tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC July 16, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
a good friday morning. craig melvin. new covid cases are rising in all 50 states. yes, you heard me right. no, you are not the only one feeling a bit of deja vu. health officials sounding the alarm over crisis -- crises happening on both ends of this pandemic. the more contagious delta variant taking hold across the nation. vaccine misinformation spreading like the virus itself. meanwhile, on capitol hill, democrats are pushing ahead with their aggressive timeline to get both an infrastructure and spending deal done. there's a potential wrench in their plans. the bills have not even been written yet. ahead this hour, split screen of the effects of climate change. right now fires raging in a dozen western states and germany is seeing its worth flooding in more than a century. this hour we have reporters in germany and arizona covering that crisis, in oregon and d.c.
covering the infrastructure debate, and in mississippi and california covering the dangerous spread of coronavirus. in fact, that is where we will start. nbc's allison barber is outside a hospital in jackson, mississippi, where they are starting to see a rise in children hospitalized with covid. las vegas an indoor mask mandate is back in america's second largest city and i want to bring in dylan byers and dr. patel. let's start in mississippi, one of the least vaccinated states in our country and now children make up 7% of icu covid patients statewide there. what are you hearing from folks on the ground about the crisis? >> reporter: yeah, the numbers are rising here. they're rising quickly. that's what's giving a lot of doctors concern is the rate at which they're seeing these numbers really start to pick up. we are outside of a children's
hospital. it's part of a larger medical system. one of the largest in this state. they say they have seen hospitalizations pick up across all ages in recent weeks and that with very rare exceptions, all of the patients that they're seeing hospitalized have not been vaccinated. they just gave us some new numbers from this hospital specifically. they tell us that they have six children hospitalized with covid-19 as of this morning. three are in intensive care. that means children now make up approximately 13% of patients at this hospital, university of mississippi medical center. they tell us that is the highest percentage of children hospitalized because of covid-19 that they have ever seen. we're 16 months in the pandemic. they're seeing their big peak of numbers in terms of children right now. only 33.6% of mississippiens have been fully vaccinated. this is one of the least vaccinated states in the country.
doctors here say they are not able for whatever reason, there is a disconnect that continues, where people seem to be relying on information they're getting from social media instead of what they're being told from doctors as it relates to this vaccine. again, one of the least vaccinated states in the country and the delta variant, which we know is more transmissible and spreads very quickly, makes up about 80% of cases here. listen to what we heard from the chair of pediatrics at this hospital. >> we have certainly seen complications of covid-19 in very critical children with covid-19 and critical young adults and late teens with co coronavirus and people who died who would have been well if they had not gotten it suspect it's a very preventable disease with this vaccine. >> reporter: doctors here are worried that if people in their communities don't start listening to them as it relates to vaccines, that soon there could be enough spread where
there are new mutations and vaccines that maybe do not work as well with different mutations. right now we know they work with all the variants from alpha to delta. the problem is people are not getting them even though they're widely available. craig? >> all right, ellison barber there in jackson, mississippi. let's go to gaud now. it's been about a month since los angeles county dropped most of its restrictions for vaccinated people. now they're reinstating the mask mandate for everyone regardless of vaccination status. what are you hearing from folks about that move? >> reporter: craig, a lot of people are surprised they're going to have to wear the mask again. moments ago we went into one of the coffee shops and one of the first things they told us, we're surprised but also not surprised they decided to do that because they say a lot of people that were unvaccinated were choosing to take off the mask. health authorities here in los angeles had a press conference where they shared statistics to
try to justify why they think it's necessary to implement this mask mandate for all of those vaccinated and unvaccinated when going indoors. we'll hear part of this press conference. >> it really is about making this a universal practice. it's the easiest thing to do in terms of ensuring that we're all protected. regardless of the risk that we have. but it just makes -- normalizes the practice and adds that additional layer of protection. again, we're at a substantial level of community transmission. >> reporter: now, when they say a substantial level of community transmission, they gave some numbers yesterday saying there's been an 80% increase in cases just last week, largely driven by the 4 million unvaccinated in los angeles. these are the numbers that were worrying health authorities here. this mask mandate will kick off sunday morning for all in los angeles and what they're trying to do is just try and slow down this rapid increase of this
almost 4 million -- or largely driven by the almost 4 million people still unvaccinated in los angeles, craig. >> dr. patel, you know, for more than a year, i mean, we told folks, you know, once you get vaccinated, you can take the mask off. and now we've got the second largest city in this country, telling folks, okay, you got your shot in your arm. you still have to wear your mask. is this what you would have advised, dr. patel? >> reporter: yeah, craig, yes, i would have. and i will tell you that i know l.a. county is sticking their necks out, but if you look at what other countries have had to do like israel, who has also had a plateau in their vaccination rates and they had to go back to indoor masking requirements as well, this is exactly what regions of our country will have to do as we start to see not just double digit increases,
80%, we're seeing triple digit. i think you heard from guad exactly why. we're not, craig, honoring the system of if you're not vaccinated, you have to take all those precautions, which is what the cdc recommended. we're just seeing everyone take their masks off. in a way, craig, we're having to apply these blunt policy recommendations because we don't know or can't trust who is going to follow the recommendations. >> dylan, we're starting to see something, it would seem as if we're starting to see something from the biden administration that i don't think we've really seen before. this clear and direct criticism of tech companies for allowing this rampant misinformation about the vaccine to spread on their platforms. the surgeon general reiterated his warning this morning. >> technology companies have a responsibility to reduce the spread of misinformation on their platforms. if you run a platform, if you have a technology company that
is somehow inadvertently or, you know, contributing to the spread of misinformation, you have a responsibility to take action to stop it. some companies have taken some steps forward and i appreciate that but there's so much more they have to do and they have to do it with greater urgency because we're losing people right now. we're seeing people lose their lives because of misinformation. >> dylan, what are you hearing from tech companies about this? >> well, look, certainly that pressure from the white house is not just the surgeon general. you also have press secretary jen psaki going out there and saying very much the same thing. that's an immense amount of public pressure from the highest office being put on these social media companies. and they're on the back foot again. and the view from there, the view especially from facebook about being on the back foot is they for a time got used to covid information and combating covid misinformation as an area where they could actually take real action and where they
could -- they were actually applauded for their efforts. unlike other issues when it comes to what you can or can't say on facebook, they were able to draw a pretty distinct line when it came to fact or fiction about science. the problem now is after 18 months of all this effort, they are running up against these fine lines where, you know, the definition of whether something is misinformation or opinion, whether or not you should take away a user's access to the platform or just remove some of the offensive posts, they're starting to walk up against that gray area which we've seen all too often with facebook and other social media companies where they have to balance the freedom of speech with the issue of pressing as a global health crisis and how they're going to navigate themselves out of this again is going to be interesting to watch. i don't think they thought they were going to be back here. i think they thought they had this under wraps and all this pressure from the white house, from the press secretary and the
surgeon general is telling you they very much do not. >> dr. patel, you know what it's like to work at the white house and you know how much consideration goes into call out our nation's tech company. what do you make of this urgent warning from the surgeon general on vaccine misinformation. >> i think it's long overdue. i will say, as you mentioned, people don't get to the press podium and say these things lightly. obviously it went through many channels, but the reason we're here is because -- honestly, craig, it started before covid. the misinformation has been probably the biggest pandemic even before covid. with covid, it is now deadly. i think that's the critical difference. before it felt like, well, if you have an opinion, then that becomes fact about a certain political stance. now we're talking about people's lives. and i will say this, craig, a sobering statistic, 40% of public health officials have either quit or been fired for standing up for the fact.
so for facebook to say that they're, quote/unquote, being responsible is simply not true. >> the cdc, according to "the washington post" this morning, the cdc expected to consider whether patients with fragile immune systems should get a covid immune booster shot. the advisory panel plans to focus on the 2% to 4% of american adults with suppressed immunity, a population with organ transplants, people with cancer treatments, people living with rum toe logical conditions. the cdc said an additional dose of vaccine is not widely needed, but do you think that we should start getting booster shots ready, as soon as we see this delta variant taking hold? >> yeah, i think we need to have the conversation the cdc will have and i think we need to have the booster shots ready.
what we're talking about is the third dose of what we receive for the first and second doses. we do not want for that to be given to the entire country for many reasons, including we need to get this around the world, but as you point out, craig, the data is very clear that people with certain conditions that you mentioned, especially haven't even mounted any immunity, leaving them very exposed and vulnerable. and it also is an opportunity, remember, the virus will proliferate and it will mutate. so, we need to do as much to put back our walls of defense. i think it's great they're talking about it. i hope some clear recommendations come out. also for younger children, we have a lot of younger children with chronic conditions. they should also be prioritized. >> well, we've been having our conversation, the white house covid task force has been having their weekly briefing -- their daily briefing. dr. walensky just announcing new cases, dr. patel, new cases up
70% over last week in this country. i remember when we would have these conversations months ago, we would attribute rises to additional testing. that would not seem to be the case here, dr. patel, no? >> right. in fact, testing has gone down. i hope it comes back up, but not because it will inflate the numbers. we just -- i think we have a real blind spot, craig. we don't know how far-reaching this virus is. i'll say one thing. we're not monitoring a mild or moderate breakthrough infections. we're only reporting breakthrough infections which lead to severe hospitalizations or deaths. that's what the vaccines prevent, but we need more information in terms -- think of it this way. if you only had part of your headlight working in the car, you couldn't see the street. that's how we feel right now with this variant. >> dr. patel, dylan byer,
thanks. we're following breaking news on this friday. massive, deadly floods sweeping across germany. right now, as many as 1,500 people are unaccounted for. the desperate rescues happening as we speak. plus, heading home for the weekend. remember that group of bipartisan senators who say they have a deal on infrastructure? one key negotiator says there will be a vote wednesday. but there may not be a bill to vote on. we'll explain when we go live to the hill for the latest. and when it comes to infrastructure, the biden administration has a new challenge for republicans. >> i heard a lot of republicans saying, oh, you know, child care's great. building veterans hospitals is great. we just don't think it's infrastructure so you should put it in a different package. fine, now it's in a different package. let's see if they'll vote for it now. let's see if they'll vote for it now. their only friend? the open road.
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capitol hill senate majority leader chuck schumer is setting an aggressive timeline for both the bipartisan infrastructure plan and that much larger $3.5 trillion spending agreement. the plan to advance the ball on both deals as early as next week. nbc's leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill for us. explain how the senator from new york is going to meet that timeline. as of this moment, as i understand it, neither of the bills have actually been written.
>> reporter: you understand it correctly, craig. no bill has been written. let's separate these bills. the reconciliation bill, the $3.5 trillion democratic bill with all of their human infrastructure and big priorities, well, that legislative text cannot be written until the process is actually started. that's how the rules of the game work because they're using this special reconciliation budgetary process. so, they have to take votes first. and then they can write the legislation. as far as the bipartisan bill is concerned, that's not how it works. it's going through the regular legislative process and they do need legislative text but they can open debate without legislation, but republicans with balking at that saying, no, we are not going to start this process until the legislative text is finalized and agreed to. they don't have agreement yet, craig.
what's still holding them is how to pay for it, including this irs enforcement provision which republicans have been complaining about. they do not want more money to go into the irs to make people pay their taxes. that is something that is having to be renegotiated. senator schumer wants these things to move forward quickly because he has a tight timeline and a tight calendar and he wants both of these things to get done, craig. >> leigh ann caldwell breaking it down for us on the hill, thank you. one key aspect of this infrastructure push leigh ann was talking about is clean energy. it's part of both plans, whether we're talking about a broad push for renewable energy or electric buses, more charging stations for those electric vehicles. no surprise, then, that transportation secretary pete buttigieg has been touring the country making the case that these infrastructure bills will modernize the way americans get around. he also sat down with my
colleague ali velshi. ali, tell me about the secretary's focus here and how he's trying to sell these infrastructure bills to the american people. >> reporter: it's two-pronged. one part is about transportation, cloon energy, electric vehicles. that's why he was here. i sat down with him in eugene, oregon, where we were looking at electric buses. the idea there are -- they had about 75,000 diesel-run buses in this country. there are almost 500,000 diesel school buses. how do we make those vehicles fully electric in portland. the idea the secretary was making, we need to make transportation better. we need to modernize transportation. we can use american workers to make them. at the same time it's cleaner energy. he addressed the point leigh ann was making that republicans have said, hey, transportation, bridges and roads is infrastructure. the human infrastructure stuff is good but let's do it
separately. now they put it into two bills. let's see what he had to say about it. >> the idea that americans ought to have paid parental leave just like people in pretty much any other country is something you don't have to be a democrat or republican to believe in. by the way, across the country, most people think we ought to do it. in washington it seems to be a problem. early on in this debate, a few months ago when we were talking about human infrastructure, i heard a lot of republicans saying, oh, child care's great, building veterans hospitals is great, we just don't think it's infrastructure so you should put it in a different package. fine. now it's in a different package. let's see if they'll vote for it now. >> reporter: craig, one other thing. as you know, it's a fairly cool morning here in oregon but there's a massive fire burning south of us. there was a heat wave a couple weeks ago. it's coming back again. temperatures well above 100 degrees. streets buckling. even the electrical grid, the conduits were melting. the conversation about electric vehicles is not just about
modernization and making them more efficient, it plays into the climate discussion americans are very, very concerned about right now. craig? >> ali velshi on the ground in portland, oregon. thank you, sir, as always. you can watch even more of ali's conversation with transportation secretary pete buttigieg this saturday, plus ali is also sitting down with a group of oregon residents to talk about how climate and infrastructure impact their everyday lives. "velshi" tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. eastern only on msnbc. i want you to check out these photos. these photos show a massive landslide in germany. houses there are either submerged in water or they've collapsed all together. we'll go there live for more on what's being done to find around 1,500 people who are still unaccounted for. an impossible decision. an arizona ranching family is selling off their cattle. not because they need the money.
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caused what's being described as the worst flooding in more than a century. cars swept away, houses, as you can see here, completely collapsed. hundreds of soldiers are working to try and rescue stranded residents. nbc is in germany with the latest developments. claudio, what's happening at this hour? >> reporter: hey, craig. search and rescue continues, especially in this area. i'm about an hour's drive from the city of cologne. this is the worst affected area by the flooding. now you can see behind me,there are still days later vast areas of this part of germany that are still very much under water. erfstadt is just down the road where there is a rescue operation ongoing. as the local authority said, the problem there is that with the water receding, there is a
massive and rapid they called underwashing of the houses and structures that are literally causing those houses to collapse. where is the problem? apart from the houses collapsing is there's a lot of people still in those houses. why? the local authorities say there's two reasons. either the people didn't leave their houses even though it was quite clear that this was a severe flooding and they underestimated the situation, or even worse, well, they say that some people may have returned to their houses this morning because, as you can see, it's not raining. it hasn't rained since this morning after days of uninterrupted torrential rain and they may have just returned to their homes thinking the worst was over. the worst is not over. there is a lot of rain still coming, forecasted for the next few hours. and for especially tomorrow, more torrential rain making this situation even worse. now, of course, those people will have to be rescued once
again, as you've seen in those pictures, with helicopters, with inflaable boats. in the meantime the death toll overall in the whole of this part of germany because of the flooding is risen to more than 100 with more than 1,300 still missing and unaccounted for. local authorities are hoping those people cannot be found because telephone network around here is also down and they hope that also they weren't home at the time of the flooding. overall, as you mentioned, this is a one-of-a-kind flooding with the local german media calling this the flood of the century, craig. >> claudio lavagna in germany, thank you. meanwhile, back here in the united states, infernos are raging across a dozen western states. more than 17,000 firefighters are battling more than 70 wildfires. all together, those fires are
burned into an area larger than rhode island. the fires in those 12 states fueled by record temperatures and a severe drought. you can see the 12 states right now. that is forcing cattle ranchers to make some impossible decisions. right now a lot of these ranchers don't have enough water for their herds. nbc's cal perry is in kingman, arizona. i know you've been talking to some of these ranchers. tell us what they're being forced to do. >> reporter: look, this is a water issue. earlier in the week we showed you lake mead, the largest reservoir in the united states. it's bottoming out, at 35% capacity. it's downstream, places like arizona, that have to curtail the water they're using. they also have to curtail the way they're living because they are running out of water. what is happening is across the western u.s., people are selling their cattle to auction because they cannot keep them alive. take a listen to what emmett and
laurel told me yesterday. >> if there's not a decent rain within the next couple of weeks, period, we have to sell. we already have 200 ready to go. >> we're hopeful that the monsoon -- there's been a good monsoon in arizona so far and it's working itses way up this way. we're hoping and praying to god that the monsoon will continue and we'll be able to stay in business with the cattle that we have. >> reporter: this region of arizona relies on those monsoons, craig. we haven't had a normal monsoon season in three years. we're in the middle of a 21-year mega drought. you add to that, these fires. we could see the fires break out in the next couple of days. 16 states, as you said. in this town, we are two, three hours from las vegas. this town is full. the hotels are packed by firefighters who are fighting the firefighters across the state of arizona, craig.
>> all right. cal perry in arizona, thank you. millions of american families just had a couple hundred dollars land in their bank account thanks to the expanded child tax credit, but could democrats keep those checks coming every month permanently? i'm going to talk to one congresswoman making that case. plus, protests, phone banks, a growing pressure. how activists are putting the spotlight on voting rights on capitol hill and how they want to keep the momentum going. that's coming up. that's coming up i was drowning in student loan debt. then i discovered sofi. lower interest rate. my principal is going down. sofi is a place where you can start to tackle those money goals today. ♪♪
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accounts. at this point, a reminder, they're set to expire in december so democrats are racing to keep it going in their latest budget resolution. according to "the new york times," though, some democrats are raising concerns they won't be able to make it long-lasting. democrat senator michael bennet from colorado says, quote, i hope this will be the moment where we will decide we're going to make it permanent. if it's not, we have, i think, a lot extension. and then, you know, we've got a chance to do it later. but he acknowledged there was a risk it could shrink to as low as a year. michele bennett proposed the tax credit as a special bill before it was passed as the american rescue plan. congresswoman, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you for having me. in is an important issue. >> you've got an op-ed in "the
seattle times" calling for this credit to be made permanent. you have said that you asked president biden directly if he supported making the credit permanent, and he said he did. so, how do you convince your republican colleagues to vote yes on that? >> i think the case is being made right now. we see so many families across the country who have struggled prior to the pandemic and the pandemic only made the situation worse. it's so important that we provide a great future for our children and the tax credit is the largest federal investment we make in our children. until recently, it left behind one-third of all children who lived in households that made too little to qualify for the full credit. so, what we did in the american rescue plan really is historic. it is a big deal. but we need to make sure families have that certainty going forward. kids don't grow up in a year. they don't grow up in five years. we need to make this permanent. i think when we talk to families
across the country, that story will continue to be told about how important this is to not only help families and rebuild our middle class but, frankly, to lift children out of poverty. we need -- the only way we really lift half of the 4 million children out of poverty across the country is to make sure that we expand the child tax credit permanently. >> the price tag, as you know, roughly $100 billion. how do you pay for it? >> first of all, how can you not do it? the estimate is that child poverty costs us around approximately $1 trillion a year. also studies have shown that for every dollar we invest in the expanded child tax credit, we save $8. not only is it a fiscally responsible thing to do, it also
just leads to better outcomes for our kids. i serve on the ways and means committee. chairman neal supports the permanent credit, the speaker does. we have strong support. that's part of the work we will do as we track legislation to make sure we have this benefit going forward for families. >> one of your constituents told you about what this money means to them and their families? what are they saying to you? >> many constitute yebts. i talked to kelly, a mom of three kids. she counts herself as a lucky parent because she could work from home during the pandemic, keep her job. she saved money on child care. it was hard. she's returning to the office at the end of the month and will have to start paying for early learning for her youngest child. that cost is a quarter of her monthly income. she said she wouldn't know what to do if she didn't have the expanded child tax credit to
help. we've heard from families who need money to pay for things like diapers, really basic needs, food and rent. so, this really is a critical life line for families. and it it will help middle class families, low income families, as you said, the 1.4 million children in my state of washington whose families will benefit from this. just an incredibly important investment we make in our kids. >> congresswoman, you know, one of the things that strikes me about this, you have these families now who get -- you know, they're getting a check every month from the government, and for the next at least five, six months they'll get it. they start to budget, they start to plan based on getting that additional revenue. if it's not extended, then what? >> this is why it's so important that we do extend it so families can plan and have that certainty. right now because of the american rescue plan, families
started getting checks yesterday. those checks will continue through december, but they will get the rest of the credit when they file their 2021 taxes next year. but we need to keep it going so that families can plan, so that they can make sure that they are able to provide for their children. i'm the chair of the new democrat coalition where 95 members of the -- of house democrats who are working hard, one of our top priorities is making the child tax credit expansion permanent, so we have strong support. secretary yellen also just mentioned how she thought it was important that we make this a permanent benefit. as you said earlier, i asked the president earlier this year if he supported making it permanent. this is -- this really is an historic time that we got this benefit expanded in the american
rescue plan. we need to make it permanent to cut child poverty in this country in half and continue on from there. >> washington congresswoman suzan delbene. enjoy your weekend. >> thank you. a federal grand jury indicted two men with an alleged plot to attack the democratic party headquarters in sacramento, california. officials say the two planned to attack after last year's presidential election. police seized nearly 50 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from one of the defendant's home and business. the men face up to 20 years in prison for charges on conspiracy to destroy a building with fire or explosives. they also face charges for possessing machine guns and destroying evidence. quote, good trouble. that's what congresswoman joyce beaty says she got into after she was arrested after a voting rights protest on capitol hill
thursday. how lawmakers and activists are pushing to keep the spotlight on this fight. next. and that white house covid response team briefing that we've been following. it just wrapped up. the cdc director walensky said 97% of people who are hospitalized with covid right now are unvaccinated. she went on to say that this is, quote, a pandemic of the unvaccinated. unvaccinated
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when we expand opportunities, more people participate. when we make it harder to vote, less people participate. we should want everybody on our -- in our nation to vote. and so that really is what is at stake with these laws in over 20 states now that are being put on the books, suppression. that's why it feels like jim crow 2.1. >> that was civil rights advocate martin luther king iii this morning on his effort to help local organizers fight voter suppression laws. the campaign is named for civil rights icon john lewis, who died one year ago tomorrow. in washington those texas
democrats have been pushing all week for the new voting rights, the bill named for lewis. meanwhile on thursday, ohio democratic congresswoman joyce beatty, chair of the congressional black caucus, invoked lewis' memory before she was arrested in a senate office building. this is what she told lawrence o'donnell about that fight. >> it is our voices that will make a difference. we will have an open dialogue with the congressional black caucus, with civil rights leaders, and we're going to invite the media in because here's what i know, lawrence. when we use our voices and we speak up and especially black women. we have become powerhouses. we deliver presidents of the united states, we have a strong voting base, we have a strong working base and this is our time to make sure that we pass the voting rights act. >> i am joined now by lauren gowargo. she's the former campaign
manager for stacy abrams' gubernatorial run. first, i want to get your reaction to congresswoman beatty's arrest and how can democrats keep the focus voting rights when there are so many issues competing for attention in our nation's capital? >> thank you very much. congresswoman beatty is right, just like nakima williams is right, we need to pass federal voting right laws this summer. you had the previous segment on the child tax credit. if you think about the american rescue plan addressing the twin crises of a catastrophic trump presidency and the pandemic with years of lack of investment in our people and you think of 1.0, the rescue plan and this is 3.5 or 3.0. if we are going to help our kids
move forward and our families move forward, we have to shore up our democracy because that twin crisis of donald trump and covid revealed what was wrong for so long, that our democracy has been so fundamentally broken by voter suppression efforts and it's been accelerated with its authoritarian tendencies and so we have to put the down payment down for our kid, just like we transfer money we need to transfer things that will work in the future and this is just like the infrastructure and the rescue plan and we have to pass the john voting rights advancement act and we have to pass the for the people act, we have to get it done soon. we have to get it done before labor day and it's all hands on deck. that's why we have re-launched hot summer, 888-433-on.
>> hot call summer being re-launched. >> inspired by meghan thee stallion, hot girl summer, hot call summer. i don't care if it's senator ossoff, senators warnock, you need to call them. the other side is mobilizing go to stop jim crow 2.0.com to learn more. this monday, this fight is not over, craig, let's be clear just like congresswoman beatty said. senator klobuchar are doing a field hearing for the for the people act. they're going to be in atlanta on monday hearing from voters and advocates about voter suppression and let's also remember that if we had re-authorized the voting rights act in the beginning of the year or last year, the horrible bill
that passed in georgia would likely not have been able to go into law because it would have been reviewed by the department of justice. the john lewis voting rights act is critical to shoring up voting rights in the south and across the country, and it's got to be married for the for the people act, and we have republicans from texas to new hampshire trying to make it harder to vote all inspired by the big lie. it is time for congress to act. they have a constitutional duty in the 14th and 15th amendment to protect black americans' right to vote. there is a constitutional duty here so if that means changing the filibuster and whatever it takes, we've got to get both the voting rights re-authorization act and the for the people act done as part of the american rescue plan efforts of 2021. >> lauren, very quickly as someone said years ago. voters, yes, voters are persuadable, senators, not so much. what makes you think that there
are lawmakers especially in the upper chamber in washington, d.c., that haven't made up their mind on the john lewis voting rights act that's been introduced in the senate? >> look, i think there's broad support for these bills, but there's a lot of priorities, right? and there's a lot of discussion if republicans will come along and support these. let's be honest, we didn't have republicans supporting and investigating the insurrection craig. we need to get this done for the democracy no matter what the coalition is to do it. i literally saw senator warnock two days ago and he remains extremely committed to in and getting this done. senator schumer himself and speaker pelosi and her team and here's one other element that isn't being talked about. right around a month from today the census data is going to drop that allows states to be reapportionment. so i can tell you that we're
about to see the worst partisan gerrymander of our lives and that ticking clock is on the horizon. one element of for the people act is a ban on partisan gerrymandering and something that has never trumper republican support to progressive support. we've got to get that done and that is looming in the future, and so that might not be senators' top concern, but i can tell you that the house is very concerned. so i think as we go week by week towards august recess, the urgency is going to increase and the demand to take action will get louder and louder, and as you know, the senate and other parts of our federal government can move fast when there is a demand and an urgency. >> lauren groh-wargo, have a good weekend, thank you and thank you, as well. "andrea mitchell reports" starts next. so you can breathe easier,
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