'Your World' on spending bill's CBO score, holiday shopping update

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, we might be minutes away from getting a score on that one $ 1.85 trillion spending package the president has been cooking up actually for many, many weeks right now with progressive Democrats of moderate Democrats, not anticipating any Republican votes.

And the reason why that’s important is, the CBO is seen as the sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on any spending package. And the fear right now, certainly among moderates, is it’s going to conclude that it’s not a $ 1.85 trillion package, that it might be significantly more than that.

They have already telegraphed in the earliest of signs that their price tag is going to come out a lot higher than the administration’s price tag. The devil is in the details, and we don’t know all the details, but we do know right now that moderates in particular will not vote for this measure until they have a clear read from the CBO.

And on that count, we go to Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill with the very latest — Chad.

CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Neil.

Well, the release of the CBO score today is practically like the announcement of a pope. There won’t be white smoke from the Capitol dome, but those numbers could unlock the votes of Democrats to pass their social spending bill.

The House could vote in the coming hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): I’m hopeful and believe and I think most members are hopeful that we can do that tonight, whether you’re for or against it, that we can do it tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: But what if the numbers from the CBO are a C.B. oh no?

Bad numbers could trim support for the bill from moderate Democrats. The GOP remains opposed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHAEL BOST (R-IL): The Build Back Better plan is a big bloated joke. The problem is, it’s not funny. At a time when inflation is skyrocketing, House Democrats are doubling down on their socialist wish list.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: Democrats accused the GOP of secretly backing some provisions in the bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN LARSON (D-CT): Wow, can you feel the love in this room today? Can’t you? I will tell you, I got to hand it to you, the vote no and take the dough crowd is pretty good. Everybody votes against the bill, but then gets a newsletter out and takes credit for all the good work that’s in the bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes the Senate can pass its version by Christmas.

The Senate approved the first version of Obamacare on Christmas Eve 2009. You know the Bing Crosby song, “I Will Be Home For Christmas,” the final lyric is, if only in my dreams — Neil.

CAVUTO: So, let me understand this, Chad, very quickly, that let’s say the CBO scores this thing a lot more expensive than the administration claims.

Is that to say that Steny Hoyer would still attempt — in other words, a vote would still happen? It might be very, very late tonight. But that would still be on? They would not be making any accommodations or adjustments to meet the whatever number the CBO comes up with?

PERGRAM: They’re not going to put this bill on the floor if it’s going to fail. They seem to know where the votes lie on this right now, depending on what that CBO score says.

Now, there’s always the possibility for a monkey wrench to come into play at the very end here. But they seem to think they have the votes. And that’s where we think this might be more like a 9:00 or 10:00 or 11:00 or midnight post-witching hour project tonight because there are a lot of mechanical things they have to do on the floor after they get that CBO score.

But the moderates so far, the tables and the other parts of this that they have gotten from the CBO, they seem to be fine with that information so far.

CAVUTO: All right, Chad Pergram, thank you very, very much.

And I like how you wove the whole Christmas thing into this. Touche, my friend.

Now I want to go to Congresswoman Jackie Speier of the state of California.

I’m wondering, as you’re looking at this, Congresswoman — and we don’t know the final numbers from the CBO, but would that make a difference one way or the other to you?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Well, it won’t, Neil, because it is paid for. That gets lost in translation a lot of the time.

If you remember, the Trump tax cut was not paid for. The $ 5 trillion dollars was never paid for. This is going to be paid for. You have 17…

CAVUTO: But what if the number is a lot higher, though, Congresswoman, right? What if it ends up being higher? Then it’s not paid for, right?

SPEIER: Well, $ 1.7 trillion is paid for. Let’s wait and see what comes out from the CBO.

Now, it’s actually come in $ 8 billion under in the score that came back for the Ed and Labor portion of it. So I think we have got to just give it some time to cook. And not only is it something we’re going to take up, but then the Senate’s going to take it up.

And people like Senator Manchin have already indicated that he’s got indigestion with certain parts of it. And we will — we will see how it plays out.

But let’s be clear. This is transformational for the average American family, for the families now that are not going — the women who are not going back to work, 1.7 million of them who have decided they can’t go back to work because they don’t have child care. It’s the lowest participation of women in the work force since 1988.

The child care component of this is going to make sure that 20 million more kids in this country are going to have child care. And for those that are making under 250 percent of the median state income, they’re not going to pay more than 7 percent of their income for child care.

And for those making 75 percent of the median income aren’t going to be paying anything. They are going to be able to get free child care.

CAVUTO: Whatever — whatever its features, Congresswoman — and those are some of the more popular features. You’re quite right. I’m just wondering if some of your moderate colleagues will get taken aback if the CBO comes with a higher total figure on this.

And they have already, that is, the CBO telegraphed some assumptions and challenged the assumptions that the White House had made, for example, on IRS enforcement, thinking that, over 10 years, it’s not going to be $ 400 million in revenues that come in, more like $ 120 billion.

Now, they could be wrong on that. But since they’re going to be the scorekeeper on this, do you think others will follow and just say, hold off, we don’t think this is the time, and we’re just going to go slow?

SPEIER: I actually think that we’re going to pass Build Back Better tonight.

CAVUTO: Really?

SPEIER: I think you can take it to the bank.

CAVUTO: OK. We will watch very, very closely.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier following all of this, California, very optimistic of a vote tonight. Might be very late tonight.

Let’s get the read from Republican South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace, what she makes of that, fair and balanced.

Congresswoman, very good to see you.

You heard your colleague from California optimistic that a vote is coming and it will happen tonight. I know you’re not keen on this legislation, but what have you heard regarding that?

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): I have spoken to a few of my Democrat colleagues in the last hour or two. And for some of them, they have no idea what is going to happen in the next few hours.

But based on the press conference that President Biden had just moments ago, I do believe the feeling is optimistic on the other side of the aisle on having a vote later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

The Rules Committee will meet tonight. It’s to be seen whether or not the language that was put in a few weeks ago is the same language that we will vote on ultimately at the end of the day, whether that’s this evening or tomorrow.

I heard a lot from my colleague a few minutes ago about all the things that are free. Very little is free in this country. This is going to cost a lot of money. And given the state of the economy right now, jobs, wages and inflation, ultimately, at the end of the day, this is going to add to our inflation woes and will hurt our economic recovery coming out of COVID-19.

CAVUTO: All right, now, I know you were talking to some of your Democratic colleagues.

Do you know, among those with whom you have chatted, that, if there’s a wide chasm here, in other words, if it looks like this is a lot more expensive than the president or those who’ve been crafting it have indicated, that they would hold off on a vote?

MACE: I believe there’s some concern on the final CBO score.

There are still two titles out of 11 that need to be scored. That was supposed to be done by 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. It’s now 4:00.

CAVUTO: Right.

MACE: It hasn’t happened yet.

There is some concern on what that final price tag will be over the next 10 years. And if it’s significantly higher than what they have been told and what the American people have been told, I think there’s going to be a lot of heartburn by moderates.

I don’t know how you vote on this measure with that kind of price tag. And, of course, whatever the House sends over to the Senate is not going to be the same thing when it comes back because of, thankfully, Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema and what they have been saying over the last few days and weeks.

CAVUTO: So, when you look at this, and if it doesn’t go for a vote tonight, or they push this back, and it becomes a next year event, is it even possible that it could be taken up next year?

MACE: I think anything’s possible, especially going into the midterms, and seeing how bad Virginia and New Jersey were, quite frankly, for Democrats a few weeks ago in those elections.

I wrote this off the table a few weeks ago. I said there’s no way that they’re going to do this. And yet they continue to push these progressive and socialist policies. This particular Build Back Better plan really should force AOC to put her tax the rich dress back in the closet. I mean, there are all sorts of things in there for the rich.

And it’s surprising that they’re pushing this through, given how bad of a year they have had, with crisis after crisis with the administration so far. It’s shocking.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, while I still have you, Kevin McCarthy has indicated right now that, if Republicans were to take control of the House next year, that he would seriously consider placing Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, and get their committee assignments back, again, if the GOP were to take over the House.

What do you think of that?

MACE: Well, I will tell you what has happened this year with stripping members of Congress of their committee assignments, that had never been done before.

There’s something called the Constitution. The Constitution says, we have to follow the rules of the House when it comes to investigating and condemnation. When these kinds of things happen, it’s got to go through the Ethics Committee and the OCE. That hadn’t happened with Marjorie Taylor Greene or Paul Gosar.

I have strongly condemned what they say and done. Somebody is going to get hurt. And it’s not OK. And Representative Gosar should have taken responsibility for what he posted. He should have apologized for it. It’s not OK.

I’m someone who receives threats from both sides of the aisle, the fringes of the far right and the far left. And it’s important that we set a better example for our kids and our country, given how divisive and how violent the last two years have been city after city across the country.

It’s up to us to set a much better example than we are right now.

CAVUTO: So, if you give them their committee assignments back, is that an example that Nancy Mace likes?

MACE: Well, it’s unprecedented.

The example that we have, it would be a straight censure vote or would have this investigate and have the Ethics Committee weigh in.

CAVUTO: Right.

MACE: It’s up to the voters of their district whether or not they come back to Congress. It’s up to the conference and up to voters on whether or not they should get their committee assignments.

And this has been a very one-sided thing. It was Representative Maxine Waters last summer that was saying and using rhetoric that could have incited violence at some riots and protests across the country. This is something that, if we do this, should be applied to both sides of the aisle, because both sides have been, quite frankly, guilty.

CAVUTO: Got it.

All right, Congresswoman, very good seeing you again.

MACE: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much, Nancy Mace of the beautiful state of South Carolina.

One of the things we have been following is retailers. Now, they have been reporting their earnings lately. And I got to tell you, almost to a retailer, the numbers have come in far better than thought. But what’s more compelling in their announcements when they report about how busy their stores are is that they think they’re going to have plenty of goods on shelves for you throughout the holiday season.

So, this idea of empty shelves and nothing to put under the tree and fears that there might not even be a tree for Christmas, well, they say it’s all bunk. Is it?

After this.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, you can add Macy’s and Kohl’s department stores the latest to say that things are going very, very well. Prices are going up, but people are paying those prices. It could be a case of people trying to pay what they can right now, for fear that the prices of the goods they’re buying might go still higher down the road.

Be that as it may, though, between Macy’s and Kohl’s and Walmart and TJX and Lowe’s and Target, so many others, the read we’re getting on the holiday season is, it’s looking pretty good. And the fear of shelves that might be empty, well, that doesn’t appear to be happening at all. They should know. They do this for a business, right?

Let’s go Hitha Herzog on what we can make this.

Hitha, what do you think? They’re saying, relax. There are plenty of goods that we have. They don’t really delineate the stuff that’s — that they don’t have. But they’re saying, come on in.

Now, that could be just talking their book. I get it. But what do you make of what they’re saying?

HITHA HERZOG, RETAIL WATCHER: Of course, they want you to come on in.

I mean, we heard the Target CEO say that they have about $ 2 billion worth of holiday merchandise coming in. However, Neil, we don’t know what’s in those rates that are going to be disseminated out those Target stores.

CAVUTO: Right.

HERZOG: So you could be going through the aisles and have $ 2 billion worth of men’s socks with Christmas trees on it. So that’s the issue.

We don’t know what is in those freights. So that’s certainly holiday, but they’re not telling you exactly what’s in there. And, yes, you’re absolutely right. National Retail Federation is saying almost a trillion dollars is expected to be spent during the holiday season.

And according to Oracle, 28 percent of people have already gone out and started their shopping because they are so concerned with the supply chain issues. But, again, they’re the big box stores that are saying everything is just fine, come on in. But then you have the small businesses that really have to contend with rising prices, and, obviously, the supply chain issues.

CAVUTO: Yes, one of the things, Hitha, I have noticed too — and maybe this could explain a lot of the pent-up consumer activity. We see spending remains strong, even in the face of these higher prices.

But I’m wondering if, maybe because of the higher prices, get what you want to get now while the getting’s good before it gets to be a lot pricier. What do you think?

HERZOG: We certainly see that hyperloop of inflation, right, when demand goes up for goods, that prices go up. It’s just this hyperloop of people wanting it, so they drive up the prices.

But, as I had mentioned with the small businesses, those are the ones that are going to end up getting pinched. So I pulled some research from meta. They were saying that, during this period, most of these small businesses make their money, right, if they’re selling specific things having to do with holidays and just small businesses in general.

But 32 percent of them are going to be experiencing serious cash flow issues. And that’s up from 24 percent from the last time that this study came out for meta.

So, again, I’m focusing in on the small businesses. I’m sure these large retailers, they say they’re going to be fine. I know that I’m tracking actually Walmart in conversations with one of the truck drivers right now. So, stay tuned for those updates. But I know that the big box stores are going to fare just fine, because they can increase those prices, and the demand is going to be there.

But I do have to say, Neil, your meat and cheese boards are going to be just fine, you’re going to be able to get those. You’re just going to have to pay a little more for them.

CAVUTO: That’s fine. I can deal with that. I have a ceiling on those in those cases.

It’s Ring Dings, I stop at $ 50. And the processed meats and cheese baskets, I stop at $ 500. We’re not at that yet. So, Hitha, I’m going to keep an eye on it for you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: All right, the markets don’t know what to make of all of this, just that they’re very encouraged by the fact that we’re still buying. So that’s a separate story we will address a little bit later.

In the meantime, the defense has rested right now in the Ahmaud Arbery case. We will keep you updated on that — after this.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: Disney’s not Mickey Mousing around.

You want to start cruising with them early next year, you better make sure everyone’s vaccinated, including your kids as young as 5 — after this.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: We’re just learning that the defense has rested its case in the Ahmaud Arbery trial, this on the same time we’re getting word now from the prosecution that it will not be calling any rebuttal witnesses.

So where does this put things right now?

Let’s go to Steve Harrigan with the very latest.

Hey, Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, a lot of moving parts in this trial.

Right now, we have just learned that the defense has rested. There will be a meeting between attorneys and the judge tomorrow morning at some point to discuss instructions to the jury. So we are likely to see closing arguments begin Monday, so this case moving quite rapidly.

Today, outside the courthouse, there were more than 1,000 people gathered, many of them chanting, many of them protesting. They marched through this town of about 15,000 as well, really making their voices heard today, to the objection of one of the defense counsels, who has said he doesn’t want any more black pastors inside the courtroom.

Social media was also under scrutiny today, the prosecutor looking into Travis McMichael’s history on social media. Instead of a concerned citizen trying to make an arrest, she portrayed him as a potentially violent vigilante.

Here’s that exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: She said: “We have had a lot of trouble with thieves. It just worries me because my daddy is slap old crazy, LOL. He’s old as dirt and doesn’t care about jail.”

And you responded: “That’s what this world needs more of. My old man is the same way.”

She said: “Have to make an example of somebody.”

You said: “That’s right. Hope you all catch the vermin,” correct?

TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, DEFENDANT: I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIGAN: A number of neighbors who were put on the stand by the defense, an effort to show that there has been a spree of small crimes committed, really getting this neighborhood on edge.

So we’re likely to see closing arguments Monday, three men on trial here, three white men, for killing a 25-year-old black man charged with murder with malice — Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: Steve Harrigan, thank you very much.

And now on to the other trial that has certainly captivated the nation’s attention, of course, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, where the jury has deliberated now collectively more than 24 hours in total.

Garrett Tenney with more from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they wait and wait and wait — Garrett.

GARRETT TENNEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, we are in day three of deliberations.

And so far, this is the first day the jury has not asked any questions or put in any requests to the court. There has been plenty going on outside of those deliberations, though. Today, Judge Bruce Schroeder banned MSNBC from the courtroom for the rest of this trial.

Last night, Kenosha police pulled over a freelance producer for MSNBC who appeared to be following the bus that was carrying the jury home for the day, and who they suspected was trying to photograph the jurors. According to the judge, when police questioned the man, he said he’d been instructed by his supervisor in New York to follow the jury bus.

Today, Judge Schroeder said this incident is now under investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial. This is a very serious matter.

And I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TENNEY: NBC News issued a statement saying in part: “While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations and never photographed or intended to photograph them.”

Today, FOX News has also confirmed the identity of the so-called jump-kick man, pictured here kicking Kyle Rittenhouse in the head moments before the final two shootings. His name is Maurice Freeland. And until now, the 39- year-old has not been identified by name in the trial. He has an extensive criminal record going back more than 20 years.

And a source familiar confirms to FOX News that Freeland reached out to prosecutors and offer to testify in exchange for immunity for several outstanding charges he’s facing. Prosecutors rejected that offer. And the defense opted not to come to testify either.

And as deliberations continue, tensions remain high here outside the courthouse. Two people were arrested after a fight yesterday. And already today, at least one person has been arrested — Neil.

CAVUTO: Garrett Tenney, thank you very much, my friend.

I wanted to pick apart both of these trials and the importance of where we stand now, beginning with the fallout from the Rittenhouse wait, as they’re calling it. And maybe this is all to be expected, given the gravity of the case.

Katie Cherkasky joins us now, the former federal prosecutor, also Ted Williams, FOX News contributor, former D.C. homicide detective.

Ted, I end it with you. Want to begin with you.

On the Rittenhouse trial and the fact that this has gone on three days, I don’t know what to make it out of that, or the length. There could be obvious reasons on both sides here.

But what does your gut tell you?

TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we’re left really, Neil, to only speculate about what is going on.

But as a lawyer, having dealt with many, many jurors, I can tell you that sometimes and most of the times the speculation is wrong. But I can — as we look at this case, the first thing that this jury had to make a decision on was, did Kyle Rittenhouse act with self-defense?

And if they found in all five of these counts that he acted with self- defense, then they were not to proceed any further. The fact that we are now day three, it tells me that there’s a deep analytical analysis going on with this jury, and there may very well be a mistrial in the makings, because I would have expected by now that we would have had a verdict.

And so they are now past the defense. And I can tell you, you can see the desperation that maybe setting in with the defense here. And that is, they’re asking the judge to dismiss this case with or without prejudice. If the defense believed that they were winning, they would certainly not want a dismissal.

CAVUTO: Interesting.

Now, Katie, if that were going on here, could a — it’s one thing if they have a hung jury, and then, of course, they can’t get to a decision. But could the judge, at that point, do just that, declare a mistrial?

KATIE CHERKASKY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Sure.

And I think it’s important to remember that, when we have these deliberations go on, it’s anyone’s guess what’s happening, but they could be deadlocked on just one of the charges and could render a verdict on the remaining charges. It could be one person or just a few people that is holding out, if that’s what’s really going on here.

So I think it’s — it is taking longer than I think maybe some people would have anticipated at the close of the trial. But, really, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess what might end up happening, but it could very well be a split verdict of some sort. And then some of the charges could, of course, be brought back if they were hung on only part of those actual charges that are remaining.

CAVUTO: Ted, do you think that the noise around this trial and the crowds outside the building that are building and constantly increasing, I don’t know if the jury hears that crowd, but does it have an impact on how they’re deliberating?

Have they heard, for example, that the governor is at the ready with 500 Guardsmen, whatever the decision is? Are they cognizant of the fact of the pressure they’re under and that a rushed decision or a decision that isn’t deemed to some people’s liking and it could cause riots and the rest, how much of that enters into this whole deliberation?

WILLIAMS: Neil, the men and women that serve on jury — or juries, should we say, they want to do the right and proper thing.

But I thought from the beginning of this case, as well as the Arbery case, that the jurors should have been sequestered. We are trusting these men and women during the weekends and during the week to go home, not look at television, not look at what is going on.

That is very, very difficult for jurors to do. It would have been so much better to have this jury sequestered, where they would not hear some of the things that are going on. It’s just unfair. I think that that would have — been the better course, sequestering of the jury.

CAVUTO: So, Katie, the influence from outside pressures, I’m sure they’re aware, given the volatile nature of this, that their decision could very much affect life in that city, at the very least for the next few nights.

And I’m wondering if it comes into play, or it could explain this delay. Or are we just overanalyzing it here, me, more to the point?

CHERKASKY: I think that, naturally, it’s going to impact these people. They are aware that this is a very serious matter, that it’s a national matter for concern at this point. It’s been covered all the way through.

And so I think that would actually play very much into how they go into their deliberations. Now, they’re not required by any means to go through every single piece of evidence and relook at it, reread everything re- review every exhibit, but some jurors may feel that that’s more appropriate, especially when rendering a verdict in this case, because, either way, you have several people who have lost their life.

And whether you believe that was because there was a valid self-defense claim, I think it’s still natural to want to give due consideration to all of the evidence that’s been presented. So, that could very well be what’s going on here, because they are aware of that pressure in a way that a lot of other juries are not.

So, certainly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s part of what is prolonging these deliberations.

CAVUTO: All right, we will watch closely.

Katie, final word. Ted Williams, thank you both very, very much.

I didn’t want to get into the Arbery trial here but, obviously, the fixation on this is building by the day. So we will keep you posted on it, also keep you posted on the defense resting now in the Arbery case. They’re going to conclude for final arguments next Monday.

For the Rittenhouse thing, we don’t know. It could drag on for a while.

Meanwhile, we do have that CBO score out now. There’s something in it apparently for everybody. They do expect the spending to be greater than Democrats have said, but here’s an interesting footnote to it. They also expect the tax revenues to be more generous than they expected.

That could clear the way for a vote, and soon — after this.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, we think we have a read on the president’s package here and whether the CBO has written off on it or not.

It would appear that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the overall measure would decrease overall deficit spending down to about $ 797 billion over the period from 2022 to 2031. It’s a 10-year plan, keep in mind.

Now, that increase in the deficit would result from an increase in more spending. You’re going to see a lot more spending, $ 411.5 billion. Revenues, though, the money coming in, would be higher than earlier thought, at about, over that same period of time, a little bit more than that a trillion dollars over this — over this time period.

So if you read their description here, again, depending on the time period, this does kind of mathematically work out. But again, the devil’s in the details, and the details are far from that black and white.

To Chad Pergram, who has been crunching the numbers.

What is the CBO saying here, Chad?

PERGRAM: Well, they’re basically saying that it does comply with the budget rules.

Remember that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was talking extensively in her press conference this morning that this had to be pre-baked with the Senate. The Senate has some special budget rules here. And so what they tried to do in the House of Representatives, to the degree they could, say, Senate, we are going to present to you from the House of Representatives a Senate-prepared bill.

You cannot add to the deficit. There’s something in the Senate called the Byrd Rule, named after Robert Byrd, the late Senate majority leader from West Virginia, that says that these things — and, under reconciliation, you — they have to be fiscal in nature. You can’t add to the deficit. So that’s very important here.

The Senate is probably going to change this bill. But when people go through these numbers, you can find almost anything to either justify voting for or justify voting against. Sometimes, the CBO release is nothing more than a fig leaf, because somebody can point to one set of numbers or tables or what that’s going to do for a program that’s very important to them, or they can turn around and say, hey, this adds to the deficit.

Or you look at two — when you read the initial paragraphs there from the CBO, you can parse that, filet that two different ways. So maybe people use that as a justification to oppose it. Now, what’s going to happen in the next couple of hours here are that these moderate Democrats — remember that there is only a three-vote margin in the House of Representatives for the Democrats.

They are going to process this. And then there’s going to be an effort to put this on the House floor later tonight. They have to make some technical changes in the bill. And so the House Rules Committee, which is the gateway to put legislation onto the floor, they have to go back and tuck that in, go to the Rules Committee, and then bring this to the floor later tonight.

If I were estimating this, knowing that sometimes they can really step on the gas and sometimes really go slow, we think that this might be more like a 9:00-10:00 project this evening. That presumes they don’t hit any speed bumps between now and then.

But it seemed like, when you were talking to moderate Democrats earlier today, they seemed pretty much on board with what they were going to get. They had been getting some of these section-by-section evaluations from the CBO.

But what this does is, it unlocks some of those votes. There may still be a Democrat or two who votes against this, who have expressed some reservations. But, again, if Nancy Pelosi — she does not bring bills to the floor that are going to fail. She does not go to the floor and lose, as he says.

And also, Neil, her calling card is passing these big bills, if you go back to Obamacare, the first version in November of 2009, with a one- or two- vote margin. So Nancy Pelosi must feel, if they’re going to forge ahead tonight, that she has the votes to put this on the floor, and this will probably pass the House of Representatives sometime very late tonight.

CAVUTO: All right, Chad, thank you very much.

And just for clarification here, these budgetary effects directly deal with title, 13, Committee on House Ways and Means, the whole Build Back Better Program. It’s not the entire package itself. So the full package report and the cost of that is something we’re still waiting on.

But if it follows from this — and this is a leap, to put it mildly, and without getting in the weeds here — that you spend more, but you get more government revenue, so it all equals out in the wash, so to speak, that might be enough to get those moderate Democrats in the House who have been leery of all the spending to go out and vote for this.

Now, whether it would move a Senator Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate to do the same, that’s anyone’s guess.

Let’s go to Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics.

Tom, if that ends up being the case — and, again, figures are not final. We don’t have a final report. But if it means the CBO is saying, in the end, we get more spending than Democrats anticipated, but we also gain more revenues, in higher taxes, presumably, than we expected, it’s not a wash, but it kind of evens it out and gets you relatively in the ballpark of that overall number $ 1.85 trillion.

I’m taking that leap here. They certainly have not said that. But what do you think?

TOM BEVAN, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE EDITOR, REALCLEARPOLITICS.: Well, if it does come out, as it looks like it might, as Chad just mentioned, that gives those moderate Democrats in the House all the cover they need to go ahead and vote for this.

And I think Nancy Pelosi is planning on putting it on the floor tonight, and I suspect she will get the votes for it, and then it will go to the Senate. And, as you mentioned, it’ll come down to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, because they have to get every single vote in the Senate.

They’re not going to get a single Republican vote for it there. And Manchin has expressed his concern about the deficit and inflation. Those are his two concerns. Now, if this bill, according to the CBO, does not add to the deficit, and actually reduces the deficit over time, that would probably give him some cover as well.

Whether he thinks spending another almost $ 2 trillion in the economy is going to be good for inflation or not is another matter. So there’s — still kind of murky, but, I mean, this is definitely — as far as the calculus goes, this is good news for Democrats.

I mean, if they had gotten a bad number, this thing would have been dead.

CAVUTO: Tom, if you’re a progressive, and you’re in a safe district, you’re going to vote for this, no matter if it’s deemed inflationary or not.

If you’re moderate — and so many now are opting not to run for reelection — there’s very little risk in going ahead and voting for this. But if you’re a moderate, and you’re concerned about people back in your district who are anxious about all this spending, and the higher prices and inflation that they have been seeing, you’re going to hold off, and there’s very little wiggle room, three or four votes. That’s it, right?

BEVAN: Correct.

Now, the other piece of that, though, Neil, is if you’re a moderate in a swing district, and you’re looking around the country, you’re seeing — you have seen what happened in New Jersey and Virginia…

CAVUTO: Right.

BEVAN: … I mean, you’re I guess you’re thinking, listen, if inflation is going to be the issue, it may be the issue whether they vote for this or not, so why not vote for it and at least be able to tell my constituents I delivered free child care and free whatnot to them?

CAVUTO: Right.

BEVAN: Because, if they don’t do that, I’m not sure, even if they vote against this, that voters would say, oh, well, therefore, I’m not going to hold you responsible for the runaway inflation that we have got going on in the country now.

So, I don’t know how each individual member is going to look at this bill. But, certainly, they do believe that Biden’s presidency is failing right now. He’s down at 41.2 percent job approval rating in our RealClearPolitics average. That is down 4.5 points since infrastructure passed on November 5.

So they — I think they’re believing that, if they can get this other piece passed, that that will somehow write the ship. I’m not sure the data supports that. But that’s certainly where the Democrats are thinking right now. And what the administration is telling them, look, we need this to pass. I need this. Joe Biden is saying to them, I need this to pass.

CAVUTO: All right, Tom Bevan, thank you very, very much.

We’re — as he was finishing up there, I’m trying to get more details of this. Suffice it to say that one large chunk of this seems to be a wash. But it isn’t the entire chunk. So we’re still waiting for that.

This is the linchpin you need to get a vote going, and, presumably, something that kind of keeps within the math of a package that, depending on who you talk to, Democrats say is about $ 1.85 trillion. Republicans are saying, well, actually, it’s a lot more pricey than that. It could easily be double that.

A Wharton study has said it’s actually close to three times that figure. But the CBO, we really want to go line by line with this. And the one line, the first line we got is that, in one key area, it seems to be a wash. In another key area, where they sort of gauge the revenues you get from beefing up enforcement at the IRS, they have already ruled on that it’s not going to bring in nearly the revenue the Democrats have said.

I believe they had said in their package that it would be about $ 400 billion over 10 years. The CBO has already concluded more like about $ 120 billion. So, a billion here, a billion there, what’s the problem, right?

We will have more after this.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, of course, but just getting to grandma’s, that could prove dicey. We’re in for some nasty weather across a good chunk of the country.

Marissa Torres joins us right now, FOX Weather correspondent.

What are we looking at here, Marissa?

MARISSA TORRES, FOX WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hey there, Neil.

Well, you said it. So we are, what, a week away from Thanksgiving. Plane tickets are booked. Hotels are booked. Now the question is, what does Mother Nature have up her sleeve?

So let me walk you through a little bit of what we’re watching. We will take it out towards the Gulf of Alaska there. We are watching this disturbance that’s going to start to form on Saturday. It’s going to track across Southern Canada from west to east. We see this area of low pressure begin to develop and strengthen and that associated cold front.

So you’re looking at some rain and snow potential for areas in the Midwest, as well as the Northeast, even some gusty winds that are going to be associated with that system. So we’re primarily looking at a rain event, but we’re also talking about some snow.

Now, we are several days out from this event. This is long-range forecasting. We’re looking at the different model runs. It is looking like some of that cold air is going to swing down from Canada. It’s going to catch up with some of that moisture. That’s going to bring some snow primarily through the Upper Great Lakes, as well as parts of the Upper Midwest here. Could even see some lake effect snow.

But you’re also primarily looking at rain, especially along that I-95 Corridor for the Northeast, down through the Mid-Atlantic there. Some of the snow accumulation will be light. But where you get those snow bands setting up from the lake effect snow and those whipping northerly winds, we could see some heavier totals, more moderate snowfall because of the lake effect.

However, we are several days out, and many things could change just based on the track. And, again, when will that cold air catch up to that moisture? Sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes, the moisture escapes it.

But here’s a look at Saturday. If you’re planning on heading to the airport, Saturday is going to be a good day no matter where you are in the country. By Sunday, as we watch this system develop, you may start to see some scattered delays through areas in the Midwest, but, again, looking at some rain and maybe some really windy conditions, especially the closer you are to that area of low pressure.

You’re still looking at some potential cancellations, as well as delays on Monday, as we follow this front in that easterly direction. By Tuesday, that front is starting to make its way offshore. But you still could see some delays, especially for areas along the East Coast.

Now we get into Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year. That one is looking a little bit better. I will say, however, we’re watching another area of low pressure off the Atlantic that could develop. And that could make it windy going into Thanksgiving.

But, again, we are very far out. A lot of things could change, Neil, and they typically do when you’re planning this far in advance. But never underestimate Mother Nature, right?

CAVUTO: Yes, you’re so right about that.

Marissa, thank you very, very much.

Marissa Torres following all of that at the FOX Weather Center.

All right, well, get a load of this, no shot, no ship. Do you know how many times I had to practice that?

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Because Disney is implementing a policy early next year that you can’t get on one of their cruise ships unless you have been fully vaccinated. And, by the way, that applies to kids as young as 5.

Dr. Bob Lahita back with us, St. Joseph’s director for autoimmune and rheumatic diseases.

What do you think of that, Doctor? You have got to be fully vaccinated, even kids as young as 5, before you board any Disney ship?

DR. BOB LAHITA, ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, I had to practice that to do, no shot, no ship.

(LAUGHTER)

LAHITA: The — after all, boats are floating petri dishes. We know that from the beginning of the pandemic. So Disney’s taking no chances.

I’m actually surprised that they’re going to allow kids and parents on the Disney cruises. But, to their credit, they’re testing everybody. They’re making sure everybody’s vaccinated. I don’t know what they’re doing with children below the age of 5, however.

CAVUTO: Yes, because there’s no drug approved or treatment or vaccine approved for kids younger than 5, right?

LAHITA: That’s right.

CAVUTO: So, if you are bringing a 2-year-old, that, I think, is OK.

LAHITA: I think so.

I don’t think anybody’s going to test a 2-year-old or worry about a 2-year- old spreading infection.

CAVUTO: Right.

So, Doctor, when we’re listening to this, as you know, they’re going to have the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York’s Times Square, but everyone has to have proof that they have been fully vaccinated. We’re seeing variations of this, Broadway shows, proof of vaccination, wear a mask and all that.

What do you think of the measures that are being taken as we sort of get out of this whole pandemic thing?

LAHITA: Well, the word is that we’re getting out of the pandemic. And that’s the most interesting thing.

If you talk to people who have taken their kids to Broadway shows, and they’re not vaccinated, what happens is, there’s a little truck or a kiosk where testing is done for the actual virus before you are allowed to go into the theater.

CAVUTO: Right.

LAHITA: So protective measures are in place.

We’re worried about Thanksgiving, and we’re worried about Christmas, because, obviously, big groups of people come together for parties and things. And those are great spreading events, potential spreading events.

CAVUTO: So, where do we stand? I know, whatever people say about problems and rules and restrictions in this country, we’re doing a heck of a lot better than a lot of countries.

Germany right now is having a devil of a time dealing with this. Of course, they’re talking about lockdowns in places like Austria. Asia is a mess. Russia is a mess. What is going on with this? It’s sort of like Whac-A- Mole.

LAHITA: Yes, it is like Whac-A-Mole.

I mean, the Delta variant hasn’t given up. This coronavirus, as I have told you before, is going to be with us forever. And we’re probably going to become endemic and we’re probably going to have to get booster shots every year.

Right now, the confusion is who gets the boosters and who doesn’t get the boosters. We presume certain states are giving boosters to everybody.

CAVUTO: So who do you recommend get booster shots, Doctor?

LAHITA: I recommend everybody get a booster shot.

CAVUTO: Really?

LAHITA: Not just — there’s so much confusion, Neil, because the CDC, the FDA, everybody’s giving a different story.

Really, everyone should get a booster shot that has been immunized with either one of the three vaccines. This is the way to be safe, because we’re seeing a lot of breakthrough infections in those who have been vaccinated.

CAVUTO: So, there are a lot of people who are afraid of needles. They don’t — they want to wait for either the Merck or Pfizer pills to be out and approved.

What do you think of that?

LAHITA: Well, Neil, that’s no excuse for not being vaccinated. That’s the most important thing to understand.

These pills are great pills, especially the Paxlovid of the Pfizer people…

CAVUTO: Right.

LAHITA: … which has a 90 percent cure rate, or removal rate, if you will.

If you get sick and you wind up in the emergency room, or even before that, you will be able to take this pill. And it has a 90 percent prevention from you going into the hospital to the ICU, being on a ventilator and dying. How — and the same thing with the Merck pill, which is a little less effective.

But don’t wait for those pills. They’re not going to be out until 2022, at best. And, right now, we’re worried about the holidays, so the vaccination is the way to go, Neil.

CAVUTO: Fair enough.

Doctor, great catching up with you. If we don’t chat again, my friend, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you for keeping us cool and calm through all of this.

We will see how that goes. Vaccination, though, the push still on.

“The Five” right now.

Content and Programming Copyright 2021 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2021 VIQ Media Transcription, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of VIQ Media Transcription, Inc. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Comments are closed.