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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 15, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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initiative pressuring banks and others in the financial industry to deny access to financial services, to businesses like gun sellers and coal producers. my constituents see this operation for what it really is a blunt weapon that targets and stig in atizes entire industries that the obama administration dislikes instead of an honest effort to get rid of actual bad actors and lawbreakers. sadly, as a direct result of operation choke point legitimate businesses in texas and across the country have been forced to close simply because the president and his activist bureaucrats have a political agenda and they don't like what these businesses are selling. . when you target your own citizens as political enemies, that's the way that third world governments operate. not the greatest country the world has ever seen. mr. speaker this is the united states of america and our government should never go after its own citizens for
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political reasons. this is especially outrageous when the administration does so by targeting the bill ofritis and that's exactly what's happening -- of rights and that's exactly what's happening here. bhu specifically target gun dealers -- when you specifically target gun dealers and ammunition manufacturers, that's an affront to and assault upon our second amendment rights and no president or administration is above the constitution and the bill of rights. i met recently with far too many honest, hardworking, law-abiding folks in the gun industry that have been politically targeted by this initiative. we can't allow this administration to continue to target legitimate businesses like gun stores and cigar and pawn shops through operation choke point just because the president doesn't like what they sell. pressuring and forcing banks to stop engaging with legal industries needs to stop. we can't allow unelected bureaucrats to make such a brazen, backdoor assault on
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legitimate businesses and the hardworking, law-abiding citizens who own and operate them. in july of 2014 one of the judiciary subcommittees on which i now serve held a hearing on operation choke point and because of that hearing, and the due process concerns raised by the testimony there, the d.o.j. and the fdic announced it would rescind its list of so-called high risk measure chants and that move seemed to be an apparent recognition of the fact that operation choke point is wrongfully inflicting collateral damage on legitimate businesses that are losing access to financial services. but despite this acknowledgment and admission from those at the top companies across my district tell me that the administration's foot soldiers on the ground simply haven't gotten the message yet. the harassment is continuing and this is simply unacceptable. mr. speaker, we should stand up for the rights of every american. i'm saddened to see a president who is so out of touch with
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what has made this country great, who is so out of touch that he would use an army of unelected bureaucrats to attack businesses that don't toe the ideological line with his administration. congressional oversight demands that we refuse to step aside, that we refuse to let this unprovoked attack on our constitutional and fundamental rights go unchallenged. mr. speaker i will continue to stand watch against this overreach. my colleagues and i will not allow our constituents' rights to be violated or our constitution to be trampled. i thank the gentleman from north carolina and i yield back. >> thank you congressman ratcliffe, for your powerful stance. 2012, one of the bulldogs that has been holding the i.r.s. accountable is the congressman from central florida, mr.
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desantis. jimmy walker at this point i -- walk walk at this point i -- mr. walker: at this point i yield time to the representative. mr. desantis: if you're a taxpayer and you become subject to an i.r.s. audit, you've got to prove and justify what you submitted to the i.r.s. if you tell the i.r.s., you know i don't really have those documents, they were destroyed, nothing i can do, let's just move along, i don't think most i.r.s. agents are going to accept that. and i think the taxpayer would likely find themselves in hot water. so i think it's really unacceptable that the i.r.s. seems to think it can operate under a totally different standard than the standard that it imposes on american taxpayers. we've been going through this now since 2013 with lois learner and the targeting -- lerne rembings and the targeting -- lerner and the
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targeting scandal. they said they were going to produce lois lerner's emails. then they said, well, actually her emails, most of them are destroyed because, you see, they're held on these backup tapes and we recycle the backup tapes, we destroy the tapes so there's nothing we can do here, so we're just going to move along and we're not going to participate in any meaningful way with your investigation. most americans didn't accept that and it really wasn't worth the paper it was printed on in terms of an excuse. it was obviously much different than what the i.r.s. would impose on the taxpayer. but it was even more than that. it was more than just a weak excuse. it was false. once he said that the emails were destroyed, guess what? the inspector general for tax administration and the treasury department did basic due diligence and said i'm going to check to see whether or not
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weather he's telling the truth. and so what did the i.g. do? drove out to west virginia, where they have the warehouse with all the backup tapes, where what did they find? the lois lerner emails on the backup tapesment they were there the whole time. so now they've pulled thousands and thousands of lois lerner emails and these are emails that are in many cases different than the emails that the i.r.s. begrunlingly produced to congress and to the american people. so this is a major, major issue . of course the targeting, but then the length that the i.r.s. has gone to stimy congress' investigation. just this week in federal court, they're fighting jish watch. they don't want to turn -- judicial watch. they don't want to turn over even these new emails that the treasury inspector general for tax administration provided to the i.r.s. they're saying, well, we can't turn them over to you now in the course of the litigation, we're not going to turn them over to congress because we need to check to see whether
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there are any duplicates from the emails that we've already turned over. really? who cares? give us the emails, give the american people the truth. what they're trying to do, they're trying to stonewall and drag this out as long as they can, hoping that the american people will forget about it and then basically they get away scott-free with nobody in their organization being held accountable. i think it's a test of this institution here in the congress about whether somebody like commissioner -- the commissioner is going to be held to account for misleading congress. for providing false information to congress. and the fact of the matter is, an american taxpayer, if they were hauled in front of a federal grand jury or federal court and they gave testimony like that that was not true, they would face consequences. you can bet your bottom dollar. so i think the i.r.s. is kind of the grossest example that we have in washington of really a
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fundamental problem with how our government operates. and that is, the people that work and operate in and around washington, d.c. you know washington, d.c., six of the 10 wealthiest counties in our country, are now the suburbs of washington, d.c. we're not producing shale here, we don't have technology, nothing in washington. it's all because of the power and growth of government. so people inside the beltway are not held accountable. and you have people at the i.r.s. you have people at the e.p.a., you have people in all these different agencies and eslings they're allowed to operate under -- and essentially they're allowed to operate at a lower standard of conduct than what an american would be able to do. that's unacceptable and so i think that this i.r.s. issue is important of government accountability, as we're facing in this congress, i think it's a test of the house, whether we're going to be serious about this and hold these i.r.s. officials accountable. i'm glad my friend north
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carolina -- -- from north carolina had the time here today. i think it was very product to have listen to some of the other members and i want the american people to know, i am committed to getting to the bottom of this and to holding these people accountable, not only for the targeting but for obstructing the investigation. and when it has been obstructed over and over again. with that i yield back. mr. walker: thank you, congressman desantis. in closing tonight, we've had an evening where we have called and labeled the people's night. one of many that we plan on holding. i thank the dozen or so colleagues who have showed their concern. we talk much about awareness these days. the few times do we get to the accountable and to the action step process. government has run amok. that's why many of us ran to begin with. i sent out an email this afternoon asking a few of the
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constituents back home, what are some of the things that we're concerned about? our president of our local women's republican club sent back two paragraphs and listed 12 or 13 things. those are the kind of things we need to be calling out. it's been a privilege to be with you guys this evening. i appreciate your time. continue to show strong support for these wonderful gentlemen, these men and women. thank you, good night god bless. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, for 30 minutes. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. speaker. this evening, mr. speaker i'd like to take some time to remind the american people of the nature of a sworn enemy of the united states whose leaders to this day, as they have for the past 36 years continue to
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chant death to america. that enemy, mr. speaker is iran. mr. speaker, the permanent members of the u.n. security council, the united states, united kingdom, france russia, and china, plus germany this group known as p-5-plus-one, event gauged in negotiations with iran in an attempt to halt iran's development of nuclear weapons. of significant note, unlike the negotiations that we had with north korea years ago regarding its pursuit of nuclear weapons those negotiations included the united states and north korea's neighbors, china russia, south korea and japan. iran's regional neighbors and closest target however, saudi arabia, jordan and israel, were not invited to participate in these talks. a framework for an agreement with the p-5 plus one and iran was reached in april. but that framework is simply
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inadequate to halt a regime's march to a nuclear weapon. iran can be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. such an event would set off a destabilizing arms race in the region of the world that is already afire with sectarian hatred. it is a real threat that iran would use such a weapon against israel, europe or with its continued development of long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles against the united states. iran's surface to surface missile expansion is a threat typically left out of discussions over its nuclear programs, but we cannot ignore that iran has now built itself the largest and most sophisticated long range missile arsenal in the middle east. the current nuclear framework agreed to in april represents a significant shift in u.s. policy regarding iran's nuclear program. under the agreed-upon framework, iran's nuclear centrifuges will be allowed to keep spinning for the next decade. this is the first presidential
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administration to agree to a deal that allows iran to continue enriching uranium. thereby legitimatizing iran's entire nuclear program. importantly, the administration's notion that oversight from international you a topic inspectors can keep iran from developing a weapon is simply not true. for over a decade, iran has evaded the very oversight body tasked with conducting inspections and monitoring its nuclear stockpiles. if the past 15 years are any indication tpwhorks iran will incur enormous financial costs and wreck its domestic economy all to continue enriching uranium. and developing and testing nuclear weapons at secret facilities at undeclared sites. in light of the past 15 years we know iran will continue to evade the international community just as it did when building and operating its facilities in complete secrecy. concealed from international atomic inspectors. those who choose can ignore the writing on the wall and whitewash iran's previous
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violations of numerous international treaties while continuing to operate its covert nuclear program. those who choose can ignore the hostile rhetoric that still spews from the mouths of iran's so-called reformers, including moderates, so-called, like president rouhani, who publicly brags about iran's ability to deceive the west. using stall tactics at the negotiating table, when all the while iran continues making progress behind the scenes on its nuclear program. mr. speaker, many of us have grave concerns about the deal being negotiated and that will leave iran on the path to nuclear weapons. while allowing for complete relief from the sanctions that forced iran to the table. i suggest that even if iran abandoned its path to the bomb, it is completely reasonable to leave the sanctions in place until iran stops the terror campaign it's been on for the last 36 years. i simply ask fellow americans to be skeptical of any assurances that iran has stopped or will stop pursuing a
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nuclear weapon. just six months ago president obama used these iran negotiations to silence critics who opposed his foreign policy. in an interview with cnn the president suggested the negotiations with iran is probably the first time that iran quote, has not advanced its nuclear program in the last decade. and president obama didn't stop there. he went on to assure people that this freeze on iran's nuclear program had been verified by the u.n. and the international atomic inspectors, who acknowledged that iran has not made progress. we know that the opposite is true. iran has not frozen its nuclear program but increased its stockpiles by 20%. its program is a very serious problem. only one of the dimensions that iran poses to the world. only one part of the overall
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terror. i wanted to offer this special order about iran today because it's a very important anniversary. 0 years ago today navy see bee diver was murdered by a terrorist because he was a united states service member. he was only 23 years old. the same age that i was. his murder was at the hans of hezbollah and iran funded militant terror group. we can never forget the way he was murdered and his body dropped from the plane onto the beirut runway. we will never forget the sacrifice you gave for our country and together we pray for your family. robert was born in connecticut. just as his mother and father
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had done, he served in the united states navy shortly before he would serve his 120th birthday and returning from greece headed to beirut when the aircraft was seized by militants. bobby never got to serve the hopes and dreams settling down and raising a family to this wonderful exceptional nation. his parents lost the comfort and grace seeing a son grow old. and lft we forget terrorists put an end to this young life. there have been many more. iran's hostility towards united states when it failed to protect the students and take diplomats and holding 52 of them hostage
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for 544 days. the attempted rescue of the hostages in 1980 resulted in the death of americans and iran is fully responsible. throughout the 1980, iran funded terrorists in iran who were responsible, to recall some of the events. between 1982 and 1992, iran -backed hezbollah kidnapped americans. at least eight died in captain activity. some were murdered and some died. on april 18, 198 , hezbollah bombed the american embassy in beirut. six months later on october 2 1983, hezbollah suicide bomber drove a truck more than 15,000 pounds of explosive, killing 241 marines and wounding more than
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100 more. par troopers were also killed. on september 20, 1984, hezbollah struck again with another bombing, this time carrying out an attack in beirut, killing 24 people i americans. 1980's to 19990 the khobart towers were attacked in 1996 killing 19 airmen. iran continued its adack in 2000 with its whacking of terrorists using e.i.d.'s. an article from march 2015, says iran was response irl for one-third of casualties which amounts to songs and daughters who never come home aline. irpe-backed terrorists attacked
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others. hezbollah killing 29 people and injuring 240 others. a july 18 1994, iran bombed 858 if civilians. in july, 2012, operatives detonated a bus on bulgaria, killing five israelis. until iran stops its export of terror, the united states and other nations, no sanctions relief should be granted. if iran does not aboon done its ambitions sanctions should be increased. i'm joined by some colleagues. i would like to yield such time as he may consume the gentleman
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from new york. mr. zeldin: iran is a nags led by an regime thretening the stability of the free world. that is nothing new. iran supports terrorism and working to overthrow foreign governments. since 1984, over 30 years ago united states has called iran a state sponsor of terrorism. not only for their direct participation in attacks, but for their financing and other support for others who pursue terror. iran has given stability to the united states and blowing up u.s. warships, pledging to wipe
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israel off the map and chanting death to america. the iranian government threatens peace and democracy all across the globe. nuclear weapons in the hands of our enemies harms the security of our freedoms and liberties that united states has worked hard to defend. the iranian government came to the goshting table. in texas they called it a two off-suit. oil was $100 a barrel. millions ever iranians took to the streets to overthrow their own government. the president of the united states made it out to be their just their problem, not ours
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now look at the present dickament we find ourselves today. the president of the united states comes into the office pocketting aces. pocket of aces happen to be the best hand you could have in texas holdem. and the president asks to swap hands in the spirit of fairness and equality and good faith. the pocket pocket of aces earned on the backs of americans who have shed blood and fought to protect the united states, the greatest nation on god's green earth. and as a negotiating style, the president swaps hands with the bad guys. as we inch closer to the june 30 deadline, i want to reinforce that a bad deal is worse than a no deal at all.
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mr. president, you are getting played at the table. take a walk. it's a ok. it's time to strengthen your hand. please do not prop up this regime with tens of beil i don't know sir of dollars. they are using that money to finance terror and overthrow governments alivende with america. and was as with a bad economy and oil half the price don't make a slew of permanent concessions on our side, in exchange for temporary concessions on the part of the iranians. show strength, not weakness. too many americans have shed their blood to make our great nation what it is today. we need strength in your voice and arctic can you lation of resolve that there will be no death to america. it is not ok for iran to wipe
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israel off the map. we release of our americans being unjustly imprisoned which includes a united states marine. where is the passion to fear him now and the other citizens wrongfully captured in our jails. play the pocket aces. america's greatness, its capitalism and month and a half ago i was with former president bush and a couple of things he said, one, he says the world needs america to lead. and we can have a different understanding or philosophy on tactics of what that means and it's something that we all know to be true. the world needs america to lead. the other is throwing the first
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pitch in yankee stadium after 9/11. he knew the stadium was going to be filled up. world series and america was watching and looking for something to celebrate. he was down getting ready to come out of the dugout wearing a bullet-proof vest and had a conversation with derek jeter. and derek jeeter asked him if he was going to throw it from the top. and the president said what do i do. derek said you have to throw it from the top of the mound. the president is getting ready to walk out on top of the said, list last words were don't bounce it they'll boo you. we need a perfect strike here, mr. president from the top of the mound. don't bounce it.
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don't bring high pressure system a bad deal. the resulting boos will be the least of america's problems. right now is the time for strength and not weakness and for that reason i once again want to thank the gentleman for bringing thr special order here tonight, and i yeelt back. -- yield back. mr. rothfus: also, mr. speaker and in ar hearing to investigate twrirtfining, one described the threat posed by the terror groups. he told us that hezbollah remains one of the most capable terrorist organizations in the world. the group's original aims was to establish a theocracy in lebanon and destroy israel. and from latin america and
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africa and europe and asia. as a former hezbollah leader confirmedees ago and i quote, hezbollah has been receiving since 1982, all kinds of moral material and political backing from the islamic republic of iran fplgs we must consider the implications to export terror and finance terror around the world. to this day, iran is the most active and largest state sponsor of terrorism. iran either supports and are not limited to hezbollah palestinian islamic jihad, hamas, shiite militants in iraq while maintaining its terrorist in the the middle east. they have emphasized their concerns over the lift sanctions
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to use at large. many experts agree that these sanctions have diminished iran's ability. it is shocking to think that the current administration woul in return for promises that iran will limit its weapons and not use that money to send paychecks to militants or families of militants against innocent civilians. and set up for it and groups in northern africa. it machine that tehran can spend to missions and support missions across the globe. lifting sanctions will allow them to use the sector and make it more difficult to find ways to support illicit terror
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groups. the iranian threat is much greater. the threat is complex and multi-faceted and must be come battling them. all for torp cooperate and pretend if only for a short time that they will act in good faith and i'm joined this evening by my colleague from florida, the veteran of the navy jag corps and has been outspoken and i yield to him assist much time as he may consume. mr. desantis: i was listening to our colleague from new york talk about need kneading the -- the president needing to get up on the top of the mound and throw a perfect strike here. with this deal. i've seen the president throw a baseball. i'm like, lord help us if that's what we need to stop
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this. because i think we're in a mainly, major pickle here and it's been the result of bad policies from the beginning. this house, it's almost two years ago where this house voted in the summer of 2013 to increase sanctions on iran. we did that with over 400 votes on a bipartisan basis. that was really the obvious thing to do at the time, because iran, the leadership of iran, the mullahs were chafing under the sanctions regime that was in place. and the way to deal with a country like iran, with the leadership that are dedicated to militant islam, is when they're starting to chafe, you turn the screws harder. and we did that here and we did the right thing. harry reid in the senate would not bring that up for a vote. the president decided, rather than do that route, he would simply provide unilateral sanctions relief to iran, say this is a gesture of good
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faith, now we want you to reciprocate with your nuclear program, and basically iran from that time forward has said, you know, go fly a kite. we're not giving up anything. and so the agreement that we seem to be on the verge of submitting to the congress allowsr entire nuclear infrastructure. the underground bunker is fortified against a missile attack. why do you need to fortify a nuclear facility against a missile attack if it's for peaceful purposes? they get to keep that. they have a heavy water reactor in iraq that they get to keep. that's used to produce plutonium. they don't need it for peaceful purposes. they have advanced centrifuges that they're allowed to keep. again, no use of those for peaceful purposes. and so iran is basically in a situation where if you turn back the clock almost two years, when this house voted those sanctions with over 400 votes, if you asked iran and the iranian leadership what they mote wanted, they probably
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-- most wanted, they probably would have said, look, we want to keep our neek leer infrastructure but get rid of these sanctions and guess what? that looks to be what's going to happen. that is going to be a very very dangerous and bad deal and i do think it's worth pointing out, as much as we can, the nature of this regime. they're not only foe meanting problems in the middle east -- to meanting problem notice middle east -- fomenting problems in the middle east, they're dedicated to the destruction of israel and the united states. the most deadly attack on u.s. marines since ewith a gyma was in 19 -- iwo jima was in 1983 in beirut when hezbollah, was those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. ed by iran, bomb and killed -- which was supported by iran bombed and killed. in iraq, 2006 2007, 2008, they were responsible for killing hundreds of our service members through the she height militias that were -- shi'ite militias
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that were operating there and may have killed as many as 1,500. that's major, major american blood on their hands. this is a regime that has never, since 1979, showed any evidence of changing or deviating from their ideology rooted in militant islam. they are a danger not only to the region but to the world. and i think you're starting to see, well, we've seen now for some time, since this president's taken office, iran has steadily increased its influence and power in the region. they're the number one actor in iraq by far. they're now battling for yemen with the huties they're the number one patron of hamas on the gaza strip, they're the number one patron of hezbollah and lebron and they're the number one pate -- lebanon and they're the number one patron of assad in syria. this is a massive shi'ite crescent throughout the middle east and guess what? when sunni arabs see our
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administration bending over backwards to cut deals with iran, they see the shi'ite-backed militias that are backed by iran in iraq they're the ones fighting isis, that makes the average sunni ar saab a-- arab say, i'm much morer shi'ite oppression. the president's policy, i think, has been bad for expanding iran's influence. but i think it also had the effect of driving more sunni arabs into the hand of isis. so it's a lose-lose policy and so i thank my friend from pennsylvania for having this discussion. i hope that this bad deal doesn't happen. but if it does, then we need to have robust debate in the house, we need to pick apart the deal peace by -- piece by piece and show how this is not something that's good for the security in the world. and we can see that already br the deal's even been agreed to because you see an arm's race in the middle east with the sunni arab state that has been
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under way now for some time. that is a direct result of the bad policies that this administration has engaged in vis-a-vis iran. the regime in iran is an enemy of the country. we need to recognize that and we need to make sure that any deal that comes to this congress, that we scrutinize in any deal that allows iran to maintain a nuclear capacity is voted down resoundingly. i yield back. mr. walker: i thank my -- >> i thank my colleague and plenty to consider as the negotiations continue between the p-5 plus one and iran, as we look forward, what's what deal will be produced. mr. rothfus: the concerns that have been expressed by my colleagues from florida and new york we must be vigilant. particularly when you look at the context of what has been happening with iran over the 36 years. again, today we mark the sad anniversary of the murder of bobby seedham at the hands of
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iranian-backed terrorists. bobby is one of many victims that this regime this islamist regime out of iran has been responsible for over nearly four decades. going forward, an agreement where iran would not even be required to actually stop enriching uranium, merits our grave concern. in light of a final far-reaching implications for the security of both our allies in the region and our own national defenses, we must be extremely vigilant. as a member who sits on a house committee that has been tasked with investigating the financial backers that keep international terror groups well armed and operating, we cannot ignore iran's leading role in international terror financing.r committee, one the -- once the administration agrees to lift all economic sanctions and free up billions of dollars for the iranian regime, there is no guarantee that deeping the regime's pockets will not result in increased financing
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for acts of terror that will kill innocent people. in addition, contrary to what has been publicly suggested by the president, it will be all but impossible to simply slap those economic sanctions back into effect should iran break the terms of a final nuclear weapons deal. we must look to the past and consider the present situation. we owe as much to all those who were murdered at the hands of the iranian regime and by terror groups who would use iranian money and weapons to take the lives of innocent men, women and children. i thank the speaker for allowing us to have this special order tonight and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: jan. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, -- the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma mr. russell, until 10:00 p.m. mr. russell: thank you, mr. speaker. congress has a chance this week
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to turn the president's pivot to asia into a pivot to america. the question is will we as members listen to the people or will we double down on a watered-down policy that has divided both the democratic and republican sides of the aisle? we often complain about lack of bipartisanship. but in this case we are seeing it stop the trade promotional authority or t.p.a., fast track . we must hold firm. republicans and democrats have a long history of being for free trade. we all want our goods to go to international markets and for trade barriers to be removed. we find ourselves at a cross roads today because both parties have voiced a lack of trust in the president's ability to be able to negotiate what is best for america. that is why we are still
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fighting to stop the trade promotional authority, better known as fast track. fast track will not be the panacea of all ills. in fact if granted, we can see the president move swiftly on the transpacific partnership that will likely not deliver the goods potentially binding our nation to an agreement that could circumvent u.s. interests and law and have secondary harmful effects in multiple areas. an anthropology professor at the university of texas-el paso makes this anal sills. quote, -- analysis. quote, i think the consequences could be very dire. we already saw under nafta how many jobs left the united states and also went from mexico.s of thousands of low-income mexican families being put out of work and losing their land and we saw how that drove migration to the united states.
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end quote. the architects of the t.p.a. in both congress and the us who take -- white house take offense at any opposition leveling the charge that we are being protectionists. the white house claims that with fast track, they can move the t.p.p. to lower barriers on u.s. exports among the 11 other nations thus increasing jobs and wages. now to the facts. contrary to what we hear, we already have high standard free trade agreements with seven of those other 11 nations in the proposed transpacific partnership. we are writing the rules in the pacific. let's write some more. with good bilateral agreements that will allow the american people to have a voice, not some council or transnational commission that sets our fate. if you don't believe me, then how about simon johnson. a former chief economist of the international monetary fund a
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professor at m.i.t. sloan, a senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. maybe he knows something about it. here's what he says about the myth of needing the t.p.a. to lower tariffs among the proposed members of the transpacific partnership. quote almost all tariffs on trade among canada, mexico and the united states are long gone. that was the effect of the north american free trade agreement. under the australian-singapore free trade agreements as well, almost all tariffs on u.s. goods sold in those countries have been eliminated. goods from the united states have entered chile without tariffs since january of this year. and most tariffs imposed by peru have already been phased out. the t.p.p. will amount to a free trade agreement with brunei with a population less than omaha, nebraska, i might add, and new zealand, with a population less than louisiana. encouraging exports to these
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countries is surely desirable, he says, but the economic impact on the u.s. is unlikely to be more than a rounding error. that leaves three larger countries where the issues are more complex. japan, malaysia and vietnam. t.p.p. will also confer special status on foreign investors. allowing them to sue for financial judgment against host country regulations. he provide such deferential protection to nc companies is a mystery. creating a quasi-legal process outside the regular court system just for foreigners can go wrong in many ways. end quote. from my own reading of the t.p.p., without divulging the details, i would add the concern about private rights in disputes. the transnational panel, empowered with a living agreement, and, yes it's there, i've seen it with my own
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eyes. even of a the accord is signed by -- even after the accord is signed by member nations. there are also the possible exceptions granted to brunei whose legal system is not to the same standard as the other nations. of great concern is a stated intention to economically integrate like the e.u. not cooperate, integrate. so one says, what solutions do you have? here's a few. first, we must start by listening to the american people. if the majority of americans from socialists to progressives to liberals to moderates to conservatives to constitutionalists to the tea partyiers have voiced concerns and do not want t.p.a. granted, then our actions this week will truly reflect if we are being representative of that voice. second, the president must demonstrate he can lead on foreign policy. he has yet to do it. granting fast track to
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negotiate with 40% of the world's economy should be based on how well he has handled negotiations with other nations in his tenure. it is here in the foreign policy arena he has found wanting. the president's talent for negotiation among nations should be measured by his foreign policy record. have we forgotten the line in the sand the arming of al qaeda and other syrian rebels to fight assad only to watch them morph into isis, then dismiss them as a j.v. team? only to see themtary through iraq which fell apart after we abandoned it, after we were assured they could stand on their own if we left early, and now no strategy to fix it. . the arab spring has gone into a nuclear winter with iran and let's not forget ukraine. i could go on.
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the question is, why are we. as i said before, like lucy holding the football, we are told the president needs the power to negotiate. if we take a kick at it, all will be fine. we cannot take such chances with our nation. instead, the president must show us some deeds, not words and start negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement with japan an ally, and the one who has the greatest economic impact. intently focused there. bring that to us and we will likely approve it. negotiate an interim agreement with china. we still have much to do with raising the bar. piresy of intellectual property and other concerns. we made those same claims with
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japan with south korea in the 190's. today we no longer have those concerns. china lacks lawyers to fight against these problems. well we certainly now know how to make plenty of those. create chinese attorneys to enforce the economic benefits of the rule of law. as to goods, china is seeking oil, natural gas coal timber, aggregate, beef, pork, to expand their infrastructure and to feed their people. we have an abuppedance of these and hardworking americans that will produce and send these goods. instead of making china turning to sudan and venezuela to pursue these resources, how about a trade agreement on these products that will benefit the american people, reduce our debt with china and strengthen our
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friendly ties. it's not impossible. we have the resources. we have the technology. what we need are the guts to do it. rekindling of the american spirit and the leadership to get it done. it starts by putting the brakes on fat track and need the right track instead. i urge my colleagues to stand your ground. time for congress to lead and be the voice of the american people that we represent. that leadership starts this week in the united states of house of representatives. let's hold our ground. let's pivot back to the american people. invest in ourselves and benefit not just the pacific but the entire world as we can demonstrate we can do in the last 100 years. mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? mr. russell: i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: 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 the house stands
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workers who lose their job because of foreign imports. the house majority leader kevin mccarthy said earlier today that another vote on the trade packages possible this week, but no decisions have been made. >> coming up tonight on c-span i conversation with supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. then former florida governor jeb bush officially announces his candidacy for president. after that, an interview with the hillary clinton campaign strategist. then a look at the united nations in transnational challenges.
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next, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg in a discussion about her life her thoughts on gender equality and the movie biography starring natalie portman. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am a partner in the supreme court and appellate practice and a longtime member of acs, dating back over a decade to when i was a student. i first became involved at acs because i believed in its mission. i believe that law should the a
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force to improve the lives of all people. it's a privilege to support acs in its efforts to make that happen. i've developed a deep appreciation for everything my acs membership has given me including countless professional development opportunities and a fantastic network of colleagues and friends. i'm deeply grateful to acs for the opportunity to introduce our final featured speakers of the convention, to extraordinary jurists. justice ruth bader ginsburg's biography is well-known. before her appointment to the u.s. supreme court she served on the u.s. court of appeals. prior to becoming a judge, she was a law professor at rutgers and columbia university. over her decades of service, she's been an unwavering advocate for women, both on the bench and as one of the founds of the women's rights project for the aclu, where she served as general counsel and on the national board of directors for nearly a decade. i had the extraordinary honor of clerk wrg justice two ginsburg
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which was as amazing and life changing an experience as you would expect. among my fondest memories of that year were the champagne and cupcake birthday parties that the justice would host for each of her clerks and secretaries. so fully aware of just how crazy it is to have a birthday party with ruth bader ginsburg, my co-clerks and i would plan for days in advance, trying to come up with a perfect list of questions to ask her and we did pretty well. we heard amazing stories about her summers in sweden, where she was learning and writing about swedish civil procedure, we heard about her first supreme court arguments, her confirmation hearings, and her beloved husband, marty, a distinguished tax attorney and chef supreme whose love and support for the justice is legendary. if tumblr had existed before he passed away, no doubt he would have started the notorious
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r.b.g. blog himself. [cheers and applause] when the clerkship ended, i had a deep sense of remorse when i thought about the questions we didn't get to ask and the stories we didn't ghet to hear. this is a dream come true for me, one more chance to hear about the incredible life and career of ruth bader ginsburg, with the best interlo cutor available. he's an expert in constitutional law and the supreme court. he was a popular teacher winning u.c. berkley's law distinguished professor award and became the associate dean. he was also on the board of directors for a.c.s. for a number of years. [cheers
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and applause] but long before all of that, justice lew was a law clerk, first on the d.c. circuit, a for a long-tile friend of a.c.s. and then for justice ginsburg. he is perfect for this job because i know he too has a long list of questions left over from the chamber birthday parties. please join me in welcoming justice lew and justice bader ginsburg. [cheers and applause] >> welcome, everybody, thank you for being here on a saturday afternoon. thank you also to justice girnsburg, it's a busy time on the court, as june often is, so
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thank you for spending time if us here. you're now finishing your 22nd term on the supreme court. a lot of people noticed that in recent years you have had quite a substantial public presence. you have a huge fan base everywhere you go. people call you a rock star, an icon. there's an emoticon that looks like you. there are t-shirts with the notorious r.b.g. name. some of the some of them also say i love r.b.g. and then there's my personal favorite which is, you can't spell truth without ruth.
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[cheers and applause] and then there are young women who have tattoos of your likeness. now that's love. that's real. i mean, all of this, i think, is unusual for a supreme court justice. justice scalia gets out a lot too, but i don't think there's anyone with a justice scalia tattoo, not even at the federalist society. [laughter] so i want to just start by asking you, how did this happen? justice ginsburg: it's amazing. to think of me, an icon at 82. i owe it all to a law student
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who started a tumblr, the notorious r.b.g. and at first i didn't quite know what to make of this. i didn't even know who notorious b.i.g. was. [laughter] when my law clerks explained to me you two have something in common. you were both born and bred in brooklyn, new york. i should explain right away, a number of my feminist -- a criticism a number of my feminist friends have raised. ginsburg comes before scalia alphabetically, why isn't it -- scalia ginsberg?
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scalia was appointed some years before ginsburg. justice liu: there's going to be a biography called "the notorious r.b.g." and there's a bio-pic coming too. it's called "on the basis of sex" with natalie portman starring as you. are you in on these projects? justice ginsburg: i can't claim credit for notorious r.b.g. but i like it and so do my grandchildren. "on the basis of sex," that's what the biopic is called, i have a nephew who is a script
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writer and he asked if he could write a script about a case in which marty and i were involved in 1971. and i said, yes, you would like to spend your time doing that, i hope it will be paired as the turning point case in the supreme court. the case was charles e. moss commissioner of internal revenue, charles e. moss was a man who took guide care of his mother, though she was 93 at the time, we argued the case in the 10th circuit. this is his story. there was a business deduction apublic to believe a woman or a divorced man. it covered elder care.
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charles e. moss didn't get the deduction because he was a married man. he appeared pro se in the tax court and his brief wascism policity. if i were a dutiful daughter, i would get this deduction. i'm a dutiful son. it makes no sense. one day, marty came into a room where i was working on away on something i was writing and he said, ruth, read this. i turned to him and i said, it's a tax advance sheet, i don't read tax cases. he said read this one and told the story of charles and said, let's take it. marty would write the tax part and i would write the constitutional law part. so a part of this is about the case and about our argument in
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the 10th circuit in denver. and then it includes the aclu and some women who were saying the same things that i was saying in the 1970's at a time when no one was prepared to listen. so dorothy kenyon had a role in this. i think if we're -- i think it will go into production in the beginning of 2016 and maybe by the end of the year it will be out. natalie portman came to talk to me about this and we had a very good conversation and one thing interesting that she insisted on, it held up the project for a while. she said, i want the director to be a woman. there are not enough women in this industry, there are many talented out there. and now they do have a woman director. [cheers and applause]
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justice liu: you mention marty. he's been mentioned many times. let me take you back a little bit. for many years, i think, you've been described as shy and reserved. especially compared to your gregarious and very loving husband marty, who was, as kelsey said, an outstanding chef and always very quick with a joke. some people called him a serial wisecracker. but first of all, do you think marty would be surprised at your celebrity today? justice ginsburg: i think he would be delighted. he was always my biggest booster. justice liu: i saw a picture of you and marty in fort sill which was not long after you were marry. you met marty in your first year of college at cornell, is that right?
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you said in the past he was the first boy you ever dated who cared that you had a brain. justice ginsburg: i like -- yes. justice liu: i like that. and you had two kids and a two-career marriage two lawyer in fact, which was unusual at the time. can you describe a little about that period and what kind of social pressures you faced with respect to your marriage you family life, and your career? justice ginsburg: the big change in the time from my first child, jane born in 1955, and the second one, james, in 1965, when jane was small, there were very few women who worked outside the home.
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by the time james was born, it wasn't unusual to have a two-earner family. and what was it like? well, it's hard for today's students to imagine what the world was like for women not all that long ago. i think when i started law teaching in 1963, maybe 3% of the lawyers in america were women. there was no title 7 when i graduated from law school. so they didn't want any lady lawyers. they had a woman once and she was dreadful. i'll tell you, santa day -- i'll tell you sandra day o'connor's story. she graduated from law school, top of her class, a few years ahead of me. she couldn't get a job.
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she volunteered to work for a county attorney and said, if you think i'm good enough, after four months, you can put me on the payroll. that's how she got her job. my first job was as a district court, federal district court law clerk. how did i get that job? jerry was in charge of clerkships. he called every judge on the second circuit, every judge in the eastern district and the southern district of new york. the answer was, well we might take a chance on a woman but we can't risk a mother, her daughter is 4 years old. so jerry called judge andy palmieri, who always took his clerks from colombia -- from columbia law school. and the judge explained, well, her record is good but sometimes we work on saturdays, even on a sunday. how would i count on her? jerry said, give her a chance
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and if she doesn't work out then there's a young man in her class who will leave his wall street law firm and accept the clerkship. so that's the carrot. then there's the stick. the stick was if you don't give her a chance, i will never recommend another columbia law student to you. i got that and all the women of my generation, when you got the job, you did it as well, probably better than anyone else, so the second job wasn't hard but opening that first door was difficult. justice liu: now, of course, you have had many clerks yourself who were parents at the time. is that right? is that unusual at the court today, do you think? justice ginsburg: not today.
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i have had a number of clerks with two children. the first i hired who was a primary custodian of his children was a man. david post who is now teaching at temple law school. in his application he explained he was going to georgetown at night, his wife was an economist, i think for the international monetary fund or the world bank, and so she had a full-time day job he took care of the children during the day. so that was a dream, fathers who care about children as much as mothers. there was something else about him that made him irresistible. his writing sample was not just a usual brief. it was his first year writing
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essay and it was on the theory of contract as played out in wagner's ring cycle. [laughter] justice liu: so -- that's actually a good segue to next question. you seem -- you've seen lots of change and transformations from the time -- since the time you co-founded the aclu women's rights project in 19 2, four decades later until today. because of the work you did there, we now have the elimination of most overt forms of gender discrimination.
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from your vantage point, what do you think are the most pressing challenges left now for gender equality? justice ginsburg: i don't think the meaning of feminism has changed. it has always been that girls should have the same opportunity to dream, to aspire, and achieve, to do whatever their god-given talents enable them to do, as boys. and that there should be no place where there isn't a welcome mat for women. people misunderstand what feminism is. i know in some quarters it's called the f word. but that's what it's all about, women and men working together should help make the society a better place than it is now. [cheers and applause]
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justice liu: current challenges? justice ginsburg: as you said, goodwin, all the overt things are gone, there are a couple that the supreme court has left standing and that's unfortunate. but for the most part, the parts of society that were riddled with sexism have changed. there was legislation and other changes to push that along. what is left, what is harder to get by is unconscious bias. sometimes there is a technique to overcome unconscious bias.
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my example is the symphony. so they had the idea to drop a curtain so the people judging didn't know if it was a woman or man. and with that, almost overnight women started to show up in symphony orchestras in numbers. i was telling this story last summer at the castleton festival and a young violinist said to me, you left one thing out. he said, not only do we audition behind a curtain but we audition shoeless. that can't be duplicated in every area but it's hard to get at.
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my favorite case in that line was a title 7 case from the 1970's, the lawyer was my colleague at columbia, harriet grant. it was against at&t for not promoting women to middle management jobs. there were several criteria that women did at least as well up until the last test and that was called the total person test. it consisted of an interviewer meeting the candidate, and then doing an evaluation. women flunked disproportionately at that stage. and why? because the person conducting the interview was generally a white male and anyone who was different made the interviewer feel slightly uncomfortable.
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so if a person looked like him he was comfortable. but with a member of a minority group, or a woman, they were strangers. and it wasn't a case of i'm deliberately setting out to avoid promoting women. it wasn't that at all. it was unconscious bias. that operated. justice liu: you now sit on a court with three women on it. i actually sit on a court that has a majority of women on it, including a woman as chief justice. do you think that the law would be much different if there were, say, four or five women on the u.s. supreme court? justice ginsburg: i think it's
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pretty good that we have three there. three makes a big difference because we're all over the bench. i'm on the middle because i've been around so long. justice kay began is at my left. justice sotomayor at my right. if any of you have come to watch the show at the court, you know that my newest colleagues are not shrinking violets. they're very active. they're very active in questioning. i've often quoted what gene koren from the minnesota court said, at the end of the day, a wise old man and a wise old woman will reach the same decision. but there are some cases that i think would have come out the other way if there were five women or more. and one of them is lily led better's case. every woman understood lily's problem. whether it's the carhart case.
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two cases involving children whose parents were not married they could become citizens if their mother was a u.s. citizen but not if the father. the supreme court was wrong about that, twice. so i think it's fair to predict that the result would have been different. but for the most part, in the years that david souter and i served on the court together, we were more alike than any two other justices, even more than justice thomas and justice scalia. [laughter] [applause] justice liu: i look forward to the souter-ginsburg opera. [laughter]
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a couple of months ago you appeared on "time" magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list, that's quite an honor. we have some pictures of that. you should see the lovely picture they have of you from the first year at cornell, it's a beautiful picture. the inscription that accompanied your listing was written by your colleague, justice scalia, who said this, i quote, ruth bader ginsburg has had two distinguished legal careers, either one of which alone entitle her to be one of "time's" 100. one, of course, is your career as a judge, first on the d.c. circuit and now of course on the supreme court. the other is your earlier career as a professor and lawyer. so i guess i'll ask you, what did you learn from your experience as a lawyer that prepared you for your role as a judge?
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justice ginsburg: the importance of having a sense of humor. and some advice i told many audiences, it was the advice that my mother-in-law gave to me on our wedding day, marty and i were married in the home in which he had grown up and his mother said, dear, i'd like to tell you the secret of a happy marriage. and that is, it helps sometimes to be a little hard of hearing. [cheers and applause] and i find that such good advice. [laughter] marty was a very funny fellow but in dealing with my colleagues even. [laughter]
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justice liu: you were nominated for the supreme court in june of 1993, to fill the seat vacated by justice byron white. some pictures of that. and you were confirmed by the senate exactly 57 days later on august 10, 1993, by a vote of 96-3. must have been nice. i'm just saying. [laughter] [laughter] [applause] anyway. other than the happy outcome what do you consider the most memorable part of your confirmation process?
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justice ginsburg: the bipartisan spirit that existed in that congress, probably my biggest supporter was orrin hatch. my biggest problem, well, the white house, preparing me for the confirmation process they would put questions like, you were on the aclu board in the year so and so. and that year they passed resolution x. how did you vote and would you defend that position today? and my answer was, stop, there is nothing that you can do to persuade me to bad mouth the aclu. [applause] i think they are a vital institution of our society. and then, and this would never happen today but not a single question was raised about my aclu connection.
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justice breyer was similarly fortunate the next year. how did we get back to that? i don't know what the magic would be. i was the beneficiary of what had happened in the clarence thomas nomination. so the committee was embarrassed. they had no women for the thomas nomination so they added two for mine. and they had a meeting with the committee before the public hearing. it was supposed to be anything bad on my record they could bring out and i'd have a chance to answer before we went public. in all my records, nothing in the f.b.i. files was questionable.
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so they said, tell us what you think we should do to improve the confirmation process. at that point, i hadn't yet been confirmed so i was somewhat hesitant. [laughter] i still have, to this day a supply of strom thurmond key chains that he gave me, voted against me when i was nominated for the d.c. circuit but he was in my corner for the supreme court nomination. justice liu: so since being on the bench, on the u.s. supreme court, you've been a very vigorous voice on a whole range of equal protection cases, not only sex discrimination but in the racial discrimination area most recently in the shell bowe -- shelby county case you had a very lively dissent about the voting rights act. i want to ask you, you at times compared the interesting
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progress that's been made so rapidly on questions of discrimination based on sexual orientation, contrasting that with our more enduring difficulties with racial inequality. what do you think explains the difference in how sticky the issue of racial inequality has been? justice ginsburg: i think that when gay people began to stand up and say, this is who i am when ha happened, people looked around and -- when that happened, people looked around and it was my next door neighbor of whom i was very fond, my child's best friend, even my child. they were people who belonged to our community. it wasn't, still today, there is
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a high degree of segfwation in living patterns in the united states -- segregation in living patterns in the united states new york schools. so i think it's the difference -- in the united states, in schools. so i think it's the difference when it comes to race, for gay people, once we find out they are people we know and we love and we respect and they are part of us, i think that's accounts for the difference. during the years when gay people hid who they were, there was a kind of discrimination that started to break down very rapidly once they no longer hid in the corner.
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justice liu: can you tell us what went into your thought process on the voting rights case? that was a much-quoted dissent your famous line about throwing an umbrella away in the rainstorm because you're in the getting wet. tell us about your thinking process in that case. justice ginsburg: it was very much, the view that i had of a school segregation case some years before. i think it was -- it was about jefferson county, kentucky, that for years and years had been under a federal court decree to desegregate. and then the court said, now the county is up to speed they don't have to be under the thumb of
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the federal judge anymore, so i'm going to dissolve the injunction. the people in that county said we liked the plan that was kept in place by the injunction. we would like to keep it. and the supreme court said no, you can't, because that's deliberate discrimination on the basis of race. in the shelby county case, it was one of the most successful pieces of legislation congress ever passed and passed by overwhelming majorities on both sides of the aisle. the voting rights act, i think most of you know, worked this way. if you had had a bad record of keeping people from voting, then any change you made in the system had to be precleared either by a three-judge district court in the district of columbia or by the attorney general.
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it was a mechanism to get out. if you showed you had a clean record for x number of years you could bail out. and you could bail out on a county by county basis, you didn't have to wait until the whole state was up to speed. they had a built in mechanism for getting out. the supreme court held that the coverage formula was outdated. that from 1965 until 2000 states had changed so congress had to redo the form lafment but practically, what senator or what representative is going to stand up and say, my state or my county still discriminates? it was impossible. it was impossible to come up with a new formula for that reason. and yet there was the bailout mechanism that would work when they had been -- when there had been a genuine change.
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politically, it wasn't impossible to do the kind of revision that was needed and so this most successful piece of legislation is largely inoperative. justice liu: you've written a number of memorable dissents in recent years. you wrote a separate opinion in the affordable care act case the personal clause, you wrote a vigorous defense in the hobby lobby case and ledbetter as well, which congress listened to and acted on. we talked about carhart, the abortion case, and then title 7 cases like the ball state case about who is a supervisor under title 7. so i think you may know that "saturday night live" recently did a couple of skits about you on their "weekend update." this
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is slide nine if you could show them. the comedian, kate mckinnon, plays you as a hip, sassy judge, dishing out these feisty one-liners and then dancing after every one. [laughter] i'm not going to ask you to dance for us. but feel free to bring it if you -- if you've got it today. what i really want to ask is how do you go about writing your dissents in terms of tone and style? your tone is actually not sassy. it's respectful. but it also makes a point. how do you think about the right balance? we have a lot of colorful writing from the supreme court which spans a broad range of sfiles. how do you think about yours?
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justice ginsburg: when it's time and i'm on the dissent side i try to have the dissent drafted before i get the majority opinion. that i way i don't get trapped into writing not so, not system of i tell the story affirmatively. and the biggest putdown i have for the court's opinion is to deal with it in footnotes. you'll remember from your time clerking for me, it was quite a term, that was the year of bush v. gore. all this business began that year. people said, i dissent. people were struck that i didn't say i respectfully dissent. i never say respectfully dissent. [laughter] think of my colleagues who have just criticized the court's opinion, from stevens, profoundly misguide.
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or from scalia, opinion is not to be taken seriously. then after you say that, you show no respect at all. so i never used respectfully. i would say i dissent or more often, for the reasons stated, i would affirm the decision of the court of appeals or if it came out the other way, reverse the decision. justice liu: now because of your seniority on the court, you have the assignment power, both in majority opinions when you happen to be senior and in dissenting opinions when you happen to be senior. what goes into your thought process? justice ginsburg: we're not majorities yet. when we split 5-4, i generally decide it. i succeeded to the role that john paul stevens had when you were chloricing for me. -- clerking for me.
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i think there's a consensus in the case of health care, hobby lobby, shelby county, that as the most senior person on the dissent side, i should write the dissent. for the rest, i try to be as fair as i can, to distribute them evenly and there's been much grumbling from my colleagues about that. justice liu: when you think about your two decades now on the supreme court, do you think there are things that you feel more sure footed about today than you did when you first began? justice ginsburg: well, i was a new judge, i had been on the d.c. circuit for 13 years so i wasn't
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too quiet, except the very first sitting in october. i asked a lot of questions at oral argument. my then-chief, for whom i came to have great affection, decided i had been a little smart alecy, so at the end of the sitting instead of giving me what is traditional for the junior justice, that is an easy unanimous decision he, gave me a most miserable erisa case, where the court divided 6-3. i went to the justice to complain, i said, he's not supposed to do this, is he? he said -- they said, ruth, just do it. just do it. get your opinion in circulation before he makes the next findings, otherwise you're likely to get another dull case. that was her attitude. whenever was put on her plate she just did it. that was the beginning of my relationship with the old chief
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and in that first year, it was interesting that you mentioned the supervisor case, in my first year on the bench, the question was, there are no supervisors and they are therefore unable to organize under the nlrb. i said of course they are employees, not supervisors. but that was the fore people. coming around the other way, now, it's very hard to be a supervisor under the bench decision. justice liu: you mentioned justice o'connor. when you arrived at the court in 1993, you were only the second woman ever to serve on the highest court. your colleague, justice o'connor was appointed by president
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reagan 12 years earlier. when you think back to that time and your experience for 22 years, working with a very wide range of colleagues, what do you think you learned about the art of persuasion? is it possible to persuade one's colleagues? and if, how? i'm really interested. [laughter] justice ginsburg: possible, yes. is it something that happens often? no. i can remember one dissent, john paul stevens assigned to me, dissent came around, the vote at conference was 7-2. he the opinion came out 6-3. but the two had swelled to six.
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now that was some heady experience. turning the dissent into a comfortable majority opinion. we're trying to persuade each other all the time. so if a conference vote is one way, you try to write your position as persuasively as you can and hope to be able to peel off one or another vote. but most of the time that doesn't happen. do we try? yes, we do. i can say with assurance up to this very term, when people, it's closely divided, the author of the majority or the dissent is trying to pick up one more vote. justice liu: in your experience, how does that persuasion happen? is it on paper? or in person? or how do the justices -- apart from sitting around the conference table which happens after argument.
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justice ginsburg: it is largely on paper. read my dissent. read it carefully. you should be persuaded by it. [laughter] there's no vote trading, there's no if you side with me in this case, i'll side with you -- that never happens. justice liu: we mentioned chief justice rehnquist a couple of times. it's well known you have a warm relationship with justice scalia as kind of an interesting polar opposite. but it's perhaps less well known that you also had a very warm relationship with chief justice rehnquist, who among other things took the meaningful step of assigning you the v.m.i. decision and eventually himself wrote the majority decision in the hitt case for the provision of the fmla.
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can you describe your relationship with chief justice rehnquist? how did the two of you have such good chemistry? justice ginsburg: i would say it's cool at first. but sandra and i were talking about what to do about the ladies room. the court is a very traditional institution, so it was the ladies' dining room. we came to him, we would like to rename it the natalie cornell rehnquist dining room. he had a very happy marriage his wife sadly died. he couldn't resist that it be renamed for her. he had seen her suffering from cancer.
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the year that i had my first bout with cancer, he could not have been more supportive. after the surgery, he called me into his chamber and he said ruth, i'll give you something light for this assignment. i said, no, not this one, i'm ok now. wait until the chemotherapy and radiation start, then i'd like to be kept light. he said which case do you want? he said, that's the one i was going to assign to myself. [laughter] but he assigned it to me. then i watched his relationship with his granddaughters, when his daughter janet, who had been divorced, he was kind of a substitute father to those girls. he wanted them to keep in tune with their swedish heritage. he would take them to the festival at the swedish ambassador'sres.
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-- residence. and they loved him dearly. that was a side of him a lot of people didn't see. so i consider me -- the chief in mid passage. i brought home the decision in family and medical leave act, i brought home the decision and marty said, did you write this? but it was the chief. justice liu: so when you think back cross these couple decades, what do you think is the biggest changes you've seen in the court, whether it's public perceptions of the court, the lawyers who appear before you or the nature of the docket, what do you think are the biggest transformations? justice ginsburg: right now the public -- has anything to do with government so the supreme court has slipped but not really as much as congress -- as
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congress has. [laughter] justice liu: that's an understatement. justice ginsburg: the big change in the court composition came not when we had a new chief but when justice o'connor left us. and i have said many times that the year that she left, every time i was among four rather than five, i would have been five, four if she remained with us. she was a big loss in many ways. justice liu: met me ask you sort of another big picture question about your approach to judging. i think many observers -- and we're now seeing some books being written about your corpus of work -- many people described your approach to judging as
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incrementalist. and indeed at your confirmation hearing, here's what you said. isn't it terrible people quote your confirmation hearing back to you? [laughter] justice liu: in your case it's very, very -- it's very good. you said, my approach -- this is you -- is neither liberal nor conservative. rather, it's rooted in the place of the judiciary of judges, in our democratic society. so in other occasions you have spoken out against judicial activism noting that current court is the most activist in history in terms of willingness to overturn legislation. you've written long ago that roe vs. wade perhaps went too far too fast. in contrast to the step by step approach that characterized much of your litigation approach as a lawyer. so i just want to ask, have your views about gradualism changed at all in the course of your two
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decades on the supreme court or has it reinforced your sense that gradualism is the right approach? justice ginsburg: i don't know if i would use the word gradualism. i do think it's healthy for our system if the court and the congress can be in dialogue. i think of some great examples of that. when the court in the 1970's said discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is not discrimination on the basis of sex, there was a coalition formed to pass the pregnancy discrimination act. people from all parts of the political spectrum were on board with that and that was repeated again with lilly ledbetter. if it caused a statutory determination there could be a healthy back and forth between the supreme court and the political branches.
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let me put it this way, the court is not in a popularity contest and it should not be influenced by today's headlines, by the weather of today, but as paul said, inevitably it will be affected by the climate of the era. i think that's part of the explanation of why the gay rights movement has advanced to where it is today. the climate of the era. the court is really in front including brown v. board, which was social change.
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it was -- on behalf of the united states in that case said essentially we were fighting a war against racism and in that war until the very end our troops were rigidly segregated by race. a huge embarrassment and now the soviet union is pointing to the united states, this apartheid racist society. it's an embarrassment. it's time for segregation of the racism in schools to end. that was the poss that the government was taken. made it easier for the justices, and yet it took them 13 years from brown v. board until loving v. virginia to declare it unconstitutional. they had lots of opportunities bethey waited until the climate
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of the era had largely changed. so the court can be important in reinforcing social change and it can hold it back as well. but it doesn't initiate change. justice liu: do you think that's in some tension with the conventional understanding of the court as a countermajoritarian institution, that the role of the court is supposed to be countermajoritarian? and yet some people would argue saying it's unrealistic for the court to be at the forefront even when individual rights are at stake. justice ginsburg: it should be countermajoritarian. when the bill of rights says these are the rules that
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congress has to abide by so the court should be vigorous in enforcing the rights in the bill of rights and in the 14th amendment. the court is the guardian. the constitution makes the court the guardian of those rights. so, yes, the court must be vigilant but we can't do what, say, a political party can do. here's our platform, this year we're going to try to get through this and that. we have to wait until -- it has to start with the people. if it doesn't start with the people it's not going to get to the court. so you have to have a concerned citizenry to help these rights. justice liu: let me take us out of the law for a second and ask
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you, as our time runs out here who are your most important mentors in your life? justice ginsburg: who -- what women were my role models i say in my growing up years, one was real and one was fictional. the real one was amelia earhart and the fictional one was nancy drew. [applause] [laughter] justice ginsburg: but amelia -- in my college years, certainly law school, never had a woman teacher. people asked me, did you always want to be a supreme court justice? i wanted to get a job in the law. that was my goal. women weren't on the bench in numbers on the federal bench until jimmy carter became president. he deserves tremendous credit
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for that. he was in office only four years. he took a look at the federal judiciary and said, you know they all kind of look like me, but he was determined to appoint members of minority groups and women in numbers, not as one at a time curiosities. at least 25 women to federal district courts and i was one of the lucky 11 appointed to a court of appeals during his time. if he said in october of 1980 when he had a reception for the women he had appointed to the federal bench, even though he had no supreme court vacancy to fill he hoped he would be remembered for how he changed the complexion of the u.s. judiciary. and no president went back to old ways. president reagan determined to
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put the first woman on the supreme court. justice liu: as you reflect on the entirety of your life and career, what do you think -- what aspects or events have given you the greatest personal satisfaction? justice ginsburg: i was tremendously fortunate to be born when i was, to be a lawyer with the skill in the 1970's to help move that progress and society along. if i had been born even 10 years earlier it would have been impossible. in the turning point brief we put on a cover of that brief the names of two women, paul even mary was one and -- what's the one i already mentioned?
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the one who was concerned with putting women on juries. all over the country. we put their names on the briefs to say they kept the message alive even when people were not prepared to listen. and we owe them a tremendous debt. how lucky we are. just think of the quote, the first case, it comes out unanimous judgment and most of the others came out the right way in the 1970's. so i count myself enormously fortunate to be around when it was possible. to move society to the place where it should be, for the betterment of all of us. everyone is a beneficiary of ending gender discrimination.
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women, men, like charles morris. children. justice rehnquist, this is a story of a man whose life died in childbirth. he was left the sole caretaker of the child, wanted social security benefits that would help him be able to work only part time while his child was young. those benefits were for mothers, not fathers. so the court decided that case i think it was in 1975. it was a unanimous judgment. one, discrimination against the women as wage earner. her social security taxes don't get for her family the same protection.
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and then a few of them thought it was really discrimination against the male as parent. he would not have the opportunity to render personal care to his child. and then rehnquist all along said totally arbitrary from the point of view of the baby. why should the baby have the chance to be cared for by a parent, only if the parent is female and not male? but it's that realization that we will all be better off if we end the discrimination, if we end the era of women for the home and children and men are for the outside world. both should be in both worlds. [applause] justice liu: well - [applause] justice liu: before we go, let
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me say on behalf of everyone here i think we are all enormously fortunate that you've lived the life that you have and been such a tremendous inspiration to so many generations and we look forward to what's still to come. thank you so much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] coming up tonight on c-span, jeb bush officially announces his candidacy for president. after that, an interview was senior hillary clinton campaign
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strategist. later, a look at the role of the united nations. on the next washington journal bill pascrell of new jersey discusses the ongoing tpp and the tpa trade bill debate in the u.s. house and other issues on the slate of agenda. than representative holberg's in alabama on the strategy against isis andrade a potential u.s. plan to send heavy military weaponry to eastern europe. you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. tuesday, after gary sinise is the featured speaker at the national press club. he will discuss his advocacy for veterans and the work of the gary sinise foundation. that is live at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2.
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>> this weekend, the c-span city's tour has partnered with comcast to learn about the history and literary life of key west, florida. >> they found this house for sale. they bought it for $8,000 in 193110 and probably encumbered in this hayloft into his first formal writing studio. here he fell in love with fishing. he fell in love with the clarity of his writing, how fast he was producing the work. he knocked out the first rough draft of "a farewell to arms" two weeks after arriving in key west. he once said, if you really want to write, start with one true sentence. for a true writer, each book should be a new beginning. he should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. >> key west is also where resident harry truman sought refuge from washington.
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>> president truman regarded the white house as the big y to jail. he felt he was constantly under everyone's eye. so by coming to key west, he could come with his closest staff, let down his hair, and sometimes some of the staff would let there be as grow for a couple of days. they certainly at times used off-color stories and could have a glass of bourbon and visit back and forth without any scrutiny from the press. a sportswear company sent a case of hawaiian shirts to the president. with the thought that, if the president is wearing our sure, we are going to sell a lot of shirts. so president truman wore those free shirts the first year and then organized what they called the loud shirt contest. that was the official uniform of key west. >> watch all of our events from key west saturday at 5:00 p.m.
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eastern on book tv. and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next, jeb bush makes the official announcement of his candidacy for president in 2016. mr. bush, son of george h.w. bush and brother of george w. bush, is the 11th major candidate to announces run for the 2016 republican nomination. from the largest campus of the miami-dade college, this is just over an hour. [applause] >> please welcome to the stage dr. rb homes.
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dr. holmes: let us pray. god, we are thankful for this country. we are thankful for this place this event bless that you bless this country and bless jeb bush and his family. let your peace be with us. we give you glory and honor. in your name, jesus, we pray. amen. [applause] let me tell you about the jeb bush that i know. and the jeb bush that i admire and respect very much.
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he is a dear friend. i have known him for over 20 plus years. he is fair. he is forthright and thoughtful. jeb is a person who truly cares about all people. jeb is a person who does not judge people or label people or marginalize people. he respects people for who they are and what they can become. as one of the most successful governors in this great state of florida -- [applause] i had the honor of working with governor bush. i was able to see his strengths.