The Issue Is: Sen. Alex Padilla, Chris Matthews, David Chalian, Jessica Millan Patterson, Ron Christie

'I SEE THINGS GETTING BETTER': SEN. ALEX PADILLA TALKS SHIPPING BACKLOGS, SOCIAL SPENDING, AND THE 2022 MIDTERMS

As the holiday season approaches, consumers are feeling the pinch this year.

That, as inflation hit a 31-year high in October, supply chains continue to be disturbed around the globe, and as a record number of cargo ships remain backlogged at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the most critical ports in the whole United States.

This week, days after the House voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, set to be signed by President Joe Biden on Monday, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) was at the port of Long Beach, addressing the backlog issue, and touting some $17B in seaport investments under the new plan.

While in Long Beach, Padilla spoke with Elex Michaelson for "The Issue Is,"  discussing those aforementioned supply concerns, the ongoing debate over the "Build Back Better" agenda, vaccines for children, and more.

Then, only a year out from election day, Michaelson is joined by an all-star panel to discuss the 2022 midterms. Those panelists include Chris Matthews, CNN Political Director David Chalian, strategist Ron Christie, and Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California GOP.

All that, before a conversation about military benefits for WWII veterans with Rep. Josh Harder (D-Calif.) and one incredible member of the Greatest Generation.

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THE ISSUE IS: THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL’S $17B INVESTMENT IN SEAPORTS

PADILLA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "That extra money for the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, which is critical, by the way, not just for Southern California, but for the country - 40% of cargo traffic that comes into United States comes in through these two ports alone, so we make things better, easier, more efficient, everybody benefits, the whole nation benefits... It's going to mean things like land acquisition, when ships come in, containers come off the ships, there's only so much capacity that these two ports have right now to park those containers while truckers pick up that cargo and carry it off, whether it's to stores here locally or throughout the country, so more land to work with for these ports will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the ports. There's a lot of port modernization that needs to happen, it'll never be completely automated, but additional automation and electrification, a big part of our environmental protection and climate agenda is electrification to port infrastructure, so we cause less emissions, not just for the planet, but for some of the surrounding communities…"

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THE ISSUE IS: THE BATTLE OVER BUILD BACK BETTER

PADILLA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Somehow, I think frustration needs to be built into the job description for any member of Congress... Here's my prediction, it's going to get done, and it's probably going to be with similar theatrics and drama as the bipartisan infrastructure package... We're investing not just in roads and bridges and highways, but for the environmental protection of communities impacted by ports, that's an equal priority for us. It's going to invest in health care, it's going to invest in housing, it's going to invest in child care and the care economy. The reason that you see so much palace intrigue on what's happening among the Democrats is because Republicans aren't playing ball. It's almost shameful that not a single Republican right now is willing to vote for these necessary investments in our nation's infrastructure. So, you're seeing the diversity of Democrats play out, but at the end of the day, we're going to come together behind a plan and the people of the country and the economy is going to benefit…"

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THE ISSUE IS: THE DEMOCRATIC OUTLOOK AHEAD OF THE 2022 MIDTERMS

PADILLA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We're going to see two things between now and next fall. Number one, we're going to have a much better handle on COVID, things were looking good earlier this year when vaccinations were ramping up. The Delta variant gave us a new challenge, but more recently, we're talking boosters, we're talking vaccines, not just for kids as young as 12, but kids as young as five, including my own. That's going to do us all a whole lot of good over the next year when it comes to the pandemic and the economic impacts of the pandemic. Number two, the bipartisan infrastructure package is getting done and signed. The budget reconciliation piece will be done soon enough and we're going to see the economic benefits of those investments with more child care, people in a better position to go back to work, with investments in housing, you know, we've seen whether it's the price affordability crisis in so many cities or how many people are experiencing homelessness and on and on and on…"

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THE ISSUE IS: PADILLA’S KID’S EXCITEMENT OVER RECEIVING THE COVID VACCINE

PADILLA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Oh my God, after a year and a half of the kids, you know, frustrated with mask mandates and, you know, remote schooling - but they're back in school in person now - they couldn't wait to get the vaccine... so excited that they offered to buy us ice cream, and I did not hesitate to take them up on the deal. So it was shots in arms and an hour later it was a chocolate chip for me…"

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The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com