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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 4, 2009 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT

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in my state the last time i think we had the unemployment rate, it was 4.8%. i expect it will be higher than that as the recession continues to have its problems. but, that is significantly below where it is in many other states and that underscores the fact that while there are national unemployment rates, they vary dramatically from one region of the country to the other. the recovery is uneven. there are some parts of the country where housing prices have stabilized and indeed some were there actually rising. remember, this whole thing was caused by the bursting of the housing bubble so that housing starts to get fixed, that is the most important single thing that can be done to get the recession fix. there are other parts of the country where the housing prices still are dropping and frankly need to drop before you get
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stability, so we will look at the national numbers with interests but the solution to the problem will come from the economy and the actual creation of employment activity region by region. >> would you support doing something like the government for aig? >> what's that? [inaudible] >> i supported the first round of t.a.r.p. because it was to prevent an international meltdown of the financial system and i believe it did. and i believe it was justified. i have voted against every other distribution because i disagree with the way they are being managed and maybe good intentions, but i am not at all sure they are going to be as successful as their supporters said they would be. >> and the last questions? >> yeah i was going to have the
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same question. >> gm is of course of the kelly a stock company. there is other equity and debt. i don't think that is the situation with aig. i think obviously we would have to look at it to see but i don't think that is the situation. >> i have splitted thanks for my amendment. the taxpayers own 60% of the new gm. it will own 8% of chrysler. that is very straightforward, a very simple. we could distribute that to the taxpayers within a matter once. the bank stocks and warrants that we may own could be more complicated and i was not willing to include that as part of this but i am setting that. >> i'm sorry, i misunderstood your question. i agree with his answer. >> thank you. >>c-span, created in 1979 by the
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cable television industry. but, with no commercials, how is c-span funded? >> federal funding for c-span? >> from donors and stuff like that? >> donations. >> publicly. >> i think there's some congressional appropriation. >> from the cable providers. >> that's right, america's cable companies have been providing c-span programming for 30 years commercial free as a public service. >> supreme court nominee judge sonia sotomayor was on capitol hill thursday for a third day of courtesy calls on senators. this is ten minutes. >> thanks votes. that will do it. >> would you blame the other senators if they sort of-- and treated this confirmation. [inaudible] >> i told judge sotomayor,
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unfortunately that what the nominations process has become but i pledget heard that we would break that cycle, which i think it's a vicious cycle of mistreatment of nominees, but they think, you know, people tend to have short memories around here and it wasn't that long ago when mckeel estrada was filibustered seven different times and denied their opportunity for a number down vote. judd sotomayor thank goodness will not be denied that opportunity and i think that is the right way to go. >> senator cornyn's-- in awe in. [inaudible] are you going to press him and others to back off of that? >> i think everybody brings their own individual views to the table and certainly we will be talking about that as members of the judiciary committee, but my own view is that we ought to
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come with an open mind and be, and do their research, do their reading of 17 years of judicial opinions, and speeches and the like and to then be able to ask the nominee about them. i think it is really, i don't think it is wise for myself to be making decisions before the opportunity to ask her questions at a hearing. >> can you tell us about the questionnaire that is coming out shortly? >> i just read the my blackberry that apparently she had turned it in but i have-nots in the answers to a. certainly it is a very conference of questionnaire so we will be going over that carefully. it may give rise to questions we will have to ask the hearing. of course as you know there's also a throw at the that background investigation and has to take place. the american bar association ordinarily does an investigation, talking to lincoln's and colleagues and the like and rendering an opinion on the qualifications of the nominee. i did tell judge sotomayor of
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the conversation i had with president obama was kind enough to call me a couple of weeks ago and i told them that we would treat this nominee fairly and the recognize his prerogative to choose somebody of his own choosing, but i said mr. president, with all respect i hope you can convince the democratic leaders and the senate not to try to jam this through based on some artificial timetable. that will make this on necessarily contentious and i think will not, not give the nominee nor show respect for senators in their obligations under the constitution. >> so you are pleased with a time table? >> when would you like to see the confirmation hearings? >> i assume that hearings would be sometime in july. what i'm worried about is i'm also on the finance committee and senator baucus and senator reid have talked about getting a comprehensive health reform bill passed before we break in august so i think there's going to be a big collision potentially of things, and i think rather than
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do it in haste we ought to do it right and on both counts. >> you just said she would not be denied-- [inaudible] >> i think you know, i won't say, i will say there is in some resentment on the part of some republicans in the way the republican nominees have been treated in the past and i can't speak for them. my own view is that i hope that will not be necessary, but we won't know that until we get for their, further into the process. thank you all very much. >> so, how many meetings have you done today already? >> i have lost track. they have all been wonderful, but there is a lot of them. >> are you trying to meet with
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every member of the senate? >> i don't know what the schedule is right now. this is the first time where i don't control my own life. >> an unusual circumstance. i hear your question there has now been officially submitted to the judiciary committee in a record number of days. >> i was not aware of that. >> so, the white house put out  statement comparing how long it took for your questionnaire versus some of the previous nominees so apparently you have one that price. [laughter] >> thanks guys. >> thank you. >> i know the answer to that. i have a very good discussion, which the judge. we covered a wide range of issues. we spent considerable time
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talking about the comments in a speech that she gave, where she said that a wise latino women would make better decisions than white males. that was a comment that had troubled me, so i questioned her at length about it. the judge explain to me that she had intended it to be an aspirational comment comment that she speaks to young people very often, and tries to be a world model for them, that she enjoys teaching, and that she enjoys setting an example. she assured me that she ender stands when deciding cases, that she needs to put aside any personal experiences that might cover her decisions, and as she said, that the lot is the law. that she applies the law and the facts of the case to reach your
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decisions. i was pleased to hear that. i astor what decision of hers she thought i should read. she said the pappas decision and i am going to pull that decision to read as being indicative of her political-- her judicial philosophy. it was a very useful, link in depth discussion. we talked about respect for the role of law and precedents. we talked about which supreme court justice, living or dead, she most admired. i asked her a wide range of questions about her judicial philosophy, her approach to discrimination cases and it was going to be very helpful as i continued to review her record. >> senator, in that questionnaire she provided, there is another speech, the berkley speech in which she also said it was latino woman might be expected to reach a better
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conclusion in a case then the white man. ginn no, is this a pattern? does that raise more red flags for you? did she tell you this was an isolated thing? >> she told me that she had used the phrase before but that she would not be using it again in the future, which did not surprise me. she is clearly a very bright individual, who learns from our past mistakes. >> will you support her? >> i have not made a decision. this discussion today was very helpful to me, but i have always found that it is wise to wait until the judiciary committee concludes its hearings, because there can be additional information that is brought out. i also do wanted to wait for their redo you of decisions that she has issued to satisfy myself about her cautious respect for
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the law. >> you see her as as sort of a moderate, essentially moderate justice or conservative and how did she then in the spectrum from your initial conversation with her? >> until library fuhrer cases, it is difficult for me to make that assessment. she has told me that she had been described as being a centrist jurists, but she said that she wasn't quite sure what that term ends, and since i consider myself to be a centrist senator, i could tell her what that means, but in any event in all seriousness i think that i need to reduce some of, more of the decisions that she has issued. >> were there discussions-- [inaudible] >> i was somewhat frustrated that she felt constrained from discussing the new haven firefighters case. from my review of that case, i
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disagree with her decision and i think it was an unfair result. so, i had wanted to question her at some length about that decision, but she said, and it is a legitimate concern, that she feels prohibited from discussing that case while it is pending before the supreme court. so, i accept that answer but since that is one of her most controversial rulings, it was frustrating to not be able to discuss that. >> fu wizard favorite justice? >> her favorite justice was just as cordoza. should we went into a long discussion. i don't think i should speak for her on that. >> do you feel it has been put to bed even though she made the statement on several occasions? >> i am still uncomfortable that she made the statement, particularly as a sitting judge.
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i can understand her explanation that it was intended to be a statement to inspire the young people with whom she was talking. and that it did not reflect how she approaches cases before it, but that is why i want to read more of her cases, to reassure myself-- >> you can read judge sotomayor's questionnaire required to file federal judicial nominees by going on line to c-span.org and clicking on the feature links.
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>> now a hearing on hurricane preparedness with the head of fema and other officials. the latest forecast calls for 14 tropical storms in 2009, seven of which could become hurricanes. this is a little less than two hours. >> good afternoon. arza committee on disaster recovery will come to order. and let me welcome everyone that his joined us today for what i think it's a very important hearing and what is one of a series of hearings that will have happened or are happening today and will continue to happen as we strive to get our nation's response in the very best possible shape that we can
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four hurricanes and all disasters, and that is the subject of this hearing today. to see where we are and have the opportunity to have on our first panel the new fema administrator, who will be testifying today for the first time since his confirmation. welcome mr. fugate in major-general grass from missouri who will be testifying today as well. let me say that this hearing is focused on hurricane response, because we started hurricane season this week. but, we will be examining issues that affect not just the hurricane region, but all regions of the country in this hearing today. and we will be focusing on plants and processes that actually have applicability across the board for many different types of threats, be
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it hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.. the ranking member and i both represent states that have seen large portions of the hour states, major cities and very important rural areas devastated by a recent hurricanes. 2004, 2005 and 2008 were particularly hard years for cities and communities throughout the gulf coast from florida to texas. but the last century has been difficult for many, many states and i would like to put the first chart up. these are the numbers of hurricanes that have hit the, this particular region of the country which is the hurricane belt from 1955 to 2005. the blue line is hurricane
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katrina, which was the greatest among all the storms depicted there by a significant amount in terms of size of damage. and then hurricane rita, which ranks second the monks those storms in terms of damage. and i would like to show you the next graph, which is even more startling, are the storm since 1851 to the present. so, when we in the gulf coast talk about the threat, it is real, it is frightening, and it is important for this committee and all committees of this congress to continue to focus as best we can on the sure threat
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of hurricanes that they are getting more and more predictable. we know and can be better focused on where they are going to hit and when they are hitting, unlike earthquakes although our science is getting much better on earthquakes and fires as well, but we have gotten pretty good at predicting where the storms will hit. there is very little we can do i think immediately to stop them but we most certainly can prepare our people better for the threat that they are facing. it is important for us to understand our capacity to deal with these real end on going and in some people's minds ever strengthening threats, and that is what this committee will focus on and has focused on since the wake-up call of katrina, which will be four years august 29th.
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we want to make sure that we continue this lion's necessary to make more scientific base predictions and warnings for people so that they tomoka out of the way of these powerful storms. we want to make sure that there evacuation routes are clear and secure, and that the rules and regulations of, involving evacuation are clear to the millions of people that have to use them as well as to those of us organizing the evacuations. what will people be reinforced for and what they will be reimbursed for is of particular interest to me. immediately stabilizing water, food and medicine to all of the people that flee from storms like this is important and we haven't quite got net right yet. where do people that flee these storms, where do they live in the event that they can't go back to the house or the shelter or the apartments or the place, nursing homes, hospitals that
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the evacuated from? where do we shelter them and who pays for that and how long? and then what do we do to recover these communities when they are big cities, large metropolitan areas of multimillions of people, how do we help the small rural communities that don't get any attention from anybody once the wind and waves are gone. how do we help them to recover? and i would suggest that we have a lot of work to do. i would like to say a few words about the devastating hurricanes that struck texas and louisiana last year because the response to those demonstrated progress that has been made as well as demonstrated the requirement for significant improvement. the evacuations for gustav and ike were the largest in u.s. history. louisianans moved to a million people out of harm's way, including the elderly, the disabled and those without
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transport, nbs some people were left behind. texas kept residence at hamza wrote could be cleared for people on the coast to flee from mike without getting stuck in traffic as they did win a rita was approaching. communications and coordination between different levels of government was better. fema declared free landfall disasters in both states and search resources and to the areas before impact, and in most instances the federal levees held. however, in sufficient quantities of generators forced hospitals and baton rouge to evacuate patients. and sufficient supply of generators caused gas stations to shut down, which almost caused a panic in a major metropolitan area has four weeks people could not access any gasoline. when people can't access gasoline, they can get to work. it shows the economy down.
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people start getting laid off of work. even within a week or two of the storm, that could happen. we can afford the loss of jobs right now i might remind the people testifying today. local governments waited days for commodities like ice and water and tarps. the state of louisianans bus contractor failed. with the kiwis were forced thousands to take school buses without air-conditioning, which doesn't seem like much except it is 100 degrees out in your bus ride is ten ours are longer. it becomes the real issue for people who are sick or elderly or for small children to sit still on the bus is very hard particularly if they have to do so without bathrooms. in evacuees from texas and louisiana i arrived in shreeveport and, just to to give examples and i have watched these shelters myself that were wholly inadequate. there were no cots, there were
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no blankets, there were inadequate showers and people were forced to sleep on floors because the cotton towels did not arrive until 17 days after people arrived, so it was a very interesting couple of weeks for the mayors of those towns, which did their very level best to make a bad situation better. local levees in south louisiana failed again.. they feel that katrina, they feel that read it, they failed at gustav and ike and as the minister knows, because he is from florida, the people of south florida are very concerned about their water management issues and whether their tykeson levels-- levees will hold and that is the subject of another hearing. recovery as continue to be frustrating and a cumbersome process for individuals and local governments despite many improvements, which i will mention in a moment. i believe we are still relying mr. fugate, too much on trailers
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in order to jump-start recoveries and we are going to be pressing hard on new housing and shelter options from this committee. i will continue to say that providing these communities with $5 million in community loan assistance is probably not what charleston or savannah or miami or new orleans or atlanta or baton rouge or any number of communities. they can't do much with $5 million that is all the law allows them to borrow. so, administrator fugate, female will discuss the 2008 response and the agency's work on alerting warning systems, evacuation plans and from his perspective for a better situation as the 2009 season opens. major-general grass from u.s. northern command will outline the department defense's support
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mission for hurricane response, including aerial storm surveillance, are medevac, search and rescue, communications support, logistic support, reason hurricane response exercises and northcom's coordination with the state national guard. it is a lot but we are going to try to get that in and i will mention were very proud to have the general with us and he is from the missouri national guard which is of particular interest to senator mccaskill. then in our next panel we will have george foresman, former dhs official who was here today to talk about the private sector will because this committee chairmen, the chair and making member and member's recognize it is not just the federal government. it is state and local government. it is individuals. it is the private sector and the non-profit sector. we want to give them a voice. we also are happy to hear from
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frank. they have gone through a major transformation since katrina. were very interested in hearing about the fact that they have increased their volunteer base from 23,000 to 90,000 we think it is not only a bigger but a better red cross and we are excited about hearing it because i think americans look to the red cross to give them particular strength and comfort at times of disaster and that of course has been a key role of the red cross for many years. finally mrs. janet durden joins us on behalf of a committee in northeast louisiana which i am very proud. my husband's hometown and in katrina, they did a phenomenal job through their 211 as the office is dropped off of their ability in south louisiana, north louisiana picked up as i am sure the same thing happened in texas and in alabama and mississippi and florida is the
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storms come in, the northern part of the state picks up the great amount of help. we want to hear about the increased activity of the 211 operation, which is sort of the go-to the operation when people need help and assistance. they don't call 911, they call 211 and we want to help americans understand that. with that opening statement i would like ask mr. fugate-mag good to see a senator. i would like to ask mr. fugate, if you can let me ask senator burris, i know you are just coming in and welcome. do you want to make any brief opening statements or should we go right to the panel? thank you, thank you senator. we are happy to have craig fugate with us who is the new administrative from the muck, and man that i supported and keep my wholehearted support for and many members of the senate. you are

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