tv Democracy Now KCSM March 7, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
03/07/18 03/07/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> who made history? >> we made history! amy: in west virginia, teachers have ended one of the longest strikes in history, winning a 5% raise for all state workers. will west virginia inspire teachers in oklahoma and other states to go on strike as well? we will get the latest. then as president trump's top economic advisor gary cohn resigns, we will look at how
democratic senators are working with republicans to roll back key financial regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. >> this bill is a punch in the gut to american consumers. only a bunch of bank lobbyists and their friends in washington would call this a consumer protection bill. amy: plus, we go to texas for primaries. a record 50 women were on the ballot in what many are calling the year of the woman. we will go to austin to get the latest. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in west virginia, teachers have ended their historic strike after state officials agreed to raise the pay of all state workers by 5%. >> who made history? >> we made history!
amy: the strike began on february 22 and shut down every public school in the state. it was the longest teacher strike in west virginia history. meanwhile, teachers and oklahoma are gearing up for potential statewide strike will stop we will have more on west virginia and oklahoma after the headlines. the justice department is suing california over the state's so-called century laws that limit them from cooperating with federal gratian -- immigration agents. they're arguing -- the justice department is arguing california's laws are unconstitutional and "reflect a deliberate effort by california to obstruct the united states' enforcement of federal immigration law." in response to the lawsuit, governor jerry brown said -- "at a time of unprecedented political turmoil, jeff sessions has come to california to further divide and polarize
america. jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in washington, but they don't work here. sad!!!" the lawsuit marks the first time under the trump administration has sued a local or state government over its immigration laws. president trump's top economic adviser, gary cohn, has announced he will resign amid a dispute about trump's plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. cohn is the director of the national economic council. before taking the position, he was the president of goldman sachs. a large numberof people to quit the trump white house, but during a news conference with the swedish prime minister tuesday, trump denied there was chaos in the white house. pres. trump: many, many people want every single job. i read that maybe people don't want to work for trump. believe me, everybody was to work in the white house. they all want a piece of that oval office. they want a piece of the west wing.
amy: the project for government oversight is calling for the security and exchange commission to launch an insider trading investigation into why billionaire trump associate carl icahn sold $31 million in steel-related stocks in the days before trump publicly announced the new tariffs. icahn sold off more than a million shares of the crane manufacturer manitowoc company, which is heavily dependent on steel imports. the company's stock price went on to fall after trump's public announcement of the 25% tariff on steel. carl icahn served a special economic adviser to presidential before he resigned in august after "the new yorker" raise concerns about conflict of interest, including his heavy lobbying for a role change that affected the profits of his texas-based petroleum refining company. meanwhile, the office of special counsel says white house counselor kellyanne conway twice violated the hatch act by endorsing alabama republican
senate candidate roy moore while speaking at her official capacity for the white house. the hatch act restricts employees from using their official government position for partisan political purposes. adult film star stormy daniels is suing president trump after his personal lawyer, michael cohen, tried to pressure daniels not to talk publicly about an alleged affair she had with trump in 2006 and 2007. stormy daniels' lawsuit says trump never signed the 2016 non-disclosure agreement, making it null and void. michael cohen has said he paid $130,000 of his own personal money to daniels to keep her quiet. "the wall street journal" reports this money transfer was received on october 27, only 12 days before the presidential election. "the journal" also reports first republic bank flagged the transfer as suspicious and reported it to the treasury department. this could amount to a violation of federal election law. as california congressman ted lieu tweeted -- "hush agreement & side letter attached to stormy daniels'
filing essentially shows coordination between @realdonaldtrump, cohen & daniels. that means the $130k payment from cohen to daniels to silence her during the campaign violated federal election law. penalty is 5 year felony." in news from special counsel robert mueller's investigation, united arab emirates adviser george nader is cooperating with the investigation and reportedly gave testimony to a grand jury last week. nader has ties to both current and former trump aides. mueller appears to be investigating whether money flowing from the uae to washington influenced u.s. foreign policy, particularly regarding qatar and the saudi and immorality -- e mirati-imposed blockade against its gulf neighbor. "the new york times" reports
nader attended a january 2017 meeting in the seychelles, along with a russian investor close to putin and blackwater founder erik prince, who served as an informal adviser to trump during the transition, was with him during the election night, and is also the brother of betsy devos, trump's education secretary. the seychelles meeting was brokered by the crown prince of the united arab emirates. a year later, in january, nader was on his way to trump's private mar-a-lago resort in florida, to celebrate trump's first year in office, when he was detained by the fbi at washington dulles international airport and questioned for more than two hours. all this comes as trump insisted tuesday that russian interference had no impact on the 2016 election. this is trump speaking during a news conference with the swedish prime minister. pres. trump: well, the russians had no impact on our boat whatsoever,- votes but certainly there was middling and probably meddling from other countries and maybe other individuals. and i think you have to be really watching very closely.
you don't want your system of votes to be optimized in any way. we won't allow that to happen. we are doing a very, very deep study and coming out with some i think very strong suggestions on the 2018 election. i think we're going to do very well in the 2018 election. amy: the white house had to correct the record after president trump apparently confused north and south korea, mistakenly claiming he had a phone call with the north korean leader kim jong un. on saturday night, trump said of the conflict with north korea -- "it was headed for disaster and now we're talking. and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago and said, 'we would like to talk.'" he said this at the gridiron dinner. but trump has never spoken directly to the north korean leader. instead, the white house said he was referring to a phone call monday with south korea's president moon jae in. the pentagon has concluded its investigation into the october 4 attack in niger that killed four u.s. special forces from
concluding the team did not get required approval before launching the risky mission. through poor concludes the army special forces team never intended to meet with local as highereaders command thought. instead, the team's intent from the beginning was to try to capture an alleged militant. during the mission, the small team was attacked by as many as 100 militants linked to isis, leading to the death of four u.s. special forces and five nigerian forces. in niger, at least 800 u.s. troops are currently stationed. united nations investigators have accused the u.s.-led coalition and russia of potentially violating international law and committing war crimes in syria during 2017. the new u.n. report comes as the syrian government, backed by russia, continues its offensive against eastern ghouta, outside the capital damascus. activists say 80 people were killed in eastern ghouta by airstrikes and shelling on monday alone. meanwhile, a russian cargo plane
crashed near a syrian air base on tuesday, killing all 39 russian servicemen on board. the russian military says the crash was caused by a technical error and that the plane was not shot down. in honduras, the police have arrested a high-ranking executive with a hydroelectric dam company in connection with the assassination of international renowned honduran environmentalist berta caceres, just over two years ago. at the time of her murder, she was fighting the construction of the dam by the company known as desa. this is berta caceres mother austra flores speaking after the arrest. >> today we are asking that they sentence those that are in prison. i believe they are eight and they captured the mastermind. and also internationally, the government the honduran president does not -- is not recognized. he permits these murders in this country. amy: officials from two dozen latin american and caribbean
countries have now signed onto an environmental rights pact aimed at protecting the lives of land defenders. the pact was signed only days after the two-year anniversary of berta caceres' assassination. meanwhile, in more news from honduras, activist edwin espinal has launched a hunger strike to protest his ongoing imprisonment after he was arrested for protesting against the reelection of the u.s.-backed, right-wing president juan orlando hernandez. the organization of american states says the november election was marred by widespread election fraud. espinal has been jailed for nearly two months. sri lanka has declared a state of emergency amid violence against the muslim community in sri lanka. in recent days, members of sri lanka's buddhist majority have torched mosques, homes, and businesses owned by muslims. the state of emergency is the first to be declared since sri lanka's civil war ended in 2009. this is the president of sri lanka. >> i condemn all of the violent incidents that have taken place,
not only do i condemn the violence, have also instructed the police to take maximum action against individuals, organizations, and/or groups involved in those violent acts. amy: in britain, a former russian spy appears to have been poisoned. sergei skripal, an ex-russian military intelligence officer who once spied for britain, was found unconscious on a bench in salisbury on sunday. in 2006, another former russian spy was poisoned and died in london, causing years of tensions between britain and russia. and women across the world are mobilizing to take to the streets on march 8, international women's day. in spain, women are poised to stage their first 24-hour nationwide strike. their motto -- "if we stop, the world stops." other protest actions are planned in cities around the world, including here in new york city where activists are calling for women to launch a one-hour work stoppage, from 4 -- 4:00 to 5:00, and then gather for a rally at washington square
park. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in west virginia. >> who made history? >> we made history! amy: that is the sound of striking teachers in west virginia celebrating on wednesday after winning a 5% raise for all workers as they chanted "who made history? we made history! the wildcat strike shut down every public school in the state. it was the longest teacher strike in west virginia history. the governor, jim justice, sign the bill to raise salaries during a news conference on tuesday. >> today is a new day for education in west virginia.
we will move forward. no more looking back. west virginia renews its investment in education and our precious children today. amy: teachers cheered and sang in the halls of the state capitol in charleston after the pay raise was announced. west virginia ranked 46th among the 50 u.s. states for average teacher pay last year according to the national education association. one teacher explained the motive for the strike. >> it has been very hard because the teachers -- they want to be in school just as bad as the parents want the kids to be there. but this is been one not for many years. the teachers finally said enough is enough. amy: while the state's republican-controlled house of delegates and senate were able to reconcile differing bills regarding salary increases, lawmakers have not yet answered teachers' demands for a cap on spiraling healthcare costs.
governor justice signed an executive order appointing a task force to address the issue. the committee will hold its first meeting next week. the strike in west virginia has also inspired teachers and other states. on tuesday, the oklahoma education association announced teachers would go on strike able 23rd if the state legislature does not approve pay increases in funding for educational needs. they are the worst paid teachers in the country. for more, we are joined by two guests. in charleston katie endicott, a , high school teacher and union activist in mingo county, west virginia. in toll for, oklahoma, teresa is an elementary school teacher. headlineselp desk which you panhandle on the side of the road to raise money for schools. she is since started a foundation called begging for education dedicated to classroom funding from improving headlines which you panhandle on the side of the road to raise salaries, and fiscal responsibility in oklahoma. katie endicott, let's begin with you in charleston in the capital
building their. can you explain the victory that you have achieved, what you think you have achieved and what you feel need dill to be done? -- needs still to be done? >> yesterday was truly one of the greatest days of my life. we were in the capital yesterday. i was your with a group of colleagues and when we walked in, we fully anticipated that this fight was going to continue. we thought we would leave and come back on wednesday to the capital. when we found out that the fight was over and that we won, tears were streaming down our faces. we were overwhelmed with emotion because we won. we saw democracy in action. we saw the power of unity. people from all across the state were coming together, unified with one goal, with one mindset.
we achieved it against all odds. there were so many people that said we would never get what we wanted. there were so many people who said they would laugh us out of the capital. they did not because we did not leave the capital. so it was an amazing day. it has been an amazing process to witness and to live history. we know this is not over. we know this is just one moment in a much larger movement. home, theon the way talk already shifted to, what are we doing next? involved. be we're going to be volunteering on campaigns, going door knocking for candidates we believe in, and we certainly do not believe this is over. we believe we are just starting. amy: for people who have not been following this historic strike, what this was the largest wildcat strike in was virginia history, one of the largest strikes in west virginia history as well, the long nine
days. can you explain what a wildcat strikeis and how this progressed? because there was a point last week when the governor said, we're giving you the raise -- and then you stayed and pulled back because you said it is not what you had demanded. is actually a legal. -- illegal. we were never encouraged to strike. however, our unions were very supportive of eyes and told us up front, you could lose your job. you could lose seniority. here is all of the risks, but if you choose to, then we will stand beside you and we will support you. and we decided on most unanimously in my county that we were going to strike. there were four counties in west virginia who decided to conduct a one-day work stoppage on february 2. we believe that was the spark
that sort of set this whole process in motion. on that day, like i said, there were people that said they will laugh you out of the capitol building. we showed up and there were thousands of people here. from that point on, he continued. we warned. we told him we were going to strike. we came back on february 2. we said, we will strike. i do not believe that they paid attention. so sure enough, we showed right back up on february 22 and we did not leave until all of our domains were met. amy: but once you struck, there was an agreement that you struck with the governor. explain what happened with the legislature. >> yes. we -- our union leaders met with our governor. i was here that night.
it was a tuesday night i believe. i had been on a local picket line. werove to charleston and were told it was going to be an announcement made. at the beginning of that announcement, everyone was very positive. we thought we had one at that point. then when people came out and started telling us our union leaders and so forth, when they started coming out and telling us that the governor had agreed to a 5% raise and that peia, which is our insurance, and a grim for our insurance program, when they told us that would remain frozen, the crowd immediately started chanting "see you tomorrow! see you tomorrow!" the governor agreed we would have a cool off day. we were not scheduled to go back to thursday. our leadership agreed we would go back on thursday in good faith. at the people of west virginia said, no, we are going back in good faith.
you have to sign, seal, and deliver it. we were determined that we were not going back. i went through the hallway on wednesday during the cool off day and i was trying to talk to union leaders. we were all very clear, we are not going back. we had union meetings across the state. some people met on the state's of the capital -- steps of the capitol with her union members. we voted instantly. it was overwhelming. everyone was coming to the capital and saying, what is mason counting doing? what is logan county doing? everyone was saying, we're not going back. we're not going back and tell they fix this. so together we stood. a tentative of agreement, we said, you can say that, you can make as promises, but you have to actuallylothtir. achieve alone are not enough.au part of what you ask for, enough
to return. i wanted to go to the news conf of the republican governor of west virginia's governor james justice, question whether the teacher salary increases would be paid for through cuts to medicaid. >> you tweeted this morning that you found additional budget cuts to pay for the raises in the senate finance chairman said these would be deep cuts, $20 million in general service programs as well as medicaid. so are you saying that what you are about to sign, not only does not address the full funding of the peia, but it could also be paid for through cuts to low income and poor children in their medicaid, children that teachers teach? there is not a chance on this planet that is going to be the case. [applause] and the reason it is not going
to be the case is we have cash-ending balances and medicaid that will absolutely backstop any cuts whatsoever to medicaid. we will not let our people on medicaid suffer in any way. amy: that is governor justice. katie endicott, your response? >> through this process, i have been so empowered and encouraged to see certain ways that the legislative process works. i have also been very discouraged at moments because we have witnessed the ugly side of politics. i believe that yesterday -- and prior to yesterday, we witnessed that. we witnessed this divisive rhetoric that was meant to divide and vilify teachers. and to take away from this moment his victory we have
achieved. we do believe the governor, believe our union leadership that there is no way that medicaid will lack any funding. it will be fully funded. trust our democratic senators and our republican allies that have stood with us through this process that they would not dare take away from the children of our state. amy: another clip of governor justice, a major point of contention in the negotiations was teachers' demand for relief from the rising cost of health insurance, as you have described, assessed by the west virginia public employees insurance agency, or peia. governor justice announced plans to address the issue during the news conference. >> you know we have created a peia task force. and you know i have done my appointments and we are waiting names tothers to get
us and get it all put together. and it is just like anything else, whether you budget of your house or whatever you do, at times it takes a little longer. and now we're looking at all of the opponents will be in place by thursday. [applause] amy: katie endicott, this idea of setting up a commission that will look at health care. how do teachers feel about this? >> we are encouraged by the task force. initially, we were very skeptical. we were not ready to return to the classroom just on a promise will step however, the executive order certainly helped calm a lot of our fears. so we know he has put it in writing. we know that this is not a short-term fix. and we know it cannot be fixed within a couple of days. so we wanted to know who would be on the task force. we wanted to make sure that we had representation and that there would be people on that task wars that would be speaking
for us and that would be our champions. and we believe we have achieved that. we are encouraged there is a date set and that this will come to fruition and that there will be changes made. we do have a freeze in place right now. we did not think the freeze was enough. the freeze with the task force certainly helps provide hope for us that there will be a long-term fix in a solution to peia. amy: i want to bring teresa danks into the conversation, third grade teacher from tulsa, oklahoma. the numbers have ranged, katie, and when it comes to west virginia, the teachers get somewhere between -- you are like the second lowest paid in 46.country at 48, really low-paid. what do teachers start at in west virginia, katie? >> the average beginning teacher salary is $33,000 a year.
in the nation. this has been a fight, of course, for insurance, but also pay as well. amy: teresa danks, you're in tulsa, oklahoma. there has been a lot of organizing going on in oklahoma right now. lowest paidas the teachers in the country. you made headlines when you started panhandling on the side of the road to raise money for schools. what does this west virginia victory mean for teachers in oklahoma -- for education, for kids in oklahoma? >> well, we are thrilled for them. we have in watching them closely . it has been just exciting to see them have the courage to step up. i think that is kind of what we have been working for here in oklahoma is to have teachers make decisions that are not fear-based and have courage to
step up and have their voices heard. we have been very encouraged by what they're doing. amy: what are you demanding an oklahoma right now? >> we started a petition, a kind of like oklahoma teacher walkout last resort on begging for education. it was basically we are taking signatures from many taxpayers and oklahoma and we are around 30,000 signatures right now. we would like it to be around 50,000 so we could do an open letter to our governor is kind of a last effort to demand that right by the educators of oklahoma and the children that we serve. we have been kind of congregating in oklahoma and teachers have been pulling together a step we were under the right by impression that wee getting a lot of our support from our district and our state, and we have the date of april 3 in place. last night when oea announced
the 23rd, we had thousands, including myself, the other ed teachers. we had a little bit of a setback. my phone was blowing up. i was up talking to people. teachers do not want to wait that late because that is literally the end of our school year. four weekss at like until summer. they want to see action sooner. again, sod of divided we're doing our best to rally teachers back together. we have teachers that are giving up. we are very skeptical here right now. we are kind of maybe a few steps behind west virginia and that we that we're% sure having our state legislators and school districts really supporting us 100%. but the teachers, many of them are ready to walk out with or without their support.
because as you mentioned, we are the lowest paid in the nation. we cannot recruit or retain teachers. we have a lot of teachers that are getting close to retiring. we are looking at our crisis quickly turning into a tragedy. amy: the administrators in the schools, are they supporting you? the superintendent across oklahoma? >> yes, they are, but they are very slow to move. --have had a lot of support verbal support. like i said, we have something's rollout in writing that were indicating we were going to have a close down on april 3. teachers were feeling the morale coming back. teachers were happy about that. announcement oea's with the 23rd, that completely changed things. right now we're not really not sure what is going to happen. they pulled the post about the 23rd and said there talking it over more. they have heard our voices, that
thousands of teachers are serious about that date. we are asking for a $10,000 pay raise. you can go to arkansas and texas and a brand-new teacher starts veteran our 25, 30 year teachers are making here in oklahoma. it is ridiculous. it is been that way way too long. we had a strike in oklahoma in 1990 for the same thing, and we were told back then we would never be in the situation we find ourselves today. amy: what was the response to your panhandling on the street for education, for the schools te,resa? >> it was fun in a weird way because i was nervous. i went out there really to try to set the message last july that this is where we're at, we are begging for our voices to be heard, we pick at the capitol all the time, we go unheard and get empty promises. nothing has changed. teachers and oklahoma have not
seen a pay raise since 2008. that is ridiculous. they keep coming up with excuses and the blame game back and forth, whose fault it is, but there has been absolutely no action. i think that is why teachers are where they are at today. i top of that, we are losing teachers so fast we cannot keep up in our population is growing. as far as the panhandling goes, i was able to raise $40,000 through the gofundme set up. that money has been dispersed back out in my classroom and many, many teachers across the state. that was a wonderful feeling. i am still in the process of doing fundraising efforts. are businesses hoping to raise money for the beginning of next year. i'm still looking at other efforts to raise money down teachers not have to pay out-of-pocket. on top of our low salaries, high insurance, and all of the other problems happening in the
classroom, teachers are paying out-of-pocket for everything. we need our classrooms funded properly so that we don't have to do that. amy: finally, katie endicott, what words of wisdom do you have teresa danks? >> i can take you that everything you are saying, we have been saying the same thing. it feels so familiar to me to inr the situation you are in oklahoma. one of the things we have made very clear here in west virginia is that, yes, we were striking for us, but we wanted to inspire teachers all across the nation. the last chance we had -- the first one, soon as we found out we won was, "we are worthy." what i would tell oklahoma teachers and educators is that you are worthy. you need -- like she was talking
about, step out, encourage. one of the things we learn that was so important was that there will always be people that will tell you the risks, but we in -- westvirginia virginia kentucky the rewards. if you can stand in unity with your brothers and sisters and take that crude a step out, you will never regret it because we have been saying that one voice produces an at go, but thousands of voices produces a reward. we stand with you in complete solidarity. we will be watching and following. we will be supporting you every step of the way. >> i appreciate those words. very encouraging. amy: and also, katie, you also foronly won the 5% raise teachers in west virginia, but for all state workers? >> yes. yes.
again, i talked about the ugly side of politics and the divisive rhetoric. through this process, i believe -- there were a lot of people that were trying to turn teachers and educators against public employees. but from the beginning, we have been chanting "5 for all." we believe in the future of west virginia. we know we deserve more than what we are getting. and so we believe that it is not just teachers, it is this state. the state has to invest into our future, and they do that by investing into us and into our children. so we have in saying all along, "5 for all." when i left the capital yesterday, the republic employees who were stopping on the side of the road and they were saying, thank you so much.
thank you for fighting for us. we don't believe what is on the news. we know all along you have been fighting for as. oklahoma, we are fighting for you. the last chance we had was was virginia first, oklahoma next." we believe you are next and we're going to champion your cause. amy: i want to thank you both for joining us, from west virginia and from oklahoma, katie endicott, high school english teacher in mingo county, west virginia, speaking to us from the state house in charleston. , third-gradenks teacher in oklahoma. we will continue to follow these struggles. will the teachers of oklahoma walkout? we just cover the successful , third-grade teacherstrike for teachers in wr genia. you can go to our website at democracynow.org to see our discussion with british university lecturers who have gone out on strike with librarians and staff across england. this is democracy now! we will be back in a minute.
amy: "up in arms." on tuesday, 16 senate democrats joined with 50 republicans to advance a bill slated to roll back key financial regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. the bill would exempt 25 of the nation's 40 largest banks from being subject to heightened scrutiny by the federal reserve. if it passes, it would be the biggest weakening of the dodd-frank act since it was signed into law in 2010. the 67-32 vote in favor of a motion to proceed now sends the bill back to the floor for debate and possible amendments before a final vote in coming days. this is democratic senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts speaking out against the senate bank bill.
>> this bill is a punch in the gut to american consumers. if it passes, it will be harder to police banks that sell abusive mortgages, harder to police lenders who discriminate against their customers, and harder to police giant monopolies that build and sell and offer financing to mobile home buyers. only a bunch of bank lobbyists and their friends in washington would call this a consumer protection bill. amy: for more, we're going to washington, d.c., where we're joined by alexis goldstein, a senior policy analyst at americans for financial reform. after working on wall street for seven years, she became a prominent member of occupy wall street. we're also going to talk about the resignation of gary cohen, national economic advisor for president trump. but first, let's start with this bank bill, alexis goldstein. >> it is good to be here. amy: talk about how this has rolled forward and although there is so much enormous partisan bickering in
washington, when it comes to this bank bill, a number of democrats are joining with the republicans. explain what it will do. >> this bill does three big things. one is that it is going to make future ballots more likely because it rolls back these important safeguards and monitoring that were put in place after the last crisis and was meant to learn from the mistakes of the last crisis. the other thing is it is going to be regulate a lot of really, really large foreign banks like deutsche bank that has presence in the u.s., banks like deutsche bank that gave large amounts of money and loans to folks like donald trump. wraps most worryingly, it will possibly encourage further discrimination in mortgage lending because it reduces the reporting requirements on basically 85% -- 85% of banks, requirements that are used to catch discrimination when it occurs. amy: i want to turn to democratic senator mark warner of virginia speaking to bloomberg tv about why he
supports the senate bank bill. >> we have been working on this legislation for four years. long before this president came into power. because we hear from community banks, credit unions, folks in our local communities how some overburden ofory the smaller institutions has cut back on their lending ability. we want to give that relief. now i still believe the banks that caused the major challenge, the largest institutions, issy banks, we need to keep strong standards in place regular leading those institution. this legislation does that. it does give the relief we've been working on for four years. amy: that is democratic senator mark warner. can you respond to what he is saying? >> one thing that happened yesterday is the congressional budget office put out an analysis of this hill. one thing they said is there is
a 50% chance banks like citibank, which mark warner said are not impacted, will benefit from this health. andother thing he is saying a lot of the sponsors of this bill would senator warner was one of the original sponsors, are saying this is just about community banks. this is about -- it is raising by five times the threshold by which you get that extra monitoring, by which you get that extra scrutiny by the fed. it used to be $50 billion, they want to raise it to $250 billion. banks have that size were very crucial to the financial crisis. countrywide was a bank of that size and they get out one of every five mortgage in the country in the lead up to the crisis. so these are not small players. deutsche bank is not a small player. ubs is not a small player. the regulator be by this bill in substantial ways. let's not forget history. the fed had all of the tools they needed in order to address the last crisis and they did not use them. congress made a specific choice
in dodd-frank to say, any bank above $50 billion, we're going to require you do all of these specific things that you make them run stress test, insure they don't operate on too much debt. this bill is significantly weakening all of those very deliberate protections that congress put in place after the last crisis. amy: let's turn to democratic senator sherrod brown of ohio speaking against the bill. >> we're not dealing with infrastructure or the opioid crisis. we're doing nothing about guns. but we got time to do a lot for america's largest thanks. these are banks whose collapse would this direct relation, whose collapse could harm -- could cause ripples across the world. together the country's biggest banks took $239 billion in taxpayer bailouts. so without the rigorous annual stress test that we put in dodd-frank a dock eight ago -- a decade ago, taxpayers could be
on the hook once again if too big to fill banks collapse. it opens the door. this is made even more unbelievable than the fact that this body is falling all over sell to help the biggest banks, this bill also weakens the for foreign megabanks operating in the united states. the same banks that repeatedly violate u.s. laws. amy: so is this bank will a done deal, alexis goldstein? >> absolutely not. a lot of those who voted yes can absolutely change their minds when this hits the senate floor. the congressional budget office in my opinion gave them all of the justification they need to change their vote. the cbo said this does make future bailouts more likely and again there's a 50% chance that it also helps really large banks like j.p. morgan and citibank. if folks are fired up about this, you should call your senators and let them know to on the bill.
>> think progress reports many of the banks getting really from this bill also finance assault weapons? can you explain this? >> think progress had a great article listing specifically all of the banks that financed assault weapons manufacturers. there are at least 12 banks on that list that also benefit from this ill by my count. these are banks like citizens and reaches another bank like that. it strikes me as a very strange time for the democrats to be teaming up with republicans to deregulate banks, including banks that are helping fund and finance companies that are used in these horrible mass murders and shootings that we have been saying. democrats have a lot of leverage. this is not a bank that could pass without 60 votes. they could be using that to demand things and right now they're not. amy: before we go, i would ask by the resignation of president trump's top economic advisor gary cohen who oppose the president went to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. can you talk about the significance of his leaving?
it is very unfortunate, but not surprising perhaps. gary condit not choose to leave after charlottesville, although he tried to get some media attention saying he was thinking about leaving. -- to not choose after leave after the muslim ban or after president trump endeddaca. wallose to leave after street profits were being threatened. that is the culture of wall street. you are pure credit for trying to say, oh, we support the dreamers, but when the rubber the road, wall street banker not lobbying for a clean dream act, their lobbying for once like we just discussed. amy: i want to thank you alexis goldstein for joining us, senior policy analyst at americans for financial reform, a nonpartisan coalition of over 200 organizations working for a safe and ethical financial system. former occupy wall street activist who was moving for that, a wall street banker. in this update on her previous segment, as we talked about the
teacher strike in west virginia that just ended and what is happening with oklahoma teachers, we just got word university of illinois graduate students who are on strike are occupying the president's office. this is democracy now! not when we come back, we go to texas for the first midterm primary took place yesterday. are we going to see the year of the woman? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "two fish and an elephant" by texas band khruangbin. this year's midterm elections officially began on tuesday as democratic and republican primaries were held in texas. democrats are hoping texas could become a key state in the party's effort to retake control of the senate and the house. a record 50 women were on the ballot in what many are calling the year of the woman. on tuesday, congressman beto o'rourke won the democratic primary for u.s. senate. he will take on incumbent ted cruz, who easily won the republican primary. though the el paso congressman cruz in outraised ted
the last months. on the house side, democrats are putting up candidates in every texas district for the first time in over a quarter of a century. in one of the most watched democratic races, progressive democrat laura moser placed second, forcing a runoff against lizzie pannill fletcher, an attorney who has been criticized for working at a law firm that has targeted unions in texas. the race is seen as a war within the democratic party. moser was endorsed by our revolution -- the political organization that grew out of bernie sanders run for the white house. fletcher was backed by the democratic party. in february, the democratic congressional campaign committee took the unusual step of directly attacking moser even though she is a democrat. moser and fletcher will now face off in a run-off to decide who will face republican congressman john culberson in november. and other primary news, texas appears poised to send its first latino women to congress next -- this year, next year stop the election would be later this year. former el paso county judge veronica escobar and state senator sylvia garcia won their
respective democrat primaries in heavily democratic districts. to talk more about the results from texas, we go to austin where we are joined by mike barajas, staff writer for the texas observer. mike, give us the highlights. >> as you mentioned, the democrats have reason to be enthusiastic after yesterday's primary. early vote totals showed a pretty big surge in democrats coming out to vote in that party's primary. amy: something like one million democrats and 1.5 million republicans? >> right. election day totals were a than democratsr were hoping for, but we're still 2014,ecord turnout over think in particular, something like double at least the amount of primary voters in the democratic primary we are saying. this is still a red state. this is still texas, after all.
, bike seeing that growth sure numbers standpoint, not as much growth on the republican side, but they are still something like one point finally republican primary voters in texas. -- 1.5 million republican primary voters in texas. it is kind of an indicator how enthusiasm democrats have going into the general election. that could be for a number of reasons. that could be because texas is changing. texas in the last presidential race, it went i think nine points to trump, but that is a smaller margin i think -- the smallest margin of in a republican presidential candidate in texas in something like 20 years. you mentioned the congressional seats. there are a handful here in texas that we are seeing not long ago were deeply entrenched republican seats until the last
presidential election, they but formall margin, hillary. that includes the seat in houston that moser is running in. about the talk progressive group our revolution endorsing the democratic congressional hopeful laura moser a week after her own party, the democratic congressional campaign committee, released an opposition memo on her. i want to turn to a part of one of her campaign ads. [indiscernible] posted when our kids my grandfather came here in 1942
as a refugee from not the, germany. welcomedelcome tim -- them. amy: that is laura moser's ad. this is very unusual that the democratic party took the position in the democratic primary attacking her? >> yeah, and it tells you who they think -- it tells you how they think this district will vote, at the very least. i can't remember if they outright said this, but this is an indication that they don't think that kind of progressive candidate or that kind of candidate with an outright progressive message is going to be competitive against a republican incumbent in that district. who knows? changingexas has been in recent years. there are a lot of factors at play. the anti-trump sentiment that
seems to be sweeping not just the country, but parts of the state, particularly metro and suburban parts of the state. clearly, voters thought she belonged. amy: that runoff will take place on may 22. what about beto o'rourke, the el paso congressman. we spoke to him when we were doing a piece on a mexican journalist who has been jailed for months. he had visited him and was calling for his release. this el paso congressman better or o'rourke has now gone throughout, what, the state in a very unusual primary campaign and outraised ted cruz in the last months? ultimately, ted cruz has much more money. >> i think the last figures i saw were something like $6
million to $5 million for the two campaigns. better or o'rourke has clearly launched what is looking like a pretty credible campaign for senate. the democratic party here is looking at him as sort of the marquee race. they did not field a lot of big-name candidate for governor, even though some folks have been looking at a rising star like one of the castro twins from san antonio. nobody was willing to jump into the race in part because texas to be seen as still too red elect a statewide candidate like that for governor. but there is at least one statewide race word democrats are putting a lot of their hopes, and that is but a o'rourke -- beto o'rourke. he has crossed the state. the primary with a clear victory. he is not going to go to a runoff. there is no sort of awkward split.
against in theup general who is widely seen as a pretty unpopular incumbent. ted cruz seems to be taking him seriously. i just saw him on msnbc talking about gun control and really trying to define this race as the liberal congressman from el paso coming to take your guns texas. it is still safe to call that a long shot, buttexas. texas looks different now than it did in 2014. amy: it is one of four minority majority states, very significant for that. can you talk about the two latino women who are poised to become the first two latina commerce numbers from texas? >> texas is going to get a couple just from the primary
results last night. one of the presumptive members of congress who are talking about is sylvia garcia, a state senator. she is going to take over congressional seat that was created as a minority opportunity district back in the 1990's in houston. that went to a white democrat. for two decades, houston has not had a member of congress who is a hispanic. not only are they going to get that this time around, but she is going to be one of the first latina congressman our congress members in the state. same goes for escobar out of el paso. she won the race in a crowded field. i figure seven candidate and she pulled away with 60% of the vote. a pretty strong showing. she will be one of the history first, one of texas' latina members of congress.
amy: and you may have one first openly lesbian member of congress. >> it is another one of those races that democrats have targeted this particular election. will heard currently holds the seat. it is one of the sprawling districts that goes from san antonio all the way to west texas will stop because of how heavily gerrymandered tossup now. the candidate you're talking about, she came away with pretty clear lead in a crowded field for that primary. something like 40%. she is looking pretty good going into the runoff. you're right, she goes up against will herd and was that race, she will be texas' first openly member of congress. mike barajas, thank you for
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