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To read more about Episode 213, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:00:09] Thank you, everyone, for allowing me to break into your daily lives. This is Michael Moore and this is the emergency podcast system, part of our Rumble podcast. And we are coming to you now, here on Wednesday night. You may be listening to this on Thursday. It’s still going to be relevant because there is a showdown right now in the United States Congress as to whether or not these two bills that provide both specific infrastructure for the United States, roads and bridges and internet, but also the human infrastructure, this incredible bill put forth by President Biden, supported by the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives, supported by the American people – basic things, whether it’s child care, whether it’s pre-K, expanding Medicare for our elderly citizens, so that they can go to the dentist, so that they can get a hearing aid, so that they can get a pair of glasses, expanding Medicare to cover the cost of just the basic essentials for our children, for the elderly, and also to finally take on in a real form this catastrophe that we’re facing on planet Earth.
Michael Moore It’s all in this bill. And yet there are two senators that are possibly holding things up. This is going to get voted on. It could happen tomorrow morning. It could happen the next day. But this is happening right now. And everybody needs to contact their members of Congress and their senators – 202-225-3121. If you get a busy signal, 202-225-3121. Those numbers will be right here on this podcast’s platform page. But we are in an emergency right now. And that’s why I wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible. And are we ready? We have a member of Congress right now getting ready to vote on a couple of things regarding the debt ceiling and all that. But I am so honored and proud to have with us straight from Capitol Hill, the Congresswoman from Minnesota, Minneapolis, a little bit of St. Paul or just Minneapolis?
Ilhan Omar [00:00:53] Minneapolis and 14 other surrounding suburbs.
Michael Moore [00:00:58] Right, the place where the Coen brothers come from? That’s all I have.
Ilhan Omar [00:01:02] Right. Yes. St. Louis Park is in the district. Right?
Michael Moore [00:01:06] Right. And that is, of course, the voice of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Welcome to Rumble. Thank you. You are in the middle right now of a number of votes this afternoon. Let me just tell people, we are recording this late afternoon on Wednesday, the 29th of September. And none of us know, I think you must probably know this yourself. I know it’s crazy time there on Capitol Hill, but the country is on pins and needles right now because those who are in the know about these bills that are before the Senate, in the Congress, in the House of Representatives will have, as I said, this lasting historical impact, if we can if we get these passed.
Michael Moore [00:01:48] And the thing is, Congresswoman, maybe you should just give us an update right now as to where things are as we are talking in this moment, because I know there’s a vote coming up in 20 minutes or so. So just where are we? I think it’s frustrating to people who listen to my podcast, they want to know, they want to hear, is this the first time in our lifetime where Democrats are actually going to stand their ground for the people and make sure that we get everything that we need passed. Is there a sliver of hope here?
Ilhan Omar [00:02:30] Well, let me first of all, thank you. And to you, to your listeners, it’s really great to be able to be in conversation and community with you. To your point, we are deliberating on a number of pieces of legislation that will have and could have a lasting impact on the lives of so many people. We have to vote on bills concerning the debt ceiling. We have to vote on a continuing resolution that will hopefully keep the government open. And we’ve got these two big pieces of legislation, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act, the Reconciliation larger piece that make up the Build Back Better agenda that the president ran on that we as progressives are fighting on and have had his back that will have investments in child care in preschool and community college and trade schools, in addressing our climate crisis, in addressing the housing crisis and housing shortage that exists in this country, expanding Medicare, lowering the eligible age to 55, covering hearing dental and vision.
Ilhan Omar [00:04:08] So as you said, this is probably going to be the kind of investment that our country needs, one that hasn’t happened since the 1930s. If we are successful, we will truly have transformed our nation. Now the good news is 95 percent of Democrats in Congress, both in the Senate, in the House, are joining in wanting to implement this agenda. We have a few that are creating roadblocks in accomplishing this. As you’ve been following, there are a lot of people who are doing the bidding of corporations, whether it is Big Pharma, Big Oil and Wall Street, and are not working in concert with us and helping us deliver on behalf of the American people. Michael, we say Democrats are the party of the people and this is our once in a lifetime opportunity to actually prove that. And so we’re going to hold the line and we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure this gets done.
Michael Moore [00:05:32] Wow. Well, you know, the hopes and the prayers of a nation of millions are with you right now, and I can say that because I read every single one of the public opinion polls that are taken every now and then and consistently for the last number of years, the majority of Americans already agree with what is in what I call there’s these two bills, as you just described, the first, the bipartisan infrastructure bill where Republicans joined in to vote for money for roads and bridges and tunnels and rural internet and all good and necessary and needed things, you should know this obviously being from Minneapolis and the collapse of that bridge a number of years ago. So that’s happening and ready to happen all over the country. That bill that you got, I think you got 16 Republicans in the Senate to go along with that one. But the second bill, which has to go through this Reconciliation. But I think the parliamentarian in the Senate has said, yes, it can. The 3.5 trillion dollar bill, this is what I call the human infrastructure bill. This is the one that is about, as you said, pre-K, child care for elderly people to get a hearing aid.
Ilhan Omar [00:06:57] Paid sick, I mean, we’re one of, I think, the countries in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee that, you know, I mean, this is more than necessary legislation. And, you know, shockingly, progressives always are, you know, trying to fight for an agenda that is supplemental to what Democrats usually put forth or what the president might put forth. This is the first time that we are doing this in concert and we’ve consistently had the president’s back in implementing this agenda. Senator Bernie Sanders himself as the chair of the Budget Committee in the Senate wrote it. So, you know, it’s a good piece of legislation and we’re really excited about the possibility of people really feeling actual tangible investment in their lives that the government will have a part of it.
Michael Moore [00:08:05] Right. And the president of the United States, Joe Biden, has said this is what he believes in.
Ilhan Omar [00:08:10] Right. It’s his agenda.
Michael Moore [00:08:12] It’s his agenda. All right. And so the fact that the different factions of the Democratic Party have come together, as you said, 95% percent support everything that you and I have just been talking about. But it is that five percent that could blow this thing up, could make it not happen. Where are we at with that? I mean, we’re essentially talking about two senators, Senator Manchin from West Virginia and Senator Sinema from Arizona. And are we talking about any members of the House that have also threatened to add to defect here? I know there’s a couple of what I would call the more corporatist Democrats, but it seems like we’re so close to this. And because we are so used to it, I hate to say this losing because we and or maybe compromising is a better word, but we’re asked we’ve been asked all our lives to compromise, compromise, compromise.
Ilhan Omar [00:09:13] Yeah. I mean, you know, I think compromising on this is asking, right, for the people who have continued to be compromised in our communities to continue to do so. And it’s something that we’re not willing to do. There are few members in the House that have expressed apprehension, but they’re not like the senators that, you know, that you just mentioned. They are willing to vote yes on both of these pieces of legislation. That is better than what we have heard from the other senators. And I think, you know, for us, the bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t perfect, but we’re willing to put our votes on the board for it as a yes.
Ilhan Omar [00:10:07] And, you know, there are some Democrats in our caucus who don’t think, you know, the kind of investments that we are making in the Reconciliation piece isn’t what they would have proposed, but they’re willing to put their votes on the board as a yes. Now, we just need to hear from these two senators. I think Manchin has been, we’ve been making some progress with him. And Sinema just seems to be the harder one to move. I want, you know, their constituents to be reaching out and, you know, being in conversations with them, because what we are pushing for and what we’re proposing is real investment in people’s lives.
Ilhan Omar [00:10:58] I know that people in my district will benefit from these pieces of legislation. I can’t imagine how Sinema doesn’t have constituents that will benefit from it, and I can’t imagine how, you know, Joe Manchin doesn’t have constituents that will benefit from it. And so, you know, this is not a wish list of progressives. This is a wish list from the American people. This is why they voted for President Biden. This was his agenda that he ran on. That’s why they gave us the majority in the House and the Senate. And we can’t continue to make promises to people that we are not willing to fulfill.
Michael Moore [00:11:48] So people who are listening to this right now, if you live in Arizona or West Virginia, it is not a waste of your time to call your two senators, the one in West Virginia, Joe Manchin, and the one in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema. And I’m going to give you a phone number, folks, and I’ll put it on my podcast page here if you don’t have a pen to write this down. But you can call a human being, they will answer at the switchboard on Capitol Hill and all you have to do is say, I want to speak to Senator Sinema or Senator Manchin. The number is 202-225-3121. That’s the number for the Senate, the Senate switchboard. 202-225-3121.
Ilhan Omar [00:12:33] And that, not only does a human being answer you, you will get sent to the offices of these members so that you can actually talk to a human in their office. And I will tell you as a member that these calls, we get a read out of every single phone call that comes into our office. And so when there is an uptick in a particular area of interest from our constituents, we are able to know and are able to make a decision in regards to how we’re going to vote. A lot of people here, their members say, you know, I heard from my constituents, I made the decision to vote yes or no. This is your chance to make sure that your senators are hearing from you, so that we can get them to a yes on these pieces of legislation that will make an impact in your life.
Michael Moore [00:13:30] So it does make a difference to call. And you’re saying that you, as a member of Congress, you pay attention, you see that read out every day as to what people called about and what they said. And you do care.
Ilhan Omar [00:13:45] And Michael, it’s not only every day, it’s throughout the day.
Michael Moore [00:13:52] Throughout the day.
Ilhan Omar [00:13:53] So, you know, it’s not just once that we’re being kept in the loop of how our constituents are engaging with what we’re doing in Washington. But we’re hearing it constantly from our staff, the kind of phone calls that are coming in and the ways in which our constituents want us to actually represent them.
Michael Moore [00:14:21] So you haven’t given up hope on these two senators, because, as you pointed out, they did both eventually vote for the first infrastructure bill, the roads and bridges one.
Ilhan Omar [00:14:31] Right.
Michael Moore [00:14:33] And Sinema voted for that, even though they were reluctant at first. There is a chance. Do you think President Biden is, I know they’ve been to the White House now, I think every day this week, Manchin and Sinema. You know, I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago. Vice President Biden, just do what they used to do back in the Lyndon Johnson days, offer the pork. Just say, what do you need in Arizona? We’ll get you. We’ll get you what you need. I mean, I’m not going to buy you a new yacht, but I’m going to for the people of Arizona. What do you need for the people of West Virginia? What do you need? I mean, use the power, senators, that you hold in your hands right now and get good things for your people.
Michael Moore [00:15:16] You know, maybe some people listen to say, oh, my God, don’t be encouraging this kind of politicking. But my friends, this is so important that both of these bills get passed at the same time and that we get these things that we need for our fellow Americans. This it’s so important. And what is Joe Biden going to offer? He says to the people, the poor, poor people of West Virginia, who live in poverty, offer Joe Manchin something he can take to the people there and say, you know what, I got this for you, your life isn’t going to be as bad as it was a week ago or a month ago.
Michael Moore [00:15:53] Are you upset to hear me say stuff like this because it’s so old school politicking? But it’s like as long as that, you know, no representatives should be getting any money to line their pockets. But if they’re getting something for the people of their state, I got to tell you right now, nobody listening to this, no matter what state they’re in, cares about whatever it is that Joe Biden’s going to do to help the people of Arizona or West Virginia. We’re all for it. Whatever it is, it’ll be good.
Ilhan Omar [00:16:21] Yeah, I mean, and I think more importantly, what will, what in these bills are they objecting to? Right. That is also the other part of this conversation that we just really don’t know what they don’t like.
Michael Moore [00:16:38] They haven’t said.
Ilhan Omar [00:16:39] Yeah. I mean, it’s not like they’re not legislators, that there isn’t an opportunity for them to legislate, to have their voices heard in this process. We all have an opportunity to say: these are the things that make sense to me in this piece of legislation. These are the things that don’t make sense to me. If you keep A, B and C and you can have my vote, if you take out A, B and C, you can have my vote, right? Like that, that’s even a start. And so what we’re asking for is: what do you want to see in the Reconciliation bill? What don’t you want to see? So that we can begin to have a conversation on how to urgently get this piece of legislation done so that the people that we represent, who have desperately waited for investment, and again, in these key areas, right, of child care, of preschool, of health care expansion, of housing, of climate resiliency, all of these areas are things, areas that are important to so many people.
Ilhan Omar [00:17:54] The piece of legislation that we put forth is so popular not just with Democrats, but with Republicans and independents. And so, I don’t know if you have Republican listeners, but if you do or have independent listeners, you know, we should also encourage them to reach out to their members as well. Like this kind of investment that we are making is real investment. This is investment in people’s lives. And every single member of Congress, whether you are in the House or the Senate, should be invested in fighting for investments in the lives of the people that you represent.
Michael Moore [00:18:34] I read a piece this week that said actually Republican senators should be voting for this because all the things in the human infrastructure bill are things that are going to benefit red states to such an extreme that they should be upset they didn’t think of this first. Because all of this help and money is going to go to states that are represented, some of them by two Republican senators. And they should be behind this.
Michael Moore [00:19:01] I mean, I just want to ask you, you posted a photo yesterday of you and Speaker Pelosi holding hands and the caption read: it’s going to take all of us to deliver the president’s Build Back Better agenda. So I thought that was so cool to see that photo. First of all, are you still holding hands now? It’s a day later. And I’m assuming that she’s aligned on this because she is there to get through. 10 million more people voted for Joe Biden than the other guy. The American people want these things. The majority of them support them. As I said, look at any poll, the majority, even with the senators, the statistic of how many Americans voted for a Democrat in the U.S. Senate is way beyond the number that voted for Republicans. But because of the system that we have, sadly, sometimes it is the minority party. The Republicans get to have the say. But how are things today with you and Speaker Pelosi and is she as optimistic as I think she is?
Ilhan Omar [00:20:13] So, you know, a few months ago, five months ago, we put forth a framework of what we thought should be included in the Reconciliation Bill. The Progressive Caucus said we want to have investments in the areas of the care economy and health care, in immigration, and housing. And we said, we think a strategy of simultaneously moving these pieces of legislation makes the best sense. What we have found is that the speaker, majority leader Schumer and the White House agreed with that strategy and because there was an agreement with that strategy, progressives in the Senate, like Bernie Sanders and others, voted for the infrastructure, the bipartisan infrastructure piece of legislation and believed that, you know, we will ultimately all come together and and pass this agenda in tandem.
Ilhan Omar [00:21:39] Now, the speaker has not waived in her support for this strategy. Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, has not. The White House has not. It’s only the few people that we’ve talked about, in the Senate, in the House that have. And so the Speaker, Majority Leader Schumer and the White House and us continue to hold hands and want to see this through. And we will continue to hold hands until this bill gets implemented into law.
Michael Moore [00:22:18] Well, you know, we’re all hoping for this and I sense some optimism. Though, is it correct to say, as we’re recording this right now, none of us know what the end game is here? What’s going to happen?
Ilhan Omar [00:22:31] Yeah, I mean, I’m optimistic. There has been some progress made in the last 24 hours. We expect there will be more progress made in the next 24 hours. And hopefully, you know, it will be enough progress for these bills to have a vote, because without it, it is not only going to be a failure in in in the Democratic agenda, failure in the President’s agenda, but failure in delivering on our promise to the American people and failure in actually having tangible investment in people’s lives. So this is big.
Michael Moore [00:23:23] You know, it is big. And, you know, every time we see you and Rashida on the Squad, even the guys you’ve let into the Squad, the male members of the Squad, it’s so wonderful to see that. But it’s and I know it’s still a small, but important group. But when I saw this week that 60 members of Congress of the House have joined in with this and have said we will not back down, we will not let this happen, which means that nothing is going to happen. And I know there’s some people going, well Mike, that’s not good, we need to get, no, no, no. We’re done. We’re tired of this. You know, it’s something I’ve always admired about Republicans is that they believe in what they believe in and they stick to it. They don’t back down. And we are always the ones backing down. And I just, you know, this, right? You know, millions…
Ilhan Omar [00:24:20] That has been really the most impressive aspect of what has taken place. I’ve been the whip of the Progressive Caucus now for two cycles. And I can tell you, I have not seen a more unified caucus. I have not seen a caucus that inspired others that are not part of our caucus to join us in our strategy and in our fight on behalf of working families. It’s truly incredible. I have to give a shout out to one of our deputy chairs, Katie Porter, who represents a swing district, folks expected her to be a moderate. She’s a proud member of the Progressive Caucus.
Ilhan Omar [00:25:19] She’s [Katie Porter] in leadership with me and Pramila Jayapal and what we have seen her do is encourage so many other frontline members to stick up for their constituents and to fight for this investment with their votes. And, you know, they say, you know, the devil’s in the details. And the people have appreciated how detailed this proposal is and how they can easily see the victories their constituents will have once this policy is passed. And so there’s just incredible work that’s getting done in our caucus, where my office and our operation is busy trying to make sure the numbers that we say we have are accurate and everybody remains steadfast in their yes for both. And we will continue to do what we can to hold the line until the American people get what they have been promised and what they deserve.
Michael Moore [00:26:36] Well, your office is telling me now the vote’s going to be in a couple of minutes. So I just want to thank you again and I want to congratulate you on your memoir. “This Is What America Looks Like.” This is such a great book of your whole career from the refugee camps in Africa all the way to the United States Congress on that beautiful day when you and Rashida became the first Muslim women ever to be sworn in to represent us in the United States.
Michael Moore [00:27:05] So honored to have you on. Thank you for always standing up for us, for us never having to worry about any of this political hoo-ha. You are a woman of conscience and you are strong and we are lucky to have you and I just can’t thank you enough for this and what you’ve got to go through in these next 24 to 48 hours. Bless you. We are all hanging in there with you, everybody listening to us – 202-225-3121. That’s the Capitol Hill switchboard. Congresswoman Omar, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ilhan Omar [00:27:46] Thank you. I just hope that people stand with us and they continue to help us get their members on board. We are really close. And with their help, we are going to be victorious.
Michael Moore [00:28:03] Make your voice heard, everybody. Thank you. Good luck on the vote. Don’t shut the United States down. We’re still open. We’re still baking cookies. And thank you for that and from all of us here who work on this podcast. Thank you.
Ilhan Omar [00:28:21] All right. Appreciate you. Bye
Michael Moore [00:28:22] Bye. Be well.
Michael Moore All right, there you go, folks. Congresswoman Omar is off to vote. You and I are off to the phones right now to call our members of Congress. If you don’t know who your member is, just when you call the switchboard the human that answers, just say what zip code you’re in. They should be able to figure it out and they’ll transfer you to your actual member of Congress. You may just get an aid or an assistant, but that’s OK. Just let them know you expect both bills to be passed. At the same time, the first infrastructure bill and the second human infrastructure bill both to be passed. 202-225-3121.
Michael Moore 202-225-3121. And yes, especially if you live in Arizona or West Virginia, Senator Manchin, Senator Sinema. Frankly, my friends, you know how this works. They need to hear a tsunami of phone calls right now on Capitol Hill from we the people. We expect no less than both of these infrastructure bills to be passed in the way that President Biden has said that he wants them to be passed to Build Back Better. And what he means by that kind of clunky English is it’s not enough for us just to build back to the way it was before the pandemic. We have to build a better country, one that takes care of its people, not the old way, the new way. You, my friends, are part of this. 202-225-3121. Do it now and do it again tomorrow morning when you wake up. It only takes 30 seconds. [00:29:41]
Michael Moore We are at a critical, critical moment. We can make history happen in a way, as Congresswoman Omar said, hasn’t happened since the 1930s. Let’s do this now. Thank you, everybody, for letting me interrupt your day, your evening. And thank you to those of you who are listening to this on my Substack. Again, if you’re not on my Substack, just go to MichaelMoore.com, type in your email address, and you’ll get these podcasts sent to you. You don’t have to go looking for them. They’ll just come to you once a week, sometimes twice a week, depending on if there’s an emergency.
Michael Moore But please sign up. I want to be able to send these to you. And it doesn’t cost anything. It’s all free. Just mark the free box and you’ll get this. OK, we’ve got to get to work. So thank you. This has been the emergency podcast system, Rumble with Michael Moore. I’m Michael Moore. Thank you, all of you, for standing for something so important.