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tv   Texas Democratic Lawmakers on States GOP Voting Bills  CSPAN  July 13, 2021 6:48pm-7:17pm EDT

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too washington in this political stunt are advocating their responsibility to deal these other issues as well. it's not just about election log reform. it is about these other issues like bail reform and family violence prevention. i believe firmly, i'm confident i'm in the majority of my constituents my 29 million constituents that they actually expect us and we run for office and get elected they expect us to show up for our jobs and not take part in a highly orchestrated and ethically dubious active political theater. mr. president i yield the floor. >> texas democratic lawmakers were on capitol hill today after leaving their state last night to block a vote on the texas republicans voting rights legislation and a special state legislative session. they're doing at a news conference by texas
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congressman mark and lloyd doggett. [background noises] [background noises] [laughter] [background noises] [background noises] >> good morning everybody. thank you so much for being here this morning. first of all i want to thank all of our friends, democrats in the texas legislature for doing the right thing, coming too washington d.c. to relate shine light on the very glaring topic and important topic and that is the eroding of voting rights since 1965 presents the road voting rights was passed in the
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60s. we have not seen this level of retrogression in the right for people to cast their votes since that time. and people need to do something about it. this group is here today exactly doing that. there doing something about it, they are standing up and doing the right thing. congressman doggett and i are very happy to host them here at the triangle today. first person are going to hear from is chris turner in austin he represents the county. we are happy to have all of these courageous members here .oday they made big sacrifices to be here today. they come from a variety of districts. some call from d.c. which we will call frontline district. they are making a sacrifice of rall americans regardless of the race, income, party affiliation will have equal access to the ballot. that is what this is about.
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before i turn it over too chris, i like congressman doggett to have a few words. >> we will wrap this up at the end. clearly they brought the texas heat along with the texasghm courage. we are glad all of you are outward we are here to honor them and their courage. their focus not just on what's happening in texas butov what's happening right over there in the united states senate. it is a time for bold action for the same kind of bold action encourage we need in the united states senate from this administration of these texas colleagues of ours are demonstrating by their action, chris we're so pleased you are here thank you for your leadership. >> thank you. thank you congressman and our entire texas congressional delegation. all of them to such a fabulous job of representing the lone igstar state, fighting for the
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people of texas everything that they we cannot thank you enough. thank you for hosting us hereis this morning. my name is chris turn on the chair of the caucus and state representative from grand prairie texas and the dallas-fort worth region. i just heard, for the 58 of the texas house have left texas to stop republicans from passing the latest iteration of voterns suppression legislation. you're going here primarily from some of my colleagues today because we have so many strong voices and our caucus. we want to give them the opportunity to speak to the public. but just for everyone's awareness, procedurally how this works or the hundred 50 met members of the texas housees protects two thirds of the body present to constitute a quorum so 100 members.
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we vote in texas and we register our attendance by use of voting machines on our desk. minutes ago at least 157 letters were delivered to the house journal clerk directing the house to lockot our voting machines are not unlocked them until we providede express opinion to do so upon our return to the capitol. the senate that is my privilege now to introduce a great fighter, a longtime advocate in the fight for voting rights but my good friend the next american caucus from dallas, texas. [cheering] [applause]
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[speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish]. [speaking spanish]. [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish] [speaking
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spanish]. [speaking spanish] >> i also speak english. and i will offer you a few words of the care of the mexican american legislative caucus. my name is rafael represent dallas on the honor of representing 40 plus membersnd of the oldest and largest latino caucus in america which is the mexican american legislative caucus. is the prominent members of our caucus standing with me today were fought for voting rights over the decade. i just want to offer at the outset of this legislative session the process was poisoned. it was poisoned by a governor who defunded the legislative branch in violation of both our state constitution which is very specific language
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about separation of powers part also what has been sdeveloped under the juris prudence of our constitution. when you start the process in the course of why you say i'm going to be the absolute ruler of the state of texas and defunded the legislative branch you poison the entire process. we as democrats, we were united. we said we are going to kill any undemocratic effort in the state legislature. if that meant leaving the state we were going to do it. you have probably looked long and hard at the legislation that has been offered just in recent times, legislation that would make it harder for texans to exercise their freedom to vote and their right to vote. we are not doing this for democrats we are doing this for republicans we are doing this for independence prejudice for north texas, south texas any one of the
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state of texas and has a need to exercise the right to vote should do so freely. we are not going to buckle to the big lie of texas with the big lie that has resulted in antidemocratic legislation throughout the united states. we said no when the big lie came to the capitol of texas and darkened our door. we said no during the regular session we said no during the regular session. we are happy to work on bipartisan proposals that expand the right to vote. that makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat and state of texas. that's double without the outset of this process when none of the mms offered by my colleagues were considered in committee. so we said, he took very difficult decision. we're not here smiling, we are not spiking the ball, we are not saying we are happy. we are sad for democracy in the state of texas where we took a solemn oath to protect
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the constitution of the night staypr tuned to project the constitution. that is robust and united before you here todayth preserving all of the democracy in texas but the democracy of united states thank you for youran time. [applause] and next i would like to, she has arrived felt the vice chair of the house democratic caucus tony rose put in her absence i would then like to call representative may collect from dallas county, welcome. [applause] >> thank you chairman. and thank you all for being here today. i used to live here in washington. i work like you for the press, for pbs and wta. it is a proud pleasing moment to be rhythmic collect is member of the texas house.
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we are here in d.c. our nations capitol because we want to protect the civil right to vote millions of texans. we were literally forced to move and leave the state of texas. we also know we are living right now on borrowed time in texas. we cannot stay here indefinitely to run out the clock, to stop republican anti- voter bills. i that is why we need congress to act now and pass the four the people act. texas had democrats will use everything and our power to fight back. but we need congress to act now. at this time i went to call
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out chairman turner. >> thank you represented bowers on behalf of the texas black caucus, the american legislative caucus let me know handed back over to our congressional leaders tigers in d.c. and congressman doggett. [background noises] >> i know everyone mill you with capitol hill those their security protocols. we had a couple members get hung up but represented tony rose is approaching. tony is a representative from dallas. she serves as a first vice chair of the house democratic caucus and she is our dear friend and leader in our caucus. i invite her up to speak here. represented tony rose.
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>> thank you, republicans have failed -- texas republicans do not want free and fair d elections. they put deliberate barriers to make it harder for a free, safe and equal vote. it's an attack on voters freedom and democracy, even to ruthless provisions removed the bill as written makes it harder for texans to vote and easier for partisan to rapidly intimidate voters greg abbott once the spotlight in anywhere but his failure, rigging this instance and failing democracy and the rights of texans and the legislature. it is a price they're willing to pay in order to pay for
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trump prayer altar. we have real issues to address in texas. that greg abbott will not touch because it exposes his weaknesses. he has done nothing to protect the electric grid. even after 700 people died due to his negligence during the recent winter storm. but democrats we stand ready at all times to work on real issues, thank you. >> before your mark congressional members again, it is my honor to introduce the dean of the texas house democratic caucus. [applause] >> i'm going to say well i am up here, i am not appear to take a vacation in washington d.c. when i look at the african-american museum i thought about the struggles of
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my people fought in this country to get the right toth vote. in that right is sacred to my constituents i represent back in houston, texas for it i am up here because i do not plan to be a city person in that legislature. i am not going to be a sitting -- you're not going to be a sitting duck? >> i am not going to be a hostage. [applause] [cheering] my constituents right be stripped from them. we have fought too long and too hard in this country. that is what texan called johnson president lyndon b johnson in 1965 that made sure we had the right to vote. in those rights were not going to be infringed r upon. but this legislature may have changed the messiah, jesus is drunk but i haven't. [laughter] and i'm going to make sure that everything i can do, my
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constituents will not be taken from them for what they believe in the lie. trump lost the election he needs to tell the people of this country the truth. if they won't i am going too. [cheering] [applause] >> handed back her members of congress that's going to be difficult act to follow with all due respect. >> chris thank you very much miss thompson thank you very much. when i think about miss thompson she did not tell you her entire story paid we served in the state legislature together. when she was elected the state legislature and once elected county wide the just gettingf rid of poll taxes makes it
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harder for people to vote. it is a shame that were revisiting the past. that's exactly what we are doing. anybody can do that that's not that big of a deal. it wouldn't do this they did not have a negative outcome of particular brown and black voters in the state of texas. and the other doing similar style legislation. we can see these things in the last ten or 15 years with that i want to be one 100% clear. now, not later, not sometime in there future, now we need to pass the john lewis voting rights act. you need to be signed into law
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and that we also need to pass hr-1. our citizens cannot wait any longer. the majority whip in the u.s. house jim clyburn talked about a carve out if mitch mcconnell did a carve up for amy coney barrett there's the black and brown people live in texas and georgia and florida for our constituents to exercise their right to vote. we need to get this done today, time is of the essence. governor abbott is called the legislature back in session to start working on these things paper going to the most racist redistricting we've seen since the voting rights act at large
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districts when he's on the to protect the brave men and women standing behind me today that are risking so much for voting rights in this country. before i turn over too congressman doggett i want greg abbott and the republican leaders in texas, florida, georgia and anywhere else to know we are not going to stop. we are always going to push back against these sort of bigoted, racist, jim crow 2.0 style voting laws when ever you decide to bring them up, congressman doggett. >> thank you mark, thank you chris and all you have spoken. most of the focus around here these days is about infrastructure. it is right we should focus on crumbling bridges. but today we hear about something much more important the infrastructure of democracy paired up broken voting rights. these courageous colleagues chose not to be accomplishes
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by sitting at their desk mean steamrolled. i took courage to do what they are doing. i served also at a time i was eight killer beat 112 of us chose to depart and won a victory on an issue involving election integrity. they have a much bigger challenge. unlike the position we were in decades ago, no matter what they do greg abbott and his group of extremists will never 1 change. what can changes right here inth this building. and as dena thompson mentioned what we really need today is eight lyndon johnson moment. we need the power ofa the presidency, we need the president and the vice president and every democrat in the senate working together to preserve american democracy. there has seldom been more at stake that is why they are here. we need to see in the administration and in the
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senate the same courage these texans haven demonstrated. that lyndon johnson moment, remember how difficult it was to passover so much objection of voting act of 19655 week rather and austin, johnson was one of her most powerful speakers telling about standing at thes, desk when president johnson signed that voting rights act. we want to be standing there when a new voting rights act for this century is there and so many lives were taken. so much courage was demonstrated or preserved once again. i turn it over to you for the questions and thank you very much for all that you and all of your colleagues are doing here today. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ who have few weeks go big members of thompson federal voting rights legislation and it did not pout much during the senate what will be different this time? sure, democracy iss hard. we do not expect anything appear to be easy. but we had productive meetings a few weeks ago those of us who were here we brought some reinforcements thisre time. and look, after we were here you saw all 50 democrats in the u.s. senate coalesce behind a version of hr-1. we are not taking credit for that necessarily but progress was made. and we think those discussions we had helped inform that discussion.
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as congressman doggett just said going to drill down on the importance of the democratic on the filibuster with respect to voting rights. if congressman just said if you can have a carve out for a right wing supreme court justice by kate have a carve out to protect the fundamentals of our democracy? >> you made it clear i goingio to keep doing this over comment over, and over again? >> that's what is going to do. weight went in with eyes wide (we know exactly what will happen rick perry did the same thing years ago in a nether similar situation. so, what our message is, is very simple.
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it is to stay out and kill this bill this session and use the intervening time i think 24 -- 25 days now to implore the folks in this building behind us to pass federal voting rights legislation to affect voters across the country. >> with regards they don't take compromises. what are you prepared with the topics to give back? >> with respect to the republicans the first time it needs to happen is governor abbott needs a standout on his unconstitutional veto of the legislator branch of government. we talked have not talked about that a lot this point is caucuses pursuing action with the texas supreme court we believe what he did his unconstitutional. the first place to start would be for the governor stand down on that. and then we can start talking.
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>> 's called about nothing but a publicity stunt. what you say tosa him and others? >> this john cornyn said as a publicity sound? i had not seen that. but, i think are two u.s. senators wrote the book on publicity stones. what i would say to senator cornyn is we would encourage him to work inn a bipartisan manner as the people of texas elected him to do to pass thess voting rights legislation to protect those he said he represents. last question. >> are you happy with the amount you have seen president biden and vice president harris pushing ons? this? i do think there's more that could be doing? >> i've had the privilege it had very good meeting with vice president harris a few weeks ago where she thanked all of the democrats in the
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house and senate for our strong stand against these republican vote suppression efforts which she reiterated her commitment and the presidents community to all they can paired we are looking forward to what we are seeing the president says today in a speech on voting rights in philadelphia and i would hope that we will hear in sin even quality while to commitment and action to how we can break the gridlock in the senate and pass federal legislation immediately this summer. we have a short window here i was previously mentioned the session ends on august 2. we cannot hold this tied back forever. we are buying some time-- we need congress and all of our federal leaders to use that time wisely thank you very much. [background noises]
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[background noises] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> federal reserve chair jerome powell testifies at wednesday on monetary policy and the economy before the house financial services committee but live begins at noon eastern on c-span, on
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