tv Politics Nation MSNBC July 25, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
be back next saturday and sunday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. going to turn it over now to reverend al sharpton and "politics nation." good evening, and welcome to "politics nation." tonight's lead, drama in the district. on tuesday, a congressional committee begins its investigation into the january 6th insurrection, an event seared into the memory of washingtonians the same way new yorkers such as myself will never forget the events of 9/11. the rioters do that i might have been screaming "hang mike pence" but it was the people of our capitol who were truly under attack. the mob wanted to throw out millions of ballots cast by
black and brown americans who look very much like washington d.c.'s nearly 60% majority minority population. many of them serve on the capitol police force and were beaten with flag poles and fire extinguishers as well as maysed by the angry, trump-crazed crowd. they also worked on the maintenance crews tasked with the cleaning up the vandalism, trash, and feces left behind by right-wing hooligans. one republican lawmaker would call normal citizens. many washingtonians found it shocking but not necessarily surprising. after all, president trump used their fair city as a prop during his most overt turn at dictatorial cos-play casting a
crowd of peaceful black matter protesters so he could flaunt a bible in front of a church he had never shown any worship in though it had been the favorite place of worship for dozens of presidents who preceded him. even now republicans stand in the way of d.c.'s third's statehood even though the population exceeds that of wyoming and vermont, states with a grand total of four senators and two congress people with full voting rights, while washington has none. and the gop opposes common sense gun laws that would help address violent crime in d.c. and resist public health initiatives that d.c. needs such as vaccine advocacy that would slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit communities like washington
especially hard. republicans like to talk about themselves as the party of abraham lincoln, a president who made washington, d.c. a safe haven for black refugees during the chaos of the civil war. but they have drifted very far from the lofty ideas of honest abe, especially in the eyes of citizens of our nation's capitol, who get a front-row seat to see their work on a daily basis. in a moment, we will go to washington, d.c. and talk with the city's mayor, burial bowser. mayor bowser will be with us in a moment. first, joining me now is congressman dan kilty, democrat of michigan. test chief deputy whip of the house democratic caucus. let me start with the january 6th select committee this. week, speaker pelosi vetoed some
of the minority leader mccarthy's picks. congressman, who voted to overturn elections after the insurrection, two of these congressman. mccarthy responded by pulling all of his members, but the speaker wasn't swayed saying quote the unprecedented nature of january 6th, demands this unprecedented decision. she just announced that republican adam -- will join the select committee. >> we wanted an independent commission. republicans said no. we went forward with a select
committee in the house. and the deal was that mr. mccarthy to submit names to participate but the speaker would have to approve. two of the names that she suggest ready not just people who voted for the insurrection, who voted against certifying the election, but have denied the reality of what took place on january 6th. it would be like having a 9/11 denier on the 9/11 commission. it makes no sense to have them there. but she was committed to making it bipartisan. that's why she named liz cheney and now has named mr. kinzinger, both conservatives, people with whom i share big difference. and we vote a lot differently, on almost everything. but at the end of the day, they are both patriots that believe in the constitution and will do their job. i'm glad they will. there will be a bipartisan -- >> i might add that of the five that congressman mccarthy
nominated she did keep three republicans. she only denied the two who overtly denied what happened on january 6th. you have opened up about your own experience with post-traumatic stress disorder after you and colleagues were forced to bury indicated your workplace and run for your lives, in fact. there is sometimes stigma around being so open about mental health in this country. what has ptsd taught you? >> well, it taught me one thing, for sure. that's that anybody can experience trauma and experience a reaction from it. i was a mental health professional early in my career. i have preached this gospel for a long, long time, reverend. i didn't realize it would come to the point that it would occur that i needed help. when i did, i felt a personal
obligation to share my story, particularly as a man. you know, this is something that is stigmatized for no good reason. the group of us that were left tined in the gallery, we had an experience that was really difficult. but everybody did that day, in different ways. just about fwhib associated with the capitol to feel the trauma of that moment. when the select committee meets we will hear from the people most traumatized. those were the police officers who really put their lives at risk in order to save me and the other people there. i'm glad their voices will be the first voice has the committee hears. >> now, let's turn to infrastructure. on wednesday, senate republicans blocked the $500 billion bipartisan bill they have been negotiating drawing out the months-long process even more. at the time, they said another
vote could come as soon as monday, which is tomorrow. do you expect that to happen? if this bill makes it through the senate, should we expect easy passage in the house? >> well, i still have some hope. when i left washington on thursday, i was told that there was a chance that we would get a positive vote to move forward in the senate with -- of the requisite number of members to at least move forward. you know, reverend, we have tried every way week to get to a bipartisan agreement. and this is one of the things that president biden really believes in. but when you think about it, we have given time, we have given lots of different opportunities. we have offered different alternatives. and it may just be at the end of the day that republicans are not serious about getting anything done. after all, their report is pretty clear. when they were completely in charge they did nothing on infrastructure, zip, zero, nada,
nothing. we are in charge now. my view is, we can continue to offer to be bipartisan, but at some point in time, democrats have to realize we have got to move forward as a country. if republicans don't want to come along, i am not one who believe has the senate should hold firm to its grasp of this jim crow era filibuster and not move forward on voting rights, on infrastructure, not move forward in the areas that americans want us to make progress on. >> briefly, before we run out of time -- i apologize that we almost made it through this interview without mentioning former president trump who last night held a rally in arizona and spoke for almost two hours an a variety of topics, including the 2020 election, the audit in arizona, the russian hoax, hunter biden, vaccines, transgender, athletes, the
border wall, critical race theory, the cleveland indians. i mean -- the name change there, the afghanistan withdrawal. congressman, briefly, what should we do with this phenomenon named donald trump? >> well, he frightens all of us -- not so much because of what he says, because he's a deranged individual. what frightens me is that the people who ought to know better either stand silent or follow him. the people i'm most concerned about are not the nutty members of the house of representatives and the senate that follow him and believe the things he says. the people who really bother me, who cause me great fear are the ones who know he's deranged but want to ride that wave as long as they can, the silent republicans who sit quietly and watch when they know he's wrong. those are the ones i am most concerned about. >> thank you congressman kildee. now to the mayor of washington,
d.c., muriel bowe bowser. mayor bowser, let me start with the january th commission. you were responsible for keeping your city safe on that fateful day. why do you think this investigation is important? and what do you hope comes out of it? >> well, reverend al, from the very beginning, i called for a bipartisan or non-partisan review of exactly what happened on january 6th at the capitol of the united states. and we have been involved with several hearings already where the metropolitan police department who came to the assistance of the united states capitol police on this fateful day have participated in. it's important for our country that we get to the bottom of what happened during a transition of power, that we get to the bottom of what happened between the branches of the government, the executive and
the legislative branches, and that the security of the united states capitol is never put in jeopardy again. >> now, many have argued that if d.c. are were a state on january 6th, the national guard might have been called into action more quickly, and the various law enforcement agencies might have been better coordinated. and yet congressional republicans continue to stand in the way of statehood with few substantive objections other than the fear of d.c. voters would mostly lean democratic in their view. isn't this just voter suppression on the federal level that is very much in line with what we are seeing in states like georgia and texas? >> in some ways it's -- it is voter suppression. and i would argue in some ways it's worse because we don't have two senators to speak for us. d.c. residents have been denied
representation, a voting representative in the congress for over 200 years. we think it's a voting rights issue a civil rights issue of the first order that has to be corrected. i want to be clear about something, reverend al. when we see the d.c. national guard, it's kind of a misnomer because this guard unlike the 50 states does not report to the mayor of the district and is only accountable to the president of the united states. >> right. >> on january 6th, the president of the united states was donald trump. we, of course, requested the d.c. national guard through the president to man d.c. streets, and we know that if i had control guard, we would not have seen the delay in dispatching the guard once requested to united states -- >> i want to emphasize that. the d.c. national guard that was delayed was in no way, shape, or
form under your control. they report directly to the president, who at the time of january 6th, because it was before the inauguration of biden, was donald trump. you requested the national guard, but you were at the mercy of the then-sitting president. >> yes. so we had the guard with their stipulations on the streets of washington, d.c. the guard was not, however, requested on the grounds of the capitol. and we -- when all of us recognized what were happening, certainly encouraged that the request of the police chief of the united states capitol be honored and be honored quickly. i know that is something that has been reviewed and reviewed -- >> yeah. >> -- about how the guard can support the united states capitol. i think with the work of general on ray, a lot of that information that the members of the congress have solutions for.
>> i'm sure it will come up in this select committee on the investigation. i want to switch gears to coronavirus. yesterday you extended your city's public emergency, but ended the public health emergency. what do those moves mean on how well is washington, d.c. responding to the pandemic threat right now? do you feel that you need additional help? >> well, al, i will tell you i couldn't be prouder of the response of our government, our department of health, homeland security. i'm even more proud of the sacrifices that d.c. residents and business made to put us in the position that we're in. i am very happy that the cdc reports that 70% of adults not just in d.c. but in surrounding maryland and virginia have been vaccinated that means we have driven our case counts down, and we have driven our vaccination rates up. and that has allowed us to be
open and to stay open. so the end of the public health emergency is just a culmination of saying we don't need the emergency public health powers to close our businesses, but we do still need the public emergency to interact with the federal government on reimbursements and the like and should we need to dial up any of our measures. this emergency gives me that authority. >> mayor, last weekend a drive-by shooting outside of a washington nationals game made news across the country. >> yeah. >>est there is plenty of violence in d.c. most americans never here about. murders were up 20% in 2020 from the year pryer. though we should note violent crime overall dipped slightly. what is driving gun violence in
your city? what can be done to stop it? >> first of all, al, we had this discussion the last time i spoke with you. we have seen gun violence peak during the last year, during covid shutdowns. and all of us in cities and towns across america are concerned about the prevalence of guns. we're concerned about repeat offenders using those guns and getting on top of it. the message that i sent and i shared with the president of the united states and the attorney general, and i'm very happy that they have been responsive to it is that we need to get our entire criminal justice system up and running. everything this we do as a city to prevent crime from violence interruption to summer jobs programs -- all of thosenesst things are happening and in person. we also need to make sure, however, that enforcement and accountability systems are also open in person and in place that
includes our courts, our supervision agencies, grand juries, united states attorneys. again, because we are in the district we are a little different. our court system is not under the purview of the d.c. mayor or accountable to the voters of the district of columbia. it, too, is federal. and we need that system up, in person, and running. >> all right. and i might add, when we spoke earlier in this interview about statehood you had on the voting rights march, statehood is certainly a central issue. >> thank you, al. >> thank you mayor bowser for abouting with us. coming up on "politics nation," coronavirus cases are climbing as vaccination rates are flatlining. this is unacceptable. so i am going to tell you how to rise up and fight the pandemic.
plus a new report shows just how bad the assault on voting rights has gotten. the numbers will startle you. but first, my colleague richard louie with today's other top news stories. some of the stories we are watching this hour. this weekend there are protests across the world over the conflict of personal freedoms versus new covid restrictions. dozens of thousands across france clashed with police n. australia, officers arrested unauthorized marchers in sidney. in greece, police used tear gas and water cannons against protesters in athens. california's larger wildfire merged with a smaller one of the it destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters. numerous other fires gained strength across the midwest. 2021 is on track to become the most devastating fire season on record.
an inspiring story in new york. a crowd jumping into action to lift a car off of a baby pinned underneath. it started with a suspected drunk driver hit a mom and child as they crossed the street north of new york city. the car plowed into a barbershop with the baby trapped. two police officers nearby ran over, lifted the vehicle with their hands to get the infant out. both mother and child are expected to recover if their injuries. bravo. more pits nation after a short break. short break. ...is her reality. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts, for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn? ♪ yum yum yum yum yum yum yum ♪ ♪ yum yum yum yum yum yum ♪ ♪ yum yum yum yum yuuum yum yum yum yum yum yum yuuum ♪ ♪ yum ♪ ♪ yum yum (clap, clap) yum yum (clap) yum yum ♪ with voltaren arthritis pain gel my husband's got his moves back. ♪ yum ♪
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more contagious than the original strain. while that surge has been under way for several weeks we have not seen a corresponding surge in vaccinations. i'm not sure americans realize how lucky we are that vaccines are available to us for free in pharmacies, grocery stores and malls across the country. folks in some countries are out in the streets protesting for this kind of access. and yet our numbers lag. it is a deadly problem, especially among young people. the vaccination rate is highest among older americans. and the disparity is so extreme that your -- our hospitals are now filling up with young unvaccinated people. youth is not a guarantee against covid illness, hospitalization, or death. the best defense is to get vaccinated. now experts say that the best
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welcome back to "politics nation." moving now to the republican-led war on voting across the united states, a new report from the brennan center for justice shows just how real the suppression crisis is. since january 1st, at least 18 states have enacted 30 laws to restrict ballot box access. those tactics include id requirements and making mail-in early voting more difficult.
as this voting emergency worsens, congress has the power to make it right. and yet, two critical pieces of legislation remain stalled, leaving our rights hanging in the balance. joining me now is texas state representative ron reynolds. mr. reynolds, more than 50 democratic state lawmakers have texas have now been holed up in a hotel in washington, d.c. for longer than a week. you all fled your state to deny returns a quorum in an effort to block restrictive voting measures from being passed. what's the end game here? how long will you stay? >> rev, it is great to be on your show. how long? we are willing to stay as long as it takes to impart upon congress to pass hr-1 and hr-4. the special session is set to
end an august 7th. right now we are going to be here in the nation's capitol until august 7th. it is time for congress to pass federal legislation so many states like texas can stop with the voter suppression, jim crow 2.0 laws they are trying to perpetuate furthering the big lie from donald trump. >> now, texas is already one of the hardest states to vote in. the bill your republican counterparts are looking to force through would make it even worse. in its current form, the bill bans 24-hour voting and drive-through voting. it is make it harder to vote by mail. it empowers voter intimidation bipartisan poll watchers. is a federal solution the only way out on this? >> rev, it is the only way. this is the fierce urgency of now. the only way we are going 20 stop this is from federal legislation. we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. it is pivotal that congress take
action or else we are going to go backwards. we shouldn't be relitigating the fundamental precious right to vote but if we don't get federal legislation passed states like texas and other states are going to continue with voter suppression laws. that's are impartially affecting black and brown folks. >> you described the current wave of voter suppression laws as, quote, essentially reinstituting the days of jim crow. how important is an understanding of that history to your fight in this moment? >> rev, it is essential. i mean, you know, but we stand on the shoulders of those likes congressman john lewis, who made good and necessary trouble. fanny lou him aer, a. philip randolph, dr. king, and rosa parks, to name a few. if we don't impart upon the consciousness of this country, republicans are going to
continue to pass voter suppression laws across the state. not because there is voters -- but because they want to disenfranchise black and brown folks. make no mistake, they don't want to win with great ideas. they want to win by stopping black and brown voting. that should be chilling to the social conscious of this country. voting is the bedrock of america. we can't let it happen in 2021. we can't allow it to happen. thank you for allowing us to get this message out there. we are going to continue to speak truth to power. >> ads you say, standing on the shoulders of john lewis and others, martin luther king iii -- and we have asked you and the delegation to meet us there at the martin luther king monument there in washington to
stand in the shadows of dr. king with his family, with his son and daughter-in-law, and me that comes out of that organization to have a prayer for y'all's strength and to show solidarity this wednesday to show graphiccly what you are saying, you stand on those shoulders. we look forward to being with you wednesday. >> thank you, rev. we appreciate you and those civil rights giants, the national action network and mlk, iii, we appreciate that. god bless you. >> god bless you. joining me now, congresswoman deborah ross, democrat of north carolina. congresswoman, you are vice chair of the judiciary committee -- subcommittee on constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties. let's circle back to the starting numbers out of the brennan center's reports. over 400 bills with voter restriction provisions have been introduced in 49 states this
year alone. what do you think is at the core of this aggressive wave of suppression? >> republicans do not want people to have an easy, convenient way to vote. and they are trying to make it as hard as possible for people to vote because they are afraid of the will of the american people. >> now, unfortunately, we know republicans are just getting started as we approach midterm elections. we have seen their assault on states like georgia and texas, but we know others could -- could possibly be in the cross hairs. regular legislative sessions are continuing in states like the one you represent, north carolina. election officials there are even fighting gop-led audits of 2020 voting machines r. voting rights on the line in the tar heel state? >> voting rights are always on the line in the tar heel state.
i came through the state legislature, chaired that election laws committee, been through several rounds of redistricting, and it is a fight all of the time. when the democrats were in charge, we expanded the right to vote. we made it -- we had same-day voter registration, at early voting sites. we had more -- more voting sites. more places where people could vote. and in north carolina, we had the highest voter turnout in 2020 we ever had. and donald trump won. so i don't understand why the republicans are trying to make it harder to vote. the only thing i can think of is that they want to pick their voters rather than have voters pick the politicians. >> this voting rights crisis could come to an end with the passing of the for the people act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act. but we have seen no movement on any legislation from capitol
hill. there is growing pressure on the biden administration to push congress to get this done. to some, that means eliminating the filibuster. where do you come down on this, congresswoman? >> well, if the senate cannot get the votes, the senate needs to see voting rights as so crucial that the filibuster does not apply. i want to be clear, though, for your viewers. hr-1 passed the house. >> right. >> the house passed hr-1 early in the session. we are waiting on the senate. now, for hr-4, we are having hearings. as a matter of fact, we have had three hearings already in our subcommittee. i chaired up with of those meetings. and we are having another one on tuesday. the supreme court made it harder for us in their most recent arizona decision on section two. section 5, preclearance, that was shelby. section 2 is how you actually win a voting rights lawsuit.
north carolina is in the middle of that because of the jingles case. but the supreme court a couple weeks ago made that harder. so that's made congress's job harder. but we are going to get it done on the house side, send to it the senate, and hopefully they will just get it out in time for redistricting. >> now, in the past couple of weeks, we've seen texas democrats flee their state to try and block republicans from passing voting bills. you saw one just before you on this show. we have seen your colleague, congresswoman george beatty in handcuffs simply for protesting our voting rights on capitol hill. similar lee, congressman johnson. you are also a civil rights lawyer. what are you willing to do to ensure voting rights are protected for all of us. >> i am doing everything in my power to get these bills through the committee. and the most important thing is
getting them through in a way that will withstand supreme court scrutiny. we have seen this supreme court over the last eight years gut the voting rights act, make it very, very difficult to preclear anything. that's off the table ever since the shelby decision. and now, just a couple weeks ago they're making it virtually impossible to win a voting rights lawsuit. north carolina has seen these voting rights lawsuits. i filed these voting rights lawsuits. we have got to make sure that our federal law protects people before the law goes into effect, that section 5, and lets us sue afterwards. we had to do that and get our monster voting law struck down because it targeted african-americans with surgical precision. i am going to use every legal skill i have, every advocacy
tool i have. i am going to have our folks advocate not just in the house, but we have got to get those senators to pass these bills, and then president biden can sign them into law. and there is not a minute to waste. >> congresswoman deborah ross, thank you for being with us. up next, a new documentary series looks back at the obama obama white house and how the historic presidency impacted our national identity. i'm joined by its executive producer after the break. king. it didn't get us to the moon. it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities on america's largest, fastest, and most reliable 5g network. plus customer experience that finds solutions in the moment. and first-class benefits, like 5g with every plan. network, support and value-- without any tradeoffs.
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when you study history, every time he would made a step forward, there was always a backlash. >> while america continues to suffer the effects of that backlash, a new three-part film examines the first black president's push for a more inclusive america, titled "obama obama in pursuit of a more perfect union" premiering august 3rd from hbo documents both the
historic hope that enabled his presidency, and the racist reaction that followed. joining me now one of the film's executive producers, also a staff writer for "the new yorker" and an msnbc political contributor. professor cobb, great to have you here with us tonight. there is line in the film i just played where he says that even in the first black presidency was in part symbolic, symbols can be powerful. hearing that, i wonder if the transformative power of that presidency has been diluted less by time or criticism and more by all the trauma of the last five years? and i wonder if that was at least part of why you made this film, professor cobb? >> sure. first, just a quick point. i want to pass along my
condolences to the family of bob most he is. >> we are going to get to that. in my closing. >> tremendous giant. >> giant. >> giant, absolutely. speaking of the film, you know, we were aware at the outset of the obama obama era, we were aware that this was a subsequently presidency. that's the way history works. you don't know consequential in what ways until after the fact. as it has begun to play out we saw the kind of politics and the backlash and what happened on january 6th, and the amazing, stunning resurrection of the jim crow ethic of voter suppression, which has gained and spread like wildfire in the aftermath. just to think about the fact that when barack obama ran in 2008 and 2012, twice black women from the highest level participants, the-highest
percentage of participants in the political system, the highest number of voters, african-american women. >> yeah. >> what we are seeing is exactly the response to that. and the symbolism of who he is, and the substance of who he was as a representative of our claim to american democracy are all bound up together. >> now, i want to get your reaction to this next clip from the film, professor, because we have heard about how much his presidency of the harvard law review seemed like a sign of things to come late in his career, specifically his view on inclusivity. roll the clip. >> race was a huge issue in the harvard law review, as it was everywhere else in society. and everybody understood that this was going to be a huge symbol. >> i think it is a good sign. i think it is a sign of progress. although i'm honored, i think people can say that my election symbolizes some progress, at
least within the small confines of the legal community i think it is real important to keep the focus on the broader world out there will and see that for a lot of kids, the doors that have been opened to me aren't open to them. >> professor, making thisfilm, what did you learn about this man's journey, nearly 15 years after he became an historic figure? >> you know, what's fascinating about him is how much you can see the seeds of the person who came to flourish in american public life, and so even then when you look at the harvard law review and the way he navigated that, one of the things that we don't realize was that, you know, harvard was in the midst of a great deal of turmoil about diversity and representation at that point in time. as a matter of fact, the law professor derek bell, resigned from his position at harvard for their failure to tenure any
black women faculty. >> you point that in the film, by the way. you have some of that in the film. >> yes, yes, it is, and of course, derek bell is one of the founding figures of critical race theory. >> right. >> i say that there was a tremendous amount of racial turmoil going on at harvard at that time, and obama was able to talk in such a way that he could navigate his way to the presidency of the law review, and it was an obvious metaphor, for what was coming down the line years in his future. >> you know i appreciate that this film does not try to elevate what was a racist effort to stall the obama agenda by the congressional republicans. perhaps most famously mitch mcconnell. now we're watching as that racest sentiment has mobilized at the street level, and in a generation away, reaching our capitol and threatening even gop lawmakers. but many of those same lawmakers have undermined the
investigation and in so doing, they continue to court the votes of extremists. your response, professor, briefly. >> i think it's just an incredibly dangerous thing, when we look at the aftermath of obama's presidency and the kind of racial retrenchment that people needless to say the people are fly plying the fire in explosive the aspects of our politics, and so in a way, this film is a kind of preface to all the turmoil that we're dealing with now. >> our thanks to you, the three-part documentary will premiere on hbo august 3rd. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both.
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forward-looking essays on important issues. that will be posted for 25 days on our website. well, tomorrow is my turn. if you logon to msnbc.com/next25, you'll be able to read my take on the often arduous journey toward justice and equality. my essay urges us all to take a moment to reflect upon where we are, the progress that we have achieved and assess where our work remains. to think how, in the next 25 years, our job must be to cement the gains made in the last half century, and protect our civil rights as they remain under renewed attack. we must reimagine policing, climate change, and deal with the racial wealth gap in education, health care, housing,
and more. the next 25 years must continue to build upon our successes and ensure protections that only came to fruition following intense sacrifice, generation after generation. in other words, we need to achieve true justice for all. but you have to wait until tomorrow morning. make sure you logon to msnbc.com/thenext25, and look for my essay. and on that, i'm thinking today of bob moses, who died today at the age of 86. moses was a civil rights activist who endured beatings and jail, while leading black voter registration drives in the american south during the 1960s. moses worked to dismantle segregation as the mississippi field director of the student non-violent coordinating committee during the civil rights movement and was central
to the 1964 freedom summer. moses later dedicated his life to help poor students succeed in math by founding the algebra project, and of course, shared many of his experiences as a guest on this show, his last time on june of 2014. rest in peace, robert parish moses, as we march august 28th, we'll be thinking of you. that does it for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you back here next week -- next weekend, 5:00 p.m. eastern. my colleague, alicia menendez picks up our news coverage right now. >> thank you so much, reverend sharpton. i'm alicia menendez. welcome to "american voices." two major domestic challenges facing the biden administration, both have the power to define his presidency and determine whether democrats maintain power
in the mid terms. infrastructure. bipartisan talks stalled wednesday when republicans blocked further debate on the bill saying too much of the package remained unresolved. negotiations carried on this weekend, however, and it appears lawmakers could be close on a deal. according to our reporting, the last big hurdle is over public transit funding. democrats want more cash for public transit, republicans want to spend it on highways. democrats today sounding hopeful. >> we have a few issues still to work through but i think this is the week we get the infrastructure bill to the floor. but it's a reminder that in a bill this big, that crosses so many different committees and jurisdictions, getting to the final deal is challenging. it is going to be worth it ultimately this will support $1.2 trillion in new infrastructure spending over eight years, and the $579 billion is new spending and frankly, jonathan, that's a