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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 6, 2013 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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and was cited by texas monthly magazine as one of the state's best legislators. she apparently likes the filibustered because prior to the one that got her national attention, in 2011 she staged a filibuster on public that filibuster temporarily blocked the cut and set the stage for the legislature restoring most of the money in 2013. she has been mentioned as a possible and senatorial candidates in texas. -- gubernatorial candidates in texas. thee hoping she may tip cards for what the future might hold. please help us give a warm welcome to senator wendy davis. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all for having me here today, and thank you, angela, for inviting me to be here. it is a pleasure to be such --
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to be with such an esteemed group of people. i have to tell you people get a little bit nervous when i approached the podium these days. you obviously know what happened on june 25 in the texas legislature, but in case you were one of the few people not live streaming it, i thought i would repeat the entire thing for you today. let's get comfortable. in all seriousness, i am very honored and so grateful you are interested in hearing more from me. i am constantly reminded what a privilege it is to have of voice. though i mean the voice figuratively, my initial understanding of the power of voice was quite literal. when i was a young girl my family tried to spend as much time as we could with my
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grandparents. they lived in the panhandle of texas. my grandfather made his living his entire life as a tenant farmer, and when he was in his mid-'60s suffered a massive stroke. from that point forward, he lived the rest of his life in a nursing home. he was partially paralyzed and had a very difficult time forming words because of his paralysis. when my mother and siblings and i would pile into my mom's old volkswagen and drive to visit him, we would pick him up at the nursing home and keep him in his home for the weekend with us. at some point on several of those occasions he would beckoned me into the kitchen, and i would sit with him at their old formica table, the one that has the silver band that goes around the side.
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as you can imagine, he is sitting there in his wheelchair, me with my tiny legs stuck to their plastic chairs on a hot summer day. it was a lot of hard work. it was slow, and it could be very difficult. it was challenging, not just for me, -- for him, but me as well.
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invariably on those occasions my grandfather would start crying, which meant i would start crying, too. it is a very hard lesson for a nine-year-old to witness the despair in her grandfather's face, but the experience drove home a very powerful lesson for me, the importance of having a voice. how painful it is to lose it, and how important it is to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to be true to what they would say if they could. many of you heard my name for the first time last month when it, as allison said, and the last hours of the texas legislative session the powers decided to pass not just an abortion bill, but a bill that would block healthcare access to tens of thousands of women across the state of texas. in the process, these partisan lawmakers were seeking to rob texas women of their voice. whim when women -- when women showed up at the capitol to testify, many of them were turned away and unable to give voice to an issue that had a
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very real impact on their lives. before i took the floor that morning for the longest 13 hours of my life, i worked with staff to track down testimony that had been committed in testimony hearings but had not been read. during the next hour read it -- read every single one of their stories out loud. these were real people with very personal stories to tell. many of whom had never given voice to their story before to another human being. at first my staff was reading them a little too fast, because
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13 hours is a long time to fill. by the time the day was over we have received over 16,000 personal stories. 16,000 people hungering to be hurt. i have to tell you, at some point in the day i stopped worrying about running out of time or stories and instead, i
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started worrying about running out of time. when i stood up but i guess that day, i had no doubt that filibustering the bill was the right thing to do, but i had no idea it would trigger -- trigger such an overwhelmingly positive response across the state, across the country. there was an outpouring of support for texas women. the most remarkable thing about it is stories that otherwise never would of been told were suddenly national news. the voices we heard in support of my filibuster that night are not the ones we normally hear amplified across the state of texas. i think a lot of people who live outside our states are surprised they even exist. texans know the voices in our state that shout the loudest have not often been the ones that speak for everyone. that night to the nation was introduced to a force within our state. a force that will have a lot to say. we have an outside influence on the direction of the nation, many americans are ready see
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texas as the gateway to a better life. we are the nation's no. 1 destination for internal migration. the reason, as any texan will tell you, is we have a lot to be proud of. there is are very diverse and fast-growing economy. our abundant natural and energy resources. our long coastline, and low unemployment and low cost of living and an appointment. just as importantly, there is the fervent belief that a better tomorrow for ourselves and children is just within our reach. my whole life i have seen texans create those tomorrows for
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themselves and family. i have seen them graze themselves up by the bootstraps and by their slang backs, and by pink running shoes. texans were card, and we believe hard work should pay off. the majority of texans know our state is stronger when it makes the investments in people that helped them reach their full potential. and yes, texans know there are areas where we can and must do better. one out of every 10 public- school students in the united states goes to school in texas. yet we produce the lowest percentage of high-school graduates in the entire country. one-fourth of our children live in poverty. we do have a lot to be proud and we're joined by a few of
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the texas leaders who not only know we can do better, but are hoping to make texas better. we have some of them in our audience today. we have our county commissioner. i am thrilled beach -- to be joined by a community leader and school board trustee. my incredible, beautiful sister in the texas senate who was the one who asked finely at what point it would take for a woman's voice to be heard in the texas senate? former congressman martin frost. city councilman joe burns who represents a city council. my old city council district in fort worth. justice of the peace. at the head table we have amazing people with us today. you have been introduced a little bit to them. bobby patent is a local business leader. he truly defines what it means to be at texas success story.
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adrienne at the garcia and my very dear friend and said that colleague. [applause] these leaders, amazing leaders are a part of a growing movement to build a state that starred their voices are drowned out too often.
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who hope that shouting will distract from real solutions. they are doing serious damage the lives and opportunities of the texans the claim to represent. they brag about low unemployment, while at the tame -- same time dramatically underfunding texas education. they travel to states as far away as california and new york, trying to lure business to texas, while at the same time ignoring the needs of high your education system to make sure opportunities are available all of our young texans. soon as we know the consequence
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of that will be we will probably have to travel to other states. there not being true to what people in texas are actually sitting -- setting. -- saying. it would be as a pretending to listen to what my grandfather had to say in writing down what ever i felt. you all know the saying, and some of you know the song, this ain't my first rodeo. in 2011 i took a stand against a partisan plan to strip $5.4 billion from our already very underfunded public school system. i do not know if you are aware of this, but after that budget cuts went into place, texas became 49 out of 51 in what it is investing in the future of the school system in this country.
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i wanted to filibuster because it helps put us into a special session where teachers and parents finally had an opportunity to come to the capital and be heard. it was very important to me their voices be part of the conversation, and here is why, because i have seen firsthand that education is absolutely a pathway from poverty. 30 years ago i could not have imagined standing in front of you, standing in washington before a group of people like you. because back then my life looked so very different. it looked a lot like my mom's life. my mom has a sixth grade education. after my parents divorced, she had no husband, no financial security and for children to
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raise. every meal my mother put on our table was a struggle for her. by the time i was 19 i also was already married and divorced and raising a young daughter myself, living in poverty and facing the same challenges and hardships i had seen my mother face. i was always on the brink of financial disaster back then. a flat tire on my car meant having to choose a belonging to a pond. opted for me it was 99 cents pizza rolls.
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experiences like that can absolutely zero of your vision, crush your optimism. for me, it came down to a simple calculation. if i really wanted to make a better life for amber, had a responsibility to improve my own. it was with a heart full of love for her that i started the journey. at the time i was working as a receptionist for a pediatrician. even though my paycheck was small, it was worth it to work there. i have no health insurance but my daughter had free medical care and medicine and free formula. one day at work one of the nurses came in and dropped a pamphlet on my desk for tarrant county community college. i had always thought of college as belonging to someone else, but that day and started to believe perhaps it could belong
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to me, too. the state of texas helped making -- by making it affordable, even for a single mother like me. i still work full-time and waited tables four nights a week. while it was not easy, in the texas i grew up in, it was possible. when i transferred to texas christian university, received scholarships that covered the cost of my tuition. but today, students facing the same challenges that i once based are unfortunately not able to receive the same kind of assistance.
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i have a women's health care clinic very close to where i lived. for those next few years that is where i received the entirety of my health care. today of course, in texas, partisan legislation on top of years of severe budget cuts have cut that access from tens of thousands of women across the state. each of them has lost the only health care they have ever known. regardless of your politics, i think everyone would agree that is just bad policy. because i was able to go to college and law school, i was able to be a part of starting small businesses and to become part of contributing back to the economy of my state. that is how it works. i want so very much to make sure more people have the chance to do that.
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the challenges i have taken on as a legislator are about two things. a pass and a voice. in texas we do not run for local office with a party affiliation next door name. i got in the habit of working on issues that are not considered natural for democrats from shale gas drilling to transportation
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planning to serving as the chair of the city economic development committee and fostering a great deal of economic development and troop height -- private/public partnerships. the people i represent are a lot more interested in seeing problems solved and they are in partisan label. one thing you should know about the texas capital is we did not have to cross and i'll to work across party lines because there really is no idle. instead when we want to work with the republican colleague, i simply say to my chair across the senate floor, and we begin. for example, in the last legislative session i work with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to pass equal work, -- equal pay for equal work
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legislation. even though there were republican lawmakers who were willing to work with me to see this injustice made right, governor perry in what was an overtly partisan move vetoed that bill. that not only undercuts the potential of texas women but makes texas a less attractive place to do business. texas families are paying the price. having been there, i understand how precious those few dollars can be. how very much of a difference it can make. that is why my real passion has been consumer reform. if you have ever had to go to a pawn shop for a payday lender in texas, and i have, you know texas is the wild, wild west when it comes to the predatory lending industry.
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the state turned its head as the industry siphons dollars from the local economy entraps hard- working families into a cycle of debt they cannot escape. i have worked closely with an unlikely coalition of folks to try to address the issue from the christian life commission to the aarp to the defense department because of the fact that so many military members are subjected to those practices. i have also worked to ensure state agencies operate with oversight, transparency, and a commitment to being affected is the words of taxpaying dollars. in texas some officials have turned the state agencies into cash cows and favor factories to further their own interests to reward their donors.
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and for all of rhetoric, and i know we all hear it about the government and small government, texans want what i think everyone wants, they just want to see good government. i continue to take on issues people did not always associate with democrats. these problems do not have a party affiliation. we helped to create better in court to recognize veteran service and their unique needs. we want them back on the feet and back in the job force. [applause]
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i have been a strong advocate for transportation. i have fought to help rape victims like christie. i have fought to get a rate evidence kit on every shelf. it is a very important way to make community safer and to provide victims and their families the comfort of knowing their attackers will be prosecuted. those are just a few examples of how important it is to find common ground. so i want to leave you with this, i will seek common ground, because we all must, but
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sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground. liberty, the freedom to choose what is your future will hold. in the past few weeks i have had so many young women tell me how much it meant to them to see me stand up for them and to be standing alongside them. after the filibuster i've had more than a few come to me and simply cry. what i see in their peers are not tears of the feet. instead, their understanding that even if only for a short while, their voices, as much as mine, made a land -- a difference in the landscape of what was happening in the state of texas. the were feeling empowerment of discovery. the moment of realization that they had a voice.
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it is a powerful feeling. i know because i remember the first moment that i discovered my own. you may think the moment came when i walked across the state of harvard law school to except by diploma. or you may think it came when i raised my hand for the first time to be sworn into public office, but actually it happened in front of a bookshelf at tarrant county community college. holding what was to be my very first college book. i will never forget the feeling of that book in my hands. it was an incredible and overpowering moment. farther than anyone in my family had ever gotten and farther than i have ever hoped for myself. i know how proud of my mother was, because i know how proud i was of my girls on their first
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day of college. every texan deserves that moment. every texan deserves a voice, and every texan needs to know the future belongs to all of us, and we all can play a role in shaping it. the leaders who capture this spirit will be the ones who write the next chapter in texas story, and america's story. as i learned that sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfather, the task may not be quick, and it may not be but it is important. it is essential, and together it can be done. thank you very, very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> thank you. we have a lot of questions, and many of them, as you might imagine, are along the same theme. let's just get this out of the way right away. you mentioned your feud with rick perry. are you thinking about running to succeed him as governor? to go a lot of people are asking me that question lately, as you can imagine, and i am working very hard to decide what my neck steps will be.
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i do think in texas people feel we need a change from the very fractured, very partisan leadership we're seeing in the state government right now. >> what about a bid for another state office, perhaps u.s. senator or lieutenant governor? >> i can say i will run for either my state senate seat or the governor. [applause] >> one more question. this person asks, would you consider running as dp candidates with hillary clinton? -- vp candidate? [applause] >> in answer to that, we will have to find out whether she is planning to run for president first. what can you parlay this into next?
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>> i do think the extraordinary outcome is what i talked about in my speech. and continuing the conversation in texas. not just about reproductive rights. whether it is the dramatic defunding of public education that has put us into a battle in the court system texas really is not listening to families.
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i think it can be attributed to the fact that so many people feel disconnected. they feel like it does not matter. it would be a share to -- it would be making sure i played a part to fix that in texas. >> which legislative rules did you consider when planning the filibuster, those that help you do that for so many hours and those that might have hurt? take of their roles in the senate for filibuster are
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very different than they are here in d.c. and the u.s. senate. i am touching the podium right now. i could not have touched my desk. no water, no bathroom breaks, no food, and you must talk continuously, and talk on topic, at least relatively so. that had been the tradition in the texas senate and has been respected. the filibuster that i conducted, senator alice and others would agree, they have been their lot longer than i was, it was subjected to extraordinary scrutiny he that had never occurred before. in fact, the day before i
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started the filibuster the senator who was quite well- for filibustering built in the senate came in to give me advice. he said it is not that bad, you can lean on your desk, you can have a few hard candies in your pocket. people on occasion have been known to get ice chips on the senate floor, it will be fine. it did not take very long to get that response from many of my responses from colleagues in the senate that day. we saw the senate colleagues using the rules so masterfully to argue procedures, and we were watching the clock ticking, taking. ultimately, when even they not succeed after taking the football and running down the field with the people in the gallery all day long, so respectful.
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they finally had had enough. it was such a force of voice and such a wonder. many politicians and reporters. describe what else was included and what you saw as the most damaging provisions in that measure.
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>> republicans would like everyone to believe that is that bill was about, but in texas, 0.57% of those procedures occur after 20 weeks.
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the dramatic numbers of those were in a situation where a very well-loved baby has been found to have very severe problems. instead what the bill was really about, and disappointing this has not been enough of the conversation, it was about closing women's access to a very important health-care service in the state of texas, because these clinics are dual purpose in many instances. by the rules there with three other pieces. one was ambulatory surgical center standards would have to be adhered to, though the sponsor could not point to a single reason about the rules that would make clinics any safer and could not point to any problems that existed in texas.
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they will only be inspected every three-six years appeared at a lot of us had a hard time understanding how that would make the climb a safer for women. there was also, equally as damaging, a provision that doctors must be licensed to practice, have the admitting privileges at a hospital with and a short distance of these clinics. again, no real reason could be provided for why that was important, but what it will do, and clearly those who advocated for it understand it will severely constrained the practitioners in the arena and their bike, constrained the service. -- and therefore, constrain the service. there is a drug used in the very
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early stages of a pregnancy. right now, under the law, a doctor administers it to a patient. there are two doses taken. they are taken at home. many patients select to do that. in texas, the first dose must be given up a surgical center. no one can describe why that needs to happen. the second dose must also occur at the ambulatory surgical center and then the woman must come back to weeks later for a follow-up visit. prior to that, of because of the law that passed last session, she also has to have had a sonogram. four visits a woman must make. for many women traveling great distances, in many of them have to. it is estimated 37 of the 42
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clinics will close, women will literally keep lose access to care. many doctors argued against that bill. there was a lot more to the build of they would like for you to think there was. >> could you discuss what legal limits you do support? take out the supreme court has made that decision. it is one of the protected
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liberties under our constitution. i respect our constitutional protections in place today, whether it be for this purpose or whether it be for other protective purposes of the constitution. i do not think we can pick and choose. >> four little boys and girls are considering that they may someday serve as elected official, what advice do you have for them? >> for a little boys and girls. >> the thing i find most wonderful about serving has been to pieces of my life have come together in a way that i feel is perfect for me. one is the journey to get here, and the hearts and understanding i have four people, but also, the incredibly excellent education i was able to receive. those things combined have served me well in my public service capacity.
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for anyone wishing to pursue a public service career, i would ask them first to listen to their heart, see what it is truly their passionate about and motivates them and get a good education. hopefully one day in texas we will provide more and more of those four young people to find their way along that path. >> what is your reaction to the fact that governor perry is considering a 2016 repeat of a presidential bid? >> i have three responses to that. [laughter] i think that is all i am going to say about that. >> would you like to give us those responses? [laughter] >> which statewide office to you think democrats have the best chance of winning in texas? >> i think the question really is, what chance do new leaders have of winning elected office in the state of texas? i think the best place to start
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the conversation is to talk about what texans want to see in their government and not to talk about it and party frames. i represent a senate district that many consider to be republican one. it's certainly a swing district at least. the people that i represent have never wanted to have a conversation about party. they want conversations about problems and what my proposed solutions for the problems are. the best chance we have of bringing new leadership in texas, i think will look a lot like that. to cope this questioner asks which this -- what is keeping texas from shading more purple? why is it so hard for democrats to win that state-wide office? >> first of all, people have to run.
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second of all, i think back to the point i made earlier, we have a very low voter participation in texas. our current attorney general has done everything he can to the press that as much as possible. i think there is an opportunity, not to be thinking about this terms of red, purple, or blue, but to be thinking about it in terms of thinking about the true values texas families hold and encouraging and inspiring them in a way they feel engaged to participate again. >> a couple of questions about when you think democrats might achieve parity in texas with republicans. parity will be at the choice of voters.
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i think what we have seen in texas we of seen all over the country where the districts have been drawn through redistricting process -- processes that have taken place over the past couple of decades. that has meant conversations only take place at the extreme party level. in texas, where a dramatic number are republicans, all the conversations really being had in the political arena, which is the best place for public discourse on issues, are taking place at the very far right extremists. it is not reflective of who people in texas really are. i think parity will really come, to be able to engage with people with their value and hopefully getting them to think about things that anyway. >> how does the democratic party
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become attractive to texas hispanics while advocating strong pro-choice policies? >> the latino community in texas is no different than the anglo or african-american community. they want leaders who are quick to care about and work on things that are going to matter to their families. everyone wants to go -- to prioritize economic development. those values translate across ethnic lines and can certainly and absolutely most certainly are being better represented by the democrats in texas than they are elsewhere.
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do you think hillary clinton will run? to go i think she can do anything she sets her mind to. >> there is a lot of buzz and washington about the castro brothers and texas. which one has the better chance of winning statewide office? >> they are such extraordinary people. we are so lucky to have young, emerging leaders like them. i think the sky is the limit for them. i think they both have incredible opportunity to them.
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the moment they decide to set the put -- set their foot on the path to make it happen, and they will see it happen. >> would you like to see cecile richards return? >> she is an extraordinary human being. we spent a lot of time together over the past few weeks because of the issues we have been talking about in texas. she is confronting this battle as the executive director of planned parenthood all over the country. she has a special place in her heart for texas because of her mother's history there and the richards. the work so incredibly hard to get elected. they are true believers when it comes to grass-roots conversations and organizing. they are true believers in the fact that we can have leaders that will reflect real people in real communities all over the state of texas.
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i think she sets her mind to something and will do it. i would welcome her back to texas. i will sign up for her campaign is she wants to run. >> in texas, to you believe the court ordered and from congressional redistricting laws violate the voting rights act in the wake of the shelby county ruling, and if so, why? >> i absolutely do believe that violate the voting rights act. the reason, i am not sure if you are aware of the distinction that texas holds right now. it is not one for us to be bragging about, but we are the only states that recently went through redistricting for and a court challenge were intentional discrimination was found. i believe in a drawing of congressional maps. i think, because of that intentional discrimination, they will continue to be subject to a
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voting rights challenge, in spite of the threats to section 5 that shelby county proposed. the voting rights act is still alive. the only piece that may go away is the injunctive relief it provided. i think at the end of the day, the court will be consistent with earlier rulings and will find a voting rights act challenge to want to be valid. >> there has been a war on women. you think it is a real phenomenon? >> we had a couple of examples of why people are feeling that way.
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one was the issue of reproductive rights. it is falling on the history of number of things happening in texas. in the prior legislative session, there were distinct challenges that were brought back on women health care in texas. one was a challenge to the women's health plan where we were getting 90 cents of every dollar to the federal tax dollars to -- return to texas to support women's health. it was about $36 million a year. it is now costing us dramatically more in increase in medicaid births that occurred as a consequence of that. these are family planning clinics that do nothing but that. we're not talking about reproductive rights. these are clinics that are providing birth control family planning.
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they are providing mammograms. they are providing other cancer screenings and blood pressure and diabetes screening. again, for many women, the only place for women -- where women are receiving their health care in texas. two-thirds of the funding for that was removed in the 2011 budget. literally within months clinics all over the state of texas started closing. at last count we had 56 clinics that had closed. there had been that no return of that service for women since that time. in spite of the fact that we added money to the budget in last legislative session to accommodate that. the safety net is so badly fractured that putting it back together will take many years. in the meantime, many women will go without their healthcare needs addressed.
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in the last legislative session the equal pay for equal work bill. it was a lot of work trying to get that bill out of the senate and out of the house but we did it. after all of that work, to veto the bill and demonstrate that he did not think it was an important issue, that he did not understand how very valuable that was,, women who are part of a two-party working relationship for a family, how badly it hurts them. >> we're almost out of time. i have a couple of housekeeping matters. i would like to remind you about the upcoming luncheon speakers. september 10, dr. thomas friedman, director for the
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centers of disease control and prevention. september 17, married fallon, a governor of oklahoma and vice chairwoman of the national governors' association. november 11, president and ceo of the charles schwab corp.. second, i would like to present our guest with the traditional mass -- national press club coffee mug which we expect to see of the desk if there is another filibuster. >> thank you. [applause] >> for the final question, most of you in the audience cannot see the issues that are on today, but they're not speakers. they are cream-colored open toes finbacks. we want to know what would become of the pink sneakers. >> i immediately put them back on and started running on the trail again with them.
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at some point before the completely fall apart, i will set them aside. there will be a memory i will treasure forever. -- they will be a memory i will treasure forever. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all for coming today. i like to thank the national press club staff for helping organize today's event. finally, you can find more information about the national press club on a web site, and if you like a copy of today's spreads -- program, you can find it there as well. thank you. we are adjourned.
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>> in a moment, we will take your calls live on "washington journal." involvingroposal universal health-care coverage and personal choice. on encoreight, ladies"tion of first lad"first >> the earliest letter is october 7, 1962. john writing to abigail. he says ms. adorable, by the same token of bearer of heroes
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set up with you last night, i hereby order you to give him as many kisses and as many hours of your company after 9:00 as he shall pleased to demand. and charged them to my account. i presume i have good right to draw upon you for the kisses i -- as i have given 2 million-3 million at least. >> encore presentation of the original series continues tonight at 9:00 eastern on c- span. ton journal" live this morning at the port of virginia. then, of virginia congressman. the president and ceo of the american association of port authorities.
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next.ngton journal" is ♪ host: the president heads to phoenix today to talk to homeowners. he will then head to california for a taping of "the tonight show." the trial the man who carried out a shooting at fort hood military base in texas begins today. starting at 7:30 this morning we will turn our attention to the issues of port security and the economic contributions they make across the united states. the state department last


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