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tv   [untitled]    February 29, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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leaves coated with chemicals to produce marijuana-like high. the dea says that brands like spice, k2, blaze, x-dawn are used to mask their uses, but some users are experiencing convulsions, and increased heart rates and vomiting and disorientation. finally, three house members today proposing legislation that would cut federal compensation given to former presidents of the united states. they argue that former presidents are able to earn a decent living on their own and often on the lecture circuit and that compensation could save taxpayers $3 million per year. the three members, jason chaffitz a republican, and jay gou goudy, a republican from washington. receive the latest c-span
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scheduled event from the white house, capitol hill and politics. you will also get the caple toll spotlight news story and trivia and unique c-span promotions. two more alerts for the book tv and the american history tv weekend lineups. you can sign up for the c-span alerts at and welcome back. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. i'm steve skully, and veteran lawmaker being described as one of california's most influential members of the house ofnouncing will not be running for re-election, and it is the biggest casualty of the political map which cast him in a politically inhospitable district. david dreier is the sixth member to announce his retirement when the term expires shaking up the political clout in washington because of the stability over the years. david drier is chair of the house rules committee, and he
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made the announcement onb the floor of the house of representatives this morning. >> mr. chairman, what i am about to announce is not going to come as much of a surprise, but we all know that the institution has an abysmally low approval rating and the american people are asking for change in congress. and so, i'm announcing today that i will leave the congress at the end of this year. now, i take the unusual step of announcing it from here in the well of the house, because i am a proud institutionalist. i believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been. and mr. speaker, i announce it from here, because between the rules committee upstairs where you serve with me, mr. chairman, protem, and the house floor, this is where the people of california sent me to represent them. now, as we look at the challenges that lie ahead, they are very, very great.
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i deliberated over this decision, and i have to say that three years ago i contemplated leaving at the end of that congress, but ultimately made a decision that i wanted to continue to serve through this term. i wanted to do so in hopes that we would win the majority with a goal of pursuing the 4.0 platform that i had always run on, and that being the pursuit of a free economy, limited government, a strong national defense and personal freedom. and mr. speaker, i wanted to work with not just my republican colleagues, but my democratic colleagues as well, working in a bipartisan way to accomplish a number of things. first, it was absolutely essential that we do everything to end the course that we had been on that ultimately brought us an 82% increase in nondefense discretionary spending, and i'm happy to say we have is turned the corner on that.
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second, after years of languishing, we were finally able to pass three trade agreements that will create good jobs for union and non-union workers in the country by virtue of having passed the panama and columbia and free trade agreements. i also believe that it's very important for us to recognize that as we look at the national security, the notion of people all over the world who are seeking to determine their own futures as creating a wonderful opportunity for us, and the house democracy partnership and another strong bipartisan organization has just now partnered with the 17th country in central asia to help the legislative bodies strengthen and have the kind of independence and oversight of their executive branch that we have a tendency to take for granted here. and fourth, mr. speaker, i felt strongly again working in a bipartisan way that it is essential to ensure that both democrats and republicans have
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the opportunity to have their ideas heard through their amendments on the floor of the house of representatives. now, i do believe again mr. speaker, that this is the greatest deliberative body known to man. we have a great deal of work that lies ahead throughout this year. but i'm looking forward to following the madisonian directive that members of congress after serving here should go out and live with the laws that have passed. and i will say that as passionately as we have been pursuing a pro growth jobs creating agenda, i look forward to doing that myself as i move into the private sector next year. mr. speaker,ly s ll lly i would express my appreciate, mr. speaker to, a lot of people. of course, the volunteers, family and friends and supporters and the people who have offered prayers for our country on a regular basis, and
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i also want to most important express my appreciation, mr. speaker to, the people of california back in 1978 when i was living in the dormitory in college they gave me the nomination for my party. it has been a very, very exciting time, and i also want to say, mr. speaker, that i express my appreciation to the very dedicated public servants in the office in california and the offices here in washington for their commitment to do the best job possible to help me represent the people of california. with that i yield back the balance of my time. [ applause ] >> from the floor of the house of representatives this morning, david dreier, a veteran of the house of representatives, a republican from california, the house chair of the rules committee announced he is
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stepping down this year. david wassermann who follows all of this for the cook political report joining us live in washington. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> as you indicated earlier, this did not come as much of a surprise, why? >> well, california transferred power to redistrict the congressional lines from the state legislature to a citizens commission that proceeded to dismantle david dreier's very safe district seven ways. so the district where he lives is now a heavily latino and democratic district which is likely to be won by congresswoman grace napolitano, and the district where he would have had the better chance of winning to the east in san bernardino county is where congressman gary miller, a republican has fled to run. so, there were very few options left for david dreier, and this is a decision that he was probably sitting on for quite a while. >> and so, put them in terms of numbers. he is the latest to announce he
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is retiring. either because he doesn't want to seek higher office or in other cases, those who are seeking higher office. what number is he? >> well, there are 36 members who are not running for re-election, including 20 democrats and 16 republicans, and some of those are members who are running for other offices. many of those are simply retiger and a higher than average number of retirements are from california. there are seven members now from california who are not seeking re-election, and so in california in part because of the redistrictsing, this is likely to be a generational transition period. and not necessarily a partisan transition period. >> and let me ask you about a number of member contests in the pennsylvania's 12th district, and congressman mark crist and jason altmire facing here other, and this is again a result of redistricting in pennsylvania, a state that is losing congressional representation, and just next week in ohio the
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ninth congressional district a race between dennis kucinich who currently represents the cleveland area, and marci captor who represents the toledo, ohio, area. >> well, there are 13 districts in which unlucky members have been thrown together. these are some of the highest profile in ohio next tuesday where we will see who wins the face-off between kucinich and kaptor and we are giving a edge to marci captor, but it has gotten fierce in the final week. and obviously, the race in pennsylvania has heetd up quite -- has heated up quite a bit, and mark crist who occupies less of the merged district than jason alt mire, and so what is interesting is that crist's campaign manager youed to work for alt mire, so there is a
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intrigue in pennsylvania. and democrats have more of the contests amongst themselves than republicans in a count of 7 to 4 races. there are two races that faces a democrat versus a republican, so a lot of the democratic money is being spent fighting other democrats, and that is good news. >> and david wassermann, what does this tell you about the overall state of redistricting and what we are seeing ten years ago to today? >> well, it is more turbulent redistricting cycle than we have seen in ten years ago. it is more like 1992 in terms of the turnover. we currently have 13 member versus races, and we have 36 members who are heading for the exits overall. there are so far 20 newly created seats, so altogether, the number of districts with no incumbent is somewhere between 55 and 60, which is a pretty high number for this point in the election cycle and should only go higher. so, that's by any count, a pretty high turnover level in
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the hour, but it does not necessarily mean that it is going to lead to a large partisan wave that allows the democrats to take the house back. >> h you are looking at store fris the california pres and the l.a. times and david dreier's retirement, and he is the sixth california member to announce stepping down at the end of the term. its impact on california politics and the clout it currently has and david dreier was first elected in 1980 when ronald reagan, the former california governor was going to the white house. >> that is right. california has twice the clout of all other states even controlling for the large size of the delegation. 53 members. and that's in large part a result of the 2002 incumbent map that was passed that allowed so many members to focus on amassing power in congress rather than defending the seats back home, and so what we have seen this time is the rug pulled out from under many of california's incumbents and a lot of them are deciding it is a convenient time to retire. >> are you keeping track of what
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impact this has for the house rules committee currently chaired by donald drier, and also luo louise slaughter, and would presume she is next in line to take over the house rules committee, and if not, who is next in line? >> i wish i had that off of the top of my head, but slaughter is trying to figure out where the lines are going to be, because new york is kind of the last state in the redistricting mix to embark on redraw iing the lines. so there are any number of ambitious new york lawmakers waiting for an opportunity to move up. but slaughter is hoping that the democrats can take back the house so she can be rules chair. >> and i know david wassermann, you are focusing on the house, but the announcement of olympia snowe stepping down, she has served more than three decades
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and a self-described moderate republican, and pratzed by barack obama, and he does not send out statements with republicans retiring, but he did so yesterday with news that olympia snowe is leaving and your thoughts of the impact of republicans trying to regain control of the senatesenate? >> well, it has certainly impacted the senate math, and one seat means so have 33 seats up for re-election every two years. what this has done is to essentially set up a list of every main political can name under the son that is not susan collins as a potential candidate for the successor to snowe and so both democratic members of congress and the members of the house from maine are looking at it, and they are different styles and they may not be the only democrats who are jumping into the race. they may not both jump into the
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race. so there is a number of questions about whether the republic republicans can take, can convince a good candidate to enter the race or whether an independent candidate since maine has a pretty strong independent streak enters this race, and makes the calculus even more difficult. >> david wassermann who is the house editor or the "cook political report" and the one person who knows more about every congressional district nationwide. thank you so much for your expertise. >> i will look up a tthe rules committee succession. >> and so there is scrambling going on, but thank you david wassermann of the "cook political report." and meanwhile, the debate this week on the issue of birth control may help their candidates among women and independents in the election in november, but republicans say it is an opportunity to rally some religious voters. the report from bloomberg news at says that the
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senate is planning to vote friday on a republican plan to allow businesses to refuse plans that violate their religious beliefs and it would cancel the rule from president obama's rule to mandate businesses to cover without charge to religious affiliati affiliations, and so this is how the debate began to unfold on the floor. this is senator roy blunt from missouri. >> this is going to allow people of a moral factor to whether people comply with health care mandates. now mr. president, we have long had the exemption for hiring mandates and in fact, when i served in the house of representatives, i have been a president of the southern baptist university and i understood the importance of these institutions, and i
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thought that maintaining the faith distinctives is part of why they provide education and health care and day care and other things, and so, i have long been an advocate of a principle that the supreme court held up just a few weeks ago, 9-0, that there is a difference in these faith-based institutions. and now that we have health care mandates for that could apply to the institutions, all this amendment does is to extend the same privilege to them, and others who have a religious belief or moral conviction that would lead, that would they would be able to defend their moral conviction, and we don't do anything about the mandate, itself, and it is important to understand, mr. president, that the administration, this one or any other if the affordable health care act is still in force can issue ale of the mandates that the act would allow and in fact, if you don't
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comply with the mandates, you'd have the penalties that the act would allow, but the difference is that if the government would not recognize your religious belief or moral conviction as i believe they would likely do as for example the archdiocese of washington, d.c. saying that this is something that we have long held as a tenet of our faith that we don't believe should have happen, and we shouldn't be part of and we don't want it to be a part of the insurance policies of our schools, our hospitals. my guess is that if we pass this amendment without any question, the justice department would say, well, you certainly are going to be able to defend that, but a it has been your belief for centuries, and your faith. this amendment doesn't mention any procedure of any kind. that in fact this morning we had a reporter calling the office
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saying we can't find the word contraception in there at all, and how is this dealing with contraception? and we said, and as we have said for four years, it is not about contraception, because it is not a procedure, but a faith principle that the first amendment guarantees. >> and that is a statement by roy blunt from missouri on the pending vote tomorrow on the measure. the presidential front-runner of the republicans mitt romney and rick santorum have accused the obama administration of violating religious liberty. the catholic organization has reacted with outrage that the plan would include birth control of the elements of any health care insurance plan on february 10th, earlier in the month the obama white house announcing a compromise to asia insurers and not affiliated institutions would have the right to fuse
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tha -- and this is earlier today by barbara mikulski. >> i am here to talk in opposition to the blunt amendment. if we pass the highway bill we could create hthousands of jobs in construction and get america rollk but instead we have to deal with the blunt amendment which is an attempt once again to derail the ability for the american people to get the health care services that is deemed essential by their doctor. the blunt amendment is a significant overreach in terms of a new power of employers to deny health care. make no mistake, this is politics masquerading as morality. politics masquerading as morality. what is the blunt amendment do?
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it allows any health insurance company or any employer to deny coverage for any service they choose based on religious beliefs for moral convictions. what's a moral conviction? where does a moral conviction come from? i have moral convictions. you have moral convictions. we have different moral convictions. and let me repeat, any employer can do this. any insurer can do it based on a vague abstraction called moral conviction. what would this mean? yes. does it mean that women could -- if you have a moral conviction that you want to have children that you know you can care for and afford, you have a moral conviction that you want to have access to birth control. if you have a belief that you need to have the health care you need based on what learned
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scientists say are an essential benefit you should. under the blunt amendment if an employer has a conviction against smoking, they can refuse treatments for lung cancer or emphysema. if an employer says, i don't approve of drinking and i refuse to cover any treatment program for alcoholism or substance abuse, they could do it. there could be an employer who has a moral conviction against blood transfusions and refuse to cover that. it puts the personal opinions of employers over the practice of medicine. the personal opinions of employers over the practice of medicine. we must remember that the preventative health services that insurers are required to provide, well, part of health care reform. the essential benefit package is being developed in the states. the preventative health care
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package wasn't developed by politicians. it was developed by the institute of medicine. a learned society that said what would be the key benefits necessary to do this. i urge the defeat of the blunt amendment because we cannot provide this wide latitude to disrupt, derail the ability of people to get health care. >> the comments of senator barbara mikulski, democrat from maryland, as she spoke on capitol hill today. the vote on the blunt amendment is expected tomorrow. watch live coverage on c-span 2. house speaker john boehner making a rare appearance on the floor of the house on this wednesday urging passage of a bill aimed at re-establishing water access for thousands of california residents, farmers that were blocked by policies put in place by the obama administration. speaker boehner urging that the white house should support the bill because it would re-establish farming jobs in california even though as the
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newspaper reports the administration issued a veto threat earlier today against the measure. we begin with the comments of representative grace napalitano from california. >> the san joaquin water reliability act is anything but. it repeals existing state law as written for the use of the water from the san joaquin river in california's central valley. it reallocates water in a way that elevates agricultural uses above all other water needs. that's municipal, fisheries and environmental uses. if enacted this would -- this bill was mostly aimed at california. believe me. mostly california. but it would set precedent as an unprecedented standard of state preempls, environmental disregard, privatization of a public resource for the benefit of a select few.
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it could be, in my estimation, renamed the barrister employment act. state legislature stated it best. this is the california state legislature. 1837 is almost breathtaking in its total disregard for equity and its willful sub ja investigation of the state of california to the whims of federal action. in the past my colleagues on the other side have last for less intrusion of federal government, less government control. let the locals handle it. this does the reverse. it puts it in the hands of the federal government to determine the state's rights to enact water laws. despite amendments by the majority it still seeks to make sweeping negative changes to state's ability to manage water in the west. amends the state constitution and undermines california's ability to manage its own resources. it would repeal or overturn nearly 20 years of environmental protections under central valley project improvement ax and the
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endangered species act which is normally on the attack by friends on the other side. >> the comments of grace napalitano from california. more background on the san joaquin water reliability act. according to the hill newspaper it is a republican response to the obama administration's regulations which essentially restricted water flow to some farms and communities in order to protect the delta smelt, a small fish that republicans and some democrats have argued that this decision created a manmade drought that crushed local communities in california favoring species petition over human food production and economic growth. more on the house floor today with tom mcclinic tok, republican, california. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding and compliment the gentle lady from california on stating the opposite of the bill with remarkable precision. it does not repeal 20 years of california water law. it restores it by restoring the
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allocation that was agreed to by a broad bipartisan coalition in the bay delta accords in 1994. at the time the democratic interior secretary is bruce babbitt assured parties this would be honored by the state and federal governments. his promise was broken first by his own department and most recently when a federal court deemed the delta smelt to be more important than the livelihoods of thousands of central valley farm workers. hundreds of billions of gallons of water that these communities had already paid for and depended upon were simply expropriated and blissfully and cavalierly dumped into the pacific ocean turning much of california's fertile central valley into a dust bowl. this redeems the promise made to the people of california and restores the allocations that were agreed to. that was then and this is now and the science is changed, we
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hear. what they are referring to is not science. it is ideology masquerading as science. in 2010 the claims were thrown out of the federal court which cited ideological zealots which attempted to, in the words of the court, mislead and deceive the court into expecting what is not only not only the best science, it's not science. >> the comments of representative mcclintock of california. the house taking up the measure today. watch live coverage on c-span and on the web at as we said earlier the house speaker making a rare appearance on the house floor urging for passage of the bill which essentially would re-establish water access for thousands of california residents along the san joaquin valley. you are listening to "washington today" on c-span radio. >> david gregory, george stephanopoul
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stephanopoul stephanopoulos. >> bob sheefr. >> hear five talk shows replayed sunday afternoon on c-span radio starting at noon eastern. "meet the press," "this week," "fox news sunday" "state of the union" and "face the nation." top issues, key political figures and journalist round tables brought to you as a public service by the networks and c-span. replays of the sunday network tv talk shows sundays starting at noon eastern on c-span radio. >> wcsp fm washington. around the country on channel 119. >> the actions you take in the short run whether they be infrastructure or education or tax reform or whatever they may be, i hope that they are considered wisely chosen. it's important that we keep in
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mind the necessity of making fiscal policy sustainable. so you need to think about those things together, i think. >> the comments of the fed chair ben bernanke throwing cold water on the improving economic outlook today saying further significant declines in unemployment aren't likely without stronger economic growth. welcome to hour two of "washington today" on c-span radio. thank you very much for being with us. at the white house the president hosted more than a hundred veterans of the iraq war commemorative of the more than million who served in iraq for the last nine years. a way to pay tribute to the troops. we'll talk about those in attendance later in the program. what's being described as an apparent breakthrough in a long stalled series of negotiations, north korea has agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment and nuclear program. the north koreans and u.s. officials making the announcement earlier today. in exchange the


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