tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 11, 2014 3:00am-5:01am EST
years, philosophy of policing in this country. here are some of the key components. community policing allows officers to demonstrate their support for the community. officers are allies. officers respect and protect the of residents, racial profiling and other forms strictlymination are prohibited. officers are trained to communicate with people, solve and developoblems, an appreciation of cultural and differences. on the other side of that, sir, very important too that closely withork police, align themselves with the local police and become partners. is not a one-way street. this is a two-way street when we talk about public safety. it takes everyone to provide the of public safety that i think we all want to embrace in
our communities. policing emphasizes the importance val of human life. force isf excessive absolutely prohibited and deadly reserved strictly for when an officer's life or the life of a citizen is at risk. noble has launched a pilot program entitlessed the law and community. developgram's aim is to trust and understanding between law enforcement and the community. in your community is an intera training program for young people between the ages of and 18 years of age. it's designed to improve their communication with law and theirt officers understanding of federal, state and local laws. the programf include, but not limited to, citizenship, what does it mean a citizen. what are the laws governing every day life including traffic your rightsat are as a citizen. basic laws, understanding the
issue such as gun ownership, staying safe within your community. maintaining positive affiliations with others, including peer relationships, maintaining good grades, adult relationships, and the benefits of having mentors. law enforcement engagement, end young people on how to engage and navigate communication with officers. community policing, and have a better understanding the in lawes of working enforcement and working with those who do that job. lastly, technology. feel that technology can be leveraged to support the implementation of community policing and ensure maximum transparency to the public. through technology, partnerships with communities can be strengthened in the area of problem solving.
like wise there's an important role of law enforcement training. listed are some of those technology recommendations, requirements of body cameras for every law enforcement officer in this country, every law enforcement officer in this country. deployment of various social media platforms to allow law toorcement departments better communicate and interact with local residents. force andrse use of firearm training systems, which will help them to develop and skills of shoot and don't shoot. by implementing these recommendations on training, community policing and realology, we belief that progress can be made in improving the relationship between law enforcement and serve.ties they this would greatly improve the state of civil rights and human rights in america. i think the subject -- the subcommittee for the opportunity to testify and would questions youswer have. >> thank you. laura murphy.
>> thank you, senator and ranking members for inviting the aclu to testify at today's hearing. nearly 100 years the aclu has worked to defend and the rights that the constitution and the laws of the guarantee.es i would especially like to thank for yourtor durbin, tireless leadership as chairman. au have held hearings on variety of critical issues from solitary confinement to racial profiling, and addressing voting, and for that thankful.very my written testimony provides an and broader view of the state of civil and human rights. today i will focus my remarks on three areas of unfinished business. one, the mill tarrization of
police, two, sentencing reform, three, criminal voting.nchisement in we are standing at a cross roads now.erica right one must only look to the crisis in ferguson, in new york city, and in cleveland that extreme problems in policing continue. recent police paramilitary tactics splashed across our tv screens, we must ask ourselves, we want an america where the exercise of first amendment rights is met by assault weapons gas?ear where armored vehicles are used policing,-to-day where policing resembles our military operations in iraq and afghanistan.
where communities of color are disproportionately under siege. questionswer to these meal. congress must act mill tarrized policing goes far beyond ferguson. although swat teams were originally created to deal with emergencies like hostage crises, they are now serveelmingly used to search warrants in drug investigations. a recent aclu report found that 79% of thewere used time for rating a person's home. for drugs. and tactics are unnecessary excessive. what message are we sending by weapons of war to police communities? congress must ensure accountability.
federal funding and providing military equipment should be conditioned on data collection, worn cameras, anti-racial profiling training, communityence on policing as my good friend has pointed out. the war on drugs has created an nation, with too too people in prison for long, serving no useful benefit to society. the major reasons we're ex--- jail and prison populations over the past 0 years is the use of stiff mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses. prison costs now absorb nearly a discretionary.'s budget, 30%. beyondt, though, go far simply the money it takes to
over 2.3 million people. lives.e costs are human mainly of generations of young, men and womenno who serve long prison sentences to their families and communities. thenizations across political spectrum support truly bipartisan sentencing reform, as the smarter sentencing act. and we thank you for that. the act would address ongoing crisis in our federal reducing the prison population. sponsored by senators durbin, lee, lahey, representatives bobby scott and raul labrador. also has considerable conservative support. is now to pass the
smarter sentencing act. first step in reducing overincarceration. there's another tragic outcome nation's incarceration binge. almost 6 million of our citizens right to vote because of a past criminal instances, in many for very low level crimes. upon release from prison, they pay taxes, they live in our they raise, and families. vote.llions cannot one out of every 13 voting agericans of has lost the right to vote. the nationaltimes average. but millions have no input on our political process. that is unacceptable. we commend senators ben cardin
and rand paul for their leadership in this area and we democracysage of the restoration act, a bill that would restore voting rights in federal elections to millions of citizens. should becrimination and historically has been a bipartisan issue. just consider the multiple voting rights act extensions we had. fair sentencing of 2010. these would not have happened without bipartisan support. only with bipartisan support can make much needed changes to our criminal justice policies sorry, senator cruz had to leave, because we would like to work with him as well on changing our criminal justice policies. we look forward to working with as the new chair, and all this subcommittee in
the 114th congress on these critical issues. to thank you so much for this opportunity to testify and before i end, i would ask special consideration before the hearing record is closed. ask if the aclu outlining somewn of the gender related problems in our criminal justice system. >> without objection. >> thank you. there was arson time when witnesses came before subcommittee and told us about what had happened when we to one disparity between crack and powder cocaine, over 20 years or more there was a massive incarceration african-americans, unjustly, unfairly, for undue long periods of time. but there was another reaction. the african-american community understood it. consequence when many
of these same people were called peoplee on juries to try for drug crimes, they remembered. and they became increasingly for prosecutors in some areas to win a prosecution before a jury that was integrated. us that story and it was understandable. what i thinkhat to we currently face at least in awareommunities that i'm of. we have zone a decline in chicago, but in still too many crimes. overwhelming majority are black on black crimes. when you visit the communities that are the most dangerous, where the children are in the most danger, going back and playing,school, even sitting on a porch, you find a in then from people community that they don't reap police do i don't cooperate with the police. gangs andthe drug
those who own the guns, but they fear reaching out to the police just as dangerous or unproductive. has a directe that negative impact on people living there, tell me how you react to that? >> well, mr. chairman, it is a question, and i think you have correctly pointed out challenges that law enforcement and the communities to protectre paid often encounter in their relationship with one another. relationship between law enforcement and the african-american community as booker helped lay out in his presentation has a long on fundamental injustices that our country has overcome.ly and you correctly point out that obviously communities crime, regardless of the makeup and color of their community, needs the protection enforcement provides.
on the other hand, when law applied andis consistently unfairly, without oftenprotection, and without respect for the lives of the individuals that law charged to is protect, you develop a level of ambivalence, indeed a level of fear, that may affect how you the legitimate needs of law enforcement in the engagement with communities they serve. let me say at the outset this is not a generalized enforcement. law many police officers we work with police officers, and many are fullyicers committed to protecting their charges regardless of the race of the communities they prosecute. having said that, there are problems, some of which have surfaced in the last several weeks in the cases that sighted --
cited, which point out the further immediate for training and responsibility to ensure that these individual are protected. one of the concerns we expressed with the guidance issued by the justice is that it didn't go far enough to require state and local police officers engaged in direct federal law enforcement activity, which guidance, butthe law enforcement that relies on federal support, federal dollars, federal equipment. that these departments should be to a test under the civil right act of 1964 which prohibit racial, ethnic and national origin discrimination, these departments should attest fact that they have training programs designed to profiling oracial profiling of the kind we've discussed, that should be not taked, does effect, that problems of unconscious bias, which often our police departments, can be overcome with training. attestations of the fact
that these departments have taken affirmative steps are needed. your specific question about the communities experiencingare crime, and are fearful about reporting those crimes to the forme representing another of nullification, i guess i would say, senator, the truth is crime occurs in this country in communities in which reside.nts so yes there is black on black crime just as there is white on white crime. the community often determines that. but having said that, there is a legitimate concern on the part many communities that reporting crime as much as they would like to have the protection of the police officers often invites a level abuse which they have seen in the implementation theur criminal laws and unfairness of it all. so when we talk about incars efforting individuals for years at a time, for nonviolent, drug
related criminal activity, and yet we turn to look at legal use of the same product in states colorado, that had individuals incarcerated for whetheriods of time, it's in illinois or minnesota or other locations, there's ofiously some sense unfairness and injustice. reconciled to try to that. and one last point, we've talked here, but the truth is had you not shown the kind of that you demonstrated your will haddingness to reach out to senator sessions, your willingness to cut a deal, and we talked with you at that time. we obviously were pleased that the 100 to one disparity was being changed. we had hoped that the disparity been eliminated entirely, that there would have ofn a one to one ratio incarceration based on crack or powder cocaine. nonetheless, the change that the you helped usher in and was approved by the senate has
reductionubstantial in prison time for individuals who would have been adversely on average about three years. thecost factors involved in incarceration of these individuals and the impact that their communities at an earlier time has had on the overall nature of the community is beyond -- whathould be very proud of you've within able to accomplish. >> thank you very much. franken? >> thank you, mr. chairman. here.here's so much thisis a moment i think in country that, you know, our first witness and all of you talked about how ferguson, island, cleveland are not anomalies. now.here's a focus
in this country, and it's a think we really need to at least at the very least try grapple with this, try to focus on it. legislate. i heard from a friend who from in 20 years, after booker spokeenator and you heard how powerfully he today, he spoke at our caucus lunch. got a,t same evening i an e-mail from a friend i-seen you have towho said do something about this. i have conversations with my 15-year-old son that are very uncomfortable. senator booker talked about, what it's like for a african-american male, that there's no margin for
error. .n dealing with law enforcement dr. alexander, you talked about community policing. i think, and it sounds to me that what you were saying, mr. henderson, i believe, was not federalere's crime involved there's still federal funding involved. >> right. can we require some kind protocol in community policing. and let me ask you something, because this is the difference between ferguson and staten island, i think, is that ferguson the police department not represent the community. in its makeup. and i think in new york it does more. panel, for anyone on the first.be dr. alexander
aboutoes that say leagueg versus, or in with having the police department represent the community? it's important, senator, as we all know very important concept. i think we all tend to pay close attention to and one in this nation with that i would hope, whether it's government or private city industry, we all rectifye attempt to when we see agencies that may be lacking in that area. is hugely important. there are many department as cross this country who are doing well every day. and there are some communities in this cray, senator, that struggle with the whole concept of diversity. be deliberate, or they don't take it that serious, willhen in some cases you have communities such as
ferguson where i had the timetunity to spend some with the chief there on a number aboutasions and we talked diversification in his department and we'll use ferguson as an example. community where the changedhics in that she from white to black off a span, changed hugely. in that transition the department, the police department itself did not transition to look more like that community. now, in all fairness, chief attempts, as he stated to me, to diversify that biggestnt, one of the challenge thanks he had is in as much as he wanted to make that department more representative of that community, he struggled fact that the same population that he was trying to recruit, every other police in his area was trying to rethroughout too. louis p.d., st.
louis county police department. colorof these officers of tend to go to larger agencies and more money advancements.r he had himself and others competing for that same population as well even in industry. but thing then that i concluded, my i talked to a number of colleague as cross this country. regardless of what that challenge may be to you, we can no longer accept the fact we can find any. that is no longer acceptable. what it means, senator, is that withments that struggle recruitment of people of color, they're going to have to work they'll have to put money in their budgets, they'll have to go outside their communities to recruit, and they even have to develop within their community, within their schools pipelines where children and young people explorers, andce
you begin to groom those young on in theirearly educational process so that maybe at some point they become into your police agency. a challenge in some parts of the country, where i come in georgia, metro atlanta, i don't have a problem recruiting people of color, i that issue. but here again it depends on where you are. but one thing i will not accept fact i can't find people of color. it just means we have to become more creative and we have to determined and we have to look around as well too. departments orer other industries are recruiting, because we may not have to recreate that wheel. but accepting the fact that we cannot find people of color is acceptable, because a community deserves to look like serves it.ent that whatever that government is that serves that community, there some subpoena
similarities there as well too. this, there are a number of departments across this country, police maketments, who really dedicated efforts, who really work hard to diversify their agency. only at the lower ranks, but top, anday up to the we have to applaud them. but there are agencies out there that struggle. some because they don't have any control and others struggle fituse they don sew the pen in it and we have to hold those agencies, who ever they are out hold themhave to accountable. senatorsd ask that the and members of congress be creative in attaching conditions to federal funds to local police departments. we had an amendment many years ago which is still in force, fund shallno federal be used for abortion. why are federal fund being used
profiling? that's in fact what is happening now. we believe the president has the authority under title 6 of the act to require local police departments not tong federal funds discriminate, and there's a debate in the justice department, and so many people in the justice department said, anywe can't have jurisdiction over local police. flowillions of dollars into over 85% of local police i think thisand strategy an amendment or a conversation with the president. congress important for to act, because what's going on of color is just comes tole when it community and police rests. done, and is to be
just want to say that attorney holder, i think, gets this. working onff is grants, and that flows a lot of money into police departments. say that congress has a of authority over those programs. so i would ask members of this committee to look at the cops program, the look at burn jag brant and to see what restrictions can be enacted so that federal funds are not used discriminatory fashion. >> senator franken, can i quad last question?ur >> sure. you.ank you touched on the nonindictment garner in new york, and you talked about the police department being more
representative of the community, indeed it is. but yesterday attorney general eric schneiderman much new york issued a request to governor quote owe, which we supported, asking a in instances where police shootings involving occurred that a special prosecutor be appointed the inquiry and to handle the dime process. necessary.that's police departments have been inherent conflict of interest ish local prosecutors, that not to say that they have teamed up to avoid the indictment of police officers. say a the special prosecutors that enjoy with police, after all they depend upon police to oftene information and testimony, in cases that they handle, we can't handle a police shooting of a civilian in an icial way without bringing in a
prosecutor from the outside' so when we look at the situation in ferguson, innd, in the fearing circumstance the virtually foretold at the moment that the prosecutor elected not to recuse ofself over the requests local individuals and his record suggested that this outcome was predictable. it's not that way in every circumstance. at certainly it is enough of concern that the approach that attorney general schneiderman is one we would recommend broadly. >> thank you all. >> thank you for convening this hearing. thank you for you extraordinary many, many years. go from theo just made,emark that you mr. henderson, because i think that the lack of indictment in garner case has certainly
shocked and appalled countless to the kind of suggestions that state attorney general schneiderman made. the federal government would have the authority to require a special state prosecutor to prosecute a or state policeman, but i think the suggestion certainly has attacked a lot of support and understandably so.frankly i appreciate all of you raising the sentencing issue, i'm a of the spatterrer sentencing act, which was introduced by our chairman durbin and senator lee. and i know as a former how important discretion is and how restricting discretion, most particularly in sentencing, can impede justice and fairness and also against the interests of society. called forhave
usenger oversight as to the of military equipment. right now there probably is no, in effect, collection of data as to what is dispensed by the department much justice, where goes what it's used for. i think one or the other has to imtoes some accountability. see in preface to the question i'm going to ask great respect fors and prosecutors around the country. worked in law enforcement for the better part of 40 years beginning in 1977 as the u.s. connecticut and then as the state attorney general. beennk that there has tremendous progress in the policingf our community at state, local and federal levels in the quality of people, andality of even diversity over these years which in no way
that wes the progress still have to make. i respect the jobs they have to facingin and day out, extraordinary dangers and life and death decisions that have to made. instantaneously. but i think we all benefit by better information. right now, a lot of folks have come to realize that there no information occurthe deaths that while individuals are in custody arrest. i've introduced legislation in the senate called the death and act, it's arting companion will to representative bill which passed the house by a voice vote, and passed this committee earlier this year. it a pretty simple piece of legislation, it requires states many individuals
die each near while their in custody or during the course of arrest. the stark fact is we don't know. that twooing to ask recent articles be entered in the record. from the post, the ofshington post," september 8, and it's entitled how many police shootings a knows.o one the second is from the "wall street journal" december 3, entitled hundreds of police killings are uncounted in stats. the "washington post" article we knowlly says that that there are a lot of police all self, but they're reported. there's no requirement that they be reported. in no way tot is indicate disrespect for the decisions that are made in those individual instances by 17,000 law enforcement agencies. but the fact is only 750 of them
report shootings. we know that a number of police were shot. variety of statistics about what is happening on cities, but we don't of people,mber including justifiable homicides, as they're called, that happen our streets. way,nd by the mr. chairman, a like for these to be entered in the record, these two articles. i hope that you will indicate your support for this i think would it be meaningful to have your opinion. and would ask you simply whether you feel this type of len legislation would make sense. start, sir.nd if i >> mr. alexander, i'm happy to ask you start, then i would that each of the other witnesses be given an opportunity to respond as well. support of in total
that. what we're experiencing across this country right to you is a failure, by many americans, just african-americans, but country. across this feel a total disconnect from the criminal justice system. light of the michael brown garner case, it has become more pronounced. are notpeople who african-american, people who did not have that experience being african-american or of color in this country, are beginning to is clearly that something wrong in our criminal justice system. not just police. our entire criminal justice system. across the board, 360 degrees. in regards to what you're to, sir, i find it unfortunate and embarrassing as a law enforcement official that is not any legislation
cities,uires that states, travel communities, greates all across this nation are not reporting those deaths tohootings and a federal thorkts because they need to be reported. they need to be investigated, and need to be studied develop some evidence based helpful that might be in identifying a trend in which anecdotally're just looking at. so i certainly support that. the president of noble. and i would hope that the rest of this country would support it as all too, because sophisticated country as we are of the world, we thisa responsibility in nation where we have people who protesting in the
streets from berkeley to maine, and from south florida to detroit, all across this nation, around the world, we immediate to take more toountability, we immediate begin to close some of those gaps. ourselves and become more transparent to the american people in terms of the criminal justice system and how we do business, because that is the biggest piece that angers people ferguson. and staten island, and the rest of this nation. no sense ofolutely transparency. there's a loss of trust and commitment, not wrus from police but from the entire criminal justice community. and we're a better nation than to move towards such real reforms, sir. >> well said. you.ank >> ms. murphy? >> yes, we support the death and that thect and we hope senate can take it up before the
session.e lame duck but data collection is key. momentum after the rodney king shooting in congress. first the aclu helped write the stop statistics act, because we had documented in the report that we called drying many times, how black motorists were pulled over by state and federal police. there was no data there. expanded to problem stop and frisk, and street haveactions, and we didn't data there. the end racial profiling act, which would data collection as a key element. think without the data, real reform.make
because we need to know where the problem is, how long it's on, which departments are having the most difficult en counters and the fact that this byormation is not collected the federal government is just a city. soda that collection is crucial reform,riminal justice especially getting to the issue of racial profiling. colleagues have e lab clearly on the value of the death in custody act. like miss murphy, we are hopeful that the senate will act on this initiative before -- us just a few days. but it's such a basic lenamental piece of legislation, and that's all the bill bill would do is data
collection. so we hope it can get the kind of bipartisan support here that was able to obtain in the house and we hope the bill becomes law. >> thank you all. chairman durbin for convening this hearing today. panel foro thank the your testimony and for your answers to the many questions here. like my colleagues and the senator durbin has been outstanding. sentencingor of the act, the death and custody bill discussed by senator blumenthal. so rather than repeating, let me ask for your input on two different questions that are related. west, i too fine it shocking don't have reliable statistics. i like many of my colleagues with and respect law enforcement and the difficult and dangerous jobs they do. to have no meaningful
data on deaths in law enforcement incidents, to me is deeply puzzling, frustrating, something we need to take response for and address. do so manyhy departments refuse to collect statistics?eliable and why cab we get stronger bipartisan action on that, first. second, we have an undeniably communitiesct on much color in this country from our criminal justice system. of delaware,ate african-american, 44% of the arrests, 86% of those who are arrested for drug use. an undeniably disparate impact on communities of color there are several ways we could have broken that out. lifetime cost, the moral cost, the fiscal cost, on african-american men in my colleagues
senator booker i think we tailed is overwhelming. i chose to be encouraged that bills, thatpartisan i hope this congress will consider and take up now, and in the next congress him but what can we do to reduce and eliminate the unfair tolls that our criminal justice system takes on minority communities, grateful if the panel would answer each much those two questions to the extent you feel 'in the time we have remaining. >> i'll start and i'll be very brief. to reiteratei want and lauraat both i murphy has may about using title act toe civil right condition the receipt of federal fund on a commitment of nondiscrimination and provide the affirmative traininges in to be carried that can out. many of us believe that the departments that receive federal are of the 85s
police departments in the country today, do not begin with affirmative decision to discriminate against their citizens. are police departments with officers that are committed treatment. having said that, however, there factorsain systemic that enter into the equation biasedke the kind of policing we have seen almost inevitable. ster why times, misperfect speptions about activity, the assumption that one community is on drug why than another, when the in fact the suggest it'suld almost equal in the way drugs are used. soda that collection is important, training is important. affirmativeing behavior, by using a statute old, inover 350 years our view makes common sense, and we hope that that can be
encouraged. i guess i would make one other point. an smarter sentencing act is incredibly valuable tool. and it's often framed in moral addressings a way of this disparity that exists in antencing, and indeed it is moral issue. but there's another very practical factor that makes this initiative.rtant the department of just will tell prisons,the bureau of which it administers is eating of the department's budget, with that number growing the mass because of incarceration that our government supports. budget, of the federal the department of justice budget and being consumed by the bureau prisons, means that other discretionary programs that are community into the which our federal officers are deployed. be administered effectively with that rate of andth in the bureau prisons
we're hoping that those statistics will heaven courage members to look at this. then lastly, the president you i program keeper.y brother's owe there were some who seemed value of about the that program. but looking at the events of months, withand unarmed men and boys by police officers, one would hope that the president's initiative would get a second look and a measure of support and that goes beyond the federalent of existing laws in using the good offices of the president and members of to encourage private engagement of these activities as well. you.ank dr. alexander? >> yes. tohink it becomes important
note, unfortunately sometimes citizen states are not going to take the responsibility to collect data. thatt books for me at point a federal issue. where legislation need to be that we can begin to direct communities to impart of us, publicly and privately, any information particularly around in custody would go beyond that and say severe injuries too. threshold there's a about amet, that brings certain amount of pause, that gives an opportunity for all of agencies. at those without it may not be ill intent, may be because of dictates thatthat certain procedures need to take place. i found over the yeast, is
that money of our police out there every doing a great job. sometimes along the way, being that policing is not an exact science, sometimes they get it wrong, not intentionally. do.sometimes they but the difference is this, though. death.fe and and when death is experienced, then it comes to light and then start asking questions across this country and those communities and often times there are no answers, that's one of the biggest problems that's today.ng is there no answers, a feeling of no transparency whatsoever. truth is not seen, our experience are felt by people emotionally, what we end up is just what we're experiencing tomorrow, because the questions asking, senator, is really age old questions. we've talked about
and danced around before. but we've never drawn any conclusion to. now that we'ree going to have to answer these to haves, we're going to explore reasons and ways in which we're going to change, and at this criminal justice system in a different kind of way, because it is not the same for all people. sometimes it's based on race, gender,s it's based on sometimes it's based on what your economic class may happen above, plus or more, but we got to change this just not a, what we're experiencing every might is no longerry now you a fashionable thing, if will. it's not just a reaction. we're seeing what is evolving into a movement, just like we saw the simple rights movement in the 60's. it's evolving into a movement
because all people across this berkeleyf you look at california, you look at the demographics of that community economically and race, thousands of people who are marching out there every night, will say that that group is also made up of anarchists, and it may be. i can pretty much assure you as well too that a pretty number people that are walking a cross the country are just americans saying we want to see something different. our whole criminal justice system need to be explored and possibly revamped. a heavy lift. we understand that. right now, have to of hope, that someone is looking at this, someone is someone isntion, hearing them and something going to happen. because the american people, in
not going to are accept this as being another incident. been toohey've frequent and they've been, i theld say if you look at overall incidents in each one of cases, what you will constantly fine is young african-americans confronting officers who are oftentimes very different from race and in economic status. there's a disconnect in this policing,ot just in but there's a disconnect across the whole criminal justice jurym, even the grand process needs to be explored. because when you have nation who in this no longer trust law enforcement, in this have people nation hotel their children that the should be afraid of police, and they're afraid for their children to go outside they mayn't harmed by
placelice, that is a bad that we're in in this country. and we need to acknowledge it to do something about it. but i have to be honest with you, i am tired of people to me about it. we truly have to figure out some strategy, new strategies, and maybe do some things in this country we have never tried before. we gotta take some wrisk to do something very different, and same rhetoric that we give back to people in this country not accepting it any longer. back in my community, the idea to help create strategies, that community, police and the criminal justice system work well together. community, a safer america. this is not a separated states of america. a united states of america and part of our whole criminal just is the system is the fact of equality
for everyone. when we can reach that bowl and become attainable in my lifetime, but we have to debt trajectory. and i'm willing to do whatever it takes to get there, and i all are, but it has to today sir and thank you for the question. >> thank you. ms. murphy? >> yes. it's always interesting being hearing.woman at a we represent 50% of the to betion, but we have feisty in order to be heard. appreciate my colleagues, but i think there are a number of questions that i'd like to and if i'm not able to address them in the oral part of a hearing i would like to be to submit answers to you for the record. your specific question about why we can't get data collection goes back to
of police.al order # they opposed the traffic stop they opposed the end racial profiling act, and is a convening of and civil rights maybe at the initiation of you, senator cools, or you, senator durbin, because they members of the f.o.b. have told me that if data is be used tot will punish them. to punish theout police. discrimination. police havethat the to be brought into these discussions and the unions have to be brought into these
discussions, because they are people who many members of congress rely on for political endorsements. and so they have a greater power cases than many of our organizations that do not have political action committees. and i still think that there's that manyring fear elected officials have of crime. soft on so we have not policed the as vigorously as we could or should. moment.ink now is the we've got to use this moment. if it doesn't happen now, it's to happen. >> thank you, ms. murphy. mr. chairman for indulging a full answer by the whole committee to my questions, whole panel of witnesses. that in aze my hope,
perfect when a lack of answers, a lack of accountability has led protest, national just the perception but the reality our disconnection communities and those charged with the important duty of doing so safe but within our comoons steution al it any real hope that we actionke action and that leads to hope. thank you for your leadership in convening this and for and weing you're doing hope to do together. thank you. >> thanks. or twoe to just make one followup questions. mismurphy, when you first saw macintoshed personnel carrier in ferguson, i thought ont in the world is going here. i didn't know police departments had that kind of equipment, i elite,maybe the last biggest city, terrorist threat type of situationings. missouri?on,
severals my mind questions, what are they doing parading that out, what appeared a mucht the moment different street demonstration. what are we doing as a federal government peddling this kind of hardware. third, is in just the propertied of some swaggering chest chief of police or procurement officer that wants to are the newest, biggest and vehicles?ooking but then another question came to me. in a country where people are fighting for the right of individual citizens to military assault weapons? asking these police to keep communities safe might live?citizens seems to me there's an interesting conversation that place here.e i don't want to see armored personnel carriers in every department in my state by
any means, but i also want to be cog of the fact that our police are facing weaponry that somee blessing here at levels, that go way beyond the that police department historically faced. and i want to be sentence active that. how do you respond? >> i want to be sensitive to that, too. look at the usage of these armored vehicles, these helicopters, these bazookas, for routineare idea law enforcement. >> which makes no sense much. >> which makes absolutely no sense. they were used by, to fight terrorism or armed robberies or hostage situations then it makes more sense. racially biased the way these, this equipment is used. when there's a hostage crisis in the white community, you will
see the armored vehicles. but when there's a routine drug arrest in the black community, you will see and more.cles plus we are rewarding people sheriff arpaio who has a that he of weaponry claims he needs in order to laws.e our immigration >> let's let the police organization respond. chairman.ou, i certainly do appreciate what is saying, and certainly do understand her inception and i'm quite sure conversationings that she's had her many citizens in acommunity across the country. let me say this as a vern in i've spend all my career. from miami, florida to orlando and now to the dekalw county, georgia.
the 1033 program, i think one of is failures of the program quite frankly this. you just cannot give out this anyone who wants it. in ferguson, new york, that not belong to the ferguson police department. i'm equipment belonged, if not mass taken, to st. louis county police department or the state police. some of that equipment, maybe all of it, i can't say may have been acquired through the so 33 itgram, but the way in which would out lie in ferguson, in day it's wrong, all wrong. many chief as cross this country against a --ut the other piece of this is the fact
we're keeping ourselves safe. arms that are at the pleasure of a lot of criminals that are out there and we find situations, and certainly i've seen situations in my county in dekalb where we have used e quiment, they are not tanks, we don't own bazookas, and sometimes i think this equipment gets exaggerated because none of us have rocket launchers or bazookas. but to the common lay person it all looks the same. i get it. it's the optics of it. but the reality is there are going to be times when police are going to have to respond to active shooters. if we think about situations across this country where we have had school, mall, movie theater shootings, we want our officers to be able to get in, find that target, and do what needs to be done to save the lives of others. and the only way they're going to do that is that there is
going to be to be armored equipment. the problem is not the equipment itself, it's the utilization of it. and before that heavy equipment in my opinion is given out, there needs to be -- you need to maybe show a need for it in your community. that's number one. you need to maybe show cause and a need. and number two, you need to be held accountable to that equipment. which means that you have to have written policies which have its terms of engametime as to when you will take that equipment out and under what circumstances it will be used for. and one thing we conmot use it for is for people who are peacefully protesting in this country. we cannot do that. the optics on ferguson were horrific and i think it shocked many people across this country whether they were democrats,
republicans, black or white, men or women. and we learned from it, hopefully. but what we want to be able to do is protect our police officers. but there has to be a time and moment when that equipment is utilized. if i'm being held hostage in my home or in my bank when i'm making a deposit, i want the police to be able to get there and be safe in getting there so that they can secure that bank, arrest that criminal, and get me home. so there is a place for it. but it is not to be used against american people who are protesting or exercising their first amendment right in which we all witnessed and which understandably left a bad taste in many americans' mouths. >> thank you very much. and my thanks to this panel. there has been a great deal of i want rest in this hearing today. we have here a statement from senator leahy and statements from more than 70 different
organizations wanting to be part of the record on this general overview of civil rights in america today. since there is no one here to object it is going to be put in the record. i want to make two closing comments. rst, i want to acknowledge marta silver on my staff who has worked harder than anybody. thank you so much for what you have done. and special thanks to joe zogby who eight years ago said to me, senator, i think we need a subcommittee on human rights. i said, joe, what would we talk about? we found a lot to talk about for four years and when we were merged i'm very proud of what this subcommittee has set out to do, particularly
widest smile, was none other than my friend from the great state of michigan, congressman john dingell jr. john david dingell jr. john dingell has trained me, me far ith me, inspired more than most of the members of this house. i can't think of any other member who has spent the kind of time and energy with me in this congress, teaching me the ropes, than john dingell. john dingell, mr. speaker, will go down in u.s. history as being one of the most powerful house committee chairmen of all time. that's why, mr. speaker, around washington, d.c., throughout
the nation, throughout this congress, he was and will continue to be respectfully known as the lion of the house. the lion of the house. that -- may aspire, aspire that honor to his forceful personality, mr. speaker in my experience with john and watching john operate as chairman, he used a scalpel more than a sledgehammer to score his legislative wins and to gather up and earn the respect of all the members, not only of the committee on energy and commerce, but the members of this house on both sides of the aisle.
many would say that the secret to john's success has been his rivaled mastery of parliamentary procedure and his institutional memory. i would agree that he has superb parliamentary knowledge -- knowledge of the parliamentary procedure and has essence of his institutional memory. but what makes john dingell successful and a genuine american treasure, who was just last week awarded the highest civilian award that this nation bestows upon an individual, the presidential medal of freedom, john knows how to deal with
people. he knows how to work with people. and john doesn't go around talking about all his great exploits. i recall a few years back, mr. speaker, i was traveling to michigan to campaign for john. at a challenge. and little did i know that the an who i was championing had at one time been sworn in his own district because he voted for the voting rights act of 1965. i didn't know that about john dingell. i didn't know that. but his -- my respect for him just mushroomed to the top even more than i had before. because he was a man who when he believed in something, when he believed something, he has a
commitment and the courage to stand behind his beliefs. mr. speaker, what john says -- he means what he says and he says what he means. and no one can ever say anything different about john david dingell. mr. speaker, john dingell, chairman dingell, my friend, i wish you continued health, i wish you continued strength and prosperity as you leave this house of representatives, this house of the people and return to your family, friends and your constituents in michigan. may god bless you and keep you. i will forever hold you dear, i will forever look toward your example in terms of committee work and work on this floor. i want to thank you, john dingell, for all that you've contributed to this nation, to
your constituents, to this house and certainly to the committee of energy and commerce. thank you very much, mr. speaker, i yield one minute to my friend from texas, chairman or ranking member of the science committee, eddie ernice johnson. ms. johnson: thank you very much, mr. rush, and i appreciate the fact that you're holding this hour. mr. speaker, i rise for the honor of the work of mr. john dingell who will retire this year as the longest-serving ember with 59 years as a michigan representative. since 1955, congressman dingell has represented the southeastern michigan area and served on the
committee on energy and commerce and twice as chairman. when i learned that mr. dingell would retire at the end of this term, i was saddened to know we would lose such a fine leader and advocate for social democracy. however, we must continue mr. dingell's fight for all americans. he is well known for his battles on behalf of civil rights, clean water, medicare and workers' rights. he's also the author of many pieces of legislation that enhance the protection of public health such as the affordable care act. why he expanded public health nd advocated for environmental conservationism, mr. dingell so combated corruption and waste via his chairmanship of the committee on energy and commerce. he exerted strong, unwavering oversight of the executive branch through his committee and his successes in congress earned him the 2014 presidential medal
of freedom. through his career in congress, he was willing and able to work across the aisle to accomplish tasks that made americans' lives better. a true advocate for the people, mr. dingell dedicated his life to ensuring that public health and safety of the american people was always in the forefront. whether authoring the clean air act or the patients' bill of rights, mr. dingell was unwavering in his quest to protect americans. i urge my colleagues to recognize the accomplishments of congressman john dingell and join me in congratulating him on an outstanding career in public service. i thank you and yield back. mr. rush: i thank the gentlelady. i recognize now the chairman of the -- the ranking member on the judiciary committee, the one who will ascend to the dean of the
house, a civil rights icon, the egendary john conyers. mr. conyers: i thank my colleague for yielding and i want to say, mr. speaker, and members of the committee, that i rise today to honor a true statesman in every sense of the word. the deep of the house. chairman emeritus of the energy and commerce committee. and a champion of the people of metropolitan detroit. the honorable congressman john dingell. now i've had the distinct honor of working with congressman dingell for the last six decades. first as a member of his congressional staff, and then as his colleague in the michigan delegation. over these six decades we have fought together successfully for
medicare, for clean air and water, for workers' rights, and most importantly for civil rights. over these decades, he has herculean truly tasks including passing the endangered species act, the 1990 clean air act, the safe drinking water act, the affordable care act, the patients' bill of rights, and the children's health insurance program, among many others. congressman dingell is a masterful legislator, but most importantly, a man of conscience. as he passes the torch on to another extraordinary leader, congresswoman-elect debbie dingell. i am so proud to salute his legacy of compassion and service
and i reserve the balance of my time. mr. rush: i thank the gentleman. i now, mr. speaker, recognize congressman from texas, the former chairman of the energy and commerce committee, my friend, congressman joe barton. mr. barton: i want to thank the congressman from chicago, the right reverend bobby rush for recognizing me. mr. speaker, we always in texas refer to the former speaker of the house, sam rayburn, who served for 48 years, as man of the house. in fact, there have been books written about rayburn with that title, "the man of the house." but -- and i'm a sixth generation native texan so i'm -- i certainly would be considered to be somewhat texas-cent rick, but in all
honest -- texas-centric, but in all honesty i have to say that the true man of the house is the honorable john dingell of michigan. his father served before him, elected, i believe, while president roosevelt was president of the united states. and john dingell literally grew up in the house of representatives. when the japanese attacked pearl arbor on december 7, 1941, president roosevelt, i believe the very next day, december 8, addressed a joint session of congress in his famous day of infamy speech. john dingell was on the floor to hear that speech in person. not as a congressman, but as the son of a congressman. he got elected to replace his father when his father passed away in 1955 and it's been mentioned, has served longer
than any other member of congress in the history of this nation. if you count not only his service in congress but the time he spent as a child when his father was in congress, he has literally been in the house for almost a third of its existence as an institution. i'm not sure how many members he served with, but it is in the neighborhood of 2,500 members that he has personally served with. when i got elected to congress in 1984, i did not get on the energy and commerce committee my freshman year, but i did -- but i did my sophomore year in 1986. john dingell was then chairman, and was chairman until the republicans took the majority in the election of 1994. so i served with chairman dingell for my first 10 years in the congress. he was a chairman in every sense
of the word. the legislation that he helped craft during his chairmanship, his legislation that -- is legislation that is some of the most important in the history of this congress. certainly things that he would be most proud of would be the clean air act amendments of 1990, some of the health care legislation, some of the telecommunications legislation, those are laws that were passed under his chairmanship and are still the basic law in their field in this country. when i became chairman in 2003, he was the ranking democrat on the committee. e helped me sometimes in public, sometimes behind the scenes, even when he didn't agree with the legislation that the republican majority was pushing. he was always thoughtful and giving me tips on procedure and process and sometimes policy.
move e passed a bill to television from an log to digital -- from analog to digital, i wanted to put a date certain very quickly and with his counsel he, convinced me that we should -- with his counsel, he convinced me we should draw that out and he said the final date of the transition shouldn't be until after the super bowl, just in case there's a problem, people will get to watch the super bowl and won't be cussing you and the congress for moving from analog and digital and he was absolutely right on that. with chairman upton's leadership who is on the floor this evening, several years ago, i went to chairman upton and suggested that we ask the speaker to name the energy and commerce main committee room on the first floor of the rayburn building, 2123, the john dingell room.
chairman upton thought that was a great idea. he recommended it to the speaker. and that now is the john dingell room. i could go on and on, mr. speaker, but i do want to say that we are truly losing one of the giants of the congress when john dingell retires at the end of this session. he's still going to be here. his wife debbie has been elected to succeed him. so hopefully we'll still see him in the congress, but you know, i really have difficulty imagining a congress that john dingell is not a member of. he will be missed. we honor him and i consider it a personal privilege that he calls me a friend. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back and thank the gentleman from chicago for yielding me some time.
mr. rush: i thank the gentleman. i yield, mr. speaker, one minute to the chairman of the energy and commerce committee and i want to just be -- remind people we have a growing list of speakers, so i yield one minute to the chairman of the nrbling and commerce committee, the gentleman from michigan, mr. upton. mr. upton: one minute? an i have a couple of minutes? thank you, mr. rush. i'll try to be brief. i do want to put a statement in the record from mr. camp who was here a little while ago and wanted to speak. dingell,nt to say, mr. mr. chairman is what we still call him. i have known him since 1977 when i came here as a staffer. he treated me just as well as a
staffer, which was great, as he has as a colleague and now for me as chairman of the committee. we're the best of friends. we really are. lots of different issues we worked on and he took me under his wing a lot of years ago and we discovered, too, for me it's better to have dingell on our side than being on different sides. but he's -- when he's on the other side, he certainly is a powerful adversary. our delegation in michigan is pretty close. we're involved in so many different issues. jobs and the economy, particularly the auto sector is one of the things where john dingell has led and cared about. as we know, he's the long -- longest serving member of congress ever in the history of this institution. he has cared about so well. and i remember bringing over congressional records from years past and as joe barton said he, served weapon -- he served with -- said, he served with 2,500
members here. when you go through the journal with some of the big votes, like the voting rights act and going through what the members said on that particular day. he was a fair chairman. always went by the rules. had a command of the issues. a brilliant staff. still their loyalty exists today. and of course the light of his life, the lovely debra. a great person who we know is going to be taking his place, serving those 700,000 people in the next congress from soviet michigan. -- from southeast michigan. when you look at his life he served his country from the first day until today. a world war ii vet, something he has always been so, so proud of. chairman of the most pow everyful committee here in the house. but in addition to -- of the most powerful committee here in the house. but in addition to all that, e's been a friend, a father, a
husband, a colleague, whose word has always been his bnd and who has defined the very utmost of what we would like this place to be. a great american. thank you, john dingell. i yield back. mr. rush: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from the great state of texas, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman mr. rush and i thank mr. pallone for convening this special order. all of the members of this committee and this house of representatives that have come on the floor today with joy. it is often said it is not how long you serve but how you serve. for john dingell that is not mutually exclusive. he served six decades and he served it greatly and grandly and with distinction. reminded of a description of him
as a 6'3" distinguished gentleman, towering over witnesses, but having the biggest of hearts, coming from the best of legacies in his father that served 22 years. reminded of his commitment to the clean air act, safe drinking water, the endangered species. but john has always reminded us new ones, relatively speaking, that his greatest love was to proride the affordable health care to every american. and after decades -- decades after his father introduced such a bill, he never gave up. he never gave up. i stand here today to thank you, john dingell, for the affordable care act. they call it many things or ba macare, but i'm getting ready to call it dingellcare because you work without ceasing. thank you for your service to this nation where you stood in the shadows of world war ii and stood as an american willing to serve. i'm grateful for the service he
has given and the long years of service as chairman of the house energy committee. let me conclude by saying that there is much more that all of us can say but you can see so many members have come to the floor. on a personal note, two items that i want to acknowledge. thank you, john dingell, for recognizing that my voting rights, my opportunity to vote, as an african-american and the thousands and millions that you lped in 1965, will never forget your willingness to sacrifice personal political statute and do what is right. i also want to thank you so very much for being the kind of person on the floor of the house that asks about every member, every member who came to your attention, you asked them how they were doing. including these remarks, his final words about the civil rights act, he said, he was glad to vote for a bill that solved a
problem that was eating at the soul and heart and liver of the country. only john dingell. john dingell, i salute you as a great and grand american. thank you, debbie dingell, i continue to look forward to your service. and, we are going to -- and john, we are going to look forward to your service and of course your long life here in this great country and in your great state of michigan. again, john, thank you so very much. i yield back. . mr. rush: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to my colleague from the great state of illinois, mr. john shimkus. mr. shimkus: i know there are a lot of members. i'll be quick. you really have to come down to the floor to recognize a man who served honorably for as many years. 58 years, to be exact. i'd like to highlight the fact that at 18 he joined the united states army and rose to the rank of second lieutenant and was prepared to be part of the
invasion of japan until the bomb was dropped and the war ended. john won a special election to follow his father and then has been here ever since. he was a leading congressional supporter of organized labor, social welfare measures and traditional progressive policies. he's also known as a big hunter and fisher, which we heard many, many times. i also want to highlight that he is well-known for dingell grams, which were sent to the administration, regardless of party, that held them account for public policies and the excesses of the executive branch and he's well-known for that. i know he will be followed ablely -- ably by his wife, debbie, and i look forward to working with him. may god bless you, john dingell, and may god bless the nited states of america.
mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to a member of the energy and commerce committee -- i don't know we'll know this -- but we'll be hong him tomorrow night, mr. waxman. mr. waxman: thank you, congressman pallone, for acknowledging me that i'm the ranking member at the present time. of course, he will now take on that job very ably i'm sure. and both of us will follow in the tradition of john dingell. it's so appropriate that room where the energy and commerce committee meets is now known as the john dingell room. john dingell has been the leader of that committee, a leader in the congress for longer than anybody else has served in either of the senate or the house. but what i want to say is from my own personal perspective. i've served on that committee for 40 years, and i've learned more from john dingell than i have from anybody else that i've served with as a colleague.
there were times when we had disagreements and we argued them out and then resolved them and compromised them. but most of the time, he was a stalwart defender of the interest of the working people of this country, a protector of the environment, a person who led the efforts for civil rights, a man who cared about people and understood that government had a very important role to play in people's lives. from his father, who was active in the new deal under president franklin rosevelt who led this nation to use the government in a positive way, to help people who had nowhere else to turn, john dingell carried on that tradition. it's the liberal progressive tradition, and i associate myself with it. i learned everything i knew as a member of the committee, and i learned everything i knew as
a potential chairman and a short-term chairman from john dingell. he's a member's member, and he is going to go down in the history books as one of the outstanding members of congress and leaders and chairman of the oldest committee in the house of representatives. mr. speaker, i know we don't have a lot of time, so i just want to say to john dingell, i wish you all the best and i know you will whisper to debbie if she has any questions, the right course to take but, of course, she's been with you long enough she'll probably by this time know what to do on her own. god bless you, john dingell, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the minority leader. mr. pallone: thank you. now i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from
west virginia, who's been the ranking member himself of two committees. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. pallone. i appreciate you yielding. mr. speaker, one of my distinct pleasures in serving for 38 years in this body has been to work with the dean of the house, mr. john dingell. throughout our almost four decades of serving the people of our respective districts and those of our nation, my respect and sincere appreciation for this son of michigan has only grown each and every day. few, if any, who have served here in the people's house over the last nearly 60 years would have a different view of the worth and the value of john dingell's contributions of the day-to-day work of this distinguished body. in fact, mr. speaker, representative dingell's vast legacy will assuredly be the liegeans of members and staff who have learned the lessons of leadership under john's tutelage. basic, fundamental, timeless lessons on how to get the people's business done.
we're always at the ready for any member to partake in and adopt for their own future use. and all of us can remember times when big john felt it appropriate, timely and beneficial to just gently impose one of his lessons on members. even on this body as a whole, if he felt it would move our country forward. first and foremost, john dingell has always valued good old-fashioned trust. he sees a person's word as their bond, a bond that never shifts, even in the strongest political wins. in john's playbook, loyalty, particularly loyalty to principles is a powerful force that can move the entire country forward. and he insists on one other attribute for success, time-tested hard work. one must put in the time doing the hard work, the home work with great attention to the details, ensuring that every t is crossed and every i dotted.
these virtues exercised by my friend rather by his hand wielding a gavel or his sizeable arm embracing your future in the back of the house chamber, he's served our nation productively. upon this many compromises have been struck to serve the people, their environment, their health and their livelihoods. a champion of the american worker, of the auto worker and of our nation's coal miners, john dingell fully appreciates the role that our government can and should play in supporting the breadwinners in every american family. from the moment john dingell came here to the moment he leaves and well beyond, these are the legacy that will always burn brightly in my mind as well as warm my heart. had i but served a single term with john dingell i would have count many blessings because of it. multiply 29 times, suffice it to say, the entire nation can itself count many blessings thanks to the good work of our dear friend, john dingell, the
dean of the house of representatives. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield now one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko. mr. tonko: and thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you to the gentleman from new jersey for the recognition and for leading us in this special order, paying tribute to representative john dingell. it is my honor to stand on the house floor this afternoon to say thank you to john dingell, thank you for your service to country, thank you for your service to the state of michigan, thank you for service to your congressional districts through the years and certainly thank you for your interaction and networking with your colleagues, which has crossed over party lines and has shown an exemplary fashion how to get business down -- in exemplary fashion how to get business done here in the house. your service to the military by serving us in the army and
serving us during world war ii, also, the great lakes state, michigan, has produced a leader of greatness in john dingell. john, it is an honor to say here this -- during this special tribute that you were indeed everyone's coach. i know the person of humility that you are, you shed that praise when it comes your way but make no mistake about it, it's been your coaching, your reinforcement, your encouragement to each and every one of us, certainly to those of us who enter as freshman, you were right there to shadow us and guide us and remind us that there is a nobleness with the small end of service through the house that can influence policy and speak to the needs of those most marginalized in our society. to that end i want to thank you for identifying so very strongly with struggle. you saw a struggle and you moved to address it, whether that be through health care, through human services, through education, certainly through all sorts of efforts that speak
to public safety, our environment and our energy policy, you saw a struggle and you met it head on and you made certain that challenges were responded to. you showed us how to work across party lines and you showed us how to be factual and to see your word as your honor. with all of that, i salute you, john dingell, as being an awesome leader who taught by example how to conduct yourself in this public arena. you're proud of your heritage. we talked about that many times over. that has fed you, those roots have fed you so very well and have enabled you to be this person of greatness coming from the great lakes state. so thank you so much for your service to country and to all of us here in the chamber. with that i yield back. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, for unanimous consent request i yield to the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney. mrs. maloney: thank you so much. i'm testifying before the rules committee right now, but i request permission to place my statement in the record to know
him is to love john dingell and he taught me that dedication to the legislative process and getting it done comes first. so may i place this in the record and get back to the rules committee? the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. maloney: thank you. mr. pallone: the gentleman from texas, mr. green. for one minute. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague and our new ranking member of the energy and commerce committee. i rise today to pay tribute to one of the great lawmakers of our era who has dedicated his life fighting for civil rights, strengthening our nation's safety net for the vulnerable and elled leer and pushing for workers' rights and protecting american jobs. i'm honored to call this man a mentor and a friend, the dean of the house, congressman john dingell. mr. speaker, i'd like to ask that my full statement be placed into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. green: with the -- what the history books will never be able to share is the respect and kindness that john has been given to all who have been fortunate enough to work with
him. john has always been generous with his time and sharing his institutional knowledge of the people's house. in 2005, john was a vital voice in supporting efforts to pass the energy act which was the key federal support for the energy renaissance, lowering energy prices for the american people today. outside washington, i was fortunate to spend time with john on hunting trips where we had the opportunity to get to know him better as a man, a father, a husband and an avid sportsman. mr. speaker, before i conclude, i'd like to personally thank john for his decades of public service and fighting for america's working families. our chamber will not be the same without him. god bless john dingell and the nited states of america. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from colorado, ms. degette. s. degette: thank you so much. mr. speaker, in 1997 as a
39-year-old freshman, john dingell took a risk on me. he put me on the energy and commerce committee as a freshman, and since that day i have learned at his knee every single day. he's become a friend, he's become a mentor and like so many of us on both sides of the aisle, our experience here in congress would not be the same without him. a lot of us know about the long arm of john dingell. over the years when chairman dingell would put his long arm around your shoulders and he would say, diana, i have a ttle chore for you, you knew that that little chore was anything but little. it was a part of something much, much bigger. whether he was just moving a minor amendment to a bill or a large bill itself and no matter what the issue was, it was always an honor to work
together with john dingell to get something done for the american people. as the now ranking member on john dingell's subcommittee, the oversight and investigations subcommittee of energy and commerce, i feel a special responsibility to his legacy. john dingell, over the years, held powerful people from all around the country, from every part of industry accountable to the american public, and today it's up to all of us as members of his distinguished committee to take up the great mantle of that legacy and to make the powerful tell truth to the american public. i commit myself today, along with all of us who carry on his legacy to do just that, to make this committee a committee that john dingell will be proud of.
i'm going to miss my dear friend. we all know about few retirements are as well deserved as such distinguished service as mr. dingell, and so i want to say, john, job well done, god speed. mr. chairman, i yield back the alance of my time. mr. pallone: i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: if a test of a career is whether you made a difference , big john's career has been a big success. in so many ways, john was tall in stature physically and in
every other way. there has been much note about the particular accomplishments. i would like to spend a few minutes today talking not about those accomplishments that are so vivid and so clear, but to talk about john dingell and his character. he remembered his roots. never forgot them. there was always, i think, a sense of the underdog. i think his family came to this ountry and felt in a sense the underdog, thankful they had the opportunity in this country to rise and it's so clear that john succeeded. might summit up this way, john
ngell was a legislator's legislator. he combined courage and siff i willy, dedication and decency and strong views with strong friendship. i don't remember exactly when it was that down the hall here when john was being honored, he decided to talk about this institution. and what he had seen happen to it. and it was a very frank talk. moaned recent be visits here, where it was much more difficult to have strong views, but not to have strong comradery, to have strong views but not have the ability to compromise them, to have strong views, but not find a way to
seek and find common ground. that was so convincing, so persuasive for someone who's been in this institution longer than anyone else in the history of this country. so i think our best salute to john may be the best way to remember his contribution in addition to all of the particular legislation that came to be and meant so much to millions of people in this country. is to try to pick up the mantle that surrounded him all of his career here, to really see if we can seek and find some way in this institution to operate the
way john dingell saw so much of his career and why he felt it was such a loss when it dwindled. so i would like to join everybody else with some emotion. our two families have been so close for so many decades. our two families, the leffins and the dingells and the dingells and the levins have had their lives so interwould he haven, so interwould he haven, coming from somewhat different backgrounds, but those weren't an obstacle, those were really an opportunity. so, i join so many others in saying to john and to debey, who debbie, his partner --
more than a job well done, a path that all of us should seek to follow. i yield back the balance of my ime. mr. pallone: i yield to the gentlewoman from california, ms. capps. mrs. capps: i thank my colleague for yielding and it is such an honor to follow in paying my tribute to follow one of mr. dingell's best friends, sandy levin, his colleague from michigan. i rise with great pride as well as deep humility, to honor the longest-serving member of congress, the dean of the u.s., united states house of representatives. the congressman for the 12th district of michigan and my personal friend, mr. john dingell. john has served his country with such honor and such distinction,
first as a second lieutenant in the united states army during world war ii and the past 59 years, right here in congress, over the term of 11, that's 11 nited states presidents. yes, we are losing this man's incredible institutional memory, but hopefully neither he nor we will ever lose our love for this institution. john dingell's hand has helped construct every major advance in social policy that this country has known over the past six decades. policies that support working families, that strengthen our middle class, and support the united states economy. many of us here speak of significant events in united
states history. but john dingell can speak of these historic events because he was often right there, standing by the presidents' sides. he knows this institution inside and out and it is that knowledge, coupled with his belief that congress does have a vital role in making this country better for all of us. and that is what has made him so influential over the years. for all he has done for the nation, john has been and continues to be such a great friend to each of us, no matter which side of the aisle we sit on. when i first came to congress, john dingell took me under his wing and helped me to earn a seat on the energy and commerce committee, his beloved committee. he told me we did need nurses at the table and has been a passionate advocate for quality health care. he is such a good friend to my own calling, the nursing
profession. the good people of michigan are losing a great advocate for their state in congress, but this country is losing a passionate and brilliant representative and what i'm told is the best twitter feed on the hill. and i'm losing a personal friend on the floor of the house. and a real mentor on the dais on the committee of energy and commerce. but we won't be sad for long. next year, we will have another dingell, who will be here as one of us and that's john's very own, lovely wife, debbie. i look forward to working with her and she will continue the legacy of service that john and his father before him have established. i do not say good-bye dear friend but best wishes and know that we are all so full of gratitude and great debt to you for your service, as you have so
long been of enormous service to each of us. yield back. mr. pallone: i yield now to our emocratic whip, mr. hoyer. mr. hoyer: i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank him for taking this special order. mr. speaker, in this -- when this new house convenes on january 6, it will be the first in 59 years not to include the distinguished dean of this house, mr. john dingell of michigan. we will still have a dingell from michigan. it will be his wife debbie, whom so many of us in this house have
come to know and admire. i have worked with debbie for every year. she won the election to succeed john and surely, we will continue to have him in our midst as a congressional spouse. sorelywill be very, very missed, all of whom he welcomed to the house as the longest serving member in the history of the congress. a lot of people like to put to john's tenure in the house and when he came to congress, eisenhower was president. brooklyn had a championship team and elvis presley had his first gold record. what did americans not have? they did not have medicare. seniors were unprotected from the rising cost of health care in their golden years until john
dingell introduced legislation that was the precursor to medicare. and he presided over this house when it passed medicare in 1965. americans did not have the civil rights act or the voting rights act. when john dingell took his first oath of office as a member of this house, millions of african-americans across the south, could not vote for representatives in this house. just four months after taking office, he bravely challenged the eisenhower's administration leadership on civil rights. he rows in this chamber with great audacity to demand that the president protect those being denied those fundamental rights as americans. it almost cost him his seat. but all of us who know john understand why he was willing to risk everything for a cause that was just. americans did not have the clean
air, the clean water act or the safe drinking water act. nor did they have the endangered species act or the environmental policy act. john realized that if congress did not act to protect our environment, future generations would inherit a nation spoiled by neglect. o he became a crusader for con conservation. the american people didn't have s-chip. he fought his entire life in public life to make affordable health care access to all needed t. >> are signify the passage of
that law, it was the same gavel that was used by john when he announced passage of the medicare act nearly 50 years before. i was proud to nominate john for the presidential medal of freedom, our nation's highest civilian honor and to be on hand last month as president obama presented to him at the white house that medal of freedom. let no one mistake john's legacy as one of simply longest. had he served nine terms and not 29, we would surely be here on this floor to praise him as a man of vision, of principle, of courage, of achievement and of a deep love for this country and its people. and for this institution. i have had the privilege of serving with john in this house for 33 years.
throughout that time, he has been a dear friend, of whom i have learned much and shared many memorable experiences, on and off this floor. john dingell, my colleagues, has been and is a man of conviction. has embodied civily and worked in a bipartisan fashion. his example is one if we follow it would benefit the country and he house. measures to promote manufacturing here in this country. his mericans will remember determination to root out waste, fraud and abuse throughout the u.s. government and save the u.s. taxpayers and improving how the government works. 3 years ago this week, a young
john dingell jr., then a house page, sat in this house chamber in which his father, john sr., served while the president delivered his most famous speech, asking for a declaration of war as a result of the attack on pearl harbor, on that day of infamy. four years later while serving in the united states army, second lieutenant john dingell was preparing to invade japan when the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki brought the war to an end and quite possibly saving his life. we're all grateful for that, that providence spared him so he could come to the people's house and do the people's work for 59 years. we will miss him dearly. i will miss him, but i take comfort in knowing that he will still be here among us as a private citizen, as the husband of a new member from michigan's
12th district and as an elder statesman for our country who i hope will always be ready to share the wisdom of his experience with those who will continue his work in this house. john dingell has been a great american, a citizen who loved his country and served it well. god bless you, john dingell, and thank you. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield one minute now to the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, it's an understatement to say dean and chairman john dingell is a gentleman of this house and a respected man of the law. he's served our republic his entire life, beginning as a page for this house at the age of 12, followed by his enlistment in the united states army and his service during world war ii. he's a bona fide representative of the greatest
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