tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 23, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
practical judgments about the best way to achieve some end rather than deducing these laws directly from natural law principles. thus it derives binding nature from the fact that they were promulgated by a recognized competent legal authority rather than being compelled by the natural law. acquainted says in the determination lawmakers should follow aristotle's advice and pay as much attention to the young demonstrated opinions of
persons who surpass us in experience age and prudence as to their demonstrations. aristotle argued that law has no power to command obedience except that of habit. and so laws should not be likely changed. the digest incorporates this view of positive law when describing the enactment of campers cautioning that new laws must have some clear it adage in view such as to justify departing from a rule of law which has seemed fair since time immemorial. so then stories natural law philosophy fits comfortably with his work in approach to positive law. the crucial point of similarity between these two theories is this. both assume that mankind has a
fixed nature. the modern idea of inalienable and socially constructed human nature is alien to burke and aquinas and therefore is alien to story and as we will now see stories in view of man's nature was cast aside by our own supreme court as it exited the 20th century and entered the 21st. how different our constitutional jurisprudence would be today had this not been so. in the 19920 portion case planned parenthood versus casey the plurality opinion famously or perhaps for some infamously asserted the following.
at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence of meaning of universe and of the mystery of human life. beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood where they formed under the compulsion of the state. this statement which justice scalia has called casey's sweet mystery of life passage has been much criticized. and indeed professor heddinger has said this right could mean virtually anything. but regardless of whether one believes in the passages its fundamental philosophical premise is clear. the law cannot assume that human
nature has an objective reality. the passage does not necessarily deny that there is an object is nature but it insists that the law cannot reflect a particular conception of human nature. as the kc passage says each of us is to decide for ourselves what defines our existence and the mystery of life. stories by contrast believed that hands nature gave rise to specific institutions, duties and principles of morality that can be embodied in law. whereas stories natural law philosophy appeals to transcend the individual, casey's dictum assumes an autonomy of self that makes the individual the sole
arbiter of what is true. moreover it is important to understand that this passage makes a claim about the nature of liberty and rights. it purports to be construing supreme court precedent but its language is far broader and its theoretical implications are far more ambitious in the court's descriptions of liberty. it's implications are profound because if the law cannot protect an object in view of human nature, it necessarily protects a subjective one. casey thus places i may label conception of human nature at the heart of the liberty protected by our constitution.
this view of liberty is also found in the courts 2003 decision in lawrence versus texas which struck down a texas criminal prohibition on. lawrence stated that liberty as a general rule should counsel against attempts by the state or a court to define the meaning of the relationship or set its boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects. in doing so it discounted the significance of history predating the sexual revolution as when the court said we think that our laws and traditions from the past half-century are of the most relevance here. all this is quite consistent with casey's relativism. after all human nature serves as
the basis for human relationships and sexuality and use subjective view of the former belief inexorably to a subject a few of the latter. it was no example -- it was no accident that the examples the story chose to illustrate the connection between natural and positive law was marriage. stories relief in a fixed human nature logically entailed a fixed conception of marriage. having adopted this objectivist assumption in casey lawrence extends them to protect a relativistic conception that human sexuality. and now comes the united states versus windsor of this past term. windsor and validated the
section of the defense of marriage act that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal law a definition that accords with what i would call the conjugal view of marriage. commentators have noted that it's difficult to determine the precise rationale for windsor, a confusion reflected in the contrast between chief justice roberts characterization of windsor as a federalism decision and justice scalia's view that windsor inevitably will lead to the invalidation of states conjugal marriage laws. notable scholars such as professor arcus interpreted windsor is standing for the proposition that the conjugal definition of marriage is per se irrational. and as justice alito's dissent pointed out supporters of doma who sounded very much like
joseph story argued that there are unchangeable troops about human h. of that have implications for sexuality and mandate the conjugal definition of marriage. this argument has been most prominently advanced by professors george gurkhas and ryan anderson in their recent book what is marriage? now if windsor rejects the conjugal definition, and i'm not saying so, that it does as a legal matter -- that's a separate issue, then it does so on the basis that there is no objective reality to what marriage is. the opinion repeatedly implies that marriage is not a pre-political institution arising from the law of nature. to use stories words, but is
instead subject to change by the state. for instance, winsor says that the conjugal view has been discarded by some states in favor of a new perspective, a new insight and that these states have enlarged the definition of marriage. but if marriage has a fixed meaning derived from man's nature than a cannot he enlarged. if my friend professor arcus is right about windsor's holding about our constitutional jurisprudence not only protects the relativistic conception of marriage, it affirmatively declares that there is no object this reality to marriage and that any contrary view is irrational.
this goes a long way towards declaring that the objective view of human nature is itself devoid of reason. by now it should be quite apparent to all of us that there is a great chasm between justice story's philosophy and that of recent supreme court cases. before i elaborate on this point i want to note briefly that my discussion of these cases is focused on their philosophical essentials, not on their holdings. i take no position here about the scope of those cases or their applications to future ones. i only wish to describe the deep tension that exists between the philosophy undergirding decisions like lawrence and windsor on the one hand and justice stories on the other.
that tension is manifested in numerous ways, most fundamentally story would have disagreed with the relativistic assumptions of casey. lawrence and windsor, because it's precisely man's fixed nature to base the natural law universally applicable as our own declaration of independence makes it clear. go back to stories opinion. he declares slave trafficking to be repugnant to the eternal maxims of social justice based on the natural law philosophy. if there are universal and supposed for justice as story believe there were, then those universal decibels must exist by virtue of what it teens to be a
human being. and if there is no such thing as a stable human nature, then there can be no such universal principles. and without universal principles it makes no sense to speak as windsor does of the need to protect personhood since these words appeal to concepts inherent in all humans. from stories perspective the court reasoned jurisprudence is at war with itself. it purports to protect universal justice guess it -- yet its assumptions undercut the very idea of universal principles. story would also object to the willingness of these decisions to depart from history and tradition, which he regarded as essential guides for positive
law. you will remember that lawrence was content to minimize the importance of pre-sexual resolute -- pre-sexual revolution astray. windsor of technology and the conjugal definition of marriage as existed drought the history of civilization minimizes this highly significant fact in order to discuss the new perspective of same-sex marriage. when one reads these passages, one is confident that story would reiterate his warning and i quote. the rage of theorists theorists who make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude and in visionary aphorisms avenue government requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance unquote. story might say that the
vigilance has been replaced by the philosophical blindness of abstract theory detached from experience, tradition and the very nature of man. as a burkean story would not have been surprised by been surprised that accords tendency like all human institutions to fall into what he perceived to be grave error. but from story's perspective the damage these cases have done to the law however predictable, is compounded by their source. story's faith in the law stemmed from his belief that the common law tradition was the just application of and supposed to the actual concerns of life. it is one thing or a legislator who is buffeted by the tumultuous winds of politics and self-interest to work the
positive law. it is quite another for a judge who is deliberately insulated from such concerns to break the union of natural and positive law. the former is an example of reasoned up scared. the latter an example of recent ignored. allow me to conclude with this thought. in one of the most powerful passages of burke's reflection he assails the french revolutionaries for their disregard of their own history. he sketches for them an image of the future they might have had. harvesting the wisdom of their ancestors to produce a future worthy of their ideas.
as burke said, respecting our forefathers you would have been taught to respect yourselves. but they have not chosen that path. in stead they are extravagant and presumptuous speculations in burke's words, led them to despise all their predecessors and all their contemporaries and even to despise themselves until the moment in which they became truly despicable. burke believed that we are constituted by our past and by destroying our past the french had destroyed themselves. justice -- justice joseph story poses a similar challenge to us. we must ask whether the denial of our past is the denial of
ourselves. we must ask whether the abolition of nature is the abolition of man. i leave the answers to these questions to your own reflections. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> judge, i think that expression by the audience here reflects the quality of that excellent talk today, what i would consider a critical part of the kinds of things that the freedom based legal scholars that are here for their conference at the present time have been fighting for and which
gives us a firm basis to look at the constitutional history of the future and the hope that this will perhaps be persuasive to your colleagues and the judiciary of the united states. it's now time to turn to the audience and if we will open it up to your questions. if you will resume the platform here we will ask the first question. yes, manny. if you will wait for the microphone and then just give your name. >> manny from los angeles. my question for the judge is looking backwards on your own career as a judge at any particular opinions that you take the greatest pride in or any that you would like to call to our attention tonight? >> i suppose the first opinion
that would come to mind would be coalition of the quality versus wilson. that was the prop 209 case in which the voters of the state of california voted by a very substantial margin 61-39, something like that, to eliminate preferences in state employment and state contracting based on race and other considerations. that case came up through my court, the ninth circuit court of appeals and we determined that the proposition was constitutional, almost an inculcation of the equal protection clause. there there is some ingesting
language in that case and manny you could probably recite parts of its, i don't know. i certainly remember that case very well. i am always reluctant to be too specific about cases because there are a lot of collateral issues of aspects that surround them but that is certainly one of them or remember very well. >> judge thanks so much for brilliant talk. you mentioned story thought he could enforce the natural law at times but other times he used it to apply jurisprudence. how did he negotiate that line and how did you? >> well i think as you recall that passage he identifies that the law of nations is built upon the natural law and he has that
exclusion. he says except to the extent that it is in effect modified via consent -- consent of nations or when we are in that situation where it has been modified with the consent of nations then you follow the law identified by that enactment. that is obviously the same way i approach things. there are laws which i come across quite frequently with which i disagree. i am not entirely sure that they are based on what i would believe to be supportable premises that they are binding on me as a federal judge and it's my job to enforce that law as it has been duly written by the congress as a federal law and to carry it out.
that is the brilliant solution that i think we have in terms of our own system of checks and balances and as a part pointed out legislators can make mistakes. it is not up to me to correct the mistakes of legislators. i have to follow the positive law and to comply with it. >> judge o'scannlain i'm roger with the cato institute. let me pose a critical but not a hostile question. >> okay. [laughter] >> first of all i want to commend you for taking on this subject seriously of the natural law. too few judges do and it's to your credit that you have done so. i also want to go back to the
distinction you drew at the outset between the natural rights tradition and the natural law tradition and say that i am with you on casey but not on lawrence and here is why. you have spoken of an object if conception of man and i fully agree with that as the starting point but i wonder if you have not packed into it more than you can without facing circularity. it has to do with the fundamental and ancient distinction between the right and the good. the declaration of independence speaks of the right to pursue happiness. what makes you happy may not necessarily what makes me happy. we have subjective values and objective rights and that is how it is that one can distinguish between cases like casey and
lawrence. lawrence lets remember was justified in the name of dignity , the liberty to pursue your own conception of what is right or good for you even as you respect the equal rights of others to do the same so i wonder if you would care to respond to that? >> i will accept that as fair comment and i think that there will be times when these principles start to collide but i was comfortable when i said lawrence, because i felt very troubled by the fact that lawrence was decided 30 much on the basis of a case, it decided
in the european court of human rights. i didn't think that is what should go to interpret our own constitution. but i think that reasonable persons will differ when it comes to applying somebody's principles and it could very well be that lawrence is right on the cusp of. if you can accept that as a response i think that is as much as i can say. >> you walter weber with the american law on justice and again thank you judge for your talk. one of the dangers that i see in the mystery of life approach is not unique to that is that when you have the standard that is sufficiently broad and subjective like that while it purports to empower the liberty
of individuals i suspect that what it really does is aggrandize the power of judges because in almost any other context outside of abortion and the sexual revolution related cases those don't go anywhere. i think that same criticism might apply to things like the endorsement test which ultimately empowers judges to decide what is and is not a reasonable observers -- on political and this is a psychologpsycholog ical question. the judges who adopt this position i assume are not doing this as an attempt to institutional aggrandisement but rather to adopt liberty for people but i wonder if it crosses their mind the fact that they are the institution that decides which liberties count and which ones are important and which ones are not so it ends up being only those that the judges decide they're worth putting on this extra higher-level is supposed to being yes we ought to let everyone decide for themselves and meaning of the
mystery of life. >> i'm not quite sure what the question to me is. in the doma cases of course congress elected the determination of what it received to be consistent with the constitution and obviously there was a split of opinion on the supreme court with strong opinions going different directions. again, god i apologize for not quite locking onto the essence of your question but can you help me a little more or have i said enough? [inaudible]
>> it loko i'm sorry. of course. frankly i believe the legislative branch in many respects. so often we get cases that inquire as to interpret statutes that are purposely vague because the members of the legislature whether it's the congress or the state legislature couldn't get their act together and couldn't agree on something so they said all right let's just pass this bill and let the courts figure it out. i think that is irresponsible conduct on the part of the legislature. of course once we get it then it's our job and it's very incumbent upon us to act at least in my philosophical view in a minimalist way. i don't take the position that we have this unbridled authority. i think our authority is limited by article iii and by the judiciary act and other
constraints that are on us so anything that does give courts this wide latitude i think i find uncomfortable. >> hi. judge, i think many folks are certainly troubled by the break down of education on what the content of the natural law is so i was wondering if you have some recommendations for folks as far as what sources they could go to to maybe educate themselves or others about natural law? >> the first thing i would recommend is you read the joseph story entry in the encyclopedia. it's four pages long. it's a good start. i mentioned some authorities in my remarks, people like rodney george at princeton and hadley arcus at amherst are writing in
that area and have good contemporary commentaries that will help you and i recommend them to you. >> david burton with the heritage foundation. the framers were influenced by more than one philosophical tradition. they were influenced by the natural rights tradition, by historical british tradition and the rights of englishmen as articulated by burke but also blackstone and the scottish enlightenment natural law tradition and to a lesser degree the natural law tradition of aquinas. my question to you is interpreting the constitution since the framers were influenced by several different and occasionally conflicting traditions how do you resolve the differences and what role do
the differences between the traditions play in assessing the original meaning of the constitution? >> well, like justice clarence thomas, i take the view that the declaration of independence has relevance to the interpretation of the constitution. i know that is a controversial issue and many of my colleagues would exclude the declaration as not having anything to do with interpreting any of the bill of rights or whatever. and i take it from the description declarations some of which i quoted that these are principles that have recognizable parentage. i derive from those passages this story a few based on
natural law heritage but again as i mentioned in my remarks there is natural law and there are natural rights. i think the overlap is probably 95%. i think the natural rights erie comes more from kind of a scientific approach that has been popular among many philosophers. i don't regard it as confrontational. i regard it as a very heavy overlap. >> one more question. back there. >> hi. i am rhein anderson also from the heritage foundation.
i am one of the co-authors and thank you for your kind words about it. i wonder if the problem didn't start earlier if we go back before casey to griswold because in your comments on story when he discusses what marriage is and why marriage matters he then says that those actions that would detract from marriage would be contrary to the natural law and in our constitutional regime for states had the police powers to promote public health safety and morals and this wasn't viewed as subjective value preference but objective morality so the states were authorized to promote this. so it looks like with griswold and with road and casey and lawrence you get a chain of court cases striking down the states ability to promote public orality and how has that contributed to the erosion of a healthy marriage culture and to a sound constitutional regime? >> that would take another 45
minute lecture a thing to respond to. my purpose was to identify justice story's interest and active involvement in natural law theory. where we are today is a deeply cultural issue. the fundamental principle that i hold dear is it's up to the legislature to make those shifts and turns and departures clearly and overtly and not the job of the judiciary. the judiciary in my view ought to be the guide that reminds
everybody where we have come from, what the country was created to do and to mean and to kind of take that, stand back and look view rather than what is current or popular at the moment because that is going to change where whereas the fundamental principles that we were originally founded on really should be made true. >> judge thank you very much again. [applause] [applause] it is now my pleasant opportunity to present you with
what we have developed here as part of our preserving the constitution series culminating in this lecture our defender of the constitution award and we would like you to take his us back as a remembrance of how much we appreciate the work you have done as a judge and also your excellent presentation this evening. [applause] >> thank you. i will treasure this. thank you so much. >> also this may be superfluous but we happen to have the books here which are commentaries on the constitution of the united states by joseph story. [laughter] as described and commented on by thomas cooley. you probably have them already in your library and a set at home as well. [laughter] this was thought up by my colleagues. this is not that my idea but i
certainly join with it. it happens to have a forward by me. which i want you to understand was not contemporaneous. [laughter] [applause] at this time ladies and gentlemen we invite you to the foyer where there will be a reception. you can personally meet the judge as well as gather and enjoy yourselves so please join us at the reception now. thank you for being with us tonight. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> good evening ladies and gentlemen. i'm speaking to you tonight at a very serious moment in our history. the cabinet is convening and the leaders in congress are meeting with the president. the state department and army and navy officials have been meeting with the president election. in fact the japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time japan's airships were sinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to hawaii. by tomorrow morning members of congress will have a plan ready for action. in the meantime we the people are already prepared for action. for months now the knowledge that something of this kind might happen has been hanging
over our heads and yet it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to feel that there was only one thing which was important preparation to meet an enemy no matter where he struck. that is all over now and there is no more uncertainty. we know what we have to face and we know that we are ready to face it. >> house democratic leaders today urged speaker john boehner to bring an immigration bill up for it though. mr. boehner says the issue needs to be addressed. this is a half-hour.
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. and thank you, thank you for joining us today. my name is ruben hinojosa from texas and i'm the chairman of the congressional hispanic caucus. let me set the record straight. comprehensive immigration reform is not in the house and we are going to tell you why. for more than a decade, to the chc has fought a long side our colleagues in the democratic leadership as well as with the congressional lack caucus and the congressional asian-pacific american caucus to reform our broken immigration system.
the time for excuses is over and the time for action is now. for 17 days the actions of the most extreme members of the republican party caused their government to be shut down and our economy to suffer. speaker boehner must not allow those same members to stall action on immigration reform or our economy will once again suffer. on october the second we joined our colleague joe garcia in introducing h.r. 15, a bill that is modeled after the bipartisan senate gang of eight bill. today that bill has 184 sponsors we are confident that the votes exist to pass a common sense comprehensive immigration bill that serves america's interests.
it promotes fairness and the rule of law and contributes effectively and meaningfully to our economic well-being. the american people elected us to act, to do our job and though the actions of the last few weeks have made them leery of congress we must restore their confidence by working together and passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill. today you are going to hear from members of the leadership of the democratic leadership as well as members of the caucus. it is now my pleasure to introduce our democratic whip congressman steny hoyer. >> thank you very much. [applause] to my colleagues who were are here who head up the broad variety of our caucuses and i'm joined here by the chairman of our democratic caucus who will
be speaking after i speak. i speak on behalf of leader pelosi and myself. immigration reform is a high priority to the democratic caucus. it's a high priority for the president of the united states and was a high priority for the united states senate to pass overwhelmingly because all of them know that the immigration system and that now operates is broken. how do i know that? one of the reasons it's mr. mr. cantor has said so the republican majority leader and others have said so as well. we need to address on a priority basis reforming our immigration system and the house needs to respond as the senate has responded with a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill which provides for a path to citizenship. america is citizens by people
who came here, their parents came here. i'm one of those. my father in immigrated to america at the age of 32 in 1934. i'm a first-generation danish american. but whether it was your grandfather, your great-grandfather khan for your great great grandfather and less you are a native american you are an immigrant. and we want to make sure that america continues to be energized by those who have come to this country to seek the opportunity but to create energy and drive and entrepreneurial spirit in america. that is what immigrants have always brought to this country and that is what americans -- that's why the business community and the labor community are united. that is why farmworkers and farmers are united. that is why the faith community is united in saying let's get immigration reform done. i think the only group that is
not saying let's get immigration reform done seems to be the republican majority in the house of representatives. let us respond to the overwhelmingly bipartisan broad consensus in this country of the american people reflected in polling data to get this country moving with immigration reform. every analysis says that it will grow our economy can't de grogh jobs, grow our gross domestic product and will help do what americans want done and that is bring jobs to america, to grow jobs in america and have jobs for our people. i'm so pleased to join my colleagues here on behalf of leader pelosi and myself. congressman becerra will speak
for our entire caucus in saying bring this bill to the floor. bring an immigration reform bill to the floor. we will pass it. let us go to conference as the republicans demanded that we go as we have demanded it for five and a half months without response to conference on the budget. but as pass the bill go to conference meet with the senate and bring immigration reform as a reality to america and let's do it now and i'm pleased to yield to my dear friend the leader of the democratic caucus xavier becerra from california. [applause] >> thank you mr. whip. i'm pleased to be joined with the chairman of the congressional hispanic caucus with their democratic whip and with the leaders of the tri-caucus who are here with us all of my colleagues who have been working on this issue for quite some time. let me see if i can make this as
clear as i can as unequivocal as i can as someone who has served for more than 20 years here in the house of representatives who has worked on this issue of immigration reform since i got here in 1993 and who has had every opportunity to work with my republican and democratic colleagues with members who are no longer here and certainly with all the members that are part of this 113th congress. select me state this as unequivocally as i can. congress will pass a common sense comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system. so the question is not if congress will pass a common sense reform, it's simply a matter of when. when will congress passed this reform and if you want to dig deeper and be more unequivocal the question isn't so much when
congress will pass it. the question really is when will the house republican leadership allow a vote on the floor of the house of representatives for us to pass the commonsencommonsen se reform of our broken immigration system as we all know whether you are a member of congress or whether you are with the press or whether you are an observer we all know the votes exist right now in the house of representatives to pass a commonsense common sense reform of our broken immigration system similar to what passed overwhelmingly in the u.s. senate. and so we can go through these games as we just went through on the whole issue of the republican shutdown of our government and the potential to defaults for the first time on the payment of our bills as a country but the facts are what they are. the votes exist today to pass
the commonsense reform of our broken immigration system. and so we are ready. everyone of us us standing here is saying we are ready. we are telling the american people we are catching up to you because you have been so far ahead of the politicians when it comes to fixing our broken immigration system that it's silly. immigration reform is good for our economy. immigration reform is good for our security and immigration reform is good for american families and so it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. we are ready to go here. those of us were standing here come to those of us in the democratic caucus almost to a person democrats and the house of representatives are saying we are ready just as we were ready to get the government reopened and americans back to work in ready to make sure that we didn't for the first time default on the payment of our bills paid once again democrats in the house of representatives are ready to fix the broken
immigration system which will be good for our economy good for national security and good for american families and with that i yield back to the chairman of the congressional caucus mr. ruben hinojosa. [applause] >> thank you. i would now like to ask the chairwoman of the congressional asian-pacific american caucus and the co-author of h.r. 15 congresswoman judy shu to discuss the importance of immigration reform to the asian-american and pacific islander community. >> thank you congress member hinojosa. i am proud to stand here with my colleagues to say not only must we pass comprehensive immigration reform we can pass immigration reform and the votes are there. congress could act right now to ensure that bright lines from around the world are free to create jobs here in america.
the economy needs us to pass this bill. the nonpartisan congressional budget office said that enacting the senate immigration reform bill would increase the real gdp by 3.3% in 2023 and 5.4% in 2033 , to an increase of $1.4 trillion in the next two decades. with immigration reform we would have a larger labor force, higher productivity and investment and stronger sectors for technology in hospitality just to name a few. groovy is a perfect example. she came here from india at age 18 on education visa. she applied for an h. one d. visa to stay here but it was an emotional role of christer just as it is for countless others. every three years to face the possibility of being forced out
of this country but she was able to overcome these odds and now she is the vice president of operations at a company that employs 447 people and has a net worth of over $4 billion. there are people all over the united states and that is exactly why we must pass comprehensive immigration reform. it's the right thing to do for the millions of people that are caught up in our system. that is why i joined my colleagues and became one of the original co-sponsors of h.r. 15. this bill isn't perfect but it is the result of compromise and it can pass. let's get this done. [applause] >> i would now like to invite congressman stephen hearst heard
to speak on behalf of the congressional black caucus. >> thank you chairman hinojosa and chairman to set up and whip hoyer for your leadership not only on comprehensive immigration reform but so many important issues were the middle class and all of my colleagues. i'm proud to stand here as a son and grandson of immigrants. my mother and grandmother came to the united states from trinidad and like many caribbean and african immigrants they came to united states like other immigrants because of all of the wonderful opportunities that our country provides. and now as a member of congress working with my colleagues the 184 he signed on to h.r. 15 to pass comprehensive immigration reform we say to our republican counterparts what are you waiting for? this is the bill.
it passed the senate with 68 votes. republicans and democrats. this is the bipartisan commonsense reform that we need to fix our broken immigration system. we are here today to make it clear that we will get comprehensive immigration reform done and we are going to do it right. we are not going to allow this to be a do-nothing shutdown everything congress and as house republicans recover from their flirtation with the dash we are here to find a way forward on the issues that the american public care about. we want to strengthen our economy and create jobs and immigration reform is one way to do that. estimates are that bypassing immigration reform we would grow our economy 5% in two decades. that's $1.4 trillion in new economic growth.
in terms of reducing the deficit , and it has already fallen dramatically, the congressional budget office found the immigration bill would cut the deficit by more than $150 million over 10 years and around $700 billion over 20 years. on immigration, democrats and republicans agree we have to do something. president obama agrees and former president bush agrees, the senate under the leadership of senator reid passed a bill in a bipartisan fashion and there are republicans in the house that support comprehensive immigration reform so immigration reform is truly one of our best shots at a bipartisan effort to reduce our deficit and our debt. but the time to act is now. i have said it before. this is the civil and human rights issue of our time. i'm proud to be on the right side of history but it's imperative that we pass this
bill so that we can keep our families together and rebuild the american dream. thank you. [applause] >> i would like to now invite the second vice chair of the congressional hispanic caucus congresswoman linda sanchez from california. >> thank you ruben. i represent the 39th congressional district of california and i joined my colleagues today in calling on the speaker to work towards allowing a vote on comprehensive immigration reform in this congress. ..
and it's time for the house to do the same. there are a number of groups and a broad coalition of people that support comprehensive immigration reform as a humane and fair way to give people a pathway to citizenship. business leaders, leader, law enforcement, and local government are all -- calling on congress to act. poll after poll demonstrates to the american people are ready for immigration reform. and they believe comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue. my question is, speaker boehner, what are you waiting for? the american people have spoken, they're ready for comprehensive
immigration reform, let's have a vote. comprehensive immigration reform will help us grow our economy and drive job creation across the country. you've heard the statistics about how much it would contribute to the growth of our country and the reduction in our debt. so if we're serious about improving our economy it's one piece of doing that. and comprehensive immigration reform brings tremendous benefits not just to our local community. but it make our country more secure. it grows our economy. it helps put america back on the path to greatness. let have a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. thank you. [applause] i would like to ask congresswoman of new york to give us her perspective as the ranking member of the small business community and how it impacts small and medium sized
businesses. >> thank you, reuben. from morm and social justice perspective, the current system is unacceptable and unsustainable. but sometimes we forget in this conversation the very real, practical, economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. that reform will boost gdp by 3.3% over the next ten years by 5.4% over the next 20 years. that means billions of dollars in wealth creation for all americans. if we want to talk about deficit reduction,let pass comprehensive immigration reform. immigrants are a -- entrepreneurial talent creating opportunity for the rest of our -- throughout inagree knewty and
hard work. in four new small business owners in our country is an immigrant. in my city, new york, there are 69,000 immigrants, small businesses owners. accounting for half of new york's small establishment. this -- business revenue of $30 million. those who claim immigrant -- from other americans have it backwards. creating new companies and jobs. nationally 40% of fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants and their children. those who come to the country often work in field support to our country's long-term prosperity and critical to our national work force.
immigrants account for over half of all ph.d. working in mass computer science, and engineering occupations. these young people come here and -- of our educational system to secure a degree but then we ask them to leave. reform should allow the talented students to stay in the u.s. and help our businesses compete. skilled immigrant lay laborers -- adds to our economy. in fact, for every 1,000 immigrants living in a community, 46 manufacturing jobs are created or preserved that will otherwise not exist or have no -- conclusion, after years of struggle. comp hennive rim gracious reform finally appears within reach. at long last, there appears to be bipartisan support building
for comprehensive reform of our immigration system. our republican friend have realized they can no longer afford to be an obstacle in this matter. we are here today to speak with one voice in delivering a simple message. immigration reform is vital to our nation's future morally, politically, and economically. the time for reform is now. and if the republicans from the other side do not get that message, they will be relegated to a minority party when it comes to national politics. thank you. [applause] >> to conclude today's prez conference, then we will take some questions, i would like to welcome one of our freshman members congressman joaquin from stone, texas.
>> you can tell among the diversity of people standing here that the issue of immigration affecting people from walk of life of every creed and color. the people who came here 150 years ago. the nation has spoken on this issue. it's clear there was overwhelming support to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. the question is whether our republican counter parts and friends will work with us achieve that for the nation and whether speaker john boehner is willing to put this bill for a vote on the floor of the house of representatives. we believe that it's possible in 2013 to do those things. we believe that the american people have the will to achieve this and waiting on the congress to accomplish it. let be clear, this issue is not going away. we're determined to get it done this year. but if anybody is wondering whether they can put it off and make it go away, the answer is
no. this issue is here to stay and it must be resolved bit american congress. we look forward to working with republicans to make it happen. thank you. [applause] >> i would like that invite each of the members from the different groups that spoke. starting with our chairman of the democratic caucus to join me. and let me see -- we're going take some questions and i'm going give you an opportunity to voice your opinions on some of these issue -- question and who would be first? no path to citizenship -- [inaudible] >> what is important you take a look at hr15 which is a combination of what passed in the senate judiciary committee
plus what passed unanimously in the house of representatives in homeland security which has security, border security and some of the -- important to the house leadership. and that combined is a bipartisanship bill that has the support of a very large number of cosponsor z, as i told you in my remarks. >> reporter: currently about 21 million undocumented immigrants -- >> there's only 11 -- [inaudible] >> okay. there's -- will not be -- >> i don't count on that. >> okay. what i'm saying they will not be covered under obamacare. and would the immigration reform -- those already undocumented do not qualify. period. >> reporter: would you want them to be covered -- [inaudible] >> would democrats be willing to
provide votes if and when the house republican leadership brings bill to the floor for policy you support or the forthcoming kids act or the comprehensive bill or nothing for democrats? >> i think democrats have knead clear when we are ready to vote for a common sense fix to the broken immigration system. how you do it, the senate showed us one way to do it. 186 members in the house have already indicated how you can do through hr15 as chairman of the caucus said. we are open to working with the republican colleagues on anything. so long as it is something real that can move the ball forward. at the end of the day, we can all agree that the american people have a right. we need to do something to fix the broken immigration system. we think you can do it the right way. it would not include creating a whole new class of second class
americans in this country. we have been there. we have done that. we want to go beyond that to create jobs in the america. take a look at hr15. it's a great way to do it . >> following up, -- pass a piecemeal bit by bit. would it be a -- hr15 is what we in the caucus together with all the other caucuses i have brought forward to this press conference have agreed. that is what we are sending the message to the leadership and the republican party so we're not going start over again. [inaudible] >> bleat clear. this is the false narrative that people are laying out. we put an immigration bill forward in the senate. it passed. we have a president that supports it.
in the house, the chc working with leadership got 94% of democrats to sign up. there is a problem with immigration reform. we know what it is. the idea that same party who cannot pass anything else is now piecemeal going do this as a fallacy. i know, next week bibles, badges, and business are here. we hope they are going to move forward on some -- but to say that now at this point in this process we're going slowly start a piecemeal approach. it's false. and of course, what it leads you in to a dead end we're not going to be able to -- [inaudible] >> different part of immigration reform. >> it's so complex that every time you move we could have
worked on a better bill. we put this bill forward because it's a bill that republicans can be for. we put forward a bill that is more conservative than i think the chc would have liked. there are more bills, there are bills to the leave of us which i have signed ton. we put forward a serious bill because we expect a serious debate. the idea that somehow seriously we like puppies and want to feed children. those are bills you can pass. but tell me how you pay for it. this bill does that in a comprehensive way. look at all the moving parts, sets a marker that is going improve in the senate and a border thing that works. >> is there one last question? >> one last question. and working with a seventy bills and getting something db [inaudible] >> that's what we want. >> yes, but using one of the
piecemeal to get -- [inaudible] [laughter] we in the house must do something that is comprehensive just like the senate did. your idea would not float. it would not move forward. anybody else? >> reporter: under -- [inaudible] would you want to -- [inaudible] thank you very much! [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] coming up tomorrow morning the house energy and commerce committee hold a hearing. our live coverage beginning at 9:00 eastern on c-span. a look ahead to the hearing with a number of the energy and commerce committee. republican representative joe
barton of texas who joined us on washington journal. welcome back we are joined by congressman a texas republican member of the house nrnlgt and commerce committee. congressman, thank you for joining us. >> guest: glad to be here. >> host: the committee will have the fist hearing on the website the health care.gov website. >> guest: my biggest question is why they put that much money in to something that doesn't work. there have been a lot of so-called glitches over the years in other website in the private sector, we have never had a westbound that almost no one gets through the first time without any problem. we have the contractors this thursday, and next week we have the secretary kathleen. it's a full committee hearing. chairman upton will chair the hearing. there will be lots of questions, essential on the republican side. even on the democrat site how they can spend thatch money and
get nothing that is workable. >> host: an article made the case by holding a hearing on the health care glitches, republicans are saying they want this to work and for a long time, obviously, been against this health care law. i have a bill i'm introducing today, tomorrow, or monday next week called the obama choice act which make it voluntary let the american people choose whether they want to use it or not. not delay it and try to start it. instead of making it mandatory, let people decide on a voluntary basis. so, you know, obamacare is well intentioned. there are some people that are benefited by it. the people who don't have health insurance with the preexisting
condition. but for the vast majority of americans, it's a very bad deal it will ultimately fail. the question is -- if it's going fail it's when it's going fail. >> we focus on the technological issues. they plan on bringing in extra help. they haven't been forthcoming as to who the helpers are. do you think the administration should details who they're bringing in. do you think it's a conflict of interest for them? >> guest: i think they are conflicted. there is no question about that. they started out the initial contract, i think, the canadian company. i don't think it was competitively bid. was, you know, $50 $60 million. we don't know the number they spent now. it's north of $300 billion. it still doesn't work. and so they can bring it in all the expierts they want but basic
premise is wrong. they weren't letting people look at pricing until committed to join up i think sometime this week they begin to let book look at something. the subcommittee oversight chairman, congressman murphy of pennsylvania, said he went on a blue cross blue shield sight in pennsylvania. within a minute he was given options with prices without giving any personal information at all. on the official website you basically have to give them your life history and commit to purchase something then they'll let you look. if you get through. it's not working, and they can bring in all the contractors they want, but i think they've got a real turkey on their hands. >> host: "washington post" reported last evening senior hhs officials --
house democrats wednesday about implementation of affordable care act. this closed door session happening this morning in a couple of hours. have you heard any movement whether you will get a similar briefing? [laughter] >> guest: well, first i have a feeling this person is going get an earful from the democrats. especially behind closed doors. in public they tended to be very supportive and, you know, act like this thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. we i'm having a feeling behind the scenes people like john and henry waxman, eshoo, neighbor -- nancy pelosi and they're going roast the guy or girl who is doing the briefing. it's unlikely that the president is going give the republicans a similar option. again, we're the majority. we can hold hearings. we can invite whoever we want
to. with the support of the democrats to come to the public hearings. >> the number is 202-585-3881. you mentioned next week health and human service secretary come in. what are your questions for her specifically? >> when can she know it was going it file. why didn't she do anything about it. that's one question. it i have real question eat privacy of the individual data. i'm told there is a disclaimer somewhere in the senate process where it tells you that any information you give them give the website is not proprietary and does not have to be
considerable. and they can share it with anybody in the government or anybody in the private sector they want to. to me, that's totally unacceptable. even on a government-run website, you're sharing your most intimate detail of your personal health history and your family's history. you have a right to privacy. that information should only be seen by somebody, the insurance community and at some point in time perhaps in the medical community for treatment decisions. it should not be shared with any third party. >> host: last night an interview she said the secretary is committed to continuing her call. do you believe she should reseen? >> guest: she's a glutton for punishment if she wants to keep in that job. give her credit for being an hon e public servant. i think she's trying to do the best she can.
i do think that she has not performed well. in fact, i don't think she's formed at all. i think the rollout of obamacare whether you're for it or against if is an absolute disaster. i think it could be appropriate for her to resign. i'm not yet ready to call for her resignation. the chairman said he wants to take a wait and see attitude to have her attend the hearing next week. then, you know, we'll see. so but her performance in this is not something that is going make the textbooks about, you know, how to start a new program. just opt sit. >> caller: hi. i'm a republican. i'm going forward independent. i'm disgusted the at the way the
media and the republican party is tearing up the tea party down. the tea party, i'm not a member. it represents the general public for people i talk to around local community where -- with the business as usual in washington, and the tea party is doing nothing but what the people and the country the want. that is a change in washington, d.c. these people had no concern for the constituent. all they think about is the money involved in lining their own pockets. as far as obamacare is, i think going fail on it on. i certainly believe it should because it is a total disaster to the average human being out here on the street.
i thank you very much. >> host: thank you. it >> guest: he's lucky that a tea party republican. i was tea party before there was a tea party. i agree with the caller. the name tea party comes from the patriots and what we now call the war for independents. boston harbor they didn't want to pay the tea tax. they want more freedom,less federal government. and traditional family values. that's what i am. i'm a charter member of the tea party caucus. i have a -- i won't say an always am i can -- tea party friends in my district and texas part of texas that i represent. but it's a very positive
relationship and as he said, tea party is not an extension of the republican party. they are primarily independents who want maybe involve in politicses for a conservative standpoint. i think that's very appropriate. i'm proud to be a member of the tea party caucus. on the obamacare issue, you know, ting will fail, like you said. i don't want to wait three or four years if we don't have. in some of the hearings we're beginning to do will point out some of the flaws. i think the american people will demand changes or repeal or in the case of my bill, let's make it volunteer for a year and let people choose. beverly in chicago. >> caller: good morning. i heard you said you would ask kathleen.
when did she know the rollout would be a disaster? when did you -- republican party know that if you all shut the government down, cost thousand of people to lose jobs and cost the country $24 billion. that's with a b. billions of dollars you knee it wasn't going anywhere. words the republican. you said nobody wants american people don't want it. american people don't -- like you speak for everybody. it's amazing. even though this program -- people are still being registered. people want it. then 20 million hit the westbound. now you act like you are so concerned because people can't get through. don't you know american people are not stupid? we know what you are doing. you see that with are interested and now you throw water and make people forget about you shutting
the government down. >> guest: i adopt have a problem with it. from her point of view, she makes a lot of sense. i first exphebt -- comment if she happen to be a constituent of bobby -- a congressman from chicago. it i know his wife has had some surgery and congressman rush has been with his wife in chicago. so if she's a constituent or maybe even a member of his church and sees the congressman, tell him that the tea party republican conservative texas is praying for his biff.
the money didn't go in the economy. the good news from my standpoint is some of the money would have been wasted. it was no at goal of the republicans to shut the republicans down. the goal to possibly stop obamacare. i think it's a fair criticism to say, you know, the way to focus on bureaucracy wasn't by having a government shut down. i think she's got a point there. but, look. i know, there are people in america that don't have health insurance. i know, that the federal government if they are low-income especially if not a responsibility at least the potential to help those people. and people like myself are not opposed to that. what we're opposed to are all the mandates, all the controls, all of the expansion where you
take away the choice of beverly and all the people in america that choose the best health care for themselves. obamacare does move us toward the path of socialized medicine, and over time that's not a good thing. but, you know, if we can get through this period right now, and take step back from the mandates, we can come up with something that will be proud of and my constituents will be proud of.
and in the sixth district of texas is probably 65 to 70% disapprove it. >> host: talking with congressman joe barton. next mark from huntsville, alabama. >> caller: hello. thank you for taking the call. i've been watching this for quite awhile now. my question is about the -- [inaudible] what about people who are making minimum wage, you know, living paycheck to paycheck, barely paying their rent and their bills every month and, you know, and forcing this health care on people and they say it's affordable, you know, could be $300 a month. could be $400. could be -- $50 a month and i can't afford $50 a month. you know, i may have health insurance, but i won't be able to pay my rent and i'll be, you
know, i'll be living in a card board box but i'll have a health insurance and, you know, even if you don't sign up for it and pay it and they take the taxes out, you know, it's going to start at $95 a year, you know, and, you know, if you're after i don't know how many years it's going to be but i heard through -- like $695 if you get a refund check for $1,000 and taking almost $700 out of the refund check. you are left with $300 when you worked all year and, you know, if you have $1,000 that would be money going back to the economy but, you know, they're saying it's affordable. who is to say what is affordable to people who are making a money -- minimum wage barely making the rent and bills.
i haven't heard the question asked. i wondered what you had to say about that. >> guest: that's a thoughtful question and very well-put. i think the answer is, you and your family are the people that have to decide whether it's affordable or not. you know better your personal situation then somebody in washington, or some bureaucrat at some call center here in america. that is why it ought to be voluntary. and you take a look at the options and you make the decision whether t right for you and your family or not. and if you think it is, you say yes, and then you find a way to pay whatever you have to pay. , you know, if you don't think it is, then you would say no. there are also whether we have obamacare or not for low-income working mens, there's something called medicaid which is a state federal partnership, and most people at the minimum wage level
that are working if they don't have health insurance where they work, and many companies that provide health insurance pay all the premiums of the individual. you share the premium for the family but you just choose it for yourself, there a lot of companies that have health insurance through the workplace and you don't pay for it. yourself. this program called medicaid is an option outside of obamacare. that might be something to take a look at. >> next caller is joe in indiana on the line for republicans. go ahead, joe. >> yes, hello. i was just i saw this story a couple of days ago about the $500 million for the obamacare website.
since 1993, and -- figured that if the government m employed 1300 programmers for three years cost about $9 billion. and i think that is this fully untenable. the website contains that much. have you considered that? well, we have heard the same number you have heard, the $500 million. that is difficult believe it's literally true. that will be a question we asked in the hearings for the contractors tomorrow. then we may follow up with the questions to the secretary next week. i'm not a high-tech guy. i used to be a professional engineer, you know, i'm so old
my -- i'm told by people that are the source code and the operating system is just an absolute mess. it's probably not fixable. weapon spent all the money. we have something that, you know, if you really go in to the system, it keeps kicking you out and you run to the dead ends. it's just not a good thing. so you're back of the -- i'm not going question. i agree with you it shows how botched up this program has been. "washington post" headline this morning. making it easy for low-income
americans to enroll in medicaid. before it opened three weeks ago they said the feature was not ready but would be available by november 1st at the latest. explain the technical issue. take another one of your call in richmond, virginia. on the line for a democratic caller. >> caller: good morning. thank you, c-span for providing the platform for americans the affordable care act deny and helping understand your perspective. what i would like to say is i am a political, i think as they come. but as a result of what has been happening over these last few weeks and months with it called
my attention to it. what i would like to say is i guess i find it a bit discouraging that there are congressional hearings being held about how perhaps poorly the affordable health care rollout might be, i guess, run, but no one is talking about the 26 sit the across the cub that decided to opt out of the mid candidate expansion process. i think what is deeply concerning is that over 5 million poor uninsured adults exposed. where this program of designed to provide coverage for the working poor in this country.
so when i hear members of the republican party telling us that they're just interested in making sure that the americans receive the service and support needed to have choices with regard to how they like their health care, i guess, to be managed. you know, privately or by the government. i don't hear a sense of caring for the american people as much as i, again, just hear a lot of partisan governing. that doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in helping those american citizens as much as there is an interest in really taking down what has been firmed obamacare. >> thank you, so much. she's got a vailed point as far
as it goes. medicaid is a voluntary partnership between the state and the federal government. and the reason that so many states have opted out of the medicaid expansion, in a lot of states a single biggest item in the budget is medicaid. there are states spending more on medicaid costs than spending on public education or public safety things like this. what the governors and the legislature are doing. they are looking at all the mandates in the medicaid expansion in the mandatory coverage it has to be given and say we can't afford it. it's not worth it. they're opting out. they don't have to participate in these expansions if they don't want to. and if you go back to the debate, when this bill was still
a bill and on the floor, the big rallying cry for a lot of democrats who supported it was that we were going provide health insurance for every american and most of that came through the mandatory expansion of medicaid for young adults. and what has been shown since the bill became a law is a state that look at that and said we carnet afford it. we're not going participate. one of the main reasons to support the affordable care act is turned out to be a false premise. i think some of the strongest supporters thing, at least off camera would tell you that. >> host: another call. jack in wisconsin on the line for independents. >> caller: good morning. i guess independents think alike. i think you missed the premise -- [inaudible]
reporting the insurance premium. the majority of people that are low-income and -- [inaudible] they use privately operated food pantry to get the basic food feed their family. okay. they don't have any money to buy food. if they agree with that and don't have any money to buy food. how are they going to have noun pay for the insurance premium? and keep in mind that the government -- [inaudible] let say a policy for a family of four for insurance or health insurance. it's $5 50 a month. the government, the taxpayers are going give this family $530
to cover their premium, they have to come up with the extra $20. if they have nothing, where do they get the $20 from? i think that is what people aren't seeing. people can't afford the insurance or the basic cost of the insurance. or their share of the premium of $20 when you have nothing. $20 is unattainable. >> host: great point. let have the congressman respond. >> guest: he said it better than i can say it. i mean, the premise of the law when it was a bill we were going to provide health insurance for every american, and name affordable. if you have nothing it's hard to afford something if you don't have anything to pay for it. and i guess the point i would make, you know, there are people in america that are very poor
and got some sort of a disability or something their age and they just can't help it. but what people like myself support is an opportunity in society where it's not where you are today but where you can be tomorrow and next year and then, you know, in a perfect world, we create enough opportunity through a public education system and then through opportunities in the workplace that even though you start poor you don't stay poor. and you have the means yourself to take care of your family. both on the food, shelter, and health insurance side. you have the government what president reagan used to calm a safety net when there are people for whatever reason don't have the ability to help themselves. >> thank you, jack. for that. we're going talk with ricky on the line for republicans. >> caller: yeah.
your comments. thank you for your call. >> guest: he may not have heard what i told the other people like myself and himself support an opportunity society where you give people the ability to help themselves and that is one of his bake it -- basic emesis but also he says republicans shouldn't be against health insurance for everybody in america. and we are not. we don't think the federal government should create this massive system where you have all these mandates. the word mandate is mention 131 times in the affordable care act. that is not the united states that i want to live in where the federal government is telling me 131 times what kind of health insurance or health care i can have and can have so but he has right. republicans are not opposed to helping those people who don't have the ability on their own in
some way to have access to health care and subsequently the health insurance that helps provide for that health care. >> host: in a call from jay in seattle washington on our democratic color line. >> caller: good morning. hey congressman i was wanting to ask a question. you have been saying here that the health exchange rollout has been a major problem. i think you left out the part that -- [inaudible] and those are running perfectly. here in washington ours is signing up thousands of people in california has done the same and oregon the same in kentucky the same. texas had decided to opt out of that i was wondering in the future since obama karis the lava land probably moving forward would you see a way to get texas back in with what the other states are doing successfully versus governor
perry turning down that and do you want to apologize to the people of texas the way you did to bp and that's all i have to say. >> guest: what was the last thing? >> host: go seahawks apparently. >> guest: o. coat go seahawks. the dallas cowboys are in my congressional district so i would say go cows noise but the seahawks have a better record this year. it's up to each state to determine the level of participation and governor perry and the texas legislature decided they did not want to create it federal health exchange and i think that was a good decision. this gentleman is in washington state and if he says his health exchange is working i will take him at his word. i haven't looked at the state-by-state but the obama administration has not yet
publicly released the number of people who have signed up but all indications are that it's a very small number. in delaware which admittedly is a small state, i think it took them a week to get one person enrolled which is not a very good endorsement for the efficiency of the system. with regards to my comments on bp, i was not apologizing for bp's requirements. in fact i had led to earlier investigations about malfeasance in bp and i participated aggressively in the investigation. my apology comment was that bp had not been given due process and i think any individual or
company should be given due process. i certainly supported an active investigation and i certainly support the people that have been harmed by the oil spill should be compensated both at the individual level and at the state level in terms of the environment. >> host: we will take more of your calls. judy in connelly springs north carolina on our independents line. you are on "washington journal." >> caller: thank you again for c-span. i wanted to ask, i heard on tv that van hollen was going to put a proposal up for congress to being answerable to the same laws that the common people are,
of the laws that they passed the congress has to abide also with the affordable health care act. there are some other things too. i am in north carolina. north carolina opted out of the medicaid expansion and i can understand that because when the unemployment expansion to place and people stayed on those roles as long as they could on the unemployment because they were able to get family medicaid and food stamps and have assistance as long as they were on the unemployment roll. i have a question too about how long is the federal government giving the states that money? i know on the unemployment it lasted around three years and then they pulled out and the
state was responsible. that was the way it worked with the obama karis well. i love texas. i have lived there for a couple of years and truly loved it. thank you. >> guest: we share a love for texas. i'm a sixth generation native texan but i have vacation in north carolina at nag's head kitty hawk and you know one of my favorite tv shows growing up was the andy griffith show which was in north carolina so i certainly have an affection for north carolina. in terms of her question i don't know that i have a direct comment on it. >> host: a couple of e-mails coming in from john in indiana. you suggest obamacare will fail
and offered by your fellow republican did not fail. how and why can you say that failure will happen when it succeeded for romney? again john in indiana. >> guest: basically i'm a texas republican. i'm not a massachusetts republican and i supported governor romney for president. i voted for him but i'm not a big fan of the health insurance law of the commonwealth of massachusetts. the reason i say obama karis going to fail is because it's not going to deliver on what it promised. first of all it's not going to be affordable. we have already had two or three colors today that it was designed to help and it's not helping them in their own words. it is hugely invasive in terms of the product is of medicine. the presidents is calling the web site problem a glitch.
i think it's a lot more than a glitch. i don't think they are going to be able to fix fix it fix it. the president himself is saying he might have to call a toll-free number and you might have to fill out a form the old-fashioned way. that is certainly not a good endorsement for the system. but as the people that it is designed to help figure out for themselves that it's not going to help them and they are going to demand changes to the political process and as the cost of this drives the private sector health system private pay for your employer is those employers see it's because of the mandates on the covert side it's less expensive for them to stop providing health insurance or the workplace and put their employees into the public exchanges, those employees are going to see that if you have
your health insurance and you like it you can keep that they are not going to get to keep it and they will have to pay a lot more on these public exchanges. those two combinations are ultimately going to require the failure of the system and that to me not a question of if it's going to happen but it's a question of when it's going to happen. again that is what i put my billing. let's make this thing voluntary for a year. if it's really as great as the president says it isn't everybody will love it we will go on down the road. if it's as bad as people like myself think it is not many people will sign up, of the system will begin to self implode and then we will come back and try to salvage what we can from it. >> host: a couple minutes left with congress and barton. let's go to mac on our republicans line. >> caller: good morning. i just want to ask the congressman i am really
following the republicans over time but having somewhat of a change of heart because it seems like the independence -- i own a small business and i have four employees and everything that i try to do i thought republicans would help the small business people at as far as creating taxes and all that but when i got ready to get insurance for my four employees i am finding that it is cheaper and i'm wondering why the congressman and people like himself that they are so concerned with the cost and i am a conservative so are they willing to do like we do and cut this congressman's salary down to $100,000 a a year? we thee in public have to pay for your insurance so it's not affordable for us. you get assistance and you get help. the benefit package for the congressman a real good and i can tell you if we cut back on
our cost like you cut back on yours more dollars means many hands make light labor. i'm saying it as much as you are trying to stop the shutdown if you would help the president a lot of these glitches he could be working on that and i believe the program will work if you make a good-faith effort. you spend so much time opposing in fighting nothing ever gets done. you keep the presidents so busy. >> host: thank you mac. >> guest: first of all congratulations to him for being a small businessman and having a business where he has created a job for himself and for other people. that's a good thing, not a bad thing. he has a small businessman does not have to provide health insurance for his workers under the affordable care act because he has less than 50 full-time employees. it's good that he is trying to do it and again i commend him
for that. in terms of my personal health care right now myself and my family are covered by blue cross-blue shield plan of texas which is available to any federal worker in texas. i pay $433 a month and my employer i.e. the people of the united states pay a little over $900 a month so the total plan is 13 or $1400 a month and i'm paying $433. the taxpayers are paying a little over $900. if i lose that in january as a member of congress i am mandated to go into the public exchange and the district of columbia in the small business exchange which right now doesn't exist and i don't know if there will be any options at all. i can't participate in any plan
in texas. i have to participate in the plan in the district of columbia and one of the things that has been controversial is will there be any kind of premium support in and the office of personnel management did rule back in july that there could be. there have been a number of proposals in congress to eliminate that premium support and that is a question that i guess you would have to say is still outstanding. but as someone who has been covered in the work base by employer-sponsored health health care plan i don't think it's unfair event and obamacare to still be covered through some sort of a work place plan. i do think that the question on the level of premium support is a fair question. >> host: the last question very thickly.
david in washington on our line for democrats. go ahead. >> caller: yes, i have never heard so much pessimism and all of my life about why my son can't work. as i remember the republican party has never come up with a plan and all the years that they have been in office except for president nixon. apparently he offered ted kennedy a plan and mr. kennedy took the deal but he didn't for some reason and most of the major country seem to have some sort of health care plan. mexico has a health care plan and i think it's time we did something and i'd like to see the republicans really start to work with the president to make this thing work because it's going to be here. it's the law and i think we should really get together and see if we can help people have better health care. thanks. >> guest: i would agree with the last point that we should help people have better health care choices.