tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 5, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous connt t quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, i come to the floor this afternoon to talk about the bill before us, and i want to commend my colleague and the chairman of the senate banking committee, senator dodd, for his leadership on this crucial reform.
and i want to start off by reiterating what i know many of my colleagues have said, that this is a strong bill. and it is a necessary bill. there's no doubt that we need wall street reform and we need it now. when tens of millions of americans have lost their jobs, homes and savings, americans can't wait any longer to end the reckless wall street practices that cause those problems. and i certainly never want to see us be in a position where we had the chairman of the federal reserve come to us about a year and a half ago and say to members of the senate banking committee, "you need to act because financial institutions are on the verge of collapse, and their collapse would create a consequence to the national economy of enormous
proportions." and i'll never forget the dialogue that took place there in essence when the chairman bernanke was asked, the chairman of the federal reserve, what happens? don't you have enough time, tools in the federal reserve to get us through this period of time? he basically said if you don't act we'll have a global economic meltdown, which means a new depression in the 21st century. certainly a depression in the 21st century is much different than this country lived through under president roosevelt. and since he was someone, or is someone whose expertise is in depression-era economics -- how we got into depression, how we got out -- it was a pretty compelling argument. here we are, and what we want to do is make sure we are never put at that risk again, that there isn't anything as too big to fail because in doing so, you can make all the wrong additions knowing that even when you make the wrong decisions and they're risky, at the end of the day the
taxpayers will have to bail you out because we can't have the country's whole economy go under. and at the same time try to strengthen our regulatory process so that we not only not face that reality, but we create clear rules of the road. i'm for a free market. i believe in a free market. there's a difference between a free market and a free-for-all market. and there's a difference between when someone takes their own capital, whether as a company or as an individual, and makes an investment, and when the investment goes good, they collect on it. and good for them. but when the investment goes bad, we all have to pay for it. we cannot have a system where profits are privatized but losses become the general public's responsibility. and that's in essence the core
of what we're trying to do here, to make sure that such a system, which is what we've had -- not a free market, but a free-for-all market -- gets changed so we never have that again. as i've said, i think this is an incredibly strong bill, but even a strong bill can have suggestions to make a good bill even stronger. so i want to commend chairman dodd for being open to ideas to make this bill even stronger, regardless of which side of the aisle they come from. now that we have broken the republican logjam that has been holding this bill up for over a week, i hope we can get to the business of fully legislating in a full and open debate. i know that's what the american people want and expect the senators whom they sent to washington actually get to work on the business of fixing these problems. not that they sit on their hands while one party holds up debate because the bill didn't do everything they wanted it to, or
because we had conversations -- you know, some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle had conversations with wall street, and basically they don't like a lot of what we're doing here. but in fact, it's critical to the nation's economic security. and so i'm glad to see that we have colleagues now on the train. i just hope people don't try to pull the emergency brake switch to try to stop us from going to where we need to go. so, i think this is a great bill. there are some amendments that i plan to offer to the bill. i think they make the bill even stronger. i have filed an open books amendment to require companies to be more transparent in their financial reporting. many experts believe that one of the reasons we got into this mess in the first place was because no one -- no one -- not investors, not regulators, not counterparties, not even the people running the companies
could actually figure out the true value of these big wall street banks. that because banks hid a significant percentage of their liabilities, their risks off their balance sheets -- for example, lehman brothers treated $50 billion in repurchase agreements, transactions as sales instead of financing transactions on their balance sheets, misleading everyone about the state of lehman's finances. the bottom line is, it may sound very technical, but if i can take my liabilities off my personal balance sheet and put them somewhere else and look like i'm better off than i am, that's fundamentally wrong. clearly, had there been more transparency, we might have dealt with the lehman situation sooner, thus reducing the repercussions of a catastrophic
bankruptcy. the amendment i'm proposing is simple. it requires companies that are designated as systemically risky to disclose all their off-balance activities in their annual 10-k report to the securities and exchange commission and provide detailed justifications for why they are keeping those liabilities off their balance sheets. it also requires disclosure of daily average leverage ratios and quarterly reports. this will prevent companies from moving liabilities off their balance sheets only days before when they are reporting earnings as lehman and others allegedly did. it's a step towards transparency. we know capital markets work best when they are transparent. that's the thrust of what this bill is trying to do. put simply, the largest banks should not be able to deceive regulators, investors, counterparties and the public by hiding their liabilities in
off-balance vehicles. we need transparency and clarity, not trickery and deception. i also am happy to join with senator akaka, who is leading on this particular amendment, but i'm his prime cosponsor, to require stockbrokers to act in the best interest of their clients. what a revolutionary concept, that stockbrokers act in the best interest of their clients. brokers aren't required to act in the best interest of their clients and can sell clients' worst investments because they make more money on them without the client ever knowing it. brokers are only required to have -- quote -- "reasonable grounds, reasonable grounds thaobl a product they're -- to believe that a product they're recommending is suitable for the customer, even if it's not the best product for the customer."
typically brokers do not have to make disclosures about conflicts of interest or past infractions. in contrast, investment advisors, they are legally and ethically bound to put a client's interests ahead of their own, in essence to have a fiduciary duty, and to fully disclose those conflicts they may have. all brokers currently have exactly the same conflict of interest that goldman sachs had in its civil fraud case by the securities and exchange commission. financial incentives to steer clients towards bad investment products that brokers made more money on. but retail investors are confused. they commonly think the services that investment advisors and brokers provide are nearly identical. an s.e.c. commission study in 2008 by the rand corporation found that investors were confused about the differences.
so i don't think we need further studies. senator akaka's amendment and mine would end the confusion. it would require brokers to act in the best interest of their clients, just like investment advisors already do. it requires brokers to disclose conflicts of interest so brokers would have to tell retail clients if they get more fees for selling a particular mutual fund or annuity product. and it gives the s.e.c. discretion to apply a fiduciary standard for all types of investors, which would include institutional investors who were victimized by the allegations in the goldman sachs skas. investment advice should be transparent. if there are conflicts of interest or higher fees for particular products, investors should know about t inkvestors need to know that brokers have a duty to act in their best interest. i also have an amendment to
expand the opportunities for women and minorities in banking. currently, the staff of financial regulatory agencies lag in diversity, called into the office of personnel management, minorities comprise only 13.7%. women comprise 34%. well, a recent g.a.o. report found that among minority banks, only about one-third thought their regulators were doing a good or very good job of making an effort to protect or promote their interests and less than a third of minority-owned institutions have utilized services offered by the regulators in the last three years. only 5.7% of african-american firms and 5.6% of american firms obtain the bank loans to start their business, compared to 12% of nonminority firms. the amendment i'm proposing would rectify this by creating the offices of women and minorities -- minority and women
advancement at all the major financial regulatory agencies. these offices would be responsible for all matters of diversity including diversity in agency employment and contracts. office directors would provide annual reports to congress on diversity issues with recommendations for improvements. and the amendment would also require publicly traded companies to provide an annual s.e.c. filings diversity report cards which would break down by gender and race the percentages of officers and employees who are minorities and women and the percentage of total compensation they receive. and finally, it extends the minority banking requirements under section 308 of the financial institutions reform recovery and enforcement act to the federal reserve and the o.c.c. this similar amendment has already passed the house of representatives unanimously. and i would certainly hope that we could do that same here. diversity within the federal banking agencies will help ensure different perspectives are being brought to bear on
issues that enhance the likelihood these solutions will be comprehenssaifnedz inclusive of a broad range of views. it will make our banking system fairer, more stable, and more just. now, i also have an amendment with senator merkley to prohibit corporate executives and highly paid employees from hedging against any decrease in the market value of their employer's stock. this amendment is one that i think is very important because i'm concerned that there are a lot of bad incentives undermining the goals of executive compensation. a recent study found that there were at least 2,000 cases at 911 firms over an 11-year period in which executives tried to profit by betting against their own company, by betting against their own company. hedging undermines, in my mind, the whole point of incentive
compensation, to make sure that executives only benefit when the company does well. if they can hedge their stock, then it doesn't matter how well the company does because either way the executive makes money. tails they win, heads they win. that's simply fundamentally wrong. worse, it may in some cases give executives an incentive to sort of like throw the game, to use their privileged position to take a position that may very well not be in the company and its employees' best interest and then make a killing by selling the company stock short. not good for the company, not good for the employees, not good for investors. my amendment would place a ban on stock hedging by executives and highly compensated employees -- namely, those making more than $1 million per year --
preventing them from betting against their own company. put simply, executives and highly compensated employees should never have financial incentives to act against the best interests of their very own company. and finally, i am darned i'm hoping some of these may very well be able to see its way into a managers' package. i hope we don't have to come to the floor to offer all of them. the recession hit everyone and community development financial institutions have been hit hard, especially hard. they're in a tough position because they've got to rely on the big banks for capital, which is neither affordable or easily accessible. my amendment would authorize the treasury department to guarantee bonds issued by qualified community development financial institutions for the purpose of
community and economic development loans. this is also no cost to the taxpayer to do this. cdfi's have a proven frac record of job creation and community development. they are the most effective way to infuse capital in low-income communities because the capital goes directly into those communities in economic development efforts. in focusing on the finances of wall street, i think this is an opportunity not to get -- not to forget about the finances of main street where most of the jobs are and the devastating impact that wall street's actions have had on main street. and lastly, i'd like to talk about whistle-blower protections. they are the first and most effective line of defense against corporate fraud and other misconduct. yet because of inadequate protections against retaliation, would-be corporate whistle-blowers often keep quiet when they could be protecting the public from illegal activity. as we've seen in the emergence
of the lehman brothers scandal, a whistle-blower who tried to alert management to a legal account -- to illegal accounting tricks was fired. through the sarbanes oxley act of 2002, they did much to expand protection of corporate whistle-blowers from retail yairks but it lacked several modern whistle-blower protections that have been standard in every piece of legislation since 2006. my amendment updates sarbanes-oxley protections against retaliation by giving whistle-blowers 180 days to file a claim instetdz of the 90 that exists right now. giving whistle-blowers their date in court with a clear right to a injury trial, clarifying that whistle-blowers are entitled to compensatory damages, strengthening due most rights for whistle-blowers by eliminating inconsistencies in current law. preventing employers from gagging whistle-blowersly holding them to contractual obligations, ensuring that whistle-blowers would be protected for all disclosures of
material misconduct. we think that those opportunities strengthen a citizen to be able to engage and to come forth in a way that protects the company, that protects the investors, that protects all of us in the economy at large. so, mr. president, again i want to commend chairman dodd for his leadership in this effort. i've been a pleasure as a member of the baipging committee working with him on some of the underplying provisions that he's already included in the bill. that makes it so strong. i stand ready to work together to address these remaining issues, some which i hope we can work through and get accepted. others which, if nerks i'm treed come to the floor -- others which, if nerks i'm ready to come to the floor and get adopted. i want a bill and an america in which americans will never be asked to reach into their poghts
to take care of the excessive decisions of companies that privatize the profit but then said when it went bad and the gamble didn't go well that all of us should pay. we can't have that. that's what the core of this bill does. that's why i've been proud to work with t chairn w that i yield the floor. mr. dodd: mr. president, before our colleague from new jersey leaves, let me thank him. he is a mesm our committee and a very balanced member of the banking committee. he's been tremendously helpful. we've worked during my 37 or 38 months as chairman of the committee. we've worked very closely on the housing issues, on the credit card legislation -- there have been some 42 measures that have come through the banking committee in the last 38 months, 37 of which have become the law of the land. that's a pretty good record out of our committee, and it reflectz the tremendous effort of members that have committee to help pull together sound pieces of legislation. senator menendez has been
critical on some of those efforts. i want to thank him for that. we're hoping we can get as many of these amendments up and debate them. i thank him for his contribution already. i yield the floor. mr. cochran: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: mr. president, i was saddened by the announcement of my friend, congressman david obey of wisconsin, that he will retire from the u.s. house of representatives. he has served with great distinction for the people of his district in wisconsin since april the 1st, 1969. he was elected to succeed melvin laird, who had resigned from the house to serve as secretary of defense. david obey was reelected to 17 succeeding congresses. in the house, he has chaired the joint economic committee and the committee on appropriations.
david obey has had a career of distinction in the congress. he has been conscientious in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities as a congressman, and he has been a good friend of mine. i will truly miss working with david obey on the appropriations committee. we dealt with some of the most contentious issues of our time. i always respected him, even though we sometimes had to disagree. -- on issues that were being considered by our committee. he was a spirited and effective member of congress. i extend to him my very good wishes for the future. thpresiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, i want to join my great friend from mississippi, senator
cochran. his sentiments about david obey -- we're speak #-g off the bill here. i'd ask consent that both of our comments be in morning business so it wouldn't interfere the flow of the debate on the financial reform bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: but i have known dave obey for 36 years. he was already -- already had been in congress four or five years when i got to meet dave, when i arrived in 1975. and just a wonderful, wonderful individual, adeep passions -- deep passions. he was the best ally you ever had if he was on your side and he was a frightening opponent if he was on the other sievmentd having been on both sides of an argument with dave observey, i much preferred him as an ally on issues. a notorious workhorse who showed up every day with his sleeves rolled up to fight for not only the little guy in his own district in wisconsin but for people all across the country.
working men and women never had a better ally in the congress of the united states than dave obey. and he didn't spare any of his emotions or rhetoric when it came to defense of that working man or woman in our country during his 40 years -- more than 40 years of service. and he has great passion. nothing you like or dislike -- nothing did he dislike more than a bully. he loved his state, his family, and enjoyed a great joke when we spent time with him on various committees can and marking up of bills. he and i worked together. we were involved in my earliest days in the house -- i was a strong backer of richard bolling from missouri to be majority leader back in 1976, i think it was, and gullis long of
louisiana were the comanagers of richard bolling's attempt to be jocial. the other great ally in that effort was dave obey of wisconsin. so that's when i first got to know dave, in that battle for the majority leader's race. we lost that battle. dick bolling did not make it. jim wright became the majority leader in a very closely -- close contest, in fact, with phil burton of california. it was a one-vote margin, mr. president, that determined the majority leader's race. richard bolling dropped out after the second ballot didn't get enough votes. but dave obey and i and gillis long and others argued to support richard bolling. i was with him a couple of years ago. rosa delauro from new haven, connecticut, chief of staff for seven years. rose was the second woman to be the chief of staff of a senator in the united states to serve --
she served with knee for seven years and went on to become a member of congress the last 20 years herself. she and dave obey, rosa sits on the appropriations committee in the house -- chairs the subcommittee on appropriations for agriculture i might add as well. dave obey was that the event for congresswoman delauro. gave some wonderful remarks on behalf of her that evening as well. i want to join senator cochran in wishing dave the very best. he served his state, his district, and his country with great distinction, great patriotism and we pish him the very, rebest. i see my friend an cleelg from texas here. i yield the floor. mrs. hutchison: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i rise to speak on the hutchiso hutchison-tester amendment. this is an amendment that will help our community banks. it will level the playing field for them. and i think it's something that i've been working on for several months during all the process that this bill has gone through
in committee, this was one of the first things that i wanted to attack. and i'm very pleased that we are going to get a vote very soon on this bill either a voice vote or a record vote. but i know with the bipartisan support that we have, that we will pass this amendment. i would just like to thank the cosponsors of the amendment, senator conrad, senator murray, senator burris, senator brown of massachusetts, senator harkin, senator shaheen, senator cornyn, senator johanns, senator nelson of florida, and senator nelson of nebraska. as well as, of course, senator tester and myself. we are trying to level the playing field for our community banks. and the reason is that there has been a -- in the underlying bill it sets a way of assessing the banks by the fdic. and the -- there has been a flexibility in the past, but
we're going to set in statute with this amendment that banks will be assessed based on assets minus capital. that should be the way to assess. community banks, with less than $10 billion in assets, rely hef loin customer -- heavily on customer deposits for funding. but that penalizes these safe institutions with customer deposits by forcing them to pay insurance deposit premiums above and beyond the rick they would pose to the banking system. despite making up 20% of the nation's assets, these community banks contribute 30% of the premiums to the fdic. at same time large banks hold 8 important of the banking stray assets, but -- industry's assets, but pay 70% of the premiums. there is no reason for the community banks to have to make
up this gap. what we need is a level playing field. it is the community banks that are loaning to our businesses. it is the community banks that are keeping our communities supported in so many ways from the football programs to the -- the score boards in the stadiums to making sure that small businesses have inventory loans, that they are able to put forward. community banks didn't cause the problems in this country and to have them give more in fdic insurance than proportionately the big banks do is just unfair. senator tester and i want to correct this inequity and that's exactly what the hutchison-tester amendment does. so i do appreciate very much senator dodd saying that he agrees with us, that he will work with us to pass this amendment and i'm very pleased that we have such bipartisan
support. and i think it will immensely improve the bill and give the community banks one of the things that they need and free them to give more liquidity to businesses and all across america. thank you, mr. president. mr. dodd: mr. president, let me thank the member of the banking committee from texas, senator hutchison. there are a lot of amendments that people have to subtract or add provisions to the bill. her amendment that she's offering with senator tester and a list of others, i think it is just a very, very important piece. this could be a separate bill what she's offered if you're thinking about just a freestanding idea out there, this would qualify in my book as such an idea. and maybe it doesn't sown like much to people, but to consider the liabilities that gives a far, more accurate picture of
the condition of a smaller bank and, therefore, the assessments makes more sense if you have a fuller view of how that institution is doing. so this will be -- time and again, it's so painful on friday afternoons after 4:00, 5:00 every week lately, five banks, six banks, 10 banks, i feel so badly when i hear those names, a lot of them small towns in our country, maybe small amounts, some of them larger. you think of a small town where there might be just one lending institution, and maybe two, and one closes their doors, what it means to an institution, what it means to a community to lose that lending institution where everybody knows everybody and you don't have to have a computer printout to know whether other not mrs. hutchison or mr. dodd is going to be able to meet that obligation. they know the family and they know how it works. and to be able to help them by
reducing the burden financially on them. at the same time, of course, we need to keep up that insurance fund because you want to protect those depositors no matter how badly we feel, and i do, when we read the small town banks who have to close their doors, you want those customers -- the customers have to show up some other place on monday morning. by shifting the burden a little bit more to the larger institutions who can afford to do so i think is a great idea. as my colleague from texas knows, i would accept it this afternoon, but i don't have a right to do it. if i were king for a moment, i would say let's accept the hutchison-tester, tester-hutchison amendment. i thank her and senator tester for offering a very sound, very worthwhile proposal that i think will be a real help to our community banks. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i thank the distinguished chairman of the committee. of course we could take over the world right now since you and i
are the only ones on the floor, but we know there would be consequences. so, seriously, mr. president, i would just say that this is significant too because i do believe this bill is going to pass. and we are working very, i think, productively to try to make some changes in the bill that will make it much better for the community banks in our country. and, as the chairman knows, the fdic has decided to prefund the fdic now for the next three years by the end of this year. so if we change this formula and assure that the community banks will not carry the heavier burden from the bigger banks, that's going to have an impact this year in the liquidity of those banks and their capability to lend. so i appreciate very much the chairman's support and look forward to having our amendment either voice voted or record --
mr. franken: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. mr. franken: i ask for unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. franken: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, today i would like to talk a little further about the problems with credit rating agencies. yesterday, i filed an amendment to the wall street reform bill that would create a credit rating agency board and help encourage competition and most importantly accuracy in the credit rating system. the major role that the credit rating agencies played in the recent financial crisis has been largely overlooked. most of the blame has been directed at wall street's oversized banks and the investment firms that were
securitizing any kind of debt that they could get their hands on. ultimately, these firms got their hands on quite a lot, and one of their favorite products became mortgage-backed securities. investment banks and hedge funds realize that there was a lot of money to be made. there is about $9 trillion worth of mortgage-backed security in the market right now, so they securitized every mortgage they could find, and once this happened, this source of easy profits dried up, so wall street demanded more and mortgage lenders all too happily lowered their lending standards and delivered a new fleet of subprime mortgages for wall street to securitize. now, as we all know, subprime mortgages are riskier than regular mortgages. that's why they are called subprime. borrowers are more likely to default, yet when these risky
mortgages were packaged, firms were able to sell them easily. and one of their biggest selling points? well, they came with a nice big aaa stamp on them, three letters that say this product is safe. this product belongs as part of a pension fund, a retirement account or an educational endowment. so that's where many of these risky subprime mortgage-backed securities ended up, and when they failed, they ended up costing working americans billions and billions of dollars in losses to their savings. but much of this could have been prevented if only the ratings for these exotic securities had reflected their true risk. we need reform the way credit rating agencies do business. right now, there is really nothing to compel them to produce ratings that reflect a
product's real risk. quite the contrary, they are incentivized to provide high inflated ratings so they can keep getting repeat business. that's why i have filed an amendment to change the incentives in the industry. my amendment numbered 3808 which i have crafted with senators schumer and nelson would finally encourage competition and accuracy in an industry that has little of either. to stop the jockeying by raiders to get repeat business, my amendment would create a clearinghouse, a clearinghouse to sign a rating agency to a product issuer for the purpose of an initial rating. the clearinghouse which will be a self-regulatory agency called the credit rating agency board, will set up its own rules on how this assignment will work. it could be random, it could be
formula based, just as long as the issuer doesn't choose which agency rates its product. this will eliminate the incentive for the rater to give an inflated rating in the hopes of getting that repeat business. the credit rating agency board would be compromised of industry experts, investors, issuers, raters and, of course, independents. the majority of its members would be investors, including institutional investors who have experienced managing pension funds and university endowments. they have -- they would have a vested interest in accurate credit ratings because they depend on them when making investments. another key element of my amendment is that the board will regularly evaluate the performance of the credit rating
agencies, and they would have to take that performance into account when coming up with an assignment mechanism. in my mind, there is no better way to get accurate ratings than giving more initial rating jobs to the most accurate raters and few those to those who repeatedly do a sloppy job. finally, the board will be able to prevent raters from charging unreasonable fees. this will strike at the heart of sweetheart deals in which a rater asks for more money for a better rating. and make no mistake, that's what has been happening. just last week, chairman levin held a hearing in the permanent subcommittee on investigations. his team revealed many email exchanges between issuers and credit rating agencies to expose how they really did business. now, here is one email from
moody's to merrill lynch, and i quote -- "we have spent significant amount of resources on this deal, and it will be difficult for us to continue with this process if we do not have an agreement on the fee issue. we are agreeing to this under the assumption that this will not be a precedent for any future deals and that you work with us further on this transaction to try to get some middle ground with respect to the ratings." now, does this sound like moody's was objectively evaluating the value and risk of merrill's product? it doesn't sound like that to me. i'm confident that the assignment process under my amendment will result in increased competition in the credit rating industry and provide incentives to produce
accurate ratings. the amendment allows issuers to go to whichever rating agency they choose for second or third ratings. these follow-up ratings will more likely be accurate because raters know they will be compared to the initial rating. more accurate ratings will mean safer products that end up in pension funds and in retirement accounts. safer products mean more retirement security for working americans. so once again, this all boils down to security and stability in our financial system. the greed and recklessness driving wall street over the past decade has wreaked havoc on our economy and we need to take bold action to reig rein it in. ignoring the magnitude of this
problem will only come back to haunt us. we simply can't let that happen. we must take action to fundamentally change the way the system works by putting accuracy first in -- in these ratings. i call on my colleagues to join me and senators schumer, knell , brown, whitehouse, murray in supporting this essential reform to restore integrity to the credit rating agency system. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. mr. franken: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: i ask the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: thank you. mr. president, i had not intended to speak tonight, but having heard my friend, the senator from minnesota, speak about the problems with the rating agencies, i thought i would rise to -- to say that in very many respects, the senator from minnesota is correct. mr. wicker: and it's my understanding that the underlying bill as yet has no provision whatsoever dealing with the rating agencies. i think -- i think certainly if that remains, it will be a major flaw in the legislation.
i don't know the details of the amendment that the senator from minnesota was referring to but i certainly would welcome a debate about the rating agencies to make sure that they're accurate, to acknowledge so many mistakes that have been made by those agencies in the past. so i want to commend the senator for -- for his -- for his debate about this issue. i have a couple more points i'd like to make and i don't have much more time but i'll be happy to yield to the gentleman. mr. dodd: i thank my colleague. just as a -- title 9 of the bill, and i'm not suggesting you're going to love every dotted i and crossed t, but in title 9, i just would urge my friend from mississippi, we do cover rating agencies. again, it was a complex area and it was difficult on how to do that. but the legitimate point made by the senator from minnesota and others is something we share. and in title 9, we try to address ways in which we can get
far more accountability out of these agencies. so i appreciate my -- my colleague's concerns. mr. wicker: reclaiming my time, and i appreciate that. i think the senator would also concede that there are many in this body and in this building who would make the case that the bill is far from adequate as it -- as regards the rating agencies and we'll have a debate about that. mr. dodd: i won't accept the argument there's nothing in the bill rating agencies. mr. wicker: i appreciate the statement that was made. i hope we can strengthen the bill as it regards the rating agencies. i would also hope we can do this. we have an opportunity in some amendments later on in this debate, perhaps next week, perhaps the week after to address this question of the g.s.e.'s. fannie and freddie. i think almost everyone would acknowledge that much of the problem that was caused in 2007, 2008 stemmed from the g.s.e.'s.
there's been an effort on the part of senator shelby and others over time to rein in and have some important regulations for fannie mae and freddie mac. i would happy to we can have an honest-to-goodness debate and include this very important aspect of financial reform in this legislation. otherwise, i think we haven't gotten to part of the problem. and then i would say also, we're going to have a debate about over the next few days and perhaps weeks about this all-powerful consumer agency that would be created. certainty we need to protect the consumers. but as i understand this legislation, which we'll be asked to consider and to vote on, we'll have an opportunity to debate, it creates one of the most important, one of the most powerful, all-powerful
individuals in the entire federal government, someone who would not even have to answer to a board as head of this all-powerful consumer protection agency. i think the fact that we are hearing more from main street rising uni up in dismay saying e main street agencies didn't cause these problems, the car deecialtiondealers, the orthodoo might finance payments over time, the medium-sized banks and credit unions, they say, "mr. senator, we are not part of the problem. why are we being penalized and brought into this -- the purview of this all-powerful washington, d.c. regulator?" i think the concerns of main street can be addressed by this senate and we can still cut a --
pass a bill that will cover the abuses of wall street which, after all, is what we're after. and so i wanted to use the senator's -- the senator from minnesota's remarks as a springboard to say that there are a number of issues, including freddie and fannie, including dealing with too much power in the form of this regulator and also dealing with the issue which the senator brought up of the -- of the rating agencies. and i thank the senator and i yield the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, just on my own time. and, again, and again, i don't expect necessarily agreement with all but i wanted to make point, 40 pages of our -- of our bill deals with rating agencies in this bill. it isn't a page or two or a thought or two. there are sections that go in this bill from section 931 to
939 are section -- subtitle c, improvements on the regulation of credit rating agencies. 40 pages of this book deals specifically with ways in which we try to get greater accountability and reform in the credit rating agencies, a very important issue, one that obviously people may have additional ideas. and i accept ideas may even strengthen this. don't claim perfection in this. but i want to make sure when people talk about the bill billt they would have read it, looked at it or be aware when they get up and suggest that when there was nothing in this bill about it. quite the contrary, there's a very strong section on rating agencies. so, again, i -- again, people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts, and with all due respect to my friend from mississippi, who's unfortunately left the floor, i just wanted to make the point to him that he may not like what i've written here or
we've written but there's some very strong language here on getting that greater accountability out of our rating agencies. and with that, mr. president, i know there's at least one, maybe additional member going to come over to the heard, so i'll note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that on thursday, may 6, after the opening of the senate, the time until 10:00 a.m. be for debate with respect to the tester-hutchison amendment number 3749 with the time equally divided and controlled in the usual form, and at 10:00 a.m. the senate proceed to vote in relation to the amendment with no amendment in order to the amendment prior to the vote. further, that the sanders amendment 3738 be the next democratic amendment in order. and to clarify for the record, the amendment would be called up upon disposition of the pending shelby amendment number 3826. the presiding officer: is there objection? seeing and hearing none, without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, let me just say, if i can, about this while we're awaiting to do the wrap-up here. we finished up on the series of votes sometime around 4:00 or
3:30 this afternoon. it's now 6:30. other than statements made by members over here regarding their various amendments, the pending amendment is the amendment offered by my friend and colleague from alabama dealing with the consumer protection part of our bill. i'm anxious for us to debate that. i regret we didn't have any debate this afternoon. i made the point that members have amendments. we've all been around most of the people here long enough to know this will not be with some 90 amendments. it's not going to mean that every single amendment people have will be offered. we can maximize the number of amendments that be be be offered. out of courtesy to our colleagues, whether you agree with them or disagree with them, they ought to be given the opportunity to have some time to offer an amendment, to debate it and get a vote. again that, doesn't mean that every amendment is going to be treated absolutely equally here, but i've been determined to try
to make this work for as many members as possible. but when two or three hours go by and not a word is spoken about a pending amendment and then the hour will come when i can predict the debate, you haven't given us enough time to debate our amendments. so i'm keeping score privately about the times that have gone vacant when no one's talked on a pending amendment. so tomorrow after the disposition of the tester-hutchison, hutchison-tester amendment, i'll be asking at that time prior to that vote for a time agreement on the pending amendment. my hope is it will be, it will be reasonable, take an hour or so to do that. i understand that. but i'm not going to tolerate a whole morning be wasted on that with all these other amendments that people want to be heard. democrats and republicans. and so we need to have that debate and then move along. again, i say that respectfully, but again, we can't -- we're not going to spend an endless number
of days on this bill. there are a lot of other matters to be considered by this body. this is a very important bill, and it's very important we listen to the various ideas that people want to offer to it. so i say this to my colleagues: try and keep your time request short. this was a good beginning today, but i would have preferred that we could have used the last two or three hours to debate this amendment that is pending and then schedule a vote the morning, whenever else. but two or three hours to debate an amendment ought to be adequate here, and particularly -- and i recognize that every amendment is considered as important as others. and so prioritizing the amendments is important. senator bernie sanders has the amendment that will come up afterwards. i can't speak for him, but i asked him. he said, look, i might take an hour. that's a reasonable request, in my view. he's got an important amendment and he deserves to be heard on it. my hope is that members will follow the sanders example here and be respectful of each other so they can get as many
amendments in. my hope is that tomorrow evening we'll be here later. we're going to be here friday, i gather. i'm not the one to make those decisions, but i've been led to believe by the leadership we're going to be here friday. if i had my way, we'd be here saturday and sunday. i don't get my way on this. but to get the bill done. so i'm going to be urging the leader to keep us here as long as necessary to have a full debate on this bill. i'm not sure i'll succeed in those requests, but i'm going to make them. and again, given the complexity of this and the interest that members have, if we'll utilize the time rather than sitting here letting quorum calls run on hour after hour, then we'll hear that bellowing that occurs, "i never had a clans to be heard -- a chance to be heard on my amendment. why didn't i have time to be heard?" the answer is going to be, and i'm keeping the record here, all the time we're waiting for someone to debate an amendment.
again, if i sound a little frustrated, it's a little too early in the debate to get this frustrated, but i want to express it anyway in advance of the real frustration you may feel later on. with that, mr. president, ... there will be no more votes this evening. i see my colleague from colorado here. i'm going to do the wrap wrap-up here. then i'm going to be allow my colleague to be heard. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 350, s. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
the clerk: calendar number 350, s. 3111, a bill to establish the commission on freedom of information act processing delays. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the bill. mr. dodd: i ask unanimous consent, mr. president, that the committee reported amendments be considered, that a leahy-cornyn amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, that the committee-reported amendments be be agreed to, that the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the homeland security and governmental affairs committee be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 5148 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideraon. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 5148, an act to amend title 39, united states code to clarify the instances in which the term "census" may
appear on mailable matter. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 514 cer:he clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 514, congratulating the students, parents, teachers administrators of charter schools across the united states for ongoing contributions to education and supporting the ideals an goals of the 11th annual national charters school week to be held may 2 through may 8, 2010. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on
the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the resolution be placed in the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. thursday, may 6, that following the prayer and the pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved until later in the day, and the senate resume consideration of s. 3217, the wall street reform, as provided for under the previous order. the presiding officer: objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, under the previous order at 10:00 a.m. the senate will proceed to vote in relation to the tester-hutchison amendment regarding insurance premiums. and if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order following the remarks of senator mark udall of colorado. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: i thank the chair.
mr. udall: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. udall: are we in morning business, mr. president? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. udall: i'd ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i rise to speak about a bipartisan amendment which senator lugar and i filed based on our bill, the fair access to credit scores act of 2010. this amendment, mr. president, is cosponsored by 17 of our colleagues from both sides of the aisle which is, i have to say, a rare bipartisan piece of legislation. our amendment corrects one of the fundamental inequities in our financial system by giving americans free annual access to their credit score. the problem is that most people have been mislead to believe that -- misled to believe people have free access to a credit score, but this isn't true. they only have access to a report. a credit report tells consumers
what outstanding credit accounts they have like student loans, credit card ors perhaps a car or home loan. unfortunately it tells americans little else, mr. president. on the other hand, your credit scores, which our legislation makes available, has the critical information consumers need to know. this score's the very first point of entity into our entire financial system which rates each and every one of us. it is a number that banks, lenders, and large financial firms have easy access to while hard-working americans, the engine of our economy, do not have access to it. a credit score affects consume consumers' interests rates, monthly payments on home loans, and can even affect a consumer's ability to buy a car, rent an apartment and get phone or internet service. they can pay interest rates on their home loan, car loan, or student loan, mr. president,
which are two to three times higher because of their credit score. this inequity absolutely needs to be fixed if americans are going to take control of their finances. how do we expect them to do that if they don't know if their credit score is bad or good? mr. president, i'm going to be insisting on a vote because we must put consumers back in control of their finances by offering americans annual access to their credit score when they access their free annual credit report. now, i know the lobbyists have been calling everyone in the capital. these credit reporting agencies have misled americans for years and now their lobbyists are trying to mislead my colleagues here in the senate. they're making calls, asking members to fight this transparency, and coming up with all sorts of phony arguments. the truth is that this amendment accomplishes what the television commercials and their fine print have claimed for years, the offer of a free credit score.
our bipartisan amendment would simply require that a credit score be included when a consumer accesses their free annual credit report. once per year from each agency. this would provide some context for consumers who access their free annual credit report and allow them to take responsibility for their financial situation. since we filed this amendment, mr. president, i want to thank the presiding officer, he's joined me on this amendment, there are credit reporting agencies and their lobbyists have been hard at work perpetuating fine print arguments. they claim that our amendment would confuse consumers that the information belongs to the agency and not the people and they've been threatening members by telling them it would cost them jobs in their particular state. i don't have to tell those watching and my colleagues that
those comments are overstated and are really grounds for keeping individuals from having access to this their -- to their credit scores. providing a free score for transparency and, therefore, a sense of financial standing simply would distract and confuse the american consumer. now, how can -- how can they say, mr. president, that these scores would confuse americans even though they're happy to sell them that same information? the lobbyists i'm discussing here also claim that credit scores belong to them. in other words, a credit score to gauge the credit worthiness of a consumer based on their personal information is the property of the credit reporting agency, not the consumer. so, in other words, they're making the argument that it belongs to the agency, not to the individual who creates the credit score. i can't help but think, mr. president, what a -- would a doctor say that someone's blood pressure read something their information, not their
patient's? so i'm disappointed to hear that these credit reporting agencies are even making the suggestion that this might result -- this amendment might result in job loss in their particular states. and these are tough times. and who wouldn't be moved by the argument about jobs? but what they don't tell you when they make that argument is that they oppose the 2003 law that required disclosure of consumers credit reports and then the industry has tripled its business since that time. it tripled because consumers have gotten engaged. they care about those credit reports. and i would dare to predict when you have free credit scores, it will only enhance the interest on consumers to have additional financial scores an additional financial lit as yism i talk about jobs, and i have some of these jobs in my state, mr. president, but i don't consider deceptive practices and keeping americans from their personal information a kind of jobs
program. in fact, if anything, not knowing your credit score could be the greatest threat to employment to any individual. employers are increasingly using this information to decide whether to hire one person or another. i came to the floor yesterday to speak about the frequent television commercials and internet advertisements that falsely claim to offer consumers free access to their credit scores. their ads indicate to americans that their credit score is critical information. what they don't tell you, and i know the presiding officer shared some personal experience with me on this account, they want to lure you into costly monthly monitoring services that can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. now, what's comical about all of this, the credit reporting agency are walking the halls of congress as i speak telling members that our bill is somehow unfair and unfounded. they want to protect a federal
laws that giving them a monopoly on these scores an continues to direct -- and continues to direct unwitting consumers their way. they're using the same tactics of confusion and misnoftion fight our -- misinformation to fight our amendment. we agree with the credit reporting agencies, i should rather say, that a credit score is important information and perhaps their misleading ads, if anything give the consumers they need to know this information. however, luring americans into a costly credit monitoring service is simply not fair. so, mr. president, i begin to close, i want to say we've all come to the floor this week from both sides of the aisle explaining what we want to do is to protect consumers and do what is right for main street and this important and historic bill we're considering. we have a chance to prove -- to right this wrong, i should say, here and now that's why the consumer federation of america,
third way, the consumers union and a wide range of consumer advocates support this legislation. now, free access to consumers' credit scores is only a small part of the larger reforms that are needed, but it addresses one of the fundamental inequities that pervade the current financial system. i want to thank a group of bipartisan senators who has held -- they've held strong amidst the lobbying blitz these large multibillion dollar entities to stand with consumers an cosponsor my bipartisan amendment. that list includes senator lugar, bond, cochran, brown of massachusetts, schumer, lieberman, levin, hagan, brown of ohio, shaheen, mccaskill, lautenberg, menendez, burris and begich. and i hope that more will join us in cosponsoring this amendment and vote for it when
it comes up for a vote. mr. president, i want to thank you for your attention and interest for your support. i yield the -- mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider en bloc the following nominations on the executive calendar numbers 832, 833, 834, and 835. that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, any statements relating to the nomination appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will stand adjourned until trsday, 9:30 a.m., may
obviously, we at department of state continue to do everything we can in support of the ongoing investigation of the attempted bombing in time square last weekend. our focus is primarily overseas today, patterson had meetings with president sai dar re, foreign minister, she spoke with pakistan interior minister maliki. she will have other meetings with pakistani officials in the coming days to work collectively on this investigation. richard holbrooke this morning also had a conversation with foreign minister. they are cooperating. they recognize as we do this is a shared responsibility and a shared threat. you know, to both of us during
the course of the conversation with ambassador holbrooke and mr. care remember she, he mentioned the gratitude for the strong statement by mayor mike bloomberg in new york, regarding, cautioning everyone to avoid any backlash against muslims or pakistani-americans. there are hundreds of thousands of pakistani-americans in the united states. they enrich our society and culture, and we value them as part of the american community. i'm sure you'll have more questions for me on that subject. you know, turning to the oil spill, we have 13 countries and a number of countries who have offered specific assistance again and a policy matter. we're not going to identify those offers of assistance until
we are able to see, you know, what we need. the ongoing situation and as we accept those offers of assistance, we will inform you. but the nature of the assistance that has been offered by, many, many, you know, friends and neighbor this is this hemisphere and elsewhere include oil disbursement, blooms, oil pumps, engineers and other experts. as i said yesterday, you know, they are taking the lead in terms of evaluating what we need. we do expect to make decisions on some of these offers in the next day or two. u.s. envoy to sedan is currently in cuba in discussion of the leaders of the sudan liberation and the comprehensive
peace agreement on the january 2011 comprehensive peace agreement where he will travel to damp fur tomorrow -- darfur tomorrow to meet with the african mission tomorrow. curt bam bell parted washington last night. he should arrive in camberra tomorrow. he will mark the battle of the coral sea. he will also be talking to government officials and opposition leaders while he's in australia. he will then move to manila on may 7th where he will september the united states at the 23 usa
-- u.s. asean dialogue. he will make other tops in the region while he is there. the remainder of his itinerary is yet to be termed. in honduras, we welcomed the launch yesterday of the gulf of san jose accord. the commission we have fully expect to undertake and get responsibilities and fact finding, including the implementing the report of the human right abuses that included in the relation to the kuo and to the regime. and craig kelly and secretary reynoso also attended the ceremony yesterday in honduras to demonstrate the support for honduras national reconciliation. also in the region, assistant
secretary valenzuela is in panama now and in the sica dialogue and while in panama he will meet with president martinelli, and other representatives from civil society, academy deem -- academia, and the private sector. tomorrow otero and phil gordon will host the first global issues dialogue between the u.s. and norway here at the department of state. a delegation will be led by state secretary larson. issues to be discussed will include climate change, water,
global health, nonproliferation, and disarmerment. later today, usaid leader ron shah will live the speech to high impact development hereby on george washington university hosted by the global leader coalition. i think it started at 7 p.m. george mitchell has completed the mining with the prime minister this evening and will continue his discussions with the prime minister tomorrow night. they will see president abbas on friday and we expect to move forward on the talks before senator mitchell leaves the region on sunday. and finally before taking your questions, over the past few hours, we've done an intensive search here at the department of state. every nook and cranny, every
rook, and we can report that osama bin laden is not here. it was the interview. the president. >> in the greater state of washington? >> just the confines. but it was reported by the president that he's here in washington. thank you for laughing. >> let's hope you don't find him here. >> i'm pretty confident. i'm pretty confident of that. >> i don't know. there's some strange looking people out here in the cafeteria. [laughter] >> on pakistan, can you be a little bit more specific on the conversation that ambassador mitchell and holbrooke had? >> in what respective? the investigation is obviously ongoing. the fbi and just disdepartment are in the lead. pakistan is taking its own steps. and we expect we'd do more as more information is yielded through this investigation.
so i think, you know, we have full and complete cooperation from pakistan. we are hardened by that. and we will move forward step by step as we go through this and try to determine, you know, who else might be implicated. >> yeah, but what did they talk about? >> i mean. >> did patterson walk in and say we're going to cooperate fully, and she said great, thanks, and left? what did they -- i mean is there any substance there? >> of course, there's substance there. but, you know, we will be exchanging information as the investigation is ongoing. >> okay. -- >> things are generated here in the united states. you know, we would fully expect pakistan to follow up on pakistan as your seeing has also taken its own steps on the
pakistani government to describe what it is doing. so we are -- we are, you know, touching all of the right bases. you have law enforcement, intelligence officials that have established contact with the, you know, their counterparts in pakistan. and, you know, we have -- remember, we are still in the early stages of this investigation. >> right. what was the purpose of these meetings? >> the purpose of the meetings was to operationallize the investigation here. it was to inform pakistan that there are, you know, there are clear links, you know, to, you know, to pakistan and that we would -- that we would fully expect them to do what, you know, they should do and what they have been doing. as you know, pakistan has faced
the significant threat. probably in the last year, there's been more pakistan killed by terrorism than any other country. you know, we've long recognized that this is a -- it's a shared threat and a shared responsibility. and there's the commitment on both sides, you know, to fully cooperate as this investigation unfolds. you know, once you get that kind of political commitment, you know, then it moves down through the relevant agencies and we are encouraged by, you know, pakistan's response, you know, since the bombing, you know, happened or the attempted bombing happened on saturday. >> that means you are pleased with what they have done so far? >> i'll defer to pakistan. >> i'm not asking what, are you happy with what they have done? >> i think it's more a matter of what we do from that point forward. >> a little different way. did they talk about arrests in
and she indicated at this point we are not in a position to verify any number of arrests. >> there is a report about ties in the militants with was your astana. did this, at all the ambassador, the ambassador patterson bring this up at all? >> without prejudicing the investigation that may take a slightly higher. this has been a topic of conversation between the united states and pakistan for several years and obviously pakistan infil last couple of years has recognized elements in the past
that pakistan has supported and potential links between terrorist networks and terrorist organizations are now threatened the only regional security is pakistan itself. let's not jump ahead of the the current investigation. clearly there are international implications to what occurred in the times square. we are investigating the those. we would expect pakistan -- would fully expect pakistan will help us with that. but as to where the investigation takes us, this is still way too early to make the judgment. jill. >> a change of subject? >> no, wait. can we steve -- can we please stay on this? are you seeking access to anyone who might be detained by the pakistanis? have you requested -- >> since we are not aware of any specific rests at this point, but by the ku can safely say that our law enforcement
intelligent relationship is very strong. should there be a rests and should we see where links to what happened here -- we have in the past asked for that kind of access, but that's more of an issue for justice. >> but what in the request come from you? and in the past you have asked for access and you've been turned down. >> this is part of the investigation and for that i would defer to justice but i think we are confident in our relationship we have and lets the investigation take its course. >> with the record is of cooperation in this area is not. you've never been able to talk to a.q. koln. >> rest assured that pakistan understands that this investigation is important in the united states. it is important to pakistan. we will expect full cooperation. it's been corporation and as we
go forward based on those political commitments i think we are confident that we can work through those issues together. >> did the ambassador -- when she met with zardari and qureshi did she give a list of things the u.s. would consider full cooperation of the expect to have it in the future? is there a game plan for how this goes forward that she was bringing to them? >> i think that as our investigation here proceeds and to the extent eight points to possible defense in pakistan, i would expect we will make specific requests of pakistan in terms of cooperation. but we are still very early in the investigation. >> just following up, did the ambassador give a list of names of associates of the suspect shahzad here? >> those are the kind of things that -- that can be done in this level but it's also done at a working level.
i'm not going to get into the tuzee and effros of the investigation. we are confident we have a pledge of cooperation from pakistan. there is a mutual recognition by this is important to both countries. and now we've got to let the investigation take its course. >> so it's not essentially with the two meetings were, it is just getting a pledge of cooperation? >> i'm not going to -- i was and in the meetings with the investor and the president and foreign minister to read >> you spoke to investor patterson. >> i understand that -- >> when you came out and announced that these meetings had happened was the first thing you said. >> we came away from these contacts to do with full confidence that we are on the same page in terms of how this investigation will proceed. >> just to pin something else down, did ambassador patterson have in the meetings with pakistani officials yesterday as well or just today? and the same for investor holbrooke in addition to [inaudible]
>> yesterday ambassador holbrooke talks with ambassador haqqani, the pakistani ambassador to the united states. i'm sure that anne patterson had contacts with pakistani officials yesterday. she meets with them all the time so it could well be that she had regularly scheduled meetings and that this issue was part of that discussion. >> on the oil slick you mentioned it is a policy matter that you are not revealing the names and yet during katrina the u.s. government actually did reveal the names. >> i'm not saying we won't. >> i am saying that once we evaluate the office of assistance owls we accept them we will let you know. >> but at this point when there are countries out there that are offering assistance and the u.s. basically just pushed it aside and says wait until we find out what we need, why not -- it seems almost insulting to those countries. why not thank them now and get
to the plight -- >> to those countries that have offered, we do think that now and if they choose to make available in public what they've offered us that is up to them. >> have we think to them publicly? >> will obviously between the embassies and posts where these countries have offered assistance we have already thanked them for their offer and we are evaluating those offers as we accept the offers at that point we will need that information public. >> do you consider the iranian offer of assistance -- sprick there was no iranian offer of assistance. >> there was no offer? >> i mean, in his various media interviews yesterday, it is possible that president ahmadinejad mengin support but there is no offered support from the iranian government at this point. sprick there is an offer from the ndic, the national iranian
drilling company, i believe it is, which has been reported in the iranian media. >> we have received no offer from any iranian. >> it seems like it's been quite a while since this began. can you help us understand why it's taking so long to figure out what you need? >> for that i would defer to the coast guard. as we go -- i will defer to the coast guard in terms of how we are deploying things and how this kind of equipment and personnel may fit into that and the coast guard has taken the evaluation of assistance. we coordinated that but whether we need this particular technology is a coast guard decision. >> can i just make sure i understand. you say we've received no offers from any irony in entity durham
to the state department and offered any assistance. whether the reached a press release or something else we give no information that any iranian at this point has offered us any assistance. >> if you won't tell us which countries have offered maybe you can go down the list of which haven't. >> something between 13 and 192 petraeus demint i don't understand if you're willing to say there is no offer from iran what you are not willing to see where they were -- >> okay. i understand the question. >> when your not cui to answer it? >> are you aware of any comment on the report that kim jong il said in beijing north korea is ready to return to the six-party talks? >> i cannot verify what kim jong il has said anywhere in china. we obviously are aware that he's there. it's been reported there will be meetings between senior chinese officials and north korean officials tomorrow.
we have shared our views with china in anticipation of this meeting. we hope that north korea will not to its obligations and meet its commitments. we hope that north korea will cease its pro-active behavior, but then we will see what comes out of that meeting tomorrow. >> [inaudible] -- your understanding was that he was there. do you know if he had his son with him? >> we do not. >> i'm sorry, you do not know or you don't -- >> i don't know. >> you don't know now that you believe -- >> does the pro-active peter and put in a thing that happened to
the south korean navy vessel few weeks ago? >> on that we continue to support south korea as it investigates the incident. >> a friend and then you think that the response to sinking of the speed and a resumption of the six-party talks separate has to track is that it? >> circling north korea's behavior is affected the pace of talks in the past. we are fully supportive of the south korean investigation and obviously when that investigation is completed, we will all draw conclusions and then have potential implications so let's get to the investigation first. >> and michel? >> you said yesterday you hope north korea will come back to the six-party talks. it means if kim jong il in beijing right now makes decision
and express come back to 63 talks you take part in six-party talks? >> there are a couple of ifs. let's see -- there are things north korea has to do if this processes going to move forward and its behavior living up to its obligation, meeting its commitment has made over a number of years. those are things north korea has to do with see what they are prepared to do meanwhile we will take note of the meeting tomorrow and continue to work with self curry on this investigation. >> on michel? >> you met with netanyahu today. what did they talk about or are you any closer to getting what you want out of the israelis?
>> i think we have a sequence of meetings with a variety of officials. might be more fruitful to get through the weekend and come back and report to the secretary as to what was discussed the benefit of these talks issues can be discussed. they can be evaluated and follow-up meetings can further refined what was discussed. i don't have a particular readout from george mitchell today but we will have multiple meetings on the israeli side and multiple on the palestinian side. it's hard to characterize after one of the series of meetings. >> is it your view that the proximity talks have in fact now begun? >> it is our view george mitchell was in the region. their meeting with palestinian officials. i think of the palestinian side of the consultation in light of
the arab league meeting decision of last weekend. they want to consult with their own leadership so at the end of these string of meetings we will be in the position to characterize where we are. >> in other words you don't think this -- >> i'm not going to characterize the meetings going on. i'm not going to characterize what they mean until we finish. >> you're saying you can't characterize the meetings that mitchell had with netanyahu but you did say they were good and productive. i'm wondering on what basis you would label them that? >> george mitchell left the meeting and said they were good and productive. >> but he didn't give you any details? >> you know george mitchell as well as i do. >> probably not. >> he keeps particular to himself. >> i have another one.
>> it's about the p5 statement in the statement of the middle east on the nuclear weapons free zone and the p5 committing to the full and put implementation of the 1995 resolution to that. i'm wondering why does the d'huez field when you joined in the statement today and what you think needs to be done in order to bring that 1995 resolution to fruition? >> well, i think we are going to release a media notes to the formal text of that agreement here shortly. as the secretary of firm in new york on monday, we continue to support the 1995 resolution of the middle east. and with of this p5 plus one reaffirmation, if you will, i think that puts us in a position to read continue to promote this and the further discussions that we will have within the npt
including the non-aligned countries. so this is obviously an issue of importance for them and we will continue to talk about this through the course of the revcon. >> the secretary said, if i remember right, that the conditions were not right yet for this to happen. but conditions need to be in place an order for this to actually come into force? what isn't there that needs to be there? >> a comprehensive peace agreement would be helpful. >> you need middle east peace before we can even think about? >> significant progress in the direction i think might give people confidence that the conditions could emerge that allow this to advance. >> even if iran is still acting the way it's acting now? >> well, a comprehensive peace -- >> it wouldn't include iran i don't believe, what it?
>> but a comprehensive peace would indicate the groups that iran has supported that have up until now undercut progress indy 500 joint peace. they might themselves be willing to accept his real and recognize the agreements and of themselves be willing to become constructive. >> but iran itself usually is regarded as an existential threat that wouldn't be a part of that so are you of the opinion of there is a comprehensive peace that israel would be -- >> i'm not making bold predictions of the future. i am seeing as a progress released piece is the kind of thing where we would give people confidence to consider things like the pursuit of things like the vision of the weapons of
mass destruction. >> articling for him to be removed from his position is getting larger and larger by the day. the latest congressman wolf, who has been very active in this issue. wondering if general gration -- is the general? panicky is a retired general. >> if he still has the confidence of the secretary and the administration or if you are planning on doing what congressman wolf says which is for the secretary and ambassador rice to take over his portfolio. >> welcome general gration remains or special envoy and he is on the ground in sudan as we speak. he helped along with others including the secretary and ambassador rice chip the sudan policy. it is our firm belief that we have no time to waste. you are going to see later this week with the inauguration of
president kiir and later in the month with the installation of the northern government that you have the institutions that are necessary for -- to proceed with full implementation of the cpa. that is scots' message to the region this week, that we face a very steep hill towards the referendum in january. and should the south vote to sissy, it's only six months from that point to where you have the emergence of a new country. so there's no time to waste. there's a lot of complex and important issues that have to be resolved, border demarcation, how to resolve and share energy resources with sudan. so that has been our focus. scott gration has helped us shape this policy and he has the full confidence of the at the station and the secretary of state. so all of your contingency planning now is based on the
assumption that they are going to -- that the south is going to secede? >> that they will vote in january. but we have to be prepared for a vote that will lead to a new country in january 2011. >> are you prepared for a vote the other way or to use -- you don't just think that is going to happen? >> well, that ultimately is a decision for the people of -- >> no, i know but it's -- >> -- of south sudan, of abyei, blue nile, others. but we have to be prepared for that possibility. and for those who know sudan -- you are one of them -- that is a very distinct possibility -- >> yes. >> -- if not probable. >> thank you.
british voters head to the polls tomorrow to be elected to parliament and primm investor. now author michael on statehood movement and past attempts at secession. his book is quote kohl lost states." from the washington journal, this is 40 minutes. >> host: our next guest joins his name is michael and he's a professor and author of this book called "lost states true stories of texlahoma, transylvania and other states that never made it into the union." we are talking about statehood and secession movements and first question, michael, we've heard of texas, we've heard of
oklahoma but what is texlahoma all about? >> guest: well, texlahoma resulted from the need by the people in the panhandle texas and panhandle's oklahoma to get them what they didn't have which was better roads and they felt like safe government wasn't being responsive to them so the best way to get state roads or better roads was to secede and form their own state. it is one of a large number of similar in the history where people wanted to redress grievances by creating a new state. >> what are your favorite examples of the country over the history? give us a couple. >> well, one that is near and dear to my heart is the state of lincoln which would have been the pacific northwest. our northwestern borders are not terribly well designed. i lived in idaho for many years and lincoln would have been a combination of the eastern part of washington state, what is now, and the northern part of idaho. there is a very distinct from
the rest of their states and would have been in the state. this idea has been coming up over and over again in the last century because we could have drawn better borders and that part of the united states so that makes a tremendous amount of sense. similarly california is a little too big and there have been a number of attempts over the years. one of them is a state called jefferson that actually might have happened. the northern part of california and the southern part of oregon combined. there was a fairly strong movement there in the early 1940's and then the war can and the whole thing kind of like a way that there is a logic to the state as a lot of the state of the proposals. a lot of good and funny and serious examples here in this book called "lost states." we are talking here about u.s. statehood and movements. our guest is michael he joins from milwaukee and we have phone number still call if you want to learn about the history since the examples we will talk about
what the constitution says but here are the numbers, (202)737-0002 if you're a democrat and 737-0001 if you are a republican and 202-628-0205 for independent. so, michael, what is the competition say about all of this? >> the constitution gives a road map to creating a new state from an existing state. there is a path that first requires the state legislature of the affected states to give the go ahead and then once that happens congress votes and if those two things happened then you have a new state and twice in our history it's worked out that way. >> on the front page of the book you do talk about something calledransylvania. we will point to what that would have been somewhere in the area of what is now kentucky, a little bit of tennessee. when did all of this come about? what is the story here?
>> this was the state's proposed by daniel boone and the people who were with him steadily in that area. there were the first to cross as we all know. they wanted to set up a state and thereby to the congress and said we need to create a state and call at transylvania. it sounds like a funny name but back then it wasn't because sylvania means a pleasant area like pennsylvania's a transylvania wasn't that all is a man and daniel boone, people that backed the united states wasn't ready for a state just get also we came back and had kentucky. pretty much the same place transylvania would have been so had it been different we would be celebrating the the transylvania derby last week instead of the kentucky derby. >> host: you mentioned south california in the book but there were also movements at some point in texas, something called south texas and also in new jersey, south jersey.
and tell us about the was two. >> guest: texas is an interesting case because when they join the union there is a special stipulation that says texas has the right to split itself up into as many as five separate states. now texas has been in the early part of texas history assumed that what actually happened. it was a given. it didn't. we have one texas right now and constitutional scholars will say that texas has no special rights. any state can do that, but texas clings to the notion that they have that right and of course the reason to do that would be that you get more senators and right now to senators and congress and if it was split up there would have up to ten so that is the primary reason texas would want to do that. the case of south jersey is emblematic of a lot of the proposals and that is you have a state that has two very
disparate parts. new jersey has always in the beginning from the time of the quakers and threatens it's been divided both in terms of culture and in terms of geography so south jersey was an attempt to slice the tate to the to state a decade or so of these episodes in new jersey go back to the very beginning because some of our states are not terribly well designed. >> host: we want to point out or guest wrote this piece in the weekend journal, "the wall street journal" the past weekend all about this. it was titled altered states. you do right, professor, taxation without representation is the most common justification for the state put proposals of the last 100 years and there are some pretty serious stuff through the country about the amount of taxes people are paying and what they are used for. can you speak more on that? >> one good exhibit was the
recurring proposal is long island. long island would like many people would like to make it a separate state. this goes back 100 years and was discussed as recently as this year and last year. the reason the long island believes states spend more money to the state government to give back and there's no question about that. they consider it unfair and it is a common theme in the state could proposals. a similar example to please and west kansas about 20 years ago where people in that region thought that they were paying too high a proportion of their taxes to the state government and they were on getting back what they thought they should. it's a very common theme in the country and i got to be a part of a country where if people feel like they're being treated unfairly they don't take up arms. they try to create a state, perfectly legal procedure. it doesn't work out all the time the oftentimes happens in the proposals is there is a negotiation and people who have been treated unfairly for example get what they hope for at least as a compromise their.
so they always end peacefully and that is a good thing i think. >> with that background and history of the steep the first call from new jersey. james on the independent line. >> you guys got ahead of me. i was put on hold before your guests started talking about south jersey. you can hear from my voice i have an accent and i was wondering in your research do accents or dialect have an impact with the movement? >> host: interesting question. >> guest: that is 1i have not come across but it is clearly true that cultural areas that are different really spur a lot of the state to differences. for example, i can't speak to south jersey but i lived in idaho for a long time and people in southeast idaho look to salt lake as their cultural hub. that is the place they shop and they are closely tied to sold
like. people of northern idaho are closely tied and often people will never make that. so the cultural regions are very much a part of what these plans are to split apart and i sure accents are part of that, yes. >> host: our guest writes in "the wall street journal" piece the food of idealistic optimism at the core of the american psyche is amplified in secessionist movements where we are can do people and if we don't like our state government we are quite prepared to make a new one. anything you want to add to that, professor? >> guest: well, no excepts like i said earlier it is great to be part of a place, part of the country we some of these differences peacefully and we are can do people, very willing to mix things up and that is part of what makes america great we are very willing to slice the state of if it doesn't meet our need and the thing that is
interesting about this is throughout our history this has been going on from the beginning as soon as the recent phenomenon from the early days of the colonies when you had the first sort of secession proposal with the states, franklin trying to see from north carolina and from its own state, but didn't want to form a separate country they just wanted their own state and they almost got it. it didn't work of provincial with the area became tennessee but it was an attempt to do it peacefully through i guess the american way of accomplishing goals. >> host: next call is georgia, jonathan republican. hello there. >> caller: how are you? do you think that it is partisan politics that the climate with immigration and citizenship and state could that a particular party may try to gain power by using these aspects negative car congruity of other or do you think it has any political
partisanship? >> host: thanks. michael trinklein? >> guest: this has always been sort of central to the state would proposals from the missouri compromise we had to bring in one sleeve stadium even to alaska and hawaii where both sides of the on a faulty were getting something they wanted absolutely. that is why we tend to get the states in paris but the interesting thing is you never know what is one to happen. when the alaska and hawaii case it is fascinating because alaska and hawaii were seen as a precise but back then alaska was seen as a democratic state and hawaii was the republican state. of course now they split largely but that is why they came in as a pair. so in this process that is certainly probably not going to change. >> host: a caller from oklahoma. don, are you there?
you're a democrat, gwen had. >> caller: i was wondering is there any possibility of any current u.s. property becoming states? >> guest: you mean the territories? >> caller: territories, yes. >> host: go ahead. >> guest: the one of course -- go ahead. >> host: the one we are talking about now was puerto rico. right now there is a bill before the senate. it is that the house that we give puerto rico the opportunity to vote on their status. the first stage would be they would vote if they like their current situation and they say no and the next stage would be a vote that would let them pick from a variety of options including statehood or keeping the current status or becoming a separate country and there are four options and puerto rico is an interesting case. utter has generally been in our history of this deal and the deal is if you are a territory
that eventually in time to become a state or you get to become a separate country and we set you free so in the case of the philippines for example evin jolie there was talk about making philippines a state but eventually we decide the best option was to become a separate country and hawaii the same discussion happened. what did we make them separate? no a became a state. puerto rico is one of the only a few places of the population highly enough where the question is still an open question so a lot of people in puerto rico will that result and that is why there is a bill right now passed by the house at this and every now and it's the first step in the process of making puerto rico estate. >> host: and we know puerto rico has a population larger than several other states and they touched on this in recent years. what have they voted on and how have they voted on it in recent years and what will be the advantages and disadvantages in the case of poor rico?
>> guest: we voted on at three times so far back to 1967 and every time the state adoption it's just below 50%. john eletes in the 40's for statehood and in this forties' for where it is and then there's a smaller percentage that once per rico to become a separate state so that is kind of where it's been and i think some people see this current measure as a success for people who want statehood. some people would see it as an orchestrated event to get the state could but we are a long way from that happening and it may not happen. the second part of the question was? colquitt the advantages and disadvantages of politically economically that kind of thing? >> guest: i think when it comes to statehood supporter rican president of american citizens. they have the right americans have except they don't get to vote for president, they don't have a member in congress comes a that's a big advantage to get
to have a vote in the congress and for president and of course there is an element the want to be part of the club. they want to be in the game. there's been a tradition that eventually you get to be a state or you get to be on your own and i think for a lot of porter ricans it's a matter of personal pride or a guess you'd say commonwealth pride but they want the right to be like the rest of the united states and that is a large part of it. economically i don't think the differences will be that dramatic. clearly puerto rico while it has a thriving economy it is a per capita income lower than when he would normally see in the united states but those are questions for people who know more about these but i do but i do know it's been a topic the of the long discussing and it continues to go forward. >> host: call now from arizona in dependent. hello, john. >> caller: hello. i love like to ask do you think
the united states was built on the principal of allowing people to create secure republics and united in the public's from a democracy? >> guest: i'm not exactly sure and stand with the colonies. clearly the united states has a president from the very beginning that we had to the country we are not just going to extend the state's which makes the 13 companies bigger and early on we decided that isn't what we wanted to do. we wanted to create separate states that would have all of the same rights the originals because you know you could argue if you're going to bring in a new state say kentucky or ohio you are going to make them pay extra money or make them do something that makes the insubordinate we decided not to do that but the new states would be equal and on par with existing states. it's a precedent has been terrific for the country and it's one we didn't have at the beginning but shortly thereafter we adopted that approach to get into the country.
>> host: our guest at the university of iowa has been professor at idaho state university for 20 years. michael trinklein joins from milwaukee. what are you doing in milwaukee? >> guest: i'm writing to read i grew up and moved back and came to work on the next project. >> host: south florida next caller, hello, ralf. >> caller: yes i have a question. it's kind of humorous. back in the early 60's the writers and creators caravan across the united states and had petitions to make pots fill a state from the rocky and political sure and when they got to the white house on fortunately that was the day of the cuban missile crisis so they were refused entry. do you have any memory of that
or? >> host: professor, what do you think? >> guest: i am aware of that story and i considered putting it in the book except the book focuses on things for real and the was a sort of tongue-in-cheek obviously but it kind of goes to the notion we are created when we think about our country and some are fictional. there are other fictional states that might have happened but what i put in the book were things that were taken a bit more seriously although they were not taken seriously by a lot of people they all give an insight into what our country is. >> host: we touched on texas a couple minutes ago, professor, south texas is one of the efforts at one point but the current governor of texas also talked of moving the state in his own way in this election campaign that has been happening this year. can you tell more about that and the motivation? >> guest: i can't talk about
the governor's motivation that i can talk about the notion of secession versus succession. it's a path in the constitution for the new state to be formed from existing states. there is no path to secede from the union which is what the governor was talking about. i don't think he was serious. he was making a point and obviously we fought a big war over this. we will not have anyone seceding from the union anytime soon so people talk about the united states like nantucket in the 70's and the key west in a silly sort of lean the 80's and now the governor of texas talked about it it's always sort of meant not seriously because i think everyone recognizes the civil war quote is the door on anyone seeking from the united states to form a new country so that is a different kind of thing and i don't think there is a possibility of that. >> host: can you speak deeply
to the d.c. an example think it's a lot of debate here in town? what are your thoughts? >> guest: allow with puerto rico, washington, d.c. is most often talked about as a potential 51st state. and then there's a lot of people in washington, d.c. who live there and don't have representation in congress. bigot to vote for president but porter ricans don't do with the situation is a second-class situation. there's a regular campaign for statehood. that is one option to make washington, d.c. separate. another option would be to retroceded the most of washington, d.c. to maryland. originally it covered both sides of the potomac. the other side went back to virginia and arguably could do the same thing in the northern side except maybe a small area along the capitol mall where no one lives but that would be sort of the seat of government as a
separate district so clearly the people of washington, d.c. feel passionately about this because they don't get the same representation every other american gets. on the other hand let's face it the thing that blocks it is it's very clear if washington, d.c. become a stated what he liked democrats to congress and republicans obviously don't like that. so one of the points i made in "the wall street journal" article was if you want to become a state and two or heavily partisan one way you kind of need a dancing partner. you need someone on the other side to balance it and push the process through congress. that's how alaska and hawaii got through and missouri and million. it's a tradition as i said earlier so until that happens, washington, d.c. prospects are bleak. her skull another look at "the wall street journal" from the weekend journal a couple of weeks ago. a couple of calls from manhattan from new york city. durham, a democrat?
>> caller: thank you for accepting my call. my question was what is the process through forming a state within a state? >> guest: it's pretty simple. you have to get the votes. it's working like this. it's laid out in article 4 of the constitution and it works like this. the existing state legislature has to vote in favor of setting aside whatever region wants to become a separate state. once that happens, and that's the hard part because no state wants to give up territory but if the legislature does that, the state legislature votes in favor then congress approves and if that happens you are a state and this happened a couple of times. one good example this massachusetts had the northern part called the northen district. these people wanted to be separate and come planned for decades and eventually
massachusetts got so sick of it and set find become a state and that was named once a part of massachusetts and the massachusetts legislature voted in favor of setting them free. the same thing happened in west virginia where west virginia was gleaned from virginia so the process is laid out in the constitution. it's just a matter of getting the votes of the state and congress and then you've got a new state. >> host: you also talked about other big cities in the book. boston and chicago over the course of history. speak to those of you could. >> guest: yes i think every major city in the ute states at one time or another thought it should be a separate state with its new york comedy troupe, chicago, los angeles as talked about it, and the reason is what's take the example chicago. chicago grew rapidly in the 20s and 30's and early part of that century and in essence they were not getting their representation they thought they should in the
state legislature and a fault if they can't get redistricting we will just make our own state and the attempted to do that. the example of new york is a similar oftentimes people of new york city feel like they could handle their affairs just fine. they don't need people upstate messing things up for them. so we have this issue of big cities having needs and interest and the downstate or the upstate areas and there's almost with great regularity these attempts to slice off the big cities and making new state. it's obviously never happened again and it's a difficult process but there is a feeling of unequal is oftentimes that leads to these kind of proposals. >> host: and we do of the other call from. you are on with michael trinklein. >> caller: thank you for c-span. professor i commend you on the
book but i do have a concern very often intellectual history for example native indian slaves, and uses of women. i know you mentioned daniel boone and he was the first defeat covers person in the area. he wasn't. other groups were there my question is to part. do you tend to have this approach or was that a slip on your part? and number two, has there been an instance where native americans were slaves had been successful in setting up their own state on the land which is basically native indian land? thank you, c-span. >> guest: i'm glad you brought that up. there are plenty of people in kentucky and that a review before daniel boone and i have a couple of entries in the book that addressed this directly. there was an attempt in the 1970's to create a separate state from the navajo reservation in the four corners area and it didn't get very far. looking closer was the attempt
in oklahoma to create a separate state from that -- let me back up. oklahoma was once to part. there was the indian territory and then there was oklahoma, now we call the whole state oklahoma but there was an attempt by the native americans to create their own state and they drafted the constitution and they did everything they needed to do to create their own separate state. it was a reasonable proposal we talk about in the book. eyent to the congress and congress ignored them so there is an example where clearly we didn't take the native american desire and a request into account. we should have given them a hearing so yes there have been and cut vocational -- and delauro occasionally. to cook them from the states as a way to redress grievances they might have and i think the case of the oklahoma state would have been called sequoia and most what we think of now as eastern
oklahoma and your caller is correct. there was bias against native americans that defeated the statehood proposal yet that is unfortunate. >> host: taking to a place called yazoo looks like a lot of alabama and mississippi. what is the story? >> guest: this is one of the first great american scandal is basically there was a just like in the west at the time there was this desire to settle the unsettled land which would have been what is now mostly mississippi so georgia thought well, we will give away 100 acres, 200 acres per person if he will settle the land and that is quite reasonable except they also gave away millions of acres to the giant plant companies and it turns out the land companies, the yazoo companies were actually owned by
the politicians who were giving their land away so it was very scandalous and it was a large tract that might have become a separate state this is an occasion in american government and politics where once the scandal was exposed, the attending politicians were voted out of office and that ended their career and yazoo was eventually broken up and became mississippi. >> host: dave is on the republican line from colorado springs. welcome to the show, dave. >> caller: thanks for c-span and for taking my call. i just wanted to agree with the professor on [inaudible] some republicans really don't know what that means. it's more libertarian. however i agree with the jefferson split of idaho and think that's stupid just how
which built as the influence in that area so agreed that california and oregon should split into a different state and i think there should be something done with texas. my one question i really have an haven't had an answer for his early on in colorado was territory, part of the kansas territory and there was a flat in colorado city that says it was all the house of how to kansas and i wanted to verify with of the professor if that might be the case >> host: can you tell about that mr. trinklein? >> guest: no, i'm glad the caller brought up thomas jefferson because he was really the first got a to think through the state making process in a
way where i admire what jefferson did she sliced up a map what we now think of as the midwest to a bunch of different states and they were great states. they were divided better than the states now for example i live currently in wisconsin and northern wisconsin and michigan are single unit and should be a separate state and it's been off the proposed state of superior. jefferson was before anyone else and he drew his line in the perfect place and he thought about this and if we followed his map we might be better off in a lot of ways but i don't know a story in colorado. >> host: there is the reference to superior now on the map the front cover of michael trinklein's book. tayler michigan your up now. >> caller: good morning. yes, we live in michigan, and
there are a lot of disputes in michigan. there's one in lower michigan right by the border and ohio still to this day who argue about it and people living in that area. my other question is the upper peninsula in michigan it's funny because a lot of people lower michigan often when they are retired or they will live places in the upper peninsula and the move there and yet there is always this fema doing on about seeking becoming your own state and getting your own representation and there's also been times they want to succeed and be part of what i think originally they were but it's funny how people to this day will still argue about being a year for and the people in the lower part about it is the same
people except they migrate up there. can you speak to the history of michigan and touch on the disputed area with ohio and michigan if you do know anything about it? thank you. it's interesting. i can't wait to buy the book. >> host: thank you. >> guest: thank you. yes, what happened in michigan was michigan really wanted toledo and they didn't get it and they were unhappy and there was a lot of conflict about this and congress said okay we are going to give you a consolation prize. we are going to give the upper peninsula and they didn't want it. and wisconsin wanted it but congress and its wisdom gave the upper peninsula to michigan in fact you couldn't get from one to the other until the bridge was built a few decades ago but the upper peninsula always felt like they had been bus line. in fact the last year there was a map michigan put out the didn't have the upper peninsula
which was a big fall. if you think about like even the thriving business from on your mountain to detroit washington, d.c. is closer to the strict than iron mountain. it is a poorly legal state and that is why i think keeps coming up over and over again and and superior to it was debated in the 70's and that would have been a proposal by state called a superior, i'm sorry, which would include the upper peninsula of michigan and parts of northern wisconsin which as i said a few minutes ago our culturally and economically closely tied together. i live in wisconsin. southern wisconsin has a lot of industry. we make a lot of cheese. we have farms. number wisconsin is logging and extraction and a whole different lifestyle and it makes sense as jefferson knew to divide these areas up obviously the biggest problem is the upper peninsula
is the population to justify a separate state but there certainly are geographic reasons to do so. >> host: st that covers a lot of ground is florida. the picture of board on the map at one point you write you point out what florida wanted to be its own place in south florida wanted to be its own place. can you give an answer to that? >> guest: >> guest: not long ago there was a proposal that didn't get very far. west were the dates back a long time, it is an area that has been part of five different countries. everyone seems to want west florida, everybody wanted this area which now of course is having trials with the oil spill. the other interesting for the phenomenon is a state proposal we talked about in the book called muskogee where there was
a guy named william bowles who before 1800 essentially sort of left the u.s. army claimed of consolidated native american tribes and some of his own road state on what is now tallahassee. he had his own navy and progress, he was doing well and the spanish couldn't get the guy. they wanted to and they kept failing to read it was a fascinating story and they were in after stopping the sky from setting up his own kingdom. the united states found it and said the spanish or week in florida. we can take them in essence and that's how we decided to invade florida and make it part of the united states. they seem kind of silly or ridiculous but often there is a story there that really is an important part of history. >> host: wichita kansas, robert independent call for michael trinklein. what do you think, robert?
>> caller: robert, start over if you could. i didn't have the bottom-up. >> caller: its kind of interesting the european union is a confederation of independent nations and the united states is likewise of independent nations and the constitution of the united states it says in there all rights not here and specifically granted to the federal government reserve to the states and the people and i would think one of those rights would be to take the ball and go home and not be a part of that consideration any more. i wonder what your guests opinion is of that. >> host: michael trinklein? >> guest: it's interesting. i'm glad the call brought that up. in "the wall street journal" i wrote that it is illegal and i
think i made a mistake there because it is not illegal as your call suggests it's not talked about specifically in the constitution so in theory the call might be right but we did have that big war and i think lincoln settle the issue whether you agree or disagree and i don't think anyone will be seceding any time soon although arguably we could make a case as the caller does that we would have that right and as the governor of texas thinks we should have that right. >> host: a couple places to point out, this little spot between illinois it looks like what went on their? >> guest: well, forgottonia felt like they were being left out of the bounty the states had if you look at a map of illinois there were a lot of freeways. i drive a lot of them and we didn't have the free way they wanted. i-72, they wanted a shortcut from chicago to kansas city that
would create a boom for the arena at least the hope that would be the case. well, they couldn't get that bill and as a part of their frustration they said we are going to create our own little state called forgottonia. it wasn't a serious state effort but it was a popular movement. they still call themselves forgottonia because they feel left out. i-72 isn't done. i talked to them a few days ago. so you know it is an interesting area. they grow a lot of corn and do very well economically that way but they feel like they've been left out in some ways and so forgottonia was an attempt to let us know they wanted things a little bit differently there. >> host: and if you could, you take thousands of thousands of miles away to a place called albia in your book. they love america like a stalker, you write. what is the quick story there? >> guest: well, albia is an interesting case. when george bush visited there, ey