tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 15, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
that the new iraqi government would be inclusive of all minorities in communities. political stability is dependent on the ability to embrace the kurds, the shia, the sunni, but also the christian community of iraq. so that's not happening, clearly. and this is just one of many consequences of the failure to embrace the minority community. this is again the larger problem in the middle east. it's a highly, highly pluralistic part of the world and unless and until you have minority rights you'll never have stability. a guy like al assad is a bad guy. but what's happening is minority groups have a tendency to gravitate to them for one -- to him for one reason, , because if the majority,
sunni, become head of the country, all the minorities will be slaughtered. so long as there is zero-sum game in the middle east, the sum will always be zero. and i often say in game theory there's also what's referred tos -- two as a variable sum game saying there can be many , winners. whatever we do there, however much humanitarian aid we provide there, however much military support we provide in the middle east, internally, the leadership that we get behind, the united states, the leadership that we support, have to embrace, they have an obligation to embrace the minority community because we'll be sitting here five years from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now, we'll be having the same discussion with no progress whatsoever. again, thank you very much for your testimony. i'll yield back. rep. royce: go now to mr. chris smith of new jersey. christopher h. smith: thank you
very much, mr. chairman. thank you for calling this very, very important hearing and our distinguished witnesses for your courage, for so effectively articulating the plight of these suffering minorities in the middle east, particularly christians. thank you for that. and all of those who are suffering at the hands of isis and people who are extremists. you know, i would like to ask a couple of questions. the human rights commission pointed out that the isis violence against christians and other religious minorities quote may constitute genocide. may? i find it extraordinary, you know, the genocide convention couldn't be clearer. eliminating in whole or in part, even the threat rises to the level of being genocide. and of course international community has always been slow to recognize genocide. we, when i see we, i mean the
international community, when it came to sudan, 100 years later we still, only 24 or so countries have recognized the armenian genocide. we seem to gag on the word, and i have tried to get administration witnesses to say what is happening to the christians rises to the level of genocide and that simply is not stated. congresswoman, chairwoman emeritus have chaired a number of hearings on the genocide, attacks against christians and others in iraq. again we keep getting this well , we'll look into it we'll get back, but just say it. say it clearly and unambiguously. i have chaired 14 hearings on the suffering of christians, particularly in the middle east, and we're still getting, you know, a lack of embrace of the magnitude and the hostility towards people of the christian faith.
i would point out that sometimes past is prologue. the clinton administration opposed the international religious freedom act of 1998. he ended up signing it but now we find under this administration the post of ambassador at large was idle left vacant for half of his presidency. we have a very good man in that position, david saperstein, trying to make up i think for lost time. but it was a revelation of priorities that we did not have a person sitting in that very important position. approximately seven months ago legislation passed totally bipartisan, to establish a special envoy for religious minorities in the middle east and south central asia. no secret the administration didn't want it. but he did sign it. the president did sign it into law when passed in a bipartisan way. but now for seven months nobody has been selected to take that position. that person should have the ear
of the president and could settle -- shuttle back and forth and assess what's go on on the ground with clarity and to speak out boldly. nobody has that position. i find that appalling. you might want to comment on that as well. finally, let me ask you the faith of the young people has to have been -- i know we saw that wonderful video of the resiliency of the young women. but the faith of the young people has to be shattered. you know they must wonder where are the faithful elsewhere particularly in the united states, i don't think we have done enough. again, special envoy vacancy speaks volumes to that. but if i could ask you where is the faith of these young people? donna momeka: the matter of fact mr. smith, is that our faith it's amazing that we see it's increasing more and more. it it's making us more stronger. we left churches that were like used to be filled with people.
now, we have only one church. you see people -- like young people, all people, we still have faith in god that we are here. we feel that the hand of god is still with us. in the midst of this darkness, the suffering, we see i got is holding us. he is holding us. otherwise, we would not be what to be witnessing the troubles to our faith that is increasing day after day. the giving of the strength to continue our faith. and to be able to be strong to stay in our country. from last year, we are willing to come back and go home. we have to hope that someday we will go back home. and that will come from your
help. >> mr. congressman, the faith in the christian community in damascus is increasing. my family were christians for the last 2000 years. today, we are more involved in humanitarian work. we know we have to lead by example. this is christianity -- to help others. that is why my family is still in damascus. their faith is for the poor. to take care of others, because this is what jesus christ taught us. to take care of the poor people. the churches are open, like hospitals. when they liberated, the christians there, they work with the muslims on humanitarian issues. yes, we are christians.
but today more than ever, we are christians that we need to practice our christians on the ground to take care of the people who are suffering. >> congressman smith, i went to egypt. and i met the families -- 15 of the 21 that were victims in libya. i was astonished by their faith. as a fellow christian, i thought, how would i be if i were in that situation today? the fathers said to me, thank god, they are today in heaven. thank god, a wife talking to me about how her husband had said i'm going to libya and i will be in danger. but if i do not make it, teach my children. teach them the principles of jesus christ. that is a story, these are the accounts of their faith. i have seen it in iraq across
the board. how christians are standing strong and helping all -- in fact we had a case, there was a group that found a local church. the church with providing care for them, providing a home for them. this is what they are doing they are struggling giving everything they have. so, thank you. >> we go to william from massachusetts. >> thank you for holding this hearing. and thank you witnesses, i want to let you know we all share your commitment to saving lives. to saving religious and cultural heritages and artifacts. stopping human trafficking, i also want to a knowledge, as dr. hansen has, the legislation of chairman royce, mr. smith who i'm proud to join. in working in this area i want to focus on one thing.
i believe that we can do more of in the u.s. to stop this. these terrible actions by isil. that is to look into an issue that time and time again it has come to my attention as the ranking member on terrorism trade, and nonproliferation in this community. that is the issue where i sold is notsil is destroying religious heritage particularly in syria and iraq, it is doubling down on that activity by taxing criminals. they are financing their own terrorist operations again. so it becomes cyclical. and i saw firsthand, i just came back days ago visiting eight countries in the middle east and
europe, just how this is occurring. i had comments from the leaders in these areas saying how smuggling in these antiquities is such a force of financing for these terrorists. so, what i am doing today as well as introducing legislation, it has geared in on one aspect we can easily move to gthwart. even agencies the cells i.c.e. and border patrol, they are not as coordinated as they should be. they don't have the tools. when these artifacts and this trafficking come to our own borders in the u.s., one of the things we have to do, i believe this legislation does, is to work and make sure that the
leadership there -- a designated person to see in on this. more poorly, to have the training in this activity. even that commitment inquiry in aand coordination is there if the u.s. officials don't identify the regions with the greatest risk of looting, and they know the techniques related -- so they can investigate and prosecute this activity. to quell the demand. it is a destination of the world, the united states of america. we are working on that. i like your opinions, your perspective on how this can be helpful as well. particularly, dr. hansen has experience in that regard. >> thank you. what you mentioned is incredibly important. it is vital that we remove the financial incentive for
terrorists groups like isis to raid cultural and religious sites. one of the things we have noticed is that prior to the demolition of shrines and tombs, isis has gone in in advance and looted. things that they can sell -- the reason why they are doing looting, the images we saw is that there is a market for it. your legislation and what you mentioned is incredibly important and taking action to reduce the market. right now, it is crucial that we get restrictions on stolen material from syria put into place in the u.s. as a market country, our demand for that in the u.s. is some of what fuels isis'actions. >> i was really intrigued when
isis show the video of their desecrating these religious institutions and sending those videos to the world saying, they are doing it because of the sense of trueness. they are narrow, if you want to call it religious beliefs -- they should be the only police. yes, if these artifacts are destroyed so no one else can go forth, if they're portable, they are moving around and profiting to fuel their own terrorism. quickly, could you just tell me the scope of this? i heard in my recent visit, it is in the tens of millions of dollars. i think that is underreported. it is hard to figure on that. >> it is very difficult to get a dollar amount. we know that it is significant. as you saw, all of those
artifacts that come out of the ground can get financial benefit from them. you have to assume that even the lowest have to be staggering. i cannot give you an exact dollar amount, that is something we are continuing to research> and work on. > i heard 37 million. mr. chairman? >> mr. scott perry of pennsylvania. >> ladies, i appreciate you being here. your stories are shocking to our consc conscience/ . these stories break our hearts. dr. hansen, we have seen isis crucified in public squares and stoned to death women and throat gay people off buildings.
they probably post this on twitter and youtube. they gain of followers based on social media. the question is, has isis' propaganda campaign. what effective action would you recommend that the united states due to combat social media? have you researched that, what are your recommendations? >> our research does not directly encompass social media. one of the things we have noticed in working with the cultural heritage destruction the videos are very clearly designed to demonstrate power and demonstrate fear. we have an nsf grant to study what is happening with the phenomenon of damaging cultural heritage. we are working on answering
basic questions. like, when does the damage take place? is it before or after the religious minority population is physically threatened and murdered? when it comes to social media what is happening with the videos is exactly the same thing that is happening with the videos of death and distraction. the cultural heritage sites are being destroyed in a way to demonstrate power and fear. >> we will wait to hear back from you based on the grants, if you have any recommendations. i would like to turn to -- is that right? we have been told that the u.s. government is looking at all and i emphasize all the atrocities that isis's committee. what do you view as viable
options to protect the community? if there are any. >> again, mr. congressman, i feel underground when they hear this comment, they get disappointed and angry. we cannot protect one minority without thinking about what is happening to the whole country. we are talking about thousands of refugees of christians, but there are millions of sunnis. so, the solution would be a package. we do not want to be isolated from the others who have lived with us all our lives. i want a solution not only for the minorities, i want a solution for all of syria. so when we say we want to protect us, it is offending me. i don't want to be protected.
when my other neighbors, their under attack. we need to protect the whole civilians. we have so many moderate muslims and christians, we live together all our lives. if you want to protect us, as a christian emma i'm asking you to protect my neighbor. thank you. >> sister, do you think that the isis targeting of minority communities has primarily been due to strategic opportunity -- you were there and it is easy. you are vulnerable? or is it something more deliberate? would you articulate if it is one or the other or accommodation of the two? >> i mentioned earlier, mr. congressman, that it was hard for us or it we used to watch the news that isis took over
mosul. we never thought in a few hours we would be out of our homes with nothing at all. i, myself, with my habit in my passport. both of my sisters left with no documents, nothing. so, it starts with -- it was gradually. if it was deliberately or not, i cannot say that. we were driven out of our homes within a couple of hours. that was it. without any warning. >> my time is expired, thank you. >> we go now to mr. cellini of rhode island. >> thank you to our witnesses for your really courageous testimony. and the description of the horrors and the violence and a sadistic behavior of this
terrorist organization. i hope this is something that the whole world understands as result of your being here today. the significant, personal risks you and yourselves are doing. as my colleague from massachusetts said, we are doing everything we can to protect the sites. but more poorly, we want to protect lives. this effort to destroy cultural and religious identity is an extension of their effort to eliminate entire communities. it is something we have to respond to in the strongest terms. my first question is, i know there are religious minorities that i faced terrible persecution. and they have fled their ancient homeland. but they are unable to cross the border in many instances.
they are not technically refugees. they are internally displaced persons. what can we do, what can united states be doing better to help these communities that are trapped in very unsafe locations? be an assay forin a safer place and these refugees? anyone? >> mr. congressman, i went to northern iraq and i met the government. i was amazed at the work they have done. not because of meetings i went to, but because of the ground. i followed the girls that were kidnapped by isis, for example. i saw the care they were giving. if the kurdistan government, they're still doing everything they can.
like the girls we met, christians and all other minorities feel equal. a lot of these workers have been unpaid for months at a time. to give everything they have to these religious minorities shows that they are truly a safe haven. i have never seen a people like the british people. they have gone through their own atrocities so many times, they understand what it is like to be a religious minority. i say the solution is to support the peshmerga army. they are on the front lines, the boots on the ground. let's help them and support them in any way we can. let us help the kurdistan regional government providing humanitarian systems. to get medical care and psychological care. when i was in jordan, helping
the refugees, there was this little boy. the secretary-general had flown over. he said, do you see that helicopter? he said i hope to god that it bombs jordan. i was shocked. i said, why would you say something like that? because it happened to me, it has to happen to everyone else. a lot of the children that are coming into these territories have seen so much distraction and trauma. and they do not know how to deal with it. they are -- in order to protect this generation, we have to support the kurdistan regional government. as they work on medical care but also that psychological element, as well. and of course, to support the partners like egypt and jordan were bringing in refugees and taking care of their people. they're educating, 14,000 college students in syria.
about 40,000 students and culinary school are being taken care of to support them on the ground. >> i was just in jordan and saw the syrian border the incredible work they are doing. we have to be supporting that. >> again, mr., richmond, i emphasize the protected zone. i was in jordan last month also. it is important to start thinking about this. we need to get the civilian initiative in a safe area. where they can be protected from the isis and the bombs of the syrian regime. this will give better position for syria and jordan so they can take care of others. all of the humanitarian aids, we appreciate it.
we know that you are doing a lot. but we really need to be in a safe zone. i really asked you, it is so important. thank you. >> if i may ask one final question. i want to address one of congressman higgins' questions. there are many people who argue that isis is an outgrowth. what do we need to see from the current iraqi government, or a future syrian government to demonstrate the kind of tolerance and inclusiveness that will prevent this kind of violence? should the united states be doing more to condition our support on the iraqi government on their commitment to take certain steps to detect minority populations? and build a more inclusive government? the syrian solution is a long-term answer. in this interim. , can we be doing more to demand
the iraqi government? >> i think it is very important to do -- to answer your previous question we are known as idps. we will be like that forever if we do not return home. there are efforts from both parts to return home. i think that would be the solution. of course, with your help, you know. that will give us a better life. otherwise, there will be no education. and there will be no health care because that will not happen when you are and idp. you don't have an identity or entity. that is where we belong. there are efforts from both parts to return home, and we can start to rebuild. we can start all over again. thank you.
>> regarding syria, talking long-term, we need to think about a few things. first, we need not to destroy the institutions. this will happen only if we have a political solution. we need to pressure the regime to come to the negotiation table and make a transition. we need to include everybody. and everything will be good if we can end up with a political solution. this is a long-term. this is the best way to protect minorities. to save the institutions and have a transition government include everybody. >> thank you very much. >> i can interject here. you are suggesting that to get there, you need a no-fly zone -- a safe zone. an area where, for example, the
business community -- the sunni and the christian communities are trying to hold out there. but they have isis on the front line. intermittently, the bombs and the chemical attacks occur from the assad regime all over the city. they are trying to hold out against isis. so you are saying, do you believe that if there was a no-fly zone there, and there was a prohibition from the dropping of the barrel bombs, that would help civil society take a foothold there? could you explain that thinking to me? >> i did witness the barrel bombs when i was there. it is very hard to grow when there is an immediate threat to your life.
yes, i am not a military expert. but i believe that we need to stop the barrel bombs. this is the first step for the community, or everybody. >> and you think also in doing that, it helps drive the impetus for a settlement because then they can see that society cannot be overrun there. >> there are so many examples from the local counsel that include the christians. >> i have noticed emma the battalions i have seen, among the free syrian force there -- there sunni and you know, i have talked to other community members who are supporting the efforts there and aleppo. to build on them. >> we need first to have a safe
place for this community. once we stop the barrel bombs then we can get a good example and other local communities. they knew that i'm christian. and i've been working with the civil citing to empower i know in syria, what you see in the sectarian violence -- at the end of the day, this community, we live together. the syrian people cannot continue to live if they don't live together. >> thank you. i want to thank all of our witnesses for their testimony here today. and isis is, in fact, conducting a war against religious minorities -- against tolerance.
and, as you shared, against civilization. and i want to thank our panelists for being the voice of the persecuted. and the committee has long been focused on ensuring a robust humanitarian response and an effective security strategy, as well. the legislation we have on the floor of the house thank you for supporting the legislation. and i think your appeals for safe zones and the longing to return to your homes have given us new facts to consider. and now i think to consider with an indelible human face. sister, thank you. to all our panelists, thank you for being with us. we stand adjourned.
there are so many things that our middle-class families now don't have access to. i'm not talking about my shelter kids. i'm not talking about the poorest of the poor. i'm talking about the average kid walks into this go on any given day. 51% of schoolchildren today qualify for free or reduced lunch. that means 51% of our public school children come from families that are struggling financially. and they don't have the right to
even guarantee that there's going to be a roof over their heads. the people that do have the power to give them that right work in this beautiful building over here. they are the ones who have access to all of the things that my kids need. fortunately the most beautiful thing about that building is those guys have a boss, and it's the american people. we are their boss. we have the right to demand from the people who work for us what we need to make sure our kids have what they need to succeed. and what they need is a family that has some decent security, a hard-working family that knows that everything will not be pulled out from under them. i made really hard greater or quit my kids would turn in their homework and it wasn't good enough, i marked it up and i sent it back and i said you can
do better. right now we know that this congress, the senate can do better for working people. we are going to scientists and sending them back to do their homework. >> leo gerard, president of the steelworkers. >> first of all, are you ready to fight for this agenda? when you go home are you ready to do something for this agenda? when you go home are you prepared to broaden the coalition for this agenda? because we're not going to change anything just stating here. it's going to take hard work and it's going to take us making sure that the public understands what's at stake. left the floor for working people. let me give you a fact that it is shockingly found out today. we are arguing for $15 minimum wage. is not enough? >> no. >> at the minimum wage had kept his with inflation, that's all, it would be $18 today.
productivity has gone up more than 180%. ceo compensation has gone up sometimes 150, 200%. 400 times more than the average worker. that didn't happen by accident. that happen as a result of an economic system that has been in place for the last 35 years to push us down. and i can show you this. as the president of the steelworkers union, what i've been saying to members of congress the last several weeks on the street deals is let your history be your guide. i challenge any member of that congress to come forward and show us a trade deal that resulted in net job increase is for american workers and upward pressure on wages. they can't find it. they can find a trade deal like that because they don't exist. that's part of the push down wages. that's part of us losing 60,000 factories. that's part of them telling us
you can't afford to have that because we have to compete with china or vietnam. i don't intend for steelworkers to have to compete with 50 cents an hour wages. i don't intend our steelworkers to have to compete with slave labor from some other country. i don't intend for workers to have to compete with the sultan of burn i would think he should 7000 anti-cars and have forced labor in this country. i intend to fight with mayor de blasio who i think profoundly for bringing this together. identify with all of these people that are here in the progressive agenda and i intend we will never stop fighting until we win. that's what i ask you again car you prepared to fight for this agenda? i am proud to sign it. >> thank you brother. >> mary kay henry, president of seiu. >> thank you. thank you, mayor de blasio et al. my brothers and sisters in the progressive movement the 2 million members of seiu and
attends and thousands of courageous activism that are hitting the streets month after month to fight for a more just america. we are proud to stand today and sign this pledge to combat income inequality. we know that the promise of america is being threatened each and every day. it's been undermined by big corporations and the wealthy few who have read the rules of our economy and democracy -- rigged -- so they can siphon off for themselves most of the money that our work creates invoices that we each have in our democracy. that promise is stunted by the persistence -- persistent existence of structural racism in this economy and democracy that continues to take the lives and futures of black americans in this nation, and by the broken immigration system that persists in keeping millions of immigrants in the shadows of our nation. the crucial debate that is underway in our nation is being
prosecuted in the streets, and we are here today as national leaders of the progressive america to back the courageous courage of people that are growing a movement in this country to insist for a fight for 15 and the union, for working people to have a say and a seat at the table with corporate america, for a balance of power or black lives matter, students and working people and communities that are insisting, and for immigration reform. we stand with airport workers, wal-mart workers child care workers, higher education faculty that are insisting in our america. this agenda is our response to the call of the people in the streets of this nation, for an economy that works for everyone not just the wealthy and the corporations. we are obliged to meet the courage come with the courage of our own. thank you, mayor de blasio for
your courage in pulling us together. and thank you all very much. >> lee saunders, president of afscme. >> good afternoon, everybody. what you've been hearing they've been talking, it's talk. now it's time to not only talk the talk but it's time to walk the walk. 1.6 million members of afscme standing shoulder to shoulder with our progressive partners from across the country. we know that stronger unions equal a stronger middle class. a stronger middle class because a stronger america for all of us. so that's why we are standing together 100% behind the progressive agenda. this isn't rocket science. we need to do is very, very simple. it's going back to basics one-to-one organizing. it's going back to our communities block by block
street by street, city by city county by county, state by state, organizing and mobilizing and educating our communities across the country. for too long, job security benefits and retirement security have been disintegrated for most working families across america. meanwhile, the very, very will they just keep getting richer, demanding an equal share of wealth and power. that's not who we are. that's not what this country is truly about. that's not what progressives stand for. we're all in this together, and all of us either rise or we fall together. we support the progressive agenda because it will advance the principle that the working women and men who helped create america's prosperity should also share in america's prosperity. we are ready to roll and ready to fight. thank you. >> randi weingarten, president
of the american federation of teachers. >> so, like my brother mr. saunders, this 1.6 million member union is also ready to walk the walk. as my kids at clara barton high school used to say, it's time to walk the walk not just talk the talk. and the time as is well past time. i'm so grateful that mary -- mayor de blasio has brought us altogether, some folks from labor, some folks in civil rights, some of our incredibly fantastic foot soldiers in congress, people who have actually seen what the effects of trickle-down economics have been. people have seen what the effects of a rig economy has been. and what we're trying to say here is with this agenda, and it's not everything, you don't see public education on the agenda. utility of the things on the agenda, but public education is
part of a building block of the economy. and when you have these building blocks of lifting the floor for working people, of supporting working families come of tax fairness, then we as teachers can do our jobs for children. we can lift all boats when you have an economy like this. so i'm proud to be part of this progressive community to say let's not just talk the redrick let's do these tangible things. let's walk the walk for america's working people right now, starting today. >> president of the national action network, reverend al sharpton. >> thank you. let me say we mayor de blasio had contacted me i had some concerns, because i seem progressive groups come and go.
but because of his leadership and the ability of saying that we get of unity without uniformity i said i wanted to work to set what is the goal posts for where this nation needs to go. when i was 13 years old i begin youth director of sclc operation breadbasket in new york, the your dr. king who founded it was killed. assad robert kennedy go to appalachia. the movement became splintered, and we started fighting over dogma, so the result was richard nixon became president in 1968. we don't agree on everything, but we agree that we have got to deal with income inequality and wages and how we get there. we are establishing with this agenda where the goalpost is.
we can argue about the place to get there. in new york, we've had debate on policing. you would think from the right wing that mayor de blasio and i are twins. sometimes were not even in the same crib but the goal is to protect people and police. we don't agree. i've been a firm support supporter of president obama and remain fat unapologetically, and will fight for that but i will fight for that in the room. the our debates about trade that we don't agree. there's debate about racial inclusion. even in some parts of the union movement that we don't agree but we all agree where we need to go. so it's in that spirit, led by so that all sides of the debate can trust that i come. i don't come with uniformity, i come with unity that we've got to do with come as president obama said issue of our time income inequality.
yes, please misconduct by police and accountability not on the list, but when you look at what's going on, the core root of a lot of the reaction is economic inequality. mass incarceration, economic inequality. if you look at somebody things the civil rights committee is concerned about economic inequality. and we are not going to agree with a standard today, i thought about howard dean and i went against each other in washington. he one washington. i beat him in south carolina but we are here today and we can debate our differences on trade. we can debate our differences on inclusion, we can't debate that america has to be fair for everybody. and we can't debate that the billionaires are playing games with us and treating us like hamsters on a treadmill rather than people better focus on the goal line. we will change the debate starting today. we will debate what we think is best to get there but the goals
are undebatable and i salute mayor de blasio for being big enough to say get past your dogmas. let's find out our dogmatic differences, but the goals are more important than any one of our specific opinions. i do not for one minute bow down anyway acquiesced my opinion, but i'm willing to be in the tent to fight for them because i mentioned that is outside the tent has a room for regular working people. let's get into tent and fight to change the landscape. thank you. i sign. >> the mayor of oakland california, libby schaaf. >> good afternoon. my name is libby schaaf. i'm here all the way from oakland, california, to roast in your d.c. sun. because oakland also wants to stand proud as part of the progressive agenda to end income inequality. city like google is one of the most expensive places to live in this country already and yet we
are the second fastest raising rent in the country. we have done our part in oakland to raise the minimum wage can something that the federal government really should do. but we need the federal leaders to help us and do they share so that we can have some shared prosperity. things like quality preschool 21st century job training and affordable college tuition. and how about some reasonable gun laws so that our young people have a pathway to jobs and not to prison? i'm very proud to sign this pledge today on behalf of cities all over this country that are on the ground feeling the effects of this income inequality, so thank you, mayor de blasio. >> mayor nan whaley of dayton, ohio,. >> thank you, mayor de blasio. in dayton, ohio we have the lowest unemployment in 25 years but our families have lost 20%
of their yearly earnings. it's time for this progressive agenda where work is rewarded, not wealth for dayton ohio, and for our country. thank you. >> very special guest the dean of the entire house of representatives. >> john conyers reporting. brothers and sisters what we are doing here to change things. it's got to change things. we are here with mayor de blasio and so many of our close friends to launch the progressive agenda. give all the members of congress and the progressive agenda a round of applause for putting this together. [applause] income inequality threatens the
character of the country as well as our economic future. 95% of the games since the repression went to the top 1% of the economic ladder and wages for the nation's working families remain stagnant. this cannot continue. the discrepancy partial results from the ongoing crisis in the job market. that's why i propose a full employment legislation for everybody in america to either have a job or get trained for a job. full employment. that's the way out of what we're in right now. now, despite all of the progress made by this administration, and sometimes by us we've got
20 million americans that are unable to find full-time employment, and that's got to change. joseph stiglitz economist, and other top economists, emphasize that full employment is essential not only for the well being of american families, but the economy as well. and so i am proud to sign as a supporter of our progressive agenda come and i look forward to working with everyone of you to achieve full employment in america. thank you. >> congressman, thank you. you can get your coat back. >> maria elena durazo.
>> thank you, mayor. in new york harbor statue of liberty stands as a beacon shining for the world to see and on it is inscribed give me your poor. it doesn't say so we can keep them poor. but for immigrants in america that is exactly what we are doing. 30% of all immigrants in america are working as custodians and groundskeepers. 80% of immigrants are working in low-wage jobs. in my unions jurisdiction, we have nearly 200,000 immigrants working as hotel housekeepers, and 600,000 cooking food. think about who these people are. they are among the greatest of all of us. they came here with nothing. they brought only their name within. they left everyone. they left everything behind.
they didn't come to get welfare or social services. they came to work. the last five course of our national anthem our the home of the brave. who better than immigrants were brave enough to come here should want to stay here? is so much written about the millennial generation, but all that talk paints the stereotype of who the millennial are. we pictured him as white, college-educated digitally hip, socially connected. but for 3% of the millennials are nonwhite. two-thirds are not college graduates. 47% of the children have a single mom. 30% of all the low-wage workers in america are millennials women of color. and continues these millennials of color will make up 75% of the global workforce. no one will escape their sheer
numbers. and while it's much in vogue to talk about income inequality in low-wage jobs, i think it's time to shift the focus away from the issue and onto the politicians who vote for tax breaks that create the low-wage jobs. politicians who give speeches and do nothing. it's time to focus on low-wage politicians and hold them accountable with our votes. the dreamers have pointed the way. those young men and women are the new beacon. they stand as the example, shining the light for all of us to follow. alike that demands equality and points to higher future, brighter future and will guide america. [speaking spanish]
mooches gracias. >> i want to thank a dear friend from labor, george, thank you. now if i could call up to present the national council of la raza, janet marguia. >> we all feared together with different constituencies but common goals. latino families have a stake in the future of america come and america has a stake in the future of latino families. we support come nclr and national council of la raza, supports this progressive agenda because we understand that it is an agenda for all americans. a commonsense agenda for all americans. thank you. >> van jones. >> it's an honor to be your. first i just want to say, i've been reading indie media people asking a question, who does
mayor de blasio think he is to be pulling all these folks together? his the mayor. i want to say very very clearly, i want to say very very clearly, a mayor in the middle of a national security crisis, giuliani, brought this country together and lead as america's mayor. we are now in an economic security crisis hit it is highly appropriate that america's mayor bring us together again. thank you, mayor de blasio for your leadership. thank you for your leadership. i also want to say how much i appreciate his commitment as he underscores to conclude schools not jails as a part of his agenda as we move forward. young people who are marching across this country the overwhelming majority of them peacefully, are heartbroken about the doors that have been closed to them. they can talk about income inequality because many of them
can't get a job. and many of them can't get a job because they have a felony conviction. after the mayor -- go to just six times more often. that's an economic issue. it's not just a justice issue. when you can't get a job because you have a felony. you can't get a student loan because you the conviction. you can't even rate an apartment, that's not just racial justice issue companies and economic justice issue. it's impossible for us to raise the floor on the working middle class, and there's a big hole cut in the floor called mass incarceration. so i am proud to be part of a movement that when assist equality for all it includes everybody. those poor kids in appalachia who don't have the future, poor kids, native american reservation don't have much hope. african-american, latina kids in urban america who would love to have a job. i salute this may force leadership and i pledge to work with him with heather, with
reverend sharpton and others to make sure criminal justice is a part of economic justice in this country. thank you very much. >> thank you. heather mcghee of demos. >> thank you, mayor de blasio and thank you to my brothers and sisters in the progressive movement for this visionary agenda. at demos we believe that all need to unite at this historical moment of political, economic and racial inequality to work for in america we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. because today a cashier who is making $7.25 an hour not only kids -- for her children, $7.25 were of food for her family but she also seems to merit just seven hours 25 with respect in our political culture. and only 7.25 worth a voice in our democracy. people might ask what his agenda came from. it came from the voices and the
hearts and deceit in the arms of the people who have been pushing for a more progressive vision of this country. from the fast food workers have been fighting for 15 along with adjunct professors and childcare workers, from the wal-mart workers, from the people have been lying dead in the streets to say that black lives matter. from the students of said that debt-free college was good enough to great underclass at the time the middle of this century come and it's good enough for the greatest most diverse generation of the world has ever seen. i'm proud to stand in partnership with mayor de blasio, a visionary leader, of my hometown in new york, and sinus agenda. thank you. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky of illinois. >> i represent the night in chicago in the and when i'm home and in the grocery store, very often people come up to me in my progressive ditch it and say how can you stand it? they mean, how can they stand
what's going on in this congress. and i see the reason i can state it is because the american people agree that they are ready to support a progressive agenda. we are ready to fight back because of the american people agree with all of these items. they know what is happening to them. so i'm very proud to stand here to fight to raise wages, to support unions and to protect and expand social security, medicare, and medicaid. thank you, mayor de blasio. >> congressman charlie ringo, dean of the new york delegation. >> mr. mayor, labor leaders, colleagues and friends when i marched from selma to montgomery i had no idea that there could be dramatic changes made in our constitution. that constitution did not include disparity in wages but it did not include black figure does not include women and it did not include middle-class poor folk. that change was made because americans thought it should be
made. blocks and jews and mormons and muslims came together and said it's time for a change. this is a patriotic opportunity for us to say what is it that we can do? the president is talking a lot about tpp ncp a come which means it is a trade agreement. it is not a secret -- tpd. the multinationals know exactly what's in that trade agreement that they also note about the millions and trillions of dollars they will be able to make the they don't have a commitment to working people or disparity, but one thing is clear. they are not talking about infrastructure and the roads and seaports and airports. they're not talking about training our workforce, which means scientists and people are able to compete. and so if you're talking about trade, let them talk about not making certain that the rich continue to receive 95% of the profits which the trade agreement is going to bring but start talking about the pulse of
the united states of america the people that made it great, the people that fought its wars. and that's the middle class. this could be the beginning of a resolution, a revolution. i hope our spiritual leaders will no doubt if our communities crumble, so will their churches, synagogues and temples. let us move forward and be the patriots that i know we are. thank you. >> i want to say that i stated it as a former mayor so absolutely stand here in such awe of the leadership of mayor de blasio. ladies and gentlemen, i make freshmen to congress, and i represent the city of detroit the comeback city. we cannot come back as america we can. >> as a city unless we start embracing the issue, the real issues, the core of our economy. this is a time for all of us to
stand up and work together. i joined the other members of the progressive caucus as a member of congress as being one of those politicians that understand the work that we must do, that if we truly truly want to make a legacy and make a difference in my tenure as a congresswoman, i will be fighting hard so that those women, and i'm very passionate about those women who are working every day, have children to take care of also of children that they must provide the get education for and provide child care for. we are all in this together, and when you raise the wages of women, you raise the wages of the quality of life for women across this country and families. and when you raise the quality of life for families you're going to raise the quality of life in america. so i'm proud to stand here today with these progressive leaders and to sign. thank you so much.
>> thank you, mayor. thank you very much. i'm glad and whether stand with a man that's six feet plus and still growing. the reason is that a standing tall is for those who cannot speak for themselves. i'm delighted to be with all my colleagues. and let me just say this. two days ago was mother's day and the breaking news was that mothers of america were living in abject poverty, in absolute misery worse than mothers in third world countries. why? because every day they are struggling to make sure that their children eat when they can't beat. what a disgrace and a prosperous country like this. the progressive agenda is standing for redemption making sure that these mothers can stand under the sun and the quality of life with childcare, with salaries above $15 an hour, with making sure that not making 78 cents on the dollar that they've been making for more
than 30 or 40 years as women, to make sure that tax fairness and the guy that is making billions for his paycheck notice i didn't say millions billions as ceo can reach down and get the least of those mothers who are surviving. last year i stood on this campus and held up an empty chair. it was childcare. congress was kind and slashing childcare and families were begging to have their children and childcare thank you, mayor, for understand the core values of providing early childhood education childcare. so i am so eager that i signed already and i'm going to sign taken the progressive agenda. as we do that mayor i close on this. that has lifted the both of all people, you know we are doing? we write in a criminal justice reform because we're taking people in abject of their life in the poverty of their life and lifting them up so they can students held to a positive, better quality of life. we are working together on all
these issues. thank you very much. sign again. >> thank you very much. let me begin by thanking the mayor for bringing us here for setting up this coalition to push for a progressive agenda. to push against income inequality. there's many people in this country will would tell you that's not a legitimate objective. income inequality is inevitable in a capitalist society. they are right. but it doesn't have to be as great but even those whose income inequality is fine will tell you, demand equality of opportunity. the system in this country for the last 35 or 40 years has been rigged, not only against income inequality but against equality of opportunity. when productivity goes up the amount the worker produces goes up by 180% and wages goes down. that is not equality of
opportunity. when some will be fired during to say let's form a union and the laws are not enforced, that leads to income inequality and inequality of opportunity. when you don't have childcare leave for working women, when you discriminate against pregnant women on the job that leads to income inequality and lack of equal opportunity. all the things we're talking about today from tax fairness when hedge fund manager pays a lower tax rate on his two and 20 than a sector does on her earnings, that income inequality and it leads to economic come to inequality of opportunity. all we ask is a fair shake but this country work for everybody and that's what this is all about so i think everybody for joining us. we can have a trade pact as we've had for the last 20 years
that make workers can be with people making 30 cents an hour or 30 cents a day come and the company says if he demand a decent wage we moved to vietnam. that's income inequality and its inequality of opportunity. and that's what produces all the benefits of recoveries in recession going to the top 1%. we will not stand for it and we're very glad that mayor brought us together today to begin this campaign for her aggressive change. thank you. >> congresswoman they that clark of brooklyn. >> let me first of all just a what a wonderful thing it is here in washington, d.c. mayors from around this nation come including the mayor of my great city, new york, whose leadership has brought us to this point the raul grijalva and keith ellison and the colleagues of the progressive national caucus. the calvary has arrived. we've been talking about income inequality ad nauseam.
now it's time to make action happen. to the generation xers generation y. and the millennials, this is your agenda. when we talk about what's happening to college students, student loans right now come when the income inequality can be something of a legacy that stays with you until the end of your days. we want to make sure that college is debt free for students. college is debt free for the next generation. that is what this agenda is all about. we know what is happening in urban centers across this nation come and we know the toll that it's taking on our civil society society. this agenda is a forward-looking agenda but it's an agenda that americans can embrace and recognize that the core of their being is what this nation is truly about, opportunity. as a child of immigrants i know
that has this type of inequality in existence where my parents came in the 1950s i couldn't stand before you today. represent the ninth congressional district of new york. so the calvary has arrived. labor on one side, civil rights committee on the other progressive city across this nation are rising up to say we're going to close this gap and we're going to put policies in place to put our people back to work and make sure their human dignity is reserved. thankthank you very much. to mayor de blasio we want to see you here in d.c. as often as you want to be here. i hit some thought into your but i will let them know that you're pushing an agenda that our cities will benefit from the thank you so much, mr. mayor. i'm signing up. >> i want to thank congressman jim mcgovern who signed up but had to leave. what you think jimmy hart. were about to take questions from the media. if there's anyone else was not yet signed, please sign the if you have a quick sentence or two
you want and pleased about otherwise will take russians from the media. going once -- just say, okay. going once -- >> i have a couple comments. >> quick go fast. >> i will i promise. it's not. my name is jean ross i'm a registered nurse. nurses are patient advocates in hospitals and advocates for dinners at every level of government and industry. we support the progressive platform because too many people are suffering at every level and equality of health care is damaged. people are suffering because of the vast divide of wealth in this country. too many are suffering due to wall street and corporate america stranglehold on our economy and our politics. it's time for us to unite to change and make that a better america and a better world for us all. and i think you. >> don't forget to sign.
>> okay, last few and then we will take questions. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm a registered nurse. i am the vice president of the new state nurses association, and has the mayor can attest when the mayor was running we were the first group to step out and support him. so we stood up for him been certainly it's not a stretch to stand up for him today. and the people of this country that needs to get a fair shake in this country. there's no reason to work every day, hard-working people and still have welfare, still be on food stamps. we are better than this. saw want to ask you and make you to go back home until everybody, we are better than this come into work towards that. thank you. >> i'm with the economic policy institute and i want to echo what the mayor said at the beginning. we need to honor work not wealth. that's basically it.
raise the wage. thank you very much. >> amen, brother. >> you've heard a lot about the agenda that i want to talk to you a bit about action. and, therefore, an alliance of four major national groups represented 700 organizers 2 million members and we're prepared to join with the mayor and drive this agenda into the early primary states and make certain that every candidate has to respond to it. thank you. >> thank you. all right. all right. we are ready for questions. >> a lot of the colleagues talked about trade deals come hillary clinton has been mum on a very shaky, publicly and of those? >> here is a very clear agenda for addressing income inequality one of the elements right is we should make sure that are not trade deals that have power at the expense of american workers.
it's as simple as that. all leaders need to address the issue away but it does have to be addressed. >> specifically said on a? >> i've been clear on the fact i believe people running for president, governor or senator should respond to this agenda, either i agree with it or often on version of how we address income inequality. one of the issues now in this nation is how we do a trade you probably that does not make this a mistake of the famous trade deals of the path. we don't need another nafta. any candidate needs to address the issue into own way. >> what are you backing the wealthy over the workers? workers over the wealthy. >> i think it's obvious the issue we're talking about here have a huge impact on the people of new york city. and when you think of what's happening in our city 46% of people in our city that under the poverty level.
those are the statistics developed in the bloomberg administration. the ways we address that involve national policy. we can do a lot at the local level and trying to do with affordable housing in increasing paid sick leave and living wage and other measures. i'm going to get to more working for this new infrastructure in congress can new transportation bill. new york city and cities all over the country need the federal government to address income inequality we can make the progress we need without it. >> even do you think you're doing this for the the u.s., new york voters don't think that. >> this is something that has to happen for people. none of us should get lost in perceptions. we deal on facts. everyone understands the federal government has a huge impact on the future of the roads, highways, mass transit education, affordable housing things were crying out for solutions for in new york city. it's obvious what we need is
right here. >> i notice on your plan to refinance student loan debt for those interest rates. one of the things progressives are pushing national it is debt-free student loans. so is that something -- >> we've heard that from a lot of members from the coalition, particularly the progressive caucus and that something we work into this coalition effort spent to incarceration rate is a concern. there's a report that you think the murder rate in new york has gone up 20%. there was a robbery over in midtown manhattan the past couple of days and shots were fired. right now we are in d.c., nypd is concerned that the crime is going up in new york city. how do you entity that? >> statistics said the commission has made quite clear the overall crime rate major index crime is going to in the city even compare to lester which was a record year for crime reduction. there's areas where we have to do better ever implementing a
host of new strategy including freeing up an immense amount of police time to address it cry because were not going to stop and frisk policy of the past not arresting the huge number of young people for low number marijuana arrests are a lot is done to put additional resources out. but the fact is please check with the nypd on this, overall index crime in new york city has gone down this year compared to the same time last year. >> could you talk more about admitting the buffett rule and specifically what that involves? and also i notice a lot of new york congressman was on this list but a number are not. could you talk about the people who are not on this list? have you reached out to them? do you expect all. members to sign onto this? >> we started with an effort to the national congressional caucus, and some people just did not sign pledges. we do know there's folks in congress that make it a policy not to sign pledges but the folks i've reached out to certainly the response was very,
very positive. i think what you've seen literally in a few weeks the first meeting on this initiative was april 2 at gracie nation. we are here less than six weeks later there's been a tremendous response to think it indicates a lot of people who were in this building are looking to join a coalition to make a change as a fundamental level of our policy. you heard from a lot of them. they can change the policies into current political environment. we have to change the basic legal debate with it but income inequality at the front of the line of the issues we discussed the we think this agenda help to do that. >> mayor, one of your complaint is raising the minimum wage 15 of an epic that something are looking to get a new your city which have been able to be a. you haven't got the reception you wanted, running out of time on the clock. how do you intend to make this happen nationally if it's having such a sticking point in new york a? >> i will point to the four red
states that in 2014 in the java election voted for minimum wage increases. certainly extraordinary efforts for the 15 coalition demonstrations and 200 cities two weeks ago. let's have an undergrad i'm hopeful we will get change on this issue in albany but i think people in new york state are demanding high wage spent a lot of they can't over the past 50 years that labor talks about so proud of came out the cost of strikes, work stoppages, hitting the bricks. but it didn't any talk of that today. in other words there was no talk of, okay you're not going to give us this, we're going to shut it down. we going to really assert our power and close it up. and really hits you in the pocketbook. there was no talk about. i am just wondering why? >> i appreciate your militancy henry. i think it's quite clear -- >> its effect over the last 100
years. >> what we talk budget is a question that can change nation national debate and i think it's important to look at how intense the grassroots organizing efforts have been around these issues. the fight for 15 is not your garden-variety organizing effort. it's been extraordinary in every fiber and dismayed impact major corporations are proactively increasing the wages to that didn't happen by accident or there's been pressure on state legislatures to act even here in congress interesting something different than what you described but clean energy level that is thriving our organization level rising for progressive change. >> you need more than democrats to get your agenda passed. have you talked to them about the genesee? yesterday with a very good talk and we look forward to working together. t. someone in my past experience that i can work with editing is looking out for the interest of staten island, brooklyn in new york city. i talked about the fact recorded need the help of congressman
from both sides of the aisle to achieve the changes when you for the city i think he understands that. >> when are you going to stop -- >> is he wrong are they wrong? do with the progress that? >> look, the bottom line on trade is, i couldn't agree more with elizabeth ward and progressives who think they're deeply concerned about this trade deal. we all live in the shadow of nafta. it's as simple as that. we all saw deal previously that was supposed to strengthen economic and of american workers and undermined american workers profoundly. particularly underwent our manufacturing sector there's on his concern that this trade deal could do the same. put aside at the very real concerns about information and processing processing, just the substance of the do. there's tremendous concern as is made clear from the real empowerment will be for corporations, not for american workers. i agree entirely with elizabeth ward on the issue.
>> the president is attacking democrats for not supporting cisco what do you think? >> we have a respectful michigan on the issue and i think that's not unheard of in the democratic party. right now which is useful and more energy among progressives cannot accept the status quo and a fundamental change the political debate, and the trade issue is a good example of that. >> the criminal justice reforms you talk so much for years in new york city are not included as a part of the progressive agenda. >> we've implemented the changes on stop and frisk come on marijuana arrest. what we are doing to reduce the chill population unveil reform and a number of other measures we are going to go back to the coalition starting tomorrow and add a couple of the pieces with agreement of the coalition members have a blessed that i would be for important to include. mass incarceration is having a huge negative impact on economic potential of young men of color in particular so it is pertinent to the question of income inequality and how we address the but i think the next few
days we'll be adding some more planks, including that went. >> three people today got hit on the head with hammered in union square park what you say to critics say you should focus more at home and leave us to experts who deserved a? >> i think mayors of new york city for generations have had to speak up for our city here in washington and around the country. i remind people that greatest of all my predecessors laguardia was when the cofounder of u.s. conference of mayors but it did not exist because in the context of the depression he relies mayors have have a stronger voice in washington. he was one of the people who gave us the u.s. conference of mayors to develop a mayor in your city it was not spoken nation on issues. what i do know is a lot of things my city needs happen right here and right now the political environment will not allow us to get the support we need in the changes we need to we've got to change the debate, changed the political vibrant. the we do that is by building a coalition of leaders that
literally push the debate in the right direction. we've got to walk and chew gum at the same kind of guy to achieve these kinds of changes while making sure my city is safer while making sure we're improving our schools and a host of things we do everyday. commissioner bratton is a great job as i said. the overall crime and it shows crime going down, thank god but we've got to achieve both. we cannot have nukes city and cities around the country abandoned by the federal government. >> last one. >> you are the one, yes. >> are you concerned at all about the experience that the great britain went through with the labour party shifted to the left? totally wiped out. >> these are very different dynamics. i was entertained by mr. tink which is analysis and i was is a very very different reality for a host of reasons. first of all one of the major factors in that election was the gorgeous art in scotland to be independent. that fundamentally shifted the electoral context. second of all we've got income inequality reality here that is kind of literally since the day
that ronald reagan took office in a very, very sharp manner. i thought joseph stiglitz analysis of this modicum i commit to ago. no, it points out this is not a new problem. this is 35 years of declining possibilities or american working people. this is now structural and it is gone unaddressed here in this capitol four years. so i think our situation is different and i think right now people all over this country are shocked that there is not a set of solutions on the table in washington to address income inequality and these are the ideas that will win the day in this country. >> you have to leaders of messaging and policy in the senate and house on the democratic side, chuck schumer and -- every talk to them about the messages? >> they are both valued colleagues and we certainly talked about a host of issues but to me we are seeing now literally before our eyes a
change international politics. again this fight for 15 of it is not like anything we've seen in years. is consistent pattern all over the country the reverend on minimum wage increase minimum wage increase basically come something is happening that is difficult years ago to are my people are polysilicon in the different since the great depression. so this is a plan to address the america of today and that's why such a cross-section of progressives are with you. thank you, everyone. >> are you going to meet with them? wealthy over the workers. when are you going to stop taking the workers? why won't you even meet with them? you are a phony, that's what you are. [inaudible conversations] >> coming up a look at protecting consumers from data breaches. than life comes a president
obama at the national police officers memorial service. >> today president obama will attend attributable enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty over the past you. may 15 was decimated national peace officers' memorial day by president kennedy in 1962 and it coincides with national police week. you can watch live coverage of the memorial service which also includes remarks by the fraternal order of police starting at 11 eastern here on c-span2. >> this weekend weekend for c-span city stores partnered with comcast torrent of history and literate life of fort lauderdale florida,. >> this was really cultural tourism and so when they set up their villages along the way really part of one, sometimes only link is the buses would stop because he was a tourist
attraction. the symbols counting by the road. and so when they came into the tourist attractions every getting food a the weekly allotment of food and they're also getting sometimes sewing machines. and but also sometimes it's fabric because it behooved a tourist attraction able to supply them with fabric so they're sitting there selling and making things for craft market. this is a little boy's shirt, belt the shirt from the 1920s. this was an experimental time for patchwork adjective see that on the bottom this is not a a design complex and say that made it down to depict essential excremental design. the designs were bigger in the '20s and sometimes they were not using a longer entry that particular decade. >> the thing about devil's triangle bermuda triangle.
a regular training mission to they would take off from the base and they would go east out toward the bahamas just north there was an area and they would drop bombs there and then there continue on another 70 miles or so and then they were supposed to make a turn north and to 100 some miles and then they could turn back west to fort lauderdale. they never came back. late at night after they were sure they're out of fuel they sent out these big rescue planes looking for the. what is in disappeared which a 13 member board. the next day they start a five day search with hundreds and hundreds of planes and ships and never found anything speak watch all of our events from fort lauderdale at 5:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2's booktv, and some afternoon at two on american history tv on c-span3.
>> next, hearing a financial data security company for the house financial services committee former minnesota governor tim pawlenty, now president and ceo of the financial services roundtable advocacy group. members examine ways to protect consumers and data from breaches. this is three hours. >> the committee will come to order. -- financial data security in the age of computer hackers, given that unlike of alessio sakara turned on, it is a testament to the fact that
members welcome home. ism we have many of our colleagues who are furiously running from htc 201 as we speak. for our witnesses and for the audience, we have been nomads since the beginning of the year. so you will notice a few changes in the room. this renovation was caused by an upgrade of the audiovisual systems. although i did not specifically request it, i now notice that are twice as many microphones in our hearing room as before. i wish to notify members that does not mean they can speak twice as long. that doesn't go along with the microphones. in addition you will notice that our witnesses are quite a
ways away. that we have less room for the public as hearing rooms are renovated they must be made and should be made compliant with the americans with disabilities act. this room complies with that ada statute, which means every row has been enlarged, which means we've lost part of our gallery, but the overflow room is still alive and well. in addition, ma for those who've ever move into a new home and new apartment, there is such a thing known as a punch list. and so were some of the subcommittees, you may be kicked out of this room over the next five to seven days and that punch list is intended to. another change in our committee room come if you look over my
left shoulder you will see the portrait of her most recent chairman spencer bachus. for those who have something on the committee, myself and the ranking member they have barney over one shoulder and spends over the other. it kind of seems like old times. we certainly know of barney's fierce intellect and tenacity, but i also hope that members will remember spencers gentle and kind leadership of this committee, and sometimes when emotions and passions start to run high let's remember the example he set for us with respect and decency, and yes humor and some out any moment i expect for the security carry on one of their classic debates. we will see if that actually happens or not. i believe that is all i need to
say about the hearing room at the moment. in which case the chair now recognizes himself for three minutes for an opening statement. at today's hearing will be focused on protecting consumers and their private financial information in an age of computer hackers. the world has expressed a technology revolution, one that has brought remarkable benefits to consumers and the broader economy but it is also increased some risk on consumers and making the theft of the personal financial information a profitable enterprise for cybercriminals and computer hackers. ..