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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 8, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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based on the language in there that it allows for what you're trying to do in this amendment? >> it merely references the rel relic room. that's the issue. we obviously all understand that the national media and all this coverage has made this a very tenuous situation. my intent with this is to give comfort and give some direction to the new commission as to y'all need to get back with us january 1st so we can see what your plan is give us a budget and we'll debate that issue here and fund it or not fund it. >> but, mr. quinn would you not agree that with the language that exists in the senate bill, that it accomplishes the same thing? >> no, i don't agree. i don't. it basically this ref repses the relic room. it doesn't say anything about how to handle it. i think it's important that we handle this in an honorable fashion. so that's what we're asking them to do. >> well, mr. quinn, do you know that of course we were both here in 2000 and we went through
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this entire debate before. of course, there were amendments offered up in terms of what to do about the situation then and thanks to some crafty amendments and what not we ended up with a situation that we have today that we have gone back to revisit some 15 years later? >> i'm sorry. were you in the house then? i forget. >> i've been here since 19- -- >> did you vote for the bill? >> yes. >> did you vote for the bill? >> look, it was the toughest vote i ever took in 2000. that was the best we could get at the time. there were two tie votes. my point is we need to make sure we do this in a way, she talked about trust with me in the relic room. trust is a two way street and let folks that aren't raceist have comfort we will have a plan how to handle this in january
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and we will debate the money as to how we will display the flag at the relic room next year. >> mr. quinn that's your second 10 minutes. mr. neil is recognized to speak on the bill. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i sat and i listened all day long with great interest and empathy for what was said. i, too, would point out that when we begin to talk about grace, we really need to evaluate what that really means. grace is not something that we earn earn, grace is something that comes to us unearned. when we talk about this
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situation with that flag in front of the statehouse i would point out to you that in all the conversations that we heard today, they all focused on one side of this situation. it was all about the confederate dead dead. it was not about others who suffered and died, too. i even heard conversations about african-americans who fought in -- fought for the confederacy. i did a little research and what i turned up was this. did you know that in south carolina there were no blacks who fought for the confederacy because the confederate congress did not approve black soldiers fighting in the confederacy until a month before. if you look at your timeline, you'll find that sherman marched through and burned columbia two
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months before. so what i want you to understand is this. when we talk about grace and this issue we really ought to be talking about the whole ball of wax here all of us. i find it interesting no one brought up the fact there were a million plus africans here who were suffering under the weight of enslavement and it wasn't really mentioned and no one talked about what they were going through. and they went through it for almost 400 years. i think that when we talk about grace, we have to extend grace to everybody. not just one way grace, but universal grace. what do i mean by that? that flag that stands out has stood as a thumb in the eye of those families in charleston who
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lost loved ones. we all know it. and the response that this body should give is a moment of grace to those families. not just grace to the confederate dead but grace to those who are suffering right now, who are still alive. the grace this body can extend to those families right now is to remove that flag, remove that flagpole to not delay this process, to do it as expeditious expeditiously as we possibly can, to make sure that that family, those families understand that this body understands what's happened that we grieve with them and we extend to them grace. once we've extended grace to them, maybe it's in god's providence to extend grace to all of us individually and
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collective collectively. but grace is not something that's cheap and it's not something that ought to be used as a political maneuver. it is something in the providence of he who sits high and looks low. what i would tell you attitude this moment is that those of us who care about what happened in charleston, who care about the pain that this state has suffered as a result of it we ought to be extending grace to those people in charleston those families and that grace means let's remove that flag, rates let's do it now. that doesn't mean we don't respect the confederate dead and the things they fought for, if that is your heritage, i understand you loveing and supporting your heritage. but grace means you ought to also love and support mine. it's not a one way street.
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my heritage is based on a group of people who were brought here in chains who were denigrated, demagogue demagogued, lynched and killed denied a right to vote, denied the right to even have a family. let me tell you a quick story of my family. my family was taken here to south carolina. there were four brothers. that much we know. they were purchased by a slave owner by the name of neil. he brought them to sumter county and one of them was taken to kershaw county, that much we know. we know that two of them immigrated to richland county and one remained in sumpter. we know that their original name
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was not neal, that the family name at that time was devoe. they were from a french speaking colony in west africa. we know those four brothers never saw one another again. we know that their children that were born on the plantations in sumpter and richland and kershaw county, they were never able to have their children because their children were sold away from them. i want you to understand that these are the kinds of stories that exist in our community stories of pain and suffering that i ask you to consider as you ask me to consider grace on this issue. when that flag stands out front, the entire african-american community feels a pain and that
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pain is intensified when things happen like charleston and group groups like the klu klux klan and conservative citizens council and other groups use that flag as a banner and use it as an excuse to hate and to kill and to burn and doto bomb. we talk about grace, let's give grace where grace needs to be, not just one way but for all of us. i know i need grace. and i think you do too. in fact all of south carolina needs grace because at this moment we've got some hard decisions to make and the whole world is watching us. the whole world is asking is south carolina really going to change or will it hold to an ugly tradition of prejudice and
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discrimination and hide behind heritage as an excuse for it? you need to understand that if south carolina really wants to extend grace to those who are hurting in this state over what happened in charleston, now is the time to do it. this is the hour. this is where each and every one of us ought to be searching our souls about what we need to do on this amendment, this amendment does one thing, in my view it delays the removal of the confederate flag. that's what it simply does. and if it is a strategy to do that, then shame on us. i spoke with several members here who i know who are proud of their heritage and i've said to them, i'm in support of you in honoring your heritage.
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i think all of our heritage heritages should be recognized. i may not be able to celebrate your heritage with you, but i can recognize your right to celebrate it for yourself. you ought to be able to do the same with me. all of us are part of a tapestry. ourhistories, our lives are all part of a seamless tapestry and that tapestry involves some things that are very good and very bad but we need to recognize that fact that we're all part of the tape tapestry. finally, i want to mention this as i finish. this body has the potential to set a course for south carolina into the future. we have the ability to set a new
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image for south carolina in the world world. my hope tonight is that we will do so. by mutually respecting one another, by mutually respecting one another's heritage and one another's history. now, i want to end by simply say saying this. someone got up here and said well, you want to move every con confederate monument? i'm telling you that's not even on the table. nobody's talking about it. i don't know where that's coming from. what i am in support oá ó is telling the whole truth. if truth be known, i think it would help south carolina to tell the truth about hour history. that that's what we need to do not hide it, not erase it, not water it down but tell the truth about what this state has gone through through, about what its people
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have gone through, what significant figures in this state have done and let the truth educate us so we don't make the same mistakes we made in the past today and tomorrow. >> mr. neal, that's your first 10 minutes, sir. you request your second? >> i thank you for your attention. mr. govan. you're recognized. mr. govan is recognized to speak only a minute. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker, members of the house. like many of you, i realize that it's been a very very long day. and, actually i had not had any intention of really coming up
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here today. i thought that we would simply debate this issue and out of respect for those individuals who wanted to be heard just like we did back in 2000, people would have had a chance to voice their opinions their feelings and we would allow this process to work itself out. now, for those of you who don't know, i've been here since 1993. served in the house, i'm the vice chair of the statehouse committee, which is responsible for many of the items on the grounds. was involved in the flag debate back in 2000. but i want to -- i took the podium because i want to share a story with you and talk about something we really haven't touched on. ladies and gentlemen, we've heard a lot about heritage my
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good friend eric, we talked about that yesterday. and, you know, since 2000, there have been some changes with me. i'm in ministry. i'm a grandparent wasn't that when i came up here, mr. clyburn clyburn, and some other things have taken place. but i want to share with you a very brief story about my relationship with this whole issue, in terms of with the flag. i'll make it very brief. when i was about between 5 and 6 years old i was raised in a little small town called roseville, south carolina. and my aunt and her friend, missmays, we'd go on cat creek road, i think miss knight, you know where that is and go fishing. it was a two-way road.
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as i stood there as a kid play playing on the side of the road while they werefishing in the pond on the side a pickup truck came by with white youth in it confederate flag in the back, and they called out to us the "n" word and flung a bag of nails that hit me in my face. that led to an infection under my eye and every day since that time, when i get up i see the remnants or scar as a result of that particular incident. now, many of us here grew up in a very difficult time in south carolina's history. i'm 57 years old so in orange
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orangeburg, south carolina, i saw both sides of segregation and integration. but i share that with you not to rant and rave about that, because i've had to grow as a result of it. again, it's not a day that i can get around when i look in the mirror to shave myself that i can't see the ramifications of a time gone by. but as i grew older and got involved in politics and took an interest in government, i said, i wanted to be about changeing south carolina. so mr. howard, when i graduated from south carolina state university, and this is why you see me so passionate about it, i learned from some great people in orangeburg and at south carolina state university that instead if you really want to make change in something you've got to put forth the effort and make the commitment. so instead of leave ging mr.
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gilyard, south carolina, when i got old enough for college i came back and i've dedicated my life since then to make a difference. one of the proudest moments in terms of making a difference is when i got elected to this body in terms of the house of representative representatives. and so since that time i've tried to conduct myself in such a way to make a difference. now, let me tell you why all this is important. particularly to me, in terms of what we've been talking about. we talked about heritage today and mr. neal has made i think a passionate argument saying we all have a heritage in this state. i'm a proud southerner i'm a proud south carolinaian. that's why i'm still here. jim clyburn was someone that i looked up to when i was a kid, dick riley, all of them said, listen, don't leave south carolina carolina, that crowd, a lot of
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good people. i serve in this body over in the senate as a page, was here when quincy newman became the first black senator to serve since reconstruction. south carolina has done a lot of things right. i stand here to you tonight, ladies and gentlemen, my fellow colleagues colleagues, because i'm asking you respectfully, to do something right. you see this is not about heritage or hate. we talk about those things, an yes, those are factors and we've been talking about those two things. i submit to you something a little bit different. brother hodges, this is about the future. you see i mentioned mr. quinn that i'm a grandfather. i know you're a proud father. but you know it's not about the burdens we carry from the past, ladies and gentlemen it's about
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what is the groundwork that we lay for the future. you see, i have three grandsons and a granddaughter. and what i heard after what happened down in charleston with the charleston nine, let's not forget mr. scott what has happened is we now have an opportunity to move forward, being men of good will and women of good will. you see, we represent or supposedly the best of south carolina. ladies and gentlemen, i'll tell you why i didn't support the public referendum, because the people expect us because that's why they sent us here, to do the right thing. so i submit to you that this is a defineing moment, ladies and
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gentlemen. in our state's history. it's a defineing moment because we have an opportunity as the chamber of commerce has pointed out, to support investment and job creation opportunities that can level the playing field and open up a new avenue whereas south carolinaians regardless of their race, creed or color, can step beyond the ignorance of poverty and build bridges. it's about expanding markets of opportunities for south carolina's good and services. as the chamber has said because this is important. because i will submit to you, if we do not have job opportunities for individuals in south carolina, when you consider the situation with mr. roof, i'll
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tell you what i saw. an individual without hope without taking advantage of the opportunities opportunities. something's wrong. i submit to you, as an educator, when you look at individuals who have turned to violence, to express their opinions you can trace it back to a lack of hope. so for those of us who want to enhance our opportunities for this state who want to move forward -- and i believe part of the grease that was the grace that was extended by those familyies of the charleston nine and others who suffered as a result of some of the things that have occurred in our dark past we can turn the page by create agnew day for south
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carolina. so this amendment, ladies and gentlemen, this amendment if it succeed succeeds, we do not need to do anything to jeopardize the momentum that we have here tonight. we need to do the right thing. so many times that they say the african-american church, it's not about us it's not about us us -- >> mr. govan that's your first 10 minutes, sir. >> i'll take another 10. >> granted. >> our children and our grandchildren. i'm just going to ask you i'm going to ask you as you sit there and as you contemplate this vote -- i have a great deal of respect for my friend rick quinn. we've served many years together, and he knows that.
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we have such a great opportunity here tonight. it's not about black and white it's about an issue of the heart. let's pass a clean bill and we'll work together to make the other part, what he's talking about right because again, ladies and gentlemen, it's not about us. the time is right the need is great, and the reasons are compelling that we do the right thing right now. thank you, mr. speaker. >> yes, sir. mr. merrill is recognized to speak on the amendment.
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>> mr. merrill is recognized. >> i will try and bring this back around real fast. when i say fast i actually do mean fast. i heard my friend, gel dada talk and she talked about a clean bill. we keep going over the idea of a clean bill. we laugh a little bit and we talk about clean bills from the senate and we don't like clean bills. what's good for the goose is good for the gander scenario. that's different. she's saying that's different right now. as far as joe was talking, i'll leave grace to my friend, joe i don't know shinola about grace, as you know. whatever we're talking about grace doesn't have much to do with this, doesn't have anything to do with this. finally, whatever jerry was
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talking about, i went to sleep. i don't really know what jerry was saying either. the bottom line is this. i'm jokeing, jerry come on get that scowl off your face. the bottom line is this. this bill does not do anything that we did not want. this bill -- this amendment rather removes the flag from the grounds, it removes it eradicates it, reevesleaves it, takes it away. when the governor signs it it comes down. it provides instruction to the director at the relic room to figure out and appropriate place for the flag and then to come back with a budget. that's it. there is no reason to oppose this bill other than the wanting of a clean bill. well, the last time i found out the house doesn't just automatically abvocate its right to be the house of representatives to review a bill and amend things because we want a clean bill and the senate wants a clean bill. the only thing that will happen
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is if we put this amendment on here the senate who worked a grand total of about 15 minutes to this stuff has to leave club med, come bakck here, approve the amendment and then we will have the rest of the bill and it will be done. the governor will sign it and we'll be done with this thing. this is a non-entity, a red herring that gives a little bit of not peace but solace to both side sides. i encourage everyone to vote for this, be done with this argument and then move along. >> miss horn is recognized for a question, mr. merrill. >> mr. merrill now, you and i are both members of the charleston delegation, correct? >> i think you have some i'm not totally sure. >> can you tell me, if we amend this bill, how much longer and how many more day ss that flag
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will continue to fly in the face of the charleston nine? can you tell me how long that will take to get this flag down? >> i appreciate you treading on a motion continuously, but the fact of the matter is that it won't be more than a day or two. >> how do you know that? >> because the senate can call in whenever they want to. they can come in this minute we pass this in third reading and agree to it and be gone go to the governor. actually, if you studyied the rules you would know they can do it even faster. >> if they non-concur, what happens then? >> if they non-concur we'd have trouble and go to a conference committee. >> how long would that take? >> maybe no longer than it would take mr. pitts to keep going on his 400 amendments if we don't get an amendment like this. >> so would you agree with me, mr. merle, it would be more expedient for this body to adopt what the senate has done and then come back in january and deal with the other issues that are addressed in this amendment?
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>> no. i think it will be more divisive. >> i'm sorry mr. merrill but i want to know what are we going to tell the people in charleston, when we go back to charleston tomorrow? what are we going to tell them? >> tell them you amended the bill so that you had a good -- that you didn't do anything, you removed it from the grounds that you also were at least somewhat sympathetic to people who have some historical attachment to that and to what's happening, that nothing has changed in this bill whatsoever and the house did its duty. >> but we will not have removed it in fact, it will still be flying when we return. >> you can vote whenever you want, it won't be removed this minute anyway. there are still a number of steps to go forward. let's say the gfr hasofr has an governor
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has an e pifepif fannie? >> i will vote to table your bill and- -- >> i'm pretty much imagined you would, i'm hopeing you will lose. who knows. >> mr. smith is recognized for a question. mr. sandofer is recognized for a question. >> mr. merrill, are you aware that there is a charge to get into the state museum? >> i am now that you said that, yeah. yeah. >> are you also aware that there is a charge to go in to the confederate relic room in addition to that museum charge? >> i didn't know that, mr. sandofer. >> i find it interesting that we're talking about taking our grandchildren, our great grands, or whomever you know, a poor family that might want to see something about their ancestry
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would have to pay a fee to go in twice to see those artifacts. >> i understand what you're say saying but really what you're talking about, the only difference from the way it is now is that the flag would be in the relic room. the monument would still be on the grounds. that's the only thing that would be moved. agree, it's bizarre we have a charge to go in to see those things. >> mr. merrill, part of what has been sold to us in this amendment is a memorial that has the names of all the 21,000 people inscribed upon it and apparently that is supposed to be in or around the relic room as well. so are we chargeing admission to that as well? >> i don't know. if there's one charge now i assume it would still be. as you know, we've waived the rent for the state museum before.
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we could probably address this in the budget next year and figure out a way to have free days so they could go in or to figure out some way to help them or make that portion of it free of charge and with the general admission. >> i think that's well and good did you know. but the problem is there's no assurance of that. as we all know, the budget doesn't go into effect until the following july so in that interim period, anyway, those charges would probably be going to be made would you say? >> i didn't really understand. >> i mean, mr. merrill, you sit on ways and means. the budget does not go in e fektffect until the following july. >> right. >> if this takes effect january 1, we're still lacking at six or seven months of those charges being made.
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>> yes, sir, i guess so. >> good. thank you. >> mr. quinn, recognized for a question. >> mr. merrill so from a scheduling standpoint, let's assume we stay here tonight, pass this amendment, stay here tonight, get to the rest of the amendment amendments, come back for third reading tomorrow correct? we accomplish that. >> i do want to point out even if we went past midnight this is still the continuation of this initial day as mr. bingham and i were talking about. we'd still be able to do third reading tomorrow. >> having said that at that point if the senate, even if they were to non-concur, which would be thursday, tomorrow correct? >> right. >> let's assume that's the case also i find it remarkable by asking for a plan january 1st would cause them to not concur with it we could have a conference on friday, correct? >> we could. >> have a report governor signs it. if this body votes to take the
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flag down from the monument it could be done saturday correct? >> absolutely. >> those who say this will keep the flag flying in the face of people it offenders, there's a pathway here if we pass this amendment, have everything happen by saturday if we vote to take the flag down correct? >> that's exactly right. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. bingham recognized for a question. >> thank you mr. speaker. let me ask you one other question. technically if the senate did like we did and stayed in here in order to receive a bill we could have third reading if this amendment passed tomorrow the senate could concur tomorrow it could go to the governor tomorrow. the governor could sign it tomorrow and there is no holdup. this is instant process not like it has to go through sitting on the calendar or anything they can immediately take it up and concur. >> no. >> tech hi, ifnically if they sit in chambers like we are and agree to come back like we have
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instantly. the time element, you may not agree with the amendment or not, the time element has nothing to do with it. >> that's exactly right. the only thing that would stop them from doing it is not wanting to come back to columbia and do their job. >> we have skipped the committee process and done this on the floor. we have done something we do with virtually no other bills and we're debateing this here. we have every right to offer amendments and to come out there and talk about the process and try and put things on there we think is good for our constituency. the idea that you would not is insane. if this was being done in a proper manner and not being done for political expediency in some instances and some instances we think it's the right thing to do, it would be done -- we're here, when will signing die? june 4th. we've been here more than a month we're supposed to be.
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some of it is our own fault but most of it is the freaking senate's fault. >> mr. merrill that's your first 10 minutes. >> ai'd like to stop now. but if we vote -- if we vote i'm cool otherwise i will yabber. >> question adoption amendment 56 miss horne, for what purpose do you -- miss horne moves to table amendment 56. miss cobb requests roll call. roll call is required, voteing on the board's ord.
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>> have members wishing to vote voted? time has expired, clerk will
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tabulate. the houses refuses to table amendment 56. the question before us is adoption of amendment 56. miss tinkler is asked to speak an amendment 56. mr. hart what purpose do you rise? >> mitchell. >> thank you mr. speaker i rise for point of order on this particular amendment. i want to direction your attention to s 895 which is concurrent resolution. specifically, it talks about legislation concerning the south carolina infant tri battle flag of the confederate states of america surrounding arrangement located at the confederate soldier monument on this grounds of the state capitol complex. this particular amendment talks about the confederate relic room and military museum. it is not germane to the
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resolution. >> mr. quinn you wish to be heard in this matter? >> yes, mr. speaker. the resolution very specifically says we will consider two items one the south carolina infantry battle flag for the united states of america and meaning not or, and, surrounding arrange arrangement located at the confederate soldiers monument. this amendment merely deals with how we will handle the confederate battle flag currently flying at the monument and what will happen once it's removed. >> any wish to be heard before i rule? mr. hart in reading -- i have the concurrent resolution in front of me it says the legislation concerning the south carolina infant tri battle flag of the confederate states of america and surrounding arrange arrangement located at the confederate soldier monument on the grounds of the statehouse capitol may be also introduced in looking at this amendment is
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dealing with the disposition -- proper disposition and handling of the south carolina battle flag of the united states of america and i deem it is within the concurrent resolution. miss tinkler is recognized to speak on the amendment. >> i know that we have been here for hours today but i stand before you as a proud member of the charleston delegation a proud south carolinaian but i also stand before you today for the next 50 years of south carolina. we have -- representative horne touched briefly on economic development. as i'm sure all of y'all have received, like me we have received a letter from ted pitsts who is the president and ceo of the south carolina chamber of commerce. they have the south carolina business community has respect respectfully requested that we pass a bill that removes the flag and its 15-year-old
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flagpole from the statehouse grounds. removeing that flag and that flagpole supports investment and job creation opportunities. it expands market opportunities for south carolina goods and services. it helps attract a diverse and talented work force to this state. it enhances tourism opportunities. it moves all of south carolina businesses forward. i stand before you today, as someone again from charleston, where you know in this tri- tri-county area, where we have had a lot of great business opportunities come in governor haley has done a wonderful job bringing tourism and industry here to south carolina as have members of this community, this general assembly and community leaders. i ask us to also focus on some important issues here with economic development and again as representative horne touched on it, it's certainly a good important reason to take this flag and the flagpole down.
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thank you. >> mr. ott is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. ladies and gentlemen it has been a long day like representative tink ler said. i'm hopeing that we'll be able to figure out a way to draw some conclusion to it very soon. mr. quinn has introduced his amendment and i've been sitting over there for the last 45 minutes to an hour listening to the debate back and forth. as to the merits of the amendment, i stand before you having to admit that i can't really find much fault in the language of his amendment. my concern however, just like
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many of yours, is what any amendment does to the potential of the bill that we have before us. >> mr. ott, let me get a little order. some members saying they can't hear. >> thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, i know the hour is late and i know we're working on different things. if we could kind of take our discussions to the side to give our respect to both the speaker and those who need to hear what he has to say. thank you. >> thank you mr. speaker. again, going back, simply put, i don't necessaryily have any objection to what representative quinn is trying to do. i listened to the comments of representative cobb-hunter. i was not able to attend the rel relic room yesterday but i understand there was fruitful conversation that took place. i don't think necessaryily that even miss cobb-hunter has any objection to what mr. quinn is trying to accomplish. i'll say this. i don't think we have to have this amendment mr. quinn to be
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able to accomplish what you're doing. i think the confederate relic room and director could absolutely do everything in this language on his or her own. in fact, i would expect for them to prepare a budget and present that to the general assembly next year. but nevertheless in an attempt to compromise, like we've been talking about, in an attempt to accomplish what mr. quinn is trying to accomplish and also in an attempt to keep a bill clean, which is what many of us feel needs to happen so delay does not occur, what i have done, i have put on the desk two resolution resolutions. i put a house resolution and i have put a joint resolution on the desk with certain memberses' signature. i would welcome any of you to signton these two resolutions. all we have to do is recur to
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the morning hour have them read across the desk, as you all know house resolution we don't have to have three readings. on the joint resolution first today, second tomorrow and theoretically third by unanimous consent on friday if you feel it has to be binding but just like with any other house resolution house resolution we recommend to dot all the time through house resolutions on renameing roads and they take that into consideration. i feel like a house resolution would accomplish everything that you're trying to accomplish with this amendment but it will not jeopardize the bill. so again, going back to what we've all been trying to accomplish today in the words of some of our other colleagues, this is a win-win. because i do not feel that the language itself is problematic. i simply feel that by adopting an amendment, all the work
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currently been done up to this point goes down the drain. i do feel just as passionately as representative horne does when she took this podium and expressed to you the problem ss with adopting an amendment. so with that, mr. speaker, i would ask all of you to sign onto the resolutions that we have before us let's get those resolutions passed, let's direct the con federal relic room tro do exactly what you want them to do mr. quinn, so when we come back in january, we'll know the amount of money we need to have to make sure that the battle flag that currently flies on the lawn is displayed in a manner which is respectful and which we all deem to be appropriate. i'll be glad to take any questions. >> mr. pitts is recognized nor a question. miss cobb-hunter recognized nor a question.
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>> thank you mr. speaker. mr. ott, please, did you know how appreciative i am of you offering this amendment? >> i appreciate you saying that, miss cobb-hunter. >> and mr. ott, is it -- would it be accurate to say that basically what you have done here, since the word compromise has been floated around here all day and all night would it be accurate to say that you are offering a compromise here to our colleagues in the chamber who feel so strongly that mr. quinn's amendment has to be adopted, do you see what this is doing as a compromise quote un unquote for language that people seem passionate about? >> i can see how it would be considered a compromise but i can also see it's an it ative. that might be it's an
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alternative. that might be the word that better suits this proposal, this is an alternative to accomplish the exact same thing mr. quinn is trying to accomplish. >> would it be accurate. i prefer the world "alternative" as well, mr. ott. would it be accurate to say this alternative you have put on the table does not have the same impact from a timing standpoint that mr. quinn's amendment will do? but it actually does the same thing? let me ask it a different way if i may, mr. ott. >> sure. i think -- >> what miss horne talked about very passionately and what a couple representative neal and a couple others who have taken the podium said, as i understood it was we are all good with what mr. quinn is trying to do but we are concerned from a timing standpoint that the process will be inevitably delayed if we
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adopt his amendment. is that an accurate statement? >> that is certainly an accurate statement about my concerns. quite frankly, we can get mr. quinn's language enacted before we leave to go home tonight. we home tonight. we recur, we get this house resolution pass and that's done. >> so mr. ott if i may, again we're in a special session here. but as i recall our conversations from january to june of this year have we not in the house talked a lot about stand alone bills and the importance of stand alone legislation? >> absolutely. and not dovetailing and making sure that the focus -- >> right. >> -- is what we want the focus to be on. and i think going back, and not to veer off too much from what i'm trying to accomplish here. but i do believe that the vast majority of the folks in this room and certainly in the senate and across the state want us to stay focused on why we're here.
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i think we know why we're here for this special session. >> my final question to you would be the alternative that we have before us in your amendment would suchly do what mr. quinn has attempted to do that we by the vote we've taken have said is important. but what he is doing -- what we would be doing in your amendment is not running into this time crunch. >> that's right. and again, i don't have an amendment. i'm actually introducing resolutions. >> right. and i apologize. >> a joint resolution. >> thank you, mr. ott. thank you, mr. speaker. >> mr. loftis rises for a question. >> do your resolutions mean the parameters of the sign and die and what we're going to take up today? >> i appreciate the question, mr. loftis because that was a concern of mine before i had them drawn up. and obviously one of the first
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barriers was the fact fa that mr. quinn's amendment passed germanous earlier. obviously i worked with house staff and i've been given an opinion that yes it does meet the parameters of the sign and die resolution that we have passed. so, yes, sir. and again, going back, the language that is in the resolutions is identical to the amendment that representative quinn has put before us. >> mr. white is recognized for a question. >> thank you. thank you. mr. ott, i appreciate your offering joint resolutions. but isn't the purpose of what we wer doing here today, everybody says a clean bill don't amend it, get a clean bill. in that case the senate has already said they're going to nonconcur. but. we pass a clean bill doesn't that go straight to the governor
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and the senate will not come back to take up a joint resolution. >> again, mr. white, that is a great question. but that's why i also introduced a house resolution, which as you know does not have to go, douz not have to go to the senate. >> you did both? >> i did both, yes, sir. >> i thought i heard you say you did a joint resolution. >> i did two resolutions that do the same thing yes, sir. >> same language. >> the house resolution and the joint resolution both with the same language. i was just trying to cover bases, mr. white, trying to make everybody feel more comfortable. that's right, i learned that from you. >> mr. stabber that kus is recognized. sorry, mr. ott. i don't believe you have any further questions. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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>> mr. stavrinackus is recognized. please give him your attention. >> thank you for that really smart move. ms. horne thank you. you know, jenny didn't just -- represent horne didn't just spill out a lot of emotion that a lot of us are feeling. i mean, she certainly did that. but also a lot of confusion that a lot of us are feeling about why the senate who, for the better part of three years, hasn't been able to chew gum and walk at the same time could take this up and pass it by an overwhelming mar againgin overwhelming mar againgin only taking up three amendments and we've
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been here all day with over 60 amendments. and a lot of us have sat quietly all day me included. but frustration starts to set in. i agree with what most have said about this amendment. you know, i mean, i don't think anybody has any real heart burn of the substance of the amendment. but before i talk about the amendment, let me just say how sad it will be, how profoundly sad it will be, especially now that we have another vehicle available to us if we amend this bill and delay what we need to do for the people of south carolina. how sad it will be if the house of representatives can't meet the same standard that our governor set for us.
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how sad it will be if the house of representatives can't meet the standards of the south carolina senate. how sad it will be if we can't meet the standards of our two u.s. senators. how sad will that be for all of us who serve in here and love, love this body. i get really mad when people talk bad about the legislature, about the house and the senate. i really do. we make fun of the senate in a cleejial way. they make fun of us in the same way. i was so glad when our speaker came down here and told the governor it wasn't right to say the things she said about the legislature. but you know what? maybe we need to look in the mirror a little bit about why
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people say some of the things they say about us. and today is a good example. and this amendment is a good example, in my opinion. because like i said, i don't have any problem with the substance of it. but let's get real for a minute. the senate, first of all in their bill, addressed this. it's in there. give me a second. it says upon its removal the flag shall be transported to the confederate relic room for appropriate display. not to be dumped in a trash can. not to be set in a basement forever. for appropriate display. that's what the legislation
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says. these are -- i mean you know these are -- the people that run the confederate relic room run the confederate relic room. are they the kind of people that we think that are going to look at that bill and say no, we're not going to display the frag. we're going to burn it or throw it in a trash can? of course they're going to do the right and respectful thing that they should do with the flag when it goes over there. of course they are. so the amendment just isn't necessary. the other thing we heard is they don't have the resources -- i mean the senate looked at that, too. again, it's in the fiscal impact statement. they weren't anticipating that it would be thrown away or never to be seen again. it says the agency estimates that refurbishment of existing space and creation of a display may require a one-time
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expenditure of at least $1 million and change as well as recurring expenditures of $130,000 a year. does that sound like a senate and a body that are anticipating not doing the right thing with the flag when it leaves? and we heard my great friend, jim merrill who i love dearly, talking about what is the senate going to do when we amend. well we don't know what they're going to do. they can't do this they can't do that. they already did it folks. they already con concurred. it's in the journal. they already appointed their conference committee. so the delay that some of us fear is etched in stone if we amend this bill. it is a sure thing. and i will add, with some pride, that i think they learned that from us. we did the exact same thing
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during the budget bill. we, in advance, passed a nonconcurrence motion, appointed a conference committee and got out of here. we didn't wait for them. they didn't wait for us. i wonder if we're to seriously believe that there's some hidden danger in this bill to the art fact that we're talking about to the heritage. and i thought about that. could there really be some hidden danger to confederate heritage in here. and then i asked myself, is senator tom alexander going to vote for something that really is a hidden agenda to disrespect confederate heritage? is senator kevin bryant going to vote for something that really is a hidden again da to
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disrespect confederate heritage? is senator tom davis going to do it? senator leatherman, senator larry martin? senator thurman? senator tom young? senator paul campbell? senator concoursen, seriously, he's going to do something vote for a bill that secretly might disrespect confederate history? no way. and i could go down the list. i could go down the list. you know, we've talked a lot about a lot of different things today. compromise grace. normally you talk about grace like representative neil said, as something given, not asked for. and i hope after today that we deserve some grace. i really do when we're done here.
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on the subject of compromise, i'm all about that. everybody here knows me, knows me well. i've worked with any and everybody in this chamber to get thing done for south carolina. but i can't in good conscience vote for an amendment tonight. i can't because i can't go home and tell me people that politics was more important than them. respectfully and truthfully i can't go home and tell them that the flag was more important than their feelings their hurt, their pain, their anguish, their expectation that we would meet the challenge that every other branch of south carolina government has already met, their hope that they put in us to do this now and get it done. i can't go home in good
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conscience and tell my people, over an amendment that the senate bill already addresses and that we have other vehicles on the desk if there's any concern at all will be addressed, addresses them. i just can't go home in good conscience and do that. and i think that all of you tonight, before you vote on this amendment and any one that comes after it should think of charleston and everywhere else in this state as your home and ask yourself the same question. can you go home home meaning everywhere in this state. home meaning anywhere in this state. and explain how this amendment well-intentioned as it is was more important than the message we need to send tonight, the challenge that we need to meet
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tonight. like representative betty field said. i love everybody in here. i'm not going to be mad at anybody. but vii have to say if we adopt an amendment i'm going to be very disappointed, very hurt for my people. and i don't mean anybody but everybody in this state. we've got to meet this challenge, you guys. we have got to meet this challenge. it's right in front of us. >> that's your first ten minutes. >> and every other branch of this government -- >> mr. stachb knack kus requested den more minutes. >> thank you. every branch of the government has met it. it's our time. not the past anymore. it's our time today. whatever you're concerned about isn't a real concern or can be addressed with what's on the desk. let's vote down this amendment, let's pass this bill and let's end this for south carolina for good, please. please. thank you.
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>> mr. hosey is recognized. ms. horne is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i will be brief. what i'd like to say is i want to thank representative ott for giving us something that we can do as an alternative to amending the bill. because as we know in the republican caucus meeting today, we had a discussion with our speaker who said that he had talked with senator leatherman and the senator would not come back until at least monday. he also told our speaker that he will not concur in an amendment that does what we are trying to do. so i have it on pretty good authority, ladies and gentlemen of this body that a vote to amend this bill will delay potentially delay this issue for weeks and months.
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sean i for one would really like to get back to my family, to my law practice to my parents and my in-laws who need me to help take care of them. i have been very disappointed today. i felt like this was an endurance test. thankfully i'm up for the challenge. but if i had known how can we would be here today i would have worn tennis shoes. and, yes, i am pretty emotional. i'm pretty passionate person. you guys all know that. you ladies know that. but this is -- if you cannot be moved by the suffering of the people of charleston, then you don't have a heart. and i'm doing to tell you ladies and gentlemen, i support mr. ott's resolution that does exactly what my good friend rick
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quinn's amendment does. because every day no one can tell me how long it's going to take this conference committee. and every day we leave this flag out here beyond what we could be doing tonight shame on us. shame, shame shame on the house. and i for one would like particularly my colleagues in charleston to not vote for this amendment and to adopt the resolutions that mr. ott has prepared for us so skillfully. so we can go back to charleston and say, you know what? it took us a long time and we did a lot of debate. and there were a lot of feelings that were probably hurt today. but, you know what? at the end of the day we did the right thing. and ladies and gentlemen, doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do. so i would ask you all to dig
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deep and find the courage to do the right thing for the people of charleston and the people of south carolina. thank you. >> cob hunter, for which purpose do you rise? >> thank you, mr. speaker. if it's in order i would like to move that we recur to the morning hours so that mr. ott's bill can be read -- mr. ott's resolution can be read across the desk. just want to read his resolution across the desk so that it is indeed an alternative that can be considered, mr. speaker. >> ms. cob hunter moves that we are occur to the morning hour. all in favor say aye. >> aye. >> all opposed? >> no. >> i'll give you division vote. >> okay.
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i want to speak. >> 30-second vote. 30-second vote. >> got everybody in here? >> hey. hey. >> time has expired. clerk will close the polls. vote of 55 to 53 we do not recur in the morning. ms. cob hunter you wanted to be heard on this bill? we've got other folks waiting at this point. i'll add your name if you want to be heard on the amendment. we've got four other people waiting to be heard on this amendment.
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ms. cob hunter. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to make a parliamentary inquiry if i may. given the fact that by two votes we are unable to indeed offer an alternative to those who would seek one, is there any other way that that could be done tonight other than at the appropriate time attempts once more to recur to the morning hours? >> ms. cob hunter your initial motion took place about ten after 10:00. in one hour you can make the same motion. that would be your only option. >> just to follow up on that then would it be accurate to suggest that we have an hour to convince three people that it makes sense for us to recur to the morning hours? >> ms. cob hunter, that higher
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math confound me. you've been here a lot longer than i have and i'm sure you know what you need to dorjts praise the lord. thank you, mr. speaker. >> mr. pitts is recognized next. >> thank you mr. speaker. i'm not going to stay up here long. what i want to do is point out one thing. i want to point out that there has been an absolute evidence of a double standard of a dual standard shown to me today. and that's disengeneralousdisengenerous. and that double standard is increasing the numbers i believe
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that may vote against the bill in the end if it comes up the senate bill. so what i want to ask you is what happens at that point? think about it. >> mr. howard is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the house. i strongly encouraged my colleagues tonight to, let's not treat this like a carolina clemson football game where we have teams and we're trying to win. we have grossly impacted all over the state with this terrible tragedy. and i commend mr. ott, who's
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given us a vehicle to meet our needs. but we seem to have an issue with winners and losers. we all will be winners tonight if we accept mr. ott's resolution to achieve what we're trying to achieve. we've been here approximately what, 12, 14 hours. and i have not had anything to say tonight. i've just sat and observed. and hopefully, hopefully we will come together and not be so competitive about winners and losers and allow a clean bill to pass and let's move expeditiously to take the flag
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down. because the longer we -- the longer we wait, the longer we wait, the more problems we're going to endure. you all did not understand, we come from different communities. we all come from different backgrounds, different communities. you guys do not know what is brewing. and we are a contributor to bad things that may happen or about to happen because we are praylaying politics with the lives of the citizens of the state of south carolina. and we say this about, it's about moving this flag to the relic room with respect and dignity and all. mr. ott has offered us that. so please, when we have an opportunity, i'm not taking any questions. when we have an opportunity to do this let's do the right thing and stop playing politics with the citizens of the state
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of south carolina. thank you. >> mr. ban berg is recognized. >> thank you mr. speaker. ladies and gentlemen i, kind of like representative howard of having come up to this podium tonight. you heard from me once earlier. but i sat down and i've listened to the discussion particularly on this amendment. and it really has me thinking it has me wondering and quite frankly it has me a bit upset. i've got to be honest. i'm a bit upset. and the debate here today has been for the most part, fairly pleasant given the issues we're talking about and people have been courteous of one another because we're talking about a contentious and important issue. but u want to take a second and
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point out a couple of things. the first -- and my position has been known very well -- is that the flag that, as we stand in here and sit in here, is outside waving proudly in the night breeze, that flag needs to come down and that flag needs to come down sooner rather than later. now everyone in here has heard the governor call for the flag to come down congressmen to call for the flag to come down individuals across the state. but let's talk a little bit about something that's important to all of us. republican, democrat black, white, rich, poor, and that's business. that's industry. okay? you've seen after the mother emanuel shooting and how this mass murderer whose name i won't
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mention because he doesn't deserve it, used the flag to symbolize hate for people like myself, people like representative clyburn, representative hodges for hate merely because of the kol roar of our skin, because of the color of senator pinckney's skin. that's what the flag signifies to him. and businesses know that now, and some may have known it before. but when walmart takes issue with the flag, when amazon takes issue with the flag, when ebay takes issue with the flag, we're not talking about some small mom and pop business. and i love small mom and pop business because y'all know i'm from bam berg and that's the
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life blood of my area. but when these major areas take issue with the flag and they want it down that's just more evidence that it needs to come down and it needs to come down now. each and every one of you in here know that if this amendment passes the flag is not going to come down anytime soon. and you can say, well, it can go, it's going to go to the senate and we're going to a conference committee and this and that. and that's fine. and that probably will happen at some point. but the fact of the matter is that the flag is going to be up outside this state house much longer than it needs to be. okay? there's in question about that. and if big business won't do it for some of you all let me point out something else. as i sat here and i listened to people like representative pitts
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when representative quinn talk about remembering senator pinckney's smile. representative pitts said 13 years ago one of the few things that i remember is senator pinckney's smile. and i think we all agree he did have one heck of a smile and many of us remember it. but the smile that i remember most -- and i want everyone in here to hear this, everyone in the cookie room to hear this and everyone outside and everyone watching to hear this. the smile i remember most is the smile that was on his face when he was right outside the doors in this ro tundra. that's the smile i remember most. and i stood out there with other representatives, with other senators standing watch with him so that he wouldn't be out there alone the entire time. and i didn't have the privilege of serving up here with him for an extended time.
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this is my first time. but ki tell you this. as i a 27-year-old minority male from south carolina said i was going to run, he was one of the first who stood up and said son, you can do it. keep your head up. offered tips and advice. he was somewhat of a mentor. that's the smile urm. a and as i saw thousands of people walk past him in line waiting outside for two and a half hours come in sweat drenched, and they walked past and they shed tears of sadness that's the smile that i remember. and what i want to ask you is that if you can sit in here tonight and know that in voting for this amendment, when there is a completely good alternative in what representative ott has mentioned to you all if you can vote for that amendment knowing that it is going to delay that
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flag coming down -- and i won't say that that's the purpose for all of y'all voting for it. but i will say it is the purpose for some people voting for it. if you can do that, ask yourself after you push your button and cast your ballot, is that something senator pinckney can look down on you and smile about? i don't think it is. but knowing senator pinckney i can guarantee you that he'll look down on you, no matter which way you vote and smile. that's the type of person he was. we have seen a lot of tragedy here in south carolina this year. i personally have been involved in a lot of tragedy in south carolina. from walter scott to now. these things are horrible. they rock communities. they rock towns. they have caused shifts in this state that we have not seen in a very, very very long time. the fact that we are here discussing this flag tonight is
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evidence of that. and people will say the flag did not make him do it. and i don't agree with it. i do not disagree with them making that statement. i don't think the flag made this young man do that. people say that this young man had a cloak of hate on that hate made him do it. let me tell you something. this young man was cloaked in hate, but do you know what his hate was cloaked in? his hate was cloaked in the flag that is waving outside right now. it needs to come down. and we have the opportunity to do it. we have the opportunity to do it in a way that doesn't discredit
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anyone else's heritage. it doesn't take away from other people's love for what their families have dub and what their ancestors did -- >> mr. bam berg let me know when you're ready for question. >> it doesn't take away from any of that. there are alternatives on the table here. for some reason, and i don't know what it is do you all think that in voting in such a way that brings the flag down now means that we can't take up some of this other stuff later? is that what some of y'all think in that is not the case. there isn't a thank we have talked about in these amendment to night that can't be taken up prefiled in december or discussed in january. if the flag needs to come down tonight. period.
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i understand that for many of you your position on an issue such as this makes your job as a representative in your district very difficult. i understand that. and i respect that. and it's something that as politicians everybody thinks about. but i ask you all to keep in mind the concept of political courage. and many of y'all are going to look at me and think that as a democrat from bam berg south carolina, what do i know about political courage. let me tell y'all something that y'all may not know. my district isn't as safe as it was historically. my district the district that justin bamberg represents isn't the same district that cory sellers represented before the lines were rejoined. i won my election by 151 votes.
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151 votes. a large part of my district is chalked full of republicans, chalked full of confederate flag lovers. it's chalk full of people who don't like me. for various reasons, some of which are reasons that i have no control over. so i know about political courage. i'm not just asking you all to take a stand and make a decision because i know that my decision ain't going to impact me. i got the same thing to lose as all of y'all. but sometimes when you do the right thing it's worth it. and i think people will respect every single one of us for doing the right thing. and the right thing is to remove that flag now.
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>> mr. sanford recognized, then mr. mccloud. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. bamberg, you referenced the two things that mr. ott has introduced. and let me address them in order. first of all, a concurrent resolution. do you really think that if we were to pass that that the senate would take it up before we come back in january? or joint resolution, same difference. >> to be honest with you, represent stand fer, i say this with the upmost complete respect, i don't know whether or not they lo. but what i do know is that if we go with that idea versus this -- >> mr. bamberg i'm sorry to tell you your first ten minutes is up. would you like a second ten minutes? second ten minutes.
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>> i don't know that it will necessarily pass before january. but what i do know, represent stand fer, is that if we pass a clean bill that flag will be down, it will be down very quickly, and that flag will be down before the kkk comes down and celebrates out in front of it, which is what's going to happen if we pass the amendment. >> and i'm assuming you know that. but that's okay. did you also know that the house resolution that mr. ott has proposed really has no bearing at all because it does not have the force of anything? it is basically just a waste of good paper just to express the wishes of this house, but it doesn't do anything further.
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did you know that? >> i'll tell you this. i don't know exactly how long that resolution may take. but i'll tell you this. it will get taken up. it will get taken up. and quite frankly, i think that it is irresponsible for us as a body elected to represent the citizens of south carolina and do what's best for this state to put a resolution, a joint resolution, anything like that above the value of what it means to this state, to those nine families families, to that charleston community for that flag to come down now. >> and mr. bamberg, did you know -- >> he's walked away. >> thank you. >> ms. cobb hunter.
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you're recognized to speak on the amendment. >> did you recognize me? yes, i did. >> has my time started. >> ms. cobb hunter you're recognized to speak on the amendment. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it's been pointed out, i'm not going to take a long time to share with you what i came to say. but just know that the gig is up. i think right now we see what the real deal is. so for any of you who were confused about any possible progress that would be made here you're seeing evidence that we are in a posture of delay, delay delay. mr. speaker and members quite frankly, it is embarrassing to
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know that in this chamber, with all of the conversations we've had about goods will, grace, mercy and all of that that we could not get enough members in this body to put their money where their mouth is by simply voting to allow mr. ott's resolution to be read across the desk. i ask you for those of you sitting there thinking that i am not accurate in what i just said, then explain this to me. if you indeed are of the opinion that it is way past time for us to move this -- >> excuse me ms. cobb hunter.
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a little order. thank you. quiet please. some members can't hear. continue please. >> mr. speaker you're a little soft with that gavel. >> i can be a lot louder, ms. cobb-hunter. >> at this hour and with this crowd, you're going to have to be a little louder baby. >> well the speaker pro tem, mr. pope, he like to break the hammer. >> pretend you're him and try at least breaking it. >> amen. >> thank you mr. speaker. mr. speaker and members here's the point i'm making here in all seriousness. all mr. ott is asking for is a chance for us to have something other than what mr. quinn has before you. if question i have for you is simply this. you have heard comments from this podium that if we amend the bill it will add to the time
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that it can be considered. that is on the record. those of you who were in your caucus meeting this morning from what ms. horne said from this podium heard your speaker tell you that senator leatherman has said the senate will not entertain any amendments from the house. now, it's real hard for me to understand how you expect us to believe that you are serious about moving this flag a timely manner when all you are doing here is delaying and stalling and trying to gum up the works. mr. speaker and members, you don't have to listen to me. but i will tell you one thing.
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there are a whole lot of people outside this chamber who are looking and listening to you. mr. speaker and members, let me be very clear with you. this is a seminole moment in our history. this is not a joke. there are nine families who will never be the same because of actions of a man who used that flag to justify taking nine precious lives. now you want to be important. you want people to bow and be all on whatever it is. you got to understand that this is serious. if indeed you're not trying to
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stall, mr. linehouse, then what's the problem. if indeed you want the flag to come down and mr. merrill has taken the podium to say we're on board with the coming down but we want to be able to have mr. quinn's amendment on there, that is disingenuous at best. what i believe you are doing -- mr. speaker i understand there are some questions. so i'd be happy to stop if you are back there and paying attention and yield for any questions that i think my colleague, mr. mccloud, has. >> mr. mccloud is recognized for a question. >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, ms. cobb-hunter. i wanted to kind of return to some of the comments made by mr. bamberg. we've heard comments about the big time political operatives who support the senate bill two
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united states senators, the governor, all but three members of the senate. i'd like for you to help me with the big-time business people who support the senate proposal. >> you know, mr. mccloud, i'm so glad you asked that question. representative tink her came up here, he's from charleston, she read a letter from the chamber. we're always tauting our chests and talking about how probusiness we are. and here we have letters not only from the state chamber. we have letters from individual chambers of commerce. we have the manufacturer's alliance out there. we've had the cream the cream of business in south carolina say two things. take it down, clean bill. now it's amazing to me that people like mr. sand fer who chairs the lci committee and all
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of these other business, pro-business members in here are just pretty much, it seems to me to be thumbing their nose at the chamber and all of that. and i will say to you, mr. mccloud i hope the business community out there will understand who is supporting their position. and my hope would be, mr. mccloud, that the business community would start looking more at people's position on issues rather than whether they have an r or d by their name. if i were a business person who wanted this flag down, i would be taking a look at this chamber, particularly over here in the gated community, and say, you know i need to rethink some of the support i've been giving. >> so let's get down to brass tax
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tax. ms. cobb hunter let's get down to brass tax. >> i thought we already were. >> is it correct to say that boeing in charleston is strongly supportive of the senate bill? >> i would think they are. >> is it fair that provide for a host of jobs and the berkeley charleston dorchester area? >> well they say they are. >> what about mitch land? plants in greenville anderson lexington, about five of them. >> right. >> it is correct to say they strongly support the senate bill. >> yes, sir. >> what about our friends in greer, bmw, they've issued a statement that they support the senate bill. >> and mr. mccloud, it's interesting you would say bmw because again in the gated community we've got the i-85 corridor, all of these upstate members here. i don't know. maybe they didn't get the letter. i'm not real sure. maybe -- i'm not sure what's going on with that.
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what about so no ko products? they've issued a statement. >> you know i love you dearly and i don't want to be -- i don't want to deprive colleagues who also want to come to the podium. >> well it's correct to say that bluecross blueshield and the state commerce all support the senate bill. >> yes, sir, i think it would be safe to say that. mr. mccloud i appreciate the question. i would just end with this. y'all let's just get real here. if you don't want the bill, then let's skip all of this delaying and automatic of the stuff that y'all are engaging in right now. why don't we just move forth right to a vote up or down on the bill let's call it a night and you all can go and spend this any way you want to spin it. you've got all of this national press here. you can practice on them about how and perfect your spin. because i'm here to tell you that you're going to need to perfect a spin to explain how
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you have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. you're going to need to be able to do that. and you're going to need to be able when we talk about economic development to respond to some of those potential people, businesses rather, out there who may have been looking at south carolina may have wanted to locate here, who in their right mind, would want to come to a state with us in charge? think about it. it leaves a lot to be desired. thank you, mr. speaker. and mr. mccloud, as always thank you for your questions. >> thank you ms. cobb-hunt are. mr. mcknight. mr. mcknight is recognized fsh his first ten minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. fellow members of the house good evening.
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we have a decision to make and it's time that we get down to the business of making that decision. as my colleague representative gilda cobb-hunter said, it's time to dispense with all pretenses, all of the hiding, all of the shenanigans. it's time for us to take a stand and let the world know where we will be. it was a few short weeks ago that one of our colleagues senator pinckney and eight other people were murdered in charleston. we had the flag of the united states and we had our state flag at half mast. but do you know what flag did not lower? do you know what pride would not bow its head? do you know what hub rus would not mourn? it was the confederate battle flag.
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and as we brought our colleague here to lay his body in state under the rotunda, his body that was murdered the person that was killed in an act of hate had to pass under the very symbol of that hate. unbowed. unremorseful. unrepentant. so now what will we do? what will we say to the world that looks at us right now and says south carolina, will you step into the 2 ist century and say resoundingly that symbols of hate and division will not be allowed to decorate the yard of the people's house? or will you play to the lowest common denominator, to those people who claim heritage and
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say that it's worth more than respecting the legacy of a colleague that died doing what he did best. preaching to his flock. we have a decision to make. are we going to continue to tarry in the foolishness of 150 years ago? i sat here in disbelief as i saw colleague after colleague who wouldn't call the civil war the civil war. they wanted to paint over it and call it the war of northern aggression. that is a misnomer. it is a civil war. it divided this nation. hundreds of thousands of people died and we came together in 1865 under one flag, and that is the stars and stripes. you cannot serve two masters.
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you cannot pay homage to two flags. i served my country in the united states army. and no i wasn't as decorated as my colleague representative hosey. i did eight years in the reserves. but i pledge allegiance every morning to the flag of the united states of america. it is our flag. and we need to hold it as such and take anything else and put it in its proper place. does the confederate battle banner have a proper place in south carolina? it does. it needs to be in the relic room. you have seen my colleague representative ott come forward and give us all a plan with which we can satisfy everyone. but what have we -- what does it appear as if we're choosing to do? we're -- and it seems as if a lot of us want to run out the
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clock. hold the ball and let time go on so that nothing will get done. well, guess what? the world is watching. and in the words of the great abolitionist william wilbaforce. you may choose to look away but you can never again say that you did not know. you know that the flag divides our state. you know that that flag is embarrassing and shameful and promotes all types of division. but it seems as if we're choosing to continue that path. shame on us. because we know better. thank you. >> thank you, mr. mcknight. stepped away. mr. king.
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mr. king is recognized for his first ten minutes. thank you, mr. speaker and colleagues. i stand before you tonight as a native south carolinian. and i am truly truly embarrassed to call south carolina home. i'm embarrassed that my colleagues here in the state house of representatives have chosen to forget about the nine lives that were lost on june the 17th including our dear colleague senator cla men that pinckney. it is truly a sad day in south carolina. many of you know i have not supported the governor in many many occasions.
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tonight i stand with my governor i stand with my two u.s. senators i stand with the senate of south carolina asking begging, pleading for us to bring south carolina back together. we are broken. we are truly broken. as i travel across this country and around this world i want to be proud to say that i'm a south carolinian. tonight i cannot say it. we owe it to the people of this state, we owe it to the
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families we owe it to ourselves to remove this flag from the state house grounds. make south carolina an inviting place for not just a few people but for all people. i was impressed with the bipartisan support of the senate when they passed a bill that was clean that said let's remove the confederate flag off the state house grounds and start the healing process here in south carolina. i was pleased with the senate when they decided to say, i will
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forget about self and think about the people who are unemployed in south carolina. the people who are less fortunate. i was proud of my state senate. but in the chamber where i sit and i have sat for the last seven years, i'm truly, truly embarrassed at my colleagues. that flag is painful to many of us. and we understand and respect the heritage that many of you all call it. but to many of us we hurt. you talk about family. you talk about oh how i love you and how much i care about you. if we are hurting, and if you
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cared, we would not be where we are right now. i'm embarrassed about my state. not only am i embarrassed as a democrat, as a young black man in south carolina, but your own republican colleagues from the senate wrote today that they are embarrassed. and i quote, senator shealy, this is the very reason that the house of representatives need to be responsible and stop whatever it is they are attempting to do. i listened today as they put up amendments after amendments from planting flower to removing everything on the state house grounds one by one, except the
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grass. this is childish. and those doing this are well aware that it is not germane to the sign and die resolution. if they are waiting injured or killed then it can rest on their shoulders. i have heard them call the senate irresponsible today. there are some there that should look in the mirror. i'm embarrassed for them and pore our great state. god bless south carolina and keep us safe. from one of our own. senators republicans in this state saying they are embarrassed by the acts of the chamber in which i sit in and i have so much pride of being here. what more does it have to take? does it have to take another representative or a senator
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getting killed in this state for you to realize the pain and the hatred that is behind this flag? what does it take? i ask you all to please, please do us right for south carolina. we are not just only hurting the people in south carolina but we're hurting the economic development aspect of south carolina tourism in south carolina, and we're hurting the families who lost their loved ones.
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thank you all for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. i hope that you find some place in your heart to do the right thing. our colleague, representative ott, has given you exactly what you've asked for. has given you exactly what you have asked for. there's no delay. we can vote on it tonight. we can get it to the senate or we can to a resolution that is right here in the house of representatives. let's don't fool the pooe people of south carolina. we can do this.. we can do this. i've heard today we want to make sure that we have votes from the
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constituency that we serve. our constituents elected us. they entrusted their vote in us. if they did not trust you, they would not have sent you here. you all are not the only ones getting the phone calls. i've been threatened. i've been told that i would never be elected again. but i will tell you one thing, i don't come here to be re-elected. because if i do the right thing, the people of my district will elect me again. and if they don't, the seat does not belong to me. it belongs to the district of 49 and i recognize that. everything that i've heard today has been about me me, me me getting re-elected. i don't stand here looking to
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get re-elected. if the people of district 49 want to take me home tomorrow, i would be okay with that. i would be okay with that. i've been elected for 15 years now. 15 years i have given my life to public service. and me being down here would not stop me from serving the people i dear love. i hope that you all will recognize that being in these chambers and sitting in this seat does not belong to you, but they belong to the people of south carolina. let's not shame south carolina to our nation and to this world. let's do not shame south carolina as we move forward.
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and as we try to be progressive. mr. speaker i'll take any questions questions. >> mr. broken has the question. >> thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, colleagues. >> thank you, mr. king. mr. goban. mr. goban, do you wish to speak? mr. williams. mr. williams is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it really wasn't my intention to come to the well. but i certainly felt impelled to do so and i'm certainly here not talking to any of you because
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you all got your minds already made up. so i'm not talking to my colleagues in the body. i'm talking to those who may be watching from the comfort of their home. i'm talking to those who think that south carolina can be a better place to live to work, and to raise a family. certainly we are not in shortage of opinions here. we are not in shortage of opinions in terms of where the flag should go. everybody got opinions. in terms of where we need to place this flag. certainly, as a military man myself i have a history like
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all of you, and we all have a history. and so do i. certainly i've served our country in uniform. i made quite a lot of sacrifices. as a matter of fact, i probably did more than some of you. i put my life on the line in combat. fighting for this country. fighting for this state. as a matter of fact, let me put it like this. yes, i've been shot at in iraq. yes, i've ran across i.e.d.s in iraq. for the sake of this country for all of you sitting here, while you are sitting at home in your luxury automobiles, men and women like me who wear the uniform are putting our lives on the line every day.
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so that you can enjoy the comfort and the safety of this great state. our governor has made a challenge to all of us here in south carolina. along with the u.s. senators along with the senate. she's made a beck and call for south carolina to move forward. and i think she said something as in terms of let's forget about our past. let's move from our past. and let's focus on our future. i think that sometimes we as the general assembly, we are worse off than the people we represent. some of you didn't catch that. i have to repeat that. we are worse off than the people that we represent. at least the people that we represent can come to some kind
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of solution ess about the things of life. but we here in this body seem to have a problem, seem to have a hard time coming to solutions on things that do matter for the state of south carolina. certainly we want to honor those men and women and those soldiers who were killed in all the wars. not only just the civil war, but in all the wars, we want to honor those soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice which was their life. and folks are giving their lives every day in battle for the sake of this country, for the sake of this state. and certainly we want to honor them and we want to rev rent them for their great contributions to this country and to this state of south carolina.
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i just think about the fact that -- just think about in your own little mind, think about the fact that if this incident had to happen to you, to you, in other words, put yourself -- thinking about if you were senator clemente pinckney. think about if someone came into your church. think about if someone took the lives of your friends and your folks who serve with you in the church. think about it. if it was you, how would you feel? how would you feel? we know this flag has divided the state of south carolina. we know that.

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