tv Politics Nation MSNBC July 3, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
good evening, and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, jim crow 2.0. right now our conservative majority supreme court is demonstrating just how abstract they consider our freedoms to be. as voting rights undergo a concerted assault from republican lawmakers. this week, ohio's court doubled down on its devotion to language over lived experience, essentially ruling that states can introduce discriminatory voting laws as long as there are available means for minority voters to get around them. if nothing else, it shows just how successful the trump administration was in one, and i do stress one area, and that was the entrenchment of the right
wing in our court system. guaranteeing that the judicial abstraction of the court is reinforced by the legislative inaction in our congress, where the gop has made it clear that no legislation protecting the franchise can expect to pass. but the same house republicans that voted me unanimously to federalize juneteenth last month also voted 2-1 for keeping tax-funded memorials to dead confederates in our u.s. capitol this week. it fits because the senate caucus also voted near unanimously to silence our bipartisan investigation last month into why living insurrectionists defiled our capitol earlier this year, leaving house democratic leadership no choice but to press on mostly without them as
speaker nancy pelosi select committee to investigate january 6 takes shape with just one republican of principle on board. all of that tonight on "politicsnation," starting with the perfect guest. joining me now, house majority leader congressman steny hoyer, democrat of maryland. congressman hoyer, let me go right to it. speaker pelosi select committee on the insurrection, my language. it was revealed to the public this week with one republican, congresswoman liz cheney in that 13-member group. republican minority leader kevin mccarthy has told his caucus not to accept an appointment and risk their committee assignments. watching all of this happened is house majority leader. i wonder how you describe the path that brought congress to this point, because despite my political differences with
political republican lawmakers in the past, i still can't imagine most of those lawmakers being so unbothered by an assault on the capitol and then being disproportionately more forceful in their response to its investigation. >> well, i think it's very sad, reverend, as you point out that the response that the republicans have had to the insurrection that occurred, the violent insurrection, which led to the deaths of both civilians and police personnel in the attacks on police and the threats that were in the capitol on both the vice president of the united states, a republican conservative and speaker nancy pelosi just tragic that the response has not been more effective, not more ex-expressing the anger that i think was reflected on that night certainly through senator
mcconnell and kevin mccarthy. but it has not reflected itself in the days since, maybe because trump has said i don't want any action taken. in any event, it was unfortunate. and it's also unfortunate as you point out, that the committee, which was a bipartisan commission and met all the criteria, save one that the republicans wanted in terms of being even, in terms of having equal authority on subpoenas and investigations, the only thing it didn't do was to have a commission that was going to look at every wrong thing that had happened or every demonstration that happened in america. what we wanted to do, what the american people want, what history needs is a focus on what happened op january 6. why did it happen, how did it happen, who participated in making it happen, and how do we prevent it from happening again? and so when i was asked if they dent approve the commission in the senate, you going to move ahead? i said of course, because history demands that we move
forward. the institution demands we move forward. our democracy demands we move forward. and that's what speaker pelosi is doing. i think the eight people that she has appointed with it being chaired by bennie thompson of mississippi and yes, including liz cheney, who showed she has the courage, the fortitude and the integrity to call them as sees them. so i am very hopeful that leader mccarthy will, as we did in the benghazi investigation, participate, appoint members and proceed. >> now congressman, help me out. why did so many of the same lawmakers who last month voted overwhelmingly in favor of a national holiday celebrating black freedom from slavery, voted this week to keep statutory of slavery's most passionate defenders, those that quite literally founded a hostile nation, why did they vote to keep those statues in
our u.s. capitol? >> i don't know that i'm the one that could answer that question. they have to answer that question. i don't have an answer as to why they would do that. again, they're soft pedaling the insurrection that occurred on january 6 with one member saying absurdly, oh, well, they just looked like tourists visiting the capitol. anybody who has seen the videos know that's not true. and when they're treating insurrectionists or people who promoted hate and separation and segregation being honored the capitol of the united states, it should not happen. and that's what that vote was about. and why -- as you know, we got 72 republicans. so it wasn't as if -- and including mccarthy, who voted with this and scalise, their two leaders. however, why over 100 of them voted no, they'll have to answer that themselves. it was not a good vote. it did not speak well for the party that claims to be the
party of lincoln. >> reporter: now i have to get to this congressman, while i have you here. we had a legislative setback last month with senate republicans blocking debate on hr-1, the for the people act. then our conservative supreme court ruled this week that arizona's voting restriction laws do not violate section 2 of the voting rights act, a nasty precedent at a crucial time. it's why as president of national action network will be marching in washington next month with martin luther king iii and others. but it's also why the justice department is now suing georgia, and vice president harris is leading the white house response on voting rights, because if neither congress or our supreme court can help, it seems the executive response is all that's left. at least for now. your response to what cards the democrats have left to play on
this issue, congressman. >> well, reverend, you and i both walked across the edmund pettus bridge with john lewis. >> right. >> commemorating bloody sunday in 1965, and the subsequent signing months later of the voting rights act. as said in the california or the arizona case, she said the voting rights act is the best of america, but in some respects, the need for the voting rights act is the worst in america. and we have no option but to keep fighting. that's what john lewis said. keep your eye on the prize. the prize is an america that lives out the promise of equality, which of course is most important in terms of access to the ballot. the access to having a voice in our democracy. and we're going to keep fighting. and you know, i have said publicly over and over again, we need to get rid of the filibuster. the filibuster is undemocratic.
it thwarts the will of the majority of the people in the united states of america. it is a rule that the founders did not contemplate. not as if the founders didn't contemplate in some instances having a necessity for an overwhelming vote, a extraordinary majority. they did so with a veto override. they did so with treaties. they did so with a conviction of the president on impeachment, and they did so for many of the constitution. they knew there were certain times when they wanted greater than a majority. but they'd they did not contemplate nor or the tick late any concept of having more than a majority of vote in either house to pass a proposition for the people. and that's what we're seeing. i hope that at some point in time, the members of the united states senate say enough. the majority is going to rule. the voting rights and other
bills that are supported by the overwhelming majority, in some cases 85% of the american people that support comprehensive background checks to make their communities safer. at some point, needs to see its voice articulated and represented in the united states senate. so we're going to keep fighting, al. hr-1, hr-4, absolutely critically important. and we're going keep fighting until we get that done. but you're right. the justice department can take action. they're taking action and they need to take all the action they can. but we need to amend the law. >> now let me turn to police reform. as i understand it, of the three primary negotiators, just one is from the house of representatives, congresswoman karen bass, a member of the congressional black caucus. do you have any insight about what's been holding up the process? >> well, i think we know what's holding up the process. republicans are holding up the process. and republicans are holding it
up. you'll have to ask them why. obviously cory booker is fighting hard in the senate. tim scott says he wants to get a bill. i certainly hope that is the case. jim clyburn has told our caucus he believes there is a path forward to a meaningful bill. now that's the key phrase, meaningful. we don't want just symbol, we want substance. we want accountability. we want to make sure that people of color, particularly african americans, are safe when dealing with the police. that doesn't mean that they won't deal with the police any more than i won't deal with the police if i do something wrong, but it means they will be treated as everybody else is treated. and that is with the respect is due a citizen under the law and under the constitution of the united states. so i am hopeful that senator scott and senator booker and other members of the senate will be able to come to an agreement
that the house can pass not just a symbol but substance so that we can have accountability. very frankly, when a member of congress does wrong, ike a lawyer, when a lawyer does wrong, a member of the clergy does wrong, they need to be held accountable. our police, to whom we give a great deal of power and we demand courage and integrity, that they as well should be accountable when they do things that are obviously and wrong and harmful and against justice in america. >> and i might add as i say often, it is not an anti-police bill at all. >> absolutely not. >> for police, because it keeps good police, which are the majority, from being smeared by those that step out of line with no accountability. i have to go back to something you said as i let you go. we have marched across edmund
pettus bridge together and some of the commemorative marches. you and i would be among those that go with john lewis every year. i can honestly say in private conversations there is no one john lewis respected more than you, congress hoyer. and thank you for being with us, congressman steny hoyer. coming up on "politicsnation," republicans want you to believe crime is running wild and president biden is to blame. i refute their big lie. and hard-core trump supporters have been lined up all day for his florida rally just hours from now. find out what the ex-president is likely to say about the criminal charges filed this week against his family business in one of his most trusted exist. but first, my colleague joshua johnson with today's top news stories. joshua? >> thank you, rev. hello to you. some of the stories we are watching this hour. fire officials in miami-dade county say demolition crews
could bring down the remainder of the partially collapsed champlain towers condo building tomorrow. concerns about the stability of the structure have hampered rescue efforts. 22 people are confirmed to have died in the collapse. 126 are still believed to be missing. another possible complication for the rescue effort, tropical storm elsa. check out the path. the system has been downgraded from a hurricane as it moves south of the dominican republic. it could regain strength today or tomorrow on track toward florida and the southeastern u.s. and stunning video shows the moments a mudslide swept across rows of houses in japan. take a look at this. the mudslide killed two people and left at least 19 more missing. it happened in a small seaside town near tokyo after days of heavy rain. people who live near that area have been asked to evacuate as rescuers search for anyone who may be trapped. we'll have more of "politicsnation" with the reverend al sharpton next.
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for this week's gotcha, i want to address one of the republicans' latest lies about president joe biden, a tall tale so convoluted, you have to split not two just to sort it all out. the falsehood goes like this. violent crime rates are going through the roof, and it's all because of this president's plan to defund police departments. i'm going to start with the ladder, the ladder half of that lie because it's incredibly easy to debunk. not only does president biden oppose initiatives to defund police championed by some reform activists, he actually wants to increase funding for police. president biden proposed that some covid-19 relief money get funded into police budgets, and initiative many republicans opposed. so let's dive into the other half of the republican lie.
fearmongering about rising crime rates, because while it is true that violent crime rates rose in 2020 and appear to be on an upward trajectory so far in 2021, you can see by looking at this chart of the fbi data that violent crime is still close to its lowest point over the last 35 years. if you break that fbi data out and categorize it by crime type, you see that most types of violent crimes actually went down in the last year with homicide being the notable outlier. so what caused this jump in homicides? one factor was the steep increase in domestic violence murders. when americans were confined in their homes during the pandemic, some of them were forced to quarantine with violent partners. that isolation coupled with
budget crisis among many anti-domestic violence advocacy programs led to a doubling of domestic partner homicides in some counties. it didn't help that the violence against women act which funds many of those programs was actually allowed to lapse by congressional republicans during that same time. meanwhile, even some republicans blame biden for the rise in violent crime, the reauthorization of the violence against women act, which was originally sponsored by then senator joe biden in 1994 is being held up by republicans in the senate. the other major factor behind the rise in homicides is rising gun violence, the nonprofit gun violence archive tracked nearly 4,000 more gun killings in 2020 than 2019. and gun violence is yet another issue that the president is
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welcome back to "politicsnation." it's independence weekend, but we've had no holiday from politics. i want to bring in my panel to talk about all the big news we've seen this week. juanita tolliver is a democratic strategist. susan del percio is a republican strategist. both are msnbc political analysts. susan, in just a few hours, former president trump will hold a rally in sarasota, florida. his most rabid supporters have been lining up for days. and as you see, thousands are there some three hours before the rally is scheduled to start.
now it's his first appearance since his company and cfo were charged with running a 15-year tax scheme, and it's being held just a few hundred miles from the site of the horrific building collapse in surfside, florida, which according to "the washington examiner" angered republican governor ron desantis, although the governor now denies this. what political conditions is the former president in as he takes the stage tonight, susan? >> well, he is going to his people. so they are going to cheer and yell and hoot and holler, and my guess is we'll hear something about locking someone up, we'll hear enemies lists, and we'll hear a lot of witch hunts, but it will just be a rehashing of everything else he said. the only thing that may make a little news is that he'll respond to the charges put against him, against his company, the trump organization this week as you said.
but other than that, rev, it's just going to be the same old garbage, which is why no one, including fox covers this and puts it up live. >> juanita, let's spend some time on those charges against the trump organization, because they are unlike any accusations we've ever seen against a business run by someone who held the highest office in the land. there is a count of grand larceny against his top executive, four counts of criminal tax fraud against the organization, four counts of falsifying business records. the list goes on. you can see it on the screen. and yet according to an adviser, when the ex-president found out he was not going to be personally charged with anything, his response was, quote, this is going to hurt sleepy joe, end of quote. we've seen trump evade accountability for wrongdoing and turn accusations around on his political enemies so many times. do you really think he can get
away with it again? >> look, rev, he is marveling in the fact that he's gotten away with it to this point. but he has to zoom out. he has to understand that the prosecutors aren't done yet, right? the pressure that they're applying to someone like weisselberg, who has been with his family's company since his dad was running the shot is really showing years and years of loyalty for weisselberg, and now prosecutors are applying pressure on him with these formal charges which come with potential jail time up to 10, 15 years to see if they can flip weisselberg to get to trump. so while trump might be confident at this point, what he is not aware of is what's happening in weisselberg's mind right now as he is facing these charges and potential jail time. because prosecutors know to get to trump, they have to flip weisselberg, because weisselberg will know more information about trump's intention, trump's frame of mind, trump's bookkeeping practices in terms of what he showed to bankers versus what he
showed to tax administrators and be able to essentially provide witness testimony that could really land trump in hot water. sure, trump is celebrating in this moment, and as susan mentioned, is probably going to call it a witch hunt at his rally. but what matters is what prosecutors are going to be able to get out of weisselberg now that he is facing these formal charges. >> susan, let's move on from trump to republicans who still hold office. since the gop stonewalled bipartisan attempts for investigation into the events of january 6, speaker pelosi has appointed eight representatives to her select committee, including one republican, outspoken trump critic liz cheney. minority leader kevin mccarthy has the opportunity to put forth other republican members, although supposedly, only florida congressman matt gaetz and marjorie taylor greene have expressed much interest.
what can democrats do to make this badly needed investigation feel legitimate to americans on both parties without turning into a political circus that some congressional republicans want to pro vote? >> well, rev, i believe that the investigation is completely necessary. i believe that pelosi's moving forward with good faith, as she did negotiating with the republicans, and that republicans got everything they wanted, mind you, but that is not to say that no matter what happens with this investigation, the republicans will make it political. i'm not saying it is right, the right thing to do. i'm saying what we're going see. because the republicans know an investigation hurts them. so they could be part of it in which they'll have to endorse it, which would have been problematic, or they could choose not to have anything to do with it, and just attack it as political. and that's what they're going to try and do.
it will be successful at some point. now -- i think mccarthy probably will put up his five names that he can, and it will be up to speaker pelosi to see how much he wants to veto gaetz or marjorie taylor greene, which i think she should. but the good intentions will be -- will meet resistance by republicans, except for liz cheney, who knows how to fight like them. so i think she could actually be very helpful on this. >> juanita, the supreme court's decision of upholding voter restrictions in arizona this week, i just talked to steny hoyer about it, the editorial boards of both "the washington post" and "the new york times" addressed the fallout, saying the roberts court, quote, systematically dismantled the voting rights act and abandoned voting rights. it seems as if we are headed into a real crisis for democracy
and neither congress nor the courts can be counted on to protect voting rights, especially for communities of color, who often see them infringed. where do we go from here? >> look, rev, i did appreciate your exchange with steny hoyer about this, because what oui seen with roberts is not only this decision where conservative justices have really shown up and shown out for the gop essentially, empowering states to go even further, but we also know in 2013 they took away section 5 with a preclearance with the doj. and so now i don't think advocates are ready to give up on congressional action. what we all know is that the courts is not the place to uphold voting rights. the courts have shown us they will not do that time and time again. as justice kagan wrote, they essentially foreclosed on the ability to challenge voter suppression bills like we've seen across the country and actions, especially when they lead to racial inequity. so what we have now is a
situation where advocates are going back to apply pressure to members of congress, especially in the senate because it's imperative that they act. because we know what's at stake here. we know that history in this country, that black and brown voters have faced at the polls, from intimidation to full-on tactics to suppress our votes that are still active and permeating states today. and so it's imperative that congress takes action, especially before this next midterm election. because we know who loses here. and it's not just black and brown voters, it's ultimately our democracy at stake. i appreciated both of the pieces. they hit the nail on the head. what comes next still falls in the laps of congress to act but the clock is ticking. >> susan, your thoughts on the battle for voting rights? >> well, the clock is ticking. the numbers for redistricting come out at the end of august. when i say that, the census
numbers. so maps are going to be drawn very soon, a couple of months, which to me means stop with hr-1, move to hr-4. get that passed immediately for it strips out everything else that i understand democrats want, but to protect the democracy, as juanita said, you have to get hr-4 in place. and it's got to be done before redistricting. >> juanita tolliver and susan del percio, thank you both. coming up, it's becoming a summer of extremes, including record-breaking heat in the northwest and a busy hurricane season with elsa gathering strength off the u.s. coast right now. these possible signs of climate change should be especially concerning to people of color. i'll tell you why, next. and one we discover.
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welcome back. as our western states smolder from some of the most extremest heat recorded, the gulf states just finished watching their ocean literally just burn. i'm watching this events from a grandfather's perspective and wondering about the world to come. and because of the communities that i represent, i have to stress that while there is no immediate escape from that world for any of us, it will be the poorest among us that will suffer its effects first. because as we're about to discuss, they always have. but as the president's compromised infrastructure plan appears to have found its daylight, the concern is there that predominantly black and brown communities will both miss out on the opportunities to repair their communities now and
prepare them for a very uncertain future. joining me now, an environmental activist and former epa administrator under president obama. now ms. tony, you served under president obama. i want to emphasize that because frankly that's where so much of black america is and it's getting more vulnerable to extreme weather due to climate change. of course, those are effects that all americans will have to contend with in the future. but according to the epa, black americans were already disproportionately likely to live near a toxic super fund site or place like cancer alley in louisiana where there are dozens of oil refineries and chemical plants. and so many cases of cancer and
respiratory disease that in march the united nations called it the threat to the human rights of the predominantly black residents of the region. i wonder if you can briefly walk us through some of the history of this issue. why are black americans so much luckier and likely i should say to be poisoned by their environments than others? >> well, thank you so much, rev. i think you hit the nail on the head. more people of color, black and brown people live in the southeast united states than anywhere else. and quite frankly, since 1916, we have been on the front lines ops ops ops of environmental justices due to historic and racist systemic policy. so even if we look at things like the 1950s housing regulations that predated red lining and forced black people into communities that were right next to landfills or in the same spaces where facilities were
allowed to permit, we have constantly and always been in a space that has been polluted, via the air, the water and the land. so it's no surprise that black people and brown people alike are more likely than any other demographic to support climate action, to support climate infrastructure, and more importantly than anything, to keep it going and to be resilient. that's why the infrastructure plan is so important. and why we have to take this very moment to assure that the infrastructure dollars that are coming out will go to help black and brown communities and marginalized communities across this country really prepare for climate resiliency, and really let's dig into the health and well building of our communities as we move forward in this green economy. >> now i want to pivot to politics, to the politics of environmental justice. and your editorial in this week's dame magazine titled "how the infrastructure bill fails the climate crisis."
on how this compromised version of president biden's infrastructure plan fails the nation and as such black communities on climate. can you elaborate for our audience, miss toney? >> i think of it this way. i worked my fair share of retail jobs, rev, when i was a younger person. and i don't know if you've ever had this situation where your paycheck came up short, and you were a little concerned because you know you put in the time and the hours. that's the best way to describe right now what we're feeling when we look at this infrastructure bill and we know what was put in and what has to come out. but like any good person you go back to the manager and you say hey, we're short, and we need to fix that. and i think that's exactly what's happening right now. when we look at the infrastructure bill that came out, it was roughly $2.7 trillion before the bipartisan deal. and the majority of things that were cut out, what we think of as social infrastructure. that's workforce development, hospitals, education, and key places where climate policy and climate infrastructure is
extremely important in poor communities. so to see all of that stripped out is really undermining how black and brown communities can strengthen themselves right now. i think about mayors and communities all across this country from urban places like columbus, ohio, who has been working on their climate plan for years now. that type of community and plans that already exist could be leveraged with this additional funding. but when it's taken out of the infrastructure plan, it puts news a position that's really behind and forces us to run to catch up. quite frankly, black communities have been running to catch up for a long time. so we've got to step it up faster, work with the administration to say this is what needs to happen next. but also, really take advantage more than ever before of those existing things within the infrastructure plan right now will allow us to move forward. >> i must say that i am heartened by the passion of so many young black activists around environmental justice. i see it in my national action
network, younger members around the country. i look at it at you and other climate activists that we've had here on this show. at some point, i hope to give michael reegan, now the first black man to lead the epa. but still, i don't think that our communities get enough credit around this issue. a 2019 poll by yale university found 57% of black americans are concerned if not alarmed by climate change. and to your previous point on infrastructure, a pew research report from april found that 68% of black adults think that climate policy should prioritize poor communities. so, again, we are the face of the suffering, but not the movement as some yet might see. why is that, ms. toney? >> well, we have a number of issues that we are working on. and sometimes people think of
climate, particularly environmental justice as one of those boxes. we have to see it sort of as the table that all of the boxes sit on. the way that climate impacts, climate and environmental justice impacts the black and brown community, it comes from all angles. there are studies that we can point to that show when you have extreme heat, there are educational disparities that happen, particularly in urban communities where you have high rates of pollution as well as a large african american or latino population. same thing goes with things like police brutality and domestic violence. so there are a plethora of different ways and issues that we have to look at together collectively. but rev, i've got to say this. right now at this very moment, we are all under attack from being prevented from really moving forward. as you just said, black and brown people are very, very -- this is a very important issue to all of us. but if we are prevented from voting, if the voter suppression tactics that are taking place right now are impacting those
people who are most likely to vote on climate policy, we have a bigger problem. that's why it's so important for every environmental organization, all of the groups to come together. as president biden said, this is an all of government approach, but this is all of community approach as well. we just saw this past week a major corporation, exxon, broadcast all over the news with one of their executives talking specifically about how they go against climate change and try to change the minds of people in communities like ours. so we have to hold businesses accountable. we have to demand that they show up in a way, call their card if they're going to support environmental justice and climate action or if they're going to be like exxon. it's going to take all of us putting all of these issues together, and we can do it, and we can move forward. i really believe that. >> heather mcteer toney, thank you again. and i'm thank you for all you. do you work with the
environmental defense fund, and you served as the first african american, first female and youngest mayor of greenville, mississippi. happy fourth of july. up next, my thoughts. stay with us. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service. ♪
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tomorrow is the fourth of july. tonight, there will be fireworks and celebrations all over the country. about the declaration of independence of 1776. this morning, i was reading a column about a book written by gordon hood about -- gordon wood, about two of the founding fathers' relationship. thomas jefferson and john adams, and good days and bad days, and i said in this particular article i was reading, jefferson in his last hours, died at noon on july 4th day, he sent his
servants, and i stopped there. i thought about the speech there in 1852 by frederick douglass, about how do i, an ex-slave, view the fourth of july. i thought about how they thought, as they watched a founding father in his last hours, some of the framers of the constitution, that fought against a monarchy. fought for the right for a partisipitory democracy. so as we celebrate the fourth, celebrating what was declared and never fully fulfilled for blacks and for women and others
in this country, that is why on august 28th, we are marching in washington on voting rights. martin luther king iii and i have called on others to join the march. before you celebrate, go to sign up to really continue making that declaration work for everyone. that's how you celebrate the fourth. line up to what was declared but never fully fulfilled. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i will see you back here 5:00 p.m. eastern for another live hour. s in msnbc continues coverage after the break. after the break. (vo) nobody dreams in conventional thinking. it didn't get us to the moon. it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo.
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