Axios (2018) s04e19 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 19

Friday, November 19th Rep.
Rashida Tlaib, D-MI You guys are out here early.
One, two, three.
- Thank you, guys.
- Thanks, Congresswoman.
Longworth House Office Building WASHINGTON, D.
- Hey Jonathan.
How are you? - Thanks so much for having me.
I really appreciate it.
Rashida Tlaib, D-MI / an interview Well, Congresswoman, you've been up all night.
And finally this morning, the House passed the Build Back Better bill.
How does it feel for you to have finally got this through the House? I represent the third-poorest congressional district.
So what it means for my residents is, they're finally gonna get what I levelly call "the people's infrastructure," right? We always think about roads and bridges, but we never think about, like, what's going on inside the homes, getting them clean water, making sure they have access to childcare.
Obviously now so it's passed the House and it's up to the Senate to finish the job.
To what extent do you trust Senate Democrats to get the job done? As somebody that comes in here, doesn't take corporate PAC money, the special interest groups are not lining out outside my door.
- I didn't see any.
- Yeah.
I know that they've been influenced and guided by folks that don't have the best interests of the American people in mind.
So I'm fearful.
I'm fearful that those groups are gonna guide this agenda.
It's gonna be the people that are gonna continue to profit off of human suffering.
And just so we don't have any ambiguity, when you say there are folks who don't have Americans' best interests at heart in the Senate, you mean Manchin and Sinema? Well, it's bipartisan.
I can't just say it's those two.
Well, let's write off the Republicans aren't voting for the bill.
But as far as the Democrats go.
'Cause you do have 50 votes.
- Yeah, we have corporate Dems.
- Is that Manchin and Sinema? It's those two but I think there are some others that have issues with the prescription drug negotiations there.
- Who else do you find there? - Oh, I don't I mean, I for me I just know many of them were here before I got here.
And so I can't say it's just those two.
They seem to be leading the fight, but I wouldn't be surprised if folks are hiding behind them.
After a police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright in April, you tweeted quote, "No more policing, incarceration, and militarization.
It can't be reformed.
" Do you literally mean what you tweeted, that there should be no more policing or incarceration and that they can't be reformed? So I meant no increasing, right? In my district, city of Detroit, for instance, we spent $300 million on policing.
Do you know how much we spend on public health? Like, 8, $9 million.
So when I tweeted that, I was saying, "Enough.
Enough increasing policing.
" It is killing people.
It's like every time we see crime go up, we say, "Oh my god.
Let's put more police officers out there.
Let's put more guns out there.
" I'll tell you, when I read that tweet, 'cause you said, "It can't be reformed," that suggests to me Oh yeah.
It can't be reformed.
That's a very true statement.
- You said no more poli - That was in your quote.
You said "No more policing, incarceration, and militarization.
It can't be reformed.
" So to me, I see that tweet and I think, "Oh, police can't be reformed.
Therefore, we need to get rid of them.
" - "And same with jails.
" - Policing in our country is broken.
We have to reimagine what it means to be safe in our country.
What you're talking about is a reduction in police.
I'm saying that our police structure right now isn't working.
The way we police our communities is just not working.
It's quite a mainstream position in the Democratic Party to say, "We need to reform the way police work.
We need to" Yeah, but they think it's reformable with training.
- We've thrown money at training.
- Well, here's my question.
If I see a neighbor brandishing a gun threatening their partner, like, in your vision, who would I call? I mean, again, of course you would call.
Of course you would call But would you call a police officer who would come who's armed? Like, is that still the model? I like the idea of what's going on in certain communities like Texas and other places where they are talking about more social workers and folks on staff.
But I think it's when the situation's like this, understand this.
I understand.
But you would agree that there are some situations where you do need an armed police officer to show up.
- There are situations, absolutely.
- Right, okay.
I just hope that shooting is not, like, the first option.
You know, everyone deserves to be safe.
But, man, the way they police in communities like mine is leading to more death.
In June you suggested that defenders of the filibuster are motivated at least in part by racism.
Do you still feel that way? I mean, it's just when I look at history, there was the anti-lynching legislation.
They used the filibuster to block it.
The Civil Rights Act of '57 used the filibuster to block it.
And now the Freedom to Vote, using the filibuster to block it.
Use of the filibuster seems to be triggered in points like this where it is about uplifting Black folks in our country.
And protecting them.
In 2017, more than half of Senate Democrats, including now-Vice President Kamala Harris, signed a letter to Senate leaders urging them to preserve the legislative filibuster.
Why would so many Democrats, including Kamala Harris, have argued to preserve an instrument of racism? You know, I don't know.
I know this.
I know the House of Representatives used to have a filibuster.
We got rid of it because it was used to obstruct progress for our country.
I just know what it does now, and it's currently being used to I guess what I'm asking is some people see this as a fight of convenience.
You're saying it's a fight of morality and ethics, right? I do not support the filibuster.
I don't think I ever have.
Between 2015 and 2021 when Senate Democrats were in the minority, they used the filibuster to block Republican bills that would've ended government funding for Planned Parenthood, cut funding for so-called sanctuary cities that don't enforce federal immigration laws, and banned abortions after 20 weeks.
Do you think America would be better off today if the filibuster had not existed during the Trump years? I mean, it would have been unfortunate, of course.
But I'll tell you this much.
Maybe it would've created the movement that needed to happen outside of Congress to demand accountability, right? But I don't want something to be used over and over again to stop protecting my Black neighbors.
And it seems that's when it gets triggered the most.
But as a matter of principle, even if Republicans win the White House, Senate and the House after the 2024 elections, you will still vocally advocate to abolish the filibuster.
I think abolishing the filibuster is critical to making sure because But you'll still say we need to get rid of it.
Even in that circumstance.
If there's a tool, though, they can use it to stop because they used it.
- OK, so now you're saying- - Let me tell you why.
- Here we go, this is interesting- - Well no eh let me tell you why.
So Rashida Tlaib will become an overnight fan of the filibuster.
No I wouldn't actually.
I just would think um Even the history behind the filibuster has proven over and over again, it's just not good for our country.
But for me it's like I'm not gonna sit there and say, "Oh my god.
You used the filibuster to stop folks attacking women's choice.
" Of course not.
But, like but at the same time, I know You fundamentally believe it needs to go.
- I do.
- I understand.
I get that.
President Biden's approval rating is down near where Trump's was.
It's near the least popular of any U.
president since Harry Truman.
Why do you think that is? I know that a lot of folks focus on polling.
That doesn't drive me.
I think - No, but it's a fact, right? - I know.
It's going to influence what happens next year, right? Why do you think the public it's, like, very pronounced, right? - Why do you think that's happening? - Again, I this is important to say.
Because polling to me is so weighed so heavily.
I weigh things differently.
One of the things I said to President Biden is, he said I'm going to need your help.
And I said, Sir, I probably won't be your most favorite member of Congress.
He kind of looks at me and I go, cuz sir, I'm on a different timeline.
You know, I think we both want the same things, but I needed it yesterday.
You know, my community needed it yesterday.
And they passed blighted homes, poverty, breathed in, dirty air, all of the struggles to come and vote for him, and they are there waiting and they need that urgency.
So if folks are being asked what do you think of the president? They're probably like, my life hasn't changed.
They can't wait for another hour, another week, another day, another year so that they can be able to provide for their family or be able to address some of the things that really matter to them.
Up ship's creek / navigating the supply chain crisis An unprecedented supply-chain crisis is driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods.
Nearly 40% of U.
container imports come through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where a record number of container ships wait to unload their cargo.
Ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach, CA So, Ryan, I'm seeing at least a dozen boats.
We're kinda surrounded by them.
These are all just sitting here waiting to get into port? Yeah, we're totally surrounded by container ships right now, and they're all just waiting their turn.
I would be surprised if there was a single container ship out here that didn't have Flexport cargo on it.
Ryan Petersen is CEO of Flexport, a company that helps manufacturers and retailers use data to ship goods all over the world.
You can see all these yellow anchor signals.
If it has an anchor, that means it's a cargo ship at anchor.
I filtered it so it's only showing cargo ships.
How far out does it go? And if you scan farther out, you see it goes all the way down the coast.
A lot of the terminals that we're seeing here are not really operating.
Any crane that you can see that's vertical like this is by definition not unloading a ship.
And even many of the ones that are down aren't processing containers at any given moment or throughout the day because the yard itself is so full.
There's no place to unload those containers, no place to store them in the yard.
And if the yard has no place to store them, you can't unload the ship.
How long normally should it take for all those containers to disappear from that yard? Normally, it's a couple of days.
Right now, it's more than two weeks.
When you see containers not being unloaded, you see the cranes not operating, and then just offshore you see there's more than 80 container ships waiting, you're like, "Okay.
Well, that line is only gonna get longer.
" It's getting longer every single day.
So this is basically it.
If a boat's not unloading right now and it's got, say toys for kids for Christmas, if it's not unloading now, it's probably too late? For Christmas season, I think most of the merchandise out here is gonna miss.
I talked to the CEO of one of the largest power tools makers in the United States.
And he said he had $800 million worth of merchandise sitting on these container ships.
And it's not gonna make Christmas.
Flexport warehouse LOS ANGELES, CA Ryan, can you give me the quickest explanation for why we have a shipping bottleneck problem in the U.
? The explanation has to start with COVID causing consumers not to go out to restaurants, bars, and travel.
They're taking that money and buying goods.
So container volumes are up 20%.
However, the infrastructure's not been able to keep up.
Our ports are not deep enough, the cranes are not big and automated and fast enough.
Not enough space at the yards.
So much traffic is hitting that it's not that we're getting a bit slower.
It's getting a lot slower.
And every day, that line gets longer.
The entire country right now seems to know what a supply chain is.
Given all the attention on this issue, is it getting better? We can't say that it's getting better, but there is a lot of attention.
We saw, of course the infrastructure bill passed.
That has $17 billion earmarked for ports.
We'll see what percent of that actually flows through into the shovels and starts digging and building.
But that's a good sign.
Is this the amount that other countries are spending on their own ports? Singapore is a leader here, is investing $20 billion in a new port, fully robotic, state of the art, automated.
$20 billion for a small city state with a single port.
United States, largest economy in the world, we're spending $17 billion on all of our ports combined.
Why should the mom and pop sitting at home say in the middle of America how does it impact them in the end? So ordinary people are gonna see this in higher prices and it's harder to find your stuff.
I went to Walgreens last week to buy nail clippers, and they didn't have any nail clippers.
I was like, "Walgreens has gotta have nail clippers," right? It was a very surprising moment for me when I I'm in the supply chain all day, and I experienced it firsthand.
You're gonna see real impact in terms of businesses that can't afford these high shipping prices.
How would you describe what the supply chain crisis has meant for Flexport's business over the past six months? It's been tremendously stressful.
Transit times have fallen off a cliff.
So prices have gone through the roof.
Service levels have gone down.
It's a recipe for upset customers.
You talked about how prices are so much higher right now on shipping freight.
Are the shippers gouging customers right now? Gouging is a subjective term.
Are they charging way more than they should under any objective standard? I wouldn't say that.
I think that free markets work the way they're supposed to.
I hear this constantly from experts or talking heads on TV.
A lot of, "Well this is a problem now, but it'll clear up in six months," or, "It'll clear up in 12 months.
" You don't necessarily think that happens.
I haven't seen a mechanism by which it happens.
The ports are not the throughput of containers coming out of the port now is lower than the number of containers arriving on ships at the port.
And as long as that's true, the line of ships will get longer.
I think you've made this argument, that the United States overall has underinvested in its port infrastructure for decades now.
If this new infrastructure bill had, say, been passed 20 years ago, would we still be having this problem given that we did face this kind of black swan event of the coronavirus? If it had been passed, and spent wisely, and invested correctly, and we built the right kinds of ports, I think we'd be able to scale through this.
We should have excess capacity.
We should be able to scale to that.
We should have the ability to do this.
At the end of the day, we need faster higher-throughput infrastructure.
- We need technology for these ports.
- So talk to me about technology.
So if you could design a piece of software assuming it would work, a piece of software to help alleviate this problem, what would that piece of software do? Yeah, so Flexport has actually designed this software that would immediately solve the problem at the ports here, which is right now a truck driver comes to a terminal, comes to the port looking for a specific container number.
He has to arrive during a specific window.
They get about one hour and 15 minutes, and they have to come at that time.
We'd just get rid of that.
With technology, you say, "Hey, the truck driver pulls up," give 'em the first container that's available, and he just goes.
If you were put in charge of U.
infrastructure, could you fix it? I think so.
I think that our tech at the port would solve most of the problems overnight, in that you would just be able to flow the cargo outta here.
It would just work.
The tech already works.
You just get the truck drivers in and increase the turns, remove that bottleneck.
Now, the bottleneck's gonna shift and it'll appear somewhere else.
I can't predict where the bottleneck shows up next and what the next solution is.
And I'm not sure I want that kind of power.
Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY / Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Axios headquarters ARLINGTON, VA You're off to interview Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Democrats, as you know, control the House, Senate, and the White House, so they feel empowered.
But there's a lot of anxiety coursing through their veins because they know the midterms are coming up.
And Democrats aren't convinced that voters across the country know what they're actually fighting for on the Hill because voters are too preoccupied with the infighting that's happening between the different factions of the Democratic Party.
And so when you look at this chessboard, why does Hakeem Jeffries matter now? You talk to Democrats, and they know that leadership changes are coming on the horizon, whatever happens in 2022.
But if they do keep control, many Democrats think Congressman Jeffries will be the next Speaker of the House.
Rayburn House Office building WASHINGTON, D.
The Build Back Better Act passed in the House on November 19th with one Democrat opposing.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, as the Democratic Party Caucus chair, part of your job is helping to inform and spread the party's message with voters.
But polls show that something like 40% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, and President Biden's approval rating is at or near an all-time low.
So what is the Democratic Party's biggest challenge with messaging now? Our focus from the very beginning has been to crush the virus, provide direct relief and assistance to everyday Americans who have been struggling, and to lay the foundation to supercharge our economy.
And we've gone about that in several ways.
One: passage of the American Rescue Plan.
Two: the bipartisan infrastructure agreement.
And now, we're working on the Build Back Better Act.
I talked with your colleague, Congressman Jim Clyburn.
He told me that he felt that voters didn't really have a good sense of what Democrats on the Hill are fighting for.
How do you effectively message the Build Back Better Act as opposed to what people are seeing play out on the Hill, which is characterized as infighting? The actual infighting that I'm seeing on the Hill right now is taking place amongst House Republicans, who want to sanction and punish and strip of their committee assignments 13 Republicans who voted to fix our crumbling bridges, roads, and tunnels in a bipartisan way in legislation that Mitch McConnell supported.
I don't see that level of dissent on our side of the aisle.
You know, although the infrastructure bill made it over the finish line, six of your House Democratic colleagues voted against it.
Have you personally sat down with members of the Squad, just you and the Squad, to talk about policy differences and ways forward? I talk with every single member of the House Democratic Caucus, and I've got respect for every single member of the House Democratic Caucus.
So what's one thing you learned about as you say, the hard left of your party throughout these negotiations on these two massive packages so far that maybe you didn't know before? Everyone articulates a perspective, and that's what people should do.
Folks have to decide what's in the best interest of the district they represent.
Votes go up on the board.
We try to get to 218.
When we get to 218, we get a bill over the finish line.
So the House Democratic Caucus is in a pretty good mood.
There's another pep in our step.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin.
How can you and other Democrats look at that loss and other election trends across the country as anything but a flashing red warning sign for what's to come next year? We've gotta deliver on the promises that we've made to the American people.
And I believe that's what we'll do.
So do you think that if both of these packages had been passed before the Virginia election had taken place that Terry McAuliffe would've won? That's hard to tell.
If you go all the way back to 1976, every single time that America has elected a new president, in the very next year the voters in Virginia elected a governor of the opposite party.
By that logic, Democrats will lose the House and the Senate in the 2022 midterms then, because history suggests that the incumbent party stands to lose during the president's first midterms.
Not necessarily.
I mean, there have been several exceptions.
But each Over the last 100 years? Each time that there's an exception occurs when there's an extraordinary moment in American history.
2002 was an exception in the aftermath of the attack on 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan.
The infrastructure and spending packages are not the only things that Democrats have promised voters they will deliver on.
What do you think about the future of voting rights in the Senate, especially when the margins are so tight? It's an open question as to whether we can get to 60 votes in the Senate on voting.
And if we can't, then the Senate is gonna have to make some decisions as it relates to filibuster reform.
That's a decision for the senators to make.
But the integrity of our democracy hangs in the balance.
What do you say to Democratic voters in the 2022 midterms and Democrats weren't able to deliver on voting rights when you have control of the House, Senate, and the White House? - Is that a hypothetical question? - What do you say to them? - I don't think there's - Well, it's not been passed.
So what do you say to them now? There's no message to communicate to Democratic voters now.
We're in the middle of trying to deliver on the Build Back Better Act, which I expect that we will deliver.
Republicans are moving rapidly across the country with voting restrictions, laws.
And Democratic voters and activists are freaking out, frankly, about what this means for them and their ability to participate in elections next year.
- I agree - It's not a hypothetical.
With respect to what's happening across the country in terms of the states, I think the Department of Justice has done the right thing to challenge the unconstitutionality of these laws while at the same time we work on the legislation in terms of movin' it forward through the Senate.
Thanks so much, Congressman.
I appreciate your time.
Thank you.
From lab to table / holy cow! Meat production accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the largest drivers of climate change.
Growing meat in a lab could cut up to 90% of the industry's current emissions.
- Hello.
- Thanks.
Welcome to Upside.
Upside Foods is one of nearly 100 companies vying to bring cultivated meats to market.
These are cultivators that we've built ourselves in the process of innovation over the last three years.
These are the first of this kind in the world that can make whole cuts of meat as well as ground meats.
And when you say "whole cuts," are there different cuts? Are you growing a breast versus a thigh of a chicken, for example? We're calling a cut anything that has continuous piece of tissue where if you hold the meat once it's harvested and pull up, it just all hangs together.
So it's kind of ground versus whole rather than a particular part.
Yeah, then we take that the meat that we can lift up and shape it into the product that a consumer is used to seeing.
So if it's a chicken breast, we can shape it into a chicken breast.
If it's a chicken thigh, we can do the same thing.
The feed for the cells is the most important part of this whole thing because the nutrients that we give the animal cells are essen So you have to feed a nonexistent animal, or an existent animal but not a being? That's right.
It's not an animal that is being raised or slaughtered, but it's the same cells that are growing inside an animal.
Now, we've taken those cells and then feeding them outside the animal.
And how long does it take them to grow? Essentially the entire growth cycle takes about 14 days.
And are you planning to just grow chicken here, or different kinds of meat? We can grow beef, we can grow chicken, we can grow duck, we can grow salmon or tuna all in the same production facility because the technology has been built in such a way it can be used for any species.
And then we are back into the main kitchen.
Yeah, I don't have the world's greatest sense of smell, but smells like chicken.
And what would I notice as far as differences between this and a traditionally raised and slaughtered chicken breast? On the big picture, you should not notice much differences.
But the ones we think is you'll experience this to be more tender, more moist, and thinner fibers than what you'd get in a fully grown adult chicken.
And who would you say is the target market? People who love eating meat and people who have a little bit of guilt, saying, "Oh I'm going to bury that in the back of my mind somewhere.
I don't want to think about how it came to the plate.
" I think both of them are very large segments.
And that is 95% of the world's population that loves eating meat.
Let's not take away that choice.
Now, I signed a waiver.
We're sure this is safe? 100%.
You're not the first to eat it.
There are thousands of people who tasted.
You're still among a minority because we've still not gotten approval to sell yet.
Here goes.
You can smell it.
You can pull it apart with your hand.
You can experiment.
This is just plain chicken without anything on it.
It's chicken.
I mean, it's everything you'd expect.
I expected, like, I don't know, some magic thing to happen.
But it tastes like a good piece of grilled chicken.
Really tasty.
Yeah, definitely no complaints.
Still trying to get it straight in my head.
So you start with a few million cells which take up that's not a big amount of cells, from a healthy animal.
And from that, that's the last time an actual living animal is involved in the process? And then you kinda grow it in a brewery-like environment from those starters, if you will, to keep producing meat over and over.
That's basically it.
What we're doing with cultivated beef or chicken is using less calories to make the same amount of meat.
It takes only two weeks to make that meat, versus it takes three months to grow that chicken or two years to grow a cow.
That also translates to nearly tenfold less resources, water use, grain used, deforestation needed.
All of these are essentially going to be significantly shrunk 'cause you can make meat more efficiently.
You were trained as a cardiologist.
Now, you're running a cultivated meat company.
How did how did that shift happen? The question for me to answer was, "Will I continue practicing as a cardiologist and save 2,000 or 3,000 lives in my career? Or will I go ahead and try to actually save the lives of trillions of animals and benefit millions of human lives?" And that was a very easy equation.
Where is the healthiness level? Is it about on par? Making meat better and healthier I think is going to be five years plus out where we start talking about, "We've identified how to produce at scale a low-fat, low-saturated fat product, high unsaturated fat.
" I think that is a little bit of a longer horizon.
That's not immediate.
The thinking for a long time is, "Cultivated meat, this is just something for the wealthy.
" Where are we at with that? Yeah, so it'll still be more expensive than organic meats.
So initially I don't see a way where we can reach everybody all at once.
In the five- to 15-year horizon, we're gonna be hitting conventional parity, which means whatever you can make a chicken for a chicken that's raised well, we're gonna meet that.
Uma Valeti, thanks for joining Axios on HBO.
Thank you so much for having me.
Cultivated meat products could be available to U.
consumers as early as next year as the industry navigates regulatory approvals.
And one of the first questions that came up for me is before I was like, "You know, does all this make sense? Is it kosher?" And then I was like, "No, literally, is it kosher?" We've been talking to agencies that do certification for kosher and halal.
There is an immense amount of interest and excitement.
This comes from the cells that are raised in an animal in a very kosher way.
And when we grow them out, the nutrients that they're getting are also kosher.
In your case, no animal was slaughtered.

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