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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 12, 2015 10:30pm-12:31am EST

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enterprise institute that published a book called the fettered presidency and this was a book that faithfully represented the experience that many republicans and conservatives have had especially during the reagan administration dealing with the congress that was handling the presidency in on all sides. sides. given what happened in the late 60s and early 70s with the nixon administration was understandable starting during that time there was a congressional reaction which was, in a way, my. congress reasserted itself big-time especially in budgeting and anti- impoverishment act. to put the war powers act
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was no president has ever considered the constitutionality of but which remains on the books. talk about the struggle. the congress has spectacularly refused to accept. he served to suggest the expansion is a one-way ratchet at the end of which lies something clearly outside our constitutional condition. a larger view is that it is cyclical. if cyclical. if the executive is saying this as having gone too far congress will eventually reasserted itself. and that reassertion could take the broadest form. and so i do not share the view that this is a one-way
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ratchet or linear process. this is the latest act in an ongoing constitutional drama that we have been watching unfold for two and a quarter centuries and i do not expect it to end anytime soon, nor do i wanted to. as a reminder for running at the time. i have questions myself. so please raise your hands if you have a question and then wait for the mike and identify yourself as for
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5.67 megabytes. >> i would agree with most of your 18.81 of the organizations was far more objective consider some of the very applying ideas. it does not add -- all that i do have i do share the concern which i have found myself that fiancée visa. it did not grant her a visa. just the diet without the
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review. country that is run by american saddam hussein. that is a complete denial of democracy and a judicial review should be basic any decision that the executive branch makes and that is not there and should be so that our presidents are not saddam hussein. >> very with the supreme court they have established his cause of unpredictability. >> scott walter, capitol research center. thank you for the scholar and gentlemen.
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he responded to a lot of the points but i do not think you did much in response to his.that the president himself in previous years not only failed to make these arguments you are making but repeatedly contradicted them. he went to give us an explanation for his contradictions. and you may genuinely have believed that his legal authority was substantially smaller. it turned out to be. the interest of full disclosure and i said this is the 1st sentence in my
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"wall street journal" piece, when the president did this took the action that we are now discussing i was taken aback. my 1st reaction was to say this cannot possibly be right. i spent a week doing nothing and i read a lot of cases, constitutional commentary and came to the conclusion that setting aside for one minute the question of appropriateness which i think it is appropriate to raise that the president is on much firmer legal and constitutional grounds that i had understood. i have no factual basis for answering the actual historical question to put on the table.
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the president after a year of dialogue with jay johnson was led to the conclusion that's the best i can do. >> i would just say briefly i'm quite confident the president does not see himself that way. i'm sure he believes he genuinely changed his mind. that distinction between the sort of initial common sense reaction from barack obama himself and bill and what
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can be persuaded arguably constitutionally illegal quirks so if i understand correctly something to be plausibly legal president has responsibilities to execute laws. something could be legal but in some sense constitutionally illegal. >> the courts own language says as much from basically you have sweeping prosecutorial discretion but
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there is which it becomes effectively right of the law. the presumption is it is under review which is basically the legal status. then the question becomes which prosecutorial discretion becomes a rewritable law. you end up with lots of different answers. there was a quite different answers in certain ways. they said this group was okay because you're dealing with parents and relatives of people we will -- who are both it doesn't. so percent. so under existing law those people can apply for citizenship. they do have at some.the prospect of permission to
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apply for citizenship. it is a defined category of people. the implication was that it would actually be the deferred action was more dubious as he did not have any 1st congressional word they did not say this explicitly, explicitly, but it was a way to read between the lines. that make sense to back you can come up with lots of different ways to cut the specific issue of legality. a smart lawyer. >> i said this and i think the 1st thing that i read on this, undoubtedly there would be legal arguments made. that is again partially
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viable. what viable. what does this look like? a sort of modest exercise in prosecutorial discretion to make a think it looks more like the latter. >> they are uncertain about it. for example just a quote it may raise concerns over the immigration officials have undertaken societal change the statutory movement system rather than adopting its application. to guarantee an individualized case by case would be to avoid these potential concerns the is a
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credible that this case-by-case decision is actually credible. the previous decision on immigration you know something like 97 percent approval. the possibility that based upon executive discretion that is used in such a way the clear intent of the large law. >> this is a gray area.
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but the 1st time in american history that is determined determined president of for that matter other determined branches of parts of the constitution have moved in a manner that cannot be restrained. constitutional restraint, distinction between what it is arguably possible to do and what you actually do. it is absolutely correct that actors in this madisonian system are not determined being. they make they make choices within the system. the fact that it exists is an invitation to occupy not a force pushing you. by the way, there is lot of
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madisonian language of the proposition it is likely that given the absence of resistance the exercise of power that the power is very likely to be exercised which is where your constitutional and theological interests converge. so, yes. let me just once again declare my faith in the constitutional process. the faith that if there is makes c-5 excessively strong standards i don't think that
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the action is pathological but it is in part a a response to something that is pathological. i think that we need to congress that is prepared to get not necessarily on what the president wants but on something it wants. one of the facts about the 113th congress is that not a single immigration bill was actually voted on by the full house. the idea was that this would be opened up into pieces. if the house voted on any one of these pieces individually, it escaped my attention. got in the face that was
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supported by nearly 3/4. three quarters. something is wrong, and it is to be put right. i'm not saying it because it is the presidents priorities 25 priority. >> to have to be moments when you have democratically grounded resistance to particular course of action which leads to gridlock. gridlock has to be inherently of failure of progress. i agree with you we could have a long lovefest. billy issue by issue i i don't think that tells you anything absolute about
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whether a particular issue needs to be reduced to addressed. the executive power, power but one of the patterns of american history has been that it is not so much a power it is an executive power response to crisis the domestic ones where swift action is clearly necessary sometimes it overreaches. after the emergency passes you end up with a ratchet and rivers what happened to which happens frequently in history. also related to issues generally. generally. one of the striking things about this issue especially is that there is not a crisis. a crisis. this is not a situation to have obviously activists
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argue that there is crisis but there is not a crisis in the generally degree to cover agreed-upon sense that there was a a crisis in the us in 1861 or after pearl harbor. so you are doing much more with presidential action that is not clearly crisis driven. i do not think that you could necessarily -- if you look at public opinion polls tell it does not support the proposition that immigration is the single issue that conversation focused on. i guess that is just another reason for concern about the way this move is being made. with climate change you can argue that there is sense in which executive action on those issues is a matter of the not immediate but a matter of the long-term survival of the united states but no one believes
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that about immigration. >> must take a couple more questions. >> officially you are trying to apply this to another case about prison sentencing the attorney general has said we have had people in jail for too long. supposing the president simply said that everyone who has served and commutation and was let out of jail. but with going too far how would you analyze that case? >> is that addressed to me? him. >> the answer to your question is :: obama be so glad best answer questions
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about which i know nothing on national television. [laughter] the views articulated above immigration policy through a sustained version in an area about which i have previously known very little i know even less about the criminal justice system or the respective powers of the executive branch which has some analogies between prosecutorial decisions and enforcement decisions. and between immigration enforcement that is seen as punitive criminal the court has a very, very different view. among other things being
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present in the united states is not a criminal offense strictly speaking. so there are all sorts of issues i would have to sort through for myself before i could even venture. i think i have good reasons not to answer right now and i would need to spend a lot more time but it is generally understood that it is one of the most sweeping powers the president is granted and therefore is a clear case where you have potentially sweeping power
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is one of the last major exercise jimmy carter's pardon of draftdodgers was so controversial. a different set of issues but it is a case where the constraints of norms matter a great deal. >> i can tell you that the presidential power can be abused. there is a gray area.
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>> please. >> i am an economist trying to understand the couple of questions. how you expect people to follow the laws. finally is that a federal or state issued coming into play? >> sorry, was the 3rd? >> ideologue. it is a state matter typically because it is typically charge your drivers license. once you have a permit you can go to the state. your id that is how it is usually a played out. but it varies.
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i think there is pending judicial court case is going on. my general understanding is been that work permits make it easier to get driver's licenses. >> more broadly there is a federal dimension. i i do not think it is outside the purview of congress or the executive branch to insist on the use of systems such as e-verify. that in turn, will require whatever forms of identification are deemed to be acceptable and binding in that area so that employers can rely upon. it is not simply a statement.
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>> can't enforce the immigration law. federal law is not. the other question comes in. sometimes when the congress doesn't act such as six years ago so now they should. >> we were having a constitutional discussion and that would take us into some very sad political history. i think it is perfectly fair to say the democratically controlled congress did not act on this question when it had the power to do so.
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and for all sorts of reasons i think that was extremely regrettable. >> time to ask one question. certainly unhappy with not only this decision for a previous one picture.
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if we look over the course of the 20th century the presidency and it has happened for all kinds of reasons related to congressional abdication related to the nation of the -- nature of the administrative state, the state, the weight told -- the way it played out the cold war, you name it there have been moments of the congress pulled back sharply like after the next administration. the general trend is pretty clear. but i think it is important to acknowledge that general trend that when you're dealing with particular issues we have to figure out the particularities of them.
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you can't say this is just an inherent problem. if you are opposed to what the president is doing. >> that is perfect picture. my 15 minute lecture on the procedure act. having said that i will now give you 1 percent of the. the administrative procedure act passed in 1946 after nearly a a decade of deliberation between the parties and the branches represents the realist thing we have to the cost to civilization of the united states. does not take the form of the constitutional amendment but it constitutional as is
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the 1st half-century of the reality that ross points to. one of the striking things about the controversy is how consistent the administrations actions have been with a a fair reading of the administrative procedure act. ..
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[applause] >> the heritage foundation conservative policy summit continues tuesday in washington d.c.. d.c. speakers including senators rand paul of kentucky in mike lee of utah will talk about conservative policy plans for
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education, national security and other issues. live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> the thing that really needs to happen is going back to what the incoming majority said, that they need to get back to regular order. if they go back and pass the 13 bills that it takes to fund the government then everybody can see who voted and who put what amendment up and then send it to the president and let him pass it or veto it. >> i hope it's a more mature and responsible congress that we will see emerging in the next two years. i think emblematic of this situation of an irresponsible congress we can see that reflected in this john boehner challenge today.
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it's time for both parties to put aside the bitter partisan battles and get on to the task that they are constitutionally required to do and that is to govern, to legislate and i think what the american people said the november of both parties is its time to see that finally start to happen. >> i think come i don't know this 114 congress, what can we expect of them? with citizens united and all the politicians are bought and sold. are they representing us or what? the first thing on their agenda is the keystone pipeline. >> frankly the american people are prepared to get past the polish language, the false promises. we need to understand that you work for us and we have seen nothing but foreclosures, people
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in the streets and frankly we are tired of the silly games being played and we don't believe anything we are hearing any longer to include create jobs. that is so over worn out. >> transportation secretary anthony schmitt spoke at the transportation research board's annual meeting monday in washington. topics included demographic changes, growing city populations technological advances and operations like uber. this is an hour and 15 minutes.
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>> welcome. i am bob skinner the executive director of the transportation research board and i have the pleasure today to do some of the introductions. i will get started with that in just a second but let me give you a heads up regarding the format. our featured speaker no surprise to that is will come to the podium and a moment and deliver a modestly long -- summer marks and then when he has concluded i will introduce our interviewer/moderator and then there will be a q&a session after that. so, it is my really great pleasure to introduce as they say the featured speaker, u.s. secretary of transportation anthony foxx.
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anthony foxx became the secretary of transportation july 2, 2013. he now heads an agency with 55,000 employees and annual budget of $70 billion in previously as i think many of you know secretary foxx served as the mayor of charlotte south carolina from 2,092,013 and before that he served two terms on the charlotte city council where he chaired its transportation committee. during his time in charlotte he made efficient and innovative transportation investments, the centerpiece of charlotte's job creation and economic recovery efforts. these investments included extending charlotte light rail system and making other transit improvements expanding the charlotte douglas international airport adding new roads, bridges as well as constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
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working with north carolina governor beverly perdue he accelerated the i-4 outer belt projects using a creative design build finance approach which is the first major project of that sort in north carolina. secretary fox is an attorney with experience in private practice at the u.s. department of justice and counsel to the house committee on the judiciary and maybe when he finishes his term as secretary he will want to get active on some trb legal affairs committees. please welcome secretary anthony foxx. [applause] >> thank you very much. [applause] thank you very much. good afternoon trb. let me begin my remarks by thanking bob skinner.
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i think bob skinner not only for that gracious introduction but for 30 years here at the trb. no one has captured our best thoughts and helped us to relay important information to transportation stakeholders around the country over three decades like bob skinner and we all owe him a great debt of gratitude. let's give a hand to bob skinner. [applause] so i was thinking today about how i might describe where we are when it relates to infrastructure and transportation and how we are
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doing as a country in meeting our challenges. i thought about telling you a story someplace i have been around the country in the last 18 months. i thought about describing some of the conversations that have happened and are happening on capitol hill right now when it comes to how we not only fund but how we set policy in transportation. but, as it turns out the very best way i can think of to describe where we are is by way of film so i'm going to show you a clip of one of my favorite movies and then will spend a little time talking about it.
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[video playing] ♪ ♪ [background sounds]
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[inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> d. get the picture? let's just be honest. we have been moving from crisis to crisis and luckily in the case of indiana jones you had steven spielberg and joseph lucas writing the scripts but in the case of america all of us in this room folks on capitol hill and people in every city, state in the country are writing the script when it comes to our nation's infrastructure. the question is how will that script rewritten in the future?
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i have been in this world for 18 months and over the course of that 18 months we have had sequestration budgets that have constrained us, a shutdown that has stopped us and the highway cliff part one that threatened to really stop work in states all across america. even as we sit here today we know that in just a few short months may 31 to be exact we may be facing part two of the highway cliff problem. in a real sense these are skirmishes in the larger battle
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if you will for america's infrastructure future and it is in that context that over the last several months i have asked my team at the united states department of transportation to engage in looking over a much longer horizon at trends and transportation to determine what kinds of situations await us and we can understand those policy choices today to begin thinking about how they inform what we do today. transportation is not just a question of how you pay for it.
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it's really in real terms and you all know this it's about how we get from one place to another, how we want to get from one place to another, how we want commodities to move how we want the economy to be lifted up, how we want quality of life in every corner of america to be as strong as possible. and yet you know i think about the old song that the french used to sing -- print cease to sing, party like it's 1999. we have been planning like it's 1975. in a real sense of our transportation system hasn't caught up to the 21st century and it is in that context that we are now working to help shape
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what we know about this century and to shape the policy choices that this young century will present to us. and that is why the u.s. department of transportation has launched this 30-year vision effort to look at these trends to distill them try to understand them and to try to explain them to all transportation stakeholders. we call it beyond traffic. and the idea here is to look across all those in transportation and to understand what forces are impacting transportation.
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we all know about the funding fights, the need for faa and service reauthorization's about what the next six years might bring. we know that populations are shifting and growing now and that over the next 30 years we will have 70 million more people here in the united states. we know that new technologies are changing the game. in fact five years ago if you had uttered the word ubersome people would have thought you were saying over in german and now that word in the company associated with it is worth $40 billion. so, america knows the basic
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narrative. infrastructure has carried us literally into this century. it's how we measure our quality of life in many respects. the infrastructure is falling apart. there is new capacity that is needed but in too many cases we think of our upper structure in pieces and not as a whole. part of this work has been trying to consolidate if you will what is happening across the system and to talk about our transportation system as a system of systems that it is. we are tracking the individual trends, trends like the sharing economy and ridesharing and the
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expected population growth in the south and the west. but trying to help explain how these things interrelate isn't as easy. to our ears into her eyes into our experiences we haven't yet synthesized up with the steep -- pieces together like a puzzle and develop what i transportation needs to be in the next generation. as yogi berra once said or to paraphrase him if you don't know where we are going is going to be hard to get there. and so the work of this long-range visioning effort is to try to help us know where we are going so that when it comes down to these discussions on
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policy or funding or what have you, that we have a sense of where the country is headed and can shape policy and funding and other issues accordingly. but one of the reasons why we haven't actually pulled all of this together in this young century perhaps as we should i believe is that we are in a bit of a time capsule. back in the 70s, secretary coleman and other secretaries since have developed visions for what the transportation system should look like going forward. but today our vision isn't nearly as updated as it should be.
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i can speak about something for example like the environmental protection process which i'm as big a supporter of protecting the environment has anybody but the process to generate environmental approvals hasn't been updated in 40 years. when you look at funding the president said this many times and i have two we have 100,000 bridges that are old enough for medicare. many like the sprint's bridge in cincinnati which was built in 1963 and has been in need of replacement for over a decade still hasn't been updated and in fact in 2011 the bridge was closed for several days for emergency repairs and yet four years later we are no closer to finding the funding for it.
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so back in transition into the conversations that we sometimes have with local officials and others. there may be a bridge or erode that needs to be done and there is a local story about why that project needs to happen but in many cases we haven't completely figured out how that project are those projects fit into the larger picture of where we are going. what i am saying in essence is that i think there are enough disruptive forces in transportation right now where reset is needed where taking a very dispassionate look at not only how much we are investing
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but how we are investing in what we are investing given the country we are walking into not the country we were. and as always infused with american optimism knowing that we believe in our hearts and our souls that the future is and must be better than the past. how does that look when it comes to infrastructure? let me tell you what this report does and what it doesn't. what it will do is it will lay these trends out. it will delve into each of the modal administrations we manage and provide a snapshot of current conditions and future
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conditions as we know them today. but what this effort will not do and what no previous effort by the usd has done is we are not prescriptive. we are not running a tactical plan for the country. we are writing about these trends and claiming the choices that future policymakers and stakeholders of all types at every level are ultimately likely to face. and it is done in the hope that the present decision-makers will look at the front windshield and not the rearview mirror as we try to plan and project our future.
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and so with that, we will continue working. we expect to have this released in the coming weeks. i think it will be an opportunity for the country to see and hear and learn what we have seen and heard and learned but let me also say this. let me put this record out it will be a draft report. it will be a report that will be followed by a common period and our goal is to provide a jumping off point for more conversation among stakeholders and folks who have input they would like to share with the goal that the final product will be enhanced by what we have learned from
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those who submit comments. and so with that i am going to stop because i think lindsay halsey is likely to poke and prod me into submission very shortly and to put me on the witness stand and force me to answer questions that i never would have had to answer otherwise but i'm looking forward to the conversation with him and i look forward to the opportunity to share more of our findings in the coming weeks with you. in closing i do want to say that trb in all seriousness has played an incredible role in helping us with this work with research and data that this organization has been working on and utilized in the course of developing our work and i just want to thank all of you for that. i do look forward to the
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response we received in a few weeks when we put out the report. thank you very much and i look forward to the conversation. [applause] b let me introduce our moderator who the secretary has already mention. ashley halsey, washingtonians know ashley as the "washington post" very excellent transportation infrastructure reporter. the transport community at least within washington know him as a reporter who is willing to have a meaningful dialogue beyond the five minute telephone call on transportation policy issues. it turns out that he is a
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self-deprecating sort of guide and i have been given an excerpt from his web site to read which illustrates. ashley halsey reports on national and local transportation although he has had a fairly extensive number of interesting experiences collectively they have not transported him into a particularly interesting person. [laughter] he was for instance the first person to learn who the real sam was for son of sam killer david berkowitz. he once drank moonshine with horrible mccoy of the infamous hatfield and mccoy's deadly feud. he came within a hair of death after being hit by a speeding studebaker. that was a while ago obviously. he was honored by plane that crashed landed on the runway of reagan national airport.
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he has met several presidents and has not been able to offer any of them an original thought. so ashley takeover. >> thank you. [applause] i should tell you our web site people asked me to provide them with a humorous profile so i sent them all that information confident that they would not use a bit of it than they used at all. [laughter] i have not been able to ever deliver two new president and original thought. i know that this room is full of people who are full of original thought and will relish this opportunity to talk with the secretary. i would ask that as you deliver your thoughts it would be useful to dialogue if you are able to punctuate them with a question mark at the end.
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also if you would identify yourself by name and your affiliation that will provide useful context to the secretary for evaluating everything you say and taking it to heart. as i have the microphone now before we turn it over to all of you there are a couple of questions that come to mind for me and one is a few years ago the university of virginia put out a very important report on the problems with infrastructure and subsequently there have been reports by the american society of civil engineers that echo and enhance some of what they said about the need and the funding demands. two years ago they got it again many of them are in the room
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today to discuss and strategize over the fact that while the report got some attention it didn't seem to be gaining traction. as you have been traveling the country you have been a week meeting with a lot of state and local officials who are paid to take this seriously but what is your sense of the american people and what they are about and whether they are willing to step up and fund the demands of addressing infrastructure? >> it's a great question and let's face it the american people are paying already for declining system a system in which in some parts of the country said -- travel times are increasing a system which over the long term will become increasingly constrained if we
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see the kind of deterioration that we are likely to see without substantially more investment in our state of good repair and without the kind of investments in new capacity in fast-growing parts of the country that don't have that kind of capacity they need to embrace the growth that is coming. so the idea that it's either pay today or it's free going forward is not reality. in fact in the american civil engineer studies they have also gone state-by-state and applied costs to the poor condition of infrastructure and in some cases the cost to an individual user is greater than the cost of paying the current gas tax.
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and so it's interesting to think that this is one area where investing more could end up saving individual users money over the long term and that is essentially the formulation we use when we talk about infrastructure deficit, the idea that we are actually spending money by not spending money. >> one of the things that people are concerned about infrastructure always take heart in is that when their referenda on the state and local level for transportation projects, the vast majority of them are approved. as you go forward and you are thinking about a game plan for the nation the funding question comes yet again. it's one thing for individuals to say i want a local bridge rebuilt, i want a local water
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system rebuilt. that is meaningful to them. when you pose a plan as it sounds like you are about to that is almost eisenhoweresque in nature let's build an interlocking highway nationwide this sounds like a similar plan or approach that could lead to one. so how quickly do you think the public will get behind that? does that depend largely on how it's couched? >> so a couple of things. first and foremost one of the goals of this is to crystallize what is happening today and to then extrapolate out as best we can do what we think is going to happen over the next 30 years and i think for most travelers there will be pieces of this framework that get put out and they will say yeah that's exactly what's happening in my backyard.
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i was taking a 20 minute trip 20 years ago that is now 30 minutes and in the future maybe it's going to be 40 minutes or 50 minutes but at some point you start to say is there a different way for me to take that trip and is someone thinking about a way to create another mode of transportation that allows me to make that trip in a faster time? as i have gone around the country i do think that people instinctively know something isn't right and if anything i think people are very motivated to see things change but there are pieces of the system that don't work as easily for them and they are also concerned that the solutions may not work. for instance you pick just about any part of the country and they can tell you about a project that they haven't gotten them for 20 or 30 years. the system is sometimes extremely slow and that is why i
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think part of what we have to do from a policy standpoint is really look at project delivery and study and out trades into my speech which we have tried to keep hermetically sealed off from this effort. this effort has been about trying to crystallize as much information as we can from as many different corners as we can and i think that will become clear as we release it. but we don't get tactical here. this is a framework. this is that products that is trying to layout trends and outline future choices that we think policymakers are going to have to think about. but it is not a plan in the sense that you know we have got
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a map of words to be built or a map of rail to be built or a map of airports to improve or something like that. that is not what the purpose of this is. the purpose is to lay bare for this country in clear terms where we are likely to go and what kinds of choices await. over 30-year period you are going to need leadership and obviously from administration to administration the secretary of transportation changes. where does the leadership come for a program like this? >> it's got to happen at every level and i could give you my personal takeaways from what i have learned over the course of doing this work but let me just outline a few things that i think will become clear.
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the national government has an important role to play in the life of our nation's infrastructure. we can play a role in filling gaps smoothing and connecting and disconnecting places providing the underpinning for states and local communities to fulfill the visions they have for themselves. but increasingly i think we have to begin asking ourselves the paper questions on policy. how can we move projects faster to completion without taking away the integrity of the project itself, without disrupting the environmental. we have got more manufacturing activity happening today than we
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have over the last few years but in order to deepen those investments and the jobs that go with them how do we create better connectivity across the system so that goods can get to the marketplace efficiently? we have a lot of technology that is coming at us faster than we are getting into the marketplace and that's also a challenge in the future so all these things play a role. i keep saying this because i mean it that i don't think the moment we have right now is just the funding moment, it's a policy moment and i think leadership is needed right now and in the future i think it's going to be from future presidents to future congresses, to governors and local officials to citizens who when they are asked to support putting the
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kind of infrastructure and the communities that they need will stand up and say yes. >> we have a microphone out there somewhere and if there are individuals who are interested in coming to the microphone or have a microphone come to them we will take some questions. >> thanks ashley. eric with american shipper magazine and i have two quick questions. so this visioning effort it seems like it's still a collection of potential options or melodies of the future and i just wonder if we have been doing that for a long time? it still doesn't seem like a the nation is sending up with the national transportation strategy or a national freight strategy that will actually guide us. so when do we see the d.o.t. put
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that out and then second of all on the funding part of things the administration has talked a lot about not raising the gas tax since they came into office partly because of the recession and talking about the middle-class economy is picking up. we had 4% plus gdp. gas prices are now hovering just above two dollars a gallon. is it now perfect time to consider a gas tax increase, a modest one along with congress? >> so i think the question is in order. first on the concept of a national freight strategy these reports that the department has done periodically have never been prescriptive and that's intentional. it's a little frustrating perhaps that we don't start
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answering the questions we present but i don't know how we in the country began to think about our problems in a real distilled way without having those questions framed for us. i would add that the administration has put forward a surface transportation bill called the grow america act that provide their answers to some of these long-term questions. but the whole purpose of this exercise is to try to get folks more or less on the same page as to what's coming and what people than do with that is left to them. on your question about, and by the way on the freight area
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congress has asked map-21 to develop a national freight plan. that work is ongoing and i would expect that 2015 will see that plan put out into the public space. but let me say that plan doesn't have any funds attached to it and i think congress was wise to ask when that could be done. but again we are going to find ourselves trying to figure out how to get from here to there even with a plan. on the question you asked about the gas tax we have expressed an openness to what congress chooses to do here on the tayfour mechanism but they acted does propose to pay for and that
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is pro-growth business tax reform that could be implemented by congress and provide far more than the dollars we have been asking for for the grow america act which would be substantial increases, 22% increase in the highway account for highways and 70% increase for transit and a lot of very important policy reforms that would tackle some of the issues i have talked about. >> and if congress proposes a gas tax increase with the administration embraced that? >> well congress has to do something and you know we have expressed an openness to ideas that emerged from congress and that is still where we are. >> do we have another question? i can't quite see. >> hi.
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louis marlin university of michigan. i just want to have a brief comment. i researched automated vehicles and i follow vehicles in the news and one thing that kind of shocking and disappointed me was when i looked at the comments from readers of these newspapers how strong their distances. you are not going to take away my car and one of these vehicles that drives itself. i know it's me or you went through a lot of innovation and went to controversial ideas and i think transportation is going to change dramatically in 30 years but there's a tremendous amount of persistence to all of the kinds of changes from vehicle mile fees to new technologies to automated
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vehicles and i guess i want you to reflect on what we can do in the transportation community to get people more open to the fact that we need to move towards the future and towards change. >> thanks for the question. first of all i think part of getting the wider american mindset comfortable with technology is really talking about it talking about the future and away that gets people's imaginations captured. i'm amazed at how much technology is rapidly being deployed that carries just incredible safety benefits. it's one of the reasons why the department is working so hard on
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vehicle technologies which we think are ultimately leading to a thomas vehicles but the idea that a car can predict an accident before it happens in a way that goes well beyond what we have operators can do is a tremendous advance i think the more people experience the upside of this technology the more you will start to see people gravitating towards it. the other thing is i think there are real issues that need to be dealt with very squarely when we talk about some of these new technologies. privacy security, the more those issues start defined consistent settling place and in comfort level in the public consciousness i think some of it
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will subside. i think the features incredibly bright. those of us who are alive today you know we have a chance to be part of a whole new wave of technology finding its way into the transportation space. i can imagine a more exciting time to be watching all this happen. >> if i may add a comment. never bring up comments after the end of the article. [laughter] i found i could write about a new four-way stop sign and by the third, and it turns into a red state blue state and has nothing to do with transportation at all. >> well put, well put. >> weibel question over here. >> yes, good afternoon secretary fox. i would like to applaud you on your test commitment to improving bicycle and pedestrian
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safety. my name is michael jackson on wednesday department of transportation in maryland. one -- that we have been crashed knowledge is we have a great information system in looking at crashes among our roadways but we systematically have a blind spot at crashes that occur on trails. but we do have anecdotal evidence that people do get injured and sometimes killed on trails that we don't have a systematic way of collecting that data. do you have any thoughts on how that might be integrated into the regular crash reporting system that we have nationally? >> yeah first of all thanks for
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the question. our systems rely a lot on police reporting and a lot of times accidents in the bicycle pedestrian world never make it into a police report. sometimes when they do the cause can be put in one category as opposed to a category that rolls into bicycle and pedestrian safety and i think there's a lot of work that needs to happen to give us this the kind of datasets that will be useful in getting to the place that you are describing. but one of the things that i have found that the mayor was that bicyclists and pedestrians are part of the transportation ecosystem too and it's really
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important that we not only at the federal level but the state and local levels do everything we can to try to get our arms around the safety issues there. frankly there are distraction issues that we are seeing in that space just as we see them in the automobile area. there are issues of the empire meant and how well-integrated cities and states are making their roads pass and integrate with other vehicular traffic. there is a lot for us to do there. that is why we have leaned into this pretty heavily to try to do what we can at the federal level to provide best practices and clarity and whatever we can to try to help this out and how to predict -- i predicted in some parts of the country
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bicycling and walking or running are going to be more and more that the way people begin to work and you are going to see more and more people working those systems. we have got to start tightening it up now so that it's safe. >> thank you. >> i haven't been to charlotte in many years. in fact since i covered the soldier of fortune convention where they want to go to charlotte for two reasons. the world allowed to shoot machine guns and jump off the parachute off tall buildings. but i was in richmond last week and i hadn't been there for a few years. one of the things that struck me about richmond was the same thing that was happening here is happening there. in fact we move from the suburbs to the city has been so pronounced that they are now put put -- they have converted all the tobacco warehouses anacondas
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and now they are putting up buildings to look like tobacco warehouses so they can build condos in them. how is that going to transform and to what degree is that going to transform transportation needs and demand over the next 30 years? >> dramatically. we are seeing a lot of consolidation of population in what some writers call make her regions and mega-regions are the urbanized area the suburban ring about the organized area and even a rural area surrounding the suburban ring. our economies are increasingly shaped by these mega-regions but one of the failings of our system is that transportation decision-making is still jurisdictional in the sense that it's based on a particular city,
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a particular town, a particular state and sometimes the mega-regions cross over all of that. that's going to be a challenge for us because just imagine the richmond area you are describing with an influx of double the population, the road systems which were built probably for a fraction of the population it has today now becomes deluge with additional cars, additional people and i think there are several things will happen as a result. number one travel times are just going to get dramatically longer or at a certain point communities realize that they need to create multiple ways to get to the same place. that's when you start seeing things like transit in general
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bike lanes and things in addition to the road improvements. i think this whole idea that we have a multisystem is one of the biggest and most important parts of this work is really showing how these things are knitted together. i will give another example. there's a knob a lot of discussion about east coast ports and the opportunities that await fair. but if you focus on the ports and we certainly do need to focus on them but if we just focus on them once the stuff comes off of the ship -- i'm sorry i'm from north carolina. [laughter] wants it comes off of a shipper gets onto a ship it has to get some place where it has to come from someplace and the surface
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system, the highways, the rails, the bridges they all have to be ready for this evolving area or else we are going to limit our opportunities. we can just be one-dimensional and are thinking because they're transportation system has never been one-dimensional. >> i think we have a the hair. >> might name is george president of the institute for rational urban mobility in new york city and we don't have rational urban ability in new york city it was to say. we do have 10 metropolitan planning organizations that have really been doing the job as a single metropolitan organization. we are a three state area but my real question is asking people for more money without having a specific plan of how you are going to spend it in the key element of this seems to be the
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urgent need to be more equitable and how we allocate our resources. what is your vision of a more applicable transportation system? >> well, interesting question. i think first and foremost by the way 10 m. pio's is a lot of mpo's and i will probably get in trouble for saying this but using a phrase i've gleaned from my home state we probably need to thin the herd when it comes to our mpo's and consolidate some of them. right now that's purely a local decision and it becomes more difficult because you know the
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big-city mpo could swallow up a small-town mpo and make it very hard for them to get their priorities advanced. on the other hand they are all really tied together particularly if we get this regional analysis seriously and the absence of an ability to coordinate and prioritize ends up with some possibility of working across surfaces or at least not getting as far along economically as we could. look, that was my rant. your question, i'm sorry. i got so focused. >> about moving toward a more equitable transportation system. >> i think we should look at this question of equitable
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three-dimensional late. first of all if there are substantially greater resources across-the-board it ends up helping every part of america, rural and urban so-called red state, blue state, however you slide it up. if you look at the decision-making itself which largely occurs at the state level and to a lesser degree the local level when it comes to federal dollars i think that we to this point we sort of said the state knows the whole situation the best and they should make their own decisions. ..
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going forward. >> a question over here. >> yes, thank you, mr. secretary. make sure -- >> i like ncos, by the way.
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>> i have actually been working recently on world futures, and interesting question. perhaps an expansion on what you just said balancing the intensity of the metropolitan areas metropolitan economies the rural economy which is you know, the national energy resource economy or the last mile of connection might really be a mile but an a rural area might be 50 or 100 miles. that rebalance of national policy that supports rural economic needs as well as metropolitan intensity. >> that is an incredibly important question and one that i think about quite a
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bit. when i was mayor john and i can drive 20 minutes in any direction. and i understand as a result of that all too well that these places should not be in competition with each other because they are actually joined together at the hip. nor a chance your question, though, i think i have to reveal my bias which is that on some level transportation is never just about transportation. on some level it is about land use economics, quality of life, and lots of other things. one thing i have learned in this world is that well transportation a lot on the topic that we are discussing is that without a sound
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land-use strategy transportation that you put into place may not work quite as well. and what and what i hear a lot from my girlfriends is that there is this recognition that something is going on with population growth nearby and it is fine when it is over there but, gosh the quality of life that i have is great and i kind of want to keep it that way. i do not want that kind of here. and the challenge but that with that is that i think there is a way to deal with quality of life issues, communities grow in an
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intentional way but you have to have the conversation to do it. unfortunately too often the urban community discussion and the rural community discussion are happening and stovepipes in stovepipes and they actually need to be happening across the lens. my suspicion is that if you had a thoughtful about it and put equity on the table that plans could be established at the local level maybe the state level in some cases that would protect the interest of rural communities even if they are provided the assets that they need to get to the marketplace or to bring the marketplace to them but too often those conversations happen in stovepipes. that that is one of the
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things that i think communities of an accident to have active conversations between rpo's and npo's or figure out a way to consolidate the interest and pull it all together i think it is critical. critical. the best thing that we can do is encourage that and if we are fortunate enough to get additional money to be able to incentivize it is rudolph and hopefully the states will do the same because if we get that fundamental unit of planning and decision-making at the local level the planning so many fewer fights over these kinds of issues. >> we only have time for one or two more questions. >> talked -- trucking radio channel.
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listen to buy about a million truckers every day and i want to carry some of their concerns to you. the money that they pay is going for bicycle paths and effects of parks and they want to no why. the other concern is with the current as it is in this idea their are no places to rest. they want to no why there is not money being spent to create new truck stops, rest stops, places to pull over and have a good night to rest. [inaudible] >> thank you for that.
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[inaudible] and to give back extending data and it allows you to stay in touch. so the dimension of it.
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[inaudible] >> well, the incentive to act. >> well here is my response to that. i fear you. i think that what -- free
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for your just looking at the roads and highways narrowly i understand the point but if you are looking at the broader trend that we are talking about here what i see coming forward is a massive amount of gridlock that we will be hitting the highway systems. and i think that we need to be thinking in terms of, you know, an automobile off of the road with a net benefit to a truck driver trying to get from one place to another and can only use about to get their. so a multi- pronged approach is one that i do think benefits the trucking industry. i understand the argument and look forward to
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more conversation about it. >> question over here. >> yes, mr. sec. this is a much more micro circuit to public question. nowadays a local nowadays a local transit agency as a sponsor and fiscal agent .__worried that you we will turn around and bite us in our triannual for not having satisfactory continuing control over the funding because all of a sudden instead of being an operating agency they are funding agency handing out funding and don't have a lot of control over what that agency does the. >> where are you from? >> oakland, california. >> okay that is something that we probably need to put someone with you to talk about. that that is a very weedy but important issue : i want
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i want to make sure we get you the right information in response. >> thank you. part one last question. >> my name is christine graduate student. i am one of those mola nails has been lucky enough to live in washington, portland, maine, boston massachusetts where their are transit, walking and biking efforts but i have gone to rural area to five rural rural areas where the arterial road and state highway system kind of promised previously had trained service. i'm wondering as a fellow had said before, there does not seem to be any kind of
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strategy for the national train system. we hear bits and pieces of high-speed rail, but many communities were created because they were transportation hubs at the train stops. this is the is the purpose for being, where people and commodities travel from now people are bypassed and are wondering how to rebuild the economy. it seems like the only option for more train services private companies, even private companies from outside the united states. so i am wondering the status of the national transportation strategy related to rail and wondering is there any chance of funding strategies for these communities to have that service. >> thank you.
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an incredible resurgence evidenced by the fact that those in south dakota recently. they were stockpiles of commodities that could cannot move because of so much congestion on the rail system. unfortunately for us as a country a lot of times it's used passenger service. from the freight systems are tied up the passenger systems are tied up. if you if you carved out the northeast corridor which is usually popular and successful we thought we would see a world of hurt elsewhere in terms of funds
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provided. if you wanted to come to washington dc by train you had two options you can give them the 1:00 o'clock train or the 8:00 o'clock train. and that is -- unless you were just really had no other choice that was a whole day trip. so if the the bills up to five i sympathize with your. we're we're trying to work on multiple tiers to try to address this issue. our grow america act would put $19 billion into a real system unlike the highway system today, but it has
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typically had multiple years of funding. the rail system usually goes from year to year. for them capital outlays are huge, and not knowing what next year will be like is a huge constraint on our ability to grow the best we can which leads me to the final.i want to make. not having a plan is a plan. i found that out in 5th grade. my teacher told me that i was not doing the homework correctly. she said, young man not having a plan is a plan. this country needs to learn that lesson because we are unintentionally driving ourselves and the ditch. it it is a predictable ditch, one that can be
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avoided and frankly it is one we need not go into because the future is so much better when we are intentionally charting a course on the rising road is a country. but that is going to take the help of people outside this room. as this report is released we hope it is not only a clear. the jumping off.for a much larger conversation that we need to have. frankly the generation following us.
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pull back the telescope and take a broad look at this and i would hope that the folks in this room sound the alarm bell because i think in a real sense the house is on fire. if we can put the fire out but build the house better we we will have a great country for our kids to walk into. thank you. next. [applause]
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relations, if you missed it, you can go to our website. you can watch it there. joining us is ed o'keefe of "the washington post." what is going to happen on the senate floor? guest: they are going to take up the keystone pipeline. this was done in haste last year. it was done in behalf of mary landrieu. it failed to advance. they have at least 63 votes in support which gets it beyond and allows it to be debated. what we expect to happen is
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there will be several days of debate. this is a truncated week because republicans go up to pennsylvania for their policy retreat. tonight, you will see debate beginning on various amendments. it will continue next week while the president comes to the state of the union. in the house, they are dealing with funding for the department of homeland security. house republicans are expected to bring a bill to the floor that would fund the department but it would have amendments that would put restrictions on various parts they can do regarding the executive orders. it will head to the senate. we have until february 27 to see
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if they can create a plan. republicans will get concessions and make it harder for the department to implement what the president would like to do. >> are the republicans on board? guest: we will have to see. there is a sense to do something and respond to what the president did. there are enough republicans in this new majority, they have to be careful about how they proceed on immigration. they come from swing districts with large immigrant populations. you saw last week only a few hours after the attacks in paris, peter king from york city said how can we be holding up funding for the department of homeland security when there are
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threats against the country? i think that brought a lot of pause to republicans. there is only so much they can do to be seen with fiddling with security funding. if it fails to advance in the senate, the house will come back and try to do something watered down. that is why they are starting early. they have a month to do this. they are out to days this weekend. they know they've got to get the ball rolling now. host: you saw on the sunday talk shows dianne feinstein who used to chair the intelligence committee and the chairman and the homeland security chair say there is a real threat of these lone wolf attacks. does this legislation become a vehicle for
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addressing what happened in paris? it might be too soon. i think you saw them say that this is something they are conscious of and they expect the administration to focus on. certain countries can have their citizens come to this country for 90 days without a visa. the concern is 70 who is or is not on the no-fly list being tracked by us could slip through the cracks. they could be from one of the waiver countries. the concern is we need to reconsidering that or be more vigilant. do you legislate that? do you tell the intelligence agencies to be wary of that? we will see. what it does more than anything is allowed democrats sort of
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remind republicans that the longer this goes on the more uncertainty you are creating for our security agencies. do you want to be doing that at this time? host: we are talking about the congressional agenda with ed o'keefe. lawmakers are in town this week. we will talk about more of the issues. we are taking your calls as well. what are the big debates for this congress question mark the phone lines are open so start dialing a now. on friday, the keystone pipeline was passed. how much help will democrats in the senate health? host: there are 54 senate republicans. they say they've got 63.
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there must be nine democrats are willing to vote for this. the magic number is 60 in the senate. eventually, if they want to override the veto, they have to get to 67. i've been told that they think through the natural ebbs and flows of horse trading that they might be able to get to 67. there might be enough people who are holding on not because they are worried about the project they may have concerns and if things change, they might come along. they will resist this because the oil that comes to the pipeline could be exported. they would prefer that it not be exported, that it only be used here. democrats will offer amendments that every single piece of material used be american-made.
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100% american-made. many people will agree with that. it might be impossible. making sure that everybody who is employed is a u.s. citizen or living in the united states. they will try to put all sorts of restrictions on it. the president is going to stand in the way. there probably will not be enough votes to override the veto. if you talk to joe manchin who supported, we might be of the fine more democrats to make it happen. host: what could make a few more democrats get on board? the president said just sign it? do some deals or work at a deal and get some environmental regulations. guest: that is what we will see them focus on.
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there will be restrictions added and limitations on where the oil would know and how it would be used. there could be some sort of ultimatum that says no more pipeline projects after this. there are all sorts of things that could be proposed. we will have to wait and see. host: tim is in naples, florida. caller: i have a question of the pipeline. why are the republicans pushing for this pipeline so much? they turned down all of the presidents jobs bills. the oil is not staying in this country. i can't figure out what the point was until i read somewhere that the coat others stand to make $90 billion on this pipeline because of the land they own in canada and the rights of the oil companies have
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to bring the line. how come nobody ever talks about that? guest: this is much bigger than a pipeline. this is much bigger than moving oil out of alberta to the gulf of mexico. this is a political instrument to draw contrast between democrats and republicans. they want to spark debate about energy and reform in this country. you will see that this is the start of a broader energy conversation in the senate. i think both parties would agree that it's been delayed for years amid real demand for some conversation. the underlying bill may be


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