tv Public Affairs CSPAN January 3, 2013 10:00am-1:00pm EST
i will be traveling back and forth with the department here. host: do you have ever made? -- a roommate? guest: no. host: will your husband beat her? -- be here? guest: no. have 10 children. 27 grandchildren. i couldn't bring them all. i have a grandson here and my sister is coming. host: thank you very much, gloria negrete-mccloud, deprem california. thank you for watching, in just about two hours the house will gavel in, the new 113th
congress, and the senate will do so as well. our coverage on c-span and crmbing span 2, thanks for watching. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> as you've been hearing about all morning, today is the opening day of the new 113th congress and here on the c-span networks we'll have live coverage of both the house and senate floors. the house of representatives gaveling in at 12:00 to -- at 11:00 to conclude the 112th congress and at noob eastern, the 113th congress begins. here on c-span watch the action
on the house floor. the senate also gavels in for the day at noon eastern on c-span2. we'll have live coverage as senators take the oath and get sworn. in they'll also set out the rules governing the chamber over the next two years. one potential rule change that may be considered are changes to filibuster rules which allow members to block legislation. on your screen, some of the newly elected and current members of congress leaving a bipartisan prayer service this morning. this was at st. period's catholic church just a couple of blocks from the capitol. -- at st. peter's catholic church just a couple of blocks from the capitol.
>> democratic leader pelosi among those attending this morning's prayer service at st. peter's a couple of hours ago. we're live now here on the steps of the capitol, the eastern front of the capitol, where this morning about 10:45 leader pelosi and other house democratic women will be gathering for photos just outside the capitol. the "washington post" report this is morning that though most of the new congress will look the same as the old, the new session will boast a record number of women, 20 in the senate and 81 in the house.
again, that's coming up at 10:45, those photos. we'll have those for you on c-span. this morning we also plan to bring you the arrival of senator mark kirk of illinois he plans to climb the u.s. capitol steps for the first time since suffering a stroke over a year ago that left the left side of his body mostly paralyzed. the senator is expected to be greeted by the president of the senate, vice president biden, as well as other leads of the senate and that's expected at about 11:15 eastern. while we wait for the house to come in at 11:00 eastern to gavel out the 112th, a preview to the 113th from this morning's washington journal. host: let's begin with opening day at noon. set the scene. what will we see in the house? guest: this in the house the members will be sworn in. there was a controversy a couple of years ago, a couple of members didn't realize when
they were doing the swearing in, they were near a television screen and thought they'd be sworn in. the first vote they have is for the house speaker. privately house republicans and house democrats have chosen their leaders, john boehner and nancy pelosi. this is a public vote and we're expecting defections on both sides. host: there's some drama there. guest: there has been speculation because of maybe republicans going after john boehner, he's been weakened over the last couple of months, that's not going to happen. we've been talking to members, he'll be re-elected as speaker. unlike two years ago, two years ago, boehner came in, he was elected unanimously by house republicans for speaker. this time there'll be at least one but we're expecting a few defections. we don't know who they'll vote for. they can't vote no. they have to vote for a person.
they could vote present or they could vote for anybody that they choose to vote for. host: for folks watching c-span coverage of the floor who should they be watching for? guest: today, certainly in the house, the drama is going to be the speaker vote. and nancy pelosi, there's democrats who didn't vote for her a couple of years ago, they're going to be voting. they all have to shout out who they are going to vote for. that's going to be the drama, especially when we duo to a couple of members. one i'd watch for is tim huelskamp, republican from kansas. john boehner's steering committee bounced him off two committees. he's not happy about that. and he's been doing the media rounds to go after boehner, claiming that boehner is going after conservatives. boehner's people say that's absurd that huelskamp and others were not team players and that's why they were bounced off. host: and the senate at noon, what happens? guest: the senate is not as
dramatic, there's no leadership battles. we have a new president pro tem in the wake of senator inway's death. but the interesting -- innway's death, but the interest -- inouye's death. but the interesting thing, republicans expected to be in control of it but things went south for the fwmplet o.p. and democrats gained a couple of seats. that's a surprising thing. republicans think they can win back the senate in two years but it's going to be tough. host: the makeup of the 113th congress and the freshmen coming in in both chambers what are we looking at? guest: 90 new members, men, women, there's a bisexual member, the first time that's ever happened, gay members, nancy pelosi has been very proud of the fact that the house democratic caucus is now a majority minority caucus. she's really emphasizesing -- emphasizing that because republicans have had trouble reaching out to minorities.
in the election they lost the hispanic vote. mitt romney got thumped by president obama. all these guys will be sworn in. the 12th congress was just yesterday. usually there's a couple of weeks break. so you have freshmen coming into this eye of the storm and there's not the kind of optimistic feeling you got two or four years ago because the battles over the last couple of years have been so bitter and went right up all the way until the end. host: before we get to the phone calls, tell us about the big battles to come. there's a lot of unfinished business from the 112th congress. guest: we thought maybe there wouldn't be that much with the fissical call cliff but congress kicked the can down the road. they reached a deal on the fiscal cliff put they set up more fiscal cliffs, as senator jim moran said on the floor recently. the big battle is the debt ceiling. will the president and
republicans in congress agree to raise the debt ceiling maybe in exchange for spending cuts. we saw that in 2011. the obama administration says they're not playing that game anymore. they have some type of plan to raise the debt ceiling and go around the congress. they're not revealing detifles it but that that's going to be the big fight, the debt ceiling fight in a couple of months. host: we're talking with bob cusack on the open dage of the 113th congress. we want your questions and congressmens, democrat, 202-585-3880, republicans 202- 585-3881. let's get the first call, michael. caller: i'm an professor in an m.b.a. program, i have students from 48 country, i have a pretty good perspective.
the situation here, by the way, i teach present value accounting. i see very, very few accountants in the house of representatives. but let me give you an observation, you're concentrating on cutting the medical care in the united states. now, the united states is listed 49th in life expectancy. that's an area you don't want to cut. now the next thing is, you've got china growing at 10% per year, you've got even russia on the -- under putin, only 5% per year. even the 200 students in my section will agree that the reason that china and russia are growing at 10% and 5% per year is their military budget is $100 billion or under $100 billion. the united states has a military budget of $700
billion. and 69 intelligence agencies. host: ok, michael, we'll leave it there. defense spending. guest: big issue, defense vs. health care. democrats saying you need to invest more in health care, don't cut medicare, don't cut other health care programs. we saw that with the health care fight of 2009, 2010. the caller brings up infant mortality, very high in the united states, members don't talk about that a lot. but democrat says with the defense sequester, some of them say if you don't like the across-the-board cuts of the sequester, cut other parts of defense and republicans, some republicans voted against the sequester bill in the house because they believe the pentagon deserves to be cut. others say this would be a huge threat to national security if we let these cuts go into place. a huge debate. members will have to make choices. the financial sol venn soif this country, we're on an
unsustainable path. you hear democrat says this, senator chuck schumer says this, it may be 50 or 500 feet away but we're walking over another cliff. we need some type of reforms. host: is this next battle, round two, will it tie raising the debt ceiling to the sequester question or spending cuts to medicare and social security, will those two things be tied together? is that what these freshmen face for one of their first big votes? guest: absolutely. absolutely. republicans are saying, president obama, you want to raise the debt ceiling? there's a price for that. as ugly as the fight was in 2011, when john boehner and president obama almost got a grand bargain, they didn't get it but they still had major cuts which set up the sequester and the budget control act. republicans say even though that fight was ugly, we got cuts out of that, a lot more cuts than they got on the fiscal cliff. they're actually well positioned, i think they got trounced in the fissical cliff
debate but they feel like, we've done the revenue side, now we're going after spending in 2013. but republicans and democrats have a habit of saying, we'll get to spending, just later on. and once again they've done that. president obama has indicated, listen, he still wants more revenue, wants to go after tax loopholes. he's not done going after revenue. host: a democratic caller, d rambings nell from maryland. caller: i agree with the last caller, he right. we heard lindsay graham and mccain talking about round two they're trying to, want to stick it to obama. they're hurt because obama made them look bad in his sweach. what they need to do is lead, follow, get out of the way. let obama lead, he's doing a great job, knows what he's doing, he's better at it than they are. we need to cut spending and
also we need to look at the problem with american health care, we need to work on the problem which is the stuff we eat. we don't eat right, we need to start working on the problems, fix those things. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: fascinating about who is getting the better of whom. in 2011, the last congress, john boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted in a debt deal. this time around he didn't. now a reporter, russell berman, writing for us today, john boehner is done with one-on-one talks with president obama. getting in the room, they've had a strained relationship, they did go golfing a while back. but the fworkses he's trying to set up as differently because clearly he lost the fworkses this time around. host: he's telling his caucus no more one-on-one negotiations. who is going to negotiate then?
guest: after he couldn't pass his bill, boehner said, congress must act. you can't just have democrats sign off on it, republicans control the house and there's enough republicans in the senate to filibuster are you going to bring the whole republican caucus in? and a lot of people would like to have the negotiations broadcast on c-span. host: are mcconnel and bide then team now going forward? guest: it changes all the time. at one time we thought we'd have a deal between biden and cantor. then we thought boehner and obama. reid and mcconnel have a good relationship. they've struck deals before. that's the interesting thing about the new congress. we don't know who the main principles are going to be an president obama has shown a distaste for these gos. that's why he got biden involved.
host: what about the new member, how will they be the same or different than the 112th congress, the tea party freshmen we saw, how are they they same or different? guest: i don't see a lot of similarities. there are some republicans in conservative districts coming new york stockman, from texas, he likes john boehner but he's not going to vote for him, expressing concerns about his conservative credentials. overall, much different freshmen class. democrats picked up eight seats in the house. they cut into the house republican majority. the tea party influence is not as big as 2010 and also, john boehner has been upset at some tea party lawmakers, some freshmen, some senior members who have not been with him. he's trying to down play their influence unless they're -- he's trying to foster unity. he's saying we can't take on the president if we're divide. clearly right now we've seen over the last couple of weeks, they're divided.
host: and tonya from west virginia, independent caller. caller: hello. i was a democrat and i'm an african-american who donated to obama the first time, volunteered for the affordable health care reform, now i'm an independent. i voted for jill stein for -- joe stein for president, when i vote to send my senators and congress to washington, d.c. i don't expect them not to be part of the negotiations. but everything be behind closed doors. and nobody reads a bill anymore. you have to have joe biden go talk to the democrats to tell them what's in the bill? and things are being done at 2:00 a.m., at midnight. if congress, when they say,
this is going to hurt us, no, it's not hurting them. they've done the work 126 -- they're going to work 126 days this year and get a raise. guest: i wish they were working less over the holidays. but as far as the freshmen members coming in, it's amusing they have these big plan, they have big energy plans, big tax plan they go nowhere. if you're a freshman member, you've got to gain seniority. they have big plans they campaign on. when they get to congress it doesn't matter. the senate is a little different, off lot more power but in the house if you walk into leadership office and you tell john boehner i'd like you to move my tax plan, you know you get some raised eyebrows. host: we heard yesterday on "washington journal," a freshman in the 112th congress
from south carolina, mulvaney, he said i ended up doing things i said i would never do and one of them is raising the debt ceiling. guest: a lot of republicans came in, going to change the world, they can't realize, some of them didn't the how washington works. you're never going to get a perfect bill, you have to compromise to get most of what you want. some republicans said no, if i don't get a lot of what i want, i'm a no vote. that's tough part. there's always stuff in a bill that's unpopular, at least to your base, and you've got to make that decision. more good than bad here. host: what's it like for them coming in on opening day? and in general just in the days and weeks ahad had of the 113th congress, how are they getting adjousted? who helps them? guest: leadership helps them as far as staffing. the most important hire you make as an incoming member is your chief of staff. the very confusing thing about the capitol, first of all, is how to get around.
we saw that with a lame duck congressman, curseton from michigan, he was here for the lame duck, he's now gone. he was here just for the lame duck by the bizarre way elections work. he said he got lost a lot. you have to have someone show you where me bathrooms are, how to get to the house floor on time, and that's from experienced staff. the leadership offices, reed, mcconnel, pelosi, boehner, they'll say, i think you should hire this person and they'll guide them. host: and that's before you get to the big debates over the debt ceiling and what else is on the table? immigration reform. guest: immigration. gun control. vice president joe biden is working on recommendations on gun control. and that's going to be a tough uphill climb because if you -- you have to move kickly, there's some democrats who don't want gun control, obviously, the tragedy in connecticut is pushing this thing, president obama who pushed for a ban of the assault weapons in his first term but
did nothing to push congress on it. now he's saying, he's changed his tune a little bit. he got an f from a gun control group a couple of years ago, the brady campaign were upset then. but you have to move that quickly. how much he talks about gun control in his first address tonk -- address to congress is going to be fascinating. but immigration, he wants some energy legislation, we saw that debate poisoned by climate control, republicans, that's a nonstarter for them. now i think there's more ground in the senate, senator widen, -- senator wyden, senator morgan, they have good working relationships, they may get something done. host: as we continue here on capitol hill, those are the issues on the table for all of you to call in on immigration reform, gun control debate, the big budget battles that are to come for this new 113th congress, the nearly 90 freshmen coming in in the house and senate, we're going to have
a fouf them on the washington journal coming up but first frederick in pontiac, michigan, democratic caller, go ahead. caller: i was listening earlier, talking about them kicking the can down the road that's a lot of what's happening in our politics. we don't handle governing the country anymore, we kick it down the road. what i'm finding frustrating is that creates a lot of animosity in voters. it creates a lot of partisanship. and it creates a lot of, we're not getting anything done. we just push it down the road. there's another cliff. we just kick things and not get anything done. that's the frustrating part about this whole fiasco. we need to come together and work on our country and getting it back to work and getting people. you want more revenues? put people to work. stop taking money out of people's hands and put it in people's hands. guest: in the leches, people thought, the old 112th congress
not very popular, one of the most unpopular, if not the most unpopular congress. a lot of people thought these guys will get ousted. as usual, 90-plus percent of incouple bens won. you've got depps controlling the senate, republicans controlling the house and president obama in the white house. as far as the hope for a beg deal or something that doesn't kick the can down the road, i've been in washington since 1995. the only way you get big deals through other than the health care reform is, it's got to be bipartisan. that's what mitch mcconnel said, if you're going toe move the balanced budget act of 1997, that was divided government. obamacare was different, democrats had control of everything and narrowly got that by. when we talk about tax reform, there is a little bit of hope but the way the negotiations went last month in the fiscal cliff, i'm not optimistic. host: dan in youngstown, ohio.
caller: past generations, they have suffered through the bad times and celebrated the good times but they didn't pass massive amounts of debt down to the next generation. and that's what we're doing. the democrats, especially, i'm worried abthe ones in the senate that have gone even more democratic because they're throrly -- thoroughly entrenched with obama that they're going to increase revenue and not cut spending. they don't recognize that spending is the problem. and for us to continue to pass this debt on to our children and grandchildren, you know, if there's any decent person in washington that will just look at the spending, you know, there's plenty of people in this country, there's a lot of fat in government and i know that they keep talking about there's nothing, you know, there's no money but there's plenty of fat they need to cut.
there's lazy people collecting money along with the needy people and just increasing the allowance we give them, how about the money we spenden foreign country -- countries, nobody is addressing that. host: all right, dan, let's take that point. foreign aid vs. unemployment benefits, how much of the budget is it? guest: foreign aid is a small percentage of the overall budget. unemployment benefits cost tens of billions every time we renew it. republicans say we need to stop there but they're popular and they get calls from constituents about people looking for a job looking to continue those benefits. that was included in the fiscal cliff deal. as far as the flavor of washington, is it cutting right now? i would say it's cutting. the flavor was in 2011, as the tea party congress came in, the flavor not so much. but you have the credit rating agencies, pushing congress, there's the threat of a downgrade if congress doesn't
act that pushes congress because of the stock market and congress cares about the stock market very much. host: to rick, in texas, independent caller. hi, rick. caller: hello. my comment is, this stuff about get all the money from the rich. i'm in the top 3%. i don't mind playing a fair share but i think the fair share ought to be across the board, anybody pay anything. over 50% of the country doesn't pay a dime. and you have to -- and they get refunds for money they don't pay in $10 from somebody would do a great amount when you look at the massive numbers. go back to the reagan era when he talked about broadening the tax base, not shrink it. shrink it to the few. this is redistribution of wealth and that's socialism. host: on the other side of the ledger what about spending? are you willing to put social security, medicare on the table? caller: they have to go on the table. that's the bottom line, they
have to. you can't continue to do this. host: ok, bob cusack. guest: as far as the tax rates, one thing that wasn't discussed a lot was regional differences. we talked to steve israel a democrat from new york, he represents a district on long island. it's an affluent district compared to other districts. we asked him, do you agree with the $250,000 threshold and he said no he said i like more like $400,000 he got a lot of what he wanted pause the threshold was different that that because he said it's different. $250,000 in long island versus $250,000 in louisiana. there was no talk about changing it based on regional differences. host: randy in missouri, democratic caller. hi, randy. caller: i want to make three points. i'm looking good for to the filibuster activity in the new
congress. plus two other points, secly, you guys in the media, you report on this debt ceiling hostage taking as though it's some kind of political game. this will affect all of america. i mean in such drastic ways. my last point is this here, any member of members of congress that adds to the public debt should be charged under the law. and any media person supporting that should be charged with insurrection you need to start re-- stop reporting on this as if it's some political game. host: ok, randy. guest: we report on what happens up here. and it is a political game to a certain degree. lawmakers have to play the political game to win the policy. that's what campaigns are
about. request if you play politics well you get to drive the policy machine. as well as public opinion. you need to have a message and drive it home. the party that's more unified usually has the upper hand. we've seen democrats and republicans have the upper hand. it changes so quickly. as far as filibuster reform, that's something that was going to come up early either today or tomorrow and then yesterday senate -- democratic and republican leaders said we'll do that later. senate majority leader harry reid wants to change the filibuster rules but he said we're going to do it later in the month and that could foster some kind of deal between harry reid and mitch mcconnel. it remains to be seen if harry reid has the votes to do this we saw levin and mccain team up on something that was different, the bipartisan change of the rules in the senate. and some democrats don't like that. but certainly all republicans are going to vote against the filibuster.
host: how does it work right now? what do they want to change? guest: democrats want to change that if you filibuster a bill, you have to go to the floor and stay there until you can't stay there anymore. the other thing is they want to vote, they don't like how republicans and certainly democrats have done this in the past, they're blocking bills on procedural votes. the democrats say, we want to get to a vote on the bill. we're not banning the filibuster but when we vote on something, we don't want to vote on the procedural motion, and if you want to vote on the bill, that's a 60-vote threshold but let's get to the substance. host: basically, for those outside of washington, in order to consider a bill and debate it, they need 60 votes to get there. guest: yes, unless there's unanimous consent to move right to it. as we saw with the fiscal cliff
bill. that went quickly. there was no score of the bill, no public text, it was not a transparent way to do the most important bill of the 112th congress. host: and the other step that requires 60 vote, end degree bait on a bill. in order to get to a vote on the legislation. guest: yeah and democrats say, listen, there's no 60-vote threshold in the constitution. but there are some democrats who say, we've done the 60-vote threshold for a long time. we are the world's greatest deliberative body. we need to think over these things. long debate is a good thing. there are democrats and republicans who do think that. the white house has been very frustrated. they said some of these nominations they've sent have been bottled up in procedural motions and when they get to the final vote, the nominee gets 90 votes. they're like, why do we waste all that time. host: we're going to have several new members of congress joining us here shortly. they'll take your questions and comments about the 113th
congress. first we'll hear from vea in florida, republican caller. hi, eva. caller: good morning. i would like to know why with all of this discussion of us being so far in debt we're not talking about cutting foreign aid and why we're giving, for instance, $1.5 billion to the muslim brotherhood in egypt and we've been giving that amount of money for more than 20 years. it doesn't make sense to me. that's like me going to my neighbor and borrowing money to give to another neighbor and not paying my own bills. i think we need to be conscientious with the taxpayers' money and pay our own bills first. and i do not consider medicare and social security entitlement programs. i've worked for that money for more than 55 years. we need to cut the foreign aid bills and spend the money very
judiciously first. guest: there definitely are some things. members say every little bit counts. even though foreign aid is not a huge part of the budget, we can make trims there some have said on defense spending, why do we have bases in germany and japan? i'm not sure about the muslim brotherhood aid but on pakistan that's been a big issue, both republicans and depps have said, we need to pare back that aid to pakistan. senator rand paul has been pushing that. others like senator john mccain say, we can't just cut them off. foreign aid is very important if we want to get them to do what we want them to do and foster democracy. host: before we let you go here, we're going to take another phone cull, but tell us the fresh minnesota class, some names and faces people should be looking out for, people who might make a name for themselves in the 113th?
guest: one is senator tim kaine, he beat george allen in the election, a former governor, he's close to president obama. he was almost picked as vice president. obama and kain talked about him running in the senate, then he ended up winning. that's a democrat to watch. you have to watch the democrats in the senate. elizabeth warren won a huge battle with senator scott broun. -- scott brown. how is she going to operate? the financial industry is a little nervous about elizabeth warren, she had the idea to come up with the consumer bureau that was so controversial that is now up and running as far as wall street reform. they have strong personalities. they also could be dealmakers. i think those are two democrats to watch. host: on the republican side? guest: on the republican side, congressman steve stockman, he used to be in congress, he is going to be back, he's going to vote against the speaker, what
kind of committee assignments will he get if he does that? that's one republican coming in with not being shy. host: one last phone call for bob cusack, john? sweet home, oregon, independent caller. caller: hello. all these issues that mean absolutely nothing until you get down to your accountability. host: what do you mean by that? caller: well, hey, how come there's no criminal invest of -- investigations of these corporate whores out there raking us over the coal. not one of them have gone to jail. a couple of little, small mutual for the people who lost all their money there, i lost two retirement funds. first one was with ronald reagan.
nothing for us to look forward to. when the criminals are running everything, you throw somebody in jail for smoking a hit of pot, you people are obscene. all of you. host: who are the criminals? caller: the criminals are, number one, our elected officials, there's no -- this is a democracy, supposedly and they're not doing anything for the people. it's just for the money that pace them. host: all right, john, i'll leave it there. talk about the sentiments there. guest: you hear a lot of those sentiments, mostly on the left, they say big corporations are running america and then you have the next step is money and politics who is giving the money to members whether that's democrats or republicans. a lot of it comes from corporations. a lot from unions too but industry certainly plays a big role, lobbying, president obama is trying to crack down on the
lobbying industry. he vowed to change washington. i think certainly there's been some ways he's changed washington. he said it would be a more bipartisan town, that hasn't happened. but certainly the influence from corporate america is real. host: bob cusack, thank you very much, you're going to do a split shift with us and come back in our last hour of "washington journal." >> in about 25 minutes, we take you live to the u.s. house where they will conclude the 112th congress. they'll gavel out and gavel back in at noon eastern to begin the 113th congress. here on c-span live coverage of the opening day activities including the roll call of members, the lech of the speaker of the house and the adoption of house rules, the debate on the house rules that will govern the next two years in the us house, live coverage -- in the u.s. house, live coverage, and the senate is also in at noon eastern on
c-span2. also we'll be covering the swearing in of members. the senate mock swearing-ins with vice president biden, those will begin at 1:00 eastern and continue throughout the afternoon, we'll cover those from c-span3 and bring you the house mock swearing ins with speaker boehner on c-span3. we have cameras all over the capitol including on the eastern front. we're expecting in 10 minutes or so, some of them are gathering now, a gathering of democratic women. democratic leader pelosi will be gathering there for photos on the east front. at about 11:15 or so, we'll watch the arrival of illinois senator mark kirk for the first time, returning for the first time since suffering a stroke. here's a shot of arrivals on the east side of the capitol.
>> live on the east front of the capitol waiting and watching the gathering of democratic women in the u.s. house gathering for photos at the 112 -- as the 113th congress prepares to gavel in today. it's a record year for women in congress with 20 female members of the senate, 81 total women members in the house. "national journal" says on the republican side, at least 20 female members. again we're expecting this to get under way. you can see the photographer there trying to get a bit of organization as the women gather on the east front. at 11:15 we expect on the senate side, senator mark kirk to climb the u.s. steps for the first time since suffering a
stroke over a year ago. the 112th gaveling out at 12:00 eastern -- at 11:00 eastern and the 113th gaveling in at noon eastern. one thing they have to do, elect a speaker qufment the -- "the hill's" headline says speaker boehner facing defections. nancy pelosi coming down the steps, he's re-elected as the leader for her caucus. but "the hill" reports that it could be tough for boehner as he pushed through a package that was wildly unpopular for his conference and scrapped a promised vote on relief for hurricane sandy victims.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> foe oh -- photos are done. they were taking pictures of the 60 women who are part of the democratic caucus, the highest number ever for the democratic house. the total numbers in the house are 200 democrats, 233 republicans, two seats are vacant. we're still live here outside of the house side of the u.s. capitol, the east front. we expect also on the other side about 11:15 that senator mark kirk of illinois will arrive and climb the capitol steppers in first time since suffering a stroke last year and vice president biden is expected to greet him there. here's our schedule coming up in about 8:00 minute -- in about eight minutes or so the house will gavel new york the
112th congress will wrap up, and the house will gavel in for the 113th at noon. >> nothing is more wholesome for the governmental process than the increased participation of women, i believe that. >> there are more women in congress today what does that mean for the act and what do you see going forward? >> we hope that once again we can have the violence against women act come before the congress. it was passed in a a bipartisan way in the united states senate and that's saying something. unfortunately, house republican leadership did not take up that bill. it's really a step backwards for women. we have to continue to make the fight but we have to make the fight because it's important.
>> democratic women and outgoing member barney frank there gathering on the east front of the u.s. capitol, the steps leading up to the house of representatives. the house will gavel pack in in about 5:00 -- in about five minutes for wrapping up the 112th congress, the 113th begins at noon. roll call of members, the lech of the speaker and the adoption of house rules for the 113th. speaker boehner will be -- likely be re-elected today. "the wall street journal" said mr. boehner emerged from the fight, he's talking about the fiscal cliff fight, weakened and battered within his own caucus. but facing no real threat to hold on to the speakership in the next congress. again the next congress beginning today at noon eastern, house here on c-span, the senate on c-span2. once the leadership election is done, the house will take up the rules, an hour of debate on
that a i among the rules for the upcoming session of the house it would provide greater authority for the speaker and chairman of the committee of the whole to reduce voting times. it would also authorize the house to continue its legal efforts to defend the defense of marriage act and that's because the supreme court has agreed to take up the consideration of the defense of marriage act, part of the consideration of a couple of cases on the same sex marriage. the rules in the house as proposed if they're passed, would authorize that the house on friday, tomorrow, consider legislation under suspension of the rules to boost the borrowing authority for the national flood insurance program in response to the damage done in new jersey and new york by superstorm sandy. that'll be in the rule if passed today so the house tomorrow can consider the first step in hurricane aid.
112th congress coming in here just in a couple of minutes, they'll wrap up, the 113th gipping at noon. the "washington post" writes about the balance of power on capitol hill in the house, democrats picked up eight seats. today republicans will hold 233 seats to democrats' 200. two seats are vacant. more significantly, they write, the senate will remain in democrats' solid control. the party has an expanded majority of 55 seats up from 53. they also write that congress will be more racially diverse with more black, latino and asian law mashes, and for the first time a hindu, gabard from hawaii. and the first buddhist senator will be sworn in and shortly we expect to see mark kirk climbing the steps on the senate side.
we'll have coverage of that the election of the speaker happening today. craig kaplan reports that boehner was elected house speaker for the 112th in one round. the vote was 241-173 with 19 not voting. some of the color going on inside the house, chad tweeting that house members are getting their voting cards and members' pins in the speaker's lobby. about senator kirk, senator reid is tweeting that, i look forward to welcoming senator kirk back to capitol hill today. we're keeping an eye on your tweets today. our handle is @cspan. the hash tag for today, #113th at c-span.com if you'd like to take a look. >> so nice to meet you.
good luck. >> good to meet you too. >> hope you don't ruin your fancy good jeans. all your jeans arer to up, huh? >> and we now you take inside the house for the last session of the 112th congress.s. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: god of the universe, give we give you thanks for giving us another day. in the final hour of the 112th congress we give you thanks for your faithfulness to our nation. there have been many struggles, many sorrows. and yet we are still here and
able to give you thanks that millions of our citizens live free. may the work of the 112th issue forth to the benefit of our nation and its citizens and where the efforts of this congress have fallen short we ask your forgiveness and the forgiveness of all americans. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. culberson. mr. culberson: will you please join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on january 2, 2013, at 5:36 p.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4606. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 6655, that the senate passed senate 3716. with best wished i am, signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bills were signed by the speaker on tuesday, january 1, 2013. the clerk: h.r. 8, h.r. 443,
h.r. 1464, h.r. 2076, h.r. 4212, h.r. 4365, h.r. 4606, h.r. 6029, h.r. 6060, h.r. 6328, h.r. 6364, h.r. 6586, h.r. 6621, h.r. 6655, senate 2318, senate 3331, senate 3454, senate 3472, senate 3630, senate 3662, senate 3677, senate joint resolution 44. the speaker: without objection, h.r. 4438 is laid on the table.
house, now crossing over to the senate. since you're not new, excuse me , senator flake, let's get right to it. you voted no two days ago on this fiscal cliff agreement. when it comes to raising the debt ceiling in a month or so, what will be your vote? >> i think we got to use every avenue we have to drive home the point that we're overspending. there's no bigger issue. no bigger issue right now than the overspending that we're doing. and the effect of our debt and our deficit on the economy and on our ability to function as a government and as a country. so, yes, i think we ought to use it to the full extent to make sure that we cut spending somewhere. we didn't in this last package. >> so, for you then, congressman, does that mean that medicare and cutting spending for medicare is on the table? because when you ran for the senate seat, you know, you accused your opponent of supporting medicare cuts and obviously from the state of
arizona you have a very large elderly population. so is medicare on the table for you? >> you bet. i've said from the very beginning and every campaign event i've been to and every forum i've been to that we've got to change the structure to make it sustainable in the long-term. i support the ryan plan. i support premium support, for example. we've got to raise the retirement age. we've got to, with social security, do the change c.p.i. there are a lot of things we need to do and it's not going to be just one or another. it's probably all of them. >> and so for you, jeff flake, who should do -- who should be doing the negotiating, do you think? because in this last round we just saw that it was vice president joe biden and your leader over there in the senate, mitch mcconnell. guest: right, i hope that it's regular order. that's one thing that we've seen in the 113th or 112th congress that has not been good. we've moved away from regular order. we haven't done appropriation
bills one by one in the house. we certainly tried. but with the senate not one appropriation bill went through. so my preference is to go through regular order. when you put a bill on the floor and allow members to amend it, that's the best route and i hope that's what we get back to. host: what about filibuster reform? we're reading this morning that that could be a vote thap hass later on, maybe in february. how they would change it is you wouldn't need 60 votes to just consider a bill or end debate. there would still be a 60-vote requirement on final passage but allow legislation to at least come to the floor. how would you vote on that? guest: i hope that we do not change rules that have served this country well for more than 200 years. the senate, there's great tradition here. the rules are such that the majority just doesn't have its will. in the house, you know, if you have just a one-person majority in a body of 435, you can
pretty much control what goes on. that's not the case in the senate. and that's a good thing. what we need here in the senate is a change in behavior. and i think that that extends to both sides of the aisle. we can't fill the tree, meaning it can't take away the opportunity for the minority party to have amendments. but the minority party has to realize that you can't be dilatory either. so i think we need some behavior changes, but not changes to the rules. that was considered a couple of years ago by republicans. wiser heads prevailed and it didn't happen. i hope the same happens this time. host: senator flake, immigration reform, being from the state of arizona, are you willing to compromise on that and what do you see as compromise? guest: i've been working on this issue for the entire time that i've been in the house. i introduced legislation with mr. gutierrez from illinois. i worked with senator kennedy when we were looking at a
bicameral package as well. so, yes, we've got to have a bicameral, bipartisan package that moves through. as long as it includes meaningful border security, that's what we really need in arizona, then we've got to do all of it and obviously it will be a compromise bill, but it needs to happen. host: all right, first phone call here comes from thomas in blackville, south carolina. democratic caller. caller: good morning. i just want to say that i'm an avid c-span watcher and i want -- [inaudible] you were thought of yesterday by some right-wing nut -- i forget where it was. but you come close to getting it right straight down the
middle as anybody in anyplace that i know of. and it is an honor to speak to senator-elect flake and from arizona. a great state. love it. love this whole country. but i am disturbed about some of the things that i see. i'm for filibuster reform and it's not a 00-year-old thing as the senator said. i'm a student of history. have a law degree. and just wanted you to know that filibuster reform is needed within the senate. what they tried to do to the president and the stimulation of their own party is bad. and that's what caused these kind of things. i'm not saying we don't have
plenty of room on both sides. there's plenty of blame to go around. but, you know, they're -- the republicans are going to have to get their head out of the sand. host: all right, mr. flake. guest: i would just say that we have had changes to the rules in the senate but they've all been done by a supermajority margin. and here we're talking about by a simple majority, just 51. pretty severely changing the rules, particularly on how you proceed to a bill. and that shouldn't be taken lightly and i think it will backfire. what we need in the senate is a body that's different from the house. i've been in the house for 12 years. the rules in the house are appropriate for the house. but the rules that we have in the senate are appropriate for the senate and they shouldn't be changed willy nilly. host: there flake, your colleague from arizona, john
mccain, is proposing some sort of filibuster reform. has he reached out to you? have you told him you're a no vote on his proposal? guest: we haven't fully studied that proposal. i've still been in the house. so they're trying, as happened a couple of years ago when republicans were considering this so-called constitutional or nuclear option, a group gang of 14 at that time came together with a package, but that was basically an agreement. i hope that we reached some kind of similar agreement that doesn't require a changing of the rules and if it does, then it would change standing rules that would last for two years rather than rules that would be perceived to change the rules forever in the body. so i'm glad that there's a bipartisan group of people working on this and i hope to look at that package now. host: on our republican line, keith in portage, indiana. caller: good morning. i don't understand it. you know, how many wars have we
won? you can't even win a war to protect our borders, ok? can't win a war on drugs, all right? can't reform anything that's sensible. all right? sometimes you got to go backwards to go forward, all right? they're stuck in reverse. they can't understand that in order to go forward sometimes you got to back up. in order to go forward. so you have to reform things that have gotten out of hand over generations after generation. ok? sometimes there's people out there, they have their hands extend out generation after generation. so far they don't know when to pull them back in. that free handout has gotten stuck out so far that generation after generation
only knows to have their hands stuck out because that's all they've been raised on. host: all right, mr. flake. guest: that's a pretty broad topic. if the caller is suggesting that you have too many people who expect too much of government, i think that that's true. that's true across society. i think it's true with big companies, it's true with individuals, it's true with just about everyone. i'm a believer in limited government. so i think that, yeah, we need to return to more limited government. i think that was envisioned by the founding fathers and certainly when you have a government now that is $16 trillion in debt, that says enough on its own. host: our next caller is one of your constituents, sir. it's craig in tucson, arizona. go ahead, craig. caller: congratulations, jeff. i'm one of the people who voted for you. i know you have your hands full.
guest: i do, thank you. caller: my main concern right this minute is how do things like these pork barrel things get added to these bills, for instance like the sandy hurricane relief? i got no problem spending money to help them people. but i don't want it doubled for other people. how does this happen? i've been told that the senate was the ones that added those. it just blows me away that good legislation can start and all of a sudden it turns to crap. host: all right, mr. flake. guest: that happens all too frequently. fortunately in the house and in the senate over the past few years we have done something that is positive in that regard. earmarks, where the biggest bill with earmarks in it i
think had a 6,300 earmarks or add-ons. i think that was the 2005 transportation bill. we don't do that anymore. at least we've declared a moratorium for now and that's a good thing. but there's still far too much of that that goes on and referring to the sandy relief, there are some legitimate needs there and legitimate responsibilities of the federal government. there was insurance that was purchased that that fund is running low and that money is owed and congress ought to appropriate it. having said that, i think that the items were added on to that legislation as the caller said that really have little to do with the disaster. senate republicans tried to pare that back. they offered an amendment that was defeated. the house is going to take it up and if it comes back to the senate, i'll certainly keep your thoughts in mind. i appreciate it. host: mr. flake, are you then able to try to amend it when it comes back to the senate? guest: we don't know how the
house will consider it. if they concur with the senate bill, then there would not be an opportunity. but if they change it there likely will. i'm one who believes that you ought to pay for the disaster and what the federal government's responsibility is but we can't get into the habit of trying to solve everything for the future when one disaster happens. some of these mitigation funds that are put together really like i said have little to do with disaster but really are costly and we need to make sure that this, to the extent possible, goes through the regular appropriations process. the problem is sometimes when you do bills like this, there are legitimate needs that have to happen immediately but we put in items that should be considered under regular order. as the caller said, we have a lot better legislation when the committees hear these bills and then we amend them and we do it through regular order.
that's what we need to get back to, particularly in the senate. we haven't had that process for a while. host: and you were known in the house as someone who fought against earmarks. what will you do in the senate? will you team up with a tomko burn, for example, and come to the floor like he does and offer amendment after amendment to cut out spending? guest: you bet. that's what i've done in the house. i did offer literally hundreds of amendments there and earmarks are now gone. i hope they stay where they are. and i'll work with senator coburn and senator toomey, senator mccaskill and others who have worked to ensure this ban is in place. i hope that it stays. host: all right. may is next from new york. democratic caller. caller: hello, representative flake. guest: hi. caller: the christian conservatives narrative has been that president obama's a seek rest muslim and he's going to try to chip away at our
constitutional rights. i want to know what do you plan to do to stop this fear mongering of the republican party and actually work to solve the real problems that the people have such as gun control, renewable energy and creating jobs? guest: well, like i said, i've never been a birther, i've never gone down that road. i respect the office of the president and i respect the president. and i hope that we address the issues as you say and -- rather than just personalities. i think this is something that afflicts both the republicans and the democrats sometimes as we vilify individuals rather than look at the issues. i take your point and certainly agree with it. host: tom is a republican in virginia beach. go ahead, tom. caller: yes, good morning, congressman flake. how are you doing today, sir? guest: great to talk to you, tom. caller: i've got a question. i joined the u.s. navy in 1992,
just retired yesterday from the military. had several deployments, combat-related deployments -- deployments. i'm an amputee. and i have absolutely no disability benefits given to me through the v.a. or the military. and, you know, being an amputee and a combat veteran, i'm concerned, you know, new items that were put in place for individuals with medical conditions applying through the v.a. for compensation was supposed to be taken care of. to have benefits upon retirement. and here i am retired as of yesterday, have no -- nothing that states that i'm a disabled veteran so i can't even get the 30% hiring, you know, hiring
benefits through the government. and i'm just -- i'm concerned because i should have been compensated for my service to my country and i'd like to know what you're going to do about this. guest: thank you. other than just hearing on the phone, thank you for your service. by the way, i don't know your individual circumstance or how the law applies to it. i would certainly encourage you to talk to your own member of the house and your own senators to see if they can follow up. but in general i think we owe a debt of gratitude and we also owe those who have served our country and have been wounded in battle or in the course of duty. we certainly need to ensure that we carry out whatever was promised and that's my commitment. host: mr. flake, you have figured out where the bathrooms are over in the senate? who are you talking to to learn your way around the senate? guest: i found out now why it's a six-year term over here.
you can't really figure out how to assign an office for several months or maybe a year, who knows? it's a different institution. but i'm finding my way around and it helps certainly to have been in the house. but the senate moves more slowly and i think that's by design. but with office space i think i've avoided the double-wide in the russell rotunda but i'll be in the basement for a while in temporary space. host: what about committee assignments? where would you like to sit? guest: i believe that's going to be announced today so i don't want to be premature but let's say -- host: i think can you make some news on the "washington journal." guest: i have an interest in foreign policy. i've lived overseas and served on the foreign affairs committee in the house. there are also a lot of arizona sthoose have to do with public lands, resource, power generation, those kind of things that we need to make sure that we continue.
senator kyle has held this seat for 18 years and he has worked hard to make sure those issues were addressed in arizona. water settlements, things like that, that i plan to take up as well. host: all right, senator-elect jeff flake. thank you, sir. guest: thanks for having me on. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the election of the speaker and the adoption of house rules, live coverage here on c-span at 12:00. we'll also be covering the mock swearing in of senators and congressmen as well today at 1:00 p.m. it will be the senate side with vice president biden conducting the mock swearing in and speaker boehner at 3:00 p.m. all that have live on c-span 3. >> you don't always find many newspaper editors in any era embracing investigative reporting. the point we've seen over the years is not just economics. it's the discomfort that
investigative reporting often causes in a news room. because it's troublesome. it's that more than the economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers of somebody powerful, that gets those people running in to complain to the publisher and their stories are legion over the years of those kind of things happening. done and i were fortunate through the 1970's and almost all of our career to work for people who were really strong and upright in that area. and just let the chipping fall where they may, where the work led you. >> the investigative team of donald bar let and james steel will take your calls, emails and tweets this weekend on "in depth." the pair who began their collaborative work in the 1970's are the co-authors of eight books, their latest "the betrayal of the american dream." watch live, sunday at noon eastern on book tv. on c-span 2. >> here on c-span, we are live on the east front of the capitol, the steps leading up to the u.s. senate chamber.
gathered are a number of senators, a number of members of the house from the illinois delegation. they're waiting the arrival of senator mark kirk who has been away for about a year since having a stroke about a year ago. which left part of his left side paralyzed. and senator kirk is expected to walk the steps up to the senate accompanied by a number of members of the delegation and greeted by vice president biden. joe biden has arrived at the senate carriage entrance of the capitol to swear in new senators. the carriage entrance of the capitol is just around the corner from the steps that you're looking at right now. but we will stay here live. looks like harry reid is there as well. live coverage here on c-span.
>> again, we're live here on the steps leading up to the u.s. senate on the east side of the capitol. danny davis there, jan schakowsky of illinois. a number of members of the house, the illinois delegation, obviously other senators as well. they're awaiting the arrival of illinois senator mark kirk who is expected to walk up the capitol steps as the 113th congress prepares to gavel in about a half an hour. live coverage of the senate on c-span 2 and the house here on c-span.
it certainly would be a fairly busy day in the house as they have leadership elections. the speaker's election, anyway. and debate over house rules. to follow the 113th congress, a reminder that all of the twitter accounts, the twitter handles for members of congress can be found on our website, our twitter site, anyway, and we just updated it for the 113th congress. that's twitter.com/c-span /members. you'll see that list of members you can follow what members have to say. in today in particular, you see the hash tag on your screen. we're following some comments on your impression of the 113th, the new members as they gather. and the returning members as well. so the hashtag is 113th.
>> at the top of the stairs is the nominee to be secretary of state, senator john kerry of massachusetts. joining fellow senators. other members of the house, in particular the illinois delegation, gathered on the capitol steps on the senate side awaiting the arrival of senator mark kirk. he's expected to walk up the steps to begin the 113th congress and be greeted by vice president biden. he's been away recovering from his stroke for about a year.
>> illinois senator mark kirk, just about a year after suffering a stroke here #at the capitol, back fore-- here at the capitol, back for the first time since then, his recovery, his rehabilitation and obviously greeted by many members of the u.s. senate. many members of the house, including the illinois delegation and accompanied there by vice president joe biden. it's about 10 minutes before noon, eastern, here on the east and about 10 minutes before the 113th congress gavels in. but first a bit of business in the house side. they've got to gavel out of the 112th because they came in at 11:00, they gaveled out what's called subject to the call of the chair. we expect them back in in about five minutes to just formally end the 112th congress.
and then it's under way with the 113th at noon herein. join us from -- joining us from capitol hill is susan. when the house and senate come in, particularly in the house, they'll later today take up a couple of key issues. one, they'll elect the speaker. and secondly, a set of rules for the house. why are these important moments in the house? >> speaker has to be elected at every new congress. the speaker runs the entire house and it can be anybody. it doesn't even have to be a member of congress. although it's always been a member congress. we're going to get an idea this afternoon who is going to be the next speaker. we all know it will be john boehner, the republican from ohio. there's been some talk that he has some opponents out there and there may be a handful, but everybody predicts that he will be re-elected as speaker. he was speaker in the 112th congress as well. his first term as speaker and this will mark his second term, we predict, this afternoon when he is re-elected again.
and the second thing that the house will need to take up that's also very important is what's known as the rules package. this is a list of provisions that pretty much govern the way the house body works. it's a lengthy document and what is important about today is it's going to be amended with other new provisions that change the way the house works. and some of them are kind of, you know, technical changes, no big deal. others are kind of interesting. for instance, there's a rule already in place that prohibits members from hiring their spouses because in the past this has produced some scandals and some questions from the public about the use of public money to employ a husband or wife. that's going to be ex pabbeded to include all rel -- expanded to include all recommendtives. so members of the house aren't going to be able to hire grandchildren or kids to work for them. those who are already employed who are relatives are grandfathered in. that's one interesting thing. and now there's another one that's going to come into play,
that's going to keep going, if you might recall, the fast and furious fight between the house oversight committee and the justice department. the fast and furious was a gun-running operation that was run by the federal government, that resulted in the sale of illegal weapons to -- sale of guns to mexican drug cartels. there's an agreement right now, there's a civil suit right now that's being filed by the house of representatives against the justice department to try to get them to produce some subpoenaed material. that in the rules package allows that suit to continue. so that's another important thing for the house republicans. another provision in the rules package rule, keep paying outside lawyers for the house to defend the defense of marriage act. that was a controversial expenditure in the last congress. we are paying outside lawyers to push this provision that many democrats oppose. the defense of marriage act, which democrats feel is sort of
anti-gay marriage. so that is going to continue in this next session. so the rules package is a whole mix of things. some having to do with very technical issues about how the house operates, others that seem to border on dealing with, you know, philosophical differences between democrats and republicans and ensuring that the republicans can keep in place some of those important things. and, let's see, there's going to be another interesting provision that will, when the house passes a bill, it's going to require that they indicate whether the legislation will create duplicate programs within the federal government and it will have to say, you know, what new regulations and rules are produced by the legislation. because republicans have really aimed to reduce rules and regulations during their first year in the in a majority, during the 112th session. and they also want to prevent duplication because that costs money and it's wasteful. so that's their effort to make sure that there's less waste, less duplication, when
legislation is produced. >> susan ferrechio of "the examiner" is our guest. we may cut you off briefly because the house is coming in. back to the election of speaker today. there had been reports that there are a number of disgruntled or upset members in the republican conference. how valid are those reports and how will those members be able to, other than a no vote for speaker, be able to express their displeasure with the speaker boehner? >> they can vote present. and that's happened in the past. there's always a handful of folks who will vote against the speaker. not every time, but it's happened in the past, it happened with former house speaker nancy pelosi. during the last congress. even though it was assured that she would not become speaker because the democrats were the minority, still there was the expectation that democrats would all pick her as speaker, but many did not. there were a handful, six or seven, didn't do it. so it's not totally unusual for that to happen. and today the expectation is
there will be some members who are opposed to speaker as bain who are may vote present. the reason they don't see him as fiscally conservative enough and they have clashed in the past congress and four of those members who have clashed with speaker boehner were removed from their committee assignments. so a lot of folks think that they will either vote present or vote against him. now there was a threat yesterday by some of the republican lawmakers from the states affected by superstorm sandy that they would not vote for the speaker to be re-elected because they were angry that superstorm sandy legislation was not considered before the adjournment of this congress. but he met with them and assured them that it would be taken up in two separate bills pretty quickly and now those members have all committed to voting for the speaker. so, no one thinks he's going to, you know, come close to losing. but i think you'll see some members either vote present or vote against the speaker. i don't think it will be a
terribly high number of people. >> so both some interesting debate and some interesting votes today in the house, when the 113th gavels in. expecting that at about noon eastern. but the u.s. house will be in momentarily here to gavel out the 112th. we stay live here on c-span. if we can briefly go to the senate for a second, there was some talk that they may take up some changes in senate rules. when do we expect discussion on that? >> unlike the house, the senate doesn't have to take or vote on a rules package today. you know, it's what they call a continuing body. so it's not like -- what they'll do which is kind of interesting is continue on this same legislative day, even after today. until they come up -- >> i'm going to let you go there as we're getting some video from the house.
>> that was one of those blink and you miss it moments, susan, of the examiner d. the u.s. house gaveling out. we heard the speaker pro tempore say sine die. what does that mean? >> that's had they close out a session or a congress. it doesn't have to be just at the end of a cofpblgt at the end of a session or sometimes when they're going on a recess they will adjourn sine die. it just means that nothing else is going to happen until they reconvene. which is going to happen in three minutes, i believe, according to my watch here. so they're done. the 112th session is now
officially over. it was unusual this time because instead of adjourning before the christmas holiday, we stayed here and worked on some important legislation to avert that so-called fiscal cliff. and some other items, and they are only adjourning now, just moments before the new congress, and that in itself is really unusual. >> we are getting some video from the house and the voice you hear is that of susan ferrichio, joining us as the 113th, as susan mentioned, prepares to gavel in just a couple of minutes here. these cameras, this video is from our c-span cameras, normally of course the video we see is of -- from the house radio and tv gallery. but obviously we're allowed to bring our cameras. in there's ms. pelosi:, the democratic leader. she does not face an election today, does she? >> no, she does. but you'll hear her name because it's a requirement that the speaker get 218 votes of the full house, a majority of
the full house so, democrats and republicans will both vote for speaker. so expect democrats to select nancy pelosi when each person's name is called. it's not an electronic vote. it's a roll call vote. each member will stand up and say who they want to be speaker and you'll hear nancy pelosi said repeatedly by house democrats who number now at 199 this year. >> through tradition and through the role of the constitution, is the role of the speaker of the house to be the leader of his party in the house or the leader of the body? >> sy billoussy billious to be the leader of the entire house. and that puts him in an unusual and often difficult political position and i think one example of that was what we saw this past week with the fiscal cliff debate. the speaker put forward a very unpopular piece of legislation that many in his republican conference were really opposed to and it could have cost him his speakership. if they were angry enough about if. and it had to pass with fully
democratic support and only some republican support which is very unusual. oftentimes the speak already only want to put a bill on the floor if it has a majority of his conference behind it. in this case it required democratic support. so that's an example of how the speaker will have to do -- govern the entire body and not just his own conference. if he had we probably wouldn't have had a bill that passed to avert that so-called fiscal cliff and all those taxes would have gone up for a lot of americans and a lot of the automatic spending cuts would have been in place right now. >> looking ahead to the 113th, just sort of broadly, i won't ask you for specific dates but in particular legislation that you're looking forward to, important speeches by the president, for example, we know the inauguration's the 21st. >> shortly thereafter we'll have the state of the union address for the president. that will be a defining speech for him, for his second term. and it will also say a lot about what congress will be up to in the coming months. first of all, we've got some
expiring things that are going to force congress to act. we have the debt ceiling, that was already reached and there's only a few more weeks until congress will have to deal with the nation's borrowing limit. and then we have a two-month delay on the so-called sequester which is basically a whole slough of automatic spending cuts amounting in more than $1 trillion. that congress will have to deal with. there's so much on their plate right now. it has a lot of us wondering how they're going to handle it all. >> i'm going to let you go there because i see one of the clerks is beginning to gavel in.