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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  July 14, 2013 1:00am-6:01am EDT

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improving defensible space to more than 8400 homes and treating more than 1600 acres of public lands, both in and around prescott. they did public education. the author community disaster they did public education. they helped train other firefighters to do what they did. keep us safe from fires. they did snow removal in storms. they assisted with medical emergencies. they performed technical rescues pretty anything needed. these hotshots stepped up and fill the void. they did not blink at danger. their courage never wavered. in 2002, were done by the phils -- work done by the
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management team helped stop the indian fire from what could've been a disaster. weeks ago, they stood in the path of another fire on granite mountain. their efforts that day saved property and lives, and spared many from pain. i will remind you of ephesians. by grace, you have been saved. not yourself, it is the gift of god, not of works, lest anyone should boast. our saints were not boastful men. hotshots never are.
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they work deep in the woods removed from the public eye and headlines. the hotshots came from all walks of life, from different paths, and different beliefs. as one unit, they loved, honored, and served a purpose and a plan much greater than any of us. they shared a creed. to be, rather than to seem to be. these men took action. they were authentic in their purpose. unyielding in their commitment. each was a man of this community. a leader. many were men of deep faiths. stories of the crew reveal man who loved one another, laughs
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together, mentored each other. gaveof themselves themselves to jesus christ. in june of this year, ministered by men of granite mountain, on the thompson ridge fire in new mexico, brendan excepted the -- accepted the love of the lord, our savior. [applause] june 30, 2013. the granite mountain hotshots to -- had fulfilled their purpose as god had planned for them. saints protecting a community many call home. he called them home exactly how they wanted to go home.
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as brothers, fighting fires, placing themselves between life and death. quietly and humbly serving. one of the firefighters was quoted saying, "i would rather die in my boots than a suit." one of the firefighters was texting his mother. the mother was concerned over the long month spent fighting fires in the 100 plus degrees. she wanted them to rest. the son replied, "mom, the fire is getting big. there is a ranch down there. we need to protect it. we will rest later." he closed by telling her he
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loved her. it was the last words she heard from him. a psalm tells us, precious is the sight of the lord. what happened on june 30 may hurt like nothing we have ever experience in our lives. but it was precious, and it was honorable. these 19 men were together as brothers. they were doing what they loved. i know they had angels guiding them home. the fire, as hot it burned, may have consumed their bodies, but not our loved ones' souls.
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isaiah tells us as much. when you pass through waters, i will be with you. when you walk through fire, you will not be burned. the fire paths, it passed over 19 men we were privileged to serve. these firefighters were called to their eternal homes. i can only imagine the welcome. all the loved ones who surrounded them. all the firefighters who met them in their moment of glory. that glory will not end when we leave this memorial service.
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it will not end, though we go back to work. one day, our pain begins to dissolve. life will have a way of going on. brandon, my friends, my fellow firefighters, you been in my heart every second. i have no doubt that you were spared for a purpose. have faith, and do not lose hope. i believe god has a plan for you. i also have no doubt that you will carry on the tradition and honor of our fallen brothers. one of the hotshots had a way with words. in college, wade wrote a poem
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that i believe was god speaking through him, knowing this day would come. brendan, i felt compelled to share these words with you. the message is a powerful one. i give my life to you, forever i will serve you. you will be my strong tower and refuge. i will seek your face, forever i will speak your words. to the end of my days, i will speak your name into the world, so i lay my life down to the everlasting keen. -- king. be with my father. let me not astray. protect me lord, and teach me your ways. to the families of the fallen, you have been in our hearts, and millions of hearts nationwide in the last nine days.
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you are not alone, you will never be alone. our fallen brothers have left us with the gift of their family, and you will always be a part of our family. i claim no knowledge of what tomorrow holds, no insight into the plans of the future. i do know that god has a plan. i do know that the fire department will carry on. [applause] i do know that each and every man and woman who wears our uniform will continue to serve in a way that honors the sacrifice of the granite mountain hotshots, the saints of prescott.
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[applause] they may be gone, but they will never truly leave us. with the same fears commitment, the fire department and our fire family pledges to all the families of our fallen. brothers, sisters, we will always be here for you, every hour, every day. thank you, and god bless. [applause] >> representing the international association of firefighters is our general
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president from washington d.c. it represents the professional firefighters in every state, and province throughout the united states and canada. at the end of his tribute, he will direct the honor guard to present the families with the -- medal of honor. the memorial medal bears the words "dedication, honor, sacrifice." this medal has been honored for those killed in the line of duty since it was established in 1990. my friend, my president, harold shea berger. [applause]
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>> governor brewer, mayor, chief. senators mccain, members of congress, members of the president's cabinet, mr. vice president. someone who has had the backs of all of our members, firefighters throughout this country for so many years, having our backs not just with words, but with great deeds. 19 prescott firefighters, 19 brothers in arms.
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bound together by the essence of the words honor, commitment, pride, courage and sacrifice. incredible men, highly trained to endure beyond the capabilities of most of us. their job was to respond in areas where the forest burned wild. a unique band of men. they work for the city of prescott. because of their skills of the hotshots crew, they spent most of their time deployed, responding all across
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the country to those raging wildfires. they were also 19 incredible husbands and husbands to be, fathers and fathers to be, sons, brothers, friends. several were second-generation firefighters. many found their way to what we refer to as "the job" through different journeys. landing in the same place, where your crew becomes your second family. most of the time, they worked up in the hills among the trees, on steep mountainsides and along cliffs. where the general public usually hears the sirens, watching firefighters step up to take on the flames and save lives on a home or high-rise in a neighborhood, or a store is
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engulfed, or a warehouse explodes, hotshots operate differently. most of the time, this incredible group, and this incredible crew was invisible to the people they served, unseen. so critically important. when lighting struck and ignited the dense, dry hills, where the sweltering heat wave already promised treacherous conditions, they geared up and moved out, knowing exactly what they were facing. once on the ground in that terrain, they went to work, cutting lines, digging, scraping, carrying, firing -- fighting the fire with the wind
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at their backs, do what they were trained to do. then they experience a win -- wind blowout, gale force, 180 degree turns in a matter of minutes. now the flames confronted them head on. with severe gusts, it got hotter and hotter. these comrades did what they were trained to do. they use the equipment they had, and as every crew does in every department represented here today, they instinctively had each other's back. while that commendation of skills and commitment to each other had gotten out of a number of tight situations before, two sundays ago, it was not enough for 19 of our best.
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most people do not fully comprehend, they cannot comprehend the culture and the bond of our profession. we live together, work together, eat our meals together. we watch our families grow. we put our lives on the line in each other's hands. the hotshot crew, they spent days, weeks at a time diploid in -- deployed in the wilderness together. the only thing they had for certain was each other, their second family. in this profession of hours, the fact is we have two families. we have our wonderful, loving, immediate families at home. then we have our firefighting family on the job.
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today, we are all one family. the loved ones of the 19. just look around this arena. the thousands that are outside, who've come to honor the best of the best. everyone bound together by these unbelievable men. these tenacious firefighters, who simply were doing their jobs. they're like ripples in a pebble in a pond. all in their uniforms, extending beyond themselves, to an incredible number into one great family. a family that is coming together to mourn, to remember, and to pray for those we lost.
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together, to celebrate their lives, to honor their service and sacrifice. einstein once said that a life lived for others is a life worth while. the men we lost in those hills lived and served for others. for all of us. they chose saving lives and protecting the citizens and country they loved as their profession. each full of life, 14 of them in their 20's. all too young. some served in the armed forces. some headed straight for this profession, but all were adventurous. they treat every day like it was special. each one had so much more left to do here on earth. they all will be missed. sadly, in the fire service, we experience loss in the line of duty.
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some 100 times a year. then there are the terrible times when may lose multiple members, and a single incident. -- in a single incident. this year alone, in the last six months, we have honored those who have fallen in multiple losses, indianapolis, texas, and houston just one month ago. not since september 11 have we suffered a blow is massive as june 30, 2013. a day we will never forget. to the immediate families and friends of our fallen, and to those in uniform standing at
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attention today, and who have served with them, and especially brendan, to you, we are so thankful to see you here with us today. thankfully, we are simply here to honor and to extend our profound respect to all of you. we offer our internal gratitude and prayers. you will always be a part of our extended firefighter family, you, the loved ones of those we lost. we will stand by you not just today, not just tomorrow, but for the months and years to come. we say thank you for sharing your loved ones with us. we will miss them greatly. to andrew, robert, travis, dunstan, christopher, eric, grant, sean, scott, wade, john,
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anthony, jesse, joe, travis, william, clayton, kevin, and garrett. you answered the final alarm. you served your nation well. thank you for the gift of your lives. may you rest in peace. remember that those names of our fellows would be etched in the walls in colorado springs, where generations of firefighters will come to honor their service, and to always remember. on behalf of our entire executive board, and the 300,000 men and women of the international association of firefighters, i will now ask the honor guard to present the gold medal of honor to our families.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, we will not present the names of the theow present the names of fallen crew. in order to assist us, we ask only one of resident from each family to stand when your loved one's name is called, they remain standing until until the present reaches your seats. member to the family that wish, should receive the medal of honor. eric shane morris. -- marsh. [bell tolls] jesse james steed.
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[bell tolls] clayton whitted. [bell tolls] robert e. caldwell. [bell tolls] travis clay carter. [bell tolls] christopher allen mackenzie. [bell tolls] travis turbyfill. [bell tolls] joe thurston. [bell tolls] wade scott parker.
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[bell tolls] anthony michael rose. [bell tolls] garrett zuppiger. [bell tolls] scott daniel morris. [bell tolls] dustin deford. [bell tolls] william h. warneky [bell tolls] kevin woyjeck. [bell tolls] john j. percin. [bell tolls]
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grant mckee. [bell tolls] sean michael misner. [bell tolls]
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>> the surviving member of the hotshots is brendan mcdonough. every firefighter feels blessed that he is with us here today. it is my honor to introduce my brother firefighter, brendan mcdonough. [applause]
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>> my brothers, my sisters, my family. i would like to share with you. a hotshot prayer. i'm called to duty to fight the roaring blaze. please keep me safe and strong, i may be here for days.
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be with my fellow crewmembers as we hiked up to the top. help us cut enough lines for the blaze to stop. let my skills and hands be firm and quick. first to stand the line, i should answer god's call. bless my hotshot crew, my family one and all. thank you, and i miss my brothers. we are here today to remember them. i love my family, all of you that are out there. thank you for supporting me. [applause]
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[taps] [drums]
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>> halt! >> all uniformed personnel, please rise.
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>> these men and women are confronted with a more dangerous environment than ever before. we are forced to continually change our strategies and tactics to accomplish our mission. our methods may change but our goals remain the same as they were in the past. to save lives and protect property. sometimes at a terrible cost. this is what we do. this is our chosen profession. this is the tradition of the firefighter. the fire service of today is ever-changing, but it is also steeped in traditions that are over 200 years old. one such tradition is the sounding of the bell. as firefighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that shift.
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throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell. it summoned these brave souls to fight fires and place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizens. and when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signal the completion of that call. when a firefighter died in the line of duty paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that announced a comrade's passing. we utilize these traditions as symbols which reflect honor and respect and those with given so much and to served so well.
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to symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty a special signal of three rings, three times each represents the and of our dutye end of our comrades' and that it will be returning. to those who have given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their task completed, their duties are well done. to our prescott brothers, their last alarm, they are going home. >> present. [bell tolling]
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>> order. >> ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the monitor to see a flyover. marine corps air station is providing the flyover in recognition of the role that air
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support plays with the wildland firefighters and a recognition of the contribution toward the country's defense by marine corps veterans who made up a portion of our granite mountain hotshot crew. please view the monitors.
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>> please be seated. >> ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me i once was lost, but now i'm
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found was blind, but now i see ♪ playing "amazing grace"] ♪
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[drums march]
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[drums march]
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[piano playing]
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♪> ♪ may the lord guide you
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♪ may the lord meet you
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god is always here guiding your way ♪ may the lord rise to meet you ♪
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>> please be seated as we honor the firefighters and their families. the honor guard will dismiss all uniformed officers. please follow the commands of our honor guard. please remain in your seats until dismissed by the honor guard. honor guard, dismissal at your command. ♪ ♪\
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the sunshine warm upon your face ♪
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>> please rise. [applause] honor guard, escorts. ♪
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♪ may the lord rise to meet you ♪
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>> all remaining uniformed personnel, please rise. you are dismissed. ready? ♪ ♪
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>> a time for living, a time for going home.
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♪ >> the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in a wildfire last month. earlier this week, arizona senators john mccain and flake spoke on the senate floor about the men who lost their lives. here is what they had to say. >> i rise today with a heavy heart to remember 12 grieving
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families -- i am sorry, 19 grieving families in the prescott community that will never be filled. arizona and the entire nation shares in their sorrow. the loss of the members of the granite mountain hotshots in the loss of community is both terrible and swept. we are right to ask the why? why were they taken from us? why were these fearless men of all that is brave and decent choose a job that causes them to run into an inferno just as everybody else is running away from it? in answering that, we get an instance of who these men are. these 19 lives of achievement and purpose, courage, and discipline.
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from all corners of america, they came together in prescott with a single goal in mind -- protecting people and property. to do this, they trained relentlessly and took the worst that mother nature can throw at them. all to save lives and homes for their friends and their neighbors. they did so accepting the risks and embracing them even and in the words of the old hymn, home and distressed in danger. they did so in the name of community. americans are characterized by our sense of communal spirit, civic duty, and service to
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others. this is what makes us who we are. and those characteristics described perfectly the 19 members of the granite mountain hotshots. they were not really given the gratitude and respect of the sins of prescott, they earned it. -- respect and admiration in prescott, they earned it. we must help the families that carry it. brief is lonely. those who are grieving for a husband or a son, know that millions of us are thinking of
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you and praying for your heart that they find solace and comfort. to the children of these men, carry deep inside of you the knowledge that they were as proud of you as you are of them. this band of 19 embodied the best that we have about our country. i am honored they were in the end arizonans. we should all be proud to live in a community and a state and the nation built on the kind of guts and selflessness that these men personify. today, we are all in the words, townsmen of the town. may god bless the souls of the 19 brave men. senator mccain and i had the privilege to travel with the vice president and two cabinet secretaries and other members of congress to a memorial service of these brave 19. it was an incredible experience to see a community come together as it did. the townspeople, people from across the state and the country, and people across the world sitting their condolences
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for the actions of these men -- sending their condolences for the actions of these men. we are so lucky to live in a country like this. senator mccain and i are so fortunate to be arizonans. we are fortunate to witness what we have witnessed. mr. president, i am pleased to help bring this resolution to earn it these men to the floor to honor these men to the floor and i yield the floor. >> the senator from arizona. >> i want to thank the senator from delaware for his kind words for me and my friend and colleague from arizona who i believe is carrying on the fine tradition of his predecessor, senator kyle in the spirit of bipartisanship and dedication to the people of arizona. i come to the floor today with my colleague from arizona to offer a resolution honoring the fallen heroes of the granite mountain interagency hotshot crew. yesterday, senator flake and i were privileged to attend a memorial ceremony in prescott honoring the service and sacrifice of the 19 brave men of the granite mountain hotshots who lost their lives last week battling the yarnell hill fire in arizona. i know i speak for all of my fellow citizens in expressing our gratitude to the vice president of the united states
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who came all the way to arizona and he gave a moving, stirring and wonderful testimony to these brave arizonans. it is typical of my friend for so many years, the vice president of the united states, he and his wonderful wife would come to arizona to join us in our efforts to honor these brave men. these were not men merely worth knowing. they were men to admire. they were meant to emulate if you have the courage and character to live as decently and honorably as they left. not many of us can. but we can become better people by trying to be half as brave and good as they were and to make our lives count for something more than the sum of our days.
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the news accounts of their lives and the testimonials to their virtues that appeared in the days since we have lost them give the rest of us a glimpse of what a blessed memory they are to those who knew and loved them. some of them were the sons of firefighters who grow up wanting to be like dad. some leave behind wives and children. some were expecting the birth of their first child. children. some were expecting the birth of their first child. some married her high school sweetheart. some were engaged. and looking forward to becoming husbands and fathers. two were cousins and best friends. one rescued horses.
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one aspired to preach the word of god. one was a standout ballplayer. one dressed in a yellow raincoat when he was six and pretended to put out fires. some were born in arizona. some came from other places and fell in love with the beauty and people of arizona. some were shy. others were practical jokers. there were all respected and admired. the kind of men who just like being around. they all loved the outdoors. they were at lead and adventurous. -- they were athletic and adventurous. they all loved their jobs. they wanted to make a difference. they all had a purpose. they were greater than themselves. they were all young. they were all loved. they will be missed. so terribly missed. i will forever be touched by what their family and friends have told me about them and how much they meant to them. i will always consider myself did advantage for not having health -- having known them. the human spirit that is so
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vital to helping us keep our faith and to endure, i hope i can get some solace the ones we honor today is immortal. it does not perish with them. how they lived and what they did will inspire others to live courageously and selflessly. these brave men are the hotshots and we see grand examples sublime and shining and unforgettable examples that will summon good men and women today and tomorrow after our time has passed to live bravely and compassionately and honorably. in a fierce and terrifying encounter with danger, they stood their ground. like the heroes they were. and they fought for their community. while they did not come home to the people who love them so much and will miss them always, i firmly believe we will see them again in the better world that is to come. until then, we finally remember the humanity of these brave men. their down to earth nature, all of their marvelous imperfections
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known only to the closest family and friends. and how in the ace of dire peril, they rose beyond all of that makes us really ordinary at lead god cradled them in his arms -- and let god cradle them in his arms and carried them away. lost men of the granite mountain hotshots died having taught us how to live and for that, as we honor them and pay our respects to their loved ones today, i should submit. we should all find great solace. mr. president, i ask for unanimous consent for the consideration submitted earlier today. >> senate resolution honoring the hotshot crew.
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>> is there objection? without objection, the senate will proceed. >> i asked unanimous consent for the resolution be laid upon the table with no intervening action. >> without objection. >> i yield the floor.
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>> i wanted a purpose and looked at american life. i need a politics, this is, entertainment -- i needed politics, business, i was interested in the pattern with newt gingrich, oprah, jay- z. people who begin in very humble places and are not unlike the main characters. who sort of reinvent themselves at something new and find a new
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language and new idea that is riveting to americans. through that they built an empire. they cannot stop building get. it is almost like an imperative. you have to keep growing. even as a person and a brand, you have to keep growing. eventually, a sort of decadence where the language becomes the parody of itself. they known for seem to be producing something good. they just continue to produce. gingrich writes book after book. oprah is on the cover of every issue of her magazine. they become the celebrity we are familiar with who dominates our imagination in a way that comes to replace the institution that have faltered. >> george packer intertwines the struggles of three americans. that's sunday at 8:00. [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> senators will discuss chamber -- changes to senate rules for filibusters. the same issue came up in 2005 when the republicans were in the majority. senator mitch mcconnell he -- senator mitch mcconnell. >> i know it does not pertain to a president nomination. during the senators debate of the adoption of the 1970 role discussing possible application to nominations. this was not because senators wanted to preserve the right to filibuster nominees. rather, senators did not discuss applying the role to nominations because the notion of filibustering nominations was alien to them. it never occurred to anybody that would be done.
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against what he called the nuclear option. here is a look. 8,arry reid argued >> he just mentioned the nuclear option. in chapter seven of your book, it describes the circumstances with the nuclear option. just so our viewers can better understand, what was the nuclear option and what likelihood is there we will have to face nuclear option again? >> what the republicans came up with was a way to change our country forever. they made a decision they could get every judge they wanted and they were going to make the summit like the house of representatives. we would have a unit -- a legislature where a simple majority would determine whatever happened. in the house, today. , the rulesey wanted over there allow that. the senate was set up to be different.
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that was the genius, the vision of our founding fathers, that this legislature, which was unique, had two difference. one, to pour the coffer into the saucer and let it cool off. that is why you have the ability to filibuster and to terminate filibuster. they wanted to get rid of all that. that is what the option was all about. >> is there any likelihood we will face circumstances like that again? >> as long as i am the leader, the answer is no. we should forget that and that is the black chapter. i hope we never get to that again. i believe it will ruin our country. i said during that debate that all my years in government, that was the most important thing i've ever worked on. were past statements from mitch mcconnell and harry lead on the issue of senate rule changes.
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monday, we will hear current thoughts on proposed changes in a scheduled closed-door meeting regarding the same issue. center remarks at the for american progress live at 10:00 -- 10:30 eastern here on c-span. more now on the proposed changes to the senate rules on this morning's washington journal. --st: sarah binder of the
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host: we focus on the issue of the filibuster and the nuclear option that has been referred to for the past couple of months. i want to take you back to last thursday, the exchange between the senate republican leader mitch o'connell and the senate and the craddick leader harry reid. >> these are dark days in the history of the senate -- collects these are dark days in the history of the senate. we have witnessed the majority and in aeak his word in the united states senate. our request of a joint meeting has been set for monday night at a time when attendance is frequently quite spotty. in an obvious effort to keep many of his members for hearing the concerns and arguments from the other side as possible. it remains our view that for this debate, the kind of joint session that it ought to be, given the tendency of this daft to have sparse attendance on monday night, to have this meeting on tuesday before it is too late.
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>> mr. president, i do not want him to feel sorry for the senate. i am going to try to continue to speak in a tone that is appropriate. i guess he follows the theory and and is
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that the more you say something the more people believe it. mr. president, -- it is quite interesting that he thinks there is nothing wrong with this man. democrats and republicans have said he is a good guy. this man has been waiting 724 days. assistant secretary of defense, 292 days. monetary fund governor, 192 days. epa, 192 days. average time waiting is nine months. host: sarah binder of the brookings institution, what is going on here? guest: the two parties in the form of senator reed and majority leader -- of senator reed and mitch mcconnell, they are going head-to-head over filibuster and a narrow application of the filibuster. should the minority block executive branch nominees? the majority is saying the minority has gone a step too far. we should not need 60 votes to confirm nominees. the minority is saying they have not blocked any nominees, they are using advice defensively. that has boiled up into this issue as to whether the democrats want to change the rules to prevent filibusters of the executive branch nominees. host: we heard some dramatic words from senator mitch mcconnell that it was changing
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the institution, 200 years of congress going out the door, this is a legacy that harry reid have on his tombstone. guest: sometimes it is hard to know what is staged drama for the floor and audience and how much is really intense disagreement between these two senate leaders. keep in mind that the filibuster was not original to the senate. there was no filibuster of george washington's nominees or most of the 19th century. we do not have filibusters of cabinet level nominees until very recently. it is hard to know whether we totally ruled -- totally ruined the senate by doing away with filibusters area -- with filibusters. host: it will take place on guest: guest: monday,
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how unusual is that? it is unusual for both parties to meet behind closed doors. they did in the run-up to the impeachment child -- impeachment trial for president clinton. host: what do you think the atmosphere will be like? we heard it is a tough time for lawmakers to be here but it is 6:00 in the evening and the session is earlier in the day. guest: republicans have been reaching out to friends on their side to try to diffuse the situation. my hunch is it will be pretty tense but time 6 p.m. rolls around on monday. -- by the time 6 p.m. rolls around on monday. the minority seems intent on not giving up. host: if the democrats agreed to this, and we are going to hear from some democrats a few years ago, what impact will it have if they are on the minority in 2017 or 2019?
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guest: the minority party, if you change the rules by majority vote we will go nuclear. we will low every procedural rich insight in the senate. that is what they threatened. these objected yesterday. the senate needs consent in the afternoon when committees are on the floor. it is considerable that the minority could make the majority quite difficult. it is also conceivable that if democrats do this republicans will come back in office and take away the filibuster on other elements of senate procedure. being the minority, it might give the democrats some pods as to what is left as their rights as a minority. -- some pause as to what is left as their rights as a minority. host: you can send us an e-mail or send us a tweet. some other voices on this, including senator barack obama on the senate floor in 2005. [video clip]
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>> one day democrats will be in the majority again. mr. president, licensed the talk is more about power than fairness -- i sense the talk is more about power than fairness . they can get away with it. the right -- if the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party i fear the party atmosphere in washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. that does not serve anyone's
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best interest at it is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind. host: that old line, "where you stand depends on where you sit." three years later barack obama is in the white house and dealing with some of the same issues that has frustrated previous guest: guest: presidents, including george w. bush. where you stand depends on where you sit applies to all senators. when you are in the minority you are going to fight to keep all the rights you have. when you're in the majority, it is quite frustrating to live in a world where minorities can
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exploit any number of rules to slow down the clock. host: let us look at this graph about approving federal judges, some executive employments. a comparison on the issue of federal judges between president obama, which has had 92 % confirmed and president bush that has had 97 % confirmed. that does not seem out of the realm. guest: judging from any of these numbers, they can be sliced and diced in a number of different ways. if we look at conch permission rates -- that confirmation rates by congress, they have plummeted since the 80s. recent congresses have dipped down into the 60s and it has been a little precarious. the perception that it is harder to get nominees from the bench at both levels, it is quite true. host: the filibuster has a ridiculously romantic all right about it. guest: the many people that believe and agree with that, we saw senator rand paul earlier this year, -- we do not see these kind of filibusters in part because the minority does not want to spend the time on the floor and the majority does not want to spend time on the floor like that. typically the threat to filibuster is enough to derail the measure or motion. this is from the senate republican leader bill frist, the republican leader and what he had to say a decade ago on
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the filibuster. [video clip]
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>> senator reid, the democratic leader and i, have negotiated and taught everything to come to a negotiating position that does what is right. it gives every nominee an up or down vote. senator reid and i -- you see us talk in every day. that relationship will continue in a constructive and positive way. we were unable to reach an agreement consistent with the principle of our down votes for all nominees. you do not arbitrarily exclude certain nominees in order to avoid the constitutional option. host: your response. guest: when you are in the majority and you are the leader, the efforts by the minority to slow down and filibuster nominees is frustrating. many people believe the president should have the capacity to put the team on the bench. the majority -- the minority does not want to give that leeway. you see senator reid equally frustrated over the tactics. host: this tweet from a viewer. democracy is mob rule.
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this is from our facebook page. the government is broken because the gop is splitting down the middle between normal republicans and the far right. be careful what you wish for. guest: there are divisions in the republican party making it difficult for the legislative process. that has the lock step republican opposition. this is not a renegade group of republicans. this is the republican party position about these agencies. host: again, sarah binder from the brookings institution. caller: i just wanted to call and give a comment on your previous question about congress. i just wanted to say i didn't necessarily think it is congress that is broken. it is the side groups that are not mentioned a lot in the media, such as the trilateral commission, the federal reserve,
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and all of these groups of manipulating the currency and using false flag terror attacks to get us into these wars all over the world trying to move society into a global order. the founder of the bavarian high luminosity in 1776 -- bavarian illuminati in 1776 -- host: on our website, a lot of people focusing on these outside groups. the impact of foreign money. guest: here is a lot of money that fuels the campaign. there is an inordinate amount of time spent by senators in their election year raising money. there are differences of opinion on whether the money makes a difference. the time warp on the chase for the dollar certainly makes a difference. caller: i hope you make the
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distinction when you play the comparison of the democrats in 2005 but this is specifically tailored to the president's nominees, not the entire filibuster. i think the filibuster should be lowered to 55 because the days of the huge majority are gone. they tend to go to been far. remember in 1995 when republicans took control of the house and they railed against the earmarks. there were 16,000 earmarks. when the republicans took over, it jumped to 36,000. same thing with the filibuster. lyndon johnson, as the leader, had 1. the republicans want to draw out the game and get nothing done until the end of the term. there is an old at age that when democrats take power, though there is there is an old addage that when democrats take power, they seek more power. the old folks are not the problem. it is the young republicans who
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are intent on be constructing the government, making it not work from inside -- deconstructing the government, making it not work from the inside. if the people in the red states suffer the consequences to cut services, they do not suffer because the democrats protect the poor and working-class, democrats and republicans. he railed against what benefits to them and do not suffer the consequences when these things are chopped up. host: i will leave it there. thanks for your comments. guest: you are correct about
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this parliament carry arms race: on in the senate for 15 or 20 -- arms race going on in the senate for 15 or 20 years. we see the filibuster spread from the desire to measures to judicial nominees to executive branch nominees. it is tough to a clampdown on. if you do not, it is tough to get the -- it is tough to clamp down on.
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if you do not, it is tough to get the senate to work. host: let me show you this article. a day of friction notable for even a fraction congress. the chaos reflects the reality that congress has been reduced from a law making entity to a political operation in which positions are taken and fermented largely in the name of maintaining party unity rather than attracting votes from the other side. the minority is powerless to do anything but protests. senate republicans have the power to filibuster, which is why they are so adamantly opposed to the democrats' gambit. guest: here is a lot of truth to what we call message politics.
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taking a vote to drive a message to each policy states. the less inclination there is to meet and legislate. the senate worked its way through immigration reform with over 60 votes. there was a farm build this year. i do not think we should over estimate the extent of this message politics. it is there. it has not entirely precluded legislative progress. host: this point from gary. if the nuclear option in the senate goes through, it'll be the first step to another shooting civil war in this country. this from facebook. 10 foot mice taking constant opinion polls within their
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district to see which way the wind is blowing about their base so they won't accidentally alta against it. guest: one person's finger in the wind is another person's hyper-responsiveness. how much do we want them tied to their constituencies? there is no right answer to that. that is what people disagree about these numbers and the stance they are willing to take. host: we will go to roger on the in thing . good morning. caller: our founding fathers came up with a solution in the constitution.
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it provided an option for an upward mobility within politics. why haven't they utilize that since 1958 in high -- hawaii? we have problems with voting and voter apathy. host: ok. we will get a response. thanks, roger. guest: we do have a first to create new congressional districts in more representatives for the district of columbia. that has proven quite
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contentious. the parties disagree. they do not want the other party to benefit. if they cannot add a seats, they cannot at a state. host: sarah binder is a graduate of yale university and earned her doctorate from the university of minnesota. she worked in the house in the 1980's. she has altered or co-authored a number of books. she is also a former professor at george washington university.
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we are here to take your calls as we looked at the senate filibuster rule. there will be a meeting on monday. closed to cameras. we wish we could be inside. guest: i am not remember why the old senate chamber has such historical links to it. there was the caning of a senator from massachusetts. the history of the place is a little bit tainted from the past.
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host: a familiar figure on capitol hill, senator chuck schumer of new york had this to say. [video clip] >> we are on the precipice of a constitutional crisis. the checks and balances that have been at the core of this republic are about be evaporated by the nuclear option. the checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote, you do not get your way 100% of the time. it is almost a temper tantrum by those on the hard right. they won their way every single time. it will change the rules, the rate the rules, miss read the constitution -- misread the constitution so they will get their way. that is not becoming of the leadership on the republican side of the aisle. that is what we call abuse of power. host: sarah binder, from may 2005 from chuck schumer. is this a constitutional issue or are these simply senate rules? guest: it is a look at part of the israelites in the senate. the-parliamentary life in the senate. -- parliamentary life in the senate. the senate cannot put too many restrictions on how it changes its rules.
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if you look in the senate rule, you'll book requires a two- thirds said -- 2/3 voting -- the rule book requires two-thirds. the constitution let us run our own rules. it has never been tested like this before. it has not been used to change the threshold of rule 22. that is what is making it so explosive. host: we are focusing on the filibuster rule. bob is on the phone from jacksonville, florida. good morning. calm good morning. -- good morning. caller: good morning. yesterday, they threw together the heritage foundation, this larger group of people, and got a parliamentarian from the johnson administration. they had this big mass audience and c-span went live to it and think that showed it three times since then. i have xm radio in my bedroom. they had it on all night long. a head to hit up and turned the tv on to see who these crazy folks were. they are insane about this. i was one of the people who were pushing harry reid to go january of this year. we spoke to liberal folks and all we are going to get that. and we did.
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the agreement he had was that he would do the nuclear option but the republicans would filibuster. they have filibustered everything since then.
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what can he do? there is nothing left for him to do. the heritage foundation left out everything but the republican talking points. if you want to listen to that and c-span wanted you to -- i hope c-span charges heritage. they would go on the street at 12:00 and c-span will show up with cameras. host: we will get a response. sarah binder. guest: , picked up on what we saw on the floor last week -- the caller picks up on what we saw on the floor last week. senator reid has been frustrated that the changes did not go up. they believe the minority has not kept its side of the bargain, which would be to suspend filibusters in occasions with these are not extraordinary circumstances. that are driving it to the brink to say he is going to go through with a compromise. he feels he has been burned in a compromise. in it will actually go through.
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host: let me show you a comment from our facebook page. there were 4 million people in the u.s. one of our constitution was written. there are 315 million. times have changed. in our constitution should be updated with the times. maybe congress will work better under of data rules. guest: it is a good point about
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the difficulty of running a modern senate with old rules. reid and frist before him are not the first to complain about the senate where a minority factions rule the day. this is an old problem. it lends support to the forces the say perhaps it is time to fine-tune some of these rules. host: best about the process of what will happen on monday. they will gavel about 530, take it will call voted and recessed to -- at about 5:30 p.m., take a roll call and recess. guest: one thing to keep in mind if you have a notion to change the rules, it is supposed to stay on the calendar overnight. i would keep my eye on whether or not the majority put it on the calendar to change the rules. if they want to rely on what tactics their corn to take, there is no set nuclear option. he cannot -- and what tactics
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they are going to take. the majority reenter precise rules. it is kind of a mix. we need a precise set of steps that might be taken. host: how significant is this debate for the senate as an institution? guest: my guess is it does not actually happen in the caucus, but it happens this weekend in conversation or after the caucus.
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i cannot imagine the senate replicating the type of debate we saw on the floor in augusta. the question is, once the cameras go away, is there any more meeting of the month. is there a procedural path that will give the two size with a 1? i am not so sure. host: senator reid and senator mcconnell will be appearing tomorrow morning on meet the press. you can listen to that nbc program beginning at noon eastern on c-span radio at 9:00 a.m. drew is joining us from sebastian, florida on the republican line. caller: good morning. numerous comments have been made. so many things have changed since the 17th amendment. k street and involvement of the lobbyists and the possibility. the senate was supposed to be a popular vote. it represents the states and the government.
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why do we have the problem with the courts? because you haven't popular representative and not a state rep. there were so many things never change in the early 20th century that affect us now that have
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done even been mentioned. host: thanks for the call. we will get a response. guest: the caller is right. we had constitutional amendments to change the makeup of the senate. the days of stay selection of their senators were not as rosy as we think. different factions would buy off their members to send them to the senate. is there another way we might think the moves to elected senators i have been an improvement, even if we still see money in the system?
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host: michael is joining us from akron, ohio. good morning. caller: i have two comments concerning the fact that people claim obama never had a honeymoon after he took office. those people who make that claim are absolutely right. there are two reasons he never had a honeymoon after he took office. those are george w. bush and
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oprah winfrey. when george w. bush was elected, it took six weeks to really claim a victory in that election. oh, knew the nine of his election that he had won. i recall rush limbaugh and other consultants on the radio beam data that a bomb went around the country with a big -- on the radio work mad that obama went around the country with a big placard saying president of the united states. host: we will get a response. sarah binder? guest: present a bomb had a pretty hard time despite having a democratic house and the democratic sen. he did not give any cooperation from the minority party.
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they claim they were excluded. democrats claimed they did not want to play ball. the president got quite a been done in his first two years. -- quite a bit gun in his first two years. that came to a halt with the republicans gaining the house in 2010. host: let's look at the republicans at the center of this debate led by harry reid. the labor secretary nominee, the epa administrator, the head of the export-import bank. there are a number nominee -- a number of nominees to serve on the national labor relations
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board. where is this coming from? guest: here is a lot of organized pressure coming from groups on the left including strong constituencies from national labor relations board. we have seen these pressures before. when have seen labor unions. they understand that for their agenda, they'll understand the importance of a functioning cent. i do not think senators will do things they would not otherwise do even if there is pressure
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from the left of the right on them. it is keeping the pressure on senator reid not to give in on these particular executive branch nominees. otherwise, these agencies will not reach the light of day. host: one of your rights that the senate should focus on legislating and that become part of the problem. guest: inside the beltway, it is hard to know what is perceived outside the beltway. there is a lot of attention on counting up all of these nominations and trying to weigh these claims. the data can be used in all sorts of ways. tough job for journalists to make sense of competing claims. host: making sense of this debate is orrin hatch from utah.
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[video clip] >> as you can see, this is a mess. it is not a good mess. we protect the rights of the minority. it was just a few years ago that the majority leader was arguing for those rights himself, saying the senate would be destroyed if we went to a nuclear option, which nobody did. it has never been done before and should not be done now. the fact of the matter is they are playing parliamentary tricks with regard to this. they are doing it to the detriment of the united states senate. host: the comments of senator orrin hatch. even in a congress where bipartisanship and comedy are the exception to the regular order, the near employers and on capitol hill was notable and both chambers erupted in the end fewer -- furor that lasted the rest of the day. guest: the farm bill. ripping up a 50 year agreements in order to get it passed with conservative republicans. we had senator reid and senator mcconnell going at it all day. it is rare to see that much attention paid in that much passion on the floor of the house and the senate. both majorities and minorities are upset over the prospects of what was happening in their own chambers. host: we have a few seconds left with sarah binder from the brookings institution.
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>> there is the question of the rule of law. we have it on the books that says if there is a miracle -- if the military is involved in any way in removing the government from understand then displeasure of some of us who believe in the rule of law. this administration has said, we are not going to open the law. we are going to say it is not a military coup. there is a is certain lawlessness. there has been a big discussion on leaks from the nsa. people have said, these leaks are damaging national security. you know it is also damaging? when people come and lie to congress. i'm not saying you did. you said it was classified. if members of the administration will come to us and say, am
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going to lie because it is classified until his -- and to tell you the least untruthful thing, it does is damage intelligence the commute -- the intelligence community, the reputation of your administration. it damages the whole community in a way to say that it is ok to lie to congress. that is basically what the opinion is now and what is being told to the public grid it is fine to lie to congress. if that is true, it really damages her credibility. when i asked the question, which i understand your inability to answer it because it may be classified, there are many of us who believe that it was -- it had to do with an arms trade going out of the cia annex and perhaps people were upset about arms being taken from one group to another. it may have incited the rioting and the terrorist attack. the problem is we can never get to the truth because you will say, it is secret. that is the problem with running a secret government running
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secret wars. we cannot have oversight because we do not have any information. we need to think these things through. if you look at with the public wants, the public is not interested in the new war. they give for your testimony. ofwe will do a second round maybe five minutes each for members that are remaining. ambassador newland, i want to the questions from senator sheehan on turkey. erdogan -- what erdogan is doing is troubling. a crackdown within assembled, his treatment of journalists, what are the tools of our disposal to continue to raise these questions of a free and open civil society in turkey, given the same problem have in russia, all the irons in the fire with respect to our confiscated relationship -- with
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turkey, it makes it difficult to make the issue of human rights in his treatment of political opponents front and center -- what are the tools at our disposal to press erodgan -- erdogan? thank you, senator. our alliance with turkey is absolutely critical. eurasian space but also in all the work we are doing now in the middle east and north africa particularly with regard to syria. i think it is because we have such an intense and tight relationship and because we have constant contact -- secretary kerry has now made seven trips to turkey -- the president talks we canesident erdogan -- speak clearly when we have concerns about turkey's democratic past. we have done that at all levels because turkey's democracy and the strength of it is important
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not only for the country itself, not only as a nato ally, but also because as a majority islamic population, turkey's democracy is looked at by other countries surrounding it in the region who aspire to be able to be islamic and democratic at the same time. these are the points that we will continue to make to the turkish government that freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, reduction of journalists are fundamental democratic values that strengthen the country. in the context of the review the government is doing now of the constitution, we are urging that these protections be strengthened and not lightened. >> i thank you for raising the issue of constitutional reform. i hope that will be an issue we continue to raise with them. i think we should be troubled by tryingspect of erdogan to rearrange the constitution as a means of continuing his reign
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beyond what has been expected by the people of turkey. i appreciate you raising that. with regard to nato enlargement, we've got a number of candidates, particularly in the balkans. and you speak very briefly about the commitment that you have as our ambassador to actively work with the balkan nations who are in line for membership to go through the final stages of the process? >> you have my personal commitment to do this. this is standing nato policy under the open door provision. it is a long-standing u.s. policy as well that the door should be open not only to the balkan states that you are mentioning but as we mentioned earlier, georgia as well. , i doore i turn it over want to associate myself with a final comment made by senator paul. i know this isn't particularly within your individual books of business, but it may do. i think he raises an important point about the interplay between overt and covert activity.
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we have seen that produce fairly troublesome results for this nation but also for the state department in places like pakistan. ,s we move forward in syria which you may have some interactions with, i hope we look to prior history and understand that major military actions happening in a covert manner present problems, certainly with regard to overstate -- oversight, but problems within the administration when there are entities negotiating with players across the globe who do not necessarily have control over all the tools that are subject to those negotiations. some -- senator johnson? >> thank you. as long as you did listen to the afghanistan hearing, i was able to be there for the first hour and could not ask questions. made that isaf is
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providing critical support to the afghan army and police force and that the elections were absolutely essential in terms of progress being made in afghanistan. there have been some real problems. critical blunders have been made. the point i want to make is, if we are going to stop all military operations by the end of 2014 14 and basically turn it over to the afghan army and police force by 2015, what if they are not ready? what is going to happen? goal tober 2014, the arrive at a point where the afghans are fully responsible, as we said in lisbon, in 2010, at the end of this four-year transition process is just that, a goal. the reports i think you heard this morning, but reports we have consistently gotten for a number of years, is that our military believes they have day-
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to-day, shoulder to shoulder contact with their afghan counterparts, that we are on track. that the remaining 18 months will complete that job to arrive at a position where they are fully responsible. and you also heard, and we cede -- we see in routine reports, that there are gaps. some of those are close air support, medical evacuation, logistics. >> one more critical cap his managerial. at the officer level. it is an incredibly difficult cap to fill in 18 months. are you do not build an army in four or five years. we have really only been seriously at the building of the afghan army over the last four or five years. that is why dion 2014, the work will not be done. that is why we are committed to training and advising beyond 2014. as i mentioned, that needs to be
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governed by a bilateral security agreement which is under negotiation. what extent are malicious being stood back up and afghanistan? >> i do not think this is a major change or a major initiative in afghanistan today. in ethnic groups, especially the rural areas, that are quite remote from the population centers, the metropolitan show -- the metropolitan copulation centers, have always been somewhat secured by local power brokers who have armed contingents. this is to some extent the natural state of affairs in afghanistan. these are not dominant. then also tell you that in last several years, we have not seen a dramatic rise in the presence of these sorts of forces. >> do you think those militias are a stabilizing force? >> i think they are a natural part of the security landscape. he did not see them as a
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destabilizing force. they tend to stick quite closely to their home turf. they are ethnically and tribally organized. they do not present a necessarily destabilizing force. what is new to the scene is 350,000 afghan national security forces both army and police. the standup of that national force is designed to provide the glue that holds the very disparate regions of afghanistan together. >> in the meantime, i would like to ask unanimous consent to submit a letter to the record in support of the tory a new lens-- nuland's >> candidacy. >>i apologize for having to do this again. >> i want to understand the timeline on the talking points issue once more. i want to go back, on october 10, mr. jay carney said that we
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have provided information based on the facts as they became available based on assessments made by the intelligence community. we have been clear all along this -- that this is an ongoing investigation. the more facts available, we would make you aware of them as appropriate. he went on to say in may that what we said the man's true to this day that the intelligence community drafted and redrafted these talking points. the president on october 18 of , every piece of information we got related to the american people. those are the statements from the white house in regards to the talking points. the original cia talking points were pretty blunt. i talked about an assault on u.s. facilities in benghazi as a terrorist attack conducted by islamic extremists. that was the original talking point that the cia circulated. they circulated these talking points to the
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administration policymakers on the evening of friday, september 14. they changed islamic extremist with ties to al qaeda to simply islamic extremists. they also added new context and the reference to radical islamists. they pointed to terrorist involvement. that was the point were all the things we have talked about began. the the e-mail circulating, you raised concerns. then there was the meeting on i do not want to mischaracterize the name of the .roup -- the deputies group you were not part of that meeting. there was a meeting, correct? >> my understanding was that this issue was taken up. >> what we know from subsequent e-mails, i e-mail to u.s. abbasid arise after the meeting, it said that there were several
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officials in the meeting that shared your concerns. that the cia talking points might lead to criticism that the state department might ignore the cia's warnings about an attack. the e-mail also reported to susan rice that mr. sullivan would work with a small group of individuals from the intelligence community to finalize the talking points on saturday before sending them on to the house. that was what happened from that meeting. then these changes came about. then we get these talking points. is point i want to raise that while in fact the intelligence community may have physically and technically written these talking points, the most substantive changes to the talking points from the original version, and even the amended versions, the substantive changes came as a result of direct input from the state department and from this meeting. that is correct? senator, i cannot speak to
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the whole chain of events. when i received the talking points on the evening of friday said -- they do not make reference to al qaeda but ansar al-sharia. i had no difficulties with that. when i as a citizen read the dozens and dozens of e-mails that we released to the congress and the public about this, it was clear to me in reading those , as i'm sure it was clear to you, that significant changes were made apparently inside the cia. >> i understand that the cia type changes. >> while they were in clearance within the cia before they went -- >> my point is that the major changes the cash came between friday evening after you and other officials expressed concerns about criticism or members of congress and the saturday morning following the
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deputies meeting. that is when the big changes came. the reason why that raises alarm is another e-mail to chip walter from secretary petraeus where he expressed frustration at the talking points, noted -- noting they had been stripped. the point i'm driving -- this has nothing to do with you -- the point i wanted to raise is that in fact when the president and mr. carney said that these talking points were a product of the intelligence community, that is not accurate. these talking points may have been typed by the intelligence community, that they were dramatically changed directly at the input of non-intelligence community individuals primarily in the state department and in this meeting of the deputies. that is where the changes came. they did not come from the intelligence community. cia expressedthe frustration at the changes that were made. i know my time is up. one more quick question. it has to do with the start treaty. is russia in compliance with the new start?
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i know that is a big change of topic did -- topic. current state i am in, i'm not privy to all of the information with regard to compliance. if confirmed, i would be fully transparent with you. >> here's my last question. did the administration seek or receive any input from our nato allies ahead of the president's announcement two weeks ago about additional cuts to u.s. strategic nuclear arsenals beyond the limits imposed on new start? did we talk to our allies about it? >> senator, i'm not aware of that. i'm not following that issue at the time. i can investigate this and come back to you. >> thank you very much for answering all of our questions. you have all acquitted yourselves very well. you would've all had impressive
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careers and i'm so appreciative of the fact that you are ready to stand up for this nation and new capabilities. this hearing stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] that was the confirmation -- confirmation hearing for state department nominees. you can see it in its entirety online at our video library at later we will show you another confirmation hearing from this past week with fbi director nominee james komi testifying before the senate judiciary community -- committee. see that at 10:30 eastern on c- span. now a senate commerce subcommittee hearing examining whether current laws are effective in stopping fraudulent robo calls. witnesses include federal regulators and telecommunication officials in the private sector.
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this hearing is an hour and 40 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> welcome. this hearing will come to order. we appreciate you being here. theave all been subject to frustrations and annoyances of receiving unwanted telemarketing calls. also known as robo calls. it seems these calls always inconvenientvery time. 10 years ago, the federal trade commission and the federal communications commission at the direction of congress established a national do not call registry so that consumers could get some peace and quiet in their homes and stop the torrent of unsolicited telemarketing calls. the idea was simple -- voluntarily register your phone number on a centralized list,
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and telemarketers would be prohibited by law from calling you. the registry has been celebrated across party lines as a successful government program that provides real benefits to consumers. call the national do not registry has been effective at byiting intrusions legitimate telemarketers, fraudulent robo calls have since filled the void and have become the source of understandable anger and frustration among the public. these automated prerecorded telemarketing calls that often seek personal information from unsuspecting consumers are on an annoyance at best but they can be devastating for those that are defrauded by them. it is easy to see how consumers can easily be confused why these calls. one common scam involves a call from rachel from cardholder services. offering an easy way to reduce
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consumer's credit card and restraints. -- interest rate. >> this is rachel at cardholder services calling in reference to your current credit card account. there are no problems currently with your account. it is urgent that you contact us with an surge your eligibility for reducing your interest rate. please press the number one on your phone. thank you. have a great day. >> another common scam involves robo calls warning consumers that their auto war and he is about to expire. >> is is an important message regarding your automotive or entity. we have made several times to reach you. is this your final courtesy copy for your vehicle is reclassified. warranty to speak to a specialist or press to end your file will automatically be closed. examples, with the
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press of a button, the consumer is directed to an individual whose job it is to collect financial information in an effort to defraud them. , theyressing the button claim, removes a caller from their list does nothing more than identify a phone number as valid, likely increasing the frequency of unwanted calls in the future. officials have estimated that telemarketing fraud costs americans over 40 -- $40 billion annually. it is no wonder that robo calls consistently remained a top consumer complaint at the ftc as well as the fcc. the ftc alone receives more than 200,000 complaints about robo calls every month. complaints received from consumers in the state of missouri alone have roughly doubled every year since 2009. the ftc and fcc have taken important steps to try to stop fraudulent robo calls.
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the commissions have issued rules restricting robo calls, and they have taken enforcement actions to protect consumers. since the national registry started, the ftc has won more than $250 million in civil penalties for consumers. but because these shady companies and individuals are often based overseas and are very difficult to locate, the ftc has only been able to collect $15 million out of the $250 million that they had in fact gotten authorization to collect. hear from the fcc and ftc about their efforts to implement the national do not call registry and other telemarketing rules. we will hear about their successes and their challenges in pursuing fraudulent robo calls as well as their suggestions for how we can stem the tide of the alarming number of robo calls being placed to americans every day.
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madeces in technology has it cheap and easy for an individual anywhere in the world with the computer and a broadband connection to make thousands and even millions of robo calls at the push of a button. last year recognizing the limits of regulation and law enforcement in stopping these launchedwalls, the ftc a public competition asking american innovators to put forth their best ideas for technological solutions that would weed out fraudulent calls. in april, the ftc announced its winners. among the three winners of the nomorobo, a technology that would screen out colors. we will hear from that product developer about his innovative idea and what it would take to make it or something like it a viable tool for every american consumer. it would seem the technological and legal barriers to a technological solution are not
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insurmountable. prime is, the canadian provider, offers its customers a free telemarketing guard that screens out fraudulent colors. we will hear from its inventor and chief technology officer about its services. from ourlso hear domestic wireline and wireless telephone service industries represented by the united states telecom association and the wireless association about the steps the industry has taken, is taking, and could take in the future to help address the consumer harm from fraudulent calls. tenures of the national do not has accomplished precisely what congress intended. however, fraudulent robo calls and advancing technology has allowed scammers looking to make a quick buck with no regard to the law, they remain a serious annoyance and abuse. -- they remain a serious annoyance and abuse that faces
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consumers. the exceptions to the do not call registry for charities, political calls, and businesses with which consumers have an existing relationship also remain a nuisance. regulatory, statutory, or technological changes to address the problem of robo calls, giving the consumers the choice to stop all unwanted calls. charities, political, and businesses with existing relationships to the consumer. stopping all of those calls regardless of who places them should be our ultimate goal. the choice should rest firmly in the hands of the phone that rings. i will turn it over now to senator heller. >> thank you and good morning. chairman mccaskill, thank you
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for holding this hearing. i want to thank our witnesses. i think this is a very important , and having your participation is important in moving this forward. congress has been looking for ways to limit unsolicited telephone calls since 1991. when the telephone consumer protection act was passed. in 1994, congress acted again when the telemarketing and consumer fraud and abuse prevention act was signed into law. these laws gave the fcc and ftc commissions the authority to enact regulations and telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment to make these solicitations. these laws clearly credited telemarketers from initiating or any seller from causing a telemarketer to initiate outbound telephone call to a person when that previous person stated that he or she did not wish to receive a call. there should not be any
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confusion to the intent of congress when these bills were passed. people have a right to free themselves from telephone solicitations. as we come on the 10th year anniversary of the national do not call registry, i think it is important to note this has been to a degree of successful government program. the ftc and fcc deserve credit for promoting this program and ensuring its functions. partitors for the most have honor the wishes of consumers, and when a solicitor has broken the rules, the ftc or the fcc have acted. fact, in june 27, 2013, the ftc announced a seven point $5 million civil penalty for violations by a refinance or of veteran home loans. which according to the ftc is the largest fine that has ever been collected. despite the popularity of the do not call registry, and the actions of the ftc and the fcc,
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there has been a notable rise in robo calls over the last several years. between october 2008, september 2000 nine, the ftc received over 700,000 complaints involving complaints -- involving calls using an automated message. these complaints increased over 2 million. the ftc and fcc are actively engaged in stopping these illegal robo calls, but they have admitted to the significant challenges they face against new and emerging technologies including sophisticated voice over internet protocol and enabled autodialers and the use of fake caller id systems. companies using autodialers can send out thousands of phone calls every minute at almost no cost. some of these companies do not screen against the do not call registry and use solicitation to scan an individual.
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i have here with me a recent article in "usa today" that outlined an example of this can -- scam. money:alled "your seniors fight against robo calls." i would like to take a couple of paragraphs, if i may. the automated voice implies that a doctor or relative signed the consumer up or a medical alert system. it is all free. authorities said that in some cases after consumers press a button to accept the offer, they quickly received another call asking for personal information including credit card numbers. con artists trying to get bank or credit card information or social security number to use in id theft. or it is a way to pressure seniors into paying for equipment or services that they do not need. the medical alert system scam is
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in full swing in michigan. according to the state attorneys general's office, as well as in other states including pennsylvania, new york, texas, wisconsin, and kentucky. today's hearing is an opportunity for the senate to hear more about the actions of the fcc and ftc, what they are taking, as well as from the private sector on what technologies are available to help consumers free themselves from unwanted telephone solicitations. i'm looking forward to the testimonies of our panelists. >> thank you very much. we will now hear from our twoesses, and we have witnesses on our first panel. the first panel is lois gresh gresheim and eric bash. you from the fcc and ftc. we look forward to your
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testimony. morning you and good chairman mccaskill, ranking member heller. i'm delighted to appear before you this point to discuss the ftc's work to fight illegal robo calls coming and we are appreciative of your leadership. i'm also pleased pleased to be sitting next to my friend and former colleague eric bash. we have an outstanding partners in our fight against the marketing front. by establishing the do not call registry 10 years ago, the federal trade commission gave consumers an easy to use tool to protect their privacy against unwanted calls. i believe as you indicated that the do not call program has been highly effective in reducing unwanted calls from legitimate telemarketers. enforcing the do not call provision is a top priority for the agency, and more than 100 cases filed by the ftc reflect the priority. several years ago, we observed a troubling shift. robo calls. i want to talk briefly about
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what gave rise to the new problem and how we are marshaling all of our resources to tackle illegal robo calls and to protect consumers. technological changes in communication services have brought enormous benefits to consumers by the way of lower costs and improved services. at the same time, fraudsters have also taken advantage of these lower costs which brought faster and cheaper automated dialing platforms. fraudsters have also further exploited caller id spoofing edge induces the consumer to pick up the phone while at the same time enabling the scammer to hide its identity and location. of course with phones bouncing from country to country all over the world, it is now easier than ever for the robo caller to hide. with such a cheap and scalable business model, bad actors can blast literally tens of millions of illegal calls over the course of a single day at less than one cent per minute. these robo calls not only invade
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consumers privacy, but quite often they pitch goods and services riddled with fraud. to meet this challenge, we stepped up our law enforcement initiative, looking just at the cases we have completed involving robo calls. we have shipped on entities that placed billions of such calls. we have court orders totaling in than $200 million in recourse and $51 million in civil penalties. we have strategically targeted entities that we believe facilitate the illegal robo callers, specifically we sued entities that afford access to massive dialer or voice platforms that initiated the calls. we have also sued entities known as payment processors that afford access to the financial system and enable robo callers to process payments. of course our coordination with state, federal, and international partners is the strongest -- strongest ever. i'm happy to report that some
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individuals sued by the ftc for placing illegal calls have also been prosecuted criminally by the department of justice. we knew that law enforcement was not enough and that more was needed. towards those ends, we hosted a robo call summit last october, bringing together key players engineers, academics, law enforcers print we analyze the technological changes that have given rise to the robo call tidal wave and existing structural impediments that serve as obstacles. recognizing consumers frustration with robo calls, which we all share, we want solutions now. we used the summit to launch the ftc's first contest which you discussed. it was a huge success in stimulating the marketplace to innovate and develop technological solutions that would help consumers block illegal robo calls. the next paneln illustrates the impact of the ftc's competition -- challenge
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to spur competition. nearly 800 eligible solutions were submitted. many of which presented well thought out and technical proposals. outreacheducation and remain indispensable tools that complement our law enforcement and policy work. finally, i want to assure you of our ongoing and sustained commitment to protect consumer and halt illegal telemarketing fraud by enforcing the do not call registry and by tackling illegal robo calls. i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you very much. i'm sorry i miss pronounce your name. mr. bash? >> good morning. i am eric bash. >> you need to put your microphone on. there you go. >> good morning. i am associate chief of the federal communications enforcement bureau.
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they give for the opportunity to appear before you today. almost every american has personal experience with robo calls and almost everyone is fed up with them. with our own six-figure volume of complaints, we hear you. what exactly is a robo call at the fcc? what makes one a legal? what are we doing about them? how can enforcement be enhanced? at the sec, we use the term robo calls to refer not only to recorded calls but also to autodial calls regardless of whether the call is live or prerecorded. under fcc rules, these calls cannot be made to a number assigned to emergency telephone lines, lines in guestrooms, or wireless devices except in two cases -- one, for an emergency purpose, or two, with the prior express consent of the calls party. that means robo calls generally cannot be made to wireless devices or other restricted devices even for a noncommercial purpose.
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we recorded calls to residential land lines are subject to fewer limitations but only a few less. prerecorded calls can be made for nonemergency purposes without the call parties consent, but only if the call is made one, for a noncommercial purpose, or two, for a commercial but not telemarketing purpose, or three, for delivering a healthcare message, or four, by a nonprofit. -- any other calls -- the sec adopted rules to create a special do not call by publicines entered safety answering points and is prohibiting all autodial calls to numbers registered on that list. as you know, the sec shares response ability of the federal level with the ftc for enforcement against our marketing calls including telemarketing robo calls. the agencies maintain consistency between the rules
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pursuant to statutes. rules prohibit making prerecorded telemarketing calls to any telephone number, mobile or residential, except with the expressed prior written consent of the calls party. congress has empowered the sec to enforce this in several ways. the told the agency uses most is assessment of a monetary forfeiture. under the communications act, the fcc may not impose a forfeiture on a non-licensee, meaning somebody other than broadcasters or carriers. until it first issues a citation to the wrong door -- wrongdoer. penalty for non- licensee's is generally $16,000 or about 1/10 the amount of that per carrier for licensee. over the last decade, the fcc has issued more than 500 citations and taken approximately 10 forfeiture related actions involving millions of dollars of penalties for robo calls.
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our two most recent action cited operators of platforms that, according to our investigations, made almost 6 million impermissible robo -- robo calls to mobile phones in several months. the operators offered a service to call the phone numbers provided by their clients to deliver the prerecorded message and to display on consumers caller id the telephone numbers provided by their clients. by focusing on these operators rather than their individual clients, we helped to maximize the impact of our existing enforcement. numerous other platform providers remain under investigation. significant law enforcement challenges remain, however. a problem is identifying the wrongdoer. robo callers often spoofed the number from which they are calling so inquiries to carriers that control the numbers may not yield useful identifying information. investigators must therefore work backwards, subpoenaed the calls party carrier and in turn
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calling on intermediate carriers to find out where the call originated. time is of the essence because some providers do not appear to keep relevant records for much time and because the fcc must initiate any forfeiture proceeding within one year of a violation. there are several ways in which the fcc's enforcement tools might be enhanced. changingmight consider the fcc's authority by one, allowing the fcc to impose a forfeiture on non-licensee robo caller violators without first issuing a citation, or to come expanding the current statute of limitations from one year to two years, and three, increasing the maximum forfeiture that the sec can impose. spoofing that complicates law-enforcement, congress might consider extending the spoke of the prohibition and the truth in caller id act against changing caller id for harmful purposes to apply to offshore colors and a voip p providers. congress might also consider giving the fcc regulatory
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authority over third-party spoofing providers. there are also technological ideas on the table that may afford additional protections are illegal robo calls. the ftc sponsored contest that helped to identify some ideas. organizationsards are working with technical staff on more ideas. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i welcome any questions you may have. >> thank you both. bash. start with you, mr. do the statutes that guide your enforcement, do they provide for the possibility of prison? >> they do not. >> how about anything you can do on your end? >> we do not have criminal law enforcement authority. we worked regularly with the department of justice. >> is there an applicable statute that you can utilize at the federal level that provides prison for people who do this? >> not on the part of the ftc. >> nobody has gone to jail.
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>> there have been criminal prosecutions of individuals who have been sued by the ftc for engaging in illegal robo calling in civil cases. the criminal prosecutions have focused on allegations of wire fraud. >> ok. so the wire fraud prosecutions that have taken place in the area dealing with robo calls, has anybody gone to prison? >> yes, i believe there have been significant sentences. >> we need to get that word out. it seems to me that these guys are not really afraid of you. do not think that they are very nervous at all. it seems to me that they are just all in at this point. they've got the technology to do massive amounts of calls for literally scraps off the table with great potential of chaos. this is a criminal sandbox good i cannot imagine a more fun
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place to hang out if you are somebody who is a criminal. thatnk we need to look at also. would some additional criminal statutes help you? i think additional legislation like that could be useful. ftc, is not athe criminal law enforcement agency could i do not think we would be taking the actions ourselves. >> i guarantee you the criminal prosecutions would be -- would be way more popular than just about anything the department of justice does. >> i'm sure they would be. folks that arehe processing the payments on this? you haveeeling adequate statutes to go after them and put them in prison? somebody is moving this money through electronically, and they are making money off of it. that this isknow not mom and apple hide that is
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being sold. i know we have had some actions against the payment processors. are these companies that we would recognize that reprocessing these payments? >> the federal trade commission has taken action against payment processors for 10 years. the most recent ones were brought under the telemarketing sales rules. they are alleged to have assisted and facilitated the illegal robo caller. we have a burden of proof of showing that there is some level of knowledge. there are those that facilitate fraud who are in cahoots with the fraudster. they know exactly what is going on. then there are those who either know or consciously avoid knowing. it is going to turn on the fax. it is not necessarily the case that those who facilitate fraud, gatekeepers, are completely in bed with the fraudsters. they may avoid knowing what is going on. >> they are not hard to catch.
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if you set them up, if they are trying to avoid knowing, nine times out of 10 if you send somebody in undercover to say the appropriate things, they will say something in reply that makes it clear that they are trying -- it is like the guy driving the getaway car -- i had no idea he was in the robbing the bank. you cannot hold me liable to it under criminal law we can. they are driving the getaway car. >> they are facilitating the illegal conduct. >> are these companies we would recognize? are these mainstream payment processors that process my payments to itunes or my payments to amazon? are they the same people? the'm not sure anybody that ftc has sued of late are necessarily recognizable names, but we certainly will be looking across the industry to see whether there are any entities. >> it is reassuring that you are looking good i wasn't trying to make any allegation against those companies.
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we are processing a lot of payments electronically these days. recognized, reputable companies and others. i'm assuming this is in the other space. >> we look at each case as we see it. >> let me finish up, and i will give it to senator heller. , i havealler id spoof been asking my family to keep track of calls. i have gotten a few. i've learned something very important -- if you ask for a phone number, they hang up. if you ask them for a phone number, they hang up. they know there is not a good ending. they move onto the next call. if you've got somebody live. myave also learned from family members that they are using fraudulent caller id numbers. if you are getting a call in st. louis, or if you're getting a call in kansas city, the area code they are using is in fact a
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state area code even though the call is being generated from far away. any times not only in this country. companies that are providing these numbers that clearly are not the numbers are: they are calling from. >> the folks that are providing the false number? >> yes. >> let me get a couple of different ways. ule,r the robo call me -- r the legal standard is the person making the call. that is who is responsible under our law for a violation. and caller idruth spoofingprohibits caller information with the intent to do fraud or cause harm
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or wrongfully obtain anything of lu. -- value. if the folks you are referring to that would satisfy that standard, those are people that we could pursue. --why would you give a false why would you provide a number that is not really the number they are using -- what kind of good could there be? i'm try to figure out -- i'm trying to think about arguing a case to a jury in a criminal court room -- under what possible scenario would somebody be providing a phony caller id number that was not up to something at various? -- nefarious? >> examples that are mentioned in the context of the rulemaking at the ftc did to implement callsrules involved coming from a battered women's shelter, a call might need to be made out by somebody who is living there to check on her
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children, and she is needing to protect the actual number from which she is calling. >> the block number is not sufficient? you cannot just block the number so people cannot see what it is? you isexample i gave what we have pointed to and what folks referred to as to legitimate use of spoofing caller id. >> in the grand scheme of things, i cannot imagine that that is a title -- a tiny number of these that are being given out. we are going to ask you to do some follow-up. i would ask you to look at, what do we need to do to strengthen the laws to go after the people that are providing these phony numbers? that is a part of the problem. >> to add it to, one of the subject strings -- suggestions that our former chairman made in submitting a report to congress on potential changes to the truth and caller id act was to give the fcc direct dilatory
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authority over so-called -- regulatory authority over so- called spoof number providers. >> thank you very much. again, madam chairwoman for holding this hearing. and our witnesses for their testimony. i would be surprised if there is anybody in this room has not been subject to a telemarketing call. have.d submit that i that second recording that you warranties ond vehicles, every time my vehicle gets to be about four or five years old, i get that phone call . when you ask a follow-up question, they usually hang up out theyen they find cannot deceive you. in most cases, the deception practices that you are thinking that you are talking to the maker of that vehicle, whether it is a gm product, for
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the product, you would think you're talking to that company, at least they give off that perception, and you find out they not associated with the organization. i thought that was a great example of the type of the deception that we hear and see all the time. you did a great job in your testimony of coming up with some enforcement challenges you guys face grid i was wondering -- you guys face. if you haveing other ways -- what can we do in congress to help allow you to have more authority? do you need more authority? what do you need? what kind of enforcement challenges do you face it you need to overcome that congress can help with? the exception.on we do think it is more than a relic. the commission has been on record in support of its illumination. i share that view.
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>> ok. numbers. clarify the you have testified a little bit about the numbers and challenges you are facing. can you quantify the cost of this problem both in the numbers of calls people are receiving today and the cost? i know the chairman mentioned some costs. just so everybody here and those who are doing this have an idea of how big this problem is. numbers,espect to the we know there are law enforcement actions. we have halted literally billions of illegal robo calls. we know that from the cases we have brought. we know that from the cases that have concluded in the robo call area and do not call area that courts have ordered $740 million in redress. that is at least a baseline for the scope of the magnitude of the economic injury being caused.
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>> do you agree? >> yes. i just want to reiterate what i said in my testimony at the two most recent actions that we took , just the particular months that we were looking at for our enforcement actions, these two operators had placed approximately 6 million calls in just several months. >> how many individuals in your office do you dedicate to enforcement of no calls -- telemarketing scams like this? >> we have -- and the enforcement bureau, we have a handful of lawyers that are dedicated to dealing with this particular problem grid on the policy side, our consumer and governmental affairs bureau works to implement rules and change the rules as needed for any action you may take on or to harmonize our rules with those of the ftc. >> is there a bureau within the
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fcc specifically dedicated to the marketing front? >> -- telemarketing fraud? >> there is not. >> how about the ftc? telemarketing fraud is something that is engaged in throughout the bureau. it is a top priority. just not the bureau headquarters in every regional office is involved in the fight against illegal telemarketing. head is thet i manager of the telemarketing fraud enforcement program. >> thank you. i will reserve questions for later. >> let me ask a couple more things grid i want to make sure that it is clear how technology is changing this landscape. i think everyone has figured out that congress is not nimble. , and not move quickly clearly we are behind it all in
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in many areas as it relates to technology. both of the agencies you work for have very difficult jobs. as you are trying to get everyone to hold hands and sing mbaya whent -- ku there are competing commercial in advancing technology. this is an area where most average americans do not understand why there is a different set of rules for the phone that rings in their house and the phone that rings in their purse. they do not understand why you can take action against a political campaign that calls the phone in the purse but you cannot take action against the initical campaign that calls the family room when you are eating dinner. would you explain why there ,ould be these different rules and try, if you can -- i have a ird time with figuring out --
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know it all boils down to wired versus wireless and in the old days when everybody was paying by the minute, as opposed to the vast majority of plans now that -- i do not think people voip, the new got ishod of phone calls that not common carriers but it is a wire nonetheless at some point, and where do they fall in this, and why should these rules all the different? >> i will take a stab and then turn it over to mr. bash. perspective, doesn't matter where the call rings. it doesn't matter matter if it is at your home or in a device in your car or your cell phone. it makes no difference to the telemarketing rule applies equally. it doesn't matter whether it is coming over a copper wire or through the internet.
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with respect to the charitable calls that you mentioned, the ftc does not have jurisdiction over those charitable fund- raising calls. we are able to reach for-profit telemarketers who plays calls on behalf of bona fide charities. me thateople that call pretend that they are really helping the sheriff and they are really taking $.90 on the one dollar, can you go after them? >> we can and we have. >> as you heard me testify this morning, our rules do make a distinction between wireless phones and between residential land lines. the distinctions that our rules make flow directly from the telephone consumer protection act of 1991. >> that is obviously up-to-date. [laughter] >> maybe you will revisit that. that is why our rules make the ,istinction that they do
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because the statutory language is quite prescriptive. what the just track legislative distinctions were made in the law. as lois said, with respect to -- itit doesn't matter isn't germane to the issue because what matters is who is calling it doesn't matter whether they are calling over voip or traditional telephones. if you are making a call under the circumstances that are not legal, then it is impermissible. i think we've got to really take a look at updating all of this -- there is a whole generation that is going to be very blessed by the fact that they cannot get political robo calls because none of my kids have land lines. they were really glad last october in missouri.
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it was ugly out there. the elderly that are still answering that landline everyday , i had a hard time -- i felt like i needed this when i went out in public because everybody was so mad about these stupid political robo calls. finally ask for your thoughts -- it seems to me you are playing lacrimal -- whack-a- mole. law isg arm of the difficult in these circumstances especially since they can make a lot of money and shut down quickly and move on and you are limited -- your limited tools and law-enforcement do not allow you to be as quick as they are. in terms of being able to get to them before they shut down and have moved on to another location or another ip address. about little bit
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technological solutions. barriers that are in this country -- i know -- i look at the technology that is at what i can do on this little box. it can run my life, literally. it is so hard for me to believe that there is not the technology available yet in america that we can control this without the government having a great deal of involvement, just a technological answer. if you could speak to that briefly before we hear from our second panel. >> it is precisely because we felt there would be a technological solution that we launched the challenge. the goal was to spur innovation


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