tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 21, 2010 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
we're seeing reports that bp could make $20 billion in the first quarter. guest: the amount going into developing will take -- will be taking care of by the market. they will still make a lot of money. if oil is $100 a barrel, a lot of alternatives become viable. then you have competition in the market. . tition when it comes to our cars. if there is a major refinery down at the wrong time, if there is a skirmish in saudi arabia, it is not a good security position to be in. hopefully others will get into the market. host: go bk to what you said about their pricing. what did you mean?
caller: with oil as volatile as it is, you can ask anyone at a moment in time if they know the price of gasoline in that week. very few people really follow the price of oil. in the last 18 months, two years, gasoline has gone from $30 per barrel to $140 per barrel, back down to $70 per barrel, and when you have a volatile market like that it is very difficult for alternatives in the market. this market, going up and down like a yo-yo, they are all invested. it is very difficult to be a biofuel company right now. very difcult to look at hydrogen development.
where do ur investors go? they leave. host: so, the investors are the oil and gas companies in the alternative? guest: know, the investors are the venture capital. pennies to the dollar, they are not completely missing in action, but they are not really invested. the alternative is oil in the market. if they want to end up getting alternatives along the way, i am sure they have the deep pockets to do it. they should not be blocking alternatives. host: how are they blocking alternatives?
guest: no other alternative can weather the storm of the market. it is not something america wants to deal with. when the price goes up we get innovative. we have a generation from the 1970's of inefficient cars and over consumptn, which is not a great position for americans to be in. i think if we export the money to other countries, if we could actually put a price of oil and said it more favorably, there could be an aernative. host: how could you do that? i thought you said that opec was in charge of this. we are talking about oil stands
, the rocky mountains. these are the oils that have come on line in the next decade or two. the price is going to migrate. can we do it early so that all of the alternatives can compete? host: looking at your earlier title, what do you do now? caller: i started out my career with my -- guest: i started out my career after undergrad. at the transportation and energy policy, am much more interested in the signals to create what we have.
so, i ended up wanting to work in the broader markets, getting out in frontf the issue rather than tinkering in the back room. host: what did you do for chevron? guest: ironically i was developing hydrogen in a laboratory. we were in college in a chemical engineering laboratory. the price of oil plummeted. this is what had been happening over the last 25 years. everything dried up. everything having to do with alternative energy went away. it was fascinating. i permitted offshore oil develoent, spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get the environment to do the right thing.
it is very difficult operate out there. there are a lot of unknowns in terms of the active nature of storms and hurricanes. host: what is the permitting process like for deep water drilling? guest: this was back in the 1980's, it was a completely different industry back and. biologists, archaeologists. and turkey vultures. santa barbara did not want offshore oil development. host: franklin, you are on the air with deborah gordon.
. white is it not going out to the masses? we are trying to put it out directly to consumers rather than through existing of utility companies. guest: this is a very good question. people often mixup will and alternatives. our electric utility system has more alternatives being brought into it slowly over time. natural gas is cleaner for utilities, but there is also solar and wind. it is complicated because you end up having to change. biofuels or one of the earlier alternative investments. if you talk about electric vehicles, they have to change out the infrastructure as well.
i think that is why it has taken so long to get changes. it is very institutional, changing out the automakers, burning in alternative energy producers. it is complicated. utilities are different because you still have the plug in the wall. we do not have to change the consumers to get alternatives into that system. we will not have to worry about all of that. he will just plug in your car. caller: you just commented on electric cars. i was watching a video on youtube about a car in france that operated on air pressure alone. maybe a hybrid car with air pressure to charges with an electrical battery to run it. he would not have to plug in. you could take that technology
and apply it to your home. you could charge of the battery itself. i think it is more political. it is all about jobs. grid, no one would have a job. i think that is one of the reasons this stuff gets held back. guest: jobs are certainly important. the auto industry has lost a tremendous number of jobs. these are massive industries. it is difficult to change. it is easier to go off the grid in terms of your home and then it your car. -- then it is with your car. people want to not be limited by geography. i wrote a book called the "two billion cars." india and other countries are growing by leaps and bounds.
it will be difficult to think about these other huge nations like russia and brazil being off the grid which comes to transportation. i think we can become much cleaner. i am not into conspiracy theories. it is just difficult. we have been on this system for over 100 years. host: gary is on the democratic line. caller: i am from west virginia. natural gas and coal are huge year. when the miners died, i watched president obama and vice president biden talk about electricity running our homes based on coal consumption. then i see the administration wanting to cut it out. that does not make sense. it is kind of an irony.
i watch the stock market and oil prices daily out of curiosity more than anything else. one day, it will go up two dollars. one week, it may become a total of $5. i never see prices at the pump down more than a few pennies in a week. if it went up $2 today, the prices would go up a nickel tomorrow. that has always baffled me how that works. guest: there is a relationship between oil prices and the price at the pump. the problem is so evident with what is happening in the gulf right now. the price of gasoline and oil have not changed. the oil market is very dysfunctional. i think it is the reason new policy is needed. we do not control the price of oil at all. the price of oil is barely controlled by opec any longer.
it is controlled by a handful of nations producing most of the oil, 70% of the world's oil. we're talking about saudi arabia, nigeria, venezuela. there is a futures market in oil. they are hedging bets. it is a very dysfunctional, difficult market. the oil and the gulf was not going to be brought on line -- this was just exploration. this was not production. . the accident in the gulf was in the exploratory round. we're talking about five or 10 years coming on. that oil is so far from the market that it does not relate to the price of what oil is now. the oil we are using now was produced years ago.
the market in terms of time and control is very dysfunctional. how the host: other countries set the price of oil? -- how do other countries set the price of oil? people bet that the price will be a certain price and other people bet against that in the commodities debate that is happening over the financial regulations bill. how do other countries set the price? guest: some countries have different policies that change the price. the biggest thing that country's do is taxing the refined product. gasoline taxes in europe transformed the market totally. it is really interesting that there is no -- the two countries -- companies that
invested in those things were shell and bp. that is where it -- the gas and diesel prices are much higher in europe because of the gas taxes. china does not tax oil or gasoline at all. they are trying to fuel their economy on that. there are a lot of extremes in the world. the greatest thing we could do+ is bring up the price of gasoline and turn on all of these alternatives to become an exporter. host: are you saying we should be exploring for natural gas in the west virginia area? guest: we should not be over consuming our own. this is precious. it comes at great cost to develop it.
there are environmental damages. these are risky ventures. we should have alternatives for ourselves. if we want to use the expensive energy, we should use it for profit for ourselves. host: the next phone call is from cambridge, new york, on the independence blind -- independents'line. caller: there is one issue of want to bring to light. the commodity deal in the enron trading, the speculators were dealing in paper. i think we should return to the day when speculators gamble on commodities, if they lose, they should take delivery of the product. let them sell the product. i think there would be much
less volatility in the commodities market. oil would return to a more affordable value. we would also start building your refineries. -- we would also start building new refineries. the in one trading house to go. that is my point. -- the enron trading has to go. that is my point. guest: if we're going to continuously develop these dangerous and deep wells, we can do that. the energy will be at home. we can take ownership of that. this oil that we have been so glad to burn at ridiculous rates when you think about cars and suv's, we have been taking it from other countries and a great cost to ourselves.
i think the market could get a lot more rational. my great hope is that if there is a level playing field, we can choose the best alternatives for ourself instead of having to be hostage to other countries for the oil. >> shhost: board guest is a consultant who specializes in environmental policy. she was a former chemical and regulatory engineer for chevron. she wrote a piece in the "washington post." brenda on the republican line, if you are next. caller: could you list some of the other things we used around our of households that are made from petroleum? guest: that is an excellent question. the hope is when you proouce
something, you will use every bit of it. that is the goal of the production process. everything in our lives right now is made from petroleum. that does not mean that we could not devise new ways. plastic, grease and oil that lubricate, all of the systems we use are based on oil. there are not really moving points -- parts with electricity. if you want more electric cars, a lot of the oil used to lubricate the cars -- a lot of that would end up not being needed. ethanol is a good example. we had agricultural policies to produce corn. the corn went to fuel. we now use corn in all parts of our diet.
it is in everything, edible and non-edible. when you have a product and do not want to waste it, people are innovative. we use oil for a lot of things. host: where should the private sector or the government invest in alternative energy? guest: it is very difficult to pick a winner. corn ethanol was a terrible idea. we invested a tremendous amount of money in transforming farms and in it up with a fuel it took more energy to make them we were getting out of it. you want to bring the price up to a point where the innovation and stability is there.
you can then let competitioo and the market work. the market has not worked in transportation for so long. i think government needs to do research. that is a huge factor. then i think the government can do pricing poliiy. we have not had that. that is the most fundamental thing. they should not tinker too much. it is more about setting the big goal in a macro way and in doing the real research that is difficult for companies to do. caller: good morning. this is an excellent talk. i work in solar and distributive generation products -- projects in hawaii and other places. there's a lot to talk about for sure. in hawaii, there are issues with
the technical parts and economics. the state is completely reliant on oil, like 99%. at one point, it was getting a lot of energy from burnt sugar cane waste. all of that got pushed away because of the cost of oil. a lot of people do not believe that solar capacity can make a difference in the overall energy portfolio of the united states. guest: a thing key is exactly right. it is all about the price of oil. one is $35 a barrel, it is hard to be economically competitive against it. that is where we were for a long time. if the price of oil were higher, we could use a range of alternatives, it definitely including solar.
host: solar is one area where critics say that you are picking a winner and giving it tax subsidies with little results. >will has had subsidies for centuries. there are large investments in oil. it would be nice to think that we could level the playing field. but there are investments that you have to keep supporting. i think the price of oil will have everything to do with the alternatives. i think people will get much more innovative. in the summer of 2000, we had a different range of options. it was not an easy time, but it was a creative time. that brings a lot of new excitement and integration into the marketplace. host: the next call is from washington on the independents' line.
caller: has there been any study of non-nuclear fusion? i was watching a video recently on a certain website about developing a reactor to be built for less than the annual electricity bill for some companies. has there been any thought to switching over to that? guest: it is interesting to remember that when we talk about oil, we're not talking about today. the more we use nuclear, wind, gas, the more we do for the utility sector. until week transition our transportation fleets to electricity, none of that matters. it is a uge priority to transition.
we have many alternatives on the horizon for utilities. utilities can be distributed and concentrated. we have the infrastructure to transmit that much more easily than we can shale energy from colorado. we would need for heavy oil. i think we need to invest in transportation. people get confused about that. this is startling. when it comes to transportation, 97% of our mobility is oil-based. we do not have anything else in our economy that is the holding to one thing. alternatives will only happen if we start creating hybrid and
electric vehicles. it is extremely necessary. host: we're talking about why we cannot get past petroleum. "the new york times" has dedicated about four pages of its newspaper to taking a look at the blowout preventer and what went wrong. you can see the picture of that right here. great falls, va., fred is on the line. caller: 80 c-span for making life better for everybody. -- thank you c-span for making life better for everybody. in europe, gas stations are different. this is a big country with
different cultures and economies. when we talk about alternative energy, we have to figure out all the gas stations, employees, technicians. they will have to change their jobs. the real estate for the gas station would need to be changed. it would be like if one day we decided not to eat hamburgers. what would be the alternative? we need to think about those points. they kill again. gu-- thank you again. guest: the transition will have to take 20 or 30 years. the intra- structure is based on oil. you have the donkey following the ^. at some point, if you have to
make a change. you can keep falling something forever. we've been doing that with oil for over a century. the real thing is when there is an energy crisis. we have that in the 1970's when there were lines at the pump and there was no oil. things were disrupted. the transition will take 25 years, given the right signals and competition, i do not see that as economically advantageous. right now, the oil we are burning is not ours. other people are giving it to us. host: we have an update on the bp oil spill. they have reached the halfway point on one of the relief wells meant to stop the gusher. mary is on the democratic line. caller: i do not believe we will be able to make the transition.
in 2000, honda sold the car that got 70 miles per gallon. i think maybe four people bought them carried the stock selling them here in the nine it states in 2010. i look around at the giant vehicles with one person in them commuting to work. i do not think it is going to happen. i think we are too short- sighted. deborah? guest: the best thing we have is choice. we can each do what we want to do. and giv the right pricing, the right signals which is information for consumers, some people choose to spend more of their income doing something that maybe, you know, more wasteful, and some people will save. but i do think the point about bringing new cars online, at cheap prices of oil, you're right, there's no way. we're not going to get new cars that are different from anything we had when oil is $35, $50, $60
a barrel. but we will see if it were sustained and -- a lot of these mechanics are brought to market. maybe you could argue for the right or the wrong reasons, but these vehicles are coming to market. the volts, the nissan leaf. they'll have a much better chance of surviving if the price of oil is not cheaper than what really it should be. host: massachusetts, independent line. caller: yeah, listen. why are we approaching this oil from - [inaudible] host: why are we approaching in the wrong way? caller: yes. host: what do you mean by that? caller: we're letting people drill off our oceans. without any justification, by the way. we're paying for their mistakes. why? guest: you know, i couldn't agree more. if the proper regulation was in place to do this, and if we had
a bett sense that the oil companies really understand the challenges, the material challenges -- i mean, technically has dentified oil very deep, but we don't have great materials tohandle at oil. we're talking maybe on the deeper route two miles down to the ocean floor, another seven miles down below the ocean floor with 20,000 pounds of pressure below and th thousands of pressure above. you've got temperatures diametrically opposed, very hot oil, very cold ocean. it's crazy conditions. i think it's exactly right. i think that this is a very dangerous experiment. witness b.p. it's a very dangerous experiment we're doing. and those prices aren't reflected in what we're paying when we go to the pump today. so i think that we are ltting something happen that f we were to transform the economics of it, hen we might still be doing his. b.p., she will, chevron might
still be going there because that's what they do. that's what the article is about. but then we would have other alternatives also happening. and then the american public would have to decide do they want this or do they want that? and otherwise we don't have, again, any choice. host: austin, texas. mike on the republican line. caller: good morning, ladies. two quick questions. first question is, hre in austin now you can get gas as low as $2.43 a gallon at some service stations. but the same brand name service station on a different part of town is selling it for $2.69 a gallon. and, you know, it's all over the place like that. i can understand if one different brand service station or something was selling the fuel at this same price at a -- at different pries. but the same brands selling it for such a difference in price? second question is, i really
resent the fact tat exxon doesn't pay any taxes where i make only $30,000 a year and i've been paying taxes for the last 20 years that i've been working. so could you explain to me why they don't have to pay taxes and i do? i'll hang up and listen. thank you. guest: i don't really know about the tax situation. i'm sorry. i'm sure there are these tremendous costs. we have thecompanies down in the gulf now, s an example, going farther offshore. and those exploratory costs are probably all write-offs for the company. exploration, you know, a questionable part. they all do it, but there are no guarantees. i read -- the transition drilling rig that had exploded -- and there are about 26 of them in the world. everybody wants these drilling rigs now. countries want these drilling rigs to drill off shore, bazil, africa. going for half a million a day.
we're talking tremendous amounts of money in the oil industry. and those are all write-offs. so i don't know -- you know, they're the cost of doing business. it's a really good point that there's so much in terms of cents, a quarter here, nickel there, 30 cents there. there's so much volatility in the market that i really don't understand why americans have seized on this cheap oil and the price varies so much from place to place, ev in a town. there's no stability in the price of oil or the price of gasoline. and we're talking cents. but if there's, you know, a problem in the middle east, it could be, as we saw a couple of summers ago, dollars. host: so you don't understand why americans seize on it-to-it? guest: itjust matters so much. the caller observethat there are these variations. and they're somewhat annoyed at the market because it happens all the time from week to week, day to day, from parts of town, around the country. you know, if you fly somewhere
else, the caller from hawaii, it's much more expensive to buy gasoline in hawaii. it's interesting that it matters so much. but when you look at the amount of money it costs for foam refuel their car, maybe between an efficient or inefficient car between $500 and $1,000 a year, it's really one of the smallest costs in your household budget but it matters so much. host: plano, texas. pat, democratic line. caller: hello. i'm a frustrated -- i've worked my entire life on energy. i realize the good intent of your guest, but if america wants to get out of this mess, they're going to have to dispell myths. solar will never get us out of there. the sun's density, we can get no more than 20%. i build solar cells. they cost $1 to $2 a watt. electrical power to a car is $25 a kilowatt. you need a actor of 1,000. you will never get it. the gas price will never rise to
the point where solar cell will ever drive a car. and if we want to get off of this mess, the government has to get involved ala manhattan project and get involved with fundamental, revolutionary new physics approaches of which i'm doing one. companies won't do it. they don't have cntral researches anymore. my company texas instruments eliminated. you will not get venture capital to invest in a revolutionary idea. they simply won't do it. if we're going to get out of energy, we have to put the facts on the table. get people who understand the truly alternative energies and get off thi myth that wind, geo thermal and solar and grid wires are goin to get us out of this myth. host: pat what are some truly alternative energy sources? caller: well, that's the problem. there are seven renewables. and none of them could ever get you to the numbers you need like $1 a kilowatt. none. so the argument is and there were a number of reports by the basic engineering sciences. and there's a big argument a few
years ago, can science get thruss with an unknown alternative ala manhaan, if we work on it? or can we get there by just improving upon the existing renewables? the ultimate conclusion was we'll get there with these existing renewables. and it's not going to happen. true fizzists who understand energy -- physicists who understand energy know that you never will. so to me -- bills in congress were shot down to do a manhattan type of project. and find this. and there are physicists out there. i'm one and i know others who are truly working on it but we can't even get a hearing with the department of energy because there's a general belief, ah, we'll get there with solar and wind. good luck with that one. host: pat, do you have a suspicion of an area that may lead to an alternative energy? caller: heat. heat is not limited -- you want to turn heat directly into electricity. that's a revolutionary concept
in physics. with nonyo technology. that's where we're going to get there. now nano technology, which is a field i've always worked in at texas instruments. that's down where there's new laws of physics. they're unresolved. so one of the dangers is -- good news, bad news. we don't have good laws of physics down at condensed level at the nano level, nuclear level. we don't even have a nuclear model. but if you figure that out, god's got a secret for you of how to solve this energy thing and it's through nano technology. ultimately tt will win out. and the frustration of people like myself is you simply can't get hearings. you won't put out solicitations on some form that they don't know about. host: one more question for you. how much did texas instruments dedicate towards nano technology? caller: well, quite a bit until recent litch but they completely eliminated central research. this has gone over except for maybe an i.b.m. or whatever.
there's no silicon valley in america anymore. the large corporaons one likes to allude to and talk about the miracle, they don't have entral resources. they don't carry the overhead anymore so whe someone says let the private sector do it thre's no private sector left. so there's individuals like me starting up companies and deas. and i'm, frankly, going overseas to get money because i can't get it in america. we can't even et a hearing. host: where are you going overseas to get the money? caller: european nations. china is where some of my connections have gone. i'm trying not to go thre. europe has a much higher effort. that's where the new high -- in switzerland. i'm going specifically to switzerland. i think the issue is if america wants to win the nano technology war, and if we give into this and let the asians take over semiconductors which they're presently doing, and it will spill into energy, we are going
to regret the day. sowhat my frustration is, i believe the powers of our government -- i think they're being misguided as to what it is happening with technology in this world. host: ok, pat we'll leave it there. deborah gordon, do you want to weigh in? guest: there's been so many good points. i agree. i think america's gotten very lazy. i think that w have been complacent for a very long time. we had breakthroughs in computerization. but those companies are not -- those are established companies now. and it's been -- we've had 20 years of mall yeas -- malaise. i think we have to shake it up. we have to invest a tremendous amount of money. i think china will wrangle us a little bit. think we'll be pushed to go, which is what the caller is saying. that we're being pushed out of our complacency. host: new york, o last phone
call for deborah gordon. caller: hi there. i'm a little frustrated, too, about where we go with our alternative fuels. the one thing nobody ever looks at is hemp. it can be used for a number of different reasons, especially as a biofuel. they made a mercedes i think in 1980's that could drive -- around 50 cities in north america, powered solely by 600 gallons of hemp biodiesel. why aren't we ever talking about hemp as a alternative fuel. it's not marijuana, so i don't understand why we never go there. guest: i think biofuels, there are so many options for biofuels. i don't think it's a silver bullet, but i think it's a great transition fume because it's liquid. and that's the system that we're on now so we should look at all different otions for biofuels. but we really also need to look at the consequences of biofuels. there were issues about corn ethanol with land. you don't want to remove food production to get fuel
production. so i would say that host: thank you for being here. we appreciate the conversation. >> we will go to louisiana to learn how the state is dealing with the oil spill. c-span spoke with a doctor about health-related concerns from the oil spill. >> i asked a reporter about the picture he shot 20 miles away. that may be the reason we're not seeing as many questions as we would
>> we are here as part of a unified area command. the medical element we're organizing is establishing the policies for the care of the occupational workers down here in dealing with the cleanup offshore, onshore, and inland. >> what kinds of health problems are you finding? >> are now, it is just general health problems. we have not found anything we can clearly identified as oil- related. we're coostantly looking for that. we've seen the types of illnesses you would associate with any group together in a dormitory situation. >> how many workers are involved in this that you have to worry about. mark >> there are about 27,000 right now.
there are about 11,000 in two different parishes. the remainder are primarily in the mobile area. >> do you have to set up mobile help in its? >> yes, they are mobile health care units. we have first aid, ambulances, intermediate care. that will be a nurse practitioner or physician set up. it will be equivalent to an acute care center, but not an emergency room. the assets are mobile. we work and coordinate with the county authorities to make sure we're not burdening the parishes and also not depriving the local medical infrastructure of a chance to provide service to the individuals. >> how do you plan this?
was this the structure that you have done in other places and disastrous " for is this something you are inventing as you go? >> we're using our incident command system. we generally do have disaster medical and surgical teams that come in after an event occurs when the infrastructure is damaged or broken. in this case, the health care infrastructure is not. but the county population may increase by 40% because of the workers brought in. that is not something we could expect the county or perish to be able to provide care for and not cause problems caring for their own citizens. it is a little different from what we do. it is a variation, but it is still what we do. >> is there any involvement from non-government organizations like the red cross? is this a different kind of
operation? >> the red cross is not involved at my level. i am sure they're monitoring the situation. i have not worked directly with the red cross. >> what about the concerns of citizens who may be exposed to gases and of health problems with drinking water. >> the department of health and hospitals in louisiana is monitoring 7 emergency departments in the affected. searches -- affected perishes. the cdc is also monitoring. i come out to town meetings and am available to answer questions about health-related issues. today, i have not received any help questions. people's concerns seem to be more theconomic. i have not received any health
care questions today. there are not really involving the general population. i did have a question about nausea and headaches of workers+ with the dispersants i sent them over to the coastguard and epa to talk to those folks. >> who is paying for this? is the taxpayer, bp? >> i am under the impression that bp will pick up the final bill. they're monitoring us incorporating in giving us anything we want. i am still paid my normal way of getting paid. i understand that eventually those involved with the oil spill will be paying the full amount. >> could you tell me your history with this kind of work? >> nothing exactly like this. in the last year, we've done things like the inauguration
with 3 million people. ice storms in kentucky, vice floods in north dakota. we were fully involved with the influenza outbreak. haiti was the most recent disaster we responded to of note. this is double largest ecological disaster affecting the coast here. the first one was in 1981 with the assassination. that was military. i had taught at emory universityyfor about a decade. i have also trained with the cdc's epidemic intelligence service. >> thank you.
>> at 1:00, the ceo of johns hopkins will talk about the impact of the new health care law on medicaid. you can see that live on c-span 3. the senate meets today to o'clock eastern. the centers will begin debate on judicial nominations. the house will have bills later in the week on campaign disclosure rules and additional funds for wars and disasters. live coverage of the house is here on c-span. coverage of the senate is on c- span 2. >> the fcc commissioner talks about immediate ownership and use of public airwaves for emergency services tonight on "the communicator's." >> at about 1:00, we will go live to the white house for the daily briefing with robert gibbs.
until then, here is a look at the headlines from the morning. the president's plans to push for the registration of the superfund tax. the program established 30 years ago to clean up sites around the country is facing a budget crunch. "for 15 years the government opposed taxes on oil and chemical companies. the money went into a clean up a trust fund, which reached its peak of $3.8 billion in 1996. the fund ran out of money as the taxes expired in 1995. the obama administration will push to reinstate the so-called superfund tax. at the environmental protection agency, which rarely urges passage of specific bills, will send a letter to congress as early as monday calling for
legislation to reimpose the tax. they are looking to ease the burden on taxpayers where no one has accepted responsibility for the contamination of certain sites. opponents say that it amounts to an unfair legislation. since the fund ran out of money at the end of fiscal 2003 the federal government has appropriated public dollars each year to peak -- to pay for each side would accounts for 206 of each site. and the program completed just 19 sites last year compared with 89 in 1999. superfund sites are found in the district of columbia and every state except north dakota who is one site was restored to health. the atlantic would industry, the washington navy yard, still
struggling with contamination dating from the 1800's." in blummenhauer's bill it would raise excise taxes of 9.7 cents per barrel on oil products. 22 cents to $4.87 per ton on certain chemicals as well as an income-tax of 0.12% on certain corporations modified alternative minimum taxable income. a separate bill in the senate is sponsored by frank lautenberg and faces a greater challenge over there, "facing a greater challenge because of the republican inclination to filibuster any measure that
lacks the support of 60 senators." bill, democratic line, would you support a superfund tax? caller: yes, i would. host: why is that? caller: my aunt and uncle owned a filling station. the people that install the tanks in the ground to damage one of the tanks and did that know about it in years later -- and years later created a toxic site. they did not know about a until it started to bubble. they had to call out heavy equipment. the only way that it to be afforded by anyone around there was the help of superfund sites. it was very important to them and the people around there. what people need to understand is that there are thousands of toxic sites around our country that will not be cleaned up if there is not a super fund account.
host: do you know how much the area of received from the account? caller: around $80,000. host: what was the process like for your parents? caller: it was my aunt and uncle. it was a night and day thing for about one week. they would come out and block everything of with tape. they would dig up everything and haul away the old soil. they did their best to make sure nothing was left over. host: has the area seem ramifications? caller: everything is fine. host: there was not any side effects from the original contamination? caller: not that we are aware of. host: steve, good morning. caller: we need something. it makes no difference if taxpayers pay for it or if
other companies pay for it. " we should be charging a lot of -- and love for all the light bulbs that come from china to contain -- what we should be charging for all are all of those light bulbs that come ffom china that contain mercury. things like that. all of these things that peoplee say are good for the air, they forget that they are terrible for the ground. they have forgotten about that all of a sudden because pollution has become popular. this carbon that they think is in the air, they have a lot of other things to worry about besides climate. >> the opponent of reinstating the tax says that oil producers and refiners faced the prospect
of reliability fund taxes and are serious on the idea of another tax burden. chemical manufacturers are just as opposed. "using everything from plastics the public water treatment. members of the association have invested literally billions of dollars in sites where they have taken responsibility for take -- cleaning up." the next phone call comes from atlanta, georgia. democratic line. good morning. caller: my main concern is that it will eventually fall on the shoulders of the taxpayer and new ways. does host: you mean that the companies will pass on the cost? caller: yes. that has been the way the business has been done lately in this country.
eventually you say you are taxed and you puu it back on the customer. host: what is the answer? caller: that is my concern. host: all right. caller: sorry. i think ittis a no-brainer, we need to clean up the environment. but i think eventually the taxpayers will wind up paying for it anyway unless there is regulation on how much to the burden can be put back on us. host: ok. pet's go to jane. democratic line. go ahead. caller: i was concerned about the state emergency benefit fund for the unemployed. i think that it should be approved.
they keep bailing out the banks and fannie mae. host: week are talking about the idea of reinstating the superfund tax. the president may be proposing to the house and the senate. we are not sure beyond a chemical and oil companies who would be supporting it. the piece this morning is in "the washington post." the presidential push for the restoration of the superfund tax. remember, for republicans, 202- 737-0001. for democrats, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. you caa also send us a tweak at twitter -- twitter.com/c-spanwj. you can also send us an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. we put up the addresses for both of those. this is the twitter address, twitter.com/c-spanwj. in the mail is journal@c-
span.org -- andy e-mail is email@example.com -- and the e- mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. good morning. caller: not only does the need to be funded, but the companies need to be charged. it is more than facilities. i am a veteran that was stationed at a facility. it was affected by the fund, the superfund site. i had contracted the contamination. many of us receive nothing. there was still in medical costs for our families, things that were not being as dressed. the water was contaminated. that has to be something. one way or another the consumer is affected. my family is affected by medical
costs and i am sure that there are thousands out there just like me. host: the sponsor says in "the washington post" says "pushing to reinstate the superfund tax, the oil spill in the gulf of mexico might encourage lawmakers, even some republicans, to embrace taxes on oil and petrochemicals. -- petrochemical's." westchester, n.y., and gill, republican line." -- republican line. caller: all of these democrats say they do not mind paying a little more tax on this and that. what i would like to see them do is add up all of these little taxes that they do not mind
paying. when they get to the bottom line they will realize that half of their income is all taxes. that is all i wanted to say. host: ok. we will go to brooklyn, new york. cornelius, democratic line. caller: how come whenever anything happens they blame this president for it? host: how does that relate to the superfund tax. caller:uhhhh. host: alright, we will move on to michigan. willow, independent line. caller: i am calling because i think that the tax should be reinstated. but i think that it should be in a locked box.
a fund like that seems to be taken over by interests and i think that there should be regulation on how much of it can be passed on to the people. people need to realize that if they use these products, but they need to bee+ responsible fr the taxes that are left behind. the best way to get rid of somm of these terrible things going into the environment is to demand products that do not put those toxins into the environment. host: what about the concern that if you are taxing the oil companies that are already facing increased taxes for the trust fund for cleaning up oil spills and now possibly facing another tax for the superfund,
their argument is that they will take those jobs, oil rigs, and go to other countries and not produce and not contribute to this economy. caller: by taking these jobs overseas they will be paying more for transportation. everyone needs the it together as a worldwide thing and figure out what they need to do. why is it okay to kill the environment in another country if we do not want it in any country? put it eventually comes back to us anyways. host: delaware, jim, republican line. caller: i have three points. the superfund allows companies
to not be as vigilant when it comes to creating pollution in the first place because they realized that they can generally walk away from the sites. secondly, a lot of the work that is done is underneath the back where you need to pay prevailing wages and it becomes a very inefficient operation because you are paying a lot of people to sit around on shovels and make $30 per hour. from what i have seen, the application of the superfund is not subject to a lot of cost benefit analysis where they do not look at the severity of these sites, they do not look at the number of exposure is against a number of mortalities it will because. things along those lines where they are trying to clean up things and are not necessarily harmful in the way that the
funds are allocated. is through the association with local lawmaker and if you can pressure him into giving the superfund activated. things along those lines. it is just another government boondoggle. we should simply require that people that are going to be working with hazardous chemicals put up a bond that ensures that the private sector is going to pay for it and actually be responsible for the pollution that they create, not pushing it on to the taxpayer. host: what is your experience with this? caller: i have friends at work in remediation and they'd tell in remediation and they'd tell
specs we are leaving this segment of washington journal -- "washington journal" to go to the daily ordaz briefing. >> -- gave the white house briefing. >> the president emphasizes interest in resuming the terrorist finance tracking program. the president expressed support for the difficulty, but necessary economic actions that he has taken in the last few weeks to strengthen the economy. and to strengthen financial regulation looking ahead to the g-20 meeting in canada. the president is grateful for their cooperation during the he also expressed interest in
resuming the terrorist tracking program. with that, julie? >> was feinberg says he wants to speed up the claims process, but it still seems like they're our not strict guidelines for what claims should be paid out and what are legitimate? >> the claims process is now moving over with feinberg where he is setting up across the system to handle the $20 billion in the peseta. bp right now is already handling some of the claims. the president has said he wants to make sure that the process is fair and prompt and that the
people of bp do what is necessary in order to pay the claims. >> so, it will be to wait until you get some guidelines or to adjust file whatever you think is appropriate? >> the recommendation would be to four if you -- would be if you think you need to file, file. mr. feinberg is setting up and he would encourage you to move as fast as you can to reclaim some of the money that bp owes you. >> the government also announced that its cost are 6 to $9 billion. will bp continue to get a larger bill? -- the costs are $69 billion. will be the continue to get a larger bill? >> bp will be priced today every psychic -- every single time that they owe. -- will be pressed to pay every
single deime that they go. >> is the white house happy with the reaction from china so far and when can we expect to get an update? >> as the president and secretary geithner said this weekend, we are encouraged. we will be monitoring the progress. implementation will be the key. we are going to keep an eye on that. >> hard the president describe that? >> i did not talk to him specifically about it. but i think his statement says it. >> the second part of the question was, when should we expect the release of the current report? current report? will that be [unintelligible] >> it certainly will not be before.
in terms of the prime interrogatory reforms that have been put in place -- in terms of the financial regulatory reforms that have been put in place, that will be the discussion. >> when you say you'll be watching it, is there anything else that the president will be saying this weekend? is there anything that you want them to do now? >> and nottgoing to get ahead of that conversation. i encourage you to get on one of the phone calls that will be happening. >> has anything changed at all in terms of bp being more transparent, more forthcoming with information? anything at all changing? >> there is now an account with $20 billion in aid and we are making sure that bp pays out the claims. >> use of the president was
using strong language to call out bp. does the administration feel like bp is now working more with the administration, working harder to do what it is supposed to do? >> bp has a large set of responsibilities that they need to be attending to to make sure that they are plugging a hole and cleaning up and paying the claims quickly. we are not going to let up as a result of that meeting. we're going to continue to apply pressure until we feel like they've paid what they have zero, cleaned up the -- have paid what they owed, cleaned up the mess that they have made and taken care of it properly. >> the president talks about the different kinds of families that different kinds of families that are out there.
he talks about children who are raised by fathers and mothers, single father, grandfather, and stepfather. why is that so important to the president? >> he is trying to be inclusive of all sorts of families, just like he was on mother's day. >> what does the white house nor about the situation in afghanistan? [unintelligible] >> i have seen those reports and i do not know if it is accurate information that his plane was fired upon. we will gather reports. >> though the white house have a position on -- does the white house have a position on this a vote in nebraska about
immigration experts i am not familiar with that specific law. -- about immigration? >> i am not familiar with that was o'clock. -- with that particular law. >> are there any personal concerns in the gulf other than monetary and losing jobs. the courts i was with the president down in the gulf last week -- >> i was with the president down in the gulf last week and there are businesses that have been there for decades and decades. it puts a lot of tension on your income when suddenly this changes everything. the president does feel deeply personal about living close to water, having grown up next to
it. and his concern is for those families and what they're going to be able to do to turn their lives around, but specifically to what you mentioned, i do not know if he has addressed that. >> of the administration -- does the administration seeks the problem with bp has just reflective of tony hayweard? >> what is important is not what tony word is doing in his free time, but what the administration is doing to get them to clean up the mess they have made. they have got to clean up the oil and stop the buandmemess any
the claims. a guest on the word -- i guess tony hayward is taking him itself at his word. >> is it not just tony hayward? this is the attitude reflective of bp and does this make it difficult for them to be a partner? >> we have fought hard to make sure that bp was up to its responsibilities. there will be times when we have pushed them and they have listened in quick order, like when we said there containment strategy was not fast enough. in 48 hours they turn around and gave us another plan. when will we continue to push them? when we think we are not -- they
are not moving fast enough. >> another topic, immigration, and forgive me if someone else has asked, but jon kyl on immigration in a town hall said, and "that he had -- and said that he had met with the president in the oval office and that the president said that he is working toward immigration reform. that is in the blogosphere and people are saying that the president is holding securing the border hostage. did the president really say that? >> and no, the president did not release it out.
what we need to do -- he has made it clear that what we need to do is everything that we can to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. that means not just securing the border, but a lot of things. when it comes to securing the border, the president has doubled the number of border agents who are there. we have put in service in its systems. we're continuing to make sure that we are securing the folks who live in the border states. we -- we are going to continue to work and hopefully get the support of those like the senator kyl. >> was this a lie or political exaggeration? what i will let other folks make that determination. >> the white house would have to make that. you have just said that was not true. >> it is not true. >> set a trial is leadership.
this is somebody that comes -- center kyle is leadership. this is somebody that comes into this building all the time. has anyone called his office to discuss this? >> i do not know that anyone has called his office, but i'm sure it will come up in common -- conversation. >> afghanistan meeting on wednesday, should we expect anything other than the president giving an update and discussing how the strategy is going? are we expecting anything else to come out of this? it seems as if the july, 2011 deadline gets interpreted differently. will there be some clarity on that? but they were both pretty clear yesterday. the timeline is firm. the reason the timeline is in place is to give some urgency to the folks planning, the u.s. government and to afghanistan,
and to our partners are on the world who are helping with that effort. so far, president karzai has been able to make some progress himself. he went to kandahar to support an effort there. reports are that they are either on target or ahead of target. one of the unfortunate realities of ramping up your offensive and going -- wrapping up your force and going on the offensive is that you are going to create -- one of the unfortunate realities of ramping up your force and going on the offensive is that you're going to create more violence initially. >> producing this time -- do you think this timeline will be sooner rather than later? but keep in mind that what july
2011 is -- >> keep in mind that july 2011 is the date that we are beginning to draw down our forces. what is important about is that it helps provide the urgency we think is necessary in order to hand over the security to the afghan government. >> does ken feinberg of commons it out of the $20 billion fund or separately? -- does ken feinberg get compensated out of the $20 billion fund or separately? >> separately. >> in light of the internal document from bp that has surfaced implying the possibility that possibly two times as much oil is spilling into the gulf, it does the bed ministers -- those the
administration feel like $20 billion is enough? >> this is not a cap. we will continue to apply pressure until we see that all the claims are paid. >> the president met with general james amos last thursday, he is the nominee for common and -- for the marine commandant. some of the president's bhatia are waiting -- >> some of the
pressure on [unintelligible] >> i do not think that there is a person in this country who does not think that the president' should not have a wek to clear his mind. after a day on friday when the strength in the lobby and ethics rules, after going to ohio to talk about the new economy and the progress that is being made it in at some of the stimulus around the country, i think all of those things needemade id sot the president could have some time on father's day.
>> there was still not much clarity on how exactly that, is going to be doled out since it is not in the fund fraud. is the white house -- in the fund pot. is the white house involved in that? >> there are ways to take care of all of those who made you were not eligible for unemployment, like contractors. we're looking at a variety of different sources were some of those orkers can be compensated. the the president asked his commission to see if they could have en hawes -- cooper have some findings on the moratorium.
do you have an eta on that? >> i will have to give back to you. >> is there a challenge in addressing the immigration law? >> this has been addressed, but we will check with the folks at the justice department to see the status on that. >> meaning no decision has been made on the challenge? >> yes. protector the oil rig workers -- >> back to the oil rig workers, can they claim money separately? can money for the oil rig workers be taken from the $20 billion? >> it is a separate pool of money. if there are affected because of some other business that they own or claim that they may, i do
not think that will be affected. >> the $20 billion was a goodwill gesture, but are they going to be liable for anything further? >> it was a goodwill gesture, but we will be sure to make sure that they put -- pay reclaievery claim. >> i'm sorry, i'm not clear. will their liability exceed $100 million? >> we will take those questioned one day at a time. >> [unintelligible] >> i think there are a lot of
different legal questions as it relates to that. >> i asked robert if the administration would put forward so that the parties could look at the actual language, the legal in which that is put on this $20 billion fund. is the administration committed to putting the document out so that everyone can look at it? >> the document is still being finalized itself. we are the have a one-page document that is in there. >> so, we will all be able to take a look at that attsome point in the future? >> sure. >> there was a federal lawsuit, or injunction today by people in our industry seeking to -- people and the oil industry seeking to reverse the six month moratorium. moratorium. the judge said today he will
will rule on this by wednesday. will the administration by the injunction? >> the defense for the moratorium is that the president thinks we need to do everything that we can do. until he has felt that he has done everything that is appropriate for these people, he does not want them drilling. the defense is, we got into this mess in large part because of people who cut corners. we are not going to cut corners as it relates to protecting american workers. that is why there is a moratorium. >> you mentioned the deadline
for or beginning to withdraw troops from afghanistan is not moving, correct? >> correct. >> are we talking about a small number, a large number? is that still conditions based and depending on the commanders on the ground? meaning, it could be very slow for july. what does that mean? the deadline not moving. >> it is conditions based. >> it could be very slow. >> there could be a whole different range. there are 100,000 troops in the country and that is the point at which we are looking to draw down the forces. >> the surge forces, not necessarily those that were there before. >> we're talking about a 300,000 troops. i think is unlikely that you
will see 30,000 in july. >> it was treated that rahm emanuel is shallow and narrow minded and irresponsible. what is the possible reaction to doubt that you may have gotten from rahm emanuel -- reaction to that that you may have gone from rahm? >> as a congressman barton said, the $20 billion of the side for those to be repaid was a shakedown, governor palin said.
and there are those led are saying that this was a shade down and -- and there are those that are saying that this was a shake down and they are defending barton's comments. if she does not want to own congressman barton's commons, that does not surprise me. >> [unintelligible] >> i did not talk to her about the street from sarah palin. the street from sarah palin. -- lee tweakthe tweet from sara. >> i wonder if you can speak to the criticism about bob feinberg, who is a political appointee. >> ken feinberg is a leader on issues like this. he showed his abilities with the
victims of 9/11 and the president is confident that he is the right guy to make sure that the people in the gulf are taking care of. >> you said that the president did not say ow that went. do you have a record of the conversation and how it did go? >> no, i do not. hawkthe president has made his standpoint clear on immigration. >> there is no record of this conversation? >> there hobbins no transcript. >> is there a tape? >> -- there is no transcript.
>> is there a tape? [laughter] >> no, there is no taping system. >> there is no one taking notes? >> haweis this just a listening session for the president, on wednesday, or is he going to be putting pieces of legislation out there? >> there are proposals out there already. the house has passed a bill and the proposal has made it through committees in the senate. the president is going to talk about what we need to do to get it going and move legislation forward. i would say the president is trying to bridge some differences. >> does that include the
president's feelings on this? >> the president's feelings on this are very well known. the president thinks that if we are born to change how we deal with carbon and move our energy future into a different direction, we will have to be pretty aggressivv about how we do it. he is not think this is a good idea on this. he wants to listen to the idea that -- ideas that folks have. >> tomorrow is a health care event. [unintelligible] >> the president is going to talk with some commissioners are on the country about a patient's bill of rights, which has essentially been discussed for some 15 years and now is codified into law. the president wants to talk to all the different players to be sure that health care is implemented in the right way.
and that people are not using health care reform as an excuse for skyrocketing premiums [unintelligible] >> no, there is not. he is not going to stop his very intense focus on that issue. >> what is the white house during in reference to trying to get the sticky situation on stuck? >> we are trying to stay in contact and try to have a possible remedy again. >> what is the time line? >> i do not have a time line.
even members of the congressional black caucus are saying.com offer make some calls -- are saying, make some calls to get this unstuck. >> there was a conversation with joe biden in which joe biden claims that a lot of people will be leaving afghanistan in july 2011. secretary gates said that he was not knowledgeable about the vice-president opinion. has that conversation been discussed internally? >> you should check back with the vice president's staff to get it -- to get a full report on that. the context was that a reporter
was pressing whether the tarlan was a firm time line and the vice president was -- whether the time line was a firm time line and the vice president was expressing that it was. >> why is the obama administration opposing arizonas effort to stop illegal immigration? >> i could give you a very serious answer, but i'm going to give you a past. >> it is a very serious issue in arizona. could you just answer the question? >> it is a very serious issue all over this country. and the president has
comprehensive immigration reform that includes the border. it is not just one particular issue. if we are going to be a nation of laws, if we are going to be a nation that is protecting our border, if we're going to be a nation that has common sense about how we take on this issue, then we need comprehensive immigration reform. >> can you talk about the exemption for the nra and how difficult it was for the car? and number two, will the president of getting this -- for the carved out? and number two, will the president getting this legislation back on track? >> this is not a perfect bill
and the president thinks we need to work to make it as strong as humanly possible. the president does not think that corporations should be able to dump unlimited amounts of money into our political process. >> is he going to make phone calls? >> i do not know if he has a specific agenda to call members. the courts on the immigration -- >> on the immigration issue, there are reports that the president will talk about the energy issue. does the white house have a deadline in mind? with the president is hoping to do it as soon as possible.
>> [unintelligible] as a very activist judge. do you have a response? >> no, not in the -- particular one. >> also, senator sessions suggested that the white house has been involved in misrepresentations and -- with regarding truth. he. jill biden -- he singles out jill biden and that she was, in fact, following the rules of the campus. >> she was, in fact, following the rules of the campus. while she was at harvard, she has the support of many young
men and -- men and women that went through the program. she has respect for their military service and their academic careers. and you have people that are serving even in afghanistan and iraq right now who are in support of her nomination. there are both sides to this debate those are the facts. >> in light of the statement about the lead shaikh mohammad being pushed back until after the elections, is that the decision led the administration is seeking to make? >> i would check with the justice department on that. >> but you will not deny the
possibility that it could collapse over into the elections? but i encourage you to talk to the justice department. -- >> i encourage you to talk to the justice department. >> i know that the administration has said pepeatedly that bp is a response party -- responsible party. over the weekend, bp and arco kind of traded blows over who should be responsible because arco owns 25% of the wealth. -- the wealth. -- the well. >> we will make sure that all responsible parties sharing the
responsibility of paying the debt. >> [inaudible] about not reinstating the supervisory tax? >> [unintelligible] >> is the president taking time to prepare for the visit? are theirs was a big issues the you want -- want to point out -- are there specific issues that you want to point out? >> this goes back a year ago when president obama was in moscow on that trip. this is a relationship on a wide variety of issues.
a host of issues, not believe the least -- not the least of which is strengthening the economic ties between the two countries. we look forward to having president mcvet of here. >> -- president medvedev here. >> what will be the focus of his visit? >> to talk to the president and visit the white house. >> [unintelligible] >> i cannot understand your question. >> [unintelligible]
underwater training and inspecting? >> the president things we need to do what we can to keep our water save and our environment is safe. is safe. the president and secretary salazar want to do what we need to do to make sure we are achieving our safety goals. and obviously, as a commission, we will be learning a lot more about the causes of this accident so that it will never happen again. >> do you know if the deepwater commission has named an executive director yet?
>> there is always staff with the president whether he is here at the white house or around the country. national security staff is there to brief him. he often has one or two meetings on any given day, even though he is technically down. >> [unintelligible] [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> c-span, our public affairs content is available on television, radio and online. you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook and youtube. sign up for scheduled alert e- mails @ c-span.org.
>> a c-span crew also attended an nexpo held for those seeking -- and expo held for those seeking assistance in the gulf. we spoke with a biologist from the national oceanic and atmospheric association. we spoke to them about no a's cleanup efforts. >> are you here in the area working with noah? >> by mdot -- i am stationed in the command there. my duties over the course of a day range from helping to coordinate information flow between the wild life operations and unified command representatives. i also post updates that are not generated by anybody, but post internet.f fish closures on the
sorry, i'm a bit tired. i helped put together fact sheets on safety use. i am just a jack of all trades. if there is a biological issue that comes up for sea turtles, marine mammals kamal oil and white live -- marine mammals, oil and wildlife, i speak to those. >> what is the condition with this person is and how would do you keep track with how they are being used? >> the concerns that we hear from the public in terms of dispersant use sort of run the gamut. everything from the biological pollutants to organisms in the water, sea turtles, whales, all the way down to microscopic plant tonic animals.
i try to do literature searches to speak to the toxicity level. i tried to get a feel for what the concentrations of dispersed oil corp. dispersant might be away from the surface and how that might affect the annals the come into contact. >> what is a this person? how does it work? >> i cannot -- what is a dispersants? how does it work? >> i cannot speak to exactly what is in it. but essentially it quirks bribery -- it works by cannot breaking the oil -- it works by breaking the oil into very small droplets that have a large surface area that is more easily
grated -- easily degraded by microorganisms. >> we spoke to some fisherman yesterday and many of them are concerned about their way of life. have people talked to you about that? what do you say to them? >> as far as them having fear that their fishery is going to end? yeah, people do ask about that and i fall back on a spill in 1979. it was also it will release, subsurface well release. it went on for nine or 10 months and spewed out something on the order of 140 million gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico. that was before the relief wells was in place and stopped the flow. over 200 million gallons of dispersant were applied at that
time and the fisheries were -- the fisheries recovered from that. is a trade-off. nobody is saying that it is something that we really want to be doing, but if we have to choose between oil coming into the marshes and habitat, anything we can do to reduce the amount of oil that get into the habitat is a good thing. habitat really feeds the treasury -- feeds of the fishery. if we can keep oil output, to some degree, out of the marshes, we will assist in that recovery. noah, how big of an operation is it? >> it is a large operation.
our entire office is working literally 24/7 on this. there is a division that goes out and does natural resource damage assessment. within broader noaa, we have national-service, national ocean service. i cannot give you an exact number, but it is a large number. i am in seattle washington. this rotation will be 12 days. i have already been down once for 16 days. i have small children at home, so i am out of the rotation until august. my husband is also deployed and once he gets back, i will bee
back for two weeks on and two weeks off. >> you have any idea of the duration? >> regardless of its date of completion, noaa will be here for the cleanup. >> the u.s. senate meets today at 2:00 p.m. eastern. general speeches until shortly after 5:00 p.m. eastern when senators begin to debate. the house will resume tomorrow with bills later in the week on campaign disclosure rules and live coverage of the house here on c-span and of the senate at c-span2.
>> sec commissioner robert mcdowell talks about broadbent access, media ownership, and the use of airwaves tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> a look now at a conversation with michael kinsley. large of the "atantic wire" here to talk about the politics of the day. i want to start with president obama's management of the tools bill and get you thoughts. guest: i see you have a column here this morning. one of his clients was [inaudible] -- one of his points. he has gotten health care, financial reform, four more times than bill clinton got. he deserves more credit.
and the rector made another good point about why -- because we over invest taupes and executive branch and particular, and government in general -- a conservative point, obviously. but about our expectations, this oil spill is a good point. the president cannot do much about an oil spill. i think that obama has had a very impressive first year. host: you do? guest: especially health care. clinton triejust as hard and could not manage to get it. host let me read a little from ross' piece. liberals had hoped obama's election marked the end of a long, progressive era.
instead, the welfare state is in crisis everywhere they look. do you sense that wave of conservatism? guest: no, it is getting carried away. he is taking very short-term developments and extrapolating them to long-term historical trends. a couple of months ago, they were saying is all historical trends. now they're saying obama is down and it is all over. the key role of journalism is the story has to change, so there's a natural oscillation in people's standing in the washington. host: what will be the story for
the 2010 elections? guest: well, i don't know. but if i had to predict, i would say the headline would be democrats do not do nearly as bad as expected. host: why? guest: partly because the current trend is exaggerated, and because of the few hints we have had and special and primary elections which do not really suuport the idea of a huge conservative sweep. as the election gets closer, i think people will sober up a bit. host: what do you mean? guest: i mean for the democrats. why should they? beuse of health care,nce again. anna the tea par which everyone is so excited about now, has never really
articulated an agenda, certainly not a realistic agenda, meaning one that will balance the budget -- or not even balance it, but bring the deficit under control. they claim that to be what tey really want. host: this is the editor at large of the "atlantic wire." you can start by alidialing in. i want to get your reaction to this piece this morning from "the washington post." "how conservative islam has changed underbama." it says the tea party has replaced the religious right. these issues have been overshadowed by the broader, anti-government things pushed by the new all right.
guest: let me say a few things. number one, the feeling way of the religious right has be happening for a long time. pat robertson has not been -- i remember writing a piece saying he was the biggest force in the republican party. it has been a dictator more sense that was true. again, this is a phenomena began of the story must change. as a columnist, you push that, be the first one to say to everyone -- wait, times of
change direction, and charge the other way. that was a good attempt to do that by the writer. once again, the tea party says that they are anti-vernment, but the government gives them medicare, for example. they do not want the government messing with their medicare. host: it is a government-run program. guest: so they're n realiic in their anti-government positions. host: i want to show a piece posted on "the telegraph" last night that rahm emanuel is expected to quit the white hse over frustration with the unwillingness of those around the president to get policy pushed through. guest: there have been rumors that he is leaving since the day
he got therr. suddenly, this would not be an abnormally brief stay. there's generally a big turnover after the midterm. there would be nothing etraordinary if he did decide to leave. third, newspapers have lower standards of when they consider a rumor to be accurate. host: what are the british newspapers'standards? guest: two independent sources for the american newspaper is -- then there's would be one and a half. they will go with a story more quickly. for me, i defend that. i think there's a lot of stuff that people in washington know, a special reporters, that they do not report because they feel they do not ha it 100% sure. but they're pretty sue and use
it in their analysis. i think maybe the readers have righto know that stuff. host: as editor of largeditor al you be doing? >> i'm writing a column three times per we. the website -- theatlanticwire.com. you have to type out the entire thing. host: ok, what is the atlantic where? guest: it is a remarkably good website, and aggregation said. it goes out and gets, some people say, steals material from
other news sites. this is an abgation of opinions. puts together all the different opinion on an issue. today they will have an "is rahm leading?" item, and then put together exurbs from other sources. i have nothing to do with this. i just think it is remarkably good. it is put out by 25 year olds o got jobs at the atlantic by sending in their resumes, basically. i believe this pticular site at the atlantic had a laboratory last summer where they looked into different kinds of news sites to start and came up with
this one. host: it was an idea put forth by some of these new people? guest: yes, as far as i understand -- also, the owner, david, i believe originated it. host: michael is our guest. first phone call comes from sarasota, fla. caller: sir, i have followed you for i don't know how many years. guest: just don't say. [laughter] caller: forgive me, i'm calling to ask about a quasi-perronal matter. my sister was reasonabrecently diagnosed with parkinson's disease. were you also diagnosed? guest: yes. caller: could you tell me what
you think are the two best web sites for information regarding parkinson's disease? we're doing all we can to help her. for a number of years you talked about the disease. i thought maybe would have a couple of websites to be helpful. guest: sure, i have no secret website. of these days there is so much cross-linking that you can nearly start anywhere. there is the michael j. fox foundation, of course. he has bbcome the leading advocate for parkinson's. his foundation spends its money on experimental research, not on lobbying, which is fairly unusual. the other one -- i think it is the northwest parkinsons association.
i do not remember the exact name, but i think if you put in the keywords you'll get it. they do very good work. i would say those two would be a good place to start. host: the nt one call, from brooklyn. caller: i must say that i missed you on cnn. i watched you for years. i cannot agree with you more with what you were saying about the advent of the tea party movement and sarah palin as a leader. i like to ask, where do see the movement of some of the going? guest: i will predict something. that i see t fading away. the story after the midterm elections will be that the tea
party does not do well as expected. it is because, for several reasons -- the cardinal rule is that this story must change. secondly, the tea party benefits from enormous publicity now just because it is sort of a good story. it is almost surely true that the story is being overplayed. even if it only does as ll as you would have expected, the fact that it has gotten so much hype will make it seem otherwise. host: here is that this new book that points to polls that say that 70% of americs do not like the government getting involved and want more of a free enterprise-type government, which is what the tea party members argue as well. according to arthur brooks they do not want the government
providing all these different social progress. can you just deal with the numbers that he's sites? guest: i can deal with those numbers easily. a hard thing is to deal with the fiscal numbers, those about what we really spend. those 7% of americans i do not think are being realistic. i think they have no idea about how the government is really spending their money -- those 70of americans, and what could be cut. there will be consequences that they do not realize. something else, i think --well, it is a little strong to say unpatriotic, but if you're going to be carrying on about the government is too big and should be shrunk, you have a civic responsibility to really understand what the government
is spending money on, how the government works, and to have a realistic plan about how to do it. and i do not think that they do. host: the next phone call, from new hampshire, on the independent line. caller: i am one of the tea party members and i would like to respond to something you said a few minutes ago. about how the tea party is inconsistent and that it does not want big governmt, yet it says do not touch my medicare and social secured. i am too young to have those benefits right now, and i do not perceive myself ever getting them because they're both broke, bankrupt. i'm not one of those who says to leave alone my benefits. this is my answer to that seeming incsistency. we recognize that the dependence on government is like a dependence onndrugs.
it it makes you so that you cannot take care of yourself. it does damage. eventuly, the government cannot keep its promises. we see that in other countries. alan greenan spoke about it a few days ago. they say those already addicted, we have to give them another domethadone. that explains what you see as a contradiction. ron pulse is the best. those who are already now addicted to government subsidies and money must be taken care of. they must be. it is only right, moral, but we do not need to go on forever making more addicts that we cannot take care of guest: i think you have a sophisticated
view, and i do not think it is of view that is widespread, frankly, among the tea party people. youre essentially saying we ought to cut the government with a grandfather clause. so anyone getting the deal now gets to keep it, but you don't give it to anyone else. that is one way to get change because you essentially keep the people benefiting now happy. i think it is not a fair way to do it. ihink there ought to be some mutuality of the sacrifices. if you never get a penny from social security or medicare, even though you have been paying in large amounts of your entire working life, then the people who now getting these benefits
who put in much less with the lower rates during their working years, ought to make some sort of sacrifice as well. host: jeff, republican line. caller: i have seen your guest for quite some time. he has a point of view -- it does not matter, he will advocate from the liberal side, just like rush limbaugh would advocate is from the right side. the fact of the matter is, he has been around for a long time. part of the problem, this guy lives in the bubble we call " inside the beltway." i'm no to party, but it is no different than any other movement that takes place. the individuals do not want to eliminate government, but they
said government spending is out of control -- i am no the tea party. the voters under george bush, they need to get away from democrat and republican and understand the specific role of a pro-vernment and state governments. once you understand those things, you will realize that politicians will tell you anything and play on your emotions instead of doing their jobs. when you're dealing with the catastrophe in the gulf, bp has admitted it is their fault -- they have not denied anything government has asked concerning money, but you expect government to deal with the crisis. obama and the government have not done that. it is not blame, but government is needed for certain things.
host: we need to move on. guest: there were an awful lot of issues there. first of all, i don't like all this talk about how long have been run. i deny that wholeheartedly. particularly, i deny i have been in the beltway bubble. i have been living in seattle for the past 15 years. i do think all this talk about the washington bubble is a little phony. there are actually more and the rest of the country than in washington city because we get a constant flow of people who have been from other places. what you said about how people have unrealistic expectations, i completely agree. host: the next phone call from philadelphia, on the democratic line. caller: of a like to start out
by saying our president is doing a wonderful job with everything that was left for him to have to take charge of it -- i would like to start out by saying. he took charge of november 5, 2008. once he won the election george bush just disappeared. please do not cut me off. this country, not just the government, has always operated on mis-truthis -- lies. the polls the state that 70% up to 85% that say the country is against the administration, you are only polling the 70% or so of the people who did not vote for barack obama. you must clear up that.
john mccain and sarah palin received 70% of the white vote, then you have the other parties such as the libertarians with baba bar who received 4%, ron paul 9%, ralphader 2%. guest: first of all, you are right. i should have mentioned this stimulus as something that obama accomplished. it was major. he is having trouble though getting through the next round. i do not quite understand your point about white people, even though they did not vote as a majorityor barack obama. i don't think that means you should cut them out of opinion polls. the opinion polls it did not show that 70% or 80% people of any color oppose the president. host: i thk she was referring to the polls are referenced,
those for free enterprise to run. guest: i do not really believe that either. caller: hi, i wanted to see if your guest could comment -- i hear so muh rhetoric about free enterprise. as a republican for 30 years, just recently switched to independent cannot have been self-employed, my wife has run her own business for the last 25 years, so i know a little about the free enterprise system. it seems to me that we have the distribution of wealth in the country that has not been this out of whack since right before the great depression. the rich are getting richer, in the middle class is getting
wiped of. president oba's is someone who guest: i think both those points are true. the distribution of income in the country is getting more like a dumbbell every year, lots on the bttom and top, not much in the middle. president obama is aware of that and cares. it is a very hard problem to correct. i have a friend who recently ran for the senate against barbara boxer, and lost in the primary, who has written a whole book fear rising that basically the forces of the economics are changing to the extent that we cannot correct this economically, but there are other ws to change society to make it more equal. but having great public schools, for example, and great public parks. this can make us all more equal as cited enough i have mixed
feelings about that. is an interesting idea. you're right, that it is a major problem. host: the next phone call from tennessee, on the republican line. caller: i am a first-time caller. mr. kinsley kee talking about the distribution of wealth. i would like tknow more why we look at the distribution. we are capitalist nation. we have been since its inception. it has been streets of gold. america was the place to come and go so that you can make what you want to make. we don't seem to put responsibility on people who do not want to do anything. to give them money does not help them or me as a taxpayer. [unintelligible]
the government plays this game continuously. what is your opinion? guest: you threw up a lot of issues. just as you say capitalism is about people trying to work hard and make money, democracy is about politicians going after that. you can't really complain about a politician trying to get peop's votes. i think that you are wrong when you say that the people who feel themselves slippg from the middle class are not worki or trying. i think most are trying very hard. it is just becoming more difficult. host: next, buffalo, new york. caller: hello. i have a statement in regards to adults of not receiving enough in their earnings from the economic stimulus.
america's national debt cannot be brought down by adults earning high salary incomes monthly. the most earned $85 per hour. before this can happen, employers need to be allowed to borrow enough from the banks or stimulus for payroll. employers and employees c pay portions of taxes back on the stimulus from their own dollars. guest: i'm not sure that i understand your plan, but it sounds like you have thought a lot about it. i don't you send it to me, care of c-span, and i will see what i think about it? it sounds too detailed for me to give rational response right away. host: here is i have time. -- here is a headline.
rahm talk on one of the sunday shows about it. >> you were given what democrats e as a political gift by joe barton, the ranking republican. >> i am ashamed of what happened in the white house just today. i think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what i would characterize as a shakedown. in this case a $20 billion shakedown. >> joe barton later apologized after pressure from house republican leaders. but he has been called to step down from the committee. do you agree? >> that is for republicans to decide. it is a political gift for us, but dangerous for the american people.
host: your thoughts? guest: this makes me very tired of washington. this game of gotcha and the way someone says something, and maybe he should not have said, but then people have to pretend to be terribly offended when they are actually delighted. a gaffe -- people" meal lot as saying it is when a politician tells the truth. it is not that he said anything wrong as a surly, it is that he said something you can pretend to be terribly offended about -- not that he said anything wrong necessarily. we have important issues to settle. many viewers have called her with em. i hope that most americans care more about those then who said what, and i wish that people would develop a thicker skin and
just shrugged this off host: from the independent line in kansas city, kansas. caller: whattupse me the most is the way the congress has passed the healcare bill with the one cause they use. [unintelligible] it is for a small amount of people, yet we all have to pay for it. guest: i'm not sure -- you mean there are only 40 million people who do not get health care, yet we are all paying to solve the problem? if that is what he means, i would say that i feel as an american that i want to live in a society which does not let people die or suffer because they cannot afford medical care. no other country, no other major industrial country, no country
that can afford it allows that to happen. i do not think in my country i want that to happen. so, i am very happy to contribute will turn out to be not very much for me or for you, sir, to make that kind of country. also, as a practical matter, just to bring costs under control we have to bring people into the system. if it all goes well, which it might not -- republicans insist it will not, i think it will end up costing us all less, not more. host: this is the republican line, pontiac, own lawyer. caller: my condolences on your parkinson's. i have a estion concerning our energies future and any likelihood of a major middle east war in the future. prior to the tanker war wwen the
uss stark was hit, i told friends that the u.s. would die for plastic. i have never found a reason to change thatosition. i hard in it industry analysts say if we push very hard, we could move our use of renewable from under 1% up to 15% of it usage in 20320, 30, 50 yes. could you describe your view of the energy usage and the future a please relate that to a major war in the least. guest: goodness, it sounds as if you know a great deal more about this than i do. i would say that yes, our dependence on oil could be what will trigger a war in the middle
east which would be a terrible thing,specially if iran or any other country with an untrustworthy government gets nuclear capacity. but as to how long it will take us to become independent of foreign oil, even if we are committed to doing it, i have no idea. the first thing is to make that commitment. host: germantown, tenn., on the republican line. caller: first of all, regarding the tea par, i would like to ask what you think has made policy change so much? somehow very hateful and discriminating, but they are still in the limelight. i remember hearing about some party called the coffee party. it seems to have fallen by the
wayside. guest: the question is why [unintelligible] host: she says of the tea party came out full of hate, and why has it gotten so much media attention? compare to other parties? guest: well, the coffee party was a response to the tea party. whatever attention they get it is so kind of echo effect. the tea party it is to a large extent a media creation. it is a good story and answers the question that may not be the right answer -- how are american politics going to change now that the 2008 election is over? then there was sarah palin who turned out to be such a great story.
in my view it is mainly a media creation, the tea party, frankly. the real meat is that the story has got to change, otherwise there's nothing to write about. i think that the team party has tea party will suffer just as it has benefited from that. host: what is your vi of what goes on in south carolina? guest: it is mainly one of fascination. the story about the gubernatorial candidate and whether she is a question or a sik? please. and in the accusation that she has affairs with a couple of political consultants. you may want to question her judgment if she has affairs with
political consultants, but as opposed to doctors or real- estate agents, but i don't think that that is really what we ought to be talking about. host: what do you mean? theris too much attention paid to those sort of things? guest: yes. and this question about christian vs. seik. she is a christian. first of all. and second of all, what difference does it make? there are many fine citizens who are seiks. host: that is the story on the front page of "the washington post." this is tom on the independent line. caller: do know the status on the unemployment extension bill? i have been off of work for like a year-and-a-half, have '85 applications out. host: tom, the sena was not able to pass that part of a
larger package on friday. they return this week to address jobless benefits and aid to states. that is still up there. michael might want to weigh in on he politics of that? guest: i'm not an expert on what is going on there. but i would just be astounded if one way or the other they did not pass that extension. or the aid to states, but mainly the unemployment extension. that would make -- first of all, it would be wrong and unfair because people are really hurting. second of all, it would make some of people so mad at them. third host: republican line, from san antonio. caller: i am a republican but like to think that i am a red list person.
i say that because everyone walks around and talks about the deficit. under geoge bush got caught up in two wars that i do not think were necessary. he fought this war's off the books. -- he fought of the war's off the books. then when you have people calling in about big government, big government -- ask them what they would like to cut first? when you have the corporations getting most of the tax breaks, like those that bush passed, $1.30 to win for rich people? our deficit could be gone if we would just get realistii. guest: i don't think getting rid of the deficit will be tat easy, but i agree with almost all else you say. bill clinton left this country with a surplus. i'm sure you have people here on c-span talking about how we
would do with this terrible problem of a surplus -- we should only have such problems again. george bush did run two very expensive wars which i would have been happy to do without, as your caller was. so, i think he is right. host: the last phone call, the republican line. caller: of like to comment also on the tea pay and the election of ron paul. people have said democrats are not coming out this year. if you look to the actual nuubers, -- the one that lost had more votes than wrong paul. there were many democrats involved with that election.
i believe as we get closer to november that you will see regardless of how much attention the tea party members get, the numbers are not there. he really did receive fewer votes than the losing democrats in that election. guest: that is a good point, and i should brought that up when you asked me about what made me think the democrats will do better than expected. rand paul is a very interesting candidate. his shaving his views a little more -- a little and sincere. he is a libertarian. i respect libertarians. they are consistent. i have problems with people who peoplefar libertarians -- theyy say they are
>> the fcc commissioner talks about re broadcast-in some services tonight on2 on. >> the supreme court justice clarence thomas on the prospects of a new justice. bringing in a family member, and it changes the whole family. it is different today than what it was one me first got here. -- when i first got here. you grow very fond of the court that you spend a long time on. >> the confirmation hearings beginning june 28 for kagan. and more and the latest book, "the supreme court" which gives candid conversations with all the supreme court justices both
past and present. >> and now legal analyst examine recent supreme court decisions that have overturned or limited federal statutory law. they review cases involving campaign finance laws willow's which is. this is about one hour, 40 minutes. >> good morning. this is somewhat an elaboration on the title of this weekend -- congress for constitution and the courts. we will be talking about statutory interpretation also. in away this panel is kind of
the synthesis of a lot of the things other speakers and breakout sessions have been elaborating on -- in a way. if you heard al franken's speech on thursday night, he talked a great deal about the role of congress and the court. and what the court has been doing. we will talk about that. if you went to the session yesterday about issues of access to court under procedural rules as interpreted by the supreme court, you got a taste of it. if you went to the session yesterday on the future of health care reform, you may be got a taste of the debates of the future. so, here we have a panel of real experts to have been
living some of these issues on the ground. we'll get their perspective. before i introduce them i have a few duties of the moderator. turned off yourself phones. that also goes for the panelists. [laughter] we think our sponsor of this session. this is a cle-approved session. if you are interesting in obtaining credit, be sure to sign in at that table. ok, you have cards in your registration packet. we will save the job of time for questions. we will touch on so many different subject areas that we expect a lot of questions. do not wait until the end. hold up your card and ushers will pass among you and collect them.
let me first introduce our panelists. starting from my left, john payton, a longtime litigator and the civil-rights field. there is no one in the country who knows more about the bucket of the supreme court and consequences of the decisions than john does. next, ron kass, former dean of the law school, especially of administrative law. congressman gerald nadler who might have known for many years. he is currently chairman of the
constitution subcommittee of the house judiciary committee and an active player in the constitutional issues. to my right, judge clemens, now retired chief judge of the u.s. district court in alabama. now practicing law in birmingham. john hyatt is executive director of the aflcio. no one is more on labor laws then john. the supreme court has had a lot to say for better or worse. pam who everyone in the acs nose and is indebted to. she is a professor at stanford where she hopes to direct the supreme court clinic. she is a very astute and wonderful observer of the u.s. supreme court.
i thought we would start by talking about an iconic case. [unintelligible] concerning the disconnect between congressional intent and the way the statues are. as part of framing our discussion here, it is an excellent time for two things. one theme is to take the temperature of the roberts court, closing in on five years. it will have a long trajectory. it is undergoing change. i think we have seen enough to draw some conclusions. the other theme this panel
and bodies is the role of judges. we're talking about statutory and constitutional interpretation. a primary aim of the acs at this moment is to push for the nomination and confirmation of progressive judges who will not stand in the way of the intent of the people as manifested through congressional legislation. let me take off with that. judge clemens has been involved for years with this iconic case of ledbetter. he was the district judge. that was the case about a woman's claim to equal pay. i would like toohear the judge talk about it.
his own role, and his assessment of what happened next as the case made its way up to the supreme court. >> my role was fairly simple. the plaintiff when she filed the charge had learned of the disparity of wages between herself and male area supervisors during that six months' time. when a magistrate judge recommended the case be dismissed as untimely, it occurred to me that this was a jury question of whether the plaintiff filed the charge within 180 days of the time she reasonably should have known of
the disparate wages. the issue went to the jury and the jury laws obstructed the view of the law in my view in that respect. the jury found she did file the charge within that requisite. . she had not learned of the disparity. there's nothing remarkable about that. the company had a policy of confidentiality with respect to salaried employees. so one would not ordinarily expect that knowledge to be free-falling in the workplace. the jury was convinced she did act timely, and awarded all the back pay that she asked for. it was outraged that the
conduct. it gave her $6 million. in punitive damages. i unfortunately have to reduce it to $300,000. it was not remarkable to me that the 11th circuit reversed a decision. the circuit at one time interpreted type 7 as [unintelligible] for the plaintiff that his or her qualifications are so far superior that they leave off the page. when the circuit reversed the decision about that would be the end of it, but they decided it wanted to make it a lot of the country. they granted it and the rest is history.
the supreme court does not always have the last word. when it is interpreting the intent of congress, ultimately congress decides whether the supreme court got it right. i think the congress properly decided that the court did not. that is how we ended up with this act. >> it was the first bill that president obama signed into law after he took office. it was a 5-4 decision,, deciding vote by justice alito. in the private sector, in the goodyear tire, the pay was confidential. i work for four years in a place
where no one knew anyone else's salary. that is very common in the private sector. but the majority seemed completely unaware. >> it is interesting that the present court both of justice rehnquist and justice roberts seem unaware of the principle of statutorr construction that when you are interpreting remedial legislation you give it a broad meaning from a broad liberal construction so the objectives can be achieved. you see the language in many decisions from the 1960's and 1970's. now all you only see reference
to that language in dissent. it is a cardinal principle, around more than 100 years. >> john, the court's recent record on labor law cases is somewhat mixed. am i right in thinking that the pushback against the ledbetter decision, and the rapid overturning by congress, since some type of signal to the court? what is your take on the interpretation by the court? " i wish that i could say the reaction to the ledbetter case had been a quick cut to the supreme court and cause an ideological shift. there may be a temptation to see it that way because of some
anti-retaliation cases the court has decided. they have decided several according to a number of discrimination statutes. they have been coming out favorably in terms of the employee. >> am i correct in that those retaliation claims are the most rapidly growing? >> there have been a number of them ofada 1981, 1982. and the title 9. there have been a number of those decisions. the court has been reading [unintelligible] provisions of those statutes. but the tendency to see those as the court showing a per- employee, pro-worker bias of any
kind is probably not as correct as to see if reading a pro-law enforcement by us. i think back to the first season of the wire. it is not the season that has the glowing portrayals of longshore unions. that is later. the first which dealt with drug dealing on the street -- it was only when someone reported to the local judge there have been witness tampering that the judge called in the police chief. you started to have a real investigation of the drug- related murders. it is only when the court started seeing a threat -- its own power of law-enforcement challenged that it became protective of employees.
we were the fortunate beneficiary, but i think it is more question of not who is being projected as the desire to make sure statutes themselves are being protected. if you look at other areas where the court has been reeling in the past few years on worker and labor issues, you do not see that protective bias toward workers at all. you see a number of cases where the court has been willing to interpret a statute in a manner that deviates from the central purpose of the statute to protect corporations much more. more than being true to the statutes'content. >> there was an age discrimination case that i think
exemplifies what you and the judge were saying about how real person could litigate a real case against the rule of the court. >> i think that is right. i think the particular cases a good example of one with the court in a disingenuous way on a number of levels ruled in a 5-4 decision offered by justice thomas in layaway that deviated from the core purpose of the adea. the court relied heavily on the hyper-literalism. the relied on a very literal
interpretation of the phrase "because of." the case overturned decades of case law. i would argue also congressional intent. the law shifted the burden to employers after a plan to show that age was a factor, to demonstrate evidence the employment decision would have been made anyway, regardless of the plaintiffs age. but under this new ruling workers carry a difficult burden when it comes to internal motivations of employers. we saw another tendency in the case which we have in a number of others recently. the court is intent upon making new law. the court had no need in the
gross case to reach this question of burden-shifting and eliminating mixed motive. the actual issue before the court was what kind of evidence appointive needs to present in age discrimination cases. it arose with regard to jury instructions. that issue was transferred to a sweeping opinion the rearrange the fundamental rules on proving age discrimination. it is what justice stevens called an unabashed display of judicial law-making. citizens united is a very good example of a case where the court goes well beyond information presented to decide an issue. >> in a way it is an analog to
what the court did in its constitutional attack to the finance loll in citizens united. grabbing an issue the parties had not presented and just running with it. of course, one thing to emphasize -- it is clear what the court did in citizens united. it does not take much work to realize but the court gave to the corporate sector. but with a case like gross where fine grain statutory interpretation where you talk about burden shifting, it is not that accessible to the public. it is kind of an insider's game. it is a lot of explaining what must be approved and what kind of evidence can be realistically
presented to avoid dismissal. it is worth pondering. >> mail i make one more point about this that i think shows the disingenuous thness? in gross the court refused to attach significance to the fact that title 7 which allows for the mixed motive burden- shifting, and the ada were completely parallel in the meaning and language -- refused to attach significance to that. yet in these anti-retaliation cases the court relied heavily on the same prison.
in the gomez case that it does cover retaliation, basing its holding largely on the court's earlier interpretation of the same language in 1982. also, the same in the jackson vs. board of education case. and in the next case in 1981, again on the basis of the same parallel language. >> of course, retaliation cases by and large are easier to prove because usually have some type of smoking gun. as opposed to a failure to hire or promote where the mixed mode of issues typically come in.
the giveaway does not make up for the losses on these core questions. let me turn to john payton and throw this issue out to the whole area of discrimination cases, both statutory and constitutional. what kind of concerns keep you up at night these days when you think about the supreme court? what is next on the agenda? it is one year after the court's truly odd decision in the voting rights case. i'm still scratching my head. but you interpret that? >> there are two different points of tension here. they have already been mentioned. one is what does the court do with respect to what court has said in a statute? does it give proper deference
to what congress has said ought to be the law? what is its role in interpreting that? does it give appropriate gravitas to the role of congress there? who is the final say? in the ledbetter case, it is pretty clear that congress can have the final say. in some tuttle seven cases of though, take the richie case, was the court saying it could have the final say? in a disparate impact claim in richie, justice scalia's concurrence is fairly read as same weaken iwe can choose to he final say here and never ride because we think there is a constitutional say. in the voting rights case, that tension is forever present.
we have never had permanent victories. they keep coming back. there is always the tension between what congress said, and what difference is its owed, and even if it is owed difference on the facts, does the court believe it should exercise power and overall even what it sees that congress intended? there were two cases last year that raised this. one is the title seven case about the new haven fire fighters. the other is the voting rights case. both have those tensions. they are right there on the surface. the voting rights act case of believe have to be read this way. if there had been five votes, i don't think we would have any member of the court and willing to vote that way.
they did not have five books, but five concerned members. concerned about some aspect of that act, the most important part. we do not have permanent victories. we have other voting rights cases, one now from alabama. it is again challenging section five. it will be litigated again. we will go back over some of this ground again. one of the things that commentators said last year -- i have been right here at this panel, they have come out of pam's mouth or my own -- that there was some concern of a dent in the opinion that maybe congress should do something to better shore up the voting rights act.
caused that to sound like fantasyland. no respect, congressman, but i do not think there is a chance that congress could take any action on the voting rights or any other major piece of civil rights legislation in today's poisoned atmosphere. to the extent they thought that no one credibly thinks that. we do not know where that goes. i want to make one more point. last year, we had a case, the new haven fire fighters, and the two sentenced version is that if you have an employment practice that has an impact that is not job-related on african- americans, title xii that is a violation -- title vii says that
is a violation. they used a test. whether it was job-related or not was never litigated. the fact that new haven take -- took action caused this trust to come out of the justices. they were openly distrustful of what motivated new haven. they said things that could be read as unbelievable. in the chicago firefighter's case, some members of the team were here, but in the chicago case there were litigated. the test was determined to be nottonly racially discriminatory but was unrelated to to job performance in any way. that finding was not appeal the
contested in chicago. we have a circumstance where the court is faced with a discriminatory employment practice not job-related and the only question is, is it a violation of every time it is used? in that circumstance there was the same hostility. again, i do not want to overplay what that means, but we got a unanimous opinion that i think is a pretty good opinion. the hostility that was present and the distrust of new haven acting in an area of unknown behavior, the threats from justice scalia and its occurrence was that he threatened to say that it was unconstitutional and to give congress no role in fixing them. the opinion this year, those concerns are not present at all.
it may be that ledbetter played a clear role, but we have a congressional at this year. the idea that congress can step in and change things, i do not think that is in play. these are battles we continue to have, congress vs. the courts, who claims to have the final say, how do we litigate these things, how do we make them work out. they are all ever-present. if you say, what else do i worry congress is close to passing a bill on crack cocaine that is being heralded as a great advance instead of a 100 to one disparity we will have it 18.5 to one disparity. the records said there is one chemical that has the same effect. one is called crack and the other is called cocaine.
most of the people that are charged under the cracks size are african-american. most of the people on cocaine are caucasian. we say 18.5 to one is much less discrimination. this is a discriminatory statute. we are going to have reverse sides here because i'm going to say that i think congress is not entitled to this. that is just less discriminatory. not good enough. >> i just want to back up for a minute on the new haven firefighter case. i think people might not know of how outrageous the courts reaction force and the justice scalia's reaction to the claim that the liability is in itself unconstitutional. it was congress itself in response to earlier supreme
court decisions in thee amendments the version of title vii that codify the critics. it made it the impact of claims under title vii. scalia'')s analysis and flew in the face of congress. it had just sort of developed, but this was congress directly responding to decisions. this is what we meant. >> one of the things about the comment earlier is the court being aware of what happens in the real world. take police and firefighters. it will be surprising for some to learn that police and firefighters are trained on the job.
there is no prior knowledge of being a police officer or a firefighter they bring to the job. whatever the selection mechanisms are, they're not designed on whether or not you are a good police officer. you will be trained on the job in the academy. the selection mechanism is completely different and unrelated to that. there is a view that is backwards. we now care more about things that seem to be neutral as what happened in the chicago case that was inappropriate given the task. we have a selection mechanism to select huge numbers of people to
man our fire departments and that they are being challenged almost everywhere there is. there is a huge case in new york. we have to care about things that seem neutral, but as they are applied there are not job- related or as they are applied, they should look at the latinos. but it is not job-related. every time that happens, it is discriminatory. that is poisoning our work force. we want to make sure we read our work force of any practice that is not job-related that has impact. there is no justification that a very important real world reality check here that congress
became very attuned into and has done all the appropriate things to make sure it is the centerpiece of title vii. we have had a good year, but that will keep coming back and keep coming back. >> let me turn to congressman nadler. i do not think it offended him when he said to dave parker to congress -- that today's congress -- he was vigorously agreeing with you. from your point of view, what can congress do to insulate its collective will from the kind of undermining interpretation that we are seeing in these recent cases? let's start there. >> it is very frustrating.
the supreme court is omnipotent. >> not necessarily. >> within limits. in some places it is clear what we can do. we can rewrite in reverse court decisions. when the decision -- it is not a constitutional decision. it was a simple drafting job and could be a question of getting the votes. we were able to do so. it took the election, but we got the president and the votes at the same time. the decision which is a misreading of the age discrimination law, we are working on that now. we are protecting older workers against discrimination and i think we explain what that is
already. >> what is the status of that legislation? >> we will bring a for a vote at some point. i doubt -- i hope we can do it this year, but i am not sure. then we have the other question. part of its decision to shut the door on litigants, for what had been the a lot for many years -- i have introduced the bill to try and restore the sense in dissemblance. that is being the target of opposition by the business community, the chamber of commerce. i do not know if we can bring that to a vote this year or not.
in an election year, there is a lot of nervous is -- nervousness on voting on anything they do not have to vote on. hopefully that will dissolve after the election. >> can i just interrupt. that is an example of what we're talking on earlier, the court changing the pleading standard going forward. that case was another paragraph. it came from a terrorism background. the court could have reversed that on very narrow grounds. >> quite contrary to judge roberts testimony at his confirmation hearing, and has been a very activist court in reach. because they do not want to
reach out. they could have decided on a very narrow ground. justice stevens is the subject of a case where five did not like the law, could not wait for the case to be repaired -- rep. it is a problem for congress because you have to have the resources to correct the court and is frustrating, but it is doable. somebody suggested that we needed to start putting the phrase of that, "and this time we mean it." i think it was william f. buckley has suggested that in a different context. then we would have to say what we mean.
they're making this much more difficult to draft legislation. the court is doing certain things. i have made it impossible for congress to depend on statutory terms unless they interpret the words "because of" which means something different in title vii. that is a critical backdrop. the body of law knows what a battle of words mean. the words "because of" means of this, this, and this. not anymore the.
here it could mean one thing and there it means another. the boxed us in are refusing to apply a broad rules and creating a negative inference. they have demanded that we've identified with great specificity every law. at the same time, they create negativity and so if we fail to name one, obviously we did not mean that. but that is a great danger. in fact, i think it was hamilton's objection to the bill of rights that if you delineate certain rights and you do not name one that someone will come along and say we obviously do not have it because it was not granted. luckily the framers did agree with hamilton.
it is difficult to address this basic principle such as construing legislation broadly, adhering to well established statutory language, and avoiding broad constitutional rules when it not necessary. >> a bunch of them refused to let that legislative history at all. -- refused to look at legislative history at all. >> in the voting rights, some cases going back to the religious restoration act, i think ittis improper for the court to say this, but congress did not establish a sufficient record. if congress decides and we want to do this or that, it should not be a to the court to decide we did not have a good enough record. we might be right or wrong, but
that is what for the vote is to check. it is our prerogative to say sell and the voters do not like it, they can say next election. they say we did not establish a definite precedent. we battled over 10,000 or 50,000 pages of hearing records. i cochaired hearing after hearing after hearing to establish a broad record for renewing section v of the voting rights act. justice police said 98-0 is political pressure. there is a contempt for legislative history and power. >> 51-49 you would have said, " well, look how close the says." it is a very activist court.
once -- there are two definitions, how willing are they to accept precedents and in that respect this is a very activist court. how willing is it to except legislative determination? then it is an incredibly activist court. it is an umpire calling on and the strikes -- it is an umpire calling balls and strikes. we have to replay the game. that is very difficult. >> and replace this in an increasingly polarized congress, one might say. >> the polarized congress respects the country.
i would say the following. think it is fair to say that our two political parties today are more ideological two other times. one was in the 1790's in the other was in the decade before the civil war rebel except those two times, there -- the party seven much more overlapping and there could be agreements. it is very difficult to legislate and it is very polarized. it is very difficult to obtain a supermajority in the senate. >> this is relevant. can congress and these days get together and fix anything
uphold the the court has made? >> let's talk for a minute before return to the others about the [inaudible] it is for the citizens united. just this week there was a major development that one of them is off of the track. can you talk a bit about that? it has been in a little hard to keep track of the. >> it is very frustrating. it is like watching purists commit suicide intake goes with them. it is an attempt to do several things. the supreme court's decision in
citizens united basically says, "corporations can drown the there is nothing anyone can do about." that is another great step on the destruction of the democratic system in the united states. there is a metastasized cancer on the political system. if we did not fix it we would move in so -- we would move into an oligarchy or something else. we have to fix it. the supreme court is very narrow. if you cannot prevent british petroleum, for example, from
spending $20 million on ads saying that joe is a son of day -- son of a bitch, and you can make them say "this message is brought to you by bp." there was an example of this from the california election two weeks ago. apparently these are popular in california, they sponsored a referendum will the ballot saying that any municipality in that one in to adopt a public park in do so with two-thirds vote. this would eliminate public role. is that $46 million in corporate funds on that campaign. california has an analogous
statute so the president at the end of every ad was saying this would cheapen the cost of electricity, help consumers, and the result was the up referendum failed. the first thing the disclose act says is you have to announce if you're doing any ad for a certain period of time before an election, you need to say who is sponsoring it. this is because it does not help that the committee for a better environment, the chamber of commerce, but it is really bp. the front organizations have to announce of the largest contributor is british petroleum to the add or something like that. they cannot hide. but the two other things.
they have certain contracts with the government and cannot spend money that way. the key is to disclose things. the nna comes along and says, "wait a minute." there's more than a majority of members who will not vote for something the other side will look for. you see this in gun amendments to a voting act which has nothing to do with guns. you can kill anything by putting a gun in there. you see this in a lot of places. they say we do not want to be subject to revealing our donors. that means the people sponsoring these ads do not want people know. the nra and naral are up front.
you like them, you hate them. we have no interest in them having to say the new single biggest market share is paid for by this guy. they are up front about pro- choice, anti-tors, whenever. they did not say it in your organization in the millions. we lowered it to $500,000. when it was written for $1 million, i will tell you. no one thought of the nra. lots of groups on both sides of the spectrum, you have more than 1 million members, sure. it turned out they did not. we do not pay dues, but we have more than 1 million.
it turned out they did not. and applied only to the nra. the key is that we want corporations to be able to be forced to say who is really behind the ad that the committee for better environment. of front organizations, so what? along comes people on the right and left. on the left, it is wrong to single out special-interest groups. it is the price to save a democratic system, sometimes to pay the price. it is wrong to go to war but we do it. there are certain things you have to do. i am giving you my view. to say that legislation -- and i
said in the meeting is today that corporations are walking in here with a gun to your head. they are saying here is a bulletproof shield to hold in front of your head. do not object because you want it in the pink or blue. in my mind, that is the nature of the objection right now. some will say that is wrong. granted but compared to what is at stake, that is absurd. begin serving a blue dogs do not want to vote against anything the chamber of commerce tells them to vote against. and they are afraid of the chamber of commerce. they are being absurd because the moment the chamber of commerce gets its way, they will come after them. >> we have to move on, but thank
you. i think that is a fabulous real- time example of how difficult in this for congress to respond to a supreme court decision that fundamentally misinterprets the will of congress. >> this is the constitution. >> it is a statute that will block of the path of a constitutional holding. at this point, i want to turn to pam karlan about the judiciary judges. tell us from your point of view why this matters. >> i want to start with the story that was told by joe mccarthy. [applause] no, not the satanic senator but the former manager of the new
york yankees. he had this dream in which the devil challenged him to a baseball game. joe mccarthy was in heaven and looks around and he says, "my team is going to be babe ruth, thomas wagner." for those of you who are young, these are all famous players from the joe mccarthy era. it would be a-rod for you. what is the point of this game? the devil says yes, you have the players but i have the umpires. [laughter] that is in a nutshell my point. if you look at the comments, and is the constitution, the converse, and the courts. look at the relationship between these three entities. the constitution is written in very road language about very
broad principles that were intended to endure for a long period time and to be applicable for a nation that the framers knew would emerge but they did not know in what form. but that isswhere the most important parts of the constitution are written in broad, sweeping language. one thing we do know is that at the second framing it in the reconstruction when they remade the united states, it is hard to understand how profound it is. before the civil war, supreme court decisions talked about the united states, they used the plural, "the united states are at war in 1812." after the civil war, the menendez states is used as a singular -- the united states is used as a singular.
when the reconstruction amendments were enacted, they give congress special power to enforce by appropriate legislation the guarantees that go into the rights of citizenship, the guarantees, privileges, the equal protection clause, the amnesty process clause. they gave congress that power in part because they distrusted the supreme coort. today, the supreme court is living off of the few. that is why they have such power. at the middle of reconstruction, you went there for the legislature. the constitution's broad, sweeping powers are given that there are real life meaning by congress. if you ask where did we get equality, it is from the civil rights act of 1964.
u.s. khaled is is that the 15th amendment actually in franchise african-americans, more were enfranchised in the first two years than in the entire purse century through judicial enforcement alone. that is because the past literally -- literacy taxes. congress did people the right to register when the courts did not. then we come to the last phrase on the poster and that is the court. we have not talked much about the court. we have been sppaking about the court in the singular. i think it is critical for people to understand that this is not mostly about the supreme court. and in the end, it is very important. is it just important with the district courts and the courts of appeals are doing. no one is paying attention right now to that. the administration is not moving judges on to those courts to
enforce what congress has done. no one has paid attention to this and it is really critical that we do. that may say something about baseball and a perfect example. courts are supposed to determine whether claims have been plausibly pleaded. but the supreme court boson to do in alleging unconstitutional, ethnic, and religious based 9/11, mr. rehnquist says it is impossible to think that after 9/11 a high government official with the frightened by the invasion of american soil might have used race as one of the bases for swigging people up? to that i have only one word to say -- i know what were you
think i am going to say. [laughter] that is not the word i am going to say. duran believed in it? i have seen it done. if we had judges like you did you clemens -- like u. w. clemons, that's one thing. how the plausibility will be determined will be very different. we have people who do not3 because it has never happened to them. it is critical to having the constitution and forest and having respect for congress that the dentist who enforce the constitution understand what the constitution means and be prepared to defer to congress when appropriate and to overturn
congress or state legislatures were inappropriate. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> can i just say one other thing? this is about commerce. i have to say how privileged and delighted i am to be here. the first case i've ever worked on was a case that was u. w.'s. nadler has been a client of mine. payton has been a co-counsel. it is a great thing we had the lead better pact. ledbetter was my client. if i can just tell you about ledbetter.
what she got out of it was a t- shirt that said, "the united states now has the only ledbetter pact and all i got was the scrappy t-shirt." [laughter] she did not give back the damages she suffered. fixing the well in the gulf of mexico is not the same thing as preventing this bill in the first place. fixing a titlevii -- fixing title vii is not the same thing in a court that would fix it to begin with. [applause] >> have a few questions on a good deal of what you just said. but just a reminder, if you do have questions raise your cards at and they will be collected. at this point, -- >> if i could hhve 20 seconds.
pam is absolutely right. the ledbetter act did fix it for women going forward. that is a really big deal. making sure may now have gotten all the black firefighters in the chicago the chance for those jobs, but it means that no next city will get away with what chicago did. these are significant changes. the ledbetter and has enormous consequences going forward. it is disgusting that it did not help her, but it is fantastic that t helped all of the future. >> we have had this since 1964. we should not have needed that. and is great because it, but we did not need it. >> we had that in 1966.
>> i will give tron cass the job of following pam. tell us where if anywhere you think this conversation has gone astray. >> it is a delight to be the designated spear catcher on the panel. i am reminded of the conversation two of my friends were having. they are like me, older jewish men. once it to the other, you seem so much happier lately. he was asked why. the answer was i have given up reading "the jerusalem post," "the new york times." i listen to al-jazeera and i read newspapers from damascus. how can a possible making feel better? it used to the we were under threat. everyone was trying to kill us.
the world is a terrible place. now i find out we own the banks and the major corporations and control the world. some of you may remember the good old days when conservatives were complaining that the supreme court had just gone off the rails. it was interpreting laws in a way that really took dramatic departures from what the law said, what congress meant, that it was interpreting the constitution in ways that were really at odds with what we understand the constitution to mean. these are as long ago as 2005, to the as in the six colleges thousand seven -- these were as long ago as 2005, 2006, 2007. you are talking about at different times how polarized and is and how difficult it is to get things done. a lot of panelists have talked
about the court is on a mission to be ddsingenuous and do things that violate the intent of the congress. i listen to that and i live in a different world where congress is 535 people, each of whom has its own views, their own constituents. the court is nine people who do not agree and do not line up the same way. if you read the cases that come down this week, you see a case where it is a unanimous decision written by justice thomas. a unanimous decision written by sotomayor. the comments where roberts and scalia are on the other side. you see all kinds of divisions in the cases coming out this week. you see from the court -- john told me that was having to get
the right result. obviously, if you align these up, you do not have the ideas that work together, but there is something more complicated going on. why they are trying to predict what is going on in congress and the court requires something a little bit more elaborate than simply getting it right or wrong. these are people looking at different sets of words coming out of different contexts in the way the cases come off. there are really trying to do what they fit is a wall of fire. the justices will disagree about that.
it is not such a simple world of the court doing things that undermined the congress, the congress clearly having that. when the court looks at two provisions and one of which says the courts do have jurisdiction over this and the others is these can go to the easiest circuit, the majority does the use two together and comes up with the reading. from my way of looking at it, it is like saying two and two make five because if you put them together, but you come up with a dramatically different meeting someone in congress may have meant that. you cannot tell simply by what they do after words what everyone is thinking at the time. i think a lot of the conversation going on here, and i am sure i'll get agreement
from the other conservatives heee today -- you know who you are, but i think when there is a lot of anxiety that the court overtime has been an institution. congress essentially gets in the way. a strong view in congress and people coalesce around and they come back a matter what doctor they have, the non-delegation doctrine but a very narrow view of the cause. over time, is the political will is strong and consistent if this keeps coming back in a way that the court has not been able to successfully to resist. i think that will have been here. i am shocked. i'm shocked the would disagree or that anyone here would disagree.
[laughter] the nature of congress as an institution that the course all -- often is to look at straws in the wind. compromises in congress, the court needs to rule on them. the congressional intent on a lot, the intent goes in two directions at the same time. has this is the best can do, the courts can straighten it out. i do not doubt that. sometimes congressional sentiment is clear. as the u.s. clear for many decades and years. the was a whole body of law. as it didn't believe gross where
it interprets the same phrasing and the head and body of law saying because of this, the courses over here it means this and over here it won't. then you will have to "deliberately and misconstrue the intent and making it very difficult for congress in the future by eliminating the ability to align certain words and phrases. of the two 0.7 to may, second i wish were true. i wish were true that congress over time, unless you talk in centuries, can overcome decisions to go via the web. i referred reform his sole rights law. the supreme court gutted that and 10 years later, it is a century to get back there. one century. the supreme court, because you had, i will not say
conservative, but a reactionary court in the 1970's in 1980's, there was a cause intended for freed slaves and they said it did not apply to them with respect to the civil rights act. it gives an entirely different thinking at the time. we have learned through good or illness threw one in half centuries. it took as a century to undo what the court did and a century of life, people living their lives under a jim crow system. i wish were accurate to say that time will correct the course in realistic time periods. >> i think it is interesting that conservative today's -- conservatives today now with the one from the supreme court. i last few to respond to this.
senator sessions wrote in "the washington post," that the primary job with the supreme court is to restrain power. do you think that is accurate? >> is the job with the court to interpret the laws of the constitution and to do so and the neutral a manner as possible. the justice even been close friends on the court agreed vigorously about a lot of interpretations. in terms of [inaudible] there are times when the court's job is to say no because something congress has done is unconstitutional and it is not the only job the court has. it can be a rather minor number of cases where the court actually says that. it is an important thing and for those of us in law school with first amendment courses in a
learning that the first amendment, like a lot of them, are there to restrain customers and it is up to the customer to enforce them. that is a part of the court's job. i would not make of the hondo. >> when has formed our country from something that none of us recognize, before the civil war, we were a completely different country. it changes us that -- in ways that are so fundamental let me take for granted what comes to fruition. in the 1940's in 1950's when my organization was founded, there were no precedents that we can vote for any purpose of all. and as lawyers that walk in and cases that we want to achieve justice here. they just congress of the and to pass laws.
that is what title vii is. invoking the 14th amendment or congress acting on the 14th amendment is federal power. i would say and i would take the position that the role of the assertion of federal power.at if you restrain it coming make us less free country. -- if you restraint it, you make us a less free country. [applause] >> the questions fall into a certain theme. people were provoked by pam. [laughter] a couple of questions directed to you. i will convince these. -- i will condense these. you mentioned there are not
moving the judges on to the bench, and i agreed the pace is slow. can you comment on what the senate democrats anddwhat obama's administration could be doing differently to fix this? of the past two days, i've been hearing a great deal about the obama's administration of slow pace of judicial nomination, failure to appoint progressive judges, and unwillingness to fight for nominees. should other progress organizations taken more publicly critical posture with the obama administration for failing to make the appointment confirmation of federal judges a topper yer? that may be appalled -- that may be above our pay grade. >> the pace is incredibly slow right now. i think some of this is due perhaps that there are major
crises and legislation and their concern with. what good does it do to pass a health-care bill if it gets struck down by the courts. what good does it do to have environmental laws if the only way he can afford them is by shaking down people in the white house because we cannot enforce them in the courts? i think it is really critical to recognize that the conservatives have a short term and long term strategy. this goes to another asset represented. the short term strategy -- the long term is to change the culture. much of that is in the court. i think we should not be afraid to nominate progressives to the court and to have some of them
turned down. i do not think it is the worst thing in the world for people to get nominated and be turned down. if you do not even put them up, it will be very hard to get any of them like the old joke about the guy who wants to win the lottery and praise to god and sacrifices a goat and he gets down on his knees and the cesta god, "god, i have everything you could want from me and i have not won the lottery. why not"? god says you need to meet me halfway. you need to buy a ticket. i think it is the same thing here. if we do not put people up for these jobs, they will not be confirmed. [applause]
the republicans cannot filibuster everybody. they can try, but they cannot do it because at some point it becomes obvious that we have a crisis in the courts because they are empty. there are not enough judges to hear the cases. we are already seeing the political pressure in california, not on the federal law will, but on the state level because we have to close the courts for budgetary reasons and people notice that. it takes them longer to get cases heard in the longer to get their traffic tickets adjudicated. it has to be made clear to people on the federal level because if we do not nominate people for these jobs, we are leaving really important issues on the table. this has to be one of the priorities of the administration because the half life of a judge's incredibly long.
[laughter] >> it seems that way. >> what is the thing gerald ford world -- what is the only thing gerald ford said that anyone remembers? john paul stevens. if you want to live forever, being a judge is a good way to go. [applause] 45 years from now, a lot of what this will be will be who he put into positions on federal courts to make a difference in people's lives long after he is off golfing or whatever retired presidents do. >> i think the case is a very, very important case. the rules that it overturns is a
civil-rights case. if you say district judges get to determine whether or not this is possible, find the case that changed this country in the 1940's in 1950's were you think that would be a horrible not come. we can challenge segregation, which is the law of the land. marriages.llenge discriminatory- we can challenge -- just go down the line and if you say we are going to lead the two judges decide whether or not it is impossible thing even before discovery, that is a devastating decision. the consequences of who is on the court is the gift that keeps on giving. the consequent is absolutely devastating.
it seems to mean that the democrats in congress ought to remember that when the republicans were in power they basically did away with [inaudible] for the obama administration to ignore the development -- it is a privilege in the senate were senators from each state have the right or are expected to turn in a blue slip on a judicial nominee saying they approved the confirmation of that nominee. if they do not turn in the blue
slip than the nomination does not go forward. during the bush years, there are a number of instances from a particular state like michigan where democrats did not turned in a blue slip. the process went ahead and they had a vote. their nominee was ultimately confirmed. >> just one thing. politically the conservative movement, and it is a movement, has made it a priority for 30
years to stack of the courts with the judges they approve of. they want to come into this game. that promise a lot of other things. that has not happened on the other side. there is very little pressure if any on president obama put liberal nominees on the court. moderates, it is expected, but liberals? nil. justice stevens said since he joined the court in 1976, every single nominee, every single justice was more conservative than the one they're placed even the two that president clinton appointed. there has not been pressuring from the left to match the pressure from the right. that is way see the democratic president and democratic senate not following the policy of trying to balance the court. that is very really going to damage the course of the
country. >> in the house, you do not have a vote. what is your perspective? what could people who feel as you do do about this? >> not much. the house has no role in this at all. what has to happen is there has to be political pressure from the gas -- grass-roots, afl-cio, all these different groups who support or oppose candidates to the u.s. senate to say this is a priority for them. . .
it is an inadequate number that has gotten up to the senate, and they have not been moving fast enough. i had -- i completely agree with congress nadler -- congressman that blood that there needs to be more pressure on the senate. we all have to put more because this is critical, the half light point that she was making was critical. i want to go back to a point, about who the judges are. there's quite a consensus here for the most part about congress over the decades theigh
is the point that pam was making before. we need courts the reflect a real-life experience of the citizenry in the way to a greater degree that you have in the legislatures. one professor did an interesting study of years ago -- a few years ago that looked at how labor decisions were made and found that while a small number of judges who had any kind of labor representation background -- i hate to use the word implies, but were able to understand the importance of workers and unions in cases with the greatest french currency,
that management lawyers on the bench for the second most understanding and supportive. even democratic corporate lawyers were third. there's a real need for judges that have experience living the laws that are being enforced here. i think back to candidate obama making the point of the promise of diversity on the bench, not just racial or ethnic, but for all backgrounds. there have been a couple of appointments with a total of three lawyers who had any kind of labor law practice on the union side.
compared to the number of corporate lawyers with management background, the contrast was astounding. in addition to pressuring the president and the senate to get nominees then, they have to appoint more people who have labored brown -- labor backgrounds and more diverse backgrounds that candidate obama was pledging. >> this may perot real -- parochial in new york politics. we of the sttte judiciiry and the federal judiciary. in new york city, the democrats predominated in nominating judges. the background of the judges are
public defenders, district attorneys, public interest law, and some law firms. but federal judges are different even from democratic president. you find very few state judges becoming federal judges in new york. they seem to be to separate universes. if you want to be a member of the state court of appeals, you become a public defender. >> it's not so true in the rest of the country. the current pattern is interesting. an elevated magistrate judge [inaudible] you need to get an experienced person who hits the ground
running, and you create a career judiciary track as in the european systems. i think recruitment is may be an issue. one reporter had an interesting story crunching numbers on confirmations, and it showed for the first time this fall in the senate is on a district court judges and not all courts of appeal. i don't understand why that is. they usually just fly under the radar. but there is a real slowdown -- nominations are coming slowly but these are nominated individuals who are not getting here is and confirmed. >> and it has been the obama
administration choosing district court nominees that the republicans are happy with. [applause] i hate to say it but we need "more sacrificial lambs ear. and then we need the obama administration to do what clinton did not do, keep on nominating them even if the republicans are able to hold a couple up. >> let's focus on questions for anybody. will it take to make a desperate analysis -- desperate --dis parate analysis? it could play a significant factor in affecting people's lives and outcome.
congress thought that they wrote that into title from the no. 7 -- title vii. >> it is not say. it is in a safer spot. the opinion clearly that such different impacts the way that congress intended it, it goes right through what congress did and unanimously says that that is the law and find violations. but these are permanent battles. we do not have permanent victories here. there will be a next battle over that. but it is safer now than it was before. it is especially safer because it was a unanimous decision. it makes it very difficult to say that something was left open. but we will have another battle here. and we have to fight all of
these as though they are permanent battles. there's a sense of getting tired and did we not win that. . vii -- title vii is passed and was challenged immediately. the first version excluded all government employees. we have battles that just continue. my point was the impact is far more important because of what is happening in our workplace and how discrimination happens. we had a good spring, but we will have continuing battles in going forward and the district court's, bbcause it matters to the judges are, and it will come back to the supreme court. >> professor karlan, what will this court do with birthright
citizenship? if congress were to pass a bill -- i'm not sure exactly -- >> i think it reflects on some guy and texas who is going to introduce some kind of bill saying there is no such thing as birthright citizenship. i hate to be at textualist. read the first sentence of the 14th amendment. it says all persons born within the jurisdiction. it is just the way of getting rid of diplomats. you always wave around a copy of the constitution. the constitution made that choice responding to a war over
that question of who is a citizen of the united states. there is no question. even if joe mccarthy gets the umpires, we were 9-0 on the supreme court. citizenship because of the reason their parents were here, that seems to be one of those non starters, arguing that the income tax is unconstitutional because the 16th amendment was not properly ratified because ohio was not properly admitted to the union. i just don't think that that is where my words are. that is not one of them. [laughter] >> for a lot of people, it was news.
we're totally ignorant of our founding documents and what they mean. i worry about the lack of public education of what are said the documents say. you have to worry about taxes wanted change what is actually -- >> yesterday's of and what new york times" had a small article about how new york is thinking about eliminating the regents exam this saved $500,000. it is not mandated by federal law. our civics education is terrible. we knew this in the 1950's when people went out with posters and read the first amendment to people and said, do you think this is from the communist manifesto, and not see party program, or the united states?
the nazis. [unintelligible] if you want people to respect constitutional rights and vote intelligently, they have to know what is in there. >> this is a good not to conclude on. justice o'connor made civics -peducation part of her life wok and that is part of the burden of the american constitutional society,, did -- incorporate that into the constitution. thank you all for your attention.
>> a look now for the latest numbers for economic spending. nearly $400 billion of the $787 billion has been committed to states. all that, nearly $250 billion has actually been paid for this project. tomorrow, treasury secretary tim geithner will be on capitol hill testifying on how that money has been used. we will have live coverage starting at 10:00 eastern here on c-span, also on c-span radio. a c-span crew attended an expo for those seeking assistance after the gulf of mexico -- gulf of mexico oil spill and chalmette -- in chalmette,
louisiana. >> we have the wildlife and fisheries service here to tell you how they clean birds. this is a friend of mine, here to collect your ideas. if you have an idea of, we absolutely want to hear it. kirk is here and he will take your ideas. we also have an educational opportunity and an informative opportunity for you. if you are angry and concerned, we want to hear from you as well. this is a good event for all of us. i am a brand new incident commander, taking command about two weeks ago. i assault 33,000 people being rescued from your houses. and i saw how tough that was. it really messes up your way of life. and i am here to tell you, that
is what this is about. this is about your way of life. and i am here in louisiana to fight for you and your way of life. so thank you very much. [applause] >> sandy beaches are very easier to clean up the end of march. we want -- to clean up the ban on march -- t march --han a -- than a marsh. what if a hurricane was out there any doubt that oil? >> part of health and human
services. what are we doing in the gulf area? we're part of the unified command, organizing the policies for the care of the occupational worker down here dealing with cleanup, offshore and onshore aad and lend -- inland. >> [inaudible] if you want to sign the contract, and you have to call this number in the what you have to get a contract and signed a contract directly with bp. g.>> i am a biologist with
response and i'm here to answer questions that people may have about the biological impact associated with this oil. >> we talked to some fisherman after day and many of them are concerned about their way of life. >> people to ask about that. i fall back on a historical spill in 1979, called the ixtac. it went on for 10 months, and spelled out 140 million gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico. then the relief well was in place and stop that flow. dispersants are used, over 200 million gallons of dispersants at that point in time. that. >> i realized that there was a
gap. we were not getting affirmation out to the public what we wanted to. we were not able to get the services and answer some of the questions about claims about dispersants and what is our relationship with bp. the whole purpose of this town hall approach, this expo approach, it is to better inform the public about oil spills and what we're doing here in louisiana to fight the oil spills. >> and now a debate between two can is running for the senate, democratic nominations and north carolina. the winner of tomorrow's primary will face the republican in the general legend. this debate last about 50 minutes. >> what will be your first
legislation that you cosponsor and february? >> that is a great question. let me thank you for this opportunity to stand before you and to answer north carolina's questions. it is an honor to run for this job. it collected and given an opportunity to serve north carolina in the u.s. senate, i will put hard-working years into rebuilding the foundation of our economy, working to get jobs growing. it won't be one specific piece of legislation but a series of policies i will pursue to provide tax credits for small business owners to help provide targeted middle-class tax cuts to families, to support -- restore some fairness to trade rules that have created an unfair playing rules for north carolinans, and we'll talk about breaking our defend -- dependence on oil.
>> ms. marshall, the question to you -- the top priority or the first piece of legislation you would like to be involved in. >> it is great to be here. thank you to nbc 17, the league of women voters, and everyone listing. my very first bill would be something related to jobs. stimulating on entrepreneurship in particular. north carolinans are hurting and we need jobs. i think we can recruit small business but we have to grow small business. my first bill will be something in the nature of spurring financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and something that will help jobs stay here in north carolina for the sustainable economy and strong small business. >> great. we move on with ms. marshall. before the cold spell, president obama wanted to expand drilling off the north carolina coast. he has put a moratorium on drilling, but even before that,
if you talk about your offshore drilling opposition. why? >> example #one is the gulf coast. was very clear in the beginning that i was opposed offshore drilling for north carolina. what this bill has brought to the forefront -- what the spill has brought to the fourth one is the ecology of the country and the coziness between corporate america and government. it is clear that senator byrd did nothing to make the minerals management service more efficient, and in fact promoted offshore drilllng. that is a clear difference between me and senatorrbyrd. he is accepted tremendous amounts of contributions from them. he is the senator from the big oil. i like to be the senator from north carolina. >> mr. cunningham, your expression on offshore drilling?
>> it raises the question of what our energy future is going to look like, how we balance our priorities and make sure that we protect north carolina's unique nature. we have a wonderful travel and tourism -- our beaches are a splendid destination. that is an important part of the economy. as we think about protecting our environment, there's not enough oil or natural gas off of north carolina's coast to be a meaningful part of an energy solution for america. that is why in this campaign i talked about tax credits and tax favored status for big oil companies. it is why in this campaign we talked about the over $400,000 that senator byrd has taken from the oil companies, or even today he is defending bp, defending what is happening in the call. i want to make sure we look over the horizon and empower the federal government to build
alternative forms of energy -- that is the future. that is what needs the federal government support. >> into rabaul on that issue? very good. this is a fallout from a viewer. she is from wilmington. she wants to know your position on offshore drilling regulations and what assurance lawmakers should request for drilling rigs that are currently in use? that would get you, mr. cunningham. >> what we see in this is that there as been a very cozy relationship between the regulators and the regulated. something that i am disappointed that president obama was not more aggressive about before he started about -- started talking about changing the policy. we need to make sure that we do not have a band-aid solution here but make sure that this industry is investing in technology for how to mitigates bills when they happen. i think it is very clear that the government was not doing its
part. industry has not been doing its part. bp has not been doing its part to make sure that the risk were mitigated. of what to make sure -- it is an appropriate role for u.s. senator to call those to account in front of congress and make sure we have a much stronger regulatory framework. >> ms. marshall, your take on the current regulations -- are they tough enough? >> clearly they have not been i am a state regulator and i have had a crack the whip over regulators to make sure that the job gets done. that needs to happen in washington. we need to make sure that we have the right regulations on the book and that the relationships are not overly cozy, and that we fund the regulators and give them the tools to do the job. we also need the aaset of charging people criminal if they make serious representation -- misrepresentation. we need to get the doomsday disaster, not just something
written on a piece of paper. it needs to be substantiated and tested to the extent that it can and we clearly need to do more to protect our valuable coast. >> the video is so disturbing. we might be able to return to that later in the debate, but let's move on to the economy. ms. marshall, this question going to you. our economic recovery is certainly slow going. our state unemployment lines have swollen by 120,000 north carolinans out of work. says the small business sector creates the majority of our jobs, what would you do as a u.s. senator to help small business owners here in north carolina? >> i have touched on that a little bit. i had been a small business owner myself. i have made payroll and had to do marketing, all those kinds of things. a lot of folks do not understand that they can really make a business out of the next backed idea, as long as they don't
infringe on anything proprietary. but they have -- we need to create and stimulate entrepreneurship. we need to have the right tax code environment around the country. but here in north carolina, we have a great research universities with lots of ideas and are training people. we have this wonderful community college system that is putting workers out. we need an appropriate infrastructure work, a corporate tax credit work, appropriate stimulation and exposure to promote these ideas, partnerships when they are possible -- there's a whole raft of ideas that we can do. you do not -- you have to grow small business and we have to promote those avenues for those folks that are willing to do3 >> something that has been struggling right along with it. mr. cunningham, your way to help small business. >> thank you for that question.
throughout the campaign as i travel across north carolina, i need people that typifies some of the challenges that we face. i have a video series called the "voices of n.c.." i have one man named gary innes , the changes out tires on cars. he used to be in the furniture business and now he is doing this on a normal main street in north carolina. he had confidence hurdle to get people back on his payroll. he is having a alt -- hard time with the bank. we have to have regulatory reform, with the new regulatory framework for the banking, and help them get lending again. that is very important as i talk to small business owners. we would bolster the role of community colleges and incubate new businesses from our research institutions, make sure
that we extend research and development into advanced manufacturing tax credits, and provides some new tools to help stimulate innovation and make sure the small business owners and grow their peril, and at the end of the day, private sector job growth drives the economy. >> any rebuttals on the subject? let's move on, mr. cunningham, this question going to you. the projected deficit for the current federal budget -- $1.30 trillion. this is of you are asking what you would do to help eliminate our federal deficit? >> terrific question. the issue of the deficit is very important. the rising national debt is very important, because as we began to grow again, interest rates are going to take off, and that will stifle growth once again. it is important because it is a burden that will be passed from one generation to the next.
one of the center points of this campaign is to leave our country a better place for our children and our grandchildren. very straight to the point. we add 2 million contractors under the bush administration. if we cut 25%, we would save money over a period of time. we would close loopholes that outsource our jobs and prevent -- -- eliminate loopholes that stand in the way of collecting capital gains taxes, $10 billion a year. it should be collected by the federal government. i think congress has got to live by the pay-as-you-go rule. if you spend a dollar, you have to explain where it comes from. at the end of the day, the important thing is that we get this country's fiscal house back in order to restore growth. >> ms. marshall? >> that is a great question.
when americans look at washington, they say the priorities out of order. they cannot run their households the way that washington runs the economist. i drive a car until i cannot -- until it cannot go any more. i cut coupons to see if there's anything to benefit to me. that is the kind of ethic will take to washington. we need to understand where this deficit came from. when bill clinton left office, we were in the surplus area. george boies, with the help of richard byrd, has taken as the two wars without any way to pay for it, given us a prescription drug benefit without any way to pay for it, and at the very same time, giving tax breaks to the very culture wealthy. our priorities are out of order. the first thing we have tt do is to let those tax rates expire. then we have to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
we've got to build that tax rate -- tax base back, so that we grow our way out of the problem. it is a serious problem and we need to address it. hard questions but we have to address them. >> they certainly will not be solved overnight. any rebuttals? ms. marshall, this question going to you know. arizona making national headlines for beefing up its illegal immigration laws at the state level. president obama recently ordered 1200 national guardsmen to arizona and he is calling for $500 million to beef up border patrols there. what are your thoughts on this new state law for arizona and the federal government's latest move? >> i understand where arizona is coming from. the federal government. a ford has not been doing what they need to do to shore up -- the federal government
heretofore has not been doing what they need to do to shore up the border security. as a domestic violence advocate, we've tried to build up in the community of confidence in law enforcement, and this one simple act will take that confidence away. it is a wrongheaded policy. i am very much appreciating the president beating up the border because that is exactly what has happened. if you came home tonight and you saw water on the floor of your kitchen, you and not just mop it up. you would find the source of the problem before you ever did hitting cleanup. we've got to shore up the borders, whether the physical borders, north and south, airports, and we have to strengthen our visa program so that we know who is interested, who is coming to america, said that we can make sure, and
create a pathway to citizenship without any amnesty to make sure that these folks who want to stay here -- we have to enforce the laws on the book and take the incentive out of those that hire them. that is a key portion of it. >> mr. cunningham, your take on that two-pronged question. >> i think the policy is wrongheaded. it emphasizes that congress and the administration need to step toward an act on comprehensive immigration reform. i have some experience dealing with the challenges raised by the failed system. when i was at fort bragg in 2005 as a federal prosecutor, everyday people would show up at the gates with improper identification. they were looking for work. there were also here illegally. we had a hard time getting immigratioo and customs officials involved, getting the proper law enforcement response. it emphasizes that employers are zero looking for labor and is using the system. you have to step forward and get
tough on employers abusing the system, tougher on border security. i applaud the president for taking steps to strengthen the border. it has to be fair to taxpayers right now. maybe 11 million folks are here without proper documentation. we have to have a meaningful process, with visas or pathways to citizenship, because you cannot deport everybody, but we after make sure we know who is here. >> thank you. any rebuttals on that arizona topic? let's move on, mr. cunningham. this is somewhat of a follow-up but those more in your policies. the nation's immigration laws are a constant sort of debate these days. what you consider the most important component of comprehensive immigration reform? >> that is a good question, can. their three important
components. i would not the one in front of the other. i was just pointing them out. they have to be tough on the borders, talk on employers for misusing the system, and make sure that it is practical and fair to the taxpayers. they are right now paying their fair share, and the people who are here illegally are not. those of the principles that i think we should discuss. comprehensive immigration reform aspect accomplish those. >> miss marshall, we talked what you think is the most important component? >> you have to stop the influx and you do that by strengthening the borders. you also enforce the laws on the books regarding the employers. there simply looking for cheap labor, folks that are coming here seeking economic opportunity. you cannot fault anybody for that. of america is a land of great opportunity. most of us here, our forefathers came for opportunity. the other factor is that we have
to reform -- reform the immigration bureau itself. i personal experiences with employees. they make mistakes. the delay and obstruct and don't follow the guidelines, at least in the problems that we have been involved with, and they are not very user friendly. more customer service is possible. while still in force in a lot, we need done not make everybody feel that they are a criminal. that is the way that they are treated run-up. that is not america. that is not right. >> in a rebuttal? ok, we are a friendly bank. we will hear more from the senatorial canada's about issues that you tell us are important to you. we will also have follow-up questions from a panel of journalists. you're watching the democratic u.s. senate debate alive.
>> welcome back to the democratic senate runoff debate. we are entering section 2 of our debate, which consist of questions from you, our viewers, the league of women voters, as well as analysts here it and is it. mr. cunningham is the first question. the st recent estimate but social security as being unable to continue making full payout between the years 2037-2041. how would you address the issue of solvency concerning the future of social security? >> a terrific question, kim. i just laid out some important principles with respect to social security. as i travel north carolina, more seniors ask questions and more folks -- the senate failed to take action on a supplement to help seniors deal with rising
costs. i've laid out important principles. i am not going to go for any privatisation scheme. second, and this is that the solvency question, we have to pay back the social security trust fund. $2.6 trillion have been barred to pay for the operations of this country. i have laid out that we don't need to be changing benefits are raising the retirement age. that is not the right way to go. if we let the bush tax cuts expire, and target middle-class tax cuts, and continue the revenue into the future, it would extend the life of social security by 75 years. that will make sure that it is strong for the future. it is a promise to our seniors, people paying into it, and i want to make sure it is there for the next generation. >> saul and see on social security, ms. stevens greshem. >> it has been a social security net for citizens.
women tend goats live longer and we have to protect its solvency. one key way is to not continue to use tricks and games and gimmicks like washington is loath to do with the social security trust fund. as a financial regulator, one who has put crooks in jail for scanning the elderly, i am absolutely opposed to any privatization. when you put that kind of money out there, is a magnet for crooks, and we see over reaching all the time. we just announced a new partnership to protect seniors. i can talk about it in this moment but i oppose raising the age limit in social security, not withstanding innuendoes that had been made in this race. i believe that we can work through the solvency, and other things that we can do, but we have to make sure that we don't continue to play tricks and games and tried to scare senior citizens with misrepresentations.
>> rebuttals? >> sure, because the reference to innuendo was directed here. ms. marshall said to the ap that suggested raising retirement age several weeks ago. since then, she is talked about keeping the retirement age on the table. i don't think it should be on the table. it makes the most vulnerable among status -- it puts them at high risk. it's something that clearly should not be done and should not be on the table. >> or bottle? >> i have been very clear. my mother came to my rescue on this. she lives on soccal security. is what is wrong with washington. you try to enter into an intelligent debate about all of various aspects of things that could happen, should happen -- i never once said that i supported it. i strongly stand in favor of not raising the age of social security. >> we will move on to another topic, money.
we will talk campaign fund raising, and this is the direct question individually. we will begin with miss marshall, i believe. yes. ms. marshall, six lobbyists you regulate have given you small individual donations totaling less than $5,000. the question is -- is it ethical for you to except this type of individual donation? >> i am offended that folks bank did people think i can be bought and sold with lobbyists contributions. i stake my whole reputation and my career as secretary of state by calling things as i see them. i have een associated with lobbyist the whole time i have been in government. that is just a natural fact. i am ade decisions and enacted policies based on what i felt was right for north carolina. i have acted on my gut instinct in starting lobbying reform when
i saw things that did not seem right. i did know exactly what was going on but i always had he got an instinct to do what is right. i'm not beholden to anyone, certainly not in the small amounts, hustling from lobbyists -- that is a zone that i stand very clear wrong, that i cannot be bought and sold. >> but for the clarification. mr. cunningham, a separate question for you and we will allow or bottle. he received more than $80,000 from the democratic senatorial campaign committee. explain why your accepted these funds. >> i am very proud of the support that i have from that democratic senatorial campaign committee. they are committed as i am committed to replacing richard byrd in this campaign and beating him in this campaign. this campaign will go the distance this fall and nature that voices are being heard.
i accepted this money because i am committed to winning this race. >> any rebuttals? very good. we will move on to military now. mr. cunningham, this question going to you. both chambers are congress are considering legislationnto repeal don't ask don't tell. our live issue, public policy called and asked voters if they supported allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in the military. according to their poll, 54% said yes, 37% said no, 8% had no opinion on the matter. of your past, where you stand on repealing don't ask don't tell? >> thank you for your question. and it. it is that simple. it is inconsistent with american values and with military values. i know this. i have been a military prosecutor in iraq.
i've seen that this policy does not occur. it takes folks out of service, 13,000 american men and women out of service at a time when we need them the most, and for nothing related to the quality of service that they can provide our country. i am heartened to see this effort moving for. the president should give the order and the men and women in uniform say that this policy should and. >> miss marshall? >> i am opposed to any discrimination, anyplace, anytime, anywhere. in my personal policies as secretary of state, we are opposed to that. i represented people who have been sorely oppressed because of discrimination. i think don't ask don't tell me to be repealed. these are fine young american people in the military. they are willing to go into foreign places and maybe even give their lives for the freedoms that we have here, the
freedom to be free from discrimination. and it is just not right to ask them to lie about who they are, to be able to fulfill their military career and losing all that valuable talent. >> rebuttals? we will move onto the war on terror, now focused in afghanistan. with ms. marshall, eaalier this year a surge of 30,000 troops began an early cost projections of $40 billion and growing. i drawdown will start to a deadly in july of next year. -- a drawdown will start tentatively in july of next year. would you spend more money for additional troops in afghanistan? >> this is one clear difference in this campaign. i took issue with the president in proposing the search. it is the war against terrorists. when we put all our eggs in one basket and concentrate on
afghanistan, one geographical place, we've taken our eye off of the ball. terrorists are lots of places. they are in somalia, they are in yemen, and when we concentrate on afghanistan, we have lost sight of some of that. we have invested tremendously in afghanistan, an instance -- and this -- an inhospitable place. we spent $600 million in policing this and have literally nothing to show. we cannot find to train people ammunition.ons in the with that long-range presence, we cannot build that country. we need to rebuild america and invest right here, not in afghanistan. >> mr. cunningham. >> we are not putting all our eggs in one basket. we are making sure that we're pursuing terrorists wherever they are. we cannot leave afghanistan a
failed state. if we do, we're right back to where we were prior to september 11, a day when we lost nearly 3000 americans. we have to make sure that we're successful air, that we win back the momentum, transition security afghani forces. the afghani question is not just about afghanistan, but also about pakistan. the chief challenged in afghanistan is from the taliban, and in pakistan. we have to work across the border and make sure that we do not leave afghanistan a failed state, and we have to pursue terrorists in somalia, yemen, and other places in the world where they are, and we are. i am going to make sure that we protect the national security of this country. make sure. my experience here is colored by the fact that i landed in iraq at the peak of search and i saw a counterinsurgency work to win
back momentum. i am heartened to hear thaa in deposits that could help drive the economy before -- florida and make it a mature player on the world stage. >> any rebuttals? mr. cunningham, the oil pollution act of 1990 was passed shortly after the exxon valdez spill. it limits corporate liability to $75 million in economic damages. in north carolina, our state legislators are considering lifting that cap. would you lift the cap? why or why not for smart >> yes, there should not be a liability cap. if bp caused the pollution, it should pay for it. i think we will hear the president tonight talk about setting up a trust fund, an escrow fund funded by bp. it should be administered by a third party so that bp does not control who is getting payments
and win. i also want to make sure that we deal with the fact -- the oil and gas industry has been heavily subsidized and have not done what they should do to develop technologies for the mitigation of spills. the start is lifting that cap. quite frankly, bp off the fire it co over what has happened. -- bp ought to fire its ceo over what has happened. >> i agree that bp ought to give him back his life by firing him. they need to be held responsible. we need to quit the finger- pointing between various parties. the responsibility on all of them, we have to make sure that the people of louisiana who make their living out of the water, all of recreation and tourism -- i compare that to the people that i know off the coast of north carolina, if that were
happening here. i would be all up in arms and i am all up in arms about what is happening in louisiana. they have made a living out of a passion for a hobby for some abbas. it's good to get up and love the work that you are in. we need to reform the minerals management office because it has been entirely too cozy. we need to make sure that they are fully funded to do the job that they are supposed to do. the senator has taken tremendous amounts of money from them. it is the surprise that he has no criticism of how bp is handling this in the gulf. >> any rebuttals? ms. marshall, this question going deep. in the wake of the gulf oil disaster, there's been lots of about of increasing the use of alternative energy here in the united states. as a u.s. senator, how would you promote the use of alternative energy here in north carolina? >> that is a super great question, a dialect -- the
dialogue we should be carrying on every day. we have got wind and solar available to us. we've got a robust agricultural community that can help us with biodiesel. we've got the research universities that have got all kinds of innovative and creative research. things that they can turn into jobs and a better life, jobs that will stay right here. i visited all formally shuddered plant and pittsburgh -- a formally shuttered plant and pittsburgh, north carolina. they're going out and picking up used oil and turning it into biodiesel. it's absolutely marvelous and those jobs stay right here. they do not go anywhere else. and we've got the community colleges to help the workers, if there's something specific about a particular industry. we have got it, all the right infrastructure for us to be a
leader in america, and help emissions and oil. that is the right thing to do for the next generation and for ourselves right now. >> mr. cunningham, alternative energy. >> it should be a part of our energy future. we have to look over the horizon and see what the opportunities are. the federal government has a very important role and north carolina can and should lead, and we are. one of the videos that i mentioned from my video series earlier, a gentleman who works for a company, and he started his career in the oil business. now he is into alternative energy. because north carolina was forward thinking about an alternative energy standard, which did pass one for the country. his company is able to turn hog
waste into electricity. talk about a win-win for north carolina. 30 employees now that could go to 220. the idea came at a research labs right here, private capital coming together with a good tax structure and renewable energy standard. n.c. it is in the lead and we have to make sure that we run with this. biodiesel, wind, solar -- that is our future. >> any rebuttal? very good. coming up, we continue as our fellow journalist ask questions and the candidates will get their final chance to earn your vote with a closing statement. you're watching the democratic u.s. debate -- u.s. senate debate. welcome back to the debate
brought to you by in the c-17 as well as the leaaue of women voters of north carolina. we're entering the third and final segment of this debate. it gives our panel of journalists and opportunity to pass some great follow-up question. each reporter will ask each candidate one question. we drink and not -- we began from that "greensboro record." >> mr. cunningham, the our bills that will allow states to bargain with the public safety employees as well as card check legislation on companies for their collective bargaining with their employees. would you support either of those measures and why or why >> good question. first and foremost, i indicated my support for a public safety employees/employer cooperation act which would have n.c. set a policy which would be satisfied
by the acts the governor has taken. public safety inquiries -- employees meet and confer. there is an unfunded mandate and we need to make sure that it preserves north carolina's unique right to work laws, and indeed to make shoru -- make sure that satisfied that at. with regard to card check, i supported the employer -- the employee free choice that. in the ccty brought forward to the 21st century and make sure that the workplace is fair. abusive employers are fine and there's an opportunity for arbitration and mediation. i have also indicated that with card check itself, i have supported the compromise which would preserve the role of elections and would finally get
this legislation moving in the u.s. senate. >> secretary marshall, you said that he supported a pathway to citizenship without amnesty. that seemed to be a bit of a contradiction. how would that work? here that have come here seeking opportunity. they need to move to the back of the line. we've got plenty of employers, legitimate employers willing to go back their character and have them on their way to working here, pay some fines and penalties, appropriate waiting period, and if they continue to be productive folks here, amnesty would just be a forgiveness, and that is not right. i am talking about doing the probation before you are penalized in court.
it is a probationary period to work your way into citizenship. one of tte ways is through the united states military. i am glad to see a lot of young people, the resurgence of r.o.t.c. programs, willing to work their way here. >> thank you for being with us tonight. your question going to miss the cut -- mr. cunningham. >> the senate is set to take up medicaid funding assistance as we. many states including north carolina counted on for federal assistance money. if the decision was yours as part of the senate, would you act to put that extension back even if it meant an increase in the federal deficit? >> i have not looked at what it is you're talking about. i would be glad to take a closer look at it. we need to make sure that there is assistance for medicaid for
north carolina, but what i had called for first and foremost is protection for teachers' jobs. there is also pending, and i have endorsed the measure, that would make sure that $23 billion is not allocated to the states, particularly north carolina needing those funds. i have two kids in the city school system in lexington right now, and there's a lot of poverty. . and then they're going to lay off teachers. washington should step forward to protect those teachers. >> secretary marshall, as of late, we say a growing amount of union activity in our state, up to and including union backing opponnnts of north carolina congressman who voted against health care reform, and even the state employees association affiliating with the union, for lack of a better term. what about this growing trend? >> they certainly are free to exercise their