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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 25, 2014 10:54pm-1:01am EST

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right now because i am done talking to continue the conversation with other attendees. on your way out check out our info table where we will be selling the 2015 memberships at a 20% discount this week only. then you will also want to stop by the general store we can pick up great gear and get your book signed by peter gray. definitely do that. then finally don't forget to share your feedback for the chance to win great prizes by 37479.g "talk" to thanks again, have a great evening and don't stop learning! >> next on c-span, remarks by
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attorney general eric holder about the federal investigation into the shooting of michael brown. that is followed by missouri governor jay nixon on the protests later senator charles schumer of new york discusses the midterm elections and the future of the democratic party. >> here are a few of the comments we have recently received. >> i just have to tell you that to see these people in person and to hear them have panel discussions on congressional hearings it is so important to and toand the context listen to the statement in its entirety. i have been watching for a few years and i think it is the i reallyprogram on tv,
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like these authors that they take the time to not only present some reason to justify what they write but the moderator always does a great job of stimulating the is what i look forward to on the weekend. to watch as much as i can. iwatch c-span all the time when i'm home and it is the only station i have on most of the time and i think it is absolutely expert, i watch all of the debates around the country and i thank you for the book talks and for the history. i teach at a community college in connecticut. whatntinue to let us know you think of at the programs you are watching, call us, e-mail us , join can send us a tweet
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the c-span conversation like us on facebook or follow us on twitter. attorney general eric holder briefed president obama tuesday of of ongoing situation in ferguson, missouri and later he spoke to reporters about the federal investigation into the shooting death of michael brown and the ferguson police department. on the justice department this is 10 minutes. good afternoon, i have been briefed by members of the justice department -- and i wanted to provide a brief update of the ongoing efforts arising from the events in ferguson, missouri. i've been briefed today via director ron davis and associate attorney general wally and the assistant attorney general mark
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and members of my staff with me now and they are overseeing the federal investigations into the shooting of michael mcgrath as well as the investigation of the ferguson police department to emphasize that have an appropriate are ongoing. i reiterated my statement last night that the department they willions continue to meet independent and ongoing. we conducted vigorously in a timely manner so that we can forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust and build understanding and to cost her cooperation. last night and throughout the day i have been briefed on events in and around ferguson. i was disappointed that some members of the community resorted to violence rather than respecting what i thought were the heartfelt words of michael
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brown, senior. and the wishes he expressed about how he wanted his son's memory to be honored with nonviolence. acts ofear that violence threatened to drown out those who have legitimate voices and legitimate demonstrators in those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned. encouraged i am very that some of the more peaceful demonstrations last night as well is today have occurred and have been in keeping with mr. brown's request. i would remind demonstrators about history that the way in which we have made progress in this country is when we have seen peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations and that has led to the change that has been the most long-lasting and the most pervasive. toave asked the director
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continue to confer with local law enforcement and to conduct an after action review so we can and isolatetegies criminal elements from peaceful protesters. they will seek their assistance in isolating those individuals who are inclined toward violence. ongoinghad a good dialogue with peaceful demonstrators in ferguson and i've been heartened by all the work our community relations have done and i've instructed those avenuesin of comedic asian open. i am brace those who have been proactively intervening to stop acts of violence within their missed nine curs them to
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continue to exercise this important leadership. it was very heartening to hear about people last night who were trying to stop those other people who were trying to loot and destroy businesses and those people that took it upon are in fact heroes in my mind, michael brown's tragic death has revealed a deep distrust between some and the ferguson community and its police force. they've also developed a need to develop an widely disseminate law enforcement best practices for responding to public demonstrations. the department of justice this work and will continue to work around the country in this regard. the reality of what we see in ferguson is not restricted to ferguson, there are other communities around this country that have the same issues that have to be dealt with and we are determined to do all that we can to bridge those divides, the
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launch in september are building initiatives to provide trust and training. we plan to apply evidence-based strategies in the fight around the country. to bridgel designed those divides and those gaps between law enforcement and the andunities that they serve these gaps and these divides exist in other parts of the country beyond ferguson and our focus be national in scope to deal with these issues. advance thisnue to work like i said in cities around the country in the coming weeks and months by bringing together elected officials and community leaders both to ensure dialogue and also action. this isn't just about talking to want to ensure that concrete steps are taken to address these underlying barriers.
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i shared with the president the perspectives of people and justice department officials who were there on the ground we talked about problematic initiatives that we want to announce relatively soon and also about the need to bring our people together. this is a difficult time for people in ferguson and a difficult time for people in our country this is an opportunity for us to find those things that bind us as a nation to be honest with one another about those things that continue to divide us and come up with ways in which we make this union even more perfect. that is what i talked about with the president and he is to the state department of justice.
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>> good afternoon and thank everybody for joining us, first let me introduce everyone who is with me today. the director of the department of the state of missouri and the kernel from the highway patrol and chief john on the st. louis county police department, atkins fromief how the st. louis metro police department and we are joined by major general stephen as well as the brigadier general gregory mason from the national guard. last night criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community,
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burning buildings firing gunshots vandalizing storefronts and looting family businesses, many for the second time. i'm deeply saddened for the people of ferguson who woke up this morning to see parts of the community in ruins. from thise heartbreaking sight seeing people afraid to leave the house with school canceled and kids scared to go outside and play. what they have gone through is unacceptable, no one should have to live like this and no one deserves this. we must do better and we will. this morning i met with law enforcement leaders and they all agreed that the violence we saw in the air is a ferguson cannot be repeated. that is why in order to protect lives and property we are bringing more recesses -- resources to prevent a
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repetition of the lawlessness we saw overnight. in ferguson it will be ramped up significantly and shoring that they are ready to act quickly. that they are ready to act quickly. additional assistance law in force and officers we will focus on protecting lives and property in the community. the national guard will also break -- continue to provide security at all locations include the ferguson police department. last night more than 700 guardsmen were at nearly 100 vital facilities throughout the region and i thank them for their work. to the testament professionalism of local law enforcement that no one was killed or seriously injured last night. third, the rapid response teams will be positioned so they are ready to act at a moments notice if challenges arise.
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altogether that will be more than 2000, 200 national guardsmen in a region. lives and property must be protected. those communities deserve to have peace. we will provide safety and security to the region. i know this morning that there is pain in the hearts of this community and i also know it is vital for us to understand how we got to this place and how to make it better. i continue to be heartened and steadfast work that sony people in this region are doing on behalf of peace and understanding to avert violence and move forward together, let me first call on the commander here and brigadier general gregory mason. governor, and august the missouri national guard will deploy a trained and ready professional course and our soldiers who are equipped to do the job in august we returned to ferguson in this region and
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will continue to do a jew -- good job to protect citizens and life and property so again we are here is trained and ready soldiers to do it we have always done and that is serve the citizens of the state of majority. -- missouri. i just want to say that we have worked with the national guard many times throughout the past years in disasters around the state and last night was a disaster. we are prepared to team up again with the national guard and local law enforcement to address this night. as the governor said we cannot have a repeat of what happened last night. it was very disappointing for me to watch the hard work of chief belmar, chief dodson and captain johnson over the last 100 plus days and the tremendous work they have been doing to put out the flames. the will work more and they will work harder and we will work harder but we will not have a repeat of last night's activities.
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now calling the chief of the st. louis county police department chief john belmar. thankoo would like to general mason for the assistance he will give us an last night we had about 400 plus police officers down there before we called about 60 offers from st. louis city and another hundred from the municipalities so i think it goes to show you the value that the guard can bring to us the message here is our community not only needs to be safe, they need to feel safe and i appreciate the governor's leadership and certainly general mason's troops in that regard. thank you. >> the director of public safety of the state of missouri. nightwas clear that last was a disappointment a disappointment in so many ways because so much work has been done by the unified command over
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the last hundred days and we deployed many officers out in the area and unfortunately there was a group of people who were intent on causing violence and mayhem. we will do better tonight and there will be a significant presence in the community and we hope that we will protect the property and the businesses so those people in ferguson and throughout the city of st. louis and our community. is your failure to deploy the national guard probably specifically to ferguson -- [inaudible] >> we had about 700 guardsmen in about 100 locations in the city lateounty late last night last that we deployed guardsmen
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to the ferguson police department is additional force strength there and as was indicated by the folks here we will continue that mission along with the other two missions that we talked about to expand the role of the guard and we are working to make sure for public safety that the guard and that force amplifier is used in a way that makes sure tonight is a safer night. [inaudible] i didn't, we had 700 national guardsmen throughout the region that went out early last evening , including late last night guardsmen deployed directly to the ferguson police department. [inaudible] you have more than 2000 now? >> that is the strength and the area will have a significant out
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tonight and they work shifts but the bottom line is as i said before we will continue to up their numbers here and work with the unified command to make sure that we keep the calm and safe. was the national guard on west fourth before the looting and the burning of buildings happened? if not, why were they not? was parttional guard of unified command and the were providing services all throughout the area so officials would be freed up to be part of that command. with 700 guardsmen in the region doing a lot of the static work such that others could. we certainly had guards at the command post and as i said later that night we had guards at the ferguson police department. we will have more out there tonight and we will continue to provide resources. [inaudible]
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as i said before, we had some i'm not sure of the exact number and somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 at the police department eventually. >> governor tender is saying you may have been pressured by the justice department to not deploy a number of guardsmen to after they had seen something, can you respond to this? >> that is false and absurd and politics and has nothing to do with what any of the folks appear are doing. you have sworn officers and hundreds of people putting their light-- lives up in the each and every night and politics has not one bit to do with the task at hand and the seriousness of the mission. >> on the next washington journal safety administrator david strickland talks about
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travel expectations and safety precautions for this thanks giving holiday. the deputy director of the national security agency discusses the data collection practices and expects congress to change them. cameraetired colonel talks about the availability of health care for veterans. washington general -- journal begins live at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. twoednesday night on c-span bring you the annual american university conference on civic engagement with business and education leaders. he was a look at the retired general on citizenship and the value of volunteering. >> we tend to volunteer we know we need to and we tend to do that kind of thing and step forward and take responsibility when times are hard and i will tell you now that i think this is that moment in america.
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look around and we instinctively know that we have to change the concept of citizenship. we go to any people in america they think if they vote and pay their taxes that they did their job but that is not what citizenship is. a country is no more than a covenant of people who decide to be a nation and is the relationship between people who have the responsibility to and for each other. that is what citizens are, they are jointly bound to take care of each other. so the concept of citizenship and set of being small and being a set of entitlements are , it is responsibilities what you are and what you are about and why you do or do not do what you do. i think citizenship in america has eroded for a lot of reasons but it is eroding to the point where we need to stop and look at the real problem. we can look at partisanship and politics and economic inequality
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and the polarization of different parts of our society but if we really look at the problem and we want to fix it instead of going after each individual thing and if we want to take a big step that it will take a big idea. two toght on c-span bring you the annual american university conference on civil engagement with business and education leaders here is a look at the retired general on citizenship and the value of volunteering. next, senator chuck schumer of democratic policy chair outlines the results of the midterm elections and lays out plans for what he calls a new pact with the middle class. this is one hour 15 minutes. >> good morning mr. senator.
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good morning. >> hello everybody i and the moderator of the event and it is a high honor for us to have senator, democratic policy chair chuck schumer, charles, a key member of the leadership, who will give a series of three speeches, kicking it off today, what they must do to be successful in 2016 and beyond. in the current congress, senator schumer is a member of the senate judiciary committee and chair of the key subcommittee on immigration, borders and security and citizenship, which will oversee president obama's executive order on immigration. he also chairs the senate rules committee.
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he will keep his leadership role at the senate's democratic policy chair in the current congress. his committees will be determined as we get closer into the next congress. as a member of the house for 18 years -- and that is where senator schumer and i first met, in full disclosure -- representing brooklyn and queens, was a leading sponsor of the violence against women act and the brady bill. he sponsored the hate crimes prevention act and sponsor legislation that required banks and credit card companies to have greater disclosure. he was the author of the legislation that it limited inated barriers to low-cost generic medication. in 2004, after his reelection,
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he successfully let -- led the democratic senate campaign majorities in two cycles. following 2006, senate majority leader reid appointed him to a position he continues to hold. in 2009 he was selected chairman of the senate rules committee, which oversees federal elections, voting rights and campaign finance. after he was reelected for a third term in 2010, he took on an expanded role as the chairman of the democratic policy and communications center or at my favorite part of the senator biography is that after graduating from harvard college, harvard law school -- and by the way, i only got on a waiting list to my great disappointment. senator schumer in 1974 ran for the new york state assembly, becoming, at 23, the youngest member of the state legislature since theodore roosevelt. so, welcome to the national press club, where news happens. i want to thank the national press club staff for helping organize the event today.
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joanne booz and richard, among others. if you would raise your hand -- and rebecca vander, my longtime executive assistant, who will be the vanna white of our event. also on senator schumer's staff, matt house, and many of the others who made this event possible today. we assume that senator schumer will address the controversial issues that are out there, the immigration order, the health care bill, and whether those will be allowed to stay or whether they will be killed or weakened by funding cuts. chuck hagel at the department of defense, his new position.
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these are the new items that are up, but we look forward to senator schumer's speech and he will speak for about 25 minutes, and then we will open it to questions. senator schumer? >> thank you, bob. it is great to be back here at the press club. happy thanksgiving. i hope you are all with friends and family and have a good one. i will start off with a little thanksgiving story. i was born on thanksgiving day, 1950, november 23. my mom went into labor at about 5:00 a.m., and in those days of course things were a lot different. drove the moms into the hospital, and then the moms -- the dads drove the moms into the hospital, and the moms were whisked upstairs while the dads waited in the waiting room, smoked cigars, and waited for the blessed event.
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my mom's obstetrician was on -- in a hospital on 29th street and 7th avenue. it was run by a french order of nuns. it has been subsequently closed. in any case, he got to the hospital about 8:00, 8:30, took my mom upstairs, and my dad went to the waiting room. being the adventurous soul he was, he realized it was thanksgiving, only four blocks from the thanksgiving day parade. he watched it for three hours. at the end of it, he saw a friend of his and they went into a local pub to celebrate the upcoming blessed event. i was born at 11:00 a.m., he showed up at 3:30. [laughter] precipitating the first fight my parents had over me. [laughter] fortunately, it did not end things. they have been married for 63 years, praise god. he is 91, she is 86.
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thanksgiving has always been a special event in our family. the title of my speech is, "a democrat majority in 2016 and how to make it happen." as all of you know there is a statue in the harbor of the city i represent, a beautiful lady holding the torch. the torch represents the american dream. if you ask the average american what the american dream means to him, he would not put it in fancy textbook language or academic terms. he or she would put it very simply in saying it means if i work hard i will be doing better 10 years from now than i am doing today. my kids will be doing still better than me. however, if that torch flickers, the torch is no longer lit, people no longer believe in the american dream, we will become a different country. and that is exactly what is happening.
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the light is flickering, has been flickering for over the last decade, and that fact has dominated our politics more than any other. the most salient factor in our political economy is that for the first time in american history, middle-class incomes have been in decline for over a decade, and the grand optimism over the american dream is in jeopardy. the 2014 election results can be explained this way. during 2013, neither party convinced the middle class that they had an effective way to get them out of this morass, that they had an effective plan to create good jobs and raise incomes.
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as 2014 began, the parties were in stalemate. but when government failed to deliver on a string of noneconomic issues, the rollout of the obamacare exchanges, the mishandling of the surge in border crossers, ineptitude at the v.a., initial handling of the ebola threat, people lost faith in government's ability to work, then blamed the incumbent governing party, democrats, creating a republican wave. ultimately, the public knows in its gut that a strong and active government is the only way to reverse the middle class decline and help revive the american dream. democrats lost in 2014 because the government made mistakes that eroded the electorate's confidence in its ability to improve the lives of the middle class. but that same underlying expectation that government should help make life easier for the middle class is as strong as it has ever been, setting the stage for a democratic victory in 2016, if and only if we can convince people that government can work and help restore the
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middle class to prosperity. we are in a much better position to do this than republicans because when economic conditions are declining for the middle class, the electorate instinctively turns to democrats. but in order to win in 2016, democrats must embrace government, not run away from it. the republican mantra is counterintuitive to the middle class because they know government is needed to stand up to the be economic forces like technology and globalization that push them around. if democrats can create a convincing plan that is both achievable and believable, embracing government is a way to help the middle class advance. we will roll to victory in 2016. in order to demonstrate that government can work, democrats must proceed down two parallel tracks.
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first we must convince americans that government can be on their side and is not just a tool of special interests. we must re-energize our vision by making a forceful case when democrats will govern again that we will make government the people's champion, not captive to the powerful. this message has an element of populism. democratic populism does not mean the rabble rousing populism or divisiveness of huey long or william jennings bryan. it recognizes that the powerful have much more access and influence over government and specific and strong actions must be taken to curb that influence so government can really represent the average person. second, and even more important, we must illustrate that government can provide solutions by delineating specific concrete programs that if enacted would actually improve lives and incomes. these proposals must resonate
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with the middle class so that voters believe they will be attainable and effective, which means they must work politically. they must also be joined by an effective theme so that people do not see specific democratic programs as disjointed pieces but rather as parts of a whole. we must convince the middle class that the only way out of morass is by a stronger and effective government, not by demeaning or running from it. here should be our pact with the middle class. i using government in a direct and focused way, we will provide a shield against large forces that have worked against middle-class families so they have a better job and more money in their pockets. we will have enacted government that enables the middle class to have the tools they need to make your lives better. we will restore a strong and stable economic family --
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economic middle class for working families so they can stop worrying about getting by and start thinking about getting ahead. our message must be we will help get you moving forward again so that you can be better off 10 years from now and your kids lives will be better than yours. this is more than just a political necessity. we have a strong policy imperative to do this as well. while many may not know it, the nation is on the edge of a crisis. if we have another 10 years of middle-class decline, we will have a fundamentally different country, a sour, angry country where people of different backgrounds, races, and economic levels no longer get along, with a government that few of us, left or right, will like. but the political opening certainly provides us with an opportunity.
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four election cycles of ping-ponged results have shown us that people are yearning for a political party to offer concrete solutions, only to be disappointed each time. democrats need to fill that void, and even in a world of negativity, exacerbated by a cynical and negative media, we can succeed. sometimes people forget that the struggle between pro-government and antigovernment forces is not a recent phenomenon. it has dominated our politics for the last 90 years. it has dominated our political economy. during that time, the fundamental divide between democrats and republicans has been their attitude towards government. democrats believe that an active republicans believe government
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is a detrimental force. the less, the better. startct illustrates how this division is today. the most conservative democrat still believes more government than the most liberal senate republican. susan collins, the belief in government, its size, its role, its possibilities is what fundamentally divides our parties. over the course of the 21st century, our pendulum has swung from faith in government to distrust. .hese are that tectonic plates they move slowly, but have drastic and lasting up to quinces when they do. they're moving back in probe government direction -- in pro-government direction.
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mentalityrnment dominated from 1932-1980. uncertaintyfear and reigned. franklin government contenting with the forces unleashed and confronted by an economic calamity of the highest order leaned on the leaders of government to stop the bleeding and pull a country out of depression. -- created jobs and built a social safety net hinged on social security that lifted older americans out of crippling poverty. these actions bound together in a new deal demonstrated that government good indeed improve the standard of living for average americans. they bought in. democrats enjoyed to denigration's as the majority
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party. even republicans played on agendas.nment built a highway system. richard nixon created a new federal agency, the epa. .y 1980, 2 things happened first, any party that has been in power a long time looses touch and goes off track. on issues such as crime and welfare, democrats veered too far away from the american people, it indicating government may not be working for them anymore. reason isundamental that democrats had been so successful in creating a stable and economic system. on my thought i'm fine own. i don't need government anymore.
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they took that opportunity to convince them they no longer needed government. is a bit counterintuitive, yes. but the success of the system helped undermine the idea that gave birth to it. when the democratic party godhead of the middle class, refrains like you don't need , foundom the government receptive audience. americans started to believe that the federal government have become bloated, sporadic, in effect if. ronald reagan was able to create an antigovernment, shrink government majority that lasted 2008. he couldn't have said it more bluntly. is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem. s defined the e
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ra." the mayor image of nixon eisenhower during the new deal era. clinton echoed reagan when he said the year of the government is over. reagan era ofhe shrinking government ended up. it ended for one reason -- the gap between productivity and wages. latebegan to detach in the 70's and early 80's. they became so large that by 2000 medium income actually started to decline. in americant time history, it has stayed in decline for more than a decade. between 1950 and 1980, productivity and wages defined
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-- went up in tandem at a high rate, creating a golden era of middle-class opportunity. starting around 1980, the two began to separate. productivity continue to rise at a rapid rate. the economy grew. wages continue to go up, but not at the same rate as productivity. the forces of technology and globalization began to kick in. forces, private became sore forces strong that instead of productivity going up, we just started to decline while productivity continue to go up
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wages started to decline while productivity continue to go up. economists were surprised apprised that medium wages were declining. average wages were going up because of gains at the high end of the spectrum leading the medium line -- behind. the reason is both obvious and opaque. as technology continues to advance, automation supplants employment across a number of different industries. low skilled and high school wage and salary workers lose their jobs to machines. mobilization enabled by technology allows businesses and employers to locate low which markets halfway around the globe , putting downward pressure on wages. while overall technology has many good effect, making markets more efficient cannot be denied.
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it puts downward pressure on wages. over the last decade, these had the medium income decreased by a large 6.5%. anusted for inflation, need income is $3600 lower than in 2001. the decline in income caused the --at titanic plates on -- innment to flip 2008. you people that they need government again. that they are not fine on their own and more. americans felt it in their bones. the deck was stacked against
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them. in order magnitude shy of what our country faced in the 30's and the middle class no longer confident they had a bright future. democrats captured the house, senate, and presidency to use government to stop the fall caused by the financial crisis and reversed the middle class decline. administration deserves a lot of credit removing -- moving quickly and decisively to pass a stimulus that saved our country from a depression and included several important and politically provisions like the massive middle-class tax cut. both the tarp and the stimulus were glaring examples that only government can counter the big forces in our political economy. passing the stimulus was a newtive first step that the
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democratic majority would go to work for the middle class. the stimulus was not the bright spot it could have been for two -- first, republicans try to block it from the very start in early 2009. democrats were unable to pass a large stimulus as the economy recovered. only three would consider voting for the stimulus. they demanded significant diminution to the size of the stimulus. while it prevented things from getting worse, it is -- it's positive effects didn't break through. second, it was a mistake for democrats to make the breath of the stimulus so wide that funding seem to be going to any number of pet programs is not just things that would jumpstart the economy. they gave republicans opportunity to create the
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impression that the bill was loaded up with pork which they used to frame the whole bill even though it was only maybe 5% of it. as a taxpayer-funded giveaway to taxpayer interests -- the stimulus even though it was successful as a measure to pull our economy act on the brink was not as successful as it could have been politically in making the middle class feel government was for them. the stimulus, democrats should have continued to propose middle-class oriented programs and build on the partial success of the stimulus. unfortunately, democrats lose the opportunity the american people gave them. we took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem -- health care reform. plight of uninsured americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance practices needed to be addressed, but it wasn't the change we were hired to make.
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america's are crying out for the end to the recession. that are wages and more jobs and not changes in health care. 85% makes sense considering of all americans got their health care from either the government, medicare, medicaid, or their employer. health care costs were going up that it really affect them. affordable care act was aimed at the 36 million americans who were not covered. it should have been reported on a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote. voted., only 40% even if the uninsured cap with didn'te which the likely , you would still only be talking about 5% of the electorate. a small percentage of the electorate -- it made no political sense. when democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, the democrats
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are not paying enough attention to me. isin, our health care system riddled with unfairness and inefficiency. a problem in desperate need of fixing. the changes that were made our and will continue to be positive changes. they would have been better able to address it if democrats had first opposed and passed programs aimed at a broader slot of the middle class. have you started more broadly, the middle class would have been more receptive to the idea president obama wanted to help them. they would of held a more pro-government view and given him the permission structure to build a more pro-government coalition. then democrats would have been a better position to tackle our nation's health care prices. as it turned out, the back lash to the passage of the health
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care field the tea party movement which respond by the economic crisis and the discontent of 2008. the tea party to great advantage in the president's focus on health care and said this government is aimed at someone else, not you. the implementation problems with obama health care lands, the tea party said, see? government doesn't work and cannot work for you. adding insult to injury. neither the obama ministration nor democrats in congress paid much attention to the messaging we areth care because busy with the passage of implementation. republicans in the two-party fill that vacuum and spent 2010 convinced the average american that not only get up cannot work, but only if a rare --
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parade -- but turned obamacare into a metaphor and evidence of electorate government wouldn't work anyway. the on obamacare give antigovernment forces and the republican party temporarily. they dominated the 20 10 elections. antigovernment forces and philosophy gained the upper hand . like all movements that live inside their own ideological bubble, the tea party went too far on issue after issue. people realized they were extreme, far outside the mainstream. average americans didn't want the dramatic curtailing of
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government advocated by the tea party and mention republicans. 2012 was elected in because the tea party victors didn't solve middle-class problems. incomes continue to decline. the people gave has obama and the democrats another chance. .ut no new government agenda the election of 2012 was essentially a negative one. every direction of the tea party extremists rather than embracing a large, strong democratic that form. in 2013 with the victories in the house and senate, democrats could have been poised to act. the public expected programs aimed at the middle class, but republicans decided to block all attends of pro-government expansion and did so successfully given the remaining control of the house and the
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need for 60 votes to get anything done in the senate. during the first three quarters, pro-and antigovernment forces were about equal in strength. neither party gained the upper hand. when republicans went too far and shut down the government, the ratio by which people --ored republicans jumped favored them on. and for shelley, the shutdown was followed shortly. the rollout was a clear example of governments ineffectiveness and became the perfect anecdote for the republican antigovernment argument. this problem is compounded throughout the spring and summer of 2014 by cascade of issues. va, invaders at the white house, all field by
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sensationalist media that exaggerated hype and emphasize the negativity of these events. had middle-class incomes been going up, the temporary government they'll years which directly reflected a small percentage of the population wouldn't have had the same impact, but they played on a .ubstrate decline as a result, americans in 2014 disillusioned with government voted out those they considered incumbents and did the republicans another chance. the past six years can be summed up by the middle class frustrations with whom they regarded as the incumbent party. each time a party appeared to be in charge but is unable to convince the public they have the solution, the electorate fix the other party creating a sort of electoral whiplash. let's look.
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allessive alternative -- trial -- alternating elections. in 2010, voters tired of democrats put in republicans. in 2012, tired of republicans, they put democrats back in. in 2014 with the perception that democrats were in charge, they flip back to the republicans. with maybe the exception of 2008 represents a fundamentally negative election, a rejection of the party perceived to be in charge rather than visio stick support of the party they voted for -- rather than enthusiastic support of the party they voted for it. the discontent continues until one party convinces that middle-class voter it has a vision for an agenda it will
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accomplish creating jobs and increasing middle-class incomes. that struggle will be laid out on the same battlefield that has dominated lyrical strife since 1932. the probe versus antigovernment battlefields. versuspro antigovernment battlefields. democrats have a natural advantage. to understand, we must examine why incomes have declined. why the productivity doesn't result in middle-class economic advancement. it can be described in one word -- technology. tohnology allows capital garner for far greater share of increases. machines, allows computers, robots to produce
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goods more efficiently than workers can, displacing millions of workers. technology allows distribution networks to conglomerate and become more efficient or an amazon to be created that displaces millions of workers in mom-and-pop stores. technology allows companies to locate far from where the markets are and seek lower labor costs. at first in the southern united states and now overseas. technology is a private sector force in the free market economy. it is primarily the private sector there that produces efficiencies high-technology making them more profitable by reducing the number of workers they employee and the amount of
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.ollars they need to pay them let me be clear -- this is not a crime to stop these forces. technologies, globalization, is an inherently malign forces. have to make production of goods and services more efficient. docannot stop progress, nor we want to. an attempt to stop these forces would be like the early 1800s. what democrats are proposing is not to stop or slow them down, but figure out ways for the middle class to adapt these new forces to be able to thrive amidst these forces here and we must create an environment where the middle class can successfully navigate these new sees.
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-- seas. opposingies have answers when addressing the problem of how we increase .iddle-class incomes the republican answer is to give private sector forces even more power to function without inhibition. this answer is fundamentally counterintuitive to many economists and to most middle-class voters. if private sector forces, or by station, automation are causing problems, why give them more power? reduce the constraint on companies moving overseas. workersity to protect when they are badly treated or discriminated against. reduce the ability of workers to upgrade education skills to become unemployable in the new technological world?
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tose answers make no sense most average americans. the democratic answer is far more compatible with middle-class thinking in need. harness powerces and push you around, you need a large after force to stand up to -- to stand up for you. the only force that can give you the tools to stand up to the large tectonic forces that can mitigate the effects that technology creates on your income is an active and committed government that is on your side. people know in the heart that when they, are full sector affect their lifestyles, only government can protect them. when people are educated, they do better.
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when we putand domestic industries and a level playing field, the middle class does better. when workers can bargain for a greater share, the middle class does better. the only way to achieve these .nds is government the private sector left on its own cannot. will the private sector pay to build our highways, roads, and bridges. will they make college more affordable? the answer is no. the democratic pro-government has a natural high political ground at a time that incomes are declining. that doesn't mean we always win.
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when government messes up, we can easily lose. we still have a natural advantage. this is the root cause reason as to why democrats will be the .ajority party for a generation it is important and ultimately more dominating than any temporary tactical advantage that either party gains. the private sector unleashing the private sector will not solve middle-class needs. a strong government on your side will. election, itpast was not a repudiation of government. it shows we are the favorites in 2016 if we produce a real evil -- a believable pro-government approach. deeply conservative states with conservative candidates running for office, minimum wage
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increases have passed. those republicans were forced to back them. they were on the ballot. pollding to the latest taken after the election, here are the three most popular things people said congress should do next year. 82% -- congress should provide access to lower costs of student loans. 75% -- spend more and infrastructure here to safety by percent -- raise the minimum wage. spend more on infrastructure here. 65% -- raise the minimum wage. since 2010 a third favor more active government. a third a less active government here in a third something in between. two thirds of americans are open to the idea and active and government -- and not government could improve their lives.
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to largerot opposed government, but don't believe it will be on their side. -- the 2014eating election was not a be pretty ancient of government in general. just another sign -- was not a repudiation of government in general. just another sign -- right now the american public is so cynical about government that the democratic pro-government message wouldn't be immediately successful. let me explain. just as the industrial revolution and least portions that were test harnessed by -- new economic order created without government intervention is naturally beneficial to those at the top of economic heap.
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dignityk at how product , stock market values have continued to climb while incomes have stagnated and the share of corporate profits the go to labor have fallen. in the government is seen as working for those interest who are ready have the advantage, americans are soured and frankly angry. deep down, americans are much more concerned with who han anment works for t size for its scope. in order to restore belief in government as a force for good, the first step is convince voters we are on their site and not in the grips of special interests. to borrow president clinton's phrase, we must prove the year a big corporate influence over government is over. big business, big banks, they oil, they may be allowed a seat at the table, but americans feel
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special interests are buying a room and renting it out for profit. lobbyists and lawyers car that ridiculous loopholes -- carve ou t ridiculous loopholes. when government fails to prosecute, some of which were haveed out, americans government is not working for them. when ceos and executives pay less in taxes under secretaries, americans feel government is now working for them. an element of populism, even those of us who don't consider ourselves a populace is necessary to open the door before we can rally people to hasat a strong government shrunk over mostly implemented.
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this is true for the one third of american middle who are neither pro-or anti-government and who would not be opposed to an active government but must be convinced it will be on their side. can then after democrats convince middle-class americans that we are the party that will put government back on their side can we embark on a second crucial step that would cement the pro-government majority proposing and passing legislation that is effective and acutely focused on reversing the middle class decline. that strategy must be our blueprint. it should unite democrat from elizabeth warren to hillary clinton to joe manchin. progressives have done well to highlight that the economy is stacked to death in favor of special interests. if we do our job well, it offers a positive message that moderate
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democrats can sell even in the deepest red of states. every democrat could follow this playbook. help win back those working-class voters who turned out in most presidential in midterm elections and who decide to trend against democrats in this election. i want to address that second step putting forth a policy for the middle class. what should those policies of the in how should we decide upon them. in the coming weeks and months we will have this debate within the democratic party. we will outline what specific policy measures we hope to achieve in the 114th congress and beyond. today in a laundry list of measures, i would like to outline not what policy democrats would propose, but how
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to build our party platform to pill directly to the middle class and convince them that government is on their side. they form an objective lens. ourselves if ask this policy directly benefits middle class families in an immediate and tangible way. you will it lower their expenses in a meaningful way? it we are to fulfill our pact with the middle class, we must particular policies don't make their lifestyle more affordable. period. the policies must be aimed at who, not what. not all policies will involve spending. changing labor laws so workers
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could demand more pay. rather changing rules of the game to make it easy for the middle class to fight the forces they are up against. policy should be simply and easily explained. likely to happen that democratic priority should be achievable? yes, they have to be a lot more than just messaging goals. fourth, is a policy effect the broad swathes of americans? slice of theall country. they're even policies that would help constituencies within the middle class, but not a great deal of people. those policy should be considered, but not the core to the platform. they must fit together in an effective theme and even
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and see -- symphony them as parts of a whole. the democrats follow this rubric , it will create a natural path that could help convince middle-class americans that in this modern world, government is not only helpful, but a necessity. we're more than were willing to work with the public in college to get legislation done that meets these criteria. one thing we won't have to worry that is the idea republicans will adopt a positive middle-class agenda before we get a chance to do so. that won't happen. we publicans and armored with the concept that only the private sector can solve america's problems will only be effective at fostering negative attitudes towards government. and set of focusing on the middle class, it will spend their time bashing obamacare.
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when it comes to doing anything positive, they will be era lysed. take a look at their new proposals for the new congress. there are specific ideas of a positive, tenable agenda. proving the keystone pipeline and repealing the medical device tax. the pipe when my produce about 9000 temporary jobs in one limited in that part of the country. give me a break. a good highway bill, , we createure bill hundreds of thousands of jobs and provide decades of economic benefits. the medical device tax, many democrats are for its repeal. in my great a few jobs -- it might create a few jobs.
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in both cases, the republicans are focusing on the short-term needs of a few narrow special interests instead of the long-term benefit of those interests as well as the broad middle class. our work is cut out for us during the next year. we don't have to hurry. republicans are neither willing or able to fill in this void. they will continue their negative ways. in 2015, we have to show the american people that we will be ready to govern as a united party. by the end of 2015 to win the to governnd effectively thereafter, democrats must make sure three things are in place. first, our party embraces government and doesn't run away from it. second, we are prepared to take
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on special interests when necessary and show the average person that government can be on their side. third, become up with the policy plan that is focused, easily understood, achievable, and fits together to form a larger narrated. our party embrace these three strategies. we must have our presidential candidate on the same page. importantr most mission during the year 2015. together democrats must embrace government. it is what we believe in. it is what unites our party. most importantly, the only thing that is going to get the middle class going again. if we run away, downplay it, or act as if we are embarrassed, people won't vote for our version of the republican view.
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--y will vote for he will follow the republican chant. republicans will paint government as the enemy. themedia will highlight government failures because it makes sensational news. away, the negative misconceptions will take route. even the people support our ideas, they won't believe government can deliver. we are the party that believes in government as a force for good. with a robust defense of government to a renewed public space -- sorry, without a robust government to renew faith, we holding back for fear of being identified as advocates for big government.
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beyond the political imperatives deep andimportant, a sensitive imperative for democrats embrace government to make it work. a government doesn't deliver, the middle class will be left without the only advocate powerful enough to give them a fighting chance in our modern economy. if the republican vision of a government stripped there comes to pass, we just broadly defined will continue to decline or even plummet even as product to the here its to progress incomes will decline. college education will be harder to afford. a job party to secure. if they don't invest or stimulate, a comfortable middle-class life will be harder and harder to achieve the most
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americans. incomes continue to decline, people will become sour, angry, and subject to the spell demagogues. if religious, ethnic groups turn on each other in a way we haven't seen in almost a century , the grand optimism that is america would be distinguished -- extinguished. we would be a sour, angry people as a flickering light of the american dream dwindles and the america we know and love no longer exists. government, embrace if we said about convincing the american public it does not have to be held hostage by powerful interests, but have their backs,
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if democrats embrace government agendapose a believable that average americans understand all make their incomes grow, they not only will -- win election election, but capture america and its imagination for the next generation. if we can do all that, we will have saved the american dream and the flaming torch held aloft by the lady in the harbor of the city of which i live will burn brightly again in the heart of every american. thank you. >> ok. we do need to take some questions. >> this subject first. >> this is the subject. let me try this -- your prognosis that republicans
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failed because they are going to block all of the positive middle-class provisions you said democrats want to do, that you are saying democrats will failed because republicans will block everything? it sounds like you're not suggesting there is an opportunity for the middle to succeed. is there a way what you are proposing could happen rather than this view that we have no hope? one important modification. it does not republicans will fail or block things. is lethole philosophy the powerful sectors run unrestrained. don't get in the way of sending jobs overseas. don't get in the way of letting people have rights in the workplace.
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help peoplething to go to college. cut, cut, cut. it is deeper than that. doesn't fit the times. that is why i'm confident will prevail if we do things right. what will happen in 2016? speech is how we will win in 2016. we hope that if we propose things that and if it middle-class that meet the criteria i laid out, maybe the republicans will support us. , theyska and arkansas endorsed the minimum wage. it was on the ballot. the republican leadership realized that pure extraction is
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him isn't going to help them -- do some things with us? that is the $64,000 question. i don't know what will happen. getting things done for the middle class is good for us. if they don't, we will pursue and pursue. there will be the kind of reaction you have seen in the last few elections. you have got the microphone. let's start right there. you in the front row. two quick questions. you talk about government. -- innovation issue
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groups seems right on their, but you talk about big corporations. there's this identity group. [indiscernible] >> let me answer both. government federal should set the tone for democrats in 2016. what i say applies to state government as well. just as the middle class needs help against big forces, there are certain things states can do to be help will. corporations. big there are lots of interest groups. we have to focus on the middle class. discount interest groups. is this going to benefit the average voter?
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tried to talk directly to the people. i think that is what we have to do. talk to the average voter. here is what we are doing. not worry about intermediaries. hi, jerry. >> questions about health care. regarding what you said about health care being the wrong priority, did you make that clear to others within the democrat party at the time? >> yes. >> what reaction did you get? >> lots of people thought this is the one opportunity to do it. it's very important to do. we just shouldn't have done it first. we are in the middle of a recession. people are hurting. what about me? i'm losing my job. it's not health care that i
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worry about. my income is declining. it is not my health care issue. 85% of americans were fine with their health care in 2009 maybe because it was paid for or their employer. they weren't clamoring. the average middle-class voter weren't opposed to doing health care, but it wasn't at the top of the agenda. that allowed the opening for the tea party that was playing on the banks of the recession -- agnst of the recession. they see what you are not doing. >> and a concern what you're saying about health care could plant in that republicans field efforts? i don't think they need anything else to play into the repeal efforts. [laughter] 2014, thet the ads in
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very few republicans call for repeal. efrin in 2010. in 2010.- very few it has much less weight. they moved on to other issues by and large. >> [inaudible] how much excess you think the government will have -- success do think the government will have? maybe eliminating agencies? the 2014r thing about elections, not many republicans were harping on the deficit. they were still out there, that it wasn't at the top of the list . this is an advantage of the health care bill. i don't even know if it was an issue in this campaign. health care costs is going way
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down instead of up. has helped bring our deficit down rather significantly. the biggest reason the deficit was going up because of increased cost of medicare and medicaid. they had a positive effect. don't get me wrong. i'm proud to have voted for it. but it should have come later. schumer, with the democrats consider a strategy of giving republicans growth as a way -- >> i have never liked that strategy. we have to be true to who we are. se are a party of average folk in the middle class. we are a pro-government.
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we have been all along. you can't run from it. that is what has divided the party to this day. moren is probably pro-government than collins. >> following up on the first agenda, on the economic what would -- how long is the window next year? sit as auld have to little birdie in the republican caucuses and see how strong are the the republican leadership? one of the problems is in so many congressional districts and in a large number of senate districts, the tea party is large if not dominant.
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they are looking at the interest of the party in 2016 versus individual politics of each of their states and districts. they conflict. where they come out, i don't know. i delivered didn't get into specific -- i deliberately didn't get into specifics. we need to come out with a plan i outlined. i don't think a republican colleagues will be filling in that void. senator -- >> the fractious press core. [laughter] >> we're doing the best we can with one mic. >> i wanted to ask about the trade agenda. >> go ahead. sorry.
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partnershippacific -- >> i would wait and see but the proposals are. the overwhelming view of the average voter and most democrats is that trade overall has hurt wages significantly. what do we do about it? , i wanted tohumer ask you a topic of the day. can i ask you a question about the president's executive order on immigration? i wondered if that order will incentivize people to come to the country illegally even though the president has said specifics of who would be eligible. it has -- >> i don't think it will. no. >> [inaudible]
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senator, i wanted to ask about the likely revision due talked about in your speech. "likely"? define because of the way i described my politics, if we come up with a strong agenda, will have a large victory in reminiscent of- 2008. we have to be prepared to act on things that matter and will lift middle-class incomes. roosevelt,he same as but a great model. these are a mess. a bigger mess than knows -- then what people know. realize the anguish of voters.
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the great thing about america is our optimism -- that is dying. once that dies, -- other recessions were shorter. i know it will be better tenure so from now. they don't say that anymore. bottom line is if we are able to reverse that in convince , we will be a can majority party for a generation. theill have to look at 2015-20 16 time and play it by ear. 6f our colleagues -- 2015-201 time and play it by ear. if our colleagues -- my remarks are aimed at a -- broadly creating the
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next generation. democratic majority for the next generation. i don't think the republicans can do that unless they abandon their belief to let the private sector do more. >> back row. >> thank you. nn. and you -- c how much will be aimed at winning in 2016? i know you endorsed secretary clinton, but issue the right person for this? shee will have 2 -- but is the right person for this? >> we will have to play it by ear. within hisynamics party and caucus. they know tom donahue said if republicans don't have a good is asation bill, -- he
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hard-core republican as they have. what happens? for us, we have to see. we aren't going to hold back in doing what we have to do as outlined in this speech. mean it certain things, along our way -- i don't believe -- we are the pro-government party. obstruction doesn't serve us as well as it serves them. to them, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. government cannot work. after ping-pong game, people get tired of it. and on hillary clinton, i think should be a great candidate. i hope she runs. hugee runs, she will win a majority. she is just right for the times. >> senator. yahoo! news. can you hear me? >> i can. >> thank you.
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announced thats there would be a vacancy at the top of the pentagon. one of the first things they might have to do is confirm a nominee to be secretary of defense shared one of the things we heard from consist -- from republicans consistently is -- i'm wondering if you wonder if they will roll back cuts without talk about cuts to social programs? >> i think the budget deficit while still a problem is in a lot better shape than it was three or four years ago. second, i think democrats believe in 50-50. i think the president feels strongly about 50-50. if they violate that, they face
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a president who wouldn't support whatever they pass. senator. -- hi, senator. globalization is an static. -- is an static. -- isn't static. thefundamentals, the way economy works is shifting. if so, what is the policy response? is there a fundamental -- great question. yes, it is shifting. this loss in income, america has never had a loss of medium income for a long period of time. it certainly never had even close to such a period of time. i guess i would have to figure it out. i think two thirds -- ddp was
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going up. -- gdp was going up. but middle-class incomes were going down. technology allows capital to get the benefits of productivity much more than labor. labor go down, either politically or sensibly. some of the things we're going to propose, they will not be at the edges, they will be significant changes, not to stop technology -- technology has always benefits, productivity, ,fficiency -- but for instance one question i have asked myself is why, with all of this new competition, don't costs go down more significantly for the average middle-class person? that might involve certain kinds of restructuring. >> two or three more.
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>> i remember the problems he listed at the top of your speech that led to the loss. youmuch responsibility do think the obama administration carries -- >> most of these things, things happen, the world changes and there is difficulty in changing. the administration has adopted quite well to most of them. response, history will say it has been excellent. there has been very little spread of ebola. i forget the exact number, but a large number of people arrived from the west africa hotspots, are carefully manager -- carefully monitored. you can't prevent things from happening in the world. no offense to anyone in this room, you can't prevent to the press from focusing on the negative in a sensationalistic
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way. you can look at the ebola story a few days and the average american will say i have ebola. i shouldn't go on an airplane or subway. that didn't come out of nowhere. a strong, have middle-class agenda, the number one thing polling shows is the average voter says, make my life better. when the middle-class incomes are rising and people have hope in them, these negativities play less of a role. the administration be doing to help the democratic minority? >> working on what i said. -- you designed the democratic agenda this year. part of it. policies that you just named were in that agenda. as you look back -- >> i didn't name any policies. >> like the minimum wage. was there anything that went
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wrong? >> that was the big success. when you look at the polling data and everything else, the greatest access our candidates had was on that agenda. they just had to be bigger, broader, more prominent. >> senator, are you suggesting that an option for democrats might be to oppose some of these trade agreements? >> i am not getting into the specifics. i am saying that i think most people think that trade has hurt wages, not increased wages, even if it has increased gdp and productivity. we have to examine it very carefully. that is a. -- it. thank you, everybody. i got to hurry.
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>> and we are adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] on the next "washington talksl," david strickland about travel expectations and safety precautions for the thanksgiving holiday. discussesyton data collection. then, the availability of military health care. "washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. deborah rudder, the new
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president of the kennedy center for the performing arts, spoke recently at the national press club of the importance of arts education. cnn 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. >> here are a few of the comments we have recently received. thatjust have to tell you, to see these people, in person, to hear them, have the panel discussion of a congressional hearing, it is so important to and toand the context listen to the statement in its entirety. i think that this is the greatest program on tv. how the authors
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present what they write. the moderator always does a great job of stimulating the conversation. it is what i look forward to on the weekends, to watch as much as i can. >> i watch c-span all the time. it is the only station i have on most of the time. i think it is absolutely excellent. i watch all the debates around the country. thank you for the book talks in the history. i like all of the. i am thankful that it is there and i use it in my classroom. i teach at a community college in connecticut. thank you very much. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. us or you canail send us a tweet. c-span conversation.
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like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> after more than 35 years in congress, iowa senator tom harkin is set to retire at the end of this year. senator harkin served in the u.s. house, representing i was sixth district. then he moved on to the senate. in an interview, senator harkin reflect on his time in washington. this is 45 minutes. >> senator tom harkin of iowa, we are sitting in a room you spent a lot of time in over the years. and done a lot of important pieces of legislation. i am wondering what prompted you to make the decision to retire this year. there is still a lot to do. >> well, i guess what prompted me were long discussions with my wife. and thinking about the past and where i am.
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i came to the decision that 40 years here is long enough for anyone to be here. and, you know this whole concept of clinging to power -- i have all these offices and a great committee, all that stuff. i think a lot of people stay around too long. so i just started thinking about it. i thought, i am still relatively young. at least i feel healthy. and contrary to what my political opponents say, my mental faculties are still decent. i just love the senate. i love my work here. i love the give-and-take. i look to legislate. i love politics. so i will miss the senate. it is a long time to be here. i do not think that is reason enough to stay around until they
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carry me out of here feet first. at some point it is time to let new people come in here with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. i said for me, it is time to move on. >> what are you planning to do next? >> at drake university in des moines, a well-known college because of the relation everything, drake university a year and a half ago started the harkin institute of public policy. we have a nonpartisan board of directors. the former chair of the iowa republican party is on the board of the harkin institute. for that reason, he will probably never be reelected to the chair of the republican party. we have a former chief justice of the iowa supreme court.
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so i will be spending a lot of my time in iowa. we only live about 12 miles from drake university. so i hope to be doing a lot of work that institute. one of the things you know, as a senator, we have all the stuff on our plate. we have a lot of stuff to deal with. it has been said one of the good things about being a senator is you get to deal with a lot on your plate. it has been said of the senate that one of the bad things about the senate is that you have a lot of things on your plate. so i want to narrow those down and focus mostly on what i'm probably best known for, and that is disability work. i want to work with the institute and also some here in washington. i hope even some internationally. on what i consider to be one of
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the last linchpins of making the americans with disabilities act really work, and that his job opportunities for people with disabilities. some exciting things are happening out there, by the way, with people with disabilities getting jobs. really interesting things. and i would like to be a part of that and are to expand that as much as possible. >> you mentioned consulting with your wife, ruth. observations suggest that this country has a lot of political spouses. what is her life going to be like after leaving the senate? >> i hope ok. you have to understand -- >> it is not like you're going to still be very busy. >> my wife has always carved out her own career. first as an attorney, prosecuting attorney, then here in washington with a law firm.
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then later back in the federal government as the president and ceo of the overseas private investment corporation, which she did an outstanding job at. then later as a corporate executive. now on the board of regents of iowa. so my wife has always had her own career path. i remember one time when i was first elected, and she was already a prosecuting attorney. you have to understand, my wife and i ran for office in the same year, 1972. i lost and she won. ruth was the only democrat in the story county courthouse. the only woman attorney -- county attorney in the state of iowa. so she was interviewed around
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that time about our relationship and about being a congressional wife. she says, "i am not married to congress." she said, my life would be very disappointing if all i had to hinge on was i was the wife of a congressman. so my wife has been an advocate of women doing their own thing and seeking their own career path. she has been very busy. and she is still on a couple of boards today. so she has never been one to just be a senatorial wife or something like that. >> i want to go to your declaration of love for the senate. i wonder if the senate has
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gotten a little harder to love in the past decade or so. >> well, it certainly requires a different approach. speaking in the language of romance. the last decade has been very different. i always want to be careful about getting into this area because i do not want to become one of those old men that constantly say things were better when i was younger. things were better when i first got here. i heard that from my father, and from people growing up. different, yes. and i do believe that there are certain things that the senate ought to be doing that i think transcends decades. build personal relationships.
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the grease of good legislation is still personal relationships. trust. getting to know one another. that has broken down in the senate. and that has got to be pulled back together again. we need a broader base in the republican party now. you might say, what about the democratic party? well, up until just recently, the republican party had a pretty good broad-based. there were liberal republicans, moderate republicans. lately, we have had moderate democrats. some conservative, in the south. in that mix, we were able to get things done. the republican party got rid of all are liberals and they became very, very conservative. that engendered a reaction, i
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think, on the democratic side. more and more democrats are getting more and more liberal. we have to have more of a mix now than what we had in the past. i know it sounds political, but i hope the republican party gets back to having more moderates in the republican party. so, that. might i also add i think some procedures need to be changed in the senate. i have long advocated we get rid of the filibuster. i think we can say it is a weight around our next that is cks that is not in the constitution. it was used primarily for almost 100 years to stop civil rights legislation. that was the basis of the filibuster. but it has no relevance today. it really does not. what has happened in the last few years is that individuals
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have found they can use the filibuster to absolutely stop legislation. it was never intended that way. it was intended to slow down legislation if you had a sizable minority. but never to be used in a way it is now. so in 1996, i proposed getting rid of the filibuster. i said at that time, it is in the record, what is happening is, when the democrats are in, republicans will use the filibuster. when the republicans get in power, the democrats go, you did this to us. we will do it to you. the ante always goes up. it is like an arms race. every time the senate would change hands, the new party would do more filibusters than the last. and i said, it is going to be like an arms race. it is getting to the point we cannot run the senate.
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that is true today. so two things. get rid of the filibuster on legislation as well as nominations. on the other hand, i have often said the republicans have a legitimate argument in that they are not being allowed to offer amendments. they are not being allowed to offer amended because of filibuster bills. the best way to get rid of it is to get rid of the filibuster. at the same time, guaranteed to guaranteed to -- guaranteed to the minority in new rules in the senate that the minority will be able to remain amendments to -- able to offer germane amendments to that legislation with a reasonable time limits for debate. if you do that, then we can move legislation. and the minority will have the right -- someone said, the minority does not have the right to prevail.
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which they're doing now, because minority can control the filibuster and stop things. it should be the right of the minority to amend, to have full and vigorous debates, and have votes on amendments. if we do that, i think the senate would begin to operate very well. >> i heard you say that the resulting gridlock upsets the balance of power by giving more power. -- power to the president. would you explain why? >> i think there is gridlock in the congress because we cannot get things done because of more power to the president. we see it with this president, the last president. it is just like an arms race. more power will devolve to the people. -- to the people when we cannot get our work done. >> when and why did it change? >> there was sort of a gradual thing.
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it started in the 1980's. it accelerated a little in the 1990's. and then it took off in the 2000s. i'm not going to say, the democrats did this. both sides started it. both sides started it. i would say it really escalated perhaps in the late 1990's. i would say from the late 1990's, early 2000, to 2012. every couple of years it got worse in terms of the filibusters and gridlock. so we do not vote on everything around here anymore. the only thing we vote on his
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-- on is unanimous consent. something like that. we do not even debate any longer. i think the country loses when that happens. >> you talk about collegiality and things important to the legislative process. the senate's work week has gotten shorter, more structured. people we talked to suggest that this is one of the roots of the problem, that they are not here on weekends. why did that change? what is going to change it back? because people are going home to raise money. >> i was going to say, why are people leaving here? to go out to raise money. campaigns have gotten so expensive. if you have been reelected as a senator, you better start raising money right away. >> you remember what your first campaign cost? >> not that much. good question. i am sure somebody knows. but my first senate campaign,
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1984, gosh. >> it has increased exponentially? >> just awful. i would be surprised if my 1984 campaign cost -- i know less than $2 million, maybe $1.5 million. my last campaign probably came in around $12 million or $15 million. that is crazy. just nuts. but that is what it has gotten to. that is the other thing. again, to build relationships, you have to have personal time. it used to be we had a senate dining room. there is still a senate dining room, but that is where everybody could go. we had a little dining room for only senators to have lunch in. no staff, just senators. we had two tables in there and talk about this and that.
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personal stories, what is happening in your family. get to know one another. we had great conversation that -- at these lunches. some were political. we talked about this. you are not on record, so you can really talk openly. and that dining room doesn't even exist anymore. there came a time when fewer and fewer senators were going there. and finally, it did not exist. think about that. something we used to do on a daily basis, we never do. why is that? well, we used to come in -- the senate was monday at noon. and then we would be here until friday at noon.
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at a minimum. sometimes friday, later. now, we would have monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday. at least four or five days of lunches. maybe five.our, now, we do not get here until monday evening. tuesday is the caucus lunch for both republicans and democrats. they are party caucuses. thursday is the policy lunch for democrats and republicans. we leave thursday night. that only leaves wednesday. and what are they doing on wednesday for lunch? they are out raising money. it is not healthy. it is just not healthy at all. and we used to -- here is another suggestion i make for those new senators. i make it not here in this conversation, but i make it to them. we should have our caucuses like
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we used to. on an afternoon, tuesday afternoon or wednesday afternoon. we used to take two hours. we go to 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon. that was our caucus. now it is lunch time. why can we go back to having -- there isn't anything else here, for crying out loud. >> speaking of collegiality, i am wondering about your relationship with your longtime counterpart, chuck grassley. the funny ways of the senate counting things. you are still the junior senator. the longest-serving junior senator. >> i am the most senior junior senator in the senate. used to be fritz onyx when strong thurmond was here --
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. senator grassley and i got sworn in on the same day on 1975. >> a few hours earlier in his case, senator grassley? >> we got elected the same day. we were sworn in on january , 1975. same day. but he came to the senate four years before me. in terms of our time here -- >> you are in the house for 10 years before you came to the senate. >> exactly. and he was only in the house six years. that is right. i know people say iowa, he is a conservative. i am a liberal. how do they do that? we have always had a good relationship. we do disagree on some things once in a while, but when we work for iowa, our staffs work closely together. you have to remember, iowa is a very close state.
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the registration is about what it was when i first started 40 years ago. one third democrat, one third republican, one third independent. so i have often said there are a lot of conservative iowans, a lot of liberal iowaans, and the rest are moderates. so chuck grassley fills out the conservative and of the -- end of the spectrum, but does enough things to reach over to moderates. i represent the liberal spectrum and do enough to reach over to moderates. so i always liked that balance. i have always said there has been a kind of balance. the most part, it has worked pretty well. >> in 1992, he left to become president. how does that look through your rearview mirror?
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>> i know bob dole once said famously that there is only one cure for the desire to be president, and that is a wooden stake through the heart or something like that. but i look back at it and i think, you know, first of all, i was ill prepared to run for president. i had not really planned on it for a long time. it just was not something i was geared up to do. but after the 1990 election, i became so upset about bush's economic policies, but also the move into iraq, the qb war, that that kindati war, of thing. that i felt we needed a good populace voice running. i was not prepared.
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i ran a terrible campaign. if i had had had a brain, i would have just campaigned in a few states. wisconsin, michigan, ohio, maybe connecticut. just set up operations in those states and nowhere else. but people said you have to campaign in texas. i remember one time, driving down the highway in south carolina on a rainy day, and i thought, what am i doing in south carolina? i have no support here. whoriley, -- dick riley, they are became a good friend of mine, he was running clinton's campaign. what was i even spending a day -- aside from having staff and campaign people. if i had just concentrated on a few states, that might have been different. but i also believe my message was wrong also.
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my message was wrong. but i think about those things, and i look back, and however, both the country and me and my family and my personal life are probably better off that i never got elected president. i am not just saying that out of fake modesty. i say that because i love legislation. i like legislating. and i just like that atmosphere. the more i thought about it, i am not really the executive type person. i have never been in an executive. i have always been a legislator. i have to tell you this. i love my anonymity. i really like going into a store and no one knows me. i like going into a restaurant and i do not need secret service or something like that.