FULLEPISODE: 6/27/21 Sen. Rick Scott & Rep. Jim Clyburn on the FL building collapse, infrastructure & voting laws

Published: Jun. 26, 2021 at 11:03 PM EDT
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Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, June 20, 2021.

On the Florida building collapse, Sen. Scott said: “You just hate this stuff happens. I think that what’s important is to always find out why it happens, so we make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

When asked about infrastructure legislation, Sen. Scott, who is a member of the Budget Committee, said: “We’ve got to do it in a manner where we don’t raise taxes and we don’t raise our debt.” On inflation, he said: “We can’t just keep spending more money and borrowing more money with no repercussions. Inflation is happening right now. Hopefully, it’s transitory, but it sure doesn’t look like it.”

Scott told Van Susteren he opposed a federal mask mandate on planes and public transportation, adding: “I think we should trust the American public … I trust individuals and I trust the private sector to make good decisions.” And when asked about the rise in violence in the United States, Scott said: “Democrats have not been supportive of law enforcement.”

Rep. Clyburn told Van Susteren he believes the two different infrastructure bills would make it to the President’s desk. He also said: “Just because the other party is not agreeing with it, doesn’t mean that our politics ought to be affected by theirs.”

On recent building and bridge collapses around the country., Rep. Clyburn said “Our infrastructure has been in dire need for a long, long time. The previous president talked about infrastructure for four years, did not lift one finger to do anything about it.”

Interview excerpts are below.

Sen. Rick Scott Highlights

On the Florida building collapse

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

You just hate this stuff happens, and you just think about the families that are impacted. You just hate this stuff happens. I think that what’s important is to always find out why it happens, so we make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On infrastructure

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

We have to invest in our infrastructure and we’ve got to do it in a manner where we don’t raise taxes and we don’t raise our debt.

On the debt ceiling

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

We’ve got almost $30 trillion worth of debt, $30 trillion worth of debt. We’ve got to figure out how to watch how we spend our money, invest logically. I want to make sure that we start looking at how we can fix this.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

It’s not fair to our citizens, because their taxes shouldn’t have to go up.

On inflation

Greta Van Susteren

Do you have confidence in Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell, that he can use whatever tools are available to him in his job to control inflation?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

Well, he acts like it’s going to be transitory. I talk to him, I talked to him this week. I mean, he’s got a balance sheet of $8 trillion. He keeps buying us treasuries every month. We’ve got a GDP growing at 6% and he says, “Oh, it’s a horrible economy,” so he’s buying up treasuries to keep interest rates down.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

We can’t just keep spending more money and borrowing more money with no repercussions. Inflation is happening right now. Hopefully, it’s transitory, but it sure doesn’t look like it.

On the federal mask mandate on planes and public transportation

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

My goal is not have government involved. I did a bill this week that the Democrats blocked to say, “The government shouldn’t require mask mandates on airplanes.” Now on public transportation... We can go to a restaurant or a hotel or amusement park and no mandates. If the private sector wants to do that, have at it-

Greta Van Susteren

How about an airline though? And not have the FAA require it, but the airline requires it?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

If an airline wants to do it, then you get to decide whether you want to fly on that airline. But government shouldn’t be mandating this and then expecting these flight attendants to enforce it.

Greta Van Susteren

What about public transportation where people have to go to work and we know the J&J’s vaccine is only about 70% effective, Moderna and Pfizer, about 90% or 95%. People with immune problems may have gotten the vaccine and have no protection from it at all. What about a short-term requirement by the government on public transportation?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

I think we should trust the American public. They want to be safe, they’ll do the logical things and keep themselves safe. I don’t believe we need the federal government mandating masks on public transportation, whether it’s trains or planes. I don’t believe it. I trust individuals and I trust the private sector to make good decisions.

On the rise in violence in the U.S.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

If you look around the country, what’s happened is, the Democrats have not been supportive of law enforcement. They have talked about the bad apples, there’s always a bad apple, we need to hold them accountable. So what he should be doing is talk about the great things law enforcement’s doing.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

People make mistakes, and we’ve got to hold them accountable, but let’s reward and recognize these law enforcement, and what they’re doing. If you do the opposite, people won’t want to go take those jobs. This is a tough job.

Rep. James Clyburn Highlights

On infrastructure

Greta Van Susteren

There are two infrastructure bills that we understand that we’re going to see … President Biden says he wants both on his desk at the same time. The second one would be done by reconciliation, so you don’t need a Republican vote. Do you think that you will even get that one passed so that it’ll go through reconciliation and get to the desk? Will that end up on the desk?

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

I think both of them will. It’s interesting, the Republicans were saying, “Let’s see what we can agree on and pass it.” Well, we found out what we could agree on and we are passing it. But just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution that gave blacks the right to vote passed by one party vote. it’s got a bit for me, but what we see happening a lot in these states now are one party vote. But just because the other party is not agreeing with it, doesn’t mean that our politics ought to be affected by theirs.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

If you look at the polling, the Republicans out among the public agree with what the President is doing. They agree that families need infrastructure to be addressed. Joe Biden made it very clear when he was running for president, that he saw infrastructure as being something much more than that which was traditional. Traditional for railroads, but it hadn’t always been. Traditional for interstate highways has not always been. Dwight Eisenhower gave us that. It’s never been traditional for broadband. The broadband, that’s our future. I think that it’s so much about family infrastructure needs that’s in our future, that this president is a very visionary person and sees where we ought to go.

Greta Van Susteren

Is there a somewhat political theme in this, though? Because the Republicans could go into the midterm saying, “Look, we only agreed to this.” And that would be the first bill, the one that’s going to be bipartisan, and they will oppose the second one. Meanwhile, the Democrats go into the midterm saying, “Look, we got the second one. We did it by reconciliation because we couldn’t get any Republicans on board.” So, does it give cover to both parties going into the midterms?

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

Probably so, but we aren’t doing this because of the politics. We are doing this because we need to stand families back up. We are doing this because we need to get the kids back in school. We’re doing this because we cannot have telehealth, have telemedicine, without broadband. We are doing this because the future dictates that we need to do it. It’s got nothing to do with politics.

On recent building and bridge collapses

Greta Van Susteren

It does seem that we’re seeing more and more things crumbling around us...

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

Because our infrastructure has been in dire need for a long, long time. The previous president talked about infrastructure for four years, did not lift one finger to do anything about it. We know that roads and bridges are in dire need for repair. Water and sewage, we need that. We need to have telehealth if we’re going to have an effective healthcare system going forward. So yes, infrastructure has been talked about. This President has decided that he’s going to walk the walk.

Greta Van Susteren

Even in your own state of South Carolina, I looked it up, you have eight bridges that don’t meet the federal standard in terms of the height, the 17-1/2 inch height. Some states are worse. Tennessee is much worse. So, there are a lot of states with these bridges that have problems just over highways.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

That’s quite true. That’s why I have been harping on this for a long, long time. Not just that, I’m all about water and sewage. I’ve got plenty of families, where drinking water is not safe. We know that, and we all have to go about the business of fixing that. We’ve had the experiences up in Flint, Michigan and other places that we need to address. This president has put forth in that second bill that you’re talking about, getting rid of all lead pipes. We know what it’s doing to our children. It affects their ability to function in school, and he’s getting rid of it. Our Republican friends need to join us in doing that.

On lead pipes

Greta Van Susteren

Do you have any sense of how big a crisis this is in the county?

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

Yes, we do, and that’s why the president is addressing it. The way he’s moving forward, he intends to get rid of all lead pipes in the country, and that’s what we are doing. He intends to put broadband in every home in the country. They’ve got $65 billion. I think it’s going to cost a little more than that, but that’s all the Republicans would agree to. We are going to try to get the other 30 billion in that other bill by reconciliation.

On voting laws

Greta Van Susteren

Congressmen, the Department of Justice has filed suit against Georgia for its voting law. Is that a reaction to the fact that the Senate Bill One, the voting bill, failed in the Senate this past week, do you think?

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip

I think it may be, but I think it’s also a reaction to the fact that states are taking unto themselves, the ability to implement Article One, Section Four of the United States Constitution. Article One, Section Four makes it very clear that Congress has the sole right to determine time, manner, and place of federal elections. And so, for these states to be passing laws that will affect how a Congressperson gets elected, how long the Congressperson can serve... They were told when they tried to put term limits on Congress people, that that’s outside of your bailiwick. For them to insert themselves now, tells me that this lawsuit is very timely to let the state of Georgia and Florida and Texas know that they do not have the authority to do it.

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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