The TAKE with Rick Klein
The bills are either too big to fail or too small to pass. The real danger for Democrats is if they wind up being both to different factions of the party.
Democratic leaders charged with making the Biden agenda into law are now asking to look beyond the numbers, which is a useful bit of framing when there is no price tag or legislative language or even bullet points to review.
The public debate has obsessed over those same numbers for months. But they actually are beside the point in at least one important sense: What’s at stake is more fundamental than how many trillions are spent.
J. Scott Applewhite/APSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to update reporters on Democratic efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 23, 2021.
The mind-spinning parade of potential horribles — a government shutdown, a debt default, the failure to pass any further meaningful domestic legislation, all as the pandemic continues and crises collide at the border and abroad — all fall mainly on the party in power.
It makes enactment of President Joe Biden’s priorities about responsible and even competent government — particularly given the lack of help they’re getting from Republicans on the basics involved with keeping the economy sound.
“We must succeed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
The internal party distrust is real but isn’t likely to register among voters. National and battleground polling circulating among Democrats point in the same direction: Biden and his party ran on getting things done without chaos and drama — facts that are driving the failure-is-not-an-option mindset.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
The Biden administration is ramping up deportation flights from the border to Haiti amid intense bipartisan backlash and the resignation of a top official.
Daniel Foote, the special envoy for Haiti, wrote a scathing resignation letter blasting the administration’s approach to policy on Haiti.
“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” wrote Foote in his resignation letter obtained by ABC News. Foote went on to outline the dire conditions in the earthquake-ravaged island nation.
“The people of Haiti, mired in poverty, hostage to the terror, kidnappings, robberies and massacres of armed gangs and suffering under a corrupt government with gang alliances, simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy,” wrote Foote.
Daniel Becerril/ReutersMigrants seeking refuge in the U.S. wade through the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico toward Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 23, 2021.
His evaluation stands in contrast to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ assessment of conditions on the ground in Haiti. In remarks during his Monday visit to Del Rio, Texas, Mayorkas told reporters that the country was safe enough to receive migrants.
Vice President Kamala Harris ignored questions Thursday about her reaction to Foote’s resignation during a meeting with Ghana’s president. But Harris, who has been tasked with stemming migration, won’t be able to avoid questions much longer — she’s slated to join ABC’s “The View” on Friday.
The TIP with Meg Cunningham
Officials from Arizona’s partisan-led review of 2020 ballots are finally set to deliver a report detailing their findings to the state Senate on Friday.
Nearly 11 months after the election, the conspiracy-driven dispute of the results continues to dominate the GOP. On Thursday, former President Donald Trump wrote to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, asking for him to add an audit of the 2020 election to the legislature’s special session — and then later that night, the Texas Secretary of State’s office announced a “full forensic audit” of 2020 results in four counties.
Ross D. Franklin/APCyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan talks on April 22, 2021 about overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican-led Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Early drafts of the report obtained by Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV yielded a total that was not substantially different than what Maricopa County reported after the election, confirming for those skeptical that President Joe Biden won Arizona. Still, Maricopa County warned that the entire report was “littered with errors and faulty conclusions” about the 2020 election.
Election experts have warned since the beginning of the process that the results will not be trustworthy. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote in a report that the audit consisted of “faulty and inconsistently-applied procedures and processes.”
The audit overall took months longer than expected — and ended up with a nearly $6 million price tag. The majority of the bill was covered by private fundraising to groups that align with “Stop the Steal” activists, like Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.
ONE MORE THING
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot issued its first subpoenas Thursday to four former senior Trump administration officials, including former President Donald Trump’s longest-serving aide and last chief of staff. The committee is seeking documents and depositions from Dan Scavino — Trump’s caddy-turned-social media guru and senior White House aide — former chief of staff Mark Meadows, conservative activist Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, who was the chief of staff for the acting defense secretary on Jan. 6. https://abcn.ws/3EOviCw
ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. On Friday morning’s episode, ABC News’ Anne Flaherty unravels the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel’s recommendations on booster shots. Then, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson shares her views on the treatment of Haitian migrants at the Texas border. And, ABC “Nightline” anchor Juju Chang describes her exclusive interview with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and K-pop megastars BTS. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND
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