This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” May 25, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: OK, I’m back.
Now, I thought that would be good news, because I missed you guys while I was away. But, apparently, it wasn’t always mutual.
Welcome everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto, and this is “Your World.”
And a lot of you preferred having “Your World” with someone else doing the show, apparently. I heard from a lot of you.
I thought I’d just run through some of them.
Keith e-mails: “Damn, you’re still alive. I kept looking in the obituaries, but I knew something was up when I couldn’t find you.”
CAVUTO: Sorry to disappoint you, Keith.
T.R. writes: “I don’t know what you have on your bosses, but the only place I want to see your ugly moon face is on a milk carton.”
Moon face. I think they’re saying I’m fat.
Anyway, Shawn in Jacksonville: “Charles Payne has class. Sandra Smith has style. The only thing you have is a bad voice and an even worse toupee. Yet you’re still on the air. Is this a great country or what, Cavuto?”
All right, for once and for all, this is not a toupee. It’s paint.
All right, Sheila in New York City: “They call you a news guy. I just think you’re a boring guy and you dress like an undertaker. Outside of that, I don’t find you too objectionable, obnoxious, yes, but not so much that I have to leave the room most days.”
Like an undertaker? I guess, yes, this is all black, isn’t it?
CAVUTO: Anyway, Vinnie in Queens writes: “Some call you a never-Trumper. I call you never-anyone. You’re a jerk to everyone, a regular fair and balanced creep.”
So glad I impress you.
Anyway: “I know you deal with a lot of health issues. So I figure I won’t have to put up with you forever, right?”
Well, you know what, just for that, yes, forever. All right, deal with that.
Then there’s Cap: “You know what I admire about you, Cavuto? You do your own thing. It’s a boring thing. It’s not a very entertaining thing. But it is your thing. I point to you and tell my kids, anything is possible. Just look at that guy.”
Well, anything I can do to help the kids. My own kids wrote that.
Anyway, more tweets: “Well, Cavuto just came on the tube. Time to watch ‘Dallas’ or ‘Lost’ on Amazon flick channel. I can’t stand the guy’s attitude.”
You’re watching “Dallas”? All right, that’s neither here nor there. That’s what I’m thinking.
This was one of my favorite, though. Gregory tweets — I swear it came from Charles, though — “Charles Payne can permanently take over for Neil Cavuto for all I care. So much more pragmatic, he is.”
What is with the Yoda thing? More pragmatic, he is.
All right, so some of you, some of you are not too keen that I’m back. But, man, oh, man. I mean, I’m a vulnerable human being. I might dress like an undertaker, but I don’t think like one.
Anyway, I’m glad to be back. I enjoyed all the healthy ribbing, even though you were telling me they weren’t ribbing. They were pretty serious about that.
All right, we are back.
I want to thank Charles and Sandra and David Asman and all the others who were here in my absence on both my shows, on my weekend show, all great people. But I’m still alive.
All right, still alive, apparently, is infrastructure on Capitol Hill. But here’s the deal. They’re still miles apart on this thing. It is still very expensive when they talk about how they’re going to ultimately get it done.
We’re going to talk to Senator John Barrasso, the GOP Conference chair, on where this is going, because they’re narrowing the difference a little bit, but they’re still, still miles apart.
Let’s get the read from Blake Burman at the White House, where things stand right now.
No one complains about Blake, by the way. They love Blake — Blake.
BLAKE BURMAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You’re the absolute best, Neil. You really are.
CAVUTO: Oh, you are so coming on again and again.
BURMAN: I speak for everyone. Don’t worry about those e-mails. Don’t worry about those tweets.
CAVUTO: Oh, my God.
BURMAN: You’re the best. We love you.
CAVUTO: But your wife has got to stop writing. She must stop writing, Blake. I mean, come on.
BURMAN: I thought Sandra Smith was anchoring today, which is why I said I would lead off the show. But you’re back.
No, I’m kidding. Welcome back, buddy.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much.
BURMAN: We missed you.
Anyways, so yes, so, over here at the White House, it is an important few days as it relates to infrastructure. Let’s start there, because Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their counterproposal, we are hearing, on Thursday.
If you listened to Senator Roger Wicker up on Capitol Hill today, he suggested that it could be in the area of about a trillion dollars to be paid for by keeping the corporate tax structure in place and maybe using unspent COVID funds is what some Republicans are talking about.
That is important, Neil, because the White House has come down to $1.7 trillion, but they want to pay for an infrastructure package by raising the corporate tax rate.
So, earlier today, I asked the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, if the White House would accept a proposal in which the tax code is not changed. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We’re waiting here that — hear back from Republicans on how they would propose to pay for it.
So, if they don’t want to touch the 2017 tax cuts, $2 trillion tax cuts that did not end up having a windfall back to the American public, I guess that’s their choice what they put in their proposal, but they have to propose an alternative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: And Republicans say that alternative will come on Thursday, potentially using unspent COVID funds to pay for infrastructure.
We did hear from Senate Republicans, Neil, this afternoon. And I got to say they sounded pessimistic at the prospects of a deal. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): It could be a bipartisan agreement. But at the moment, they don’t seem to be interested in that. I hope that that changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: Neil, we have been talking about infrastructure for quite some time here. Here’s why the timing now is important, because the White House has targeted this upcoming weekend, Memorial Day, to say that is when they want to see progress on the prospects of a bipartisan deal.
So, if, in the coming days, it doesn’t seem that that might not be in the cards, you got to wonder what Democrats potentially could choose to do after that as their next steps — Neil.
And as you reminded me, my friend, I mean, it’s not a given that, if Democrats go it alone, they will have enough votes to do that, right?
BURMAN: Right. Right.
CAVUTO: So, it’s dicey.
BURMAN: Yes, we were talking about this on FOX Business earlier today.
When you look at the House, there are Democrats in the House who want the SALT cap repeal, that having to do with your taxes. In the House, there’s maybe that two/three-vote threshold the Democrats have. There’s something like a dozen Democrats who want that as a part of the package.
The White House doesn’t necessarily want it as a part of the package. So you have got that issue in the House. And then, in the Senate, the corporate tax rate, 28 percent is what the president wants to raise it to.
But all you have to look toward is Joe Manchin, who says, for example, just one senator, that he doesn’t want to go all the way up to 28 percent. So, even if the Democrats say, you know what, we tried, we negotiated, we’re going to go at this alone, and use reconciliation, which is what they did for the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, no guarantee, Neil, that they have the votes to go at it alone and be successful potentially this time around.
CAVUTO: Yes, this is looking dicey, my friend.
All right, Blake Burman.
By the way, as you were speaking, one of the viewers e-mailed and said: “Blake Burman’s great. He looks like your son, but smarter, swifter, prettier.”
CAVUTO: So, I will just have to deal.
BURMAN: My wife’s in front of the computer, I guess, right?
CAVUTO: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Thank you, Blake Burman, rock star at FBN and FOX News Channel.
All right, let’s go to another rock star in the Senate, John Barrasso. He’s the Senate GOP Conference chair. He would know a thing or two about whether anything could get done on infrastructure.
What do you think, Senator?
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Well, first, Neil, on behalf of all your fans in Wyoming, we are delighted to have you back on the air. So welcome back.
CAVUTO: Thank you very, very much.
BARRASSO: In terms of in — in terms of infrastructure, it’s no surprise. We are very far apart.
We were actually close when we left the White House meeting with President Biden. Since then, either President Biden has changed his mind, or Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have overridden him because of the demands by the liberal left for — think of this — $7.1 trillion, lots of it in social spending and the largest tax increases in a generation.
Republicans are going to come back with an offer that’s going to focus on things that the American people think of as traditional infrastructure, physical infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, broadband, the things that make a difference in people’s lives and will help get this economy moving forward.
CAVUTO: You know, Senator, it could be just me. I don’t see this happening.
I know you guys have gone up too close to a trillion. At least, that’s one plan they’re kicking around. But, again, the administration’s at 1.7, 1.8.
Bottom line, it doesn’t appear likely. And I say that even without any Republican support, relying on Democratic support, because that doesn’t seem to be united.
So, this seems to be fizzling. Am I right?
BARRASSO: Well, you are right.
And we look at the fact that we’re dealing with impressive inflation. Inflation is roaring back. And even Larry Summers today, who worked as the Treasury secretary for President Clinton, worked for President Obama as an economic adviser, said, look, if you’re going to do this, don’t pour more money on to what is the flame of inflation.
Do this with money that has been approved, but not yet spent. There’s $700 billion in this last COVID so-called relief package which had very little to do with coronavirus, $700 billion that’s not even supposed to get sent out until 2022 and beyond.
That’s the place we ought to be looking to take that money for investing in the sort of core infrastructure that the American people need.
CAVUTO: All right, now, you’re open, obviously, to a little bit more spending, but you’re not open to tinkering with the tax code to get it.
I know you are relying largely on user fees, tolls, that sort of thing. But is there any wiggle room on that side?
BARRASSO: We are not going to touch, not going to touch the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which had done such a tremendous job of actually rebuilding the economy, bringing our economy roaring back before coronavirus hit. We know what works.
The other thing that we’re dealing with the Democrats is, they don’t want any of the regulatory relief that we think is necessary from the standpoint of being able to build things better and faster and cheaper and smarter. They have more regulations, more demands, more mandates, which just add to the cost of getting the job done, so you get less bang for the buck.
So, we’re going to come back with a proposal that’s focused on core infrastructure, things that the American people think of as infrastructure. And we’re leaving out the social spending, the tax credits for electric vehicles, over $100 billion there, so-called climate justice. We’re leaving those things behind to focus on the things that we think will help the economy the most.
CAVUTO: You know, Senator, this comes at a time when a lot of people are looking at who speaks for the Republican Party. I know you work very closely with Mitch McConnell.
Assuming that the tide in the Senate and the House changes, favoring Republicans, would you still favor Mitch McConnell being your leader in the Senate?
BARRASSO: Yes, there’s no doubt in my mind or in the minds of the 50 Republican senators we’re going to focus very hard on taking back the majority of the Senate.
Mitch has been a tremendous leader for our party and for our country. We work closely together and focus on jobs and the economy, on national security, energy security. And we know what kind of a battle that we’re in against this administration, which is for massive taxes, massive amounts of spending at a time of roaring-back inflation.
I think we’re in capable hands with Mitch McConnell as our leader.
CAVUTO: The president, that is, the former one, Donald Trump, does not agree.
Does that change your view, or are you still of that view?
BARRASSO: Well, I think, if we voted today, Mitch McConnell would be overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, reelected as leader of our caucus. And he was reelected as our leader of our caucus in November.
CAVUTO: True enough.
All right, Senator Barrasso, very good having you on. And thank you for the kind words from your residence in the beautiful state of Wyoming. Always appreciate that.
Senator John Barrasso on all of that.
We got Steve Moore now with us, the economist, former Trump senior economic adviser.
Steve, I did want to touch on something else happening in Washington today. And that is Elizabeth Warren’s plan to or hopes to really beef up the budget, triple it to more than $30 billion. She wants to go after those who are maybe not paying all their taxes.
One interesting feature of that would require banks to report account flows of wealthy clients. This goes far beyond what President Biden has been offering to beef up the budget for IRS. What do you think?
STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, I was looking at Elizabeth Warren’s plan, Neil, and you’re talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000, 100,000 additional IRS agents, which is incredible.
I mean, 100,000 is a medium-sized city in America. So, I don’t think the American people are too eager to see 100,000 people snooping into their tax records.
And this is an issue of financial privacy. The — you mentioned the budget impact of this, which would be tens of billions of dollars. I believe the Biden plan would cost $80 billion in terms of just beefing up the IRS.
Look, I think the American people just want a simple tax plan. I go back to Steve Forbes. If you had a simple flat tax, got rid of all the deductions, all the loopholes, all the carve-outs that the lobbyists have put in the code, we could have very simple plan with a fairly low rate, raise as much money as we do today.
And you wouldn’t need another 100,000 IRS agents.
CAVUTO: Yes, and many people say you could raise a heck of a lot more money than we raise today.
But that being said, I’m curious as to what you make of the administration’s effort, and really coupling it with what Elizabeth Warren wants to do to target the rich, because she is all but saying they’re the ones dodging the tax man, they’re the ones that should be penalized.
In fact, she carves out extra penalties for those who earn over $2 million. What do you make of that approach?
MOORE: Look, the higher you raise the tax rate, the higher the incentive to cheat on taxes.
Our system — I mean, we have we have said this for 100 years. Our system is really based on voluntary compliance, Americans voluntarily complying with the IRS tax code. And they do that when they view the system is fair and simple, and they’re paying what they owe, and the guy next to him is paying what they owe.
When you add all of this complexity, I mean, we have tens and tens of thousands of pages of IRS regulation and code. A lot of the uncollected taxes is people can’t figure out the tax system. Again, making it simple and easy, I think, would be by far the best way to make the tax system collect more revenue.
People will comply with the code if they think they think it is fair. A lot of Americans don’t.
I want to make one other point about this, Neil. It used to be that liberals cared about issues of civil liberties. And the — what you will have is government agents looking into every single aspect of your private life. There have been abuses at the IRS for decades, for decades, going back to Nixon and before that, using the IRS tax code to harass political enemies and so on.
I’m not too comfortable with the idea of giving the IRS $30 billion more money to do that.
CAVUTO: Yes, or — if you think it’s just going to look at the rich his bank accounts, I mean, it would invariably start to loop into more people, like some of these other taxes that were supposed to hit just the rich, and they expanded way, way beyond that.
So, we will watch it closely.
Steve Moore, I very much appreciate it.
MOORE: One thing, Neil.
CAVUTO: Go ahead.
MOORE: Before I go, could I just mention one quick thing?
Do you know the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector?
CAVUTO: No, I do not.
MOORE: The tax — taxidermist only takes your skin.
CAVUTO: I see what you did there. I see what you did there.
CAVUTO: All right, Steve, thank you very much.
MOORE: Thank you.
CAVUTO: I’m going to have to remember that one, just claim it as mine, not Steve’s.
All right, we have got a lot more coming up, including getting an update on COVID and where it is. But do you ever wonder how the whole thing started out?
Remember, a little over a year ago, when they were exploring how it could have maybe possibly started in that lab in Wuhan, everyone was dismissing it. Now the very same people who were writing letters, saying it was ridiculous are now saying, not so ridiculous — after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): We all want to get to the bottom of this. This isn’t a matter of blaming anyone. This isn’t a matter of saying, Fauci, you were not forthcoming, or this or that.
It’s a matter of preventing the next pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: And Congressman Mike Gallagher telling me earlier on FOX Business, which, if you don’t get, you should demand, that we are losing on this, and the fact that the Chinese are still blocking an investigation into the origins of this, or at least helping the World Health Organization decide where things started and how they might have started, well, it’s a 180 from where we were a year ago, right?
So, where are we going with this right now?
Hillary Vaughn on what has been a whole change in attitude about how this all began — Hillary.
HILLARY VAUGHN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Neil.
Will the NIH director, Dr. Francis Collins, told lawmakers today that money did make its way to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through an outside group called EcoHealth Alliance. That group was awarded by the NIH a $3.7 million grant.
EcoHealth in turn gave $600,000 of it to the Wuhan lab for a China bat research project. That project helped build a library of 15,000 bat samples; 400 new coronaviruses were discovered, including one that had a 96 percent match to COVID-19.
And lawmakers today wanted to know if the Wuhan lab could have been using this bat library of viruses to try to engineer one of them to be more dangerous and more contagious, something called gain of function research.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We are, of course, not aware of other sources of funds or other activities they might have undertaken outside of what our approved grant allowed.
REP. ANDY HARRIS (R-MD): OK, so we could have sent money through EcoHealth Alliance, money could have ended up in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which might be doing gain of function research.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHN: And Dr. Anthony Fauci was also asked today at a separate event if it’s possible that the virus escaped from a lab.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: We don’t know 100 percent the answer to that. And since this is a question that keeps being asked, we feel strongly, all of us ,that we should continue with the investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHN: At the very least, whatever was happening at that Wuhan lab was concerning enough to the NIH to trigger them to quickly suspend all funding last year in the height of the pandemic.
They wrote this to EcoHealth Alliance in a letter — quote — “The NIH has received reports that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been conducting research at its facilities in China that pose serious biosafety concerns.”
And, Neil, those concerns seem to have not been gone away or been answered, because I talked to EcoHealth Alliance today. They say their funds from that grant are still frozen — Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Hillary Vaughn at the Capitol.
Thank you, Hillary, for that.
So, how important is this to get the bottom of how all of this started out?
Let’s ask Dr. Bob Lahita, Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Diseases over at St. Joseph’s, health director Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, clinical professor of medicine.
The guy is like — he was the guy I cheated on. I sat in the back of him.
CAVUTO: And whatever he wrote, whatever he wrote, I wrote down.
Doctor, it’s good to see you again.
DR. BOB LAHITA, ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Good to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: What do you make of this debate over how this all started, Doctor?
How important is it to you to get to the bottom of that?
LAHITA: Well, Neil, I’m thinking that the Virology Institute was the source of this infection, because of the intelligence that we received and the fact that there are wet markets all over Southern China, in Guangzhou, and Chengdu, in various cities, and you don’t see this virus coming from any of those wet markets.
And they’re just like the one that is in Wuhan. And so I believe, with what we now know, that a couple of technicians seem to have gotten sick very early on in January or even before, in December of 2019, that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is likely the source, because this gain of function research, which you just — which one of your correspondents just discussed, is very, very serious stuff.
And if they have, in fact, been dizzying up this virus to make it more infective and more deadly, that is of concern to everybody in the scientific community.
CAVUTO: Do you worry, Doctor, that the Chinese are not cooperating, and that they — they say there’s nothing to do with them planning something in a lab and releasing it deliberately or accidentally to the world.
But we really should get a handle on exactly how it started, because if they’re not helping now, it could happen again, couldn’t it?
LAHITA: It could happen again, Neil, and it’s likely to happen again.
We expect another pandemic within the next 50 years. So it could happen again. And, yes, the Chinese should cooperate. And we should have an international and investigative body which consists of the WHO and certainly the NIH, which has, as you heard, given money, grant money, to the Virology Institute for studies.
Everybody should be involved. And it should be a very neutral, independent committee to investigate the origins of this terrible infection.
CAVUTO: Doctor, I just worry about the potential role China, either deliberately, accidentally, ignorantly, plays in not only this contagion, but SARS prior. They have their own rules, and they have their own secrets.
And I’m just wondering, if we were to see another such pandemic, it would originate from this part of the world.
LAHITA: No doubt that that is where it could originate, because, as you know, these viruses jumped species.
We saw that with HIV, which we suspect jumped species in Africa. And here, this coronavirus, of which there are many infected members of that coronavirus family, could easily jump species again, either from the boomerang bat the pangolin or in — or from the laboratory now, as we suspect.
CAVUTO: Doctor, real quickly, there’s a heavy debate going on in Japan, inside and outside the country, whether it should host the Olympics.
They have had a spike in cases. Residents there are nervous. Countries bringing their athletes there are nervous. Should they be? Should we be?
LAHITA: We should all be nervous about that.
Anywhere in the world where there is a spike, such as in India, now in Japan, we should be concerned that we’re going to be sending our best athletes to that country. Hopefully, all of our athletes will be vaccinated.
But I don’t know if we can make that mandated. But we don’t know about other countries’ athletes. They could easily become infected with the spike of this coronavirus. And that would be an international catastrophe.
So, there’s nothing wrong with suspending these Olympics.
CAVUTO: Dr. Lahita, thank you very much, catching up on all these issues, Bob Lahita on all of that.
And after this, on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, the president meeting with his family today at the White House, all of this as commemorations in Minneapolis turn scary.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just got to be careful here with some gunshots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, concerts are back.
We’re hearing from Live Nation that the surge in demand will carry well through next year, The Killers, Bryan Adams, Marc Anthony, Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, but no Adele.
CAVUTO: President Biden meeting at the White House with the family of George Floyd one year after his death.
It was kind of tense around the country today,concerns about whether there could be any problems today. That doesn’t seem likely right now. There are separate incidents that had nothing to do with commemorations in Minneapolis.
Still, it is scary. Scarier still, the prospects of the police reform the president had promised, but now has a tough time delivering.
Chad Pergram on all of that on Capitol Hill.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Hey, Neil.
The George Floyd family was at the Capitol to talk with lawmakers about police reform today. Optics are important in politics, but they will miss the deadline set last month by the president during his speech to Congress about passing a police reform bill by today.
California Democrat Karen Bass says ignore the calendar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): We will get this bill on the desk. And what is important is, is that, when it reaches President Biden’s desk, that it’s a substantive piece of legislation. And that is far more important than a specific date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: But not everyone is convinced the Congress can make a difference. That’s because most policing is local.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): Whatever we get done on Capitol Hill is just going to be additive to that. The real reforms have to come from the local level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Some liberal Democrats may think a deal with the GOP is too watered down.
This is why President Biden may struggle to pass bills on other issues important to Democrats. That includes the 1/6 commission and infrastructure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): We always hope that our Republican friends will work with us on things. We’re not going to let them saying no stand in our way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Even Democrats aren’t aligned yet on infrastructure. That’s why they may ultimately have to work with the GOP.
Senator Roy Blunt believes it would be easier to lure several members of the GOP to vote yes than whipping the final four Democrats. A new GOP offer is on the table. That’s about $1 trillion. Schumer says Democrats plan to move infrastructure on the floor come July — Neil.
CAVUTO: If it was Democrats only, Chad, let’s say just on infrastructure, could they get that done?
PERGRAM: You would have to see the contours of the bill. They can’t get to 60 votes. So that’s why they have to use reconciliation here. That’s where you go around a filibuster.
But they don’t even have 50 votes on their side. And that’s why there’s this rejuvenated effort here to maybe try to get the GOP on board.
CAVUTO: All right, Chad, thank you.
Chad Pergram in Washington.
To Randy Sutton right now, the former Las Vegas police lieutenant, on this police reform issue.
Obviously, they’re nowhere close to being where they want to be. But they want to be — get something done. Do you think they will?
RANDY SUTTON, FORMER LAS VEGAS POLICE LIEUTENANT: Well, I think we got to — we got to look at this head on.
And that is that in, actuality, this word reform is a misnomer. There — this has never been about reform, reforming the police. This is about revenge, revenge against the police.
This is — this is — this could be — Neil, I firmly believe that, if Congress truly wanted to, and America truly wanted to, this could be a watershed moment of police improvement, because that’s what’s needed, not police reform.
And there’s a — and there are a great many ways in order to accomplish what the left is saying they want. But that isn’t really what they want. And that is, if you take law enforcement, and you train officers properly, you compensate officers properly, you treat officers properly, they will then, in turn, be able to effectively police.
And that’s all everybody wants, and yet we’re not hearing that. All we’re hearing is, let’s take away qualified immunity. Let’s make it easier to prosecute. Let’s do everything negative against the police, including what I’m calling the left’s three-D, or DDD, leftist agenda towards destroying law enforcement.
And that is defunding, dehumanizing, and demoralizing American law enforcement officers.
CAVUTO: Do you get any sense, though, Lieutenant, that you can debate what’s behind it, but we have seen a double-, triple-digit rise in crime in a number of cities, violent crime, triple digits, certainly in the New York area and Chicago, Philadelphia, double-digit increases across the board, all ages, all groups.
I’m just wondering, given that, shouldn’t that be the focus, dealing with that?
SUTTON: Yes, no, you’re absolutely — you’re 100 percent right.
And yet, that’s not even in the stars here, because the focus is only on revenge against the police. What could anyone expect, Neil, from taking away 200 cops, almost a third of the department, in Minneapolis and then expecting that crime isn’t going to go insane? Well, of course it did.
We’re seeing this in every city in America. Forty police officers have given their life, have been murdered in the line of duty just since January 1, 40 cops. Now, you don’t see any of those families getting invited to the Biden White House, do you?
And this is another part of the disrespect that this administration is showing the American law enforcement officer. You’re absolutely right. Crime is what should be focused on. But it’s not. And the answer is clear, more policing, more effective criminal justice, and a move to hold people accountable for their crimes. And that’s exactly the opposite direction we’re seeing in all of these cities.
CAVUTO: Randy Sutton, thank you very much.
Hopefully, cooler, calmer, more productive heads prevail here on this. We shall see.
In the meantime, taking a look at what’s happening with those migrant kids — how it ended up so many ended up in Tennessee, or at least passing through Tennessee. It was a surprise to Tennessee — after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The governor of Tennessee says that he was asked and he declined a Biden administration request to house unaccompanied minors. And in coming days — or in recent days, there have been some reports that at least four planes filled with unaccompanied minors landed in his state, some in the middle of the night.
Can you explain what’s going on there?
PSAKI: Children traveling through — were traveling through, have been traveling through Tennessee. They’re simply on their way to unite with relatives and sponsors, to meet sponsors in the state or just traveling through Tennessee, until they reach another destination to unite with family members or legal sponsors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, Senator Bill Hagerty heard that, the Republican Tennessee senator, and he wasn’t quite buying it, because the definition of whether they were passing through or coming in there was never clarified, nor the number of individuals of these migrant minors who were being accepted there.
The senator kind enough to join us right now.
Senator, do we know at this point how many of these youths have gone into Tennessee, been located, relocated in Tennessee, not just the ones who might be flying over Tennessee? Do we know any numbers?
SEN. BILL HAGERTY (R-TN): Neil, it’s great to be on with you.
And the answer is, no, we don’t at this point. I’m pushing hard for transparency on this. And the Biden administration is blocking us. You notice that they move these planes in, in the dead of night. They’re coming in both by commercial airlines, as well as private air.
And the planes that we have we found out about at least are landing after midnight. They’re dispersing the people that are coming in. We hear they’re unaccompanied minors. They could be adults. We’re asking these questions right now. Are these people vaccinated? Have they been vetted?
What sort of people are moving through the state? What sort of people are residing and staying in the state? These are questions that need to be answered.
You mentioned the governor’s response to the Biden administration when they reached out and asked for permission. He said he wasn’t ready to accept these people. They are an illegal entry into the United States. They have not properly — we don’t know that they have been properly vetted, nor do we know what type of health crisis that they might present.
Certainly, we need to know, because this is going to overcrowd our schools. It’s going to overwhelm our hospitals. It’s going to overtax our public safety.
We have got an important right to know what the Biden administration is doing with these people that they’re moving into our state.
CAVUTO: So, when the Southern Christian Coalition calls these pleas for transparency harmful and divisive, and that it’s a political gimmick, more than anything else…
HAGERTY: I agree with you, Neil.
CAVUTO: … what do you say?
HAGERTY: Yes, this is not harmful or divisive.
This is responsible. We need to know who’s moving into our cities. We need to be able to plan for this. We need to be able to address it. I mean, what do you say to the suburban household whose kids are already in an overcrowded school situation? How do we accommodate this?
In fact, the people in Chattanooga have been told they’re going to have to see more school students coming in, they’re going to have to accommodate these people that are going to be moving into the school system. But we don’t know the numbers. We don’t know who. We don’t know what grades. How do you plan in that environment?
What do the hospitals do? Are they going to be overwhelmed again with these people coming into the system? And law enforcement, again, is going to have to deal with this.
I talk with sheriffs every day in my home state. And the crisis at the border — and, again, make no mistake, this is a part and product of the border crisis that the Biden administration precipitated back in January. I warned then that this would happen.
And that’s — this is exactly what’s happening. We’re seeing more flow of illegal drugs, more human trafficking. Our law enforcement is being overwhelmed in Tennessee. And we have had more deaths from fentanyl poisoning since this border crisis has occurred.
That’s why I went down to Guatemala and Mexico three weeks ago now, Neil, to get to the bottom of this. And the Biden administration has yet to send Kamala Harris there.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very much.
Senator Bill Hagerty on all of this.
HAGERTY: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Again, we are trying to ascertain the numbers the senator talked about here. They’re very difficult to come by here.
But we will keep trying.
In the meantime, keeping an eye on when it comes to home sales. They’re doing just fine, thank you. But now we have finally hit that point where some of these homes are getting so expensive, they’re not selling as quickly as they were, if they’re selling at all.
We will explain — after this.
CAVUTO: All right, here’s the good news. Homes are still selling. Here’s the bad news, not as much as we thought they would. And a lot of it has to do with much higher prices, and I mean, much, much higher prices.
Grady Trimble with more from Illinois on that — Grady.
GRADY TRIMBLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil.
And this construction is the perfect example. They have actually put it on pause, because the materials to build houses so expensive right now,
Jim Prisby is the builder behind it.
So, you have put this project on pause because lumber and all sorts of other materials are going through the roof.
JIM PRISBY, PRESIDENT, ARBOR POINTE ARTISAN HOMES: Essentially, since last July, when we quoted this, it’s doubled in price for just the rough lumber.
And, again, it’s just not rough lumber that’s the problem. It’s roof shingles. It’s spray foam. It’s numerous things.
TRIMBLE: So, prices for new homes are going up.
And sales are going down over the last couple of months. That has the White House concerned and it also has the National Association of Homebuilders concerned.
Listen to them earlier on FOX Business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY HOWARD, CEO, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS: People invest in a house, they hope the prices go up some. And that’s to be expected and to be hoped for, especially with the amount of demand we have out there right now.
But they’re rising too fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TRIMBLE: Another rising cost is the cost of regulation. That’s everything from zoning approvals to environmental impact and traffic impact studies.
The total regulations on a new home is right around $94,000. That’s about a quarter of the cost of an average new home. So, you have that increasing over the last five years, Neil, and you have the immediate problem of extremely high material costs all converging at the same time.
CAVUTO: All right, Grady, thank you very much for that.
Grady Trimble following these developments on homes and what have you.
In the meantime, following the great reopening in America, with cruise lines saying they’re ready to get back to business and get you on the water and concert promoters saying they’re doing the same.
But we looked at some of the concert plans. Not a one with Adele. We will let that go to look at the others that are on — after this.
CAVUTO: Here is a sign, sure as any, that the economy is coming back, concerts are back, Live Nation, a key player behind them, saying they’re booked and surging right through next year.
The Eagles are going to have 14 concert, Elton John 94 concerts through January of 2023, Aerosmith, Maroon, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses. No Adele. I’m not going to hold a grudge here, but it’s a sure sign as any that people have an itch to get outside and there are plenty of opportunities.
Mike Gunzelman, the Internet radio host sensation, Kat Timpf, the FOX News contributor, “Sincerely Kat,” newly married, by the way, I might point out.
Great to have both of you guys.
Kat, to you on concerts back. What do you think?
KATHERINE TIMPF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I will die if I don’t get to go to a concert soon.
TIMPF: Not to be dramatic. But, honestly, going to concerts has for, since I was in high school, been one of my favorite, absolute favorite things to do. I would go to several of them a month.
I would dance. I would feel alive. And then I’d returned to the drudges of society a little bit happier and excited for the next one.
TIMPF: I have resorted in the pandemic to playing concerts on YouTube and dancing around, which isn’t the same.
CAVUTO: No, it’s not.
Gunz, that’s probably your view too, right?
MIKE GUNZELMAN, FOX NEWS HEADLINES ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Well, it’s funny, Neil. I actually hosts a music interview show, so I love — I have interviewed everybody, the Jonas Brothers, all sorts of artists. So I love music.
And I think, sometimes, people forget that the live event and concert industry got absolutely decimated the last 14 months. It’s estimated $30 billion was lost in revenue for it. So, it’s not the Roaring ’20s anymore. It’s the roaring 2020s. And it’s happening.
Garth Brooks, for example, announced a huge stadium tour, 60,000, 70,000 people happening in July. Lollapalooza over in Chicago…
CAVUTO: But would you guys be nervous about that?
CAVUTO: Everyone packed in really close? It could be — no? No? All right, that’s interesting.
Kat, what about you?
Lollapalooza is happening the end of July, 300,000 people. Let it live. Let’s happen. Let’s do it. Let’s go.
CAVUTO: All right.
TIMPF: I’m vaccinated. So, I’m fully vaccinated, and I’m ready to go dance around in an environment where somebody might spill a beer on me.
CAVUTO: All right.
Everyone and anyone. Billy Joel has apparently 12 concerts right through June of next year, Eric Clapton 15 concerts. These are all of my kind of generation, guys.
So, what of the hot crowds are you following here? You don’t strike me as Rod Stewart types or Andrea Bocelli types, but where are you going to go?
GUNZELMAN: I — yes.
Well, I got to give a shout-out. There’s this great band called All Time Low that Kat and I both like. They’re awesome.
GUNZELMAN: They’re performing this summer, Neil.
I’m deejaying in two weeks. If you want to come to that, Neil, you can come see me in Atlantic City.
GUNZELMAN: I deejayed Kat’s wedding a couple weeks ago.
TIMPF: He did deejay my wedding. He did deejay my wedding.
GUNZELMAN: Life is back. Life is back.
GUNZELMAN: Yes, people want to live their lives. They don’t want — yes.
CAVUTO: These are all promising signs, Kat. I mean, alive and back, right?
TIMPF: Yes, absolutely.
And I think a lot of us who have — I mean, I followed all these rules, and I stayed inside. And I tried to throw my own concerts using the Internet.
And now that I’m vaccinated, and things are reopened, I’m ready to go.
CAVUTO: All right, we will talk later, guys, about Adele not among these planned concerts. That’s a whole separate issue.
Makes some of you uncomfortable, but you’re just going to have to deal.
Here’s “The Five.”
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