conference, and there's calls into the district -- i don't want making voting for speaker a tough one. i don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. i think the best thing for our party right now is that you have 247 votes on the floor. if we are going to be strong, we have to be 100% united, and i think you know what, let's put the conference first. [ changing captioners ] trying to see if we can get there. i just think it's best if we have a new face. >> reporter: how much do your comments about benghazi last week play into your decision to step aside today? >> that wasn't helpful. yeah, i mean, i meant -- i could have said it much better. but this benghazi committee was only created for one purpose, to
find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead americans. i shouldn't be a distraction from that, and that's part of the decision as well. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: there's been rumors [ inaudible ] saying that members [ inaudible ]. >> no, come on. the conference should be able to decide. thank you all very much. >> house speaker kevin mccarthy explaining his decision to pull out of the race for speaker of the house and for the first time acknowledging that his misstatement concerning the reason for the benghazi committee was part of the rationale. that statement, of course, saying that the benghazi committee had helped to drive down democrat hillary clinton's ratings in the polls. kevin mccarthy leaves it up to the conference to decide who the next face to be, and he would have preferred to get 247 vote.
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>> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target weeknights 10:30p et ambitious legislation designed to fight climate change is the law in california. governor brown signed the measure to use renewable energy for half of its electricity by
2030 and rooirs existing buildings to double the energy efficiency by that date. i tried for a more aggressive field. he wanted to cut the amount of petroleum california uses in half. a new version of david versus goliath is playing out in tennessee. one is working to build the fastest internet connection in america, but it's facing stiff opposition from internet providers. jacob ward explaining. >> reporter: today chattanooga, tennessee is known as the gig city. that's because in 2008 then mayor ron littlefield helped to make chattanooga one of the first american cities to offer super high-speed internet through its own power utility. to do it he had to battle with telecommunications giants. >> whether you deal with those giants, with the comcasts and the at&ts, they are reluctant to gich up the market they have. >> littlefield and city officials worked with their power utility, electric power board or epb.
needless to say, the existing providers were not happy. >> representatives of at&t and comcast paraded into my office to tell me why they didn't think chattanooga should get into this business of competing with private enterprise. >> epb paid for the $320 million price tag with bonds, a line of credit, and a $111 million government stimulus grant, but not before littlefield said he offered to let local telecoms build out the infrastructure themselves. >> they both said, we can't aforked to do that. i said we really can't afford to not do that. >> epb began to install 9,000 miles of fiber. meanwhile, comcast sued the utility to prevent it from building out the network. comcast and others argue cities have an unfair advantage over for-profit companies. >> most cities charge broadband
providers a fee, and if a city com comes in and uses taxpayer dollars and doesn't have to make a profit, it's unfair. >> in the end epb prevailed and has 70,000 subscribers, and the competition is more fierce. in may comcast announced it would offer its own 2 gigabit service in chattanooga. if using the regular internet is a surface roadway, using this is a futuristic highway. consider at average internet speeds it takes a half hour or month to download a two-hour high-definition movie. critics say that cities may be investing too much taxpayer money into infrastructure that provides way more internet speed than the average user could possibly need. you don't need a gigabit but a lot of cities make a mistake putting money into the networks way ahead of consumer demand.
the consumers aren't asking for networks. >> if we build it, will they come? that's the question. >> she's the cio for lexington, kentucky. the city is weighing the costs and risks of investing in a fiber infrastructure. it's one of many options the city is weighing and there are many risks. >> people don't come right away. if a company has to make money and they've partnered with the city or the county, will they come fast enough for them to repay the loan, to repay the lease payment? >> none of our cities really want to do this work. it's hard. it's scary. it's risky. if they're doing it, it's because they have no alternative. >> jacob ward, al jazeera, chattanooga, tennessee. south carolina still facing major threats from downstream flooding. residents on the coast are told to expect flooding in the next 12 hours.
governor nikki haley says it could last 12 days because the water is not expected to recede quickly. thousands of homes are threatened. the death toll from last week's historic storm is now up to 17. we have more. >> i feel bad. it's a little wet, but -- oh. oh, god. >> watch your step. the floor is gone. >> reporter: it only took calvin perry a few seconds to discover that was far less left of his ridgeland, south carolina home that he hoped. you have sunken floors here? >> everywhere. every square foot of this place has been affected by the water. if you don't watch, like i said, you will get hurt. whoa, there you go. that's it. okay. yeah, please. >> reporter: he returned to
salvage what he can from a home that's been in his family for generations. the vietnam veteran came back to south carolina from texas 11 years ago to care for his ailing aunt. perry lives alone now, but the memories are still with him. this place has meaning for you. >> absolutely. all of this property used to be my grandfather's and whatnot, and most of the people here are family. i'm at a loss for words. this is just whoo. >> reporter: the last time perry left his house in a boat he took nothing as rescue crews swept him to safety. now he's leaving with a handful of possessions helped by a local animal rescuer who showed up with a group of firefighters to save animals from a neighboring property. >> my mission is to leave a heartprint bigger than my
bootprint. by boots about print is 12 wide, so i have a pretty good heartprint to leave. i think today there was a lot of people that left a big heartprint on this community. >> reporter: jewel daniels left her heart print on calvin perry. among the few items is a box of family photos including one of himself as a young boy and the two aunts he'll never forget. >> at this time this is all i got to remember anybody, you know. what can i tell you? it's rough all over, but right now i can't concentrate all ooef over. i have to concentrate on myself and what i'm going to do. >> lots of heartbreak in south carolina. we'll be right back.
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the big news today, the current house majority leader kevin mccarthy took his name out of the running for speaker. that news just broke. it became as a big surprise for house republicans. they gathered to vote on the next speaker. john boehner postponed the caucus election. chaf fats of utah and webster of florida are also running for the position. let's go live to washington where michael is standing by. he's been talking to some members of the republican caucus who were in that meeting. this has been a month of surprises for republicans. first, house speaker john boehner moved up his expected
departure saying that he was only going to resign from the speakership but he was going to leave the house. that was a huge shock. now this. >> reporr: and randle, these are the kind of shocks that the conservatives in the republican caucus are happy about. happy to have boehner resign and mccarthy step down. the problem they have now is going forward. they won't get a candidate from the anecdotal evidence gathered here. people are starting to digest this now. the representative said he won't think about this until tomorrow. what it brings to mind, though, are two particular representatives, paul ryan of wisconsin and tre gowdy of south carolina, both who were courted by the republicans to run who said they didn't want to. those are the types of candidates that some republicans have said could be the cohesion candidates, the consensus candidates to get around. everyone here is surprised. >> we heard that mccarthy said
that he had preferred that there would be a united vote, 247 republicans would put him into office. certainly it looks now as if any hope for unity in that caucus is, shall we say, a difficult dream? >> reporter: i would say that. i would say that's an understatement. kevin mccarthy has been by the side of john boehner for a while. john boehner has said things very, very similar to that during his speakership saying we need to be a united party and we should all be this way never getting that consensus. that's been a problem. kevin mccarthy, though, saying he needs to step aside because we couldn't get a majority and people to unite. uniting this caucus was a challenge for john boehner and too big of a challenge for kevin mccarthy. >> what happens next? >> that's the $64,000 question. tre gowdy and paul ryan will be courted again. i think everybody will digest
this and see where things settle and come back and try and find a candidate. webster and chaffatz are in it. chaffatz said i was building up support. look at the benghazi part of this. kevin mckartsy may be the first victim of the benghazi hearings. because of his remarks, the republicans did not want to get behind that. they can now distance themselves. he have to examine a few things and will come back next week after the columbus day holiday and look at where to go from there. right now speaker boehner has his work cut out for him. >> we'll switch over to david shust shuster. david, did you have any idea that mccarthy might pull out? that's the first question. the second question is, why did he do it so suddenly and abruptly. >> he could have won a majority of the republicans as michael was pointing out in the caucus.
to win the speakership at the enof october he needs 218. when you have 247 members of your caucus, if 30 peel away you have less than 218 and therefore you have democrats that can conceivably keep mccarthy from winning the house speakership at the end of the month. that was the first thing. these 30 or 40 conservatives, they're members of the tea parties the freedom caucus formed earlier this year. keep in mind, randall, these are the same republicans that blocked the house republican leadership plans earlier this year for border security legislation because they believed it wasn't tough enough. they were leading the fight in the house to defund planned parenthood. they're the same group able to claim credit for forcing john boehner to step down. some of the establish want republicans call this group of conservative republicans the crazies, the hell no caucus and now they describe them as the dog that has caught the car twice with boehner and now with mccarthy.
again, you only need 30 or 40 votes to stick together in this republican caucus, and you can essentially dictate your terms. mccarthy saw the handwriting on the wall. the other establishment figures did as well, and it's complete chaos now. >> what's odd, davide, to me is for six years now we've seen a solid republican front against president obama. somehow this same republican group that stood four-square against the democrat president's initiatives in thes in the house have now split apart. >> if part because they believe the republican establishment for all the fighting they did with president obama, they didn't fight hard enough. this is the group that wanted the government to be shut down over planned parenthood. they didn't kwlar it did to the republican establishment. they were angry boehner cut a deal. they were angry with boehner with some of the other deals. it's the same thing in the senate and why mitch mcconnell faced a possible primary challenge. some figures on the right felt
he was too accommodating, even though you have the democrats in the white house saying, this is crazy. they wouldn't deal with us at all. the other thing to keep in mind, randall, is 30 or 40 conservatives who say shut down the government. we don't care if anything gets done, their in safe districts. they have campaigned repeatedly. they have total support. their constituents have made it clear they don't care if washington gets anything done. they just want these republicans to cause disruption, and that is certainly what they've done. >> are any of those members of the 30 from south carolina? >> there are some members from south carolina. in fact, two of them maid a crucial role in ousting boehner. >> here's what i'm wondering. you look at tee construction caused by mother nature in south carolina and the need for billions of dollars in federal funds. this is going to mean that they're going to have to vote down money to fix up their state. are they going to do that? >> you can parse the language when you're a member of congress and say that even though you
voted against, say, hurricane sandy relief when it was new jersey and new york, south carolina is different because the circumstances are somehow different. that part of the hypocrisy most look at in washington and say it's absurd. it doesn't matter to these republicans or their constituents. they don't care. the house republicans, this minority within the republican majority, they don't want any dealings with this white house at owl or agreement or want washington to do anything. they want washington to get out of everybody's business and stop trying to fix problems. for the second time in less than three weeks they've had a victory. >> david shuster, tanned by please. we'll be right back right after this. but it's real. and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
bag to the local news of the day. kevin mccarthy takes his name out of the running to be the new house speaker. that comes as a huge surprise for house republicans as they gather to vote on the next speaker. the current house speaker, john boehn boehner, has postponed that election. representative jason chaffetz of utah and daniel webster of florida are running for the position also. we go to michael standing by on capitol hill. earlier you were interviewing a member of the republican caucus, and he seemed to suggest there was a possibility that mccarthy might change his mind and get back in the running based on what you heard mccarthy say at
this news conference. do you think that's likely? >> reporter: i don't think it's likely given the demeanor of kevin mccarthy before the cameras after announcing and facing the press for the first time. you know, with this anything is possible, and you have a -- so many people running around this capitol right now saying, i don't know what's going to happen. anything could happen. those are one of the things that can happen. kevin mccarthy in his preference said said he put the party before himself and not himself before the party. when you listen to kevin mccarthy words, you think he probably won't get back in the race. >> the one thing i found in talking to everybody, if we're going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that. i don't want making voting for speaker a tough one. i don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. i think the best thing for our party right now is that you have 247 votes on the floor. if we're going to be strong, we got to be 100% united.
>> it's a real math problem for kevin mccarthy. he's know it from the beginning. david shuster said that 218 is a number he just didn't see himself being able to garner, and i think that's what it came down to. he knows those numbers very well as exhibited right there, and those numbers have worked against him, randall. >> we wonder how the democrats react to all of this and whether they get any advantage out of it. >> yeah. i think the advantage that the democrats are going to try and seize is on a really dispoint jointed party. it has national complications as well. the house is a microcosm of what the big presidential field is doing right. that big presidential field is trying to whittle itself down. the far right is controlling a lot of the conversation, and the republican party is having a difficult time with them. you know, as we pointed out, it's only a small number of their 247-seat majority that is causing this problem, but they have caused it over and gefr again. the democrats are going to
probably try and play it up. they're going to sit back most likely and watch it happen and hope at the very least that they're able to capitalize politically on it. a lot of republicans know they need democrats to get things done in the house, and that's a big problem for kevin mccarthy turned out to be. >> as david shuster pointed out we have a case of the tail wagging the dog with approximately 30 ultra conservatives in the caucus shutting everything down. thanks for joining us. i'm randall pinkston. more news in a moment with my colleague tony harris. stay with us on al jazeera america, and check us out on al jazeera.com. >> i think we're into something that's bigger than us >> that's the pain your mother feels when you disrespect her son... >> me being here is defying all odds >> they were patriots, they wanted their country back >> al jazeera america presents
the passion.. >> onward! pain... >> it's too much though... >> and triumph... >> inspirational real life stories... >> all these labels the world throws at you, that's what drives me to push... >> of ordinary people >> i tasted the american dream. i liked it... >> living extraordinary lives... >> if we could multiply this program, we could change the world... >> from the best filmmakers of our time, >> i give al jazeera tremendous credit, because it's not traditionally what broadcast journalism does... >> the new home for original documentaries al jazeera america presents only on al jazeera america >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need. >> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> when do we want it? >> now.
>> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.? >> "faultlines". al jazeera america's award-winning investigative series. monday, 10:00 eastern. on al jazeera america. >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant
development... >> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... a shake-up on capitol hill. kevin mccarthy drops out of the race to be house speaker. what he knew and when he knew it, the head of volkswagen america testifies on capitol hill. lead in the water. flint, michigan struggles to find a solution.