tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN July 26, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
. and they have brought upon the strategy of obstruction. just say no. i don't care who it hurts. if it hurts the unemployed, fine . we won't let it happen where they can get some relief. if it happens to a small businessman or woman, we don't care, on the other side of the aisle, because what we want is failure. and why do the folks on the other side of the aisle in both the house and the senate feel so strongly about that sne it's just simply the naked grab for power. . they want to resume the control of the house of representatives and the senate and they want to retake the white house so they can continue to do all of the
things that ran this economy into the ditch. those things being characterized by trickledown economics, the old ronald reagan trickledown economics plan. and trickledown economics resulted in eventually, over the last 10 years, eight million jobs lost in america. 400,000-odd-some, 495,000 of those jobs in manufacturing sent overseas due to tax policies to benefit the rich and the wealthy and so when president reagan said, it's morning in america, he was not referring to the
working men and women of this country, he was referring to the guilded, the upper crust, the royalty, if you will. he wasn't referring to all of the little people. he was talking about his friends. and that policy has been followed relentlessly and it has had a devastating effect on the men and women who tried to work for a living in this country and so as a result our economy has gone into, i don't want to say a ditch, but in a deep, dark hole and it didn't take us long to get there, but it's taking us some time to climb out of. and that's why this discussion that we're having tonight is so important. jobs for the american people,
closing tax loopholes that benefit the rich and the wealthy and incentivize their movement of -- the movement of jobs offshore. those things must come to an end and i know we have additional time but i'm going to yield back now to our anchor, the honorable marcia fudge. ms. fudge: thank you so much, my friend and colleague, mr. johnson, who is always on top of issues. i so much appreciate you joining us this evening. it is always a pleasure to hear your views on the various topics that we cover. thank you so much. madam speaker, i i would now like to -- i would now like to take an opportunity to as well yield to a person who has been very active in discussing the issue of jobs, who understands very, very well some of the legislation that has been proposed, that has been passed by this house.
my friend rand colleague from the state of maryland -- my friend and colleague from the state of maryland has been active in every single issue that we have addressed in this body to deal with jobs and on the economy and it's just indeed a real pleasure for me to yield some time to her this evening because she is always very, very prepared and very knowledgeable and very intellectual formative. at this time i'd -- and very informative. at this time i yield to ms. edwards. ms. edwards: i thank the gentlelady and, madam speaker, i have to tell you, it really troubles me to be here this evening because once again we have to point to action by house democrats to bring jobs to the american people and inaction by our republican colleagues, particularly those who sit in the united states senate, who have failed to deliver on the promise of jobs to the american people. now, when president obama came into office, i think that month, madam speaker, we lost something like 750,000 jobs just that one
month. after having hemorrhaged for over a year thousands and thousands of jobs, not creating a single job in this country, sooned then the president comes in and we have to deal with the financial crisis also inherited by -- from the previous administration. still americans are without jobs. but this congress didn't stand still, the democratic leadership in this congress didn't stand still. we passed significant job legislation. first the stimulus package that created jobs across this country, saved or created 3 1/2 million jobs around this country in every single state, in every single congressional district, so that americans could continue working. but we said that wasn't enough. we need to be on the progress of building up our economy and creating more jobs for the american people, creating jobs that are about the 21st century, making sure that americans don't
just get extended unemployment benefits, which i agree we ought to have done, it was the right thing to do and it was wrong for republicans to say that people who receive unemployment benefits don't deserve that because somehow that keeps them from looking for a job, those around the americans that i know. the americans that i know get up every single day, they want to work hard and they do work hard to take care of themselves and their families. and our job as members of congress is actually to deliver on that promise. and so what have we done in this congress? we have delivered. democrats in the house of representatives almost without any republican votes have delivered jobs for the american people. but where is it? sitting over in the senate. at least five jobs bills that i can think of and i know that there are more, jobs for veterans, jobs for teachers, jobs for first responders, jobs in the 21st economy and the green economy. all of these sitting over in the united states senate because senate republicans are standing
in the way of job creation for the country. and i'll tell you, madam speaker, it's not that they're standing in the way because these aren't good ideas. they're standing in the way because they've let politics get in the middle of whether americans should have jobs or not. and so here we go, it's time for the senate republicans to actually deliver a paycheck and a payday for the american people, to stop standing in the way of job creation, to make sure that americans get paid an honest day's wages for an honest day's work because americans want to work. now, here we have, we have bill after bill, we have house resolution 5297, passed on june 17, 5019 passed may 26, may 28, march 21. i mean, it's been days and days and days since we have passed major jobs legislation that sit to this day in the united states
senate. it is not right, it's not right for the american people and it's time for senate republicans to stop standing in the way and filibustering jobs for the american people because they believe in politics and not a paycheck. and so, madam speaker, let me just tell you something. you know, we've done a lot of things in this congress, but we have to draw attention to this. and i'm asking the american people, madam speaker, that they turn on their television screens at 2:00 in the afternoon, to make sure that they know that house democrats will be waiting on the senate floor, waiting moment by moment, 2:00 every single afternoon this week so that we can bring jobs to the american people. it's time for the senate to get out of the way, it's time for senate republicans to stop standing in the way of a paycheck for the american people and to deliver the jobs that house democrats have created over in this body and we need to move them forward over in the other one. and so, madam speaker, i would say to you, it is time that we
deliver a paycheck, a paycheck for the american people. millions of jobs and a paycheck for the american people. that we stop standing in the way of job creation. madam speaker, here's what we've done. it's really payday for the american workers. small business and jobs credit act for small businesses and tax incentives. home star jobs, incentives for energy efficient homes and cutting energy bills and creating jobs. america competes. that's about what we do in the 21st century. it's about whether we're going to be competitive globally, by creating jobs in this new economy. jobs for main street -- main street so we can boost small business, build highways and hire and retain teachers, police and firefighters. you want to tell me that there are not police and firefighters and teachers who need jobs in every single state in this country, whether that state is led by a senate democrat or a senate republican? of course they need jobs. and finally, madam speaker, i'll tell you, the other side does a lot of talking about small
business and infrastructure. but here we passed house resolution h.r. 4849, small business and infrastructure that we know are going to create jobs and who's sitting on that? those senate republicans sitting on jobs, playing politics with the american people. the american people want a job, american workers want to work and it's time for us to deliver that work. thank you and with that i'd yield. ms. fudge: thank you so very much. again, as i expressed before you began your remarks, that you were always very informative and accurate as to the situation we find ourselves in as a house. it is certainly always a pleasure to work with you and for you to continue the fight for the american people because in fact, they do deserve a payday and thank you. i would now yield to my good friend and colleague, the dean of the ohio delegation, the delegation of which i am a member, it's always a pleasure to see you. i would now yield to the gentlelady from ohio, ms.
kaptur. ms. kaptur: congresswoman fudge, i want to thank you very much for organizing this special order this evening. and especially from the buckeye state, being down here every week, using your voice,ousingure talents to fight for the american -- using your talent to fight for the american people, particularly those who are out of work and don't we know that well in our beloved state of ohio? in fact, there was a billboard that was put up, paid for been unanimous donors in ohio that read as follows, recess, your self-worth is more important than your net worth. and what is happening around states like ours, where the unemployment rate is above even the horrendous national unemployment rate, where we have 20 million people out of work, directly out of work, those who have run out of benefits or those who are working part time when they really want to work full time, this is an enormous number of people. and congresswoman edwards who
was down here a little while ago was talking about with the help of the obama administration, congress has begun to dig out of this deep job loss hole that the last administration left us. but the percents really don't tell the full story. where people finally say, i just simply can't find work. they send out 400 resumes, nothing back. they're told by some of our friends on the other side of the aisle, well, you can't find a job, start your own business. create your own job. where are they supposed to go for capital? how are they supposed to do this when they can barely feed their families at this point think? mean, there's a certain unreality and cruelty that attends those who are consistently voting against even extending unemployment benefits which all the studies show provides immediate consumer buying power and are the biggest
bang for the buck that the federal government can actually provide out there in communities across this country to spur purchasing and to allow people to hang onto their homes, to make their car payments, barely, tooned try to put food on the table for their families. the situation in say thes -- states like ours is very, very precarious. one of the communities that i represent has had a string of shootings that i have no doubt when the crimes are solved will probably point to a number of young people who just simply are idle. there could be choices for them, there could be constructive work that they could be doing. but instead they're getting caught up in the old expression, i guess, the idle mind, the idle hands are the devil's workshop. and it's important for us to think about that. in the major city that i
represent we've had a string of arsons and of fires, another one last night. across our community. innocent lives threatened as these abandoned homes are burned down. imagine if those who are doing this could be put to constructive ends. it isn't so complicated. because all of the destruction takes money. in one way or another. and yet we could do something to help people reposition in this very difficult economy. i favor all the programs as a member of the jobs now caucus with my colleague bobby rush of -- rush of chicago and miller of michigan, all of those programs that we can't get through here dealing with the recreation of a civilian conservation corps. where any person who would want to make a positive contribution to our country would be given
that opportunity. they wouldn't make wages like the head of those big banks on wall street, nothing close to. it but they would get a living wage -- close to it. but they would get a living wage. they could get, like peace corps, like vista, they could get a wage and maybe opportunity for education beyond. and they could do something constructive. one of the last images i have when i drove this morning through toledo, ohio, we have a mission right in the downtown area that tries to help people who are just fallen out of regular society. and right next door they've now built a education and training center. it's small, but they're dealing with some of the most challenged human beings residing in our community now. but they're saying, we're not giving up on anybody because everybody counts, everybody has
self worth. everybody should have self worth. it isn't net worth, it's self worth. in america, after all, isn't that what we're supposed to be as a couldn't arery? we're supposed to be a place where every person matters. the jobs program that was staaled in the senate, -- stalled in the senate, it was embarrassing to watch what the senate had to go through to get the unemployment benefits they earned, they worked for. this is no manna from heaven, this is something people paid for. in addition to the troubles they had over there, i'm getting worried about the trade agreement we hear rumblings about. if we look back to agreements like nafta, china, we outsource so many jobs to foreign places. if every label in america read made in america again, we would have so many jobs we wouldn't
know what to do. we would be so full up with production, with purchasing. but we keep handing off jobs to all these other countries where people work for slave wages, where they -- i had another business person tell me yesterday that he will no longer go become to certain parts of asia because he has to have a lot of protection when he goes there and the products people are making are more inferior quality, but they can't afford to buy what they make. certainly in china, certainly in malaysia, certainly in indonesia. how can we make lasting friends in other places when that stuff is sent over here, they don't make a decent wage there and they're outsourcing our jobs and not paying people over there. that doesn't seem like a method or long-term success.
i wanted to say to my colleague from cleveland, we know what mr. coffey's loss of jobs in cleveland is. we know what the loss of jobs when they move to mexico, we know when whirlpool jobs are outsourced to mexico we know what that means for ohio's workers. the list is endless of all of these products and services we've outsourced. this congress should be renegotiating trade agreements. we should not be approving other trade agreements until we fix what's wrong with the ones we already have. that's part of the jobs agenda as well. this year, america will exact a $1 trillion trade deficit with the world. all those jobs, gone. somebody else making what we used to make here. this is costing us dearly. i want to thank the gentlelady for allowing us to put on the record the numbers of unemployed, the difficulty we've had in trying to -- trying to get the senate to
pass its bill, the bill we sent over there the impact of the job loss on people's self worth and what that means to us as americans, and finally what this trade deficit means over a long, long period of time work the continued outsourcing of jobs and the efforts that we as a congress are going to put forward even more for made in america again. i think the american people will cheer for that coast to coast because they know it needs to be done. so i want to thank the gentlelady for allowing us to convene this evening and i know the cleveland area, parma, areas you represent are just as challenged as those in northwestern ohio and northern ohio, the parts i represent. our people deserve more fair treatment by their own government. thank you for allowing us this time this evening.
ms. fudge: i absolutely agree with you 100%. if we don't start to make things in this nation we may have a permanent under class of people who will never work again. people who grew up in blue collar communities and make things with their hands and by the sweat of their brow. it's going to be difficult to come out of the recession if we don't start to look at the mistakes we made in the past. i know eight years of the clinton administration, we created over 20 million jobs. less than two million of them under the bush administration. we know what we're doing if they would just allow us to do the work that the people have sent us here to do. i thank you so much. ms. kaptur: if the gentlelady would yield one second, there's one figure i could put on the record, that is in the first 18 months of the obama administration, we have already created more jobs than in the entire eight years of the bush administration. 18 months versus eight years.
we're digging ourselves out of that hole, not as fast as we would like in ohio, but the damage was so great and we're moving in the right direction and we need to keep our shoulder to the wheel. i thank the gentlelady for yielding me the additional time. ms. fudge: i thank you. we are making the right steps, moving in the right direction. it's going to take some time but we are doing the right thing. i now yield to my friend and colleague who joins me just about every week, who shares new information and sheds light on things that sometimes the rest of us don't quite think about, my dear friend, the gentlelady from texas, ms. -- congresswoman sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i ask to address the house. let me thank the gentlelady from ohio and i'm very glad to follow on the theme that congresswoman kaptur of ohio spoke to and the note that she
ended on, recognizing that we have to do more. there is pain out there, but to actually say to the american public that our president, president obama, and this administration with this democratic caucus, has created more jobs in the last 18 months than were created in the tenure of the last administration, i don't know how many times we have to say that, but allow me to say it one more time. this administration, president obama's administration work this democratic caucus, has create more jobs than the last administration in their entire tenure and that was eight years. let me also cite for my colleague and let me as well express my appreciation in joining the congressional black caucus, the special hour we have participated in and educated really the american public. i thank you for your leadership. chairman bernanke spoke last
week at a number of hearings and i think it's important to note, and in hearings, i know that many of our colleagues are either at hearings or they see the hearings. we try to twist and turn on our questions if we don't like the answer we try to throw it back at the witness. but the chairman of the federal reserve was very, very definitive when he said, it is important to invest in the economy and if you want to use the term stimulus, i'd like to use the word investment as the way to go, all of those concerned about deficit, and all of us are, we want to keep a balanced budget in our own personal homes, he said the most important thing is to keep the economy churning and to not be so concerned about deficits as opposed to investing in our economy. that investment, has caused a churning of the economy such that we see the growth of jobs, we see the private sector
working, but yet we have obstacles. those obstacles concern me. that's why we've come to the floor of the house, to let everyone know that the congressional black caucus is fighting, still, on the cause of expanding job opportunities. it baffles me how long we had to work to get the unemployment extension to the -- to be passed by the other body. clearly, unemployment insurance is not a handout. it is a trust established with a working american when they work and they fall upon hard times, they are due an unemployment insurance to carry them over the bridge of difficulty. this bill that we passed was focused on, and that is the unemployment extension that finally got passed after constant advocacy by this caucus, after meeting with senate leaders over a period of time by chairwoman barbara lee, after calling and prorpting,
that bill was passed. however, the component that would have added extra job the component that would have provided youth jobs or summer jobs and what date is it today? july 26. it saddens me, it saddens me, i remember us standing in the heat of summer in the month of june, standing with the constituents of congresswoman eleanor holmes norton, teenagers from this region, standing with us and making a simple plea, put us to work. let us work. the other body has stood as an on instruction. when i say that, let me clarify, the senate republicans have been very, very challenging. but what we just had a chance to pass involved providing tax relief to businesses and state and local governments to help them invest and create jobs, provide important tax cuts to put money back in the pockets of working family, to help restore the flow of credit to enable small businesses to expand and hire new workers by expanding small business loan
programs, extending eligibility for loan programs and others and close tax loopholes for wealthy investment fund managers and foreign operations of multinationals. work still to be done. that kind of work will really provide for enhanced opportunities for our small businesses. our colleague from maryland was saying that, why can't we pass the small business lending bill that would make a huge difference coming out of the summer months, getting our small business ready to be the back bone of america in hiring those who need it. but let me speak to the emotion of what is going on, if i may to my friend and colleague from ohio and if i may, madam speaker, just comment a moment because it troubles me how long it took for the unemployment insurance, people actually fell off the flat earth they literally fell off before, 2.5
million, before we were able to pass this insurance. more importantly, can you imagine as they were counting their dollars and they were not getting any word that we had passed it, can you imagine the stress that anyone who was having to be responsible for family members and children felt the pressure an the intensity? i don't know why anyone doubts that people are looking for work. 8,000 people came to a job fair i held last year, 10,000 came to another one i held, but these are just pictures of everyday americans around america who have been standing in line for jobs. for jobs. does anyone have any sense that there is a need out there, that people are not serious, that we shouldn't have extended the unemployment as well as extend dollars to small businesses and provide them with lending
opportunities? does anyone see that this is not a serious issue when people are standing in the hot sun for long hours, when there is a job fair. many people will tell us that there are thousands that come out when anyone has a job fair. when anyone has it. what i focused on was the government opportunities because in many instances we are hiring. but let me just give some numbers that are so frighten, the houston crisis center is seeing a marked increase in the number of suicide related calls this year. the economy and job loss are among the top reasons people say they need help. the crisis intervention center of houston noticed more calls were coming in, many relating to unemployment. the executive director said they compared calls fromian to june of 2010, to the same period last year, in 2009, and it has been a 220% inreese of suicide-related calls.
-- increase of suicide-related calls. people saying i don't know where to turn. unemployment insurance that we fought so hard for that could have been passed over a month ago, the realism of them understanding that people are impacted because they don't know how they'll pay their mortgage, their rent, their food, college education for those whose children may still be in college, or other needs that they may have, medical wills. -- bills. according to foreclosure crisis on july 1, online publication, the people are stressed out from layoffs, actual or feared, and underemployment with 158ries being slashed, the foreclosure crisis is taking a toll on the mental health of the people in no uncertain way. take the scorery of dee ann ross, who was working full time and she was a counselor dealing with the unemployed and helping them address their mental health situation.
she was working with the national alliance dealing with mental illness and was a field operator. she lost her job. since that time, ms. ross, in her early 40's and suffering from bipolar disorder, is battling urges to withdraw from social cack. we found this story on foreclosure crisis, a website. apprehensions of being homeless are haunting her. she has five children to care for. all her life has been -- she has been hard working and managing things even with the physical challenge she has had and therefore now she finds herself unemployed. does anyone get it? we need to pass a jobs bill, to complement the hard work that you've already seen by this congress and this administration in creating jobs, this is a public and private partnership, the private small businesses and large corporations who now are restraining themselves need to
have confidence to invest in making and creating jobs. how do they do it? with the help of the federal government, by focusing on what we democrats will be leading with, making it in america, emphasizing manufacturing, and that expands to other markets to allow people to not be in foreclosure, to not be without rent money, this is the way to go. finally, dan mccarthy of health services said for many american workers this financial stress, uncertainty, and anxiety can be significant and it is important that they have places to turn for -- to turn for guidance and support. the service focuses on managing benefits related to mental health. my key point is to dispel the myth that these are people who don't care are not looking for work, don't need any resources. these are hardworking americans. it is porn to note that they should look for support systems, don't go this alone,
don't be alone when you're struggling to pay bills. there are many support systems in your own community from the safe community to united way to various mental health sorks to your state unemployment offices, don't handle this alone, don't go it alone, but while you are working to survive, we in the united states congress should do so. let me close by suggesting that there is much work left for us to do. creating public job initiatives, voiving the department of labor and employment -- involving the department of labor and employment and training association and the national and community service. locally directed programs for youth summer jobs, to my disappointment, it is almost an embarrassment to stand on the floor of the house. this house passed it and we want get a senate that doesn't understand that the families of youth are standing in unemployment lines and we can't pass a simple summer youth program or youth job of $1 billion to put young people to
work who may be providing for some extra income to these desperate families. locally directed funding, as i indicated, for our summer youth, enforcing the minority contracting requirements under the significant and national grant in extension of the apprentice and training programs, which i'm working with in the city of houston, providing access to capital and technical assistance for capital, for small businesses, from s.b.a. there is work to be done. and i would simply say that this effort tonight is important to educate our colleagues, to call upon our senate republicans to think about people and to care about those who desperately need our help. let me thank the gentlelady for yielding to me tonight and i hope that we are inspiring our colleagues to be renewed in their vigor, to fight for the jobless, and i hope that we're
challenging senate republicans to recognize that they have a responsibility as well to the thousands and millions of individuals who are calling out to get jobs. i thank the gentlelady. ms. fudge: thank you. thank you so much. i want to thank my friend for being here. she always does bring a different view. just to see those photographs says an awful lot. you know, a picture they say is worth a thousand words. and it's just important for people to understand that these are real people that we're talking about. you talked about we need a jobs bill. we don't just need one we need it now. and so i thank you for saying to our colleagues on the other body, especially the republican senators, it is time for them tonds that the american people need them now more than ever and i thank you so much for being here. madam speaker, as i close i would ask permission that i be allowed to enter into the record a statement by my colleague, the honorable eddie bernice johnson of texas.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. fudge: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, in the fall of 2008 our economy was in its worst shape since the great depression. predator and subprime lending were at an all-time high. the housing bubble had just burst and many of our largest financial institutions had gone bankrupt. retirement and savings accounts were cut in half. forcing many to stave off retirement and continue working well into their golden years. over 200,000 american workers were being laid off each month. in the state of ohio unemployment was growing rapidly, quickly approaching double-digit numbers. and in my district, the unemployment rate was even higher. in october of 2008 i arrivinged in congress with the goal to -- arrived in congress to help -- congress with the goal to help struggling americans. i have consistently advocated for such policies. the congressional black caucus and the democratic leadership made it our duty and
responsibility to advocate for jobs. earlier this year the house passed h.r. 4213, the american jobs and closing tax loophole act. in ohio alone, madam speaker this legislation would have extended unemployment -- madam speaker, this legislation would have extended unemployment and cobra benefits. it would have provided college tuition deductions to 150,000 students and allocated over 42 -- $42 million for youth summer jobs. for the nation, h.r. 4213 would have provided 5ds00 million to restore credit -- $500 million to restore credit to small businesses. the same small businesses that are creating most of the jobs in this nation. it would extend the research and development tax credit and finally it would have granted $25 billion in bonds for infrastructure development. however, madam speaker, there has been no action on the part of the senate while americans continue to suffer. in may of 2010 the house
appropriations committee drafted a war supplemental that included necessary funding that protected our soldiers abroad and our workers at home. this thoughtful legislation included $23 billion to save jobs for teachers. 5ds.7 billion for pell grants, $-- $5.7 billion for pell grants and $500 million to save firefighters' jobs. however, once again, madam speaker, the senate passed the legislation without any of these necessary job creation measures. the senate must act now to help hardworking americans. the congressional black caucus and the house democratic leadership fought to keep creation and job-saving measures in this bill. we fought back in legislation that included $10 billion to save teachers' jobs. almost 5ds billion for pell grants, $4.6 billion for settlements of the discrimination cases and on
thursday, just this past thursday, the senate once again rejected these measures. i have always believed that it is the job of government to help its people. if we are not helping the people that we represent i don't know why we're here. i ask the senate, where is your job creation legislation? what are you doing to help teachers, to help police officers and firefighters? what are you doing to get the american people back to work? we cannot allow american families to suffer through these difficult times any longer. they are counting on job creation measures and we cannot let them down. i urge the senate, madam speaker, to move quickly to help create jobs to get americans back to work. if we do not allow americans to go back to work and make people believe that because are you unemployed you are lazy, to make people believe that because are you unemployed that you don't
want to work, it is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard in my life. the people i meet in my district every day, every weekend that i'm home, they talk about wanting jobs, they talk about how they have been laid off, they talk about wanting to get jobs for the young people. do you know, this may be the first summer in history where young people's jobs may in fact be feeding their families but yet we can't pass a jobs bill that will allow young people to work for the summer. if young people have things to do, maybe we wouldn't have the kinds of issues that ms. kaptur talked about. we have to find way to say to the american people that we do in fact hear you, that we do in fact know that you are our neighbors, our friends, that we know that you are the people who are in most need and if we can't help those who need the most, we really are a group of people who has lost sight of what our role is. there are people doing very, very well here.
corporations have made more money in the last year, i think it's something like 43% -- their profits are running 43% higher than they did the year before yet we can't take of the everyday person on main street? they're getting richer and poor are getting poorer and there's a something -- and something needs to be done. i would at this this time, madam speaker, yield back my time with the caveat that i expect that the senate will do its job because certainly those of us in the house will continue to do ours. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. carter: thank you, madam speaker.
nancy pelosi became the first elected female speaker of the house in the history of the united states on november 16, 2006. she stated, this leadership team will create the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history. she so serves as our speaker and she also sits in the position in line to, in case of some horrible disaster, to actually, that's third in line to the president. the president of the united states said, i campaigned on changing washington and bottom-up politics. i don't want to send a message
to the american people that there are two sets of standards, one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day at paying their taxes. president obama said this to cnn on february 3, 2009. so that was the stage of a set -- that was set for the democrat administration in this house and for the democrat administration in the white house. i've been on the floor of this house now for about 18 or 19 months talking about lots of things about how we have rules for a reason and when we believe as americans in the rule of law. it's a as sacred as anything
that there is of a secular nation -- nature in this country. that we believe that law and fairness, it's so important to us that we have laws and that each person is treated fairly under those laws. and there are no exceptions, as the president said. we want a world that we live in that says everybody in this country's not only created equal but are going to be treated equal under the law. and week of had lots of examples where that didn't happen. and that's part of the turmoil that has moved around this nation for over 200 years, but the american distribute average american citizen -- average american citizen, down deep in his soul and heart, he wants that world, she wants that world. the american citizen wants the world that says, the law treats everybody equally and fairly. and when we go to our court
systems or with gund the rules that we operate under we expect others to follow those rules the same way and we expect those who are in the position of enforcing those rules are seeing that that conduct is policed up when those rules are broken. we expect them to treat everybody equally and accordingly. we've got a volume of rules for this house of representatives that is about that thick. and it is written in such fine print that you have to have reading glasses to read it. even when you're young. when you're my age you certainly neeled bifocals and trifocals just to read the fine print. but we also have people that have served in this congress for decades and dealt with these rules and they understand them, they know these rules. the speaker being one of them. and when we make a promise to
this house that we will have the most honest, open and ethical congress in the history of the congress, that kind of promise is important to the american people because that's exactly what they were looking for from this democratic administration. and sometimes and many times i stand here all by myself on the floor of the house talking about these things. occasionally somebody comes forward and joins me. but i think the members of this house and their souls expect that. i think every american citizen expects that. we are now at a point where after, i've been talking 18 or 19 months, almost every week, about the former chairman of the ways and means committee, mr. charles rangel, and the issues that he had. we have finally, finally reached a point where the ethics committee has moved off
high center and launched forward in this case. just so we get an idea of why i've been standing up here, why my colleagues come and join me, let's go through the timeline we're dealing with and how long it's been going on. september 24, 2008. 2008. the house ethics committee votes to open an investigation for soliciting funds for charlie rangel's center for public service, occupying rent stabilized apartments, soliciting donations on congressional letterhead, not disclosing or paying taxes on rental income from a villa in the dominican republic.
november six through 9, 2008, rangel leads a citigroup funded congressional june set to the caribbean. december 9, 2008, ethics committee expands investigation to include rangel's efforts to preserve tax break farce donor to the rangel center. january 28, 2009, representative john carter of texas introduces the rangel rule bill to eliminate all i.r.s. penalties and interest for paying taxes past due. the reason for that rule being that that's the way the i.r.s. treated the chairman of the ways and means committee and i took the position that that was only fair. august 12, 2009, rangel amends his financial disclosure forms for 2002 to 2006, effectively doubling his wealth that he now acknowledges to the country. october 6, 2009, representative carter introduces a resolution demanding that rangel step down
as the ways and means chairman. october 8, 2009, the ethics committee expands the rangel investigation to all 2009 financial statements. february 26, 2010, the ethics committee admonishes rangel for accepting the caribbean trip. march 3, 2010, rangel steps down as chairman of the ways and means committee after representative carter prepares to introduce another privileged resolution. july 22, 2010, the ethics committee announces that its subcommittee investigating rangel alleges house rules violations and that they will be made public on july 29. so from september 24, 2008, to july 29, 2010, this house dealt
with the issues concerning mr. rangel. what's not on this board and should be is that on the floor of this very house, and really what launched us all into realizing this was going on, mr. rangel stepped before the house and told us every one of these things. every one of them. he said he had turned himself in to the ethics committee. well, i'd like to explain that those of us that deal with the law have a saying -- justice delayed is justice denied. and that's one of the reasons why we have speedy trial acts in many jurisdictions of this country because justice delayed is justice deny. when we're talking about justice, not just justice for the individual defendant.
we're talking about justice for everyone involved. if it's a criminal case, we're talking about the kind of justice that -- where the state, representing the people of a state or of this country is desiring justice on behalf of the people. and the defendant is -- and the defendant wants justice on behalf of the defendant. it doesn't matter who it is or who is being denied justice. whether it be the people represented by the state or whether it be -- or the government -- or whether it be the individual who may be the defendant who is looking for individual justice. any undue delay in dealing with a problem like this is justice denied. so we're in july, just one month and 20-something odd, 30-something odd days, let's
just call it two months, we're two months away from two years of dealing with a situation where mr. rangel stood there at the microphone and told us about for over an hour on the floor of the house. let me say, having seen some very unusual releases by the ethics committee about the scope of their investigation, i will say, they have done a very comprehensive and very effective investigation in this case. i will say that from the outset. i'm not in any way demeaning the work ethic of that committee. but when we have the leader saying we have to deal with this, you have to say, how does this compare with other cases? how does this compare with the kind of justice we were seeking at other times? there was a time in the not too distant future when one whole half of this house, the half in the majority at the time, was
accused by that -- by the minority of every one of us in the republican side being involved in a culture of corruption. because of certain issues that very validly were dealt with by the justice department, having some people in prison and by our ethics committee. it is the duty and responsibility of the leadership that leads this house of representatives to make sure, and that leadership is headed by nancy pelosi to make sure that we are going forward and we are going forward at a -- in a very effective way and that we are getting to the root of the problem as quickly as possible and i would argue that this two years less two months that we have been dealing with the rangel case, which is still not resolved, and now there's some speculation that there will be no resolution of this issue until after the november
elections, which -- or at least after the new york primary elections, and you know, the primary voters ought to know the resolution of this problem. they ought to know what's going to happen as they go to their -- to vote in the new york primary. but it doesn't look like we'll resolve it even by the time the vote verse a chance to express their opinion one way or the other against any of the candidates involved. i think that that's justice denied. we're moving forward, i'm not rushing -- i've had people ask me questions about resolutions and so forth, i believe in the system and i'm hoping the system is now moving forward with haste. but it takes that kind of -- it sometimes takes somebody like me just down here talking and talking and talking to remind folks, we have a duty to everybody in this house,
everybody in this country, and to the individuals that are accused to resolve the issues. and this issue has been on the forefront for a long time. but if we don't get -- if we don't get through this, look what has happened in the period of time that mr. rangel was in charge of the committee. major pieces of legislation that he ushered through the house. maybe that's appropriate, maybe it's not. we don't know. we haven't resthoveed issue. we don't know whether any of these allegations have been actually addressed. and we don't know what the outcome will be. we're probably not going to know before the people of new york have a chance to vote in the primaries. i don't think that's the right way it ought to be. i don't think the average american thinks that's the way it ought to be either.
here's a fairy recent -- i don't have a date on it -- fairly recent, i don't have a date on it. massa case still hangs over democrats. for house democrats how soon will other ethics shoe drop and how hard? the house ethics subcommittee finding last week that representative charles rangel violated congressional ethics rules come at a politically awkward time in the months before the november 2 mid term leches. little word has emerged from another ethics panel reviewing whether speaker pelosi and other house leaders, or -- and other house leader -- i think
that's supposed to be plural, or their aides mishandled initial complaints of the sexual harassment against former representative eric massa, democrat of new york, by male staffers. so here we have another issue that is hanging out there and you say, why are you -- what's the big hurry on this? when did this happen? what's the timeline? let's compare this timeline to a timeline we know. because we had another event in this house with allegations of sexual misconduct system of we're going to talk about both of them and compare them and see where we are. mark foley case. back when the republicans were in charge of the house of representatives. on september 29, 2006, representative foaly resigned after allegations of
imappropriate sexual behavior with house pages. on october 5, 2006, a week and a half or so, the ethics committee launches the investigation. on december 8, 2006, ethics committee concludes the investigation. foaly's resignation, investigation, totaling 70 days. the ockizations were -- the accusations were what did the house under republican leadership what did the house leadership know ahead of time about mark foaly and the allegations against him? we had the eric massa case, what are the allegations? what did the democrat house staff know about the allegations against mr. massa and at what time did they know it? how far before it was reported? on march 8, 2010, representative massa resigned.
on april 21, 2010, the ethics committee launches the investigation. the investigation today is 141 days and counting. it's not resolved. now the question we have is, let's have a comparison. it takes twice as long under the democrats by our little example here as the republicans and still counting so it may be, heck, look at the rangel case, it may be two years before it's resolved, maybe it's next week. i don't know when it's going to be. but the point is, already we're 141 days into exactly the same kind of allegations. what did the speaker and the majority leader know? and in the case against -- that involved the republican-led congress, it was resolved in 70 days. in the case under the democrat-led congress, we're at 141 days and counting. so there is a responsibility
here when you are in the leadership of this house of representatives. you have to -- the committee has to move and it has to move at a pace and believe me -- believe me, even though the committee is exactly the same number of people, democrats and republicans on the ethics committee, it still has a chairman and a ranking member. the chairman is in charge of the majority and the ranking member is in charge of the minority. but the chairman leads the committee and the chairman is appointed by the speaker. so here we are, let's compare the two ethics committees, one republican appointed chairman, one democrat-appointed chairman, and i have nothing against the chairman. i happen to like the lady aa lot. i really do. but the facts are, they are not moving at the speed they need to move at to get justice done.
there may be absolutely nothing to this. it may be a slight mishandling and it was resolved in 70 days under the republicans, we're at 141 days and counting right now. i think that's something we need to think about. i think it's our obligation as members of the house to point this out to people to point this out to members of the congress, point this out to the american people. because why should we do -- maybe we shouldn't -- we wouldn't have such an obligation if the speaker of the house hadn't told us that this is going to be the most honest, open, and most ethical congress in history. . with that kind of declaration by the leadership here, that kind of promise to the american people, then that promise ought to be kept.
people are tired, they're tired and that's why nobody likes us. i told somebody today, i said, you know when your congressional approval is at 11%, you have to worry if your folks at church and your own family likes you. it's not the way it is supposed to be. i think this group is honest. but it's this kind of justice delayed, this kind of not letting us know what's going on that is not open. and it's not honest, and i think i could almost argue it's not ethical. if you are going to promise those things, you have to deliver. and if you need to go down to the committee and say i'm here to tell you what i know, step up and do it. don't wait to be subpoenaed. resolve the issue. it's fair to all involved, both
the american people and the individual involved. that's what i have been saying for 18 months on the floor of the house. there are those that think i am a hatchets man against charlie rangel, i am not. he is owed the right to have this matter resolved. just as much as the american people are owed the right. now, the extent of the investigation was complex. the alleged occurances against mr. rangel were more difficult than the average stuff because a lot of it dealt with taxes and tax lawyers and c.p.a.'s and god knows what else. but, still, we've got to break this cycle of accusations that
die or go to sleep in the ethics committee. somebody shouldn't believe if they turn themselves in that they will go into a bottomless pit, a dark hole, and disappear in the slow, snail's pace movement of the ethics committee. and every member of that ethics committee, both sides of the aisle, are honorable people. do not miss misunderstand that i'm defaming those people. but there are lots of other things that have come up in this congress that really haven't been addressed. i'm not saying that every time somebody puts something in the newspapers that that makes it is right and ought to go to an accusatory situation, but these are some of the headlines that have happened in the last couple of years.
"new york daily news"," f.b.i. joins in massa probe of sexual harassment, hush money and coverups. representative norm dicks is about to go from mr. boeing to mr. spending. congressional quarterly says waters calls tarp meeting for her husband's bank. landmark legal foundation files house ethics complaint against conyers. anything done about that? "roll call," mollohan charity got a represental deal. allegations that mr. mollohan made some deals to his charity. and the voters took care of that problem. "weekly standard"," g.o.p.
proposes earmark moratorium in wake of p.m.a. scandal, a scandal that involved -- let's see, who was that? please forgive me. i'm a little under the weather tonight. congressman pete visclosky has less than half the cash on hand than he did two years ago, but his legal bills keep growing. this is from the associated press in 2010, july 19. he has spent $100,000 in legal fees since april. reported that the new amount
rose to more than $400,000 the total that he has spent on expenses related to the investigation of the p.m.a. group. p.m.a. suspected of making straw donations to lawmakers to conceal the true source of the money. defense clients, including several visclosky donors who received federal earmarks. that's what this is all about. the republicans decide todd have a moratorium on earmarks, in light of the p.m.a. scandal because, i guess the way we republicans looked at it was, enough's enough. geithner tax woes examined. this is an old story. the treasury secretary that we saw on the talk shows this weekend talking to us about the economy and how we should believe that things are getting better and we should trust that things are getting better, he
received an extra payment with the taxes included in a separate check, the way i understand it, to pay his taxes, and he didn't pay his taxes. and when he got appointed to the treasury, the secretary of treasury, he came out that he hadn't paid these taxes and so he paid the taxes and didn't pay the -- i think he paid the interest, but not the penalty, so he is about half the rangel rule. the average taxpayer who doesn't pay penalties and interest -- and, you know, here's the problem with all this stuff about whether you pay penalties and interest, whether you paid your taxes on time, were you treated differently than the average guy. there's a lady and i'm not go to
go mention her name, but she is at our grocery store where we shope back home in texas and her son failed to pay some taxes. and he was just a guy. and he did the best he could to explain why he didn't pay the taxes. the taxes were not as sizeable, anywhere near as sizeable as involved in geithner's or rangel's case and he spent five years in prison. and his mother told us this at the grocery store in texas. a lot of people come to former judges like me and tell them stories that their families are having, i guess because we used to be in the business and we might give them some compassion. but the point is, i'm not saying
anybody needs to go to the penitentiary. that's up to the justice department. if they do their job, which seems to be in question right now, then they will deal with it. and i still have faith in the justice system of the united states and i want to have faith in the justice department. but going back to where we started, most importantly, if anything, americans want to be treated equitably by those who enforce the rules. arguably, mr. geithner and mr. rangel got special treatment. could someone get me a glass of water? sometime later on this week, we will have the beginning of a
resolution of mr. rangel's case. the white house, which this congress ethics committee doesn't have anything to say about, the workings of the secretary of the treasury, doesn't seem to be dealt with by the white house on mr. geithner. there are other accusations about the white house. mr. rahm emanuel serves on the board of the -- bless you you, dear. fraudulent lending practices were going on and says he didn't know about them, i guess. doesn't seem to interfere with what he's doing at the white house. even though he came to this congress with $25,000 worth of freddie mac donations and the
white house is giving $200 billion to freddie mac. and meanwhile, mr. emanuel is living rent free in the home of -- basement of one of our other members of this congress. he is no longer the house ethics committee. and so, i guess it's up to the administration to look into those issues. now, leaving out the senate money trial of former illinois governor blago -- however you say his name -- and allegations of mr. conyers and conviction of mr. jefferson, sex payroll of former congressman tim mahoney
and there are other cases but no reason to go into those things. but all these things need to be brought up, because we aren't the most open, ethical congress in the history of the congress of the united states. it was promised and that promise has not been delivered upon. and i think that we have a duty as members of this house to examine that and wonder why the leadership of this house has not delivered on that promise. i don't expect the speaker to know or be in charge of every private life of every member here. god forbid. nobody wants that. that's way beyond the scope of the pale. but there are duties and responsibilities that leaders have and i would argue that we saw what happened with other
leaders that had accusations against them, because in the republican congress, they went there and gave their side of the story and got it resolved in 70 days. sometime waiting to resolve an almost identical case. the question was, what did the speaker of the house have to know about the mark foley case. the question here is whether if the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, know about the massa case? why 70 days versus 141 days, that's the question we ought to be asking ourselves. i don't have the answer. i have the question. i can make some presumptions, the answer is maybe failure to cooperate. maybe not. maybe i'm too busy to talk to you today. maybe not. who knows what the reason is.
but there are 70 more days in one investigation than the other. the other is resolved, the one that's older, is not pthat's 71 resolved. justice delayed for anybody is justice denied. a reasonable amount of time to prepare your case, of course. making a proper investigation, of course. i cannot fault any of those things. but especially it involves those in leadership of the house, it would seem to me they should give an extraordinary effort to go move, do what they can do to move the investigation along to a conclusion if it means volunteering to go before the committee and setting aside other things like fundraisers in
san francisco or a trip to chick. and going before the ethics committee and resolving the issue. that's the way it ought to be done. that's what the american people expect. i want to commend the ethics committee for coming forward with the rangel case. i take the position at this time that the process is now going forward after over to close to a two-year investigation. i believe that the system will do the right thing and move with haste to conclude this issue that is still hanging over mr. rangel's head and still hanging over the house of representatives' head. this is the people's house. everyone here was elected by people.
no one in here appointed ever to this position. everyone who ever serves in this congress serves because they were elected by people. can't say that about the senate. but you can't say that about this house. so when i say the house deserves an answer, the american people deserve an answer, it's because they do. they deserve an answer and i hope this thing will be resolved and it will be very appropriate if we resolve at least some of the issues, if possible, before the people of new york are asked to cast a vote in a primary later on in the next few weeks. i'm not sure that's possible because we are about to go into recess. but it's a shame that we aren't getting the information to the people of new york that they should have. .
i want to thank the speaker for allowing me to come in here and do this talk, i'll probably talk about other things in the future. but we have so many things that we as people can disagree on, that's what democracy is all about. but overwhelmingly, americans agree that they want a justice system that works and they want folks to follow the rules and they want everybody to be treated, or given at least the equal opportunity to be treated fairly. and as long as i've -- as long as i feel like there's people not being treated fairly or others being treated more special than others, i think it's my job and the job of every member of this house to step up here and say, that's not america. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
we will hear from the founder of the groups that put out the documents and get white house reaction. after that, a panel of the anniversary of the american with disabilities act. later a primary debate. a house subcommittee will meet this week and discuss ethics charges against charlie rangel. he could face a full trial later
this summer. we will have live coverage thursday on c-span 3. >> with charles rangel in the news because of the recent house ethics subcommittee announcement, use the video something -- video library to watch it. it is washington, your way. >> now the founder of the website the posted more than 95,000 classified military records relating to the war in afghanistan. he talks to reporters about the release of the documents spending six years. he also discusses incidences' of afghan civilian killings. >> 14 pages about this subject during go -- about this subject.
also 17 pages from "the new york times." i have not checked into the others. >> what do you say when people like the white house accused you of compromising the troops? >> i am familiar with groups we are exposed, attempting to criticize the messenger, and we do not see any difference in the white house response to the other groups we have expos. we have tried hard to make sure this does not put innocent people in harm.
we have no current operational consequences, even though it may be of significant investigative consequence. >> do you feel risk, and how so? >> from time to time, we have threat warnings from our forces , and we take those seriously. we have not felt a threat to personal safety in kenya and other parts of the developing world. that has not always been true.
it is clear it will save our understanding of what the past -- will shape our understanding of what the past has been like, and the course needs to change. the manner in which it needs to change is not clear. >> [inaudible] >> i am often asked this question. in what is the most single damning revelation, the single event, the single personality. that is not the real story. for real story is that it is war. it is one thing after the other. it is the continuous small events, the continuous death of children, insurgents, allied
forces. search for the word amputation or amputee, and there are dozens of references, so this is the story of the wars since 2004, and like most of the accidents that occur on the road, they are the results of cars, not of the buses. most of the deaths are the results of the everyday squalor of war, not the big instances. that said, of course there are reports of high killed counts in this material. a single report taking place august 9, 2006 has a kill count
of 181, one wounded, zero detained. what is the circumstances behind that report? the circumstances not yet known. according to report, there is a cargo plane fitted out with cannons and circled around and killed 62 of those people. we add up all those deaths, we get about 80. the deaths of the other 100 are still not explain. there are many reports like that that looks suspicious with the full details not explained. we can see the behavior of the task force, a special forces assassination squad involved in
the joint priorities, a euphemism for the u.s. the assassination liz in afghanistan. there are many events associated with that, some that resulted in the deaths of -- one that resulted in the deaths of seven children and others that results in a number of innocent. we can also see how people get on the list. they seem to be recommended by regional governors in afghanistan or by intelligence authorities, often with little evidence and no judicial review. >> you said you intend to cooperate. >> that is one of the interesting journalistic stories, that we manage to pull together these groups to share
mod this morning are saying even they are unable to deliver these documents. how can you say it is accurate, and if some of it is not, doesn't that eat into your legitimacies? >> if some of that information was inaccurate, that would eat into our legitimacy hryvna -- legitimacy. we have never release these materials, and i did not expect this to be different. >> some people say the intelligence came from low- level, from people biased against different groups, so how can you allow people to read information as if it were true
as far as you are concerned? >> when we published material, what we say is the document as we describe it is true. we published reports all the time, but our legitimate reports -- that does not mean the cia is telling the truth. similarly, with this material, there is reporting from military units of various kinds in afghanistan, reporting from u.s. embassies across the world about matters relevant to afghanistan, reporting from informers in pakistan and afghanistan. those are the reports. it does not mean the contents are true reagan >> people should
exercise caution. >> people should exercise caution, and i will give you an example of the ways they should exercise caution. you will see how to read the material report. you will find the u.s. military units when self-reporting, often speaking the language, redefine civilian casualties as insurgent, downplayed the number of casualties, and we know this by comparing these reports to the public record for where there has been investigation. we see the initial report from the field was 56 insurgents killed, no civilians killed, but
we know from later investigation that most of the people killed were civilians, but when units report on other military units, they are more likely to be frank. when they report on the other allied units not from the u.s. military, they are even more likely to tell the truth, and of course, when they are reporting on the taliban, it all comes out. similarly, when we had reporting from informers, we can see sometimes completely outlandish claims. they do not hold water. it will sometimes say the reporting is the result of the source being paid. there is a rating system that
intelligence will give these sources about how reliable they feel they are, so that is the opinion, how reliable, but just like dealing with a name source, you should exercise some common sense. that does not mean you should close your eyes. >> what do they stay with regards to pakistani links? [inaudible] in the end, there is so much that one does not find it surprising.
the you find it in any way suspicious that the document you got here were all fairly low level. the only guy in jail was a private first class. is there any feeling perhaps you have reason to doubt the reliability? >> we have no reason to doubt very good we should say what they do not include. they do not include top secret report. they do not include most reports from u.s. special forces. they do not include reports by the cia. they do not include reports by other coalition partners. however, they do include the majority of regular u.s. army
activity, and where regular u.s. army overlaps in the activities of other forces in afghanistan, it includes reports about their activities, so when special forces assassination squad involved, people often partner with regular forces, so there are descriptions of these activities. similarly, when the cia engaged through grade or the bomb squad needs to be called in or something like this, you will see other government agencies cover, typically for the cia, sometimes for other intelligence agencies, and you can see some information about the behavior of the cia. it is true there is overlap with regular activity.
>> [inaudible] >> we have a minimization process. our goal is reform. our message is transparency, but we do not put the message before the ago. if we have a serious endeavor, we do things with policy, not with an ad hoc to our knowledge, no one has ever been physically harmed by the material we released, even though we caused the change of governments and many other serious reforms. >> of just a quick follow up. [inaudible]
>> i did not know enough about the policy to comment meaningfully. i can only say if restraints are reduced, there will be more. >> you talked about the policies of the material seven months ago, but how do you respond to the charge you are in no position given the amounts of material out there, what harm is being done with potential sources, and also about it all relating. how do you respond to claims the
obama administration would argue that you say things must change. they would argue things have changed. >> one of the interesting things we have noted from this material is that at the time mcchrystal took command with the stated policy intention of reducing civilian casualties, i knew field appeared in these reports, the coalition forces causing civilian casualties. that appears to be an attempt to get some handle on the situation, to give some measure on wear civilian casualties are occurring as a result of
coalition activities, so what we see if the u.s. army is an enormous vote and that is extremely hard to cover up. the cover up begins at the bottom and moves to the top, so it is quite hard to enact a new policy and have a filter down to a change in practice. the new policy by obama does not mean a change of practice by the u.s. military any more than a new policy by mcchrystal meant a change in practice by u.s. forces. >> these are war crimes. you said to cover of -- >> you already asked a question.
>> with all the information you gave, what did they hold back on, and you have more? >> since december, they have been on a publishing hiatus. in order to do significant engineering to cope with the amount of submissions and the amount of public interest, it is actually a very hard engineering task to supply 2% or 5% of the entire world internet population at a single moment with materials, so we are a small organization trying to understand how to do that in a
secure way theory dead -- in a secure way. as a result, we have built up an enormous backlog. in addition, along with 18 or 26 other people, we received a substantial increase in the number of submissions. we have an enormous range of material we are trying to keep up on with our sources in achieving the maximum for that material. >> [inaudible] >> this is one of those cases, so we have released to the public 76,000 reports from this set of material.
the set itself comprises over 91,000 reports. we have held back about 15,000 reports of a particular type who undergo further minimization revere region review, and some of those reports will be released -- for their minimization review, and some of those reports will be withheld. it means it is -- until it is safe to release them. by that, i mean say for the local population of afghanistan. >> [inaudible] talk about freedom of expression.
that is a little bit hypocritical. if you have used the word, and you are afraid to explain why. >> you have to wait your turn, and you have to freeze your question in a meaningful way. >> you used the word, not me. >> [inaudible] >> we have had one video production so far, and we do not know how to do tv that well. we have tried to do a more significant investigation, but we do hope to do that next time. serv reason why these organizations -- obviously, we
cannot have a coalition be too large, so when we are talking three or four, we can actually get together and agree on all the conditions. those are possibly an example of some french publications reagan -- publications. goothe best publications in pri. >> i just wonder -- [inaudible] >> the investigation of the event in 2005, which killed over
100 people and approximately 60 to 80 civilians, by the german press, is an interesting case study, because the german press investigated this that is not seen for any single event in afghanistan or iraq, and it is really a credit to the press to see that level of investigation, but it also speaks to some kind of market demand to see those sorts of crimes thoroughly investigated where german forces play a part. there are a number of reports that do concern german forces, and task force 373 has been
that approach to replace the middle of last week. -- that approach took place the middle of last week. we have not had any direct attempts to silence us. now we have held it close to our chest, and so have the other media organizations. >> what, if anything, do you hope to change? policy? more information? higher public profile? >> we want the whistle-blowers to come to us. that is the role. it is a very simple criteria. geb like a lawyer, we will represent them fairly to the court, in our case, the court of public opinion.
this submission at that criteria, and therefore, we were tasked to keep our promise of getting the maximum critical impact, and i think we appear to be living up to that promise. of course some material calls out for more attention, and material which exposes significant abuses task us to spend more effort on it. >> presumably, within those 15,000 documents, there are things you may have already seen that might deserve some amount of attention, and the fact if you get immediate coverage when these things happen, can you therefore answer the question that has been asked twice already? you mentioned the word "crimes." can you be more specific about
the words? unless the question is answered, how do you expect the media to take you seriously when there are more questions? >> the more specific. >> you mentioned war crimes or crimes when you were talking about the documents. i am asking you to be more specific when you talk about war crimes or crimes. >> you are speaking about the issue in general. it is up to a court to decide whether something is in the end of crime. that said, there does appear to be evidence of war crimes. the example is 373 missile strikes on a house that killed seven children.
>> [inaudible] >> on the one hand, as we all know, the united kingdom is the surveillance stay. on the other hand, we do have the expensive political, journalistic, and community support in the country, and it would only serve our interests for me to be arrested or detained. i cannot imagine that happening in this country unless there was a miscommunication from the bureaucracy to the political leadership. the political leadership in this country would not tolerate that. >> the motives of wikileaks are
well-known. i wonder what your sources get from releasing the material to you. was the motive express to you? >> when we get some missions, we typically get a statement. we require a statement about what they want us to do about the material and why it is important and so on. yes, they wanted to mention a number of these. not all the ones we have found, but some of the once we have found, and there will be many more. >> [inaudible] >> yes, we have committed funds.
they understand those funds are available at this point, that he wishes to engage. presently, his u.s. military legal team has not chosen to renew. >> the documents you talk about, are they similar low level reports, or does this include u.s. embassy? >> there are over 50 u.s. embassy cables in the material that has been released already. the majority of the material that has not been released yet.
>> [inaudible] >> we experience of surveillance even from time to time, -- a surveillance van from time to time, and our sources have told us about the decision-making process that occurred some months ago within the white house. i should not say more about that, but private statements are made within the white house and departments. however, those have turned to
public statements, which are mostly a acceptable. >> they suggest you have several million files and that they would be very controversial. can you give us an idea of why they are so controversial? >> we have files that concern to every country in the world, including the united states. we will not go into further detail until the material is to be released, but it is not one thing about lots of places, but rather, thousands of files about all sorts of countries.
>> [inaudible] >> we are working as hard as we can. >> you have a big team? >> we have a small team of dedicated and overworked people. we also have around 800 volunteers in an extended network of 10,000 people and 10,000 supporters. as anyone knows, we managed an organization going from a small organization to a large organization is very difficult. >> [inaudible]
>> no comment. >> are you getting a sense they are getting all the coverage, that more people are going to follow suit and come forward with information? >> that is our experience, that courageous contagious, but when there is significant disclosure, that is resulting in media impact. it appears as if it is going to result in political reform down the tracks. sources are encouraged by the opportunities they see before them, so we expect a to also be true in this case. >> of the age of entering into it? >> [inaudible]
>> there is no allegation as far as we can see determined that this material has been detected. and as evidence that has been provided or as a result of the charges the u.s. military has applied to him. he is a very high-profile source. he is the only alleged u.s. military source, so it was a natural tendency for anything related to the u.s. military to try and correlate this, but as
far as we can see, there is no evidence of a correlation. >> [inaudible] >> there are no reports directly from german sources. there are some reports by u.s. forces saying when german sources have told them, and there are reports by u.s. sources on their interactions during encounters with german forces and others, but there are no direct reports in this material from any other group. sometimes there are reports
the world press and academics to look at these statistics that come out of this and returned todiers' from afghanistan look at this. the refugees from afghanistan. toolkit this and say, i and a stand that event -- to look at this and say, i am understand that event. i was there. that was my father, he was killed. that was my buddy, he was killed. that was my commanding officer that gave me an order that i was extremely uncomfortable with. we saw things like that coming out. we saw two u.s. soldiers involved in that event come forward and give additional details. we saw the sun and brothers of
the journalist who were killed come forward and give details. we saw the wife of the driver who was killed in the van come forward and give additional details. that is what i expect to happen with this material. to some degree, it is of such scope that eclipses the economic ability of the press to go through it. is going to require all interested parties to understand this material. that is why we have endeavored to put into a format that is easy for people to go through and comprehend. >> did you say that you would only gone through in detail 2000 of these documents? how do you square that with your argument that this is a responsible [inaudible]
? >> the documents are in many different categories. there are some categories that i do not have. >> [inaudible] >> it seems to be going pretty well so far. our greatest fear is that we will be too successful too fast and we will not be able to do justice to the material. that is our greatest problem at the moment. >> [inaudible]
>> secrecy is sometimes perfectly legitimate. for example, your medical records are probably perfectly entitled to confidentiality. but not always. in some cases, that is not true. >> you make the choice then? >> if it is a matter of where the coercive power of the state should be used to stop people sharing information but have no direct connection to the source of the information. you cannot use the coercive power to keep people from spreading rumors. sophisticated u.s. jurisprudence -- and that is why you have things like the fifth
amendment which takes the press and outside the legislative process. it is the communication of knowledge that regulates. the legislature which creates the constitution. >> [inaudible] >> unfortunately, we do not see any rival. we did have an application in to the application to try to give our technology to every news organization in the world. so every newspaper could have cement this information to -- segment this technology to less. that was rejected for political reasons after the video. >> [inaudible]
do you see yourself accountable and the exact same way? [inaudible] >> there was no commercial arrangement. >> on going? >> we have been blessed over the past few months. we have been mixed -- receiving extensive support by a journalist and to human rights activists. we raised a million dollars from the general public. as a result, we're able to have a fierce independence that large
organizations find more difficult. that said, of course, we are also immediately accountable. our money comes directly from the public, not from advertisers or foundations. >> what will happen now? what do you want to see done with the information? now that is out there in the public demesne, what you want to happen? >> -- the main, what you want to happen? >> we would like to see this taken seriously. investigated by governments and new policies put in place as a result. if not, prosecution of those people who have committed abuses. it is important to understand,
the material just does not revealed abuses. this material describes every major attack that resulted in someone being detained or somebody being killed. that tells you how the war is going, where it has happened. what sort of weapon systems were used during which particular military units, is there a killer units? you can find out using this product read you can create a simple computer program. we have not done it yet. but any one of your technical staff can create a computer program to at the kills by units and find a top kill unit. that is an example of something that can be immediately extracted from. you can really see how the war in afghanistan is going and you
can compare that to government policy. this is the raw material. it describes the color that this material in the up and is displayed on the board. this is the raw ingredient that leads to pentagon statistics about civilian casualties. we have all the events that are used to create those figures and we can understand whether those aggregate figures are accurate to or distortions. we know what is in this data base and we have investigations and weaken to the disparity between these two. we can see the aggregate
figures are based -- >> [inaudible] >> we see a lot of the school. language in these reports. from minutes talking about why it killed -- from units talking about why they killed someone. why convoys going on the road, someone comes along, they should the driver. that unit then it reports on the things that it did. did you look across these
reports and see an amazing number of civilians killed by ricochets, that we fired a warning shot and ricocheted to, it is just not credible that that many people can be killed by ricochets. it is like a policeman investigating himself, filing his own reports. that sort of report stage -- is those initial reports that lead to investigation spread we can see -- we can see the allegations of coalition forces causing civilian injuries.
we see this applied to in an unrepresentative way not u.s. forces. the u.s. forces are talking about the french. that little gets applied. -- that label gets applied. this should not be any surprise as a basic understanding of how humans behave. it is a hardship to manage because the raw ingredients, the internal reporting, is not accurate. what are you going to do? >> [inaudible] >> that is right. there are distortions going on at up to the top. the top tries to push things
down. we want you to support all the civilian kills. what incentive is there for a unit to report its own bad behavior? >> [inaudible] is a catastrophic problem. a lack of understanding. a lot of what you have [inaudible] >> i agree, but what is your question? >> [inaudible] >> the afghan people -- there are many diverse groups in
afghanistan, a different language, different affiliation. yet u.s. troops and british troops are culturally homogenous. they all go in there with the same sort of culture. there are many different regional cultures in afghanistan. i feel that i would be drawing too much to agree with you, although i can see that as a problem coming out of the material. it is one thing after another. it is war. we do not normally see war. we do see what war is like. the everyday levels. as well as the events. when we released the iraq video, gates said it was
looking for war -- at war through a straw. we only gave 40 minutes of video and this lack context. although we did give news reports about what happened. this is the beginning, the end, and the middle. this is the whole context, with some exceptions, of the afghan war. if anything, it it will give us some type of intellectual understanding. whether it engages people emotionally is another matter. to some degree, that is the task of good journalism, is to turn this war material to when, where, how, how many into something that emotionally engages people. >> are you concerned that
leaking this information will do more harm than good? a lot of the information comes from [inaudible] there is another dimension. have you thought about it? is it going to make the situation worse? >> in the end, the trick is how we have, right? >> -- the truth is all we have, right? i think we have done that extremely well.
that is done a bad outcome to realistically. what more can you do? >> what about the security of afghanistan when you publish this? >> there does not seem to be -- there is nothing tactical in this material. of course, we have looked at it and there does not seem to be anything significant. that said, the revelations of the u.s. -- abuses by u.s. and british forces may cause afghanis to be upset. rightly so. they should treat them better.
not conceal abuses that have been undertaken. >> why does so much of the material, from u.s. forces? >> we published a lot of material from the british. the ministry of defense put in in order to british chemical, which controls the gateway for m d. they told them to block all connections in an attempt to stop british forces. it was a stated attempt. what happened in practice is someone who is responsible for counterintelligence got some command from a more senior person, saying, look at that thing on wikileaks. should you do something?
they rode a letter to british telecom, instructing british telecom to make sure that normal connections could not look to our web pages. the result is that those senior people who complain to are no longer in a position to complain because they cannot read it. it is great. no investigation because they cannot see the material. we discovered this using -- >> [inaudible] >> the german equivalent of the cia, their chief wrote to us demanding the removal of a document exposing corruption,
which included information about behavior. under the threat that we would be prosecuted. well what is it that we will be prosecuted under? -- precisely what law is it that we will be prosecuted under? eventually, they decided they did not want to tell us. of course, there is no such law. >> [inaudible] >> please pick up a little. >> -- please speak up a little. >> [inaudible]
a breach of federal law is always the same. whenever you have the potential for names, for operations, for programs to be out there in the public domain, it has a potential to be very harmful to those that are in our military, those are cooperating with our military, and those who are working to keep us safe. >> was the personally anchored by this? did he demand answers? >> there is an ongoing investigation that predated the -- of last week's >> does the white house believed the document raised doubts? >> let's understand a few things about the documents. based on what we have seen, i do
not think that what is being reported has been publicly discussed, either by u-haul or representatives in the u.s. government for quite some time. .- either by you'll all we have been concerned about civilian casualties for quite some time. on both of those aspects, we have taken steps to make improvements. there was a robust discussion about the historical relationships that have or had between the taliban and pakistan's intelligence.
>> no doubts about their trustworthiness? >> the president was clear back in march of 2009 that there was no blank check for pakistan. pakistan had to change the way it dealt with us. it had to make progress on safe havens. we certainly saw last year those extremists that enjoyed a safe hent -- safe haven there turning an eye on innocent pakistanis. at the same time, even as they make progress, we understand that the status quo is not acceptable and we have to continue moving this relationship in the right direction. >> what do you think this says about the ability of the government to protect confidential information from a
breach like this? >> i think there is no doubt that this is a concerning development in operational security. as we said earlier, it poses a very real and potential threat to those who are working hard to keep us safe. >> is important to the white house that he reached a deal? >> i do not have anything on that. >> are you worried that will be a distraction? >> let me get some information. >> i am wondering if that is a concern. >> again, on march 27, 2009, the
president said that after years of mixed results, we will not provide a blank check. pakistan must demonstrate its commitment to rooting out all qaeda -- al qaeda. i am not going to stand here on july 26 and tell you that all is well. by undertaking operations again. over the course of the year and a half, the pakistanis have found that those -- the extreme
is that once enjoyed complete safe haven in parts of their country and now threaten their country. they had taken steps and we want to continue to work with them to take more steps. we are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11. insuring that there is not a safe haven in afghanistan by which attacks against this country and countries around the world can be planned. that is why we are there and that is why we will continue to make progress. >> [inaudible] >> even if you look at some of the common secretary of state made last week, we will continue
to do so to move this relationship for. >> i know you are unhappy with the leak, but is it accurate? in terms of pakistan. >> i would point you -- i do not know what is being said or reported is not something that has not been discussed publicly by unnamed u.s. officials and in many new sources. "the new york times" had a story on this topic in march of 2009. written by the same authors. >> i want to ask you about the
consumer regulators. i do not have an update on the timeline of last week. i do not think that things were immediate. i know the president will look at this job and several other jobs created as part of this legislation. >> what criteria is he going to be looking at? >> i think we have a number of -- as we have talked about here with many of you on the telephone, we have many good candidate. again, if you look back at the reason that the president and the team wanted to create a bureau that dealt with consumer issues because even as we look
back at the debate and look back at the issues that were involved in this debate, most people's interaction with the financial system is not on a wall street trading level. it isn't getting a loan. it is in getting the capital to create or expand a small business to buy a home. insuring that there are protections for those on main street in order to interact on a daily basis with the financial system are tremendously important. >> is a wall street opposition going to be weighed in the decision making process? >> i think elizabeth warren is a terrific candidate. i do not think any criticism in any way by anybody would
disqualify her. i think she is very confirmable for this job. >> a lot of this information is not really new. government officials have said some of the same information. >> i said there were not any new revelations. it is not the content as much as it is their names, their operations. there is logistics, their sources. all of that information out in a public way has the potential to do harm. if somebody is corroborating with the federal government and their name is listed in an action report, i do not think it is a stretch to believe that that could potentially put a group or individual at great
personal risk. >> is your concern as well that this is going to embarrass the government officials? did the war in afghanistan is a lot worse off. >> documents purportedly cover from i think january of 2004 to december 2009. i can't speak for the conduct of that war from an operational perspective for most of that time. i do know that when the president came into office in 2009, he, in the first few months, ordered an increase in the number of out troops -- having spent two years talking about how our efforts in afghanistan were greatly under- resourced -- increased
resources and troops to provide security for an election, and then, as you well know, conducted a fairly comprehensive and painstaking review of our policy, which resulted in december 1, 2009's speech about a new direction in afghanistan. and i would say this: we came in talking about afghanistan and pakistan as a region, not as simply two separate and distinct countries, which put emphasis on our relationship and the actions of pakistan. >> right, but even if there was a new policy put in place in december of 2009, does that erase the mistakes that may have been made years in advance of that -- >> well, of course not -- >> -- how can that -- but do these documents then suggest that this war is too far gone toturn around with one policy change? >> no, i don't in any way suggest the documents suggest that and i haven't seen anybody to suggest that -- except to say this, ed, we agree that the
direction -- this administration spent a large part of 2007 and 2008 campaigning to be this administration and saying that the way that the war had been prosecuted, the resources that hadn't been devoted to it threatened our national security. remember, we had a fairly grand debate about whether or not the central front in this war was iraq or afghanistan. we weighed in pretty heavily on afghanistan because for years and years and years, more troops were needed -- more troops actually had been requested by the commanding general, but no troops were forthcoming. that's why the president increased our number of troops, heading into an important election period, and why we took steps through a, again, painstaking and comprehensive review, to come up with a new strategy. >> but even after that painstaking review, these
documents are suggesting that the pakistani government has representatives of its spy agency essentially meeting representatives of the taliban, plotting to attack american soldiers and afghan officials. >> let me just make sure -- >> how can that suggest the war is going well? >> no, no -- you're conflating about seven issues into one question. but let's be clear, ed. i don't think -- let me finish, let me finish -- >> if pakistani officials are working with the taliban, how can the war be going well? that's one question. >> again, ed, i'm saying that the war -- the direction of our relationship with pakistan, based on steps that we've asked them to take, has improved that relationship -- right? >> okay, because last week secretary clinton said that the u.s. and pakistan are "partners joined in common cause." >> yes. >> despite these documents, the u.s. and pakistan are joined in common cause? >> yes, in fighting, as i just mentioned a few moments ago, in fighting extremists that are within that border. again, go back to last year, ed. remember last year? >> sure. >> when those extremists decided that they were going to
march on the capital in pakistan? that became a threat to pakistan. for the first time ever, you saw pakistan fighting back against violent extremists that had otherwise enjoyed safe havens. when general jones refers to in his statement the actions that they took in swat and south waziristan, that's exactly what we're talking about. the point i'd make on the premise of your question, understand that the documents go through december of 2009. i don't know if you meant to conflate actions -- let's just say that the documents -- >> well, have the actions stopped? do we know for sure that the pakistani intelligence is no longer working -- >> well, again, these documents -- >> -- with the taliban? >> i think they're making progress, and again, i'd refer to you -- >> making progress but it has not ended even after december 2009? >> no, again, i would you point you to the hearing that was conducted just a month ago, less than a month ago, with general petraeus where this was talked about. ed, nobody is here to declare "mission accomplished." you've not heard that phrase uttered or emitted by us as a way of saying that everything is going
well. understand this, that we got involved in this region of the world after september 11th, and then for years and years and years and years, this area was neglected, it was under- resourced, it was underfunded. that's what led the president to say that what we needed to do was focus on what was going on in afghanistan. that's why we're here. yes, ma'am. >> two questions, robert. the first one is, given the apparent ease that mr. manning was able to obtain and transfer these documents, has the white house or anyone of the administration ordered any kind of immediate change to make sure that this is not -- >> i would point you to the department of defense, that you should be able to discuss what changes they've made in operational security. >> do you have any insight into what mr. manning may have been motivated by? >> not personally, no. i don't know if the department of defense would have something on that. >> and in terms of the president's reaction, can you
give us any kind of insight in terms of, was he angry, was he concerned, was he worried? >> well, look, again, i think any time in which more than 90,000 top secret documents, which are against the law for me to give to you, would -- i think it would be safe to say it's alarming to find 90,000 of them published on a website. >> last question, also on ms. sherrod. i wondered if you had any word on whether she'll accept the job that's been offered and if there's any time frame for that? >> that's a question for her. >> following up on -- i think i know how you feel about this, but the conventional wisdom in washington is that the white house is trying to keep the focus on the release of the documents rather than what's in the documents. >> no, no -- >> you say the president is very concerned with this release, this breach of federal law. but is he concerned with evidence in these documents about civilian casualties, about cooperation between the taliban and the isi? >> chip, let's be clear. again, the statements that the president made in march of 2009
very much understand the complicating aspects of our relationship with both of these two countries, the existence of, as i said, historical relationships between the taliban and pakistani intelligence. and, look, during the recent debate about general mcchrystal, remember a decent part of the rolling stone article discusses frustration within our own military about rules of engagement around civilian casualties. so we're not trying to either conventionally -- through conventional wisdom trying to deflect anything. what i'm merely saying is that what has been, i think what is known, about our relationship and our efforts in both afghanistan and pakistan are not markedly changed by what is in these documents. in fact, i think if, again, you go back to march of 2009, what the president says, we are clearly taking steps to make
progress in dealing with pakistan's safe havens; certainly dealing with civilian casualties. we all know that in efforts like this to win hearts and minds, you're certainly not going to do that with innocent civilians caught tragically in the crossfire. >> in reading these documents, if they're true, you can't help but be shocked by what you read in here about some of the horrible things that have happened. has the president read enough of it himself to be shocked and horrified by it? >> i don't know -- look, chip, i want to be clear. the president does not need to read a leaked document on the internet today to be shocked and horrified by unnecessary -- and every civilian casualty is unnecessary -- casualty of innocent life. we can go back -- and i've been asked about them inside this briefing room for well over a year -- times in which our
commander at that point, general mcchrystal, ambassador eikenberry and former general eikenberry had gone to see different places around afghanistan that had seen horrific civilian casualties. look, each and every -- as i said, each and every casualty, innocent civilian casualty is a tragedy and it makes the job against the extremists much, much harder. >> on the -- does the president believe that the release of these documents has harmed or will harm the war effort overall? >> again, i think anytime in which you potentially put those that could be -- whose names could be in these documents, missions and operations -- chip, documents are classified and rated secret for a reason. and i think that's the law.
>> so this is -- it's a setback to the war effort? >> no, i think it's concerning that you have -- you certainly have operational security concerns. again, i think many of our challenges in both afghanistan and pakistan are the same today as they were last week. i don't think anybody would tell you that they anticipate that progress isn't going to be slow and difficult in both of these two countries. that's why -- >> i'm still unclear on where you are on this. i mean, it's a pretty fundamental question. do these documents constitute a setback to the war effort in afghanistan? >> i think they constitute a potential national security concern. yes, ma'am. >> the white house has made a point to say that wikileaks is not an objective news outlet, but rather an organization that opposes u.s. policy in afghanistan. i just wonder if you could explain how that's relevant to the accuracy of the documents. >> i think that the founder of wikileaks, if i read his
interviews correctly today, comparing troops in afghanistan to the secret east german police as -- certainly something that we would fundamentally disagree with and something that has -- somebody that clearly has an agenda. >> that may be the case, but does that in any way impact the accuracy of these documents? for example, are you suggesting they selectively held back documents that would be more favorable to the u.s.? >> savannah, i don't -- i'm not afforded -- nobody in this government was afforded the opportunity to see what they do or don't have. i don't know that that question is relevant for me as much as it is for him. >> i just wondered if by making this point you're trying to i guess attack the credibility of the documents that are out there. >> no, no -- >> i mean, other news organizations -- >> again, i have not -- i certainly have not reviewed 90,000 documents. this got brought to us late last week.
again, the coverage i read off of the news documents doesn't i think materially change the challenges that we have in each of these two countries. as i said a second ago, i don't think the challenges that you would have listed on a piece of paper this time last week are, quite honestly, different based on what we read in this documents at this time this week. i think the challenges that we've had and the historical relationships with pakistan intelligence and the taliban were certainly something we were working to address. so it's not -- that in and of itself isn't a surprise. working on safe havens in pakistan and their impact on our efforts in the war -- all of those things -- i think all of those things many of you all have covered. >> is the administration confident it has the leaker in custody? >> i'm not going to get into discussing the aspects of the investigation that's ongoing.
>> for information on the leaked documents, go to c-span.org. next, a discussion on the american with disabilities act. and in the colorado republican senate primary debate. on tomorrow morning's "washington journal," jane perlez on the war documents. and then re look good discusses hiring projects. a look better recent government report on the effectiveness of u.s. efforts to combat international drug trafficking. jess ford of the government accountability offices are guess. and then damian paletta.
washington journal is at 7:00 each morning. >> c-span is available in over 100 million homes all as a public service, created by america's cable companies. >> the american with disabilities act became law 20 years ago. one of its main sponsors was iowa center -- senator tom harkin. today he monitored -- he moderated a panel on its passage. this is about 20 minutes.
>> i am sorry that we are all late getting started. >> at least you got started. [laughter] [applause] >> and guess what? we're going to get to finish, too. for everyone watching on c- span, there are some many people here, many of the chief sponsors of the american with disability act addition to the senate. we join with celebration that 20 years ago today, and george h. w. bush signed into law. i never will forget the words that he said. but the sample walls of discrimination come tumbling down. 20 years ago it did. [applause]
justin dart described it as the emancipation proclamation for people with disabilities. it said four great bowls for people with disabilities, equal opportunities, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency. i can tell you what the heart, it is about securing the right to live in the world. it is about ensuring that people with disabilities can go places and do things that other people take for granted. i think about in terms of a girl in des moines, i was talking to her about the proposed bill that we're going to get through. all the wonderful things they could do. i went on and on. she finally in her wonderful 14- year-old way, said, that is all well and good. all i really want to do is be able to go out and buy a pair shoes like anybody else.
just the simple things of life, to be involved with your family and your friends, while twa decades later, people with disabilities can do that much more. it is truly transformed the country. we still have an unfinished agenda. how work is far from done in providing a real choice for home and community-based services, and for support with people with disabilities, and increasing employment opportunities. we will discuss this issue is this morning. the first and foremost is the day of gratitude for the enormous progress over the last two decade. after president bush signed it, that shameful wall is tumbling down. we have transformed lives. today we recognize that people with disabilities like all people had unique abilities, talents, if and aptitudes and our nation is a better country when we make full use of all of those talents. the ada is america at its best.
we brought together two panels a distinguished panel. the first includes key leaders who were at the creation and who played critical leadership roles in getting the american with disabilities act signed into law. i cannot emphasize too strongly that this was a completely bipartisan, bicameral enterprise. we could not have succeeded without the strong support from president bush and key members of his administration, two of whom are here on our first panel. as a chief sponsor in the senate, i get the lion's share of the credit but this bill has many alderson mothers and many are with us here today on our first panel. before we begin, however like to mention an honor some of the great advocates no longer with us. first and foremost, justin dart,
so instrumental in getting ada past. we're so fortunate that is why it intends to carry on his legacy. -- that his wife intends to carry on his legacy. [applause] she is on her way. ed roberts, the father of the independent living move the -- movement, how far -- how hard he fought for it. senator ted kennedy, a great champion for people with disabilities across five decades in the senate. danny pfeiffer, and that crawford, about whom i just spoke. without them and so many other, baldwin never have become possible. they will be an open discussion. let me introduce our first panelist. to my right, congressman steny hoyer, the majority leader of the house of representatives
representing maryland's fifth district. [applause] to my left, a congressman from california, on may 9, 1989, i drop the bill and the senate, and on the same day, he dropped it in the house. [applause] from 1994 to 2001, and he was on a billboard for disabilities, as well as another. his currently chaired the board of directors for the american association of persons with
disabilities. then -- his name is synonymous with the disability rights movement in america. next is steve bartlett, all former four-term congressman from texas who played a major role in a moving the ada through the house of representatives. he became the mayor of dallas, and he just informed me that he brought home two national football championships. [laughter] [applause] is currently president and ceo of the financial services round table. he has served on the president's commission on excellence in special-education, and a longtime member of the board of directors for the easter seals of greater washington, d.c. to my left is dick thornburgh the former governor of pennsylvania, as the attorney
general he was instrumental in helping us craft the legislation, drafted, and played a critical role during the negotiations between the congress and the white house. he and his wife are longtime advocates and fight for disability rights in this country. he is currently counsel of the washington office for the national law firm of ada cases. [applause] ambassador who served as white house counsel in the white house of george h. w. bush. he played a critical role in helping to craft the legislation and ensure its passage. i can tell you that he was our direct link to pr