tv American Politics CSPAN August 22, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
going nowhere in the senate. it is tied up in election-year politics. nobody wants to do anything before november. with of the bp oil no longer flowing, they are losing momentum. there is an open question on whether congress will do anything. initially, there was a great deal of agreement between both parties that something needed to be done, that this oil spill have highlighted some of the problems of how we regulate offshore drilling. but that is falling away now. >> i read that both the american controlling institute and in our mental groups are going around town hall meetings advertising. how much interest you think the public will have in this issue? >> it is hard to say. something that has generally happened -- the environmentalists want to
resurrect that momentum that may be lost. the american petroleum institute wants to put the final nail on the coffin on the spill or at least half what gets through watered-down. >> last year, there was a similar dynamic. i went to a couple of these in the midwest. there were a little town hall meetings, bus tours. and the energy industry would have huge rallies with a band and speakers and something very elaborate, saying climate energy will destroy the economy or cost a lot of jobs. it seemed then there was a real imbalance in the political momentum. it proved to be true. the senate acted with the energy industry wanted. now you have the anbar analysts playing defense. now they have to defend what they have left, president obama
possibilities to regulate energy through the epa. >> the congressman talk about how he wants to make sure bp pays bills. there is an administrator for it. what tools do they have to ensure that the people who might have claims for the money will actually get it? >> there's a great deal of statutory enforcement authorities against bp to actually pay for the cleanup itself. there is a fuzzy issue on the damages or a cap on the liability of $75 million, which is one of the crucial points in the oil spill legislation that will stop now. it would eliminate the cap. the obama administration stepped
in and made them do that. when it comes down to is the administration has promised that they will do that beyond the $20 billion and hold them to that promise. if the bills make it through this year or in the next congress, they would lift that cap. >> with ken feinberg, you have someone whose analytical skills in a complicated issue. in the end, you will see a lot of people from the gulf coast polling for a particular kind -- a particular class of shares or that sort, but [unintelligible] time will also do that. >> thank you for your questions. we hope you will come back. >> thank you for having as. >> up next, a vice-president joe
biden's remarks at the democratic national committee summer meeting. later, a discussion on a proposed whistleblower protection bill. >> one of the things that i regretted about political and rhetorical life in washington is that every major figure, from the president on down is merely reading what somebody else and some committee has produced. >> he wrote for president carter. tonight, he will share his insights on washington. >> the coast guard and bureau of abundant energy management will continue this week. we will show you live coverage with testimony from bp,
halliburton, and trans ocean employees. hollenbeck >> joe biden will speak for 40 minutes. >> everyone, take your seats. we will come back to order. we have a great treat, when that we have all been looking for. our next speaker gets a big thank you for joining us and his incredible efforts over the last year-and-a-half. as president biden spoke with
president obama on the recovery act. as a former governor, i know how deeply involved the vice president was in working with governors and mayors on the recovery act. he stood with president obama on health care. he stood with the president and democrats for the financial reform told wall street accountable so that american taxpayers will never again be left holding the bag for failed wall street gambles. in short, he has been a powerful force behind everything this administration have accomplic shed. he has been fighting for democrats his whole life. he has been a champion for the
democratic party in delaware and all over this country. even at this early stage, vice- president biden must rank as one of the most important influential, and effective vice- president in our nation's history. al smith turned to this wonderful nickname, the happy warrior, somebody battling with a smile in his face and optimism in his heart. that was later applied to fdr, hubert humphrey. it is a great phrase and a democratic tradition. we are proud to welcome a wonderful vice-president and our party is happy warrior, vice- president joe biden. [cheers and applause]
>> hey, folks, how are you? it is nice to see wall. thank you, governor, for that. thank you, all, very much. it is great to be with you. thank you so very, very much. thank you. thank you all very much. governor, thank you for that gracious introduction. one of my mentors, when i got to the senate, when i was elected at 29 years old and shortly after a couple of things happened, one of the guys who you know, one of the two major influences in getting me down and getting me in garrett was that happy warrior hubert humphrey. to be compared to him is way above my capacity. but to be compared to franklin roosevelt, that is not even in the realm of possibility. [laughter] thank you for that introduction. i want to thank all of you. i want to thank everyone here at the head table. and i want to thank -- you know, there is a great line by james joyce. he said, "when i die, dublin
will be written in my heart." when i die, the lower will be written in my heart and it will be written by john bellows. we started in 1968. he is to blame for me being here. it is great to see you here, john. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, thank you for all the great work you have done. because of your hard work and the party infrastructure you have placed across the country, i am proud to say, now that i am here in missouri, not far from the mississippi river, to quote a missouri and, paraphrasing, as related to our party, but it has been greatly exaggerated. [cheers and applause] on november 3, the day after
this coming election, there will be, in washington, d.c., a democratic majority in the house and the democratic majority in the senate. that will be the case. [cheers and applause] if it were not illegal, i would make book on it. it is in large part because of all of you. i am also going to see the democratic governors coming back in a way that nobody expects right now. the american people are march -- are much smarter than the pundits. they knew the mess that the democratic governors inherited as a consequence of the republican recession. and they know in their debt. they're like the people that i grew up with -- in their gut. they're like the people that i
grow up with. they know that the road was going to be rough. when a million people stood in the mall on a freezing day, you could see it in their eyes, a sense of hope and expectation. but they also knew that there were no easy answers. they knew it was going to be tough. let's get real. and look at the facts. not for the purpose of litigating the past, but for setting the marker as to whether we are heading in the right direction for the future. we inherited an economic policy and a plan for prosperity that lay in creative financial instruments, credit default swaps, collateralized obligations, subprime mortgages -- basically, the previous administration had a ponzi
scheme for our economic future. we inherited a debt of $1.30 trillion before we did a single solitary thing and a projected deficit of $8 trillion for the next 10 years before we turn on our computers. we inherited an economy that was shrinking at almost 7% -- shrinking at 7%. we inherited an economy that, before i lowered my right hand on that cold day, we have already lost 740,000 jobs that month. folks, these numbers are not like the economists look at them and the way our republican colleagues looked at them. yes, statistics. but every single one of those
jobs represents a person, an individual. every single one of those jobs lost represented somebody who has been devastated. johnson knows heard me said that the most a manner woman could ever make is a flight of stairs up to the child's bedroom. and you can say, i am sorry, honey, you cannot go back to roosevelt junior high next week. you cannot play on the little league team because mommy or daddy just lost their job. these are the people behind those statistics. tens of millions of them have made that walk, just like my dad made that walk when i was a kid. i clearly remember him making that walk up the stairs in scranton, pa., sitting on the edge of the bed when i was 10 years old. and when my beautiful younger
sister, valerie, who is here today, she was so young and said, and joey, debt is going to have to move. i will be gone -- daddy is going to have to move. i will be done. but i will be back every weekend. i have to go to delaware because there are jobs there. but the harder what was probably when my grandfather stood there with his four sons and said, ambrose, i need a favor. can you keep the gym, jeanne, and the kids? i promise it will work out. i will not be any more than a year. i will come home every weekend. that is what those statistics represent. the represent people's loss. my father used to have an expression jobs are about more than a paycheck.
it is about pride. it is about dignity. [applause] this recession stripped over 8.5 million people of not only their livelihood, but their dignity. and when barack and i ran, we meant what we said. we would not measure the success of this administration on whether the stock market bounded up to 12,000 or 14,000. we would measure it on the middle-class people, having a fighting chance to stay in the middle class, and those aspiring were able to get their. we are not there yet, folks. beyond all that, we inherited a foreign policy in total disarray with doubts about our ability to lead not only coming from our adversaries, but from our friends.
we had gone from the most respected nation in the world in the clinton used to literally one of the least respected nations according to a few service. folks, we knew most of this before you put us in office. it was even worse than most economists and most people thought. but we knew where it. we knew there would be no easy answers. barack and die, literally, my word to this -- barack and i, literally, my word to this, when he talked about selecting me, in a hotel room in minneapolis for st. paul -- i cannot remember now because i was snuffed in through the basement of the hotel so that people would not know he was interviewing me. [laughter] all kidding aside, folks.
we talked about it. we did not fall off the turnip wedding yesterday, as my grandfather would say. we knew -- the turn of wagon yesterday, as my grandfather would say. we knew the change would not be incremental and it would not be popular initially. in every one of -- and every one of the democratic colleagues knew it as well. so, folks, we knew we had to act boldly. i would posit that we did with the help of a courageous democratic congress led by harry reid and nancy pelosi, who is one of the most significant leaders i have ever worked with. [cheers and applause] nancy pelosi, you got it.
she is something else. [applause] so, folks, we also need a lot of leaders like you standing behind us. we have been through some tough times here. to make those tough choices, leaders had to be prepared to take their experience, use their experience, and actually believe. we needed people to believe we could get things done. literally, the president and i believe. this is not something done politically. if we were acting politically, we would have done a lot of different things. but we absolutely believe with every fiber of our being that the initiatives we took were absolutely necessary. look at what the president has done. he has stabilize the financial system. boy, that was not popular.
he prevented a total economic meltdown that would not only affect the united states, but the entire worldwide economy. my deceased was said that the greatest ability of mankind was the ability to forget. and my mom used to say that that was true. if it were not true, we would only have had one child. [laughter] but think about it. think about it. a lot of people have forgotten. we were not talking about the bank's reorganizing. we were talking about them shattering their doors. -- shutting their doors. i remember aaron meeting in chicago when we were putting together the new government and paul volcker headed up the comments. one of the first elements of discussion was whether or not we would have to declare a bank
holiday on january 21. the president acted remarkably well. guess what. the banks have already paid back over two hundred billion dollars and they will pay back every single penny that the taxpayers land them. [applause] -- the taxpayers lend to them. [applause] we change in the health care system, eliminating insurance company abuses, giving tax break to small businesses, and driving down the cost of health care $1 billion in the first 10 years and over $1 trillion over the next 20 years. we, with your help, we help people who lost their jobs survive while reviving the economy by giving significant tax breaks to small businesses
and innovative companies who were laying the foundation for the 21st century. we cannot lead the world in the 21st century the same basic policy and economy that we had in the 20th century. we need a new economy. and the result of all of this, more than 3 million americans are working today who would not have been working without this legislation. and when the president announced this initiative, he referred to me as sheriff joe. everybody was ready at the time. you would see great big stories of hundreds of millions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse. i am proud to say that that dog has not been yet. there is a way to go. it could happen. but it is working. we brought reform to wall street. we will make sure that folks
will not get ripped off the way they weren't in the past with new versions of collateral that swaps or whenever they will be in the future. we ended a system working at it -- or credit card companies could raise your interest-rate 40% just because they could, because the fine print said they could raise it at any time for any reason. and they did. we ended a system where mortgage lenders offered a teaser rate that would skyrocket, forcing millions upon millions of americans into foreclosure. not anymore. we ended a system where a company could pay a woman as a man -- a woman could not pay -- could pay will less than a man for the exact same work and not have recourse until long after it was over. we rescued an automobile industry that was not going to
reorganize, but liquidate, costing over 300,000 jobs have it done so. the year before, we held chrysler and gm, the auto industry shed 431,000 jobs the year. since then, the industry has added 76,000 jobs -- the industry shed 41,000 jobs that year. since then, the industry has added 76,000 jobs. [laughter] ladies and gentlemen, we have begun to revamp our education system. instead handing subsidies to big banks to make loans, we made them direct, more affordable
for 8 million additional families. [applause] if you sat at my kitchen table growing up for millions of kitchen tables today, one of the things that people are most worried about right now is will lead be able to send annmarie back for her second semester or her second year? can i keep johnny in school? i do not think we can do this. that is what people worry about. do you know anybody, any mother or father, somebody living in party to someone -- somebody living in poverty to the most wealthy who does not have the dream of sending someone to college? because of what we did and what the congress did, we are making that now, literally, immediately, we tripled tax credits for families, double the amount available for pell
grants, increased the maximum pell grant award. how many of you have a kid in school who did not graduate from college in debt? raise your hand. [laughter] it is not a joke. how many of you have kids in school who graduated in significant debt? raise your hand. good news for me was that the market was high and i was able to sell my home in order to pay for student loans. ladies and gentlemen, how are we going to go from being 12th in the world in graduating people from college to number one again without making college more affordable and accessible to everyone? [applause] folks, it is not possible. folks, we went from a business environment in generating virtually no private investment
or renovation or technology or growth to visit -- to a business environment in the last 18 months that has invested over two billion dollars in capital in new technologies and innovation. we did what could republicans used to do as far back as lincoln. we provided seed money to private industry. we know we're not when to restore the economy through the government. it will be through the private industry. lincoln, in the middle of a civil war, voted for and pushed unapt that the congress -- pushed an act that the congress passed for the transcontinental
railroad, guaranteeing any railroad company getting $16,000 in bond for every mile of track they laid. we would not have built the transcontinental railroad if it were not for that. the eisenhower administration came up with a dark but which led to the internet -- came up with darpa. it was the seed money of a federal investment, of $25 million, that got the thing started. i love these republicans who call themselves pro-business. i am not joking. i am being deadly earnest. i am being deadly earnest. none of this would have happened or possible effect were not for un can rage -- and courageous congressional leaders who were willing to stand up, not for what they thought was
popular, but for what they knew was right. and you know what -- what we did is working. the american people are now beginning to see it. at the end of the bush administration, america lost three trillion jobs. we lost -- 3 million jobs. before we could put our administration employes, we lost another 4 million jobs. we have since added 630,000 jobs. it is not enough. [applause] but that is 630,000 jobs more than bush created in his eight years. today, we are growing by an economy at an average of more than 3%. we need more. but the folks know of there that
it takes a long time to bring back 8 million jobs and revive an economy that has slipped so badly. the president and i knew we could not guarantee economy grow from washington. but we also know that presidents can lay down a foundation for business to expand. we can set national goals that inspire the nation to new heights. entrepreneurial school -- skills. that is what president obama and the democratic congress have done. we replaced the failed approach of the past with the new vision of the future, the vision of investing in innovation, research, and development, and encouraging ingenuity and talent. the vision of the middle class that gets ahead, instead of falling behind. that is my vision. that is the president's vision. i am confident it is yours. we have not had it in a long while -- a national vision.
if this is all true, ask yourself, why are the polls not showing things better? you tell me this and i suspect this audience is like preaching to the choir -- you do not now what i am saying. you know it is true. you have to ask yourself why. why isn't this self evident to the american people? my grandmother used to have an expression. he used to say, no one focuses on politics and the election until the world series is over. it used to end in early-october. most of us will tell you the focus does not start until after labor day. i think that is literally true. up until labor day, people focus on their circumstance and how upset they are, with good reason. many of them have been stripped of their dignity. they look out there.
focus on the only person who is there. the only person they see -- the president of united states and the democratic congress. guess what, folks? come labor day, they will have to begin to compare -- focus and compare. there used to be a mayor of boston, when i got elected to the senate come in 1972, who said, do not compare me to the almighty. compare me to the alternative. [laughter] don't compare me to the almighty. compare me to the alternative. ladies and gentlemen, people do not want to even have to focus right now. in the dog days of august, they do not want to focus. they know they can focus on their understandable anger and
frustration and fear. folks, that is about to change. when they start to look at the alternative, they are going to see what -- i will get in trouble for saying this -- this ain't your father's republican party. this is the republican tea party. [applause] as they focus on the alternative -- the republican tea party -- what they will find is the choices are pretty stark. they will see a republican party that is a combination of the old, failed policies of the bush administration -- the old new conservative notions about international relations and economic policy -- combined with a new set of draconian ideas on steroids. literally, no joke.
this is what is going to be. they're going to see a decent man -- he is a decent man -- rand paul. they will see sharron angle. they will look at what the republican party is offering. they are offering more of the past, but on steroids. [laughter] not a joke. i know it sounds funny, but it is true. it is not jest that they have no new ideas. they actually have some new ideas. the new ideas are taking the old ones even further. they are squeezing the life out of them. ladies and gentlemen, think about it. i know this is a political gathering and i am a politician. step back. take off your republican or democratic hat and ask yourself, what alternative has been
offered? what alternative has been offered? [applause] ladies and gentlemen, as yourselves -- i have been senator and vice president for a total of 37 years now. i can say without fear of contradiction that there has been no time in my career -- and i would argue not in recent history -- when every major initiative of one party has been unable to garner any more than 3 votes from the republican party. let's assume we were wrong 90% of the time. at least 10% of the time, there would be some -- some -- some support. virtually none. they have all made the deal, even those who know better. these two years ago along with
the republican leadership on every procedural matter and not give one single vote. they give a couple. i mean a couple -- one, two, three. i do not mean 10%, 20%. folks, it has been cleared. i remember talking. the president did not like to accept my suggestion. i had spoken to seven republican senators in the first to go months to told me they wanted the -- wanted to be with me, but they made a commitment that they would stay every procedural vote. they are betting on -- their success rests on our failure. whatever government in power today fails, then the american people feel. fortunately, we have overcome. but not in a clear channel.
not in clear, unadulterated ways. everybody wonders why it is taking so long. if we have done these things, why is it so difficult? these are big, complex bills. we have a chance now that people are starting to focus. we can lay out exactly what they mean to the average american. the alternative -- it was to the party of joe barton, john boehner, mitch mcconnell -- they will see the party of joe barton, john boehner, mitch mcconnell. there are decent people. joe barton called for bp -- called our requirement for bp to pay for the damage from this bill "a shakedown." he apologized to bp. it could have been a slip of the tongue, but it was not. it is a philosophic point of view. he was honest enough to assert
it. is not a bad guy. i am not making a moral judgment on what he said. that is what he believes. and he represents a party that believes the essence of what he asserts, if not specifically about bp. john bamir -- i like john -- john boehner, i like john. i like a lot of republicans. i really do. i strongly disagree with them. john boehner is a decent guy, the leader of the house republicans. he said our efforts to regulate the excess of wall street and the financial industry as we attempted to hold them accountable -- he said it was akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant. guess what? that is a pretty big damn ant.
it ate up about 8 million jobs. [applause] look, folks. mitch mcconnell -- i have worked with him for years. we both did eulogies for a mutual friend of ours -- ted stevens -- just two good days ago. i like mitch. called for the health care bill to be -- called for the health care bill to be repealed and replaced. he does not want to have a child be covered without exceptional -- additional cost. he wants to repeal the right of a parent to keep a 19-year-old or 20-year-old college kid on their insurance plan. he wants to repeal a 30% tax cut that will kick in for small businesses who have the decency to provide healthcare for their employees. he wants to repeal the
preventative care that is kicking in now for seniors, to keep them from being sicker. he wants to replace it with the tyranny of the insurance companies. ladies and gentlemen, if you read through this, they are clear about what they believe. the republican party is the party, in 2010, of repeal and repeat. repeat the old practices of the past. i believe it is out of step with where the american people are. it is our job to draw those clear distinctions between now and the election. look, when the american people focus on our differences, i think we're going to do just fine in november. there is a choice for americans this election. it is not between democrats and the almighty. it is between democrats and republican tea party. it is between the democrats and the party of dot repeal and repeat. the president and i believe --
and we have said this repeatedly -- that it is much worse to accept the situation we cannot bear, rather than to steel our spine and embrace the promise of change, even though changes always frightening. that is why you put us in the white house. to steel our spines and turn this country around. for where is it written that the united states has to yield its economic supremacy to china? where is it written that the united states cannot once again be the leading manufacturer of automobiles and manufacturing in the world? where is that written? where is it written that the united states cannot be and will not be as innovative and creative, in the new
technologies of the future as we were in the 20th century? for if we do not, we cannot lead the world. ladies and gentlemen, every american knows there is no possibility of us leading the 21st century with the same energy, health, and education policies that we have had in the last century. but they also know that change creates uncertainty. this is our opportunity to lay out, honestly, what we did and what the alternative is. i used to kid -- this is a hackneyed metaphor. my friend knows this place across the line in delaware
called the avondale quarry. it is a deep quarry with high cliffs on the side. the knots in the cliff -- there is this era's best, the crow's nest, in the eagle's nest. the macho young guys tried to go out and jump off of them. the highest one is pretty high. i think it is 60 feet. it is a long way up. i remember being the worst kind of kid. i would be one of those guys to jump off. people would ask if it frightened me. it is frightening when you go down very deep into the water. you go down so deep that it is black. for one split second, your chest constricts because you are frightened. you do not know whether you are swimming down or up.
when you get about 15 feet from the top of the water, you look up and you can see the light. you are still drowning. [laughter] not a joke. but you know you are moving in the right direction. that is what we have to make clear to the american people. they know they should not be doing the crawl now. they're not setting records. they know the depths we were put in by the last administration. it will take time. i promise you -- they're like the people i grew up with in scranton. you sit around the kitchen table. the news came across -- the stock market is up. it did not matter. it only mattered if you heard the steel company hired 25 guys. or that chain of supermarkets
was building a new supermarket that was going to hire 120 people full-time. that is when people say, you know, it is going to be ok. our objective -- the president, mine, and yours -- is to stop that walk and allow every parent to say to their kid, honey, it is going to be ok. it is going to be ok. that is what we are about. the only way it is going to be ok is if we do not turn back now, if we don't continue to stay the course on producing an entire new industry, generating new investments, generating an opportunity for american businesses and workers to be
able to once again lead the world in economic growth. i believe we are on the path to do that. we have a long way to go. as i see it, and you see it, i am sure, this is not about the next election. it really is about the next generation. it sounds corny. i am not naive. i have been through eight presidents. i truly believe that the public realizes we're focusing on the welfare of the next generation. the next election will then take care of itself. if we take care of that, we take your business, they will stay with us. for i can promise you this, our economy is coming back. america is on its way back. democrats are going back to washington in the majority. god bless you all. may god protect our troops. thank you.
[applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] ♪ your love is lifting me higher -- ♪i've ever been lifted >> the democratic national committee voted to approve the 2012 presidential primary nominating calendar, setting the date of the iowa caucus for february 6, 2012. the new hampshire primary will be february 14. >> one thing i regretted about political and rhetorical life in washington is that every major figure, from the president and
down, is merely reading what somebody else in some committee has produced. >> philip terzian wrote speeches for the carter administration secretary of state cyrus vance, wrote about presidents in, "architects of power," and isabelle -- is the editor of "the weekly standard." tonight, he is on "q&a." >> the coast guard and bureau of ocean energy management hearings continue this week. we'll show you the live coverage with testimony from bp, halliburton, an transocean. -- and transocean. that is life all week beginning at 9:00 a.m. on c-span2. now, a look at a proposed whistle blower protection bill from "washington journal." this is about 40 minutes. is the -- stephen kohn is
the executive director of the national whistleblower organization. guest: thank you. we are the only organization dedicated to whistle-blowers. we have no cause. we do not use them to leverage a specific issue, we simply protect whistle-blowers. host: "long revered on capitol hill, but when it comes to protecting congressional employees, congress is dragging its feet on the act that would prevent members of congress from retaliating in against employees, having yet to budge from their long hold in the senate committee even as congress continues to be rock with allegations of corruption. recent cases suggest that aids could be valuable sources to report from behind congressional
office doors if they had the gumption to come forward here " guest: a great story and a very good proposal -- come forward." guest: a great story and a very good proposal. everyone loves a whistle-blower until this focused on you. i have never seen an industry that welcomed it, although they should. the federal government and the white house are the same way. we love them until they are in our backyard, but people need to get over it and accept the bid is critical. host: the coach can -- co- sponsor is senator clear misstep -- clear mccaskill, you have two people's motivated to get it moving but it is not moving forward. host: it is protection for all
federal employees. they have lagged behind the private sector, so they have no whistleblower rights. federal employees have amongst the worst riots in the country right now. -- the worst rights in the country right now. they are reluctant to give rights to the people the blow the whistle on them. the same goes for the white house. i hate to say it, but everyone has been the same. on the campaign trail they support whistle-blowers. when they realize that that might be embarrassing to their agenda, the back of. host: "senator joe lieberman who has jurisdiction over this legislation, while he supports the intent of the bill, the priority in advocating legislation from hawaii would
strengthen the current protection laws, covering federal employees but not the legislative branch." guest: bilal before the committee does not strengthen the rights of whistle-blowers -- the law before the committee does not strengthen glut -- the rights of whistle-blowers. the grassley bill would permit access, the lieberman bill would permit may be 5% in practice, where they get court access right now. there is a battle over specific and technicalities. i know that it is technicalities that win or lose a case. that is what is going on right now. will these rights have due process? or will they be on paper? the congressional bill is a
pretty good law. i would not mind if they just gave it to all of the federal workers. host: "representing in multiple cases, such as oklahoma city and linda tret." you can join in the conversation, for republicans, 202-737-0001. for democrats, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. why have you dedicated yourself to helping whistleblowers? guest: they are key to oversight. when i first started there were just examples where they would be useful, but it has come out in numerous studies, most
recently the university of chicago, that they would come out and actually document that whistleblowers are the most important source for fraud detection. they detect more fraud than every inspector general, police department, and compliance office. if you want to find fraud, you must protect whistle-blowers. that is the conclusion of the american association of fraud auditors, price waterhouse coopers, all based on scientifically bvalid studies. the false claims act, every year billions -- not just savings in the theoretical sense, they get billions of dollars from federal contractors who took the money
improperly, giving it back to the taxpayer. the long term savings is probably in the trillions, but it actually works. therefore if you are serious about fraud protection and uncovering misconduct, you have to protect whistle-blowers. that is why these laws are so important. host: one of the proposed laws we are talking about is the congressional whistleblower act, said bill 474. it would protect whistle- blowers "who have tips for information about what happens in the legislative branch." republican caller, seattle. caller: good morning. first, i would like to ask your guest who is the person in congress that sponsored the bill? guest: it has been pushed by senator chuck grassley and
senator clear mccaskill. it republican and a democrat, respectively. senator chuck grassley has been one of the various orders of whistle-blowers, regardless of the target, a democrat or republican. caller: i just think that it is such a great topic and a great strategy. if the federal government had in place people whose post was to do just that, we could streamline the process so much better. i hope that as the effort goes forward, it would show that this is what our country needs. conservatives understand that will meet government, but we do not need the slack that we have with people pointing fingers in
government all the time to reduce the fraud, we would not be paying be exorbitant tax rates that we do. people calling in this morning talking about social security, one out of two people -- i lived in a rv park, to your view of people -- two people are fraudulent and have lived there for 13 years. guest: as health care expand, you will need more whistle- blowers. that is the key for good government and accountability. that is why i am so troubled that the federal government itself will not enact laws protecting federal employees.
these federal and police play key regulatory roles. the securities and exchange commission monitors wall street's. food and drugs. these employees need protection. congress, congressman have to go on the campaign trail all the time. we need whistle-blowers to make sure that these people are honest. another key federal law that has no whistleblower protection of the federal finance laws. you can see some issues there. host: what you think about wikileaks? should the individuals that leaked those documents be protected? guest of the national whistleblowing center exists -- guest: of the national whistleblowing center exists to
help those, those that say that they support whistleblower is sometimes used them. they have an agenda. whistle-blowers fit into the agenda. our organization is different. we want to make sure that the whistleblower is protected and understands their rights. there are legal avenues, even in national security, to blow the whistle. it is very important that if people want to make an exposure, if they want to make change, they do it in a way that helps their credibility, keeps them out of jail, getting them the change they want to see. that is what we are all about. some groups, and i will not name names, but there issue becomes all important. they will sometimes trample over
a whistle-blower to make their issued a news. from our view whistleblowing is always nonpartisan. i will represent most the democrat and i will represent and the tories democratic was a blow against a republican. it means nothing. what counts is holding people accountable and getting the chains that is needed. host: rick, democratic line, good morning. caller: can you talk more about private employees that might be doing business with the federal government? guest: across the claim is the best whistleblowing provision. i call it visionary legislation
because when it was enacted we did not have a big government, but it was visionary because the day that will fit perfectly. leaving an insider for any government contract and to report fraud and pay a financial award. what about the award? it was critical, at the university of chicago they said that the whistle-blowers were disincentives. you get your job back. what was your award? you put your career at risk and you will probably be ruined in your profession, possibly stigmatized. it lets you get a significant monetary reward, getting 13% to 40% of the fraud.
you need to file a formal complaint, but you file it under a seal in federal court, no one knows about the case except for you and the judge. they get the information to investigate the wrongdoing. if the justice department does not do its job, it means in the name of the king. the average american citizen and worker is empowered under the law pursue that wrongdoing, the number one fog detection device in the united states.
host: there is a program as part of law that was recently passed, the sec offering big payoffs, if you see something, say something, "offering big cash rewards to whistle-blowers that report fraud and wall street banks. under the program, anyone that leads to a successful securities and exchange commission action will be able to collect the amount recovered. coast -- guest: we supported this act as it created a monetary incentive. why did they need it? who understands financial fraud? not the investor that keeps losing out. not the sec, they missed it. it is people on the inside.
everyone knows it. the studies and reviews, the documents have shown that they get it from the insider. this law has created a financial reward modeled on false claims similar to one enacted by the irs. i predict that it will work and that the sec will retain thousands of strong, good leads. i think that investors will save billions, if not trillions in the long run. host of these investments are significant. -- host: these investments are significant. the whistleblower can be a company insider or a private investor. is there a danger in incentivizing this monetarily? the moral component that can get lost? guest: not at all.
first, studies under false claims showed that those whistle-blowers on motivated like every other, trying to do the right thing. the false claims act in this bill has a gatekeeper process, going to the government first confidentially. you can do some judicial review, but it is up to the sec. consequently, if your claim has no merit, in the false claims act if you pursue the claim you can get countersued for the attorney fee of the company. there is this incentive on pursuing week or frivolous claims. if you look at the $25 billion recovered under the false claims
act, there is no example of someone getting counter-claim to frivolously. host: columbus, ohio, independent line, good morning. caller: good morning. who do you report to when it is the government that is derelict in their duties? let me give you example, i am a retired freemason. at some point our pension under the act, according to the web site the agency charged with enforcing, i contacted them because the plan administrator gave me the runaround of my attention. three weeks ago i was told that they do not enforce the laws
when it involves one person. when you are getting figures like this by the government, whom do you report that to? guest: there is an office of the inspector general, they are suppose to be the internal watchdog where citizens can go to file complaints. unfortunately, federal employees today left the same type of rights that many private sector employees have. if there management does not care, the office of inspector general is supposed to do that oversight role. some of them are very good. some of them are very bad.
many of them are in the middle. your best bet is to contact the inspector general to see if they will help you out. host: "does the act of time whistleblowing can visit their for punishable"? we can talk about the act before congress right now, can you apply that to what is already on the books? guest: every law has its own definition, but the general rule has been waste and fraud abuse under the law. generally talking about a gross waste of funds. they're looking for something more significant. in terms of someone raising a frivolous claim, there are two ways that that happens. if you go to the inspector general or law-enforcement officer, your allegations will
have close to immunity from civil liability. if you go to a inspector general and report a concern, you have almost no risk of being sued by the first in your current -- turning in. why? they want to encourage people to make for. they know that if you are subject to a counterclaim, it will discourage reform and. if you take over the news media, you are subject of libel laws. even if you blow the whistle to the news media, you could be sued by the person you blow the whistle on. it depends on what your doing, who you are talking to. it is a little more complicated than simply having the right to blow the whistle. every law has its own definition. at the whistleblower center we strongly encourage anyone thinking of blowing the whistle to contact us.
we have an attorney of referral process. the biggest mistake i was blowing often done at the very early stages, blowing the whistle in a way that can hold you out for liability. host: ithaca, new york, welcome. guest: i want to preface this, i know that a lot of people that's got nose, i was a military whistleblower and got pretty much opposed by the system. i want to be more forthcoming. the inspector general system is a complete joke in most of the military. this is a big business. the business for lawyers is the ambulance chaser version of private practice for lawyers. it has value, but for the little guys like me that blew the whistle on a small thing,
organizations like is completely blow you off because you are not high profile. mostly they go after high- profile cases. i have a few examples here and there of pals in the ocean that they have covered, but for the most part, little guys, like your other caller, they get squashed like a bug going through the system because it is not effective. host: what could have been different in your case to make things better for you? caller: one other thing, there is a lot of books written by barbara boxer. i do not know as much about these issues as other people, but she passed a military whistleblower act that has no teeth. going 3 inspector general system in the army, it has no teeth, you are squashed like a bond, you get a letter saying that they have found no evidence of
substantiating the allegation. which is really the way that the system is. i know that this will be abrasive, but i am trying to run for u.s. senate. i will let go into that, but basically i am as strong, putting in as much strong feeling -- i am flustered because this is a sensitive subject, but i feel more strongly than senator grassley about this kind of thing. . we often city inspector general or sue them when they are doing the wrong thing. we have no ties to them.
right now. unless whistle-blowers can get their day in court and obtained damages, there will be no rights. i understand that a lot of those guys -- whoop every day, we get complaints. we get about 1000 that we try to refer out. there is a problem. there is no law that provides strong production. if there is a law that provides a strong protection, you may have a shot. that is just the way it is. we are trying as hard as we can to get a national whistle- blower protection to law in this country in to put teeth behind those federal agency laws that do not have teeth right now. that is the reality. i completely agree on the military was a lower law. we have many complaints from
soldiers on active duty or people subject to the military. you are right. you have no private right of action. you have to go to the inspector general. if they shut the door, you are out. that is what we are trying to change, as hard as we can. host: the director of the national was a lower center. -- whistle-blowers center. eva in athens, georgia. caller: good morning. the most famous case i know of that began with the gentleman who is a chemist, who did the whistle blowing against the tobacco company, they made a movie out of it. it's called "the insiders." it was more focused on what happened inside of cbs. can you tell me what happened to the gentleman who was a the
gentleman? long-term, what happened to him? >> guest: you can look him up on the internet. he has a website. i believe he obtained it some part of the settlement and got some settlement of of the tobacco sonia sotomayor. he fell into the black hole of calcutta. there is still the whistle- blower law covering the tobacco industry -- no whistle blower law covering the tobacco industry. believe it or not, today the food and drug administration inspectors have almost no protection, and as we learn about the bad eggs, there is a whistle-blower law in congress for people who work for the food industry so they can blow the whistle on things like contaminated peter badeanut butr and eggs.
it still has not passed. i came here in 1982 as an intern, and they were trying to pass protection for food workers. it still has not passed because the agricultural industry is so powerful. tobacco is in the same way. i know mr. wygant suffered. i know there is some resolution and he has a website i.d. t is strong strong advocaand he is a advocate. the food industry has been carved out, but we are doing our best, but we need as much public support as possible. host: another caller from georgia. frank joins us. good morning. caller: the people out here have no faith in congress, so so what are they going to do?
they do not even abide by their own laws. they don't. guest: and the miracle of whistleblowing is the empowerment of the average american citizen, because we did you do need in law, but often the press can be helpful, but it can empower the average citizen to make real change. the false claims act is the best example. one of the callers and derided the law, but it is unfair. yes, people can make significant money from that law, but that is what gives it power. that is what the special interests listen to. they listened to the economic impact, and that is the key. but today, there are about 50 federal whistle-blower laws. the key is to try to figure out
one that protects you and one that could get you in front of a jury of your peers, so you're not dependent upon a congressman. you can take your case and get it in front of a jury and be heard. that is one of the biggest fights were having up in congress right now to get federal employees the right to go to a jury. host: one democratic caller in fremont, california. good morning. caller: what a pleasure to speak to you. i worked with the social security administration. back in 1992, 1991 or 1992, our union representative, i invoke the federal protection act of 1989, it was new at the time -- i think it was 1989, to
make a long story short, we were empowered under the law to challenge the american federation of government employees union rep, filing multiple claims on behalf of employees, grievances and the lighke. we got nowhere against our area director who sent a designee and not himself. we were able to use the subpoena power, and finally, we had our hearing. my point, though, is we had a bifurcated hearing. we had to overcome a jurisdictional challenge i was not aware of. when we went to the hearing itself, the judge did not grant us jurisdiction it -- although, before granting a hearing date, he had encouraged the social
security administration official to settle this is some doubt because he thought that if that, we werevoke pretty good advocates. host: let's get a response. guest: you are looking at two pieces of the puzzle. under the whistle-blower protection act, you can obtain at discovery. you can subpoena and documents from the wrong door to build a case. that is what i am talking about -- you can get a subpoena and documents from the wrongdoer to build a case. the weak part of the whistle blower protection act, i am hearing that, also, is that there are many exceptions and the "jurisdictional bars" that
lead to a good case being thrown out. those technicalities have to be cleaned up. the third piece of that puzzle is if that administrative process does not work, it is the employee's right to go to court with a jury of their peers. you saw some of the law working. you saw some of the law with some technicalities beginning to interfere. i hope there was a successful summit. you also see that the real hammer here is the ability to go to court, the ability to get a jury, and that keeps the system honest. host: karen in richmond, virginia. good morning. caller: i have a quick comment and a quick question. i would like to thank steve for separating herself from the wikileaks situation. we think we all agree that the
person to lead and gave the documents to the gentleman overseas was not a whistle blower. he is a treasonous person. and should be treated as such. my question is is that the federal investigation , trying to get protection for whistleblowers, what about those who work for unions, like teachers unions, people like that? what are our protections and what can we do about upper? that? guest: one of the first whistle- blower laws ever decided in 1959 that gave them the right to go to a jury was a person who worked for union who blew the whistle on corruption. and so an employee of a union can have the same types of
rights as other employees. sometimes unions are the strongest advocates for workers, sometimes they do a great job for whistleblowers, but like any large institution that has millions of dollars, you need oversight and accountability, and it does not matter -- at the end of the day, a few support the ideological goal or not, you want to make sure there is honesty. you want to make sure the dues are being used properly. no one is embezzling money. you want to make sure that the system is working for those to whom it is designed. host: catherine, republican. caller: i would like to give kudos to the young woman and young man, they took pictures. guest: acorn, i think. went to an acorn
office and blew the whistle. i am really concerned about voter fraud and how we can protect ourselves from that. from what i see in the administration and some of the people in the congress, why should i trust them to do anything right? that is the truth. guest: i would warn against painting with too broad a brush. there are many people in congress, senator chuck grassley on the republican side, there is congressman valid holland and congressman markey on the democratic side that are dedicated for whistleblowers and accountability. sometimes a their positions to win out and there are some good
laws that get passed. there does need to be a whistle blower protection provision in the campaign finance and election laws, period. it is shocking to me that if someone works for the democrat or republican party, and they hear about campaign contributions that are illegal and blow the whistle, there is no law that protects them. that needs to get fixed. what is needed is a national whistle-blower protection act that gives strong rights to any american that blows the whistle and puts their career and a job on the line. that is who we stand behind it and try to help. there are 50 laws out there, but the fact that there are 50 laws is telling you, why is not there just one good law? host: question on twitter. class action lawsuits, how effective are they? guest: whistle blowers do not
use class action lawsuits. it is an individual action. it is one employee or group of employees in one work force. class actions have been very effective in cases such as product liability. a bad product on the market that might harm thousands of people and they join together. for whistleblowers, we do not use class-action. that is one of the problems, because each whistle blower has to find a lawyer, filed a separate claim. that is costly and difficult. you heard that from one of the callers. that problem will remain. that is one of the reasons we support the rewards provisions. the laws that have monetary rewards, it is easier to get a lawyer if there is a monetary reward. it is easier to get a lawyer if
you can get a jury trial. these are fast as we think are critical for effective protection. host: let's go to dublin, virginia. caller: good morning. the laws are very interesting -- i am a refugee from dearborn, michigan. the ford pinto was a legend at the time. the company made it clear that it was a whistle blower thing, but they told the engineer that blew the whistle, you will never work again. they were right. the guy became a pariah and never worked again. you ended up in this situation where if you blew the whistle on stuff -- i work in safety systems, so i saw all kinds of stuff go by -- we were told if you blew the whistle, you were in trouble. everybody in the company has a 401 k, and their retirement is
tied up in the stock value and how the company does. if you blew the whistle, everybody looks at you and says, you are the one they're ruined my retirement. guest: that is 100% correct. i am representing an incredibly courageous whistle-blower in michigan right now who blew the whistle on bulletproof vests that were being sold. they knew they would not work. another one penetrated a vest and a policeman was permanently disabled. the company's new the products were defective. he has not worked in a bulletproof vest industry since then. yes, that happens. on the other side, that is why we push the claims act. if these products are being sold to u.s. government, then you can get a reward. then at the tables turned. then the whistle blower can file a confidential complaint with
the justice department so that company does not even know who they are. if they can show that defective products are being sold to the united states, then they can get a reward. cars beingd motor sold to the military? did they have defects that were known? that is all the false claims act starts changing the way you look at disclosure and find a way that can hold a company accountable and protect the long-term career of the employee. host: stephen kohn's books include "whistle-