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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 11/17/21

Guests: Ryan J. Reilly; Peter Aguilar; Val Demings; Debbie Dingell, Jennifer Gosar, Eric Swalwell, Ryan Reilly

Summary

Qanon shaman Jacob Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol. House censures GOP Congressman Paul Gosar over violent video. President Biden delivered the good news to the workers there today that the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he just signed into law provides $7.5 billion in funding for electric vehicle charging stations all over the country.

Transcript

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.

I want to stress this point about Paul Gosar, how rare censure is. You were talking about it. There has only been 24. That`s 24 in the entire history of the House of Representatives. That`s over 11,000 members of the House of Representatives. It is really, really hard to get censures. It`s a very, very hard thing to do.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Yeah. And they have other options, right? They have other things they can do if you do something that`s not quite this bad. You can be stripped from your committees without being censured and from your leadership job. You be can reprimanded in some way, right? You can have the House ethics committee say something mean about you. there`s all sorts of things that can happen.

To be censured puts you on the end of the number line in terms of how your behavior compares to, as you say, the 11,000 other people that had this job since the beginning of the country.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, I think whenever we cover ethics scandals in Washington or even something like this censure, there is this thing in the air about oh, it`s always happening. Just -- it just isn`t -- you could work and live an entire career in the House of Representatives and never see a censure vote.

Most -- 99, more than 99 percent of the members of the House and Senate have never come close to being accused of an ethics violation in the ethics committee. They live very far away from the line. They don`t walk up to the line. That`s the overwhelming more than majority. We`re talking up in the 99 percent area.

MADDOW: The defense on Congressman Gosar`s behalf from his fellow Republicans given that, given that rarity that you`re talking about I thought was ill conceived. Essentially, their defense was not about the dignity of the House, was not about the history of the moment, not about the institution, not about some procedural argument they could have made.

Their argument was like we don`t think this is that big a deal. Relax, ladies, calm down. You`re cuter when you smile, and that attitude that his behavior, that threatening posting of fantasy about killing a fellow member just doesn`t rise to the level of this. I thought missed the moment.

I think there is arguments you can make about rarely used punishments and when they should be used that we don`t care about what he did here was a bad argument.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, and I don`t even -- I`m not sure we can call what they said a defense. I didn`t really hear anybody defending it. I didn`t hear anyone say I would have done that. In fact, there were few Republican speakers that said I wouldn`t have done that. Some said it was stupid. Some said it was very bad judgment but, but they said it doesn`t rise to this level.

But he really didn`t get people standing up there and actively defending what he did.

MADDOW: No, it was definitely like oh, girls, relax, take it easy. Can`t you take a joke? That was the defense here and I think you know what? There is a lot of people in this country that will be rubbing the wrong direction. That emotionally doesn`t go over well.

Like to the extent there was a defense, the defense was like anybody offended is the problem and I just think that was the wrong note. I don`t know. That`s why I`m not a Republican member of Congress, I suppose.

O`DONNELL: Paul Gosar`s sister has been waiting for this day for a long time. The last time she was on this program, she said won`t someone do anything? She was talking about this incident saying why won`t anyone do anything? She called on Speaker Pelosi to do something. That something happened.

Jennifer Gosar is going to start us off tonight. We`ll get her reaction to what happened today.

MADDOW: Excellent. I can`t wait. Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you.

Well, at 4:30 p.m. today, Republican Congressman Paul Gosar became the 24th person in the history of representatives to be censured by the House. There have been 11,000 members of the House of Representatives and only 24 have found themselves standing where Paul Gosar was ordered to stand today by Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she ordered him to stand in the well of the House and listen to the censure resolution that just passed the House with two Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger joining the Democrats and voting to censure Paul Gosar.

[22:05:15]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Will Representative Gosar present himself in the well?

By its adoption of House Resolution 789, the House has resolved that Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona be censured? That Representative Paul Gosar present himself in the well of the House for the pronouncement of censure. That Representative Paul Gosar be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the speaker and that Representative Paul Gosar be and is here by removed by the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Before the House voted, Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy read a ten-minute speech written by his staff in which he did not explicitly defend Paul Gosar but significant suggested the video Paul Gosar tweeted was not worse than some of the things he`s heard Democratic members of the House say in years past.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the target of Paul Gosar`s homicidal video responded to what Kevin McCarthy had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): In response to the Republican lead leader`s remarks when he says this action is unprecedented, what I believe is unprecedented is for a member of House leadership of either party to be unable to condemn incitement of violence against a member of this committee. It`s a sad day in which a member who leads a political party of the United States of America cannot bring themselves to say that issuing a depiction of murdering a member of Congress is wrong. And instead decides to venture off into a tangent about gas prices and inflation, what is so hard? What is so hard about saying that this is wrong?

Not just the Republican leader but I have seen other members of this party advance the argument including Representative Gosar himself, the allusion that this was just a joke. That what we say and what we do does not matter so long as we claim a lack of meaning. Now this nihilism runs deep and it conveys, it conveys and betrays a certain contempt for the meaning and importance of our work here.

Do you find -- does anyone in this chamber find this behavior acceptable? Would you allow depictions of violence against women, against colleagues? Would you allow that in your home? Do you think this should happen on a school board? In a city council? In a church? And if it`s not acceptable there, why should it be accepted here?

Lastly, when the Republican leader rose to talk about how there are all of these double standards and lists a litany of different things, not once did he list an example of a member of Congress threatening the life of another. If you believe that this behavior is acceptable, go ahead, vote no. But if you believe that this behavior should not be accepted then vote yes.

It`s really that simple. Thank you and I yield back to the chairman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Our first guest tonight is Jennifer Gosar, Congressman Paul Gosar`s sister.

Thank you for joining us again tonight. The last time you were on this program was after this video emerged and you were begging for something to happen in the Congress asking Nancy Pelosi to do something. She finally did do something today.

What were you feeling as you watched this today?

JENNIFER GOSAR, SISTER OF REP. PAUL GOSAR: Well, you know, some level of acknowledgement, I don`t want to say vindication because this is a first step, Lawrence.

[22:10:01]

To be honest with you, this is about time. This is not the first time my brother has threatened the life of Representative Ocasio-Cortez. This is the second.

In 2016, he tweeted another anime video with a death note. This is reported by and I do remember this from the time once I recalled reading it, I was like yes, I do remember the press reports about this. So he tweeted that he was a hero again and there was a death note, and it was Joe Biden and Representative Ocasio-Cortez among others. And here he is escalating it.

And what we haven`t pointed out about that killing on the anime video is it`s sinister to the point of bone chilling, slices their spinal cord with two samurai swords moving in opposite directions. I found that absolutely bone-chilling.

So for him to say he didn`t know that somehow it was a joke and for members of the House not to step up is really for me would have been despicable that they did, I absolutely honor they took away his committee assignments and putting that motion forward but this is not the end. This is the first step and again, I`m looking forward to Attorney General Merrick Garland`s charge against my brother.

O`DONNELL: When your brother did speak today, he did not apologize and he did blame his staff. Let`s listen to when he had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): I do not espouse violence against anyone. I have never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset. I voluntarily took the cartoon down not because itself was a threat but because some thought it was. Out of compassion for those who generally felt offense, I self- censored.

Last week my staff posted a video depicting a policy battle regarding amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens. This is an anime that speaks to young voter whose are too often overlooked and no threat was intended by my staff or me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: What was your reaction to that?

GOSAR: That`s absolute garbage, Lawrence. In fact, he retweeted it today, today after that censure vote, my brother retweeted that same anime video that was copied to him by another. So honestly, really, do you believe it? Do sincere?

I absolutely don`t, and in fact, he was boasting that his staff, what great talent they had. I can`t imagine boasting for that level of quality but again, this is what they settle for and this is how they do.

O`DONNELL: You have seen this coming. You have said publicly that his behavior is worse and will get worse. What do you see coming now that he has been liberated from any pretense of having duties in committee work?

GOSAR: Well, I mean, he`s free to continue just direct fundraising with his fans. We`ve certainly seen Representative Taylor Greene not step down on her attacks with other members and tweeting phone numbers and calling in death threats on her fellow Republican caucus members. So I don`t expect less from my brother, unfortunately and honestly, again, the case has been made more than clear, there is evidence to expel him from this body and to criminally charge him for conspiracy to attempt a coup against the United States of America.

O`DONNELL: Jennifer Gosar, thank you for joining us again tonight and before you go, I just want to say if there is anything else you would like to say, any last word you`d like to say about this that I haven`t guided you to in my questions, please do.

GOSAR: The only thing I would say is thank you to the people in the public. There have been people across the country that have reached out to me and said that they are suffering with the same, and I just wanted to say thank you for your support. Keep strong and listen to your voice of integrity and stand up to fascism and never back down.

And I also want to thank Representative Ocasio-Cortez for being the amazing representative she is for all of us.

O`DONNELL: Jennifer Gosar, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. We really appreciate it.

GOSAR: Thank you. I really appreciate it, too.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now is Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. He co-sponsored the censure resolution and served as an impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. And John Heilemann is with us. He`s an MSNBC and NBC national affairs analyst, executive editor or "Recount" and host of the "Hell and High Water" podcast.

Congressman Swalwell, you got this censure moving by co-sponsoring it. What was your reaction to the way the day went today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Accountability prevailed again, Lawrence, and we`re seeing that with Steve Bannon. We`re seeing it with Donald Trump in the courts and we`re seeing it in the House of Representatives.

[22:15:04]

It`s hard to watch Jennifer Gosar frankly, to see any family member lose a brother. I mean, these are people that grew up together with the same parents, lived in the same House and she`s condemning her brother on national television. I don`t take that lightly.

Her brother was radicalized. He`s radicalized by Donald Trump. He was never condemned by Kevin McCarthy and he`s been unleashed on the Congress.

And, you know, Lawrence, you could rightfully say why do we care what Paul Gosar puts on the internet? There`s 5,000 minutes posted every minute on YouTube with weird stuff out there so if Paul Gosar wants to fly around with swords, who cares?

Well, we care because Paul Gosar is a member of Congress and millions of people watched that video and the temperature in Washington is quite hot. It`s quite volatile here because many of us spent hours in a safe room as rioters were attacking police officers before we could get back to the floor. And so when he has a fantasy about beheading one of my colleagues, it`s not a fantasy to think that this could be a call to action from people who watched it online.

O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, why do I get the feeling from congressman Gosar that the location of his parking space in the basement garage is probably more important to him than committee assignments?

JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Because he doesn`t do any actual work, Lawrence. The thing about the anime video Congressman Swalwell is right, of course, that in the atmosphere that we currently see in the country, not just the Congress that things that obviously incite violence need to be denounced and reprimanded and there needs to be accountability. He`s right about that.

I think Congressman Lieu that pointed out anywhere in America if you made a video like that about a colleague, you`d be fired. I think it`s not just about Congress, it`s common standards of decency. To your point, Congressman Gosar is not a congressman. He exists only to lead to be part of insurrections, to be part of mobs, to be part of a right wing caucus that wants to overturn the normalcy of our government, wants to turnover the elected representation of our government, wants to install Donald Trump as president even though he lost the vote overwhelmingly in the popular vote and decisively in the electoral vote and there is no proof of anything else. We know the story.

He doesn`t take his job as congressman seriously. Every day, he mocks the oath that he took to office -- to the country when he took office, he exists to try to undermine all of our institutions and to try to own the libs and to sit on social media and try to put out things like this that will incite people to help him to pursue seditionist aims.

So, I don`t think he can care less. I have no idea what his attendance record is in committee hearings, but God knows most time he`s in there, he`s not thinking about doing the work of the people or doing the work of congress. Couldn`t care less.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, John Heilemann has reframed my thinking of this in the instant here, which is that he`s not a congressman. So you cannot penalize him in any real way with congressional penalties. He can`t care about that.

SWALWELL: Yes, well, we have to show others who may care that there will be penalties and look, Paul Gosar as John mentioned, he represents chaos and Americans detest chaos. Americans like law and order, and if we have a country led by those who are unleashing chaos, then we are lost and so that`s why it was important today to say we`re going to keep stopping the chaos where we see it.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, John Heilemann, I guess you have to think of it the way traffic patrols think of it which is we`re not going to catch every speeder but when some speeders see us pull people over, they`re going to slow down.

SWALWELL: Right. Eric Swalwell is 100 percent right. The purpose for this punishment is as an example to others who might care about losing and being stripped of committee chairmanships or committee seats and committee assignments and there are Republicans that do care about that who care at least to the extent that being part of committee work might somehow bring back some federal funds to their district. Federal funds part of bills they will denounce as we`ve seen happening with this infrastructure bill or Republicans voting a against it are going back to districts and bragging about the money.

But there are Republicans out there who play that game and not as cynicalists as Representative Gosar and it`s important to send a message to those people, Lawrence.

[22:20:04]

And I do think that to the extent if there were a stiffer penalty that was -- that Congress had that was remotely applicable to this action, I think for that purpose, it would have been worth considering that penalty to bring against Congressman Gosar, an applicable penalty, a reasonable penalty, the strongest penalty possible because you must send messages to the other Republican members and any member who wants to think about doing something I`ll say again if you did any private business in America, you`d be fired instantly.

O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, and Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

HEILEMANN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the man who prosecutors call the public face of the Capitol riot was sentenced today. His lawyer claimed Jacob Chansley was suffering from mental illness but Jacob Chansley told the judge he had no excuse for what he did entering the Capitol. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:25:08]

O`DONNELL: Stupidity and mental illness are the two explanations we heard two days in a row in federal court for why the Trump mob attacked the Capitol, screaming their desire to kill Mike Pence on January 6th.

Yesterday in federal court in Washington, defendant Danny Rodriguez was quoted repeatedly saying in his confession to the FBI that he was stupid, and he also confessed to delivering multiple electroshocks to Police Officer Michael Fanone who then suffered a heart attack.

Today, the attorney for the man who prosecutors call the public face of the Capitol riot said that his client suffered from mental illness and that it`s the fault of the United States Navy for not properly treating Jacob Chansley 15 years ago for that mental illness.

After his lawyer`s preposterous presentation, Jacob Chansley himself actually addressed the court for 30 minutes. He thanked the judge for making sure he`s been provided with organic food during his 317 days that he`s already served in jail.

Jacob Chansley said, I was wrong for entering the Capitol. I have no excuse. No excuse whatsoever. I am not an insurrectionists and certainly not a domestic terrorist. I`m a good man who broke the law. I will never reoffend ever again and I`ll always from here on forward think of the ramifications of what I do.

Federal prosecutors asked for a 51-month sentence saying that although Jacob Chansley was not shown on video committing any acts of physical violence against any person, he was carrying a threatening spear through the Capitol that could be used as a deadly weapon and left this handwritten note for Mike Pence when he was sitting in the vice president`s chair in the Senate chamber. It says, it`s only a matter of time justice is coming. He wrote that note while the mob in and around the Capitol was chanting hang Mike Pence.

Judge Royce Lambert who was appointed in 1987 said he was impressed with the honesty of Jacob Chansley`s remarks today and his complete acceptance of his guilt. The judge sentenced Chansley to 41 months with credit to the time he`s served. Jacob Chansley will be out of prison and serving three years of probation the next time the electoral vote is counted in the Congress.

Leading off our discussion tonight is Ryan J. Reilly, senior justice reporter for HuffPost. He attended today`s hearing of Jacob Chansley.

Ryan, I was following as best I could on Twitter because there is no cameras in the federal court, of course. It seemed like the judge was impressed with Jacob Chansley`s 30-minute presentation.

RYAN REILLY, SENIOR JUSTICE REPORTER, HUFFPOST: Yeah, you know, Jacob Chansley has been alive the same amount of time the judge has been on the bench and what the judge said is this is one of the I guess sort of most impressive sort of apologies that he had heard from a defendant in all of that time and it was sort of remarkable. It was sometimes rambling very long speech. It was probably the longest sort of speech I`ve ever seen from a defendant to date and it sort of got off topic frequently and went to certain -- had certain minds in there that wouldn`t have been cleared by an attorney had it been vetted.

And that was what the attorney in this case says that this wasn`t something he had vetted. This is something that he just sort of wanted to say what he was -- what he wanted to say.

O`DONNELL: The prosecutors made the point that Jacob Chansley did have that spear and part of a mob that was violent even if he wasn`t shown himself at any point to be physically violent toward anyone. What was the - - what did the judge say in his evaluation of how to formulate this sentence?

REILLY: Yeah, well, essentially what the guideline called for between 41 and 51 months and the reasons the guidelines called for that because this originally obstruction justice charge that then had some added components to it, right? So because he left that threatening note for vice president, former Vice President Mike Pence was an upgrade on his sentencing charge. That gives him a higher category so that means he would serve a longer amount of time.

What the judge did here was basically decide to do a guideline sentence but at the very bottom of what that guideline sentence would be. It was a similar thing he did with Scott Fairlamb who punched that cop in the helmet last -- when he was sentenced last week. It`s the same sort of sentence, 41 months and 41 months. And I think that is really going to -- as we go forward be a guideline for where more of these, more of the sort of lower end of the violent charges come in.

[22:29:44]

I think for a lot of higher end ones where you`re talking about really vicious assaults on law enforcement were going to be going go to a whole different category. But I think that gives us a sense where these more serious felony charges that aren`t the most serious ones are going to play in, between that 41 and 51 months perhaps depending on some of the individual components and the criminal history of the defendants, as well.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Ryan J. Reilly, thank you very much for your time tonight. We always appreciate it.

REILLY: Thanks so much for having me.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now is Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar of California. He`s a member of the January 6th committee and he is vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Congressman, I want to begin tonight with this historic censure vote. Most members of Congress never cast a censure vote against a member of the House of Representatives. You cast that vote today.

What was your feeling at the end of that process today?

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): You know, most of my colleagues including myself we didn`t -- we don`t take a lot of pride in that vote but what I will say is we just feel a deep obligation to want to protect the institution, to want to protect our colleagues while all of whom are serving under that dome and to make sure that there`s safety is foremost of our mind.

And so that`s how I came to the decision to cast this vote. And you know, clearly, this is something I wish the Republican conference would have dealt with but Kevin McCarthy has a problem with extremism in his caucus and he refuses to deal with it.

O`DONNELL: The threat in that video was specifically to Representative Ocasio-Cortez and to President Biden. But was that threat felt by other members of Congress in a personal kind of way?

AGUILAR: You know, someone who threatens one of us is threatening all of us. That is how we feel. And that`s how I feel if it was to happen to one of my Republican colleagues.

Those of us who serve know how difficult the job is. We don`t talk about it often and that`s fine. We`re chosen by our constituents to do this work and we don`t apologize for that but we want to protect each other and we want to make sure that at the end of the day, everybody can go back home saying that they served and that they did the very best that they could. And unfortunately, that type of behavior that Paul Gosar puts forward really puts a stain on the entire institution.

O`DONNELL: In that same federal court building where Jacob Chansley was sentenced today to 41 months, Steve Bannon was scheduled to appear tomorrow for arraignment and plea. He`s already submitted a guilty plea in writing tonight. But there will be a status meeting anyway on his case as of tomorrow. This is the -- this is the subpoena case that you and the January 6th committee are pursuing in federal court.

Why is Steve Bannon at this point the only one who is facing a criminal contempt charge when Mark Meadows has basically done the same thing that Steve Bannon has done?

AGUILAR: Well, we`ll deal with some of those other cases and we have some options and some tools and clearly the public saw us exercise those options with Mr. Bannon who is someone who has just total contempt for the court system, for congress and for the presidency.

And that`s the difficult part but what the public is seeing is that there are consequences to the actions that these individuals are taking. And we would hope that anyone would follow a lawful subpoena but clearly, you know, this individual and some of them are incapable of doing that.

And so this was the first, it doesn`t necessarily mean the last but we will make sure that we`re doing everything we can to continue to follow the truth and to chase the facts of what happened on January 6th and the leadup to that.

Who funded the attack on democracy? What happened on January 5th and January 6th? Those are the questions that we want asked.

O`DONNELL: It seems there are two kinds of witnesses that you`re interested in. Witnesses who don`t need subpoenas, some of whom have been very helpful including people who were in the Justice Department, the Trump Justice Department in the final days and then those who need subpoenas who must be subpoenaed in order to testify.

So far, none of them have testified. The subpoenaed group seems to be in a position to just defy what this committee wants.

AGUILAR: I don`t think that`s accurate. I think that there are individuals who have received subpoenas who continue to engage and have dialogue with us. Some folks just want, they don`t want a subpoena and others are cooperative without one.

[22:34:57]

AGUILAR: And so those are the -- our job, our task is to continue to ask the questions in whatever manner we can to try to get to the truth.

And so you saw the committee put forward 16 subpoenas last week. There may be others in the future. We`re going to continue to do everything we can. But if someone is willingly going to come in and cooperate we`re going to give them that opportunity. And we know that because we`ve had over 200 witnesses come forward.

And so we continue to build the case and find out the information that we need.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Pete Aguilar, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

AGUILAR: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, we`ll get Congresswoman Val Demings` reaction to the censure of Paul Gosar. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:39:51]

O`DONNELL: Before the vote to censure Paul Gosar, Congresswoman Jackie Speier said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): 23 members of the House in the history of this country have been censored for actions including insulting the speaker or using unparliamentary language.

Certainly conduct by a member depicting murdering another member of the House deserves censure. Let me be clear. If a Democrat did the same thing, I would introduce the same resolution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. She`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee and she is now running for United States Senate in Florida.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

I wanted to get your view of what happened in the House today and in what sense does it matter? Paul Gosar is not going to change his behavior in any way. What else was at stake today?

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Lawrence, it`s great to be back with you.

and let me just say this for the record. Paul Gosar has absolutely no business being in Congress. I think he is a disgrace to the institution.

And with that being said, as a former police chief, I am extremely concerned about the valid rhetoric that we`re hearing not just unfortunately, sadly from members of Congress but also by people all over the country.

When it`s sanctioned, though, by those who are in leadership positions -- look, when leaders fail bad things can happen and we`ve seen the GOP leadership do absolutely nothing, have a lackluster response, which is absolutely shameful.

But not having Paul Gosar being able to serve on his committees and continue to spread like a cancer throughout other areas of Congress is a decent start. I do believe that holding him accountable stands as an example for those who may still be trying to do the right thing.

But Lawrence, we had to do something so I was glad to be one of those who voted in favor of censuring him today.

O5 :Let`s listen to more of what Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Our work here matters. Our example matters. There is meaning in our service. And as leaders in this country, when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues, that trickles down into violence in this country.

And that is where we must draw the line independent of party identity or belief. It is about a core recognition of human dignity and value and worth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: One of the benefits for Representative Ocasio-Cortez from this point forward is that she serves on the House Oversight Committee, Congressman Gosar was on that committee. Now he`s no longer on that committee. So she won`t have to endure his presence in that committee room.

DEMINGS: But, you know, Lawrence, I think Congresswoman Speier said it best. If a Democratic member had promoted violence against another member of the House of Representatives and certainly against the president of the United States, they should be held accountable.

And I think the difference in what you see on the Democratic side of the aisle and the Republican side of the aisle is that the Republicans are, I don`t know what kind of spell they`re under, but they`re lock step and it doesn`t matter whether it`s right or wrong.

It`s about holding bad behavior accountable. And that`s exactly what we did today regardless of who the member of Congress is.

O`DONNELL: And the 50 Republican members of the Senate have had nothing to say about this threat. They are as much a party to this as the House members are.

DEMINGS: Well, look, Lawrence, when leadership fails, bad things happen and certainly, I am running against one of those members in the Senate who avoids any type of what they consider controversial issues that may unfortunately for him affect his political ambitions and career.

[22:44:47]

DEMINGS: Look, when we look at all of the challenges that we currently have in this nation right now, we need -- the American people, American families, Floridians need real leadership. And what we currently have, they deserve better.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Val Demings, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

DEMINGS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell was with President Biden today at a General Motors electric vehicle plant in Detroit. She will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re going to be building again. We`re going to be moving again. And folks, when you see these projects start in your hometowns, I want you to feel the way I feel, pride in what we can do when we`re together as the United States of America. And it starts here in Detroit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:49:46]

O`DONNELL: That was President Biden at General Motors Factory Zero electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit. The president delivered the good news to the workers there today that the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he just signed into law provides $7.5 billion in funding for electric vehicle charging stations all over the country.

Those charging stations are absolutely essential to the consumer appeal and utility of the product that those General Motors workers are building and hoping to sell to electric vehicle buyers.

President Biden is famously a car guy. And today, he was a Hummer guy, test driving General Motors` new electric Hummer.

Part two of the Biden infrastructure plan which the House is scheduled to begin debating tomorrow contains even stronger support for the manufacture and sale of electric vehicles. That bill establishes a federal tax credit of $7,500 to the buyers of electric vehicles through 2026, and that tax credit actually increases to as much as $12,500 to the buyers of electric vehicles that are produced by union workers like the union workers at General Motors.

Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan. She is the senior Democratic Whip. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

What was it like to have the president back in Michigan and this time with real support for the electric vehicle industry there?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): You know, it`s great. It`s always great to welcome the president. But you know, I`m a car girl, and he`s a car guy. So first of all, when you see him behind the wheel of anything, he`s a very happy man. And I like it when I see Joe Biden happy.

Also he`s here with a message, this is an industry that has got to lead the world on mobility. We`ve put the world on wheels and now we`re leading it in mobility and we`re doing it by going from the internal combustion engine to the electric vehicle.

O`DONNELL: The Tesla became the most successful automobile company in the world largely through government subsidies through the tax credits like the $7,500 that you can still now get for Tesla purchases. But because they`re not a unionized company the a much higher tax subsidy will apply to the General Motors electric vehicles and other electric vehicles produced by union workers.

DINGELL: You know, this is what I`m going to say. Part of what the president is doing, he came here earlier this year and was behind at that point (INAUDIBLE).

There`s three things that will make electric vehicles successful. One, they`ve got to be affordable. The Tesla has not traditionally been affordable and honestly a lot of people think that it`s a (INAUDIBLE) or a luxury car for many people.

The president, when he`s going into these Michigan plants, these are real products that people will want and have performance and utility (ph) and they`re real. They`re electric vehicles but they have the performance that customers want. And they`re being made affordable by these tax credits.

Two, we`re going to be investing in battery research so it has range and people have confidence in the range.

And three, as you`ve already discussed, they`ve got to know that they`re going to be able to charge the vehicles when they`re on the road. And we`ve got to upgrade the power grid.

And we get those three buckets done and so we will convert to an all- electric vehicle fleet. And we`ll well on the way to doing that.

O`DONNELL: How important is the charger component of this, in terms of what it`s going to mean for jobs around the country and getting those things installed?

DINGELL: Well, it`s going to be creating jobs. Let`s start there. And that`s one of the things we want to do in all this, protect American jobs, create American jobs at good paying wages.

But people need to have confidence that they`re going to be able to charge their vehicle. We have filling stations now. We need to make sure that they`re going to be able to charge their vehicles.

I`ve talked to someone who was into Tesla and couldn`t find any Tesla chargers in (INAUDIBLE). And we can work by building these charging infrastructure combining it in a public-private partnership. People are going to know when they`re on the road, they`re going to be able to fill their vehicle.

And by the way, ultimately, it`s going to cost a lot less to run that electric vehicle on that charge versus the gasoline prices we`re seeing right now, and have seen in the past.

O`DONNELL: What do you know about the voting schedule in the House at this point on part two of this bill?

DINGELL: We will not leave Washington, D.C. -- I`ve not gone back yet, I`m going to go back tomorrow -- without voting on Build Back Better. It could come as early as late tomorrow night. I`m someone who thinks it is more likely to be on Friday, Saturday at the latest. But we will not leave Washington until the House passes Build Back Better.

[22:54:50]

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

DINGELL: Thanks. Good seeing you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. And tonight`s LAST WORD is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We estimate by the end of the day today, 2.6 million kids ages 5 to 11 will have gotten their first shot. 2.6 million, that`s about 10 percent of kids.

So just ten days into our program being at full strength, we`re at 10 percent of kids. For perspective, it took about 50 days for us to reach 10 percent of adults with one shot.

And when the polio vaccine was first rolled out for kids in the 1950s, it took about three months to cross 2.5 million shots in arms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Moderna formally asked the FDA to expand the emergency use authorization of its vaccine to include boosters for all adults, 18 and older.

[22:59:52]

O`DONNELL: And the FDA is expected to grant that same emergency use authorization expansion to Pfizer`s vaccine, making boosters available for all adults 18 and older sometime later this week throughout the country. They are available in some places already.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.

"THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS" starts now.