It's not easy to get to the left of socialist Bernie Sanders, but CNN managed to pull off that dubious feat on Wednesday morning.
On New Day, co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Dem Rep. Ro Khanna, who was a co-chair of Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign, and is the deputy whip on the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
The topic was the apparent paring down of the Democrat $3.5 trillion spending bill. Keilar consistently hit the compromises from the left, fretting whether reducing spending to $1.75-1.9 trillion is "enough?" She was at her most critical in suggesting how women will supposedly suffer as a result of spending reductions. Keilar:
"Let’s talk about women. Because when you’re looking at four weeks of paid leave in the context of maternity leave instead of 12 weeks, that is a woman going back to work less than a month after having a baby. So a tiny newborn at home. Better than nothing, I’m sure you would say. But is that really delivering for poor and middleclass women who have really borne the brunt of this pandemic?"
"And the child tax credit, right? If you are saying that being pared down, it will not be extended beyond an extra year, how is that not parents and particularly women, paying the price here?"
Keilar was also very concerned about leaving enough money in the bill to stave off "environmental calamity."
She ended by thanking Khanna for coming in to discuss "this incredibly important piece of legislation."
Note: Khanna let the cat out of the bag, making a surprising admission about the Democrat strategy. He effectively admitted that reducing the supposed cost of the bill by limiting the duration of certain programs is a sham.
As Khanna twice put it, "once people have it, it will be hard for Republicans to repeal it." Unfortunately, Khanna is probably right. As Ronald Reagan said in 1964, “a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”
Here's the transcript.
6:09 am EDT
BRIANNA KEILAR: Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California is with us now. He is the deputy whip of the House Progressive Caucus.
. . .
So $1.75 to $1.9 trillion. Down from $3.5 trillion. Is that enough?
. . .
Free community college is out. You did not mention that. That's out. Paid family leave cut down to four weeks from the 12 weeks that you wanted in these contours of an agreement here. As you mentioned, universal pre-k for 3 and 4-year-olds in. You wanted that. Climate-change provisions still up in the air. Are you settling, are you progressives settling on this essentially being a kids-and-climate bill?
. . .
Let’s talk about women. Because when you’re looking at four weeks of paid leave, in the context of maternity leave, instead of 12 weeks, that is a woman going back to work less than a month after having a baby. So a tiny newborn at home. Better than nothing, I’m sure you would say. But is that really delivering for poor and middle-class women who have really borne the brunt of this pandemic?
. . .
And the child tax credit, right? So if you're seeing that being pared down, it's not going to be extended beyond an extra year, how is that not, you know, parents and particularly women, paying the price of these cuts here?
. . .
What do you need to preserve here, realistically, that you can get Joe Manchin to sign onto, that is going to deliver, that is really going to be something you can genuinely say, hey: this is a big step towards staving off environmental calamity?
. . .
All right. Congressman, thank you so much for getting up early and talking to us about this incredibly important piece of legislation.