tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 16, 2013 8:00pm-1:01am EDT
rather kind to the senate gang of eight, issued a report of the economic impact of s-7. this was issued last month in june of 2013. i'm going to quote, for the record, parts of that report. quote, s-744 would lower per capita gross national product by .7% in 2023. over the next 10 year period of time, rather than our g.d.p. growing our g.n.p. growing per capita and america doing better individually, it declines under this big. it's not just stagnant, the kind of stagnation we have suffered the last five or six years so there's a decline in g.n.p. per capita which means that the amount of money each american household has to spend to take care of their daily needs goes down because of the senate gang of eight bill because it is both legalizing and admitting into our country a total of 44
million foreigners who will be seeking jobs that americans already have, or that americans want. fourth in the report, quote -- further in the report, quote, average wages for the entire labor force would be one tenth of one percent low for the 2023 because of senate bill 744. by 2016, three years from now, that would be .4% lower where our wages again are going down. also notably, in another admission, senate bill 744 will, quote, slightly raise the unemployment rate through 2020, end quote. not only do we have a suppression, because of this amnesty, because of this open borders nature of the senate gang of eight bill, of individual income, we also have more americans who are unemployed according to the congressional budget office. .
their numbers are kind. i think they are going to be much worse. let me share other data numbers. quote, unlawful immigration appears to depress the wages of u.s. skilled and lawful mmigrant workers by 10% or $2,300 per year. unlawful immigration drives our vulnerable u.s. foreign workers out of the labor force entirely, unquote. that's a big number. a drop in wages of $2,000 300 per year for low-skilled american-born and lawful immigrant workers. another study, a 2009 study concluded that there were 7.8 million illegal aliens holding jobs in america. stated differently, that 7.8 million job opportunities that
americans have lost. why? well, quite frankly, because i -- illegal are willing to work for less than americans are. quite frankly because they are often willing to look the other way with respect to the worker safety laws that we have imposed in order to protect our american bodily harm. 7.8 million job opportunities lost. the federation thinks that number is low. they have at 8.5 million opportunities lost. and before the gang of eight bill gets implemented, harvard professor found in a study released in july of 2013, quote, illegal immigration reduces the wage of native workers by an stimated of 99-118 billion a
year. illegal immigration reduces the wage of native workers by an estimated of $99 billion to $118 billion a year and generates a gain for businesses and other users of immigrants of $128 billion a year. is it any wonder that the united states chamber of commerce is spending millions of dollars to try to induce america to go with the gang of eight bill that will legalize 11 million foreigners and add 33 million attorneyers over the next decade. they see profits coming from this increase in the size of the work force which in turn will decrease the wages that they pay, not only to illegal aliens but to lawful immigrants and american citizens. that's where the united states chamber of commerce is coming from. they certainly have a financial interest. i want to emphasize something.
we shouldn't be debating bringing in these mass numbers of foreigners into the american work force. erica suffers 7.6% unemployment rate. 6.6% americans suffer a unemployment rate. ven worse, hispanic americans, 8.1%. even worse, african-americans suffer a 18.7 unemployment rate and even worse, american teenagers suffer a 24% unemployment rate. does it make sense to anybody when we have unemployment in different segments of our american so high we should legalize 11 million workers and bring in 33 million workers in
the next decade to compete for jobs when americans are having difficulty not only getting jobs but having quality jobs. i would submit that it is a myth, a myth that the economy is going to become better because of this large importation and legalization of immigrants. sure, america's g.d.p. will go up. that's not the issue. the issue is whether the quality of life or quality of life of americans goes up and under this legislation, virtually every study i have seen shows that it goes down. that's one of the reasons we have to stop this. i have one other myth i would like to talk about. e hole premise of this immigration law debate means the laws aren't working. i would submit that that is not the case at all. the problem is not so much with our immigration law, sure, there is tweaking that can be done to
admit into our country those individuals who have particular skillsets or education levels or wealth. we can ensure that. but it's a myth to say we have 11 million illegal americans because we have no laws. we have them in in our country because of the white house, the executive branch of our government has refused, absolutely refused to enforce the laws that are on the books. and i'm not just talking about this administration, i'm talking about 20 years of neglect by the white house and executive ranch. >> court order was $715,000. that is an important point to
note. you heard the myth that this administration deports more than any administration in history or words to that effect. that's kind of true, but it's misleading because that's only half of the number you have to look at. it's not just the deportations by order that you look at. it is also how many times has our border patrol caught and returned them. 2011, 715,000 border prolve returns plus returned by court order. 2008, the last president before the current president. during that year, you put those two numbers together and it was 1.1 million that the border patrol returned-plus deported by court order. that's a big number. 64% more returned than in 2011, the most recent year for which i have information. a decade ago, it was again 1.1
million border patrol-plus returned by court order. 62% more than this administration in 2011. in 1993, two decades ago, two 1 million , 1,285 -- 285 illegal aliens were returned pursuant to border patrol returns or deported by court order. 80% more than in 2011. 958,000, 33% more than 2011. four decades ago, 585,000. in 1963, 77,000, border patrol returns-plus deported. the gap between 1963 and 1973. you remember the welfare programs that were passed where
america started paying foreigners to come into our country and accessing welfare benefits. i would submit that is a huge incentive for why these individuals have come to america who previously would not have come here. but because we have laws in place that pay and incentivize illegals, that is a major reason why they are here. the myth that the laws are the problem is not it. it's a lack of enforcement of the laws on hand. and the myth that this administration has been really, really good at returning illegals, that's true only if you look at half of the problem. if you look at the whole problem, then quite frankly, this administration in 2011, was doing far worse than previous administrations have done or has been done in 2003, three decades ago and four decades.
i yield the remainder of my time to mr. gohmert. mr. gohmert: i thank the gentleman from alabama. really amazing numbers you have provided. and i yield to my friend from texas, dr. burgess. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 300, providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2668 to delay the application of the health insurance mandate and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2667, to delay the application of the employer health insurance mandate and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the gentleman from texas may proceed. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to recognize my riend from minnesota, mrs.
bachmann. mrs. bachmann: i thank my friend and i thank my colleagues who has preceded me in the marvelous comments. mr. brooks from alabama and the statistics he has just given and all the other stories. i look at the context of this issue, mr. speaker, and the issue of dealing with the whole strata of illegal immigration. what are we talking about? there are so many aspects. one of those aspects is the issue of why in the world isn't america's borders secure today? this is something that is incomprehensible to the american people, because there is something that the american people should demand and that they have a right to expect and that their country has a secure border at every level. not only just at the point of entry, but for people who come into the united states on a
lawful, legal visa. the american people have a right to expect that those people also will stay for the time that we have granted those people, and that they will not overstay. and one thing we have learned, mr. speaker. 40e% of the problem of illegal immigration, 40%, four out of 10 people, are overstaying their visas. that included some of the terrorists that were involved in the 9/11 bombing. that's why this is so important. we aren't just talking about an academic exercise, mr. speaker. we are talking about a national security issue. we are also talking about an economic security issue. because those of us who are on the floor this evening, having this conversation, we were elected by the american people. we were elected by american citizens who have the privilege to vote in this country. we are elected by americans. and we are here representing the
interests of american citizens. and it is american citizens, mr. speaker, who have the obligation to pay for all of the programs that we fund here in this chamber. because our constitution provides that all of this spending begins right here in the house of representatives. well, spending is something we are pretty good at. we spend a lot in this house. as a matter of fact, it wasn't too long ago, i was sworn in and i took the oath of office here in this chamber and america was $8.67 trillion in debt. $8.67 trillion on that january in 2007. we were horrified. how are we ever going to pay off $8.67 trillion in debt in 2007? today that number has been running and officially according to our treasury department, it is something under $17 trillion. but that's kind of unusual,
because that number has stayed exactly the same according to our treasury department for 56 days running. we jever spend by billions. the number is close to $17 trillion. $8.67 trillion and today $17 trillion in debt. why do i bring that up? who cares? they are so big, i can't comprehend them. i'm a mother, i have great five children and 23 foster children and parents are scared about the kind of america that their children will inherit because any person realizes, you can't spend more money more than you take in otherwise you go to the poor house and claim bankruptcy and we don't want to claim bankruptcy. that explains part of the reason why we have 22 million in this
country today who are looking for full-time work, and they can't find it. . . 2 million. and what are we doing here in congress? the senate can't wait to give mnesty to millions more, and we'd have up to 44 million people before long in this country. so what are those 22 million americans supposed to do? mr. speaker, i say it is america first. and the interests of the american people first. the american people need to job -- need jobs. they deserve jobs. it's americans first. that we need to think about. so we have unemployed. we have a terrible debt that's growing. nd we have less than an anemic
economy. when president obama took office in 2008, the average household income was somewhere around $55,000 a year. $55,000. it was shocking to learn that after four years in office, the average household is now looking at something like $50,000 a year. that's a tremendous loss in income for the average american. and as mr. mr. brooks told us earlier, mr. speaker, about $1,300 a year is a-- is attributable in lost income strictly because wages are depressed because illegal aliens are working for less than the american people. i say, mr. speaker, it's the american people first. it is american wages first. it is american benefit packages first. what in the world are we doing, mr. speaker, if we aren't thinking about how we can create
more jobs for the american people first? and higher wages for the american people first, and more benefits for the american people first. why did the president two weeks ago have to unilaterally have a press conference, release a press statement, that's a way, apparently, he governs these days, and say that he his employer mandate for big businesses will have to be delayed a year. why did he have to do that? because he knows it simply doesn't work. and yet, if we have legalization for illegal aliens in the united states, we will see that very quickly, we will have literally tens of millions of new people who have accessed all of these benefits because it's not cheap, you see. amnesty costs a fortune, you see. because this year, mr. speaker, alone, we're looking at $5 billion a year. do illegal aliens pay taxs?
yes, they do. sales taxes, gas taxes, various forms of taxes. but when you take what illegal aliens are paying into the u.s. treasury, versus the benefits that they take out, that means that american citizens have to cough up an extra $56 billion a ear. you see it has consequences, mr. speaker, not only for the treasury but for the american people, my my children, representative gohmert's children, mr. speaker, i dare say for your children as well. this is something we have to realize, that by year 13 of the bill already being considered in the united states senate, it won't be $56 billion a year that illegal aliens are costing the treasury, it will be over $100 billion a year when those illegal aliens, mr. speaker, come into retirement age because you see the average age of an illegal alien is 34 years of age
with less than a 10th fwrade education. by the time those illegal aliens come into their retirement years, it's not $56 billion a year it will cost the taxpayers, it is adjusted for inflation, $150 billion a year. because we're talking retirement packages. what weee, mr. speaker, is this chamber is looking at adding 40 million new illegal aliens into the system to redistribute wealth from american citizens who worked hard and earned that money to redistribute it to illegal
aliens we have given theyization status so that can have social security and medicare and obamacare and 80 different means tested welfare programs. mr. speaker, i ask you this. when we go from $8.6 trillion in debt to nearly $17 trillion in debt, we've doubled it in about six or seven years' time. and then you add in 40-something new million illegal aliens, you up the benefit packages from an obamacare, all while we're seeing increased levels of unemployment, we're seeing lower rates of increase on g.d.p., i ask you, mr. speaker, how compassionate is that to american children that are born in this country. how compassionate is it when their wages have gone to average household from $55,000 down to $50,000. how compassionate will it be, mr. speaker, when our children can't afford to even have a
savings account anymore because they're scraping by. and their wages are lowered and their benefits are lowered and the jobs are fewer and inflation is going sky high. how is that compassionate? because you see, i remember, mr. speaker, that my parents left me a country that was better than the one they inherited from their parents. and my grandparents, mr. speaker, inherited a better country than their -- than my great grandparents left for them. and so on and so forth going back in time. you see, i can't fathom, mr. speaker, nor can i fathom that mr. gohmert also would do anything that would leave less than a better country for the next generation. because you see, that's what this is about. we were sent here by the american people to be about america first and mr. speaker, about our children first. whether this america that they inherit will be a better america
and that's why this discussion that mr. gohmert brought to the country tonight is so vitally important, we can't stand by and watch our country change forever and watch our children shortchanged. i'm going to yield back to the gentleman from texas because he has profoundly put in front of the american people the issue that will structurally change our country forever. you see, mr. speaker, there is no going back once we go down this road. and i know i've heard the gentleman from texas speak on this many times so eloquently. with that, i yield back to the gentleman from texas and i thank him for what he's tone. mr. gohmert: it brings back to mind that -- what someone has said before, i mean, example of being on an airplane, the instruction that we're all given when you get on an airplane is, if there's a loss of cabin pressure, you lose oxygen, then
you must put your own mask on before you help others. and let's face it, america is struggling right now in a number of ways, but particularly economically. this is the worst recovery from any recession we've ever had. the longest, the poorest recovery from any recession. we're still struggling. having millions and millions of americans out of work and it's not because of the lack of compassion that we say we need to follow the law, we need to respect the law. it is out of respect for the rule of law, for this country, we're in a position as government, we have got to make sure that we follow our oath, that we do the best we can to make this country as strong as possible because we know there is no other country in the world that has as many people wanting to come visit or live in their country.
this is number one in the world for people wanting to come visit or live. but if we do not keep it viable, keep it strong, get the mask on, get the oxygen flowing again, get the patient strong again, then this is not going to be a place or people that others in the world are going to want to flee to as a refuge. it is very critical what we do here. our friend from minnesota brings up the point about taxes being paid. congress some years back had passed, there's a couple of different kinds of child tax credits where actually if you're an american that's authorized to file income tax and you have a social security number then you can claim those child tax credits so we have people who are getting more money back because of the tax credit than they actually paid in and
congress made clear you have to have a social security number in order to do that. but as i understand it, there were some people at the i.r.s. who in between line dancing sessions had determined that you know what, if we -- there's a lot of money out there by people who don't have social security numbers that if we got them to pay taxes, even though they're not legally here if we got them to pay taxes, think about all the extra money that would flow into the treasury. so why don't we, as a regulatory body, why don't we -- we know congress didn't authorize it but why don't we just give them a tax i.d. number even if they're illegally here so they can be paying in taxes to help the country and an analysis earlier this year by different groups indicated that we may be, because the i.r.s. authorized people to pay taxes into the
system with tax i.d. numbers rather than social security numbers, we're probably paying out between $1 billion and $4 billion to people who are claiming child tax credits that are not authorized to claim those because they're illegally here. we've had newspaper reporter go out and -- newspaper reporters go out, people in the media, go out an do their own investigations and find a house here or a house there where a whole bunch of different people are claiming they live and that chern are living there by the scores that actually aren't living there and so it comes back and raises the issue like our friend mr. brooks was pointing out, my friend mrs. bachmann pointing out, that it doesn't necessarily follow that just because you give people legal status, all of a sudden you're going to be flooded with
new tax dollars coming in and i also want to point out, there's this issue that keeps coming up about compassion. there is no more compassionate people in the world than the american people. as a group. you'll find individuals extremely compassionate around the world. been in places where i'm deeply moved by how wonderful they are, but as a nation of people this is the most compassionate nation in the history of the world. and individually, people in this nation have done more to assist those suffering around the world and it would seem to be the healthiest thing to do for a nation to make sure there's respect for our law adherence to our important laws, and then make the country healthy. capital, money, that is, investment money, comes in, it
flows, capital is a coward. it flows into countries where it feels the safest. make this country a strong country again, economically. then we're able to go as so many churches have, to latin american countries around the world and reach in and help them not by giving them a fish, as the old adage goes, but by teaching them to fish and providing them a means to have food and to have a -- make a living. that's a compassionate kind of thing. there is no reason that mexico should not be one of the top 10 or even top five economies in the world and if we were the proper kind of neighbor we wouldn't lure the hardest working mexicans into america, we would help them have a strong, vibrant economy, but that will never happen until they have respect for and adherence to the law and that means ending corruption. so it is critically important,
we live up to our oaths here, some of us have paid parking tickets we didn't owe because we had a park policeman that didn't know the law. it doesn't matter. the law is important to respect and to follow and we cannot become a healthy nation until we have that out of the government of the united states. and we have a couple of minutes left and i'd like to yield to my friend, mrs. bachmann, to finish our time. . mrs. bachmann: i wanted to add onto the child care tax credits. there is another redistribution of wealth. called the earned income tax credit. it's one of the largest redistribution of wealth programs that we have in the united states. we give away to people who are virtually paying no taxes under the income tax code, income taxes, $70 billion a year. so people who aren't paying into
the system now for income tax, they are receiving $70 billion a year. the estimate is after amnesty, once we grant amnesty to illegalal aliens, we will raise it to $80 billion. we will increase the cost. what we are seeing happening, granting amnesty to illegal aliens, we are importing a group of individuals who are tax consumers, revenue consumers out of the treasury. and one thing that we need in this country are more people who are paying into the system, not people who are taking out of the system. but bottom line, we need to have a country where america comes first, where the american people know our borders are secured and our laws are upheld and the american people will come first. and i yield back. mr. gohmert: we yield back. the chair: --
putting americans back to work, building our foundation for economic growth. for many days now, in fact for more than two years, the democrats in the house have been discussing a project which we call make it in america. these are strategies that we are putting forth to develop more jobs in america, to rebuild our manufacturing industry and to bring wealth back to the united states. i would love to comment on the issues that i have heard earlier of just my colleagues on immigration, but i'll let that go. i will say one thing. the last comment made about the earned income tax credit, that was a ronald reagan program. take that for what you might. back to make it in america. we talk about fair trade policy, not giving away our opportunities, tax policy to encourage manufacturing and jobs here in the united states,
energy policy, how we're going to renew our energy system, become energy independent, the role of clean fuels, renewable fuels and gas. the labor market, education. perhaps the most important of all of these is a well educated work force, if we have that, many of these would fall into place. the role of research creating tomorrow's economy, creating tomorrow's businesses, things that need to be made in the future. we want to talk about the lowest on this list and that is infrastructure. one of those critical investments. it's the foundation upon which the economy grows or not. if we have a solid infrastructure, transportation systems, water systems, sanitation systems, communication systems, research facilities, jation alpha silts, that's all part of the infrastructure. some of it is private. uch of is public investment.
along with these other issues, our economy has traditionally made over the years and union fortunately in the current situation, we seem to be falling off the power curve that created the foundation for the american economy upon which to grow. so today, we are going to focus on this infrastructure issue. not a new issue. actually george washington. i think he was our first president, told his cabinet secretary, treasury secretary to develop a plan to grow the economy, called a plan for manufacturers. alexander hamilton came back to washington with a plan. one of the many points that he raised and suggested that alexander hamilton made is to create infrastructure. he said the federal government
ought to build canals, ports and roads, funnel infrastructure. nd they were done. the federal government has been involved in building infrastructure. now tonight joining me are two of my colleagues, mr. delaney from the great state of maryland and mr. castro from texas and going to talk about nfrastructure. so mr. delaney has picked up one of the suggestions that the president has made. made it whole and presented legislation on an infrastructure bank. tell us about how the
infrastructure bank would work. mr. delaney: thank you, mr. speaker for allowing us time and i thank my good friend from california for organizing our conversation and his work on making it in america. and i think my colleague from california knows i'm very passionate about the infrastructure investments that we need to be making as a country. i believe it's our number one domestic economic policy challenge and opportunity. and i say that for three reasons. first, it is the easiest way to get americans back to work with jobs that have a good standard of living, which should be our main focus as a congress. secondly, making a smart and significant investment in our road and transportation infrastructure in our communications and energy and water. making a smart and significant
investment will improve the overall competitiveness of the united states. which is the number one thing we should be focused on in the context of a global and technology world. and they pencil out. the data suggests that investment in infrastructure has a very, very good payback to the economy. just to put the infrastructure infrastructure in this country in context, i want to recite a report done by the american society of civil engineers. the report recently came out and they provided us a grade. they grade each component of our infrastructure. our cumulative grade as a country and this is the most successful country in the world, our cumulative grade was a d-plus. and the civil engineers estimate that we have to make an investment of at least $2
trillion to $3 trillion toe bring it up to a grade we deem successful. in addition there is an argument that the existing investments we make in infrastructure, even if they were to be increased, the programs we have like investing or making sure the highway trust fund is funded at the level that is appropriate and consistent with historical averages, even if we were to make these averages which i believe we should, there is a strong argument or the data would suggest we would continue to accumulate an infrastructure gap. the amount we need to envest will continue to grow. this is a very, very significant problem. we need to remember that infrastructure are services and investments for the common good. they are public services and historically made by governments. the state, local and federal
governments. they are under fiscal pressure, so we need as we think about investing in our infrastructure to not just be funding the existing programs that we have up to the levels that they deserve to be funded at, but we also need to be thinking about new and creative and fiscally sensitive and sustainable ways of investing in our infrastructure across the long-term. our infrastructure problem is a multi dimensional problem. so we need numerous tools to solve the problem. and one of those tools exist in legislation that we filed that was filed several weeks ago in the congress that has 18 republican and 18 democratic co-sponsors. we have 25 groups that have supported the legislation, outside groups representing both parties typically in terms of
their orientation. the partnership to build america act creates the american infrastructure fund which is a large-scale financing capability that can finance many of the projects that my colleague will talk about. what's important is it's funded without any appropriations from the government. it's funded by providing corporations with an incentive to invest. the american infrastructure fund is capitalized with $50 billion. the capital comes from the fund-selling bonds that aren't guaranteed by the federal government and pay a 1% interest rate. they are very attractive low-cost capital that if put into the fund will allow to provide $750 billion of loan a guarantees to local governments. $750 billion of funding
capacity. over 50-year life. we expect that money to turn two to three times. and without any appropriations from the federal government. the $50 billion that capitalizes the american infrastructure fund comes from selling these bonds, the funds not guaranteed by the federal government. has an incentive to buy these bonds. we are proposing they get a tax break on their ability to repatriot their earnings. talk about the tax code and they are accumulating significant amounts of cash overseas. they have a way of bringing back up to 10% of that capital in a way that we know will create american jobs by investing in our infrastructure. we put forth the american infrastructure fund as a solution to the problems that my colleague from california is discussing as a solution to deal
with the infrastructure problems that this country has and do it in a way that is helping the programs that exists and do it in a way that is fiscally responsible. this is some of the work that we are doing in my office to advance the work that my friend from colleague is talking about this evening. mr. garamendi: that is a fascinating way of bringing capital to this program. california has numerous high technology companies, apple and many, many others. all of them come to us, representatives from california, and they complain about the repatriation and would like to bring those earnings from back overseas. they have $1 million. maybe -- whatever the number is, a lot of dollars is, they want to bring it back, but don't want to face the 35% corporate tax. so you are suggesting they could
bring it back in a way they wouldn't face that tax, but the money that came back that would be used to finance this infrastructure bank. is that correct? mr. delaney: and the estimates are up to $2 trillion. mr. garamendi: i understated it. mr. delaney: that represents a significant problem with our tax code. that is a long discussion. under the partnership to build america act, the american infrastructure act is funding and we sell them to corporations and not guaranteed by the federal government. for every dollar of those bonds that the company buys, they can bring back their overseas earnings and that is 4-1, but that is determined by an auction that will be determined by the fund. $50 billion of funds that are subscribed to, some of the
companies in my state, part of the district i represent, 270 transportation corridor that is filled with information technology companies, very similar to the kind of companies in your district. some sosome of them may be from maryland as well. if they can bring back $200 billion from overseas tax-knee. the bonds are not guaranteed, they are not an attractive investment. but the ability to bring back that money tax-free is the incentive. they bring back money and invest it and get $50 billion, a fund that could provide $2 trillion of financing over 50 years without any cost to the taxpayer. i think you summarized it perfectly.
mr. garamendi: i think you did. this is a piece of legislation in the house, i would hope our colleagues on the republican side that control the passage of legislation, even the taking up of legislation in committee would look at this and go, oh, you mean we can actually build $200 million or $2 trillion of infrastructure over a 50-year period without any appropriation, with no taxpayer dollars other than some amount that's foregone in the repatriation? very interesting. very, very exciting proposal. i would hope we take it up. i'm sure there will be questions about who gets the money. who decides which projects are going to be selected? mr. delaney: under our legislation, the states make the determination. the american infrastructure fund has to develop an allocation process, every state has an allegation. -- allocation. mr. garamendi: so california being the most populous state -- mr. delaney: you would have the
most allocation. mr. garamendi: i like it already. mr. delaney: i knew you would. we have 18 colleagues on it already, we've received constructive feedback from my colleagues, they worked to make the legislation better and we're looking to build bipartisan support. enge we both know when the private sector and government work well together on economic challenges we get good economic outcomes. i want to thank you for giving me this time. mr. garamendi: thank you very, very much. maryland is very well represented with some innovative thinking from their representatives. the infrastructure bank is not new. this is a new way of financing it and a very exciting one. mr. delaney: we build on each other's ideas. mr. garamendi: we'll continue to work on this and talk about it again in the future. california is the most populous state, i didn't say popular,
though i would argue that, texas being the second big nest geography. we now have our new representative from texas castro.us mr. texas does a lot of good things, one good thing they did wassening you here. mr. castro: thank you for your -- for for sponsoring this hour tonight and thank you to congressman delaney. in texas, infrastructure is very important to us. we have a state that obviously is incredibly large in land mass, second only to alaska. we have, for example, the most number of bridges of any state in the nation. miles and miles of interstate highways and roads. so i stand here tonight with you to reaffirm the point that we must never neglect our infrastructure transportation, building out our roads, our highways, our waterways, our
mass transit systems, making sure that americans can get to where they want to go by air, by land, by sea, we make sure, we must make sure this our infrastrubblingture transportation keeps up also and is competitive with that of other places in europe and asia, particularly for commercial purposes. but also, congressman, i wanted to point out that just as there is an infrastructure of transportation, there is an america -- there is in america another kind of infrastructure, an infrastructure of opportunity that allows each of taos pursue our american dream. so for example, just as there are streets and highways that help us get where we want to go on the road, there's an infra-- infrastructure of opportunity that allows taos get where we want to go in life that infrastructure of opportunity would include, for example, great public schools and universities a strong health care system and an economy built around well-paying jobs so
people can support themselves and their family members. when we asked the question here in congress what is it that distinguishes america from among the nations of the world, i would argue that it is the fact that over the generations, americans have come together to build out that infrastructure of opportunity that allows each of us no, matter our race, our class, where we come from, allows each of us to chase our american dream. now i think all of us understand, and i think you would agree with me, i've never met any american who has asked for a guarantee of success in our nation. folks don't ask for a guarantee of success. what they ask for is the opportunity to pursue that success. so we must continue building not only the roads we need and the highways but also the great schools and yuferes, a strong health care system and as you mentioned, with the american jobs act, making sure that americans can go to work and support themselves and their families. and i'll just wrap up with this, you know.
there's been a lot of debate around here, i know in the last hour there was, about immigration. and there's a big debate about how to handle our immigration issue. and that's a challenge and has been a challenge for this congress. but if you put aside the debate over what to do with folks who are here, whether it's visas or permanent legal residency or whatever it is, and we just ask ourselves, why is it for a few hundred years now that america has been the destination nation for people from literally every corner of the earth, why is that? i would argue it's because we have built up a place, a society of opportunity, where people can pursue their dreams. now congressman, i think you would agree with me in all the imgrants it met, where they came from europe or asia or mexico or somewhere else, i have never heard anybody tell me that the reason they came to our country was because they were looking for the lowest corporate tax rate. people in fact come here because they're looking to be part of a
system of opportunity that as american we was built up together. and we must make sure, all of us in congress, working as republicans and democrats, united, for our country, make sure that when somebody asks 50 years from now, or 100 years from now, where is it on earth that people want to be, that the answer is still, the united states of america. we must build out the infrastructure of transportation and the infrastructure of opportunity to achieve that answer. mr. garamendi: mr. castro, thank you so very, very much. often, in fact, this is what i've often talked about, infrastructure in a physical way. that is the physical features of , but nd water systems your discussion of infrastructure being the infrastructure of opportunity which does include those things -- mr. castro: absolutely. mr. garamendi: it also includes this one, education, a critical element in the process of
education, if we're going to build infrastructure of opportunity, this is where opportunity starts for virtually everybody in this country. the opportunity to get a good education and part of that is the physical building itself f obviously it's the teachers, the way in which the subjects are taught and access. access to not only k through 12 but also higher education. this is one of the things that when we talk about physical infrastructure, we need to talk about the classroom itself, about the facility, air-conditioning, as well as the communications systems, computers and other kinds of communication systems. so the infrastructure of opportunity, what a wonderful theme, what a wonderful way of describing america and this discussion we heard before we came on the floor about immigration. you could not be more correct. mr. castro: thank you, congressman. i would point out, for example, in texas, we have our
challenges. in california, for example, you've got nine research universities which are the top tier universities. and in new york, they've got about seven. in texas, we only have three right now. so we've got a long way to go to catch up. so we are trying to catch up, in fact, there was a good -- a bit of good news, governor perry today signed a bill that would create -- merge two schools, two colleges, two universities in what is known as the texas valley in south texas and ultimately will create a medical school. that's very important for a few reasons. i want to use, real quick, this example in the texas valley in south texas along the texas-mexico border which sauven in conversation here in congress, it's a place of about -- between a million and a million and a half folks, very hardworking people, wake up early in the morning, go to work, put in a hard day's work without complaint an then go home to their families, often go home and say prayers of thanks
to god for what he's given them. well, in that area, known as the texas valley, cities like edinburgh and mcallen and weslaco, you can't get a medical degree anywhere south of san antonio, you can drive four hours between san antonio and the texas-mexico border and not be able to get a medical degree. you can't get a law degree anywhere between san antonio and the texas-mexico border. and there are only a handful of ph.d. programs. so when i speak of the missing pieces, literally, of the infrastructure of opportunity to me the texas valley is one example of that. i know many folks like congressman hinojosa, others are working very hard to change those things but they have -- those changes have been slow in coming. but i will also point out with regard to the infrastructure of transportation which is part of the infrastructure of opportunity, that is also
missing. so for example, when you try to drive, my thian cey is from a small town -- my fiancee is from a smalltown right near the texas-mexico border. you drive from san antonio down to the valley, drive those four hours and there's no continuous interstate highway you can take without stopping in town after town. so you can imagine what that means to a traveler, but even more so what it means for commercial enterprises for our businesses who are trying to get their goods, trying to do trade, trying to get their fwoods to mexico or trying to -- importing their goods from mexico. those things are very, very important and we've got to continue to do this great work that you've been a leader on. mr. gare member dee: i thought you were -- mr. garamendi: i thought you were going to go into your personal emotions as you stop in every town to see your fiancee. mr. castro: i've got a story tomorrow, i think aisle join the
folks tomorrow on the immigration issue, what i've learned visiting those places. mr. garamendi: there's much to learn about this. but if you go back to our make it in america agenda, these issues, the labor market and education, fit into that infrastructure of opportunity. i've always said if you're going to build an economy and have social justice, there are four things you must always -- five things you must always do. first you must have the best education system in the world that's available to everybody. so that they can climb that ladder as you were saying earlier that they have that opportunity. secondly that you have a great research system and we do, actually, we have 10 campuses of the university -- mr. castro: congratulations. mr. garamendi: and some of the te universitys are picking the research agenda. you need to research, and then you need to make things. it may be a computer program or it could be an automobile but you need to be making things, adding, creating value.
the infrastructure being the fourth and then fifth, you've got to be willing to change. you can't do what you did yesterday you need to do the things of tomorrow. there are other pieces to this. we talked about education here and the way it works. this was a statistic fwiven earlier, john delaney went through this very quickly but for every dollar you invest in the physical infrastrub -- infrastructure you get immediately about $1.57 as that money churns through the economy as the concrete is purchased, as it's put in place, men and women are doing that work and then that churns back through the economy. actually, giving great stimulation to the economy. not our words, these are mark sandy's -- zandi's words, the chief economist at moody's. if we want to move the economy, we can take the idea about infrastructure bank, not an appropriation, invest, and put
people to work and give a boost to the economy and in doing so you create better tax flow into the government. the other thing, and this is something that i know texas working on, as is california, and that's rail transportation. if i recall correctly, fort worth is the headquarters of the bnsf railway. this is a peckture of a new amtrak train manufactured in sacramento, part of the infrastructure investment being made here in the northeast corridor between washington and boston. this new train is 100% american made. because back in the stimulus bill, about 80-something trains were proposed to be purchased about half a billion dollars. and they wrote into it, must be american made. and so siemens, a german company, came to sacramento where they had a light rail shop, decided they could build a
heavy duty locomotive and make it 100% american made. so this one is now being tested. the first model out. and there'll be some 80 of these on the northeast corridor, increasing the speed, the movement, the transportation system. and for all of america, rail transportation, light rail and heavy rail and even high speed rail are ways in which we move our physical transportation and if we pause those products -- cause those products to be made in america we also increase our manufacturing base. again, part of the american program of making it in america using infrastructure. mr. castro: i think you're right on that for example, congressman gare men tee, last week, san antonio received word that our exports went up in a year 33%. 33% increase in exports. mr. garamendi: from the city. mr. castro: coming from san
antonio. so these chabbles for getting our product -- so these channels for getting our products to different markets are vital for continuing that success. . mr. garamendi: there are many things we talk about in this cross section and this is a piece of legislation that actually i've introduced for the last couple of years. this particular piece of legislation, 154, says that if it's in -- 1524, says that if it's your taxpayer money, the american taxpayers' money, then used to purchase american-made equipment and that's what happened with the earlier stimulus bill and the manufacturing of these locomotives in california. but there's some 200 different suppliers all around the nation that are supplying that. so we can really boost the economy in the transportation system. but also in the energy system. solar, wind, all of those are subsidized, as is oil and coal.
they're subsidized with american taxpayer money, either with a tax credit or a subsidy or a direct payment. nd if we said, ok, but you must produce that product in america, so the wind turbines, make them in america, similarly with solar panels and other kinds of equipment. so these are all things that fit into this. but the theme that you hit on early on i think is so very, very important. and that is the infrastructure of opportunity. i really like that. and i think that as we go about our business here of passing laws or not, we've got to keep in mind that our task is to create that opportunity. mr. castro: and i think, congressman, when we think about issues that come up here, issues that sometimes succumb to the gridlock that is congress these days, for example, on the student loan issue, that's why it's so important that we make sure that we do right by students
and not allow that student loan interest rate to double. because in these tough economic times, it's hard enough for families to scrounge up the money to help send their kids to college and for the kids to, you know, work a job or two and go to class. they're often in this work-school tug-o-war where many of them work part-time or full-time and at the same time take their 15 hours or 1 hours to graduate and -- 12 hours to graduate in a decent number of years. the least that congress can do is make sure that we set a student loan rate that is affordable and reasonable for the economic times that we live in. and those things are not handouts. that is -- those are investments to make sure that you've got a well-educated population. these are loans, after all. they're paying these back. but it's also, i think, their government saying, look, we're going to lend you this money at a decent rate, we're going to
make sure come -- sure cull -- sure it comes at a reasonable rate, and you're going to pay it back to us, but from that we're going to get folks who are engineers, who are police officers and firefighters and doctors and all of the things that keep our society moving and keep this country the greatest nation on earth. mr. garamendi: mr. castro, you put that out so very well. it's a critical investment that the american public makes in the next generation so that this economy can move forward. there's also -- we've been debating this on the floor, a bill passed out of here that would set the student loan interest rate as a variable rate, much like a home mortgage variable rate. watch out. we know what happened with the variable rates that went on. and it was interesting that that particular bill actually would create income, a large amount of income, if i remember the number, some $30 billion over the next 10 years, of income. and so it was like, wait a minute, are we really just
doing this to get the money back? or are we looking at this as a profit center? i think it was a serious mistake. first they do a variable interest, so that would move up quite possibly to more than the doubling of the 3.4% to maybe 8%, 9%, 10%. bad idea. and looking at the problem incorrectly. the way to look at it is just as you said, this is a way for the american public to make an investment in a student at a low interest cost to the student but sufficient to repay the federal government. not as a profit center, but as a repayment. there's some administrative costs to be sure. that's how we ought to look at this. because it is a crucial investment, the most important investment is always an education investment. mr. castro: i couldn't agree more. just personally, i started school, started colonel in the fall of 1992 -- college in the fall of 1992.
21 years ago now. and in 1991 and 1992, my mom made less than $20,000 and she was getting ready to send two sons, twin sons, of course i have my brother, off to stanford university in northern california and you can imagine how daunting that was. but there is no way that my brother and i could have gone to college and graduated without student loans. without perkins loans, without staffered loans, same with law school -- stafford loans, same with law school. so these are vital. that's just my own story. there are literally millions of stores like that across the country. and -- stories like that across the country. mr. garamendi: and a very sound investment was made in you and your brother who i believe is the mayor of san antonio. mr. castro: that's right. mr. garamendi: much to be said -- i'm just going to share with you and perhaps you have a similar situation from your own experience this weekend. i was back in my district, in northern california, in yuba
city. now the feather river which is one of the major tributaries of the sacramento river goes right between these two towns. marysville on the east side and yuba city on the west side. this is one of the most dangerous places in america. the feather river and the yuba river which come together at that place have a long history of deadly floods. and what the citizens need there is the help of the federal government to complete the levee and enhance the levees around their communities. we had a major debate here on the floor last week with the energy water bill. in which the ryan budget, that is the republican budget, was seen in its fullness for the first time. and what that budget called for was a dimnition, in fact, a very, very significant cut in
the infrastructure investment for the army corps of engineers. the army corps of engineers builds the levees, the locks and other major public works. sequestration took $250 million of construction out of the army corps of engineers and right now construction projects that were schedule ready not taking place. in addition to that, the proposed budget and the actual appropriation bill even further reduced the money available to the army corps of engineers to build the levees to protect communities all across the united states. at the very same time, money was shifted from the corps of engineers and the levees and the things that are necessary to protect american citizens and others who are here from devastating floods, money was shifted to build more nuclear weapons.
you go, what in the world is all that about? we've got 5,500 nuclear weapons now. the money was shifted to rebuild, to make sure that they all worked and there's no way we would ever use all of them, unless you want to end life on the earth. but yet that was a priority issue. nuclear weapons vs. levees to protect americans. the wrong priority. but it is a fundamental example of the infrastructure needs and the wrongheaded priorities that sometimes find their way into legislation. unfortunately that bill passed, that is the statement of the house of representatives. now, every democrat voted against it. but that did pass the house, that now will go over to the senate and the senate i am sure will never set that priority the same as this. but in a conference committee we're now looking at a tug-o-war between nuclear weapons and levees to protect
americans. hopefully the levees will win. we'll see. that's one example when i went home this weekend, people asked me, what was all that about? i said, that was about bad priorities and an austerity budget working together. mr. castro: and we know, of course, congressman, that the sequester was taking a meat cleaver rather than trying to do real cuts, real smart cuts, and so i agree with you on that. with respect to the work of the army corps of engineers, the work that the -- that they do is often felt in san antonio and in texas of course during what everything that happened with hurricane katrina in new orleans and all of the important work that they had done around that. and so, you're right, i think that americans expect that they will be in homes that are not going to flood. there's going to be infrastructure in place to make sure that water doesn't come up and run them out of their
homes, you know, ruin their homes and their property. mr. garamendi: also, without adequate levees you clearly slow down economic development. not every city has a flood problem. although certainly in the great midwest you see this in all of the cities along the missouri and the mississippi and ohio rivers. so that entire huge basin, which is more than 60% of the united states, there are serious flood issues there. and so this extends to -- and certainly we see it on the east coast with superstorm sandy and you mentioned katrina, so all across the nation this issue of flood protection is critical. in my own district, sacramento, there's a portion of sacramento that is rated -- i think it's now rated as the most dangerous city in the united states. with the rebuilding of the levees in new orleans, i think now that area in sacramento is rated as the most dange ross.
-- dangerous. we're talking about a flood situation that could occur because the levees are substandard in which the river would break, we have floods in the win the sort water temperatures are in the 40, 50-degree temperature. if that were to break the inundation would be immediate and it would be 20 feet and the survival time is measured in minutes. not in hours. that water hits you, you are hyperthey weria and you're dead. so it's an extreme problem. we need to rebuild those levees. the community is taxing itself fairly well to do it. but the federal government is backing away from its previous commitment. the rest of the story is that the economic development potential in that community is stifled. it's not just housing, it's all kinds of economic development. the sacramento international airport is in that area and so for the lack of money to build the levees, human life is at risk, several tens of thousands of people, and economic
development. so these things come together. infrastructure being the foundation upon which the economy grows and in some cases certainly the case of levees upon which people's lives depend. mr. castro: you make an important point about neglect of that infrastructure. not only with levees and with waterways, but you and i are both aware, as the country is, of the tragic examples over the last several years in minnesota, for example, the bridge collapse. more recently in washington, i believe, in that bridge collapse. those are lessons to this congress that we cannot neglect our infrastructure, that it is vital. you know, i mentioned texas. we have about 1,300 bridges that are -- have been declared by that same report that congressman delaney mentioned, declared functionally obsolete. 1,300 functionally obsolete bridges in texas. that's one in six. and so those are things that
we've got to tend to here. but it also -- it also, you know, begs the point that whether it's building out the infrastructure of transportation or building out the infrastructure of opportunity, that that doesn't happen by itself, it doesn't happen by accident. it doesn't happen by luck. that the united states government and the congress must make those smart investments. we must continue to make those investments. if we are going to be the land of opportunity, not just five years from now or 20 years from now, but 50 and 100 years from now. mr. garamendi: i think it's about time for us to wrap up. i want to engage the public. i don't know how many people are watching c-span this evening. i would like to think there are some 300 million. but i suspect that's overstating it a way. but i would ask the public to comment to you and i about their infrastructure in their community. what do they need in their community?
and how they think it could be financed, as mr. delaney's proposal for an infrastructure bank based upon the repatriation of foreign earnings. does that make sense? does it make sense to do what the president said which is to appropriate $50 billion right now? to build infrastructure. many different alternatives, but i'd love to hear from the public and here's how they could do it. i'm going to use yours down here, too. stay in touch, stay informed, stay connected. facebook, see, you can go to facebook, facebook.com/ repgaramendi. facebook.com/repcastro. either way. twitter, twitter.com/ repgaramendi or twitter.com/repcastro or go to r website,
www.garamendi.house.gov. or www.castro.house.gov. mr. castro: the house one, that's right. it should be -- probably j castro. jcastro. mr. garamendi: i think there's more than one castro. so there's only one garamendi around. so probably jcastro.house.gov. that's the website and they can get in touch that way and keep informed. anybody watching this about infrastructure, why it's important and what it means for economic development, jation and social justice and opportunity and if you like the theme, the infrastructure of opportunity, you can contact me and i'll pass on to mr. castro or go to jcastro at house.or facebook .gov. i thank you mr. castro, and mr.
delaney. next week, we'll take up one of the other issues. we'll probably talk next week about energy and how we can improve the energy situation to meet the climate change. i do have one more thing that i must do before i close down and that is talk about geothermal energy and one of the communities i represent, lake county. we have a critical natural resource opportunity in this nation and it's beneath the soil, beneath the ground, and it happens to be the heat of the earth. it finds its way to the surface and it does in my district, lake county. that heat comes from the geothermal and extraordinary natural resource and it is clean energy. one of the most abundant natural resources that can be found anywhere and often overlooked and has the ability to become one of the key resources of the
energy. i want to talk about its use here in the united states. it is environmentally friendly. dry steam and flash geo-thermal plants emit 5% of the carbon dioxide and 1% of the night trouse oxide. the geothermal installations are near zero. geothermal energy is cost effective. over the last two decades, the cost of generating has decreased by 25%. geothermal can be produced domestically. in california, the imperial used are one of the most resources. nevada has enormous resources and many other places in the united states. and it can be sent the same resources available in many,
many parts of the world. we as a world and certainly as a state and nation ought to be moving more aggressively to harness our geothermal resources. it's also a good jobs place, creating 117 million annual wealth in the geothermal region f sonoma, lake counties. it's a tax resource. they receive $11 million from the geysers geothermal field. and funneling eight million gallons of wastewater for the harnessing of geothermal resources. i draw the potential to geothermal and success it has had in my district in lake county and in my neighboring
county of sonoma. thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy, for 30 minutes. mr. duffy: i appreciate the speaker for yielding. tonight we want to have a conversation about immigration. and immigration reform. because we recognize that in 1986, when congress and the president came together for immigration reform, it didn't work. it didn't work for immigrants. didn't work for our border and didn't work for america. just recently, we have seen the senate has come forward with proposed legislation and that, too, doesn't work. it's a proposal that doesn't secure our border. it's a proposal that won't work long-term for america. we're here to address the
problems that we face in this country with real solutions that work for people and work for our country. we are here to say we are with you. if you want to work hard and contribute to the american economy, we are with you. if you want to obey our laws and want a shot at our free enterprise system, we are with you. if you believe that america has a right to secure her borders to know who is coming in and out of our country, we're with you. if you want to pay taxes and pledge allegiance to america, we're with you. and if you want your shot at the american dream, we're with you. we are a party that looks at the big problems in our country and we come out with big solutions to fix those problems. we aren't a party of no. we are a party of solutions. and that's our marntra to be here to talk about the solutions
in regard to immigration, solutions that are going to work. and i'm honored to yield tosm the gentleman from illinois for his thoughts. >> i thank you and i thank the gentleman from wisconsin for organizing the time. this is an important discussion. you know, when i think back to somebody who is a big hero, ronald reagan i think of what he talked about and he discussed america as a shining city on a hill, a city that everyone looks at and says i want to live there and look at the united states and say that is a country that i want my country to look like. that's the republican party. and i understand that over the last few years the republican party hasn't done a great job of messaging that but i look at ronald reagan and the vision, and i say that is the republican party that i joined in, the party that believes that a kid
in inner city chicago should have a same opportunity that was raised in best suburbs. when we talk about the controversial issue of immigration, just pick -- you have americans on both sides of the issue and americans are speaking to this with anger, there is something we have to do as a nation and something we need to do right here and say let's have this conversation and do it in what america is about and how to give most people around the world the opportunity to be in america. mr. kinzinger: most americans would agree that we need a safe border, not only the idea of immigration and system that works for everybody. border, you have
terrorists that come through. i visited a place called rosskrantz that has teenagers hat are addicted to drugs. hoirn is the cheapest drugs. when we are talking about border security, we are saying we have a right to determine our immigration policy and can't determine it with a pourous board. and once we do that and once we have honest border security and honest with the american people, we have to have this discussion about how we passionately deal with folks that american people want the american way. that's the conversation i look forward. and as we move on, i would like to yield to the gentleman from gardner.a, mr.
mr. gardner: colorado, sorry. we are all together on the same issue tonight on the house floor as we discuss the important issue of immigration reform. many of us were elected in 2010 and 2012 and we came to congress to make america work to find ways to get government out of the way and create an economy that is strong and growing and help feed their families and send their kids to school without putting themselves into bankruptcy and make sure we have a better tomorrow than we do today. and so, it is starting with those fundamental beliefs we came here to achieve, make life work for the american families who recognize a nation of immigrants, a nation that provides opportunity for people around the world, that beacon of hole for a place of families to
succeed and achieve their dreams about the american dream and spirit. so it is through those very values of compassion for the poor, people who want to build a stronger nation here at home and the fairness that we know we can do it with, build a system of lawyers that will stand strong, not just for a year or 10 years or 20 years, but moving forward beyond that. a system of laws that we know, to make sure that people who want to be part of the great healthy american economy have that very opportunity. tonight, as we kick off a discussion on immigration and we join people around the country who have differing opinions as the gentleman from illinois recognize, how to do it, when to do it, recognizing that indeed we must do something to address a system that is broken in a way that meets those objectives of american values, compassion,
fairness and maintaining the rule of law in this country. i look forward to our conversation tonight and solutions for the american people we can be proud of and knowing this isn't going to be an easy task but deal with necessary urgency. we are joined by our colleague from north carolina, mr. hudson. mr. hudson: i'm a new member of congress. i was elected just last year. and i ran for congress, first time i ran for any office because i want to fight for people, because there are folks back home that are frustrated and like their government is not responsive to their needs and i'm here to represent them and being a voice. i'm a home builder, told me he is struggling and he will take any kind of work to keep his crew intact soy he can keep them
together and do remodeling work, not worrying about profits. i think about the families across the district of the eighth district of north carolina who are looking to us for solutions and i'm here tonight to join this conversation to talk about immigration reform and the key is we have to look at compassion and look at fairness. when it comes to fairness, we are a nation of immigrants and also a nation of laws. we have to make sure we are enforcing the law in this country and respecting the rule of law when we are looking at changes to immigration policy. we need to look at compassion to those who have come here to the united states seeking that american dream when we try to determine what we are going to do down the road. the approach we are taking here in the united states house of representatives. the senate has passed an
immigration bill, and it was cobbled behind closed doors. we are taking a much more thoughtful approach. we will bring legislation to the floor so we can debate these key issues as single issues and what the american people take part in this conversation and tell us what they think about issues like border security. the keys to immigration reform is we got to secure the borders first and any legislation we pass out of this chamber, any agreement we make with the senate, we've got to have a trigger so that no other pieces of this immigration puzzle fall into place until we have border security. so we are going to work hard. there are five pieces of legislation that have already passed out of judiciary and homeland security committees. i served on the homeland security committee. we passed the homeland security
results act and it requires the secretary of homeland security to develop a comprehensive strategy to secure the border. what a radical concept. let's have a plan. what we are saying in the house is, give us a plan. we want the department of homeland security to work with the border sheriffs to come up with a plan to secure that border and come back to congress and say here's what we need. here's the section where we need fences and the other types of technology, whether it is drones or electronic monitoring. these are the pieces of puzzle we need to secure this border. we have to have a metric so we can measure whether the border is secure or not. we know the numerator but not the denominator. we know how many people are being stopped but how many are getting by that we aren't rounding up. if you talk to the border sheriffs, you know we aren't close to being secure.
that's a key component of this legislation. and i look forward to talking about some more of the legislation that came out of the judiciary committee, some of the pieces of this that we need to discuss. . >> i did missions in texas. i flied a reconnaissance airplane and the goal was to look for folks that had crossed illegally and most most cases we were actually looking 60 miles into texas. mr. kinzinger: and we were finding dozens of people, you know, basically each time we'd almost look somewhere and catch 60, 100 a night. and i think of that to say, you know, i felt bad for the folks that were hunkered down en masse, that had crossed the border, that were told by some coyotes oath that they paid their entire life savings to that once you step foot into
america you're going to be fine and then they realize that the journey begins. what you'd see is the border patrol, who do very hard and tough work, would apprehend most of these folks and in some cases a couple of them would scatter and they'd be left alone, 15 miles away from the nearest town with no water, food and nowhere to go. i think of that and i think of frankly the administration saying that the border is already secure. and i think what the leads do, and i'll yield to the gentleman from wisconsin in a second, i think there's an epic lack of trust in washington right now. that's why the four of us here came to washington, because we recognized, there's a huge lack of trust in d.c. and so this idea that we're going to say, you know, from on high in washington, we're going to just deem the border secure, at some point when the administration has already deemed it secure, is i think where the lack of trust is and why there's so much emotion tied into this. and i think this is the beginning step in having a great discussion about how to actually tack this will problem in a way that both sides can agree with and that's fair to the american people and the folks that want to live the american life.
i yield to the gentleman from wisconsin. >> i appreciate the gentleman from illinois yielding. it is that very point, there's a lack of trust with the american people in washington, d.c. mr. duffy: that's why we want to go through a step-by-step approach analyzing immigration and immigration reform. as the gentleman from north carolina said, we're here to fight for people. we're here to fix a broken system and we're here to make it work. and we want to have a reform bill that's going to actually be fair. be fair to those who have come to participate in our economy, but be fair to people who are americans that say, we are a country of laws and we are also a country of immigrants. and i think the key, the key first step is border security. that's what we've been talking about tonight. border security. and we have to debate, negotiate, discuss, what does border security mean? and once we agree on what border security is and once we secure the border, we can go to
the next phase. which is to say, we have millions of people who have come into our economy, into our country, what's a fair way to treat them? in my opinion, and i'm telling you my opinion and i'm hope to -- open to hear feedback from all people as we have this conversation and debate. i haven't dug my heels in. but number one, we have to say, do you get to go to the head of the line and become a u.s. citizen? when you've come here without documentation? i don't know that that's the first step. after border security. but what i do think we have to do is say, if you've come here and you participated in our economy, we can offer some kind of legal status. a legal status that isn't citizenship but it's a legal status that says, we're not going to arrest you in the middle of the night, we're not going to separate from you your grandparents or your kids. you can stay in our country because the border's secure. we don't have to address this problem 10 years from now or 20 years from now or 25 years from now. we've addressed the border, which means we've addressed the inflow of people coming to our
country illegally. and when that happens we can offer those with documentation a status that says, you can stay here and you can work. but if you want to become a citizen, you're going to have to get to the back of the line. you don't get a -- you don't get a special pathway into the front of the line. you get in the back and you can become a citizen but you can stay here legally and by staying here legally, you can pay your taxes but that doesn't mean you can vote and that also doesn't mean that you can collect off the entitlement system that we have here in america. and i think, as we have this conversation with those who are here without documentation, and those who care about the laws in america, we can have a conversation that actually works for everybody. that everyone can agree to. and i look forward to that conversation on finding a pathway and a consensus forward that works for everybody. with that i'd yield to the gentleman from colorado. mr. gardner: the gentleman from wisconsin brought up a great point and that is the issue of a step-by-step process and that's exactly what the house is undertaking. there are at least four bills
right now that are working their way through the judiciary committee, dealing with everything from an e-verify system that can actually work and be used by employers around this country, to know that they are hiring somebody who is eligible, legally eligible for employment in this country, but we also have the opportunity to address other concerns i hear at town hall meetings and private conversations across my district and that's so many people that say, do we really need to do anything other than enforce existing laws? do we really need new laws? do we need anything? the question that we have to give serious consideration to because the answer is, yes, we do need immigration reform. because of the 11 million people in this country that we believe are undocumented today, 42% of them are here who came legally but entered into the country legally, but overstayed their visas. how do we reform the visa system, to actually make it work so that we know the process, the integrity of the process is what it needs to be? do we create a system for
those in agriculture? to know that they have a work force that is going to be readily able and available to harvest that fall's crops? or if you're a dairy farmer, there's no one season for dairy but it's year-round. so the availability of a work force with the skills that they need, but the certainty that they need. and it's those laws that we have to reform to enforce and rebuild the trust of the american people in a step-by-step proelse is. because if we do this, we can actually create a system of laws that avoids the mistakes of the 1986 law, through enforcement first, border security first and making sure then that we deal with the situation of the people who do want to be part of a healthy american economy. mr. hudson: i appreciate my colleague pointing out some of the legislation that the judiciary committee has already passed. the house of representatives has take an different approach when it comes to imdwration reform. so we've passed the border
security results act out of homeland security that i mentioned earlier. we have also passed the legal work force act which is the bill that reforms the e-verify system. it gives us a much more workable e-verify program, that gives our employers the certainty and the assurance that they can verify the citizenship of potential employees. the second piece of legislation that came out of judiciary committee already is the skilled visas act. this has to do with what's called h-1-b visas. these are for your high-skilled workers. these are for folks in science and math and technology who may come to the united states to go to university and learn these skills and learn -- and get on this career path, but then they don't have a visa to stay here. most industrialized nations in the world, 80% of the visas they give out are based on work skills and needs of the work force. here in the united states it's about 12% of the visas we give out. we have a lot of -- we have a lottery to give out visas and to me that is ridiculous. we have to reform the system so that we're giving out visas to
the type of people we want to attract to this country. and so the skills visa act is a piece of legislation that we're considering here in the house that will do that. the third piece of legislation's called the safe act. one of the issues we talked about is we've got to enforce the rule of law. and frankly we don't have enough federal agents enforcing the law and so what we need to do is empower states and municipalities, local governments that want to enforce the immigration law, to be able to do that. and so that's what the safe act does. and then the fourth piece is the agriculture guest worker ag act. and as my colleague mentioned, that is a critical piece for our economy. there are at least 11 million undocumented workers here in this country that we know of. many of those folks don't want citizenship. what they want is the ability to work here legally and if we have a ag worker program that actually works, this is the program that frankly when i'm home, i go home every weekend and meet with our local folks
and i see farmers across our district, i ask them, how many of you are using that program and you'd be amazed at how few people use the program because it's not workable. as my colleague from colorado asked, the question that he hears in town hall meetings, do we really need to do any reform to immigration, yes, we do. because we can't just secure the border with a fence and with technology, if we still have that attraction, that need for illegal workers to fill jobs in this country. we've got to have a pathway to bring in legal workers, whether it's aning a -- in agriculture or home building or some of the more high-skilled types of jobs. we need a legal pathway to fill those positions, otherwise there's going to be this tug of illegals that's going to continue to happen. so we can build a 10-foot wall but someone's going to build an 11-foot ladder. it's all got to be a comprehensive approach. that's why it's so important that we have that agriculture guest worker program as well. as you can see, we in the house are looking at this step-by-step. we're looking at what are the actual problems, so that we can address them in a very
thoughtful way, so that we aren't just rushing to get a big bill that was once said, let's pass this bill so we know what's in it. we don't want to make that mistake again. we don't need a huge comprehensive bill. we need to look at these issues in a thoughtful, comprehensive way. i'll yield back to one of my colleagues. mr. duffy: i appreciate the gentleman yielding. you look around to immigrants who come to america. why do they come? they come for the american dream. they've come for a better life for themselves, they've come for a better life for their children. they've come to the land of opportunity. because they want that opportunity. they want to work hard. i'm from wisconsin. many people may not want to recognize this, but if you look at our dairy farms around wisconsin, there's a lot of immigrants who have come here without documentation that work on our farms. and it's hard, tough work and they do it. because they want an opportunity. and i know that -- i travel around and i do a lot of town halls. i know my colleague does town halls and coffees and i would
ask the gentlemen from colorado and illinois, what do you hear about what people think of immigration, the problems and the solutions that you face in your communities? mr. gardner: the conversations i hear are from all angles. whether it's somebody whose came hear -- family came here when they were very young. a young woman came into this country with her family when she was a baby. and she has gone to school in the same class, same kids, same grade, same school system for 12 years, eventually grag as senior number one in her class. she was brought here as a child and when she asked me about what we were going to do i said, your situation is an example of why we need immigration reform so that he thank we can actually have secure borders and that we can actually know the laws are being enforced and to avoid putting you in this situation. years lates that are conversation is repeating.
how many years have to go by before we say we have secured the border, we are enforcing the law and we know that in 10, 20, 30 years the visa program is solved, the e-verify system is working, that labor needs, whether it's housing, construction, agriculture are being met in a system that actually encourages compliance with the law as parent of a healthy american economy instead of an underground or a way that does it in a law-breaking fashion? and so these are our opportunities to have and i'll tell you one other story. there was a doctor in the eastern plains of colorado who was here with his -- all of his proper documentation. unfortunately his mother was ill and he needed to leave the country or was hoping to leave the country to say good-bye to her. but under our system of laws, if he left this nation, he couldn't come back. the only doctor in the county, couldn't go away and say good-bye to his mom because he couldn't return. we need some common sense.
mr. kinzinger: that's a great story. look, i just had a town hall meeting in rochford, illinois, yesterday and you get folks from all ends of the political spectrum. we can have that respectful conversation. you have everything from folks at say, you know, hey, look, all you have to do is -- as was mentioned, enforce existing laws, put more people on the border. then you have a lot of people that say, hey, we just need to not have any more border enforcement and just allow everybody here to become u.s. citizens and i think obviously the answer is somewhere frankly in the middle of that. when you talk to folks, it doesn't matter if they're on the right or left or somewhere in between, everybody has a heart. everybody cares about people. and when you talk about the fact that, as mr. gardner mentioned, you know, there are people here that are 5 years old. i know -- by no fault of their own. sometimes 12 years old. or now they're getting ready to go to college and they realize they're not here legaly. this is something we ought to have a lot of compassion for
and understand and i think we've got to take some of the anger out of it on all sides of the aisle and just have a grown-up discussion and say, what do we have to do to fix the problem here? what do we have to do to fix the issue? because i don't know how long i'll be in politics but i don't want to have to address this again. i think that's the thing and that's what i hear at my town hall meetings. when you really get past kind of the initial arguments folks says, we just really don't trust washington but unfortunately you're the ones that have to solve this problem. mr. duffy: people say take it slow, talk to us. let's do what's right and people who are here at 17 years old or 14 years old and no no other country. they are part of our communities, society and schools. let's do what's right by them and our next generation by securing this border. i want to talk about one story.
i have a good friend from ashland, wisconsin and he came here legally and it comes to good opportunity. ali and he owns a nail shop in ashland, wisconsin and he was raised and sent money and couldn't speak the language and he was in texas where he got a job in a fast-food restaurant and from fast food, he got a job a painter and they were mad at him because he was the painter.aid pant sent money back to his sisters in vietnam and opened up a nail salon and after that, he sold them and he built them and sold them. he said i don't like the hot weather and moved up to northern
wisconsin and built a building and opened up california nails and during the day, lee does nails and at night, this is an old 1900 building, he built five apartments by himself at night in the upstairs of this office building. and then in the downstairs, which was not the nicest location, he ripped it out and built new apartments, but a guy who worked all day and all night for a shot at the american dream, showing what immigrants do to make america better and it's that story which is the american story that i'm fighting to have a system that for people who are here legally and people who have a shot. and with that, i yield back to the gentleman from from north carolina.
where are many of the same things. people don't trust washington to address this problem. we have a pretty bad track record here in the congress. mr. hudson: what i hear from my farmers and laborers, we have to have a legal pathway and do it in a way that is fair and respects the rule of law. i believe we are at the end of our time. mr. duffy: i yield to the gentleman from illinois. mr. kinzinger: as we do wrap up our time. thank you for those paying attention. this is an important issue and very beginning of a long discussion that we need to have. this is too important to get wrong and too important to rush, because america's the greatest country in the world and something we ought not ever forget. and in the process of doing that, we are in an america that many of us come from immigrants and america is proud of where we
come from. i want to thank the fellow members of congress with me to talk about this and this is the very beginning of i'm sure a long discussion about where we go from here. and with that, i yield to the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. duffy: i appreciate the discussion and i yield back to the speaker and we may have a few more minutes where we can continue this discussion tonight. my time is done and with that, i yield back to the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado, mr. gardner, for 10 minutes. mr. gardner: i thank the speaker for the additional time to continue this conversation. for this opportunity to discuss what is truly one of the biggest issues this congress, this nation faces. i recently was talking to a
reporter back home about the immigration debate taking place and asking about the senate bill, asking about what the house was doing. i think the house feels every bit as urgent as this issue truly deserves before all of us. but because of that, because of the urgency to do it right, it is going to take time through this body to make sure we create that step-by-step opportunity for people who want to come into this nation to create the board security and border enforcement and have answers for every person in this nation. and so as we create this process, this debate as it moves forward, every bit as urgent as any other american before
to be a part of this country, the urgency to make sure this happens. to the gentleman from illinois or wisconsin, north carolina and would yield to anyone who wishes to continue. mr. hudson: i'm happy to jump in and thank my friend from colorado. the general distrust in the way washington does things and only have to look at the process we wept through to understand why. any problem, congress can settle it and say the problem is solved. in 1986 when we passed immigration reform. it gave amnesty with a promise of border security. and that's the same thing with the senate bill. we put out a bill that has a great title, thousands of pages that i doubt many folks have even read and saying the problem is now solved and you
immediately hear the pundits and the folks talking on tv saying, the house, you aren't moving the huge bill and you don't care. the truth is we do care. we are here to represent the people of the united states of america and do this in a thoughtful way and do immigration reform in the right way and with that i yield to my colleague from illinois. mr. kinzinger: the big picture of this, we are getting into a lot of the details we need to. but as i give my last statement, i just want to say this, america is the land of opportunity. merica is growing at west, organically with folks right here that we need to be a powerful economy. this is a discussion we need to have, a discussion that we are years,o be in 30, 40, 50
i don't have kids yet but i hope my grandkids that they can live in a world unchecked. they never have to worry about some of the problems the previous generations had to worry about. this reminds me and as i heard folks and frankly the other side of the aisle have said many times, they use very emotional statements to talk about what the republican party believes. we are called the party of no, taking food from the mouths of children not taking care about anybody but the rich. the republican party has not done a good job of messaging. a pizza company talked about how they used to do it wrong and now do it right. here's what my passion is. what the american people know the republican party is the party of opportunity. we are the party that a kid born in the worst of circumstances
should be able to pull himself out of those circumstances and be one of the most successful ople in the world, including president of the united states. that's the message that i think is important to get out. let's quit trying to use cheap shots and say both sides of the i'll want to have a successful america and let's have discussions as adults and americans should have a discussion. i will turn to the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. duffy: i think it's important for us to stand tall and lead, listen, communicate on this very important issue. i know that's what we want to do it here tonight. it prepares us to listen to what our constituents want and what's country. the
i hear some folks talk about if you pass a border security bill you are going to conference with the senate and we don't go to unless we agree with it. we will get a solution to immigration and then talk about going to conference. it's not one of the phase of the bill and then conference. others say enforce the laws. how is that working for us? it's not working. we have to engage in this conversation and do what's right. i have another story for you. there's a family that came from mexico over to arizona and they had an opportunity to work in the mines in superior, arizona. hard work. tough work, they were catholic and raised a lot of kids on not a lot of of money. one of those kids he learned how to make pinatas and get food out
of the desert and sell it as a dellic casi. and he had a shot to work in the mines and he said i want to serve my country and wept into the military and had a chance to serve under ronald reagan and came from a party that's not mine. but had a chance to serve under ronald reagan and saw what the party of opportunity had to give him. he changed his vote. he said this is looking out for me and my opportunity. and my children and my grandchildren. you and i got married to a woman in spain who came here legally and had four kids and i was honored to meet their daughter and married her and married her and now have six children
together. that's my wife's immigrant's story whose father came here as a fort worth generation. after the military, he became a school teacher and now he works for university. he is living the dream. his daughter is living the dream. all of us have those stories. my parents, great-grandparents came from ireland. we have the story of an immigrant. and i'm here to say let's open our hearts and mind and have a real discussion that works. let's say, secure the board so we don't deal with this again. and with that, i yield to the gentleman from colorado. mr. gardner: and that, mr. speaker is the story of america. i thank our colleagues for joining us tonight and look forward to this debate and look forward to hearing from you, the people of this country, as we
enter this important conversation. mr. speaker, i yield back my time and i move the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning for
republicans, however, say it's unfair to delay the requirement on businesses without allowing to the same individuals. you can see the coverage, as always, here on c-span. in a few moments, senate leaders on their deal regarding executive nominations and rules on filibusters. in a half-hour, senator carl levin talks with reporters from "the christian science monitor." and attorney general eric holder speaks at the naacp. presidential historian richard
norton smith. our original series "first ladies: influence and image" examine the private lives of these ladies. weeknights >> senate republicans and democrats have reached agreement on dealing with executive branch nominations that avoids, for now, changing the rules for senate filibusters. this is a half hour. >> good afternoon, everyone. i think weady know, have reached an understanding about how to go forward. just to give you a little history of my recommendations on this issue, i recommended back in january that the president .end up 2 nominees for the nlrb
obviously, the nominees who were currently on the nlrb work on constitutionally appointed, according to a majority decision of the district court of the district of columbia. i renewed the conversation with the vice president, and suggested that the way out of the dilemma that seemed to be heading our way was to send up to new nominations. administratione is going to send up 2 nominees. senator alexander has been in discussions about how to process healthominations in the committee. we anticipate the regular order will be followed -- hearings, markups, and the like. and there will be an effort to get them up for votes before the august recess. forward to moving
try to reach an agreement on the way to process the additional nominations the majority is interested in. in a sense, that is the regular way we handle business, here in the senate. we are pleased the majority decided not to exercise the nuclear option. we think that is in the best interest of the institution. i would say about our meeting last night, it struck me that it was unique, in the sense, first of all, that virtually everybody was there on a bipartisan basis. 3.5ent on, as you know, for hours. almost everybody who chose to say something was able to say what they thought. i thought it was really good for the institution for us to
be talking to each other rather than at each other. and i think it led to a constructive outcome and an opportunity to get back to normal. we had actually had, prior to this threatened blowup, a pretty good year from the senate point of view, in the sense that we had followed the regular order on three major bills. members have been able to have multiple amendments. and bills like the farm bill and immigration -- a very controversial measure -- ended up passing the senate. that is the way we used to do business around here. hopefully, we can continue to operate that way in the balance of this year. >> i am glad that six months after senator mcconnell asked the white house to with draw these controversial nominees, who were unconstitutionally appointed, that they have decided -- the white house decided to take the nuclear trigger out, and withdraw these nominees.
i am glad we are where we are. more importantly, i think it gives us an opportunity to now. and the people's business, to deal with the things that my constituents in texas, and i think people around the country, are most concerned about. slow economic growth, high unemployment. back toe get america work? how do we deal with the evolving train wreck that is obamacare? that is in the words of a democrat, the chairman of the senate finance committee. what is the next step? to au were for or opposed obamacare, recognizing that it failing before our eyes, what are we going to be able to do to make sure the american people have high-quality access to affordable healthcare? that is the business we ought to be about. , and like my colleagues pleased the democrats have decided to pull back from a
move that would have been very destructive to the workings of the senate. i hopeke my colleagues, now that we can focus on the people's business, and things that people across this country really care about. i think the democrats like to have these discussions about process, because it distracts people from what is important to people across this country. it distracts people from their record and their policies, which are horrible for jobs and the economy. most americans care about jobs and the economy more than they care about just about anything else. the democrat policies with regard to those issues have given us this chronic high unemployment, sluggish growth, and lower take home pay for most ordinary, middle-class americans. just this week, on sunday, senator reid went on one of the morning talk shows and said that obamacare has been wonderful for america. wonderful for who?
lots of families are seeing their premiums go up why as much as $2500. a lot of people across this country are having more difficulty getting access to health care. you have lots of people across this country who are worried about their jobs. 40% of the employers have said they are not going to hire people. another 20% said they will cut employees. just yesterday, it you had the major union leaders in country come out with a letter saying it would shatter their employee benefits and create nightmare scenarios for the work -- was the word they used for the impact of obamacare upon the people they employ. this really is a train wreck. i can see why the democrats would rather talk about something else. the fact of the matter is, these policies are harmful to many americans. we are pleased the president has decided to delay, at least for a year, the employer mandate. we believe that rather than
create a partial delay for some, we need a permanent delay for all americans, so that americans besides small businesses impacted by the employer mandate have some relief as well. i am pleased the democrats decided to not break the rules to change the rules. on morningator reid talk shows on sunday, talking about this issue. you also heard him make a statement, where he said that obamacare has been wonderful for america. he may not have yet had a chance to read the letter, because it actually came from jimmy hoffa, the teamsters union, as well as and iter large unions, was specifically to nancy pelosi and senator reid. the letter they sent to them says, you promised us.
you promised us that if we like what we have, we can keep it. we now know that does not look like it is the case. they also mentioned the fact that this is undermining the fundamentals of a 40 hour workweek in the united states. we have seen that in small businesses around the country. we have seen it in communities, school districts which are cutting back in 40 hours to less than 30 hours a week, because of the mandates and unintended consequences of the obama healthcare law. this healthcare law is unraveling, and we need to repeal it and replace it so people can get the care they need from a doctor they choose, at lower cost. >> hopefully, now we can focus back on student loans and other things that need to get done, and need to get done this month. i served in the house. i like the house. i liked the house a lot better in the majority than i did in the minority.
there is a constitutional purpose to the senate, and one of those purposes is to represent the rights of the minority in our society, the rights of another point of view in our society. every state, big and small, got the same number of votes. jefferson and adams, when they were not agreeing on much else, in the shadow of constitution writing, said you should never let the senate become a body that does not honor the rights of the minority, because that is an important part of the process designed in the constitution. thefully, we can maintain process that the rights of every senator matter. the part of the process that is protected by the senate continues to be, so we do not rush from one side of the spec and to the other. the house does that by design. but part of that design was, the senate would not let that happen without an appreciation for the rights of all of the
discussion. and hopefully the senate, this week, preserved that for a while longer. >> are you confident you have sidestepped a landmine? an gang of 14 had extraordinary circumstances rule. senator reid has his finger on the button. this seems really temporary. is a step in the right direction that the majority has chosen not to exercise the nuclear option. we feel good about that. i think they feel good about it. i think that crisis has been averted. we still will be dealing with controversial nominees, in the way that controversial nominees inevitably produce a great debate. and all the options available to the minority remain intact. but i think if you look at the nominations of this
administration, many of them have been noncontroversial. the new secretary of transportation. the secretary of state. the ones that generated controversy, generated controversy. i think our reaction to these nominees will depend upon the quality of the nominees and how controversial they are. --senator mcdonald, mcdonnell, what timeline? >> i think i already indicated what we anticipate having on the floor of the senate, sometime before the recess. .wo new nominees we anticipate being able to vote on those before the august recess. >> what conversation did you have with senator mccain when he was negotiating the deal? did senator mccain basically go
around you to cut the deal? and what did you say? a lot of senators over the weekend, senator mccain among them, were involved in discussions. we talked to each other. they were talking to others. i think there was a pool of senators on our side. senator mccain, senator hogan, and others. who were interested in not giving up on the prospects of working this out. i also think that last night's discussion was critical. as i said earlier, and let me repeat it, we had a situation where a huge number of senators on both sides addressed this issue. senators actually had to listen to each other. i think the arguments that were made by my members obviously swayed at least some on the other side that maybe there was a solution to this short of
pulling the nuclear trigger. so a lot of my members were involved in this over the weekend. last night, they were all helpful. was certainly helpful, as was senator corker, senator portman, and others. >> do you think there is less of a chance of ending up act in a situation like this? or did it help you get out of this particular jam? >> you are asking me to answer a hypothetical. i do not know. i do think, in spite of your best efforts to rein on an outcome -- i congratulate you -- -- iin on an outcome congratulate you for your best efforts to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. i think i am safe in saying a high level of collegiality on a bipartisan basis is achieved as a result of last night. you can pick at it if you want to.
it was an important moment for the senate, coming on the heels of the fact that we did three fairly significant bills this year on a bipartisan basis that were open for amendment. that is pretty extraordinary, in the last couple of years. so put this down as progress in the right direction, and the best possible atmosphere to go into the balance of the year, when we have much tougher issues to deal with down the road. thanks a lot. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> one of the people i have learned to listen to, and listen too closely, is barbara mikulski. we came to the senate together. we served in the house together. here is the advice she gave all of us a few minutes ago. direct quote. -- nogues, no quoting gloating. maximum dignity. that is where i am coming from. the final caucus here was very good.
we have basically done everything but doubting the -- dotting the i's and crossing t's to have seven qualified nominees receive a vote for a full-functioning and ellerbee. gone out ofe business at the end of this month. it will not go out of business. this is not just about these nominees. this must be a new normal. qualified executive nominees must not be blocked by procedural super majority votes. i have been here a long time. i know there will be times when they feel they must do cloture. i accept that. but we will be able to work our way through that. the first says it all. richard cordray. what a good man. he called me this afternoon, having waited, and waited, and
waited. here is a man who is so well- qualified. university of michigan. honors student. studied a couple years in england. university of chicago school of law. this very, very brilliant man was able to go work for judge bork. we had a long conversation about what a good experience it was for him. justice kennedy, he clerked for. what has he done already? what has that agency done already? they have collected for the american consumer $500 million. half $1 billion. because of credit card companies cheating consumers. that is what that agency does. tens of thousands of people now,
every day, have the opportunity to call a hotline and get information, tell this entity how they think they have been cheated. families are getting their homes back, having been foreclosed upon illegally. 6 million dollars, recently returned to consumers from car dealers cheating people when they bought cars. watchdog on wall street for the american consumer. that is the vote we just had. ,o we know that presidents democrat or republican, deserve an up or down vote. area we arethe working toward. but to be very, very clear, we , because ofieve what has gone on the past few days, including the joint
meeting we had last night -- there is a feeling around here. feelings do not last forever, and i understand that will stop but they are not sacrificing their right to filibuster, and sacrificing our right to change the rules if necessary. which i am confident it will not be. i am very encouraged by the discussions we have had over the last few days. both sides understand each other better. we are making great strides to restore the comity and cooperation that used to define this great institution. it was really a good day for ed markey to come to the senate, and to come to this caucus. the senate should be a place where we engage in spirited debate and get things done for the american people. content ofeful the
this agreement will prove a major step toward achieving that goal. there are lots of people who deserve credit for the progress we have made, focusing on how the senate does not work very well. i have asked to of my junior colleagues to give their opinion on what has happened the last few years. andt of all, tom udall, after he completes his remarks, jeff merkley. >> thank you very much. , and to be here with you have you as a partner, working side-by-side. first of all, let me tell you about last night, because i think that set the stage for what we saw happen here. , or as we call him, leader reid, played a true leader role in that meeting last night. it was structured in such a way it was just senator to senator.
senator reid was tough and resolute, and he stood up and said, remember. about every half-hour, he said, remember, we are going to vote tomorrow. what flowed out of that meeting is the result we have today. and i am proud of that result, and i think it really moves us forward. these agencies can now do their jobs. they play very important roles for the american people. and i think it is a good day when we have very well- qualified people take over in agencies, and be able to do their job. my father, who senator reid had the opportunity to get to know before had a great visit he died. he used to always tell me that one of the most important things that he felt, as secretary of the interior, in order to get
his job done, was to have his team in place. it happened in two weeks. he always said, he the team in place. he had his team in two weeks. theave, today, given president 18, so he can move move forward with his agenda. i think that is tremendously important. the other issue that i just wanted to talk about a second is what senator reid mentioned right at the and. this is not meant in any way as a threat. but we are hoping that what this is laying the groundwork for is a positive harbinger for positive things to come. we are looking at moving in that direction. but the leader has not given up his right to work and change precedents if the
situation comes around again. we are going to work with each other to make this a more positive place, as the u.s. senate. i thank you for allowing me to be here, and standing with you today. it is a real pleasure to be standing here with these partners. tom udall, when he came into this body -- we came in together. he immediately began noting how important it was that we have a regular process to restore the functions of the u.s. senate. -- now it isr several years. we have been working toward a at theis not dysfunctional point that it is right now, restoring the functionality of the senate. we have had many occasions to be in leader reid's office, brainstorming about how to make that possible. i must say that in january 2011
leadership 2013, our made clear a commitment to bipartisan dialogue, a commitment to trying to restore the social contract that made this place work in the past. what has occurred in the last few days is a reflection of how difficult that has been to achieve. but now we have a very significant moment. on the pathlestone to restoring the functionality of the senate. we have an agreement that says these important executive positions will get an up or down vote. that is extremely important. and it is important because it makes a real difference in people's lives. the national labor relations board is the referee for the employer and employees for fairness in labor negotiations. that is extremely important. the consumer financial protection bureau really is not fully in place until we have a
confirmed director. beat,d a cop on the fighting predatory practices that take advantage of working families. if you believe in family values, you have to believe that predatory practices that strip whelp from families rather than creating wealth are simply wrong, and must be countered. we will soon have an agency fully equipped to be that cop on the beat. it is said that jefferson and washington were in conversation, and washington described the -- as different from the house. it is delivered it. it was perhaps described best as the most deliberative oddi. the we have not had a cooling saucer. we have had a deep freeze. onto a putting us back functional path to take the big challenges that america expects
us to address. thank you. we will take a few questions. >> leader reid, yesterday you said, i am changing the rules as necessary to restore the senate, and the time and the history rated the change. you did not change the rules of the senate. nothing actually changes. >> we got a yes, and i think we should take the yes. why would a member want to change the rules -- a lot of members in the caucus have wanted to change the rules on the filibuster somewhat for its own sake, feeling they simply do not work anymore. what changed inside the room that people like senators who have been in favor of changing the rules decided that this was a better course? >> i think you have the answer already, and that is, the
purpose of all of this is not a question of changing this rule or that rule. what we have done, the three of us and others, is to restore the ability of the senate to function. i have been here a long time now. i know how the senate used to work. these men with me had a lot of experience in government. they know how the senate should work. and we have been able to accomplish that. does that mean it will last forever? i do not know about that. , both have a good feeling democrats and republicans. i think we should, as senator mcconkey said, not gloat, but just a dignified about it. we have a new start for this body, and i feel very comfortable with it. not know how i could be happier. we also have a few other things we have to get done. student loans.
we are very close to getting that done. we have an energy bill we have been trying to get to for a number of years. we have an appropriations bill. -- i cann issue that never remember the name. senator tester pushes it very hard. we have a lot of things we need to do. do not forget immigration is still ahead of us. it is a big, hard bill. and we need cooperation over here if we are going to get something done in the house. and we need cooperation here on immigration. we have not lost anything. we have gained on a multitude of issues. does this mean you will be open to more joint meetings? as everyone knows here, i tried to do the joint meetings. for reasons we not -- we need
not go in here, they were not done. we are going to do more meetings, and we are going to do them on a periodic basis. they will not all be like last night. we need a subject to talk about. but i can envision a number of things we could be doing that would he extremely good to get us to talk to each other, instead of talk about each other. i have not asked them yet. but i think george mitchell, them a crack, and trent lott, republican -- i think that be a great opportunity for our caucus to talk about how they deal. we will have more joint caucuses. we will have a repeat of trying to talk to each other instead of past each other. >> you talked about senator mccain, and his role in the process. john mccain and i have worked
together for a long time. i have worked with him for 31 years. and we have had some pretty difficult times together. in the 31 years we have worked together, there is no one i have ever worked with that is more a man of his word or a person of his word then john mccain. maybe we could have gotten it done without him. i have answered the question. >> are you confident you will get an up or down vote on the three nominees for the d c circuit for? >> we will take those one at a time. we are talking about executive nominees. those are going through the process. we will see. >> homeland security?
>> i could give you a few others. we are going to take these one at a time. we feel comfortable where we are. i think there is a way of moving forward. i think there is a good feeling in the senate, the best feeling we have had in a long time. that is how we get things done. this was a very, very difficult issue for a lot of people. one thing i always had going for me was, i had the votes. and there is no need to do any more than what we have done. , which yes for an answer a lot of times, around here, it is hard for people to do that. one more question. when are we going to have a vote on the new secretary nominee, tom perez? i do not know for sure. post-cloture, there is a lot of time. at the right time, we will
initiate cloture on all nlrb nominees. late nextas early as week or early the following week, we will move all five at the same time. >> senator, the labor bill? >> during what time? >> during these negotiations. >> i have had a call or two. thanks. >> the senate armed services committee member senator carl levin spoke tuesday morning. tobegan with reports changes for rules on executive nominations. he spoke before the agreement
that avoided the so-called nuclear option. he also discussed the possibility of sexual assault in the military, foreign aid, and military programs. this is an hour. >> here we go. i am dave cook thomas from the monitor. our guest today is senator carl levin of michigan, senator on the armed services committee. his last visit with the group was in january of 2012. we appreciate his willingness to come back. he is a graduate of swarthmore and harvard law. after graduation, he worked for the michigan civil rights
commission and the appellate public defender's office. he was elected to detroit city council in 1969 and became his president. -- became its president. he's the longest serving senator in michigan history and his current term in 2014 will be his last. so much for biography. now to the popular process of the program. we're on the record. no live blogging, tweeting or filing while the breakfast is under way. there's no embargo when the session is over except that c- span has agreed not to use video of the session for at least one hour after the breakfast ends to give those of us in the room a chance to file. as many of you have heard me say ad nauseam, if you'd like to ask a question, send me a subtle nonthreatening signal and i'd be happy to call. i'd like an opportunity to have brief comments around the table. thanks for doing this again, sir. >> thank you, dave. thank you, all, for coming out this morning.
my legislative director is with me. i thought i'd start off with a couple of minutes of remarks about what the senate is embroiled in at the moment. dave mentioned their words ever popular before the word process. and that kind of goes to the heart of the matter. but the senate is debating -- what the senate is debating is process. that's not the least bit popular. there's irony in his words. there's no irony in my words. process is not something that the people care much about. they care about results. how you get there is not much in their minds understandably.
and when you folks report on these kind of issues, it's not very much in the front and center of your reports. understandably. the public wants results. but the senate has a process, and the question is whether or not that process now is going to be changed by a majority of the senate. that is the fundamental question which will be decided later this morning is whether or not the rules of the senate will be changed by a majority of the senate. can the majority change the rules whenever it wants like the house of representatives? the rules committee. every day they adopt new rules. they can change the house rules by a majority in whatever they want.
the senate by its rules says that the debate -- this is where the subtley comes in but it goes to the heart of the matter, the debate on rules changes lasts until 2/3 of the senate ends the debate. and so for shorthand you and we say right now it takes 2/3 of the senate to change the rules. technically that's not true. it's a majority that votes ultimately if there's cloture's invoked or debate has ended, it's a majority that changes the rule that votes on the change. just the way on a filibuster on legislation or on judges' nominees, it takes 60 votes to end debate so we sometimes say
it takes a supermajority to get something passed in the senate. that's only true to end debate on an issue. not on the issue itself. now, the reason that distinction is critically important is that process is important in any legislative body that has any protection for the minority. and the senate has protected the minority with a process. that process has been abused. that process has also been used by the likes of me, a democrat, and by members of my party to stop some things from happening which we believe very strongly should not happen. we prevented the confirmation of judges who we thought were rigid ideologues who could not be objective judges.
we have prevented -- and this is just in recent years -- the prestrixes on reproductive rights of women. we didn't have a majority, but we had 60 -- we had 41 votes. enough to stop those changes from happening. we were able to prevent a -- an amendment which would have inflicted on all of our states the rules of other states -- in other words. if my state -- my state's a bad example, but if a state has a law that says you can't carry a concealed weapon, there was an amendment in front of the senate just a few months ago which said, but if a visitor to that state comes from a state which allows you to carry a concealed weapon, then that person, that visitor has a right to carry a
concealed weapon when visiting the state. we stopped that. we didn't have a majority. we had a minority of more than 40 that was able to stop it. and so the issue before the senate, the issue before the senate is whether or not a majority of the senate can effectively change the rules at will just the way the majority of the house can change the rules at will. and i just want to end here by quoting a michigan senator. many years ago arthur vandenburg, republican from michigan, was facing a similar situation. this issue, believe me, has been debated over the last century at least. there were civil rights legislation in front of the senate. he favored that civil rights legislation. he was a strong proponent of civil rights. it was being filibustered.
and the question was then whether or not the senate would by fiat change the rule relative to cutting off debate. in this case it was on the legislation itself. and what he said, and he voted against his own substantive provision, what he says applies today. if the majority of the senate can change the rule if at any time, quote, there are no rules except the unregulated wishes of a majority. so do i favor changing the rule about executive appointments getting a vote? you bet you. i believe the president -- and i believe a majority of the senate believe that the president ought to have his or her nominees
voted on and not filibustered. i believe that. i want to change the rule but not by fiat, not by breaking a rule which says that it takes 2/3 of the senate to end debate on a rules change. so this is longer than the few minutes i planned on talking. it's at the heart of the issue today. not whether we change a rule so that presidents are guaranteed they can get votes on their nominees. again, i favor that change. but how you change the rule and whether or not the majority of the senate can become then the
determiner unilaterally, whether they can change the rules, whether it's today on nominees, tomorrow on judges, the day after tomorrow on legislation. >> we're going to go to trisha christina. you will get a lot of questions about the nuclear option. let me ask you about two other subject areas. one about sexual assault in the military. as you know there was a "new york times" story over the weekend talking about the impact of president obama's comments about sexual assault saying they should be prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, dishonorably discharged. military defense lawyers cited that as command influence. question, how badly did the
president mess up in terms of placing obstacles in a prosecutor's way? >> i'm going to let the courts decide that. i'm an old defense lawyer. if i were representing a defendant i would probably make the same argument. i will not decide that on who wins that argument. the president was not referring, i don't believe, to any specific case so the argument i guess would be on the part of the prosecutor. there's no command influence in this case. these are generalized comments of a president. the president, of course, is he's the commander in chief. if the jurors, whoever those jurors are in that court martial, i think would have to be asked by the defense counsel, are they familiar with them and does it go through the usual process of questioning jurors and then if there is a -- if there's a finding of guilt in
that case, then there would be an appeal to the court of military appeals. there is a process to resolve that issue. and i'd rather not comment on it because maybe then, because i'm chairman of the armed services committee, my comments could be viewed as command influence. >> let me ask you a related conference. as you know there is a press conference later this morning whether senators paul and cruz are going to be join with senator gillibrand in her effort to get, you know, votes to take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command. the political story this morning saying she had 32 votes before- hand. what's your take on the way this issue is moving? do you see -- what do you see? >> well, the armed services committee on a bipartisan vote adopted major changes in the rules and laws on sexual assault. the problem is being dealt with, has been dealt with in our legislation in many, many ways. the most important thing we do
is to make sure that the victim or the alleged victim of an assault has an opportunity to work with a special counsel that will be whose ethical obligation is to vet the victim. and there's major changes which has to happen. the problem is that if you remove the chain of command, you're taking away from the command, their chain of command, the club that they need to change the culture which is the club of being able to prosecute somebody. if you take away -- and we've had testimony from the commanders here, including a number of women commanders who say we've got to change this culture. we need that club. don't remove that club from us which is the ability to prosecute, because it is that which helps us change this culture.
we commanged it relative to race. -- we've changed it relative to race. we've changed it relative to sexual orien fashion.-- orientation. we commanders command, order changes. by the way, the military in some respects was the head of the country when it came to changing discrimination against african- americans. they were ahead of the rest of the country because they had commanders which finally said it's going to end, it's going to end here. and we're going to enforce it. if anybody opens their yap and makes comments of people of other races or ethnic groups, we're going to deal with it as commanders. behind them was the force being able to court martial, prosecute. so the commanders are telling us we will weaken their ability to end the sexual assaults and the other types of sexual misconduct. if you take this out of the chain of command. i don't know where the votes
will be on that issue when it comes to the floor, but on a bipartisan basis, including a number of republicans, male, female, democrats, republicans, by a pretty sizeable majority in the armed services committee felt the last thing we want to do is weaken the -- not just the power but the -- we have to have accountability on those commanders. accountability for their climate. and we do that in our bill as well. we add accountability for the commanders if they fail to change the climate inside of their command. >> trisha. >> good morning, senator. i was wondering if you could talk about what's going on with getting aid to egypt right now. there's been talk that the united states has a lot of options to continue giving aid even though there is a decision it was a coup. what options might you be able to have? what's your position on that
issue? >> i think we ought to suspend the tade which the law says needs to be suspended which is the nonmilitary aid which is by its own terms, the law's own terms, must be taken away, suspended in the event there's either a coup or where the military by decree is operating. the word coup is in the statute as a grounds to stop the aid. again, this applies on the nonmilitary side. the president has on military side to do the same thing. we ought to follow that law. we ought to follow all of our laws. i don't know of anything new in this area. people have expressed their opinion on it. my hunch is there is not the votes. the nonmilitary aid is required. we believe, as rurd by law.-- a
number of us, by law. i think all of us hope the military will live up to what they say they'll do which is to move to a constitution which protects the rights of all egyptians of all faiths and backgrounds and ethnic origin and so forth. we hope that the military lives up to their commitment to then have elections following the constitution. if that's so the aid could always be restored. i think until the actions take place rather than just to the statements of commitment that we ought to keep that portion of the aid suspended. >> christina. >> could you explain a little bit more about, you know, the suspension of nonmilitary aid versus military aid? i read the law and 1.3 billion that is military aid -- if it were determined to be a coup, i am confused on that part.
>> i believe that the law refers to the aid portion, not the military assistance portion, but the aid, the economic aid part of the assistance program. i'm pretty sure that's true. you could check it out. either way it's not all of it. i may have them reversed. i don't think so. you can check that out. as far as the portion that's not bound by that language, the president would have the authority of course to do that without being required to do that by law. >> will we then go ahead with the f-16 transfers? >> i don't know -- >> regardless it's a coup or not? >> i don't know what the president's decision is. that's within his discretion. >> sorry. i have a second question. >> go ahead. >> i heard you speak last week at carnegie. you eloquently stated the risks
of inaction on syria. what are the risks -- the real risks of getting further involved in syria and the usage of standoff weapons targeting assad tanks and military action, how can we do that? >> how do we weigh the risks? >> how can we use -- is it reasonable to use standoff weapons to achieve our goals in syria? >> i believe it's reasonable. are you saying is it feasible? >> feasible? >> it is. depending on the targets. there are targets which standoff weapons can reach, including some air fields, including airplanes that are on those air fields. including other targets, command, control targets. there may be some -- i got to be careful here.
there may be some missile sites, scud missile sites that can be reached. there may be clusters of artillery that can be reached. you can make a -- you can have a significant impact without violating syrian airspace and israel's done that, by the way. israel has done exactly that. from all the reports. >> and the risks of getting involved? >> it might be a -- end up being a step to getting in deeper instead of supporting the syrians, which is what i think we ought to do, that we can somehow become more directly involved. i don't think that's anybody's intent. nobody wants to put boots on the ground. and i think the folks, like me,
others, senator mccain and others who want to raise the military pressure on assad wrant to help the syrian forces, the opposition to do that, in terms of training and equipping and considering at least some kind of a standoff move against targets which are being used to hurt the people. a million people so far that have been hit by this regime and the slaughter continues in homes. this regime doesn't avoid collateral damage. it's goal is collateral damage, to terrorize innocent people out of their homes. it bombs neighborhoods, villages, wipes them out with artillery creating refugee flows.
so the outcome here it's got a huge impact in the region. almost every country in the region wants to get assad out of there. if assad survives this, hezbollah will be strengthened because they are at his side fighting. as a matter of fact, those foreign fighters are making a difference for assad in terms of shifting the momentum in his direction which has been the case recently. so in terms of training and equipping the syrians, not alone. we can't do this -- we need to be part of a renal national group, and that's -- regional group and that's why senator king and i came back from jordan and from turkey about a week ago now we urged the president to convene a group of countries that want assad to be removed. that's motion of the countries in the region.
to plan on increasing the military pressure by helping the syrian opposition to become stronger. they are in the -- they are in the clear majority, by the way, in syria. if we give -- if we help to provide the weapons and the training and consider at least going after some of these targets which would weaken the regime from a position outside of syria without even invading or moving into syrian airspace, we can make a difference, but we can't do that unilaterally. we shouldn't make a mistake going into iraq. a double mistake going in. the second mistake was to do that without the support of the region or the international community. we can't make those mistakes again. >> we're going to go next to jerry. mark, anna, john, paul and
michael. [indiscernible] talked about changing the culture. it reminds me over time the culture has changed a lot in the military. there was a time when the idea of gays in the military was strongly opposed to commanders. when women in combat was strongly opposed by commanders. do you worry that the culture will change in a way that will push the military towards senator gillibrand's point of view on this? or is this issue fundamentally different in a way that will prevent the military and congress from ever agreeing to take this responsibility away from the chain of command? >> first of all, cases can be prosecuted now civilly outside of the chain of command. right now. that power exists. by the way, there are many cases, many, many cases where
civilian prosecutors, just local prosecutors have refused to prosecute but were then the military did prosecute. i want to repeat that. ok. right now civilian prosecution is available. the victims can simply go to a local cop and say i've been assaulted. it will be investigated. local prosecutors can and have prosecuted cases. that is available right now. the experience is that in many cases we don't have an overall total statistic but in dozens and dozens and dozens of cases where the local prosecutorses have decided not to prosecute,
the military has decided to prosecute with success. so i don't know if that answers your questions. all i can say is this. the military commanders have been told we're going to -- we're ending don't-ask, don't- tell. make it work. i will never forget the commandant of the marine corps who before our committee said don't make us do this. don't repeal don't-ask, don't- tell. it's going to be a problem. and general amos stated what he believed. he said the following -- if you do change, marines will make it work. we take orders. we will make it work. we don't think it's the right thing to do, but if you make the decision it will happen. couple months later he said we are making it work. he thought again about the
decision. he said it probably was the right decision. we made it work with race. and it's commanders who make it work because they give orders. they give orders. they disciplined people who violate those orders. that is what you want. not just with sexual assault, but with the climate that leads to sexual assaults. you need to change the climate. it is the commanders who need to change the climate. you want them to not only have the power to discipline and implement the orders, we have also got to hold them accountable. that is one of the things our bill does and should do. hold them accountable. being judged on their own performance, be judged on
climate inside their units. >> this is a two-part question. first dealing with the issues of changing the senate procedure. i gather that there was no progress made towards avoiding a confrontation last night at the meeting? there was a lot of folks who wanted to avoid this. it urged the leaders to find a way to avoid it. --elf, i indicated as either as i have said here, i cannot support this. i guess it is a when and not and if. i have been clear with my leader on this. the republicans tried this five or eight years ago.
all of us did. read those speeches. they are there. you can punch a button these days and find out what ted kennedy had to say about this subject. or joe biden. or harry reid. know, now the leaders are in a position to flip on their positions. the republicans were threatening it eight years ago i guess it was. '05. we spoke against it. i spoke against it. ok, we are they majority. so now it is ok? for the majority to change the rules? whatever theit -- senate wants at will? i do not know if i have answered your question.
did i answer your question? i'm sorry. [laughter] the second part of my question -- >> oh i know. no specific progress last night. hopefully the seeds of progress was planted. we urge the leaders to try to find a way. >> you said most people probably do not care much about the process. i do not think that is true for the people of detroit. wouldn't you agree that you and members of the michigan delegation, including your brother, would be better off devoting most of the time to helping detroit a void its fate as a field city? its fate as a failed city? >> wouldn't we better off defending?
i live in detroit and always have. i have raised our kids in detroit. time doing what we can to help detroit comeback. anyway, we have done that in lots of ways. riverfront development in terms of getting a new beginning on the automobile industry which is critical for the state. we spent a lot of time on the future of the city and the future of my state. ironically, my city is coming back. it is coming back strong.
i know that is counterintuitive to folks. nola. the word shy if you want to see one thing going on out of the hundreds of things going on, google that word. -- y from texas >> [inaudible] i say this as someone who knows every block of the city. there are some parts that are devastated. there are pictures of it. i wish you can go and take pictures of the parks in detroit that are coming back strong. young people are moving into the cities. they want to be where the action is. the action is going big. we have a guy who owns quicken
loans. this is where young people want to live and work. we probably have about 20 vacant buildings downtown. half of which i worked in. they have been vacant. guy -- there's a lot of things going on besides one guy. i mention the word "shynola" to you. a bit of ait is deviation from your schedule. since you asked me about detroit, i will tell you what is going on. painful.l and the other half of what is going on is an amazing story. one guy from texas who owns some
men's furnishing place was called fossil. successfula highly business. sells it. he decides he will use that to ripping -- to bring manufacturing back to america. now he is investing in detroit. now we are building bicycles in detroit. i have watched them being built. we are making watches. we're making really great detroit watches. do you remember that super bowl game? imported from detroit? remember that? people are coming back. manufacturingas a
country and state and as a city, we are coming back. it is amazing. hundreds of young people that are involved in all kinds of stuff i do not even understand. creating apps for every dam thing in the world -- damn thing in the world. you cannot buy a condo in detroit. he cannot even buy one. they are so busy. that is the other half of detroit. we spent a lot of time. art of it is trying to turn around the industry of detroit to make sure people see the half that i have just described and the blighted half that is also real. i know how real it is. i'm sorry. i get carried away with my love of detroit. >> i would like to circle back around and talk about sexual assault. you describe the state of problems as if it is an event
, when in reality it has been an epic. for the past several years of your career, there has been a lack of an air force base. is not a one-off kind of thing. this has been a persistent problem. a militaryo what scholar says. the job of a commander is the health and welfare and well- being of his troops. inyou got a soldier who -- the same way this pernicious problem needs to be dealt with --e appendicitis >> you have got to have commanders who are accountable. things have got to be change. in some cases like race.
i know how tough it is to change racial attitudes. i know how tough it is. but the military finally after all kinds of near riots inside the barracks during the vietnam war, they finally did something. they decided they would use affirmative action. that was number one. and second, commanders would put a stop to it. it would be held accountable. you have to hold commanders accountable for controlling the culture. it has not been done yet. it will be done under our law. they will be held accountable. that is the difference. i do not know about appendicitis thing. that is the best analogy. if you want to look at prejudice or sexual misconduct, if that is your analogy, take it out. abbey
take it out? the commander is a right person to get at racial discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination. it has been proven. area,oblem is with this the commanders not been held accountable. they will be held accountable under our law. our bill, there's 20 provisions or more in our bill on sexual misconduct. we're going to hold commanders accountable and they need to change that climate. but you know what, it's interesting because gillibrand approach doesn't do anything in the area -- moving the decision maker on prosecution, that decision maker is now a colonel. with 3,000 to 10,000 people under his or her command. that doesn't -- that doesn't change the behavior at the lower level. victims here are intimidated. they don't report or are ashamed.
the decision by panetta's decision changed the decision maker on whether to prosecute, to higher up in the chain of command, to get away from any kind of buddy system. so now it's a colonel. and by the way, what we do -- what we do in our bill, we say if there was an allegation of sexual assault, one of four crimes, if -- if there's an allegation, if that does not lead to a prosecution, the decision then is bumped up to a general officer. now that's never been done before. that's in our bill. i think i said it accurately and clearly.
it's a very important change in our bill. how are we going to hold that colonel accountable who decides not to. and if the j.a.g. officer for that colonel recommends prosecution and the colonel says no -- this is rare but it's happened -- then the head of the department, secretary of the army, secretary of the navy will then have to make the decision. you talk about putting -- bringing about change but we do this without doing something which doesn't relate to the problem. the problem is the prosecutor, the colonel doesn't make a decision to prosecute, no one is showing that as a problem. the problem is at that lower level with the fear to report, the pressure at the lower level, intimidation. god, you'll mess up things in our unit if you report this. that's the problem. you got to change that and we do
change that in some very powerful ways. >> senator, james clyburn has been accused of lying to congress in his testimony. do you feel he's been held suitably accountable to lying to congress? >> i'm troubled by that testimony obviously. i don't know how he's tried to wiggle out from it. i'm troubled by it. so -- how do you hold him accountable? i guess the only way to do that would be for the president to somehow or another fire him. i think he's made it clear he regrets saying what he said. i don't want to call on the president to fire him, although i'm troubled by it. so i'll leave it at that.
>> can i ask a follow-up question? you serve both on armed services and the intelligence committee, as anna's question implied. do you feel fully informed? on what the national security agency is up to? >> on this issue i was adequately informed. not at the beginning where only the leaders of the intelligence committee were brought into it before it happened. but later on down the road -- and i don't remember the exact years -- we were informed about an issue. i don't think we were informed about the other half of the problem. i forgot the exact name at the moment. the prison issue. i don't want to duck responsibility that way.
i just think i feel adequately informed. do i think this is an issue which has got huge ramifications? it does. technologies have opened up capabilities which have been unthought of until now and we got to deal with that issue. in principle it's not much different, frankly, from when i was born i think probably there were still operators who were connecting long distance calls. so operators would keep a record of long distance calls and you would be billed on it. so the telephone companies had the billings in their records. and then comes a totally different age where now it's all computerized but now if those records can be put into a -- kept in a form where they can be accessed instead of going back into paper records in principle is this much different than going back into paper records
and phone calls? maybe not in principle but i tell you in practice it's a heck of a lot different to be able to punch a button and find every call, if you meet the cry tear combra that are in the -- criteria that are in the law to know every single call i made, it's got to be looked at very, very carefully to see if this technology now has the greater potential, the greater potential and it does. i shouldn't say if. this technology has a greater potential to invade our privacy, period. they can't look at the substance of my conversations, but they can find out a heck of a lot about me what phone calls i make. and that capability, that technology is something we need to think through because there are pluses to it in terms of
catching bad guys and there are minuses to it in terms of abuses. j. edgar hoover, if this technology were in the hands of j. edgar hoover, would i feel comfortable? no. [laughter] but on the other hand, i wasn't comfortable with j. edgar hoover with his technologies. >> there is a report that the n.s.a., c.i.a. provided hezbollah with rovings information provided information of al qaeda attacks against hezbollah within shiia neighborhoods. it raised question, there are a lot of al qaeda elements working with the rebels in syria and the sharing of information, it seems to counter a little bit. does this raise concerns for you that we're getting an awfully close working with al qaeda? >> you're telling me about
classified reports. so it is thirdhand. it might be secondhand. whichever it is, even if i knew it, i wouldn't tell you because it is probably classified. i do not at -- i do not know anything more than what you have told me. with thenformation enemy as they are dealing with a worst enemy at the moment? is that complex? probably is. , i cannot comment on whether or not it is appropriate. i do not know the circumstances. if i did come i could not comment on it anyway. >> we have about 13 minutes left. that means i have 10 seconds.
you to respond to chuck hagel's comments. he has been pretty quiet. what is your view? more importantly, are you repeat of a home run champion? >> detroit is coming back despite the setback. [laughter] out the yankees, that is proof of it. we do not have to win the world serious. that is more important than the world seies. -- series. i think i lost about half the audience. what was the question? chuck hagel. i'm sorry. i think he is doing great. if you asked me for examples, he has won the support of my
republican colleagues who voted against him. that is significant. he has got respect inside the building, which is important. gates had that respect. act tos a very difficult follow because he has done a terrific job. lot, to meeadlined a a lack oft a sign of success. they could be a sign of the opposite. it is probably not a sign of either. i think he is doing fine. >> senator, really quickly onto the nsa issue. based on all of the briefings you have had about these various programs, and you see that you as private industry whether telecom or silicon valley type of bunnies, have they been fully ooperative -- c partners in these various
programs that the nsa conducts? >> i think there are differences between the companies. one of the companies has been less willing to cooperate. , i think they have cooperated in what they believe is the right thing to do for the country. i'm not sure that is your question. you say cooperating -- out as toks came whether that internet companies like facebook or google, whether the ceos were aware of what was going on. we have companies that have been cooperating for many years. i'm curious whether you think some of these companies have been disingenuous. >> i do not have a comment on that.
there are different ways in -- i different companies do not know enough to comment. >> thank you. by the way, i'm a yankees fan. they go together. [laughter] you fory, thank reminding everyone. i think we forget about the republicans wanting to change the rules based on what you said . is it safe to assume that every one of the republicans will vote with you and the two democrats who are speaking out to stop the changing of the rules? it is inconsistent with the position that they took six years ago. the -- it reminds me of the new york times editorials.
[laughter] editorials.of those '06. when the republicans were wanting to change the rules of the majority, they editorialize strongly against allowing this power grab and destruction of minority rights. and now this morning's editorial? .t is the opposite they are flipping positions. the difference is we have responsibility to the institution. we have to make a decision. we cannot take a position when we are in the majority and reverse it because we are in the minority. we cannot do that and have much credibility. the newspapers are able to reverse positions. that is what the times have done today versus '06.
thank you for asking a question where i can drag that in. [laughter] anyway, i forgot your question. but thank you for asking. aboutelieve that just every republican will vote the majority being able to change the rules at will even though they sure sounded like they were willing to do it. they were in '06. they threaten to do it. on the other hand, i do not want reversingze them for positions depending on when they were in the majority or minority. i believe that democrats are doing the same thing. i was opposed to it when republicans were trying to change the rules. the majority deciding to change the rules at will. and i'm opposed to our threatening to do that.
about ask me all the time these abuses. how do you change this thing if you do not change the rules? i believe the majority and both parties can change the rule according to the rules. according to the rules so that two thirds can cut off the base. executiveions, nominations. not judicial. i believe we have a good chance of changing the rules according to the rules. ok? i made that argument last night. my constituents were democratic, how do you end the abuses if you do not change the rules? we should change the rules. use the rules to make them filibuster. that is the other thing i read to my colleagues last night.
very -- aboutt it this. -- it is on for believable -- it is unbelievable, the whisper of opposition. whisper of opposition brings the world greatest deliberative body to a grinding halt. forced into a confrontation to a threat to filibuster is undoubtably antidote. i read it to my colleagues last night. force folkst threatening to filibuster the filibuster? we can do it. i showed the leaders. they said earlier this year when we were able to avoid the same problem earlier in january.
eight of us got together and made a proposal and the motion proceeded. he modified the rules on the motion to proceed. you can do it. republicans and democrats. i have looked at some of my republican colleagues who threaten us all the time. all you have got to do is whisper. no. stand up and filibuster all night. let's spend a day or a weekend andugust forcing folks threatening a filibuster. filibuster a judicial nominee. you know as well as i do it will get 99 votes. you are threatening to filibuster that nominee? go ahead. it will last about an hour. end of the answer. >> quick question about the defense budget. for the last 20 or 30 years, is seen in the department of the
army, navy, air force have received roughly equal shares of the defense budget. that has been true through at least half a dozen strategic end of the cold war to -- now that we are in this period of fiscal pressure, do think those roughly equal shares are strategically sound? do you favor continuing them? how do you see the pivot affecting those budget shares in the future? >> i believe we ought to look at the budget much more specifically than to start with an assumption that current shares, whatever they are, should continue. whether they are rough or equal or not is not the point.
the current division of our -- it should continue don't. i think we should challenge a lot of things, including the nuclear program. my answer to your first question is -- that is my answer to your first question. to asia change things? i think not yet. probably overtime it will change the budget in a number of ways, including the location of the .uestion of the marines the shipbuilding program and the types and location. the type of location of our troop's. it will have a lot of effects over time. >> last question. can you give an assessment of
how the senate is spending its time on rules? how does a filibuster and the rules, how does that resonate with the american public? or does it at all? >> american public sees this is not been able to get our work done. the filibuster has been abused. some ways we are to change the rules. that is not the issue for me. it is how you ought to change the rules. the majority writes the rules every day and can change the so- called permanent rules any time they want. i think the rules have been abused. we should change the rules where we can. i think there is room on the
judicial -- excuse me, executive branch nominees. then i think we should show the american public were the instructions are. we never do that. we never did tell the minority of the minority. we never say to them, go ahead. the love buster. you'll demonstrate to the american people people why this place is not functioning well. start to focus a little bit. if we force folks to filibuster on nominees who will get 99 , it becomes illustrated and dramatic and the structure becomes clear. then you will see some of the
leadership, republican leaders in particular, clamp down on the people who abuse our rules. that is our best hope. your first question is how the people see us? i'm sorry. >> yeah. curious spending all this time on the issue. >> i think it is perfectly proper. i think it is healthy that we finally got together and talked about this issue. if we can avoid the nuclear option, it will clear the air. we can find a way to resolve this without breaking the rules. we can avoid that. this meeting last night will be the reason we avoided it -- avoid it. it seems to me instead of breaking the logjam, i do not see how using a nuclear option
can do anything but -- and this is hard for the american people to believe -- but make the gridlock worse. are you kidding? there is still room? there is still room. we have got the farm bill passed. we have an immigration bill passed. aremany judges do you think on the calendar? i asked my colleagues -- how many judges on the calendar? 20, 25. no. five. five judges. on the executive calendar. they are waiting to be confirmed. so, it has been nice having breakfast with you. [laughter] >> looking forward to having you in 2014. thank you. appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
report on monetary policy. before see his testimony the house financial services committee life at 10 a.m. eastern. shannon you dishy -- the senate judiciary committee looks at the voting rights act. >> it is a little acronyms sick to say he was a household name, they came pretty close as anybody did. in the years leading up to the revolution, his name was better known than washington or franklin. john dickinson wrote many of america's papers many the highest level documents, policy documents, constitution, legislation, but he also wrote many more things for ordinary american people. he spoke to them in a way that
very few other leaders did. these include newspaper articles and columns and america's first patriotic song. interest in john dickinson came from early american political theory and religion and started with quakers and quakerism. when he got to the revolution, his name kept coming up. i cannot not find anything about him or very little and what was there was very conflicting. no one seemed to really understand his actions. >> learn more about john dickinson this weekend as book tv and american history tv look at the history and literary life of dover, delaware. saturday at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 2 the tv and also on c-span 3 american history tv. >> attorney general eric holder criticized florida's stand your ground law at the annual naacp
convention in orlando. his comments included personal notes regarding george zimmerman and trayvon martin. he speaks of his own experience of racial profiling. ♪ thank you. thank you. thank you. i know you do. you for such a warm introduction. thank you for those kind words. it is a pleasure to be here in orlando today. join yourivilege to national board of directors and my good friends in celebrating the 104th annual naacp convention and recommitting ourselves to your important work.
i am proud to be in such good company this afternoon among so many obvious friends and courageous civil rights leaders like julia. [cheers and applause] ♪ i'm passionate men and women who have dedicated themselves to bringing our nation together and addressing common challenges that many of our citizens continue to face. even as this convention proceeds, we are all mindful of the tragic and unnecessary shooting death of trayvon martin last year in sanford, florida. also, we are where the state trial that reached the conclusion on saturday evening. today i would like to join president obama in urging all americans to recognize that we are a nation of law and the jury
has spoken. i know the naacp and its members are deeply and rightly concerned about this case as passionate civil rights leaders and engaged citizens and most of all as parents. this afternoon, i want to show you two things -- i am concerned about the case. [cheers and applause] as it confirmed last spring, they have open investigation into it. while that inquiry is ongoing, the department of justice will consider all available information before determining what actions to take. independent of legal determinations that will be made, i believe the strategy provides an opportunity for our nation to speak honestly, honestly and openly about the
complicated and emotional issues that this case has raised. years ago, some of the same issues drove my father to sit down with me and have a conversation. it is no doubt familiar to many of you. man, how i, as a young young young black man, should conduct with police. i'm sure my father fell certain at that time that my parents generation would be the last that would have to worry about that kind of thing. since those days, our country has indeed changed for the better. the fact that a stem before you as attorney general of the u.s. administration of our first african-american president proves that. [applause] progress weof the
have seen, recent events demonstrate that we still have much more to do and further to go. the news of trayvon martin's death last year on the discussions that have taken place since then are minded me of my father's words many years ago. they have brought me back to a number of experiences i had as a young man. when someone pulled me over when i was sure i wasn't speeding, or stop by a lease officer while driving to see a movie in -- p olice officer while driving to see a movie in d.c. trayvon's death last spring cause me to sit down and have a conversation with my own 15- year-old son. like my dad did with me.
this was a father-son edition i hope would not be handed down -- tradition that i hope would not be handed down. but i had to do this to protect my boy. i am his father. it is my responsibility not to ofden him with the issues issues log on, but how to confront the world of now. [applause] this is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in many ways. as important as it was, i am determined to do everything in my power to ensure that that kind of talk i had with my son will be the only conversation that we engage in as a result of these tragic events. in the days leading up to this weekend's verdict, some predicted to prepare for riots and ways of civil unrest across
the country. some great anger of those who did not lean with the jury might overshadow the issues at the heart of this case. the people of sanford and thousands of others across america rejected this destructive path. [applause] wrong those who doubted their commitment to the rule of law. across america, diverse groups of citizens of all race and backgrounds and walks of life, are in step in making their voices heard as american citizens have the right to do through peaceful protests and rallies and vigils designed to inspire responsible debate not to incite violence and division. conduct themselves in a contrary manner does not -- to conduct themselves in a contrary manner does not honor the memory of trayvon martin. [applause] i hope we will continue to approach this necessary dialogue with the same dignity as those
who have lost the most -- trayvon's parents. especially over the past few days. we should be proud of those people. [applause] they suffered a pain that no parent should have to endure. it is one that i as a father cannot begin to -- we embrace their example as a whole been in our prayers, who must not for go this opportunity to better understand one another. we must not fail to see this just to improve this nation that we cherish. now,ing here and starting it is time to get ourselves a responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality so we can meet division and confusion and have understanding truth.passion and with
it is time to sink our collective resolve to react to to violence -- it is time have our collective resolve to react to gun violence. [applause] the underlyingt attitudes and mistaken beliefs on unfortunate stereotypes that serve too often as a basic reason for police action and private judgment. that time to question laws senselessly expand the concept of self-defense in our neighborhoods. [applause] ♪ these laws try to fix something
that was never broken. there's always been a legal defense for using double force -- that they force if -- deadly force if no safe retreat is available. we need to eliminate the age-old requirement where people feel the requirement to retreat outside their homes if they can do so safely by allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public , such laws undermine public safety. it has the demise too many who ore innocent -- victimized to many who are innocent. we must stand our ground. [applause] ♪
we must stand our ground to ensure that our laws reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent. we must also seek a dialogue on attitudes about violence and issues that are too often swept under the rug by honoring the traditions that have been established by naacp and other nonviolent advocates and by paying tribute to the young man who lost his life last year and many others whose lives have been shut -- cut short because of violence that goes too often unnoticed. [applause] so by in gauging with one another in a way that is done in a peaceful and respectful way. as we move
forward together, i want to assure you that the department of justice will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the law. to doingmmitted everything possible to ensure that in every case and in every circumstance in every community, .ustice must be done this organization founded in has, -- 1909, the naacp done that. equal treatment under the law. have dared to seek opportunities for progress and growth. they have challenged the nation to aim higher and become better. under the banner of the naacp , rosaeous men and women
parks, martin luther king junior, and others whose names might be familiar -- unfamiliar, but his contribution are no less advance, ino pursuit of a more perfect union. the examples remind us hard work is far from over. it is tempted knowledge once again that we have much more to do. after all, we come together in a moment of need during a year to find the historic milestones. two brave young students enlisted the advice of naacp and the protection of the national integrate the
university of alabama. [applause] 50 years ago last month, one of the students would later become in-law. although he passed away several years ago much too soon, the courage made a strong impression on me when i was a young man. her stories and others like it drove me to dream of a career in public service and led me to spend my first summer in law school working at the naacp legal defense fund. [applause] her memory inspires me to think of historic speeches that president john f. kennedy delivered on that fateful night 50 years ago last month when he addressed the american people and expressed his support for vivian and her classmate i
describe the cause of civil rights as a moral issue. as old as the scriptures and as clear as the constitution. in that extraordinary moment, president kennedy urged his fellow citizens to refuse to accept that anyone could be denied opportunity, denied education, or denied the future of their choosing just because of the color of their skin. he called on congress to pass sweeping civil rights legislation and outlined a series of proposals that would later be included in the civil rights act of 1964 and the landmark voting rights act of 1965. once signed into law but his ,uccessor, president johnson they have the greatest of american ideals that all are created equal. [applause] protection for
the rights of which every citizen and every eligible voter is entitled. they came to represent nothing less than the foundation of the modern civil rights law. pieceonth, the important of the foundation was chipped away. they validated a key part of it. this provision allowed the department to take swift action against numerous jurisdictions that adopted rules or procedures with either a discriminatory purpose or effect . this served as a potent tool for addressing inequities in our system. to the effectiveness of a legal activism that puts on hold any new voting changes until they had been subjected to fair and thorough review. let me be clear -- this is a deeply disappointing and flawed decision. [applause]
a dell a serious setback to the cause of voting rights. it had ay disagree -- serious setback to the cause of voting rights. i strongly disagree -- far from being an antiquated era,e of a bygone ear, -- there should be fair and impartial voting changes that would allow the department to work which are sticks and two duo problems they occurred. last year, a federal court owed to the vital function that it played in protecting black voters who would have been disproportionately impacted by a photo id law in south carolina. because of the department's engagement with the stager and administrative review and later litigation come in south carolina officials changed how the new voting statutes could be
implemented and eliminate what would have otherwise been a dramatic discriminatory effect. another court cited the voting redistrictings map that would have impacted latino voters. provided more evidence of discriminatory intent and we have space or need to address your. -- here. these cases and many others demonstrate these problems are real. a are significant. they corrode the foundations of our democracy. -- they are significant. make a the foundations of our day, -- our democracy. every member of the supreme court has agreed as the chief voting wrote, discrimination still exists. no one doubts that. that was the chief justice. the struggle for voting rights cannot be relegated to the pages
of history. this is why protecting the fundamental right to vote for all americans who -- will continue to be a top priority for the department of justice along as i have the privilege as serving as attorney general of the united states. [cheers and applause] it is also why i believe we must andrd this as a rare historic opportunity for congress to consider new legislation and restoring and shaping modern voting protections. after all, it has been nearly half a century since its passage. the voting rights act enjoyed broad, bipartisan support on
capitol hill and in the executive branch. it was signed into law by president bush. reauthorization is have the simek president reagan, -- have been signed by president reagan, ford, and nixon. providing it lacks is to the voting box is an american issue access to thequal voting box is an american issue. [applause] it is about the core values that define us as a nation and who we say we are as a people. whatever the solutions are, congressional leaders consider, i urge them to bear in mind that -- congressrward
must take steps to ensure that every eligible american has equal access to the polls. [applause] in the meantime, the justice department will continue to monitor jurisdictions around the country or any changes that might hamper voting rights. we will not hesitate to take aggressive action. we will utilize every tool against any jurisdiction that attempts to take advantage of the supreme court ruling by hindering eligible citizens to exercise -- we will not wait for congressional action to refocus our current enforcement efforts. i am announcing today that i directed the- civil rights division to shift forces to the voting rights decision -- [applause]
♪ to move those resources to the part of the division and parts of the act that were not affected are the supreme court ruling, including section 2 that -- it is clear our work is anything but complete. our cause is not yet fulfilled. for all of the progress we have made over the last 104 years, our nation's journey is far from over. this journey goes on every day in the efforts of those who seek the goal of what our producers have established and in doing
promise of equal justice and the law. it goes on in the steadfast amendment of my colleagues at the justice department and the entire obama administration to protect all kinds of civil rights. most of all, it goes on and the passionate advocacy of concern and dedication and hopeful men and women in an far beyond this rule, the members and leaders of america's oldest and largest civil rights organization. [applause] >> make no mistake, the naacp's work is not historically well the and. it is and will always be a vital and contemporary part of what makes this country truly exceptional. [applause] we will honor heroes like dr. king and so
many others who have struggled, sacrificed, and died for the freedoms we now enjoy by guarding the progress they have achieved and matching their contributions with our own. above all, let us act with him is him and without delay to seize the breathtaking opportunities before us to see justice is done and strengthen history ofs long inclusion. and to continue the work that constitutes our shared purpose and that always remains our common cause. more equitable, nor -- more more perfect union. thank you all very much. [applause] ♪
>> later, the chairman of the armed services committee since with reporters from the monitor. on the next "washington journal, we are joined by the vice chair to deal thousand will consider. the discussion on the bills that would delay the mandate continue with a texas democrat and the number of energy committee. then our spotlight on magazine , national correspondent
for "the atlantic." and jerry brown. live on c-span everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. now, kate has been taken in a plane crash in 1948. is literally seeing her children in birth order disappear from the scene. in her, rose wrote journal about what it was like that summer. gone are the presidential helicopters we would look forward to. i would see his children go out to him. she missed that. she wistfully says to deal thoud will consider. , gone are the days when we were said to be the most powerful family in the world. >> information from newly
released direly -- diaries and letters. rose kennedy and her , part ofions saturday book tv on c-span two. >> the house of representatives is scheduled to take up to bills tomorrow that would delay the employer and individual mandate. the house rules committee met late this afternoon to consider the bills. this is two hours. obama administration announced a one-year delay of the implementation of the employer mandate contained in obamacare. employer mandate contained within what is called obama care. this provision would have forced companies with more than 50 full-time employees to either offer employer-based health care or face a financial penalty.
as a result of this pending mandate, many companies all across america are reducing their employees' hours or are deliberately not hiring new employees in an attempt to avoid the overburdensome regulations. while house republicans agree that the mandate should be delayed and ultimately we believe permanently repealed, we do not believe that the president has the authority to unilaterally decide which aspects of the law he can enforce or not enforce. we believe selective enforcement is not within the statute. the president is absolutely right that the employee mandate should be delayed. in fact, he should go even further and follow the united states house of representatives' lead and help us to repeal the entire law. however, until he agrees to do that, this bill, hr 2667, would
provide the authority to delay the employer mandate through the constitutional and proper legislative process. simply, obama care included an individual mandate which forces every single american to have health insurance or face a penalty. hr 2668 would extend the same one-year delay provided to american businesses would also be provided to america's families. we believe it is simply not fair and not right for the president to decide who has to abide by the law and who does not. it is particularly unfair for the president to force upon american families what he does not force upon american business. we think it is blatantly unfair, and so that's why we're here
today. additionally it's worth noting that less than a month before now, before the president announced the delay, he stated in a reference to obama care that "this is working the way it's supposed to". and yet media records indicate the administration has known for months that the law would never be able to function as planned and that it was destined to fail. as we begin discussions today, i think it's important to note that increasingly more americans are able to see what is in the bill, and they are not liking it. this week the gallup organization released a poll indicating that 52%, a majority of americans, are opposed to obama care. this house of representatives has already voted to permanently repeal the bill but with senate democrats and president obama failing to join us in listening to the american people, we are
here again today to say that this is not working. we join with the president to say this is not working. and this is a disastrous legislation. and it should not be selective enforcement that this president thinks he has. i would also like to insert into the record a letter from 17 conservative groups across the nation that support our bill that we are doing today. and without objection i will enter that into the record. and i'd also like to thank our witnesses who are taking time to be here at this time i'd like to yield to the gentleman, the ranking member of the committee, the gentlemenwoman mrs. slaughter. gentlewoman is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i am very much aware that this again is an exercise in futility, but it's possible it's the only exercise all of you
get. nothing short of famine or flood will stop you from voting the 38th or 39th time to repeal health care. i don't know why. yu know that the senate is not going to take this up. and surely i'm hopeful we got the administration's statement here. we do. and let me just look for the point here. he would veto it. so i will just await and politely listen to the witnesses, but we sure have been here many times before. and i -- with so many things facing this country, so many serious issues out there that we need to be talking about in the house of representatives, it really is a tragedy that once again again we're wasting the public's money. you've heard me say a dozen times. it costs $24 million a we're we week to run the house. i'm not sure we're meeting our obligation at all. in fact i'm sure we're not. thank you. >> appreciate the remarks from the gentlewoman.
i will answer her question. >> i wanted to insert into the record a statement from several groups saying that this is a disaster. thank you very much. >> without objection, that will be entered into the record. to answer the gentlewoman's questions about what we're doing here might be best answered by an article that was in the "wall street journal" july 15th by the gentleman mort zuckerman. what he says is "since the beginning of the year the number of people with jobs increased by about 753,000." that's a net new 753,000. but as he states, but there are jobs and then there are jobs. he states, no fewer than 557,000 of the 753 are part-time jobs.
part-time jobs. and this is, to quote the president, this is what it was designed to do. it was designed to take apart american business, it was evidently designed and that's what it's doing to make sure employ employers do not hire more people. to take away careers and our ability to effectively make sure america has a brighter future. without exception i will enter this into the record. i want to thank each of our witnesses for being here today and would ask the gentleman from the state of washington who represents the ways and means committee if he could please take the stand, and also the gentleman mr. young from indiana if he would join us as our two lead witnesses today. and as always -- >> when you finish the introductions i have a question of you, mr. chairman. >> that would be great.
if you gentlemen will hold on one second and i'll be right there. obviously we are delighted that both of you are here before the rules committee today. both of you including the gentleman, dr. mcdermott, have taken time to not only study the issue but i believe dr. mcdermott considers himself an expert on the obama care issue. he has been before this rules committee many times. he's a very dear friend of not just this committee but we count on his expert testimony. and the gentleman mr. young, we're delighted that you're hear today. and it is my hope that whatever you have in writing we'll put that into the record without exception. we'll do that. and then any other comments that you may have. if i could have you hold on just for one moment, i would defer to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm just curious in light of all your comments at the beginning of all the proceedings, what is
your rebuttal or your party's rebuttal to the treasury department's letter to the chairman of the commerce committee, mr. upton on july 9th, pointed will he indicating that the authority to delight employer mandate as put forward by the president is within their framework? what's your rebuttal? or was there a rebuttal to that treasury department letter? >> well, i think it's important to note in our rebuttal would be i don't know that we were -- [ inaudible ] -- i don't know that there was notice given to the congress ahead of the announcement. i think that there was justification provided once it was done. i believe that consultation,
whether it's in this body, is preferred. in our committees it's preferred. and i think that a complete understanding of how and why and what its ramifications would be and what things are lacking, i think it was seen as my party is for a justification, the information businesses need to know what to plan on. i believe there was additional information which was released which i have not seen further information on that dealt with how the internal revenue service or this government would look at self-reporting by individuals. i think it opened up more questions that wanted answered. and i believe that it's a fair statement to say my party, not just disagree with the president but was looking for information which would help us to be able
to effectively understand what and why the president did this, what problems were in the midst where we could understand that and then to clarify. [ overlapping speakers ] >> you also quoted mark zuckerberg and the "wall street journal." somehow or another, there's this skimmer that is put forward in the affordable care act in the minds of some, evidently, thought was done deliberately to cause part-time employment. i read two articles in the "wall street journal" this past weekend on the train. and both those articles cite to technology as among the reasons -- and there's a study they will offer to the chairman that was done indicating that we
are headed and quite frankly regrettably into what might best be described as the new normal. i refer to the new normal as abnormal. but fact of the matter is, employers have made choices for a variety of reasons over the course of time. i will say to you this, mr. chairman. i have not seen anything in the three years since this measure has been put forward and tested in the united states supreme court and litigated all over the nation, and now about to be implemented in part, i've not seen anything from my colleagues in the house of representatives on the other side that suggest you have something to replace it with. and what you and i know is that there are a significant number of people who are uninsured, were uninsured before the
affordable care act, and are likely to be uninsured, some of them, after it is fully implemented if that were ever to be the case. so enough of all of this repeal business. show me your plan. and if you don't have a plan, then the least you can do is try to assist in implementing the plan that's on the table. and i thank you, mr. chairman, for yield. >> and i appreciate the gentleman's comments. i would respond back as we did the day around march 22nd, 2009, if that was when the health care bill was in the rules committee, the republican party had our bills ready and able and prepared to go. and the essence of it is, several piece part, one of them which was stymied in the senate by then senator clinton, hillary
rodham clinton, who would not allow association health care plans. and that is independent business people who might be self-employed. they might work for car dealers. they may work for real estate people. to be able to gather together in associations to be able to have a large team size. those were many, many of the unemployed across this country, to give them the legal authority to be able to gather together a health care organization. the second is, $15,000 that a family -- any family could deduct health care expenses. my family at the time with a disabled child needed additional money to be able to use to take health care-related deductions. so my party did have, does have
a very capable and able decision making and bills that are ready right now, ready to go, were then, are now. and the basis is to take as many people as possible and allow them to buy into insurance on a pre-tax basis and to give them the authority and the responsibility to take care of themself. and then those that did not take advantage of that, then to figure out the way that we would handle them. but this bill was designed as a businessman of 16 years of background, of understanding how business works, if you put mandates on businesses that are onerous, they will make adverse decisions. and they will reject those as long as they can. and i believe that that not just
outcry but rather out and out disagreement with this law from a perspective of a free enterprise system and employing people is the reason why this administration backed off. it is not working. it would not work. it's not designed to work except the way that they designed it it is working. and it is working the way we saw it would. and that is the diminishment of millions of american jobs. so not a mistake and not a consequence. i welcome the two witnesses who are here today. and i would ask the gentleman, mr. young, if he would be the lead and the gentleman is recognized. >> well, thank you so much, mr. chairman. i appreciate your leadership as well as the leadership of ms. slaughter here on this committee and all of the members here. it's an honor to appear before you today. i'm going to offer orally here
an abbreviated statement in the hope that we can submit to the record. >> without objection. >> mr. chairman, late in the afternoon of july 2nd, after the financial markets had closed, the treasury department released a blog post that announced the administration was delaying enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015. this i not how our system is supposed to work. we're a nation of laws, not a nation of blog posts. congress writes the laws, and the executive branch enforces the law. if it's wise to delay the employer mandate because it's become too complicated and burdensome, then the administration should ask the congress to delay the mandate. they would have found a very receptive audience i believe. we've all heard from our local businesses and employers, including colleges, schools, local governments, about how the employer mandate was increasing costs and impacting hiring adversely. as hr 2667, the authority for mandate delay act makes clear,
the employee mandate is ill-considered policy and we can and should come together on delaying its implementation for one year. but a government by the people of the people and for the people must be a government that is fair to all citizens. and it's fundamentally unfair for the administration to grant relief to big business but not give individuals and families the same relief. the individual mandate is equally confusing to the american people as the employer mandate is to business. hr 2668, the fairness for american families act, provides that fairness with congress delaying the individual mandate for one year. now, the administration's recent regulatory barrage made complying with the law even more complicated for individuals and families. obama care, as we've come to know it, has made health insurance more expensive for individuals. president obama has promised a
$2500 premium decrease, but states that have released premium rate filings in the obama care exchanges for 2014 are seeing massive premium increases. the bill i introduced, fairness for american families act, again hr 2668, provide the same relief to america's families that the obama administration granted to big business. the bill delays for one year the individual mandate and the penalties associated with choosing to not purchase government-approved insurance. that's only fair. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the gentleman's testimony. the gentleman from the state of washington, mr. mcdermott, is recognized. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, i am pretty sure that nothing i say is going to change the direction of this committee. but i would like to let you
understand what you're doing. dealing with two bills, one of which the president has already dealt with the issue by delaying the implementation of the employer mandate, the reporting for the mandate. he hasn't delayed the giving of insurance, but he just delayed the reporting for a year. so the first bill is really irrelevant. the issues raised by my colleague from indiana, section 26 of usc 7805 a is the gentleman enforcement authority for the president to give waivers. the president can change. we put it in in the affordable care act and said, anything doesn't work, here's the authorization to make a change at the executive level. it's a universally used, been used before by both -- well,
many presidents. that kind of leave by the executive branch is often used when a situation doesn't quite work and they may want to come back and look at it again. so the first bill really is almost irrelevant. everybody who's looked at it says it makes no difference. although mitt romney did have it in his romney care in massachusetts. an employer mandate was an essential part of that. one of the things that happened this week was that the massachusetts legislature repealed the employer mandate because they said it's included in the federal law so we don't need it anymore. so the employer mandate was never an essential to making this work. 95% of large companies already provide for their employees, and the employer mandate was to encourage those 5% to figure out a way to offer to their
employees, but there were other mechanisms to deal with the fact if they didn't do that. now, the second bill is really the destructive one. this is the end of obama care if it were to go into effect. because the whole thing rests on the question of whether or not you have everybody in the system. everybody knows that in insurance reform you have to have insurance reform. you have to change things like guaranteed issue. you have to get rid of people who -- the ability of insurance companies to deny people coverage, which we did. and that's going to go into effect on january 1 no matter what we do here today. that will go into effect on january 1st. everybody in this country will be guaranteed issue by an insurance company. there's no way out of that. now, the insurance companies
were counting on the individual mandate, because that gets everybody into the pot. everybody into the pool. the healthy, the sick, they're all in the pool together. and you can do an insurance plan when you can have everybody in. if you take away the individual mandate and say people don't have to get insurance but have the guaranteed issue, it means people can sit at home and say, well, why should i go get insurance? if i get sick i'll run down and i'll buy a policy. insurance companies can't operate that way. and it's simply a destructive thing to the insurance companies. now, why are the insurance companies not jumping up and down about this? because they know this i not going to pass, it's not going to go through the senate. the president isn't going to sign it. this is simply a p.r. effort that we're going through here today. but it is absolutely essential. and if you go back and look at
where did this individual mandate come from? it didn't come from barack obama. for heavens sakes. the heritage foundation put it out there sometime ago. nixon had it in his proposal. romney had it in his proposal. every republican proposal has always had an individual mandate in it. i had a big discussion once with jim mccrery, the ranking member of the ways and means committee. he said jim, there are two ways to get universal health care coverage in this country. one is a single payer system, which i like, and which i think we'd have been better off if we'd gone that direction. but instead we chose the republican way. let's vet by individual mandating. keep the insurance companies in it. and we will force everyone to join an insurance company. that way we have everybody in. no more free riders. romney's talked about this when he was talk about anytime
massachusetts. he called it the individual responsibility principle. everybody has a responsibility to take care of themselves. that's a republican -- that's a ground-breaking proposal of the republicans. always. individual responsibility for everything. and so when you put it into the law, you say everybody is responsible for doing that. now, if you open the door as this bill does today and say, come buy anytime you want insurance, you simply destroy the whole idea. it would be like you said, the reason we have mandatory auto insurance. why do we have that? because we know that everybody might have an automobile accident. nobody wants one. nobody plans to have one. nobody goes around thinking, thank god i got it. i'm going to run into something. that's not why we have it. we have it because insurance companies have to have everybody in, the good drivers and the bad drivers, so they have the money to cover what goes on in the
automobile industry. the same is true of fire insurance. fire insurance on your house is not -- we have an individual mandate. everybody bank, everybody who buys a house has to get fire insurance. it's not up to you, well, i think i'll get it or i won't get it. we know it doesn't work. it started in the 1776 in philadelphia when we discovered that individual coverage simply didn't work. you had to have a universal coverage. well, the same is true in health care. right now everybody up here on this dais and down here at this table is spending $1,000 a year to cover the people who walk into the emergency room with no insurance. they are free riders in the system. and the individual mandate is to prevent free riders from continuing to take advantage. now, you can say, well, you're
telling me -- you're giving me a hypothetical. i am not. i come from washington state. in 1993, we passed an individual mandate. we said everybody in the state of washington had to buy insurance. and we passed insurance reform. we said insurance companies have to offer it to anybody who shows up. about three years later, the legislature repealed the individual mandate. so they left the insurance companies with the problem of people discovering they were pregnant and saying, you know what, i'm pregnant. i'm going to have a baby. i'd better go down and get some insurance so i'll be covered when i deliver the baby. and as soon as the baby is delivered they drop the insurance. and two years later, got pregnant again.
went douwn and bought insurance to be covered while they were delivering the baby. they had all kinds of crazy things go on with cancer and everything else. anytime anybody found they had a problem they went down and bought insurance. that killed the individual market in the state of washington. for three years we had no companies offering individual coverage in the state. and that's what you are saying to the whole country. you're saying to the whole insurance industry, you have to cover everybody who shows up at the front door, but they can come anytime they want, anytime they feel like they would like to have some insurance. and it simply will not work. what's puzzling to me is why the republicans would put on the table plan that is so anti-business and so fiscally irresponsible. you cannot have something like this work. and the only reason the cbo has come out with a report, brief report that suggests premiums
are going to go up immediately. every insurance company -- if this were to pass, the insurance companies would immediately jack up premiums all over the country because they would have no way of ever underwriting anyone because they have an individual mandate, they have to open it up. or they have not an individual mandate, they have a guaranteed issue. they have to guarantee to anybody. and so it will not work. so this bill, it really is a question in my view of whether or not the republicans are serious about wanting to cover the people. if you don't want single payer and you don't want an individual mandate, you don't want a system that works. it's just that simple. and we might as well take it down to the floor, and we'll vote no and you'll vote yes, and it will die somewhere in the black hole between here and the senate. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. mcdermott. you really opened a lot of
questions to me. you talk about everybody in. is this what the obama care does? everybody's in? >> obama care takes -- it gets about 70% or 80% of the people who are not covered today will be covered. that's not everybody. i wish we had -- i would like single payer system where everybody in the country was covered, everybody paid taxes, and when you were sick you went down. that's what every industrialized country in the world has done except the united states. we decided we would try this individual mandate business. and we'll see how it works. i think we'll ultimately come to a single payer system. but that's my belief about the ultimate course of this. because i don't think when you stop -- when you start fighting everybody being in, you are simply saying, you want some people to get it for free.
and that's not fair. you call this the fairness act. well, it is not fair for people to get it free if they have the ability to pay. and if you have the ability to pay, you should be paying. and that's -- i think that's the only way it's going to work. >> mr. young, he's arguing that republicans designed this plan. now he's saying, well, this plan doesn't have everybody in but isn't it true they have penalties for those that choose not to get in? >> that's right. >> the plan was designed for everybody not to be in, which he claims is the frailty of the system. >> that's right. that's what our supreme court has characterized as as a tax. all we're doing in this bill, it's a matter of fairness. and you'll hear that throughout my testimony here. the president has proposed offering some relief to businesses, large businesses with respect to the employer mandate. and we just think that the same
sort of tax relief, especially during these down times and great uncertainty about implementation of this law, the same sort of relief ought to be offered to individual working americans. and so despite all the other issues that my good colleague who's thoughtfully presented and quite passionately, won't surprise folks that we don't agree on every one of those points. but nonetheless, my testimony here is going to be focused fairly narrowly on these two pieces of legislation, not the broader health care debate, but instead the equity, the fairness of allowing this delay -- which incidentally i think is appropriate for employers at this point -- but allowing it for employers but not allowing it for rank and file americans. and i'm open to and i suspect i'll hear some counter points with respect to that in the course of this hearing. and that's why we do these things publicly. so i think that will be healthy.
>> mr. mcdermott, why did the president announce that they were backing off this implementation? >> i think it was his judgment after listening to business complain -- i mean, once again funny to me is the republican party is against the president asking or responding to business. business complained about having to report. the president listened to them said, all right, i'll give you a year. but you're going to have to start doing it next year. i don't know why. i was not privy to those conversations. i didn't listen to them. i think that there is obviously starting any social program as big as this, that's to affect 30 million people, is not going to be without its glitches. there will be glitches, i don't care what we do. when the republicans started the drug benefit, part d of medicare, there were glitches all over the place about people getting in and did they know how
to choose which program and everything else. but we got it up and running and it's running now. and it's working just fine. and that's the way this bill will be. it's going to go into effect. i think the thing that -- i understand why the republicans are troubled. they know that this is going to start on january 1 no matter what we do on the floor of the house. the individual mandate will be in because the president isn't going to repeal it. the insurance reform, guaranteed issue, is already in children are covered to the age of 26 on their parents. we've already got insurance companies giving rebates to people because they are not spending all the money they take in on health care. they're doing it for -- they're making more profit. we are all kinds of ways in which this bill is already in effect. and there really is no way for the republicans to stop it at this point. i understand the frustration on
your side. but i think that this is a very poorly chosen one. because it goes at the heart of whether you really want anything to work. because if you take away the individual mandate, you're really saying you don't want anything to work. >> you know what's interesting is, i think that the american people recognize it isn't going to work. and i think business had a loud voice. it sounds like to me that the american people that, this president has not been listening to them. and it's not surprising when you do the things where you quit listening to the american people, it's amazing the things that -- gentleman mr. young? >> all right. just briefly, mr. chairman, to build on a remark you just made, i think it's good that the president listened to business in this case. and so i do want to commend him for that. i think procedurally there was a
flaw in the fact that he didn't work with congress. and that's why we're sanctioning that act in the employer mandate delay bill here. but with respect to listening to the american people, rank and file americans that are hurting during these difficult times, a recent poll suggests that 12% of americans support obama care's e individual mandate. so i wish the president, i wish this entire body and folks on both sides of the aisle -- i'm hopeful this has a bipartisan vote -- but i wish we would listen to that 88% that are not happy with the individual mandate. >> ms. fox? >> thank you, mr. chairman. there's a lot that needs to be said about the comments that have been made here today. but there's so little time. you know, i've looked at this
statement of administration policy. and i find it pretty remarkable that the president himself wants to delay the mandate for businesses and then says that hr 2667 is unnecessary, that hr 2668 would raise health insurance premiums and increase the number of uninsured americans. my understanding before obama care was passed and we had pretty good data on this, that there were approximately 10 million americans who wanted insurance but could not afford insurance. i know the numbers that were bandyed about were higher than that. but when you broke them down on
the number of people who are eligible for medicaid, eligible for insurance through their employers, the number of people who were illegal aliens who were not americans, when you took those out of the mix you really came down to about 10 million americans. when mr. mcdermott talked about how many people are still uninsured, would be uninsured under obama care, i remembered i had read that cbo said that under obama care 30 million nonelderly americans will remain without health insurance in 2022. it's an article in cns news. and mr. chairman, i'd like to put this into the record if i could. >> without exception.
>> so before obama care, there were approximately 10 million americans who wanted insurance but couldn't afford to get it. under obama care, that number goes up to 30 million americans. and there's another article in the "washington post," june 7, 2013, it says analysis by the journal health affairs. and one of the coauthors, stephy woolhandler said even if the law were fully implemented there would have been 26 million uninsured people under obama care. so i find some of the statements that our colleague from the state of washington is making pretty remarkable in terms of saying how many people are going
to be covered, how many people are going to be not covered. i also wonder, mr. mcdermott, if you just consider the whole congress irrelevant. because that's what you're saying. you know, the president can't pick and choose which laws he wants to implement and which ones he doesn't. he has been doing that. and we've been dealing with that on a case-by-case basis. but for you to say that 2667 is irrelevant tells me you think you're irrelevant and that the congress is irrelevant. i'm not sure why you're still here if you think the congress is irrelevant. i don't think the congress is irrelevant. i think article 1, section 1 in the constitution means something. i believe the founders intended for the congress to be the most
powerful branch of government. and i think that most people think that. and you say everybody who's looked at 2667 says it doesn't matter? well, i'm here to tell you not everybody thinks that. and i think you'll see with the vote that we have on the floor that not everybody thinks that it doesn't matter. you talked about the employer mandate wasn't really essential in obama care? that it would leave -- only 5% of the people were not covered? well, you've made my point about the fact that very few people who really want insurance in this country are not being covered by insurance. so you made that point for us. you've also said the whole thing rests on everyone being in the
system. and that's the kind of mandate that's not appropriate in this country in my opinion. and you also talk about fire insurance. and i find that analogy one of the most curious analogies that could be made to obama care. because i've often used the analogy of car insurance and fire insurance. why we don't need the federal government involved in health care. because fire insurance, homeowner's insurance, that's handled at the state level. not at the federal level. and i point out to people, if you look at the rates for homeowner's insurance and car
insurance, car insurance handled also at the state level, is it those rates haven't been going up 12%, 14%, over the last several years. in fact, in many cases those rates have gone down. so to make an analogy that we have to have mandated health care at the federal level because there's mandated fire insurance? i assume you mean homeowner's insurance. there's just no comparison there. those things are handled at the state level. where they should be handled. and your last -- one of your last comments about the fact that there's a black hole somewhere between here and the senate? that is just too delicious not to comment on. because there is a black hole. and the black hole is the
democrat-controlled senate. because we pass great bills over here, and they do go into a black hole. and that black hole again is the democrat-controlled senate. so i think you've made our case here today for why we shouldn't have obama care to begin with. because it isn't an appropriate thing to be done at the federal level when you talk about homeowner's insurance and you talk about car insurance programs that are very good programs that protect a lot of people. but they're handled at the state level. and their rates have not gone up significantly. and they're very well-run there at the state level. so i would say again that the comments that you've made go against all the things that you
and your colleagues have stood for on obama care and the mandate that we do these things at the federal level. and again, i would say if you think you're irrelevant, you might want to think about why you're here and why you are engaged in our activities here in the congress. i don't think we're irrelevant. i think again the founders intended us to do our work. and i think it's totally inappropriate that the president thinks that he can be congress and president. because he's overstepped his bounds, i think, in this area. now, we may by passing this delay in the mandate help out our constitutional problem here. but it's not because we want to help the president. it's because we in the congress
should be doing the right thing. that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much, gentlemenwoman from new york's recognized. >> it may be relevant here or not to point out that the reason we did health care is that health care was almost 20% of gdp and rising. and we simply could not afford it anymore. and what this plan has done and everybody kept saying nobody knows what's anytime. the democrat caucuses read it three times line by line. we know it is going to save money. the hospitals are already changing in many cases the way they provide care. they are all for it. they are all getting ready. many people with pre-existing conditions, and i know i've mentioned before the woman that
i met in the campaign who had had cerebral palsy, born with it, and had never in her life, as a mother and a housewife and doing the driving and the cooking and all the things, around sharp objects and everything she did had never been insurable because of her pre-existing condition. and until she got to be 65, she had never known what it was like to have any health insurance. and i think that's very important. people who ran into a lifetime cap because serious head injury could let you do that very quickly, and people who ran into the yearly cap, and one of the most important things i've done, as was alluded to, is 85% of the premium dollar now has to be used for insurance. and, frankly, while i've not been terribly offended because i want people covered, but you pointed out that each of us pays
$1,000 a year more in uncompensated care. that would all be gone. so i -- what in the world is so frightening about this bill? i don't know. but my state, i'm happy to say, is moving along, getting ready. we've got insurance companies and doctors and everybody out doing hearings all over the place and explaininging it to everybody. it's going to work in new york like it works in massachusetts, and it has -- we've had a good experience in massachusetts. how well it's worked. but for some reason there's sort of a 19th century mind here. i seriously think that, you know, we have trouble with science and other things, that we're moving backwards. but the idea, i honestly think i could say this -- i've held, done most of the rules on the 37 votes so far. i could just put one of those statements on repeat, press the
button, and leave the room. you know, we're here, and our job is to be here and to do this, and this will be the 38th and the 39th time. and we will do the best that we can to try to explain it, but for goodness sakes, there must be something else this country cries out to see done and taken care of that the house of representatives can get around to. thank you. >> gentlewoman yields back her time. gentleman from utah is recognized. gentleman has no questions. gentleman from florida is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i agree with what was said. i done think anything any of us says is going to move the needle in either of our favors. i do find a few statements that dr. foxx made to be rather astonishing, and i suggest to you, dr. foxx, i do not know about north carolina, i really
do not, but there are four of us that serve on the rules committee from florida, and on the subject of homeowner's insurance, and i might add and car insurance, i've owned a home off and on, maybe rented for a while, and then i owned a home and a double wide trailer, then a home, and i had to have insurance in each instance. and i don't know of a single year over 50 years that i've lived in ft. laud eerdale that insurance has not gone up. i do agree with you that it is has not gone up 12 % or 14% in some instances, but if we were to take car insurance, most of the people and mr. webster would be better to this than i since he served in the florida legislature and i did not. but a whole lot of insurance
companies after health insurance andrew just plain old skedaddled and weren't around anymore. then we created something called citizens. that taxpayers are paying for, and there's a substantial deficit and even citizens has had to have substantial increases in order to meet that test. automobile insurance, the same thing. people that operate businesses operate for the purposes of having a profit. and toward that end, they look wherever they can to get that profit. and a lot of times it is that they don't want to run the added risk. senator graham and i long before former congressman klein and others came to congress, fought the battle of wind insurance. i don't understand what part all of these people in this congress
do not understand that disasters are going to occur everywhere in america and around the world and that we need a specific committee in this congress that deals with it so that we don't have to wait for long periods of time to address floods or famine or any of the issues, earthquakes or fires, that we are confronted with on a regular basis. i do have, mr. young, not knowing you, and hoping that i do get to know you over the course of time, i done know what you did before you came to congress. and would you be kind enough just to -- >> i would, indeed. i was a management consultant for a couple of years for an indiana-based company. i would go in and redesign business processes and try and -- i worked in particular
with state and local governments so that we could provide more value to constituents at lower costs. something i think we ought to be focusing on here at the federal level and you'd agree. i was a small town attorney for a number of years. a part time, very part time deputy prosecutor in a rural community. and i was an officer in the united states marine corps. so i have a variety of different experiences, and i've studied a bit of mieconomics in my time, too. all of those experiences inform this legislation. >> and you had health insurance all those times that you were in business and certainly when you were in the military? you were covered by the programs in the military, but just as a young attorney, and the other things that you did, you had health insurance. >> my recollection is is that for the vast majority, at least, i had -- >> did you have any -- >> the vast majority of the time. >> did you have any time unless
your insurance company provided an exception or a high deductible, did you have any time that your insurance went down? >> i did not which is the importance of -- and you would agree, the importance of doing health care reform the right way so that we actually control costs. i know you'd agree with that point, and i won't be speaking at length, perhaps we could speak offline at length about how to best accomplish that, but what i do think there needs to be some equity here. some fairness between how we treat businesses and how we treat individual working americans and so that's my purpose of this legislation. >> to have those continuing discussions. >> likewise. >> few of us make any attempts to really get to know each other, and that's half of the problem around this joint to begin with. but that said, i want to, again, join mr. mcder mont and indicate that i as well as three other
members i know, and i havenknow slaughter, and i, all the years i've been here, advocate single payer. i came to congress advocating it. that's why i find such deep resentment in the fact that the word, or words, obama care have come in the minds of some in america to mean something negative. when, in fact, all president obama and others that tried and failed to get health care for people who didn't have it or were trying to do was provide health care. so i've said, you weren't here, we really should call this thing hastings/obama care because i advocated universal health care before i knew barack obama's name. you understand? and so, and i know jim mcdermot
did as well. i understand all the nuances to this. the thing that is distressing is more than anything the pre-existing condition area. i know that further delays are only going to cause added misery. there are people who are really, really, like miss slaughter just said, really happy that now they can be covered. particularly people with little children who have conditions that they would not be insured on. and somehow or another, i just see it as our responsibility, whether it's 10 million, whether it's 30 million or 40 million. whatever figure you use. i just see us, if everybody is pulling together, us having a better way to come to the