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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 22, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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>> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with the top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. .. >> host: the merger between comcast and time warner has failed, and net t neutrality has taken hold and is now the law of the land. what's your opinion of the actions of the fcc in the past year or so? >> guest: well, this is a family
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program, so i can't give you my explicit opinion but i will say this: their net neutrality rule is wrong. they better enjoy it while they can. we certainly have the votes to change the law and make it explicit that what they're doing is inappropriate. whether we have the votes to overturn a presidential veto of the change or clarification is debatable. but there's a new presidential election coming next year and eventually we will we'll change it. their open internet whatever they're calling it, is just wrong. you shouldn't regulate the internet. there's no problem. they're a regulatory solution looking for a problem. so i'm disappoint inside what they've done, i'm disappointed
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that the court so far has allowed it, but i am confident in the next two to three years we'll change it. >> host: so in the next two to three years it remains the law of the land, correct? >> guest: well, it's not necessarily the law of the land, it's the fcc interpretation. and with a democrat president so a 3-2 majority on the fcc commission, they were able to put that in and at least so far the courts have upheld it. but title ii goes back to the 1930s when you had a monopoly telephone service run by the bell companies or american telephone and telegraph. the internet today is open to everybody. there are all kinds of providers of both content and the transmission capability. i live in a small town outside of dallas texas and i have a
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cable option and a satellite option and a telephone option. i've got three different options in a town of 15,000 people. so you don't need the government to protect the open internet. the marketplace was doing it and will continue to do it, and all you're doing is with their order is adding complexity and a regulatory burden that doesn't need to be there. >> host: well, joining our conversation on these types of issues is carol tom ril low of politico. -- kate tummarello. >> thank you for having me. the republicans have been pushing for a net neutrality bill to kind of counter the fcc's new rule. what do you make of that rule, and how does that reflect net neutrality over the last year or so? >> guest: well, i'm supportive of chairman upton and chairman wald remember's efforts. i would be a little bit more
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aggressive than they're being, but i certainly support what they're doing. and as i said, i think that bill passes the house, probably passes the senate, you know? the question is does the president veto it? and at least so far i think the indications are that the president would. although, you know, both chairman upton and chairman wald remember are working with mr. pallone and ms. eshoo to try to find some common ground so that we get the democrats to support the bill. does -- the bill. >> does it seem like a good chance for democrat buy-in? >> guest: i think there's a reasonable chance. i'm not going to try to predict the political calculations within the democratic caucus. i think common sense would tell you, though, that what fred and greg are trying to do does mange common sense -- make common sense, and so at some point in
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time we would expect system of the democrats to support it. >> host: congressman barton, i want to ask you about the privacy caucus and particularly about what happened at the office of personnel management, the hack into the federal government. there's been some calls for katherine arch let that the head of opm's -- for her resignation. do you support that? >> guest: at this point in time, i don't see a reason for her to resign. i had a member of my personal congressional staff got their information stolen. he received a letter to that effect. i got a general letter myself that it was possible that some of my information might be compromised, but i haven't gotten confirmation that it was. we're under -- all the government servers are under constant attack by various
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outside groups, not just our military servers at the pentagon and our intelligence, but just the generic run-ofof-the-mill government institutions, the various cabinet agencies and the house office buildings. i think, i think generically the contractors and the federal employees that run those protective programs trying to protect them have done a good job. in this case at opm somehow somebody got into the system. we need to find out how and hopefully who and do what we can to prevent it from happening. but i wouldn't at this point in time require that the head of opm resign. >> host: what about legislative efforts? can they be of any use in this case? >> guest: it's a good question. the short answer is possibly.
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it's -- the whole issue of privacy is politically complicated. you would off the top of your head say well, who would be against protecting our privacy and the answer is no one. but then when you get into the various uses that the security people and the law enforcement people and just the run-of-the-mill commercial marketers, they all want some sort of special access to the databases, and they want to collect, you know, this megadata which i think is totally unnecessary. and so when you try to legislate and try to -- and protecting the privacy of the individual while at the same time providing legitimate exemptions or special case uses for security and intelligence purposes and in the commercial arena for marketing purposes it gets pretty
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complicated. do i think we should attempt it? i'm willing to do that. as you pointed out i'm the co-chairman of the privacy caucus and our objective there is to protect the individual's privacy. and to me, that starts with the individual. it's the individual's day, it is not the government's -- data, it is not the government's, it is not the internet provider's, it is my data and i should have an explicit guarantee that no one has access to it unless i say so. now, that's simplistic, but, you know, it's privacy as i see it. it comes from the fourth amendment protection against what's called unreasonable search and seizure fourth amendment to the constitution. they never dreamed of the internet in the 1700s but if we'd have had it our founding fathers would have protected the individual's data, the individual's, you know, private
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information from being, you know, put out into the public domain. >> on data security, the energy and commerce committee has been working on a data breach bill that would kind of set up, you know rules for what happens if your company or nonprofit is breached and that, we saw that process become very partisan towards the end. is there any hope that the energy and commerce committee can pull together some kind of bipartisan data breach bill now? >> guest: i think there is. there are good people on both sides. you know, mr. pallone ms. eshoo, mr. walden mr. upton, mrs. capps, dr. burgess, i mean, there are lots -- myself, you know, we have lots of people on both sides of the aisle that want to protect it and do something about it. mr. engel of new york. but you've got to -- i can go back to basics. if we start from the premise that the information is mine, is
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yours and we're going to give the individual the right of who has access to it, you know then worrying about what happens when somebody breaches it is not quite as complicated. if you put it in the public domain but then try to protect who has access to it as opposed to not even making it available then you have less to protect and less to worry about who's going to, you know, breakthrough a firewall and breach it. but it does happen, and we ought to we ought to take every legislative step that we can take to protect it and to penalize those that do it so that the incentive is for better protection and, in that way, not have as many people attempting to do the hacking. >> on the newer and kind of broader policy questions we've seen the obama administration turn to the commerce department's ntia to kind of
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sort out things like mobile app privacy and facial recognition privacy, and now they're going to be turning to drones soon. this week we saw a bunch of the privacy advocates walk away from that process on facial recognition technology. as somebody who's so active in the pryce debate, what do you think that means for the broader questions facing the obama administration, especially when congress doesn't seem to have an appetite to take up consumer privacy legislation? >> guest: it's a good -- again that's a good question. my children and grandchildren's generation their definition of privacy or expectation of privacy is much lower than my expectation of privacy. i still think it's my information and even if i'm on these mobile apps or the internet, it's not automatic that that's in the public domain. if i make a cell phone phobe call or -- phone call or somebody calls me, i don't think that that is automatically recorded by some government
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agency or private entity and maintained in some database even if they don't listen to the content. i think you shouldn't do it period. in terms of what's just transpired, you know, i respect the privacy groups that did walk away. i think, i think a good faith effort was being made. but, again i keep going back to the basics. you've got the basic principle whose information is it? is it automatically in the public domain because i choose to use a mobile app? and we know that, you know the way these things work they go into the cloud and all that or can i use it and still have a reasonable expectation of personal privacy? if you take the latter view that it is personal, that changes the way you regulate and the way you
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legislate. if you take the position that i am by act of being a part of by participating, by using the app i am forgoing my individual right to privacy, that's a different issue in its entirety. >> host: well, congressman barton, could you go back to the generational thing? you talked about your children and grandchildren not caring or being as concerned as you are about privacy. what do you think that says? >> guest: well, i don't know that they don't care, i just think they don't can realize they have a right to privacy. you know, i'm old enough to remember before you had surveillance cameras in stores, before -- certainly before you had crfns, before the internet. you communicated by telegram, believe it or not, or by actual mail what we call snail mail. and the regulatory authorities at the u.s. postal service
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guaranteed you that privacy. it was a federal crime for somebody to reach into your mailbox and steal and open a letter that was addressed to you. you had an absolute right to privacy unless a law enforcement official went to court and got a court order to have monitor and in some -- to monitor and in some cases interception your mail or unless an intelligence agency had a reasonable expectation that you were a foreign agent and were a threat to the security of the united states, then they could get a court order to monitor your phone calls to monitor your mail. but absent that, you know, u.s. mail and telegram were personal. they were private. you had a right the pryce. you don't -- to privacy. you don't have that today. when my son or grandson get on the internet, they don't have an expectation of privacy. they accept that it's going to -- you know, they don't like it but they accept it's going to be a part of some
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megadatabase that lots of people have access to. and i think that's sad. >> host: does it have to be that way? >> guest: i don't think it has to be that way, but for it not to be that way the congress and the president have got to reestablish in and the courts back up a modern era equivalent of the fourth amendment that you do have privacy. and in the house, we've in this session begun to do that a little bit. we have stopped some of the data collection that had been done after the initial passage of the patriot act. we've stopped that. and i think that's healthy, and i think that's the right direction to go. >> host: we've often talked on this program about how current law hasn't kept up with technology. is there an omni-legislation
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that can help this, or does it have to be piecemeal? >> guest: i'd like to tell you that we could do it in some sort of an omnibus realistically i don't think that's possible. i also don't think we have the political climate in order to really reestablish privacy you need to do it in a bipartisan basis, in a bicameral basis house and the senate, republicans and democrats with the president. we don't have that environment right flow. i'm not saying -- right now. i'm not saying we couldn't create it, but in order to do it and make it last we need to get there, and you've got to have that trust basis, you know, between the individual members, between the committee leadership and between the leadership of the republicans and the democrats in the house and the senate. and that's, at this point in time in my opinion that's just not there. >> there's been a lot of talk lately about the fcc's role in privacy especially with the new
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net neutrality rules which give the agency more authority over internet service providers. how do you see the agency's role changing in regards to privacy? >> guest: did you say ftc or fcc? >> fcc. >> guest: fcc? well, i think the fcc is wrong. i don't think you need to regulate the internet under or title ii. i just flat don't think you need to. it's not -- they're trying to, you know, take us back to the 1930s, you know? if there's a problem, you solve it in the modern era by making the internet more transparent making the transactions more open. if you set up some expedited complaint provision at the fcc, there are things you could do
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without going back to some regulatory authority that you don't need. and then right off the bat saying yeah but we're going to forbear here and we're going to forbear there, you know? if you start off by talking about forbearance in my opinion, you don't need to do it in the first place. so i think this fcc is more about political correctness and less about getting it right and doing, doing what the 21st century requires. and i do agree with the statement that was just made, technology is moving so fast it's very difficult for the legislative record the law to keep up with it. and, you know that's no fault. that right there is not a fault of the fcc, that's just, you know, the people that are creating the modern internet and
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all the apps and the technologies are just more nimble and quicker and more innovative than the lawmakers can keep up with. >> so as the former energy and commerce chairman, what do you make of the republican effort to overhaul the communications act in its entirety? is that something that's feasible with the net neutrality debate hanging over the committee? >> guest: i think it's a good, it's a noble thing to do. i think it needs to be done. i commend mr. upton, mr. walden for attempting it and our friends in the senate that are working along the same track. it may take a while to do. again, i think to really get it done right you need bipartisanship. you probably need a new president. and, hopefully hopefully we'll get that in the 2016 elections. but it, you know, hard things are worth doing big things are worth doing, and if it takes a little bit of time to do 'em, so be it. i went to an awards dinner last
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night for former chairman john ding can el, dem -- dingell, democrat from michigan can and one of the things that i complimented him on was the clean air act amendments, i believe in 1991. he worked as chairman of the energy committee on that issue for three or four years. so it was not an overnight success. it was a big issue, it was contentious, it was complicated. but he made it bipartisan and conservative republicans like myself, believe it or not, voted for the clean air act amendments of the early 'a 90s because of the process and getting it right and taking time. you can say the same thing about telecommunications, you know? it's a good thing to take on a big project and if it takes a little time to do it, so be it. but we need to go into the 21st
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century with laws that reflect where we are today, not with laws that were passed in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s even 1950s and is the 60s. the primary telecommunication act recently that we were operating under but the telecommunication act of 1996 which i was on the committee and voted for. the most modern, big act is almost 20 years old. >> guest: ing -- >> host: well, congressman another bill that eat taken a while to get through the child privacy bill that you and senator markey have been working on that -- what's the extent of that bill? >> guest: i just introduced the final version last week that should be a no-brainer. in fact, i talked to senator markey about it a couple of weeks ago. we would hope to move it in this congress. i do not have a commitment from chairman upton on that bill, but
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it is something that i've asked him to put on his watch list, and i think if we can get a hearing and get the stakeholders involved, it's something that we need to do. again, the children's privacy law that we're operating under is almost ten years old and a lot has changed on the internet and, i mean, i don't need to go into all the bad things that are possible, but we do need to protect our children, we need to protect them from the various predators and purveyors that are out there. and the safe kids act that i just introduced last week on a bipartisan basis, i think, would be an improvement other current law -- over current law and it's something that can be and should be bipartisan. >> you've also pushed legislation that would allow states to set up online gam can bling -- >> guest: well poker. there is a difference. >> yes, there is yes.
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poker specifically. it seems like there's been some pushback from some members who are pushing, you know restore the wire act kind of bill. is there a sense that that debate will fire up again in this congress? [laughter] >> guest: well eventually some bill similar -- i haven't introduced my bill this year but i intend to. many states are beginning to allow their citizens to play poker for money on the internet within their state, intrastate poker. my bill is an interstate -- across state lines -- but it has a states' rights protection. it lets the governor of the state opt out if the governor doesn't feel that the citizens of his or her state should participate. but, you know, poker's a game of skill. the best poker player over time wins the most money, and it's not mandatory that anybody play poker on the internet. but for those adults that wish to there are ought to be rules of the road that make sure it's
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an honest, fair game, and my internet poker bill would do that. but it's poker only, and it's opt out for the states, so it's not federal preemption of states' rights, and it is simply setting up a regulatory scheme that's run at the federal level by the department of commerce so that if the state allows it and my bill were to become law, you would know if you go to, you know and played for money, that it would be an honest game, that it would be a fair game and that funds that you deposited in an account to play in that game would be protected. and when you decided to cash out, that your money would be there dollar for dollar. >> guest: congressman, a couple more issues here in the last few minutes of "the communicators."
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i want to talk about internet governance and icann as the process moves toward more international regulation of the internet and less responsibility for the u.s. what's your view on that topic? >> guest: well, i'm of a mixed mind on that. i certainly understand the stakeholders that want to go forward with less u.s. involvement or less u.s. government involvement. to a degree i'm okay with that. but as i've said in committee hearings, you know, there's a reason that we have sheriffs and jails. not everybody is honest, not everybody plays by the rules. and as the internet has become international over the last 20 years or so, the u.s. department of commerce and icann have been the sheriff, so to speak. and if you go from a governance
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structure which has as a backstop the protection, the regulatory power of the federal government to a governance structure that is totally voluntary and totally kind of dependent upon self-governance especially if they were to move their headquarters from the united states take an extreme case to havana cuba, or to moscow or beijing, it could be problematic. you don't have to look much further than the u.n. to see an international governance structure that most times in most cases is dysfunctional. so, you know, if it's not broke don't fix it. i don't think the current
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governance structure is broken. i certainly respect those that want to move to the next generation, so to speak, but i think you have to be very careful when you do that because it's working now because it has the full faith and credit, so to speak -- although that's a financial term -- of the u.s. government behind it. and we're a nation of laws we're a nation of transparent is city constitution, you know, everything's in writing and we believe in openness and fairness and tolerance and all the good things. if you move away from that, in the beginning you have the best of intentions. but, again if you don't have the sheriff around, somebody says well, i'm going to bend that rule, i'm going to do something i shouldn't do, and then you don't have the authority to stop it. >> host: kate tummarello, final question. >> we saw the energy and commerce committee pass a version of the act really to this icann oversight
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transition. does that mean we can expect to see more bipartisan compromises coming out of the energy and commerce committee or is this specific to the situation with icann and iana? >> guest: well, that's -- i don't know, that's kind of hypothetical question. the short answer would be i hope -- the stuff that lasts are the laws that done through the regular order in an open bipartisan process. the laws that tend to have problems and the most immediate common bill that people are familiar with is the affordable care act or what's referred to by many as obamacare. that was totally a partisan cram it down your throats approach. and even if you're a proponent of it, you realize that it's not working like you'd hoped it would. and if you're an opponent like i am, you want to repeal it and start over.
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so in a perfect world everything the energy and commerce committee would do would be bipartisan. and i know chairman upton wants to be. i think ranking member pallone wants to be. sometimes it's not possible. but the more bipartisan we are the better, in my opinion the product is and the more likely it is to last if it does become law. >> host: congressman joe barton, former chair of the energy and commerce committee still a senior member of that committee and co-chair of the congressional privacy caucus has been our guest on "the communicators." kate tummarello of "politico" has been our guest reporter. thank you both. >> guest: thank you. >> thank you. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider.
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>> next we'll take you to a conversation on the congressional agenda with michigan senator debbie stabenow followed by former texas governor and presidential candidate rick perry at the faith and coalition. then you'll hear supreme court oral arguments on a case on confederate flag license plates in texas and freedom of speech follows by a conversation on the supreme court. today democratic senator chris murphy will share his views on foreign policy american involvement in military conflicts around the globe and combating isis. he's also expected to touch on human rights and climate change. we'll have his remarks live from the wilson center at noon eastern on c-span3. also today sarah kate ellis of the gay and lesbian alliance against defamation will be speaking at the national press club. we'll take you there live at
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noon eastern on c-span2. last week michigan senator debbie stabenow spoke at the "wall street journal"'s annual meeting of chief financial officers. the discussion can covered highway funding and congressional gridlock. this is a little under 30 minutes. >> thank you all for being here. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> so just a little background on the senator. she was elected to the house in 1996 originally? >> the house yes. >> senate, 2000. >> right. right. >> you're i think you're the ranking member on the agricultural committee? >> i am. >> on the energy finance and budget committee, spend a lot of time on manufacturing health, agriculture issues. >> yes. >> and i think when you grew up, your family owned an oldsmobile dealership. >> yes. we don't have olds mobiles anywhere. >> did you get a really cool car? >>
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>> i always got the clunkers. [laughter] >> is that a gender bias thing? >> i don't know. i didn't think of it that way. [laughter] >> anyway, i had to wait until i was 30 to get one. so let's start there's a broad range of economic and finance issues that are pending right now, but let's start with the one that's really pending this week which is fast track and specifically free trade with asia. you attempted to attach an amendment to fast track bill that would have dealt with what you think -- see as currency manipulation. that didn't work. >> right. >> fast track passed the senate anyway. it's now hit the rocks in the house. i guess the two questions i have are what's your prognosis about where this is headed and what do you think can be done to deal with your concerns about currency manipulation before we get to the end of this road? >> well, thanks, jerry. first of all let me say, you know, we need to export.
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we need -- in my judgment, we need to export our products, not our jobs. and so how we frame what we do is incredibly important in terms of level playing field in a global economy for our businesses. and so i have over the years voted for more trade agreements than not, but i have to tell you when we are going into a debate now of the process for giving up our right to an amended trade -- that's what fast track is, you know? you can't change it, up or down a simple majority vote. i think the rules of the road become very important. and when the first trade agreement that's up is 40% of the global economy in asia where their number one trade barrier is currency manipulation one of the rules we should have in place is a requirement for an enforceable currency
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manipulation provision. and so senator rob portman and i had a bipartisan amendment and almost passed. western -- i have to tell you, no treasury secretary ever i've worked with republicans and democrats, they never like us to get into this area of monetary policy ever. and so we had the whole administration and the republican leadership fighting us, and we only lost by three votes, so i thought we did -- [laughter] we made 'em work for it right up until the very last minute. and one of our members that was a yes vote was not there. so it was actually two votes we lost. now, with water i mention that because it's very serious. all we have to do is ask our friends from ford motor company or other manufacturers about what is happening not with currency manipulation just between japan and the u.s -- which, by the way has made the difference between 6,000 up to $11,000 on the price of a
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vehicle. think about competing with that kind of differential on the price of your product. but the big challenge for us is not what's happening in the u.s. right now but what is happening between japan and the u.s. the markets we're going after. 1.2 billion people in india. we want to sell to them. if the bank of japan is able now for i think they've done almost 350 times manipulated their currency even though they're not right now but if they did that and could undercut us, that's a big market to lose. brazil, 20 to 0 million people. so we're talking about a global economy and how do we make sure the rules of the road are fair. that did not pass. to me, that was a deal breaker. where do we go? i think the house has to figure things out. i think kevin mccarthy will come and tell us sort of what at this point they feel their pass is. but i do think rules matter. and i know to each of your companies rules matter. and we need to get it right.
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and in my judgment, what we had in front of us didn't fit the situation that our businesses are in. obviously, i am a pro-manufacturing senator pleased with lindsey graham, the co-chair of the bipartisan manufacturing caucus. i don't think you have an economy unless you make things and grow things. somebody's got to do that. and i think the rules in a global economy really matter if we're going to keep those jobs here. >> so just prediction when we get to the end of this long and winding road, do you think there will be a free trade agreement with asia? >> you know, i would at first -- i would normally say yes. i mean, probably. probably. but i think this has taken a turn that they did not expect at all in the house -- >> yeah. >> will -- and that's going to be tricky to get out of it. i also don't think it's fair and would adamantly oppose moving forward on anything that did not make a commitment to our own
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workers who would be displaced who have been displaced. as you know, taa is about retraining people who lose their jobs in a global economy, and that's got to be part of the deal for us in america is to make sure we've got people's backs when -- because of the global economy and the changes happening they lose their job. >> so there's another issue that's front and center right now, high priority i would guess for a lot of people in this room, which is renewal of the export-import bank. >> yes yes. >> excuse me. used to be around here a fairly routine exercise. >> right. >> not routine this year. >> right. >> in fact, serious, serious chance that it dies this summer. what's your, what's your view of the prospects for keeping the ex-im bank alive what does it take to get from here to there, and why is it so difficult? >> you know, jerry, this one i just have to shake my head on.
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i do that a lot these days. i remember times when we authorized the ex-im bank on a voice vote. i mean, it was just, of course. we're talking about global economy, the ability to compete and sell our products around the world, and every other country that we're competing with has some financing mechanism. we have had this in place what, 80 90 years export-import bank? the idea that we'd voluntarily give that up? now, we know the largest financing contracts are to large businesses, but 80% of the individual financing deal cans are small business -- deals are small business. and why would we give that up? so we are fighting very, very hard in the senate. this should not be a partisan issue. it has along with a whole bunch of things that shouldn't be a partisan issue. we are seeing more and more people in the house and unfortunately now in the senate who believe that there is no
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will for government on anything other than defense department of defense. there's no public partnership private partnership on anything. >> well let me -- >> so the bank then becomes a part of that symbol. >> let me present you the counterargument which is essentially the ex-im bank puts taxpayer dollars at risk for companies that the government has chosen to look upon with favor and that it's fundamentally anti-free market. that's the argument against. what's your response? >> that is the argument, and that is fundamentally not true n my judgment. what we're talking about is the ability to back up and support the ability for people to export be their products and have some confidence they will get paid on the other end. you know, a lot of small businesses -- big businesses is one thing small business it's pretty tough to be able to enter that marketplace. and so we have a number of things. in usda, the department of agriculture, we have financing mechanisms to make sure farmers who are exporting can have some
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confidence there's somebody at the other end that's going the pay for the product and be able to have the transaction happen. and so ex-im bank is a part of that mechanism which has always been viewed as a ration bl, reasonable thing to do in our economy. and so now things that have been viewed that way are not viewed that way anymore, and i just, i think that's an extreme view and doesn't make sense. you would know better than i would. you tell me. but it just seems to me that support for these kinds of financing mechanisms make sense. now, the business community says you don't need it, fine. i'm not wedded to that. that's fine. that's not what i'm hearing from businesses in michigan. >> well, okay, but so there is an interesting question. if you're not hearing it from businesses in michigan can presumably you're not the only one who's hearing that there's support for this. why doesn't that determine it here? why doesn't that make a difference? >> what we need is for all of
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you -- if you believe that, if you believe having the ex-im bank makes sense we need to hear from you and right now i mean sooner rather than later. because what's happening is folks assume that common sense will prevail or that if they just give the data, it will prevail, and that is not enough right now. i mean, people need to hear from businesses in their state or in their districts. and individual stories so we can get beyond the ideology. we're having this fight on ideology that has no relationship to common sense and in the real world of -- in my judgment -- of what's kind of going on. so you can help us bring that back to the real world. and if you think that that makes sense with the ex-im bank, then individual members need to hear from individual businesses. >> you know one of the oddities of washington these days is that even the things on which you think there is broad bipartisan consensus -- >> right.
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>> -- don't get done. >> right. >> two things are primary examples of that right now. one is the highway bill -- >> right right. >> again a standard thing. fund the pot of money that actually pays for road repairs and improvements. and more broadly infrastructure improvement. >> right. >> there seems to be a bipartisan consensus that the infrastructure of the country needs some serious work, that that's important to the business community, it's important to trade, the it's important for a lot of reasons many of them economic but neither of those things seem to be happening either. talk about the highway bill, talk about infrastructure spending more broadly and why that doesn't get done. >> well, again, in my judgment this doesn't make any sense. [laughter] but what used to be just uniformly agreed with, people may have differences on type of funding of projects or whatever, but everybody agreed there ought to be, we ought to fund our roads and bridges and so on. and as former transportation
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secretary ray lahood said, you don't travel across the country filling up your gas $5 at a time, and you can't just do this a month and then do another highway bill for a month or do -- it costs more money for taxpayers, it makes no sense and so on. so unfortunately i think there are a couple of things at play and we're trying to address that. we have 45 days from today before the highway trust fund is empty. the united states of america empty. china spending 9% of its gdp right now on infrastructure. last time i was there i was speaking at a global auto leaders' summit, and they proudly rolled out for me their 20 new international airports. you know? i was in brazil -- >> 20? >> 20. that was a couple years ago. i was in brazil with the secretary of agriculture a year ago, and they were rolling out their robust rail and road
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effort to make sure they could bring their agricultural products to the ports and were proudly looking -- and we're looking there just twiddling our thumbs. right now we have a d from the american engineers, the global group that ranks countries has put us at 16th right below luxembourg but we're beating croatia. [laughter] so there you go. literally, we're right above croatia. so given that, you would think that it'd be all hands on deck for everybody. we have two things at play and this is, again, where we need your help. and there is strong efforts from the business community and labor community, and i just came from a press conference that had people from business and labor and others, and we desperately need you to help us break break through. two things. one, the concern that anybody
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has about raising revenue anywhere. there's just the politics of that, it's very hard to even get people to look at things like we've always done user fees or whatever. the second thing is, again this general philosophy that there is no role for government. in the united states of america, when one of our colleagues actually just introduced a bill that would stop all federal funding, send it back to the states without funding. can't wait to see the governor, my governor how he reacting to that. and so then -- now, on the other hand i just want to give a shout out. senator inhofe who chairs the committee that's going doing the policy on this, is going to be rolling out with senator boxer -- two people who don't normally vote together, but they are very much together and i want to give a real shout out to senator inhofe who is stepping up to put out a six-year policy bill and deserves a lot of credit for that. that's a bipartisan thing coming out of committee but i sit on the finance committee and we
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have yet to have a hearing. we're having our first hearing this thursday, and it runs out in 45 days. so we need your help to get beyond this. this is about our economy, it's about our national security, it's about jobs, about commerce, competitive internationally. and there's no reason that we can't get this done. >> what about a repatriation of overseas earnings plan that creates some revenue but also has the added advantage of allowing some companies to bring money back here a two birds with one stone idea? >> i think that's something we should be seriously looking at. as a senior member of the finance committee, i think we should be doing overall tax reform. if that cannot happen, which i do not see happening in the next 18 months, and it does need to happen. the international piece not just one-time repatriation but, you know, national taxation, that piece i think could
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happen depending how it's done. >> could happen -- >> could happen this year. >> between now and the 2016 election? >> yes. if people want to do that, that could happen. we have to be careful and narrowly do can it because both c corps and pass-throughs which are a majority of our businesses, i mean how this is done becomes really important. that could be done. the president's put forth a proposal. we as democrats have said that's our starting point for negotiation. we believe not just one time, but how we address the international piece right now with everything happening internationally on taxes we'd better deal with that quickly. and we are ready to do that and negotiate something that would also allow us to fund infrastructure. >> and then broader tax reform is a post-2016 issue? >> i'm afraid it is. i wish it was not. we keep saying that, and again this is something that we should be getting dope.
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but i think it's going to be very difficult. >> let me ask you about two other things quickly, and then we'll open it up to some questions from the audience. one of the one of the unfortunate, i guess that's the adjective i would use, summer features of the last few years has been a budget crisis followed by a debt can ceiling crisis. are we going to have a budget crisis in which we're talking again about government shutdown and a debt ceiling crisis in which we're talking about not being able to make payments on federal debt between now and the end of the year or can those be avoided this time around? >> they can absolutely be avoided. whether they are avoided takes people of goodwill to come together and to do that. one of the things that's worrisome to me is that we've spent the bulk of this year doing things we actually tried to do last year but they got filibustered and stopped. everything from terrorism insurance to spending a month on whether or not to fund homeland security or whether it was going to shut down. i mean we just wasted a lot of
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time when we should have been doing immigration reform, tax reform highway trust funds and so on. so if we don't waste a lot of time on things that we shouldn't be wasting time on, we could absolutely get this done. here's what's going to happen, and it's going to happen by the end of this week or next week, and i want you to at least understand from our perspective what this is about. we have -- today in our economy we have reduced the annual deficit by two-thirds. that's a good thing. i was in the house under president clinton when we actually eliminated the deficit which was also a good thing. but we've reduced it by two-thirds. we're now at a point where this policy was put into place called sequestration is having very harmful effects including affecting our ability to fund roads and innovation a whole range of things as well as broadly security. so when we finish the policy bill on the department of defense this week which we'll pass, i will support that we
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will then move to appropriations committees. our republican colleagues want to row bowsly fund department of -- robustly fund department of defense, in fact using deficit spending but then basically undercut every other part of the budget. so including other parts of security whether it's biosecurity, cybersecurity border security, police and fire homeland security and so on. we're going to say no to starting that process. we're going to say no to what's called a motion to proceed to the first budget bill because we want to work up an agreement now, not when the funding runs out october 1st. not when there's a threat of a budget shutdown -- government shutdown but right now negotiate what paul ryan and patty murray did two years ago which was an agreement on how to fully fund all of the essential needs of our government. and so we're -- rather than starting on something that could
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only, that would lead to a shutdown in the fall, we're saying let's on the front end agree to how we're going to responsibly invest in those things that we need to do as america and cut those things that don't. and i would include -- i would conclude just by saying this, jerry, because i can speak with some authority about this. i led the effort on a five-year rural economic development bill we call the farm bill which is everything from agriculture conservation food bioenergy and so on. we were the only committee that cut our own budget. we cut our own budget $23 billion. we went into that, and i said don't protect programs, focus on principles. what are the goals of what we're trying to do? we ended up cutting a hundred different programs that were duplication or didn't work anymore and $23 billion. so i'm not suggesting funding things just to fund things. of i'm suggesting that just as you and in your business
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wouldn't arbitrarily cut everything those things that work and those things that don't, that what we need to do is strategically grow and, in fact, double or triple the things that are really going well and eliminate the things that aren't going well. that's what i think you expect of us, and i know it can be done because we did it. and so what we're asking in this budget process is that be the process, not this blind ideological can everything's bad, let's just cut it all which makes absolutely no sense. and you wouldn't do it in your business, and it'd be -- it's foolish for us to do it in the work that we're in. >> let me stop there and see if there are some questions out here. i think we have a couple of microphones? john, there's one right here to start. and just raise your hand and i'll look through the lights and try to see you. go ahead. >> so quick question, senator. you talked a little bit about the process in terms of what the republicans are putting forward and the approach the dems are
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going to take. are you alluding to a democratic filly bust tore the process? >> yes. we are going to say no to proceeding to appropriations until we have an agreement on an approach that is fair for all parts of the budget. it was done two years ago. i give paul ryan and patty murray kudos. you know the fact is things get dope when we work together. -- done when we work together. that's how it's supposed to work, that's how you expect us to do. not jamming people on deadlines and putting them in a and threatening shutdowns and so on. so what we're asking for is some thoughtfulness on the front end so we don't have what jerry was just asking me about many a few month -- in a few months. >> others? anybody else? i've got -- i actually, there's a broader question i was going to ask you, i'll go ahead and do it now anyway. and it sort of ties to what you were just saying. you know, there is, there was a sense at the beginning of the
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year that maybe this partisan gridlock was starting to crack, break a little bit. you referred to working with senator portman -- >> right. >> -- on the currency provision the trade front. but you get to the middle of the year, and you watch what's happened on trade and you see the uncertainty about export-import bank and you wonder is this problem of partisan paralysis getting better, getting worse or is it just the same? at the middle of the year the halfway mark, i'm not sure i know the answer to that question. what's your answer? >> it's very frustrating to me because we're spending so much time on, again, not the big issues we need to do to move the economy forward and to really be the economic engine and, you know the leaders in the global economy. here's sort of what's happened in this six months. the things that we've gotten done have been bipartisan, and they've all been things that we actually tried to get done for
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the last few years. so fixing the payment provisions for medicare for doctors. i had a bill on that in 2009 that was brooked and wouldn't -- blocked and wouldn't move forward. so i feel like we're doing filibuster clean-up, i call it, from the last four years. so now we're bringing up things we could have done, but we are getting them done, so that's a good thing. although they could have gotten done sooner. but then we're bogged down in things that go back to ideology. and so we have a human trafficking bill that everybody supported. it's a huge issue. it gets bogged down in the abortion fight. that makes absolutely no sense and we wasted weeks on it. and so we just -- can every time we try to move we get caught up in, you know, again this sort of ideological what i view as ideological extremism. when we've got, when the most important thing's the economy and moving things forward and debating what's too far what's not far enough.
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all reasonable things to debate. and there are important differences and ways to figure that out. but instead of doing a highway bill instead of doing ex-im bank instead of doing immigration reform, instead of dealing with other things that will actually grow the economy we get bogged down in what i view as, you know, ideological political ballots that somebody's -- battles that somebody's doing for somebody, and it's wasting a lot of time. >> other questions? >> yeah. >> right there. >> senator, steve -- [inaudible] with graphic packaging. >> good to see you again b. >> good to see you. thanks for being here. >> absolutely. >> could you talk for a moment about your perspective on opportunities for congress to help inspire growth in the manufacturing and agricultural space, an area you've spent a lot of time on? >> right. great to see you and great to work with your company on so many different issues and would welcome your thoughts. i mean, certainly, you know,
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certainly exports are a part of that. i also think having tax policy that rewards innovation and manufacturing here is very important, and we know we're dealing with a lot of different things, you know? international tax reform the whole question of innovation boxes or pat sent boxes and -- patent boxes and how we do that i think we're going to have to do something. but taxes are a piece of that. i think investing in infrastructure be, i think -- infrastructure, i think also jobs and qualified work force. i hear from manufacturers all the time people in michigan that are creating jobs, and, you know, i was with one company recently, and we do the ribbon cutting, and he comes running up and goes i need electricians. [laughter] and somebody else says to me i need welders. and which by the way is a public -- at minimum public/private function here. and so i think there's a range of things and certainly continue
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to listen and want to know. but i hear job training and access to qualified workers as a huge thing. infrastructure, the right kind of tax policy. in some areas it's immigration reform. in agriculture we're leaving crops on the ground right now because of immigration policy that doesn't work. so i think there's a range of things, but they start and finish with realizing that we have a stake in making in the best place to be to make things and grow things. and i believe that's our job, to do that, and to compete globally we need to do that. >> so, senator stabenow, i think we need to be true to our word and let you get out of here and cast votes and break the gridlock, so we'll do that. thank you so much for coming. it was a fascinating conversation. >> my pleasure. thank you. >> and maybe next year we'll meet again and discuss how you've solved all those problems. [laughter]
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>> i would love it! [laughter] [applause] >> the senate returns today at 3 p.m. eastern time, and around 5:30 they'll vote on two nominations including peter neffenger to head the transportation security administration. they'll also continue work on trade promotion authority, also known as fast track authority which was passed last week by the house. that measure faces a key procedural vote on tuesday. watch live senate coverage on c-span2. and the house is back on tuesday for legislative business bills related to homeland security and medicare spending. the rest of the week they'll take up carbon pollution standards, epa and interior department funding. and depending on action in the senate further consideration of trade legislation. live house coverage is on c-span. ..
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it's a big honor to be with you here today. i think we all come here today with heavy hearts for those individuals in charleston, the charleston christians who were gunned down in an absolutely heinous hate crime inside of their place of worship. you know, that deranged
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individual to just take the lives of black americans. he gunned down nine children of god. there is something more basic to our humanity than the color of our skin, our ethnic heritage, our nationality. it's that we are all made in the image of a loving god. and we cannot let hatred and violence break the ties that bind us together. we need to proclaim loudly every day that we are one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [applause] may the peace that surpasses all understanding to the hearts and minds of the people of
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charleston. and may justice be served in memory of our brothers and sisters in christ so senselessly killed. s. and shared with you my journey on this globe start in 1950 in a rather different place at a very different time. home was a place called paint creek. you have in one direction -- you head in one direction for about an hour and you were in abilene, texas. you head in the other direction and soon you were approaching the end of the earth. [laughter] i grew up on a cotton farm. four years we had an outhouse. mom pay stubs in a number to washed up on the back porch.
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we never felt poor though. we were rich. we were rich in spirit. faith was the fabric of our community. sacrifice was expected of every neighbor when families faced hardship. hard work was the code that we lived by. i took those lessons with me when i left that area. my faith, my freedom, i went off to texas a&m in united states air force but it wasn't until i flew those c-130 aircraft around the globe to places like south america, europe saudi arabia turkey, that i learned just how special it is to call yourself an american. now, i know that america has experienced great change but what it means to be an american
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has never changed. [applause] we are the only nation in the world founded on the power of an idea that is all of us all of us are created equal that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. among those life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. our rights come from god not from government. [applause] and in america the people are not the subject of government but government always must be the subject to the people. [applause] it's always been the case that there has been a social compact between one generation of americans and the next to pass
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along an inheritance of a stronger country that is full of promise and possibility. that social compact has been protected by great sacrifice and its have been more clear to me and went to a father to the american cemetery that overlooks the bluffs above omaha beach. on that peaceful windswept setting, there lie 9000 graves including 45 pairs of brothers 33 of whom are buried side-by-side. a father and a son two sons of the president. they alternated their future for hours in a final act of sacrifice. and that american cemetery it is no accident that those headstones face west.
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west over the atlantic, west towards the nation a defendant, the nation he loved, the nation they would never return home to. and it struck me. standing in the midst of those heroes, that they look upon us inside and judgment and that we need to ask ourselves, are we worthy of their sacrifice? the truth is that we are at the end of an era of failed leadership. we have been led by a divider with slice and dice of the electorate pitting american against american for political purposes. six years into this so-called recovery, and our economy is barely growing. this winter, as a matter of fact it actually got smaller. our economic slowdown is not
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inevitable. it is the direct result of bad economic policy. [applause] him and the presidents attacks and regular policies have slammed the door shut. it shut the door of opportunity for the average american trying to climb the economic ladder. resigning and middle-class a stagnant wages to personal debt defer to dreams. and weakness at home has led to weakness abroad. the world has descended into chaos. chaos of this president's own making while his white house while they constructive alternative universe where isis is contained. ramadi was just a setback. what the nature of the enemy can't be acknowledged for fear of causing offense.
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where the world's largest state sponsor of their resume, the islamic republic of iran, can be trusted to live up to a nuclear agreement. that's the world he lives in. and i might add no decision has done more harm than the presidents withdrawal of american troops from iraq. we had won the war, but this president failed to secure the peace. [applause] but, my friends we are a resilient country. you think about this. we have been through a civil war. we have been through two world wars. we made it to the great depression. we even made it through jimmy carter. we will make it through the obama years. [applause] the fundamental nature of this
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country is that our people never stay knocked down. we get back up with dust ourselves off and we move forward. and we will again. eight years ago americans were promised hope and change. but now one in five children in this country live in families on food steps. one in seven americans live in poverty. one in 10 workers are unemployed, underemployed or just given up any hope of even finding a job. these americans live on the outskirts of opportunity. they are the casualties of the obama experiment, big government that creates a few jobs, little help and a scarcity of opportunity. it's time to build an america where everyone is included come everyone. where there are no forgotten americans. where everyone has a stake in
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our country. where everyone has helped him and i'm talking real hope for a better future. it's time to change the culture in washington that benefits only insiders come and instead brings this nation of revival, revival opportunity for everyone. i mean, let me share with you a story from scripture. we have a lord and savior, came to save the lost. one of those great stories in scripture was he told at the spa tax collector, you come and follow me. he saved an adulterous woman from being stoned. and then there's the woman at the well with a little child. jews at the time would usually walk around samaria. jesus didn't do that. you see, he met a woman who was
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an outcast. she was an outcast even among american women -- samaritan women. she went to draw water from the well in the hottest part of a comanche do that because she had been shunned. she did not just so she wouldn't have to talk to anybody. and to her astonishment, when she got to jacob's well she encountered this a jewish man jesus. and instead of ignoring her he asked her for a drink of water. jesus knew of her history. he knew she had five previous husbands. he knew she was an outcast in her own land, but with one simple request, that should provide him with a drink of water, he showed his fragile
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woman that she was a value to him. and that she had something to offer. my friends, every human being is of infinite wisdom of his of infinite value. every american has something to offer. now, unlike jesus none of us running for president can offer living water, but we can offer leadership that includes the hopes and dreams of every american. we can offer hope to the millions of americans living on the outskirts of opportunity. people left behind as government grows while opportunity shrinks. to those forgotten americans, drowning in personal debt, working harder for wages that don't keep up with the rising cost of living, i can do today to say your voice is heard.
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i know you face rising health care costs are rising childcare costs, skyrocketing tuition costs, mounting student loan debt. i hear you, and i'm going to do something about it. the families mired in poverty without hope of finding a good job, i hear you your you are not forgotten. i want to be your champion for small businesses on main street who are struggling to get by smothered by regulation, targeted by dodd-frank. i hear you. you are not forgotten. i am running to be your president, all of you for the unborn whose potential is god-given, whose conception is a
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demonstration of god's infinite grace. those lies a matter and we will do everything we can to protect them -- lives matter. a lot of candidates say, they say the right thing about protecting life but no candidate has done more to protect unborn lives. i have passed a parental notification law. i passed a parental consent law. i signed a sonogram law some others facing an agonizing choice could witness that bleeding heart within them -- beating heart. [applause] i signed at law outlawing abortion at 20 weeks. [applause] after eight years of a president whose record always exceeded his record, it's time we collected president whose record speaks louder than his words.
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[applause] it's going to be a show me don't tell me election. and on the issue of life no one has showed more unwavering conviction concerning life or done more to protect unborn children. not every child is born into ideal circumstances, but in god's eyes. there is no such thing as an unwanted child. [applause] so let us always stand for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and let us build an america whose promise is a greater in the days ahead than it has been in our past. thank you and god bless you, and thank you for being with us here today. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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>> next supreme court oral arguments in a case on confederate flag license place in texas and the freedom of speech followed by a conversation on the supreme court. later we'll take you live to talkto atalk on gay rights at the national press club. >> today democratic senator chris murphy will share his views on foreign policy and american involvement in military conflicts around the globe and combating icy. is also expected to touch on human rights and climate change. we will have his remarks live from the wilson center at noon eastern on c-span3. also sara kate ellis at the gay and lesbian alliance against defamation, or glaad will be speak at the national press club it will take you there live at noon eastern on c-span2. >> the supreme court ruled
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thursday that taxes and refused to issue license plates with the confederate battle flag on it and rejecting the sons of confederate veterans free speech are kind of. the court said the license plate our government speech. texas, like many states issues special license plates for a fee. the sons of confederate veterans applied for license teaching the confederate battle flag and was rejected. the state motor vehicle board found the flag offensive to a significant portion of the public. the sons of confederate veterans sued citing first amendment free speech right. justice breyer in his opinion for the court wrote just as texas cannot require the sons of confederate veterans to convey the states ideological message, the sons of confederate veterans cannot force texas to include a confederate battle flag on its specialty plates. justice breyer's opinion was joined by justices thomas ginsburg, sotomayor and kagan. here are the oral arguments for march. it is one hour.
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>> we will argument first this point in case no. 14-144 john walker v. the texas division of the sons of confederate veterans. mr. keller. >> thank you, thank you and may place the corporate messages on texas license plates our government speech. the state of texas a just its name on each license plate in texas law gives the state the sole control and final approval authority over everything that appears on a license plate. texas out of virginia nutrition free speech rights. motors remain free to all sorts of ways including on the cars with bumper sticker right next to a license plate or a car sized paint job or a window decal. but the first amendment does that mean a motors can compel any government to place its imprimatur on the confederate battle flag on his license plate plate. >> one of the problems with this
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game is it's a nebulous standard. were to be regarded as offensive to many people? i mean is it government speech to say mighty fine burgers to advertise a product speak was yes, justice ginsburg. the government is allowed to choose the messages it wishes to. it's simply because it has approved a row to messages or has endorsed messages or is accepting and generate revenue. to propagate those messages doesn't defeat the fact that it is government speech. and the library of congress take sponsorship from the "washington post" or wells fargo by the national book festival, that's still a government speech when they put on their website. >> sub rosa texas erected 500 electronic billboard around the state and almost billboard they posted some government messages, wear your seatbelt when you're driving, for example. button at the bottom people could put a message of their choice. with heavy government speech? >> i think abortion that the
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government had final approval authority and sole control over that would be government speech because the government does have sole control of final approval authority over another portion, i think that could be speeded know the government has the same kind of approval authority that it has. it will allow people to say in offensive things, but if they say something that's offensive then they will allow the. that would be government speech because it would be under the best reading of both summum and johanns together is present. spin i'm sorry, i don't understand. almost anything the government does it is vital authority to veto. whether it's a school or a government website it always retains the authority to say no. the issue is when can it say no constitutionally. so i don't think it's merely that. and then summum the government
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actually created the words that were being advertised. so isn't that substantially different? because the government is not creating these words. >> a few months on -- a few points on summum from the court indicated that -- >> that's the monument case the i'm talking about johanns. >> graduate. in summum though the fraternal order of eagles put its name on the monument and donated to the portrait and johanns yes the government did create a program to espouse the message become it's what's for dinner. but even as the court recognized the secretary of agriculture didn't write ad copy. it's not as if the government had control i'm sorry, the government had control, it was just not at every step of the way same this is not the message must be but at the end of the day in the final approval authority but to return to justice only is hypothetical and what the test should be, a task
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include other elements. and even if summum and johanns could be read as just a two-part test them for also decreases this is government speech. texas has its name on every license plate. there's a formal process to notice income and the board takes up a vote before approving any specially licensed -- >> the wall as to hold that because his government speech, the government can engage in viewpoint discrimination? >> that's right. the court has recognized that in summum and and johanns. >> suppose somebody submitted a license plate detects that said vote republican, and texas said, yes, that's fine. and then the next person submit a license plate to texas and is said vote democratic, and texas said no when i going to approve that one. what about the? >> i don't think our position would miss you a lot about think -- >> why wouldn't it speak with
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the establishment clause, equal protection clause, due process clause -- >> this is not an establishment clause issue. i'm curious as to what constitutional constraints you think there are and how they would play out as to the kind of hypothetical i just gave you. >> absolutely, justice kagan. i think partisan speech candidate speech there could be other constitutional bars such as the equal protection clause. the oregon supreme court -- >> i think i'm have to say this whatever prevent texas itself in all of its other activities, nevermind license plates from same vote republican, right the? >> absolutely. >> what the south texas from saying in all of its election literature that it passes out vote republican? i think something prevents that. and whatever prevent that would prevent it on the license plates too. no?
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>> that's correct which is why that issue is one of government speech in general but the court has recognized unanimously that the government can speak so the government can speak even if it's going to take a certain viewpoints. >> what case they want me to read to show that the government can engage in viewpoint discrimination when it's its own? >> it's the monument cases speak was yes. summum would be the best example. >> business case with the state, the government has aided in creating a new kind of public forum for people go to parks anymore. if the government bought 17 soapboxes to put around the park, that's government property that the government can't read what kind of speech goes on there. why isn't this a new public forum in a new era? >> i don't think it's a public forum for private speech perverse reasons. the court has never it is a
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public forum for private speech when the government places its name on a message come with a completely controls the message come when you it is receiving notice and comment from the public -- >> no, but that's absurd to the poll question is whether you can control the message. you're assuming the answer to the question. >> i think the court has looked at governmental intent to determine whether there's a public forum for private speech. and for all of the reasons that we're pointing out that this is government speech, it is the flipside of what a public forum hasn't been created. >> i'm not quite sure what its government speech since there's no clear, identifiable policy, at least it's archbold there's none that the state is articulated. they are only doing this to get the money. >> mr. chief justice a singular programmatic message i don't think be part of any administered the test for government because government must be get all sorts of ways. the court in summum indicated
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that the 52 structures in new york's central park for all government speech. it's a wide array of messages such as alice in wonderland. >> you could have conflicting messages. what is the government policy between allowing university of texas place and university of oklahoma placed? >> the state of texas can absolutely promote the educational diversity of its citizenry. >> what its policy between permitting mighty fine burger plates and pretty good burgers plates? [laughter] >> mr. chief justice in austin, texas, television, the state of texas is the one he took up about that message. but even if mighty fine burgers were a texas publisher texas is allowed to endorse the speech. >> so it is endorsing speech? >> it isn't the government speech. nlg with the endorsement of such professional athletes are professional athlete places a local or a product or otherwise on something other than athlete is wounded but still the speech
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of -- >> by the athlete doesn't advertise nike on his jersey and adidas on his shoes. you can see one message. that athlete is endorsing this brand. texas will put its name on anything and the idea that this is their speech, again the only thing that unifies it is they get money from it. >> mr. chief justice, i don't think -- >> i bet he would've a good. >> the state of texas does not put its name on everything. it follows a formal process with a public vote. >> you told me so. he began to music its name is etched on the license plate spirit that is the state's message. >> how many are there? >> as of the beginning of this month there were 438 specialty plates, 269 of which were able for general public use. >> how many have you disapproved other than this one? >> we addressed that argument in our reply brief. texas agencies have denied about a dozen plate.
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some of the information is in the record, some of it is not. >> what other ones have you disapproved the? >> the board's predecessor denied a pro-life plate. the port itself tonight a texas dps troopers foundation but in the board's predecessor also denied about a dozen other plate. also -- >> all on the ground of offense speak with the information is not clear as to what the grounds for those denials were. the legislature itself has also revealed multiple specialty plates that it also had created. this show's -- >> kind of ask if you could edit text and you just stare at license plates, are most of them just the standard license plate and then these 400 license plates you see very rarely, or do most people actually have one of these specialty plates? >> there's a wide range, i think most plates are still the standard plate. >> but that's a substantial percentage that are not? it's not by any means unusual is
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a specialty plates? >> it would not be unusual to see especially put in the state of texas. by the state of texas can keep control of what appears on license plates. it's still the state's message. >> what is the limits of this argument? that's what concerns me. your answer to my billboard question was disturbing, but for those people still did go to parks, and the state had an official state so boxed at the park, and every once in a while a state official would mount the soapbox and, say did some official state announcement. but other times people who paid the fee would be allowed to go up there and say something that they wanted provided that it was approved in advance by the stupid would that the official state speech? >> i think they are we are starting to cross over into situation what this court in summum called a subterfuge.
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but if you're a bridging traditional free speech rights, if you're limiting access to traditional public forum it would be an instance where government speeches got instance where government speech is cried as they can't afford it raised -- >> why hasn't this become traditional? why hasn't this become traditional now that you've allowed it what you opened a new form. >> i don't think it's become traditional because texas of texas as well as maintain control over its plates, and it has always exercised editorial control. unlike the park which has been held since time immemorial for the benefit of the public has become license plates are -- >> you want is to say the public forum are not involve overtime according to -- people to go to parks in order to drive. >> traditional public forum can evolve over time, but the indicia of a traditional public forum so that's the one that is open to attacks is not open license plate. if other states wanted --
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>> in a world in which you've approved 400 license plates and a pretty common in the state and you only disapproved every select few, it does seem as though you've basically relinquished your control over this and make it a people's license would for whatever private speech people want to say. >> justice kagan, i think would be odd to say that it's private speech when the board is taking a public vote and receiving notice and comment, a governmental function of when the government wants to act and then it is placing its name on the license plate. when the government is placing its name on the license plate it is accepting and signify that this is the government's message. >> doesn't have notice and comment for everyone of the 430 odd that it's approved every time there's a request, isn't it a notice and comment procedures? >> if it's a legislative grid
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plate the legislature would do it and then there wouldn't be an agency note and comment preceding. under existing law noticing, would be required for every specialty plate approved by the agency from which is all specialty plates that are not approved by the legislature. i think a good analog to this case would be the u.s. postal service is postage stamp program. the u.s. is placing its name directly on the medium. thousands of stamps have been issued in the past and yet there's also private input that is allowed onto what this post is dems are going to look like the just as responsive as they get all sorts of ways on a bumper sticker right next to the license plate or in the envelope in which a stamp would appear that doesn't mean that someone is allowed respond to speech what appears on a stamp on whatever appears on a license plate. >> this text also specialty plates in far as the letters or numbers of the plates are concerned what i mean, can you get a license plate that says
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hot stuff or something like that? >> justice scalia, we do have personalized plates in texas. >> and the censored? can use a dirty word on those? >> the speech if there is controlled completely by the state of texas. texas go and this is not in the record -- >> even though the individual selects hot stuff on whatever of the message he wants to put. i guess it is is not allowed, we can't allow that either. bright? i mean dirty words people are entitled to use dirty words. >> the court holding in this case would directly affect personalized plates. plates. >> i'm not sure your analogy to the postal service really works because none of us can imagine the postal service having commercial advertisements on its stance. a license plate is the re/max realty. you cannot see that for a postal stamp. >> trend in mr. pitroda just postal service has not chosen to engage in that type of expression number but it don't
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think that defeats the fact that this is the government speech there for all of the -- even the dissent and joins the wanted looking for government disclosure. we have that. we have x. name etched onto the license plate. also untenable consequences could call from an opinion recognizing that texas has to offer responsive speech. texas should not have to allow speech about al-qaeda or the nazi party so because it offers a license plate propagating the message fight terrorism. >> there is an easy entity that which is they don't have to get in the business hosted on a license plate to begin with. if we don't want to have the al-qaeda license but don't get into the business of allowing people to buy space to put on whatever to decide. >> mr. chief justice, i believe that would be an answer to all the government speech cases. in summum the court didn't say they didn't want to accept the summum monumental just don't
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allow monuments. that's because government, is allowed to select the messages it wants to propagate and it's allowed to speak a medium that it uses. >> it might be because they've been since the time of the periods or whatever. they haven't had license plate messages since time immemorial so maybe that's why they shouldn't be considered just like the monument. >> mr. chief justice, out of me to suggest they are just like that monuments but they're still a fixed medium and a tangible messages being displayed to a captive audience as the court recognized in lehman. in those situations the government is entitled to select the messages that it wishes to propagate and that are going to be closely identified -- >> personally i would rather have the license plates than the pyramids. i don't know that we want to drive texas to having pyramids. >> also want to retain our license plates. and the shows i think what this case is about. the respondents want texas to
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place its stamp of approval on the confederate battle flag from license plates and texas doesn't have to make that judgment. >> i don't want to beat a dead horse, but what's the best distinction you can get between what you do with license plates and billboards, a soapbox an official state website where people can put up a message that they want subject to state approval? if we were to write an opinion that tried to draw a distinction between the license plates on one side and those other things on the other side come what would we save? say? >> i think the very first thing is texas has its name on the i'm not sure the billboard -- >> texas have its name on all the other things, to. >> we have exercise selectivity and control. also, we market this program to the public saying specifically that no one is entitled to whatever design they want. rather, the board of the legislation has to approve it.
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so this is not a situation where out in the world if you're just a soapbox in the park, that you would wonder is it is the government speaking? is this not the government speaking? this is a case where texas wants to maintain and has maintained control of what it says on license plates. everyone remains free to speak at all sorts of ways. speeches, reflecting, tv advertisements. they are on billboards. >> i don't think you've answered justice to be the question in every park you need generally a permit to do certain kinds of speech. so the government controls that permit process, and it tells you that it can say no. so why is it that different in the situations -- a campaigner the control is what i'm saying. the ability to veto because i would then give you the ability to veto. you could create a program in every public forum they said the
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controls in the same way. >> i think we need to be clear about what approval means. if approval means access to a forum and is not the government controlling every single word of the message, then i don't think you have government speech. you have to permit -- >> have we held that you can deny access to the park or to a forum on the basis of the content of the speech? >> justice the speech? >> justice scalia, content-based regulations of -- >> absolutely wrong. you were denied access on the basis of content right? it's a different situation entirely. >> that is correct. we are denying access. >> one of the concerns that raises come at this goes back to what justice kennedy said is that outside their traditional areas of streets and parks this is a new world. there are all kinds of new expressive forms being created
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everyday, and as those come into play as long as the state says hey, look, we're going to regulate everything for offense, we're going to keep anything offensive out of this expressive form. it does create the possibility in disney world with all these new kinds of expressive for a, the state will have a much greater control over its citizens the speech and we typically have been comfortable with spin that's right now and i think for all of those reasons and no ruling in this case would possibly be a beneficial way to go, but that -- >> do you know of any other expressive fora that are owned by the state that are manufactured by the state devastates name on it as license plates do? if there are a lot of for like beckham boy, i wouldn't really worry. but i don't know of any others. you know of any others? >> no. spin what can you tell me then,
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i don't think these categories are absolute. i think they are help but they're not absolute. i would ask the question first this is a government speech and common english. it is the speech of the person who wants to put a message on the plate. the plates owned by the state. estates as we don't want certain messages to be displayed. and my question is why? why not? what is the interest that the state is furthering in keeping certain messages off the plate? >> justice breyer, the state interest in selecting the message is that it wants to put its namespace i am sorry. then you have the republican example, democrats. not every interest is a justifiable interest. song or not. some are. that's why i asked my question. it keeps them off and they let some on. what is the interest of?
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which are the ones? i'm asking a factual question. why had they kept off the ones they kept off while letting on the ones they left on? >> justice breyer -- >> if they have no interest at all in making such a distinction, and i think sense of speech is hurt a little they the outcome is good but if they have a justifiable interest since you can put the bumper sticker next door i think the win. and, therefore, i'd like to know what their interest is. >> and the state of texas interest is propagating messages that show a diverse backgrounds, educational background, products of texas. >> no, i'm asking the interest of -- >> i assume that texas ask each one of these interest that about to be put on the license plate. they like texas hamburger joints, and they probably would not approve chicago hamburger joint been on the texas license plate.
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they like somebody's messages, others they don't particularly like. isn't that right? >> i'd like to get my answer to him asking you what is the interest in texas and why does he keep off the messages it keeps on? >> in this particular example of -- >> no, not just in this example. the onset of things they kept off. why? >> justice breyer -- >> now, don't try a general. i think that justice is asking you for a specific. why would you -- >> justice breyer, i'll use the example of the texas dps troopers foundation items also deny. texas didn't want that because there was concern that if the motors were pulled over that didn't the police officer would see that -- >> so go through this. look, i can think of many reasons i could make a. maybe they want to keep controversial political messages off. i did have an interest in that
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incidenceincidents in the people of texas doesn't sponsor. i just want to know what they really are. and now you said one. what was the one you just had? >> that texas dps troopers foundation plate. >> i'm interested in justice breyer's question. you are on the likes of what approval for. what standard do you follow? when do you grant a request in winter you deny it a? what is the rule? i think that's what justice breyer is asking. >> yes. and texas regular to provide that the board can deny a license but for some members of the public find offensive, but it says the board can deny plates for any reason established by a rule which is -- >> then i think they lose. the reason i think he loses because i don't see the state could come in and say we give off a private message and we will take the recent later. we can do for any reason we won. they are you are hurting speech and i interest in saying we can keep that offer increased you
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want. that would be the republican/democrat. what is -- same question i think i've got some kind of legitimate reason for keeping off it doesn't have to be much. it could be just a little. >> texas can have legitimate reasons for not allowing -- >> then why don't you tell us what they are? >> that would require something like a formal process. >> i just want to know what they are. >> texas that i had to associate itself with messages that it does want to and find offensive. because texas has given that explanation, we know that. meantime government officials the antidote to close the motors and is perfectly -- >> texas did and now we get full circle back to my first question. texas didn't just say no. it sent this message would be offensive to many people. so if a message would be offensive to many people, that's a standard that they're applying. and asked isn't that too broad a
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discretion to? >> no, justice ginsburg. the fact that we have that much discretion confirmed that this is government speech. mr. chief justice, me i reserve the remainder of my time. >> thank you, counsel. mr. george. >> mr. chief justice, and may it please the court. we are here representing the sons of confederate veterans because they wanted to have a license plate to raise money, in fact, for the state of texas to keep up monuments, which was the purpose of their whole process in this case. and a state of texas has gone about issuing an open invitation to everybody to submit to them public designs for license
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plates and to create -- and thus, has created a limited public forum for these license plates. >> and texas itself formally let's say, by a joint resolution of the legislature endorse the grand army of the republic and not the sons of the confederacy? can texas didn't? >> the legislature can endorse anything it wants. >> so the state can. can the legislature endorse austin hamburger's? >> the legislator as good a confederate heroes day in this particular case. people on my side, this side of -- >> what about yankee heroes? are they honored in texas? >> they created a holiday for people, for jim keet when the slaves were freed. >> what i don't understand is
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you acknowledge that takes into all of these things. so long as it's a texas? >> the only question here is whether this is texas speech on a debate is texas speech all of these things can be said tampa bay parks and all the things on the license plate -- >> texas speech by itself and is not joint speech because -- >> this business and they look very significant issue. if that's all of you are concerned about. so long as texas is it okay but if you put on a license plate what has to i've understand what the theory is. >> the state has created a very successful money racing program in which it solicits people to come in and submit their design for their license plate so they can come they have to submit the
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design. they have to put up the money to make the plate and then the plate doesn't ever get published to anybody until the person, somebody, orders it from the -- >> suppose the message, the applicant said we want this design, and the design is a swastika. is about speech that -- whoever is in charge of the license plate, do they have to accept that these on? >> i don't believe the state can discriminate against people who want to have that design. >> so they could have a swastika as though somebody else says i want to jihad on my license plate that's okay? >> vegan? >> jihad spent jihad on the license the?
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there is a court at this report from ohio in which infidels was held to be -- >> what is your answer in this case as to justice ginsburg hypothetical? yes or no? must the state put those symbols or message on the plate at the request of the citizen? yes or no? >> yes. >> how about make pot legal hundred and? >> yes. >> that's okay. and bong hits four jesus? [laughter] >> yes. >> you're really arguing for the abolition of texas special place, argues because i'm arguing that if the state's biggest i could make a good argument in that direction to what we've been doing. >> we got along with it a long time before we got it in a long -- >> in a way you argument curtails speech? >> not only -- >> you will prevent a lot of
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texans for conveying the message. you have to agree with that. >> i would if the state continues to use the same standard which is it might offend anybody the state can deny the plate. if that's the standard then come and exercise their discretion on the statutory standard that it might offend somebody -- >> budget no alternate standard in order to have a proper or solution that seems wise for justice ginsburg's hypotheticals. you have no standard. >> the answer to having a standard that controls people's speech is not the standard has to be pretty low-hanging fruit. in the christian law students association, college of hastings v. martinez justice alito in
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the dissent for the dissenters in that case said that offensive speech is something speech that we hate is something we should be proud of protecting. >> that's in that context. you say they can't or they cannot have a standard which says we are trying to keep offensive speech off the license plates because as long as -- >> yes or no? >> of course. >> they can do that. >> they can't have that. >> they can or cannot? >> cannot. >> i see what you're saying that if i were to go back to the sort of basic underlying thought is featured? >> yes. >> the answer is yes, it is. private speech is somewhat hurt. a lot of? put up a bumper sticker. you can say a lot. how is it her? you don't get the official imprimatur.
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is the something to be said for texas? yes. what they're trying to do is prevent their official imprimatur from being given to speech that offends people. people don't like it was put up a bumper sticker. now have to interest in opposite directions in many cases. we try to weigh those things if the other things don't tell us the energy. and i would guess, i don't really see the big problem, that people who are putting up speech given that texas considers offensive, in part for reasons that justice places, put up a bumper sticker what's the problem's? >> the culture of creating specialty plates began in texas in 1965. we have been doing this and we have gone bonkers with people buying these things in the state. there are 50,000 people with private plates. >> there's a lot of money in this come isn't it quits it's about $8000 to get one of these places because i think is a little more than that.
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>> more than that. i have a different question, which is i actually do think this is hybrid speech. if both government and the individual speaking at the same time. but i goes back to what justice scalia said. in woolly we said we can compel the individual to put something on their license plate that they disagree with. >> we have in that case. >> so what is the reverse true for the government? if you could ask me to put my name because the law requires it, estates name on a license plate, why can you compel us to do something we don't want to endorse? >> the reason -- >> why shouldn't it work both ways? >> the reason is that this has become, and it's the numbers, it's become a limited public forum for putting up messages. >> how do i know which is the
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governments and which is only the individual's? i wouldn't have known that, that protein event was sponsored by some states and not others, or endorsed by some states do not others. file to another particular license plates the government doesn't endorse? >> you can't tell whether the government wants your speech in advance in this program. you have to cement what you think you want and then -- >> that implies a certain degree of approval. >> well, of course there is approval. just like there's approval for someone to speak in a park. in the columbus, ohio case where -- >> i think that was brought up earlier. you can have time place, and manner regulations speaking in the park. you can't have content-based
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regulation. this is a content basis, content the state doesn't want. >> and a half they have a standard that is a lowest common denominator. if any person could be offended, they can deny it. that is their standard which, in fact, -- >> it wasn't quite that. it says that would be open to the many people. >> no, ma'am. i think the statute says actually any person. >> of course, mr. george. if you had a standard like that in a case in a number case where we were regulating private speech, of course we would find that impermissible. but the question is whether this is a different kind of context. let's go back to i think justice scalia said about the nature of license plates. there's a clear regular purpose is regulatory purpose protecting the license plate continues to be public property if that's right, like to return the license plate.
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it has estates name on it is clear the official identification that the state against with respect to a car. so why doesn't i'll let that make this a very different case from the typical forum cases that we usually address? >> well, the reason is that we do have hybrid speech and they opened up and they created this billboard, as justice alito said they created a billboard opportunity. since they can make everybody have a license plate they said we're going to great a billboard opportunity and let you put messages on it and pay us money for using our billboard. that's what they've done. and they say to some people but if i don't like your message because you're a republican or you're a democrat or you want to say might fine burgers instead of whopper burger, they can do
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that. that sort of arbitrary control of speech based upon a standard that might offend anybody is the you need to get rid of the program or they need to open up the program just to everybody else. and if somebody publishes a speech they don't like, justice o'connor in the columbus, ohio case suggested you just make them put a number under it whom the ku klux klan puts across on the hill in columbus, ohio,. >> i asked the question before if you remember it, really because i wanted an answer. >> i'll try again spent it wasn't a statement. i'm trying to get rid of all the conceptual basis here. just go back, or get the public forum, et cetera, forget all that. is go back to look to see the speech being hurt and the answer is of course yes, but not much because they can put a bumper sticker. you look at the other side and
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you say does the state have a legitimate interest? the state says yes, our interest is that there are messages we like messages we don't care about, and messages we don't like. do we have a system for keeping the last off because it is the government speaking, which represents the citizens, and the citizens, it's their government and they don't want just as in the examples justice scalia gave connecticut with associate with messages that this commission doesn't want. maybe there are limits on that but that's the basic idea. now, way those two things. i think he would say little harm to speech. we see the other broad et cetera what is your response to? >> the response is the forum has been created. >> it's the conceptual part and i can't tell whether a forum license plate is a forum or not reform or if it's a three-part test, i can't get that. untrendy go back to the basics. >> one of the ideas that you
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articulated, and others on this court can't is that what would the reasonable observer believe this was. for example, would they believe that the speech is estates of speech or would they believe it's the person who bought the plate, because nothing gets communicated -- >> how about both? how about both an answer to that? it is a state license plate. it has taxes on it in big letters, and texas as yes we have to approve it. yes, we improve our lot, but are some we don't approve because it's our speech. and maybe a car owner's speech as well but it is our speech. >> both, the state has dozens of potential designs for plates that don't carry anybody else's
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message, and they have 480 designs for organizational messages and 50,000 personalized messages. and the issue in this case is the person who puts the license plate on their car is the one that communicates the message. the other people are just giving approval. ..


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