tv U.S. Senate CSPAN January 6, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EST
that every individual, every sparrow has god's eyes on them and and they ought to have our eyes on them as well. i'm so very proud to be here to congratulate all of you. those of you who are new and those of you who have fought the fight for decades. those of you who began this black caucus. you have made congress better. much more importantly however you have made america better. god bless you godspeed and thank you. [applause] . .
>> good morning. everyone. i see the hearty souls here who weathered the storm. thank you, joyann for your introduction. thank you, my colleagues. i have come to join my colleagues in bearing witness to the fact that for more than 40 years, as you all know, the congressional black caucus has served as the conscience of the congress championing an america of justice and opportunity for all. the members of this historic caucus have fought and won critical battles to make the real full promise of our
country for working people, for middle class families for those who aspire to the middle class for every person that dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. reverend barber, as i was coming over here, the walls of the capitol were shaking there your prayer and -- from your prayer and your invocation all of you gathered here champion the equality dignity and prosperity for all americans x. today as we convene the 114th congress of the united states, the leadership and vision of the congressional black caucus, that is as bold and as necessary as ever. let's start with marcia fudge. anyone who's ever needed, wanted to know anything about marcia fudge, all they needed to do was to toll the colbert -- to follow "the colbert report." [laughter] stephen colbert very haughtily did his research and found out
that marcia was a fencing champion in high school and so he decided that he would suit up and challenge her. now, mind you she had not engaged in fencing for decades. [laughter] i'm not going to say so how many. for decades. but he learned with much practice and trying to take her by surprise when she came on his show, she got the first touch. [laughter] [applause] and he learned what we all know marcia fudge rules. [laughter] now congressman butterfield l takes the helm of the cbc. we know the cbc will continue to be providing strong outspoken and effective leadership for every man, woman and child in our country bringing his judicious demeanor and southern courtesy to our work. don't mistake that courtesy for anything other than strength.
congratulations and best wishes to you, chairman butterfield. your success is the success of america. and the 114th congress, mr. butterfield -- mr. clyburn -- mr. butterfield's friend -- mr. clyburn will continue to serve as the third highest ranking democrat in the house of representatives. [applause] and with great dignity. and respect. [applause] denny mentioned that cbc members will serve as ranking members of seven committees. i'm going to name names. john conyers, financial services maxine waters. [applause] veterans affairs corrine brown. science, space and technology, eddie bernice johnson. education and work force, bobby scott. [applause] homeland security, denny thompson.
those 50 years have seen is historic progress for our nation. but it is clear there is more to do. we respect the past we confront our future with the conviction that we can and we must continue to effect change. and justice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere. how proud we are all to have the tireless moral leadership of congressman john lewis on this matter serving us in the house. [applause] we are, as we are now called to action. [applause] to improve the quality of justice in every american community, to awaken our communities to the power of the vote the vote destroys injustice and creates opportunity. and drives a new effort to increase voter participation. today starts a new congress it starts a new year.
it also is the feast of the epiphany, the feast of the visitation of the magi as you know. i am hoping and i will say to the congress when we open in session later let us have our own epiphany about what our responsibility is to the american people. let us not say we shouldn't have disagreement. of course we have our principles and our values and our beliefs. and that's what makes our country strong. we don't always agree withach other, and there are different schools of thought in the congress, but a democracy is about debating those issues, finding solutions, having the humility to compromise and find a way forward. but it also is about fighting, fighting for what is right fighting for eleanor holmes norton to have the right to vote
in the congress of the united states and the people of -- [applause] that's the way -- [inaudible] if you find that disagreeable then just give eleanor the vote, and then we can put that aside. so it is, you know, it is important for us as we view how we manage our issues, our differences that it all comes back to value, shared values where we should find our common ground. the cbc and the cbc foundation under the leadership of congressmen have long supported values and goals. together we will build an economy that works for everyone not just the wealthy and the well connected for everyone. we have a moral obligation. our values tell us we must do that. together we will restore confidence in american justice
and american democracy. together we will create a future of prosperity and promise for every family. we will create a future worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for our country. on this opening day we thank all of you. we thank our leadership here on the stage for your leadership, your vision your courage. it's about courage. it's about heart. and your commitment to this great country. congratulations on your ceremonial swearing in. i look forward to your actual swearing in by the dean of the house of representatives john conyers, in just a few hours. [applause] congratulations to you all. happy new year and thank you for the opportunity to be with you. thank you all very much. [applause]
>> thank you very much, madam leader. mr. whip? distinguished clergy all chair wasserman-schultz, my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, first i want to remind you of our theme for the day; respecting the past confronting the future. i want to thank chairwoman marcia fudge for two very successful and highly productive years as chair of this caucus. i want to wish george kenneth
butterfield -- [laughter] [applause] godspeed as he takes the reins of this great group of committed, dedicated and sometimes contrarian public servants. as martin luther king jr. once intone toed, everybody -- intoned, everybody can be great because everybody can serve. we have been elected to serve at a very interesting time in our country's development. the united states supreme court has gutted the 1965 voting rights act that made it possible for us to serve. in the citizens united and mccutcheon cases, the supreme court overturned 100 years of
restraint on corporations' funding of political campaigns and has made money speech that cannot be reasonably regulated to protect our democracy. legislatures all over the country are stacking and bleaching legislative and congressional districts by looting the effectiveness of black representation and participation. state and local governments are imposing new impediments to voting and are establishing new criteria for police and citizens' uses of force. effectively undermining and ruptureing the relationship that should exist between the police and the public and people to
each other. there are significant movements taking place all across the country. and although they may not be new -- they may be new to some of us, they are not new to the country. we have been here before. we respect election results, but we remember that ben tillman and lester maddox were elected officials who were swept into office by denigrating blocs. we respect law enforcers, but we remember that jim clark and bull connor were cops who built their reputations by brutalizing freedom can fighters. freedom fighters.
we respect court decisions, but we remember that dred scott and plessy v. ferguson were supreme court decisions that relegated blacks to second class citizenship. it took hard work and personal sacrifices to move the country to a better place. thanks to the advocacy of the naacp, the urban league masonic orders, from alternative is -- fraternities and sororities, the fdlc the student nonviolent coordinating committee and countless other groups and organizations, we got to a better place. everyeptember the congressional black caucus foundation recognizes various
people and organizations with our phoenix awards. that name was not pulled out of a hat nor was it selected by a contest. the phoenix awards honor an historic and prophetic speech delivered from the well of the united states house of representatives by one of g.k. butterfield's predecessors from north carolina, george white, as he unceremoniously ended his career and an era of black membership in the congress. and it was over a generation later before another black sat as a member of this august body. contrary to popular opinion, the country does not move on a
linear plane. our country moves like the pendulum on a clock. it goes from left to right and back left again before moving back right again. how long the country rests in any position depends upon the intervention and level of participation of the electorate. in a couple of hours, we will take our seats as members of the 114th congress. ours is a unique but partial row. rosalynn brock, cornell brooks and the naacp have unique but partial roles.
mark mario, michael needoff and the urban league have unique but partial roles. the sclc the legal defense fund, rainbow push national action network and many others have roles to play. we all have our roles to play. hopefully, the lessons of our history will allow us to play our roles effectively and efficiently. few people know that history better than g.k. butterfield. growing up in wilson, north carolina, he suffered many indignities while serving in defense of this country.
a doting father, he experienced elections laws that steeled his determination to study ask practice law. and practice law. he is a former state supreme court justice who knows what it's like to suffer or defeat at the polls. he has lived much of america's history. he has learned its lessons. i believe he will take this caucus to a better place. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, cbc president and ceo ms. a. shaw niece washington. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. >> good morning.
>> on behalf of my colleagues at the congressional black caucus foundation incorporated, it is my pleasure to welcome and thank you all more your presence this morning as we celebrate the beginning of the 314th congress -- 114th congress and in particular the members of the congressional black caucus. i would like to extend a special thank you to our program participants, special guests friends and partners for joining us for today's swearing in. cbcf is honored to host this time-honored tradition which recognizes our nation's african-american members of congress whose commitment and tireless efforts continue to move our country and our communities forward. this is a historic time for the cbc. with the largest membership and the most diverse geographical representation since its founding, the cbc is positioned to elevate the public policy discussion on several issues impacting the black community. while the cbc grows in numbers there remains a lack of
diversity in congressional staff, and this is the inspiration for the cbcf's newest initiative emerge 5-3-5. over the next few years cbcf will expand opportunities to emerging african-american leaders by providing 535 internship and fellowship placements in congressional offices and committees. and cbcf is committed to doing its part to change the landscape of capitol hill we merge 5-3-5. [applause] and the cbc remains an integral partner in this effort because our young people have always gained firsthand leadership and policy experience by working with and learning from each of you. our event partners for today's ceremony include revlon national association of broadcasters pepsico, at&t
sell gene corporation century link comcast/nbc universal grocery manufacturers associate t-mobile and verizon. we are able to fulfill our mugs to develop -- our mission to inform policy and educate the public because of the generous support you each provide. for that, we thank you. [applause] in closing and on behalf of the cbcf staff, i would like to thank outgoing cbc chairwoman congresswoman marcia fudge for her strong support of the congressional black caucus foundation over these last two years, chairman-elect congressman g.k. butterfield and all of the officers. we look forward to working with you and all members of the cbc during the 114th. join me in congratulating and saluting the cbc members of the 114th congress. [applause] and it is now my pleasure to
introduce our chairman of the board of directors congressman chaka fattah. [applause] >> well, let me acknowledge members of the congressional black caucus foundation board of directors. i know that jim corps win is here and a number of others. please stand and give our board a round of applause, please. [applause] and to the staff and also the members of our corporate advisory committee. [applause] the foundation is uniquely situated because of our most important stakeholders which are the congressional black caucus. and i want to thank each of the members for their partnership with the foundation as we go forward. i want to say a few things about the work that we're doing and we have done together over these last two years.
first and foremost we've placed 148 students in public service internships, 18 in fellowships and have awarded 702 scholarships totaling $1.2 million. [applause] thank you. $1.2 million is a little bit of money. and it helps pay the bills so that our young people can get an education. we also have launched our permanence project which is an online community. think of it as an online alc weekend where you can get realtime information about the work of the congressional black caucus and its members what's happening on the hill, and you can have actual input into the policy development process. i want to personally thank my leader the chairwoman of the congressional black caucus foundation over the 113th,
chairwoman was formerly a member of the staff serving for former member from ohio and then has served now in the congress. but rather than just represent the state of ohio, if that wasn't challenging enough she took on the responsibility to lead the congressional black caucus, and she has done an extraordinary job. i've seen her in both public moments and private moments, and she has not equivocated one inch of compromised on the critical issues facing our community, and she's been an authentic leader and we can ask nothing more of her. thank you so very much for all that you've done. [applause] for the caucus she launched the china study abroad program, and for dozens of our young people they've spent time now studying in china, and she's paved the way for some 400 young people to participate in that program as we go forward. i want to say to our new
chairman you have to watch butterfield because he asked me to come to north carolina once to give a talk, and, i mean once you say yes, you can't -- he won't let you, you know, maneuver. and so all i can say to the members is when the chairman asks you to do something consider it, and once you give a commitment you gotta follow through because he is, he's a determined leader, and he has been raised for a time like this. as we go into a new congress. so i note in our audience a number of people. i won't go through the list, but i did want to mention just a few. one, of course, is my beautiful and brilliant wife who's here and my daughters and mid -- and my dad. give them a round of applause. [applause] and i saw, i saw ernie green from the little rock nine.
[applause] who's here. and then i saw a young man who's been away for a while. he's been in prison in cuba and because of the work of members of the congressional black caucus and many others in the bold step that our president has taken in reopening relationships with i cuba -- with cuba, he's now here and i want to recognize alan gross. give him a big welcome home. [applause] him and his wife are here. or. [applause] barbara lee and her leadership and other members of the caucus and other members of the congress, democrat and republicans. it's great to be able to welcome you home, and it could not have happened without the leadership of a former member of our caucus who now serves as the president
of the united states being willing to step in a different direction than we have been moving for so many decades in our country. so we can rebuild the walls if we have a mind to work. this caucus has a mind to work, and in just a few hours we're going to be sworn in, and we're going to get to work making our country a more perfect union. thank you. [applause] >> all right. thank you, congressman. now, the swearing in of congressional members is a longstanding tradition that celebrates and signifies the start of a new congress. the ceremonial oath of office will be administered by the honorable james a. wynn jr. fourth circuit judge of the united states court of appeals. judge wynn is from from north carolina and served as an associate judge for the north carolina court of appeals and the north carolina supreme court before his u.s. court of appeals nomination by president barack
obama in 2009. wynn was confirmed by the senate the following year. judge wynn is congressman butterfield's friend and former law partner. ladies and gentlemen, the honorable james a. wynn jr. [applause] >> to the distinguished members of the congressional black caucus, i want to tell you this is a special pleasure for me. and i'll tell you this senator clyburn as you know, as a historian that it wasn't brown v. board of education that was the most important decision of 1954 nor was it the civil rights act of 1964 nor the voting rights act of 1965 nor even the election of our esteemed president in 2008. the most significant date and event in the history of african-americans in th country was the abolition of slavery 150 years ago.
and that occurred -- [applause] that occurred, representative lewis, that occurred, representative bishop, that occurred representative scott, that occurred, representative johnson when the state of georgia became the state that made the requisite number of states to abolish slavery by the ratification of the 13th amendment to the constitution on december 6 1865. so this 150th year from the date of the abolition of slavery constitutionally in this country gives me great pleasure to administer the oath of office to a most distinguished group of officers of the congressional black caucus. will you please rise. and if the officers will face me. just the officers please. [laughter]
and if the officers will face me, all officers and if you will repeat after me please. i, state your name -- [inaudible conversations] >> -- do solemnly swear or affirm that i will support and defend -- >> that i will support and defend -- >> -- the constitution of the united states. >> -- the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> and that i will bear true faith and allegiance -- >> and that i will bear true faith and allegiance -- >> to the same. >> to the same. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> that i take this obligation freely -- >> and without any mental resignation or purpose of evasion. >> or purpose of evasion. >> and that i will well and faithfully -- >> and that i will well and faithfully -- >> discharge the duties of the office -- >> discharge the duties of the office. >> on which i am about to enter.
>> on which i am about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations. [applause] >> all right. and, ladies and gentlemen, i present to you the congressional black caucus of the 114th congress. [applause] >> all right. now, at this time i would like to introduce a special presentation that highlights some of the critical work undertaken by the congressional black caucus of the 113th congress led by then-cbc chairwoman marcia fudge.
representative fudge is entering her fifth term serving ohio's 11th congressional district. her hard work and commitment to improving the quality of life of her constituent, african-americans and all americans, has earned congresswoman fudge the confidence and respect of her peers. under representative fudge's leadership, the cbc continued making its tour which educated americans across the country about how the affordable care act can improve their lives. representative fudge also remained vigilant in keeping important issues affecting african-americans at the forefront of the caucus agenda, ending poverty, increasing access to college funding reforming immigration, improving the economy and enhancing the availability of jobs. and although these accomplishments are significant, representative fudge knows that the work of advancing the african-american community is far from finished. her determination and fearlessness to stand up for others has made her one of most
recognizable and effective leaders in the congress. so please now direct your attention to this short video on the work of the cbc under the leadership of cbc chairwoman marcia fudge. >> here at home we are unable to fully address our ownssues. mr. saker, the house is not in order. >> the gentlewoman is correct. the house will be in order. please proceed. ♪ ♪ >> known as the conscience of the congress, the congressional black caucus has been a strong voice in the congress for people of color and underserved communities. founded in 1971 with 13 members the cbc is committed to using the full constitutional power, statutory authority and financial resources of the united states government with to
ensure access and opportunities to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. in the 113th congress, the cbc was present and active on issues impacting african-americans and other underserved communities. the cbc held the house floor for hours to prevent devastating cuts to the social safety net provided by the food stamp program, advanced the push for diversity on the federal bench and in the white house cabinet made the parent plus load fair and readily available to those who need them and when the supreme court rolled back the protections of the voting rights act, the cbc developed legislation to safeguard the right to vote for all citizens. >> we want to sure that the immigration bill that they're saying is comprehensive is, in fact comprehensive and that includes people from the caribbean and africa which had heretofore been done by diversity visas. we want to be sure that the
people we represent, those who come from underserved countries, poor countries are included in the bill. >> the cbc remains steadfast in its vision, and given the seniority of the cbc members, the credit cbc is poised to transform this vision into legislative reality in the upcoming 114th congress. >> it's one of the highest honors of my lifetime to be elected unanimously as the chairman for the black caucus and i take it very seriously. we fight every day to try to protect those in our community. not just african-americans, but those who have been left out of the american dream. ♪ ♪ [applause]
>> and now we will swear in the, all of the members of the congressional black caucus. please stand. and if all of you would repeat after me. raise your right hand, please. i, state your name -- >> [inaudible conversations] >> do solemnly swear or affirm -- >> do solemnly swear or affirm -- >> that i will support and defend. >> that i will support and defend. >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemy, foreign and domestic-- >> against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> and that i will bear true faith. >> and that i will bear true faith. >> and allegiance to the same. >> and allegiance to the same. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> and without any mental resignation. >> and without any mental resignation. >> or purpose of evasion. >> or purpose of evasion. >> that i will well and faithfully. >> that i will well and faithfully. >> discharge the duties of the
office. >> discharge the duties of the office -- >> as members of the congressional black caucus. >> as members of the congressional black caucus. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations. [applause] >> okay, ladies and gentlemen please welcome the outgoing cbc chairwoman, representative marcia l. fudge. [applause] >> good morning. >> good morning. >> there is one thing i have to do. i don't give shoutouts as a general rule but there are two members in this audience i must recognize. there are two of our former colleagues. please stand and be recognized. ms. clayton, mr. watt. let's give them a hand, please. [applause] and i'm certainly happy that chaka did introduce mr. gross, because it is my determination i
think at this point, that barbara lee should be the ambassador the cuba. [laughter] i'll be working on that. [applause] now that i have some more time, barbara, i'll will working on it. [laughter] it has, in fact and indeed been a pleasure and an honor to serve as the 23rd chair of the congressional black caucus. as i've often said, i did not lead this caucus. no one can lead this caucus. [laughter] this caucus of leaders. instead, i compare my experience to that as chair of a conductor of an incredible orchestra. the many pieces of a tombless orchestra -- timeless orchestra came together over the past two year, and we managed to make wonderful music. to my colleagues, i thank you. no one could deny that we are the oldest, the strongest, the smartest and the most effective caucus in the house of representatives. [applause] >> i want to thank you for
working together, free of independent agendas to insure the continued success of our caucus for the benefit of this nation. thank you for your unwavering commitment to do what is right. we are the conscience of the naon, not just of the caucus. and let us continue to stand strong, because we are better together. to our new members, welcome. you are now a part of a very special family. know that we will look to you to lead us into the future with fresh ideas and new energy. stand, new members please. [applause] and to my staff, the cbc staff and my congressional staff, i want to thank you for your hard work and sacrifice. i know i might not have said it often, certainly i didn't say it enough over the past two years but i do truly appreciate each and every one of you.
you exceeded my expectations, and i am grateful. you have served this caucus well, and i thank you. and now i have been given the honor of presenting to you the 24th chair of the congressional black caucus the gentleman from the 1st district of north carolina, my friend congressman g.k. butterfield, who followed in his father's footsteps. his father was the first black elected in wilson since reconstruction. he is a champion for so many things. he's a champion for affordable health care, for medicaid for education, for investments in rural communities just to name a few. you heard mr. clyburn talk about his work on the judiciary. g.k., you have served this country and this congress with distinction. now you have been elected to serve your peers as the chair of the cbc. may god grant you wisdom and patience to carry this mighty
caucus as we move into the 114th congress. please accept the gavel as a symbolic token of our trust, confidence and admiration. please join me in welcoming the 24th chair of the congressional black caucus, g.k. butterfield. [applause] >> thank you, thank you, thank you. first, let me begin by thanking congresswoman marcia fudge for her friendship, for her leadership and for taking the congressional black caucus to higher heights. you know someone asked me a few days ago if i thought i could fill the shoes of marcia fudge. well, let me put it this way, no one in their right mind -- [laughter] should ever believe they can fill the shoes of congresswoman
marcia fudge. marcia is a unique leader who commands respect. thank you very much, marcia fudge. [applause] to the dean of the congressional black caucus, to the dean of the house of representatives, congressman john conyers jr. [applause] to my other colleagues and their families many of the families are here today, to the cbcf chair, congressman chaka fattah and to ms. washington and to your team, to the congressional staff -- and they're all across this auditorium -- thank you for all that you do. thank you to my friend and former law partner judge jim wynn for administering the oath of office. jim, god has been good to you he's been good to me over and over and over again. thank you so very much. to democratic leader pelosi and to the whip steny hoyer, thank
you both for your leadership and your friendship. assistant leader jim clyburn the cbc is honored, sir, honored, sir, to have one of your caliber among us. thank you so very much. [applause] to the hundreds of friends who are viewing this ceremony at watch parties in my district and all across the country and, finally, to my family a small number of whom are here today first, i will ask my daughter to quickly stand, baby. that's my daughter, valecia. [applause] and i'm going the ask my cousins, my first cousins and my second cousins if they would ease stand. [laughter] [applause] and their spouses. [applause] i'm going to let you figure out which one are the cousins and
which ones are the spouses. [laughter] thank you, family. thank you for being here today and supporting me. it is one of the highest honors of my life to start the daunting process of leading a caucus that has a legacy of advocating for african-american interests. our 46 members hail from 32 states -- 22 states, the district of district of columbia and the virgin islands. representing more than 30 million people 23% of the house democratic caucus, 10% of the house of representatives. cbc members, as you've heard already, hold seven ranking member full committee leadership positions. we are now one of the large arest caucuses -- largest caucuses in the house of representatives, and i'm proud to say that we have 20 women members, all of our new members are female. [applause] and as joe biden would say, that's a big deal.
[laughter] the composition of our caucus brings a diverse set of experiences and viewpoints to address the unique challenges of african-american communities. every day members of this caucus go beyond their constitutional duties to lead in their communities. they are making a difference all of them are making a difference ithe lives of millions of people. my colleagues are smart, you know that. they are intelligent legislators. each of them was elected to congress because they prepared themselves, they served their communities, and they knocked down barriers. now, i'm also mindful that we were elected to congress because great men and women great men and women over the past 150-plus years got their hands dirty. some gave their lives to empower future generations.
during the reconstruction and postreconstruction era, 20 african-americans, 20 served in this congress. they advocated for educating the children of the former slaves. they advocated for building black high schools and colleges. they advocated for jobs and decency. they even sought to make it a federal crime to lynch. the work of these 20 congressmen was too visionary for the southern pow structure. and so in 1900 southern states passed literacy tests and the poll tax as device to prevent -- as devices to prevent black people from voting. and now in the 21st century efforts are still afoot to disenfranchise african-american voters. as a consequence of the literacy tests and the poll tax and acts of sheer violence, black
participation ended in 1901, and jim clyburn made reference to the that, when congressman george h. white stood in the well stood in the well where we will all be in just a few minutes at the close of the 56th congress, and this is what he said, and i will paraphrase. mr. chairman the negro asks no special favors but simply demands that he be given the same chance for existence for earning a livelihood, for raising himself in the scales of manhood and womanhood that are accorded to kindred nationalities. obliterate race hatred, party prejudice and help us do the greatest good for the greatest number. this, mr. chairman, is perhaps the negro's temporary farewell to the american congress, but phoenix-like he will rise again someday and come again. as we stand here now on the dawn
of a new congress the 114th congress we must tell the full story. for many black americans for many black americans, they are not even close to realizing the american dream. depending on where they live an economic depression hangs over their head and it's burdening their potential and the potential of their children. black america is in a state of emergency today as it was at the turn of the century! [applause] my message, my message to those across the country who are tired of business as usual and for those who want to hold our country accountable for treating you with disrespect, i hear you the cbc hears you, america hears you, the world hears you. that is why our theme today so
important. learn from our past, but boldly boldly confront an uncertain future. this caucus was formed in 1971 because its founders understood that black lives matter, black boys matter, black girls matter. [applause] the black church matters. black america in its totality matters. in 2015 we're still fighting. we are still fighting generations of indifference on the part of those in power. the statistics tell the story. 25% of black households -- that's one in four -- 25% of black households live below the poverty line as compared to 8% for white households. one out of three black children our children lives in poverty. african-americans are twice as
likely as whites to be unemployed. african-americans earn $3,000 less -- $13,000 less per year than their white counterparts. the unemployment rate of african-americans has consistently been twice as high as for whites over the last 50 years. for every $100 in wealth of a white household, the black household only has $6 inealth. what is this? what is this if it's not an emergency? america's not working for many african-americans, and we as the congressional black caucus have an obligation. we know that. we talk about it all the time. we have an obligation to fight harder and smarter in the next congress and help repair the damage. and so my leadership of this caucus will be influenced by my experiences growing up in a
segregated south. jim clyburn often says that we're the sum total of our experiences. and that is so very true. my life's experiences are similar to many of my colleagues. we saw racism at its worst. in my hometown of wilson, north carolina, the railroad tracks divided our town a town where 23 miles of unpaved streets greeted black citizens every day. they were relegated to second class citizenship. our mothers and our fathers and our grandmothers and our grandfathers, our aunts and our uncles worked every day, seven days a week to support the jim crow economy. i recall so vividly the wealthy white citizens where each morning would drive into our neighborhoods to tranort black women to the paved streets on
the west side of town to do domestic work for just a few or dollars a week. i recall white farmers driving onto our street corners at six a.m. to transport black laborers to the tobacco fields to harvest the crops for 50 cents an hour. i recall structurally inferior black schools and how great black educators were paid less than their white counterparts. because of these unbearable conditions my generation my generation, the baby boom generation, wees caped the south -- we escaped the south as quickly as we could. most went to the north, some to college, some to the military. and so those experiences have helped mold my perspective and make me determined to fight every day to expose and defeat racism and discrimination
wherever it may exist. and so if anyone has any doubt that this chairman and this congressional black caucus will have any reluctance to fight for our communities, you are mistaken. [applause] >> marcia fudge is over there talking about me. [laughter] the ears work if nothing else. [laughter] let's get serious again. [laughter] you will see the congressional black caucus make criminal justice reform a centerpiece of our work. there's a well founded -- [applause] let me develop this for a
minute, and then you can give it applause. [laughter] we're going to make criminal justice reform a centerpiece of our work. there is a well-founded you know it and i know it, mistrust between african-american community and law enforcement officers. the statistics are clear. video clips are clear. we recognize the overwheing majority of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and most of them are doing it well. but unfortunately, there are some officers who abuse the sacred responsibility to protect and to serve by using excessive and sometimes deadly force when a less severe response is warranted. the cbc will seek legislative action to reverse this trend. let me also be with clear as a former judge, i want to put all of this in context, to reinforce -- to reform the law
enforcement system will not by itself reform the criminal justiceystem. the cbc will address continue to address outdated sentencing laws up ethical -- unethical prosecutors, and is we will communicate the importance of criminal defendants. our sons and our cousins and our next door neighbors criminal defendants in our communities that they have competent counsel when they go to court. yo will see the congressional black caucus fighting for targeted funding for persistent poverty communiti. ..
now, this is not, this is not a partisan issue. more than 24 million americans live in these communities. and the truth is that republican members of this congress represent more of these communities than democratic members. and so what does that mean? that means we will call on the republican conference to join with the democratic caucus and to the cbc to pass legislation that will address persistent poverty in america. [applause] we will continue, we will continue to fight against any additional efforts to reduce the deficit by dismantling the social safety net that our
communities depend on and programs that create jobs for the unemployed and the underemployed. irresponsible budgeting in this congress will be met with a dogged resistance. [applause] the cbc understands that nothing is more important than in education system. and education system that works for black children. and education system that encourages no demands excellence. we will support legislation to enhance educational opportunities for african-american students and strengthen our 105 historically black colleges and universities who educate black children, who educate black children with other institutions were closed. we will continue to push for science and technology engineering and math education.
we call it spam, for young african-americans and provide returning for adults in the 21st century. on june 25 2013, this supreme court suspended use of section five of the voting rights act because of what they called an outdated formula. the absence of section five protection is not allowing states to pass discriminatory laws that disenfranchise african-american voters, and other groups. partisan redistricting schemes have been in acted wth impunity. we as a caucus will continue our fight to restore section five of the voting rights act. [applause] >> we will evaluate we will evaluate whether american corporations who depend on government contracts and tax preferences, whether they're
making a serious effort at diversity in boardrooms and executive suites and the workforce. we will look at -- we will look at whether corporations, america's corporations the fortune 500 corporations are investing in underserved communities it and if they are failing, we will expose them and insist on change. we are ready for these fights, the fight for the future is not a black fight, not a democratic or republican fight. it is a fight that all fair-minded americans should promote. we need to use political means you know we do, policy and legal means to reduce racial disparities and move closer to that day when every american receives and realizes the american dream. and so in closing i issue a call to action for what i call an all hands on deck strategy, where the cbc will work with our
allies and congress and the state and local governments to push for good policies and wealth and education, health care and criminal justice. we will work with grassroots organizations all across america. we will work with the national black organizations and with the faith community. we will gather data and educate the public and organize masses of our people to promote our agenda. we will work with the legal community to pursue a legal strategy to reverse those most egregious laws. finally, we will push for full participation in presidential elections, state elections local elections with the goal of electing people at every level who share our values. this is our all hands on deck strategy through which the cbc and its allies will promote. as we begin our work we will continue to struggle to provide leadership, and make a difference, make a difference
for those for whom we represent. may god continue to bless our community all across this country with talented leaders, talented leaders as you see on this stage. may god continue to bless each of you. cbc, thank you for this privilege. it's now our time to make a difference. thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, luther barnes. ♪ ♪
eocene your tears and he's going to reward you for your faith. give god the praise for that. thank you, lord. hankey, lord. [applause] he said in his words if you would you like yourself and him he said he would keep you the desire to work hard. he won't give you what you need but he will give you what you want. so i encourage you to take to keep on doing what you're doing. keep on working for the lord. it's your time now. how many of you will believe this is your year, this is your time? keep on working for the lord. to yourself, it's my time now. it's my time. thank you, lord. yes, it is. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
properly. one is from south texas, let the hispanic congressional caucus and his foundation, ruben hinojosa. my great friend from texas. [applause] and a giant and an extraordinary public servant congresswoman from florida who also is the chairwoman of the democratic party, debbie wasserman schultz. we want to recognize -- [applause] and then finally, finally to underscore the point that later in the day john conyers will swear the house in. he won his first election he won his first election i just a few dozen votes. he was close. they had account over and over again but there's no question now, he is the dean. give them a big round of applause as we go to our close. [applause]
>> all right. we are indeed coming to conclusion that i do want to thank the members of the congressional black caucus. for four decades of committed service as the conscience of the congress. as we begin the 114th congress we look forward to our steadfast leadership in the next phase of our journey for equal rights for all americans. i would ask the cbc members to please stand so that we can technology one more time. ladies and gentlemen please join the congressional black caucus foundation including the men and women of the congressional black caucus of the 114th congress. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> and as members take a seat i will ask you to please stand stage for a moment for the class photo. we'll ask everyone to just be seated for a moment. you're going to have an opportunity to greet the members in reception right outside after
we do and the reception hall after we do the class photo. of course, we look forward to witnessing the important work of this dynamic caucus. thank you so much for sharing in this event. this does conclude our program. again, cbc members please stand stage and will have a reception afterwards. we are going to do our class photo now. thank you all. thank you very much. ♪ ♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations]
>> that will wrap up our coverage of the congressional black caucus ceremonial swearing-in to the 114th congress, one of a number of events tg place related to the start of the 114th congress that comes into session today starting at noon eastern, about 40 minutes from now. you may have noticed a few empty chairs this morning. the weather in d.c. and in stradivarius is affecting travel. we have another expected snowfall that is interfering with activities today as we look like that the u.s. capital. house minority leader nancy pelosi heads together the photo off with a women of the house. that was said to take place at 11 a.m. that was postponed due to the weather, but it looks like a group of runners was able to gather this morning stop by on the steps of the capitol to take a group photo on this first day of the 114th congress.
pelosi did attend the bipartisan prayer service that took place at st. peter's catholic church here in the southeastern section of the district. this is a video of her leaving the church at the end of that service this morning. >> [inaudible >> and again the house and senate gaveling in to start the new congress starting at noon eastern. throughout the day along with the gaveling in we will be showing events related to the
start of the next session including a senate ceremonial swearing in of members. that starts at 1:00 eastern and you can see that on c-span3. you can watch the house ceremonial swearing in event at 3 p.m. eastern and that will also be on c-span3. i keep event in the selection of leaders is the selection the leaders in the house and senate. we expect that senator mitch mcconnell will become the new majority leader switching places with senator harry reid who is expected to be the next minority leader. in the house john boehner wil be challenged for his speakership by at least two members, louie gohmert of texas and ted joe mole of florida. the ap reported at least 50 members say they will vote against speaker boehner and at the same time jake sherman a political has tweeted at least 10 democrats will be missing the boat for house leaders as they attending the theater for former governor mary cuomo who passed away last week. live coverage of the funeral taking place right now on c-span3. if you missed any of our
coverage really to the first day of the 114th congress it will be re- airing tonight starting at eight eastern on c-span and here on c-span2. >> remarks from former senate minority leader trent lott of mississippi look at the first day of the new congress. we spoke with him yesterday on "washington journal." >> host: the first episode what is it like? >> guest: there still some authority and this one will be pecially enjoyable for republicans because after eight years they are taking back the majority and mitch mcconnell will be the majority leader and john cornyn will be the whip. there will be 13 the republicans in the senate and it's a very diverse group but one with a lot of experience. there will be excitement in the air and the will be an event the next day to honor orrin hatch is coming as president pro tempore. it's not nearly as enthusiastic
somewhat out of control as the house is because the house is younger and you will have kids on the floor, that first day for the swearing-in but it still will be i think a very exciting and enjoyable day. >> host: the freshmen will be sworn in. >> guest: one by one. >> host: what is your advice to them and? >> guest: will be reserved and be appreciative of the people that will escort you. usually the senior senator from the state will escort you. sometimes you'll have people from outside, and but now the rules are very strict. for instance, i didn't get escort senator wicker when he was sworn in as my successor because i had gone out in the private sector and was a lawyer and lobbyist. there are rules against that but still it special when you walk down the aisle with your senior senator or some other special person and raise your hand, take an oath on the bible. i had a bible i used my swearing in and was going to give it to my grandson. my son said no this is mine until his day comes.
so it's a special thing. >> host: users as majority leader in the senate. how is the leadership preparing, special republicans are about to take over after eing in the minority. our the preparing for not only the opening day but the 114th congress? >> guest: senator mcconnell has been preparing for about 40 years. this is a special moment for him. i think this has been a goal of his life since the '60s when he worked for then senator john sherman cooper from kentucky, republican. i think that mitch had aspired to come to the senate and if you're going to be in the senate, he should want to be majority leader. >> host: why? >> guest: because that's where you really make a difference. the majority leader position is very powerful. but i served as minority leader and majority leader it's much better but a lot tougher. you govern or delete the senate by the respect for the position and by the power of your persuasion, that you decide what
bill is going to come up what conditions it will, under. there's no rules committee like the rules committee in the house that determines the amendments that will be offered the is much more open, very difficult to control process. there's a saying as always been around the senate, it's easy to block things. it's hard to pass things. so the goal from congress that didn't get much done to one that begins to move issues, whether it's trade or taxes or infrastructure immigration or health, each one of those will be a battle. but what does happen i'm sure over the last couple weeks mitch mcconnell working in concert with the john boehner and others, all his leadership team have been think about what order are going to take things. are we going to be able to do some things that are low hanging wedding items you can do that will be easier bipartisan? there something she left the dude that would be hard to some of them probably will be vetoed. one of the big questions hanging
over this inauguration day or the swearing-in day is what will president obama to? will he reach out and work with republicans as has been indicated on trade? will there be other areas where they can get things done? but mitch mcconnell he knows the rules. he knows how to tie this senate up, and i'm hoping that he's going to know how to get it moving that it will be a challenge. >> host: what is your advice and to get things moving and what power does he have on the senate floor as the majority leader? >> guest: the most powerful position yes is the power of recognition. he gets recognized first by the chair, the presiding officer. that is a powerful position in and of itself. there is respect for the position, but mitch as i said he knows the rules. pinots for a while to tie things up and what you can and cannot do. wonder thinks he will have to do right away is what is the going to about the rules, the nuclear option? if i was going to give any
advice i would say reversed it. it was a mistake when they did it. republicans complained loudly and if they turn around and say oh well we didn't mean to come we will leave it there. i don't know. i think that's not a good move. but rules innocent are important but more important than that is how you work with your conference, you know? mitch is a good listener. he will sit there until the cows come home as we say down in mississippi and just listen and listen and listen before he will take a position or state what he thinks needs to happen. he will have to do that in his own conference. he needs to reach out across the aisle are most votes will take 60. he has 54. there are a half-dozen or seven democrats that you could might entice him this bill or the other. he will be pressed every day but i hope he feels like i did. everyday when i came to office i came up two flights of stairs and i was excited to be there.
i was -- i lived in a country and he has and i was right up there at the top of leadership in america. >> and again the senate down in the nude eastern. live coverage on c-span2. one lawmaker will not be in the senate chamber today is senator harry reid. he is at home today escaping the weather and recovering from injuries he suffered in the fall of the disco. this picture tweet from the senator this morning and as you can see he is working from home on doctors orders, just wrapped up a good meeting with my leadership team. the senate come in at noon eastern, live coverage on c-span2. as we get closer to the start of the senate session is a portion of our documentary on the u.s. capital with a focus on the senate looking at the old senate chamber and we also learned about some o history and symbols of the senate. >> the rotunda bridges the house and senate side of the capital. it is from here that you enter
into the oldest part of the capital and then to the senate wing of the building. and as you make your way from the oldest part of the capital into the extension built in the 1850s, you see a stark contrast in the decorative nature of the old and new as the senate of the 1850s desire to showcase their part of the capital to visitors from around the world. it is into this artistic and architectural design where you find the current senate chamber surrounded by or neatly decorated halls and rooms and open in the winter of 1859. >> i am always enthralled by the sense of the chamber itself the thewalls themselves. if they could speak what could they tell us? what would they tell us? i think of the great men and women who have served there.
>> there is something specl about seeing it when it is empty. it's an empty theater and a sense. there's a certain feeling you stop, look around, look at the busts of the vice president, look at the desks, you imagine the people who stood there robert taft, lyndon johnson hubert humphrey, every goldwater, the people who have really had a huge impact on this institution and on american political history. this was the chamber to which they thought the battles. there is a certain tribute paid to these people and their absence and the chamber. >> the senate is almost a living creature. as a whole briefing. it has a temple to. it hasn't that mr.. you can watch it come you can feel it. and it's almost like a person and if you treat it like you would treat another person, i think it response well. even when you're trying to make into something it didn't want to do. >> the real role of the sin is
to be a form of the state. beach is represented. each senator is equal to a degree. each senator can speak as long as he or she wishes to speak. there is freedom of speech. freedom of speech runs deep in english history. roman history even, and colonial history and american history. since the constitution came along. freedom of speech. ♪ >> the senate chamber opens on january 4, 1859. on that day members of the senate, as a body left the old chamber which is now the old senate chamber. they walked down the corridor and into their near taking their new chamber. there was excitement, enthusiasm
about this new space. when you go into the senate chamber today it's a little bit hard to really evoke the way that chamber would've looked in the 19th century. it has changed so dramatically. in the 19th century when the chamber first opened in 1859, a room was very, very victorian highly ornate floral patterned carpet, filigree and gilding on the walls and a wonderful stained glass ceiling. the senate chamber was expanded during the 180s, and it opened because as new states joined the union more space was needed. so when the 1850s congress appropriated $100,000 to build the two new wings for the house and for the senate, and then later also the capitol dome. when you look out from the gallerinto the senate chamber there's a variety of things that are going on. and really come the layout that you see oday is very similar to the layout in the old senate chamber.
while decorations changed, that same formality that same layout has continued. so what you have in the center of the room is thedais at the dais is the presiding officers desk. in the 1h century wold've been the vice president who would equently at that desk. nowadays the presiding oicer is more frequently a member the majority party nd they said at he presiding officer's desk for a pretty time basically overseeing what is going on in the chamber. you also have in the gallery the press gallery above the presiding officer's desk. up there on the third floor. so again the press can look down and see what's happening. around you as you look into the chamber or other galleries, visitors galleries able galleries and even members of galleries so specific as for people to go to the what's going on on the floor. and, of course, this room is divided in between republicans and democrats but if you're at the presiding officer's desk looking out towards the senate
on the left hand side would be the republicans, and on the right would be the democrats. the majority leader and the minority leader are front and center right at the front of the room and the center aisle. >> when i walked into the current senate chamber and i see 100 beautifully polished desks i have a lot of different thoughts. one is that those desks occupied by the latest in a long, unbroken chain of senators going back to 1789. there have been over 1880 members of the senate, and they really do have reflected all different kinds of opinions and walks of american life. >> the senate chamber desks that you see in the senate chamber that the members use today are probably the most unique and most important pieces in our collection, as far as the decorati art furniture. the reason being is that 48 of
those desks were purchased in 1819 at a cost of $34 by new york cabinetmaker thomas constantine. there have been desks prior to that time, but the british marched on washington part of the war of 1812 and in 1814 august 1814 set fire to the capital. all of the furniture was destroyed. these desks date till after that there. the senate need new desk and they acquired these new desks. mahogany come in late veneer. they are or even grills on the sides of the feet of the desks. these were used for air conditioning. the earliest air-conditioning system was here in the capital with cold eyes that was brought in underground to cool the chamber. these were sort of way to ventilate it within the rim. they put these on the bottom of the feet of the gym would allow thair to come through slits in the floor. so today as curators we try to
preserve at history. were also recognize that as i said every senator who sits in that desk of every event that happens in this chamber adds another layer to the history of that desk. members about 1900 started signing the desks. so we have signature, not every memorable we have the signature or often they just carpet with a pen knife. inside the desk drawer. >> i used my father's desk. carved your name in sort of a schoolboy tradition that's gone on for years here. senator cold was the first senator to carve his name in my desperate i father used his desk lyndon johnson and so i carved my name in the desk that i've kept that desk for a quarter of a century so there are two names, i suppose the desk knowing the history of his desk of the history of the daniel webster desk that is, he
was such a tight wad when it came to public spending, he wouldn't have the little topic on the desk. they give them a little extra office space so his desk is the one that doesn't have a lift up top on the desk. for those of us who've been here, the history of those desks and what occurred after thems significant. >> people and walk around the senate chamber and they will see a lot of busts marble busts into the record as a number of these as president of the united states, lyndon johnson, richard nixon, gerald ford, george bush senior. but they are not president of the trendy pick their there because he our presence of the city. they were vice presidents of the united states and the constitution provides that the vice presidency, the presiding officer of the senate can also break ties of the center for much of the history that's all vice presidents did. from the very first vice president john adams up to oakland berkeley that was their
prominent and primary role -- alvin park lead led to begin in the 1890s the senate commissioned buses to be made in each of the vice prsidents. the first 17 bring the inside of the gym and then they are all through the rest of the ilding. some of the vice president the united states left office under a cloud in 19 century henry wilson and schuyler colfax were both implicated in the scandal there in the 20th century spiro agnew had resigned from office when he was accused of accepting bribes when he was governor. other number of these people whose careers are less than stellar but they're all in the collection because they represent the artwork represents the office of vice president. and all of them successful or unsuccessful or here. they are also object lessons prepped for american politics. some of them are quite
spectacular pieces. the statute of theodore roosevelt is really dynamic, as you would expect. >> above the doors in the senate chamber our latin phrases as well as symbolic imagery. basically marble, it's -- they were done in our 1950s as well as a latin motif. basically it was all part of the renovation of the gym in the late 1940s, early 1950s. the imagery that you see is patriotism courage, and wisdom. we don't know exactly why the artist selected those three images but he was given a lot of latitude decide way that would be appropriate to go into the senate chamber but these are quite lovely pieces. a latin phrases and the first one is god has favored our undertakings, that's over the east entrance doorway.
the west entrance doorway which is a new order of the ages then you have in god we trust. and, finally, over the presiding officer's desk is e. pluribus unum, one out of many. >> misuse alcohol in the senate has become a fundamental problem and i don't know anybody could support concept of secret holds. >> by which you play an active role in opening up both chambers to television? >> you know i do want to get too sanctimonious about this but if you believe in openness, government. i generally don't like secrets of any kind. i just think life is a lot easier if you kind of live in open book. i thought it was part of the modern era. we were, you know covered by the media that was only -- it
was the electronic age. audio, radio, and, of course the powerful mediu television. i thought the people who couldn't come to washington from small town u.s.a. should have a chance tsee and observe what we do. >> in some respects i think it is adversely affected as. i think we do have more performing for the eye of the camera but i also think that people on occasion have seen us at our best when the date doesn't soar to a degree. they see that we work at it and we have legitimate disagreements sometimes without being disagreeable. but it was really kind of simple for me. >> it's good for the public good the debates going on and so as a first hand, be a firsthand witness to history, to understand exactly what's occurring to not just by reading the record but actually hearing the voices come watching the
faces of those who are the authors and architects of politics. the downside of it is it's almost theater. it's not real. we don't have as many real debates any longer because of the fact people are aware that their performance on a very public stage. not that they were before either but there was a limited audience. i think that truncates the debate. i think it is a way of sort of stylizing the debate in the way that deprives people of the real negotiations and conversations that are historically a part of any legislative production. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. alexander, mr. allen spent the rules really perplexed and when it first came over from the house but as i said i like order, i like rules. here it is in the book and this is what you do. i got to the senate and having been a member of the rules committee in the house and out in the senate, chairman innocent for the rules committee, i kept looking and watching the institution and saying this doesn't make any sense to this
is not roberts rules of order. but it's about the house rules of order. what are these rules? on it which are the? on it went to the parliament and instead explain to me, how does this place work? he said the are really only two rules that matter, exhaustion and unanimous consent. and to get the senators exhausted enough they will agree unanimously to anything. >> that is the forum where the people speak and where senators can speak as long as their feet will hold of them. and if their feet won't hold them they can sit down and get unanimous consent to speak at their desk. that is the protection of the people's liberties. as long as there is a place where one can speak as loudly as he wishes, as long as his lungs will last we can be sure that people's liberties will endure. >> it was dirksen republican leader of the senate in the
1960s who said think about the members of the senate, what a diverse lot that car. oh, great god, what a chore is to try to harmonize their discordant voices to bring the ball together. >> the senate's great taste of success in my view cannot be because the rules were better or worse but the point of the people surveyed the time and understanding the role of the united states said not as a partner with executive branch or partner with the house, but as a unique place that has a coequal obligation to make sure that people's voices are heard. >> and by the way you can see that video in its entirety on our website. goaded c-span.org and search the capital. we will be taking you live to the senate session as they begin the 114th congress noon eastern.
live picture of the capitol this afternoon. we love live coverage here on c-span2 when the senate gavels in. before the gavel comes down a look at e day-to-day operations of congress. we sat down with david hawkings to look at congressional operations and the role of the different jobs in each chamber. >> host: joining us is david hawkings of roll call senior editor. good morning. tell us all a bit about the position we see all the time. what purpose do they serve in the day-to-day running of things? >> guest: on both the house and the senate side there are a team of sort of bureaucratic function as were designed to keep operations running smoothly and according to parliamentary procedure. and make sure that records are kept properly and completely and accurately and quickly. there are teams of people that you see on the rosters of both
the house and the senate who make that happen in ways that, if they're doing their jobs properly, the public never notices. the members never knows and that's the way it's supposed to work. >> host: they both said at the dais to we all know what the speaker stands when house of representatives is in the talk about these people behind you but let's start with the top. who are we seeing on this side? >> guest: the person you see right under the mace that's important know the maze is carried into the house whenever the house is in session, and so somewhat predictably the person who sits right -- i'm wrong. the purpose it's right under the mace is a parliamentarian and a parliamentarian wants to stay close to the speaker. he or she has a sheet of scripted papers that he can have the presiding officer or the speaker pro tem to read the script here people often ask me how to the presiding officers know all that sort of formal language? that's because it's all written
down on the sheets of paper an apartment and is there to either hand them the right sheet of paper or things get going as things become rough going in a parliamentary way the parliamentarian is there to give advice to the speaker and to say you should go this way or that way, or the president of the house will say this is the right ruling. >> host: what are these positions? >> guest: that would be the formal spot for the clerk of the house. a woman named karen hoss. i should sort of know for people watching today i sent a couple of them to go if they're doing their jobs are people never notice who they are. this is the one day of the year where karen hoss or her predecessors of the clerk of the house become tv stars or a few hours but because the way the house works is when the house convenes at noon today in a parliamentary sense mode really exist but none of the members will have been sworn in yet. so for a while karen hoss the clerk is the presiding officer and juicier in the speaker's
chair until the election of the speaker has taken place and then the new speaker, presumably john boehner will take place and karen haas will go to relatively anonymity. >> host: a position we are often a sergeant at arms. for so what exactly is the job traffic the sergeant of arms is a cheesy good officer for the house and is supposed to maintain good order and discipline, supposed to be sure that the chamber is secure, and members are secure. and that the house chamber is in good working order. and is in charge of that the sergeant of arms, not to think about it it's surprising right where your pin is down by the door brings the mace in and goes and sits down there. but it was a hub of on the floor, disruption there is occasionally historically been some periods of violence or lose
members getting so he did in the discussion that the sergeant at arms has to intervene. it is the sergeant at arms who does the. right in front, those two people in the lowest tier of the dais of the bill clerks. when you talk about a member introducing a bill or putting a bill in the hopper, that's where the hopper is. and then going around the front go up to the two chairs right above the. those are empty in this picture in part because what i'm guessing is this is not a moment where the vote is about to happen. one of those people is the so-called county clerk who is in charge of the voting procedures -- tally clerk. sometimes if you're watching a recorded vote and those at the end you might be hearing so and try to switch their vote. the way it works actually is its electronic voting almost all the time. members great credit card. they put the cards in the machine she does untv. they vote yes or no. when it gets towards the end of the ability change the vote they have to hand a red card to vote no or a green card to vote yes to one of the people sitting in
those empty chairs. >> host: the other clerks as the? >> guest: the woman in the red shirt, she is cultivating clerk. there's a republican reading clerk at a democratic record, the chair that can get the moment. they are the presiding officer says announce the imminent, announce what bill is next. they the ones in charge of keeping the people workflow going. down in front come way down the front sitting on either sides of that lovely dining room table with a red and green cards are the people are transcribing the debate. they are old school transcribers. a couple of them, i think they're all gone now. for years when i covered congress there was still men and women doing it with shorthand, with pencil. house of representatives so they use these machines. >> gue: type in a weird way that only they can decipher. >> host: the senate has a bit of a different consideration of some of the superposition but let's start with starting with the presiding officer. >> guest: the presiding officer is ed markey.
that's a typical presiding officer. a member of the majority party who has minimal seniority because unlike in the house with the speaker of the house has enormous power and how he or she rules from the chair has enormous amount to do with how the day goes. innocent the rules are so fundamentally different that the presiding officer has minimal power and so it's sort of a thankless task but is assigned to members of the majority party who are brand-new. for the next two years we will see all the freshmen, the new freshmen senators i think to 11 freshman republican senators and they will be assigned to take turns sitting up there. they can't really do anything else other than signed letters or sign autographs. at work the phones, can work the blackberries but they do in the process and several of them say they become procedural experts by sitting up in the chair as it is an invaluable thing. in that shot you see a man right to ed markey seafront, right there looking as though he's
tried to get mr. markey's attention. he is the senator equivalent of the parliamentary the he has some script sheets buddy what she was demanding the presiding officer scripted announcements of it comes the vote or here's what we're voting on. he advises the presiding officer on what to do next what's the next thing that is a parliamentary border us back into his right? >> guest: i believe that is the journal clerk who helps keep the proceedings and runs the system by which the transcription of the senate proceedings are taken. again this is a picture. this is a picture when no vote is about to happen. soak in the empty chair would be the tally clerk the person who calls out the role. you always hear the tones where what are they going to quorum call the person whose first any of it, i do who will be in the
new congress, i would have to stop and think about that gets his or her name called out and then they slowly slowly slowly call the roll but when an voters happened to the ones that are in charge of the hubbub of both calling the roll and simultaneous calling the roll members can go and get that person's attention at vote even when their name is indigo. that's a high stress job if you're in the parliamentary and business. he is the assistant to that job and then down in front you will see these two tables. one is run by the republicans, one run by the democrats but it's what the republicans and democrats go to ask their own partisan people what are we voting on at home i supposed to vote? and with who appoints them a? >> guest: some bubble up within the bureaucratic system of the clerk's office and they need to be willing to spend long hours sitting on television and behaving themselves. it's considered a prestigious jobjobs of some of the lesser jobs are people who are careerists in
the bureaucratic sellers of congress, and some of them like karen haas and the second are the majority and minority of those desks at the other side of the rostrum our political jobs who got to know the leaders and got in the trust of the leaders that might work as their chiefs of staff. it's again for them sort of a -- >> host: walking us through the position in the house and senate floors is david hawkings of roll call. he'she is a senior editor. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you, peter. >> we are just moments away from the start of the 114th congress but the senate and the house old coming in at noon eastern today. leadership elections become official debate in the center for minority or it's become becomes majority leader. switching positions with harry reid. leader reid will not be in attendance today under doctor's orders. is remaining at home recovering from a fall last week. picture now where he is meeting with members of his leadership team this morning.
remarks now from incoming majority leader mitch mcconnell where he spoke about the state of the senate last year. >> bills should come to the floor and the thoroughly debated. we've got a sample of that going on right now. and that includes a robust amendment process. in my view there is far too much paranoid about the other side around here. what are we afraid of? both sides have taken liberties and deepest privileges, i will admit that, but the answer isn't to provoke even more. the answer is to let folks debate. this is the senate. let folks debate. let the senate work its will. that means bringing bills to the floor. it means having a free and open
amendment process. that's legislating. that's what we used to do here. that's exactly the way this place operate just a few years ago. the senior senator from illinois the democratic assistant majority leader likes to say, or at least used to say that if you don't want to fight fires, don't become a fireman. and if you don't want to cast votes, don't come to the senate. i guess he hasn't said that lately. when we used to be in the majority our member telling people, look, the good news where in the majority. the bad news is to know to get a bill across the floor you've got to cast a lot of votes you don't want to take the and you know we did it in people groaned about it, complaint about it. the sun still came up the next day, everybody felt like you were a part of the process.
well, senator durbin was right about that when he said it and i think it's time to let senators on both sides to more fully participate in the legislative process. and that means having a more open amendment process around here but as i said obviously requires you to from time to time cast which would rather not cast. but we're all grown-ups. i become we can take the. there is rarely ever a vote you cast around you that is fatal. and the irony of it all is, that kind of process makes the place a lot less contentious. in fact is a lot less contentious when you vote on tough issues then when you don't. because when you're not allowed to do that, everybody is angry about being denied the
opportunity to do what you were sent here to do. >> that was minority leader senate minority leader h. mcconnell last year. he will be the incoming majority leader when the senate gavels in in just a couple of moments. live coverage here on c-span2 but we should also remind you that the senate will hold a ceremony swearing in of members beginning at one eastern today the you will be able see that our companion network c-span3. you also got to watch the house ceremonial swearing-in event starting at 3 p.m. eastern. that will also be an c-span3. and a key think it is the election of leaders in the house and senate. we expect that the majority senator mitch mcconnell would accompany majority leader switching places with senator harry reid who is expected to be the next minority leader. in the house, john boehner would be challenged for his leadership and on the hill today, intel newspaper their writing the path to a third term as house speaker for john boehner is not going to be easy.
a block of at least 15 conservative lawmakers will vote today to deny him his third term as speaker of the house. more than it doesn't who organized the botched coup attempt two years ago. just before the vote, a number of defectors was building. tea party congressman announce a facebook you would not be voting for john boehner along with several others. in recent history no sitting speaker is seen to be defections from his or her own party in the first vote of the new congress. live pictures now from the senate floor as the senate is about to doubt open. the 114th congress. -- is about to gavel in the 114th congress.