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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 28, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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to engage in that type of expression. but i don't think that that defeats the fact that this is all of what they have recommended. we have that here. we have their name etched onto the license plate. also untenable consequences following from an opinion recognizing the texas has to offer responsive speech, texas should not have to allow speech about al qaeda or the not too party server because it offers a license plate propagating this message. >> there is an easy answer which is they do not have to get in the business of selling space on license plates to begin with. if you don't want to have this don't get into the business of allowing them the space to put on whatever they want. >> i believe that that would be an answer to all the government speech cases and i assume that if you don't want to accept
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this, that is because it allowed them to select the messages and allow them to speak. >> it could be because they have done this since the time of the pyramids or whatever, but they haven't had license plates since this, maybe that's why they shouldn't be considered despite the monuments. >> i do not mean to suggest that they are just like the monuments. it's so a fixed medium and tangible message being displayed as the court recognized. in those situations for government is entitled to select the messages that are going to be closely identified. >> i i would rather have the license plates than the pyramids, i don't know that we want to drive texas are having us. >> we also want to retain our license plates. >> i think that shows what the case is about.
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the respondents were texas to place this on the confederate battle flag and texas does not have to make that judgment. >> people can put up a message that they won't state approval. if we were to write an opinion trying to draw a distinction between this on one side and the other things on the other side, what would we say two i think the first thing is that texas has its name on it. >> it has its name on the other things as well. >> we have exercise selectivity in control.
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>> this is not a situation where we have been this that you would wonder if this is the government speaking is this not them speaking this is a case where texas wants to maintain and has maintained control of what it says on license plates and that everyone is free to speak in all sorts of ways. >> please answer the question we need generally in every park a permit to be able to do certain kinds of speech. so the government controls that process until zoo that they can say no. why is that different in this situation were cannot be nearly as controlled. because that would give you the ability or you could create a
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program in every public forum that controls in the same way. >> we need to be clear about what approval means. if that means access to reform and it's not government controlling every single message. >> on the basis of the content of the speech. >> just a content-based? >> they are denying us on the basis of content. >> we are denying access. >> this goes back to what the justice said is that outside the traditional area of streets and parks, there's a new world, all kinds of new forms being created
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every day and as those come into play as long as the state says hey, we are going to regulate everything we are going to keep everything offensive out of this and it does create the possibility that in this new world with all of these new kinds of things that the state is going to have a greater control over the citizens of speech than we have been comfortable with. >> i think for all of those reasons this ruling in this case would possibly be a beneficial way to go. >> you know of any other expressions that are owned by the state and that are manufactured by the state and have this as license plates do? i would really worry but i don't know of that.
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>> i don't think these categories are absolute. so i would ask the question first about this not being government speech it is the speech of a person wants to put the message on the plates owned by the state. the states as we don't want certain messages to be displayed. my question is why. why not. what is the interest of the state is furthering in keeping certain messages off of this. >> this is selecting this. >> if you have the example and not everyone is a justifiable interest. that is why asked my question.
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and i'm asking a factual question [inaudible] >> they have no interest in making such a distinction and i think bed this hurts just a little and that they ought to lose. but if they have a justifiable interest since you can put the bumper sticker next-door, i think that they win. therefore i would like to know what their interest is. >> it's propagating messages that show a diverse backgrounds come educational backgrounds, products. >> they like texas hamburger joints they would probably not
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approve a chicago hamburger joint been on the texas license plate. others they don't particularly like. >> i would like to get my answer and i was asked me what is the interest in texas and why does it keep the messages it keeps off. >> in this particular example. >> not this particular example. why? >> i think the justice is asking you for a specific. >> i will use this example that was also denied, they didn't want her license plate because they were concerned that the motorist was pulled over in bed -- >> i can think of many reasons i could make up, maybe they want to keep controversial messages.
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including suggesting to people and i just want to know what they are and now you said one. >> the trooper's foundation. >> you are on the license plate approval board. when you grant the request and when do you deny it. what is the rule. >> of work tendinitis or members of the public finding it offensive and it can deny this for any reason established by the rule. >> i think that they don't see the state can come in and we will pay you this later. and i don't see the interest in thinking that we can kick it off
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for any reason we want because that could read the republican democrat as well. >> i think you have to have some kind of legitimate reason and it doesn't have to be much it could be a little two they can have legitimate reasons. >> why don't you tell us what they are? >> i think that would be something like a formal process. >> texas does not have to do this. because they have done this, government does not disclose their motives and that is perfectly normal. >> going back to my first question. didn't he just say no? he said that this message would be offensive to many people and that is a message that would be offensive to many people with
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the standards that are applied. and i asked is not too broad of an expression. >> the fact that we have that much distraction confirms this speech. sir, i reserve the remainder of my time. >> thank you. >> sir? >> mr. chief justice, may it please the court. we are here representing sons o confederate veterans because they wanted to have a license plate to raise money for the state of texas to keep up which was the purpose of their process this case. the state of texas has gone about issuing an open invitation to everybody to submit to them
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public designs for license plates and to create a limited public forum for these license plates. >> can texas formally by a joint resolution of the legislature endorsed the grand army of the republic? can they do that? >> the legislature can endorse anything it wants. >> can they endorse this? >> they have created a confederate heroes day in people on this side -- >> what about others? >> they created a holiday.
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>> you acknowledge that they can do all of these things. so long as it is texas speech. if it is all of these things can be said. >> this does not seem like a significant issue. >> if texas is it okay, but if you put it on a license plate, i don't understand what the theory is. >> the state has created successful program in which it solicits people to come and and to submit their design for their license plate so that they can
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submit this design and they have to put up the money to make the play plate and then it doesn't get published until the person, somebody orders it. >> the applicants have talked about this design. do they have to accept the design? >> i do not believe that they can discriminate against the people that want to have that design. >> is that okay as well? >> it can be honestly a court of
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appeal in which the infidels were held. >> what is your answer as to the hypothetical. must the state put those symbols or messages at the request of the citizens? [inaudible] >> what about this? [inaudible] [laughter] >> yes. [laughter] >> i am arguing. >> i could not make a better argument in that direction than what we have been doing. we have gotten along without it for a long time. so in a way your argument curtails the speech.
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>> normally if you prevail it prevents him from conveying the message. >> if the state continues to use the same standard which could offend anyone, the state can deny that. if that is the standard, then many exercise this and it could offend someone. >> you have a solution that seems wise for the hypothetical. >> answered to having a standard that controls people's speech is that the standard has to be a pretty low hanging fruit and in
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the law student association thing. they said that offensive speech speech that we hate that is something that we should be proud of protecting. >> that's enough context. you say that they can or they cannot have a standard situation. >> yes or no. >> it's in the eyes of the holder and of course, they can't have that. >> i see what you are saying. but if i were to go back to sort of the a sick underlying five. the answer is yes private speech is somewhat hurt. so you don't get this official. is there something to be said
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for a? what they are trying to do is prevent this from being given to what offends people. >> i don't really see the problem that people are putting up with at this time and put up a bumper sticker. what is the problem that? >> the culture of creating specialty plates began in texas in 1965 and we have been doing this and we have gone bonkers with people buying these things. >> it's a lot of money. >> what are? >> about $8000.
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>> i think it is more than that. >> i actually do think that this is hybrid speech, its government and individuals began the same time and that goes back to what the justice says. earlier we said we cannot compel the individual to put something on their license plates that they disagree with. >> yes, we have that case. why is the reverse mantra for the government if you're going to ask me to put my name because the law requires it, the state's name on a license plate. how can you compel us to do something that we don't want to endorse. >> the reason is that this is become, it has become a limited public forum for putting up the
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messages. >> how i know which is the governments. i would not have known that this was sponsored by some states and not others been endorsed by some states but not others. so how do i know that a particular license plate that the government doesn't endorse. >> you can't tell what they want in this program. you have to submit what you think you want. >> that inspires a certain degree of approval. >> it's just like approval in the case. >> you can't have content-based
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regulation, this is the content-based regulation. >> they have a standard on this with the lowest common denominator. if any person could be offended they could deny it and that is the standard. >> if i had a standard like that in the normal case where we will regulate and private speech, of course we would find that. but the question is whether the is a different kind of context. justice scalia said that and there is a clear regulatory progress that is the government that actually makes his license plate and i think that it continues to be public property that you have to return and it
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has the state's name on it and it's clearly the official identification that the state is. so why doesn't all of that make this a very different case from the typical form cases that we usually address? >> the reason is that we do have hybrid speech and they open this up and created this will board this billboard opportunity, and they have, since they can make everyone have a license plate they said that we are going to create a billboard opportunity and put messages on it and pay us money for using the billboard and that is what they have done. and then they say to some people but if i don't like the message because you are a republican or democrat or you are [inaudible]
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instead of a walker i can do that. that is a sort of arbitrary control of speech based upon a standard that it could offend anybody, they either need to get rid of the program or open up the program to everyone else. if someone publishes a speech that they don't like, suggesting that they might put a number under on it. >> i asked my question before and really i wanted an answer. i'm trying to get all of the conceptual basis here. or you go back and forget this and forget all that. is this being heard in the answer is of course yes but not much because they could put a bumper sticker there.
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and you can say does the state have legitimate interests here and the state has yes. and they say there are messages we don't like. and we have a system for keeping this because it is the government speaking which represents the citizens and they don't want this and the example that was given to how their government associated with messages that this commission does not want. >> i think that you can see the other. what is your response? >> the response is that this has been created. >> i can tell that to forum or not a forum or a three-part test, check it out. >> trying to go back to the basics. >> one of the ideas that you
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have articulated his will with a reasonable absorber believe that this was for example what they believe that this is the state speech or that it is the person who bought this because nothing gets communicated. [inaudible] >> they said yes, we have to approve it. and there are some that we do not approve. this is part of the speech. >> the state has dozens of
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potential designs and they have 480 designs and 50,000 personalized messages in the issue in this case is the person who puts the license plates on their car is the one that communicates the message. the other people are just giving approval. >> spurns the state had fewer to choose from, let's say that they had the standard for every college and university and the state, that is the choice, would that be government speech. >> certainly it is in the sense that they have the ability to choose some universities in the state, it's a standard in which they will put this and that is the standard and of course that's okay. because it is and they have and
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the legislature chose that says you can have this everyone who has this kind get into this. >> historic interest and natural features as well. and now you have a lot more. >> they actually do those and those are not sponsored by anyone that they are charging more money. >> answer the hypothetical. >> exposes a town that they could see neck and there is a way that they can petition to get on the list at some point if you had just a standard
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state, that's government speech if you have 5000 different variations of people creating for themselves it becomes a lot harder to say that that is government speech. so where would you draw the line? >> my view is that when the people creating message themselves and then create this message for themselves and they have the people that looked in the catalog and pick up a license plate that they want and put it on their car it's the person that communicated it. >> there are three categories there is the official state plate, there are specialty plates created by the legislature and specialty plates created by an individual so how
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will i tell the difference between the legislative and the private plates. what i do know is what i said at the beginning is that it's old people and i think that both people endorsing each other's message and someone, so why should the government be compelled if it rejects it because it's thinking that it's wrong. ..
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>> i mean,, it's hard. >> really i take it that if i object i object to the message on the new hampshire plate i have a right to be disassociated with that. >> yes. >> okay. >> well, the state which represents many people in texas does not want to be associated with a particular message. we don't want that association. >> they don't want to be associated with the message.
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>> i understand. the differences,. the differences, they invite people, they charge people and have them pay for the manufacture of the lies is led by giving them a chance to design a message. that is what they do. because the people who come up with these costs put up $8,000 command it is a moneymaking scheme that they use. the fact that they choose to apparently there may be more. we cannot document anymore. this is not a forum which people actually make any decision besides an economic decision.
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>> counselor, do you have an objection to the materials your friend has cited from outside the record? >> issues relating to the design, i do not have an objection to that. >> almost certainly accurate. if not since we file our brief. 350 to 480 organizational designs. i was not on the record either. >> the organization oblates since then. >> am i right? these plates. reopened everybody.
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no one gets ready plates and maybe if the legislature has the law or laws saying this place is okay. that might be okay. the choice between everything or nothing with the exception of what the legislature does? >> i believe that the best analysis is the legislature of the motor vehicle commission discriminate against people speech on the basis of the content of this page subject to serious first amendment concerns and is probably illegal, although there illegal although there may be some exceptions. that is the better rule. conflicts about that and this court has not addressed -- that is not this case
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but i believe it is -- >> can i take i take you to the chief justice question for a moment. indicated that there are a number of other occasions in which the state has disapproved and with the state has done that on the grounds of offense. do do you have objections to those organizations? >> to the extent they were done on the grounds of offense i do. because he has one that we have verified and that one is that there was a concern of danger on the drivers thinking that someone state trooper plate made them as state trooper. >> what if it were not simply offensive higher degree of incitement related to give rise. the swastikas likely to
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contribute to public violence. the level of the state interest at all pertinent. >> this court to allow on assignment going back to brandenburg versus ohio. not excitement. >> the most essential to offensive racial epitaph you can imagine. someone program into that car. >> i i don't think the government can discriminate on content. this is not the state speech. and this claim.
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>> on the license plate. [laughter] >> but you can put you in -- that is a political message. they can put your position is that if you prevail they can have a racial slur on the license plate. >> yes. the state can disclaim it undoubtedly. >> do you have to put the taxation of representation on your dc plate? >> well i believe that it is required. >> if someone objects. >> they can put it -- take it over. you can put obviously the disclaimer idea justice
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o'connor came up with that and her concurrence in the columbus ohio ku klux klan and i thought that was a pretty good idea. we have a disclaimer. and you don't believe that it is appropriate. the state can do that. and that. and i think that that is largely part of the answer. this is not clearly not purely governmental speech because the action of the state is only approval as to the present grove city utah case monuments are in fact unique circumstances. this court had decided but orton versus perry some years ago involving a map of
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the state capitol grounds with all the monuments and it. when that case was decided over 100 years in the monument in question had been they're 45 years. monuments are different because of the nature of the creation. it had monuments over 7 feet you cannot do that. that case turns on those facts, and facts, and i believe it is absolutely correct that he decided. unless i am convinced. correctly deciding because they started with the state. the statute passed the statute passed by congress telling the department of agriculture to do something like marketing for material. i would submit back to the secretary, the legal market, tax on imported.
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that is all government speech. >> do you know how much money texas make from this? >> i do not have that -- it is not allowed in the budget out but it is lots. >> that is what this is about, isn't it? >> yes. [laughter] >> that is why taxes is in the business. they like what there saying and don't do business in the don't like with this or. >> you have three minutes remaining. >> asked the question about the republican or democratic distinction is there a a first amendment standard that you can use? to deny that? >> i believe that it would be government speech. i believe it would not be alive because of the constitutional matters would apply.
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a monument were put up in a public park committed would be the government speaking but would not be allowed under the constitutional provisions. if i could suggest a way -- it is further partisan comment and no abridgment of traditional free-speech rights. i think that's government. they just want to present confusion, misrepresentation from on safety cause to celebrate the diverse enters that the state has. just a soda mayor, your absolutely right that it is hybrid speech and takes two to tango but that is still government speech. this court cases -- this
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court cases been a posture. all of our sites the title 43 of the text is administration code has been renumbered as the filing. but the substances the same. this is not just about taxes making money. this is about the state of texas not wanting to place the stamp of approval on certain messages. the speaker is not entitled on whatever message it is to put on voices but. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. >> thank you counsel. the case is submitted. with that, a yield back the balance of my time. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is jeremy
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jacobs with a group called greenwire. guest: greenwire is part of being a publishing. our newsreaders are from federal agencies, everywhere from the sierra cup -- club to exxon mobil. host: what is it that differentiates you from some of the other publications? guest: we are highly specialized. we cover everything for the environment and energy, either in the courts, which is what i cover, or the department of the interior and department of energy. we are hyper focused on those things. host: this week, there was a supreme court hearing, she can versus -- michigan versus epa. guest: it is a consolidation of
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three cases, one being brought by michigan and 20 other states, challenging a 2011 role that the epa finalized. it was the heart of its air program to regulate emissions of toxic pollutants like mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic from coal fire plants. to make that rule, the epa first had to determine that it was "appropriate and necessary" based on what the eps said was health risks. the states and other utility groups challenge that, saying that the epa in that initial determination, we for setting the standard should have considered costs. these are very expensive rollouts. $9.6 billion is with the epa said this would cost. so the challengers content that
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"appropriate necessary" should have included cost. host: the epa rules, with a based on a congressionally passed law? guest: that's right. a king street out of the clean air act. when it was amended in 1990, in order to get at these pollutants that so far have not been regulated, congress directed epa to do a "utility study." to study the health effects of what come out of coal-fired powerplants, and determine if those pollutants were still on the rise and still posed a health risk. then they should go ahead and issue standards for them, which is what the epa did in obama cost administration. host: "appropriate necessary," are those words in the law? guest: they are. host: who interprets that? guest: it is a very vague term.
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the law does not say, just consider health effects great it does not say consider help effects and costs. it is silent on that. the case hinges on whether epa permissibly interpreted appropriate and necessary to just focus on health effects. where is the challenger say cost should have been part of that. host: jeremy jacobs, who calculates these costs or the benefits of such a loss? guest: that is also an issue in this case. the epa, when it did its cost analysis that it would cost 9.6 billion, and suggested that the benefits of this rule will be between 30 billion and 90 billion. on that scale, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. the challenger say that if the epa got by that by counting co-benefits, not mercury and not these other pollutants, if you
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are only counting knows, the benefits are only 4 million to 6 million versus 9 billion. that skews the cost analysis quite a bit. host: 202 is the area code if you would like to talk about this particular case, or the obama administration's environmental issues. go ahead and dial in. we will begin taking those calls right away. is this case about president obama's environmental policy? guest: in a lot of ways it is. this is the third time in a year the supreme court has reviewed a major clean air act regulation of the obama administration's issue. his epa has done very well. it won a case on an air pollution program for pollution that crosses state lines. one that last year 6-2.
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and initial greenhouse gas regulations. this program, called the mercury -- the pollution controls that are installed because of it help the obama's epa and a lot of other ways, too eared a lot of other companies it wants to implement a benefit from these controls, should this regulation be upheld. host: what was the reaction from the justices? guest: very hard to say. it is safe to say, it was probably -- pretty fairly split. you have the four conservative justices all had very large misgivings about whether epa should have considered cost. scalia at one point called it an outrageously expensive law and the chief justice several times
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said that there are red flags and asked whether epa has unusually tied its hands by not considering costs. the local justices really leapt to epa's defense, saying that when the law is silent, what you have to consider in this appropriate and necessary determination, deference goes to epa's interpretation. host: this is from the washington post on this case. supreme court appears split on toxic emissions plan, is the headline. states and industries opposing the regulations say that the annual cost of compliance under the rule would be $9.6 billion but that the benefits of reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants are only $4 billion to $6 billion. the epa and environmental groups estimate the savings to be much more, from $37 billion up.
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how are those been calculated? guest: it is 4 million to 6 million, they say, not billion. host: it says "billion" here. guest: the difference -- and this is kind of complicated cash when the epa does its cost benefit analysis, they were including these co-benefits of reducing other pollutants like set, like small particles. those are not the namesake pollutants of this rule, where is the namesake pollutants cadmium, lead, that is where industry comes up with the $4 million to $6 million number. epa would also counter that reducing mercury emissions which are as we know a potent
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neurotoxin, it is very hard to quantify the health benefits of that other than to just say things are better with it not being in the air. it is hard to numerically quantify exactly how much benefit there is. host: is this all about coal? guest: this is all about coal. these are coal-fired power -- power plants should a lot of the coal power industry is already complying with this regulation. it is due to come into effect next month, is when compliance is supposed to begin. almost two thirds of the coal industry is already complying. it is only about 20% that has yet to make up its mind about how they will comply. host: jeremy jacobs, legal reporter with greenwire. jay, you are on the air raid
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caller: good morning. i am very proenvironment but at the same time, we have to realize that just lie us breathing, we change our environment. this rush to shut down, even bankrupt coal in many places is just, it leaves my headshaking. here in ohio, we are in the process where have our ready shutdown a number of coal-fired plants. i look at the scenario. we also have two old-style nuclear power plants which at some point in the near future they will be shut down just because of their age. i am curious, where do we go with this? because at some point, someone will turn on an air conditioner and we will have the great lakes blackout all over again.
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any ideas where we are going? obviously, the renewable energy is not going to service us anytime soon, at least in this country. host: j, thank you very much. guest: i think those concerns are real. epa would say that there is no real risk of any blackout happening because of this mercury rule in the near future. as i mentioned earlier, the fact that two thirds of the country including a lot of ohio is already complying, would indicate -- and the blackouts have not occurred yet -- would indicate they will not have two devastating of an effect. one way that this is being addressed is the switch to national gas -- natural gas switching coal-fired plants to burning national gas -- natural
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gas, which is a cleaner imaging fuel. that seems to be accomplishing a lot of what the epa is seeking to accomplish. host: kayla, oakland, new york. democrats line eared caller: good morning. my comment is not specifically on -- host: turn down your tv and listen to your telephone. caller: is this ok now? host: please go ahead. caller: my comment is not specifically on the rules on coal but more on the rules that the epa should be allowed to promulgate on global warming concerning co2 emissions because i am scared to death of it. if you follow the science, it is really frightening, the depth of
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the ocean, all sorts of stuff like that i literally get so scared i cannot look at the reports because they are frightening. i we take control of these emissions, i feel we are in big trouble. guest: i think that there are many people that share your concern about climate change. the obama administration has proposed for the first time standards limiting carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. those were proposed last summer. they are supposed to be finalized this year. they will cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly from 2005 levels. notably, those have already been challenged in federal court, and they will be argued next month. it is unusual for a rule to be
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challenged before it is finalized, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out. host: tony is calling in from north conway, new hampshire, republican line. we are talking about the environment, the obama administration, and supreme court cases. caller: if we are really concerned about carbon emissions, what they should be focusing on our developing nations like china and india. they are putting out these massive amounts of pollution based off of old, antiquated technologies that we could really update by putting on tariffs for their pollution and opening up patents to them so that they could have greener technologies. that is stuff we can do today. china puts out roughly 25% of the world's carbon emissions and that is something we can immediately lower with the technologies that we have.
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guest: yes, i think that is a good point and shortly after the midterm elections, you did see the white house and the president making some international deals or agreements to address climate change. fundamentally, the rules that i just mentioned, the ones that are proposed to deal with greenhouse gases from power plants, those are sort of a linchpin to those negotiations because they show that the united states is taking this seriously and the united states is doing something. that is a big part of our negotiations with countries like india and like china, in order to force them to do more. host: is this a republican versus democrat issue? guest: on the hill, it sort of is especially in -- we are
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coming out of an economic downturn. this $9.6 billion number as the cost of these mercury rules something that really upsets the conservative lawmakers. and so yeah, it has been criticized quite harshly on capitol hill. host: has the supreme court confronted a similar case when it comes to, are we weighing the costs, is that something the supreme court should be looking at? guest: it has. the epa has typically fared very well. the liberal justices, during arguments, noted -- i think ruth bader ginsburg said something to the effect of, can you think of a single case where the wall -- where the law does not instruct the epa to consider cost? we say it has to. elena kagan followed up saying,
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going from silence in the law to making it a requirement seems like a pretty big jump. there is a case, another clean air case around 2001, i believe that had to do with ozone standards were the court deferred to epa's decision to consider cost. then there was a clean water act case where the court deferred to epa's decision to do a cost-benefit analysis. host: next call for jeremy jacobs comes from jim in ithaca new york, jim, you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you so much for mr. jacobs answering my question. you hear a lot in the media about -- but the association of commissions for the environment has maintained for the past several years that driving an automobile is the worst thing that you can do for the
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environment. we never hear anything about that in the media. as a dedicated pedestrian, i have to say that it just seems like the air is heavily polluted so just from automobiles. guest: i sympathize, as i would consider myself a dedicated pedestrian as well, and a bicyclist, but you are right. a lot of reason you do not hear much about car emissions is we have already done a lot, as far as cleaning up cars, car emissions. there have been several tailpipe standards, including an acceleration of them during the obama administration that was promulgated in his first term between epa and the department of transportation. they have already taken steps to start curtailing auto emissions and of course, these play out
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over 20 to 30 years. i think one reason is we have seen a lot of progress in that area. host: does congress still write laws that say "appropriate and necessary," thus being vague? guest: it does. or "necessary and proper," which is in the constitution how often those come up and how vague they can be. it did come up in the argument how commonly these words are used. host: is this considered by some as an unfunded mandate ? guest: i do not believe so. i guess it sort of is because all of the cost is shepherded by industry having to make the technology improvements. but you do not hear that phrase associated with this too often. host: mike, lemoine,
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pennsylvania, independent. caller: i was wondering if your guest could explain to the american people that the reason there is an epa in the first place is on account of corporate americans really bad behavior. there was a gigantic uproar to do something about things like the canal, really upset people. corporate behavior would have been better in the first place maybe the epa would not be so significant. guest: a very good point. the major environmental statutes that we have, the clean air act the clean water act, those were passed in the 1970's. they all passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. richard nixon established the epa so there has been quite a
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change as far as the polarizing nature of these regulations and these laws. you're absolutely right. rivers are not on fire anymore as happened in ohio. you cannot see the pollution as much as you could but you are absolutely right, these initiatives were passed into some really terrible environmental disasters. host: a few moments left with our guest. caller: good morning. i have been in facilities in 12 countries in 10 states and two points, when his on ice cores and congressional responsibility. if you will pull at the history channel two, they are running a series on showing that the earth's temperature has gone up and down for hundreds of thousands of years.
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and this is really silly looking at carbon emissions. i do believe that we should be looking at pollutants and their effect on health. but here is a major, major point. the constitution says that congress is supposed to write laws and i propose that we force all the bureaucrats in the executive branch who are writing laws to be transferred to congress and be paid by congress , supervised by congress to work out all these details. we should not write such vague laws. guest: i think you hit on something. as i mentioned, it gets at the heart of the supreme court case, and that is what to do when agencies interpret unclear or ambiguous laws. i think that there is a concern
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that the supreme court about that i share -- that i think shares your concern about too much regulatory power or regulatory ability to craft would save -- what some say is law. the counter of that argument, congress has not been particularly active in a lot of areas updating laws that needed to be updated or new laws giving these agencies more guide. that leaves to the newer problems for the agencies to deal with. host: jeremy jacobs, does the obama administration -- how focused are they on an environmental legacy? guest: i think focused. i think that the president came into office saying he was going to tackle climate change issue.
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he immediately all must issued a first round of greenhouse gas regulations that included tailpipe standards, and has proceeded over the next three to four years to then roll out another set of rules, which are now in the process of being finalized. i think he has moved fairly aggressively to try to submit and legacy, and a large part of that are these international talks. as our caller mentioned, there is a record that the biggest polluters are china and india. host: mary jane in tears bill ohio. mary jane. republican. caller: that was just mentioned what i was going to bring up. there was a call earlier that china has really got some outmoded factories and things. if we would put our resources into helping them there, it would be better put.
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right now, our president has made an agreement with the chinese that we will cut our things now even more than we have already done, and china can wait for another 30 years until they start to implement anything. it seems to me 30 years is too long in this day and age. we could be cutting their emissions, and make a real, true difference to our world. that is all i have to say. it just seems like we should do that. guest: obviously, diplomatic relations with china are somewhat complicated. i do think there has been a recognition in the administration that you are right, that china needs to be addressed. but i think there is only so much it can do. if you follow this closely there was recently a film released in china by a journalist who was pregnant and who has been adversely affected by the pollution levels there. the film received a time of
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attention in the country and whether or not that will spur any sorts of changes remains to be seen. china's pollution problem is quite significant. host: jeremy jacobs, greenwire. guest: greenwire jeremy. host
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when i was a boy i dreamed of being an athlete. i listened to games on the radio. a man is a man. out out in center field.
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the joy i have gotten with the work i have done for the people has been justice of filling as if i had played centerfield at yankee stadium. just as important as the majority leader. good thanks for this country which is what i have been focused on. this accident has caused us to have a little downtime. i have had time to ponder and think. we have got to be more concerned about the country, the country, the senate, the state of nevada, and thus. as. as a result, i am not going to run for reelection. senator mcconnell, don't be too related. i we will be doing the same thing i have done since i 1st came to the senate. ♪ >> i have to make sure that
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the democrats to control the senate again. i feel i feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up resources on me when i could be i could be devoting them to the caucus. that is what i intend to do. a decision i have made has nothing to do with my being minority leader and certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be reelected. it it is much easier than any time i run for reelection. >> go and spend time. a wonderful husband and father. the other things he has done with his life. ♪
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>> my background, my upbringing to have the experience i have had is american and i want people to know that i am grateful and have done my best. i have not been perfect but have tried my hardest to represent the people of the state of nevada. ♪ ♪
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>> watch reaction from congress to senator reid's announcement today including mitch mcconnell >> here are some of our featured programs this weekend on the c-span networks:
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>> we are welcoming you here today to talk about the president's prediction -- recommendation on elections. here we will talk about progress that has been made and where to go from here.
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my role is to introduce the commissioners and turn it over to them for an immediate discussion and then throughout the day we will have other animals talking about various election administration recommendations made by that question. i we will start by quickly introducing former general counsel the commissioner coming from the business world. a former election official. commissioners are and again the former state director of elections in texas and chris thomas state director of elections in michigan. research director of the commission.
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>> thank you very much. delightful to be reunited with our commissioners and research director. as you know, the goal of the commission from the very beginning was to gather views across the country from election administrators, experts voters, voting rights community, just across the board on a totally bipartisan basis to determine what can be done to make the voting process more functional for voters. obviously the original interest by the commission was a reduction of long lines. an issue that was much discussed in the political process during the course of the election but it was widely understood there are whole issue of questions that board directly on the
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american voting experience. how to significantly improve it. and i am delighted to serve as cochair of this commission. the commission as a whole work extraordinarily well together, together, but i want to emphasize what a collaborative effort it was with democrats, republicans independents participating in the conversation with particular attention to election administration as a sector of public administration as a a means of making elections work and steering clear of other controversies that we will always surround the electoral process and zeroing in on how to improve the experience eligible voters have in registering, going to the polls voting,
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and having confidence that the vote will be successfully and accurately counted. we were grateful for that experience and that the outcome was as well received as it was. now we're into the implementation phase the bipartisan policy center made an excellent decision and bringing on board to steer the implementation effort one of our former commissioners who was here and the former secretary of state date in the state of virginia and an expert in the electoral process. i want to recognize made from stanford law school. there is a conversation taking place that we were taking into working on the report, able report, able to
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take advantage of in writing the report and continuing to develop that we produce a meaningful result for voters across the country. i am delighted to be here and that we have this opportunity and i turn it over to my good friend and cochair. >> thank you. this past year to year and a half has been a privilege and pleasure to work with bob and all of the commissioners to come up with our series of recommendations and best practices. the truth of course, is bob and i have battled over very many bipartisan battles over more years than bob would care to admit. and it really was a tremendous opportunity to come together over these issues because republicans and democrats agree the ability of all qualified voters to cast their vote fairly and without barriers
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is a fundamental part of our system and is to be encouraged everywhere. one one of the things all of you have taught us is that we have a very interesting system with a thousand jurisdictions that have some responsibility for putting on elections so that uniformity is extremely challenging and one of the things that the commission saw. but for the few number of jurisdictions where there are problems, there are more jurisdictions who do the individual parts of voting whether it is lines or registration or proper polling places very well. so it is a great opportunity we had ended educational experience that i think bob and i were able to share to talk to so many election officials around the country and see the great skill and dedication that they have to the problem. i hope our report is a a
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testament to be able to find solutions to problems and then having them implemented in jurisdictions among the 8,000 for do have problems in one of these areas. it is certainly it is certainly worth noting what a great process it was to work with my fellow commissioners and made and all of the folks who came and talked to us at the hearings we had around the country. i hope that this report is the start of something that will now be implemented thanks to the bipartisan policy center and tammy and don palmer as we go forward. it is certainly true that it is a difficult process to get the elements of this report implemented. it is a state-by-state operation and that is the
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success and challenges of the project will lie. with that let me thank john for what is going on and bob for this terrific year and making us all smart and all the commissioners for your wisdom and insight on how to solve these problems. >> during the day there are going to delve deeply into four issues which the commission made major recommendations. how many liberal recommendations there are because there definitely very specific recommendations but the areas we will talk about today for improving the polling place experience reducing lines the voting technology issues associated with the knew generation of voting machines and how we
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certify and test them the possibility of early voting and how states are moving to that and might move more effectively in a number of issues related to voter registration including online registration and data sharing and working with the dmv. we have a little time at this initial panel to say something about those issues maybe i can ask some of the commissioners to pick one of those and say a little something about that. maybe the voting technology issue i think is one that our esteemed cochairs probably did not think they would come to this commission and say, this say, this is the thing that we're going to make major recommendations about but do you want to say a little bit about that issue? or a couple of others that may maybe want to jump in and say brought things. >> john is absolutely right technology and the problems was not something that we --
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excuse me -- anticipated talking about that -- talking about at the beginning of the process. in our various meetings and hearings around the country it was clear every election official faces the problem of machines in the early 2,000's now kind of running out of juice. juice. there was an additional problem in that the technological standards that had to be cast to bring your equipment to market had not been updated since 2007, which is before the ipad was invented and, by the way, you ought to be able to cast a ballot on an ipad these days. that is a fundamental problem we saw every got a tremendous amount of help to come up with recommendations masterson and campbell and the folks in tom hicks
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hopefully be able to put some focus on it. his role in michigan. test he was saying something about registration working with the election office there are a lot of things on the table. voting systems are something
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that we see. but the full implementation of the voter registration act which has not occurred. this report helped highlight that. every person eligible ought to be a registered voter and have that opportunity offered when doing business with the department of motor vehicles. but the data shows is that is just not the case. we have highlighted that as a a way across the board to get a higher registration rate to make it more convenient for voters. with this report is all about is the voters not political parties or election officials but the voters making the experience a better experience on election day. the worst thing is to show up on election day and not have your name in the book and your drivers license have the proper address on it. when the dmv step up and fully implement we will get rid of the lion's share of
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the provisional balance which cause lines on election day. >> would one of the commissioners like to weigh in or say a little a little bit more about the recommendation regarding polling place lines? that was maybe initial comments from the president that spurred the creation of this commission and we will have a a panel later one of the areas we are trying to work with specific counties on these issues do you want to say something about your findings online? >> sure. i will. good morning, everyone. great to see everyone again. it is correct that the line really spurred the commissions genesys, but what we saw in the executive order was it laid out ten discrete areas to look at
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the mall one of them tie directly into research allocation and what causes lines, whether it is the inaccuracy of voter roll or malfunction of voting equipment. and and what we found as we went around the country was that lines occurred for various reasons at various points in time during election day, sometimes in the same polling place so it is a tough nut a tough nut to crack in deciding what is causing the lines. all we are finding and have found in our hearings is that, election officials are looking for needed to try and discern why these lines are occurring and looking to the facts on how they can mitigate that from occurring in the future. it is one thing to cut through the din of there
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are problems with lines at a particular polling place because the machines are broken down and then you find out that it has nothing to do with the machines that was, in fact, a problem with poll workers listening to what they are supposed to do so there is a wide reason that lines occur. what we have to do and it was quite the task. how can we provide tools to local officials to figure out why they are getting lines and how to address them when they occur. ..
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>> >> requiring state legislation through enact like on-line registration that they can do my baby
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adjusting their practices we wanted to major tools are provided that they are well served. >> as the director of the commission teddy images and data and i think the commission was very dated driven and anyone who made that call was me calling for more data to get out into the field and other sources of data can you say anything about your efforts to make this commission dated driven >> thank you for having me here and i will talk about that. supreme the of the added back together believe does
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overcome the. the research ever was a product of the work of some of the political scientist that there are few people who are so invaluable to a profession the we don't know what we would do without him. of a team of researchers who was in the election law journal in the the effort included a national survey it also included a series of all the topics of the executive order we had between one in two dozen political scientist working with the commission end to
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the report for more rated -- netted data to replicate to we we're doing with the commission to bring it as a more dated driven exercise this is not an area we don't have that much it is out there it just isn't accessible to a lot of professionals who like to use it it's to improve collection as. one final thing this takes about the success of the commission. opinion of this process hope it might seem inevitable you come together unanimously but it is a testament to their efforts that the
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commission could do what it did in the era of polarization to have to people that are trusted by their parties to lead an effort like this to come together to deal with problems in a non-partisan professional way. it is one that you recommend a and hope to make recommendations to begin to think of the administration to be a professional problem solver. >> one obvious point is the commission with boundaries
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and limitations to have some strong disagreements but temporarily and not such looking at the federal role. but it is early voting and one other aspect of voter registration as well as a number of ways to improve the accuracy. would you like to say something about one of those areas? >> one in particular is with
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voter choice and voter preference one of the clear-cut signals that we picked it up during the hearing is voters have a certain set of expectations. this is the desire for flexibility with the electoral process. has the people are treated as customers. so with the voice that was heard the of the loudest for the recommendations. word they have an
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opportunity to cast their ballots as an alternative to schedule that moment when so many that we found time begin what are we doing but we found the -- some to be completely insensitive to voters with the blue states or read states but however it is structured is traces. to be sure that they are dated driven all we're listening to the voter.
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>> as was articulately explained but no matter where we wind we got uniformed consensus it is good to alleviate the congestion. bedded said invitation for problems. some states have expanded to create the early voting in person. and then to take every integer of early voting when it is convenient for the schedule. also northwestern state and colorado that has had huge success not only early
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voting but what works with your jurisdiction. and in addition to the pressure points on election day thought voters appreciate that choice we have been doing with early voting since 1987 and we can never do away with that. that is the highlight. >> more opportunities to vote means different ways to do a. it sometimes gets confusing that they have different preferences about what that means.
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lot one jurisdiction means by one opportunity to cast your $1 and one part of the country is different in another. that is though local beecher that we have generally as attacks to the problem as it comes state-by-state or jurisdiction by jurisdiction to make this an ongoing challenge for election officials said people do care about the issue. where we found a large degree of agreement across the political spectrum was the need for clean paroles. republicans and democrats agree that the election process works better with fewer long lines fewer confusion over who should be
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able to vote or not vote. one of the things we agreed on is that help the state's clean the roles as they go into the ballot box to cast their votes there is in confusion as they should be there or not. those are bipartisan improvements that could be made. >> we will have a break but shifting to a second part of the session with the white house counsel will be with us. just a quick shift of seats where he will talk to us for a few minutes.
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even with the assistance attorney in new york and we're very pleased to have you with us the president's commission and came up been appointed this commission. civic thank you. for the policy center it is clear i would not be white house counsel and there are many days that i curse him for that. it is a great pleasure to be here today:it is important
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to everyone in this room. to assist the commission on elections administration to work with states and jurisdictions across the country to a creance the you for recommendations. we'll come back when i read the report again with today's appearance if i was heavily involved to select people to be of the policing task force the riches we want this done quickly everyone this to be practical recommendations to be implemented.
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in how would accomplishes those goals. and the nets and bolts running from the voter system that is just so important and we're thankful for your work on that. there are more opportunities to vote in any country in the world that this is all too aware of americans are making the decision not to show up in non presidential years. in the 2014 midterm elections broder turnout was a lawyer's point since roe board to. that is astonishing and we simply cannot tolerate. but maybe it is not so surprising because of the work you have been looking into that some voters waited
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in line for more than an hour some waited six hours some studies have said 750,000 did not go because airline was to long. we should set the gold standard in the year not there yet with the of recommendations to that gold standard. so the president established to task with non-partisan ways to reprove the election administration and provide better access to the polls for all voters. with the necessity to have
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full access for americans with disabilities, obviously need as much accommodation as anyone else. the commissioners and all those that contributed paul the you have accomplished in the bipartisan policy center per crafters six months in briefings from officials and representatives of various organizations in association the commission developed a set of practical achievable recommendations to approve the voter experience. he recognized and promoted a few that elections must be viewed not as a partisan exercise but good and public administration. to focus on various aspects of voting to polling place
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management that works individually and collectively to create each voter's experience. that is the focus of your report. recognizing that similarity of the voting experience looking at the famous line management system that system was gray and a lot to learn from private industry. recognizing the importance of the work to affect real change the commission did not stop providing recommendations. to provide states or localities with the tool kits for day dash driven tools for the with your help
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and rock the boat you had open sores software the states can use with the on-line registration systems. kreme is that they would have targeted rate times linda ultimately on the voters experience. there are specific in if adopted would make is this too shall difference in the localities ability to tailor it needs to each community. the with a bipartisan policy center are hoping to bring these advances to fruition across the country working hand-in-hand with those who have been doing the hard work year in and year out.
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to use technology with the great work that is under way the commission's report it is a method to reduce air and reduce delays to provide the boater with immediate feedback card registration status. five states have passed legislation is likely to adopt the reform in the coming year. but in the year since releasing the report did continued to study the elections around the country. and how better serves the needs of their communities. they teamed with a bipartisan policy center
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with ways to streamline the voting process with south carolina and virginia. with the commission's report to evaluate their own needs to do its part to assure the election in the administrators have the tools that they need to run smooth and efficient elections. last year the president nominated with the assistance corporation and matthew masterson who may not be here today. i heard you were here today her gore should have google what you look like so i could have confidently waved at you. apologies.
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[laughter] and then to meet with those commissioners for the first time and we believe to attraction include the a voting system was important updates for testing for the systems to use throughout the country in thank you for your immediate action so quickly after being confirmed. earlier this month the president joined thousands of americans that ultimately led to the voting rights act. 50 years later how we can come together with different political persuasions to make voting easier for every american recognizing citizen per dissipation is the core of democracy.
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in die very much thank you for providing me to speak today. [applause] >> i know you have time for a few questions but bob used to sit in the same chair. >> i do think that i appreciate you put the stress on the question of implementation with as a practical recommendation. id and with hope to have the continued support of the
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administration have reduced to the various ways it or a subsequent administration since could tie into the effort. but this is this route that could be developed of a bipartisan basis. >> with some since it started by executive order and they should say he is committed to this. and with issues to american voting to speak about it in a non-partisan sense in the real need to make the voter experience to go to the
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polls. we cannot read or them but not make it so hard. krispy net and he is very appreciative. as i read your report again i was struck that kind of recommendation is end then is just implantable to have the warmest impact whether republicans nor democrats we want the citizens to vote if not we will continue in you that spirited and happiness that they are part of the process to make the democracy better and to
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achieve that goal. >> thank you for your kind words. with the sleeper issues is kinase having adequate facilities to let their citizens vote. is really public schools. there are safety issues with that of course, so the recommendation is with the in service day. with that locality agreement that you need with the
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terrific polling places to have a qualitative effect. >> idb council but i do not speak for him. [laughter] but i completely agree with the notion we need places where people feel safe and comfortable navy you live in an every county with this situation but another situation but when i lived in new york this you die voted in the lobby of an apartment buildings nearby which surprised me that you could vote in a private location like that in new york but i think that part
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of the experience that they feel comfortable going with those that have kids are familiar with the school situation. it is almost day service day at least in a way with safety of the kids that it could be disruptive. is a very important idea. >> other questions? >> it is a comment but i think back how the country was created but first wisely
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that produce the interest but there were many other issues to lay that out in the instructive order in did succeeded with to respective leaders at the top of the commission to co-chair then experience of the administrators of this combination with the final agenda with both parties represented. . .

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