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tv   President Biden Vice Pres. Harris on Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  CSPAN  October 24, 2021 5:43pm-6:42pm EDT

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before the senate commerce committee on children and social media. wednesday at 10:00 eastern on c-span three, attorney general merrick garland testifies before the senate judiciary committee on issues facing the justice department. thursday at 9:00 a.m. on c-span three, the heads of major oil companies and industry leaders will testify before the house oversight committee about information the fossil fuel industry published on climate change. watch on the c-span networks, or watch our full coverage on our new video app. had to for scheduling information or to stream video live or on-demand any time. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. announcer: president biden and v.p. harris: -- they talked
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about racial and economic equality and voting rights. we will also hear from house speaker nancy pelosi. this is an hour. hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. representing the memorial foundation's first class of social justice fellows and speaking to doctor king's tenants of hope and love, please welcome taylor cowan of houston, texas to the stage. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am taylor cowan and a first-year law student at howard university school of law. [applause] [cheering] i first want to thank mr. harris
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and brian for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the memorial foundation. i am proud to represent the fellows of the inaugural social justice fellowship program. it is an honor to be here to commemorate doctor king and speak on the virtue about which i care deeply, love. doctor king was and continues to be the embodiment of love. love, as doctor king most famously said, is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. as many of us have seen time and time again, love really is not the easiest virtue to live up to, especially during a time when discrimination, racism and divisions around us. yet, when faced with the burden of hatred, violence and evil, doctor king still chose to lead with love.
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when i was in the sixth grade and facing the typical challenges of a 12-year-old middle school are, my dad introduced me to a quote by doctor king. the ultimate measure of a man is not where you stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where you stand in times of challenge and controversy. although the battles which i'm confronted may change over time, king's words have provided me with life, meaning and purpose throughout my life. that encouraged me to push and come along through college and omissions reminding me to love my personal journey embracing all its ups and downs. it challenged me to see the best in everyone i encounter and to remember the good in humanity despite what i see on the news. and most importantly, that quote encourages me to be a light for others because at the end of the day, we are all human and could use a little love. as a first-year law student, we are taught the intricacies of
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the law. at howard in particular, we examine and question how the law is written, and how it impacts a black people and people of color. that said, sometimes it is hard to fit it into the law especially when his used as a tool of injustice [inaudible] people like doctor king and countless others have worked so hard to gain. [applause] >> but what i am constantly reminded of is to never lose hope. because as doctor king said, as a mountain of despair, there is hope. [applause] >> thank you. that was wonderful. thank you so much. and we appreciate her being the
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inaugural class of the social justice fellows program. thank you so much. and from houston, texas. [applause] >> democracy, justice, hope and love. those are the tenets that are essential to doctor king's vision. they function as a reminder of what we are to become and how much further we have to go. today the next speaker lives up to doctor king's tenants every day as one of the most powerful and influential politicians in our country. house speaker, nancy pelosi. she represents the 12 congressional district of california and house of representatives for 33 years. in 2007 she made history as the first speaker of the house, the
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first woman speaker of the house. please, give it up for her. [applause] please welcome, speaker of the house, the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] >> hello, everyone. mr. president, madam vice president, all the friends of democracy, justice, love and hope who are here today, and thank you president johnson for your kind introduction. to you and the chair man, thank you for bringing us together for this beautiful event in your organization and stewardship of the tributes to doctor king. let's hear it for johnson. [applause] >> it's always a thrill. i'm sure i can speak for
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everyone here. it's always a thrill to return to the mlk memorial, and to do so today as we celebrate ten years since the dedication when we were joined by president barack obama and our former colleague, the beloved congressman john lewis. [applause] on that day, john lewis said this. he referred to the monument as a monument to peace, to love and to nonviolent resistance on the front yard of america, to symbolize the cornerstone of our democracy. doctor king's presence on the front yard of america with presidents washington, lincoln, jefferson. well, his presence has brought luster to the front lawn, has brought justice to the front lawn and has brought many more children to the front lawn of
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america. today it is a privilege i know for all of us to return to the mall, for so many that are here for the dedication, so many who played a role in the ideas and then the fulfillment of that idea of this monument. and there are many members of the congressional black caucus that are here today. they are met by the chair now, and i want them all to rise. the members of the congressional black caucus. [applause] thank you for your leadership, and i also want to thank the martin luther king 3, the former mayor, and the [inaudible] for their participation. and isn't it a thrill and an honor to be here, it privilege to be here with president biden
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today. thank you, president biden. [applause] and how proud are we that we are here with the first woman and first african-american vice president of the united states? [applause] [cheering] thank you. nearly 60 years ago, while it was actually 58 -- i remember because i was here. i couldn't stay for the speech because i had to go to get married. [laughter] we know how many years ago it was because that's how many when i was married. such an occasion to see how many people converging in washington, d.c. among others. and for people to hear doctor king, not far from here, deliver his call to action. now he said is the time to make
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real the promises of democracy. now is the time to make justice a reality for all of america's children. so, first i will speak about that. we must make real the promises of democracy for family is familieslacking affordable heal, childcare, good paying jobs with dignity and justice. we must make real the promise of democracy. americans are denied the right to vote and have equal justice under the constitution. we must make real the promise of democracy for communities of color facing police violence and racial injustice. we must make real the promise of democracy for our children that deserve a safe, secure healthy housing in the future and that face environmental injustices. in his book, strength to love, doctor king said god never
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intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth while others live in abject, deadly poverty. that challenge, that call to action could not be more important than it is today is the president proceeds to build back better. [applause] doctor king often preached change doesn't roll out on the wheels of inevitability but comes to continuous struggles. from the earliest days of the democracy, freedom loving people have struggled to create a change for our nation. in the end of the story of america is the story of ever expanding freedom in the country. strengthened by division and inspiration and leadership, our president joe biden and --
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[applause] and with the great leadership of vice president kamala harris. [applause] strengthened by the leadership, inspired by the activism of millions of americans across the nation who are crying out for hope, love, justice and democracy and are blessed by the example of doctor king. let us strive to make real his dreams and the promise of democracy for justice, hope and love. thank you all very much. [applause] >> and now it is my honor to introduce the vice president of the united states. but i'm going to ask all from
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alpha phi alpha to stand at this time and let the vice president know that you are here in the house. [applause] [cheering] okay. that's enough, that's enough. [laughter] yes, he was. so he was indeed an alpha and it was the fraternity that came up with the idea to build this memorial, in honor of doctor king. so we never take that away from our men at alpha phi alpha. i digress. i'm sorry. i'm honored to introduce the next speaker, the vice president of the united states. vice president here is has dedicated life to public service, having previously been elected to district attorney of san francisco, california,
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attorney general of the state and the united states senator and now vice president. she is the first woman, the first black american and the first south asian american to be elected vice president. the through line from doctor king to harris started at an early age when her parents would bring her to the civil rights demonstrations. she said the demonstrations introduced her to her role models from supreme court justice thurgood marshall, another man of alpha phi alpha, whose civil rights leader bodily and their work motivated her to become a prosecutor. from her time as an undergraduate student here in washington, d.c. at howard university, through today, she's been a leader in this country for human rights and we are so honored to have her here today.
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please welcome the vice president of the united states, kamala harris. [applause] [cheering] thank you so much, madame vice president. we appreciate you being here. >> i'm so honored to be here. thank you, everyone. thank you. [laughter] thank you, mr. johnson, for your leadership, your vision, your work. on this today we celebrate doctor king and the monument to him. love is pervasive, all around us right now. speaker nancy pelosi, thank you for what you are doing. i've known the speaker for a very long time, having started my elected career in san francisco, she has always been who she is today, a fighter for the working people and a voice for those who must be seen and
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known and to whom all deserve dignity. [applause] >> chairwoman and i will call you my colleague of the congressional black caucus is, thank you for your leadership. and to the king family, martin luther king the third, for their commitment to carrying on the multigenerational legacy. [applause] and for everyone here today. thank you. there are so many leaders who are here. and as we all know, this monument has in many ways been distinguished from almost every other monument along this beautiful tidal basin. because this monument for most of us here is dedicated to a man who lives among us.
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many of us were alive when doctor king lived. this monument, whatever your age is dedicated to a man whose voice we can still hear, whose words still echo not only across the city, but throughout the country and the world. doctor reverend martin luther king was a prophet and saw the present exactly as it was, being clear eyed, and he saw the future as it could be. and he pushed our nation toward that future. and it's important to remember, doctor king pushed even on a daily basis his character was
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being maligned. he pushed even as his family, on a daily basis, was being threatened. he pushed, even as his very life was in jeopardy. and toward what would be the end of that short life, he pushed even harder, drawing a straight line between racial injustice and economic injustice, demanding more for black people, for people of color, for working people, for all people. and it may not sound radical now. it was radical then. so, as we remember his life and celebrate the anniversary of
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this beautiful memorial, let us be guided by those same connections he made as they exist today. racial injustice today is inextricably linked to economic injustice. to the impact of the climate crisis, to the impact of covid-19, and to the threats to our democracy. and i believe then, knowing and seeing that the path forward is clear. we must put people to work in good jobs. [applause] and invest in the care, the child care, the home care that people need to be able to go to work. we must reform our criminal justice system and our
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immigration system. [applause] we must defend and strengthen the rights that unlock all other rights, the right to vote. [applause] and as we all know, in 2013, the voting rights act that doctor king and so many others fought for was vetted by the supreme court decision in shelley the holder. that decision opened the floodgates for the anti-voter laws we see being passed in the states throughout the country today. and to be sure, we should not have to keep fighting so hard to secure our fundamental rights, but fight we must. and fight, we will. [applause] so, right now there are two bills in front of the united states congress that would help
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to restore the voting rights act and strengthen the right to vote for all americans. freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act. these two bills are among the broadest efforts to protect and strengthen the right to vote since doctor king died. but yesterday, as the senate democrats voted to advance the freedom to vote act, senate republicans voted against even debating it. even debating it, though it isn't a debatable point. they refused to even come to the table to talk about it. today i'm reminded of the words we've heard, including from my young leaders. the words of doctor king's partner in that struggle,
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caretta scott king. she said, and i will paraphrase, freedom has never really won. you earn it and you win it with every generation. with their sweat and tears and with their blood. the leaders of the civil rights movement and the coalition they built one the voting rights act. these young men and women, after all, remember doctor king was only 39-years-old when he died. and yet, they knew their power. they knew that there is real power when your cause is just. [applause] and they used then that power to push democrats and republicans to pass that landmark bill.
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so today, as a nation, we must summon our own power. as leaders, we must leverage our own power. and we all have a role to play. and the president and i are clear on hours. we are and must be unwavering in this fight. and we must use our voice to call out any efforts to obstruct justice. [applause] and to call for justice everywhere. remember, and doctor king knows this, america is not defined by her perfection. america is defined by our commitment to perfecting.
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and in our nation that will forever be the work forward. as doctor king did, we must keep believing a better future is possible. and as doctor king did, we must keep pushing towards the future. so, as i have the great honor of introducing the president, let me end today by recognizing the impact that this memorial has had. for ten years, think about it, for a decade visitors from all over the world have come to this very place. the words that are attached in these walls now etched in their hearts and on their smart phones. [laughter] the history that is told here, because of this place, is now
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part of their own. and i know that when they leave here, they do so determined to do their part to build a better future. so on behalf of our nation, on behalf of our world, thank you all for making this memorial possible. and now it is my great and distinct honor to introduce a phenomenal leader who was here when this memorial first unveiled. a leader who i know, because i see it every day, drawls so much inspiration and reminds so many of the work and the words of doctor king, our president of the united states, joe biden. [applause]
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>> thank you, kamala. [applause] thank you all, so very much. mr. president. [laughter] thank you for your stewardship. you know, here in the heart of the capital of the united states of america, tensions are vividly on display. doctor king stood determined and brave looking out at the promised land across the tidal basin stands another giant, thomas jefferson, whose words declared the very idea of america that we are all created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights. we all deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives. to state the obvious, nobody knows it better than this, we
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have never lived up to that idea. but we have never walked away from it fully. we've never walked away. in a sermon to the march on washington, doctor king called on all americans to live up to the full meaning and promise of our declaration of independence. and so we stand here in perpetuity and conversations that challenge us and remind us how far we've come, where we need to go, how much farther the journey is. it's a conversation that shapes the days and we must carry forward. madam vice president, madam
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speaker, congressional black caucus members, members of the faith and community, distinguished guests. from here, we see the ongoing push and pull between progress and struggle over the self-evident truths of our democracy. in our nation we face an inflection point and the battle for the soul of america. together, to choose who we want to be and what we want to be. i know the progress doesn't come fast enough. it never has. the process of governing is frustrating and sometimes despairing. but i also know what's possible. if we keep the pressure up, we never give up. if we keep the faith, we are at an inflection point. i know over the years --
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delivering on economic justice with the dignity of work, on that fateful day helping sanitation workers to be granted more dignity as human beings. in our time it's about recognizing that for far too long we have allowed the view of the promised america that america is a zero-sum game, particularly in the recent past. if you succeed, i fail. if you get ahead, i fall behind. and maybe worst of all, if i can hold you down, i lift myself up. that isn't what it should be. if you do well, we all do well. that is keeping the promise of america. [applause]
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i've never seen a time when working folks did well but the wealthy didn't do very well. look, it is the core of the administration's economic vision and as the fundamental paradigm shift for the nation. for the first time in a couple generations, we are going to be investing and working families, putting them first and helping them get ahead rather than the wealthy and the biggest most powerful people out there. [applause] we are investing in black families with rescue checks and tax cuts to reduce black poverty by 34%. black child poverty by more than 50%. [applause] this year, under the aggressive leadership of some of the people i'm looking at right now, combating housing discrimination to create a generation of both. how did other people make it in the middle class from this circumstance? like my dad did, build equity in
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a house, granted it was small and it wasn't much, but it was enough to build a little equity. we will use the federal government's purchasing power for billions of dollars in new opportunities of minority owned small businesses with access to government contracts. is there any doubt that providing more people with just a little more breathing room to take care of their families, generate a little bit of wealth they can pass on to their children and create jobs in their communities would uplift the entire country, all the country, everyone? and as the economy recovers, we are determined and focused on building it over the long run. no one should have to hold their breath as they cross a rundown bridge to determine whether it's safe or not. or a dangerous intersection in their hometown. a nation, every american, every
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child should be able to turn on a faucet and drink water that is not contaminated by lead or anything else. [applause] as a nation, everyone should have access to affordable high-speed internet. the days when you had to go to mcdonald's and sit in the parking lot to sit with your child to do their homework when there is virtual learning going on. doctor king said of all the forms of an equity, injustice in health care is the most shocking and most inhumane. this is a once in a century pandemic that set the country hard, and especially the african-american communities. it's like you've all lost someone to the virus or know someone that has lost someone. one in the 600 black americans have died from covid-19. and it's been reported that black children are twice as likely as white children to have lost a parent or caregiver to
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covid-19 and have two experienced trauma and loss. many of my colleagues in congress are working on and we have to work on even more fervently mental health care. helping people through the difficult periods we have. it's been devastating. but we can find purpose in pain. we can find purpose in this pain. equity is the center of my administration's covid-19 response. vaccination rates among black adults is now essentially on par with white adults. in the midst of the pandemic, we are building and affordable care act to extend coverage to lower healthcare costs for millions of black families. we are also working on lowering drug costs to giving medicare the power to lower prices. and how do you know the plan will work? because they drug company is spending millions to try to stop it. that's how you know.
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together, making healthcare a right, not a privilege in the nation. and for the millions of you that feel financially squeezed and raising a child and caring for an aging parent, the so-called families generation, we want to make elderly care affordable and accessible so that loved ones can live with independence and dignity. we also want to make sure child care costs for most or cut into at least in half. no working family, if we get what you will help me get done, no working family in america will pay more than 7% of their income and child care for any child under five. [applause] we want to give raises to millions of caregivers so they can increase the capacity, increase the knowledge and opportunities. health workers and childcare workers are disproportionately women of color and immigrants,
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workers like the ones doctor king stood for when he marched and gave his life. look, folks. just imagine. instead of consigning many of our children to under resourced schools we give every single child in america access. we can afford to do this. we can't afford not to do it. and we do know no matter the background of this circumstance the child comes from, when given that opportunity, we have a better than 50% chance of making it all the way through 12 years without getting themselves in trouble and going beyond that. this will change lives forever. so the historic investments in education significantly increased the programs and help millions of black students in lower income attend college and four-year schools.
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in the shadow i hear a lot about that guy. i keep making the case. it's a delaware state. that's where i got started. but here's what we've done. we are committed to $5 billion this year. give them a shot. for everybody watching this, one of the problems is black
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students and colleges have every single capability any other student does. they can't compete for those contracts out there that the big schools are able to get. cyber security, for example, starting salaries $125,000. but unless you have laboratories and the facilities you can train on. it's also about the promise of america. economic injustice also means delivering to the communities. my state is one of the highest in america as i live in the community on delaware.
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not a joke. to avoid the consequences every one of you have cancer alley going down route 13 more people dying in queens they couldn't get out of the basement and they drown. super storms, wildfire, hurricanes.
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i know the frustration and more than one year after george floyd's murder and the conviction of his murderer six months ago and the name is still not passed congress. we will continue to fight for the police reform legislation. the ban on choke holds and restrictions, requirements to federal agents and the
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administration's guidance to the attorneys and they opened a pattern of practice investigations of systematically misconduct to the police department in louisville and minneapolis. just because we can't get it done in the states, we are not standing back. we have much more to do. my administration also wants to advance meaningful police reform that includes executive actions to live up to america's promise of equal justice under the law. the work continues to create a safer, stronger community in critical ways with my american rescue plan. thank you in the congress for supporting it and everybody forgets that was $1.9 billion, trillion dollars. we got a heck of a lot done with that. people don't even know where it came from. i'm serious. think about it.
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expanding the summer programs and job opportunities it's important to keep people safe and out of trouble. formerly incarcerated people successfully rendered against $25 and a bus ticket go back to the bridge you should have access to pell grants and housing and all the things. we shouldn't put you back in a spot where you have no option. the epidemic of gun violence.
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just nine months in the federal circuit court and more defenders than any administration in all of american history. we are going to change it. we did it in record time and we are getting started because of all of you in the audience. to make real the fundamental rights to vote, the sacred right to vote. the democracies threshold liberty, without it, nothing is possible. the right to vote.
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i didn't know i was even going to be able to run for the county council and didn't even want to. this is no longer just to gets to vote or make it easy for the eligible people to vote. it is now a sinister conversation of voter suppression and election subversion. my fellow americans, i thought at one point is that i had been able to do something good as the chairman of the judiciary committee. i was able to get every member including the most conservative
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members clearly in the racist backgrounds to vote to extend the voting rights act after 25 years. one of the proudest things i ever did as a senator and guess what, this means that some state legislatures want to make it harder to vote. they want to tell you whether or not your vote counts. they want the ability to reject the final vote and ignore the will of the people if the preferred candidate, the candidate doesn't when. not just the voters of color but every voter that doesn't vote the way they want. i have to admit to you have been as a senator my whole 36 year
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career. the most undemocratic and patriotic and yet sadly not unprecedented time and again we and fair elections come to fruition. we fought back. i want to thank martin luther king for the marches. the vice president and i and our colleagues spent our careers it's central to the administration on the anniversary of police sunday with access to voting with each agency heeding the call for example i asked them to make it easy for the veterans and their
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families to register and vote. to challenge the onslaught of the state laws undermining the voting rights whether in old or new ways some like 20% or have the republicans said i'm not your president, donald trump is still your president. the focus is going to remain on discrimination and discriminatory laws. and let's be clear about georgia. someone that has literally stood
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in his shoes. i think that some of you knew this next line was coming and that's why you had the jets come up. as a morehouse man, that's what i keep getting from. and as a preacher in the pulpit. [applause] he won on the battle of ideas and earned the trust and confidence of a broader coalition in response they deny the franchise. the vice president leading the administration's efforts into supporting democrats pressing to enact critical voting rights
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since the day number one of the administration making sure we have unanimous support. but each and every time the senate republicans blocked it by refusing to even talk about it. they are afraid as they did again yesterday even on a bill that includes provisions that they traditionally supported. it's unfair, it's unconscionable and it's even un-american. it's far from over. the door hasn't been closed. after our dear friend whose voice we have every day in our hearts and conscience. to lead the reauthorization as i said for 25 years in the senate judiciary committee expanding the voting rights act. traditionally receiving bipartisan support. we have to keep up the fight and get it done and i know and you
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know the stakes. this is far from over. finally, we are confronting this deep stain on the nation. haight and white supremacy. you know, there's a test through line through the line it continues to be torture emerging from dark shadows carrying out nazi banners and chanting anti-semitic with ku klux klan lags. and that violent and deadly insurrection. it's about white supremacy in my view. the rise of hate crimes against asian americans in the pandemic and the rise of anti-semitism.
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once we got through it it would go away. i've said it before and all my colleagues here know it. according to the united states intelligence committee from white supremacists it is the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland. to that end the administration is carrying out the threat posed by domestic terrorists including white supremacy. we are doing so by taking action and reducing the radicalism and
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recruitment to violence at disrupting networks providing resources to communities to build resilience we cannot and must not give any safe harbor. our fellow americans standing here with the southern christian leadership conference. he said the goal was to redeem the soul of america. that is what is at stake. the soul of america. we know that it's not the work of a single day or a single administration or a single generation. but here we stand with doctor king. from the promise of the quality and opportunity of jobs and justice and freedom we see black
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excellence, american excellence, black history. american history. and a defining source of the nation. that's why we are here today. all of those known and unknown the courage to confront wrong and heal the broken places and see america whole, to acknowledge or we fall short. we love and must protect. if we can summon the courage to do these things we will have done our duty and honor our commitments, brought to the dream of doctor king a little closer to reality. it's the highest of callings. the most sacred of callings and with the help of god let's go
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forth from this sacred place with hope and promise always seeking. they thought i did it because i was irish. it's not the reason it's just the best poets in the world. i believe this to be true. there's a line that says once in a lifetime that justice rises up and hope and history rise. it's not the whole quote but i believe the american people, the vast majority are with us.
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they seem much more clearly what you've been fighting for your whole life now. the bad news we had of the prejudice and the good news is we rip the band-aid off and it's clear what's at stake. whether or not we have no choice. we have to continue to fight. god bless you all. [applause] ♪♪
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♪♪ ♪♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> q&a, retired superior court judge looks at our legal system and offer suggestions on how to improve it. her latest book, addresses racial bias and jury selection and police reform. >> in the main, particularly in
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urban settings, not exclusively, these police officers are not interested in the fact you did not have your traffic signal on. they're not interested. what they want to do is have a reason to stop you to then engage you in conversation and search your car. the u.s. supreme court has said the police officers, that is just fine. you can make these kinds of stops, and it does not matter that is not really what you are really interested in. i think what has to change is that, the very nature of policing has to change and we need to take that role out of policing. police should be used to investigate crimes and to prevent crimes but i think traffic stops are a major problem because they disproportionally focus on people of color. >> tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. you can listen to q&a on our new c-span now app.
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>> this week on the c-span networks, the house and senate are both in session. . watch live coverage on c-span and c-span 2. on monday asked 9:30 on c-span 2. facebook -- testifies before the u.k. parliament. tuesday on c-span3, the fda advisory committee meets to consider authorization of pfizer's covid vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old. that they will have live coverage of congressional hearings on and the c-span now mobile video app. at 9:30 am the senate armed services committee will hold a hearing on security situation in afghanistan and the region and at 10 a.m. eastern, representatives from tiktok, snapchat, and youtube testify before the senate congress could -- commerce committee on children and social media. then on wednesday at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3, attorney
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general merrick garland testifies before the senate judiciary committee on issues facing the justice department. on thursday at 9 a.m. eastern on c-span3 the heads of four major oil companies will testify before the house oversight and reform committee about information the fossil fuel industry publishes on climate change. watch this week on the c-span networks or you can watch full coverage on c-span now, our new video app. head over to for scheduling or to stream video on demand anytime. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> next, house rule debate on a resolution that would hold steve bannon in contempt of congress for failure to comply with a subpoena related to the house select committee's january 6th investigation. the rule was later approved by a vote of 221.


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