Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 13, 2013 4:00pm-6:00pm EST

4:00 pm
so, again, there's that correlation. the more they raised, the more likely they were to win. host: what if you were in host: what if you were in a tight race? guest: the same effect. i don't mean to sound like a broken record but the relationship was between more money, more victory, more money, more votes chsm is sort of what we assume, right? this is what we wanted to do is look and see if there actually existed this correlation we all take for granted, and there is. it's not necessarily as strong as people assume but it exists. it is worth -- go ahead. host: what does all that mean, then. by saying, here's the data, it seems like an obvious question, more campaign cash will get you more votes. but having the day to to prove that, what do you think that means? guest: i think it means that -- that's a very good question. there are different meanings
4:01 pm
that different can take from it. i think what it means is that, yes, the conventional wisdom that there's a relationship between the money campaigns have and the likelihood of victory, which people have assumed and political scientists have said yes this relationship exists, that is confirmed. even when turnout is higher and more instability is expected, it exithses. but this doesn't take into account other factors. it's how much campaigns thems raised, doesn't include super p.a.c.s or any of the external independent expenditures that go into political campaigns. and there are a slew of other factors at play in any particular race. if the candidate has some terrible gaffe, a scandal that emerges, none of that stuff is accounted for in this calculation. this is purely what the campaign raised versus the vote
4:02 pm
total. >> let's talk about outside spending and the election results from this offyear election. look at michael bloomberg, liberal causes spent $2.3 $. ion, thomas steye; million for liberal. host: but michael bloomberg lost some racest -- race he is dumped some -- a lot of money into. >> it is categorically the case that money can't buy elections. i know what i just said, about the correlation between the amount you spend and the ability to win a race, i realize that sounds contradictory. but there are multiple factors that come into place. bloomberg and other big
4:03 pm
spenders that come into a race, usually have to do so without coordinating with the campaign, by law. that is the standard that applies. that means there may be a doubling of efforts. it may mean that the strategy that's employed isn't as effective. most of these political campaigns are run by political parties or run by folk who was done a lot of companies in the past, in my personal experience it's been the case that people who are wealthy and want to run a political campaign sometimes don't -- they have a new way of running a race or there are other factors that come into play that mean they're less experienced at doing political campaigns. that may affect the outcome. i'm not saying that's case here. but in the case of tom steyer, the day we did our analysis was the day politico had a big report about how much he spent on the gubernatorial race in virginia. we took a queck look at the ta and this is something mr.
4:04 pm
steyer's people will spend more time on, we looked at the data and there was not a big shift in those locations compared to other places in the state. was his spending effective? in cases like that, a lot of little things can make a big ifference but was steyer who made the difference in virginia? it's hard to say. host: what is the best way -- does it matter how you spend your money? and if so, what's the best way to spend money? gip you are asking me to try to tread into very, very tricky territory. i have in the past run political campaigns, i did a lot of work on field, the , tually door-knocking telephone calls, there was a lot of hullabaloo earlier this the person who won
4:05 pm
the may i don't recall race in new york city didn't send direct mail which allows them to target very specific people. you can target by very specific demographic information but he didn't do that. of course he was also dropping in his race and had a will the -- a lot of tv ads and spent a lot of money there. the short answer is it depends on the reas and the longer answer is a lot of ways are good but i think field is great. host: sea of tranquility tweets on that. host: you said field operations account only for a few percentage points. guest: in general. that's a rule of thumb. one of the interesting things about political races is that it is not usually campaigns themselves that want to go back and to a lot of analysis about what actually worked and what didn't. usually when it comes to when the day after, the campaign is over, let's not worry about that for two or three years.
4:06 pm
academics and political parties spend a lot of time on this. where is the money ♪ that differs depending on what kind of race it is. if it is a local race you may spend more time on field because you have a smaller area to cover. you can make more of an effect. if it's a statewide race like a ballot proposition in california, tv ads may be the best way to reach people because you know you'll stay in the gee yo -- geographic area. i live in new york city a lot of people here saw ads for the new jersey governors race. they have to spend that money because they are in their local tv news area covers part of new york city but it's a waste of money. i don't need to see an ad for chris christie, i can't vote for him, so i don't need to see that ad. it sounds like a hedge but it depends on the situation. host: another tweet here.
4:07 pm
guest: sure, that's a good question esm we didn't look at that. i think again this has different schools of thought though in jep you want to do it closer to election day because that's when people are paying attention. i think that me sitting here, you, the people watching this show, pay closer attention to poll techs than most people do. most people apay attention to politics around lech day, not a lot of time beforehand. it's a question of if you see the ad two months before. the question is will they remember the message two months litter. host: jack in texas, independent caller. thanks for hanging on the wire. we're talking about the piece for "the atlantic" online about campaign cash and winning. caller: you talk about the money being wasted in an election where it was won. look, you -- of all the money spent in the campaign, no
4:08 pm
matter what, it goes to support the media. the immediate y is part of the system which supports each o'. one hand washes the other. there is never any dollars spent in a company that protects the vested interest which is wasted. not one. talk about bloomberg spent all that money, he owns half the media in new york city. host: all right. the role of media but also the importance of using media to win an election. guest: right, i think it's a valid point. local news stations make a lot of money during election years. they do. there's no way to dispute that. they make a lot of money selling ads. normally an ad in late october would sell for x amount during election year it sells for two or three times that. that's a valid point. the media makes money from political campaigns, that's true. however, there are a lot of aspect of political campaigns that don't touch the media. there are times the political
4:09 pm
campaigns try and get free media, earned media, where they have events and hope the news shows up. they do a lot of direct mail a lot of online advertising, a lot of, you know, field campaign. they hire people or they get volunteers to go and knock on doors. they print little flyers that get handed out. i think that the idea that the media and political campaigns are living in a symbiotic relationship isn't the case. there is a benefit to the media but it's not the case that media tries to blow politics out of proportion to get more money. host: gary on twitter -- host: milton in vineland, new jersey, democratic caller. caller: philip, i want to get your opinion if i may, just two quick points. one is, you seem to be very
4:10 pm
astute with the politics and obviously you've been following it for a long time. tell me what you think about in terms of the supreme court or whichever court it was that said that money or corporations, money is also speech how that figures into your conversation today and if i then might ask you, and please bear with me on this a little bit great tark i'm not trying to go backwards but also, because i know he's obviously studied poll techs very well over the years, when did it become so amazing that a politician would or should or could or even tells a lie, where in history in your opinion where there's been no politician to tell no lie? i only make that component because they're saying that this president lied and then the question is, how many hundreds of thousands of civilians have died since president barack obama quote-unquote told this lie, if you want your health care you
4:11 pm
can keep it. i'm just talking from a political point of view, from a person who studied politics. host: eek we'll leave it there, milton. guest: to your first point, the question of the extent to which the media gets money from corporations, in particular following the citizens united decision, goes to your point about bloomberg and tom steyer and some of the other external spending. that is not exactly the same sort of spending but it is in effect the same sort of thing. political campaigns can receive money from corporations, corporations can invest in political races and try to affect the outcome. there are differing schools of thought. some people feel this has had a seg cant effect on how political campaigns have been run. some people feel it's been a dud, nothing has happened with it yet. i think time will tell. people are still starting to explore that and we'll see how that actually shifts things or if it does. to your second point, i wrote a piece during the company last year, the point of which was
4:12 pm
that political candidates say what they think people want to hear to get their vote. the definition of lie is a philosophical question which we can leave to peepal -- to people at the university to some extent but beyond that, i think politicians are very adept at framing a message in a way that people will respond to. whether or not that always constitutes a lie is, i think, subjective. >> michael corn on twitter weighs in on this united citizens part of the conversation. does this mean that citizens united ruling is accelerating the end of the -- the end of democracy? upper classes continue to manage the system. to kyle in california, san francisco, republican caller. hi, kyle. caller: hi, good morning, thanks for taking my call. while're on -- we're on the subject of citizens united i've noticed in the last couple of races, particularly the virginia governors race, that we're routinely seeing
4:13 pm
headlines and tai ta that are showing that the democrat party super p.a.c.s seem to be outspending the republican super p.a.c.s and i wanted to get your thoughts on sort of the irony of that because just a couple of years ago, 9/11 2012, democrats were saying things leek super p.a.c. are bad, this was the worst decision ever a lot of hyperbole. a lot of commentary i've heard since then, there's been in my opinion limited media coverage of this and i've heard some people say things leek, well this is just the new reality, we have to adapt to it but they're not only adapting to that regnu retail that they thought was so bad years ago, they're doing it in quite a much larger number than republicans in terms of funds. i'm wondering what your thoughts are on that, sort of the politics of that. host: before philip answers that, i want to show your
4:14 pm
viewers open secrets website that shows that the top p.a.c. recipients for 2014, house candidate eric cantor getting the most from p.a.c. on the house side. on the senate side, mark pryor, democrat from arkansas who is up for re-election. you can see the list from there. mitch mcconnel, john cornyn. on the house side, dave camp, kvetch mccarthy, stenji hoyer. etc. guest: largely people who are in tight races. and that includes candidate p.a.c.s. that's not strictly external moment. to the point around citizens yined, we have a tendency to think we'll see all negative and positive effects instantaneously. i think the citizens united ruling will continue to evolve. we can expect further rulings
4:15 pm
about it and potentially something coming out of congress though i don't think there's any traction to that at the time. i've seen the reports that the democratic-leaning super p.a.c.s outspent republicans over the course of the last election seekle, i think that's intring as well but i also think that beyond the super p.a.c., beyond citizens united, there have always been ways and legal loopholes and ways in which people have tried to invest in and affect political campaigns. i think that the vehicle under which that happens has shifted a little bit but i think that the process we are re-mains largely the same that people who want to affect a political race and have money to do so will figure out a way legally to do so. host: we're talking about campaign cash and whether or ot it brings you more votes. our next call. i want to show you from open secrets website the most
4:16 pm
expensive races in the senate. look at money raised and money spent. host: let's go to chuck in hamburg, new york, independent caller. caller: thank goodness in this modern day of electronics we have now do i have to watch 12 commercials during a tv half-hour news at night? can't we come up with something better than this? if half of this money we donate, people, corporations, everybody donates to politicians, we could actually pay of national debt, we could take care of a lot of our problems, we could have less influence because that's all money does is corrupt and buy influence. it's a sad world we're living in right now. it really is sad. i think people don't wake up to the fact that they're getting messed over every day by our government, the people that we put in there.
4:17 pm
guest: i think the church bells in the background of that call have some sort of significance, i'm not sure what. i think that the slew of ads, political ads that you'll hear shortly before a campaign -- before election day on local tv, everyone agrees that's annoying. again, i was watching ads for both gubernatorial candidates in new jersey during -- when i was watching tv in october. it doesn't make any sense. often time whence you work on a political campaign you'll hear from people, people say -- will say tissue >> "washington journal" live every day at k a.m. eastern. we break away here. 982. will the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, kindly resume the chair?
4:18 pm
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 982 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: the bill to amend title 11 of the united states code to require the public disclosure by trust established under section 524-g of such title of quarterly reports that contain detailed information regarding the receipt and disposition of claims for injuries based on exposure to asbestos and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today a request for recorded vote on amendment 3 print in house report 113-264 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. lee, had been postponed. pursuant to laws 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in house report 113-264 for which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 1 by mr. cohen of tennessee, amendment number 2 by mr. nadler of new york, and amendment number 3 by ms.
4:19 pm
jackson lee of texas. the chair will reduce to two minutes the time of any electronic vote after the first ote in the series. the unfinished business is the vote on amendment number 1 printed in house report 113-264 by the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen,en of which further proceedings were postponed and the ayes very sprailed by a voice vote -- ayes prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. cohen of tennessee. the chair: those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having isen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
4:20 pm
4:21 pm
4:22 pm
4:23 pm
4:24 pm
4:25 pm
4:26 pm
4:27 pm
4:28 pm
4:29 pm
4:30 pm
4:31 pm
4:32 pm
4:33 pm
4:34 pm
4:35 pm
4:36 pm
4:37 pm
4:38 pm
4:39 pm
4:40 pm
4:41 pm
4:42 pm
4:43 pm
4:44 pm
4:45 pm
4:46 pm
4:47 pm
the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 198, the nays are 223.
4:48 pm
the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number two printed in house report 113-264 by the gentleman from new york mr. nadler, on which the plo seedings were postponed. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number two, offered by mr. nadler of new york. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. 6 any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
4:49 pm
4:50 pm
4:51 pm
4:52 pm
4:53 pm
4:54 pm
the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 194, the nays are 226. the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number three printed in house report 113-204 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, on which further proceedings were post-voned -- postponed and on which the noes prevailed by -- prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number three printed in house report 113-204, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: a recorded vote is requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. members will record their votes
4:55 pm
by electronic device. this is a two of minute vote. -- a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
4:56 pm
4:57 pm
4:58 pm
4:59 pm
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 195, the nays are 226. the measure is not adopted. the amendment is not adopted. seeing no further amendments, under the rule, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 982 and i report the bill back to the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has under consideration h.r. 98 and
5:00 pm
pursuant to the house resolution 403 reports the bill back to the house. under the rule, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the engrossment of the third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend title 11 of the united states code to require the public disclosure by trusts established under section 524-g of quarterly reports that contain detailed information regarding the debt and disposition of claims for injuries based on exposure to asbestos and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the
5:01 pm
ouse will come to order. he house will come to order. is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed to the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. owens of new york moves to recommit the bill h.r. 6982 to the committee on the judiciary with instructions to report the bill to the house forthwith with the following amendment. insert after section 2 the following -- section 3. protecting the privacy of the u.s. service members and veterans and ensuring claims are paid before death. paragraph 8 of section 524-g of title 11 of the united states code as added by section 2 shall not apply with respect to a claimant who is or has been a member of the armed forces of
5:02 pm
the united states. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. owens: thank you, mr. speaker. this is -- >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house will come to order. mr. owens: mr. speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill and will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage, as amended. this motion to recommit very simply exempts veterans and active duty service members from reporting requirements of the underlying bill. we celebrated veterans day two days ago with much thanks and praise. now, we propose to punish those very same folks whom we praised. under the guise of transparency, h.r. 982 requires quarterly reports of claims and payouts made out against
5:03 pm
asbestos trust funds will will provide remedies of victims of asbestos exposure while allowing companies to continue to operate. but a strict set of fraud prevention steps already exists when seeking an asbestos claim. in fact, a 2011 g.a.o. report did not find any evidence of overt fraud during its examination of the asbestos trusts. mr. speaker, 30% of asbestos victims are veterans. let me repeat that. 30% of asbestos victims are veterans. the reporting requirement created by this bill will delay claims payments to these men and women who have served their country and are now suffering from deadly diseases, including lung cancer. >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will come to order. mr. owens: are now suffering from deadly diseases including
5:04 pm
lung cancer and mesothelioma bussed of asbestos exposure. victims of mesothelioma tiply live only four to 18 -- typically live only four to 18 months after exposure. this will ensure we do not delay claims to a veteran with only months to live. the personal information required to be submitted in these quarterly reports poses a serious threat to privacy by forcing asbestos trust funds to reveal on a public database personally identifiable information about asbestos victims and their families. why would we subject a grateful ill veteran battling a disease like cancer to the additional risk of identity theft? this motion to recommit very simply exempts veterans and active duty service members from the onerous and invasive reporting requirements of the underlying bill.
5:05 pm
these heroes have sacrificed for our nation. join me in protecting their privacy and ensuring their asbestos claims are paid before death. we will punish those who we praise and that is simply unacceptable. i urge support for this final amendment and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i claim time in opposition to the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, the fact act is a simple measure to address an obvious problem. the lack of transparency that exists in the asbestos bankruptcy trust system cannot be allowed to continue. fraudulent claims are diluting the ability of too many trusts to provide for the recoveries of future asbestos victims, including our nation's
5:06 pm
veterans, who must often rely solely on the bankruptcy process to obtain a recovery for their asbestos injuries. the fact act will help preserve the finite amount of trust resources available for all future victims by increasing transparency in the asbestos bankruptcy trust system, thereby facilitating a reduction in fraud. the fact act achieves transparency through a measured approach, carefully crafted to provide strong privacy protections and respect states' rights, strong privacy protections for veterans and all other victims. this will not delay compensation to asbestos victims but will assure that the true victims, including victims who will be identified in the future as suffering from asbestos injuries, are not kept from having compensation. these trusts are being used up as a result of fraudulent claims.
5:07 pm
the asbestos bankruptcy trusts need additional transparency so they can root out fraud and protect recoveries for future asbestos victims. the fact act provides this vital sunshine in a simple, efficient manner. it's a two-page bill. i commend my colleague, mr. farenthold of texas, and mr. matheson of utah, for bringing forward this bipartisan legal reform. i urge my colleagues to vote against this motion to recommit and to support the fact act. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the motion is not adopted. mr. owens: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes y electronic device.
5:08 pm
pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this five-minute vote on the motion to recommit will be followed by five-minute votes on the passage of the bill, if ordered, and the approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
5:09 pm
5:10 pm
5:11 pm
5:12 pm
5:13 pm
5:14 pm
5:15 pm
5:16 pm
5:17 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 197, the nays are 224. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it, the bill is passed --
5:18 pm
mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of epresentatives.]
5:19 pm
5:20 pm
5:21 pm
5:22 pm
5:23 pm
5:24 pm
5:25 pm
5:26 pm
5:27 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 221 and the nays are 199. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished is the question of agreeing on the speaker's approval of the journal. the question is on agreeing on the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
5:28 pm
in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. the unfinished business is on the question of suspending the rules and agreeing to house resolution 196 as amended which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: house resolution 196, resolution affixing the sixth amendment to the constitution, the right to counsel. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
5:29 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker.
5:30 pm
midge, one of the women i represent from alexander county, wrote me to say, quote, i am one of the many policyholders whose policy was canceled due to obamacare mandates. my policy was great, affordable and i liked it. the most similar policy blue oss can put me on has higher deductibles, coverage i don't need. for this new coverage, midge and her husband are going to have to pay 81% more. midge closed off her letter to me with this simple request. please do all you can to help us be able to keep the plan we like as we were promised by our president. letters like midge's are pouring in from across the country to democrats and republicans alike. that's because promises aren't partisan issues, and promises matter to the american people. let's require the president to keep this central obamacare promise by passing the keep
5:31 pm
your health plan act. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. please take your conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. schock: i rise to talk about a 31-year-old farmer that tragically succumbed to cancer. he was an avid golfer, farmer and family man who left behind a wife and two children. out the : he brought best in his rural pike county. his family and friends organized a tribute over 60
5:32 pm
tractors and other pieces of farming equipment that honored kyle's life and all of the equipment worth millions of dollars had the keys left in the ignition overnight without a single worry. thanks to the photographer, matt, who captured the moment, the story has now gone viral. matt said it seems to me that farming communities across the country may hold the key of what holds this nation a shining beacon in a world of trouble. matt, i agree. this rural community story is a tribute to rural american families. my thoughts and prayers gos out to kyle's family and friends. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. are there any further requests for one-minute speeches? the chair lays before the house the fonl personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today.
5:33 pm
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request s granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. fortenberry: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. speaker, y: in the midst of all our difficult debates that are occurring in this body and throughout washington, whether it's about the right type of health care reform or how to stop the ever-expanding federal debt, which threatens both our economic as well as national security, and as important as these debates are, it should not be lost on us, though, that there is a grave struggle for the protection of a fundamental
5:34 pm
proposition of human dignity and a basis for civilization itself. this is the protection of the rights of conscience and religious freedom. even in the midst of all of our other debates, many americans are concerned about the heartwrenching stories of individuals who have been detained, condemned, incarcerated, often tore turd, sometimes for years throughout the world, even under the sentence of death for some simply for the peaceful exercise of their religious rights. mr. speaker, given the scale of human suffering endured and extensively documented in this past century alone, it is often difficult to grasp that humanity in the 21st century, with all of its technological advances at our disposal, has not yet learned some very basic lessons. these lessons of the 0th century, after two -- 20th
5:35 pm
century, after two horrific world wars and our enspeakable human tragedies, including the holocaust and the slaughter of tens of millions of persons under the repressive and cruel communist regimes, these lessons should not be lost. they are indispenseable and pressing forward toward a more hopeful future, one based upon the unchanging principles that underlie a free and noble society. one of these basic lessons is that religious freedom is a foundation for social stability, security, civility as well as economic prosperity because it is built upon a foundation of respect for human dignity. mr. speaker, this is why we should, this body and the administration, we should all redouble our efforts to ensure that this first principle of religious liberty is integrated as a critical element of american foreign policy, generally, and is prioritized in the day-to-day work of
5:36 pm
diplomacy of this country. with our position of ambassador at large for international religious freedom now being vacant, we should act quickly to quell any potential sense of ambiguity about where the united states stands on this important issue. let me first make an important distinction, mr. speaker, religious freedom is not the same as freedom to worship, which is a much more restrictive concept and should not be confused. we are not merely concerned about allowing people to worship, think freely in their own minds or in their own home or in their own church, but about championing the free xercise of religion grounded in human dignity in its fullness, robustly, in the public square as is guaranteed by our own constitution in the first amendment. religious freedom, the cornerstone of our civil society, is something that we can actually still take for
5:37 pm
granted, though, in the united states. although -- and this freedom has been eroding here in recent years, its a painful irony that our own department of health and human services is meyered in litigation over -- mire qumbings d in litigation over -- mired in litigation in health care policy. even here this right is fragile. so think of the many people throughout the world, in ountries where the percepts of religious liberty is egregiously violated by the states, people that must endure cruel abuses for exercising this right of conscience. mr. speaker, the prominent case of pastor abadini in iran is a good example. he's an american citizen under house arrest for his christian faith and it's one of the most urgent cases worldwide. he and his family need our
5:38 pm
thoughts and prayers now. and we have been given the recent news that he has been moved to a notorious prison reportedly confined in a small cell with hardened and ruthless criminals with no access to sanitation or desperately needed medication. in the united states, thankfully, we are starting to see a ground swell of concern over such barbaric treatment of the pastor and ironically, this is so close to the anniversary of the storming of the united states embassy in tehran in 1979, and we are not alone in our appeal to something higher. together with many good people of faith from -- throughout the world are people -- who have no faith throughout the world, many are calling for his immediate release and safe return to his family. but unfortunately this is not an isolated case. beyond our intuitive understanding of right and wrong, we must also say that
5:39 pm
religious freedom is not simply a matter of exercise of a principle of justice. we know that it is inextricably linked to security and stability. according to the united states commission on international religious freedom, those nations that work to respect human dignity tend to perform more strongly on a broad scale of metrics that command and control societies, where freedom are restricted and economic prosperity can seem unattainable, especially for those individuals who are marginalized and subjected to wrongful religious discrimination. the metrics in countries where religious freedom abound are so much stronger in multiple areas of well-being versus in controlled societies where religious freedom is oppressed. religious liberty is a principle tied to both security and stability in civil society itself. areas of the middle east, for example, where religious
5:40 pm
minorities have traditionally served as an influence for all peoples, they are now under severe distress. can civil society really have a chance under such conditions as minority faith groups flee from persecution in their ancient homelands? now, mr. speaker, the united states has been one of the world's greatest champion of religious freedom, and we cannot afford to backslide or been seen azzam biff lent in this regard -- as ambivalent in this regard, especially as they demand principled leadership from this congress and this president. pursuant to the international religious freedom act, passed by congress in 1998 and signed into law by president clinton, the state department is required to provide a detailed annual report on the status of religious freedom throughout the world. the current report, which covers last year, provides a
5:41 pm
robust overview of recent trends and concerns. it also leaves us with the enormous challenge of confronting serious and escalating levels of abuse, particularly in environments where impunity reigns and powerful forces align to intimidate and brutalize vulnerable faith communities. not only have affronts to religious freedoms over the past year have been widespread, but sadly, mr. speaker, they are escalating. before i review some of the key concerns highlighted during this past year, let me take a moment to recall a courageous official in a country of pakistan who made a profound impression upon me a number of years ago when i went to islamabad along with the house democracy partnership, which is an effort of this united states congress to partner with emerging democracies to help in ny way share technical
5:42 pm
expertise as to properly run a legislature or parliament. i had some time with the interior minister whose name was mr. bati. he was a man of great humility, great decency. i worried for a time, mr. speaker, because where we met was out in the open in a public setting, and him being seen this approximate as an united states official i wondered if this might be problematic for him given our stress between our two countries. our conversation turned to some basic requests. he wanted to create student exchange opportunities for individuals representing pakistan's minority faith communities. he proposed establishing a three-judge panel for blasphemy trials as is commonly -- which as is commonly reported is sometimes used for persecuting
5:43 pm
minorities or the settling of personal grievances. these were neither grandiose or improper requests. as we continued our conversation, as of brief, this man was of deep faith -- he was a catholic -- impressed me significantly. he not only showed great humility, he showed a great desire in his public commitment and witness to protecting the rights of all religious norts, even beyond his own faith -- minorities, even beyond his own faith tradition. about a year later i was getting ready to give a speech to a group of nebraskans who had gathered for the nebraska breakfast, which we hold many times throughout the year here, -- can nebraskan is meet with us. so as i was gathering my thoughts, a message came to me that mr. shabaz bati had been
5:44 pm
murdered, had been executed, had been martyred in pakistan simply for exercising the legitimate authority of standing up for the minority faith communities in that country. i can tell you, mr. speaker, my face must have been ashened as i was preparing to speak toward the community -- to the community where i come from. and i told them about him. i changed what i was going to say and added a few lines as best i could, again, about his courage, his decency and how in our few moments together he had deeply impacted me. mr. speaker, over the past year, the commission on international religious freedom has eye department find several countries that have engaged in or tolerated particularly with religious tions of freedom.
5:45 pm
these are people at his funeral. these violations documented by he commission include an ongoing and egregious examples of torture, prolonged arbitrary detention or other flagrant denials of the right to life or liberty or security of persons. these tier one countries which the commission has called, which the secretary of state has asked to designate countries of north , burma, iran, korea, saudi arabia, uzbekistan uzbekistan and china. try going a week without buying something made in china. moreover the condition also identified other countries who are on the threshold of such status and these include, iraq,
5:46 pm
igeria, and vietnam. mr. speaker, there is a large minority community where i live in linchingon, nebraska, made up of persons who come from the country of iraq, who fled that country due to persecution and made their home where i have made my home and they contribute greatly to the well-being of our society. there is one minority faith group there in lincoln, an old religious tradition and one of the elders came to see me because they have traditionally lived very quietly in iraq. they have not created the conditions in which they should be targeted by anyone else, but the community came under great distress and also under persecution and attack and one
5:47 pm
of the elders of his community said to me, congressman, we protected the christians, now we ask the christians to protect us. to emphasize the deep and abiding concerns over religious violence, the commission has also launched the religious violence project which has focused its efforts on nigeria as well as pakistan where argeted religious violence has tore at the foundations and created an atmosphere of widespread fear and intimidation. over the past year in nigeria, for example, where the islamic militant movement is considered the primary perpetrator of religious violence and gross religious freedom violations, there have been 50 churches killing 366 people. 31 attacks have been documented on christians, killing 166
5:48 pm
people. among the other violence, 23 attacks on islamic clerics or senior figures critical of that group, have killed some 60 people. over the 18 months going back from july of 2013, the religious violence project tracked 203 events that resulted in 700 deaths and attacks by militant and terrorist organizations in pakistan particularly against their shia community. attacks on other minority populations included the christians, hindus and other groups that were subjected to targeted bombings, shootings and rapes. mr. speaker, the trend toward the type of violence that has been documented by the commission in recent years is profoundly disturbing and should be addressed in a manner at the united nations and all appropriate venues of
5:49 pm
international engagement in a credible and reliable manner. interestingly, mr. speaker, the los angeles less times just reported that several of the 14 new states, united nations human rights council are widely considered to be human rights -- by human rights advocates as violates of personal freedoms. the new countries elected to the human rights council are russia, china, cuba, saudi arabia, algeria and vietnam. again, considered to be by human rights advocates as violators of personal freedoms. in view of this development, it concerns me that our own administration has downgraded the status of the state department's ambassador-at-large for religious freedom. this is an important position. it is a reflection of who we are as a nation. also, the position of the
5:50 pm
special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism remains unfilled in our government as well. i would like to see us elevate the principle of religious freedom as a core measure of civil society and diplomatic intent, institutionalizing this is a priority with the department of state and building upon the very commendable work of our last ambassador, who is now gone, ambassador susan johnson cook and the time to do this is now. otherwise we risk sending a dangerous signal that doesn't fit who we are as a nation. we must care about this fundamental principle of the rights of conscience and religious liberty. we cannot afford to convey a message that religious freedom doesn't matter that much while so many lives throughout the world hang in the balance, while o many people look to us for
5:51 pm
the ideals which bring about civil society in its fullness where we respect one another's differences and work them out through comity and legislative debate and not at the point of a sword or at the end of a gun. mr. speaker, the world is screaming for meaning, religious liberty is a cornstone of human dignity and a foundation for civil society itself. we don't think about it very often, but it is true here. we don't think about the fact that we can enter our church, synagogue or mosque each friday, saturday, wednesday, freely. for the most part without threat of fear of intimidation, without the government listening to us or without persons seeking to do us harm.
5:52 pm
people can teach and preach as they see fit to try to reflect their deeply held faith traditions to those who follow them and those they wish to convince or tell their story to. this is a great tradition in america. we have our differences, but we respect those and we honor that right of the rights of conscience to speak freely and the rights of religious liberty in the public square. for instance, i think it would be interesting to point out that the image of moses who looks down upon me right now who looks upon this body as we deliberate, one of the great law givers of all time who happened to be a great religious leader of all time. our country is replete with the strong condition, with the strong condition for the exercise of religious liberty both at home, within our churches and in the public
5:53 pm
square. this is one of the reasons that people are so attracted to america, because it is a principle consistent with human dignity. it appeals to the heart of all persons to be able to exercise freely who they are and what they would like to believe in respect to others. this is a great tradition that we have institutionalized in law and tried to project through our diplomacy. that is why it is so important that we fulfill this open ambassador's position and we do so now and we elevate the ideals of the religious liberty and rights of conscience as a core in order to give people hope, the hope that they are yes or noing for, a hope that they need and a hope to give balance and equality in the 21st century to a world that is very unsure as to where it is going next. with that, mr. speaker.
5:54 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from minnesota, mrs. bachmann is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the majority leader. mrs. bachmann: mr. speaker, i thank you for this opportunity and the privilege to be able to be here in the well of the greatest deliberative body on earth, the united states house of representatives and talk about what i believe is one of the most crucial issues facing the national security, not only of the united states, but for freedom-seeking people all across the world. you know, i had a tremendous privilege this last week, seven members of congress, democrats, republicans and myself, were
5:55 pm
privileged to be on a trip that was life changing in many ways. we had the privilege of going to israel. we met with leaders of israel. we met with people of israel, and we talked about issues of national security. israel is a nation that has been literally under attack since the time of its founding of the modern jewish state in may of 1948. very wisely, the united states president at the time, a democrat, harry truman, gave israel what she needed more than anything else, to be able to show the world that she could be an independent sovereign power, and it was this. president harry truman recognized israel as a sovereign, independent nation. that told the world that the united states of america would have israel's back, because we recognized her right to exist. unlike israel's current neighbors, many of whom
5:56 pm
particularly in hamas and the palestinian authority to this day continue to deny israel's right to exist and israel's right to defend herself. israel lives in a very tough neighborhood and we had the privilege to find out more about the concerns and issues that face our greatest ally in the world that we have, and that is the jewish state of israel. but while we were there, mr. speaker, our delegation was able to quite literally world history as it happened. secretary of state, john kerry decided to add jerusalem to his trip in addition to cairo. he went to jerusalem because he was in the process of speaking about the palestinian-israeli talks, for a so-called two-state solution. something more important that week was at stake and it was this, it was the meeting in geneva, switzerland and it was a
5:57 pm
meeting of the nations that talked about whether or not the economic sanctions that have worked so well to prohibit iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. the question is will those sanctions now be lifted? and as we went through the course of our time in israel, last thursday, we were about to have our scheduled meeting with prime minister netanyahu. the meeting was rearranged because secretary of state kerry was in town. the prime minister adjusted his schedule and we adjusted our schedule so the prime minister could meet with secretary of state kerry. that was the right thing to do. when we filed into the office that we usually meet the prime minister in late thursday afternoon, it was evident that something was clearly amiss. the first remark from the prime
5:58 pm
minister was, had we heard the news? we looked at each other and we said what news would that be. we were in meetings all day long and we had no idea what he was talking about. prime minister netanyahu was briefed. israel was not there and were not present at the p-5 plus one meeting. the news wasn't good. the prime minister said to us, iran is getting the deal of the century. i assure you, mr. speaker, the prime minister had the attention of seven members of congress, democrat and republican. he went on to say some very firm words. this is a poster that was created by senator mark kirk of illinois, and he said this to us. he said this is a very, very -- and he said it a third time, very bad deal. not only a bad deal for israel,
5:59 pm
because as he told us, you know, we are the little satan. you, the united states, are the big satan in iran's eyes. you think this is bad for us and israel, imagine what this will be for the united states. and so, mr. speaker, i would like to focus just a little bit on the chart that senator kirk put together, because i think it speaks very eloquently of why the p-5 plus 1 deal was very, very bad and why the prime minister netanyahu was rightly concerned about not only the national security of the jewish state of israel and the national security of the united states and freedom-loving people around the world. let's look at this document that was put together by senator kirk.
6:00 pm
they would get in cash $60 billion. some of the literature i read said up to $50 billion would be free and available to iran. at minimum they would have act stose $3 billion in cash. this is an actor, the state of iran, which was found illegally