This is a rush transcript from “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” July 14, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, you spent on all this spending? Well, keep spending and keep feeling spent, because they are, a $3.5 trillion spending push on what Democrats are calling human infrastructure that has the support and interest early on of no less than President Joe Biden.But in case you are counting, that brings to now close to $6 trillion in planned spending that a lot of folks say we don’t need right now because the economy’s doing A-OK right now. In fact, it’s doing exceedingly well right now, so well that prices are booming. Is that because all of this spending is now soaring and out of control?Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto, and this is “Your World.” So glad to have you with us.And, man oh, man, I’m old enough to remember when any one of these packages would be the entire budget of the United States. Do not ask me how old I am. I’m just telling you, I’m old enough to remember when any one of these plans would be the entire budget of United States.(LAUGHTER)CAVUTO: Leaving that aside, with these eye-popping numbers, it’s very, very clear that Democrats are taking advantage of their thin majorities right now and hoping, particularly with this $3.5 trillion measure, to get a lot of folks on board with it and maybe get it approved before midterm elections that right now look problematic for Democrats.Let’s get the read right now from Jacqui Heinrich following the numbers — Jacqui.JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Neil. Hey.And I would just say there are a number of lawmakers here who have just as long a memory as you do when it comes to the total of that budget. President Biden’s really trying to keep his Democratic Caucus together and pull these two plans over the finish line.But getting progressives to support a smaller reconciliation deal than they initially wanted, that $6 trillion figure that they were eying, plus a bipartisan hard infrastructure plan, is going to be a challenge. On the other side of the party, getting moderates to support this reconciliation package at a time where inflation is a concern and spending is a concern is going to be another side of that challenge. Listen to the president.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no comments, just saying great to be home, great to be back with all my colleagues.And I think we’re going to get a lot done.(END VIDEO CLIP)HEINRICH: Now, we got some new details about what’s in this outline.It’s basically everything from President Biden’s plans that didn’t make it into other bills this session, universal pre-K, funding to make college more affordable, paid family leave, nutrition assistance, housing investments, climate and clean energy initiatives, extending the child tax credit, also money for manufacturing and supply chains and funding to improve green cards and pro-worker incentives, according to Democratic aides.Now, the pay-fors include raising corporate and international taxes, taxing the rich. Republicans are already sounding the alarm. Senator Mitt Romney called it shocking, stunning, saying Democrats would have to raise taxes enormously or add dangerously to the country’s debt.And Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told FOX: “With inflation raging at the highest level in 40 years, the Democratic plan is wildly out of proportion with the need right now.”So whether this big price tag draws GOP support away from the bipartisan hard infrastructure bill is a question, especially if Senator Schumer brings it to the floor with the reconciliation package attached. It might also not be easy keeping every Democrat on board.Senator Joe Manchin, who has just expressed some concerns about the climate portion as it relates to fossil fuels, reserving judgment until he gets the details.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): We have a debt of $28.5 trillion right now, OK?We have indications that inflation is spiking. (AUDIO GAP) concern what’s going to happen to the generation coming after us if we don’t have some controls or some basic (AUDIO GAP). I’m just looking at everything in a holistic way.(END VIDEO CLIP)HEINRICH: So, Fed Chair Jerome Powell was just asked if this $4.1 trillion in new spending would impact in any way the Fed’s decision-making. And he said maybe. It depends on a lot of things, including what the money is spent on, over what period of time and how it is paid for.But he was reserving any sort of final statements on that until more details come out — Neil.CAVUTO: Yes, I thought he kind of punted on that one.Thank you very much, Jacqui Heinrich, in our nation’s Capitol.She was referring to the Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, who was saying this inflationary thing you have heard so much about, it will pass, it’s just a short-term kind of a thing.But you wouldn’t know and read the cover The New York Post today. I don’t know if you saw this, the incredible shrinking dollar, talking about inflation up 5.4 percent of the retail level, the worse we have seen in 13 years, goes into detail about all the price hikes that you’re familiar with, and that a lot of it rests at Washington’s doorstep, because of all of this spending, which tends to lift up prices of a whole bunch of stuff.That’s what’s happening right now.To my buddy Charles Payne, the host of “Making Money” on FOX Business at 2:00 p.m.Charles, you go through this data all the time. And what’s interesting here is the view widely held that this too shall pass, it’s not going to stick around. Markets tend to believe the Federal Reserve chairman. But with all of this spending, I have a feeling it will stick around a little longer than they thought. What do you think?CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No, I agree that the wild card is how long people can spend, and if they keep getting checks in the mail, then they can keep on spending, right?So I mean, you think about the $1.9 trillion ostensibly for COVID relief, so much of that money was pouring into the economy, and spending by consumers, who, by the way, they’re still sitting on a lot of cash. Household balance sheets are the best they have ever been.The money has poured in and keeps pouring in. So, yes, we all know that the best way to curb inflation is higher prices. That’s always the cure. Ultimately, we’re not going to pay 46 percent year over year more for a used car. But right now people are getting the money. Then a lot of people didn’t work for the money, and the check came through straight to their account, and they’re enjoying it.Once those spigots are turned off, you will see a change in consumer behavior. And I think that’s where some of the frustration might be with the Federal Reserve chairman, who can already see that inflation is a tax on the poor, it’s a tax on the middle class.And, ultimately, to your point, some of these things that won’t go away, higher rents won’t go away, and some of these other things aren’t going to go away. And so the Fed is going to have to deal with that. The Fed is going to have to worry about how do they get that into the equation.It is true wages are going up, but they aren’t going up faster than inflation. So once you remove the mirage, or you remove and turn off the spigots, we’re going to have an incredible different, difficult conversation in this country from a lot of shocked people.CAVUTO: You know what’s weird, though, Charles, you think about it, both parties are diametrically opposed on whether this spending helps or hurts. Democrats say it helps, which is why they’re upping the ante. Republicans say, it keeps going on, inflation is going to be more of a problem.And there is no middle ground in their views. Typically, when we see the government spending to the degree this government has, it’s one thing if you’re coming out of a depression, as FDR did or coming out initially of the severe recession we did, as Barack Obama had going into office. It can serve a purpose to a degree of.But you can make the argument, coming out of the pandemic, we were a coiled spring to begin with. So almost anything after that would have been a boost. So I’m just worried how far this goes.PAYNE: So am I.And, listen, without a doubt, last year, we have never completely shut down the American economy, just shut it down.CAVUTO: Right.PAYNE: During — we had the Great Depression. That was an economic death spiral. But soon we had World War II and Rosie the Riveter had to show up, because we had so many jobs for everybody. We have never shut down the economy. We needed these emergency measures.Everyone said kudos to both sides of the aisle, from President Trump and Mnuchin to the Democrats. Everybody was unanimous and supported the American public, who were forced not to go to work, they were forced to give up their livelihoods. And we did the right thing.This is something completely different. This is really a way of using that same emergency or that same feel of an emergency to reinvent America, to reinvent the welfare state, to reinvent a different kind of country. This is not about an economic emergency anymore. This is about using the remnants of an economic emergency to really remake who we are as a nation.And it’s an extraordinarily dangerous slope that we’re going down. Listen, we’re going to pay for it in more ways than one. And just if you take the most successful example, if you want to say there has ever been a successful example of something like this, it would be Japan.But anyone — you talked about how old you are. Anyone who’s old enough to remember when Japan was thought to be just within months, maybe a year or so, of overtaking America, they went down this path of printing money, printing money, printing money, debt 250 percent of GDP.CAVUTO: Right.PAYNE: Now they have had two lost decades. They have been sideways for two — 20 years, Neil. And there’s no sign that they will ever get back to the greatness that they once had.CAVUTO: That’s a very good point. Thank you for mentioning what’s going on in Japan here.(LAUGHTER)CAVUTO: But you’re right. There are actually clear ties here.PAYNE: Yes.CAVUTO: Thank you very much, Charles Payne, “Making Money, ” the FOX business host at 2:00 p.m.PAYNE: You got it.CAVUTO: He’s got a big special here on the military and helping them make it in the marketplace. That’s coming up on July 21. You got to watch him.He really cares. He’s passionate about this stuff, as is my next guest, Senator James Lankford, the Senate Finance Committee key player. Of course, he’s an Oklahoma Republican.Senator, always good to have you.Let’s talk a little bit about this planned spending and break it apart. I know Republicans were, by and large, impressed with the president’s bipartisan approach that he wanted to spearhead for infrastructure, a little less than a trillion dollars, really half that cost, if you include the repurposed funds from COVID, et cetera.And you were on board with that. I don’t if you specifically were. Now this ancillary package that might or might not be coming up at the same time, how does that make you feel?SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Yes, so we’re watching another huge spending proposal.Remember, you go backwards to March, $2 trillion proposal on COVID, that only about $100 billion, $200 billion was really even related to COVID at all. Everything else was just dumped in the economy, as you were just having the conversation. We have seen the rise in inflation and the drop in opportunities for people to actually get back to work based on that.We believe this $3.5 trillion proposal that they’re throwing out now is going to have an even faster effect on that, because a lot of it is we’re just going to send money to people to not to work. We’re going to continue to be able to advance checks to different individuals.It is a lurch towards socialism, and is a pretty aggressive lurch that direction. So we’re looking at the infrastructure proposal that is normal for government to do to say we got to do roads and bridges. But we also have to pay attention to this giant move they’re moving towards socialism right next to it.CAVUTO: Now, you might call it socialism, Senator. Democrats say Republicans are fine ones to start lecturing on spending of any sort, since debt also piled up in the Trump administration. Big packages unpaid for piled up in his administration. That was even before the pandemic.So, do Republicans had sort of like a leg to stand on here?LANKFORD: Yes, of course we do.They’re going back to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, saying you cut taxes, and you should never have cut taxes. You need to raise taxes, like we’re planning to do, as they’re planning this giant tax increase.If you look at what happened in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from 2017, we had a rapid expansion in the number of people getting employed, the number of people actually paying taxes. We saw an increase in tax revenue happening starting in 2019, 2020.We had the fastest growing economy we have had in 50 years.CAVUTO: But the deficits piled up. The deficits piled up, right? And so did the debt.LANKFORD: Correct.CAVUTO: I’m not faulting you for that, Senator.So I’m just saying that whatever way you goosed the economy — and that was clear, it did help the economy — my point is that the debt piles up.LANKFORD: Sure.CAVUTO: And lecturing on either parties’ stance about what is too much money, we’re beyond that right now, right?LANKFORD: Well, I get it, getting back to balance is something that needs to be in the conversation.But, currently, this dialogue is about that you added $100 billion to the deficit, and they’re talking about adding $5.5 trillion to deficit in this year. It’s a very different conversation between the two on that.So, yes, we need to be able to get back to balance. Yes, that’s been a push. That’s been something I have worked very hard on to get everyone’s attention on, both with budget reforms and with spending and the issues that I deal with like federal fumbles every year and the things that I put out to say, here’s a way to get back to a path to where we actually get back to balanced and then start paying it down.But they seem to be very focused on this new monetary policy to say it just doesn’t matter how much we spend any more. If you propose spending $5.5. trillion above and beyond the budget, and then their budget is another almost $6 trillion, it is beyond reason anymore where they’re actually focused on, when you have got about $4 trillion in income, and they’re talking about spending $12 trillion.CAVUTO: Got it.All right, Senator James Lankford, thank you very much, sir. Good catching up with you.As the senator was wrapping up there, we are hearing from President Biden on this subject, taking questions about how to handle the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure measure coupled with a $3.5 billion (sic) human infrastructure plan, as Democrats are calling it, that they will follow a two-track process. It’s the only way, the president says, to get it done.So they will have two tracks. Now, we don’t know if they’re simultaneous tracks or they will be introduced together, albeit separately, but that they will be handled technically separately. We will see how that goes.In the meantime, Britney Spears, she’s at it again, arguing that she doesn’t need to be under any conservatorship. But will it be that easy?We should know later this hour. Stay with us.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)CAVUTO: All right, from the Texas Capitol to the United States Capitol, those 46 Texas House Democrats remain in Washington, D.C.They’re fighting to make sure that, on a federal level, they can come up with a voting reform measure that eclipses anything that’s going on back in Texas or a host of other states run by Republican governors that they say limits of voting rights in this country.Hillary Vaughn has been tracking them and what they have been up to since arriving in Washington — Hillary.HILLARY VAUGHN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil.Well, even though Texas state representatives here in D.C. have as much voting power here on Capitol Hill as a tourist would, the chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus told me yesterday that he believes they are working harder for the people in Texas here in D.C. than they would be if they were back home.But, regardless, their stay here, which could be as long as 25 days, is pretty pricey. They took two charter flights here. They are paying for buses to shuttle them to and from the airport and around D.C. And they’re also picking up a tab for 50 hotel rooms. They promise they aren’t leaving until August 6. That makes their hotel stay 25 days.And based on some of the rates of where some of them are staying, $200 a night, 50 rooms, 25 days, that’s a quarter-of-a-million dollars. But they say all that money is coming from donations.The Texas Democratic Caucus giving me this in a statement — quote — “Zero state dollars or taxpayer dollars are going into this work.”But it is costing Texans in one way or another. A chunk of their taxes, a 30-day special session, which is what they’re in right now, costs Texans $1 million for the full 30-day special session. And Governor Abbott says, until these Democrats get back home, he is going to continue to call these special sessions.And, Neil, these Democratic representatives are still getting their salary and also per diem every day they are here. They make around $7,000 a year, but get $220 a day in per diem when they are in special session, which is what they’re in now.So even though they’re not showing up for work, they’re getting that extra $221 a day, which over 25 days is over $5,000 for every one of them — Neil.CAVUTO: But, again, taxpayers are not footing that bill. They stress that, right?VAUGHN: Yes.(LAUGHTER)CAVUTO: Got it.All right, Hillary Vaughn, thank you very, very much.I want to go to Texas State Representative Michelle Beckley. She’s among the 40-odd Democratic representatives who are here. We just don’t know for how long.Representative, thank you for taking the time.Any idea how long you will be in the nation’s capital?STATE REP. MICHELLE BECKLEY (D-TX): We will be here as long as we need to be here.So, I think it’s — I mean, I think it’s safe to say it is going to be the full 25 days.And thank you for having me on, Neil. I really appreciate it.CAVUTO: It’s good to have you.So, let me ask you about that, because a lot of people, hearing this — and they understand your passion over this issue. But this has happened before, Representative — I don’t know with you specifically — where Democrats were outnumbered on something, they shut things down or left or quit. It sort of gives the impression to some that you don’t get the result you want, you take your marbles and go home.How do you disavow Americans of that view?BECKLEY: Well, first of all, I want to go back to the reporter that was on before.And I have refused my per diem. So, some of us are refusing our per diem. And we are working out the details onto that. So, we are not here on the taxpayer dime.And I am representing my constituents the best way that I see fit, as an elected official in Texas. And I think that that is a very important point, that not all of what is being reported is true.CAVUTO: All right.But, having said that, I mean, this is all about voting rights and making sure standards are held up. But by bolting from Texas, Representative, are you sending just the opposite signal, that you don’t get the outcome you want, you just up and run?BECKLEY: Well, I was on the Election Committee, and I was there all session long, hours and hours and hours of testimony.The Republican Party has refused to listen to the people of Texas. Most of that testimony was against these bills. We didn’t know what bills we were going to get. And then what we saw on the floor was not what we had agreed upon.And then we just see votes on party line after party line after party line. And then we are seeing — being threatened by our governor because of our – – he’s defunded the legislature illegally.So, we have all of these issues going on that is at the core of the Republican Party who caused this, at the end of the day. They are not working with us.CAVUTO: But shouldn’t this be decided at the election level? Take it up that the vote — at the voting booth, right? I mean, if this is such an egregious situation..BECKLEY: Sure, take it up at the voting booth. But, right now…CAVUTO: But this was the will of the people of Texas, right?(CROSSTALK)BECKLEY: Right now, I’m here to work for my…CAVUTO: No, I understand.But, Representative, this was the will of the Texas voters.BECKLEY: No, Texas is gerrymandered. That is now how it works.CAVUTO: All right, well, but the Republicans have a majority.If this were flipped around, Representative, Republicans were in the minority, and up and bolted the chamber, you would be ticked off, wouldn’t you?BECKLEY: I would be ticked off. And I would like for them to work with us. They have not worked with us.They have — and we are having a ridiculous session that is just for the governor’s primary. And that’s all it is. We have a grid that doesn’t work. None of our grid issues are — weren’t there.I didn’t have power for 30 hours. I had to re-plumb my house, just like many of my other constituents. And why are we not dealing with those issues? We didn’t deal with them in the session, and we didn’t deal with them now.And if you — we are asking the governor to work with us, and that other legislators — this isn’t just about the governor. This is the entire Republican Party that is being held by a big lie.And we’re going back to that big lie. None of the votes — these voter laws are necessary. And they’re nationwide. They’re going nationwide. And they are unnecessary. Our…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: Well, in Texas — in Texas, it didn’t — even if something mysterious was going on — it doesn’t appear it did, to your point, Representative — then it wouldn’t have done anything to affect the Republican win regardless…BECKLEY: No.CAVUTO: … or the fact that state remains a strong Republican hold. Now, that might change.But I do want to get your — you talked about: We will stay here as long…BECKLEY: Which is why these bills are completely unnecessary.CAVUTO: All right, I get that.But 25 days, you think, you anticipate that you will be in Washington at least that long?BECKLEY: Washington, or if we need to go elsewhere, depending on finances.CAVUTO: Right.BECKLEY: We will do what we need to do.I mean, this is where we have been pushed. We have been pushed into a corner. And we are not going to not fight. We were elected by our constituents to fight for our values, as well as making sure that they have the freedom to vote.And these bills are heinous, and they do make it more difficult.CAVUTO: But you were elected by your constituents to be there and do your job and to fight the good fight there, right?BECKLEY: Yes.But over and over and over, there is — nothing was going to happen. And so why keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different response? That is just insanity. And we refused to do it, which is why we left.CAVUTO: You know, that’s what Republicans say on Capitol Hill, Representative, about Democrats jamming spending down their throats.And what did they just decided to up and bolt the chamber because they were tired of it, as you are tired of this in Texas?BECKLEY: You know, I mean, we’re all elected to do what we need to do.I mean, what — I don’t know the rules of the federal government. But I’m here representing my constituents. And I’m talking to everybody out there. I would be more than happy to talk with Republicans. My dad’s a Trump voter. I am quite happy to work on both sides of the aisle. And I have carried bills that have had support from both sides.CAVUTO: Indeed.And you’re talking to us. You prove your point very well, Representative Michelle Beckley.BECKLEY: I — thank you.CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much.We will see what happens.Want to Karl Rove on all of this, of course, a Texan himself.Karl, where do you think this is going?KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let’s put it in context for the viewers. There are two big issues dominated this discussion in Texas.They have to do with practices that were used last year in Harris County, home to Houston, Texas. And they involved two things. Harris County, on its own, decided it was going to have 24 hour-voting. It was going to allow people to vote for 24 consecutive hours, which is not allowed under state law.They had to come up with a weird interpretation. And they had one day of that. This law that has been proposed to Texas would make it clear that’s not allowed, because it’s expensive. You have to put in election officials. You have to recruit volunteer election judges. The parties have to nominate people, and that’s going to be hard for a lot of counties to do.Only one county out of 254 did it. The other one is drive-through voting. Texas has a very explicit law that says the only people who can use drive- through voting are people who are physically unable to get to the polls unassisted.Harris County decided on its own it was going to set up eight locations, mostly in Democrat areas of the county, and allow people to drive-through vote. Now, why do we not like that? Because who’s in the car checking while you vote?And so those are the two big issues here. Now, why do we have the Democrats saying this is needed? Because they say if we don’t have these laws, it’s voter suppression. Now, the problem is this. Harris County is the only county in the state of Texas that had these 24-hour votes and drive-through voting.Harris County turnout is smaller than the statewide average. If this is so important to turnout, why is Harris County below the statewide average? In fact, there are 130 counties that had neither 24-hour voting nor drive- through voting that had a higher turnout percentage, and one of them was, interestingly enough, Representative Beckley’s district.Her county of Denton had a higher turnout than Harris County without having these additional expensive and unnecessary programs. And 91 counties, including a large number of South Texas, largely Hispanic counties in South Texas and South Central Texas, had a bigger improvement in turnout between 2016 to 2020 than did Harris County.Look, this is all about politics. Democrats were going to lose. So they decided they’d go to Washington and claim that this was all about racism, and suppression. And that’s not what it’s about at all. In fact, this bill increases the number of hours that people are allowed to vote during our early voting period in Texas, and requires more counties to have weekend voting.We go from 100 — requirement that the counties with 100,000 population have weekend early voting during our 13 days of early voting to every county with more than 55,000 voters.So, look, this is all about national politics, and about trying to — trying to get — to basically bust up the rules in Texas, and for no good reason at all. And the kind of language that these people are using, Representative Beckley and others, voter suppression and Jim Crow and racism, is ridiculous.They’re — the state of Delaware does not have…CAVUTO: So, let me ask you, Karl. Let me ask you about…ROVE: Yes.CAVUTO: I don’t know if this is the case in Texas, but some of these other states, dozen-plus now that have change of voting registration and other related issues, how much of that, cynically, is in response to the pressure from Donald Trump that the last election was rigged?I’m not saying they’re doing his bidding, but they are trying to keep him satisfied. What do you think of that?ROVE: Well, I — look, I think that’s part of it.But, also, people are using this as a way to make their laws better. Take Georgia, for example. Trump was obviously upset that he lost Georgia.CAVUTO: Right.ROVE: And they passed a law there.But the law is a sensible law. For example, one of the things it does is, it makes it easier for people to have a mail-in ballot, rather than having to go through this signature matching process, where people are looking at these signatures.Instead, you can simply give your driver’s license or number, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and they don’t need to compare signatures. Makes it easier for the election officials, guarantees an easier way to validate the signatures.Same in a lot of these other states. There’s been an effort by a lot of Republican secretaries of state to find ways to make it easier to manage elections, make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.CAVUTO: So you don’t think any of this, in a couple of these states, might be to do Donald Trump’s bidding and to reinforce an image, if these kind of changes were in place, he wouldn’t have lost?(CROSSTALK)ROVE: Yes.No, no, no, look, I think that — I agree with you. President — former President Trump has been insisting on a lot of — making a lot of arguments that we need to have election law changes.But if you look at the sum and substance of the laws, what has happened is, states have taken this as a precautionary measure and said, let’s avoid problems in the future by making our laws better and not doing things.I mean, the president has — the former president but very unclear as to what he wants to have done. And, as a result, secretaries of state and Republican legislators have stepped forward and said, let’s take this moment to do something that we think is constructive.CAVUTO: All right. Got it.Karl Rove, always good chatting with you. Thank you very, very much.ROVE: You bet.CAVUTO: All right, something just as heated and just as hot right now, Britney Spears. I will leave it at that.She’s trying again to free herself from her dad. That could be easier said than done.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)CAVUTO: All right, why should it be just the Obamas?Britain’s Duchess Meghan Markle is developing a new animated family series for Netflix. Variety is reporting this. We don’t know the details. We just know it’s going to be a cartoon.We will have more after this.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)CAVUTO: All right, here we go again.Britney Spears’ conservatorship hearing, the latest one, has started out in Los Angeles. She is not expected to speak.Jeff Paul has the latest now from Los Angeles.Jeff, what do we got here?JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Neil, Britney Spears’ latest hearing is getting under way right now.And one of the main issues that the judge will address today is, who will be her next attorney? That’s because, during the last hearing that was about three weeks ago, and, since then, her court-appointed lawyer attorney asked the judge to be removed from the case.And it was the first time during that hearing that she addressed the conservatorship publicly. She told the judge she wasn’t aware that she could request the conservatorship to end.So now a judge could decide on a new court-appointed lawyer or could allow Spears to pick one herself. Some reports indicate Spears is in talks with Hollywood attorney Mathew Rosengart, who has a long list of stars he’s represented.Trial lawyer Brian Claypool, who isn’t involved in the case whatsoever, says he finds it shocking she can’t do something as simple as pick her lawyer, calling it a black eye on the legal system.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)BRIAN CLAYPOOL, TRIAL ATTORNEY: It’s a very extreme and rare measure. And it’s shocking to me that this has remained in place for 12 years with Britney Spears, who seems fundamentally capable of handling her own day-to- day affairs.(END VIDEO CLIP)PAUL: And the crowds for Britney Spears and their Free Britney movement who have gathered outside the courthouse agree. They have got their signs out. They have been cheering as people drive by and have been chanting “Free Britney” most of the day.There is a possibility that Spears could call into this hearing, Neil, like she did last time. We don’t know. The one thing that we can confirm is that the fate of this conservatorship will not be decided today. This is just one of the many steps in this long legal process — Neil.CAVUTO: Jeff Paul, thank you very, very much for that.With us now is a guy who has been fighting for Britney Spears to dissolve that conservatorship arrangement with her dad going back to 2008.Adam Streisand is the trial attorney. He was kind enough to join us right now.Adam, thank you.What do you make of the odds she could succeed in this second go-round?ADAM STREISAND, ATTORNEY: I think, with effective counsel, Neil, she’s going to get this conservatorship terminated, finally after 13 long years, because effective counsel really is fundamental to everything that she needs to accomplish.I mean, it is absolutely shocking her testimony of a couple of weeks ago, in which she said she didn’t even know she had the right to request the termination. She’s been deprived by her own counsel of the right to see things that are getting filed in her case.There’s a real shocking failure by her current counsel to represent her adequately. I think the court is going to accept her choice of counsel and appoint that person to be her lawyer, and this termination proceeding is going to go forward and be successful.CAVUTO: Now, meanwhile, Bessemer Trust, which used to be financial adviser, separated herself from this. So it’s really just her dad that’s in question here, right?Now, what kind of sway does he have in a proceeding like this?STREISAND: Well, see, that’s the real fundamental issue, right?Our system of justice to function properly depends on advocacy. And that means that all arguments and evidence are advocated. That’s the only way judges can make good decisions, right?So the conservator, if he’s acting in good faith, ought to be doing what he can help stabilize the conservatee, Britney, and help her to function and get out of this conservatorship.Her lawyers certainly ought to be advocating for her in order to try to end this conservatorship. But if they’re — if you have a lack of good faith and competent advocacy, then what happens is you fall down a profit motive, right? And there is a real profit motive to continue a conservatorship that works against Britney.And now I think we’re going to shake things up finally. I mean, the real problem is, the proceedings have been closed for 13 years. So the public really hasn’t had any ability and we haven’t had the ability to shine a light on what’s been going on. And now that information is coming out, it’s really pretty shocking how her rights have really deprived — been deprived because of that lack of someone to advocate for her.CAVUTO: Adam, when you were fighting on her behalf in 2008, I don’t know what her situation or condition was then vs. now, but even if it was horrific then, it is far from that today.She seems to comport itself quite well, and handles questions with relative ease, and seems to have complete control of her facilities. So what would stop this from being reversed?STREISAND: And keep in mind that, under law, you can only maintain a conservatorship if it is the absolute last resort, if there is no other way to help a person who’s vulnerable for whatever reason.And we don’t know a lot about what her issues are. But it has to be the last resort. And there are plenty of other ways to help somebody who has issues, a trustee to help her make financial decisions, a health care advocate to make health care decisions or to — so — and the judge has an obligation, on a periodic basis, is to ask the question, why is this conservatorship necessary?And, certainly, her lawyer ought to have been advocating, this thing is not necessary. She clearly functions. She’s been paying people millions of dollars, Neil, by being able to go out every night and perform at a Vegas show or go out on tour or host a TV show. Clearly, this is not a person where the last resort is a conservatorship.CAVUTO: Yes, you wouldn’t think.Adam Streisand, thank you very, very much. I’d love to have you back to talk about how this progresses.Adam Streisand was fighting on her behalf back in 2008.In the meantime, look, if a nearly 80-year-old president cannot compel kids to go ahead and get a vaccine, maybe an 18-year-old pop star can — after this.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)CAVUTO: Did you see this in our nation’s capital?The Washington Monument has reopened, after being shut down for the better part, I think, six months right now. It’s open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. So they had the first visitors climb that structure. It is a beautiful view when you get up there.But, again, you got to be really good shape taking the stairs. But, of course, I am, so I didn’t have to worry about that. But the bottom line is, there’s a bit of iconic Washington life that is now back, the Washington Monument open for business.In the meantime, the — well, the pandemic is still a problem. Cases are spiking in this country. In fact, they have been moving up at a double- digit clip. Now, keep in mind, overall cases are pretty low. But a lot of it has to do with young people resistant to take the vaccine.Enter Olivia Rodrigo, of course, pop star extraordinaire, very, very popular, 18 years old, and she might be able to connect with young people maybe the way a nearly 80-year-old president cannot.Bottom line is, Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil welcomes it, anything to get people vaccinated. She is the NYU Langone School of Medicine pro, Metropolis Pain Medicine director.Doctor, great having you.What do you think of this, have the young speak to the young?DR. DEVI NAMPIAPARAMPIL, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, I think it’s great that people in all sectors of our society are stepping up, doing what they can to help end this pandemic.But at the same time, I also think that there is a management issue here, right, that I think things could be made a little bit easier in terms of getting us through the pandemic. And I’m referring more to sort of the transparency and fairness.So, for example, in terms of transparency, it looks like a lot of the resistance both with young people and in general has to do with the fact that people want the formal FDA approval for the drug, right?So with young people, for example, in general, from the data that we have, it seems that the vaccine is beneficial. It’s beneficial for young people. It outweighs the risks. But that could be separated out into different categories, like who is most at risk to catch the virus, who is most at risk to have complications from COVID, and who would benefit the most from the vaccine, and, similarly, who would be most at risk to have potential complications?There are some — there are some cases of heart inflammation, which is still rare, but still possible, and especially more so in young people than in older people. So in the formal FDA approval process, usually, what happens is, all of these reports get reviewed, and then doctors specify all of these different categories and who would be — who would fall into which category, and what all the alternatives are and whether doctors should monitor for certain side effects.CAVUTO: Right.NAMPIAPARAMPIL: So I think rather than relying on pop stars and other folks to kind of spread the message, we should also have our leaders kind of promote that transparency, so that it will be easier for people to come forward and kind of overcome some hesitation and know what to do.CAVUTO: Yes, it probably would make it easier to have that — yes, to FDA nod of approval.But I am curious, Doctor, why young people, by and large, have not been vaccinated, . They might think that they’re indestructible. I remember a time like that a century or so ago, when I was their age.(LAUGHTER)CAVUTO: But I also wonder whether they should be reminded that, though the chances are low that they will ever get this, there is a chance that they could complicate it for others who just might.But in this largely vaccinated country, is that a worry? Because they come back, a lot of young people, Doctor, and say, no, it’s not a worry for me or people around me. What do you tell them?NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Yes, so I think that there’s a little bit of both.I mean, people tend to feel fearless, especially when they’re younger. It’s hard to imagine that something really serious could happen. Also, the results of the virus are kind of unpredictable. Like, some people don’t even know that they had it.CAVUTO: That’s right.NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Some people actually have serious complications.I mean, I myself had the virus when I was pregnant, and then my husband, he was hospitalized for almost two weeks.CAVUTO: Yikes.NAMPIAPARAMPIL: I was — I, myself, even being a doctor seeing so many patients who are sick, yes, I was surprised to see what serious complications he had from the virus.So it is pretty unpredictable that way. You know, the other thing I wonder about is, if young people were — certain young people, if they were out and about during the height of the pandemic, some of them may feel like they have already had COVID. So I think that’s another issue in terms of management.Let’s say you have been in quarantine several times over the past year.CAVUTO: All right.NAMPIAPARAMPIL: You may feel like, well, at least one of those times, I probably had the virus.But, nevertheless, it is important for us to kind of get through this together.CAVUTO: Yes, I guess it’s one thing for someone my age to tell kids, go get that vaccine. That’s quite another if Olivia Rodrigo was telling you to do that.(LAUGHTER)CAVUTO: So, we will see how it sorts out.Doctor, great seeing you again. Thank you very, very much.NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Thank you.CAVUTO: All right, in the meantime, Cuba is coming down hard on dissidents there and protesters.I don’t know if you saw this video of an influencer very big on monitoring what’s going on in Cuba. She was arrested on air on YouTube. We still don’t know what her status is — after this.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Can’t hear her. State security is outside.UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): State security is outside?UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have to go outside.I’m leaving my friend here.UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): OK. Go. We will wait here.UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They’re going to arrest her on live on TV.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sadly, they’re going to arrest her.(END VIDEO CLIP)CAVUTO: All right. I don’t know if you speak Spanish, but this has really a gripped much of Cuba right now.She’s a Cuban influencer, Internet personality, Dina Stars. She had been sort of broadcasting and following the events in Cuba. She was doing an interview, and she was arrested in the middle of the interview. She was telling an interviewer: “Security is out there. I have to go out.”She says: “I make the government responsible for whatever happens to me. They are forcing me to go with them. I have to go.”This was all happening in real time on YouTube. And it jolted a world that’s begun to see some scary developments in Cuba.Very scary for my next guest too, Congressman Carlos Gimenez. He was born in Cuba, fled the Cuban Revolution. Now he serves as the Florida congressman, a real powerful success story in his own right.Congressman, it’s getting scary in Cuba right now. What do we do?REP. CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL): Look, that happens all the time in Cuba. Security forces come in and drag you away if they think you’re a threat to the state. That’s what it’s like to live life in Cuba.I saw another video today of security forces breaking into somebody’s house, a woman’s house. Later on, you see blood on the floor. She said her husband was shot. She was there with a baby. She had nothing in there. They took away her husband.There was another video that I saw where young kids, young children are being led out by security forces. Basically, what they want them to do is confront the protesters. And so that’s what life is like in Cuba. You always live under the constant fear of repression, of going to jail.You can’t speak your mind. You have — they have things called the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution. That means there’s two or three people in your neighborhood that are actually working for the government that will snitch on you if you say something against the government, and they will come and they will question you, or, worse, they will take you to jail for no reason whatsoever.That is what life is in Cuba.CAVUTO: So, let me ask you about this.GIMENEZ: That’s what is life is like under a communist regime.CAVUTO: I understand.So, the administration has already made it clear to Cubans who want to come here that you’re not welcome here. Don’t try a risky trip. They have sent out the same advice to Cuban exiles in Florida who want to help them out or provide food or means for them to get to the U.S. What do you make of that?GIMENEZ: I think that’s the right choice.I mean, look, if you allow the — another mass migration, you are then boggling — the Cubans do this all the time to let off steam and let off the pressure that’s happening inside the island. Plus, also, you’re condemning some of these Cubans to death, because thousands of Cubans have died in the Florida Straits trying to flee the communist regime.And so I think that’s the right — the right message from the Biden administration, and also…CAVUTO: So, we don’t know what some of the Cuban prison inmates that we got under Jimmy Carter, when they opened their prisons.I get that. Where do you think this goes, though, Congressman, in the few seconds we have left?GIMENEZ: Oh, I think that this is something different.It’s organic. This is the first time we have had mass demonstrations across the island in different cities at the same time. And I don’t think this is a genie that’s going to be bottled up again. There’s going to be repression. The United States has to make it clear that we won’t tolerate that and that all options are on the table.I’m not saying military options are on the table right now. But it could get to that if we see more and more of the repressions, more and more murder, more and more people going into jail, and their basic human rights being violated by this oppressive regime, which has been in power for 60- odd years.It’s time that the people of Cuba — they deserve freedom. It’s time for them to have a new government, someone — a government that will actually fit their needs and give them what they need.CAVUTO: All right.GIMENEZ: And, right now, all they want is freedom. They’re not asking for food. They’re not asking for vaccine.CAVUTO: Got it.GIMENEZ: They’re asking for freedom. That’s what they’re asking for. That’s what we should help them get.CAVUTO: Congressman Gimenez, thank you very, very much.We will keep track of this.Meanwhile, here comes “The Five.”
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