tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 1, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT
yes, black lives, like all lives do count. we've introduced the act to develop a national strategy to cut poverty in half in the next decade. this bill would lift more than 22 million americans out of poverty, into the middle class in just the next 20 years, by doubling down and coordinating proven anti-poverty programs. the congressional black caucus also took a stand on poverty in its alternative budget proposal. we called for robust investments in education, infrastructure and affordable housing, programs that would ensure opportunity for all. we must keep up this fight until congress makes these long overdue investments. we need to strengthen the social safety net and invest in proven anti-poverty programs such as the earned income tax credit and the supplemental nutrition assistance program. these were initiatives begun 50 years ago under president lyndon johnson's great society programs and they are working. .
that's why we are co-sponsors and proud to be co-sponsors of h.r. 122 the original living wage act sponsored by al green which raises the minimum wage and congressman bobby scott's raise the wage act would increase the minimum wage by $12. 35 million americans would benefit. we wrote a letter urging the president to adopt a fair chance hiring policy at the federal level for individuals who had been previously incarcerated. a fair chance hiring policy would level the playing field and stop the spike of recidivism. the federal government should not put up barriers for those trying to rebuild their lives.
finally, i'm saying tonight and all of us are saying we need to give families the opportunity on build wealth and live the american dream. we can end poverty not just in the african-american community but the entire united states as a hole. as dr. king said in his "true america" speech in april 14 in 1968, he said, we must come to see the social progress nofere rose on the wills of the ineff built but on the persistent work of dedicated individuals. we must work for the social progress that is so desperately needed. when you look at the analysis of the economy, job opportunities, educational opportunities in the african-american opportunity, we must win this fight, because the
zpwaps and disparities are too great, because only then will america be strong. we have to remember that we are a country where everyone is equal under the law. and in fact when you have communities with such horrible statistics as we are laying out tonight, such horrible economic and educational gaps, our country is not as strong as it could be. we want liberty and justice for everyone. all lives matter, including black lives. mrs. watson coleman: thank you for your insight and you right. ms. kelly: we have to give every young family and child arp chance and we will see it the bills brought to the floor in a positive way.
it is my pleasure and honor to call to the floor and influence congressman jeffries from the great state of new york. thank you, that keem. mr. jeffries: i thank my good friend robin kelly for yielding for her generous introduction and good friend and classmate, donald payne co-anchoring this special order and i want to acknowledge the presence of distinguished representative barbara lee for her eloquence. i count it an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to come to the house floor to participate in this special order hour, this c.b.c. hour of power co-anchored by the
dynamic duo of d. payne and r. kelly. we appreciate their continued involvement, eloquence and leadership in helping tore articulate for the american people as part of this conversation we are able to have periodically, the issues of great importance to the african-american community, but issues that i believe are of great important tabsance to the greater american community. poverty is an issue that impacts . congressman kelly represents the city of new york and even though the zip codes for those for those municipalities may be different, issues of lack of
economic opportunity, of course are largely the same and far too many people do not robustly have an opportunity to pursue the american dream. in a manner that is consistent with america that is supposed to be a place where if you just work hard and stay on the right path, have an opportunity to lift yourself up out of the station that you may have been born into in life but we know unfortunately that race seems to play a role in that capacity to play yourself up by your boot straps. while one in three whites who find themselves born into poverty have the ability, it appears, to elevate themselves out of it. and those numbers are only one
in five african-americans have the capacity to lift themselves out of an impoverished condition. why is that the case? something that we need to be able to explore, because regardless of race, it should be a matter of fact here in america that everyone's got a chance to be able to provide for their families to live a middle-class lifestyle. the interesting thing that i found upon my arrival here at the congress that issues related to congress shouldn't be a black issue or a white issue a democratic issue or republican issue. it shouldn't be an urban issue or rural issue it's an american issue. and in fact, when you look at what has been defined as
persistently poor counties counties where 20% of the population have been below the federal poverty line for 30 or more years that more of those persistently poor counties are actually represented in this wonderful body by republicans than are democrats. so for the life of me, i haven't been able to figure out why we haven't been able to deal with the problem of poverty in america. this isn't some narrow constituent issue that those of us in the congressional black caucus happen to have and our friends on the other side of the aisle aren't experiencing in terms of the people they represent. this is an issue that needs to be addressed by everybody. i'm hopeful that we as we stand on this house floor and stand
here that we can begin with these issues, like, for instance, giving americans a raise. why we would endorse a policy, a minimum wage standard that means you with work full-time, 52 weeks a year, 40 hours a week and still when raising a family of three or four, live below the federal poverty line. why aren't we making work pay in america? now we're seeing that places like los angeles, that recently raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour are leading the way. brandeis once said that state government, local government, are laboratories of democracy and the house is more like the lion's den of democracy.
but it seems to me -- we should be able to figure out commonsense solutions with the economic problems that face every day americans, like investing in research and development. invsing in education and job training. investing in technology and innovation. investing in transportation and infrastructure. investing in the american worker in a way that makes sense. because the deck has been stacked against them. the african-american worker or the individual within the african-american community that is desperately trying to seek work -- and we are suffering from double-digit unemployment in this recovery when other
communities seem to have been able to get back on track and our unemployment numbers are still higher than the collective number during the great recession, that's a scandal. we should all have a problem with that. but the debt -- deck is generally stacked against the american worker since the early 1970's. the productivity has increased in excess of 2775%. american workers have been more productive over the last 40-plus years. and during that same time period wages have increased less than 10%. they have remained stagnant and the deck is stacked. the increased productivity has gone to the privileged few and we have seen it continue during this recovery where stock market
is way up, c.e.o. compensation is way up but people in the african-american community and others, are still struggling to be able to recover from the devastating impact that the collapse of the economy had on our community and on many communities throughout america. i want to thank my good friends for raising the issue for once again standing before the american people to address this great issue of significance. we were in recess over the last few days, back at home, spread across the country. but now we are here to come back for four consecutive weeks and i'm hopeful we can deal with a laser-like focus the problems facing the consistently poor and those who are in the middle class or those trying to become
part of the great middle class and with that, i yield to my good friend from the great state of illinois. ms. kelly: thank you so much. great words well words thought out and so meaningful. i appreciate your comments. with that, i would like to turn it over to the woman from the great state of ohio, my colleague my freshman colleague and now sophomore colleague, congressman beatty. mrs. beatty: thank you to my colleague, the the gentlewoman from illinois and my colleague, the gentleman from new jersey. i want to thank the congressional black caucus this evening for holding this special order hour focusing on the economy and job opportunities in our community. i know tonight that we will
speak to america and to the folks in this chamber talking about the issues that evolve around the economy and jobs and how it affects african-americans. i want to join my colleagues tonight and talk about those things that get in the way when we talk about ourl education system who -- when we talk about the young african-americans going to prison, when we talk about the cost of higher education, mr. speaker. but i also want to say thank you, thank you to the universities for educating african-americans. i want to say thank you to those african americans who are in positions to help spur the economy and having an african-american in the white house. that's because along the way there has been hope and
opportunity. so before i talk about those things who get in the way, i want to make sure we send a message to a 12-year-old boy in my district, to a freshman in college, to individuals like my young nephew and my nieces and grandchildren, that there will be hope and opportunity, because there are members in this chamber and members in the congressional plaque caucus that will come and stand up and build that hope and opportunity to make a difference, because we will come with resolve. tonight, i want to share that while much has changed for african-americans since the 1963 march on washington, one thing has not changed. the unemployment rate among blacks is about double that among whites as it has been for almost the past six decades.
mr. speaker, the current unemployment rate for african-americans is 9.6%. this is nearly twice the 4.7% unemployment rate for white americans. although the national unemployment rate has continued to decline since 2008, a significant race gap still remains. african-americans are almost three times more likely to live in poverty than white americans. african-americans like all americans, want economic mobility. access to high wages. the ability to support themselves and their families in a middle class lifestyle while earning wages to allow for the accumulation of wealth. to move forward in creating economic opportunities in the african-american community we must remain focused. focused as the members of the
congressional black caucus are on how we can bridge the divide in our society and how we can bring our nation close toringt. it is well established in the fact that students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color in detention suspension, and even being expelled. african-american students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. black and hispanic students, mr. speaker, represent more than 70% of those in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. african-americans make up two fifths and hispanics one fifth of confined youth today. disparities are found not only in how we punish behavior in our schools, but also how we fund education. this is true in k through 12 and
it is also true with higher education. while we know that a college degree is a path to a middle class life african-americans are less likely to obtain education beyond high school than white students, and they are less likely to earn a degree. for those african-american college students who are able to make it to graduation, after graduating they graduate with more student debt than white students. continued federal and state cuts to tuition assistance, grant programs, work-study opportunities continue to threaten african-american access to a better education. we must confront these injustices head on. we have an obligation to find real solutions to these problems that have plagued our communities for generations. we must promote policies that
increase the pace of job creation, expand opportunities for long-term unemployed to re-enter the work force. we must provide incentives for businesses to hire and make investments in revitalizing schools infrastucktures, and our neighborhoods. like we -- infrastructures and our neighborhoods, like we did 50 years ago, as we were in selma, we must continue to do that again today. we must continue to stand arm in arm so we can bring an end to the disparities that hold our hardworking families back from achieving the middle class dream and the dreams of all americans that we all should be equal mr. speaker. again, to my colleagues, thank you for holding this special order hour. thank you for working with the members of the congressional black caucus and all of our colleagues so we can move
forward and not have the disparities that you've heard about tonight. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. ms. kelly: thank you congresswoman beatty and your words and your insight as well as our other colleagues that have shared this evening with us tonight. we really really appreciate it and we hope when we come back next year this time we see some improvement and not have to talk about the same things over and over and over. we you know we've heard from back from 1968, some of the same statistics and here we are so many years later still having to talk about the same things. so we hope to see progress toward this economic stability for the african-american family. we've heard from my colleagues some staggering statistics. the story is even more disconcerting for our nation's youth. workers 19 years old and younger are finding it more difficult than ever to find quality after
school and summer employment. the unemployment rate for white youth age 16 to 19 stands at 14.5%. again, roughly half that of their black teenage counterparts who have an unemployment rate of 27.5%. over one in four black teenagers are looking for work are unable to find it. over one in four. this is simply unacceptable. as a nation, we must do more to invest in underserved communities and provide opportunities for self-empowerment and growth for our nation's youth. denying african-american teens a summer job could cause them to miss out on a lifetime of opportunities and experiences. many high school students use the summer months to work and put money aside for college, but there are no jobs to be found mr. speaker -- if there are no jobs to be found, many students will be denied the opportunity to attend college and will forever be shut out from the
many opportunities -- and will forever be shut out also from the many jobs that require a college degree. with college graduates earning an average of $45,000 per year compared to those with only a high school diploma earning an average of $28,000 per year, lacking a college degree can set noncollege graduates up for a lifetime of economic difficulties and frustrations. that's almost $1 million in lost wages over the course of a lifetime. i have been working in my district to connect employees with eager young -- employers with eager young employees. in april i hosted my second annual youth employment summit where local youth ages 15 to 24 could connect with area companies. many were hired on the spot and even more were scheduled interviews were jobs and internships this summer. but job fairs alone are not the answer, mr. speaker. as a nation, we need increased investment in job training,
infrastructure investment, and community development. in the long run, any economic growth that doesn't allow for full participation of all americans, including those traditionally marginalized like minorities and young people, will not be sustainable. our economy must work for everyone, not just a select few. continuing to leave underserved communities behind will only perpetuate and expand the great disparities and wealth between american citizens and continue to breed a cycle of poverty, violence, and a sense of helplessness in these communities. reinvesting in our nation's youth and our nation's minority communities is not only vital to our country's economic health but to its public health as well. lack of economic opportunity leads to violence, and violence only perpetuates a lack of economic opportunity. the two go hand in hand. if not addressed, it will create a downward spiral preventing
any positive growth for our nation's youth and disadvantaged communities. mr. speaker tomorrow we will recognize the first annual national gun violence awareness day. like many of my colleagues, i will wear orange. orange is the color hunters wear to alert their companions of their presence to avoid being shot. it is a warning color. orange screams, don't shoot too many of my young -- too many of my young constituents often feel they have to wear orange while walking down their block on chicago's south side. in fact, tomorrow is pendleton's birth di, she was shot while playing in a park. nothing stops a bullet like a job this esurest way to decrease violence and increase economic prosperity is to expand access to jobs and education. at this time i'd like to yield back to my colleague from new
jersey congressman donald payne. mr. payne: i'd like to thank the gentlelady from illinois and also the gentlelady from ohio for joining us this evening. her thoughts and comments are always salient and to the point. we appreciate her supporting us in this effort. the sophomores have to stick together and it's just always a delight for me to be able to hear what ms. beatty has to say in terms of the topics we discussed. she's demonstrated true leadership in the c.b.c. since her arrival. mr. speaker, this is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. there are many issues, mr. mottos many sayings that go
along with this nation. and one of them is that all men are created equal. but why do we continue to find such gaps in all people being created equal in the circumstances some communities find themselves in. like anyone young african-americans would like -- would like to grow up educated well, raise their families and eke out an income that sustains them. and creates a quality of life that all people deserve. but that doesn't happen. we have the haves and have nots. the 99% and the 1%.
and too often, it seems like that is what our nation is built on. sure, we talk about equality. we talk about equal rights. but for some reason, in many instances it just doesn't seem to fit the circumstance. wages for working people have stagnated, as my colleague from new york said, over 15 years. but we watched the top 1% make more and more money. their quality of life is something people would dream about. to hear about in fairy tales. but no some people are living that well, while others struggle every single day. and what would it be in a nation if we were held to these
different virtues these different mottos, these different sayings? it would mean, mr. speaker, that people needing food stamps wouldn't be going up. that's not something people look forward to. that's a last-ditch effort to feed their family. that's -- that's desperation. that's not something, a goal to aspire to. too many times we feel that people in this country that have not made it or have found it difficult to be successful, well, they're just not doing what they need to do. there's systemic structural circumstances in this nation that keep people from attaining success. and until we deal with those
issues, we will continue to see what we see. and let me just say that, why wouldn't we want more people to have prosperity? why wouldn't we want more people to be doing well? that means they're paying into the system. that they don't have to rely on the system and take out of the system. the more people are paying in, the more it reduces the burden of the rest of us. i don't see why that's not clear. i made the same example during our talks about the affordable care act. the more people you have paying into the system the less we have to pay because guess what, when there's someone that's not paying into the system, guess who picks up the burden? the rest of us. so if you disperse -- disburse
that cost over more people, basic economics, guess what happens. it reduces it for everyone. so here we are in a nation, the greatest nation in the world, no question about it, and at times we're talking around the world about how other countries should treat their people. you have to look inside and people are able to point back at us and say well, wait a minute why do you have communities such as that? why is there such disparity in your -- how can you tell us when we see what's happening in your nation? we can't talk outs of both sides of our mouths. we have to stand up and do the things that make it a great nation. and there's no reason that we cannot find a way out of this
problem. we are able to create jobs. we have smart business people throughout this nation. if there was an incentive for them to do it but the status quo is all right with them, because their value continues to go off the 1%, why should they change? if it's not broke, why fix it. while the rest of our quality of lives go down or remain stagnant. mr. speaker, this has had an adverse impact on african-american businesses and increasingly affected economy and all people are not able to
have a living wage. in closing, i want to thank my colleague ks for her leadership in leading the special hour. as we welcome the continued growth of our economy, we must keep in mind that work remains to build an equal society and to expand opportunities for african-americans across the country. african-americans are not sharing in this economic economy. we have a moral obligation to tackle the challenges that facing the black community. and the c.b.c. will be at that fight for as long as necessary. it is our agenda that work for
all americans african-americans, hispanic-americans white-americans for all americans. and with that, mr. speaker i would like to yield back to my colleague. but one point, i have a letterford from congresswoman johnson from texas to be read into the record. i yield back. ms. kelly: i want to thank my colleagues and the speaker for giving the congressional black caucus to put the important economic concerns of this nation in the spotlight this evening. mill americans are living on the brink. these aren't merl concerns for these individuals and their families, these are national concerns. i have believed what makes our nation break is our recognition
that everyone should have the ability to live and rise to their full potential. economic parity is one of the most fundamental issues facing our nation right now. i hope we shed some light on the concerns of the congressional black caucus when it comes to the economy and job opportunities in our communities or lack of it. i thank the honorable donald payne who is a strong defender of the economic possibilities of newark orange and communities across new jersey. mr. speaker, i will close as i began this evening by saying, the time to act is now. to respond to the economic crises of black employment and underemployment should be an economic imperative. it is time to support an economy that propels us into a sustainable future.
and with that as our time has drawn down, i make a motion that we do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the request of the the gentleman from new jersey will be covered by general leave. the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly th
familiar faces, faces of friends and family, and i just want to thank you all for joining us on this very special day. as many of you know, lindsay and i grew up in one room in the back of those right there, not one bedroom, but one room, where we lived, we slept, and we ate and our parents had a pool hall a bar, and a restaurant in this building, where they worked long, hard hours to earn a living to support us. that instilled a very strong work ethic and important values in both lindsay and me. i have some great memories of this town. one of my fondest memories was lindsay teaching me how to ride a bicycle on that sidewalk right over there. he would hold on the bicycle as i held on, give me a big push and shout "keep pedaling, keep
pedaling!" and he was the one who kept comforting me as i fell off the bicycle. as i got older, lindsay started to college. our parents were so proud. he was the first in our family to go to college. when he left, we miss to him terribly. i can remember being so excited on fridays, i cannot wait getting out of school. i knew lyndsay was on his way home for the weekend. i would stand on that sidewalk what seemed forever, waiting on the greyhound bus, and when he arrived, we would be so excited to run back down the street to see our parents, and as excited as i was to see lindsay, i think i was more excited to see the expression on my mother's space when we walked through that front door, and she saw us. when i was around 10, i remember our parents had finally saved enough money to buy a house next
door. leave me, it looked a little different than. we love this town and the people in it. and then our mother started to get sick. she was in and out of the hospital a lot, and lindsay stayed by her side day and night. he never left. then on june 9, 19 76, almost 39 years to the day, she lost her battle with hodgkin's disease. i was 11 years old, and lindsay was 20. only 15 months later, we lost our father. it was a really tough time for us. i can remember the day our father passed away standing and the living room of that house, absolutely scared to death, and lindsay wrapped his arms around me and promised me that he would always either for me and always
take care of me, and i can assure you, he has done that. he has never let me down. as hard as it was for him lindsay went back to school while i lived in seneca with a very special aunt an but lindsay came home every weekend, unlike most college kids that age the stay on campus and had fun. lindsay came home to check on his little sister. now that i have a dot or was almost 21, i realized how young he was and how hard that had to be on him, what a huge responsibility it was, but he never made me feel like a word in. he always made me heal so loved and so's to work. lindsay also made sure i finished high school, went to college. he even legally adopted me.
lindsay has been through my side through some wonderful times. he has been through many special events in my children's lives, emily and nicole, and he has been through my side -- by my side during some very tough times. the values we learned in this town, the work ethic instilled in us by our parents, and the love we received on the people in this community are what got us through those tough times. those were the morsi took to the state house and to the united states senate. with your support, i know he will take them to the white house. [cheers and applause] speaker: we need that kind of leadership in the oval office
today, and lindsey graham will provide that. lindsey, i love you so much. you mean the world to me. i do not know what i would have done without you. and i am so proud of you, and i know our parents are looking down today, beaming with pride. ladies and gentlemen, it is truly my honor to present to you the next president of the united states, lindsey graham. [applause] ♪
senator lindsey graham: thank you. i am lucky to have darline as my sister and my aunt and uncle who took care of me. to all of my friends, welcome to carolina. my hometown. many of you have known me for a long time. i am not aging that well, am i? some of you have known me since my family lived in the back of the bar in that building. but i am pretty sure no one here, including me, ever expected to hear me say, i am lindsey graham, and i am running for president of the united state.
-- states. thank you. ok, i will turn back there. i hope they hear that all over the world that i am running for resident of the united states. it is because of you that i can make that statement. everything i am, everything i will be i owed to the kindness and generosity and example of people of central clemson seneca, will hollow, and other small towns throughout south carolina. thank you. thank you for everything. [applause] we want to protect our nation that we all love so much, so get ready. i am ready.
for the purpose of solving them. and i went to be president to make government work for you not the other way around. i want to make government keep his promises to you, to support your dreams, to embrace your values, and to reflect your character. greater than our amazing past and i will work with anyone to do it. we make them dangerous mistakes in recent years. some have substituted wishful
thinking for sound national security. every day the headlines attest to the failures of the obama-clinton policies. it is sad for me to report to you that barack obama has made us less safe. they have more weapons, and they are entrenched. i will make them small, poor and on the run. i'm afraid some americans have grown tired fighting them. i have some bad news for you. the radical islam is are not
tired of fighting you. in partnership with others, we must take the fight to them, building lines of defenses over there so they cannot come here. building up and supporting regional forces to go after their safe havens that could be used to attack our homeland. the world is exploding in terror and violence. but the biggest threat of all is the nuclear ambitions of the radical islam is to control iran -- radical islam is -- islamists who control iran. if the united states is not firm in our intention to deny them such weapons, iran will trigger a nuclear arms race in the least
stable region on earth, making it more likely that the people who aspire to genocide will have the most effective means to commit it. our close ally israel is at risk . i will never abandon you. i will always stand firm in supporting the one and only jewish state. i, too, have the judgment and the will to deny the most radical regime this.
but to defeat this enemy, it will require more than military might. the most powerful weapon in our arsenal is not a god. it is an idea. the terrorists are selling a glorious death. we must sell a hopeful life. [applause] senator graham: i have learned from my travels that a small will house in a remote region educating a young girl, can do more damage to radical islam ban any weapon we possess. however, radical islam is not the only threat we face. elsewhere, old adversaries are seizing opportunities to challenge our interest.
putin seized the you take in territory and threatens nato allies. china is building, literally building, their own island in resource rich waters claimed by other nations and challenging free navigation through the seas. our allies in the absence of american leadership, our adversaries are taking advantage. american weakness anywhere hurt us everywhere. our enemies are in bold and, and our friends are going it alone. and both reactions are detrimental to our national security interests. it is time for america to come back. and come back, we well. and the way you come back is to make sure that the next president must be an informed and decisive commander in chief. ready immediately to deal with
the threats i've just described. we have learned over the past six years that speeches alone will not make us safe. if that were true, we would be really safe. superior power and resolve is the only way to be safe. i am running for president of the united states because i am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one. [applause] senator graham: i am ready on day one to defend our nation with sound strategy, a strong military stable alliances, and a steady determination. i have been to the middle east more times than i can count. as a united states senator and a reserve officer in the united air force, to all web served our country, raise your hand.
god bless each and every one of you. >> usa, usa, usa, usa! senator graham: i have got one simple message. i have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. that includes you, hillary. we will have something with russia that sticks. i know the players. i know our friends, and i know our enemies alike, but most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, they know me. i have listened, learned, and prepared myself for the job of
commander-in-chief. i have served in the air force for 33 years. and it has been a true pleasure and honor. i have spent much of my adult life as part of a team committed to defending america, protecting our way of life, making sure that we are safe. politicians focus on elections. the military focuses on the mission. if given the privilege to serve as your president i will focus on the mission, to defend america, to protect our way of life, and to leave the next generation a stronger, safer better nation then we inherited. [applause] senator graham: that will not be easy. it never has.
there are dangers that must be faced, and as usual, the best of us will have to face the worst of them. the best of us are the 1% of americans who are the men and women of the united states armed forces. i cannot promise as commander-in-chief that their dangers that they confront will be less. the risk they run, the sacrifices they make will be fewer or easier, but i can assure them they will have the leadership to defeat our enemies. i can promise that their sacrifices won't be wasted.
and they won't fight with their hands tied behind their backs. we will and this conflict on our terms. we will win. those who believe we can disengage from the world at large and be safe by leaving from behind, vote for someone else. i am not your man. those who believe the best way to defend ourselves is to lead the world, to make history rather than be overwhelmed by it, i ask for your support. join me if you want to tackle the problems at home that have been kicked down the road because they are too hard to fix or too easy to demagogue. washington's failure to do the hard but right thing has put
social security and medicare in serious jeopardy. anybody on social security and medicare? anybody want to be on social security and medicare one day? all of us. as my generation retires both programs are on track to go bust. we are living longer with fewer workers supporting more retirees . that is unsustainable. everybody knows it, but not everybody will admit it. we have to fix entitlement programs to make sure people who need the benefits the most receive them. that is going to require determined presidential leadership. i know from personal experience how important these programs are to the lives of millions of americans. as darline mentioned we lost
our parents when i was a young man and she was in middle school. we depended on social security benefits to survive. i have been fortunate. i have done better than i ever dreamed. if i and others like me have to take a little bit less and pay a little more to help those who need it most so he it. [applause] and younger people, you might just have to work a little bit longer. as president, i will gladly do what it takes to save a program that once saved my family. now, to those of you who yearn for a healthy and safe environment, i will join your cause.
photographer in western nebraska. he took photos from about 18807, 1886 until the early 1890s of homesteaders and was able to tell the story of this important development in american history. i'm going to start with one of my favorite images of the solomon butcher collection. it's a photograph of the crisman sisters. it is four sisters who each took a homestead claim in cusser county. this shows women homesteaders it was the first time that women could own land on their own. it didn't belong to their husbands or their fathers. single women could own their own land and that was a really big deal with the homestead act. so each sister, each of this crisman sisters took a homestead
why are you making it so confusing? >> your honor, with respect, it's our position it's the 10th circuit. that's cast confusing. >> your statement is that he must understand. you stay away from the word no. i can't understand your answer. >> we think that there is sufficient knowledge, notice when somebody understands that when somebody assumes their practice is religious and then acts upon it. that is sufficient. the tenth circuit said that is
not sufficient. they need something more certain. >> if you'res is less than certainty, how much less than certainty is it? if i'm an employer and i say i don't know. i think. it's two out of three. is that sufficient? >> your honor i think if i could explain how these cases come up that would be the best way to on yours question. the answer in a situation like this in which an apply can't is applying for a position and the employer suspects that there's a religious conflict the employer has two options. it can assume there is no conflict. in which case they make the hiring decision on the merits. in that case here she would have been hired. alternatively, if the employer feels like there's enough concern about how she would be able to perform, they can start a dialogue. that's what congress intended. what they cannot do is what they
did here and assume through a stereo type that there was going to be a need for accommodate and then having assumed that say i don't have any obligation to actually accommodate you. >> is that true even if it's under 50%? in other words say the employer says i really don't know but i think that there's, like a 50/50 chance or even a 40% chance that this person has a religious -- this practice is religious and i don't really feel like getting into all this accomodation stuff so i'm not going to hire this person. >> i think, your honor, that that's what they cannot do. but i do think -- >> so it really depends on on what the%age chance is. certain, less certain. as long as the employer says there's some chance and i'm not going to hire or promote or fire or whatever a cause -- because
of that chance. >> your honor, i would like to try to separate out two different situation thickset arise, only one of which we think arises commonly. one is that the employer has a work rule and is concerned that the apply can't before it won't be able to comply in the future after being hired with the work rule because they perceive that the person is religious. i think the dilemma that your honor is supposing is really a false one there. if the employer really has a very small understanding or it's very unlikely that the employer is religious the right thing for the employer to do is assume there's not a religious problem and not engage in the stereo stereotyping and assume the person would comply as they would if there was someone wearing a head scarf. >> i'm not sure i understand why you're fighting the question.
>> thiazides and and the employer doesn't like beards. they don't like their models having beards but he doesn't know why the beard is there. you think it's better for him to ask this applicant questions he would not ask anyone else about religion? it seems the solution causes more problems. >> first, i don't think it's right that the solution causes for problems because i don't think that what congress would have preferred is that the person not get hired than that the dialogue get begun. i think that your honor's hypothetical points out nicely
that it's a somewhat artificial situation here. what the employer is saying i don't want a beard when the person is on the floor but that's not a reason not to hire someone who walks in the door with a beard. the yankees have had a no facial hair policy but they do not pursue people with beards. they assume they can save once they get there. >> it's saying i don't want to buy in some problem with a guy who has a beard. i'm going to say can you shave it and he says no. isn't it saying i don't care. he shows up with a beard, i'm not going to hire him. >> that's the hard question. if your policy is not i have a work rule that i'm concerned you won't be able to comply with in the future then i think it's all said. if the question is when someone comes to my office with a beard and i just think it's unkempt i
don't like it. i'm not going to hire them regardless. i think the question pa then thes is -- it's not the 1% here. it's not the kinds of cases that we actually see. they much more are the work rule. >> you could avoid those hard questions whether it's understand, believe, suspect by adopting the rule of the court of the appeals and that is if you want to sue me for denying you a job for a religious reason, the burden is on you to say i'm wearing it for a religious reason or the beard for a religious reason. that avoids all problem once you notify the employer that it's for a religious reason. >> did the employer tell her that it had this look policy a hoed scarf would violate that? how could she ask for something
situation. make them have a code of conduct that presumably would go through several pages. here, all the things we require. >> so i think actually this is a -- the employer is at no risk of liability if he asks no questions but makes no assumptions and stereo types. that's why i don't think it's a problem in practice.
intentional refusal to hire because of the religious practice that you could reasonably accommodate. and this is not as the amicus briefs have suggested -- >> i don't know why you don't just concede it's a form of disprate treatment. i don't accommodate you because of your religion it's disprate treatment. i'm missing that.
1 whether that's wrong. and if it is wrong, it would be helpful to say what they have to do. so the sg says, here's what it is. if the employer correctly infers correctly understands, and i would add, or correctly believes that a practice is religious and that an accomodation is necessary, that's it.
turn, asked another employee who was not involved in the hiring process -- >> i think it was the store manager. >> store manager who was not involved in this hiring process. she had an opportunity before ms. cook who interviewed her to ask her questions about the look pollty -- policy -- >> did not mention the head scarf? >> did not mention the head scarf. >> they're scripted interviews -- >> show me where in the script because i remember reading this and he said in fact we don't in fact discuss the look policy at the interview. >> if you look at joint appendix 33 and joint appendix 100 to 101, that's cook's testimony that she read a summary and gave the opportunity to ask questions. >> but there was no question of the head scarf? >> it did not specifically mention the head scarf.
>> that is suspect -- >> i'm with you only where they correctly believe that da, da da or know da da da. now i've heard it three times but i want to hear the reason they're not good enough. >> the reason is that there is no way that the employer can know about a religious practice unless it -- that information is traceable to the employee and having that kind of a correct belief standard will inevitably lead employers to stereo type because a fact finder may -- >> isn't that what miss cook says she did? >> she said she saw her in a scarf and assumed it was worn in