tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 7, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
it requires state licensing. that's what your clients want. >> yes. they want state licenses. >> a license to their relationship. correct, in the right to marry, yes. import there is something different than i thought you were talking about. you want them to recognize it to license it by the state's licensing. do.e the >> the central attribute of the marriage is the freedom to marry the person of your own choice. the state citeses glovesburg that the court must make a careful of the right asserted. loving versus virginia, turner and the list -- >> i mean, i just, that is 1967 decision so in 1968, say a gay caucasian man and a gay african-american man go to virginia to seek a license to marry. do you really think loving controls that case in 1968?
>> well, i think the court by citing loving in windsor thinks that there is not much difference between marriage by a same-sex couple and marriage by an interracial couple. they didn't decide the case but they cited it. the trend is certainly in that direction. i think the court -- >> it's different from saying what loving stands for. isn't the answer to my question about what happened in 1968 pretty obvious because we have baker in 1973. >> i think that lawrence, excuse me, that justice kennedy tells us something about how the court may be viewing these cases. i think what he is saying and i think you see it in lawrence and you see it in windsor. the court is saying that back decades ago, certain practices were accepted. now we understand more about these things and we now understand that these are now
going to be framed as discriminatory. we didn't know anything about same-sex couples back at the at the time of loving. these were hiding because their conduct was criminalized. i think to say that this is, with the argument hold water back in 1967, it was a different time. >> what about, i know that there is many significant benefits, some of them monetary and extended to same-sex couples if you win here and i think that's significant, but i have to believe based on the briefs that the most important thing is respecting dignity and having the state recognize these marriages the same way heterosexual marriages are recognized. if respect and dignity are critical or the key elements here, maybe there is something i'm missing. i would have thought the best way to get respect and dignity is through the mistake process, forcing one's neighbors, co-employees, friends to recognize that these marriages
or the status deserves the same respect as the status in a heterosexual couple. so it's just funny to me why the democracy process which seems to be going pretty well. nothing happens as quickly as we might like, i'm just curious how you react to that point. >> the michigan marriage amendment gutted the democratic process in michigan. voters can no longer appeal to their legislators. the usual deference to the process evaporates. there is plenty of reason to infer antipathy here. >> michigan voters have put, another initiative were put in front of them, it may be a different vote and may well be a different outcome today. >> the practicali y, the michigan voters, to get this before them, you would have to
come up, the signatures of 10% of the total number of voters that were in the last general election for, it's very cost prohibitive for a disfavored minority to be doing that. >> change of hearts and minds which i believe is one of the key goals, isn't that worth the expense? isn't it more likely to change hearts and mind through the democratic process than you are by five justices of the u.s. supreme court? >> fundamental constitutional rights may not be submitted to popular vote. they depend on the outcome of no election. >> assuming you win, my question is assuming you can win on this, i'm asking you a question, why do you want this route? it's not 100% obvious to me why it's the better route, it may be the better route for your clients and as a lawyer, you have to keep the focus on that, but it's not 100% obvious to me it's the better route for the
gay rights community, that's not obvious to me. >> i'm not at all optimistic that we could get that in michigan, secondly, the government made that same argument. they said, just wait for the passage of the e.r.a., that would be better. that was 1973. we would still be waiting now. it brings injury here, marriage provides unparalleled social, legal, and personal meaning, commitment, mutual reciprocal responsibility, dignity. it is security, it is a status, it is stability. it goes well beyond the deprivation of the right to marry. michigan's loss are pervasively discriminatory to same-sex couples. they are destabilizing to these families, something that i think all parties agree during this trial. april deboer is a legal stranger
to her son and jane rouse is a legal stranger to her own daughter. it also brings the loss of important economic resources, we have lists all those. it brings psychological injury. we had a doctor explain that no matter how confident, how devoted, how caring that second parent is from the child's perspective, some children will suffer from an am bigous socially unrecognized seemingly nonpermanent relationship with the second parent. in a majority of the supreme court added more in sinned sore. they humiliate children. they devalue same-sex couple families in comparison with their opposite sex counterparts. it brings shame to these children. the injury is especially unjust, especially cruel for our plaintiffs. a nicu nurse, an emergency room nurse taking in the babies that
were left behind, a premature infant in an incubator struggling to live, special needs children, hard to place children, children of color, foster children, they took them in. >> these arguments seem really powerful if you get heightened scrutiny and maybe dispositive, but do they survive a rational basis review? >> on a rational basis, we think it flunks on a rational basis. the test would be it requires a connection between the purpose and the law itself. that connection is missing here. first of all, the mother/father rational. the ban as the judge indicated is not increasing those mother-father families. it's not detering same-sex couples from marrying, from having children, from raising them responsibly. >> but i mean, rational basis review allows under inclusive and overinclusive laws. that's really the whole point of it, that you can, the legislature can address a
problem one step at a time and the fact that it's overinclusive or underinclusive, that's what the court means is that decisions will be corrected through the democratic process. it seems like that's your point here. it's underinclusive. if you care about children, you should care about the children in these marriages. if you care about love and affection, you should care about these couples. they're just as capable of love and affection as the others. that is just not how rational review basis works. >> in a series of cases, the court struck down lines calling what the court calls riddled with exceptions, striking down laws suffering from that classification that -- >> those were unprecedented laws. windsor and roemer were unprecedented laws. if there is one thing we know in this case, this definition for better or worse is not unprecedented. >> well, i think that to the extent that the court considers this a one factor test now, just assume for the purpose of argument that the test is whether it's unprecedented in the sense of never allowing, you
know, never allowing same-sex couples before, whether it's, whether or not it fits the roemer, windsor characterization. i don't agree that it is a one factor test. what i see, what i see the court doing is looking at these laws in full context, a number of factors, using a more totality of the circumstances approach. it matters that these are intensely personal rights as opposed to say beach communications economic interest. it matters that this was a constitutional amendment and i'll distinguish that in a moment. >> one of those rights emerging as an age discrimination case, it's a very personal right. plaintiffs have to retire at age 50 under the theory there is a
correlation between age and physical fitness. of course, that's a ridiculous law in terms because you have 50-year-olds doing triathlons. the court upheld the law and i'm sure it was deeply offensive to 50-year-old, 51-year-old police officers who were more fit than their 40-year-old colleagues. that just gives you a sense of how tough it is to get through rational basis review or overcome it. >> the rational basis standard is not a toothless one. in jimenez case, social security to some illegitimate children and not others, contraceptives to married but not unmarried persons, a rational basis review and conclusion. only hippies were denied food stamps, all were rational basis catches. the state talks about the robison case, johnson versus robison saying that the state only needs to show that the inclusion of the included group further a legitimate of the state. the state is misreading that case.
the court found that the line drawn there rationally distinguished between the two groups, there was good reasons why conscientious objectivors could be denied veteran benefits and veterans could not. they were not similarly situated with respect to those benefits. in cleveland, the law failed rational basis because the purported justification made no sense in how the law treated other similarly situated in important respects. here is the problem that we have with the biology rational. michigan has a robust policy of adoption. it allows single, gay, and lesbian people to adopt. in michigan, adoptive parents have the same legal rights as biological parents. it allows donor sperm. it allows artificial insemination. cases are struck down under rational basis that are riddled
with exceptions. so the ban doesn't face that rationale. another disconnect. people can marry without having children and people can have children without being married. infertile, involuntary, they can all marry. equal protection under constitutional law doctrine distinguishes between marriage and pro creation. in griswold, a contraception case, a court found that married persons have a constitutional right not to have children. in skinner, 1942, habitual criminals can't be subjected to forcible sterilization, not a marriage case at all. >> the problem of unintended pregnants? >> with unintended pregnants, there is another disconnect. proof again it's the same problem with pro creation, but the end doesn't do anything to disincentivize heterosexual couples from marrying. marriage gives that to them
already. the ban doesn't do anything to take it away. the idea of accidental pro creation, it's a nonrationale, there is a disconnect there between the purported purpose and the classification or the law that is in place. the right to procreate is clearly independent of the right to marry. just scalia said that in lawrence. the bottom line is while many persons within marriages do in fact procreate, courts cannot require pro creation as a precondition to a constitutional right. the state is now arguing as a factual matter, which this is a different argument than we faced in the district court. voters must have believed that the mother/father families are preferable. that claim is based upon irrational speculation. it's based upon disproven
irrational speculation. the social science consensus answer is not what matters. parents are important as p.m. two parents bring double the resources. the parent-child relationship matters the most. the relationship between two parents matters. and please note in the district court, the state fully engaged in the child process. they offered expert testimony on the mother-father rationale, on the biological tie rationale. they don't summarize those witnesses before this court. >> the question about pacing which seems to be at the heart of this as we are looking at it, i saw a statistic in one book, i think it's michael harmon's book that says in 1985, 25% of americans knew someone who was gay. by the year 2000, it was 74% of americans knew somebody who was gay.
and when you see that statistic, you realize social science statistics have nothing to do with this. all of this change is as a result of the concrete trumping the abstract, people knowing they can have relationships, be great parents and so forth and what is a little odd to me about the police officers' positions in these cases is it doesn't show much tolerance for democracy's, sometimes being a little slower than we like. i mean, we have 21 states including the district of columbia, in one way or another now recognizing gay marriage and we have a lot of other states that i suspect are pretty close and some other states that will probably take a little longer. it doesn't have with social signs. the change has to do with people knowing one another and seeing there is no reason for these distinctions.
it's just odd to me that the supreme court chose not to deal with this issue two years ago, that's something of a pacing decision. it stayed all these decisions. it's something of a pacing decision as to when the right is recognized. i guess it's just odd to me that state legislatures don't get a little bit. benefit of the doubt in terms of when the pacing is right for them. >> again, in michigan it doesn't matter what the legislators do anymore. it's a constitutional ban. >> four of the states did this through initiatives. in other words, four of the states ruled that it came out the right way in your clients' perspective through initiatives. initiatives are just as
effective as legislation on this point. >> ourselves would have to be repealed. we talked about that already. in addition, judge freedman found that the constitution is for the here and now. this court doesn't have the luxury of dodging a constitutional, dodging a constitutional challenge. i understand that the court in perry didn't decide the ultimate question. 20 straight decisions where, you know, bans have been struck down. so i think the constitution is for the here and now. >> sometimes the federal courts wait until there is a little bit more of a majority of states so that all you have are outliers, five or 10 outlier states and that's when the supreme court steps in. >> i don't know about numbers and i don't know how many were in line when the court decide loving, we are the flyover states. we have a tendency, tennessee,
michigan, texas, and ohio and nothing has been done to help gay and lesbian people for decades. on the coast, things have worked and then that's wonderful. >> it was repealed. >> that was one urban area. i can tell you in my state, nothing is happening to help gay people. in terms of the science that you talked about that, the science, this is a consensus borne of 30 years of research on same-sex parenting, 30 years of research of child development. we learned from the state's own expert that the government and universities have stopped funding in this area on this topic because of the social science consensus, the wait and see approach is not itself a rational basis. it's not even a reason at all. >> there is another problem with the no other group in society has to pass apparent competency test for they are allowed to marry.
parents who have low incomes, lower educational levels, who want to marry again. there is no competency test but we do not bar them from marrying, nor do we borrow -- are them from having children. the argument has been raised that a decision striking down the band would improve -- intrude on religious freedoms. judgment will not require any change for religious institutions. they would be free to practice their sacraments, rituals, traditions as they see fit. like the 10th circuit this court can specify that no religious current -- clergy will be required to solemnize the marriage. religious conflict is not a basis for denying fundamental rights. if and when the case was presented the court would have to balance competing constitutional rights the way it always has.
the court is required to do this. you look at the hierarchy of rights and the level of intrusion. the court would render a decision. we have alleged that intermediate scrutiny applies here because plaintiffs as gay and lesbian persons qualify because of class status. we renew that argument here and differ to the brief and the wonderful brief of the lot institution professors. just briefly we believe the equality foundation could be revisited. it does not require a decision because there is an inconsistent decision, equality foundation was inconsistent with the supreme court that requires modification. the decision, it could be [indiscernible] the court a
class the -- applies the cleburne factors. davis scarborough did not have to address the standard of scrutiny because they decided for the plaintiffs on other grounds. the majority in lawrence through justice kennedy referring to the authors of the equal retention clause and the due process clause wrote that the new that "times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper serve in fact only to oppress." in our case is what we should remember that over the course of history on occasion we as a society have lost our footing. and our humanity. eventually we right ourselves. it was written for all citizens for all time. it is simple, it is dynamic to my and most of all, it is humane. it can and does be interpreted to acknowledge a changing
society. in an emerging recognition that some laws do discriminate against the marginalized, the unpopular, and, in this case, the most vulnerable members of the society. we know better now. there is no reason to treat people this way. we ask that you affirm. >> thank you. mr. lindstrom, you have some rebuttal? >> just a few quick points, your honor. our society has a mechanism for change, the amendment process. that is not a mechanism for change, that is a mechanism for preserving things that are deeply rooted so there is an amendment process that is available at the federal and state level. there are six things on the
ballot in 2012 to the initial process. there were six different measures. that goes to the point that there is a state that has conferred -- to discuss in windsor. in discussing the dignity that had been conferred, that goes back to the point about democracy. people can for that by voting for it. if there is going to be change it is not through the courts but through the people. in maine, maine went one way and people rejected the referendum. people reversed course. >> any idea how long this would take in a south. and what a shock that was down there. >> living violated the equal protection clause itself. it imposed invidious racial discrimination. >> you told me that before. it is the point being made that
the reason that there has not been more in the way of analysis of discrimination against gay and lesbian people is up until 11 years ago their conduct could land them in prison. in many places. you cannot say it is not deeply rooted, that they have a right to marry. because aside from the right to marry him i have had the sheriff in the hall outside their bedroom trying to find out what they were doing in privacy in their own homes. >> it would be a question about whether it is the right to marry or the right to same-sex marriage and windsor entered that western. windsor talks about the history and recognizes it is not deeply rooted. >> because the conduct at the basis of things -- same-sex
marriage was until 2003 potentially criminal. does that not make any difference at all and then the supreme court told us that it should not be considered criminal. that is where i have heard people refer to it as us and him he of action has occurred. and it was back in that beginning of that time when we had the michigan marriage amendment. was it not? i thought we cleared that up. >> that is correct. lawrence was about subsidy rights, privacy. it is not about -- >> it was about the fact that that conduct could no longer be
considered a crime edit could no longer jeopardize someone engaged in that conduct with the prospect of going to prison. >> that is true but the court recognized in justice o'connor's conference, there is a difference between private conduct and public recognition. this court -- has to look at the guideposts in the reason goes back to this importance of democracy in our system. how the -- most basic right we have is the people. and we can do that by amending the constitution. it should not be up to the courts to take these of the hands of the people. it seems particularly interesting here where it does seem to be a particular trend that society is moving in. it recognizes that the victory
is a truer victory and a place -- the courts decided it deprives people of an honest picture. this is an issue that has left the states and it is rational for the people who have continued to promote the idea that in general, it is a good thing. we would ask you to recognize the fact that the decision taking the set of people's hands undermines democracy. this is not an issue that people of goodwill, reasonable people of good will can disagree about. i think this is an issue that reasonable people can disagree about as you can tell by the voters in the six circuit who have weighed in on this issue. >> thank you. we appreciate both of your sets of briefs and your oral
arguments. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] early days of humor industry is better done through the political process and not the courts. this differs from others in appeals courts across the country and may helps an the issue to the u.s. supreme court. on the next "washington journal," looking at the impact of campaign spending on the midterms.the discussing how some ballot measures to legalize marijuana fair to the polls. and president of the american academy of physician assistants talking about their role in the u.s. health system. your calls and join the conversation on facebook and twitter.
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everyone to governing magazine the briefing on the impact of the 2014 state and local elections. i'm zach patton, executive editor. there has certainly been plenty to discuss about the theressional midterms about republicans taking their largest majority in the house since world war ii dubbed. we want to focus on what's going on at the state and local level. the governor's races, state legislative elections, ballot initiatives, as well as those local elections and measures that will have an impact in the years to come. to help us make sense of that, we have a great panel of governing staffers and contributing writers starting immediately to my left with political staff writer alan greenblatt. and we have the jacobson, deputy editor for politicized and a frequent political contributor to governing.com. later on, caroline will be
joining us, the senior editor for governing.com to discuss a specific ballot initiative at the state level. right now, i would like to start with the state races. you've been predicting race rankings for more than one year as you have done in several cycles. election this republican wave we saw certainly extended to governors races this year. how did tuesday's results compare with what you are expecting to see? >> there was always a chance there was going to be a gop wave both parties lost in the anti-incumbent wave. if i would've chosen one it would have been anti-incumbent wave. there were 12 which were tossups prior to the election. if i had to be pressed down and i think i would have said a
couple democrats, coupled gop governors would lose but it wasn't at all like that. ten of them went to the gop, one went to the democrats and one is in the air but it's going to be an independent in alaska who is in first place right now. so it was a gop wave and it's interesting. what i predicted before the election is that it would be more of an anti-incumbent wave is that's typically what it's been if there's been a wave. in 2002 the midterm elections there were 36 races and on election night, 20 of the 36 parties. it was largely open seats. i think a few incumbents lost. but you have to have a
significant number of the parties losing seats in the governors races and then in 20 year elite co years after that, there are a lot of open seats after the first one so there are a lot of governors that serve. that year it was 1836 on election night and again the folks at both parties lost so using that model i kind of felt that we would see some of the parties lose. possibly a sack" second would lose, but the striking thing about, to me at least, is how many of the incumbents warbled rubble and controversial, not that popular in their states and who had really credible opponents scoring pretty well at the polls.
how many survive cliques caught walker in wisconsin and rick scott of florida and sam brownback in kansas and paul in maine. these are governors who were considered really vulnerable to the credible candidates on the democratic side and they survived. the only one who didn't was in pennsylvania. so it was a specific wave which was unusual for the past five or six cycles. i think i will stop there. for so many incumbent i'm going to go ahead and correct my thoughts because republicans have the most house seats and it's since 1928 i don't know if
you saw they the lost 7% of their house members that 29% of the landmass they represented which is huge so if you look at the map to there as a joke on the internet about how they offer more coverage than verizon and it's definitely true at the state level as well they pick up the legislative chambers and they have the most legislative seats in the democratic states like maine and pennsylvania and florida and i was thinking it looks like it might be an anti-incumbent here but it was anti-washington. democratic governors like mike beebe in arkansas have offered that as anti-obama but thinking about who lost and why i think some of the incumbents went on offense and rick scott had a joke the other day about a
walker is aggressive and worked very hard. rick snyder survived but he looked like he was in trouble on labor day because he went into the hibernation for the summer and wasn't advertising then he finally got back in the game and it's one of those where everybody thought he would win and then he looked like he would lose but came back into the game. in alaska it looks like he's going to lose. the playing field changed because the independent and the democrat formed the ticket. they thought it would be a three-way three way race and at the same time he got hit with
this national guard scandal and he didn't have a quick enough defense. at that point they would define the opposition. in maine he had no program of the independent vote that they have a strong message and the page by the way seemed so combative he tried toning it down quite a bit and martha coakley was a successful attorney general and walked into the high-profile races and the ted kennedy seat in the special and now she lost again. her answer to so many questions like whether illegal immigrants should get driver's licenses or build a casino, i am open to it. charlie baker came across and talked about his brother living in areas of life in
massachusetts. he didn't seem threatening. these republicans were so awful they cut education. he was lieutenant governor, that he ran the taking for granted campaign where he didn't have any kind of positive message and he didn't get his voters out and if you look at the five biggest restrictions and prince george county they are major populations they got fewer votes from those five counties. some of the democrats kept at his opponent he doesn't care about you and pat quinn tried the same thing against bruce. he kept up in the game with that. was tenacious and smart about going after suburban counties. to make a big year for the candidates that were assertive
and aggressive and maybe not so great for those that wanted to play nice. hispanic they were in trouble for a long time. you've been looking at lieutenant governors, attorney generals, state superintendents, school board elections. is it the same story when we look at those races in the wave of anti-democrat prorepublican? >> they pulled into the majority of the races and the state legislatures have ten chambers for the gop. a state school superintendents there were about a half dozen contested races. very interesting ones idaho and so forth. there were frequently t. party type of gop candidates in the race is in a broad establishment accepted and the t.
party gop candidates talk every single one of those races. in general it was a very strong night for the gop. issue by issue that democrats and liberals in general did quite well. there were frequently t. party type of gop candidates in the race is in a broad establishment accepted and the t. party gop candidates talk every single one of those races. in general it was a very strong night for the gop. issue by issue that democrats and liberals in general did quite well. the other one that was a little bit more balanced was the
supreme court races, the democratic's kind of hold of their own. they took to a couple seats and states. the deans and the ours and on balance they did gain a seat or two but it was pretty even. looking down the road a little bit what does it mean when you have a full ticket switch as you said to the superintendents in the state to the republican party what does that mean looking in the future?
>> there's a short-term impact and longer-term impact. the short-term impact is pretty good block between the two parties and not a lot is getting done in congress. you have the least active congress in the decade if not ever so a lot of the decisions are being left up to the states. if the democrats have fewer levels of power they can't really shape the agenda and it becomes a little bit of a self reinforcing situation when you have redistricting. it was the best thing to do so well because they could draw district lines and state legislators in congress as they
saw fit and that box in for ten years favorable winds for the gdp so you have a lot of states where the democrats don't have any leverage at all because they don't control the governorship or the senate. there are some states in which they do control everything and those are fine with the democrats but in the short term in the policy impact you can't have much of an impact. the longer-term impact and i haven't gotten all the figures on this i should do a story on this soon looking at the statewide offices in general for the secretary of state these are offices where they've done pretty well but you've are increasingly seeing them making gains and the more you occupy the more team you have for the politicians in the state.
if the democrats don't have the state auditors and the secretary of state and ag and they are not in charge of the statehouse or the senate they don't have high-profile politicians getting the experience, getting the name recognition around the state to run for the higher office where you don't have a lot of chances to win if you can't put up a good candidate. it certainly helps to have some sort of policy and political experience in your background as he ran you run for the higher office. >> do you have any thoughts on this leadership? who >> look who runs for governor, often the state ag's or whoever. if you don't have that, who runs. there's nevada and so forth
where they don't have anybody. but i think that we are going to have a big short-term impact because the last couple of years we had a phenomenon washington had the gridlock and of the states have had a tremendous policy movement in different ways, so we have a red state blue state phenomenon was very divided states and so the republicans have had abortion restrictions and the democrats have had a minimum wage increases and a couple of gun control measures and now it's all republicans and they control 23 states. the governorship in both chambers, plus nebraska and even in alaska at the independent was republican until it became independent. democrats are in the seven states now that control 27 states after the 2008. now it's just sad than periods of 16% of the population and 12%
of that is california. so it is tiny states. connecticut, delaware, rhode island, hawaii, oregon, vermont. so what's been happening is people that that want to do policy wanted to policy innovation and things that are stuck in washington have gone to the states but now democrats are going to have a lot fewer places to go. so i think that we are going to have an age of austerity in certain policy issues it is all pretty predictable you won't see obama care expanded. there is a tremendous fiscal incentive to agree to the medicaid expansion but obviously
a lot of opposition to the law and the democrats hoped to pick up main and get medicaid and that's not happening. you will see a lot of fights over education policy, vouchers, opposition to common core, immigration and tax cuts. we were thinking about how even among the democrats coming down here in washington in the republican congress they will try to end the cuts on the military and have more cuts on the domestic side of that will affect the state budget and the revenue growth had been about 6% for decades until 2008 and it looks like half the states are not where they were and that growth isn't going to be that great and he will have the republicans interested in cutting the taxes further but even on the democratic side in "the new york times," jerry brown the story was for democrats he said he was living within the means as a continuing battle. brown caught the legislator to keep spending limited and pat quinn lost in illinois cut the
tensions that the unions support him because they thought he would be worse. the republicans of course are more excited on the general, so i think that's going to be the impact on the less democratic venues and more republican governance. >> i would also add that it would be interesting to watch for some of these gop governors and especially the new gop governors how much the leadership gives them because i would think they would be under a lot of pressure from both leaders in terms of obama care and other policies and there is that there is going to be a conflict between how much they can do that and fix the party line while also remaining popular in the states that tend to lean blue. >> you made the point that this was a slight rarity of resolve a
state-level elections '-end-single-quote for national congress shall elections and that just reinforces this. >> my sense historically is the voters have been able to kind of compartmentalize and not necessarily vote in the same way. state issues tend to be different. they tend to be about education funding and roadbuilding and not about the things that congress is talking about so there's a long history in the recent years of republican governors in democratic states into democratic governors and the gop states and they've been kind of pragmatic in the matters to distinguish themselves on the national party because they are campaigning on the certain issues of special interest to the state and having been tied to the national party. there was a way to distinguish
themselves. that is less true now. in 2014 the election ended up being a national wave and i think it raises interesting questions about whether the states well kind of be able to stay their own different from the policy issues on the federal level whether it's going to be increasingly interest in partisan and a sort of polarized >> people do differentiate less and you see more cooperative bipartisan basis so that happens less. but it was a term in this victory for republicans. i don't think we should overstate. i think we are still more likely than not to get a democratic president in 2016. the electric keeps going back
and forth. we've had all of these in 2006 and 2008, 2010. but the country remains pretty evenly divided, so i don't know if there will be permanent for gemini but it is striking to isperfect hegemony, but it striking to throw out to some of the members the republicans gained seats in all but a dozen chambers and they sort of took the chambers that have more divided government at the state level to have governors in pennsylvania, bruce browner in illinois would have a strongly democratic legislature but they have 21 super majorities and in wisconsin and the assemblies the assemblies and the republicans have a 50 year high in the seats in the chamber into the tennessee senate is 28 to five.
it's really striking and a lot of democrats ran. some of them were close but the republicans won and so they won't feel any fear of a backlash from the type of austerity but i was talking about earlier. >> if we are coming into the air a in the off year elections and presidential in the midterms you have a much smaller electorate and it tends to be more conservative and in the presidential years it's more diverse it tends to be more democratic leaning most of the gubernatorial races are in the midterm. does that mean going forward if they would have a harder time
doing a successful job in the gubernatorial because i think it's only about ten seats up for the presidential. if it's a permanent smaller and more conservative electorate what does this mean? the >> it's striking what we we expected in the off year that it would be the presidential year and we heard so much about the democrats having a strong coalition with african-americans and hispanics and single women and young people. the electric people voted much more republican and there were exit polls in the 21 states on the senate races. there were huge margins in all but four of them and kay hagan in north carolina got 33% of the vote.
it's hard to win statewide even in the state with a strong population and the democratic share of the vote was down 10% from 2008 so that is a problem how the changing country favors the democratic party but there's still a lot of white voters here. >> back to your point about the candidates that sort of took the success for granted and you can't take anything for granted. >> we want to talk about the state level ballot initiatives that we want to have time for a couple questions right now if you have any questions about what we've been talking about. >> [inaudible]
>> the question is about the geographic distribution of the democrat folks into the gop votes. how does that affect the races? >> one reason we were led into thinking it's because the pollsters don't give a good of a job in the overall areas into places like kansas. so in terms of the actual vote we talk about red states and blue states. i live in missouri where st. louis and kansas city, these little blue coastlines on the state borders and 115 or so red counties in between. so, almost i think it is all but two of the eight statewide officials are democrats.
that's where the people live in the population centers. but that's just a lot of republican territory. so they already have a super majority in both places and this is partly why we have such different maps. they are voted for and not just in to votes have been that the urban centers including the dance suburban counties and fairfax counties of the world are voting so strongly democratic. about you have a small area so it is a hard drawn map that gives you a lot of legislative seats and sometimes you can outvote the rest of the states but you have to turn out to do
that. i don't know if that gets to your question but it's a huge challenge in very limited places. >> i like that red states and blue counties. >> how do you see the publications managing, how are they going to interface and the new majority you always hear they want more transportation funding and tax reform. >> how do the state issues sync up with the national priorities? who >> you have now i think it is going to be 31 governors on the gop side said so that will have a line of communication to the folks in congress. on the other hand is the idea that in general republicans
don't like to spend money so this goes back to my point before how much leeway the party is going to give the governors and state legislators that need to spend money. this goes back to my point before of how much leeway the general public and party is going to give governors and state legislators who need to spend money on certain things in their state which runs contrary to the general gop philosophy that you don't want to spend too much. it will be an interesting area of tension. they may have different interest because of where they stand. >> we will take more questions at the end of the panel but right now i would like to bring up caroline cournoyer.
she is the senior editor for governing.com. she coordinated all the coverage this year of the state ballots. and state ballot measures, the story is a little bit different. we have this dichotomy of voters pulling the lever for conservative candidates but more progressive issues, right? >> it was really interesting because this bite this republican wave, voters in red and blue states passed a number of ballot measures. one of the more popular is marijuana legalization b. both alaska and oregon went the colorado way and legalize not just possession but also the sale of marijuana. legalized, d.c. possession and allowing home
growth of marijuana. what will be interesting in d.c. is whether or not congress in the next couple of months decides to intervene. whether or not congress does intervene, this is an issue that will not be going away in the next few years, especially off all the successful measures on tuesday. will be pushing measures for the next go around in at least five states. massachusetts, nevada, california, arizona and maine. >> specifically on marijuana? >> specifically on marijuana legalization. marijuana activist will also be pushing for legalization in the legislatures. that is something that is never happened before -- has never happened before. they are targeting states in the northeast for this because that is where they think that is
where they will have the best chance. categoriesof these -- more progressive issues within more conservative states is on this labor issue and income inequality. can you tell us about that? >> if there was a win for anyone, it was a win for lower wage workers. four republican states, they are nebraska, alaska, arkansas and south dakota, they all voted to raise the minimum wage. this suggest that despite it being such a polarizing issue in congress, it might be a little more bipartisan among the voters. i would not be surprised if in the next couple of years you see a lot more republican states, especially since there are more putting minimum wage on the ballot and passing
it that way. there is also paid sick leave. massachusetts became the third state to pass the statewide paid sick leave law. connecticut was the first in 2011 and california fondled them a couple of months ago -- follow them a couple of months ago. massachusetts will be particularly interesting because. connecticut's law has sony carveouts for manufacturers. only about 50% of the states workers ended up being covered by this law. 15% of the states workers ended up being covered by this law. a way higher percentage of the states workers. both of those states will be a truer test of the impact of paid sick leave on businesses and employers and whether or not it has negative impacts on businesses and their budget. we see layoffs or whether or not as positive impact on employee
retention. >> massachusetts is actually the first aid that did this the of the ballot measure, right? >> massachusetts passed into the ballot measure. >> what are the measures we are seeing in terms of more progressive wins for ballot measures? >> there is also abortion which is not surprising because there were two initiatives in north the coda and colorado -- dakota and califonia. they were initiatives that would of criminalized abortion. in both states, voters rejected it. it is surprising because of the republican wave in this election but it also is not really surprising because an initiative like that has never passed in any ballot on any state. there is also gun control. only one state voted on a
gun-control. that was washington state and they voted to pass universal background checks for gun sales. this is something that congress tried and failed to do in the wake of the new town shootings -- newtown shootings. it is the lesser extreme of gun-control measures. washington state did have, unfortunately, a shooting a couple of weeks ago before the elections. voters may have had that in their minds when they went to the polls. also, former mayor bloomberg's invested millions of dollars in the washington initiative and they will be for backgroundly checks in several states going forward. >> i know you have been paying attention to one other set of valid initiatives.
>> it is a pretty good night for the environment. of pastre states -- states that passed funding mechanism to keep open states open. florida has an existing program but a basically shortened up. i think about a two to three to one margin. it was a close gubernatorial race. a 50-50 electorate but they went in favor of this ballot measure and win against a couple of -- went against some of the key gop leaders were pushing for. aw jersey also passed separate ballot measure on that issue to protect open space. lsa thete of a aska. there was a ballot initiative by
opponents to a major mine or a mine proposal in a very plentiful fishery area. that also passed. it puts a more severe roadblocks in the way of the mine. the only one which did not succeed was in north dakota where there was a measure to spend some of the states oil and gas tax revenues for a few environmental purposes and that did go down. three out of those four passed. >> it was at least one progressive measure on the ballot that failed which was gmo labeling. caroline, i know that is something you looked at. has been heavily debated in the past few years. a lot of the research that say
they pose a health risks have been discredited. but they say the research has been tainted by big research groups. regardless of the health risks , gmo labeling is never passed in any state. with the growth of the movement, you're getting movement and people really wanting to know what it is in their food, people thought this year would be the year for labeling. that unfortunately was not the case in both colorado and oregon. both measures to label failed. however, activists are not -- are undeterred. they will continue their fight in the legislature and possibly on more ballots. it was an issue that came up in 30 state legislatures last year. it will definitely be a big issue here. activee state has an labeling law which is vermont.
it is an issue that is not going away. >> what were some of the other big issue areas from tuesday maybe not in this vein of progressive issues? kind of more on the budget and management side. what were you tracking? >> one that got a little less national tension was proposition two in california. california has always been a big trendsetter in policy whether it or regulations. whatever california's doing, everyone is watching. california passed proposition two which means the state is now required to put a set amount of money, revenue into the rainy day fund and they cannot touch it unless the governor declares a fiscal state of emergency. becauseunlike the past
before the governor could just to save arequirement part of the revenue. not only is the state will be required to save a part of the revenue every year, they are required to put a part of that savings every year towards their paying off their long-term debt. this is a really big deal for california. a lot other states are going to be watching to see if it is successful. already the day after the election, it raised california's credit rating just slightly. it was directed because they passed proposition two. recession, a lot of states and it into the rainy day fund and they are now looking into put the money back in there. they are thinking about the smartest way to do it and pay down their debts. california might be the way they
take. insulate from the next great recession or little recession, hopefully. i know that transportation funding was a big issue in a lot of places on tuesday. what were some of those highlights? >> transportation ballot measures were a mixed bag. the federal gas tax has now been raised in -- has not been raised in 20 years. most states have not raised theirs in about 20 years. states are constantly worried about finding money for infrastructure to pay for road repairs, bridge repairs. it is an issue that voters care about. there was some good news on tuesday in texas, wisconsin and maryland. voters approved measures either to increase or protect transportation funding. are now going to
put a part of the revenues from oil and gas taxes towards paying for transportation. texas particularly has big traffic problems there. it was brought on by the oil boom and all the workers that came there. it is a big issue that voters care about. in both wisconsin and maryland, they voted to basically lock up their transportation fund so that they can no longer be used for general purposes which is something that often happened in the past and depleted their funding. there was some bad news for transportation funding on tuesday and that was in massachusetts. massachusetts a few years ago tied their gas tax increases to inflation. every year essentially the gas taxes would automatically increase without the legislature having to vote on it. a bout a dozen states have found
ways to automatically increase their gas tax. some are tying it to inflation and some are using other policies, but voters repealed the automatic increase in massachusetts on tuesday which means the gas tax will still raise but it will keep up with inflation. -- it won't keep up with inflation. states struggling to find money for transportation, it could send a message to lawmakers and other states and could make them a little more policies,o consider to consider time the gas tax hike to inflation. it is going to be a struggle for massachusetts and other states this year as it is every year to find money for transportation, especially with the uncertainty come may. >> i want to move on to what has
happened at the local level. there are two other state ballot initiatives that i want to touch on because i think they set up interesting fights and potentially court decisions in the future. both of those are out of arizona which may be unsurprisingly want to test the waters and little. what -- a little. what are we talking about in arizona? >> this was kind of an anti-obama, anti-federal government election. that is highlighted more than anywhere in arizona with these two ballot measures. the one that underscores it the most is arizona passed a law this year -- this week that allows the state to opt out of federal laws of its choice. this means that if voters in arizona next year decide that they don't like obamacare, they
can pass a referendum or the legislature can pass a bill allnst obamacare and then the agencies, all the cities and counties will be banned in arizona from spending any money for enforcing obamacare or the federal clean water act or whatever. this will be an interesting one because obviously it is sure to bring some lawsuits. [laughter] the constitutionality of it is sure to be challenged. i don't believe it has yet. give it a few weeks. [laughter] this is not that surprising. arizona has a long recent history of defying the federal government and asserting their state sovereignty. issueher less extreme there is arizona passed overwhelmingly a right to try law.
a couple of other state lastlators passed this law year but arizona was the first to do it at the ballot box. >> tell us -- >> if you have seen the movie dallas buyers club, this will make much more sense. the right to trial means terminally ill patients in arizona now will have with dr. approval -- doctor approval access to drugs that have passed some clinical trials but have not been approved by the fda yet. so, in a way, this does undermine the federal government authority. some in the medical community also say in the long-term, it might undermine clinical trials. people participating in them because they might be a little less willing and me a little less effective if they don't get the right people in those clinical trials.
that is an issue that is also going to be pretty big in the coming years and activists are pushing it in state legislatures. it is an issue that is not facing that much opposition. i would not be surprised if he saw ipass in many states. -- if you saw it passed in many states. wantat state would not that if it is upheld? we want to spend some time talking about local elections and measures that passed this week. alan, you have been tracking that for us. saw atpublican wave we the congressional and gubernatorial, legislative level, is that something -- did that sentiment continue at the local level? >> it is similar to what caroline was saying that the ballot measures were more liberally leaning. it is not a huge year for local elections. the governing's
current story about pittsburgh which really profiles the mayor who is progressive and was elected last year. you go down the line and they , incomeimilar pre-k inequality, transit type platforms. -- they arees talking about how they're more democratic. almost every big city is getting even more progressive mayors elected. there were not a ton of important mayoral elections. bowser won here in d.c. greg fisher one in louisville. -- won in louisville. aberson was just picked by
the white house to run the office of governmental affairs. lot ofnce got a attention with their mayo or oralral race. he had to twice leave office because of felony convictions. [laughter] he was unable to achieve his latest comeback. he ran foas independent. him.emocrats endorsed he wins in oakland. gene had never been a popular mayor. you pick the first, second, third choices in mayor. she came in second choice. to jerry brown -- barbara boxer sort of came in. chuck reed has been a big pension reform proponent.
with 51.5%liked won of the vote. dave who lost. they will not roll back those pension reforms. phoenix voters, there was a local measure to put municipal employees into 401k's file plans. that was voted down. a couple of county races of note. another former governing cover subject -- craig watkins, the dallas county district attorney. he lost. he was famous for having a wrongful conviction unit that exonerated about 35 people. he had some personal problems. he had a car crash where he was driving while on a cell phone. she'llonents say continue the exoneration work. claim that watkins
was the real issue, not his personal problems. m fromioned itei a st. louis. achael brown was killed on saturday and we had the primaries the tuesday before. for countyprimary executive. the county prosecutor had an opponent in the primary but note opponent in the general election. he is a controversial figure for frontg the case into that of the grand jury rather than deciding whether to indict in his own. it became a very contested race. $3 million race. was apublican nominee statehouse member. he was extreme.
he kept saying he is too extreme. some of the african-american outcials endorsed stanger of anger for the party not supporting charlie but also he is very close with the prosecutor. general frustration over ferguson. stanger got a key endorser from inafrican-american activist st. louis. one of these dance, heavily populated counties. we also had paid sick leave passed in trenton, new jersey and over in oakland. it is a mixed bag on transportation with money for infrastructure. it was voted down in kansas city.
austin, texas. seattle voted for more transit. were bans on gmo's passed at the local level. in california. there were a couple of places in california and texas that voted to ban fracking. finally, there was a soda tax measure for the bay area. andan francisco, berkeley more than $10 million spent on those races. a majorityco, i'm a voted for it. 75%. most of this was from the beverage industry but there was
some money -- michael bloomberg put in $400,000. berkeley approved it. i love this quote in the chronicle afterwards. the spokesman for anti-tax campaigns in both places, says san francisco would've mattered -- i don't think people will look at berkeley's results and see and think that is what the rest of the country would do. it is not exactly mainstream. this was the spokesman for the campaign. it is hard to believe a charmer like that was not successful. [laughter] pot for poor free people -- [laughter] e shouldake away wit think about as far as these local elections? if you o you manage -- 're -- where you stand depends
on where you sit. if you are a mayor in a big city with the state with a heavily republican state government, what do you do? big cities are always hated by the rest of the state anyway. i think that will be a tricky area for people to navigate. in general, the cities will be the blue labs of democracy while the states will be the red labs. >> we will take more questions from you all at this point. who by this question about the elections either at the state, local level? any of the initiative that caroline ran through? yes? you mentioned the mix bag as far as transportation, representing a national transportation association, we are very excited concerning the federal gridlock lately of the state races and the ballot initiatives. do you see given the mixed bag
them taking different issues such as tolling, sales taxes in some of the northern states like michigan? >> i am not really knowledgeable. >> i am not super knowledgeable either. obviously, states keep wanting to build roads. it is a key priority. ofhave had a lot public-private partnerships. i think that will be an area. governors do one money for transportation -- want to money for transportation. what will be the innovative funding sources of the future? i am trying to think.
>> you made the point that to setseem to be willing aside money that already exists for transportation or protect transportation funding from being used for other sources that may be less excited about increasing revenue for transportation. >> one interesting thing to note is tax increases at the state level generally are hard for voters to pass and they are unwilling to pass them at the state level. voters arel level, much more willing to pass a tax increase because they can see exactly where that money is going to. they can see if their taxes increase, the bridge i drive orr every day to go to work that is going to expand over the road where i sit in traffic every day. factor that is one
is really important. if you are trying to get the which is pay for it always hard to do, it is much easier at the local level. >> i think we will continue to see contested battlefields over what kind of spending in transportation. is a just roads or roads and transit and so forth? i am pretty sure in the wisconsin measure that passed, it is all sorts of transportation funding. recalls, to do you guys -- do you guys recall? >> it was just wrote transportation. -- road transportation. >> there is a lot of demand for roads yet the desire to cut taxes. was a georgia a year ago that
had the regional transportation taxes that failed? they tried to be strategic and had this long list of specific projects where people would know with the money is going. it kind of backfired because people said that is not my county. it is really tough. >> it is never local enough, right? in georgia, it was a nine county region. >> this what the state into that multicounty region. >> if it is not my road or my commute -- exactly. other questions? yes? >> all of you have mentioned health care. i am wondering what you think mosthe biggest, significant takeaways on health care whether it be federal, state, local. obvious --the what are potential --
the biggest takeaways you see in this area? >> on health care -- a couple of ballot initiatives that were mostly in california. they failed. give the one to insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive premium hikes. this is something that insurance commissioners in other states do have. in california, they rejected that. interestingly enough, the health exchange in california actually opposed this ballot measure. that is because it gets really copper gated -- really complicated, but they believe in the insurance commissioner has the power to reject premiums in california then it would put too much restrictions on the system which would -- which could raise
prices and premiums. that was a really interesting one. >> i think it is going to be really interesting to watch. so much of the argument against obamacare is the changes to the health care system take away health care from people. whohe republican governors are either newly in office or who are newly emboldened, if they decide to cut back or end the medicare expansion or whatever they are going to be -- even in a conservative state, it'll will be interesting to see if that approach flies or not. particularly arkansas over they have the private sector approach to the medicare expansion.
it was passed as a compromise between the gop led legislature and the democratic governor. in nearly got overturned -- it nearly got overturned part way through even after he got put into place. now with the gop governor and a strengthened gop control of the legislature, if they will pull that back, it will take away a lot of health insurance from people. it might be seen as a critical and might not fly. >> i think they want to. a lot of the state legislators ran on that. they took the money from the fedd to apply. i see that as a possible workaround. arkansas -- with the governor and the legislature -- they
flipped two years ago and now they have a bigger majority. it is the first on the state is totally republican controlled. since 1984. there will be this continuing tension that people could get it through obamacare. say they have a cash flow incentive for states to go with it. --will see some governors mike pence -- another republican governor in utah that they are negotiating with the feds about expansion. one thing to watch in health care is chip. the children's health insurance program which is supposed to go away under obamacare. that is not happening in a lot of states. and will that be a priority of this congress? i don't think it will go away.
whether he gets to funding that it had been, it is been very expanded in the obama years. i don't know what will happen with it. >> another interesting take away regarding medicare expansion -- because it is a republican wave, it is unlikely we will see a lot of new states expanding medicaid. is at risk is the states that have already expanded medicaid. in a lot of those cases, it is not necessarily because the governor has come out against medicaid expansion. it is oftentimes the legislature. it will be really interesting to watch what seems like is going to be some battles between legislature -- republican legislatures and republican governors. many have said i am not necessarily against it, i am going to watch it and look at the numbers.
even a lot of republican governors have adopted medicaid expansion. it will be interesting to see how that pans out. >> i think we have time for one more question. yes? if you could just wait for the microphone. >> i will take a different path with this question. what about trickle-down? one of the areas that have potential agreement between the white house and republican majority is tax reform. how to do you see that lining up with a lot of the local initiatives, priorities? i will take transportation again as an example. the last time the transportation, federal tax was raised was in 1992 and it was a
tax reform initiative. in previous congress, the same thing. with notthat line up just transportation, but also some of the health care issues? how is this going to impact the new legislatures? are they going to have priorities? >> lou, that goes back to your point about we will see how the nationalized these elections get. do you have any other thoughts on any other specific issues? what do you see in terms of trickling down from d.c.? >> it depends on whether the president and congress decided to pursue policy as opposed to skirmishing for a better position in 2016. >> do you want to take bets on that? [laughter] >> exactly. there is certainly an opening
for some serious policy advancement and compromise, but we do have a presidential election coming up. there will be a lot of pressure on congress from presidential o trydates and so forth t to fight the next battle instead of trying to actually consolidate gains and make policy. >> i think we are going to have to and things there. i would like to thank alan greenblatt, caroline cournoyer. i would like to thank all of you for the governing election briefing this morning. thank you so much. [applause]
>> on the next washington journal, the sunlight foundation bill allison looks of the impact of campaign spending. some measures to legalize marijuana when well at the polls. the president of the american policy of physician talks about the role of the u.s. health care system. we will take your calls and he could join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 70 and eastern on c-span -- at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend, tonight at 8:00 eastern, more reaction to the midterm elections. on saturday night, debate on the future of the internet. sunday evening at 8:00, author and television host on his latest book. c-span2,t 8:00 on germanrosbottom on
occupied paris during world war ii. jeff chang on the idea of racial progress. sunday night, the winner of to pull it surprises on what makes us human and different to other pieces. that is tonight. medal of honor recipients reflect on their services on world war ii, vietnam and afghanistan. saturday 8:00, the social prejudice immigrants face during the 1800s. sunday night, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. find your television schedule at www.c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us, e-mail us or send us a tweet. to join the c-span conversation. on -- like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> president obama has chosen a
federal prosecutor in new york to make the new attorney general. loretta lynch is a u.s. attorney and the former member of a federal you -- reserve. she will replace eric holder as the head of the justice department and if confirmed, she will become the first african-american woman to hold the post. earlier today at the white house briefing, national security advisor susan rice previewed president obama's upcoming trip to asia. she spoke for about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. started, susan
rice will have some opening remarks and we will take your questions for a little bit before she has to go and get to the congressional meeting this afternoon. i know there is a lot of attention around some news reports indicating the president is prepared to announce his nominee to be the next attorney general. the president has not made a decision on that today. with that, susan, want to get started? >> good afternoon, everyone. thegoing to go through president's trip and take a few of your questions. the president remains committed to the rebalancing strategy in asia and its implementation will remain a top priority throughout the second term. he is looking forward to his upcoming trip to china, burma and australia. it is a second trip to asia this year. us say before,rd america's security and our
prosperity are increasingly linked to the asia-pacific. the united states is and will remain an asian pacific power and we are engaged in fostering an open and transparent security and economic order amid what is an increasing and high demand from the region for u.s. leadership. our trade and investment ties to asia are critical to our future economic growth and for generating american jobs. the u.s. economy is expanding because of actions that president obama has taken including through our engagement with the asian-pacific region. 's leadership in global forums like the g 20 has resulted in a more stable financial system and collective agreement along the world's largest economies to take meaningful actions to promote growth and quality jobs. the president will arrive in beijing on monday for a three-day visit. the first portion of the visit will be focused around his
participation in the aipac leaders meeting and the ceo summit where he will deliver remarks on our relationship in the region and the importance we attach to aipac as an institution and our collaborative ties. the president will also participate in a leaders meeting in beijing and also have bilateral meetings with prime minister abbot of australia and the president of indonesia. our participation at aipac will highlight several themes. we are working with her asian partners to deepen our trade and investment ties through progress on agreements such as the wto information technology in agreement and the environmental goods and services agreement. will working to bring china into the world institutional structures in asia. the president will participate subsequently on a full bilateral
program with the president of china over the final day and a half of our visit. this is an official state include thell same elements of any state visit but there will be more informal and extended conversations between the two leaders. president obama appreciates the opportunity to have candid and in-depth conversations with the president about our respective given the importance of the u.s.-china bilateral relationship. this visit is an opportunity to identify a forward-looking agenda for the next two years of this relationship. we seek to build a relationship with china that advances american economic and security interests, that solves global problems and is true to americans values and interests. the next stop will be in burma.
the president will participate in east asia summit and then in summit. president obama's participation will highlight the leadership and addressing maritime territorial disputes, increasing leadership in challenges such as the counter-isil campaign and the ebola epidemic and upholding international law. we will have a bilateral program in burma and the president will have meetings with the president . he will have the opportunity while in burma to meet with the vietnamese prime minister. be themary message will united states recognizes the progress that burma has made, but notes that real challenges remain. and missteps have been made in the course of this transition. we will stress that our engagement is helping to keep reforms on track and we are prepared to continue to support
the government as it confronts its remaining challenges. we will underscore the united states commitment to the protection of human rights, tolerance as well as sustaining and deepening the democratic transition. as i mentioned in rangoon, in addition to meeting with the president, president obama will participate in cultural events and participate in another meeting of the young southeast asian leaders initiative in a town hall format as he did in malaysia in the spring. a final stop on the trip will be in australia. unflinching an friend and ally to the united states with whom we share a relationship based on shared values, outlooks and shared sacrifice. the president will have already met with prime minister abbot in china.
that is a function of the fact that the prime minister schedule is quite constrained given that he is hosting the g 20 summit. weing the leaders meeting, will have the opportunity to highlight how president obama's economic leadership has resulted in a significant increase in the resilience and stability of the global financial system and how the world's biggest economies continue to take meaningful action to promote growth and quality jobs through investment in infrastructure, through labor force participation, particular that of women, financial inclusion and energy which will be key themes of the g 20. also, the president will deliver a major policy address and discuss u.s. leadership in asia, especially on economic issues. the speech will provide an opportunity to reaffirm america's commitment to the soa-pacific rebalance and do
irrespective of the other global challenges that are obviously on the plate. this speech will outline our asia policy priority for the remainder of the president's second term. thank you and i look forward to taking questions. >> thank you. some of the preview pieces in this trip in the region, there presidents that the has been focused on other crisies. es. of power,ew balance there are concerns you cannot deliver on the money to help with some of the military forces. look and you and the president do on this trip to prove the skeptics wrong? >> if you are actually engaged in the dialogues with our partners, you'll hear them say that they recognized the united states is making in unprecedented commitment to the asia-pacific region. they note in a year with all the
thees we are all facing, president is taking a second trip to asia which is a substantial investment of time and attention. the preparation we put into making such visits a success in terms of substance underscores the strong commitment that we have and will maintain to the asia-pacific region. what we are hearing -- on our first trip back in the spring, it was a trip that focused largely on our bilateral relationships with key allies and partners. i think they were highly successful and serve to underscore our commitment to our core friendships and alliances in the region. this triple deal with complex relationships with china as well as multilateral institutions that are playing a critical role in asia which we play a very prominent leadership role. i think quite the opposite. the fact we are engaged in a very energetic and constructive asia-pacific
region and talking about the global challenges we all share whether it is countering the threat of isil global health securities, it shows how interval the asia-pacific region is not only to our prosperity but also to our national security and global security. about theto ask you president's correspondence with -- what does he hope to accomplish with this correspondence? do you see coordination, cooperation with iran on this campaign against isil? now that the elections are over, do you expect we will see changes in the national security team and what are your plans? >> let me answer the second question. i serve the president and will continue to serve as long as he would like me to. potentialct to
presidential correspondence, i will not comment on any private communication between the president and any world leader. first of all, as i said repeatedly in public, we are in no way engaged in any coordination, military court nation with iran on countering isil. the fact of the matter is, they pose a threat not only to the people of iraq and syria but the united states and europe. we are dealing with that threat but not doing so in coordination with the government of iran. there was no linkage between our efforts to resolve the nuclear p5 plus oneh the negotiations. we have never made that linkage. the reports that suggest the contrary are inaccurate. >> i wanted to go back to burma
and the president visiting there at the time where the government has given an ultimatum. are there any concerns about the president visiting while this is going on and meeting with leaders of the government who are overseeing that? >> we are going back to burma for the second time for the purpose of attending the east asia summit as well as the u.s. summit. we do look forward to the opportunity to continue our engagement with the leaders and the people of burma. we have real concerns and we've expressed them repeatedly about the circumstances and the transition to democracy which is a challenging one. we will raise those concerns very directly and we will have the opportunity to do so not only with the bernie's president
burmese people, and the young leader society. these are issues that are high on the agenda in terms of our bilateral relationship with burma. as we do in every circumstance whether it be complex issues, they will be raised. >> to what degree will the president raise cyber security with the chinese leadership? what are his goals on the issue? what is the perspective on australia's involvement in the ebola issue? >> let's start with china. [laughter] you may have to remind me of all your questions. with respect to china, the issues of cyber security will be prominent on our bilateral agenda. this is a source of great
concern. we have reiterated on every opposen the fact that we any efforts, official or unofficial, to engage in cyber espionage for commercial gain or other purposes. this has been an romaine -- and will remain a topic of discussion. weh respect to australia, have had frequent communications with the australians and other key allies and partners about the necessity of mobilizing very effective global response to the ebola epidemic. australia has just recently announced an additional financial contribution to its efforts to counter the ebola epidemic. we look to australia and other partners that will have the opportunity to meet with the g 20 to fill the commitments they have made and do more quite frankly because at this stage
there are many needs that remain unmet in the west african region whether it is financial resources particularly for the you an appeal, health-care workers, medical supplies. all of those remain key requirements and the united states has played a very active and prominent leadership role not only to our own national contributions but galvanizing the rest of the international community. we continue to look to capable partners like australia to do their part. i will not the australians explain their own travel ban. our view it is in fact a counterproductive step to impose a travel ban. we need most importantly to be able to flow the personnel and assets into the region to counter the epidemic there. that would be impeded by a travel ban. we also think to the extent that we and others take efforts to
preclude travel, what we may do to make it more likely that folks will try to enter our country or others without being properly screened and without going through the kind of scrutiny we think it is working quite well. you asked about putin. he will obviously be present at the g 20. i imagine there will be an opportunity for the g 20 leaders to engage informally on the margins. there is no formal bilateral meeting scheduled or plan but i would not be surprised if they had some formal -- informal communication. >> thank you. how strong will president obama be when he talks about the issues of the protesters in hong kong? whate issue of the tpp, are the sticking points? i know there have been efforts to get results before the trip.
is the fact that republicans now control the congress, does that actually helped get this -- >> this is a top priority of the united states. it is an agreement that if achieved and ratified will benefit the american people and american economy. it is an integral part of our asia pacific rebalance strategy. we continue to make progress with our partners engaged in the tpp negotiations. i don't expect there will be any final announcements or agreements achieved during the course of this trip. ambassador froman is there already in beijing working on this and other issues. we will continue to do so because we think such an agreement will be beneficial to the united states economy and for creating jobs here. we look forward to consulting
very closely with congress. both parties in congress on the importance of this agreement and will continue to do so. >> on the issue of the pro-democracy protesters, what is the message? >> we have been very clear about our views and concerns about hong kong and other aspects of human rights and civil liberties in china as we have been elsewhere. i fully expect that issue of human rights will be on the agenda. is the president doing any type of civil society or cultural events and if not, why not? >> this trip, unlike his previous trip to china, is centered around the apex summit. we have on the other end the east asia summit and the u.s. summit. we have a relatively constrained
timeframe. we will not have the opportunity what we would do in and around the apex summit and in and around the bilateral state the state visit is constrained. it's not as long as it normally be. it won't have a state dinner. it will have a luncheon instead. the schedule has been relatively compressed. >> you have a lunch that you're looking forward to this afternoon. >> yes, indeed. >> i'll let you get to that. have thank you all, see you on the trip. thanks for coming. >> next president obama's remarks at today's cabinet meeting and his luncheon with congressional leaders. than republican national chairman chair reince prescribe us and he had gillespie
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