We get the Republican perspective now from Wyoming Senator John Barrasso.. He is the third ranking Republican in the Senate. Senator Barrasso. Thank you very much for joining us.. Let me ask you first about the COVID economic relief package.. Your state of Wyoming is due to receive at least a billion dollars, another 170 million for municipalities and counties.. You and other Republicans are saying this is too much money for the federal government to be spending.. How much of it is unnecessary for Wyoming SEN. JOHN BARRASSO R WY? Well, the proposal that Republicans in the Senate have had is to do something that is appropriate and targeted to help get people back to work and kids back to school and the disease behind us.. So this big 1.9 trillion bill and only 9 percent of it went actually to defeat the virus.. Only 1 percent of it went to go for vaccines.. We wanted to target it.. We have done bipartisan bills successfully in the past five times.. This bill was not supposed to be about 1400 checks to illegal immigrants or 1400 checks to felons who are currently in prison or block grants to sanctuary cities.. I talked with our governor again on Sunday. Wyoming’s, getting 1 billion out of the 350 billion.. There are that are going to states.. You know there are 22 governors, Republican and Democrat alike, who sent a letter to say look. This is a biased approach to giving out the money.
. It is unfair because so much of this is top heavy going to the states that shut down the earliest and stayed shut down. The longest. And states that acted responsibly and in a responsible way opened up for businesses in a number of ways are being punished in terms of the way that the money is being distributed. JUDY WOODRUFF. So how much shouldn’t Wyoming get, And let me ask it this way, because your fellow Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida said that governors of Republican states should give the money back.. Now his own governor Ron DeSantis, said no that’s wrong, that that doesn’t make sense.. Who is right in that disagreement SEN. JOHN BARRASSO? Well, we brought a bill to the floor of the Senate during the final passage of the coronavirus bill and said, if you’re going to distribute this kind of money to the states, let’s use the same formula that was used with the CARES Act, because that seemed to More fairly distribute the money to the states, because all the states have needs as a result of this.. I thought a much smaller targeted bill overall would be better and 10 Republicans did to the White House to meet with President Biden, because he talked in his presidential address about unity and bipartisanship and said let’s do things that focus on getting the country open, getting kids Back to school, getting shots in the arm, which was a under a trillion dollars, not this 1.
9 trillion bill that included so many things., And the things I mentioned are just a tip of the iceberg. And now the president is talking … CROSSTALK, JUDY WOODRUFF. If I could interrupt how much less then should Wyoming get than it’s getting SEN. JOHN BARRASSO I’m going to tell you that we should do the proportionality of the money ought to be used by the CARES Act, which was if you’re going to those 350 billion New York would get a lot less, California would get a lot less Illinois would get a lot less and other states around the country would be getting more. But I’m saying that we shouldn’t have done all any of this major spending that’s unrelated to getting people back to Work and kids back to school and the disease behind us. JUDY WOODRUFF Immigration. As you know, it is an issue ongoing for the last president for this president. – Republicans are criticizing President Biden now for not being tough enough on border issues.. He is saying – and he said again in an interview last night, that he’s being very clear. He’s telling people who are not documented not to come in. Here’s part of what he said. Joe BIDEN, President of the United States, I can say quite clearly, don’t come. And while we’re in the process of getting set up and it’s not going to take a whole long time, is to be able to apply for asylum in place.. So don’t leave your town or city or community.
, JUDY WOODRUFF, So Senator he is saying don’t come.. Why, then, are Republicans blaming him for what’s, going on at the border SEN. JOHN BARRASSO? Well, Joe Biden on Inauguration Day signed executive orders his first day in office, which basically turned on the switch that said open borders.. He is fully responsible for what’s happening at our border right now, whether you want to call it a crisis or a condition.. The fact is that the number of unaccompanied minors, an all time record, high. People, are coming into the country. Adults, positive for coronavirus who are getting on buses and going through the country carrying the disease. And they’re told once you get to your final destination, then be careful and isolate yourself after the fact. Look. This is going to get worse.. President Biden has eliminated the stay in Mexico, order. He’s eliminated the deportations or at least delayed those.. He owns this and he has to take responsibility for it.. Now the president may not like it, but President Trump actually was successful in disincentivizing people from trying to come to the United States. Who would be here illegally. And, in my opinion, as a result of that that did help secure the border and it helped save lives. Of people who would have otherwise made this very dangerous trek to the United States and subjecting themselves to what happens with the human traffickers, the people that are paid to move them from one place to another on a dangerous journey.
, But mark my words, Judy. The caravans are coming and it is time for President Biden to change his policies. JUDY WOODRUFF. Well, I’m sure you know they are turning away all single adults at the border.. They are turning away many families at the border. It’s only children. We know they are allowing in and trying to take care of., And we also know that the increase in immigration began under President Trump.. But I finally want to ask you Senator a question about the vaccine.. All the polls are showing that a large proportion of self identified, Republicans and half of Republican men are saying they do not want the COVID vaccine.. Are you trying to get the message out that this is a good and important thing to do? How are you dealing with this SEN. JOHN BARRASSO? Well as a doctor, as soon as I was able to get the vaccine, I have., I have had two shots., I am recommending it for everyone.. The vaccine saves lives. Operation Warp. Speed has brought to our country three effective vaccines.. It is a big part of our economic recovery, our health care recovery, getting the country back on a normal track.. It is the answer to the prayers of the American people, who are saying: what are we going to do about this coronavirus crisis We’re now, over a year into it Judy., I would say everyone should get vaccinated. And it looks like we have enough vaccines because of Operation Warp Speed that everyone can be vaccinated by May.
. I would recommend it for everyone. JUDY WOODRUFF Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming. Thank you very much.. We appreciate it. SEN.