tv Democratic Senators TX Legislators Hold News Conference CSPAN July 18, 2021 12:54pm-1:21pm EDT
customers. now more than ever, it all starts with great internet. >> now supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> democratic u.s. senators and texas legislators talked with reporters about voting rights, several texas lawmakers are in washington, d.c., after leaving there state to protest the governor's special legislative session to approve several republican bills. >> ok. all right. thank you, everyone. we stand here with these people of courage, with freedom fighters, who came to
washington, d.c., to seek salvation because they are not going to be able to get that governor of texas to protect the voting rights of the people of texas. we know that. and instead of trying to make it easier for people to vote, the governor and republicans in the legislature have done everything to make it harder, including threatening these legislators over and over again. and they are standing their ground, just as we are standing our ground. know what the texas bill would do and why this is all about a concerted effort not just in texas, as rev. warnock will tell you, in georgia. that this is going on all over the country, to the point that we now have since the beginning of the year, the two laws to restrict voting that have been enacted in 14 states, with the texas senate passage of sb one
yesterday, a total of 32 bills to roll back the right to vote have passed at least one chamber of the legislature. so when people ask us why we have put forward the for the people act, which is the first bill to be introduced in the senate, authored by senator markley and supported by the senate rules committee, why we lead with this bill. it's because we could see this coming. most political parties in the past, when they lose an election, what do they do? they think how can i change my policies, how can i change my candidate? what did they do? they said how can we stop people from voting who voted before. we all know the history of texas, which you are about to hear, but this was a state -- one of my best examples as they had one valid dropbox in tarrant county of -- a county of over 5
million people. the analogy in my state would be one ballot box in the entire state for drop-off ballots where people would have to go. this is not right and that is why the for the people act is about ensuring the right of people to vote, getting dark money out of politics, and making sure there are ethical standards politicians have to live up to. this is about basic, national voting standards. what i love about this bill is that it's firmly grounded in the constitution. the constitution of the united states says the congress has the right to make or alter federal election law. so as we pursue this bill and the positive negotiations we have had with senator manchin, at the same time, the houses taking the lead with the john lewis voting rights bill, which will then come to the senate in the fall. these are serious efforts. we are not just staying in the
hallways of this place. we are going out on the road for the first time in more than two decades. we are going to the state of georgia, and we are doing that to make the point that this is a concerted effort from people who are trying to limit the right to vote. it's also going to be a concerted effort in this place, to protect peoples's rights to vote. with that, i'm honored to turn it over to the chief author of the for the people act, senator markley, and then we will hear from the rest of us -- not all of us. >> president johnson declared the right to vote is the most powerful instrument devised by man in order to write down injustice. who would imagine that here, in the year 2021, we would be still in this fight to defend the right to vote.
we thought the voting rights act of 1965 had put this to rest. but all of america said we understand the foundation, the pulsating heart of a democracy is the ability of people to vote in fair and free elections. but today, the republicans in texas are not standing for justice, they are not standing for the freedom and right to vote, they are working to tear down that ability. here we are, surrounded by the texas freedom fighters, defenders of the constitution, believers and the foundation of our republic, for doing everything they can to call this out and to stop this tremendous assault on the most undue mental right embedded in our constitution -- the underlying fact of the we the people vision of our republic. so i am honored to stand with you all today. but they have not come to d.c.
by accident. they have come to washington, d.c. because we have a responsibility to senators in this building to set basic, national standards to protect the right to vote across this country. the assault on the right to vote is not just a texan child is under assault in state after state, motivated by the big lie that president trump put forward and supported by a corrupt search for power at the expense of principles. so we're going to fight in this chamber to establish basic national standard to protect the citizens of texas and the citizens of every single state. yesterday, president biden spoke to the nation and he made it very clear that we have to act in congress to defend the right
to vote and that is exactly what we are going to figure out how to do in partnership with citizens across this land. >> thank you we will hear from senator warnock next. >> i will take senator and reverend. [laughter] let us be very clear. the single most important thing that the congress and president can do this congress is to pass voting rights. i know that we have debates on a range of issues that are critically important. some issues like climate change represent a real existential threat. there are concerns about health care, education, a whole range of issues. but we americans live in a house that democracy built. and right now that house is on
fire. so we have got to have federal standards that push against what we are seeing in texas and what we are seeing in georgia. this is a shameless, unabashed assault on people's voting rights. and voting rights is not just a political issue, this is a moral issue, because the vote, in essence, is really about your voice, and your voice is about your humanity. so i want to thank these texas legislators for coming because in a real sense, they are fighting for our humanity. they are trying to make sure that the voices of the people are not squeezed out of their own democracy. the only reason any of us can be here in the senate to argue about anything is because
somebody voted for us. that is the reason we are here, so if we don't protect the voices of the people who sent us here, we will have failed to do our job. so i submit that failure is not an option we have to pass voting rights no matter what. we have to pass voting rights this congress, no senate rule supersedes people's constitutional rights. so i am grateful to all of you. thank you so much for coming. since senator klobuchar remind you of my other data, let me say that saint augustine, the great father of the christian church, the north african bishop said that hope has two lovely daughters, anger and courage. anger with the way things are
and courage to see that they do not remain as they are. this is a 911 emergency. we saw the supreme court that protections for the voting rights law 20 in shelby versus hold we saw a law that has already been hobbled last week. we see what's happening in georgia, making it hard people to make it to the polls as if voting is a privilege and not right. and it's time for the senate to pass something and send it to the president's desk. >> thank you so much. last but not least, nicole, the chair of the texas legislative black, one of the many incredibly courageous legislators we just met with. >> thank you.
we are here, and we get asked quite often why did you leave the state of texas? we get asked what is at stake. let me tell you we understand what is at stake. we know that the future of voting for our children and families is at stake and unless we take action, unless we see model legislation passed, our voices will be silent. over 50 democrats left the state of texas to break quorum, to come to washington dc and to support efforts passed before the people act. we left our families, our full-time jobs to be here and make sure everybody has that chance to have their voices heard. now, let me tell you something. governor abbott would have you think that voting is reserved for those who are members of an
exclusive club. but voting is not for just the elite. voting is for the people. and that's why we need the for the people act. i remember rosa parks saying she did not ask for all of this. that she did not realize what she was doing when she did not give up her seat and some of us may not understand the gravity and the impact that we are making across this nation, but it is a great movement and we are going to continue that. and we invite those states that are also under attack to join us in washington. take a stand for democracy, come let the senders know that we support their effort to pass the for the people act because without them, we will be silent and we will not have any opportunity to have model legislation. so we want to thank you, to thank our senators for continuing the conversation. we did not have that in texas. our republican legislature did
not want to work with us. they wanted to spend three hours here from 500 people, 400 were against the measure they were hearing and only 65 for it and they ignore the voices of the people. and we will not allow that we will not back down or stand out but we will stand up for our democracy. >> very good. does anybody have questions of any of us? >> he said voting rights are the most important thing. [inaudible] >> no, i am not disappointed.
we can walk into gum at the same time i'm not saying that by passing voting rights we can't do anything else i'm saying that just because we are doing these of the things doesn't mean we can't pass voting right. -- voting rights. i had the opportunity to talk about this. i think you saw in the speech yesterday that the president shares a sense of urgency that we do on this issue and we've got to make sure we get this done. >> and all of us have talked to the president and vice president and they arced about it to this. look at what happened yesterday, including meeting with texas legislature. so they are leading on this just as they are leading on the texas package. >> the fact that he is speaking about it and promoting involvement and allowing support behind passing voting rights legislation, that's very
encouraging and helps us fight as well. >> the reason we were able to have the announcement last night about progress being made towards a bill for things like the ability to provide childcare and housing and medicare, reason why his voting rights were protected across this country what we are saying is that we fail to protect, we will not have other opportunities to address the fundamental issues facing americans. [inaudible] >> we have pledged to them
behind closed doors in here that we are not giving. to the contrary, we are going to georgia and the rules committee there are many around success -- many routes to success. we have the for the people negotiation. not every t's crossed and i got it -- and i dotted but there are a number of important things. same-day registration from ethical provisions that are very poor. -- registration, ethical provisions that are very important. also going on is the john lewis bill. that is another route and you can also add provisions to that bill that you are looking at. you have the upcoming reconciliation package which will allow us to put funding for elections which in many states is sorely missing and we will go
to the max for whatever we can do with that reconciliation package. we have work being done in the justice department that is significant. we have people over there who are going to be leaders on bringing up cases that we never had during the trump administration. there was a lot of work being done between congress and the administration. they have dropped many times about the standing filibuster. to me, this is just not a vote you just referred to, it is the beginning.
[inaudible] >> that is not all they are doing. in the state of georgia, they have a provision that would allow the state board of elections to overturn what the local boards have done, make it -- making it almost impossible to certify election georgia tech. -- to certify elections in georgia. in texas, volunteers can be harassed by so-called poll watchers.
there is a smorgasbord of provisions in these bills with the intent of making it difficult for certain parts of the electorate to vote. some people don't want some people to vote. that's what this is about. we have been averting in georgia long before this. >> let me tell you this, texas has one of the highest voter turnout in the last election. and our republican appointed to carry estate said that those elections were safe, secure, and successful. so any type of effort -- let me tell you suppression is not always overt. it can be subtle, subtle in the form of empowering partisan poll watchers who get a warning for they can be removed. but the poll workers face immediate criminal sanctions. so we don't even have to say it. we can just tell you the
provisions of the bills and you can know for yourself that they are not interested in fairness. they don't want the elections to be free. they want you to cut through a bunch of red tape and then cancel your ballot if you make a mistake. they want to criminalize poll workers who make simple mistakes. so we are angry and we have courage. >> i remind you that minnesota has the highest voter turnout in the country and we have elected public and governors, democratic and -- governors -- republican governors, democratic governors, and jesse ventura. so my answer is it does not always benefit one party. but people are part of the process, they get to vote. they are not shut out of the process no matter who wins. [inaudible] >> it struck me as an act of
courage. from people who said we have fought the fight here, we have done everything we can, and just as happened in the 1960's when people were being denied jobs and housing and people were being denied education, at some point, and yes lyndon johnson and vice president hubert humphrey, understood this. they said at some point, the federal government stepped in. that is their job. so i don't know how much clear you can than to have them actually come to the place where it is there only point of salvation because their governor is not going to do it for their people. >> we are handing the baton to our senate colleague to finish this race for us. >> we are often occupied to work on policy but what really makes an impact is when people are on the front lines and coming here to the capital to share their experience.
that is what the texas legislators have done and i'm so proud they have come to share the exact provisions that in texas are designed to rip up their vote, including attacking legislation, attacking early going, attacking vote by mail. but who else did? utah, a republican state. it has served well every citizen of the country to have their voice heard in the direction our country goes and that's what we are fighting for, the division of our constitution. >> from the northstar state the lone star state, thank yo >> tonight on q&a, the q&a -- the engineer of the historic fire vote of john jay harvey
september 11, called back into service to aid firefighters following the attacks on the twin towers. in her book, she tells the story of the community of mariners who came to the rescue of thousands. >> the maritime evacuation the delivered nearly half a million people to safety is an incredible example of the goodness of people. when you are given the opportunity to help, you have the tools, you have the skill set, the availability that people over and over again made the choice to put themselves in harm's way. for the sake of fellow humans. that is very instructive, something we really need to continue to remember. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. you can also listen to q&a as a podcast where ever you get your podcasts.
>> c-span's washington journal, every day we take your calls live on the air with the news of the day and we discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, morgan shall upon reviews president biden schedule and then author michael wolff discusses his latest book, landslide. the final days of the trump presidency. dr. william schaffner talks about covid-19's delta variants. vaccine hesitancy. watch live monday morning and be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, texts and tweets. >> monday night on the communicators -- >> the reason why ransomware has become such a problem is it has
become a huge threat, not only a cyber criminal threat but as you mentioned, because of the application for critical infrastructure like pipeline for the largest meat supplier in the country. these are significant targets and they have increasingly become something cyber criminals are targeting. ransomware is a concept is pretty simple. unfortunately, defending against it has become complex. >> he oversaw the cyber security investigations during the trump administration. he discusses recent ransomware attack. monday night, on the communicators at 8:00 eastern on c-span two.