tv Charlie Rose PBS June 20, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
. >> welcome to the program. charlie is traveling tonight, i'm david leonhardt of "the new york times." we begin this even with senator ron wyden of oregon. >> nobody has done the damage to the trump presidency than donald j. trump. i mean the fact is i never thought that we would have a president say i'm being investigated, and then tweet it around the world. so this is breaking, you know, new ground. and my sense is that the president is calling the shots here. and very often i think that the president instead of being somebody who thinks he's been vindicated with hiring new lawyers, but i gather his lawyers are telling him to knock off the tweeting. >> we continue with a discussion about health care with sarah colins from the commonwealth
hundt, sara kliff of vox and peter suderman. >> mitch mcconnell has been clear he wants to have this vote, wants to have it soon and it is a challenging moment for them. i think policy wise it has been difficult to get the entire republican caucus on one page when you have folks like lisa mur could yousky from alaska concerned about the medicaid cutted and someone like ted cruz from texas who wants some significant medicaid cuts. so there are a lot of challenges to getting everybody on board with the same policy. and i think there is certainly a concern about how that policy will be received. >> we conclude with the new film citizen jane, a documentary about the urbanist and activist jane jay could bees. charlie talked with the mill am's director and producer. >> we ended up doing our best to destroy our own cities by building freeways, by building tower in the park, housing, what was called urban renewal at the time. and it was seen as a positive thing but this is really one of
jane jacob's early contributions, early in the 1950st when these things are being built, she said this was a whistle-blower saying are you destroying your cities in order thinking you are saving it. >> politics, health care and citizen jane when we continue. within funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. >> bank of america. life better connected. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
good evening. charlie is traveling. i'm david leonhardt of "the new york times." we begin this evening with a look at politics. controversy continues to grow surrounding president trump's alleged involvement with russia's interference during the 2016 election. yesterday jay sekulow one of the president's lawyers said trump was not under investigation by the special counsel. sekulow's statements, however, contradict the president's own tweets confirming that he was a target. last tuesday attorney general jeff sessions testified before the senate intelligence committee. he called the suggestion that he colluded with russians during the campaign an appalling and detestable lie, and engaged in a heating exchanged with democratic senator ron wyden. >> general sessions, respectfully, you're not answering the questions. >> well, what is the question. >> the question is, mr. comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them.
what are they? >> i-- that-- why don't you tell me. there are non, senator wyden, there are none. can i tell you that for absolute certainty. this is shall-- a secret inwino-- innuendo being leaked out there about me and i don't appreciate it and i have tried to give pie best and truthful answers to any committee i've appeared before. and it's really-- people are suggesting through innuendo that i have been not honest about matters. and i have tried to be honest. >> senator wyden joins me now from washington. welcome, senator, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, david. >> let's start with today's news on russia which is a little bit different. russia sent some woreisome signals about the war in syria that is was treating american planes as aerial targets after the united states shot down a syrian plane this weekend. how worried should we be about
escalation between the united states and russia. >> david, i've had a hard rule that i would only talk about russia after we talked about health care first. and i gather that you are willing to commit to our having some good time on health care if i get into russia first. so with that, let me tackle your question. i think that this is a troubling set of events that has been unfolding and i continue to be concerned about the prospect of an escalating american role in syria. the reality is that on the intelligence committee we haven't had a briefing yet with respect to this weekend's activities. but let me say i think weekend developments are cause for concern. >> i read the statements from the military and the trump administration today to mean that the united states doesn't take russia statements
completely literally and i think for all of the tough talk from moscow today that in fact this may just be a relatively modest bump in the road. do you share what seems to be that optimism? >> well, it's good to see a little bit of skepticism in the trump administration when the russians speak. remember, this is a president who for example after the senate passes a tough sanctioned package against russia, we're going to have some deficit trying to keep the trump administration from watering it down in the house. so if they're showing skepticism with respect to russia, that is tter tn at we've dpot. >> so now let's turned to the investigation. so much of the discussion now is about the potential coverup. the whole discussion surrounding the firing of james comey is about a potential coverup. i wanted to ask you to take us back to first principles here. can you tell us what your central concerns are about the relationship between the trump campaign and the trump
administration and russia? what are the basic questions that you were hoping this investigation is going to answer. >> well, first of all, i think we need to understand that this speaks to the legitimate-- legitimacy of the trump administration and the executive branch. for example, late last year the intelligence leadership said that the russians had hacked our institutions, our democratic system. and the trump administration has consistently played that down, number one. 23478 two, he shifted american policies that we've seen his predecessor, both democrats and republicans, when the russians would engage in matters like the ukraine and crimea, we would have tough sanctions. this president has moved away from that. we have seen his sons say that in 2008, for example, when it's hard to get money, a substantial part of their portfolio involved russian investments, and this is
the first president in four decades who's been unwilling to release his tax return. so i had to introduce legislation requiring this. so this really speaks to the legitimacy of this administration and obviously practically every day or so there are new issues. we had the bizarre situation over the last couple of days when the president said that he was being investigated by the government, and then his lawyer said he wasn't. i mean those four words, i'm being investigated, are now being heard around the world. >> clearly one of the concerns here is about whether there was collusion between the campaign and russia. and i should say there's, as yet, no evidence that there was collusion, correct me if you disagree. but it seems to me there is also a second set of questions that you have gotten interested in which is are there financial ties separate from the campaign between the president of the united states and his family members and associates, and people close to russian
president vladimir putin. am i right that that is a concern of yours. >> yes, i have lead the efforts in the intelligence committee on what are called the follow the money issues. it also intersects with my responsibilities of ranking democrat on the finance committee and here what you're looking at is possible shell corporations or money laundering or property transfers. and we've got a a lot of work to do, we're in talks with the treasury department about getting access to key documents. we've got a lot of digging ahead. >> and what have you seen that even makes you want to ask those questions. why are you worried about those potential ties. >> we have a stackful of reports from your colleagues in the press that certainly have offered a fair amount of documentation suggesting a whole host of financial connections between the russians and those in the trump campaign.
so what i believe you do is you go where the facts lead, that's why i staked out this ground. and by the way, clint watts, a veteran fbi man recently said when i asked, he said senator, you're right to follow the money. you also ought to follow the trail of the dead bodies. >> what do you mean? >> i'm telling you, that is what clint watts said. i'm not going to get into anything beyonds it. but when you ask a veteran fbi man if you he thinks you are on the right trail with respect to following the money and expands it that way, that certainly wakes up the hearing room. >> it does wake it up. and i assume he is most likely referring to the number of russian citizens who have shown up dead in some what mysterious circumstances. >> well, let's put it this way. your press colleagues have had a lot to say about these matters in connection with the dossier. >> let's turn to the attorney general for a minute. are you a united states senator. the body in which you serve is famous for its college yality.
and yet you and now attorney general sessions were colleagues for years but you engaged in a pretty heated exchange during his testimony. you seemed most concerned that although he had officially recused himself from overseeing the russia investigation, that really he has effectively gone back on that. is that a fair description in. >> i have certainly been concerned that he has walked back his recusal am but what i was especially concerned about is james comey at our open hearing said in response to my question that he couldn't get into aspects of the recusal by jeff sessions because it was problematic and he couldn't talk about it in a public way. so i made it very clear after the hearing, i was going to ask about that when the attorney general tallly came, what was problematic about it he obviously got very angry with me. but he still disn answer the question. >> what was tricky for i think
outsiders following that exchange is the attorney general seemed to be suggesting that something had happened in closed session that you were trying to bring out into the open. i think a lot of us were left wondering what exactly is he referring to. can you talk about what he was referring to there? >> no, and i can't get into matters that are brought up in closed session. but i will tell your viewers, i think that the american people have a right to have a public answer to what james comey said was problematic. >> one of the things that concerned me when we saw these tweets from the president that were clearly directed at rod resenstein, the deputy attorney general is that we could see the president deciding this russia investigation is such a threat to him and his presidency that he could wipe it out, by firing rosenstein, by firing mueller, by doing any number of things. one, are you concerned about that? and is there anything that could stop him from doing that?
>> nobody has done the damage to the trump presidency than donald j. trump. i mean the fact is i never thought that we would have a president say i am being investigated and thenl tweet it around the world. so this is breaking, you know, new ground and my sense is that the president is calling the shots here. and very often i think that the president instead of being somebody who thinks he's been vindicated ought to hire some new lawyers. but i gather his lawyers are telling him to knock off the tweeting too. >> i promise you we will get to health care and we are but i will ask one more thing about foreign affairs. we got the sad news today that otto warmbier the university of virginia student who was in north korea had died. can you talk to us at all about your reaction to that, and what the united states can do in response to what certainly seems to be a foreign government killing an american citizen.
>> it is horrible, horrible news to see this young man die this way. and we're going to have to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. but we have to send a very clear message to the north koreans that when something like this is done, we do not look the other way. >> so i promised you we were going to talk about health care. and you actually began the interview by saying you have a personal rule which is you will not talk about russia unless you can talk about health care first. that seems to reflect some frustration on your part about how little attention the health care debate is receiving right now. can you talk to me about why you are so frustrated that people aren't talking more about this health care debate. >> first of all, i mean, it is the sheer volume of extraordinary news that is being made every day, that say big challenge. i mean just today already we've dealt with several accounts that seem to be new terrorist matters. we've got to get to the bottom
of those. and this of course is the summer, and you have the senate republicans doing something that is absolutely unprecedented. i don't know of a single situation where you are talking about a major piece of legislation that's being written in the dark, there's no bill, there's no effort to try to describe the cts either to taxpayers or to americans. all the signs point to huge new expenses for americans, for example, there's a big age tax for those that are-- for those americans that are premedicare between 55 and 64, they pay five times as much as younger people, that means for folks in rural oregon and rural america, they just get hammered. but there aren't any details. >> why do you think, i realize you oppose this bill. you haven't even seen the bill but you almost certainly will oppose it. why do you think your republican
colleagues are push sog hard for it you look at t conservative policy experts don't like this plan, liberal experts don't like it the doctor's lobby, the nurses lobby, the hospital lobby, the aarp, nobody like this bill. can you try to get into the minds of your republican colleagues and explain what is it that they are trying to accomplish here? >> well, interestingly enough, a number of them have been asked what they are trying to accomplish. and they really can't answer that question. i think particularly the group to watch are the conservatives and the moderates. the conservatives as incredible as it sounds, want to produce something that-- something that is worse than what the president called mean, the moderates say that they want to be sensitive to those on medicaid, we can't get the details. i've worked a lot with those moderates on health care over the years. and i am just hoping that they haven't changed.
>> and for those moderates, do you think it's that they made a promise to repeal obama care and have kind of gotten locked into that? >> well, certainly the republicans for years and years now have made this their principal refrain with respect to domestic politics. they were going to throw the affordable care act in the trash can and they had something that was better and would be more affordable for americans and they just never spent the time dealing with these issues. you and i talked about the healthy americans act that i produced with my colleagues in 2007, 20089, seven democrats, seven republicans. we got some of what we worked for into the affordable care act, particularly the airtight loophole free protection for people from discrimination when they had a preexisting condition. but when are you writing a heal care bill it takes a lot of work. >> that is the bill you worked
on with senator bob bennett, republican from utah among others, that was a conservative approach to universal care, wasn't it? >> what it said is that both parties had a valid point. democrats are right, i still feel this, that we have to have universal coverage. without universal coverage there's too much cost shifting and not enough prevention. republicans felt there ought to be a role for the private sector. i said look we have a good model. the kind of coverage members of id well, your ideas are goingd to prevail some day. but the point is, we can't go back now. we can't go back to the days when health care was for the healthy and wealthy. that's what you get if you allow diskraim-- discrimination from those with a preexisting condition. >> are we in the media making a mistake? are we not paying enough attention to this bill given its
odds of passing and giving the enormous affect it could have on american society? >> i do think it's gotten short slift. the-- schrift, the reality is you are talking about something that allows over one/sixth of the american economy. ever since i was director of the great panthers i always felt that health care was the most important issue. if you and your loved ones don't have your health, then everything else pretty much goes by the board. and yes, i do think that this issue, there are details, obviously, that some times have people say well, it's complicate, we've got to mf on to headlines. look, russia and terrorism are extraordinarily important. i don't dispute that for a second. but we can't let this health care debate and particularly the prospect of senate republicans are going to do so much damage to so many people, get lost in
the daily blur of news. >> and what about your democratic colleagues, do you think the democratic caucus is doing enough to call attention to this, senators famously have all kinds of ways to slow down the business of the senate in order to call attention to something. so far we haven't seen democrats take extraordinary measures to try to call attention to what help cans are doing her. >> democrats in the united states senate understand this is go time. we are all in. we're going to be on the floor. we're going to be accepting invitations like this one to talk to journalists who want to talk about health care. it's going to be all health care all the time for the next two weeks. >> you think we'll have a decision about whether they will pass this bill in the neck two weeks. >> certainly they're trying to pass it in the next couple of weeks. and i think they're having this challenge. getting susan collins and ted cruz on the same page will be a big 4reu7. >> thank you for jinking us. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll be right back. we
continue this evening with a further look at health care. "politico" reported today that senate majority leader mch mcconnell plans to put the senate revamped bill on the floor foy's vote next week before the july 4th holiday. republicans have drawn criticism for their closed door negotiations on revisions to the american health care act. which was passed by the house in may. joining me now fm washington are sarah kliff of vox and peter suderman of reason magazine, sarah collins from the commonwealth fund is here with me. welcome. sarah kliff, let's start with you, can you walk me through the politics in the senate. >> both are challenges for senate republicans but committed to movek forward. what we know right now is they definitely want to have a vote. mitch mcconnell has been very clear that he wants to have this vote, he wants to have it soon. it is a challenging moment for
them. i think policywise it has been difficult to get the entire republican caucus on one page when you have folks like lisa mur cowsky from alaska who is concerned about the medicaid cuts and then someone like snor ted cruz who wants significant medicaid cuts, so there are a lot of challenges to getting everyone on board of the same policy and i think there is certainly a concern about how that policy will be received. one of the reasons it seems like with senate republicans are keeping this a somewhat secretive process is they saw what the house went through and saw that that bill which would cause millions of people to lose coverage would not be very popular. so i think the politics of it, the policy of it, it is all very challenging for senate republicans. ot when they were working ont their bill. but they were able to pass it. and now we're going to see if the senate is able to accomplish that. >> when the house passed its bill the conventional wisdom was the senate wasn't going to pass anything like it. that conventional wisdom has really shifted. it now seems like most people think they are slightly better than even odds that the senate actually does pass this.
is that your sense as well? >> yeah, i think nobody wants to b left as the one standing in the way of health care repeal. this is the goal the republicans had for over seven years now, something they have been quite committed to. and i think there is a lot of concern about the bill, the coverage numbers. but at the end of the day i think one of the things i was really instructive for me watching the health care fight in the house was that when someone was in the hot seat, the one group or the one legislator standing in the way, they ultimately cut some sort of deal or did something to get on board. so i think the incentives are strong. i don't want to say it's locked up. i think it seems very unclear at this point if it's going to pass. but i think there are a lot of senators without do not want to have the finger pointed at them as the one person who stood in the way of this really kreutionz republican goal. >> peter, you've spent a lot of time think being what a conservative health policy would look like. and you recently wrote, republicans believe that a
combination of-- and secret-- secretary resee is the only way the bill will pass. they have so little confidence in their bill that they don't want anyone to see it. can you explain to us why it is that virtually the entire republican caucus may vote for this bill given all of the reaction to it? >> so i think the big problem for republicans is that when it comes to health policy they really don't know what they want. think about it in these terms, democrats, it's really pretty clear what they want from health care policy. they want coverage. they want that coverage to be affordable and financed generally by taxes on high earners, on wealthy people. but you can't really say what it is the republican party wants from the health-care system. except that they don't like obama care. what they want here is to be able to say they passed something, i think part of the problem is since they don't know what else they want, they basically created a bill that
replicate os bamacare's individual market structure but in a way that doesn't really work as it works much less well than obamacare so it's even more digs functional. the other thing that they want here is they want to set up tax reform. this is a big motivator i think for republicans which is that it is much easier to get to a tax reform that lowers top tax rates, that lowers tax rates if you have passed obamacare first. >> excues me, if you passed ahca first. >> and why is that. >> so basically there are two ways to get to a permanent tax reform and one is to get 60 veets. with only 52 votes in the senate, they will not be able to get there. so they have to do this through reconciliation. but one of the reconciliation rules is that you have to balance the budget, that you have to have be revenue neutral after the ten year budget window. so what the ahca allows them to do is lower the tax base line in advance of doing tax reform.
and then that allows them to device a tax code that raises less revenue overall which means that it is easier to reduce tax rates. >> so that with obamacare is how they backed into this situation. >> so far we have been talking about reconciliation and process and washington. all of that is important. but sarah, can you talk to us a little about what are the real world effects of this bill likely to be. i understand we haven't seen the bill but we have a pretty good sense for the direction they are going. how would this affect people. >> well, we have seen the house pass ahca bill f it is any relation in the senate to this bill, i have been studying health policy for the better part of my career. have i particularly focused on the effect of health policy on people. and this bill would cause considerable pain to millions of americans across the country. >> how so? >> it would repeal the affordable care act's coverage expansion which have improved coverage, enable 20
approximately people to get coverage who were uninsured before, vastly improve people's access to health care. and it would replace those expansions with very minger subsidies, weaken consumer protections and much, much higher out of pocket costs. and i think what people don't, also haven't really focused on because of the way in which this discussion is unfolding, is the fact that it would go beyond the affordable care act, beyond the repeal of the affordable care act and reach into the medicaid program which covers 70 million people, provides nursing home care, disability, care for people with disabilities. it would make the deepest cuts in federal pending in the medicaid program since its inception in 1965. >> paul starr the historian of health care said to me look, this isn't just undoing obamacare, it's really undoing lyndon johnson's health-care bills in part from the 1960st. sarah, do you think that is a fair description of what is going on?
>> i think it is certainly the biggest rollback we would have seen in modern political history of health-care benefits it is one thing that has been so surprise being this debate, i think one 69 reasons it's been such a struggle for republicans is that you don't typically see benefit programs once they are enacted and taken away. it sch easier to talk about hypothetical benefits and not pass a law than it is to passion a law that takes something away. and i think if something like the hca were to pass, it really would be a somewhat unprecedented piece of legislation. you would have an estimated 14 million people losing medicaid coverage, both a combination of ending the medicaid expansion and also changing the medicaid financing. and the change to medicaid financing, that would be pretty big, and it would really transform the program. right now the way medicaid works is that the federal government essentially has an open-ended commitment to funding the program, that they will pay a certain percentage of every medicaid enrollee's bills.
under the house-passed bill state was essentially get a lump sum per person and say you know, this is your amount, we hope you can stay within that budget. but we're not giving you more money if you can't. that would be a huge change. that would really change how medicaid works and i think a lot of experts, people like sarah who i talk to exept that states couldn't just balance that budget with more efficiencies. that they would really have to cut back on benefits or people they cover. so i think it is really fair to describe this as a very fundamental change to the medicaid program. >> the most intellectually serious critique of obamacare, and frankly medicaid that i have seen, says look, the benefits of health insurance are often exaggerated. that when you look in the literature, it has clear financial benefits. but it doesn't necessarily have huge benefits in people's outcomes it is hard to find a link between we gave that person health insurance, and they were better off. it is-- is that a fair critique. is that a reason why maybe if health insurance gets taken away from lots of people, the affects
won't be as catastrophic as we are worrying about now. >> we've seen over the last seven years, over the rollout of the affordable care act huge improvements in people's ability to get health care that they couldn't have gotten before. and we're seeing that both in the individual market, but we're also seeing that in the medicaid program. people have much improved access to health care. reduced rates of going to the emergency room, and improved reports of health status, so people saying that their health status is better now than it was prior to their getting coverage. and this is wide spread across the coverage expansions of the affordable care act. medicaid, in studies that the commonwealth fund has conducted provides access to care and protection from medical bills that is equal to or better than private insurance coverage. so it is simply not true that mayed cade is an inter-- inferior source of coverage or people aren't getting health care through these coverage expansions.
>> peter, how do you think about the benefit of health insurance and how people's lives would be affected if something like the house bill became law? >> so i think that as you said, it is unclear exactly what the link is between health insurance and actual physical health improvements. the best study that was ever done on this, the oregon health insurance experiment found that over a two-year period people without got a-- who randomly were given medicaid didn't have any measurable physical health improvements. however, they felt better about themselves and they had-- there were real benefits in terms of protecting them from financial shock. i think this health-care bill that the republicans are pushing through right now is a real missed opportunity to reform the system along those lines and to create a system that is designed to make insurance act like insurance, and to give people access rather than just to kind of create this-- the bill that they have created is obamacare but in donald trump's words,
mean it say disfunctional version of obamacare that basically says we don't have a theory of our own. we just don't like this so we're going to do less of it. >> political analysts say passing this bill would be terrible for republicans. it would remove popular benefits for millions of americans. americans would then blame republicans for every little problem in the health-care system, rarlsd of whether it was even connected with this bill. sarah kliff, are you in washington, do you have a sense that republicans in congress have a fundamentally different theory and they think all of the experts are wrong and that passing this will actually be good for them. or are they sort of flying blind and just hoping it works out? >> yeah, that's a great question. so i think a few things are at play there. one i recently spent some time out in south eastern kentucky where i have been doing some reporting in this area of the country that heavily supported donald trump, also really ben if thed from obama care, some of the biggest enrollment numbers in the country. and i was out there a few weeks ago talking to people about this
exact question. a lot of people there, they actually liked their coverage even if they voted for donald trump. they think medicaid is working pretty well. and it seems like partisanship is actually going to do a lot to be quite protective of a lot of members. that isn't kind of this formula where people lose benefits, they get angry and they vote differently in the next election. i talked to a lot of republicans who said our congressman voted for this. but he is a good guy. he has done really good stuff for this area. we don't like this, though, they did not think the republican, the house passed bill was a good one. but you know, i think where this could really blow back at republicans, is in areas of the country, not necessarily ones with high obamacare enrollment but ones that are a little bit more moderate, more contentious districts. could you see some angry democrats who, you know, either didn't vote or voted differently last year, you know, coming back and making a different decision when they vote in 2018. so i think it's a really interesting dynamic.
i don't think it is the case that republicans have convinced themselves that this is a booed bill if they can just get it out there. that people, you know, will actually like it. i think all the secretary resee that we've been talking about really speaks to how unpopular republicans know that this bill is. but i think they are, you know, expecting that people without have voted with them before will vote with them again and they will see what happens the next election. >> sarah, do you think this actually in a strange way pushes the country closer to more single payor coverage? if republicans actually pass this bill, it seems to me democrats are not going to want to run on simply recreating obamacare which basically takes the current system and tries to build on it. but democrats are going to be hungry for something bolder. how do democrats react if republicans do this. is it basically some sort of expansion of medicare and something that is well to the left of where the democratic party used to be? >> you know, we decided as a nation in 2010245 we would look,
we would pass a bill that would cover people, many more people covered under the affordable care act. we wanted to do this in a way that was consistent with american values. and the centerpiece of the affordable care act is in addition to the medicaid expansion is building on the private insurance market. and so we've seen over the last seven years as those reforms have gone into effect and people have gotten coverage that if we want to build our health insurance system on the basis of private insurance markets, this is probably the best way to do it. so with subsidies that protect people from high premium increases, bans on preexisting condition exclusions, requiring everybody to have health insurance coverage, we've seen a major improvement in people's abilities to buy a health plan on their own since the law went into effect, compared to what it was prior to the affordable care act. but if we make a decision that this is not our preferred
approach, then there are certainly other options to moving forward. the medicaid expansion has also been very effective. do we go more along the lines of public programs. but if we want to build on the private insurance market, this is probably the best way to go. there are certainly problems and weaknesses in the market places right now that need to be addressed. this can be done in a bipartisan way, if we're committed to this approach. but this truly really is probably the best way we can structure private insurance markets, if that is the centerpiece of the effort towards universal coverage. >> peter and sarah, let's close on the 308 particulars. they they seem unlikely to debt get democratic votes from a bill that takes insurance away from people. so they just have to do it with republican votes, they have 52 republicans, they did afford to lose only two of them who are the republicans who seem wobbleiest in supporting this bill. >> i think you can look at either end of the party, more
moderate senators like lisa mur cow ski or collins from maine, and what that would mean for people in their states and just the medicaid cuts that we were talking about earlier. then you look at the other end of the party, rand paul from kentucky or ted cruz from texas, these are people who you know, want to see significant rollback, who think that obamacare isn't being dismantled enough. and i think you might see give from either of those tail ends of the party is where you might expect to lose someone. but it a delicate math that mitch mcconnell is working with, that he can only afford to lose two votes and is trying to satisfy the interests of 52 senators. >> peter, i will put you on the spot, what percentage chance would you put on a bill like this chasing the senate. >> 49.5, i think if i had to bet. i would bet against but i would really try not to bet. and the other issue is that even if it passes the senate t still
has to go back to the house freedom caucus, the conservative group in the house is already warning that demanding-- depending how the bill gets changed, that may endanger passage in the house. >> well, clearly we're looking at a really important next couple of weeks in terms of health care for all kinds of people. thank you all very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> jane jacobs was an urbanist, activist who cam meaned the diversity and vibe rancee of city life. her 1896-- 1961 book the death and life of great american cities captured the ballet of the good city sidewalk. she famously faced off with a pokerful developer robert mosses over conflicting visions for the future design of new york city. "new york times" once vote noted that the pair made almost perfect antagonists. the new film citizen jane battle for the city tells the story and here is the trailer. >> i think it's wicked in a way to be a victim.
>> absolute power corrupts absolutely. and robert mosses was absolutely powerful. >> he wanted to wipe the slate clean. and start over. >> i say that you have a cancerous growth bill that has to be called out. >> i fore see in looking to city planning and housing. it was unbelievably awful 689 insane. >> we didn't understand how high the price was until jane jacobs came. jane jacobs has written a book that advances with the power of a bulldozer against modern city planning and rebuilding. >> she is picking up something her that no one else is seeing. >> she believed that cities is not about building, it's about people. >> she was questioning orthodoxy, at a time when women were not welcomed in those environments. >> she was a housewife, that's how they treated her. try to mess with a bunch of mothers. >> we're outraged about our road
going through washington square and we were going to save washington square. >> well, you have to bullet through, you have to do it. >> the road will destroy the neighborhood. >> i think it is awful, they make a mistake. >> it is not right. >> jane jacobs was the most articulate voice of a movement. >> you have to move a lot of people out of the way of a big housing project. >> people rent, they don't own. >> what they go toking to do, throw them in the street, 51 years, i'm a citizen and everything. >> where is this going to end. >> take the money and go a which. >> what would we have left. >> people have to insist on government trying things their way. >> joining me now the film director matt tyrnauer and producer robert hammonds. pleased to have them both at this table. welcome. great to see you again. so just start from the beginning. how did you decide that this is the film that i really want to make? >> well, jane jacobs is a public intellectual and a great author who never had a proper
documentary made about her. >> a good story. >> exactly. >> she wrote death and the life of great american cities in 1961 and it has never been out of print. moreover she is a great activist and a citizen activist. so really, this was a movie for our times, in an era where we have a government that is like none we've ever had before. people taking to the streets, people needing ways to streak truth to poker with. jane jacobs was a great example. >> when matt brought this to you did you instantly say this is something i want to do? >> i did. and partly because hi seen matt's first vil am valentino right before i met him. i couldn't think of two people farther apart than valentino and jane jacobs but matt had this passion for jane, what first attracted me to it was this idea of seeing china, india, the developing world and a lot of places in the u.s. repeating these same mistakes that we made in the '60s and 7 0see that we haven't really learned our lesson. and that's why, and i don't think-- . >> rose: you can see it in cities across this country too?
>> yeah, this was the urban renewal period starting in the post world war ii era where we ended up doing our best to destroy our own cities by building freeways, tower in the park, housing what was called urban renewal at the time. and it was seen as a positive thing but this is really one of jane jacobs huge contributions. very early in the 1950st when these things are being built, she is actually a whistle-blower. she is saying you are actually killing your cities in the name of saving them. it reminded me of mcnamara in vietnam, that, we will to destroy the village to save it. that is what urban renewal was doing and jacobs was the first person to bring that to the fore. if you look at the developing world so much of the urban renewal is happening in china, india, places that are building. >> rose: it seemness the he sense of a great documentary, you have to have interesting characters. and certainly at least one. and here you have two who are protagonists.
>> right. >> rose: you can't get better than that. and they are in def terly different-- terribly different or amazingly different. >> a wanted to make a movie for a general audience, you is off an architecture person, you knew they are spre sillod. the general public doesn't feel like they have access to it. in order to make a film that wasn't preparing to a million graduate 1250uds and urban planning, i thought let's make it character driven. if you look at jacob's life there is a particular period where she interfaces with intun who had man fesessed into sort of dr. evil. and this is robert mosses who started an interesting character, called the power broker, the subject of robert caro's pull itser prize winning documentary. >> the book is a 1400 page book published in 74ee, one of the great books of biography, robert mowses wrases the most powerful unelected official in american history. and he met. >> because. >> because he had organized
power around himself in a way that made him unaccountable to the public, by creating things called thortds. and he was a law writer, in the 1920s in new york, he was al smith's second of state when all smith was governor. he actually drafted the laws that put him in the chairmanship of these things called authorities like the triboro bridge. and he became unaccountable. absolute power corrupts absolutely. after world war ii he is building highways, he is tearing down probably 50% of east harlem, which today if those buildings still stood would be a place as vital as the west village of new york. he's really destroyed the city. and jacobs is the whistle-blower. she says this is vandalism. this is the sacking of cities, this is not the saving of cities. and they come. >> she came from where? >> she was a journalist who came from provincial origins in scranton, pennsylvania. and one thing that is remarkable
about her is she is an auto diadact, she has no college degree, remember context here. she is a woman writing for architectural forum in the 1950s about fields that are still to this day male dominated. people weren't listening to women in architecture and urban planning in the '50s. and jacobs got herself heard out of sheer brilliance. extraordinary observational skills and great literary skills. >> rose: and also she was persistent and determined. >> beyond. i mean she-- she writes this book in '61, a book about urban planning in cities that is a bombshell that absolutely levels an entire profession, basically. and at the same time she pivots to activism and begins practicing what she prepares. because the part of new york city she lived in, the west village was being threatened with an urban renewal project and several highways that are going to absolutely decimate it.
so she takes all of her conclusions from this great book, and brings them to the street and mobilizes the west village and all of lower manhattan, and they start to win. they start to defeat mowses who had never been defeated before. >> rose: is this kind of conflict still with us? you have developed the high line, and there was some developers who were opposed to it. >> yeah, i mean, you know-- . >> rose: thought it was going to be terrible. >> originally we had to fight developers, we had to fight mayor geulianee, we had to sue, geuianee signed a demolition order two days before he left office and then we really had a partnership. it wouldn't have gotten built with our partnership with the bloomberg administration. but i think new york is so radically different from when we started this project in 1999 and really from when jane was writing this, and living in new york. new york, people were leaving new york, the tax base was crumbling. and i mean you can debate it either way whether robert mosses was-- i think he was trying to save the city in a totally different way than jane.
>> rose: just had the wrong idea. >> yeah. but now we have a completely different context. so many people are moving to the city, it's almost an issue of oversuccess. and you know, that's what i am finding is interesting is the neighborhood the high line runs through is a micros could am for what is happening all over the city and all over the country. >> rose: for people who don't know across the country and around the world, what is the high line. >> yeah, the high line was an old elevated rail line built in the 1930s, abandoned in 1980. and it was set for demolition 6789 giuliani and a lot of developers wanted to tear it down to build more buildings. and i met another guy joshia david at a community board meeting. we decided someone should think about another use for it and started this group friends of the high-line in 1999. a lot of battles, a lot of community support. ultimately opened the first stage in 2009. now it is almost all completed. we had-- we thought we would get about 300,000 visitors a year,
and last year we had almost eight million. >> there have been great battles like penn station, whicich was lost. >> absolutely. i mean this is one reason i wanted roberts to produce the movie with me, because i think he is an example and joshua david is cofounder, example of two guys who had an idea and had a huge impacted on their city which is a very jacobsian perspective. you what you referenced penn station was really the beginning of the great awakening of activism in the city and that is the pesser vacation move am. jane jacobs there are pictures of her front and center protest the demolition of penn station. >> mrs. kennedy got involved and lots of other people. >> yeah, well, this was a way to get attention. because preservation was not on the map then. so jacqueline kennedy comes forward to try to save penn station. jane jacobs is on the front line, philip johnson is on the front line. all those great fillings of the period. but the preservation movement is only one part of it, really. the other part of it are
citizens coalescing to save their cities in ways that are beyond preservation. preserving, for instance, when the world trade center was built something called washington market that had been there since, you know, the 19th century was demolished to build these world trade towers. and jane jacobs at the time is like why are you destroying this vital thing, that is as much, an organ of the city as the fish market, radio row was where the world trade center was built. all these things that are small parts of the city that seem, we take for granted, are as insignificant, like the flower district in new york. which is a wonderful part of the city that was not particularly glamorous but a real economic engine. jay sob-- jacobs is really about preserving what the every day city is. these grand things like train stations that are demolished, they matter too. but what jay sob-- jacobs is telling us is that the street matter, the sutd el things matter and it all works
together. >> was mows es a bad guy or just a bad #kwr-d? >> i think robert moses is very complex. i think there are two moses. there is a prewar moses a whod builds swroans beach and countless parks and playgrounds. and he wants to make the city which is very troubled in the post industrial revolution era a better place for the poor. then after the war, when there is enormous federal funding available, and so much can be done so quickly, and he is so powerful and unassailable, he becomes corrupt. not personally. >> corrupted by power bns but not personally corrupt. he doesn't die a rich man. he dies, in fact, i think broke. but power corrupt, in that he is abusing his power and building in way thras are extremely misguided. and so in that way, mosses was kind of an evil guy. >> so when you went to robert caro to say come give us advice about this. >> what did he say.
>> that was a very interesting question. because the power broker is one of my favorite books. a very lengthy book. but the words jane jacobs doesn't appear in it. which is a. >> why? >> well, we really have to ask mr. caro. i didn't have the opportunity to ask him personally. there are legends about this, can you tell me what the speculation is. >> i will tell you, what the big speculation is that when robert caro, he himself admits turned in the book it was almost double the length it is already like a 1400 page book bound. so bob gottlieb who was the great editor working on the book. >> rose: is the great editor. >> absolutely, the greatest of his generation maids the decision to cut cut it drastically and it is said that one of the things that got cut was the material about jane jacobs. >> wow. >> and that was one of the epic battles of robert mosses life. >> certainly was. i think it's interesting. everything is about context.
i think if you were writing that book today you would never cut the cap chapter about a woman who was powerful and speaking truth to power. you would fore ground that. but in the '60s and 70st, editorial processes and considerations were very different. >> was it mosses point of view that not withstanding the damage done to people, even questions of race and poverty, the greater good was at play here? we are making a giant step for modernization? >> i think he had a completely-- when i said he wanted the facility to succeed, his view of the city was separated from the su burs where people lived and mainly middle class white people were he wanted them to live, and then the city, where people came to work. and i think you know race is an interesting issue,i think it would be interesting for you to talk about. a lot of people bring up race with jane jacobs and you have an interesting point. >> race and jane jacobs and race
and robert moses. james baldwin had an incredible adage from the '50s and '60s which was urban renewal is neglect ro removal-- negro removal. and this was quite enlightening. because the people affected largely in the inner cities by urban renewal were blacks at the time, were african-americans. and there is a socialiolist in our movie who talks about something called root shock. and root shock is basically when you uproot the plans, this is metaphor which were the african-american populations that had their homes basically taken away and demolished. what at the time was said for the greater good. so we would actually cut out the cancer of these slums and build house prog ject and rehouse the poor who were frequently african-american. well, this didn't work out very
well. and this is what baldwin is citing at the time. and jacobs herself writes extensively about this because east harlem was really ron ert moses sort of laboratory in new york city. and so many african-american communities were decimateed an what jacobs realizes early on is the rebuilt housing was actually worse for them than what had been so called slums. >> take a look. i want to show jane who was speak being new york and its great creative day. >> new york was in its great creative day, a place where all kinds of people can find opportunity. a place where you don't have to be big and important and rich or have a great plot of land or great development scheme or something like that. to do something. and maybe even do something new,
do something interesting. >> congratulations. citizen jane, thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose providecom. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org