tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 12, 2015 10:30am-12:31pm EST
>> over here. this side. >> hi, congressman van p holden, rob schroeder from market watch. just wanted to ask about the financial fee. what transactions in particular would this apply to? would it just be stocks? would it be retail investors? and you talk about the timing? why now? you mentioned the market's up. >> sure. well, this is, this would apply in secondary markets, it would apply to, yes, stock trades. as i indicated, we already have a very small fee on stock trades to help fund securities and exchange commission. and the u.k. already has a 50-basis-point fee on stock trades. what this proposes is a fee one-fifth that size, right? one-fifth of what the u.k. has on stocks, but on a broader range of market trading. so in equities in derivatives. which really matches the kind of
approach that the european union is looking at. so if you take a look at what the e.u. is currently looking at, we intend to work with them and in concert with them and other major markets to address that issue and address, you know, the argument that if you do it unilaterally the trades will move to another financial center. i mean, interestingly, you know the financial sector is pretty good. i don't blame them, they go over to the european markets, they say don't do this because otherwise all the trades will flow to the united states, and then they come to the united states and say don't do this because all the trades will flow over to london and european markets. so that's why we need to do this together. but in addition to the revenue as i indicated, there are important policy reasons to be imposing this small fee dampening excessive speculation and, as i said dealing with this issue of computerized high-speed trading which essentially, skims value out of the economy for the high-speed
traders but doesn't do anything for everybody else except for, in fact reduce their shares. .. i will be introducing the ceo employee paycheck fairness act in the next ten days and then we will continue to put into legislative form some of these other provisions over a period of time, but we want to kickoff the debate. there is a lot of detail here
but obviously, we need to flush out more. i am not surprised by the response from republicans on the hill who put forward a budget that cuts cut the top tax rate for millionaires by a full one third which has an effect of squeezing middle-class thales. republicans always say they are for smaller government and less spending. when it comes to the tax code they are simply for spending money for the tax code on powerful elites and the already wealthy. as we saw more is spent through the tax code event on social security or on medicare or medicaid combined. republicans have done a pretty good job of steering that $1.3 trillion of tax expenditure benefits to folks at the very top which is why you see rising
wealth inequality that's absolutely staggering. 42% of households 1% of households owned 42% of the wealth. apparently that's the republican plan the status quo. they want to make it even worse when it comes to middle-class families as we saw. >> thank you for the great ideas. >> thank you for the discussion. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
you have been somewhat weary of actually opposed to a full-blown individual tax overhaul. does this mean that you would be open to that at this point? more than the corporate tax overhaul? >> we would clearly support a tax reform plan i should say speaking personally along the lines that i just outlined. sure, i would support that. but the starting point for republicans at least in the budget is a major drop. i haven't heard anything suggested were changing. >> have you been in touch with
the white house office? >> i have informed them. >> in the past do you think we should get rid of tax breaks for millionaires as a way to help bring down the deficit? does the shift mean maybe there is an emphasis because they are taking care of it? >> as i indicated first it is on the budget. this is built on top of that. if you look at the tax expenditure side, as i indicated you look at the assessment the top ten of the $1.5 trillion, look at all of them and you are probably looking at about
the projections is this kind of economic strategy that will produce more of the economic growth. its pinnacle when you were referring to the republican tax plan early on in the speech, was that tax plan? >> that was the budget outline. i've never heard that referred to. at the republican tax plan is outlined in the budget and the numbers i used were in the tax policy analysis that we think shares the same general plan.
the burden pushed out of the middle class could be even greater [inaudible] >> what is perhaps get on the republican side but not the paid for part of the financial transaction how would you feel about that? >> it's important in the support providing and exacting policy towards helping middle-class families. that would be a turnaround in the current plan. republicans have their theory. i'm not questioning their theory
>> we show should spread the wealth, is that your argument? >> first this is taking a look at the tax code, the $1.4 trillion a year in the tax expenditures. and a 17% of those. so if you look at the charts i talked about since the 1970s we have seen/middle-class wages and incomes have been relatively flat. >> we just have one good quarter. do you think it is a good economy or not? >> there's a good story. we saw more jobs created and the unemployment rate go down so there is a very good story to tell but there's also a little bit of a dark cloud when it comes to stagnant wages for most workers and i want to emphasize
that this is not a new phenomena as i indicated it was back to the late 70s which is why you need to step up to the plate and deal with it. a >> if you cut taxes for a certain segment to reduce the market distortion is very conversation going on? >> if you don't have this wage stagnation as of today you've
got the tax rates for the first of the top. is it possible that some more interested in the tax reform and are much more interested in efficiency and market >> we will find out. there are two different conversations. one is trying to do the same thing. a >> we have to get moving. >> wrapping up your you can
watch the remarks of the ranking member chris van hollen again later today on the website. go to c-span.org. a quick reminder that the heritage foundation starts a conservative policy summit today that includes a texas senator and members of congress. a book is being released and come junction and providing solutions in the challenges facing working-class americans wary of life coverage at noon eastern on our companion network c-span. also congress returns today for what is going to be a short work week. the house will debate homeland homeland security spending and republicans proposal to block the plan the senate gathers in at 2 p.m. eastern and they will debate the keystone xl pipeline. the house and senate on thursday and friday for party retreats. housing the senate republicans will be holding a joint retreat for the first time in a decade and democrats were meeting in baltimore. life coverage will be on c-span starting at noon eastern today and the senate right here on
c-span2. live at 5 p.m. the house rules committee will mark up the homeland security spending bill that challenges the executive order on immigration and would delay part of the 2010 financial regulation law. that will there will be on c-span three at 5 p.m.. the ultimate is dynamic spectrum access. i know that you have heard a lot about that and it includes new technology issues starting to become available where we could use satellites to actually
create a model of the world so that they will know whether they are going to interfere with somebody else. you put all these things together and hesitate to tell you how efficient they are going to be that we are talking not about tens or hundreds or thousands but millions, and that isn't as crazy as it sounds because from that time until now, we are a trillion times more efficient than we were. so the thought of being a million times more efficient in the next 20 or 30 years isn't as crazy as it sounds. >> on the communicators on c-span2. on the hill this morning cuba has released all of the 53 political prisoners have promised to free as part of the
deal to begin normalizing diplomatic relations with the u.s.. the regime completed the release over the weekend and administrative official told the press into and the white house is expected to provide the list to lawmakers on capitol hill who pressed the administration to name them under the deal. the administration has withheld the names out of security concerns through criticism over the secrecy is rounding that deal which took place last month. now a panel of former white house legislative liaison from the administrations of george h. w. bush to president obama discuss how they interacted with congress in the past legislation and they also talk about how the incoming republican controlled house and senate can avoid gridlock and how changes in technology have impacted the governing. american university hosted this for them. a >> pat has been the center for
16 years. he has the unique background of being an assistant director for the director of legislative affairs and assistant to the president and he organized this and came up with the idea several months ago and i said yes go with it. he's been with the well-being institute for many years and is the assistant rector of the policy and programs of the center and that is part of his role but he's also had experience on the hill. he was one of the only elected to staff persons in the senate but also the assistant to the leader and also special policy adviser to tom daschle and he said the private sector experience also. the point is he knows the white house and the hill and he will
lend his wisdom to this and lead the discussion and introduce them at this point. a >> it is an honor to be here as part of the center for the presidential studies. i appreciate the mission and its desire to implement in terms of reaching out in the community. it's also an honor to join this distinguished panel of colleagues. the purpose of the panelist to discuss the strategic options available both to the president and congressional leaders as they begin to drip 14th congress in the last two years of the administration. it's a relatively unique panel and that among other things we have all held up a job as the job as director of legislative affairs for the president of the united states. it's the nature of the job for those of us that have held it to share a common set of experiences both in terms of
what it requires working in the white house and also working with capitol hill. at the same time there are many aspects that are as unique as one could imagine due to the variety of circumstances associated with having different bosses and facing the different world realities and sometimes just the actual times that you served that you have walked in in the tenure of your boss. for example phil and and nikolai was introduced here at myself served in the first two years of the president's tenure. they worked in the last two years of the second term of the respected tenure. the energy of the newly elected president is obviously distinctly different from the one that is in lame duck. however, the demands are often
blind to that reality requiring the president and congressional leaders to have a strategic plan for engagement and government nonetheless. we'll be asking the panelists questions regarding the strategic advice they might offer to the president and congressional leaders in the current political realities into the domestic and international policy concerns. as we all know, some of us on the panel have also advised congressional leaders in addition to serving as directors in the white house. party notwithstanding sometimes the advice you get is a function of the way you said. before i open the discussion, let me introduce my colleagues. so is the first person. >> he's currently operating as a
consultant in the nonprofit world giving strategic advice and helping develop tactical action plans. before serving as the director of legislative affairs and senior advisor to president obama in the first two years of the term working on any number of issues the fiscal crisis health care and most particular that was a proper compass and he's been the chief of staff to henry waxman, the committee staff director covering over 25 years in the house and has also we shared the opportunity to work as an advisor. my next colleague got the second short straw. currently the president and ceo of the trade association known as allies for america the largest trade association of airlines in the country to a
whole new vision and direction under leadership. he also has been the executive vice president for global affairs and a citibank and served as the director for legislative affairs for both george h. w. bush as well as george w. bush. the latter in the first two years of the tenure and also had a firm when he was kind of laying down on the job. a gentle man on the end is currently the president of the group, probably one of the most prominent lobbying firms in washington. he's the head of the legislative affairs in the last two years and the gw bush administration. he spent many years on capitol hill working both in the senate and where i had a chance to meet
him mostly under good circumstances the chief of staff to newt gingrich. chuck to my immediate right is the current president of the capitol hill strategy and worked for members of the house. he had a long tenure on the ways and means committee which by the good fortune in the reality he was in the middle of a lot of issues that were on the front burner of congress. he was the director of the last two years of the clinton administration. so you see what we have is a panel of folks not only with a similar set of experiences but also different kinds in each administration that this hopeful in shaping the perspective of the strategic advice change much
versus the first two years and what is not different at all that. the format for today is pretty simple. what i would like to do is ask each panelist one question to get started. i would ask each of them to respond to that question and then turned over to the group to ask any questions they would like some of me begin. there has been much speculation about what the president and the congressional leaders republicans and democrats strategy would be over the next two years. each institutional player tries to figure out what strategy is in their own best interest. my experience is each of these entities is first and foremost about survival than whatever could come next.
as they figured out the survival notwithstanding the counterparts the concerns of the counterparts in their own party held do they begin to determine what that self-interest is? they've been engendering threats of reprisals from opposition. does this suggest years of confrontation and on the other hand republicans are were seriously thinking they need to demonstrate they can govern and find ways to work with the president. does harry reid give a damn if republicans with productive? so i would ask you to address not just what the strategy might come about advice he might give on the strategy, but let's peel it back. what does the president or the speaker or the leader in the senate have to consider what elements do they take into account deciding what the strategy is?
we sometimes get it dished up to us and we are going to be confrontational but what was the consideration that preceded.com what are the trade-offs into the race that team talking to the president or the speaker or the leader about in deciding this is the strategy we must pursue. >> this is good because he has notes. [laughter] >> which have nothing to do with the question. you posed the question how do they define their self-interest which is a very good question and i really think, and i am not deterring the answer i don't think that any of them today can define their self-interest from
next year. and what i mean when they come back in january they will look at it in a slightly different light than they do here in december. you can't underestimate what next year will look like getting past a test session in whatever fights occur. it will look different in december. a stomach that would suggest that conditions. >> they would be looking at the last two years of president obama's term. they will be looking at the next elections which will be impending and they will be looking at assessing all of their own self-interest individually and people will be posing questions about president
obama's legacy and having been there at the end of the clinton administration and what we were looking at. at this point it's the end of this point in the clinton administration. we administration. we are being impeached by the house of representatives. to compare that to an executive action on immigration and is saying that the current status of what he's done on immigration to say this is to destroy our ability to ever work together on anything. it's worthy of being removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors.
we found a way over the next two years and they found a way to work with us. i think it is also an overstatement to say the president will be focused in on his legacy. what they will be focused on is trying to do the things they started out to accomplish. in other words, they will know that they've got 700 days then 699 to do what they think is right to accomplish them in any way that they can. one of them is working with congress come is it taking executive action? and then move in that direction. >> so in that regard the strategy is going to be driven
by them and being effective and moving the policy that has been somewhat underlining importance of the budget. >> absolutely. >> that is defined by who is willing and able to work with them. >> in terms of the ones that go into defining the strategy and reaching a conclusion on the strategy, one would hope that we would start with what you actually want to do and accomplish and you have to have that kind of vision and that kind of center and build up from there and start the other elements that factor into that. if you're going to get it done what is the best way of getting it done. i could see whether your members
of your own party will go along with you or you look at the speaker or mitch mcconnell wanted to. if not all not all of the parties are there to get some things done. if you are the president you have to look at the opposition in congress and your own party where there is plenty of opposition as we know right now with some of the things he wants to do but also on a personality driven basis there are concerns and after effects. i thought there was a confluence of interest in terms of the president. i think he doesn't want to look at the legacy of getting things done. the republicans definitely have to get things done to reestablish to show they can govern because people always talk about the election mattering and what they told you this time is people are fed up with congress not getting anything done and with congress and the white house working
together we are all older here and we come from slightly different times than some of the current people. with the what the congress has changed considerably and there was a time on all different issues when republicans and democrats in the white house came together to take the constitutional tension between the executive branch and legislative which is ever present regardless of the party and that's something you have to get over but it requires a certain amount of outreach and you can't get everything you want and working towards what would be the common goal. i'm getting a little off track but you have to factor in all of those elements and then make a decision whether you want to look at in the sense even if it's hard can you press the restart button and if i were giving advice to republicans there would be not ignore the elements of your party that like to bargain on the basis of what
they want. the device former chairman told that the first that's the first thing you don't do in a negotiation is if i give you this argue with me. that's pretty one-on-one. i think they have to start doing that. and there is a motion on the republican side right now that some of the more are ready to move forward. the last couple of days maybe not so much, so we will see. if i were giving advice to the president, it would be press the restart button. it takes more than a phone call to make friends with people. you have to start somewhere, started now. you might find there are people you can work with but it's going to take time and they have to get up close and personal to make that change where they are willing to make the leap and work on things and there has to be some trust and credibility and it's also the basic blocking
to be honest this is all politics you have to understand what you want and what other people want and try to come to some understanding of what it takes to get them where you can meet them so that both sides can be either mutually dissatisfied or mutually satisfied and then have something you can look at and say we got this done and it's a good thing. >> i want to reiterate a couple things that were said slightly differently. the first point is in three categories. first, discussions. what is the goal that is most important to you and second, the political self-interest and third is the self-interest in a very narrow way so there are
people on the republican side who may be looking at their interest more broadly. in my time in government, i would always be willing to trade good substance -- when you work in the obama administration you always keep your microphone off. [laughter] >> let me recap what you might have missed. of the three categories i have are substantive input, political interest broadly and political self-interest for any individual person in the process and there are a lot of individual people. in my time in government i would always be willing to trade good
or bad politics. as an example of that is in 1996 democrats were the minority. republicans running the house became conservative concerned they wouldn't have accomplishments to show for things and all of a sudden space opened up to get agreements on a couple of issues. two issues i was working on were pesticides and safe drinking water. pesticides have been blocked for 15 years. going to the question of how you make these decisions ahead of time all of a sudden you can feel that space opened up that we might be able to get through even though they had been blocked for 15 years because the political circumstances changed and within three weeks we not only reached an agreement in the
energy and commerce subcommittee ... the bill that got the bill passed on the house floor a week later and the senate passed it unanimously and the week after that we were in the white house when president clinton was signing the bill. that was bad politics politics on the democratic side because we were giving them an accomplishment. we did the same thing with drinking water. there were a couple of issues that sometimes you're not willing to make that trade if it's important to you if it's substantively important. political self-interest is hard to evaluate in the party perspective because in washington, and this group is a good example of this, you follow things so much closer. i have the advanced right now i have a split personality i spent some of my time in washington and is on the new mexico and i'm amazed at the things that
dominate here and don't even get on the radar screen so when people try to evaluate the broad political interest it easy to miscalculate because you think it will have a bigger impact down the road. political self-interest is easy. anybody that wants to run for president has to carve out space and an identity and fill a vacuum and so their interests may be completely different than what the party's leadership is. we saw that last year i thought and two years ago when the republican leadership was trying to reach agreements into some of the senators like senator cruz didn't see is that substantive interest to be there. that's playing out today in the house tomorrow or the next few days in the senate on the omnibus spending bill where everybody has to strike that calculation and it's more
difficult than when i first came to congress. it's much more difficult when it was in the administration because the media. telecommunications changed everything. it's much more difficult now than it was when i was in the white house in 2009 because everything is accelerated. i think the quicker still wasn't much of a factor. when we did not in 1996 it would be infinitely harder to do today because parts of it would become fodder for cable tv more for talk radio, some for intranet and it complicates the entire process and that also affects the calculation you're talking about. i think at the end of the day most people would rather be considered a tory and reach an agreement despite everything you hear about washington. but sometimes the space just
isn't fair to do it. and when you're sitting down with the president or someone else talking about this, that's the bottom line is the space to get an agreement and if it's not because of the dynamics of the party caucus -- >> is it fair to say that you are operating premise is that there are instincts on both sides that would be to make stuff happen rather than not and it's an assessment of the conditions and circumstances which would permit it? >> generally yes there are exceptions to people that a look at their self-interest over anything else and if they are doing that we need to realize it but we are dealing with and the second thing is sometimes people can correctly identify their self-interest. i'm not talking about political self-interest but sometimes people just make bad decisions. you also have to evaluate the
person you are dealing with and will they be able to see what the self-interest is. dick said something before that i think is right. it's a lot of blocking and tackling but the reason it is so hard is to do the strategy right, you need to know your opponents interest better than your opponent knows it and you need to be able to figure out better than your opponent how to get the self-interest in a way that doesn't harm your self-interest and they get a good agreement. the easiest thing in washington is to get a bad deal. anybody can reach a deal. the hardest thing is to get everything that's important to you and give him everything important to him and the law actually works. that's why people get upset about gridlock and it's because a lot of the factors that would get you here don't exist.
the >> thank you pat. [laughter] >> i turned mine on. thanks to jim and pat are putting this together and i want to thank pat for not only as a friend for the invitation to come here but was actually -- i first met pat when the republicans had won the majority in 1994. he was the assistant to the president for legislative affairs, president clinton and i was the speaker chief of staff and no one in the republican majority had ever been in the majority for 40 years and pat was a seasoned hand and we actually despite the political differences and very tumultuous first year with government shutdowns and things like that we developed a personal relationship and trust and we were able to have some very serious conversation when things
are off the were off the rails with respect to the respective bosses and parties that anyway, i appreciate the role that he played it then and now. my approach to this question is framed in terms of the 114th congress with the prospect for anything getting done and one of the respective side strategies and what goes into developing the strategies to make that happen. you get a lot of conversation particularly on the president's point of view that we talk about it from the congressional leaders plaintiff view and the point of departure i will start with the point made between pat and fill that yes there is usually an interest in getting things done part of whether it's the president or the congressional leadership i can tell you the president has an agenda he would love to get done the next two years and so does john boehner and mitch mcconnell
the challenge we had when we got elected in 95 is and 95 is that group of republicans had an idea and they were willing to work with the president to get it done as long as he was willing to come into the box to get it done so that's where the tension lies. cooperation we want to get together. the problem is a lot of times that means i'm willing to cooperate as long as you are willing to come into what i define as the corners of the cooperation and that's where the challenge lies. for the readers they did their jobs for the same reason somebody gets hired to coach a baseball team or football team. the members of the democratic caucus in the house are bringing
in john boehner or nancy pelosi wanted to coddle or harry reid to give them the best chance to succeed. it's to affect public policy consistent with their philosophy and values. usually the tickets -- gets interpreted in the majority of the house and the senate and even more so if you're the president of the same party you can have the greatest impact of the public policy. for the leaders it is one of the biggest component parts of the developing strategy to what kind of consensus that they can build within their own conference and as it has been out to get the
last few years that can be pretty challenging. john boehner to go back to the case study little over a year ago adopted a strategy is because of the right thing to do or it would be successful. he did that as a management basically to manage the caucus. he had a group of members who were relatively younger members who'd never been through this experience before and were convinced that they could win the showdown with the white house if we could confront the white house we could win. we went through the same thing in 95. he made the calculation that he could fight internally but at some point this minority in his caucus was going to insist they have the opportunity to win the war. so he made a calculation and the
analogy that was used back then if he had a group of members determined they wouldn't get burned if they touch the stove and he made a calculation i would rather have him touch the stove earlier rather than later. better october of 2013 and in june of 2014. and it was intentional on his part and it was a disaster politically. they were saved to some degree because of the problems of the rollout and so the country kind of moved on but if you talk to the leadership now i didn't talk to most of the members that were advocating for it they realized it was not successful and politically they dodged a bullet because of other issues that came about there after. so the consensus and the ability for the leaders to lead and develop a consensus can sometimes take a strange twist.
leaders rely on their own instincts and they look at polling data and talk to members and constituents and people in grocery stores. that is a significant factor. i also strongly belief a big part of it is they want to do the right thing so it's kind of a marriage of can we do the right thing are you leaving if no one follows can i bring people along that i'm supposed to be leading and if not they will elect somebody else. we can go into it deeper -- them a quick recap of the question is asked to cynical to think that a strategy, the framework of the strategy has already been defined by the president or the congressional leaders including harry reid that confrontation will give me more of what i want in 2016 then cooperation, collaboration the denies that it
can seem doesn't seem like senator mcconnell had a notion of that and it didn't seem to harm him much. is that just being cynical? >> republicans feel a bit of a political in. if two try to govern and that would suggest cooperation. the best example i guess the best case study is the one that fill mentioned in 1996. i was the speaker chief. what happened as there had been a government shutdown qaeda was the end of 95, right at the early first weeks of 96. the republican numbers were awful and there was a very conscious decision that we need
to get some stuff done. fortunately, the president was running for the election and he felt a similar need. if you look at the end of april when the government got funded to the august recess farm bill and cleaned drinking water there must have been eight pieces of legislation but there was the sense that both sides on the white house and the republicans in congress needed to get some conscience i think that for the republicans they had that same perspective. but i do think that it is.
they proved they are willing to go the confrontation route and that's become a political negative for them. they have to try to overcome that now. which is why i kind of agree with chuck i don't think the executive order is the showstopper that they would like to claim. part of that is managing the site whether it is in turn only were some of the outside groups. as to make the best strategy dealing with the immigration has actually passed. >> let me build on that and then turn over to the audience. triangulation got a lot of attention during the clinton presidency. basically the president would meet with the members of the opposition party with the democratic leaders on the hill if he deemed it to be in his self-interest and during that
year ago that we are talking about where a lot of the triangulation emerged. what advice would you give to the republican leaders regarding the triangulation as you approached or attempt to make legislative success do you think it is wise at the risk of upsetting the democratic colleagues in the senate working directly as president clinton with hypothetical legislation to take only 60 votes to get out of the senate and the president is an agreement to become the law. alternatively might you recommend mcconnell working with breed to work directly with each other where you would then end up needing 67 votes to overcome the presidential veto. the question is what you advise the president and/or the leaders to actively pursue a triangulation strategy to carry back to the hill was not easy.
your friends may not like you for doing that. >> i think it is a difficult question to answer in the current context because there is disaffection in his own party already and it's a different time and the interests are different. whether the president could do that and made to the republicans to the point he would be upsetting the numbers of his own party would only bear out over time were not entitled to and i don't see a particular issue where that might. certain elements of immigration reform i think it could. some other issues i'm not so sure. i think the try a new asia as we all come to know is a little bit of a creature of what was going on at that particular time and i would be interested to hear what my colleagues say that again
what do you want to get done and who is against getting it done and while the democrats be against certain portions of the energy bill that's likely to get done? i don't see the president working with some people of his own party and he might ignore those that want to get an energy bill so i think it is tough to get your arms around. >> the democratic caucus -- >> i was going to presume to speak for the entire panel -- [laughter] it all depends on how important the issue is who you are going to be against and when in the term is it. trade is a good example. we are likely to see that relatively soon and this
president. trade is an issue that is exceedingly divisive in the democratic party. it's almost to the point it's not really divisive at all. it's almost a unanimous opinion against trade but an extreme minority position within the party but the president may push ahead for the fast-track authority. >> they have been linked to in terms of what the legislative agenda would be on the major issues. >> but the trade negotiations in the real world happened .in to the point where it's been necessary to come to the congress for legislative action on trade agreements, so it may
be at the point where it may be right to do that. >> dan? >> the answer to this question in my mind maybe there is a distinction by triangulation if you are suggesting the president drawing his party overboard to work with republicans that really works that quite dramatically what i would suggest that it to some degree it's not that complicated of a question if you've got the divided government you want to get something done you have to work with people on the other party. and i draw the contrast to that i can remember i was the immediate predecessor in the affairs of the party changed president bush left and the president obama came in so i can remember being interviewed in that timeframe between the election and the moderation asking how his job would be
different than mine and to me it was fairly straightforward. we didn't get anything done. we didn't get it passed by democratic congress. he was good to have a majority party and so my comment at the time is was going to be quite a difference because he's going to be able to go in and just rely on democrats and yes he will be criticized but he will go back to the point number one that we talked about. these folks get elected to move the country forward with the philosophy and values there was an opportunity for republicans in the white house in 2016 to have the republican majority in the house and senate still to follow that model rather than some other model because that's what you take. that's why you are elected and run for these jobs so i just think the circumstances dictate the next two years. if they want to get something done if that is the objective
then you're going to move towards again, the trying duration depending on how exactly we define it. that's the only way to get it done they have to cut the deals in the congress. >> can you imagine senator reid asking and saying we don't want to let them look like they can govern at all or for them to put up any legislative plan why don't we just kind of play hardball >> that could be the right approach was position is -- president obama might want to get things done the last few years whether its legacy or just the belief that you got elected to do something and he's still trying to get something done. his priority becomes ensuring that the democrats succeed him in the white house, then that's different. ..
because we linked medicaid block grant proposal to it. there was a sense particularly coming from some of the former democrats who have switched who said if you pass that by itself, delink those to come he was signed welfare reform which will split his party but he needs to do that politically. that was not in bob dole's interest and they were not eager, but the congressional republicans and i bicameral basis decided that's what they needed to do to show that they could govern. and they got the policy they've been advocating for a long time. >> a lot of deliberations. phil do you want to say anything? >> i'll be quick. i'm not a fan of the term triangulation. >> dick morris actually -- >> i think he gives the impression of the process that people go through. i think from the president's standpoint right now the number he should care about isn't 60. the number for the president i'm operating from a substance
standpoint i will leave the political calculations for everybody else but the numbers that matter to the president are 34 and 146 and because if the president focuses on that any has the ability to a disproportionate influence in the process. those are the numbers he needs to sustain a veto. the president is a negotiation with senate the senate republican leadership and as luck would have doing substantively that he has the ability of assuming he continues have good relations with democratic senators democratic house members to the have a disproportionate influence in the process which is what it's a good thing to be president. we can talk about this more later, but it's a sub issue that's complicated and sometimes i'm doing this from president obama's perspective now. sometimes the interest of house republicans and senate republicans are not the same. so in the first two years we had a bill funding the war effort
and military issues. my recollection is all but three senate republicans voted for the bill. so we've got 90 plus votes in the senate. only five house republicans voted for the bill when it came to the house. so it's not a monolithic entity we are dealing with, which is why it operates on so many different levels. levels. >> that's what i use of the term institutional self-interest, and sorting that out. the senate passed an immigration with substantial amount of republicans. then the question, what is in harry reid self-interest in protecting his caucus, and might that be come out of the limit with the president? >> and again i want to i don't want to belabor this but don't underestimate the role substance
workplace in these decisions. because when we came in in 2008 the entire economy was collapsing. housing market was collapsing auto industry, financial sector unemployment was going through the roof. the first time we started talking to each other was in the context of t.a.r.p. the very first thing president obama had to do was go to congress and say we need a second tranche of t.a.r.p., which at that point was completely unpopular. and support among republicans would help get past the first time had plummeted. >> it did make sense, they won the election, let them carry. so going to the house and senate, democratic leadership from those were substantive conversations. this is what we need to do to rescue the economy. that's what drives the process but it's not what's our political calculation two years from now. and we knew full well we were making decisions than ever going to be terrible political price but we didn't have the option not to do it.
>> just one thing on this. what do you call a triangulation? i think what's going to be interesting over the next two years, particularly probably the next 12 months, is watching the president and the republican leadership at how to act because i think to get things done some of the things i want to get done that will show progress on the republican side process, you have to ignore members of the own party sometimes and find both on the other side of the aisle which at one point was fairly common. and bush 41 we had a really reach a because the numbers were about what you were now, actually worse. the only way to get anything done was to try to leverage the veto threat which we did, or defined a lot of democratic votes and find a middle common ground. i don't think that if you on either side if you leave it all to your own party you are going to end up in a really good place to get the votes to get things done.
[inaudible] >> i didn't say these guys weren't. [inaudible] >> i know the conventional wisdom is with gridlock terrible, it's never been like this. and i'm fascinated as much by the republican internal conflicts that speaker boehner has managed. and i'm going to ask this question. i can go back to my days as counsel for the house when tip o'neill was speaker and head of the southern democrats, the bull weevils comp the northeastern liberals. he was constantly doing what john boehner is, which is how do i get these guys and women to avoid of consensus which the limited tools i have. so my question is, and i guess my question, why is this, or is it any different than that was in terms of john boehner struggling with the tea party or
however you want to call it. >> either way. >> i think it's harder for john boehner. two points. i think the coalition that the speaker when you have to manage was broader, just for the points you just. it may have been harder. i think the point that phil brought up earlier about the influence of the media and all that makes it harder for john boehner. even if there is large with agreement, consensus, if he's got 20 members were screaming it's a sellout and they can get on cable tv, they can get the outside groups worked up people are raising money off of it because a lot of these folks on the outside can raise money by taxing the leadership more than they raise money by opposing the other party.
that adds a level of -- [inaudible] but it's a very real complication that they deal with on a daily basis. >> i was going to say that what's different it is different because there's a different type of member. and i also think phil did early on in the key point which damages reference which is the media. it is so different now and put you somewhat risk with all due respect in many cases, not all cases but in many cases there's not a lot of consider judgment about questions you might ask or how you might probe the issue. i think in terms of membership going back to the boll weevils and the southern democrats and the blue dogs and yellow dogs, i think you're different in that they came to congress with a different mindset. in 2010 to try to get a practical example, 2010 when the republicans took over some of us were tasked with going to talk to some of the incoming members. in one conversation i was having with three of these incoming
freshmen, talked about how you got things done and the need to have some, you could have a lot of confrontation but at the end of the day to accomplish things you sometimes have to compromise big country, i'm giving my speech. big country diverse interest of everybody has their own interest. all this and that. the one incoming member looks at me and says you are part of the problem. i said, okay. the case may be. be that as it may, let's say come in with this attitude and you don't do anything. but with the added to be towards republican congress that didn't getting thing done? he looked at me and said this job doesn't define us. so there were certain members you cannot break through to. they just don't care. i mean, i wouldn't want that management problem. i would be hung if i were if they had legislative affairs for republican congress working with this, for the kind of republican congress would have the last couple of years.
>> and i want to follow on to something that makes it earlier, where he alluded to the importance of personal relationships and how that can change things between the president and congress. -- nick said. i remember back in the day when 41 we first came in take a polygraph photograph coming to tell me about the phone calls from republican senators that you had to field and how you had to push back on that. you of course with the keeper of the relationship, which made a big difference when it came to tax reform at the time. these days what we hear is that this white house, this president does not have those relationships and is not interested in making any.
i have to believe there are people on the white house staff like phil, who are counseling the president, urging him and are trying to make something happen. why isn't it? >> i'm going to give you an answer to that question which flies in the face of the supposition of the question. and so it would be hard to believe. i say this with no disrespect to reporting that's done on congress or the presidency. almost everything i read is inaccurate. it just is. and i feel bad for the reporters. i don't talk about my time in the obama white house. i'm only here because i'm doing this as a favor for patrick but i don't talk about what he did.
[inaudible] >> right. but that's the reality. and because i won't talk to reporters about it, people who will sometimes give a distorted view of what happened. when we came in the president was sincere about trying to bring the country together and working with democrats and republicans. so part of my job because that was his charge, was to figure out that space i talked about before. before. can we find places where we can work together? this is going to be very long winded answers i will try to shorten it i want to give a context to answer your question fully. as the president was coming in one of the first assignment i had was to outline for him and other people on staff what we had coming up, and to put this in the compulsory category. this was november 2008. probably the first thing was asked were very unpopular thing $350 billion for target. in october economists were saying we needed $300 billion
for stimulus. by november that was up to five or 600 billion. a month later he would be for 200 billion at the point about 370 for t.a.r.p. 600 billion for stamos to the rescue the economy. it was over a one clean dollars omnibus bill pending that congress hadn't done that we would have to do in the first few months of 2000. on top of that we're going to have to do the budget for the following year which is going to be a trillion plus. we're going to do 100 billion supplemental. none of that was discretionary. safety and health those numbers, that adds up to a very big number. that the president had to do. none of this would be politically popular, but it had to be done. his approach was okay we have to do that. i want to reach out to republicans as well as democrats. so as we did t.a.r.p. and dan and i worked together on this as he was leaving the white house and i was coming in let's see how many republican votes we can
get. when we did stimulus, we brought in large number of house republicans. we worked with senate republicans. again we didn't have 60 votes in the senate at that point. when it begins we couldn't do whatever we wanted to do. to see if there were changes we could make. one of the things i learned very early on that told me things have changed is we have house republicans who came in and said, if you give me these provisions i think i can support the bill. so i put those provisions in the stimulus and then they opposed the bill. president did the same thing on health care or we had extensive meetings with house republicans senate republicans. one of the unsung heroes that, there are lots of people described themselves as architects of the health care bill. nancy worked very close with the. she was day in and day out angel and she spent as much time with senate republicans and senate house members as she did on the democratic side trying to find
it. to get to your answer, president asked us very early, so i'm breaking my rule now of conversations, but all the things he could do for outrage. i put together a memo for him a social events policy vince. he not only agreed to all of them but asked to add some. so from january to may, we invited, some people didn't come but we invited every house democrat or republican to the white house for a social event. tuesday and wednesday evenings would have 30 or so of those folks who would come in the president and first leg lady just to get to know each other a little bit. we had a candlelight dinner for chairman and leadership, almost 200 people in march of 2009. so they could get to know each other a little bit. the president invited folks to come down and play basketball, more of an informal setting. we put together lunches with a chair and a ranking member bipartisan in the president's own dining room.
i kept the item off the top of my head but i used to keep metrics. by march more than 80% of senate house, senate republicans had been to the white house for either a policy or social event with the president. every house republican and democrat had been there or been invited to some things are beyond our control. so if we had a first date dinner, we invited the republican leadership. they decided not to come. we had our second state to we invited republican leadership if they decide not to come. you can't force people to come. all you can do is to invite them. i thought dan made the point before when he talked about how speaker boehner was dealing with his caucus last year and there were people intent on touching a hot stove. it doesn't make a difference if you people with the president breakfast, lunch and dinner can have them over for little wine parties, if that's what the mindset is, that we're going to
force his hand among your caucus, there's nothing you can do with leadership and change the. so my fundamental disagreement is the president did those things. he continues to do that. could you do more? anybody could continue to do more, but by the time i went to the white house i've been involved in government and politics for over 25 years. i never saw anybody better at that than he was. so it's not that he had -- which he rather be doing something else? maybe. i don't care. all i know in my job, i need is somebody who is terrific at it who's willing to do it, and he was. >> thank you pat. i think this is on. phil, i can appreciate that social context that you just remarked having worked in the bush white house when queen elizabeth came, and senator reid
did not come to the state dinner. he didn't have a white guy. at least that's what we were told. so i can appreciate those overtures at how important that they are in building relationships. i would like to go to something that nick mentioned about trust and credibility, that in listening to all of you because you represent years of experience of working with white house's and with congresses, not only the leadership of the staff. and how you've had to build that trust and credibility amongst each other. i'm wondering if you can all comment on the, and all presidents have faced difficult backdrops to do their jobs, and the congress has to. if you can comment on the level of trust and credibility amongst the president and the congress, amongst staff against the backdrop of executive action, executive authority that's being utilized by the president which
is perceived to be more than what we have seen in the past, but maybe you could dispute that, given that you worked for various presidents, and various congresses, and maybe that's not the case but that's what it appears to be, and how does that trust and credibility amongst our executive branch? >> well, i'm not involved in any of those executive actions. but my advice to the president would be if you've reached out and try to get things done, and the response has been not forthcoming, i won't use certain quotes, which i think are obvious, and you've got opinions from the justice department and
your own counsel, like you were well within your authority to go ahead and do it, i would urge, you know, give him the thumbs up. to get back to patrick's prioritization and the original purpose of this panel you've got to lay out your priorities and not only put the list together, put some sort of value on them, you know, structure them from one to 10 and also put, you know, the resources necessary and the consequences of doing them. if there are some things that are exceedingly important to you and the likelihood of getting them done through regular order or going through the hill are just not there, and just go
ahead and do it. because you're not going to get it any other way not likely to burn any bridges are not already burned such as go forward, mr. mr. president. that would be my advice. >> i guess my response to combining the last question, i have served on a number of panels a couple of times with sheila burke the used to be bob dole's chief of staff, and she talked about white house-congressional relationships, particularly in a divided government. she would quote gerald ford who may be was not the most qualified to comment on this having been the republican leader in the house before he was president of the united states and he said the key to it all is for cities. it's communication cooperation, optimize and conciliation. i mentioned that because i think, and maybe partly to
phil's question what's changed over time and what's made it more difficult is people and i have made this point a little earlier, people defining what they consider to be cooperation on their own terms. so again i use the example just because it's what i lived through. when republicans we were more than willing to cooperate with the clinton white house, as long as they would to pitch a late. may be the fifth c. that's the problem. -- capitulate. we all be fine, absolutely want to cooperate, but going back to the time, phil said before you have to understand what you're political opponents need and i agree with that but you also have to do that out on what they think they need rather than you
asserting if we do this and this and this you should be fine right? there's some of that that goes on too often on both sides of the aisle that okay, of course i've gone halfway to meet them and that doesn't get -- that goes to the other c, that communication thing where you're hearing each other out. i just think it has become much much more difficult to do those things for the reasons we've talked about, particularly when you've got all these external forces looking over everybody's shoulder, and i don't want to be repetitive, but raising money off of it and going to the cable network and all that just makes it harder to find that common ground rather than to define cooperation on your own terms.
>> so just going off of what several comments about this ultimately is about individuals and individual personalities, and in terms of some of the priorities, it seems from an outsiders perspective that one priority is to for lack of a better word screw the other guy. so in terms of defining this priority come it seems come it seems like a basic understanding that someone has to make the first move as far as towards working towards cooperation and working towards real cooperation, not cooperation defined as join me in this little area, right? but it's making the first move is we've already become defined as a capitulation in terms of
well, working with obama is capitulation. how do you see it, how would you advise, how would you think about strategies to encourage a more positive discourse and you know, and so the democrats and republicans to feel proud of working together? so if there's a bipartisan bill that becomes a point of a political score for both parties parties. >> i want to jump in because i want to follow up on a point dan was just making as part of that, which is it dan and i are negotiating with each other on a bill, if he is in congress and i'm with the white house it's not in my interest to have him capitulate on a negotiation. because i don't want to have them do just one piece of
business with and what do i want him to be in a position where we can negotiate on 10 bills over the next two years, and defeat capitulates, if i get total victory it's going to be very hard for him to negotiate the next time because he will lose the support of his caucus. you have raised a fundamental issue, which is if it's not issue specific, if it's not fact specific but it's for our own political reasons we can't work with the president, that's a very hard, i don't have an answer for that because it's very hard. immigration over the last two years is a living example of it. so the president was advised to take a very low profile on immigration. let it work out in a bipartisan way in the senate. don't politicize the issue. so bide your time while it's going on because a good result could happen. and as a matter of fact, a good result did happen. it was a bill that got about 70 votes that was bipartisan and
comprehensive, lots of people in the business community like. a lot of people in the public interest community like as well. then the president was told, to that issue in the house, but it work its will so the house to vote on the bill or a simpler bill. and we get to the end of the process, and for other reasons that issue can't be voted on in the house. then that takes it to the previous question about executive action. in my view the president has been very restrained in the so six years on both the does because he's never done a real video. the two he did were on technical built. and on executive orders. is issued much, much fewer executive orders than previous residents have to. and i don't know this because i wasn't there at the time and i haven't talked with him about this issue, my guess is he looked at this and he said, i did everything the way both republicans and democrats advised me to do. i stayed out of immigration except for behind the scenes where did i know played a role
and the staff there. they produced a bipartisan comprehensive bill but it can't happen in the house. so then i would assume he went to his counsel and said what is within our legal authority to act? under the hypothetical you were posing, if you have a group of people who will not negotiate with you then that space we talked about earlier just doesn't exist and you have to wait until the space does exist. >> i have a question both about -- [inaudible] would you gentlemen recognize -- the nuclear option number one. why? and the second question is michelle just part of the president did not -- you emphasize the leverage that comes from veto threats in
addition to actually executing if to actually executing a veto. and to talk about the advice you would give the president in the last two years about how to use the veto threat effectively to move things forward as opposed to just blocking? >> i would tackle the latter one. i'm not sure i want to give advice to senator mcconnell or any of the senator about the nuclear option. just because yeah copout, that's right. it's such an institutional issue. i mean i'm guessing there's not a person, i don't want to speak for anybody else but i think many of us have kind of experienced boy, if the senate rules which is a little different wouldn't be better but then other times you on the other side of that. it's such an institutional issue, and that is a legislative body made up of people been there for so long i would just soon defer to them to sort that out because i don't as i can offer an opinion.
i'm not sure i'm right. i guess that's why really don't want to offer an opinion. on the second point one of the reasons president obama has not exercise many vetoes is the democrats were in control of one body or the other i guess all the time when he was president. so most of the time. there's been a filter. senator reid wasn't going to let anything get through, even if the house passed it. the house complaints about all the bills that got stacked up in the senate. that's going to change. so if i'm advising the president, whether he's republican or democrat, you have to use once in a while and it is tremendously effective but in the old days abortion politics played a big role, i know back when nick was with president bush 41 and i was looking for the house republican whip, it was kind of a and the same principle applied when president clinton came in sometimes the
legislative process reduced a bill that was inconsistent with the president's view on abortion policy. kind of the understanding was we are going to put this in the bill, you're not going to like it. if you can uphold the veto we will take it up if you can't uphold the veto, then we went sort of thing. that's what would happen. i remember one of our vetoes on a very difficult issue that we got literally 146 votes when nick was president bush or the ones -- and so the let's say process work itself out. we went through the same thing when i was there after the democrats won a majority after the 2006 election. so a big issue in that election was the iraq war and many many of those new members, the new democratic members got elected running against the war, and the legislative agenda of that year
for the new democratic majority was to restrict more funding. and the president thought that was wrong, and so we just employed a veto strategy and said you can anything to want to any bill we will be deleted with no doubt. it worked out that the president got what he wanted. over time, republicans played a political -- paid a political price for that strategy, i thought i was right thing to do and that's why he stuck to it. so we knew it you don't want to overuse it. part of it though is if you do use it you usually get the majority to understand that that's an option for the president. so if you want to send a message, sure send things down to view that's fine but i think this new majority will do that at times but if you actually want to get something signed into law that requires cooperation and exercising a veto once in a while proves that point spent i think if you're
going to use the veto you need to be sure you get the votes. in bush 41 we've only veto 44 bills and 143 the. they were very large democratic majorities. we were getting a lot of legislation sent to us with the intention that we would have to veto it. some that want to pass but we couldn't do it so we would veto it and sometimes changes were made. it was all an iterative process but the one thing you don't want to do i would suggest in the last two years is the to any piece of legislation where you lose the veto. you're all going to listen to endless days about lame duck, right? >> we are going to see in the last two years of his presidency, and this next congress the science of politics. having served in the last two years of the clinton administration, i'm one of the first -- on one of her state of the job i was pulled aside by house democratic whip and he
said, one thing you have to know is when you use the v. word, you have to mean it because we will do everything and anything to sustain the president's veto. we never lost a veto. the other thing is you have to know when to do it but just to be unpredictable when you do it. there was a person in the white house who said had a crazy lady, a crazy aunt or uncle in the attic. okay, like okay we're going to veto this because we can. they know we can sustain it, so let's just do it. we threatened one veto because there was this rather significant democratic senator to us and it was a provision that was stuck in an appropriations bill so just told him even before the congress report was done.
you stick that in there, we are going to veto it. he said really? yet. it was that night. so it's going to be interesting the next two years from the same perspective of the vetoes. >> add a quick thesis which again going back to self absorbed and every thing is pretty is history. this election just happen, it was historic of what happened because republicans captured the senate. i've been looking at these eight years, almost a mirror image of the reagan administration where he won a decisive victory in 1980, democrats picked up about 35 seats in 1982. the president won in a landslide in 1984 and that was a defining moment for the country. and a 1986 democrats picked up eight seats and got the senate that. during his administration, i to go back and check but it think that president reagan vetoed 75,
78, 80 bills during his time. what i'm sure will happen sometime in the next year and people say it is unprecedented come is president obama will get presented the bill that is bipartisan, but he will have to veto. people will say now he's vetoing the work of his own party, but as time went into the they faced that situation in 2007 and 2008. it was one issue, i think was as chip again to president bush twice and get people senator grassley senator hatch were sponsors of the. president bush opposed to for substantive reasons, and the bill got vetoed. but when happens next because of the television that exists now, it will be played into a much bigger issue than it otherwise would be. [inaudible]
>> what's going on with the affordable care act, and i'm wondering what you're strategic advice would be for both parties at this point should they wait for the supreme court to rule? should republicans try to work themselves out of the corner there in? how worried should democrats be? is a really a chance this whole thing will pull out root and branch the way practically every republican in congress campaigned? it seems like you know it's a zero-sum game and somebody is going to be 100% loser in this but what is the way out? >> i just have had to comment that i don't think republicans feel like they're painted into a corner office. they feel pretty good about where they are. i think the leadership, i'm not sure you see repeated attempts to repeal the obamacare and i think it's proven that that will never happen. so you can try to do that or he can try to make changes to it and certain provisions of it which might be a far more constructive way to go.
>> i agree with nick and his attitudes towards it. imperfect analogy again, but i equated to the whole war funding issue at the end of the bush administration where people forget, all the criticisms of republicans when it is sometimes to repeal or restrict obamacare. 2007 we had 40 some votes to restrict war funding in the democratic controlled house after they won the majority because they had a political imperative based on their victory into cells and six to do that. it did not succeed legislatively. it succeeded politically. i think republicans perspective is the same with respect to the affordable care act over the last few years. going forward, you will undoubtedly see at least one more effort to repeal.
again, i think some of the new members feel that that was a big factor in their election. obvious and not going to succeed. now that they have the senate there may be some effort to use the reconciliation process but i think they would all understand that under the rules of the senate you can't repeal and highly the affordable care act under reconciliation. that would be subject to further restrictions. i just don't know how much they will try to root out through that process. at some point i've thought for some time that if there are, if they perceive real problems by their constituents that they would get to the point where nick thinks they would go, which is to look at reforms, what are the most difficult parts for the folks back home? but they haven't got there yet. >> my disclaimer on this is that i spent thousands of hours
trying to get it passed, and i went back to the white house early this year for six months to help after the website didn't work. so i have a certain point of view. [laughter] so let me answer i first going there. because the afford water act right now more than 2 million people have insurance that didn't have it before, right? we have the lowest rate of increase in health care costs in over 50 years. not simply because of the affordable care act but it is playing a role in the. since the law was passed, 10 million jobs have been created in this country. not because of the informal care act but has not impeded and it has helped create some of those jobs. we have more innovation in health care the we've had in decades now, largely because of the affordable care act. senior citizens have saved over $12 billion now in lower prescription costs, because of the affordable care act. and the congressional budget office says if you repeal the
law and it's going to add 1.7 twin daughters to the deficit. so i'm not answering from a republican standpoint. if those are my fax not within the fact i have -- those are the facts. nobody can dispute it. i take that as a don't just do a defense of a lot but i argue for the law. irq one it's making a difference politically for people. and if reconciliation is used to repeal parts of the law then why does try to have made my case on all these points so that when reconciliation is vetoed the american people understand why it is important. >> what role do you think in the final two years of vice president biden in dealing with congress and how would that role differ from the role he has played in the first six years of? >> i'm happy to answer that
question but nick also has a perspective so i can go on to end. >> i think as a set of control think as a sith controlled play and i think it's in many ways a a continuation of several delays from an outsiders point of view he has played, which is on the hill he is liked and trusted. he can say things and move things forward in a way different perhaps than the president can. so if there is an effort to try to get things done, if there's an effort to try to you know, instead of right now we're adding who struck john stage but he didn't reach out to me they can reach back to me, all that is meaningless now. that's over. it's meaningless in terms that there's a lot of mistrust, but in terms of trying to establish a framework for getting things done and i guess the stage for putting the framework up the vice president could probably politically significant role.
>> i'll just make an object nation that -- observation that in my last two years in the white house vice president gore and first lady hillary clinton who had in previous times in the white house has been very visible actors. al gore in his office, you know in past times, almost all the time, and first lady having an office on the second floor in the first wing were never there. hillary running, eventually running for senate, but even before that she wasn't visible. and the vice president wasn't. so roles change over time which i thought was interesting to see. i was surprised to learn that they have been very visible earlier on in the administration.
so i do know what that means for the current vice president. >> i would add real quickly, make the case when i talk to folks, if ever you needed evidence of government that is government by the people and of the people, look at the role personnel display. whether your looking at the role between the speaker or the relationship between the speaker and the president, or other folks. president biden is well-liked -- vice president biden. [laughter] getting ahead of myself. vice president biden is very well-liked, and i think could be utilized, if the attitude going back to go cooperation conciliation cooperation, if that's the road people want to go, he can play a really significant role in my view. >> the first two years especially, when we get things like the stimulus, vice
president had great relationships with senator collins, senator snowe senator specter spent a lot of time as we tried to make sure that the statements contained provisions they were interested in on health care. he did lots of things that in sports terms, don't you opened the box score. he understands congress understands the website process. he understands the president. so if there's an opportunity to get things done i think you will play a very important role. [inaudible] >> the president values vice president judgment on a whole range of areas. >> phil, this is for you but also others. in political science we measure things like success of the president of the presidential support scores from cq, not totally reliable but you had the highest score, 97% for the first two years.
a batting average clinton had 86% for the first two years. that was the highest since eisenhower. but you also have some problems along the way with chairs. my question is very intimate to your situation with waxman. mr. waxman had a cap-and-trade bill and the health care bill that looked like it wasn't going anywhere in the senate. what were the negotiations like with the chairs on that issue and other issues, for all of you, when they seemed to get ahead of maybe what's possible in getting things done? did you go through the leadership, or did you directly work with the chair? and said she worked with any for some years it must've been an interesting situation. >> when you had the job you spend all day in meetings or on the phone. so you're talking to everybody all day. for me -- take a step back.
president obama couldn't have done anything we did in the first two years, and with a very successful legislative agenda, without speaker pelosi and leader reid. we have not gotten the portal. i -- we would not have gotten the transom done without the president. for me, gary myrick who was the chief of staff of john blowers was nancy pelosi's chief of staff, i can't imagine of getting anything done without them because i was communicating with them day in and day out. the president's approach to congress, i mean, i mentioned before about reporting. in reporting, especially comes to our jobs and the prices relationship with congress, either there's a winner or there is a loser. so either the president is dictating to congress or congress is dictating to the president. that's the frame that is out there.
president obama took a different view which is you want to have a collaborative approach. he understood there's a little price or communication of doing that, but we would work through issues within. so something like climate change, there was enormous interest in the senate. senator boxer, senator kerrey, on moving a bill. senator bingaman was chair of the committee and had both an energy bill and the climate change bill he wanted to move. we had a process moving through the senate. we had a process moving in the house, and our goal was to get both climate change and health care done. there was a way to do both. it would not have been the same bill that passed the senate has passed the house, but we would've been able to harmonize the differences in conference. what ended up happening was the only path to getting it done was to get health care done in 2900 it took us until march 2010 to do health care the closed the space on climate.
and but congressman waxman, like almost every member of the house and senate i dealt with i think yelled at me at one time or another, and the beauty of our jobs in the white house is that your mornings are spent with people in the white house who think your co-opted by congress commander afternoons are spent in congress and they think you're co-opted by the widest so did make a difference. i worked there for 25 years. call me up when he was unhappy. i was having dinner the other night with about 35 members and had to speak to them. i looked out of the room and i was thinking to myself everyone here has yelled at me at one time or another. [laughter] you don't take these jobs because you're afraid getting yelled at but you to take the jobs if you want to see if you get past the yelling and find the common space. [inaudible] along those lines, a fun
question. what is your best memory of working in the white house and the doing something where you got congress and the president together? >> sometimes we can't talk about these things in great detail. [laughter] but my best memory well phil has raised the issue of harp a couple times. -- t.a.r.p. i was there at the end, things were going along swimmingly until -- [laughter] until the world economy was about to collapse. the secretary of the treasury and the head of the federal reserve bank were explaining to the president that the world economy was going to collapse if we didn't take action quickly. i will just zoom in on the most significant memory. on a bipartisan basis, so i often tell folks that in all of dysfunction, people get we passed t.a.r.p. in 15 days. $700 billion bill.
some people think that might've been a mistake. i think everybody who was involved in it, you never, you don't ever get you can ever prove the negative that without it the world markets would have collapsed, putting people involved with it, even though the politics of it has soured think it was a worthwhile endeavor. so we were in the middle of this. so we started on a thursday with meetings in the white house and up on the hill. the following weekend, about halfway through it i get a call up on the hill saying we're going to be bipartisan and bicameral meeting tomorrow. that was very extraordinary because those meetings didn't happen unless i initiated them, right? because that was my job. so what's going on? what had happened was that was the infamous meeting were senator mccain's campaign wasn't as well and he decided to suspend his campaign to what he
did was call than senator obama and say they're having big problems getting an agreement back there. we should go and help. and senator obama probably felt he didn't have much choice other than to say okay. and then seven the king called the president of course he didn't have much choice at that point. when i got the call and it was going to be why, so i'm trying, i'm on the line to try to get this passed. so now we are going to introduce residential politics into this but this is a great development. he says sarcastically. but the meeting itself was a bipartisan meeting which those of us who participate in it afterwards all felt it had been probably one of most extraordinary meeting we've been in because usually these meetings are fairly common you know, president opens up and the latest spate of peace. this one was high tension and for democrats felt they were trying to be helpful to what the president and the secretary of
treasury was trying to get done and the problems were on the republican side which is all true. john boehner was trying to be helpful. they all agreed it was a huge problem. he had problems in his caucus again, and the speaker pelosi had said if we're going to do this we're going to do it together, we are going to hold hands. i will produce 50% of my caucus, you produce 50% of your caucus. and in those circumstances that make sense. so john boehner was trying to live within the constraints of is looking at, if we do this can we get more republicans to do that? i don't want to go into huge amount of details but there was a lot of act one in the room much more than anybody had ever experienced i think in any of the bicameral is done in the cabinet room. at one point the president looked back sitting behind him and he kind of like turned away i've lost control. which he reasserted but there was a moment in their where it was just well i was a comical
because of the high stakes but it was pretty interesting. that's one i will share. >> i have a lot. because the first two years were so intense, there was so much going on. i don't know if i can pick one. the one that jumps to my mind right now is getting help to pass with the difficult every step of the way. it was just drooling. -- grueling. when i left the white house in 2012, i left with the idea of not coming back. we moved to new mexico to we started a new life, and the demise of would have to come back earlier this year. when i came back earlier this year, part of my job involved looking at some of the letters the president was giving on the affordable care act which at that point had been implement it. and these were letters from people all around the country
talking about how the law has made an enormous difference in their lives, either saved their lives or the quality of life, all different ways, like you to take care of an elderly parent because they weren't tied to a job with health insurance anymore. that's not one moment, but when so much time is invested in getting a law passed, our hope, all of us, whether we're republicans, democrats conservatives, liberals, general help the law will make a difference in peoples lives. so being able to be a part of that process and and sync it make a difference in peoples lives is great. the second part is basically everyday you work in the white house is a great day because you just can't believe you are there or you're working with the president, you're in the oval office. that never got old. >> i'm not going to go into an anecdote. i would just say truly it is an honor and a privilege to work there. it is fun every day. people used to think i was crazy because in 2002 or sometimes it
seemed, 1982 where we started with a 90% approval rating in february and it occurred to me at times we work incredibly hard to lose the election. it was still fun it's fascinating because you're right in the center of everything. whether it's things coming together like trade promotion authority, which was a huge bipartisan victory in 1991 that people said couldn't happen. the same with the passage of the iraq war resolution that year that same year were the leadership of the house was against it and whole bunch of democrats voted for because we have built this coalition and they wanted to do. to the tax cuts in 2001 that whole string of bill's post 9/11. everyday, there's a lot of good memories. i think most of us are all of us would not tell a lot of the stories that we would love to tell because they were private and they were contained inside the white house. the things you here and getting yelled at, and then you just sit
there and you just take it and walk away. it's like the alligator crocodile eyes coming down. we will get to that, too. so anyway. >> to answer question like this you would have to decide what you want to focus on very trivial little things like the fact that for two years i never took comp when park at the white house i never took my keys out of the ignition. like, why would you? if someone is going to steal your car from the white house ground, it's going to be on tape. they're going to get this guy. [laughter] you know, so, or something very significant and historic. you know like i was involved in an impeachment. being over with the president on a trip to ireland. he was in a city square addressing probably 10,000 crazy
irishman, and i was behind stage on a call to my office getting a list of members of congress that had to talk to on air force one on the way back. i was nearly in tears with the contrast. called democratic members of the house of representatives to see if he could keep his job, and he was there he was a hero to 10,000 irishmen. what do you do with that? but i think my best story if i have time is during that same period, a form of congress who is, you know, i used to work with him on on the so he's a close friend of mine, by the name of marty. we were both in the same part of the country. we vacationed at the same beach very typical small beach street, one lane, during impeachment early on during impeachment. ..
fortunately they never figured it out. >> thank you guys. i would like to make a couple of quick comments. i was involved in the predicate to impeachment. which is, whole another thing. >> thank you. thank you. >> high entertainment value. one thing that billy, struck me, in what you guys alluded to, how much technology has chang