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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 16, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

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was spoken on the senate floor against her by those who thought it was open to hold her up for a disgraceful time. and there are more firsts. when thurgood marshall was homage to the second circuit he faced stiff opposition, didn't make any difference in a graduated first in his class from howard university law school where that he had been lead counsel for the naacp legal defense fund. he had all kinds of hostile questions at his confirmation hearing and his nomination was stalled in the senate for some time. he was then appointed solicitor general of the united states. throughout his career as a supreme advocate he successfully argued in and what a remarkable 29 out of of 32 cases before the supreme court. most lawyers chained than they might actually have one case
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there. he won 29 out of 32. and when president johnson nominated him to be the first african-american supreme court justice, the president noted -- knew it was the right thing to do in the right time to do it. well, president obama has followed that tradition. it is long overdue and such is two our highest court. not only her experience as a private practice, she has served on a federal court to lager than any nominee to the supreme court in 100 years. i think the first lady said, not only do i believe it judge sotomayor is here to serve all americans as a supreme court justice, i move the country is more than ready to see this accomplished and respected woman to do just fact. this should be a time instead of the divisions we're seeing, the
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people are trying to block her, this is a time we should come together and say we all are wonderful example of diversity in america to see this nomination. [applause] thank you. it makes my skin crawl when i hear one of the leaders of the other party on his radio show compare her to the head of the ku klux klan. this is a shameless. this is wrong. this goes beyond rhetoric and i think about reading a back over history of justice marshall's confirmation hearing in the supreme court's, again he 129 add of 32 cases and the kind of questions embarrassment, are you prejudiced against the white people of the south? , on, give me a break. let's not go back to those kind of days. i would hope that the senate republicans would remember the
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proud history of the party of lincoln and the civil-rights act of 1960 and as a party that eventually voted unanimously for thurgood marshall to the united states supreme court, but justice marshall wasn't the only first to face adversity. when justice brandeis, when the size of the supreme court was nominated to the high court, he had to overcome severe anti-semitism of a significant opposition. the commentary at the time was questions about the jewish mind, how is operations are complicated by altruism. does that sound a little bit like an attack on abbott think? [laughter] like an attack on empathy. but the opposite of empathy is a difference, do we really want that in a justice? i think of the first catholic
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nominee had to, over the argument that as a catholic to be nominated by the pope, which revives years has nothing to do with this page, that was an argument to john kennedy face when he was running an in joke he told afterward that had they lost because they kept saying the public's going to move into the white house and run things, he said had we lost we only have the money to send a one word telegram to the pope -- unpacked. [laughter] but you know, i asked sonia sotomayor about her comments made it, and she said, of course, one's life experience has shaped the they are. i would hope your life experience shapes everyone in this room, but she went on to say, ultimately incompletely and those are her words -- ultimately and completely as a judge you follow the law. there is not one law for one race or another, not offer one
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race or one for rich or poor, there is only one law and ultimately and completely the judge has to follow the law of the matter with his or her upbringing might be. that is the kind of impartial judges that we want. that is respect for the rule of law, that is also the kind of judge sonia sotomayor has been. and i think that when she is elevated to the nation's highest court, she will live up to justice thurgood marshall's description of the work of judge. he said in our day to day work we must continue to realize we are dealing with individuals, not statistics. and i think those are important words because we did have, the court could have a fundamental impact on people's lives. let me tell you about one case the lily ledbetter cases used to study this. five justices struck a severe
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blow to the rights of working families across the country. 40 years ago congress put in place a lot to outlaw discrimination in the workplace so that men and women will receive equal pay for equal work. now, what they did the supreme court did in, and active as scourge, the court native people talking about judicial modesty and judicial restraint during their confirmation hearing and say the accord that basically struck down equal pay for women and i was very proud to be standing with lilly ledbetter, standing right behind the president's obama and that you were there when you sign the lily ledbetter long as his first act and that is going to change us. you know, those who care about the constitution, we should ask
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judge sotomayor after those conservative activists on the court now who have good legislation designed to protect americans from their jobs and voting, was meant to guarantee the access of americans to health care and education, was meant to protect the privacy of all americans from an overreaching government. when those laws are in place and conservatives on the court to strike those down, are they not been the same kind of activists they tell us to avoid? so it took the supreme court that understood the real world to take this seemingly their sounding doctrine of separate but equal. what is sound more fair? but in reality, of course, it was a straitjacket, it was offensive to the constitution, it allows segregation, and all americans have come to respect when the supreme court did in
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brown vs. board of education to end this racial discrimination by just two years ago in the seattle school desegregation court in nearly divided supreme court to undercut that landmark decision. something i thought i would never see in my lifetime. chief justice roberts opinion failed to recognize the struggle for equality that persisted long after brown vs. board of education. segregation did not end with the case of brown vs. board of education. did may have ended deterrent but did not end to facto so we should always fight back and justice stevens wrote in a dissent and, please, read back to in the case that the chief justice's opinion twisted brown vs. board and a cruelly ironic
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way. just as prioress descend criticized the justice, chief justice opinion as applying an overly theoretical case approaching the case law. and he said, why is not an exercise in a mathematical logic. if it was we would not need judges, we could do it with computers and i don't ever want to see that day. [applause] chief justice warren, a man who had a real-life experience took two and half years to put through brown vs. board of education but he made sure it was going to be a unanimous decision so in a deeply divided united states of america could accept this in contrast the roberts court and is divided desegregation decision to years ago ignored the real world experience of millions of americans and said it would depart from the hallowed presidents of the court. and today is the supreme court
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will issue one of its most important decisions in years, the constitutionality of the authorized the voting rights act. the voting rights act provision in section five is a time-honored way to prevent discrimination. the court has always upheld the constitutionality of section five. i've got to tell you, i listened to that argument in the supreme court and i am very worried about it. you know, there are students taught that there is no more explicit grand power to congress than that of the 15th amendment to allow us to protect the right to vote. passage of the voting rights act was the result of an historic struggle for civil rights. your dad remembers that. in when it reached a crucial post -- a crucial point in 1965i was 15 years old and had that
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time, i was 25 years old -- i am sorry brit [laughter] i wish i was 15. but on the edmonds pad is a bridge at summit alabama state troopers brutally attacked john lewis and his fellow civil rights marchers credit if you ever have a chance to meet john lewis you are meeting the hero. the evidence of that day now done as bloody sunday were captured in newspaper photos, on television, and prove to be a catalyst. america woke up to the ugly face of segregation and congress passed the voting rights act within months so the constitution guarantees equal access to the political process regardless of race but not be undermined by discriminatory practices. now, there was a big battle to get that through but three years ago republicans and democrats in the senate and house of representatives came together. we reauthorize this.
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we did this after 20 years in the house and the senate. we had an overwhelming vote, president george w. bush had a major signing ceremony on it to, and now we have to worry whether the supreme court is going to undermine that. but i said to john lewis when we were walking out after that signing, i said, john, isn't it wonderful that we have kept this and he said, you know, patrick, it is wonderful not just for african-americans, it is wonderful for poor whites, it is wonderful for hispanics, it is wonderful for all those people that the power structure might want to keep from voting. so when we consider judge sotomayor nomination this summer, i think what two enormous impact justices have on our freedoms and values. and whether you are from the
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south bronx by the south side of chicago or a south bronx, the american dream inspires all of us. her life story is a the american dream and instead of having this division in the senate we should deny all hundred senators because only 101 people given a voice in the appointment and the seating of a supreme court justice. first and foremost the president to make the nominations and 100 senators who have to sit in place of 300 million americans. we should come together. remember what their vermont marble over this entrance to the supreme court says chemical justice under law. we should get this nomination, we should confirm her, and we should guarantee equal justice under law. thank you very much. [applause] >> back live to the u.s. senate
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where a debate continues in a bill that promotes u.s. tourism abroad. the legislation creates a non-profit corporation to attract foreign tourists while providing them information about entry requirements. we could see votes this afternoon with a final passage vote possible before the end of the break. live coverage of the senate beginning shortly. a reminder that the confirmation hearing for president obama's nominee to head the sec will begin in about 50 minutes from now at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span 3, the nominee serve as a technology adviser to the obama presidential campaign and was also a chief counsel to the fcc chairman hundt during the clinton administration. that hearing held before the senate commerce committee begins live again and to 30:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. here on c-span2 we are ready for the senate's live seven coverage zero is here on c-span 2.
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mr. dorgan: just prior to lunch we had a vote on a cloture petition. the vote was 90-3. it was not some significant piece of public policy that will shake the earth. it was a vote on the question of whether we could actually proceed to something called "the travel promotion act." for those that don't know how
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the senate works, you have to have a motion to proceed. norm lail, a motion to proceed on a bill like that would be done by unanimous consent and take just a nanosecond, no problem. a motion to proceed approved, proceed then to the bill, have a debate on the bill, and en this vote on the bill. but this is something called the travel promotion act, which i'll describe. it's bipartisan. i have authored it along with senator john ensign, a republican from nevada. the two of us, along with many, many other cosponsors -- republicans and democrats in the senate -- have believed this is an important piece of legislation for the u.s. senate and for the congress to pass. despite that, we had to have a vote this morning on the motion to proceed. shall we proceed to this? a cloture petition had to be filed, it took two days to ripen. now we had a vote, it was 90-36789 the answer was "yes" by
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90-3. now we have 30 hours postcloture that we have to wait until we can then have another vote on the cloture -- whether we get to the bill and then have another cleche petition to fight cloture. it is the most unbelievable byzantine example of how this place has just sort of fallen off the rails, requiring cloture petitions to be filed on things that then get a 90-3 vote and then a requirement that we have to spend the next 30 hours waiting until we can actually get to the bill. unbelievable. but it's an example of what has happened here, and the minority is requiring this of every single piece of legislation. it is a way to require the senate to walk through wet cement and just make almost no progress at all, and i guess when you get nothing done and then be able to boast that nothing has happened. maybe some people feel good t doesn't make me feel very good. but having complained about this now, let me at least describe what this bill is and we will
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get to the bill this week. it'll take a difficult route to get there. judging by the 90-3 vote, i assume ultimately when the united states senate passes this legislation, we'll have very strong support because it is a bipartisan piece of legislation. i'm told that senator ensign has had to leave as a result of a family matter today, and i think senator martinez will be coming to the floor, who's also a cosponsor of this legislation, and i appreciate very much working with senator ensign and senator martinez on the one hans side, so many others as well. let me describe what this issue is. the fact is, there's an effort to attract international tourism around this world. why is that the case? because international tourists -- that is, people that visit other countries -- spend a lot of money and create a lot of jobs. they sport airlines, support hotels, support recreation
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facilities and theme parks. they -- and, plus, they have a chance to understand a little about that country before we go back home. so many countries around the world are very actively engaged in saying come to our country. they have very aggressive, very sophisticated promotion campaigns saying, come to our country. we don't. but they do. here's an example of india. "one special reason to visit india in 2009. any time is a good time to visit the land of taj. but there's no time like that. incredible india." well, india is very interested, very promotional saying, come to india. but it's not just india. here's ireland. a big promotional campaign, "go where ireland takes you." a beautiful photograph of the majesty of ireland. an example of australia. "looking for an experience to
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remember. arrived, departed with an adventure we'll never forget. go find yourself in australia." and all over the world we have exaifncampaigns now, very aggree campaigns saying, come to italy, vacation in italy. come to great britain. come to spain. see the wonders of spain. now why are -- why are countries doing that? well, it's interesting. the average international traveler spends about $4,500 on an overseas trip. when they go to a country, they spend money. and it creates jobs. and so countries are aware of that, and they're very active in trying to encourage travelers to come to their country. not so with our country so much since 9/11/2001. in fact it's interesting that in 2008 we had 633,000 fewer people
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come to this country from overseas than we had in 2000. let me say that again. in 2008, 633,000 fewer people from overseas came to visit our country than came in the year 2000. in fact, here's an example of what's happening around the world. visitors to the united states -- this is 2000-2008 -- a 3% decrease. visitors to other countries in international travel, a 40% increase. the fact is, we're losing ground and losing share of the international travelers, tourism dollars and the ability also to explain to them a bit by having them see this country, explain to them what america is all about. now, why is that happening? well, headlines like this
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post-9/11/2001. we're very concerned about people coming into this country an tightened the visa requirements so there were very long lines and waits. here are some of the headlines. "the sydney morning herald." coming to america isn't easy." the guardian. "america: more hassle than it's worth?" the sunday times in london be, "travel to america? no thanks." look, the fact is, we want to change that. this is legislation is bipartisan. a group of us, republicans and democrats, who want to great jobs in this country and want to attract international tourism to this country, want to change this perception that somehow international travelers aren't welcome here. so, here's what we believe. we believe that to have people come to this country is to see the wonders of this great country. it's the only one like it on the face of this planet.
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it is an extraordinarily place. therthere is so much to see ando much to do. we've done polling and so on. when international travel terse leave this country, they have an unbelievably positive impression of the united states of america. that's very important. at a time when there's been so much discussion about our country going it alone and doing this or that, we've suffered some in international areas, but the fact is, inviting international tourism to our country is job-creating, it produces a boost in our economy, but it also allows people to come here and understand what this country is about and inevitably leave with a great impression of this country. now here's what we do with this piece of legislation. we set up a nationally coordinated travel promotion program. and i might say, somebody says, well, you're going to set something gnaw up. the congressional budget office has a score for this. they have -- they have to decide what everything costs or what the consequences of everything
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will be. this is one of the few pieces of legislation that we've brought to the floor of the senate that the congressional budget office estimates would actually reduce the budget deficit by half a trillion dollars over the next ten years. let me say that again. this is one of the few pieces of legislation that you're going to get a chance to vote on that reduces the federal budget deficit by $425 million in the next 10 years. how does it do that? the fact is, it creates a private-public partnership. and it establishes a cooperation for travel promotion, which will be an independent, nonprofit corporation governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed by the secretary of commerce. it also creates an office of travel promotion in the department of commerce to develop programs to increase the number of international visitors to our country. it sets up a travel promotion fund and that's financed by a
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private-public matching program and a federal contribution will be financed by a $10 fee paid by foreign travelers from visa waiver countries and it'll be collected in the electronic system for travel authorizations, which already exists. and met me just make the point that -- and let me just make the point that many, many other countries do exactly this and it doesn't retard in any way international travel. australia charges a $37 departure fee. guatemala, $30. thailand, a $14 departure fee. the list goes on. we're suggesting a very modest $10 fee for international travelers from the visa waiver countries, and that will finance this. mr. president, this piece of legislation that we've had now to file a cloture petition to -- on the motion to proceed to the issue and for which there was a 90-3 vote, an affirmative vote, here's some of the discussion
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about our legislation. i introduced this in the last session of the congress. we had over 50 cosponsors, republicans and democrats. we've reintroduced it now with wide, bipartisan cosponsorship. the "detroit free press" says "doesn't it make sense to encourage at no cost to the taxpayers foreign visitors to come here and leave us some money? there's no good reason not to pass this bill." the dallas morning news says, "the travel promotion act is a sensible first step toward putting the welcome mat back on america's doorstep." the or l.a.n. do sentinel says "our position charging international travelers $10 to pay for the promotion makes sense." "the los angeles times," "considering that the u.s. spends hundreds of millions of dollars on public diplomacy with dubious results and nearly nothing on promoting tourism, it might do well to invest a little money in wooing travelers." and the list going on of newspapers that have endorsed
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the legislation. this has been a pretty difficult decade for our country in many, many ways. our country was attacked on 9/11/2001. several thousand innocent americans were killed by terrorists. following that, we suffered a recession, almost immediately. then a war in afghanistan and then a long, protracted war in iraq that cost an enormous amount of money, was scroafersial all around the -- was very controversial all around the world and it has been a very, very difficult decade as i indicated when i started, eight years later, we have so many fewer visitors coming to the united states to visit this country. i think during part of this decade, there was a notion by some that we weren't welcoming visitors to come to the united states. we didn't want them to come here very much. it wasn't true. but i think that was the sense of some. you want to come to the united
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states? go get in line. it is going it take you a long time to get a visa. why? because we're concerned. we're screening everybody. we're doing all these thifnlings the fact is, no one ever intended to decide that we weren't going to welcome people to come to this country. by far, the most effective way to describe to the world what america is about and the unbelievable values that exist here and the openness and the wonders of this great democracy, by far the best way to do that is to say to people from around the world, come here, vacation here, you're welcome here, we want you here, to experience and visit america and some of the best attractions and some of the best people and be a part of what we are. and then go home and remember what the united states of america is about. and so that's what we're trying to do. it's been too long, but finally we are now putting a piece of legislation together that says, we're not willing to go through another eight or ten years like
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the last eight or ten years where our share of international tourism is dramatically decreased. we want the next eight or ten years to show a substantial increase in people from around the world coming to this country to visit america. and the fact is, it will create substantial amounts of jobs. and that's important. i mean, we're in a financial -- as you know, we ran into a financial ditch, have an economic crisis of sorts. the number of unemployed americans rises every month, and we're hoping that turns around soon. but, in the meantime, this is something constructive and positive and concrete we can do to try to boost this economy. and it doesn't even cost money. i mean, this will -- this will save almost half a trillion dollars in the next ten years by reducing the federal deficit. so i -- again, i wish my -- some of my colleagues were not deciding to see if we could just run everybodyhr


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