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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  April 7, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. a senator: may i request, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. wicker: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wicker: mr. president and my fellow colleagues, i once again come to the floor to talk about alzheimer's and the efforts being made in this country and in this senate and in this city to find a cure and to find better treatments for the scourge of alzheimer's. as many of you know, this is the most expensive disease our country has ever seen. half a trillion dollars a year
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in costs to programs that we need to protect, like medicare and medicaid. this will rise to a trillion dollars per year in the lifetime of many people within the sound of my voice unless something is done. i am so appreciative of the some 1,200 people who descended on washington this week advocating on behalf of the millions of americans living with alzheimer's and their family members. i was honored to be invited to their conference and to speak to over a thousand people in -- in the hotel where they were meeting earlier this week. they then came to capitol hill to visit in the offices of senators and members of the house of representatives, and i had a great meeting on wednesday in my office. we want to reaffirm our
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dedication to putting an end to this terrible disease. my mom died with dementia. most of us have family members who have had alzheimer's or who have been impacted by alzheimer's. i appreciate the support of my colleagues in this congress for n.i.h. funding, very, very important to continue funding and to continue increasing the funding for the excellent work done by the national institutes of health. to fight alzheimer's disease and to fund alzheimer's research. i appreciate my colleagues voting fo for a $350 million increase in research for alzheimer's disease. but, of course, mr. president, this falls far short of the funding that experts say is needed to reach our goal of curing alzheimer's within the
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next decade. along those lines, i have introduced legislation that i think gives us a different way to approach the disease of alzheimer's. my bill is called the eureka act. it involves a prize competition in addition to everything we are doing in research and everything that n.i.h. is doing and all the research being done around the country. it's a prize competition inviting innovators, inviting people to think outside the box, come forward and -- and give us their ideas. eureka stands for ensuring useful research expenditures is key for alzheimer's. of course the greek translation for you'r eureka is "i've found" and that's what we're trying to do, we're trying to find a cure for alzheimer's. we're trying to find milestones that lead to a cure. we're trying to find treatments to help those suffering from the disease.
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and so the goal of my eureka act is to find the best and brightest minds in the country, the best and brightest minds in the world to come forward and use their ingenuity to solve this complex problem. as i have reiterated in visits with member after member and as i've reiterated on the floor, with a prize competition, we pay only for success, regardless of the amount of money we put on the prize, you don't pay the money until you have success, which is one of the reasons that this eureka provision wouldn't come out of n.i.h. funding. it would add to it and we would only pay the money if we got the result, which, of course, would be far, far more valuable than the prize. the numbers associated with alzheimer's are daunting, even worse, chilling. the disease affects 5 million
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americans. the number of people with alzheimer's is on the rise, as we all know.it'. it's the sixth leading cause of death in america. and again, it's the most expensive disease in america. $236 billion this year and a trillion dollars per year by the year 2050. of course there's a huge burden for -- for the caregivers also. there's good news, to be sure. it was announced last week that there's been an analysis by us against alzheimer's and it showed that some 17 drugs for alzheimer's could be launched in the next five years. in mississippi, the university of mississippi medical center in jackson has developed a service called telemind as part of its mind center. telehealth technology is being used to attack alzheimer's and
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to treat alzheimer's patients and make life better for them and their families. but let's try the concept of eureka also. let's try the concept of offering a prize to young minds, perhaps people from around the world might come to the united states. this might be someone in a basement or in his mom's garage. it might be some major international corporation. we don't care. we want to offer an incentive for somebody to come around, think outside the box and get us to a cure quicker. prizes have a history of success. in 1927, charles lindbergh achieved a nonstop flight between new york and paris. he won a prize of $25,000 in so doing. in 2004, the x-prize, sponsored by the x-prize foundation, offered $10 million for the first reusable manned
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spacecraft. you know what happened? it drew down a hundred million dollars in investments, this $10 million prize. in 2011, a million dollars was awarded for a breakthrough in oil spill cleanup. so prizes work. it can work in addition to the research that n.i.h. is doing around the country. and so let me just say i have -- i now have in addition to myself as principal sponsor of this act, we now have 39 cosponsors among this 100-person senate, so we are day by day, step by step getting toward a majority. it is my hope that the leadership of the help committee that's now working on the 21st century cures act that came over from the house with an overwhelming bipartisan vote, i hope we can in a bipartisan fashion, with the leadership of senator alexander, with the leadership of senator murray,
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his lead democrat on the committee, i hope we can make a decision to add the eureka bill to the 21st century cures act, have this extra opportunity in addition to everything we're doing to cure alzheimer's. and so i would urge my colleagues, i would urge the staff members that might be listening to this to check and see if their members have cosponsored this and to help us with an additional tool to attack the problem of eureka. thank you very much, mr. president. i thank my colleague from michigan for deferring for a moment or two while i made these remarks. i yield the floor. mr. peters: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, it's really hard
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for me to believe that i'm once again standing here on this floor and i have to come before my colleagues here in the senate to report that despite the fact that we have been building bipartisan support for legislation that will address the catastrophic situation in flint, we still have one senator standing in the way of this coming to a vote here. it has been now nearly two months since senator stabenow and i introduced legislation to deal with the catastrophic crisis in the city of flint, and since that time we have been able to build a broad coalition of folks on both sides of the aisle, republican cosponsors who have joined with us to say that it is time for this body, it's time for the senate to stand up and help those in need in the city of flint as well as issues
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all across this country. senator stabenow and i authored legislation along with senator inhofe and a long list of democrats and republicans, including senator burr and capito and kirk and portman and have been working very closely with senator murkowski as the chair of the committee as well. and yet we have one senator -- one senator -- who says that that's not enough. he wants to have more and that he is standing in the way of the people of flint getting help that they desperately need, he's standing in the way of children like this young infant that appeared on the cover of "time" magazine. to me those eyes are very compelling and i think those eyes are very compelling to every american who has witnessed what has happened in that city, who has witnessed the horror and
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the tragedy of having poisoned water going into people's bodies for many months while a state government dropped the ball. and those folks, i will say, around the country have responded. there has been an outpouring of help from people in every corner of this great country of ours. people have sent bottled water, they've sent filters, they're providing resources. it is what this country does. it's what our people do when we see people in crisis is we stand up and lend that helping hand. we know that any one of us at any time could be in that situation. and the wonderful thing about being an american is that as americans, we look out for each other. we know that we are a community, a very special place in this world and we look out for each other. and that is why people back home in michigan and as i travel around the country, people are at a loss to wonder why the
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united states congress hasn't done something, hasn't done something to address this issue. and when i tell them we have legislation that will help deal with infrastructure, that will help deal with infrastructure not just in flint but in communities all across the country, that will plus up public health programs to deal with lead poisoning at a time when we realize that lead poisoning is not just an issue for flint but is an issue for communities all across this country and one that we need to focus on and have probably ignored for far too long. they wonder why we have not acted. and when i tell them we have one senator, just one senator standing in the way, it only adds to their belief that this is a dysfunctional place, that partisanship and -- and polarization has prevented this body from doing what's right. well, we can't forget the people
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of flint and i know many of my colleagues here on the senate floor have not. it's why we have been able to get broad support from both democrats and republicans that have come together and said to both my senior senator, senator stabenow, and i, we understand it's a problem in flint but we also understand it's a problem in other communities around the country. let's design legislation to deal with that. and that's what we have before us. we have legislation that will provide money for those cities who may have -- who may be in a declared emergency, which is where we are with the city of flint, but we also know there may be other communities in this country. in accoun fact, we think there e a community very soon that will also have a declared water emergency that would be able to access those funds. we also know that aging infrastructure is not unique to the city of flint. it's with cities all across the country and especially older urban areas that have lead service lines but certainly many rural areas that have that as
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well. those pipes need to be taken out. and so in this legislation we create a fund that will allow money to be loaned to those communities, oftentimes communities that don't have a lot of resources but desperately need infrastructure improvement. it's a loan fund that will be paid back to the taxpayers but will extend the money necessary to make improvements that truly will be lifesaving improvements for the citizens in those cities. we also plus up a number of public health programs from the c.d.c. that deals with lead poisoning in children. the insidious thing about lead poisoning is that once it gets into the brain of a young child like this -- this child who is looking at us right now, it has lasting effect. it has lifetime effect. we need to embrace that child, not just with our love but also embrace that child to understand that that child is going to need health care for decades, that child is going to need educational support to be able to pursue his or her version of
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the american dream that he or she may have. they're going to need to have an addition to education and health. they need to also have good nutrition and to make sure that the food that they eat will provide their bodies with the nourishment that can counter some of the impacts of lead. but it's not just the children. it's everybody in the city of flint. it's senior citizens that have also been impacted. you know, i have gone door to door in flint working with volunteers, the american red cross, going door to door, delivering bottled water to the people of flint. i never thought i would have to go with the american red cross to deliver bottled water to a community because the water they were getting out of their pipes was poisoned. not in this country. not in the united states of america. but that's what people are doing. and filters as well are being given door to door. and the people of flint are appreciative. please know that they are extremely appreciative of the
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generosity they have seen from people across this country and from fema response as well, but they're also frustrated. you can't bathe with bottled water. it's cooking and cleaning food, all of the basic things that we take for granted each and every day. it's simply impossible to live just on bottled water and have that bottled water delivered to you every few days. it is not a workable system. it is unacceptable, and it certainly should be unacceptable to everybody in this country. that is why we need to have a long-term solution. and it has to be a long-term solution that will fix the problem permanently by making sure the infrastructure improvements are there, lead pipes are pulled out, but make sure other support services are going to be there for decades. my fear for the people of the city of flint is although they have been the beneficiaries of a great outpouring of love and support for people around the country, they have been able to get that because the spotlight has been on flint, the tv calms
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calms -- cameras are on flint. we all know in today's media world that those cameras will eventually go away. there won't be media attention for flint. there won't be the bright lights of publicity motivating people to do what is needed in the city of flint. and when those lights go down and when it goes dark, the people of the city of flint will still be confronted with this absolutely catastrophic situation that's impacting them at their homes, that's enacting businesses, businesses that have been rocked as a result of this, people who don't want to go to restaurants because they're not sure of the water there, real state values that have -- real estate values that have plummeted. this is a different kind of disaster than you have with a natural disaster if a hurricane goes through or a tornado goes through. you can rebuild and it can be as good as new. our concern with flint is that people will always have this stigma attached to the city as a result of this. and if that stigma is there, it's going to make it even more difficult. now, the people of flint are
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resilient, they are courageous, they are brave, they are strong, they will survive, but we need to be there to lend that helping hand, and that is why it is even more frustrating to me, given the fact that when we have natural disasters across this country, this body, the senate, acts. we send money. we help those local governments, the state governments provide help. now, i know some colleagues have said well, this is a -- this is not a natural disaster. this is a -- a man made disaster. all i can say is ask that child when he or she grows up, does it make a difference if it was a manmade disaster or a natural disaster? ask the senior citizen in flint right now. ask the parent who is concerned about that child. does it make any difference? i don't think any american here thinks it makes a difference. there isn't anybody in this country who thinks it makes a difference. a disaster is a disaster.
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now, it's true the state government messed up horribly in michigan. in fact, the governor's own task force that he appointed to look in it clearly points the fingers at the state of michigan and the incompetence that was shown by the -- the government of the state of michigan. that's given. and they are primarily responsible and need to step up, and they have, but they need to do a whole lot more than what they have done so far. but even though the state has to do that and must do that, that doesn't prevent us, the federal government, from also standing up and saying we can help as well. because that's what we do. it's what the american people expect us to do. and i certainly hope that my colleagues will help senator stabenow and i move this legislation forward. if we can't get around this one senator who wants to constantly move the goal post, wants to change the basis of negotiations, even though this legislation is completely paid
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for, we have used a pay-for that senator stabenow fought for, authored to help manufacturers in the midwest. i fought aggressively to keep that fund when i was a member of the u.s. house. this is something that is important to us, but we know that dealing with a catastrophic situation in flint and water infrastructure across this country so that we don't have any more flints is more important. that money will be used to help the people of flint and communities across the country. and not only does it pay for this, it actually reduces the deficit at the same time. and i think it's important to say usually when a disaster hits this country, we don't look for pay-fors. we step up and provide money to people in need. we have been asked to come up with a pay-for. we did. completely paid for while reducing the federal deficit at the same time, and yet we have got one senator who wants more, wants more. i don't know how that one senator can hold up something
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that has been able to get this kind of bipartisan support and can hold up something that is so important to this child in this picture. how can you stand in the way? if that one senator does not like this legislation, that is fine. they can vote against it. but allow the other 99 senators in this body an opportunity to have their say. that is the way this institution is supposed to work. i still believe in this institution. i still believe the senate can do better than allowing one member to stand in the way of helping this child and other children just like that. it is now our task as members of this body to come together and say enough is enough. we are going to help somebody in this country no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter the circumstances if you have been hit by a major disaster, we will stand with
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you, we will help you. that is who we are as americans. it goes to the very core of our values. it is now up to my colleagues here in the senate, please join senator stabenow and i and our long list of both democratic and republican cosponsors. put this legislation on the floor, let us vote on it, let us pass it and let us help the people of flint and other folks all across the country. i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: mr. president, i don't know what other members of the senate will be doing at 8:0, but i can tell you i will be in front of my television set watching "american idol", and we all take pride in people from our own states, but i want to boldly predict that the winner of "american idol" tonight will
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be a contestant from my state of mississippi, and the reason i am so certain of this is that two mississippians, two talented mississippians are the two finalists remaining in the "american idol" competition tonight. they say that this will be the final season of "american idol." perhaps we are only going to have a time-out for a few years and we'll see this back, but this is the 15th season of mied, and i am so proud to announce to my colleagues in the senate and you, mr. president, that the two finalists are none other than trent harmon of amery and laportia renee of lacombe, mississippi. in mississippi, we proudly call
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ourselves the birthplace of american music, and i think we do that with some justification. from blues to country to rock 'n' roll, our state has produced more grammy award winners per capita than any other state in the nation. elvis presley comes from mississippi. robert johnson. b.b. king. jimmy rogers, charlie pride, faith hill, and the list goes on and on and on. last month, i was honored to participate in the opening of the grammy museum in cleveland, mississippi. there are now two grammy museums in the country. one is in los angeles. the other is in the mississippi delta, in cleveland. and the mississippi delta is a testament to the many musical inspirations that have emerged
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there. in 1986, paul simon sang "the mississippi delta is shining like a national guitar." he sang that line 20 years before the mississippi blues trail marker was placed, but he was correct. we now have some 200 blues trail markers across our state, and i invite each and every member and all the rest of you to come and visit those locations in mississippi. but tonight the entire state of mississippi will be shining like a national guitar with talents like laportia renee and trent harmon. they are keeping our legacy alive. they represent the wide range of mississippi's musical influences. it's wonderfulfully -- wonderfully touching to watch the video of their hometown visits where the people came out to support them, showing off their mississippi talent and the
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dedication of their fans. trent harmon is from avery, mississippi. he grew up on his family's farm working in his parents' restaurant, the longhorn fish and steakhouse. growing up in avery is truly a small town beginning. the town has a population of around 7,500 people. trent's interest in music was apparent from early on, and he spent his time in high school and college performing in musicals. my wife and i have numerous times been to amery high school to see trent harmon perform in programs such as "joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat," "forever plaid," and other performances. he was a story then and he is going to be a star in the future. trent's powerful voice and
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versatility seem effortless. he can do it all from southern soul to r&b. laportia renee comes from macomb, mississippi, down in the southwestern part of our state. she worked for a call center before auditioning for "american idol." she has shared with america the details about her story of survival from an abusive relationship in which she had to seek refuge in a women's shelter. per soulful voice has been compared to aretha franklin and the emotion she pours into every performance is truly show stopping. she credits her former high school algebra teacher, angelia johnson as one of her biggest mentors who encouraged her to embrace her own signature style. laportia dedicated last night's
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moving performance of "diamonds" to her young daughter who was in the audience. so, mr. president, when it comes to talent, i believe "american idol" may have saved the best for last and i very much anticipate a great performance tonight. millions of americans will choose one of these outstanding young mississippians as the latest but perhaps not the last "american idol." trent and laportia have made mississippi proud, they have made me proud, and i wish them all the best tonight and in their future musical careers, i'm quite certain that both of them will be incredibly successful. thank you, mr. president. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk shall call the roll.
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quorum call: quorum call:
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the reason those states are at the top and this is as of 2013 by the way is because for one they are pretty specialized in one industry. it's not the same across all of them but all of those states tend to have a large portion of their atomic come from the single industry. that's one factor. the second one is that industry is also heavily regulated >> talk about louisiana. >> louisiana relies a lot on products manufacturing to produce things in their economy as well as oil and gas extraction, those are tied together. and those also are very heavily regulated industries. >> one thing you see john is states will maximize the resources they have available to them so estate as well, that has gas, that has goal will tend to build industry around those resources if those same industries are heavily regulated, those will be the
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states that also tend to rise out. >> as we are talking about the rules and regulations of the federal government we should note that he went to the code of federal regulations, trying to figure out all these rules and regulations that apply. there's over 1 million individual regulations that prohibit some form of activity. there's a chart from the your report that talks about the pages of the code of federal regulations and how it's grown since 1975 , about 71,000 pages 274 thousand pages. one of the main reasons for that sharp growth over time >> it's pretty constant actually . this slope of that line is the same over time. there's a couple deviations here and there but the reason for it is congress has passed laws over the decades that have installed permanent agencies to those agencies will continue making regulations pretty much until congress the funds them
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which is a rare occasion so you have a constant growth from the addition of more and more agencies, the number of agencies have grown over time and so has the number of regulations they produce. >> in your report here, the states most affected by regulation, is an only the cost side of regulation because there's the argument on the other side that regulations have benefits also whether they are health and safety regulations, fire regulations so how do you quantify cost versus benefit? >> we are not saying that were measuring either of those. we are measuring as you said earlier the prohibitions and obligations that are created in regulation. regulations are designed to
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stop people from doingsomething or to make them do something. we are trying to capture that. where are obligations or prohibitions created? those could lead to benefits, those could lead to cost. we are trying to measure that the first place and where those occur in order to better understand the consequences. >> so the state least impacted by federal regulations, let's run through those. >> new hampshire is the least . our own dc is second if you want to count that in list of states, we included. rhode island, massachusetts, vermont. we generally were talking about states in the northeast that tend to be toward the bottom of the list and some on the west coast so that's one of the interesting things we found. there's not just variation across states but across regions. >> we are talking federal rules and regulations, the impact of those on states. we want to hear your story, your experience with federal rules and regulations. the industry you are involved in, and give us your perspective on the ground from across the country as we talk about these rules and regulations coming out of washington dc. both lines, republicans 207 274-8201. independence, 202748 8002. we will put those numbers up on the screen, leave them there so
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you know where to call in, what number to call in. albert called in online from democrats for louisiana, the state most impacted by federal regulations in 2013. go ahead. >> i like to start in on the regulations because like myself one question is, why is that people with low incomes have been working all their life like myself for 45 years, when i go for assistance on some type of financial system or whatever it is they can't give me $15 a month with mortgages, insurance and whole nine yards based on my income and then after that it's only i have to reapply. i can't understand that part. >> there's definitely a connection between regulation and different income groups as i mentioned earlier. one thing i have noticed and
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it's not a feature of this study but it's other studies that pointed out, regulations do tend to have what we call progressive effects. they disproportionately harm lower income households. the reason for that is regulations by obligating or prohibiting some activity can make it more expensive for producers to make food, to make other products that are basic necessities, electricity for example is heavily regulated so the price of it goes up and that's one of the things low income households spend a larger proportion of their budgets on compared to higher income households so regulations certainly have that differential impact across groups. it is something that could be and should be better considered when regulations are being designed but unfortunately the state of practice for that is not quite perfect. >> the city is available at mercator stock or. karen wants to know is the thing broken down by federal or state relations or just federal regulations you look at correct? >> gorgeous looking at federal
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regulations and how those impact estates based on what industries are in the state. >> and here's a look at the growth of regulatory restriction during presidential terms. ronald reagan , his second term with the lowest amount of new regulatory restrictions. president obama second term, still working his way through his second term, bill clinton's second term ranks fewest in the past 30 years or so. president obama's first term, 80,165
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quorum call:
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mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota.
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mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be called up and reported by number: wyden number 3499, as poddified, collins number 3508, tester number 3505. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report. by number. the clerk: the senator from south dakota, mr. thune, proposes for other senators amendments number 3499 as modified, 350 and 3505. mr. thune: i also ask unanimous consent that the senate now vote on these amendments as well as the heller amendment 3495 and the casey-toomey amendment number 3458 as modified, en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. thune: i know of no further debate on these amendments. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, all in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendments are agreed to en bloc. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes eemp. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i further ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 3:00 p.m. monday, april 11. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leaders' remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to threek phon for up to ten minutes each. finally, following morning business, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 636. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order.
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the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m. on monday. that would keep the agency rolling until july 13 of this
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year. for the end of today's session senator chuck grassley hearing committee chair spoke about the supreme court nomination process and some of his experiences with his present. the senator from iowa? >> we have a unique opportunity for american people that have a voice in the direction of the supreme court. the american people should be afforded the opportunity to weigh in on this very important matter. our side, meaning the republican side leans very strongly that the people deserve to be heard and they should be allowed to decide through their vote for the next president, the type of person that should be on the supreme court. as i stated previously, this is a reasonable approach. it is a fair approach. and it is a historical approach. one anchored by then chairman biden, senator schumer and other senators. and also i might say it was something that was practiced during president johnson's administration, lyndon baines
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johnson and it was also something that happened during the eisenhower administration. now the other side meaning the democratic side has been talking a great deal about the so-called pressure campaign to try to get members to change their position. it is no secret that the white house strategy is to put pressure on this chairman of the jewish area committee and other republicans in the hopes that we can be worn down and ultimately agreed to hold hearings on the nominee. this pressure campaign which is targeted at me and a handful of my colleagues is based on the supposition that i and they will crack and move forward on the consideration of president
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obama's pick. this strategy has failed to recognize that i am no stranger to political pressures and to strong arm tactics. not necessarily for more democrat presidents, probably for more republican presidents. when i make a decision based on sound principle and not about to flip-flop because the left has organized what they call a pressure campaign. as many of my colleagues and especially my constituents kno , i've done battle with administrations of both parties. i fought over irresponsible budgets, waste, fraud and policy disagreements, i've made decisions and i start with those tough decisions guard was of what pressure was applied. the so-called pressure being
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applied to me now is nothing. it's absolutely nothing. compared to what i've withstood from heavy-handed white house political operations in the past. and let me say right away, most of that has come from republican white houses. just to give you a few examples, in 1981 as a new member of the senate and a brand-new member of the senate budget committee i voted against the first president reagan's first budget proposal because we were promised a balanced budget and it didn't balance.i recalled very specifically a budget committee markup april 1981 one president reagan's first budget. now it happened to be i wasn't
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alone on this. i was one of three republicans. to vote against that resolution because it did not put us on a path to a balanced budget. and you can imagine when budget has come out on a partyline vote you can't lose three republicans and three republicans that were collected in 1980 on a promise to balance the budget did not go along with it. and what a loss it was for this new president reagan that his budget might not get adopted by the budget committee. we were under immense pressure to act on the presidents budget regardless of the deficits that it would cost. but we stood on principle and didn't succumb to the pressure which this is an example, right after that vote wasn't voted
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out of the bubble budget committee, i was home on a spring recess like we just had here when all this stuff on the supreme court comes up. i remembered calls from the white house. i remember threats from the gender chamber of commerce while i was home on easter break. and even interrupting my town meetings. four years later, i led the charge to freespending and the reagan defense buildup as a way to get federal budget under control. the year was 1984. teamed up with senator biden, democrat, with senator kassebaum of kansas, a republican to propose a freeze of the defense budget that would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the annual deficit.
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now funny, at the time it was known as kassebaum grassley budget because it fit into what you recognized the soviet kgb if it came out kgb defense freeze but it should have been the g kb freeze but because it was my idea in the first place and i think you can kind of sense then how the logic that it becomes kgb freeze but it doesn't matter, it was the principal that counted. we were going to make sure that across-the-board budgets were responsible. whether defense or anything else. so for months i endured pressure from the reagan administration and from my republican colleagues that argued a freeze on defense spending would constitute unilateral disarmament.
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president reagan had put together a less aggressive deficit reduction plan. we didn't think it went far enough. my bipartisan plan was attacked for being dangerous and causing draconian cuts to the defense budget. i knew it was realistic and a responsible approach. i didn't back down, was forced to vote that year may 2, 1984 in the budget committee. we force a vote on the senate floor and that particularly her we were not successful. this effort required the senate to have a debate about a growing defense budget. we started that debate including the waste and inefficiency in the pentagon and the growing fiscal deficits. despite the week long pressure from conservatives on the reagan administration i did not back down because i knew the
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policy was on my side. in this process i stood up to pressure from president reagan, defense secretary caspar weinberger, secretary barry goldwater, senator john tower, germany of the committee and many others. i remember a meeting at the white house where i reminded the president that he had been talking through the campaign about the welfare queens fraudulently on the budget. it happens that i reminded him that there was a defense queen as well. i started doing oversight in the defense department. it wasn't long before the evidence of waste fraud began appearing. we discovered contractors that don't the defense department $3500 for a claw hammer, $750 for toilet seat, $695 for ashtrays. we found a coffee pot that even
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cost $7600. i have no problem finding democrats to join my efforts, oversight effort back then but it somehow kind of interesting how hard it is to find bipartisan help when doing oversight in the current democratic administration. nevertheless, 12 months later on may 2, 1985 after a year of work to make the case that the defense department needed structural reforms and slower spending drills i was successful. my amendment to freeze the defense budget and allow for increases based on inflation was agreed to when a motion to table failed by a vote 48 to 5 . a majority of the republicans oppose me and a more majority of the democrats were with me. that didn't matter. i knew that we were doing the
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right thing. i went against my own party, my own president to hold the pentagon accountable and i never backed off. i had a similar experience with president george w. bush, 1991. in january 1991, the senate debated a resolution to authorize the use of us armed forces to remove saddam hussein's forces from kuwait. i posted because i felt the economic and diplomatic sanctions i just voted for should have been given more time to work.i was not ready to give up on sanctions in favor of war. in the end i was one of just two republicans along with senator hatfield of oregon. that opposed the resolution. i was under pressure from president bush, vice president quayle, white house chief of staff john sue nuno.
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i was even pressured by governor terry branstad and once again i was governor. i heard from a lot of iowans particularly republicans were disappointed and even angry with my position. some were even considering a public rebuke because of my vote being one of just two republicans, it was difficult to differ with a republican president on such major issues but as i stated at the time, my decision was above any partisanship. it was a decision of conscience rather than republican versus democrat. after a tremendous amount of soul-searching i did what was right regardless of political pressure. the same is true today. with regard to the serving on war agency.
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under george w. bush i faced another dilemma. the president and the republican congressional leadership determined after george w. bush was elected on a policy to get tax cuts done and i agreed with that that they wanted to provide a $1.6 trillion in tax reliefin 2001 . i was i was chairman of the senate finance committee. i had a i had a senate that was divided 50-50 of the time but party numbers were equal also not only in the senate but in the senate finance committee. i had to members on my side were reluctant to use the tax cut because they had concerns about the deficit and the debt. and as we saw two years later their concerns were not totally
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unwarranted but at the time the administration leadership would have nothing to do with anything except what the president wanted, on six cents trillion dollars tax increase but obviously the white house wasn't thinking anything about what republicans might vote against us and when you have a 50-50 senate you can lose a lot of republicans. after a very difficult negotiation i finally rounded up enough votes to support the 1.3 don't trillion dollars in tax leaves so what happened? there was a hailstorm of criticism following. there were republican house members who held press conferences denouncing the fact that i wasn't able to achieve a whole 16 10th trillion dollars. aldo's house members were more professional in their criticism
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then we witness almost every day from the current minority leader of my role as chairman of the judiciary committee but it was still a very contentious and difficult. that included both the budget and the reconciliation process. minority leader read has recently brought up the pressure that i came under in regard to obamacare back in 2009. of course his version is his usual attempt to rewrite actual history. at that time i was a ranking member of the finance committee. i was involved in a very in-depth negotiation to try to come up with a healthcare solution. we started in november 2008. we had negotiations between three republicans and three
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democrats on the finance committee. we met hours and hours, almost time-consuming totally. so we met between november 2008 and mid september 2009 and then they decided that they, the other side decided they are to go political and not worry about publicans. the minority leader in his very unusual inaccurate statement of facts about 10 days ago about three days before the recess, he's trying to say that republicans walked out of those negotiations on obamacare. the fact is, we were given a deadline and told him that deadline that if we didn't agree with the latest draft of the bill then the democrats would have to move on. i would ask anybody in the senate that wants some
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reference on this, talk to senator snow, senator ensley. i was the other republican. talk to senator baucus, talk to senator conrad. and then senator from new mexico. the president called six of us down to the white house early august of 2009. in the first question i got, would you senator grassley be willing to go along with two or three republicans to have a bipartisan bill with obamacare at that point and i said mister president, the answer is no because what do you think we've been working on for nine months? we've been working trying toget a broad bipartisan agreement . this is something like 70 to 75 votes were trying to get if you
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really want a change social policy andhave it stick . we didn't abandon this until 2009 but my idea is probably it was that meeting at the white house early office 2009 where this president decided we don't want to mess around with those republicans anymore. we've got 60 votes, we're going to move back. well that happened in that september. the fact is, we were given that deadline and we were shoved out of the room. so when we didn't thousand this pressure and agreed to the democrat demands, it ended up being a partisan document and that's why it still doesn't have majority support the american people. what the majority minority leader to know that what's happened, not what he described a couple weeks ago.
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eventually as we all know the former majority leader, now minority leader at his staff rewrite the bill that came out of the health committee and came out of the finance committee and in the secret of the back rooms of his leadership office and we ended up with a disaster that called obamacare that we have today. the senate minority leader also recently proclaimed the rather than follow leader mcconnell and these are senator reid's words, republicans are sprinting in the opposite direction. the minority leader also wishfully claimed that the republican facade was cracking on the issue. senator schumer stated quote, because of the pressure, republicans are beginning to change. you can almost hear the ruby
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slippers on the other side clicking while they wish this narrative they describe about us on the side of the aisle were true. the fact is, the pressure they've applied thus far has had no impact on this senators principal position and i would have to say the principal position of almost everybody on this side of the aisle and on the side of the aisle, the people that disagree with us, i wouldn't say that they are on principle. i just say they're wrong. our side knows and our side believes that what we are doing is right. and when that's the case, it's not hard to withstand the outrage. and the pressure they've manufactured and the
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headquarters for that is the white house. this pressure then as i given you this whole thing about my career in the united states senate and the more opposition i had from republican presidentsputting pressure on me that i've been able to withstand , this pressure we are getting on this issue pales in comparison to what i've endured mostly from republican presidents but now of course i face it from the democrats. i you before. >> earlier today president obama talked about the current vacancy on the us supreme court. the president speaking at the university of chicago law school. that's where he taught prior to his election to the senate. the president has nominated merrick garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of
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antonin scalia. you will be able to watch his remarks tonight on c-span. this week on c-span the supreme court cases that shaped our history come to life with the c-span series landmark cases. historic supreme court decisions. our 12 part series explores real-life stories and constitutional drums behind some of the most significant decisions in american history this is a story in case about presidential power during times of war and it put before the court central themes about conditions in times of emergency can do things that may not be expressly set in the constitution. and limits the congress and the courts can place on them>> chief justice linguist , he said and you're opening the cases come to be accepted by the culture. how many cases can we say about that question mark it was a sweeping decision. it'll isolated the us is one of only four nations of 195 across the globe that allowed abortion for any reason for liability and yet it hasn't settled the
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issue at tonight we look at the case of baker the car that established the right of federal courts to review redistricting issues paving the way for the one man one vote standard of american democracy. watch landmark cases tonight at 10 easter on c-span and c-span.org. >> former israeli ambassador to the us the amar rabinovich talked about middle east issues including the israeli-palestinian conflict in the ongoing war.. he also touches on the current status of us israel relations and gives his thoughts on the potential for an israeli palestinian two state solution. this took place at the woodrow wilson center in washington. >> welcome everybody to the wilson center conversation with ambassador rabinovich. i am the, one of my?
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made here at the center. it's a really great pleasure to bring rabinovich here.
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what used to be considered, a very strong coherent state, turkey. and, including, no development in the region.
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regional systemic, mostly, iranian rivalry or shiite sunni rivalry. this is not, structure for regional politics and, on the international self united states is hesitant participant. clearly trying to assert itself most notably in syrian context. so it is very, very different. now from, israeli point of view. this is, a paired that offers opportunities, the, for israel, the arab-israeli conflicts, israeli conflict are less prominent, in eyes of many arabs. now vanished. it remains important issue but less important, let's say, if you look at saudi perspective on
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palestinian issue, compare to 30 years ago, you see a very marked difference. other sunni-arab countries are willing to cooperate in israel, often times under the table, more than over the table. ways knot been there before. there is no danger currently of conventional war, because, we are at peace with two countries with armies, egypt and jordan, to a former military adversary the syrian army and iraqi army, not a real threat. the. in all these respects, these are opportunities. there are threats. iranians are a formidable enemy. instead of conventional wars.
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we face probability asymmetrical wars. conventional war has been replaced by asymmetrical war and by the use of missiles and rockets that threaten the israeli civilian population. not complete, i would say, subdued but not completely vanished is prospect of nuclear iran. and most importantly, the endemic policy problem israel has been coping with. so, very important opportunities, very severe challenges. but, and, what is primarily missing is that given the paralysis of the, israeli politics, we have not had a government that has taken a bold initiative to try to take advantage of the opportunities,
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to minimize the risks and improve our position. . substantially. >> you talk about the bold initiative. what kind of bold initiative do you think could have been taken under these circumstance, these changed circumstances? >> of course it has to do with the palestinian issue because, for the sunni-arab countries, the limit of cooperation they're willing to help with us, and, would be replaced by i think willingness for much more open and substantial collaboration. but for this, there has to be maybe not resolution of israeli-palestinian conflict but has to be palpable movement towards, if not, solution, or resolution, then, improvement, clearly, this is not a good moment for trying to resolve the conflict, to come up with yet
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another effort, for final state solution. probably have to explain why. and, i would, if you wish. >> yes. >> but, between seeking final state sole louis or between doing nothing, continuing passively as settlers expand settlements there is whole gamut of options that israel can pursue. >> but, okay, so next year, will be 50th anniversary of the six-day war. occupation has been on for 50 years. you're saying it is not, still the moment to look for a, comprehensive solution to push for another comprehensive solution, so it is if not now when? if not, why not? >> i'm not saying not the moment to look for resolution. i think that what we do not want to see is yet another failure. we don't want to see another
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camp david 2000, followed by outbreak of another intifada. we know from our experience and question have veterans of the u.s. peace team, miller and others who have participated in that process, follow these, they know very well that for, since 1970, late '73 when the first exploit in arab-israeli piece making during the nixon period, through the carter period and through the clinton period, the efforts in the first decade of this century are in agreement. we have agreement to reached. united states, arab parties, party or parties and israel. you need all three to work more or less in tandem. if you look at, you look at the three, right now, and four, i
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think, until new administration is in place, which is about a year from now, not likely to see that happen. you have the right-wing government in israel. and you have a very weak palestinian partner. and, very weak and i'm not sure that the at end of the day, he can actually sign finality, end of conflict on the bottom line. so, trying to force it right now, i think would lead to another failure. that's so i'm not abandoning. i'm one of those israelis who believe in two-state solution. very important, i think for us israelis to separate from the palestinians in the west bank and, in gaza in a better way and to let them have their own state i i'm asprayed it is not going to -- i'm afraid it is not going
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to happen right now and i put my sights on something more ambitious than that. >> you mentioned the united states and eventual elections. clearly that important relationship has been with the united states but we have seen this relationship has been frayed over the last few years, certainly under obama and bibi netanyahu, and looks like a relationship that is severely damaged, or in need of severe repair. so with a new occupant coming down in the january to the white house, how do you think this relationship, this dysfunctional relationship can be improved, or are the two countries really slowing drifting apart? >> i think it could be repaired. let me use, use one example. i'm looking at -- who worked
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very closely on the bush iran relationship when he was in the administration. so a few years before sharon became prime minister, he was responsible for the settlements. he was, many respects the father of the settlements and famously secretary baker used to complain whenever he used to arrive for a visit sharon would open up another settlement to stick a finger in his eye. sharon was not i particularly liked in washington. the new sharon when he became prime minister, underwent a revolution. looking less at being reelected and more history, his place in history, underwent a transformation, began to speak differently about the palestinian issue and took israel out of gaza. and would have continued not
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maybe on the same scale but would have continued in the west bank, with sharon become very popular figure in washington. had very good working relationship with the administration. people predicted on his election there would be very difficult period in the relationship, that became a very good period in the relationship. this could, this could repeat itself provided we have prime minister who wants to move on and a president the prime can talk to. i don't take lightly, deep every currents, both in israel and here that could take us apart. i mean, i mentioned that we are governed by a right-wing government. there is a surge of right-wing opinion politics in israel and. you have not mentioned this specifically but you have allowedded to fact that israel
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always used to be a bipartisan issue in this country. became less so in recent years. could be reversed but also could continue. i could also see strategic threats to the fundamental relationship if things don't change. all of these things can be reversed. >> do you think that at the beginning of the obama administration, here you had a president, first african-american president, who captured the world's imagination, becomes president, being secretary, clinton, as secretary of state, formidable, political leader on her own right. so you had a amazingly powerful combination. and yet, they did nothing when it came to the arab-israeli conflict. do you think they could have done something? do you think that moment was the right moment? instead they gave it to mitchell who didn't seem to go very far with the process? >> okay.
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well the president tried. this is something i rye served thoroughly when i updated the a book on arab-israeli relations. i read carefully obama's statement as a candidate and of course his first month in office. he did want to, to do not something. he wanted to resolve the israeli-palestinian conflict. in his view at that time he was supporter of what we call the linkage theory. according to which, the palestinian issue is a major obstacle to america's relations with the arab and muslim world. this is a theory that recently i thinks that become almost irrelevant because arabs, many of the arabs who used to complain about the palestinian issue are now complaining about iran and islamic state, not
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about the palestinian issue. no one would say the problem, the syrian civil war is has anything to do with the palestinian problem. so i think that, today is not a prominent issue. it was a prominent issue in those days and i can remind you of the petraeus testimony in congress at the time where he said it is difficult for me to conduct my military operations when there are problems between israelis and palestinians. obama was off the opinion, and he said so during his campaign, that problem needs to be resolved for america to improve its relations with the muslim and arab world. now the way he went about it i think was mistaken and i elaborate. while there was another problem while america went to left with obama and israel went to the right with netanyahu, at about the same time in early 2009.
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always a personal element. these two gentlemen did not get along day one in office. they did not trust each other. they suspected each other's intentions with regard to each other. so, and there was other issue, iranian nuclear issue. there was always a linkage between the two issues issue. i think the language was not that linkage, that was not handled properly. in a word about secretary clinton. you know, she was secretary of state but policy was run from the white us. i think one of the reasons she left after four years had to do with the fact she was tired of being a spokesman, rather than a policymaker. >> let me shift you to the current crisis in syria.
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it is quite remarkable that with crisis next door the israelis have been quiet about syria. what is the worst possible out come or best possible out come from each perspective in syria? >> the best outcome from israeli perspective is for syria to be put together defend. i would say under liberal democratic government. i say that is not likely but under a reasonable regime or government. this is not going to happen anytime soon. i think, i think there is a, first of all, if we're talking about outcomes though, or solutions, you can not separate, lebanon, syria and iraq from one another. they are all tied intimately together.
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but, lebanon so more passive than active. two countries that need to be addressed first would be syria an iraq. and i think in both of them ideally in a number about years there would be a federal structures that would enable them to put the two countries together again. i don't see, i can not see a strong unitary state centered either in baghdad or damascus. as soon as the local autonomy of ethnic and other groups would have to be formally recognized, and in pluralistic political systems will have to be created in both countries. this would take a long time. israel will not be participant rye shaping iraq or syria but. but as you said it does observe the syrian civil war. it managed to less involved and least affected than syria, the
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four other neighbors that syria has. i was critical of the current government in israel recently, earlier in this conversation. this is where i can give you the compliment. it has kept itself well out of the syrian civil war, and for reasons that i can elaborate on, israel chose not to, not to try to intervene, and stayed on the sidelines. it presented red lines, primarily the transfer of sophisticated weapon systems to terrorist groups like hezbollah and interdicted that several times. but, and of course it has offered humanitarian aid to both refugees in, outside of syria and to wounded syrians looking to be treated in israeli hospitals but on the whole compared to lebanon, iraq, turkey and jordan, we have been
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least affected and least involved. >> but how do you see the russian involvement in syria? has it been, i mean would you, what would have happened if russia had not intervened, would the regime have collapsed? what have been the consequences? >> possibly. because the rebel groups began to penetrate the hardcore regime area. the regime is still in damascus. it has the alawite heartlands in the alawite heartlands and the coast. territorial link to shiite part of lebanon. these are essential, for opposition groups began to penetrate these heartlands. the regime was hard-put to cope with them.
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i think that prompted russian intervention. put very successfully, arbiter of syria. you have the distinction of the united states make things happen in the region. russia in the game again. there were advantages. intervention was intended to secure the regime. they did well. regime verge of collapse to fresh any oftives. it has probably retaken palmyra from isis. if that continues unabated next couple years, mainlyrussia and
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others play not a more active role, the regime may win the war. perhaps not re-establish full control over whole of syria but consolidate, more than 30s% of the country -- 30, 40% of the couldn'ttry that it controlled recently. >> the idea that united states is gearing up to fight isis and let's assume for one moment that isis is defeated in syria. you're left essentially with ragtag set of rebels supported by united states. turkey, saudi, et cetera. a regime supported by iran and russia. how do we get solution from that point on? how do you get to a solution. >> difficult to get to a solution. if you bring parties to the table in geneva, they would
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insist of assad's departure. assad has no intention to depart. supported very firmly by iran. more survival of the regime. but he will have diplomatic backing. therefore, political diplomatic solution in a peace conference i think is not likely. he may control larger part of the country than he does now. 30 to 40% of the country is in kurdish hands, in the northeast, on other groups. syria will, say, would be native state. iraq is muddling along as failed state for years now. lebanon is doing the same. unfortunately syria may join that club. >> just to take, you talk about a federation being the only solution. can you elaborate a little bit
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how you see that federation? obviously you have the kurds in the north. how do you do, how do you do damascus, how do you alawite areas, how do you do the sunni areas, how do you do all of that? >> okay. okay, the kurds, the kurds, alawites, the are very distinct groups. 60% sunni arabs and are not, are not a coherent group. what you do have in syria, are very strong local forces now. i think, actually one of the least, the less advertised, but more admirable aspects of the civil war has been the fact in. areas, life is continued in a total way. not really a attractive but tolerable. local forces were able both to fight and to administer and.
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any solid political structure in years to come will take that no account. it is not something that i tried to do, namely to sit down and prepare an actual map and a structure for a federal syria but the notion of a country that will have five or six regional entities subsumed under a state structure with capital in damascus is something that could become realistic several years down the road. >> so -- >> iraq it is much simpler. iraq has very klee entities t would be much easier to do that. not easier but -- to do in iraq. >> at one point you negotiated on syrian peace talks and had you succeeded, you would, golan heights would have been syrian control, most of it maybe.
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would it have had, i mean, given what happened in syria, a, would it have had a impact on events in syria? b, if it doesn't, would you guys be regretting -- golan heights? >> thank you. i'm, i'm smiling because that is a question i'm asked often when i'm interviewed in israel, primarily by right-wing interviewers of which, of which you are not one. but, you know, obviously i thought about it myself and it is natural and very legitimate question. my answer to that is, that had syria made peace with israel in the '90s, the civil war would not have broken out. we, as aaron miller knows, remembers very well, it was not bilateral israeli-syrian negotiation t was tria lateral
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american, arab, israeli negotiation. what the syrians had in mind, not syria, israeli peace that was part of a larger deal, they want ad different relationship with the united states that would have meant opening up. so had we made that deal, syria would, it would have, it would have been modeled on the egyptian-israeli peace again a trilateral deal. you know, liberalized domestically as well as made peace with israel and, disengaged from the soviet union at the time. so, that was the model and it was very explicit. in my first, my first informal conversation with my syrian counterpart, he said to me, i hope your government realizes that assad can not settle on less than sadat. that was the model. and when rabin made deposit to secretary christopher in which
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he offered his willingness to withdraw conditionally from the golan heights, in return for peace and security, very much presented something similar to the egyptian-syrian deal. so if that were to be consummated in the 1990s or in the early 2,000s, syria would have opened up, pressure cooker that burst out in 2011 would have been released in more peaceful ways and i think civil war may may not have broken out. therefore the question would not have the presented itself. secondly, you know, we have groups on. other side of the syrian-israeli cease-fire line in the golan that are linked with isis and with al qaeda, al nusra. they are very peaceful, because they know what the consequences are t

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