tv Politics Nation MSNBC July 18, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
and as texas democrats continue to stay away from their home state, risking arrest to protest this special session to pass voter restrictions, their federal counterparts are figuring out how to best support them. for some, even if it means ending up in handcuffs themselves. i'll talk to congressional black caucus chair joyce beatty after her arrest last week for protesting in solidarity with the texans. who nbc news exclusively is reporting will expand their talk this week, with labor leaders, and state attorney generals and will connect with democratic lawmakers in states where voter restrictions have recently passed. like arizona, florida, and, of course, georgia. still the epicenter of this suppression scam pain, and where
the senate rules committee will hold a hearing tomorrow in atlanta to hear from state residents, including senator raphael warnock, on how the state's so-called election integrity law has affected access to the ballot in the peach state. we're fortunate to have the perfect guest of this story tonight. joining me now is senator amy klobuchar, democrat of minnesota. she's also chairwoman of the rules and administrative -- and administration committee. senator klobuchar, we truly appreciate you being with us as always. i know you were with stacey abrams earlier today at a roundtable of voting rights in georgia. i know you went to get the word at ebenezer baptist church from reverend warnock before that. but of course, you'll be hearing from him again tomorrow, along with other georgia residents and
experts in a rare senate rules committee hearing in atlanta on the voting restrictions recently enacted in that state. i was chair of the rules committee. what has happened in georgia for you to hold this hearing outside of washington? >> well, about 400 things have happened, al, and that's all the laws have been introduced people's freedom to vote. 28 of these bills have been signed into law. georgia is so egregious, because we've all heard about the lack of water for people in line, how you can't even give it out on a non-partisan basis. but they have done stuff like said okay, those ballot boxes, limited the hours, said you can only have them at early voting locations, made it harder to vote by mail, and then here's my favorite, the run-offs that they require here, they were nine
weeks when ossoff and warnock ran. they reduced them to 28 days, because you have to register 29 days before in georgia. so all of this in my mind is to quote a judge from north carolina, done to discriminate with surgical precision to make it harder for people to vote and incredibly confusing. that's what stacey and jeff and i heard from voters here in cobb county. i'm at the smyrna community center right now where they had five-hour waits. that's where i am in this building. and tomorrow, we go to the civil rights museum. and we hold our hearing for the first time in two decades to have the rules committee go on the road to get the evidence of what's going on here in georgia. >> so they literally cut the time to a day difference between registration and another thing
that i find so -- if it wasn't so sad, and so wrong, it would be funny. you're going to cut the amount of dropoff boxes, like if you -- if you had 20, you cut them to 10, all of a sudden they're not fraudulent? if they're something wrong with 20, there is something wrong with 10. it is an obvious attempt to cut down the impact of voting. >> and in the runoff period, you cannot vote on saturday or sunday, but you can vote that way in the general. so if it's okay in the general, why is it not okay in the runoff? again, confusion. because you may think you can vote on saturday, and then you can't. and that's why passing federal basic voting laws, which is, as you know, grounded firmly in the constitution that says congress can make or alter the laws that govern federal elections, is the way to go. and that's the for the people act. >> now, senator, last week
members of the texas democratic caucus met with you and other senators. and other senate democrats that they would meet with to scrap the filibuster on federal voting rights legislation. i wonder if you could tell our audience what that meeting was like, as you were a lead sponsor of hr-1 the for the people act. >> well, it's incredible. i'm glad that you are continuing to focus on texas, because these legislators came to washington to look for salvation. they have nowhere else to go. just like in the 1960s, when it was the federal government that finally stepped in and said okay, we're going to make sure that there's equal opportunity. of course, there was more work to be done after that. it was the federal government after months and months. hubert humphrey involved from minnesota, and so many others that led the way to get this
done. we have to do the same thing now with voting rights. and to listen to their stories of what had been going on in their state. probably the most poignant to me is in harris county, texas, during the pandemic with over 5 million people, just one dropoff mailbox. for me, that's like putting one in the middle of minnesota for my entire state. that is what we're tealdealing in texas, and why they make the case for voting rights legislation and something you know i support, abolishing the filibuster. >> now, a procedural vote to advance the infrastructure bill and the democrat's budget proposal is slated for wednesday. republicans say more time is needed because the text does not yet exist for them to review and because they object to the cost of the budget bill. what do you say to those concerns, senator?
>> you know, senator schumer is right to set deadlines and move us along. otherwise people putz along forever. and a lot of people in rural -- where i'm at right now, rural georgia or rural minnesota can't wait for broadband. that's why over in south carolina, you have jim clyburn leading the bill for broadband and the democratic piece of this, which is, of course, the housing and the child care, and all the things that people need in their everyday lives and could i also add election infrastructure. something i want to make sure ends up in that bill. we have to get moving on this. that's why there's been a deadline. i am glad there's bipartisan negotiations going on and that we also have a general agreement on an amount of money for a very important piece of the bill that wouldn't be funded in the bipartisan bill. that's some of the things i mentioned, like housing and child care. and also the biggest middle class tax cut we have seen for quite a while.
>> senator, before i lose you, will senate democrats be able to unify around the $3.5 trillion budget proposal that your leadership unveiled last week? will it be enough to pass it through reconciliation? >> i truly believe that we will. senator sanders, senator warner stood there together explaining why they both supported this. of course there's details we have to work out. i want to get what i can on election infrastructure, not a replacement for the people or the john lewis act, but something we need desperately to do. get that in there, see how much we can push that to make sure that's in reconciliation. i think in general, joe biden did a wonderful job when he came and spoke to our caucus about this. standing ovation, over and over again. so i'm feeling good about this, and his leadership. >> all right. thank you, senator amy klobuchar.
>> thank you. remember, we were together in atlanta just a while back during the presidential. i know you were covering all of the primaries, and it's bringing back strong them ris. so thank you. >> oh, yeah, we did a lot during all of the debates and also my work during that time. i remember. thank you. joining me now is congressman jim clyburn of south carolina, the house majority whip. congressman, let me start with the filibuster. you've urged the president to publicly support a carve-out measure, rather than getting rid of the rule entirely. the filibuster has been changed in recent years, eliminated for judges and supreme court justices. what a carveout for voting rights look like, and how much leverage does the president have over senate rules? >> thank you very much for having me.
a carveout would be simply to apply the reconciliation rules as you apply to the budget, apply that to voting. i am totally against the filibuster. but we had two democratic senators who say that they are not for getting rid of the filibuster. and they're not going to vote for getting rid of it. when people tell you that, try to do the next best thing. to me, the next best thing is to modify the filibuster so as it won't apply to -- the 15th amendment gave the former slaves the right to vote. and that's covered under the first amendment. and section four. it's all very clear that we can have filibusters for legislation and should not have filibusters for constitutional issues.
i don't think there's any one person that ought to be able to deny anybody their voting rights and other constitutional rights. >> now, allow me to look back for a moment, congressman. in early 2020, your endorsement of joe biden all but rescued his sinking campaign ahead of the crucial primary in your state. in fact, the morning that you endorsed him, i put up this picture. you and joe biden appeared at a national action network breakfast with me, and you leaned over and told me, i'm going to endorse joe about 11:00. this is about 8:30 in the morning. so i knew that morning where you were going. so obviously i was not at all disputing when "the washington post" called you a king maker.
it seemed to me that your calls should be a priority for this white house. it's clear you don't make a habit of public appeals. but on the filibuster reform issue over voting rights, you raised your voice. do you think the biden administration is listening? >> i think so. i've talked to many people in the biden administration. you know how close i am to the vice president. she was put in charge of this by the president. i talked to her on this issue. so yes, i've talked to his team. i think they're listening. but he cannot do anything about the senate procedures. that's up to chuck schumer. he will have to make the decision as to whether or not he will call for some kind of reconciliation methods being applied to voting.
and i would hope that he and joe manchin -- >> joe manchin of west virginia, yes. senator manchin. and sinema of arizona. >> so i hope they get together and they look, for these constitutional issues, we're not going to allow a filibuster and go ahead and filibuster all you want over legislative matters. that to me is what we ought to do. >> and we brought that up. but let's move on to the infrastructure deal this week. democrats in the senate and the house agree to a $3.5 trillion bill to be passed through budget reconciliation, while a smaller bill could pass through regular order. are you satisfied with this outcome and what does the
timeline look like in terms of actually getting these bills on their way to the president's zefk? -- desk? >> well, you know, the senate is the senate. and i have given up trying to predict what the senate will do and when it will do it. but i will say this, these two bills, to me, are just what the people need and what the people want. now, it won't cure everything. no more than the 1964 civil rights act, as important as it was. it didn't give us voting. we didn't get that until '65. we didn't get fair housing until '68. i was watching senator klobuchar. she mentioned my accessible, affordable broadband for all bill. it cost $95 billion to build our
broadband for every home in the country. now the deal is struck calls for $65 billion. we're $30 billion short. well, i would rather have $65 than nothing, so let's start with that and maybe we can get to $95 in short order. >> let me turn to the riots that took place in the capitol six months ago and the investigation. the first select committee hearing is scheduled for july 27, but there are still five members missing. meant to be appointed in consultation with minority leader kevin mccarthy. he met with the former president this past week. do you expect house republicans to interfere in the committee's works, and what are the plan it is that does happen? >> well, as you know, my good friend billy thompson, we knew
each other for 20 odd years before we ever came to congress together almost 30 years ago. so for about 50 years, i've known billy. he's very bipartisan. he will do things in a bipartisan way. but he's not going to let any republican, no matter who he or she may be, run over the committee. he's a very astute and forceful leader, and i feel sure that it's going to be a victory. it's already bipartisan. speaker pelosi made sure of that. she made one of her eight appointments a republican. so it's going to be a bipartisan committee, and the committee is going to do its work. and i think that kevin mccarthy could do himself well by appointing the five other republicans to make it a full committee. >> on the topic of your own colleague's potentially stirring
up trouble, these are some shots of a protest staged by republican house members matt gaetz and marorie taylor greene after several venues reduced to host their america first rally. we have colleagues like this who seem to enjoy causing chaos, and even violence. >> well, you know, i was born and raised here in south carolina. i've been in and out of the jails of south carolina since my teenage years. i have dodged a lot of that kind of activity. and so we don't accept that here in the south and we shouldn't anywhere in the country. that's why those legislators in texas are doing what they are
doing. so we're not going to be deterred by this. so going to work every week in the morning, i get on a plane, i'll be in washington. i don't let gaetz and ms. taylor bother me at all. if they want to go out and act like uncouth people -- the first sign of a good education is good manners. they're simply not showing good manners. >> congressman jim clyburn, thank you for being with us tonight. coming up on "politicsnation," time to reform the laws that still have black and brown people behind bars because of marijuana related offenses. i'll tell you about how you can rise up. and later, ohio congresswoman joyce beatty joins me just days after arrest for
depending our constitutional right to vote. what is next in her quest to protect access to the ballot? but first, richard lui with today's other top stories. some of the stories we are watching for you. as of this weekend, new covid cases increased by 70% since a week ago. while hospitalizations increased by over 35%. states like california and florida and those who are not vaccinated have been some of the hardest hit. the british prime minister's health secretary tested positive for coronavirus. the prime minister will self-isolate as a result there. it comes hours after downing street said boris johnson would opt out of a ten-day quarantine. and coo gauff tested positive for covid-19 and will not compete in the olympics. and a chemical leak exposure
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for this week's "rise up," i want to talk about the failed war on drugs. more specifically, the growing push to legalize marijuana and expunge the records of thousands of people currently sitting in jail for non-violent marijuana related offenses. cannabis and cannabis use have rapidly changed, and we've started to see the attitudes reflected in our laws and the drug policies used by major employers in the public and
private sector. just this year, the fbi announced that marijuana use over a year in the past would no longer disqualify potential agents. even amazon has stopped testing most job applicants. even some small businesses are eliminating marijuana testing, and it's helping them find employees. nbc news recently visited a car parts manufacturing facility in michigan that reported their change in drug policy was helping them stay ahead of the other local employers. and now one of the most conservative voices on the supreme court, clarence thomas, is questioning whether the federal ban on the drug was still necessary or proper. those evolving views could lead to big legislative changes. senate majority leader chuck schumer announced one such bill just this week. >> monumental, because at long
last, we are taking steps in the senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs. the cannabis administration opportunity act would help put an end to treatment of communities of color by removing cannabis by the federal list of controlled substances. this is an idea not -- it's not just an idea of whose time has come, it's long overdue. >> in addition to removing cannabis from the banned substances list, this legislation would expunge the records of those convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes and find ways to tax the drugs. and, according to public opinion, it's about time. with over 300,000 americans already working in the cannabis industry, over 90% agree that it's time for federal legalization. because for decades, it's been black and brown folks who have
bore the brunt of the so-called war on drugs. according to the naacp, black and white folks use drugs about the same rate, but black people are up to six times more likely to be in prison for it. and even if cannabis is legalized federally, we still face a patch work of state laws. currently, there are 19 states plus d.c. where recreational use of marijuana is legal. and 17 more that allow medical use. that still leaves 15 states with full criminalization, and the opening to disproportionately targeted people of color for incarceration. so what can you heard? make your voice heard at the federal and state level. if you support decriminalization and record expungement, say so.
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have pushed for legislation to make it each harder for people of color to vote. the for the people act and the john lewis voting rights act would help protect our rights and quell gerrymandering, among other suppression tactics. but getting any such legislation passed is an uphill battle. my next guest knows all too well, she was arrested on thursday by capitol police for protesting at the senate office building in favor of federal voting rights legislation. joining me now, chairwoman of the congressional black caucus, representative joyce beatty. thank you for being with us. let's dive into why you're here today, to speak about what happened this week with capitol police, and after marching into the hart building to protest that the laws be passed for the voting rights bill, you know, as i watched it, and i've been
arrested in civil rights demonstrations at least two dozen times, staying sometimes as long as three months, i understand the reason is to dramatize and bring focus to the issue, and you did it in a peaceful and nonviolent way and were joined by other leaders. explain as chairman of the caucus what the implications are for you to be handcuffed for merely saying we want to have billing that will protect our right to vote. >> first of all, let me say thank you, reverend al, for not only having me, but bringing up this topic. i think there are a lot of implications. when you think that we have to go to this extent to be able to get legislation for voting rights. look how hard and how much work was done from august the 6th, 1965, and even before that, for
us to fight or they wouldn't change the voting rights law and then to restore it. and here we are, once again, fighting it, trying to not let voting rights be filibustered away. so it's important for me to join other female black leaders and allies to show the american people that we're willing to stand for something. it took us back to when you were arrested and when john lewis was arrested. here we are one year after his death. it was important for me to be peaceful, but it was important to say to all generations, we were joined by young folks and civil rights leaders who marched 50 years ago. so let the young people know they have to stand up, say something, and do something, and the congressional black caucus is going to be out front. >> now, i find it ironic that you were arrested by the capitol
police for peacefully protesting while republicans are minimizing the crimes of those who entered the capitol on january 6. what are your thoughts about that? you have republicans trying to defend violence, and you peacefully getting arrested, they have no problems with that. >> and it's very interesting, and you're right to compare that. i think it's just another thing to wake up america and to let black americans know this is a fine example of the many discriminatory acts, the disparity of treatment. we were marching very peaceful. we know this all too well, as many times as you marched with martin luther king, with john louis, jim clyburn, each time we were arrested but it was also peaceful. yet when republicans helped
those with the january 6 riots destroying the property, destroying capitol hill property, and yet nothing happened. very interesting. but we will continue to march peacefully. and if it means getting arrested, we will do that. because that's the only way change is coming for black america. >> and you've compared this moment to the civil rights movement of the '60s all the way up to the '90s and 2010s and others when i was going to jail for police brutality and other things. and you cannot get the george floyd bill or some of the other things, can't get any of that done if we don't protect our right to vote and vote in legislators that will get it done. >> absolutely. what's happening across the
united states, we had members of the texas statehouse in washington. we met with them because we see what state legislating bodies are doing. because they know if they suppress the vote, they know we know -- to silence the progress we've made. that's why we have to come together to continue this fight. that's why the congressional black caucus is so important. i listened to majority whip jim clyburn talk about we can't filibuster away our voting rights. we know but for the montgomery march we wouldn't have had the 1964 civil rights, or the 1965 voting rights and the 1968 march for jobs. and here we are repeating history. and this time we're bringing everyone along with us to stand up. >> that's why these marches and
continued fights like the texas democrats is so important. that's why dr. king's son and i call thing national march of voter rights. you've got to keep it out there, and the pressure on. congresswoman joyce beatty, thank you for being with us tonight. and for your service. coming up, in the face of growing violence and political uncertainty, haitian-american leaders are calling on the white house for help. one such leader joins me after the break with more on what she would like to see from the biden administration and not see. ugh, these balls are moist. or is that the damp weight of self-awareness you now hold in your hands? yeah (laugh) keep your downstairs dry with gold bond body powder. centrum multigummies aren't just great tasting... they're power-packed vitamins... keep your downstairs dry
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officials in haiti are still investigating the assassination of the country's president, who was killed at his home in port-au-prince earlier this month. in an attack that also injured his wife, who returned to the island nation yesterday after receiving medical attention in florida. several suspects have been detained. two of them naturalized haitian-american citizens, according to haitian government officials. joining me now, new york state assembly member, as well as the democratic chair of kings
county. i have to say that, because i was born and raised in kings county, and she's the first black to hold that position. assembly woman, thank you so much for your time to be with us tonight. and for your time we spent talking earlier this week. i would love for you to explain for our viewers somewhat has been happening in haiti, leading up to the assassination of its president on july 7th. he was facing calls to step down and his regime was increasingly being reviewed -- or being viewed by some as anti-democratic. but according to "the new york times," both the trump and biden administrations continued to back his rule as a stabilizing force in the country. can you elaborate for the u.s. exactly what were -- what was going on leading up to where we are now? >> thank you. good evening, reverend sharpton. thank you for having me on. as you mentioned, i represent
flat bush, which includes the cultural and business district of little haiti, which is the home of the largest concentrations of haitians in the state of new york. i'm the first haitian-american woman elected in the state office in new york city. so this issue around haiti is obviously near and dear to me and all of my constituents, whether you're haitian or not. and currently we are still learning the details surrounding the attack. what we know so far according to authorities is the assailants apparently gained access to the residence by claiming they were part of a u.s. drug enforcement agency operation. after the assassination, the interim prime minister called a 15-day state of siege, which has also served as a period of national mourning. so what we're finding out is that haiti right now is going through a transitional period.
we have political parties, and civil -- civic leaders who are trying to put a uniform team together to find a way to move the country forward, trying to put someone who can lead an interim position as the prime minister for at least a year. so that they can go -- so they can move the country forward in terms of a free and fair election. and this is critical to us, as you know, we're here in the u.s. fighting for voting rights act to restore that with the john lewis act. so the human right aspect of it is very, very important for us here, in the u.s. as it relates to the people of haiti. i must also say that our concerns with the whole issue is that haiti is at a standstill.
it is very difficult for residents to get their basic resources and necessities they need to survive. so we're incredibly worried about their well-being in the future, which is why we authored a letter to the biden administration to address those concerns, and requesting for help. we are also participating and leading a vigil effort, which you are going to be involved in, sunday, july 25th, in little haiti brooklyn. >> we're definitely going to be there with you. not only the haitian community but all communities. this is something that should concern everyone. i want to go back to the relationship between the united states and haiti. i want our audience to understand how deep that relationship is. going back to the haitian revolution in the 1790s, and what it meant to slave holding nation like ours was at that time, can you explain a bit of
that history and the current debate inside haiti over u.s. military intervention? >> well, first i want to say we have to recognize the historical presence of haiti and their independence in 1804, being the first black republic and what it meant to the u.s. as it gave the opportunity for the u.s. to gain more power in the purchase of the louisiana territory, expanding the united states. and also having the haitian military come in and fight in the revolutionary war. we have about 750 haitian free men that fought with the colonial troops against the british in the siege of savannah in 1779. so when you think about haitians here in america and the people of haiti, there has been a strong relationship as we've been contributing to the
historical acts and the historical events in haiti, in the united states, making it a much stronger place to be. haiti has said over and over, and the people of haiti have said over and over that they do not want international intervention as it relates to trying to take over their government. as you know, haiti, for a very long time, was under a dictatorship in the '80s. the dictator was overthrown and it took some time for the country to get a government that would allow a free and fair election. the first president that was elected by the people in a real election -- but since then, there's been some ups and downs
in terms of the stability of having a president maintain the country. and now that we have -- now that we have fast forward to this point, we have witnessed that the country is still not to the level that we would like it to be. as you know, the parliament has dissolved because we didn't have an election since 2019. so that's a problem, which is why haiti right now is trying to find a solution to transition their democracy. is a fear that if one particular political party is in control, then they will have control of the elections. right now, we're just praying. we're praying that our country and everybody come together with peace and find a solution. and also think of all the things and all the issues that haiti is
currently going under. >> and stand up for the haitian people, which is why we're doing the vigil next sunday. i hope people come out. they can go to your website or nan's website and get the details. it's important we all stand up, because it's the people in the middle of all the politics that we must be concerned about. i'm out of time, but thank you. thank you so much for being with us. our assembly woman in brooklyn, thank you for being with us. up next, my final thoughts. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing
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today is the 103rd anniversary of the birth of nelson mandela. truly one of the great men in history. a true figure that taught the world many things. i was always awed to be in his presence, to have conversations with him, and to be an observer of the first democratic elections in south africa in 1994. and as we fight for voting rights, i think of how mandela fought, and we honor him getting one man one vote in south africa, while we fight here to try and preserve and protect that. i also honor gloria richardson,
an outstanding civil rights leader in the '60s and the '50s, even before i was old enough to be involved, who passed at 99 years old. we must continue to fight. that's why you should go to nationalactionnetwork.net and sign up to be with us august 28th for the march for voting rights in washington. we'll be right back. en when her. our softest, smoothest fabric keeping her comfortable, protected, and undeniably sleek. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. i just heard something amazing! now for the first time one medication was approved to treat and prevent migraines. nurtec is the first and only option proven to treat
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thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. my colleague alicia menendez picks up our news coverage now. >> thank you so much, reverend sharpton. hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. welcome to "american voices." texas democrats are staying put in d.c. they have been in the nation's capital for nearly a week, and will stay despite their own personal sacrifices. one missed her wedding. another left a spouse who is grieving a recent loss of a parent. another had to stockpile insulin to deal with type 1 diabetes, can now three have come down with covid despite being vaccinated. these state representatives are working to insure congress and all of america know about the gop's attack on voting rights back home in texas. this week is going to be critical. monday, longtime labor leader and civil rights advocate dolores mp uerta addressing the group. on wednesday, the