of J&J’s vaccine supply chain. The FDA had cited Emergent in the past from problems ranging from employee training to cracked vials and mold according to records obtained by the Associated Press. But the company says quality control systems work, and federal health officials confirmed no vaccine doses in question were released to the public.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SERRIE: And Bret, vandag, CVS announced that it has administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the public. That’s nearly seven percent of all doses given in the U.S. sover. Bret?
BAIER: Jonathan Serrie in Atlanta. Jonathan, Dankie.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was reportedly paid more than $ 4 million to write a book about his leadership during the pandemic. Governor Cuomo is now, natuurlik, engulfed in multiple scandals, including allegations his aides actually covered up nursing home deaths. Correspondent Bryan Llenas has specifics tonight from Brooklyn.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS, (R-NY): They should take the book off the shelves, and this guy should be prosecuted.
BRYAN LLENAS, FOX NUUS KORRESPONDENT: Vanaand, bipartisan outrage over a “New York Times” report that Governor Cuomo made more than $ 4 million in his book deal for “American Crisis, A Memoir” touting his own pandemic response written in the middle of the pandemic last summer.
MALLIOTAKIS: It’s completely outrageous that the governor was concerned about writing a book instead of actually putting together a plan to deal with the pandemic.
LLENAS: As Cuomo negotiated his multi-million-dollar book deal, “The Times” reports top aides edited a state health report to reflect less COVID-19 nursing home deaths than there actually were statewide, omitting 3,000 deaths to protect Cuomo’s image.
RON KIM, (D) NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: A full blown investigation with the attorney general and the comptroller together with full subpoena power.
LLENAS: Cuomo also used his staff to help him complete the book. “The Times” reports he relied on a cadre trusted aides and junior staffers for everything from full scale edits to minor clerical work. The revelations put the embattled governor in potentially more legal jeopardy. It is against the law in New York for elected officials to use public resources for personal gain. And today the organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a complaint with the New York State Board of Elections claiming Governor Cuomo violated election law by spending campaign resources to promote his book. The complaint includes this email from Cuomo’s campaign, written by his daughters, sent in October encouraging supporters to order Cuomo’s book on Amazon.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LLENAS: Cuomo’s office denies there is a connection between the nursing home report and the book deal. This is all the subject of a state impeachment inquiry and a reported FBI investigation. Bret?
BAIER: Bryan Llenas in Brooklyn. Bryan, Dankie.
Volgende, Russia is making military moves near its border with Ukraine, and that has the full attention of U.S. verdedigingsamptenare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PERSSEKRETARIS: I think we have been very clear about the threats that we see. We are taking them very, baie ernstig.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Ukraine’s president says Russian military movements along their shared border indicates Moscow is seeking to create a threatening atmosphere for cease-fire talks. The Pentagon is also expressing concern, a lot of it. Vanaand, Lucas Tomlinson looks at the build-up and what it may mean.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NUUS KORRESPONDENT: Thousands of Russian soldiers and mechanized forces massing on the border with Ukraine. The Pentagon says it’s watching the situation closely.
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PERSSEKRETARIS: We are concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: Is the secretary worried that Russia could be preparing to further its incursion into Ukraine?
KIRBY: We obviously don’t want to see any more violations of Ukrainian territory. We have been very clear about the threats that we see from Russia across domains. We are taking them very, baie ernstig.
TOMLINSON: The memory of the 2014 annexation of Crimea by force looms large, that operation done under the guise of a massive military exercise like this one. While U.S. officials believe this is a drill, not an invasion, experts see a test for the new administration after President Biden called Putin a killer. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called Russia’s top military leader in a sign of how serious the Pentagon is taking the situation. President Biden’s top diplomat also called his Ukrainian counterpart to offer assurances. The Kremlin says there is no need for alarm.
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (deur middel van vertaler): The Russian Federation is moving its troops within its territory at its own discretion. Nobody should be concerned about it. It poses no threat to anyone.
TOMLINSON: It’s not just Ukraine where the Russians are flexing their muscles. This week NATO scrambled jets 10 times to shadow Russian bombers flying near Europe. Russian planes also buzzed Alaska. Three Russian ballistic missile submarines broke through the artic ice together for the first time.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSE PRESIDENT: The artic expedition, which you will present, has no precedent in the history of either the Soviet period or the modern history of Russia.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TOMLINSON: So far President Biden has not spoken to his Ukrainian counterpart since taking office, nor did he invite him to the climate summit. But Biden did invite Vladimir Putin. Bret?
BAIER: Lucas Tomlinson at the Pentagon. Lucas, Dankie. We will follow this story.
Volgende, the panel on President Biden’s first cabinet meeting and reaction to his infrastructure plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT VAN DIE VERENIGDE STATE: Today I’m directing every member of the cabinet, I mean this sincerely, every one to take a hard look at their agency’s spending and make sure it follows my buy American standard.
PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: One of the things I admire about the president’s plan is it’s fully paid for. And I think that that’s an important feature of the plan. Right now we have got to make sure we are making smart investments for the future. We can invest now or we can pay the price later. I would rather invest now.
JEN PSAKI, WITHUIS PERSSEKRETARIS: We don’t believe that the costs should be on the backs of the American people. We believe that corporations should be able to bear the brunt for investing in America’s workers.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Wel, some of the sound as they get ready to launch this infrastructure bill, it’s actually spending bills, a couple of them. Intussen, the House Problem Solvers Caucus, which is Democrats and Republicans in the House, writing a letter saying “As the 117th Congress begins to debate various infrastructure proposals, we are writing to ask that you continue to promote a bipartisan path forward. We believe that a bipartisan bill would summon the highest level of support for the large investment needed for to repair and modernize our infrastructure for the 21st century.” Good luck with that. It doesn’t look like it’s going that way.
Let’s bring in our panel, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for “The Washington Times,” Charles Lane, mening skrywer vir “Die Washington Post,” and a guy who is not Charles, Bill McGurn, columnist for “The Wall Street Journal.”
Goed so, Charlie, eerste vir jou. Die — luister, there is this hope for bipartisan, but everything you hear, it seems like it’s lining up to be a hard, fast push with Democrats.
CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON TIMES”: Ja, it sounds like Republicans in Washington have finally found their voice against deficit spending again, which is a very good thing, and especially in a time like right now where you have people like Joe Biden who think that the response, the answer to every problem is to spend more money that we don’t have.
And the problem with this in particular is, if we are talking about spending $ 2 trillion on infrastructure on top of $ 1.9 trillion that they have already spent in money that we do not have, on COVID relief, wat is — that’s a pretty loosely defined definition of that bill, the problem with it, natuurlik, is that when Joe Biden says he — none of this is going to be paid for by people who make below $ 400,000 n jaar, that’s a complete fabrication. That’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. The way this is going to get paid for is through deficit spending and printing money. And when you do that, what you wind up doing is the people with the least amount of spending power, who earn far below $ 400,000 n jaar, are going to be the ones that get punished the most when you start seeing inflation and their ability to purchase shrinks.
BAIER: Bill, there is a wrinkle tonight. “Axios” is reporting this, daardie “President Biden is unlikely to propose reinstating state and local tax deductions,” this is the SALT taxes, “in his second tax-and-spending package despite pressure from several fellow Democrats, according to people with direct knowledge of the planning. Why it matters — that stance could complicate his goals of passing a multitrillion dollars infrastructure proposal,” weer, van “Axios” vanaand. There is some Democrats in blue states who would like to see those deductions back for state and local taxes.
BILL MCGURN, KOLOMNIS, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Reg. Wel, one of the reasons may be for the revenue that they need, they would rather the federal government get it than it go back — that the states benefit, people benefit back in the blue states.
Kyk, when you have anything this big, one of the alarming things is not that it’s just so big, it’s that we have this silly idea that big is good, inherently good, and that we can just put words on it like “slim,” “smart decision,” “paid for,” meaning we say we are targeting this person to pay for it, “growth.” Does anyone remember Solyndra and shovel-ready and all that? We just call it green, we call it this. And I think we are going to get a big waste of money.
And I think the reason is Joe Biden’s presumption here is not to let ordinary Americans spend and invest the way they judge and see fit, but that the government knows better, and that it’s the federal government over state and local.
Byvoorbeeld, I wouldn’t think the federal government would have an idea like which roads to fix in my town. Do we think they are going to make wise decisions all over the country by putting up as high as we can? One of the perverse things about Washington is that the bigger it is, the more you spend, the fewer questions seem to be asked. We are all judging these things by the size, like the COVID bill. I would like to know if it really helps people that it’s intended to help. I don’t think this bill is going to do anything except yield a lot of scandals and so forth about how money was spent.
BAIER: We are going to do a piece on that because, in die verlede, when big money from the federal government goes to state and local governments — tomorrow we are going to do it — it takes a long time, nommer een, and those local officials or state officials will say that the projects are exponentially more expensive. Nie net dit nie, but the regulations that are in place, that’s the whole shovel ready jobs right now, are they ready?
Intussen, the progressives are calling for a lot more. Here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D-NY): I think the how, daardie $ 2.2 triljoen, $ 2.25 over eight year, I have serious concerns that it’s not enough to realize the very inspiring vision that Biden has advanced. And so I believe that those of us here, especially as progressives within the Democratic Party, we know that there is so much more opportunity here, and in order for us to realize this inspiring vision, we need to go way higher.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Her way higher, chuck, is $ 10 triljoen.
CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, “WASHINGTON POST”: I’m sure Joe Biden was delighted to see that because, in kontras, it makes him look like a centrist and moderate. It probably will help him sell this package.
En, kyk, this is a big push by the Democrats to get through a whole bunch of priorities before the 2022 election for two reasons. Een, so they can run on it. En, twee, in the likely event that they lose the House just because of midterm patterns and gerrymandering, they will have these programs in place for years to come. It isn’t true it’s not paid for. They are purporting to pay for it through taxes on corporations.
And the bad news for the Republicans is they can complain about that, but that is popular. The polls show people support higher taxes for corporations, and they support higher spending for infrastructure, which is why they have labeled a lot of things in this that aren’t really necessarily infrastructure, infrastruktuur. I would not underestimate the ability of President Biden to get this through.
BAIER: That’s interesting, because it is all about the numbers, and there’s a lot of people that are wavering, Democrats and obviously not Republicans. But you mentioned the corporate taxes. FBN had this piece linking to AEI studies, that’s also a conservative think tank, but also CBO, and said that a one percent increase in the corporate tax rate correlated with a 0.5 percent decline in real wages. In 2007, the CBO determined that workers pay more than 70 percent of the cost of corporate taxes. Nou, it’s a tough pitch to make, Charlie, but if you look at the past, that’s what’s happened.
HURT: Ja, wel, people are not in favor of taxing corporations if it means that they lose their jobs, and that’s going to be the problem here. And that clip you just played of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is kind of an amazing one because the entitlement that she exhibits, the entitlement to other people’s money that she exhibits in that is kind of extraordinary.
BAIER: Wel, we will have a lot more to talk about with this and add up the votes on Capitol Hill when it happens.
As ons terugkom, tomorrow’s headlines tonight.
BAIER: Eindelik vanaand, a look at tomorrow’s headlines. Charlie, let’s start with you.
HURT: Wel, we’ve got the new grizzly images of kids being thrown — literally thrown over the border at the southern border and tossed by smugglers into the Rio Grande. Op 'n sekere punt, Biden’s incompetence at the border is going to be something that even partisan Democrats can no longer defend.
BAIER: Chuck, your headline for tomorrow?
LANE: My headline is a lobbyists swarm Capitol Hill. Now that they have taken down the fence and started talking about raising taxes on business, that is a surefire formula for everyone from K Street to start moving that way, and it’s going to be incredible to watch every line of this giant bill get argued over.
BAIER: It will be something. Goed so, Bill, bring it home.
MCGURN: My headline is, if Democrats think Joe Manchin is too powerful now, wait until they abolish the filibuster.
BAIER: Daar gaan jy, back to Joe Manchin. Paneel, dankie.
Môre op SPESIALE VERSLAG, as the Biden administration pushes electric cars, concerns mount that China is cornering the market on the batteries needed to power them. We will bring you that story.
Dankie dat u ons vanaand in u huis genooi het. That is it for this SPECIAL REPORT, regverdig, gebalanseerd, and still unafraid. FOX NEWS PRIMETIME hosted this week by Rachel Campos-Duffy starts right now.
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