Houston congresswoman: ‘Weather calamity’ exposes faulty infrastructure

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, discusses Houston’s response to the cold weather emergency and power outages, a new lawsuit over the Capitol attack and the reparations debate.
6:55 | 02/17/21

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Transcript for Houston congresswoman: ‘Weather calamity’ exposes faulty infrastructure
We're joined now by congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston thank you so much for joining us congresswoman. I'd like to start with a dire weather situation there where you are in Texas with many of your constituents dealing with the freezing cold in power outages of the last. 24 hours. And I want to show an image and Johnson outrage with the Houston skyline all lit up while residential areas there are dealing with rolling blackouts. Any sense on how this is happen and what's being done at this point to make sure that power is being utilized appropriately during this weather emergency. Believe these cars thank you had me doing these are very very it times. I've been with the local officials and their equally outraged as I am and those who might see our as well. The art call Jeff's not thinking person who's these are all skyscrapers are outside city. I can't management companies. And everyone likes to see their skyline at Indy at all times future realized that I think the pictures olds. I bat around bills tall buildings. Our communities that mothers and fathers and children and senior citizens and people are critical needs who had absolutely no problem. We asked them to shut their power our meat and I saw. And stop using. And how we don't know obviously people are in the building during the day people have to work. This is absolutely. I am I believe incense and the mayor. And other local officials I have asked or those. Lights to be off to conserve power because we have yet to be able to recede even and I older information. From a state agency which is air and they lady working harder they're not communicating. With local officials and the war aren't just plain residents. And those individuals don't know the time of the hour. When we might go on a plumber be so hard to find alternative. Our resources to be able to tell your car. Oakley and told them in GG meeting used in this state. As millions of Texans start another night in the dark I understand it you've reached out to US Department of Energy to provide assistance but. Texas gets its power through private companies a supplier cotton and that independent system that manages the flow of electricity in the state that you just mentioned so I assume it's safe to -- you've not been satisfied with their response to this crisis so what happens now. Well absolutely not satisfied and what has now been highlighted. Is the very poor infrastructure and more imaging system that the state as well who wouldn't know that. We know how to deal with hurricane sound ideal is tornadoes but who would know that. That in a state that is known for his injury even Windmills and our infrastructure itself or it's all the feet of the state and is going. You may know that we're facing a net whether. Calamity tonight when more ice cream when just he's doing. And then trying to stand out lonely centers where people might be able to. I feel comfortable and getting to before the storm comes again. We know evidently didn't show the way equivalent to what we want everybody to realize we're not stopping until we get some help and hear them I want. And wish you all the best through this next cold snap their what do turn back to go to Washington and how confident are you that these types of legal cases can be successful in holding the former president accountable for the attack or could they also fall short. Lindsay I just want to you get kids they may be more laws since I applaud. The NAACP. Lawyers and certainly chairman Bennie Thompson. I've served on the committee and second in seniority and we were the leaders including the chairman on the question of white supremacy white racism. For many years ago few years ago and we prisons and frankly. The first voices that talk about the rights Brett. Mike Nash live in white supremacy as it relates to domestic terrorism it is tragic. Culminated at the citadel of democracy. And states. Right now the former president of the United States so I think this is an appropriate laws so no I don't think. That is hands. The total possibility. Not prevailing I think it has a chance you don't look what law. You look at justice you have to be present your case and most importantly you poker tables seated engineer remedy. And lastly huge abuse legislation that would start a commission to study and develop plans on providing reparations for African Americans which she'll have a hearing on tomorrow. What you feel that the timing. For right now that this is needed at this moment and given the many pressing legislative items at the Biden administration Democrats are pushing that could cost trillions of dollars. What do you say to those critics who say that this isn't the right time to push for reparations on top of all that. Asked that question why. And I give them the trays why we can't wait and I also join them by the administration says we can do many things at once. It's healing factor I don't look to do this tomorrow and is hearing in acrimony and anguished. I look to do it as a factual basis on who in this bill to the floor. The lies that. We're delighted to have. Representatives of the United Nations that we'll. Explain that this is an international legal concept is not something we created here. Immediately restoring it and repair. We'll just need in this nation. And also this legislation. Answers this simple question if you have an African American. Ice through education. Any American will be priced through education and their white American will have ten times more well. Ban the African American we want to heal up and show. The continuing disparities. That have been and can be attributed to the neediest act and bondage and slavery and individuals all work. Almost 200 years it will be actually base we adherence. Will put forward a report and proposal of how you deal. The all I'm going disparities. That triggered. From as far back as slavery we believe this is a healing moment in our country. This is a moment it's eight I have apologized. Let's see how we can move forward together putting our forty. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee we hope that you in your constituents stay safe tonight we thank you so much for your time appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you so much for having in this time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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