tv After Words Sen. Raphael Warnock D-GA A Way Out of No Way CSPAN July 6, 2022 6:07am-7:04am EDT
well, thank you very much for being here with me today and allowing me to talk to you a little bit. about your great book that i guess was released on yesterday. yeah, i understand it and i'm particularly interested in this book. most of because its title away out of no way. yeah. now i haven't been born and raised in the parsnitch as you. i don't know if you're in deposites, but i'm the son of a fundamentalist amendments here and you okay, so we kind of know
a little bit about what that means. how about tell me a little bit about why you picked this ready to tell of your book great. well, thank you so much and it's wonderful to be here with you as you point out. both of us are what they call pete cage preacher's kids and the title of my memoir out of no way. is a phrase that's deep in the culture of the black church. and let me hasten to say that when we say the black churches, you know, we have never met anything racially, exclusive about that. we're talking about the anti-slavery church. absolutely. we're talking about the church that was literally born fighting for freedom. and bearing witness to our common humanity. you're not in a black church. you're not in the churches that raised and shaped me and you for for long. without hearing somebody in the midst of the service maybe the preacher maybe somebody in the choir maybe a testimony saying, you know god makes a way out of
no way. yeah, and it is a phrase born of suffering. and oppression and of keeping the faith even when it seems like the odds are overwhelming of hoping against hope putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. walking through the darkness knowing that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness overcometh it not and so the memoir reflects on the culture that that has shaped me. but it's my story as an expression of the larger american story. that's great. and that reminds me a little bit of the choice i made for my memoirs detectives published seven years ago, and i called it blessed experiences. and it comes from my dad favorite him blessed assurance. yeah, and as you just said, this is my story. this is my song right singing
this pierces all the day long. that reminds me a little bit. of what i read in your book? you seem to be saying in this book. that you feel that you were kind of preordained. for the ministry and the pastorate you made some choices. about where to go to school based upon that pre-ordination. share that with us. yeah. it was pretty evident to me early on that. i was headed into ministry. and although my dad blesses memory was a pastor and my mom later went into ministry. there was no pressure from them for me to go into ministry. i've come from a large family and one of 12 children in my family. i'm number 11. first college graduate um but early on i was captivated. by this idea of going into ministry.
as i point out in the book away out of no way in some ways. it started out in terms of my preaching the first time i stood in a pulpit to preach it was on a youth sunday. i will i grew up in a small church where they allowed the young people really to discover their voice sure and one sunday night. i have six older brothers, but the one just above me. this delivered the message that sunday on youth sunday. and so i said they're listening to him i said shucks i can do that and maybe a little better. so the next month when it was time for you sunday the roll around i made it clear that i wanted to deliver the sermon and so on a sunday night. a couple of months shy of my 12th birthday. was the first time i stood in a pulpit trying to express my faith and as i went along my parents were great examples for
me, but there was another voice. that was formative for me. and and that is the voice of martin luther king jr. who absolutely captured my imagination? i was born a year after dr. king's death. um, but i was part of it a generation of young people whose parents were fighting for his birthday to become a holiday. i'm sure you will remember that struggle and even before it became a holiday my parents and many other parents across our our city and and across the country pulled their kids out of school on the on the birthday and i remember sitting at the main street ymca all day listening to dr. king speeches watching eyes on the prize and his voice and the way in which his faith came alive and practical ways so that people had the courage to stand up for themselves. it captured my imagination.
i went to morehouse college largely because that was a school dr. king attended. that's kind of interesting because dr. king had a profound impact upon me as well. yeah now i was in 19 year old college student. yeah, and when i first met dr. king i met him in john lewis the same weekend back in 1960. on the campus of morehouse college and of course as happens in movements like that, there's always some generational approaches that may not be the same and there was a little disagreement that i cropped up among our students and of course sclc, and we asked dr. king to meet with us. on that campus he came to meet with us. yeah, and agreed that we will get together to the clock in the evening for about an hour were these to snick students? absolutely and john lewis were.
found in members of snake. yeah. so that meeting that one o'clock at 12 10 o'clock meeting for one hour. we walked out of that 4 am the next morning. and i call it my soul to paul transformation. and so i know it had to be. a tremendous impact for you to grow up and go to the same school. yeah. yeah, and then standing in his pulpit. yeah, i i just wanted to attend the school that martin luther king jr. attended. and i had no idea that i would later become the pastor of the church and stand in the pulpit where he served alongside his dad from 1960 to 1968 while i was a student at morehouse college and i talked about this in the book also. we had an event on campus and i was president of the students
who work in the chapel the chapel assistance. they were called at the martin luther king jr. international chapel on the campus of morehouse college. we invited some of the public officials in the community to come to this event. the only one who showed up. was your friend john lewis? john lewis was probably in his first or second term in the congress. and that's when i met him. honestly, i don't remember what he said that night he gave a speech at our event a long time ago. but it was hit ministry of his presence. alone, the fact that he took the time to come spend time with a student. he spoke at our event and then afterwards i remember him standing around and spending some time with us. i had no idea that later on. i would become his pastor as i assumed the pastorate of ebenezer baptist church and it is his kind of courage the courage of the john lewis. and amelia boynton.
oh, yeah, one of the women we don't we don't let's lift up those names nearly enough. but amelia boynton was on that same bridge. i later met her. hosea williams across of course crossed that bridge with john lewis. it is the faith of people like that who who really didn't have any reason to believe that they could win? your generation of it there was no we talked we looked back at the civil rights movement i think and too often. speak about these victories the passage of the civil rights movement the voting rights law fair housing as if these were inevitable victories, they were improbable quite improbable. not just in probable, but one of the things i think is important that you point that out is that don't understand. it didn't all happen in one fell swoop right when i think about the work.
trying to get the civil rights act of 1964 past and it as the year said it passed in 1964, right but when it passed it didn't have voting in. it didn't have housing in it, right? and really the part dealing with employment discrimination only apply to the private sector to the private sector didn't even apply to the public sector. and so when you look back on that. you get it's your rights acting 64 voting rights acting 65. fair housing law in 68 and it didn't apply to the public sector until 72. so over eight-year period all of us took place and people look back on it as if it all happened in one fell through and so when i look at your book and think about your journey that incremental these incremental steps. yeah. sounds like you all didn't allow the perfect to be the enemy of
the good. that's exactly right and you you kept moving with the recognition that the american story is such that their moments when the democracy expands and we broaden our view of what it means to be one nation under god or e pluribus unum out of many one and then there are moments when it contracts absolutely, but you know it maybe it's the preacher in me who who remembers that even contractions are necessary for new birth and new possibility. and so you keep moving and you keep bending that art through fits and starts and i'm a product of the work that you all did. you know, i i'm a head start alone. oh, yeah, that's great. you know that. i did not know that so i'm part of me and and ben ray lujan are the two members of the what we call the head start caucus of the united states. well, that's great. that's great. you know, and i'm glad you pointed at that because when you go back and a lot of things did
not happen back then but you know when clinton johnson came with his so-called great society program and i don't have to tell you you a native of georgia me of south carolina. we know the history of the states and the fact is that a lot of people talk about even today? that lyndon johnson's great society programs failed nothing could be further from the truth. the great society did not fail and you just mentioned headstock. yeah, that was a great society program. yeah, and it's still going on today. yeah. see you and another united states senator. yep dredge of that the new president of south carolina state was hit starts poster child on this 50th anniversary right now. he's president of sacrament. i said university it start did not fail right for folks who may not know we should point out that head start as a program that ensures that poor children
have access to learning and literacy in those critical years, you know when you're three and four years old when the brain is literally growing and the neurons are firing and if you don't engage parts of the brain during that time, the science says that it atrophies like it's really part of how you change the world as you invest in young people, but particularly the very very young and so along with my parents it exposed me to reading and a love for learning. and i like to say to folks all the time when i'm giving speeches particularly at an audience where they're all of these sophisticated folks who are there and people who have degrees and credentials and position. you know, i hate to share it with you but as smart as you are you'll never be as smart as you wear when you were four years old. that's that's where the real magic and power can happen. not that it can't happen in other places, but that that's an important place to invest. i'm a head start alum.
and then in high school, i had a high school principal who invited me to become a part of a program called upward bound which is part of a federal trio programs. it put a poor kid who grew up in public housing on a college campus. and if you can put a kid on a college campus. he or she can imagine themselves there. i spent my summers engaged in academic enrichment and by saturdays on the campus of savannah state university and then when it came time to go to college we didn't have the money. i often say i went to more house on a full face scholarship. actually that have enough money for the first semester, but the other part of that story is pell grants. low interest student loans, so i sit today in in the united states senate. as a senator who knows the difference that good federal public policy can make you know you and i have talked about the
similarities about backgrounds both pks both going to what we call hbcus historical back colleges and universities. what i did not know is that that trio program you just mentioned. yeah, we're bound was number one. talent search talent server to ron mcpherson students concerned program. yep. rob mcnair was a tele student right? i ran the tellisters program in south carolina, really? absolutely. wow that i didn't know that you were part of the trio program. yeah, but there's a pretty big trio caucus in the congress, right especially on the house side right a lot of my colleagues were in one of the trio programs up with bound special student concerns. that's amazing, but it's a testimony. that's why you are in what you are, you know the benefit of these kinds of efforts and that's why you've been so engaged in programs.
like what can we do? yeah about student loan debt. yeah what we can do for instance. i'm particularly interested in your work on the senate side because i'm doing a little bit on the house side on putting the ceiling on the cost of insulin. yeah, and with that means and what the federal government i'll be doing with that. tell us a little bit about your priorities. yeah in the show the senate well, you know, i've been focused on the work particularly around healthcare long before i even decided i run for office. my track has been ministry and my decision to run for the senate and serve in the senate is an extension of that works. i've been fighting for healthcare for years. and right now i have a bill on the senate side which would cap the cost of insulin to $35 of out-of-pocket expenses per person. but that was remind our viewership today you working on
getting that passed in the senate? oh, absolutely. we've already passed it. i'm just say fair point and i'm doing everything i can make sure we do our part and let's you know, let's try to get this done. i in georgia one in 12 people in georgia is a diabetic one of 12 and in our country one in four dollars spent in our health care system. is on people with diabetes? so part of the power i think of this focus on insulin which by the way is a 100 year old drug that their price gouging. right, but if you think about one in four dollars in our health care system being spent on someone with diabetes and you think about the impact of diabetes. when it's not managed or the things that can happen.
dialysis kidney failure needing to go on dialysis amputations. a doctor shared with me that the number one cause of blindness. is diabetes. yeah, so it makes sense for the people that we're trying to help but it makes sense for our overall health ecosystem. one reason i want to get there before dealing with your ministry. you know, i came along thinking i was gonna follow my father into the ministry and we talked about it a lot and i was going to go to south carolina state for four years, and then i was going on down to the seminary area. i looked at it later in the nominational. yeah, it is the point. yeah on state campus where they may finish high school on that campus, so i had all of these things going on in my head, but always here to be called to the ministry right? i kept listening. i've never heard you didn't hear
the call. so we're gonna tell my dad and my dad said to me wilson. he said i suspect the world with much better. see you sermon. than the here one. and that defines what the church what the black church really means in the black community. and so i wanted to talk about your efforts and health care because i wanted you this year when it's like to stand in the pool looking at a congregation and you know sure that as you said one in 12 sitting out there. it's got diabetes. needs this yoke my late wife. lost 25 year battle to diabetes two and a half years ago. four shots a day right eventually, right and i saw what that cost was. $800 to 1200 a month for drug that's been around for a hundred
years. and they can make money if it's on the 35 dollars a month. yeah. that's defines your ministry. yeah. no, it's the work that i've tried to do for a long time long before i entered the senate. um, and i do look at it through the lens of a pastor because i've been with families as they wrestled with the kind of struggle that you describe and that, you know, very personally and intimately it's the reason why i've been fighting since 2014 to get georgia to expand medicaid. of course, south carolina is another state another case refusing to expand medicaid. as politicians are playing a game focused on the battles of 10 years ago. and so, you know, i've gotten arrested and an act of civil disobedience again informed by that movement. in the state capitol down in georgia fighting for medicaid expansion. i came to the united states capitol back. i remember that day.
yeah. yeah you and i talked that day later that day. i got arrested standing up trying to trying to fight for medicaid expansion. they were cutting resources from the children's healthcare program, and i was here along with the reverend dr. william barber and some others and barbara told me it was my turn to get arrested right pretty good. so first time i got arrested for that my wife. oh, wow. what a date absolutely. but whatever. it was sometimes you work today. yes, steve madden 15 years. that was great. but i remember that you got address and i remember what the issue was. we were all yeah fighting for children. so just yeah and now my office is down the hall from the rotunda where i got arrested absolutely and the capital police. who were very kind and polite and professional that day who
were doing their job had to take me to central booking that day nowadays. they helped me when it's time for me to get to my office or get to the to the capitol. and you know, that's what i mean when i say a way out of nowhere sure that the journey the work that we're trying to do the progress. it comes and fits and starts. yeah, the democracy expands and it contracts. but america is a great nation because they're always have been people who willing to lay it all on the line. for the country, you know, my dad was like that and i talked about him a lot. um, and it's because he had such an amazing impact on me. he was a preacher but not with the credentials that i've been able to gain because of his sacrifice for me. my dad born in 1917. was an old had an older father and he served in during the
world war two era all stateside for about a year. and he used to talk about how he was on a bus. and was asked to give up his seat. while in his army uniform to a white teenager and he obliged but he never forgot. but the thing that was remarkable about him is he would tell that story, but he never he never allowed anger or bitterness. to overwhelm him deep in his resolve. he's a part of a generation that loved america until america learned how to love him back. and it is his patriotism his his dream of a country that would embrace his children. that inspires me to this to this moment my mother much younger than my dad grew up in waycross, georgia.
and as i say sometimes the 82 year old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton and tobacco picked her youngest son to be a united states senator that that is that is the great and wonderfully complicated story. the family history of america america, like all families has a complicated history. absolutely. absolutely, you know, really you and i are going to have to talk even more because you just said something about your dad. my father was 19 years older than my mother and mine was 20 21, you know, it's kind of yeah, and my dad had the same kind of demeanor about him. yeah, he but a lot of indignities that i saw him. yeah absolved so that i could be where i am today, i think about that a lot and i'm sure you do as well one of the things i
wanted to mention. he mentioned your father in uniform. but that incident occurred. yes. a gentleman named i said would it getting out of the military. would be discharged in georgia. coming home to south carolina. in uniform and was right off a bus. his eyes punched out. he died of blind man, but because of that incident. had truman president of the united states and saw that heard about it. is what caused him? the right that the executive order that integrated the armed services. i'm certainly a lot of people realize the answers would never integrated by the congress, right? it was the president strike signing an executive order that integrated the armed services. yeah, the congress came along later. but these kinds of incidents, georgia, south carolina if you got a whole lot more in common
than we even know about to this day. but the other thing we got in common john lewis. he is my man. yeah, he's my john lewis. and you were his pastor. yeah, tell me how that yeah. it was a real honor to serve john lewis. as i said i met him when i was a college student and later when i became the pastor of ebenezer church. i became his pastor. and some of my earliest memories are serving not only him but his wife. who was quite ill by the time i came to ebenezer church, so i did a number of pastoral visits with lily and lewis who was a strong and indomitable spirit in her own rate. and um later, you know from time to time would spend some with him and you know, i as i was preparing to over his funeral.
which happened while i was running for the senate? oh, i remember i was sitting there. yeah watching it. i i remember asking i asked myself as i was thinking about john lewis. what was he thinking? when he was crossing that edmund pettus bridge. with nothing, but a backpack on trench coaster um, i don't know but here's what i i do know. i i know was not thinking. that at my death there would be three american presidents at his funeral. on both sides of the aisle because they we all respected john lewis. he was not thinking that one day he would be the recipient of a presidential medal of freedom. i think he was just trying to stay alive that day so he could fight the next day absolutely and yet by some stroke of destiny mingled with courage and
human determination. he built the bridge that became a bridge to the future. he bent the ark a little bit closer. to justice and so when i think about him in relationship to these difficult times that we're going through and the forces of division that are emerging and speak with a kind of full-throated on an unembarrassed audacity we can't afford to give up. who am i to give up? having known john lewis, right? he didn't have any reason to keep fighting but he kept fighting a good fight told us to stay into some good trouble and that's the work i try to do even now as a legislator. i'm in the i'm in the congress. i'm in the senate. but it is the spirit of of the movement and and a faith that is always centered justice and compassion and mercy and beloved
community the gods my work. i'm glad to mention lillian, you know, john's wife lulia and john and i often talked about our lives both professional librarians living and emily were professional library, and they got to be great friends. and you and i were part of the launching of their foundation in their honor several weeks ago, and i think it's just so fitting and proper for everybody to really remember. you know, john lewis was a little bit different from from me. anyway, you may have eternalize a lot of what he did. we practiced non-violence. john internalized nonviolence. i'm i don't know if i could ever become a job this was but watching him and having to lobby him for a vote becoming his whip and the which job is to get the 218 if you're on the house side
and you go to john you kind of knew. from the content of the legislation will not even talk to john about that because certain things about them. he was really as close to a pacifist as anybody i've ever met. and so when they came to war and peace john was always on the side of peace. i don't think he ever voted for but one defense bill the whole time i served with him. because there was always something there that he thought did not lead to peace. so it must have been a great experience. to be his pastor it was but let me ask you a little bit about going forward. you know, i've talked about the passion i often quote. enjoy santiano who said if we feel to learn the lessons of the past, we're bound to repeat them. do you think we've learned those past lessons sufficient enough? for us to overcome the current
divisions that we currently see in the country. well, i certainly hope so. but it's we have to remain vigilant and we have to i think anchor ourselves in in the story of of folks who've always fought the good fight. and i think we have to be willing to stretch ourselves to create unlikely alliances in order to do good work. you know one of the things that we got done in this congress. was the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill? i mentioned that because that may seem a little odd that i'd bring that up. but but for me infrastructure is about more than just bricks and mortar. absolutely. it's more than roads and bridges. it's that to be sure it's more than broadband. it's really about the spirit of the country.
is about the recognition that there that there are some things and there's some spaces that we have to share that that's our shared. house the house we live in and if you think about how broken the infrastructure of our country has been and for how long in the wealthiest country on the planet, i think our broken infrastructure is a reflection of the brokenness of our politics that there's a breakdown a lack of attention to the covenant we have with one another as an american people for our schools to be crumbling for us not to have the high speed rail and the kinds of things that we ought to be in embracing and so i think and i've seen this as a pastor that sometimes when a family is struggling and you're having conflict in your family and all families do you can't always solve the problem. you can sit here and argue about this issue or that issue forever. or sometimes the best thing you
can do while you're working through those issues rather than working on each other find something to work on together. yeah to dream to build and while you're building and working and perfecting the space that you share together. i think that at least provides a context. to work through some of these fault lines of division that certain folks are trying to stir up right now. and so when we passed about partisan infrastructure bill a strange thing happened that i i never would have predicted. it's called cruise warnock amendment. ted cruz, that is. mm-hmm ted cruz and i disagree on many many things to be sure but he and i both on the commerce committee. of the senate and as it turns out he had something that he wanted to get done that i also wanted to get done. and the night we passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
we had to do it as an amendment couldn't do it in committee. and he stood up and made his argument for why he thought this should happen. and then i stood up and made my argument and i heard myself say words that i'd never thought i'd hear myself say something along the order of i agree with the senator from texas. yeah, and the chamber burst out and laughter all of our colleagues and they passed it overwhelmingly sure and twitter began to fire up and folks on my side and i suspect on his side. you're my staff was showing me what was going on on twitter. folks were asking well. what is this? what is this cruise warnock commitment? how could you stand with him? it's very very simple. i-14 interstate he wants to see built out in texas wanted wants to see it named a priority corridor so we could get the resources to build it out that interstate that runs through, texas. also runs through georgia. absolutely it connects blue and
red communities chocolate cities and vanilla suburbs. it transcends race class all of the things that we think divide us. and if we can get that highway built out all kinds of folks can get on the highway to get to where they need to go. absolutely when you think about that the interstate i-95. yeah. man to miami yeah. how many stated here ross yeah bringing all these communities together and you start talking about i-95 carter is defined by what state you're in and so it's kind of interesting. yeah, talk about yeah and in a larger sense, there's that my point is that there's a highway that runs through our humanity. well, it's larger than race that's larger than it's ready in our motto. you mentioned it early. yeah other men and one many one. how do you do that? yeah. that's how you do it. yeah getting people together. it's an infrastructure that we
don't usually think about but it's really there. i want you to share with us a little bit this book the title, you know, i often think one of my favorite scriptures is hebrew, we live in one faith substance of think so forth the evidence of things not seen. now you and i operated known a lot of faith these days because some things that we are hoping for that. we we don't see yet. you open the senate and a lot of us rely upon what happens in the senate? tell me a little bit about your hope. for some of us that that we still have not seen evidence of well, we got it. we've gotten some things done this congress and i think it's important to point that out.
we passed the american rescue plan which helped us to get. um this virus under control so we could reopen the economy. we supported municipal government cities and states so they didn't have to lay off municipal workers and firefighters and police officers that bill provided resources. so our schools could reopen safely and be retrofitted and response to the pandemic. we help farmers and in that bill we passed a single largest tax cut. for middle and working class families in american history i had hoped we would extend it the expanded child tax credit, but we did pass it. and we went on from there passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill and now we're working on the jobs and competition bill which would help ensure that america remains competitive and continues to lead well into the 21st century, and we need all of our talent in order to do that. so it invests in high-tech hubs
and in colleges and universities and research and development. but in spite of all of that people people are in pain. there are and people are looking just but the glass half will and requires that we focus sometimes yeah on the things to do the contender feeling up the glass. yeah if you stay so preoccupied with that part of the glass that's still empty. we'll lose the ability the energy and everything else to reply to continue to feel that up. yeah, and so i'm glad you mentioned those things will be passed. you did not mention the omniverse professional bill. yeah. that was huge. yeah, one of the earliest times i've seen that happened since i've been here and a very good time and we're still working. yeah, as you mentioned alluded to they could beat that. yeah, so what keeps me up at night right now as i'm thinking about the pressures that
ordinary families are feeling they go to the gas pump. they see record prices. but oil and gas companies are experiencing record profits. so we've got to deal with this price gouging the ways in which also putin's wars certainly not helping with with pressures around that so, you know, one of the things that i'd like to see is do is pass a federal gas tax suspension as we make our way through through these difficult times. i'd like to see us cap the cost of prescription drugs get the bill across the finish line on the senate side to get the cost of insulin capped. and continue to invest in in the future for all of our children. well, we just passed sent down the wind. this is going to be seen by the public. but today as you you're taping this program just about two hours ago. the house passed a pretty significant piece of legislation that will lower the cause of
fuel and food, right because a little bit to the senate. they said they said the cooling bowl just a place where things can unfortunately die, but i'm gonna be doing everything i can and centering the concerns ordinary people, but i think you just mentioned something that i think the lot about inflation. this inflation is worldwide. that's right. these five dollars a guy a gallon in some places here. it's over six. and eight in some other countries. this is a worldwide inflationary spiral that the entire world is working together under control. but there are some things to be do have control over that is whether or not we will allow the price gouging that's taken place to continue to flourish right and so much of this cost. that the public suffering through that nothing to do with
this administration or any other congress. yeah. it's a lot to do. yeah with whether or not everybody. in the private as well as the public sector will step up. to do is necessary to bring things under control. i'm glad you you mentioned that about we came to talk about your book. we've gotten away from it, but you know a way out of nowhere. that's what all this is about. absolutely. my life's work. absolutely your life's work. absolutely and i'm deeply honored to be able to do it on behalf of the people of, georgia. well, let's talk about a little bit going forward. i think that you are. so much of what the future of this great country is all about you are in a pretty spirited campaign for full term you so you're filling out a term, which means you got to work for you're
running out for the full term, and i know a little bit about what that's like and i don't won't get into any kind of policy politics here, but i think that what we or is important to share with people exactly a little bit more about you. today we know. from which you come but what's your vision for george's future your vision for this country's future and the world. yeah when when you see me, you see someone who knows personally the difference that good federal public policy makes as i said, i'm an alum of head start. upward bound low interest student loans i'd like to see and i've been pushing to get the president. to do meaningful student debt cancellation. i was on a plane the other day
actually during the holidays coming back to georgia. and there was a young couple of few roles ahead of me and they had their young son with him with them look like he was about a year old or so. and they waited for me as we were getting off the plane first. they asked for my autograph which is still a strange thing to me. you know, i don't think about myself and those terms and then the mother handed me an airline ticket and she had written a note on it. and she said we're big supporters of yours. we're glad you won and i only have one ask she said could you please do something about student debt? she went on to say in that little note. that i kept and every now and then i look at it. she said that she she borrowed $35,000 trying to get through getting through college. to make her life better and
borrow 35,000. she's a college graduate. she has spent paid back twenty thousand of the 35,000. and she still owes 30,000.0. she said i feel like i'm in a government sanctioned loan debt um or debt trap so, you know a lot of happened since even in the 30some years since since i graduated from college. too many of our young people now have a mortgage before they even get a mortgage student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in our country. it has surpassed automobile loans in our country. that has huge implications when when young people in their 20s and 30s and 40s or weighed down with that kind of debt. it makes it very difficult to buy a home. you're not very likely to start a business because you've got
this your shackled by this thing. so we've got to get control over the cost of college. which has outpaced inflation significantly for a long time now and we've got to deal with the fact that over the last 30 years or so. state governments have shifted this burden of getting a college education to families and they're borrowing this money until they're larger structural issues that need to be addressed to be sure. but in the meantime, i'd love to see if the president give people some some relief do some student debt cancellation. he's been good on this in terms of of the pauls. that was put on payment on payment. yeah, but we i like to see us do that. i'd like to see us cap the cost of prescription drugs get cap the cost of insulin and i'd like to see us in invest in the future which is what this jobs and competition bill that we're working on right now is all about and that's another thing i want us to begin thinking about
and i'll just raise it here today and because of the history of it, i'm surprised and there were people who don't realize this. i think there was really really important going forward this this thing we call social security. yeah. already i saw. let's just say a member of the senate now putting folk the notion. and the social security maybe sunseted at the five years. what is that about? yeah. you know, i think few people realize that when social security first came online back in 1935. it did not cover people who worked on farm workers. it did not cover domestic workers. 65% if black people in this country reading those two fields of employment.
so the social security didn't apply to them now over time. we've brought all these people in the social security now he didn't talk about maybe social security. there's another good thing. i'm sure that that is something we need to start discussion about what do we need to do to show up and makes us security thing. that would be guarantee for the future of our children our grandchildren because a lot of people are working in jobs that will not allow them to have 501 whatever we call not forever whether we call these things that i don't know a whole lot about i'm not a stock market person that just kind of look for my social security to take care of me, but social security that thing has got to be a big thing. we got something about. yeah. well to honor. our mother and our father absolutely the scripture says so that our days will be long upon the earth.
and we've got to protect our seniors and we also have to honor the pact that we have with our veterans and so george is a big veteran state one in ten people in our state. is attached in some way to the military. and we have seen a new generation of veterans post 911 veterans. who have been exposed who've had toxic exposure in afghanistan in iraq? in other places and they've had a hard time getting the benefits that they need as a result of their service. so they literally go abroad fight for us and then come back home and have to fight with us. to get the health benefits that they deserve so i'm glad that we have now moved forward with getting honoring our pact across the finish line and that's gonna make a huge difference for about 3.5 million veterans.
absolutely, we are to the veterans we owe it to our seniors people living in their golden years. ought to be free of some of the anxieties that they're currently caring and i i do know that it may be important for us to stay focused on making a way out of nowhere, but sometimes you got to have time. yep for that and a lot of elders don't have the time that you and i if i don't have time to do that you looking pretty good sir. i feel okay, but the fact remains i know that there's so much that needs to be done. and once again, i think the scripture says we call the elderly because oh man i call you a young man i call you because you're strong the old i call you because you know the window the way yeah, and so there's gotta be this kind of a balance i think going forward those who know the way if got the able to rely upon those of
you who much stronger and those of you are so strong you should benefit from those who may know the way but is what this book is all about all this is what living your faith is all about. i say all the time, you know faith means so much. yeah, and not just in the black church with me so much in in the american way, that's what the democracy is all about. right? i have faith in each other dependent upon each other to keep this country strong making leaving the better than what we found it. these things are so important. and they are just slogans. they're what we should be doing for our children our grandchildren if i were to ask you to just tell us in. political terms not i know what the what the future holds.
what would you advise young people today about the future some of whom are wondering whether there's gonna be anything for them to come along? what would you say to a youngster youngster growing up in public housing? dreaming about whether or not they will be able to go off to higher education and not say that because i i grew up a young college. yeah. i think it's very important for electricians and absolutely everybody vocational and community college. absolutely. absolutely. what would you say to you know, there was a great graduate of morehouse college named howard thurman. oh great thinker absolutely and howard thurman said ask about what the world needs. ask what makes you come alive? because what the world needs is people who have come alive. and so i would encourage a young
person who has seen your story heard my story. um to connect to that thing that gives you passion. income and the thing you would do even if you weren't paid except that you got to make a living but that thing that captures your imagination. um if you can connect with that and then prepare yourself and perfect your craft, whatever that is. you'll find a place and you'll find people you will find a place and you will find people who will help you along the way. i have been incredibly blessed. i grew up in a family where we were short on money and long on faith, long on hope and a lot of laughter in our family. part of this journey is not taking yourself too seriously even though we are living through serious times and it is served me well and i'm deeply
honored to represent the people of georgia and the united states senate. it's difficult, born of the scriptures that continues to inform my journey is the gospel of john wertz is the light shines in the darkness and the darkness overcomes it not. times are difficult but there's a way to penetrate the darkness. i would hope each of us in our own way try to be that light. >> you mentioned two things, number one, i have three grown daughters and i said to them i don't care what jobs you get, you are supposed to earn your pay but i want you to find something to do for which you are not paid and that is where the rewards are, one of whom went down to georgia during the campaign, your campaign and worked.
so feel good about that. for the time she spent on your campaign you might not have gotten elected. that is what it is all about. the other thing is this, never give up. i last three times before i got elected. what are you going to do now? two steps, that's the best rule, nobody should live their lives like that. i would say to young people today just remember no matter how many times you try, the next time might be the time, never give up this fight. thank you. for not allowing the life you started with be a burden but an incentive to put you where you are today because i am convinced we are guided by our experiences and those
experience you have had growing up in public housing, struggling through college, going on to get a terminal degree and one of the most famous in america and serving under the great dome of these united states of america as a united states senator. the first time i have said this. the first african-american to represent the state of georgia in the united states senate. all of that because you kept the faith. you pave the way out of no way. >> thank you. >> there are a lot of places to get political information but only at c-span do you get it straight from the source.
no matter where you are from or where you stand on the issues, c-span is america's network, unfiltered, unbiased, word for word. if it happens here or here or here or anywhere that matters america is watching on c-span powered by cable. >> host: it is a privilege to sit down with you for an hour and talk about your book. first thing i want to ask is how you approach your role as a writer. in particular a political writer. >> first thing a political writer out to be aware of his politics is not a big part of most people's lives and should not be part of the life of a healthy society so that if i don't write a score of columns, hundred columns a year on books and another on cul a