tv Velshi MSNBC July 25, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT
good morning. it is sunday, july 25th. i'm ali velshi. with each passing day, more americans are realizing that voting rights in this country are under siege. it's still a surprise to some, but it shouldn't be. this has been a long time coming. legislators are leading a way to strip americans of one of their primary constitutional rights, the most prominent case right now is in texas. democrats are entering their third week in washington, d.c., having left tex to stave off the passage of voting laws. it stems from the fact that millions of americans do not believe voting is a right at all. a brand-new pew research center shows that 67% of republicans believe that voting is a privilege that can be limited. 78% of democrats believe voting is a fundamental right for every
u.s. citizen. while this breaks down along partisan lines, it does so along racial lines as well. 77% of black americans believe vote sergeant a fundamental right. 66% of asian americas, and 63% of hispanic do as well. white people are more evenly split, saying voting is a right. minorities, most of whom are democrats, have had to fight hard for that their right to vote. there's a hyper-awareness that a lot of white people don't share, mainly that it hasn't affected them in the same way. there needs to go more urgency around protection of voting rights for everybody. as protests and acts of civil disobedience, direct action as some people call it, have unfolded throughout the country, but arguably the fight against voter suppression needs to be as effective and act imp as the
protests we are last summer. when george floyd was killed by a cop on video, tens of millions sauce hi death, and clearly said they stood firmly against -- that let people from all backgrounds to rally against deadly police brutality, because they witnessed a human injustice with their own eyes. they saw a person killed by police. but this attack that we're dealing with has no clear physical manifestation, no obvious victim, no urgent outcome, making it much harder for people who don't feel it in their bones to coalesce around the cause in the same way. however, during the 2020 election, we did see examples of people having to overcome unnecessary obstacles to cast ballots. in fact, my colleague blayne alexander interviewed one woman in georgia, who waited for three
hours with her baby in the rain, to vote. >> reporter: why are you so intent on staying here? >> it's important for me, for my son. >> that's america in 2020. nobody needs to be waiting three hours to cast their ballot. if republicans have their way, who knows what constitutional right could be attacked next. this is a critical moment. this country is at an inflection point. this week former congressman beto o'rourke, and religious leaders, are leading a three-day mosh through texas to spotlight the gop's attack on voting rights there. from those act, to civil disobedience on capitol hill. people are putting their bodies on the line to fight for this cause, but the same urgency needs to come from the president as well. biden talks about fighting voter suppression, but he hasn't thrown support behind the only tool that democrats seem to have
to end the filibuster. he hasn't even expressed support for a carveout, suggested by congressman clyburn, that would allow an exception for some of important to democracy such as voting rights. the president's support for this would be invaluable. at this moment, scrapping the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation rather than 50, may by the only way to protect voting rights federally and quelling republican whims. biden is hoping the gop will come back to the table with resort morality, while their counterparts in the state attack it. there's no evidence that will happen any time before the next elections in 2022, when republicans could flip either or both houses of congress. joining me is jim clyburn of
south carolina. congressman, always good to see you. thank for you joining us. at a town hall this past week, the president said scrapping the filibuster could throw the entire congress into chaos and nothing will get done. your response to that? >> thank you very much for having me. you know, i agree with the president, as it relates to scrapping the filibuster, which is one of the reasons, from the very outset i've asked for a modification of the filibuster to be put in place. i think you referred to it as a carveout. we have that in place for budgets, because we don't want a filibuster to jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states of america. i don't think we should have a filibuster jeopardizing people constitutional rights. whether you call it fundamental or whatever, the fact of the matter is the 15th amendment to the united states constitution,
which by the way was passed by a single conference, it was all one party that voted for the 15th amendment. it gives former slaves the right to vote. if it's fundamental t. i can't thing of anything more constitutional than a fundamental right. i don't think we should have filibusters jeopardizing people's constitutional rights. i've called for the principles to be applied to constitutional rights, the same way we apply them to the budget. so i think that's a very easy thing to do, and i called upon my friends in the senate to do that. >> what role -- you have a unique role with president biden. you endorsed him a few days before the south carolina primary. it wasn't clear that joe biden would be the nominee. you maybe have more moral
persuasion over him -- sorry, south carolina. have you heard from the president on this other than in hi public comments? >> the only thing i've heard have been the public comments. i have spoken with the president about this. i have not asked him for any kind of commitment on it. i know the president is weighted to the traditions of the senate. i don't have a problem with that. i don't want him jeopardizing his position with the senators, but i want the senators to understand that legislative matters are one thing. constitutional rights are another. i do not believe that the filibuster should be conflated with those two things, and for us to say to the filibuster sol
sac is sacrosanct -- >> who fixes this, exactly? over lip there's the influence that the president has if they decides to do this. in fact, it's been reported you believe the president might be working behind the scenes to do something like this, but for people like us, who are watching from the outside, how does this change? i've heard a lot of people say jim clyburn's suggestion is a good suggestion. how does it come to be? >> it's simple. >> schumer, the leader of the senate, simply changes the rules, just like was done by both his predecessor -- two predecessors, by the way, harry reid, with who i had discussed it, changed it when it came to judges for obama.
mcconnell changed it when it came to judges, especially the supreme court, when it came to trump. all -- that's not a very heart thing to do, but it needs those two democrats, who seem to be reticent about the filibuster, joe manchin and kristin sinema, i think they're right, but i really believe they need to modify their thinking. >> you were tweeting about hank johnson and more, how do we get americans to feel the level of urgency around this? we saw urgency in the streets of america last year, and it did change the way things work in
this country with respect to social justice and pleasing. how do you get people who are not affected to understand the level of urgency involved in this? >> well, you know, i've always said that we ought to really consult with history about these things. i grew up loving history so much, because my dad used to say to me anything that's happened before, can happened again. my dad said that to me all the time. i really believe that we have to consider those things so when it comes to things like this the history is very clear, that these things may hype to one group today, to an group tomorrow, and every group should be coming together right now to make sure we have constitutional
principles apply to everybody. black on white, rich or poor, young or old. that's what i think we ought to be concerned about. representative clyburn, good to see you again. thanks for joining us. representative clyburn, the majority whip in the house of representatives and chair of the house select committee on the coronavirus crisis. i want to bring in congressman jason crow. he's a former u.s. army ranger, also a house manager in the first impeachment trial of donald trump. good morning, congressman. thank for you joining us. there's so many big matters going on, but the january 6th commission is set to get underway this week. we still do not have what sense of what kevin mccarthy is going to do with his side of things but we're going to try to get some happened -- american are
some people think we know exactly what -- what do you have to say to those who think there's more to learn? >> i don't think americans are split down the middle on this. i think congress might be split down the middle, but the american people want answers. overwhelmingly, they want to make sure we are ensuring or public safety, that we are doing right by the officer who were brutally beaten, and some lost their lives. so they're really not down the middle. they want truth and accountability. of course, like so many other issues, things that are overwhelmingly supported by americans, sometimes get jammed up because of the politics in the house. in this case, it's kevin mechanic kathy that wants to sweep is all under the rug, but
we're not going to allow that to happen, is the bottom line. we're going to find truth, search for accountability, and we'll dough what we need to do to go through that process. >> the criticism, this is not -- it's partisan, that wasn't part of congress, and republicans, even though they were in on that deal still didn't agree to it. >> it's not a valid criticism. they played whack-a-mole on this. kevin mccarthy resisted that from day one, in fact they kept on moving the goal post saying we want this, they could give them that, we want something else, we would always give them that. we kept meeting them more than
halfway, because we wanted them to come to the table. eventually it game clear they were just trying to stall, they never wanted this to happen, so we vote odd it, and 35 house republicans joined us anyway. we sent it to the senate, mcconnell stopped it, so our automobile game, it became clear to find the truth. >> let's talk about these texan legislators, who are in washington right now. >> the speaker of the hour in texas can arrest them. people have been protesting -- i was talking to representative clyburn. there's a sense of urgency growing that this matter is serious, even if you don't think it affects you.
and lay down their life. that is a fundamental right. it's never been a privilege, as you pointed out at the beginning of this show. we have to make sure that we are defending that right and doing everything possible to keep faith and honor the sacrifices of those who did before. you know, it's not just military veterans, the freedom writers, the people who marched across the bridge at selma. my friend, john lewis, god rest
him, who spent his entire life fighting for this. people have done amazing things to fight for the franchise to vote, but we can't allow that to be trampled on by folks who would to say it away. and we're not going to. >> the relevant of you being a veteran, an army ranger, you were in afghanistan, which makes my next question relevant. stick around, if you don't mind. i want to get into your important bill that just passed in the house, the allies act of 2021, referring to afghan civilians who helped the u.s. during the 20-year war. this is "velshi" we're coming right back. s "velshi" we're com right back and the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. philadelphia. schmear perfection. (school bell rings) okay, you're the new kid. first impressions are everything. luckily, you brought extra crayons in case anyone needs one. if that falls flat, we go with armpit farts.
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left behind in afghanistan, what are we doing for them? we have to repatriate all the people who are so important for us in combat. i know you understand that. please do not abandon friends of america again. >> that was representative dr. neal dunn, a republican congressman from florida's panhandle, speaking passionately about the allies act. it protects interpreters, contractors, security personnel, who helped american troops during the 20-year war. the bill increases the afghan special immigrant visa cap by an additional 8,000 visas, removing from complicated and outdated application requirements, helping more people who helped american troops to travel safely to live in the united states. noted -- tragically hundreds of allies and family members are
big killed while waiting for visa approvals. these are heroes who played a crucial role in helping american forces. they fought and died alongside americans, putting a target on their own backs, with the understanding that the united states would stand by hind that. it passed 407-16 in the house. but the 16 nay votes are a who's who of trump loyal, conspiracy peddling individuals, many of whom who haven't had the decency of publicly giving a reason for why voting, and those who have have gone ban to a nonsensical argument. these 16 republicans spat in the face and in the faces of the american troops, with whom they stood. it it's about helping people who helped us, because we want we would, and because it's the right thing to do. because with me is the
democratic representative jason crow of colorado, he's a former army ranger, three tours of duty. the congressman was also the lead sponsors of the allied act of 2021, alongside 24 bipartisan members of congress. congressman, how do you respond to the people who voted against this bill? >> yeah, i don't. you know, it's a shame, they were wrong, they're going to have to live with that stain for the rest of their lives, but the story of the allies act, the story of us coming together on thursday to pass this bill is actually the story of the 400-plus people that came together to do it. as you know, this is pretty significant in this environment. >> huge. >> 400 people to do someday in the house of representatives is not an easy thing. and it wasn't an easy path to build that coalition. the bottom line is we have a personal obligation to do this. many of us veterans -- i don't
agree with neal on much when it comes to politics, but hi understands this. we have a moral obligation to make sure the american handshake matters, that we have to make sure that matters, but there's a national security element at play. we're going to need future friends. america is strong not because we have aircraft carriers, and fighters and bombers. we're strong because we have friends. the full friends will look at how we're treating our current friends right now. if we turn our back on them, they're not going to work with us. ty be harder to do the mission, our troops will be at greater risk. we have to do the right thing here. >> we thank you for your service, both in the field and in the united states congress. unfortunately you had to use
some of your expertise you learned as a ranger on january 6th, which didn't need to happen, but we thank you and we thank those more than 400 members of congress who supported this. thank you, sir. still to come, republicans in pennsylvania are ramping up to -- i'll talk about it with malcolm kenyatta, and bob casey and senator padilla, but up next, a group of state attorneys general are going after the corporations responsible for the opioid crisis. you're watching "velshi" on msnbc. watching "velshi" on msnbc. without frequent heartburn waking her up. now, that dream... . ...is her reality. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts, for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn? tide pods ultra oxi one ups the cleaning power of liquid. for all-day, all-night protection.
from the effects of covid, but recent numbers from the cdc are reminding us of an issue likely compounded by the pandemic that's been afflicting the united states for years. more than 93,000 people in the united states died from drug overdoses in 2020, an increase of about 20,000 from the year before, but nearly 70,000 of those 93,000 deaths in 2020 were specifically due to opioids. the opioid epidemic has forced states to take matters into their own hands. attorneys general from 14 states filed suit against big pharmaceutical companies to help pay for a problem they created. those companies, including johnson & johnson, finally gave in. it would settle any other open
litigation. the deal is pending approval, but if it goes through, johnson & johnson has agreed not to produce any opioids for at least a decade. joining me is josh stein, who led the state's negotiations. attorney general, thank you for joining us. 16,500 north carolinians have died from opioid overdoses in the last 20 years, and it was steadily increases. how do these settlements help? what do they actually do for this problem, which has now grown rath their reduce. your articulation is spot on. covid has, in fact, accelerated this crisis.
there are many, many more people struggling with addiction today, and our imperative is to help them stay alive, and put this dependence in the rear-view mirror, where they can live with freedom of addiction. this money helps to provide that opportunity. >> you know, people saying there's turning points in tobacco addiction, things like that. is this big enough and influential enough to be a turning point? we sort of thought we were almost at a turning point a couple years ago, but is this significant enough, including providing money required for the services and treatment that is needed for people who are addicted? >> that is absolutely our ambition, our hope, our prayer. you are right, actually two, three years ago we had seen a decline for the first time in years. that's all been undone by covid-19 and the pandemic.
this is a $26 million deal. we're at nearly $33 billion and we're not done yet. there are other drug manufacturers, pharmacy companies. we will pursue the companies who profited from this epidemic. the hope is the second-largest settlements in the country, these funds will be used to go into local communities across the country and save lives. the washington state attorney general bob ferguson says he's not going along with it, doesn't think it's good enough. is there a strong chance this doesn't get done? >> a critical mass of states have to adopt it. we know that washington, west virginia, they have already come
out and been dissatisfied with it. i think the vast majority of states, maybe mid to upper 40s will join this we will see over the next couple weeks. then we have more than 3,000 litigating subdivisions and a critical mass of those have to get on board. i've worked extensively with the counties and city of north carolina. they are enthusiastic about what this is going to mean for their ability to provide treatment, recovery services, harm reduction services, to save lives, and then turn around lives you hear from a lot of people who say, for some people, people in severe pain, things like fentanyl were a very big deal. how do you manage the drugs that are out there that both versus
the painkillers that people actually need and don't abuse? >> a great question. this is a valid medical product that is appropriate for certain people under certain conditions. we passed a law a couple years ago in north carolina, that said you can't produce more than a few days for acute pain, but for chronic pain, the doctor can prescribe more. now they understand the lie of the pharmaceutical company this is the most effective way to treat acute pain, and that it was not addictive. neither of those are true. we are not trying to make the product illegal. we're just trying to reduce the flow, the flood of these pills in our community. >> attorney general, good to see you again. josh stein is the attorney general for north carolina. on friday bernice king
tweeted these photos, saying sharing the color photos to remind us the civil rights movement was not la long ago, and that the struggle for equity and justice continues. it's a tool that's been used throughout history, even today, to protest unjust laws. coming up next, a call to action. until all of us are free, none of us are free. e free, none of us are free [lazer beam and sizzling sounds] ♪♪ ♪ ♪ know this about the jungle, everything that you see wants to kill you and can. ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪
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in one of us is chained, none of us are free. one of the earliest acts of civil disobedience was the signing of the declaration of independence. the men accepted there would be consequences for suspending their obligations to great britain, but they did so anyway. it made them criminals, though they preferred to be thought of as patriots. breaking the law because it was unjust led to the american revolution, from it a democracy was born. or was it? if one of us is chain, none of us are freed. the original drafts had rights to only white men who owned land. women, black people, other marginalized groups have had to fight tooth and nail for equality. civil disobedience as a form of peaceful protests became one of
the most powerful catalyst foss change. in 1966, gay men were refused service at bars. three men walked into a new york city establishment, they announced they were gale and asked for a drink. it became known as the sip-in. many men burned their draft cards in rebellion for the vietnam war. rosa parks knew very well she would be arrested. john lewis and martin leutzer king were arrested a combined 70 times during the civil rights movement. the history of civil disobedience in america is long, aliver and well. lawmakers are getting arrested for voting rights. the entire legislate -- democratic legislators in texas have left.
republicans across this nation are imposing restrictions on some americans' right to vote. it is a right that's written into the constitution. the 15th amendment reads -- the right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. that's section 1. section 2 is the good part -- the congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. maybe you don't live in a state that's actively suppressing your rights's outlined in the constitution, but you do leave in these united states. or maybe you have better action to voting, mail-in voting than those in texas and georgia. according to this, it's not their problem. it's everybody's problem. if only one person in the united
states is stripped of their rights, then we are not a democracy. our union is not yet perfect. if one of us is inchaed, none of us are free. that's why people are willing to get arrested. it's what john lewis meant when he said get into good, necessary trouble. this is the moment to protest, loudly, and demand action, because if one of us is chained, none of us are free. water? why?! ahhhh! incoming! ahhhahh! i'm saved! water tastes like, water. so we fixed it. mio.
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one of the things we've been discussing is how to get people who are not feeling this urgency of the moments, this can't happen, you've got to the something about this. how do you get people to understand this is their fight? >> so, the history that you just laid out in your opening there was really important, because the story of america has been a story of uneven, insufficient, but unyielding and unmistakable progress, but
the progress has always butted up against a series and systems that is final with the way things are, and in many cases would prefer to erode the process we've made. we've been met with lies and violence. just yesterday the former
president that gave an almost two-hour speech, saying to his supporters, this is the most important issue. if trump is rallies his base to say this is the most important issue, making it more difficult for folks to vote, i don't know what motivation we need to understand the playbook going into 2022, and what they believe is necessary for them to win. i've said it over and over again, when we vote, they lose. that is why they have been so committed, so passionate about trying to erode people's faith in the election. >> you know, when we talk about the things going on in texas and georgia, in arizona, places where republican legislation or
rep governors, and then we talk about pennsylvania. people warn pennsylvania has a democratic governor, it will not allow these silly things to happen, and you have warned this is not the way to look at this. >> absolutely. you have some folks who take it as a joke. it is not a joke. we defeated a hill, the governor eventually vetoed it. that bill was just reintroduced. they're having another go at it. that bill would restrict drop boxes. that bill would really roll back a lot of the deadlines by which people can apply, to apply for a mail-in ballot. it seeks to try to solve a problem that doesn't exist, as it relates to voter fraud. we know there was no widespread voter fraud. in the few cases of voter fraud that we saw, under five cases, these were all republicans
trying to vote for the former president. so we understand that, no matter how disconnected from the facts the reality is, that my colleagues are moving full steam ahead. you talk about the urgency of this moment. they see it. they're not just moving through hb-1300. they are introducing constitutional amendments, which in pennsylvania don't require the signature of the governor. it goes right to the voters. you know, a behavior psychologist can tell you better than me on why, in pennsylvania, ballot initiatives always pass, but they do always pass. so that is the approach they have taken. they did it with covid-19 and what the governor put in place. they knew they wouldn't get the bills through the legislature, so they put these things on the ballot. now, i believe pennsylvania is
in a much weaker position when it's time to respond to a national disaster. now, i believe, that we are going to be in a much weaker position to stop this if we don't ensure that people are motivated and engaged,engaged, if folks in washington don't do their damn job. the filibuster is not sacred, but voting rights are. so is it the filibuster or us? i choose us every time. >> the president was in philadelphia making a point about voting rights but he stopped short of saying what you said about not using the filibuster, getting rid of it. what do you want the president to do about that and will it make your fight in pennsylvania easier if the president puts his back behind carving out voting rights from the filibuster? >> yeah, i missed your segment with representative clyburn but
his comments have been correct. we have to ensure that these voting bills, the john lewis voting rights act, hb-1, have to pass. and i've been saying that we need to do whatever is necessary to move these bills forward and my hope is that in the senate folks like joe manchin, folks like kyrsten sinema who are the real barriers to us moving on this understand the necessity of this for voting rights all around the country, but also for their re-election. i don't understand how folks who will be on the ballot, you know, the next couple years don't understand the necessity of having a level playing field where everybody can go out and make their voices heard. and so certainly this is about securing our democracy, but you
would assume that folks have a personal vested interest in making sure that they get reelected. this is one of those moments that really strains understanding of why they would not be the first ones saying we need to make sure every single person can vote. >> malcolm kenyatta, thanks against for joining us also a u.s. senate. a life or death moment caught on camera. that look, a car swfs swerves o control hitting a woman holding a baby in her arms. and officers and bystanders literally lifting the car off of them. the baby sustained a skull fracture and burns, the mother a broken leg, the driver has been hit with a slew of charges. thanks to those bystanders for taking quick action. o those bysr taking quick action. at philadelphia, we know what makes
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so you're fully vaccinated and thought you were in the clear when it comes to the worse that covid-19 has to offer. and most likely you are according to top health officials and latest statistics from the cdc. but now as cases rise once again, because of the highly contagious delta variant, there is a lot of talk about breakthrough infections. vaccines are effective, but not a golden shield. but it is important to note that serious illness and death are both very rare for fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for covid. more than 97% of people hospitalized with severe covid cases are in fact unvaccinated. vaughn hillyard is outside the cdc headquarters in atlanta. what are we learning about the breakthrough cases? >> reporter: yeah, exactly, we are looking at this for those of us who are fully vaccinated as
being our renaissance summer. go out with family, the concerts, the bar with free will. but what we're seeing with the spike of covid cases among the unvaccinated, you are seeing that correlate with a spike among those who are fully vaccinated. you are seeing the texas lawmakers, six of them positive for covid despite being vaccinated. you see students at stanford, folks out on cape cod, more than 200 of them testing positive despite being vaccinated. yet at the same time you have to put it into perspective of the greater numbers here. we're talking about efficacy of 80% to 90% potentially to these three vaccines here in the u.s. and that is the way that the numbers will fall. but every single public health official and medical expert that we talked to insists that, look, the vaccines are doing exactly what they set out do and that is protect americans from severe illness, hospitalization and as well as death. i want you to hear part of the
conversation with infectious disease specialist. this is her current take. take a listen. >> in the face of the delta variant, even if you are vaccinated, i'd continue you still wear a mask indoors. as a fully vaccinated person, i don't worry so much about getting sick myself. i do worry that i could still be infected, have a mild or asymptomatic case and transmit that infection on to other people. >> reporter: and l.a. county is one example. in this last month, 20% of their new cases were breakthrough cases among vaccinated people. but at the same time out of the 4.8 million vaccinated people in l.a. county, just 0.0059% have been hospitalized. and of the 4.8 million vaccinated individuals in that county, just 30 have died. so we have to put these numbers in perspective.
it doesn't mean some of us will not become infected or even being asymptomatic and infected. the vaccines are still protecting us from serious illness and death. >> as always, thanks for your reporting. don't go anywhere, only halfway through "velshi." just ahead, i'm joined by bob casey and alex padilla. also with me, david cicilline on the voting rights and the big lie. another hour of "velshi" starts right now. good morning, there once was a time when states and elected officials were covert in their attempts to disenfranchise voters of color. tlrm poll taxes, spelling tests, guessing the number of jelly beans in a glass jar, absurd things that had nothing to do with voting but everything to with preventing specific types
of people from voting. history is repeating itself with and on absolute of voter suppression laws proposed by republicans. a new analysis reveals 18 states have enacted at least 30 new voter restrictions. but let's take a closer look at what the new laws actually do. you've got laws that shorten the window for apply for a mail-in ballot, that impose harsher voter i.d. requirements, some that reduce the number of polling place locations in and the hours that they operate. and there are a few that ban out giving snacks and water to voters who are waiting this line often for hours in the heat. these republican-led states aren't outright saying that they want to make voting more picture for people of color and those on the fringes of society, instead it is a touch more subtle. they cite so-called election security as the problem that needs solving even though state after state has determined that ths