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Sen. Murray: “… whatever happens today, I’m going to get up tomorrow and I’m going to keep fighting. I’m going to keep fighting for the country I want to live in. For the country I want for my granddaughters. For all of our granddaughters and all of our grandsons” 

Sen. Murray, who will vote no on Kavanaugh, also reiterated her opposition to his judicial record, his bitter partisanship and temperament, and criticized Senate Republican leaders for failing to allow a full investigation into outstanding sexual abuse allegations

**Watch Sen. Murray’s speech here** 

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered a speech on the Senate floor just hours ahead of the expected final vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination is clouded by unanswered questions regarding sexual assault allegations. In her remarks, Sen. Murray sent a message to families across the country that just because President Trump and Senate Republicans brushed women aside during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, she remains encouraged by the millions of Americans who have stood up to make their voices heard about the many reasons why Judge Kavanaugh is unqualified for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court and why Senate Republicans were wrong to rush this nomination through without a full set of facts. Sen. Murray, who ran for the U.S. Senate after seeing the way an all-male Senate committee treated Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991, vowed to keep fighting for a country where sexual assault survivors are respected and heard.

Below are key excerpts and the text of Sen. Murray’s floor remarks, which can also be viewed here.

Key excerpts from Sen. Murray’s remarks:

“I believe Republican leaders and President Trump did everything they could to hide the facts and rush this through because they were afraid of what a full investigation would show. And I believe it is simply wrong to rush to a finish on this confirmation based on this alone. I also believe that what we saw of Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament in the hearing last week—his bitter partisanship, his rage, his disrespect was absolutely disqualifying as well, and will undermine the Supreme Court and erode trust in the decisions they make. I believe the lack of credibility and honesty he demonstrated in his hearings, which I and my colleagues have spoken about at length, is absolutely disqualifying as well. And this isn’t just me saying this. We are hearing an unprecedented outcry on this particular point from lawyers, judges, former clerks, the religious community and even former Supreme Court Justice Stevens.”

“…I am very concerned about the message Republican leaders are sending to women, girls, and survivors right now. The message they are delivering here on the Senate floor, at rallies, through the press, and directly to people.”

“I want to send a very different message today to women and girls, to survivors. Your voices do matter. Your experiences do matter. There are a whole lot of people who are listening to you, who hear you, who believe you.  And please, please don’t give up, and don’t stay quiet. Because no matter what happens today, however this vote goes, your voices are making a difference. Maybe not to those Republicans mocking Dr. Ford. They may not want to hear what you have to say. Maybe not to President Trump. But with every story that comes out, every new voice that breaks from the silence, we make progress. Every father and mother who learns what happened to their daughter or son all those years ago that they had never shared before. Every son and daughter who hears from their mom or dad about abuse or attacks they faced and never talked about. Everyone who hears from a friend, who listens to a co-worker. It makes a difference.”

Full text of Sen. Murray’s remarks:

I come to the floor to speak in opposition to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. I want to make a few quick points as we conclude this debate today and then I want to speak to the people watching who may not believe what the Senate could be headed toward today who are shocked, angry, frustrated, and hurt.

First and foremost, I believe Dr. Ford. I believe her when she shared her experience being assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh. I believe her because of what she said she remembered with 100 percent certainty. And I believe her despite what some Republicans are trying to use to tear her down, because I know trauma experts tell us survivors may not remember every single detail of these events.

I believe Republican leaders and President Trump did everything they could to hide the facts and rush this through because they were afraid of what a full investigation would show. And I believe it is simply wrong to rush to a finish on this confirmation based on this alone. I also believe that what we saw of Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament in the hearing last week—his bitter partisanship, his rage, his disrespect was absolutely disqualifying as well, and will undermine the Supreme Court and erode trust in the decisions they make.

I believe the lack of credibility and honesty he demonstrated in his hearings, which I and my colleagues have spoken about at length, is absolutely disqualifying as well.

And this isn’t just me saying this. We are hearing an unprecedented outcry on this particular point from lawyers, judges, former clerks, the religious community and even former Supreme Court Justice Stevens.

And even setting aside those major issues—before Dr. Ford’s allegations came out and before we saw more of Judge Kavanaugh in those hearings—I opposed his nomination because it was so clear he was picked by President Trump for a few key reasons. Specifically, he would overturn Roe v. Wade and erode women’s health care. He would gut health care reform and end protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.  And he would protect President Trump with his disturbingly expansive view on presidential power, which is particularly dangerous when we have a president under investigation, with members of his campaign and administration going to jail and facing indictment.

That’s not all we know about him, but we know those things—and to me, that was enough to make my decision. So I oppose Judge Kavanaugh. I urge all of my colleagues to oppose him as well. And I hope we can do the right thing here in the United States Senate today.

But I want to spend the rest of my time this morning making a different point, and not just to my colleagues, but to the people watching from home and across the country.

Because I am very concerned about the message Republican leaders are sending to women, girls, and survivors right now. The message they are delivering here on the Senate floor, at rallies, through the press, and directly to people. To Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez, and so many other women, girls, and survivors, these Republicans are saying: your voices just don’t matter. Your experiences, your trauma, your pain, your heartache, your anger—none of that matters. Their message is we don’t have to listen. We don’t have to care. Sit down and be quiet.

They are sending the message that if you are a woman who was attacked, if you are a survivor, then your experiences are just one more “hiccup” to “plow right through” on the path to them getting what they want. That if you come forward with your experience, you will be told you are just “mixed up,” that you are wrong, that you are lying, or worse. That you will be asked why you didn’t come forward sooner. What you wore. How much you had to drink. What medication you were taking. If you had any history of mental health issues. Why you can remember some things, like the attacker’s name, his face, but not remember others, like how you got to the party, how you got home. That you will be mocked and undermined, told to “grow up” and waved away. And that’s just if they can’t find a way to sweep you aside and ignore you altogether. That when it comes to a man who has gone to the prestigious schools, who has all the connections, who spent his entire life setting himself up for this moment, it’s HIS experience that matters, HIS pain that matters, HIS future that matters. Not yours.

And they aren’t just sending a message to women and girls, to survivors. They are sending a message to men and boys too, and that is what frightens me just as much. They are sending a message to them that if they attack women—if they hurt people—they are going to be fine. That they may hear this kind of behavior is wrong, that it’s not acceptable but not to worry—nothing will actually happen to them if they do it.

They can grab women without their consent and brag about it. They can sexually assault women and laugh about it. And they’re probably going to be fine. They can even grow up to be President of the United States or a Justice on the Supreme Court.

This is absolutely wrong. So I want to send a very different message today to women and girls, to survivors. Your voices DO matter. Your experiences DO matter. There are a whole lot of people who are listening to you, who hear you, who believe you.  And please, please don’t give up, and don’t stay quiet.

Because no matter what happens today, however this vote goes, your voices are making a difference. Maybe not to those Republicans mocking Dr. Ford. They may not want to hear what you have to say. Maybe not to President Trump. But with every story that comes out, every new voice that breaks from the silence, we make progress.

Every father and mother who learns what happened to their daughter or son all those years ago that they had never shared before. Every son and daughter who hears from their mom or dad about abuse or attacks they faced and never talked about. Everyone who hears from a friend, who listens to a co-worker. It makes a difference.

We’ve seen that since the MeToo movement started and more and more these past few weeks. Stories coming out, helping people understand how pervasive this is. How this kind of violence is something women have been putting up with for ages—in silence, unheard, seemingly inevitable, a wall placed in front of every woman and girl in this country.

And how as more and more people have so bravely spoken up, cracks have begun to appear in that wall.

Some cracks in how people see the world. People who may have never understood before, who may have never seen the perspective they are learning more and more about.

Some cracks in how companies and institutions need to respond, who may have never felt any pressure before.

Some cracks in how men and boys are acting, hearing more and more that this isn’t OK, that this can’t be accepted, that it won’t be accepted.

Cracks and cracks and cracks—but clearly, the wall still stands.

If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed despite all of the outcry and all of the work done, there will be a lot of people who are angry and hurt. I will be one of them. There will be frustration—there will be tears. I will be joining in them.

But there will also be a sense that nothing we can do matters. That if someone like Judge Kavanaugh can get a seat on the Supreme Court, we should just give up. That we can’t make a difference. We can’t matter. But that, I will not be a part of. Because here is the message I want to send today: change isn’t easy, it never is—but we can’t give up the fight, and we can’t be discouraged.

Because I want to live in a country where my granddaughters can walk down the street, go to a party, live their lives and be treated with respect.

I want to live in a country where my granddaughters can go into a job interview and be judged based on what they can do, not how they look.

I want to live in a country where you can succeed no matter where you were born, what you look like, or who you love, if you work hard and treat others right.

Where you don’t have to go to prestigious schools, know powerful people, make the best political connections, go to the right parties.

I want to live in a country where if you do all those things, know all those people, but hurt others, treat people with disrespect, you will pay the price. You will face the consequences.

Clearly we’re not there yet. But I believe we are making progress. We may not feel it every day and today is a day when it’s hard. But I believe it.

And my message to everyone watching right now is this: don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t think your voice doesn’t matter. 

When the Senate failed Anita Hill and confirmed Justice Thomas in 1991, I got mad, I decided to run for Senate, I wouldn’t let anyone tell me I had no shot-- and I won. I see that story repeated over and over.

People get angry, they start talking about it, they organize, and sometimes they face some setbacks but they make a difference. They put some more cracks in that wall.

But when I hear people give up hope, when they tell me they are ending their fight, that they think nothing they do matters, I know I am hearing from someone who isn’t going to make a difference.

And I think of a line I remind myself of all the time: if someone tells you that you can’t make a difference,

it’s usually because they are afraid you will.

Because it’s true. They are petrified.  Because they know your voice matters, whatever you may think, and whatever they may say.

So whatever happens today, I’m going to get up tomorrow and I’m going to keep fighting. I’m going to keep fighting for the country I want to live in. For the country I want for my granddaughters. For all of our granddaughters and all of our grandsons. A country where someone like Dr. Ford is believed. Where she isn’t attacked. Where someone like Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t get rushed onto the highest court in the land. And I really hope everyone who stood up and spoke out, who was motivated by Dr. Ford and so many others, I hope you are all with me today, tomorrow, and for the fight ahead.

So I urge my colleagues to stand with us to vote no today. And to keep working with us tomorrow.

Thank you, I yield the floor.