tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 25, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: thanks, mr. president. may i ask unanimous consent that the pending quorum call be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you very much. mr. president, i'm here for the 90th time to urge my colleagues in the senate to take action on climate change. the science is clearly worthy of our trust and it is, indeed, time to wake up. the human contribution to climate change is no longer up for legitimate debate. we know that carbon pollution accumulates in the atmosphere. we know that carbon dioxide
traps the sun's heat. we've actually known that since abraham lincoln was president. we know that the atmosphere and the oceans are heating up. we can measure that. ocean acidification and sea level rise are also measurable and they are caused by carbon pollution. these risks to our environment to our health to our economy and to our national security are every week more apparent. news this week from new york city was that an advisory panel of scientists, engineers and risk management experts just reported that the sea level rise along that city's shoreline approximately 12 inches since
1900, may have expanded superstorm sandy's flood area by as much as 25 square miles. 25 square miles. flooding the homes of some 80,000 people. that's pretty real. the report's prognosis for the future puts the city in pretty deep water. new york city expects its local sea levels to rise by 11 to 21 inches more by 2050 and as much as six feet by 2100. so when he was mayor mayor michael bloomberg began, in the wake of hurricane sandy an ambitious plan to shore up new york city with levees, with storm barriers and with other
coastal defenses to make that great city more resilient in the face of rising seas. that plan is estimated to cost nearly $20 billion to fortify just one city, albeit a great one, new york city against rising seas. let's look south to another major american metropolitan area miami-fort lauderdale which also faces daunting projections of rising sea levels. this map shows three feet of sea level rise in miami dade county. this is before. this is after. as you can see, you have lost acres, all of this back to the coast is gone. acres upon acres of that city. this nuclear power station right
here turkey point and this sewage treatment plant which serve that municipal area have both become islands. i visited florida last year to hear firsthand about the threats that climate change poses to this sunshine state. i met glenn landers a senior engineer at the u.s. army corps of engineers everglades division. he has worked on water resources and restoration projects in florida for nearly 20 years. this is the map that he used to show me what just two feet of sea level rise would mean for south florida. there is a lot less of it. like new york, they've measured almost one foot of sea level
rise in south florida in the last 100 years. and, like new york, the southeast florida regional climate compact which is a bipartisan coalition of four south florida counties -- mr. president, once you get away from this building, it turns out that this can actually be a bipartisan issue that cloud of special interest money that wraps the county isn't as apparent when you get to florida counties. and that bipartisan coalition predicts like new york again continued sea level rise. indeed the waters around sea florida could surge up to another two feet in less than 50 years. and as you can see most of the iconic everglades which is the largest tract of wilderness east of the rocky mountains and home to some of the most rare and endangered species in america will be under sea water.
now, there's some resemblances between new york and florida in the threat of sea level rise but the resemblance to new york diverges when you look at some of the unique features of the florida peninsula. first is its low elevation. miami is just six feet above sea level. so six feet of sea level rise goes a long way. second southern florida as the army corps of engineers constantly attests rests on porous limestone. so in new york, levees and dams can be built that will hold the ocean back. you can fortify new york city and wall it in like holland. in miami you'd be building those structures on a geological sponge. the rising water will just seep
right under. and even in the higher areas that might still stay dry salt water will infiltrate the underground drinking water of all the people and all the homes in the nation. at risk from rising seas, an estimated 40% are in the state of florida. the risky business project estimates that between $127 billion and $150 billion worth of property in florida will be under the mean high tide by 2050. you might want to be careful where you buy in florida these days if you plan to be around awhile. if you take into account damage from coastal storms, florida could face an additional $4 billion in damage per year.
luckily florida's home to a number of the countries leading research institutions p. scientific experts at florida's universities are actively researching and trying to plan for the state's changing climate. professor harold wanless of the university of miami puts it pretty bluntly. here's what he says. i'll quote him. "everyone wants a nice, happy ending but that's not reality. we're in for it. we've really done a job warming our ocean and it's going to pay us back." the florida climate institute is a network of universities and public organizations that provides florida policy-makers and businesses with reliable region-specific factual information. the group includes the university of florida florida
state the university of miami florida a&m the university of central florida florida atlantic university the university of south florida and florida international university university. let me focus on florida international in miami. f.i.u. leads the florida coastal everglades long-term ecological improve to study the effect of climate change and human activity on freshwater availability in the everglades. f.i.u. hosts the hurricane katrina research center on its campus and recently established the extreme events institute devoted to making communities more resilient to extreme weather. institute director richard olson who was an international expert
on disaster response and resiliency has called sea level rise -- quote -- "a slow onset disaster for south florida." four professors of f.i.u.'s school of journalism and mass communication set out an initiative called "eyes on the rise." students in this program have produced documentaries to air about the effect of sea level rise on local communities on real estate prices, and on economic growth in southern florida. and fy u. is a member of the american college and university presidents climate commitment, a network of schools taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate research. f.i.u. itself has adopted a plan to bring emissions 25% below 2000 levels before 2030. on my florida visit dr. mike
hitehouse, a marine scientist and dean of the college of arts and sciences at f.i.u., said this -- quote -- "we're really standing here at ground zero. there is just about nowhere else on the planet where there's more at risk from sea level rise so fast." he gets it. they get it. that's why florida international university is at the fore of climate research and education particularly as it affects the state of florida. but, mr. president there's another member of that faculty who doesn't seem to get it. one of our senate colleagues. the junior senator from florida. he teaches part time at f.i.u.
political science. last month however that junior senator from florida voted against amendments to the keystone x.l. bill stating that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. apparently the message from experts across florida and frankly, from experts across campus that manmade climate change especially sea level rise is a big problem for southern florida well, apparently that message has not gotten through. what are florida's other elected officials doing? well fort lauderdale mayor jack siler is working with noaa and state and broward county officials and the regional
planning council to protect his city from flooding and climate change. miami beach mayor phillip levine showed me the huge pumps his city has installed to pump back out the flooding that comes in on high tides and with storms. republican mayor sylvia murphy of monroe county, which covers all the florida keys and some of the everglades, she's a remarkable lady and she has put climate and energy policy at the heart of her 20-year growth plan for the county. she's going to lose a lot of her county if we don't get ahead of this. and the senior senator from florida, my friend, bill nelson is an outspoken advocate to preserve the florida coast and the florida economy in the face of climate change.
as "the miami herald" recently wrote, south florida owes senator nelson its thanks for shining a bright light on this issue. everyone from local residents to elected officials should follow his lead turning awareness of this major environmental issue into action. it is critical to saving our region. so said "the miami herald." unfortunately, the junior senator from florida does not seem to have followed his senior colleague's lead. either in shining a bright light on this issue or in turning awareness into action. it's a little bit surprising because according to a recent "new york times" poll an overwhelming majority of americans support us taking action on climate change. including half of republicans.
again, this is not that partisan of an issue once you get away from the polluter money that surrounds this building. two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for president or senate who explicitly campaigned on a platform of climate action. i ask unanimous consent to continue for another two minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: that includes 48% of republicans. as opposed to only 24% of republicans who said they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. so even among republican voters the balance tips in favor of climate action. and if you look at young republican voters, as i've said over and over on this floor under the age of 35 they think climate denial is ignorant, out of touch or crazy. those are the words they
selected in the poll, not my words. so let's move west to arizona. the folks at nasa, pretty reputable organization, they've got a recovery driving -- rover driving around o mars, these are people who know something about what they're doing. the folks at nasa have made understanding our planet and its systems their life's work. their researchers this month released a study showing an 80% chance -- eight zero -- an 80% chance of a decadeslong what they call megadrought in the american southwest. a multidecade drought between 2050 and 20999 unless we act aggressively to mitigate the effects of climate change. arizona could see half as much precipitation in the second half of the century as it did in the second half of the last century. it is a call to arms to protect
the state of arizona. and finally mr. president here's this morning's newspaper headlined "as ice melts the future fades, climate change may force alaska natives to abandon their village." lisa murkowski, the senator from alaska is quoted here, senator murkowski acknowledges the impacts of climate change on alaska's coastal communities. so maybe we're beginning to make some progress but all around the country these effects are ones we have to begin to take more seriously. it is indeed time to wake up. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 11:00 a.m.
the whole insecurity department. it is so important. coast guard cutters secret service coastlands and senator vaccaro has agreed to give us to give its abode of that. we are glad to see that it's happy but we will do everything wicked to make sure it passes by an overwhelming vote. virtually every democrat will vote for that. it's an important step to be able to send the house of representatives a bill that funds the department of homeland security. one of the states in our caucus today without any reservation at, this is it the time for games. if the house of representatives led by speaker blogger is interested in doing a funding measure for the department of homeland security, it has to be wide that has no tricks. if he said something back that is by fascias with all these
writers, he proteolytic out of conference. he has to understand not. so we look forward to working with our republican colleagues in the next 24 hours to get this done. all life now shift on the house of representatives this is the past darkly but did though. there will be a vote as everyone knows a motion to proceed up the college measure. at this stage it is way premature to proceed too to proceed to many weeklong debate on immigration. senator durbin. >> he said it all appeared we don't have to repeat it. >> does that mean i have to insert a question? [inaudible] >> we have to go to procedural pigs. we have a vote today. i'm not sure republicans could get consent to move to it today. hopefully the 30 hours were read out tomorrow some time that we could do it tomorrow.
[inaudible] >> senator mcconnell would do that. this isn't the time for games. >> have you spoken with nancy pelosi or any other houston eurocrats? >> i've spoken to her and i've spoken to leader hoyer and they are just waiting to see what is going to have to. right now it is no secret the republicans of the house don't know what they are going to do. at least they did an hour ago. we are waiting to find out. i think a house democrats are waiting to see what they'll try to do. [inaudible] is he having a problem with? >> ill have to talk to him. we have a pathway to have a vote on this tomorrow. >> he converted to the floor. it just takes longer.
[inaudible] >> i hope there are no games played like that. this is a very big deal. it's a very, very big deal. there will be nothing from us to slow it down. [inaudible] >> hard made? -- pardon me? [inaudible] >> i think that would be the wrong thing for a debate that would take multiple weeks. we are happy. i've said and i'll say it again. we are happy to have that many weeklong debate, but not right now. [inaudible] >> was against immigration, that is overawed. we are no longer on homeland security. we are a long ways from now.
>> mr. president, a lot of us are deeply concerned about the situation in the middle east and ukraine china which we've paid very little attention to as they expand their territory. mr. president, i ask unanimous dissent unshared consent that i be a geisha the colloquy with the senator from louisiana. >> without objection. >> mr. president, there is a
huge credibility gap. the "washington post" said it better than i probably could msdn titled credibility gap by fred hiatt editorial page editor february 20 sackett. and i says there's negotiators strike an agreement next month, we know about the far from ideal talking about the iranian nuclear deal. .. this is really interesting and i think deserves the geangs of all americans. in 2011, when he decided to pull all u.s. troops out of iraq, obama -- i'm quoting from the article -- obama worries that instability might result. iraq and the united states would maintain a -- quote -- strong and enduring partnership obama said. iraq would be -- quote -- stable secure and self-reliant, and iraqis would build a future -- quote -- worthy of their
history as a cradle of civilization. today as we know, iraq is in deep trouble with a murderous califate occupying most of its territory, with a militia rome throughout much of the west. the same year, obama touted his bombing campaign in libya as a model of u.s. intervention and promised that's not to say our work is complete. in addition to ourato will wor in addition to our nato responsibilities we we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of libya. we all know what happened in libya. despite our colleagues saying we had to do things to make sure that they're was some stability, they walked away. some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. the united states of america is different. i refuse to to
wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before action. that was before bishara al-assad's documented prison torture and other degradations of war and drove millions other from there homes. obama recalled that aside must step aside. the senior white house official added we are certain that asad is on the way out. august 2013 the worst chemical attack of the 21st century must be confronted. the united the united states should take military action against syrian regime targets. the senator from the state of south carolina came over and we were assured we would upgrade the free syrian army
september the pres. said his strategy for defeating the islamic state is one that we have successfully pursued in yemen and somalia for years. successful in yemen and somalia that we have pursued for years. just last month in the state of the union address president obama presented his ukraine policy as a triumph of american strength and diplomacy. we are upholding the principle that nations cannot bully small nations by opposing russian aggression and supporting ukrainian democracy. we have watched the ukrainian slaughter with the most modern equipment that vladimir putin has and the national bloodletting going on. and we are watching thanks to the assistance of the chancellor of germany and the president of france in the finest traditions of neville chamberlain standing
by and watching that country be dismembered. but what the senator from south carolina and i are trying to say is that what general keane said the other day. al qaeda and its affiliates exceed and ran in dominating countries. al qaeda has grown fourfold very radical islam is clearly on the rise, and i think think our policy of disengaging from the middle east has contributed to that there is no policy in iraq, syria, no combating or assisting the ukrainians as they attempted defend themselves against wholesale slaughter of their countrymen. we have had ample testimony before the armed services committee people who served
with distinction in this country for many years, republican and democrat, all of all of them have said they have never seen the world and more turmoil command these things do not happen by accident. it is not like hurricanes are earthquakes. it is a matter of a failed foreign-policy that began in 2,009, and the chickens are coming home to roost. >> thank you. >> we are hearing from the administration look at where the islamic state contested places and look at august 31. one more try please. and this is the areas of all of that part of the world that is now controlled.
we now see ice is gaining a foothold in libya. >> thank you, senator from arizona. >> i would like the body to recognize the providing officer just left senator cotten was an infantry officer in iraq. i can only imagine how he must feel. current presiding officer is a reservist of the marine corps who has served in harms way and battlefield areas. so it is great to have people in the senate who have worn the uniform's and understand what is at stake here. senator mccain and i have tried to be consistent, if nothing else, but the about the situation. here is the 1st question america has to answer. is this someone else's war?
i have heard a very prominent commentators on cable television say, i am tired of fighting other people's worst. there is a threats our homeland and and more importantly they indicate that they mean to hit as your. the head of the islamic state and the labonte served time in the military prison camp where i did some reserve duty and was released from the camp and turned over to the iraqis and told the colonel in charge of his release. including foreign fighters they hold passports come back to our country, and their goal is not only to purify there religion kill or convert any christian they find but also to attack us.
so today to say that this is not our fight i think you are making a huge mistake them as we did before september 11. regional forces must be part of the mix. the goal is the right one. the strategy will fail as currently being considered unless we visit this issue. senator mccain said, what you see on this map is not an accident, it is a protectable out, three things. the president's decision in 2,011 not to leave the residual force behind to secure our gains has come back to artists. the military command infrastructure of this country advised a minimum of 10,000 troops to be left behind as a residual force.
i visited baghdad along with senator mccain and lieberman prime minister malik he said i am willing to do it if the other groups in iraq are willing to do it. they are all willing to do it. when he asked me how many troops we are talking about i turned to our commanders who told he and i that we were still working on that. pledge reports simultaneously were suggesting that the white house, led by the vice president, by the way were driving the residual force to below 3000. a number incapable of making a difference. so when the president of the united states tells you that he was willing to leave a residual force behind that is not accurate. in the debate with governor romney governor romney suggested he would support a residual force of 10,000 like president obama was
contemplating. pres. obama president obama interrupted him and said no, i am not contemplating that. he said that we can leave with our heads held high. we have a compost our. here is what i said. april the 3rd 2,011 if we are not smart enough to work with the iraqis to have ten to 15,000 american troops in iraq in 2012 iraq can go to hell. i am urging the obama administration to work with the administration in iraq to make sure that we have enough troops ten to 15,000 beginning in 2012 to secure the gains we have achieved. this is a defining moment in the future of
iraq, and in my view they are going down the wrong road in iraq, the iraq the obama administration. no voices louder than that of senator mccain. senator mccain advocated above all others. senator mccain told president bush the strategy is not working. president bush, to his great credit, adjusted his strategy. senator mccain was the leading voice in this country to argue for no-fly zone in syria and to train the free syrian army at a time when it would have mattered. the pres. and ignored the advice not only of senator mccain and myself but his entire national security team. he got the answer he wanted, pulled the plug on troops, and what we hoped would not happen did. when he said no to a no-fly zone the vacuum that has been created in syria was filled by isi l. the direct result of al qaeda in iraq which was on its knees in 2010 being able to come back because the pres. withdrew troops and allow the safe haven to be formed in syria.
president obama this is a result of bad policy choices on your part and you are doubling down bad policy choices. the 3rd the 3rd thing that was a huge mistake is drawing the red line when a site used chemical weapons against his own people and virtually doing nothing about it. the chemical weapons have been taken out of syria at least that is what we think. 220,000 syrians have been killed by a side. asad is stronger than ever. ever. he is nowhere near leaving. between aside and isil they represent the dominant military force inside of syria. syria is truly hell on earth, and all of this we will come back to haunt us at home. the reason we are on the floor today is to learn from the past. i made mistakes. everyone has.
the key is to adjust when you make mistakes. the strategy that pres. president obama is employing to degrade and destroy isil we will fail, and let me tell you why. if you could liberate morsel with the iraqi security forces and the kurds, we we will need more than 3000 us forces to a compass that task but we don't have the capability that our military possesses to ensure victory. once you liberate you have to hold and build. and by province has yet to be liberated. we must convince the sunni tribal leaders in and bar to disassociate with isil and join us. they are not going to do that unless we are part of the team on the ground. unless we get we get more capacity on the ground to ensure success in iraq, syria is the weekly can the chain. >> before my colleague leaves iraq, iraq, isn't it true now the only real
fighting being done is the shia militia who are the kurds that are also shia militia inflicting human rights violations on the sunni in the same people we fought against during the surge you talked about before. >> that is exactly right. >> the iraqi security forces have crumbled. the most dominant power on the ground are shia militia backed by iran and the kurds and in the north. by the way they'd we are providing the kurds through baghdad never gets there, and we need to fix that. iran has enormous influence in baghdad. they have to they have to believe that baghdad we will be a better group. they also need to see americans on the ground to make sure that this we will work. they are not going to pull off of isil unless we are they're.
they do not trust the iraqi security forces as do syria. syria is the biggest problem of all, where most of isil resides, where there leaders reside. there is no ground game in syria, know kurdish presence that has the capability to dislodge isil. the free syrian army is being killed as fast as we can train them. here is the flaw. the goal is to train free syrian army young men throughout the region and send them into syria to destroy isil. the problem is, the the moment we send them into syria to defeat isil as i we will attack because he knows one day they will turn on him. we have asked the question, under the authorization to use military force that is being sent from the white house could we stop in error attack by asad's forces so that they do not kill the people we trained to fight
kayfor. they said no. we are training people to go fight isil that will be slaughtered by assad and we do not have the ability to protect the people that we train. senator mccain has said this is immoral. there is no strategy that has any chance of success, and if you do not get syria right you cannot hold the gains made in iraq. the president after all these years occupying space the size of indiana with 30 to 50,000 fighters depending upon whom you believe still has not come to grips with the strategy that will protect this nation and does not understand his mistakes he has been making for the last three or four years. he is not correcting. he is perpetuating what i think is a military fraud. the longer it takes the more exposed we are here and at the end of the day the
iranians are sizing us up and see us as a paper tiger. the last the last thing i we will say about the ukraine is that russia has invaded the ukraine. they ukraine. they say that they have no weapons inside the ukraine know troops they are liars. russia has dismembered their neighbor the ukraine. we in the western world have sat on the sidelines and watch this happen. they have trampled all over the memorandum where we persuaded the ukrainians to give up there nuclear weapons in the late 90s and when they need is to provide defensive weapons we are absolutely absent at the time of dire need. the iranians are watching our response to put. how can they feel we are serious about stopping there nuclear program when we seem not to be serious about anything else? the reason we will not be more aggressive in syria is because president obama does not want to deal with assad
a puppet of iran. he he does not want to jeopardize the negotiations we have ongoing with the iranians regarding their nuclear ambitions. that desire to get a deal with iran is preventing us from degrading and destroying isil and we will pay a heavy price for these mistakes. sen. mccain, how would how would you sum up? >> could i mentioned to my colleague it has been made larger than it should have been with the crises and the tragedies that are transpiring but the president of the united states refuses to refer to this as radical islam. why that is is hard to understand because it is clearly radical islam. it is a perversion of an honorable religion but everything they are doing is
based upon there perverted interpretation of the koran. they are islamic. why we refuse -- and we respect the religion and the people, but we do not respect radical islam and we have got to recognize it for what it is. february 24, scores of syrian christians were kidnapped by islamic states. islamic state militants swept into several syrian christian villages in northeastern syria in recent days taking scores of hostages including civilians and fighters according to numerous interviewers. the attacks have displaced hundreds of families and sharpened middle eastern christian fears of the islamic state which the president of the united states refuses to recognize as radical islam. when you don't even recognize it identify it for what it is how in the world are you going to be able to do battle? finally i say one more time
ukrainians want to defend themselves. one of the richest and proudest aspects of american history is that we have helped people who are struggling for freedom whether it be in afghanistan after the russian invasion -- and others have helped us going all the way back to our revolution when the french and polish and others came and helped us. to rationalize our failure to give weapons to defend themselves and say well they can't beat the russians anyway -- why not listen to there pleas of help, they're cries the fact that they have lost 5,000 right now the most sophisticated weaponry the russians provided these separatists are being used to slaughter them? to me it is the most unbelievable view that somehow we don't want to provoke vladimir putin who
has taken crimea shot down an airplane with russian equipment, dislocated eastern ukraine caused an economic crisis command we don't want to provoke him? it is staggering. >> in 1998, i believe it was, we were it was, we were a signatory to the budapest memorandum that at the ukrainian people gave up over 2000 nuclear weapons housed on their soil and return for a guarantee of sovereignty. >> including crimea as part of the territorial integrity of ukraine. >> exactly. the russians were a signatory to that agreement memorandum. clearly clearly the russians have stepped all over it, and we're not doing anything in the future, would you give up your nuclear weapons
relying upon a promise by the united states? you want to deter iran from getting a nuclear weapon. this emboldens them. it is hard to defeat an enemy if you do not understand what motivates the enemy. they do not want this german-speaking region surrounding germany. it was not about the things that hitler claimed at the time. he wrote a book telling you what he wanted to do. people should have read the book. it was about creating a master race to govern other races. the aryan race would have been the dominant race on the planet. some people were not worthy of living like jews. others would have been slaves. when you listen to what is motivating isil they want a master race. if you are a muslim outside of their view of the faith you just die. if you are an agnostic, you die.
if you are a libertarian you die. if you are you are an american republican, they could care less you die. democrat you die. they are taught to literally kill all that stand in there way. you can close gitmo tomorrow throw the palestinians under the bus and give them everything they want and throw israel under the bus, it would not matter. we did not bring this war upon ourselves. these people are motivated by religious doctrine that is not widely accepted in the faith but that doctrine requires them to kill everything in their path and turn the world into a religion where they dominate. and there is no alternative to their religion. that religion. that may sound crazy to you. it sounds a little crazy to me. hitler is crazy to me. me. i can't explain why someone
would want to kill all the jews why somebody believes that one race should rule the world and everyone else be under there boot. i can only tell you what they do and why they do it. there is no appeasement with radical islam anymore than their would be an appeasement with hitler. we tried that in the 30s and 50 million people got killed. he is our choice. face the enemy as it is degrade and destroy in a way that we will work or accept the fact that there coming hear not to conquer america. that is not going to happen but to hit us hard and break our we will so they can have that part of the world they
have been longing for for over 1000 years, and here is what i would say to america. every time we have chosen to sit on the sidelines and watch other people suffer and do nothing about it it wound up hurting us, too. if you think you can live in a world where christians over they're are being raped, tortured, and crucified and it won't affect christians hear you are kidding yourself. if you think think you can allow a force this evil to go unchecked because it is over they're and it won't affect this year, you are making a mistake of a lifetime. my biggest fear is radical islam which is exactly what it is we will get a weapon a weapon of mass distraction someday and do a lot of harm to us hear. every day that goes by over they're they give stronger the more exposed we are here. on 9,113,000 americans died because they did not have the ability to kill more. if if they could have killed 3 million, they would have. they are close to the technology.
everyday. every day we let this problem grow unchecked to having the technology to kill millions hear and elsewhere. the sooner we deal with this, the safer we will be. >> mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the credibility gap in the "washington post" and the international new york times article scores assyrian christians kidnapped by islamic state be included in the record. >> without objection. >> i appreciate the patience of my friend and colleague from the state of texas. it it is with a heavy heart that we see the events transpiring as according to this chart. it is with a heavy heart that we see our friends in the ukraine who only want to be like us being slaughtered and we refusing to assist them. i have assured them that i will never give up ever until we see a free prosperous, democratic
ukraine which is part of the committee of nations, which we would admire and include them in. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> keep track of the republican-led congress and follow a knew members through the 1st session. 's best access on c-span c-span2 c-span radio and c-span.org. >> join us tomorrow when the fcc we will continue and net neutrality or open internet proposal being offered by chairman tom wheeler. rules are designed to prohibit internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against legal content moving through there networks. it would also stop content providers from paying for fast planes or preferential treatment. the knew rules are in response to a federal a federal court decision striking down the fcc enforcement of net neutrality. that meeting that meeting
>> my privilege this afternoon to introduce the commissioner and thank her for coming to the conference, not only coming but being here the whole time and participating actively. i actively. i think we can all agree she substantially enhance the conference and i think it reflects the fact that at heart she is still a law professor who loves ideas. but we can also admire her career as being successful in connecting the realm of ideas to the operative world, something she has done i think pretty much since she graduated from law school. a couple of years clerking in the 1st circuit of the supreme court and georgetown.
she founded the loss centers federal legislative administrative clinic. she had a number of clients that led to her being instrumental in the drafting and negotiation of the americans with disabilities act and the 2,008 amendments to that act as well. these are both negotiated statutes. it was not just the drafting and and she played a role in drafting the employee nondiscrimination act which has not yet been enacted. more connected to the topic of her talk and without wasting any more of her time i we will hand the podium off to her. [applause] >> it really has been a full and amazing, you no, day and a half conference. i did, in fact, tell my chief of staff that i wanted
to clear the day and a half so that i could be here partly because i knew that i would learn, as i have. partly also because as a law professor for 18 years i do believe in the importance of theory to affecting practice. i definitely want to thank the law school for supporting this conference for supporting linda and all of her work, as you have heard and also to thank the members of her committee, bridges, berman and kayfor. even if you are just going to midi -- going to meetings you are engaged. finally, i have a true confession. i am and out completely un- closeted c-span junkie.
there it is. abcaseven every office i have had since 1991, i have required a tv in the office. i come in, turn turn it on to c-span, and that is where it stays. often on mute, but going on. on. a little disconcerting to some of my visitors, but on a serious note as you we will see from my comments i want to talk about how we can achieve real social change. an important aspect for real social change is an engaged citizenry, and an engaged citizenry needs to have unfiltered information that comes to them. i think c-span is absolutely an important component of that in our democracy. so the civil rights act of 1964 obviously as you have heard and no definitely a historic piece of legislation. it is as you heard yesterday if you heard
professor wilson it is not a fully transformational piece of legislation because it cannot buy its own get us to fall racial equality, equality on any number of other fronts because until you engage with the economic issues of this country that won't happen. nevertheless, it also plays its part. people people can actually now get jobs, get promoted in their jobs. that we will make a difference in their economic status. it is also, i think a dynamic law particularly as implemented by the eeoc the equal employment opportunity commission the commission on which i serve as one of five commissioners and a commission that congress specifically chose to set up
as a bipartisan commission when they passed the civil rights act of 1964. they could have had the department of justice implement the law, the department of labor. instead they created this bipartisan commission. and i think we have taken our job seriously in terms of being responsible for implementing the law. for example, in areas of race i believe we have done important work in terms of reinvigorating our guidance about requiring any criminal background screen to actually match up to the job to which the screen is being used. you heard that the law would not protect in terms of cornrows. that is exactly right in terms of what the court has decided but just this year the eeoc filed a claim alleging that address code that said professional appearance means no
dreadlocks, no cornrows is a form of race discrimination not only because it might be a marker of race but because for a non- african-american we don't have to do anything to our hair to have it be straight. for many african-americans there hair we will normally lock. that is what they hair does. having a code, addressing code addressing code that says, you must do something unnatural chair in order to come work your is a form of race discrimination. i have also done work in terms of contesting english-only rules something that is often done as well as in terms of religion issues have changed since 1964. not so much that they say no jews, no muslims but about issues of dress code. we have been active in that
area. for this talk i want to focus on gender equity. one cannot do everything. i will focus on gender equity. i we will talk about the advances that have been made over the past decade and how far we have to go. i do believe that anniversaries like the 50th anniversary 50th anniversary of the civil rights act is a particularly useful moment in which to reflect on what has happened that has been positive and what else needs to be done. here is the framework i want to use in talking about this with particularly resonates for me now because many of the presentations you have heard have actually used this framework. the framework is that, to achieve any social justice goal any social justice
outcome one needs three variables to converge law policies and practice and social norms. now, what i mean by law is the law that a legislature have passed congress or state legislatures, legislatures, local ordinances, the law that a legislatures passed, the way in which that law has been applied and interpreted by an agency charged with implementing the law, law, if they're is one, regulation and guidance from the agency and courts that have been applied that law, law, those regulations and guidance, to particular cases in front of them. in other words lots of words. by policies and practice, i mean how and whether the words of the law
regulation case decision, have actually been absorbed into the sinews of an organization that is regulated by that law. are the requirements of the law truly reflected in the daily ordinary practices of that organization? or are they just still primarily words? and by social norms, i mean what the majority of people feel and think about the social justice outcome being pursued. until one gets to the tipping.of where more than a majority of the people a significant majority of the people believe in their hearts and minds that the social justice outcome being pursued is actually a good social outcome it will never be achieved. and these three elements are
synergistic, interrelated. there is they're is always a dynamic dance going on between them. for example, assume the social justice outcome being sought is equity in the workplace. well, we often need a law a law and order to get employers to put policies and practice in their workplaces to stop the discrimination. both the signaling, the social message of the law as well as those policies and practice might themselves foster changes in social norms. that is what workers believe in their hearts and minds about how they should act. and then as social norms change, that can make both the laws and policies and practice work more effectively because suddenly employers are going to be able to understand the law better, comply with it more effectively and coworkers will begin to accept those social norms and view them
as the appropriate norms to follow. just a few days ago i was speaking at a keynote panel at the federalist society. richard epstein was on the panel. i was making this argument and in his comments he said you know if you want to change a social norm the worst thing to do is to pass a law. i was like that is not exactly what i said. i said, if you want to achieve a social justice outcome you need certain variables. social norms are one of those variables, but the law will not legislate the social norm. often you often you need some change in social more to get the law enacted as a
political matter, but law is one component, and it can actually be an interactive, synergistic component to helping that social norm be adopted. let's think about that framework in the context of the antidiscrimination provision based upon sex that is included in the civil rights act of 1964. as many of you may know, the civil rights act when act when it was introduced did not include a sex discrimination prohibition. it prohibited employment on the basis of race, color origin, and national religion. the myth as those of you who heard the presentation yesterday had arisen that congress had never dealt with were thought about the issue of sex discrimination and it was added to title vii on the house floor by congressman howard smith who simply wanted to kill the bill. they're are some elements of truth in this story but mostly it is completely wrong.
by the way, when i tried to track down the 1st time this came up, i found it. i think where it came from is a paragraph in a harvard law review symposium where they're was one paragraph that simply said this and reference to the one member of congress, representative edith rain, who was opposing it as the basis for there analysis. any of you working in law review who think that what you write does not matter, not true. the reality is that congress had been having a debate about sex discrimination for over 40 years at that time. it had not been in the context of a debate had not been a debate in the context of an employment law that would govern private employers.
it had been a debate on whether to enact an equal rights amendment to the constitution. the constitution. the natural woman's party had been pushing for the era since the 1920s. the language of the proposed amendment read as follows: equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on account of sex. that amendment would have meant they're could be know federal law in this state law that denied or abridged equality of life on account of sex. as you all know, the era was not passed by congress until many years later and was ultimately not ratified by the state. the reason for non- passage of the era was that in 1950 various women's groups and unions prevailed on congress to add a 2nd sentence to the amendment. the 2nd sentence said :: the provisions of this article shall not be
construed to impair any rights, benefits, or exemptions conferred by law upon persons of the female sex. the 1st the 1st sentence said, no law may take sex into account. the 2nd said, yes, laws can take sex into account if they confer rights, benefits, or exemptions just to women. what was going on? a combination of practical politics and social norms. as a matter of social norms, the assumption was that women were really different than men because the true job was to be wise -- wives and mothers, not workers and labor market. and as a practical political matter unions and women's groups had have successfully gotten labor laws enacted in a number of states and importantly upheld against constitutional challenges by having those laws protect
only women on the grounds that women were different than men. they had gotten laws enacted that put a limit on the maximum number of hours women could work for that required premium overtime pay just for women because women were different from men there real jobs were to be wives and mothers. at these groups did not want an era that would invalidate those laws. the national women's party had no interest in the era if it included that 2nd sentence. thirteen years 13 years later title vii is introduced, no sex discrimination provision. the national women's party saw this as an opportunity. let's get a sex discrimination provision added. they asked congressman howard smith who opposed
the civil rights act generally, generally, voted against it, to offer the amendment partly because he was the congressman who had been introducing the era into the house for the past number of years. now as a political matter they assumed he might bring along votes of other members of congress but at least a number of other members voted to add sex because they felt it was the right thing to do. eleven out of 12 then women members of congress -- there were only 12. eleven out of the 12 voted to have the sex is cremation provision. again not only yesterday but in her book she does an excellent job of unpacking and building upon the work of other scholars the totally racist rationale that was often used.
if you pass this without gender it means white women we will have less protection than black men and women. how horrible would that be? the reason it stayed in on the senate side is because of the work of polly murray explaining that it was essential to keep gender -- sex provision and to actually help african-american women. here is the interesting thing. the words became part of the law. because social norms were not yet at a place where men and women were actually considered to be the same, at least for employment policy purposes the eeoc the agency agency charged with enforcing the law and subsequently the courts found it hard to accept title vii's prohibition on sex discrimination at face value. here is an example.
september 1965, 1965, a few months after the eeoc opened its doors a year after the law passed the commissioner announced its position that sex segregated advertisements or not a violation of title vii. the general practice at that time was to have male and female columns in the help wanted section of the newspapers. and they're were a list of jobs. the eeoc decided this practice did not violate title vii because the personal inclinations of men and women were such that many job categories were primarily of interest to only men or women. segregating ads by sex was not discrimination but simply helping applicants find the job they were looking for anyway. eeoc. eeoc explained, if a woman
applied for a job under the men wanted: or a man a man applied for a job under the women wanted column, the law prohibited an employer for not hiring that employ the based upon sex but the ads were fine. one of one of the 1st articles i read that really laid this out was by kerry franklin from texas, and i remain indebted to her for that. i went back and read catherine frankie and marianne case who also had explicated. the decision so outraged women's organizations that they actually founded the national organization for women as a reaction to this. go into into the website and they we will explain that. after this inauspicious start they emerged as a leader. how did they do that?
first, through commission decisions it issued initially it did not have strong enforcement authority but it did have the requirement of taking in charges, investigating seeing if the eeoc thought they're was reasonable cause in the early years those decisions were issued by the commission. they came to the commission the facts came up. the commission the commission issued decisions explaining why they're was cause or not cause. all of these decisions were confidential because under statute we cannot disclose the name of the charging party or respondent but the analysis was used by courts as they were figuring out. we used commission decisions, issued guidance.
as you heard, congress did not give us an in title vii the authority to issue substantive regulations, only procedural but obviously there was no prohibition on gathering the things we have said in various commission decisions and putting that out and guidance which is what the commission has been doing since that time. finally, once they're was litigation authority they started putting forth its view of the law. so, for example, through these means the eeoc set forth propositions such as sex discrimination if an employer we will not hire married women but will hire married men. radical.. radical. it's sex discrimination if an employer won't hire women with young women below school-age but will hire men
with below school-age children. again, children. again, these might seem obvious now, but they were contested at the time. for example, with regard regard to an employer's role that it would not hire women with children, phillips versus martin marietta case. the fifth circuit held that this rule could not be sex discrimination. y? because the panel said it could not imagine that members of congress would be so irrational so removed from common sense to believe that they're was no difference between men with young children and women with young children. whatever it was, it was not sex discrimination. now, the supreme court reversed that ruling. then the court said as you also heard it might be an
occupational qualification not to have women with young children and left that to the court to decide. now, not all commission decisions on sex discrimination were positive. for positive. for example, in the 1970s transgender employees and gay employees brought charges to the commission. some have been living as a man and working as a man for 20 years and transitioned now a woman and gets fired. she thinks feels like sex discrimination to me. the the commission says whatever it is, it is not sex discrimination. discrimination based upon an operation. yes, that operation had something to do with sex but it is not sex discrimination. the eeoc says it is sex orientation discrimination.
the eeoc was a real leader in arguing that sex stereotyping, assumptions about how men or women would act on a job, thereby making men better for some jobs and women better for others or how men and women should act in a job could not be a legitimate basis for employment decisions. in 1989, 25 years after passage of title vii the supreme court finally endorsed the theory that acting on the basis of gender stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination. in that case, price waterhouse versus hopkins the court concluded if an employer acted on the basis of a gender stereotype that meant the employer was inappropriately taking sex
into account. and as the supreme court said gender must be irrelevant to employment decisions. gender must be irrelevant to employment decisions. this may seem like a simple sentence. if you actually read all of the cases in one sitting, as i did one afternoon you realize how momentous a sentence that was. for two decades of courts had been twisting themselves into pretzels not to accept this plain meaning of the word. so where are we now? is it all over? has sex and gender really become irrelevant in the workplace? newsflash.
it is mind blowing actually, how much it is not over. so i want to highlight a few areas where we are not where we should be and offer ideas for moving forward. first, sexual harassment. the amount of sexual harassment that is still going on in our workplaces is truly horrific command it is something i did not actually understand until i became a commissioner at the eeoc. and a lot of professional settings yes there is some sexual harassment. it is not at this almost horrific almost endemic amount. i would see case after case of sexual harassment often in restaurants other retail stores were these were young women with there 1st job
and they were subjected to sexual harassment were women in nontraditional, male-dominated jobs immigrant and migrant workers. now, from my perspective we need a creative, multi- pronged strategic campaign. law is a critical variable in the campaign. absolutely it can make employers take notice put processes in place to take in complaints but law on its own will never do this work. to eradicate sexual harassment government must work in partnership with businesses and advocacy groups to develop a proactive strategy that we will ultimately change the social more change what is truly experience and believe and acted upon in the workplace change it so that a man knows it is not okay to
sexually harass a woman in the workplace. women know it is not okay. that happens, too, to sexually harass men. but it has got to be a multi- pronged, creative strategy. number two accommodations for pregnant workers. early on the commission concluded if an employer discriminates against a a pregnant employee because of pregnancy, that is a form of sex discrimination another radical concept. the supreme court disagreed, and in the dance that occurred congress disagreed with the supreme court and passed the pregnancy discrimination act and that act amended title vii to say, wind yes sex includes pregnancy and two a pregnant employee must be treated the same as other employees similar in their ability or inability to work.
circus would have to be dealing with that lot but as an agency we have both a responsibility and authority to say what we think the law requires and that is what we could add in our guidance. as you heard in the case of young versus ups supreme court will now decide this legal issue issue. i certainly hope that they agree with the eoc and if they do that will have an effect impractical policies on the ground which will ultimately help primarily lower income women who are working in manual jobs. as an interesting twist on how litigation can itself affect policies, ups announced in its brief to the supreme court that it had changed its policy and it was now going to accommodate pregnant women. now they made it clear that they would not be required to do so under the law. they would just moved out the
case. they wanted to say they were not liable before but look at the effect to a company that is feeling as a reputational matter to make it clear they are not discriminating. third, pay equity. this is obviously a huge issue. some of the pay disparity comes from blatant discrimination. we have similar identical jobs. the women make less money than men. i have seen a bunch of these cases that the eoc has brought and we need to cite that stray dog but a lot of the pay disparity is due to the significant gender job segregation that still exists in our workplaces. research shows that female dominated occupations pay less than male-dominated occupations given the same skill. you might have the same skill needed for a job. a male-dominated job will pay more than female. but do you know how much gender
segregation job segregation still exists in this country? not so much in the the professional fields, law, medicine accounting you don't see it but 40% of women in this country work and jobs that are female dominated which means more than 70% of the people in that job occupation are women and more than 40% of men worked in jobs that are male-dominated. 70% of the men, the people in that occupation are men. well that will end up with wages being skewed. women making less. now again my spurt -- perspective changing job segregation requires an overall strategic plan because a fair amount of the job segregation is the result of choices that men and women make in deciding what jobs did take. so one has to use more than laws
to address it. law absolutely a critical component. we have brought cases where women are clearly not even hired into jobs. we have brought cases where there is rampant sexual harassment in a male-dominated profession. obviously the loss of critical component but it has to be more than that. it has to be an overall educational campaign. it needs to be even things like the american job center in the country to get millions of dollars from the federal government. they get the same credit no matter what job they find people. moving women into retail jobs and men into welding jobs because that's actually easier they get the same credit. what about requiring that they actually think i get more skills training to these women and open up for them the idea that the baby they want to do this other job? so these are just a few of the
issues we are working on now at the eoc. i want to conclude with a discussion on a final issue that does not require a multipronged strategic plans and that is discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is sexual discrimination and therefore currently prohibited by title vii. as you heard i was one of the original drafters of the employment nondiscrimination act of 1993. students in the room might be interested know the first draft was actually written off a law school is. i had been hired as a consultant and there was a meeting the next day. i knew, didn't know if they had it but the best way to effect a meeting is to come in with paper and i had my computer and exam i had written the previous year that was the bill that would prohibit discrimination. had a bunch of mistakes
obviously so there had be questions that i went in and fix the mistakes and printed it out. so here's the thing. what i call a funny thing happened on the way to non-passage. i often say i don't have biological or adopted kids. instead of a boy or girl a girl it's a law. laws apply to parents and i often take more than nine months but in a way what happened with enda is we discovered there was this older sibling who had essentially been overlooked. not understood in terms of what it prohibited. so the first case in this development was the herd -- the one you heard about pricewaterhouse saying you can't act on the basis of gender stereotype and justice scalia
writing for the unanimous court said sure the 1954 congress, i'm sorry the next case 10 years later dealing with same-sex sexual harassment justice scalia writing for a unanimous court says yeah same-sex sexual harassment is covered. we are governed by the words of the law not by the intent. so transgender folk started arguing gender stereotyping. some court started to adopt those in the sixth and 11th circuit in an april 2012 the eoc issued an opinion in a case called macy's versus the department of justice in which we held that discrimination based on being transgender is a form of sex discrimination. we no longer issued commission
decisions in the private sector but we have adjudicatory authority in this federal sector that is applicant for federal jobs or employees and this was a federal sector opinion. in one respect we were just catching up to the courts, explaining hey it's a form of gender stereotyping if you think of someone who has been designated as mail at birth should not transition as a woman that is a form of gender stereotyping but the other thing we did which i think was quite important was to go back to the underlying point of pricewaterhouse which was that if an employer acts on the basis of a gender stereotype that's evidence that gender has been taken into account. it's not that gender stereotyping is some free-floating cause of action. it's evidence that gender has been taken into account. you can just show directly gender has been taken into
account that establishes the violation. so at the end of -- macy was the name of the complainant she could show she didn't get the job when she had applied while she was the managing showed up and said she would be showing up as a woman and suddenly the job is. you could say it was inherently because of a gender stereotype or you could say gender has been taken into account. they were fine about hiring her when she was a man and not okay about hiring her when she was a woman. i don't know, does that sound like gender has been taken into account? that is what we said. the same analysis has been happening with regard to the coverage of sexual orientation. discrimination under title vii here the eoc has been even more of a leader very much like i think the early years when eoc was setting forth the view of the law.
post-pricewaterhouse about gender stereotyping a number of court started protecting men and who fit the stereotype of what it meant to be gay. they were at the tabs that indicated that that is what it was based on. those folks would be covered under gender stereotyping but if they couldn't prove that and it was just because they were gay the courts was a no that is not covered because sexual orientation isn't listed in title vii and this would bootstrap all gay people and that can't be the case. with the eoc started doing in cases issued in 2011 and recently in 2014 the case that the full commission voted on a lot of these cases delegated authority to our office of federal operations and they issued these opinions,, just said it's also a gender stereotype to think that a man
should marry a woman as opposed to a man. or a women should be involved with men and not women. we have had cases where people were harassed after a co-worker found out that a man was marrying a man and agency said well that's not a sex discrimination claim. they came to us and we said it is because you are acting on gender stereotype of who a man should marry. so that gender stereotyping would not have helped someone like me. how many of you who don't already know me that when i stood up here that must be the first openly lesbian commissioner of the eoc. i say, all of them laugh some of them nervously but that's because i don't violate some of the presentation gender stereotypes but i do violate the most underlying gender stereotype.
so the courts have now begun to pick up these theories so intruder versus library of congress there was a motion to dismiss based on the fact that a gay man claiming sexual discrimination motion dismissed in the court said it sounds like this person is arguing gender stereotyping. his supervisor didn't think he was acting as a man should act. there is also just the plain language theory which is you know if i come and i'm saying my partner, my partner and they think i'm talking about a guy and then i have a picture it picture of my spells and she is a woman suddenly that's a problem that is because of -- and what's interesting that goes to the bootstrapping argument the courts had no trouble figuring this out with inter-racial couples. if i was a woman and i said my
boyfriend my boyfriend and my supervisor is imagining a white guy and suddenly a black guy walked in that is my boyfriend might get harassed or discriminated against the courts haven't had trouble saying that's race discrimination and taking race into account. the courts may say oh my -- that may be covering a whole new category people. instead of just men adjust women now with women white women and black men a whole new category. that's the application of race so in a case that a month or so ago hall versus bnsf there was a guy who got married to his husband asked for health insurance and didn't get it filed suit saying if i were married to a woman i would get health insurance. the employer put in his brief the classic line orientation is not covered under title vii and
the court denied him judgment and said i'm reading the claim. i'm reading the complaint and it's as if i were a man married to a woman i would get health insurance. i'm a man married to a man so i don't and that sex discrimination. the court said i don't see anything about sexual orientation. but of course i think now that social norms have changed the legal logic was always there but now that social logic has changed and in a way social logic, cultural logic had cultural logic have to change before legal logic prevail in courts could actually see the words in front of them. so the last piece these because i want to leave time for questions. let me conclude with this. 50 years ago congress passed title vii of the civil rights act of 1964 and set us off on a
journey in which sex would not be taken into account in the workplace just as race and religion and national origin and color would not be permitted to be taken into account. the journey has not been a simple one and it is not over yet. but over time the law has increasingly been understood to cover many forms of discrimination at the 1964 congress could not have anticipated. it has generated policies and practice on the ground that have advanced gender equity and the law has both shaped and been shaped by social mormons. we all need to remain part of this great journey and to do our bit in bringing complete equity to our workplaces. thank you so much for your attention, your engagement and your scholarship. all of it makes a huge difference. thanks so much. [applause]
if there are questions you either have to come to a mic or you might get the preferential treatment of a person coming to you so just come to this mic. >> thank you for that terrific address and i guess i like to go back to connect to talk with some of the discussion yesterday. hearts and minds, talking about the debate over the 1964 active weather congress is legislating morality will it succeed is that different people saying at least you can reach conduct and eventually you might reach hearts and minds. so i really welcome hearing more about your vision of the interplay of these three things and how this element of hearts and minds and getting people on board to the norm. >> well as you can imagine one of the reasons why i love your presentation and all those
clothes was i think it really reflected number one if you haven't changed hearts and minds to some extent you are not going to get the law passed in the first place. remember there's a problem so they don't feel like it's a problem that people would -- i'm getting jobs were people who tell bad job -- that jobs can get fired if the employer doesn't like the joke so they have to believe that something is problematic is going on in society that representative democracy should respond to. the backdrop is absolutely employment so it's got to be something. some hearts and minds have to have already changed but not all. representative democracy means it meant 60 votes and it has always meant 60 votes in the senate for controversial bill. and i do think we have to accept that we cannot, not only can we
as a government not legislate morality or believe but can definitely legislate on the basis of public morality. what do we think is right or wrong backs not only can't we legislate we should not be legislating belief. that's the essence of protection. you can't tell someone that they have to stop believing something something, but we can send a signal in legislation what we think is wrong and then we can say you have to act in accordance with this unless there is an exemption that we put in to it and ultimately i think it will change social norms. don't worry there will be someone there who is thinking up a question.
>> thanks for that really terrific talk. i have two questions that are pretty separate but the first has to do with in the beginning of her talk telling the good story about the role of title vii and the civil rights act of 1964 with a sex discrimination i kept waiting for you to talk about sexual harassment. my view has been that as a legal matter the creation of the legal marmot gets sexual harassment was remarkable coming out of the supreme court. without much support in the language of the law so you are telling it as a pessimistic story because of the social marmot so i guess i'm wondering if that, in my reading it accurately or is there something problematic about the law? the second one is what has been adjusting is talking about these guidances that you issue. that is my big field and a lot of people tell the story the problem with eeoc is they don't
issue anything that is binding today wonder if your attitude is you are freer to do what you want that will ultimately influence lawmakers. you can issue a guidances which will have whatever social effect they possibly can have played one of the same sort of controversy in resistance if you were doing binding rulemaking. see that both great questions. on the first one no it's not that i would want to downplay the importance of the legal development around sexual harassment. it's just that i already feel that i spoke 10 minutes too long. you know when there is that moment where you are like flagging a little bit. from the audience, not me i'm still going. i mean i think this is why the supreme court accepted it the eeoc had found sexual harassment with sex discrimination and have put that in the guidelines and now it's interesting that guidelines we haven't updated them since 1979.
we did put that out the sex discrimination guidelines. but i think it helped that there was an agency that spelled it out that there were courts below that had have accepted it and even though it's not inherently in the plain text but you can get to it, that it is because of sex and of course that caught up so that means you have to show desire when it is not about that. it's about power so i do think that's a positive story just like i think there are a lot of other positive stories about how the words were interpreted. but part of what i came up with this idea of laws policy practices and social norms there were two things that drove me and one of them was that story i was seeing. the law is pretty clear we bring a lot of cases and i can't tell you how much money we make in settlements of some of these
cases and every employer at least a big employer has a policy, has training, has all the stuff and yet it doesn't trickle down to some supervisors, some co-workers and it's not that they want to pay the money. that is why i think it's important ship between the government and businesses. the national restaurant association and advocacy groups working together. in our strategic enforcement plan one of my colleagues on the commission, we have done a lot of things together in a real-life think manifestation of bipartisanship. we wanted to make it clear enough that we were talking about systemic harassment that we wanted an educational campaign not just more litigation. it hasn't necessarily been understood in that way. on the guidances so i think
someone referenced this yesterday. when a court decides a result that is actually in line with what the eeoc has said in one of its guidances it will always say well there is no chevron difference that this is the agency charged with implementing the law and they have this expertise. we think this makes sense and then when they come to worship result that is opposite day go well you know eoc doesn't have power to issue regulations so in that respect i actually think the guidance in a sense almost as much as regulation potentially. but right now with the rise of the office of management and budget o. ira which reviews regulations i think the biggest issue that agencies have with
regulation is not only the notice in comment period but getting to the white house office management and budget. so i think that is why a fair number of agencies not just the eeoc ends up moving to guidances and again one of the things the commissioner and i have together pushed ford is putting out our guidances for public input. the agency has never done that. and they don't want to do that because they feel it will slow things down and to me i often say i think we are smart but we are not that smart. might there not be some benefit to putting out what we say in our guidance and get him put? obviously erases it as a political matter. i totally get that. but here's the thing, i am an optimist about policy. despite all potential signs the contrary i believe
representative democracy is still the best way to go and that includes reaching out to the people. i think we have time for one more question and you are going to get the mic to you. >> thank you. so i wanted to ask a question about pay and i think that it's great that it's on the agenda in the eeoc's agenda and so forth. one of the biggest barriers i believe to bringing more pay cases and achieving more paid a quality is the lack of information that people had especially in the private sector sector. i have actually always discounted the economic studies and so forth that suggest there is not equal pay violations in the real problem is as that you are suggesting the pay equity problem. i don't think people know if you
work for a private employer many of them have rules that you can get fired if you discuss pay with your co-workers. i don't think women know for example but their pay is relative to males. i don't working for a private employer. i did at the university of wisconsin because you could file a foia request there and find out tape you wanted to. i think the biggest single thing that eeoc could do that would cause a firestorm of course would be to mandate pay information, reported to the commission the same way they require the reporting of job category hiring and so on. i was wondering if you have thought about that or why that hasn't been done and so forth? >> that is actually a great question i think i'm done for a talk on gender equity and i'm glad you brought that up.
there is a fair amount of straight out equal pie -- pay violation. i may be given short shrift that i wanted to say we bring those cases. we see those cases but a real barriers that people don't know what their pay is. number one i think it's been very helpful that from nlrb perspective they have made it clear that the labor relations act under the law people are getting together and talking about conditions which include wages they cannot then be disciplined, terminated. so that's real protection in every workplace. ` education to get that out. i also believed in terms of just sex discrimination if someone asks about the issues and then gives -- is retaliated against for doing that i mean how is that not a form of sex discrimination?
again a lot of women won't do that because they have been told the policy you can discuss and a policy that just says you can't discuss without making it clear what the outcome would be if you did doesn't have the same violation. but a lot of them don't. i do think it's important to be able to collect data. as you know what others may not under the equal pay act we do have the authority to do an investigation so unlike title vii ada where we have to have a charter come to us or i can issue and my colleagues can issue commissioner charges under equal pay we can do a direct investigation and that is often how we get paid data. but i think it's an open question of law as to whether we are committed to surrender her current authority to say you have to give us paid data and
along those lines we commissioned a study of the national academy of science two years ago to say if we decided to collect pay data clearly indicated that we might well have that authority what they dated the recommend that we collect and how do we collect it it? that came in some time ago. we haven't done anything with it yet. i have to say one of the things i learned when i came to the commission and the federal government things move a little more slowly than i would like practically with a different world. i probably should've gotten up password in a dictionary when i came to the government and it's why i decided to give up my tenure at georgetown and stay the commission for a second term because there were things that got started that just needed more time. so stay tuned for the next three years and i hope the commission