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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 7/26/21

Guests: Stephanie Murphy, Andy Slavitt, Chris Murphy, Imani Perry, Beto O`Rourke


Rep. Kevin McCarthy calls the two Republicans on the January 6 Select Committee as Pelosi Republicans. Republican Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, is traveling across the state doing his best to dispel conspiracy theories and to get people vaccinated. The Senate aims to finalize the infrastructure deal this week. Civil rights activist Bob Moses died yesterday at the age of 86.


TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC HOST: Oh, thank you Cal. And please be safe. And that`s the REIDOUT for tonight. And "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Adam and Liz, aren`t they kind of like Pelosi Republicans?

HAYES: The sad leadership and clear boundaries of the Republican Party.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We have important work to do and I think that`s pretty childish.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): It`s childish. We`re doing big things right now.

HAYES: Tonight, how Trump`s version of the insurrection became the litmus test for House Republicans. And what the January 6 committee will be investigating when they convene for the first time tomorrow. Then --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this impact fertility? Well, the answer is no. And that`s been the data but --

HAYES: Despite the ongoing misinformation damage, how some of the vaccine hesitancy are starting to come around. Biden`s former COVID adviser Andy Slavitt joins me on that.

Plus, Senator Chris Murphy on the challenges of working with Republicans on anything.

And with voting rights under threat, we remember the leadership of Bob Moses trying to register voters in Mississippi.

BOB MOSES, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Anyone is arrested and then taking out the jail, then the chances that they are alive is just almost zero.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Today, we saw what should be normal seen in Washington in the post-Trump era with a new administration that has been very intent on restoring normalcy, norms, and conventions of governing. It was a bipartisan celebration of a landmark piece of civil rights legislation, truly a great and important piece of legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was held in the White House rose garden. President Joe Biden signed a proclamation honoring the 31st anniversary of that landmark legislation which was signed into law by a Republican president, President George H.W. Bush, you know, a totally routine kind of event, right?

We love -- we love this bill. It`s been an incredible piece of legislation for the country. And we`re all celebrating it. Also notable because it`s exactly the kind of thing that the previous occupant of the White House would just never do, almost never invited Democrats to even, you know, anodyne, kumbaya, hey, isn`t this great White House events, it didn`t happen. But as we know, bipartisanship is a key belief for the Biden administration, that kind of North Star in some ways as they try to will America back towards a functioning two-party democracy. I think that`s their view of it.

And so, you have Republican leader of the House Kevin McCarthy was in attendance, invited to come to the event this morning. And while there, there are reporters milling about, and they asked him about the select committee investigating January 6 which will hold its first hearing tomorrow.

Now, you may remember that last week, Leader McCarthy nominated five Republicans to serve on the House Select Committee, three of whom voted against certifying the election results of January 6, which is to say, after the mob stormed the Capitol violently, they voted with the mob and with Donald Trump to take the presidency away from the man who`d rightfully won it and award it to the loser. Not a great vote my opinion.

Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi then vetoed two of those Republicans, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan. And then in response, McCarthy theatrically got all huffy, he pulled all five. So, they`re not going to be on the committee. Pelosi has now appointed a second Republican to the committee herself. Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois will join Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Both of those individuals who voted for impeachment, have also denounced what happened on January 6. And that move apparently did not sit well with Leader McCarthy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, some Republicans have been saying that the GOP should play ball on this committee. You could -- you could --

MCCARTHY: Really? Who`s they? Who`s that, Adam and Liz?


MCCARTHY: Aren`t they kind of like Pelosi Republicans?


HAYES: Now, OK, the phrase Pelosi Republicans is kind of laughably done, one of those things that the person who comes up with thinks is clever, but it`s not really. But the term illuminates an actual definitional battle happening about the boundaries of the conceptual category of Republicans. And those boundaries are being etched day by day chiefly by Donald Trump and then by all the people subservient to him.

Kevin McCarthy, of course, is one of those very subservient followers. You may remember that he dutifully followed Donald Trump in the wake of January 6. First denouncing him the next day or think that day saying, you know, he bears responsibility, but then quickly, about face supporting the former president over one of his own members, Liz Cheney, because she was the one that refused to go along with the big lie that Trump won the election.

And it led to this very, very awkward moment back in February which kind of pre staged what would happen when Kevin McCarthy was asked that the president should headline the conservative CPAC conference.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe President Trump should be speaking -- or former President Trump should be speaking at CPAC this weekend.

MCCARTHY: Yes, he should.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congresswoman Cheney?

CHENEY: That`s up to CPAC. I`ve been clear my views about President Trump and the extent to which fallen -- extent would fall on January 6. I don`t - - I don`t believe that we should be playing a role of each of the parties for the country.

MCCARTHY: On that high note, (INAUDIBLE)



HAYES: It`s, it`s the Kevin McCarthy eye close for me just one big happy family. Liz Cheney, along with Adam Kinzinger, just to be clear, have to my mind, pretty terrible politics. I mean, you know, again, that`s where I`m coming from. They have extremely conservative voting records. They, you know, vote for tax cuts for rich people and against abortion rights, and almost everything else down the party liner as much as you can define what the ideological party line of the Republican Party is.

But of course, that doesn`t matter. And it didn`t save Cheney from being kicked out of her position as the number three in House Republican leadership. That`s not like some Penny Annie-like backbench committee assignment. That`s way up near the top. And she was kicked out because Donald Trump has worked every day since the election and since the insurrection to exert the influence he has to make fidelity to the big lie, and a commitment, an enduring commitment to overturning American democracy the litmus test for Republican Party membership.

Now, the influence that the former president has is narrow but deep. It only works among a certain segment of people, but among the people it works with, it`s strong. So, we`re still watching that happen. That`s what Kevin McCarthy is doing defining -- adding Kinzinger and Liz Cheney as Pelosi Republicans. It`s another way of saying they are not really Republicans. And the reason he`s saying that is because they do seem, I don`t know, troubled by the violent insurrection, the lack of a peaceful transfer of power, and the designs Donald Trump clearly has undoing it all again if you get the chance.

In fact, as the midterm races heat up, lots of reports indicating that Republican candidates across the country are increasingly focused on the last election running on the false hood spread by Trump and his allies that the 2020 race was stolen from him.

Just this weekend, Donald Trump did an event where he prattled on about the stolen election at an interminable rally in Phoenix with most of that state`s Republicans were running for statewide office there attending the event, which goes to show, again, that influence. Now, Arizona, of course, is the one state that has actually tried to prove Donald Trump`s false and ridiculous claims. That`s in the audit of Maricopa County`s 2.1 million ballots which has, not surprisingly, been just an absolute clown show.

I mean, it`s still going on apparently. Get this. There was -- there was one at least nominally legitimate faces of that recount who is former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican, who said today he`s been shut out of the audit as a third count of the ballots total is still ongoing. They`re just counting and counting because they`re trying to reach the conclusion they want, obviously.

The ballots themselves, by the way, just oh, by the way, almost got rained on the other day when the roof of the building where the audit is taking place started leaking. Workers scrambled I guess to cover boxes of ballots with tarps to protect them. All it seems like a pretty professional operation. It`s the level of competence you would expect from a Donald Trump project and the level of competence and good faith we`ve come to expect from the Republican Party writ large.

But as oafish as it all is, it`s also a present danger to the country because again, day by day, Trump cultivating his lie, a litmus test about adhering to it day by day. And it`s changing the incentives for everyone on the ground like putting a magnet by a bunch of filings. Like, Republican Congresswoman Nancy, Mace of South Carolina, one of those little filings, freshman member of Congress, backbencher who after January 6, denounced Trump`s lies of a stolen election that fueled the assault on the Capitol. But now, not surprisingly, because you know, she wants to have a career, as a New York Times reports, Congresswoman Mace has quietly backpedaled into the party`s fold, now studiously avoiding the subject.

Now, all that said, my take, I happen to think is that the big lie, the obsession with 2020 isn`t really great politically for the Republican Party. I don`t think it`s a very broad audience. Certainly, I can`t imagine swing voters or independents caring much either way. In the short term, Republicans best bet for the midterms is probably a message about concrete things going on the country and people`s lives. I don`t know higher prices were hotels or used cars or gas prices or whatever.

That strikes me if, you know, you`re paying me to give advice the Republican Party as a better message than the election was stolen from Donald Trump by the ghost of Hugo Chavez that had gotten embedded in the voting machines. But Donald Trump is not going to let Republicans pursue that message and they will not break from him.

We saw Republicans justify going along with the big lie. Remember, and McConnell was guilty of this as well, a whole bunch of Republicans all -- even the ones that turned up against him later. In the interim, remember, between the election in the GA run offs, right, which were the day before January 6th, they all sort of went along with it because they wanted to placate him because they had an election to win. But of course the nature of elections is that there`s always another one coming and so the justification for that is always present. And so there will always be reason to a seed to the lies until there are some sort of definitive defeat or they win and we stop having elections or ones that matter anyway.


So, tomorrow, the bipartisan commission, investigating the insurrection kicks off. And again, the politics around this commission are a perfect microcosm of the moment. Back in May, Democrats and Republicans worked out a bipartisan compromise to form an independent commission. We had Chairman Thompson on the show to talk about it. And the House approved it and 35 Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor. That`s a good big majority 252 to 175. That`s a healthy bipartisan majority.

But then it died in the Senate where it also got more than 50 votes with a bunch of Republicans voting for it but a Senate Republican filibuster killed it. A majority of Americans also, not that they matter that much I guess, in all this but they supported an independent commission 56 percent, according to a poll conducted in May.

So, again, 56-30 issue because of Trump exerting his narrow but deep influence on the parts of the American political apparatus he controls which amounts to one-half of the viable parties, we end up in this situation. They destroyed the independent commission. We now have a 7-2 bipartisan committee, looking into what essentially everyone except Donald Trump and his followers, and maybe the people that broke themselves agree it was a horror show.

And stating that simple fact, daring to investigate the origins of how this came about is seen as an impossibly partisan rebuke. But there remains so much about January 6, how it came about that is utterly relevant to every unfolding day in the course of our current American Democratic trajectory.

Democratic Congressman Stephanie Murphy of Florida is a member of the House Select Committee to investigate January 6 and she joins me now. Congressman, let me just first start by asking you your reaction when you`re asked to serve on this and what it means for someone who is in a swing district is going to have a competitive race, I think, in the midterms most likely and why you decided to say yes.

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): You know, I was honored when I was asked to serve on this committee because I believe that we absolutely have to protect our democracy. I took an oath of office, not only when I became a member of Congress, but also when I worked at the Department of Defense, to defend this country against threats foreign and domestic.

And clearly what happened on January 6 was a domestic threat to our democracy. They were trying to use violence to shape a political outcome. And I`m somebody who fled from a country, Vietnam, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, where violence was used to secure political power. And so, I am grateful to be in this country. And I believe that it is my obligation to help protect our democracy.

And I`m not worried about politics. Because what we have as our goal and objective for this Select Committee is far more important than any one person`s political career. This is about the future of our country, our constitution, and our democracy.

HAYES: I want to play for you what the newest member of your committee, Adam Kinzinger, had to say in reaction to being called the Pelosi Republican by the House Minority Leader today. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kevin McCarthy called you a Pelosi Republican. How do you respond to that?

KENZINGER: Look, it`s childish. We`re doing big things right now. We`re getting to the answers of the worst attack on the Capitol since the war of 1812.


HAYES: Are you -- do you have the perspective that Kinzinger and Cheney will be good faith partners in collaboration in this effort on the -- on the sort of questions before the committee`s portfolio?

MURPHY: I welcome Adam and Liz`s participation in this Select Committee. They demonstrate that there are Republicans out there who are interested in seeking the truth and putting country over their party. And it`s just a shame that Kevin McCarthy has resorted to name-calling to try to disparage his own members and try to create a site that shows service to detract from the very serious efforts that this committee is making towards getting to the truth about what led up to the events on January 6, what happened on January 6, and how we prevent that from ever happening again.

HAYES: What is your expectation for tomorrow`s first hearing?

MURPHY: I`m looking forward to the opportunity to lift up the voices of several law enforcement officers who were also victims on that day. They were on the front lines. I look forward to hearing them share those personal stories.

But we picked just for law enforcement officers, but there were over 150 law enforcement officers who were hurt that day. Over 50 of them have provided the Senate with written testimony. This is just a sampling of what law enforcement officers encountered on that day. And it is so important that we allow the American people to see what they faced on the frontlines of the attack on the Capitol.


HAYES: You know, sometimes hearings, there are different ways that hearings can happen in in the modern world of Capitol Hill. Some feel like essentially set pieces that are designed for public consumption. Some seem more focused on actual matters of policy or getting the bottom questions sometimes that correlates to how many cameras are in the room or if people are paying attention. I wonder what you`re -- like, how seriously an endeavor, do you view this as the way to actually create a systematic and comprehensive record of what happened that day and what led up to it?

MURPHY: This is a deadly serious matter. And we will be approaching our job on the select committee with that level of solemnity that it deserves. The American people deserve answers. We are a democracy at the heart of our democracy is that we have often hard fought elections, sometimes close elections. But at the end of the day, we accept those results. You cannot allow political violence to determine political outcomes in this country.

And so, we need to fully understand what happened on January 6. And we are going to see I think, a mix of hearings where I`m sure tomorrow will be an emotional hearing for some of these officers who are still suffering from the effects of the assault on their physical persons that day. They`ll be sharing their stories. But we`re also going to have hearings that get to the facts and lay out the details of who paid for this, what kind of organizational structure do they have, are they still planning on trying to overturn this election. These are all critically important questions that have to be answered and we have to get to the truth.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida who will be up on the dais tomorrow at that first hearing, thank you so much for making some time for us tonight.

MURPHY: Great to be with you. When it comes to the fight against outbreaks of the Delta variant, the U.K. has been acting as something of a crystal ball for what things will look like in the U.S. What happens there tends to be what happens here just a few weeks ahead.

Well, today our crystal ball has some good news that may be the light at the end of the tunnel, MY fingers are cross. I`m going to tell you about it next.



HAYES: Right now, the Delta variant is here in the U.S. It`s the by far the majority of cases and it`s running rampant in places with particularly low vaccination rates. What we`ve seen is in response, Republican governors of some of those states that have those low rates across the country trying to mobilize their constituents to vaccinate which is great, a great development.

In deep red Arkansas, for instance, which has seen 14 percent% spike in New COVID cases over the last two weeks, the governor there, Asa Hutchinson, is traveling across the state doing his best to dispel conspiracy theories and to get people vaccinated with decidedly mixed results. Watch what happens at a town hall earlier today when the governor says the vaccine does not cause infertility.


GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): Does this impact fertility? Well, the answer is no. And that`s been the data. But they ---

JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ARKANSAS: So, there is no medical evidence at this time that the COVID vaccines impact fertility. There is a great deal of evidence that the COVID illness itself causes problems with pregnancy.


HAYES: That`s a tough scene to watch. Good for them for doing it. And I hope that more folks across the political spectrum, ideological spectrum keep taking the message to people. There are however two glimmers of hope on the horizon. First, it does seem like this push is working a bit. So, the rolling seven-day average of new vaccinations is ticked up a little bit after declining for a while up nearly 60,000 from last week. That`s daily vaccinations. And while it may be too soon to call it a trend, it is positive news.

Some other positive news. In England, which is a few weeks ahead of us in dealing with Delta, look at that. See that going down? New places -- new cases starting to decline as you see on the chart here. That gray line there, somewhere in there. Where is that? That gray line. That`s London. It`s down more than 22 percent over the past week. The yellow line is the Northeast region, which is down 42 percent. But the most important thing is that all the lines are tracking down quite quickly too. Now, very good to see.

Now, the U.K., over 70 percent of eligible people fully vaccinated here in the United States. That numbers over 57 percent. So, still a bit unclear where we are in the Delta trajectory broadly, how much our curve will look like the U.K. But the best case scenario is the one that we can hope for is an outbreak that dissipates just as quickly as it broke out.

Andy Slavitt is a former White House Senior Advisor for the COVID response, author of Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response. And he joins me now.

And Andy, let`s talk about that kind of crystal ball of the U.K. which has been ahead of us in Delta, is a very vaccinated society, you know, in relative terms to other countries, still got hit pretty hard, kept deaths much further down than the last wave, and now seems to be on the decline. What do you make of it and what it portends for us?

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR FOR THE COVID RESPONSE: It is good news, Chris. And it`s exactly what we observed in India. And the reason that`s good news for us because as you say, the U.K. has more vaccinations than we do, but we have many more vaccinations in India. And India saw the exact same curve. So, what it implies is we will see the same steep drop, but unfortunately, because we have lower vaccination levels, we`re going to see a higher climb. But we should expect to see this measured in weeks, not months, if the pattern if that happened in India and in the U.K. happens here in the U.S.

HAYES: Yes. And we should say, some of the data coming out of India is just mind blowing in terms of how broadly that spread in terms of what was caught by testing there. I mean, you`ve got studies saying that two-thirds or more of Indians with the presence of antibodies, which means there`s probably, you know, hundreds of thousands of deaths uncounted on the subcontinents. It`s really brutal to imagine.

We`re probably not going to face that because of our -- you know, because of our vaccination. But I guess the question is, can you trust surveillance about where it says we are in terms of how far we are in the wave because my sense is we are under testing by quite a bit right now.


SLAVITT: Yes. Yes, I don`t think we test quite as many as they do in the U.K., but as you said, we do more than in in India. So, seeing both data points, you know, I think we held our breath when we just saw the India data point. Seeing what`s happening in the U.K. should give us a little bit of comfort when it seems like in part because this virus is so rapidly spreading. It`s like one of those crazy wildfires. It burns through all the tinder really, really quickly and then -- and burns itself out.

So, you know that that`s the kind of fire that I start when I`m cooking -- when I`m when I`m grilling and I can`t keep the flame going. So, maybe that`s what we`re sitting here, one would hope.

HAYES: Yes, so we`ve also seen interest in vaccines in terms of Google searches going up. We`ve seen Republicans put their shoulder to the wheel, particularly in places in the country with low rates where people hadn`t been doing that. And then, we`re also seeing -- these are just headlines I think from today about requirements. The VA becomes the first federal agency that`s going to mandate for health care workers. New York City will require vaccines or weekly tests for hundreds of thousands of city workers. California is requiring proof of COVID vaccination for state employees predicting significant rise of hospitalizations.

What do you make of this move towards at least in healthcare settings or on public employment settings requirements of vaccination?

SLAVITT: Well, who wants to go to a hospital and be taken care of by somebody who isn`t vaccinated? I don`t think people are going to go to that hospital, if they can avoid it. So, look, I think it`s a very respectable thing to do, something that is in keeping with our -- you know, the kind of traditional rights and liberties and so forth that we offer folks is to do exactly what New York City is doing and say, get vaccinated in order to keep our workplace safe, in order to keep our venue safe.

But if you don`t want to be vaccinated, that`s fine. But show up here at 6:30 in the morning before work and get a test. And maybe more than once a week, maybe twice a week. I think the data would show that twice a week would be warranted. And maybe those tests will be at people`s own expense, or maybe there`ll be paid for by the employer. But it`s a very fair thing to do.And that went -- all of us can walk into those facilities and be comfortable.

I talked to the operator of the largest venues, concert venues in the country and they are thinking about doing the same plan. So, I think this is the kind of thing that I hope we`ll see all around the country.

HAYES: That`s interesting. Vaccine requirement with the exception of subjected to an intense testing regime as a way out as a way of thinking about it going forward. Andy Slavitt, thank you so much.

SLAVITT: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, why President Biden`s big bipartisan infrastructure deal is maybe in danger of falling apart and maybe just about to cross the finish line as it has been for weeks. Sen. Chris Murphy joins me next.



HAYES: Back in late June, we saw an extraordinary scene play out in the White House driveway. President Joe Biden flanked by Democratic and Republican senators walked out to announce to reporters they had brokered a big bipartisan deal that would include $579 billion in new infrastructure spending. It was the kind of scene that we don`t really see happen that much anymore because these kinds of big bipartisan deals on major domestic priorities really haven`t happened for over a decade. I mean, back -- you probably got to go back to the George W. Bush administration.

Well, today almost exactly one month later, that deal is at risk of falling apart. The bipartisan group has been unable to hammer out key details of the plan, funding for highways and public transit among other unresolved issues. Initially, lawmakers were hoping to deliver a finalized bill today after a Senate vote to advance undrafted legislation failed last week. But after a month long slog, there is still no physical agreement to show for it.

One of the people who works in the Capitol and is watching all this with some interest makes these deals for a living is Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He says he is not sure he will vote for this bipartisan package. And let me just start where things are.

You know, Senator, we have not done a day by day coverage of this because it`s been a little bit of Waiting for Godot about when it`s going to show up, and if it`s going to happen. There was a deadline last week, there`s a deadline now. What is your sense of A, how real it is and be how much the entire agenda stands or falls on whether this happens?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): A bunch of questions there. But A, I think this is going to get done. I think it is to be expected that after having gotten the agreement on the broad outline, the details are hard to consummate. But why is that? Well, it`s because this bill is not just spending, its policy as well.

Every five years we pass new authorizations to determine how we`re going to spend highway money and rail money. Normally those bills in and of themselves are month long negotiations. This bipartisan baggage envisions, you know, spending $500 billion in additional funds and infrastructure but also setting those rules for the next five years. So, the details are, you know, hard to get to yes on for both sides. I think we`ll get there.

If it does blow up, and I don`t think it will, It`s not a done deal for the President`s agenda. Why? Because we have this second process called reconciliation in which we can pass all of this plus the human infrastructure spending that we all want to invest in, like child care and home care. We can do that through reconciliation. So my hope is that we`ll do both.

My hope is that Republicans will get to sign on to the parts that they like, then they will oppose reconciliation, but will still pass with Democratic votes, some pretty big investments in people`s lives separate aside from hard concrete infrastructure.

HAYES: You know, it`s interesting to me that we just talked to the top of the show about January 6 and about the sort of continuing perpetuation of the big lie is this sort of litmus test for Republicans. It`s striking to me that that doesn`t seem to be the case on more prosaic and in some ways as important matters of policy.

So, you`ve got, you know, Trump putting out a statement saying you know, don`t do the infrastructure deal, wait until we get proper election results in 2022. Don`t let the radical left play you yadda, yadda. That doesn`t seem to me, and maybe -- tell me if I`m wrong here, to have the same thing on Capitol Hill or to draw the same blood or have the same sort of power over office holders as the stuff on January 6 or election stuff does.


MURPHY: Well, remember, that we`re still only talking about a group of maybe 10, 11, 12 Republicans in the Senate. But for those Republicans -- but for those Republicans, I mean, I think right now they are faced with a decision as to whether Trump and his policy arsonists are going to rule Washington and rule their party or whether there`s going to be the ability to find these kinds of agreements.

Trump thrives in a world where government can`t solve people`s problems. Trump will continue to rule the Republican Party if he is allowed to tell folks that the only path forward to solve their problems is the division of America, the division from us from our neighbors. If government actually steps in and actually does something about your child care costs, actually supplies working class people with tax cuts, putting more money in their pockets, then sort of Trump`s line is much less attractive.

And there are 10, 12, 15 Republicans in the Senate who don`t want to empower Trump, and they see delivering on something like infrastructure as a means to sort of cut against his argument and the future that he will have controlling that party.

HAYES: That`s an interesting way of looking at it. I don`t think I quite thought of it in those terms. We should note that a lot of this stuff is very popular. This is just, you know, AP National Opinion Research Council polling on infrastructures from last week where you`ve got, you know, 83 percent favor roads, bridges, and ports and pipes supplying drinking water 79 percent. Rail service, I shall say, which is I know important to you, much lower on there. But you seem hopeful that that is going to get done in the end.

MURPHY: I think one of my worries is that in order to consummate this deal, some Republicans are going to push for some of these numbers to come down. And, you know, in this agreement, there`s about $30 billion for rail in the northeast. We have $40 billion just state of good repair projects. Projects that, you know, are just patching what we have back together.

So, I haven`t decided my vote on this not because I don`t want to vote for it or that I don`t expect to vote for it, but just I want to make it clear that if some of these numbers get lower in the final negotiations, it makes it hard for people like me who rely on rail transit to get the folks I represent to and from New York -- from New York and Boston every day, it makes a lot harder for me to vote for it.

HAYES: Final quick question for you. Speaking of a bipartisan compromise, you`re introduced legislation with Senator Lee among others on reforming the War Powers Act. And this comes as we have withdrawn from Afghanistan essentially all of our combat troops. There`s the idea that we may continue to reserve the right for airstrikes against the Taliban as we have airstrikes across the world and Somalia recently in the last few days. Briefly, and quickly, how would this change the state of sort of perpetual war we find ourselves in?

MURPHY: Well, it ends the forever wars. So, it would cut off funding automatically for wars that aren`t authorized by Congress. And even when we do authorize wars, it would limit those to two year periods of time. I just think, Chris, that the American people are smarter than the Washington D.C. foreign policy consensus when it comes to the ability of the United States military to change political realities in far off places. And that`s why our founding fathers required that Congress consent to war.

So, our legislation, bipartisan, would just make it a lot harder for presidents to go to war without authorization from Congress and debate amongst the American people.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, we will continue to watch that legislation which I think is quite important. I appreciate you coming on tonight.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: Ahead, the life and legacy of civil rights leader Bob Moses and the lessons from his work that reverberate through the continued fight for voting rights right after this.



HAYES: In the 1960s, the state of Mississippi was probably the place among the states of the old confederacy where the grip of white supremacist tyranny was its very strongest.


ROY WILKINS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NAACP: There is no state with a record that approaches that of Mississippi in inhumanity, murder, brutality, and racial hatred. It is absolutely at the bottom of the list.


HAYES: Because of that, a lot of the main civil rights organizations thought that it was terrain that was too difficult to sow the seeds of equality and they were starting in other places. But there were workers, civil rights workers in Mississippi incredibly brave, activists and organizers, who began to attempt to push for black equality in Mississippi as others had done across other states in the south. And when they did so, the forces of violent oppression came down especially hard in Mississippi.

Now, while this was happening, up in New York City, a 25-year-old math teacher at a private school in the Bronx was reading about this all and just felt compelled to get involved. And so, he quit his job. He went down to Mississippi. And there he found out that he not only had a talent for math and education, but also had this incredible talent for organizing, for talking to folks, for mobilizing. His name was Bob Moses.

And in 1964, this soft spoken math teacher with a master`s degree in philosophy from Harvard would become the principal organizer of the Freedom Summer project, an effort to dislodge the state of tyranny by initiating voter registration drives.



MOSES: We hope to send into Mississippi this summer upwards of 1000 teachers, ministers, lawyers, and students from all around the country who will engage in what we`re calling freedom schools, community center programs, voter registration activity, research work, work in the white communities, and in general, a program designed to open up Mississippi to the country.


HAYES: People did come and so did the violence to meet them. In the summer of 1964 alone, Mississippi journalist Jerry Mitchell reports Klansmen had killed six people, shot 35 others, had beaten another 80. The homes, businesses, and churches of 68 Mississippians associated with civil rights movements were firebombed. Now, the FBI at the time offered zero protection, essentially washing their hands of the whole thing.


J. EDGAR HOOVER, FORMER DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: We most certainly do not and will not give protection to civil rights workers. In the first place, the FBI is not a police organization, purely an investigative organization. And the protection of individual citizens, either natives of the state or coming into the state is a matter for the local authorities. The FBI will not participate in any such protection.


HAYES: This was the summer that infamously three freedom workers who had come from the north, two white, one black, disappeared from a Mississippi jail. Their bodies were discovered weeks later in a dam.

Now, Bob Moses had to warn young people coming down that what they were doing was an attempt to unseat a comprehensive system of violence that would not cede its authority without more violence.


MOSES: We had to tell the students what we thought was going on because if in fact anyone is arrested and then taken out of the jail, then the chances that they`re alive was just almost zero. And we had to confront the students with that before they went down, because they now had the ballgames changed.


HAYES: Basically, come on down to Mississippi where the Klan will try to murder you. They just murdered three people who came to do what you`re doing. Now, Moses himself had face all kinds of terror and intimidation. At one point, during a voter registration drive, a sheriff cousin bashed Mr. Moses` head in with a knife handle. Bleeding, he kept going, staggering up the steps of a courthouse to register a couple of black farmers.

Another time, three Klansmen shot at a car in which Moses was a passenger. He cradled the bleeding driver and managed to bring the careening car to a stop. Bob Moses would eventually gain a reputation as one of the most masterful organizers in the entire movement. But the notoriety became too much for him. And in fact, he eventually just stepped away from it. He went back to Harvard to continue working toward a PhD in the philosophy of mathematics. And he would go on later to launch this incredible initiative called the Algebra Project which he described as a five step philosophy of teaching, particularly teaching math literacy to both urban and rural communities.

There are other names that come to mind when we think of the Civil Rights Pantheon, right? Dr. King, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer. Moses never entered that Pantheon in terms of fame, but he is every bit as much a legend of the movement. Because breaking the back of white supremacy and anti-democratic forces in Mississippi was key to creating the multiracial democracy we have today.

After George Floyd was killed last summer, Bob Moses told The New York Times, "I certainly know at this moment which way the country might flip. It can lurch backward as quickly as they can lurch forward." I thought about that quote when I read the Bob Moses died yesterday at the age of 86 because I think he`s right. Whatever is going on with the country right now, the battle that Moses waged for quality continues day in and day out. We`ll be right back.



HAYES: Throughout the Jim Crow South before the Voting Rights Act, states throughout the south pushed through laws that ensured certain people couldn`t vote, even if they technically could. More than half a century later, we have this new set of barriers to voting being put in place again not saying what they`re really doing, but making sure some people can`t vote. And it`s not just across South, but across the country.

Beto O`Rourke is a former Democratic congressman from Texas who founded Powered by People, an organization trying to put public pressure on Congress to take action and voting rights. And Imani Perry is the Hughes- Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She knew civil rights organizer Bob Moses since she was a child. And they both join me now.

And Professor Perry, maybe let me start with you just because of the legacy of Bob Moses when you think about the violence that he and others in SNCC and Freedom Summer faced down there, and the fact that the thing that provoked the most violence above all else was the simple act of going into the Delta particularly and registering Black citizens to vote in an election.

IMANI PERRY, PROFESSOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Yes. I mean, you know, I think voting rights were understood by them to be a fundamental piece of citizenship. In the Delta, people were working on the very land that their ancestors had been enslaved, and where members of SNCC and Bob among them entered into that landscape.

They knew that they were entering an incredible amount of danger, but also there were generations of people who were working before them. They had a kind of humility and grace. I never remember a time Bob speaking about being in the Delta where he didn`t honor Amzie Moore who was an organizer in Mississippi who he treated as a mentor of sorts in his -- in his work.


And you know, I think the that kind of model that SNCC had of the of the slow process, cultivating local leadership, humility, recognizing that many local people kept them safe with the exact kind of organizing work that was necessary to actually build a society of transformation, because everybody was valued.

And so, when we see today this turn away from the recognition of the full citizenship of so many members of our society, this rejection of the full participant of our communities, it does put one in the mind of, you know, the struggles that SNCC face and how critical it is that we continue that legacy.

HAYES: You know, I`m sort of passionate about this topic and love reading and reading about and watching it and reading parting the waters, and people should see eyes on the prize. And one of the things, Beto, that I was thinking of as I was falling down a Bob Moses rabbit hole this last weekend is, you know, they had really intense tactical fights back then, I mean, really intense tactical fights.

There were people in the civil rights movement who thought that the decision to go into Mississippi was absolutely nuts, that it was reckless, that it was crazy. There were all kinds of battles at the time about what the right way to secure these rights was. And I think right now, you know, this broad coalition right now in the Democratic Party about whether federal legislation can happen and whether the filibuster should happen, whether you can out-organize these restrictive voting laws, like there`s some conflict inside the larger democratic coalition about what the path is forward right now.

BETO O`ROURKE, FOUNDER, POWERED BY PEOPLE: And I really hope that we`re all able to take a page out of Moses` book on this. You know, he was working on voter registration in Mississippi. I just read the chapter on the column where he sets up shop and not only does he have to convince African- American citizens that they should try to register, but he has to conduct classes in the Mississippi State Constitution because they`ll be asked to interpret sections of that constitution in front of the voter registrar, at the same time that he`s pushing Kennedy, and then later Johnson to pass civil rights and voting rights legislation.

We`ve got to do that right now in 2021 and we`ve got to encourage. And I think, also, in the spirit of Bob Moses push a little bit on President Biden to not only diagnose the problems, this unprecedented attack on our democracy, talked about in Philadelphia, but also prescribe the solution, the political courage necessary to change the rules of the filibuster, for example, to allow voting rights legislation to pass by majority vote so that we can pass the For the People Act.

And for those who want to follow in that spirit of civil and voting rights leadership, we`ll be joining Bishop barber this week and on Saturday in Austin, Texas to rally for the right to vote in person to push those in public office like President Biden and our friends in the Senate to use the power they have to ensure that we protect this democracy and ensure every eligible voter can participate in our elections.

HAYES: Yes, that point Imani, I mean, the amount -- the sheer level of moral courage and physical courage that was exemplified not just by Bob Moses, but all the folks that were down there and particularly the folks from Mississippi who were -- who were doing what they asked, right? I mean, you know, being on the receiving end of the asked to go register vote meant that you then were in danger. I mean, there were violent reprisals against people for the act of just registering that that courage in some ways is partly what forces the issue at the national level and the Voting Rights Act, which is through kind of shame, for lack of a better word. Like, they --

PERRY: Right.

HAYES: It wasn`t like everyone rallied around wanting to do it. They got forced into doing it at the national level.

PERRY: Yes. And absolutely, the strategy of Freedom Summer was in part to provide a moral witness, right? So, young people coming from northern states, black and white, and to witness what was happening in Mississippi, right, was extraordinary, because it meant that they could no longer pretend that that wasn`t the America, right? So Fannie Lou Hamer famously said, is this America?

And Bob`s brilliance was to understand that, again, that was not a savior project. That was a project of actually joining forces with those who were already present. I will also say just really quickly, the is still working. They`re still veterans of the civil rights movement who are doing the work every day, who were in community with Bob, who loved him.

And so, you know, we continue -- you know, the struggle never ceased. It really didn`t. I mean, he became an educational justice organizer with the Algebra Project, but we continue to do this work. And what was extraordinary, he was not limited by political expediency. He just did what was right.

HAYES: Beto O`Rourke and Imani Perry, thank you so much for that. I really appreciate it.

That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.