Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal 01272022  CSPAN  January 27, 2022 6:59am-10:04am EST

6:59 am
c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and more, including charter communications. >> broadband is for empowerment. building infrastructure, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications support c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> coming up this morning on "washington journal," sarah collins from the commonwealth fund talks about a new report looking at employer-based health care in the u.s. a maryland democratic congressman on his new book, unthinkable. we talk about the biden administration's military and
7:00 am
diplomatic options regarding tensions between russia and ukraine with brad bowman. join the conversation with your phone calls, text messages and tweets. "washington journal" is next. is -- journal is next. ♪ host: supreme court justice stephen breyer, the oldest number on the bench, is set to make it official today that he is retiring after this term. and after 28 years on the court. mitch mcconnell blocked president obama's 2016 nominee, merrick garland. the breyer resignation will likely lead to the first new justice seated under a democratic president in 12 years. we will spend this hour asking
7:01 am
you about the news from this supreme court, the type of justice you would like to see the president nominate and the political debate ahead. the lines are, for (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. you can send us a text that (202) 748-8003 -- text at (202) 748-8003. send us a tweet or post on instagram at c-span to bj. the news -- c-span wj. the news coming yesterday, initial reports coming from in bc. there is the report on the front page of usa today. breyer to retire from high court. the decision by liberal leaning justice gives biden a chance to fulfill campaigning promise and nominate a black woman. we are joined for some insight on the news and the likely resignation of justice breyer by lauren hurley, who covers the
7:02 am
supreme court -- lawrence hurley who covers the super incorporate thank you for being up with us. the news is not a surprise. there has been pressure on justice breyer to retire since joe biden came into office. guest: liberal activists have been anxious about justice breyer. also, because of what happened with justice ginsburg, justice ruth bader ginsburg, who democrats wanted to retire when obama was president and she did not. ultimately, she died during the trump administration, allowing president donald trump to replace her. that helped make the court a 6-3 majority. democratics wanted breyer seat to go to a demo credit appointee. -- breyer seat to go to a
7:03 am
democratic appointee. host: what type of justice do you think the president will be looking for? guest: the president is a little constrained by his own campaign promise to appoint a black woman to the court. the number of eligible candidates is smaller, as a result. especially if he is looking for people who are already serving on the federal court. which is usually where presidents look. that is one issue. within the democrat party, the aspect of the moderates and the more left people. there will be some tension there as to what parts of the democratic party want. as with other biden judicial nominations so far, the
7:04 am
democratic party has kept together in pushing through his judges -- senate democratic party has kept together in pushing through his judges. host: what is your judgment in how quickly the president would like to get a new nominee named and get that nomination through the senate? guest: the reports are that justice breyer says he will stay on the court until the end of his term, which is in june. that gives him a little bit of time to get someone appointed. so, they have up to six months or so to get this done. there were some stories yesterday saying that democrats in the senate want to get a nomination done quickly, using
7:05 am
the same timetable the republicans used when they pushed through the nomination of justice barrett to replace ginsberg. there are different issues going on. once the president announces the nomination, it usually takes a while as they look at different candidates and so on. the senate will move pretty quickly. as long as nobody opposes the nomination. it should be able to -- as long as nobody opposes the nomination, it should be able to get through. host: breyer has seen some significant cases. what do you think his legacy will be? guest: i think one thing is that breyer has tenure on the court. he was in the minority at that time.
7:06 am
the liberals had high-profile victories at that time. justice anthony kennedy provided majorities on cases like gay marriage. he will most likely be remembered for his bow in those cases. -- vote in those cases. individually, i think he is respected by his colleagues. he voted against the death penalty, which is a view that not many other justices shared. he is a renaissance man with different interests. he will be rumored as a respected liberal.
7:07 am
host: you mention he is likely to retire at the end of this term. there are still some significant cases to hear and opinions to write before the end of this term, correct? guest: the cases of abortion and guns, in which the majority -- abortion rights, they may overturn roe v. wade. the new justice, serving -- assuming they get confirmed by the senate, will not change the trajectory of this course. there will still be a 6-3 majority. that will continue unless one of the conservative justices leave the court. -- leaves the court. host: thank you for being with us for the update this morning.
7:08 am
we would like to hear from you on your thoughts about the pending resignation of justice stephen breyer from the supreme court. we expect the announcement to happen today at the white house. we don't have a time for you. we will keep you updated as best we can. here are the lines for democrats. it is (202) 748-8000. for republicans, it is (202) 748-8001. for independents, (202) 748-8002 . the new york times carl, writing about the senate side of it. senate democrats plan to move quickly on a successor to justice breyer. senate democrats plan to move speedily to confirm president biden's nominee for the supreme court vacancy, created by the tyrant of justice stephen breyer. wallowing the lead of republicans who raced through the nominations of -- following the lead of her publicans who raced through the nomination of amy coney barrett.
7:09 am
holding a 50 seat majority that is under severe threat, in the senate, democrats need to act fast. particularly since the illness or death of one of their members could deprive them of their numerical advantage. president biden's nominee will receive a prompt hearing in the senate judiciary committee and will be considered and confirmed by the full united states senate with all deliberate speed. senator chuck schumer, the democrat of new york, said on wednesday, after plans for justice breyer's departure became public. jen psaki was asked a number of questions about the pending resignation. she was asked if president biden would commit to his pledge to fill that seat by nominating a black woman to the post. >> it has always been the decision of any supreme court justice, if and when they decide to retire, how they want to announce it. that remains the case today. we will not have additional
7:10 am
details. you are welcome to ask any questions you like at any time. there is a lot of news out there. i just wanted to say that. josh, go ahead. >> let's say, hypothetically -- [laughter] a supreme court justice was to retire and announce it on his or her own terms. it does president biden plan to honor his pledge to nominate a black woman? >> i've commented on this previously. the president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a black woman to the supreme court rate certainly, he stands by that -- supreme court. certainly, he stands by that. he will not be able to say anything about any specifics until justice breyer makes any announcement. -- an announcement. host: new focus on black female judges as potential pix, the expected retirement of justice
7:11 am
breyer puts a spotlight on a small circle of black female jurists who are expected to be chosen as president biden's first pick to the supreme court. that shortlist could grow and is topped by judge jackson, confirmed to the u.s. kurt -- court of appeals to the d.c. circuit judge. >> legal child --
7:12 am
child's seized the attention of legal observers win biden nominated her last month, surprising lawyers who had anticipated a pic with local ties. let's get to our calls. your thoughts on the pending retirement of justice stephen breyer, to ollie in springfield. caller: good morning. i just had a couple of thoughts. i think what we have here is a protection of the minority judges. he has seen the politics of it with mitch mcconnell. i'm also hoping -- the lady that
7:13 am
you just mentioned -- what's her name? host: judge jackson. caller: that is an african name and i would like to know what that means. she is the leading contender, i guess. we are seeing more hispanic judges, female judges. this is a sign that we are not regressing but we are progressing. this is what this country can do.
7:14 am
we don't need to go back to the old gold days of the 1950's, where only the white caucasians are represented in the country. now, we will have four women on the bench. it is a positive thing. i am very hopeful. i am proud of this development. host: on the independent line in charleston, south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i am happy for justice breyer's hard work over the years. i am glad the president stated
7:15 am
he was going to put a black lady onto the united states supreme court and everything. and, you know, it is about time. they had a list of three people and everybody knew that that person was going to be competing. i know people are up in arms about it now. more than likely, one of the senators from south carolina, senator graham -- i am a black retired military guy. i know for a fact that tim scott is not going to vote for her, no matter what. because he has a line that he has to tow.
7:16 am
it don't matter. the supreme court is for rich people, anyway. it doesn't matter what a bunch of poor people has to say. thank you very much. host: to new york, mike on the democrats line. go ahead. caller: hey, how are you doing? can you hear me? host: yes. go ahead. helen on the democrats line. go ahead. caller: yes. i think it is wrong to put a black woman on the supreme court because it is a campaign promise. these jobs are supposed to be considered by your qualifications.
7:17 am
and, i'm not saying a black woman can't be the most qualified. what i'm saying is to just come out and say that, is that not reverse racism? are you not going to commit racism against a hispanic candidate or a white woman or a white man or a hispanic woman? maybe a japanese or someone of another -- we don't need to be picking these jobs by religion or race. we need to be picking them by qualifications, just like college or anything else. everything ought to be done by the qualifications. what they've done. i'm not saying a black woman can't be the most qualified. but, that is what is wrong with everything now. that is why we can't get along with regrets and republicans. because we are not breaking this down and taking people by qualifications. host: helen, that is the democrats line.
7:18 am
the line for republicans is (202) 748-8001. for all others, (202) 748-8002, talking about the retirement of supreme court justice stephen breyer. some perspective on what that color was pointing out, this is a piece in the washington post. biden promised a black female justice, reagan made a similar prayer -- pledge. when news broke of justice breyer retiring, the post lamented that biden limited his options by pledging to pick a black woman for the job. they talked about ronald reagan and his announcement during the campaign that he would pick a female justice. they write about the equal rights commitment, passed in 1972.
7:19 am
at the republican convention in 1980, support for the e.r.a. was removed from the party platform for the first time in 40 years. they wrote that at a meeting of republican women who supported the equal rights of women, it was suggested that reagan consider a woman for the supreme court, saying the single step that demonstrates his valid commitment -- vowed commitment. a few months later, at a news conference in los angeles, reagan made it official, saying i am announcing today that one of the first supreme court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman i can possibly find. it is time for a woman to sit among the highest jurists. let's hear from walt in new york, on the independent line. go ahead. caller: good morning. how are you doing? i just got this news yesterday
7:20 am
about briar retiring. -- breyer retiring. i'm 62 years old. i was told in the mid 1990's that i could not fill a job working out of price -- press. i was not overqualified but i was white and they needed to hire somebody black. it is at the point now where i can help that. it had nothing to do with what happened in the 1960's. i was born but i was not of the age to do something about it. i just want to say they should hire the best person, not because of their gender or their race. it is getting out of hand. the president has not been doing
7:21 am
anything for the country. host:. the reporting of the scotus blog, which covers the supreme court. stephen breyer will retire at the end of the term. a devoted pragmatist, and a senior member of the supreme court's liberal wing will retire from the court, nbc news reported. amy howell writes that during a nearly 28 year career on the court, breyer shunned rigid approaches to legal interpretation, often seeking functional rulings with and i toured -- an eye toward real-world consequences. he wrote major opinions favoring abortion rights. in later years, he repeatedly questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty. his retirement opens the door to joe biden to fulfill a campaign
7:22 am
promise and nominate the first black woman to the supreme court prayed we talked about pressure on stephen breyer. there was added pressure by amy howell. she writes that those ads were followed by an interview by senator mitch mcconnell, who told conservative radio host hugh hewitt that it was unlikely that a republican-controlled senate would confirm a biden nominee in 2024. that we would have to wait and see whether republican senators would allow a biden nominee to go forward in 2023, mcconnell refused to hold a hearing for merrick garland. obama's nominee to fill the supreme court vacancy by the death of justice antonin scalia. in manchester, kentucky, republican line. let's hear from ann. caller: i think the position should be filled by the most
7:23 am
competent person who knows the rule of law. not based on race or gender. because, you are talking about the most basic thing. the rule of law. host: ok. tell nick in sarasota, florida, independent line. #-- to nick in sarasota, florida, independent line. caller: i think the president ought to nominate kamala harris. it works out for everybody. it gets her out of the white house. we know it is a liberal position. she will vote liberal. there is no change there. this would give the republicans a chance to all vote for her and not be subject to any attack on somebody else being in there and being called bigots or racist and all of that stuff the democrats like to do. since we are not concerned about
7:24 am
qualifications, it is identity politics appointment. throw her right in there. we already know how she will vote. host: heather cox richardson writes today about the supreme court that republican voices are opposing the idea of biden appointing a supreme court justice. during his campaign, biden vowed he would nominate a black woman to the -- appoint a black woman to the position of supreme court. there are a number of truly exceptional candidates for the post. sean hannity called biden's promise unconstitutional discrimination. heather cox richardson writes this. the university of texas law professor stephen vladek noted that representation on the supreme court has been skewed. of the 115 supreme court justices we have had in our history, we have had 108 white
7:25 am
men, two black men and five women. four white and one latina. in lansing, illinois, democrat line. caller: good morning. these people calling about the most qualified person, there is no such thing. who decides who is the most qualified person? there are qualified people and there are people who are not qualified. there is no most qualified. diversity of opinions, ideas, it is extremely important. the court should represent the country's makeup. that is the only fair way. host: to okeechobee, florida, republican line. it is steep. go ahead. -- dee. go ahead. caller: i wanted to talk to you. you mentioned biden wanting to
7:26 am
pick a black woman for the supreme court. and then you also read part of the same story on this newspaper that reagan also said he was going to pick a woman for the supreme court. but, there is a big difference between the two. you are talking about -- biden's pick, he specifically mentioned a race per he will pick a black woman. reagan was going to pick a woman. host: he specifically mentioned a gender. where's the difference? caller: the difference is he a black woman -- he picked a black woman. host: he set ahead of time the type of candidate, specifically, the category of candidate. a woman in the case of justice sandra day o'connor, his first choice. caller: the think of it is there is a big difference between picking a woman. it could be any nationality and any country. to pick a black woman, you have
7:27 am
to specifically hunt for the one lack woman. host: in chicago, we will hear from charles on the democrats line, next. caller: good morning. after 400 years, white people have had their foot on our neck and all of a sudden, it is a problem because they pick a woman of color? you have to be kidding me. the supreme court has always been white. look, don't go there. i am so sick of this. i am a disabled veteran. all of these racist white people are calling and saying all of these crazy things is on the belief -- unbelievable to me. they should have been held accountable after the civil war. that's all i have to say. host: justice breyer was at an event last year at harvard law school and spoke about the composition of the supreme court, the makeup of the court and the political pressure on the courts.
7:28 am
here is some of what he had to say. >> i am optimistic. the rule of law has weathered many threats but it remains certain. i expect the court will retain its authority. the authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust. a trust the court -- structural alteration, motivated by the perception of political influence. further eroding the trust, there is no shortcut. there is no shortcut. trust in the court, requires knowledge. he requires understanding. it requires engagement.
7:29 am
in a word, it requires work. work on the part of all citizens. and we must undertake that work together. host: the announcement, expected to come today at the white house. we will keep you posted on where and when or at least when that is likely to happen. justice stephen breyer, set to retire from the court. your calls and comments are welcome. it is (202) 748-8000 for democrat. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. let's go to capitol hills, maryland. this is joel on the republican line. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: fine, thanks. caller: i called in to listen to some of the divisiveness of people calling in. republicans and the democrats. but mostly republicans this morning.
7:30 am
we are supposed to be a twisted nation and we are very vindictive. it has been 40 years since the voting rights were enacted. we should look at the past and see that there has definitely been an imbalance there. now, there is a little bit of balance. you said a black woman, because she is black, she might be better qualified than any white male. you don't know. but mitch mcconnell and the republicans have already stated they don't care. they won't recognize a person for that dignity and the content of their character. it goes to who matches up with what they want. and it is sad that we have to get to this. the people calling in, it is mostly from the jim crow 1960's
7:31 am
and 1950's, they are not changing. they don't want to change and you can't make them change. at least somebody in authority of power has to have some type of moral decency to see what is happening and help our country. you can't say anything about who is qualified. you voted for a man that was not qualified to be president, to me, character wise. we accepted it. and here we are. this is what it produced. host: to ollie in bristol, virginia. caller: good morning. i think the word black is scaring a lot of people. i live in virginia and we just had a lieutenant governor. a lot of republicans were screaming look at us. virginia just had a black republican. all of a sudden, they are scared because of the word black.
7:32 am
black, the woman, whoever it will be, is qualified. host: this is from usa today, and analysis piece from john fritz and richard wolf. stephen breyer's pragmatism changed the court. briar -- stephen breyer has been a reliable little vote on the court and an ardent advocate of originalism, prior -- ardent opponent of originalism, the conservative approach of interpreting the constitution on its original meeting. -- meaning. prior beliefs in a living document that is adopted to the times. he will end his tenure to the
7:33 am
court -- as the court has lurched to the right, with a majority distancing itself from those views. he decried political portrayals of the court, dismissing the ideas that justices decided cases eighth on the party of the president who nominated them. caller: thank you for taking my call. i personally don't care. it does not matter to me if he picks a man or a woman, black, white, hispanic. it does not matter, as long as they are a qualified candidate. it does not matter. my question is when we had kavanaugh go through confirmation, amy coney barrett
7:34 am
go through confirmation, the democrats brought up lie after lie. kavanaugh was a rapist in high school. amy coney barrett was going to destroy roe v. wade. and they brought up all of these accusations against these people. most of them were unfounded. just like with kavanaugh and the high school yearbook stuff. what happens when we bring a black woman, a hispanic woman, man, whoever, from the democrat side, do the republicans do the same things? does the country have to go through that again or do we only have to do that when it is a republican that is trying to receive a supreme court justice? it gets crazy, just like what they did with clarence thomas. they don't care if they destroy the person. they do not care. if they are in the other party, they don't care what they do to their lives. this is the kind of stuff that
7:35 am
has to stop. a qualified person is a qualified person. it does not matter if they are a republican, democrat, liberal or conservative. but the lies and the stuff that they do every time has got to stop. host: thanks for that, ned. we will hear from dayon in quincy, massachusetts. caller: i am proud to be on c-span. the conversation of appointing a black woman to the supreme court, i don't have a problem with. have someone with a disability appointed to the supreme court. we have not heard a disabled person appointed to the supreme court. and i feel that is able is 101, -- able is him -- ableism 101.
7:36 am
they have lawyers who are blind. being blind or being black does not matter. we need to stop ableism. host: this is from politico. stephen breyer throws biden a lifeline is the headline. they rank the narrative changes. joe biden's presidency has been dragged down by a stalled agenda, inflation and an angry base accusing him of not delivering on his promises. wednesday delivered a jolt with justice breyer announcing he will retire at the end of his term. it presents a transfer biden to prove to black voters who rescued his 2020 campaign that he can deliver for them.
7:37 am
a recent poll shows bidens approval among black voters is down to 57% from 78% a year ago. perhaps that is why the white house wasted little time confirming the president will follow through on his campaign promise to nominate the first black woman to serve on the court. we are told that right after the briar news drop, civil rights leaders lit up the white house phone lines, reminding the administration of the vow and were assured of that jen psaki would clarify that the president would keep his word. in daytona, florida, go ahead. caller: hello. i was happy to hear about the previous collar, about the disabled being given a chance to be on the court. i never even thought of that.
7:38 am
i hope we have a qualified woman. i know they will pick a good person. but i would also like to add, after everything that has occurred, that we really need to have a larger court. granted, we have had a huge population in our country. really, we need to represent as much as possible. so, i would like to see a native american and an asian, male or female. so, i am hoping to see that in my lifetime. thank you for your show. i really enjoy it. host: eva is on the line from columbia, mississippi. go ahead. caller: yes. biden said he would nominate a black woman but he did not specify party affiliation. therefore, i think condoleezza rice would be ideal. but she probably would not accepted but she is the most qualified -- except it but --
7:39 am
accept it but she is the most qualified and would make a great supreme court justice. host: this is a photo of the court. i think it is the most recent. the headline of this photo is hard to believe there is a younger, more divided court. the youngest justice is amy coney barrett. after justice breyer retires, assuming that happens at the end of this term, the oldest member on the court will be justice clarence thomas, nominated by president george h to view bush -- george h toebbe bush -- george h.w. bush. david is in south carolina, on the independent line. go ahead. caller: speaking with my
7:40 am
republican and democratic friends, the thing the most people are hung up on is the word black. and we don't care whether he appoints a white or black, asian or hispanic, it does not matter. it is the race baiting issue. in this country, we should not have to say we are going to appoint a black justice. it should just be a qualified justice. i don't think people are understanding that. until we start calling people just americans and if they appoint the person who believes in the constitution and believes in the idea of the constitution, that is all that matters. host: rich is in kingsport, tennessee. your thoughts on justice breyer's retirement. caller: about his retirement, i think justice breyer has been a little disingenuous, talking about keeping politics out of
7:41 am
it. we know republicans will nominate conservative justices and same thing for liberals. the ideology is what counts. i think one thing that is being missed is it is not the idea of nominating a black woman. it is when he announced it. and the reason why he did that. and that was just pandering for votes. had he just waited and just now announced it, it would be seen very differently. but, to do that during the campaign, was just reaching out for votes. and, somebody else stole my thunder. i thought, if you are wanting to make history, why not a native american or an asian american who has never been represented on the supreme court? someone mentioned about
7:42 am
protestants. if i'm not mistaken, i believe most of the justices, may be all are either catholic or jewish in their religious background. maybe an evangelical, let's try that. a lot of those things aren't going to go over. my point is that if this was pandering for votes, find a qualified candidate, black woman, that is fine with me. host: justice stephen breyer was a guest at the national constitution center and talked about the personal relationships on the court among the justices. >> i have been there many years. you know, and every week, just about or most weeks, we have conferences and sit around by ourselves and we discuss the cases. we don't always agree on the cases, as most of you know. we agree more than you think. almost half the time, we are unanimous.
7:43 am
the 5-4s are 25% or 15%. regardless, there is, quite often, a disagreement. so what? i've never heard a voice raised in anger. never. i have never heard people say mean things about each other. not even jokingly. they don't. it is professional. you have friendships and you have respect, always. and just -- politics in the senate, i saw that. politics is one thing and personal relationships is another. you may think that two congressmen or senators are not getting along because they have different views but personally, they might. in this institution come of that is what i see. -- in this institution, that is
7:44 am
what i see. the world is a big place. that is not corny. it is true. if we did not understand that, we would not have 30 million people -- 300 million people living together. try to understand what they are coming from. you have to make an effort to try to understand. so, hey. you have a different view, so what? what kind of person is it? what kind of character does that person have? that is the basis of friendship. host: justice breyer has been on the bench for 28 years. the wall street journal picture of him at his confirmation hearing, the headline says democrats unite to confirm one new justice. that is a picture of ted kennedy and john kerry, at the hearing
7:45 am
in july of 1994. they write that a person familiar with senator schumer is thinking says he hopes to move for the confirmation of breyer's replacement at the same rate as amy coney barrett's confirmation. she was confirmed on october 26. senator graham tweeted i appreciate justice breyer's service to our nation. he has always been a scholar and a gentleman. his record on the supreme court is solidly in the liberal camp. justice breyer as shown great respect for the institution. i wish him well in the next phase of his life. if all democrats hang together, they have the power to replace justice breyer in 2022 without one republican vote in support.
7:46 am
lindsey graham concludes by saying elections have consequences. that is most evident when it comes to fulfilling vacancies on the supreme court. back to your calls. we will hear from gary in atlanta on the democrats line. caller: yes, yes, good morning. i just wanted to say joe biden ran on it. donald trump would not have been president if not for the list he came up with of people he would put on the supreme court. he came up with a conservative list. all of them were white and nobody said nothing. why is it that when a democrat makes a campaign promise and keeps it, everyone gets in uproar. he ran on the fact that if you would get elected, he would do away with the keystone pipeline. all you heard was people calling saying i can't believe he did it. donald trump said he would take down the treaties obama made.
7:47 am
nobody said nothing. promises made, promises kept. why can't they say the same thing with joe biden? promises made, promises kept. if not for black women, he would not be in the white house. even clyburn said that. the minute he said he would put a black woman on the supreme court, that was when the tide turned in his favor. campaign promises made, campaign promises kept. thank you. host: josephine on the independent line from montgomery village, maryland. caller: good morning. i just want to point out the fact that, immediately when it was announced, that joe biden would be able to nominate a black woman to the supreme court , he campaigned on that promise. the conversation goes to who is the most qualified or we just need to make sure we get a qualified justice. as you previously have stated, we have had over 100 white male
7:48 am
justices, and very rarely do we hear a conversation about qualification. what people need to understand is that if a black woman's name is thrown out there into the conversation, her qualifications are immaculate. judge kruger, judge childs, judge brown jackson, all of them, immaculate. research their resumes and experience. judge kruger, twice, was asked to be the solicitor general for the united states. she declined that position. she currently serves on the united states supreme court for california. judge brown jackson was confirmed and approved for the d.c. circuit court. i believe she got three republicans also support her nomination, in addition to 50 democrats. these women are beyond qualified . because they are black women, they have to be immaculate. and i want people to stop having this conversation that, because
7:49 am
we put a black person or a hispanic woman or an asian woman, or a person of color up for any type of position, immediately people want to question their qualifications. but, if somebody is white or male and white and female, there is no discussion. their whiteness makes them immediately qualified. that is the issue. these women will be phenomenal because they have to be. host: the three that the caller talked about, the three possible nominees that have been mentioned in a number of publications, as we mentioned, childs has been nominated to be a circuit court judge. her hearing is next week. she is from south carolina. she is 55. a district court judge in south carolina. judge brown-jackson was appointed to the bench last year. she was on the u.s. court of
7:50 am
appeals, the one in the district of columbia the d.c. circuit judge she was approved by a vote of 53-44 by the u.s. senate last year. the other woman in consideration is leondra kruger. she has been on the supreme court in california since 2014. in port washington, maryland, we hear from kathleen on the democrats line. caller: thank you. this is my first time calling in. thank you. host: great. caller: i'm a democrat. i believe that right now, this is biden's time. this is the democrats time. the trump administration had their opportunity. they elected three supreme court justices and now it is our time and everyone is questioning who should we put on the court. when clarence thomas was being considered, you know, there was no mention of his education -- there probably was mention of
7:51 am
his education or background -- but he was on the court because of misconduct. misconduct. i don't understand. this is our opportunity. we will elect a black woman as the first supreme court justice and let it be. let it go. host: next up, jimmy pre-thanks for calling, thank you for being a -- jimmy. thanks for being a first-time caller. we hope you call again. caller: it is my first call, also. i would like to recommend an excellent candidate. sally yates. she was an assistant district attorney. i was hoping that joe biden would nominate her for district attorney. but, trump by -- goes by loyalty. he knows the law very well.
7:52 am
she ran into trouble with michael flynn. donald trump was very loyal to him. so, he fired sally yates. that's my comment. host: ray is in ithaca, new york. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to thank justice breyer for his service. he is a fair man. i think part of the problem that republicans have is the way joe biden went about the promise. the correct thing would have been to say i will pick the most qualified person. say you will not look at men, whites or asian -- when you say you will not look at men, whites or asian people, that is racist. kamala harris has had
7:53 am
difficulties as the vice president. i think this is a role she would fit into well. she was the attorney general of california and a senator in california. this fits into her wheelhouse and alleviates some problems with biden. it gives him a chance to reset. it gives him a long time to do everything. i thank justice breyer for his service. host: there is a report that the vice president is being considered for that opening on the u.s. supreme court. however, she could play a role in the confirmation. here is something from the washington times. justice breyer stepped down. they write he will need to get his pick through the senate. that is thanks to rule changes from the past decade that defined a filibuster for nominees, he will need to corral only a majority with vice president kamala harris as the tie-breaking vote.
7:54 am
charles schumer of new york, will have a prompt committee hearing on any biden pic with all deliberate speed. darnell is next. caller: i had a question for you. when president biden got elected, there was talk about him packing the court can you give me a little -- the court. can you give me a little insight on that? i think it is time for a black woman to be in the court. host: the panel would review the supreme court, which i believe was in a report several months ago. here are a couple of comments from members of the senate who will vote on the nominee, whoever that nominee is. senator tim kaine of virginia
7:55 am
with this. justice breyer, served admirably on the u.s. supreme court and will leave a legacy of fairness and justice. i look forward to working with my colleagues and president biden to confirm a qualified nominee that meets the fundamental tasks of honesty, integrity and expertise. chuck grassley, waiting to hear from him directly but if reports are true, i thank justice breyer for his service to the country. i have always held him in high regard. senater richard blumenthal said justice breyer's service has been unsurpassed in distinction. he is a brilliant scholar and thinker who has sought practical and workable solutions in a divided court. we will go to oklahoma. this is holly on the independent line. caller: yes, hi. this is my first time calling as well.
7:56 am
i was listening to the calls this morning. i think the issue at hand is really the verbiage that the president used. i have voted democrat, republican, independent, because i look at who i feel best fits what i believe we need for our country going forward at that point in time. the thing for the supreme court justice, i would have preferred -- i don't think it is a race issue or, someone mentioned the jim crow era. i think we have to heal and reform from that. it was the verb except the president used that i think caused some flack to come back from people. if he would have said i am searching for the person who will bring diversity, different opinions, to keep things balanced and fair and went at it that way, whether it is black,
7:57 am
nationality or race, it does not matter. if we look at it like -- we have to stop with the eye republican, those democrats, those independents, those black, those white -- we have to stop and look at everybody as a country. as my brother, and my sister, and my colleague and my friend. just like the justice who is retiring, we can all have differences of opinions. in the supreme court, we need that variety of different opinions and different outlets. you can't say i am the most qualified candidate and just go pick a teacher or doctor. i think taking that word off of the topic and the discussion and streamlining it back to let's get some diversity on here.
7:58 am
diversity does not mean black or white. it means, like people have said, native americans. people with disabilities. we need those different looks and outtakes on life so that you can go in and get to the meaning of the constitution and what's best for our country as a whole. host: thank you, holly, for making the first call and that input. we will go to ann in new york, on the democrat line. caller: i'm thrilled with the prospect of having an african-american on the supreme court. it is all about representation. people saying biden should not have run on that, at least he was refreshingly honest. which is more than we can say for the former guy. the former guy promised to put justices on there that would do away with women's reproductive rights. and people who were saying that
7:59 am
bidens nominee should be treated like kavanaugh and barrett. those two had issues. gorsuch was treated fairly. the only controversy around him was that it should have been merrick garland's appointment. but, kavanaugh was rightly scrutinized because of his behavior, both in the past and his behavior during the confirmation hearing itself. and barrett is in some sort of sub catholic colt. -- cult. that should have been looked at. i think this is great. i'm sure whoever is nominated i joe biden will be ahost: next ie republican line in new hampshire. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. my talk is -- first of all,
8:00 am
being a native american myself and living in new hampshire where my days in the 1970's there was only one black person around where i lived that i was pictured to be black. what i have to say has nothing to do with black or white. i agree a woman is fine, -- that it woman is right about one nationality, there is only one race, the human race. furthermore, it has always been that a republican president would put republicans on the supreme court when a seat was available and democrats do the same thing, but it was who was most qualified. amy barrett is not a catholic. i'm pretty sure she is a born-again christian. i wondered if anybody would agree with me that to put more people on the supreme court like
8:01 am
they want, would not that make it longer to come up with a decision put in front of them because having more people? thank you for taking my call. host: ok. there is more ahead here on "washington journal." next, we will be joined by sarah collins with the commonwealth fund. we will be talking about their new report looking at the rising cost of employer-based health care in the united states. later, jamie raskin of maryland, a member of the january 6 select committee has a new book coming out called " unthinkable." ♪ >> book tv every sunday on c-span two features leading authors discussing their latest nonfiction books. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, david bronson discusses his book there is no free lunch, 250 economic
8:02 am
truths where he argues the u.s. free enterprise system is threatened by socialists and progressives. at 10 a copy of eastern on afterwards, farber walter with her book "how civil wars start and how to stop them," which examines the warning signs which often proceed civil wars and asks the question, could another one happen in the u.s.? she is interviewed by stephen heideman. watch book tv every sunday on c-span2 and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at ♪ >> looking for c-span essentials that keep you warm? go to, c-span's online store. save 20% on our c-span sweatshirts, hoodies, blankets, and mugs. there is something for every c-span fan and every purchase
8:03 am
helps support our nonprofit operation. shop tuesday through monday at >> "washington journal" continues. host: next, we talk about the rising cost of employer-based health care in the u.s.. joining us is sara collins, vice president for coverage and access with the commonwealth fund. thank you for being with us on the program. guest: thank you for having me. host: we are having you want to talk about the commonwealth report on this issue. telus first what the commonwealth fund is guest: the commonwealth fund is a nonprofit nonpartisan health care foundation that focuses on improving the performance of the u.s. health care system. host: the report we are focusing on is called "state trends in employer premiums and
8:04 am
deductibles 2010 to 2020, a tenure review of the cost." some of the highlights from our viewers out of the report include these findings that premiums and deductions accounted for 12% of median household income in 2020. middle income workers in mississippi and new mexico faced the highest potential costs relative to income. premiums and deductibles combined ranged from 65 -- 68 $500 in hawaii -- $6,500 in hawaii to other states. the report covers a 10 year period. is this sort of a decade report you have done in the past, and what was the impetus for creating this report? guest: we would look at those every year, so we use a federal data set and look at how much premiums are.
8:05 am
employers cover about 160 million people, workers and families, so employer coverage is the backbone of our health insurance system. it's really important to look at what is happening in that sector and what people are paying relative to their income. it is an ample setting and we must look at trends over time and cost primarily. host: it is no surprise to those 160 million people the costs are going up. does your report look at what is causing that rise? guest: i think, just to step back a little bit, what we -- what employer coverage -- employer coverage has been resilient over the past decade. if -- even though affordable care act, provisions that make coverage more affordable, employer coverage has not changed that much. it was also resilient during the
8:06 am
pandemic, but what really is the issue for families is how much they pay out-of-pocket for their premiums and deductibles. what is important to keep in mind is these costs, the costs we pay for premiums, how much we pay when we go to the doctor, those are driven by the cost of health care services, inpatient visits, inpatient admissions, outpatient visits, prescription drugs. those drive what we pay for our premiums and co-pays and coinsurance and deductibles. the driver of those costs is a combination of how much we use obviously but the price we pay for those services is the most important driver of what we pay for premiums and what we face in
8:07 am
our deductibles. host: i think this is a great figure to keep in mind, premium contributions and deductibles. here is the chart from the report. added up to more than 11% on average of median income 2020. looking at just the premiums, typically in an employer situation, what is the average? what percentage does the employer pay and what percentage does the employee play typically in a work situation? guest: depends on whether it is a single coverage for one person or for a family. average, the family contribution is just over 20%, around 20% -- excuse me, for single coverage. family coverage is higher, about 28%. it can range as high in our study as 37%, 30's in florida, 39 in mississippi for family
8:08 am
coverage. it really varies significantly across the country. some states have more generous plans where employees do not pay as much and other states on average employees a lot more of their premium, particularly for family coverage. host: we would like to hear the experience of both. here is how we have divided lines for this conversation. if you are in employer, that line is (202) 748-8000. particularly one that provides health insurance for your employees. if you are an employee, the line is (202) 748-8001. for all others, (202) 748-8002. talking about the rising cost of employer coverage, employer-based health care in the united states with sara collins. looking at deductibles, it seems to me that often is used, in the annual review of an employee plane, that can be used raising deductibles can be a way of keeping the premium cost down
8:09 am
but it also means a cost more on the deductible side for employee, correct? guest: that's right. every year, premiums generally go up. some years maybe they don't change too much and an employer will make a decision and insurance company about how much of -- how that burden will be shared. the employer contributes part of the premium. the employee contribute part of it, but part is covered by the deductible. so generally, the lower the premium, the higher the deductible. you might have a lower premium contribution bus -- but may face hide a doctor bull. in 22 states, we found a doctor bowles are more than 5% of income, and that is a measure -- when you think about what you're deductible size is and whether or not you will be able to afford the deductible when you go to the doctor, we use a
8:10 am
measure of under insurance at the commonwealth fund. if you are spending more than 5% income on your deductible, we categorize you as underinsured. the reason for that is his research that shows people with higher deductibles tend to avoid care. if you have a $2000 or $3000 deductible, you are likely to think hard about whether or not to go get a needed visit to a doctor or specialist. host: the chart in the report graphically shows -- and the folks on radio won't see this -- but it graphically shows the rising cost, the combination of the premiums and deductibles making up 10% or more median income to look at the united states here in 2010 and 2015. that map get -- gets deeper and darker with a greater percentage of costs combined getting to 2020. obviously it was early in the pandemic to judge but does any
8:11 am
of this reflect the cost pressures of the pandemic? guest: the pandemic was obviously an unusual year for so many different reasons, but in terms of health care, people that got covid were very sick and had high costs when they got care about people also did not use very much health care. their elected surgeries were canceled, people were afraid or hesitant to go to the doctor because of contracting covid. the big drop off in utilization. so there shows a big increase in 2020 for health care in general but a lot of that was federal. a lot of cosco -- a lot of hospitals got funds to care for covid patients and when you take out the federal part, health-care costs grew at a slow pace in 2020 because people used so little care.
8:12 am
even out-of-pocket costs declined in 2020. the pandemic was an unusual year . all of the trends, all of the underlying dynamics of what we see every year, in this report and other studies, really do indicate we will continue to see rising health care costs and rising burdens on families paying for their health insurance and health care. host: sara collins is our guest, vice president of coverage and access with the commonwealth fund. our lines are this, for employers, (202) 748-8000. for employees, it is (202) 748-8001. four independents and others -- all others i should say, it is (202) 748-8002. sara collins sara collins --
8:13 am
sara collins, you look at the cost or quality of health care in the report? guest: we do not look at the quality but a lot of studies have. they looked at the length between the quality of care and cost. there is really not a strong connection between how much we pay for our health care and the quality of those services. i think when you look at the state maps you can see so much variation on how much people spend on their premiums. when you look at health care costs across the country, the same is true. those are very linked, so how much we pay in premiums is a reflection of how much costs are growing in our local markets. but there is not a strong connection between quality and health care cost. host: let's hear from jerry in
8:14 am
chester, virginia. jerry, tell us about your experience. caller: good morning, people. when i was working -- i had large group health insurance when i was working for a while, a long time. i worked for a large corporation , and the insurance seemed pretty good. i was younger so i did not use the insurance a lot, but now i am on disability. i am 61 and i have medical problems so i had to go on disability. now i have medicare. medicare works. it is not the greatest insurance program in the world, but it works. it gives you access to primary care of doctors and everything. only thing i will change about medicare is the deductible for the part a, $1400 every time you go to the hospital you have to pay for $200. part b is reasonable at $170
8:15 am
now. it is very affordable. i guess my comment or question is, all the charts you should about private insurance going up, 11%, did -- is private insurance really sustainable in the long run? do we eventually have to go to a government-run medicare for all program eventually echo this is not sustainable, right? host: ok. guest: that is a great question. it really does draw the contrast in terms of the drivers of medicare costs and employer costs. one of the main differences between the two types of insurance coverage is the prices paid to providers in the networks. in medicare, prices are regulated by the federal government.
8:16 am
there is much more standardization across the country on what providers are paid, physicians and hospitals, for medicare services and patients. employer coverage, it is completely determined by private negotiations between hospitals and insurers. even in the same hospital, there can be different prices for services depending on the negotiating price from -- by the insured. those are very different insurance sources with the price the major difference in terms of the cost employers and people pay. host: how has the affordable care act and medicare expansion help those without access to employer-based health care? guest: we really saw what the
8:17 am
role of the affordable care act during the pandemic -- 200 million plus lost their employer coverage. there was a drop off. people lost jobs and lost coverage. for this recession, people had a place to go. they were able to get covered in the marketplace so we saw increase for coverage in the marketplaces and we saw a big increase in coverage in medicaid. a lot of people got newly covered in medicaid. so this is a safety net for people who lose their employer coverage, and it functions like intended to during the severe recession of 2020. host: i point out from your report the state of kansas, it says and 2020 the combined cost was 9925 -- the states governor, laura
8:18 am
kelly, spoke recently last month -- earlier this month on the need for that state. her call for the need of the state to expand medicare. -- medicaid. let's hear what she had to say. [video clip] >> for years we debated medicaid expansion round and round. medicaid expansion is the quickest and easiest and most common sense way to help kansans. and we are not just talking about the 150,000 kansas accessing quality, affordable health care. the fact is communities cannot grow or survive if there hospitals close. kansas has lost five hospitals in recent years. we cannot afford to lose another one. we owe it to our rural families and businesses. medicaid expansion will not just protect small towns and their residents, it will keep health-care professionals from moving to neighboring states,
8:19 am
most of which are red states, all of which have expanded medicaid. right now, with the stubborn -- we are the stubborn self-defeating stay in the middle of all of them, sabotaging our communities in their efforts to recruit new residents. we are shooting ourselves in the food. host: sara collins, your thoughts on what the governor had to say there in calling for expansion of medicaid. guest: she is exactly right. it has been hard on hospitals across the country in rural areas in particular in states that have not expanded medicaid. we have seen lots of closures, meaning lots less access for people living in hard-to-reach areas. the other with respect to employer coverage, if your income is under 130% poverty -- 138% poverty, you are at -- are eligible for medicaid. it is a safety place for people
8:20 am
to go even if they have employer coverage. if your income makes you eligible for medicaid, you are eligible to get covered there and you might have much lower health care costs if you opted to enroll in medicaid. host: let's hear from lorraine in new york. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. hello. i wondered how many major health insurance companies there are in america and what their average -- what the ranges of their profit margins. as i comment, i would like to say it seems like the only product we buy that we cannot know the price of ahead of time. thank you. host: would you like to comment on that? guest: share. i do not know the exact number but there are varied ways -- the insurance market is very
8:21 am
consolidated, so there are a handful of very large insurers. some markets, there can be only one insurer. some states, there can be only one insurer that dominates. this does have an effect on what we pay for health insurance premiums. there is not enough competition in the insurance markets but also in hospital markets. one way to address the rising cost or premiums and prices, excuse me, for health is to increase competition both in local hospital markets but also in the insurance industry. for example, a lot of conversations around the public option, adding a public plan option to the marketplaces, which might have more leverage over provider prices and might be able to bring down the price
8:22 am
of health care in a market with a different kind of dynamic. it is a great point, lots of consolidation on both sides. host: let's hear from james who is an employee on the employee line. go ahead. caller: good morning, everybody. please listen to me. don't hang up. paul ryan and myself have been working together since 2011 about taxes and health care. he wanted 17%, 17.8% in 2010. [indiscernible]
8:23 am
my fault i did not stay in touch . i wrote him like once a month on the computer. my fault. what happens is this, what is happening now is this, a big mess. [indiscernible] paying nothing in tax, not a penny in tax. [indiscernible] i told paul ryan to go back to the original plan. then this country would work better. host: a comment on taxes there. do you have a response to that?
8:24 am
guest: i didn't quite understand the question. host: all right. we will hear from nick in wayne, pennsylvania. go ahead. caller: thank you very much. so i am an employee, technically a graduate assistant currently, and for myself along with plenty of other specialty part-time employees, those who might even be tried to piece together, it is hard to get health care coverage in this country because it is extremely unaffordable. personally i think it should be and is a human right and should be a public good. i wanted to ask whether or not the commonwealth fund has done any studies in talking about how it would cost americans less overall and probably give us better coverage in the long term , especially as other countries have different universal care
8:25 am
care systems bugs in particular a single-payer health care system because i think it is extremely unaffordable and unsustainable to have so many separate health care systems where at the end of the day we want to make sure people can live long and healthy lives. thank you. host: thank you. guest: that's a great question and a great point. you raise the contrast between the united states and other industrialized countries where their health care costs are much lower and everybody has health insurance coverage. we have a system where we are moving much more towards universal coverage. we are not there yet. we have the mechanisms in place, the framework in place to reach universal coverage. we just have to make more effort to get people enrolled who are eligible. the major difference between our costs in these other countries
8:26 am
comes back to the prices. we pay a lot more per unit for our health care than other countries do. it is reflected in what we pay for our health care in deductibles we face. we also have a complicated system and you rightly point out how hard it is to get what coverage you are eligible for and where to get it. it has gotten easier over time, but it still takes effort on the part of people to figure out what they are eligible for. in other countries, it is much more automatic. people are auto enrolled, so we have to take much more effort to use the structure that we have to make it far easier for people to know what they are eligible
8:27 am
for and where they can enroll and get covered. host: as more americans going to medicare, baby boomers, the silver tsunami they call it, as states expand medicaid and the government roll and health care increases, how do you see the role in employer-based coverage and more broadly the role of private health insurance in the united states changing in the next five to 10 years? guest: that's a good question. if you look at 2010, there was an expectation that employers would drop coverage as more options opened up for their employees. what we really saw was very little change. the employer system continued to provide coverage to most families. there was decline in coverage in small employers where the biggest cost pressures are, but things overall did not change over the last decade in the wake
8:28 am
of the affordable care act. the question is the future, and as marketplaces are more affordable now because of the american rescue plan, congress is considering making those premium subsidies look more generous, more permanent. then the medicaid expansion too. there is a fallback to help states like kansas that have a medicaid program and help those people get coverage in the marketplaces. the question is, the million-dollar question, will employers continue to offer coverage in light of these expansions? i would say if the cost continues to rise like it does and if employers do not have the leverage they need to control the costs, we could start to see attrition. host: let's get one more call on the topic. we go to steve in florida. caller: hi.
8:29 am
thank you for taking my call. this is a quick comment, observation, and question. i am 59 years old and have always had employer-provided health care. i have spent 18 years in information technology field. about the last 17 in health care. i understand costs are high. i can definitely relate with what she was saying earlier about people differing health care because of the high deductibles and potential for very high costs. my question is around universal health care. i know as a lot of industrialized european countries like -- countries have universal care. when that conversation comes up, a lot of it is cost. part of the way to help some of that is if you have 50 employees
8:30 am
, you have to contribute to that and have to contribute so much into the fund for that. i guess i have a question also i would like to add. what percentage currently is publicly funded health care medicare and medicaid? i do believe it is over 50%. so already about halfway there, aren't we? thank you for taking my call. guest: you rightly point out how much the federal government currently supports health insurance coverage, medicare, and medicaid with medicaid becoming a much bigger part of the health and church system -- health insurance system. but employers in the state get a tax benefit. so they are supporting that and private market subsidies. so the federal government plays a big role in everybody's health insurance coverage, supporting
8:31 am
those costs. if we were going to a fully funded federal program, it is not the cost goes up because it is federally funded, it is just who pays for those costs? from households, from employers, from states to the federal government. it becomes a big part of our federal budget and taxes would go up. we would pay, instead of premiums, higher taxes. it is just shifting the responsibility and probably lower average cost over time because we would console these prices that are the -- consolidate these prices. host: we have been talking about state trends in employer premiums and deductibles 2010 to 2020 and you can dream -- can read it at
8:32 am sara collins, thank you for being with us this morning. there is more ahead on "washington journal." later in the program, jamie raskin will be with us. and member of the january 6 select committee and will be talking about his new book, unthinkable, the trials of american democracy. that is in half an hour. first up, we go to open forum to hear from you on political and public policy news you are following and would like to talk about. for democrats, the line is (202) 748-8000. republicans, it is (202) 748-8001. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. we will be right back. ♪ >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. here many of those conversations on c-span's new podcast, presidential recordings. >> season one focuses on the
8:33 am
presidency of lyndon. you will hear about the 1964 presidential campaign, the gulf of taunton incident and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson's secretaries new because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact they were the ones who made sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and theirs. >> you will also hear blunt talk. >> i want a report of the number of people that signed kennedy the day he died. i want them right quick. if i can't ever go to the bathroom, i won't go. i promise i will stay behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings. find it on c-span now mobile app
8:34 am
or wherever you get your podcasts. >> "washington journal" continues. host: up until 9:00 eastern, we will go into open forum to hear from you on news items, public policy, political issues, the expected stephen breyer resignation announcement and more. we hear from you an open forum. (202) 748-8000 is the line to call for democrats. it is (202) 748-8001 for republicans. for independents and others, it is (202) 748-8002. two different types of economic news first up though. this is from the wall street journal, fed said to start increasing rates by mid-march and the federal reserve writes they could signal to steadily increase rates in mid-march. it is the latest move toward removing stimulus to bring down inflation.
8:35 am
jerome powell said wednesday the central bank was ready to raise rates at its march 15 to 16 meeting and could lift them faster than it did to the past decade. "this will be the year in which we move away from the highly accommodative voluntary policy we put in place to deal with the economic effects of the pandemic," he said at a news conference that follow the fed policy meeting. that is had to happen in march. on the inflation front in march, from cnn business, that you will notice it more evidently, exclusive oscar meyer hotdogs and velveeta cheese will get more expensive. they write the makers of top food and consumer good brands plan to raise prices in the spring, dashing shoppers hopes for a quick shop in the grocery bills. kraft heinz and recent letters to its customers, it will raise prices in march on dozens of products including oscar meyer cold cuts, hotdogs, bacon, velveeta cheese, tgif frozen
8:36 am
chicken wings, kool-aid, and caprice on drinks. the increases range from 6.6% on 12 ounces of lv to fresh packs to 30% on a three pack of oscar meyer turkey bacon. it is open form so let's hear what you are following in the new stent elsewhere. miguel is in maryland on the republican line. caller: how's it going? thank for having me. i wanted to talk about two things. the first thing i want to talk about is ukraine. we have this problem in ukraine. i do not know why our country is focusing on that. it is ridiculous. it won't protect the borders in america -- they will not protect the borders in america but will protect the borders in ukraine. everyone of our leaders here is talking about it like this is what we have to do. we do not have to do nothing there. ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with the problems we have here. we have the problems here.
8:37 am
the other thing i want to talk about, this trucker, the revolt in canada, and also in america. it is ridiculous to mandate a vaccine to cross the border. these people do not need it. they are fine. truckers already died of heart attacks from sitting all the time. i feel that from them and support them 100%. they have to mandate freedom and not mandate some back shot that hurts your health. host: diane is on the line from barberton, ohio, democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. the reason i called is number one, about the supreme court. i feel as though we definitely need a black woman, especially if she is a democrat, because with the last person who was in the presidency have brought out
8:38 am
the fact of all these white supremacists, and they are the ones doing all of this illegal stuff. we need someone who is going to go against them, not with them, like some of the other people trump had put into the supreme court. they are the ones bringing over the guns, the ones bringing over drugs, the ones who are into the prostitution, and the ones that are money laundering. assume if the fbi can get back involved, anything that would come up, the supreme court with them have more of a jurisdiction as to what is going on. and stop talking bull crap, it is the truth. host: we are expecting to hear an announcement at the white house from justice breyer that
8:39 am
has not been made official and time is not set for that. we will keep you posted on that. the house and senate are out this week, so no words on the floor of the senate yet. we have heard from some members via tweet and if you statements here and there. -- and a few statements here and there. an indication of how the process might happen, from the hills this morning, the senate set for a battle over prior's successor. -- briar's successor. this sets up a bat it in this -- battle in the senate almost certain -- at the same time, likely to be drama on the way and many eyes will be on the centrist joe manchin and kyrsten sinema who have impeded biden and frustrated fellow democrats by blocking key parts of the president's agenda. chuck schumer plans to move as quickly as possible to confirm the successor, not leaving anything to chance in a 50-50
8:40 am
senate. we go to dawn in new jersey, good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: great. caller: you know what, i want to talk to about health care, but first off, we have to straighten out this fake new stuff. we have been having fake news forever. we had fake news since kennedy. kennedy won the election because somebody did not wear makeup. kennedy won the election because he stole it from the mob. the same thing happened with 9/11. 9/11, don't be a conspiracy theorist. three buildings came down. host: let's go to philadelphia and hear from louise on the republican line. it is open form. louise in philadelphia, go ahead. caller: my question is, why is this government controlling pain medicine? i had knee replacement surgery and could not get enough pain medicine and i have been in
8:41 am
excruciating pain. why is this government controlling how much pain medicine the doctors can prescribe? host: what do the doctors say? why do they say the government is doing that? caller: they don't say why. they are saying we are only allowed to give you this many pills, this much care. there are other people in the waiting room also in excruciating pain, so i'm not the only one who cannot get pain medicine. they say they are not allowed to give it to you. host: it is open form on "washington journal," up to 9:00 eastern. (202) 748-8000 free democrats, (202) 748-8001 for republicans, and for independents and others, that is (202) 748-8002. a media story in the business section of the new york times. jeff zucker hired four people, " will you subscribe to cnn?"
8:42 am
that is their headlines. a year ago, cnn streaming channel was perceived as little more than a curiosity in the television news business, another cable dinosaur trying to make the transition into the digital future. they write the fact to start cnn plus expected by late march amounted to a late arrival of the streaming party three years after fox news launched fox nation. then the hirings began. in december, chris wallace said he was leaving his network home of 18 years for cnn plus. next came audie cornish, the popular host of all things considered on npr, who said in january she was leaving public radio to host a weekly streaming show. alex and -- i was, the instagram star will get her own show. eva longoria heads to mexico for a culinary documentary series. and a former basket ball player with more than one million twitter followers signed on two.
8:43 am
the new york times says the prominent names represent a tear of talent -- tier of talent that it previously been hesitant to commit. let's hear from our next caller on the independent line. caller: good morning. i have two comments. wind is the focus pic. i am frustrated the media has not pointed out the continued dialogue that this would be a black female chosen. which i'm not saying that is a bad thing, but that it would be a black female chosen, as though that means something, as though all black females will think the same or all females think the same. i feel to lump people by gender or race is actually a racist comment. all black women do not think the same. all women do not think the same. two assume you will put a black
8:44 am
woman in there because what? i don't know what. for a racist reason and i'm frustrated the media has not come down on that a bed because that is a very racist comment for anybody, especially in a federal job, based on race. those of us who work in the real world know that you cannot do that anywhere else but they are almost applauding it as a wonderful thing that they will choose someone based on race. i feel that is a racist move. host: we go to michelle, maryland, on the democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning, everyone. i would like to know if we can ever correct the two americans. my question comment is regarding 20 with tax collection halted until september 2021. however, if you are receiving a return, they didn't get your tax
8:45 am
information back to you until after september 2021 and i would like my tax return. i have never had a tax return after college because there was a mistake made on my taxes and the u.s. treasury set i owed them money. because of the cares act 2020 passed by president trump at that time, i was able to finally participate in america and get tax returns. that is my comments. and i would like them to correct that system and allow people that seem to be targeted by the system to stay on the bottom to get their tax returns and participate in that like everyone else. thank you. host: a couple of stories on the environment. usa today, a huge iceberg dumped one trillion tons of fresh water into the ocean. the effects could be massive. what was once the biggest
8:46 am
iceberg in the world released tons of freshwater in three months and nearly one trillion tons and its lifespan which could have a profound effect -- effects on wildlife scientists say. the iceberg was part of the larson see ice shelf on the antarctic peninsula before it broke off july 2017. at the time, it was the biggest iceberg on earth. a larger than the state of delaware. when the iceberg broke off and began to drift across the southern ocean, december 2020, the ice began its approach to the south georgia island 200 miles off of the argentina coast and has melted ever since. another story on the environment and the biden administration's efforts on the environment. this is from the washington post this morning. a planned mine near minnesota wilderness region is blocked. the biden administration canceled two leases near minnesota's boundary waters canoe area wilderness.
8:47 am
a remote region in the center of a blistering fight over whether to mine near one of the nation's most popular wilderness destinations. on wednesday, the interior department found the leases to extract copper, nickel, and other valuable hard rock minimal's -- minerals were improperly renewed under donald trump. the biden administration's decision will protect the hundreds of lakes, streams, and wetlands in the 1.1 million acre wilderness area hugging the canadian border from the potential toxic leaching from mining. let's go back to calls and hear from rick in providence, rhode island. excuse me, providence, kentucky. go ahead. caller: thank you, sir, for taking my call. one day last week on the news station here, i saw a go across the bottom of the screen on a crawl about the fbi rating a democrat congressman's home. after that i never heard or saw
8:48 am
anything about it. i wondered what was going on there if you have any information. host: i'm trying to recall. do you remember who the democratic congressman was? caller: marie cuellar i believe it was? host: i seem to recall that story. we will see if we can find an update for you. thank you for that information. rick is in tampa, florida. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm just calling about inflation. it really seems sort of arbitrary, these price increases these companies are doing. it is really crazy. there was someone from texas that talked about the corruption in this country and that there are too many industries that have only three or four major corporations that run just about everything in each of these industries and therefore they can artificially raise prices if
8:49 am
they want to. one of the things i'm curious about is the used cars. the rental car companies had millions of inventory before all this stuff started, and they dumped about half of their inventories -- inventory of used cars. how come the price of the used cars went up if all of those cars could have been available to sell? i appreciate you taking my call. thanks. host: a couple of events to tell you about that we are covering on the c-span networks today. at 10:30 eastern, the education secretary is expected to talk about the departments priorities, his vision to make an impression in the education system. that will be on c-span2. you can watch it at and is always on the new video app streaming at that c-span now. at 2:00 this afternoon, on
8:50 am
c-span, we bring you a discussion with cq roll call, a discussion on the history of the senate filibuster, the push to limit its use and what elimination of the filibuster could mean for future legislation here on c-span. you can follow that on the c-span now streaming out. tower caller that asked about henry cuellar, the raid on his offices. after fbi raid, henry cuellar says investigation will prove no wrongdoing on my part. henry cuellar made his first on camera comments tuesday about the fbi agents rating his home saying investigation will show he did not commit wrongdoing. he also reiterated he is not backing away from his bid for another term in the march primary. he said i am running for reelection and i intend to win. he made the remarks in a video posted to his twitter account. the video came six days after
8:51 am
fbi agents paid a visit to his home as well as his campaign headquarters in the city. the agency was conducting a " port authorized law enforcement activity but." did not say what it was investigating. he promised to cooperate in a probe and it was a promise he reiterated tuesday with acknowledging the resistance of an investigation. here is doug in virginia. independent line. caller: hi. why turn my phone done or turned my radio off when i'm time to talk? host: just make sure your radio is down and go ahead with your comment, doug. caller: great. i want to make my two cents comments. one is about the environment. when democrats are trying to sort of compel voters, especially people pro-environmental, they tend to
8:52 am
really lose that group. some of the policies they support seem contradictory to a pro-environmental stance. for instance, they do not really seem to enforce border laws, which leads to mass emigration into our country, which brings with it a lot of people. what i see with a lot of people is mass development. when i ask people about where they come from and what it is like from where they come from, they talk like it is crowded and polluted. when i see the mass migration of many people here, things become crowded and polluted. i also see people need places to live or apartment buildings. the trees here that store carbon
8:53 am
and provide oxygen get cut down so we lose our trees, had a crowded and polluted environment. -- trees and have a crowded and polluted environment. not controlling mass migration and orders is a very poor way to protect the environment. the other comment i wanted to make is about education, which i think it is contradictory for a politician to say to voters that education is somehow free. i heard bernie sanders made the comment on a number of occasions that he is -- he is for free education. i am an american citizen born and raised. nothing in this country is free. there is no free. except a good nights rest. a good nights sleep, families love that kind of thing. anything that has some kind of value that costs somebody else
8:54 am
labor, time, energy, there is a cost to it. whenever a politician uses the word free and somehow they have access to taxpayer money to pay for it, it is not free. somebody in this community, in this country is paying for it. whether it is with today's dollars from today's income or debt that would burden our future citizens, somebody is paying. there is no free. unless the teachers are going to school and somebody is donating the money and provide the overhead for the building, if they do not take the salary, maybe it could become closer to free. otherwise, i do not see education ever being free. when i hear a politician use free i believe they are lying. i just wanted to make those two comments and hopefully at some point i can hear more about a response. host: he is listening in the
8:55 am
washington area on 90.1 fm c-span radio app. new jersey, on the republican line. it is open form. caller: how are you doing? i have been watching you guys a lot. my personal opinion, this biden administration is a disgrace. we have the best medical system in the world for health care. my sister got the covid in january and hospitals have no monoclonal antibodies to help people get better. i do not understand why they don't have stuff to help people get better and they're not distributing it to the hospitals. now he wants to stop -- my cousin called me from florida and wants to stop the monoclonal antibodies to get to the sick people in florida. what are they thinking? worrying about everybody else instead of the citizens. i do not get this administration.
8:56 am
i think it is a total disgrace. we need to focus on american people. you pay all of this money for gas, for utilities, food is up, everybody charges more money for things, and people do not have more money. i do not understand it. i'm 63 years old, and i do not get this idea. i do not know what he is thinking, but maybe other people believe in him but i do not. host: let's go to pennsylvania, democrats line. caller: good morning. i have been a long time listener and caller, but i have to tell you, i have never been more dis-of we did in c-span than i have been this past year. over the big lie you have been addressing, the big lie, and i think it is an effective. at the end of the shows, people have more questions than answers. i would like to suggest that
8:57 am
c-span has the perfect public forum to give each state for hours of primetime airtime and you invite a democrat and republican election official to sit side-by-side and explain their state's election, registration, ballot processes from how they order ballots from the printing company all the way through to the ballot's final storage place. i think this would go a long way towards giving truthful, accurate information to everybody across the country, and i think this would go a long way to squashing the big live. -- big lie. i'm disappointed c-span has not done this and i'm disappointed in every news organization, every newspaper across the country. everybody has had a year to come
8:58 am
out with this information so like i said everybody across the country would have the same information at the same time, and maybe at the end of the show, give an hour for people from that particular state to call in with their concerns that might have not been addressed during the program. host: it's a cool idea. we welcome your input on things like that. we have tried on this program and otherwise to bring election officials from as many states as possible from across the country, people involved in elections, to talk about that in a variety of ways. thanks for weighing in. some economic news this morning, in the new york times, the headline u.s. economic growth was 1.7% of the last quarter, capping a strong year. their headline, continuing to rebound from the shots of the pandemic, the nation's economy asked -- economy expanded. the figure was adjusted -- which
8:59 am
was adjusted for inflation reflects the growth in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced. on an annualized basis, the increase for the quarter was 6.9%. let's hear from annie in fairfax, california. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i don't want to be a broken record or anything but i have to speak up for i also wanted to say about copper money, i wanted to share more about deb haaland because she is someone i'm following. host: the interior secretary, deb haaland? caller: yeah. i would like to hear more about
9:00 am
her, it was in that article. i want to speak up for those little kids. let's figure something out, it does not have to be political mayhem. it could be people with good prayers, thoughts. i maybe something like that i would appreciate -- maybe something like that i would appreciate. host: thank you for your call this half-hour. coming up, we will be joined by congressman jamie raskin, a member of the january 6 select committee meeting currently, discussing his book titled "unthinkable." later, brad bowman from the foundation for defense of democracies discusses russia's threats to invade ukraine into nato's military and diplomatic options. that is ahead.
9:01 am
♪ >> on the cover flap of debbie applegate's book "madam," is written the following. "everybody went to poly's -- paulie's. paulie's was a dynamo where the brothel was more than just -- sex." according to applegate, her pals included eleanor roosevelt, frank sinatra, and duke ellington among others. applegate is a yale educated historian based in new haven, connecticut. >> debbie applegate on this episode of book notes plus.
9:02 am
♪ >> sunday, february 6, on "in-depth," geocache and will be our life guest to talk about race relations and inequality in america. her books include "the agitator's daughter," and more. join in the discussion with your phone calls, text, and tweets. sunday, february 6 on tv on c-span2. >> washington journal continues. host: congressman jamie raskin is with us next to talk about his new book titled "unthinkable." it covers his personal tragedy and the death of his, on new year's eve last year and the
9:03 am
insurrection at the u.s. capitol. welcome to "washington journal." guest: thank you for having me. host: this is a book that in december 2020 you had no idea you would be writing a book like this. in a short period of time, these dramatic and life-changing events happened to you personally and as a member of congress. what propelled you to put this into writing, to put it into a book? guest: it was my best effort to make sense of these horrific events that took place. it was a love letter to my lost son, tommy. it became a love letter to america, too. we suffered two successive trucks and traumas of losing tommy on the last day of 2020 and then exactly one week later
9:04 am
i was on the floor of the house when the violent insurrection took place. my daughter tabatha and my son-in-law, hank, were with me that evening. that was another crisis. it was a sleepless time for me. i basically used the midnight hours for five or six months to try to record these events, make sense of the, and to pull out the threads of hope i found even going through these traumatic events. host: it is multiple serious events, two traumatic events barely a week apart. in that time period, did you think i need to pause, i need to back away from being a member of congress and take this personal time? did that enter your mind? guest: of course it did.
9:05 am
the third part of the book is about speaker pelosi asking me to be defeat impeachment managers after -- the lead impeachment manager. i describe in the book how i experienced that as speaker pelosi throwing me a lifeline because i was not eating, i was not sleeping. i was not sure if i would do anything in my life again of utility or substance or meaning. by asking me, speaker pelosi was saying we need you to rally, we need you to form this team, develop a strategy, and take our case to the u.s. senate. i think she threw me a lifeline by doing that. host: here is how you put it in
9:06 am
your book. you write that that was the hardest thing had ever been asked. "the assignment became paradoxically a salvation and sustenance for me, a pathway back to the land of the living and the fountain of hope that renewed my faith in democracy, the systems of belief and practices that uphold the individual rights of the individual and demand we work together to take care of our common inheritance." a year after that effort, now that you are on the january 6 select committee, how do you -- guest: i think we are still in a struggle to fortify our democratic institutions. we are not through the woods here yet and there is a struggle globally to defend democratic
9:07 am
institutions and values. this resurgence of authoritarianism, racism, and fascism in some places. this is the work of a lifetime no. we are in -- a we are in -- we are in a fight to make sure democracy survives. it is not unlike what lincoln faced when he stood on the battlefield of gettysburg wondered if a nation by the people and for the people would perish. we have to renew our commitment to the values of democracy. host: we have congressman raskin with us until 9:30 eastern. we welcome your calls at 202-748-8000 for democrats, 202-748-8001 for republicans, and 202-748-8002 for
9:08 am
independents and others. you are now involved in the january 6 select committee. can you tell us what state you are at in the committee? guest: we have made tremendous progress. we are much more than halfway done. the vast majority of witnesses to the events. -- of the events have come forward and cooperated. we have bumped into some obstruction and some roadblocks around donald trump. steve bannon, roger stone, mark meadows. most people have been completely forthright in candid. the supreme court struck a very important low for transparency by rejecting the former president's claims of executive privilege to stop information
9:09 am
from coming over to the national archives. i would say we are making great progress. we have one area of concern we are struggling through. we have a charge under house resolution 103 to deliver complete compressive and a fine-grained portrait to the american people and to congress of all of the events that took place generally sixth, the causes behind them, and recommendations on how to fortify democratic institutions so we are not vulnerable to insurrections in the future. host: on mark meadows and others who have refused to testify before your committee, what are you going to do if they eventually decide not to testify. -- not to testify? guest: vice chair cheney and determine has made a clear we will use all means at our disposal to gain evidence we
9:10 am
have a right to get. article one makes us the representative branch for the people. the courts have upheld the legitimacy of our legislative function here and our purpose in conducting the investigation, in figuring out what happened in a violent attack against the union. i see three rings of sedition that took place. there was the mass demonstration that turned into a mob of riot which injured 150 police officers who were hit over the head with steel pipes and american flags and confederate battle flags and sprayed in the face with bear mace and someone. there was the inner ring, the insurrection which included the crowd boys, the oath keepers, the various militia groups and
9:11 am
other domestic violence extremists that came with the purpose of committed violence, breaking into the capital, smashing our windows and interfering for the first time with the peaceful transfer of power and the counting of electoral votes. that was not even the scariest ring. the innermost ring was the scariest which is the ring of the coup, which is an unusual word to use in american parlance because we do not have experience with coups. this was orchestrated by the president against the vice president of the u.s. with the purpose of getting him to declare unilateral powers to reject electoral college votes coming in from arizona, georgia, and pennsylvania, thereby lowering joe biden's majority from 306 to below 270 in order
9:12 am
to kick the contest into the house of representatives. under the 12 amendment, in the house over -- the house of representatives, we don't vote according to one member one vote. we vote according to one state one vote in a contingent presidential election. after the 2020 elections, the gop had 23 states, the democrats had 22, pennsylvania was split down the middle. even had they lost, the representative from wyoming, liz cheney, they would have had 26 votes. they would have called donald trump the victor, declared him president for the next four years and would have invoked the insurrection act as michael flynn was urging him to do to declare something like martial law.
9:13 am
host: without asking for testimony or evidence, what has further solidified your view about this innermost ring, that this was a planned for intended coup? guest: the president spoke about it in the number of points. steve bannon spoke about it. a number of other people spoke about it. john eastman was the professor who set for the plan in a memo that has gone public and we are perfectly well aware of. to this day, there are people asserting that was perfectly fine. we have determined there was preparation of fraudulent certificates by phone electors in the states to justify what they were trying to press mike pence to do. on that day, vice president mike pence did his job and upheld his
9:14 am
oath of office. he refused to do it which is why the mob came pounding at our doors. i could hear them chanting "hang mike pence." the members of the house had to flee. for the first time in american history, the peaceful transition of power was interrupted. the process was stopped by this violent attack. it did not even happen in 1861 after the election of abraham lincoln as he was crushing the country to get to washington. there was an angry mob outside that did not gain entrance to the capital. this never happened before. host: congressman jamie raskin's new book is "unthinkable." let's get to andrew in virginia.
9:15 am
caller: good morning. congressman raskin, it is a privilege and honor to be able to speak with you this morning. at times when it seems like so many members of congress seem to be going into politics for self-serving reasons, you are the perfect example of somebody who places public service before everything else. i honor you and your son, tommy. i hope you continue the good fight against all of the people's attacking our democracy at this moment. you have been constantly attacked by the other side and continue to do the right thing. i hope you and the commission continued to speak out all of the truths, all of the answers concerning this insurrection against our beautiful country and our beautiful capitol.
9:16 am
you truly are a profile of courage and i thank you for that. caller: -- guest: thank you for this beautiful thoughts and those excess of the kind words -- those excessively kind words. i confess to you that the merit of politics has drained away today with so much polarization and anger in our politics. it is devotion to our constitutional republic and to the democracy that has kept me going. there are lots of wonderful people, the vast majority of the public, does not stand for insurrection and coup and contempt for institutions. lots of people across the country what is to keep going. thank you for your kind words. host: let's hear from mike on
9:17 am
the republican line in north carolina. caller: good morning. mr. raskin, i know you and everybody else was you serve in politics, everybody is writing a book. i can understand that. everybody is in it for the money. i know the insurrection committee, i know the democrats and rhinos are trying every way to keep donald trump from running again. everybody who sees how this country was in the past year, that trump will win the election in 2024 and we are going to take back the house and the senate and make mr. wyden a lame duck president -- mr. biden a lame duck president. why do you have no committee on the rights of 2020 and a committee of hunter biden and the border chaos of 2 million illegal aliens crossing the
9:18 am
border this year? mayorkas says they are sending them back. they are not sending a trickle of them back. there keeping them. host: several things there. congressman raskin? guest: first, about books, i have written four other books, three i have co-authored about constitutional law. it is not new to me to be writing books. we have created a fund in honor of our son where most of the proceeds, if i see any, will go to. i think it is a good thing that people in public life right -- in public life write books. like mark meadows who recently wrote a book but recently denied
9:19 am
it as fake news. i serve on the judiciary committee and i have been part of seven or eight, if not more than a dozen hearings about immigration since i have served on that under democrats and republicans who are paying close attention to what is happening there. i don't think anybody could make the argument that there is a violent assault on the u.s. congress interrupting the transfer of power and us not create a committee to determine what happened. i know that the republican leadership originally supported an outside independent commission of five republicans and five democrats. we agreed to that. donald trump said he did not want an investigation at all of what happened. now i understand why. at that point, the gop leadership changed its mind.
9:20 am
i would ask everybody to ask themselves whether they really think we could allow an attack on american democracy right in the capital of the u.s. without investigating what happened. host: let's go to susan in massachusetts, independent line. caller: good morning, representative raskin. i want to echo the sentiments of the caller before this most recent caller. i hoped to be able to send you a card or note or email and express my condolences over the loss of your son. i may proud native maryland or and was a resident of montgomery county but i grew up in baltimore city. anyway, when my mother passed away, we quoted wordsworth "here
9:21 am
hath passed a great glory from this earth." i know that relates to your late son. regarding generate sixth, -- regarding january 6, thanks for doing your duty as a public servant. i am a right of center person on a lot of issues, but have to applaud courage and dedication where i see it. regarding january 6, i think there were a lot of factors that led up to it. the foremost being a demagogue in the white house and an extremist social media freak who agitated and explodes a lot of america's faultlines.
9:22 am
alienation and disengagement is out there. i think the number one -- to prevent future insurrections is we have an american electorate at the local level that is 100% disengaged. that disengagement allows one party, be it right or left, to take over state legislatures, not have opposite party watchdogs, and in turn they are a stepping stone for more these obstructionist demagogues and social media hogs to get into our national legislature. those are my thoughts. keep up the good work and please know that even somewhat conservative people can admire a strong, progressive democrat like you. host: thanks, susan. guest: susan, thank you for
9:23 am
those touching words. you are always welcome back in maryland. i appreciate so much you calling. your comments remind me of alexander hamilton's statements in the first federalist paper where he said the main thing we have to worry about in constructing our republic's politicians who act as demagogues to stir up negative emotions against our democracy. they begin as demagogues but they end as tyrants against the people. your comments reflect the spirit of what alexander hamilton was talking about. being engaged and participating and making our democratic institutions strong, you are absolutely right, it begins with the participation of each citizen at the state and local level and the national level.
9:24 am
i agree with what i took to be your thoughts about the party system which has turned into something angry and negative. we have to take off our partisan thinking caps and think as citizens as the whole united states and remember that the term party comes from a french term which means part. we need to think of everybody, part of the whole. we have to revitalize civic institutions together. we don't do that by tearing institutions down and unleashing violence against fellow americans and by intricate coups against the republic. i appreciate what you have to say. host: i could not let you go without asking about the retirement of judge stephen breyer. you have written books on the supreme court.
9:25 am
what kind of candidate would you like to see the president fit the president take -- to see the president pick? guest: we are looking for constitutional patriots, people not captive to a partisan outlook but standing up for the entire constitutional structure in an aggressive way. one thing i liked about justice scalia was he was willing to step outside the bounds of the supreme court and speak to the people and interact with the public. i would love to see somebody do that appointed by president biden. we need to stand up for our constitutional values. the supreme court has been undermining political democracy. host: let's hear from mark in silver spring, maryland.
9:26 am
caller: greetings from maryland. the trial, i thought you did an amazing job and i'm happy to call you my representative. guest: that makes me very happy. my goal is to render constituent services whether it is social security or if we get into a situation where we have to impeach a president. i appreciate that very much. host: we will go to curtis in mississippi, republican line. curtis, are you there? caller: let me ask you three questions. host: first of all, make sure you mute your volume on your television. caller: are you a member of the new world party? guest: i am sorry, i did not hear that?
9:27 am
host: curtis, you are feeding back. it is hard to hear you. we will go to englewood, ohio. guest: if he said mi member of the underworld order, i don't know what it is and i'm not a member of. host: go ahead. caller: all senators and are presented to us take the oath to defend the constitution. when they take the position that biden did not win the election and jenny were sixth did not happen, aren't they in violation of the oath? can something be done? guest: that is a powerful question. there is an argument that the first amendment gives people the right to think that and say that. the question is if you participate in the production of counterfeit electoral certificates, if you try to
9:28 am
block the transfer of power, if you participate in an insurrection. you have crossed over from having any idea to countering the lawful processes under our constitution. you ask the fundamental question, at what point does that idea or speech become conduct? of course, donald trump was impeached by the house of representatives and it was voted 57-43 in the most bipartisan sweeping vote for president in the history of the u.s. that he did incite an insurrection. you have a right to say what you want as a citizen, but as president of the u.s., you can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. majorities found it was a high crime and misdemeanor for the president of the u.s. to be
9:29 am
inciting insurrection against his own government. that is the case. let me make one other point, section three of the 14th amendment adopted by congress and added to the constitution after the civil or said that anybody who swears to uphold and defend the constitution against enemies foreign and domestic who betrays that both may never serve in a federal or state office again. that is in our constitution. check out section three of the 14th amendment. that is an important principle that may indeed come to bear in different ways. host: can you tell us if there will be additional hearings of the committee? guest: there will be additional hearings. we have only had one which is the experience of officers who were there.
9:30 am
officer hargis was the police officer caught in the doorway he was essentially tortured in front of the eyes of the world. they spoke about what it was like to be engaged in medieval combat with waves of people coming in with sticks and baseball bats and hockey sticks and beating up our officers. we should never forget what took place on that day and the noble, honorable sacrifice for democracy of these officers who knew exactly what they were fighting for. it is a scandal to meet that we have politicians who will not support any investigation of these events who were protected by these officers. we will have a hearing on these events, the role of social media , how a demonstration became a mob right, the role of domestic violence extremist groups, and
9:31 am
the way these white nationalist groups were turned into a street army. finally, what was taking place on the inside of the political coup and how close we came to losing it all. all of that will be part of it. what we need to do to prevent this nightmare. host: charisma mint jamie raskin, thank you for being with us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: still to come, brad bowman will be with us. he is with the foundation for the defense of democracies. we will be talking about pressure and increasing threats to invade ukraine, the u.s. and nato's response, diplomatic and military options. that is ahead. ♪ >> american history tv, saturdays on c-span2. exploiting people and events
9:32 am
that tells the american story. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, we will look back on the scandal that led to richard nixon's resignation with jeff sheppard who was at the time the youngest lawyer on president nixon's staff. he is also the author of "the nixon conspiracy." at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on "lectures in history" catherine last out teaches a class on politics and culture in the u.s. from the 1800s to the 1830's. shape explains how the country changed through the presidencies of andrew jackson. find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at >> c-span offers a variety of
9:33 am
podcasts. "washington today" gives you the latest from the nation's capital. book notes plus has interviews with writers about their latest works while the weekly uses audio from our archive to see how issues from today developed over the years. our occasional series features conversations with historians about their lives and work. many of our television programs are available as podcasts. you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> "washington journal" continues. host: brad bowman is senior director at the foundation for the defense of democracies. with us this morning to talk about increasing conflict and tensions between russia and ukraine. welcome to "washington journal."
9:34 am
guest: thanks to you and c-span for the opportunity. host: let's get to the military part of this. there is a lot of talk about the numbers of russian troops and how nato might respond. how well is ukraine itself equipped militarily to respond to potential russian incursion? guest: when you compare the combat power of ukraine versus russia, there is no comparison. with that said, the ukrainian military has significantly improved in recent years, including since the 2014 russian invasion of crimea. if vladimir putin is thinking a major invasion of ukraine would be a walk in the park, he is probably mistaken. host: you said recently that the biden administration needs to step up its game in terms of
9:35 am
delivering military help to ukraine. do you think they have done that? guest: i wrote that on friday. i have seen since then, not suggesting it is because of my op-ed, but several shipments arrive of antitank missiles and launchers and other weapons. i applaud those steps. i worry they are insufficient and belated. host: what do you think the capacity is of the russians now? we have reported of 125,000 troops. what type of units -- type of data do are seeing, what potential type of invasion might they launch? a quick strike, a broad invasion into the country? guest: when we talk about a threat in the world of strategy, a threat consists of an ability to attack or threaten and the
9:36 am
political will to do it. what moscow has been doing is assembling extraordinary combat power near ukraine and in crimea. 100,000 to 125,000 combat and service support, russian -- russian troops on the ukraine border. thousands of troops in belarus and many troops in crimea and an inability to come up from the -- and including the ability to come up from the black sea. we are starting to see personnel falling in on that equipment. i don't think any invasion would come tomorrow. -- i don't think an invasion could come tomorrow, but it could come in the next few weeks. when the olympics are over and you have a frozen terrain before the spring thaw, it would be a particularly dangerous period.
9:37 am
what form what any attack look like? i don't think anybody knows for sure. vladimir putin may not even know. i think he's doing a bit of what george shultz talks about when he talks about the shadow of power on the negotiating table. he would like to accomplish his plans it for ukraine at the negotiating table. he would like to get his political objectives that way. if not, he has the means if he wants to watch an invasion of ukraine which could take different forms. it could be missile strike, a multipronged attack, it could be focused on kiev, it could take a number of forms. host: antony blinken said yesterday that basically the next move is russia has been laying out and a conversations and dialogue with the russians, what the u.s. and what nato is looking for.
9:38 am
the russians responded to that this morning with a headline here in the new york times saying that the u.s. response to its demands does not cause for optimism. the kremlin -- and write, "the kremlin said there's not much optimism that the west would satisfy russia's demands but that vladimir putin would study the written reports -- the written responses the u.s. and nato made before deciding how to proceed." remind us of the key diplomatic issues at stake that russia is seeking and the redlines or the issues nato and at the u.s. is holding firm against. guest: thank you for that question. i think it is a fundamental question. the core conflict here is a conflict between two worldviews. it is the worldview of vladimir
9:39 am
putin which says i am more powerful than you, ukraine. i can't tell you what to do. i can tell you what to do inside your country and i can tell you with whom to associate. that is what john kerry called the 19th-century model. unfortunately, we are seeing a little bit of that in the 20th century. -- the 21st century. -- that is the principle of self-determination. democracy, the rule of law, and international borders. the question for your viewers to consider is do support a might makes right model, that russia should tell his neighbors what to do and how to associate? or do the leaders in ukraine have that choice? host: we are talking about the russian-ukraine tensions and the
9:40 am
potential for conflict. the lines are for democrats, 202-748-8000. for republicans, 202-748-8001. for all others, 202-748-8002. you are an army veteran, a former blackhawk pilot and a former professor at west point. when you heard about the president putting 8500 troops on higher either to because of the situation, what do you think that purpose was? guest: i think that was in the insufficient step. we have some units like at fort bragg in north carolina that tend to be on a shorter recall. the 101st division and units like that. i think that. is a prudent step. the spokesperson said that was to support the nato reaction force. as he responded to repeated question's -- repeated questions, he made clear that
9:41 am
was based on data's decision -- based on nato's decision to activate their force. we have an ally commander in europe who is a yes officer so we can move forces around at our will and deployed forces at our will. i support efforts to protect nato and honor our members. ukraine is not a nato member and putin's own actions are the most persuasive argument for the value of nato membership. putin complains about nato expansion anti-complains about exercises and weapons near his border, but his aggression is the reason for that. host: there are a couple of
9:42 am
articles about the state of the russian military and how it has advanced over the past few decades. washington post, "russia showcases its new military prowess. when russian forces rolled into georgia in 2008, they carried the baggage of an outdated soviet military, old equipment and poor coordination. the accident they shutdown their own planes. delete a decade and a half later as the kremlin seeks to amount an invasion in ukraine, the russian military has advanced significantly and vladimir putin has shown a willingness to use it to get his way in global affairs. guest: i think that assessment is essentially right. there are two dangers when looking at russia in general and the russian military. what is to view them as 15 to tough -- as 15 t -- as 15 feet
9:43 am
tall and unstoppable. that is not true. there is also a danger of dismissing their capabilities. we are talking about 120,000 plus combat forces. we are talking tanks, artillery, advanced aircraft. there is no question that ukraine would have its hands full in dealing with a massive invasion from putin. they are dramatically improved since 2008 and 2014. many americans may not be tracking that russia has been undertaking a massive military modernization effort, both its conventional forces and nuclear forces. the conventional component is on display for all to see right now in the assembly troops which continues to grow surrounding
9:44 am
ukraine. host: we will get to your calls momentarily. i want to report -- i want to relate this report from jeff bennett of nbc treating about retiring supreme court justice stephen breyer. the president and justice breyer are said to appear at the white house today as you notice his retirement. a source confirming that. we will keep you updated on that coverage. we will go first to lake orion, michigan. go ahead with your comments. caller: i understand the gentleman is a warrior and knows his war. it is amazing that when reagan agreed to staff the push port eastern europe, he agreed with all of that.
9:45 am
this gentleman probably gets a big check or pension from some defense fund. what we have to do is have a constant cold war to suck the money out of the taxpayer so we cannot do anything at home for the betterment of the american people. all of papers i read say ukraine is bankrupt. putin does not want ukraine, putin is faced with the cuban missile crisis 2020 to -- missile crisis 2022. we are putting stuff on his border and threatening him and he would expect him to respond like putin putting missiles in mexico and canada. host: thank you for the call. guest:guest: i think this caller 's viewpoint is indicative of
9:46 am
policies or go for the ad hominem attacks instead of considering the substance of i am taking. we don't accept any money from foreign governments and our money is overwhelmingly from individual americans and private foundations. we do not have any current grants with defense contractors. i certain the argus -- i served in the u.s. army. i'm so glad this caller made that argument because i think that is an argument that is common among many americans. i think it is wrong. it is a symptom of something we have in the u.s., something the chairman of our board calls strategic narcissism, where americans assume that everything in the world happens as a reaction to us. sometimes we have to remember the artist the greco to take what they can get.
9:47 am
sometimes there are just terrorists who want to kill us. they are going to do that because they have their own objectives. the question is, how do we want to respond. if we take this gentleman's conclusion, he would not support nato's open-door policy which supports a country's decision to make a defense arrangement. the suggestion that nato is napoleon invading russia or nato is nazi germany in terms of the threat to russia, it is not credible and does not reflect the restraint nato has shown. the primary reason countries want to join nato, the recent they are asking for support is because of the aggression of putin. russia has interests, but that is not included their right to invade national borders. host: let's go to samantha in new york on the independent line. caller: thank you so much for
9:48 am
taking my call. my question is, when is the truth good to come out that what is going on is about asbestos reform? biotin and others have talked to their bills that have tucked into their bills -- have tucked into their bills -- which ends up in our products? host: what is your question? caller: when are we going to talk about the truth of asbestos and asbestos reform bills? host: that is off topic here. we will go to california.
9:49 am
please mute or television or you are going to feedback. linda in tampa, florida. caller: my question is, do you think it is time for us to show our strength and power? i think it is time. putin is acting like hitler's. who is he -- is acting like hitler. do you think it is time for us to show our strength and power? guest: thanks for the question. the biden administration has taken a number of positive steps. i think it is good how they have assembled nato allies and tried to create unity. he told putin if they attempted any invasion, there would be unprecedented sanctions.
9:50 am
these are positive steps that i applaud. the constriction -- the criticism i have made is that we want to do things before the invasion to prevent it in the first place. this is not because i want war, it is because like most former soldiers, we want to avoid war. we understand the best way is to have a military force and military deterrent that no aggressor wants to mess with. that is why i am focused on getting ukraine, a beleaguered democracy threatened by an authoritarian bully, the means to defend itself. it is not an attempt to invade russia. you're not going to use an antitank missile to invade one of the greatest lead powers in history. this is raising the cost benefit analysis to putin so that he determines it is not in his
9:51 am
interest to pursue his objectives with military aggression. host: do you think putin saw an advantage after the withdraw from afghanistan? saw an advantage to push onto the border of ukraine and now into belarus? guest: it is a welcomed question. i have thought about that. i am on the record criticizing the biden administration's withdrawal from afghanistan which i think it's time when based and ignoring conditions on the ground. we have a taliban safe haven there like we did on 9/11. that is the way international relations and security works. the decision-makers decide what they can get away with and what they are capable of. it is dangerous to get in the head of vladimir putin, i don't want to be there.
9:52 am
but i think he takes the measures -- takes the measure of american leaders when he talks to them and makes assessments. john mccain called vladimir putin the former kgb colonel. is a strong? is he weak? what will he do when push comes to shove? i don't have evidence of this, but i suspect that the withdrawal from afghanistan as well as other stuff related to norm stream to -- little to nordstrom to may have left putin with an assessment that there is some weakness in the administration that can exploit. he probably has an eye on history and we know how he views the collapse of the soviet union and how he would like to reverse some of that. host: anthony is here in washington, d.c. on the independent line. caller: mi on? -- am i on no?
9:53 am
host: yes, go ahead. caller: your guest, i totally support what he is saying. the trump supporters believe in the same mentality of putin. they think the same way as putin. the car accident in indonesia, trump supporters are blaming it on the biotin. this is -- blaming it on biotin. -- blaming it on president biden. this is the way they think. why do people want to join nato? nato does not attack any country. they join because it is a peaceful, defensive organization. putin is trying to test and he miscalculated and paying the price for that. the only way you get back is a showing strength. i guarantee you he will not go in now.
9:54 am
he is thinking very seriously he will not go in. host: brad bowman, you think about the relationship of president trump to nato. would it have made more sense for putin, sensing a hesitancy on the u.s. side to support nato -- president biden came out early talking about strengthening international alliances with nato. guest: it is an interesting question. i was serving as a national security advisor for the senate foreign relations committee for much of the trump administration. i observed an interesting dichotomy during the trump administration with respect to russia. on one hand, former president trump said things that i found deeply troubling. i would highlight his comments
9:55 am
alongside vladimir putin in helsinki where he suggested he trusts putin's word more than our own intelligence agency. at the same time, america took policies against russia that i think were incredibly strong. the obama administration did not want to provide assistance to ukraine and the trump administration did. i worked at a nonpartisan institute and we are proud of that. we tried to call balls and strikes. i see things in the trump administration that i criticize and that i supported. i see the same in the biden administration. i applaud what they are doing, but i would like to see additional weapons given to our ukrainian partners as soon as possible to prevent the war. we know deterrence is cheaper than dealing with the consequences of a war we could have prevented. host: a question from brad on twitter who asks, did putin get
9:56 am
his bluffed call from that his bluffed called -- get his bluffed called from nato and the u.s.? guest: putin is revealing what he is doing in the guise of military exercises. but those military exercises quickly can become an invasion force. he knows it and he knows we know it. in the best traditions, he understands that war is politics by other means. he is seeing if you can get what he wants at the negotiating table. he wants a veto over the sovereign decisions of ukraine regarding what they can do within their own country and with whom they associate. in the 21st century, do want to stand by the rule of law,
9:57 am
national sovereignty, and self-determination? or go back to a might to write law -- our democratic principles are at stake. host: next is fred calling from louisville, kentucky. republican line. caller: what do think about two is the weakest president? trump, or by did? -- trump or biden? [indiscernible] host: i did not catch the second question. the first question was who do you think is the weakest president, i'm guessing on this current issue, president biden or president trump? guest: that is interesting. let me say one thing i think
9:58 am
both presidents are getting right. i think former president trump got right the severity of the threat from the chinese communist party and started a national conversation that has led to the u.s. taking a wiser and stronger approach with respect to china. i don't like how president trump dismissed the value of our international partners. we would be much more effective in confronting beijing if former president trump would have built consensus with our g-7 partners and others and then gone to beijing and spoken with one voice. that is where i think president biden is better. he understands the value of allies. he understands the value of a multilateral approach. my criticism of the biden administration is they don't appreciate the value of hard power. vladimir putin is giving us a tough lesson in the value of hard power.
9:59 am
the biden administration pressed a defense budget that would not even keep up with inflation at a time when iran and russia are worse than they were in 2018. a defense budget that does not keep up with inflation while we are already at pre-world war ii lowe's? i think that is unwise. i can criticize both administrations. host: let's get a couple more calls. james in santa fe, new mexico. democrat line. caller: thank you for taking my call. we are dumping millions of dollars into protecting democracy in ukraine from russian invasion and yet our own country is under attack by its own people, supported by most republicans. why do we have to be the defender of democracy all of the world when our own democracy is so fragile and under attack and
10:00 am
that it is ready to crack? guest: i think that is an excellent question. i don't think we have a choice. we have to do both. we are not going to be strong abroad if we are not strong at home. we have to maintain our constitutional democratic republic here and our respect for the rule of law. it is also in our interests to that abroad where we can. europe produced two world wars in 30 years which forced the u.s. to intervene and hundreds of thousands of americans died. our most important trading it is also in our-- guest: it is also in our interest to do that abroad. training partners are in europe and we have an important alliance there. to make that tangible for some of your listeners, if we see
10:01 am
another invasion of ukraine, you're going to see a massive spike in energy prices at the pump. if you do not give a darn about the national security interests i am talking about, just and bite. if this invasion happens, you are at least going to be paying for it at the pump. i see self interest at work here and that all means to me we should work with our allies to do all we can to deter. host: you are the senate advisor to the armed force committee. when they return, supposed to get briefing from the white house on what is going on their. what sort of guidance do those members need? particularly in the armed forces. in what is happening in russia and ukraine. guest: i advised three different members of that committee over the years. i would recommend that members
10:02 am
of both parties get with the biden administration and really ask what more can we do to help ukraine in the next weeks. ? transfer american provided weapons from their arsenal to ukraine. shoulder launched missiles to shoot at the aircraft and other things that russia would employ. i would be interested to know what more we can do along those lines. can those be expedited? to transfer them you have to get them to ukraine and trained them on them and move them forward. biden is saying we can see an attack in late february, there is not a lot of time to waste. coastal defense missiles, drones, what more can we provide ukraine? not to threaten russia but to
10:03 am
help defend itself against that. host: we appreciate the update from you this morning. thank you for being here. that is all for this morning's program. we are here every day and we hope you are here too. back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. next on c-span, we will hear from the national, brett mcgurk talking about the foreign middle east policy. i will take you there live, next. >> we have been there a year. it is difficult to answer that.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on