tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 20, 2015 8:30am-10:31am EDT
ultimate decision. i am disagreeing and i think it's irresponsible withholding information that should be openly disclosed to the committee and the american people. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york mr. collins. >> before i get to the questions for the commissioner o'reilly and pai. there were ten meetings and we do understand on the side of the disclosure it is my understanding that the other nine meetings there was nothing of sickness against discussed relative to the fcc where under the rules you should have or would be required to otherwise disclosed that is it true there was nothing disclosed on the nine of the ten meetings?
>> was there anything disclosed? i guess i'm just befuddled that in nine of the ten meetings in the white house there was nothing of any consequence discussed that would require disclosure. i will just say i am befuddled by that. one thing is the important uncertainty. can anyone stress the importance to the providers in the internet space of certainty and i can't agree more with my life in the public sector. certainty drives returns and with certainty you invest in innovation and i would say it's obvious today the way things have worked. we have the number one service in the world.
the investments have been billions -- that commissioner pai said trillions of dollars we lead the world today. wales were unanimous agreement litigation is coming and likely to take three years. the chair man said guaranteed there is litigation. if that's not the definition of uncertainty i don't know what that is. the folks looking to invest and innovate in this world have to live under the certainty of which court is going to rule how so to me there is an issue here inconsistency in the importance of certainty. so i guess i would like to say again to me the lack of uncertainty is a wet blanket on
innovation and my worry is with less innovation and less investment we will someday wake up and not be the leaders in the world relative to what we think and know. >> can you briefly comment on that and take a minute. >> i couldn't agree with you more uncertainty is not only in the private sector but who won't get the benefit of some of that risk. i will give you two instances this generates with respect to the internet contact us standard that lays out the nonexhaustive factors under which they will determine what is allowed allowed and what isn't allowed and the fcc after the vote seeded we don't know where things go next and they will sit there as a referee and the electronic foundation targeted the school and said the problem with the rule this vague is that
they know in advance what will run afoul of the rule. second example the advisory opinion process nobody knows how it works and when you pair the enforcement enforcement and the bureau advisory opinion process with the internet context standard that is the entrepreneurial spirit that will be funneled through the regulatory bottleneck and nobody will know until they get permission from washington but is allowed and what isn't. >> the only thing certain is uncertainty for the next three years. >> i couldn't agree with my colleague anymore. i was in st. louis a month ago and talked about what could happen under this item and these are small guys. we talk about other providers but these are trying to serve in the most rural parts of america
in the advice in bans and it means more compliance and you don't know what you can do for your business a number of years and they were frustrated beyond belief. >> i share your concerns and i think america will too. >> i've heard some of the same things. they will be overwhelmed by this and so we are meeting with some of them as well. i know he's on his way so we will try to accommodate his questioning. >> i have to catch a flight and i don't know if that has an effect on if i leave can you keep the hearing opened? >> we should try to accommodate the third ranking member
committee. >> about we start at 11:00 so he has had some time to get here. i'm a patient person but i don't want to miss my flight. >> what time is is your flight? >> i have to go out to dallas. it's doesn't leave from the horseshoe unfortunately. [laughter] >> so while he comes in the door we are going to let him get settled but as he is if i could ask all the witnesses will there be some follow-up questions because of the nature of the work we would like to have prompt responses to the questions. the extent you can respond that would be helpful and we would like your feedback on the draft legislation we put out there.
it's not a rush. we are trying to get this right. with that i would recognize the gentleman from louisiana the width of the united states house of representatives allowing him to catch his breath. >> thank you mr. chairman. i tested my speed getting here but i appreciate the commissioners being here to testify about this net neutrality proposal that i know i have strong concerns about and my colleagues expressed as well. when you get back to the basic question of what works in the community as a whole, somebody that actually did and worked in the technology industry i always felt the reason they've been successful is because the
federal government hasn't figured out a way to regulate to slow it down and yet here you have an answer to a problem that doesn't exist and if the traditional role hasn't been the heavy hand when you look at the proposal over 300 pages of regulations before they were put into effect i'm sure they look to for 300 pages of regulation from the federal government to start the process. it's not broken. why are they here to fix something that's been working well when you've been looking at the role of the federal regulations over the years and what they've done to harm our economy. i do want to ask because you made comments earlier about the potential taxes and fees when you look at the section of the
wall it gives the ability to get involved in regulating costs so if you can share with me what kind of impact this can have on the fees being implemented at the prices consumers will pay from this new classification. >> i think a multitude of fees and taxes will be levied in a way that is going down to the consumer spectrum it to give you an example now that it's been reclassified as a telecommunication service that opens the door to billions of taxes and fees being assessed in the universal service fund is with that line item on the phone bill he will be paying a fee on broadband and that would have been happen in the next several weeks or months. there are all sorts of others that are going to be assessed for example currently a lot of providers paid a lower rate
under section 224 and now they will have to pay a higher rate of section 224 t. and smaller providers have to pay $200 million a year just for those higher poll attachment rates and out on top of that property taxes a lot of the companies have to pay because they are not telecom providers in all of these costs come out of somewhere and it's going to be the consumer's wallet and that is one of the reasons for concern. >> we have seen time and time again these new fees and taxes will ultimately paid by consumers and people that have been enjoying the benefits of the investments made by private companies to the tune of billions of dollars. i will review this quote there's nothing worse for investment innovation and job creation of
things that flow from investment in businesses not knowing what the rules are. do you have a comment on that? >> not just the private sector but the consumer cannot know what is going to be about and what allowed and what isn't and it is in that environment where the private sector is the least likely to take the risk to build the infrastructure to build digital opportunities and i believe as you pointed out eloquently in your statement perfectly reasonably enjoy the best experience of the world is because we've had this historic commitment dating back to the clinton administration that it would be free from the regulation. >> that was the chairman of the confirmation hearing i do want to ask you because you commented on this order to negatively impact the providers and they had been proponents of these regulations but you raised some
concerns how they would be impacted. >> the lines between the provider are blurring over time and so you may have multiple parts of your business and that is problematic as you try to figure out how to comply with the rules and more importantly i believe the commission will continue to push its regulations up the chain and as of today when we talk about that under the new definition and then we are now having a debate on how we have the structure to deal with the middle mile we are bleeding red into the backbone of the internet and that only leads us to the providers over time. >> i appreciate your answers and yield back my time.
>> now that i know the rules required we could go five or six more rounds. >> i'm sure they would love to stay around longer. [laughter] i want to thank the witnesses i know that you have a tough job and we may disagree but we are all trying to do the right thing. thanks for the testimony and if you can promptly respond to our questions that would be appreciated and we look forward to your return visit in the not too distant future we hope and with that the committee stands adjourned.
we are live this morning from the republican national association meeting. groups holding their policy conference in washington. expected speakers include senator bob corker, rob portman, susan brooks and former maryland governor bob ehrlich. right now they are taking care of some pre- conference business. susan brooks will be the first speaker. live coverage from the press club in washington, d.c.. >> you can google me and i'm happy to get you in touch. one of the things we will need as we put together and i think it will be a cd-rom form is in addition to the actual
information the candidates need the actual timelines and flowcharts that's going to require some degree of resources and if you are interested in maybe helping sponsor this project or contribute please contact larry. we are interested in volunteers and sponsors for the project. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for taking on this project. i forgot to mention that he chairs the political wall group and does quite a good job at that. he also failed to mention that while we will have it completed by the end of the summer he will have the earliest states out well before the middle of the summer to end sure the candidates don't have too much
anxiety. it's my pleasure to introduce tom wheeler, the chairman of today's program and he's done a stellar job putting together what i think you will find a fabulously informative and interesting program. tom is a member and expert in education law and a public practice and regularly appears in super lawyers of indiana. i understand there are several as well as best lawyers in america. he's been published a number of times, former chair of the indiana commission and the general counsel to a fellow by the name of mike pence. chairman wheeler. [applause] >> let me start by welcoming our friends from c-span and also note unlike stephan my name is
thomas wheeler so when the new fcc commissioner was appointed i received a lot of e-mails and wonder why barack obama obama with a point to anything so me to anything so when you google my name you will get him. send your complaints to him. we do have a panel on the fcc neutrality program this afternoon. i may join them and perhaps we could overturn them. [laughter] when we talked about this program it was important for us to discuss what we saw as kind of a fundamental change in the relationship in the and the branches of government and we are seeing that. it's on the front page of "the wall street journal" every day. there is a tension going on between the executive branch the legislative branch and judicial. he seems to be bypassing them and is causing pushback as as you saw in a speech in the letter that went a suspect
subject to conversation with fellow speakers coming up so there is a tension going on and we want to address that and have the people that are in the midst of everything going on speech today and that's what you've got. i would like to do that starting with our first speaker. no stranger to me, congresswoman susan brooks. she is my congresswoman i am proud to say and it is an honor to introduce her. i'm going to introduce her by talking to somebody else. for those of you that know me by now able to view my son is in the military, officer in the united states navy. our mutual friend -- [applause] and by governor mike pence is literally at quantico today his son is being sworn in as a lieutenant in the united states were in court. we get it as parents of kids in the military there are risks
that go along with that but the one thing we think of god forbid something happens to our kids what i and my wife want to know if wanted to visit wasn't in vain and there was a reason for what happened into their lives were not given in vain and for me that's why it's so import and it my congresswoman is also a member of the house select committee on benghazi because the press is playing it as a political witchhunt but that's not what it's about. it's getting the truth and getting an answer for those parents. what happened to their kids, why did they die. that's all we are asking. we get those things may happen we just want to know that it wasn't in vain. and for me despite having that's like having susan is great. she's a united states attorney. she knows how to get to the
truth but she's not getting to the truth as part of a political witchhunt. she's doing it for the parents and as a trained attorney and not somebody seeking the spotlight and i suspect a lot of you probably don't know susan yet and no she served on that committee but i'm confident that her years as an attorney will allow her to do what it takes to get to the truth and find out whether those people died in vain and why what happened happened. and based on her experience as an attorney she's going to do everything it takes to get to the truth even if it goes all the way to go the clinton's private server. so with that my friend susan brooks. [applause] >> they are all leaving.
[laughter] good morning everyone. great to be here. i was going to turn to my right and left and certainly want to thank tom wheeler for introducing me and also randy, the chair and the cochair and the committee for hosting me this morning. i do have a quick announcement because of what has happened to the committee asked me to make an announcement. as a 30 year lawyer i understand how to does or what they want me to make sure you know attendance may be taken so if you are gone you might get a little add-on to your fees. don't worry i'm just kidding if you're going to be watching the hoosiers like i might be at the airport anyway we hope to see
you at indianapolis for the final four for those that may be joining. but i do want to congratulate all of you for being a part of the 30th anniversary as an organization and to thank all of you for your effort to ensure that we have fair, open and honest process through the country. my husband david brooks does election will usually not law usually not at the federal level but at our hometown and counties and is involved in a lot of recounts and challenges and so forth and so i know about the kind of work you do and did the justice department i learned about the kind of work you will do and i know it is often work that is done behind the scenes and the candidates and their families and their teams know what you do and i just want to thank you for the work you do to prepare the candidates to make sure they are in the balance and that we have an open and fair
process and that is critical to the system so i'm grateful for what you do. i am not sure are there any more attorneys or anyone in the justice department. it's wonderful to have you again and i understand the attorney general is going to be speaking with you later today. i was recently with the attorney general in indiana. he was the keynote speaker at an event. he is a powerful speaker and you are in for a wonderful time. i was proud to be on the his attorney general advisory committee when i was u.s. attorney. before i get to the overview as tom asked me to give on the select committee on their --
benghazi i understand i'm the only house member to be addressing you because we ended the session yesterday and as you may or may not know we are the first place out of town usually said to get back to be with our constituents and be with families and to be in the district i happened to have an event last night and when tom asked me to be here i thought this was an important group for me to come and meet and talk with you about your topic and the theme of the day. i want to just touch on a few highlights of what the residency looks like from a second term member. however if you are at home i would say i'm part of now the washington establishment so they say that's not too terribly long ago i was balancing a job and
general counsel. i was getting ready to send my son off to college. you may be getting ready to do that in the fold. i've never run for office before. i haven't worked on the hill. i'd paid attention and i had come here as the united states attorney for many meetings that i've actually never been a legislator. i never served in the legislative body. but like you i've been an attorney 30 years this year. as a lawyer it is to defend the rule of law so i'm going to talk to you you of the imperial presidency as a lawyer who only with facts that i see and not too much rhetoric. going to try to give you the facts of what we are dealing with and i do feel passionately about this issue and it is not
what i thought it was going to be like when i got here. like many members of congress, both republican and democrat lee ran for office because we wanted to make a difference. we wanted it to be a voice for our constituents but i had another reason to run and that is because at the time i was running combined running the mind of the mother to an 18 month old in the 21 -- 18-year-old in the 21-year-old and with their friends come and young adults high school and college kids they had lost faith in our system. they lost faith in government so we wanted to restore faith in our government and particularly quite honestly the faith our young people i wanted to restore with them because they are the future and we talked about them being our future and they shared
with me they were tired of the gridlock in washington, d.c.. they thought it was dysfunctional and we needed more bipartisanship, so i talked with a lot of young people and i explained that i would give my best shot and that i do give the finest shot. but if you talk with young people about their views of government i think you will find very much the same type of opinions that i found. so it is the post stimulus that is already past. when i was running in 2012 we had high hopes that i was going to be coming into a
republican-led house with a leader in place but even then we knew it was going to be tough to win the senate and his whiny that in order to get anything that we would have to reach across the aisle and i tell kids they are really is an iowa the house of chamber. you have to walk across the aisle to talk with people on other sides and to understand that's what it is. but of course, when i got to washington to president was elected again president obama, and i was given an opportunity to walk across the aisle early on. both he and the vice president pushed that they wanted to renew the violence against women act and that was one of my first big boats that we worked on when we came into congress in 2013. there were some jurisdictional reasons that some were opposed
to the renewal in large part because there was language that caused issues on jurisdiction. i wasn't one of those that necessarily agreed i thought i'm in indianapolis responsible for public safety and i'd been on too many ride along as with police officers who were called on domestic violence calls, and i know how serious the problem is in the country. .. it was a tough issue. there were some tough issues to
deal with but i thought it was way to show that we could govern. but over the next several months the white house just really became closed off. white house legislative staff rarely reached out to members of congress and still rarely reaches out to individual members of congress unless they are in leadership. so if you're not in leadership you don't get a call. we rarely get as past presidents have assigned legislative folks to take different members and to be our liaisons. we may have one in name but we rarely see or hear from the white house on any legislative matters. most of my house colleagues have never spoken to the president in a meeting or otherwise very, very few, or have ever been invited to the white house for hardly anything. i've been to the white house one time for any serious policy
issue. it was incoming freshmen freshmen were invited to sit down with the chief of staff to talk about syria. but other than the holiday party that we are all all invited to come and what should you think is an important event for republicans and democrats to come together and to be together during the holidays, it's truly the only conversation or often only time we see the president which i think is very, very unfortunate. in his 2014 state of unions the president came to congress and on the floor of the house told us he would go it alone quote wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation, end of quote. in this year's state of the union you probably heard despite the fact his party had been resoundingly defeated in the polls president obama made essentially the same threat.
now i am not sure what would happen if i were ever invited to the oval office and accepted the invitation to go visit with the president into sofitel the president that we're going to completely ignore him. i don't believe that i would end your post to a or begin to create a relationship but quite frankly i was offended and was very disappointed quite frankly that the leader of our country and of the leader of someone who should be leading the house and the senate and bringing us together to work on our country's most significant issues was essentially just telling us who's going to go it alone and we've seen that. many of my colleagues including some democrats who have sued to his privacy that they have had they have more interaction with a president and his administration when they were members of their statehouses than when they are empty house of representatives. so in many ways and while that
might seem that maybe we shouldn't have a one on one or a regular dialogue with the president, if you think about it though he is not listening to us. he is not listening to our leadership. he has taken with our voice. but it's not just my voice. it's not individual constituent voices, or it is the voice of a 731,000 people that i represent. most members of congress represent over 700,000 people. now we have plenty of opportunities to have a voice. this is one of those places where we have a voice and with a voice when we are at home or when we are speaking to media. but when you think about the white house not listening to the house, the house of representatives, he is taking away their voice. i think also taking with the millions of voices that quite frankly there were nine states across the country who replaced
democrat senate, senators with republicans nine. and so those are voices of those states that need to be heard. one midwestern newspaper explained what the presidents actions are wrong, and its editors wrote there is no constitutional provision allowing a president to assume absolute power when he doesn't get his way. president obama points to his election as the source of his authority to act unilaterally. i'm sure you've all heard about. but, as this paper said, each member of congress won an election too. and newspapers right i think the presidents actions are wrong. he always points to elections as mandates and that is election and reelection was a mandate. but yet look at our majorities. we won the house resoundingly and we won the senate. now not with enough votes to be, you know, to be vetoproof
certainly or to get sal -- to get to some of the critical debates we need to have but we have mandates from those who have elected us. a few of those things that are just want to share with you as to how i think the president has overstepped his authority and how he has ignored the house we will first start with the affordable care act. probably got more calls from constituents on any issue that's the affordable care act. in the white house as you all know unilaterally changed the law in ways that essentially rewrites it. so indeed as you probably know the administration has changed the law. that was passed over 47 different times. in 2010 to four i arrived in washington, the democrat led congress passed the affordable care act on a complete partisan basis, and it clearly stated that businesses had to comply with the employer mandate by
january 1 2014. faced with the reality of that mandate, niña employers cut jobs and cut hours. the white house was happening. the white house moved that date back. now perhaps the law should have set a much later date but it did not. the law had a big very specifically in the law. but that's not the provision they passed. to provision the pass was january of 2014. we have voted to repeal, yes, we take many votes to repeal the employer mandate and i do so again. but when you receive letters and calls from constituents and when we are home and we see them the school corporation where tom lives, wrote and told us that they were forced to cut substitute teacher hours teachers assistance for special needs kids coaches, bus driver hours and all of these things
to get under that 30 hours because they were all part-time workers. one school official said and asked whether or not the white house thought about those seventh and eighth grade basketball players or the special needs kids that needed those workers when it pushed through the law. and i have to tell you that's just one little story among stories upon stories upon stories that we as members of congress all have heard and all have listened to. and so the challenge for us is that when the political winds shift and when the president has realized how the law is going to impact people, they have unilaterally changed it on their own. and so we believe that should be done through the legislative process, and you all as lawyers know that better than most, that if the law is wrong, if the law is not right we need to change it. and so we were compelled to respond to the president's unilateral action and lesson we voted to challenge his action
through a lawsuit. my first time i hope my last but may not be the last that i voted for a lawsuit in the november we filed united states house like versus burwell. it was filed in the d.c. district court and it is now as you know moving its way through the courts. but it's our duty in the u.s. house to defend the constitution. we all take outs. we take the same oath to defend the constitution. congress writes the laws. executive branch is due supposed to enforce the laws. also another place where president has exceeded his authority and i'm sure you're going to hear about this time and time again today, is through the rulemaking process. as you may note the house has voted multiple times and i'm not going to go through all of the times we vote to overturn some of the white house's rule. one regulation many of you have maybe heard about is the epa's waters of the u.s. rule or sometimes referred to as woda.
but it expands the federal powers of the epa under the clean water act and the house voted last year to stop it but the senate under leader reid didn't act. so both republicans and many democrats actually oppose this will because for instance, the present farm bureau said it's the biggest federal land grab we've seen to date. it literally gives the president the authority to regulate the puddles on farm fields across the country. and one farmer in my district, a great farmer and a third generation farmer brought me a picture which i use on the house floor and showed me a picture of a big puddle in one of his farms on some of these acres after a flood and he said this is what the epa, what we may have to get permit, with the epa could
regulate under this rule. this is going to drink very quickly we very quickly we just had a big spring rain but now they are very, very concerned as to how this could happen, how it's going to be implement. i have to tell you epa administrator gina mccarthy just apologized for her agency's failure to reach out to farmers at a national farmers union conference in kansas, and just this week i believe she said, and i quote, i really really really wish we have talked to you. okay? well, they are not talking to constituents. they are not talking to the people. we submitted many many letters of opposition. farmers mobilized shopping mall owners organized anyone who has a surface lot organized and wrote letters, and they are not listening. i really wished they had talked to them as well. so the president, and this is
one last area i'm going to mention about overreach, but it is probably one of the hottest issues right now. and as you know the president has gone around congress when it comes to immigration. now, i understand his frustration with the current system. the current system is broken. i hear that from my constituents all the time with the biggest issue to begin with why can't we secure our borders? like it we secure our borders and why can't washington get this done to start with? we need to start with that but the of the things wrong with our immigration system and we all need to acknowledge it. but it's up to congress to work through both sides of the aisle in figure that out. but, if we don't figure it out quite frankly we will be in the same place 20 years later and that's what people have been saying to us. but finding executive order like the present just it is one part of the immigration problem and then the president sets us back.
speaker boehner shared that with them, don't do things with executive orders on immigration when we began to the dialogue and discussion of what parts we can fix piece by piece by piece. and so it sends the exact wrong message and is said to congress, i'm not going to wait on you i'm not going to do -- i'm not going to let you do what you constitutional duty is to fix this and i'm going to go around you. so i applaud i believe 26 states have challenged the president president on what he did on his latest action. and they've actually blocked his order in a texas district court. so that is a victory there to present latest immigration executive action order a preliminary injunction initially and as you all know it will now be working its way through the courts. but not only does it send a bad signal, it inflames both sides everything sadly that is what we've seen time and time again. when he signs an order even as
our leaders might want to be working toward a resolution on some difficult issues because that's what company is about the president has stepped in, that does something that can inflames both sides and pushes the body further apart. so the last issue i just want to mention that i think both sides of the aisle were up in arms on was when the president traded the taliban guantánamo bay detainees for sergeant bergdahl without notifying congress. and those discussions have actually, i have to tell you earlier this year you probably know that even one of the five detainees has already reported to return to the battlefield with the terrorists. and in briefings come in classified briefings, democrats and republicans angrily asked the administration why they did that. and so i will tell you it was not a partisan issue. both sides of the aisle were
insisting to know what the presidents administration font when they did that, and how they could go around congress and not consult and talk with members of the appropriations committee before the swap was me. i think the u.s. is less safe today because of this type of overreach. the country is less safe because of this swap. i have to tell you that the president has taken all these actions despite, he's told the american people as many of you know, has said he wouldn't do it. in fact, when i sat down to think about, i was going to some of his remarks as to how many times he said he wouldn't act like this but quite frankly would take me another half-hour to go through all of the times and you all know you use nexus lexus and the google. i can tell you there are so many times the president actually said himself he wasn't king or emperor and wouldn't write the laws himself. but it will tell you that he did
when he ran in 2008, he actually said he was opposed to executive overreach very specifically. but since being elected when it is politically convenient, he makes the changes to executive action. that is exactly what he said he would not do throughout his first campaign, and even since that first campaign. he wants a democracy is hard, but it's right. he said quote changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes one by one. now let me tell you from a lot of rank-and-file republicans the president is not as i have said earlier changing our minds one by one. he is not picking up the phone or having his death picking up the phone and trying to change our mind and trying to influence our vote. our founders put in place the checks and balances just so this
would not happen just so future leaders wouldn't have that temptation to grab too much power. but i think unfortunately president obama has forgotten about. he is on the path to grab more power and to exert that power. but i have to tell you one place where he has i think given the power, where he has abdicated power where we need stronger leadership, is his refusal to adhere to the red lines on syria his refusal to meet with prime minister netanyahu when he came to visit us. is allowing iran to expand power in the middle east allowing russia to go unchecked in the ukraine, failing to strike at isis when iraqi leaders asked for more support and now look what is happening with isis in iraq, and then the tragedy in in gaza. and the tragedy in benghazi, it's obviously clear that there
are too many unanswered questions and a proud to be one of seven republicans answering those questions. and there are five democrats also answering questions. because there are so questions left to be answered. we are working hard to revive the company it's a picture of what happened during, before, during, and after the attack. and because at the end of the day as tom said, we need to make sure that when we have american personnel stationed in dangerous places all around the globe where military diplomatic corps, we need to know that we have all the plans in place possible to rescue them and to save them if they should come into harm's way. we need to try to ensure that we don't have ambassadors died in the future, and the teams were there to protect them and to work with them do not die in the future. and so we have been working hard to that end. we've met with family members like tom just mention. we've met with family members of
the deceased, of the four americans who died to see what we could learn from them what they knew before the family members were tragically killed what questions they have about the incident. we didn't do this in front of the press. we didn't make it a big press event because it's not. it is something that is so horribly tragic in their lives that they are still experiencing, that we wanted to honor and respect their privacy. we wanted to hear from them and ask those questions in a private setting. we are working continuing, we held classified briefings with the fbi who is overseeing obviously the prosecution and investigation of those who committed these crimes. we saw the surveillance footage of the attack that night. we have requested rounds of interviews with top level officials at the state department, who were never
interviewed before. never interviewed, not allowed not indicate bypass committees not that the of the committees didn't ask but that they were not brought before of the committees. were not interviewed by the accountability review board that the state department had within a couple of months right after the attack. many top level officials were never interviewed. and so we plan to interview former chief of staff leon panetta. we plan to ask questions of national security advisor susan rice, and many more top officials. we are also right now in the process of interviewing diplomatic security officers who were on the ground in libya for months before the attack, and we are even talking to survivors of the attack. now, many of these people have never been interviewed before. we are not doing that again all out in the public eye because some of what they are sharing with us is classified. much is not classified but eventually we will bring those
back and forth in a comprehensive report. i am encouraged, we are getting access to new witnesses and we have also obtained over 15,000 pages of documents that were never given to other committees in the past. i'm sure you're wondering about the issues of the last couple of weeks, and that's the e-mail issue. the e-mail issue was uncovered by the select committee. as i said in the weekly republican address this past week, e-mails regarding state department business, even if they were run through a private server at hillary clinton's home, rightfully belong to the american people. [applause] thank you. they don't belong to secretary clinton. of course our personal e-mails to do but not her state department e-mails. not her work related e-mails.
not a government related e-mails, and they don't belong to the obama administration. they belong to the american people. and so in february the state department revealed to us the committee for the first time that secretary clinton used only a personal e-mail system during her time at the state department. previous committees have not uncovered that. not that they had not asked okay, work has been going on this since 2012. many committees did find work and ask the state department many questions. at no point until then despite extensive negotiations with the state department over the past eight months, because our committee was stood up in the summer, last summer, never did the state department revealed to us that the department was not in possession of the secretary's e-mails. or that the secretary used only a private e-mail to conduct agency business, never. for all that period of time that
we were negotiating with the state department lawyers and we were talking about what we needed to move this investigation forward, they never shared with us that they didn't have her e-mails. on march 4, the select committee issued subpoenas for all of secretary clinton's communications related to libya. and then in the q&a session about six days later secretary clinton said she didn't want to be burdened by two phones and that she chose not to keep thousands of e-mails. now, i worry about these related e-mails, not only because i worry whether or not the select committee has access to information the american people deserve. i worry because it sets a very dangerous precedent for government officials. the rules should apply to all government officials, even if they don't want to be burdened with two cell phones. and as you know, many many
people have two cell phones, or many people use one cell phone and have two different accounts. they have got dot gov account and a personal account. it happens all the time. the chairman of the select committee representative gaudi said about the e-mails, secretary clinton although created this predicament but she alone does not get to determine its outcome. and i think she would like that. she alone to determine the outcome of this issue. he's right. and in our view, secretary clinton should turn her server over to a neutral third party arbiter who can adequately determine which e-mails were work related -- [applause] turned over to a third party, the inspector general who reports to the president reports not to the secretary turn over to a retired federal judge, but turned over to an end to a third party that i believe we could come to agreement with
both parties as to who that should be. to determine which e-mails are work related and which ones are personal to we believe it is reasonable and it is the just thing to do. the select committee will continue to work to settle this matter and get to the bottom of what happened on september 11. we will work hard in the house of representatives to kenya to preserve the balance of power our founders envisioned. our constitutional system which you all work on behalf of day in and day out is what makes this country safe and great, and we must defend at every turn. and it will restore those young adults and the next generations faith in washington. we need the house to take this responsibility now more than ever. i am proud to be a part of the house that is doing that but the president needs to give us our voice. the boys were most of us are representing over 700,000. i'm hopeful with a unified republican house and senate will have more of an opportunity to do so. what a perfect timing for
senator portman coming as a talk about a unified republican house and senate, and i want to thank you very much. thank you. [applause] >> thank you all. >> i assume there is no time for q&a? >> it's up to you guys. >> you want to take one or two? >> one or two? any? >> we have a microphone in the back. we are waiting for a microphone. >> i can repeat the question. [inaudible] she then took extra measures
like e-mails good and bad rebels we now well -- now know with weapons, the same things kill our ambassador, but what about the idea that those e-mails and the arms shipment kind of portrayed an attitude of running her own secret wars speak with well, thank you for that question. the reason, and without getting into, and the one thing that the committee has worked very, very hard to do, and that is why we did not release as soon as we found out that secretary clinton used a private e-mail, we actually learned that several months ago. but if you are conducting a thorough, fair investigation which is what chairman gowdy and what the committee is trying to do, we are not leaking information. we are not putting information out to the public about anything
that we're finding out during the investigation. and i appreciate the question and we encourage questions that continue to come to us because those are the answers that we hope to provide in the comprehensive report when we finally get that forward. so those all the types of questions that we will be that we are searching for answers for, but with respect to what we're learning during the investigation, i'm sorry, i'm just not in a position to say. i think for those of you done long-term investigations that is, you know, we've yet to have the question of the secretary. because as you also know in doing an investigation, i've been involved in many you don't bring in a witness for questioning until you have the document, tell you have the e-mails and the communications upon which to answer to ask questions from. we have to obtain those and that's why we must have the state department and the secretaries cooperation, and i'm sure she would like to get in and talk to us as soon as you
possibly can. >> i'm going to apologize. i'm on a real tight schedule with c-span. i apologize. >> enjoy your day. [applause] >> with that i'm going to make a brief introduction. i'm going to introduce past president of these were position at a partner. >> thanks, john to your doing a heckuva job at the fcc by the way. i don't know what you are think i net neutrality but good morning, it's my great pleasure to introduce and welcome senator portman. there are few people in this country better equipped to be united states senator on day one than rob portman. prior to being elected to the trendy to send rob server 12 years in the house of representatives. ..
would be better off and it would be easier to cloture to back to veto. [laughter] but there is only one and the people of ohio are fortunate to claim him as their own and we are fortunate to have him today. please help me give a warm welcome to senator rob portman. [applause] >> thanks very much. it would be easy to get cloture in the senate when we are having difficulties there. thank you for having me. he's been a longtime friend and i appreciate the work that he does and that you do and others to ensure that we have fair elections including in my book i stayed i appreciate the advice a lot if of you have given me on policy issues and now with the chairmanship helping us to work through some important investigations.
i was going to start by telling a couple of jokes and that i realized lawyers don't think they are very funny and the nonlawyers in the room won't know that they are. [laughter] that was a joke okay. [laughter] what we talk about what you asked me to talk about which is the rise of the imperial presidency. i've worked on both ends of pennsylvania avenue and dating myself which he didn't say i start at my career i guess in terms of administration work as associate counsel to the president in the first administration so i've kind of seen it in different perspectives and i know that when you look at the history of the country i think what you
will see is that particularly during the 20th century the power of the presidency has grown. but i think what you've seen in the last six years is extraordinary. i can't think of any kind certainly in modern times when there has been a power grab in terms of the power of the presidency and it's not just president obama has reached for some expanded authority for himself. i think he's done so in a way that does undermine the careful balance that our founders intended in the constitution and when you look at the federalist papers as some of you are aware alexander hamilton who was a lawyer wrote the character of the executive and that now famous paper among other things he discussed to take care.
they've limited and divided the government and in many ways the chief executive of the nation plays the most fundamental role in the courts as we think about the president is the one charged with ensuring the walls and constitution is honored and respected, followed by those many thousands of public servants come along enforcement personnel and officials that run the government so this is a critical topic and i'm glad you're taking it up and president obama has failed to perform this laid out by alexander hamilton. he is not taking care that the walls are faithfully executed. in government much like our dalia lives it is often tempting to take the easy path and all of us do that from time to time.
the government often conceived and also leads to trouble and that's what the administration has done so during the presidency when the president has seen the policies questions and when the road to the political common ground has been rough or uncertain that is the way again the founders intended it with the government that we have now. the presidents typically chooses an easy path and that easier path in his case of course as executive action using the famous pin in the phone the leadership is often not taken. immigration is a great example. it's fair to see that immigration is a divisive issue. it's an emotional issue. it's not easy. but i think we have a lot of
common ground. people get it on both sides of the aisle that the system is broken and the american people get it. you need to look no further than the recent chaos on the border to see what's going on in terms of the whack of a secure border. you need to look no further than what's happening in terms of the entry and exit system for those coming into the country we don't know who is here at a time of increased national security dangerous to the country this is an issue that we are willing to address and we acknowledge the workplace has an effective verification program and people using .-full-stop humans can get work and it continues to be a magnet so i guess what i would say is that the immigration system although again fixing it is not easy is one where there's actually a lot of solid ground to start working on a bipartisan
solution. one that both secures the border and streamline the illegal and the legal system and i think that president obama could have build on that and come to the table and use the bully pulpit to create more consensus on the reform but that would have been hard. it involves engagement and finding compromise. it involves seeking the consensus. it's the right thing to do because we do need to reform these laws. but instead the president with the stroke of a pen torpedoed any chance of us coming together to provide the reforms that are needed so people disagree with whether the order was actually illegal or not. it seems like more and more courts are agreeing with that with what happened with the federal district court in texas and we will see with the fifth circuit says.
but what we do know is that this is certainly created a the kind of division and washing and where it's going to be tougher to come up with the solutions that are necessary. we know the view was designed to have some flexibility. still i taking advantage of the flexibility to do something with unprecedented scope and impact the president has not only undermined immigration reform but again this essential balance the founders contended. the president may have great power through the executive order but by the way it also has an expiration date and this is something that is sometimes lost on the media. in this case it is january 20 2017. the president may think that he can circumvent the constitution that he can't outrun it. and that's the essential problem. it's going to catch up to him. and because he has been on
willing to work with republicans in congress, many of these accomplishments are simply going to disappear as a new president uses his or her pen to actually execute an exercise his or her own executive authority. i do think there is time to get things done and i hope the president will see that instead of taking the easy way we we should've tried the hard way on important issues for that country. the two that i'm involved with and some of you are as well are reforming our outdated code before we lose more and more companies and jobs and investments overseas. it is a problem that faces us everyday. we had a pharmaceutical company purchased by a foreign company and what's interesting about that is that this pharmaceutical company tried to invert the overseas by buying a smaller company and was blocked by doing so in the regulations and the treasury department so it's
taken over by a foreign company and what's interesting to me is they have recently inverted to canada to become a foreign company and what may be more interesting is of the suitors that attempted to buy this company 11 were for him. one was american and that one is now in the process of converting to the netherlands. so that's before our eyes. we are losing not just headquarters jobs and investments and if we don't change our tax code over the next year or so we could wait until 2017 dot 28 team but we will lose more companies and jobs and investment opportunities. so this is one that is crying out for leadership from congress and the president to take the hard road where there is a lot of consensus. the second one i will mention
his trade. we are on the sidelines as a country while others continue to negotiate the agreements that give our workers and farmers and service providers that are left out. this is the first since franklin d-delta roosevelt not to have the authority to open markets for our workers. so the president says he wants it now to have that authority and the majority said we would like the president to obtain not for the country and for the next president as well and this is an opportunity that it requires hard work and engagement and consensus building and the kind of thing that constitute the hard road. i'm hopeful the president will take that road. it's too bad that the debate over immigration reform is essentially more abundant over the next years because of what two years because of what i think was ultimately an
overreach on the executive order that i will tell you i have hoped for other policies as i said that as bad as the immigration executive order is far worse are the consequences of the liberal actions on the foreign policy because those may have more lasting and important effects and i'm referring specifically to negotiations with iran. i think you will hear from other colleagues today as mine on this of mine on this topic but let me just say this. the president seems to have decided to try to go it alone on iran to the point of the administration acknowledged any agreement would not be legally binding as they say. that's unfortunate. i don't think long-term peace and stability can be built. instead of the president ought
to work with the united states congress to ensure that the disagreement is one that can be supported by the representatives of the people in the congress. if the president wants to ensure the agreement he reached his one that stands the test of time i think he should do what is required and that is to present it to the united states senate. once again that's what the founders intended. let's go back to federalist papers 69. alexander hamilton wrote about the role of the senate and the international treaties. he talked about the limitation making power of the president and it was one that hamilton recognized specifically as a distinction from the english monarch. the president is to have power with the advice and consent of the senate to make treaties provided by the senators present to conquer. i can think of few negotiations where that kind of conference is
more important. over the last 30 years they've waged a war against the united states and our allies. they are the number one state sponsor of terrorism. through his client has the lobby flooded tv code launched strikes, murdered innocent civilians and murdered as you know, hundreds of american marines. iranian made guns and iuds have killed our switchers in iraq and afghanistan. and the iranian revolutionary guard trained shia militias on how to launch attacks on our military assets. and now the number one sponsor of international terrorism, the country that calls america the great satan and places israel into the sea is racing to obtain nuclear weapons. in its efforts to stop this nightmare from coming to pass the president and this administration should welcome all of the leverage it can get. this is the kind of threat where we should be together as a
country. i've been at the table as it was mentioned on international negotiations. i was the trade representative and i had the honor of traveling abroad representing the country and sometimes the negotiations were pretty ten. there were times when the talks threatened a breakdown and would waste his receipted and tempers flared. that's what happens in the international negotiations and i know firsthand the value of being able to tell negotiators if you don't come up with a good agreement and that is real and verifiable, one that actually makes progress towards the goals versus the outset with iran by the negotiations then i can't take it back and get it approved by the united states congress because trade agreements have to be approved by the congress. that was leverage that i was happy to have sometimes to be able to get a better agreement.
we need the same approach today. interestingly, the iranian negotiators have often cited their inability to be flexible at the bargaining table because of what they call hardliners in iran. and you hear them say that. in our own administration to acknowledge that i saying they have to be sensitive to that concern at the bargaining table. how ironic that we are allowing them to have that leverage to get the kind of agreement that can withstand the test of time. i would expect the administration to use the congress in the same way. so look the president may have stumbled our chances of immigration reform over the next couple of years but i do think on iran there is time for him to change course. he should recognize the sanctions can be used as both a carrot and a stick.
it was lifting sanctions after all that cop into the table and by the ladies are sanctions congress insisted on and it often congress, not the administration or this one were others can or others can insist on taking this hard line on sanctions and president often put the sanctions in place reluctantly lifting the sanctions brought them to the table in the first place and the threat of reimposing can keep them at the table. this is why i supported this bipartisan legislation in the united states senate that would reenact the sanctions to violate the terms of an agreement and iran must know we are serious about the goals and negotiating from a position of strength. this legislation in my view would give the president more leverage again to be able to find a good agreement. second, the president should insist final agreement be
binding on the iranians and the united states of america. that means the agreement to the senate for approval. i sponsor bipartisan legislation called about iran nuclear act that would require the administration to follow the course. doing so would enable the president and negotiators to insist to accomplish the primary goal of this entire process to ensure that iran never possesses a nuclear weapon. some have asked me when i go home whether i would prefer no agreement to a bad agreement and my answer to that is neither is acceptable because both would lead the iranians nuclear weapon. a plaything that outcome is the single most important international challenge that we face anywhere today. we must not allow the eagerness for any agreement to outweigh our willingness to hold out for the great agreement. i sincerely hope all of us can recognize the conclusion of the
negotiation with negotiations with iran as a foreign policy accomplishment during president obama's term. we would all want that. but to get there the president must consist of accomplishing the goals and binding with real consequences if it is broken. iv leave we can get there. it isn't going to be easy. it's the hard road and we have to work together to accomplish it. i suppose it is a final thought i have on this issue of the imperial presidency that you're talking about today. yes the president and the presidency carries with it tremendous power but it is as ephemeral as it is too attempting to abuse. the presence in the history of the country did not abuse the power. they didn't make their mark on america by engaging in the
theological battles with their political adversaries. they didn't do it with tens and in recent times, telephones. they did it working with the congress and the successful legacies doing that. there there is a desk in the office where the pen and the phone is and it's an impressive task but that isn't where they forged their lasting accomplishments. working with the executive branch are you good luck with your conference and thank you for having here today. [applause] >> thank you so much for being here today. you have to head back to ohio and get the trains rolling with the attorney general both
longtime members alike. hispanic i appreciate the chance to get ourselves back on schedule and i know that randy does as well. i'm going to -- my job is to introduce randy so i will just hand off to him. >> if you don't think we are going to have a great conference look how we already started. [applause] you have outdone your south. we've heard great speakers already and even better things are yet to come some of the things we are going to talk about later in the day. it is my pleasure to actually introduce for the conversation to our attorney generals who come from our ranks. they are members of the
republican national lawyers association. they have done so and now they both have the distinguished honor of being the attorney general. sam for the state of georgia and arkansas. despite what you may have heard that we have no diversity i would add that we have a jewish attorney general and a female attorney general. the last time i checked that doesn't fit the model the democrats want to portray a bus but it but does fit the model of having outstanding leaders who serve us. sam was the chief executive and chairman of one of the largest counties in georgia and did a phenomenal job of building that into the economic powerhouse. the new home of the atlanta braves. he also served as the attorney general just re- elected in the state that was supposed to be if you remember we were in the a state of purple transition and
get it was a pretty crushing defeat for the democrats because the candidates lead the way. and leslie's background work for the general counsel's office i can remember calling her for questions and help. she never refused. she attended all of the meetings here but the thing that i always remember was how tough she was which was if you set her on a mission i wouldn't be one of the people that got in the way and now she is the first female attorney general of the state of arkansas. she is already off and hit the ground running and serving her state while that's more importantly and what makes me so proud as the chairman and that they are both two of us and every now and then you have to take a little bit of pride to know that those among us rise to hire important leadership
positions and they take us to places we thought were on the the adrienne away and now they serve statewide in the respective offices. they are going to talk between the two of them about exactly how the imperial presidency is affecting the individual stage and trust me there's probably no more there is probably no more issue at stake than federalism as it relates to the imperial presidency is the ladies and gentlemen please welcome back to our colleagues, leslie and sam. [applause] >> we were both going to set the podium so we will stand. it's our honor to be here as long term members and as reference. interesting background because prior to being the general in
that capacity i had an executive function. i had a legislative function and i had a close eye judicial function and sometimes i use to sort of laugh because for an agenda item to agenda item is changed in the same meeting and of course with leslie and us representing states is a very unique situation and it relates to the topic in today's forum because we get involved in a lot of litigation with regard to the concept of federalism. as you know the country is based on dual sovereignty with a whole bunch of structure put the powers and freedoms of the constitution and then much power and fear he get into the could into the states that as an expressly referenced. we have the theory of the cooperative federalism that doesn't seem to be popular in this administration. we want to talk about some of the issues that we are involved in noting that the republicans
don't have 60 votes in the senate and the same attorneys general are actually the most active and accurate way to lessen the effect of the administration's agenda. and we need to pay attention to that because the end don't justify the means. the rule of law counts, so we pay a lot of attention to the rule of law area we are going to start with leslie talking about a couple of the areas and then we will go back and forth and have a q-and-a. >> thank you. even with sam i have to move the microphone down. what a pleasure it is that the policy conference i've attended many of these and you all are friends and colleagues and mentors and people i've learned from so thank you very much to michael and jc and randy and the entire invitation to speak today. as mentioned, some of the
opportunities that arkansas has been part of and fighting this overreach of the federal government started before i even became the arkansas attorney general. in november when the president pushed through his immigration plan with the deferred action we won't see the exact t-shirt action on the childhood arrivals. i went to my predecessor and asked him to join the lawsuit with an attorney general now governor of texas. this is a nation of law and we don't get to pick and choose and that of applies to the highest office in the land. that's why i felt like it was important for arkansas to join the lawsuit with now i believe it is over two dozen, 26 states involved in the immigration law suit against this administration.
the basis is quite simply that the president is in violation of the constitution that take care because he is not taking care and going beyond the scope and instead acting out of executive power rather than going through congress. this will suit is not a policy debate on immigration. this lawsuit is about the rule of law and whether or not the president is in violation of the constitution and take care clause. >> i would add the court didn't rule on the constitutional grounds as it should not because on the formation of the preliminary junction at war they violated the administrative procedures act so by definition one talks about executive orders that this administration doesn't have the most executive orders. but they use the regulatory actions are what they did is totally change the law through the directive and the department of homeland security and what
they specifically said is you have to follow the constitution and the executive branch has to follow the constitution and the fact of the matter is they have a hearing in texas yesterday with the judge threatened to sanction the government because 100,000 permits were extended, despite the comments by the justice during the hearing which is really pretty scary. the justice department said these were folks that have permits before the docket as compared to dapa but keep in mind the original was two years so when you change it from two to three you are taking new action that was arguably in violation of a federal judge. so once again that goes to the extent we have to be very weary of what is occurring in the regulatory agencies. the public pays attention to congress and the president. i would argue that way for this administration, the actions of the regulatory agencies.
>> and speaking of regulatory agencies, i feel as if this is a -- the winner goes to the epa. [applause] arkansas moved to intervene on the lawsuit regarding the one e. y. then deregulation proposed rule rather that has to do with the carbon in missions. i don't know how many of you are familiar with this proposed rule by the epa. our colleague patrick morrissey come also a, also a member and usually here with us was the leader in this lawsuit against the epa and with the murray corporation. ..
reference at the beginning cooperative federalism where under the epa you choose the standard that of but you leave it to the state agencies to get you there. this administration has contempt for that process. so they are telling the states not only what the standard is by how they want us to get there. and the part that really riles my stay at the most is free of us georgia, south carolina and tennessee, have nuclear plants in process. in georgia our ratepayers have about $14.5 billion in play. but under the proposed rule if it was in process before they initiated the rule you get no credit despite the $14.5 billion for trying to improve your states air quality. so that is a terrible disincentive because throughout each legislative session throughout each month people are constantly acting asking our state public service commission to buy more solar to change to
convert coal plants to guess, to take the necessary action to lessen the carbon footprint. and what the epa is telling you is don't do that. because if you do it before they are ready to order you to do it you get no credit for it which is a terrible public policy. the epa should double the credit that the state takes voluntarily rather than punish a state for acting prematurely. so it's a huge, huge issue. it really relates to the whole issue of cooperative federalism you're clearly there will be a dish litigation and disregard, and what the epa generally does is if they go 400% further than they should when they finalize the room a cutback in prison and they tell you they have listened. that's what will happen and that's why there will be additional litigation but i will let lesley take the lead again because there's more with epa than just the clean air act.
>> the epa continues to be a winner in our fight. the next topic is -- okay we'll do the water, i was going to do the ozone. i never knew i was in environmental expert. under -- okay. for what it's worth, i am for clean air and i am for clean water. i know this is being televised so if there is any discussion whatsoever i want to make that clear. [applause] currently the epa is proposing a definition of waters of the united states, and under this proposed definition asked whether not something is a navigable waterway, well how is that determined? in arkansas we have a real concern and i know as george and fellow states, our neighbor state of tennessee, home of john
writer has sorry had to give a shout out to some my favorite people in the room i'm thinking, sam. [laughter] had an instance where a farmer come is determined part of the farm was a navigable waterway. now a climate of you all have wrote crop farming or a family with that but essentially under this rule we could see where ditches or other parts of land that may have water that you try to swim in as a child but it was only there for about a week during the springtime rains we become a navigable waterway under this rule. next week i will be back in the nation's capital testifying in front of the senate aggregate maybe on the waters of the mandate rule and the damages that this rule could cause for arkansas farmers but no go to
tobacco gives them so we doesn't poke me again. >> now, now, now. by definition in the proposed rule you don't really know what it's a navigable water or not anymore because a dry ditch as leslie said could be. so what they have in place is this case-by-case analysis to determine whether you need to follow. if you're a cattle farmer or you grow crops or you're a developer, you need to call up your administrator locally ministers office to see whether you need a permit. and then when years go by you might get a yes or a no. so not only does it stop and economy, but at the same point and makes meaningless once again your state regulatory agency your state environmental protection agency or and george we call it the vision, because why is someone going to go to ppd in georgia they first have to go to the feds because the
feds allegedly know better? said got to go to the fed can you've got to get a response from the fed. at the point you still need to follow the state migratory system and then you get to tell your cattle where to go. at that point which is just totally inappropriate. there is a desire to have an economy and there is a desire to have certainty in a case by case analysis. it's a catchall for we will make your life miserable which just isn't appropriate. >> go ahead. >> i was told to start on king v. burwell. clearly before this the senate changed in the house change before the, the first two years we had the sebelius case we were involved in and then dodd-frank where we are waiting the decision from the d.c. circuit. but the king v. burwell was a follow-up to nfib what was determined that 37 of the state
that the state exchanges, if you literally read the act, the subsidies only place where you have the federal exchange. while we been told this is a fallacious argument and it was due to a scrivener's error the fact of the matter is the first two or three versions of the bill said state or federal and the version that passed renewed federal and had state and then you've got dr. gruber who tells you it was no accident. it was intentionally left that way once again to coerce states to have to do the state exchange. you have this interesting dichotomy where the concert is on the courts say words matter and you actually have to read the law and apply it. you at justice kagan questions the city need to look at the body as a whole and not a particular sentence, which is interesting except if you read the yates decision, the famous decision about the grouper fish her dissents those of us as if you need to read the wording of the law.
so for the grouper fish when you're dealing with whether or not a fish is a tangible object under sarbanes-oxley, you look at the wording of the bill but apparently when you're talking about something as shallow as health insurance for all americans, you look at the whole bill instead. so this is a huge issue. clearly the supreme court rules june 28, june 29, june 30. it will have a major impact on health care policy in our country. but just as the role of matters, statutory language matters. we all use those latin phrases everyday in our jobs. so if the president and his minions do a good job writing the law the answer is you need to revise the law. you need to end and it. that's the way the president and congress work. it's not through regulatory action of the irs. it's through the president and
congress working together. >> i'm going to take just a moment to use king v. burwell to go backwards. over the last couple of years as i was running for attorney general and then became attorney general, one of the big questions that i've been asked often times was why do you keep talking about filing lawsuits against the federal government orare pushing back against some of these regulations? is that really the role of the attorney general? and i use the affordable care act case as an example. win of the federal said this administration said you must government health care by these means. 28 attorneys general from around the country filed a lawsuit in that case. and the supreme court came back and said no, it is not you must, it is you may or you may not. and, therefore it gave states
such as my home state of arkansas the opportunity to choose for ourselves how and why we might want to implement, and we decide for ourselves to have a hybrid of the health care act. but a think of the importance of the attorneys general across the country in your home state cannot be stated enough, and there are enough actions were able to take collectively to work together, to call on you all to provide us information advice, inside in cases if you will so please don't hesitate to reach out on issue that you believe are of importance and provide information to not just a sense of myself but to our colleagues around the country. >> just as a summer, there's a whole bunch of other issues were involved in. clearly we're watching the texas case on this. impact. we are looking at the operation chokehold issue where the government chooses who should have banking and you should because we don't like certain industries. we are involved in what the nlrb
is doing and it doesn't stop with a different union rules. we are involved with issues such as the action mcdonald's corporation would be forced to give each employee of a franchise as an employee of the parent company for union rules. i mean there is no shortage of activity but the important thing similar to what leslie just said is we are not looking to sue the federal government. we really have enough work to do without fat. but we are the only check and balance that seems to be out there. [applause] so without having 60 votes in the senate and with the president seeking to it more and more regulations every day, just look at regulations.gov, we have to do what we are doing.
and they think at this point we would love to take some questions. [inaudible] >> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible] >> south republican attorney general association now has 27 members which is the most republican attorney general ever. and what it does do various entities and various meetings is get us to work together to know each other to network, to our staff work together. none of us have the staff to be involved in all this federal litigation. none of us have the staff to be doing all these comments for proposed rules.
but together we can accomplish much. so what it does is it permits a mechanism where we share documents, we revise documents. we prepare lawsuits. for instance, before the immigration case in texas was filed we were all wordsmithing the complaint. so it makes the some the whole greater than the sum. because it gets us all on the same page working to walk vertically. it also lets us learn a lot because it's important that we are from folks who have industry-specific information that we of our own accord will not have. so it is a great mechanism to let us do a better job both on the knowledgebase as well as a network-based. >> and as a freshman member of the republican attorney general association i have gained a great deal from it just as i have from this body in terms of mentors, access to information, and certainly when i look at how
in one of these regulations is affecting estate, it may affect a state the size of texas which is also a republican attorney general, republican governor much to fully than it would affect arkansas in terms of size. so i may call on my college in nebraska because of the opportunities that we have as imagine to share information and also it's given me the opportunity to go on a national search for a solicitor general which i have just announced that i will be secure so if you of anyone interest on going to do a shameless plug right here that arkansas is searching for a solicitor general. >> i have a name. >> know sam you cannot be my solicitor general. [laughter] >> i was looking for a pay increase. >> me, too. [laughter] >> next question.
>> this question was actually written by one of our members. for full disclosure i didn't write a but here we go. are very anymore hhs lawsuits planned? this person believes they should be the agency to get of the grammy award. and business and want to know about there are many rules whichever not been subject to rid a notice and comment. >> so it's a general statement. there is the origination case clause into. candidly once again we have limited resources. and you have to prioritize. so once we see what happens on king v. burwell i'm sure everyone will reconsider their options and a position at that time. but once again my life is one not to sue the administration and especially in the public safety pain we cooperate and work very well with the justice department. you have x number of times, x number of employed. you prioritize what is most
important for your citizens. >> we have time for one more question. >> can i ask who gave us -- [inaudible] which really got out since of criminals and crazies at a detention and since into florida, which then migrate up to georgia, put a big burden on your law enforcement. they we have obama and homeland security releasing tens of thousands of convicted criminals and crazies out of detention again all across the states which is a huge burden financially on those states. have you thought about that mode of why do we have to pay for you to put these people back into our populations? >> if i understand your question correctly, essentially that is the basis of the immigration law suit that was filed and the
reason why we are taking it proactive stance, why we're so pleased that the judge granted the injunction on the policy that was handed down by the president's order by the department of homeland security. >> i agree with leslie. i think what the astounding thing at the moment is the number of folks in mainstream media and the public that no longer cares about the means that only cares about the ends. so if you happen to want immigration reform by statute, you're not patriotic. if you happen to want the government to work the congress and the president to come together to negotiate at senator portman said before, you are not patriotic. this country is space on that duality. it's based on compromise. it's based on legislation. it's not based on the phone and
a pen. by definition we need to get back to the basics which is to not worry about the short-term gain but to we but the long-term strength of our country and to actually follow the rule of law. [applause] >> i am pleased to introduce our next panel and our next speakers, and this is going to take a foreign policy thing as well. time spencer u.s. function with me as a guest coach of the program as well he's vice chair on the board but more interestingly and had ask them what this is according to the
metro i have is a short letter of the association of foreign intelligence officer. i would assume that would have been any kind of list of foreign intelligence officers, ma so i found a just unusual that there actually is a list of perhaps you explained that. thanks tom. [applause] >> thanks, tom. i really can't explain that. [laughter] we're in for a real treat this morning. although abbreviated. we are studying in the rnla national security law and you have in your c.o.b. materials and abundance of material which we have contributed to your knowledge. will to study them, but this morning we have two distinguished speakers with great experience in national security law and particularly the focus this morning on the separation of powers and we're going to look at it from two different perspectives and hopefully have time for one or
two questions. our first speaker is georgetown professor emeritus dawn wallace junior who is chairman of the international law institute. he was deputy counsel to president ford and he specializes, writes and lectures in the areas of private and public international law. our second speaker is richard klingler who is was a law clerk to supreme court justice sandra day o'connor. e. serve as general counsel national security council under president george w. bush answered in the office of counsel to the president. is a partner focusing on governmental litigation and national security matters. so for each of the speakers and professor wallace will go first, we have a hard 10 minutes and then hopefully will have some
questions. they will each go. professor. >> thank you very much. genuinely? can you hear me now? can you here me now? >> yes. >> we're both going to talk about the constitution which is law by the way, even in this area of foreign affairs and war powers and not everyone thinks so. i'm going to talk about the diplomatic power and about executive agreements and have some time for questions may maybe. they are very different by the way. the balance of powers is quite different in the diplomatic area from the worst area. specifically i think the president does have great power in the diplomatic area. he pretty much as the sole power of courting to john marshall when he was a member of congress before he it became later on secretary of state and chief justice. so-called -- what does it make what he negotiate. he cannot be stopped from
negotiating. he is responsible diplomatic relations. he's responsible for recognition recognition. it's not to say that congress can't lean on him but he can't direct them i would say. this negotiation power extends to treaties, executive agreements et cetera. i'm not going to get into the merits of iran but it is obvious on many peoples minds. let's get to the agreement part. as i say the president has the power to negotiate. and i would say it's fairly exclusive. he can wheel and deal, you can participate in the security council of the u.n. he can talk to others. when it comes to agreements there are several kinds treaties which the senate has to consent to by two-thirds vote or to our executive agreements. and here i would say there's a lot of misinformation recently. someone has said that 98% of all international agreements are not
treaties but executive agreements. that may be true but the great bulk of those are so-called legislative executive agreements that congress did authorize it in advance trade agreement or an example, or after the fact. the so-called sole-source agreements with the president acts as his own power are very few in number. relative to the others. and what the outer core of those agreements this is not clear. probably some command in chief agreements maybe some others, maybe a recognition. i was give example of -- the president has the sole authority to grant pardons. i suppose you could make a deal with the prime minister of the uk, we will pardon so and so if you pardon such and such. i think that would be essential his agreement couldn't be touched. even in the so-called sole-source with the president is looking for his own powers visit that doesn't mean their exclusivity means he may undertaken. the once exclusive are in the core power of president, maybe
some commander-in-chief powers maybe some others. i know nothing about the terms of the agreement with iran, you know, what's in it. would it be, could it be arguably one of the sole-source agreements? i mean it could be. but that doesn't necessary mean all that much. i'm not of the view these agreements expire with the term of the president. that was the view of about 100 just go buy think it's pretty clear today that even the sole-source agreements in many ways is as good as treaties. the supreme court has said so in other cases but that doesn't mean they don't extend to all matters. for example, it's very clear that even a treaty cannot deal with taxes and revenues. many of you probably heard of sewage folly refers to the purchase of alaska from russia. i saw matt the other day which refer to i think american russia. it was alaska.
you may remember, that was a treat nothing sacred agreement. for this purpose, the treaty was negotiated and i think we bought alaska for 9 million but, of course the president's see the executive state within the governor of new york and was a political power. had not dealt with the house announce that you made a treaty, that were you going to get the money? they had to do the cooperation we've heard about twisting arms to get a 9 billion. i think the same would be true with respect to an executive agreement the true with sanctions to sanction legislation is a legislative matter. and executive agreement cannot control that. the president has one great power which you don't read about in the books which i would call -- he can confront both the congress, the public and the rest of the world to something which is then hard to overturn. i think that's all i'm going to say. turn it over to the war power which is where the checks and balances is very different.
i would say quite frankly that congress has much more power under the constitution with respect to the use of force but we will see what richard has to say. >> thank you very much. and thank you, tom. can you hear me all right? i think i would base my answer, the overlap a bit more than you suggest. there may be a little disagreement between us but not too much. but look at, for these separation of power issues i'd like to start with the confession of bias. i am a defender of presidential authorities and told a broad view of presidential privileges commander-in-chief powers, control over unitary executive and other article ii powers. but today i did like to undermine the cliché that the president controls international affairs and point to some of the various powers over international affairs where the
constitution commits to congress and how those powers shed light on some of our current controversies. to begin with an often overlooked part of this debate is the constitution's grant to congress of authority over foreign commerce. in practice this power underlies the other sanctions regimes that the executive branch deploys against particular foreign countries and against terrorist organizations and other targeted groups. sometimes these are specific sanctions such as those against iran or cuba and in of the time to present will take action based on a broad grant of authority, say like the international emergency economic powers act. for example, most current terrorism finance measures are based at least in part on the act for equipment statutes. at the heart of the ongoing negotiations with iran revolver and whether the president will waive or otherwise reduce sanctions against iran established by statute. that is established the subject to the control of congress. that's crucial to understanding
the negotiation was sponsored by senator corker imminent is in the weakness of the president's objection to it. the bill focuses on enforcing sanctions that offered a part of the law and potentially withdrawing power that congress has chosen to give to the president to relax those sanctions. so the bill is clearly constitutional and the presidents of injections cast in constitutional terms really just a preference that congress not take a seat at the table. congress already has a seat at the table and is just asking for that fact to be recognized. a second issue carbonyl is the presence proposed authorization for use of military force, or the aumf to address the islamic state. the constitutional issues usually debated as a matter of congress the power to declare war. i think the argument on that point is that congress exclusive role in that respect is fairly
limited. and at least once congress has provided present with the means to undertake combat the present role is quite broad. but i think a more useful way to think about the issue concerns congresses ongoing practical control over the funding of combat and over legislation directing and restricting certain military affairs. that's a congress expressed its view regarding combat in vietnam, somalia, lebanon and the scope of combat even in the case of whether the formal authorization. as in iraq, afghanistan and elsewhere. congress has at times overstepped its will but has tremendous powers here. that's a framework to assess the current aumf debate. you have a president who has already asserted authority engage in warfare against the islamic state based at least on the 2001 aumf and those attacks are ongoing as we speak. he has proposed and aumf that would