tv Washington Journal CSPAN June 1, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT
and james thurber, director for the center for presidential studies at american university. and the university of maryland center for homeland [video clip] >> the patriot act will expire tonight. it will only be temporary. they will ultimately get their way. i think the majority of the american people actually believe the government has gone too far. ♪ host: that was republican senator and presidential candidate rand paul on the floor of the u.s. senate last night after it became clear his effort to force the expiration of the patriot act and its bulk collection program succeeded. due to rand paul's opposition
that legislation cannot be passed until tuesday at the earliest. on the washington journal we are getting your thoughts on the debate that happened last night over how the government should balance privacy and security. do you think the patriot act and its record collection program made the country safer? give us a call. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. if you're outside the u.s. this morning, (202) 748-8003. catch up with us on twitter, facebook or e-mail us. good monday morning to you. june 1 this morning. key provisions of the patriot act have expired. the senate is looking to take up a replacement bill early this week.
the house passed measure, the usa freedom act. some headlines from that sunday session yesterday. the miami herald, the nsa forced to hang up u.s. spying for a while. the boston globe this morning phone record program expires. extension of a law block but a new version may be near. the front page of the new york times this morning, the government's authority to sweep up vast quantities of phone records expired at 12:01 a.m. on monday after rand paul blocked an extension of the program. the senate signaled it was ready to curtail the national security agency's of data collection program with likely passage of legislation that would shift the storage of telephone records from the government to the phone companies. the house passed that bill last month. senators voted 77-17 yesterday
to take up the house bill. that debate expected to continue to happen in the early days of this week. senator paul was on the floor last night talking about why he decided to take the stand. here is a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> this is a debate over your right to be left alone. just as van dyck said, the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights. the right to be left alone is the most prized to civilized men . let us be clear, we are here tonight because the president continues to conduct an illegal program. the president has been rebuked by the court. the president has been told in explicit terms that the program he is conducting is illegal.
the president opines on television, the president wants to blame anybody but me. the president started this program without congressional permission. even the authors of the patriot act day that the patriot act in no way gives authority to the president to collect all of your phone records all of the time. if there ever was a general warrant, a generalized collection of information from people to which there is no suspicion, this is it. we are not collecting the information of spies. we are not collecting the information of terrorists. we are collecting all american citizens records all of the time. this is what we fought the revolution over. host: the headline in the
washington times this morning, a lonely and high risk battle with political overtones. talking about the impacts on his presidential campaign. one of those members who has endorsed his run for the presidency is fellow kentuckian mitch mcconnell. the senate majority leader who was pushing yesterday for an extension of the patriot act. he was on the senate floor last night, talking about why he thought the patriot act was important and those provisions were keeping americans safe. [video clip] >> the nature of the threat we face is very serious. it is aggressive, sophisticated geographically dispersed and it is not going away. as the l.a. times reported "the obama administration has dramatically stepped up warnings
of potential terrorist attacks on american soil after several years of relative calm." the paper reported that this is occurring in the wake of fbi arrests of at least 30 americans on terrorist related charges this year and an array of lone wolf plots. these are not theoretical threats, mr. president. there with us every day. we have to face up to them. we should not be disarming unilaterally as our enemies grow more sophisticated and aggressive. we should not be doing so based on a campaign of demagoguery and disinformation launched in the wake of the unlawful actions of edward snowdoen who was last seen in russia.
the opponents of this program have not been able to provide any examples of the nsa abusing the authorities provided under section 215. the record will show that there has not been one documented incident of abuse of it. host: security versus privacy, a debate we often see on the floor of the united states senate. we want to hear your thoughts this morning. did you watch yesterday's sunday session? and you have thoughts, give us a call. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. we'll start with donald this morning, calling on our line for independents. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call.
this thing really bothers me. when people say that if i am not doing anything wrong i don't care if they look at my records or listen to my phone calls and this type of thing. you don't know the individual who was doing that. this is somebody in the government you have no idea who it is or what purpose he could probably be doing it for. this information could be used for corporations and stuff. we in this country have a right to expect privacy. that goes with our freedom. if you want to govern out of fear, saying the government knows best for you, the big brother thing from 1984, we have arrived there. they can do these things to us if we allow them. believe me, you think you do not
have anything to hide, look out your window, see a normal person walking down the street you do not know, go outside and hand him your financial information because you are doing nothing wrong. let him listen to all your phone calls, read all your e-mails with you and your family. if you don't do anything wrong why would it bother you? of course it bothers you. it is your business. not the governments. host: mike is up next. good morning. caller: good morning. like he said, it bothers me. i wanted to ask you a question. how many apprehensions of people were convicted by this government watch happening? host: we are actually going to have niels lesniewski coming on
in about a half-hour. that would be a great question for him to get into. there has been debate about that on the floor of the united states capitol. your thoughts? caller: here is another thing. years ago they had the party line. people knew who you shop with. who your beautician was. if you call the bus or caught a train. that was not a problem. why all of a sudden people are up in arms? how can they keep millions of records about what people say or do? that is what i don't understand. has anybody been convicted? if no one has been convicted let them do what they want to do. i'm for keeping our country safe. that is up to the president of the united states to say if we can convict people, we can show
the people they are being convicted. thank you for your time. host: the keeping of those records that mike is concerned about what shift to the phone companies themselves if the usa freedom act is eventually passed, the house version is taken up without changes in the senate. there is speculation about amendments to that legislation. we'll get into the debate about what happens from here with niels lesniewski of rollcall. the usa today charts what provisions have expired under the patriot act from it lapsing last night at midnight. alone lone wolf provision of the law has expired. this allows law enforcement agencies to target agents as suspected terrorists acting alone without direct ties to rogue nations.
the roving wiretap provision expires. this allows federal agencies to monitor a person rather than a specific device. section 215 of the patriot act expires. the national security agency using it as a basis to collect the phone records of millions of americans. with those expirations, all the investigations of phone records under 215 will not stop immediately. a clause allows the nsa to continue investigations it has already started. that wrap up from usa today this morning. we want to hear from viewers. what do you think of this debate that happened on the senate floor? adam, good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to say that i really am against the patriot act. it was prewritten and appears before 9/11.
i don't know who wrote it. to supposedly protect our country. from the people that are scared about the expiration of the patriot act, i really think this is going to continue to go on through secret presidential directives, executive orders which all of our presidents recently have been doing. the patriot act was a cover from the get-go for him and for the president. edward snowden, people are talking about two different things. the patriot act and also what edward snowden and miss whistleblowers -- and multiple whistleblowers have revealed. host: do you think we would be having that debate today if edward snowden had not let that information out? caller: i think people -- there
is a segment of our society that wants to reject what the patriot act is doing, thinking that is taking way liberty. i think edward snowden proved to the american people that our government is lying to us and has led us into multiple wars. we need to be concerned. we lost so many people after the draft. the cia says, we lied to you. how many times? politicians cannot even say straight in the face that it was a bad idea to go into iraq. i want to throw out that people, rand paul, hugh be doing this fee was running for president or not. -- he would be doing this if he was running for president or not. host: brian stokes her on cnn's
reliable sources brought up the issue of edward snowden emphasize unreliable sources -- on reliable sources that the battle would not be happening without edward snowden and journalists. speaking of the impact on rand paul's presidential campaign, a story in today's washington post on that aspect of this fight. gop voters uneasy about paul's nsa crusade. the story noting the dynamic in iowa suggest paul continues to struggle with competing political demands. he must broaden his appeal in a party so largely defined by national security hawkishness and yet he must excite a libertarian base motivated by anger over the nsa and skeptical
of interventionist foreign policy. that story with interviews from iowa voters. some who expressed skepticism about what he was doing yesterday in the senate. if you want to read more of that, it is in the washington post. james in north carolina. your thoughts on this battle? caller: i am against what rand paul had to say in the senate. i do not believe that collecting phone numbers is infringing on anybody's writes. -- anybody's rights. i have no problem with having my number in a database. all they are doing is collecting phone numbers. i do not worry about anybody
collecting my phone number or a my friends as far as i know. only those people that have a problem should be worrying about it. a big to do about nothing. host: david is in paradise, pennsylvania. line for independents. caller: i watched c-span evening senate coverage last night. i appreciate it very much. i thank you c-span people. a great gift of ongoing education for everyday citizens and a positive factor in helping us understand how government works. host: your thoughts on the debate? caller: i did not watch it during the day because i was busy with other things but i watched when i got home about 9:30. after midnight. what i wanted to call about was if you create a tutorial video
to explain how easy it is a citizen to obtain a copy of bills and records online from the library of congress's website that would be a boon to all of us. the point of my call was, i am against general collection of data without specific warrants. later today the senate will discuss house bill hr-2048. i've heard proponents of this bill speaking only of its applications to investigations of foreign spies and terrorist. specific references remain for a third category fighting ordinary criminal activities. for foreign intelligence, counterintelligence and criminal purposes. in the specific details of 2048.
, you can look on page 45 in the nondisclosure section and pays 48 -- page 48, foreign intelligence, criminal investigations and foreign -- just keeping our country safe from foreigners who like to do is armed should fess up to the international federal -- international terrorism is not the only boundary. the scope to be wider. host: we will be talking more about usa's freedom act in our next segment of the washington journal this morning as we talk about what may happen this week. the white house last night putting out a statement encouraging the senate to move on that measure. here's a statement from the press secretary last night. we call on the senate to ensure irresponsible lapse in authorities is as short-lived as possible.
individual senators must put aside partisan motivations and act swiftly. the american people deserve nothing less. a statement put out by members of the house judiciary committee , including the chairman and ranking member of that committee , bob goodlatte of virginia. they say they are please we -- this decision is long overdue. we are disappointed that the senate has stalled debate on this strong bipartisan bill and will not vote on it sunday night. because of the senate's in action, three national security provisions will expire. we urge the senate to act expeditiously to approve the usa freedom act without delay so that we protect american' civil liberties. those are thoughts from some members of congress and the
white house. jerry come on the line for republicans. caller: thank god for c-span and the washington journal. i got for edward snowden. -- thank god for edward snowden. we've been led into war after war. we lost world war i, the communists gained 15% of the population. we were lied to about world war ii. they had 45% of the world population of the world war ii. everyone is going ballistic which is a reasonable reaction, collecting phone numbers and metadata. the scary part of this thing is that fourth provision you show on the screen when you are showing the provisions, the sneak and peek.
gross violation of the fourth amendment, illegal searches and seizures. it means they can do anything they want to. thanks for brian lamb and all the good work you do. host: your thoughts on the impact of the presidential discussion in the republican party? where do you stand on your pick for your nominee? caller: the last four presidential elections i voted for ross perot from texas. ron paul from texas. rand paul is probably of the 99 candidates republicans have out there now, rand paul is probably the best of them. if people would go to wikipedia and look at the bio of jim webb
he has been shot twice in the enough -- twice in vietnam, he was a united states senator from virginia assistant secretary of defense, secretary of the navy. my daughter worked for him. my choice of the whole field is somebody that will not get a chance to run, jim webb. host: you would vote for a democrat in this election? caller: i would vote for jim webb if you ran on a communist ticket. if people would read what that man has done for this country he has devoted his entire life. most of these people are in there for greed and what they can grab. this man has dedicated his -- read his books. i am reading his latest look now. people should go get that book. they should read his first book about his trials and tribulations in vietnam when he was a marine combat commander
and got shot twice and went back. that is the man that has given for this country of the people that are out there trying to do -- not little miss hillary bernie sanders, any of that whole flock of republicans. host: jim webb has come on this program late last year to talk about his view on the state of politics today. you can check that out on c-span.org, if you want to go back and rewatch that segment. speaking of the republican field, it is set to grow today officially to double digits with the entry of senator lindsey graham, expected to announce today. you can watch that announcement on c-span when that happens. he will be in his home state of south carolina to make that announcement. he will be making stops in new hampshire and iowa following this initial kickoff that is set
to happen today. here's the front page of the state newspaper in south carolina. he wants to be president but what do you know about lindsey graham? reintroducing readers to their senator. that announcement set to happen around 10:30 this morning. you can check it out on our website as well at c-span.org. let's go to wallace in nebraska. the line for democrats. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. host: your thoughts on this debate? caller: my thoughts are simple. i thought that mr. rand paul, since he has come to washington, has been nothing but about himself. he says all the right things but
his behavior does the exact opposite. this grandstand he pulled with the nsa, which was a republican priority, this man has placed our country's future at risk for grandstanding. he is not presidential material. i would bet that he is a domestic terrorizing the type of person who will eventually lead us back into another war we do not need to be in. the rest of the republican field , it is a joke. it has not been serious since i would say, since jack kemp died. host: is the democratic field serious this year? caller: hillary thought that way
when she went against obama and she found how quickly -- she found out quickly how uninhabitable she was. there are a lot of other good democrats out there that have not spoken because they are all believing the hillary i. hype. she is a democrat in name only. she will do exactly what her husband did. she is going to probably undo a lot of good things obama has done because he did them and she did not. host: a few tweets on this topic. that debate in the sunday session that happened in the senate. peter saying the patriot act is an example of life in post-9/11 america. the truth between -- the lines between truth and lies are invisible.
edwin writes, the laps on the patriot act will not stop the fed from gathering the info. they will just hide it either now. outline for independents tim good morning. caller: unfortunately a lot of these politicians are more concerned with holding a political line rather than addressing the root issue. the issue is not terrorism. there issue -- the issue is the prevention of violence. the afghanistan war over 28,000 children and teenagers have been murdered in this country or killed. the numbers for adults are higher and more alarming. those addressing an issue -- terrorism is done by very small group of people that seldom happens here and is questionable whether it happens here at all.
let's consider alternatives to address the issue of violence. host: let's go to mike in whitesboro, new york. caller: good morning. thank god for rand paul, giving me back a slice of american freedom. they know nothing about rand paul. rand paul has declared, last resort to fight a large defense contract are wars. i'm disgusted at my own party and guys like john mccain and dick cheney commencing war on the middle class and has continued with guys like mitch mcconnell. thank god for rand paul for getting us back some freedoms in this country. the great and franklin even said -- ben franklin even said, if
you take away our liberties to obtain security, you will lose them both. that is what is going to happen. host: senator rand paul talked about some of the criticism he has received in picking this fight about the nsa's woke collection to the floor this -- book collection to the floor of the senate. he said that some people in his own party have criticized him. here is more of him from the floor the senate yesterday. [video clip] >> some of them secretly want there to be an attack on the united states to they can blame it on me. one of the people in the media came up to me and said, when there is a great attack, are you going to feel guilty that you caused this? it is like, the people who attack us are responsible. do we blame the police chief for
the attack of the boston bombers? the thing is, there can be attacks even if we use the constitution but there have been attacks while collecting your bulk data. the ones who say when an attack occurs it will be your fault are any of them willing to except the blame? we have bulk collection now. are any of them willing to except blame for the boston bombings? for the recent shooting in garland? no. but they will be the first to point fingers and say, it is all your fault. we never should have given up on this program. i am convinced that we can obey the constitution, use the fourth amendment as intended, spirit and letter of the law, and catch terrorists. host: members of congress who have supported senator paul's efforts and were in the gallery last night supporting him are congressman thomas massie of
kentucky and justin amash. here is a picture from lauren victoria, journalist on capitol hill of the members of congress walking out together after senator rand paul's last speech on the floor of the senate last night. your thoughts this morning on the washington journal. that debate over security and privacy. lewis is in new york. a line for democrats. good morning. caller: i want to start by getting everybody history lesson about the patriot act. george w. bush put this into effect. he signed it in and it went to congress. the only people out there complaining were not republicans. they were wearing flag pins. you hinted you are being lied to
about the intelligence. you are a bolshevik antiterrorist. -- and a terrorist. here we are and it is all getting thrust on obama. he is the e-mail reader in all of this. they have been fighting every inch of the way. 9/11 did not happen because we did not have bulk intelligence. if a because -- it was because w was ignoring intelligence. the only people protesting were young democrats liberals. here we are 15 years later and they were right. in closing, the nsa did not have to be broken by ed snowden. by word-of-mouth, i knew vaguely
what he has revealed. i knew about the way they collected cell phone data. host: how did you know that lewis? caller: just word-of-mouth. and because i was a college student and near smart people. people who were similarly minded said, verizon class all your data and this is how they do it -- collects all of your data and this is how they do it. host: the guantanamo bay detention center. some news today about former detainees. the government of qatar will extend its travel ban on five former taliban leaders. the agreement came as a one-year agreement to bar them from leaving qatar was due to expire. the obama administration is
holding discussion for a longer-term arrangement but one has not been completed. let's go to fred in hillsdale michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i have been listening to the callers. i wish i could talk a lot about all the subject but i'm going to pick one. we have callers saying they are just collecting your phone numbers, i wonder if people realize, they are not just collecting your numbers. they're reading e-mails recording phone calls, recording skype's photos, facebook anything on the internet. every keystroke of the internet
they are recording, saving all that data. they are doing it to every country in the world. host: does anybody have any expectation of privacy anymore in this world you describe? caller: i'm not sure. a bunch of theories on that. host: how do you operate on the internet and use your phone? caller: i am actually trying to lessen my foot now because of all these revelations. i don't understand why the media is making a bigger deal. host: we will go to terry who is waiting in claremore oklahoma.
good morning. caller: i feel exactly as rand paul feels. i think they are taking away our freedom in this country. right and left. i think when they save this information like this, who says what they can do with information after the fact? just like with our attorney general, the way they been taking the law into their own hands. there is no telling what the government is doing that we do not know about. we did not know the nsa was doing this until edward snowden let us know. host: as terry in claremore
oklahoma. one voice that is set to return to this debate, according to a story on the wall street journal 's former vice president dick cheney. looking to make a splash according to the wall street journal, with a new book to be published in september. a group that he and his daughter advanced -- launched to advance their efforts. national security is already point of difference between republican candidates. dick cheney characterized one leading gop contender, senator rand paul, as an isolationist. "he knows i think of them as an isolationist and it offensive deeply but it is true -- it defends him deeply but it is true or." the latest from the secretary of
state, john kerry, breaking his leg in a bicycling accident in geneva. new york times story noting the secretary of state had been scheduled to fly to madrid for an official visit. he was set to travel to paris for a meeting of foreign ministers from the coalition the united states has assembled to confront isis. those plans have been canceled. some news on that front. this from the wall street journal on the fallout from that case against the former speaker of the house, dennis hastert. we college drop hastert's name from an economic center for -- an academic center for economics , government and public policy. indicted thursday on charges
related to large sums of cass he had allegedly withdrawn from bank accounts. the individual is a man who said he had sexual contact with mr. hester this gave the go -- mr. hastert decades ago. stories in several papers today. ray is waiting in easton georgia. you are on the washington journal. caller: all this collection of data, look back at internal revenue. it went all the way back to newspaper reports and stuff. if they can do that with them what do you think they're going to do with the nsa? same with union organizers. obama was a union man. we don't know what they're going to be doing with that.
i don't think they need all that information. the government is supposed to take care of the country, not go into people plus everyday lives. host: walter is in baltimore, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for being there for the same and insane people of the america . i appreciate being able to hear from america. i knew as i was marching, probably alongside him before entering iraq, bush was not right about going in there. it was blood for oil and we have lost. pandora's box. we knew that the actual security apparatus in america to date is there not just to keep americans
in line, but to keep us alive in some aspects. i am suggesting the foolishness of the irs attacks or the blame game with obama not being able to get a status forces agreement with iraq, people need to think. this system of government -- i do not think i can say this clearer. not so crazy that it wants to destroy itself. i think you -- i thank you for c-span. next week, on june 6, we are celebrating the reason why we are all still alive, the landing in france. thank you, c-span. host: you can keep calling in on this topic. we will be discussing it further and what happens next with niels
lesniewski of rollcall. later we will talk about a move by congress to limit the benefits paid to ex-president's if you want to stick around for that. that comes at a: 30 this morning. -- at 8:30 this morning. we will be right back. ♪ >> tonight on the communicators public knowledge president and ceo jean kimmelman and harold perch cockcroft on the merger between time warner cable and comcast. >> some have satellite for video but hardly anybody has two broadband providers. wireless providers are available but they cannot provide the video streaming you get from your cable company. the question is, where do you
get more competition? competition is coming over that same wire. it is the same company controlling two parts of the service, your tv package and your broadband. a lot of content companies want to provide to both and they want to provide services. the cable company has an incentive to favor its own product. i think law enforcement is going to have to make sure there is no unfair benefit to cable through this consolidation. >> lots of americans particularly young americans have cut the wire. they do not have a cable subscription or a telephone wired subscription. they are wireless and they get the broadband they want. these are not broadband a literate people. they're quite sophisticated. you have new companies coming online to compete wireless
broadband offerings. the idea that there is any sort of market power or monopoly power in this industry right now is very difficult to understand. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on the communicators he spend 2 -- on the communicators on c-span 2. host: for more on the future of nsa spying powers and sort out last night us session we are joined by niels lesniewski. where do we stand as of right now on the legislation to replace the now expired patriot act? guest: the next thing we are going to see is with the senate having voted to proceed and take up the usa freedom act, that will be the vehicle for the
debate that is going to be had today and tuesday. what we are hearing is that late last night, before the senate adjourned, mitch mcconnell, who has been a critic of the house bill from the beginning, said he wanted to amend it. richard burr, chairman of the intelligence committee announced what his intentions would be in terms of amending the house bill. the biggest thing that is new as of early this morning is that burr is going to try and the men the house bill to provide a year-long grace period for transitioning the holding of the bulk phone records from the nsa and telephone companies. the house bill only gives 180 days to do that. or want it to be a year.
-- burr wants it to be a year. the obama administration\house bill -- backs the house bill. burr is trying to push it to a full year. host: the change of who would hold these records from the nsa to the phone companies, the most headline grabbing part of the act. what about the other components of the patriot act that expire? are those also included in what would be the new usa freedom act? guest: yes. the other provisions, which mcconnell tried to renew on their own, without section 215 authority for the bulk collection of records, those would be revived as well.
those are less controversial provisions presumably. it has not been clear how effective they are. how often they have been used. some senators will say they have been used -- what their effectiveness is, they cannot say. the problem in the intelligence community is you often cannot tell people how you are using things. host: that was a question we got from a caller in our first segment. are there numbers of how successful the patriot act has in -- has been? guest: there are some people in the intelligence community who will put out numbers regarding the success of various programs but you're always looking at such a narrow sliver of what is actually going on it is difficult to emulate how
effective patriot act provisions have been. host: we have seen before with a provision or bill getting ready to expire, short-term extensions to move less controversial parts. there seems to be enough support. why was senator mcconnell not able -- why was not -- why wasn't senator mcconnell able to ? guest: when mcconnell made that offer, senator paul objected to that as well. host: the man he is supporting for the president? guest: this is also true. paul decided he was going to exercise his prerogative as a senator, which is his right, to
allow the entire program, the three provisions in their entirety, to expire. if you are the democrats come you are blaming mcconnell for this is much as paul because there was no real reason for taking the memorial day recess knowing this was coming down the pike. it seems like there was a calculation on the part of mcconnell that there might be some opportunity to get a deal sunday night that did not materialize. host: if you want to talk to niels lesniewski about this debate that happened last night he is our expert on senate proceedings. he has been following the debate closely during his time at rollcall. he is with us for about the next 45 minutes or so. before we get the calls we want to ask about what this has done to the relationship in the
senate specifically various republican senators. we want to show viewers a clip of some of the back and forth between senator john mccain, who was below the floor, and senator -- who was speaking on the floor, and senator rand paul who was trying to get a response from senator mccain. we'll play that in a second. if you could set up what was happening? guest: this was a situation where -- just before the senate was set to recess for meetings. senator dan coats, the republican from indiana, was in control of the floor. as a result, he was the one in charge the time. what happened was, john mccain and rand paul got into a spat over who control floor time. host: here's a bit from that
exchange. [video clip] >> mr. president? mr. president? >> i want the regular order. >> mr. president? >> i would be happy to yield to the senator from arizona. >> maybe the senator from kentucky should know the rules of the senate. the gentleman has the floor and is open to response to a question. my question is, the words are powerful and accurate. >> how much time remains on the clock for the republican time? mr. president? how much time is remaining? >> i asked for the regular order. >> i think the chair has made clear this editor from indiana has the floor -- the senator from indiana has the floor. >> i know the senator from
kentucky understands -- >> i would ask you, the senator from indiana, you have seen the events lately that are transpiring. isis has taken home i read -- isis has taken palmyra. destroying antiquities. remindamadi has fallen with men women and children being massacred. his this program as critical as it has ever been since its inception? we are losing everywhere. host: some tense moments on the floor of the senate. this from a group senator rand paul has started referring to as the eye roll caucus.
guest: that was a reference to an event that happened last week when he was speaking on the floor and there was a video from the floor. we say c-span does not control the camera's. the senate controlled camera actually picked up on something it often does not lindsey graham, the republican from south carolina who was announcing his presidential bid today was actually rolling his eyes at rand paul as he was speaking. lindsey graham is generally going to be in line with john mccain's -- that is the group that is now in open war with rand paul. one of the things i'm wondering is the extent to which senator mccain is going to be out and about in the country as a
surrogate for lindsey graham may be appearing outside of rand paul event. host: lindsey graham's wrote to the potential -- road to the potential nomination. you can watch it here on c-span. that is happening in south carolina with road trips quickly to new hampshire and iowa. those all-important first primary states. we have niels lesniewski with us to answer your questions from what happened last night in that unusual senate sunday session. let's start with greg, columbia mississippi. my for democrats. caller: thank you for taking my call. a couple questions.
the nsa, the cia, the fbi, all these agencies. i understand there was a call from the trainer of the pilots who hit 9/11. he called the fbi to let them know that all of this was going to happen or something weird was happening and they ignored it. now we come up the patriot act and it seems to me we need to train the people at the agencies better where they can figure out what is going on. how much is the patriot act cost? host: a couple questions. are there members who say that we have -- that law enforcement has the power they need, they just need to use it better? guest: that would be one of the things that someone like senator
paul would be talking about. the other thing the caller mentioned is the one we cannot answer, necessarily how exactly does the patriot act cost. the way that the budgeting for the intelligence committee -- community is done, we eventually get a top line figure for some of the intelligence agency spending. sometimes referred to as a black budget where you or i or anyone else who is not privy to the proper security clearance can see the details of it. the question of how much does the patriot act cost to implement is something we cannot know because we cannot know the details of the nsa. we do not know the details of how much resources the nsa is putting into that program. host: a question for you from one of our viewers watching on
twitter. who do intelligence agencies and contractors actually obey? guest: there was the debate, in theory the answer to the question would be that the intelligence community has to report to the intelligence committees of the house and senate, as well as something called the gang of eight. this is not the immigration gang of eight from a couple years back. the leaders of the house and senate as well as leaders of the intelligence committees who are pretty to -- who are privy two and ask for level of information -- to an extra level of information. there have been incidents in the past where the cia has not
necessarily listened to directives that were given and we had the debate of the last couple of years about whether or not the senate may have been spied on as part of an investigation into the use of torture during the bush administration. it is a question of how much the intelligence community listens to its oversight. host: headlines on this topic. on the front page of roll call. senate advances patriot act overhaul but too late to foil rand paul. if you want to read the story by steve dennis, you can do that. we have niels lesniewski with us for the next half hour or so. this from the miami herald, nsa forced to hang up u.s. spying for a while. the front page of the boston globe, phone records program expires.
the front page of the los angeles times, it's nsa spy program shut down. nsa cannot snoop on phones but controversial program will likely be back on tuesday. you and virgil, what do you think? caller: the holding is nothing but a debacle. you have no idea how much it does cost. put all these records in a pile, the stack would probably reach to the moon. this is enormous. the number of calls -- i had my own personal experience with the patriot act, the so-called patriot act. nothing patriotic about it.
my church, which i have been a member of 20 years i was very much openly against the iraqi war. it is obvious that it was a debacle that we were getting ourselves into. i was against it openly. somehow or another, the bush -cheney heimcheney-rumsfeld got a hold of my opposition and sent a letter to my church that i've been to for 20 years and their executive letter got so shook up about that. they asked me to leave the church. i had been there for 20 years. i didn't mind because i was giving $100 a week to the church and it signifies thousand dollars a year. -- saves me $5,000 a year. no ahead and kick me out of the
church. i easily found another place to worship god. host: that was virgil in las vegas, nevada this moniker we rning. dick cheney coming out with a book this fall. can you talk about the voices coming out with the debate over privacy? guest: we saw on the sunday morning shows that general hayden is back in talking about the sources issues. cheney seems like an obvious candidate -- the former vice president seems like an obvious candidate for someone who will be in the news again particularly if we see a situation where someone like rand paul probably most likely gains traction in the republican primary process and in the process of trying to get the republican nomination for
president in 2016. because obviously senator paul's views on foreign policy and national security issues are so far removed from those of the george w. bush administration that if someone like paul gets traction, you will probably hear more and more from the likes of mr. cheney. host: a few more tweets at we have been talking this morning. silky rights and -- sukie wrightson, whenever anything has worked patriots, freedom, or liberty and its names i am suspicious of the motives and the purpose. she asked for definitions of the term. karen became a wrightson on the mccain and graham relationship. generally aligns? graham and mccain are joined at the hip. vernon, new york on a line for independence. caller: good morning.
how are you? host: you're on with niels lesniewski. caller: in the patriot act why couldn't changes have been done internally if they needed to have changes done? because all you do, they already have your name. just enough -- they just have your number and then they track your calls. in the freedom that, the telephone companies keep the calls, but for how long? there are over 1500 telephone companies in the united states alone. if one says i will keep them from four months and one says i will keep it for two, think of the laws. another thing i have to say before you comment. last night i was listening to c-span someone called up and
praised edward snowden. now i have a problem with a person that not only changed the face of america as far security that we had to scramble the navy, the army, the marines, the air force to change our codes. i mean, he called him a great leader and humanitarian. to give classified documents to somebody else is more than a felony. it is a war crime. host: that is sarah and vernon, new york. talk about the timing because there is some question on that. guest: our caller from vernon raises a really good question in that regard because angus king,
who is an independent who caucuses with the democrats in maine, was concerned for a very long time of the freedom act about how long the phone companies were going to keep these records. we learned last night that intelligence chairman richard burr is trying to amend the house bill in several ways, one of which i did not mention earlier would require notification by the phone company is there going to keep records less than 18 months. so essentially what burr wants to address is something the caller picked up on, which is is concerned that if the phone company decided in upstate new york, i think it would be verizon, if they decided they were only going to keep the records for a couple of months, that there would have to be some way of the u.s. government would know that in advance and try to be able to adjust accordingly.
host: shirley is in detroit michigan on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning to you. my concern is this. anything that our government wants to do to protect us when it comes down to security, i've am for. as far as listing into regular conversations and whatnot, that is something that is kind of puzzling to me. there is a lot going on in our country and around the world and i can understand why they want the patriot act to stay, i guess, the way it is. i think you really have to understand politics and the government itself about the patriot act, but there are a lot of men and women who are coming into this country every day. they have been coming in here for decades. and nobody really knows who is really in our country anymore.
they can't even keep up with who is coming and going in this country. if you have got the situation that has taken place with isis and god knows who else, a lot of men and women are being recruited out of our country. they're coming from europe and all around to get involved with these people. whatever our government has to do to keep this country safe. it is starting to get really frightening. and i do not think i'm the only one -- yes, i am a democrat, but i will say when it comes down to the security of our country what ever they have to do to keep us safe i am four. r. host: several members making that exact point on the floor the sentence. -- of the senate. guest: members of congress would argue that this program does not
even as it was designed, the program has now lapsed since midnight, section 215 was not actually for people listening in on your telephone calls or my telephone calls or anyone else's. it was pertaining to the metadata behind the calls in the patterns of who people called and the like. one thing that i think is important to point out is that one of senator paul's concerns even with the usa freedom act is the possibility that it could lead back to full collection -- bookulk collection through some sort of ancillary means. i will use somewhat perhaps a ridiculous example, but bear with me here. if someone who was involved in terrorist activity or coordinating with isis or something like that, if they
were to call into this program this morning, would then all of c-span's phone records then be scooped up in the net from the phone company? that is the kind of thing that senator paul is concerned about with the revised program. host: on her twitter feed, get your popcorn and program. the paul fight against the gop power structure could be very entertaining. reality tv for free. that is at c-span washington journal. calling in for hawaii. judy, is it hawaii? caller: i stand with brands. rand. i'm appalled that so many people in congress so easily give away our rights to privacy. people are very uncomfortable. i have conversations with
friends and i do not even what my husband to hear. we want our privacy. it is not proven effective at all. they have not gotten anything out of this metadata collection in the time that they have had to do it. and the worst thing about it is is that if people feel and fear of their own government spying on them, they become less creative. we have been the most innovative austan oriole country that has ever existed -- entrepreneurial country that has ever existed. this is having affects on all that. if people come up with ideas they will not easily share them or plan them if they think they are being spied on. it has a lot of effects that we do not really think of. i don't think that they can use the way that they solved crimes
before and continue to use those ways and get approval from a judge and use probable cause. host: judy is a rand paul supporter from hawaii. rand paul tweeting out last night after the senate session, "thanks to your help, provisions that allow book collection on innocent american citizens have expired." there was another tweet that rand paul put out " continue to celebrate this victory." a contribution to a presidential campaign. guest: it was convenient timing that this came on made 31st -- may 31 because we're talking about the end of the month. there will be campaign finance reporting numbers that will become available at some point in time and we will see how much of a money bomb so to speak that the rand paul presidential campaign got out of this, as
well as any sort of associated clinical action committees. the other thing that will be interesting to see is if anyone on the other side in response gets a lot of money. i was talking before the break to lindsey graham, who is announcing his presidential bid this morning. he said that when he got back to washington he was going to go aggressive to counter rand paul's argument that, and this is a paraphrase of something that senator graham told me, but senator graham's view is that senator paul believes that the nsa is more dangerous perhaps when isis. -- than isis. that is the level of the rhetoric we are getting into. host: a money bomb is a term used as a quick online rush. rand paul searching for a money bomb this past weekend.
larry in pleasantly, tennessee. good morning. caller: niels, i was wondering if you are aware of a $1.9 billion project that is building and one million square-foot facility for the nsa and it is in utah. it has been on the internet for months and months now. if you are not aware, you might want to look into that because that is going to be a massive storage facility to just hold everything that they're getting. host: have you looked into it? guest: i've heard of it, but i've not looked into it and i will look into it more. host: randy in ohio on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, sir. does this thing not help us catch the boston bomber when they bombed the marathon?
did this thing help us catch them? the other thing is -- i do not understand rand paul. he is not going to be president. i'm going to tell you now. he is done and shot the gop in the foot. my grandson is in the navy. he is protecting that you go out there. has he done nothing? i don't care about my phone conversations. if i want to tell my husband i love him, the whole world can hear me say. i don't care. i'm not hiding. they are doing wrong, but you know what? i would rather have them have my information instead of god for bid 9/11 happening again and got for did this time instead of hitting new york, they hit kentucky. guest: host:host: if you topics there -- if you topics there. guest: it is the breath of difference in this debate. the caller from hawaii and those
two collars, you see the gap that will be clear and the republican field although it certainly looks like senator paul is going to be an outlier based on the candidates running at this point. host: certainly plenty of time to go before the vote in the primary and the caucuses in iowa. according to "the washington post" story on that, the latest polling numbers in bloomberg news shows that paul is the first choice of 10% of likely iowa caucus-goers. that is high enough to be tied for second place behind wisconsin governor scott walker. results reveal weaknesses. his standing, for instance, is well below the 21% tally one by his father in the 2012 caucuses. and a new survey found that paul's favorability rating has led by nine points and cheney
were, the biggest drop for anyone in the field. those are some the polling impacts that we are seeing. jacksonville florida on the line for independents. you are on the line with niels loosen us a listener ski. guest:caller: does anyone really believe that the nsa has stopped listening and all calls after midnight? after all that has been done? guest: the obama administration and others said that that was the legal limit for collecting data and they cannot continue to do it after the expiration. although one would say, and the caller does raise a point, given the classified nature of many of these programs and given perhaps the track record of some intelligence agencies in the past, that is a question that is
not a question that anyone can answer definitively. whether or not things stopped way they were supposed to stop at midnight is certainly something that is open to speculation. host: let us go to don waiting in michigan on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i as a democrat have to stand with rand paul on this. host: with rand paul? caller: yes. i agree that we should not be collecting this data. if they have a suspect, get award and go to a judge. -- a war and go to a judge. rant and go to a judge. if we get scared, are we going to lock everyone up as a suspected terrorist? it is wrong just like the people we had in cuba in those prisons
over there. that is wrong. you have people who have not committed a crime and have gotten locked up. host: could you see yourself voting for rand paul if he makes it to the general election? caller: no. i'm leaning towards sanders. host: and if it is a rand paul versus the hillary clinton vote, could you see yourself? caller: maybe. caller:host: maybe from don and michigan. his rand paul getting support -- is rand paul getting support from democratic voters as he goes through this effort? guest: some of his support seems to be crossover support for more libertarian minded liberals and i think you raise a good question of the caller because if as someone anticipates we
have a hillary clinton contest on the democratic side. one of the things that we are going to see this paul is arguing and his campaign is arguing that he would be better suited to defeat secretary clinton that a lot of the others in the republican field because he appeals to a different set of voters than a traditionally republican leaning republican. host: a tweet from gregory about the 215 program, we would be better served with that money in our pocket and in job creation. eddie and florida on the line for democrats. eddie, good morning. caller: is this me? host: it is you. go ahead. caller: it is betty. host: sorry about that. caller: what i would like to say
is that we should not give up the constitution and the bill of rights. i have personal experience with this. i was put on one of these government lists for no reason except my ex got involved with some bigwig in the government. and i know that once you are put on these lists that you cannot get help from anyone. because with your identification , with your sopping cards -- shopping carts or whatever every time they run them they see that you are on the list and no one will help you. there is nowhere to turn. there is abuse going on in this program, just like obama's whistleblower. how many whistleblowers he has had. they are trying to shut people up from what they're doing. if you open the door to this and you let them do this to american citizens with no proof, then where does it stop? i do not see why there cannot be judicial overview and why they can't go to a judge and say judge, this is what we have and
we want to start this program on them. give us 30 days or three months and we will come back and show you what we have got. host: niels lesniewski, what are the arguments from the other side on those kinds of proposals? guest: one of the questions that i think that we have for existing investigations that were started using this in these programs that have now laspsed eventually, you do have to go to a judge and get a warrant. but there was a question about what exactly is being allowed to continue by this secretive court. i do not think we know that you did the other thing is that we do not know exactly what the next thing is going to come out of the second circuit court of appeals in new york city, which had been the court that senator paul has been siding and
saying in that the 215 program is illegal. host: let us go to north carolina on a line for independents. we have about 10 minutes left with niels lesniewski. you are on the washington journal. caller: thank you for taking my call. i was personally affected by this listening in on our phone calls. i have a friend in west point and i've called him one day and told him about the cd i had that i was going to send him. the cd -- someone was there on the actual date of the buildings was not down in new york. i was going to send him the cd because he has friends in new york city that he was want to send and make more of these cds and send them out to people in new york city. so i package the city so i knew it would not get broken. when he received a, he said the package was not damaged but
when he opened it, the cd was snapped in the middle. ok, that cd involved actual footage of this person team there and taking pictures on the day that the 9/11 attack happened. the one that was really focused on was building seven that nobody wants to talk about. building seven was eight hours a full eight hours after the buildings fell down, it was actually when building seven fell straight to the ground in under six seconds. host: we will hold off on conspiracy theories this morning. we had a whole segment that we did late last year about that topic on our c-span website that we did on "washington journal" if you want to go back and watch that. it is with the 9/11 architects and engineers for truth. that is the name of that group.
it is on our website at c-span.org we have a few minutes left with niels lesniewski. we want your ex receives -- expertise on the patriot act expiring and where we go from here. gary is on the line from ohio. caller: good morning. they had that patriot act before 9/11. they had that patriot act in their pocket trying to get it passed for years. now how come if this patient act is so good, how calm there was what 187 something nsa agents that was forced to retire, plus the assistant nsa director? these people all stood up for america and they got fired and
there is nobody on the court to represent the people that if they take somebody to a pfizer court that they have no representation. host: remind us what a fisa court is. guest: the foreign intelligence surveillance act which is the underlying law here is a bit of a secretive federal court for handling and adjudicating these claims. and a lack of representation for people who i guess you would describe as defendants or people who were going to be subject to the laws the backcourt overseas -- that backcourt overseathat court
oversees. there are several groups that are advocating for the group subject to those proceedings. it is difficult because with everything else that we have been talking about this morning. there is this classification issue. how exactly that would be done or how effective networks is an open question. host: let us go to greg waiting in kissimmee, florida. good morning. caller: i want to make a general comment about the american people and how it comes about through this stuff. the problem i have -- and i'm an independent, but i will probably change to republican so i can vote for rand paul in the primaries. the reality of it is that the legislature, just like the president, they do stuff that is not what the people really want. the president does that to the congress. if you wants to do it, he just
does it. the legislation does it. they create situations in the world from the stuff that they do that makes this general paranoia among the people something that is outstanding. the problem is is that the average americans have to send their sons into these wars and into the situations that are created by this general insanity to clean up the messes that the government makes. i have a brother in law who has been involved in government service for a long time, 30 years. and the truth of the matter is that a lot of the people who are really drawn to work in these kinds of programs, they are the kind of people that thrive on secrecy and privacy and paranoia and stuff like that. i appreciate rand paul tried to point out that this is not what americans want. just like that gentleman who had his cd brokered you can put all kind of stuff together, it's a conspiracy or not.
the american people cannot figure it out. that is the problem we have gotten into with this private world of our government that is doing things that do not have anything to do with allowing gimmick and people to do things that the american constitution has allowed us to do. host: i will let you join in on that. guest: i think that is one of the things that i think the intelligence community and the intelligence communities and the intelligence committees on capitol hill could do a better job with. i think they knew this particularly in recent years explaining what it is that they do. it would probably be helpful. in the senate intelligence committee, they meet behind closed doors for a couple of hours most every tuesday and thursday that the senate is in session. and the attendance is really good for members of that committee. the members block out time
significant time from their schedules for these meetings that they obviously cannot really tell us a whole lot of what is going on. but i don't think that the average constituent of someone who is a senator or their senator is from am a state on the intelligence committee knows that the senator goes to that many meetings or what work that they do. host: neil is waiting in fort lauderdale, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my comment is about the nsa. why isn't it picking up all the illegal activity done by congress, by the clintons, by pretty much most of the democrats? why are they not finding hillary's e-mails, her telephone calls, her text?
she has basically sold off everything to the state department to the highest bidder. i'm not sure what the purpose of the nsa is if they cannot find the biggest crime that is being done right now under our noses. host: niels lesniewski, and brings up a question. our members of congress subject to -- are members of congress subject to these provisions under the patriot act? guest: in theory, yes. i don't remember the exact details, but your viewers can look on rollcall.com because i wrote a story last year when bernie sanders actually was trying to ask the intelligence community questions about whether or not he has been subject to surveillance. and the answer is that he got, i believe suffice to say, were not all that detailed. so in theory anyone who is
having phone conversations that are involved in the bulk collection, yes. if they are collected in bulk, that would include members of congress. host: you have a story of senator leahy visiting bow biden, the vice presidents late son. can you talk about the tributes last night to the vice president 's son? guest: the unusual part of yesterday's session, which we sort of knew going in after the tragic news saturday evening of the death of beau biden, the former delaware attorney general and joe biden son, that there would be tributes and my mcconnell and harry reid open the floor with tributes.
there were other senators who spoke, including leahy. the story i wrote was about how leahy wants -- once ran into biden unexpectedly in iraq w hen he was serving over there as part of a delaware unit. as a result, they just sort of ran into each other and then leahy called the vice president's office right after the fact on the way he had seen him. host: if you want to read that story, it is on rollcall.com. niels lesniewski, we always appreciate your insight and your time on the washington journal. , we will talk about the move by the congressional committee to limit the benefits paid to ex-president. later, today is officially the start of the 2015 hurricane season. we'll talk about this year's hurricane forecast and discuss how the federal government distributes money to states that suffer natural disasters in our weekly your money segment. we will be right back.
♪ >> this summer but tv will cover book festivals from around the country and top nonfiction authors and books. this weekend, we live from the chicago tribune printers row lets, including our three-hour live in death program with cool lizard prize-winning author lawrence wright. ms. the end of june, watch for the annual roosevelt reading festival on the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library. in the middle of july, we're
live at the harlem book fair the nation's flagship african-american literary event with author interviews and him discussions. at the beginning of september, we're live from the nation's capital for national book festival, celebrating its 15th year. that is a few of the events this summer c-span twos but tv. -- c-span2's but tv. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the congress with colorful photos of every senator and congress member and bio information and twitter handles. also district maps and a foldout map of capitol hill and a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet, federal agencies, and state governors. order your copy today. it is $13.95 plus shipping and handling from the c-span online store at c-span.org. announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: late last month, the congressional committee moved to cut the pensions and allowances
given to ex-president. it's a talk about those efforts is james thurber, he is director of the congressional and american studies. as the law stands now, there is this effort by congress going on. but today, how much money are former president given? in what ways can they receive benefits from the government after leaving office? guest: they get a pension that is slightly more than $200,000 a year, but they also get expenses for the buildings they are in. that is over $400,000 for mr. bush and mr. clinton. they also have permanent security details, secret service, and so does the wife of the president for life unless she remarries because of that or something like that. they have medical facilities that they can go to free.
they have free cancer patient -- transportation if it is related to government activity and the gsa determines that. they have quite a few things from the government, but they also can make a lot of money from giving speeches and doing other things as we have seen with mr. clinton and mr. bush. host: to make the security element or understandable, what is the argument for all these other benefits, specifically the one that comes to mind is the office benefit? guest: this first started with mr. truman, who wrote to congress. congress under the constitution has the authority to establish pensions and salaries of the president. that should be clear. but mr. truman was spending over $30,000 a year just answering letters. so congress determined that they should allocate money for that. that is now $96,000 a year minimum for people just to answer letters and correspondence.
congress then and congress now feels it is reasonable for ex-president's to have support. office support as well as staff support and they have it. the problem is, of course, if they make lots of money in another way, both the senate and the house feel that maybe they should pay for that themselves. host: here's a headline from a column from townhall.com and several other papers as well. millionaire ex-president's can pay their own way. he writes, considering that every living past president is a multimillionaire, why should taxpayers have to fund an allowance for any of them? keep us up-to-date on what congress passed in the committee last month. guest: it was a bipartisan vote which is rate in this congress because things are pretty hung up and gridlock in the house of representatives. what they said is that they will get the pension, but the on the pension, -- beyond the pension,
for every dollar above $400,000 that they make in their own private lives, they will reduce it a dollar. therefore, president bush and president clinton would have to pay for all that themselves. host: is a multimillionaire president -- what is the max amount that somebody could be paid out by the government under this new bill? guest: under the new bill, the maximum amount would be $400,000. if they may less than $400,000. the clintons in the bushes make more than that so it gets reduced. host: where does it stand, it passed in the house committee so now goes to the senate? guest: the senate has a bill also. it is slightly different. it would reduce the total amount for pensions and allowances to
$200,000. host: some numbers for our viewers as we are talking about this. if you want to call in with questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. we are talking with james thurber of american university. republicans can call in to a 2-74 8-8000. we will also look for your tweets in your e-mails as well. some numbers on the expenditures for former president in fiscal 2014 came out to $3.6 million. the request in fiscal year 2015 with 3.3 million dollars. some of the payments that former president's include a little over $200,000 for current pensions, personal compensation is about $36,000. as much as 99 the -- not heard $90,000 in various benefits and pensions for a window of a
former president is up to $20,000. we talked about what presidents have used parts of that tension as well. we want to hear from our viewers. our phone lines are open. who has been the most expensive ex-president terms of money paid out after they left office? guest: i think it is clinton although right now former president bush its $420,000 a year for office space and clinton gets $415,000. that is a little less, but certainly clinton is getting the moat. -- most. i should add that they also get security -- social security also. for many americans, they live on social security. they get all this sort of stuff also. host: has there been a president that has turned down some of this federal money? guest: i cannot answer that authoritatively. maybe you can because you have been studying this also, but i do not think so. host: talk about your thoughts
on the role of a president once they leave office. specifically how that has changed over time in terms of what they do to make money and live their lives afterward. guest: i think each president is slightly different and the four living presidents that we have are quite different. i think that president carter has taken a role of being in international peacekeeper is someone who brings people -- an international peacekeeper and someone who brings people together and keeps giving service through habitat for humanity and he has written books. he mainly makes his outside income from books, but also a few speeches. not speeches that make $550,000 for one hour like bill clinton does. bill clinton has established his library. they all establish libraries
but he has also established a foundation. carter has a similar foundation, but clintons is very different. it is unique in the sense that is receiving very large payments from corporations, but also foreign nations. that has become an issue when hillary was secretary of state and some of these contributions were coming in the foundation and there was some question by some that there might be a conflict of interest. that has never come up before. george w. bush has become a painter. we all know that he is painting. he made $15 million since he left office. the clintons jointly made $30 million in the last 18 months. host: we want to bring our viewers into this conversation with james thurber of american university. he is director for senator of congressional and presidential studies been he is our guest for
the next half hour of sewer. -- or so. william is an arkansas on the line for republicans. good morning, little brother. caller: as you are aware, the monarch blood or fly -- butterfly is scheduled to go extinct this year. the mexican government shutdown five illegal logging sites. that is mainly because they have massed 10,000 troops on our border. the corps of engineers is killing double-breasted -- double crested comrades on the columbia river. host: we are going to stick to discussion that we are having with james thurber about the effort to change money paid out to ex-president's. we will go to can burn -- laverne in congress, texas. caller: good morning. my concern is that we have these congressmen who come in poor as church must who lead and possibly making more than the president and becoming
multimillionaires and having the audacity to take money under the table or wherever they take it from. then to deny the president of the united states ishis due? these are the same people asking the postal service to fund their own retirement. all we have to do is look at dennis hastert. he came in a teacher in high school and leaves congress as a millionaire and has more than enough to pay a bribe for years and years of millions of dollars. this is ridiculous. host: james thurber, are you hearing this? guest: we have certain rules about leaving congress and becoming lobbyists. there is a one-year cooling off period in the house of representatives. there is many ways around that. he can become a strategic advisor and receive millions of
dollars giving advice to people and not theoretically or in practice under the law be a lobbyists. there is a two years cooling off period in the senate. i mention this because many former members of congress become lobbyists. that is what former speaker dennis has to did. he made millions from the tobacco industry and the oil and gas industry. one wonders about their true feelings about public service. many people stay in congress for a short period of time leave stay in washington, and make lots of money. it is hard to make money in congress, but let me give you one example with mr. hastert. mr. hastert purchase land in illinois around the freeway and then, it is a fact that he put in an earmark, there are no longer allowed anymore, to have an offering off that interstate highway.
the value of the lands went skyhigh. he sold it and made a great deal of money out of that. now that triggered earmark reform on the hill, but that is how he made money while he was still in office. host: one tweet as we have been having this discussion about pregnant -- payment to former presidents. richard writes if x presidents need the money, they should get it. they have ended as far as i'm concerned. the question is why now? is anyone worried about this becoming a political issue in the 2016 election? guest: it is a political issue in the 2016 election. it is an issue now because of hillary and bill clinton making so much money and also receiving almost $2 million with the benefit if you add up the pensions and office space and staff and travel and things. so it is an issue. it will continue to be an issue. i think probably that hillary
clinton as a candidate will have to address this issue also. it is being pushed in the senate in a very partisan way. the house of representatives -- mr. cummings is the ranking member of the committee where this is reported from. it is a bipartisan bill. i think it is likely to move in the house. i do not know how fast it would move in the senate. host: it certainly would impact president obama as he leaves the office. at the white house said anything about these efforts? guest: i've heard nothing from the house. we have fundraising for libraries. we have not talk about that. where former presidents can go to their libraries, they have vast offices and staff funded by corporations and others and individuals to keep those latter is going. that is a whole other dimension of these things. host: virginia beach on the line for independents. go ahead, jose. caller: i find it funny that
they can go and passes laws for presidential pensions, but me as a disabled veteran, i have to go through hell pretty much to get any money at all. there is not even too many bills lately that benefit veterans. i'm trying to figure out what is more important -- either veterans that serve and lose their limbs or have ptsd let myself or presidents who can still make millions without the government paying them? guest: this is exactly what is going to many people's minds in america. where is the justice here when we had people living below the poverty line and not getting adequate health care? they serve our country and they are injured sometimes permanently and we have struggles just to get those benefits up for our warriors in our veterans.
i think this is one of the reasons it will be a major political issue in 2016. is this just?is this fair ? i'm not even getting enough to survive. i think this is a potent issue. host: if you want to join the conversation, questions or comments. question from twitter -- who has been the poorest ex-president? guest: probably mr. truman. he came in very poor. he was in the house of representatives. he did not make a lot of money. he did not make a lot of money in office. he didn't want to. he went to give public service. he went home truly dead broke. hillary said, we are dead broke. they were as broke as harry truman.
you have to go way back. some of the salaries of these presidents, if you average them out to $2012, it is very interesting. in 1909, they had a $7,500 salary that would "let of $1.9 million. -- the equivalent of $1.9 million. you need to keep that in perspective. i think truman is probably the modern times person who can clearly say he was dead broke. host: let us go to eileen waiting in california on the line for independents. good morning. you are on what james thurber. caller: this is my first time getting through to c-span. i agree with james. i think that jimmy carter deserves his pension. he is to this day -- he was
never worried about a lot of money. he was considered a weak president, but his heart and soul was in the right place. i think the president to have a lot of money like the clintons and the bushes do not need their pensions as badly as some of the other presidents. we need to start thinking about when we can start giving back to america. our politicians really need to start getting it together for most americans. i think that 70% of us are not getting represented by this two-party system. until they clean up their act, i do not think we will be. thank you. host: that is california. is anything you want to pick up on from her call? guest: i think people should think of presidents as public servants. when they leave and they make millions of dollars, mr. reagan left office and it was very controversial because he gave one speech in japan for $3 million. thousands you months after he left. that doesn't seem like it is in the public service.
the way mr. carter left office, he really seems and i think it is accurate in giving. he defines himself a giving rather than taking. host: did this happen in the premodern president's era? did we see this from presidents in the early 20th century? guest: i think presidents and the early 20 century and before that were independently wealthy before the gotten to office. they were not that concerned to grab as much money when they got out. they do not have the phenomenon of writing a popular book. some of this income -- finally dollars of income for the clintons in the last 18 months was from hillary books. that is a new phenomenon. carter writes books also, but they are not the same kind of books. they are theological. there are about fishing and things like this. they sell a lot also, but i think he does it because of a love of writing rather than
trying to enhance his income. host: in the history of writing a book, there was a famous book written by former president ulysses s. grant that he finished just before he died. was there a president who wrote a book before that? guest: i'm sure there were, but i cannot answer that. i'm sorry. host: cheryl is in st. petersburg, florida. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. thank you so much for taking my call and thank you so much for enlightening more of the public as to all of the corruption, the revolving door, the stories of the presidents and all the money they collect afterwards. well, it is a degrees. -- a disgrace. how about the congressional people who have become lobbyists? are they still collecting huge amounts of money while they lobby? thank you. guest: members of congress have
a prorated pension that is related to the number of years that they have spent on the hill. on average, it is about $40,000 a year. but many members of congress stay here and be in the advocacy business. that means they are lobbying sometimes when they are not federally registered lobbyists. and they can make quite a bit of money. there are those who have left and headed the pharma, for example,. billy tauzin did this and left and made millions of dollars. americans are concerned if there is a conflict of interest in this revolving door because they are thinking about a job before they leave. now there are rules where you have to recuse yourself from any action on the hill that is
related to someone wanting to hire you. you have to go to the ethics committee to do that. it is a hard thing to do when you have a lot of friends and powerful friends and all you have to do is say, hey, i am leaving and it would be nice talk to you about something dealing with electricity or water or whatever. host: issues that they have spent years of their life studying and voting on legislation. guest: when they are committees of jurisdiction, they're not going to cut off those relationships. they are cashing in on knowing the process and knowing the issue, but also knowing the network of people who deal with this. and america is upset about this. in 2007, there was an ethics and lobbying bill being pushed by then senator obama. they were not enforcing it adequately in terms of the revolving door and conflict of interest.
host: we are talking with james thurber, the director of congressional and presidential studies. we are talking about this effort by congress to try to cut this federal funding for ex-presidents and the benefits they have received. to give you a sense of the scope of the money that we are talking about, this number from the fiscal times. the total amount spent on all former president and their spouses from 1998 through 2012 is about $52.3 million. big money we are talking about here. paul is up next in montana on the line for democrats. paul, good morning. caller: i would like to ask you a very simple question. where does this idea come from to cover ex-presidents after they leave office and the families and stuff? where did this idea come from? is it in the constitution? guest: it is not in the constitution. the constitution designates the
power of congress to designate salaries of congress and pensions. they came primarily from when mr. chairman left office -- mr. truman left office and he was struggling because he spent $30,000 answering letters. he had to do it out of his own pocket. that is when it started. host: that would be the 1958 former president act. when the terms used in that act was that money would be used to help "maintain the dignity" of the office of the president. guest: that is exactly right. the caller has a good point. it is not in the constitution but the power of the persons in the constitution with congress. that money cannot be spent unless it is authorized and appropriated by congress. if people have problems with this, they should push congress to do something about it. host: joe's on a line for independents. good morning. caller: gentlemen, i find this
conversation pretty amazing. if they did chances law, all past presidents would be grandfathered into getting all the stuff that they are getting. ok, if you change the law now, i see it as no -- i don't know what word you would use. no coincidence that we are just about to have our first black president and maybe our first woman president elected. and now the white racist conga's wants to eliminate any pensions for the black guy in the woman -- congress wants to illuminate any pensions for the black guy and a woman. he had no problems as long as it was a white guy getting all these benefits. the key issue in this country is displayed and racism -- this
blatant racism that is just astounding at times and this is one of those times. you need to see it for what it is. host: james thurber, is there any member of congress who has brought back that up in this debate? guest: let me clarify it is reducing expenses when they leave. at elijah cummings, and was african-american, is ranking on the committee and has given quite a moving speech about this. i don't think elijah was thinking about this as a way to go after the president simply because he is african-american. host: and if some of these changes are enacted, they would apply to all presidents. there is no grandfather clause for current ex-president, there?
-- is there? guest: many times, bills are retroactive, but i think this would be a bill that would be grandfathering in everyone that now get these things. host: it would apply to everybody. guest: right. let me clarify, i think this bill does apply to all living president. host: right. mica, good morning. caller: i just want to make a comment. all of these guys, always presidents when they get out of office you said the get a 400,000 of her benefit. i am on social security disability. i make $1500 per month. my income above that is $2000. i have to wait to get medicare. every year, congress and the president, they always try to cut back on medicare and the
benefits. i think you should consider a flat rate for everyone. host: mike in jonesboro arkansas. do you want to pick up on anything there? guest: he makes a good point. let's go on to another one. host: nick, good morning. caller: i think you need to expand your thinking process a little bit beyond the presidents and look at everybody in politics. you constantly hear about them wanting to cut back like the previous caller said, social security, medicare, everything else, but they never talk about themselves. i would like you to put out a figure on how much us taxpayers pay out on all the politicians as a whole. how much do they collect from the taxpayer dollar per year? i believe in serving the country, not ripping them off. guest: i don't have that figure
off the top, but every year it is of -- it is available for the senate. it also breaks it down for salaries and pensions and medical -- medical benefits. it's a significant figure. host: and the former payout -- the total payout for former president can i can give you that figure. for reagan, in fiscal 2014 for nancy reagan, just under $14 million. you were, you get paid, not a volunteer job. guest: $3.5 million in pensions and other benefits. for their offices, paying for secretaries, answering metals -- answering letters.
and now we have the internet and it's a little cheaper -- host: and nancy breaking news use some of that for postage. guest: right, and now it is a little cheaper with the internet. host: next color, go ahead. caller: a quick question and a comment. what is the salary of the current president? and my comment, the president while they are in office, i can imagine there will be tremendous pressure and is a very stressful situation. they earn their pension, so i
don't think we should be [indiscernible] guest: the current salary is 400,000 dollars establishing 2000 one. before that, it was $200,000 a year. but if you take 2012 and look at it in $2012, that was $1.2 million in 1959 in terms of $2012. yes, it's a lot of -- in terms of the dollars of 2012. yes, it's a lot of stress. after they leave office, if they are giving speeches and cashing in on the fact that they had this job and they are making millions i think many people think that there should be a discount in the amount of money that is given them for expenses not pension, but expenses. i think it's going somewhere in the house of representatives. it may go through the senate.
host: do any of the benefits that you been talking about not a lie if -- not apply if a president resigned from office? there are some questions on twitter about how president nixon used these funds. guest: if you resign, he still get them, but if you are impeached, you do not. host: but go to die in -- let's go to diana in wisconsin, a democrat. caller: good morning and think for taking my call. i do think it should be discussed, but i do not trust the congress that we currently have. they are very partisan and they are not going to vote in the best interest of anybody but themselves. most the people in congress that are out in these days that are -- you've got most of the people in congress that are out in these states that are creating
havoc. they are taking away our pensions. i would rather see congress take up issues that the people in the united states care about and have been waiting for them to take up and do their job. guest: i have a book calling all -- coming up called "american gridlock" about these issues. it's highly partisan, i grew with the collar. and it's deadlocked, so they are not dealing with some of the most important issues. if you rank the issues important to america right now, this is not one of them. it will be things like immigration, the debt and the deficit, tax reform, education policy, giving more power to the states or not. but there gridlock. very few members vote together. we got a blossoming of bipartisanship on a couple of issues recently, maybe trade is one of them. it's grim. therefore the american people rank congress at 14.1% on doing
a good or else any job. -- good or outstanding job. it was 12% at one time. host: so it has gone up. guest: yes. host: let's go to michael in texas. good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to comment on something that you answer just a moment ago about whether when they get impeached they don't collected. what if there is another reason, they don't carry out their full storm -- full-term, let's say, a medical condition where the they cannot do their job, something like that? do they still get that after the fact? of a still qualified? guest: if they are alive and if
they are in a medical condition where they cannot function, they still receive this. the only way they would not receive it is if they were impeached. and that came up during a time when there was an impeachment proceeding going forward against nixon. there was a law that was passed at that point. by the way, members of congress do not get their pensions either they have been convicted of a felony. and there are couple that has happened to. host: let's focus on one of the other benefits, annual money for office spaces. in fiscal 2014, here are some of the numbers. the total for former president carter about $109,000. for george h $179,000. for former president clinton $118,000. and for former george w. bush
$114,000. that is one of the benefits that we are talking about here in this segment of the washington journal with kames thurber of american university. on the republican line, richard good morning. are you with us this morning? caller: can you hear me ok? host: yes. caller: when i look at it, all of these guys running for office, they say, you know, they are going to be public servants. but the money they make, they are not servants. they are more like our owners. it's the way congress gets its raise every year. it's done automatically at 12:00 midnight. unless someone stands up and
says we don't get a raise but if he stands up and says that you will never get a bill passed because he will be ostracized. the money they make is atrocious. host: do you think that specifically for this funding for former president that congress should vote every year actively on whether they should provide this funding or not and if they did that, do you think that would get caught up in the politics of the moment? caller: absolutely. when it comes to money, that seems to be there driving ambition to make as much as a can -- as they can in their lifetime. if i greet has taken over the whole country. -- it is like greed has taken over the whole country. that is just the way it is. guest: the president is a flat $400,000 and it has been that way since it was established and it has not indexed to cost of living.
just to make that clear. in terms of congress and the members, i think there is great variation. they come to the place with moderate backgrounds and leave that way. but we don't hear about them. we are about those who make a lot of money or have some controversy associated with them. i know this is not popular, but i think most of them are hard-working stop they are not -- hard-working. they are not in it for the money. some are and many stay here to become lobbyists, which i think is a conflict of interest. but the vast majority do not make a lot of money while they are in office. host: dime for just a couple more calls. patton in and dale, virginia. caller: good morning. i heard hillary clinton say she is not driven a car since 1992. the secret service is driving them around, and i don't mind of
protection, but here we have a candidate for presidential office going all over the country, staying in hotels, all kinds of expenses because of what will be a billion-dollar campaign. and yet my we are the chauffeurs -- and yet, we are the chauffeurs under the guise of protecting her. i think those campaigns should pay for the secret service protection. host: --guest: it's an interesting point. the secret service has a tough job protecting the former president and president's wives also candidates. and they are calculating who are viable candidates and who should have secret service protection. when it comes to the republican party, there are so many of them and that is very expensive. i have talked to the secret service about this and they have come up with a way to calculate when and how they should protect them -- not how, but when they
should do it. and they have to redeploy people from all over the world sometimes to do this. and it's very expensive. but you don't want to have candidate, like george wallace shot. you don't want anybody killed. it's on their watch and they are very concerned about it will stop whether the campaign should pay for that, that's very complex. it's an interesting idea. i'm sure the secret service would like to have more funds coming in to cover this. host: we will certainly watch what is going on with that legislation as it moves through congress. we hope to have you back again. james thurber is the director of american cities. you can check it out online. we appreciate your time. and today is officially the start of the 2015 hurricane
season and we will talk about the hurricane forecast in the next segment of washington journal and how the federal government distributes moneys to state who suffer natural disasters. that is coming up next. ♪ >> tonight on the communicators jean kimmelman and harold for scott-rot on time warner cable. >> we would love to have more competition. hardly anyone has broadband providers wireless providers are bit, but they cannot provide the video streaming that you get for your cable -- from your cable.
the question is, where do you get more competition? the competition is coming over that same wire. it is the aim company control into parts of the service. one of them is the tv package and the other is your broadband service. a lot of companies want to provide to both and they want to provide new services and packages of services. the cable company has an incentive to favor its own bundled service. i think law enforcement will have to just make sure there is no unfair benefit to cable through this consolidation. >> lots of americans, particularly those under 30, had cut the wire. they don't have either a cable subscription and they don't have a telephone wired's obstruction. they are purely wireless and they get the broadband they want. these are not broadband illiterate people. they are quite broadband sophisticated. and you have new companies coming online to compete with
wireless broadband offerings. the idea that there's any sort of market power or monopoly power in this industry right now is very difficult to understand. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the communicators on c-span2. this summer, book tv will cover book festivals from around the country in top nonfiction authors and books. this weekend, we are alive for the chicago tribune printers row with that with pulitzer prize winning author lawrence wright and your phone calls. new the end of june, watch for the annual roosevelt reading festival for the president roosevelt presidential library. and in the middle of harlem, the book fair. and at the beginning of september, we are live from the nation's capital from the national book festival
celebrating its 15th year. those are a few of the event this summer on c-span's book tv. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress with color photos of every senator and house ever, plus i/o and contact -- plus bio and contact information, twitter handles district maps, and a foldout map of capitol hill. order your copy today. is $13.95 plus shipping and handling through the c-span online store at www.c-span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: today marks the start of the 2015 hurricane season and we're joined by dr. richard now by phone, the nation's top hurricane forecaster. dr. knabb thank you for being
with us. what are we in for this year guest:? one thing i want people to understand is there's a big difference between what we might or might not see overall. how busy it might be in the goal for the caribbean, and how bad it could be where you live. overall, the most likely scenario will be a below average year, but that does not make me feel any better in terms of what might actually happen or how bad year i need to have seen multiple times below average years with very significant impact. 1992, hurricane andrew was in a below average year overall. 1983 was alicia. i went through that in houston
and there were only four total storms that year, but one major hurricane that year. i prepare every year for hurricane season, because no one can tell you what will be or won't be hit. host: what does a below average year mean in terms of expected numbers, and why is that the prediction this year? guest: one thing driving the seasonal forecast is the phenomena in known as el niño -- the phenomenon known as el niño and that is warming the temperatures in the pacific ocean. it has an effect on the caribbean and atlantic side. all things being equal, you tend to see less hurricane activity on the atlantic side in el niño years. but again, even in the -- with the numbers down, that does not mean that the hurricanes that do form cannot hit land. host: you have been with national hurricane center for about a decade now.
are we getting more accurate in our productions? -- our predictions? guest: this will be my 12 year overall with the center and we have been able to continue reducing the forecast errors with regard to forecasting where the systems are going to go. we have still not made the improvements we would like to see on forecasting intent the. how -- the intensity, how strong the current canes will be -- with forecasting the intensity how strong the hurricanes will be. we do have some enhanced computer forecast models available to us operationally this year. and over the neck several years -- the next several years we are optimistic we will be able to reduce the intensity forecast errors, but there is still a lot of work to do. regardless, i don't think it will be within my career that we will have a perfect forecast.
what we do is also emphasized the importance of communicating the forecast hazards and where they could occur and with enough certainties such that people need to be responding. we have a collection of products and warnings that show you where the wind could occur and where the storms could occur in real time. but the rest forecast, the warnings and the evacuation instructions aced on that information, all of that will not be as good as it could be if individuals do not prepare in advance. we are wanting folks to prepare for what they can do today to get ready for the next hurricane. host: and dr. knabb, before we let you go with have heard you -- we have heard you say you want people to focus less on the category of the storm and more on the individual things that could happen to them. guest: we have seen that years. without a breaking canada --
without a category three or stronger, most of the impact is fatality due to water. storm surge is the biggest killer. that is why i would urge folks to start today by finding out if you live and -- in an evacuation zone. figure out today where you would go and how you would get there is told to evacuate. -- if told to evacuate. host: dr. knabb, we appreciate your time. now we turn to our regular your money segment on "washington journal." we are joined by michael bring back -- michael greenberger. we want to discuss how the federal government gives money to state after national disasters occur. -- natural disasters occur.
with the flooding that happen in texas this past week, can use that as an example to talk about how the money goes to recovery? guest: yes, and i should say first, in a normal nonmajor disaster situation, the way the government is structured, we look first to our local governments to see of they can response. -- can respond. if they cannot respond, then we look to the states. what we have seen in the texas and oklahoma storm situation last week the disaster is beyond the capabilities of the state to deal with within its own personnel. what happened -- what happens with when the state is overwhelmed with the kind of response they saw, they make up
an application for relief funding. the governor declares a state of emergency within the state and the state declares -- prepares an accurate patient -- prepares an application. the president is the one who makes the decision whether or not a major disaster should be declared. and on saturday, president obama did declare a major disaster in those areas. and what that does is make available to those states moneys in the so-called disaster relief fund, which is money appropriated by congress to respond to major disasters. decisions are then made i fema about how much money is needed and how much should be used within those states. host: and this is our weekly your money segment. let's talk about how much money is in that fema disaster fund.
fiscal 2013, $18 billion. that was for some of the recovery efforts after hurricane headed. 13 going dollars in 2012. $45 billion in 2005 with the series of hurricanes katrina rita and wilma. how does fema make a determination for who is eligible to receive those dollars from that fund? guest: the first thing that has to be emphasizes that the president and congress have to make a decision to how much money will be in the fund. that has proven to be a tricky proposition. we saw during superstorm sandy that the fund was deflated. there was a need for supplemental appropriation. it became a political process and eventually $60 billion became appropriated.
2005, 2 thousand six, you have hurricane katrina. 2012 and 2013 you have superstorm standing. it should be -- superstorm sandy. it should be emphasized that in the early years we were talking to bullion dollars to $4 billion in the fund. for hurricane katrina, we had to appropriate $120 billion to respond to that massive disaster , and superstorm sandy, $60 billion. and as dr. knabb said, it would be very hard to predict. he predicts is lower season, but it is difficult because the individual intensities of these dorms -- storms is unpredictable. for example, with oklahoma and texas, the roads are still under water. we don't know what the total needs are going to be of those
three states. there is a question as to whatever money we have in the fund will be enough and if it's not enough, then congress will have to supplement those amounts to make up the difference. and those pieces of legislation have become very controversial. we have the ironic situation for example, for money to be appropriated for superstorm sandy, senator cruz in texas oppose the appropriation. now he is actively seeking and got a declaration from the president because his own state is under serious siege. he offers for his wishing this. -- for distinguishing this. but if anything, the intensity of the disasters, and the frequency of the disasters, are
demonstrating that we will be spending a lot of money in the future and the rate of increase that we have been, for example, since 1990 will continue to increase. host: michael greenberger is our guest in this segment of the "washington journal" talking about funding for disaster relief for fema specifically but we are happy to take your questions and comments as we go through this. republicans -- the numbers are on the screen. we will start on our line for democrats, carol calling in from ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a comment on this federal assistance for texas. it has limited to or three months ago that the texas governor activated the national guard because he got the federal government was going to go after texas. and now, they want money from the federal government. i think they're a bunch of
hypocrites. thank you. host: talking about some of the politics that you were referencing just now. guest: yes i think the lesson that will be learned is no matter how wealthy ace eight is, no matter how -- a state is, no matter how wealthy the individuals in a state are this is a situation where you cannot have a gated community that exempt you from disaster. john donne said, forming the bell tolls, it tolls for the. -- "for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." superstorm sandy indexes and -- from texas and say that on the is goes and that's their problem. because in a couple of years it will be your problem and you
will have to chip in for funding. host: before it got to that debate, some were offering cuts and others voted no. was there much debate over previous disaster relief funds? guest: i think as congress has become more and more partisan over the years and that was with the height of the controversy, over whether money -- one part of the country was affected and the question was whether the rest of the country should be expected to help that part of the country out. that is an oversupply of the situation, but the fact of the matter is, as we are learning when you look at wildfires droughts hurricanes, these are situations that can happen anywhere. and in fact, recently there were the violent protest in baltimore , and the maryland delegation is now asking for disaster relief fund for the money spent to respond to that incident. host: under what authority
question mark this is not a natural disaster. guest: well, they will have a hard time fitting within the definitions of the statute. there is a definition of major disaster that is very broad, but i think you're right. it will be difficult to say this falls within the definition. interestingly enough, wildfires are not within the definition, because those are doubtless -- dealt with by the forest service from a different fund. and there is a movement now to bring wildfires within the definition of major disasters. and the final thing i would say is, the states do not get 100% of their expenses. a typical distribution is the federal government pays 75% and the state pays 25% and the states are increasingly having more difficulty raising their 25%. host: specifically on the
baltimore topic, the hill newspaper. we will go to wilma waiting in alabama, line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, when fema gives money to the state and the state does not distribute that money immediately -- you know, it takes a long time for these people to get help. when their fiscal year rolls around and they still have money in that fund, what happens to it? is that state allowed to put that money into their general fund and use it as they wish to? guest: that's a very good question. the fema disaster relief fund is not expire at the end of the fiscal year. if there are money from a prior year still in fema's bank account, let's say, they can
continue to spend from prior years. and the same is true for the states. in other words, if the money is distributed by fema to the states, the state can continue to use it. but there's another point implicit in your question that is of great concern, which is the states having the power once they get the money to distribute it. and there have been allegations, for example, a new jersey. and i emphasize allegations. that new jersey was playing political games in distributing the money. in other words, where you supporting the governor, and allegations if you didn't. with hurricane katrina, $100 billion taken out of the fund for relief for the coast states. it was later proven by the inspector general reports and
the general accountability office that about $500 billion of that was fraudulently distributed. that is not necessarily mean the states were distributing it fraudulently, but that people are making fraudulent applications for funding. that has created great concern on the hill that too large a percentage of this money has been distributed on a fraudulent basis. host: michael greenberger is the director at the center for health and homeland security. can you talk about your background with these issues? guest: i came to it later in my career. i'm a lawyer by training will stop -- by training. i was within the clinton justice department before the 9/11 attacks, but i got recruited into supervising field exercises that tested the readiness of the cabinet to respond in those days to terror attacks. and after 9/11, most of the
emergency management concerns were responding to terror attacks. after hurricane katrina, the response mechanism was considered all hazards that is to say, what should you do -- what you should do to respond to a terror attack will be the same if you respond to a hurricane evacuations and things of that sort. and with the weather patterns becoming so frequent and intense and huge, much of our attention is focused now on natural disasters. and when i say natural disasters, including that infections -- infectious disease. we have been called upon to give advice concerning ebola. we have different contracts with different levels of government all the way up to the international level. and we provide training and provide contingency plans for emergencies. we do field exercises. and we do that both locally countywide state and when i
leave here today, i am briefing a delegation from can't extend -- kahazakstan. host: on the line for democrats patricia. good morning. caller: what i remember during sandy is that congress was worried about whether or not they were even going to pay the flood insurance money that people were going to take out. can they get away with that? i've been paying for flood insurance every year. i'm confused about whether or not they have to pay out the flood insurance we have taken out. guest: well, you know, every source of federal money has to be accompanied by an appropriation.
for example, let's not talk about flood insurance, but disaster relief and a fundraiser out. and there was concern about whether congress would be able to resuscitate the fund and provide disaster relief. that is true of everything. if congress doesn't appropriate, then no matter what "right" you have, if there is no money to give those benefits, you are in trouble. we see that in pension funds situations today, for example, detroit, where it just ran out of money for its pension funds and a bankruptcy court gave the former's the employees $.15 -- former city employees $.15 on the dollar for pensions. yes, you have insurance, but will the money be there? and that is true in the private sector, too. if you have a company that is not very stable, they could go
bankrupt and that insurance is not worth much. you have to keep your eye on that side of the benefits. host: larry in colorado on the line for independents. caller: i would like to know at you had a disaster like this for instance, katrina, wilma, and rita, you show a larger money -- amount of money available for them. my question is, how long after the disaster is this money available? and is there a time limit that the states have to distribute it? guest: we are still pending dollars on recovery from the katrina, wilma, and rita situation. there is still money appropriated for that. there is no deadline in the sense of once the money is appropriated how long it will take to extend it. obviously, if fema is going to
be ridiculously slow in getting it out to the field, that will be a source of great controversy in congressional oversight. but i think there have been claims that fema can be quicker, or more efficient, in the way they allocate the funds and make sure they are actually used. but by and large my think there has been satisfaction with the way that has been handled. host: and by the way, there is controversy of both overpayments from fema funds and underpayments from fema funds. can you explain why does hard to get it just right? guest: fema is dependent on the data of the damage that is being done. -- has been done. if the data is no good or for instance, if it is padded, or to
just cannot be an accurate assessment, you may end up giving out much more money than was actually needed. on the side of having too little money, that is probably more a case of the applicants not adequately documenting what they need or making a correct estimate as to what their needs are. but you are quite right, in this scenario there are complaints all over the place. it is interesting that senator coburn from oklahoma, who is chair of the watchdog committee has just recommended that the funding for disasters be tightened up. and he second i come from oklahoma. oklahoma is one of the big beneficiaries of disaster relief funds. and he made the argument that it has to be made more carefully and can be made smaller with efficiencies. this is an active sort of debate on the hill. host: let's go to paul in
indiana. on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i was a federal auditor for about 20 years and the argument over that 60 billion dollars was not over the amount that went for relief. that was to protect for a future event and the -- about 75% at nothing to do with it. you have to be careful when talking about this money. thank you. guest: well, first of all, it's
appropriate for moneys to be spent in disaster relief fund. i would say that protection is not for a one in 50 years storm. i would say these storms are coming faster and faster and are more intense and i think the whole southern aspect was affected. host: are these known as federal disaster mitigation grants? guest: yes exactly. host: and there is concern about climate change planning in order to get these benefits. can you talk about that?
guest: there is controversy over whether climate change exists or is caused by climatology. from our own lives we can see this coming more frequently. things are likely to get worse in the future. for those who believe there is no climate change, or that it cannot be controlled or that it's a human occurring event there's less and that prorating funds in anticipation of climate change activities. but i think the predictions by climatologists are that the
oceans are going to rise and what was beachfront property may be part of the ocean in 20 to 40 years. that is why this pro attention. but this is not behind us. we will face things on a regular basis, and the federal dollars as i said can let look back to 1990, $2 billion would have done it. if you look at hurricane sandy $60 billion was used. it is true as one of the collars said when you have filibusters to get the motion through, there was some money sprinkled around. but most of that was for hazard mitigation. i would argue it was appropriately -- it will pay off in the future by making future disasters less damaging. but it's true that there were
amounts spent within their to get votes. and not only were their amounts struggled in their to get votes, but senator cruz now says that the reason he opposed sandy was that they were too many irrelevancies in the statute chair of picking -- cherry picking different statutes that had nothing to do with the disaster. and he says he based his vote against the relief on that. of course, the money probably need now hopefully is within the disaster relief fund and it will not be a need for a supplemental appropriation. but as i said earlier, we don't have a good estimate now of what the damage was in texas and oklahoma. host: we are talking about disaster relief in our we reopen your money" and meant -- in our weekly "your money" segment. we are talking with michael greenberger. terry, go ahead. caller: good morning everyone in the united states. host: caller: go ahead. can you hear me?
--host: go ahead. caller: can you hear me? host: yes, sir, go ahead. caller: i have a document that talks about tests on minor -- on marijuana because doctors have patience that have seizures. it helps them get away from the seizures more than ever before. host: we will hold off on the marijuana debate for just a bit. we want to stick with the natural disaster funding since we have our expert michael greenberger with us. john, good morning. caller: good morning. the gentleman is right. there was a lot of stuff in that bill and there was a lot of noise made about ted cruz voting against it. i was looking at hr 152 and they had money and therefore construction that had nothing to
do with hurricane sandy. it was the smithsonian, and fish and wildlife things. they had funding for the epa which didn't have anything to do with sandy. if one looks at just the vast amounts of stuff other than the purely paying for damage in the area of hurricane say become i think i would have voted against the darn thing to. -- too. when i hear comment like our guest made about the scientists, i'm always looking at this list of who those scientists are by name and what their qualifications are. it is easy to say that all sizes agree. -- all scientists agree. but i really don't think they do. if we can come up with an official government list of the site is and what they say about
man-made global climate change i would be the first one to maybe believe in it, but right now i'm kind of go. host: michael greenberger, i will a you jump in. guest: for my purposes, not going to take on the burden of whether climate change is caused by human activity or not. what we know is, there is a heavy consensus that there is climate change. candidate jeb bush said recently there is climate change. he disputed the certainty of whether or not it is caused by humans. if there is climate change, whatever its cause, it is causing much more frequent and intense and damaging weather events, whether it be hurricane superstorm's, tropical depressions, while flyers, drought -- wildfires droughts you name it, we are experiencing it. if you talk to the city or state
emergency managers, they will tell you 20 years ago, and emergency came up maybe two or three times a year at most. now most of those emergency managers are facing things that come up once a month or sooner. and remember, you can have an emergency in a city or county that doesn't rise to the level of a major disaster, which the president allows federal funds for. but it can be within a community a serious incident that requires a response, and either city or state taxpayer money will be used for it. talk to an emergency manager anywhere in the country and they will tell you that they've got their hands full and they are underfunded and under resourced. and then you put on top of it ebola, which is a potentially deadly worldwide disease, and governments are -- in terms of
facing crises with terrorism aside, is an overwhelming responsibility that unfortunately citizens only see when they are directly affected. but there is a lot of work being done when there is very little money appropriated for it. and with regard to superstorm sandy, and you need to get 60 votes in the senate because people are making filibusters, deals have to be truck. -- have to be struck. but if you look at the legislation, yes there was money that may be did not go to responding to or mitigating disasters, but the overwhelming amount of money was directed that way. host: on our newsmakers program this past weekend, we talked to the nation's top emergency manager, fema administrator craig few gate was our guest. he talked about what keeps him up at night.
here's a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> you take any area with a lot of people with a lot of traffic congestion, and that will be a problem area. in the new jersey-new york area, that is some of the highest density, so again come a very challenging area. but the areas that have not been hit with hurricanes in a long time also have challenges. one is in virginia in the hamptons roads -- canton roads region. -- the hampton roads region. there are a lot of people who tended to think they did not have a hurricane problem, but it is an area where you have to evacuate. that is what is so critical to take the time now as we go into hurricane season to find out if you live in evacuation zone.
not everyone realizes it's not just along the coast. often times will have flooding well lived -- well inland because of canals and flooding at the bays. water coming into an urban area can cause tremendous determined -- tremendous disruption in an area where people have lived their whole lives and never seen anything like it. host: to watch the full interview, go to www.c-span.org. that was last sunday's newsmakers program. your thoughts on these scenarios? guest: the ministry at her was absolutely correct. if superstorm sandy -- the administrator was absolutely correct. if superstorm sandy had been 200 miles to the south, it would have impacted maryland and delaware, etc.. we would have the same problems.
nobody knew where it was going to land. we were very lucky. we dodged a bullet. and as the administrator said, you cannot sit there saying to yourself, oh, this is somebody else's problem. within a series of years it will be your problem will stop -- your problem. host: visit is waiting in tulsa on the line for republicans. vincent, good morning. caller: as far as on the beach in california were this oil pipe lou up and spread, how much money would you give -- that blew up and spread, how much money would you give to that? guest: i don't think it has been declared a federal disaster, but i'm not up to date on that. host: let's go to george in frostburg, maryland, line for independents. caller: good morning, gentlemen.
you have been too nice to some of these politicians. i would like to suggest to you like ronald reagan and abraham lincoln used to do. they could take a complex idea and put it across to the average american in ways they could understand. those congressional politicians from those districts have to respond to people around the country. why don't they go to these corporate bosses that they are taking money from the taxpayers to? host: getting into the political debate. guest: i think an example, and whether senator cruz has an adequate explanation for voting
against the funding or not, i will leave that to the side. but i think the people on the southwestern states thought the sandy was any coast problem, and then three years later it is a southwest problem. i think this lesson is being learned. and i think the lesson will be learned very quickly that these disasters -- and we talked about protecting the new york city harbor from overflow. it's a one in 50 years thing, but it's not one in 50 years. it's going to be one in three years, one in four years. and there's a good chance that however high they build it, it will not be high enough. and i think the country has to acclimate itself to the pressures we are under. host: we hear so often about hurricane disaster planning and worse want. is there a next frontier in your
mind for federal disaster? there have been stories in the papers recently about train derailment and oil train derailment with the uptake of -- the uptake of oil carrying around the country. guest: that is an interesting example with trains derailing filled with oil or dangerous chemicals. it's a problem. and who's wrong -- whose responsibility to respond to that? it's the emergency management responders. let me be quick to say that a lot of the lack of funding here is because we are increasingly as a policy matter trying to soften the tax burden on our wealthiest citizens. and a lot of the shortfall in the money available to respond to floods, hurricanes, wild
fires, oil spills, comes from the fact that our tax base is historically low and it is penny wise and pound foolish. when you are paying your taxes and looking for government services, part of the government services when anything goes wrong, your fire police, and emergency managers, you expect them to be there asap. they are only going to be there asap if there is money for them. and the only way there is money for them is revenues generated on the tax base. host: with a lower than expected storm season, is there money freed up to deal with some of these other potential disasters? guest: i think dr. knabb had it exactly right. you cannot take comfort from a less than usual hurricanes -- hurricane season because they cannot predict the damage from
these hurricanes. i think there is a better than 50-50 chance that by the time hurricane season is over -- superstorm sandy was in october, 2012. we will have state declaring emergencies for the disaster relief fund. the chances are, whatever is there will not be enough. host: michael greenberger is the director for the center for health and homeland security at the university of maryland. you can follow them on twitter. we appreciate your time this morning. guest: thank you. host: and that is our show on this monday, june 1. we will see you back here tomorrow morning at evan :00 a.m. eastern 4:00 a.m. -- 7:00 a.m. eastern 4:00 a.m. pacific. have a great day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> another republican expected to join the race. south carolina governor lindsey graham will be denied to public and to join and the sixth senator to declare his intention to seek the republican presidential nomination. we'll have live coverage from central, south carolina, it is scheduled to begin in 30 minutes, 10:30 eastern time. today on capitol hill, both the house and senate are in session. legislative works are at 2:00. eight bills are on the calendar including ones protecting international antiquities. another one dealing with native american children.