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To read more about Episode 216, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:00:26] This is Rumble with Michael Moore, and I’m Michael Moore. Welcome everyone. On today’s podcast, we have a special guest, the Congressman from Northern California Ro Khanna. He is one of the leaders of the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. And he is working round the clock right now to preserve as much of the progressive agenda that is in the human infrastructure bill that is probably going to be voted on sometime by the end of this week or sometime next week. And the fight is on. The fight is on to get as much as we can with all of these things that this bill is going to do for children, for the elderly schools, a whole bunch of things that he will be with us shortly here to give us an update and to tell us what we need to do to fight these Republicans and these corporate Democrats, who are standing in the way of what the American people want.
Michael Moore [00:01:32] So stick around for that because he’s going to be talking to us live from the halls of Congress. I also want to thank everybody for your feedback on my Substack letter from this past Sunday, one called I Like America, and the 13 Reasons Why I Like America. A Canadian had asked me, What is it that you do like about your country? And I’m like, Huh? And I thought about it for a couple of days, and I made a great list of 13 things. If you haven’t read that, please go on my Substack site. It’s free. Just type in MichaelMoore.com.
Michael Moore [00:03:29] So here we go with today’s guest. My friends, let me state the obvious, we are at a breaking point in Joe Biden’s presidency right now. This week, all the major initiatives that we need to get done for the economy, for health care, for the environment, for voting rights and for our ability to actually hold free and fair elections, they are all up in the air right now. [00:06:01]On Wednesday of this week, Senate Republicans blocked passage of the Freedom to Vote Act. Not a single Republican supported the bill. They will live to rue this day. Senate Democrats could pass the sweeping voting rights legislation, but only if they had the guts to vote to end the filibuster. The filibuster is anti-democracy. It is not in the Constitution. It is only mostly been used to keep Black Americans from voting, to keep civil rights from happening for all kinds of people. It must go. Tell your senators. It must go. [43.8s]
Michael Moore [00:06:46] And for the past few weeks, conservative corporatist Democrats in Congress have been chipping away at what Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have teamed up to create: a massive, wonderful $3.5 trillion dollar investment in the American people. An investment that within the bill is already paid for. No additions to the debt of the country. All paid for because in the bill, the rich, the uber rich will start finally paying their fair share of taxes. 55 corporations paying zero in taxes, getting around it so that they don’t have to contribute. That ends with this bill. That’s why they hate it. That’s why they don’t want it to pass. Because if the American people knew that they could get all these things and that and doesn’t cost them anything. Their taxes don’t go up. In fact, if you’re a middle class person, if you’re a working class person, your taxes go down in this bill.
Michael Moore [00:07:53] So negotiations on this are ongoing. I mean, literally as I am speaking. And now we’re bringing on our Congressman, who’s there in the halls of Congress right now, back and forth between the White House and Congress to get this thing passed. And the reason I have Congressman Ro Khanna on the episode here today is because I wanted to talk with a member of Congress who has been fighting the good fight in trying to keep as much of this $3.5 trillion dollar legislation together. Everybody, please welcome our good friend here on this podcast from California, United States Congressman Ro Khanna Ro, welcome back to Rumble.
Ro Khanna [00:08:43] Michael, it’s my honor and thank you for what you’ve been doing for the last seven months since President Biden has been elected to really help mobilize around these policies. It made a huge difference.
Speaker 3 [00:08:56] Well, you know, President Biden has made that easy on a number of us. I think because the fear that he would go into the White House and lean center or lean right did not happen. The opposite happened, and I’ve been so impressed and pleased with the strong stances that he has taken. And up until this week, he would not relent on all the things that more moderate conservative Democrats and others were pushing him to change his mind on. But now here we are, so it’s clear I think to everybody that you’re not going to get everything we want. I don’t know if I’ve ever in my political life been able to say those words, Well, we got everything we wanted. But it seems like you and the others have fought to keep as much of this as possible. And maybe it’s not 10 years. So the price is reduced to keep some people happy. But just give us a very quick update as to where we’re at today. And then I want to ask you a couple of questions and we’ll let you get back to the important work that you’re doing today.
Ro Khanna [00:10:03] Michael, first of all, I agree with you on the characterization of President Biden. As you know, I was a co-chair for Senator Sanders, but I told him this week that every time I hear him speak, I’m convinced he’s more progressive than I thought he was. So he’s really passionate about these policies. And when we do pass this, this is going to mean every kid in America finally gets preschool, something they’ve been doing in France very successfully. And you know, in France, what is shown is that by the time you get the first grade, people are on a level playing field. I mean, that would be transformational in this country if we can do that for every kid. It’s going to be child care for working families and middle class families. It’s going to mean seniors finally get dental, vision and hearing.
Michael Moore [00:10:48] Dental is still in?
Ro Khanna [00:10:49] Dental’s in. Now the CMS is so bureaucratic that they have this whole process that every dentist has to be certified et cetera, and that would take years. And so what we’re thinking of doing is a debit card, which gives you about a thousand bucks, which you can use on dental. So it’s not that every, you know, I mean, a root canal cost more than that. But at least it’s a start, and Michael the broader point I want to make is that these are things that you and other progressives have been calling for for decades. These are policies that we have been an outlier on. Every other democracy in the Western world has these policies. Paid family leave is going to be in there. So we can do this and set a totally different direction. Finally, we’re saying, We’ve got to invest in the working class and middle class.
Ro Khanna [00:11:44] And I want to be candid with folks. Am I concerned that paid family leave may not be the 12 weeks? Yes. It should be more than the four weeks that’s currently being negotiated, and anyone who knows someone who’s been pregnant knows that four weeks is ridiculous, but we’re going to have a compromise on these things. And what I think we should focus on is we’ve finally broken through on these policies and we can build on it. And it’s a totally different way of looking at our obligation and social contract in a democracy.
Michael Moore [00:12:16] So you are not depressed today, right? You haven’t thrown the towel in on any of this.
Ro Khanna [00:12:20] I’m not. I’m energized. Now, the one place where I’m concerned, where I’m most anxious, is on climate. And that is because it is such a crisis and we need to go to Glasgow. We need to have the president go with some leadership. That America is going to show that we’re serious about hitting his goals of a 50 percent reduction of emissions by 2030. And if the CEPP, the Climate Energy Plan, which would have created mandates and incentives for the power companies, is out because of Manchin, then we need to have an alternative there. We need to have something robust there and that is something that the Progressive Caucus is pushing. Jared Huffman has been leading that on our caucus. Tina Smith has been pushing it. She was the original author of the CEPP in the Senate. But that is a red line. Climate is a red line for progressives. Not that it has to be the exact thing that Manchin wants out. But we have to be serious about that portion. And to me, that is the one area where there’s still a lot of ongoing negotiation.
Michael Moore [00:13:33] What do you think of these reports today that Manchin is thinking of leaving the Democratic Party? Is there any truth to that? Or is this just a last-minute ploy to put just another gun to our heads?
Ro Khanna [00:13:47] I don’t think there’s any truth to that. I think maybe at some point he could have said, Oh, I can become an independent and still caucus with Democrats. I mean, who knows? People say a lot of things and and someone could leak that or try to create an article. But you know, I actually think it’s more the Republicans’ hopeful thinking that that would happen and trying to throw any grenades in what is very close to being a deal. And as they see the feds coming together, they’re going to try to disrupt it.
Michael Moore [00:14:19] So here’s here’s what I’m worried about, and I’m worried about what the American people are watching this week, last week, next week. And I’m especially worried about people who voted for President Biden, who voted for Democrats in 2020 because they believed that things were going to happen. Profound things. Profound changes were going to happen. And it fired people up and so many people came out, who don’t usually vote. And Bernie was out there all across the country with Biden getting, you know, everybody that voted for him out there. And you and I and others very cautiously. But you know, we jumped into the deep end of the pool with the assurance that whether it was climate, whether it was the significant child tax credit and also child care, elder care, all these things.
Michael Moore [00:15:11] And I thought since the beginning of this year, since Biden was inaugurated that, you know what, everybody’s doing all the hand-wringing, we’re going to lose seats next year. No, we’re going to gain seats because the American people will have had a year of this extra help with their children, with their parents and grandparents with all these things that you guys have preserved in this bill. And after a year of that, people are going to go, I want more of that. And the people that came out who normally don’t vote, who voted last year, they can say they’ve been wanting to say, Wow, it was worth my time. I’m glad I didn’t sit in my cynic’s chair. I came out. If we break faith with them on this and none of these things really come through with any substance. If this isn’t passed, the difficult time you and I and others are going to have next year, getting them out for the midterms and getting them out in 2024, this is to me what these two bills, yes, they’re about all…these specific things that are going to make life so much better for working people and for families and all that.
Michael Moore [00:16:28] But it’s also going to help guarantee, as the Republicans, as less and less and less of them, as less and less Americans are voting for them, we’ve gone from Gore winning the popular vote by half a million to Hillary, winning the popular vote by three million to Biden winning the popular vote by over seven million. That’s the trend. The trend is with us. If we break faith, if we break that trend, the damage that this will do if, and I applaud you and the others. And this isn’t just the four members of the squad this time. It started a month ago, with 60 Democrats in Congress saying, We are not backing down on this. And then more and more came on and it was clear to the speaker and then she came on and everything and then Biden backed you. It was just the whole thing was great to see, but. If this doesn’t succeed on the level it needs to succeed, I fear, I’m sorry to put a negative thing on this, but I don’t want to scare people, but I believe that we might be doomed next year and our chance of getting just two more Senate seats, so we don’t have this problem that we’ve had this time. Just two more Senate seats. There’s five Republicans that are not running for reelection. You know, we can win these seats, but we won’t if we didn’t deliver. Your honest reaction to that.
Ro Khanna [00:17:59] Michael, I can’t say it any more clearly or better than you just did. I mean, people say, Well, aren’t you most concerned about saving Democracy and Trump’s big lie and the radicalization of the Republican Party? And I say, Yes, I am. But just having the hearings on January 6th, which are so important and just talking about holding Trump accountable is not enough. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient. We have to, in addition to running against the Big Lie and running against the radicalized Republican Party, give people a reason to vote for us. And that is about more than just roads and bridges and even broadband. We have to show that we finally get it and are helping working families, middle class families in this country, and that’s what this bill will do. I mean, it means three hundred bucks in the pocket of families with kids going all the way up to the middle upper middle class.
Ro Khanna [00:18:59] They’re finally going to get some help every month, money for each kid. It’s going to mean, like we said, that they get childcare help. They’re not going to ever have to pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. Right now, people are paying twenty twenty five percent on child care. This is real stuff that they’re going to see right away. And I agree with you. I think then the 2022 elections are going to be clear. Do you want this stuff to continue? Or if you put the Republicans in, they’re going to try to repeal it. And the 2024 elections will be, you want this to continue and build on it, or do you not? And so I believe we have a very good chance if we get this done. If we don’t, then we really are at a very severe disadvantage in getting people’s credibility. So I know, look, when we vote for this, I know there will be some people on the left who say, just vote against it. We didn’t get enough. And I don’t think that’s right in terms of setting the direction on progressive policy. We held firm. We were ready to vote down the infrastructure bill when the commitments weren’t there…
Michael Moore [00:20:04] That was clear. That was not a fake out. It was clear. And I think that’s what preserved the majority at least of what we’ve been attempting to do. And so, you know, instead of three steps forward, it’s maybe one and a half to two steps forward here. But I don’t want to have to next year explain to people that that what we’ve done now by depressing the vote. And if people don’t understand what that term means: it’s that if we we on the left, we progressives, liberals, Democrats, whatever you want to call this, President Biden, if the vote is depressed, meaning the vote for Biden, the Democratic vote for next year, where people just say, you know what, either fuck, I’m not going to vote. You know, they they let me down. We didn’t get we’re supposed to get or worse. This is what is more than likely will happen if we don’t succeed strongly right now. What’s going to happen next year is the people that voted for the Democrats and for Biden in 2020 are going to be not as enthused.
Michael Moore [00:21:08] And so they will vote, they will vote. But in 2020, they brought five of their friends with them. They brought five family members with them. They made sure they got out, not just their vote, but more of the vote. And that’s why he doubled, more than doubled what Hillary did in 2016. That won’t happen, Congressman, if…they’ll vote next year, but it will be a depressed vote. They will vote, not exactly happy with how this turned out. And no matter how many times I say to them, Look, if you let the Republicans win next year, you know, you remember January 6th, those people who were storming the Capitol building, they’ll be storming the Capitol building and when the new Congress is sworn in, they just won’t have all that crazy gear and Viking horns and American flags to stab people with. They will have suits and ties on. But it’s the same damn insurrection that will be going on, and we will rue the day that we didn’t fight for these things that would have inspired people to come out and vote next year. I’m so worried that what we do this week and next week is going to desperately affect the turnout next year.
Ro Khanna [00:22:25] Right. And that’s why it’s so important that we didn’t just do the infrastructure bill that we’re actually going to deliver for things that are going to make people’s lives better and we need to continue to fight to make it as good as possible. That’s an ongoing negotiation right now. I think the climate part is so critical, one because of the actual threat that exists to our planet, but also because, as you know, Michael, so many young people who came out, that’s their number one issue. I mean, there’s a group of young people right now on a hunger strike outside the White House on climate. And so that’s a place where we’re still negotiating. We need to be clear that that it’s unacceptable for the United States to send President Biden to Glasgow and have the least strong plan compared to the Europeans or even the Chinese. I mean, we need to send him with a strong plan.
Michael Moore [00:23:20] And then it looks like that our side can’t deliver. Even when the majority of Americans support what we believe in. The vast…every poll, you know this, every poll, whether it’s health care, child care, minimum wage, every damn poll says the American people agree with us, not the not the Republicans and not with Sinema. And Manchin.
Ro Khanna [00:23:44] And they agree with us, you know, 60, 70, 80 percent. You know, here’s the interesting finding. I’m sure you know this, but I was shocked about it. They had a poll that said, Do you believe in universal preschool? And it said, OK, 65, 70 percent approve it. And then you ask the same question, Do you believe in universal preschool and taxing the ultra rich to pay for it? And the number goes up to 80 or 90 percent, like taxing the rich is actually good politics. And so when Sinema is saying that she doesn’t want to raise a dime on corporate tax rates or doesn’t want to raise a dime on the wealthy, it’s just horrible politics.
Ro Khanna [00:24:23] I mean, it’s not just morally bad, it’s terrible politics, but we’re going to overcome that. We’re going to get this passed. And then I think we do have a responsibility, to be honest but positive. I mean too often what happens is the the after we pass these big things, you know, the Republicans, whatever they pass, they call it the greatest thing ever. We intent as Democrats to be reflective and sometimes we dwell on all that’s not there. But I think this we can really be proud of, legitimately proud of what we’re delivering to folks. So they know that if they come out, if they can continue to be mobilized, that we will have more wins for poor people.
Michael Moore [00:25:03] And what do we say today to our fellow progressives who are very upset at the fact that it seems like community college is out, as you said? I mean, you must have heard from a lot of people.
Ro Khanna [00:25:19] I hear daily, I get it on Twitter, I get it all the time. But, you know, but we also heard a lot of positive when we stood firm and shared this with the president was coming to speak to us to the House caucus at the end of September, when the speaker had set the deadline, saying we needed to have the vote on infrastructure. Everyone in the caucus and all the moderates expected the president to come and say we need to pass infrastructure, and the president said the exact opposite, he said, No, we’re not going to do it until they’re both bills.
Michael Moore [00:25:53] Weren’t you amazed at him?
Ro Khanna [00:25:54] Yeah. And that’s one of the first times the Progressive Caucus has actually stood firm and won. And that’s not because of those of us in Congress. That’s because of the progressive movement. And that’s because President Biden saw that firsthand in the primaries. I mean, the difference between Biden and a lot of his colleagues is, yeah, he may have been elected first in the 70s or 80s, like many of his colleagues, but he had to face the modern electorate in 2020.
Ro Khanna [00:26:21] Many of these folks in the Congress and Senate haven’t had to face that, so he saw firsthand that progressive energy and he gets it. And so I would say to all of your listeners, you made an incredible difference. You influence the president. You’ve given us sort of the ability to have spine as a caucus continue to push for these things because we’re still in a negotiation push for the things that you care most about. And then let’s continue the fight after after we get these wins, but know if it weren’t for you, we’d probably just have a bipartisan Roads Bridges bill, which was a Mitt Romney…And you changed that direction.
Michael Moore [00:27:01] That’s right. Biden came in what fourth, fifth and sixth or whatever in those first three caucuses and primaries. He was not in the top three. Bernie won or tied those three. And yes, everybody who participated in that had a huge impact on Biden and he could read the tea leaves very well and pivot. So tell people who are listening what can they do today, tonight, tomorrow, because I think this is close, this is going to happen certainly by next week. What do they need to do right now so that their voices are heard?
Ro Khanna [00:27:37] Well, first they should be communicating with those of us in the Progressive Caucus with Senator Sanders about what are the most important negotiation points for them. They should call the White House to let them know what is most important. They should let senators, those of the listeners that are in Arizona and West Virginia or other states. They should let their representatives know what is most important. This is still fluid. This is still, you know, I think that is being negotiated. So the more people hear from the grassroots organizers, that this is what matters, the better chance that’s going to make it in to the final piece of legislation. And then what I would hope is that people will also say at the end of the day we’ve got to pass this as long as it’s progress and two steps forward and not sort of have a nihilism where we don’t do anything and then we’re in real trouble in 2022.
Michael Moore [00:28:37] So to people who are listening, the Capitol Hill switchboard to write this down, but I will also put it on my podcast page here, where you’re listening, where you’re listening to me, the number to the Capitol Hill switchboard and a human being answers the phone and you just have to ask for your member of Congress if you don’t know who that is, just give him or her the zip code when you get the operator on the line and they will send you to your member of Congress. That number is 202-224-3121. And then if it’s busy too much, then here’s a second number very similar – 202-225-3121. They’ll also put you through to one of your two senators or both of them and Congressmen. People say, Oh my Congressman is Ro Khanna, I don’t need to call him, but tell them that even if they’re there in a blue state, they have very progressive senator or member of Congress, they still need to hear from you.
Ro Khanna [00:29:40] Absolutely.
Michael Moore [00:29:41] You will share that with other members that your switchboard is being melted down.
Ro Khanna [00:29:46] Yeah, and it makes a difference. Look, one of the reasons I keep emphasizing climate is not just that I believe it, but that’s what I’ve heard the most calls from and the most passion from in my district. So we have a lot of priorities as progressives. But if there are things that you are deeply committed to that you want to see in this bill that you’re reading about and you’re really concerned about, it helps to call because it helps us to see what the priorities should be when we go represent the progressive voice in meetings. And so it makes a big difference to call, I think people have a false sense of their voice not mattering. You know if you have a hundred calls into a member of Congress, trust me, the member of Congress knows and pays attention, so it makes a difference.
Michael Moore [00:30:35] It’s mind blowing.
Ro Khanna [00:30:40] Yeah, I would know. My staff would tell me and share those emails and show those polls or say, Hey, here’s what we’re hearing about. So I think sometimes people have this sense that, Oh, I don’t know if it matters. And I’m telling you as a member of Congress, it matters. We follow it. We follow, frankly, the tweets. Other members may not admit it, but if people are beating me up on Twitter, I know. They don’t want to admit it, but all that stuff matters and it makes a difference. And you should continue to do it.
Michael Moore [00:31:09] Because if like some of the tweets you’re getting now I can see that even though you are at the the front of the barricade for what we’ve done to our planet, you can only read so many tweets that say, If this isn’t in the bill, you Ro Khanna are killing the planet. It’s like, you’re a human being and you will pay attention to that and you’re already giving one hundred and ten percent. But, you know, the rest of the afternoon, you might give it a hundred and twenty because you see of all the things people are writing or calling you about, the number one thing is the end of this plan. And that’s got to give you some fuel to your engine.
Ro Khanna [00:31:54] It absolutely does. And you know, I don’t take any of the criticism. They call me a sellout or…nothing personally, because at the end of the day, Michael being a member of Congress of the World’s Greatest Superpower, puts you at like point zero zero zero zero one percent of the privilege in humanity. And you should be criticized. You should be held accountable. You should be pushed. So what I’m saying is, you know, you can think about what the most effective way is…but that passion, that passion from the base, that’s what moves stuff and it influences me too. I’m sure when I get a massive push in one direction of policy, I take that more seriously. So it’s great that your listeners are so engaged and this is the time to be.
Michael Moore [00:32:46] And these voting rights bills are so important. This is just so, so debilitating to see and to think that this isn’t going to happen, and all because of the filibuster threat. Not even the filibuster, the threat of the filibuster. This has to go. The filibuster has to go.
Ro Khanna [00:33:06] One of my goals after we get the economic agenda, maybe the White House can be more vocal on the filibuster. Maybe they can really push that because we won’t be as dependent on a couple of senators’ votes. And so that is equally important to 2022 or 2024. I mean, if you know how close those states were in Arizona, Georgia, and now you have those state legislatures basically disenfranchizing people who voted. Obviously, they’re not dumb. They’re doing it for a reason. They know that in a fair fight, they they’re not winning those states. And so, you know…
Michael Moore [00:33:46] Imagine if you were a Republican, you already know, no matter how dense you are, you already know the majority of Americans don’t want you running the country. The Republicans have lost what is it, seven of the last eight presidential elections in the popular vote. The vast majority of Americans, look add up all the votes of the Congressional districts of the Senate seats is hugely Democratic in terms of how people are voting. They know their time is up. Their days are numbered and they are trying to protect themselves and their wealthy sponsors as desperately as they can because they know the American people don’t agree with them on any of the main issues.
Michael Moore [00:34:29] Every single one of them, as you said, 60 70, even 80 percent of the American public is against what the Republicans stand for and is for what Biden and the Democrats stand for. So that’s got to be a lonely place to be. And yet they’ve decided to deal with their loneliness by concocting schemes and scams and to affect the vote in such a maligned and immoral way. And I really just want to say that really, that’s the only way you can win. It’s essentially by cheating. That’s the way, that’s the way you know or having the leader of your party lie every single day, just makeup crap from your fully vaccinated leader. Just want to keep saying it over and over again to all the people who’ve lost loved ones because they believed their leader about the vaccines. He’s fully vaccinated.
Ro Khanna [00:35:32] You know, because I was on Fox News a couple of days ago, or Sunday, and before me, Governor Abbott from Texas was on. And of all the things he said, he said some awful things about people coming here seeking asylum. But of all the things he said, what bothered me the most was he was out there saying, Well, there’s all this evidence of people getting harmed by the vaccine, and there’s all this evidence of people having severe reactions. And I’m thinking to myself, you know, he’s fully vaccinated and, you know, he’s not saying that to his family. You know, he’s not saying that to his close friends, but he’s out there spreading that misinformation to the public. I mean, it’s just unconscionable.
Michael Moore [00:36:14] And you know, and historians, they will not they will not understand. They’ll have to have like huge seminars, white papers to do all this study and they’ll bring anthropologists in. How was it that there was a political party that through the things they said, the lies that they spoke about this vaccine during a worldwide plague, that they were out to kill the voters and the members of their own party through these lies? You’d think it’d be the opposite. You’d think they’d want every conservative and Republican alive for next year.
Michael Moore [00:36:47] They’ll, you know, really, they will not. Historians will not know, we’re going to have to leave behind a note or something to explain this to the future. How there was a political party hell bent on killing its own voters. Absolutely stunning. Just one or two quick things here. So on the filibuster, if people want to write President Biden and get him behind this. I think he’s already there. Just write him at WhiteHouse.gov. Just go to that page, WhiteHouse.gov, and there’ll be a way for you to actually sent a note to President Biden.
Michael Moore [00:37:18] The final thing is, I guess I have to ask you, so you’ve been hanging out with Paris Hilton. And yeah, and I shouldn’t laugh because they actually why don’t you explain, because what you what you’re doing is so important and so critical in support of protecting children?
Ro Khanna [00:37:37] You know, Michael, I’m not a pop culture person, and my pop culture knowledge is usually terrible. But I was back home and a friend of mine said, You know, Paris Hilton wants to meet you on this issue. And I said, OK, fine, let me have coffee. And I had no idea, she starts going into her story. You know, she was sent to one of these congregate care facilities because her parents thought that she needed some rehabilitation as a teenager. And when she went there, she basically was abused. I mean, she was put in solitary confinement. She was sexually harassed. People would look at her naked in the shower and the supervisors were looking at her.
Ro Khanna [00:38:20] She was not allowed to speak at times. And then when her parents would come to visit, everything was fine. And it turns out that this is happening to hundreds of thousands of kids across this country. Their parents may send them to the juvenile detention center, send them to these facilities and they think they’re fine. But there is so much systematic abuse, and I give Paris a lot of credit for saying, I’m going to tell my story because I was relatively privileged. And if this could happen to my family, think about all the working class families, think about the families of communities of color, think about gender and sexually diverse kids and what’s happening to them. And you know, we’re going to get something done in Congress to have a bill of rights for kids who are going to these institutions.
Michael Moore [00:39:08] Well, that’s admirable and thank you for doing that. Kids don’t get to vote, so they don’t really have a voice. And so adults have to stand up for them and thank you and Paris Hilton and the others for doing that. And just in closing, we share this and the people listening to this don’t mind me speaking on their behalf, there are millions, millions of us looking toward these bills, especially what I call the Human Infrastructure Bill. We know that when our fellow Americans are taken care of by government, something they are not used to, when they can maybe finally for the first time in their lives, trust government and be grateful.
Michael Moore [00:39:51] You mentioned the $300 per kid. That $300, you know, maybe some people listening don’t think that’s a lot of money. But let me tell you something, you know, we’ve talked on this podcast how the majority of Americans now don’t have $400 to their name, like if they had to get their car fixed, if someone passed away and they had to get on a plane and go across the country, they don’t have the money to do that. That’s the America we live in now. That $300 is a godsend, and it practically doubles what they only have in their pockets to pay for any anything that happens in their life right now. So this is all so important, and I want to just give you the final word here, if you could. I watched Bernie’s livestream last night: what’s in the damn bill…
Ro Khanna [00:40:48] If you want to get Bernie Sanders to really go off about what he thinks just ask him about the media and how the media covers these things.
Michael Moore [00:40:56] Oh my God. I campaigned for him in his very first race that he won back in 1990, up in Vermont.
Ro Khanna [00:41:02] Oh, wow.
Michael Moore [00:41:03] Yeah, I’ve known Bernie a long time, so I’m not going to ask you to do a Bernie impersonation, but you are the Congressman from Silicon Valley.
Ro Khanna [00:41:14] Yes that that is beyond my talent.
Michael Moore [00:41:19] But if you could bullet point what is in the damn bill so people can today call or text or write their friends, their family online. Share this with people. Tell them the goodness that is within our reach. But it will not happen if we don’t make it happen. The Republicans, one thing I have great respect for them, they without the support of the American people, still get to run so much of this country, and it’s stunning to me. But that must end. So please, in our final moments, what’s in the damn bill?
Ro Khanna [00:41:55] Michael, I appreciate you’re giving me that chance. First, the 300 bucks per kid in your family for family. That means books. That means school supplies. That means nutrition. For babies, it means baby food, diapers. I mean, this is making a transformative difference. It’s, you know, people talking about the statistic about lowering poverty by almost 50 percent. But you talk to folks about what that 300 bucks is going to do. It’s going to be every month per kid. Then you’ve got universal preschool, you know, as a father, I see this because I’ve got young kids in preschool. That’s transformative in France. Every kid goes to preschool at three, and by the time they’re in first grade, they actually all start out at the same place.
Ro Khanna [00:42:40] In our society by first grade, half our population doesn’t have a fighting chance because they never have preschool. This is going to make preschool universal. This is going to mean for the seniors, they’re going to get hearing aids without having to go bankrupt. Or we’re going to see that they’re going to be able to get glasses to see. They’re going to be able to go to a dentist and have some support. So they’re not getting billed crazy bills for a tooth extraction or a root canal that can be thousands of dollars totally uncovered. This is going to mean paid family leave finally. You know your kid gets sick or you get sick or you get pregnant or delivering, and you’re going to finally be able to get paid leave.
Ro Khanna [00:43:25] I mean, it’s unbelievable that our society doesn’t have that. This is going to have the biggest investment in clean tech and solar and wind that we’ve ever had as a government. Now we need to do a lot, and it’s probably not nearly enough to actually tackle climate change. But think about this, this is the first time our government is going to make the substantial investment in renewable energy. And child care, you know, every person I talked to…most people, they say their biggest fear, biggest challenge is child care, taking almost 25 percent, 30 percent of their salary. This is going to make sure you’re never going to have to pay more than seven percent on child care.
Ro Khanna [00:44:04] And for many people, it will be fully subsidized. So that’s what’s in the bill. Let me just end with this, Michael, because I, you know, admire Bernie so much. And I think Bernie Sanders, even though he never became president, is going to be seen as a historic figure in American politics. I mean, he helped, he really helped change the debate on a lot of this. And the reason he was able to change the debate is because of people like you who have been fighting the fight for the last twenty five years. And I just want you and your listeners to understand this. The reason we’re getting this is not because of the think tanks. It’s not because you got smart people in Congress, though well-intentioned. It’s because people mobilized. It’s because people are mobilizing. That’s the only thing that is shifting policy in this country and mobilize voices, the special interests in power. Not all the time, but over the long run they do, and that the movement should just be so proud that we have made this progress and are finally going to deliver on things that were long overdue.
Michael Moore [00:45:06] We have to do that because we have to keep the House and get more seats next year and we have to strongly hold the Senate by 54 seats, 56 seats, whatever. We have no choice. But if we don’t have the tools to go out there and convince people who didn’t want to vote last time, if we don’t have those tools, this doesn’t pass the right way, now we’re in an uphill climb like we wouldn’t believe. And so as for Bernie, I honestly and again, I tell people, I’m not saying Bernie has said this to me, but I’m just telling you, I have this image of most nights, Joe Biden has his jammies on he’s going to bed, he’s got his warm glass of milk, and he and Bernie are on the phone in the final conversation of the day with each other. I think what Bernie has done with his good friend, and he does mean that, his good friend Joe Biden as he has carried the flag for the majority of Americans. I don’t even want to say progressive because we’re now the mainstream. I mean, the majority of Americans agree with everything you’re fighting for. So thank you for saying all of that. Thank you for your kind words. And it’s been an honor again to have you on the Congressman from California. As I said, the Congressman from Cupertino.
Ro Khanna [00:46:30] Bernie Sanders says, You represent Silicon Valley and you’re for me, there must be something good about you.
Michael Moore [00:46:37] Well, here’s what I think. You and your fellow progressives in Congress are so radical, so radical that you are going to succeed in seeing that our elderly citizens will be able to hear, see and chew their food. I don’t know where you came up with that radical democratic socialist idea that old people should be able to chew, see, and hear. And that young people should have equal footing to start before they go to kindergarten. God bless you for this. I pray you succeed and I will do my best to have my voice heard and I ask everybody listening to pick up the phone, even if you’ve already done it, do it again and again. 202-224-3121. The Capitol Hill switchboard. They’ll put you right through. Trust me, you’ll be shocked. You know, I’m actually talking to a Congressman’s office. Yes. That is exactly how it still works. Let’s keep this Democracy.
Ro Khanna [00:47:45] Thank you, Michael. Thank you for everything.
Michael Moore [00:47:48] Thank you so much, Congressman Ro Khanna from California for being our guest here today.
Ro Khanna [00:47:52] Take care.
Michael Moore [00:47:53] Be well. That was great talking to the Congressman. I know he’s very busy fighting for us right now, so let’s, not only wish him the best, but let’s call our members of Congress, our Senators and drop a note to the President to say, Hang tough, get as much as you possibly can for the people of this country. We’re in desperate need of the things that are in this bill.
Michael Moore [00:49:38] OK, so we’re back here. And as you know, on my platform page here for this podcast, there is a way for you to leave me a voicemail, a one minute voicemail. And as I’ve done in the past, occasionally I will play the voicemails that you’ve left and I’ve picked out a few of my favorites here from the last month or so. So I’m just going to play them, as is. I don’t answer voicemails and I don’t have time, but I do listen to every voicemail that’s left for me. So please send me a voicemail. I love it. And maybe you’ll end up here on Rumble. So Basel, if we’re ready, can we begin playing these wonderful voicemails sent to me here at Rumble with Michael Moore?
Pam Hall [00:51:26] Hi, Michael, this is Pam Hall, City of Midland Councilman, Ward one. I heard your broadcast on Rumble with India Walton. I very much support her as a candidate and I’m very happy that she was on as a guest. I share similar story and can relate to the difficulties in the attacks that come with running for office. It isn’t easy. So I’m looking forward to hearing more that you have on your show and we’ll look forward to helping India in any way I can. Thank you.
Arthur Klassen [00:52:03] Hey, Mike, this is Arthur from Vancouver again. Of course, being not American, I can’t very well contribute, but I was inspired and so I rewrote the lyrics for Buffalo Soldier. Don’t worry if I run out of time here, I’ll email the lyrics, you can run Buffalo Mayor yourself sometime. India Walton, for a Buffalo mayor, oooo, India Walton for a Buffalo Mayor, ooo, we want India Walton, she da the one we call on, take us to the future, lovely like Niagara, old man Brown you’ve been running this town…
Nurse Kelly [00:52:58] Hi Mike, it’s Nurse Kelly from Eugene. I’ve got a couple of ideas. I see all this TV footage of smug politicians walking around in public unbothered and it makes me angry. I don’t think it’s right that these corrupt assholes get to live the good life while they’re ruining our country. They do not deserve to eat at nice restaurants, walk through airports unchallenged or play golf at their local country club. We need to get more aggressive, not violent, but aggressive. We need to harass the hell out of these people and not give them a moment’s peace. If we’re clogging up senators offices, accosting them in airports and restaurants, picketing their homes and boycotting the corporations that are bribing them. We will get their attention. Another idea is a Tok challenge: Pudding for politicians. People post videos throwing pudding on them as they walk around in public. I don’t know if it’s legal, and of course, I don’t advocate breaking any laws, but it would be totally hilarious. Ciao.
Joy Toomer [00:53:54] Hello, Michael. My name is Joy and I live in California, and I’d just like to say that it is taking literally one month for my family members to receive my meal through the U.S. postal system. Is anyone looking into that? I really would like for someone to look into that. I’m concerned consistently. Their mail is one month delayed. I appreciate it. Thank you and thank you for all you do. Love you, Mike. Bye.
Joane Griffin [00:54:25] Hi, Michael. This is Technical Sergeant Joane Griffin. I am an active duty service member stationed overseas again in Japan, and I’ve been listening to your podcast and following you for many years. I appreciate your work and thank you very much for sharing Steven Donziger’s story. I had no idea. It’s ridiculous and unjust, and I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you getting the word out because that enabled someone like me who was clueless of his situation to make a donation and to write an email to the Attorney General, which I just did. So thanks for everything that you do, and I appreciate all the support you give folks in this world that really need it.
Michael Grosse [00:55:14] Hey, Michael. Thank you so much for the podcast. I’m listening to the Donziger one now. It’s horrendous, and I think the one thing we can do. Spread the word that Chevron is buying our criminal justice system. They’re buying it. That’ll piss him off. It’ll piss everybody off and it’ll get a lot of people’s attention. Chevron is buying the court system. Anything goes as long as you’ve got the dough. Thanks, Mike. Great job.
Susan Shaffer [00:55:47] Hi, Michael. I really enjoyed your Rumble last night, your interview with Steven Donziger. And I’ve been following his story for several weeks now, and I’m very concerned. I was hoping that maybe you and Jeff, when this COVID stuff is over, could go down to Ecuador and really get into what exactly the damages down there because nothing has been done. They haven’t been given the money to fix it. And I was hoping that would have been more stressed. Please give my best to Jeff and all the crew and keep fighting the good fight.
Jacqueline Swartz [00:56:26] Hi, Mike. I was really happy to see you posting something on the Donziger travesty of justice. Poor guy’s been under house arrest. He’s a hero. He’s an environmental lawyer, and energy companies put him in jail. Not really the U.S. justice system, which now should take over this case and release the guy. Let’s all walk with him outside once he’s free. And I hope that’ll be soon, and I’m glad you’re publicizing this. Thanks a lot.
Michael Moore [00:57:02] And that was great. I enjoy all of that. Great comments. Much appreciated by me to have this connection with you. And I want to thank Congressman Ro Khanna for being our guest here on the podcast today. I want to thank all of you who have subscribed to my Substack, the free subscribers, the paid members, whatever you are, I’m greatly appreciative all of you for participating in the things that I’m trying to get out there right now, we’re in, as you know, a dark moment in this country, on this planet and there is much, much work for all of us to do. And the fact that I know that there are tens of thousands of you listening right now, and by the time this is up and out for a month, there’s going to be 150,000 or 200,000 of you. But we don’t want to mention numbers anyway.
Michael Moore [00:58:01] So I just want to thank everybody for participating in Rumble and on my Substack and all the things that you’re doing in your daily life to stand up, to speak out, to participate, to call your members of Congress and your Senators. All of that. We are not going to back down. We are not going to live the way that we’ve had to live in the past. We are creating a better and a new country. And there’s so many things, as you know, whether it’s voting rights, the horrific condition of our planet, so much. But I am optimistic. I believe together we can make some serious changes here.
Michael Moore [00:58:43] And I thank you all of you for participating with me and letting me participate with you. It means a lot. And I will see you again next week with our next episode of Rumble with Michael Moore and this Sunday I will post on Substack my letter of the week. My letter to you. So please go to MichaelMoore.com and become part of my Substack. That’s it, everyone. Thank you to Basel Hamdan, our executive producer here, to Nick Kwas for being our editor and sound engineer today, to Donald Borenstein, the Swiss Army knife of this project, jack of all trades, to Harrison Malkin for doing the research and helping us out with a whole bunch of things. Gratitude to all of you and to all of you who are listening. We’ll see you Sunday on Substack. We’ll see you next week here on Rumble.