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tv   Washington Journal 02202019  CSPAN  February 20, 2019 6:59am-10:04am EST

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-- panel on criminal justice reform. we will also hear from jp morgan chase ceo jamie the economy. and the forum on state child welfare systems. the winter meeting, live saturday at 9:15 a.m. eastern on c-span. wax c-span, -- >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, supreme court, and public policy events and washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. in an hour, jeffrey rosen discusses president trump's emergency declaration
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and the legal challenges it faces. at 9:00 a.m., irs taxpayer advocate nina olson discusses how the recent federal shutdown is affecting the internal revenue service and the current tax filing season. ♪ host: reporting this morning that senator bernie sanders raised $3.3 million from 120,000 donors since his announcement yesterday that he plans to run for. they make the comparisons to senator kamala harris raising $1.5 million in the same time. online.find more this is washington journal for february 20. to tell using to you how voting can be improved in the united states. some have suggested voter
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registration, some have advocated for making election day a federal holiday. perhaps you have other ideas for improving the voter process. here is how you can let us know. republicans, (202) 748-8001. .emocrats, (202) 748-8000 and independents, (202) 748-8002 . or onn post on twitter facebook as well. when dealing with issues of voting, the in in political takes a look at an op-ed for same-day voter registration. it is one meaningful way to increase voter participation and i am supporting the effort to enact such laws during the legislative session. the basic idea of same-day
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registration is that it allows the voter to register and cast their ballot on the same day. states that offer this one-stop process for registering and voting. some allow up to election day, others allowing it only during the early vote period. mexico, you must be registered 28 days before an election. elections have stronger than usual turnout. sweeping approved overhauls requiring that the government hold elections entirely by mail. alarm of some the school district officials, it has far higher levels of voter participation than usual. register, the guard
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out of oregon. they look at the highlighted discussion when it comes to lowering the age for voting to 16 years old. they highlight the comments of senator sheila fagan saying that lowering the voting age could turnout, and encourage civic education. to strengthenidea our democracy, she says. we know and people develop civic habits at a young age, they are more likely to stick. these are some of the ideas coming out of the u.s. when it comes to improving the voting process. you can include yours in the mix as well. (202) 748-8001 four republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. independents, (202) 748-8002
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. when it comes to ideas for improving voting, we will hear from willie up first in maryland. go ahead. i think to improve voting the way it is right now, we should have been doing something with the interference of russia. one of the things we may have to do is go through the old-fashioned effort of cyber warfare defense. these countries are opening up ways of trying to get politicians to -- that they think they can control. let's go to gabriel. ways to improve voting. morning.ood i think there is a chance that -- i think it's a great idea if you were to make a federal
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holiday where everybody understood that this was your duty and this was something that you were supposed to do as a citizen. if that was ingrained into people early on likely comment that if you are exposed to voting earlier, the better overall. the more long term they will be engaged. -- and in election day election day that would be a federal holiday that everybody would be off of work would promote turnout. i think that there should be a implementedndard across all states. a bare minimum that this is what they have in place. so many states have just an elaborate different set of voting situations. -- i think they really
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has to be some kind of global, federal -- i should say national document for implementing voting. gabriel in north carolina. the situation they are involving the ninth district, it is not resolved since election day in november. joining us on the phone to tell us why is from the charlotte observer. thank you for joining us this morning. thanks for having host: for those that have not been following what has been up then, can you set players involved and the situation involved? was a very close and hard-fought race in the ninth district.
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the incumbent, a republican, was defeated in the primary by mark harris, a pastor from charlotte and political candidate making his third run for federal office. in the general election, mark harris went on to fit -- defeat dan macready, a democrat and marine veteran for the seat. he won by 905 votes. and when it came time to certify, the board of elections refused and pointed to voting irregularities. was in a small and mostly rural county southeast of charlotte, north carolina near fayetteville, north carolina. and what has emerged since then is evidence of a pretty sophisticated absentee ballot harvesting came -- scheme. a political operative was working for mark harris.
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the race is still not certified. the seat is vacant. the state board of elections a strong to sort things out and decide if they are going to order a new election in the ninth district. is there any indication that mark harris knew that this was going on? caller: i am in raleigh this week for a hearing on that. the state board has brought forward evidence that this man, owless was paying people to collect ballots, which is illegal in north carolina. and even filling out ballots that were blank and unsealed. they have established that mcrae worked and mark harris together and knew each other. he gothired because results. but mark harris denied knowing s was doingdowles
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that sort of thing. and so far, the state board has not established a direct smoking gun type of evidence of mark harris having knowledge or ordering these shady tactics. your story that mark harris is expected to be called to testify. is he doing this willingly? today, andt will be i imagine one of the most significant moments if not the most significant moment of this entire hearing. he has been compelled to attend the hearing. he has attended every day and declined to comment. the state board will call him to testify. they are not likely to compel him to testify. , ifr north carolina statute they compel him to testify, he
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use that toly immunize himself of any future criminal proceedings. if they call him and he doesn't testify, the state would be able to infer negative implications and make them more likely to look at a new election. his lawyer said mark harris plans to testify. we will hear more information about what he knew and what he understood from mcrae dallas. that will happen today. i expect it to be dramatic. host: let's say that harris is certified. what happens if he makes it to the house of representatives in washington. some democratic leaders
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like steny hoyer have said that they will not seek him if he shows up. but that was in december, before the investigation. it is kind of an open question. the house could open their own investigation and decide that they want to look into this. they could refuse to seat mark harris. back told kick things .he state they could order a new election to fill this vacant seat. even if mark harris makes it through this race, he would still face that hurdle in d.c. host: what does it say about the voting system in north carolina. caller: voting rights have been
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a big issue in north carolina for the last few years. there are gerrymandering cases that have gone to the supreme court. there have been lawsuits about new voter id requirements. they have reduced the number of sunday voting hours and the found that they were targeting african-americans with surgical precision to reduce voter turnout. voting rights have been a big issue in this state and are still being litigated. this entire ninth district election fraud case centers on absentee by mail voting. anybody who wants to can request an absentee by mail ballot. that absentee by mail system hasn't been targeted for changes.
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all the changes the legislature has tried to make have to do with in person voting. in person voting really isn't the issue here. the part of the election system that is a week -- a weak link in the chain, it hasn't been the subject of any of that. portillo talking about the latest in this ninth district investigation. thank you for your time this morning. host: north carolina's experience when it comes to the voting system overall. we are asking for your comments about how to improve the process. you can let us know at (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202)r independents,
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748-8002. says when itell comes to improving the voting process, he likes the idea of making election day a federal holiday. and when it comes to paper ballots being part of the process. caller: thank you for c-span and for taking my call. a big issue for me because i think they've been doing everything they can to make voting so much easier without regard to whether it is legitimate voting or not. and whether it is done by informed citizens. i think allowing 16-year-olds to vote is ridiculous. i don't think they know enough alone what ist going on in the political world.
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automaticallyting has appeared in the paper, which is also ridiculous. it is definitely wrought with fraud possibilities. i think the case your guest just made about the situation in itth carolina tells you why is a good idea that states control their own elections. to try to eliminate some of this stuff, unfortunately. government iseral in charge, i don't think it would be that much better. i think there is a lot of pressure. people want to get as many to vote as possible, including dogs. host: tyrone on the democrats
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line, go ahead. i think it should be mandatory for people to vote. you are not participating in the past that this country shaped by not voting and it is detrimental to our country. votersmillion eligible that participate in voting -- i think if you gave them a fine and took that money and used it towards public financing in the election, then you don't have to worry about politicians shaking the cups to get money from big donors. you think there is a sense of resentment if you force someone to vote? caller: absolutely there would be some resentment, but because people are not participating in what going on in this country,
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watching this country fall apart and complaining about it. you don't vote, you don't participate, and then you complain about the path. you can't have it both ways. you have to be involved in what is going on in this country. you live here. why not participate in what is going on. host: let's go to joseph. caller: i would just like to say that i agree with the last caller, where he's coming from. some of theake away impact the electoral college has when it comes to voting on a national level -- one of the , i'm in myues i see mid-20's. you are so -- i don't want to say desensitized, that may be
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the wrong word. but there is no outward influence. it feels like your vote at the end of the day doesn't matter. i am happy that donald trump is in office, but it has been proven time again that he did vote.ceive the popular he was put into office because of the outstanding number of the electoral college. if you were able to limit the amount of influence the ,lectoral college could have put a majority of the power back into the american people. i am not necessarily saying fining people that do not vote, but the issue is, people want their cake and to be able to eat it, too. people do not take the time to learn about our politics.
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they are the quickest ones to cry out when they feel like they are being wronged. when they have done nothing to begin with to create change. voting is oneay, of the legislative packages that first came out from the newly democratic majority of the house of representatives. hr one is the bill. the pieces of that would make a election day a national holiday. it would expand automatic voter registration. it would increase access to early voting and voting by mail. and it would restore the voting rights act and preclearance provision that states have to go through. we know the supreme court eliminated the preclearance provision back in 2013.
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the idea of expanding voting by automatic registration that a republican congressman had a recent hearing. reacting to the democratic proposal to extend voting rights by automatic registration. >> it forces states to automatically register people, which may sound good on the surface. the what it will do is opened the floodgates for fraudulent voting by illegal individuals in this country. here is how. here is what happens. these illegals that come into this country use government services and programs. information, the collected would automatically be transferred to election officials for registration. and there is only one safeguard. illegal is for the alien to publicly declare that they are here illegally and not eligible to vote.
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how can we expect that to happen? it will not happen for them to draw attention to themselves and identify themselves as being here illegally. simultaneously, when an illegal , fails tos to decline recognize that they are here illegally and ineligible to vote , despite the ineligibility, they cannot be prosecuted. this bill is just going to make toextremely difficult maintain accurate voting records. it will open the floodgates for fraud. host: can see that hearing at ideas for improving the voting process in the united states. we will hear next from joe from san antonio.
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caller: good morning. i just wanted to comment on the idea of letting underage voters or 16-year-old voters the able to vote. i feel like that would be an extension of a parent's ideology. i also would say that there is the idea of a national voting day. week, it national too much for them to handle. host: you think there is a big changes far as a young person's ability to vote wisely from the age of 16 to the age of 18. i think the last two
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years make a decent bearing. but the age of 16 would really part of the -- parents ideology. host: is 18 the agent texas? caller: yes. host: what is the process? caller: i'm in college. i go through voting on campus and they set up voting days. it is a weeklong process and you have to wait in line. i think in terms of educating voting, it could be government ran or government-funded but state ran. basically that you can have citizens pose a certain amount of questions from the
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state government. candidatese the answer those questions. we would have issues with traffic or possibly with highways. there is definitely a lot of traffic. office,le running for we have to answer those questions and see if they have a better idea. sharon ins hear from arkansas. hello. caller: i have a couple of ideas about how to improve voting. nationalat we need a want the federal government taking over anything, but the state needs to develop where to cut the time that
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politicians run for office. election all 365 days a year every year. we need to cut the running time for all the politicians to a certain number of days or months. i have been waving back and forth for several years. i want to get rid of the electoral college. that is just not right. we don't need new york and california. so the electoral college has a
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good reason. and another thing about 18-year-old voting, it was done because 18-year-olds were being required to sign up for the draft. the draft is probably still open. it's not being used. we need to go back to 21 if we are not going to be drafting them at 18. host: on the independent line. you are next, go ahead. i think the best thing that we can do for our voting voters most american don't identify as republicans or democrats, but independents. compared to 25% republican
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and 35% democrat. i think we need to open up the electoral system to more independent and third-party candidates. we can do that in two ways. lessening the restrictions. candidatesparty can't even get on the ballot. they have extremely high signature requirements, and i think that we should fundamentally change the voting in a congressional -- if the republicans get a certain percentage of votes, they get a certain percentage of the seed. and you can go down the line with third parties. green party, libertarian.
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allow widerould voting options. one of the reasons we have low voter turnout. what about allowing parties such >> that is a caller from indiana. the editorial page of the washington post taking a look at redistricting reform, saying that the result is the passage of reform bills that would amend virginia's constitution if voters approve and would establish a bipartisan commission. differences iny the most important is the commission's composition. partyld hand the majority
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.embers, each with select them a recipe for mischief. it would be vetted by a panel of state judges using a jury like selection process under which each party would deem hostile. this would make partisan gerrymandering extremely difficult. the senate measure would also require that the public have open access to both commission meetings and the data it uses. we have been talking about your ideas. (202) 748-8001 for republicans.
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(202) 748-8000 for democrats. independen002 for ts. from georgia, go ahead. i'm a political junkie. , america doesn't treat people right or have free health care. i am done. it is not right. host: how does not voting resolved that? it makes me feel better.
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i look at my parents. injustice. we still have all that going on today. the voting to get something done, and overall, it is not getting done. buttimes it is helpful there is too much injustice in america. everything i watch encourages me not to vote. host: howard from louisiana. go ahead. caller: i firmly believe that all the exemptions like voting -- a vote in america should be made at the voting booth. in person. louisiana, our names and
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social security numbers are listed in the book. in, your name is there, you get to vote. host: voting in person versus voting by mail with lesson the ability for fraud? caller: i'm not. i'm saying if you want to vote. if an american citizen wants to vote, he should go to the voting booth. there are exceptions for people that are outside the country. like the military. inple that are stationed embassies around the world. these people should be allowed to vote with a letter or whatever. but a multitude of voter fraud is occurring by people sending in voting by mail. in arizona, the democrats
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line. thank you for c-span. i live in the fourth largest county in the country. i think we have a great system. whoave a county recorder has tried to make voting for more available. host: you are on. caller: sorry. we have emergency vote centers open. we have mail-in ballots. and we actually did elect a woman democratic senator as a result. the republicans are trying to limit how we can vote. great system.e a i moved from washington state were -- where i thought it was very liberal. i thought it was going to be difficult but i think mail-in ballots would solve a lot of problems.
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i disagree that there is fraud with mail-in ballots. signatures are verified. we took a lot of time in arizona to make sure the votes are counted correctly. i don't think you need a holiday. elections -- mail in elections encourage voter fraud, this says. our twitter feed is available if you want to post thoughts there. those listed for you. aside from the topic of voting that we will take calls on, this takes a look at a recent order by president trump to declare a national emergency to get funds for his wall. this is in the washington post. saying the national emergencies
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act does not specifically say what constitutes an emergency. while courts tend to defer to government officials, the fight markshe emergency decree a new frontier for an administration willing to take action and let the court sort it out. the times also takes a look at some of the areas of money that could be used in the process of funding this wall. they asked a couple of questions and get responses. does this emergency power spending? only the fourth and last pot of spending involves the statute. he plans to spend $1.4 billion that congress approved. about $600 million from the treasury departments asset forfeiture fund.
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the third pot would be $2.5 billion drawn from military counter drug accounts. have $2.5ilitary billion in counter drug funds? the response is, no. the mostress passed recent spending law, it appropriated $570 million for narcotics support. $100 million remains available for border barrier spending. where will the rest come from? the trump administration plans to use the counter drug plan as a way station for $2 billion in funds taken from unrelated military programs. them as border barriers. there is more to this story that you can find out the website this morning.
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jeremy, hello. i think what we need to do to improve voter participation is expand people getting involved in the democratic process. people suppress their own vote and aren't aware of the resources available to them. resourcesmes, those aren't just there and available to them, but they have no means of accessing them. not everyone has access to a computer. going to the public library and printing often absentee ballot. host: you are next up. good morning. caller: thank you for c-span. host: go ahead.
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caller: my question is, i'm go and avenue -- have the mail-in ballot. how do i know my ballot is received if i don't get a receipt? address thatu issue with anybody that deals with elections in your state? caller: i haven't. aboutyou are concerned your vote actually being counted. caller: exactly. host: how long has this been a concern of yours? how long have you thought about these things? caller: i have been disabled for about two years. and just this past election, it dawned on me that i don't know that my ballot was even counted or if it was even received. host: this is from kevin.
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kevin is in new york. good morning. hello. caller: can you hear me? host: i can, go ahead. concern on the quality of voter records stems from the fact that a number of times -- i am combat disabled. , in i go to my voting place see the official at the polling place. i say, i'm here to vote. what is your name? you give your name. he finds your name. i have given him the name on several occasions and showed him my id card. you don't need to show me any id. charlie thr i tell you i'm kevin.
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we don't worry about that. if your name is in the book, we let you sign. the signature you need to represent is in the book. it you get something close, that's fine. founding fathers gave us a system where the popular vote is mitigated by the electoral college. we also have a system where we have voter suppression. so we want to expand voting rights. that is all good. but let's have an id system where someone who wants to vote has to show the polling place that they are who they say they are. i went to the polling place with my neighbor whose father died 15 years ago and his name is still on the ballot. i know that guy is dead. when you get into a situation where a person would let you go ahead, do you still show the id or insist that you show the id? caller: i insist and they say, i
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don't want to see it. i am giving you an id. he says, we are not required. and you are not worried about voter fraud? that is not our concern. new york is a very liberal state. i'm not saying you shouldn't expand the right to vote. but let's guarantee the quality of the voter. kevin of new york telling his experience. let's go to the independent line in west virginia. >> no one should vote until they are 21. we should make everything 21. if everything was 21 like it used to be, people could join the military and be trained but don't be able to fight and die for our country and then tell them they can't have a beer or buy cigarettes. if you are old enough to fight
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and die for your country, you should be able to do everything at 21. if they are old enough to vote at 16, then why do they have to be on their parent hoss health insurance -- parents health insurance? if they maintain a certain grade average, they can stay on their 'srent hoss -- parent insurance until they are out of college. you shouldn't be able to vote or drive a car or anything until 26. robert barnes who writes for the washington post saying that under the headlines, when it comes to chief justice , he was pointing and saying that the criminal appeals had been misapplied. a ruling that instructed the
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if bobbydetermine james was intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution. ago, hen two weeks stopped a louisiana abortion law nearly identical to the texas law that the court had struck down in 2016. when it comes to justice clarence thomas that he wants to revisit the defamation laws. justice thomas said it is time for the court to reevaluate the five decade-old precedent that sets a higher standard for public figures to sue for defamation. had ahe new york times policy driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law. instead of applying the first amendment as it was understood by the people that ratified it, the court balances competing
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values and the defamation suits. he favors a common sense approach to defamation saying it doesn't hold a public figure to a higher standard of proof. that story is in the washington times. the post engaged in a modern form of mccarthyism by competing to declare the mainstream media mom believes. on nicholas is the half -- on the half, they seek to hundred 50 million dollars because jeff bezos paid that
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amount for the newspaper. that clear calls on improving he voting process in the u.s. hello? caller: good morning. i want to make a comment on the gentleman that said they don't have to show id. florida, we have to show id and we have to show voter registration cards. it would be a great idea if they added an additional form on there. the individuals can mail the men and get those right. in and get this right. they have to show id. host: carl on the independent line. good morning, carl. caller: i want to thank you for having me on this call with c-span.
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those that are not going to vote, don't call-in or follow anything. just let whatever happened to you by not voting. if you are mentally disabled or physically disabled, you need to have a loved want to take you .here so you can vote vote -- built on the popular vote and we need to continue that. the electoral is a complete mess. it is fraudulent to me. have you been following the events that have been going on in the ninth district of north carolina? caller: yes, and it's a complete mess. host: what do you think about thatt might change --
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impact that goes on and whatever decision takes place, do you think it will change of voting is done in north carolina? id,er: i think if we have you go to the polls physically with your id. of thingsll get rid like this that happen. i just feel like someone could a male in and temper with it. -- tamper with it. host: if a ballot is put into an envelope and put into the mail system, why do you think tampering will happen? caller: one suggest to the destination or if it gets to the destination. i'm pretty sure that they can do the same thing with the mail.
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when i give it to you and i see you put it in the box, it makes me feel more comfortable. his thoughtsaring from north carolina on ways to improve the voting process. testifying at a congressional field hearing in atlanta yesterday talking about voting issues in that state in this past election. here are the stocks of stacey abrams. thoughts ofre the stacey abrams. miss abrams: if action is not expand theiately to rights to all eligible citizens. georgia experienced unprecedented turnout. cast their isolated ballot and voting across racial and ethnic groups and age groups . the surge should be attributed to the grassroots organizations
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that work hard during election cycles and year-round. wildest romantic increase in voter participation should be celebrated, the rise and turnout cannot be allowed to mask more troubling trend. voters, many of whom were versed -- first-time voters received and returning absentee ballots. in some areas, the officials refused to provide for a physical ballot citing a shortage of paper. in counties, pulling locations had accor paper ballots. provisional ballots due to long lines. gave up,mbers simply unable to bear the financial
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cost of waiting in line because georgia does not guarantee paid time off to vote. state, voters faced obstacles that shifted confidence in the electoral process, leading to more than 50,000 calls to a local voter protection hotline immediately following the election. of registration to ballot access and counting votes, georgia has faced a systemic breakdown in the electoral process. host: off of the twitter feed where you can participate says lowering the voting age to 16 would destroy america. raise the voting age to 25. i vote early and it takes five minutes. voting day was made a holiday, i can assure you that i and my staff would not be participating. just talking about
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voting, i'm in florida and i vote early. i go and show my id, he looks at the books. i also electronically sign my signature and get my ballot and i do voting. broward, dade, and those other counties. i think we know what is going on over there. we find a box in tampa that has ballots from broward county. chapo has $14 billion. why can't we take that money and secure the border for the americans. -- we will get is host: democrats line. hi. caller: are you there? host: go ahead. caller: i vote by paper ballot.
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when i go to register here in michigan, you have to use a card insteadn the of ink. i think they should make it so you can give your signature in ink instead of pencil. because they can change that if they want to. i agree with the lady that called earlier. they should send a receipt. furthermore, i think you should be able to cross over political lines when you vote. you shouldn't have to vote directed democrat or direct republican. lj in michigan giving his thoughts. we will keep this conversation for the next eight minutes or so. you can post on social media sites.
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posting about the president's withnal communications members of congress, providing --nnels to and from the congressional republicans after the president in multiple ways. , a white house director close aide that served. there are some republican lawmakers that give the phone number and he tells most of them house. wester other times he talks about what he saw on television. when he calls, the president that's around ideas with senators asking about policy or
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nominations. the day after the state of the union, he called one senator to get feedback. there is more to the story if you want to check it out. mark in south carolina. independent line. caller: in south carolina, voting is a joke. african-american men, at least myself, when i go myself. i am a veteran and college-educated. i am harassed by the pulling person standing there. the polling site happened to be a church. as i go to vote, he's asking if i'm coming to see a priest. the intimidation has got to stop. the african-americans in south carolina do not vote. host: why do you think a question like that is intimidation?
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i go on votingld day to see a priest? i am there to vote. i don't need to be harassed while i am standing there. louisiana, republican line. caller: i thought the question -- iregistered voters think this country, less than 50% of the people in this country vote. host: how would you improve that? caller: for years i've been thinking about it. the politicians probably enjoy that factor or equation. i think more people need to register. more people need to votes of the country can be what it should be. yes, one way is a tax break.
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now, i thought maybe when you get your drivers license or . state id we will speak out if more people vote. the financial times looks at an investigation hosted by house democrats. this is edit crocs writing that the report prepares democrats on the oversight committee. they allege the attempt to transfer highly sensitive u.s. nuclear technology that may have violated the act that governs nuclear technology transfers and suggests the effort might be continuing. the whistleblowers also warned -- conflict and between white house advisers. it is marked by chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting.
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this is after the killing of journalist jamal khashoggi that was murdered in the saudi consulate in this temple -- in istanbul. this is jessica and peter. trumprst two years of the presidency, vice president mike pence has worked to put religion at the heart of key diplomatic efforts. other minorities were victimized by the islamic state. mr. pence pushed to redirect u.s. money that would have been distributed to the united nations widely in iraq targeted the islamic state and other minorities. he also advocated for sanctions on officials in turkey, a north treaty outline. both causes were championed by the evangelical supporters that represent a key constituency for
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president trump. denver, colorado. this is david. go ahead. caller: a couple of observations. it is gratifying to hear republicans advocate for registration. the caller from atlanta, very disappointed to hear she has chosen to opt out. and finally, i have lived in three states since 2000. by far the most forward thinking is easiest to participate colorado. it is a mail-in system, basically. although if you have -- although you have voting centers you can go to three weeks prior to the general election. the ballots are available to everybody.
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there is a lot of voter information available. it is by far the best system of any state i have lived in. i have lived in quite a few. host: this will be the last call. beatrice from ohio. i am very upset at the voting system and upset at the way things went down in georgia. -- i reallyl that feel that she should be the governor of georgia. the man that is in there should step down. he should not have run. she is a bright and educated woman. and i am looking forward to her running from -- running for some office. how would you improve the process of voting? believe that all the
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people that are voting, that there should be a standard that all the people should be registered. defrauding the voter has to go, right along with trump. host: that is beatrice from ohio, the last call on this topic. you can make your thoughts or on on twitter @cspanwj facebook at coming up we look at what the constitution allows when it comes to declaring national emergencies, what powers the president has on this front, with jeffrey rosen. then, taxpayer advocate nina olson on how irs was affected by the shutdown and other matters when it comes to filing season for 2019. those conversations coming up on
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washington journal. him because he is often owning up to failures. united states military academy at west point, on grant. >> i had this moving experience of reading the manuscript alongside those notes and you see the dissolution of his physical body and this desperate clinging to all the reserves of energy he has left and a determination to give every last ounce of strength to the completing of this memoir. he did not want to write them initially but is compelled to buy calamitous circumstances in the last years of his life, including bankruptcy and a
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diagnosis of fatal cancer. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> washington journal continues. host: joining us from philadelphia, jeffrey rosen, the president and ceo of the national constitution center here to talk about the powers the president has to declare a national emergency and related matters. guest: good morning.
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host: can you shape what powers are given to the president declare a national emergency? guest: the constitution says nothing about national emergencies. the president has the power to take care that the law is faithfully executed and he is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, article two of the constitution. congress, article one, has the power to appropriate funds and the power of the purse as well as to pass legislation. any emergency powers the president has come either from statutes congress has passed, -- that is the central question in the legal battle -- or, can be inferred from the president's power to repel sudden attacks. the supreme court has spoken about how we should think about the constitution in federal law and that is what makes this
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current controversy so incredibly rich, important and complicated. host: one of the things mentioned frequently is the national emergency act of 1976. set the stage of how we got to having that act and what it does. guest: great question. you're right. text.the central i will put on my constitutional reading glasses to get the exact words. 1976. congress is concerned the president, during the vietnam war, was invoking national andgencies frivolously senator church said they wanted to create a framework. according to the act, the relevant part, when it comes to the building of the wall is a section called section 2801.
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that justifies military withruction in connection military construction projects. the president, when deeming a national emergency, wanting to engage in military construction can invoke this section. in the original act, congress was given the power to repudiate the president's actions by a simple majority vote within 18 days, if one house voted to say the congress -- the president could not invoke the emergency, the other house had to act. in a subsequent case, supreme court struck down legislative veto, mainly congress's power to disapprove presidential action by simple concurrent majority. therefore, now, in order to disapprove the presidents action, congress would have to pass a law that the president would have a chance to veto.
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they would have to override that veto by 2/3, a high threshold. those of the broad contours of the act. since 1976, presidents have declared emergencies nearly five dozen times. it happens frequently. there have only been two times that presidents have declared national emergencies to authorize military action. 9/11. this is the first time since then that the president has declared a national emergency to authorize military action, and also the only time since 1976 the president has invoked a national emergency to justify funding after congress has rejected a request for particular funds. the central question in this case is whether or not congress's refusal to authorize funds counts as explicit rejection? which according to the supreme
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court, which would put the president's power at its lowest ebb, who could then invoke statutory authority. it is interesting. want to ask questions of our guest about the national emergencies act, what presidential powers are involved and related matters, do so on the phone lines. (202)-748-8000 for democrats, (202)-748-8001 for republicans, (202)-748-8002 for independents. is how you reach us on twitter. how do lower courts generally including theses, 16 states filed? big clashes between the president and congress are rare. the first threshold any court
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would consider is the question of standing. technical legal doctrine saying people filing suit have to show they have suffered concrete injury as a part of the presidents action. attorney general's of the state have filed a lawsuit saying they are losing money, which they would have otherwise have gotten , to reallocate money for the wall. the counterargument is the president can use other pots of money before he allocates money that would have gone to states, therefore they have not suffered concrete injury. the courts will have to decide. congress may well file a lawsuit of its own. in a case a few years ago during the obama administration, supreme court held congress has standing to challenge claimed misappropriation of funds. that standing question may be different. more broadly, we have seen during the trump administration, a rise of individual district court judges issuing national
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injunctions saying, it cannot be done across the country. those are controversial. a few cases, supreme court has lifted those injunctions and allowed action to go forth anyway. andt will hinge on timing which money is being spent when, who is injured, whether lower courts and the supreme court think injury can be remedied. these are technical questions the lower courts will face before they get to the central fundamental important question that viewers must focus on this morning which is -- whether the president has attempted to use funds congress has specifically denied him by invoking an emergency power or whether he can rely on congressional authorization? host: you highlighted cases where presidents have used this power. twice in 200018.
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guatemala, chinese cyber attacks, the russian invasion of ukraine in 2014. it highlights actions going back to george w. bush, including 9/11. when people say because this was used before, why not use it now? guest: the case i think of. i teach constitutional law. it, lovesho teaches to talk about a case from 1950. middle of the korean war. harry truman wants to seize the steel mills because workers are threatening strike. he says that will threaten the war effort. he wants to invoke constitutional powers as commander-in-chief to nationalize the mills and prevent strike. the supreme court, in a historic decision says he cannot do that,
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that the president cannot invoke commander-in-chief powers to declare a military emergency. there is an important opinion by justice robert jackson. i would love for viewers to read this. it was beautifully written. he sets out three categories for how we should decide whether the president is acting lawfully when he invokes emergency powers. president is acting with congressional authorization. powers are at its highest ebb. second, congress has said no, you cannot do this, the president is at lowest ebb/ third when congress has not spoken clearly in the president is in a twilight zone. the central question everyone is asking is -- which category is the president in? is this a case where congress, having been asked to fund the wall has refused to do so and therefore putting the president in category 2 where his powers
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are at its lowest ebb, or is this a category 1 case where the act of 1976 specifies how the president can authorize relocation of money, his declarations generally get deference from judges even if they disagree and then everything hinges on whether or not the wall is being used for military construction and whether the army is being used to implement policy. the big question we all need to think about today -- the answer is not clear -- whether you are republican or democrat, set aside your political views, because we are trying to figure out the constitution and the relation between presidents power in congress -- is this really an effort, as some have said, to circumvent congress appropriations power? in the president do it -- can
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the president do this anyway and does that represent a challenge to the separation of powers? is this something congress has brought on itself by delegating so much authority onto the president, bypassing big statutes that allow the passing of a national emergency without a definition, is it congress's fault? are judges down to settling the question? host: jeffrey rosen, joining us until 9:00 this morning. north carolina, republican line, rob, you are on. caller: hello. in my life i have experienced the effect of illegal mexicans. i think the wall is a good idea. the reason i believe democrats would disagree is they have a
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conflict of interest. the democrats are trying to stop it. they know that without illegal voters, which will be eliminated because a wall will stop the illegals from coming and we will be rid of them, because people without a state id should not be allowed to vote, yet that is rampant. the drugs need to stop. is going toall handle both of the problems of illegal voting and the drug epidemic and i hope the president can do the executive orders obama loved to do and hurt america. host: thanks. guest: the first is a policy point. if there is a national emergency at the border leading to better results. that is relevant. if the courts decide the president's declaration of a national emergency is a pretext,
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basically if there is no emergency and he made it up, they might not allow interact under the act. "i coulddent said, have done it anyway." challengers will say that is a pretext. in general, courts have been reluctant to second-guess presidential declaration about an emergency. arguments all policy the caller raised are not likely to come before the court. obama usedn that executive orders is an important point. the caller is correct. the numbers that trump has used are similar to obama and george w. bush and there were cases -- cases where obama had used executive orders, particularly dreamers.
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it is an absolutely fair point that both democratic and republican presidents in recent years have turned to rejected orders to achieve policy ends that they have been unable to achieve from congress. the implication for emergency power, does this put it in a different category or not? host: is this synonymous with an executive order? guest: no. you can issue an executive order without declaring a national emergency. executive orders go back to president washington, declaring thanksgiving. the numbers are interesting. president washington issued a handful, 4. 2-3 during early administrations. it was not until president lincoln that the numbers soared to 50. ballpark. president theodore roosevelt was
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the big executive order president. 100, he tried to do things like seize lands for environmental purposes or file antitrust actions. things went down a bit. president wilson used them a lot. 2000 --red under fdr, 3000 during world war ii. ofclosing -- internment japanese americans, the supreme court notoriously upheld. the numbers went back down. like 200en something or so for george w. bush, obama, trump. you can do all sorts of things. when president obama tried to defer action on dreamers, he just issued an executive order. there is a difference between declaring a national emergency,
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six dozen times or so since 1976 and an executive order. here the president is invoking a statute that requires him to declare a national emergency before he can invoke it. in this sense he is not acting but executive order. thank you to the caller for clarifying. the president is invoking a congressional statute for national emergencies act, not issuing an executive order. host: independent line, new jersey, andrew. caller: good morning, mr. rosen. let me remind you, during the civil war, abraham lincoln, president at the time, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, which allow union soldiers to willingly go into people's homes to search for southern sympathizers and everything else. i think what mr. trump, first of all, this guy as a businessman,
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always loved controversy, ok? he loved a headline. signed anave just executive order instead of going to the emergency powers act. we know all the problems with the drugs coming from mexico, it is in the paper every day. people in the border states say they have a problem with illegals crossing. this has been going on for years. why, all of a sudden is this a national emergency? i mean, i can see during 9/11, yes, this was a day of infamy, an attack on america. this is comparing apples to oranges. host: thank you. guest: great analogy with president lincoln. that is an important historical moment to look at. you're right. president lincoln did suspend the writ by executive command even though constitution gives congress the power to suspend it. the crucial thing was he asked congress for authorization after the fact.
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after the immediate emergency, he sought and received congressional authorization. he viewed that as a temporary action necessitated by the war. could president trump have done this by issuing an executive order rather than invoking emergency power under the act? the tricky thing is that congress has the power over the purse, article one, section nine, gives congress appropriations power and for an executive order to direct the use of funds that congress refused to authorize would be a tricky thing. that is why presidents have not tried to do it. guest is the president and ceo of the national constitution center. guest: the only institution in
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america created by u.s. congress to increase awareness and understanding of the constitution among the american people on nonpartisan basis. like c-span, we bring together citizens of all perspective, liberal, conservative and in between to learn about the constitution. go to the interactive constitution, get it in the app store or on the web, and you will find the finest liberal and conservative scholars in america by bipartisan groups, describing what they agree and disagree about. you can click on the appropriations clause and see what the scholars think and you can make up your own mind. learning about the constitution is the greatest privilege and duty of citizenship. that is what we are trying to do. we have a beautiful education center on independence mall in
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philadelphia with the rarest copy of the constitution written by james wilson. it is a most exciting place to visit. hadstudents of all ages, we more than 4000 kids in the building on presidents' day. it is a thrilling place to learn about the u.s. constitution. host: new york, republican line, frank. caller: good morning, how are you? we had passed presidents -- past presidents and congressmen saying there was an emergency at the border. do you think that could help president trump's case? guest: it could. courts have been reluctant to second-guess presidential declarations. we talked about the six dozen times presidents have done it since 1976. some of those were kind of sketchy. what was the real emergency? when it came to these actions,
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that had to do a trade policy or cyber war where the emergency was not imminent. generally, there is huge judicial deference any time the president doesn't emergency, unless it is completely made up, generally courts differ. here, it is a polarized time. the president said, i do not need to do this. that will be relevant in the lawsuits. when the supreme court upheld president trump second travel ban, it refused to look at his twitter and statements where he said, this is a muslim man, and instead wanted -- muslim ban and instead wanted the text. here, the courts may say it doesn't matter what the president said, we are just going to look at the text of the emergency and we might disagree about whether or not there is an emergency, we will differ to him -- defer to him. host: do the courts have the
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power to issue an injunction? guest: yes. at least, arguably so. judge find a district issuing a national injection, saying because there is likely to be irreparable harm because spent, he will have to redirect them. lawsuits have said there will be environmental harm. they said they would lose money they would otherwise get. individual property owners are likely to say they are suffering constitutional violations under the takings clause by having their lands appropriated for public use without compensation. they may bring a lawsuit. district judges can issue injunctions. as we talked about, supreme court has been suspicious in some cases recently, and has lifted injunctions are doing actions should go forward until
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supreme court can weigh in. host: we heard the reference to the ninth circuit. is that the avenue the cases would go through? guest: not necessarily. ,he california lawsuit california is one of the states and in the ninth circuit. that is a political talking point. the ninth circuit is considered more liberal than the other circuits, though that is not necessarily the case. you could have lawsuits filed and heard in any circuit and if the house of representatives challenges the misappropriation power, that could be heard in a different circuit. there are lower courts all over the country that could hear the case based on where injury is alleged. that is where the standing question and where the case is likely to be heard comes into play. host: from luther in
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massachusetts, democrats line. caller: good morning. visit theway to gettysburg battlefield. it is a marvelous place to visit. i recommend anyone interested in american history to visit. my question is, it seems congress has been giving its power to the executive in ways that are damaging to our system in terms of checks and balances. the constitution says congress shall declare war but we have not heard them sending armed forces all over the world on just their order. i would like you to comment on that, please. guest: it is such an important point. very much a point both
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republicans and democrats are concerned about. as you say, the constitution gives congress the power to declare war but the last one was world war ii, not since then has they -- have they formally passed a declaration of war. korean war on, it has been executive action supported by congressional actions. we are seeing this dramatic example of national emergency power, being invoked in cases many folks on both sides think are not emergencies, and in the case of military power, for things that are not clearly connected to military action and that is why there have been republicans and democratic senators who have expressed the exact concern needed, which is that we have developed an imperial presidency where muchess has ceded too authority to the president, refused to authorize the checking function the founders
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counted on. james madison believed the legislature would be the most dangerous branch, a vortex sucking everything into its voracious appetite. they thought the president would be constrained. they were trying not to create a king. that is why the presidency has so few powers in contrast to congress. if you allow me to plug this meaningful podcast i have the honor of hosting, we the people. every week, i call on top liberal and conservative scholars to ask the constitutional question of the week. today, we will talk about the question you posed, has the presidency become too powerful? there will be a conservative and a liberal scholar. it will be interesting to see how they line up. it is healthy for democracy that liberals and conservatives today are concerned that since world
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war ii and before that back to 1912, congress has been cedeing too much power to the president and maybe it is time to take it back. host: what is the process? guest: the original process was to pass the concurrent resolution, which does not require a presidential signature. as we talked about, the supreme court said that legislative veto was unconstitutional. the process would be to pass a law saying you cannot do this in the president would have a chance to veto and congress would have to override by 2/3. congress could go back to the drawing board. this entire act represents too broad a delegation of authority. we are sorry we gave the president this open ended definition of emergency. we will pass a new law saying the president cannot spend any money not specifically appropriated.
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the problem is, the president would have the chance to veto the law and you would have to override that by 2/3 majority. could chooseress to rethink the entire delegations of authority to the president it has been doing ever since the 1970's and before. it could also, we have seen this great battle over tariffs. it is congress that has the power over tariffs. if it shows it could repudiate these tariffs by statute, but it has not done that. the best thing congress could do, if it is thing -- if it thinks its power is being ped,ed, -- it is being usur it can pass a law. repeat,i would like to i am independent.
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as an american citizen, i'm concerned about this issue. we have established, no doubt, that the house controls the purse. the central question for me is the implications for trump's latest outrage. attempthouse use trumps to bypass the house to build his wall, to bring about impeachment proceedings? no, if if that is a nancy pelosi had stated, if president trump declares an emergency to build a wall that the house would then consider beginning impeachment proceedings? those are separate questions. two different situations. thank you. guest: thank you for your question. it is important.
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is the president's attempt to circumvent congress's power, grounds for impeachment? as nancy pelosi presses ahead, impeachment is a high crime or misdemeanor. it is famously undefined in the constitution. said,ssman ford famously impeachment is whatever the house says it is. under some theories, they could impeach for any reason. history suggests, if congress believes the president has actively acted to subvert the law, that is indeed a quintessential example of a high crime or misdemeanor. president andrew johnson was impeached for violating the tenure in office act by firing edwin stanton despite congress attempts to pass a law saying he could not do that. -- that was example
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an example of bringing impeachment because of subversion. your question reminds us regardless of what the courts say about whether the president can do this under the act, if congress -- say, majorities in both houses manage to pass a law saying they believe the president has misspent these funds, even if the president vetoes it, that judgment itself might be the grounds for concluding the president has attempted to subvert the will of congress and bringing impeachment proceedings. impeachment proceedings require a majority of votes in the house but they require 2/3 to convict in the senate, which may or may not be reached. house's conclusion that the president has exercised his powers to subvert its constitutional authority and to
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violate the law, could potentially be grounds for impeachment. host: we heard speaker pelosi say when it comes to the use of a national emergency, a democratic president could in the future use the same context to take gun control under consideration. does she have a point and does this set pr -- president? dent?ece guest: it does set it. any time a president does not get the money he wants from congress, he can invoke a national emergency and do what he wants anyway. that is a violation of congresses appropriations power. a future democratic president could declare the green new deal by declaring a national emergency. there have been republican
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commentators and conservative senators and representatives concerned about the action itself and the danger if the courts bless it, just as robert jackson, said, i hope all of you viewers will read, because it is brilliant, "once the courts bless an alleged exercise of emergency power as a one-off, the president stands about like a loaded gun, which can be resurrected by a future president." that is what could happen here, if the supreme court blesses this action. a future president pelosi or democratic president could invoke and the other side could regret it. host: gary is next. caller: thank you for being here. believehe fact that i this country is my home, my , thetors came here before fact that illegals are costing
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american taxpaying citizens $100 billion a year and nobody wants to address that fact, and that is a national emergency. they are stealing from me and every other taxpayer. benefitst legal once, them over our own citizens, it is over $114 billion a year, you are talking to trillion dollars in 10 years. that is an emergency when you are stealing from me. media,gress and our news all going the other way. they will not give any facts. as far as i'm concerned, our senators and representatives, our news media and i believe i -- 7% of them are
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ofublicans, that means 93% your news media -- host: thank you. guest: i appreciate the sincerity of the colors view and the fact that many -- the caller's view and the fact that many people believe there is a crisis that needs to be addressed. i encourage you to view this issue in constitutional terms. who decides? who has the power of the purse and who has the power over immigration? what is striking, and i'm glad you focused on this, it is congress, not the president, that has the power to set immigration policy and to decide who comes in and out. arguably,al action is has been a usurpation of congressional authority. emergencys indeed an as you describe, the
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constitution may suggest it is up to congress to resolve it and to strike a balance, compromise or solution over immigration. the president was negotiating with congress over what to do on immigration. that deal fell through. according to our constitutional system, if congress can agree about what to do over immigration and refuses to authorize money, before 1976, the action could not take place. that is a reminder that even when policy issues are hotly contested, our system does count on some degree of compromise and negotiation. that is why madison was so insistent congress be filled with people guided by reason rather than passion and willing to deliberate with the other side. that is why the polarization that has afflicted america and which is now at a higher rate than at any time since the 1870's after the civil war, is making it so hard for congress to govern in the way that the
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framers were concerned about and that is why these issues are so important. host: birmingham, alabama, democrats line. dorothy. caller: i have a question in a statement. -- and a statement. i have learned the united states is supposed to be the mother country. if we are the mother country, why is it that, if we are the mother country, why is it that we cannot receive people from any other nation? we should be able to do that. i am sorry, i'm getting confused because i can hear myself on the tv. guest: it is hard to hear that. calling.nk you for
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a reminder for viewers, turned on your television to stop the feedback. it is an inspiring point. when you talk about the mother country, you have in mind the inspiring words on the statue of liberty. bring your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. the idea that america would be the welcome her of immigrants -- the welcomer, a nation of immigrants, is deeply embedded in our national consciousness and has come to define our debates for many years. we have to acknowledge the difficult history, which is full restrictionsmatic on immigration. we have not always been a country of open borders. in the 1920's, we passed all sorts of discriminatory immigration policies that excluded people of asian
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descent, chinese background, explicitly race-based disabilities. those restrictions have remained in american law for many years. it was not until the 1970's, the supreme court began to look with great suspicion on any classifications based on national origin. you articulate and inspiring of equalitynness and inclusiveness, a beautiful word, that the supreme court has used, but it has not always been practiced and at the moment, for better or worse, our politics are divided between those who want to keep borders open and those who want to close them. that is the source about conflict. talk about eminent domain issues at play aside from legal issues? issue.that is a huge
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landact is, most of the the president wants to build the wall on, is privately owned. in america, if you want to take someone's land, you have to have just compensation. seizing land under alleged military authority for military purposes raises vexing legal issues. aggrieveda lot of property owners likely to say, hey, federal government, get off my land. they will bring constitutional challenges under the takings clause and statutory challenges and those will have a separate track. the effect will be to slow down the ability to build the wall and make it possible no substantial portions of the wall will be built until after the 2020 elections, because it will be tied up in lawsuits. host: a viewer on twitter saying, wouldn't the national
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emergency for gun control run into the second amendment? emergency fornal border security have an amendment it is fighting against? guest: great questions. pelositure president declared a national emergency over gun control and invoke to the act, claiming military power, this would be tricky, but to seize the guns, there would absolutely be a constitutional challenge. people would invoke the second amendment. they would note the core historical fear, that the federal government would take everyone's guns, making it impossible for citizens to dissent in their state. if you go to the interactive constitution, you can read the state constitutions in the revolutionary era that expressively said, as standing
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armies are dangerous to liberty, the federal government should not be able to take away everyone's guns. what the supreme court would do about that is open for question. regardless of what congress said, the constitution prompts ordinary statute and in that case, there would be a strong second amendment claim. is there a competing constitutional consideration here? one is the appropriations clause of article one, section nine, the claim that the president is trying to circumvent it by this root we have not talked about the nondelegation doctrine. regardless of what congress wants to do, it cannot delegate its authority to make laws under article one to the president, because congress has to make the law and the president has to execute them. since the new deal, the supreme
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court has been suspicious of the doctrine and has generally allowed congress to delegate huge amounts of power to executive agency, like the federal trade commission or the environmental protection agency and it has upheld broad delegations on grounds that the president represents the people and he is allowed to exercise this authority. however, current supreme court is signaling a willingness to re-examine the nondelegation doctrine. in a case this term it said it may take a second look. neil gorsuch has been an eloquent critic, claiming congress should not be able to delegate all this power. it is possible this could get to supreme court and you may have more conservative justices, including those appointed by president trump, like justice gorsuch, questioning congress' power to delegate authority to the president and that may
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another constitutional argument that could trump the alleged statutory authority. host: jeffrey rosen of the national constitution center, this is doug, republican, florida. caller: good morning. 11 million illegals already in here, how many billion more will it take before congress does anything at all? thank you. see.: we will the congressional negotiations failed. the fact that they were not able to succeed even with a republican house and senate and a republican president suggests immigration has become a polarizing issue. that a frustrating fact guns,guns -- like immigration is an issue, polls suggest support for some
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restrictions, but not total restrictions, but the parties are so polarized congress cannot seem to reflect that consensus. it is a frustration. frustration, that congress cannot reflect the wishes of the american people. it may be a long time. host: expecting the legal challenges, what faces the solicitor general over this issue? guest: the solicitor general defends the position of the united states in federal court. once those cases are heard by federal courts, starting in district courts, appellate courts, the solicitor generals office will file on behalf of the united states. it will be a parties brief. the lawyers will argue those cases.
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if and when the case goes to supreme court, solicitor general will argue the case. solicitors generals of both parties invariably defend executive power. interactstor general with the office of legal counsel, the constitutional think tank which issues opinions about executive power. the department has issued an opinion blessing the president's exercise of authority. senate democrats have asked for a copy of that opinion. they are not typically public. the solicitor general would rely on that opinion in the course of writing his or her brief. host: will the newly appointed general -- newly appointed attorney general william barr have a role in this? guest: a broad, supervisory role.
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if he directs the solicitor general to take a position, he would have to do that. he generally would leave it up to the solicitor general. this is a morning where have to issue congratulations to my namesake, jeffrey rosen, just appointed deputy attorney general. william barr appointed jeffrey rosen to be deputy attorney general, some of my friends on twitter thought it was me. i'm happy to report i will be staying at the national constitution center. for all i know, although i have not met him, jeffrey rosen is a distinguished lawyer who has brought honor to the rosen name. congrats to our new deputy attorney general, jeffrey rosen. host: your namesake. continuing on calls for you, this is bill from maryland, independent line. caller: i appreciate your passion for the constitution. i feel like more people should
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be into it like you are. that is a great thing. i agree with you earlier what you said about congress granting broad power. it will let the president do what he needs to do in this case. something about stopping immigration and closing the border. i disagree with that statement. we are not doing that. we are stopping illegal immigration. the border is staying open through the ports of entry. another thing i would like to say is, a question i have is, congress has already given money for the wall, in part. to me that opens the door to allow him to continue that in a broader sense. also, how would this be different than the war on drugs efforts that have gone on in the past? there are troops on the border,
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to be able to protect them? guest: those are great questions. thank you. you're right. important distinction between efforts to restrict legal and illegal immigration and there are folks who support open borders for legal immigration but want to restrict illegal immigration. that is part of the congressional debate. -- the questions were so good and now i need reminding on what the other two were. host: he mentioned border security. border. presence at the i apologize. guest: the military presence, i am not being quick enough this morning. can we ask the caller to repeat
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them? host: we have already let him go. guest: if you email me, jr host: new jersey, democrats line. i want to thank rosen for being there. a comment in question. the symbiotic relationship between democrats and republicans in the house. in the 1970's, the best thing that happened to democrats was nixon. in the 1990's, the best thing was newt gingrich. now, the best thing is mr. trump, who has basically given over -- [indiscernible] -- single-handedly. i don't mind. the question is, if you can talk
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about specific acts that presidents have done that have recedent regarding the constitution? thank you. guest: great question. ents thatthe big preced have expanded presidential power? we have to go back to 1912. writinge experience of a short book about taft, who was not thought a great president but was a great chief justice of the supreme court. he wrote a book called, our chief magistrate and its powers, a great primer to presidential powers. it is free online. book, therein that is no undefined residual power the president can claim because he thinks it is in the public interest, he has to invoke a
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specific grant of power in the constitution or federal law before he can exercise it. he can only do what the constitution especially allows. president theodore roosevelt, says the president can do anything the constitution does not explicitly for bed -- explicitly for bid. he explains for the first time, that the president channels the will of the people and can act without statutory authorization. the paths clashed over whether the president could protect environmental lands or send troops up the border or lower tariffs without congressional authorization. roosevelt wanted to use executive orders. taft is fighting the election, opposing roosevelt and woodrow wilson who are defending this broad vision the president can act in ways the constitution does not especially authorized.
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taft lost big-time. won only 2 states. the wilson position has triumphed and it is been defined -- has been defined by the imperial presidency, another great book to read about presidential power. the big actions imperial presidents have taken since wilson, are woodrow wilson's, putting people in jail in world war i for criticizing the war, where he invoked the federal theonage act, internment of japanese americans by fdr and real calla getting -- thingsocating funds and cap rolling along and after congress delegated more authority, we have six dozen national emergencies since 1976.
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this is not just our current president asserting these powers. that is why our president has so many precedents to rely on. host: one of our viewers on twitter, remember the question that was asked. distinction between executive orders regarding the war on drugs versus the founding of the border wall? guest: that is great. i am not sure whether executive relys in the war on drugs on this military authorization act of 1976. it is a statute. not an executive order. it has to do with military action. executive orders in the war on drugs were important. eric holder, president obama's , did issue anal
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executive order to justify the so-called fast and furious operation, which had to do with guns and the war on drugs. some claim that was outrageous cruiser patient of congressional patient --- looser usurpation of congressional authority. thank jim forto pointing that out. valerie, california, go ahead. caller: why isn't nancy pelosi worried about these people trying to get in illegal aliens, emigrants, why isn't she worried about them? their lives? she says she does not want a border wall but nobody has talked about these people dying every day, these people that are over there now waiting weeks and
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weeks, when it takes years to get in this country? it should be done legally. why isn't congress, and everybody talking about these people, instead of the president -- why isn't he being judged? all the way they have found no russian collusion, evidence whatsoever. that is all you hear, all you people talking about how that our president is. congress going back to what you said initially, should be in the driver seat? guest: it should be and it is frustrating. it must be frustrating to people on both sides, republicans and democrats that this issue, which is so important, is one that congress cannot reach consensus about. there was almost a grand bipartisan immigration deal during the george w. bush administration and it got
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scuttled at the last minute by extremists on both sides. the last major reform we had was 1986, during the reagan administration which continues to define a lot of our policy. that was a congress functioning much better. we had a democratic speaker working hand-in-hand with ronald reagan and this is perhaps the most emetic example of the polarization -- dramatic example of the poll is there is -- the polarization in our politics, host: as ithost: plays out, what he watching for? the supremehat court is going to do is the ultimate question. until the supreme court rules in, i would like our viewers, and this is your homework assignment, follow these lower
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court decisions as they come out. read the briefs. it is hard to do. it is my job to read the briefs. great constitutional team who help me prepare for the show. you do not have to be a lawyer to do it. check out the briefs that california has filed, check out the reply brief. all the stuff is online and wait for the decisions when they come down, read the majority and read the dissents, too. so you can make up your own mind. the one thing i want you to do no matter how much time you have to spend on this, do not assume the right constitutional result is the one that accords with your policy preferences. it might well be that you think the wall should absolutely be built, the president cannot do it without congressional authorization. or you think the wall is a terrible idea. if you approach in that spirit, you learn a lot about the constitution and you will be exercising your highest motion
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as a citizen, cultivating your faculties of reason and participating in a great project of american democracy. host: jeffrey rosen is the president and ceo of the national constitution center located in philadelphia. constitution mr. rosen, thank you so much for your time. coming up in our next hour we're going to hear from the irs's taxpayer advocate nina olsen. she just put out a report on the irs. how they were affected by the federal shutdown. she joins us next. ♪ >> i admire him because he is
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fallible and because he often, though not always in the memoirs will own up to failures. >> an interest professor of united states military academy at was point on her annotated edition of grant's memoirs. >> i had the moving experience of reading the manuscript alongside those notes and what you see there is the dissolution of his physical body and this desperate clinging to call the energy, the reserves of energy he has left. the iron determination to give all, every last ounce of strength to the memoirs, to the completing of this book because, of course, he does not want to write his memoirs initially but is compelled to buy a few calamitous circumstances in the last two years of his life including bankruptcy and this diagnosis of cancer. sundayabeth sammat,
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night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. ♪ >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> "washington journal" continues. host: returning to the program is nina olsen who serves as the national taxpayer advocate for the irs. good morning. remind our viewers about the role you serve. he national taxpayer advocacy position created by congress, i lead an organization
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called the taxpayer advocate service and we have been charged to help taxpayers solve their problems with the irs both specific problems they may have and also systemic problems, things that affect groups of taxpayers, not just one individual taxpayer. host: was the shutdown a problem for the irs? ms. olson: huge problem, absolutely. having it happen in december going into january leading up into the filing season, anytime you lose five weeks of works, it is going to take you a year to 18 months, if that, to get back up to where you were. just all sorts of stuff backed up. a domino effect. host: did you say a year to 18 months? ms. olson: yes. aboute all been talking internally, that is what i believe it i do not have any hard and fast numbers but people are we working their plans what they expected to get done this year. you know, a real good example is just with my own employees. those early weeks in january is when the irs does filing season training of its employees.
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my employees are people that answer the phone etc. by not having employees there for those weeks, you open the filing season on january 26. ok, we are back to work. but, um, we had to take employees off for two weeks of training. answering the phones when taxpayers are calling for the filing seasons and to have questions answered? i don't know how you get that back. you know, because that shows up and maybe people filed the return and they did not get their questions answered, so they get it wrong so that means downstream we have worked to correct. or do an audit. host: about 5 billion pieces of on process mail as of gender or 24. 87,000 amended returns, 80,000 responses -- unanswered questions to earned income tax credit. ms. olson: again, what the irs tries to do in december and
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january before the next filing season begins is really tidy up all the work it has not been able to get completely finalized from the prior year. those audits are important an earned we foroze income tax credit, we are looking at the return for 2017 that was filed in 2018. if we get another return this year and we have not finished with the prior year audit, we are going to take a close look at the next year's return and then you're holding up years and years of return. for a taxpayer who might be entitled to that refund, the art income tax credit can go up to $6400 a year, refundable credit. $12,000. of that is that is a huge amount of money for somebody to wait a year or two. it is very frustrating for the irs. they do not want to be in this position. host: so, what would you tell people in the process of filing perhaps already filed, what is the best expectation for them as of right now? it olson: well, the irs says
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is doing really well on the phone spirit i have some concerns about the way they are calculating their numbers. you know, people who are expecting refundable credit like the earned income tax credit or the american opportunity tax credit by law congress had said we can't issue refunds until february 15. they want to give us a chance to run those returns through the database of wage data, the w2's we get from employers. so, the irs, they are starting to run that to the fabric 15 is friday. so those returns are in the process, the refunds are being issued. i think that, you know, we are seeing an increase in calls to the identity theft line. we are seeing an increase in return sent to error resolution. that is not in the millions but it is in the hundreds of thousands. and what that -- that is almost like a 200% increase from the
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year before. what error resolution is, someone has done something wrong on the return, it is not aentity theft or fraud, but human being has to look at the return. it may be they left office schedule a did not provide a key piece of information. that we expected an increase because of the tax reform, that people just make mistakes. hadnow from 1986, when we the last tax reform, that there was an increase of about 2% of these errors overall. 150 million individual returns is a minor statistic. but when i see a 200% increase in the returns that are going for error resolution, this time this year compared to last year, that is where i am getting concerned. what does that mean? are people confused? are they leaving things off? again, that is where the irs is going to have to move a human
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being from one place to look at these returns so we can get them back in and process them. there may be nothing wrong with a return but somebody has to look at it. host: nina olson is with us to take your questions about issues concerning the irs, particular after the shutdown, filing or unrelated matters. if you file taxes, it is 2020-748-8000. if you've not file taxes, it is 748-8001. you can post your questions on her twitter speed @c-spanwj. you talked about person-to-person medication. avoidingis person-to-person conversations with taxpayers. it is not placing phone numbers on his correspondence. instead, pushing taxpayers to the internet to streamline and stall agreement." the streamline our installment agreements are going
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to be taxpayer favorable. instead of taking a financial information and figuring out how much they can afford to pay on a past-due debt, the me just say congress has said clearly that we should not be collected for people who cannot pay their basic expresses like housing and food and utilities. so that is sort of the law. has created these figures that you look at family size and you look at figure out what the basic living expense is. then work out how much you can pay each month. instead of doing all this financial information which takes hours of time and, you know, let's just divide by six years, 72 months or 84 months. hatyou say, i can pay t amount a month, then fine, you are in an installment agreement. they're trying to push people online were all you have to do is do that math and agree and you are on an installment agreement. what we looked at was how many
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people who have agreed to make payments under the streamline installment agreement actually can't afford to make those payments, their income is.below the basic living and it is 40% . 40% of the taxpayers cannot afford to pay the basic living expenses. then we looked further and we streamlinedese installment agreements, all those people who have income below their basic living expenses, how many of them defaulted, couldn't make the payments? and it is 39%, more than a 1/3. we said to the irs, you need to talk to people in collection. have thato conversation. you are creating harm for the taxpayer. and then another thing about that in this is something we identified in my annual report about the irs is dealing with people with economic hardship is tot using data a lot identify who they think are the bad actor or underreporting but it is, they are not doing data
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mining to help taxpayers. we created an ugly than they could apply to the information we have on the taxpayer. and, before they start sending e collection notices, identify those taxpayers who might be at risk and put a little marker on the account. so, when you're about to send, you know, if you get a call in from that taxpayer and you're about to divide by 72, instead, have a few questions so you can see whether or not this taxpayer is really an economic hardship. we should not even be collecting against this taxpayer. has not, the irs adapted that yet but that is something i very much pushing this year. we will see whether they will do it or not. host: we will start with marcia in pennsylvania. you are on with nina olson. go ahead. caller: hello. are you thee? re? ms. olson: yes, hello.
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caller: i have been watching you and i got my refund 2.5 weeks ago and he said they cannot send it until the 15th. ms. olson: that is only if you're claiming one of the refundable credits like the earned income tax credit or the american opportunity tax credit or refundable portion of the child tax credit. so, if you just had restraint -- a straight w2, but you are not claiming any of those refundable credits, then your refund would just go through the processing. host: from california, mike, who says he hasn't filed taxes yet. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm a capa and a fan. i was calling with a tough question and that is the w4. a year ago, you were on c-span, and i knew we were in trouble when you mentioned that it took two hours for you to complete
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your own w4. there's all kinds of problems, you know, the press is just going nuts. and it's, it's a form has caused almost a politicization, i didn 't say that word right. needs tothink the form be redesigned, maybe if you ask for a specific amount to be withheld because it has been very difficult for me to give people advice when you have 30 or 40 years of history working with these things. it's changed so radically, most people do not want to pay for someone to do a full tax projection. so, i'm just curious what you might have in terms of ideas. ms. olson: i really appreciate that call. is difficult form right
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now because in the past we had dependents, is inches and allowances, and the new law we got rid of the dependent exception for a period of time. the form, i know what the folks at treasure were trying to do was really get it so a lot of people do not have big refunds coming back, but you could put money into the economy and have money to buy what you needed during the year. and capture more details like second jobs are the income of your spouses. but the problem with the form is, first of all, a lot of people do not want their curre nt employers, you have to give that form to your employer, we do not want your current employer to know that you've got a second job or that your s pouse. why did your employer need to know that information? then you get to the calculations. is that, you're sort of working off the old system but translating it into the new system. and it not only took me two
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hours last time, but it took me four attempts to get what i thought was my withholding correct. and i think i got it correct this year. i'll do my taxes this weekend, so we will find out for sure. but, what we did find, like, on the online calculator you can use, you mentioned being able to say i want to withhold this amount for the whole year and divide by 26 weeks. there is no mechanism for that i paid theay in what i year before because i do not want a penalty. there was a lot of discussion about whether we would revise the w4 for 2019. that people could fill out thie newar to align with the system, and the irs made the decision with treasury not to do that revision, to work on the revision for 2020. after this filing season, and part of that is because we won't
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know what really happened in this filing season till this filing season is over. in some ways, looking at this filing season as an experiment to learn from and then design a form to really reflect what we need to. gao has said that there will be 30 million taxpayers who are under withheld. and that's a real problem for the taxpayers. now, it may be they just get less than a refund. but there will be probably be more balance due taxpayers. if there are, that goes back to the phone lines, the balance due tax, the phone line for the toance due, people calling make payment arrangement, only about 16%, 18% of the calls are getting through to a live assistor. you see the ripple effect, 30
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million people trying to get through on phone lines that already we cannot answer a call. that is not a pretty picture. so, that is where we are with the w4. i'm really in a watch and learn mode. and i do support the irs's decision not to revise it this year because i think people do not need too many changes and we need to get it right. we'll have a lot more information at the end of this filing season about what getting it right means.. host: this is from indiana, eddie, go ahead. caller: good morning, sir. question i've had for years and i'm glad to see this lady on here. in 2000, the 2001, i can remember the irs being investigated for all the stuff they were doing. september 11 came and everything just seemed to disappear off that. ma'am, can you tell me what became of all that stuff? thank you. ms. olson: yes, sir. they were whole series of hearings in 1997 and 1998, and
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there was a commission to restructure the irs, that was an independent commission that congress chartered. they issued a report. then there was a major taxpayer rights and irs reform bill called the irs restructuring and reform act of 1998. and that really mandated sweeping protections. strengtheneefed up, the office of the taxpayer advocate, my position was created in that law. years betweenthe 2000 and 2001 was winning irs wa -- when the irs was putting into effect the provisions of the law. i have been saying for a while really need, you know, active oversight of the irs. not accusatory but really congress needs to step in and say what you doing here? i recommend one thing they did
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after the 1998 act which was every year have a joint hearing over the irs of the six committees that really in congress that really deal with the irs, the senate finance committee, the wanes and means the ways and means, the oversight committees of the house and senate and the appropriations committee of the house and senate. they all got together and had his oversight hearing to see what the irs was doing as a result of all these recommendations. that stopped after five years and i recommended that we put back in place. and we could take a different topic. how is the irs treating people in collections? how is the irs conducting examinations and audits? how is it doing an taxpayer service? each year, you can have his oversight and tell us what you are doing and we will tell you whether we are happy with that are not and have other witnesses to talk about it. . that has not happened but hope springs eternal. i keep recommending it.
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i think that kind of steady oversight, but constant oversight saying, what you doing? we're hearing this. so, what is your explanation for that? is a very positive thing. steady, not all of a sudden we pay attention to something we go away for a while. host: carol is next in georgia. carol in georgia? hello? caller: hello? ms. olson: hello. host: dee in connecticut. dee, good morning, go had. my taxes filed yesterday but my question is, someone told me native americans and other people do not pay taxes. i want to know if that is true. ms. olson: no, that's not true. they pay taxes like anybody else. there are things about the, the
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revenue from casinos and there are all sorts of special provisions that may govern that and there are certainly some provisions where state, you know, there's state versus the sovereignty of the native american tribe. and those are definitely treaty issues and they are respected but yes, they file income taxes like anyone else had host: you know, when you talk about the w4 revamping. a revamping of the 1040. that's page one. that is paid two. how do we get to this? what you think of it? ms. olson: i think this came from the tax reform act were folks were saying that we need to to do is simplify the law to the point we can get return on a postcard. what was the irs was instructed was to eliminate, we had three forms, the 1040 ez, the 1040
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a and the 1040 the two pager. the irs was instructed to consolidate all of them into was meantple if i that were whole bunch of lines that disappeared in the created six new schedules. there is one scheduled a has three lines. so, you are killing a lot of trees when you print them out. they are new schedules you have to file in addition to your schedule a for itemized deduction and your schedule d for capital gains, all those forms still exist. the postcard, about 32% of estimate based on 2016 data which was the most current we had at the time, can file just on the postcard. so, it clearly simplifies it for these folks. but there is another 68% of folks who will have to file one more schedule if not two or three more schedules depending
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on their circumstances. now, most people do stuff through software. so, it may be irrelevant to them until they hit the print button to get a copy to put in their file. my concern my concern is, people do not know what taxes, how they are taxed anyway. they have no clue of what part of the income they are taxed on. what they get to deduct, whether marginal tax rate is. they don't know any of that.
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and one of the things that the 1040 does it walks through the logic of the tax system. income, adjustments to income, deductions, to their tax. an additional taxes. i would prefer that we keep the me, you people like know. so i don't have to file maybe three schedules in addtionition. and have the 1040 simplify the ez. andthe a and the 70% would be able to use the 1040, plus the regular schedules. i do not know based on the filing season, what the irs and treasury will decide. now the program is still in place for that iconic 1040. they did not have time last year to reprogram the system. there is still a chance to preserve the 1040 and keep the 1040 simplified for the 30% of taxpayers they can use
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it. that is a good thing. host: here is anne from arizona. calerler: good morning. my husband and i have filed our taxes and we stay organize throughout the year, so once we got our document assembled, we were delighted that the new short form only took us about 30 minutes to fill out. and we had reduced our withholding according to what we knew about our own personal tax tuition. end up owing about $3000 but we had that put aside in savings, so there was no problem for us to send in the underpayment. fee, we saved a tax filing because of the simplicity of doing our own taxes this year. i think it is a great thing. the only thing i found problematic were the worksheets
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attached to your social security therulation and one of worksheet that seemed absolutely ridiculous to me, the way it took us all over the place to reach the bottom line. those to me should be simple ified. ms. olson: was that worksheet you had social security and then you had other retirement income or something like that? waser: yes, one of them so security and there was another one that was equally confusing. ms. olson: i thnink you are perfect as apple, i do believe the 1040 simple if i is the publication for those people they can use that form without having to do with all the other lines. you are a perfect example of somebody who really benefited from that. so, thank you for calling. that is why i am recommending that we keep that form, but we also keep the 1040 for someone
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like myself so i do not have to file three additional schedules in addition to all my other schedules. i can put all my information on the 1040. host: cbs reporting that when it comes to the passage of the new tax laws people might be surprised when they find time to do their taxes one of the surprise? ms. olson: i think it's what this caller said, you think you have adjusted the withholding correctly but you might find you didn't. refunds, 80% of our individual taxpayers or tax returns our refund returned. see what we will all really happens. i think the economists would say it is a good thing if you do not get a refund because you are using the irs as a bank for an interest-free loan. i'm not an economist. i i'm much more pragmatist. and i look at how people do their behavior and it is true, people use the irs as a bank.
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there have been studies to show what people do with their refunds, they use them as a down payment on a new apartment or car, to do a vacation. they use it as if it were savings account, as if the money came in during the year, they would not save it, they would spend it. really need to follow people's behavior rather than put some theory on top of them, but that's the theory, why it would be better to have a minimal refund and have the money during the year. host: from connecticut, this is karen for nina olson. karen from connecticut. go ahead. caller: hello? ms. olson: hello. caller: yes, hi. my taxes until after april 15 and the reason why is rhat someone has stolen ou social security numbers and they have been putting in false, um, you know tax returns to collect
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our refunds. which we do not have refunds because we are scheduled c. we have to pay quarterly but i stopped doing that. and it's been several years now i still have not been able to get a pin number. ms. olson: that is very disturbing you cannot get a pin. let me explain what an i.p. pin is. identity theft is a very serious issue, not just for taxes but for your own financial security. i'm so sorry that you had to experience this. and so, the irs created this method where once you went through the process of proving that you were the legitimate taxpayer, theoretically you could get what is called an i pin, and that is an number in addition to your social security, you can put this pin on your return and when the irs sees your return coming in with your social and your
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pin, they know it is you. you are the legitimate taxpayer because you have proven it. that is why you're getting the pin. i don't know why you are not able to get it. what i would suggest, you cannot get it this year, it is too late into the year but i would suggest you call the taxpayer advocate service. you know, you can go to andayer find a local advocate in your state. there is at least one in every state. congress has mandated that we have one office and everything will state. find out about the pin. the other thing is that the irs is rolling out on a pilot basis, that anyone, can get an i .p. pin. they were doing it in four states and the district columbia. but they are actually rolling it out to most states. you may actually be able to get are.p. pin, even though you
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not a victim of identity theft. if the pilot works, they are thinking about making it available to anyone who calls pu up, even if you have not been a victim of identity theft. we recommended that back in, i 9-2010, that200 they make it available to everyone. they are testing it now. change comes slow. but at least that is a good thing. i was just want to say, check with the taxpayer advocate about why you have not been able to get a pin, because it may be has not a marker that been put on your account that would allow you to get it and my folks can work that. so at least next year if not this year we can get it so that you can get a pin. host: from tyler, taxes, this is c.r. caller: good morning. i wanted to call in and say thanks to president trump and
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the congress for passing this tax bill. i did my income tax early. early part of february. we did just a standard deductions, which was last year was $15,200. 6,600.ear was $25 last year they withheld $9000 on me. this year they only withheld $7 425. s inaid less, $2000 les taxes. we receive back a little over $1000. thank you, president trump and congress. ms. olson: i think that one of the things i think is a positive thing is increasing the standard deduction, i mean, that is a simple occasion move, to have -- a simple vacation moved to have fewer people itemize. it does work both ways.
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saves you fromat having to full out a schedule and you may be one of the 30% better able to just work on the 1040 simplified. the postcard size. that is why i think we should retain it for that part of the population. host: a viewer on twitter says e new tax law has this incentivized whole morning. ms. olson: this is getting at the policy and i'm a tax administered. so, i take the law as i find it. and that is what the irs does. i try to advocate for things i think create complexity for taxpayers, procedural complexity, administrative complexity for the irs where they torture taxpayers to get it right or something like that. might get wher ee i
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into recommendations for changing the law. know,k that, you economist and others will debate whether you should be home what happens to the people who are renting ? we are unique in the world. there are only a few taxi ministrations that give benefits for homeownership. but that's a uniquely united states provision. host: from florida, norman is next. caller: i have a question about -- last year, i got audited by the irs. and they sent it to my old address so i never got it. later on in the year, i got a bill from the irs. i had to request the audit notice which took two months. so, by the time that i got the audit notice in the mail, the audit was closed. so than i had to go into audit reconsideration. and in the meantime, i still
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have to do with this bill. the question is, how is irs able to send audit not us to old address even though they have your new address? you enoughhey give time to complete the audit and send in paperwork once you actually receive the new audit notice? ms. olson: that is a really good example of the kind of work that my people intervene in. send, you required to know, official notices to your what is called the last known address. that is what the law says. and the regulations and the court cases to find less known address as the taxpayer had called it irs and sai my addresses change, the irs has a reasonable amount of time to get it on the system, but this is the 21st century and a reasonable time is 24 hours, and maybes not the irs time,
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a week. if you file an income tax return with a new address that becomes the official last known address. ned it sounds like o system did not talk to the other and they sent your audit notice to whatever might of been the address on that return that they were auditing. if they had sent an official notice to you, like a notice of deficiency at that it was the long -- the wrong last known address. it is not a valid notice of deficiency. reach out to the taxpayer advocate so we can get collection activity avid we can work with you to send your information to the irs and make sure they are looking at it and we are getting to the right results while we're stopping collection activity. you know, part of what, also brings this about. i wrote about this in the annual i.t.t are our own ancient systems. systems of the
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taxpayer,, for example where your addresses record is kept our in 1960's technology. and we pretty much can update them only once a week. i don't want to get too technical because i am not a technical person but they are flat file, which means you cannot, like, twist and do stuff to the data. there are all these other systems that we have to contain taxpayer data. there's an audit system and a collection system and mini collection system. and they all work out there and fileyou post to this main pieces of information. if you're talking to system -- a person in one system in sayre addresses change, theoretically this is supposed to update the main system the audit system is looking at but it may not have or the audit system may notable that information off. you are a classic case of what thatns, the real harm
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happened to taxpayers because of our ancient i.t. systems. what we recommended and it is a hard sell but what we recommended this year is was our number one legislative recommendations that congress give me irs a five year funding appropriation to really replace these 1960's systems that are holding us back, harming taxpayers, creating work for the irs. you know, i talked earlier about oversight. you can't just gie ve the irs a blank check. you need to have an independent third party. look at what the irs is proposing to do and tell congress whether it makes sense in every single year and that appropriation do that review so that irs doesn't get that money into an independent third party, they are ons said track are they missed something that they have adjusted. now they are on track. a we are not giving them a blank check. but we have to get over the
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system the spirit otherwise there will be more problems like you experienced but even more serious. host: gary from florida. good morning. i'm sorry, ron from florida. go ahead. caller: i've already filed my taxes. in it was simple this year. compared to the years before. actually, i got back a lot more than i did. i had it all squared away where i got maybe back $100. this year was quite a bit more. we are right at about $100, 000, so we have got that standard deduction at our house is paid for we do not do the itemization anyone. more. it was a real good benefit for us this year. ms. olson: you are squarely in that place where the 1040 simple fighified and the standard deduction really help. host: from michigan, eva, h
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ello. caller: i'm a retired educator. before the state of michigan offered to retirees long-term care policies, i bought one from a private company. and last year, they said it wasn't tax adaptable. -- deductible. i filed a form with it. and no one at the internal revenue service could really tell me about that long term insurance policy that i bought. and i filed all kinds of different forms. where can i get some information about it? ms. olson: well, let me give you, i'm actually going to do this. let me give you might -- give you my gmail address and you can email me. -- email address and you can
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emailing. don't send me your social security number. we will try to get an answer for you. my you mail a just is nina you know, i have given my email address out before. and people respect like they don't, 20 million people do not email me, which is good because it would crash the system. but if you have an issue concerning do that. you know, if you have a tax problem, you know like the person calling in about the audit, the best thing to do there is to look up for your local taxpayer advocate office will assign a case advocate to your case. i should say, what happens which is different from the irs is when you come to the taxpayer
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advocate service because you have something the irs is doing is creating economic harm or you have got a problem, you have tried to solve the problem through normal channels, and you can't quite get it resolved. those of the things you should come to the taxpayer advocate service for. we assign one case advocate to your case. you will have a toll-free number that goes directly to that advocate's phone. rather than being shuffled between multiple people, you have one person assigned to your case to work your issue from start to finish. and we'll also work-related issues like camino, if, you go through the audit and you owe some money and we will work with you to do with the collection issues to get you into an installment agreement you can afford to pay. host: allen in iowa. hi, there. you are on with nina olson. caller: good morning, nina. a few years ago the irs decided
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they would take gambling losses from the front of the 1040 and put them on the schedule a. some money,uh, win you used to be able to deduct your losses right on the front of the 1040. now you have to go to the schedule a. so, if you do that, you find that if you cannot file a schedule a, you lost, you could not have your gambling losses. and when you go over to social security and you sign up for medicare part b, they use the adjusted gross income as if you man, insteadrich of your income. since every state now has gambling almost, millions and millions and millions of americans are being screwed every day by this new format, by the format prior to this new one. when the new one came out,
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they did not do anything about it. it is still the same thing. ms. olson: let me make this clear. the irs didn't do that on its own whim. congress change the law. that's an important point. the irs administers the law that congress passes and the president signed. so, several years ago congress change the law to say we are going to treat gambling losses is itemized deductions. so, before, they had it as an adjustment to income and you are correct. you do not need to itemize. the congress changed the law. then the irs has to follow the law. so, that is why they moved into the itemized deduction schedule because it is the law of the land that it is treated as an itemized deduction. i think you make a good point about how the tax law intersects all sorts of other parts of
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people flies. -- lives. people are looking at that adjusted gross income level number which should reflect the taxpayer's ability to pay but the, because of the way the law is, it may not. into suchties security and it may tie into other benefits and it may tie into scholarship aid, if your children are going to higher education or you are. trying to get loans. so, it has an impact across the board. he changes thatt it taken place over the last fears, tax software, is it up-to-date? ms. olson: i don't know. the irs, we haven't really gotten many complaints about it, but that is something i monitor. there are a lot of products out there. because of the changes to the thes the irswas late in cycle of getting that information out to the software companies. i did hear report that one person had tried, this a sample of one, but person had tried to
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use software to file the new deduction for small businesses, the 20% deduction. that return was rejected electronically because they had not included a form. i don't know whether that was because they did not answer the q&a on the software correctly or did that software not have that form attached? whatonitoring that to see some of the challenges are. host: this is from pennsylvania. linda, you're on. caller: hi, good morning. thanks for taking my call. have off, i do not internet access. i am home bound. my income for one year is $18,000. and, of course, medicare is deducted. for the past three years, i have been going to a tax site where the aarp volunteers help to fill out the forms. and for the past three years, i
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have been told that i do not need to file a federal or state tax return. i don't know about local. said they -- but they only reason for from you would be in case i get audited. but my income is very low. it does not change unless we get -- that isn't going to happen very often. am i being told the correct information? do i have to file a local tax return? ms. olson: is your income from social security? caller: yes. i have social security and a small pension. that totals about $18,000 a year. ms. olson: so, social security is not taxable if your income is below a certain amount. then 80% of social security is taxable. not small pension youis
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enough to trigger taxability of social security. they increase to the standard deduction. so your standard deduction is actually more than what would be your taxable income from your small pension. what i would recommend. you are not going to be audit -- i can't say that. the likelihood is very minimal because you've got such basic income. sosa security and a small pension and a irs knows it. it sees those document's coming in every year. i would save those doctrines in a file somewhere so that if someone has a question, you can say, here is all i have got. after a few years, the irs archives is records and it is next to impossible to get them back. it is smart for you to keep your records. i personally keep my records for six years. because i am paranoid. really, it sounds like the tax
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counseling for the elderly site is giving you correct information. for callers, there are these wonderful programs staff by volunteers. they are called volunteer income tax assistance, vita sites, or tax counseling for the elderly. most of them run by aarp. they do people's returns for free. they really are wonderful. there is a phone number, i do not have it myself but there is a toll-free number at the irs you can call to find out where site is near to you. and, you know, if you do not have internet, then you can call, be prepared to wait on line for a while but you will probably get through and maybe you can push a button and there is an automated line that will tell you where site is. host: from washington, d.c. caller: yes, good morning,
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thank you. ms. olson: good morning. caller: good morning. i had a very serious tax problem. and i don't know how to solve it. had a rareound, i cancer. and i traveled to houston, toas, in 2011, participate in a critical try for a drug that had not been approved by the fda. -- for a clinical trial. the doctor cannot have control of the medicine. so, i had to pay for it. while i was in texas, during this time, i went to an h&r block office, because they had always, almost always done my tax returns. and while iw was there, a gentleman reviewed my tax returns, there were two people
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working on it. and i believe one of them was a former irs agent. what happened is that someone followed me in to that store and the h&r blockd agent to alter my taxes. and instead of getting a $3000 r efund. it was converted to a $3000 liability. and i refuse to pay this. and i later found out that i think, i was having some other problems with getting my medical bills paid. i had contacted senator ted cruz. to help me with that. host: caller -- was a: the irs that i
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tea party member. host: we are running out of time but i will let the guests answer because i see a complicated matter. ms. olson: if you're in washington, d.c., we have a local taxpayer advocate for washington, d.c., a north capitol street. so, i suggest that you look up either in the phone book or if you have online, you can find the phone number for the washington, d.c., local taxpayer advocate. and we can get someone assigned to your case and try to figure out what is going on. if you have a bill outstanding, there are ways of saying maybe you did not owe it in fact. we can do what is called an offer in compromise, which is where either because you cannot afford to pay or because you do not think you have a liability at all, you can make a compromise with the irs for a nominal amount. really look up for the local
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taxpayer advocate in washington, d.c. it is also in the blue pages of the phonebook, if you have a government in the pages under the internal revenue service, you will the taxpayer advocate service with our local number there. host: this is keith and arkansas. go ahead, caller: good morning sir. i appreciate your help and i love c-span. i waslson, last year, supposed to get a $1600 refund. and then they told me i owe them $3500. then i wound up paying $350. but i still owe the preparer $277 or something like that. so securitye, i get and i make less than $12,000 a year, ma'am. i don't know why i can't file taxes and tell about, you konw, the -- you konw, the losses i've
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had because i have a goat farm. i'm paying money to feed the goats. can i take that out of my taxes? you know, or can i even file taxes? because all i get is the security and i am disabled. i'm sorry, but i just wanted to answer that if you will, please. god bless you. ms. olson: i love goats. i'm thrilled to hear the have a farm. question is if it is a business. you are in the farm is a business rather than a hobby. the laws that has passed that says if you are in a hobby and you have hobby losses, you cannot deduct them. if you are raising the goats for fiber and milk and you are selling the milk, and you can prove that you were in the business of doing this, you conduct the loss of. if you keep having losses year
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after year, the irs, the court cases are going to say, you are not in the business of doing it. but you know, you might want to go rather than going to prepare rs, there is a volunteer tax assistance site near your you or a tax counseling and talk with them about your situation. and they can tell you whether your situation constitutes a business or hobby. if you decide it is a hobby, it sounds like your situation is that you would not need to file if you just reported your social security disability income. i really do love goats. it is very true. host: kenneth in illinois. caller: good morning, ms. olson. i have mutual fund and four different kinds of income showing on the funds and cooing qualified dividends, short-term and long-term gains -- including qualified
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dividends. could you suggest an easy way of computing all these different forms of income, and what form water use? -- would i use? and what would be the bottom line result i would be looking for? sorry, buti am so there is no easy way to do that. that is part of the complexity of the law. we have heard from a lot of people who have plain vanilla financial situations. you may have what you think is a plain-vanilla situation but because of the complexity of the way the law is about different kinds of financial instruments and things like that, you get a yearat the end of the that is categorizing all this stuff. on the back of the 1099 or a separate supplement from your brokerage house, there should be instructions that tell you line by line where you put these different things. and i prepare my own return and
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i do it first by hand. i can tell you, i just have to follow line by line. i walk through the lines on this particular form. it says to move it over to this line. i go through those things. this is wher eyou see the true complexity of the code. so, that's the other 70% of the taxpayers you cannot file the simply 1040 just on its own. i'm sorry. host: roy is in illinois. hi. caller: thanks for c-span. mrs. olson, my wife had to go back to college after she lost her job during a lot of budget cut. and they started piling workload on her, online classes. and she could not do it, so she dropped out of the classes. now they are taking all of our taxes for what's owed. i've sent written request asking
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what the score -- sent back to the government so we knew what we had to pay and nobody will tell us anything. they just took our taxes. i was wondering if you could tell me how we could go about fixing this. ms. olson: so, this is a student loan they are taking your tax refunds and applying it to the student loan? yeah. law,he irs is required by of we are notified by the department of education that there is a loan outstanding that need to be paid, we ar required bye law to offeset the tax refunds. unfortunately, the irs can'tit. we get these cases where the dispute is really with the lender or the department of education. what i can tell you is that the department of education has a student loan ombudsman. i have someone like me to deal
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with these kinds of disputes about, you're not getting good the lendingfrom company or the university, and how much is applied to it, etc. i would say there have been a number of lawsuits about these online universities where they have taken students money and they folded as well. -- wherenow whether your wife went might be in one of those suits. that might be worked, if you can go online, to do some online searches to find out what is going on. but you can also go to the department of education student ton ombudsman and get them look at what the university is doing and maybe that -- we have to get a notification that says, don't offset. if we don't have that notification, we are required by law to offset the refunds. host: the taxpayer advocate has
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a website. you can see the report that she files to congress every year including a list of recommendations on how to improve services at the irs. nina olson serves at that position we thank you for your time. another edition of this program comes your way at 7:00 tomorrow morning. we will see you then. ♪ announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's
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determination to give all of strength to the memoirs, to the completing of this book because of course, he does not want to write his memoirs initially but is compelled to buy a few circumstances. of hislast few years life including bankruptcy ms diagnosis of his fatal cancer. announcer: elizabeth samet, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. members of congress, i have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [applause]


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