tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC September 13, 2017 8:00am-8:48am PDT
saw in my time there. entire walls were blown out. residents told me they had clung to toilets and closets as almost 200 mile-per-hour winds whipped through their homes. and they were farther inland and they told me they had yet to receive any help with debris or anything else. >> we do have the video of that conversation you had. let's just play a little bit of it. >> it was terrifying. a lot of wind. the wind was like just making music. the walls start going -- >> it's okay. you can take your time. >> nobody has come to us yet. no one, no one. >> fema hasn't come to you? >> fema hasn't come. >> and where are they getting food from? >> so, you know, there's a couple answers to that. i mean, there are local families, many of them staged in st. croix. even though st. croix is only 40
miles south of st. thomas and st. john, they really avoided most of the storm. you know, you could go on vacation there next week and not know anything had happened. so many organizations, many families based there are taking ferries over or helicopters and bringing food. i met a guy who ran a pizza shop on st. john and he was cooking daily and just inviting people in. both to get help communicating with family members, trying to get in touch with people. but also just to have community meals and sit down and eat and catch up with people. i would say again, the farther you get away from, you know, some of the more popular areas down by the water that are -- and you move inland and it's a little less -- a little more sparsely populated, that's when you start to see people who are still in dire need of food and water. when i spoke to governor mapp, he acknowledged the main issue right now is security and
nutrition for folks. there are still a lot of people who could use donations. anyone who is already in the area, who has contacts there and could send stuff down, it is still greatly appreciated. some of the basic things to make people's homes livable. it's still very much in need. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. in response to the destruction in the u.s. virgin islands, three navy spips were dispatched. jeffrey hughes is heading up the effort with the military personnel. he joins us live on the phone on board the "us srks srkss kiersa" i may have messed that up tell me where you are and what you're undertaking.
>> well, we're currently under way, five miles south of st. thomas. and first of all, i'd just like to extend the thoughts and prayers for everybody out here to those affected by the devastation caused by irma. as well as harvey. i also want to reiterate, this is a whole of government response effort. we're here at request of governor mapp of the virgin islands. and supporting fema in response to their relief and recovery efforts. i had an opportunity to talk yesterday to governor mapp and brock long to make sure we truly understood everyone's priorities so we could best match our capabilities to their needs. >> is brock long there? the virgin islands? >> he was in yesterday and spent the better part of the afternoon doing an assessment on the ground and really providing some strong leadership to all of us involved in the response and recovery efforts. >> what are -- do you know what
your top priorities are? do you have enough information about what you're going to encounter when you get there? we seem to be getting bits of information from various people about what the needs are in the virgin islands. what are you aiming to do? >> well, it's -- when you come onto a scene, there's certainly an awful lot to be done in a lot of areas. but first and foremost, we wanted to make sure we were there to do immediate life saving things. search and rescue, evacuation for critical care patients. there was a hospital at st. thomas which was badly damages. so the lions share of the effort in our initial response which came from the "uss wasp" a day after the hurricane went through, was to take critical patients from st. thomas down to the hospital in st. croix. in some cases, we actually assisted in the lift from st. croix over to san juan, puerto rico. so really life saving and making sure that we're doing the immediate response. and then transition to more of a recovery effort through things
like, you know, transporting by air, sea, and land critical life sustaining supplies, water, food, medical supplies. antonia mentioned the tarps for roofs. we spent time distributing that among the islands to get to the folks most disadvantaged. >> how much of an additional challenge is it in the virgin islands, let's say, compared to texas or florida? because they are islands. because they don't have resources at the ready. >> i'm sorry, i didn't catch the beginning of that -- but i think -- >> how hard it since you're on the virgin islands versus the continental united states? >> i think it is. the fact that the islands are disconnected from larger distribution routes. so if you look at what happened with hurricane harvey, we could get after that problem set from the land routes that surrounded the area whereas here, really, it relies and i think we're very
well suited to help out in this regard being able to use the sea base to move things from not only the ships. we have 20 helicopter aircraft on board. we also have landing crafts that can take equipment, to go to the different islands to move around. so in this particular case, i think we add a great capability to the whole government effort to really move the things to where they need to be moved. >> all right. admiral, thank you so much for the work you're doing there. jeffrey hughes in the u.s. virgin islands. if you are looking to help irma's victims, the american red cross is taking donations. >> and please do. >> just call 1-800-help-now or text irma to 90999 and that'll make a $10 donation for you right off your phone bill. >> you can also visit redcross.org. we're going to keep bringing you the latest on irma, but
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we're here today to talk about our plan to create a new age of american prosperity by reducing the crushing tax burden on our companies and on our workers. the taxes are crazy. >> president trump there in north dakota one week ago making a push for tax reform. this is one of his signature campaign promises. little secret, tax reform is sort of everybody's signature campaign promise. >> don't be snarky. >> it is a very big deal which doesn't happen all that much. but this push for tax reform is moving into high gear. a white house official said the president will be traveling to about a dozen states in the next several weeks. >> but what does that mean? we've seen him give lots of speeches saying it's going to be good for you, bad for me. but what is in there? the president also has another
bipartisan meeting set today. this afternoon's meeting includes democratic and republican members of the so-called house problem solvers caucus. in all, eight democrats and five republicans. it follows the dinner the president hosted last night with three red state democratic senators. heidi heidt gam, joe manchin, joe donnelly along with three republican members. afterwards the democrats released hopeful statements describing the get together as a good and productive discussion. listen, after the meeting chuck schumer and nancy pelosi had last week they were ready to dunk. the president tweeted, quote, the approval pros for the biggest tax cut and reform package in the history of our country will soon begin. move fast, congress. with irma and harvey devastation, tax cuts and fax reform is needed more than ever before. go congress, go! >> all right. what do we know? let's just talk about what we know about the plan so we can
actually talk about it. walk with me over here and let me show you what the white house says the goals are. one of them is simplifying the tax code. not a terrible goal. you can get most in the country to agree the tax code is too complicated. one thing they want to do is reduce the number of tax brackets to three instead of seven and eliminate the minimum tax and the estate tax. this starts to get -- particularly the last one, that starts to get a little more complicated and more political. also among the goals are to reduce tax rates for individuals and businesses to grow the economy and not add deficit and debt. we should put a fourth bullet here which is add a full head of hair to me. because that is nearly impossible. not nearly enough specifics for the biggest tax reform plan in the history of the planet. but we have a few specifics. the plan calls for doubles the standard deduction you can take on the tax return.
cutting the corporate tax rate to 15% from the current 35%. understand a couple things. we're not really at 35%. the rate that people pay, companies pay is between 14% and 25% depending how you are. and a lot of people including the president are backing away from getting down to 15%. that's hard to do. not impossible, but hard. and extended reduced rates for small businesses. this could be interesting. treasury secretary steve mnuchin is saying this rate could be in jeopardy. >> the president has made it clear since the campaign ideally he'd like to get it to 15%. i don't know we'll be able to achieve that given the budget issues, but we're going to get this to the competitive level. what more important is making sure we have a competitive rate. >> fair enough. secretary mnuchin also said the goal now is to get tax reform done. i loathe to use the firm tax reform until i see this. it looks like tax cuts funded by
the deficit. >> we'll see. >> he wants to get it done by the end of the year. the original goal was before the august recess. that was delayed because health care didn't get done. this tax cutting is based on an unsupported assumption that doing so will somehow speed up the economy at such a rate that there will not be any increase to the deficit. >> very few legitimate economists support that notion and recent history doesn't support it either. what this might end up becoming is the biggest deficit finance tax cut in u.s. history with pressure -- with very, very little reform, actually. joining us now live, josh go gothimer. from the state of new jersey. and tom reed is from new york. you guys are friends but not neighboring just yet. >> people in the rest of the count country, that's not an ideal of a mistake to make. this is like the hatfields and mccoys.
you're both cochairs of the problem solvers caucus. you've got 35 house members, various members of which will be attending these bipartisan meetings with president trump on tax reform in a few hours. here's my question to both of you. i believe that there's real bipartisan work to be done. i believe americans of all spliel stripes shares a view tax needs to be reformed. what's with the dinners and all that? we need specifics. we need to hammer out committee, have hearings with people and get something actually done. >> i'll tell you, serving on the kmie, that's where we're moving to. like we have done on the problem solvers caucus, that is critical in working together. >> so congressman reed, given what republican president trump has said about your colleagues, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, you have a trusting relationship with him? do you trust the president? >> i do. i've gotten to know the president, campaigned with him. i'll tell you. he's now learned the lessons of d.c.'s gridlock. enough is enough. it's time to look across the
aisle and deliver for the american people. >> so that was a good deal last week with pelosi and schumer? >> i thought it was brilliant. i think it was the exact message to send saying we've got to govern up here on the hill. now he's issued the challenge. i think we're up to it in the problem solvers caucus to get it done. >> i know somebody -- i'm sure -- >> he's spending too much time with me, i think. >> i'm sure you think the deal was brilliant last week, don't you? >> i think it's exactly what we need. we need bipartisanship. we need to get things done. people want us to make progress on tax reform, infrastructure, health care. so i think this new era of bipartisanship is exactly what the american public wants. >> congressman gottheimer, reaching across the aisle to a republican or reaching across the hudson to new jersey? >> why you got to dog on -- excuse me. he is from new jersey. >> we'll work together. >> gottheimer is from jersey. still she same river to reach
across. >> yes. we're reaching. getting it done. >> let's talk in all sincerity because we talk about people wanting tax reform. congressman gottheimer, what is it we can expect to see? we ask for the details over and over and over and the president himself is yet to give us any. >> part of the reason we're going over there is to get more details and to hear what the president, what he's expecting. i talk to them about what will come out of congress together. for me it's getting the rates down and making sure small businesses and all businesses get relief. also middle class workers. they need relief. and for me being from new jersey, we need to make sure we don't do it on the backs of certain states. so the state level tax deduction, making smur it's not eliminated is important. >> so when you say you want to get the details today, who are you going to get the details from? >> i will tell you, i've been on the ways and means committee that writes tax code for america. what we're going to start rolling out now going through
the sausage making process are those details as we speak. look at what we did in the better way document. look at what we've done with the dave camp proposal. we've laid the foundation for the work to go forward. >> we really, really appreciate you guys are doing it in a bipartisan fashion. i will ask you congressman reed, one of the problems i've had since donald trump was running for president and made a speech in new york city last august where he said he could get down. but i think we could go to 4%, 5%, 6%. there seems to be a tie between tax rates and getting this roar of economic growth and somehow that's going to prevent us from increasing the debt. i don't meet a lot of republicans who actually believe that. >> i tell you, i believe if you lower the tax burden on america, you'll unleash what they have pent up on the sidelines. if you don't agree with that, i will tell you look what we did last quarter. 2.6%. >> right.
but congressman, hold on. hold on. hold on. >> that was one quarter. >> we're running at 2.2% annual growth. which is not very different from the annual average growth since 1970. so to get to 3% is almost 50%. but i'll give you that. we might be able to get to 3%. i don't truly believe it. but do you really believe that that nullifies the cutting taxes and increasing the deficit? because you are republican and generally speaking you guys don't like to do that. >> very sensitive to the debt we have accumulated. but i think growth is going to be able to deliver. >> sorry about that. go ahead. >> no, no, no. >> we're trying to do the new york/new jersey thing here too. congressman gottheimer, do you believe in stimulating growth that way as to not increase the deficit? >> i think we have to be realistic and not rosy. you have to understand what real growth is going to be. i believe we can get the economy going and we need to do that
through investment and infrastructure and also tax reform. but i do believe we have to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves because of the deficit. because of the debt we're accumulating. you know, i don't want to leave that up to my children. so we have to be careful in how we do this. >> congressman reed, a speech last week, he was saying to the workers at a factory this tax reform he said it's going to be good for you. it's not going to be good for me. walk me through sort of the mind-set there. how does the average factory worker benefit but someone like president trump doesn't? he says it's not good for big business. but for what we've seen, if you have an llc for example, it's a positive. and the president has hundreds of llcs. how does it benefit the factory worker but not the president? >> take the goal of simplicity. you talk to so many factory workers having to take out short-term loans and the costs occurring with that. you get a simple code with a standard deduction, that benefits them.
they keep more money in the pocket not going to a tax preparer. >> unless you have a completely flat tax, as long as tax specialists, as long as corporations have tax departments, then it is always going to benefit the rich and the more sophisticated. >> it's going to benefit us all. and the growth component of having those factories be in a stronger position to invest capital in their equipment, get the immediate expensing to the cash goes back to the businesses. that to me is small business america at its best when they are investing in their people and businesses. >> why is it you believe those companies are going to invest in people? any major investment in the last eight years has been in automation. it's not been in human capital. >> i will tell you, being a former small business owner, my employees were part of my family. if we grew together, they had more employees in that office and better opportunities for themselves and their children. we've educated a lot of folks in regards to the job opportunities we created as a small business. that's the heart of america that we're speaking for. that's what we're working for. not the top 1%.
we're here for the middle working class of america because they're the ones that are suffering the most with this tax code. >> all right. so i want our viewers -- really, guys, we can't tell you how much we appreciate you coming on having this discussion with us. i want our viewers to get into this and tell us what you do and don't want to know and what you do and don't understand about this tax proposal. congressman gottheimer, i've got to ask you about this, how do you end up selling to your constituents the idea that the specificity that we have on this tax program so far does at first blush -- and i take congressman reed at his word -- but at first blush it does look like much tax reform looks. something that benefits rich or business people opposed to what most people in america are and they are working wage earners. >> it's a great question. when i'm home everybody says it's too expensive here. really, really expensive in jersey. we've got to get taxes down. to your point, the question is how. we don't have enough details yet. i'm eager to get those details so we can talk about it.
it's part of why we're going today. right? i want to speak up for the people i represent and understand how it's going to affect us. so i think we're going to learn more in these coming weeks. i think if tom's right and we can actually make sure this helps working folks and lift everybody up and small businesses and give that kind of broad based growth we need, that's what will be good for jersey and the country. it's also by the way, why we're there today to talk about infrastructure and we're talking about daca today. another issue i think there's bipartisan opportunity for. so i think it'll be a real meeting that covers a lot of bipartisan topics which obviously is important to both of us. >> well, congressman, maybe the taxes are so high in new jersey because it's like the greatest state out there. it's like god's country. >> obviously it's god's country. we've got the best schools and the best pizza around. but, you know, i think we should pay lower taxes. >> i agree. >> best beaches too. gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. you know, we love bipartisanship
on this show. look at us. we disagree every day. >> whatever you want, you know. >> there we go. look at that. >> all right, guys. >> moving to jersey. >> that'll be awkward for us constituents but good to see both of you. thank you. while we're in the spirit of bipartisanship, we do have to fix the health care situation in this country. there's another suggestion which i think brings us to five active suggestions under way right now. this one is called medicare for all. in just a few hours senator bernie sanders is going to unveil a new health care bill. we're going to tell you which senators are with him and how likely that new proposal is to pass. and we're watching markets for you this hour. there you have it, they are down -- really? that's unchanged. don't forget. >> and we've had a few good days of a lot of runs. check your 401(k) things have been going well. you're watching "velshi and rhule." you can get $3,500 off a hard day's play... $700 off select mud spa packages for two...
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welcome back. you're watching "velshi & rhule." as always, commercial time is the best time in this hour. in just a few hours, senator bernie sanders will unveil a bill if passed could revolutionize the health care system in this country. the medicare for all act of 2017 would create a public system to cover all americans and would not be employer-based. all costs would be covered including dental and vision care with no co-payments. private insurers would still be in business for elective
treatments like plastic surgery. sanders said it will be paid for by tax increase which is not been determined yet. according to bernie sanders' op-ed today, his plan would roll out over four years. year one, benefits would expand to dental care and hearing aides. the eligibility age for medicare would go down to 55. and all children under 18 would be covered. in year two, the eligibility age goes down to 45. in year three, it goes down to 35. and in year four, coverage kicks in for everyone. but ali, there's several other plans floating around on capitol hill. i want to say this is probably the fifth. >> this is the fifth plan. there are four other -- >> this is the most expensive for the taxpayer. least expensive -- >> and could bring down costs. it's like canada's plan. let me talk to you about the other plans out there including one by republicans who are also holding their own announcement today. this one is from bill cassidy, lindsey graham, dean heller. in this last one, the repeal and
replace bill is left standing but there's a catch. it has to come to a vote by the end of this month if the gop wants it to pass with only 50 votes. they couldn't get it to pass with 50 to start with. so getting 60 would be much harder. that's why they want to get this done quickly. this plan would transfer much of the responsibility to the states by giving the money in block grants to fund their own exchanges. it would eliminate tax credits for middle income families. subsidies for low income families and the medicaid expansion. but would keep pre-existing conditions as well as the individual and employer minute date. so it's a mashup of a bunch of the things we've seen so far. the next plan is what's coming out of the senate help committee. republican chair senator lamar alexander, republican democrat -- i'm sorry ranking democrat patty murray, they are looking at stabilizing the insurance markets and preventing premiums from spiking it.
it would have to pass by september 27th. stabilizing the markets. in exchange republicans are asking for the states to have more freedom for how to regulate their markets. this is the next plan. number three. the kasich/hickenlooper governors plan. this is a plan sponsored by those two governors. it would pay for the cost-sharing are uxs, the payments would have to go. designed to help cover the most expensive policy holders while supporting the state waiver process. it would include money to encourage young people to enter the insurance market offering tax benefits to insurers in exchange for offering access to underserved counties. and finally, we have a slightly more moderate democratic plan proposed by senator brian schatz of hawaii. it would offer a similar to government option which would compete with private insurance companies by allowing individuals to buy into medicaid. so bernie sanders, medicare for
all. this is allowing you to buy into medicaid. to entice more doctors to participate in medicaid. like obamacare, it would allow individual states to opt out. department most republican-run states would do exactly that. there you have it. five health care plans on the right now. two which have to be done on the end of month. stand by, everyone. many citizens are taking things into their own hands in florida. we'll speak to sister margaret ann. made famous in this video here. she's clearing out fallen trees with a chain saw. where does a nun get a chain saw? >> i love it. >> you're watching "velshi & rhule." we'll be right back. what started as a passion to make something original... ...has grown into an enterprise. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. now, i'm earning unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase i make. everything.
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miami-dade police department's facebook page. sister margaret ann joins us now via skype. sister margaret ann, first of all, that isann, first of all, that is extraordinary. tell us, do you have a background in horticulture or tree work, i'm going to say? >> no, i grew up in texas and i didn't do did do a lot of yardwork, but it had nothing to do with that. we just needed to get the trees out of the way so the cars could pass by safely. it was a dangerous situation and i just wanted to be able to help out the neighbors and clear the road work for everybody. that's all it was. >> how long did it take for you to do that? that's a big tree. >> i did about half a block so it took about three hours. it was a lot. but it was necessary in order for the travelers to travel safely. >> that's amazing. how did your school f arare in area and how are people doing?
>> we lost a lot of trees. about six acres is trees and we lost a lot. we lost a building in our pavilion outside and also our baseball field is pretty mangled, the sod. we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the students to come back. also many of our students do not have power, so they're struggling as well. we'll get through. >> when do you think school can reopen? >> we're hoping to have it by monday, but it really all depends on a cooling tower and being able to get the cooling tower working again. because if it doesn't work, we have the condensation in the buildings which makes the floors way too slippery. and we just have to always think of the safety of the students first. >> did you and your school, did your congregation, did you evacuate? >> the sisters and i here in miami, our mother house is in el
hambra, california. there are eight of us in coral gables and four of us at the high school. we actually came to the high school to wait because it was much safer, which ended up being good because we had a lot of leaks. we had all eight nuns with mops cleaning up the whole thing. >> wait a second, though. miami had an evacuation order. what made you and your other sisters not leave? >> that was only for a and b which was close to the coast. we're way on the west side of miami, so we did not have the mandatory evacuation. >> what, just while we're busy busting mitts right now, the nuns and anybody who has been to a catholic school sort of understands this, that you had a range of responsibilities that are not normally what people expect from people who are wearing a habit. i assume you don't have a special habit that you use for cutting down trees, but your sisters all have responsibilities that are sort
of custodial and maintenance type responsibilities normally? >> no, not normally. i'm the principal. when our two sisters are here, we have a sister that teaches calculus, so we're basically teachers. there goes the bell. but in situations like this, we do whatever we can to help out. our sisters, we do whatever we can, whether it's putting a band-aid on, fixing a ponytail for the younger children, whatever it takes is what we do. >> sister margaret ann, that is the original girl power. now, here we are days out. do you have more outside support, or is it just you and the other sisters? continuing to help with the recovery efforts? >> we have some of our alumni of the parents and students here helping us out, which is good. they're helping with the yardwork, but they can't help
with the cooler and the chilling tower. that's our only problem. >> we've been saying for a few days our prayers are with you, but i guess that takes on a whole new meaning talking to you. sister margaret ann, thank you so much. we'll join you in your prayers for the continued recovery. maybe that's a little more appropriate. >> sister margaret ann, the original. thank you so, so much for joining us today. there you have it. girl power. that video, extraordinary. do you think ali velshi could take on a chain saw? >> i certainly wouldn't be as adept at it as she was. she looked like she had done that a lot. we're going to take a break. if you are looking to help irma victims like sister margaret and want to do so, you can donate to hand in hand benefit for hurricane relief. pick up your phone and dial 1-800-258-6000 or with your cell phone text give to 80077 to
donate $25. we want to introduce you, as we do every few days, to model americans who may be deserving of a statue. >> i love this one today. it's ldp activist elly windsor. she led to a court ruling that took down legalization of gay marriage. >> in 2007 she married her long-time partner. when spyer died after 44 years together, windsor was ordered by the federal government to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal estate tax. >> this woman deserves a medal.
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hour of "velshi & ruhle." i will see you tomorrow from the virgin islands. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," get guest who is -- guess who is coming to dinner? chuck and nancy are dining at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. they joined some representative colleagues at the president's table last night. >> i'm looking for a balanced approach to fixing things and i'm open-minded about this. >> from where i sit, it's a little hard to have a constructive conversation with the folks, the 45 democratic senators, who signed a letter basically declaring their lack of interest in working with us. a grim discovery. a terrible tragedy in hollywood, florida where a power outage and high temperatures after hurricane irma may have led to the deaths of five elderly residents of a nursing