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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 22, 2013 8:00pm-10:30pm EDT

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laska. guest: that highlights the fact that this use breaks the rules and breaks the law. we don't know what is happening in these cases. they are still investigating. it does not mean they have done anything wrong. in the case of andrews, it is alleged that he used campaign funds to take his wife and two daughters to a wedding in cotland. host: here is the story that it is a ledge that he used campaign funds to take his wife and daughter to a wedding in scotland. thank you. guest: thank you for having me.
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>> the senate is working on the 20 14th federal budget. ma.y are having a voterabm they could be there all night and into the early hours of tomorrow morning. joining us on the phone, kathleen hunter. she reports for bloomberg news. they have been taking a slew of amendment votes. what is going on? >> this is a voterama. it has been four years since he had one of these on the senate floor. the senate has not done a budget in four years. they take several hours. sometimes 12, routine hours. two-minute debates. .hen the next amendment two-minute debate. five-minute vote. proposal after proposal. >> how long will it take to get to a final vote? >> there are 400 amendments that
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had been filed. they need to be prefiled. realistically, only a fraction of those will get a vote. i think we are at 20 amendments now. the last time we did a budget in 2009, there were 38 of them. earlier today someone told me the most they have ever done was 44 in 2008. it looks like we could be getting close to the halfway point. it depends on when everyone gets tired out and is done offering amendments. >> what are some of the amendments senators are offering? what are they trying to accomplish? >> one of the things to remember is that the senate is not ever going to be reconciled with the house budget, which was passed yesterday. these votes are symbolic.
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the thing is that anyone can offer an amendment oh stop that is usually not the case on any piece of legislation. this is a backlog of people dying to offer their amendment on this proposal or that proposal. people are trying to make points. one thing that was voted on today was a proposal by ted cruz from texas who wanted to repay all -- repeal the healthcare law. there were some proposals from republicans and democrats. i thought it was interesting. a republican and a democrat each offered a proposal on women's health issues. this is kind of an opportunity for senators to force their colleagues to go on record. the senate is not usually in
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session on fridays. what made this week effort? >> the recess is coming up. they have a two-week spring break for congress. it will start whenever they get done with the budget. harry reid is the majority leader. he has been adamant all week that they were going to get through the proposals before the end of the week -- i'm sorry, before they left town. they want to keep the government running through september 30. the leadership had anticipated this because there was a dispute. so here we are friday night and the budget is not done. >> how much support is the budget is allusion expected to get? resolution -- it
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only needs 51 votes. as of this morning, there were four power up or be election in 2014 in that mr. romney one in 2014. -- wion in 2014. they have not yet said whether or not they would vote for that budget. it might be a nailbiter. >> the house passed its budget blueprint. what is the next that in both chambers? >> each chamber will pass a budget. harry reid was added as conference. there'll be effort to try to reach a budget resolution. said something like, what is a point of trying? we are so far apart.
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the two proposals are vastly different. , in theif anything absence of a presidential budget on capitol hill that the senate democrats and house republicans will use this opportunity to lay out their long-term vision for what the budget should look la ike. hunter with bloomberg news. thank you for the insight. you can watch the senate under way right now in session on our companion network, c-span 2. >> monday night on "first dies ofrachel jackson an apparent heart attack before andrew jackson takes office. his niece comes the white house hostess, but is later dismissed after a fallout from a scandal. angelica is the white house to hostess.
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we will include your questions and comments by phone, facebook, andtwitter live on c-span c-span 3 and c-span radio and c- tonight on c-span president obama's press conference with the king of jordan. after that, egyptian politics and elections. continues hisa first trip of his second term visiting israel, the west bank, and jordan. he met with king abdullah. king abdullah said jordan is housing refugees and expects the number to double by the end the year. president obama says the u.s. will provide financial aid to jordan. this is about 40 minutes.
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>> i remember you were here when you were a senator. i hope you are enjoying your second term. we are delighted to have these discussions. they were very, very fruitful on the strategic partnership. we are very grateful to you, sir, and the administration, as well as congress for the continued support as has been shown over so many years. and this partnership throughout the years has provided us to get to where we are today. and we continue that you will continue to help us secure regional peace. we did have an opportunity to discuss syria. as you know, we are horrified by the loss of life and brutality.
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if this continues as we are seeing, there will be increasing fragmentation of syria which obviously will have disastrous consequences for decades to come. it is important to have an immediate political transition to end the conflict. obviously, we have an urgent need for the international community to help in humanitarian assistance to catch up to the challenges we are facing. we need to have the ability to stockpile through the same people, and also to be able to assist those outside. jordan today is hosting by far today the largest number of
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syrian refugees. we have over 460,000 syrians. that is 10% of our population. the alarming trend continues as we see today. it will probably double by the end of the year. it is possible that number could go up to 60 million by the end of the year. the refuge camp is the fifth largest city in jordan. and the economic cost due to the influx as further stressed an economy already under considerable external pressures. having said that, as i alluded to, we are so grateful for the u.s. assistance.
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it is an enormous responsibility. together, we continue to appeal to the international community for further help in averting this calamity. we had an opportunity to talk about the peace process. we are very delighted with the vision and depth that the president showed. this conveys the crucial part of u.s. leadership in is really- palestinian negotiations. the two-state solution is the only way to go. if you compare that with the radicalization of syria, together with the impasse in the peace process, this will be a serious threat to an already volatile region.
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the window is fast closing for negotiations, primarily due to increasing sectarian activities. there is no time to waste. the prime minister shared details of jordan's homegrown model. we believe that we have a model as a clear end goal, a parliamentary government. checks and balances of democracy. a new constitutional court. we will also add a new independent election commission, and we are looking at jordan as a model for the revolution, consensual and peaceful, and ensuring there is tolerance, moderation, and unity.
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and equally as important, a level playing field. we will ensure regard for civil liberties and civil rights. today, we look to our prime minister of forming his parliamentary government in the next few weeks. based on his consultations with parliament's come up which is an extension of the same constitutional process that resulted in his nomination. i am very proud of this process. what we are seeing is the third way in the middle east. we now enjoy the benefits of the arab summer for us all. we have to roll up our sleeves. it will be a very bumpy and difficult road. but i look forward to the
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future. again, mr. president, thank you and welcome to jordan. >> thank you very much. it is great to be back in jordan. i am glad to speak with my friend king abdullah. thank you to the people of jordan for their extreme warmth and hospitality that i remember well from my first visit as a senator. that thing i mainly remember when i came here was his majesty personally drove me to the airport. i will not tell you how fast he was going, but secret service could not keep up. nevertheless, we are very much appreciative for you welcoming me and my delegation. the reason i am here is simple. jordan is an invaluable ally. it is a great friend.
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we have been working together since the early years of the kingdom. his majesty's great-grandfather, who gave his life in the name of peace. today, we are working to improve the lives of our peoples. our cooperation helps keep your citizens and hours safe from -- and ours safe from terrorism. your military police help train other security forces in other palestinian territories. i am especially grateful to his majesty, who like his father is a force for peace in word and in deed. you are the first arab leader i welcome to the oval office and i very much appreciate the work you've done on a broad range up -- of
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challenges. i have come to jordan to deepen what is already an extraordinary cooperation. i had a chance to talk with him about the necessary political reform, and i want to commend the people of jordan on at this year's parliamentary elections that moves toward a more inclusive political process. i appreciate his majesty's plans for tolerance for a government, and a very much welcome his commitment to act of citizenship or citizens play a larger role in the future of this nation. and i think his majesty recognizes that jordan has a great opportunity to show the benefits of a genuine and peaceful reform. with stronger political parties, governance, transparency, which makes government's more effective and make sure that the people feel a connection to
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their governments. your majesty, you have been a driving force for these peace efforts. you can be sure the united states will continue to work with you. economic progress has become with political process. the majority government is working hard to manage the current budget challenges. i think that his majesty outlined enormous pressures that jordan is experiencing, including a range of at external factors as well. i recognize what these economic reforms are difficult, they are essential to create the kind of growth and opportunity and dynamism that will help the jordanian people achieve their dreams. i am happy to provide loan
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guarantees to jordan this year. together, i believe we can deliver the result that jordanian people deserve. health care, clean water, enhanced training that i know a lot of the jordanian people need to get a job or turn entrepreneurial skills into a business that creates even more jobs. i was proud to welcome some of these entrepreneurs. we will continue to create economic opportunities for the people here and for people everywhere. we have spent a good time -- a good amount of time talking about this. as i said in my speech yesterday, i believe there are steps both sides can take to build trust and continue a serious negotiation forward. we are not there yet, but i am confident it can happen, in part because it must happen.
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it will be good for israelis and for palestinians. i am very grateful for his majesty's efforts. as it's been true in the past, his majesty will be critical in making steps toward lasting peace for israelis and palestinians. and i want to commend his majesty for his leadership, and i want to commend the jordanian people for their compassion during an extraordinarily difficult time for their neighbors. his majesty was the first arab leader to publicly call on assad to step down because of the horrific violence being inflicted on the syrian people. jordan took a leading role in the political transition to a more stable government. we are looking at strengthening the syrian opposition. we share concerns about violence spilling across the borders.
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i want to make it clear. the united states is committed to the security of jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance. the jordanian people have displayed extraordinary generosity, but the strains of some many refugees inevitably is showing. every day, they are far from home, but this is a heavy burden. the international community needs to step up and help shoulder this burden. the united states will certainly do our part. we are these single largest donor of assistance to the syrian people. some of this has helped jordan, and i have been announcing that my administration will provide jordan with an additional $200
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million in budget support as it cares for syrian refugees and jordanian communities affected by this crisis. this will mean more assistance with basic services including education for syrian children so far from on, whose lives have been up in did. ended.n up- as parents, we can only imagine how heartbreaking that must be for any parent, to see their children having to go through those kinds of tumult they are experiencing. as our partnership improves, the lives of not only the jordanian people, but people across the region. your majesty, i want to express my great appreciation for our partnership. i want to thank you and the jordanian people for the hospitality you have shown me, and for my fellow americans. this is my last visit.
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-- i am looking forward to tomorrow, weather permitting, seeing one of the greats waters of history, that the world can experience thanks to jordan and its people. thank you. >> yes? >> thank you, your majesty. mr. president. i want to ask you -- how are you going to keep the borders open for the syrian regime? -- refugees? anything could happen at any time. is it the electricity or the water?
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you might find 1000 refugees. that is what you spoke about, your majesty. i want to thank you again, and i just want to know -- you are the leading superpower, the united states of america. do you have a plan to end the bloodshed, the killing? and now talking about -- what is your comment about that? >> first of all, the problem with refugees comes down to a humanitarian issue and how are we going to turn back at women, children, and the wounded? it is something we cannot do. it is not the jordanian way. we have this sort we open our -- historically opened our arms to those who need services. we cannot turn our back on
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challenges. that is the reality we are facing. jordan has always been a safe haven to the people around us for many, many decades. unfortunately, from that point of view, refugees will continue to come to jordan, and we will continue to look after them as best as we can. the problem is obviously, the burden this has been having on jordan. we have tried to quantify this as much as possible. it is roughly $150 million per year. if those numbers double by the end of the year, we are obviously talking about more. that is not only a problem, but that will be a tremendous drain on our infrastructure and it is causing social problems. that is one of the reasons why we are asking for the international community to help. physically, we cannot turn away young children, women, people in desperate need. so, we will continue to take on
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those responsibilities. >> since the start of the situation in syria, we have stepped up as not just a super power, as you phrased it, but also for basic humanity to say that assad needed to go. we have not just lead with words, but we also lead with deeds. as i indicated, we are the largest single humanitarian donor to the syrian people. we have worked diligently in cooperation with the international community to help organize and mobilize political opposition that was credible, because in the absence of a credible political opposition, it would be impossible for us to transition to a more
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representative and legitimate government structure inside of syria. that is an area where we have been involved on almost a daily basis. first, secretary hillary clinton helped to spearhead the reforms bat created a coherent syrian opposition council. now you have the secretary kerry, who is deeply involved in that effort as well. we are providing not just advice, but training and capacity in order for that political opposition to maintain links within syria and be able to provide direct services for people inside of syria, including the relief efforts that obviously we are seen here in jordan, but there is a whole bunch of people internally displaced inside of syria who need help. i think that what your question may be suggesting maybe is, why haven't we simply gone in militarily?
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and you know, i think it is fair to say that the united states often times it finds itself in situations where if it goes in militarily, and if it does not, then people say, why are you doing something militarily? and you know, my response at this stage is to make sure that what we do contribute to bringing an end to the bloodshed as quickly as possible. and working in a multilateral context, an international context, because we think our experience shows when we lead, but we are also working with others like the jordanians, the turks, others in the region, then the outcomes are better. when we are working with the syrians themselves so this is not externally imposed, but
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rather something that is linked directly with the hopes and aspirations of people inside of syria, it will work better, and so what we will continue to do use every lever and every impulse that we have to affect the situation inside of syria. you mentioned the issues of chemical weapons. there are measures we have called for, and we know the u.n. is moving forward with investigations on exactly what happened. i have said publicly that the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime would be a game changer from our perspective. because, once you let that's the situation spend out of control, it is very hard to stop and that will have enormous spillover effects across the region. and so, we are going to continue to closely consult with everybody across the region and
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do everything we can to break -- bring an end to the bloodshed and to allow the syrian people to get out from under a leader who was lost all legitimacy because he is willing to slaughter his own people. he will be replaced. it is not a question of if. it is when. part of what we have to think about is what is the aftermath going to affect? and by the way, we need to think about that in a way that serves the syrian people from all walks of life, from all religious affiliations. because one of the things we know about this region is that if we fail the -- to create a model in the arab world in which
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people can live side-by-side, regardless of whether they are sunni or shi'a or druze, regardless of the manner in which they worship their god, if we do not create that's a possibility, then these problems will occur again and again and again. i think his majesty understands that. these kind of tribal lines are part of what we have to get beyond. they do not create jobs. they do not put food in the mouths of children. they do not provide education. they cannot create a thriving economy. that will be a central challenge.
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and that's going to be a central challenge, not just in syria but across the region. the united states, i think, has something to say about that because part of what makes us a super power because we have people from every walks of life and every religion and if they are willing to work hard they can success. that has to be more consistently spoken about. not just with respect to the syria situation but the moment of promise and danger in the arab world in north africa. >> thank you, mr. president. you mentioned the aftermath of the assad regime. there's a lot of concern that the upheaval is creating extremism. how concerned are you that extremist could take over in syria and, perhaps worse than assad? i was hoping you could give us an insight on how you brokered the call to netanyahu. and you have offered asylum that
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he rejected and does that offer still stand? thank you. >> well, i'm very concerned about syria becoming a place for extremists because extremists thrive in chaos. they thrive in failed states and in power vacuums. they don't have much to offer when it comes to building things but they are good about exploiting situations that, you know, are no longer functional. they fill that gap. that's why, i think it is so important for us to work with the international community to help accelerate a political transition had is viable so a syria a state continues to function, so the basic
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institutions can be rebuilt, they are not destroyed beyond recognition. that we are avoiding what inevitably becomes divisions because by definition, if you have an extremist that mean you don't have a lot of tolerance for people who don't share your beliefs. we have to recognize we have a stake here. we can't do it alone. and the outcome in syria is not going to be ideal, even if we execute our assistance and coordination, our planning, and support, the situation in syria now is going to be difficult. that is what happens when you have a leader that cares more about clinging to power than they do about holding their country together and looking after their people. it is tragic and heartbreaking.
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the sight of children and women being slaughtered that we've seen so much, i think it has to compel all of us to say what more can we do? that's a question that i'm asking as president every single day and i know his majesty is asking in his capacity here in jordan. what i am confident about is ultimately what people in syria are looking for is not replacing repression with a new form of repression. what they are looking for is replacing repression with freedom, opportunity, and democracy and the capacity to live together and build together. that's what we have to begin planning for now understanding that it is going to be difficult. something has been broken in
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syria and it is not going to be put back together perfectly, immediately, any time soon even after assad leaves. but we can begin the process of moving it in a better direction and having a cohesive political operation is critical to. -- critical to that. the conversation that took place between myself and president netanyahu, i have long said that it is in the pest interests of the two countries we have need to restore the relationship between the two countries that normally had good ties. it broke down several years ago. for the last two years, i've spoken to both prime minister netanyahu and the prime minister of turkey on why this needs to be amended.
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they don't have to agree on everything for them to come around common interests. during my visits, it appeared that the timing was good for that conversation to take place. i discussed it with prime minister netanyahu and both of us agreed that the moment was right. fortunately, they were able to begin the process of rebuilding normal relations between two very important countries in the region. this is a work in progress. it is just beginning. as i said, there are still going to be significant disagreements between israel and turkey. not just on the palestinian issue but a range of issues. but they also have a range of shared interests and they both happen to be strong partners and friends of ours. so it is in the interest of the united states that that begin
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this process of getting their relationship in order. i'm glad to see it is happening. >> the question about the asylum that he has to answer himself. if he is interested in the asylum and is he interested in coming to jordan? our point of view, we need a transition as quickly as possible. if the issue of asylum ever came up, that is something that all of us would have to put our heads together and to see if that would end the violence quickly. so the question is beyond my pay rate at this stage. but it is something that i'm sure if it came out it would be something we discussed a level of international unity. >> thank you. your majesty, last year jordan managed to break the peace
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process and bringing israelis and palestinians together at the table. now -- do you have anything in mind or you going to have any similar efforts? mr. president, would you support an effort because we know that the two sides need to be brought back to the negotiating table? thank you. >> at this stage, obviously, last year we kept israelis and palestinians -- simply because we wanted to keep the process alive as much as we could. knowing full well we were waiting for this opportunity, the president finished a successful visit to both the israelis and the palestinians. we've been in close contact with the state department and secretary kerry has been right in keeping expectations low so, what i call the homework stage
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is still in effect. we're all consulting at this stage on how to build on this visit. as we all share notes, we'll have a better understanding over the next several weeks what is the next step. jordan's role is to be there as a facilitator and support israelis and palestinians to bring them closer together. so i believe the next several weeks and next several months will have the homework or the framework will come together and move forward. obviously, we welcome hosting israelis and palestinians together if that is what they want. we've always been in a support role for both sides. we see a window of opportunity and i believe the statements that the president has made to the israeli and the palestinians is an opportunity to regalvanize the effort. one that we will stand by and
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support as we compare notes of the president's visit to the three countries. >> first of all, i think he described what i tried to accomplish on this trip very well. this is a trip to make sure i'm doing my homework. we all recognize how vital it could be to see a resolution of the israeli/palestinian conflict. we set expectations low because there has been a lot of talk over decades, but it has not produced the results that everyone wants to see. my approach has been let me listen to the parties first. let me find out exactly what the roadblocks are for progress. let me discuss with them ways that we can move the road block out of the way in order to
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achieve a concrete result. and i've been modest because, frankly peace will not be achieved unless ultimately the parties themselves want peace. i think all of us in the international community share this frustration, why can't we get this problem solved? i think the israeli people are frustrated that they feel this problem is not solved. they don't enjoy the isolation has come from this conflict. the palestinian people certainly feel that frustration. as i mentioned in my speech yesterday, i met with young people who are growing up unable to do the basic things that free people should expect they should be able to do.
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simple things, like travel. or enjoying the kinds of privacy in their own homes that so many of us take for granted. these are children, young people, young men and women who, as i described yesterday, aren't different from my daughters. they deserve the same opportunities. they deserve this cloud to be lifted from their lives. because they can achieve and they have enormous potential and i don't want them living under a sense of constricted possibility. i also don't want the israeli people continuing looking over their shoulder thinking at any point their house may be hit by a rocket or a bus may be blown up.
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so, part of the tragedy of the situation is that neither side is getting exactly what they want but it has been hard to break out of old patterns and a difficult history. my hope and expectation as a consequence of us doing our homework, we can explore with the parties a mechanism for them to sit back down, to get rid of the old assumptions, think in new ways and to get this done. i think if it gets done in a timely way, then the israeli people will be safer and the palestinian people will be freer. and children on both sides will have a better life.
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as a consequence the region as a whole will be strengthened and the world will be safer. i can't guarantee that is going to happen. what i can guarantee is that we'll make the effort. i will guarantee that secretary kerry will spend a good deal of time in discussion with the parties. i ask assure you that nobody feels a greater interest in us achieving this then his majesty. so we're going to keep on plugging away. the one thing i did say, i think to both sides is that the window of opportunity still exists. but it is getting more and more difficult. the mistrust is building instead of decreasing. the logistics of providing security for israel is getting more difficult with different technologies and the logistics
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is creating a functioning palestinian state is becoming more difficult. both sides have to begin to think about their long-term strategic interests instead of worrying about, can i get a short-term tactical advantage there or here? they need to say to themselves what is the big picture and how do we get this done? that is ultimately i believe both people want. i think it is interesting that my speech in jerusalem, some of the strongest applause came when i addressed the israeli people and i said you have to think about the palestinian children like your own children. it tapped into something that they understood. that gives me hope. i think that shows there's a possibility there.
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but it is hard. what i also said was ultimately people have to help provide the structures for leaders to take some difficult risks. so that's why i wanted to speak directly to the israeli people and the palestinian people. so they can help empower their leadership to make some difficult decisions and tradeoffs in order to achieve a compromise where neither side will get 100% of what they want. we're going to try to make it happen. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, you have said repeatedly on this trip and before, that all options are on the table to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon, including military action. the leader of iran and said if any action is taken he will raise the cities in tel aviv to the ground.
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if i can ask, what you think would happen here? what would be the aftermath of a military strike either taken by the united states or israel against iran? what is a biggest threat to instability in this region? with nuclear weapons or another war in this region? >> first of all, i'm going to go engage in a whole bunch of hypotheticals because what i said from the moment i came into office was the best resolution of this situation is through diplomacy. i continue to believe that. we have organized the international community around a sanctions regime that is having
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an impact on iran. not because we forced other countries to do it because they recognize that if you trigger a nuclear arms race in this region, as volatile as it is, if you have the prospect of nuclear weapons of getting in the hands of terrorists and extremists, that is not just israel threatened, it is a whole range of people that could be threatened. we're talking about syria might be able to use chemical weapons. what would be the conversation if syria possessed nuclear weapons? this is not just a problem for israel or just a problem for the united states, it is a regional and worldwide problem. by the way, we have been consistent in sing that not -- in saying that
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non proliferation is a problem around the global. the fact of the matter is iran cannot establish with the international community that is it pursuing peaceful nuclear power. there's a reason to these resolutions and violations identified by the united nations. it is not something we made up. there is a lot of other countries that have the technical capacity but they are able to get right with the international community but iran has not been able to do so. if what the leader says is the case, which is developing nuclear weapon and that iran has no interest in developing nuclear weapons, then there should be a practical, verifiable way to assure the international community that it is not doing so.
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this problem will be solved to the benefit of the region and to the benefit on iranian people. the iranian people are celebrating their most important holiday and every year and deliver a message. i remind them that they are a great civilization they have extraordinary history and unbelievable talent. they should be in the international community. to be able to thrive and build businesses and there should be exchanges and travel and interactions with the iranian people and everyone else, including the united states. that should be the vision. not threats to raise israeli
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cities to the ground. part of the frustration that, i think we all feel sometimes is it seems as if people spend all their time around how they can gain advantage over other people or inflict violence on other people or isolate other people, instead of trying to figure out how do we solve problems? is this is a solvable problem if in fact, iran is trying to establish a nuclear weapon. we're going to continue to apply the pressure that we have in a nonmilitary way to try to solve the problem. we'll try to continue to find diplomatic solutions to the problem. i have said as the president of the united states, that i will maintain every option that is available to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon because the consequences for the region
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and the world would be extraordinary dangerous. my hope and expectation is that among a menu of options the option that involves negotiations, discussions, compromise, and resolution of the problem is the one that is exercised. but as president of the united states, i would never take any option off the table. >> there is something i would like to add to what the president said. from the jordanian point of view the problems that we face as we look around the region. the challenges that the israelis and the palestinians will be facing we have concerns what is happening in iraq. whether israeli or iranian at this stage is pandora's box because nobody can guarantee what the outcome would be.
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hopefully there is another way to resolve this problem at the time with so much instability in the middle east we don't need another thing on our shoulders. >> thank you to the people of jordan. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> on capitol hill, the senate is in session. it has been called a voterama. more than 500 amendments have been offered. the senate is deciding how to handle all of the amendments. they are working their way through the amendments. it could keep the senate in well past midnight. twetrets.some
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there is an amendment dealing with abortion laws. one said, thank you for standing up for conscience and liberty rights. another said the boat would be largely symbolic, what we should get an idea on where the senate stands on too big to fail. you can send a tweet using the #voterama. you can watch the senate at work right now on c-span 2. tomorrow on "washington journal" we will have the phone lines open again. you can send us a tweet. we will hear from ginger gibson. fiscal yearlk about 2013 federal spending. we will also have bill allison discussing congressional ethics. at 7ington journal" live
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a.m. eastern on c-span. if you believe in something so right, so dear, so necessary , you get in trouble. before we got in trouble, we studied. we did not wake up one morning and said we will sit in. we did not dream one day we would come to washington, that we're going to march on washington as we did in 1963, that we would march from selma to montgomery as we did in 1965. we prepared ourselves. >> they intimidated so many people. they use the phrase "black power." it made many people think that it meant destruction.
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ground zero. destroying america. it wasn't about destroying america. .t was about rebuilding america it is about the land of the free and the home of the brave. >> olympic gold medalist john carlos discusses his personal experience. live saturday at 8 p.m. eastern part of "book tv." >> a discussion on egypt economy and upcoming elections. congressr members of talk about partisanship and their experiences on capitol hill. later we will get another look at the joint press conference with president obama and king abdullah. egypt remains divided with
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clashes continuing between supporters of the muslim brotherhood and those who oppose this government. theyshington on thursday, talk about egyptian politics and implications for the united states. personally oversaw the research or this project. she twisted my arm into doing this event, so thank you, and also to michele and samer. i will begin by rolling out the study that was released today, the type line was that egypt is not lost to islamists. non-islamists are increasingly competitive, in certain areas of the country, and should they choose to contest future elections, they are likely to pick up seats on their islamist rivals.
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before i walk you through that analysis, for those of you who do not follow the situation as closely, background is in order, which is after the january 25 revolution in 2011 that toppled mubarak, there were parliamentary it elections late 2011 and early 2012. that resulted in an islamist- dominated assembly in both the two chambers. subsequently, a court decision dissolved the lower house, and now we were scheduled to have a rerun of elections for the parliament on april 22 of this year. again, there is an issue of the constitutionality of the election law. when we have those elections it remains in doubt, and whether the non-islamist opposition,
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which is for the most part organized under the national salvation front, whether they participate remains in doubt. that is by way of background. now i want to get to the report, and so the report looks at several questions. what we are trying to answer is sub-national voting patterns, so if you want to take the u.s. metaphor, what is the red-state, blue-state dynamic? where is the electoral base of the islamists, where is the electoral base of the non- islamists in addition to looking at these patterns, we were looking at broader trend lines, and so egypt has had four major votes during the two years it has been undergoing its political transition. there have been two referenda, and the charter and a vote on the permanent constitution this past december. the parliamentary elections and
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the presidential vote. only four data points, but still there are some data points. is the political star of the islamists, or non-islamists, if you will, waxing or waning? is the political star of the islamists, or non-islamists, if you will, waxing or waning? and then at what are the prospects for non-islamists going forward? some people say they are irrelevant. this analysis will argue they are not and will be increasingly competitive. once again, in terms of our study approach, our methodology, we're looking at four major votes, the inter-constitutional referendum, the election for the parliament that took place in late 2011, early 2012, the presidential runoff and a
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referendum on the permanent constitution. for those of you who follow egypt, you will notice we are xcluding two votes, electios for the upper house of parliament and the presidential election with the two-staged election, an initial election with five first-tier candidates, and the runoff. i can get into that in the q&a. it is complicated why we didn't do that. before i actually depict the electoral results graphically, and you can see where the bases are, it is useful to have some understanding of where the electorate is located within egypt. for those of you who visited the country, or perhaps hail from there, you know that most
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egyptians live very close to the banks of the nile. huge expanses of territory that are mostly desert area. those are big expanses of territory, very little of the electorate. these areas that are seated in in shaded turquoise and orange, they contain 97% of the electorate. those are the areas you want to focus on. in particular, the governance that are labeled as upper egypt, they have 20% of the vote. the area that is cairo and giza, a big metropolitan area, that is a little over 20% of the vote.
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and some of you may note the delta, which is where the nile spans out, there is the biggest second city. a lot of smaller second cities there. it's one in 50% of the electorate. if you're looking at kind of where is the center of gravity. i want to jump right into these red state-blue state dynamics of where they have the strongest support bases. i should say, i am counting islamists as both the freedom and justice party, the political arm of the muslim brotherhood, but also the groups that which ran under a party list. in the aggregate, islamists counted that way won 73% of the lower house. they dominated the election. it is hard to say they didn't.
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they cleaned up in that election. in the green area, they over performed their national average. they went even more than 73% of n they wo even more than 73% of the seats in this governance that are shaded green. they won less than their national average, less than 73%. in the beijing area, where they performed in line with their national average, what you will see is some clear geographic divide. the islamists, the freedom and justice party, did quite well in upper egypt, which you would expect. non-islamists did well in larger metropolitan areas in the north,
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which you would also expect. places like cairo and port said. islamists had vulnerability in the delta. in fact, the muslim brotherhood is an organization i focus on a lot. they're the stronghold of the muslim brotherhood. the founder founded it there. the current leadership of the organization, or some of their more prominent leaders, like mohammed padilla, and mohamed morsi, they both hail from this area. you do see some vulnerability for the islamists within the delta that you might not expect. the next election that followed that vote was the presidential election. i am focusing on the runoff, where you had the muslim brotherhood candidate, mohamed morsi.
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the last prime minister was a last-ditch attempt to hold onto power. you have the brotherhood putting forward their candidate. what you see is really stark geographic divide. what is on the parliamentary elections is crystallized here. mohamed morsi wins every government with one exception. a very tiny government. you see a lot of vulnerability for the islamists, in this case, morsi, in the delta.
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in fact, he won by a pretty big margins in the delta by more than 10 percentage points in four of those five governments. more secular candidates also tend to do well in the red sea area, but i don't want to concentrate on those. we are talking about less than 1%. the story emerging is that islamists are doing really well in upper egypt, non-islamists are doing well in the metropolitan areas in the north, cairo and alexandria, and there are surprising oppositions to the islamists emerging in the delta. i'm going to move on to the
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constitutional referenda, and the reason why i did not lead with this, this is the first chronologically. the first vote that took place after the revolution. we should look at it with some degree of caution in terms of what it says about non-islamists and islamists. that said, it is a decent proxy indicator, he cause islamists-- because islamists strongly lined up in favor of the charter. you can view as a proxy indicator. the islamists position, the interim charter, there was a yes vote of 77%. it is their high water mark. it is the first vote after the transition. you see that despite the fact that there is wide support for this interim charter that
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extends throughout the country, for example, it passed by less than 40%. it passed by the largest margin in upper egypt, just as we saw in the earlier vote. that's why they are shaded green. they were in the same areas. cairo, alexandria, and smaller governments in the red sea. now i'm going to move onto the most recent recent vote in egypt, which was the december 2012 referendum on the constitution. and here the regional divides are even more stark. what we see here is you had three governments in the delta ca or two in the delta and
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iro that majorities rejected the constitution. it only passed by a percentage. overall support dropped for the interim charter. that passed with 77%. either you will have 64 yes. newly significant drop in turnout. owing a third of the electorate turned out to vote for the permanent constitution. what are the main takeaways? the main takeaways are that islamists do quite well in upper egypt in the outline governments of the west. also in north sinai, non- whereas, non-islamists do well in cairo, south sinai, and sparsely populated governments
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near the red sea. the delta is contested territory, surprisingly so. we see an opportunity for non- islamists. they underperformed their national averages. there is a macro trend, which is support for islamists is waning over time. we see there are high-water marks within the first referendum, the first election that occurred after the transition, at which point they have been bleeding support. what are the implications going forward? i am not here to advocate that the national salvation should participate in the elections. that is their choice.
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it is a complicated calculation behind that. there could be good reasons for not participating. i'm not suggesting they would get a majority of seats. those groups combined to get a small percentage in the first election. they would outperform as they did in the 2011-2012 elections to be more competitive. i think the trend lines that i am identifying here, i take a study approach that is very data-driven. if you take a more qualitative approach, and you look at developments, recent development in the region, they tend to support these main trend lines. for example, you have a lot of opposition that has been galvanized by president morsi's november 22 presidential decree in which he expanded the powers of the executive. he placed his decisions above judicial review. that has galvanized a lot of opposition. you have had major protests in
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the canal cities. and, those protests don't necessarily have to do with directly the support for islamists or support for non- islamists, but they have taken on as a political turn and spread more broadly throughout the country. also you have had a change in the relative cohesiveness of actors. one of the advantages of the islamists in previous elections is they are pretty cohesive. you have had some splintering
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among solopsist groups. most of those groups breaking away from the start of the homeland party. you have contentions within other communities. you have also had recent changes in the electoral formula you are going to see play to the strengths of non-islamist. a recent decision by the supreme constitutional court which mandated that representation in parliament be proportional to the size of the electorate in that district or government. traditionally, upper egypt, though southern governments have had disproportionate representation. it was a strategy of the previous regime. there is lower clinical consciousness there. those areas were easier to
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deliver for the national democratic party. the areas that are going to get these under the new formula are cairo, a lot of seats in the delta. as this analysis has shown, it does well in the delta territory. there are a lot of trendlines that played well of the favor of non-islamist. >> thank you, jeff. we will broaden the discussion. what i would like to do first is turn to you for reactions. starting with this whole analysis that jeff is presenting about the balance of power in the losing influence or declining influence of the islamists, the fracturing within, and so forth. to what extent do you agree with this analysis? maybe also the question as to what extent these elections play a role compared to other factors in the transition. because they are not isolated.
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i want to make sure we think of the broader context here. >> sure. i need to command jeff and his co-author for the report. it is a very interesting report. it is a very good report. what we should immediately take away is the fact that now, when elections actually have integrity, and the voting patterns mean something, we can empirically study outcomes. we could not do this before, because the primary deterrent in of determinant election outcomes in egypt under mubarak was election fraud. those of us who study elections, we had to guess which districts the voting was -- had some integrity.
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and which didn't. this is the first of the i've seen, and hopefully we will see more. i agree generally with some of the conclusions that are drawn from this. the fact that there is a geographical aspect of voting with regard to islamists. maybe i would phrase it differently, this is an area of exploration, the urban centers of cairo, which i would think with be excluded from the
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delta -- a city of 5 million people and so on -- i think voted for the socialist candidate, in the first round of the egyptian election. of course, more rural areas tend to be more favorable to islamists. we can maybe even go beyond thinking about gender, and thinking about what this means in terms of socioeconomic class. it is very important. i think what we will find is there has been some research that has been done in a very initial stage to try and document this. the danish egyptian network, they tried to argue that there is a relationship between wealth and education and voting. in fact, the more education, the less likely one is to vote for islamists. in fact, we could even -- the data shows this, less education, lower wealth, one is more likely to vote for not just islamists,
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but other groups. that is a very important point and in line with the findings and the arguments that are made here. i also think that the other general trend, without overemphasizing it, is also valid. that is that we are likely to see decreasing electoral strength for islamists generally. there are many reasons for that. some are quite simple. up until 2011, up until the uprising, islamist groups are really the only serious political actors other than mubarak's party that took the election seriously. there was good reason for that. if you were a rational voter, you stayed home, because you knew that your vote didn't mean anything. the large significant liberal political currents also didn't participate in elections.
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many of the parties we see emerging now are new phenomenon. as the liberal secular parties gets more established, established brand names, which they don't have, this is another issue. the muslim brotherhood has a brand name. it is a recognizable commodity. people know what they are voting for when they vote for the muslim brotherhood. that is true for the southeast as well. i don't that can be said for some of the liberal parties. it might be able to be said for , e west party, a very old liberal, pro-market, pre- egyptian revolution party.
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itcan be said of other-- cannot be said of other political liberal secular parts. -- secular parties. as these become more established, as they gain experience, as they hopefully do outreach, community work, have a presence outside the major cities and so on, do work of organization, half of success is organization. this has been a wonderful job of this. the liberal secular parties have not done a very good job of this. as these groups engage in this kind of grassroots politics, i would hope that their fortunes would do better. there is another reason why islamists are likely to do less well in the coming years. that is because up until the present, islamists have not been tested. mr. morsi now has been tested.
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at least since august 2012. and the situation is not good. there has been significant, rising deterioration. rising unemployment, millions unemployed. there is a liquidity crisis. there is the withdrawal of foreign direct investment, there is the downgrading of the egyptian economy, the depreciation of the egyptian pound, and serious security issues in the country. voters in egypt, like elsewhere, respond to conditions. right now, the conditions are the trend line not positive. that will have an impact. i think they're likely to do better. just the last point i will make, and i don't know if this comes up in the report, that is
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something to think about. at one level it is true, the imperiousness about this need to be investigated a little more thoroughly, to what extent is election competition in egypt for islamists, tension between islamists as opposed to between is a must and liberal secular forces question mark if you speak to numbers of the muslim brotherhood, as i did last week, i think that their fears when they look at upcoming elections aren't so much from how -- it is from the right. it is from the other parties. what we're likely to see is also a rebalancing possibly of that relationship in the first election. the muslim brotherhood and their partners received about 43% of the vote, whereas the other block received about 25% of the
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vote. it could be the case that in the upcoming elections, and they will do better. >> do you have an agreement? >> thank you. i agree that the report was useful. the findings certainly ring true. since i have been asked to comment, i would say that the findings were great in the sense that they counter the conventional wisdom. there is a green wave, the brotherhood is it, they have taken over egypt, there's no going on from this. i don't think that is necessarily the case.
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i understand that with the report, you were trying to tell a clear story. there are a lot of questions that arise as we get into more detail. one of them, which i think is a very big one, this is a very pluralist scene in egypt. a pluralist on all parts of the spectrum. to just say "islamists versus secularists" doesn't tell you the whole story. in fact, if we could put up a schematic of the political parties, already the political scene in egypt has sorted itself out to some extent.
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you have dozens of parties in the first election, and fewer in the next, and over several terms. now, we have at least a dozen political parties, if not mor, that are relevant. it is not just islamists versus secularists. you could also look at them as being right, center, liberal, and left. you have islamists right, center, liberal and left. you have secularists right, center, liberal and left. it tells us something about the secular versus islamist, but
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also the political agenda, the agenda in terms of human rights, and the economic agenda. the political spectrum is a lot more complicated i think than just islamists versus secularists. it would be great in future work if you would do more work based on this to look at that sort of thing.
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the question is, if sentiment is trending against the brotherhood, and i agree that it is, there are protests today. they have been happening, but in a on other parts of the country, not just in cairo. i agree with this. i think i would be interested in recent student elections, person there is a trend of the brotherhood losing. losing its share. not losing entirely, but losing its share in these elections. it is interesting to think about what this means for parliamentary elections. by question that parliamentary
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elections is that people are feeling down on the brotherhood. doesn't mean they're going to turn up and vote for somebody else? or are they just not going to turn up? i think that is something that we are going to need to look at. a couple of other questions. you raise this question of the delta. imacs are hoping summer can say a bit about this. -- i am hoping summer can say a bit about this. we haven't really talked about labor. that can be an important factor in the delta, and whether that is one of the reasons. in the first round of the presidential elections, he did well. i ask a wish you were able to get into analyzing first-round presidential elections. it was extremely interesting, although there were some politically not represented.
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we get into what i was talking about, you have got right islamists, left islamists. the last issue i will raise is just, you mentioned the electoral districts. they had to be more representatives in terms of population. there are a lot of accusations of gerrymandering. an effort while morsi has been empowered to break up the districts. i wonder what you think about that. there is also the issue with the voter lists. these are things that are complicated technical issues, but they can have a profound impact on how parliamentary elections will come out when they take place. i have some things i would like to say about what this means for the united states. they have the more representative. there are a of accusations with gerrymandering. there has been an effort that while morsi has been in power to break up the districts.
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i wonder what you think about that. there is also the issue with the voter lists. these are things that are complicated technical issues, but they can have a profound impact on how parliamentary elections will come out when they take place. i have some things i would like to say about what this means for the united states. >> these are great comments and really help as we move forward with this line of research. there seems to be agreement that voting patterns are trending against the muslim brotherhood. the disagreement is what are the implications of that. i would not mind getting your view on how things are going in terms of the election boycott and whether that is likely to happen. or how are the national non- islamist groups looking at this trend? what are possible scenarios about how this might work out?
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assessmente your especially since he spent time in government -- to what extent can the u.s. influence these outcomes? should we be trying to take advantage of the vulnerabilities we are seeing on a regional basis or would that backfire? to what extent should we try to play in the electoral game, and what kind of steps? folks here thinking about different kinds of steps the u.s. could take. it is important to open up the discussion in that way. what are future scenarios that might be possible? we will start with jeff. >> it is hard to tell whether the national salvation front is going to participate in future
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elections. the national salvation front has a series of demands that are far-reaching. none of them is for a national unity government. is for a national unity government. the secretary-general -- he is not that divisive. the problem is the way in which he was appointed, which most egyptians would say it not the appropriate procedure. the national salvation front has a big list of demands they would like to see the brotherhood cede to. the brotherhood has tried to show they are flexible. there has been press reporting saying that they are willing to shuffle the cabinet.
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they have not yet. it is tough to tell. what is also tough to tell is how cohesive the national salvation front is. i have been surprised that they have exceeded my expectations of their ability to hold together. if there was a main critique of the non-islamist forces, it is that they are fractured. there is a lot of infighting. they were unified in this boycott. there are some really smart people. their boycott campaign was being organized by a man who used to work at carnegie and is a smart guy who was politically astute. i can see the fracturing. there is some rank and file within some of the parties that would like to contest the historic nationalists party, which is always going to be a problem. it is a group you could see break for expediency reasons. they have done that in the past. it is hard to tell how it will
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shake out. also, you do not know if these demands the national salvation front had made -- when or if they will move the goalposts. even if the brotherhood is willing to back down, will the nsf just push them? i will close by saying, although my analysis argues that, should the national salvation front participate, they would pick up seats, i am not necessarily advocating they take that approach. they have one source of leverage they can or cannot legitimize the election -- they have one big bullet in their chamber. how they decide to use that is up to mohamed elbaradei. >> would you agree? you had mentioned earlier how
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the islamists face threats from the right and left. is this strategically a mistake by the non-islamist nsf to consider this boycott? >> it is not a mistake to consider the boycott, but it has to be said that boycotts are difficult to sustain. boycotts are a collective action problem in reverse. this means there are increased incentives for defectors, because if you defect and others are not participating, there is a high likelihood you are going to succeed and be represented in greater numbers in any kind of parliament. jeff is also correct in pointing out that we have already seen indications that groups are likely to participate in the election. it needs to also be said that
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the question of boycotts was initially put forward when the elections were announced for mid to late april. now that the administrative court is going to delay this process because of the constitutionality of the electoral rules, there's no question the nsf will revisit this issue. the first point is that electoral boycotts are difficult to sustain and to be successful. the goal of this is the legitimacy elections provide to the government. that is unlikely to be successful for a number of reasons. there are many political parties, including other islamists, and there are other liberal and non-islamist groups that have already announced that they would participate.
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it looks as if the reform and development party is going to participate in the elections and so on. it is unlikely that an election boycott will be successful. the logic would be not only to deny legitimacy to morsi as a government, but many people in the salvation front want morsi to fail miserably. they want things to do. so much that morsi cannot continue as president. -- manyple are calling liberal and secular voices are
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calling for morsi to be removed or the military to intervene. there are petitions signed by egyptians asking the minister of defense to intervene and remove morsi. others are calling for early presidential elections. even though mr. morsi's reign has been disastrous in many ways, it would be a terrible precedent for him not to continue his four years. the question of the boycotts will be revisited. even though the 14 demands of the national salvation front are excessive in many ways, many of the parties will participate. >> how does the u.s. solve all of this or deal with it?
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>> i never answered your previous question. the constitution that was passed in december is vague in many disrespects. -- in many respects. it is troubling in many respects. where the country is going to go is going to depend on legislation that is going to be passed by this next parliament, especially if it were to serve out its full term. there is a lot at stake. what about the united states? to what extent can the u.s. influence and should it try to do so? clearly, the united states trying to do that in a clumsy way could easily backfire. but i do think the united states should be keeping in mind the findings of this report and what it means. i think u.s. policy towards egypt needs to have a big
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picture, a long game and a short game. the long game is what you are talking about here. this is a pluralist, dynamic situation in egypt. the game is on. now is not the moment to say that, because morsi won the elections, that is it. i think that would be a mistake. i think the united states should interest itself in the long game and the development of a democratic system in egypt. if islamists and secular groups are going to have to work together, it is not easy.
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many islamists and too many non-islamists. there is a lot of scope for alliances. it is not easy. that brings us to the short game, where egypt, right now, is facing critical economic and security challenges. we are looking at a possibility of a breakdown into chaos, economic crisis that would have huge ramifications. i think the united states has to be playing a role urging all parties to compromise politically. president morsi is trying to proceed in the political transition and run the country
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just for the brotherhood behind him. as we have seen in these results, it is not enough. the brotherhood cannot run the country on its own. they are going to have to have more people in their political tent, more allies. it is a mistake to treat president morsi as though he is the new mubarak. president morsi and his small group are going to be in charge of the country for years and decades to come -- i think the united states should have in mind that if the democratic system does develop and remains open and elections continue to be free and competitive, there is likely to be turnover. people we see today in the opposition we are likely to see in high government positions in
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the future. the united states should be more serious about the contact it has with people in the political opposition. the u.s. has focused all of its efforts in the last year or so on developing good relations with the brotherhood. morsi is a legitimately elected president. the united states should try to have constructive relations with him. but it should not be only that. i want to point to the importance of the united states not throwing its weight behind this candidate or that party -- that would clearly backfire, but standing up to the values that some of these parties are standing for.
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i continue to think that liberalism is very vital in egypt. it is alive, growing. i just published an article about this -- "why liberalism still matters in egypt." the u.s. needs to be standing up for the role that the media and civil society organizations can play as watchdogs, keeping this political scene open so that the rights of egyptians are protected no matter who wins elections and so that egyptians have a real ability to change their government through elections, to call the government to account. if they are unhappy, to vote someone else in. >> i am going to open it up to the floor. when you ask your question, identify yourself.
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i do not know if we have a mic. project well. why don't we start up here? >> hello. director of an egypt program. thank you for the informative report. i want to get to a particular question. people have this political conversation to reach power to govern. --appears that we are so that is linked to two points you made.
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-- the issue was along the fault line of islamists and non- islamists. but it is not really that. it is an insult to the people [indiscernible] which choice would put them on the fast track for a factor of quicker or smoother transition? when you talked about someone running on a non-platform when islamists had a platform, i do not think that is true. that is the point. it is more of who and how. what kind of advice do you give two political parties that come into power?
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the plan,ey have they do not have the authority over institutions to implement or even on the legislation. they do not have tools to enforce that because of lack of security and economic tools. what would be the solution? >> jeff, what is driving these votes? in the policy tools, we will briefly touch on that. >> in the report, i do make that point. that is why i say we should have caution when we interpret the march 2011 referendum in the charter as supports for islamists and non-islamists. it is a legitimate proxy indicator, but there are certainly people that voted for the charter because they wanted to move along with the
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transition. most of his base were people who wanted stability. i will frame it broader. michele and samer talked about this already. there was the jewel in the justice. -- you had vigilante justice. the state is falling apart. the security situation is terrible. samer can talk about it. he was just there. and the economic issues. look at the drop in foreign currency reserves.
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in many ways, the stakes are much larger. i can see your point. >> regarding the question about how would political parties be able to implement programs -- there are a couple of things. i already mentioned the need for creating political alliances across party lines. islamists, secularists, right, left -- i do not fancy that all of egypt can unite, but no one political party or force is going to be able to make things happen. we see some of the big things
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that have to happen. economic reform is desperately needed. someone has to address the hemorrhaging of the egyptian government budget. now they are letting the currency fall gradually. this must be done. it is urgent. and to do something to begin the process of restoring confidence of investors and tourists and others who would be bringing money into the country. the other thing that is badly needed is security sector reform. it is a long and difficult road, but many countries have walked it before. when you go from authoritative to democratic government, you must do this thing. egypt has not even started it. we're seeing the terrible results of this, the terrible breakdown in law and order and
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the great anger at the police and the anger of the police, insubordination on the part of the police, strikes -- this is a disaster situation. you have got to have a broad consensus to do something difficult like take on security sector reform. right now, president morsi could not even do this even if he wants to. he would fear mutiny on the part of the police, which the brotherhood already fears is against them. the political opposition would not even allow him to do it. they would say this is going to be the brotherhood-ization of the police. you need to have different political forces joining together to take on these difficult programs. whoever is elected is going to have to work with others and they are going to have to deal
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with the bureaucracy. we are seeing the bureaucracy against the morsi government. and against the brotherhood. whether it is the police or the media, someone has to enlist the cooperation. whenis always the problem a policy decision is taken to get the system to implement it. it is an enormous problem in egypt. it goes back to having a broader political consensus and building trust. right now, trust between people of different political persuasions is so low and everyone is playing zero-sum politics. some groups are going to have to figure out a way to cooperate.
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>> i was wondering if you could comment on michelle's comment about the imperative of the brotherhood to reach across and deal with the challenges. you were just there. give us a feel of what the internal thinking might be at present. >> that is difficult to do with any certainty. my impression is that there is an unwillingness to realize or come to terms with the importance of the type of consensus-driven policies. they say the liberal and secular forces are whining. i think that is a terrible
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mistake. we have seen an attitude that has been animating the policies of mr. morsi. they say the liberal and secular forces are whining. i think that is a terrible mistake. we have seen an attitude that has been animating the policies of mr. morsi. we see this with the november 2 controversial declaration where he put himself above the law. we see this with the almost accepting of violence or tolerating, if not requesting, violence on the part of muslim brotherhood supporters.
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we also see this in the discourse of the muslim brotherhood, which fails to legitimize secular groups. it calls their loyalty to egypt in question. this is unacceptable. at that level, there has been an unwillingness to engage in consensus politics, which is so desperately needed to tackle all kinds of issues, the security as well as the economic straits the country faces. >> let's continue the questioning. back there. >> jeff, thank you. >> can you identify yourself? >> sure.
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[indiscernible] thank you for putting this presentation together. i am looking forward to reading it, but since you are here to release the paper, i wonder if you could talk about the factors on how you account for turnout in elections. the other panelist, if you could address the conflict of red state versus blue state -- i think i agree with nancy in terms of the stability vote and also the hold-your-nose revolutionary vote. if you could talk about that, that would be great. >> in terms of using those four votes as an indicator for islamist support, there are some ways in which it is automatic. i have already addressed the constitutional referendum where i suggest reading those with caution, but we should not ignore them. the islamists framed the vote for the constitutional referendum that took place in
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december 2012 in the interim charter around article 2. they framed that vote as we urge you to show up and vote to protect article 2. we should not overstate it. i think we should be more cautious when we look at the two referenda as opposed to when we look at the elementary election and the vote in which islamists and non-islamists are on the ballot. i completely agree with the idea that some of the vote, particularly in the presidential election, shook out as a stability vote for for hamdeen sabbahi. there are some practical challenges to doing this research. one of those practical challenges is the way the
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parliamentary elections were staged. you have runoffs. how do you account for that? how do you account for the fact that you have a member of the justice party against the second round? those are all limitations i am conceding. this study cannot tell you exactly what is going to happen. it is a first step. it is an open field, an interesting area of research. i'm trying to put something out there that others can build on, and turnout is a really important factor we should account for. it was telling that only 1/3 of the electorate turned out for the referendum on the permanent constitution. that is a big moment in the transition in which only 1/3 of the electorate weighed in. part of it was just fatigue. you had multistage elections, both in the parliament and the
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presidential vote before it, and you had a referendum. people had gone to the polls many times. you could've gone to the polls five or six times prior to that in a two-year period. >> any other reactions to that question? >> sure. i will just add a couple of brief points. i agree that it is differently to match up the votes on the referendum with the parliament theand -- parliamentary and prosecutor. i'm not sure i agree with you on the fatigue factor. actually, they had n't voted since june. i think it was more disenchatment with the draft constitution and the process
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leading up to it. that's why i do ask that have about future parliamentary elections. if freedom are -- if people are unhappy and a lot of parties are boycotting would that simply depress turnout? the other thing is once we get more granular looking at result, we have to remember not every option is available in every election. i mentioned there was no liberal candidate in the presidential election. once you start looking district district, you can see why some lists wonder because of a certain person. at some point you have to look at candidates and also you have to look at mobilization. i will tell you a quick anecdote. i was in a -- i was an international observer in the first found of apartmentary
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-- and george who is a liberal figure was running in that election against a brotherhood candidate. what happened was there were demonstrations, there were questions about secularrists were going to boycott the elections at the end. this was november 2012. what happened was all of his volunteers were demonstrating and didn't make it back for his elections. so there were brotherhood people out, handing out papers, illegally, but all the candidates were doing it. they were registering voters, candidate agents watching the voting in every place and
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george's people were not there. i didn't see them. i saw one or two of them in two days of observing voters. it was a stunner that he didn't make it into the runoff. there was a reason. his people were not there at the critical moment. i keep bringing up this mobilization question. so, look, i grief it is useful to look at the big -- i agree it is use to feel look at the big picture but it is helpful to zero in a few districts where very, very local things happened. >> ok. did you want to comment on that as well? >> i think, in fact and jeff's takeaway are not that different. 2011 in the march 19,
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referendum vote was phrased that yes was a vote for god and no with s a vote for striking article two out of the constitution. at the same time, that the army supported, quite obviously, a yes vote. i think both of you are correct with regard to that. i will say, again, this is something that jeff and i have spoken about. i think the first round of the presidential elections in may 2012 is very important. because in that election, voters had a choice. when voters had a choice they didn't vote overwhelming for the muslim brotherhood candidate. mr. morsi only received five million votes. if anything, that first round election indicates to us, i think what the core support
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group of the muslim brotherhood are and how limited they are. when you add up the votes of the number two candidate and the number three candidate and the votes of the number five candidate they far exceed the number of votes that mr. morsi got. any voters chose to vote for another candidate as opposed to the muslim brotherhood. i think that is quite important. the last thing and i forgot to mention this. another example of nonconsensus driven or no concern for consensus of the muslim brotherhood has displayed is the farce kill method in which the constitution was put in place
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with complete disregard how others in the egyptian society thought about this document. this was not a document and this was not an election, the referendum to elect a city council member for four years. this was about supporting a constitution. one would think as important like that would have required, you know, much more broad-based support than the pleasely 63% d the pleasely 40-some% it received. that is the disappointing and that is to put it politely that the party has displayed with deepening democratic consolidation and building a democratic egypt, which i think many of temperature piano in the uprising hoped for. >> i think michelle had two
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finger on which election to focus on supports the overall narrative in declining islamic strength. >> on the point he was last making. i want to say a little bit more about why the brotherhood and morecy and the freedom of justice party are resisting these politics. i think it is an important point. you hear some people making the argument because they are islamic they are going are bent to sticking to the plan, there is no compromising with them because they are islamics. i see it differently. i think that the brotherhood is behaving very much in the way an opposition group fought in m years, without having any chance to come to power behaves when it finally gets to power. in other words they feel, you know, ok, it is our moment. the country is with us.
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we have a chance we have to make something happen. they have been -- they have their programs and they just announced something today, the economic development program and so forth. they have these programs they have been developing and they think this is their moment and they feel like everyone is out to make them fail. it is a fail feeling of pair a ue and it is not -- paranoia and it is not unjustified. they are struggling against all odds to make this happen. if we can just get to the next step, just get to the constitution passed. this is their side of the story and they believe that the secular parties are playing with them in bad faith and have no intention to compromise with them. again, it is true from my observation that the secular opposition is divided. some of them want to make morsi
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and the brotherhood fail at any cost. any cost. bring the military in, drive the country off an economic cliff, it doesn't matter just get rid of the brotherhood. others are willing to compromise because they are trying to force the brotherhood to compromise with them. in my view is a far more constructive approach. you know, i think that morsi and the brotherhood have to see that they are simply not succeeding in what they are doing. they are risking the failure of morsi's entire presidency if they don't compromise. >> ok. we have a number of questions. what i will do -- we're going to run out of time. aisle going to take them a few together and i will let you answer at will depending on what you want to focus on. let's do, one, two, three, and we'll try to get yours in if we
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can. >> my question is, around security and the impact that could have on future elections. we talked about the deltas being a contested territory and considering the violence we saw there and the region in general, i'm wondering what kind of impact that could have in swaying people to support different candidates and parties in the future? maybe an overall impactses of security in general in the untry in changing voting patterns. >> ok, good. back there. >> after the court kind of annulled the current election dates and gave morsi a face-saving way to release pressure and postpone the elections. has there been any kind of reflection from morsi or the brotherhood on how to approach the elections? what procedure do you see in
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rolling out election dates? >> impact of violence, yes, sir? we're coming to a very serious economic cliff, to use an american -- where do you think the united states should be doing as regards to the i.m.f. agreement and is if u.s. pushing the i.m.f. to have one or to not have one? and, you know, should the i.m.f. give the money to egypt or what needs to be done? >> ok and the last one. we'll take the last one and then we'll have the closing arguments. >> i'm working in kabul so i'm here if a visit. my question stems about what people are saying in response to
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violence and the different reaction of the organization and everything. we're seeing a general radicalization of society both the liberals are being her radical. the islamics are being more radical. we saw islamics marring in a military style towards the protesters. we -- it is all over society. it is the break down of law that you mentioned michelle. how can this be overcome? to reach that point of compromise, we can say we need con sebsuss and people can say they will do it but the muslim brotherhood are losing support off for the population based off the failure -- as far as being able to implement any laws. so the break down of society is
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just around the corner if people can't get out of this radicalization but they are still getting farther and farther apart. >> let's focus on the domestic questions first, especially this important issue with the declining strength of the islamics because of the broader trends. there's two different ways kit go. one it can go that possibly you're going to move to pluralistic system, egypt is not lost to islamics and so forth. another possibility, what you're suggesting is the increasing extremist on the ground where all sides are checking out of the system and you have a deterioration of the state and stability. that is a less positive scenario that may unfold. i think that's an important question about what we're is it heading and getting to the question on how is the brotherhood going to react to this?
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are they going to wake up to the threat and the opposition, especially the more radical parts of the opposition who want to seymourcy fail? if both sides will wake up or the moderates are l wake up or they will join together and what will force them to do that? let's start with domestic then one or two can conclude on the i.m.f. question, which is related and important. why don't we start with jeff. >> i think there are interesting indicators how the muslim brotherhood is reacting to the administrative court's decision. the presidency has appealed the decision. you can read that in different
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ways. you can read it as they are in denial and they are rebelling against the judiciary as they have in the past. they clearly rebelled against the judiciary and then morsi had them sit down for a symbolic meeting. but another way, they want more clarification on presidential power so they are saying they appealed the decision to fine out if morsi has the authority to call elections or if it has to go through his cabinet. it depends on who narrative that you buy. i think there are indications on how the morey's administration is reacting. >> with regard to the last question and what can be done to overcome the polarization and consensus, i think that is
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impossible to answer. i wish ied that answer to that. i wish the -- iish i had the answer to that. so you had a situation where you islamic on one3% on and then a 23% secular the other side. a equal balance of power would increase the likeliness. the other thing i would say, some ways the election, the impending the election or the postponing of the election and the problems surrounding the election and the i.m.f. loan are related. at least one of the arguments that has been made by the fund and i don't think is the only argument, they cannot in good
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faith commit to an agreement or have egypt commit to an agreement or morsi commit to a agreement that does not have a broad based. until that transpires they are not going to, you know, give the $4.8 billion. there is more going on than that. but that is certainly one aspect of it. the other aspect of this is -- this is maybe for many of you to think about what the external role it should be. it is not the case and it has not been in the past that the international community and regional players will allow egypt to fail. it has not happened in the last 30, 40 years when egypt faced economic crisis at the end of the 1980's. they were also running out of foreign reserves and the
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international and the paris club came to the rescue. i think it is not going to be a situation. we've seen a talk about it and so on. the amounts of money we're talk about are relatively small in the big picture of the global recession for the last few yearses. for good or bad the money will come and the economic cliff will be averted and that is because of the importance and size of egypt. >> ok, michelle final word. >> on the security question. i think this is really serious. it is serious in the delta and upper egypt partly because of the christian communities there. so there can be serious security issues there as well. in terms of changing voting patterns. it can lead people to not go,
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not vote. i think that is concerning. regarding his question on the united states. look, this is a really difficult policy issue. i think it takes nerves of steel to get it ride. on the one hand, the united states does not want egypt to go over the economic cliff. i think that would be irresponsible. on the other hand, you know, i don't think the united states should be pushing the international monetary fund to give egypt money on the wrong terms. i think right now the bargaining between egypt and i.m.f. is more economic than on political terms. the egyptian government is trying to get the i.m.f. to lower targets and give them a loan on easier economic and budgetary terms than what was originally agreed. i don't think the u.s. should
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strong arm them to do that. the i.m.f. has been lenient with egypt. this is not a tough austerity program they are trying to force on the egyptian government. the united states needs to play this the right way. we don't want to see a crisis in egypt but we want to encourage sound decisions economically and also the -- you know the building of a political consensus. in order to take the sound decisions that morsi will need to take to get the i.m.f. fun, he will need to have a broader political consensus. one last word, assuming we get through this crisis, right, and there's an i.m.f. agreement and some sort of movement towards parliamentary elections, i think the united states should take that opportunity to actually help egypt more economically. not out of our budget but being
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an aggregater for egypt from other parties. the united states could easily play this kind of leadership role. that would also give us and those who chose to work with us in this project more leverage over, you know, over egypt and over encouraging the build fing sound democratic -- building a sound democratic system and regional policies that make sense. >> that is a story that will be continued. i hope it ends happily. thank you c-span for covering us. and more importantly, thank you to our panelists for an engaging conversation. thanks so much. [applause] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] >> on capitol hill at this hour the senate is in session. they are working on the 2014 federal budget and holding what vote-orma. to as a senator murrey says that should take the senate past midnight. an amendment was just approved hat says if the president is failed to submit the president's budget then he won't get paid. more amendment votes are likely tonight. this week on "newsmakers" republican senator talks about spending and the budget and the debate over gun legislation. he has proposed 23 amendments
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and pledged not to seek a third term in the senate in 2014. and later tonight, former members of congress talk a partisanship and their experiences on capitol hill. that is followed by president obama in a press conference. next a discussion on reforming congress with former senators tom daschle and chris cox, charles gonzalez. this is from the kickoff event from the new commission on political reform that is traveling around the country. from the reagan library, it is about an hour. >> i'm thrilled to be here today. i think as with the case of all of you, i'm frustrated on how much potential there is for good pork to be done in washington,
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d.c. and how little that potential has been realized. i think it fits that it starts here and will culminate at the kennedy library in massachusetts. can be reminded of two very well-respected, very successful two of our most prominent presidents who i think exempt i will fie what wasing with discussed today. it does not mean sacrifice principles but reach across party lines and work with someone that is in a different party. i think you will agree with me that we're fortunate to be joined by six tremendous examples of that type of bipartisanship. i'm joined on stage by today by fewer members of the former
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moves the united states senate and the house of representatives. if you remember the old sesame street that one of these things do not belong with the other? that would be me. i will ask you to join me not individually but collectively in welcoming the reverend floyd flake, senator snow, senator tom and e, christopher cox senator dan glickman. and last but not there's senator charles gonzalez. senator snow, i'm going start
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the conversation with you. as we were talking about earlier, when she decided to retire from the united states point yent framed a argument about what was wrong with washington and how frustrating that could be. for those who have not read her speech i would encourage you to go online and read it or watch it. it does an amazing job on framing the challenges that we're going to talk today. i'm not going to ask you to stand and give that speech again. >> thank you. >> as temping as it would be. -- tempting as it would be. as we talked about what was wrong, i would like your thoughts on what can be done. we'll start with the idea that people of good will can and should be able to work together but how do you make that happen?
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>> i think this type of forum through an organization like the bipartisan policy center and focusing on political reform is an important step in the right direction. what makes this unique and significant is engaging the public in this conversation. because it's been my experience in traveling the country people have expressed their frustration about what is happening in washington and they want to know what they can do about it and how we can change it. told them and i've cited example after example how our institutions of government have risen to challenges it is only in recent years that we've seen the dehabilitation of the process. it is getting input on specific ideas on how we can reform
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congressionally, politically, and as well as having electoral reform. i think that is important. that's why assembling recommendations from the public and getting ideas from across the country is going to be crucial in this regard. the other part of it is, using the social media to make your elected officials accountable. there is no reason they are taking recesses while they are facing a sequester. even with the debt ceiling back in 2011. half of our time between january and june, half of our time was not spent on ledge slayive business. in 2011, it was the fewest number of days we were in session since 1992 and it was coinciding with one of the
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events that created the highest level of policy uncertainty than any event in the last 20 years. that surpassed the wars, september 11th, just to name some major events. that debt ceiling debacle did more to disrupt the public's confidence in the integrity of the political process in washington. you have to make your elected officials accountable. you have social media. you can build an online community and you get a message multiplier. you can find out where your lawmakers are, are they in session five days a week? they should be working. these are things you can do right now. these are simple but concrete solutions. how can you deal with our ma


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