tv Today in Washington CSPAN August 28, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT
it three down, 6 to go. [laughter] i thought i was pretty good. when you get on the supreme court, and i have been reading all boaabout the speeches. you are called on to go to the cities in your country and everybody is watching you and seeing what kind of a person you are. i went to edmonton for my making baby and i made a little speech and i told this story. there was a huge of rare on the letters to the editor -- up for in the letters to the editor -- uproar to the letters of the editor. i felt terrible about this. i went back home and i thought about it and i said it was well
over 100 years and they had all men and the world -- the country did not go to rack and ruin. i think that the more gender parity we can get, it helps normalize the whole atmosphere on a court. >> how is it with the lawyers that appear before you? >> they do not call you by the wrong names? >> in the proportion of women. >> that was much smaller, too. it was tough in the early days. the young women were a phenomenon at that time and they were fairly regarded and that was in the early 7 -- early 1970's.
quite a number of them were successful and they were always fair minded around. these were competent people and we would hire them and get them to take our case. while there was some differential treatment, i think there were enough right minded people around to make it possible to start a career. >> i have thought somewhat about this lightly. justice ginsburg and justice o'connor and me are a generation where we were often the only one. the post-war generation of women, the first two woman on our supreme court were sort of
superwomen. they got married young, they have children, they had careers for the were always the only one. justice ginsberg hid her pregnancy for fear that she would lose her job at walker street the next two women are different generation -- her job at rutgers university. the next two women are different generations. people expect them to work very long hours. it definitely crimps their style as far as finding a mate, having a family, all of those things. i wonder if he would tell the story about your son of james -- your son james when he was
about 10:00 p.m. -- when he was about 10. the outside world treats women's careers. >> this was in the early 1970's. james was a lively child, but the schools just called it hyperactive. [laughter] i would get calls at least once a month to come down from my office at columbia law school to the school where james was to be told about my son's latest escapade. one day i got such a call and i was particularly weary and i said that this child two parents. i suggest you alternate calls. [laughter]
>> and it is his father's turn. [laughter] [applause] >> they did call marty. marty gets there and there is the school principal and the teacher and the school psychologist and the school principal tells marty, "your child stole the elevator." marty asked him how sorry -- how far he could take it. [laughter] even though jameses behavior did not change significantly, the call came less than once a
semester because they were much more concerned about taking a man away from his job than calling a mother. >> chief justice, you have a witty husband also. witty husband also. have you ever fall any work off of him in a similar way? -- a formal any work off of him innocent -- funnelled any work off of him in a similar way? i will suggest that he be consulted. >> he is always more than willing to be there. there is a different expectation. i think that parenting has changed a lot. there are a lot of fathers that are involved, but there is still this thing in school and other
child care and education situations where for some reason, there is the expectation that the mother would be the default caregiver in all situations and i think that a lot of women feel this themselves. i say to young women that are my law clerks that are starting out, i tell them that you have to figure route if this is what you really want to be. -- to figure out if this is what you really want to be. there are still assumptions in society that the mother is the default caregiver. my first husband is the father of my first child and he has since passed away. but they were very suspicious of
me, asking if the child had a mother. i was very fortunate that my husband was able -- he was working at the university and i was working a way -- working the way -- working away. he was a little more available and it happened that you got a lot of the calls. . for me, it is still a problem for families to work out. >> i want to ask each of you something from a somewhat different perspective. justice ginsburg, you were confirmed for your position on the supreme court in 1993.
in terms of our politics, we would have to say it was light years ago. chief justice, you have watched our confirmation process from afar. i want to ask you what you think of it and how you do it in canada, and you, how different it is then than what it is now. >> we do not have a constitutional confirmation process. under our constitution, the prime minister can name anyone who is qualified and there are certain qualifications to be justice on the supreme court. that is the way it has been for all of our history.
it has produced judges who come from different regions. generally, what prime ministers have done is to look at the leading lawyers and judges in that area and then they choose someone from that area. that was the historical pattern. we, in canada, it is sometimes said in canada that the united states is the elephant, and if it rolls over, we are deeply affected. we have a wonderful relationship and much admired your country. journalists admire your confirmation procedure excessively. there have been, and the last couple decades, 15 years or so,
a movement in canada that we should introduce a confirmation process. the argument is that the prime minister has too much power. process is not open or transparent. under response to that political pressure, wind marshall rothstein was nominated, he said that there would be a confirmation process. this is not provided for in our constitution. he said that this was his can of it. he had agreed to go before a parliamentary committee and answer their questions. there would be television cameras there and journalists
there. so, that happened. the committee was very polite. they were supervised or coached a little bit and told what was going on and told what questions might be appropriate. it came out very well. marshall came out extremely well and i think this was really good. there were some advantages to that. the next time a vacancy are rose, we were in a minority government situation -- vacancy arose, we were in a minority government situation. they were not able to get a committee together. the prime minister decided that the time had come to fill the vacancy and the officers decided that they would proceed without
the confirmation hearing. our last justice was not -- it did not have a confirmation process or parliamentary interview. where are we now in canada? i am not sure. the prime minister said that we will return to this kind of hearing. there is a debate going on in canada. we watch what is going -- what is happening in the united states and we will continue to watch. >> you are being very political center did not answer my question. >> i would like to ask beverly, for this first hearing, how long did the hearing take? i think it was quite brief -- to line >> i think it was quite
brief, -- >> i think it was quite brief, just a few hours. i am not going to answer that question. [laughter] [applause] >> the way it is now, it was not ever felt -- we go back to when i was nominated to the job that i now have, and there was chief justice burger. he had been on the d.c. circuit and he came to my chambers to congratulate me on the nomination. he said, "when i have my hearing to become the chief justice of the united states, my hearing lasted exactly one hour."
i said that one word would explain the difference and that word is television. the people on the senate judiciary committee have all of that free time. i do not know if saudia has had this experience, -- if sarnia has had this experience -- sonia has had this experience. they were talking through me to their constituents to show how up-to-date, how intelligent the senator was. i think television is responsible for the length of our hearings. the cordiality -- steve briar and i were the beneficiaries of
a much different senate than the one it that is sitting now. i think my meetings -- my hearings were rather boring. i had been a general counsel of the american civil liberties union. there was not a single question about my affiliation from the senate judiciary committee. that would not happen today. senator orrin hatch, who voted against me, was my senate booster on this committee. he was the minority member on the committee. there was a bipartisanship. as i said, steve and i were the beneficiaries of it. i hope, some day, we will get back to that.
>> speaking of the press, in canada, use a press the press -- you suppress the press. it will you explain how you do it in canada? >> a number of years ago, we were concerned about miss reporting -- misreporting, and we developed the idea that we would ask the press what they needed from us to do a better job. we now have a committee that is the press liaison committee and we meet regularly with members of the press. the press is involved in reporting on supreme court matters. one of the key things is that
the executive legal officer to the chief justice would be the equivalent to chief justice council in united states. it is a liaison for the press. when a case is going out, we announce three or four days in advance that this case will be going out on such and such a time. then, the legal officer goes down to a press room in the courthouse and she is available to meet with members of the press who choose to come. they can ask her questions about the case. she will direct them to where the answers are in the judgment. if they are interested in getting a 32nd sound bite, she
might even assists and say that if you want to go 30 seconds, this is the essence of it. she tries to ensure that they understand the case and what its significance this. that has been very helpful and very useful -- what its significance is. that has been very helpful and very useful in improving the quality of the reporting period we have -- of the reporting peri. they can breed -- read it and when the judgment is released, they can go online, television, radio or whatever and they can get it right and did it right quickly.
with the media, time matters and they are concerned about getting these things out quickly. we think that it works very well. sometimes, the third thing that we do on an important constitutional case, we will have a pre-briefing about a week before the judgment comes out. the media officer goes over the facts and issues. they can find a way to think about how they want to write the story. this has been underway for 15 years or more, and we find that we have good relations with the press. another thing that happens often
is that if someone is writing a story, they want to know if they have it right. not all of our journalists are trained lawyers. they feel free to phone up this person and ask if they have understood this properly. did they get the plaintiff and defendant mixed up on this one? that can be of assistance, too. this is what we are doing. >> in the lockup, what do you do? the press will get the opinion before anyone else does to make sure that there is not going to be an attempt to get a scoop by using a blackberry? >> we deprive them of all electronic apparatus. we were just down for a
wonderful meeting with members of the united states supreme court this spring and i must say that the chief justice was most impressed and said that they actually locked up the press. >> when you said, justice ginsburg, that television is more responsible as one of the key factors responsible for the lengthening and perhaps a lot of posturing in our confirmation process. if you think that is what happened to congress, then i take it that you would think that supreme court justices are not the same kind of people.
12k3w4r50eb that was his view. when you are sitting on a bench, if there is anyone if you who would be extremely discomfited by the notion of having cameras in the courtroom, you would defer to that cali. -- colleague. >> i think the chief justice told a bunch of us that he did not think that this is a soon to the proposition and the united states supreme court. a -- that this would be a soon to be proposition anin the
united states supreme court. >> i think every country is different. i am sensitive to the concerns that she raises. we decided to do this on a trial basis 21 years ago. we are still running the trial. we were very wary. we have some stationary cameras. we are oblivious to them. i never think about them. they tracke the council. they are unobtrusive. the broadcast those who do -- goes to our public broadcast.
it is not a run at prime time. if you are an insomniac, you probably watch more than other people. it 3:00 a.m. seems to be a fine time. first they asked permission. and now they just do it. occasionally, we will get a clip on they local news. they have been very responsible. from that aspect, it has worked out well. has it changed the way lawyers act? that is a hard one to say.
i do not think we would say it has. if they did, i think we would end it right there. it is in any way is interfering with what is going on in the courtroom, with how we would hear the case, then we will not do it. that is why we are there. we had one case where in intervenor made a 10-minute barnstorming type of speech. i told him to sit down. it is inappropriate. i cannot think of other lawyers doing it. i do not think my colleague taylor their questions to the audience that might be out there. sometimes i have trouble
understanding the questions myself. nobody is dumbing down the process. nobody is out there trying to put on a performance. if they did, we would end it right away. >> do you limit argument times? >> we limit them to one hour on each side. [laughter] >> i am realizing how different our countries are. your governor general? >> i've always the deputy governor of but never the governor general.
>> that is an executive function. >> she is the rivers in ziff of the queen. -- the representative of the queen. queen. and is not exactly an -- it is not exactly an executive function. we all do that. >> you did that when you were the acting governor general. you went for the same-sex marriage. >> i happen to sign that. my colleague was signing all sorts of other bills. that is the way it is done. if the governor general is not there to assign them herself, someone on the supreme court does. which tried to make people understand we are signing the
bill we are not acting as the executive or legislative area, but as representatives of her majesty. there is no aid if needed for a supervisory role there. -- executive for a supervisory role there. it may seem different to people who live in a republic. we have inherited certain anomalies because of our colonial background and the fact that we emerged the embrace of a britain, not by revolution as the united states, but by evolution. [laughter] [applause] >> it is in our declaration of independence that the queen
refuse to give her dissent. -- refused to give her dissent. is there ever a case where she does? does? >> i do not think so. i do not think if it has been properly pass that it can happen. it is more of a formality. there can be times where we are uncomfortable as judges and you have the governor general signed this. it could be coming before our court very quickly. we keep an eye out. the public does not always understand that this is a formal function. it is a formal function. king george may have refused, but we do not. [laughter] >> you talked about your
relationship with the 10th circuit. we are very grateful. you come to the 10th circuit a newly -- annually. i wish to tell everyone what you like to do when you come in the summer. >> most recently, i liked it [inaudible] that morning i went to santa fe, it must then 10-years in a row. when he died, i thought i really did not want to go along. -- alone. my son said he would come with me. abby who is 10 and mimi who is
12 -- it would be hard to accommodate us in a hotel. roberts said to take- casita -- take my casita. that is the best situation maker have had for our holiday in santa fe. i met gene at a 10th circuit conference in 1994. it to is in denver. -- it was in denver. it was love at first sight. her daughter even took my
children to the folk art museum on this trip. i think santa fe has one of the best operas in the world. best operas in the world. [applause] >> as a trained observer, it proves positive that your son mended his ways and turned out quite well. he said, "mother, let me come with you." >> it is time for us to begin to close. i want to make sure each of you have had your full save. >> i have. absolutely. >> we are delighted that you >> we are delighted that you came to the 10th circuit. can you give it a thought or two ? >> the hospitality has been fabulous. frank and i have been enjoying ourselves so much.
my husband has a wonderful irish tenor voice. he makes a modest contribution to what is a wonderful advance. uygur up in the rocky mountains -- i grew up in the rocky mountains. coming to this beautiful area is so special. it is a burlreally special plac. thank you so much for letting this be a part of it. >> the first time i met them why this in cambridge, england. frank, you are the leader of this exchange every year the this exchange every year the canadienans came to cambridge.
if they were the most jovial group. we enjoyed so much being with you. i gave a little talk. i do not even remember what it was about. that was the beginning of my affection for frank. i think we have gone beyond the allotted time. al is so sorry to leave this circuit. i wanted to hold onto it when the second circuit vacancy came. i asked the chief, can i have them both? he said, "nope." i enjoyed that conference so much. it is one of the most lovely courthouses in the country.
i am glad you asked marty back. i was terribly that he could have been here. you have been a most wonderful and patient audience. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for joining us. have a wonderful evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> areas like the lower ninth ward are still struggling. it tames time to get them to livable conditions. and people can't afford it. >> what about flood protection, is the city prepared to handle another hurricane again? >> there's debate around that. there's been -- congress has mandated 350 miles of new levies and dams and pums to protect the city. some experts say, that's not enough. and karsten who represents -- part of the city -- around lake ponchatrain. he told us yesterday, that he like to see the president talk about category five flood protection. make -- make a greater investment and -- in terms of -- you know levy that is can hold back a storm surge from a category five hurricane. he said he hasn't heard that
from the president yet. they're hoping they're going to hear something sunday when he gives his speech here. >> he's speaking on sunday at xavier university, i understand. what -- what else do you hear residents saying they want to hear from president obama? >> president obama is popular with folks here in south louisiana and new orleans in particular. some -- he's a little on the outs with some democratic colleagues. senator landrieu said she would like to hearty president say something about lifting the moratorium in place, that he put in place on offshore drilling. she said it is hurting everything from -- from big oil companys to small local businesses. the new orleans economy, the economy of louisiana is really suffering as a result of that moratorium. they're hoping -- democrat and republican alike are hoping that the president says -- does something, finds common ground between protecting the coastline and bringing back the oil
industry that is so important to the state. >> it is a political year, not only in new orleans but all of louisiana, all of the country. is issue in particular of hurricane katrina still coming up as a political issue? >> you know, it died away. it was an issue immediately after the storm. you know, in -- in the mayor's race and in some of the congressional races. it died away. congressman gow who was a freshman who is up for re-election this year. he makes the point of staying away from the politician of that. he's just trying to push to get, to get, and improved health care in the city. that's -- that's just the hospitals and that's a major issue. the rebuilding effort continues. it doesn't resonate as a political issue in the house races around new orleans or in the senate race either. >> we showed our viewers a look at that sign along the 17th street kaniel that squarely
placed the wlame in the lap of the army corps of engineers. clearly there's feeling there that the federal government has a bit of responsibility that, they may not have met yet. is that the case? >> yeah. you know, folks -- folks say, and officials here say that -- there's been a -- there's a commitment by the government to improve the protections for the city. they want to see more, they want to see more investment in these levies -- to insure that something like this can't happen again. but -- you know, whether or not folks will be satisfied, whether or not there will be 100% protection, i think that's up for debate. >> from new orleans, sean miller, you could read his work at the hill.com. he writes for thehill.com. thanks for joining us. >> pleasure to be here. >> next on c-span, a heritage foundation discussion about homeland security and local
meet the modern threat of terrorism. mayor is the president of the buckeye institute for public policy solutions in ohio, which is the state's think tank. based in columbus, he provides research and sluges for the state's tough policy challenges, including economic freedom and competitiveness and job creation and entrepreneurship. mayor was a senior official at the department of homeland security security under tom ridge and his successor, michael shortoff, mayor and attorney, advised them on policy and operations and headed the terrorism preparedness office charged with initiatives for the demand of the most 9/11 environment. he wrote a book this 2009 called homeland security security and -- and federalism. he worked as a consultant.
his clients ranged from international corporations to elected officials. he has also served as a professor at ohio state university. he really does have a -- a state perspective as he served previously as the deputy director of the colorado department of regulatory agencies under bill owens. please join me in welcoming matt mayor. [applause] >> thank you so much. hold the applause for the folks that actually have done impressive things and are on the frontlines of the community and keeping us safe. welcome to the panel on the reforms needed to meet tomorrow's threat. i'm excited because i think we have two of the country's foremost experts on this issue here with us today. it is a real treat for us. i had the pleasure of working with charlie allen in homeland security for a short time and really was one of the -- true pleasures for me to meet somebody of his stature. he was one of the key leaders in
homeland security in helping set up and establish information and intelligence capability in homeland security and before has, it -- had spent 40-something years at the c.i.a. where he truly was at the intersection of -- many major event the in -- events in the history of america. so i think it is with a really great opportunity to have him here to talk with us. and joining charlie would be deputy chief, michael downing between the los angeles police department. chief downing is -- is -- again one of the nation's top counter-terrorism experts representing these local perspectives. he's been around long enough to know what is going on in all levels of government. he's been on the front lines in trying to develop new ideas and new capabilities to deal with this threat and -- in a post9/11 world. so the focus really is to think through -- here we are nine years almost after 9/11, what are the things we need to do.
it presumes there are things we could be doing better, and more effectively. and so, the thrust of their comments will be on the idea of what are the things to do to deal with what these potentially different kinds of threats, some of the same, al qaeda still has an intent to strike but we have an increasingly vibrant homegrown threat as well. and we have got a radicalized somalia threat that is getting more severe every day. there's this -- this, continual possibility of a hamas hezbollah threat depending on what happens in israel. there's the latest issue where you have these -- these daily flights going from tehran to car rack cuss that would potentially be an avenue for bad thins happening up the american highway and to the country, especially with a porous border on our southern flank. really what they're going to focus on isee where are we? what do we need to do and how
could we do it better? then we'll leave it to q and a because that's the most is exciting part of this. with -- with -- without further adieu, i open it for charlie to talk about it and then after charlie, mike downey at his view of the world from the state perspective, local perspective, and -- basically from charlie's federal perspective. please. >> thank you so much, matt. >> it is a pleasure to be here at the heritage foundation and also to be a -- with colleagues i know as mike downing and matt playier. and -- we know that radicalization is a problem in this country. question is, what is its scope, what is its intent. how to get our arms around it in way that's are helpful and meaningful so that we can particularly and the federal level work with state and local and there's no better person to talk about state and local than -- than -- than mike downing.
we had an episode yesterday, of course, or a couple of days ago in ottawa. we had three individuals arrested. by the royal canadian mounted police. and -- it -- it is reminiscent of the same pattern we see in this country where one of the individuals, probably made a trip to the pakistan-after began border and received training. and -- looked like again poor trade craft that the rcmp has looked at this for a year-long investigation, and wrapped it up when the situation seemed appropriate. but we do have to look at this -- in a -- in a, with some perspective. overall radicalization in this country is quite small. the number of homegrown terrorist plots that we have had have been -- that are publicly known have been quite small.
we do have -- of course american born spokesmen, one in the fat, from california and alakwi, boorn in new mexico of yes, ma'am eny parents andmen -- american citizen hiding out in yemen and then we have -- h y50rks mani who is a pop star for be shabach who is giving messages that resonate unfortunately with too many young americans, particularly young american muslims. and rand -- a rand study conducted by brian jenkins this year -- is very structive, published by brian, everybody knows brian, he's one of the foremost experts on counter-terrorism. between september 11th of 2001 and the end of december 2009,
there were 46 cases of domestic radicalization and recruitment. according to brian jenkins this involved 125 individuals who were americans, or people here on green cards. overall, that seems to be fairly fairly small when you think we don't know how many muslims are in this country, three to four million, because u.s. census does not require you to state your religion. but that's probably a operate good estimate. the situation of the blocks is mostly lacking. they don't have the training that we've seen of people committing attacks. and the plots have been generally disrupted early on.
thapings to work at the federal level and the state level. i'm sure mike downing will talk about that. we saw a case of -- of facal who attempted to set off a fire bomb if time square. it was inept effort. we should not take that too lightly. there are more complicated cases. there's one zazi from colorado who evidently advanced quite a long ways before he was detected. then of course we have david coleman headley who we thought -- initially had not had all of his sophistication. turned out he had done surveillance for turiba back in 200 in mumbai to help with the attacks at l.t. conducted in m. buy and -- mumbai, you'll
remember between the 26 and 30th of november 2008. we should not -- should not take this lightly. what is the real driver? >> a lot has to do with the internet. the power of that and how it fuels radical thought is absolutely compelling -- any of you who ever read the materials guns from jihadist websites will know that -- that has powerful appeal for young minds. young minds are certainly being bent by the internet. how many websites are there? we don't know. there are hundreds of extremist websites. and they, they -- they put out vir lint propaganda every day to kill werners and above all americans. we know that's a fact. we know they cite the old saws,
u.s. support for israel, and involvement in iraq and afghanistan, and guantanamo bay. abu ghraib. and of course that is to rouse anger here in -- in the minds particularly of the young. we -- we -- we have looked at these. and -- what we see of course is that -- it is having an effect. i think that -- matt maher spoke about somalia and i'll speak about that in a moment. i think what we have to think about is the intent here. if our -- if american extremists have been -- lack sophistication, have been -- doesn't mean they won't get it right. because they will. that's -- at some point. there's no question of this. it is going to take enormous cooperation at the federal and state and local level. to preclude that, it is going to take outreach to the muslims -- muslim communities across the country.
it is the intend that counts. we had -- it is the intent that counts. we had a serious attack in london the seventh of july, 2005. the average age of the -- of the people conducting the attacks was 22. they killed 52 people in the tube and the bus with the roof torn off. so, even though -- even unsophisticated people are going to get this right. if -- if shazid understood how to make a bomb, it would have been devastating in a very crowded time sdefware. let's put this a little more in speaker spective with muslims in general. most american muslims are assimilated into this society. no question of this. the pugh results of may 2 007, i trust everyone has red that, makes it clear that most americans -- muslims
overwhelmingly reject violence. they're mainstream. middle income and upper middle income in many cases. they good educational -- good educational backgrounds. i have met many leaders. cher to have,ly and the pleasure of working with many muslims and leaders and groups across the country. i found them good people to work with. i am concerned about the muslims that arrived here over the last -- the last 15 or 20 years. these muslims do not seem as well assimilated. i don't want to be categorical here but we could look at certain groups and particularly look at as matt said the somalis, they don't seem well adjusted and mainstream. they don't seem middle class. they seem to be self-alienated in many cases. they tend to have links to clans and subclans back in somalia.
>> i want to address the cap and trade because this is the number one threat. i gave you quotes about how they are serious about pushing a cap and trade. harry reid will not call it cap and trade. he said that is not in his vocabulary. he will have a new made-up name but it is about cap and trade and increasing the price of energy so we can afford to use less. that is the energy agenda this administration is pushing and the leadership in this congress will doing they can to accomplish on the way out the door in the lame duck session. president obama said under my cap and trade system electrically systems would necessarily skyrocket. he said which would the coal plant but i will bankrupt you if you do. that is what is at sake with whatever they put together for their lame duck push on what is not cap and trade but really is. and we've to put the screws to
the so-called moderates. we need to make clear to them that any policy changes in a lame duck session are illegitimate, they cheat the american people of the voice they had in the national election and we won't stand for them. i notice there was some concept simple about susan collins and i appreciate that skepticism but i want to share with you a great quote from her office on this lame duck issue. she said not going to play that game. she said it would be just wrong and it would be blatantly against the will of the people. i think she is going to be pretty strong on this. we will hold her to those remarks. frankly, i think that even the more liberal to moderate members of both parties should understand that you don't pass enormous policy changes, changes like fully funding obama care or union bailouts or cap and trade,
you don't do that in a session of congress relying on the votes of a bunch of people who were just voted out of office. rely on the votes of people many of whom were never elected. we have six appointed members of the united states senate right now. only three of them can be replaced by special elections in november. delaware, west virginia and illinois. in colorado, florida and new york, even -- it florida he is not even running for re-election but in colorado and new york even if the incumbents michael ben death and chris -- bennett and gillibrand lose they will be able to vote for this so we call on both of them, if they lose to, resign immediately the people have rejected to say i will step aside and allow the people's elected senator to take office to decide on these consequential policy changes. for michael bennett's case, an
appointed senator there is a precedent. the last time an appointed senator ran for his own six-year term and lost was david karnes in 1988 in nebraska and he allowed bob kerry to be seated on election day. that is the the right thick to do and we urge michael bennett if he loses he ought to resign and not vote on a lame duck session. i think we have an opportunity, i talked about it earlier, we have an opportunity to appeal to moderate members of both parties that cheating the process, ov overturning a national election is inappropriate, unacceptable regardless of what you think on the underlaying policy issue and i would encourage you to echo that back to your u.s. senators and house guys. because it is easy to say nancy pelosi has the big majorities, she can force this through in
the lame duck. it won't necessarily be that way. it won't necessarily be the case that all of these democrats will be willing to disregard a national election and vote for these things. i think those will be very difficult votes especially the ones that manage to not lose the cycle. these will be the first votes of the 2012 cycle. so keep the heat on the senate and house sides. every time we see a member of congress we need to ask will you program that -- will you promise if you lose you won't vote for policy changes in a lame duck session and put them on the defensive and get them on the record and find out where everyone lines up. if we do that we can beat these threats. with that we can open up to the audience. >> [inaudible] >> can't hear you.
until -- >> on the union stuff? >> anything that may be unconstitutional. >> the problem with unconstitutional laws is that all the stuff we think is unconstitutional anthony kennedy might or might not agree. you don't know. so, for instance, the healthcare law. it will be challenged. it will eventually get to the supreme court. maybe we will win, maybe we will lose. peyt meantime i would rather it had not passed to the first place so we can't rely on the courts. >> phil wrote a brilliant column a few weeks ago about the lame duck session talking about the various state laws. state law governs when an elected official is seated. each state is different. as he mentioned, illinois, delawa delaware, west virginia are possible cases where the
incumbent loses or the appointed person loses and the new person could be seated as soon as it is certified of we have seen that game played a little bit. but that is what governs it. but i think as long as they are technically an elected official according to their state laws and everything, they can vote legal legally, probably. >> in regard to the unions, the unfunded pensions, when will the members wake up and realize that their bosses are spending $100 million for the democrats and it is their money? >> the question is when will rank and file union members recognize their dues are being diverted to political activities instead of going into pensions? >> about 40% of them do already in their voting patterns. that is about what it is, 40%. i think more and more will because this coming wave of
pension collapses -- and that's what it is going to be -- where the insurance for this kind of pension is funded very much like the fdic. it has this sort of nominal federal guarantee but there is no taxpayer money involved here currently. they are -- premiums are paid into an insurance fund. the maximum a union member get for a multi-employer plan when it collapses is abysmal $12,870 a year as a retirement. the employers have to pay withdrawal liability and if you are familiar with that concept most people are not because it is a weird part of law. u.p.s. paid $6.1 billion in 2007
in withdrawal liability just for the right to leave the teamster teamsteres , did teamsteres pension pla >> the question is how can we get public sector, government sector union costs under control. >> i have heard these interesting ideas about a structured bankruptcy kind of concept. if this is the bigger hit, you will be disappointed to know that most of these obligations are state constitutionally bo d bound, that they are contractual
obligations. they are duty bound to be followed. i think it is interesting if you are interested at all in this to follow what the f.c. -- what the s.e.c just did to new jersey. they essentially sanctioned new jersey for the way it accounts for its pension obligation bonds. don't think it is just related to places like new jersey. you will be disappointed to know the most recent pension obligation bonds sold by the state of texas included language and legislation that exempted them from what are known as generally accepted accounting principles. >> can't we pass a law that says these unions like teachers unions who are having problems with their pension funds, can't
that money be put toward those bankruptcy pension funds instead of [inaudible]? >> unfortunately the unions are not responsible for the pension funds in those kicases. for teachers you are. there is a misnomer of what a union is. the union is a broker, like a real estate broker. they take a piece out of the piece front or back end. the skin is whether they accomplish the transaction, not whether they get a value. it is the same thing. and this idea it is union jobs just means somebody pays them in 28 states actually, it is a mandate. >> i would be also hesitant to restrict the political speech and spending of anyone as much
as i disagree with what they have to say or think they have a better use of the money because going down that path could be dangerous. i think it might lend support to some of the restrictions that the other side wants to put on us. sir? >> is there a source that would help us understand how much these pensions are worth to those individuals? because if that is more public information to 94% of people that would be paying the pensions to say i'm funding a pension that i'm not struggling to get by on social security. that might motivate people where you know the story we are going to get these poor people lost their pensions so we need to make it whole. if we don't realize what their pension is compared to what we have you may have more popular support. >> i think that is a good point. he was pointing that we need to be clear of what the value is for the pensions to the people who receive them, in particular public employee pensions so we can put in perspective what that
cause is relative to the burden of the taxpayers who are forced to pay for it. >> there is a big differential between what a public sector pension is worth and private. public sector pensions are stunning, frankly. in cases you can work 20 years and retire at 90% of your top annual salary. usually what happens is it is an average of your last three years of salary. those three years are usually with a nudge and a wink, you get a lot of overtime which bumps up the salary ridiculously. sour making about -- so you are making 130% or 140% of your actual salary. it is ridiculously out of hand. arnold schwarzenegger of all people wrote a good column about there talking about -- talking about the value of public employee pensions in the state
of california. but you would be surprised how many places that -- >> [inaudible] >> exactly. >> i would also point out that the complexity of every issue we have mentioned, and especially the union issues, is so enormous that to really even understand what you are talking about you need to invest a long time in hearings and committee action and in the entire process of figuring out what we ought to do before you act. and they are talking about cramming these policy changes through not just one but several of them over the holiday season with no time to really have any proper consideration of any of the details. that is part of what is so dangerous about this potential for a lame duck process on all of these legislative items. >> should we be [inaudible] >> the question is what can procedurally be done to stall
the lame duck threats. i think that the answer is, yes, of course, everything has to be filibustered and i expect it will be and that means it will retire 60 votes to invoke colonosco cloture. that said, we need to do more than require they have a 60-person vote. we need to use the power of stalling and delay. i wish that the republican floor strategy on healthcare last december had used more obstruction and stalling because they decided to do a best of your knowledge of unanimous consent agreements to get votes on amendments. and whatever you think about that and maybe they didn't want to be seen as obstructionist, it did allow the democrats to finish that debate before christmas. and if we see a replay on any of the major agenda items, whatever it might be, it is critical that
republicans say we will not agree to unanimous consent to ease the passage of any of this. every vote you want to have, every amendment you want to have, you have to file cloture, waiting an intervening day and have the vote. every bill you want to bring up we object to waiving the reading. so if you try to drop 1,000 pages you are going to have a clerk reading it and that will chew up another day. they have to do what you suggested which is to say this session is ill legitimate and we will use every tool to get to us january 3 when the new congress can be sworn in. that is a very good point and that needs to be done. [applause] >> [inaudible] petitions floating around the internet where they say write your congressman and tell them
[inaudible] you are advocating to the democratic vote because if there is a quorum they will have the majority of the vote. >> i agree with you. for those that didn't hear the question, it is why there are petitions on the internet that say members of congress should boycott the lame duck session and not show up. i love newt gingrich, i think he has done a lot of good things but this petition is misguided and a mistake. taken to the logical conclusion and every member who is against the lame duck agenda stays home, every member who is for it shows up and they pass anything they want. they may tell you, you know, people who think this is a good approach may say they need 60 votes for cloture so if not all the republicans show up they still need 60. first of all, you still need to have enough people against this agenda to be there to actually
filibuster, to hold the floor if necessary to object to unanimous consent and so on. taken to the logical conclusion, this would be a problem. second, as i pointed out before, it is very possible we may need the house as a backstop on some of these and winning any vote in the house will require everyone who is inclined to vote no to be present for the votes. so i agree with you. i think it would be a big mistake for people who are opposed to this lame duck policy agenda to boycott the session. i think they have to go there and vote no on all of this and take a clear principled stand that we won't allow policy changes in the lame duck. it is very encouraging to have people like susan collins to say this is out of bounds procedurally. we have strong quotes from mark kirk and other congressmen who are left-leaning republicans who may be u.s. senators because they are in the special election seats. and i think the answer is not
have some great conservative stalwarts like tom colburn and jim did he mint who will be -- de mi demint and i think we will see them do that if it comes to it. the other point is judd gregg is not the only retiring republican that may go with this. george voinovich has been strong on cap and trade but not the other things we might see and we have at least two republicans who are involuntarily retiring this year. robert bennett from utah and probably lisa murkowski from alaska. and lisa co-sponsored a version of cap and trade. so there is the potential that outgoing republicans who want to get the adulation of the left wing media for being reasonable and grown up and going along may have nothing to lose and will never face voters again, that is a risk. that is why it is important we
appeal to as many republicans as possible, to as many moderate democrats and make sure the voters understand the stakes because you can't take for granted that there won't be a group of the outgoing republicans that will get on board some of this. that is why we have to execute all of these different strategies to try to stop it. >> [inaudible] >> i didn't mention those two as risks. i think they will be solid. so i would agree with that. we have time for one more question and i will go to this young woman right here. >> anybody in the senate going to do that and approach [inaudible] >> the question is about the tom
price resolution the house vote on not having a lame duck session or not allowing a controversial policy in a lame duck session. i think that is a smart thing because he forced every member of congress on the house side to take a position on the lame duck. only six democrats voted against allowing a lame duck session out of the entire country. only one republican voted to allow the lame duck session, mike simpson from idaho. he was wrong, but most republicans voted to not allow it. i think that was a very powerful vote because we need to go to every one of the democrats who voted to allow it to say do you plan to vote for this even if you lose and i think we can use the pressure of their own campaign to get them to take a more reasonable position now that they have shown where they are. we have not had any test votes on the senate side but i think that is something to watch for it september. harry reid has not been allowing a lot of amendments but i think
it would be helpful to put people on the record. one thing we are doing and all of you can do is call and ask your senators what is your position on the lame duck. will you say it is out of bounds to do policy changes or not because jim webb's office told the "washington post" yesterday i can't tell you my position on cap and trade until i read the bill. so he's got no problem with doing it in the lame duck. owe just wants to see -- he just wants to see the specifics. i'm sorry, we are out of time in this session. i'm sorry for the technical glitches. i hope you got something out of the session. let's have a great round of applause and we will see everyone in the dinner session tonight. thanks. well done.
reed. "washington journal" is live starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> today democratic congressman chris van logicalen is next. then "washington journal" followed by live coverage on the national mall with fox news host glen beck. >> we have a generation coming up who didn't really have the arts very much as children and didn't have the arts in the public schools. these are the 20-year-olds. i'm very concerned about that group of people because it is not clear to me when they get to be 40, 45, 50, they will come to the arts. >> sunday night michael kaiser will talk about helping struggling arts and future of the arts in the u.s. on "q"q&a."
c-span is all available to you on television, radio, online and on social media networking sites. find our content any time through our c-span video library. we go on the road with the digital bus and local content vehicle. it is washington your way, the c-span networks now available in more than 100 million holes created by cable, provided as a public service. >> now a short campaign 2010 interview with jack mcem-roy editor of the -- jack mcelroy. he talks about the knoxville republican race. >> today we are focusing on the tennessee governor's race because c-span's digital bus, which is traveling across the country, is in knoxville. aboard the bus is jack mcelroy with the knoxville news sentinel
and if you begin with telling us about these two candidates and their tenure in tennessee politics. >> mike mcwherter is a democrat and bill haslem is the republican. haslem is the mayor of knoxville. he's completing his second term. mike mcwherter has not held political office, but he is the son of ned mcwherter, who was the very popular governor of tennessee from the mid 1980's to the mid 90's. it looks like we are going to have a pretty spirited campaign between the two of them. they are both businessmen and toutding their -- touting their business backgrounds and ability to bring jobs to tennessee. >> mayor haslem survived a primary challenge with 48% of the vote. has he since then gotten the backing of his fellow
republicans? >> the republicans will rally very much around bill haslem. he and his family have been republican stalwarts in tennessee for quite a while. ron ramsey, the lieutenant governor, one of his opponents in the primary, certainly will be a strong backer. he will be working with bill haslem if haslem is elected and they will be political allies. kw congressman zack womp, who was second, i think, was a little bit embitter ed at how things went. i don't know how vigorously he will work for the campaign but he is a solid campaign and i'm sure he will get on board, too. >> the latest polls in the race show that mayor haslem is ahead a little bit of his challenger.r what are the issues in this race
and undercurrents? >> the big concern for tennesseans is jobs and the economy. a recent poll showed that about half rated that as the top issue. both of the candidates will be talking about jobs and the econo economy. bill haslem is the son of the founder of pilot corporation, the largest travel center owner in the country. he is very wealthy and i think mike mcwherter will try to make an issue out of bill haslem's wealth and his connection with gasoline and diesel distributing and such. so, i'm sure that will be a undercurrent.
but i think the real core issue will be the state budget and bringing jobs to the state. >> does mike mcwherter face an uphill battle in that he is trying to replace the current governor who is a democrat and is term limited? >> well, i think that actually the current governor is probably mike mcwherplter's -- mcwherlter's strongest asset. they are both democrats. they both have business backgrounds. brettison has been a very popular and successful governor and has endorsed mcwherter. all of mcwherter's ads make a point of saying that he has the governor's endorsement >> let's show our viewer the latest ads in this race. >> imagine a governor more interested in fixing things than playing in politics. born and raised in rural
tennessee where he built a successful business and raised a family. he has tennessee-first jobs plan to cut taxes for businesses that create jobs at home. he will veto any proposed income tax and cut wasteful spending. he won't just fix his four-wheeler, he will fix our economy. >> tennessee first, tennessee jocks. let's roll up our she was and get to work. >> hi, i'm darrell waltrip. my friend bill haslem is running for governor of tennessee. bill and i have a lot in common. we love our families, we have strong faith and we love tennessee. bill is an exceptional leader. he has done an incredible job as mayor of knoxville. won't you join me in voting for bill haslem and we will all ends up in victory circle. >> is there a large contingency of nascar voters there?
>> there is. and the university of tennessee football fans, i think bill haslem wants to make sure he doesn't come off as appearing elitist and will be touching on those popular cords as much as possible during his campaign. >> your paper will be hosting a debate between these two candidates on october 7 at the university of tennessee, knoxville, which is where our bus is headed later this morning. thank you for your time. >> joining us on our digital bus which later is traveling to the university of tennessee and then this afternoon the bus will head to the farragut middle school on behalf of charter communications. for more information about our digital bus and its schedule and community outreach go to c-span.org/bus.
>> yesterday at the national press club democratic congressional campaign committee chairman chris van hollen said democrats would maintain their majority in in the house in november's elections. the recent reports of the democrats' demise were greatly exaggerated. >> a i'm bob weiner a member of the national press club news makers committee. our guest today is chris van hollen from the maryland eighth district. he will provide an update on the
2010 election and issues from the democratic perspective. democratic -- a news maker committee note the club is working up a date for representative pete sessions of texas chair of the national republican congressional committee to present his side of the issue as well as the traditional joint luncheon discussion by both mr. van hollen and mr. sessions. as the democratic party's congressional chair and assistant to house speaker nancy pelosi, the congressman will discuss why he believes democrats deserve to win adjust year elections. the agenda as passed so far and pending action. he is also the author of legislation to correct what he views as the error of the supreme court's allowance of corporate and special interest buying of campaign ads. perhaps more than anyone else he can provide insight into the message war of what is in his view accurate versus wrongly perceived and election strategy
and the fluctuating opinion polls. he is also a member of the powerful ways and means committee and committee on oversight and reform. vice president of the house renewable energy caucus and vice chairman of the democratic task force on budget and task policy. else the renaissance man in his breadth of knowledge which is why he got the double role of congressional campaign chair and her assistant on legislation and policy. - a dual role. that i the wrong page two. "the baltore sun" labeled chris van hollen as a rising star. it was 2002 that he was elected
to congress, beating some powerful democratic competitors. in the last two cycles, he helped democrats gain 50 seats. congressman van hollen is at the center of the storm. if democrats retain control of the house, he will reap much of the credit, and if they do not, well -- following his presentation, the floor will be open to questions. this is a traditional news conference, but we will give to each questioner -- when you have the microphone, please see your name, organization, and your question. many thanks to those who have --anized to the's event
today's events. we also want to thank the naonal press club president and newsmaker committee chairman for jumping through many hoops for making sure to date's event has happened. also, richard is doing the microphones is an enormous help. the national press club this honor to present congressman chris van hollen. >> thank you very much, and it is great be with all of you. thank you for say -- for taking some time off and august to be with us. thank you to the national press club for the invitation. we are here to discuss the upcoming elections, which are 67 days from today.
67 days from today is millions of americans, on to t polls, a vote in the 2010 midterm election, one that will shape decision making for years to come. congressional republicans inside the beltway are already popping the champagne bottles, saying they are going to seize control of the united states congress. it is a premature celebration. i can assure you that despite the wasngton summer political chatter, reports of the house democrats' the mice are exaggerated. i have been talking to our democratic colleagues, in their districts, they are meeting constituents, talking about issues that matter and are important to people, and make a difference in people's lives. it is clear that the democrats will retain a majority in the house come november for three
reasons. first an most importantly, america wants to continue to move forward and not return back to the same economic policies that got us into messes in the first place. while nobody is satisfied with the slow pace of growth, america is facing a very stark choice. do we continue down the path toward recovery and a more stabilized economy and efforts to support the business community, putting people back to work, or do we return to the economic policies that resulted in catastrophic job losses and brought our economy to the brink of collapse? an agenda that benefited big money, special interests, at t expense of american tax payers, consumers, and workers. second, the republican candidates that are emerging
from primaries across the country are on the far right of the political spectrum. in many cases, they are being driven by tea party movement, in many cases, being the nominee of the tea party movement, and they are not a good fit for what are moderate, centrist districts. those are the swing districts around the country. you are finding the republican candidates out of the mainstream. third, campaigns do matter, and congressional democrats have been pparing for what we knew would be a topps -- a tough cycle from the very binning of last year. unlike 1994, when a lot of democrats will come up the day after the election, caught by surprise, no one is going to be surpsed this time. people have been preparing, and that preparation is calling to be successful. let me delve a little deeper
into each of these points. i will focus primarily on the choice, the troy is that american voters face, because they are going to be going into those voting booths and it will have a choice between two and sometimes more candid. there are many differences between 2010 and 1994. you hear republicans talking a lot about 1994, when newt gingrich and the republicans up more than 50 seats. in 1994 the american people saw congressional republicans as a viable alternative to the democrats. the polls today indicate that is simply not the choice. when asked if they had more confidence in the congressional democrats or congressional republicans to make the right decisions for the country, the
july 12 poll gave the democrats a six-point advantage. when asked if they aroved of the democrats and republicans handling of their jobs, the august 16 poll gave democrats a seven-point lead. in the august 9 nbc poll, by nine points, people had positive feelings about democrats. do not get me wrong here. i am not suggesting the american people are bullish on either party. what i am suggesting is that they consistently have greater confidence in the democrats than republicans. none of this should be a surprise to any of us, because what happened during the years of the bush administration is still fresh in people's minds, and the american people know the facts.
they lived them. the amican people know that the day president bush left office, the economy was in total freefall, and we were losing jobs at the rate of 700,000 a month. they note that over the eight- year span of the bush administration, we lost over 630,000 private sector jobs, that, from the beginning to end. they note the reckless fiscal policies of the previous administration, including the on paid wars in iraq and afghanistan, turned the surpluses from the cnton and the station into a record 1.3 trillion dollar deficit. today obama was sworn into office. -- that they obama was sworn into office. they know the approach created a huge financial body of -- bubble that inevitably burst, caused
havoc on main street and cost millions of american workers their jobs. it was a go for wall street bonuses, but it resulted in trillions of dollars of losses of retired savings for american consumers and workers. they know the bush-cheney energy policy allowed oil companies to run the issue will -- to run the show when we should have been investing here in homegrown clean energy jobs, and they know during the previous administration the cost of premiums for health insurance doubled while health insurance profits quadruple. they know all those facts. you and those listening may ask ourselves, why are we going over that history that is all in the past. the answer is this -- if you listen to our republican
colleagues and youisten to their current economic plan, they are telling us very clearly that if given the opportunity, they would enact the same agenda going forward. in fact, one of their leaders said they would enact the exact same agenda going forward. others are saying publicly, no, we learned our lesson, but then they proceed to articulate the same economic agenda, the same failed policies that drove the economy into the ditch. now, many of you know that there are a lot of republican operatives and strategists out there who were recommending to republican leaders, not to say a thing. keep their agenda secret. those are operatives wanted aboute to contue to renant
what the democrats had been doing. i have to givjohn boehner credit for beginningo spell out what hand his republican colleagues would do if given the chance, because elections are about the future, and americans deserve to know the choices they have. what has john boehner and the republicans told us they would do if given the chance? first, he has said clearly that republicans would seek to repeal the wall street refor bill. everyone in this room knows a lot of hh-priced lobbyists repeat a lot of money to try to defeat legislation, which is designed to make sure never again american taxpayers are left holding the bag for bad decisions on wall street. john boehner voted to rescue wall street weighed back, but now he wants the republicans to
repeal the new law that holds those banks accountable. in other words, go back to be anything goes policy that precipitated the financial meltdown in the economic -- and the economic crisis. second, the other day in ohio, he said he would reverse the remaining elements of the economic recovery plan. no one h suggested the economic recovery plan is going to be a miracle cure. americans understand you cannot beat yourself out of a very deep hole overnight. the recovery bill has succeeded in stabilizing an economy that was heading toward depression, and we have experienced four quarters of economic croats and seven consecutive months of house of private sector job growth. in his very recent- in a recent report, a report has succeeded in- the bill has
succeeded in increasing the gdp and increasing the number of employed americans to 3.3 people. in fact, if you follow some of our colleagues around the country, they continue to show up ribbon-cutting ceremonies, ground-breaking services, to take credit for jobs that would never be there if they had their way, because every republican in the house voted against the recovery bill. are we satisfied with the pace of recovery? of course not, but what mr. baker proposed the -- but what john boehner proposed the other day would cancel contracts and awards that have already been made, i used at about $21 billion.
do not take my word for it. much of that work is already under way, as we speak, and canceling those contracts could easily precipitate a double dip recession. republican leader has said he wants more certainty coming out of washington, and canceling contracts is no way to send a message. not only with that plan jeopardize the fragile recovery that is under way, but it would undermine the foundation for a strong long-term economic growth. mr. john boehner rightly said we need a deficit reduction plan. he said economists have warned that all this borrowing runs the risk of causing a damaging spike in interest rates wch would cripple job creation. how is it that in that very same
speech he proposes blow what the nonpartisan congressional budget office would say is a $680 billion hole in the deficit over the next 10 years? that would send a terrible signal that the united states is fiscally reckless and we have not gotten our economic house in order. in the longer term, that that will inhibit the economic growth, but the republican leader and his colleagues will risk our future economic growth to permanently extend the bush tax cuts that the to the wealthiest 2% in our country. the non-partisan tax policy center estates 96% of that $680 billion will go to that 923,000 households that make over $500,000 a year. under that plan, next year househds making over $1
million will receive an average tax cut of 100 feet thousand dollars. the notion that we need to permanently extend these deficit-busting tax cuts for the top 2% in order to grow the economy has been flatly this proven by their record of the eight years of the bush administrations. after all, they enacted those tax cuts to the folks at the top in 2001, 2003, and at the end of that period, the economy had lost over 630,000 private sector jobs. yet, here they are once again proposing to redo and go back to the old polies. they should not hold the american people hostage in order to provide a deficit-growing for the top 2%. instead of passing on the $680
billion bill for children and grandchildren, we need to take steps to get the deficit under control. that is why we passed the statutory paygo law. that law helped restrain spending in the clinton administration. the bush administration and congressional republicans, as soon as they came in in 2000, repeal that law, contributing to a huge spike in the deficit and debt. unfortunately, when we voted to reenact that provision, the house, the republicans in the house, all voted against it. the house recently passed legislation and people came back to pass legislation to make sure that 150,000 teachers would be able to stay in the classrooms and at 150,000 police and firefighters could remain
protecting oureighborhoods. because of the paygo law, toot add one penny to the deficit. it was paid for by making cuts to programs and closing a loophole that actually rewards american corporations that ship jobs overseas. we should be exporting american goods, not american jobs. this is a defining issue this year. we support a patriotic pro-jobs agenda that puts the interests of american workers first. as part of our make it in america agenda, which removed a terrible provision of the tax law that incentivizes some corporations to me certain operations overseas. in his ohio speech, the republican leader got this issue totally wrong, and it is important to set the record straight. the fact is that very creative
lawyers have found a way to have the american taxpayer, you, me, and the people who are watching, subsidize the taxes of certain corporations paid to foreign governments for profits generated by their overseas operations. this is unfair to american workers and to american taxpayers. mr. john boehner and his publican colleagues voted against stopping this abuse and chose to protect the and patriated overseas profits of certain corporations at the extent of american workers. there are other clear picies in the midterms. republican point man is joe barton, who famously apologized to bp when he said the $20 billion compensation fund that president obama insisted upon amounted to an unfair government
shakedown. house leaders pretended to run from joe barton like he had the measles. less well-known was the fact that congressman tom price, the german representing the 116- member house that the group, said the same thing, accused the president of ahicago style political shakedown for coming up with a fund to compensate the victims of the deepwater horizon spill. the house republican energy policy is no different. than that of the bush-cheney energy policy, and all but two republicans voted against our legislation to prevent a future -- a feature golf type oil spill. the republican point person on the budget is representative paul ryan. like john boehner, he should be credited with putting his policy proposals on the table.
his so-called road map for america would partially privatize social security and and medicare as we know it. again, in this election year, the republican members and candidates who would embrace the -- those ideas are tending to run away from it. just last year there was a vote on the medicare portion of that plan, and republican leadership and republicans voted for the ryan budget plan to abolish medicare in its current form by cutting debt by 75% when phased in, turning it into a voucher plan and throwing seniors to the winds of the uncontrolled costs of the of private insurance market. that is what it says. with respect to the bush plan, to partially privatize social securityjohn boehner was a strong backer of that plan, and it was a key element of the house republican study group when republicans were last in
control of the congress, a plan that would steer billions and billions of dollars of american social security retirement savings the wall street. those are the issues at stake, those are the choices, and it is clear that after the eight years of the bush administration policies the economy was driven into the ditch, and for the past 20 months republican colleagues have been criticizing every effort we need to get the economy out of the beach and back in gear. now, in 2010, just as a fragile recovery is under way, they are asking the american people to give them the keys to the car again. before they do that, the american people should read the republicans' 2010 driving manuel. as we have been discussing, that manuel tells us very clearly they want to reenact the same agenda that drove us into
th agenda -- into the ditch in the first place. it is an agenda that is unsafe at any speed, and americans will not go into a hard reverse. i can assure you the next nine months you will hear more and more from the president and our colleagues about a clear contrast and the clear choice the americans will face when they go to the booth. i want to address the other two components of why the democrats will retain a majority in the house. the republican candidate are out of sync with the main street in these districts. in arizona the other day, all the national media attention was focused on the fact that senator john mccain defeated the tea party favorite candidate. little noticed was the fact tha