ad info

 
CNN.comTranscripts
 
Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 

TOP STORIES

Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's GO.com is a goner

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

 
TRAVEL

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Special Event

Congressional Black Caucus Objects to Florida's 25 Electors

Aired January 6, 2001 - 1:25 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now we're going to take you once again back to live pictures of the House of Representatives. Lawmakers here are meeting in a joint session with vice president Al Gore presiding. We're going to stay with this -- I guess we're not going take a break, yet. We'll stay with this.

REP. WILLIAM THOMAS (R), CALIFORNIA: ... to all persons to whom these presents shall come, greetings. Whereas an election was held in the state of Delaware on Tuesday the 7th day of November in the year of our Lord, 2000 and it being the Tuesday next after the first Monday in said month in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and the laws of the state of Delaware, in that about behalf for the purpose of choosing by ballot three electors for the election of a president and vice president of the United States; and whereas the official certificates are returns of said election held in the several counties of the said state in due manner made out, signed and executed, have been delivered to me according to the laws of the said state by the superior court of said counties and having examined said returns and enumerated and ascertained the number of votes for each and every candidate or person voted for as one of such electors, the results appear as follows, to wit -- the three -- this one is different than all the others.

(LAUGHTER)

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you where they went if it's not on there.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold it up to the light.

THOMAS: Let's see.

(APPLAUSE)

THOMAS: For president, Al Gore; for vice president -- for Al Gore, three votes, and for vice president, Joe Lieberman, three votes. Assigned by the pertinent electors duly attested.

Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Delaware seems to be in regular form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that Al Gore of the state of Tennessee received three votes for president and Joe Lieberman of state of Connecticut received three votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection to the certificate just counted? If not, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the -- of the state of -- of the District of Columbia, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by the District of Columbia -- Mitch.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Mr. President, the certificate of electoral vote of the District of Columbia seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears therefrom that Al Gore of the state of Tennessee received two votes for president, and Joe Lieberman of the state of Connecticut received two votes for vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you've got to read the regular.

MCCONNELL: Read certificate of ascertainment or what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just pick up right here.

MCCONNELL: OK. Signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just read that.

MCCONNELL: That is what I read. That was on top. I already read that.

(OFF-MIKE)

MCCONNELL: OK. Mr. President certificate of the electoral vote of the District of Columbia seems to be regular in form and authentic and it appears therefrom that Al Gore of the state of Tennessee received two votes for president and Joe Lieberman of the State of Connecticut received two votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection to the certificate just counted? Hearing none, the chair now hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of Florida and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: This is the one we've all been waiting for. We the undersigned, duly elected and serving electors for president and vice president hereby certify that we have this day met in the executive offices of the capitol at Tallahassee, Florida, and cast our votes for president of the United States and our votes for vice president of the United States, in that the results are as follows: Those receiving votes for president of the United States and the number of such votes were George W. Bush, 25; those receiving votes for vice president of the United States and the number of such votes were Dick Cheney, and the number is 25, done at Tallahassee, the capitol, this 18th day of December, 2000. Signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested. Mr. President the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Florida seems to be regular and in form and authentic and appears therefore and -- therefrom that George W. Bush of state of Texas received 25 votes for president and Dick Cheney of the state of Wyoming received 25 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection?

REP. ALCEE HASTINGS (D), FLORIDA: Mr. President, I object to the certificate from Florida.

GORE: The -- the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Hastings, will present his objection. Is the gentleman's objection in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and by a senator?

HASTINGS: Mr. President, and I take great pride in calling you that, I must object because of the overwhelming evidence of official misconduct, deliberate fraud and an attempt to repress...

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: The chair -- the chair must remind members that under Section 18 of Title 3, United States Code, no debate is allowed in the joint session.

HASTINGS: Thank you, Mr. President. To answer your question, Mr. President, the objection is in writing; signed by a number of members of the House of representatives, but not by a member of the Senate. Thank you, Mr. President.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentleman from Florida for his courtesy. Since the present objection lacks the signature of a senator, accordingly, the objection may not be received.

HASTINGS: Thank you, Mr. President.

GORE: Are there other objections?

REP. CARRIE MEEK (D), FLORIDA: Mr. President?

GORE: For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Florida, Mrs. Meek, arise?

MEEK: Mr. President, I have an objection.

GORE: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House and by a senator?

MEEK: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by myself and several of my constituents from Florida. A senator is needed, but missing.

GORE: On the basis previously stated, the objection may not be received. The chair thanks the gentlewoman from Florida for her courtesy. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Florida, Miss Brown, arise? REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: Mr. President, I stand for the purpose of objecting to the counting of the vote from the state of Florida as read.

GORE: Is the point of order in writing and signed by member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

BROWN: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by several House colleagues on behalf -- and myself, of the 27,000 voters of Duval County in which 16,000 of them are African-Americans that was disenfranchised in this last election.

GORE: Please, Miss -- the gentlewoman will suspend. The question -- the part of the question that I'll put again is the objection signed by a member of the Senate?

BROWN: Not signed by a member of the Senate. The Senate is missing.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman. The point of order on the basis previously stated may not be received. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Texas, Miss Johnson, rise?

REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON (D), TEXAS: Mr. President, I rise on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus to object to the 25 electoral votes from Florida.

GORE: Does the gentlewoman state a point of order and is it in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

JOHNSON: It is in writing by a number of members of Congress, and because we received hundreds of thousands of telegrams and e-mails and telephone calls, but we do have...

GORE: Is the point order signed by a senator?

JOHNSON: It is not signed by a senator, Mr. President -- senator, Mr. President.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from Texas. On the previous basis stated, the point of order may not be received.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Mr. President.

GORE: For -- for what purpose does the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Cummings arise?

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I have an objection.

GORE: The gentleman will state his objection.

CUMMINGS: Mr. President...

GORE: Is the -- pardon, is the objection in writing and signed by member of the House and a senator? CUMMINGS: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by myself on behalf of the many disenfranchised people the state of Florida...

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: The...

CUMMINGS: And it is signed along with many of my other colleagues from the House.

GORE: Is it signed by a senator?

CUMMINGS: No, it is not.

GORE: Well, the chair thanks the gentleman from Maryland. On the previous -- on the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received.

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

GORE: For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Texas, Miss Jackson Lee rise?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Mr. President, I have an objection.

GORE: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

JACKSON LEE: Mr. President, thank you for your inquiry. It is in writing. It is signed by myself on behalf of my diverse constituents and the millions of Americans who have been disenfranchised by Florida's inaccurate vote count, along with my House colleagues, Mr. President.

GORE: Is the objection signed by a senator?

JACKSON LEE: Mr. President, I do not have a senator who has signed this objection.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from Texas. On the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you, Mr. President.

GORE: For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California, Miss Waters, arise?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Mr. Vice President, I rise to object to the fraudulent 25 Florida electoral votes.

GORE: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House and a senator?

WATERS: The objection is in writing and I don't care that it is not -- it is not signed by a member of the Senate. (APPLAUSE)

GORE: The chair will advise that the rules do care, and the signature of the senator will...

(APPLAUSE)

GORE: The signature of a senator is required. The chair will again put that part of the question: Is the objection signed by a senator?

WATERS: Mr. Vice President, there are gross violations of Voting Rights Act from Florida...

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: The gentlewoman...

WATERS: ... and I object and it is not signed by a senator.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from California. On the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California, Miss Lee, arise?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Mr. President. I have an objection.

GORE: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

LEE: Mr. President, it is in writing and signed by myself on behalf of many of the diverse constituents in our country, especially those of 9th Congressional District, and all American voters who recognize that the Supreme Court, not the people of the United States decided this election.

GORE: Is the objection signed by a senator?

LEE: Unfortunately, Mr. President, it is not signed by one single senator.

GORE: On the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received. The chair thanks the gentlewoman from California. Are there -- for what purpose does the gentlewoman from Georgia, Miss McKinney, arise?

REP. CYNTHIA ANN MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: Mr. President, I have an objection at the desk to Florida's 25 electoral votes.

GORE: Is the objection in writing signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

MCKINNEY: Mr. President, it is in writing, and it is signed by my Congressional Black Caucus colleagues, my House colleagues and myself, but it is not signed by one single senator. GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from Florida. On the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Hawaii, Mrs. Mink, arise?

REP. PATSY MINK (D), HAWAII: Mr. President, I want to voice my objection.

GORE: Is the objection in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

MINK: Mr. President, it is in writing, and I have signed it on behalf of not only myself and other colleagues of the House, but by my constituents. Unfortunately, I have no authority over the United States Senate, and no senator has signed.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from Hawaii. On the basis previously stated,the point of order may not be received. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from North Carolina, Mrs. Clayton, arise?

REP. EVA CLAYTON (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Mr. President, I arise in objection to the Florida electoral votes and I rise to object to process that indeed that voters do count, the essence of democracy, demands that...

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: Is the objection in writing and is it signed by a member of the House of Representatives and senator?

CLAYTON: Mr. President, it is in writing, and it is signed by more than 10 of my members in the House...

GORE: Is the objection signed by a senator?

CLAYTON: Unfortunately, it is not.

GORE: On the basis previously stated, the point of order may not be received.

CLAYTON: Thank you, Mr. President.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from North Carolina.

Are there any other objections? Hearing none, the chair hands....

MCKINNEY: Mr. President?

GORE: For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Georgia arise?

MCKINNEY: Mr. President, I object to Florida's electors and in view of the fact that debate is not permitted in joint session, and pursuant to Title 3, I move that the House withdraw from the joint session in order to allow consideration of the facts surrounding the slate of electors from Florida. GORE: The chair will remind the members of the joint session that even though a member's motion may affect only one house, the statutory principle of bicameral signatures must nevertheless be applied.

MCKINNEY: Mr. President...

GORE: Reading sections -- the gentlewoman will suspend. Reading sections 15 through 18 of Title 3, United States Code, as a coherent whole, the chair holds that no procedural question is to be recognized by the presiding officer in the joint session unless presented in writing and signed by both a representative and a senator. Is the gentlewoman's motion in writing and signed by a member and a senator?

MCKINNEY: Mr. President, the motion is in writing. It is at the desk, and because it involves the prerogatives of the House, therefore, Senate assent is not required.

GORE: The chair will advise the gentlewoman, respectfully, that reading sections 15 through 18 of Title 3, U.S. Code as a whole, the chair holds that no procedural question, even if involving only one house of Congress, is to be recognized by the presiding officer in the joint session unless presented in writing and signed by both a representative and a senator.

Because the gentlewoman's motion is not signed by a senator, on the basis previously stated, the motion may not be received. And the chair thanks the gentlewoman from Georgia. For what purpose does the gentleman from California arise?

REP. BOB FILNER (D), CALIFORNIA: I have an objection to the electoral votes from Florida.

GORE: Is the objection in writing? Is it signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

FILNER: No, it is not in writing, but I arise in solidarity with my colleagues who have previously expressed their objection.

GORE: The motion -- the objection will not be allowed on the....

(CROSSTALK)

FILNER: I thank the president.

GORE: ... under the previous -- on the previous basis. For what purpose does gentlewoman from California, Miss Waters, arise?

WATERS: I have a motion of objection.

GORE: Is the motion in writing and is it signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a member of the Senate?

WATERS: The motion is in writing, Mr. President, and I rise to offer a motion to withdraw from the joint session. There is no reference to the section that you have referenced to quorum or withdraw.

GORE: The chair will respectfully advise the gentlewoman from California that sections 15 through 18 of Title 3, as previously stated, holds in the opinion of the chair and the parliamentarians that no procedural question is to be recognized by the presiding officer in the joint session, even if it applies to only one house, unless presented in writing and signed by both a representative and a senator. Since the chair is advised that the gentlewoman's motion is not signed by a senator, on the basis previously stated, the motion may not be received.

WATERS: Let the record show that is an opinion, it is not written in that section in reference to quorum or withdrawal.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentlewoman from California. Are there any further objections to the certificate just counted?

JACKSON LEE: Mr. President?

GORE: For what purpose does the gentlewoman from Texas rise?

JACKSON LEE: Mr. President, I rise to make a point of order.

GORE: Is the point of order in writing and is it signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

JACKSON LEE: Mr. President, being that this is a solemn day, and a day that we are affirming the voices of American people...

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: The gentlewoman will...

JACKSON LEE: ... we wish to delay this until a quorum has been maintained.

GORE: The gentlewoman will be advised, as all members of the joint session will be advised, that motion for a -- for the presence of a quorum is not in order unless it is signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator. Since the...

JACKSON LEE: It has been signed by me....

GORE: ... since the chair is advised that the gentlewoman's motion is not signed by a senator, it is not it is not received.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you, Mr. President. It is signed by me, but I do not have a senator. Thank you. .

GORE: The chair thanks gentlewoman from Texas. For what purpose does the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Jackson, arise?

REP. JESSE JACKSON JR. (D), ILLINOIS: Mr. President, I have an objection.

GORE: Is the gentleman's objection in writing and signed by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator?

JACKSON: Yes, sir I have signed it.

GORE: Is it -- is the objection signed by a senator?

JACKSON: Well, Mr. Chair -- Mr. President, I am objecting to -- to the idea that votes in Florida were not counted and it's a sad day in America, Mr. President, when we can't find a senator to sign these objections.

(CROSSTALK)

GORE: The gentleman will suspend. The gentleman will suspend. The gentleman will suspend. The chair thanks the gentleman from Illinois, but...

(LAUGHTER)

GORE: Hey, on the basis previously stated...

(APPLAUSE)

GORE: ... the objection is the objection is not in order. For what purpose does the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Hastings, arise?

HASTINGS: Will the president advise whether or not there is an opportunity to appeal the ruling of the chair?

GORE: The chair -- this is going to send familiar to you, to all of us. The chair finds that Section 17 of Title 3, United States Code prescribes a single procedure for resolution of either an objection to a certificate or other questions arising in the matter. The chair rules that the appeal is subject to the requirement that it be in writing and signed by both a member of the House of Representatives and a senator. Since the chair presumes that it is not signed by a senator, it is not received on he basis previously stated.

HASTINGS: We did all we could.

GORE: The chair thanks the gentleman from Florida.

(APPLAUSE)

GORE: The chair thanks -- are there further objections? For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California, Miss Waters, rise?

WATERS: I rise to ask unanimous consent that the debate on this issue go forward.

UNIDENTIFIED SENATORS: Objection.

GORE: Not withstanding the fact that objection was heard, the chair is advised that that motion cannot even be entertained. For what purpose does the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Jackson, rise?

JACKSON: Is it, Mr. President, is it possible to ask at this hour, for a Democratic senator to sign one of these Democratic objections by unanimous consent? Is within the House rules?

GORE: The chair is -- the -- the chair will advise the gentleman from Illinois that any member of either chamber may do as he or she wishes so long as it is within the rules of the joint session and the rules of each chamber.

So, do as you will as long as it doesn't violate the rules...

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Is it possible then that one of our....

GORE: ... but the chair will -- the chair will -- the chair will not entertain debate because that is a violation of the rules of the joint session. If there is no further objection, the chair hands to the tellers certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of Georgia, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

PHILLIPS: We're going to bring in Congressional Correspondent Chris Black. Boy, now that was definitely an interesting 15 minutes or so, Chris.

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was 18 minutes.

PHILLIPS: Was it 18 minutes?

BLACK: It was 18 minutes. I timed it, and there were 13 different house members who objected. Most of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, one after the other, getting up, trying to debate. There is no debate allowed in this joint session. It very specifically says in the law no debate at all, but they were trying to say that they think that the vote in Florida was illegitimate, that black Americans, in particular, were disenfranchised.

They were -- it was actually amusing. I mean, these are some of Al Gore's strongest supporters. It's so ironic that the man who they wanted to be president is standing in the chair, forced by the rules to gavel them out of order and one after the other say no.

The Congressional Black Caucus is now walking out of the House of Representatives, another symbolic protest for what is taking place today.

PHILLIPS: Chris, I had counted 12 members from the Black Caucus and then another gentleman, a representative from California, not a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, did you see who that was?

BLACK: I believe it was Bill Filner from California, a liberal Democrat from that state. He was clearly moved by the moment because he had not participated in the Black Caucus' planning. He had not signed -- had his protest signed as required.

It has to be in writing and as you heard, they required to have a senator sign this objection. This is a joint session. For this to be -- any protest to be allowed in, to be considered, a House member and a senator must object. No senators were joining the House members, however, which obviously had members of Black Caucus, who just walked out of the House in protest, a little bit distressed today.

PHILLIPS: Chris, do you find it odd or surprising that a senator did not jump ship and support these objections by members from the Congressional Black Caucus.

BLACK: Not at all. There were a couple of reasons for that, Kyra. Al Gore himself said this election is over. It was time to arrange for the orderly transfer of power, and to move on. Senators clearly heard that. They also understood that it probably would make no sense to continue to prolong this at the end of the day because the House has -- actually has more Republicans than Democrats, George W. Bush probably would have won anyway.

But this election is over, as far as Democrats up here are concerned, even though they may not be happy with the result, and there is sort of a widespread acceptance that it is time move on and deal with the new administration.

PHILLIPS: Two light-hearted moments I took note of here. As we were watching, Vice President Al Gore remain very strong and gaveled down these representatives, I noticed when Representative Cynthia McKinney from Georgia came up said, you know, let's withdraw from this joint session, and you saw a pause. You saw Gore sigh, and then he took a few seconds there and then recited Sections 15 through 18. What did you make of that reaction?

BLACK: He's among -- these people are among his strongest supporters, Kyra. These are people who have been with him from the beginning to the end. They are ardent supporters. In fact, Al Gore went up and spoke to them all on the day that the House and Senate was sworn in to office the other day, in a very warm exchange.

He knows they're on his side. He understands why they're doing this. He sympathizes. He wishes it was different, too, and that's clearly what was going on, and the whole crowd in the House of Representatives understands what's going on. This is a very politically sophisticated crowd that doesn't miss anything, and it was funny. I mean he -- he was cracking himself up, and so were they. We all understand what's going on today.

PHILLIPS: Well, I thought another -- before we take a break, Chris, I liked when Congressman Hastings came up and said, I want to appeal the ruling of the chair, and Gore started to laugh and said does that sound familiar? Appeal?

BLACK: Exactly.

PHILLIPS: All right, we're going to take a quick break. Chris, hold on with us, and we'll be right back.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top