tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC July 13, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
call by fox, and joe biden did end up wing that state. >> nice to see you back in the building. thanks to all of you for watching this hour. we will have highlights from upl some of the highlights we had on this show with senator leahy and others. we have more coverage from my friend, craig melvin. good tuesday morning to you. craig melvin here this morning. the seismic battle over southing rights is spread out across america from philadelphia to colorado and from texas to d.c. quite literally. in texas a major bill at the state house will potentially come to a screeching halt, the second lawmakers gavel in the start of the day's business and that could happen any moment now. we just heard from the dozens of texas democrats that took off to washington, d.c. on private jets.
the urgent message they just delivered to congress on the steps of the u.s. capitol and the consequences they could face once they get home. >> once they step back into the state of texas they will be arrested and brought to the texas capitol and we will be conducted business. meanwhile, president biden expected to leave the house in a few hours to philadelphia to deliver the highly-anticipated speech on voting rights, and the president expected to blast the gop for the voting restrictions. and we will go to colorado this hour where we are seeing the real world consequences of restrictive voting laws. the major league baseball all-star game is there tonight after the league yanked it out of georgia in response to that state's new voting laws. later this hour i will ask the person in charge of colorado's elections why a major sports league views her state as
an example of making it easier to vote instead of more difficult. nbc news white house correspondent, mike memoli, and capitol hill correspondent is on the hill with the group of democrats from texas, and then i am also joined by damian hewitt, the president of the lawyer's committee for civil rights under law. thanks to all of you. garrett, let's start with you on the hill. that group of texas democrats in d.c. trying to pressure congress to pass federal election protections. they just spoke the last hour. what are we learning? >> texas democrats, more than 40 of them wanted to raise the stakes and draw attention to the issue and propose some of what they believe would be opportunities for the federal government to step in and get in the way of these texas voting
laws which they view as restrictive. they drew a straight line from the election results of 2020 and the former president's lies about them to this effort in texas to change voting laws. here's one of the texas democrats kind of laying out the way they see this issue. take a listen to this. >> we are not going to buckle to the big lie in the state of texas. the big lie that has resulted -- that has resulted in anti-democratic legislation throughout the united states, and we said no when the big lie came to the capitol in texas, and we are saying no during the regular session. >> those are the stakes as the texas house democrats see them, and their ask are these, they would like to see a senate create a carve out to the filibuster that would allow them to pass legislation here in the u.s. senate with a 50-vote
basis, and they would like the former president of texas, lyndon johnson, they want to see big leadership on this issue from president biden, which i am sure mike can talk more about in that speech coming up today. >> yeah, mike stand by for me because i want to go to priscilla first. that special session in texas should be getting started at this very moment but without a coream it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of business that can be done there, priscilla. what are you seeing and hearing? looks like they started to assemble there in austin. >> yeah, it's visibly less crowded at the capitol here today, craig, and that's because most house democrats are not here, yet they are still going to convene. we expect the house speaker will at some point make what is called a call to the house where they take a vote on whether or not to give permission for law enforcement to go out and bring back those missing lawmakers
when they return to the state of texas if the special session is still in session. i actually spoke with one of those republican house members moments before he walked inside and i asked him where his mind was at going into this and what exactly they can do in the house without a quorum? take a listen to what he had to say. >> i am not sure what we are walking into today, but i am confident my colleagues on the republican side will show up and we are ready to do whatever work we are able to do, and there are still hearings to be had, and we will hear testimony across the state on important issues, and we will continue to do what work we can and hopefully our colleagues on the democratic side will come back soon to get back to work. >> if that call to the house happens you are prepared to move forward? >> yes, we are going to sit in the chamber until they come back. >> they are prepared to vote in
favor of the call to the house and bring their fellow democratic colleagues back when they return to the state, but, of course, those democrats signaled they do not intent to return to the state until the special session has ended, craig? >> priscilla, this arrest according to governor abbott would happen, what would be the charge? >> right, so it wouldn't necessarily be a charge. this has to do with something that is in the texas state constitution that says the house speaker has the responsibility to maintain a quorum, so if there is no quorum he can take action to ensure that that happens, and so if the folks there, i think at least 15 people will have to vote today in favor for him to go ahead and make that call to the house and put out the call for the sergeant of arms go ahead and allow to find these lawmakers. an all-call is basically put out
to any peace officer in the state and could find the lawmakers that had gone rogue and bring them back. we could see something similar to what happened then happening this time around >> lawmakers being compelled to legislate. garrett, these lawmakers in texas, they are not full time as i understand it, and most of them have jobs, presumably they have families there in texas, and at some point they are going to have to return to the lone star state. what is the end game here? >> they are hoping they can convince congress now, as i said, to create a carve out for the filibuster rules. they know they are not going to get rid of the 60-vote threshold on all legislation, but this is a suggestion that came from jim clyburn recently, and maybe there could be a carve out for voting rights like to pass the president's nominees or federal
judges, and that's unlikely to happen. joe manchin said in the past he does not support that kind of carveout and there are probably other democratic senators that agree with him but don't want to speak on this issue publicly, and they are trying to get legislation moved and they are hoping they can continue to draw attention to this issue and see if the president has something up his sleeve on this, because congress, likely, does not. >> mike, let's talk about that part of the story here, because in many ways it almost sets the table for this afternoon. president biden heading to philadelphia roughly two hours from now to make that long awaited speech on voting rights, and the president under a fair amount of pressure from civil rights groups and democrats, and what are you hearing his message might be, mike? >> it's interesting that you have a split screen day, and you have a interesting snapshot at
two issues at play here, the texas senators and what the white house thinks about this course, and so much of the progressive focus has been over the for the people act, the john lewis act, and to those who have not been following the ins and outs, these voting legislation changes are throughout the country, and the president will speak about what he sees at play here, and tracing this in a city full of history to unfortunately some of the dark history in the past in america, the jim crow and voter intimidation efforts. what republicans are engaged here is a threat to the electoral integrity since the civil war. the real pressure on this white
house, including from some of his closest allies, jim clyburn telling me if we don't get the voting situation right now, forget about raffaele being re-elected to hold the majority in many places, and one senior white house told me we understand the pressure from the activist and it's good and healthy but give the president some healthy because he has been showing he knows how to execute a strategy to get change here and the white house views this as a broader fight where republicans need to face consequences at the ballot box, not just in the mid-term elections but in the state races where they don't pay attention to it. >> damian, you were one of those self civil rights leaders that met with president biden on thursday to talk about voting
rights. what will you need to hear from the president today to feel reassured that he is taking this seriously and not just offering plat taod. >> it was a sober meeting, and what we will need to hear from the president and what we expect to hear are two things. one, an extreme sense of urgency with high stakes, and this is not just simple politics but the future of our democracy playing out in real time, and we need the president to start to shift the narrative away from this being a simple political game towards one that is really not just about what do we have to do to overcome these restrictions in terms of more campaigning, but how do we shift the narrative to not just the importance of voting but the importance of defending the
right to vote, and to that we say that's what is really america. texas is messing with democracy. many states are messing with democracy, and that's un-american, and that's the kind of message the president needs to deliver as a down payment, so to speak, on what is to come. >> damian, can he shift the narrative with just a speech in philadelphia? >> well, one speech won't do it, but it's a start, right? it has to be sharp. it has to be clear. it has to be persuasive and convincing. the president with the civil rights community and to all of his colleagues and advisers, he needs everything he needs to make a speech that lays the foundation. i don't expect the filibuster to be blown out of the water tomorrow because of this speech, but there has to be a foundation. we asked the president to use his bully pulpit and we see
that's what he is doing. we will be listening and watching carefully to see what he says and how he says it. >> mike, the president has taken criticism from activist, progressives, for -- as damian, ibly, put it last week, not using the bully pulpit as effective as some folks think he could. and a senator for justice counts 28 new laws passed in 17 states that restricts voting access in some way, shape, form or fashion. what is the white house's response to the criticism that it isn't doing enough? >> well, they often refer to what the president himself said, which they view politics as the art of the possible. this is a white house that is careful about how it uses the president's political capital. remember, a lot of time and
attention has been spent on passing the infrastructure plan, and part of what the president is also going to do in his speech i'm told by a white house official, is call for a coalition almost beyond politics, business groups, clergy, religious organizations to try and really pressure republicans. you mentioned the all-star game at the top of the show. i know i will be watching tonight. that was a game that was taken out of the state of georgia in part because of the pressure that was on the business community in order to take a stronger stand here, and republicans are not seating the fight at all, and there's ad time to really blast democrats for taking the game away from georgia and hurting the african-american businesses that would have been fitted from that. this is a political battle in a way that we have not seen voting itself play out in quite as public and serious a way in our
politics, craig. >> damian, if democrats are not able to pass some sort of federal voting rights bill, then what? what is the next step in this fight? >> well, what you will see is continued litigation, continued efficacy. i think we will see voting rights tramped and hopefully that's the wake-up call, because we are headed for disaster in many different states around this country, and the disaster may not look at what people think, and it's not as if nobody will be able to vote, but those jurisdictions where you see razor-thin margins, you will start to see differences. you will see people locked out of opportunity and democracy. it's not good for republican voters, democratic voters or independent voters and nonpartisans overall. it's bad for the country.
>> we'll leave it there. we tell you that they have gavelled in that special session there in austin. so far no business being conducted, but we will continue to keep an eye and ear on the floor of the assembly there. tonight voting rights playing out on a whole different stage as we were just talking about. the baseball field. let's not for get, it was the mlb all-star game because of georgia's new restrictive law. i will talk to colorado's secretary of state about what it says about the larger voting rights fight that is happening in our country right now. also a setback with the pandemic. johnson & johnson's vaccine will now include a new warning about a rare neurological disorder. we will dig into what that could
mean. americans coast-to-coast feeling the heat quite literally. a heat wave scorching the west. already a record-breaking year for california wildfires. mountains have long been a safe retreat from the heat but temperature records are even being set there. is there any escape? that causes covid-19 from treated air. so you can breathe easier, knowing that you and your family have added protection. ♪ ♪ age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein.
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bracing for more dangerous heat. las vegas, texas and fresno, california, are all expected to see temperatures above 105 today. death valley, california, expected to top 120 degrees. the national weather service just confirmed that death valley saw the hottest 24 hours ever recorded on earth this weekend. the scorching heat fueling the massive wildfires in california and oregon. california's largest wildfire right now, the beckwourth complex burned more than 21,000 acres. in oregon, the bootleg fire burned 153,000 acres. this year's fire season is outpacing last year's fire season which was the worst fire on record. and in lake tahoe, it's usually
a little cooler there, and tell us how officials are handling what is going on there. >> reporter: it's amazing to be standing in a place where more than a century californians have come to cool off from the summer heat, but today the forecast is that we are going break record temperatures here in tahoe. if you look out across the lake you can, in fact, see the effects of climate change happening in front of us, and the water levels dropped several feet since last year, and we're looking at this point at a place that really is not a retreat from the summer heat any longer. at this point, craig, we have about 30 million americans under a heat advisory across the western united states according to the national weather service, and noaa that keeps track of atmospheric conditions said june was the hottest month in the history of the united states. at this point, what can we do
about it? governor gavin newsom in california is trying to get our arms around the electrical situation. you mentioned the bootleg fire in oregon, that is threatening the infrastructure that provides electricity to california, not just where i am standing in northern california but all the way down to l.a. at this point we have the governor signing an executive order that frees up capacity for electricity, and even pulling into the ships that are harbored and can use their auxiliary systems, and that's because this mountain town and others will be running air-conditioner trying to stay out of the heat, and that's why we are trying to have enough power to keep everybody safe in the record-breaking heat, craig. >> jake ward in tahoe city for
us where the affects of climate change are being laid bare. thank you. two major foreign policy challenges for the biden administration. first, in cuba the largest demonstrations against the communist dictatorship in decades. and then also the fallout after the assassination of haiti's president. the department of justice now helping the haitian national police's investigation. what we know so far, next. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ my auntie called me. she said uncle's had a heart attack. i needed him to be here. your heart isn't just yours. protect it with bayer aspirin. be sure to talk to your doctor
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government continues its crackdown on the largest anti-government protest there in decades. scores of police are now patrolling the streets of havana to try and prevent a repeat of the weekend. thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of havana and other cuban cities railing against the economic crisis. cuba's president is blaming the u.s. embargo for the widespread shortages for food, fuel and medicine during the pandemic. and supporters of the cuban protests are calling for more support from the biden administration. nbc's sam brock is in miami, he's in little havana, the iconic hub of the havana community there, and those
protesters, sam, they are receiving support not just from the u.s. but from mexico, from spain, from venezuela as well. where do things stand this morning? how are cubans responding to the unrest? >> reporter: nicaragua, and columbia, too, people coming out and supporting those protesting, and that kind of action, he did say he supports in issuing solidarity now that people in cuba, they should be acknowledged and the reality of the situation right now is cuba shut off internet and phone services there, so there are
loved ones here that have no idea how their family members are doing. and social media is suggesting there could be violence and crackdowns on the street at the moment. i am struck by a couple conversations i had. one is the mere fact that people are on the streets right now saying liberty and replace this government, and that's the kind of thing that has been inconceivable for decades because of the retribution just for saying that. i talked to a woman that said her cousin is looking for a thermometer for her sick daughter, and she doesn't know nobody else has a one, and this is the worst economic recession they have seed since the '90s, and one woman is holding her breath. >> i have not been able to hear from my family members in cuba
as of the last 24 hours, the internet completely went out. prior to that, i have a sister in cuba that told me the situation is just dire. people are dying not only because they don't have access to basic needs but the covid cases have gone up in a staggering way. >> craig, there were calls at one point for cuban americans to go across the florida straights and try to rescue their ones in cuba. the u.s. coast guard is strongly advising against that, and there have been 20 people killed trying to make that trek in recent weeks, but it speaks to the desperation people are feeling right now, in miami and little havana and across the way to cuba. >> yeah, that story continues to develop in cuba and in this country as well.
sam, thank you. we're staying on top of that breaking news happening in the texas state capitol and voting rights as well. priscilla thompson is standing outside the state house with new information. what can you tell us about what just happened? >> reporter: craig, the texas house has just voted to compel those members absent without an excuse to return. the sergeant of arms has the power to send for those members and direct any other peace officers to do that as well if he show chooses. that vote fell along partly lines with 46 republicans voting in favor and the four democrats present voting against it. law enforcement will be looking for them and bringing them back to the capitol. craig? >> to be clear, priscilla, they have to wait until the lawmakers return to texas because those troopers don't have any
jurisdiction outside the lone star state, is that correct? >> reporter: that is correct. previously when this has happened sometimes officials here will ask an attorney general if they will turn over the lawmakers, but we don't expect that to happen in washington, d.c. >> all right. priscilla thompson there in the state capitol. priscilla, keep us posted. we know you will. meanwhile, this year's all-star baseball game, and we'll talk about the colorado secretary of state and the decision to move the game to her state because of georgia voting laws. for the second year in a row, pete alonzo is the home run hero. he beat out oriole's star, tray mancini, but mancini put on a inspiring display of his own.
this time last year, he was getting chemotherapy and was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and now he's cancer free. i talked to him in march about his fight and the message he hopes to share with anybody who will listen. >> at the time i only thought it affected people age 50 and older for the most part, and i knew it was extremely rare for people my age to get it. it was the first year in my life that i was never part of a baseball team but i kept in touch of them almost every day, and one of my teammates would text me. with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. among my patients i often see them
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colorado's gain. the game is in denver, originally set to be in atlanta but major league baseball deciding to move it to colorado after georgia passed the controversial voting rights act in april. how big of a loss is this for georgia's economy? according to the secretary of state, about $100 million worth. i want to bring in colorado secretary of state, jenna griswold and the chair of the democratic association of secretaries of state. secretary griswold, good to have you. why do you think your state was chosen once they decided to pull out of georgia? >> thanks for having me on. i believe colorado was chosen in part of our wonderful election system. you know, having access to accessible elections is as american as apple pie or baseball, and we're so excited to have the all-star game in colorado.
there's excitement in the air. i do think it's worth mentioning that the other businesses in the united states should really do the same as mlb and stand up to protect our democracy. >> on voting rights specifically earlier this month you told "the washington post" that you believe we are, quote, seeing a coordinated national attack on democracy, and president biden expected to deliver an address on voting rights this afternoon. what do you want to hear from the president in a few hours in philadelphia? >> what i would like to hear from the president is underlining the urgency of the time we are in, and steps to make sure that americans' freedom to vote is protected. ultimately the senate has not moved forward with the protection of voting rights across the country because of the filibuster, so i encourage the senators to remove the
filibuster to protect our vote. it should be free elections regardless of the color of skin or amount of money in the bank account or zip codes. but that's not what is happening. what is happening if you live in georgia or other states across the nation your right to vote is not as strong as it is in colorado because legislators there are systematically taking away some americans' freedom to have their voice heard in elections. >> it has been noted that your state has one of the highest voter turnout rates in this country. why do you think that is? what do you guys do there in colorado? >> the colorado election model is very straightforward. you register to vote and then you are automatically sent a mail ballot where you can return to a ballot box or by mail and you can register on election day and cast a ballot.
our election model has just proven to be resilient and provides great results. we have the highest percentage of people registered in the nation, and we are second in turnout and we are considered the most secure state because of our use of voter verified paper ballot. every state in the nation can set up the colorado verification model and it opens up enough access so residents can decide who their elected liters should be. >> i want to ask about the arrest near the weekend near the stadium where the all-star game is happening tonight, and police arrested some on gun charges and there were concerns the suspects had plans connected to the game, no evidence of that at this point. what do you make of the arrests? >> well, it's extremely concerning. this still is an active
investigation and at the end of the day we had four people heavily armed with various guns, thousands of pounds of ammunition and tactical gear very close to this huge public event. i'm glad that an aide at the hotel raised the alarms to alert the authorities. i'm just so glad that we averted this potential tragedy and we will see what the investigation unveils. >> colorado secretary of state, jenna griswold. thank you for your time. >> thank you so much. we are just ten days away from those opening ceremonies in tokyo. the olympics just around the corner and we learned this morning that first lady, dr. jill biden, will be leading the u.s. delegation in tokyo, and
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we have some breaking news on that tragic condo collapse in surfside, florida. in the last hour officials there updating the number saying we now know that 95 people have died in the collapse. roughly 14 people are still potentially unaccounted for. search and recovery crews have been making their way through the rubble for 20 days straight now. we have also learned in the last hour that today's news conference will likely be the last public news conference that they have. again, 95 dead, 14 still missing there in surfside. also this morning, the one shot johnson & johnson covid-19 vaccine comes with a new warning label. there are reports of 100 cases of a rare autoimmune disorder
called guillian-barre syndrome. 100 people have gotten it and they received the j&j vaccine. 95 of them required hospitalization and one person died. if confirmed these cases would represent less than .001% of people who received the johnson & johnson vaccine in the united states. right now south carolina, tennessee and arkansas are seeing the biggest two-week jumps, and nevada seeing a 45% jump. dr. roy is the medical director of covid isolation and quarentine sites for housing works in new york city. steve, let me start with you in sin city. the vaccination rates are not up in las vegas, and what are health officials trying to do to convince people to get the shot?
>> well, craig, first of all, i don't want anybody to underestimate what is happening here. the numbers are way up. the state added 1,600 more cases over the weekend. the positivity rate, which was at 5% back in may, which is essentially the safe guidelines for reopening the state are now back up to 9.5%. it's 11% or close to it here in clark county. these are the numbers i used to come on your show and talk to you about during the very height of the pandemic, and pair that with the fact the state is statd that gives this new variant a runway to cut through the entire state. we know the health department is focused heavily on messaging and trying to get people vaccinated. the only way to do that is to put boots on the grounds in these communities that are less served, that have less access to healthcare because that's where it's truly running rampant. there is a neighborhood around here that's only 25% vaccinated. i spoke to a barbershop owner.
his name is joseph taylor, and he told me essentially that he's using his barbershop after he got sick and went to the hospital, opening it up as a vaccination site any also using the share with the rampant misinformation there is about vaccinations. here's what he told me about the barbershop. >> it is a place of truth, transparency, brotherhood and debate. so that being said, i have no problem with anybody, let's talk about it. let's talk about the numbers and let's talk about history. you can do all of that in the barbershop. that's why i love being at the barbershop because it's a great place of information and that's why i choose to have things like this at the barbershop. >> reporter: despite the big push to get vaccinated, federal search teams are in coordination with fema to put more emphasis on it.
>> steve, thank you. doctor, let's talk about this new warning from the j & j vaccine and small percentage of reported cases and this is a serious disorder. what would you tell a patient that's gotten that j&j, vaccine and they might be worried? thanks. >> good morning, craig. it's good to see you and you're right, this rare, neurologic disorder is just that, guillain-barre syndrome is rare and most people get better and let's emphasize the numbers here. of the 13 million doses of j&j, that have been administered there have been 100 reported cases of that, 95 were hospitalized and there was one death. of course, we don't want any deaths or any adverse responses or reactions to any medication, but those numbers indicate to me and all health officials that this warning and this gvs, is
that it is extremely rare. so far these cases have been seen in males age 50 and older and they were mild cases and the fda is aware of this, hence the warning and they've made it very clear that research is being done and they've made it clear that the pros of vaccination are outweighing the cons. >> but here's the thing, dr. roy. on any level do you worry that when news like this comes out it -- it convinces someone who was already on the fence about getting the shot. it convinces them that they should? >> i'm still answering questions about clots. patients are coming to me all of the time -- colleagues and people in isolation quarantine sites are worried, hey, doc, which one are you giving? i don't want the j&j, i heard about the clot.
i talk about the data and talking about people that are still sick and dying and it is frustrating to hear the fact that these stories get amplified and i remind people and just this morning in our clinical huddle that i lead every morning with my colleagues and i remind them and lead with your medicine cabinet and the side effect of those medications are far higher or more frequent, more frequent than any possible side effect of a vaccine. it's just vaccines are now on the world stage and so that's why they're getting so much attention. >> dr. lipi roy. dr. roy, we'll have to leave it there and thank you for your insight and analysis and much more on this in the next hour and andrea mitchell will be talking to dr. anthony fauci on "andrea mitchell reports" next up on msnbc. first, before we go i want to
share a special story from chicago, and it's about a father-daughter duo who started a new business during this past year. bobby morelli and his daughter opened their hot dog stand in brownsville and it's taken the market by storm. it's called the hot dog box, and people usually wait in the lines to get one of their home made creations. morelli is teaching his daughter lifelong lessons she will never forget. here's part of our conversation. >> as a person that didn't have a father growing up, it's important for me to teach her to be self-sufficient and be able to know what it's like to start at ground zero, but then also build something. this may not be her life decision, but just opening the door for it. >> that's fantastic. >> brooklyn, what do you think you've learned so far? >> about entrepreneurship, how to have good customer service and about work ethic.
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fight over voting rights reaching fever pitch. texas democrats fleeing the state last night on two private planes to deny republicans the needed quorum to ram through their voting restrictions. they plan to stay in washington for three weeks to press congress to pass sweeping voting rights legislation before the august break even as texas governor abbott threatens to arrest them when they return. >> when i look at the african-american museum i thought about the struggle of my people fought in this country to get the right to vote. i'm not going to be a hostage that my constituents' rights to be stripped from them. >> once they step back into the state of texas they will be arrested and we will be conducting business. >> this as president biden heads to philadelphia next hour to blast republican-led efforts to make it harder to vote in more than a dozen states while facing criticism from many in his own party that he has not done more to fight