October 22, 2021

CNN ran some of the highlights from President Joe Biden's Baltimore town hall last night with Anderson Cooper.

This format is where Uncle Joe usually shines, and last night was no exception. Skittish voters needed reassurance that this deal will get done -- and they got it.

"After 100 hours of negotiations, he predicted there will be a deal, although four or five issues remain unresolved. And he specified exactly what the holdups are with senators Sinema and Manchin, where he is willing to compromise, and where he is not," John Berman said.

"Another big takeaway was President Biden's evolving position on the filibuster. He said he is open to altering it to address voting rights and other things, he said, but he also is concerned he'll lose votes on his domestic agenda if he pushes the filibuster issue right now. Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House with all the highlights from the big night in Baltimore. We did get a look at the inside workings of these negotiations, Jeremy.

"We certainly did. President Biden is open to fundamentally altering the filibuster to get a negotiation done but first getting the reconciliation bill," Diamond said. "The president pulling back the curtain on the closed-door negotiations, making clear what is and isn't going to be in the bill and the two senators are driving many of the cuts."

I do think I'll get a deal.

"President Biden telling voters he's confident the marathon to pass his domestic agenda is nearing an end after months of negotiations and infighting between Democrats."

Look, I was a senator for 370 years. and I was never -- I was relatively good at putting together deals.

"But today, Biden facing a different dynamic."

When you're in the United States Senate and you're president of the United States and you have 50 Democrats, every one is a president. Every single one. So you gotta work things out.

"One of the key senators clearly on the president's mind."

Mr. Manchin is opposed to that. Joe is not a bad guy. He's a friend. And he's always at the end of the day come around and voted. Mr. Manchin and one other person has indicated they will not support free community college.

"The president name-checking Senator Joe Manchin as well as Senator Kyrsten Sinema throughout the night."

First of all, she's smart as the devil, number one. Number two, she's very supportive of the environmental agenda in my legislation. Where she's not supportive is, she said she will not raise a single penny in taxes on the corporate side and/or on wealthy people, period.

"The two moderate Democrats stalling the effort to get Biden's bill through the senate and forcing hard choices."

We're down to four or five issues, which I'm not going to negotiate on national television, as you might guess.

"The president says he's willing to slim down or eliminate some sections of his plan, removing free community college, parental leave from 12 to 4 weeks and extending the child tax credit for just one more year. Biden also saying it will be tough to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing."

That's a reach. The reason why it's a reach is -- it's a good idea and not that costly in relative terms.

"As a potential compromise, $800 dental vouchers for people in need, and to add a work requirement for the child tax credit."

No. Here's the deal. All of these people are working anyway.

This might have been the first time Biden expressed openness to reforming the filibuster.

"On voting rights, the president says he's open to possibly reforming the filibuster. A Senate rule requiring a 60-vote threshold to advance most legislation."

Well, that remains to be seen exactly what that means whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up.
COOPER: Just so I'm clear, though, you would entertain the notion of doing away with the filibuster on that one issue; is that correct?
And maybe more.

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