tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 28, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
sin europe but it only affects not only european country. it will underline world order. so it is important for the global order when international law is piloted in the way we see ukraine and the an annaxation of crimea. france and germany in particularly are in need. it is great to have the united states taking part in the efforts and the united states is doing that. canada is providing supply and support for ukraine.
several nato allies provide for instance training and support to ukraine. i think there is a european challenge a global challenge, and a chance in which nato is addressing. when it comes to article five the important thing is that nato stand ready to protect and defend our rights against any threat. and for instance cyber threats, important thing we did as the lost gate, was to decide that cyber attacks can trigger article five; collective defense. because regarding cyber as dangerous as a conventional attack is important.
and therefore we are developing our capabilities to respond. partly to the tech who is behind our main responsibility is to defend our own nato networks with teams, capabilities, exercises and so we are increasing our readiness for cyber defense. and we are also developing their own capabilities through cyber attempts. and as always, every attack is there but we ought to trust that nato will respond to the correct way, if and when needed whatever kind of attack we are
thrown. >> i think the one thing we returned from the stimulation here is political leaders need to exercise how they make those decisions when they are below threshold levels. attribution will never be perfect and when will is fought there it is leaders exploring what would that mean and what is the intelligence required. that is one area we see critical leadership could gain value in how that decision processing makes >> i believe in exercise and i believe in the importance of exercising political leaders and third we have to trust political leaders because we have elected them. we have never in nato set-up if x happens y is our response. so you have to prepare the
planning of exercise and imagine different scenario. at the end, it would be a deficient taking by political leaders how to respond. therefore we need the capabilities and capacity to respond and exercise and we have to understand that cyber is a threat but we can never have a specific waw way of how we will respond to every possible threat because the world and the future is too complex. so as long as you have the capacity the capabilities and you exercise them and trust our political leaders will take the right decisions. >> that is a very positive note to end on. secretary general thank you for your message of clarity and we look forward to watching how nato evolves in warsaw of next
>> and he served three times as governor and led the state in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. he is the eighth republican to declare and you will see the comments at 8 p.m. tonight. and science and journalist look into science denialism. michele fowler talks about dealing with people who believe in conspiracy theories. >> you know i was one of the regular host for the universe on the history channel but they would present a show about asteroids or possible life on bars and then have ancient alens on right after. and they would be presenting these things as equivalent. this was enough to make me stop
working with the history channel. the strange thing is somebody called me at nasa saying is it true the world is going to end next week. and i have been dealing with this a lot. i try to be polite but i had enough. i said think about this do you think i would be in my office answering the phone if i start the world was ending in a week. start getting worried when the scientist buy expensive wines, max out their credit cards, and go to a tropical island because then you know. but the idea i am not a person, i don't have feelings emotions and a family and i would not react emotionally if i knew the world was going to end. someone wants to separate the fact of being a scientist from
the fact you are a human being. >> you can see the entire conversation on science denial and how it applies to climate change space exploration and vaccines tonight at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span. while congress continues the holiday break this week we are taking the opportunity to show you booktv programs normally seen on weekends. authors and books about waging war. diane preston, author of higher form of killing. at 9:00 andrew coburn the author of kill chain. and then gabriel burn talks about her new book out. also tonight, during american
history tv in prime time on c-span3, the 150th anniversary of the civil war and looking at lincoln's funeral with reenactments. here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span network. starting at noon, politicians, whitehouse officials and business officials offer encouragement to the class of 2015 and george w. bush and melody hop from dream works. and former staff members reflect on the presidency of george h. bush. and more commencement speakers on sunday. booktv is in new york city an
saturday with book segments and live call ins throughout the day. sunday evening on nine on afterwards, we look at the case hollingsworth that looks at the proposition a in california that restricted gay marriage. and we talk about first ladies who had the most impact on the executive mansion. and on sunday the life and death of james garfield who served two decades as a congressman from ohio and was assassinated 200 days in the being president. get the complete schedule at cspan.org. >> we are presenting a series of
interviews with members of congress. lee zeldin is up first of new york's first district. he served in the new york state senate and was deployed to iraq in 2006. this is about 20 minutes. >> what got you interested in the office in the first place. >> i came off active duty in 2007. loved serving in the military and serving along great men and women. i came home and moved half a mile from i grew up and ran for congress. >> where is home? >> this is long island. the east end of long island. the hamptons is in the district the north fork a lot of vin
vinyards and agriculture out there. i live in brookhaven. >> so you were 2007 got out of the reserves and went into the local office? >> i came off active duty, transitioned in the reserves, i ran for congress at the age of 27. elected to the state senate in 2010 reelected in 2012 and elected to congress in 2014. >> what is behind your motivation for running? coming out of the military why do you want to serve? >> we are confronting huge issues. domestic, foreign policy, veterans affairs. my own county has the second highest veteran population and as far as invoking passion when you are talking about the need
to defeat isis and insure you are not entering too a bad deal with iran when you deal with the issues on a daily bases here at home and abroad it invokes a huge passion for america and i am privilege to be part of it. >> so elected to congress in 2014 and whichcome to washington in january 2015. what was that transition like? >> i came down with about 200 supporters at the beginning of january. i had served four years in the state senate and got some experience with regard to how the committee process and conference and laws work and how to do services for the voters and how to be a good family man/husband/father. so coming down here in january wasn't really too new even
though it was a new setting. we tried to have the disappear fully operational and knowing strengths and weaknesses on national and important local issue. >> did you bring some of your staff to washington? >> i did. my district office is almost entirely people who are with me in the state senate. and my office in washington, d.c. is almost entirely brand new staff. each were exciting for two different reasons but really good chemistry and services is a key part of the job. and having a good team here in washington, d.c. to ensure we are doing our due diligence on legislation is important. >> what is a typical day like for you here in washington when congress is in session? >> very busy. one day i had 31 things on my
calendar. you might have a five minute meeting followed by a ten minute meeting. i am on three committees and seven subcommittees. i get up early, try to exercise as close to every morning the evenings usually end late. a lot of people have vices out there, they might go out drinking but for me i love to empty my e-mail inbox. that is my voice. we might be out at an event going on local groups from the district here for good causes but i like to get back to work and sleep around 12-1 and back up around 5-6. >> in washington where do you stay? >> i am one of 80 staying in my
office. 1517 is my hotel room. no, it works out well for me. great comrodty at the gym. >> is that because it is expensive to live in washington? >> i remember a few years back chris gibson was one of my i battalion commanders, and i remember thinking if i was elected part of the class i would the same thing. >> what is the least favorite part of being a member? >> i have enjoyed every moment.
i don't say i wish i was at home when i am here and i don't say i wish i was in washington, d.c. when i am home. a two-year term goes quickly. i think you should stop being a member when you walk on the house floor and lose the feeling of appreciation and i enjoy being able to walk into the united states capital. >> you mention the full agenda each day, 31 things on the list or three committee hearings to attend, does it every feel i go not devote by all to this one issue or meeting i wish i could? >> there are so many issues and never will there be enough time in a day to get as neck deep in all of them. i will have a voter come in on
one issue, that is the most important issue, but until they walk into my office mentioning that one bill or idea i have never heard that of specific proposal. and you know you go on to the next meeting of someone else pitching a proposal that is the first time since being in office. you might be here for a few months or years and encounter an issue for the first time. you try to organize what is most important and there is not enough bandwidth. >> who keeps you organized every day? >> we have a scheduler and one person that handles everything in the district and in washington, d.c. and we have a chief of staff. a deputy chief of staff who is a legislative director as well.
we have a good team. you make adjustments over the course of months and years and responsibilities and people come and go with life events and that is the best way to stay organized; having a good team. >> how do you interact with republican leadership on a daily bases? >> i would say i interact with my colleagues most on the floor when we are there for votes. that is what happens most often. there may be events in the evening or you are able to cross paths with a particular member. at times you might be sitting at a dinner for two hours next to a colleague, someone may be the first time you will have a conversation with them. so i would say over the course of a routine note we most frequently interact with leadership and fellow rank and file memberships when you are on
the floor. when you are not on the floor everyone is busy. >> is the best way to communicate in person or with a quick e-mail saying a vote is coming up and we would rick your support on x-legislation. >> a lot of that is in person on the floor. that is when you see the whip team walking around and they have a list of names and go to particularly individuals on a bill. there is a heads up to staff. on monday we are told on thursday there is a whip check on a particular bill. so that person comes to find you and sometimes you are able to tell them yes, i am voting or no i am not. other times you have a really important genuine question and you are undecided and need that answered. mostly happens on the floor. >> so in terms of arm twisting not a lot on the house floor? >> that hasn't happened so much.
there are bills that i might be opposed to something and vote no for that you know, maybe they would like me to vote yes, and you have to have a good honest dialogue. they appreciate an honest no a lot better than a dishonest yes. when they come to me and ask me how i would like to vote on a particular bill if i am not with them the best thing for a legislature to do is tell the whip team i am not with you. there are some people that say i am with you and the vote comes down and they vote the opposite way and that is not good for the process. >> are there opportunities to be approached by democrats to support their legislation? >> sure that has happened on the floor. i have interacted a bunch with colleagues on both side of the aisle. sometimes it might be in the hallway, might be on the plane or shuttle ride back to new
york, and happen to be sitting with a collying -- colleague -- on the opposite side of the aisle and they might share what they are working on. >> in terms of your priorities for your district early on what are they? >> locally we have issues related to recovery. the first congressional district of new york is almost surrounded boy water. there is a small 13-mile stretch that is connected to land. so there is a lot of recovery, aircraft, noise is an issue, plum island with the national research facility there, education is a big issue with the implementation of federally man mandated/state mandated and local school district created testing. those are local issues we are
working on. it gets even more specific when some business contacts you or an individual contacts you and they have been waiting a few years for their appeal for their disability rating from the va to get approved. that is high on the priority list as far as that staffer. some of the more national issues that are important to the district i would say fighting for veterans creating more good-paying private sector jobs strengthening and making foreign policy more consistent improving our health care we will see how the supreme court and congress reacts from changes as 2015 moves along. those are the national issues important to the district. >> you are a fairly young member of congress. what is the average age of people in the first district? >> well, the average age is a
little older than i am. i am 35 years old. a lot of the people don't realize that congress there is 31 members under the age of 40. 20 in the house republican conference and 11 in the house democratic conference. a lot of people talk about term limits and i am in favor of term limits personally. there has been a huge change over. two 3rds of the house conference wasn't here. the average age of the house republican conference is six years younger than colleagues on the other side of the aisle. there is a lot of change over the course of the last few years all across america in districts from corner to corner. as far as my district about a decade older on average. but you know we have people who are 18 years old and want to know how they can afford to go to college and you have seniors
who are 90 trying to pay for prescription drugs or put oil in their tanks. there is quite the range as far as interest out there. >> you are the only jewish republican member of the house. is that significant in your opinion and how? >> there are issues that i care very deeply about that you speak up for and talk about who are america's friends and enemies. what our foreign policy should be as it relates to feeding isis. isis happens to be about 18 miles from the syrian border with israel. how we should approach the policy in syria iraq, afghanistan and the rising tide of anti semitism and around the
world where some cemeteries are being converted to all muslim cemeteries without any indication of what they will do with the jewish remains. so if this gives me an opportunity to fight what i feel strongly about and maybe having an extra person listening that day to help spread the world i embrace that. >> how did your experience in the military particularly the service in iraq, influence your views on foreign policy? >> and spent five years in rotc five in duty and reserves for seven and half years. i have been able to encounter issues with active duty service members their family mental health needs, occupational needs especially off active duty
insuring you are getting the health care you deserve from the va, making sure you have the equipment you need and making sure hands are not tied and the commanders of these troops on the ground are given the flexibility they need to accomplish their mission. and even going back to before i was even in rotc. studying history as it relates to war reading philosophy, and just how human nature works and what the best approach is to deal with conflicts, and you have to make assumptions but good not to make bad ones. hopefully not making a critical decision as far as national security. there have been a lot of lessons helped inform my desire to be able to be part of the decision making process here. >> what terms of reading if you are not reading books you said
reading history, what do you like to read? >> well i mean anything. really. i i am fascinated when i am read air airostotle talking about doing what is right and wrong and that development of leadership. you know reading about henry the fifth and trying to give a speech to a force that went from 10,000 to 6,000 and up against tens of thousands of french. and motivating those men at the moment despite being outmanned. but you know the significance of the relationships and that is militarily and diplomatically
a lot of hard work. a good team. using social media and emails just trying to have a good message, talking to people about issues they care about so that you can make that connection where they realize that you share common values because you are running to be their representative. it is important for them to know where you stand. >> how helpful was the house committee here, the republican campaign committee in betting you elected there? >> the nrcc helped. they spent couple million dollars on the race in multiple ways. i think that they brought not just with a tv ad but also on the media front making introduction with someone. many different ways they were able to assist which was great. but ultimately it is important
for a candidate to do as much of a campaign on their own from the grassroots up. so the help that you get from washington during one of these race no matter what side of the aisle you're on is helpful. nice to have that air support show up but you can't just rely on it because you will lose touch with the district. >> you mentioned a couple of times what your district is like. some people asked in your office for things. give us an example or a short brief story on somebody who may have come to your office for help that would typify the sort of constituent that you serve? >> i was thinking of the veterans store with the appeal we were able to help satisfy. someone trying to get an appointment with a federal agency to do something with social security or medicare you're able to move up. somebody with immigration concern. a family member overseas going to a local emba system they're trying to get home. for whatever reason they're having trouble to get back home.
there is, it is just every day. we already had several hundred people come to our office. i had 17,000 in my four years in the state senate, 17,000 cases that came in and were resolved. the state legislature in new york is a little different than the average state legislature around the rest of the country. so we had probably fifteen staffers at the state legislature. this was very similar except for federal issues. you try to help move something up a priority list when they're having a lot of difficulty cutting through red tape. >> do those things, those cases seem more satisfying than say a vote that goes in your favor? >> there are some success stories that, you just you read everything they were going through and significance of being able to help someone and for them, that issue is more upon than any vote that we have
down here. so that's very rewarding. my time on active duty in the military spent a few months in the legal assistance office. you can help somebody through a divorce or the trying to get out of a bad contract. they bought a car that they shouldn't have. with some of those challenges, you might be overseas and service member hack home is having the girlfriend went out with their power of attorney they probably shouldn't have signed, the girlfriend went out and bought a fancy sports car see their bank account emptying out. nice to help individuals on these, because they're very desperate sometimes. >> lastly you're still serving in the reserves? >> still serving in the reserves. i had drill, very recently. i met a 90-year-old world war ii veteran, the last living medal of honor recipient from the battle of the bulge. it was so cool. you take off this suit, put on
army suit. surrounded by people who believe in cause greater than themselves it helps keep you grounded. >> congressman lee zeldin, first district of new york. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> congress is on break this week. each night we're taking the opportunity here on c-span2 to show you booktv programs that normally only seen on weekends. tonight authors on books about waging war. beginning at 8:00 eastern with diane preston, who wrote a higher form of killing. six weeks in world war i that changed nature of war far forever. the kill chain the rise of high-tech as sinces. at 10:00 p.m. future of violence, robots, germs hackers and drones combating a new age of threat. the republican presidential race has another contender today. former new york governor george pataki announced his candidacy this morning at an event in new hampshire. he has been out of public office
since twix. he is the 8th republican to announce his candidacy. see his speech tonight at 8:00 eastern on our companion network c-span. during american history prime time on c-span3, the 150th anniversary of the civil war. including looking at abraham lincoln's funeral and reenactments of the funeral procession. that is 8:00 p.m. on c-span3. c-span will cover book festivals. we're live this weekend at book expo in new york city where the publishing industry showcases their new books. in the beginning of june we're live for the chicago trick boone printers row lit fest with three hour live "in depth" program with lawrence wright and your phone calls. near the end of june, watch for the annual roosevelt read festival from the franklin roosevelt presidential library.
middle of the july we're in the harlem book fair the nation's premier african-american literary event with authors and panel discussions. we're live at the national book festival celebrating its 15th year. that is a few events this summer on booktv. our look at freshmen members of congress continues with democrat mark takai of hawaii's first district. he won the seat with 52% of the vote after serving in the hawaii statehouse. he also serves in the hawaii army national guard. congressman takai discuss what is it is like to be a member of congress and the unique qualities of the hawaii delegation. this is about 20 minutes. congressman mark takai of hawaii, representing the first district in that state. how many congressional districts are in hawaii? >> two. we have four members of our congressional delegation, two senators and two congresspeople.
>> what has it been like? what do you think of washington? >> i love it. i've always visited d.c. i would probably go to see our congressional delegation about every quarter. never in my wildest dreams did i ever imagine that i would be sitting here as a member of congress. >> you would visit them because you were a member of the legislature? >> a member of the legislature. i did some hill visits based on my being a member of the national guard. there are a few opportunities to come to washington d.c. it was always a treat. >> obviously a long way. now that you're a member of the house, how often do you get back to the district? >> you know my family, one of the first things that we decided on once i decided to run for congress was where our family was going to stay. we have two very young kids. matthew is 13, kyle letter is 12. the deal was daddy works in d.c. and, my family is at home. i try to go home as much as
possible. not only for my family to see them which is important but also being a new member about congress i think it is always important to make sure you go back home and you work in the district or in hawaii for me. >> i think one of the items you brought to your office is picture of your family. we'll show that to our viewers. so your family is back in hawaii mainly. >> right. >> you get -- >> that is very appropriate. that was the day i made my decision to run for congress, august 8, 2013. >> what prompted that decision? >> well, it was a lot of people coming forward. there were members of congress that talked to me but truthfully the reason why i'm here is unfortunately because senator inouye passed away. when senator inouye passed a way, there was lot of movement in our delegation. because of that the member previous to me decided to run for senate. there was a spot open so, in 2013, august, in fact,
august 8th we made that decision. >> how much convincing did it take your family? >> well, the biggest decision was where they were going to live. i think once we got over that and they knew they were going to stay home with their friends, and then my wife sammy and her family and my family, everything was all good at that point. >> coming off not long ago a congressional recess. district work period. so when you go back home it is not just to go to sandy beaches back home but also to work. are you able to separate out your personal life and also attend to those things back in your district? >> believe it or not, i was in the legislature for 20 years prior. there is almost no separation. especially in hawaii. you know when you're out with your family, we have dinner. let's say the closest shopping mall to our house which is near pearl harbor, pearl ridge. i'm always working. so i'm trying my best to spend
family time with my family. my kids grew up through dad being in the legislature and now they're growing up with me being in congress. i go to the soccer games or the swimming meets with our kids. and always on. >> you spoke about coming here as a member of the military. when did you begin serving? >> july 19th 1999. >> did you serve in iraq? >> i served in kuwait as part of operation iraqi freedom in 2009. i'm a proud member of the hawaii army national guard right now serving as a lieutenant colonel. >> do you still have demands on your time for national guard? >> absolutely. my year, the reason why i know when i started because that is our anniversary date. every year you have to have so many days of service to have a good year. so mine is coming up. i'm working hard to make sure it's a good year. >> you're on the armed services
committee. what would you like to see accomplished? >> i'm very proud of what we recently accomplished. we spent the first four months working on the defense bill. otherwise known as the national defense authorization exact act. it is a hard, it's a tough measure because it is all inclusive but at the same time you work hard on it the first four months. you get it done. then we can move on to other things. we were proud to have introduced 29 amendments which 28 passed. so, we felt like we were pretty successful. >> you come in as a freshman member but do you think your time in the military got the ear of other members of the armed services committee because of your service? >> i would think so. i sit right next to reuben gallago. he is another veteran. seth mol ton is alongside as
well. freshman democratic side as well as republican side. our main point is that our perspective, members of the military and their perspectives are heard. >> from an organizational standpoint how does congress compare to the military? >> well that's a good question. no one ever asked me that. i think in some ways it compares pretty well because everything in the military is about leadership and chain of command. in congress here is we're sort of like that most of the time. in that way we have chairman running our committees. we have the speaker and majority leader running both house of congress. we have a general running national guard in hawaii. everybody follows his direction. i think in some ways it is like that.
there is flexibility and savings in the legislative branch and in congress. i wouldn't necessarily tell the general, no, but in some cases you can tell leadership here. i'm a democrat proud democrat. i can tell leadership and leader pelosi in some case, it is okay. >> could you see yourself in a leadership position on a committee or in other areas? >> absolutely. this year i serve as ranking member of the contracting workforce subcommittee and small business committee. so we were very fortunate andand definitely privileged to be the lead democrat on a subcommittee right now. in the future i think it is important for hawaii. our family when we made the decision, i told them, as well as my close friends and supporters the commitment to run
for congress in this particular seat especially for a small delegation like we have in hawaii is a long-term commitment. given the privilege serving many years i think it is important to build seniority in the house. >> a lot of meetings covered on c-span and c-span networks, do you ever get frustrated about limited amount of time to get to ask a witness a question, typically five minutes in a hearing. >> right. >> is that not enough to get your questions answered? >> well being in the hawaii state legislature there was no limit, i can appreciate the five minutes. in fact if you take a look at armed services committee with nearly 70 members, if everybody had unlimited time we would be there for days. >> yeah. >> so i think over time, congress has developed this time limit policy of five minutes. some cases in terms of the floor, one minute it has worked pretty well. if you can't say something within the one minute on the floor, if you can't say something in five minutes, in
committee, then you got to rework your message. >> going back to your campaign, and that august 2013 cities to run, how well-funded were you at the time? how much, was a concern? how do you typically continue your fund-raising? >> well we started from nothing. we were very first time running a congressional race, a federal race. so we started from scratch. i learned very early on that in order to win a congressional race you have to put together great team. and i credit tammy duckworth really helping me through that. you know, tammy and i are college classmates. i credit my myself helping her get to run in congress in 2008. we helped her again in 2012. i was here for her confirmation hearing when she was assistant secretary of the va. i'm very close to her. she told me, mark, don't worry, i will let you have my whole
team. you run with our team and we'll work hard to raise money. i didn't have to worry about creation of a team. tammy helped me there. every single member, media poll, print fund-raising was her team. we did that. we just focused on fund-raising. like i said we started from nothing. we were trying to raise about a million dollars for the primary. we came in a little bit short. so that delayed our our tv buys. but we had one solid month of tv and that got us over the top. now incredible we started 20 points down and we won by 18. we swung that 38 points which is a lot of work. >> does it feel like though that you have to continually fund raise? are you able to focus on the legislative work of the constituent works as much as you would like to? >> you know, it is just right
now unfortunately the nature of job but we are spending considerable amount of time on fund-raising on relationships here and both in hawaii. it is expensive to run a congressional campaign. you are entire campaign last year ran 1.8 million. we ran in short amount of time a general election campaign cost over a million bucks. most of that goes to tv. in tv market in hawaii a lot cheaper than anywhere else. we're buying a point at $100 where some of the big markets are spending close to $1000 a point. yet we need that tv. we're going to keep on raising money because it is important for us to get our message out. >> what one aspect of hawaii do you think your fellow members typically not get about the state? >> that is a very good question. you know i had the opportunity
to travel to asia with cordell pelosi there was 10 of us. i was only freshman. had honor not only representing the freshman class but has, armed services. in the visit and to the pacific come man and get the pacific command brief, surprisingly many senior members of our delegation were unaware of the importance of hawaii being the strategic hub and headquarters for our military across asia-pacific and the indian ocean. so i think that, in and of itself is important, to talk about because i constantly talking to colleagues, inviting them to hawaii and letting them know how important strategically important hawaii is for the united states. >> reading about your background, you were one of the
first in hawaii to buy a nissan leaf alternate fuel vehicle. what prompted that decision? >> you know that goes back to, truthfully goes back to me being deployed in the middle east in 2009. you know, hawaii is a very beautiful place but we have our challenges. we are what i call the most isolated populated land mass in the entire world. and because of that, the need to be more sustainable is critical. the cost of live something high in hawaii. i believe mainly because of the fact that we're not a sustainable as we need to be. so i served in the middle east. i looked around. i kind of wondered why we were fighting a war half a world away from hawaii. i realized it was partially because of oil black gold. so when i got home i told my wife we've got to put these panels on our roof. she was like, what?
we're going to make electricity from the sun. she thought i was crazy. two months after that, she was like telling all her friends, you know what? our electric bill is zero. it is unbelievable but mark, we put these things on our roof and now we're not paying electricity. around that time nissan had the early adopters could log on to the internet and order their cars order the car. i was like you said, one of the first. jon: what year was that? >> that was five years ago from now. so 2010. jon: >> yeah. i'm on my third leave. every two years i get a new one. so i just picked up my they are one in april. >> does it feel like other members of our staff, other hawaiians picked up the trend in terms of alternative energy? >> if everybody could they would harness the sun. not everybody is as fortunate as my family because we live in a
single-family home. so we own the home. we have challenges. some renters. people live in condos or townhomes don't have the opportunities that i have. so even in the legislature we're pushing forward these measures that would do more for the community as a whole and move us towards sustainability as quickly as possible. >> most main landers come to hawaii either on vacation or the with the military. you were born and raised in hawaii. what took you from hawaii to the main land first? what was your first trip back to the main land? >> you know, that was probably when i was five years old to go to disneyland in california. a lot of people travel to california from hawaii and many people still go to disneyland. that was my first trip. i started swimming when my family was living in guam. >> competitively? >> competitively. swimming brought me to the mainland twice a year.
>> was your dad in the military? >> my dad was in the federal government. we got stationed and treated like military for seven years. from fifth grade i was in guam. >> you talked about senator inouye. >> this picture came by the way of inouye legacy fund. my parents bought it at democratic auction. >> tell us about the people in the picture. >> far left is senator inthough way. in the middle is patty mink, who was a congresswoman from hawaii. and we have senator from hawaii. >> state senator. >> no. members of the congressional delegation. i tell stories about almost every day what it is like to be here representing hawaii. i have many stories about senator inouye. and many stories about patsy
mink. i talk about being on the shoulders of people like that. you know it because we all work here but the halls of congress especially, capitol hill are very different place at night. you know when all of the tourists all of the tour groups are gone. we're walking to or from votes in the capitol and you know, i heard stories about senator inouye talking about these long nights in the capitol. in fact he had his office as senate president pro tem right in in the capitol. you know it is just surreal experience to be walking through the halls and just hearing your footsteps and realizing that these people who came before me also represented the state of hawaii. in fact senator inouyes with very first elected member of congress. he came right after hawaii became a state. >> are there traditions in the hawaiian delegation most people wouldn't know about? a piece of memorabilia or something that is passed down
from member to member regardless of their party? >> nothing has been passed down. we have gone into the cage the cage upstairs. that has memorabilia from other members. the the portait and artwork from previous members. in terms of hawaii, we're proud of the fact that people love us for our macadamia nuts and chocolate. when you talk about hawaii and being on the hill, there is almost an expectation that you come with wearing a lei or chocolate covered mac nuts. >> what your fellow colleagues -- >> you would be surpised. so i bring them out once in a while. >> you talked a little bit earlier what you like to do on the armed services committee. more broadly how long do you hope to serve. and what are your broader goals
here in congress? >> i'm 47 now. so i got elected at 47. i got elected in the legislature when i was 27. served for 20 years. as i mentioned earlier, the commitment our family has made that we're going to put in, if given the opportunity and privilege to put in another 30 -- 20 years. that would make me 67. that is not too old. so yeah, if given the opportunity to stay here i think it is critical for hawaii especially in this particular seat to develop senority and as you know, this place for the most part works on senority. >> before we started you mentioned serving on the college newspaper, the university of hawaii. and being a political science major. what about your kids? what are they interested in and what would you like to see them do? >> you know i would love for them not to get into politics. i tell people, especially young people, that you know, you can always run for politics later but get a life. get a job.
raise a family. then maybe a few years down the road compact and possibly run for office. so i hope they don't have aspirations to follow me right out of college because it was really tough for my wife and me early on. >> then they wouldn't get the chance to meet george takei. we almost called you at that kay. tell us the story about the campaign. >> mark tocano, everybody gets us confused, a member from california as well, sophomore. he and i met through tammy duckworth. duckworth, honda and takano sporting takai. mark tocano knows george takei. george endorsed me in the primary. the headline read, takai and tacono endorse takei. they get us confused by name. is it at that kay or takei.
or tocano. they get all three of us confused. they have pleasure calling us friends. i will see george takei in a few months. we will go up to new york. he is debuting in a new broadway show focusing on japanese american experience. looking forward to that experience. >> hope we continue to get it right, congressman mark takai. >> thank you. >> former new york governor george pataki announced his candidacy for the republican nomination. first on youtube and then event in new hampshire. he served three terms as governor and led the state in aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. mr. pataki is the 8th pub must be to declare. see his comments at 8:00 tonight on c-span. scientists and examine
science denialism. they look at religious and corporate roost of those beliefs. michelle fowler talks about her interactions with people who believe in conspiracy theories. here is portion of what you will see. >> you know, i was one of the regular hosts for the universe on "the history channel" but they would present a show i was doing about asteroids or possible life on mars from a scientific perspective. they would have ancient aliens on right after it. seriously, right after it. and they would be presenting these things as equivalent. and this was enough to make me stop actually working with "the history channel." you know, the the strange thing was, i think this gets at a lot what is going on with this denialism somebody called me at nasa. they said, oh, my god, is it true the world is going to end next week? i've been dealing with a lot of this. i always try to be very polite. i sort of had enough. think about this, do you think i would be here in my office
answering the phone if i thought the world was ending a week? i said, start getting worried when all of the scientists buy up expensive wine and max out credit cards and all go to some tropical island. then you know something really bad is going to happen. but this idea that i am not a person that i don't have feelings an emotions and a family and a reason to be alive that i wouldn't react emotionally if i knew the world was coming to an end. what an odd disconnect. you know, somebody wants to separate the fact of being a scientist from the fact that you are a human being. >> that was part of the annual world affairs conference at the university of colorado in boulder. you can see the entire conversation on science denialism and how it applies to climate change, space exploration and vaccinations, tonight starting at 9:00 eastern on c-span.
congress continues its holiday break this week. each night we're taking the opportunity here on c-span2 to show you booktv programs normally seen only on weekends. tonight authors on books about waging war. 8:00 eastern, author of a higher form of killing six weeks in world war i that changed forever the nature of warfare. at 9:00, andrew coal burn, author of kill chain. at 10:05. co-wroters of the future of violence. robotses hackers drones, confronting a new age of threat. that is tonight starting on 8:00 p.m. on c-span2. tonight the 150th anniversary of the civil war including abraham lincoln's funeral including reenactment of the funeral procession starting at 8:00 tonight on c-span3.
here are featured programs on the c-span networks. c-span, starting at noon, politicians, white house officials and business leaders offer advice and encouragement to the class of 2015. speakers include former president george w. bush, mellody hobson, chair of dreamworks animation. at 9:15 p.m. former staff members reflect on the presidency of george h.w. bush. and sunday at noon, four commencement speeches from across the country with former secretaries of state, condoleeza rice and madeleine albright and philadelphia mayor michael nutter. on c-span2 saturday morning booktv in new york city with events from this week's book expo america beginning at 10:00 live call-in segments with publishers and authors throughout the day. sunday evening at 9:00, on afterwards words, a look at the case of hollings worth v. perry which considered constitutionality of proposition 8 the law rescinded the right of same sex cowles to
marry in california. on american history tv on c-span3, saturday evening at 7:00 eastern, a conversation with white house historian william seale on first ladies who had the most impact on the executive mansion. sunday afternoon just before 2:00, the live and death of our 20th president james garfield who served almost two decades as congressman from ohio and was assassinated 200 days into his term as president. get our complete schedule at c-span.org. >> our third congressional freshman profile features illinois republican mike bost of the 12th district. he defeated incumbent democrat bill enyard in one of the most expensive house races of 2014. congressman bost is former marine volunteer firefighter and own as beauty shop with his wife. he discusses his time in the illinois state legislature and is impressions of washington and the reasons for serving. this is about 20 minutes.
>> we welcome congressman mike bost of the 12th district of illinois. i see by your pen your house enthere is marine corps flag on there. >> correct. >> how does a former marine former firefighter and beauty shop owner want to run for congress? >> you know, i served 20 years in the illinois general assembly. i have got 10 grandchildren. it was a situation where i was not happy with the things that were happening. everything from obamacare to overregulation on business, not only in the beauty salon business but, within the trucking business for many years. my grandfather start ad trucking business in 1933. i came home from the marine corps and ran it for 10 years. the frustration of dealing with all of that. and then talking with the family. took a lot of prayer and a lot of decision making and i could have just thrown my hands up i'm done with politics but
instead, i said, no, i will try to make things better for the grandkids. >> when did you decide to run for the house? >> for the statehouse? >> for your seat in congress. >> for my seat in congress? it would have been in february of 2014. well no. right after the other election. i was trading to weigh out -- >> after '13. your race in '14 you defeated incumbent democrat i will enyard, reportedly one of the most expensive race. >> it was. it is expensive market. you have, the southern part is paducah kentucky, market. that is not as expensive. that is $60 a point market. >> in terms of advertising. >> in terms of advertising. but you go into the st. louis market it is like $600 a point. >> your district reaches that far? >> my district goes to alton which is still north of
st. louis but not quite into the area called grafton. it is 11 and 1/3 counties. the 1/3 county is the county north of st. louis. >> how did you do it both from standpoint of raising money? >> correct. >> who helped fund you and what was your argument in debeating the former congressman? >> let me explain, we had jerry costello for many years. jerry was conservative democrat. he represented the area well. he was constantly in touch with the people. concern had come up was that this congress, bill enyard was not, not keeping in touch with the people. they had become used to jerry costello's style constantly in contact. they knew him. went all over the district. and, in a short period of time i realized that was not occurring. i actually talked to a democrat state legislator who told me, said, i don't know him. i never met him. he was in the district. and that's not what these jobs
are about. they're about servants positions. so i was able to look at that. then springboard on other issues that were out there. of course we also had a videotape that was from my experience on the floor as floor leader that we didn't know whether they would use or not but we had to try to figure out how to build our name recognition. >> explain, this is the one that got you nickname of meltdown mike. >> meltdown mike. >> explain to our viewers. it went viral. >> it did. it is rated as second greatest, second greatest rant according to cnn. so, basically what had happened is right after here in congress they had passed the obama care and statement had been made, we got to pass it so we can find out what is in it.
>> 2010. >> yes. >> okay. >> i'm a floor leader. and then what we're working on was the illinois pension problems. we had been working on it for a year-and-a-half. i'm one of the floor leaders and one of the leaders. i come in that morning. we're supposed to pass the bill we've been working on for a year-and-a-half. i come up and see one of the staffers, i say you know, i need some information on the bill because there are some things, people i need to talk to bit. he said, well they have changed it. he said, changed what part of all of it. they changed all of it. who? democratic speaker mike madigan. things went on, they moved bill in partisan manner out of the committee. bringing it to the floor. my job as floor leader is twofold. one is to protect the rights of my members. two is to argue our points and but this was more than that. it was a case where 30 years of plus of having the same speaker
bypassing rules and basically what happened is, is i had enough. and i threw the bill in the air. if you listen to it, there were specific arguments t was loud but there were specific arguments i was talking about. >> even though this thing went viral, in the end you think helped your campaign how do you feel to be sort of spotlight when the media and other members may be criticizing you for how you -- >> right, right. it was you know, you wish that that it wasn't a case where you had to do that but sometimes what we've discovered specifically with this is, majority of the people that contacted me right after it happened and in the campaign, as a matter of fact, the opponent said you don't want to send somebody else like this to washington. it will make our problems worse. basically the answer we got on the street was, no, we want somebody like that in washington that will stand up tore us and will actually say, no, things aren't right. >> now you're in the nation's capitol and congress what have
you found so far? how different is it or is it different from the expectations that you had coming in. >> it is quite a bit different. one control and rules as far as your debate and everything like that after being a floor leader in illinois where we did not have to address the chair. the chair was kind of the moderator. so it is different in that respect. and just the level of work and the amount of subjects you need to be abreast of. the sheer size of the job compared to the state legislature. >> you talked about jerry costello keeping in touch with the district. how do you do that? >> we do it by social media. when i'm back in the district i think it is funny with county, having 11 and 1/3 counties, when people say, well you're home. well no, my population base is quite a bit away from my home. and so for instance, during easter we were there one week before and one week after.
of those 16 days we were home i slept in my bed four. the way you do it is, you make sure you're out and in constant contact. make telephone calls. from holding town hall meetings. we have listening sessions where we go out to meet with different community leaders and general public. they know we're out there. that is one thing we're getting comments on all the time, wow you're everywhere. >> you don't have duties anymore as volunteer firefighter. >> no. >> you brought along like a helmet. >> means a lot to me. >> we'll show it to our viewers. tell us a bit -- >> first off that was a gift from one of the fire departments because i often carried language. i was a full-time fight firefighter with the city of murfreesboro. it was a job as kid you wanted to do. you get to do all things your mother don't want to you do. running into buildings other people running out of. getting dirty. being around fire. getting wet. people like you because of it.
and it truly was one of the most exciting jobs i ever had. even with the marine corps, this is be right up there. >> you were volunteer? >> i was actually a full-time firefighter for two years but i was, what they called paid per call. if you're in town you respond. and i was that from 1988 until actually, even up into the time i was a state legislator until 2008. >> you talked about the busy schedule on capitol hill. what are the committees that you serve on? >> i'm on small business. i'm on veterans affairs. and i'm ag, which is appropriate for the district, it really is. >> does that seem like a lot in terms of your work load? >> it actually is. they told me you probably don't want three committees but it worked out that it they were going to put me on. so we're able to cover it but it is a busy time. >> how do you keep it all straight? >> got very good staff.
spend a lot of time reading. and studying those issues. and you know one of the more difficult things to do is, a lot of these issues are things that obviously are from other congresses before. you have to play catch-up in your mind. that was a little difficult. we're getting to point we're pretty smooth with it. >> when you come to a hearing where you have witnesses or several witnesses and only get a few minutes or five minutes -- >> that is probably a very rough part of this job. you can call them in but not as far as committee work. by the time you get down to the freshman members most of the questions have been asked. it is drawn out over long period of time. and with some. committees i've been, with the subcommittees i've been able to get into what i need to know during the actual committee but quite often we actually have to come back to them later with questions so we can get our answer. >> what is on the top of your to-do list in terms of what your district might like to get done in congress and what you would like to see?
>> there is a couple of things. we have scott air force base. i'm working to make sure actually there is geospatial system that is needing to relocate. we're hoping we can get it there. the one but the most important thing, really is, and it has to do with both coal and oil and those resources. overburden some regulation from epa and other other agencies just caused, why do we strangle our businesses in this nation? when we're trying to compete on worldwide market with some agencies with duplicative rules. doesn't mean we don't want to make sure everything is safe. if you've been in small business, which i have, you find out sometimes government does everything it can. >> give us an example. you were in the trucking
business. what was the regulation? >> here in the trucking business, if you know about the fact that there is a driver shortage. the driver shortage is hot occurring not because people not wanting to do jobs. people doing the jobs can't sell enough hours because of a mishandling of the road hour rules and logbook rules. now you don't want to go back to where it was in the '70s. that was a very dangerous time. you have to be able to, for instance if you are on a run and you're coming up on your amount of hours that you're scheduled to have in week, and you're a hour, half hour from your destination, you have to stop the truck and wait 36 hours to move on forward or they have to send a driver? not only that, that driver then if his week falls with a weird break in the middle, he can't, he or she can not sell 40 hours. that is when you've got people here in d.c. writing rules that
have never actually sat in truck. they don't understand. the same way with all business not necessarily from the standpoint of the federal government but in the beauty salon business, we at one time had tanning beds. we became so overregulated on tanning beds we sold them. >> overregulation in terms of federal and state? >> federal and state both there. >> in a state like illinois how prohibitive are the regulations? >> illinois it was very prohibitive. illinois, the level of taxation on the trucking industry was very prohibitive. the cost of doing business in the state of illinois. >> you mentioned scott air force base. the house passed short term a transportation bill, highway bill, at least through july. what are some of the biggest infrastructure needs in your district and how do we go about resolving this? >> we have, as we move forward and i don't know you could put together the votes for gas tax or anything like that. they can say well they really
want it. but reality people in the coffee shops and beauty shops they're a little bothered by that. see if we find a funding stream for long-term purposes. i will work out with my colleagues to figure out exactly what that is. truly our job as the u.s. congress unfortunately there's many things we dabble in that should be states but the one thing is, interstate commerce, that's our job. the highways? that is our job. we need to make sure that the bridges and roads are kept up. we haven't been doing a real good job of it. >> what would you say the conditions of the roads in your district are like, interstates? >> they're rough. there is constant construction but it is not i think they patchwork things because of funding problems. they don't look to the depth they need to restore them to the point they were when they were if first built. >> you're one of several new members of congress with
military experience. how long did you serve in the marines? >> i served three years in marine corps. was electronic specialist radar repairmen. went to san diego for boots camp and 29 always arizona -- california and yuma, arizona, where i did my duty. >> are there any difference between the u.s. house and military representatives? >> no. let me explain why. in the marine corps our job was to, we had superiors. immediate obey yens to order. that would save your life by the way. here we're independents representing our own district. there might be those that want to rule over and give you orders because you do have leadership but leadership has to understand each one of us do represent our district. >> have you been put in a situation where you wanted to vote one way and had to sort of hold your ground is? >> no. not here in the congress.
there were those times after 20 years, will that come up at some time? it may. i've still got a way out for my district and it may upset some people. because there are certain things -- i've got a lot of coal mines. a lot of union in the district. and, i was union firefighter but i'm a republican. so it is about jobs and it is about keeping people working and straightening our economy out. of course there are all the other issues. there are foreign affairs. there is the borders. there is all of these things. but when it comes to my district i will be voting my district. >> were you born and raised in your district? >> uh-huh. lived there all my life except for time i was in the marine corps. >> did you join the corps after high school? >> i actually joined the corps in 1979, i was actually driving. i grouted from high school. i was actually driving for the family trucking business. >> yeah. >> and i got hit on a motorcycle by a drunk driver. it was in october, i had a lot of clothes on and hello mitt and
i got hit hard but i ended up with just slightly twisted ankle and my back a little bit out of place. so i was at home, not in the drunk when the iran hostage situation came up. at 18 years old you think you can whip the world and you will change everything. i woke up and marine corps boot camp and i was serving. >> so it was that iran hostage situation that motivated you to join? >> you bet. see an issue and wanted, maybe that is why i run into buildings other people are running out of, all that stuff too. >> looking back 36 years or whatever to that incident where we are with the iran and realizing your initial motivation to join the corps what are your feelings? >> you know. i'm not a big fan of what the president is trying to do as far as his negotiation with iran.
they have a history. a history we have to be very careful. whatever we do we have to make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon. so i will being standing very, very strong, to make sure my voice is heard through congress that we're not going down that path with them. >> getting back to the campaigning a bit because you're in your first term here campaigning -- >> never ends. >> tell us about the process of re-election to your seat in 2016. has that started in? >> always does. as i said 20 years in the illinois general assembly where i ran every two years. you immediately go back to running. state of illinois, it is early primary. seven months from the time you're sworn in until you are circulating petitions to run again. we're going to be out doing that shortly. it is part of the process. somebody said, you know, i think we should change the
constitution. no. i don't think so at all. i think best way to which can keep your congress in check every two years they can go back to the voters. it is voters that make the decision. >> do you feel that you fit the bill of citizen legislator? you know. >> you know, i like to say yes, but in a moment whether it is doing the beauty sal lan other grandchildren or doing all those things sure. but i also think we need people with experience and that is also reason why i don't agree with term limits. of we have a couple states around us, not illinois, term limits. what happens bureaucrats end up running the government, not those that are elected. i want to be sure that it is elected people -- >> you talked about your grandkids a moment ago. you brought along a picture from your office that sits in your office. >> we had to tape one of the
newest ones up at the top to show it. birdie was born a week ago sunday. so there are 10 of them now. they range in age from 14 to newborn. they all live within six miles of the house. >> how many kids do you have? >> i have three children. i have three children. and they are, i think they're done now. i don't know. at six my wife made the statement because, there were no more room in the car. she said i think we've had enough. i don't know if you know this but you don't make the call. they will have to make those decisions on their own. >> do you have your kids and grandkids been back east to washington to see you. >> they have, they have. i had one of the greatest blessings that i could can i got a picture of it hanging in my office. my grandson. pinned this pin on the first time. it was so, that was amazing an amazing moment. he got to sit on the floor with me when i was sworn in. >> would you like to see one of
your kids or grandkids run for office? >> that is pretty well up to them. i don't know. my children i'm kind of wondering whether my son, he is 34 now. he is an attorney. has four children of his own. he knows the strain that it puts on a life. and and so, i would be very proud of them whatever they do but i don't know that i would definitely push them that way. >> illinois congressman mike bost of the 12th district in illinois. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> congressman al green, if you could just, first give ourby viewers a sense what's happening on the ground? what have you seen there where you are?wh >> guest: well, thank you very much. i've seen first of all a lot of cooperation betweenel the governor's office the mayor's office and other agencies. we've seen a lot of damages. we have had inundation of rain. we had freeways literally
overwhelmed to the extent traffic was stalled. we had an apartment complex where a good many persons were displaced. they are now w inve shelters. we have a circumstance that is ongoing and damages are being assessed. >> host: okay. i want to let our viewers know we're looking at drone video from houston shot tuesday morning by brian on his youtube page. viewers are getting a sense where the floodwaters are. have the floodwaters retreated somewhat? what does the disaster look like? >> guest: yes, they have. we're still in a rescue phase to a certain extent but we're also moving to the recovery stage. a good many persons who were at this rockport apartment complex where are ef-1 tornado hit, winds of 100 miles per hour, have been relocated to the chinese community 1 center.o 252 apartments at that complex
were damaged. a couple of people had to be hospitalized. currently ins houston we have more than 2500 cars that were left stranded. they have beeny removed for the most part. today traffic is flowing. but we still is have flooding. our prayer we don't get anymore rain. >> what arest you hearing from officials about: what, the weather forecast and what impact that could have? >> guest: we hear, for today it looks pretty good. we're optimistic. but, if we get more rain, given the amount of saturation that we have in the on the ground there is a good likelihood we'll get additional flooding. we've been through this before and, most of us harken back to hurricane allison that really devastated the houston area when it came through with 35 inches of rain. of course we had, this memorial day flood about 11 inches of rain in southwest houston. so we're braced for even moreoo circumstances to deal with.
our prayer is that we won't get them but i'm very pleased to note that the governor has requested that the federal government well, he is assessing damages so he may request but he hasn't indicated that 46 counties are in his disaster declaration and at some point may request assistance from the president. the president hasn't indicated that he will process the request expeditiously. there is a lot ofy. cooperation going on which is very good. if i may just add this. i was out at site of this apartment complex and it was a wonderful thing to see diversity in action because most of the people who are living there aree latinos and we had on that site persons who were of vietnamese ancestry, chinese ancestry, helping out. we had persons who were of the mormon faith there, from all over thed country, and, they were helping with translation. this is a wonderful thing to see how the diversity can really be an asset to a community.an
diversity pays off and i'm proud to say that in houston, it has served us well. >> host: okay, congressman. tell us a little bit more if the government, if the governor asks for help from the federal government, what does that mean then? g >> guest: well it means a lot. it means that assuming the president grants the request, it means that we will now have agencies of the federal government fema will have, what isag called, a federal coordination officer. this person will come in rand coordinate that there is various agencies of the federal government with the state and local government. you can get the fda in for loans. we'll have additional assistance in terms of legal services.di there is, even an opportunity foris us to receive some benefits t for persons who are homeless such that they may go to various hotels and receive some temporary lodging.
a lot of assets come when the federal government brings its weighter to bear on these sort of circumstances and the assessments are being made jointly right now informally ist suppose between fema and various agencies of the state government. governor abbott has been very active in trying to coordinate this effort. and i might mention that mayor parker has been very active in the assessment here in houston as well. >> host: our viewers are again looking at footage shot by brian rumbo from a drone camera of the houston area. they can see the roads flooded and cars abandoned in the middle of this, so congressman, let me ask t you are there any early estimates of the damage done here? and, how much do you think that the city, the area is going to need from the federal government? >> i have not seen any early estimates of damages. my belief is that they will be extensive. and, i would hope that they the assessment will be made as
quickly and expeditiously as possible but i have not seen any. but i can tell you that i think clearly it will be in the millions of dollars many millions of dollars of damages. my hope is, as i have indicated that we'll work together and make sure that we get all of our citizens taken care of here in houston. w >> host: and -- >> guest: across our state i might add.ou this is not only my state but oklahoma has been involved. my prayers are withy all the people who have been stricken. as you may know, there have been seven people pronounced dead here in the a houston area, six in houston, one in neighboring county. and our prayers are with them. we also have many people who have been displaced. about 1600 from the apartment complex that mentioned alone. so there is a lot of effort goingom on here to take care of people. >> host: congressman we appreciate you taking some time this morning to tell our viewers about the situation there. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you veryer much.
bend at ten of 5:00 p.m. eastern the future of violence robots and terms hackers and drones confronting a knew age of threat. the republican presidential race has another contender today. former new york governor announced his candidacy this morning at an event in new hampshire. he has been out of public office since 2006 command he is the 8th republican to announce his candidacy. you can see his speech tonight at 8:00 o'clock eastern on our companion network. also coming up tonight during american history tv prime time the 150th anniversary of the civil war and the a look at president abraham lincoln's funeral including reenactments of the funeral procession. edit clock eastern on c-span2. >> this summer book tv will cover book festivals from around the country and top
nonfiction authors and books live live at book expo america where the publishing industry showcases there upcoming books. in the beginning of june where life's. three-hour live in depth program with pulitzer prize-winning author and your phone calls. new the end of june watch for the annual roosevelt reading festival. in the middle of july we are live at the harlem book fair the fair, the nation's flagship african-american literary event with author interviews and panel discussions. at the at the beginning of december live from the nation's capitol for the national book festival. that is a that is a few of the events this summer on c-span2 book tv. >> to attorneys representing both sides of religious freedom cases before the supreme court speak now on a panel discussion about religious liberty the event was hosted by the
national constitution center in philadelphia. this is about 50 minutes. >> good afternoon. the first amendment states congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. these words don't signal the end but rather the beginning of the spirited debate about the proper relationship between religion and the american state. in the early years of the united states some interpreted interpret the first amendment to mean that congress could not establish an official religion but cities and states could. by contrast thomas jefferson described the first amendment as erecting a wall of separation between church and state. in everson against in everson against the board of education the supreme court
quoted jefferson's words urging that this war must be high high-end impregnable. and women against kurtzman the court recognized that some relationship between government and religious organizations is inevitable adding that the line of separation far from being a wall is a blurred, indistinct a blurred indistinct, and variable barrier depending on all the circumstances of a particular relationship. the 1st president, george washington particulate it an an additional approach in his famed letter to the touro synagogue which has often been cited as the basis for the concept of religious pluralism a definition that is more inclusive and more appropriate than the venerable term tolerant. washington said it is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that enjoyed the exercise of their inherent
natural rights. the government of the united states which gives' to bigotry no sanction to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under his protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving on all occasions that effectual support. our our speakers today have dedicated their careers to considering issues of appropriate interaction between religious liberty and our us laws. greg lipper as counsel on key cases in the us supreme court and in the states. michael gerson has one of the nation's most nations most thoughtful public intellectual writing about the intersection of religious belief in politics greg lipper is with the american united's for separation of church and state. christina area again is with
the becket fund and has been the council and hobby lobby against burwell in a number of other cases and tells me she has quite an eclectic collection of pets at home. a columnist with the "washington post" and also works with the one foundation on alleviation of disease and poverty globally there are two categories of cases that we will talk about today. the 1st are the more traditional types of cases the accommodation case's. there is another category very much what i would call religious accommodation to.out. those include cases like the hobby lobby against burwell case.
i no that sense it is been in the news it is very much on everyone's mind. both sides of the case with us here today we will ask them to start off by telling us about what has happened in this area's since hobby lobby against burwell, and i will start of with christine. >> you may wonder why my hair is a little a little messy. we already got added in the green room. i think specifically i'm working hard on it. i'm sure you hear my accent. no i have not been drinking i am cuban-american. i feel passionate about these issues. executive director. one area of disagreement we have is the hobby lobby case. as you may have heard
americans united mischaracterized it as crazy evangelicals and i healthcare women. that was not actually the case. i'm kidding. i no. you never said crazy. so, the green family of hobby lobby are in evangelical family from oklahoma city. they they started their business and a garage with a $600 loan. they pay the kids $0.7 each. as devout christians as devout christians when they opened their stores and eventually open stores in 46 states they employed 26,000 employees'. the close on sundays. they don't allow trucks to bring alcohol. they have no loot cards in their stores and provide very generous health care benefits to their employees.
they pay for every medication, every drug, everything the affordable care act requires. in the health and human services meant it was enacted they had absolutely no objection to 16 out of the 20 drugs of the government mandated. they only objective before drugs of the government itself conceded may prevent. the science behind it was never argued. for the for the green family that was a form of early abortion. they cover 16 everything else. great health benefits and because of their values they pay more than twice the minimum wage to each of their employees. they found themselves painted into a corner by the government. the government. the government will forcing the owners of hobby lobby to provide these drugs' exempted millions of americans from having to comply with the mandate that they consider so vital.
the case became incredibly politicized. indeed, when the government went before the supreme court the supreme court decided the case was weak because they lacked -- there arguments were not strong enough. we won that case. the government said that corporations have a right to religious liberty. the biggest area that women would die. none of that has happened. it was all very politicized. since then any court decision that has come down has largely benefited individuals in prison or individuals who want to exercise the right to religious liberty. does that answer your question? >> great probably has a slightly different version of the facts year. >> the facts and the legal principles.
it's thomas jefferson's birthday from an appropriate day for us to be having this discussion. so i want to -- >> we are not going to ask you to resolve this year. >> let me take a step back. hobby lobby, although often portrayed in the press as the case brought under the first amendment it was actually brought under a statute. that was enacted and 93. one of the great political come by our moments for people on the left and the right all came together to support legislation cosponsored by ted kennedy and orrin hatch. pressing clinton talked about the proverbial divine intervention to bring these people together. the premise of the religious freedom restoration act was
that there are some cases in which a combination should be made for people's religious beliefs often people's people's religious practices so that even if the law on no space did not it's discriminate on the basis of religion there are some cases where greater exemption should be provided for instance muslims. to wear a beard or to the extent there are requirements of autopsies were not violate someone religious belief. what has happened in cases like hobby lobby and indiana and arkansas is the religious freedom restoration act has been weapon eyes as a tool for some people to impose their religious beliefs on others and to deprive 3rd parties of the rights. i think i think that was something that has not been allowed to happen before. there are many situations in which accommodations are appropriate. they have never they have never been allowed when it would deprive someone also
the rights. what happened here is that for profit commercial employees, employers are permitted to withhold what is otherwise required healthcare compensation. some refused to cover any contraception's. in the case of hobby lobby i take her at her word that no one has died but tens of thousands of hobby lobby employees are deprived of certain forms of contraception including the iud which most medical professionals agree is far and away the most effective form of birth control and is also the most expensive in virtually all modern scientists agree. there have been cases previously in which people have raised religious objections to social security taxes were paying women the same as men. rejected because individuals
or companies have never been allowed to use the religious beliefs of their owners to harm their employees. that consensus is broken down in a deeply fractured hobby lobby decision and will have profound consequences for the way we understand religious liberty and for the balance in our country between the right of religious worship on the one hand and the system of secular laws to protect everyone on the other. >> i want to get back to this notion. there is an argument that could be made on both sides. i do want to ask you the case is said that her friend did not apply to the states 1997 case. it has been 17 18 years since the decision of the case. we are only now starting to
see a big focus on state level. and there is a disturbing correlation between that and the passage in indiana of gay marriage. so does that suggest that perhaps the focus has something to do so with factors other than those that are being articulated? >> no, no, i mean as soon as the 97 position came down several started to adopt them. religious freedom restoration state versions of the. and over 30 states have religious protections. many felt they did not need to have one in their state. also, there was a sister legislation. we're talking with all these
acronyms. religious land use and institutionalized persons act. so it also protected. to your.of who benefits from these religious freedom restoration act one of our clients is a native american in taxes. the department of interior sent covert agents department of interior had covert agents that went into a family powwow because they heard he had legal feathers. there is an eagle feather act that prohibits asian-americans that are not in a federally recognized tribe to have these feathers they confiscated the feathers. and thanks to taxes religious freedom restoration act the government had to return these feathers. so it is true that the original was meant to
protect minority religions. most of our clients are minority religions. what if i never said or alluded to its was anything having to do with what we we will discuss later sexual orientation or gender identity. i think identity. i think that the state moved as quickly as occurred given the 97 position. >> i want to bring you into the conversation. how do you see controversies over florists cake baking how does this play out? what kind of accommodations should be made? people who have lives that may not be ones that are as easily accommodated by angelico's? >> well, it is a little strange. i am a noncombatant in his legal battle.
i am likely to be a casualty but you know the history seems to be relevant. this was a two-part test about compelling governmental goals. the least intrusive means. because championed by justice brennan and the aclu for many years and what is in effect for decades. and it was really justice scalia who was the bad guy wrote this smith decision that overturned this and caused the congress to react and reinstate this test. it was in the house schumer took leadership. pass the senate 97 to three 's command it really was a.of agreement.
it is a shame a terrible shame when issues this important get sucked into the vortex of the culture war. what we what we are talking about is not just one issue among many. we are talking about one of the great achievements of the american tradition which is the protection of a kind of religious pluralism that is actually good for the country. it is motivated over the years people to do good's. when it comes to hospitals were homeless shelters catholic charities and a variety of religious groups and has motivated the search for justice. other things. religious freedom is not some problem to be solved some controversy to be engaged in. when you are here -- when
you hear george washington's statement from earlier is a thrilling moment in the history of the world in which a power like america came to the defense of a genuine pluralism in which people could pursue their own visions of the good with respect for one another. so i hate to see when referral laws are used in ways that are suspect because it actually i think brings discredit to that cause. but i would also say that standard has really never come up against this public accommodation law. it has not been a problem for decades. all that standard does is say that there should be a balancing test not guaranteeing any outcome but
accommodating deeply held religious beliefs. so's i think that you can question people's motives. this balancing test is a well tested pretty good method to accommodate the normal rules of the majority and a handful of exceptions of people that feel like the beliefs of being burdened. is the courts that make this decision. >> let's talk. so they seem more traditional in the sense that these are religiously owned and affiliated organizations that are refusing to provide particular categories of benefit. do you see a distinction between that and the green a
nonfamily? >> i think think that a lot of people engaged in this issue's. there is some divide between those who put a great emphasis on the autonomy and identity of religious institutions and those who would extend to for profit. i think that divide some of the coalition on these issues. it is -- as i understand it law made sure that it applied to for profit corporations. people may be more mixed. i guess i would defer to the experts. >> so like little sisters of
the poor and notre dame and others, the 2nd wave of challenges to the contraception regulation. i think they present to important distinctions. first is the one you mentioned. these these at least look closer to actual religious institutions than does the national retail craft chain. on the other hand these entities have received a significant accommodation and refused to take yes for an answer. for two years now the administration has said fine you do not have to include contraception in your health plan. all you have to do is fill out a form saying i object send us your insurance provider and the insurance provider then provides the contraception coverage at no cost to you or them. that was still not good enough. the administration granted
even further accommodation and said you don't have to fill out the form and send it to your insurance company fill out a form to the government saying i object. again these entities have refused to take yes for an answer. the basis of what the supreme court ultimately said there is a less restrictive alternative because the government has created this accommodation for these nonprofits but these nonprofits are arguing even that filling out the form so that somebody else will provide coverage to their employees is objectionable. basically saying we will not rest until our employees are unable to get contraception from anyone. i think that is another example of the sort of extreme weaponization of religious liberty but also contributes to the things that michael has talked about: religious liberty gets associated with denying
women while health care the nine when i control over their bodies and refusing to sign paperwork that is deeply troubling to the cause of religious liberty as a whole. you saw the same thing in indiana and arkansas. arkansas. religious liberty is associated with discrimination, denying people service that is deeply troubling. religious freedom restoration has become toxic because they have been abused in these ways. the governor is saying this is not about discrimination. when his fallback is no, it's about depriving people of contraception's command that is deeply troubling and has eroded what had been a great intent. i think it will do long-term damage. >> your clients not take yes for an answer? >> so unreasonable.
they devote their lives to serving the elderly poor. they take care of 13000 elderly poor people. they hold their hands while ill health and i and they are committed to life at the beginning in the middle and at the end. they just said no we won't go. mother lorraine would be upset if she heard me say that. the the government has exempted millions of americans having to comply with this mandate for commercial reasons because they were the government's friend. but they refused to exempt this order of nuns and then created this game. sign a paper, sign here sign their. to a lot of you. i am mathematically impaired, but it does not take a lawyer or mathematician to understand the someone has to pay for
it. when the sisters sign that peace of paper it triggers the contract that someone else has to pay for and they consider that to be an illicit thing send, and the government is not in the business of telling people what they can and cannot believe. you have teenagers. i think it is completely reasonable to advocate for churches that considers human sacrifice of teenagers you would agree with me. well the government has a right to come in and say it is in the compelling interest of the state not to allow human sacrifice. the answer is not government intervention. it does not take a lawyer to understand that a game musician or photographer should not be forced by the government or anyone else to go and photograph an event. and just and just last week the aclu and americans
united both said that indeed they gave photographer should be forced to participate. no one in america has ever supported those claims. advocates for the legalization of marijuana. my children are watching. i never inhaled. [laughter] why should she be forced to participate in another drug rally? people disagree about religion and sex all the time in america. the answer is not to bring in government regulation command the answer is not to exaggerate claims. has ability most? absolutely. that does not mean that you wipe an entire body of law that calls for a day in court simply because in someone's view you consider to be repulsive. >> what about this notion that the government is going to take over providing the contraception if the green
family does not provided? how is that different than the case of the conscientious objector? the content is subject to hit the don't give their service someone else will have to give their service and certainly you would say conscientious objector -- >> it is very different. when a little sister saying we cannot pay for it to my that that is very different from someone taking it. they just can't pay for it. the government already provides millions and millions and funding to title x to planned parenthood clinics that provide these drugs to women that want them simply by showing up for free at no cost to the woman. this is all taxpayer money. the government is to figure out a way to put a 50-cent stamp on a peace of paper and carry it from florida -- is it $0.50? to get a letter from
california to florida. why can't they figure out a a way to get these contraceptives to women that does not involve nuns. they put a man on the moon but are forcing a little sisters a little sisters to violate their conscience and pay for drugs and devices that they objective. that is unprecedented. >> losing sight of the idea of balance. it is not for us to question necessarily the reasonableness of the nuns unwillingness or anyone's unwillingness to fill out a form. we balance interests. there are other people at stake. there are employees who will go without coverage of the nuns will fill out the form. and the say, well, the government to pay for it the government to pay for anything. we would now say that i have a religious objection to pain woman the same as men. we would never say the government has money