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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 6, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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[applause] >> all this week we're bringing you events related to the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. it will be 10 years this coming sunday. this afternoon, remarks from former new york city mayor rudy giuliani as he offers his thoughts on national security since the attacks. he'll be live from the national press club about an hour from now. you can see live coverage on that at 1:00 pm on c-span.
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>> on this morning's "washington journal" there's policies to prevent bullying and if further legislation is needed. law in new jersey that went into effect that gives students a way to inform police anonymously about students that are bullying >> host: our guest katherine bradshaw. welcome. >> guest: thank you. >> host: we brought you in one of the things that was going on in new jersey when it comes to their approach to bullying at school. in a general sense can you tell us what happened? >> guest: new jersey has passed one of the toughest antibullying laws. it's one of 49 states that has passed laws related to bullying prevention. clearly they're setting the mark as it relates to having a clear policy and outlining a set of prevention activities that schools can implement to try to prevent bullying. >> host: who's involved in that? >> guest: the state department of education outlined their policy in collaboration with
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some different research groups and community stakeholders. and then they develop policies at the individual's education agencies that will outline in greater detail that will be implemented at the ground level. >> host: talk a little bit about the reaction then from the school systems themselves because there's -- from what i read, there was quite a reaction? >> guest: right. i think clearly this is going to be a big change for schools because they are now required to implement different types of prevention programs and policies to try to prevent bullying. there's going to be a district coordinate for bullying activities and there's a variety of activities that have them report back on a regular basis their bullying prevention activities. so they're going to be graded in a public venue and that's going to be posted on the internet. and so that's really increasing the level of accountability that's required on those jurisdictions within the state. >> host: does the state offer
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money and assistance to make that happen? >> guest: typically, no. so these are often what we call unfunded mandates and so the local jurisdictions are required to come up with the funds to be able to implement those policies. >> host: and for the states that you mentioned, the 47, is that typically the place where they put rules in place but they offer nothing as far as support from the state or money from the state? >> guest: that's typically the case especially in tight times like now. in maryland, to help the maryland policy in bullying and similarly it's an unfunded mandate where the school districts are required to implement an antibullying policy. and while the state provides technical assistance to them, there's really no resources directly allocated to the districts around this issue. >> host: is there a federal policy for bullying from the education department? >> guest: well, the u.s. department of education has outlined a series of 11 key components that they really recommend that they implemented with the different states and so they're outlining core elements that they would like to see in the different model policies
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that are developed by the states. there was also a recent letter a dear colleague letter that was issued to remind schools in states around the difference between harassment and bullying and the potential overlap between those so that's an important issue as well. >> host: the president has held several forums. talk about the level of interest from this white house on this topic. >> guest: yes. president obama held a white house summit earlier this year. he and mrs. obama both spoke very poignantly the impact of bullying. and president obama spoke about a personal experience he had had and that's one thing that i've seen is that everybody has been touched by bullying in one way or the other. and that was very clear at the white house event. there were a number of youth and families that were there, especially, families of parents -- of parents whose children had committed suicide over the past few years around bullying related incidents. >> host: we'll hear from the president in just a few seconds but if you want to ask our guest catherine bradshaw here's how to do so. there she
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>> we all remember what it was like to see kids picked on in the hallways or in the school yard. and i have to say with big ears and the name that i have, i wasn't immune. and emerged unscathed. but because of something that happens a lot, it's something that's always been around, sometimes we've turned our blind eye to the problem. we've said, kids will be kids. well, sometimes we overlook the real damage that bullying can do, especially, when young people face harassment day after day, week after week. so consider these statistics. a third of middle school and high school students have reported being bullied during the school year. almost 3 million students have said they were pushed, shoved, tripped, hit on. it's also more likely to affect kids that are seen as different. whether it's because the color
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of their skin, the clothes they wear, the disability they may have, their sexual orientation. bullying has been shown to lead to absences and poor performance in the classroom. that alone should give us pause since no child should be afraid to go to school in this country. >> host: catherine bradshaw, your thoughts? >> guest: well, i think one thing that was really critical about the white house summit was being to highlight some of the research forum the president speaking about the prevalence of bullying as well as its impact and long-term impact of bullying. and there's been quite a large society of research that has emerged over the past 15 to 20 years documenting the significance of this problem. it's not something you just go through and get over. but, in fact, it can have very profound effects both in the short term as well as in the long term. i think that was really well highlighted by the white house event. >> host: a viewer on twitter
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asked specifically, does show the bullying or the effect of bullying has worse outcomes? >> guest: that's an interesting question. sadly we don't have a lot of data related to long-term studies of bullying. there are a couple of different data sources and sometimes they have mixed results. some data sources say that there's a slight increase of bullying over the past few years. but most other data sources say it's about flatlined if not decreased a little bit. one area that does seem to be increasing is around the use of electronic forms of bullying such as cyberbullying. and while that's covered a lot in the media and can certainly have very significant impacts, it is actually one of the least common forms of bullying that youth experience but it can have a very devastating impact because of its dissemination and widespread. >> host: first caller, carl, a republican line. >> caller: i got two questions if you don't mind. the first question is, has there been studies between private schools and public schools as far as the amount of bullying
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that's been reported? and the second part of the question, if there's no disciplinary action that can be taken place and you don't have the support of a private school versus a -- i mean, a government school versus a private school, what is the -- what is the differences? and i know firsthand that -- and i'm not going to get into specifics but if you don't have the support either of the parents or the school system itself, there's not a whole lot can be done. thank you for your time and have a great day. >> guest: great, well, thank you for calling. you raise a very interesting question about private versus public schools. there has been a fair amount of work on parochial schools and other kind of private settings. you see relatively similar rates of bullying within those settings. sometimes you get smaller class sizes which some research suggest is a little bit of a buffer in terms of reducing the rates of bullying 'cause you can have increased adult supervision within that context. so rather than broad differences between the two different school
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types, i think it's more of a product of having greater supervision by the adults in the smaller classroom settings and as you also alluded to parent involvement sometimes is a bit greater in a private or parochial school setting. >> host: again the numbers will be on your screen. port st. lucie, florida, laurie on our democrats line. >> caller: oh, good morning and thank you for c-span. first time caller. my original question was, what is the exact definition of bullying? and how is this happening in our government and congress and senate with the climate of our government at this time? >> guest: yes. so in terms of a definition of bullying, the traditional definition was outlined by a norwegian researcher. and he highlighted three critical features of bullying, one it's behavior that's intentional, intending to do harm. that it's repeated and it
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typically occurs in a situation of a power difference. right now, the u.s. government is actually revisiting that definition because there's been some disagreement about that. i'm participating on a panel that's organized by the centers for disease control in the u.s. department of education to revisit that definition and ensure that it really is keeping up with contemporary issues like cyberbullying or electronic aggression. so there are a variety of areas that we need to pursue with greater detail as it relates to the definitions of bullying. that really has a significant impact on our measurement. as i alluded to before, i don't really have a lot of good data sets to be able to understand the long-term course of bullying and how prevalent it has been over several years. in fact, many of the data sets we have have kind of switched the management strategy over time as the definition has evolve a bit. >> host: definition, you talked about cyberbullying. what's that. >> guest: cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs through electronic devices. it could be over the phone but
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typically nowadays it's over the internet. or any kind of smart phone that might occur so it could happen through a text message or posting on a blog or a social networking site. >> host: so could it be as simple as making fun of another student on facebook or twitter or something along that line? >> guest: yeah. and you bring up making fun -- where do we draw the line between just kind of telling a joke about someone versus actually doing harm that's intentional? that's kind of a fine line and really important for us to delineate what is just having fun versus what's actually bullying. and that often is a challenge for schools to be able to ferret out different types of behaviors because they're going to engage in online. >> host: so when it comes to the states involved in legislation, can they extend their reach to a student who goes home and posts something about another student on their facebook page? >> guest: typically, what happens it has to have -- or cause a disruption within the academic environment in order for the school to have purview
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over that. in fact, there were a couple of cases recently where the judge threw them out saying it didn't create a disruption with the school environment and kind of overturned some previous policies and decisions that the school had actually made. but a lot of things that are going to happen off-campus will have a significant impact in the kids' activities and life at school and so it's very easy to think of a situation where a child might post something on a social networking site and it would have a negative impact on the school environment and cause a disruption or get forwarded around to other students. >> host: a viewer asked this question, how do you know for sure that childhood bullying is important to the personal growth and development in some strange way? >> guest: so that's interesting. some people will reflect on a bullying situation and say, well, this kind of made me a little bit stronger. i learned from this and it helped me be who i am today. well, there's some instances of that, i imagine, that's not always the case especially when you have kids that experience chronic forms of bullying over
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time. it's relatively rare for people to reflect back on those instances and say, oh, it didn't really mean that much to them. in fact, when i do trainings and presentations, i typically have people of all ages who will be able to cite very specific details about a bullying incident that they -- that they were involved in. and it's amazing the amount of detail that they'll remember about it. they won't necessarily remember, you know, what they wore to school any other day except for that day. and so it's amazing. and it can have very profound effects on them. >> host: for catherine bradshaw, anna a democrats line, go ahead. >> caller: i was talking about the bully being in school. how can we set an example to our children when the senate and the congress are bullying themselves along in their own ways. that's not an example for our children to set. and millions of children are watching tv and what's going on
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between the democrats and between the republicans. i don't think they set an example for our young people. and i think it starts from the top and in the home. thank you. >> guest: yeah, there's actually quite a bit of research around some of the factors that you brought up, which we referred to collectively as social learning theory. that kids and adults learn from watching other people. so as you cited in the home, that's one of the places where kids can watch their adult -- their parents or other adults engaging in bullying or other forms of aggressive behavior. they can certainly learn it from the media, watching television shows that might model bullying behavior. certainly, if kids are what's happening in politics they could see a little bit of it there. so i think it's a very important point and what we want to do is have parents talk to kids about these issues and help them understand what kind of behaviors is appropriate and what behaviors are inappropriate for them to engage in. >> host: mike on our independent line is from safety harbor,
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florida. >> caller: thank you, c-span. and this is my first official call as an independent. i'm abandoning the democrats because they're just as worthless as the republicans. on the topic, please don't take this the wrong way but i think your endeavors are greatly misplaced, if you will. i think bullying has been around since probably the dawn of man. and essentially you're slowly creeping in on the first amendment rights. i mean, obviously, there are other laws that exist that you can't fight someone, you can't punch someone that's assault. you can't libel or slander someone. there's all types of laws that are on the books already that ensure that these things don't take place. the child is doing something basically -- posting something on facebook or twitter or something. i mean, tough. the student can choose to ignore
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it or choose to like you said they can grow from it. they can learn. they can do a bunch of different things but the one thing you can't do is teach people that you have to watch what you say because someone else's feelings are going to get hurt. >> guest: yeah, i think again you brought up the point about the difference between bullying and harassment. and that's very critically outlined in the dear colleague letter that was released by the office of civil rights with the u.s. department of education. and that's really had a very significant impact on school's understanding on the difference between bullying and harassment but i do want to highlight that we have both a large body of research documenting the negative impacts of bullying. certainly there have been the suicides that were highlighted in the media and that were incredibly tragic for everyone, including the families that were most directly affected. we also have pretty rigorous research studies that document some of the short and long-term impacts on children's
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involvement on bullying both as a perpetrator and a victim. it affects their health and their academics and their ability to graduate high schools. and it's not a new problem i will agree with you certainly there. i think what has happened is now we've started to build the body of research to understand what impact it's having. and to be able to develop intervention and prevention programs to try to stop it. >> host: for states that have bullying policies, generally what happens to a person found guilty of bullying? >> guest: yeah, typically, what happens there's a variety of different reporting mechanisms they use. it varies by state. for example, in maryland, the schools and the states are required to provide parents, teachers to document an incident of bullying and that ensures there's a paper trail and there's a follow-through as a result of that. and so bullying is not a very easy case to understand. it's typically very complex.
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and often can go on in a bit of cycle that might take years to really unfold and culminate into a fight that happens in the hallway, for example. and so it takes a fair amount of investigation on the part of the school. but there's a variety of different strategies schools can use. one strategy historically has been zero tolerance policies and it's something that the research has kind of come out suggesting the zero tolerance policies really aren't as effective to try to stem issues around bullying. in fact, it can cut down on people reporting bullying because they're afraid the kid is going to just get kicked out and there's not going to be any kind of intervention. so in some instances you need to really ensure the immediate safety of the victim and so a suspension is required. typically, what we would recommend and what many of the states are moving towards is a bit of a continuum of different intervention strategies that range from getting some kind of therapeutic intervention to address the core issues around the problem. it might even include a
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restorative justice type of piece where the perpetrator makes up in some kind of way or the wrongs that have been done. >> host: are our schools set up to do that or do you have to go outside? >> guest: some schools are set up for that. typically, it requires training because that's not been covered in teacher preparation courses or administrator training courses and so we work with a variety of different bullying prevention curriculum programs that provide that kind of training to staff about how to handle schooling situations, how to intervene effectively and what to do when you do have a situation of a bullying a victim. >> host: the topic of bullying of schools melanie on our independent line. good morning. >> caller: hi, good morning. i'm just calling to say that there is an answer. the answer is that first of all, the child is being pushed, spit on, knocked down, tossed, which my son experienced, the first thing you have to do is don't wait. call the police because it is an
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assault. and i don't care if the kids are 5 years old or 18 years old. anytime they touch you or they knock you down or they spit on you, it's an assault. and if the parents are contacted through the police, it usually ends, okay, because the schools do nothing. they do absolutely nothing. they don't want to get involved. all they do -- do you know what they do? they suspend the victim and the aggressor. so what the heck is that going to solve? if you're going to supend the person who's being harassed, okay? that's going to solve nothing. the schools need to be educated. the teachers don't care. i don't care what you say. i don't care who you are. they do not care. i went -- my son was harassed for the full time he was in school. from the time he was in kindergarten way up and anyone who was disabled most of the time, they don't pick on the kids who are strong. they pick on the kids who are
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weaker. and what is the purpose of school? to teach you to help and protect people like that. >> host: melanie -- >> caller: the bullies aren't taught that. >> host: what do you think about your state passing this bill of rights, this antibullying bill of rights? >> caller: well, it's a step in the right direction. but, you know, until it becomes -- until it becomes against the law, where you can be fully prosecuted by the law, it's not going to make any difference. >> host: melanie, according to the "new york times," it involves not only setting in place policies and cause staff training, it calls deadlines for reporting and then each school has to designate antibullying specialists. are schools set up for this in new jersey? >> caller: i tell you, i think they're already starting to be set up for it but it doesn't help because it doesn't -- it doesn't do anything to -- listen, the only way it's going to stop is the parents get
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scared enough that oh, my, my son -- my son is going to go to jail. >> host: and melanie, thank you. ms. bradshaw? >> guest: well, i think melanie's story sadly is that that unusual. i hear similar parents from reports from parents. it sounds like her situation might have involved a child with disabilities. and 94% of them report they have been bullied at some point. that includes physical disabilities as well as cognitive impairment. and there needs to be more work done to be able to help these kids cope with these situations and she alluded to the role of the police and the community. this is not going to be a problem that's going to be solved solely by the schools. it's going to require families. it's going to require communities and occasionally it's going to require police involvement. and it's important for us to recognize where do we cross that line between a bullying incident and an assault? and we're hopeful that the policies provide some guidance around that for schools >> host: glenda on our
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republican line from tulsa, oklahoma is next. caller: -- >> caller: i want to ask will new policies be able to address the new school administration so that the teachers could have training and so that the legal system doesn't end up bullying the administration, the teachers and bus drivers and holding them responsible for these out of character, out of -- well, you know, when the children just go off and have you addressed that yet? and will there be new policies developed? >> guest: as we said, the vast majority have but a handful have already developed policies but i imagine they will continue to be refined especially with this guidance that has recently come out by the u.s. department of education.
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and that does include a recommendation around professional development for staff about how to handle this. you bring up the very important issue about a lot of this really falls on the shoulders of teachers and other staff within the schools to implement these policies and procedures. i worked with the national education association the country's largest teachers union and they are concerned about this issue and going to provide guidance to their staff both the teaching staff as well as the education support professionals around this issue and we actually found through that -- it was a national study of nea members and we found that a large proportion of them really had not received the training that they needed. and they were seeking additional support and training around this, particularly around issues of cyberbullying and how to handle bullying with children with disabilities and those that are gay, lesbian and transgendered. [inaudible] >> guest: i think there are. there's a lot of burden on
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teachers with high stakes testing. i come from a family of teachers and i work very closely with teachers. and we expect a lot of them. we expect them to teach children but also manage a classroom and to now be able to be mini police officers to implement these different kinds of policies so there's a lot of pressure on teachers. our research indicates the teachers -- 97% say they would intervene in a bullying situation if they saw it. and most think that they have effective strategies and relatively few that they've made bullying situations worse. however, when we ask students, we get a very different kind of picture. so there's a bit of a disconnect between the way students perceive this issue. and i don't think it's because teachers are turning a blind eye intentionally. i think there's a lot of pressure on them and they're a little scared what to do and not what to the especially with the laws on. >> host: david on the independent line. go ahead, please. >> caller: good morning. the situation at columbine high
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school prior to the shootings there has been described to me as if you weren't an athlete or a -- someone who supported athletics, you were ostracized and bullied. and while not absolving the responsibility of the mass murder of the two young men who did that horrible deed, why haven't the jocks who bullied and abused them haven't had their share of the responsibility allotted to them? and why hasn't anything been done about it? >> guest: well, you highlight a really important issue in the columbine high school situation really got this issue on the national radar. the first law that was passed related to bullying was passed by georgia in 1999, the same year as the columbine shooting. and you highlight a really challenging issues as it relates to culpability. and can we really go back and say to the other youth that were
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bullying the two assassins in that situation? i think that's a very delicate issue especially given the events that happened in the overall hurting that was experienced within that community. but i think it is very important for us to acknowledge the role of social dynamics in these schools. quite often the kids that are bullied aren't the social outcasts. they're very popular in the high schools. they have high status and are able to have control and power over other youths by acting in a bullying behaviors and aggressive. and it makes it a very complex situation and it's going to require a lot of effort and involving youth in this dilution in this approach. >> host: representative bob barr -- when he talked about antibullying legislation, he said the state run amuck again. is that a fair assessment? >> guest: i think this is a very challenging situation. it's going to take a lot of
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partners for us be able to able to work out of this. it's not going to be a simple policy but there's a variety of social marketing campaigns that are really being developed. i talked with the ad council and other groups that are getting ready to launch some national campaigns. there are a variety of approaches that have been coming out both on the school building as well as at the policy level and we're trying to address this from a variety of angles. i think it's going to be an important next step to see how these policies are rolled out in the schools. ..led out in the schools. i see variation, even in the state of maryland, to the state of which there implemented. some states took this to heart, and then they have incidents that are reported on the web. in other states they held back and did not rule it out as much.
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i think the truth will be based on how these policies are implemented and the ability to which we're able to document the impact they're having on students. host: the policies deal with after fact, but do they deal with the peer pressure and try to persuade the students themselves in dealing with this? guest: that is one of the employment as rigid elements. it is programs that have been developed and, some of which haveei been rigorously tested. some of which work well. others not so well. sometimes falls back having limited resources to be able to implement them.em prevention is certainly where i would put my money on this rather than reactive type of approach. >> host: what is example of what works well and what doesn't work well?ch >> guest: one of the most widely used bullyingha provengs programs developedon
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by norwegian researcher. it is schoolwide approach which aims to change the norms about bullying and retaliation within the school buildings.g provides training forto teachers and opportunities for students in theuntu classroom to talk about the issue of bullying and really have their voice heard. itei includes, community, family members. we've been working with another motto widely used, positive behavioralco intervention and supports. we have a paper coming out now documenting its impact on both bullying as well asul victimization. >> host: next callwe, pittsburgh, pennsylvania, democrats line.ex dave. >> caller: hi. i have a two-part question. i want to know what if anything is out there to protect a child when hekn turns somebody in from retaliation? and my second thing dealsom with what do you do if the bully is a teacher or a coach? i'll hang up and listen to your comment.r thank you.
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>> guest: yeah,ed i think you hit the nail on the head inom terms of one of the challenges getting kids to come out and report is fear of retaliation. that can vary by culture and context. in urban settings intt baltimore nothing is worseor than being a snitch. that is what i hear from the kids. when the model policies come out and kids want to report on each other and there isid culture within the community,n our values within the family about not reporting on other events like that, you're really trying overcome not just a kids perception but a broader cultural norm.ds that s a real challenge. we need to have a variety of different ways that kids can report. many of which are anonymous. there might be anonymous boxes they drop information we do web-based surveying.we children can participate in anonymous surveys where they report about bullying that occurs in different locations. that way the name is never linked with it but adults use the data to increaseto adult supervision or s intervene in the different
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locations withoutho necessarily knowing the namere but know where it isev happening and who all generally is involved and be able to increase theng supervision in those hot i spots.e with regard to. adults bullying students, that, becomes a bit of a question, is it reallyt bullying? we typically thing of bullying two youths of sametw age. when you have an adult that is acting in these ways or aggressioning towards a child i would be a bit more concern about itards a child, i would be more concerned in the area of getting into the area of abuse. sadly, i have been in a number of schools across the country where i have heard adults yelling at students of thing inappropriate things to them. that is certainly a disciplinary action that iffe brought to the administrators attention, but, quite often in those situations it is staff member real feels at end of their report, perhaps feeling burnt out, but don't have effective efe
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strategies for handling the stress they are experiencing. i am not accusing their behavior, are recommending they get out of the field or get additional support, maybe mental health support to understand why your -- why they're acting that way towards a student. host: from kokomo, indiana. bob on the republican line. caller: i am 41-years-old, and my mom was surprised to find out a couple of months ago that i pretty much at all levels in school. she asked why she never knew about it. i said i threw down. i took it back to them and did not allow it. i am just trying to figure out where we went wrong. why did this become such a big issue?
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the calller from new jersey, i do not know what is going on, she must be sending her sson to school wearing a dress or something. when did this become such an issue? why do we have three different call-in lines. republicans, democrats, and independence? guest: in terms of what we want to recommend that kids do? i think you bring up the issue that many kids do recommend to their kids to fight back or bully back or hit back. sadly, that is not effective strategy. it can increase the risk of harm or both parties when the victim of grasses back in that way. we get into trouble as well it can get suspended -- they can get into trouble as well or get injured. we do not recommend that kids fight back in that way. we need to teach the difference
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between aggressive and assertive this so that kids that are in a position that they can be assertive and can come up with other strategies to avoid bullying or if gates other friends as a coping strategy or avoiding it. -- or engage other friends as a coping strategy for avoiding it. some may not be very good of asserting themselves or coming up with the coping strategy. it is the important that we increase supervision in a situation where we know bullying might be occurring to be able to reach out to students. host: 3 minutes until the house of representatives that are scheduled to come in. apache junction, ariz.. democrats line. caller: i am 63-years-old. i suffered abuse in high school. a group of girls -- i do not want to say jealousy. i to this day supper dramatics
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in trouble when i do not know if they will be around every corner. do not come up behind me and say tboo. i always get real nervous. i have a prescription. i think there should be a trial of their peers. when kids get to a certain age they do not listen to adults. there should be a credit that should be added. you cannot graduate. it should be in the eighth grade before you are ever enter high school. it should be of the curriculum. there should be classed as held, and it should be led by students, not teachers. i put it squarely on the shoulders of hollywood. these video games. my son is 30 and has been playing since he was very young. lived with me for a while, and i thought i lived in a war zone. host: apologies for cutting you
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off. we are running short on time. guest: 1 think for to get lehigh did was the role of you did this. we will not solve this problem with adult-directive policies totally. there has been mixed impact in the research. what we do not want to do is saddled this solely on the year and have only youth-facilitated programs for adults the back and expect you to resolve it. finding constructive roles that participate in. spreading the message that bullying will not be tolerated intervening in bullying situations. we need to not put the burden solely on the used to do this. host: how much does the state pay out, or what is the cost for
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the state to put the programs in place? guest: bayberry. some of the programs can be very expensive. >> 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this coming sunday. we're bringing you events related to that day all this week. coming up shortly, remarks from former new york city mayor, rudy giuliani. he looks at national security since the attacks. he will be live at the national press club in 20 minutes. that is 1:00 p.m. eastern. you will be able to see it on c-span. coming up this afternoon, head of the president's republican presidential candidate mitt romney outlines his plan at a trucking company in las vegas. c-span will have his speech live this afternoon at 3:40 eastern. followed by your phone calls. and of course, thursday, president obama will be
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offering his jobs plan to a joint session of congress. live coverage on c-span starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern with the president's speech to follow at 7:15. >> now remarks from michael
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needham, ceo of heritage action for america, a conservative advocacy organization. he spoke for about 20 minutes at the third annual red state gathering. >> i've been out of diapers for 30 years. so i feel pretty --, this conference is the washington establishment's worst nightmare. and it is our job to make sure that the washington establishment doesn't have a good night's sleep from now until the time they leave washington, d.c. [applause] and let me be clear. the reason i say thee they leave washington, d.c. not just elected officials we need to get voted out of office. we need bureaucrats and staffers who have been in washington, d.c. 45 years. we can't do that conservative idea because lbj didn't teach me to do it that way. we are big fans of road and heritage action. all of us know d.c. is broken. it is not broken because we have liberal ideologue in the white house. it is establishment broken and congress that is not
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doing its job. only solution we have to the situation in washington active citizens keeping washington accountable and holding politicians feet to the fire. is the leading place where that happens. thanks you all for what you're doing. great to be in south carolina. nikki haley is one of the most inspiring politicians we have in this country. we heard that this morning. [applause] i also want to talk about the congressional delegation. you have five republicans in the house from this state who are amongst the best congressman we have in washington, d.c. right now. [applause] eric referenced the scorecard we're doing. i'm not supposed to talk about it. we're publicly releasing it in 10 days. let me lift the lid on it for a second. first of all, you would not believe crying and gnashing of teeth in washington, d.c. when you do a scorecard. you may remember back in february the house passed hr
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1 which was historic spending cut of $60 billion out of $1.6 trillion seven sit. in addition to hr-1 which passed the house and every republican voted for, 23 amendments voted upon to cut spending further. take spending back to 2006 nick mulvaney from south carolina said. defund the legal services corporation somebody said. we put out a report card on those votes. we simply said, here's the percentage of those 23 votes to further cut spending that each member of the house voted for. the whaling that we endured from washington establishment politicians is inscribable. we had one politician who said, how can you give me a 53%? i said, sir, we didn't give you a 53%. you voted for 53% of them and we pointed it out. [applause] he looked at me like i said the moon was made out of cheese. the man did not understand what was being said. we're doing a scorecard.
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we'll release it in 10 days and we don't cradle on a curve. we're conservatives. we're not tenured professors. [applause] turns out there are only 26 members of the house of representatives, 26 out of 435, who get over 85% on our scorecard. all five of south carolina republicans are in that group. [applause] and i should also say senator edward dirksen many years ago said there are two parties in washington. there is evil party and a stupid party. occasionally the evil party and stupid party get together do something and something that is both evil and stupid and they call that bipartisanship. [applause] all five of the south carolina republicans voted against the evil and stupid plan that came out of washington 10 days ago with the debt limit. [applause] i'll be honest i'm not here
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to suck up to politicians. i'm here to thank you. if any of us had thin skin the last month really, the last year, frankly our entire lives as princpled conservatives would have been really tough. just in the last few weeks we've been disparaged as hobbits. we've been told our refusal to go along to get along, self-indulgence masquerading as princpled sectarianism masquerading as conservativism. unnamed congressional staffer on republican side told a newspaper nothing these far right guys would say yes to. these are far right guys in the house who passed ryan budget, passed cut cap and balance act, both which the president of the united states and senate refused to do anything about. nothing these far right guys would say yes to. it is clear they're going to be intransient no matter what. conservatives were told to get whining and get our asses in line, all from people supposedly on our side of the fight. i want to tell you it would have been very easy to buckle under this pressure.
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it would have been very easy to bend. would have been very easy to break but every single one of you in this room, red state dot-com. conservative groups if washington stood tall. i admire you and thank you for that commitment to principle. let's be very clear. there's a bipartisan political establishment in washington that thrives on the consolidation of power in the federal government and the granting of benefits to its supporters in labor unions, big business and among the so-called elite. as conservatives we may wish we could call stay away from politics. that we could focus on our families and our faith and can our careers and our communities but alas our country is at a tipping point right now. it will be only be saved by staying actively engaged, holding washington accountable and telling the washington establishment they need to get their -- in line [applause] this is what we're trying to do at heritage action. this is what is
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trying to do. i want to come here and thank you for your patriotic engagement in our future. i want to talk about five diseases that inflict washington, d.c. is the reason the country is heading down the path it is. first of all team mentality in washington says only two teams in this nation. there is red team and blue team. every citizen needs to pick their team and they need to salute. my party, right or wrong. this is a premise that increasingly foreign in country where more americans than ever fail to identify with either party. but for those of you who remember the bush years this is what got us into some of the messes we to the in there president of the united states didn't use his veto pen for first six years of his administration. i was at the heritage foundation at time. we would go to the white house, say, sir, if we you need pens we will send you a truckload. why have you not vetoed a bill? these rerepublicans. you don't understand. president and denny get in the room before anything is passed in house. they're on same team.
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they agree the legislation will be so the president never has to be in a situation where he says no to the republican congress. in essence, the president of the united states and the republican leadership in the house in the early 2000s decided that the constitutional principle of separation of powers, of the clash that needs to happen between the legislative branch and the executive branch was going to be subservient to a team mentality that overtook washington at the time. this is the philosophy gave us out of control spending. this is the philosophy gave us no child left behind. this is the concept that gave us medicare part-d. second, we have a congress that is completely given up its constitutional power to legislate and handed it over to unelected bureaucrats who make tough decisions and not have to be held accountable at the ballot box. we're in a state seen that with the nlrb. all of us have seen that when president obama couldn't get his cap and tax plan through the congress that he decided he would try to get the epa to enforce it.
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all of us seen it with obamacare, which was thousands of pages of legislation. it is now literally hundreds of thousands of pages of regulation that are being written by washington bureaucrats. third is the elevation of an establishment, a bipartisan establishment, of campaign donors, big business, labor unions, so-called elites, who have been elevated above the constituents and the entrepreneurs and the small businessmen who are actually the people who send politicians to washington. we saw it with the auto bailout where you had labor unions taken care of, hard-working americans who put their money to work, investing in those companies were given short end of the stick. we see it with campaign finance reform. all you need to ask john mccain about campaign finance reform are labor unions big donors to politicians are labor unions treated the same way as every single one of us? the answer is no because labor bore unions are part of the establishment. politicians are part of the
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establishment and they pass their laws at the expense of all of us. the fourth is the rise of a technocratic wonk class that sets baselines that make absolutely no sense to any of us who exist in the real world and mess up the incentives that people have when they pass legislation. you have a system in washington where the congressional budget office scores as allegedly the largest spending cut in history, the cr we passed in april, despite the fact that spending went up this year. that doesn't make any sense. you have a only a washington politician could say that because the debt is only going up by $7 trillion in the next 10 years, as opposed to 8 kral trillion, we have done historic spending cuts we go back and salute. none of this would be possible if we had a media that truly fought for the truth rather than the -- [applause] now i hear stories of a media that once was committed to principle and was actually aggressive
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checking influence of those in pow members, but they're just that, they're stories. too often the media today are get away drivers and bank heists that will bankrupt our children and grandchildren and they're the chief cheerleaders of devisiveness that caused gridlock in washington that is another day. it explains why al sharpton is about to get a tv show on msnbc [laughing] and finally is the rise of a permanent and very lucrative class of campaign consultants whose very livelihood depends opnext election, depends on congressional voting keeping eye on multibillion-dollar campaign cycle rather than policies our nation needs. look at earmarks. they are a rallying cry because they worked in elections. you look at crusader tank program which was a wasteful tank designed with good merit when the cold war was going on and we might have fights across the plains of europe. number of years and pain and suffering donald rumsfeld went through to kill that program because it had a the
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built-in political constituency. social security fight where politicians boldly led in 2005 and to fix social security and looked over the shoulder all the colleagues left them alone on the hill because it would be dangerous in the next election. five things bring claim to members of the tea party are hobbits. earlier max and eric, earlier explained the hobbits were the good guys. hobbits are guys you want to be on their side, not disparaging them on the floor of the united states senate. when you pointed this out to some of the establishment outlets that were making claim that the tea party is bunch of hobbits but you guys don't get it. the hobbits are imaginary. they don't exist in the real world. that is exactly the point. the real world is the way washington, d.c. worked for decades. real world is the real world that is defined by an establishment that doesn't actually want to save this country from its future. and so what we need we need imagination. we need people who are willing to say, that saving the country from a tsunami of spending coming our way is what we should be. the consolidation of power
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in washington d.a. see away from the states is what we need to be doing. destruction of little platoons in the society who are actually entity taking care of elderly, poor and sick they're being weakened by oppressive government in washington that views itself as solution to all of our problems. businesses usual in america will lead to a slow decline towards the moribund societies we see in europe or worse if you don't accept the premise that western civilization can handle collapse of america in same way we're dealing with the collapse of greece it could be far worse than america becoming europe. american people have imagination to return america to our status as most prosperous and free nation god has ever given to man. all involved in and heritage action have imagination to save our nation. i hope any of you not part of heritage action seek me out or visit our website, heritage be very clear, the forces stacked against us are incredibly powerful. it is reported in next
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couple months, $20 billion will be spent by lobbyists in washington, d.c. lobbying the congressional supercommittee to preserve the status quo and continue to grow government year after year after year. we have an existentialal fight ahead of us that will take more than elections to win. it is a very real and very important fight. thank you all for being engaged in it. not a fight as always as fun as the conference is has been but it is never going to be boring. thank you. [applause] >> i want mike to stick around here and answer some of your questions because i got to tell you, whenever i go to washington, d.c. and think i have a target on my back i think mike's there [laughing] questions?
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>> [inaudible]. >> i'm from atlanta. i had a conversation with saxby chambliss, our esteemed senator -- >> me too. >> in may, and i said, you're not conservative enough for us the tea party. the people. he shrugged his shoulders and said, i have the best voting record of anyone. i said that's what we have to, people like my good friend, saxby chambliss. >> judy's point was a republican senator in georgia pointed out he was recently named one of the, well he was recently named by "national journal" i believe, the most conservative senator in the senate, even ahead of jim demint despite supported bush immigration plan, the "gang of six" financial compromise, the farm bill, and a host of other things. and i just wanted to point out one of the thing mike said how there were so few people who scored so well on heritage action scorecard,
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most republicans score very well on most scorecards because the scorecards are designed for them to score well. heritage action for america actually does its scorecard behaved on legislation, not on who needs a little slogan to put on their mail piece at the election. [applause] >> i couldn't have said it better than eric but i'll try. one scorecard in washington perceived as gold standard. out of 178 republicans in the last congress, 76 of them got 1 hundred% score. jim demint has 99% on our scorecard but even jim demint doesn't have 100. [applause] >> i like that jim demint doesn't even have 100% on their scorecard. you know. there is no perfect man in washington. yes, ma'am? >> [inaudible].
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to the candidate of their choice and nobody else. only the american citizens. no businesses. no lobbyists, nobody else. >> i think sunshine is actually the best disinfectant on this i think everybody should be able to give. they should give as much money as they want but has to be posted there. if they did that would put out a scorecard for funding. how is it that this organization gives all the money to senator so-and-so and he coincidentally votes for them? transparency, eric talked in the introduction about whining and gnashing of teeth we get on the scorecard. when you point out to people you're a member of congress land-locked state, there are no beaches in your state and you voted for beach replenishment project. allen west voted for beach replenishment project. he is from west palm beach. you can excuse him. if you're from a land-locked state absolutely no excuse for voting for beach
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replenishment projects and you should be held accountable. i think on all these issues if the information is out there on trains parents way, not stolen by people forced to join labor unions and siphoned into the democratic party. if you put the information out there transparent way a people that vote can hold their members of congress accountable that. is way i go about campaign finance perform. >> mike, that is outrageous. john kerry is in land-locked state of pennsylvania but has five beach houses. you can't expect him to oppose a beach replenishment program. [laughter] yes, sir, there in the cap. >> how you score -- i work with i 46 caucus. we were working how to vote a resolution that screws up this deal. do we weigh it this way or weigh it that way? give us some idea how you came score it. straight up, vet why or no plus or minus? >> we looked at this about
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45 votes that have happened. one of the advantages we have, first off, we get, we have six people on our staff always on capitol hill. so they no amendments and votes coming up we have the heritage foundation which is a think tank and done research on all this. there was a vote couple months ago on firefighter grant program which is type of thing sound great. who is against firefighters. but the heritage foundation done a study in 2006 on this program. they looked at all the fire departments across america that got funding from the federal firefighter grant program. all the fire departments that didn't and found absolutely no difference in outcomes, firefighter safety, civilian safety. property damage. that was done. no outcomes at all. this is wasteful money. regardless whether the federal government should give money to local fire departments for exercise equipment, even if you think they should this is program that doesn't work. republicans decided it would be smart idea to put amendment up there to double the fundings for this firefighter grant program. i'm sure he written campaign ad how he is on side of
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firefighters. only 86 republicans voted against it. that is how we go by the scorecard. we look at votes telling . . >> thank you. [applause] >> i'm going to be over here.
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>> okay. >> well, coming up later this afternoon as part of our road to the white house coverage, republican presidential candidate mitt romney will present his plan to create jobs at a trucking company in las vegas. you'll be able to see mr. romney's speech live on c-span starting at 3:40 pm eastern. he'll also take your phone calls. and president obama offers his jobs plan to a joint session of congress this coming thursday. live coverage on c-span starts at 7:00 pm eastern on the president's speech to follow 7:15 >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: as >> host: as promised a conversation about congress as they head back to work. we have two guests joining us for that conversation. fred barbash is with cq weekly and he serves as their managing editor and we have mr. friedman, let's start with you as they come back to work this week, how would you, i guess, lay out the relationship between congress and president obama? >> guest: i think congress is looking for president obama to help him out a little bit. he, obviously, will be proposing a jobs plan on thursday. congress is stalemated they will pass what the other chamber wants on the economy on jobs. they haven't really done any
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significant large scale economic legislation this year and they can't. so the democrats are hoping that obama at least will kind of give a boost to their strategy which is essentially saying either will republicans to these proposals or they'll look like obstructionists. >> host: and mr. barbash >> guest: i think that's correct. i think it potentially is quite ugly because what's happening is not governing it's campaigning and it's fluffing out the president said pretty much. he wants to out the republicans and make some proposals and assume that they will reject them and then use that for political advantage and vice versa on the other side. i feel like it's going to be another tense kind of confrontational difficult period in which all kinds of melodrama is dominant and the potential for some kind of very dramatic brinksmanship moment here.
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>> host: we've aired several town halls during the course of the summer and you can see those on and jobs is the number 1 issue with that in mind do you expect this kind of rangeling? >> guest: well, because there's a real tension between the movement to cut the deficit and a desire to do something to create jobs. creating jobs takes money. it takes federal money. there's all kinds of gimmicks that are designed to avoid an immediate outlay of funds to create jobs but basically you've got this intrinsic tensions. you have people locked into their positions. no revenue measures for the republican side. and the other side wants once again wants to have a revenue measure what the president would call a comprehensive or a complete package, a balanced package and it's very hard to do something about jobs unless you're willing to spend money. you can work around edges but assuming you can get agreement but i guess the problem is that you don't sense that the other -- either side wants the
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other to have something to go to the polls with that they can claim credit for. and that's the inherent problem. >> host: daniel friedman, democrats in congress, are they looking for a go big moment on this speech on thursday? >> guest: i'm sure they are. as i was mentioned, they don't have very much that they can do. they have a relatively piecemealed proposals. politically they would like to go him as big as possible and kind of put the onus again on republicans to do something. i think both sides -- you see people outside and inside congress hoping that sort of a bad economy and the abysmal poll numbers that congress has will kind of shake up the situation somehow but, unfortunately, there's not that much evidence that they are hoping it would change the other's opinions but there's not much evidence that they're going to do it. it may re-enforce their existing preferences which won't lead to any significant crom. >> host: you had representative maxine waters from california calling for a trillion dollars jobs proposals. >> guest: i don't know what the number will be. i doubt it will be that big.
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>> guest: i don't see a trillion dollars jobs proposals or anything with trillion with the discussion of cuts and that sort of thing. i just don't think anything is going to fly. maybe some small things like -- continuation of payroll tax deduction but that's already in existence so that's not going to provide any new stimulus to the economy. the president is going to talk about infrastructure bang and he may get some republican support on that but that's also a long-term thing. that's not going to create jobs now or in the next year or maybe even in the next two years. so things they can talk about maybe agree on are things that don't have any immediate impact. so i think there's a lot of concern. the business community and in the markets that they will either do nothing of consequence or they will have another visible kind of paralysis that shakes confidence in the ability of the united states government to get basic -- its basic maintenance taken care of.
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>> host: congress back to work this week. the topic for our time with our two guests. here's how you can contribute, 202-624-1111 for democrats. it's 202-624-1115 for republicans. for independents, 202-624-0706. on twitter it's c-span wj. talk a little bit then about what republicans and the strategies they'll employ starting this week but in the weeks to come specifically when it comes to jobs? >> guest: the house majority leader eric cantor has a serious of votes on onus regulations. they are going to vote on at least 10. i think they will start with one in relation to the national relations board on boeing. probably next week they'll vote on that. so that's not going to pass the senate and it will not become law but what it does it gives them an opportunity to say we have our own jobs plan. it's not just the democrats who have something and it's not just
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us who's saying we're not going to go with your jobs plan. it gives them an alternative. >> host: when it comes to then politically republicans when they look to 2012 as well, what are they thinking as part of that strategy and how does that play into it? >> guest: well, politically it gives them a little bit of cover it's political red meat. it's understandable. it's straightforward -- symbolic legislative step and then you see some of the republican presidential candidates who are laying out their jobs plans, mitt romney, the massachusetts governor is laying out his jobs plan this week and there's a lot of similarity with most of them are focused on reducing regulation. i think john huntsman has a similar man. >> host: when it comes to congress and the deficit commission, jim clyburn has an op-ed in the paper calling for compromise within the commission itself. where do you see that going? >> guest: the commission i'm
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sure your listeners know is the super committee under the budget control act otherwise known as the deal. and there's 12 of them and equal numbers from each party and they are supposed to arrive at a number -- a specified number and an amount of cuts by thanksgiving. i think that they as a group are actually potentially capable of compromising. that's a pretty good group. even those who have fixed positions and party leadership posts and veterans are kind of reasonable, the question is will their leadership and a -- a combination of their leadership and their rank-and-file actually free them to come to some kind of agreement. there's just so much tension over so many issues that the prospect of they mean actually being permitted to reach an agreement -- my sense is if they could -- they're really on their own it might happen but they're not on their own. they're under the thumb of the leadership. >> host: we were showing pictures of the members of the commission who's the people to watch out for?
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>> guest: well, i think -- i got to say a notable person who's not there to me is paul ryan who is a very powerful force but i think was so identified with his proposal to cut medicare that he's not going to be useful. i think jeb hensarling and patty murray, the cobears of it will play very important lows i think john kyl who has a lot of credibility can play an important role. i think clyburn is liked and could play an important role. most of them are not -- you don't see bomb throwers on here. you see people who are a very firm fixed -- chris van holland who is the ranking democrat on the budget committee, ranking member on the budget committee is also basically a reasonable guy and who could play a important role in the leadership. all of them have some tie-in to the leadership if they played this right their network properly could get something done. >> mr. friedman we agree with getting something done and their
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ability to do so? >> guest: they can. i may be a little bit less optimistic. as fred mentioned and these guys and women not to diminish them are instruments of their leadership on their committee. i think particularly on the republican side, it was made very clear that the leadership doesn't want to see new revenue, any tax increases. they'd allow some loopholes to be eliminated but only if the overall tax impact does not increase revenue. it takes a whole lot of options off the table. you would expect democrats to respond in kind in terms of entitlements on which leaves them with fairly circumdescri d described -- circumscribed options so they may do something a little smaller. >> host: our first call for our guests is steve on our democrats line from foils. and if i said that incorrectly, forgive me, go ahead. >> caller: yes, it's itaska illinois. i'm a registered nurse for 15
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years in suspensive care and i really think that congress and the president and everyone is missing the ball with jobs. if we had single payer universal health care there's plenty of 50 years old who could become entrepreneurs and there's people that could easily get hired because the small business would not have to be paying for health benefits. and even though we might need a tax to pay for the single payer health care i think it's the silver bullet on jobs that people are just missing the ball on and if obama doesn't come out swinging against congress, there are plenty of democrats that, of course, they're not going to vote republican. they're just not going to vote for him at all because he's been a patsy and we're very disappointed. thank you. >> host: mr. friedman. >> guest: this is one for obama. he wants to get his base out and he's trying to appeal to independent voters. you know, the single payer is not probably something that he will propose or that he could get passed if he was going to propose and, unfortunately, if
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he supported that. but he again is trying to walk a line and coming up with proposals and he's going to try to do this on thursday that motivate people and those that can pass will field to independence. >> host: does that change the notion of his campaign or the perception that he's a weak leader? >> guest: i don't think there's ever a moment when he wanted to come off as a weak leader. he's going to try to appear as decisive as he can be. but he does have an opportunity and these guys have been talking about now we're going to go to jobs. they're making more of an effort and there's a chance for them to do it more effectively. >> host: the republican line, david. >> caller: yes, good morning and thank you as always for c-span. two comments. number 1, the democrats demagogue a lot about the social security but they are lowering the funding stream for social
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security with their payroll tax cuts. so where do they get off demagoguing about social security? that's number 1. number 2, the three people that nancy pelosi put on that super committee, two are from districts where very little income tax is paid. and the third, mr. van holland is from a district full of super grade federal employees and super contractors who have a vested interest in keeping federal expenditures high. so this is the kind of stuff that we get on democrat party people and it's absolutely demagoguely disgusting. thank you. >> guest: well, i understand where the caller is coming from. i would note that the payroll tax has been something that's been supported over time by both parties is not exclusively a
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democratic province. the social security has been demagogued as long as i have been around this town by both parties and i've been around this town a long time so i don't think anybody has any exclusive. right now it seems to be right now with the democrats defending it and the republicans trying to do something to it or change it in some way. but these are long-term issues. they have been around longer -- almost longer than i have where the positions are gradually shifting, not the monopoly of any one party. >> guest: i would add if you think you're concerned that members of congress who represent districts are concerned with raising income taxes you're right that's how congress is going to operates. people are going to support their constituents. i don't know the members that the caller mentioned would do that but i think we would be realistic if we thought it was somehow wrong for members of congress to go out and do
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something that they think is in the interest of their people who elected them. >> host: looking at the to-do list with the fall legislation it starts with the president's speech on jobs which takes place on thursday, september 8th. house speaker boehner will give his jobs speech on september the 15th. the deficit reduction committee meets on september 8th again on september 13th. house republicans will vote to repeal 10 regulations or at least will make the effort to. spending levels for fy 2012 have to be set by october the 1st. disaster funding for hurricane irene and replenishing that is also on the agenda as well as free trade deals. and the reauthorization of the faa extension by september the 16th. senate minority leader mcconnell talking about free trade and spurring the job creation. where are we in the process and where are we to make these happens. >> guest: you mentioned quite a long list there.
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i would be surprised if they could get that all done. but mcconnell and senate majority leader harry reid have an agreement that they will move forward on these trade bills the problem is mcconnell says the administration has yet to submit them. they want a trade adjustment assistance program extended -- house speaker john boehner has sent in votes on that and trade bills but he hasn't agreed the way it satisfies the white house the way they will be able to pass it in the house so i think that's kind of the holdup right now on the house side but it seems it will get worked out maybe not this month but maybe in the fall. >> host: the ability of the list to get done? >> guest: when you drill down in a lot of these issues you will find yet another partisan divide and it's interconnected and it's a nexus. and the free trade would be an example of this trade adjustment assistance is not liked by the republicans. they like free trade. this is -- this is an expenditure that goes to people who might have been hurt by a trade deal in a particular area
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and they consider it just another sort of democratic sort of dispensing goodies on a political basis. each issue as it comes along has something that angers the other side or pushes the wrong button on the other side and there was a day things got ironed out in the greater interest ofs, say, trade, free trade and that's not what's happening right now. those sticking points -- either they'd get pushed aside for another time or they'd get ironed out in some way that both sides could report to their constituents that they had won or saved face or made a necessary and acceptable compromise. that's what's not happening now the formal political processes have broken down which is also why the public has such a low opinion of the congress. they see that. people are very observant of what's happened to the process, i think. >> host: of the list, what's likely to get done? what's likely not to get done? >> guest: i don't think anything -- barring some
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breakthrough on the deficit, i don't see much of anything getting done. here you've got, for example, a patent reform bill which also has started to divide not only parties but industries, whole industries are divided. everyone says this is so terribly important for our competitiveness, the president is going to talk about it but that's been stuck there for a very long time, over some relatively small matters. i would -- i think as a matter of policy and in particularly it is republicans have decided -- they're not going to actually agree to anything, they cannot have this president being able to walk in to the campaign mode with a list of accomplishments. and so -- and likewise, the president who has already sacrificed so much of the support of his own constituency and his own base by compromising i think he can't make a lot more compromises than he already has. look, last week on the epa regulations, he basically had to
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say from the environment point of view caved. that's a huge blow to his -- to the intensity level for his base and his constituency. so i just really don't see -- no child left behind, no -- no, this has been sitting there since, when, 2007, whenever it was supposed to be authorized. it's gotten so bad that the secretary of education may actually waive the law. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: so they're just in complete paralysis there and i don't want to be cynical about it but we've seen the hopes of compromises that have just been dashed on the rocks of this sort of campaign partisanship. >> host: chicago, illinois, margi, democrats line, go ahead. >> caller: well, the first thing you need to do is stop laying people off. use the unions in illinois to get elected and today they announced thousands and thousands of state workers especially for the disabled, our great mayor rahm emanuel does
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nothing but cut. he cut city workers, he cut firearm. obama is such a disappointment. i will not watch him anymore. talk, talk, talk. he did not keep the space program going while he's talking about how we said jobs in technology and science. it's ridiculous the conflict of dissonance. and now the post office people. those million people that watched the space shuttle for the last time and realized it was the end, it was the end of america's competence. and not one democrat was down there and the leadership, nobody. and now the post office which made our country great, something we could depend on. i'm 61 and i'm an unemployed nurse. there's so many people in my age that are -- and we know how to read and write and we know history. you know, but it's like, okay
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you're throwing away this whole generation, calling us names, baby boomers, we just want everything. no, we've been fired and we're not going to be rehired. so obama has been the woful lack of leadership and i may not vote for the first time. i just -- i cannot believe that's the choice i have is somebody laughing in my face while they talk about jobs while laying everybody off. everybody off. stop laying them off, that's the first thing. >> guest: i think you think a snapshot of the mood in the country. and a lot of us got home and people are really angry at congress and the president. and, unfortunately, you have agreement over what the solution is and i think that's the kind of fundamental problem is that democrats on the senate and the house republicans have different constituents who voted for them are different than people who elected house republicans in
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some cases. so it's not clear -- they don't agree on what to do. everyone is upset but there's yet to be any kind of consensus on where to go and that's kind of the basic problem now. >> host: this is from the "wall street journal" and it talks about mood. this is a column and he quotes bill and peter hart pollsters from either side of the aisle. and one of them said he thinks the debt ceiling wrangling of hurricane katrina and the collapse of the financial markets may be a defining political moment. >> guest: it doesn't seem to be helping anyone right now. it's probably a little early to say how it will compare to those things but certainly in the short term it's been up there. >> guest: i think your caller's statement which i found very moving, we've been fired. she's 61 years old. she's not far from my age -- or i'm not far from her age, however you want to put it. this feeling -- and here you
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have one generation that says the baby boomers are kind of the guilty party here. we've lived off the fat of the land and now we're passing all these debt on but yet look how this woman feels. and a lot of people feel that way. there's a lot of alienation now. people feel they worked all these years and now look at what it's come to towards the end. now, some of that is a despair that may not be entirely grounded in reality. things have been worse. things have been worse but the outlook that the people have now about the future and their own situations here at a time in life when, you know, you've got before you in many ways the best years. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: and 61 is not -- is not old. it's young. and look how this -- look how she feels and how many other people feels. and she sounds perhaps she was an obama supporter and no longer is. so right there you got your own little survey that i think says a lot about this country.
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>> host: boston, massachusetts, you are next. mary, independent line. >> caller: yeah, i'm calling because i don't want to bash either party. i just want them to do the right thing for the country. and they think that's how everybody feels. things like no matter what, you're not looking at the country. they're looking at their parties and they need to stop that. >> guest: the sentiment of the people who are calling here are right on. i've listened to this show for years and usually you don't have this kind of agreement on the situation. you know, listen to the unanimity in the sense of the extent people have this feeling of despair about the parties here. congress should be worried about that. >> host: let me throw one comment who said congress is irrelevant these days now that the executive branch continues to grow. should we even care about this? >> guest: care about the executive branch growing -- >> host: growing overall? >> guest: yeah, we should care.
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it's our country. standards & poor, everybody was upset but they were expressing in market terms how people were feel. people cannot count on their government to get the job done. and that's a real -- you've crossed a line at that point. this isn't just one bill or another bill we won't get this passed. this goes to the basic confidence which the founding fathers worked so hard to establish. remember, all we have here is a piece of paper in this constitution. the people talk about that document, this miraculous document. it was the people who was the miracle that they went along with it and they continue to go along with it. you start to lose that spirit, then you've really lost something that's very, very difficult to recover over time. >> westwood, new jersey, harold, a republican line. >> caller: hey, good morning. well, the president said yesterday, i'm not scared of tough times.
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well, i am plenty scared for all my brothers and sisters in this great country. i wish the president would really change gears and talk about how precious life is. life is precious. he should say it's murder to kill a human being and a preborn child is a human being. it is murder to kill a preborn child. under current law the preborn child has no protection for murder. i think our president should say, i am going to protect innocent people. i am going to protect all of our brothers and sisters. we call this a civilized country. we put on our currency in god we trust? if we had not killed 50 million babies we would have social security -- >> host: are economic issues of social concerns in the congress and the election to come get pushed to had side. >> guest: in congress, more or less, yes, economic issues are
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at the forefront. in the election i think right now you would expect economic issues to dominate. it doesn't mean social issues won't factor in a turnout and for republicans social issues are going to remain to get their existing supporters to the polls. >> host: the caller mentioned on the president's speech on labor day, here's a little bit of it. >> we've got roads and bridges across this country. that need to be rebuilt. we've got private companies and manpower to do the building. we have more than 1 million construction workers ready to get dirty right now. there is work to be done and there are workers waiting to do it. labor is on board. business is on board. we just need congress to get on board. >> host: and daniel friedman getting on board with what he sound from what he proposed from previous stimulus spending. >> guest: the house republicans, senate republicans have -- i don't think have changed their
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mind yet so some of what the president is doing is apart from just kind of verbally haranguing congress, the congress republicans is to try to push the extent possible some initiatives that don't require proposal. he asked federal agencies try to expedite some infrastructure projects but that's that, compared to that. congress does remain relevant to go back with questions in a lot of this but obama is going to try to bypass them to the extent extent as possible but go to congress or republicans to be obstructionists. >> host: andy, the democrat line. >> caller: yeah, how are you doing. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center. and most of the -- yeah, hi. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center. i have a lot of illnesses from there. most of the people down there were government employees.
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we had 3,000 -- >> host: andy -- >> caller: we had firearm, police. down here in florida write live -- what they call the right to work state, well, i know that works for wal-mart. he drives 30 miles once a day. they let him work four hours and send him home. they have the right to send the guy home. and, you know, the republican party i think they're a bunch of -- i don't know, they're just not for the american people. they're for the rich people and in the nafta agreement that really ruined all the jobs in this country. so the rich people that own all these big companies, do you think they could handle some chinaman for 50 cents an hour to make 100 shirts a day, so they want to do it to us, too. >> host: another call about perception. >> guest: exactly, yes. and people are aggrieved, aggrieved people.
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that's what we're getting. everybody has got a grievance out there and there's a lot of anger. >> host: how can it change? >> guest: it's the economy. it's a cumulative -- it's tribal. i used to cover the northern ireland conflict and one of the things that struck me as i got into it there was sort of years of encrusted grievance and they never went away. so each new thing was just added to the list. and washington is starting to become that way. so that when things are done, for example, take some of these judgeship things and the republicans obstruct the judgeship well, 10 years ago look what the democrats did, they did it too. they did it too is becoming kind of a justification for an awful lot of things. so it's very hard to get at that kind of tribal -- once you're in a -- i call it a tribal mode.
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once you get into it it's highly emotional. it's group oriented as opposed to issue oriented and people perceive insults and hostilities and they start to take sides. they feel they have to join one side or another. once you're into that, that really does, there is no compromise. maybe they ought to call george mitchell in here as a mediator as they did in northern ireland in the middle east. that may be very well what's necessary here. some form of mediation, you know, within our own -- between our own political party. >> host: we're talking about the return to congress. we have our guest guest of fred barbash of cq weekly and daniel friedman, talk a little bit -- and dig deeper about the spending levels of 2012 and they need to be set by october 1st. we're in the middle of discussion about austerity not only in congress but as a whole of the nation how does one affect the other? >> guest: well, fortunately the spending level is set. the debt ceiling bill is set in
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fy '12 level is 1.03 trillion which entails is $7 billion cut, i believe, from the current spending and the current continuing resolution so that agreement is helpful as they go forward before october 1st to try to get a deal probably on a continuing resolution for the rest of the year. i'd be somewhat optimistic that they can get that done without the kind of gigantic fight they had over the last resolution because they have that top level spending and, of course, there will be fights what they caught this disaster fight looms as a potential complicating looming. >> host: disaster funding? >> guest: for hurricane irene as well as other disasters, the opps management has asked for a billion dollars for disasters and separate for irene a billion and a half and obviously that's become a bit of a political football with house majority leader eric cantor says he wants that funding to be offset and democrats see that as an opportunity they may be able to exploit politically.
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>> host: a meeting for the deficit committee set for thursday and a following meeting on the 13th. what's the timeline between now when they need to produce something? >> guest: they need to produce recommendations by thanksgiving. one problem they have is the chambers are divided not just over policy but when they're in town and not in town. many of the weeks before that at the same time. so maybe the commission committee members will continue to meet while one of their respective chambers are out of session otherwise they'll have to figure out how to work quickly when they're in town. >> host: mr. barbash you talked about working in the committee and what does history tell us about the results of these kind of committees? >> guest: some have achieved a temporary going back in history through the very beginning. they have actually -- they can achieve something they get impromater of the congress as a whole and they can present a proposal and it has a certain added force to it if it's bipartisan and it's critical.
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if it comes off, frankly, to some extent like the debt commission did with lots of divisions then it's kind of more the same. they're in a position actually to provide a good deal of moral and political leadership if they were to be able to kind of break loose of some of these tribal issues and because then they would present to the public, look, we've agreed, we've been able to agree. we're republicans. we're democrats. we're veterans. we've got something now. what about the rest of you? the likelihood of that happening maybe that's a fantasy in my mind but i do think there's a potential that we've shown historically for social security -- they've been able to make some gains by establishing these special committees. some of them were within congress and outside of congress. they are not whole without merit of moving something off the regular process and into a different level in the hopes that you can achieve something that way. >> host: paul on our independent line is from virginia beach,
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virginia, good morning. >> caller: good morning, c-span. yes, thank you for taking my call. i'm pretty pessimistic about the congress and the congress working together now that they're back. and i understand a lot of the impatience that a lot of people feel in this country over dc and i think a lot of that just in my opinion is the misinformation and outright wrong information that a lot of people have and a clear example of this a woman just called in a few calls ago and she was very passionate about the space shuttle program being cancelled and she was saying obama and how sad how that thing happened again and she was just blatantly wrong in that it was obama that issued
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this. this decree was signed in the quarter in 2005 by george bush. as a matter of fact, he made a lot of degrading comments about nasa at the time and all three of you gentlemen just sat there and let this go out without letting her know what actually happened, who was really responsible for that. the reason i'm bringing this up is i think a lot of misinformation that is going on out here is just being -- it's not being challenged. when someone is wrong on something, could you please just let these people are misinformed and get them straight on this. i think a lot of misinformation that goes on, and i think that feeds into a lot of discontent that a lot of american citizens feel. please, gentlemen, when people call -- >> host: we got your point, caller. president obama speaks on thursday to a joint session of
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congress. that will be at 7:00 just to let you know. you can watch that live on c-span. so go to for more information. next call is louisville, kentucky, jim, republican line. >> caller: hello, i have two quick comments but first just to notify you, i am a moderate republican which i suppose the tea partiers would call a flaming liberal. my first point is the idea that the congress is dysfunctional. and i would content that it's the republican party that's dysfunctional and, again, if the media would catch on and get specific. president obama has bent over backwards to work a compromise. and the republicans refused to do it until he were in the last throes of the debt ceiling of congress and i would also say that president obama means well
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highly intelligent. he's not a great leader and he needed to go to bat for o-some issues and he fell through. senator mcconnell tried to mix everything he attempted to get passed well, he thinks mcconnell was a great leader of compromise and he can see fight for the 14th amendment. he could have said look, folks, we've done this debt ceiling for years and years and i'm not going to play this game. so i'm just trying to make the point that the republicans are way out of whack and, you know, if the media would get specific rather than just saying the congress is dysfunctional. let's talk about who's being dysfunctional. >> host: mr. friedman, let me roll into that a poll from the "washington post" and abc talking about the percentages of people who disapprove the way the president is handling certain topics when it comes to overall job performance, it's 53% disapproving creating jobs
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62% along with the economy at 62% disapproving. the federal budget deficit at 60% disapproving and terrorism at 32% disapproving. >> guest: that's a lot of disapproval. i think if you go to the last caller it's interesting he makes the point that his senator, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell is not interested with cooperating with obama on anything and then suggest obama should have invoked the 14th amendment to pass the debt ceiling bill. well, mcconnell -- he's trying to act in his own political interest but he will cooperate with obama and i don't think the white house has any illusions what mcconnell is trying to do but they understand he will cooperate with them and the dealing is an example where they did cut an deal and senator mcconnell was instrumental in passing a bill so i don't know the 14th amendment would have been a better situation there. >> guest: well, i want to go back to the previous caller who talked about the basic public ignorance and the extent to which we in the media do or
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don't. i wrote an article a few weeks ago looking at the polling on the public's understanding of these issues. and basically they don't. and for example, large chunks of the public believe that foreign aid represents up to 10 to 20% of the united states budget when maybe it's one-tenth of 1%. public broadcasting represents, you know, some 2 or 3 or 5% of the budget when it's not even statistically a significant amount. now, as long as people believe those things -- imagine what you're going to to think about balancing the budget if you think most of the money goes to something like public broadcasting. hey, that's an easy one. eliminate that and everything will be fine but this general feeling -- this allows the politicians to sort of make -- define everything in their own way. define what the causes of the problems are and what the problems are without being critiqued by the public and i think the caller is correct. we in the media have a special
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obligation to kind of do our best to set the record straight. >> host: watch the super committee not get anything to congress that could be debated or voted on before thanksgiving. mark my words, columbus, ohio, you are next. >> caller: hello. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: i agree with congress being dysfunctional. and i'm wondering -- i'm a very big fan of president lincoln but he may roll over in his grave when i suggest this. that i think the new border of the united states should be i-40 and let texas and all those southern states -- we got 300 million in population and one of the reasons congress is dysfunctional. it's too large, not really representing the people. it's representing huge corporate
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and wealthy. and some people feel that's the constitution was originally meant for the wealthy, for landowners. thank you. >> host: mr. friedman? >> guest: i think we need to kind of realize that congress is representing people inadequately and poorly. to the extent maybe we should expect them to. we as voters generally have elected them. and they are not doing anything because people disagree with each other but as i mentioned before, the people who elected them disagree. it's not just that they have a bunch of people who all want the same thing and are just sort of incompetently executing. the voters all want something done but they just don't agree. yes, if we got rid of half the country then it would be a lot easier. we could get rid of all those red states and we could get rid of what is the biggest problem is divided government. i believe we could have republicans win. >> host: a republican line. >> caller: yes, i wanted to go
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back to a previous caller who brought up the free trade agreements. that's something that my party has pressed for years and to some extent we've success and other countries have benefited is low labor costs and those who have shifted those jobs over to those countries and the people who have lost in this have been the american workers. we've lost all of our jobs. so i wonder why don't we fix the tariffs and bring back the trade tariffs and bring the jobs back to america which would decrease revenue and increase expenditures on things like medicare and unemployment and get this country back on track and quit worrying so much about the rest of the world and corporate america. thank you. >> guest: well, you know, this is a long-standing grievance and a long-standing debate about what the impact of free trade
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is. but, you know, amidst all this let's not forget this country is actually extraordinarily prosperous. in the past if you look at the overall picture in the past 20 years or 30 years as opposed to the past three years or two years, you see a very different picture of very important changes in the workforce, all kinds of people being channeled into occupations that did not exist years ago where otherwise they might have been in some lesser paying thing. and you take, for example, the whole i.t. industry, which is filled up with people and jobs that did not exist when i was a boy. and nobody even imagined them existing. and a lot of the young people in that business are not college graduates and said this is an opportunity for me in a well paying white collar type of job. i don't see this globalization process as having been that destructive over time, frankly.
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and i think in a short-term sense one could see that way when unemployment is very high but in the long term we've had a pretty prosperous 50 years here. >> host: adding to the sentiment of the caller here jobs overseas there's no fixing just detroit on a national basis. atlanta, georgia, stanley, democrats line. >> caller: hello, how are you doing there? >> host: go ahead. >> caller: yes. the number 1 problem with our united states is leadership. you keep rehashing the same people in congress, the senate and the problem -- as long as you continue that you never bring in any fresh new ideas. that's the number 1 problem with this country today. number 2 is education. if you continue with the same education system there's over 300 years old you're going to have a problem with education in this country. with being eighth and ninth in math and science. and third, classism. you have a big problem with classism in the united states. the same thing the people run
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away from is religion but classism. >> host: ideas, education, and classism? >> guest: you know, there's just some stuff that isn't fixable. but i think i know what he means. you know, the president wants -- we discussed wants to renew no child left behind. that's looking difficult right now. you know, one of the things that obama has suggested -- i think he instructed the education secretary to look at ways to kind of move forward if congress can't get anything done by himself. so that's not overhauling the education system that goes back 300 years. that's a little incremental step they're hoping to take. >> host: baltimore, maryland, a republican line. >> caller: so it seems to me with such a deeply divided political system we can look no further than the redistricting that we do every 10 years. if we continue to build zones that are custom tailored one side to the other we're going to get the extreme sides and nobody savior going to get along. we can't come up with two of the three states you build out grids
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or boxes across the state based sole on populations. that will generate more moderate representatives to do -- more accurately represent their states and there will be more reason to work on the other side across the aisle. does that seem reasonable? >> host: mr. barbash, let me step back from redistricting for a second and talk about 2012 in terms of the senate and where it might stand after the elections in november. >> guest: well, i think i'm just go way out here on a limb. i think people are so angry that everything could change. everything could change. you could have a senate that goes republican -- you could have a house that goes back in the hands of the democrats. you could have a substantial shift in the senate. i feel like this is a year -- now again, i wouldn't even begin to try to make a prediction of how things are going to look the day after the election in 2012 because of this level of anger, the number of people who feel alienated from both parties. the beginnings of some rumblings of not a third-party but a
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movement. i think probably talked about called no labels. it involves a lot of very wealthy business people. something is happening here politically that i think is terribly important. and that we're not going to really be able to -- i don't feel like a normal going through each district and figuring out which is safe and which is leaning. that will tell you something but it's not going to capture the emotional anger and the energy. it's not going to tell you who's going to stay home because they're mad or who's going to show up because they're mad. all of that is really going to have -- all of the bodies and all of the three branches of government, well, the house, the senate and the white house to me are subject to changing hands in the next election and it would not surprise me if they did under this volatile circumstance that we're living in. >> host: about 10 more minutes with our guests. william is from arkansas on our democrats line. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. go ahead. >> caller: yes. people need to understand that
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the congress was controlled by republicans about six or eight years and then they changed and put it over to the democrats. congress didn't pass anything on the republicans and the democrats -- what they passed feel it benefits the poor and middle class and mcconnell said there's nothing they are going to do benefit the middle class or the poor. it's power and power is to take obama out so they can talk all they want what the congress is going to do. they're not going to do anything that's going to benefit jobs. all they want to do is remove obama. >> host: mr. friedman, to that last point specifically. >> guest: his biggest priority is to defeat president obama. he's gotten that quote thrown back at him quite a lot of times since then. but, you know, he has the advantage of being unusually honest, i think, in discussing at times his political calculations, which, you know,
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maybe he's just being more honest than others are about the extent to which they're thinking of the electoral landscape in 2012. >> host: next up is baltimore, maryland. chris, good morning, independent line. >> caller: good morning. i keep hear people describe the government or congress as dysfunctional and vindictive and irrational and overly passionate. well, when i go shopping i look on the door and they say they drug test their employees and these are the people that are stocking our shelves and i have friends that work for the government and they're all drug-tested also and i'm wondering why it is that the people that are acting this way and have so much of our destiny their hands aren't being required and being drug tested themselves. maybe we have an elephant in the room that would explain the
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reason that congress' behavior? i remember they're only human. and this is a societal problem. why not require congress to be drug tested and that's all. >> host: another thought, this one viewer says people only speak for their individual representatives though the majority don't support the congress i think he means as a whole. >> guest: there is that -- there is that view that they may dislike congress intensely but they like their individual representative. i'm not so sure that's going to last. i'm not so sure that's true anymore. i think you saw that in the 2010 election. i think we're in a period of wave elections, that notion of liking your own member especially now that the earmarks are gone, some of the things that used to make people like their own member, i think we're in a very unpredictable volatile time where maybe that paradigm
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has changed. i just don't know. >> host: shelbitown, michigan is next for lynn on the republican line. >> caller: yes, good morning, gentlemen. i just wanted to throw this out there. i've been thinking about this for quite some time actually. up here in michigan, we've really truly have lost a full decade. we went through eight years of a democratic governor that came in with all kinds of hopes, kind of like this president. with, you know, going to change things and turn things around. and she came in with like a 69% favorable rating. she left with 16%. you just look at detroit, people keep bringing that up and they are absolutely right. it's had 50 years of single party rule and it's just
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terrible. so if you want to really take a snapshot of what this president is about to do, just take a look at what michigan's at and that's about all i have to say. >> host: any correlation? >> guest: well, it's interesting the second caller who used michigan as kind of -- to suggest the whole country is becoming michigan. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: there's a correlation. you know, president obama -- like former governor granholm a similar issue. they're struggling against economic trends that are arguably bigger certainly in michigan. and their ability to address it and obama's hands as we discussed in many ways tied. the biggest determine fortunate of his re-election will be an economy over which he has very limited control. >> host: one more call from new york. and it's john on our democrats line. >> caller: yes, good morning. i wasn't going to call. i was just home drinking coffee and i was just going to listen but the woman who called back and she was the 61-year-old lady
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that she said this was probably going to be the first time she was not going to go out and vote, and i think that's exactly the wrong thing to do. obama has been trying to do things and it's been blocked by the republican congress in order for us to be able to get him to do things we need to get more like-minded people like him and willing to push his agenda through. not to vote is the wrong thing to do. and i think the guy made a good point when he said that -- i'm just going to say -- just as an example, when people say these things are wrong should correct them and let them know where they're wrong at and what the facts are. and it's kind of like -- daniel said someone wants mr. mcconnell
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blocking the thing. daniel said mcconnell was instrumental in making a deal on the debt ceiling. and what daniel said is true. but mitch mcconnell did that when all the damage was already done. it was already done. so by him saying that, mcconnell was instrumental in getting the bill passed, mr. mcconnell was instrumental in getting the bill passed when after all the damage was done. >> host: we'll leave it there. mr. barbash? >> guest: you know, actually mcconnell -- i will say this, he's been trying to -- he was trying to avoid that scenario since after the election. i remember him giving some speeches and boehner right after the 2010 midterms, let's not do this. let's not make these mistakes. they kept using the term "adult
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conversations" and i think things got beyond and this is one of the remarkable stories particularly in the house and boehner and the leadership basically lost control of the situation to the tea party factions. and here again, people say where is the power of a small group like the tea party come in? it comes from polarization. if the moderates in both parties were like in the old days able to agree on something, 80 or whatever people in the house would be a baseless, meaningless number. as long as you have this polarization, you're going to open the door to a fringe group or one kind or another, left, right and they have much more power under these circumstances than they would if the two major parties were able to get their act together and work together when necessary to avoid a crisis situation. >> host: so we talked a lot about a lot of things in this hour. let's talk about one thing that you find important and things to look forward to in the next couple of weeks as congress comes back. >> guest: i think the patent reform bill which is a minor bill relatively speaking that
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the senate will probably pass this week or early next week. is a bigger deal in a sense than a lot of the legislation we've been talking about because it's going to pass. you know, we're talking about a lot of legislation that is just a debating point and a talking point. you know, this bill will change the patent system. it's a very heavily lobbied. if you're thinking of neglected patents you need to think about doing that. it's an issue that's been ignored a little bit. >> host: mr. barbash? >> guest: two things that will affect people's lives directly one is the extension of the federal aviation administration funding so they can -- we can avoid a near shutdown like we had the last time. that has to happen, i think, by september 30th, is it? >> guest: a little sooner. >> guest: sooner. and the highway, there needs to be an authorization to allow the gasoline tax to continue so highway construction can continue to be funded. people are watching that closely to see if that -- if those things do happen amidst all this
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kind of helter skelter because if they don't that's kind of problematic and every american will feel the effects of that. >> host: gentlemen, thank you very much. >> guest: thank you. >> guest: my pleasure. >> we have more of our road to the white house coverage coming up a little bit later this afternoon. republican presidential candidate mitt romney offers his plan to create jobs. he's at a trucking company in north las vegas today. you'll be able to see mr. romney's speech live on c-span. it gets underway at 3:40 pm eastern. he'll also take your phone calls. and, of course, president obama offers his jobs plan to a joint session of congress this coming thursday. live coverage on c-span gets underway at 7:00 pm eastern with the president's speech to follow at 7:15. and from the associated press, speaker boehner and house republican leader eric cantor wrote a letter to president obama tuesday listing proposals they have already passed in the
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house that they said would be worthy of his consideration. starting live to the u.s. capitol where the senate is returning for their summer break. general speeches and then senators are expected to take up the judicial nominee of bernice donnell. after a final vote on her confirmation the senate will vote to proceed on a house-passed bill overhauling the patent system. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senao order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, e senate in prayer.
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the chaplain: let us pray. god of new beginnings the author and sustainer of our faith, thank you for this fresh start as we begin this fall session of the u.s. senate. bless our lawmakers to strive to do your will empowering them with greater knowledge and discernment so that they may approve the things that are excellent. lord, give them a productivey that comes from the power of your spirit, using them to do your work on earth. show them your greatness
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and your mighty hand, for you are the god of our salvatio. you are our rock, our fortress and our deliverer; we will trust in your strength to preserve this land we love. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communicae senate. the clerk: washington d.c., september 6, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorablejim webb, a senator from the commonwealth of virginia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will proceed to morning business until 5:00 p.m. today. during that time senators will be allowed to speak for up to five minutes each. i'm sorry, ten minutes each. pardon me. at 5:00 p.m. the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of bernice bouie donald of tennessee to a united states circuit judge for the sixth circuit. there will be 30 minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on confirmation of the nomination. upon disposition of the donald nomination the senate will resume consideration and vote on
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the motion to proceed to invoke cloture on that patent reform bill. senators should expect two roll call votes this evening at about 5:30 p.m. mr. president, first of all, i welcome the presiding officer and everyone back to the senate after the august recess. my good friend, the republican leader, and i look forward to the number-one priority we have, and that's job creation. this isn't just a conversation for those of us in the senate. the american people agree that's the number-one priority we should have. i'm sorry to say that the republicans have distracted congress from its most important responsibility: getting our economy back to work and back on track. that is in jobs. we've been distracted time and time again. endless amendments on legislation should engender
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bipartisan support. they've killed good bills with obstructionism and stall tactics. they dragged out votes to continue funding the government. we did that on the c.r. that went on for weeks and weeks, mr. president. and all we were trying to do was fund the government until october 1 and defer default crisis. those have normally been routine in republican and democratic administrations. that wasn't the fact in this republican obstructionism we've had. president reagan asked congress to extend the debt ceiling 18 times, and it was done, mr. president, 18 times. but this year, not like the era of president reagan, when the debt was increasing significantly as a result of his agenda, our jobs agenda for months was held up, set aside and held up the work of congress and our ability to do something
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about the economy which was being held hostage. rather than working with democrats to create job-creating legislation, republicans insist on reckless cuts to hurt our economic recovery. mr. president, economists, take, for example, mark zandi, certainly a person who has shown some bipartisanship in his working for john mccain as his economic advisor and now in the private sector said we have to cut spending. we all acknowledge that. we agree with mark zandi. but we also agree with economist zandi in saying we have to be very careful in how we cut now because of the difficult times we're going through. we cut significantly on programs that create jobs, but we did it. we have to get this debt under control. mr. president, as my friend said, his number-one goal is to
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defeat president obama; my friend, the republican leader. with that as the number-one goal, it makes it very difficult to get things done around here. but the august employment report released last week should be a wakeup call to every member of congress, democrats and republicans. we cannot waste any more time as has been wasted over the last eight months. the private sector added less than 20,000 jobs last month, and that was offset by the further unemployment that came in the ranks of the government. so the net job increase was basically zero. although august marked the 18th straeult month of -- straight month of private job sector growth, stagnant unemployment is not good enough. congress must act quickly to jump-start the economy. in doing that, it will help the recovery. we have to bring the unemployment rate down. it's time for us to get down to
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work, as we should have been doing all along. and we look forward to working with republicans who delayed our ability to work together for eight months. cooperation has been in short supply in washington in the last eight months. i'm hopeful we can begin a new work period, that our constituents' voices will be fresh in our minds. i just returned from nevada, as we all returned from our states, and i had the time to watch my friends in nevada, people who i've known for many, many years. i was talking to one of my friends in reno today, and i said to him, pete, it's really hard to look as you drive by these strip malls and see the "for lease" signs all over in reno and in las vegas. that's not good. they're struggling. nevada leads the nation in unemployment. that's not something we're proud of. people are having trouble finding steady work not only in nevada, but around the country.
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all segments of our economy. on public radio they had a piece on enrollments cut way back. as i understood the radio, 60% of law school graduates can't find work anyplace. it is not only nevada. it's all over the country people are having trouble finding steady work. people with educations, people without educations; people are having trouble making their mortgage payments and even putting food on the table. so our constituents are going to be watching very closely this fall to see whether we've heard their message. we need some jobs. so we must set aside partisanship and we must do it for the sake of america and jobs. they're not going to be satisfied with the same
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obstructionism and gridlock they saw this spring and summer. they know as i do that the nation's economy depends on dedicated men and women, democrats, republicans and independents working together to put bipartisan bills together to put america back to work. we're going to waste no time here in the senate getting down to business. today we will hold a vote on legislation to streamline the patent system which will help entrepreneurs start new businesses. the american advance act, passed at the beginning of this congress, it will significantly reform the patent system for the first time in some 68 years and pass the house -- it passed the house with more than 300 votes. it passed the senate with 95 votes. this is exactly the kind of job-creating legislation our country needs to get economic recovery back in motion and promote innovation, create job growth and create american jobs and grow our economy without
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adding a penny to the deficit. now i have to say, mr. president, the patent bill was not held up by republicans in the senate. it was held up by republicans in the house, who held that bill for months and months. it's here now. i want to do everything i can -- i think we all feel that way -- to move this legislation along. today there are 700,000 patent applications, three years' worth at least, that are waiting to be reviewed. who knows what's in that pile of patents? could it be another google? could it be another software system that will revolutionize different parts of our society? of course it could be and likely is. we need to get through that backlog. we need to unlock the job-creating potential of each patent. we'll also lower fees for small business applicants by up to 75%, and put more people to
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work. now our patent system became a tool to spark innovation, and that's important. and we need to move forward on that. the american invents act is the kind of bipartisan effort americans have demanded and deserve from congress. i acknowledge it's only the beginning, a down payment on the aggressive jobs agenda that we must understand is necessary. we're going to hold a cloture vote on this legislation tonight. that will only allow us to get on the bill. i hope, mr. president, we don't have to file cloture on the bill itself. i've told my republican colleagues if there are amendments that need to be offered, a reasonable number of amendments, let's get them done. we have too much to do to waste weeks on this piece of legislation. we've already done that. so i hope we can have final passage in the next few days. this is important legislation. we've had plenty of time to debate this in congress. it's time to move on to other
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job-creation measures. this work period which is three weeks long, mr. president, and i hope we don't have to extend it into the following week, we have a holiday wednesday following the friday that we intend to leave here, and i hope that we don't have to work into that work period. we're going to do everything we can to avoid that. during this work period we must extend the authorization of the federal aviation administration. this is important. as we know from what happened last month, 80,000 americans were put out of work. i think it was certainly something that, had some impact on the safety of what was going on around the country. we had safety inspectors who are paying their own way to go around the country. they were buying their own tickets, their own meals. we can't afford another f.a.a. shutdown that would put air travelers -- excuse me -- air
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travelers at risk. as i indicated, immediately lay off 80,000 workers, thousands of them construction workers, 4,000 of them permanent employees. mr. president, this bill was held up for one reason and one reason only: to protect one airline company. one airline company. that's all. all the other excuses are only excuses. we need to move forward with this legislation and make this legislation pass on a permanent basis. we've had 20-plus temporary extensions of this legislation. we have to move on. but we certainly have to get an extension until after the first of the year. we can no longer be wanting to protect one airline. one airline -- only one airline company is complaining. neither can we afford a disruption of the collection of
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the gasoline taxes or delay highway and mass transit construction projects. senator boxer indicate it had employs 1.7 million people. before the end of the month we must authorize federal spending of the nation's highways. even grover nordquist, the person who goes around telling everybody which bills to vote for and which aren't, even he said advancing the highway bill is not a tax increase. he as i understand it clearly wants to push this crucial highway legislation bill until february 1 or thereabouts. congress also this work period must make sure that fema, the federal emergency management agency, has the resources it needs to help american families rebuild their lives after some of the most deadly disasters in the history of the country. number one was the irene
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hurricane. we don't know for sure, but it will be in the top five or ten of the most costly disasters in american history. we have to free this money up. right now because of fema running out of money because of these disasters. just this past month, we had an earthquake here in the east which was -- surprised everyone. it was in the presiding officer's state but had impact other places. national cathedral is damaged significantly. the washington monument is closed. fema has frozen long-term aid to job lynn, missouri. we had almost 300 people killed there, mr. president. fema is there to lend a helping hand, and that hand has been drawn back because they are running out of money. so we need to fund fema, to help the victims of hurricane irene and to make sure that those other disasters taking place recently, we can also complete that work.
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these disasters we plan for the best we can. we put money in our budgets for what we anticipate would be disasters, but, mr. president, we -- no one can have a crystal ball and determine all these disasters are going to take place, so we need to understand these are emergency moneys. if there were ever an emergency, it's these people that have been hurt by these devastating storms and emergencies. mr. president, on thursday, i look forward to hearing president obama's speech. it's a joint session of congress. he's going to talk about job creation. it will be crucial for congress to work together with the president to jump-start our flagging recovery. it won't be easy for congress to tackle all the things this fall. we only talk about things we need to do this work period. but it has never been more important than now to put our jobs agenda ahead of either party's political agenda. so i look forward to a productive work period during which colleagues on both sides of the aisle will work together for the good of our economy and the good of this great nation.
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the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, it's good to see my friend, the majority leader. i agree with him that i think we can make some significant progress here in the next few weeks on some issues that both sides have largely agreed to. however, there are other things that remain clearly differences among us. as lawmakers return to washington this week, every one of us, i'm sure, is aware of the fact that many americans are not only frustrated with the state of our economy but also with the state of their government. i don't think any one of us is under any illusion that the american people were particularly eager to see us come back, and who could blame them? after two and a half years of being told that washington had
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the answer to everything from the high cost of health care to high unemployment, people have every reason to be skeptical. for more than two and a half years under this administration, americans have been hearing about the wonders that government spending would do for our economy and about the dangerous consequences of failing to apply bold solutions to big problems. and what's it gotten them? as washington has grown bigger and bigger and americans have continued to lose jobs. the national debt has exploded literally out of sight, and for the first time in our history, america's once pristine credit rating has been downgraded by a major ratings agency. the average length of unemployment recently surpassed 40 weeks for the first time
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ever. just last week, we learned that in the month of august, not a single new job was created in this country, not one. but here is the bottom line. in the two and a half years since president obama signed his signature jobs bill, the so-called stimulus, there are 1.7 million fewer jobs in our country. statistics like these help us to understand the dimensions of the economic challenges so many americans continue to face. most people don't need to read the morning papers or wait for the monthly jobs report to know that they're struggling and no amount of speeches, however carefully crafted to appeal to the anxieties of the moment will convince them that some politician here in washington, from the president on down, has the solution. the truth is president obama did
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more for jobs last week by reversing himself on a single government-imposed regulation than he's done in every speech he has given put together. at this point, i think most people have safely concluded that the problem with our economy isn't that washington is doing little but that washington is doing too much already, and that's why in the coming weeks and months many of us will continue to press for an entirely new approach, one that puts individuals and businesses at the center of our recovery instead of washington, one which clears away the red tape and the regulatory overreach, one that lifts the cloud of uncertainty that's been holding job creators back and enables the american people to move our economy in the direction that they want instead of having it dictated to them from above by the president. it's time for an approach that's
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based on the simple principle that if the american people are going to have control of their own destiny, they need to have more control of their economy. they have seen where consolidating every economic decision in washington has gotten us. they see that folks in washington seem to be doing just fine. millions of americans may have lost their homes over the past few years. millions more may owe more on their homes than these homes are worth, but home values here in washington are going up, going up. countless americans outside washington may have seen their savings dry up or have been forced to decide between making a car repair or a tuition payment, but you would never know that here. as countless economic tragedies unfolded in homes across the country over the past few years, the washington metropolitan area was working on a new distinction
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, a new disparticulars. the highest median income in america. the highest median income in america right here in washington. i assure you, these folks aren't getting rich off of farming. while most of the rest of the country continues to struggle, washington's booming, and that's not the kind of change people voted for three years ago. so before we get into the details about what many of us believe will succeed in reigniting the economy outside of washington, we need to be clear about which hasn't because while i have no doubt that the president will propose many things on thursday night that when looked at individually sound pretty good or that he will call bipartisan, i'm equally certain that taken as a
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whole, they will represent more of the same failed approach that's only made things worse over the past few years and resulted in fewer jobs than when we started. over the weekend, the president tested a few of the lines i expect we'll hear on thursday. his central message evidently is that anyone who doesn't rubber stamp his economic agenda is putting politics above country. but with all due respect, mr. president, there is a much simpler reason for opposing your economic proposals that has nothing whatsoever to do with politics, and it's this: they don't work. we can trace these failures to the president's very first days in office. one of the first things he did upon assuming office was to direct congress to send him the stimulus.
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here was one of the single most expensive pieces of legislation congress has ever approved. the interest payments alone are projected to cost an average of of $100 million a day. this was the president's way of jump-starting an agenda that in his words began with jobs. his agenda, he said, began with jobs. and he knew that some of us were skeptical it would work. that's why shortly after it became law he asked if he could come up to capitol hill and use his very first speech to a joint session of congress to explain exactly what it would achieve. and here's what the president told us. the stimulus, he said, would save or create 3.5 million jobs.
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3.5 million jobs, he said. and ultimately, that's how he would measure its success, whether or not it created jobs. to reassure those of us who thought government couldn't be counted on to spend this kind of money wisely, he insisted that anyone who received it would be held strictly accountable. and then he said something that some people may have forgotten. he said the stimulus was just a first step. the primary purpose of the stimulus, he said, was to help the economy in the short term. but the only way to fully restore america's economic strength, he told us then, was through a ten-year budget that would reach into all areas of the economy that the stimulus did not. just like the stimulus, the
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unifying theme of the president's budget was more government. and once again, he felt in selling it that he needed to speak to the skeptics first. and here's what he said about that. the goal of the budget, he said, wasn't to replace private enterprise but to catalyze it. not to stifle business but to create conditions for entrepreneurs to adapt and thrive. well, how did that work out? as government continued to grow, the economy sputtered and it's still sputtering, yet the president wants to know why people are resistant to his economic proposals. he says they must be motivated by politics.
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a stimulus bill aimed at creating jobs was followed by a period where we lost 1.7 million jobs. the inspector general who was appointed to oversee distribution of the stimulus funds reports that he received more than 7,000 complaints of wrongdoing. more than 1,500 of those complaints have triggered investigations. just last week, one of the companies that the president personally vouched for as a shining example of how stimulus dollars would work announced it was laying off more than 1,000 workers and filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. and it wasn't the first. but still, according to the president, anyone who opposes this agenda is playing partisan games. well, the president can attempt to blame our economic problems all he wants on his political
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adversaries or his predecessors or natural disasters, but at the end of the day, he's the one. as he said himself, who is responsible for what happens on his watch. and that includes the epic failure of a bill he himself touted as the key to our recovery. by any measure, including his own, the stimulus and the economic principles it was built on have been a failure. and that's the reason so many people are skeptical of the president's economic proposals. they don't work as advertised.
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now, the president, of course, doesn't want to acknowledge it, and i understand that. it's hard to admit when you have been wrong. but in other more subtle ways, the administration has acknowledged the fundamental flaws in its approach to the economy. the only reason the president agreed to keep taxes from going up last december, for instance, was that he knew it would lead to even more job loss. the only reason with this proposal and others like it, of course, is that they're only temporary. which only perpetuates the unterrapin certainty that's kept so many businesses from making investments in new products and new workers over the past few years. businesses actually don't want shots in the arm or quick fixes. they want to know what the
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landscape will look like a few years down the road. and until now, that's not something the president has been willing to do. he just hasn't been able to bring himself to let go of government's grip, which brings me back to a different approach that some of us have been proposing for some time now, which the white house continues to resist. simply put, we think washington should take a little break from the massive spending programs to the president likes to refer to as bold solutions. quite frankly, we're not very good at them. neighborhood who thinks otherwise happened been paying much attention to washington over the past few years. now, no one believes government doesn't have a role to play.
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of course it does. but it's not the center of the universe. and it should stop pretending to be the center of the universe. what we need is a shift in thinking when it comes to thinking about how government's role in the economy should work. we need to shift the center of gravity away from washington and back to the innovators and entrepreneurs. the engineers and the shop floor managers who will be at the heart of our recovery. and we need to be serious about it. the president is forever eager to embrace big proposals whenever government is at the helm, but when it comes to doing the kinds of things job creators really want, he's suddenly quite timid. he'll agree to a tax cut as long
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as its temporary. he'll agree to reverse a job-killing regulation, but only if he knows he's gotten dozens of other dozennies in the pipeline right behind it. we need to do a lot better than that. we need the president to be as bold about liberating job creators as as he's been about shackling them. i mean you don't lift a single regulation and suddenly claim to be margaret thatcher. the environmental protection agency alone has dozens of other new rules in progress. the labor department has dozens of rules of its own in progress. the administration's proposed utility standards would increase costs for every family and business in america. one of these new standards for
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boiler emissions would endanger reciprocally tens of thousands of jobs. new rules for cement plants would strike a blow right at the heart of our manufacturing and building sectors. new rules regulating coal ash would endanger thousands of jobs. and then there is the obamacare bill. which has to be counted as one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive single sources of government regulation ever devised. though this bill is still not yet fully taken effect, the myriad rules it will impose on every american are being written as we speak, and so far, those regulations already run to nearly 10,000 pages. so republicans will spend the
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next weeks and months arguing in favor of a robust legislative agenda aimed at wedlocking -- blocking or repealing some of the most pernicious rules and regulations so business can breathe again and begin to hire. and the american worker, not washington, can help this economy get moving again. putting the american people back in charge of our economy also means reforming the tax code. and that's why over the next weeks and months republicans will continue to make the case that washington should get out of the business of picking winners and losers. we should strive to become more competitive by morgue the tax rate on american job creators that ranks the second high nest the developed world. and we should level the playing field with american competitors overseas by approving the three
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free trade agreements with colombia, panama and south korea that have been languishing on the president's desk for nearly three years. the president himself acknowledges that these trade pacts would create tens of thousands of jobs right here at home by vastly expanding the market for u.s. goods. he should send them to congress today so we can finally ratify them. another thing we can do is reform the budget process. there's no good reason nearly 3/4 of government spending is on auto pilot and that last year's spending levels should automatically carry over into the next regardless whether they're effective or affordable. and we need to continue to make the case for a balanced budget amendment. budget reform is an essential part of getting washington to live within its means. it needs to be a top priority.
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and none of these ideas are groundbreaking, they shouldn't be controversial, they're just common sense. most importantly, they're rooted in a respect for the independence, the wisdom, and the power as another u.s. president once put it, of a free people and the efficiency of free institutions. the president who spoke those words did so during another period of sluggish growth and high unemployment. and the solution he proposed not only for the sake of the domestic economy but also for the rez preservation of america's influence this the wider world focused not unlike the one i've outlined here on alleviating the heavy burdens that government had imposed on both individuals and businesses. this is what he further said. the final and best means the strengthening demand among consumers and businesses he said is to reduce the burden on
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private income and the deterrence to private initiatives which are imposed by the tax system. such an approach, he continued, would lead to a new interest in taking risks, increasing productivity and the creation of new jobs and new products for long-term economic growth. and i would only add that the same approach president kennedy outlined with these words in 1962 is worth trying again today. we've tried president obama's approach. it's failed. it's time for something new. the new approach we're suggesting isn't aimed at pleasing any party or constituency. it's aimed at nothing more than giving back to the american people the tools they need to do the work washington has not been able to do on its own. and once we do that, once we come together and agree to turn the keys of this the economy back over to the men and women
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who actually drive it, i have no doubt that much of the acrimony that's marked or dealings over the past several months will fade away. even more importantly, though, we'll have done something good for the country. and for the millions of americans who are looking for washington not so much to do more but for the first time in a long time to do less. so that they can finally do a it takes to get this economy moving again. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order is ?t ?ath will be in morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senate permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each. the senator from arizona.
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mr. kyl: i ask unanimous consent to speak for as much time as i may consume. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. kyl: i rise to urge my colleagues the support the leahy-smith america invents act. some other responsibilities may take me from the senate floor during the coming week when we'll debate the act so i want to lay out my views at this time strongly urging my colleagues to support the bill. although the present bill originates in the house of representatives it's actually based on and substantially identity cal to the bill that passed the senate in march by a vote of 95-5. also before chairman smith brought his bill to the house floor, he negotiated final changes to the bill with the lead supporters of the measure in the senate judiciary committee. the house and senate have now been working on patent reform for six years. the present bill is a good bill. it reflects a genuine compromise between the house and the senate.
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and it is a bill that will provide substantial benefits to the u.s. economy this the coming weeks years. so i hope that as i said, the senate will adopt this legislation and to be able pass it on directly to the president for his signature. the overarching purpose and effect of the present bill is to correct -- excuse me, to create a patent system that is clearer, fairer, more transparent, and more objective. it's a system that will ultimately reduce litigation costs and reduce the need to hire patent lawyers. the bill will make it simpler and easier to object stain valid patents and to enforce those patents and it will cure some very clear litigation abuses that have arisen under the current rules. abuses that have done serious harm to american businesses. by adopting the first to file system, for example, the bill creates a rule that is clear and easy to comply with and that
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avoids the need for expensive discovery and litigation over what a patent's priority date is. by adopting a simplified definition of the term "prior art" the billick will make it easier to secrecy whether it is cheaper for an inventor to enforce his patent. by recognizing a limited prior user right, the bill creates a powerful incentive for manufacturers to build factories and create jobs in this country. by allowing postgrand grant review of patents, especially low quality business patents, the bill creates an inexpensive substitute for district court litigation and allows key issues to be addressed by experts in the field and by eliminating the recent surge of false marking litigation, the bill effectively refeels what amounts to a litigation tax on american manufacturing. let me take a few moments to describe how it will provide
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concrete benefits to american inventors, large and small and to the american manufacturing economy. first, prior commercial use defense, a new provision of the present bill that was added by the house of representatives, will provide important advantages to u.s. manufacturers. section 5 of the bill creates a new defense to patent infringement of prior commercial use. this new defense will ensure the first inventor of a process or a product used in a manufacturing process can continue to use the invention in a commercial process even if a subsequent inventor later patents the idea. for many manufacturing processes, the patent system presents a catch-22. if the manufacturer patents the process, he discloses it to the world but patents for processes used in closed factories are difficult to police. it's all but impossible to know if someone in a factory in
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china, for example, is infringing on such a patent. as a result, unscrupulous foreign and domestic competitors will simply use the invention in secret without paying licensing fees. patenting such manufacturing processes effectively amounts to giving away the invention to foreign manufacturers. on the other hand, if the u.s. manufacturer does not patent the process, a subsequent party may obtain a patent on it and the u.s. manufacturer will be forced to stop using a process he was the first to invent and which he's been using for years. the prior commercial use defense provides relief to u.s. manufacturers from this catch-22. allowing them to continue to use a manufacturing process without having to give it away to competitors or running the risk that it will be peabted out from under -- pendanted out from under them. to establish a right to the defense the american invents act requires the manufacturer to use the process in the united states. as a result, the i. preas
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creates a powerful incentive for manufacturers who build their factories and plants in united states. currently most foreign countries recognize some prior user rights that encourage manufacturers to build facilities in those countries. this bill corrects this imbalance and creates a strong incentive for businesses to create manufacturing jobs in this country. second, something called supplemental examination, a provision which helps section 12 which authorizes supplemental examination of patents. it's one of the reasons the bill has such strong support in the small business community. currently even minor and inadvertent errors in the patent application process can lead to expensive and very unpredictable inequitable conduct litigation. it's often the case that start-up companies or university researchers cannot afford to hire the very best patent
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lawyers. their patents are prosecuted by an in-house attorney who does a good enough job but who is unfamiliar with all the sharp corners and pitfalls of the doctrine. later when more legally sophisticated investors evaluate the patent for potential investment or purpose, these minor flaws and prosecution can deter the investors from purchasing the development. an investor will not spend on a project if a potential attack may later wipe out the whole investment parties on both sides of these exchanges report that investors routinely walk away from promising inventions because of their inability under current threw resolve uncertainties over whether a flaw in prosecution was in fact inequitable conduct. these decisions not to invest in
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a new invention represent important new cures that are never testified and brought to market and other important inventions that are never developed. the america invents legislation authorizes supplement examination. these new proceedings will allow inventers to return to the patent office with additional material and have the patent office reevaluate the patent in light of that material. if the patent is invalid in light of the new material, the patent office will cancel the claims. but if the office finds that the patent is valid, the parties will have a patent that they can be legally certain will be upheld and enforced. the authorization of supplemental examination will inevitably result in path-breaking inventions being developed and brought to market that otherwise would have lingered on the shelf because of legal uncertainty over the patent. and it will ensure that small and start-up companies with important and valid patents will not be denied investment capital
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because of legal technicalities. now, mr. president, let me talk about what i think is undoubt lid the most important among the bill's changes to current law, and that's its transition to the first to file system. this long overdue reform will create a system for establishing a patent's priority date that is simple, efficient, transparent and fair. priority dates not only establish priority between competing patent applications or the same invention, but are also used to measure a patent against potentially invalidating prior art. currently establishing a priority date requires expensive litigation and discovery into what the inventor's notebooks show and when they show it and whether the inventor diligently perfected his invention after he conceived of it.
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also for business seek legal certainty our current system can be a nightmare. a company hoping to bring a new product to market in a particular field or technology has no way of knowing whether a competitor that belatedly sought a patent will succeed in securing a valid patent or not. it depends on the invention date that the competitor will be able to prove relative to the invention date that the company developing the new product can prove. given that both the product developer and the competitor can rely on their own secret documents that the other side will not see until litigation over the patent commences, neither these two parties nor members of the public can gain any clear picture of whether a patent is valid or not without years of litigation and millions of dollars in discovery and other litigation costs. under first to file, by contrast, inventors will file informal and inexpensive provisional applications. these applications need only disclose what the invention is
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and how to make it, information that the inventor already needs to have in his possession anyway in order to establish a priority date under the current system. under first to file, once the inventor files this information with the patent office, he has a priority date that is both secure and public. the application is a government document. there's no need to litigate over what its priority date is. we know that. other industry participants will be able to easily determine the patent's priority date allowing them to measure the patent against prior art and determine if it's valid. also there will be no opportunity to fraudulently back date the priority date. that date will depend on a government document, not privately held files. most u.s. businesses already effectively operate under the first-to-file system. they file applications promptly because it's difficult and risky to rely on proofs of invention dates to defeat a competing
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application that was filed earlier. also because the rest of the world uses first to file, u.s. investors need to secure first-to-file priority if they want their patents to be valid anywhere outside of this country. for many u.s. businesses, the american invents act does not really change the system under which they operate. rather, it simply allows american businesses to comply with just one set of rules rather than being forced to operate under two different systems. mr. president, another one of the bill's clear improvements over current law is its streamlined definition of the term prior art. public uses and sales of an invention will remain prior art, but only if they make the invention available to the public. an inventor's confidential sale of health insurance srepbgs, demonstration of -- of invention or third party's restricted but private use of the invention will no longer constitute private art. only the sale or offer for sale of the invention to the relevant
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public or its use in a way that makes publicly available will constitute public art. the main benefit of the public availability standard of prior art is that it is relatively inexpensive to establish the existence of events that make it an invention to the public. under current law depositions and discovery are required in order to identify all the private dealings with third parties and determine whether those dealings constitute a secret offer for sale or third party use that invalidates the patent under current law's forfeiture doctrines. the need for such discovery under private activities is eliminated once the definition of prior art is limited to activities that make the invention accessible to the public. this will allow the courts and the p.t.o. to operate much more efficiently. both of these last two changes,
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the first to file and the new definition of prior art, will also protect american inventors against theft of their inventions both at home and abroad. under current law if an american inventor sells or discloses his invention, there is a risk an unscrupulous third party will steal the idea and file a u.s. patent for it. if the thief claims that he himself made the invention before the u.s. inventor did, then the u.s. inventor will need to prove that the invention was stolen from him. current law even allows activities that occur in a foreign country to establish a priority date for a u.s. patent. thus, if a u.s. inventor who has also been a victim of theft is unable to prove that activities allege to have occurred in china or india, say, never actually took place, he not only loses his patent, but the foreign thief can obtain a u.s. patent and block the u.s. inventor from
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practicing his own invention. finally, under current law even if the u.s. inventor files a patent application right away, his rights still are not secure. under current law, an early filing date can be defeated by another applicant's claim that he conceived of the invention earlier. thus, a foreign thief can claim that he came up with the idea in his overseas laboratory and that the u.s. inventor would bear the burden of proving that a fraud has been perpetrated in a foreign country. under the american invents act, by contrast it will be much harder for thieves both foreign and domestic to steal a u.s. inventor's invention. under this bill, if a u.s. inventor publicly discloses his invention no third party's application filed after that date can be valid because the filing date is what will determine priority, not a purported date of conception. nor can a third party easily contrive fake prior art to defeat the patent.
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under the a.i.a., only actions that made the invention publicly available will constitute prior art. these are much harder to fake than are claims to have secretly made the invention in a private lab, say again in china. under new section 102-b-1-b once the u.s. investor discloses his invention no subsequent prior art can defeat the invention. the u.s. inventor does not need to prove that the third-party disclosures following his own disclosure are derived from him. he can take full advantage of the grace period and expose his invention in trade shows without worrying that such disclosures will lead to theft or fraud let invalidation of his patent. similarly under the america invents act, once the u.s. inventor files even a provisional application, his rights will be secure. under this bill, no one can file a later application but claim an earlier priority date because
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the priority date is set by the filing date. the provisional application also constitutes section 103 prior art as of its filing date. as a result, a third party's patent for a trivial or obvious variation of the invention will be invalid and will not be able to crowd out the original inventor's patent rights. finally, invalidating prior art will fend on publicly accessible information, not private activities that take place, for example, in a foreign land. as a result it will be impossible for a third party who derived the invention from a u.s. inventor's public disclosure or patent application to steal the invention or sabotage the patent. the only way to invalidate the invention would be to file or publicly disclose the invention before the u.s. inventor has done so, something that will obviously be impossible for the derive tore do. finally, mr. president, to talk
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about false marketing for a moment, i'd like to describe those important reforms to the false marketing statute. america invents act reins in abuses that are reflected in a recent surge in false marketing litigation. it allows such suits to be brought only by those parties who have actually suffered a competitive injury as a result of false marketing. currently such suits are often brought by parties asserting no actual competitive injury from the marketing or who do not even patent or manufacture anything in the relevant industry. many cases skr -- have been brought by patent lawyers themselves claiming the right to enforce a fine of $500 for every marked product. one manufacturer of plastic cups who stamped his patent number on his cups was recently sued by a lawyer for $500 for each disposable cup that was sold for
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a gargantuan total of $9 trillion. in reality, the bulk of these suits settle for their nuisance value, the cost of continuing to litigate. they represent a tax that patent lawyers are imposing on domestic manufacturing, a shift in wealth to lawyers that comes at the expense of manufacturing jobs. this bill prevents such abuses by repealing the statute's quitam action while still allowing parties that have suffered actual competitive injury from false market to go sue and allowing the united states to sue to enforce a $500 per product fine where appropriate. quitam statutes are a relic of the 19th century and generally produce more litigation than is in the public interest. almost all of these statutes have been repealed. the america invents act continues this trend. by repealing the false marketing quitam statute, the a.i.a. will allow american companies to
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continue hiring new workers rather than fighting off frivolous false marketing suits. in conclusion, mr. president, the american invents act will provide important benefits to u.s. inventors of all sizes, to start-up companies, to domestic manufacturing and to the u.s. economy generally. i look forward to its passage by the senate and its enactment into law. and as the majority leader stated in his remarks on leader's time, i hope that those who may have amendments will immediately file those amendments so the senate can take them up in good order and have plenty of time to debate them, dispose of them in the appropriate way. it would be my hope that the senate will end up passing the bill that was adopted by the house of representatives so that our action can result in sending the bill directly to the president for his signature. that's an accomplishment that could be achieved with cooperation between the house and the senate, between democrats and republicans, between the legislative and
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executive branch, and i think would certainly begin to mark the time when the american people could see their legislative representatives begin to work together on their behalf. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the leader. mr. reid: i ask consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i was saddened just a few minutes ago to hear of a senseless act of violence committed in our
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capital at carson city, nevada. it was a restaurant. there are few details on what happened or what led to this tragedy. it occurred just a few minutes ago, but according to early reports, three people are now dead and six others have been wounded by a single gunman. so i extend my deepest sympathies to all those who have been affected, the victims and their families are in my thoughts every day and will be on every day and certainly they have been the last several minutes. i'm disturbed to hear that two of the victims were serving this nation proudly as part of the nevada national guard. i commend the brave first responders who rushed to the scene for their professionalism. it's a real -- carson city is a wonderful place. it's -- i have spent time there through three legislative sessions. the beautiful sierra nevada mountains. it's a peaceful, quiet place. to have something like this happen is just very, very
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difficult to accept. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mr. reid: i withdraw that. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i have two unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session. they have been approved by senator mcconnell and by me. i ask consent that these requests be agreed to and the requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: madam president, as i suspect you know, the state of vermont has been hit very, very hard by hurricane irene. the storm caused widespread
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flooding resulting in a number of deaths, the loss of many homes and businesses and hundreds of millions of dollars to property and infrastructure that were damaged. i have visited many of the most hard-hit towns in the past week, including gludlow, mooretown and waterbury, and i was shocked and moved by the extent of the damage that i saw. many towns still have limited access because the roads and brinls that link them to the world have been destroyed. this disaster will go down in history as one of the very worst natural disasters in the history of the state of vermont. let me take this opportunity to personally thank the emergency rescue teams and all those aiding the victims of the floods for their outstanding work.
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local crews along with the vermont national guard and guard units from other states such as new hampshire, maip, and jil -- maine, and illinois have airlifted water, blankets and medicine to the worst hit towns. police, fire and local officials have also done an extraordinary job. we still don't know the cost of this disaster. that probably will not be tab you'llated for a while but let me share with you just a few figures in terms of what we have experienced. just days after the declaration of major disaster by the president, more than 2,000 vermonters have already registered with fema. 2,000. to date, there have been more than 700 homes confirmed as severely damaged or destroyed. and i had the opportunity to go to some trailer parks in berlin
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in central vermont, i was down on the southern part of the state in brattleboro and it is an incredibly sad sight to see mobile homes where senior citizens were living destroyed, they're now forced to relocate. it was a very, very tragic circumstance. further, the storm has knocked out 135 segments of the state highway system as well as 35 state bridges, completely isolating 13 communities for several days. an unknown number of farms and businesses have been destroyed. i was down in wilmington, a beautiful town in the southern part of the state on route 9. virtually their entire downtown business community has been severely, severely damaged. and that is clearly undermining the fabric not only of the
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economy of that town but of towns throughout the state. madam president, our amtrak and freight rail services were completely suspended as tracks literally washed into rivers. so we had tracks under water. the state's largest office complex is located in waterbury, vermont, a few miles from our capital, montpelier, and i visited that facility. it had been completely flooded. there are 1,700 people who work there and for a small state, that is a lot of people. 1,700 people who work in our major office complex in waterbury, that has now been shut down for an indefendant -- indefinite it. that impacts the state's ability to provide services to the state of vermont. madam president, at least 65
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public schools were impacted and could not open on time. school is just beginning but 65 public schools were not able to open on time. and this is just a short list of some of the dwast station that is going -- devastation that is going on in the state. madam president, i also want to call 0 the attention of the senate another extraordinary fleadged our state -- tragedy in our state, that is a gentleman named michael garafano. he was an employee of the city of rutland and rutland was very hard hit by this disaster. and he and his son went up to a local dam to inspect the condition of the dam. they were hit by a flash flood, and both of them lost their lives. so here we have an extraordinary
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public servant trying to protect the well-being of the people of rutland, and he gave his life in that effort. mr. garafono's effort will never be forgotten. madam president, as we go forward, i know that not just for vermont but for new jersey, for north carolina, we know that upstate new york was also hard hit. i have every confidence that the senate and the house will do for hurricane irene what we we -- we have done for other natural disasters that have impacted different parts off your country. i look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure that as americans, we rebuild those communities in vermont and in other sections of the country that were devastated by this
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terrible flood. thank you very much. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. a senator: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: thank you, madam president. madam president, later today the senate will consider the
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nomination by the president of judge bernice donald for the sixth circuit court of appeals. judge donald is from memphis in tennessee. i know her well. i'm here today to introduce her to my colleagues and to encourage them to support her for confirmation. judge donald's been before the senate before. she's been a federal district judge since 1995. our judiciary committee in the senate has looked over her qualifications again and recommended her to us without dissent. the american bar association has reviewed her credentials and said she is either qualified or very well qualified. i think there's not much doubt about her fitness to serve on the court of appeals. so in my remarks, i would like to talk more about judge donald's role in the community and her role as a pioneer in our
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country during her lifetime. she's the sixth of ten children. her parents were domestic worker and a self-taught mechanic in de soto county, mississippi, which is just south of memphis. as a young person, she was among the first african-americans to integrate her high school during the period of desegregation. she obtained a bachelors degree from the university of memphis and graduated from its law school. she's focused her career at the beginning working with among the most vulnerable citizens in memphis in the office of legal defender. here's where the pioneer story continues: not just in desegregating her high school or working with vulnerable citizens, but only three years after she left law school, she began a judicial career that has spanned nearly three decades.
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she became the first african-american female judge in the history of our state in 1982. six years later, the sixth circuit court of appeals upon which she has been nominated to serve by the president appointed her to serve as united states bankruptcy judge for the western district of tennessee. again, she made history. an african-american female judge had been appointed as a bankruptcy judge in the united states. then in 1995, as i mentioned earlier, president clinton nominated her to be a federal district judge. on december 22 of that year, the senate confirmed her by unanimous voice vote and she became the first african-american female district court judge in the history of tennessee, and she served in that capacity for 15 years. she has flourished in her career, not just on the court but in her profession.
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she is just concluding a three-year term as secretary of the american bar association, and she has previously served on this committee on governance and on its board of governors. she has been equally active in the local and tennessee bars. she gives a good deal of her time to community organizations, the memphis literacy council, the university of memphis alumni board, big brothers, big sisters, calvary street ministry, the ywca and others. it's coincidental but i think it's fitting that judge bernice donald, a pioneer in so many ways in our state's history, will be the first nomination for the federal bench that this body will consider after the opening of the martin luther king memorial here in the nation's capital. her life which is full of education and service and achievement is a testimonial to
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the success of dr. king's movement and the kind of leadership that he inspired. i commend her on all that she has accomplished, both in her profession and in our state and in her community. i know memphis is proud of her. i look forward to voting in favor of her confirmation this afternoon, and i hope my colleagues will do so as well. i thank the president and i yield the floor, and i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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