Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

The House passes a $2 trillion spending bill, but braces for changes in the Senate

 November 19, 2021 at 3:28 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:01)

Congresswoman Sarah Jacobs talks about the build back better act.

Speaker 2: (00:04)

It is the most historic and transformational investment in addressing climate change that the United States has ever made.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm Maureen, Kevin, this is KPBS midday edition. Our covenants series concludes with a reckoning on real estate deeds.

Speaker 3: (00:29)

I don't want it to be lost 20 years from now that this was a part of society. They say, be aware of history or forever, be doomed to repeat it,

Speaker 1: (00:39)

And you can choose your own adventure and more on our weekend preview that's ahead on midday edition

Speaker 1: (01:03)

Democrats in the house, or taking a victory lap today, celebrating the passage of the $2 trillion build back better social services. Bill, the legislative package contains a host of expanded services, including paid family, leave expanded childcare assistance, new Medicare benefits plus billions to combat climate change. This legislation is the companion piece to president Biden's billion dollar infrastructure package that passed the house earlier this month, but it did not reflect the bipartisan nature of that vote. Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy spoke for eight hours overnight, temporarily delaying the build back better vote, and no Republicans voted for the bill. Joining me is San Diego Congresswoman Sarah Jacobs and Congresswoman Jacobs. A welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: (01:53)

Thank you so much for having me. There is

Speaker 1: (01:55)

So much included in this bill. What stands out to you as the most important parts for your constituent?

Speaker 2: (02:03)

You know, I was so excited that we were able to pass the build back better act through the house. One of my priorities, since I got to Congress has been making sure that we are addressing childcare. Uh, you know, I talked to my constituents regardless of their political ideology. Uh, if they have kids, they are struggling to afford childcare. And so we are really focused on making sure we're getting that childcare subsidy out the door as quickly as possible that we are working with the states to implement universal pre-K and that we are working to continue the expanded child tax credit even after next year, which is what was in the build back better act.

Speaker 1: (02:38)

Affordable housing is a huge issue here in San Diego, as you know, how does this build back better act address that

Speaker 2: (02:45)

Is hundreds of billions of dollars in the boat back better act for housing. Most of it will go into vouchers, but some of it we'll go into some other programs that will also help with supply. And we know that this is a priority for us here in San Diego. So I'll be working really closely with the department of housing and urban development to make sure that we get the housing funding that we need. And what's in

Speaker 1: (03:08)

The climate action portion of this bill.

Speaker 2: (03:10)

There are a lot of really exciting parts of the climate component of this bill together with the bipartisan infrastructure deal. They've worked together to make sure that we're reducing our carbon emissions in line with the Paris Accords. It is the most historic and transformational investment in addressing climate change that the United States has ever made. It includes tax credits. It includes making sure that we are addressing environmental justice. Um, there's a lot of really exciting pieces and we'll be working with the Senate to make sure that all of those pieces remain in the final bill

Speaker 1: (03:43)

And we'll pay for all this by new taxes on the,

Speaker 2: (03:48)

Uh, the entire bill is paid for in part, by making sure that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share in part by stepping up enforcement of the wealthy, uh, through IRS enforcement, uh, and in part through savings from the prescription drug pricing reform that is in the bill.

Speaker 1: (04:04)

Yeah. Uh, how confident are you though that the new corporate and millionaire taxes will cover the several hundred billion dollar deficit created by this huge bill?

Speaker 2: (04:14)

We have talked to numerous Nobel prize winning economists, um, the white house, the joint committee on taxation. Moody's, I'll say that this bill actually helps reduce the deficit. And that is just looking just at the revenues and at the spending part of what I'm so excited about in this bill is that they're the kind of investments that we know have huge payoffs. So we know that for every dollar we spend on addressing childhood poverty, now we actually save $7 down the road. We know so many parents aren't able to join the workforce because of childcare. And, uh, we lose a trillion dollars to our economy from, uh, parents not joining the workforce every single year. And so not only is it about the spending and the revenue bouncing out, although, uh, all these estimates say that they do, but also the amount of economic growth and deficit savings we will get, uh, from the investments that we're making

Speaker 1: (05:09)

Now a minority leader, Kevin McCarthy gave one of the longest speeches in the history of Congress last night, apparently to delay the vote on the build back, better act. And you presided over a part of that speech. What was that like Congresswoman

Speaker 2: (05:23)

That's right. I presided from about when I am till about five 15 in the morning when he finished talking, uh, it was a long night, uh, did not get to sleep. Uh, and I will say that his speech was kind of rambling, very full of falsehoods, pretty inappropriate at times, a lot of pointed comments, uh, at me at the chair, which is not, not decorum in the house. And, you know, I, it appears, and he, he basically said that he was doing that because he wanted to beat speaker Pelosi's record of the longest floor speech. But frankly, she was doing hers in foreign shield. So I'm not sure he really beat that. So

Speaker 1: (05:58)

No Republicans in the house, including San Diego county, Seoul, Republican, Darryl eyesight, no Republicans voted for this bill. Are you disturbed by that?

Speaker 2: (06:07)

Look, I think that it just goes to show how broken things are in Washington right now, because the fact of the matter is 200 people in Washington. Don't get to decide what's bi-partisan when I'm talking to my constituents, even if they're Republicans, they are struggling with childcare and want help. Um, they know that they need, uh, things like the child tax credit. They know that they need immigration and to address climate change. And so, um, for me, this is a very bipartisan bill, whether or not 200 people in Washington decided to vote for it,

Speaker 1: (06:38)

Build back better now moves on to the Senate where it faces opposition from Republicans and from Democrat senators, mansion and cinema. How do you think that can be resolved?

Speaker 2: (06:49)

Uh, you know, the bill we passed through the house, we have about 90% agreement on everything. That's in it with the Senate. Um, there are a few pieces that we're still working through, but when president Biden talked to us a couple of weeks ago, he was very confident that he could get 51 votes in the Senate and I'm going to trust him to be able to do that.

Speaker 1: (07:07)

And when are you hoping the bill goes to the president for his signature?

Speaker 2: (07:12)

I'm hoping before the end of the year so that we can make sure we start next year off on the right side.

Speaker 1: (07:16)

All right. Then I've been speaking with San Diego, Congresswoman Sarah Jacobs and Congresswoman Jacob's. Thank you very much.

Speaker 2: (07:23)

You are so welcome.

Speaker 4: (07:27)

Uh [inaudible]

Speaker 1: (07:34)

We bring you the third and final part of our KPBS three-part series on racial covenants, KPBS, race and equity reporter, Christina Kim examines, how people are reconciling the legacy of racial restrictions. Also why people are choosing to remove, or in some cases not removing the racial restrictions from their deeds.

Speaker 5: (07:57)

Everyone who has come into this house has had that moment where they walk in and they go, oh my God, it feels so good in here. Like, it feels like a sanctuary.

Speaker 6: (08:05)

And that's exactly what Kayana Beatty and Ken Zach's 1920 mission hill bungalow feels and smells like a sanctuary perfumed with Palo Santo and filled with plants and decorated and rich earth tones. But in 2019, they uncovered a hard truth about their dream home, a racially restrictive covenant attached to the original deed. It like so many other San Diego properties built in the early of 20 century barred nonwhite people from owning in their neighborhood

Speaker 7: (08:36)

Over this matter, this property, but this whole neighborhood has this restriction tied to it. But so to me, it was like,

Speaker 6: (08:44)

Yeah, Beatty is black and Zack is white. It felt wrong that the original deed to their shared home banned Beatty from living there, the U S Supreme court outlawed racially deeds in 1948. And there was an attachment to their deed saying just that, but Batey and Zach wanted to take things a step further. They wanted any and all mentions of the restrictions struck from the document

Speaker 7: (09:07)

Retired lawyer at the time. So I just Googled, um, you know, the, the statute and found it. And the statute is pretty clear.

Speaker 6: (09:15)

The statute Zach is referring to is a law that was enacted in 2005. It gives California homeowners, the ability to cross out racially restrictive language from their deeds Beatty, and can finish the process. On the last day of 2020s, black history month, they immediately felt the difference.

Speaker 5: (09:33)

People might say, oh, it's not enforceable. So what's the point in going through all the steps and doing this? Like, what does it really prove? And I like to say it felt like doing like the ultimate smudge

Speaker 6: (09:43)

For them. It's not about forgetting, but creating a new foundation and future for their home. Not everyone in California. However, is eager to remove the racially restrictive covenants from their deeds

Speaker 3: (09:54)

To be lost 20 years from now that this was a part of society. And they say, be aware of history or forever be doomed to repeat.

Speaker 6: (10:02)

Michael, do you have El Sorito is a black homeowner who was once mistaken for a gardener in his own El Sorito neighborhood. He's keeping the restrictive language on his deed and he's been able to use it to get his extended family, to talk about San Diego's racist history and the hurdles they faced. It's not been easy. You really have

Speaker 3: (10:19)

To pull teeth to get your older relatives to talk about these things. And I think that's a piece of the trauma of it all. It's like, rather than Taglit head-on, we're just going to put it in the back.

Speaker 6: (10:30)

He understands why his grandfathers and family don't want to talk about it, but he also wants to make sure that the history is kept alive, especially as debates over suburbia, single family zoning and where to build affordable housing are once again, taking center stage at the local level. And as we saw during the 2020 presidential campaign at the national level

Speaker 8: (10:50)

Suburbs, we will fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low-income housing forced in to the sub

Speaker 6: (11:02)

Racially, restrictive covenants and other forms of housing discrimination are illegal now, but the ideas and language that normalized racial restrictions in the first place continue today

Speaker 9: (11:12)

Out of NIMBY movements, not in my backyard movements, uh, where people are pushing back against changes that would make a neighborhood more access.

Speaker 6: (11:22)

That's Nancy, Kwak a UC San Diego historian. Often when local San Diegans talk about property values and their rights as homeowners. She hears the same logic that was used in the past to defend segregation.

Speaker 9: (11:34)

This is where I put my money and I saved my earnings. So therefore, this is something that I deserve.

Speaker 6: (11:41)

Quack says that while we no longer hear overt racist statements around housing, homeowners still feel it's their right to control who can and can't live near them. That's why she and others emphasize the importance of seeing and understanding the connection between the racial covenants of last century and the housing issues of today. Could you speak at Kim KPBS

Speaker 1: (12:03)

News last month, governor Newsome signed into law, new legislation that makes it even easier for Californians to find and redact racial restrictions. If you missed any part of KPBS as special three part series, you can catch up on In our weekend preview, we have a play about van Gogh, a comforting art exhibit, an intimate opera performance, and even a choose your own adventure book reading. Joining me with all the details is KPBS arts, producer and editor, Julia Dixon Evans, and welcome Julia.

Speaker 10: (12:45)

Hi Maureen. Thanks for having me on let's

Speaker 1: (12:48)

Start with the theater. There's a world premiere at the LA Jolla Playhouse that opens this week with the main character van Gogh. Tell us about to the yellow house,

Speaker 10: (12:58)

Right? This is by playwright, Kimber Lee, who we might remember for her play Tokyo fish story that was performed at the old globe in 2016. But to the yellow house is set in a two year period of time in Vincent van Gogh's life that we just don't know a lot about. Lee wrote this play in part because of how fascinating that is. But also because we do know that it was a time of tremendous failure for Vincent van Gogh. He was constantly running out of money. He's living off of his brother's wealth and his brother's good name in Paris. And he was often drunk and causing problems with everybody he meets. But right after this period of failure, he moves to that famous yellow house in RL. In the south of France, I talked to the playwright Kimberly this week about that

Speaker 11: (13:49)

Play, brings him through great difficulty through a moment of great shattering, to a place of quiet resolve and kind of starting over. He has no way of knowing that the paintings he's about to do are going to be the most famous, you know, some of the most famous paintings in the history of art. He has no way of knowing any of that, but despite the ringings failure and heartbreak that he goes through, he still finds something within himself to say, I'm going to keep going anyway.

Speaker 10: (14:23)

And like Lee's Tokyo fish story. The script is spare and it's quiet and it's really built on the way Vincent interacts with the people around him. I think it's going to be a really brainy and subtle antidote for the, in your face flashiness of that immersive van Gogh experience that will come to the Del Mar fairgrounds in January.

Speaker 1: (14:46)

I'm interested to hear what you have to say about that in January, the low cost previews to the yellow house, continue at the LA Jolla Playhouse through this weekend with performances tonight at 8:00 PM and Saturday at two and 8:00 PM. And it runs through December 12th, swish projects in north park opens a new visual art exhibition this weekend. Tell us about Lillian Martinez.

Speaker 10: (15:11)

She's an artist who's shown her work around the world, but she's also the founder of the home goods company, BF GF, which stands for boyfriend girlfriend. And this is things like art tapestries, upholstered furniture with prince on them, clothing accessories and all stuff that are like these comfy works of art. The colors are soothing and the objects are, are soft, but also very artistic as well. And so this show of her art also kind of runs on that theme of comfort. It's looking at beauty humor and comfort, and I love her use of the figure, particularly women of color. And she creates these images that are really powerful and kind of soft at the same time. And she also has a pretty evocative use of everyday objects. Like there's a giant sculpture of a Nike hat or a basketball, and it's all startling, but still familiar, still quit hitting. And there's, there's a total comfort to that. There's a mixture of sculpture, fabrics and paintings. In this show, you can see it at the opening reception that's Saturday from noon to three or by appointment

Speaker 1: (16:19)

Lillian Martinez on view at switch projects tomorrow through December 19th. All right, then in the literary world, or should I say the fantasy world, local writer, Kazim Ali will be reading from his new, choose your own adventure book. Tell us about this.

Speaker 10: (16:35)

This is the actual choose your own adventure book franchise that we all grew up with. And the sun is about Chrissy, a whisperer who was following in the ancient ways of magicians and sourcer is from the young age of 10. And he's suddenly caught up in a threat to the city of Ilaria and Chrissy is the UW character all through the book. And I love how implicating these stories are in second person, even before we have to make those decisions and chasm Allie's pros and his storytelling is really rich and enchanting. And it's also really approachable too. He'll be doing an in-person event at the book catapult that's in south park, and that would be Saturday at 1:00 PM. So finally,

Speaker 1: (17:19)

Usually let's talk music opera. Great. Michelle Bradley is returning to the San Diego opera for one of their intimate solo performances. What can we expect?

Speaker 10: (17:30)

So I first saw Michelle Bradley in the lead role of Aida, which the San Diego opera produced a few years ago, and she has this incredible voice and stage presence. And it's really exciting to see her in one of these more intimate concert experiences. There's actually two performances. They're both at the baker bomb concert hall or the Conrad. It's just Bradley with piano accompaniment, and she'll be spotlighting American composers and spirituals. One of the works that caught my attention is Samuel barber's hermit songs, which are these whimsical vocal pieces. They're based on the found poetry of Irish monks were listening to a recording from 1951. So of course this is not Michelle Bradley. This is the great lean tin price singing the monk and his cat

Speaker 1: (18:25)

Soprano, Michelle Bradley sings, American composers and spirituals presented by the San Diego opera tomorrow at 7:30 PM and Sunday at four at the Conrad for details on these and more arts events and to sign up for Julia's weekly KPBS arts newsletter to get these recommendations delivered straight to your inbox each week, go to I've been speaking with KPBS arts producer and editor, Julia Dickson Evans. Thank you, Julia.

Speaker 10: (18:56)

Thank you, Marie. Have a good weekend.

Ways To Subscribe
Democrats in the House are taking a victory lap today, celebrating the passage of the two trillion dollar Build Back Better social services bill. Plus, we bring you the third and final part of KPBS’s three-part series on racial covenants. KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim examines how people are reconciling the legacy of racial restrictions. And, in the arts this weekend, there is a new play about Van Gogh, visual art recommendations, an intimate opera performance, and even a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book reading.