'Fox News Sunday' on October 3, 2021


President Biden tries to end the fight between the moderate and progressive 

wings of his party that threatens to derail his domestic agenda.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA):  We need to get this reconciliation bill. 

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): For them to get theirs, elect more liberals. 

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  It doesn’t matter whether it’s 

in six minutes, six days, or six weeks. We’re going to get it done. 

WALLACE (voice-over): The president pledging to bridge the divide between 

centrists, who want to vote now on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and 

progressives who want to wait for agreement on a sweeping plan to reshape 

the nation’s social safety net. 

This hour, we’ll talk with White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond and 

ask Congressman Ro Khanna, a member of the Democrats’ progressive wing, 

about the president’s call to lower the price tag. Plus, get reaction from 

the number three Republican in the Senate, John Barrasso — only on “FOX 

News Sunday.” 

Then, we’ll ask our Sunday panel about Joe Biden’s presidency at a 


And our Power Players of the Week: the team working around the clock to 

ensure no service member is left behind. 

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.


WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington. 

Well, this was supposed to be the week House Democrats passed that 

bipartisan infrastructure plan and give President Biden a much-needed 

legislative victory. But this Sunday, the party is still deadlocked between 

the moderates who want infrastructure and progressives who are determined 

to block that bill until they get the massive social spending they want. 

President Biden is now talking about taking weeks about trying to resolve 

the differences inside his own party. The real danger? That he ends up with 

neither part of his domestic agenda. 

In a moment, we’ll speak with Biden senior advisor Cedric Richmond and 

California Congressman Ro Khanna, a key member of the progressive wing. 

But, first, let’s bring in David Spunt at the White House with the latest 

on the effort to find a compromise — David. 


Biden spent almost 40 years on Capitol Hill compromising, finding a 

compromise in this Congress will be tough, but he’s not giving up.


BIDEN:  There’s nothing in any of these pieces of legislation that’s 

radical, that is unreasonable.

SPUNT (voice-over): Before leaving for a week in Delaware, a confident 

President Biden said he’ll take his time, pushing both items on his wish 

list. But telling progressives that they must come off of their $ 3.5 

trillion top line for their social spending bill. 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  We need — we need to be real. Are 

we going to deliver universal pre-K to this country or not? Are we going to 

expand health care to our seniors and include vision and dental or not? 

SPUNT:  While moderates led by Congressman Josh Gottheimer have no time for 

the delays, writing: It’s deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached 

her firm public commitment to members of Congress and American people to 

hold a vote and to pass a once in a century bipartisan infrastructure bill 

on or before September 27th.

In a Saturday letter to her caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote: We will and 

must pass both bills soon. We have the responsibility and the opportunity 

to do so. 

But centrists like Gottheimer are focused on the infrastructure bill and 

they have support from Republicans.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): That’s what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. We 

don’t put the needs of the American people first. We put some other agenda 

and nothing ever happens.


SPUNT (on camera): Negotiations, Chris, are ongoing until this comes to 

vote. Meanwhile, there’s another clock ticking, raising the nation’s debt 

ceiling until it hits its limit in just a few weeks — Chris. 

WALLACE:  David Spunt, reporting from the White House — David, thank you. 

And joining us now, senior advisor to the president, Cedric Richmond. 

Mr. Richmond, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.


WALLACE:  So, the House is out of session for the next two weeks. The 

legislation for this massive spending bill hasn’t been written yet. 

Here was President Biden on Friday. 


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I’m telling you we’re going to 

get this done. 


BIDEN:  It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in six 

minutes, six days, or six weeks. We’re going to get it done. 


WALLACE:  When the president says six weeks, Mr. Richmond, aren’t we 

talking, realistically, about something in that timeframe? 

RICHMOND:  Well, no, we don’t have a time frame on it. This is just about 

delivering and making sure that we deliver both bills to the American 

people because it meets their needs. So, we’re not using an artificial 

timeline and we’re not concerned with process. We’re cerned (ph) — we’re 

concerned about delivery. 

WALLACE:  But you can’t deliver until you complete the process. 

The president has, at various points, been frankly all over the map on 

whether or not the big infrastructure bill and the big social spending bill 

are linked. First, they weren’t. Then, they were. And as of Friday, they 

are again. 

RICHMOND:  Well, the president wants both bills and he expects to get both 

bills. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, has said that they’re going to pass both 

bills and we believe that because we know that both bills are very popular 

and both meet the needs of the people right now. 

And so, we’re going to continue to work on both, keep our heads down and 

make sure that we deliver. 

WALLACE:  But would you agree that at this point, both the moderates in the 

Democratic Party have a veto over the spending bill in effect and the 

progressives in the party have a veto over the infrastructure bill? 

RICHMOND:  Well, the future may be intertwined a little bit. We don’t 

necessarily agree that it is — that they’re mutually exclusive. But the 

point is very simple. It is — we need to make sure that we look at all of 

the programs that we need to deliver, create a bill, and so that we can get 

it passed through the Congress. And I think it’s really just that simple. 

WALLACE:  So, the president on Friday told the House Democratic Caucus, and 

especially the progressives, they’re going to have to come down on the 

price tag for that big social spending bill from $ 3.5 trillion. What they 

have been talking about, to more in the neighborhood of $ 2 trillion — 

still a pretty pricey neighborhood, which is still even more than Senators 

Manchin and Sinema are talking about. 

My question is this, as the president talks about bringing the price tag 

down by at least a trillion and a half dollars, does he want to eliminate 

some of the proposed new programs that were included in this measure, or is 

he talking or thinking about funding all of them but at a reduced level 

and, frankly, for a shorter time period — in other words, with an 

expiration note — which as you know as well as I as a former member of 

Congress, that that’s an old budget gimmick here in Washington?

RICHMOND:  I’ll tell you that those decisions will be made in conjunction 

with members of Congress. But there is unity of purpose. Everybody wants to 

bring down the cost of prescription drugs and health care and expand it so 

more people have it. We want to make sure that we do the child tax credit 

and that we make sure that we cut taxes for working families. Those are 

things that the entire Democratic Caucus is united about.

And so, we don’t look at this as a number. We look at this as what programs 

are we going to deliver, how do we ensure that we have child care so that 

parents can enter into the workforce and stay in the workforce? 

So, for us, this is about making sure that we meet the needs and the vision 

of President Biden. 

WALLACE:  But this is a pretty big decision, because you can fund fewer new 

programs and keep them going for a longer time, or you can fund all of the 

programs in the wish list but then you’re setting dates when they go out of 

— you know, that there are no longer in effect. And that runs the risk 

that when they run out, let’s say, in 2025, that the Congress and president 

at that time won’t renew them. 

RICHMOND:  Well, that would just make an argument, whenever they expire, 

the vision of the people of this country and what they want. And we know 

clearly that by passing the child tax credit in American Rescue Plan, we 

reduced child poverty in this country by 50 percent. That’s why the child 

tax credit is the number one thing that we’re trying to get accomplished 

now, because we see how it lifted children and families out of poverty and 

we want to do it again. 

And so, if that fight comes back in 2025, 2026, or any other year, we’re 

going to be prepared to fight for it and American people will know just how 

important it is. 

WALLACE:  So, Senator Joe Manchin. He is still at 1-1/2 trillion, not 3-

1/2, not 2, $ 1-1/2 trillion for the total social spending bill. 

And here’s what he said it in a statement this week: Spending trillions 

more on new and expanded government programs when we can’t even pay for the 

essential social programs like Social Security and Medicare is the 

definition of fiscal insanity.

Is Senator Manchin wrong? 

RICHMOND:  Look, I won’t say that Senator Manchin is wrong, but I will say 

that this administration, we know what we need to do. We need to deliver 

for the American people. Seventeen Nobel laureate economists said that if 

we pass both of these plans, we would reduce inflation. 

And so, what we have work to do is make sure that Senator Manchin 

understands how this affects the future in terms of making sure that we 

invest in American families so that they can determine their own destiny. 

We think we have unity of purpose with Senator Manchin. That’s what the 

president does best and that is to talk to Senator Manchin and make sure 

that he understands the entire vision why we need to do it and what amount. 

But at the end of the day, Chris, I think what’s important for people to 

understand is that this piece of legislation cost zero. We’re going to pay 

for it all by raising taxes on the very wealthy and big corporations, which 

is favored by 70 percent — 


WALLACE:  Mr. Richmond, I’ve got to — I’ve got have to stop you there. It 

doesn’t cost zero. Whether it’s $ 3.5 trillion or $ 2 trillion, it — or $ 1.5 

trillion, whatever, it costs that amount of money. 

Now, you can pay for it either by borrowing it or you can pay for it by 

raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, but it doesn’t cost zero. 

RICHMOND:  At the end of the day, it will cost zero because we’re going to 

pay for it. Now, if you go back and look at the Trump tax cuts, which 

weren’t paid for, they cost billions and billions. 

But we’re going to pay for everything we spend here. And that is not 

including the economic benefits and gains that we will get from it. 

WALLACE:  But — 

RICHMOND:  We know what we’re doing. If you look at the American Rescue 

Plan, the economy grew faster than it’s grown in the last 40 years. We 

created more jobs than any administration in the history of this country. 

The president has a vision. He knows what he’s doing. He’s going to deliver 

for the American people. And we’re confident that we will bring the 

Democrats along with us. 

WALLACE:  But again, I just want to press down on this, because — I can 

understand the argument, a lot of people say that your math is wrong and 

even that it won’t add zero to the debt. You could make the argument if you 

pay for it that you add zero to the debt, but that doesn’t mean that it 

costs zero. I mean, the fact that you’re raising people’s taxes is a cost. 

RICHMOND:  Well, we’re also reducing taxes in this piece of legislation. 

Fifty million Americans are going to get a tax cut in this piece of 


WALLACE: But net-net, net-net, if you for it —


RICHMOND:  These 50 million working families. 

WALLACE:  But net-net, if it’s a $ 2 trillion spending plan, net-net, you — 

cost $ 2 trillion. 

RICHMOND:  Well, I’m not necessarily sure about that, Chris. And that’s why 

we will make sure that all of the Democrats are involved in how we shape 


But everyone is worried about a top number. What we should be worried about 

is the programs we deliver so people can reenter the workforce and that 

children don’t drink poison water at school and in their homes. 

And remember, this is really not about politics or process. It’s about 

purpose in accomplishing and meeting the needs of the American people 

WALLACE:  Final question. What is at stake here? If Congress fails to pass 

both the infrastructure package and the social spending package, what’s at 

stake in terms of the Biden presidency and the fortunes for the Democrats 

in the 2022 midterms? 

RICHMOND:  Well, this is exactly why left Congress, because President Biden 

is not worried about politics. He’s worried about delivering for the 

people. And that’s what we’re focused on. 

We’re going to keep our head down and we’re going to deliver. We’re going 

to lower prescription drug cost. People can’t get their drugs at the end of 

the month to save their lives. We’re going to keep focusing on COVID. 

So, this is not about politics. This is about delivering for people, and 

this president’s desire to make sure that he empowers his families to reach 

their destiny. 

WALLACE:  Mr. Richmond, thank you. Thanks for your time today. Always good 

to talk with you, sir. 

RICHMOND:  Thank you.

WALLACE:  Let’s turn now to Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, a member of 

the Congressional Progressive Caucus that’s demanding an agreement on the 

big social spending plan before it will back the infrastructure bill. 

Congressman, as we have noted, President Biden, in his talking to House 

Democrats on Friday, said to progressives that this number, $ 3.5 trillion, 

is going to have to come down. And here’s how the head of your Progressive 

Caucus, how she reacted to that. Take a look. 



going to be tough. Like we are going to have to come down in our number and 

we’re going to have to do that work. So we’re going to get to work and see 

what we can get to. 


WALLACE:  So let me ask you the same question I asked Mr. Richmond. How do 

you get down to that lower number? Because there are two ways. One is that 

you push forward fewer proposals but back them more fully, or you keep all 

of the proposals but you give them sunset dates which, as we both know, is 

an old D.C. budget gimmick. 

REP. RO KHANNA (D), CALIFORNIA:  Chris, we can front-load the benefits and 

have less years, but ultimately the president is as honest broker. He’s 

going to bring all of the stakeholders together. And I trust his judgment 

to get a compromise. Let me just put one thing in perspective. Donald Trump 

left us with $ 7 trillion in debt in his term. His vision was cut taxes to 

grow the economy. And we had overseas wars. We have a different vision. We 

do want to spend money, invest to grow the economy. We believe that 

investing in the American people in a modern economy is the way to grow — 

to growth. And that’s our vision. 

WALLACE:  Let’s talk about other ways that you could cut the expense here. 

One of them, Joe Manchin — actually, two of them Joe Manchin has talked 

about. One is means testing. Instead of giving these benefits to everyone 

regardless of income level, say they either — they phase out, gets lower 

and eventually are cut off for people above a certain income level. There’s 

also talk that, which is not included in current ideas, for a work 

requirement for people getting those — that child tax credit. What do you 

think about those as ways to target these benefits to people? 

KHANNA:  Well, it depends what we’re talking about. If we are talking about 

a child tax credit, that’s already phased out, Earned Income Tax Credit 

that’s already phased. But there are some things, Chris, that we have to do 

together as Americans. I mean, should we really have segregated classes in 

public school? 

When I went to first grade, you had blue collar kids there, you had rich 

kids there. So when we’re talking about having every American get the 

chance to have preschool, which they already have in countries like France, 

I don’t think that ought to be means-tested. And we’re talking about 

everyone should get to go to some community college because they’re going 

to need skills for the 21st Century. 

Senator Manchin says we have 11 million jobs that are unfilled. How are we 

going to get people credentialed? I don’t think that should be means-

tested. And in terms of the senator’s proposal, I think we can compromise 

on what does require means-testing and what doesn’t. 

WALLACE:  What do you think of Joe Manchin? 

KHANNA:  I respect him. I’ve been down to Beckley, West Virginia. He was 

deeply gracious. He cares deeply about his state. He, frankly, has has 

always been transparent. We disagree, but he has been clear about what his 

views are and I think we can come to an agreement. But he is a straight 


WALLACE:  All right. Let’s talk about something that he has shot straight 

about. He says that this social spending program needs to come down 

dramatically. He is saying not $ 2 trillion, $ 1.5 trillion. And here was 

something he said this week, take a look. 


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA:  I don’t fault any of them who believe 

that they are much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless them. 

And all they need to do is we have to elect more, I guess, for them to get 

theirs, elect more liberals. 


WALLACE:  Does Senator Manchin have a point? Because one of the things he’s 

basically saying is, look, you don’t have a mandate, Joe Biden didn’t have 

a mandate, the Democrats in Congress didn’t have a mandate for this kind of 

enormous social spending. If you want to govern like FDR with the New Deal, 

if you want to govern like LBJ with the Great Society, then win the kinds 

of supermajorities that FDR and LBJ had and that Joe Biden and all of you 

don’t have. 

KHANNA:  Chris, I don’t think Senator Manchin and I are that far apart. 

Again, in context, Trump’s spending, which folks aren’t talking about, was 

$ 7 trillion. This is $ 3.5 trillion over 10 years. 

And here’s what I would say to Senator Manchin having been to his state. 

You know who created the wealth over the last year, where all the wealth is 

going? It’s in my district. I mean, Silicon Valley has done terrific over 

the pandemic. And I’m saying, why don’t we tax some folks who have made 

millions of dollars with the digitization of the economy so we can help so 

many parts of this country, rural America, places that have been left 

behind, frankly, places in West Virginia that need investment in 

industrialization, in the new jobs, in child care. I think Senator Manchin 

and I, if we sat down, could come to an agreement. This is about economic 

growth. It’s about opportunity in the 21st Century. And we don’t believe 

that just having tax cuts and overseas wars is the way to get there. 

WALLACE:  Why is there such a split inside the Democratic Party? It — just 

in the House, in your body the House moderates were saying, look, give us a 

vote this past week on infrastructure and we will support — we will 

negotiate, but we will support a social spending plan, and you progressives 

wouldn’t trust them. Why not? 

KHANNA:  Chris, honestly, there wasn’t a split. We agreed to do what Joe 

Biden wants. You know I chaired Bernie Sanders’s campaign. Medicare for All 

isn’t in here. Free college isn’t in here. 

WALLACE:  Wait, wait, wait, wait. Congressman, time out here. The fact is 

that Nancy Pelosi — 

KHANNA:  Sure. 

WALLACE:  — wait a minute, promised the moderates a vote this past week. 

First on Monday, then on Thursday. And she said to them, I’m going to give 

it to you, and you and the Progressive Caucus refused to give it to them. 

Why didn’t you trust them that if you passed their plan they would vote for 

your plan? 

KHANNA:  What I said, what the Progressive Caucus has said is we will do 

what the president wants to do. Chris, I didn’t get one call from the White 

House saying that we want the infrastructure bill to pass first. I didn’t 

get one call from the Speaker’s Office or from the Majority Leader’s 


The reality is 95 percent of the party has been with President Biden. He 

wants both bills. Those are his bills. He wrote those bills. And that is 

his vision. 

His vision is we want people to have child care. We want people to have 

community college. We want folks to get dental and vision. And I will 

follow the president on the compromise — 

WALLACE:  So are you saying — 


WALLACE:  I’ve got 30 seconds left here, sir. Don’t mean to interrupt. 

KHANNA:  Yes. 

WALLACE:  But are you saying that the White House wanted these two bills 

linked? Because there have been reports that some top White House people, 

including White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, were saying to 

progressives, hey, stand your ground, it’s OK to link these two bills. 

KHANNA:  Ron never said that to me, but they never said that we have to 

vote for the infrastructure bill. And what I heard directly from the 

president is he wants both bills. I think that has always been his vision. 

And I’ll tell you this, at least I can speak for myself, I would not have 

contradicted the president’s vision. What I have said — 

WALLACE:  Right. 

KHANNA:  — consistently when most progressives have said is we want to do 

what the president wants. And I think the House moderates thought Joe Biden 

is a moderate, he agrees with us. Actually, this time, he didn’t. He agreed 

that we want both bills. 

WALLACE: Congressman Khanna, thank you. Thanks for joining us today and we 

will be tracking how the negotiations go over the Biden agenda in the weeks 

to come. 

KHANNA:  Thanks for having me. 

WALLACE:  Up next, reaction from Republican Senator John Barrasso who says 

Democrats big spending plans will boost inflation and push the country 

toward socialism.


WALLACE:  While Democrats are locked in a battle over spending priorities, 

Republicans are watching from the sidelines with an eye on next year’s 


Joining us now from Wyoming, the number three Republican in the Senate, 

John Barrasso.

Senator, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, (R-WY):  Great to be with you, Chris. Thank you.

WALLACE:  You just heard my conversations with Cedric Richmond and 

Congressman Ro Khanna.

Your reaction?

BARRASSO:  Well, what we’re seeing is like watching an episode of the 

twilight zone. I thought Joe Biden went to The Hill on Friday to try to get 

that bipartisan infrastructure bill passed and instead he surrendered to 

the radical wing of his party. And now you have this big government 

socialism reckless spending bill being basically used to hold hostage the 

think that the American people want are roads and bridges, highways, all of 

those things.

When a bipartisan bill passed a 50/50 Senate, it had 69 votes. It was a lot 

of momentum on its side. In any kind of a normal world, that would’ve been 

signed into law by the president. This was two months ago. This was before 

Afghanistan, when the president lost a lot of political muscle. Now we’re 

at a point where the president is weak and really Bernie Sanders, the far 

left Democrats are driving the bus and Joe Biden is just along for the 


WALLACE:  Well, let’s talk about politics on both sides, though. As you 

point out, 19 of your fellow Republican senators voted for the bipartisan 

infrastructure plan in the Senate. You didn’t. You called the 

reconciliation bill a freight train to socialism. You and all of the 

Republicans are refusing the normal course, bipartisan passage of raising 

the debt limit.

So I guess the question to you and a lot of Republicans is, are you viewing 

these issues on the merits or are you just playing partisan politics?

BARRASSO:  Well, I think the American people want the sort of things that 

are in that bipartisan bill, roads, bridges, ports, airports, all of those 

things are important. I had some concerns with some of the gimmicks that 

were used to fund it. I thought it spent too much. There were some issues 

that I didn’t like in terms of — I thought it was going to make energy 

more expensive and undermine our grid.

But, look, you have a 50/50 Senate. Sixty-nine votes is a big number of 

votes to support something. But on this $ 3.5 trillion infrastructure 

proposal that the Democrats are focusing on right now with trillions of 

dollars of increased taxes and trillions of dollars of increased debt, 

every Republican is united against it. We’re a party at that wants to grow 

the economy. The Democrats are a party that wants to grow the government.

And you heard it right there, they’re continuing to try to mislead the 

public by saying it is free. It is not free. They said, oh, inflation — 

Cedric said, oh, inflation will go down. Inflation — people are feeling 

the bite of inflation right now when they buy groceries, when they buy gas, 

all of those things.

WALLACE:  Right.

BARRASSO:  And they think if this stuff passes, this massive spending and 

tax bill, that inflation is going to get much worse.

WALLACE:  But let’s talk, Senator, about some of the specific programs in 

this big social spending bill. As part of the Trump tax cuts in 2017, you 

voted to increase the child tax credit from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.

Now, as part of this bill, the Democrats would extend that to 2025 at a 

higher level. The fact is that your state of Wyoming is one of the states 

that benefits most from the increase in the child tax credit. Why oppose 


BARRASSO:  Well, what you’re talking about, though, a $ 3.5 trillion massive 

bill, lots of things —

WALLACE:  Well, but no — but, forgive — forgive me, sir.


WALLACE:  I’m — I’m — but I’m asking you about this specific part of the 

bill. I — I understand there are parts that you don’t like. But, for 

instance — I mean the — I guess part of the question is, could you have 

worked with them on this child tax credit, which you voted for in 2017? 

That’s one of the things that you’re voting against now. Why– why oppose 

that specific program?

BARRASSO:  Well, you — it’s part of the bigger bill. You know the issues 

for any member of the Senate or Congress, you have to look at the entire 

bill and say, are you for the bill or you’re not. And I would point out, 

Chris, the Democrats are not coming to talk with Republicans on any of 

these things. I mean Bernie Sanders, the other day, said 48 people ought to 

be able to overrule two, but there are actually 100 members of the Senate. 

It’s 52 against a number of things that the Democrats are proposing here.

And the content of this bill matters almost as much if not more than the 

cost. I’ve gotten more letters in the last two weeks on one component of 

this, which is the issue of giving a whole new army of IRS agents to rifle 

through your checking account, to look at any check that you either deposit 

or write for over $ 600. This is an invasion of privacy. Every senator’s is 

hearing about this. That’s included as well.

So when you take a look at the entire bill, which is why, you know, Joe 

Manchin said, it’s time for a strategic pause. Well, it looks like there 

may be a long pause on both the real infrastructure bill and this big 

spending blowout bill.

WALLACE:  You talk about things you don’t like, like the added IRS agents 

and added IRS intrusion. Let’s talk about another part of the bill, which 

is universal Pre-K.

In a state of Wyoming, less than one quarter of children three to four, 

which is — who would be covered in the bill, are enrolled in publicly 

funded preschool. Less than one quarter. Wouldn’t a lot of Wyoming families 

benefit from universal Pre-K?

BARRASSO:  There are a number of things that will help the people of 

Wyoming. Overall, Joe Biden’s policies have been hurting the people of 

Wyoming. And I believe that there should be tested. You just don’t give 

things universally to everybody. I think there should be work requirements 

involved. The Democrats are trying to separate work requirements from just 

free government checks and programs. 

You heard the congressman from the Progressive Caucus say, everybody ought 

to get free community college, everybody ought to get free daycare, Pre-K, 

all of those things, and that’s not the way that our country has been 

founded and how we work together. 

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Right. I — I’ve got — I’ve got less than 

a minute left. Are you and your Republican colleagues thoroughly enjoying 

this divide inside the Democratic Party?

BARRASSO: Well, I’ll tell you, you know, the thing is, Joe Biden ran as a 

centrist and as competent. And what we’re seeing is that he is neither. And 

people across the country are feeling less safe with Joe Biden as 

president. Their paychecks are less safe because of the inflation. When you 

look at hundreds of thousands of people legally coming to the country every 

month, they feel less safe. 


BARRASSO: When the generals testify, as they did, that we are less safe to 

terrorism, Joe Biden has now walked the plank for the socialist Bernie 

Sanders budget. He’s man overboard and he cannot swim. He is sinking and 

he’s sunk (INAUDIBLE). 

WALLACE: Senator Barrasso, thank you very much. I love the metaphors. Thank 

you. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you, sir.

Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss prospects for both of 

these bills and what failure to pass them would mean for the Biden 



WALLACE: Coming up, DHS tried to avoid an October surprise surge of 

migrants making their way to the U.S. from Central America.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are still applying Title 42. We 

are still sending people away at the border.


WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the crisis and the administration 

response, next.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no reason why both 

these bills couldn’t pass independently, except that they’re not supposed 

to do it that way. It’s a simple proposition. And so I think it makes 

sense. I support both of them. And I think we can get them both done.


WALLACE: President Biden expressing confidence Congress will ultimately 

pass his domestic agenda despite continuing deep divisions within his own 


And it’s time now for our Sunday group. 

Steve Hayes, editor of “The Dispatch,” Fox News contributor Marie Harf, and 

Jonathan Swan, national political reporter for “Axios.”

Well, Jonathan, I think it’s fair to say, at the end of this very eventful 

week, that there’s even more backbiting among Democrats right now. A lot of 

the House moderates thought that when Joe Biden was coming to The Hill on 

Friday, he was coming to rally support for the infrastructure bill. He 

didn’t do that. He seems now to link them. 

And I thought it was interesting to hear Ro Khanna say that he didn’t get a 

single word from anybody at the White House this week, support the 

infrastructure bill, which is a message in itself. 

So what is going on in the Biden White House? 


Biden, that you just played the clip, said it pretty succinctly, they don’t 

have the votes. It’s very, very simple, they don’t have the votes.

And what people expected — some people expected, not everyone, but some, 

was that the progressives would fold. That Nancy Pelosi, with her hammer, 

would — would basically push them to have that vote and — and they would, 

you know, dissolve. 

But, actually, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit, they stuck together 

and they were very cohesive. And Jayapal and Ro Khanna’s part of the 

Progressive Caucus, they stuck together and said, no, we’re not going to 

separate these two bills, we are going to demand that they stick together. 

And they won the fight. And — and right now they’re going to face and 

externally painful few weeks because it’s not about, you know — everyone 

talks about the topline number, you know, $ 3.5 trillion, $ 1.5 trillion. But 

within that are a whole bunch of programs that are considered vital by many 

of these Democrats and — and their constituents. So they have to make 

really tough choices, do we get rid of paid family leave, child care, what 

do we do with climate change, helping the homeless? They have to make 

really tough policy choices underneath that top line number. 

WALLACE: Marie, you have close ties across the party. Some people are 

saying this is no longer just a fight between House moderates and House 

progressives. This is now a fight between the House Democrats and Senate 

Democrats, between Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, and between Nancy Pelosi 

and President Biden.



Chris, it’s interesting, a lot of those fights — or those reported fights 

are very inside baseball here in D.C. And they’re important because they 

help — they help guide what policies eventually will get in. I think what 

will be a successfully passed bill, eventually. 

But, look, these deadlines, I think, are fairly artificial. There’s nothing 

magical about yesterday or Friday when they were trying to get this bill 

done. So if Democrats, all those different factions, can come together and 

get these bills done whenever that is, and after a painful few weeks, I 

think it will be incumbent upon them to go out to states and say, here’s 

what your citizens are getting out of these bills. Exactly the questions 

you asked Senator Barrasso. A lot of the pieces of these bills will help 

people in states, including states led by Republicans. And so Democrats 

have to, you know — eventually they have to get this passed. And I think 

they will. I think these will be a compromise. But they — they don’t have 

a good answer on the Republican side on things like the child tax credit, 

on some of these very popular pieces of this bill. 

And, look, Republicans — Democrats are going to say, Chris, none of these 

Republicans bat an eye at spending, not just on the Trump tax cuts, but on 

defense spending, for example,


HARF: Can’t we spend as much money to take care of our people coming out of 

such a crisis year and a half? 

WALLACE: Steve, if there is one phrase I hate in Washington reporting, it’s 

make or break, because any of us who have been around for a while have seen 

legislation that appears to be in real trouble or even to be dead, and then 

it’s suddenly revived.

So what do you think are the realistic chances that, you know, it may be 

reduced but both infrastructure and a big social spending plan in the end 

will be passed by the Democrats, even with their razor-thin majorities? 


CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, Chris, I think you’re exactly right. I mean it’s 

still possible. There’s no question that Democrats could eventually come 

together to pass these plans. And — and you’ve seen this again and again 

and again covering Washington. 

I think the challenge for Democrats right now is this bitterness amongst 

these factions is increasing right now, not decreasing. I mean I think your 

— your interview with — with Representative Khanna and the question you 

put to him about reporting about what the White House has been signaling 

privately to — to these progressives, I think the White House gambled that 

— that the infrastructure wouldn’t work eventually. And what they wanted 

to do was essentially show people like Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema, 

other moderates, that Republicans couldn’t really be worked with, that they 

were going to have to pass the Biden agenda on a partisan basis. That 

complicates matters. The face that Republicans did go along with it, that 

there was this vote in the Senate with 69 votes, that complicates their 

original plan.

And what you’re seeing now are these, you know, I think principled, 

significant difference among these factions. But you now have progressives, 

they were nice on — on your show, I thought, but, you know, they’re taking 

shots at the moderates saying these are sellout to corporate interests, 

they want to boost the Republican agenda, they’re not committed to 

President Biden. These are hard feelings that will take a while, I think, 

to get past if they ever are going to — going to make these things work. 

WALLACE: So, Jonathan, briefly, in — in this very charged situation, does 

the White House have a battle plan, does it have a strategy to pass both 

parts of this agenda? And, if so, what is it? 

SWAN: If they do, it’s been very well concealed. But there is a debate 

inside the White House right now between President Biden’s top aides and — 

and his economic advisors on whether to cull programs altogether and — and 

reduce the number and deliver a few things really well and try and make 

them permanent benefits that the American people feel, or proceed with the 

— the vast range of programs that they have in the original bill but lower 

the spending on them, which means, as you pointed out, sunsetting them. 

That — there are — there are downsides to both approaches. One being, if 

you go for the second approach, you might deliver a whole lot of programs 

poorly and create a whole lot of uncertainty in the lives of vulnerable 

people around the country with all of these cliffs, you know, every few 

months — you know, when unemployment benefits expire, you know, in these 

crises. So it’s a really, really tough set of choices they now have to make 

to bring the number down to around $ 2 trillion. 

WALLACE: Yes, down — who ever thought we’d ever talk about down to $ 2 

trillion and who ever thought you’d say to some congressmen, you can have 

your entitlement but he can’t have his. 

Panel, we have to take a break here. 

When we come back, there’s a new flood of migrants headed for our southern 

border, and it’s even bigger than the last one. 



BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We’re a nation state. We have borders. 

The idea that we can just have open borders is something that, I think, as 

a practical matter, is — is unsustainable. 


WALLACE: Former President Obama laying out the challenge the Biden 

administration now faces as huge number of migrants continue to make their 

way towards our southern border. 

And we’re back now with the panel. 

Before we get into this, I just want to say, because we’re getting some — 

some people sending us messages, we did not cut off Senator Barrasso. He 

was on Skype in his home in Wyoming and his Skype — I don’t want to get in 

trouble with Skype either — it went bad. But we did not cut him off and we 

would never do that. In fact, I was enjoying his talking about walking the 

plank and not being able to swim.

All right, Steve, with that cleared up, there are reports that 60,000 to 

80,000 more Haitians are on the way coming up from Latin America, through 

the jungles of Panama, into Mexico, up to the border, which makes the — 

the — what we’ve seen so far from the Haitians in Del Rio pale by 


What does this say about the Biden administration and its failure to get a 

handle on the immigration crisis? 

HAYES: Yes, look, it’s a — it’s a huge problem and it is, in fact, a 

crisis. The Biden administration came into office taking, I think, a rather 

long-term view of the approach to the border and the approach to the — the 

growing migration, which really has been taking place for a decade. We’ve 

seen these kinds of inflated numbers for ten years. Now there’s been an 

additional spike. 

I think the problem is you had Vice President Harris, in her — her — 

working out deals with the northern triangle companies — with — 

countries, with the countries in Central America. And, in fact, asking them 

to be a frontline border patrol for the United States. The problem is, it 

wasn’t necessarily in their interest to do that kind of preemptive 

enforcement for us. They believe, in many cases, that it’s in their 

national interest not to do that. So she tried to push the problem forward 

and I think, in effect, has — it — it hasn’t worked, as we’re seeing with 

this increasing surge. 

The conditions that are leading people to come are unlikely to — to abate 

in the coming months. You’re — you’re having COVID, economic crises, 

you’re having governance crises, you’re having personal security crises. 

They’re going to keep sending people north. 

WALLACE: Jonathan, the administration announced a new enforcement policy 

this week that they will focus primarily on migrants who have just come 

over the border illegally or migrants in this country who pose a threat to 

national security or are a real threat to security in general. 

Do they — but not — not focus on migrants who have been in this country 

for a while and not committed crimes. Do they think that’s going to do 

anything to stop the flood of people coming up from Latin and Central 


SWAN: No, it’s just a band-aid. I mean when you talk to senior officials, 

they acknowledge — I mean this is a — the — the set of crisis that Steve 

just outlined, it’s probably unprecedented. When you — when you overlay a 

global pandemic with, you know, in Haiti, the earthquake and — and the 

assassination of the leader, the economic crisis in the region. And — and 

it’s only getting worse. 

I mean my colleague interviewed Panama’s foreign minister. As you laid out, 

this is only getting worse. Some of it is endorsement from the Biden 

administration’s policies and — and traffickers using that to message to 

people in the region, come on up, come on up.


SWAN: So the only way to solve this is a regional solution. That there’s 

obviously got to be enforcement from the U.S. side, but they’re going to 

have to get cooperation from others in the region, otherwise you’re not 

going to — because the scale of the problem has become so massive that it 

is going to require a regional solution. 

WALLACE: Here was a Texas county commissioner describing the situation on 

the border this week. Take a look. 



national security problem. I mean we have people crossing this border and 

we’ve heard number of this group, up to 20,000, and we’ve had thousands 

before this. 


WALLACE: Marie, this is the kind of uncontrolled, illegal immigration that 

can really cost a party politically. And you — and you even had former 

President Obama this week talking about anything that smacks of open border 

as being unsustainable. 

HARF: Yes, Chris, the two constituencies I think Democrats are and should 

be concerned about. First, in these border states, Texas, New Mexico, 

Arizona, Democrats have made some gains over the last years and we’re 

hoping to make more. But I think they’re — they’re nervous about the 

politics in these states as these crises at the border get worse. 

But they’re also worried about the progressive flank. Joe Biden may have 

sided with them on infrastructure and reconciliation, but the progressive 

flank is — of the party is increasingly noisy about the fact that Joe 

Biden’s keeping some of the Trump policies in place, or trying to, with 

Title 42, for example. And, look, the progressive say, Joe Biden, you ran 

on — on restoring dignity and humanity to the White House, so why is the 

border looking quite like this?

Democrats are worried about the politics of both and trying to walk a line 

that is, quite frankly, very tricky to do. There are no easy answers and no 

good answers right now. 

WALLACE: Steve, how potent an issue is this for Republicans, or how potent 

an issue do they think it is for them if we continue to have this — this 

crisis at the border in the run-up to the 2022 midterms? 

HAYES: Yes, pretty darn potent I think for a couple different reasons. One 

is the reason that Marie suggests. And it’s chaos down on the border. I 

think that is likely to have follow-on effects for people running in 

competitive races, swing districts down there. 

Secondarily, if you look nationally, I think it’s a further indictment of 

what President Biden said that he was running on, which was returning the 

country to normal after the chaos of the Trump years and competence. He 

hasn’t shown that. I mean this — this — I think if you look at what’s 

been happening on the border since he was sworn in, we knew this was going 

to happen. None of this was a surprise. All of the conditions were there. 

We understood. And the Biden team was asked before he was sworn into office 

what they were going to do to handle this understood crisis that was 

growing. And we haven’t seen competent governance. They took this long-term 

view. They thought they had years to solve a problem when, in fact, it was 

a growing crisis. I think that is something that’s likely to last 

throughout the next year, throughout the next 13 months as a reflection on 

his own words on competence. 

WALLACE: Thank you, panel. We’re going to have to leave it there, but to be 

continued. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Players of the Week,” the skilled investigators behind 

the military’s effort to return lost heroes to American soil. 


WALLACE: It’s a pillar of the U.S. military creed, leave no one behind. And 

it turns out the Pentagon is determined to keep that commitment in life as 

well as in death. It’s the job of our “Power Players of the Week.”



AGENCY: For me, this is the most purposeful mission in the entire 

Department of Defense. 

Ladies and gentleman, good afternoon. 

WALLACE: Retired Major General Kelly McKeague heads the Defense POW/MIA 

Accounting Agency, for DPAA, charged with finding and identifying missing 

service members. DPAA teams search around the world for remains from 

conflicts dating back to World War II.

MCKEAGUE: They are currently close to 82,000 that are still missing, of 

which we believe 38,000 are recoverable. 

WALLACE (on camera): How do you determine whether or not remains are 

recoverable or not? 

MCKEAGUE: So our historians will comb through battlefield records, archival 

information. And if they’re able to narrow down an area, we can send an 

archaeologists or anthropologist with which to conduct a field recovery. 

WALLACE (voice over): There are case files on every one of the missing. And 

the work combines international diplomacy with CSI technology. 

MCKEAGUE: We will look at anthropology. We will look for DNA associations, 

material evidence, clavicle matching, as well as stable isotope analysis. 

WALLACE: Some 15 percent of our nation’s unknown are buried in places like 

the National Cemetery of the Pacific, in Hawaii’s Punch Bowl Crater. That’s 

where the DPAA made a major discovery this year, the remains of Medal of 

Honor Winner Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun. 

MCKEAGUE: A few months after arriving in Korea, his unit is overwhelmed by 

Chinese forces. And as the unit leaders ordered a retreat, he said, I need 

to stay. 

WALLACE: The chaplain went from foxhole to foxhole comforting the wounded 

until he was captured. 

MCKEAGUE: Chaplain Kapaun ministered to all the POWs in the camp. He stole 

food and medicine under the noses of the guards to provide comfort and 

relief to his fellow prisoners. And for that he was mistreated badly. 

WALLACE: Kapaun’s defiance of his captors didn’t end there. He held Easter 

mass for his fellow POWs.

MCKEAGUE: And then because of starvation, malnutrition, as well as 

maltreatment, he ended up passing away in May of 1951. His colleagues that 

were in the camp revere him. 

WALLACE: Seven decades later, his remains were finally returned to his 

family. And this week, thousands watched as a horse drawn caisson carried 

the chaplain to his final resting place, back home in Kansas.

WALLACE (on camera): What did it mean to you having devoted so many years 

to this endeavor to identify Chaplain Kapaun? 

MCKEAGUE: Here we are, literally, well, 70 years after he died in that POW 

camp, able to bring this final answer or a man that made the supreme 

sacrifice to our nation is an absolutely indescribable feeling. 


WALLACE: Chaplain Kapaun was named a servant of God by Pope John Paul II. 

That’s the first step on the path to sainthood. 

And that’s it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS 


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